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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 48

Berlin, 3-21-'09

A man is a very complicated entity. When a man begins to eat vegetarian food there are a few things that he should consider. For instance, if we eat beef the forces that produced a small brain and a projecting go into our astral body and work there in a hardening way. The astral body takes on these forms after death, as can be observed on the astral plane. This fact led to the idea of soul transmigration.

If men hadn't eaten animals they would have remained soft and would have taken on grotesque forms. If someone is a vegetarian today and loses this hardening element, this inner firmness, and if he's not a robust man he easily loses his inner hold on himself and can even become insane. An esoteric who takes his development into his own hands and must overcome influences that affect his progress from outside must achieve the firmness that's produced in him by hardening forces by acquiring clear thinking. An esoteric creates firm lines in himself and avoids the danger of becoming shaky by imagining old Saturn, Sun, Moon, etc. so that he's immersed in purely impersonal thoughts. We shouldn't be influenced by biased habits that are connected with race, time, etc. in our thinking; the latter should be entirely free.

We must develop our intelligence. Some people have the intelligence of an eight year old who can only do their jobs if everything is dictated from above. Otherwise they collapse. Another danger is that if an esoteric has had some special experiences he may think that he's very devoted and selfless, when in fact there's a fine egotism behind this that's hard to detect. This also has to go if one really wants the Christ to be born in one. And one can only overcome it through pure thinking. If one has seen something astral or the like, one should be clear about what it is, and not imagine that it's of great importance or that it proves that one is already far advanced. One should confront everything clearly and impersonally and purify one's thinking, feeling and willing in order to let the spirit work through one.