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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 61

Munich, 9-1-'12

An esoteric has to pay attention to things that are irrelevant to an exoteric. For instance, he should keep in mind that the truth he strives for can only be a relative truth, that as an esoteric one can't speak of eternal truths at all. Our wishes always mix into our striving and we must tell ourselves that we'd rather accept a truth that pleases us than one that doesn't. For instance, the thought of immortality is more appealing to most people than the one that everything is over at death, and so they tend to accept it as a truth just for that reason. But an esoteric should not do this. He should exclude his personal wishes and then investigate. Meditations are given for this in which we should, as it were, rest spiritually in a particular thought content. It's more important to let our soul rest in the meditation than to think about its content, for our soul forces become strengthened through this continued repetition.

The tendency to believe in and defend absolute eternal truths is an attribute of our consciousness soul. Now it's possible that the latter no longer controls these ideas but is controlled by them and pours them outwards. In occultism one calls a consciousness soul with these ideas an “inner Sadducee.” We all have such an inner Sadducee in us, and an esoteric has the duty to feel this and to adapt himself accordingly.

The intellectual or mind soul can also have something like a second man in it, and that's when someone wants to set up a personally recognized truth as a generally valid one. A man does this out of a certain feeling of shame, because he doesn't want to say: “I've recognized this truth through this or that experience and therefore it's a truth for me,” but he'd like to set it up as one that's generally valid. In occultism one calls him a Pharisee. The inner Pharisee is the intellectual soul which takes over in this direction. This desire to set up personal truths often leads to hypocrisy and dishonesty.

One can also let the sentient soul predominate too much in its striving for truth. This is done by people who would rather wallow in feelings than take in teachings about the world evolution and elaborate them, who for instance would rather immerse themselves in Tauler or some other medieval mystic and who reject everything else. Since the sentient soul is fairly distant from the consciousness soul it doesn't bring its defects to expression in such an unpleasant way as the latter does; and yet it's a mistake for an esoteric to turn away from everything that the outer world can tell him and to only look for truth in inner immersion. In occultism one calls this way of letting the sentiment soul predominate the “inner Essene.” One could object that an Essene is someone who's quite good. Of course he is, but the spiritual leaders who founded this order knew the right time and place and how to set it up so that it was salutary for the world. The main thing in occult striving is to know which truth is the right one for the particular age. Buddha knew this quite well when he brought his teaching to India at about 500 B.C. To transplant the same teaching elsewhere at a different time doesn't have the same effect The important thing is to know how something can be made effective.

At certain times nodal points form in spiritual worlds, when forces work into the worlds that lie directly above us. Such a time is here now. Great initiates can't bring these forces down from the highest worlds—only Christ can do this because he went through the Mystery of Golgotha. But Buddha, Pythagoras, Zarathustra and other great initiates gather round the Christ and let themselves be influenced by his forces, regardless of whether or not they're incarnated. And they work out of this spirit.

We should bring these three men who live in us—Sadducee, Pharisee, and Essene—into a relationship, because each one by himself is something harmful. The Pharisee should serve the Sadducee, and both of them should serve the Essene. The latter should rule over the two but shouldn't rule by himself. As esoterics, we should really get the feeling that we have these three in us, for when we get to the threshold's guardian we'll feel them very distinctly, and we'll feel that we must leave them behind as something perishable, as something that doesn't belong in the spiritual world. If one says that an Essene works with spiritual worlds one must answer that he works with them in the physical world in the way that's appropriate for him, but that his whole order was founded for a particular place on earth, and that one proceeds from other viewpoints in spiritual worlds.

If we step before the Gods with these three defects that we feel to be nakedness, we'll have a feeling of shame such as naked Adam and Eve had before God, and so we must try to harmonize these three attributes.

The spiritual world is surrounded by sheaths that we create ourselves and which we must dissolve. One does not find knowledge by seeking within. It can come to one when the sun sinks into a calm sea and we let this phenomenon work on us intensively. A right life with nature has an awakening, promoting effect on an esoteric, but he shouldn't devote himself to it exclusively. Nikolaus V. Kues had very strong spiritual experiences on a sea voyage from Constantinople.

A Master of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings has compressed help and support into a prayer, like the sea into a drop—something like that is possible in the spiritual but of course not in the physical—and he wishes us to always close our esoteric classes with this verse that describes man's whole descent and ascent:

In the spirit lay the germ of my body.
And the spirit has imprinted in my body
The eyes of sense,
That through them I may see
The lights of bodies.
And the spirit has imprinted in my body
Reason and sensation
And feeling and will,
That through them I may perceive bodies
And act upon them.
In the spirit lay the germ of my body.
In my body lies the germ of the spirit.
And I will incorporate into my spirit
The super-sensible eyes
That through them I may behold the light of spirits.
And I will imprint in my spirit
Wisdom and power and love,
So that through me the spirits may act
And I become a self-conscious organ
Of their deeds.
In my body lies the germ of the spirit.