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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 12

Köln, 12-1-'06

One of the most important guidelines that the masters of wisdom and of the harmony of feelings communicate to pupils through a teacher is: Learn to be silent and you'll get power; give up power and you'll get will; give up will and you'll get feeling; give up feeling and you'll get knowledge. An esoteric must place these occult propositions before his soul in all work and action, and then some day he'll experience that the four verses are true. One should note that the various forces can only be attained in sequence, so that one can never attain knowledge first and maybe then feeling and then will, and then power. For will arises from the renunciation of power, etc. We'll give an example from the life of a very rich Briton, Laurence Oliphant, who lived in the middle of the last century. He and his wife had a noble love for their poorer neighbors and moved by this feeling they gave most of what they had to them; and then they migrated to New York. There they made enough money to go to Mt Tabor near Haifa. Here a strange phenomena arose. Oliphant began to write some very interesting and strange books about Genesis that were some of the strangest things that were written about the Bible at the time. But he could only have these thoughts with the help of his wife. After she died Oliphant could only keep on working for a short time, and then the inspiration of his deceased wife no longer reached the physical plane. So this is an example of the validity of the second part of the verse just mentioned.

We're always surrounded by five ether streams in the world around us on earth. They're called earth, water, fire, air and thought ethers. These etheric streams are also active in man: earth ether from the head to the right foot, from there water ether to the left hand, from there fire ether to the right hand, from there air ether to the left foot, and then thought ether back to the head. This is the occultist's sacred pentagram, the symbol of man. Its point is directed upwards, which indicates that the spirit streams to man from the heights. The pentagram is present in many flowers and other things in nature. The sign of black magic is a pentagram with one point at the bottom, through which magicians attract bad forces from the earth and send them out of the two top horns into the environment by means of their bad will in order to use soul and nature forces for their own egotistical, evil purposes.

The cross sections of the five etheric streams and their connections with color, taste, and body regions are as follows:

Square with only corners distinct earth ether, square with only the corners distinct, yellow, sweet, bones and muscles;

Crescent moon at fifth day water ether, crescent moon at fifth day, white, tart, digestion;

Equilateral triangle fire ether, equilateral triangle, red, hot, blood;

Circle air ether, circle, green, sour, nerves;

Two intersecting spirals - one distinct thought (akasha) ether, two intersecting spirals—one is distinct, dark blue, bitter, lymph vessel system.