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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 4

Munich, 3-15-'10

We'll begin today's esoteric lesson by reading the prayer to the Spirit of the Day. The exoteric church directs its prayers to the Gods in general, but a theosophist who knows that every time period has its own regent, modestly turns to the spiritual being who rules the present day under the name of Mars.

Great embracing Spirit,
Knowledge lived in your sensations when no knowledge was given to me yet.
You were.
I lift my soul to you.
I moved into my body.
In my sensations I lived for myself.
You were in the life-sun.
Your being lived in my sensation as my being.
My soul's life was outside of your life.
You were.
My soul felt its own being in itself.
A longing arose in it,
The longing for you
Out of whom it arose.
You were.

Great embracing Spirit
May my I raise itself from below upward,
May it get an inkling of you in the all-embracing.
May the spirit of my being be illumined
By the light of your messengers.
May the soul of my being be enkindled by the fire flames of your servants.
May the will of my I grasp
Your creatorword's force.
You are.
May your being permeate my will
That my I be grasped by an understanding of your light's shining,
Your life's love-warmth
And your being's creator words.
You are.

Anyone who has begun an esoteric training should make it clear to himself that he's undertaken something that's very serious, that he must work on himself very seriously so that eventually he'll be able to participate in esoteric work. So how must an esoteric work on himself? We know that man's etheric body is born at age seven, and until then, it surrounds the physical body like a maternal sheath. The etheric body should then be prepared rightly for its development up to age 14, when the astral body is born. But all kinds of unelaborated parts are attached to it, partly from previous incarnations and partly from the present one. All of the habits that live in us are unfolded in our etheric body from age 7 to 14, and depending on how we consolidate our views to prejudices — educators can have a big influence here — we, for instance, become more or less receptive for theosophy later on. One who creates sharply outlined views for himself will find it harder to accept its teaching than someone who keeps himself open for all new things The etheric body becomes completely developed between the ages of 7 to 14. If a child doesn't take in great model pictures, if he doesn't look up reverently to an authority, then his etheric body isn't soft and flexible at this age. It's hard for such people to find their way into life's affairs. Their etheric body is hardened and it takes a great effort to dissolve these hardenings. Luciferic Moon powers take advantage of this and flow into them. It's not for nothing that Christ says: Watch and pray.

The astral body unfolds from age 14, 15, to 21, 22. The things that are attached to this aren't nearly as much of a hindrance for the acceptance of theosophical teachings as the etheric hindrances, since the etheric body is a much denser mass than the astral body.

The ego develops from age 21-28. The masters of wisdom and of the harmony of feelings adapted theosophical teachings to present conditions so that they mainly work on the ego and are grasped by the ego. This wasn't the case before. Then an occult teacher had to work on both the astral body and the ego. This wouldn't be possible today for men have much more individualistic tendencies. If a teacher wanted to intervene in the astral body and he tried to direct the passions, drives and desires he would thereby immediately produce an uproar in this astral body, for a modern should develop freely and only through the ego. He must use the knowledge that he's acquired in the ego through theosophical teachings to ennoble his older but lower body.

Why can a man understand all of theosophy's teachings through thinking, through his ego? We received a physical body on Saturn. The etheric body was added on Sun. There the physical body was in the Sun condition whereas the etheric body was in the Saturn condition. On old Moon, the newly added astral body was in the Saturn condition, the etheric body in the Sun condition, and only the physical body in the Moon condition. On earth the physical body is in the earth condition whereas the newest and youngest part, the ego, is in the Saturn condition. The ego is the Saturn in us, and that's why it understands everything that happened since Saturn times.