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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 3

Munich, 3-13-'10

In esotericism we must note something that we call the Spirit of the Day. The masters of wisdom and of the harmony of feelings have given us meditation through which we can approach one of these divine creating beings each day. We will begin with the guiding verse which the masters gave for today.

Great embracing Spirit,
Many archetypes
Sprouted out of your life
At a time when my life forces
Didn't yet exist.
You were.
I lift up my soul to you.
I was in you.
I was part of your forces.
You connected yourself
With the earth's first beginnings
To a sun of life
And gave me the force of life.
I was in your radiant life forces.
You were.
My life force radiated into yours in space.
My body began its becoming in time.
You were.

Great embracing Spirit
May my I raise itself from below upward,
May it get an inkling of you in the all-embracing.
May the spirit of my being be illumined
By the light of your messengers.
May the soul of my being be enkindled by the fire flames of your servants.
May the will of my I grasp
Your creatorword's force.
You are.
May your being permeate my will
That my I be grasped by an understanding of your light's shining,
Your life's love-warmth
And your being's creator words.
You are.

Today we'll speak about how easily an esoteric tends to forget even the simplest exoteric sayings of theosophy, such as: Everything sensory is maya or illusion. Every esoteric should meditate on this regularly. Many will think that they already understand this statement long ago. But few reflect how little of it they really bring into their life and feeling and how much they would have to include thereby. For instance, someone can say: I do the Lord's Prayer every morning and draw strengthening forces for the whole day from the spiritual content of this wonderful prayer. Now, one of the masters of wisdom said that he only prays the Our Father once a month, and otherwise he prepares himself to pray it worthily that one time. Now the first one could say that he'll pray it once a month too, because one should follow a master's example. But what would that be? That would be pronounced haughtiness. It would be saying that we can do as much as a master can, that what he can draw from the spiritual content of the Lord's Prayer is also accessible to us. We often think that we have already eradicated a quality like pride, but have just pushed it into another corner of our nature. For all of these qualities are also maya, and so are the concepts that we make for ourselves on the physical plane about good and evil, right and wrong. When we spoke of the influences of lucifereic beings in exoteric classes we formed the view that these influences were bad ones which we have to resist, whereas on the other hand we know that Lucifer brought us freedom. But we should definitely not take our acquired concepts of good and evil, right and wrong with us into the high regions in which something takes place between Lucifer and the good Gods that looks like a battle and namely one that mostly takes place in the human soul. It's an occult secret that certain qualities of a man develop too fast during earth evolution, and Lucifer is at work here. How does this come about?

Lucifer comes over from Moon evolution and brings the Moon tempo into everything that comes under his influence. Now since he mainly influences our intellect and reason they have developed far in advance. We'll go through many more incarnations and have a variety of experiences, but our intellect and reason will be the same as they are now. And what's the consequence of this advanced development? We can't harmonize our intellect with the wisdom that we find in the world, thereby giving rise to one error after another.

I can give you a trivial example. After the first terrible eruptions of Mt. Pelee were over, the experts at the scene calculated that there would be a long dormant period. But the eruptions came again, worse than before, and the lava and rubble buried the experts and their proclamations. This is an example of how our combining intellect storms ahead and gets on the wrong track instead of slowly working its way into the wisdom of nature's forces.

Lucifer's influences are at work all over the earth. But we would be mistaken if we would want to look for an expression of the same in earthquakes, storm and hail. On the contrary, we must look for his influence in everything that becomes mature quickly, and this acceleration must be hindered by the good Gods. Weather catastrophes are often the expression of the good Gods; they're the hindrance that they have to oppose Lucifer with to avoid overly rapid development. And namely they're hindrances that also correspond to old Moon evolution, in order to offset Lucifer's Moon tempo; what was right on the Moon now has harmful effects.

The good Gods must also intervene to retard an esoteric's development. For what does Lucifer do in our esoteric life? It's due to him that we take the maya of our concepts from material life with us into our meditations. So that we don't enter spiritual worlds unprepared in this wrong way the good Gods throw hindrances on the path, such as all of our bad qualities. They are the bad will, rage, pride, vanity, and envy that break out when we approach the Gods with our earthly views and feelings. The spiritual worlds remain closed to us until we've eliminated these hindrances, for they must be kept free of everything that's maya.

If we reflect about this relation of the good Gods, of Christ, to the Luciferic beings, to Lucifer, then the meditation verse: Everything around us is maya or illusion, will appear to us in a quite different light. We'll become aware of how often we forget in everyday life that things and qualities that we think are very important are just maya.