Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Individually Given Main Exercises

From Handwritten Archive Number 7704

Meditation Morning:


Elevation to the higher self via the formula: more radiant than the sun ... this self am I.

Contemplative meditation in Light On the Path.

14 days: Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears.

14 days: Before the ear can hear it must have lost its sensitiveness.

14 days: Before the voice can speak in the presence of masters it must have lost the power to wound.

14 days: Before the soul can stand in the presence of masters its feet must be washed in the heart's blood.

Devotional attention to an absolutely revereable ideal.

Evening: Day's retrospect. Begin with the last experiences and actions in the evening and ascent to a.m.

From Handwritten Archive Number 4401

On awakening in the morning and before any other impressions have gone through the soul one directs one's attention away from all sense impressions and memories of everyday life. One tries to free oneself from all worries, concerns, etc. Once one has produced this with stillness of the soul one lets

More radiant than the sun ... This Self am I

Live in the soul for 5 minutes. What follows in the next five minutes is:

Concentration on the point between and somewhat behind the eyebrows with meditation on: I am.

Concentration on the inside of the larynx and meditation on: It thinks.

Concentration on both arms and hands and meditation on: She feels.

The hands can be folded here or the right hand is folded over the left. After some time one feels as if the hands want to move apart on their own. But one must by no means produce this through self-deception.

Concentration on the body's whole surface and meditation on: He wills.

Then follows concentration on the pit of the stomach with meditation on: Divine Life.

All of this is followed by 5 minutes of reverential immersion in one's own divine ideal.

Evening retrospect as before.

From Handwritten Archive Number 6915

Retain the preceding exercise and add the following at the place where “He wills” streams over the whole body. Create streams from the body's surface and draw them to the body's surface and draw them to the heart as the center. One should do the whole thing slowly as one quietly rests one's consciousness on the happenings. During this process meditate on the words from Light on the Path: Seek out the way.

Then I ask you to rest quietly with the whole feeling in your heart while meditating on: Seek the way by retreating within.

Then one guides the stream back towards the body's surface while meditating one: Seek the way by advancing boldly without. You'll soon be able to perceive the indicated rays as real warmth streams.

These exercises prepare for the union on one's personality (microcosm) with the great world and its secrete (macrocosm), just as the exercises given before prepare for the awakening of one's individuality.

Later on, a man will have a much more intimate connection with the world's lawfulnesses than now. An esoteric pupil anticipates this intimacy in this development The head with its brain is only a transition organ for knowledge. The organ that will look deeply and powerfully into the world has its germ in the present heart. To become an organ for cognition the heart must be transformed in many ways. But this heart is the source and fount of a future human stage. When the heart becomes its organ, cognition will be warm and intimate as only the feelings of love and compassion are today. But the feelings will struggle out of the dullness and darkness in which they just grope today and through to the brightness and clarity that only the finest, most logical concepts of the head have today. A real pupil is preparing himself for such things. And it's only a correct preparation if he does it with the indicated sentiment in his soul. These sentiments are the mother of the perspective that he needs. I ask you to note that we'll only attain what we should attain through our meditation and concentration exercises if we do them permeated by the great, sublime goals in bright, complete clarity.

I ask you to always look at and do the exercises in this sense. Thereby you fit yourself into the community of spirits in current incarnations who are supposed to be come seers and helpers of the futures. We can do no better for the world's further development than to develop ourselves. But we must do that. And once we've seen the truth about our own being and the connection of this being with the world we don't doubt for a moment that we must do this. But this can only gradually be known. It's a child of will and patience.

Please try to connect the various indications given this winter with “Before the eyes can see ... ear can hear ... voice can speak ... the soul can stand” in Light on the Path.

You'll find these four sentences contain a great deal, and that the most important theosophical teachings about the world and self-knowledge will gradually appear before your soul intuitively if you live in these sentences completely. These sentences are not just sentences, but forces that awaken truth and strength and life when one devotes oneself to them.

Please write me about every four weeks or as often as you like if something special happens in your spiritual life in the way of progress, ideas gained, etc. My answers may then lead you further.


Morning: Quiet

In pure rays of light
Gleams the Godhead of the world
In pure love for all beings
Radiates the godliness of my soul
I rest in the Godhead of the world
I will find myself in the Godhead of the world.

Five minutes [for exercise above].
Growing plant: 5 minutes
Withering plant: 5 minutes.
Devotional attention to your own divine ideal.

Evening: Devotional attention.

Retrospect of day's experiences. Pictorially. From the rear to the front.

From Handwritten Archive Number 3052