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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons III
GA 266

Lesson 15

Bergen, 10-11-'13

It's always necessary to give a new picture of what has to happen in meditation and of how one has to behave therein. When one sits down to meditate one should try to see to it that the room one is in is neither too hot nor too cold, so that one feels as few hindrances from the physical body as possible. The first thing that'll appear is a kind of inner unrest, as if things were pricking and crawling in our blood, so that one feels distracted by it; it can even become a rushing of the blood. Perhaps people who haven't experienced this will think that they're better meditators. But that isn't the case, for everyone must more or less experience this pricking in the blood, and it's actually a proof that one is on the right track, for one thereby becomes aware of something that one always likes to ignore in ordinary life. For the stabbing and pricking of the blood makes us aware of the egotism that we're still full of and that hinders us from getting into the spiritual world. This will hinder us from acquiring the necessary quiet, but with a strong continuation of meditation one will get so far that this prickling will no longer disturb us while it's present.

A kind of difficulty in breathing is a second hindrance that emerges in meditation. A moment comes when one feels as if breathing would stop, as if one had a thickening or constriction in the throat that takes one's breath away. This is something that anyone who tries to meditate will probably experience and it points to the untruthfulness that's still in us.

A third thing is that one can suddenly feel very weak during meditation and that sweat breaks out. This is the case in fat people. If the etheric body loosens itself here it has a kind of dense wall before it so that the meditator can't see through it, and further attempts to see spiritual beings will fail. Or one can feel very comfortable and light, as if one were in a kind of dream state. This indicates that we're not inclined to be sociable, and that we tend to lead a dreamy life on the physical plane. To counteract the egoism that can arise so strongly that one can feel very disturbed by it one could read the Lord's Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount or the beginning of John's Gospel and let them work in one. This will create quiet in us for awhile. What was given as the Fifth Gospel can also prevent a further increase in egotism.

The more seriously we develop ourselves as esoterics, the more we should develop a devotion in us and bring it towards higher beings such as angels. They need our esoteric striving and the study of theosophy as food for themselves. And to the extent that theosophy presses into us and we make it into a part of our own being, archangels can use it for the further development of single peoples and therefore for their own development.