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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 33

Hamburg, 5-24-'08

Today desire goes out of the astral body, interest lies in the I, and pleasure is in the etheric body. Previously interest was in the astral body, desire was in the etheric body and pleasure was in the physical body; this was in the Lemurian epoch when there was no disease, food flowed in and out, and egoless people without interest in outer things changed bodies like clothes. Pictures arose in the astral body that told a man what was good or harmful for him. He was interested in the pictures that arose within him and this interest remained when he changed bodies. This was a permanent astral consciousness. This changed when the I that had been in the spiritual world sank into man and permeated him more and more. Interest moved into the I. The I drew interest up to itself, it drew everything up to its own realm. Thereby it tied itself off from the Gods, and the result was death. Everything that doesn't happen for the whole but for a single something that's separated from the whole, and therefore is egoism, finally leads to the destruction of this single thing, to death.

Rosicrucianism calls this interest that goes out from the ego estimatio. We must raise our interest to the astral plane again; whereby we gain imaginatio. When desire is brought back into the etheric body we attain incantatio or inspiratio. And by putting pleasure back into the physical body we get intuitio.

Graphic 4
When we no longer follow personal interests in our actions, when we do what we have to do in such a way that we follow the inner necessities that a rightly understood law of karma places on us, when we give our deeds to the outer world with inner equanimity and in accordance with this law, then we overcome estimatio through our own higher I who is then the doer. And when bound by the strength of this I we no longer let ourselves be driven by the streams and influences that storm in on us from the outer world we can then make right judgments about the outer world and we gather wisdom from it. It reveals its inner nature to us when we stand before it with equanimity, and when we think and act in such a way that we know: All of my thoughts, feelings and deeds influence the whole, nothing exists for itself; I want to give everything to humanity, let everything be dedicated to the service of mankind. When this lives in a pupil as the basic feeling, he then develops Buddhi, the Christ principle. Thus he lets the higher triad arise from the given figure: Manas, Buddhi, Atman.