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Esoteric Instructions
GA 270

Eleventh Lesson

2 May 1924, Dornach

My dear friends, concerning the inner nature of esoteric striving, a person must gaze at least a little at what works on him and guides his way. Out of this comes true insight of spiritual things. Of course, how far someone progresses along this path depends entirely on karma, on one’s personal karma, on the baggage brought along from earlier lives on earth.

But not just on this, but rather, as noted in exoteric lectures that have been held here previously, it also depends on what heartfelt matters and what world situations a person finds himself in by happenstance on this life on earth. There are various old karmic relics to be carried about, hindrances in the pursuit and achievement of what could be within one’s grasp, except for these attachments. And there is quite a lot that could be accomplished in a short time without this karmic baggage, that otherwise can only be accomplished after quite an extended period of time.

We should never, my dear brothers and sisters, give up hope for any reason whatsoever, losing patience or energy, but should continue on our way. When the right time arrives, we will find, we will certainly find what has been pre-determined for us, for each person has his own path in life. In spite of everything, perhaps even in spite of freedom, certain avenues of life have been pre-determined. Each and every person is called to a mission in the world, and will consummate it, if he or she has the good will to do it.

Here in this college of spiritual insight all should reappear and be enacted, enacted in the form proper to our time, and to future times, all that once lived in the mysteries, living when the mysteries were in full bloom in the past. After the height of the flowering of the mysteries, which in fact already had passed when the greatest mystery occurred – which I would like to say was mostly concealed in what was recorded as world history, namely the Mystery of Golgotha – after the height of the flowering of the mysteries, which had already faded away, following this came a time in which there was a return to the mysteries, a return that happened in the developmental history of mankind. People at that time, specifically because of the return to the mysteries, were more and more able to take part in world-progression streams that lead to freedom. But now is not the time for the mysteries to take the form that they must yet take, in which they again come alive in the fullest sense of the word. Sometime in the future, when these things become understood properly, the structure and work of the Goetheanum will be appreciated properly, so that a person will recognize that the Goetheanum by obligation is here to renew the mysteries. And only then, my dear brothers and sisters, when we are motivated with a force of will to regard this school in this manner, that through us a renewal of the mysteries can be established in this school, only then will we stand properly within these mysteries, and also within this school.

Now straightaway I would like to remind you what was brought forth here during the last Class lesson, so that what has already been said will live, fully be alive in your hearts and minds. In that which has already been presented is the avenue by which meditation really is placed directly into one’s experiencing, so that the person meditating is cast loose from the narrow confines of personality.

In the three-part construction of the last meditative verse, we have seen quite notably in what manner a person may insinuate himself into world progression, so that within the meditation one places oneself in relationship, not only to what resounds within his soul, but rather to what sounds forth from his soul, to what in a certain way is enmeshed in a sort of universal world speech, yes, universal world speech. Only so, gradually setting in place a dissociation from one’s personality, finding a way to meditate inwardly in an ever more and more objective manner, only so will one then also be able to walk the intimate subtle path which is the true path of human understanding. But doing this requires that a person becomes distinctly objective while coursing along the path of human truth.

You all know, of course, my dear brothers and sisters, what has often been described as the three members of a human being’s nature. First there is the person of sense and nerves, primarily represented in the human head. Then there is the person of rhythm, primarily represented in the thorax, concentrated in the organs of breathing and circulation. All of these organs are everywhere in one’s organism, although they are somewhat more distinctly placed at the forefront in one place or another. And then we have the organization of the metabolism and the arms and legs, localized and centralized both below and to the outside.

All this can become so well known that to a certain extent it may remain theoretical, but it can become objective through meditation. And when it becomes objective through meditation, then it enters the arena of the esoteric. To this end we must continue to meditate both intensively and intimately as we place the three-membered human being before our eyes.

First, we have the head organization, a true representation of the entire cosmos. Then we have the chest organization, the rhythmic organization, which does not show a picture of the cosmos so immediately in its form. And showing the picture of the cosmos least of all is the organization of limbs and metabolism. A person must become intimately aware of how he incorporates the cosmos in each of these organizations. He must be quite clear about it, about what specifically works and moves about in his head, at the head of his organism. As in catching an aroma, we immediately know that when we think, our head is in activity. And we sense and immediately know that when the head is passive, the activity of thinking has stopped. We sense in normal (and abnormal) settings the unity of the head with the clearest, brightest human activities on earth. This does not mean that the head is actually the bearer of the brightest human activities on earth, but we sense the connection, it appears to be so.

But what exactly is being presented here? When do we really observe ourselves in our heads in the proper manner? Only, my dear brothers and sisters, if we ourselves become aware that the human head would simply not be there if the starry heavens were not arching over us. What astronomy has to say about this we momentarily shall set aside and forego such a challenge. For now, we shall simply consider what presents itself shining before our eyes, the starry heavens, the exalted starry heavens.

In the last lesson much was already spoken about this. The stars are present overhead. Their brilliant rays come down and shine upon us, if we gaze out upon them. And they don’t just come to us, for we gather them in. And the specific things that we gather into our heads from the brilliant radiance of the stars, these things we seal up within the head. Out of this germinates and shoots up what specifically constitutes our most human activity upon the earth, our thinking. And we must imagine it, that out there are the stars, and our head takes in the effect of the streaming brilliance of the stars. It appears as if the stars out there have sent their radiance down here. The head takes up this radiation, and then what has been taken up dwells in our heads. In our heads it is taken up quite differently than it exists out there, but it is the same, in a way. In our heads is the gathered-together condition of the entire starry heavens.

But only the starry heavens? No, not only the starry heavens. For what are the stars? What are they, that individually as resting stars in the depths of space stream down upon us? They are the dwelling places of gods. They are the sites where the gods dwell. There the gods were sought in all times, always when instinctive clairvoyance knew where the gods were dwelling, and which dwelling sites were worthy of the gods.

In the times in which such clairvoyance was prevalent, a person gazing out into space was presented not with what seemed to be burning points in the cosmos, but rather a person was presented with the god’s dwelling places. Back then, a person had a truer conception than one has today of just what was in the vast depths of space, whereas today by means of astronomy a person gazes out and evaluates the points of light according to their position and their angular distance from one another. Although a person is a three-membered being, he speaks and works out of his “I am” nature, his ego, which holds all together, all three members of his being, the nerve-sensory head system, the rhythmic chest system, and the metabolic-limb system. All this is held together only due to the physical body being a unity. Actually, however, a person always sends himself, his ego into the three individual members, and today, we will learn to identify just how he sends this ego into the individual members.


A person presently says “I” out of the innermost part of his nature, initially through his thoughts in his head. In reality, it is this way: [it was drawn] that which is displayed out there in the element of the brilliance of the stars [blue arch, yellow stars] is what is working in the human head [yellow arch and rays from the stars]. It is out there but also within [red points]. A person says his “I” out of the center of his being in this convoluted open space, which is the inner nature of his head, from within out [an arrow accompanied by the word “I” in gold]. And he should become aware, when he says his “I” inwardly in the central part of his human nature, which is an image of the god’s dwelling places, then working in him are the gods, they who dwell in the dwelling places of the gods, they themselves. Then we are meditating properly, when we ourselves become aware, that when we say “I” through the force of our head, speaking in us are the gods of universal space and universal time.

Blackboard (left side)

And this is no lesson that will be given to us on earth. This is a lesson, my dear brothers and sisters, that is given to us by the principalities of the higher hierarchies themselves, initially from the high spiritual beings that are with us men and women of earth, the angelic beings and the directing archangels in the background. This part of the human being, standing in this relationship to the homes and dwellings of the gods that are in the radiant stars, this part of the human being, speaking out of the divine beings themselves, this “I” should allow itself to be instructed as to its own essential nature by those high spiritual beings, who in our designating the hierarchies we have always addressed as angels.

So, to consummate the meditation properly, we consummate it in this way: we gaze out, allowing ourselves to be struck within by the brilliance of the stars, and sense that the depths of space itself sounds forth the words to us. And these words shall be:

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!

This resounds in the periphery. We envision it so that we hear it from the depths of space:

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!

For us, this becomes an echo within us. We handle it as a clarion call, but a clarion call that comes into motion within us, for all the heavens resound within these words. So, we start with the meditation. And then we become aware of what we ourselves have to say in return, where from out of the most intimate part our souls we calmly answer the universal trumpeted tone:

Said in head’s heights
Human-spirit-radiating
The “I am”:

That is what we say. And in our meditative envisioning, the angel who belongs to us then answers, when the ego speaks just so, when the ego says “I am”:

So 1So: So is used here as a coordinating conjunctive and an intensifying adverb, and in English has come into common use as a sentence opener. You’d live 2lebet Ihr: You’d is capitalized to indicate it is second person pleural, meaning you-all, or the gods. It is in the conjunctive, which is indicated by the ‘d ending. The gods would, should, could, do live...

meaning the gods,

in earthly-bodies
As human-being’s-essence.

That is the sense of this meditation. We hear it surrounding us, trumpeting forth in the world, coming from all sides and resounding within.

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!

We answer, reciting out of our inner stillness:

Said in head’s heights
Human-spirit-radiating
The “I am”:

The angel answers, gazing out to the out-flowing source of the trumpeted tone:

So You’d live in earthly-bodies
As human-being’s-essence.

And we take up these last two lines, spoken by the angel, into our meditative envisioning, as an instruction. [Now the first section was written on the board.]

World’s-starry-places,

Gods’-home-dwellings!

Said in head’s heights

Human-spirit-radiating

The gathered-up radiance of the stars, the human radiance:

The “I am”:

The spirited angel instructor:

So You’d live,

the “World’s-starry-places”, the “Gods’-home-dwellings”,

in earthly-bodies
As human-being’s-essence.

That is the first dialogue with the cosmos and with the third hierarchy. Taken into consideration in this manner, it is a prodigiously engaging meditation deep within the human spirit, the human soul, the human body.

Now we shall proceed to the human rhythmic organization. As we think about the lungs and the heart, about the wonderful pulsations, about the rhythm of breathing, which reveal an expression of deepest universal rhythms in a person’s own organization, we catch a sense of movement. As we sink down in meditation in our head, we embrace calmness. As we sink down in meditation into our chest, we embrace movement. And this movement is an image of the coursing of the wandering stars, of the movement of the wandering stars, of the movement of Moon, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. The Sun is also a representative of this movement. It is certainly closest to us. It journeys once a day around our earth, seemingly. So it can remain as a representative. But in the same direct manner within which we unite with World’s-starry-places, with Gods’-home-dwellings, just so do we gather together the movement of the whole planetary system in our breathing, in our blood circulation, in all that is in movement in our organism.

Therefore, we must envision, that just as the dominion of the stately home of the gods is heralded in the trumpeting forth from all sides, just so, drawn through us, drawn through our bodies as melodious tones, is what the movements of the wandering stars have to say to us, represented by the Sun.

World’s-sunny-circles,
Spirits’-active 3Wirkens: the verb wirken (it works, it’s active, it’s effective) appears here as an adjective. — pathways!

That is the second, calmly in relationship next to the loud trumpeting forth all over the world of:

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!

So it sounds majestically from all sides. We must hold it in meditation. But while cheering and pervading our inner life, it is following the journeying of the Sun and the journeying of the other wandering stars in our breathing, in our blood circulation.

World’s-sunny-circles,
Spirits’-active-pathways!

Now once again we ourselves speak intimately, motivated by what resounds melodically within our own body out of the starry circling. We now intimately speak forth out of ourselves:

Intoned in heart’s middle
Human-soul-weaving
The “I live”:

Then the angel answers, speaking to the gods wandering in planetary pathways.

So You’d march 4streitet Ihr: You’d is capitalized to indicate it is second person pleural, meaning you-all, or the gods. It is in the conjunctive, which is indicated by the ‘d ending. The gods would, should, could, do march... in earthly-changes 5Erdenwandel is earthly-changes but includes personal transformation and social evolution.
As human-creative-strength.

As human essential being itself lives upon the earth by means of what radiates in, coming from the dwelling places of the gods, so human creativity, changeability, what is in flux in people on earth lives by means of the active, effective streaming of the gods in the movements of the planets, is taken up by the whole of a person’s rhythmic system. And so again we have the three-legged verse: objectivity whispering through our body in the sense of the changing transformative force of the planets, our own intimate inner declaration, and the answer of the angel.

World’s-sunny-circles,
Spirits’-active-pathways!
Intoned in heart’s middle
Human-soul-weaving
The “I live”:
So You’d march in earthly-changes
As human-creative-strength.

[At this point the second verse was written on the board.]

World’s-sunny-circles,

Spirits’-active-pathways!

Intoned in heart’s middle

Above we see “said”, here “intoned”, above “in head’s heights”, here “in heart’s middle.” [Said, intoned, heights, center were underlined.]

Human-soul-weaving

The “I live”:

Above we see “I am”, here “I live.” [“am” and “live” were underlined.]

So You’d march in earthly-changes
As human-creative-strength.

Each one of us must come into familiarity with this verse in three parts. We must work by engaging our thinking in the formation of the verse: first the objective sounding, then our own intimate declaration as an echo within ourselves, and finally the speaking of the angel. Then it works correctly in us.

Although then, in progressing to the third human member, to exactly what lives in the arms and legs and continues inwardly in the metabolism, then we hear not the breadth of space in trumpeted tones, then we hear not the melodic reverberation of planetary coursing, but now we hear the muffled roar of the world foundation itself. And the muffled roar of the world-foundation is that which lives in whatever it is that makes us into actual men and women of earth. The extremities are not involved in our spirit-humanity. They are formed fully in accordance with forces of earth, excepting the hands and arms which are somewhat patterned after aeriform forces, but all are also formed in accordance with forces of earth, formed in accordance with the forces that stream forth from world foundations below upward and through a person. We must become aware of this. Just as we hear in the first stanza, majestically sounding with intention out of what surrounds our world, the speech of the cosmos itself, just as we bear witness to the speech of circling in the second stanza, just so do we bear witness to the murmuring rumbling speech of the world’s foundation coming from the depths of the earth in the third stanza.

World’s-basic-powers,
Creator’s-loving-splendor!

It is a glistening resplendence not of light, it is a glistening resplendence of love. For in the very places, where just that, which otherwise is in our surrounding, collects itself in the center, there also lie the wellsprings of the power of love. Here our echoing answer is not brought forth as “said” or “intoned”, here we must answer with deeds flowing out of our force of will. Here we must not “say” something, nor “intone” something, here we must “forge” something. To this end we answer, out of our inner self, pouring force of will into our words.

Forged in body’s limbs

Human-action 6Wirkens: The verb wirken (it works, it’s active, it’s effective) appears here as a noun (action, effect). — streaming

The “I will”:

Then, eyes sinking down and under to what rumbles forth from world foundations, rumbling not in the sense of antipathy, but rather in the sense of dullness of tone, then the angel answers the powers sounding in dominion deep in the world’s foundation.

So You’d strive 7strebet Ihr: You’d is capitalized to indicate it is second person pleural, meaning you-all, or the gods. It is in the conjunctive, which is indicated by the ‘d ending. The gods would, should, could, do strive... in earthly-works 8das Werk: Here Erdenwerke is earthly-works (as in a steel-works factory, or in someone’s creative works).
As human-sensible 9Sinnes: sensed, seen, and sensible, making sense — deeds.

Once again, the verse is three-legged.

World’s-basic-powers,
Creator’s-loving-splendor!
Forged in body’s limbs
Human-action-streaming
The “I will”:
So You’d strive in earthly-works
As human-sensible-deeds.

[The third verse was written on the board at this point.]

World’s-basic-powers,

Creator’s-loving-splendor!

Forged

“Said”, “Intoned”, “Forged”. [“Forged” was underlined.]

in the body’s limbs

“heights”, “center”, “limbs”, specifically, what strives outwards, out of the center. [Limbs was underlined.]

Human-action-streaming

The “I will”:

“I am”, “I live”, “I will” [“Will” was underlined.].

So You’d strive in earthly-works

[earthly-bodies, earthly-changes, earthly-works. were underlined.]

As human-sensible-deeds.

“Being’s-essence”, “creative-strength”, “sensible-deeds”, which means deeds that can be sensed and seen. [The three words cited on the board were underlined.]

Properly meditating, properly exercising the soul, lies not in theorizing or in intellectualizing about the content of a meditative verse. It lies in the mantric character. The mantric character will be engendered when the sense of self dissipates when situated in the act, when a person dissociates himself from theoretical intellectual content and emerges out of himself, when he has not simply something or other in his thoughts, but rather when he has the notion that the heavens, that the encircling-coursing, that the depths of earth are sounding, then that he answers out upon this sounding out of his own intimate inner nature, and then that the angel in teaching interprets.

Place yourself properly into such an enactment, ideally making the meditation into something that you don’t simply think about, feel, or will, but rather into something that enwraps, enfolds, enthralls, engulfs, and irradiates you. Due to this enthrallment, enfoldment, engulfment, and radiance it enters again and again back into the life of the heart, where in the heart it streams, weaves, strives, radiates, and vibrates so that we feel ourselves interwoven into the fabric and life of the world, so that our meditation is something that we take to heart as something not simply living in us, but rather as something living in us and in the world, released from the world, released from us, making a unity of us and the world in this release, and so that we can say, “the world speaks” equally well with saying “we speak within.” This gradually enhances the character of meditating.

Meditating practiced in this way gradually gives a person the possibility of actually releasing what has always appeared to him as his customary self; it gives the possibility of becoming spirit for his own perception.

In doing this, however, entering such a path of knowing by approaching the path of knowing in honesty, learning to know that in meditating we are not alone in the world, but rather that we are in dialogue with the spiritual world, through this we approach ever more and more closely in actuality to a renewal of the mysteries. For in actuality, external temples once stood, here and there, perhaps at the very locations on earth of which a person of today might say that are in the most uncivilized areas. External temples stood there, and in the past men and women needed external temples. But these external temples were certainly not the only ones, they were certainly not the most important ones. The most important, the ones with the greatest degree of intrinsic being, have no place, have no time. But one comes to them nonetheless, with the effort of sixty leagues. A person comes to them if and when the soul is exerted in the manner here described, and as has been described in every age in the mysteries.

In doing this, we will become clear, my dear brothers and sisters, about the manner of living within such a mantric formulation, for it will be as follows:

Here I stand, and each of us says this about himself quite correctly, here I strand surrounded daily by the conventional world. Philistine walls, philistine chairs surround me, or perhaps a wild natural forest, some visible trees, or houses. It all surrounds me. It is actually there. I myself am well aware of all this, for it surrounds me, it is there, I see it, I grasp it. The meditation, however, arises in my soul, while I am present in the external dry sensory world. The meditation arises within me.

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!
Said in head’s heights
Human-spirit-radiating
The “I am”:
So You’d live in earthly-bodies
As human-being’s-essence.

What is in motion here? What am I catching a scent of? What arches over me that I sense as a sort of aroma? It seems to be something. Is it nothing? I seem to sense, to catch a sense of walls, but I see them not.

The meditation goes on.

World’s-sunny-circles,
Spirits’-active-pathways!
Intoned in heart’s middle
Human-soul-weaving
The “I live”:
So You’d march in earthly-changes
As human-creative-strength.

What I have sensed as a sort of aroma are the interwoven arches of a temple, the overhead arched temple roof, and the temple walls around me. It begins to be visible for the soul’s sensing, hovering, appearing, as the customary world begins to fade, the world of the visible trees, the clouds, and everything that is visible. A new visibility presents itself. The temple, which I previously merely caught the scent of, comes along with the second verse into reality.

And I listen to and hear the murmuring and quivering and rumbling from below.

World’s-basic-powers,
Creator’s-loving-splendor!
Forged in body’s limbs
Human-action-streaming
The “I will”:
So You’d strive in earthly-works
As human-sensible-deeds.

The temple has been consummated. It has acquired its floor. And in it are the ones with whom we would walk, as allied spiritual beings. The temple is there. It is visible for the sensing of the soul. It has been found.

Our meditation proceeds, not as if we were having a vision. It carries us over into the spiritual world. The spiritual world is attained. I am describing, my dear brothers and sisters, how the meditation can proceed. We catch a scent of the interwoven arches of the temple in the first verse, and with soul-sensing we gaze at the temple around us. The temple is ready, and the beings are there with whom we should walk and be allied as instructors of humanity, as instructor-gods. Being inside the temple is accomplished through the first, second, and third verses of the effective mantric meditation. It is the path to the temple. It is a true spiritual path.

Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard Text for the Eleventh Lesson

Welten-Sternen-Stätten,
Götter-Heimat-Orte!
Spricht in Haupteshöhe
Menschen-Geistes-Strahlung
Das "Ich bin":
So lebet Ihr im Erdenleibe
Als Menschen-Wesenheit.

Welten-Sonnen-Kreise,
Geister-Wirkens-Wege!
Tönt in Herzensmitte
Menschen-Seelen-Weben
Das "Ich lebe":
So schreitet Ihr im Erdenwandel
Als Menschen-Schöpferkraft.

Welten-Grundes-Mächte,
Schöpfer-Liebes-Glänzen!
Schafft in Leibesgliedern
Menschen-Wirkens-Strömung
Das "Ich will":
So strebet Ihr im Erdenwerke
Als Menschen-Sinnes-Taten.

World’s-starry-places,
Gods’-home-dwellings!
Said in head’s heights
Human-spirit-radiating
The “I am”:
So You’d live in earthly-bodies
As human-being’s-essence.

World’s-sunny-circles,
Spirits’-active-pathways!
Intoned in heart’s middle
Human-soul-weaving
The “I live”:
So You’d march in earthly-changes
As human-creative-strength.

World’s-basic-powers,
Creator’s-loving-splendor!
Forged in body’s limbs
Human-action-streaming
The “I will”:
So You’d strive in earthly-works
As human-sensible-deeds.