Sunday, April 30, 2017

Anthroposophia Incarnate: Rudolf Steiner gave the Holy Spirit a human voice. More than that: he gave the Holy Spirit a true and entire human being

13 ways of looking at my guru. #2: The great good fish
 Rudolf Steiner: The Wokest of the Woke  

The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 8: 

And he said, "The one is like a wise fisher who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of small fish. Among them the wise fisher discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the small fish back into the sea, and with no hesitation picked the great good fish. Whoever has ears, listen!"

* * * * *

Here's a thought experiment: If you could send a message to your 12-year-old self, and you were limited to 2 words, what would your message be?

For me the answer's easy: "Rudolf Steiner"

Steiner! Steiner! and more Steiner! always more Steiner!

A Deep Mystery of the Wooden Cross

Rudolf Steiner:  "Although all ancient [sculptural] motifs are best represented in stone or bronze, all Christian motifs...are better executed in wood. All I can say is that I have always found it necessary to re-imagine the group in the Church of St. Peter in Rome, Michelangelo's Pietà, in wood. And only then, I believe, would it represent what it should. And the same is true of the other Christian sculptures in stone. I have not yet discovered why this should be so."

July 3, 1918 (CW 181, p. 236)

Namastree: I salute the tree in you

Joan of Arc and the Archangel Michael

Virginia Woolf's mother

Judith von Halle
Frederick Douglass

The Goetheanum

On a Columnar Self—
How ample to rely
In Tumult—or Extremity—
How good the Certainty

That Lever cannot pry—
And Wedge cannot divide
Conviction—That Granitic Base—
Though None be on our Side—

Suffice Us—for a Crowd—
Ourself—and Rectitude—
And that Assembly—not far off
From furthest Spirit—God—

— Emily Dickinson

"It would be better for me...that multitudes of men should disagree with me rather than that I, being one, should be out of harmony with myself."  — Socrates, as quoted in "Gorgias" by Plato

The Altar of Humanity
 The Solar Plexus : The Manipura Chakra : The Stronghold of Manu

Rudolf Steiner, from his final lecture, given September 28, 1923:

"This ability to rise to the point at which thoughts about spirit can grip us as powerfully as can anything in the physical world, this is Michael power. It is confidence in the ideas of spirit — given the capacity for receiving them at all — leading to the conviction: I have received a spiritual impulse, I give myself up to it, I become the instrument for its execution. First failure — never mind! Second failure — never mind! A hundred failures are of no consequence, for no failure is ever a decisive factor in judging the truth of a spiritual impulse whose effect has been inwardly understood and grasped. We have full confidence in a spiritual impulse, grasped at a certain point of time, only when we can say to ourself: My hundred failures can at most prove that the conditions for realizing the impulse are not given me in this incarnation; but that this impulse is right I can know from its own nature. And if I must wait a hundred incarnations for the power to realize this impulse, nothing but its own nature can convince me of the efficacy or impotence of any spiritual impulse. 

If you will imagine this thought developed in the human heart and soul as great confidence in spirit, if you will consider that man can cling firm as a rock to something he has seen to be spiritually victorious, something he refuses to relinquish in spite of all outer opposition, then you will have a conception of what the Michael power, the Michael being, really demands of us; for only then will you comprehend the nature of the great confidence in spirit. We may leave in abeyance some spiritual impulse or other, even for a whole incarnation; but once we have grasped it we must never waver in cherishing it within us, for only thus can we save it up for subsequent incarnations. And when confidence in spirit will in this way have established a frame of mind to which this spiritual substance appears as real as the ground under our feet — the ground without which we could not stand — then we shall have in our heart and soul a feeling of what Michael really expects of us."

"I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."  — Galatians 2:19-21

A Bridge to the Dead: Feelings of Unity and Sentiments of Gratitude

"If we are not able to thank the world for enabling us to live, for enriching our life continually with new impressions, if we cannot deepen our soul by often realizing that our life is absolutely a gift, the dead do not find a common air with us; for they can only speak with us through this feeling of gratitude; otherwise there is a wall between us and them."

Earthly Death and Cosmic Life. Lecture 6

Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, March 19, 1918:

We have spoken on intimate questions concerning the life of the human soul, questions calculated to prepare us for concepts which extend to the relations of the so-called living — that is, those inhabiting physical bodies — to the disembodied souls, those living between death and rebirth. The chief point in reviewing such a theme is to make ourselves acquainted with certain fundamental concepts which psychically indicate in the proper way how man should and can think in such connections; for the reality of these relations does not depend upon whether man living here on Earth is conscious of any relations with the dead, or with any being in the spiritual world at all. This is obvious to anyone who thinks on these things; but it is only right to make the ‘obvious’ clear, even in the sphere of Spiritual Science.
Man always stands in relation to the spiritual world; he is always in a certain connection with those of the dead who are united with him by karma. It is most emphatically one thing to speak of the ‘reality’ of this relationship, and another to speak of the stronger or weaker consciousness we may have of it. It is important for each one — even for those who can only believe that such consciousness is utterly remote from them — to learn what such consciousness says; for it tells each one of realities in the midst of which he always stands. Precisely in regard to the relations of the so-called living to the so-called dead we must be clear that this relation is in certain connections more difficult to bring to consciousness than our relation to other beings of the spiritual world. To attain, through seeing and perceiving, a consciousness of the beings of the higher hierarchies, to receive a distinct revelation of them, is comparatively easier than to become aware of a quite distinct relation to the dead, that is, to become aware of them in the true, genuine way. This is for the following reasons.
In the time spent between death and rebirth, man passes through conditions very different from the life-relations of the physical world. We need but refer to the course of lectures on the life between death and rebirth to learn that the ideas and thoughts must be entirely different from those we must employ in speaking of the life in the physical world. Why are the concepts we must then use so different from those customary in ordinary consciousness? It is because in a sense man anticipates between death and rebirth certain conditions which will only become life-conditions during the next Earth-embodiment — that of Jupiter; man lives in such a way that what he now experiences between death and rebirth anticipates — albeit in a subtler, more spiritual form — the life-conditions of the Jupiter-evolution. Since in his Earth-life man has, in a sense, retained something from the earlier embodiments of Moon, Sun, and Saturn, so also he receives something belonging to the future during his life between death and rebirth. On the other hand the beings of the higher hierarchies, in so far as man can examine them with human perception, are all united — united in an immediate, present way — with the whole spiritual world, of course, but with the spiritual world in so far as it is coming to fruition in some form at the present time. They will, in coming ages, reveal the future.
Paradoxical as this may sound, yet it is true. It sounds paradoxical, because the question may arise as to how the beings of the higher world would exercise their activity on the dead, if the dead already carry the future within them. Of course the beings of the higher hierarchies also carry the future within them and are able to form it; but they do not do so without also forming something which is distinctly, or directly, characteristic of the present; what has been said, however, is the case in respect of the dead. For this reason the perception of what the higher hierarchies accomplish forms as it were a preparation for becoming conscious of intercourse with the dead. Not until man has brought about a more or less conscious perception of the beings of the higher hierarchies in his soul will it be possible for him gradually to attain the power, through his faculties of perception and feeling, of perceiving consciously anything concerning intercourse with the dead.
I do not mean by this that man must grasp the higher hierarchies clairvoyantly; but in so far as Spiritual Science offers the possibility, man must understand what flows into existence from the higher hierarchies. In all these things the understanding is the chief thing. If a man takes the trouble to understand them by means of Spiritual Science, those conditions of existence can certainly arise which call up something of a union of the so-called living with the so-called dead. For the understanding of this it is necessary to bear in mind the following:
The spiritual world in which man dwells between death and rebirth has its own special conditions of existence; conditions which we can scarcely observe in our ordinary Earth-life, and which sound paradoxical when they are given to us as a conception of life. Above all, it must be borne in mind that a man who wishes to experience such things consciously, must acquire what might be called a feeling of unity in common with all things in existence. It is one of the necessary demands for the continuation of man's spiritual evolution from the present time, from this disastrous present time, that he should gradually develop this feeling. In the subconsciousness of man this feeling, although of a lower kind, is thoroughly established; but we must not become pantheistic, prattling of a ‘Universal Spirit;’ we must not speak in general of this feeling of unity — but we must be clear in concrete detail as to how we can speak of it, how it is gradually built up in the soul; for it is a life-experience. Then the following comes into consideration:
We have often heard that when criminals, in whom instinctive subconsciousness works very strongly, have committed some particular crime, they have a peculiar instinct; they are drawn back to the place where they did it; an indefinable feeling drives them back. Such things only express in special cases what is common to man in respect of many things. When we have done something, accomplished something, however seemingly unimportant, something of it remains in us, something of what we have grasped in the doing of it; a certain force remains in us from the thing we have done; from the forces with which we have done it something remains connected with the ego. This cannot be otherwise expressed, although of course it is expressed as a kind of imagination. A man cannot avoid forming certain connections with all the beings he meets and the things he grasps (not, of course, physical things only), the things with which he has something to do in life. We leave our own distinctive mark on all things, and a feeling of being bound up with the things with which we have come in touch by our deeds remains in our subconsciousness. In the case of criminals this comes to expression in an abnormal way, because there the unconsciousness flashes up very instinctively into the ordinary consciousness; but in his subconsciousness every man has the feeling that he must return to the place with which he has come in touch by his deeds.
This also takes part in forming our karma; our karma arises from this. From this subconscious feeling, which at first presses into existence in a nebulous way, we have the general feeling of unity with the whole world. Because everywhere we leave our mark, we have this feeling. We can lay hold of it, sense it, perceive it. For this, however, we must call to mind certain intimacies of life. We must try, for instance, really to enter into the idea: ‘I will go now across the street;’ we then walk across, and afterwards we still imagine ourselves walking. By continued exercises of this kind we call forth from the depths of our soul the general feeling of unity with the world.
And for one who grows conscious of this feeling of unity, in the more concrete sense, it so develops that he ultimately says to himself: There is after all a connection, though an invisible one, between all things, as between the members of a single organism. As each finger, each lobe of the ear, all belonging to our organism, stands in connection the one with the other, so there is a connection between all things and all that happens, in so far as the occurrences take place in our world.
The Earth-men of today have as yet no fully valid consciousness of this feeling of unity with all things, this organic penetration into things; it remains in the unconscious. In the Jupiter evolution this feeling will be the fundamental one, and as we gradually pass from the fifth to the sixth post-Atlantean epoch, we prepare for the formation of such a feeling; so that the formation of this, which becomes necessary from our own time on into the near future, must supply a special ethical and moral foundation for mankind, which must be much more living than is the case today. This is meant as follows:
Today many think nothing of enriching themselves at the expense of others. Not only do they live thus without any moral self-criticism, they simply do not think about it at all. Were they to reflect upon it, they would find that a man lives far more at the cost of others than they had ever realized. Indeed every man lives at the expense of others. Now the consciousness will develop that a life lived at the expense of others signifies the same to the community as when any particular organ develops at the expense of another organ, in an unlawful way, and that the happiness of the individual is not really possible apart from that of the community. That, of course, people do not yet divine, but it must gradually become the fundamental principle of true human ethics. People strive today, each one for his own prosperity, not thinking that individual prosperity is fundamentally only possible in common with that of all the rest. Thus there is a connection between the feeling of community and the feeling that the life of the whole community is an organism.
That feeling can greatly increase, it can develop an intimate perception for the feeling of unity with all things around. If a man increases this intimate feeling, he gradually becomes able to receive a perception of what I described as the ‘light’ which is thrown out beyond death into our evolution between death and rebirth, which we perceive and from which we build our karma. I only just wish to hint at this.
When a man forms this feeling of unity he is able to do yet another thing, namely, to live with the idiosyncracies, situations, thoughts, and actions of another as though they were his own. This is connected in the soul-life with a certain difficulty in so thinking into another that what the other does, thinks, and feels is felt as his own. Only, however, when a man thinks back profitably to what he had in common with someone who has died, to whom he was karmically united, is he ready to reach the discarnate man; only when able to experience what he experienced in common with him — even to the slightest detail — and to think as one thinks when having this ‘feeling of unity.’
We picture it to ourselves in this way. We think of something which took place between ourselves and one who is dead; how we sat at table with him, or anything else, however small; but it is only possible for the soul to place itself rightly in this attitude for the attaining of reality if we really have the feeling of unity, otherwise the force in the soul is insufficient. We must understand that only from a place over which we can thus throw this ‘feeling of unity’ (speaking metaphorically) can the dead bring himself to our consciousness. We can imagine it quite ‘spatially;’ we must of course preserve in our consciousness the fact that we are only forming a picture of it; but it is a picture of a true reality. We come back to what was said before: that we visualize a situation with the dead, how we sat at table with him, walked with him, and then we turn our whole soul-life in the direction of this thought. If we can but develop in the thought a communion of soul with the dead that is in accordance with the ‘feeling of unity,’ then his gaze from the spiritual world can find the reality from these thoughts, just as our thoughts can find the reality to which they are directed.
If we allow these thoughts of the dead to be present in the soul, to the degree that they are filled with love, the psychic gaze of the soul encounters the psychic gaze of the dead. Through that, the dead can speak to us. He can only speak from the place upon which the direction of our ‘feeling of unity’ falls.
So are these things connected. We learn, as it were, to feel our karma when we gain an idea of how we leave behind everywhere the stamp of our thought; we learn to identify ourselves with these things and thus we develop the feeling that brings us into increasingly conscious union with the dead. In this way it becomes possible for them to speak to us.
The other requirement is that we can hear, that we can really perceive it at the time of happening. For this we must above all pay heed to what, so to say, lies as ‘air’ between us and the dead, so that he can speak to us across it. Comparing it with something physical: if there were an airless space between us, we should not be able to hear what is said; air must act as an intermediary. There must be something between us and the dead if they are to approach us. There must, as it were, be a ‘spiritual air,’ and we can now speak of the nature of this spiritual air in which we live together with the dead. Of what does it consist?
To understand this we must remember what I have said in other connections of how the human memory comes about; for these things are all connected. Ordinary psychology says of human memory: I have now an impression from the outer world; it calls forth a concept within me; this concept goes somehow into my subconsciousness and is forgotten, but when any special occasion arises, it comes back from the subconsciousness — and I remember. Almost all psychologists, as far as the memory is concerned, are of opinion that the reason why a concept arises in man is because he receives an impression — quickly forgotten — which sinks down into the subconsciousness, until some incident brings it back into the consciousness. Man ‘remembers’ and thinks he has the same concept that he first formed.
This is an absolute error — an error taught in almost all psychology, but an error nevertheless, for what is thus taught does not take place at all. When through an outer experience we receive an impression which later we remember, it is not at all the same concept we first formed that rises within us, but while we are in the act of forming the concept, a second subconscious process is going on. It does not come into consciousness during the outer experience, but it takes place nonetheless. Through processes of which we shall not speak just now, that which takes place in our organism today, but remains unconscious, takes place again tomorrow; and as today the outer impressions called forth the concept, so tomorrow what has been occasioned below calls forth a new concept. A concept I have today passes away and is gone; it no longer moves in my subconsciousness; but if tomorrow the same concept rises from my memory, it is because there is that within me which calls forth this same concept; only it was subconsciously generated. Anyone who supposes that concepts are taken up by the subconsciousness, move about therein, and finally arise again from the soul — if he wishes to remember after three days anything that came to him, and which he has written down in order not to forget — ought at once to realize that what he wishes to remember is also in what he has written, and three days later arises to him from the notebook. Just as there are only ‘signs’ in the notebook, so too in the memory there are only signs which call forth again in a weaker degree what had been experienced by him.
Anyone who commits to memory, or in some other way tries to instill something into his mind which he wishes to retain, anyone who crams — as we say when young — knows quite well that perception alone is not sufficient; and he will sometimes have recourse to very external aids to incorporate something into the memory. Let us observe someone who wishes to ‘cram;’ let us see what efforts he makes to help this unconscious activity which plays its part; he wishes somehow to assist the subconscious. These are two very different things; one, to incorporate something in the memory; the other, to call it forth. If we can study men and observe their characters, we soon find that even this shows that we have to do with two different kinds of people. We find there are those who grasp things quickly, but have a terribly bad memory; and others whose comprehension is slow but who have a good memory, that is, a good imaginative faculty and power of judgment. These two things are to be found side by side, and Spiritual Science must make the matter clear.
When in life we perceive something — and from early morning, from waking to falling asleep we are always perceiving something of the world — we are more or less conscious of sympathy or antipathy with what we perceive; and, as a rule, we are quite satisfied when we have grasped a matter. The activity which leads to memory, however, is far more extensive than that needed to grasp the impression. It takes place far more subconsciously in the soul, and this subconscious process, taking place of itself, often contradicts in a noteworthy way what takes place in us consciously. Often we may feel an antipathy towards an impression made upon us. The subconsciousness does not feel this antipathy; it generally feels quite differently from the ordinary consciousness. The subconsciousness develops a remarkable feeling towards all impressions.
Although an expression taken from the physical world and applied to the spiritual can only be figurative, here it is quite suitable to say that the subconsciousness develops a certain feeling of gratitude towards every impression — irrespective of its nature. It is not inaccurate to say that while we might see someone concerning whom our conscious impression may be very unpleasant — he might insult us to our very face — the subconscious impression would still be a certain feeling of gratitude.
The simple reason for this feeling is that everything in life which approaches the deeper element of our being enriches our life, really enriches it, including all unpleasant experiences. This has no connection with the manner in which we must consciously conduct ourselves towards our outer impressions. The way in which we must consciously respond to anything has nothing to do with what takes place subconsciously; in the subconsciousness everything leads to a certain feeling of thankfulness; there we receive every impression as a gift for which we must be grateful.
It is specially important to keep in mind this fact which is taking place below the threshold of consciousness. What works there and breaks into a feeling of thankfulness works in a similar way within us as does the impression of the outer world which is to be remembered; it goes side by side with the concept, and only the man who has a distinct feeling that he dreams from waking to falling asleep can be aware of these things. I have shown in the public lecture on ‘The Historical Life of Man and Its Problems’ that as regards our feeling and will we continue to sleep and dream even in waking life. If we allow the world to work upon us in this way, our impressions and concepts take place incessantly, but beneath this we dream about everything and this dream-life is far richer than we think. It is only eclipsed by our conscious concepts as is a weak light by a stronger.
We can, as it were, by experiment, acquire an explanation of such relations by paying attention to various intimacies of life. Let us try to make the following experiment in ourselves. Suppose we are lying on a sofa and wake up. Of course a man does not then observe himself, because immediately afterwards the world makes various impressions upon him; but it may happen that he lies quiet for a time after waking. Then he may observe what he perceived before he awoke, and this he can specially notice if someone has knocked at the door and not repeated the knock; he can recall this, and when he wakes he knows that something has happened; this is clear from the whole situation.
When a man observes something in this way, he is not far from the recognition of what spiritual science has to verify: that we perceive unconsciously a far wider range of our environment than is possible consciously. It is quite true that if on going into a street we meet someone just coming around the corner — whom therefore we could not have seen before he appeared — we may feel that we had seen him before he appeared; it frequently happens that we have a feeling that we had seen something happening before it actually does happen. It is true that first we have a psychic spiritual connection with what we perceive later. It is actually so; only we are ‘deafened’ by the later sense-perceptions and do not observe what takes place in the intimacies of the soul-life. This again is something which takes place of itself subconsciously, like the formation of memory or the feeling of thankfulness in regard to all surrounding phenomena.
The dead can only speak to us through the element which passes through the dreams interwoven with our life. The dead speak into these intimate subconscious perceptions which take place of themselves. If we are in a position to do so, we can share with them the same spiritual psychic air; for if they wish to speak to us, it is necessary that we take into our consciousness something of the feeling of gratitude for all that reveals itself to us. If there is none of this feeling within us, if we are not able to thank the world for enabling us to live, for enriching our life continually with new impressions, if we cannot deepen our soul by often realizing that our life is absolutely a gift, the dead do not find a common air with us; for they can only speak with us through this feeling of gratitude; otherwise there is a wall between us and them.
We shall see how many obstacles there are in regard to intercourse with the dead, for, as we have seen from other connections, it is dependent on our being karmically united with them. We cannot arouse in ourselves this feeling of gratitude if, having lost them, we wish them back in life; we should be thankful we did have them with us quite irrespective of the fact that we have them no longer.
Thus if we have not this feeling of gratitude with regard to the beings whom we wish to approach, they do not find us; or, at any rate, they cannot speak to us. The very feelings we so frequently have towards our nearest dead are a hindrance to their speaking to us. Other dead, who are not karmically united to us, usually have more difficulty in speaking to us; but with those nearest to us, we have too little of the feeling of thankfulness that they have been something to us in life. We should not hold fast to the idea that we have them no more, for that is an ungrateful feeling, considered in the wider sense of life. If we clearly understand that the feeling of having lost them weighs them down, we shall keep in mind the whole bearing of this. If we have lost someone we love, we must be able to raise ourselves to a feeling of thankfulness that we have had him; we must be able to think selflessly of what he was to us until his death, and not upon what we feel now we have him no more. The better we can feel what he was to us during his life, the sooner will it be possible for him to speak to us, to speak to us by means of the common air of gratitude.
In order to enter more and more consciously into the world out of which this comes, many other things are necessary. Suppose we have lost a child. The necessary feeling of gratitude can be brought about by picturing to ourselves how we sat with him and played with him in such a way that the game was as interesting as the child himself. When we can do this, we have the appropriate feeling of companionship — as there is only sense in playing with a child if one is as wholly a playfellow as the child himself. That gives the necessary atmosphere for the feeling of companionship. Thus, if we picture ourselves playing with the child in a truly living way, the place is created upon which our gaze and his can fall. If I am able to grasp what the dead says, I am in conscious union with him. This can be brought about by many things.
To many people thought is specially easy. Some will say that that is not true. Still there are some to whom thought is very easy; if it be found difficult then it is really something different which they feel. The very people who take it most easily, find it most difficult. This is because they are too lazy to think. What is meant by saying this is that most people take their thinking easily (one cannot say how easily because it is so very easy to think), one can only say that they just think, they acquire no concepts at all, that too would be ‘difficult.’ They just think, they grasp their ideas — they have them and live in them.
Then other things approach — for example, spiritual science. Spiritual science is not avoided by  so many because it is difficult to understand, but because a certain effort is needed to accept its ideas. People avoid effort. Anyone who progresses in spiritual science gradually observes that it necessitates an application of will to comprehend the thoughts; that there is an expenditure of will in grasping thoughts as well as in lifting a hundredweight, but people do not want to do this; they think ‘easily.’ Anyone who makes a greater effort with his thinking by thinking harder and harder, thinks with more difficulty as it were, because he realizes more and more that for a thought to anchor itself within him, he must make efforts. There is nothing more favorable for penetration to the spiritual world than the fact that it becomes ever more difficult to grasp thoughts — and he is the most fortunate in his progress in spiritual science who can no longer apply the standard of easy thinking used in ordinary life, but will say to himself: This thinking is really a harrying undertaking! One must exert one's strength as though thrashing with a flail. Such feelings can only be indicated, but they can develop; it is favorable when they do.
Much else is connected with this — for instance, the fact that what many possess gradually withdraws. Many are so quick with their thinking that it is only necessary to mention one thought-complex and they grasp the connection of the whole; they always have an answer ready. What would conversations in drawing-rooms betoken, if thinking were difficult! We can, however, observe that as we gradually become acquainted with the inner relation of things, it becomes more difficult to chatter and be ready with an answer; for that comes from easy thinking. With advance in knowledge man becomes more Socratic, so that he must strain every nerve to attain the right to express an opinion.
This feeling, this effort of will, is part of the comprehension of thought. It is related to another feeling which we often have when we commit something to memory and have to ‘cram’ — and cannot take in what we should. We can experience the relationship between these two things — the difficulty of retaining anything in the memory and the difficulty of exerting an effort of will in order to understand anything. Man can, however, exercise himself in this; he can apply what may be called conscientiousness, a feeling of responsibility in regard to his thinking. The following is to be found in many people. When from a certain experience of life a person says, for instance: ‘So-and-so is a good man,’ the other instantly retorts, ‘An awfully good man.’ How frequently an answer is in the superlative. There is, of course, not the slightest reason why it should be in the superlative, it is only the absolute lack of how we ought to think; we have the feeling that we ought to have experienced something, and we wish to express this. Of course such demands of life should not be driven too far, otherwise in many drawing-rooms the ‘great silence’ would commence.
This feeling, however, when awakened from a feeling of responsibility towards thinking, from the feeling that thinking is difficult, this is the basis of the possibility and capacity to experience inspiration, for an inspiration does not come as thoughts spring to most people; an inspiration comes when it is as difficult as anything else which we feel to be difficult. We must first learn to feel thoughts as ‘difficult,’ to feel the retention of memory as something different from mere thinking; then we shall be able to experience a feeling for that weak, dreamlike rise of thought in the soul which does not really wish to cling, but to vanish, when thoughts arise which are difficult to grasp. We can reinforce ourselves by developing a feeling of really living with the thoughts.
Just let us realize what goes on in our souls in order to accomplish our purpose when we intend to go anywhere. As a rule a man does not usually think about this, but he should reflect on what has taken place in the world as a consequence of his having accomplished his purpose and attained what he had in view. He should reflect upon what has taken place in his soul. In reality a reaction has taken place there. Often this may be even strikingly expressed; when a mountain-climber has to exert himself strenuously to reach the summit of a mountain, and arriving at the top, breathing laboriously, exclaims: ‘Thank God I am here!’ one feels that a certain reaction has taken place in his feelings.
In this direction one can acquire an even finer perception, which continues in the intimate life of the soul. This resembles the following feeling. One who begins to call to mind a situation shared with a dead friend, and who begins to essay a common interest with the dead, uniting himself with the thoughts and feelings of the dead, will feel himself as being on a journey; and then comes a moment when he feels as though coming to rest in his thought. He can first be active in thought — then reaches a state of equipoise; he feels as though he had stopped for a rest after having walked for a long time. This is a great help towards the inspiration which such a thought can give.
He can also provide for inspiration through thought by making use of the whole man instead of the higher consciousness only. This of course leads to closer intimacies as regards this experience.
Anyone who succeeds in drawing into his consciousness that feeling of gratitude which would in an ordinary way remain unconscious will at once observe that, unlike the ordinary consciousness, it works in such a way that one is able to unite it with the whole man — at least as far as the arms and hands. Here I must remind you of what I have already said about this side of the human perception: how ordinary ideas are grasped by the brain, but intimate ideas pass through it as through a sieve, into the hands and arms, which are really the organs for their reception. This can really be felt.
A man need not, of course, outwardly express all this, but he can have the conviction that certain experiences of life such as wonder and awe can only be expressed through the arms and hands. Fragmentary expressions of this experience — e.g., that the unconscious impulse to take part in these expressions quivers in the hands and arms — are revealed when a man clasps his hands over the beauty of nature or many other things that enter into his consciousness. Everything that subconsciously happens to us comes partially to expression in life. As regards what may be called ‘the desire of the hands and arms to take their part in external expression,’ a man can keep still; it is only necessary to move his etheric hands and arms.
The more we are conscious of this, the more we are able to feel outer impressions sympathetically with our arm-organism, the more we develop a feeling which can be expressed in this way: ‘When I see the color red I am inclined to make certain movements of the hands, for they are appropriate; when I see blue I incline to other movements.’
The more a man is conscious of this, the more he develops the feeling for inspiration for what should develop in the soul, for what he should retain as impressions. When we give ourselves up to playing with children, we lose ourselves in the impression, but we find ourselves. Then comes inspiration, if we have qualified ourselves and prepared the whole man to receive the impression — when even in the case of plunging into our own thoughts, the very fact of this submersion unites us in the feeling-in-common with the dead, so that when we awake we can remain united with the reality of the experience with the whole man, as just described, and this unity is experienced in the feeling of gratitude quivering into the hands and arms.
Then the real spiritual existence in which the dead live between death and rebirth holds intercourse with the living in such a way that we may say: We find our dead when we can meet in a  common spiritual place with a common thought which he also perceives, when we can meet in this ‘thought-in-common,’ in a feeling of full companionship. We have the material for this through the medium of the feeling of gratitude; for the dead speak to the living out of the space woven by the ‘feeling-in-common,’ through the air which is created from the feeling of general gratitude common to the world.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Goal of Anthroposophy : The Experience of Pentecost : Spirit-Radiance : Manas

Whitsun Verse by Rudolf Steiner

Where knowledge through the senses ends
There stands the gateway
Which alone opens
Living reality to our soul's being;
The soul creates the key
When it grows strong within itself
In the struggle which the forces of the world
On their own ground wage
With human powers;
When by its own strength it drives away
The sleep which cloaks the powers of knowledge
At the limit of the senses
In spiritual night.

Wo Sinneswissen endet,
Da stehet erst die Pforte,
Die Lebenswirklichkeiten
Dem Seelensein eröffnet;
Den Schlüssel schafft die Seele,
Wenn sic in sich erstarket
Im Kampf, den Weltenmächte
Auf ihrem eignen Grunde
Mit Menschenkräfte führen;
Wenn sic durch sich vertreibt
Den Schlaf, der Wissenskräfte
An ihren Sinnesgrenzen
Mit Geistesnacht umhüllet.

Related post:

Via Dolorosa : Per Aspera ad Astra : Wisdom is crystallized pain

Evil is ultimately in the service of the greater good

Rudolf Steiner:
 "...a truth which should be engraved in the human soul as a lofty moral maxim: When you see something evil in the world, do not say, Here is evil — that is, imperfection; ask, rather, How can I attain to the enlightenment which will show me that on a higher plane this evil is transformed into good by the wisdom of the cosmos? How can I learn to tell myself: Here you see naught but imperfection because you are as yet unable to grasp the perfection of this imperfect thing? Whenever you see evil you should look into your own soul and ask yourself: Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?"

"Wisdom is crystallized pain." — Rudolf Steiner
"All true, great cognition is born from pain and sorrow. When we set out on the path to higher worlds using the means of cognition described in anthroposophical spiritual science, we can reach our goal only by enduring pain. Through suffering—much suffering—we are freed from the oppressive aspects of pain. Without this step, we cannot perceive the spiritual world." — Rudolf Steiner

"Valor transposed into the spiritual, bravery transposed into the spiritual, is love." — Rudolf Steiner

"The hero is he who is immovably centered." — Emerson

"If there is something more powerful than destiny, this must be the human being who bears destiny unshaken." — Rudolf Steiner

"Our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in acts of love, not in what is done for the sake of self-perfecting. Let us be under no illusion about this. When a person is endeavoring to follow Christ through love of wisdom and dedicates that wisdom to the service of the world, it only takes real effect to the extent it is filled with love." — Rudolf Steiner

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."  — Psalm 139:13 

Rudolf Steiner:  "As we go on living, we are continually finding things that life opens to view, yet no explanation for them is to be found in the world of sense. That is the deeper reason for why there are people in the world today who despair of life, yet at the same time have vague, unrecognized longings. Something is active in them that does not belong to the physical world, but keeps on putting forth questions about other worlds. For this reason we now have to acquire a spiritual culture. Otherwise we shall be overcome by hopelessness and despair."

"In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer : I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

Per aspera ad astra
Through tribulations to the stars

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity

You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Twining Eternally
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
Radiant Calvary
Ultimate Mystery

The two streams in us; the working of our chakras; the 'other man' in us

Earthly Death and Cosmic Life. Lecture 5

Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, March 12, 1918:

In connection with human souls which have passed through the gate of death, we have endeavored to trace the relations existing between the world in which man lives between birth and death, and that in which he lives between death and rebirth. We shall try to consider these connections from various points of view.
In the course of time humanity will be obliged to approach the spiritual world with discernment — in order to fulfil its mission. In the near future it must learn to know through conviction that a true creative knowledge of the world and its connection with man extends far beyond what can be fathomed by physical science and the intellect connected with it. Man knows but a small part of the real world (viz. the world of that activity in which he himself is active) if he applies himself only to what is perceptible to the senses and the intellect fettered to them.
We have seen how man can, as it were, refine his observation, and extend it to various things which exist but remain unobserved in life — because he only turns his attention to what happens in waking life from morning to evening, leaving out of account what might have happened — what is in a sense prevented. In order to give at least some idea of the things which man must feel rather than think, it has been frequently pointed out that we need only reflect upon how a man might, for instance, be prevented by a visitor from starting out at the time he intended; having intended to start at eleven o'clock, he was delayed half an hour. We realize that under certain circumstances — though obviously only ‘under certain circumstances’ — the course of the day would have been quite different if he had gone out at the hour intended; how something quite different would have befallen him in that half-hour had he not been detained, and he therefore escaped something. If we reflect how many events of a similar kind meet us in the course of a day, we shall gain an idea of all that might have happened. We shall be able, through feeling, to compare the concept of what might have happened between morning and night with what really did occur, according to the connection of cause and effect.
To obtain a really clear idea of these things, it is well to compare them with similar things in nature; for certain things occur in nature which must be judged in the same way. In this connection the great number of seed-forces that are continually being lost is often pointed out as an instance. Reflect too how little the herring spawn becomes herring, and how much of it is lost in the course of a year. If we extend this idea to life as a whole, we should try to realize how many germs organized for life do not come to fruition in course of the seasons, how many fail to attain to fully developed, germinating, thriving life. But we are not to believe that they do not also form part of reality. They belong just as much to reality as does all that comes to full development; only they stop short at a certain point and take a different course, just as do the events in our own lives when anything holds us back; the one kind are life-transactions, the other nature-transactions, which are checked and for that reason continue on a different course. This conception can be extended yet further.
We ask ourselves whether something else, which arises as a puzzling question in human life, does not resemble these two examples. We know that the normal duration of man's life is seventy to ninety years but that by far the greater number die much earlier; that in them the perfection of life is not attained. As in nature some seeds are held back at a certain stage and do not come to full maturity, so also are the life-processes of man; and again we see also that our daily actions do not come to full maturity, for the above-mentioned reasons. All this will call our attention to the fact that there is a great deal ‘between the lines’ of life, that is not observed; which, as it were, instead of passing into the region where it can become physically perceptible, remains in a spiritual sphere.
If we do not regard such things as fancy, but really reflect fruitfully upon them, we find the bridge leading — if not to conclusive proof, yet to the concept of something full of significance. Thus, as we act in life, matters take place in such a way that for the ordinary transactions of life we consider, we reflect upon, our deeds, our impulses of will. We consider what we ought to do and then carry out what we have decided upon. The course of life, however, does not run so simply that we have only to decide what we shall do and then carry it out; on the contrary many things intervene which often appear like a series of ‘accidents,’ or those irregular ‘chance’ happenings which we call ‘Fate.’
To those who think in a materialistic sense, fate is simply made up of events which they encounter from day to day. True, many have an inkling that a certain ‘plan’ underlies this fate; but to develop this perception of a ‘plan’ further, by continuing to notice in what way it is gradually worked out, is not as a rule considered either necessary or important. Today so-called analytical psychology, psycho-analysis, finds out many things which are making themselves felt at the threshold of consciousness; but the representatives of analytical psychology approach these things with inadequate means of knowledge.
Let us repeat a paradoxical example often employed by the psychoanalyst, as a starting point to show clearly that there are various ‘spiritual’ things in life of which the ordinary man has no idea.
A lady was invited to an evening party and took part in it; the party was given because the hostess was about to start on a journey that evening. She was leaving for a health resort. The entertainment went off well. The hostess started for her destination, the guests leaving at the same time. One group walked in the road, and as they went along, a cab came around the corner — I say advisedly a cab, not a motor-car. The cab tore through the street. One of the ladies separated from the others. The rest all got out of its way, but the peculiar idea occurred to her to run along in front of the horse. As she ran on — and the horse was behind her — the thought came to her that she must do something to save herself from this situation. She came to a bridge over the river, and she thought to herself that if she threw herself into the water, she would be safe from the horse. But the other guests, as you may imagine, ran after her and finally seized hold of her. The result was that she was taken back to the house they had just left and was thus able to continue a flirtation with the host, begun at the party.
The psychoanalyst here seeks for ‘hidden provinces of the soul.’ He finds that when this lady was a child, she had had certain adventures with horses, and those now rose from the subconscious  depths. Anyone who knows the soul life of man, however, will not be able to accept all this nonsense of psychoanalysis; for if these hidden provinces of the soul exist (which is not to be denied) it is only that they may prepare the experience for which the soul is seeking; they themselves are not involved in this experience. What is really involved is that man — as also the lady here in question — has an instinctive, a ‘sub-conscious,’ consciousness which under certain circumstances is much more keen and subtle than the higher consciousness.
In this instance the consciousness of the lady acted in a somewhat, as it were, clumsy way, but her lower instinctive consciousness worked far more subtly. In this latter arose the thought: Today the lady of the house has gone away; I must see how I can manage to meet the husband. I must think of something, and take the first opportunity that occurs. The lower consciousness was even a little prophetic; it divined in advance what would happen if she ran before the horse. All this could be arranged with great cunning by the lower consciousness. The higher consciousness was not so clever; but the lower had this cunning, which is greatly enhanced when a certain prophetic gift steps in.
This instance is cited as a particular case of something which exists universally. Everyone hears within him something which works in many different directions in a far more comprehensive and intense manner than does his ordinary consciousness. If a man were conscious of what he actually knows in his lower consciousness, he would be exceedingly clever and able to plan with great subtlety.
We might now ask: Is what lives in the lower consciousness of man quite inactive? For those who understand how to observe the world spiritually, it is not inactive. On the contrary, it is continually active. In the case of this lady — and in similar cases — it only comes to light in an abnormal way under the influence of certain special experiences, impulses, and inclinations — but what in her case came to light in a special way, is always present in man in certain spheres, and accompanies him through his whole waking life. How is this? That it came to light in this way in her case rested upon the fact that this subconscious knowledge of life which man possesses sometimes exceeds its bounds. It even happens with ordinary consciousness that a man does something which is really unusual, which is really exceptional: So too in the subconscious life. In these cases however, it is only something particular coming out of that which is always active in man. How is it active?
What we call our destiny is really a very complicated matter. It appears to approach us in such a way that events ‘befall’ us. Let us take a striking example, one known to many. Suppose someone makes acquaintance with another who later becomes friend, husband, or wife. The higher consciousness would explain this as ‘befalling’ us; and declare that we ourselves have done nothing to bring the other person into our own life. That, however, is not the fact; the truth is quite otherwise.
With that force which rests in the subconscious depths, already described, we lay out our life from the moment we are born into this Earth existence — and even more when we begin to say ‘I’ — so directing our life's course that at a definite moment it crosses the path of another. A man does not notice what remarkable discoveries he would make if he were to follow a definite path of life, like that of someone who at a definite moment became engaged, for instance. If he were to follow up his life, observing how he developed through his childhood and youth, passing from place to place, until he met the one to whom he was to be betrothed, he would find that events had not taken place without purpose; that things did not merely befall him, but that he moved with purpose towards his meeting with the other. His whole life was pervaded by the quest; his whole destiny was such a quest.
We must of course, realise that this quest does not run its course as do actions undertaken as a result of ordinary reflection. The latter follow a straight line; the actions which arise from the subconsciousness take place strongly and personally. But then they are fraught with meaning and purpose. It is not correct to speak of ‘unconsciousness’; we should say ‘subconsciousness’ or lower  consciousness, for it is only ‘unconscious’ to our ordinary consciousness. In the case of the lady who so cunningly contrived to return to the house of her host, the lower consciousness was much more conscious in itself than was the lady herself in her higher consciousness. So too, is it with what leads us in life; so that our destiny is a specially woven tissue which leads us and is very, very conscious.
This does not prevent man from finding constant fault with his destiny; but if he could survey all the factors, he would find that he agreed to everything. The higher consciousness, not being so alert as the lower, judges the facts of the latter falsely, and says to itself: Something which I do not like has befallen me — whereas he has in reality, from a deep deliberation, sought what in his higher consciousness he considers ‘unsympathetic.’ A knowledge of the deeper connections would show that a more intelligent thinker within him sought the things which became his destiny.
Upon what does all this rest?
This is due to the fact that our ordinary head-consciousness, of which many are so vain, is, so to say, a sieve. When we discuss things for which ordinary language has no suitable words we can of course only speak by comparisons, but the ‘comparisons’ correspond to realities. This is a comparison, but an adequate one, and it points to a reality: When one pours water into a sieve it runs through; it does not fill the sieve. Things thought and pondered over, when fulfilled in the web of destiny, pass through our head-consciousness as through a sieve, but the lower consciousness retains them. Now, because they pass through the higher consciousness as through a sieve, the man knows nothing of them; yet they are retained within him.
Some day when Natural Science is studied logically, people will ask themselves: What is the difference between man and the animal as regards this fact? In the case of the animal these experiences go right through it; the whole animal is a sieve. In the case of man they are certainly not retained in the head, yet they are retained by the whole man. Man does not as a rule think these experiences because in ordinary life the head alone thinks and not the whole man. Only when hysteria, for instance, arises, which is due to the other part of man beginning to think — (which in man arises through conditions of illness, but in general ought not to arise) — then exceptional cases may appear when man, so to speak, ‘makes destiny,’ as this lady did. Thus a person does after all retain the experience, and something very remarkable consequently presents itself: — Why does the experience pass through the whole animal and why is it retained by man?
Because the animal has no hands; that is, its limbs — whether legs or wings — are always united with the Earth, which alters the case. Because man had remodelled the limbs which in animals are either legs or wings, his arms and hands are so inserted in his organism that he retains his thoughts within him, in his destiny.
Only —  man cannot think with his hands, he can only hold his destiny with them; hence he overlooks his destiny. The hands are just as much ‘organs of thought’ as the etheric part of the head.  As regards thought, the latter does something very similar to what man does in life with his hands; with his hands he arrests within himself the stream of actions which traverses his destiny. Man is so organized that only the coarser reasoning activity of hands and arms comes to expression. Everyone knows that in the hands, above all in the fingertips, he has a special sense of perception; though there it only presents its coarsest aspect. Here we refer to something very delicate. The thinking which man there develops and can bring to expression through artistic activity is very faint, scarcely a glimmer; nevertheless the hands are so inserted into man's general organism that they are the organs of thought for his destiny. In the present cycle of evolution, man has not yet learnt to think with his hands. Were he to do so, were he to know their mysteries, they would introduce him to the fundamental laws of the relations of destiny.
This may seem very strange, but it is true. We have here a point where, on the one hand, Spiritual Science says: in the hands, which develop a subconscious thinking, destiny is thought. Natural Science does not yet observe this; since it only observes the human organism very crudely, and naturally comes to the conclusion that man is only a more perfect animal. This he is too, but in what is not observed lies the essential difference between man and the animal.
Let us reflect: What is the position of the head in the animal? Its head rests directly over the Earth. The head is so placed in man that he carries it himself, whereas in the case of the animal it is the Earth which carries it; in man the central line of gravity of the head falls, so to speak, into the human organism before meeting the Earth; it passes through the diaphragm. Man stands in the same relation to himself as the animal stands to the Earth. If we take the central line of gravity of the animal's head, it falls directly to the Earth, without going through the diaphragm of the organism. The orientation of his organism to the whole cosmos is the essential point in man; and with this orientation the fact is connected that his arms and hands are organised differently from the corresponding limbs of the animal.
In future, Natural Science will begin to ask this question: How is man connected with dynamics, with the relation of forces to the universe? That man is not a quadruped but a two-handed being is due to the cosmos. He so deals with himself, when thus organized from the cosmos, that the central line of gravity of his head falls within himself, and he becomes his own Earth. Because in a particular way he has disconnected his hands and arms, he so lives as regards them that the hands on their part can grasp destiny, just as the organization of the head is connected with his upright position. Man has his more perfect brain because the central line of gravity of his head passes through him instead of falling directly to the Earth. In the universe there are forces everywhere, and when something is differently orientated, the whole is differently proportioned. This is admitted as regards inorganic nature, but is not as yet observed with regard to man. How the material works over against the spiritual in man is not at present considered, nor how in him the spiritual everywhere works through the material.
This is one side of the subject. Here we may say: We fix our attention on man, and observe how he rests on his own diaphragm; and when with our subconscious being we think right down to the diaphragm, we are understanding our destiny, whereas in our surface consciousness we live only in the understanding of our considered acts.
But man stands within life in yet another way. For as we have seen — if we do not only consider his head but his whole organism — man does in reality ponder his destiny: subconsciously he ponders his destiny, and so determines it and knows it. There is yet another thing in human life. We perform actions. These actions in our life call forth in us a certain satisfaction — or dissatisfaction. Suppose we have done a good action which has given satisfaction; or suppose we have to embark on an undertaking to guard against something unpleasant. Thus we have various things that man brings about in life by his actions, but we do not only form actions and experience conscious satisfaction or otherwise in so doing.
We can see this best if with Spiritual Science we investigate actions that enter less deeply into our lives, actions that need not even have moral significance, e.g., the act of chopping wood. The action we achieve when we are chopping wood causes us fatigue. Now, people have various ideas about fatigue. We know from the public lecture on ‘Nature and Her Riddles in the Light of Spiritual Research’ (7th March, 1918) that people imagine they fall asleep from fatigue, that the cause of falling asleep is fatigue. Everyone knows that fatigue arises as an attendant phenomenon of actions such as chopping wood; but this fatigue has a far deeper significance when examined in the light of Spiritual Science. It really is not in the least what it appears to us to be. We experience it as what we call fatigue, but it is something quite different.
We can easily realize that the fatigue aroused by such actions is a dual process. (Actions that enter more into our moral or intellectual life are only more subtle in this respect; the thing is not always so easily discerned as is an elemental act such as woodcutting.) It is a dual process. First we must use the springing and thriving forces of life connected with our growth; when these are exhausted a process of destruction takes place in our organism. This process is experienced as fatigue, which is really a stunning of consciousness, the deeper significance of which we experience as something quite other than as a mere consequence — in this case — of wood-cutting. Fatigue, for our ordinary life, is only a stunning of consciousness. What do we really experience?
This, of course, we can only answer from a genuine research of Spiritual Science. When we are fatigued from wood-cutting, we see at those parts which we know belong to man's spiritual organism — also called lotus-flowers (see Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment) — a certain radiation, a real radiation of one of them. This is one effect; it does not come to our consciousness; we are not aware of this spiritual effect. What does come to our consciousness is what sends us to sleep; so that the spiritual effect is not in itself perceived — for what rays out is truly something spiritual.
We can understand this even better if, in order to keep in mind the spirituality of this radiation, we observe an action that is exposed to moral judgments. Suppose that instead of cutting wood we have done something to which a moral judgment is applicable. Moral judgments are as a rule thought of only within the narrow spheres of life; but they have in reality a far wider significance. Everything man does has a value for the whole course of human evolution. Even the individual action has a value in the general course of human evolution.
This judgment as to how much an action is worth in the progress of human evolution is usually just as little understood by the head as are the acts of destiny; but instead of allowing this judgment to pass through man's being as through a sieve, man rays it forth through the lotus-flowers, and it becomes a radiation of man's being. Man continually exercises a subconscious judgment, a valuation, of each one of his actions. He may be an ‘angelic’ being and do good to all men. The value of such modes of action as regards the whole evolution of humanity is judged in his subconsciousness — indeed very objectively — and often falls out quite other than one would suppose in the surface consciousness. Again a man may be a thief; while he commits the theft he judges his action quite objectively in its effects on the whole process of human evolution; and this he rays out before him unhesitatingly through the lotus-flower. In the same way as the judgments of  our own destiny, which pass through our head as through a sieve, are retained by our arms and hands, so will the judgments which we pass on our actions, and even on the actions of our thoughts, be guided by us with the help of our astral lotus-flower organization; they will ray through our lotus-flower organization as a light going from us — and this light extends very far. It passes over into time, it does not remain in space.
That is why the lotus-flowers are so difficult to imagine, for they are in continual movement, are continually making the transition to time. Space there actually becomes time. Man casts a light before him in such a way that it passes into time, a continuous light which extends far beyond death. Throughout life there is One Who judges in our subconsciousness. As there is One within us Who thinks our destiny, so there is One Who passes judgment on all our actions; and we ray out this judgment as a light.
This again, being an ‘imaginative’ action, is expressed in a picture, but the picture corresponds to a reality. Life is, as it were, irradiated by a searchlight. This must not be imagined spatially but in time. A man of 40 performs some act; his life passes on through the 50's and the 60's, then through death, and further — into the existence between death and rebirth; and as he passes through that existence, he experiences, stage by stage, what during his earthly life continually streamed out into it through his lotus-flowers. He meets with all he rayed into the future. This again, expressed pictorially, is as though he were roused by a searchlight which shines far out, and he follows its course, saying to himself: “All my deeds shine out there; I shall meet them all again.” Only it is the judgment of his deeds which he thus meets in the life between death and rebirth. In this connection man is no sieve — or if a sieve, he only allows to pour through it what he himself subconsciously engenders.
Thus again an entity exists in man as a permanent critic of his own deeds, and of what is thrown forward by him into his own future. Here, too, if we wish, we can approach Natural Science. Because man is so fashioned as to stand upright and his mechanism of ordinary consciousness rests upon himself as upon its own Earth, therefore at the places of the lotus-flowers, that which emanates from his wanderings over the Earth — in the fullest sense of the words — is retained. There it is retained, broken at right angles and sent out into life.
Thus we see that which in a complicated yet fully discernible way is set into life and which is usually comprised in the general term “the unconscious.” Precisely because man is shut off below by his diaphragm, he is linked by his subconsciousness to his destiny.
In the case of the animal this radiation through the lotus-flowers does not come into consideration. Why? This is connected with the orientation of the animal in the universe. Because man's spine is vertical, at right angles to that of the animal, he develops all that the animal cannot develop. For the animal's spine is horizontal and not vertical, and the two things neutralize one another. Hence the animal can set no ‘critic’ by its side, nor send any judgment of its actions in animal life into the future.
Much will transpire when Natural Science realizes that it is required to do more than merely hold the trivial view that the limbs of the animal can be compared in structure and form with those of man, or the head of the animal with that of man. Man has indeed a more perfect brain, but otherwise the human head does not differ so much from that of the animal; therefore the materialistic theory attaches man to the animal kingdom. What does, however, distinguish man from the animal kingdom is his orientation in the universe: were the scientists to study this, they would arrive at something very different from Natural Science. Here Spiritual Science will lead the way, as in all else, by pointing to definite life processes which will only be perceived when one has received appropriate direction from Spiritual Science.
Thus we see how man is so organized that we can say there is, on the one hand, much in him that is far more intelligent — often more subtle than he himself is — in relation to the judgment of destiny, and on the other hand there is in him a more objective critic than he is himself in his conscious life. There is in man, in a complicated way, what may be called ‘another man;’ and this comes to expression in life. As a rule, man does not watch his actions. The critic within him remains subconscious; he only becomes conscious between death and rebirth, when that light already mentioned is discerned step by step. By a logical, incisive consideration of life, however, we can arrive at seeing the different way in which this critic behaves in different individuals.
Let us compare two types of men in life. One type is frequently called a ‘busybody.’ People are to be met with who never have time for anything; they must be continually on the move; their hands — one might even say their noses — must take part in everything. People do not think much about it; they regard it as a mere habit of life which rests on sundry subconscious things. What is connected with this, however, is that the critic in the incarnation in which the man is a busybody is in a peculiar position. These critics also have their own particular individuality. That is discovered after death. In such a case — and it is well to be able to speak of these things with humor, for if humor is allowed to have play when a man enters Spiritual Science he can overcome the mood which is so inharmonious to Spiritual Science, which encroaches very much upon it — in the case of a busybody, this critic is a sort of ‘actor,’ liking very much to be seen, not only by men but by all sorts of spiritual beings; he is pleased that the swarming, teeming life in the spiritual world should always see him when he runs about. This type, in the spiritual world, is one who always runs about and wishes to be seen, and from this desire to be seen, which turns into an unconscious driving force, arises a busybody.
Let us take the opposite character:  take a man who fulfils the tasks laid upon him by life, the tasks to which life urges him. He is not to be seen everywhere, but acts where he is not seen, where life requires him to be. In this case, too, the critic occupies a peculiar position. These things are to be discovered when examined by Spiritual Science. The critic occupies a special position, which arises from the unconscious belief that whatever a man does — even if not seen by the swarming spirits, as the busybody would wish — is not unavailing; that no force is unavailing in the  world, but has its significance there. This beautiful belief, that ‘Whatsoever I do, even if the result should not appear for a thousand years, will in some way have its significance in the general life of the world’ — this consciousness is at the base of the opposite type to the busybody. A certain tranquility in the world, a certainty, arises from the above belief.
We see from this how life is elucidated when we bear in mind the fact that man's connections in life are not only those visible in the outer world of sense, but that he has real connections in life based on his relation to the spiritual world.
These arguments have been brought forward today chiefly to present two elements in the human being: one, the element so connected with the physical organization of man between birth and death that it reveals itself as a lower consciousness, of which the arms and hands are the organs of thought —  organs of thought in this remarkable way, that they give peculiar methods of expression to what passes through the head as through a sieve. In this respect man is a remarkable vessel; as regards his knowledge of destiny his head is a sieve; but when the thoughts which make destiny have run through, they are retained by the hands and arms. The other element in man is that which rays through the lotus-flowers and passes into the life between death and rebirth.
Much of importance depends upon the relations which are set up between these two streams. If we consider the whole man in this way, thinking actually of the plane of the diaphragm, we have him ever there as a dual being; in the one being something, an experience, entering into man, stops short there, at the plane of the diaphragm, arrested by the force of the arms and hands, and this happens because man is a vertical being, not horizontal like the animal.
The other being — strange as it may sound, but the world is full of riddles — reveals himself in such a way that the legs and feet stand to him in the same relationship as do the hands and feet of the first being. This second being is connected with the Earth; for one really sees the rays coming through the Earth and penetrating man, through whom they are conducted by the lotus-flowers and ray out into the future.
These are the two streams, showing man as a dual being. In ordinary life these two streams are separated, and on this fact life rests. Were they united, life would not be as it actually is. For if they flowed together, man could not develop the ego-consciousness, since that depends upon their being kept apart.
And yet, they are only partly separated, for in one sense they do still flow together. It is so indeed. The stream which rays out from man, raying into the life between death and a new birth, can be united by man's own effort and development — outside the human being — with those other, incoming radiations which otherwise pass through the ‘sieve’ and are arrested by the arms. That is to say, it can be united with them before they pass through the ‘sieve.’ The two streams which otherwise pass through the body but cannot come together: if man takes hold of them in this way, they can be united with one another.
It is this union which makes it possible for man to meet with the dead — with those who have passed through the gate of death.
In order that it may be further considered from other standpoints, the description given today of these two streams will form an introduction to this relationship of the living to the dead.