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Rudolf Steiner Archive 

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 19

In secret to encompass now
With memory what I've newly got
Shall be my striving's further aim:
Thus, ever strengthening, selfhood's forces
Shall be awakened from within
And growing, give me to myself.

Southern Hemisphere
Week 45

My power of thought grows firm
United with the spirit's birth.
It lifts the senses' dull attractions
To bright-lit clarity.
When soul-abundance
Desires union with the world's becoming,
Must senses' revelation
Receive the light of thinking.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Esoteric Lessons III
GA 266

Lesson 16

Copenhagen, 10-15-'13

We gradually press into the spiritual world through our exercises, but we can't do this without coming into contact with Lucifer and Ahriman. We find the story of man's fall into sin in the Bible, through which Lucifer and then Ahriman gained an influence over men. They work into a man in such a way that it's difficult for him to stand his ego when he ascends into the spiritual world. Some people can't even stand the outer sign for the ego in the physical world, that is, they faint when they see blood.

The fall into sin gave us self-knowledge, albeit a limited one, and every time we take a step forward in self-knowledge new temptations approach us, but no more than we can stand; for just as we pass out from pain to our body after a certain point, so the forces that enable us to stand the spiritual world are limited.

Since Lucifer and Ahriman drove us out of Paradise, they're the ones whom we meet when we want to get into the spiritual world via meditation, and who let us feel our limitations. Ahriman is in all spiritual sounds, words, etc., that one can hear. One should always be distrustful of these, for untruth lies in the speech that's differentiated into various languages, although not everything we say is untrue. There can only be as much truth in “voices” as there is in speech. If voices would always tell the truth, then Lucifer at the Temptation should not have said: “You will be as Gods” but he would have had to say: “I'm lying.”

Lucifer gives visions. One has to break through them, otherwise one doesn't break through the shell that's around every man and covers the real spiritual world. Visions and voices are around us like the shell around a chick. One might see an angel in a vision and when one presses through the vision the angel will change into a snake, Lucifer's symbol, for at the Temptation he appeared as a snake. Or one might see the colour blue in one's meditation — if one breaks through it the blue can become red, and then it turns out that we saw our own passions. As a result of his temptation by Lucifer man doesn't have everything that the Gods have; he received knowledge, but not life. Thereby everything that we know and perceive is permeated by Lucifer and Ahriman. Actually this is also the case with the content of our exercises. If one looks at one's exercises one will find that they're constructed in such a way that they never appeal to human egoism — which many people feel is very unpleasant. We don't meditate about love or truth, for that would only promote egotism. However concepts such as light and warmth that we find in our exercises are things of the physical world, which a man only knows through his physical senses to begin with. These too are Lucifer's gifts. That's why we should let the content drop after meditation and make the soul entirely empty of these impressions also. Thereby we renounce everything that comes from Lucifer and Ahriman and prepare ourselves for the pure spiritual world. Then the sense world disappears for us, and a spiritual world opens up before us that has nothing in common with the physical world. An ordinary man is like the chick that would consider its shell to be the real world. If the chick could see it would see the egg's contents as if it were the whole world. Likewise we see our eggshell or aura spread out around us as the blue dome of the heavens. If we break through our shell the sun and moon become darkened, the stars fall down onto the earth and the spiritual world spreads out in its place.

A man lives in his eggshell — his aura. The Elohim gave us our aura, and through the fall into sin it has become like a shell around us, and we're in it like a chick in an egg. The stars in the heavens are our boundary and we must break through it with our soul force, just as a chick must break out of its shell through its own power. Then we get into a new world, just as a chick has a new world before it when it has crept out of the egg. And since men all have the same eggshell around them an astronomy could arise that lets the heavenly bodies move along the celestial dome. The eggshell is the Ex Deo nascimur. To break through it and to bring something with us into the spiritual world we must bring what penetrates the shell from the outer spiritual world and that's common to all; and that's the Christ. That's why we say: In Christo morimur and hope that when we've broken through the shell we will be awakened again: Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.

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