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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 41

Berlin, 11-11-'08

Ambition and vanity become noticeable in the astral body as thorns or pointed streams inwards that then turn around and lose themselves outside. When one has temptations like this, one should immediately direct one's thoughts to great, beautiful things that were done by outstanding geniuses. In envy there's an attack on the etheric body that can also hinder blood circulation. A kind of fog arises in the astral body, so that one can't see people and circumstances clearly. When an esoteric feels envious he should think of beautiful works of art or of revereable beings. Vanity and envy are also combated by repeated ideas about earth evolution and man's seven members in inner calm. The astral body's content is a zero for the spiritual world and we must change this nothing into a something. Rage, anger and aggravation produce nodular hardenings and fine roots in the astral body. Blood surges and artery swelling are protective measures that dissolve them. In curiosity folds arise in the astral body that make it slack and passive. This slackness can continue into the physical body. In gossipiness tensions and pressure relations arrive in the astral body.

The way to confront these phenomena and to gradually overcome them is to acquire inner calm. One must learn how to shut oneself off completely from the outer world at certain times. If a pupil finds this difficult to do he should imagine a caduceus. One will gradually be able to make oneself unaware of the disquiet that big cities bring with them. It wouldn't help to eliminate the world's noise, for the harmful inner effects would remain.

Much worry dries out and withers the physical brain. Worried thoughts make furrows in it and thereby make one think such thoughts repeatedly. Here the physical body becomes a hindrance to a man's progress. Facial wrinkles reflect these groove[s]. Worries live in a certain astral substance; soters [sic] are highly developed individualities who take this sorrow substance upon themselves. The greatest man of sorrow was Christ.