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Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment
GA 10

V. Some Results of Initiation

[ 1 ] One of the fundamental principles of true spiritual science is that the one who devotes himself to its study should do so with full consciousness; he should attempt nothing and practice nothing without knowledge of the effect produced. A teacher of spiritual science who gives advice or instruction will, at the same time, always explain to those striving for higher knowledge the effects produced on body, soul and spirit, if his advice and instructions be followed.

[ 2 ] Some effects produced upon the soul of the student will here be indicated. For only those who know such things as they are here communicated can undertake in full consciousness the exercises that lead to knowledge of the higher worlds. Without the latter no genuine esoteric training is possible, for it must be understood that all groping in the dark is discouraged, and that failure to pursue this training with open eyes may lead to mediumship, but not to exact clairvoyance in the sense of spiritual science.

[ 3 ] The exercises described in the preceding chapters, if practiced in the right way, involve certain changes in the organism of the soul (astral body). The latter is only perceptible to the clairvoyant, and may be compared to a cloud, psycho-spiritually luminous to a certain degree, in the center of which the physical body is discernible. (A description will be found in the author's book, Theosophy.) In this astral body desires, lusts, passions, and ideas become visible in a spiritual way. Sensual appetites, for instance, create the impression of a dark red radiance with a definite shape; a pure and noble thought finds its expression in a reddish-violet radiance; the clear-cut concept of the logical thinker is experienced as a yellowish figure with sharply defined outline; the confused thought of the muddled head appears as a figure with vague outline. The thoughts of a person with one-sided, queer views appear sharply outlined but immobile, while the thoughts of people accessible to the points of view of others are seen to have mobile, changeable outlines. (In all these and the following descriptions it must be noted that by seeing a color, spiritual seeing is meant. When the clairvoyant speaks of “seeing red,” he means: “I have an experience, in a psycho-spiritual way, which is equivalent to the physical experience when an impression of red is received.” This mode of expression is here used because it is perfectly natural to the clairvoyant. If this point is over-looked, a mere color-vision may easily be mistaken for a genuine clairvoyant experience.)

[ 4 ] The further the student advances in his inner development, the more regular will be the differentiation within his astral body. The latter is confused and undifferentiated in the case of a person of undeveloped inner life; yet the clairvoyant can perceive even the unorganized astral body as a figure standing out distinctly from its environment. It extends from the center of the head to the middle of the physical body, and appears like an independent body possessing certain organs. The organs now to be considered are perceptible to the clairvoyant near the following part of the physical body: the first between the eyes; the second near the larynx; the third in the region of the heart; the fourth in the so-called pit of the stomach; the fifth and sixth are situated in the abdomen. These organs are technically known as wheels, chakrams, or lotus flowers. They are so called on account of their likeness to wheels or flowers, but of course it should be clearly understood that such an expression is not to be applied more literally than is the term “wings” when referring to the two halves of the lungs. Just as there is no question of wings in the case of the lungs, so, too, in the case of the lotus flowers the expression must be taken figuratively. In undeveloped persons these lotus flowers are dark in color, motionless and inert. In the clairvoyant, however, they are luminous, mobile, and of variegated color. Something of this kind applies to the medium, though in a different way; this question, however, need not be pursued here any further.

[ 5 ] Now, when the student begins his exercises, the lotus flowers become more luminous; later on they begin to revolve. When this occurs, clairvoyance begins. For these flowers are the sense-organs of the soul, and their revolutions express the fact that the clairvoyant perceives supersensibly. What was said previously concerning spiritual seeing applies equally to these revolutions and even to the lotus flowers themselves. No one can perceive the supersensible until he has developed his astral senses in this way. Thanks to the spiritual organ situated in the vicinity of the larynx, it becomes possible to survey clairvoyantly the thoughts and mentality of other beings, and to obtain a deeper insight into the true laws of natural phenomena. The organ situated near the heart permits of clairvoyant knowledge of the sentiments and disposition of other souls. When developed, this organ also makes it possible to observe certain deeper forces in animals and plants. By means of the organ in the so-called pit of the stomach, knowledge is acquired of the talents and capacities of souls; by its means, too, the part played by animals, plants, stones, metals, atmospheric phenomena and so on in the household of nature becomes apparent.

[ 6 ] The organ in the vicinity of the larynx has sixteen petals or spokes; the one in the region of the heart twelve, and the one in the pit of the stomach ten.

[ 7 ] Now certain activities of the soul are connected with the development of these organs, and anyone devoting himself to them in a certain definite way contributes something to the development of the corresponding organs. In the sixteen-petalled lotus, eight of its sixteen petals were developed in the remote past during an earlier stage of human evolution. Man himself contributed nothing to this development; he received them as a gift from nature, at a time when his consciousness was in a dull, dreamy condition. At that stage of human evolution they were in active use, but the manner of their activity was only compatible with that dull state of consciousness. As consciousness became clearer and brighter, the petals became obscured and ceased their activity. Man himself can now develop the remaining eight petals by means of conscious exercises, and thereby the whole lotus flower becomes luminous and mobile. The acquisition of certain faculties depends on the development of each one of the sixteen petals. Yet, as already shown, only eight can be consciously developed; the remainder then appear of their own accord.

[ 8 ] The development proceeds in the following manner. The student must first apply himself with care and attention to certain functions of the soul hitherto exercised by him in a careless and inattentive manner. There are eight such functions. The first is the way in which ideas and conceptions are acquired. In this respect people usually allow themselves to be led by chance alone. They see or hear one thing or another and form their ideas accordingly. As long as this is the case the sixteen petals of the lotus flower remain ineffective. It is only when the student begins to take his self-education in hand, in this respect, that the petals become effective. His ideas and conceptions must be guarded; each single idea should acquire significance fore him; he should see it in a definite message instructing him concerning the things of the outer world, and he should derive no satisfaction from ideas devoid of such significance. He must govern his mental life so that it becomes a true mirror of the outer world, and direct his effort to the exclusion of incorrect ideas from his soul.

The second of these functions is concerned with the control of resolutions. The student must not resolve upon even the most trifling act without well-founded and thorough consideration. Thoughtless and meaningless actions should be foreign to his nature. He should have well-considered grounds for everything he does, and abstain from everything to which no significant motive urges him.

The third function concerns speech. The student should utter no word that is devoid of sense and meaning; all talking for the sake of talking draws him away from his path. He must avoid the usual kind of conversation, with its promiscuous discussion of indiscriminately varied topics. This does not imply his preclusion from intercourse with his fellows. It is precisely in such intercourse that his conversation should develop to significance. He is ready to converse with everyone, but he does so thoughtfully and with thorough deliberation. He never speaks without grounds for what he says. He seeks to use neither too many nor too few words.

The fourth is the regulation of outward action. The student tries to adjust his actions in such a way that they harmonize with the actions of his fellow-men and with the events in his environment. He refrains from actions which are disturbing to others and in conflict with his surroundings. He seeks to adjust his actions so that they combine harmoniously with his surroundings and with his position in life. When an external motive causes him to act he considers how he can best respond. When the impulse proceeds from himself he weighs with minute care the effects of his activity.

The fifth function includes the management of the whole of life. The student endeavors to live in conformity with both nature and spirit. Never overhasty, he is also never indolent. Excessive activity and laziness are equally alien to him. He looks upon life as a means for work and disposes it accordingly. He regulates his habits and the care of his health in such a way that a harmonious whole is the outcome.

The sixth is concerned with human endeavor. The student tests his capacities and proficiency, and conducts himself in the light of such self- knowledge. He attempts nothing beyond his powers, yet seems to omit nothing within their scope. On the other hand, he sets himself aims that have to do with the ideals and the great duties of a human being. He does not mechanically regard himself as a wheel in the vast machinery of mankind but seeks to comprehend the tasks of his life, and to look out beyond the limit of the daily and trivial. He endeavors to fulfill his obligations ever better and more perfectly.

The seventh deals with the effort to learn as much from life as possible. Nothing passes before the student without giving him occasion to accumulate experience which is of value to him for life. If he has performed anything wrongly or imperfectly, he lets this be an incentive for meeting the same contingency later on rightly and perfectly. When others act he observes them with the same end in view. He tries to gather a rich store of experience, ever returning to it for counsel; nor indeed will he ever do anything without looking back on experiences from which he can derive help in his decisions and affairs.

Finally, the eighth is as follows: The student must, from time to time, glance introspectively into himself, sink back into himself, take counsel with himself, form and test the fundamental principles of his life, run over in his thoughts the sum total of his knowledge, weigh his duties, and reflect upon the content and aim of life. All these things have been mentioned in the preceding chapters; here they are merely recapitulated in connection with the development of the sixteen-petalled lotus. By means of these exercises the latter will become ever more and more perfect, for it is upon such exercises that the development of clairvoyance depends. The better the student's thoughts and speech harmonize with the processes in the outer world, the more quickly will he develop this faculty. Whoever thinks and speaks what is contrary to truth destroys something in the germ of his sixteen-petalled lotus. Truthfulness, uprightness, and honesty are in this connection creative forces, while mendacity, deceitfulness, and dishonesty are destructive forces. The student must realize, however, that actual deeds are needed, and not merely good intentions. If I think or say anything that does not conform with reality, I kill something in my spiritual organs, even though I believe my intentions to be ever so good. It is here as with the child which needs must burn itself when it touches fire, even though it did so out of ignorance. The regulation of the above activities of the soul in the manner described causes the sixteen-petalled lotus to shine in glorious hues, and imparts to it a definite movement. Yet it must be noted that the faculty of clairvoyance cannot make its appearance before a definite degree of development of the soul has been reached. It cannot appear as long as it is irksome for the student to regulate his life in this manner. He is still unfit as long as the activities described above are a matter of special pre-occupation for him The first traces of clairvoyance only appear when he has reached the point of being able to live in the specified way, as a person habitually lives. These things must then no longer be laborious, but must have become a matter of course. There must be no need for him to be continually watching himself and urging himself on to live in this way. It must all have become a matter of habit.

Now this lotus flower may be made to develop in another way by following certain other instructions. But all such methods are rejected by true spiritual science, for they lead to the destruction of physical health and to moral ruin. They are easier to follow than those here described. The latter, though protracted and difficult, lead to the true goal and cannot but strengthen morally.

[ 9 ] The distorted development of a lotus flower results not only in illusions and fantastic conceptions, should a certain degree of clairvoyance be acquired, but also in errors and instability in ordinary life. Such a development may be the cause of timidity, envy, vanity, haughtiness, willfulness and so on in a person who hitherto was free from these defects. It has already been explained that eight of the sixteen petals of this lotus flower were developed in a remote past, and that these will re-appear of themselves in the course of esoteric development. All the effort and attention of the student must be devoted to the remaining eight. Faulty training may easily result in the re-appearance of the earlier petals alone, while the new petals remain stunted. This will ensue especially if too little logical, rational thinking is employed in the training. It is of supreme importance that the student should be a rational and clear-thinking person, and of further importance that he should practice the greatest clarity of speech. People who begin to have some presentiment of supersensible things are apt to wax talkative on this subject, thereby retarding their normal development. The less one talks about these matters the better. Only someone who has achieved a certain degree of clarity should speak about them.

[ 10 ] At the beginning of their instruction, students are as a rule astonishes at the teacher's lack of curiosity concerning their own experiences. It would be much better for them to remain entirely silent on this subject, and to content themselves with mentioning only whether they have been successful or unsuccessful in performing the exercises and observing the instructions given them. For the teacher has quite other means of estimating their progress than the students' own statements. The eight petals now under consideration always become a little hardened through such statements, whereas they should be kept soft and supple. The following example taken, for the sake of clarity, not from the supersensible world but from ordinary life, will illustrate this point. Suppose I hear a piece of news and thereupon immediately form an opinion. Shortly afterwards I receive some further news which does not tally with the previous information. I am thereby obliged to reverse my previous judgment. The result is an unfavorable influence upon my sixteen-petalled lotus. Quite the contrary would have been the case had I, in the first place, suspended judgment, and remained silent both inwardly in thought and outwardly in word concerning the whole affair, until I had acquired reliable grounds for forming my judgment. Caution in the formation and pronouncement of judgments becomes, by degrees, the special characteristic of the student. On the other hand his receptivity for impressions and experiences increases; he lets them pass over him silently, so as to collect and have the largest possible number of facts at his disposal when the time comes to form his opinions. Bluish-red and reddish-pink shades color the lotus flower as the result of such circumspection, whereas in the opposite case dark red and orange shades appear. (Students will recognize in the conditions attached to the development of the sixteen-petalled lotus the instructions given by the Buddha to his disciples for the Path. Yet there is no question here of teaching Buddhism, but of describing conditions governing development which are the natural outcome of spiritual science. The fact that these conditions correspond with certain teachings of the Buddha is no reason for not finding them true in themselves.)

The twelve-petalled lotus situated in the region of the heart is developed in a similar way. Half its petals, too, were already existent and in active use in a remote stage of human evolution. Hence these six petals need not now be especially developed in esoteric training; they appear of themselves and begin to revolve when the student sets to work on the other six. Here again he learns to promote this development by consciously controlling and directing certain inner activities in a special way.

It must be clearly understood that the perceptions of each single organ of soul or sprit bear a different character. The twelve and sixteen-petalled lotus flowers transmit quite different perceptions. The latter perceives forms. The thoughts and mentality of other beings and the laws governing natural phenomena become manifest, through the sixteen-petalled lotus, as figures, not rigid motionless figures but mobile forms filled with life. The clairvoyant in whom this sense is developed can describe, for every mode of thought and for every law of nature, a form which expresses them. A revengeful thought, for example, assumes an arrow-like, pronged form, while a kindly thought is often formed like an opening flower, and so on. Clear-cut, significant thoughts are regular and symmetrical in form, while confused thoughts have wavy outlines. Quite different perceptions are received through the twelve-petalled lotus. These perceptions may, in a sense, be likened to warmth and cold, as applied to the soul. A clairvoyant equipped with this faculty feels this warmth and cold streaming out from the forms discerned by the sixteen-petalled lotus. Had he developed the sixteen and not the twelve-petalled lotus he would only perceive, in the kindly thought, for instance, the figure described above, while a clairvoyant in whom both senses were developed would also notice what can only be described as soul-warmth, flowing from the thought. It would be noted in passing that esoteric training never develops one organ without the other, so that the above-mentioned example may be regarded as a hypothetical case in behalf of clarity. The twelve-petalled lotus, when developed, reveals to the clairvoyant a deep understanding of the processes of nature. Rays of soul-warmth issue from every manifestation of growth and development, while everything in the process of decay, destruction, ruin, gives an impression of cold.

[ 12 ] The development of this sense may be furthered in the following manner. To begin with, the student endeavors to regulate his sequence of thought (control of thought). Just as the sixteen-petalled lotus is developed by cultivating thoughts that conform with truth and are significant, so, too, the twelve-petalled lotus is developed by inwardly controlling the trains of thought. Thoughts that dart to and fro like will-o'-the-wisps and follow each other in no logical or rational sequence, but merely by pure chance, destroy its form. The closer thought is made to follow upon thought, and the more strictly everything of illogical nature is avoided, the more suitable will be the form this sense organ develops. If the student hears illogical thoughts he immediately lets the right thoughts pass through his mind. He should not, however, withdraw in a loveless way from what is perhaps an illogical environment in order to further his own development. Neither should he feel himself impelled to correct all the illogical thoughts expressed around him. He should rather silently co-ordinate the thoughts as they pour in upon him, and make them conform to logic and sense, and at the same time endeavor in every case to retain this same method in his own thinking.

An equal consistency in his actions forms the second requirement (control of actions). All inconstancy, all disharmony of action, is baneful for the lotus here in question. When the student performs some action he must see to it that his succeeding action follows in logical sequence, for if he acts from day to day with variable intent he will never develop the faculty here considered.

The third requirement is the cultivation of endurance (perseverance). The student is impervious to all influences which would divert him from the goal he has set himself, as long as he can regard it as the right goal. For him, obstacles contain a challenge that impels him to surmount them, but never a reason for giving up.

The fourth requirement is forbearance (tolerance) toward persons, creatures, and also circumstances. The student suppresses all superfluous criticism of everything that is imperfect, evil and bad, and seeks rather to understand everything that comes under his notice. Even as the sun does not withdraw its light from the bad and the evil, so he, too, does not refuse them an intelligent sympathy. Should some trouble befall him he does not proceed to condemn and criticize, but accepts the inevitable, and endeavors to the best of his ability to give the matter a turn for the best. He does not consider the opinions of others merely from his own standpoint, but seeks to put himself into the other's position.

The fifth requirement is impartiality toward everything that life brings. In this connection we speak of faith and trust. The student meets every human being and every creature with this trust, and lets it inspire his every action. Upon hearing some information, he never says to himself: “I don't believe it; it contradicts my present opinions.” He is far rather ready to test and rectify his views and opinions. He ever remains receptive for everything that confronts him, and he trusts in the efficacy of his undertakings. Timidity and skepticism are banished from his being. He harbors a faith in the power of his intentions. A hundred failures cannot rob him of this faith. This is the “faith which can move mountains.”

The sixth requirement is the cultivation of a certain inner balance (equanimity). The student endeavors to retain his composure in the face of joy and sorrow, and eradicates the tendency to fluctuate between the seventh heaven of joy and the depths of despair. Misfortune and danger, fortune and advancement alike find him ready armed.

[ 13 ] The reader will recognize in the qualities here described the six attributes which the candidate for initiation strives to acquire. The intention has been to show their connection with the spiritual organ known as the twelve-petalled lotus flower. As before, special instructions can be given to bring this lotus flower to fruition, but here again the perfect symmetry of its form depends on the development of the qualities mentioned, the neglect of which results in this organ being formed into a caricature of its proper shape. In this case, should a certain clairvoyance be attained, the qualities in question may take an evil instead of a good direction. A person may become intolerant, timid, or contentious toward his environment; may, for instance, acquire some feeling for the sentiments of others, and for this reason shun them or hate them. This may even reach the point where, by reason of the inner coldness that overwhelms him when he hears repugnant opinions, he is unable to listen, or he may behave in an objectionable manner.

[ 14 ] The development of this organ may be accelerated if, in addition to all that has been stated, certain other injunctions are observed which can only be imparted to the student by word of mouth. Yet the instructions given above do actually lead to genuine esoteric training, and more-over, the regulation of life in the way described can be advantageous to all who cannot or will not undergo esoteric training. For it does not fail to produce an effect upon the organism of the soul, even though slowly. As regards the esoteric student, the observance of these principles is indispensable. Should he attempt esoteric training without conforming to them, this could only result in his entering the higher worlds with inadequate organs, and instead of perceiving the truth he would be subject to deceptions and illusions. He would attain a certain clairvoyance, but for the most part, be the victim of greater blindness than before. Formerly he at least stood firmly within the physical world; now he looks beyond this physical world and grows confused about it before acquiring a firm footing in a higher world. All power of distinguishing truth from error would then perhaps fail him, and he would entirely lose his way in life. It is just for this reason that patience is so necessary in these matters. It must ever be borne in mind that the instructions given in esoteric training may go no further than is compatible with the willing readiness shown to develop the lotus flowers to their regular shape. Should these flowers be brought to fruition before they have quietly attained their correct form, mere caricatures would be the result. Their maturity can be brought about by the special instructions given in esoteric training, but their form is dependent on the method of life described above.

[ 15 ] An inner training of a particularly intimate character is necessary for the development of the ten-petalled lotus flower, for it is now a question of learning consciously to control and dominate the sense-impressions themselves. This is of particular importance in the initial stages of clairvoyance, for it is only by this means that a source of countless illusions and fancies is avoided. People as a rule do not realize by what factors their sudden ideas and memories are dominated, and how they are produced. Consider the following case. Someone is traveling by railway; his mind is busy with one thought; suddenly is thought diverges; he recollects an experience that befell him years ago and interweaves it with his present thought. He did not notice that in looking through the window he had caught sight of a person who resembled another intimately connected with the recollected experience. He remains conscious, not of what he saw, but of the effect it produced, and thus believes that it all came to him of its own accords. How much in life occurs in such a way! How great is the part played in our life by things we hear and learn, without our consciously realizing the connection! Someone, for instance, cannot bear a certain color, but does not realize that this is due to the fact that the schoolmaster who used to worry him many years ago wore a coat of that color. Innumerable illusions are based upon such associations. Many things leave their mark upon the soul while remaining outside the pale of consciousness. The following may occur. Someone reads in the paper about the death of a well-known person, and forthwith claims to have had a presentiment of it yesterday, although he had neither heard nor seen anything that might have given rise to such a thought. And indeed it is quite true that the thought occurred to him yesterday, as though of its own accord, that this particular person would die; only one thing escaped his attention: two or three hours before this thought occurred to him yesterday, he went to visit an acquaintance; a newspaper lay on the table; he did not actually read it, but his eyes unconsciously fell on the announcement of the dangerous illness of the person in question. He remained unconscious of the impression he had received, and yet this impression resulted in his presentiment.

Reflection upon these matters will show how great is the source of illusion and fantasy contained in such associations. It is just this source which must be dammed up by all who seek to develop their ten-petalled lotus flower. Deeply hidden characteristics in other souls can be perceived by this organ, but their truth depends on the attainment of immunity from the above-mentioned illusions. For this purpose it is necessary that the student should control and dominate everything that seeks to influence him from outside. He should reach the point of really receiving no impressions beyond those he wishes to receive. This can only be achieved by the development of a powerful inner life; by an effort of the will he only allows such things to impress him to which his attention is directed, and he actually evades all impressions to which he does not voluntarily respond. If he sees something it is because he wills to see it, and if he does not voluntarily take notice of something it is actually non-existent for him. The greater the energy and inner activity devoted to this work, the more extensively will this faculty be attained. The student must avoid all vacuous gazing and mechanical listening. For him only those things exist to which he turns his eye or his ear. He must practice the power of hearing nothing, even in the greatest disturbance, if he does not will to hear; and he must make his eyes unimpressionable to things of which he does not particularly take notice. He must be shielded as by an inner armor against all unconscious impressions. In this connection the student must devote special care to his thought-life. He singles out a particular thought and endeavors to link with it only such other thoughts as he can himself consciously and voluntarily produce. He rejects all casual ideas and does not connect this thought with another until he has investigated the origin of the latter. He goes still further. If, for instance, he feels a particular antipathy for something, he will combat it and endeavor to establish a conscious relation between himself and the thing in question. In this way the unconscious elements that intrude into his soul will become fewer and fewer. Only by such severe self-discipline can the ten-petalled lotus flower attain its proper form. The student's inner life must become a life of attention, and he must learn really to hold at a distance everything to which he should not or does not wish to direct his attention.

If this strict self-discipline be accompanied by meditation as prescribed in esoteric training, the lotus flower in the region of the pit of the stomach comes to maturity in the right way, and light and color of a spiritual kind are now added to the form and warmth perceptible to the organs described above. The talents and faculties of other beings are thereby revealed, also the forces and the hidden attributes of nature. The colored aura of living creatures then becomes visible; all that is around us manifests its spiritual attributes. It must be understood that the very greatest care is necessary at this stage of development, for the play of unconscious memories is here exceedingly active. If this were not the case, many people would possess this inner sense, for it comes almost immediately into evidence when the impressions delivered by the outer senses are held so completely under control that they become dependent on nothing save attention or inattention. This inner sense remains ineffective as long as the powerful outer sense smother and benumb it.

[ 16 ] Still greater difficulty attends the development of the six-petalled lotus flower situated in the center of the body, for it can only be achieved as the result of complete mastery and control of the whole personality through consciousness of self, so that body, soul and spirit form one harmonious whole. The functions of the body, the inclinations and passions of the soul, the thoughts and ideas of the spirit must be tuned to perfect unison. The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs incite to nothing that is not in the service of soul and spirit. The soul must not be impelled through the body to lusts and passions which are antagonistic to pure and noble thought. Yet the spirit must not stand like a slave-driver over the soul, dominating it with laws and commandments; the soul must rather learn to obey these laws and duties out of its own free inclination. The student must not feel duty to be an oppressive power to which he unwillingly submits, but rather something which he performs out of love. His task is to develop a free soul that maintains equilibrium between body and spirit, and he must perfect himself in this way to the extent of being free to abandon himself to the functions of the senses, for these should be so purified that they lose the power to drag him down to their level. He must no longer require to curb his passions, in as much as they of their own accord follow the good. So long as self-chastisement is necessary, no one can pass a certain stage of esoteric development; for a virtue practiced under constraint if futile. If there is any lust remaining, it interferes with esoteric development, however great the effort made not to humor it. Nor does it matter whether this desire proceeds from the soul or the body. For example, if a certain stimulant be avoided for the purpose of self-purification, this deprivation will only prove helpful if the body suffers no harm from it. Should the contrary to be the case, this proves that the body craves the stimulant, and that abstinence from it is of no value. In this case it may actually be a question of renouncing the ideal to be attained, until more favorable physical conditions, perhaps in another life, shall be forthcoming. A wise renunciation may be a far greater achievement than the struggle for something which, under given conditions, remains unattainable. Indeed, a renunciation of this kind contributes more toward development than the opposite course.

[ 17 ] The six-petalled lotus flower, when developed, permits intercourse with beings of higher worlds, though only when their existence is manifested in the astral or soul-world. The development of this lotus flower, however, is not advisable unless the student has made great progress on that path of esoteric development which enables him to raise his spirit into a still higher world. This entry into the spiritual world proper must always run parallel with the development of the lotus flowers, otherwise the student will fall into error and confusion. He would undoubtedly be able to see, but he would remain incapable of forming a correct estimate of what he saw. Now, the development of the six-petalled lotus flower itself provides a certain security against confusion and instability, for no one can be easily confused who has attained perfect equilibrium between sense (or body), passion (or soul), and idea (or spirit). And yet, something more than this security is required when, through the development of the six-petalled lotus flower, living beings of independent existence are revealed to his spirit, beings belonging to a world so completely different from the world known to his physical senses. The development of the lotus flowers alone does not assure sufficient security in these higher worlds; still higher organs are necessary. The latter will now be described before the remaining lotus flowers and the further organization of the soul-body are discussed. (This expression—soul-body—although obviously contradictory when taken literally, is used because to clairvoyant perception the impression received spiritually corresponds to the impression received physically when the physical body is perceived.)

[ 18 ] The development of the soul-body in the manner described above permits perception in a supersensible world, but anyone wishing to find his way in this world must not remain stationary at this stage of development. The mere mobility of the lotus flowers is not sufficient. The student must acquire the power of regulating and controlling the movement of his spiritual organs independently and with complete consciousness; otherwise he would become a plaything for external forces and powers. To avoid this he must acquire the faculty of hearing what is called the inner world, and this involves the development not only of the soul-body but also of the etheric body. The latter is that tenuous body revealed to the clairvoyant as a kind of double of the physical body, and forms to a certain extent an intermediate step between the soul nature and the physical body. (See the description on the author's book Theosophy.) It is possible for one equipped with clairvoyant powers consciously to suggest away the physical body of a person. This corresponds on a higher plane to an exercise in attentiveness on a lower plane. Just as a person can divert his attention from something in front of him so that it becomes non-existent for him, the clairvoyant can extinguish a physical body from his field of observation so that it becomes physically transparent to him. If he exerts this faculty in the case of some person standing before him, there remains visible to his clairvoyant sight only the etheric body, besides the soul-body which is larger than the other two—etheric and physical bodies—and interpenetrates them both. The etheric body has approximately the size and form of the physical body, so that it practically fills the same space. It is an extremely delicate and finely organized structure. (I beg the physicist not to be disturbed at the expression “etheric body”. The word ether here is merely used to suggest the fineness of the body in question, and need not in any way be connected with the hypothetical ether of physics.)

Its ground-color is different from any of the seven colors contained in the rainbow. Anyone capable of observing it will find a color which is actually non-existent for sense perception but to which the color of the young peach-blossom may be comparable. If desired, the etheric body can be examined alone; for this purpose the soul-body must be extinguished by an effort of attentiveness in the manner described above. Otherwise the etheric body will present an ever changing picture owing to its interpenetration by the soul-body.

[ 19 ] Now, the particles of the etheric body are in continual motion. Countless currents stream through it in every direction. By these currents, life itself is maintained and regulated. Every body that has life, including animals and plants, possesses an etheric body. Even in minerals traces of it can be observed. These currents and movements are, to begin with, independent of human will and consciousness, just as the action of the heart or stomach is beyond our jurisdiction, and this independence remains unaltered so long as we do not take our development in hand in the sense of acquiring supersensible faculties. For, at a certain stage, development consists precisely in adding to the unconscious currents and movements of the etheric body others that are consciously produced and controlled.

[ 20 ] When esoteric development has progressed so far that the lotus flowers begin to stir, much has already been achieved by the student which can result in the formation of certain quite definite currents and movements in his etheric body. The object of this development is the formation of a kind of center in the region of the physical heart, from which radiate currents and movements in the greatest possible variety of colors and forms. The center is in reality not a mere point, but a most complicated structure, a most wonderful organ. It glows and shimmers with every shade of color and displays forms of great symmetry, capable of rapid transformation. Other forms and streams of color radiate from this organ to the other parts of the body, and beyond it to the astral body, completely penetrating and illuminating it. The most important of these currents flow to the lotus flowers. They permeate each petal and regulate its revolutions; then streaming out at the points of the petals, they lose themselves in outer space. The higher the development of a person, the greater the circumference to which these rays extend.

[ 21 ] The twelve-petalled lotus flower has a particularly close connection with this central organ. The currents flow directly into it and through it, proceeding on the one side to the sixteen and the two-petalled lotus flowers, and on the other, the lower side, to the flowers of eight, six and four petals. It is for this reason that the very greatest care must be devoted to the development of the twelve-petalled lotus, for an imperfection in the latter would result in irregular formation of the whole structure. The above will give an idea of the delicate and intimate nature of esoteric training, and of the accuracy needed if the development is to be regular and correct. It will also be evident beyond doubt that directions for the development of supersensible faculties can only be the concern of those who have themselves experienced everything which they propose to awaken in others, and who are unquestionably in a position to know whether the directions they give lead to the exact results desired. [ 22 ] If the student follows the directions that have been given him, he introduces into his etheric body currents and movements which are in harmony with the laws and the evolution of the world to which he belongs. Consequently these instructions are reflections of the great laws of cosmic evolution. They consist of the above-mentioned and similar exercises in meditation and concentration which, if correctly practiced, produce the results described. The student must at certain times let these instructions permeate his soul with their content, so that he is inwardly entirely filled with it. A simple start is made with a view to the deepening of the logical activity of the mind and the producing of an inward intensification of thought. Thought it thereby made free and independent of all sense impressions and experiences; it is concentrated in one point which is held entirely under control. Thus a preliminary center is formed for the currents of the etheric body. This center is not yet in the region of the heart but in the head, and it appears to the clairvoyant as the point of departure for movements and currents. No esoteric training can be successful which does not first create this center. If the latter were first formed in the region of the heart the aspiring clairvoyant would doubtless obtain glimpses of the higher worlds, but would lack all true insight into the connection between these higher worlds and the world of our senses. This, however, is an unconditional necessity for man at the present stage of evolution. The clairvoyant must not become a visionary; he must retain a firm footing upon the earth.

[ 23 ] The center in the head, once duly fixed, is then moved lower down, to the region of the larynx. This is effected by further exercises in concentration. Then the currents of the etheric body radiate from this point and illumine the astral space surrounding the individual.

[ 24 ] Continued practice enables the student to determine for himself the position of this etheric body. Hitherto this position depended upon external forces proceeding from the physical body. Through further development the student is able to turn his etheric body to all sides. This faculty is effected by currents moving approximately along both hands and centered in the two-petalled lotus in the region of the eyes. All this is made possible through the radiations from the larynx assuming round forms, of which a number flow to the two-petalled lotus and thence form undulating currents along the hands. As a further development, these currents branch out and ramify in the most delicate manner and become, as it were, a kind of web which then encompasses the entire etheric body as though with a network. Whereas hitherto the etheric body was not closed to the outer world, so that the life currents from the universal ocean of life flowed freely in and out, these currents now have to pass through this membrane. Thus the individual becomes sensitive to these external streams; they become perceptible to him.

And now the time has come to give the complete system of currents and movements its center situated in the region of the heart. This again is effected by persevering with the exercises in concentration and meditation; and at this point also the stage is reached when the student becomes gifted with the inner word. All things now acquire a new significance for him. They become as it were spiritually audible in their innermost self, and speak to him of their essential being. The currents described above place him in touch with the inner being of the world to which he belongs. He begins to mingle his life with the life of his environment and can let it reverberate in the movements of his lotus flowers.

[ 25 ] At this point the spiritual world is entered. If the student has advanced so far, he acquires a new understanding for all that the great teachers of humanity have uttered. The sayings of the Buddha and the Gospels, for instance, produce a new effect on him. They pervade him with a rapture of which he had not dreamed before. For the tone of their words follows the movements and rhythms which he has himself formed within himself. He can now have positive knowledge that a Buddha or the Evangelists did not utter their own revelations but those which flowed into them from the inmost being of all things. A fact must here be pointed out which can only be understood in the light of what has been said above. The many repetitions in the sayings of the Buddha are not comprehensible to people of our present evolutionary stage. For the esoteric student, however, they become a force on which he gladly lets his inner senses rest, for they correspond with certain movements in the etheric body. Devotional surrender to them, with perfect inner peace, creates an inner harmony with these movements; and because the latter are an image of certain cosmic rhythms which also at certain points repeat themselves and revert to former modes, the student listening to the wisdom of the Buddha unites his life with that of the cosmic mysteries.

[ 26 ] In esoteric training there is question of four attributes which must be acquired on the so-called preparatory path for the attainment of higher knowledge. The first is the faculty of discriminating in thoughts between truth and appearance or mere opinion. The second attribute is the correct estimation of what is inwardly true and real, as against what is merely apparent. The third rests in the practice of the six qualities already mentioned in the preceding pages: thought-control, control of actions, perseverance, tolerance, faith and equanimity. The fourth attribute is the love of inner freedom.

[ 27 ] A mere intellectual understanding of what is included in these attributes is of no value. They must be so incorporated into the soul that they form the basis of inner habits. Consider, for instance, the first of these attributes: The discrimination between truth and appearance. The student must so train himself that, as a matter of course, he distinguishes in everything that confronts him between the non-essential elements and those that are significant and essential. He will only succeed in this if, in his observation of the outer world, he quietly and patiently ever and again repeats the attempt. And at the end he will naturally single out the essential and the true at a glance, whereas formerly the non-essential, the transient, too, could content him. “All that is transient is but a seeming” (“Alles Vergänglich ist nur ein Gleichnis,” Goethe, Faust II. ) is a truth which becomes an unquestionable conviction of the soul. The same applies to the remaining three of the four attributes mentioned.

[ 28 ] Now these four inner habits do actually produce a transformation of the delicate human etheric body. By the first, discrimination between truth and appearance, the center in the head already described is formed and the center in the region of the larynx prepared. The actual development of these centers is of course dependent on the exercises in concentration described above; the latter make for development and the four attributes bring to fruition. Once the center in the larynx has been prepared, the free control of the etheric body and its enclosure within a network covering, as explained above, results from the correct estimation of what is true as against what is apparent and non-essential. If the student acquires this faculty of estimation, the facts of the higher worlds will gradually become perceptible to him. But he must not think that he has to perform only such actions which appear significant when judged by the standard of a mere intellectual estimate. The most trifling action, every little thing accomplished, has something of importance in the great cosmic household, and it is merely a question of being aware of this importance. A correct estimation of the affairs of daily life is required, not an underestimation of them. The six virtues of which the third attribute consists have already been dealt with; they are connected with the development of the twelve-petalled lotus in the region of the heart, and, as already indicated, it is to this center that the life-currents of the etheric body must be directed. The fourth attribute, the longing for liberation, serves to bring to fruition the etheric organ in the heart region. Once this attribute becomes an inner habit, the individual frees himself from everything which depends only upon the faculties of his own personal nature. He ceases to view things from his own separate standpoint, and the boundaries of his own narrow self fettering him to this point of view disappear. The secrets of the spiritual world gain access to his inner self. This is liberation. For those fetters constrain the individual to regard tings and beings in a manner corresponding to his own personal traits. It is from this personal manner of regarding things that the student must become liberated and free.

[ 29 ] It will be clear from the above that the instructions given in esoteric training exert a determining influence reaching the innermost depths of human nature. Such are the instructions regarding the four qualities mentioned above. They can be found in one form or another in all the great cosmogonies that take account of the spiritual world. The founders of the great cosmogonies did not give mankind these teachings from some vague feeling. They gave them for the good reason that they were great initiates. Out of their knowledge did they shape their moral teachings. They knew how these would act upon the finer nature of man, and desired that their followers should gradually achieve the development of this finer nature. To live in the sense of these great cosmogonies means to work for the attainment of personal spiritual perfection. Only by so doing can man become a servant of the world and of humanity. Self-perfection is by no means self-seeking, for the imperfect man is an imperfect servant of the world and of humanity. The more perfect a man is, the better does he serve the world. “If the rose adorns itself, it adorns the garden.”

[ 30 ] The founders of the great cosmogonies are therefore the great initiates. Their teaching flows into the soul of men, and thus, with humanity, the whole world moves forward. Quite consciously did they work to further this evolutionary process of humanity. Their teachings can only be understood if it be remembered that they are the product of knowledge of the innermost depths of human nature. The great initiates knew, and it is out of their knowledge that they shaped the ideals of humanity. And man approaches these great leaders when he uplifts himself, in his own development, to their heights.

[ 31 ] A completely new life opens out before the student when the development of his etheric body begins in the way described above, and at the proper time, in the course of his training, he must receive that enlightenment which enables him to adapt himself to this new existence. The sixteen-petalled lotus, for instance, enables him to perceive spiritual figures of a higher world. He must learn now how different these figures can be when caused by different objects or beings. In the first place, he must notice that his own thoughts and feelings exert a powerful influence on certain of these figures, on others little or no influence. One kind of figure alters immediately if the observer, upon seeing it, says to himself: “that is beautiful,” and then in the course of his observation changes this thought to: “that is useful.” It is characteristic of the forms proceeding from minerals or from artificial objects that they change under the influence of every thought and every feeling directed upon them by the observer. This applies in a lesser degree to the forms belonging to plants, and still less to those corresponding to animals. These figures, too, are full of life and motion, but this motion is only partially due to the influence of human thoughts and feelings; in other respects it is produced by causes which are beyond human influence. Now, there appears within this whole world a species of form which remains almost entirely unaffected by human influence. The student can convince himself that these forms proceed neither from minerals nor from artificial objects, nor, again, from plants or animals. To gain complete understanding, he must study those forms which he can realize to have proceeded from the feelings, instincts, and passions of human beings. Yet he can find that these forms too are influenced by his own thoughts and feelings, if only to a relatively small extent. But there always remains a residuum of forms in this world upon which such influences are negligible. Indeed, at the outset of this career the student can perceive little beyond this residuum. He can only discover its nature by observing himself. He then learns what forms he himself produces, for his will, his wishes, and so on, are expressed in these forms. An instinct that dwells in him, a desire that fills him, an intention that he harbors, and so forth, are all manifested in these forms: his whole character displays itself in this world of forms. Thus by his conscious thoughts and feelings a person can exercise an influence on all forms which do not proceed from himself; but over those which he brings about in the higher world, once he has created them. Now, it follows from what has been said that on this higher plan man's inner life of instincts, desires, ideas displays itself outwardly in definite forms, just like all the other beings and objects. To higher knowledge, the inner world appears as part of the outer world. In a higher world man's inner being confronts him as a reflected image, just as though in the physical world he were surrounded by mirrors and could observe his physical body in that way.

[ 32 ] At this stage of development the student has reached the point where he can free himself from the illusion resulting from the initiation of his personal self. He can now observe that inner self as outer world, just as he hitherto regarded as outer world everything that affected his senses. Thus he learns by gradual experience to deal with himself as hitherto he dealt with the beings around him.

[ 33 ] Were the student to obtain an insight into these spiritual worlds without sufficient preparation regarding their nature, he would find himself confronted by the picture of his own soul as though by an enigma. There his own desires and passions confront him in animal or, more rarely, in human forms. It is true that animal forms of this world are never quite similar to those of the physical world, yet they possess a remote resemblance: inexpert observers often take them to be identical. Now, upon entering this world, an entirely new method of judgment must be acquired; for apart from the fact that things actually pertaining to inner nature appear as outer world, they also bear the character of mirrored reflections of what they really are. When, for instance, a number is perceived, it must be read in reverse, as a picture in a mirror: 265 would mean here in reality, 562. A sphere is perceived as thought from its center.
This inner perception must then be translated in the right way. The qualities of the soul appear likewise as in a mirror. A wish directed toward an outer object appears as a form moving toward the person wishing. Passions residing in the lower part of human nature can assume animal forms or similar shapes that hurl themselves against the individual. In reality, these passions are headed outward; they seek satisfaction in the outer world, but this striving outward appears in the mirrored reflection as an attack on the individual from whom they proceed.

[ 34 ] If the student, before attaining insight into higher worlds, has learned by quiet and sincere self-observation to realized the qualities and the defects of his own character, he will then, at the moment when his own inner self confronts him as a mirrored image, find strength and courage to conduct himself in the right way. People who have failed to test themselves in this way, and are insufficiently acquainted with their own inner self, will not recognize themselves in their own mirrored image and will mistake it for an alien reality. Or they may become alarmed at the vision and, because they cannot endure the sight, deceive themselves into believing the whole thing is nothing but an illusion which cannot lead them anywhere. In either case the person in question, through prematurely attaining a certain stage of inner development, would fatally obstruct his own progress.

[ 35 ] It is absolutely necessary that the student should experience this spiritual aspect of his own inner self before progressing to higher spheres; for his own self constitutes that psycho-spiritual element of which he is the best judge. If he has thoroughly realized the nature of his own personality in the physical world, and if the image of his personality first appears to him in a higher world, he is then able to compare the one with the other. He can refer the higher to something already known to him, so that his point of departure is on firm ground. Whereas, no matter how many other spiritual beings appeared to him, he would find himself unable to discover their nature and qualities, and would soon feel the ground giving way beneath him. Thus is cannot be too often repeated that the only safe entrance into the higher worlds is at the end of a path leading through a genuine knowledge and estimate of one's own nature.

[ 36 ] Pictures, then, of a spiritual kind are first encountered by the student on his progress into higher worlds; and the reality to which these pictures correspond is actually within himself. He should be far enough advanced to refrain from desiring reality of a more robust kind at this initial stage, and to regard these pictures as timely. He will soon meet something quite new within this world of pictures. His lower self is before him as a mirrored image; but from within this image there appears the true reality of his higher self. Out of the picture of his lower personality the form of the spiritual ego becomes visible. Then threads are spun from the latter to other and higher spiritual realities.

[ 37 ] This is the moment when the two-petalled lotus in the region of the eyes is required. If it now begins to stir, the student finds it possible to bring his higher ego in contact with higher spiritual beings. The currents form this lotus flower flow toward the higher realities in such a way that the movements in question are fully apparent to the individual. Just as the light renders the physical objects visible, so, too, these currents disclose spiritual beings of higher worlds.

[ 38 ] Through inward application to the fundamental truths derived from spiritual science the student learns to set in motion and then to direct the currents proceeding form the lotus flower between the eyes.

[ 39 ] It is at this stage of development especially that the value of sound judgment and a training in clear and logical thought come to the fore. The higher self, which hitherto slumbered unconsciously in an embryonic state, is now born into conscious existence. This is not a figurative but a positive birth in the spiritual world, and the being now born, the higher self, must enter that world with all the necessary organs and aptitudes if it is to be capable of life. Just as nature must provide for a child being born into the world with suitable eyes and ears, to too, the laws of self-development must provide for the necessary capacities with which the higher self can enter existence. These laws governing the development of the higher spiritual organs are none other than the laws of sound reason and morality of the physical world. The spiritual self matures in the physical self as a child in the mother's womb. The child's health depends upon the normal functioning of natural laws in the maternal womb. The constitution of the spiritual self is similarly conditioned by the laws of common intelligence and reason that govern physical life. No one can give birth to a soundly constituted higher self whose life in thought and feeling, in the physical world, is not sound and healthy. Natural, rational life is the basis of all genuine spiritual development. Just as the child when still in the maternal womb lives in accordance with the natural forces to which it has access, after its birth, through its organs of sense, so, too, the human higher self lives in accordance with the laws of the spiritual world, even during physical existence. And even as the child, out of a dim life instinct, acquired the requisite forces, so, too, can man acquire the powers of the spiritual world before his higher self is born. Indeed, he must do this if the latter is to enter the world as a fully developed being. It would be quite wrong for anyone to say: “I cannot accept the teachings of spiritual science until I myself become a seer,” for without inward application to the results of spiritual research there is no chance whatever of attaining genuine higher knowledge. It would be as though a child, during gestation, were to refuse the forces coming to it through its mother, and proposed to wait until it could procure them for itself. Just as the embryonic child in its incipient feeling for life learns to appreciate what is offered to it, so can the non-seer appreciate the truth of the teachings of spiritual science. An insight into these teachings based on a deeply rooted feeling for truth, and a clear, sound, all-around critical and reasoning faculty are possible even before spiritual things are actually perceived. The esoteric knowledge must first be studied, so that this study becomes a preparation for clairvoyance. A person attaining clairvoyance without such preparation would resemble a child born with eyes and ears but without a brain. The entire world of sound and color would display itself before him, but he would be helpless in it.

[ 40 ] At this stage of his esoteric development the student realizes, through personal inward experience, all that had previously appealed to his sense of truth, to his intellect and reason. He has now direct knowledge of his higher self. He learns how his higher self is connected with exalted spiritual beings and forms with them a united whole. He sees how the lower self originates in a higher world, and it is revealed to him how his higher nature outlasts his lower. He can now distinguish the imperishable in himself from the perishable; that is, he learns through personal insight to understand the doctrine of the incarnation of the higher self in the lower. It will become plain to him that he is part of a great spiritual complex and that his qualities and destiny are due to this connection. He learns to recognize the law of his life, his karma. He realizes that his lower self, constituting his present existence, is only one of the forms which his higher being can adopt. He discerns the possibility of working down from his higher self in his lower self, so that he may perfect himself ever more and more. Now, too, he can comprehend the great differences between human beings in regard to their level of perfection. He becomes aware that there are others above him who have already traversed the stages which still lie before him, and he realizes that the teachings and deeds of such men proceed from the inspiration of a higher world. He owes this knowledge to his first personal glimpse into this higher world. The so-called initiates of humanity now become vested with reality for him.

[ 41 ] These, then, are the gifts which the student owes to his development at this stage: insight into his higher self; insight into the doctrine of the incarnation of this higher being in a lower; insight into the laws by which life in the physical world is regulated according to its spiritual connections, that is, the law of karma; and finally, insight into the existence of the great initiates.

[ 42 ] Thus it is said of a student who has reached this stage, that all doubt has vanished from him. His former faith, based on reason and sound thoughts, is now replaced by knowledge and insight which nothing can undermine. [ 43 ] The various religions have presented, in their ceremonies, sacraments, and rites, externally visible patterns of the higher spiritual beings and events. None but those who have not penetrated to the depths of the great religions can fail to recognize this fact. Personal insight into spiritual reality explains the great significance of these externally visible cults. Religious service, then, becomes for the seer an image of his own communion with the higher, spiritual world.

[ 44 ] It has been shown how the student, by attaining this stage, becomes in truth a new being. He can now mature to still higher faculties and, by means of the life-currents of his etheric body, control the higher and actual life-element, thus attaining a high degree of independence from the restrictions of the physical body.

Über einige Wirkungen der Einweihung

[ 1 ] Es gehört zu den Grundsätzen wahrer Geheimwissenschaft, daß derjenige, welcher sich ihr widmet, dies mit vollem Bewußtsein tue. Er soll nichts vornehmen, nicht üben, wovon er nicht weiß, was es für eine Wirkung hat. Ein Geheimlehrer, der jemand einen Rat oder eine Anweisung gibt, wird immer zugleich sagen, was durch die Befolgung in Leib, Seele oder Geist desjenigen eintritt, der nach höherer Erkenntnis strebt.

[ 2 ] Hier sollen nun einige Wirkungen auf die Seele des Geheimschülers angegeben werden. Erst wer solche Dinge kennt, wie sie hier mitgeteilt werden, kann in vollem Bewußtsein die Übungen vornehmen, welche zur Erkenntnis übersinnlicher Welten führen. Und nur ein solcher ist ein echter Geheimschüler. Alles Tappen im dunkeln ist bei wirklicher Geheimschulung streng verpönt. Wer nicht mit offenen Augen seine Schulung vollziehen will, mag Medium werden; zum Hellseher im Sinne der Geheimwissenschaft kann er es nicht bringen.

[ 3 ] Bei dem, welcher in diesem Sinne die in den vorhergehenden Abschnitten (über Erwerbung übersinnlicher Erkenntnisse) beschriebenen Übungen macht, gehen zunächst gewisse Veränderungen im sogenannten Seelenorganismus vor sich. Dieser ist nur für den Hellseher wahrnehmbar. Man kann ihn mit einer mehr oder weniger geistig-seelisch leuchtenden Wolke vergleichen, in deren Mitte der physische Körper des Menschen sich befindet.1Eine Beschreibung findet man in des Verfassers «Theosophie» diesem Organismus werden die Triebe, Begierden, Leidenschaften, Vorstellungen und so weiter geistig sichtbar. Sinnliche Begierde zum Beispiel empfindet man darinnen wie dunkelrötliche Ausstrahlungen von bestimmter Form. Ein reiner, edler Gedanke findet seinen Ausdruck wie in einer rötlichvioletten Ausstrahlung. Der scharfe Begriff, den der logische Denker faßt, fühlt sich wie eine gelbliche Figur mit ganz bestimmten Umrissen. Der verworrene Gedanke des unklaren Kopfes tritt als Figur mit unbestimmten Umrissen auf. Die Gedanken der Menschen mit einseitigen, verbohrten Ansichten erscheinen in ihren Umrissen scharf, unbeweglich, diejenigen solcher Persönlichkeiten, welche zugänglich für die Ansichten anderer sind, sieht man in beweglichen, sich wandelnden Umrissen und so weiter, und so weiter.2Man muß bei allen folgenden Schilderungen darauf achten, daß zum Beispiel beim «Sehen» einer Farbe geistiges Sehen (Schauen) gemeint ist. Wenn die hellsichtige Erkenntnis davon spricht: «ich sehe rot» , so bedeutet dies: «ich habe im Seelisch-Geistigen ein Erlebnis, welches gleichkommt dem physischen Erlebnis beim Eindruck der roten Farbe.» Nur weil es der hellsichtigen Erkenntnis in einem solchen Falle ganz naturgemäß ist, zu sagen: «ich sehe rot», wird dieser Ausdruck angewandt. Wer dies nicht bedenkt, kann leicht eine Farbenvision mit einem wahrhaft hellsichtigen Erlebnis verwechseln.

[ 4 ] Je weiter nun der Mensch in seiner Seelenentwickelung fortschreitet, desto regelmäßiger gegliedert wird sein Seelenorganismus. Beim Menschen mit einem unentwickelten Seelenleben ist er verworren, ungegliedert. Aber auch in einem solchen ungegliederten Seelenorganismus kann der Hellseher ein Gebilde wahrnehmen, das sich deutlich von der Umgebung abhebt. Es verläuft vom Innern des Kopfes bis zur Mitte des physischen Körpers. Es nimmt sich aus wie eine Art selbständiger Leib, welcher gewisse Organe hat. Diejenigen Organe, die hier zunächst besprochen werden sollen, werden in der Nähe folgender physischer Körperteile geistig wahrgenommen: das erste zwischen den Augen, das zweite in der Nähe des Kehlkopfes, das dritte in der Gegend des Herzens, das vierte liegt in der Nachbarschaft der sogenannten Magengrube, das fünfte und sechste haben ihren Sitz im Unterleibe. Diese Gebilde werden von den Geheimkundigen «Räder» (Chakrams) oder auch «Lotusblumen» genannt. Sie heißen so wegen der Ähnlichkeit mit Rädern oder Blumen; doch muß man sich natürlich klar darüber sein, daß ein solcher Ausdruck nicht viel zutreffender ist, als wenn man die beiden Lungenteile «Lungenflügel» nennt. Wie man sich hier klar ist, daß man es nicht mit «Flügeln» zu tun hat, so muß man auch dort nur an eine vergleichsweise Bezeichnung denken. Diese «Lotusblumen» sind nun beim unentwickelten Menschen von dunklen Farben und ruhig, unbewegt. Beim Hellseher aber sind sie in Bewegung und von leuchtenden Farbenschattierungen. Auch beim Medium ist etwas Ähnliches der Fall, doch in anderer Art. Darauf soll hier nicht näher eingegangen werden. – Wenn nun ein Geheimschüler mit seinen Übungen beginnt, so ist das erste, daß sich die Lotusblumen aufhellen; später beginnen sie sich zu drehen. Wenn dies letztere eintritt, so beginnt die Fähigkeit des Helisehens. Denn diese «Blumen» sind die Sinnesorgane der Seele.3Auch in bezug auf diese Wahrnehmungen des «Drehens», ja der «Lotusblumen» selbst, gilt, was in der vorigen Anmerkung über das «Sehen der Farben» gesagt worden ist. Und ihre Drehung ist der Ausdruck dafür, daß im Übersinnlichen wahrgenommen wird. Niemand kann etwas Übersinnliches schauen, bevor sich seine astralen Sinne in dieser Art ausgebildet haben.

[ 5 ] Das geistige Sinnesorgan, welches sich in der Nähe des Kehlkopfes befindet, macht es möglich, hellseherisch die Gedankenart eines anderen Seelenwesens zu durchschauen, es gestattet auch einen tieferen Einblick in die wahren Gesetze der Naturerscheinungen. – Das Organ in der Nachbarschaft des Herzens eröffnet eine hellseherische Erkenntnis der Gesinnungsart anderer Seelen. Wer es ausgebildet hat, kann auch bestimmte tiefere Kräfte bei Tieren und Pflanzen erkennen. Durch den Sinn in der Nähe der sogenannten Magengrube erlangt man Kenntnis von den Fähigkeiten und Talenten der Seelen; man kann durchschauen, welche Rolle Tiere, Pflanzen, Steine, Metalle, atmosphärische Erscheinungen und so weiter im Haushalte der Natur spielen.

[ 6 ] Das Organ in der Nähe des Kehlkopfes hat sechzehn «Blumenblätter» oder «Radspeichen», das in der Nähe des Herzens deren zwölf, das in der Nachbarschaft der Magengrube liegende deren zehn.

[ 7 ] Nun hängen gewisse seelische Verrichtungen mit der Ausbildung dieser Sinnesorgane zusammen. Und wer diese Verrichtungen in einer ganz bestimmten Weise ausübt, der trägt etwas bei zur Ausbildung der betreffenden geistigen Sinnesorgane. Von der «sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume» sind acht Blätter auf einer früheren Entwickelungsstufe des Menschen in urferner Vergangenheit bereits ausgebildet gewesen. Zu dieser Ausbildung hat der Mensch selbst nichts beigetragen. Er hat sie als eine Naturgabe erhalten, als er noch in einem Zustande traumhaften, dumpfen Bewußtseins war. Auf der damaligen Stufe der Menschheitsentwickelung waren sie auch in Tätigkeit. Jedoch vertrug sich diese Art von Tätigkeit eben nur mit jenem dumpfen Bewußtseinszustande. Als dann das Bewußtsein sich aufhellte, verfinsterten sich die Blätter und stellten ihre Tätigkeit ein. Die anderen acht kann der Mensch selbst durch bewußte Übungen ausbilden. Dadurch wird die ganze Lotusblume leuchtend und beweglich. Von der Entwickelung eines jeden der sechzehn Blätter hängt die Erwerbung gewisser Fähigkeiten ab. Doch, wie bereits angedeutet, kann der Mensch nur acht davon bewußt entwickeln; die anderen acht erscheinen dann von selbst.

[ 8 ] Die Entwickelung geht in folgender Art vor sich. Der Mensch muß auf gewisse Seelenvorgänge Aufmerksamkeit und Sorgfalt verwenden, die er gewöhnlich sorglos und unaufmerksam ausführt. Es gibt acht solche Vorgänge. Der erste ist die Art und Weise, wie man sich Vorstellungen aneignet. Gewöhnlich überläßt sich in dieser Beziehung der Mensch ganz dem Zufall. Er hört dies und das, sieht das eine und das andere und bildet sich danach seine Begriffe. Solange er so verfährt, bleibt seine sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume ganz unwirksam. Erst wenn er seine Selbsterziehung nach dieser Richtung in die Hand nimmt, beginnt sie wirksam zu werden. Er muß zu diesem Zwecke auf seine Vorstellungen achten. Eine jede Vorstellung soll für ihn Bedeutung gewinnen. Er soll in ihr eine bestimmte Botschaft, eine Kunde über Dinge der Außenwelt sehen. Und er soll nicht befriedigt sein von Vorstellungen, die nicht eine solche Bedeutung haben. Er soll sein ganzes Begriffsleben so lenken, daß es ein treuer Spiegel der Außenwelt wird. Sein Streben soll dahin gehen, unrichtige Vorstellungen aus seiner Seele zu entfernen. – Der zweite Seelenvorgang betrifft in einer ähnlichen Richtung die Entschlüsse des Menschen. Er soll nur aus gegründeter, voller Überlegung selbst zu dem Unbedeutendsten sich entschließen. Alles gedankenlose Handeln, alles bedeutungslose Tun soll er von seiner Seele fernhalten. Zu allem soll er wohlerwogene Gründe haben. Und er soll unterlassen, wozu kein bedeutsamer Grund drängt. – Der dritte Vorgang bezieht sich auf das Reden. Nur was Sinn und Bedeutung hat, soll von den Lippen des Geheimschülers kommen. Alles Reden um des Redens willen bringt ihn von seinem Wege ab. Die gewöhnliche Art der Unterhaltung, wo wahllos und bunt alles durcheinander geredet wird, soll der Geheimschüler meiden. Dabei aber soll er sich nicht etwa ausschließen von dem Verkehr mit seinen Mitmenschen. Gerade im Verkehr soll sein Reden sich zur Bedeutsamkeit entwickeln. Er steht jedem Rede und Antwort, aber er tut es gedankenvoll, nach jeder Richtung überlegt. Niemals redet er unbegründet. Er versucht nicht zuviel und nicht zuwenig Worte zu machen. – Der vierte Seelenvorgang ist die Regelung des äußeren Handelns. Der Geheimschüler versucht sein Handeln so einzurichten, daß es zu den Handlungen seiner Mitmenschen und zu den Vorgängen seiner Umgebung stimmt. Er unterläßt Handlungen, welche für andere störend sind oder die im Widerspruche stehen mit dem, was um ihn herum vorgeht. Er sucht sein Tun so einzurichten, daß es sich harmonisch eingliedert in seine Umgebung; in seine Lebenslage und so weiter. Wo er durch etwas anderes veranlaßt wird zu handeln, da beobachtet er sorgfältig, wie er der Veranlassung am besten entsprechen könne. Wo er aus sich heraus handelt, da erwägt er die Wirkungen seiner Handlungsweise auf das deutlichste. – Das fünfte, was hier in Betracht kommt, liegt in der Einrichtung des ganzen Lebens. Der Geheimschüler versucht natur-und geistgemäß zu leben. Er überhastet nichts und ist nicht träge. Übergeschäftigkeit und Lässigkeit liegen ihm gleich ferne. Er sieht das Leben als ein Mittel der Arbeit an und richtet sich dementsprechend ein. Gesundheitspflege, Gewohnheiten und so weiter richtet er für sich so ein, daß ein harmonisches Leben die Folge ist. – Das sechste betrifft das menschliche Streben. Der Geheimschüler prüft seine Fähigkeiten, sein Können und verhält sich im Sinne solcher Selbsterkenntnis. Er versucht nichts zu tun, was außerhalb seiner Kräfte liegt; aber auch nichts zu unterlassen, was innerhalb derselben sich befindet. Anderseits stellt er sich Ziele, die mit den Idealen, mit den großen Pflichten eines Menschen zusammenhängen. Er fügt sich nicht bloß gedankenlos als ein Rad ein in das Menschentriebwerk, sondern er sucht seine Aufgaben zu begreifen, über das Alltägliche hinauszublicken. Er strebt danach, seine Obliegenheiten immer besser und vollkommener zu machen. – Das siebente in seinem Seelenleben betrifft das Streben, möglichst viel vom Leben zu lernen. Nichts geht an dem Geheimschüler vorbei, was ihm nicht Anlaß gibt, Erfahrung zu sammeln, die ihm nützlich ist für das Leben. Hat er etwas unrichtig und unvollkommen verrichtet, so wird das ein Anlaß, ähnliches später richtig oder vollkommen zu machen. Sieht er andere handeln, so beobachtet er sie zu einem ähnlichen Ziele. Er versucht, sich einen reichen Schatz von Erfahrungen zu sammeln und ihn stets sorgfältig zu Rate zu ziehen. Und er tut nichts, ohne auf Erlebnisse zurückzublicken, die ihm eine Hilfe sein können bei seinen Entschlüssen und Verrichtungen. – Das achte endlich ist: der Geheimschüler muß von Zeit zu Zeit Blicke in sein Inneres tun; er muß sich in sich selbst versenken, sorgsam mit sich zu Rate gehen, seine Lebensgrundsätze bilden und prüfen, seine Kenntnisse in Gedanken durchlaufen, seine Pflichten erwägen, über den Inhalt und Zweck des Lebens nachdenken und so weiter. Alle diese Dinge sind ja in den vorhergehenden Abschnitten schon besprochen worden. Hier werden sie nur aufgezählt im Hin6lick auf die Entwickelung der sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume. Durch ihre Übung wird diese immer vollkommener und vollkommener. Denn von solchen Übungen hängt die Ausbildung der Hellsehergabe ab. Je mehr zum Beispiel dasjenige, was ein Mensch denkt und redet, mit den Vorgängen in der Außenwelt zusammenstimmt, desto schneller entwickelt sich diese Gabe. Wer Unwahres denkt oder redet, tötet etwas in dem Keime der sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume. Wahrhaftigkeit, Aufrichtigkeit, Ehrlichkeit sind in dieser Beziehung aufbauende, Lügenhaftigkeit, Falschheit, Unredlichkeit sind zerstörende Kräfte. Und der Geheimschüler muß wissen, daß es hierbei nicht allein auf die «gute Absicht», sondern auf die wirkliche Tat ankommt. Denke und sage ich etwas, was mit der Wirklichkeit nicht übereinstimmt, so zerstöre ich etwas in meinem geistigen Sinnesorgan, auch wenn ich dabei eine noch so gute Absicht zu haben glaube. Es ist wie mit dem Kinde, das sich verbrennt, wenn es ins Feuer greift, auch wenn dies aus Unwissenheit geschieht. – Die Einrichtung der besprochenen Seelenvorgänge in der charakterisierten Richtung läßt die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume in herrlichen Farben erstrahlen und gibt ihr eine gesetzmäßige Bewegung. – Doch ist dabei zu beachten, daß die gekennzeichnete Hellsehergabe nicht früher auftreten kann, als ein bestimmter Grad von Ausbildung der Seele erlangt ist. Solange es noch Mühe macht, das Leben in dieser Richtung zu führen, so lange zeigt sich diese Gabe nicht. Solange man auf die geschilderten Vorgänge noch besonders achten muß, ist man nicht reif. Erst wenn man es so weit gebracht hat, daß man in der angegebenen Art lebt, wie es der Mensch sonst gewohnheitsmäßig tut, dann zeigen sich die ersten Spuren des Hellsehens. Die Dinge dürfen dann nicht mehr mühevoll sein, sondern müssen selbstverständliche Lebensart geworden sein. Man darf nicht nötig haben, sich fortwährend zu beobachten, sich anzutreiben, daß man so lebe. Alles muß Gewohnheit geworden sein. – Es gibt gewisse Anweisungen, welche die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume auf andere Art zur Entfaltung bringen. Alle solchen Anweisungen verwirft die wahre Geheimwissenschaft. Denn sie führen zur Zerstörung der leiblichen Gesundheit und zum moralischen Verderben. Sie sind leichter durchzuführen als das Geschilderte. Dieses ist langwierig und mühevoll. Aber es führt zu sicherem Ziele und kann nur moralisch kräftigen.

[ 9 ] Die verzerrte Ausbildung einer Lotusblume hat nicht nur Illusionen und phantastische Vorstellungen im Fall des Auftretens einer gewissen Hellsehergabe zur Folge, sondern auch Verirrungen und Haltlosigkeit im gewöhnlichen Leben. Man kann durch eine solche Ausbildung furchtsam, neidisch, eitel, hochfahrend, eigenwillig und so weiter werden, während man vorher alle diese Eigenschaften nicht hatte. – Es ist gesagt worden, daß acht von den Blättern der sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume bereits in urferner Vergangenheit entwickelt waren und daß diese bei der Geheimschulung von selbst wieder auftreten. Es muß nun bei der Bestrebung des Geheimschülers alle Sorgfalt auf die acht anderen Blätter verwendet werden. Bei verkehrter Schulung treten leicht die früher entwickelten allein auf und die neu zu bildenden bleiben verkümmert. Dies wird insbesondere der Fall sein, wenn bei der Schulung zu wenig auf logisches, vernünftiges Denken gesehen wird. Es ist von der allergrößten Wichtigkeit, daß der Geheimschüler ein verständiger, auf klares Denken haltender Mensch ist. Und von weiterer Wichtigkeit ist, daß er sich der größten Klarheit befleißigt im Sprechen. Menschen, die anfangen etwas vom Übersinnlichen zu ahnen, werden gern über diese Dinge gesprächig. Dadurch halten sie ihre richtige Entwickelung auf. Je weniger man über diese Dinge redet, desto besser ist es. Erst wer bis zu einem gewissen Grade der Klarheit gekommen ist, sollte reden.

[ 10 ] Im Beginne des Unterrichts sind Geheimschüler in der Regel erstaunt, wie wenig «neugierig» der schon geistig Geschulte ist gegenüber den Mitteilungen ihrer Erlebnisse. Am heilsamsten für sie wäre es eben, wenn sie sich über ihre Erlebnisse ganz ausschweigen und weiter nichts besprechen wollten, als wie gut oder wie schlecht es ihnen gelingt, ihre Übungen durchzuführen oder die Anweisungen zu befolgen. Denn der schon geistig Geschulte hat ganz andere Quellen zur Beurteilung der Fortschritte als ihre direkten Mitteilungen. Die acht in Frage kommenden Blätter der sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume werden durch solche Mitteilungen immer etwas verhärtet, während sie weich und biegsam erhalten werden sollten. Es soll ein Beispiel angeführt werden, um das zu erläutern. Dies möge nicht vom übersinnlichen, sondern der Deutlichkeit halber vom gewöhnlichen Leben hergenommen werden. Angenommen, ich höre eine Nachricht und bilde mir darüber sogleich ein Urteil. In einer kurzen Zeit darauf bekomme ich über dieselbe Sache eine weitere Nachricht, die mit der ersteren nicht stimmt. Ich bin dadurch genötigt, das schon gebildete Urteil umzubilden. Die Folge davon ist ein ungünstiger Einfluß auf meine sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume. Ganz anders wäre die Sache, wenn ich zuerst mit meinem Urteil zurückhaltend gewesen wäre, wenn ich zu der ganzen Angelegenheit innerlich in Gedanken und äußerlich in Worten «geschwiegen» hätte, bis ich ganz sichere Anhaltspunkte für mein Urteil gehabt hätte. Behutsamkeit im Bilden und Aussprechen von Urteilen wird allmählich zum besonderen Kennzeichen des Geheimschülers. Dagegen wächst seine Empfänglichkeit für Eindrücke und Erfahrungen, die er schweigsam an sich vorüberziehen läßt, um möglichst viele Anhaltspunkte sich zu schaffen, wenn er zu urteilen hat. Es sind bläulich-rötliche und rosenrote Nuancen in den Lotusblumenblättern, die durch solche Behutsamkeit auftreten, während im anderen Falle dunkelrote und orangefarbige Nuancen auftreten. In einer ähnlichen Art wie die sechzehnblättrige 4Der Kundige wird in den Bedingungen für die Entwickelung der «sechzehnblätterigen Lotusblume» wiedererkennen die Anweisungen, welche der Buddha seinen Jüngern für den «Pfad» gegeben hat. Doch handelt es sich hier nicht darum, «Buddhismus» zu lehren, sondern Entwickelungsbedingungen zu schildern, die aus der Geisteswissenschaft selbst sich ergeben. Daß sie mit gewissen Lehren des Buddha übereinstimmen, kann nicht hindern, sie an sich für wahr zu finden. wird auch die zwölfblätterige Lotusblume, in der Nähe des Herzens, gestaltet. Auch von ihr war die Hälfte der Blätter in einem vergangenen Entwickelungszustande des Menschen bereits vorhanden und in Tätigkeit. Diese sechs Blätter brauchen daher bei der Geheimschulung nicht besonders ausgebildet zu werden; sie erscheinen von selbst und beginnen sich zu drehen, wenn an den anderen sechs gearbeitet wird. – Wieder muß, um diese Entwickelung zu fördern, der Mensch gewissen Seelentätigkeiten in bewußter Weise eine bestimmte Richtung geben.

[ 11 ] Man muß sich nun klarmachen, daß die Wahrnehmungen der einzelnen geistigen oder Seelensinne einen verschiedenen Charakter tragen. Die Lotusblume mit zwölf Blättern vermittelt eine andere Wahrnehmung als die sechzehnblätterige. Diese letztere nimmt Gestalten wahr. Die Gedankenart, die eine Seele hat, die Gesetze, nach denen eine Naturerscheinung sich vollzieht, treten für die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume in Gestalten auf. Das sind aber nicht starre, ruhige Gestalten, sondern bewegte, mit Leben erfüllte Formen. Der Hellseher, bei dem sich dieser Sinn entwickelt hat, kann für jede Gedankenart, für jedes Naturgesetz eine Form nennen, in denen sie sich ausprägen. Ein Rachegedanke zum Beispiel kleidet sich in eine pfeilartige, zackige Figur, ein wohlwollender Gedanke hat oft die Gestalt einer sich öffnenden Blume und so weiter. Bestimmte, bedeutungsvolle Gedanken sind regelmäßig, symmetrisch gebildet, unklare Begriffe haben gekräuselte Umrisse. – Ganz andere Wahrnehmungen treten durch die zwölfblätterige Lotusblume zutage. Man kann die Art dieser Wahrnehmungen annähernd charakterisieren, wenn man sie als Seelenwärme und Seelenkälte bezeichnet. Ein mit diesem Sinn ausgestatteter Hellseher fühlt von den Figuren, die er durch die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume wahrnimmt, solche Seelenwärme oder Seelenkälte ausströmen. Man stelle sich einmal vor, ein Hellseher hätte nur die sechzehnblätterige, nicht aber die zwölfblätterige Lotusblume entwickelt. Dann würde er bei einem wohlwollenden Gedanken nur die oben beschriebene Figur sehen. Ein anderer, der beide Sinne ausgebildet hat, bemerkt auch noch diejenige Ausströmung dieses Gedankens, die man eben nur mit Seelenwärme bezeichnen kann. – Nur nebenbei soll bemerkt werden, daß in der Geheimschulung nie der eine Sinn ohne den anderen ausgebildet wird, so daß das obige nur als eine Annahme zur Verdeutlichung anzusehen ist. – Dem Hellseher eröffnet sich durch die Ausbildung der zwölfblätterigen Lotusblume auch ein tiefes Verständnis für Naturvorgänge. Alles, was auf ein Wachsen, Entwickeln begründet ist, strömt Seelenwärme aus; alles, was in Vergehen, Zerstörung, Untergang begriffen ist, tritt mit dem Charakter der Seelenkälte auf.

[ 12 ] Die Ausbildung dieses Sinnes wird auf folgende Art gefördert. Das erste, was in dieser Beziehung der Geheimschüler beobachtet, ist die Regelung seines Gedankenlaufes (die sogenannte Gedankenkontrolle). So wie die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume durch wahre bedeutungsvolle Gedanken zur Entwickelung kommt, so die zwölfblätterige durch innere Beherrschung des Gedankenverlaufes. Irrlichtelierende Gedanken, die nicht in sinngemäßer, logischer Weise, sondern rein zufällig aneinandergefügt sind, verderben die Form dieser Lotusblume. Je mehr ein Gedanke aus dem anderen folgt, je mehr allem Unlogischen aus dem Wege gegangen wird, desto mehr erhält dieses Sinnesorgan die ihm entsprechende Form. Hört der Geheimschüler unlogische Gedanken, so läßt er sich sogleich das Richtige durch den Kopf gehen. Er soll nicht lieblos sich einer vielleicht unlogischen Umgebung entziehen, um seine Entwickelung zu fördern. Er soll auch nicht den Drang in sich fühlen, alles Unlogische in seiner Umgebung sofort zu korrigieren. Er wird vielmehr ganz still in seinem Innern die von außen auf ihn einstürmenden Gedanken in eine logische, sinngemäße Richtung bringen. Und er bestrebt sich, in seinen eigenen Gedanken überall diese Richtung einzuhalten. – Ein zweites ist, eine ebensolche Folgerichtigkeit in sein Handeln zu bringen (Kontrolle der Handlungen). Alle Unbeständigkeit, Disharmonie im Handeln gereichen der in Rede stehenden Lotusblume zum Verderben. Wenn der Geheimschüler etwas getan hat, so richtet er sein folgendes Handeln danach ein, daß es in logischer Art aus dem ersten folgt. Wer heute im anderen Sinn handelt als gestern, wird nie den charakterisierten Sinn entwickeln. – Das dritte ist die Erziehung zur Ausdauer. Der Geheimschüler läßt sich nicht durch diese oder jene Einflüsse von einem Ziel abbringen, das er sich gesteckt hat, solange er dieses Ziel als ein richtiges ansehen kann. Hindernisse sind für ihn eine Aufforderung, sie zu überwinden, aber keine Abhaltungsgründe. – Das vierte ist die Duldsamkeit (Toleranz) gegenüber Menschen, anderen Wesen und auch Tatsachen. Der Geheimschüler unterdrückt alle überflüssige Kritik gegenüber dem Unvollkommenen, Bösen und Schlechten und sucht vielmehr alles zu begreifen, was an ihn herantritt. Wie die Sonne ihr Licht nicht dem Schlechten und Bösen entzieht, so er nicht seine verständnisvolle Anteilnahme. Begegnet dem Geheimschüler irgendein Ungemach, so ergeht er sich nicht in abfälligen Urteilen, sondern er nimmt das Notwendige hin und sucht, soweit seine Kraft reicht, die Sache zum Guten zu wenden. Andere Meinungen betrachtet er nicht nur von seinem Standpunkte aus, sondern er sucht sich in die Lage des anderen zu versetzen. – Das fünfte ist die Unbefangenheit gegenüber den Erscheinungen des Lebens. Man spricht in dieser Beziehung auch von dem «Glauben» oder «Vertrauen». Der Geheimschüler tritt jedem Menschen, jedem Wesen mit diesem Vertrauen entgegen. Und er erfüllt sich bei seinen Handlungen mit solchem Vertrauen. Er sagt sich nie, wenn ihm etwas mitgeteilt wird: das glaube ich nicht, weil es meiner bisherigen Meinung widerspricht. Er ist vielmehr in jedem Augenblicke bereit, seine Meinung und Ansicht an einer neuen zu prüfen und zu berichtigen. Er bleibt immer empfänglich für alles, was an ihn herantritt. Und er vertraut auf die Wirksamkeit dessen, was er unternimmt. Zaghaftigkeit und Zweifelsucht verbannt er aus seinem Wesen. Hat er eine Absicht, so hat er auch den Glauben an die Kraft dieser Absicht. Hundert Mißerfolge können ihm diesen Glauben nicht nehmen. Es ist dies jener «Glaube, der Berge zu versetzen vermag». – Das sechste ist die Erwerbung eines gewissen Lebensgleichgewichtes (Gleichmutes). Der Geheimschüler strebt an, seine gleichmäßige Stimmung zu erhalten, ob ihn Leid, ob ihn Erfreuliches trifft. Das Schwanken zwischen «himmelhochjauchzend, zu Tode betrübt» gewöhnt er sich ab. Das Unglück, die Gefahr finden ihn ebenso gewappnet wie das Glück, die Förderung.

[ 13 ] Die Leser von geisteswissenschaftlichen Schriften finden das Geschilderte als die sogenannten «sechs Eigenschaften» aufgezählt, welche der bei sich entwickeln muß, der die Einweihung anstrebt. Hier sollte ihr Zusammenhang mit dem seelischen Sinne dargelegt werden, welcher die zwölfblätterige Lotusblume genannt wird. – Die Geheimschulung vermag wieder besondere Anweisungen zu geben, welche diese Lotusblume zum Reifen bringen, aber auch hier hängt die Ausbildung der regelmäßigen Form dieses Sinnesorganes an der Entwickelung der aufgezählten Eigenschaften. Wird diese Entwickelung außer acht gelassen, dann gestaltet sich dieses Organ zu einem Zerrbilde. Und es können dadurch bei Ausbildung einer gewissen Hellsehergabe in dieser Richtung die genannten Eigenschaften sich statt zum Guten zum Schlechten wenden. Der Mensch kann besonders unduldsam, zaghaft, ablehnend gegen seine Umgebung werden. Er kann zum Beispiel eine Empfindung erhalten für Gesinnungen anderer Seelen und diese deswegen fliehen oder hassen. Es kann so weit kommen, daß er wegen der Seelenkälte, die ihn bei Ansichten überströmt, welche ihm widerstreben, gar nicht zuhören kann oder in abstoßender Art sich gebärdet.

[ 14 ] Kommt zu allem Gesagten noch die Beobachtung gewisser Vorschriften hinzu, welche Geheimschüler von Geheimlehrern nur mündlich empfangen können, so tritt eine entsprechende Beschleunigung in der Entwickelung der Lotusblume ein. Döch führen die hier gegebenen Anweisungen durchaus in die wirkliche Geheimschulung ein. Nützlich aber ist auch für den, der nicht eine Geheimschulung durchmachen will oder kann, die Einrichtung des Lebens in der arigegebenen Richtung. Denn die Wirkung auf den Seelenorganistaus tritt auf alle Fälle ein, wenn auch langsam. Und für den Geheimschüler ist die Beobachtung dieser Grundsätze unerläßlich. – Würde er eine Geheimschulung versuchen, ohne sie einzuhalten, so könnte er nur mit mangelhaftem Gedankenauge in die höheren Welten eintreten; und statt die Wahrheit zu erkennen, würde er dann nur Täuschungen und Illusionen unterworfen sein. Er würde in einer gewissen Beziehung hellsehend werden; aber im Grunde nur größerer Blindheit unterliegen als vorher. Denn ehedem stand er wenigstens innerhalb der Sinnenwelt fest und hatte an ihr einen bestimmten Halt; jetzt aber sieht er hinter die Sinnenwelt und wird an dieser irre, bevor er sicher in einer höheren Welt steht. Er kann dann vielleicht überhaupt nicht mehr Wahrheit von Irrtum unterscheiden und verliert alle Richtung im Leben. –Gerade aus diesem Grunde ist Geduld so nötig in diesen Dingen. Man muß immer bedenken, daß die Geisteswissenschaft nicht weiter mit ihren Anweisungen gehen darf, als volle Willigkeit zu einer geregelten Entwickelung der «Lotusblumen» vorliegt. Es würden sich wahre Zerrbilder dieser Blumen entwickeln, wenn sie zur Reife gebracht würden, bevor sie in ruhiger Weise die ihnen zukommende Form erlangt haben. Denn die speziellen Anweisungen der Geisteswissenschaft bewirken das Reifwerden, die Form aber wird durch die geschilderte Lebensart ihnen gegeben.

[ 15 ] Von besonders feiner Art ist die Seelenpflege, die zur Entwickelung der zehnblätterigen Lotusblume notwendig ist. Denn hier handelt es sich darum, die Sinneseindrücke selbst in bewußter Weise beherrschen zu lernen Für den angehenden Hellseher ist das ganz besonders nötig. Nur dadurch vermag er einen Quell zahlloser Illusionen und geistiger Willkürlichkeiten zu vermeiden. Der Mensch macht sich gewöhnlich gar nicht klar, von welchen Dingen seine Einfälle, seine Erinnerungen beherrscht sind und wodurch sie hervorgerufen werden. Man nehme folgenden Fall an. Jemand fährt in der Eisenbahn. Er ist mit einem Gedanken beschäftigt. Plötzlich nimmt sein Gedanke eine ganz andere Wendung. Er erinnert sich an ein Erlebnis, das er vor Jahren gehabt hat, und verspinnt es mit seinen gegenwärtigen Gedanken. Er hat nun aber gar nicht bemerkt, daß sein Auge zum Fenster hinausgerichtet und der Blick auf eine Person gerichtet war, welche Ähnlichkeit hatte mit einer anderen, die in das erinnerte Erlebnis hineinverwickelt war. Was er gesehen hat, kommt ihm gar nicht zum Bewußtsein, sondern nur die Wirkung. So glaubt er, daß ihm die Sache «von selbst eingefallen» sei. Wieviel im Leben kommt nicht auf solche Art zustande. Wie spielen in unser Leben Dinge hinein, die wir erfahren und gelesen haben, ohne daß man sich den Zusammenhang ins Bewußtsein bringt. Jemand kann zum Beispiel eine bestimmte Farbe nicht leiden; er weiß aber gar nicht, daß dies deshalb der Fall ist, weil der Lehrer, der ihn vor vielen Jahren gequält hat, einen Rock in dieser Farbe gehabt hat. Unzählige Illusionen beruhen auf solchen Zusammenhängen. Viele Dinge prägen sich der Seele ein, ohne daß sie auch dem Bewußtsein einverleibt werden. Es kann folgender Fall vorkommen. Jemand liest in der Zeitung von dem Tode einer bekannten Persönlichkeit. Und nun behauptet er ganz fest, er habe diesen Todesfall schon «gestern» vorausgeahnt, obgleich er nichts gehört und gesehen habe, was ihn auf diesen Gedanken hätte bringen können. Und es ist wahr, wie «von selbst» ist ihm «gestern» der Gedanke aufgetaucht: die betreffende Person werde sterben. Er hat nur eines nicht beachtet. Er ist ein paar Stunden, bevor ihm «gestern» der Gedanke aufgestoßen ist, bei einem Bekannten zu Besuch gewesen. Auf dem Tisch lag ein Zeitungsblatt. Er hat darin nicht gelesen. Aber unbewußt fiel doch sein Auge auf die Nachricht von der schweren Erkrankung der in Rede stehenden Persönlichkeit. Des Eindruckes ist er sich nicht bewußt geworden. Aber die Wirkung war die «Ahnung». – Wenn man sich solche Dinge überlegt, so kann man ermessen, was für eine Quelle von Illusionen und Phantastereien in solchen Verhältnissen liegt. Und diese Quelle muß derjenige verstopfen, der seine zehnblätterige Lotusblume ausbilden will. Denn durch diese Lotusblume kann man tief verborgene Eigenschaften an Seelen wahrnehmen. Aber Wahrheit ist diesen Wahrnehmungen nur dann beizumessen, wenn man von den gekennzeichneten Täuschungen ganz frei geworden ist. Es ist zu diesem Zwecke notwendig, daß man sich zum Herrn über das macht, was von der Außenwelt auf einen einwirkt. Man muß es dahin bringen, daß Eindrücke, die man nicht empfangen will, man auch wirklich nicht empfängt. Solch eine Fähigkeit kann nur durch ein starkes Innenleben herangezogen werden. Man muß es in den Willen bekommen, daß man nur die Dinge auf sich wirken läßt, auf die man die Aufmerksamkeit wendet, und daß man sich Eindrücken wirklich entzieht, an die man sich nicht willkürlich wendet. Was man sieht, muß man sehen wollen, und worauf man keine Aufmerksamkeit wendet, muß tatsächlich für einen nicht da sein. Je lebhafter, energischer die innere Arbeit der Seele wird, desto mehr wird man das erreichen. – Der Geheimschüler muß alles gedankenlose Herumschauen und Herumhören vermeiden. Für ihn soll nur da sein, worauf er Ohr und Auge richtet. Er muß sich darin üben, daß er im größten Trubel nichts zu hören braucht, wenn er nicht hören will; er soll sein Auge unempfänglich machen für Dinge, auf die er nicht besonders hinschaut. Wie mit einem seelischen Panzer muß er umgeben sein für alle unbewußten Eindrücke. – Besonders auf das Gedankenleben selbst muß er nach dieser Richtung hin Sorgfalt verwenden. Er setzt sich einen Gedanken vor, und er versucht nur das weiterzudenken, was er ganz bewußt, in völliger Freiheit, an diesen Gedanken angliedern kann. Beliebige Einfälle weist er ab. Will er den Gedanken mit irgendeinem andern in Beziehung setzen, so besinnt er sich sorgfältig, wo dieser andere an ihn herangetreten ist. – Er geht noch weiter. Wenn er zum Beispiel eine bestimmte Antipathie gegen irgend etwas hat, so bekämpft er sie und sucht eine bewußte Beziehung zu dem betreffenden Dinge herzustellen. Auf diese Art mischen sich immer weniger unbewußte Elemente in sein Seelenleben hinein. Nur durch solche strenge Selbstzucht erlangt die zehnblätterige Lotusblume die Gestalt, die sie haben sollte. Das Seelenleben des Geheimschülers muß ein Leben in Aufmerksamkeit werden, und worauf man keine Aufmerksamkeit verwenden will oder soll, das muß man sich wirklich fernzuhalten wissen. – Tritt zu einer solchen Selbstzucht eine Meditation, welche den Anweisungen der Geisteswissenschaft entspricht, dann kommt die in der Gegend der Magengrube befindliche Lotusblume in der richtigen Weise zum Reifen, und das, was durch die vorher geschilderten geistigen Sinnesorgane nur Form und Wärme hatte, erhält geistig Licht und Farbe. Und dadurch enthüllen sich zum Beispiel Talente und Fähigkeiten von Seelen, Kräfte und verborgene Eigenschaften in der Natur. Die Farbenaura der belebten Wesen wird dadurch sichtbar; das, was um uns ist, kündigt dadurch seine seelenhaften Eigenschaften an. – Man wird zugeben, daß gerade in der Entwickelung auf diesem Gebiete die allergrößte Sorgfalt notwendig ist, denn das Spiel unbewußter Erinnerungen ist hier ein unermeßlich reges. Wäre das nicht der Fall, so würden viele Menschen gerade den hier in Frage kommenden Sinn haben, denn er tritt fast sogleich auf, wenn der Mensch wirklich die Eindrücke seiner Sinne ganz und gar so in seiner Gewalt hat, daß sie nur mehr seiner Aufmerksamkeit oder Unaufmerksamkeit unterworfen sind. Nur solange die Macht der äußeren Sinne diesen seelischen Sinn in Dämpfung und Dumpfheit erhält, bleibt er unwirksam.

[ 16 ] Schwieriger als die Ausbildung der beschriebenen Lotusblume ist diejenige der sechsblätterigen, welche sich in der Körpermitte befindet. Denn zu dieser Ausbildung muß die vollkommene Beherrschung des ganzen Menschen durch das Selbstbewußtsein angestrebt werden, so daß bei ihm Leib, Seele und Geist in einer vollkommenen Harmonie sind. Die Verrichtungen des Leibes, die Neigungen und Leidenschaften der Seele, die Gedanken und Ideen des Geistes müssen in einen vollkommenen Einklang miteinander gebracht werden. Der Leib muß so veredelt und geläutert werden, daß seine Organe zu nichts drängen, was nicht im Dienste der Seele und des Geistes geschieht. Die Seele soll durch den Leib nicht zu Begierden und Leidenschaften gedrängt werden, die einem reinen und edlen Denken widersprechen. Der Geist aber soll nicht wie ein Sklavenhalter mit seinen Pflichtgeboten und Gesetzen über die Seele herrschen müssen; sondern diese soll aus eigener freier Neigung den Pflichten und Geboten folgen. Nicht wie etwas, dem er sich widerwillig fügt, soll die Pflicht über dem Geheimschüler schweben, sondern wie etwas, das er vollführt, weil er es liebt. Eine freie Seele, die im Gleichgewichte zwischen Sinnlichkeit und Geistigkeit steht, muß der Geheimschüler entwickeln. Er muß es dahin bringen, daß er sich seiner Sinnlichkeit überlassen darf, weil diese so geläutert ist, daß sie die Macht verloren hat, ihn zu sich herabzuziehen. Er soll es nicht mehr nötig haben, seine Leidenschaften zu zügeln, weil diese von selbst dem Rechten folgen. Solange der Mensch es nötig hat, sich zu kasteien, kann er nicht Geheimschüler auf einer gewissen Stufe sein. Eine Tugend, zu der man sich erst zwingen muß, ist für die Geheimschülerschaft noch wertlos. Solange man eine Begierde noch hat, stört diese die Schülerschaft, auch wenn man sich bemüht, ihr nicht zu willfahren. Und es ist einerlei, ob diese Begierde mehr dem Leibe oder mehr der Seele angehört. Wenn jemand zum Beispiel ein bestimmtes Reizmittel vermeidet, um durch die Entziehung des Genusses sich zu läutern, so hilft ihm dies nur dann, wenn sein Leib durch diese Enthaltung keine Beschwerden erleidet. Ist letzteres der Fall, so zeigt es, daß der Leib das Reizmittel begehrt, und die Enthaltung ist wertlos. In diesem Falle kann es eben durchaus sein, daß der Mensch zunächst auf das angestrebte Ziel verzichten muß und warten, bis günstigere sinnliche Verhältnisse – vielleicht erst in einem anderen Leben – für ihn vorliegen. Ein vernünftiger Verzicht ist in einer gewissen Lage eine viel größere Errungenschaft als das Erstreben einer Sache, die unter gegebenen Verhältnissen eben nicht zu erreichen ist. Ja, es fördert solch ein vernünftiger Verzicht die Entwickelung mehr als das Entgegengesetzte.

[ 17 ] Wer die sechsblätterige Lotusblume entwickelt hat, der gelangt zum Verkehr mit Wesen, die den höheren Welten angehören, jedoch nur dann, wenn deren Dasein sich in der Seelenwelt zeigt. Die Geheimschulung empfiehlt aber nicht eine Entwickelung dieser Lotusblume, bevor der Schüler nicht auf dem Wege weit vorgeschritten ist, durch den er seinen Geist in eine noch höhere Welt erheben kann. Dieser Eintritt in die eigentliche Geisteswelt muß nämlich immer die Ausbildung der Lotusblumen begleiten. Sonst gerät der Schüler in Verwirrung und Unsicherheit. Er würde zwar sehen lernen, aber es fehlte ihm die Fähigkeit, das Gesehene in der richtigen Weise zu beurteilen. – Nun liegt schon in dem, was zur Ausbildung der sechsblätterigen Lotusblume verlangt wird, eine gewisse Bürgschaft gegen Verwirrung und Haltlosigkeit. Denn nicht leicht wird jemand in diese Verwirrung zu bringen sein, der das vollkommene Gleichgewicht zwischen Sinnlichkeit (Leib), Leidenschaft (Seele) und Idee (Geist) erlangt hat. Dennoch ist noch mehr notwendig als diese Bürgschaft, wenn durch Entwickelung der sechsblätterigen Lotusblume dem Menschen Wesen mit Leben und Selbständigkeit wahrnehmbar werden, welche einer Welt angehören, die von derjenigen seiner physischen Sinne so durchaus verschieden ist. Um Sicherheit in diesen Welten zu haben, genügt ihm nicht das Ausbilden der Lotusblumen, sondern er muß da noch höhere Organe zu seiner Verfügung haben. Es soll nun über die Entwickelung dieser noch höheren Organe gesprochen werden; dann kann auch von den anderen Lotusblumen und der anderweitigen Organisation des Seelenleibes 5Es ist selbstverständlich, daß, dem Wortsinne nach, der Ausdruck «Seelenleib» (wie mancher ähnliche der Geisteswissenschaft) einen Widerspruch enthält. Doch wird dieser Ausdruck gebraucht, weil das hellseherische Erkennen etwas wahrnimmt, was so im Geistigen erlebt wird, wie im Physischen der Leib wahrgenommen wird. die Rede sein.

[ 18 ] Die Ausbildung des Seelenleibes, wie sie eben geschildert worden ist, macht dem Menschen möglich, übersinnliche Erscheinungen wahrzunehmen. Wer sich aber in dieser Welt wirklich zurechtfinden will, der darf nicht auf dieser Stufe der Entwickelung stehenbleiben. Die bloße Beweglichkeit der Lotusblumen genügt nicht. Der Mensch muß in der Lage sein, die Bewegung seiner geistigen Organe selbständig, mit vollem Bewußtsein zu regeln und zu beherrschen. Er würde sonst ein Spielball äußerlicher Kräfte und Mächte werden. Soll er das nicht werden, so muß er sich die Fähigkeit erwerben, das sogenannte «innere Wort» zu vernehmen. Um dazu zu kommen, muß nicht nur der Seelenleib, sondern auch der Ätherleib entwickelt werden. Es ist dies jener feine Leib, der sich für den Hellseher als eine Art Doppelgänger des physischen Körpers zeigt. Er ist gewissermaßen eine Zwischenstufe zwischen diesem Körper und dem Seelenleib.6Man vergleiche zu dieser Darstellung die Schilderung in des Verfassers «Theosophie». Ist man mit hellseherischen Fähigkeiten begabt, so kann man sich mit vollem Bewußtsein den physischen Körper eines Menschen, der vor einem steht, absuggerieren. Es ist das auf einer höheren Stufe nichts anderes als eine Übung der Aufmerksamkeit auf einer niedrigeren. So wie der Mensch seine Aufmerksamkeit von etwas, das vor ihm ist, ablenken kann, so daß es für ihn nicht da ist, so vermag der Hellseher einen physischen Körper für seine Wahrnehmung ganz auszulöschen, so daß er für ihn physisch ganz durchsichtig wird. Vollführt er das mit einem Menschen, der vor ihm steht, dann bleibt vor seinem seelischen Auge noch der sogenannte Ätherleib vorhanden, außer dem Seelenleibe, der größer als beide ist und der auch beide durchdringt. Der Atherleib hat annähernd die Größe und Form des physischen Leibes, so daß er ungefähr auch denselben Raum ausfüllt, den auch der physische Körper einnimmt. Er ist ein äußerst zart und fein organisiertes Gebilde.7Den Physiker bitte ich, sich an dem Ausdruck «Ätherleib» nicht zu stoßen. Mit dem Worte «Ather» soll nur die Feinheit des in Betracht kommenden Gebildes angedeutet werden. Mit dem «Athen» der physikalischen Hypothesen braucht das hier Angeführte zunächst gar nicht zusammengebracht zu werden. Seine Grundfarbe ist eine andere als die im Regenbogen enthaltenen sieben Farben. Wer ihn beobachten kann, lernt eine Farbe kennen, die für die sinnliche Beobachtung eigentlich gar nicht vorhanden ist. Sie läßt sich am ehesten mit der Farbe der jungen Pfirsichblüte vergleichen. Will man den Ätherleib ganz allein für sich betrachten, so muß man auch die Erscheinung des Seelenleibes für die Beobachtung auslöschen durch eine ähnlich geartete Übung der Aufmerksamkeit wie die oben gekennzeichnete. Tut man dies nicht, dann verändert sich der Anblick des Ätherleibes durch den ihn ganz durchdringenden Seelenleib.

[ 19 ] Nun sind beim Menschen die Teilchen des Ätherleibes in einer fortwährenden Bewegung. Zahllose Strömungen durchziehen ihn nach allen Seiten. Durch diese Strömungen wird das Leben unterhalten und geregelt. Jeder Körper, der lebt, hat einen solchen Ätherleib. Die Pflanzen und die Tiere haben ihn auch. Ja, selbst bei den Mineralien sind Spuren für den aufmerksamen Beobachter wahrnehmbar. – Die genannten Strömungen und Bewegungen sind zunächst von dem Willen und Bewußtsein des Menschen ganz unabhängig, wie die Tätigkeit des Herzens oder Magens im physischen Körper von der Willkür nicht abhängig ist. – Und solange der Mensch seine Ausbildung im Sinne der Erwerbung übersinnlicher Fähigkeiten nicht in die Hand nimmt, bleibt diese Unabhängigkeit auch bestehen. Denn gerade darin besteht die höhere Entwickelung auf einer gewissen Stufe, daß zu den vom Bewußtsein unabhängigen Strömungen und Bewegungen des Ätherleibes solche hinzutreten, welche der Mensch in bewußter Weise selbst bewirkt.

[ 20 ] Wenn die Geheimsehulung so weit gekommen ist, daß die in den vorhergehenden Abschnitten gekennzeichneten Lotusblumen sich zu bewegen beginnen, dann hat der Schüler auch bereits manches von dem vollzogen, was zur Hervorrufung ganz bestimmter Strömungen und Bewegungen in seinem Ätherkörper führt. Der Zweck dieser Entwickelung ist, daß sich in der Gegend des physischen Herzens eine Art Mittelpunkt bildet, von dem Strömungen und Bewegungen in den mannigfaltigsten geistigen Farben und Formen ausgehen. Dieser Mittelpunkt ist in Wirklichkeit kein bloßer Punkt, sondern ein ganz kompliziertes Gebilde, ein wunderbares Organ. Es leuchtet und schillert geistig in den allerverschiedensten Farben und zeigt Formen von großer Regelmäßigkeit, die sich mit Schnelligkeit verändern können. Und weitere Formen und Farbenströmungen laufen von diesem Organ nach den Teilen des übrigen Körpers und auch noch über diesen hinaus, indem sie den ganzen Seelenleib durchziehen und durchleuchten. Die wichtigsten dieser Strömungen aber gehen zu den Lotusblumen. Sie durchziehen die einzelnen Blätter derselben und regeln ihre Drehung; dann strömen sie an den Spitzen der Blätter nach außen, um sich im äußeren Raum zu verlieren. Je entwickelter ein Mensch ist, desto größer wird der Umkreis, in dem sich diese Strömungen verbreiten.

[ 21 ] In einer besonders nahen Beziehung steht die zwölfblätterige Lotusblume zu dem geschilderten Mittelpunkte. In sie laufen unmittelbar die Strömungen ein. Und durch sie hindurch gehen auf der einen Seite Strömungen zu der sechzehnblätterigen und der zweiblätterigen, auf der anderen (unteren) Seite zu den acht-, sechs- und vierblätterigen Lotusblumen. In dieser Anordnung liegt der Grund, warum auf die Ausbildung der zwölfblätterigen Lotusblume bei der Geheimschulung eine ganz besondere Sorgfalt verwendet werden muß. Würde hier etwas verfehlt, so müßte die ganze Ausbildung des Apparates eine unordentliche sein. – Man kann aus dem Gesagten ermessen, von wie zarter und intimer Art die Geheimschulung ist und wie genau man vorgehen muß, wenn alles in gehöriger Weise sich entwickeln soll. Ohne weiteres ist hieraus auch ersichtlich, daß nur derjenige über Anweisung zur Ausbildung übersinnlicher Fähigkeiten reden kann, der alles, was er an einem anderen ausbilden soll, selbst an sich erfahren hat und der vollkommen in der Lage ist zu erkennen, ob seine Anweisungen auch zu dem ganz richtigen Erfolge führen.

[ 22 ] Wenn der Geheimschüler das ausführt, was ihm durch die Anweisungen vorgeschrieben wird, dann bringt er seinem Ätherleib solche Strömungen und Bewegungen bei, welche in Harmonie stehen mit den Gesetzen und der Entwickelung der Welt, zu welcher der Mensch gehört. Daher sind die Anweisungen stets ein Abbild der großen Gesetze der Weltentwickelung. Sie bestehen in den erwähnten und ähnlichen Meditations- und Konzentrationsübungen, welche, gehörig angewendet, die geschilderten Wirkungen haben. Der Geistesschüler muß in gewissen Zeiten seine Seele ganz mit dem Inhalte der Übungen durchdringen, sich innerlich gleichsam ganz damit ausfüllen. Mit Einfachem beginnt es, was vor allem geeignet ist, das verständige und vernünftige Denken des Kopfes zu vertiefen, zu verinnerlichen. Dieses Denken wird dadurch frei und unabhängig gemacht von allen sinnlichen Eindrücken und Erfahrungen. Es wird gewissermaßen in einen Punkt zusammengefaßt, welchen der Mensch ganz in seiner Gewalt hat. Dadurch wird ein vorläufiger Mittelpunkt geschaffen für die Strömungen des Ätherleibes. Dieser Mittelpunkt ist zunächst noch nicht in der Herzgegend, sondern im Kopfe. Dem Hellseher zeigt er sich dort als Ausgangspunkt von Bewegungen. – Nur eine solche Geheimsehulung hat den vollen Erfolg, welche zuerst diesen Mittelpunkt schafft. Würde gleich vom Anfang an der Mittelpunkt in die Herzgegend verlegt, so könnte der angehende Hellseher zwar gewisse Einblicke in die höheren Welten tun; er könnte aber keine richtige Einsicht in den Zusammenhang dieser höheren Welten mit unserer sinnlichen gewinnen. Und dies ist für den Menschen auf der gegenwärtigen Stufe der Weltentwickelung eine unbedingte Notwendigkeit. Der Hellseher darf nicht zum Schwärmer werden; er muß den festen Boden unter den Füßen behalten.

[ 23 ] Der Mittelpunkt im Kopfe wird dann, wenn er gehörig befestigt ist, weiter nach unten verlegt, und zwar in die Gegend des Kehlkopfes. Das wird im weiteren Anwenden der Konzentrationsübungen bewirkt. Dann strahlen die charakterisierten Bewegungen des Ätherleibes von dieser Gegend aus. Sie erleuchten den Seelenraum in der Umgebung des Menschen.

[ 24 ] Ein weiteres Üben befähigt den Geheimschüler, die Lage seines Ätherleibes selbst zu bestimmen. Vorher ist diese Lage von den Kräften abhängig, die von außen kommen und vom physischen Körper ausgehen. Durch die weitere Entwickelung wird der Mensch imstande, den Ätherleib nach allen Seiten zu drehen. Diese Fähigkeit wird durch Strömungen bewirkt, welche ungefähr längs der beiden Hände verlaufen und die ihren Mittelpunkt in der zweiblätterigen Lotusblume in der Augengegend haben. Alles dies kommt dadurch zustande, daß sich die Strahlungen, die vom Kehlkopf ausgehen, zu runden Formen gestalten, von denen eine Anzahl zu der zweiblätterigen Lotusblusne hingehen, um von da aus als wellige Strömungen den Weg längs der Hände zu nehmen. – Eine weitere Folge besteht darin, daß sich diese Ströme in der feinsten Art verästeln und verzweigen und zu einer Art Geflecht werden, das wie ein Netzwerk (Netzhaut) zur Grenze des ganzen Ätherleibes sich umbildet. Während dieser vorher nach außen keinen Abschluß hatte, so daß die Lebensströme aus dem allgemeinen Lebensmeer unmittelbar aus- und einströmten, müssen jetzt die Einwirkungen von außen dieses Häutehen durchlaufen. Dadurch wird der Mensch für diese äußeren Strömungen empfindlich. Sie werden ihm wahrnehmbar. – Nunmehr ist auch der Zeitpunkt gekommen, um dem ganzen Strom- und Bewegungssystem den Mittelpunkt in der Herzgegend zu geben. Das geschieht wieder düreh die Fortsetzung der Konzentrations- und Meditationsübung. Und damit ist auch die Stufe erreicht, auf welcher der Mensch mit dem «inneren Wort» begabt wird. Alle Dinge erhalten nunmehr für den Menschen eine neue Bedeutung. Sie werden gewissermaßen in ihrem innersten Wesen geistig hörbar; sie sprechen von ihrem eigentlichen Wesen zu dem Menschen. Die gekennzeichneten Strömungen setzen ihn mit dem Innern der Welt in Verbindung, zu welcher er gehört. Er beginnt das Leben seiner Umgebung mitzuerleben und kann es in der Bewegung seiner Lotusblumen nachklingen lassen.

[ 25 ] Damit betritt der Mensch die geistige Welt. Ist er so weit, so gewinnt er ein neues Verständnis für dasjenige, was die großen Lehrer der Menschheit gesprochen haben. Buddhas Reden und die Evangelien zum Beispiel wirken jetzt in einer neuen Art auf ihn ein. Sie durchströmen ihn mit einer Seligkeit, die er vorher nicht geahnt hat. Denn der Ton ihrer Worte folgt den Bewegungen und Rhythmen, die er nun selbst in sich ausgebildet hat. Er kann es jetzt unmittelbar wissen, daß ein solcher Mensch wie Buddha oder die Evangeliensehreiber nicht ihre Offenbarungen, sondern diejenigen aussprechen, welche ihnen zugeflossen sind vom innersten Wesen der Dinge. – Es soll hier auf eine Tatsache aufmerksam gemacht werden, die wohl nur aus dem Vorhergehenden verständlich wird. Den Menschen unserer gegenwärtigen Bildungsstufe sind die vielen Wiederholungen in Buddhas Reden nicht recht begreiflich. Dem Geheimschüler werden sie zu etwas, worauf er gern mit seinem inneren Sinne ruht. Denn sie entsprechen gewissen Bewegungen rhythmischer Art im Ätherleib. Die Hingabe an sie in vollkommener innerer Ruhe bewirkt auch ein Zusammenklingen mit solchen Bewegungen. Und weil diese Bewegungen ein Abbild sind bestimmter Weltrhythmen, die auch in gewissen Punkten Wiederholung und regelmäßige Rückkehr zu früheren darstellen, so lebt sich im Hinhören auf die Weise Buddhas der Mensch in den Zusammenhang mit den Weltgeheimnissen hinein.

[ 26 ] In der Geisteswissenschaft wird von vier Eigenschaften gesprochen, welche sich der Mensch auf dem sogenannten Prüfungspfade erwerben muß, um zu höherer Erkenntnis aufzusteigen. Es ist die erste davon die Fähigkeit, in den Gedanken das Wahre von der Erscheinung zu scheiden, die Wahrheit von der bloßen Meinung. Die zweite Eigenschaft ist die richtige Schätzung des Wahren und Wirklichen gegenüber der Erscheinung. Die dritte Fähigkeit besteht in der – schon im vorigen Kapitel erwähnten – Ausübung der sechs Eigenschaften: Gedankenkontrolle, Kontrolle der Handlungen, Beharrlichkeit, Duldsamkeit, Glaube und Gleichmut. Die vierte ist die Liebe zur inneren Freiheit.

[ 27 ] Ein bloßes verstandesmäßiges Begreifen dessen, was in diesen Eigenschaften liegt, nützt gar nichts. Sie müssen der Seele so einverleibt werden, daß sie innere Gewohnheiten begründen. Man nehme zum Beispiel die erste Eigenschaft: Die Unterscheidung des Wahren von der Erscheinung. Der Mensch muß sich so schulen, daß er bei jeglichem Dinge, das ihm gegenübertritt, ganz wie selbstverständlich unterscheidet zwischen dem, was unwesentlich ist, und dem, was Bedeutung hat. Man kann sich so nur schulen, wenn man in aller Ruhe und Geduld bei seinen Beobachtungen der Außenwelt immer wieder die dahin gehenden Versuche macht. Zuletzt haftet in natürlicher Weise der Blick ebenso an dem Wahren, wie er vorher an dem Unwesentlichen sich befriedigt hat. «Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis»: diese Wahrheit wird zu einer selbstverständlichen Überzeugung der Seele. Und so wird es mit den anderen der genannten vier Eigenschaften zu halten sein.

[ 28 ] Nun verwandelt sich tatsächlich der feine Ätherleib des Menschen unter dem Einfluß dieser vier Seelengewohnheiten. Durch die erste «Unterscheidung des Wahren von der Erscheinung» wird der gekennzeichnete Mittelpunkt im Kopfe erzeugt und der im Kehlkopf vorbereitet. Zur wirklichen Ausbildung sind dann allerdings die Konzentrationsübungen notwendig, von denen oben gesprochen worden ist. Sie bilden aus, und die vier Gewohnheiten bringen zur Reife. – Ist der Mittelpunkt in der Gegend des Kehlkopfes vorbereitet, dann wird jene angedeutete freie Beherrschung des Ätherleibes und sein Überziehen und Begrenzen mit dem Netzhautgeflecht bewirkt durch die richtige Schätzung des Wahren gegenüber der unwesentlichen Erscheinung. Bringt es der Mensch zu solcher Schätzung, dann werden ihm allmählich die geistigen Tatsachen wahrnehmbar. Er soll aber nicht glauben, daß er bloß Handlungen zu vollziehen hat, welche vor einer verstandesmäßigen Schätzung als bedeutungsvoll erscheinen. Die geringste Handlung, jeder kleine Handgriff hat etwas Bedeutungsvolles im großen Haushalte des Weltganzen, und es kommt nur darauf an, ein Bewußtsein von dieser Bedeutung zu haben. Nicht auf Unterschätzung, sondern auf richitige Einschätzung der alltäglichen Verrichtungen des Lebens kommt es an. – Von den sechs Tugenden, aus denen sich die dritte Eigenschaft zusammensetzt, ist bereits gesprochen worden. Sie hängen zusammen mit der Ausbildung der zwölf blätterigen Lotusblume in der Herzgegend. Dahin muß ja, wie gezeigt worden ist, in der Tat der Lebensstrom des Ätherleibes geleitet werden. Die vierte Eigenschaft: das Verlangen nach Befreiung, dient dann dazu, das Ätherorgan in der Nähe des Herzens zur Reifung zu bringen. Wird diese Eigenschaft zur Seelengewohnheit, dann befreit sich der Mensch von allem, was nur mit den Fähigkeiten seiner persönlichen Natur zusammenhängt. Er hört auf, die Dinge von seinem Sonderstandpunkte aus zu betrachten. Die Grenzen seines engen Selbst, die ihn an diesen Standpunkt fesseln, verschwinden. Die Geheimnisse der geistigen Welt erhalten Zugang zu seinem Inneren. Dies ist die Befreiung. Denn jene Fesseln zwingen den Menschen, die Dinge und Wesen so anzusehen, wie es seiner persönlichen Art entspricht. Von dieser persönlichen Art, die Dinge zu betrachten, muß der Geheimschüler unabhängig, frei werden.

[ 29 ] Man sieht hieraus, daß die Vorschriften, welche von der Geisteswissenschaft ausgehen, tief in die innerste Menschennatur hinein bestimmend wirken. Und die Vorschriften über die vier genannten Eigenschaften sind solche Vorschriften. Sie finden sich in der einen oder der anderen Form in allen mit der Geisteswelt rechnenden Weltanschauungen. Nicht aus einem dunklen Gefühl heraus haben die Begründer solcher Weltanschauungen solche Vorschriften den Menschen gegeben. Sie haben das vielmehr aus dem Grunde getan, weil sie große Eingeweihte waren. Aus der Erkenntnis heraus haben sie ihre sittlichen Vorschriften geformt. Sie wußten, wie diese auf die feinere Natur des Menschen wirken, und wollten, daß die Bekenner diese feinere Natur allmählich zur Ausbildung bringen. Im Sinne solcher Weltanschauungen leben, heißt an seiner eigenen geistigen Vervollkommnung arbeiten. Und nur wenn der Mensch das tut, dient er dem Weltganzen. Sich vervollkommnen ist keineswegs Selbstsucht. Denn der unvollkommene Mensch ist auch ein unvollkommener Diener der Menschheit und der Welt. Man dient dem Ganzen um so besser, je vollkommener man selbst ist. Hier gilt es: «Wenn die Rose selbst sich schmückt, schmückt sie auch den Garten.»

[ 30 ] Die Begründer der bedeutungsvollen Weltanschauungen sind dadurch die großen Eingeweihten. Das, was von ihnen kommt, fließt in die Menschenseelen hinein. Und dadurch kommt mit der Menschheit die ganze Welt vorwärts. Ganz bewußt haben die Eingeweihten an diesem Entwickelungsprozeß der Menschheit gearbeitet. Nur dann versteht man den Inhalt ihrer Anweisungen, wenn man beachtet, daß diese aus der Erkenntnis der tiefinnersten Menschennatur heraus geschöpft sind. Große Erkenner waren die Eingeweihten, und aus ihrer Erkenntnis heraus haben sie die Ideale der Menschheit geprägt. Der Mensch aber kommt diesen Führern nahe, wenn er sich in seiner eigenen Entwickelung zu ihren Höhen erhebt.

[ 31 ] Wenn bei einem Menschen die Ausbildung des Ätherleibes in der Art begonnen hat, wie das im Vorangegangenen beschrieben ist, dann erschließt sich ihm ein völlig neues Leben. Und er muß durch die Geheimsehulung zur richtigen Zeit die Aufklärungen erhalten, welche ihn befähigen, sich in diesem neuen Leben zurechtzufinden. Er sieht zum Beispiel durch die sechzehnblätterige Lotusblume geistig Gestalten einer höheren Welt. Nun muß er sich klarmachen, wie verschieden diese Gestalten sind, je nachdem sie von diesen oder jenen Gegenständen oder Wesen verursacht sind. Das erste, worauf er die Aufmerksamkeit wenden kann, ist, daß er auf eine gewisse Art dieser Gestalten durch seine eigenen Gedanken und Empfindungen einen starken Einfluß ausüben kann, auf andere gar nicht oder doch nur in geringem Maße. Eine Art der Figuren ändert sich sofort, wenn der Betrachter bei ihrem Auftreten den Gedanken hat: «das ist schön», und dann im Laufe der Anschauung diesen Gedanken ändert in diesen: «das ist nützlich». – Besonders haben die Gestalten, welche von Mineralien oder künstlich gemachten Gegenständen herrühren, die Eigentümlichkeit, daß sie sich durch jeden Gedanken oder jedes Gefühl, das ihnen der Beschauer entgegenbringt, ändern. In geringerem Maße ist das schon der Fall bei den Gestalten, welche Pflanzen zukommen; und noch weniger findet es statt bei denen, welche Tieren entsprechen. Auch diese Gestalten sind beweglich und voll Leben. Aber diese Beweglichkeit rührt nur zum Teil von dem Einfluß der menschlichen Gedanken und Empfindungen her, zum anderen Teile wird sie durch Ursachen bewirkt, auf welche der Mensch keinen Einfluß hat. Nun tritt aber innerhalb dieser ganzen Gestaltenwelt eine Sorte von Formen auf, welche der Einwirkung von seiten des Menschen selbst zunächst fast ganz entzogen sind. Der Geheimschüler kann sich davon überzeugen, daß diese Gestalten weder von Mineralien noch von künstlichen Gegenständen, auch nicht von Pflanzen oder Tieren herrühren. Er muß nun, um völlig ins klare zu kommen, die Gestalten betracbten, von denen er wissen kann, daß sie durch die Gefühle, Triebe, Leidenschaften und so weiter von anderen Menschen verursacht werden. Aber auch diesen Gestalten gegenüber kann er finden, daß seine eigenen Gedanken und Empfindungen noch einigen, wenn auch verhältnismäßig geringen Einfluß haben. Es bleibt innerhalb der Gestaltenwelt immer ein Rest, auf den dieser Einfluß verschwindend gering ist. – Ja, dieser Rest bildet im Anfange der Laulbahn des Geheimschülers sogar einen sehr großen Teil dessen, was er überhaupt sieht. Über die Natur dieses Teiles kann er sich nun nur aufklären, wenn er sich selbst beobachtet. Da findet er, welche Gestalten durch ihn selbst bewirkt worden sind. Das, was er selbst tut, will, wünscht und so weiter, kommt in diesen Gestalten zum Ausdruck. Ein Trieb, der in ihm wohnt, eine Begierde, die er hat, eine Absicht, die er hegt, und so weiter: alles das zeigt sich in solchen Gestalten. Ja, sein ganzer Charakter prägt sich in einer solchen Gestaltenwelt aus. Der Mensch kann somit durch seine bewußten Gedanken und Gefühle einen Einfluß auf alle Gestalten ausüben, welche nicht von ihm selbst ausgehen; auf diejenigen Figuren aber, die er durch sein eigenes Wesen in der höheren Welt bewirkt, hat er keinen Einfluß mehr, sobald sie durch ihn geschaffen worden sind. Es geht nun aus dem Gesagten auch hervor, daß in der höheren Anschauung das menschliche Innere, die eigene Trieb-, Begierden- und Vorstellungswelt sich genauso in äußeren Figuren zeigt wie andere Gegenstände und Wesenheiten. Die Innenwelt wird für die höhere Erkenntnis zu einem Teile der Außenwelt. Wie wenn man in der physischen Welt von allen Seiten mit Spiegeln umgeben wäre und so seine leibliche Gestalt beschauen könnte, so tritt in einer höheren Welt die seelische Wesenheit des Menschen diesem als Spiegelbild entgegen.

[ 32 ] Auf dieser Entwickelungsstufe ist für den Geheimschüler der Zeitpunkt eingetreten, in dem er die Illusion, welche aus der persönlichen Begrenztheit stammt, überwindet. Er kann jetzt das, was innerhalb seiner Persönlichkeit ist, beobachten als Außenwelt, wie er früher als Außenwelt betrachtete, was auf seine Sinne einwirkte. So lernt er allmählich durch die Erfahrung sich so behandeln, wie er früher die Wesen um sich her behandelte.

[ 33 ] Würde des Menschen Blick in diese Geisteswelten geöffnet, ehe er in genügender Art auf deren Wesen vorbereitet worden ist, so stünde er zunächst vor dem charakterisierten Gemälde seiner eigenen Seele wie vor einem Rätsel. Die Gestalten seiner eigenen Triebe und Leidenschaften treten ihm da entgegen in Formen, welche er als tierische oder – seltener – auch als menschliche empfindet. Zwar sind die Tiergestalten dieser Welt niemals ganz gleich denen der physischen Welt, aber sie haben doch eine entfernte Ähnlichkeit. Von ungeübten Beobachtern werden sie wohl auch für gleich gehalten. – Man muß sich nun, wenn man diese Welt betritt, eine ganz neue Art des Urteilens aneignen. Denn abgesehen davon, daß die Dinge, die eigentlich dem menschlichen Innern angehören, als Außenwelt erscheinen, treten sie auch noch als das Spiegelbild dessen auf, was sie wirklich sind. Wenn man zum Beispiel eine Zahl da erblickt, so muß man sie umgekehrt als Spiegelbild lesen. 265 zum Beispiel bedeutet in Wahrheit hier 562. Eine Kugel sieht man so, wie wenn man in ihrem Mittelpunkt wäre. Man hat sich dann diese Innenansicht erst in der richtigen Art zu übersetzen. Aber auch seelische Eigenschaften erscheinen als Spiegelbild. Ein Wunsch, der sich auf etwas Äußeres bezieht, tritt als eine Gestalt auf, die zu dem Wünschenden selbst sich hinbewegt. Leidenschaften, welche in der niederen Natur des Menschen ihren Sitz haben, können die Form von Tieren oder ähnliche Gestaltungen annehmen, die sich auf den Menschen losstürzen. In Wirklichkeit streben ja diese Leidenschaften nach außen; sie suchen den Gegenstand ihrer Befriedigung in der Außenwelt. Aber dieses Suchen nach außen stellt sich im Spiegelbild als Angriff auf den Träger der Leidenschaft dar.

[ 34 ] Wenn der Geheimschüler, bevor er zu höherem Schauen aufsteigt, durch ruhige, sachliche Selbstbeobachtung seine eigenen Eigenschaften selber kennengelernt hat, dann wird er auch in dem Augenblicke, da ihm sein Inneres im äußeren Spiegelbilde entgegentritt, Mut und Kraft finden, um sich in der richtigen Art zu verhalten. Menschen, welche sich durch solche Selbstprüfung nicht genügend mit dem eigenen Inneren bekannt gemacht haben, werden sich in ihrem Spiegelbilde nicht erkennen und dieses dann für fremde Wirklichkeit halten. Auch werden sie durch den Anblick ängstlich und reden sich, weil sie die Sache nicht ertragen können, ein, das Ganze sei nur phantastisches Erzeugnis, das zu nichts führen könne. In beiden Fällen stünde der Mensch durch sein unreifes Ankommen auf einer gewissen Entwickelungsstufe der eigenen höheren Ausbildung verhängnisvoll im Wege.

[ 35 ] Es ist durchaus notwendig, daß der Geheimschüler durch den geistigen Anblick seiner eigenen Seele hindurchgehe, um zu Höherem vorzudringen. Denn im eigenen Selbst hat er ja doch dasjenige Geistig-Seelische, das er am besten beurteilen kann. Hat er sich von seiner Persönlichkeit in der physischen Welt zunächst eine tüchtige Erkenntnis erworben und tritt ihm zuerst das Bild dieser Persönlichkeit in der höheren Welt entgegen, dann kann er beides vergleichen. Er kann das Höhere auf ein ihm Bekanntes beziehen und vermag so von einem festen Boden auszugehen. Wenn ihm dagegen noch so viele andere geistige Wesenheiten entgegenträten, so vermöchte er sich doch über ihre Eigenart und Wesenheit zunächst keinen Aufschluß zu geben. Er würde bald den Boden unter den Füßen schwinden fühlen. Es kann daher gar nicht oft genug betont werden, daß der sichere Zugang zur höheren Welt derjenige ist, der über die gediegene Erkenntnis und Beurteilung der eigenen Wesenheit führt.

[ 36 ] Geistige Bilder sind es also, welchen der Mensch zunächst auf seiner Bahn zur höheren Welt begegnet. Denn die Wirklichkeit, welche diesen Bildern entspricht, ist ja in ihm selbst. Reif muß demnach der Geheimschüler sein, um auf dieser ersten Stufe nicht derbe Realitäten zu verlangen, sondern die Bilder als das Richtige zu betrachten. Aber innerhalb dieser Bilderwelt lernt er bald etwas Neues kennen. Sein niederes Selbst ist nur als Spiegelgemälde vor ihm vorhanden; aber mitten in diesem Spiegelgemälde erscheint die wahre Wirklichkeit des höheren Selbst. Aus dem Bilde der niederen Persönlichkeit heraus wird die Gestalt des geistigen Ich sichtbar. Und erst von dem letzteren aus spinnen sich die Fäden zu anderen höheren geistigen Wirklichkeiten.

[ 37 ] Und nun ist die Zeit gekommen, um die zweiblätterige Lotusblume in der Augengegend zu gebrauchen. Fängt sie an sich zu bewegen, so findet der Mensch die Möglichkeit, sein höheres Ich mit übergeordneten geistigen Wesenheiten in Verbindung zu setzen. Die Ströme, welche von dieser Lotusblume ausgehen, bewegen sich so zu höheren Wirklichkeiten hin, daß die entsprechenden Bewegungen dem Menschen völlig bewußt sind. Wie das Licht dem Auge die physischen Gegenstände sichtbar macht, so diese Strömungen die geistigen Wesen höherer Welten.

[ 38 ] Durch Versenkung in der Geisteswissenschaft entstammendc Vorstellungen, welche Grundwahrheiten enthalten, lernt der Schüler die Strömungen der Augenlotusblume in Bewegung setzen und dirigieren.

[ 39 ] Was gesunde Urteilskraft, klare, logische Schulung ist, das erweist sich ganz besonders auf dieser Stufe der Entwickelung. Man muß nur bedenken, daß da das höhere Selbst, das bisher keimhaft, unbewußt im Menschen geschlummert hat, zu bewußtem Dasein geboren wird. Nicht etwa bloß im bildlichen, sondern in ganz wirklichem Sinne hat man es mit einer Geburt in der geistigen Welt zu tun. Und das geborene Wesen, das höhere Selbst, muß mit allen notwendigen Organen und Anlagen zur Welt kommen, wenn es lebensfähig sein soll. Wie die Natur vorsorgen muß, daß ein Kind mit wohlgebildeten Ohren und Augen zur Welt komme, so müssen die Gesetze der Eigenentwickelung eines Menschen Sorge tragen, daß sein höheres Selbst mit den notwendigen Fähigkeiten ins Dasein trete. Und diese Gesetze, welche die Ausbildung der höheren Organe des Geistes selbst besQrgen, sind keine anderen als die gesunden Vernunft- und Moralgesetze der physischen Welt. Wie im Mutterschoße das Kind reift, so im physischen Selbst der geistige Mensch. Die Gesundheit des Kindes hängt von normaler Wirksamkeit der Naturgesetze im Mutterschoße ab. Die Gesundheit des geistigen Menschen ist in gleicher Art von den Gesetzen des gewöhnlichen Verstandes und der im physischen Leben wirksamen Vernunft bedingt. Niemand kann ein gesundes höheres Selbst gebären, der nicht in der physischen Welt gesund lebt und denkt. Natur- und vernunftgemäßes Leben sind die Grundlage aller wahren Geistesentwickelung. – Wie das Kind im Schoße der Mutter schon nach den Naturkräften lebt, die es nach seiner Geburt mit seinen Sinnesorganen wahrnimmt, so lebt das höhere Selbst des Menschen nach den Gesetzen der geistigen Welt schon während des physischen Daseins. Und wie das Kind aus einem dunklen Lebensgefühl heraus sich die entsprechenden Kräfte aneignet, so kann es der Mensch mit den Kräften der geistigen Welt, bevor sein höheres Selbst geboren wird. Ja, er muß dies tun, wenn dies letztere als vollentwickeltes Wesen zur Welt kommen soll. Es wäre nicht richtig, wenn jemand sagte: ich kann die Lehren der Geisteswissenschaft nicht annehmen, bevor ich nicht selbst sehe. Denn ohne die Vertiefung in die Geistesforschung kann er überhaupt nicht zu wahrer höherer Erkenntnis kommen. Er wäre dann in derselben Lage wie ein Kind im Mutterschoße, das verweigerte, die Kräfte zu gebrauchen, die ihm durch die Mutter zukommen, und warten wollte, bis es sich dieselben selbst verschaffen kann. So wie der Kindeskeim im Lebensgefühl die Richtigkeit des Dargereichten erfährt, so der noch nicht sehende Mensch die Wahrheit der Lehren der Geisteswissenschaft. Es gibt eine Einsicht, die auf Wahrheitsgefühl und klare, gesunde, allseitig urteilende Vernunft gebaut ist, in diese Lehren, auch wenn man die geistigen Dinge noch nicht schaut. Man muß die mystischen Erkenntnisse zuerst lernen und sich eben gerade durch dieses Lernen zum Schauen vorbereiten. Ein Mensch, der zum Schauen käme, bevor er in dieser Art gelernt hat, gliche einem Kinde, das wohl mit Augen und Ohren, aber ohne Gehirn geboren wäre. Es breitete sich die ganze Farben- und Tonwelt vor ihm aus; aber es könnte nichts damit anfangen.

[ 40 ] Was also dem Menschen vorher durch sein Wahrheitsgefühl, durch Verstand und Vernunft einleuchtend war, das wird auf der geschilderten Stufe der Geheimschülerschaft eigenes Erlebnis. Er hat jetzt ein unmittelbares Wissen von seinem höheren Selbst. Und er lernt erkennen, daß dieses höhere Selbst mit geistigen Wesenheiten höherer Art zusammenhängt und mit ihnen eine Einheit bildet. Er sieht also, wie das niedere Selbst aus einer höheren Welt herstammt. Und es zeigt sich ihm, daß seine höhere Natur die niedere überdauert. Er kann nunmehr selbst sein Vergängliches von seinem Bleibenden unterscheiden. Das heißt nichts anderes, als er lernt die Lehre von der Einkörperung (Inkarnation) des höheren Selbst in ein niederes aus eigener Anschauung verstehen. Es wird ihm jetzt klar, daß er in einem höheren geistigen Zusammenhange darinnen steht, daß seine Eigenschaften, seine Schicksale durch diesen Zusammenhang verursacht sind. Er lernt das Gesetz seines Lebens, Karma, erkennen. Er sieht ein, daß sein niederes Selbst, wie es gegenwärtig sein Dasein ausmacht, nur eine der Gestalten ist, die sein höheres Wesen annehmen kann. Und er erblickt die Möglichkeit vor sich, von seinem höheren Selbst aus an sich zu arbeiten, auf daß er vollkommener und immer vollkommener werde. Er kann nunmehr auch die großen Unterschiede der Menschen hinsichtlich ihrer Vollkommenheitsgrade einsehen. Er wird gewahr, daß es über ihm stehende Menschen gibt, welche die noch vor ihm liegenden Stufen schon erreicht haben. Er sieht ein, daß die Lehren und Taten solcher Menschen von den Eingebungen aus einer höheren Welt herrühren. Dies verdankt er seinem ersten eigenen Blick in diese höhere Welt. Was man «große Eingeweihte der Menschheit» nennt, wird jetzt beginnen, für ihn Tatsache zu werden.

[ 41 ] Das sind die Gaben, die der Geheimschüler dieser Stufe seiner Entwickelung verdankt: Einsicht in das höhere Selbst, in die Lehre von der Einkörperung oder Inkarnation dieses höheren Selbst in ein niederes, in das Gesetz, wonach das Leben in der physischen Welt geregelt wird nach geistigen Zusammenhängen – Karmagesetz –, und endlich in das Dasein großer Eingeweihter.

[ 42 ] Man sagt deshalb auch von einem Schüler, der diese Stufe erreicht hat, daß ihm der Zweifel völlig geschwunden sei. Konnte er sich vorher einen auf Vernunftgründe und gesundes Denken gebauten Glauben aneignen, so tritt jetzt an die Stelle dieses Glaubens das volle Wissen und die durch nichts zu erschütternde Einsicht.

[ 43 ] Die Religionen haben in ihren Zeremonien, Sakramenten und Riten äußerlich sichtbare Abbilder höherer geistiger Vorgänge und Wesen gegeben. Nur wer die Tiefen der großen Religionen noch nicht durchschaut hat, kann diese verkennen. Wer aber in die geistige Wirklichkeit selbst hineinschaut, der wird auch die große Bedeutung jener äußerlich sichtbaren Handlungen verstehen. Und für ihn wird dann der religiöse Dienst selbst ein Abbild seines Verkehrs mit der geistig übergeordneten Welt.

[ 44 ] Man sieht, in welcher Art der Geheimschüler durch Erreichung dieser Stufe wirklich ein neuer Mensch geworden ist. Er kann nun allmählich dazu heranreifen, durch die Strömungen seines Ätherkörpers das eigentliche höhere Lebenselement zu dirigieren und damit eine hohe Freiheit von seinem physischen Körper zu erlangen.

On some of the effects of initiation

[ 1 ] It is one of the principles of true secret science that those who dedicate themselves to it do so with full awareness. He should not undertake or practise anything that he does not know what effect it will have. A secret teacher who gives advice or instruction to someone will always say at the same time what will happen to the body, soul or spirit of the one who strives for higher knowledge by following it.

[ 2 ] Here are some of the effects on the soul of the secret disciple. Only he who knows such things as they are communicated here can undertake in full consciousness the exercises which lead to the knowledge of supersensible worlds. And only such a person is a true student of the secret. All groping in the dark is strictly frowned upon in real secret training. Those who do not want to complete their training with their eyes open may become mediums; they cannot become clairvoyants in the sense of secret science.

[ 3 ] For those who perform the exercises described in the previous sections (on the acquisition of psychic knowledge), certain changes first take place in the so-called soul organism. This can only be perceived by the clairvoyant. It can be compared to a more or less spiritually-spiritually luminous cloud, in the middle of which is the physical body of the human being.1A description can be found in the author's "Theosophy" The drives, desires, passions, ideas and so on become spiritually visible in this organism. Sensual desire, for example, is felt in it like dark reddish radiations of a certain form. A pure, noble thought finds its expression as in a reddish-purple radiance. The sharp concept that the logical thinker grasps feels like a yellowish figure with very definite outlines. The confused thought of the unclear head appears as a figure with indeterminate outlines. The thoughts of people with one-sided, stubborn views appear sharp, immovable in their outlines, those of such personalities who are accessible to the views of others are seen in moving, changing outlines, and so on, and so on.2In all the following descriptions, one must pay attention to the fact that, for example, when "seeing" a colorspiritual seeing (looking) is meant. When clairvoyant insight says: "I see red" this means: "I have an experience in the soul-spiritual which is equal to the physical experience of the impression of the red color." This expression is only used because it is quite natural for clairvoyant cognition to say: "I see red". Anyone who does not consider this can easily confuse a color vision with a truly clairvoyant experience.

[ 4 ] The further a person progresses in his soul development, the more regularly structured his soul organism becomes. In a person with an undeveloped soul life, it is confused, unstructured. But even in such an unstructured soul organism, the clairvoyant can perceive a structure that stands out clearly from its surroundings. It runs from the inside of the head to the center of the physical body. It looks like a kind of independent body which has certain organs. The organs that will be discussed here first are spiritually perceived in the vicinity of the following physical body parts: the first between the eyes, the second near the larynx, the third in the region of the heart, the fourth lies in the neighborhood of the so-called pit of the stomach, the fifth and sixth have their seat in the lower body. These formations are called "wheels" (chakrams) or "lotus flowers" by those in the know. They are so called because of their resemblance to wheels or flowers; but of course one must realize that such an expression is not much more accurate than calling the two parts of the lungs "lungs". Just as it is clear here that we are not dealing with "wings", we must also think of a comparable designation there. Now these "lotus flowers" in the undeveloped human being are of dark colors and calm, motionless. In the clairvoyant, however, they are in motion and of bright shades of color. Something similar is also the case with the medium, but in a different way. We will not go into this in detail here. - Now when a secret disciple begins his exercises, the first thing that happens is that the lotus flowers brighten; later they begin to turn. When the latter occurs, the ability to see heli begins. For these "flowers" are the sensory organs of the soul.3What has been said in the previous note about "seeing colors" also applies to these perceptions of "turning", indeed of the "lotus flowers" themselves. And their turning is the expression of perception in the supersensible. No one can see anything supersensible until his astral senses have developed in this way.

[ 5 ] The spiritual sense organ, which is located near the larynx, makes it possible to clairvoyantly see through the type of thought of another soul being; it also allows a deeper insight into the true laws of natural phenomena. - The organ in the vicinity of the heart opens up a clairvoyant insight into the mindset of other souls. Those who have developed it can also recognize certain deeper forces in animals and plants. Through the sense near the so-called pit of the stomach, one gains knowledge of the capabilities and talents of souls; one can see through what role animals, plants, stones, metals, atmospheric phenomena and so on play in the household of nature.

[ 6 ] The organ near the larynx has sixteen "petals" or "wheel spokes", the one near the heart has twelve, and the one near the pit of the stomach has ten.

[ 7 ] Now certain mental functions are connected with the development of these sense organs. And whoever performs these activities in a very specific way contributes something to the development of the relevant spiritual sense organs. Eight leaves of the "sixteen-petaled lotus flower" were already formed at an earlier stage of human development in the distant past. Man himself contributed nothing to this formation. He received them as a gift of nature when he was still in a state of dreamlike, dull consciousness. At that stage of human development they were also active. However, this kind of activity was only compatible with that dull state of consciousness. When the consciousness brightened, the leaves darkened and ceased their activity. The other eight can be developed by man himself through conscious practice. This makes the whole lotus flower luminous and flexible. The acquisition of certain abilities depends on the development of each of the sixteen petals. But, as already indicated, man can only develop eight of them consciously; the other eight then appear of their own accord.

[ 8 ] The development proceeds in the following way. Man must give attention and care to certain processes of the soul which he usually carries out carelessly and inattentively. There are eight such processes. The first is the way of acquiring ideas. In this respect man usually leaves himself entirely to chance. He hears this and that, sees one thing and another, and forms his concepts accordingly. As long as he proceeds in this way, his sixteen-petaled lotus flower remains quite ineffective. Only when he takes charge of his self-education in this direction does it begin to become effective. For this purpose he must pay attention to his ideas. Every idea should gain meaning for him. He should see in it a certain message, a message about things in the outside world. And he should not be satisfied by ideas that do not have such a meaning. He should direct his whole conceptual life in such a way that it becomes a faithful mirror of the outside world. He should strive to remove incorrect ideas from his soul. - The second soul process concerns man's decisions in a similar direction. He should only decide on the most insignificant things out of well-founded, full consideration. He should keep away from his soul all thoughtless action, all meaningless activity. He should have well-considered reasons for everything. And he should refrain from doing what no important reason urges him to do. - The third process relates to speech. Only what has meaning and significance should come from the lips of the secret disciple. All talking for the sake of talking leads him astray. The secret disciple should avoid the usual kind of conversation, where everything is talked about randomly and colorfully. But he should not exclude himself from intercourse with his fellow men. It is precisely in conversation that his speech should develop into meaningfulness. He answers everyone's questions, but he does so thoughtfully, considering every direction. He never speaks without reason. He does not try to say too much or too little. - The fourth soul process is the regulation of external action. The secret disciple tries to arrange his actions in such a way that they harmonize with the actions of his fellow human beings and the events of his environment. He refrains from actions which are disturbing to others or which contradict what is going on around him. He tries to arrange his actions in such a way that they fit harmoniously into his surroundings, his situation in life and so on. Where he is prompted to act by something else, he carefully observes how he can best respond to the prompting. Where he acts of his own accord, he considers the effects of his action most clearly. - The fifth thing to be considered here lies in the organization of the whole life. The secret disciple tries to live in accordance with nature and the spirit. He does not rush into anything and is not indolent. He is equally distant from busyness and laxity. He sees life as a means of work and arranges himself accordingly. He arranges his health care, habits and so on in such a way that a harmonious life is the result. - The sixth concerns human endeavor. The secret disciple examines his abilities, his skills and behaves in the sense of such self-knowledge. He tries to do nothing that lies outside his powers, but also to refrain from doing anything that lies within them. On the other hand, he sets himself goals that are connected with the ideals, with the great duties of a human being. He does not merely insert himself thoughtlessly as a wheel in the human engine, but seeks to understand his tasks, to look beyond the everyday. He strives to make his duties ever better and more perfect. - The seventh aspect of his spiritual life concerns his striving to learn as much as possible from life. Nothing passes the secret disciple by that does not give him an opportunity to gain experience that is useful to him in life. If he has done something incorrectly and imperfectly, this becomes an opportunity to do something similar correctly or perfectly later on. If he sees others acting, he observes them to a similar end. He tries to gather a wealth of experience and always consult it carefully. And he does nothing without looking back on experiences that can help him in his decisions and actions. - Finally, the eighth is: the secret disciple must from time to time look into his inner self; he must immerse himself in himself, carefully consult with himself, form and examine his principles of life, go through his knowledge in thought, consider his duties, reflect on the content and purpose of life, and so on. All these things have already been discussed in the previous sections. They are only listed here with regard to the development of the sixteen-petaled lotus flower. By practicing them, it becomes more and more perfect. For the development of the gift of clairvoyance depends on such exercises. For example, the more a person's thoughts and words coincide with events in the outside world, the faster this gift will develop. Whoever thinks or speaks untruthful things kills something in the seed of the sixteen-petaled lotus flower. In this respect, truthfulness, sincerity and honesty are constructive forces; falsehood, dishonesty and dishonesty are destructive forces. And the secret disciple must know that it is not only the "good intention" that is important here, but the actual deed. If I think and say something that does not correspond to reality, I am destroying something in my spiritual sense organ, even if I believe I have a good intention. It is like a child that burns itself when it reaches into the fire, even if this happens out of ignorance. - The arrangement of the soul processes in the direction described above makes the sixteen-petalled lotus flower glow in glorious colors and gives it a lawful movement. - It should be noted, however, that the characterized clairvoyance cannot appear before a certain degree of training of the soul has been attained. As long as it is still difficult to lead life in this direction, this gift will not manifest itself. As long as one still has to pay special attention to the processes described, one is not mature. Only when one has come so far that one lives in the indicated manner, as man otherwise habitually does, do the first traces of clairvoyance appear. Things must then no longer be laborious, but must have become a natural way of life. There must be no need to constantly observe oneself, to urge oneself to live like this. Everything must have become a habit. - There are certain instructions that make the sixteen-petaled lotus flower unfold in a different way. The true secret science rejects all such instructions. For they lead to the destruction of bodily health and to moral ruin. They are easier to carry out than what has been described. This is tedious and laborious. But it leads to a sure goal and can only strengthen morally.

[ 9 ] The distorted training of a lotus flower results not only in illusions and fantastic ideas in the case of the appearance of a certain clairvoyant gift, but also in aberrations and unsteadiness in ordinary life. One can become fearful, envious, vain, arrogant, self-willed and so on through such training, whereas before one had none of these qualities. - It has been said that eight of the petals of the sixteen-petaled lotus flower were already developed in the distant past and that they reappear by themselves in secret training. All care must now be given to the eight other petals in the endeavors of the secret disciple. If the training is wrong, the earlier developed ones will easily appear alone and the new ones to be formed will remain atrophied. This will especially be the case if too little attention is paid to logical, rational thinking during training. It is of the utmost importance that the secret disciple is an intelligent person who thinks clearly. And it is of further importance that he should make an effort to speak with the greatest clarity. People who begin to suspect something of the supersensible like to talk about these things. In this way they arrest their proper development. The less one talks about these things, the better it is. Only those who have reached a certain degree of clarity should talk.

[ 10 ] At the beginning of the lesson, secret students are usually amazed at how little "curiosity" the already spiritually trained person has towards the communication of their experiences. It would be most beneficial for them if they were to remain completely silent about their experiences and discuss nothing more than how well or how badly they succeed in carrying out their exercises or following the instructions. For those who are already spiritually trained have completely different sources for assessing their progress than their direct reports. The eight leaves of the sixteen-petaled lotus flower in question are always somewhat hardened by such messages, whereas they should be kept soft and pliable. An example will be given to illustrate this. Let this be taken not from the supernatural, but for the sake of clarity from ordinary life. Suppose I hear a message and immediately form a judgment about it. A short time later I receive another message about the same thing which does not correspond to the first. This forces me to change the judgment I have already formed. The consequence of this is an unfavorable influence on my sixteen-petalled lotus flower. The situation would be quite different if I had initially been cautious with my judgment, if I had remained "silent" about the whole matter inwardly in my thoughts and outwardly in my words until I had completely reliable evidence for my judgment. Caution in forming and expressing judgments gradually becomes a special characteristic of the secret disciple. On the other hand, his receptivity to impressions and experiences grows, which he silently lets pass him by in order to create as many points of reference as possible when he has to judge. There are bluish-reddish and rose-red nuances in the lotus petals that appear through such caution, while in the other case dark red and orange-colored nuances appear. In a similar way to the sixteen-petalled 4The knowledgeable person will recognize in the conditions for the development of the "sixteen-petalled lotus flower" the instructions that the Buddha gave his disciples for the "path". However, it is not a question here of teaching "Buddhism", but of describing the conditions for development that arise from spiritual science itself. The fact that they agree with certain teachings of the Buddha cannot prevent us from finding them to be true in themselves. The twelve-petaled lotus flower, near the heart, is also depicted. Half of its petals were already present and active in a past state of human development. These six petals therefore do not need to be specially formed during the secret training; they appear of their own accord and begin to turn when work is done on the other six. - Again, in order to promote this development, the human being must consciously give certain soul activities a certain direction.

[ 11 ] It must now be made clear that the perceptions of the individual spiritual or soul senses have a different character. The lotus flower with twelve petals conveys a different perception than the sixteen-petaled one. The latter perceives forms. The type of thought that a soul has, the laws according to which a natural phenomenon takes place, appear in forms for the sixteen-petaled lotus flower. However, these are not rigid, still shapes, but moving forms filled with life. The clairvoyant who has developed this sense can name a form for every kind of thought, for every law of nature, in which they are expressed. A thought of revenge, for example, is clothed in an arrow-like, jagged figure, a benevolent thought often has the shape of an opening flower and so on. Certain, meaningful thoughts are regular, symmetrical, while unclear concepts have curly outlines. - Quite different perceptions emerge through the twelve-petaled lotus flower. The nature of these perceptions can be roughly characterized by describing them as soul warmth and soul coldness. A clairvoyant endowed with this sense feels such soul warmth or soul coldness emanating from the figures he perceives through the sixteen-petaled lotus flower. Imagine if a clairvoyant had only developed the sixteen-petaled lotus flower, but not the twelve-petaled lotus flower. Then he would only see the figure described above when having a benevolent thought. Another, who has developed both senses, also notices the emanation of this thought, which can only be described as warmth of soul. - It should only be noted in passing that in the secret training one sense is never developed without the other, so that the above is only to be regarded as an assumption for clarification. - Through the training of the twelve-petaled lotus flower, the clairvoyant also gains a deep understanding of natural processes. Everything that is based on growth and development exudes warmth of soul; everything that is in the process of decay, destruction and decline appears with the character of coldness of soul.

[ 12 ] The development of this sense is promoted in the following way. The first thing that the secret disciple observes in this respect is the regulation of his train of thought (the so-called thought control). Just as the sixteen-petaled lotus flower comes to development through true meaningful thoughts, so the twelve-petaled lotus flower comes to development through inner control of the course of thought. Misleading thoughts that are not put together in a meaningful, logical way, but purely by chance, spoil the shape of this lotus flower. The more one thought follows from another, the more everything illogical is avoided, the more this sense organ takes on the form that corresponds to it. If the secret disciple hears illogical thoughts, he immediately lets the right one pass through his mind. He should not lovelessly withdraw from a perhaps illogical environment in order to further his development. Nor should he feel the urge to immediately correct everything illogical in his surroundings. Rather, he will quietly bring the thoughts rushing at him from outside into a logical, meaningful direction. And he endeavors to keep to this direction everywhere in his own thoughts. - The second is to bring the same consistency into his actions (control of actions). Any inconsistency or disharmony in action will be the lotus flower's undoing. When the secret disciple has done something, he arranges his subsequent actions so that they follow logically from the first. Whoever acts today in a different sense than yesterday will never develop the characterized sense. - The third is the education of perseverance. The secret disciple will not allow this or that influence to divert him from a goal he has set for himself, as long as he can regard this goal as a correct one. Obstacles are an invitation for him to overcome them, but not a reason to stop. - The fourth is forbearance (tolerance) towards people, other beings and also facts. The secret disciple suppresses all superfluous criticism of the imperfect, evil and bad and instead seeks to understand everything that approaches him. Just as the sun does not withdraw its light from the bad and evil, so he does not withdraw his understanding sympathy. If the secret disciple encounters any adversity, he does not indulge in disparaging judgments, but accepts what is necessary and tries, as far as his strength allows, to turn the matter to the good. He does not merely consider other opinions from his own point of view, but tries to put himself in the other person's shoes. - The fifth is impartiality towards the phenomena of life. In this respect, one also speaks of "faith" or "trust". The secret disciple approaches every person, every being with this trust. And he fills himself with such trust in his actions. He never says to himself when he is told something: I don't believe it because it contradicts my previous opinion. Rather, he is ready at any moment to test his opinion and view against a new one and to correct it. He always remains receptive to everything that comes to him. And he trusts in the effectiveness of what he undertakes. He banishes timidity and doubtfulness from his nature. If he has an intention, he also has faith in the power of this intention. A hundred failures cannot take this faith away from him. This is the "faith that can move mountains". - The sixth is the acquisition of a certain balance in life (equanimity). The secret disciple strives to maintain an even mood, whether suffering or joy strikes him. He gets out of the habit of wavering between "rejoicing in heaven and sorrowing to death". He is just as prepared for misfortune and danger as he is for good fortune and promotion.

[ 13 ] Readers of spiritual-scientific writings will find what has been described listed as the so-called "six qualities" which must be developed by those who strive for initiation. Their connection with the spiritual sense, which is called the twelve-petaled lotus flower, should be explained here. - The secret training can again give special instructions to bring this lotus flower to maturity, but here too the formation of the regular form of this sense organ depends on the development of the qualities listed. If this development is disregarded, then this organ becomes distorted. And if a certain gift of clairvoyance is developed in this direction, the qualities mentioned can turn to the worse instead of the good. A person can become particularly intolerant, timid and hostile towards his surroundings. For example, he may become sensitive to the attitudes of other souls and therefore flee or hate them. It can come to the point that he cannot listen at all or behaves in a repulsive manner because of the coldness of soul that overflows him with views that are repugnant to him.

[ 14 ] If, in addition to all the above, certain instructions are observed, which secret disciples can only receive verbally from secret teachers, the development of the lotus flower is accelerated accordingly. Thus, the instructions given here are an introduction to real secret training. However, it is also useful for those who do not want to or cannot undergo a secret training to organize their life in the direction given here. This is because the effect on the soul organist will occur in any case, albeit slowly. And it is essential for the secret disciple to observe these principles. - If he were to attempt a secret training without observing them, he could only enter the higher worlds with a deficient mind's eye; and instead of recognizing the truth, he would then only be subject to deceptions and illusions. He would become clairvoyant in a certain respect; but basically he would only be subject to greater blindness than before. For formerly he at least stood firm within the sense world and had a certain hold on it; but now he sees beyond the sense world and goes astray before he stands securely in a higher world. He may then no longer be able to distinguish truth from error and lose all direction in life. -It is precisely for this reason that patience is so necessary in these matters. One must always bear in mind that spiritual science may go no further with its instructions than there is full willingness for a regulated development of the "lotus flowers". True distorted images of these flowers would develop if they were brought to ripeness before they had calmly attained the form to which they are entitled. For the special instructions of spiritual science bring about the maturity, but the form is given to them by the way of life described.

[ 15 ] The cultivation of the soul, which is necessary for the development of the ten-petaled lotus flower, is of a particularly subtle nature. For here it is a matter of learning to master the sensory impressions themselves in a conscious manner. This is particularly necessary for the budding clairvoyant. Only in this way can he avoid a source of countless illusions and mental arbitrariness. Man does not usually realize what things dominate his ideas and memories and what causes them. Suppose the following case. Someone is traveling on a train. He is preoccupied with a thought. Suddenly his thought takes a completely different turn. He remembers an experience he had years ago and connects it with his present thoughts. But now he has not even noticed that his eye was directed out of the window and that his gaze was fixed on a person who resembled another who was involved in the remembered experience. He does not realize what he has seen, but only the effect. Thus he believes that the thing "occurred to him of its own accord". How many things in life do not come about in this way. How do things that we have experienced and read play into our lives without us realizing the connection? For example, someone dislikes a certain color, but does not know that this is because the teacher who tormented him many years ago had a skirt in that color. Countless illusions are based on such connections. Many things imprint themselves on the soul without being incorporated into the consciousness. The following case can occur. Someone reads in the newspaper about the death of a well-known person. And now he firmly claims that he had already foreseen this death "yesterday", although he had heard and seen nothing that could have given him this idea. And it is true that the thought occurred to him "yesterday" as if "of its own accord": the person in question was going to die. There was only one thing he didn't consider. A few hours before the thought occurred to him "yesterday", he was visiting an acquaintance. There was a newspaper on the table. He didn't read it. But unconsciously his eye fell on the news of the serious illness of the person in question. He was not aware of the impression. But the effect was a "hunch". - If you think about such things, you can appreciate what a source of illusions and fantasies lies in such circumstances. And this source must be blocked by those who want to develop their ten-petaled lotus flower. For through this lotus flower one can perceive deeply hidden qualities in souls. But truth can only be attributed to these perceptions when one has become completely free of the marked deceptions. For this purpose it is necessary to make oneself master of what the outside world influences. One must make it so that impressions which one does not want to receive, one really does not receive. Such an ability can only be developed through a strong inner life. One must get it into one's will that one allows only those things to affect oneself to which one turns one's attention, and that one really withdraws from impressions to which one does not turn arbitrarily. What one sees, one must want to see, and what one does not turn one's attention to must actually not be there for one. The more lively and energetic the inner work of the soul becomes, the more this will be achieved. - The secret disciple must avoid all thoughtless looking and listening. For him there should only be what he directs his ear and eye to. He must practise that in the greatest turmoil he does not need to hear anything if he does not want to hear; he should make his eye insensitive to things he is not particularly looking at. He must be surrounded as with a mental armor for all unconscious impressions. - He must pay particular attention to the life of thought itself in this direction. He sets himself a thought, and he tries to think only what he can consciously, in complete freedom, attach to this thought. He rejects arbitrary ideas. If he wants to relate the thought to any other, he carefully considers where this other has come to him. - He goes even further. If, for example, he has a certain antipathy towards something, he fights it and tries to establish a conscious relationship to the thing in question. In this way, fewer and fewer unconscious elements interfere with his mental life. Only through such strict self-discipline does the ten-petaled lotus flower attain the form it should have. The soul life of the secret disciple must become a life of attention, and what one does not want to or should not pay attention to, one must really know how to keep away from. - If such self-discipline is accompanied by meditation which corresponds to the instructions of spiritual science, then the lotus flower in the region of the pit of the stomach will ripen in the right way, and that which had only form and warmth through the previously described spiritual sense organs will receive spiritual light and color. And this reveals, for example, the talents and abilities of souls, powers and hidden qualities in nature. The color aura of animate beings becomes visible; that which is around us announces its soul-like qualities. - It will be admitted that the greatest care is necessary in this field of development, for the play of unconscious memories is immeasurably active here. If this were not the case, many people would have the very sense in question here, for it occurs almost immediately when man really has the impressions of his senses so completely under his control that they are only subject to his attention or inattention. It only remains ineffective as long as the power of the external senses keeps this psychic sense muffled and dull.

[ 16 ] More difficult than the formation of the described lotus flower is that of the six-petaled one, which is located in the center of the body. This is because, in order to develop it, the self-consciousness must strive for complete mastery of the whole person, so that body, soul and spirit are in perfect harmony. The activities of the body, the inclinations and passions of the soul, the thoughts and ideas of the spirit must be brought into perfect harmony with one another. The body must be so ennobled and purified that its organs do not urge anything that does not serve the soul and the spirit. The soul should not be pushed by the body towards desires and passions that contradict pure and noble thinking. The spirit, however, should not have to rule over the soul like a slave master with its compulsory commandments and laws; instead, the soul should follow the duties and commandments out of its own free inclination. Duty should not hover over the secret disciple like something to which he reluctantly submits, but like something he performs because he loves it. The secret disciple must develop a free soul that is in balance between sensuality and spirituality. He must bring himself to the point where he can abandon himself to his sensuality, because it is so purified that it has lost the power to draw him down to itself. He should no longer need to restrain his passions because they will follow the right course of their own accord. As long as man needs to mortify himself, he cannot be a secret disciple on a certain level. A virtue to which one must first force oneself is still worthless for secret discipleship. As long as one still has a desire, it disturbs the student body, even if one tries not to indulge it. And it makes no difference whether this desire belongs more to the body or more to the soul. For example, if someone avoids a certain stimulant in order to purify himself by depriving himself of the pleasure, this will only help him if his body does not suffer any discomfort as a result of this abstention. If the latter is the case, it shows that the body desires the stimulant, and the abstention is worthless. In this case, it may well be that the person must first renounce the desired goal and wait until more favorable sensual conditions are available to him - perhaps only in another life. In a certain situation, a sensible renunciation is a much greater achievement than striving for something that cannot be achieved under the given circumstances. Indeed, such a reasonable renunciation promotes development more than the opposite.

[ 17 ] Whoever has developed the six-petaled lotus flower will be able to communicate with beings belonging to the higher worlds, but only if their existence is manifest in the world of the soul. The secret training, however, does not recommend the development of this lotus flower before the disciple has made great progress on the path through which he can raise his spirit to an even higher world. This entry into the actual spiritual world must always accompany the development of the lotus flowers. Otherwise the disciple will fall into confusion and uncertainty. He would indeed learn to see, but he would lack the ability to judge what he sees in the right way. - Now what is required for the training of the six-petaled lotus flower is already a certain guarantee against confusion and unsteadiness. For it will not be easy to bring someone into this confusion who has attained the perfect balance between sensuality (body), passion (soul) and idea (spirit). Nevertheless, even more than this guarantee is necessary when, through the development of the six-petaled lotus flower, beings with life and independence become perceptible to man, which belong to a world that is so completely different from that of his physical senses. In order to have security in these worlds, it is not enough for him to develop the lotus flowers, but he must have still higher organs at his disposal. We shall now speak of the development of these still higher organs; then we can also speak of the other lotus flowers and the other organization of the soul body 5It is self-evident that, in the literal sense, the expression "soul body" (like many similar ones in spiritual science) contains a contradiction. But this expression is used because clairvoyant cognition perceives something that is experienced in the spiritual in the same way as the body is perceived in the physical.

[ 18 ] The development of the soul body, as just described, makes it possible for man to perceive supersensible phenomena. But if you really want to find your way in this world, you must not stop at this stage of development. The mere mobility of the lotus flowers is not enough. Man must be able to regulate and control the movement of his spiritual organs independently and with full consciousness. Otherwise he would become a plaything of external forces and powers. If he is not to become that, he must acquire the ability to hear the so-called "inner word". In order to achieve this, not only the soul body but also the etheric body must be developed. This is the subtle body that appears to the clairvoyant as a kind of double of the physical body. It is, so to speak, an intermediate stage between this body and the soul body.6Compare this description with the description in the author's "Theosophy". If one is gifted with clairvoyant abilities, then one can, with full consciousness, imagine the physical body of a person standing before one. At a higher level, this is nothing other than an exercise of attention at a lower level. Just as a person can divert his attention from something that is in front of him so that it is not there for him, so the clairvoyant is able to completely obliterate a physical body for his perception so that it becomes completely transparent to him physically. If he accomplishes this with a person standing before him, then the so-called etheric body still remains before his spiritual eye, apart from the soul body, which is greater than both and which also penetrates both. The etheric body has approximately the size and form of the physical body, so that it also fills approximately the same space which the physical body also occupies. It is an extremely delicate and finely organized structure.7I ask the physicist not to be offended by the term "etheric body". The word "ather" is only intended to indicate the subtlety of the entity under consideration. What is mentioned here need not be associated with the "Athens" of physical hypotheses. Its basic color is different from the seven colors contained in the rainbow. Anyone who can observe it gets to know a color that does not actually exist for sensory observation. It can best be compared to the color of a young peach blossom. If one wants to observe the etheric body all by itself, then one must also extinguish the appearance of the soul body for observation through an exercise of attention similar to that described above. If one does not do this, then the sight of the etheric body is changed by the soul body that completely permeates it.

[ 19 ] Now the particles of the etheric body are in constant motion in the human being. Countless currents flow through it in all directions. Life is maintained and regulated by these currents. Every body that lives has such an etheric body. Plants and animals have them too. Indeed, even in minerals, traces are perceptible to the attentive observer. - The currents and movements mentioned are initially completely independent of the will and consciousness of man, just as the activity of the heart or stomach in the physical body is not dependent on the will. - And as long as the human being does not take his education in the sense of acquiring supersensible abilities into his own hands, this independence also remains. For it is precisely in this that the higher development at a certain stage consists, that to the currents and movements of the etheric body, which are independent of consciousness, are added those which the human being consciously brings about himself.

[ 20 ] When the secret vision training has come so far that the lotus flowers marked in the previous sections begin to move, then the disciple has already accomplished much of what leads to the evocation of very specific currents and movements in his etheric body. The purpose of this development is to form a kind of central point in the region of the physical heart, from which currents and movements in the most varied spiritual colors and forms emanate. This center is in reality not a mere point, but a very complicated structure, a wonderful organ. It shines and shimmers spiritually in the most diverse colors and shows forms of great regularity, which can change rapidly. And further forms and color currents run from this organ to the parts of the rest of the body and even beyond it, running through and illuminating the entire soul body. The most important of these currents, however, go to the lotus flowers. They run through the individual petals and regulate their rotation; then they flow outwards at the tips of the petals to lose themselves in outer space. The more developed a person is, the larger the circumference in which these currents spread.

[ 21 ] The twelve-petaled lotus flower has a particularly close relationship to the center described above. The currents flow directly into it. And currents pass through it on one side to the sixteen-petaled and the two-petaled, and on the other (lower) side to the eight-, six- and four-petaled lotus flowers. This arrangement is the reason why special attention must be paid to the formation of the twelve-petaled lotus flower in the secret training. If something were to go wrong here, the whole formation of the apparatus would have to be disorderly. - From what has been said, one can appreciate how delicate and intimate the secret training is and how precisely one must proceed if everything is to develop properly. It is also readily apparent from this that only those can speak about instructions for the training of psychic abilities who have experienced for themselves everything that they are supposed to train in another and who are fully capable of recognizing whether their instructions will lead to the right results.

[ 22 ] When the secret disciple carries out what is prescribed to him by the instructions, he teaches his etheric body such currents and movements which are in harmony with the laws and the development of the world to which the human being belongs. Therefore, the instructions are always a reflection of the great laws of world development. They consist of the above-mentioned and similar meditation and concentration exercises, which, properly applied, have the effects described. The student of the spirit must at certain times permeate his soul completely with the content of the exercises, fill himself inwardly completely with it, as it were. It begins with something simple, which is above all suitable for deepening and internalizing the intelligent and rational thinking of the head. This thinking is thus made free and independent of all sensory impressions and experiences. It is, as it were, summarized in one point, which the human being has completely under his control. This creates a temporary center for the currents of the etheric body. This center is not yet in the region of the heart, but in the head. There it shows itself to the clairvoyant as the starting point of movements. - Only a secret vision training that first creates this center is fully successful. If the center were to be placed in the region of the heart from the very beginning, the budding clairvoyant would be able to gain certain insights into the higher worlds, but he would not be able to gain any real insight into the connection between these higher worlds and our sensory world. And this is an unconditional necessity for man at the present stage of world development. The clairvoyant must not become a gusher; he must keep his feet firmly on the ground.

[ 23 ] The center in the head is then, when it is properly fixed, moved further down, namely to the area of the larynx. This is brought about by the further application of the concentration exercises. Then the characterized movements of the etheric body radiate from this area. They illuminate the soul space around the person.

[ 24 ] Further practice enables the secret disciple to determine the position of his etheric body himself. Previously, this position was dependent on the forces coming from outside and emanating from the physical body. Through further development the human being becomes able to turn the etheric body in all directions. This ability is brought about by currents which run approximately along the two hands and which have their center in the two-petaled lotus flower in the eye region. All this is brought about by the fact that the rays emanating from the larynx form themselves into round shapes, a number of which go to the two-petaled lotus flower and from there take the path along the hands as undulating currents. - A further consequence is that these currents branch out and ramify in the finest way and become a kind of network which, like a retina, forms the boundary of the whole etheric body. Whereas before this had no outward termination, so that the currents of life flowed directly in and out of the general sea of life, now the influences from outside must pass through this skin. As a result, the human being becomes sensitive to these external currents. They become perceptible to him. - Now the time has also come to give the whole current and movement system its center in the region of the heart. This happens again through the continuation of the concentration and meditation exercise. And thus the stage is also reached at which the human being is endowed with the "inner word". All things now take on a new meaning for the person. They become, so to speak, spiritually audible in their innermost essence; they speak to man from their very essence. The marked currents put him in touch with the inner world to which he belongs. He begins to experience the life of his surroundings and can let it resonate in the movement of his lotus flowers.

[ 25 ] Thus man enters the spiritual world. Once he has reached this point, he gains a new understanding of what the great teachers of humanity have spoken. Buddha's discourses and the Gospels, for example, now affect him in a new way. They flow through him with a bliss that he had not previously suspected. For the tone of their words follows the movements and rhythms that he has now formed within himself. He can now immediately know that such a man as Buddha or the gospel writers do not utter their revelations, but those which have flowed to them from the innermost essence of things. - Attention should be drawn here to a fact which can probably only be understood from the foregoing. The many repetitions in the Buddha's discourses are not quite comprehensible to people of our present level of education. For the secret disciple they become something on which he likes to rest his inner sense. For they correspond to certain rhythmic movements in the etheric body. Devotion to them in perfect inner peace also causes them to resonate with such movements. And because these movements are an image of certain world rhythms, which also represent repetition and regular return to earlier ones in certain points, man lives into the connection with the mysteries of the world by listening to the Buddha's way.

[ 26 ] In spiritual science, four qualities are spoken of which man must acquire on the so-called path of testing in order to ascend to higher knowledge. The first of these is the ability to separate truth from appearance in thought, truth from mere opinion. The second quality is the correct appreciation of truth and reality in relation to appearance. The third quality is the exercise of the six qualities already mentioned in the previous chapter: control of thought, control of action, perseverance, forbearance, faith and equanimity. The fourth is the love of inner freedom.

[ 27 ] A mere intellectual understanding of what lies in these qualities is of no use at all. They must be incorporated into the soul in such a way that they establish inner habits. Take, for example, the first quality: distinguishing the true from the apparent. Man must train himself to distinguish as a matter of course between what is insignificant and what is significant in every thing he encounters. One can only train oneself in this way if one makes repeated attempts to do so calmly and patiently in one's observations of the outside world. In the end, the gaze naturally clings to what is true, just as it was previously satisfied with what is insignificant. "Everything transient is only a parable": this truth becomes a self-evident conviction of the soul. And so it will be with the other four qualities mentioned.

[ 28 ] Now the subtle etheric body of man is actually transformed under the influence of these four habits of the soul. Through the first "distinction of the real from the apparent", the marked center is created in the head and the one in the larynx is prepared. For actual training, however, the concentration exercises mentioned above are necessary. They train and bring the four habits to maturity. - If the center is prepared in the region of the larynx, then the indicated free control of the etheric body and its covering and limiting with the retinal plexus is brought about by the correct estimation of the true as opposed to the insignificant appearance. When a person achieves such an appreciation, spiritual facts gradually become perceptible to him. However, he should not believe that he merely has to carry out actions which appear to be significant before an intellectual appreciation. The smallest action, every little movement has something meaningful in the great scheme of the world as a whole, and it is only a matter of having a consciousness of this meaning. What matters is not underestimation, but a correct assessment of the everyday activities of life. - The six virtues that make up the third quality have already been mentioned. They are connected with the formation of the twelve-petaled lotus flower in the region of the heart. As has been shown, this is indeed where the life current of the etheric body must be directed. The fourth quality: the desire for liberation, then serves to bring the etheric organ near the heart to maturity. If this quality becomes a habit of the soul, then the human being liberates himself from everything that is only connected with the faculties of his personal nature. He ceases to look at things from his special point of view. The boundaries of his narrow self, which bind him to this point of view, disappear. The secrets of the spiritual world gain access to his inner self. This is liberation. For those shackles force man to look at things and beings in a way that corresponds to his personal nature. The secret disciple must become independent, free from this personal way of looking at things.

[ 29 ] You can see from this that the precepts emanating from spiritual science have a determining effect deep within the innermost human nature. And the rules about the four qualities mentioned are such rules. They can be found in one form or another in all world views that take the spiritual world into account. The founders of such world views did not give people such rules out of a dark feeling. Rather, they did so because they were great initiates. They formed their moral rules out of knowledge. They knew how they affect the finer nature of man and wanted the followers to gradually develop this finer nature. To live according to such world views means to work on one's own spiritual perfection. And only when man does this does he serve the world as a whole. Perfecting oneself is by no means selfishness. For the imperfect human being is also an imperfect servant of humanity and the world. The more perfect you are yourself, the better you serve the whole. Here it applies: "When the rose adorns itself, it also adorns the garden."

[ 30 ] The founders of meaningful worldviews are therefore the great initiates. What comes from them flows into the human souls. And thus the whole world moves forward with humanity. The initiates have worked quite consciously on this process of development of humanity. Only then can one understand the content of their instructions if one considers that these are drawn from the realization of the deepest human nature. Great knowers were the initiates, and out of their knowledge they shaped the ideals of humanity. Man, however, comes close to these leaders when he rises to their heights in his own development.

[ 31 ] When the development of the etheric body has begun in a person in the way described above, then a completely new life opens up to him. And he must receive the enlightenments through the secret vision at the right time, which enable him to find his way in this new life. For example, through the sixteen-petaled lotus flower he sees spiritual figures of a higher world. Now he must realize how different these forms are, depending on whether they are caused by these or those objects or beings. The first thing he can turn his attention to is that he can exert a strong influence on a certain kind of these figures through his own thoughts and feelings, but not at all or only to a small extent on others. One type of figure changes immediately if the observer has the thought "this is beautiful" when he sees it, and then changes this thought to "this is useful" as he looks at it. - In particular, shapes derived from minerals or man-made objects have the peculiarity that they change with every thought or feeling that the observer brings to them. This is already the case to a lesser extent with the forms of plants, and even less so with those of animals. These forms are also mobile and full of life. But this mobility is only partly due to the influence of human thoughts and feelings, and partly to causes over which man has no influence. Within this whole world of forms, however, there appears a variety of shapes which are at first almost entirely beyond the influence of man himself. The student of the secret can convince himself that these forms do not originate from minerals or artificial objects, nor from plants or animals. In order to become completely clear, he must now consider the forms which he can know are caused by the feelings, instincts, passions and so on of other people. But even in relation to these figures he can find that his own thoughts and feelings still have some, albeit relatively little, influence. There always remains a remnant within the world of forms on which this influence is negligible. - Indeed, at the beginning of the secret disciple's path this remnant even forms a very large part of what he sees at all. He can only enlighten himself about the nature of this part if he observes himself. There he finds which forms have been brought about by himself. What he himself does, wants, desires and so on is expressed in these forms. An instinct that dwells within him, a desire that he has, an intention that he harbors, and so on: all this shows itself in such forms. Indeed, his whole character is shaped in such a world of forms. Thus man can, through his conscious thoughts and feelings, exert an influence on all forms which do not proceed from himself; but on those figures which he brings about through his own nature in the higher world, he has no more influence as soon as they have been created by him. It now also follows from what has been said that in the higher view the human inner being, his own world of instincts, desires and imagination, shows itself in outer figures just like other objects and entities. The inner world becomes a part of the outer world for higher cognition. Just as if one were surrounded on all sides by mirrors in the physical world and could thus look at one's physical form, so in a higher world the spiritual being of man confronts it as a mirror image.

[ 32 ] At this stage of development, the time has come for the secret disciple to overcome the illusion that stems from personal limitations. He can now observe what is within his personality as the outside world, just as he used to regard what affected his senses as the outside world. Thus, through experience, he gradually learns to treat himself as he used to treat the beings around him.

[ 33 ] If man's gaze were opened to these spiritual worlds before he has been sufficiently prepared for their nature, he would at first stand before the characterized painting of his own soul as before a riddle. The figures of his own instincts and passions confront him there in forms which he perceives as animal or - more rarely - as human. Although the animal forms of this world are never quite the same as those of the physical world, they do bear a distant resemblance. Inexperienced observers will probably consider them to be the same. - When one enters this world, one must now acquire a completely new way of judging. For apart from the fact that the things which actually belong to the human interior appear as the external world, they also appear as the mirror image of what they really are. If, for example, you see a number there, you must read it in reverse as a mirror image. 265, for example, really means 562 here. You see a sphere as if you were in its center. You then have to translate this inner view in the right way. But mental qualities also appear as mirror images. A wish that relates to something external appears as a figure that moves towards the wisher himself. Passions that are based in the lower nature of man can take the form of animals or similar shapes that rush towards man. In reality, these passions strive outwards; they seek the object of their satisfaction in the external world. But this outward search presents itself in the mirror image as an attack on the bearer of the passion.

[ 34 ] If the secret disciple, before he ascends to higher vision, has become acquainted with his own qualities through calm, objective self-observation, then he will also find the courage and strength to behave in the right way the moment his inner self confronts him in the outer mirror image. People who have not made themselves sufficiently acquainted with their own inner self through such self-examination will not recognize themselves in their mirror image and will then regard this as an alien reality. They also become anxious at the sight and, because they cannot bear the thing, convince themselves that the whole thing is only a fantastic product that can lead to nothing. In both cases, a person's immature arrival at a certain stage of development would be a fatal obstacle to their own higher education.

[ 35 ] It is absolutely necessary for the secret disciple to pass through the spiritual view of his own soul in order to advance to higher things. For in his own self he has that spiritual-soul which he can best judge. If he has first acquired a proficient knowledge of his personality in the physical world and first encounters the image of this personality in the higher world, then he can compare the two. He can relate the higher to something known to him and is thus able to start from a firm ground. If, on the other hand, he were confronted with so many other spiritual beings, he would not at first be able to gain any information about their nature and essence. He would soon feel the ground disappearing from under his feet. It can therefore not be emphasized often enough that the safe access to the higher world is the one that leads through the sound knowledge and assessment of one's own being.

[ 36 ] Spiritual images are therefore what man first encounters on his path to the higher world. For the reality that corresponds to these images is within him. The secret disciple must therefore be mature in order not to demand crude realities at this first stage, but to regard the images as the right thing. But within this world of images, he soon learns something new. His lower self is only present before him as a mirror painting; but in the midst of this mirror painting the true reality of the higher self appears. From the image of the lower personality, the form of the spiritual self becomes visible. And it is only from the latter that the threads are spun to other higher spiritual realities.

[ 37 ] And now the time has come to use the two-petaled lotus flower in the eye area. When it begins to move, the human being finds the possibility to connect his higher self with superior spiritual entities. The currents emanating from this lotus flower move towards higher realities in such a way that the person is fully aware of the corresponding movements. Just as light makes physical objects visible to the eye, so these currents make the spiritual beings of higher worlds visible.

[ 38 ] By immersing himself in ideas derived from spiritual science, which contain fundamental truths, the student learns to set the currents of the eye lotus flower in motion and to direct them.

[ 39 ] What is sound judgment, clear, logical training, proves itself especially at this stage of development. One only has to consider that the higher self, which has hitherto slumbered in man in a germinal, unconscious state, is born into conscious existence. Not merely in a figurative, but in a very real sense we are dealing with a birth in the spiritual world. And the born being, the higher self, must come into the world with all the necessary organs and dispositions if it is to be viable. Just as nature must ensure that a child is born with well-formed ears and eyes, so the laws of a person's self-development must ensure that his higher self comes into existence with the necessary abilities. And these laws, which determine the formation of the higher organs of the spirit itself, are none other than the healthy laws of reason and morality of the physical world. As the child matures in the womb, so the spiritual man matures in the physical self. The health of the child depends on the normal operation of the laws of nature in the womb. The health of the spiritual man depends in the same way on the laws of the ordinary mind and of reason at work in physical life. No one can give birth to a healthy higher self who does not live and think healthily in the physical world. Life according to nature and reason are the basis of all true spiritual development. - Just as the child in its mother's womb lives according to the forces of nature, which it perceives with its sensory organs after birth, so the higher self of man lives according to the laws of the spiritual world even during its physical existence. And just as the child acquires the corresponding powers out of a dark feeling of life, so can the human being with the powers of the spiritual world before his higher self is born. Yes, he must do this if the latter is to come into the world as a fully developed being. It would not be right for someone to say: I cannot accept the teachings of spiritual science until I see for myself. For without immersion in spiritual research he cannot come to true higher knowledge at all. He would then be in the same position as a child in its mother's womb that refused to use the powers that come to it through its mother and wanted to wait until it could obtain them for itself. Just as the child's germ experiences the correctness of what is presented to it in the feeling of life, so the person who cannot yet see experiences the truth of the teachings of spiritual science. There is an insight into these teachings that is based on a sense of truth and a clear, healthy, all-round judging reason, even if one does not yet see the spiritual things. One must first learn the mystical insights and prepare oneself for seeing precisely through this learning. A person who came to see before he had learned in this way would be like a child born with eyes and ears but without a brain. The whole world of color and sound would spread out before him, but he would not be able to do anything with it.

[ 40 ] What was previously comprehensible to man through his sense of truth, through understanding and reason, becomes his own experience at the stage of secret discipleship described above. He now has a direct knowledge of his higher self. And he learns to recognize that this higher self is connected with spiritual beings of a higher kind and forms a unity with them. He thus sees how the lower self originates from a higher world. And it becomes apparent to him that his higher nature outlasts the lower. He can now distinguish even his transient from his permanent nature. This means nothing other than that he learns to understand the doctrine of the incarnation of the higher self into a lower self from his own experience. It now becomes clear to him that he stands in a higher spiritual context, that his qualities, his destinies are caused by this context. He learns to recognize the law of his life, karma. He realizes that his lower self, as it currently constitutes his existence, is only one of the forms that his higher being can take. And he sees before him the possibility of working on himself from his higher self, so that he may become more and more perfect. He can now also see the great differences between people with regard to their degrees of perfection. He realizes that there are people above him who have already reached the stages that lie ahead of him. He realizes that the teachings and deeds of such people stem from inspirations from a higher world. He owes this to his own first glimpse into this higher world. What is called the "great initiates of humanity" will now begin to become a fact for him.

[ 41 ] These are the gifts which the secret disciple owes to this stage of his development: insight into the higher self, into the teaching of the incarnation or incarnation of this higher self into a lower one, into the law according to which life in the physical world is regulated according to spiritual connections - the law of karma - and finally into the existence of great initiates.

[ 42 ] It is therefore also said of a disciple who has reached this stage that doubt has completely disappeared. If he was previously able to acquire a belief based on reason and sound thinking, this belief is now replaced by full knowledge and insight that cannot be shaken by anything.

[ 43 ] The religions have given outwardly visible images of higher spiritual processes and beings in their ceremonies, sacraments and rites. Only those who have not yet seen through the depths of the great religions can misjudge them. But whoever looks into the spiritual reality itself will also understand the great significance of those outwardly visible acts. And for him, religious service itself then becomes a reflection of his dealings with the spiritually superior world.

[ 44 ] You can see in what way the secret disciple has really become a new man by reaching this stage. He can now gradually mature to direct the actual higher element of life through the currents of his etheric body and thus attain a high degree of freedom from his physical body.