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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 1

During the first weeks I'd like you to observe the following:

A morning meditation that consists of the following.

One raises one's feeling to the higher self. It's less a matter of telling oneself something theoretically about the higher self, and more of feeling in a very vivid way that one has a higher nature in one. One imagines that the ordinary self surrounds this higher nature like a shell, so that the latter is present in the lower self like its kernel. After developing such a feeling one says the following prayerfully (not aloud, but in thought) to the “higher self”:

More radiant than the sun
Purer than snow
Subtler than the ether
Is the Self
The Spirit of my heart
I am this Self
This Self am I.

As one says this to oneself quite exactly no other idea should mix in. One should only feel that one's soul-gaze is directed towards the higher self. One gradually feels a wonderful strengthening going out from the above words. One feels as if one were lifted out of oneself, and eventually as if one had gotten wings. This is the beginning on which one then builds further. This should last 2–3 minutes.

One immerses oneself completely in the first sentence of Light on The Path: “Before the eyes can see, they must be incapable of tears.” One gives no other thought access to one's soul. One unites oneself completely with this thought. Its meaning must then dawn upon one in a flash. This will certainly happen one day if one is patient. Then there must be complete quiet in the soul for several minutes. One must be blind and deaf for all outer sense impressions and for all memory pictures Again 2–3 minutes.

Next comes devotional attention to the highest divine things that one reveres. The mood is the important thing here. Fervent looking up and longing for union with these divine things.

Before going to sleep in the evening do a short retrospect of the day's experiences. Completeness is of less importance than the judging of oneself as if one were a different person. One should learn from oneself. Life should increasingly become a lesson. One begins with the evening and goes forward to the morning.

One gradually notices that one's dream life takes on a more regular character. The spiritual world flows into this at first. Meditation is the occult key for this. One should get a notebook and briefly write down characteristic dreams in the morning. Thereby, one gets practice in retaining what flows to one from higher worlds. That's the first elementary method to later get to bringing spiritual experiences through, that is, that they break through into bright day consciousness. Dreams that are only reminiscences from daily life or that are based on heart disturbances, headaches or other bodily conditions are only of value if they're clothed in a symbolical form, for instance if the thumping heart appears as a cooking oven, or the painful brain as a dome into which animals creep, etc. Only the symbolism is of value here and not the dream's content. For the symbolic form is initially used by the spiritual world to introduce us to the forces of higher worlds. That's why one must pay attention to the fine points of this symbolism. In your case—according to your capacities—it'll also be good if you compare the dreams that you become aware of with the experiences of the next day. For your dreams may soon take on a portentous character. If this happens we'll say some more about how this thing can be made productive for your spiritual life. Please give these indications a try and tell me how things are going in about eight days.