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Esoteric Lessons III
GA 266

Lesson 18

Nuermberg, 11-10-'13

We'll discuss something that can be of value for our whole esoteric life. The latter aims to give us something that ordinary men don't have yet. We are like children in our relation to the spiritual world. If one is a sensible teacher one doesn't just let children do what they like. One must look at what's developing in a child and arrange his education accordingly. Also one doesn't give a child a real gun to play with, because he could do a lot of damage with it. The same applies to men who are looking for super-sensible worlds. If the means to get into them were put into their hands too early they would use them injuriously, would only cause harm before they were really mature enough to enter them. One must treat children like developing beings.

This comes to expression in their games. A boy plays war, a girl plays with dolls.

An esoteric must also be treated as a developing being by spiritual leaders and teachers, and he must be given what he'll need later. Our earth evolution strides on. When we go into new incarnations we'll see how important and necessary it was to have occupied oneself with theosophy in this life. Although they don't now, men will want to remember their past spiritual experiences. One who took in no theosophy will find nothing, he'll brood about and long for something that he can't find within him. It's very important to devote oneself to esoteric life, even if one doesn't consciously enter the spiritual worlds in this life yet. We should look upon spiritual life as a necessary preparation. We should banish everything else from our thoughts and feelings. The fundamental mood of the soul in concentration and meditation is very important.

Imagine how a chick breaks its eggshell and creeps out. What's the difference between before and after? Before it was completely enclosed by the shell that was its world. Everything that the chick experienced it experienced as pictures in the eggshell. Where is it now, when it breaks through the shell? Then its experience and perception expand around it in a much larger space than before. And life in the eggshell seems very small by comparison.

A man who stands in ordinary sense life is in the same situation as the chick in its shell. Everything is projected around him as a picture and only seems as big as it is to him because he's enclosed in it and has no other yardstick.

We look up to the heavens and see the stars. Astronomers calculate their orbits and what they call their laws. But they really don't see beyond the eggshell. We all carry such an eggshell with us in our astral body—an auric eggshell or sheath. In a chick it's condensed down to the physical level, but not in us. That's why we don't notice it at all. For instance, materialistic science looks upon the sun as a hollow ball, and it lets it be permeated with substances like those in our earth, but in different states. But in reality it's the centre of our ego. Or when we look at the evening or morning star, then we theosophists know that forces are working out there that correspond to our etheric body.