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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 21

Stuttgart, 1-2-'11

We must take esoteric life seriously, and so an esoteric class must always be something sacred for us. We should never take it to be something ordinary. Probably not all of us were aware of the seriousness that is necessary when we asked to be admitted to this esoteric circle. But now we should place this ever more before our souls and strive for a connection with the spiritual worlds so that we don't fall back into everyday life again.

One should always look upon the exercises that are given to us as ones that come from the masters. An esoteric should watch himself and his feelings and to especially focus on self-knowledge. Most people — and we are probably among them — are living in big delusions about themselves. We must especially pay attention to egoism. We often imagine that we're doing something selflessly, or we feel hatred and envy towards someone that we haven't become aware of yet. Then as esoterics we think that we must tell him the “truth,” and that we don't have to take this or that from him. As soon as such feelings arise in us, one should realize that one is living under big delusions whose deeper cause is always egoism. Such feelings always become manifest together with a feeling of warmth that goes through the etheric body's warmth ether and works right into the physical body through the blood. Such feelings always have a harmful effect on men and world evolution.

The hierarchies who direct karmic connections work in such a way that they appoint special beings who destroy certain upbuilding effects in us, and therewith have a destructive effect on the soul and indirectly on the body. These are Luciferic beings who are appointed for this kind of work.

When we have correct self-knowledge and see our own badness, an ice-cold feeling goes through us instead of the aforementioned feeling of warmth that satisfies us. All the passions and desires that get satisfied in us express themselves in the described feeling of warmth, in contrast to the feeling of coldness that appears in true self-knowledge.

The Luciferic beings that thereby approach a pupil destructively reveal themselves to a clairvoyant as certain hosts, whose leader is Samael. These beings who don't look human at all are always perceptible for a spiritual eye. If on awakening, we have a feeling of disgust, as is often the case in an esoteric pupil, then such a feeling can almost always be ascribed to the egoism that often sits unrecognized deep in subconscious soul depths.

We must also direct our attention to everything that's connected with untruthfulness. Thanks to our education, we don't tell any big lies, but we always have the inclination to seem to be better than we really are. Or if the truth could endanger us, we prefer to keep quiet about it and to conceal the facts. This kind of thing also has a harmful effect on world events and therewith on the men themselves. Such untruths work on our astral body and then on our light ether. From there such harmful influences work on the physical body, especially on the nervous system. The Luciferic beings who are connected with this and whose leader is Azazel look partly like men, mostly a head with raven's wings.

One who tends to be untruthful will usually be able to feel a choking, scratchy sensation in the throat, and he often feels as if he was being pinched with pincers and tormented with a thousand arms. One who observes himself exactly will then notice how deeply he's still entangled in lies and dissimulations.

Then we should also become aware of a certain indifference and dullness with respect to spiritual worlds and their influences. Many pupils listen to an esoteric lecture, but what's given finds no echo in them. They can't lift themselves spiritually above everyday life or occupy themselves with spiritual thoughts. Others only want to see something in spiritual worlds out of curiosity, and meditate blind — to this end, without wanting to devote themselves to regular study, for that's too inconvenient for them. This has a harmful effect on the ego, from there on the astral body, then on the etheric body and namely on the part we call chemical ether, and from there on the physical glands and fluids.

There's a difference between esoterics and nonesoterics in their relation to Lucifer's hosts. For instance, Azazel and his hosts want to produce good effects on the latter, since they only work on them in a complementary way, as it were, and not to make them sick. But esoteric pupils are expected to be fully aware of their responsibility towards the world and themselves. That's why a dull esoteric can easily have the feeling on waking in the morn that he's drowning, especially if he abandons himself to ordinary sense life. And so an esoteric must constantly watch himself, and it doesn't hurt if he sometimes becomes a brooder about himself. Then he'll understand what the masters of wisdom bring home to him at the close of each class:

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.