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Rudolf Steiner Archive

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 43

In winter's depths is kindled
True spirit life with glowing warmth;
It gives to world appearance,
Through forces of the heart, the power to be.
Grown strong, the human soul defies
With inner fire the coldness of the world.

Southern Hemisphere
Week 17

Thus speaks the cosmic Word
That I by grace through senses' portals
Have led into my innermost soul:
Imbue your spirit depths
With my wide world horizons
To find in future time myself in you.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 14

Stuttgart, 1-20-'07

In a retrospect let's place ourselves into what was experienced in such a way that we rightly feel the difference between the soul experience and the real experience in the outer world. The relation between the memory of a landscape and the direct perception of the same with open eyes is the same relation as between memory and retrospect.

Memory gradually disappears in an initiate and is replaced by direct perception of what one wants to remember. One must place a picture of the day's experiences before one, quite exactly and clearly of all details, blouse, face, etc., and so look at the happenings in a picture, how people spoke, what was done, etc. It's very important to recall the little experiences that didn't interest one so much, that are hard for one to remember, because this generates inner forces. Imaginative force is created via the ability to imagine pictures. The clarity of the pictures is the important thing and not the completeness of the experiences. No muscle must be tensed in all of this work. Just as light first created the outer eyes, and the body was stimulated from outside to form other organs, so the astral body's organs are formed through the imagining of pictures.

In the subsidiary exercises we must begin with thinking, and persist until the proper feeling sets in; we must then pour this into our body and do this exercise for a month or more before passing on to the second one, etc. The pouring in gives the astral body consistency, a firm shape, backbone. The more uninteresting the object the better it is for the exercise, for then it's hard to stay focused on it for five minutes. The second is initiative in actions. It must be an action that one must force oneself to do. Thirdly the overcoming of pleasure and displeasure, that is, one should feel joy or sorrow but not let oneself by controlled by them. Fourthly, look for positivity in everything. Fifthly, open-mindedness with regard to all experiences. Sixthly, repeat all five exercises rhythmically. Do each of the subsidiary exercises until one can pour the feeling arising from it into the body and experience it. Only then go on to the next month.

The meditation that was given to you as your first morning work was intended to be an awakener of forces.

A lily is the visible expression of a word that was once spoken by the creator. Much depends on which words and vowels one speaks, which thoughts and feelings one sends out, because they will become visible during the Jupiter Venus, etc., earth conditions. The mineral, plant and animal kingdoms here on earth are likewise the expression of what Moon dwellers once said and thought. That's why mantras and the words of meditations have the letter sequence and the word sounds that they do, because they only have their effect in that particular sequence. What we do and create will be visible on Jupiter, for instance Koeln Cathedral will be visible as a larger formation, Raphael's paintings will surround Jupiter like clouds or a mirage. Our music will resound as music of the spheres over there on Jupiter.

In our exercises we must think that the Gods have something like this in mind for us; that's the purpose of the exercises, and the formula “In the spirit lay the germ of my body ...” explains this to us. The old adepts expressed this briefly in the sacred word AUM. A is the past that sounds loud and clear. U is a dull vowel and represents the present. It has something of the clarity of the past and of the freedom of action of the present in it. M is the indefiniteness of the future, to which every vowel or this or that action can still add something. A correct retrospect awakens a great force in the soul, that a man needs once he can ascend to the astral plane. Thought control is supposed to lead to mastery of thoughts. Initiative in actions is supposed to give rise to an urge for activity and work that that one hadn't felt otherwise. Meditation should be the first work of the day in the morning.

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