Our bookstore is now open. Shop today →

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Esoteric Instructions
GA 270

Sixth Lesson

21 March 1924, Dornach

My dear friends! Most certainly the truths which a person can learn from the Guardian of the Threshold are what we are confronting in these present considerations. And contained within the incessant admonitions, most certainly, is that a person becomes aware, just how he progresses soulfully in spiritual life, as he himself brings to awareness his true relationship to the world.

To bring one’s true relationship to the world to awareness, first you let yourself become acquainted with the world, which is around about yourself in the kingdoms of nature, the kingdoms of nature lying external to your own existence. Focus on your relationship with the animal, the plant, and the mineral kingdoms. Through this relationship you will be afforded the opportunity at first to become acquainted with plants, animals, and minerals. Then you may go on as well to marvel at them, and then to bending them to the unfolding of your will-impulses, and so forth. A person becomes acquainted with this entire world as his external world, and in customary awareness will be but little aware of how he most certainly has grown up and come out of this entire world, and of how there is a deep kinship between himself and this entire world.

Alone, when one allows one’s gaze to sweep around and about over this external world, alone a person simply cannot feel this kinship with the realms of the world. One must stride forward to becoming acquainted with the feeling of oneself being out there in the world. And then absolutely, one may not, when one becomes acquainted with the feeling of oneself being out there in the world, then absolutely a person may not, my friends, come to a stop there, seeing things in this manner, as they present themselves to an external viewpoint, then a person must return to exactly that which reveals itself between things.

Since the onset of the recent phase of the development of mankind, a person gazes only minimally at what is revealed in the relationship between things. One gazes externally at the entities of the three kingdoms of nature, but my friends, it is well known that at the outset one has to see behind the kingdoms of nature, into what one calls the world of the elementals.

We may say that our feet are planted firmly on the fixed earth. [The word was written on the blackboard.]

earth

And whatever fixed as earth holds our feet up, most certainly also sends forth its substance into animals, plants, minerals, and into our physical human bodies. And when we lift our view up from the floor underneath our feet, observing what affects us at our own level, certainly right at hand is something with the quality not merely of air, but of airy substance permeated with the watery element. Indeed, people's manner of life on the earth has evolved, so that now this watery element is found finely dispersed within the air perceived around about oneself. This must first be concentrated, consolidated for the purposes of one's own organism, although one can also say that a person also lives within this watery element. [Above earth was written the second word.]

water

And also, a person lives in the air-formative element, in which he has to carry out his breathing. [Above earth was written the third word.]

air

In the moment, as we look upon these elements, we may not say, as we must say in regard to the entities of the kingdoms of nature, that we see them before us in sharp contour. We do see the individual, fixed, and sharply contoured bodies, although from the fixed as such, from the earthly, we may not say, that we live within it. We are in relationship with the earth, nevertheless we have become particularly disconnected from it. Whatever belongs to our own selves, we certainly do not separate from anything else. A dish or a stool, standing external to ourselves, we distinguish from ourselves, but whatever is in us, we don't look upon as existing in discrete bordering regions. We don't look upon our lungs or our heart as being self-contained beyond our borders. Only when we approach the matter by way of transforming it into objects, as in anatomy, do we look upon ourselves in this way. In reality, just as we normally are in relationship to our own bodies, this is how we are related in an immensely comprehensive way with what and whatever the elements are. We live in earth, we live in water, we live in air, and we live in warmth. They belong to us. They are too close to us to be understood as sharply contoured objects of the world.

Let us attend once more to what is around about us as the elemental world, and, at the same time, is also within us. We must regard it so, as both the substance of the world and as our own substance. In this sense we have been focusing on substances that we designate as earth, that we designate as water, that we designate as air, that we designate as warmth.[Over the word air, the next word was written.]

warmth

When we go out further, out, out into the thick substances of the etheric beyond warmth, which is also most certainly etheric, in this manner we come to light, [Over the word warmth, the next word was written.]

light

and into the arena that we have always named by the dry, abstract phrase the chemical ether and its processes. We will call it this today, for in this way the orderliness of the world will be called forth, the configuration of the world will be called forth, and we will designate at the same time the great chemism of the cosmos, world configuration, or world forming. It is difficult, concerning this, to find an appropriate designation. [Over the word light, the next word was written.]

world chemism

And specifying what is the highest to be designated in the etheric, we will then call that the life of the world, the living ether, the world life. [Over world configuration the next word was written.]

world life

Now although we have already received the impression here in the previous Class lessons, my friends, that a person, as he actually lives on the earth, certainly does not stand in inner relationship to all of these elements in the same manner, it must be pointed to specifically that a person lives inwardly fully in relationship only with the element of warmth. [The word warmth on the blackboard was cross-marked with red chalk.] It is essential for striding ahead in the spirit to be fully versed in this matter.

So, think for a moment, how without any intermediary agent, how without mediation, but rather how directly one feels and is affected by warmth and cold. You certainly take note of the starkly contrasting natures of warmth and cold. But with what passes before you in the encircling air, for example, you don't make such an immediate, direct connection. Initially the air being good or bad is only noticed through its intermediate effects on one's organism. And just so, it is just so with the effects of light. In this way a person stands not immediate, but very close to air and light. [The words air and light were cross-marked with gold.] He stands extraordinarily close to them.

But already we notice that among the denser elements, a person characteristically is more distant from the watery element, in spite of being related. Yet, the watery element is still quite deeply related with human life. [The word water was cross-marked with blue.] In looking back over an extremely animated but troubling dream, my dear friends, let us attempt to see how such a troubling dream represents one's perspiration, the secretions of one's watery element. Take note of the watery element's important role in sleep, in which the secretions of the watery element play such a remarkable part. A person lives in the watery element. Whatever exists in his vicinity as dispersed fluid is quite significant for him, but has none of the immediate quality of warmth. Whether it is warm or cold, a person feels it as his own person. He might be cold, or he might be hot. What occurs for instance, if we are enveloped in fog, is that the fogbank is just as significant for us, but the effect on our inner human nature is indirect, and is not so starkly evident for normal awareness. For just then, as we are enveloped in fog, then in a certain way our own watery element is enmeshed with the watery element in the external world. And we feel in this very gentle transition of our watery element into the watery element of the external world, which is not felt in the transition of our watery element into dry external air, we feel in this transition that we are somehow one with the entire cosmos. Dry air allows us to remain more inward in feeling our human nature, but air heavy with water allows us to feel our unity with the cosmos. In this day and age, we have no schooling in such things. I have dealt with this in detail previously in the Hague, and it was published (this intimate unity of a person with the elements). It is really there, and it belongs to the esoteric path of life, this becoming aware in practicality of such intimate unity.

Still deeper, may I say, in the subconscious, lies a person's relationship with the earthly element. [The word earth was cross-marked with blue.] What does a person know with certainty of his relationship with the earthly element? He knows that salt is acrid, and that sugar is sweet. This is part of the earthly element. Although what salt and sugar accomplish in his organism in significant metamorphosis, how he is positioned in a unity with the cosmos in the dissolution of sugar, or withdrawn into his organism with salt, how certain forces entering in from the cosmos affect the organism when the sweetness of sugar rolls through our body, is really noticed by a person only in the minimally-connected reflex of salt and sugar on the tongue. There are processes of a deeper nature at work. In a manner of speaking the whole world has opened its doors to certain forces when sugar dissolves on a person's tongue and flows through his organism.

And always, just as the thicker elements affect a person indirectly, the thinner etheric elements world-chemical-ether and world living also have an indirect effect on a person, a concealed effect. [The words world-chemism and world living were cross-marked with blue.]

The most obvious effect on a person comes from the most centrally located element, warmth. Next at hand for customary awareness are the effects of light and air. In the subconscious, however, lie the effects on the one side of water and earth, and on the other side of life and chemical gestalt of the world, chemical gestalt in the cosmos. This being so, then during one's life on earth a person should be aware that he most certainly lives in his human state in these middle elements [air, warmth, light were indicated on the board], and that his awareness draws on his relationship with water and earth, and with world chemism and world living.

Since this was always so, back when the old instinctive awareness had dominion, in which always a bit of clairvoyance was mixed, in the mysteries back then, the students at the proper stage of their development received the following injunction: trust in fire, trust in air, trust also in light, yet become mindful of the underworld of water and earth, become mindful of the over-world of the gestalt of world chemism and world life. For even as relations, as they are so firmly emplaced down in the unconscious, that just so in world living and world chemism the allurement of Lucifer may present itself, and out of earth and water the seduction of Ahriman. [The words Lucifer and Ahriman were written down, and so the schematic was complete.]

Components of man
World-life, World Chemism — Lucifer
Light — Warmth — Air
Water, Earth — Ahriman

And esoteric guidance in the mysteries has always maintained that a person should find the proper relationship with these elements, that in the proper way he should feel his relationship with the elements. When a person ascends to imaginative living, then he feels this relationship with the elements immediately. In customary awareness we look about and get to know as external to us the presentation of animals, plants, and minerals. If we get to know the elements in their relationship with us we really may no longer just look about at the world, but must also feel inwardly, live inwardly in the very things that are in us and in the world at the same time.

For as we ascend to imaginative living, we can feel our kinship with the elements. And so, if we have developed this feeling properly, we formulate for ourselves a strong inner stance. And contained within the self-development of this stance is most certainly progressive, effective, and genuine human self-awareness. One becomes aware at the beginning only that he is human, when after a fashion he is let out into the world with which he is so inwardly interconnected, into this world in which he stands alone, in which the plants, animals, and minerals stand apart from us as strangers. But were one through an imaginative experience to become aware of his kinship with the earth, then one would feel himself no longer to be in his humanity, but he would feel himself in his animality, he would then feel his inner human kinship with the multiplicity of beings of animal nature, of animality.

And if a person feels himself united with the water-existence on earth, then he becomes aware: yes, you are actually related, are akin to plant-nature. It is something in you, something likewise sleeping, likewise dreaming in the world, just as it is in plant-nature.

And if a person were to become aware of his kinship with the air, then he would feel the mineral existence in himself. He would feel as he does when some sort of mineral preparation on his whole skin fills him totally within.

A person feels, as soon as he with his imagination enters the world of the elements, that he is related, is akin to animal, plant, and crystal. And a person feels quite different in regard to these realms of nature, for he feels a self-other unity, a belonging together. He feels the inner kinship which he has with these realms, somewhat in the following manner.

One looks about on the animal realm. One observes the beasts of burden, as they slowly place one foot in front of the other. One observes the vibrant animals, such as the flittering birds. One observes everything in the nature of animals that is in motion, pervading the world with movement out of its own being. Then a person says to himself, that all that rules in the innermost being of the animal nature is evidently the same, manifestly the same, as his own will. And he feels the kinship of his own will with the nature of animals.

At the same time, however, one feels something further. A person becomes afraid of himself. And what would be preferable, soon after entering the esoteric life when a person feels this fear of himself, would be not to immediately be held back by it, but by means of it to acquire a higher craft of soul. But even before, when someone becomes aware that actually this human structure is in this manner in us, even as we stand alone with nature’s realm external to us, even as we are able to observe it externally, then one feels that the earth, in its elemental reality, simply does not yet turn us into human beings, but into animals. There we are animal. By virtue of earth, we are animal. And as the earthen is always there, so ever at hand is the danger that we may sink down into animal nature. If and when one considers this, not just with abstract theoretical knowledge, as the person of today is used to, but rather feels it, then one comes to fear that at any moment he may fall down and under into animal nature. But at the same time this fear bolsters, encourages one henceforth, to wish to raise oneself above this animality, to strike out from a life in the elements, and in spite of the alien world all around, nevertheless to strike out at once into a life of humanity. Recognizing your relation to the world, recognizing it with feeling, that is just the thing that leads into real esotericism.

And furthermore, when a person feels his kinship with the water-world, the water-element, then he becomes aware that on the ways of water we would not be as humans are, for we would be like plants. And our feelings, that have a certain dreamy quality, as I have often delineated to you in other venues, my friends, our feelings forthwith would have the tendency to be of the quality of plants. Now try most intimately to delve into your most gentle feelings, and you will be able to experience the plant-quality of the life of feelings. And then the feeling will come to you, that threatening you is not only the danger of sinking down and under into animality, but also the danger of living in the weakened awareness of a plant, of sleeping, of dreaming. But this feeling of weakness, albeit sitting in the depths of awareness, must be transformed in your feelings, in order for you to awaken into human existence. Fear of animality must be transformed with courage, in order to lift oneself up to the human. The feeling of weakness in plant existence must be transformed with an inner call to awaken, to bring oneself with inner force into the world of the awakened human.

And were someone to become aware of living in the ways of air, then, if he becomes aware of it, then he observes that in effect all thinking, unknown to humanity, that in effect all thinking is none other than rarefied breathing. Thinking is rarefied breathing. The thoughts within which we live are through and through processes of rarefied breathing. Inflowing breathing, mid-breath pausing, and out-breathing are working, I might say, on the one side by groping about in our circulation of blood, although on the other side by the rarefied vibrations of the brain-organ. And as breathing continues on in the brain-organ it becomes thinking in the physical world. Sublimated breathing, breathing becoming sublime, is what thinking is.

Whoever strides ahead into imagination certainly no longer trusts merely to this sort of abstract reasoning, which with much else weak and flimsy lives in the brain. Whoever strides ahead into imagination perceives in-breathing as the broadening out of breath into the brain. He feels how the breath broadens itself out. When the breath spreads itself out, so that in a certain sense it is consummated, then cohesive ideas develop, cohesive conceptions. When the breath is otherwise consummated and wells up within, inwardly-moving conceptualizations arise. It is merely a refined breathing process, moving through us and welling up; we characterize it as conceptualization, as thinking.

At once, however, as one is feeling, "I am breathing in, I draw the breath from around about into the brain, and I let the breath impinge upon my ear," so would he feel, "it presents itself to me as thoughts, these things that I perceive as tones, bells, and whistles. And as I let the breath beat upon my eyes, it presents itself in what I see as color. It is really the inner speech of the breath that takes its effect as concepts. When the breath, totally refined, beats on the organs of sensation, it produces concepts. But if one were to be aware of this, to be aware of himself at once as thinker and as breather, then one would feel this process of thinking, this refined breathing, as an organized mineral substance, as an organized stone or crystal, filling one up.

You know that oxygen transforms itself in humans into carbonic acid. The connection with carbon in the finely-diffused multiply-branched arborization of the breath in human heads really displays itself there as an entrapment of carbonic acid. That is a process of mineralization. And the longer one lingers there, inwardly immersing oneself in carbon's entrapment of oxygen, in such measure may one grasp the mineralization process. One may grasp carbonic substance itself, the element carbon, the carbonic. And the carbonic is the Philosopher's Stone. Manifesting inwardly in human beings the carbonic is the Philosopher's Stone.

You may glean much from the old instinctive clairvoyants, in how they described the Philosopher's Stone. You will find that all over the world they described the Philosopher's Stone, not known by the common man, yet everywhere to be found. One can discover it everywhere. A person can find it where it lies, waiting to be discovered. It is to be found on the earth. It is very exactly described, how one discovers the carbon substance by burning wood. It can be discovered everywhere, this Philosopher's Stone. Carbonized material is what it is. It is contained in the veins of coal in coal-mining operations. It is also contained in the rarified breathing process. In a person, however, it is a process of nature, this incinerating process of coal, of coal that is living, but still a process of mineralization. … [Here the rapid tempo of speech made stenography somewhat less than reliable.]] A person feels inwardly turned to stone …crystalized, mineralized in his mineral nature through this process in the life of the wafting air, as one feels implanted in his plant-nature through the life of the ways of water, and as one feels animated in his animal nature through this process in the life of the earth.

This is what the Guardian gives to the human being in admonition, that a person should become aware of his relationship with the realms of nature. We have these admonitions from the Guardian of the Threshold for this reason, given to human beings as spoken meditative verse. If and when a person with deep emotion, with earnest sensitivity allows them to work on his heart and mind, then he will become somewhat aware of his kinship with the element of earth, which is related to his will, with the element of water, which is related to his feelings, and with the element of air, which in this manner, as I have just depicted for you, is related to his thinking, to his conceptualization. [Two lines were written on the blackboard.]

You stride into earth being’s helm 1Das Heft = the haft, meaning the handle of a tool which you hold in your hand. On a psychological level more properly, it is earth-being’s helm, although realm is probably good enough.
With deployment of your force of will;

That remains totally unknown for customary awareness. Every time we exercise our will to do something, we actually clamber down into the element of earth. But customary awareness knows nothing of this. The moment this clambering down becomes known, the person is changed from humanity into animality, and appears to himself as some sort of animal, at least in the etheric gestalt, into which he is looking, he appears changed into some sort of animal. One certainly does not feel right away exactly like an elephant or exactly like an ox, but it will be so, to such an extent, for in the element of will, one can bring to expression the world of the ox, the world of the elephant, or the world of the eagle. [Three more lines were written.]

Enter as thinker the earth domain,
And thought-power will show you yourself
As your intrinsic animality;

But such an admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold, my friends, is not there for the purpose of being taken up as an idea, as a theory. It is there in order to become experienced by all human beings. If a person looks into what is within the will, he will become aware of his own animality, then he will become consumed with self-fear, but all of this must metamorphose, in courage, in courage of soul. Then one comes a step further. Then he comes into the spiritual world. [The verse was continued on the blackboard.]

The fear of yourself
Must change you in courage of soul.
2The fear changes you, and you change yourself in soul-courage. It is not fear that changes to courage.

There we have the first clambering down and under, into that realm where the Ahrimanic powers work so strongly and effectively. Our proper attitude is shown to us at once by the appropriate declamation, the admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold.

You stride into earth being’s helm
With deployment of your force of will;
Enter as thinker the earth domain,
And thought-power will show you yourself
As your intrinsic animality;
The fear of yourself
Must change you in courage of soul.

As a general rule, to attain what is best for our spiritual progression, is to undergo something that takes us down and under. When we encounter something that takes us down and under, as this fear of one's own animality appears, when we overcome this, when we metamorphose it by an inner action, in courage of the soul, then it will become the impetus to a higher human state of being. We need this fear in order to move up and on in the spirit.

The other clambering down, in the ways of water, we meet in the following admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold, for the words which I impart to you are the words of the Guardian of the Threshold, whom we meet in the following admonition.

You live with water being
Only through feeling’s dream-weaving;
Surge awakening into water existence,
And the soul will reveal itself in you
As plant existence dank and dull;
Then lameness of yourself
Must lead you on to wakefulness.

The metamorphosis conversely of this sleepy dreamy way of feeling, when we clamber down and under in full awareness, will be for us to emerge as one awake. [The second stanza was now written on the board.]

You live with water being
Only through feeling’s dream-weaving;
Surge awakening into water existence,
And the soul will reveal itself in you
As plant existence dank and dull;
Then lameness of yourself
Must lead you on to wakefulness.

And when a person feels his kinship with the airy being, even in customary awareness, then he feels his kinship truly. He does not have to clamber down so deeply into the unconscious. Nevertheless, there still is the scent of Ahrimanic allurement in this descent. And yes, when we are living in our memories, living in our thoughts of the past, we are inwardly communing with breathing. When we have rarefied customary breathing in thinking about what is in our surroundings, then admittedly there is no danger at hand. When memories arise, however, the breath working from inward out, then once again a danger is at hand, exactly when this danger is most easy to observe. And for this descent through thinking into reflection, into musing, in which we deal primarily with thinking of notions of the past, for this the Guardian of the Threshold gives us the following admonition. [The beginning of the third stanza was written on the board.]

You muse in wafting ways of air
Only in memory's picture-forming;
Enfold willingly airy being,

One can do this, my friends, if with the same degree of inner activity, with energy, one arrays one thought upon another, much as a person does concerning external affairs. A person is used to exerting himself in moving a chair from one place to another. A person is not used to packing off a thought from one spot to another. He wants to think only along normal channels concerning external appearances, as things are given to him. He wants a book to display a succession of thoughts, he wants a newspaper to display a succession of thoughts, and he is satisfied when that is the case. It is just as if you were waiting expectantly, and rather than exerting your own will externally, deploying the force of your will, you were waiting to somehow be activated by an objective power, for example whenever you might want to move your arm to place it on a chair. It would be as if some sort of spirit were standing there and continually placing one of your legs in front of the other, so that you could walk. In one's train of thinking a person is just so, as it were, as if he were counting on one leg being placed in front of the other, in order to walk. [The next lines of the third stanza were written on the board and spoken.]

And your intrinsic soul will threaten you
As cold observing stone;

This is to become mineral-like, and whoever is not familiar with imagination, just does not know how mineral-hard customary thinking is. Customary thinking is hard as stone. One really feels the crusty abrasiveness of this thinking, once one has achieved entry into the spiritual world. Thinking is actually painful when it veers off into abstract forms. Whoever has spiritual life, can in any case still live with whatever emerges in thinking out of human feelings, with whatever emerges in thinking out of human impulses. He can live with himself, when animosities and scornful outbursts emerge externally out of human nature in thoughts, but he feels inwardly wounded by crusty abrasiveness, when the abstract thoughts of present-day civilization penetrate into his organization. What can be inflicted on present-day thoughts is such that even the sentence, "And intrinsic soul will threaten you as cold observing stone," does not make it clear. But when a person knowingly descends into the realm of memories, into the realm of the airy ways, when one’s breath is taken away, in and by the grasp of conceptualization, then it will be as I have depicted. But this inner death in thinking, this icy death, must in turn inflame us to a contrary force, even in thoughts it must call forth spirited vitality by means of inner force. [The stanza was completed on the board.]

Yet your selfhood’s frigid death
Must weaken and yield
3weichen: Weichen is an ancient English and German word meaning “to be weak or soft,” but in German it has veered off to include the meaning “to yield,” and in English to include “to weaken in moral strength.” To adequately express this, it should be translated as “Must weaken and yield to spirit fire.” to spirit fire.

These are the three admonitions concerning the underworld, the world of the lower elements, addressed by the Guardian of the Threshold to whomever comes to the Threshold. Here he portrays the human being’s need to become aware, if he would become a knower, of his inner kinship with the three realms of nature, how he must become aware through his kinship with the earth-beings of his animality and thereby of the nature of the animals in his vicinity, how he must become aware through his kinship with water-beings of his own plant-like nature, and thereby the nature of the plants in his vicinity, how he must become aware through his kinship with the air-beings of his own innate mineral-crystal-realm, his innate mineral-being, his innate stone-nature, and thereby the essential nature of the mineral realm in his vicinity.

Fear, lassitude, and death, as the negative attributes, must thereby not just develop, but must metamorphose into the positives, into spirituality, leading into attributes of soul courage, awakening, and flaming exhilaration.

This is indeed what the Guardian of the Threshold calls out step by step, first the inner feeling of fear in descending into animality, then the inner feeling of powerlessness in the lassitude of plant-existence, and then finally the yearning in the face of the chilling freezing consciousness of stone-existence, the yearning to develop exhilarating fire.

So sounds forth the three-part admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold.

You stride into earth being’s helm
With deployment of your force of will;
Enter as thinker the earth domain,
And thought-power will show you yourself
As your intrinsic animality;
The fear of yourself
Must change you in courage of soul.

You live with water being
Only through feeling’s dream-weaving;
Surge awakening into water existence,
And the soul will reveal itself in you
As plant existence dank and dull;
Then lameness of yourself
Must lead you on to wakefulness.

You muse in wafting ways of air
Only in memory's picture-forming;
Enfold willingly airy being,
And your intrinsic soul will threaten you
As cold observing stone;
Yet your selfhood’s frigid death
Must weaken and yield to spirit fire.

And as we come there [The lower part of the schematic was indicated.] into Ahriman's realm, and by means of the Guardian of the Threshold are admonished and rescued from the seductive art of Ahriman, so we press on to the other side, [The upper part of the schematic was indicated.] in which from where we stand in life on earth we will forge ahead into the esoteric, into light, world chemism, and world living.

We absorb, we gather up the light. Usually, we do not immediately know that the light, when it flows in through the eyes, actually unites with the breath. Warmth of course lies in between. The breath of air unites with the light [The middle part of the schematic was indicated.] The conception evolves from the perception. We live in the light, in that we build thoughts for ourselves, and just so, in accordance with the other side, in accordance with the lower realms, we live in the air, in the breath. We hold thoughts in retention by means of the light. We don't realize it, but thoughts can live in us only if they are illuminated by light, if the breath is illuminated by light.

For those who ascend through imagination, thinking is a gentle inspiration of breath, that, as the light is inwardly taken hold of, is fully illuminated, resplendent, vibrant.

thinking-breathing waves

There go the thinned-out waves of breathing. [Waves were drawn.] They start to glow in the light [yellow], for the light in spiritual science bestows significance on all that works primarily through the senses. Not only that which works effectively through the eyes, but also what works effectively in sound is light, and also what works effectively in the sense of taste, insofar as we have taken note of it and so it has come to light. All that we have taken note of through the senses has come to light, is light. But if and when we become aware of how this thinking, this having thoughts, is just rarefied breath, upon which light beats and interweaves, then it is most certainly so, as when a person wishes to observe the surface of the ocean, and on the surface of the ocean sees not just sunlight dancing off the waves [red on the yellow light reflection], but dwells there, catching the scent, feeling the weaving of the waves with the sheen of reflections, it is just so that all this may be taken to heart and mind, insofar as one experiences it inwardly.

And here enters the allurement of Lucifer, for to some extent it is immensely beautiful, and to some extent induces an immense desire and an immense complacency. True inner lustful desire creeps over a person. He easily falls prey to the allurement, the seduction of Lucifer, who wishes to draw a person away from this world, into a world of beauty over which Lucifer himself has dominion. This allurement would wrestle a person away from the earthly elements and heave him up into the angelic, into the spiritual realm, so that after every sleep he would no longer descend into the physical body. In this manner enters the seduction of Lucifer, ever-so-much in contradistinction to the thicker elements, into which the Ahrimanic seduction enters.

But it has been so arranged, that just here we hear the admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold, and are not drawn into this realm without holding fast to the determination never to forget the many needs, the many woes of earth. Then our bonding with earth existence, that of course we must wander through, will be strongly established. And so sounds forth the admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold.

You hold of light’s radiant might
Thoughts alone fast within;
When light’s radiance thinks by itself in you,
So will untruthful spirit-being
Arise in you as self-delusion;
Reflection on the needs of earth
Will hold you in humanity.

[The first stanza of this mantra was now written on the board.]

You hold of light’s radiant might
Thoughts alone fast within;
When light’s radiance thinks by itself in you,

For a person will be totally changed through the imagination of the appearance of light, with thoughts no longer held in their abstraction, but rather as light playing over the sweep of breath.

So will untruthful spirit-being
Arise in you as self-delusion;
Reflection on the needs of earth
Will hold you in humanity.

As we ascend further into the etheric element, then the Luciferic allurement becomes still more intense. Coming into consideration now, are not just our thoughts, in which it is comparatively easy for us to find our way, but rather the dim element of feelings. For the only part a person holds of the gestalt of world-forming-design, which is working and weaving cosmically in the chemical ether, the only substantial part he holds fast to is in his feelings. And when he then imaginatively ascends out into the flow of this world chemistry, it is certainly not the way it is in a jovial philistine narrow-minded earth-chemistry laboratory, where the chemist stands by the laboratory table and all is external to him, but in ascending he must, the person must, in all the blending and separating of the stuff coming into himself, he must himself be drawn in. So he becomes himself a cosmic chemist. His own chemical processing is interwoven there, and in this existence, interwoven with the gestalt of world-forming design, he feels the Luciferic allurement in the design as a powerless becoming. For the person is thrown into a sort of willful lustful desire, knowing that he can indeed be spirit. He will no longer return, if he does not recollect the necessary tones of earth. He will be made powerless, in not being able to come again into his humanity. He must take great care in this soul-powerlessness, just as soon as he approaches this world, in regard to the love he has acquired for all that is of value on the earth, for the value of the earth.

You hold of world chemism

so says the Guardian of the Threshold:

Feelings alone fast within;
When world 4Welten is cognate with world. The entire physical-material universe is the cosmos (Kosmos in German). Cosmic rays were initially mysterious, although we now know that they come from supernova and black holes, so cosmic in English acquired the secondary meaning of powerful and mysterious. A third meaning is cosmetic jewelry and makeup. The cosmetic adornment of the world-all is the cosmos. Our entire world, however, is quite a bit more than the cosmos, as it includes inner worlds (such as the world of mathematics, the world of education, and the spiritual world). We must translate various forms of Welt as world and never as cosmos or universe. forming feels by itself in you,
So will powerless spirit experience
Smother 5Ersticken: What does one do with a stick? A walking stick doubles as a fight stick, and with the prefix er- it becomes an internal action. You stick someone with emotional barbs, you stick it to someone until the person becomes overwhelmed, stifled, smothered, choked up, and loses his self-possession. your self-possession;
Yet loving the value of the earth
Will save your human soul.

[The second stanza was now written on the board.]

You hold of world chemism
Feelings alone fast within;
When world forming feels by itself in you,
So will powerless spirit experience

that comes at this level from Lucifer

Smother your self-possession;
Yet loving the value of the earth
Will save your human soul.

A person can only attain his cosmic intent by becoming angelic at the proper time. During the Jupiter evolution the man of today will certainly ascend to angelic existence. Lucifer's seduction consists of affecting people out of time, trying to make them into angels still in the Earth evolution, into stunted angels. Then would the souls of men be lost, and a stunted angel-soul would emerge. So we should attend to the admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold.

Yet loving the value of the earth
Will save your human soul.

The most intensive seduction is in the last element, in world life, when we ascend into global world life. We hold some of this fast within our will, but it is held as if in sleep, as I have often related to you. If it would be awakened in imagination, if we would be aware, instead of our well-circumscribed life on earth that is enclosed within our skin, of our experiencing world living, then we would be dead in an instant. For to live knowingly in the general earth-life, means undergoing death as an individual being. Universal life kills us, if and when we grasp it. Similar to the insect flying into a flame, entranced by the fire, by the light, and dying the instant it flies too close, in a similar manner individual life dies in the general world living, when it is entered knowingly with one's own spirit. And as the animal, out of an immense lustful desire, flutters into the flame, so does the person as an individual die in his spirit within the general, the cosmic life.

We ought not to suddenly be thinking of ourselves venturing into this element, if we have not first built up in ourselves a god-devoted, a spirit-devoted earthly will, namely, for us to be fully aware, that upon the earth we carry out the intentions of the gods. If we infuse ourselves with this god-devoted will, up to the point of inner sacrificial fervent love, then we will not let ourselves be enticed into becoming degenerate angels. Instead, so long as human existence is essential for the being living in us, we will remain human. And so sounds forth the admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold.

You hold of world life
Will alone fast within;
When world living fully captures you,
So will ruinous spirit rapture
Slay your experience of yourself;
Yet spirit-devoted earth-willing,
Will allow the god in man to rule.

[The third stanza was now written on the board.]

You hold of world life
Will alone fast within;
When world living fully captures you,
So will ruinous spirit rapture
Slay your experience of yourself;
Yet spirit-devoted earth-willing,
Will allow the god in man to rule.

And so, we have here the three-part admonition of the Guardian of the Threshold concerning the upper tier [of the schematic], concerning the etheric elements.

You hold of light’s radiant might
Thoughts alone fast within;
When light’s radiance thinks by itself in you,
So will untruthful spirit-being
Arise in you as self-delusion;
Reflection on the needs of earth
Will hold you in humanity.

You hold of world chemism
Feelings alone fast within;
When world forming feels by itself in you,
So will powerless spirit experience
Smother your self-possession;
Yet loving the value of the earth
Will save your human soul.

You hold of world life
Will alone fast within;
When world living fully captures you,
So will ruinous spirit rapture
Slay your experience of yourself;
Yet spirit-devoted earth-willing
Will allow the god in man to rule.

It is the practice of recognition, of inner knowing, that will be brought to you in these lessons, my friends. And the things given to you in this way, you should take in and understand as a simple description of theoretical matters, but rather, in order to experience the heart of the matter, you must put it in its proper perspective. The actual and truthful perspective, is that everything said in these lessons is the specific instruction of the Guardian of the Threshold himself, emerging directly out of what a person can receive, in discussions with the Guardian of the Threshold. For the intention here in these Class lessons, my friends, is not to give theories. The intention is to allow the spiritual world itself to speak. This was spoken about in the very first lesson, about how this school should be seen as having been established by the spiritual world itself.

This has been the nature of all mystery schools. In mystery schools people speak as entrusted by the spiritual guardianship of the world. And this must remain the nature of mystery schools. This is why it has been stipulated so strongly in earnest, that each and every participant in this class should make it come alive, and should enshrine it. Certainly no one can be a real member of this school of spiritual life without this serious demeanor. This is just what I would like to direct your attention to once again, quite seriously. Take up this school as having been constituted immediately out of the will of the spiritual world itself, which the school seeks merely to interpret in a manner proper for our period of time, for the era we have entered into, in which the darkness has passed and a light has once again come forth, a light that at first admittedly externalizes itself imperfectly upon the earth, as human beings still retain the old darkness. It is there however. And only those who understand that the light is there, will enter into the ways and means of this our spirit-school in the true sense.

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

Du steigst in Erden-Wesenhafte
Mit deines Willens Kraftentfaltung;
Betritt als Denker du das Erdensein,
Es wird Gedankenmacht dir dich
Als deine eigne Tierheit zeigen;
Die Furcht vor deinem Selbst
Muß dir in Seelen-Mut sich wandeln.

Du lebest mit dem Wasserwesen
Nur durch des Fühlens Traumesweben;
Durchdring erwachend Wassersein,
Es wird die Seele sich in dir
Als dumpfes Pflanzendasein geben;
Und Lahmheit deines Selbst
Muß dich zum Wachen führen.

Du sinnest in dem Lüftewehen
Nur in Gedächtnis-Bilderformen;
Ergreife wollend Lüftewesen,
Es wird die eigne Seele dich
Als kalterstarrter Stein bedrohn;
Doch deiner Selbstheit Kälte-Tod,
Er muß dem Geistesfeuer weichen.

Du hältst von Lichtes-Scheines-Macht
Gedanken nur im Innern fest;
Wenn Lichtesschein in dir sich selber denkt,
So wird unwahres Geisteswesen
In dir als Selbstheitwahn erstehn;
Besinnung auf die Erdennöte
Wird dich im Menschensein erhalten.

Du hältst vom Weltgestalten
Gefühle nur im Innern fest;
Wenn Weltenform in dir sich selber fühlt,
So wird ohnmächtig Geist-Erleben
In dir das Selbstheitsein ersticken;
Doch Liebe zu den Erdenwerten
Wird dir die Menschenseele retten.

Du hältst vom Weltenleben
Das Wollen nur im Innern fest;
Wenn Weltenleben dich voll erfaßt,
So wird vernichtend Geistes-Lust
In dir das Selbst-Erleben töten;
Doch Erdenwollen geist-ergeben,
Es läßt den Gott im Menschen walten.

You stride into earth being’s helm
With deployment of your force of will;
Enter as thinker the earth domain,
And thought-power will show you yourself
As your intrinsic animality;
The fear of yourself
Must change you in courage of soul.

You live with water being
Only through feeling’s dream-weaving;
Surge awakening into water existence,
And the soul will reveal itself in you
As plant existence dank and dull;
Then lameness of yourself
Must lead you on to wakefulness.

You muse in wafting ways of air
Only in memory's picture-forming;
Enfold willingly airy being,
And intrinsic soul will threaten you
As cold observing stone;
Yet your selfhood's frigid death
Must weaken and yield to spirit fire.

You hold of light’s radiant might
Thoughts alone fast within;
When light’s radiance thinks by itself in you,
So will untruthful spirit-being
Arise in you as self-delusion;
Reflecting on the needs of earth
Will hold you in humanity.

You hold of world chemism
Feelings alone fast within;
When world forming feels by itself in you,
So will powerless spirit experience
Smother your self-possession;
Yet loving the value of the earth
Will save your human soul.

You hold of world life
Will alone fast within;
When world living fully captures you,
So will ruinous spirit rapture
Slay your experience of yourself;
Yet spirit-devoted earth-willing
Will allow the god in man to rule.