It's only natural that in the course of years our esoteric lectures should get ever more complicated and be built up on ones that have already been given. But since our esoteric movement is growing steadily the main disadvantage to this is that things get a little superficial. The ideal would be to have a small group that strives for ever more deepening. One way to counteract the flattening would be if new members would turn trustingly to ones who've been listening to these lectures for years and catch up that way. In general, it would be good if people would chatter less and think more about spreading esoteric teachings in our circles and also about taking them in. It's not the right thing for so many of our members to concentrate their trust so much on one person, that is, mainly on me as the more or less karmic instrument for the spreading of thee teachings. Newcomers should turn trustfully to older members in personal and daily affairs, and only get advice from me in questions of esoteric development. Trust is a factor that's very important in the life of a lodge, and the ability to give advice increases in those who are asked for it. We have many physicians in our movement whom I trust completely, as can always be observed. Our members could turn to them in many health matters. There's a particularly strong esoteric life in this place and perfect work is done. Of course some polar disadvantage arise, especially through the coming in of people who don't realize what serious and sacred thing the esoteric life is. It should be impossible for someone who devoted himself to esoteric life to think of leaving it for an external reason, because that only proves how insincere his decision was right from the beginning. Karma creates a quiet destiny for some people the moment they become esoterics so that they can move their exercises into the center of their life. Others run into events which they can't bring into harmony with their esoteric life, sometimes to such a great extent that their esoteric life suffers from it. Of course, the ideal would be if we would irradiate our whole life from our esoteric center, if we had always directed our gaze at it. Something that especially harms esoteric development is the untested, superficial and therefore objectively incorrect criticism that we often direct at people. I'm not saying that criticizing is wrong, but it should always be directed to facts and not at people whom one doesn't happen to like.
Our exercises seem to be something very simple, and yet they're something that works on us more strongly than anything we can encounter in life. What do they bring about? Through them, we're supposed to loosen our etheric body from within and pull it out. At some point in our exercises it'll happen that we don't see, hear or feel anymore, and this happens through the loosening of the etheric body. There are many methods to bring it out, but such external methods that aren't based on meditation are harmful to organs, since the etheric body is repelled form outside, by the eyes, for instance, and they then suffer from this. Only some forces are loosened by meditative withdrawal, so that enough of them are left to maintain biological functions. When we get into this state of not hearing things, etc., we've left our physical body. Although many of us have been doing these exercises for years, we haven't been able to do this. Why not?
People get an uncomfortable feeling before they leave their body, so they resist this instinctively. A man opposed this stepping out of the etheric body more than anything else Even thinking about it hinders it. It's almost like a reflex motion, that one immediately recoils when this feeling comes over one. The reason one resists this is that when a pupil has developed enough intensity to leave his body, he suddenly realizes what a sublime, wonderful temple this body with all of its organs is, and then when he looks at what went out he sees that it's an ugly worm, and this worm resists, because he's shocked at his own ugliness. And then we realize how endless the path to perfection is.
We receive a force through our exercises, and this should pour out from within. Someone may tell us: Nothing is pouring in me. And that's not surprising if he doesn't do his exercises energetically enough and if he rates many everyday interests much higher than his esoteric work.
The first feeling that we get through the etheric body's loosening is a heaviness in the brain and in the whole physical body, which we feel is a weight that doesn't belong to us. We feel that this wonderful structure that's the greatest thing about us is weak and perishable. We made it that way. Divine beings made it increasingly perfect since Saturn, and the Saturn and Sun forces in it are upbuilding ones that would sustain it. But we got something into it with Moon forces, astral things, and earth forces, the ego, that turns these forces outwards in order to transmit percepts to the ego through sense organs. Now in the course of a pupil's training he feels that his senses are a destructive force, a poisonous substance that's inserted in his organism. Just as the astral body and ego were incorporated, so the nervous system, brain and senses had to e transformed so that they could not receive from outside what had previously streamed out through them from within. At this moment a man understood the real cause of death, and in the ancient mysteries one called this: Standing at the portal of death.
Now the I is supposed to make all the things it did wrong good again and to perfect all of its bodies so that we become a true man. It's true that the expression “man” is often not used in the high sense that really underlies it, but an esoteric should always look upon the making of himself into a man as his highest striving. So we should let all imperfect things die in the one whose name is so sacred to us that we don't name him, in order to come back to life again in the perfect, in the Holy Spirit.