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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 14

Berlin, 11-5-'10

As always, we'll ask the Spirit of the Day for help in our work. (Saturday)

Great embracing Spirit,
You who filled endless space when none of my body's members existed yet;
You were.
I raise my soul to you.
I was in you.
I was part of your force.
You sent out your forces, and the first, original picture of my body's form was reflected in the earth's first beginnings.
I was in the forces that you sent out.
You were.
My archetype looked at you.
It looked at me, myself, I who was a part of you.
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.

Yesterday we said that a pupil hears a spiritual sound from the east. But if a pupil would now want to say that he knew what the spiritual sounds like, that he had now heard his first spiritual sound, he would be making a big mistake. For this sound is, as it were, the last word out of the physical realm.

The spiritual world is for the time being completely colorless, lightless, soundless and so on. Any colors that we might see are nothing spiritual — they come from our own inner life, and, namely, they indicate qualities that we don't have but must acquire. For instance, if we see a red color it means that we don't have love in us, that we must develop it in ourselves. If we see violet, it's telling us that we must acquire devotional piety.

If we hear noises, it's nothing spiritual, but something that comes out of us. If someone becomes a vegetarian but his body still has a longing for meat, even if he's unaware of it, then this craving resounds in misleading sounds. All of these noises and sounds are only raven croaks.

If a figure from past ages appears to a pupil it's quite wrong for him to want to interpret it right away. He must be able to wait with his interpretation until later. If such an image appears before our soul, it dissipates as soon as we approach it with our thoughts. But if it's a genuine image, it'll rise before us later and remain there in its true form, and we'll know what it means. We must be able to wait and be silent. We should speak about such experiences much less than we think about them. We should look upon and treat our whole spiritual life as something sacred. We must tell ourselves that experiences of sounds, colors, etc. don't come from the spiritual realm but from our own ego that's surged through be a sea of passions an desires, just as Noah's ark had the sea surging around it. As we tell ourselves clearly and relentlessly that these experiences and phenomena are nothing spiritual, we must let our ego go and as it were, let it fly away, just as the dove was released from Noah's ark and didn't return.

A pupil then has another occult experience. After we've seen that the spiritual world is empty for us, we then see that these experiences are nevertheless important for us. Colors become warners and advisors. They tell us what we still have to acquire. We realize that sounds reflect our bodily cravings. And when the images that we've let work quietly tell us their significance, our soul becomes enriched by such experiences. That's like the dove that was released the second time and came back with an olive leaf, the emblem of peace.

But an esoteric's soul isn't left entirely to its own devices on this difficult path; there's things it can hang on to. The rose cross, for instance. We should let it work on us; we should realize that the wood's black is our corporeality that's hardened and withered, that we must let our lower ego that identifies itself with the body become just as dark and dead as the cross's wood. Then the higher, spiritual ego will work in us in the way that the black of the cross is changed into bright, radiant lines of light. Likewise, the red of the roses will change from the color of love working inwardly, to green, the color of life working outwardly.

When we experience symbols it's the ones that make us suffer that are genuine and from the spiritual world, and not the ones that give us joy. We must carry them around with us until we've grasped their meaning. The spiritual from them must be born in us while we suffer.

Another thing we must realize is that we can't be unegoistical. We are never ever unegoistical. And even if we imagine that we've done something that's entirely selfless, we're mistaken. We can't act selflessly. It's world karma that lets us act egoistically World karma is God.

And if we get to the point where we act in a good and noble way, then it's God in us who's good. As we get more selfless, we'll for instance, notice that we don't get scared or terrified anymore. If there's a sudden loud noise nearby, we won't jump as much as before. The God who lets us act in a good and noble way is our model. Our archetypal model made us into what we are now. And we must become a copy of our archetype again.

Once we've understood this rightly, we'll also understand the esoteric Rosicrucian saying: Ex Deo nascimur, in … morimur, Per spiritum Sanctum revivscimus.

An esoteric doesn't say what's left out here. When we begin to say this line our feeling must go to what's unutterable. And only when one's feeling comes back can one go on speaking. Anyone who experiences this inwardly with the right feeling will also rightly understand the other esoteric verse:

In the spirit lay the germ of my body.
And the spirit has imprinted in my body
The eyes of sense,
That through them I may see
The lights of bodies.
And the spirit has imprinted in my body
Reason and sensation
And feeling and will,
That through them I may perceive bodies
And act upon them.
In the spirit lay the germ of my body.
In my body lies the germ of the spirit.
And I will incorporate into my spirit
The super-sensible eyes
That through them I may behold the light of spirits.
And I will imprint in my spirit
Wisdom and power and love,
So that through me the spirits may act
And I become a self-conscious organ
Of their deeds.
In my body lies the germ of the spirit.