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Rudolf Steiner Archive

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 43

In winter's depths is kindled
True spirit life with glowing warmth;
It gives to world appearance,
Through forces of the heart, the power to be.
Grown strong, the human soul defies
With inner fire the coldness of the world.

Southern Hemisphere
Week 17

Thus speaks the cosmic Word
That I by grace through senses' portals
Have led into my innermost soul:
Imbue your spirit depths
With my wide world horizons
To find in future time myself in you.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Esoteric Lessons III
GA 266

Lesson 2

Berlin, 2-8-'13

My dear sisters and brothers! If we heed and do everything that's been given till now in the Mystery dramas and esoteric lessons, if we really do all of this in complete devotion, then we can already get very, very far into high spiritual worlds. Moderns don't need anything more to get into very high spiritual worlds. We must live entirely in meditation, concentration and contemplation, and leave everything else outside. One can only attain something by sticking strictly to the prescribed rules. Meditation time must be looked upon as something beautiful and elevated in our esoteric life. During meditation one should first immerse oneself completely in the content of the exercises. So one must empty the soul of all everyday thoughts and feelings and must live in the content of the given exercises. And then make the consciousness devoid of content — also of the meditation material – and listen while one is awake. It's true that this is quite difficult. Some say that they hear their blood pulsing, and that this disturbs them. That's all right — let them hear the blood pulse. Then they'll sense the life in blood and thereby become aware of a piece of inner life.

Exoteric life takes place in the world of cognition. We know something because we confront an object, look at it and make mental images of it. This changes the moment we meditate. Through meditation we enter another world where we have our ideas, thoughts and concepts before us, outside us: we know that we're connected with them. But we can't get rid of them, we run after them. Thoughts ascend from the soul's depths. We see beings like carnivorous animals that devour them. We connect ourselves completely with the thoughts, etc. So we experience things here, whereas in exoteric life we know them. In meditation we're in a world of experience. We shouldn't immediately make ideas about what approaches us in this world. We should just open ourselves, listen and feel what wants to stream into our soul. This develops the lotus flowers so that they can become active. Further on we arrive at the world of bliss or shapes. But only one who has prepared himself for this world experiences it as a world of bliss. For an immature person it's full of terrifying things and it tears him apart. For him love turns into hate there, beautiful into ugly and he now likes what was disgusting to him before, and so on. Everything is in reverse. One only becomes really mature enough for a correct experience of this world of shapes if one goes through a training in self-discipline. What did the Gods do to protect us from an experience of this world of shapes before we're mature? They gave us pleasure, the enjoyment of creative activity here in the physical world. The beauty that we feel in a work of art, in a Raphael, in a Leonardo, such as were shown in scene three of Guardian of the Threshold isn't the permanent thing, also not the art work itself, but what's eternal is the spiritual part — what went on in the artist's soul as he worked, from which the work of art was created.

What is God in maya? What has to be said now must sound rather paradoxical. God is not what we experience in the spring in up-building forces, in shooting, sprouting things, in all beautiful and luminous things — God is real and active where we see destructive powers of nature; God is in autumn storms, in all shattering, disintegrating and crushing things. It sounds horrible and shocking, but it's a fact: God is most active in all destructive and disintegrating things. We're given pleasure from work with physical things to protect us from entering the world of shapes, of bliss too soon. In waking day consciousness we're separated from it as by a thin layer of ice. While we're in esoteric training we shouldn't bring these esoteric teachings into exoteric life or want to regulate exoteric life in accordance with these teachings. That could only lead to folly. Our education in exoteric life must result from exoteric pedagogical principles. One could set it up as an ideal that esoteric life should run completely independently. We must preserve absolute equanimity with respect to spiritual experiences, just as we should remain calm in everyday life with respect to all events, ideas, etc., so that we don't get excited or upset. One attains this equanimity by reverently thinking, feeling and living oneself into the three mantras, It thinks me — It works me — It weaves me, by letting these 3 sentences go through one's soul over and over again. And then we'll also understand our rosicrucian verse in the right way:

Ex Deo nascimur
In Christo morimur
Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.

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