Saturday, December 31, 2016

Follow your inner guidance [13 ways of looking at my guru. #1: Lead, kindly light]

Lead, kindly light

"We see that within the mental system that there is a search that this one is experiencing. We see that there are ways in which this one knows that this one desires to change; however, we see that this one is having a difficult time being able to identify the changes that this one does desire to make, for we see that many of the thoughts that this one has and what this one is moved towards do create a type of resistance and fear within the thinking. Would suggest to this one that it would be of benefit for this one to quiet the mind, for this one to ask the self what it is that is most needed at this time for the evolution and the growth of this one's soul, and to allow the inner guidance to provide for this one the guidance that this one is seeking. It is important for this one to recognize that in order for this one to evolve there may be some challenges that this one experiences; however, as this one creates a clear image of what it is that this one desires for the self and understands the reasons, the purpose, this will provide this one with the ability, the courage, and the strength to move in the direction that is needed. Would also suggest to this one that recording this one's dreams could aid in giving this one guidance as well."

The 24th Mary Magdalene

Rudolf Steiner:  "In speaking of previous lives there is a deplorable and only too widespread tendency to refer back to important historical personages. I have come across all kinds of people who believe that they were incarnated as some historical personage or figure in the Gospels. Quite recently a lady informed me that she had been Mary Magdalene, and I could only reply that she was the twenty-fourth Mary Magdalene I had met in my life. In these matters the greatest care must be taken to prevent fantastic notions arising." 


Regarding Lucifer and Ahriman

Initiation, Eternity, and the Passing Moment. Lecture 6 of 7.

Rudolf Steiner, Munich, August 30, 1912:

From the previous lectures you will perhaps have realized how necessary it is to make our conceptions capable of change and movement if we are to arrive at a right description of the various worlds of which we can speak, one of which is our ordinary sensory existence, our ordinary world of the senses. From much that has been said it should be evident to you that we must speak of human concepts in a different language when representing the transition from one world to another. That is one side of the matter. But there is another side; all these worlds work reciprocally, and in one world the interworking of the remaining worlds can always be perceived as a kind of reflection. In each world we are met by the phenomena and beings of that particular world, and, in addition, by all that is working into it from the other worlds. All this must be carefully considered if we would understand the secrets of initiation, the relation of the passing moment to eternity, and the relation of the darkness in life to the light of the spirit. There are certain rules and instructions, which you will find described in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, to which the soul can be subjected in order to enter supersensible worlds. It goes without saying that such rules are not only useful but indispensable to anyone really wanting to undertake the first or further steps toward initiation.
At this particular time there is one thing, however, to which we must call attention. Our present age has a certain peculiarity connected with the whole character of the world-cycle in which we live. It has an academic, theorizing tendency, and no matter how much we strive to get rid of it, it still remains engrained in the souls of present-day men. For this reason, when it is a question of rising into higher worlds, they expect before everything to be told how, in such circumstances, each person should act whose soul is desirous of reaching supersensible worlds. But in comparison with the real experience of supersensible life, into these descriptions that may be said to give a normal path, a normal “line of march,” for a quick ascent into higher worlds, there always seems to enter what, in a certain respect, might be called an element of the doubtful.
Life is a complicated affair, and every soul, in whatever position it is found — everyone wishing to start on the ascent into higher worlds must do so from some particular position in life — every soul is involved in a definite karma and starts from a definite point. No two souls are in the same situation. The path for each soul into supersensible worlds is therefore individual, and is determined by the condition of the soul at its point of departure. If you want to keep to the truth, you cannot say that normally such and such a path must be taken by every soul for the ascent into higher worlds, for initiation. Hence the need of something more than instructions given in short pamphlets (a much easier affair) saying the soul should do this or that and giving rise to the belief that it is possible by following out such rules to rise to higher worlds in any circumstances and in the same way as any other soul.
This is why such things are doubtful. It was for this very reason that I tried in A Road to Self Knowledge to indicate something individual that can at the same time be useful to every soul. For the same reason, the necessity also arose of showing how the ways of initiation are both manifold and varied. Without wishing to give any kind of explanation about what has been done, I should just like to point out the different ways in which the necessities are shown in the three figures who appear before our souls as Johannes Thomasius, Capesius, and Strader in my Mystery plays The Portal of Initiation, The Soul's Probation, and The Guardian of the Threshold. You are here shown, as it were, three different aspects of the first stages on the path of initiation. You cannot say of any one of these that it is better or worse than the others; in each case you must admit that it is the outcome of individual karma. It can only be said that a soul such as Johannes or Capesius must necessarily follow the paths we have tried to indicate, not theoretically or pedantically, but in the actual, dramatic figures.
It will become increasingly necessary to lead people away from the belief that a few rules will suffice in these matters — increasingly necessary in precisely these spiritual spheres to point the way from the academic to living figures. Because the connections of the worlds are so manifold, the ways of individuals must be manifold too. But when one first begins seriously to observe certain individualities or beings of the higher worlds and to verify what part they have in man, then especially must we feel the need, instead of giving mere definitions of them, to show these figures livingly and in their multiplicity. In our time it is particularly important for those who strive for spiritual knowledge to observe, in all their manifold and variable nature, such figures as Lucifer and Ahriman, whom we shall always encounter on the path of initiation. It will then be apparent how remarkable are the connections and links between one world and another.
There are many signs today of how, gradually, understanding can be aroused of this interplay of one world with another. I should like to start from the obvious even though it is not sufficiently appreciated that it is. In our time, in the widest circles, there is a strong impulse to get to know the order of nature, the laws of nature, that work through everything, including all the living things that meet us in the world of the senses. There is a tendency to ignore any knowledge coming from other worlds about man and world existence and simply to build a whole world conception out of the one world. This it is that gives the more or less monistic or materialistic stamp to our present world conception. Now, one may say that against this endeavor, other strivings have made themselves felt today as a kind of wholesome check. Within the world in which we live, these endeavors seek such phenomena as are governed by laws different from those of the natural world and, in all their manifoldness, are felt by the materialistic mind to be inconsistent with the order of nature. We should certainly pay heed to all that is done in a serious and scientific way in this field. In this contemporary confrontation of purely materialistic research with another research, which, although little noticed and by using the same methods as ordinary research seeks other connections in our sensory existence than this existence itself offers — in all this we may, indeed, look for quite different worlds, with different laws of being playing into this other research. In this respect it is most desirable, particularly for anthroposophists, to give heed to all that is being done in this direction by extending the methods of science to the interplay of supersensible worlds into our physical existence. I have already pointed this out to smaller circles; today I shall do so for this larger one.
In the first part of his book The Mystery of Man, a book I should like especially to recommend to you, our friend Ludwig Deinhard has undertaken the commendable task of giving lucid classification and description of everything that in our age can be investigated by means of the scientific methods recognized today about the interplay of a supersensible world into the world that is accessible to us all. These scientific methods are indeed still being applied with prejudice. This lucid classification has been a worthy task. It can be a lesson to anyone interested in seeing how, simply by taking the facts and following them up, we can find that the supersensible actually springs forth from the life of the senses. So this book, The Mystery of Man by Ludwig Deinhard, which has appeared recently, has an important task, and I take this opportunity of bringing it to your notice.
This interplay of other worlds into the sensory world creates something within it that is really repeated and appears in all worlds. This makes it, however, particularly necessary that we should not form pedantic, rigid, or one-sided dogmas or opinions that this or that is so, that Lucifer is like this, Ahriman like that; that one must shun the Luciferic, the Ahrimanic, and so on. Our considerations yesterday followed this theme.
Let us assume that someone who has taken the first steps on the path of initiation, because his soul life has become clairvoyant by his own efforts to open the eyes of his soul, meets the figure in supersensible worlds whom we call Lucifer. How did we describe this being yesterday? He comes before the soul as a being forever striving to make the eternal, which otherwise is in constant movement and change, into the stable, temporal, and momentary, so that as something individual it can rejoice in its power to grow individually great. If as a soul you meet Lucifer in supersensible worlds, he then appears there as the great light-bearer who leads, really leads, to bringing down into sensory existence all the treasures that pertain to real being in the spiritual world, and to the creation of its reflection and revelation in the world of the senses. If you follow Lucifer in this striving of his in supersensible worlds, then you are working for the fulfillment of the primordial task of the universe; that is, to reveal the unrevealed, to commit to the moment all that is eternal, and to make it possible that all that flows away into limitless eternity should be held fast in the inward greatness of the individual moment.
Now, a desire exists in every human soul as an echo from the spiritual worlds to bring to fulfillment this striving to make manifest the unrevealed, to fix the eternal in the passing moment. Hence it is that when man enters supersensible worlds, either by way of initiation or by death, it is really Lucifer who acts as his light-bearer. The dangers to which man is exposed when face to face with Lucifer in higher worlds are really only present when man takes with him into these worlds too great a measure of what in sensory existence constitutes his right relation to Lucifer. Lucifer is only dangerous for man's life in higher worlds if he takes with him too much of the nature and essential being of physical man. How then do matters stand with Lucifer within the actual life of the senses, where there is always the interplay of supersensible worlds? In the historical course of man during sensory existence and in his evolution we have to do above all with the interplay of the higher worlds, which send active impulses into physical life so that one thing may take place after another, in the way things are played out during the whole of Earth existence in the history of mankind.
The self-seeking strivings of every human soul that we regard as human and egoistic play into the life of the senses, and we know that the development of every soul must start from egoism. That is natural. We also know that man can work his way out from egoism. Into all that souls have been able to do on Earth through egoism, there comes what we may call the manifestation of the eternal in the passing moment. Luciferic forces are forever playing into what is fixed in the individual soul and also into all that the individual man can do for the whole world-order and existence through being an egoist and having the power to develop within him inward greatness that wells forth from his inner being. For what is individual greatness in the individual soul but the seed of all the greatness in the whole world evolution of man? What gave Homer, Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe, their power to affect mankind? It was their egohood, and because within them there were whole worlds, worlds that issued forth from their inner being alone, out of their egohood. In this indirect way, through egohood, the impulses of spiritual life are introduced, which are from epoch to epoch the mediators of the greatest spiritual deeds of mankind. In this we find Lucifer again. It is he who is light-bearer, the impulse and power behind all the greatness that radiates into human evolution from the mighty forces of eternity that, at certain points of time, surge up from the individual human soul.
Man's soul is placed between two poles that are simply the impression and reflection of all the worlds in which the soul actually stands. At the one pole the human soul hardens within itself, winds itself into the cocoon of its selfhood, and only desires what is of service to itself, what is for its self-gratification. At the other pole the human soul draws forces from its own depths that are able to radiate into the whole life of humanity. When does this egohood of man come to light? This happens the moment we think how necessary it is for every man to sacrifice for others what is his own, what is his most individually, what belongs most deeply to his egohood. But in all that man can do for his fellows out of his egohood lives Lucifer, the other pole of Lucifer; in all that man can thus achieve for humanity under the influence of the light-bearer lies a reflection of what Lucifer really is in higher worlds, a reflection of his creative activity, which is the revealing of the unrevealed.
Can we then say that Lucifer is evil, or can we say that Lucifer is good? One can only say that if a man maintains that Lucifer is evil, and that we must flee from him, then it must also be said that we must avoid fire, because in certain circumstances it destroys life. On the path of initiation we find that the words good and evil cannot be used in this way for the description of any being of the supersensible world order. Fire is good when it acts in good conditions, evil when it works in evil ones; in itself it is neither the one nor the other. So it is with Lucifer. He exercises a good influence on man's soul when he becomes the instigator of man's sacrifice on the altar of human evolution of all that is most individual in his soul. Lucifer becomes an evil being — rather, what he does becomes evil — when he arouses impulses leading only to self-gratification in the human soul. Thus, once our attention has been drawn to these beings, we have to follow up the effect their deeds have in the world. The acts of supersensible beings can be described as good or bad; the beings themselves, never!
Just imagine that somewhere, on some island or other, there were a human race holding the opinion that, in all circumstances, one must protect oneself from Lucifer and that he has to be kept at the greatest possible distance. That would not prove that the men of this island had better knowledge of Lucifer than anyone else, but simply, by virtue of their particular qualities, that these men were only able to convert into evil what Lucifer could give them. The views about Lucifer held by the people of this island would only be characteristic of the people, not of Lucifer. I will not say whether or not this island exists. You can look for it yourselves in the evolution of the world.
We must seek the attributes of Lucifer in the being Lucifer whom we meet in the supersensible world. The manner of his working has to be sought in how his powers take on different qualities when, for instance, they work on such an island and their effects actively ray out on such an island.
And the Ahrimanic? What is that? When we meet Ahriman in the supersensible world, we find his particular attributes are quite different from those of Lucifer. To come into relation with Lucifer in the supersensible world we really only need to purify and cleanse ourselves from all the dross of faulty egohood and the egoism of sensory existence. For that, Lucifer will make us a good guide in the actual supersensible world, and we shall not easily become his prey. But with Ahriman it is different; his is another task in world evolution. While Lucifer reveals all that is hidden, Ahriman's task for the world of the senses can be described by saying that where our world of the senses is, where it becomes visible, there is Ahriman, but he permeates it invisibly, supersensibly. How does Ahriman help us? He helps us considerably in the physical world; he helps every soul. Indeed, he helps every soul to carry into higher worlds as much as possible from the world of the senses, of what is played out only there, because the world of the senses exists for some purpose and is not merely maya. It exists as the stage for events that beings may experience, and what is thus enacted and experienced must be borne up into supersensible worlds. The power to carry into eternity what is of value in sensory existence is the power that belongs to Ahriman. To give the passing moment back to eternity, that is in Ahriman's power.
For the individual soul in relation to Ahriman, however, something quite different comes into consideration. What men experience primarily in sensory existence is of infinite value to them, and I hardly think I shall meet with much opposition if I say that the enthusiasm and the inclination carefully to preserve what we experience in sensory existence, and to save it up as far as possible for eternity, is generally much greater than the other tendency, namely, to bring down into the world of the senses all that we can from the hidden spiritual worlds. Man loves the world of the senses quite naturally and comprehensibly, and would like to take as much as possible of it with him into spiritual existence. Certain religious faiths, in order to comfort their adherents, tell them that they can quite well take with them into spiritual life all that is in sensory existence. No doubt they say it because they unconsciously realize how much man loves what is his in physical existence. This is what Ahriman's power strives to bring about, that all that we have here can be carried on with us into spiritual worlds. This inclination and desire to carry up the physical into the superphysical is both strong and forceful in the soul. It is not at all easy to get rid of it when, through death or initiation, you rise from the world of the senses into higher worlds. Therefore, you still have it in you when you become a being of the higher world. If you meet Ahriman there, this is just where he becomes dangerous because he willingly helps you to carry into these supersensible worlds all you have gained and experienced in sensory existence.
There could be no more cherished companion than Ahriman for those who would preserve each passing moment for eternity. Many men, as soon as they have passed the gateway into the supersensible world, find in Ahriman an accommodating companion; he is always seeking to make what takes place on Earth play its part in the higher worlds and to claim it there for himself and for those who work with him. But even that is not the worst, because you do not enter the supersensible world without having in a certain respect cast off your selfhood. If you gained entrance there with your ordinary, normal impelling force, you would soon seize hold of Ahriman and feel him to be a most easy-going companion. But you cannot enter in that state. On entering higher worlds, you already have the faculty for recognizing him as partaking in the divine, since with overwhelming tragedy he permeates Earth evolution in sensory existence and is forever at pains so to transform it that it shall become a spiritual life. That is Ahriman's deep tragedy! He would like to change all that has ever appeared in the physical into the spiritual, and he battles in the world order for the purification and cleansing, in cleansing fires, of everything physical. In his sense that is good, but it would be evil in the sense of the divine, spiritual beings if Ahriman, who is their opponent in the world order, could carry out all his aims.
Much must be done there in a different way from how he would have it done. I should like here to describe what I mean by a comparison. By applying this comparison to the whole world order, you will be able to appreciate how Ahriman strives for himself after what he can call good, yet how impossible it is to fit this “good” into the whole world order.
Now let us take any animal that, for its progressive development in sensory existence, must shed its skin. From time to time it must lay aside its skin like a kind of image of itself and progress in life with a new form. Something has to be cast aside to give the being in question new possibilities of life. Ahriman would like to save everything and would like to prevent all snakes from casting their skin; he would like everything used up that, in the mind of the world order, must be cast aside. Man, too, would like to do that in sensory existence. There is a great deal he would prefer not to leave but to take with him, although in the mind of a higher world order it is destined for the temporal and the passing moment. Because the urge is so strong in him, man would, if it were possible for him, among all his questions in the sensory world about unknown paths and so forth, want first to ask: “Where can Ahriman be found? Where can Ahriman help one to carry into eternity what is held in the passing moment?”
Here is the one good thing! Man is not able to find Ahriman in the world of the senses because here he is invisible and spiritual. It belongs to the obligations of the Guardian of the Threshold that Ahriman should remain as invisible as possible in the physical world. Thus man can unfold what lies in his own forces alone for the preservation of the passing moment in eternity, and cannot unconsciously let Ahriman help him. Here again, good and evil play into man's physical life as two poles. Man as a soul passes through human evolution in which one task is good, genuine and true; that is, to carry out of the sensory world all that has eternal value and to make it part of the eternal kingdom. This is the duty laid upon us — to take the precious treasures of the moment and offer them up on the altar of eternity. When we let Ahriman help us with the real treasures of temporal life, then it is good. But when at the moment of entering the supersensible world we come to know Ahriman — until then we cannot see him — and show him the tendency that remains in us to carry out of the sensory world into the supersensible world what has no value, then this has a great deal of value for him. It is worthless, however, for his opponents. Then he can find us to be useful tools to lead what is loved here in sensory existence over into eternity. Because it is thus loved, it takes its place through him in eternity.
So once more we see how what emanates from Ahriman cannot, in itself, be called either good or bad, but becomes good or bad according to how men place themselves toward it and enter into relation with it. Through this we can realize how easy it is for descriptions to be superficial when answering questions that show so little real thought as “What is Ahriman like?” or “What is Lucifer like?” In the higher worlds where descriptions of these beings are only possible, there are really no such utterances, no such questions. Thus is man drawn into the labyrinth of life. Both Lucifer and Ahriman are working in this labyrinth, and man has to discover how to take up the right attitude toward them. This necessity for seeking our right relationship to the beings of supersensible worlds is just what gives us the power for self-development. Connections with supersensible worlds are not maintained by striving for a knowledge based on that of the senses, so much as by creating a relationship with spiritual beings in the way we have just described. For this reason men must go into the darkness of life in which beings work who can just as well be good as evil, and who can become good or evil in the effects of what they do according to the way in which we relate ourselves to them. That is what constitutes the darkness of life. Hence the light of life, spiritual light, can only shine into the darkness of life by our acquiring the right relation to, and getting to know, the several powers of the supersensible world who play into our physical world. Also, when wishing to speak of supersensible worlds, we change our ideas and concepts. I should like to bring before your souls by yet another example how differently we must think if we would find the connection between the sensory world and the supersensible world in the right way.
We live here in physical existence in such a way that we feel how there plays with and around us what we call our destiny. In our destiny we find many sympathetic things and many adverse things. Anyone who can conjure up a true idea of himself knows that feeling and experiencing with others, and the sympathy or antipathy with which we meet the fortunes of life, are among our most powerful sensations and are most deeply rooted in our soul. Now it happens — I need not here repeat why, as this has been told you frequently in earlier lectures — that in our higher ego, which, in the sense of our previous lectures, bears within it merely a memory of the ordinary ego — in this higher ego, we ourselves prepare the very destiny that then may torment us and cause us suffering throughout a whole lifetime. Are there not some who deny the idea of reincarnation because, having lived through this one, they have no desire to build a new existence for themselves? The reason for this is that they labor under the delusion that in the worlds man inhabits after death everything goes on in the same way as in the world of the senses. Here in the sensory world one thing may please us, another displease us. But during the life between death and a new birth it never occurs to us that we should feel in this way. There we feel quite differently, though here we may not know it. When after death we come into the spiritual world, we realize, for example, “I have lived on Earth in a life of the senses; I have possessed a certain faculty, but this faculty found a one-sided expression in me; it is possible I even made bad use of it. I must now form myself anew in another Earth existence and embodiment so that this one-sidedness may be balanced and the imperfection rectified. In other words, I must take over in another imperfection what I have previously had in an imperfect form, so that by working in the opposite direction I may balance and harmonize the matter.”
Then a time begins between death and a new birth, which goes on until the new birth, during which man says, for example, “Formerly, I worked and made myself proficient at painting. I will now be born so that in my new life I will be quite incapable of painting. By not being able to paint, I shall never be able to harbor in my soul a judgment arrived at from the standpoint of a painter, but I shall be able only to judge as one would who has simply seen something. Thus, I shall acquire other forces that will be helpful in harmonizing and balancing what was mine before.” So we can look back on a life between birth and death to something happily passed through and yet say: “If I were so to direct my whole evolution as only to experience life thus, I should never get its full flavor.” Out of forces thus developed there follows the desire: “What once I experienced in happiness I must now experience in suffering.” You then arrange everything in such a way that, impelled by this longing you have to experience suffering in a certain sphere and by undergoing this, you make further progress in life. Then the fact becomes clear that in the supersensible worlds we have craved for pain and suffering, though in sensory existence we feel they are something to be avoided.
Here the difference between life in sensory existence and life between death and rebirth in supersensible worlds becomes of real, practical significance. Quite different forces are active in our life between death and a new birth from all that we find sympathetic or otherwise between birth and death. What then does a man do who would judge life in supersensible worlds according to his sympathies and antipathies of sensory existence? Actually, he transplants in perspective into the supersensible world what he had in sensory existence. It is just as though you were to draw or paint a rose, for instance, on a sheet of glass. Then if you look at the sheet of glass you will not see it. You look through the glass but the painting that you take for a reality is projected onto the space of the wall behind. But it is not real at all; it is you who have transplanted it there. In the same way a man, when he wants to judge of the supersensible world by the sympathies and antipathies of the sensory world, can project into that world something like shadows that may nevertheless have validity there. This something has a certain effect and is in a way authentic. Even if it is not seen, something like a fog is projected onto what stands in that world before the observer.
Thus, again and from another side, we are shown through feeling what may be called the darkness of life. If we ask why we live in this darkness between birth and death, it may be said that it is because judgments and valuations of life that are justified and natural in life between birth and death must have no value for the existence we lead in supersensible worlds between death and a new birth. In sensory existence we have need of a life of soul that in supersensible life no longer has validity. Therefore if we are to gain comprehensive knowledge of the universe, we must allow all our investigations and our knowledge of the supersensible world to be penetrated by the light of its spirit. The greatest mistake that men can make in their view of the world is that of imagining that they can extend to supersensible worlds the concepts and ideas gained from the world of the senses and without having the patience and endurance to await from actual investigation into the supersensible, descriptions of all that, as spiritual light from higher worlds, radiates into the darkness of sensory existence. Here the question confronts us: “Is it indeed only those having power of vision in supersensible worlds, those who have had the privilege of initiation, who are able to let this spiritual light of supersensible worlds work upon them?” This belief is widely spread throughout the world. You often hear it said: “How can one understand anything of the supersensible worlds if one has never gone through initiation?” You then hear it pointed out that the only true way must be to go through initiation, the one path leading to supersensible worlds.
What the connections are in this sphere, how understanding is related to seeing in supersensible worlds, and how much consolation and strength we can have in life through the apprehension of spiritual light in our darkness will be our starting-point tomorrow. That will lead us a few steps further into the problem we are now considering.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Anthroposophical ideas are vessels fashioned by love

Rudolf Steiner:  "Anthroposophy is not mere learning like any other. The ideas that Anthroposophy presents and the words it uses are not meant as abstract theory. Anthroposophical ideas are not shaped in the way other kinds of learning have been shaping ideas for the past several centuries; words are not used the same as they are elsewhere. Anthroposophical ideas are vessels fashioned by love, and we are summoned by the spiritual world to partake of their content. Anthroposophy must bring the light of true humanness to shine out in thoughts that bear love's imprint: knowledge is only the form in which we reflect our heart's receiving the light of the world spirit that has come to dwell in our heart and from our heart illumine human thought. Since Anthroposophy cannot really be grasped except by the power of love, it is love-engendering when human beings take it in a way true to its own nature. Words expressing Anthroposophical truths are not like words spoken elsewhere today; rightly conceived, they are all really reverential pleas that the spirit make itself known to us."

Time and Eternity and Lucifer and Christ Jesus

Initiation, Eternity, and the Passing Moment. Lecture 5 of 7.

Rudolf Steiner, Munich, August 29, 1912:

Yesterday, in such words as are possible for these matters, I tried to characterize how the withdrawal from the physical body and feeling and experiencing oneself in the etheric and astral bodies take place. I pointed out that this experience takes place in such a way that living oneself into the etheric body seems like a flowing out, as it were, into cosmic space, during which one is continually conscious of streaming out into infinity in all directions from one's own body as a central point. Experience in the astral body, however, appears as a springing out of oneself into the astral body. It is at this moment that one begins to feel outside one's physical body in such a way that everything in the physical body that was called oneself is now experienced as something external to one, something existing outside. One is inside something else. I pointed out to you yesterday that the world then confronting us must be called, in conformity with my book Theosophy, for instance, the spiritland. It might also be called the lower mental plane. It would be wrong if something derogatory is implied by imagining that when one selflessly and in the right way reaches the point of living in the astral body, one is then in the astral world.
Now, there is a great difference between life, observation, and experience in sensory existence, and experience in the astral body in face of the spiritland. In the life of the senses we are confronted with substances, forces, objects, processes, and so on. We are also confronted with beings, and besides the beings of the other kingdoms of nature, insofar as we are justified in calling them so, we are confronted in particular with our own fellow beings. In sensory existence we confront these other beings in such a way that we know how they take up into themselves the substances and forces of the world of the senses, permeate themselves with these, and thereby live the life that runs its course by means of external natural forces within the laws of nature. In short, in the life of the senses we must distinguish between the course of nature, and the beings who live out their lives within this natural course and permeate themselves with the substances and forces there. We have, then, the course of nature and also the beings. But when in the astral body we are seeing into the spiritual world, we can no longer make this distinction. In the spiritual world we are confronted with beings alone, but over against these beings there is no such thing as the so-called course of nature. Everything to which you are guided in the way indicated in our last lecture, everything you meet, is being. Wherever there is anything, it is being, and you cannot say as you do in sensory life that there is an animal and here the external substances it is going to eat. There is not this duality there, for whatever is, is being.
I have already told you how you stand with regard to these beings, that this is mainly the world of the hierarchies, and we have often described it from other points of view. You learn to know the world of the hierarchies in their order of succession, from those beings whom you learn to know first as angels, and archangels, up to those who seem to be almost vanishing, so indistinct do they become — the Cherubim and Seraphim. But one thing is possible when you find yourself in these worlds: you can succeed in entering into relation with these beings. Whatever you are in sensory existence you must have left behind you, in the sense of the way we described this before, but, as I have already said, you still bear it in memory. Into these worlds you carry the memory of what you have left behind and, as in physical life we look back into our memories, so you look back from the higher worlds on to what you have been in sensory existence. You still possess it in memory pictures.
Now as you ascend the first steps of initiation into higher worlds, it is good to learn to distinguish between the first step and those that follow. It is not good to neglect this. It really amounts to this, that you will best learn to find your way in higher worlds if, among the first memory pictures you carry across there, which remind you of your sensory existence, you do not have the image of your own physical body and of its form. It is indeed a matter of experience that this is so. Anyone who has to give advice as to the exercises to be undertaken in order to bring about the first steps of initiation will see to it that, after crossing the threshold, after passing the Guardian of the Threshold, the first memory images have nothing to do with the perception of the physical bodily form. They are essentially such as can be included under the heading of a moral-intellectual perception of the self. What you should first experience is how to estimate your own moral qualities. You should perceive what moral or immoral tendencies you have, what sense of truthfulness, or superficial feeling, and also realize how to assess your value as a being of soul.
This is what must first be felt. This does not arise in such a way that it can best be expressed in the words we use in physical life. When you enter the spiritual world, experience is far more intimately bound up with you than anything of the kind in sensory existence. When you have done something that does not satisfy you morally, your entire inner life feels that there is something bitter, that there is something as it were poured out into the world to which you have now accustomed yourself that fills it with an aroma of bitterness — but aroma should not here be understood in the physical sense. You feel yourself soaked through with this aroma of bitterness. What can be morally justified is filled with a pleasant aroma. One might say that the sphere you enter when you are not satisfied with what you have done is dark and gloomy, but light and clear is the part of the universe into which you come when you can be at peace with yourself. Therefore, if you are to find your way about, this should be the kind of moral or intellectual valuation to which you should submit yourself, that, like the atmosphere, fills for you the world into which you are entering. So it is best to feel this world with your soul, and after having made yourself familiar with this feeling of the soul for spiritual space, only then should the memory arise that may have the very form and shape of your physical bodily form in sensory life, as long as this form comes before you like an interpenetration into your newly acquired moral atmosphere.
What I have here been describing may not, however, only arise out of the midst of daily life, coming like an entrance into the spiritual world when the appropriate steps toward initiation have been taken. It may also occur in another way. However it arises, it depends fundamentally on the karma of the individual human being and on the way he is constituted. It cannot be said that one way of arising is better or worse than the other; it is simply that either one or the other may occur. In the midst of his daily life man may feel himself drawn into the spiritual world, but it may also happen that his experience during sleep becomes different. In the ordinary experience as soon as a man falls asleep he becomes unconscious, regaining his consciousness on re-awaking, and in his life during the day, except for remembrance of his dreams, he has no memory of his sleeping life. He lives through sleep in a state of unconsciousness. Now in the first stage of initiation it may also happen that something else is extended over man's sleeping life so that he begins to experience another way of falling asleep. With the approach of sleeping life another kind of consciousness is then experienced. This lasts, interrupted more or less by periods of unconsciousness, for various lengths of time according to the progress the person has made. Then as morning approaches it dies away. During this experience, in the first period after falling asleep, there arises what can be called a memory of one's moral attitude, of one's qualities of soul. This is particularly vivid just after going to sleep and it gradually dies away toward the time of waking.
Therefore, as a result of the exercises for the first stages of initiation, the usual unconsciousness of sleep can become lit up and transfused with consciousness. Then one rises into the actual worlds of the hierarchies and feels oneself to belong there. But this living within the world in which all is being must, as compared with ordinary life in the world of the senses, be described somewhat as follows. Suppose that someone in the sensory world is standing before a pot of flowers and looking at it. The plant is outside, external to him; he observes it as he stands there looking at it. Now the experience in the higher world of which we have just been speaking can in no way be compared with this kind of observation. It would be quite wrong to imagine that there one went about looking at the beings thus, from outside, placing oneself before them, as one would observe a flowerpot in the world of the senses. It is not so. If you would compare anything in sensory existence with the way in which you stand as regards the world of the hierarchies, it could only be in the following manner. This, of course, will be only a comparison, but it may help you to have a clear idea.
Let us assume that you sit down somewhere and instead of thinking laboriously of some special thing, you set yourself to think about nothing in particular. Some uncalled-for thought may then arise within you, of which, to start with, you were not thinking at all. It may occupy your soul so completely that it altogether fills it; you feel you can no longer distinguish the thought from yourself and that you are entirely one with the thought that thus suddenly arises. If you have the feeling that this is a living thought, it draws your soul with it, your soul is bound up with the thought, and it might just as well be said that the thought is in your soul as that your soul is in the thought, then you have something in sense life similar to the way in which you get to know the beings of the higher hierarchies and the way you behave toward them. The words “I am beside them, I am outside them,” lose all meaning. You are with them, just as your thoughts live with you. Not that you might say “The thoughts live in me.” You have rather to say “A thought thinks itself in me.” The beings experience themselves, and you experience the experience of the beings. You are within them; you are one with them, so that your whole being is poured out into the sphere in which they live. You share their life, all the time knowing quite well that they, too, are experiencing themselves in this. No one must imagine that after the first steps on the path of initiation he will immediately have the feeling of experiencing all that these beings experience. Throughout he need know nothing beyond his being in their presence, as in sensory existence he might be confronted by somebody he was meeting for the first time. The expression “The beings live and experience themselves within you” is justified, yet you need know nothing more of them to begin with than you would know of a man on first acquaintance. In this way, therefore, it is a co-experience. This gradually grows in intensity, and you penetrate ever further into the nature of these beings.
Now, something else is bound up with what has just been described as a spiritual experience. It is a certain fundamental feeling that rests in the soul like the actual result of all its separate experiences. It is a feeling that perhaps I can picture to you by means of a contrast. What you experience in the world of the senses when standing at some particular spot looking at what is around you is the exact opposite of this fundamental feeling. Imagine someone standing here in the middle of the hall, seeing everything that is here. He would say that here is this man, there that man, and so on. That would be his relation to the surrounding world. But it is, however, the opposite of the prevailing mood in the world we have just been describing. There, you cannot say “I am here, there is this being, there that one,” but you must say “I am this being.” In reality that is the true feeling. What I have just said as regards all the separate beings is felt in face of the world as a whole. You are really everything in yourself. This being within the beings is extended over your whole mood of soul. It is in this mood of soul that you experience consciously the time between falling asleep and waking. When you live through this consciously, you cannot but have a poured-out feeling toward all that you experience. You feel yourself within everything to the very limit of the world that you are at all able to perceive.
I once made the following experiment, and I should like to cite it here as an episode — not as anything remarkable, but in order to make myself clear. Some years ago it suddenly struck me that certain more or less supersensible states come before us in the great poetic works of the world as a reflection, an echo. What I mean is that if a clairvoyant becomes clear about the fundamental mood of his soul in certain supersensible experiences and he then turns to world literature, he will find that such moods of soul run through certain chapters, or sections, of the really great poetic works. These moods are not necessarily the poet's occult experiences, but the clairvoyant can say to himself that if he wishes to live over again as an echo in the sensory world what he experienced in this mood of his soul, he can turn to some great poem and find there something like its shadow picture. When in the light of his experience the clairvoyant reads Dante, for instance, he sometimes has the feeling that there in the poem is a reflection, or shadow, that in its original state can only be experienced clairvoyantly.
Now I once made a search for certain states capable of description in poetic works, in order to set up some sort of concordance between experiences in higher worlds and what is present as a reflection of these in the physical world, and I asked myself “Is it not possible that this particular mood poured out over the soul during fully conscious sleep (that I have described as a being in the higher worlds, but a being to be apprehended in the mood), might not this be found echoed in some mood of soul in the literature of the world?” But nothing came from this direct approach.
When the question was put differently, however, something was forthcoming. Experience shows that it is also permissible to ask “How would a being who was not a human being — for instance, some other being of the higher hierarchies — feel this mood of soul, this living within the higher worlds?” Or, to put it more exactly, man feels himself within the higher worlds and sees beings of the other hierarchies. Now just as in the world of the senses you can ask “What does another person feel about something that I myself feel?” so this same question can be put to a being of the higher hierarchies, and it will then be possible to gain an idea of the experience of some other being. Just as it would be possible for us in fully conscious sleep, we can form an idea, as in the case of man himself, of a definite kind of higher experience in face of life in the higher worlds, but of experience that plays a large part in the soul of man.
One can imagine, therefore, a being belonging to a higher hierarchical rank than man on Earth, who is able to feel what human beings feel, but in a higher way. If the question is put in this way, if you reflect not on an ordinary but on a typical man, and then picture the mood of soul, it becomes possible to find something in world literature from which one can form this concept, that such a mood is poured out as an echo of what can really only be represented in its original state correctly by translating oneself into the world we have just been describing. But there is certainly nothing to be found in European literature of which it might be said: “One can here trace the mood of what pours itself out over a soul when it feels itself within the spiritual world and all that belongs there.” It is wonderful how you begin to understand in a new way and to feel fresh delight and admiration when you let this mood work on you like an echo coming from the words of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Quite a new light floods these lines of the Gita when you realize that all I have just been describing is contained not in the words, but in the echo of the mood that fills the soul. I wanted to give this merely as an illustration of clairvoyance; to picture it in such a way that you can now take up this poem and try to discover the mood flowing into it. Starting from that you may get a feeling of the clairvoyant's corresponding experience, when from his daytime existence he is transposed into these worlds in full consciousness, or when his consciousness is extended during sleep.
Something else, however, is mixed with this mood, this basic feeling; something else accompanies it. It is only by means of a concept that I can try to picture what is here experienced in words, because one must always have recourse to words in physical life. What is experienced is something of this nature: So far as you feel anything at all of a world, you feel yourself poured out into it. At first you do not really feel anything external anywhere, you only feel the one point in the world in which you were beforehand. That is the only external thing you feel. You find whatever harm you have done and whatever good you have done crowded into that one point. That is external. For the rest, you feel yourself with all that you have achieved in the world poured out over the whole world. You have indeed the feeling that it would be nonsense to apply certain words natural in sensory existence to this experience of your connection with the world. For instance, the words before and after cease to have meaning, because as you go to sleep you do not feel that it is before, and that waking comes after. You only feel certain experiences that begin as you go to sleep, and continue to happen. After living through a number of experiences, in a certain respect you are at the same point again, but not in the same way as before going to sleep.
You have rather the feeling: “I have been to sleep,” and the feeling that the word "then" can no longer justifiably be used. There have taken place a number of experiences during which before and after have ceased to have meaning. If I now use the expression after a certain time (though it is not correct) — “after a certain time one again stands where one stood before” — it must be imagined that you are standing opposite yourself, as it were, as though you were out of your body, walking around and looking at yourself. So you stand at about the same point where you stood on leaving the body, but you are now standing opposite yourself; you have changed your direction. Then (again using “then” in a merely comparative sense) events continue to take place, and it is as if you had returned to your body and were inside it once more. You do not experience any before or after, but what you can only describe as a revolving, about which the words “beginning,” “middle,” and “end” can only be used together.
In this kind of experience it is just the same as when you say about any point of the whole circumference of a circle “Here it begins” and, having made the whole round, “Here it ends.” You have no feeling of having lived through a period of time, but rather the feeling of making a round, of describing a circle, and in this experience you completely lose the feeling of time that you normally have in sensory existence. You only feel that you are in the world that has the fundamental characteristic of being round, of being circular. A being who has never walked the Earth, who has never lived in the world of the senses but has always lived in the world of which we are speaking, would never be struck by the idea that the world once had a beginning and could be coming to an end. He would always think of it as a self-enclosed, round world. Such a being would have no inducement to say that he strove for eternity for the simple reason that everything around him is eternal, that nowhere is there anything beyond which he could look from the temporal into the eternal.
This feeling of timelessness, this feeling of the circle, appears at a certain stage of clairvoyance, or in the conscious experience of sleep. With it is intermingled a certain yearning, a yearning that arises because in this experience in the higher world you are never really at rest. Everywhere you feel yourself in this revolving movement, always moving, never staying still. The longing you have is: “If only a halt could be made, if only somewhere one could enter time!” This is just the opposite, one might say, of what is experienced in sensory existence, in which we always feel ourselves in time while yearning after eternity. In the world of which I have been speaking, we feel ourselves in eternity with this one desire: “If only at some point the world would stand still and enter time existence!” This is what you realize to be the very fundamental feeling: the everlasting movement of the universe, and the longing for time; this experience of eternal becoming, this becoming that is its own surety, and the longing, “Ah, if only one could but somewhere, somehow, come to an end!”
Yes, when the conceptions of the life of the senses are applied to these things one is fully justified in thinking them strange. But we must not let this impede us. That would imply that we do not wish to accept a real description of the higher worlds. If that is really what we want on setting foot in them, all ordinary descriptions of the world of the senses, and everything else besides, must be abandoned. I beg you to look upon this feeling I have just pictured as an experience that one has in oneself and for oneself, and it is important that one should experience this in oneself and for oneself, because that belongs to the first stages on the path to initiation. This feeling may arise in two ways. In one way it may be expressed by saying “I have a longing for what is transitory, for existence concentrated in time; I do not wish to be poured out into eternity.” If you have this feeling in the spiritual world (I ask you to consider this well) you do not necessarily bring it back with you into the world of the senses. On the contrary, it need not be present there at all when you return; it may only be in the spiritual world. You may say you have this feeling in the spiritual world — that you would like to experience yourself right within time, you would like to be concentrated in independence at some point of world existence. You would like to do this so completely that you could say “Why should I bother about eternity that extends itself out in the rest of the universe! I want to make this something independent for myself, and to live in that.”
Just imagine this wish, this feeling, experienced in the spiritual world. We have not yet expressed this exactly, but have still to describe it in another way to make it precise, and then to combine it with something else. If we want to bring this down into human sensory existence, we have to describe it — if we still wish to do so at all — by what is reminiscent of the world of the senses. You will remember that I have just said “Up above, everything is being and we cannot speak of it in any other way.” But that is not the whole truth. When in the world of the senses some desire takes possession of us, we may say “You feel yourself driven on by some being who works in you and causes you to express this wish to make sure of some particular point.” If one has understood the wish to make sure of one point, the wish to be concentrated in temporal things, as an impulse given by a being of the spiritual world — it can only be such a being — then one has to grasp what influence Luciferic beings have in that world.
Having reached this conception, we may now ask “How can one speak about being confronted with a Luciferic being?” When in the world of the higher hierarchies we feel thus influenced to draw away from eternity to a state of independent concentration in the world, then it is that we feel the working of Lucifer. When we have experienced that, then we know how the forces that are Luciferic can be described. They may be described in the way I have just shown, and only then does it become possible to speak with reality of a contrast that even finds an echo in our world of the senses. This contrast simply arises from the realization that in sensory existence it is quite natural for us to be placed into the temporal, whereas in the spiritual world which lies — to speak from a transitory point of view — above the astral world, it is natural for us no longer to perceive what is temporal, but only what is eternal. This devachanic experience that appears there as a longing for temporal life is echoed here in the longing for eternity. The interplay of actually experienced time — time experienced in the passing moment — with the longing for eternity, arises because of the penetration of our world of the senses by the devachanic world, the world of spiritland. Just as for ordinary sense perception the spiritland is hidden behind our physical world, so the eternal is hidden behind the passing moment. Just as there is no point where we can say “Here ends the world of the senses, and here begins the spiritual world,” but everywhere the spiritual world permeates sensory existence, so each passing moment, in accordance with its quality, is permeated by eternity. We do not experience eternity by coming out of time, but by being able to experience it clairvoyantly in the moment itself. We are guaranteed eternity in the passing moment; in every moment it is there.
Wherever you go in the world, when speaking from the standpoint of clairvoyant consciousness, you can never say of beings that one is temporal and another eternal. To say that here is a temporal being or there an eternal being has no meaning for spiritual consciousness. Real meaning lies in something quite different. What underlies existence — the passing moment and eternity — is everywhere and forever, and the only way to put the question is: “How comes it that eternity sometimes appears as the passing moment, that the eternal sometimes appears temporal, and that a being in the world assumes a form that is temporal?” It simply comes from this: that sensory existence, wherever it occurs, is interspersed with Luciferic beings, and to the extent that these beings play into sensory existence, eternity is rendered temporal. It must therefore be said: “A being appearing anywhere in time is eternal insofar as it has power to liberate itself from the Luciferic existence, but insofar as it is subject to it, it remains temporal.”
When we begin to describe things in a spiritual way, we leave off using expressions of ordinary life. In ordinary life, if we apply the teaching of religion and of anthroposophy, we should say: “Man has his body as an outer sheath, and within he has his soul and spirit being; his body is mortal, but his being of soul and spirit is immortal and eternal.” This is how it should be expressed, insofar as we are in the world of the senses and want to describe what is there. It is no longer correct if we wish to apply the standpoint of the spiritual world; then it must be put in this way: “Man is a being in whose nature as a whole, progressive, divine beings must work together with Luciferic beings; to the extent that progressive, divine beings are in him, part of his being wrests itself away from all that is Luciferic, and so comes to participate in the eternal. Insofar as divine beings work in man, he shares in the eternal; insofar as the Luciferic world works in him, all that is bound up with the temporal and transitory becomes part of his very being.”
The temporal and eternal thus appear as the working together of diverse beings. In the higher worlds there is no longer any sense in speaking of abstract opposites such as the temporal and the eternal, because there they cease to have any meaning. There we have to speak of beings. We speak, therefore, of progressive, divine beings and of Luciferic beings. Because these beings are present in the higher worlds, their relation to one another is reflected in the antithesis of time and eternity.
I have said that it is good if a man, on rising to the world to which we are referring, should at first experience memories of a more moral kind rather than his external physical form. Persevering with the exercises for the first steps in initiation, he should gradually become so clairvoyant that there will then appear the memory picture, too, of his physical form. There is something else, however, connected with the arising of this memory picture of one's physical form, and that is that actually from this time on (and it is right) he feels as a memory not only his life of soul in general, not only in general his good and bad deeds and his moral and his foolish ones, but his entire ego. It is his whole self that he feels as a memory in the moment when he can look back on his body as form. He then feels his being as if split in two. He beholds the part he left behind with the Guardian of the Threshold, and he beholds what, in the sense world, he called his ego. Now, on looking back on his ego, he feels that there also is a cleavage, and quite calmly says to himself: “Only now are you able to remember what you formerly called your ego. You now live in a more highly organized ego that bears the same relation to the former ego that you as thinker bear to memories of life in the world of the senses.” At this stage one sees for the first time what man, earthly man, actually is; one looks down on one's ego-man.
At the same time, however, one is raised to a still higher world that may be called the higher spiritland or, if you will, the higher mental world; a world that differs somewhat from the others. We are in this higher spiritland when experiencing the splitting of the ego and the ordinary ego in memory only. It is here that one is first able to form a true estimate of man on Earth. As one looks back one begins to know what man is in his inmost being. There, too, it is first possible to come to an experienced judgment concerning the course of history. Human evolution that has been experienced becomes for us the progress of the soul as an ego being. Standing out from the general progress are the beings who are leaders in the advancement of humanity. Here one actually experiences what I described in the second lecture, that is, the impulses that are continually flowing into human evolution through the initiates, those initiates who, wherever they may be, have to leave the life of the senses and go to spiritual worlds so that they can give out these impulses. When you reach the point of experiencing man as an ego being, you also experience for the first time a true insight into the human being as such. To this there is only one exception.
Let us recapitulate all that has been said. When a man goes through the first stages of initiation, he can raise himself clairvoyantly to the world of the lower spiritland; he experiences conceptions of what has to do with the soul, of what is moral and what is intellectual. He looks down on all that is going on in souls, even if they do not comprehend themselves as ego beings. This comprehension of one's being as an ego being, together with all the blossoming of spiritual life in the initiates, is experienced in the higher spiritland — with one single exception, that is right and good if it can happen as an exception that breaks through the general rule. From the lower spiritland one sees the whole being of Christ Jesus! So that, looking back in a purely human way, and holding fast to what is present in remembrance, you have a memory of Christ Jesus and of all the events that have taken place in connection with Him — that is, if the other condition of which I spoke in the second lecture has already been fulfilled. The truth about the other initiates, however, you experience for the first time in the higher spiritland.
There we have a vastly important distinction. When a man rises into the spiritual world, on looking back he perceives what is of the Earth. But he sees it first with its soul quality unless he can remember in such a way that, looking back on earthly existence, he remembers physical man and the shape and form in which he goes about. That is a thing he should only experience at the higher point described. It is only Christ Jesus that he may and should see at the first steps on the path of initiation. This he can do when on going forward he sees himself surrounded by nothing but what is of a soul nature, that at first has nothing in it of the ego. But then, within, as a kind of central point, is the Christ Being, fulfilling the Mystery of Golgotha and permeated by the ego.
What I have just told you cannot, of course, be understood as coming from any of the world conceptions of existing Christian religions. I hardly imagine that you would find it described anywhere. You can, indeed, find what may be called the reverse of what I have said in a certain special way that one first lights upon when looking occultly and precisely into the matter, because up to the present, Christianity has not reached the goal it has finally to attain. Perhaps some of you will know that there are many among the official representatives of Christianity who have a mortal dread of what is known as occultism, and look on it simply as the work of the devil that can only do man harm. Why is this so? Why do we repeatedly find when we speak to the representatives of any particular priesthood and the conversation turns to occultism or anthroposophy that they shy away from it? If you point out to them that the Christian saints have always experienced the higher worlds, and that their biographies tell us so, you get the reply: “Oh yes, that may be so, but these things should not be striven after. There is no harm in reading the lives of the saints, but you shouldn't copy them if you want to keep away from the wiles of the devil.”
Now, why does this occur? If you take all that I have told you into consideration, you will understand that what here finds expression is a kind of fear, a strong feeling of fear. Ordinary people do not recognize its origin, but the occultist can do so.
As I have said in the second lecture, in the higher worlds there can only be this memory of the Christ when a man has rightly understood Him on Earth, in the physical world of the senses. It is important to have this memory of the Christ in the very next world you enter, where you still keep a memory image of the rest of humanity. On the one hand, it is necessary to have the memory image; on the other, you can only have it down here if it has already permeated you. Hence it happens that those who know something of occultism, but have not thoroughly assimilated certain important and outstanding facts, think it is all one whether man, when today he presses on into spiritual worlds, has become acquainted or not with this image of the Christ. They do not consider that what is above depends to any great extent on what has been experienced below, although in other respects they are continually emphasizing it.
But the kind of position in which you find yourself with regard to the Christ in the higher worlds does indeed depend on how you relate yourself to Him in the physical world. If in the physical world you do not try to call up the right conception of Him, you are not in a certain respect sufficiently developed for the higher worlds, and in spite of the fact that you should find Him there, you cannot do so. So that if you have not concerned yourself about this matter that is full of splendor and so significant, on rising to higher worlds you may completely miss this image of the Christ. If, then, anyone when still in sensory existence were to reject the idea of forming a relationship to Christ, he might even become a great occultist and yet, through his perceptions in the higher worlds, have no knowledge of the Christ; he would not find Him there, nor be able to learn anything from Him. There would always be something wanting in his conception of the Christ. That is the significant thing.
I am not here giving out anything that is merely a subjective opinion, but what is the common objective result of those who have made the relevant investigations. Among occultists it can be said objectively that it is so, but in anyone who does not feel impelled to become an occultist, and who is simply a faithful follower of his particular religious creed, the same thing is expressed in that unconsciousness that I have just described as a state of fear. Then if anyone would embark upon the path into higher worlds, this is said to be devil's work; it is thought that perhaps he cannot have found the right relation to Christ, and therefore ought not to be led beyond the ordinary world. In a certain sense this fear is well-grounded. These men do not know the way to Christ, and if they then enter higher worlds, Christ is lost to them. This feeling among certain priestly orders can be understood as a kind of fear, but there is no way of meeting it. I beg you to give this little digression your serious attention, and to go on thinking about it in life. It is interesting as a piece of historical culture, and will help you to understand much that plays itself out in life.
I have shown you different aspects of the Christ from two different points of view, and have tried to throw light on His being. But all that I have previously said would be just as valid and comprehensible without these two points of view. It is necessary, however, to meet the facts objectively and, without the bias of any religious tendency, to grasp them objectively as cosmic facts.
Thus we have tried to throw a certain light on the concepts of the temporal, the transitory, the passing moment, and eternity on the one hand, and on the other of mortality and immortality. We have seen how the concepts ‘transitory’ and ‘temporal’ are bound up with the Luciferic principle, and how, bound up with the Christ principle we shall find such concepts as ‘eternity’ and ‘immortality.’ Anyone might believe — at least to a small extent — that this constituted a kind of undervaluing of the Luciferic principle and its rejection in all circumstances because by it we are directed to the temporal, the more transitory, and to the concentration upon one point. For today, I should like just to say this: that in all circumstances it is not right to look upon the ‘Light-bearer’ as one of whom we should be afraid, nor is it right to think that we must turn our back on Lucifer as from one whom we must always escape. If one does that it is to forget the teaching of true occultism, namely, that here in the world of the senses there is a feeling analogous to that in the supersensible world. In sensory life man feels “I live in the temporal and yearn after the eternal; I live in the passing moment and crave for eternity.” In spiritual life there is the feeling: “I live in the eternal and long for the passing moment.” If you now turn to the book Cosmic Memory: Atlantis and Lemuria, was man's development in old Lemurian times a kind of transition from such a state as we have in sleep into a waking state? Follow attentively what happened in Lemurian times, and you can say that since man passed through a transition out of a state of spiritual sleep into the waking state that we have on Earth, the whole of evolution passed over at that time from the spiritual into the physical. There is the transition. Since Lemurian times our sensory existence has acquired meaning. Do you think it unnatural that when he gradually slipped away from higher worlds to be seized upon by Luciferic powers, man should have taken with him something like a longing for eternity? Again, in respect to what is Luciferic, you have a kind of memory of a pre-earthly state, a memory of something that man had before he came into sensory existence that should not have been preserved, namely, a longing for the passing moment and for all that has to do with time. How far this takes part in the evolution of man we shall speak of tomorrow.