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Esoteric Instructions
GA 270

Third Lesson

29 February 1924, Dornach

Let us begin, my dear friends, with the words well known to us that effectively indicate the path into the spiritual, the words which are spoken by the Guardian, as the person comes upon him, that characterize what a person can perceive on the threshold to the spiritual world.

From the wide expanse of the beings of space
Who in the light experience existence,
From the onward tread of the course of time
Which in creating finds itself expressed,
From the depths of the feeling heart,
Where in one's self the world is born anew:

There sounds in speech filled with soul,
There shines in thoughts filled with spirit,
The from godly healing forces
In world shaping powers
Welling working word of existence-awareness:
O Man, know yourself!

At first it is a matter of a person bringing to light in his thoughts the paths to be taken if entrance into the spiritual world is sought. If someone or other brings his thoughts to bear upon what the initiate goes through in reality on entry into the spiritual world, no one can say that a person who meditates, if he lives in his thoughts in sincerity and in earnest, does not experience, even if only in idealistic reflections, that he does not experience the very thing that is ultimately revealed for the soul of a person on real entry into the spiritual world.

Now, one should not say, let us leave entry to the spiritual world to those seeking initiation, to those seeking the ability to stay with their souls in spiritual reality, as a normal person stays with the senses in physical reality. One should say something quite different. Note that a person engrossed in thought, living in thoughts, can actually approach what is denoted here as the way into, the entrance into the spiritual world, can approach the actuality of confronting the spiritual world, but of course not while mired in superficial thoughts, but while fully feeling it, and being engaged in it. So really one should say, that such a person has more than an intellectual understanding of it. Such a person can have some of what rules when he does emerge from the world of appearance, from the world of the senses, and actually enters the spiritual world.

So, what I will be speaking about with you today, my dear friends, is not something merely brought forth good-heartedly, to be used in seeking the personal transformation that leads into the spiritual world, but rather it is something that is brought forth that allows an initial experience of this transformation in one's thoughts. And you all basically desire this, or else you would not be sitting here.

And so, the following must be said. Whenever a person makes observations in the sensory world, and life is made of such observations, whenever a person takes whatever he bumps up against in the sensory world as the cause for engaging his will, whenever he moves on from observation to action, allowing it to work on his heart and mind, in feelings composed of action and observational thoughts together, then a person stands, simply due to his being presently planted as a physical being of earth, a person then stands on a safe and effective foundation. Whoever does not have such a safe foundation will certainly seek it. He seeks everywhere, finding himself believing something or other, for actual facts taught about his belief. He examines experiences that substantiate it somehow. He does not normally take up anything with a will if it has not been substantiated by external experience of some sort. So, a person stands firmly on a foundation, so he says to himself, on the things that are true, that he has seen, on the things that are real, that he has grasped hold of. It is certainly through the world itself, through the orderliness of the world, that certainty is gained in human life. And as these things are certain, so argues the person, as they are actually necessary for normal life between birth and death, they may be used to distinguish truth from illusion, truth from appearance, truth from dreams. In this manner of proofreading life, if such a person cannot verify something, then it is rated as illusion. And in normal life only that which he can rate as truth, as reality rather than illusion, will lead him with certainty through his life.

Now just imagine, my dear friends, going through sensory life in the normal way, making your rounds between birth and death, so that you nearly never can know with certainty whether something or other that you come upon is truth or illusion. You cannot check whether a person that you meet, who speaks to you, is actually a real person or whether he is some sort of semblance, some sort of simulacrum. You cannot distinguish whether any specific incident or happenstance is something you have simply dreamed up, or in interconnected detail is actually in the world. Now just think about what uncertainty, what terrible uncertainty, can come into life.

However, you may get a certain feeling that you are correct in evaluating life at every turn, correct about whether you are dreaming or whether you are actually confronting reality. It is just so when a student initially stands at the portal, at the threshold of the spiritual world; the most significant experience at the threshold of the spiritual world is noticing at once that this threshold is in actuality the spiritual world.

We have seen that at first merely darkness streams out from the spiritual world. But the very thing that wells up here and there, glowing and beaming out on first experiencing it, within which the guardian of the threshold allows his words to sound, as we heard at the last lesson, on first experiencing it can initially in no way be distinguished from all that has been experienced in the physical world of sensory knowledge, through intellectual insight. One cannot distinguish whether the present experience is that of a real spiritual being, a real spiritual actuality, or merely a simulacrum.

That is the very first experience that a person has in regarding the spiritual world, that appearance and reality are intermixed. Distinguishing between appearance and reality is at first quite problematic. Exactly this should most definitely be considered, not in the regular scholarly manner, but rather by means of elemental forces emerging in such things as convulsive events and sicknesses in various ways. Exactly by experiencing such elemental forces as an impression of one sort or another from the spiritual world, exactly this should be well considered, but not judged at the outset as being the actual spiritual world, for it might very well be something presenting as a flash out of the spiritual world that is really a mere illusion. Therefore, the first thing a person must learn, above all, in order to enter the spiritual world in the proper manner, is that what a person experiences in the physical world is quite removed from the real ability to distinguish truth from error, reality from illusion. A person must acquire a totally new way of distinguishing truth from illusion.

In our times, people certainly no longer care very much for the illumination flooding in from the spiritual world. This has been forsaken by people in the common civilization completely and emphatically, in favor of whatever can be grasped in one's hands and what can be seen with one's physical eyes. In these times, in which people wish to remain completely and emphatically within external certainty, as presented in the life between birth and death, in these times it is extremely wearying to attempt to distinguish truth from error, reality from appearance, as one becomes properly attuned to the spiritual world. So, in this undertaking, the very most serious effort is needed.

Now how has this come to be? Try to see what is happening. As a physical person bumping up against the external world, a person formulates thoughts about the external world. With such thoughts in hand, one simultaneously comes upon new impressions of the external world. These impressions of the external world run virtually under and through the thoughts and carry them. You don't need to do much at all in this regard, in order to live in reality. For reality carries you along, insofar as the reality is physical.

In the spiritual world it is very different. In the spiritual world you must first grow into it. In confronting the spiritual world, you first need to acquire a proper sense of true inherent reality. Then by and by you can come to the possibility of distinguishing truth from error, reality from appearance.

If you sit on a stool, exactly at the moment that you fail to fall to the floor, but rather sit solidly on the stool, then you know that the stool is in the physical world as a real stool, and not merely as an imaginary stool. The stool itself arranges that you come to this realization of its reality.

But that is not so in the spiritual world. Now just why is it this way in the physical world? In the physical world, basically, it is so because here in the physical world your thinking, your feeling, and your willing are carried by the physical material body as a unity. You are a three-limbed person in being a thinking person, a feeling person, and a willing person. All these, however, are joined together by the physical body.

In the blink of an eye as a person enters the spiritual world, he immediately becomes a three-parted being. His thinking goes its own way; his feeling goes its own way; his willing goes its own way. This division, this cleavage into three, he undergoes as soon as he gains entry into the spiritual world. And in the spiritual world you can think, can have thoughts, that simply have nothing to do with your will, but then these thoughts are illusions. You can have feelings having nothing to do with your will, but then these feelings are something that contributes to your destruction, not to your advancement.

Such is one's state of being at the instant of approaching the threshold of the spiritual world. It actually happens there, that as your thinking flies off into the depths of space, your feeling is directed back into its memories. Pay attention to what was just said. Try to understand that memory is actually something that presents rigorously on the threshold to the spiritual world. Just think about what you experienced ten years ago. It springs back in memory. The experience stands there. You are content, rightly content within the physical world, if you come upon a right lively memory. Whoever enters the spiritual world, however, for him it is really so, as though he were piercing through memory, as though he were going further than memory reaches. This is most important, that he goes beyond the limits of his memories in the physical world. He goes back beyond birth.

And when someone gains entry into the spiritual world, he feels at once that feeling simply does not stay with him. Thinking at least still goes out into the presented world. It takes off effectively into the world around. Feelings go out into the world, yet one must say to himself, if he wants to traverse with feeling, "Well, just where are you now?" When in life you have become 50 years old, in this manner you have certainly traveled back more than 50 years in time; you have traveled back 70 years, 90 years, 100 years, 150 years. Feeling carries you completely out of the time that you have witnessed from early childhood on.

And willing, if you fasten onto it in earnest, carries you still further back, into previous lives on earth. This is something that occurs, my friends, as soon as you really step in upon the threshold of the spiritual world. The cohesion of physical life ceases. In the abyss you no longer feel encased by your skin, but rather you feel split apart.

A person senses, when his thinking radiates out, thinking previously held together within awareness, when one’s thinking radiates out into the wide reaches and thoughts of the world, a person senses, immediately on entering the spiritual world, a person senses himself going back with his feelings to the time he had undergone between the last death and the present return to life on earth. And a person senses himself in previous earth-lives with his willing.

Directly this fissuring of the human being, which I have written about in my book, How to Know Higher Worlds, directly this fissuring of the human being creates difficulties on entry into the spiritual world, for thoughts spread themselves out. Thoughts that previously were held together now fly all over the world. But at the same time, they no longer can be taken at face value. And so one must acquire the ability to properly discern these thoughts that have so widely outrun themselves.

Feelings are now no longer intermingled with thoughts, since thoughts have departed from them to a certain extent. Your feelings must simply turn in a demeanor of reverence, devotion, and prayer to those beings accompanying a person during the life between death and birth. And if a person has marshaled such venerable feelings toward the spiritual world during his life, that is just what happens.

But in the blink of an eye when a person abandons himself to his willing, and so is carried back to previous earth-lives, then he settles into a great difficulty, for an immense force of attraction to all that is ignoble in his being develops. And working most strongly here, as I have previously said, is that it is difficult to distinguish between appearance and reality. A person develops a real inclination to abandon himself to appearance. I will clarify this.

If and when someone begins to meditate, when with inner devotion he really engages with and practices his meditation, he wants this meditation to proceed in the most care-free manner possible; he does not want to allow the meditation to tear him away from the comforts of life. Now such an effort, to be as quiescent as possible, as far as possible to remain within and not to be torn out of the comforts of life, this effort is a robust carrier of illusion, a robust carrier of mere appearance. For if someone devotes himself with complete honesty to the meditation, then out of the depths of the soul there inevitably emerges the conviction that there is some sort of evil complex within. One will simply not be able, during meditation, during immersion within oneself, a person will simply not be able to avoid really feeling, deeply feeling, that the potential is there to do anything and everything, to perpetrate in actuality whatever he or she is capable of doing. The stark intensity of the effort, just in admitting this to yourself, is such that instead you settle into the illusion, the illusion that in all certainty you are a good and righteous person in your inner complexities.

The correct experience coming out of meditation is quite different. It shows someone how he, as an individual, can be engulfed by all manner of conceit, how he can be engulfed by all manner of self-over-evaluation of his own intrinsic worth and under-evaluation of the intrinsic worth of others, how he can be thoroughly beset by this, by the conviction that people just don't have anything to offer, and that rather than experiencing them as having something to say, he really wants to just bask in other people's esteem. But that is the least of it. Whoever really and truly meditates, will see what sort of impulses are actually living in his soul, in regard to all that he certainly might be capable of. And so, the lower nature of man steps forth starkly before the inner gaze of the soul. And this honesty must be present in meditation. And when this honesty is present there, then reflected back is certainly what is in everyone’s impulses of will, just as it is also certainly reflected back in the words that have already come before our souls. Something is reflected back, chiseled into the words:

Behold the first beast, the crooked back,
The bone-locked head, the withered body,
Dull blunt blue is its skin.
Your fear of spirit-creator-being
Produced this monster in your willing.

And because this is so, because a person through an addiction, so to speak, in surrendering to this sort of illusion, gobbles down this inevitable striking impression in meditation, thence arises the inward impetus, the intention toward mockery of the spiritual world. But only by dealing with this as a counterforce can honest continuance in the spiritual world proceed. And so, the second beast now makes its appearance at the threshold:

Behold the second beast, it bares its teeth,
Contorts its face, and lies in scornful mockery,
Yellow with grayish cast is its body;
Your hatred of spirit-revelation
Produced this weakling in your feeling.

That is the way it is. That is the way it is, if we cannot emerge to pursue world-thoughts, if we remain powerless in rendering the thoughts that we held fast to otherwise in our heads during life on earth. That is the way it is for us, out of powerlessness in soaring with our human thoughts into world thoughts, that the third beast appears:

Behold the third beast, with long-split mouth,
Glazed eye, and slouching attitude,
Dirty red its form appears to you;
Your doubt in spirit-light-dominion
Produced this specter, this ghost in your thinking.

The less we withdraw into an illusion about this trinity, produced by our own being, the more we may enter the state of actually finding within us the nature of a true human being, a true human being who can receive the light coming from the spiritual world, who can henceforth perceive the enigma and comprehend as much as possible on earth of what is given to us in the words, "O Man, know yourself!" For from this self-awareness springs a true awareness of the world, through which you can direct your life in the proper manner. And so this disruption into three, which one experiences as thinking going its way, feeling going its way, and willing going its way, which were all held together through outer existence, is allowed to be referred to by the words which the Guardian of the Threshold speaks, to seekers drawing near:

The third beast’s glassy eye
Is the bad contrary-type
Of thinking, that denies itself
In you and chooses death,
Forsaking spirit powers
That held it before its earth-life
Living in spirit in spirit fields.

The second beast, the mocking face,
It is the bad contrary-force
Of feeling, that hollows-out suitable soul
And in it fashions living emptiness
Instead of spiritual worth, which was
Illuminating it before its earth-existence
By means of spirit’s sunny might.

The first beast, the bony mind,
It is the bad creative-might
Of willing, that estranges suitable body
From your soul's domain
And devotes it to adverse powers,
Who would rob world-existence
Of gods-existence in times to come.

These are the words, the words which will be spoken in admonition by the Guardian, so that we know just how entry into the spiritual world should not be gained. On entry into the spiritual world, we must choose quite another manner, feel in another manner, commit to becoming accustomed to another manner, other than what ruled us in the physical world. And for this it is required that we grapple with this trinity in us, that we turn our gaze strongly within, in order to take note of how thinking presently is, how feeling presently is, how willing presently is, and how they must become so that we can step over the threshold into the spiritual world, even if this happens only within our thoughts. It is so, that the gods in the serenity of absolute knowledge have established this obstacle and demand that it be surmounted.

We may immediately infer from having these daunting, perhaps chill-inducing words coming down from the Guardian, of which I have spoken to you today in recapitulation, that henceforth the Guardian will be adding others, which will tell us what we should do. Right now, the concern is that our first lessons in this class become simple practical means handed down to us, that can be applied in our thoughts and feelings and force of will, so that we may gain entry into the spiritual world in the right manner.

And the clarion call should in turn be three-membered, and as such should stream into us, so that we can live with it. For as we live with it, we launch ourselves along on the way into the spiritual world. So, as we eat and drink, so as we show and share, so should something in us gain dominion through all this, which the guardian of the threshold, who stands before the spiritual world, intones to us in his austere countenance. And he says at once in the first verse:

Look upon your web of thoughts:
World of semblance 1Schein is subtly different from the English word shine, for it is the sheen of superficial appearance, the semblance, the mere appearance. you experience,
Self-awareness 2Selbstheitsein is a derivative of Dasein, existence-awareness, and when applied to oneself, it is self-awareness, awareness of one’s intrinsic existence, awareness of one’s self. The word selfhood is archaic and must be used with caution. hides from you;
Plunge beneath appearance:
Ether being whirls in you;
Self-awareness, it should honor 3Verehren in the sixth line of the first stanza should not be revere, which is to regard with respect tinged with awe and veneration, but rather to honor, which is to hold in high respect for worth, merit, or rank. Revere is to put at some distance, to still look upon, as in the first line, whereas we want to plunge, to connect, to be part of, to hold dear to us the guiding beings. Plunging beneath is not to revere, but to honor.
Your own spirit’s guiding beings.

Let us elucidate this clarion call. A person, living in the sensory world, in the life between birth and death, feels himself to be in his physical body. He knows that his legs carry him through the world. He knows that his circulating blood gives him life. He knows that his breathing awakens him to life. He entrusts himself, in his breath, in his circulating blood, in the movement of the bulk of his limbs, to what carries him through the world. He entrusts and gives himself over to these things. By doing this, by giving himself over to these things, he is a physical being taking part in earth existence. Just so, just as a person entrusts himself to the physical stuff in the physical world that made life on the earth possible in limb movements, in blood circulation, and in breathing, just so a person must entrust himself to, must give himself over in soul to the guiding powers of the spiritual world, if the person would take part in the spiritual world, if he would gain entrance there with awareness.

Just as I had to say for one's health in physical existence, that one’s blood must circulate just so, one’s breath must come with regularity, just so must I advise someone who similarly seeks to remain in health in the spiritual world, that his soul must align with, must be infused with, must be led by his spirit's guiding beings. [The first stanza, "Look upon your web of thoughts" was now written on the blackboard backwards, beginning with the last word of the stanza.]

Your own spirit’s guiding beings

However, my dear friends, you are attached to your blood through the grip of nature, you are attached to the movements of your musculoskeletal system through the grip of nature, and just so for your breathing. You cannot be beholden in this way to your guiding essence in the spiritual world. You must approach it there with inner activity. You do not get hold of it in the way you get hold of breath through the movement of your lungs, you get hold of it insofar as you honor it in reverence, [Over “guiding beings” was now written, "honor", so that what now stood on the blackboard was:]

honor

Your own spirit’s guiding beings

honoring it in reverence with the most profound part that is rooted in you, with the core of your selfhood, your self-aware-presence, your self-awareness. [Before honor was written, "Self-awareness," so that what now stood on the blackboard was:]

Self-awareness honor

Your own spirit's guiding beings

Self-awareness, it should honor
Your own spirit’s guiding beings.

[With the speaking of these two lines the missing words "should" and "your" etc. were added, so that the last two lines now stood complete on the blackboard.] And so we have the facts of the case, the means by which you must stand within the spiritual world, as given in words, in the words spoken by the guardian.

And how do you stand within? You don't stand within in the same manner as when you stand with your legs on the physical surface of the earth. You don't stand within in the same manner as when you infuse the physical warmth of life in your blood. You don't stand within in the same manner as when you draw in your breath. You stand within by feeling the half spiritual ether being, the ether essence that whirls and wafts through you. [The third line from last was now written down.]

Ether being whirls in you;

That is the inner feeling, to stay within the spirit, as if one were oneself a small cloud, wind-blown all over and around by spiritual wind, as if one were taken around and about by this windy blowing back and forth, as when selfhood's core, namely your own true I, reveres, honors the guiding essence of your soul that approaches in this windy whirling wafting from all around. In submersion into this, we will be led. But what happens initially? So long as we simply remain within our meditation in all that I have just highlighted, we live in appearance; we must dive, dive beneath this semblance in full consciousness, diving into the whirling wafting wind with reverence, into the spirit's guiding being that appears as semblance. [The fourth line from last was now written down.]

Plunge beneath appearance:

Why should we do all this? Well, it is true, that in earthly life we initially have an unremarkable feeling in regard to our ego. Self-hood-existence, self-awareness, which we indicate with the word "I", is however an unremarkable, darkened presence, a feeling, that hides itself from us. [The fifth line from the last was written down.]

Self-awareness hides from you;

Of this one knows but little. And the little that one does know, that a person in thoughts, that a person becomes aware of and takes the measure of, is certainly not real world-existence, but is world-semblance. [The sixth line from the bottom was written.]

World of semblance you experience,

All this becomes for us, as we come upon the clarion call of the Guardian of the Threshold, [the seventh and accordingly first line was written down.]

Look upon your web of thoughts:

all this becomes for us our own moving thinking weaving, our thoughts weaving.

At this point we have the first mantric declamation, which should give us strength to approach the clarion call to self-awareness in our thoughts, which at first is spread out before our souls merely as words.

Look upon your web of thoughts:
World of semblance you experience,
Self-awareness hides from you;
Plunge beneath appearance:
Ether-being whirls in you;
Self-awareness, it should honor
Your own spirit’s guiding beings.

There it is, a challenging clarion call to us concerning the retrospection of our own thoughts. If you retire from the outer world and look back upon how thoughts are flowing within yourself, and then you meet the challenge that lies in these seven lines, then you have fulfilled the first of the requirements placed upon us by the Guardian of the Threshold. At this point, we have arrived at what the Guardian has to say about your feelings.

Embrace your stream of feelings:
Where semblance and substance mingle,
Aware-self leans toward semblance;
So plunge beneath appearance:
And world soul forces are in you;
Aware-self should consider well
Inherent in soul the powers of life.

And exactly as we arise in thinking through the first mantric declamation, so we arise through the second into the inner world of feelings. [Now the second stanza was written on the blackboard.]

Embrace your stream of feelings:

Refrain from thoughts and seek within, wending your way back into your own feelings. In thinking, all is mere appearance. If we get down into our feelings, just there is mixed, is mingled appearance and reality. We should realize this at once.

Where semblance and substance mingle,

By itself our "I", the true self, will not go willingly into the reality. It is used to the outward appearance of the senses; it will not go willingly into reality. It is drawn to what seems apparent in the brilliance, it yearns yet for the commotion of the sensory world,

Aware-self leans toward semblance;
So plunge beneath appearance:

into what is present in feelings, present fundamentally in one's life of feelings. It is the apparently real, a brilliant mixture of appearance and reality.

To plunge beneath appearance is the way, the way along which we will feel, if we really give ourselves over to the overall sense of these four lines, the way along which we will feel seriously and solemnly as we plunge into existence,

And world soul forces are in you;

Previously you yourself sought to honor in sinking into your thinking; now the aware-self seeks to consider well. The thought should be carried down under into feeling. We will come upon the following, affirmed for us by existence:

Aware-self should consider well
Inherent in soul the powers of life.

No longer semblance, now there are powers of life. The gods bestow upon us, even though our own essential nature, our "I" would like to lean toward semblance, the gods bestow upon us in the depths of feeling this rock of existence.

Now, if you really want the declamations to become mantras, it is good to keep in mind certain corresponding passages. [Words previously delineated and inscribed were now underlined on the blackboard.] First there is honor, and then consider, and we will see in the third stanza, how this is augmented. First you experience just semblance, then semblance and substance mingle. In the first there are guiding beings, and intrinsic powers of life in the second. In the first there are beings who lead us through the ether, and in the second that are powers of life leading us backward into pre-earthly existence-awareness. In this way we approach the meaning, the feeling. If we wish to make it into a real mantra, however, you must incorporate still something else.

So let us look at the first verse, "Look upon your web of thoughts.” I would like you to appreciate that it is clearly constructed in trochaic rhythm, in the trochaic voice. The emphasis is strong, then weak, and the feeling is emphatic, then retiring. When this proper etheric flow is present in your soul, in which to properly allow the enshrinement of higher beings, then you may be carried over into the spiritual world. [Macron and breve markings to indicate the trochaic rhythm were placed on the blackboard over the beginning of each of the seven lines.]

Lōok ŭpon your web of thoughts:
Wōrld ŏf semblance you experience,
Sēlf-ăwareness hides from you;
Plūnge bĕneath appearance:
Ēthĕr being whirls in you;
Sēlf-ăwareness, it should honor
Yōur ŏwn spirit’s guiding beings.

It is quite different in the second verse, "Embrace your stream of feelings." [Breve then macron markings indicating the iambic rhythm were placed on the blackboard at the beginning the seven next lines, along with the speaking of the corresponding emphasis.]

Ĕmbrāce your stream of feelings:
Whĕre sēmblance and substance mingle,
Ăwāre-self leans toward semblance;
Sŏ plūnge beneath appearance:
Ănd wōrld soul-forces are in you;
Ăwāre-self should consider well
Ĭnhērent in soul the powers of life.

The manner in which these words are taken in by your soul, whether trochaic or iambic, as here [first stanza], where there is a definite trochaic signature, and here [second stanza], where there is a definite iambic signature, the manner in which these words are taken in, gives the soul the proper stride.

Of course, the idea is not to simply achieve some sort of intellectual meaning in the soul, as if the soul could tread the path into the spiritual world merely in thought, but rather the idea is to approach universal existence with the right respiratory pattern and in the right rhythm. If you take up a rhythm that is iambic in your striving for admittance to universal thinking, you have misunderstood the Guardian of the Threshold. If you take up a ceremonious cadence that is trochaic and not iambic for entry into the wider world of feelings, you have again misunderstood the Guardian of the Threshold.

The third into which we must immerse, is the will. And for willing, the Guardian of the Threshold has again given us a ceremonial cadence. And after the first two have passed before our souls, we will be able to understand the last fairly well. [The third stanza was now written on the blackboard.]

Let reign in you the thrust of will:
It climbs from all apparent being,

It is not an article here, but relates to what emerges, to what climbs out when letting willing’s thrusting rule in you.

With autonomous existence 4Eigensein (a derivative of Dasein, existence-awareness) is willing that exists in and of its own self, naturally inherent autonomous existence. This follows the usage of Kant in section 3 of his 1785 Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, “Clarity is gained, from most basic to most esoteric usage, by this principle: autonomous existence of willing is the nature of willing, a quality it is equipped with in and of itself, independent of the nature of the objects of willing.” (Es könnte sich um einen Satz aus der Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitte handeln: Autonomie des Willens ist die Beschaffenheit des Willens, dadurch derselbe ihm selbst (unabhängig von aller Beschaffenheit der Gegenstände des Wollens) ein Gesetz ist.) well-equipped; 5Erschaffened auf: The will is well-equipped, constituted, fashioned with Eigensein, autonomous existence that is inherent.

Out of the will it burgeons out, manifesting, presiding, fashioning, creating, rising to that, which to its autonomous inherent existence gives substance, meaning.

Turn to this throughout your life:
Filled it is with world-spirit-might;
Your autonomous existence, it should grasp
World-maker-might into spirit-I.

Again, feel the progression. [The appropriate words of the third stanza previously written down were now subsequently underlined.]

honor
consider well
grasp

First one is distant, one looks on, one reveres from outside. Then one comes near with thoughts, and is already walking in. Finally, one grasps. This is the climax; one walks in and takes it. One honors, then considers well, and then grasps:

first Guiding beings
then powers of life, and finally
World-maker-might,

which finally appears as such, in the line's beginning words, corresponding to the reality, the un-ambiguously effective manner of the force of will.

You will have a perception of the three as mantric speech, if you attend to the trochaic here [in the first stanza], the iambic here, [in the second stanza], although here [in the third stanza] you have two equally emphasized syllables. Here you have the spondaic. [Over the beginning of the lines on the blackboard the spondaic rhythmic markings of two macrons were inscribed along the with corresponding spoken intonation.]

Lēt reīgn in you the thrust of will:
Īt clīmbs from all apparent being
Wīth aūtonomous existence well-equipped;
Tūrn tō this throughout your life:
Fīlled īt īs with world-spirit-might;
Yoūr aūtonomous existence, it should grasp
Wōrld-māker-might into spirit-I.

All this is what one should attend to. You must tear yourself away from merely intelligible material, and attend to the trochaic, iambic, and spondaic cadences. In the blink of an eye, as we emerge from a sense of understanding into surrendering to the rhythm, in this blink of an eye we have the possibility of leaving the physical world and really entering the spiritual, for the spiritual does not open up if we turn to a mundane delineated sense of the words, but rather if we grasp the possibility of carrying the rhythm of these meaningfully delineated words out into the full warp and weft of universal life.

In this way the three-faceted rhythmic introspection of thinking, feeling, and willing will be enabled to work on the soul. This will certainly affect the soul in the right way, if the soul experiences this as it experiences eating and drinking in life, as it experiences the circulation of the blood, the breathing, as it experiences here just what can move you within, in the rhythm of the words.

Lōok ŭpon your thinking weaving:
Wōrld ŏf appearance you experience,
Sēlf-ăwareness hides from you;
Plūnge bĕneath appearance:
Ēthĕr being whirls in you;
Sēlf-ăwareness, it should honor
Yōur ŏwn spirit’s guiding beings.

Ĕmbrāce your feelings streaming:
Ĭt mīngles semblance and substance for you,
Ăwāre-self leans toward semblance;
Sŏ plūnge beneath appearance:
Ănd wōrld soul forces are in you;
Ăwāre-self, it should consider well
Ĭnhērent in soul the powers of life.

Lēt reīgn in you the thrust of will:
Īt clīmbs from all apparent being
Wīth aūtonomous existence well-equipped;
Tūrn tō this throughout your life:
Fīlled īt īs with world-spirit-might;
Yoūr aūtonomous existence, it should grasp
Wōrld-māker-might into spirit-I.

At first your blood is just passive in the words. Then as words appear in the corresponding rhythm, your blood is in motion. Seek the sense of the rhythms, let them dwell and live in your souls, and you will see, that you will then be able to approach ever more closely to the initial admonition the Guardian has brought to us, that I conveyed to your souls, my friends, at the first of these lessons.

Where on grounds of earth, color upon color,
Life developing reveals itself,
Where out of stuff of earth, form on form,
All without life takes shape,
Where feeling creatures, strong in will,
Delight in the warm glow of their existence,
Where you yourself, O Man, derive
Bodily life from earth and air and light:

There you enter your own being’s
Deep, night-bedecked, cold inner darkness;
You’d ask within the dark expanse
Never, who you are, and were, and will become.
For your true existence the day dims
To the night of the soul, to darkness of spirit.
And you turn yourself, soul-searching,
Unto the light, that from darknesses strengthens,

And if we will wend our way to the light, that from darknesses appears, we will find it, if we seek it by means of this three-faceted cadence, enthused with this holy blood of life in our souls, which will be present along the way to true knowledge of spirit and of God.

Blackboard (left side)
Blackboard (left side)
Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard Text for the Third Lesson

Siēh ĭn dir Gedankenweben:
Wēltĕnschein erlebest du,
Sēlbsthĕitsein verbirgt sich dir;
Tāuchĕ unter in den Schein:
Ät̄hĕrwesen weht in dir;
Sēlbstheĭtsein, es soll verehren
Dēinĕs Geistes Führerwesen.

Vĕrnīmm in dir Gefühle-Strömen:
Ĕs mēngen Schein und Sein sich dir,
Dĭe Sēlbstheit neigt dem Scheine sich;
Sŏ tāuche unter in scheinendes Sein:
Ŭnd Wēlten-Seelenkräfte sind in dir;
Dĭe Sēlbstheit, sie soll bedenken
Dĕr ēignen Seele Lebensmächte.

Lāß wālten in dir den Willens-Stoß:
Dēr stēigt aus allem Scheineswesen
Mīt Ēigensein erschaffend auf;
Īhm wēnde zu all dein Leben:
Dēr īst erfüllt von Welten-Geistesmacht;
Dēin Ēigensein, es soll ergreifen
Wēltschȫpfermacht im Geistes-Ich.

Lōok ŭpon your thinking weaving:
Wōrld ŏf appearance you experience,
Sēlf-ăwareness hides from you;
Plūnge bĕneath appearance:
Ēthĕr being whirls in you;
Sēlf-ăwareness, it should honor
Yōur ŏwn spirit’s guiding beings.

Ĕmbrāce your feelings streaming:
Ĭt mīngles semblance and substance for you,
Ăwāre-self leans toward semblance;
Sŏ plūnge beneath appearance:
Ănd wōrld soul forces are in you;
Ăwāre-self should consider well
Ĭnhērent in soul the powers of life.

Lēt reīgn in you the thrust of will:
Īt clīmbs from all apparent being
Wīth aūtonomous existence well-equipped;
Tūrn tō this throughout your life:
Fīlled īt īs with world-spirit-might;
Yoūr aūtonomous existence, it should grasp
Wōrld-māker-might into spirit-I.