3 October 1921 p.m., Dornach
My dear friends! I agree with Licentiate Bock who suggested it would be best to take up yesterday's reflections plus those of the afternoon and orientate ourselves toward questions that had arisen.
Yesterday I tried to present a kind of overview of the seven sacraments. I tried to show how the sacraments either determine a kind of value of involution to an evolution value, or the reverse. In the questions which have been asked, there is a wish for something to be said about the sacrament of priest ordination. We have looked at how five sacraments essentially are arranged along the developmental line of each individual human being, how this line connects from birth up to death. We have seen how both the sacraments of priest ordination and marriage in the Christian sense fall away from the other (five) sacraments, and how the priest ordination ceremony points out the evolutionary element which is present in each human being as an involutionary process, namely the mysterious connection each individual human being has with the Divine.
Now let us first of all try to place the concept of this sacrament of ordination in front of us according to its development, how its Christian content has gone over into Christian ceremonies and gradually crystallized life in Catholicism as the culmination of all ceremonies.
We must very clearly understand that the connection of human beings with the Divine in the sense of the epoch in which the Mystery of Golgotha took place, was such that it certainly existed way back, behind the consciousness of modern man today. If we go back far into the cultural development of humanity, we discover another kind of selection for the priesthood than what was later the case, and of the kind we actually want to talk about here. You must clearly understand that ceremonies, rituals and sacraments only become comprehensible within the entire relationship of human evolution, because the Christian sacraments are a kind of transformation of older sacraments. So, regarding priesthood, the relationship is different compared to olden times. In earlier times the one who was taken up into the mysteries by leaders of the mysteries was elected according to his soul characteristics; his entire human development was regarded as being worthy — if today we could select an apt term we would say: 'to be chosen'. This is a concept which has so much more meaning, the further we look back in human evolution. The point of view that people are equal is a modern-day opinion; it is actually essentially something that only emerged from the consciousness of the epoch around the Mystery of Golgotha. By contrast they believed that in fact, in olden times, one person was more worthy of being chosen than another, so that those who were worthy to be inducted into the Mysteries — or to be initiated, as one can clearly impress the imagination with other expressions — was to be discovered within the masses of people. When these individuals were in this or that way discovered, which was believed as predestination for a priestly calling, he had to go through with the initiation. This process of initiation meant that the person was brought into a situation where he had to manage another state of consciousness other than merely the one he experienced in the outer world. In olden times another state of consciousness prevailed, quite different from what it is today. Today quite a different state of consciousness is needed to be able to manage Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. So when I take today's second kind of consciousness as a start, perhaps it can lead to greater understanding, in such a way that the usual daily consciousness still remains complete. A person should not for a moment — without falling sick — be somehow impaired by exercises or the like, as I have described in my book "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds"; a person should not be impaired in the management of his daily consciousness, it must be present. The other consciousness which lacks real freedom which consist in managing Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition must be there as something which can always change quickly, in an instant change to ordinary daily consciousness, like sleep can be changed into the waking state, only that this changing between seeing consciousness and ordinary day consciousness would be completely situated within human capriciousness. This is certainly something which can only be attained after practice and needs to be examined in all its being, in order to talk about this at all.
It is precisely this other consciousness which presents a completely different world compared with the world developed out of the senses and understood with the mind, aspects which feed back into the being of the human I, to stick to the human ego. The human I is present in the other consciousness with great power, one doesn't have something which is merely permeated with a single imagination or feeling, but one has an image. One has the possibility of looking at it and knows, this I is something in which one not merely lives, but it is present as an objectivity. The other thing about this higher consciousness is that one doesn't gain any insight into the mineral kingdom — the mineral kingdom belongs only to ordinary human daily consciousness — by contrast it is fully aware towards anything plant-like, animal-like and the human self. One really lives in another world. What is between these two worlds is called the threshold; it must be crossed over but can only be crossed over after preparations have been achieved, after one has really faithfully practiced the exercises which I have presented in my book "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment." If one has not really prepared for this crossing, one could, through the acquisition of this new consciousness, slip down into physicality. (During the following presentation a central drawing is made on the blackboard.)
I would like to sketch it in the following way. Let's accept that this daily consciousness is connected to human physicality. This higher consciousness is now lifted from it and one sees a completely new world. However, now one has to retain this higher consciousness; it must be purely soul-spiritual. It can't happen however, if one has not previously developed the strength through exercises — it can't happen if not accomplished in a lively way; what I'm implying is more of a hypothesis — so, when one has not acquired the strength through exercises, it can all collapse into physicality. This means one is not living in a free soul-spiritual consciousness but the processes in human organs will reveal what this consciousness observes; then one has to do with dreams, one does not really have actual objective imaginations full of content. The objective, content-filled imagination exists as a result of, what one experiences, not being impregnated with bodily processes, but processes of the supersensible world. This must be achieved through exercises and by having achieved this, being able to step over the boundary between the sensual and supersensible which is designated as the threshold. This is the case today. Today our ordinary consciousness contains content known to everyone, but we have another content — which of course can be described as I have done now again from a certain point of view - which is certainly described as the content of a higher world as opposed to that of the ordinary world.
If we now go back to the times of human earthly development which I want to speak to you about here, in which the chosen ones were inaugurated, then we find they also sought another condition of consciousness but it was different to that of today in as far as the condition of consciousness which we regard as the normal human consciousness, was most extraordinary in each mystery pupil, and a certain image-rich imagination, observing the Divine in all the individual things, was the norm. So, what at that time in the old Mysteries was indicated as the threshold lay in quite a different place to where the threshold is situated for us today. We can even see this in outer things. You see, today there is something which a child already learns at school, and that is the heliocentric world system. The heliocentric world system — you can find this actually historically handed down — has passed into literature through a kind of betrayal. The heliocentric world system already existed in Greek times, it was already clearly present earlier; it was taught in the Mysteries. What an ordinary child learns today at school, which forms their attitude towards the view of the world, this was taught in olden times only in the Mysteries. In outer normal consciousness people of that time had an image-rich consciousness. We can really say: in comparison to olden times, today every human being who has gone through school, has gone beyond the threshold. Those in the old Mysteries would regard it quite dangerous for people who have not gone through a regular initiation but through some or other elementary experience, to have gone over the threshold, for example by not adhering to the geocentric system — that the earth remains stationary and the sun and stars move — but believe in the immobility of the sun as the initiated students believed in olden times. People said you had to be prepared to tolerate what lies, for example, in the heliocentric world system or what lies, for example, in our current biology or psychology, and so on. This seems like a paradox to people today, yet it was so. One can say that historically human kind as such in the time of the Mystery of Golgotha crossed over the threshold which in earlier epochs in the Mysteries had to be artificially crossed in order to reach initiation. At that time those to be initiated learnt what every child learns today. Today we again learn to gain insight into Higher Worlds which later would be the norm. So it is with the evolution of humanity. It is not recognised through examples from olden writings that it was a given — for human consciousness was image-rich — in such a way that things were not seen outwardly but that all things were perceived for their inner spirituality. One must be aware that the words of these ancient writers are to be read in a different way to the way today's ancient language researchers or cultural historians or anthropologists and their equivalents read, because the consciousness at that time was image-rich. We could therefore say, in olden times the initiate was led towards the world we know today.
I would like to still add one more detail. When we go back to olden Greek times, we find people couldn't clearly perceive the colour blue as we can today. They had no sensual experience of the colour blue, they had much more of a sense developed towards the other side, towards vital colours, red and so on, so that for the Greeks blue appeared more green than it is for us today. From this point of view, one must understand everything as the ancients did. We must clearly understand that active thinking is connected to humankind's development towards an experience of blue. If blue is mentioned in ancient scriptures it is always in error, because those people didn't have the experience of blue as we have in today's active experience of understanding. Those people, upon looking at blue, didn't have the ability to be objective, for the out-flowing of the I as an objective, they had far more the experience of what stirred in red, which goes from the objective towards the subjective, which is outwardly active and touches and is sensed, where the awareness of the Divine lay in the objects.
So this initiation was already something quite definite, it involved the initiation being carried out in these olden times by the fact that man himself had to do things which he had to endure physically which to a certain extent formed a kind of inner sacrament. The sacraments in olden times were more inward. Take for instance some outer events which throw a person into a state of fear, caused by these external actions. For example, in Greece there existed Mysteries in which one of the most important processes consisted in a person being placed in total darkness, where he has to live into this darkness, and then suddenly the room was lit up completely — this is the perception he would have been given. What it meant at that time was the transformation of the state of consciousness from being in the darkness, in the blackness, to going into the light. Something happened in a person, fine processes took place inside. These fine processes which were happening in people, I can describe in the following manner.
When a human being, after he has for some time experienced this transformation out of the darkness into the light, salt is separated in him — depending on his individual nature - which is deposited. Salt deposits actually took place as a result of the transfer of going from a dark state to a light state, taking place during the change. These processes became something of which a person became completely aware as being accompanied by the feeling very similar to fear. These salt deposits were observed by a person; he was inwardly observing an interrelation taking place inside himself. At that moment when it happened in him through an external action, man had gone through an initiation process because in olden times initiation consisted in a person experiencing such processes out of himself. What is important now however, was what accompanied such a process of salt deposits within him. Such a salt depositing process within was accompanied by the person's consciousness being impregnated by the process of light perception, not merely of the light perception but from the inner light containing spirituality; he was thus taking in the light which contained spirituality. By the salt coagulating in his inner being, a person felt this coagulation of salts as a penetration of the Divine. To make these conditions conscious was the art of initiation in ancient times. A person could speak quite differently, in them the life of light was not a mere observation by the senses but it was a penetration of light, so that he could say: 'By me living in the light, matter coagulates in me'. With that which is contained in ordinary matter, in a certain sense he directly perceived the effect of that which lies above the substance of ordinary matter.
Now we will not understand these things, my dear friends, if we don't know that the entire constitution of people in older times was different to what it became later. Such a process, which I have sketched for you, you can observe today when waking up or going to sleep. When physical development reaches puberty, the conditions are such that you won't be able to do these things any longer. The influence on the human being is no longer possible in this intense way; people have hardened more in themselves. Today it doesn't happen for these fine spiritual processes which are taking place there, to be observed just like that. In this respect it will even change the human race. As a result, it has happened that what had taken place within, during earlier times, now is to be looked for outwardly. To a certain extent the opposite of the inner process is performed as a ceremony.
The old process of initiation, the process through which a person allows the spirit to reign, this process is now performed outwardly. The priest ordination was in olden times not at all the weakened process of today, but a process, despite it being performed outwardly, still making a deep impression on people. In later times, still in the time of the Mystery of Golgotha and afterwards, the act of baptism, for example, was at least performed as a deed which still accomplished something in people themselves. Those being baptised were immersed in water and thus brought in the same situation as someone being drowned, who sees the retrograde perspective of their life processes flash through them in a spiritual vision. This was part of baptism in earlier times; a person's past life was brought before his soul, so that he learned to see spiritually in a certain way. Later on the sacrament of baptism was temporarily postponed and so it could not be performed in this way, but only symbolically. It is the same with the priest ordination.
The priest ordination in itself is to a certain extent an outer process for that which earlier was evoked inwardly in those going through initiation, through the inversion of outer processes; it is what in fact places the human being in another world. A person is then made aware — I can depict this even more precisely — of certain interrelationships in the cosmos, which can't be studied in the outer world. A person is made aware that physical processes are taking place which do not coincide with the usual outer sensually perceptible processes and he becomes attentive to what is actually sacramental. He learns to see for instance, in dissolving salt in water, that something is happening which isn't created in a physical-chemical process of dissolution, but what happens in salt dissolving in water is actually something inward, I could call it, something radiant. He learns to recognise how processes happen which are only conceivable through the spirit in man. This becoming transported into the world of such revelations which can't be seen with the outer senses or understood with ordinary minds, essentially belongs to the priest consecration. Therefore, through the priest ordination the person will as much be penetrated by this world of the Divine, as the person in olden times was initiated through not merely sensing the penetration of his physicality with light, but that he feels permeated also with the soul-spiritual of the light.
So, I can put it like this: through priest ordination human consciousness is brought into such a condition that a person can with total inner conviction say: the world around us is actually only a fragment of the world; it is there to hide many things from us, namely hiding spiritual processes, from us. We see spiritually in the processes when we are prepared in the appropriate way to do so. Priest ordination involves such preparation which would allow for spiritual perception, to see, everywhere, the sense perceptible as well as the spiritual processes. Let's take a concrete example.
We can look at the development of leaves on a plant, the development of the flowers, the ovary, the stamens and see the ovary mature. (He draws on the blackboard, left.) We then observe how the pollen flies around, how it fertilises the flowers. If you only observe outwardly then you will evaluate according to the sense perceptible outer processes which you then combine in your mind. Someone who has become mature in spiritual seeing, must see a supersensible weaving which expands as a kind of wavering transmission over plant growth and all that is involved in plant fertilization. Through this however, the earth in which the plants have their roots, is brought into a reciprocal relationship with the spiritual environment of the earth.
A renewed way of looking must be introduced through priest ordination. Only then, when you have been introduced to this spiritual observing through the priest ordination, will you learn to recognise how the human word evolves in the world, how the human word is not a mere material movement of air but that the word carries spirit on physical air movement, how this spirit permeates certain substances which are fleeting, like for instance the smoke. So being a priest means: seeing how the expressed word grip the smoke, how the smoke weaves the matter, the words, and how through this, that it penetrates the words, how the words tinged with smoke envelops the matter in the words, changing the words themselves, just like in fact evolution continues, how a real, a spiritual reality is there in what happens in the outer world, in phenomena of the world. So being consecrated also means: to be able to perform actions which, besides their physical meaning, also have a spiritual meaning.
This is of course something — I always must stress this — which lies extraordinarily far from modern consciousness, but unbelievably close to that consciousness which was available at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. During that time people stood in the middle, between the old and the new, they still knew about seeing the Divine-spiritual in everything natural, either through tradition or through atavistic vision, and they lived in fear of the conditions which would arrive when what is natural would no longer be regarded as natural and as a result the Divine-spiritual would be only be understood as a derived abstraction. At that time people still understood the weaving of the spiritual with the sense perceptible. The disciples of Christ Jesus simply knew that this being-in-his-presence meant something different than being in the presence of one another. They knew that he was the carrier of a supersensible being, they felt moved by this supersensible being, and this togetherness with him was for them without doubt the glow of supersensible consciousness.
Let's think about this. We see a number of people around Christ Jesus in a world, who say: When one is in his presence, one is brought into a world where one can see the Divine-spiritual. — Now, in connection with this, I want to call your attention to important concepts necessary for the understanding of the earliest Christian times. Those individuals who could still call themselves the apostles of the Lord, who, for the affirmation of their mission, did not only refer to the fact that they had heard his words. Having heard his words didn't really carry as much weight as we would experience today when we listen to some or other speech, or a teaching. The teaching of Christ Jesus was something that was felt to be completely charitable in his environment, but it wasn't the first thing you would consider as the most important. It was far more important for them to stress the results: we have lain our hands in his wounds, we have participated in looking at his Being. — The direct togetherness with Christ Jesus is something in particular which I ask you to please consider seriously.
You see, you will reach a conclusion of what actually is at a soul foundation when I say to you: you need to first sense the difference between what you experience when you place your one hand on an outer object, or on your own hand, or when you place it on some part of your body. You must come to the conclusion that you sense a difference, that there is a difference. You must also be able to feel something else; you must be able to feel you possess two eyes with two lines of vision which meet and cross. (He draws on the blackboard, right.) These two lines of sight which cross at what we are looking at — it is quite like when I hug myself with my two arms encircling myself. Just think about the difference between man and animal. An animal has, to a much reduced degree, the possibility to experience what we for instance experience when our one hand touches the other. Just look at the position of particular animal eyes; you can clearly distinguish how strong the egoism of an animal is, according to its eye positions. Animals which have eye positions with eye axes which can't cross are unable to develop egoism, because the experience, the sense of having an I, depends on a person being able to "grasp" his I, and that the right gaze of the eye can meet the left gaze by crossing. On this the sense of the I is dependant.
The disciples knew themselves to be so connected to the Christ that in a certain sense it was as similar as feeling their own hands, when they touched his wounds. So this direct connection with the Christ was something which gave them the awareness that they lived with him in a higher world. This was actually what the disciples felt, it was as if a spiritual island surrounded them and their Lord, and when they felt that their Lord had gone away and they had now become the teachers, they called themselves teachers, training for this how-to-be-together-with-him.
Then again, the disciples of the Apostles in turn depended on the imagery which they had experienced; you can even read this in individual letters. When some or other apostolic disciple, Polycarp of Smyrna for instance, could describe what some or other person who had taught him, looked like, the description was unbelievably more important than the communication of mere words. What is most essential here, was recalling the feeling of being-together-with everything in connection with the Christ, so that one can say the Apostles sensed the succession, but they could no longer inwardly experience every transformation which had been experienced in the old initiation mysteries. Don't misunderstand me, I don't suggest that the apostles or apostle disciples have made such deliberations, but their soul constitution was so that they could make such deliberations and it was characteristic of their soul constitution to formulate such deliberations. When they were asked to formulate their soul constitution, they would have said: Yes, we couldn't go through with it in the same way as was still possible in the earlier Mysteries, for instance experiencing the transformation of light to darkness; we can no longer experience how one is anointed with oil and so on, and we can no longer experience the inner pain through recalling; but here a God has incarnated in the form of Jesus who was here, and with whom we have relations and when we really in our consciousness take it up, not merely with intellectual grasping but when in all concreteness we live in it, then something lifts us up into the supersensible world.
With the apostles it was the direct living-in-community with the Christ, with the apostle disciples it was the community living-with-him, being carried over to them, who had laid their hands on those who had still been touched by the Lord, and transmitted to those in the third generation who had again laid their hands on someone who had had the Lord touch them. They would get a sense of apostolic succession when they would recall what I've just said, and they would also get a feeling for what it meant to stand inside a world which is spiritually, as it were, like standing in a physical line of ancestors. The physical line of ancestors flows through from birth. The spiritual ancestral line however, must go up to the spiritual father ancestor, the Christ Jesus, it flows through the ongoing, continuous fulfilment of consecrated ceremonies, which lead to the Christ, which certainly must always become more and more outward, because it must ever more make an intensive impression on people. As a result, besides the laying on of hands, other ceremonies were recorded in the next centuries, to make the outer impressions even stronger. A process of internalisation existed with those surrounding Christ Jesus: here Christ Jesus was performing a ritual himself. My dear friends, why was this necessary?
The life of Christ Jesus was the ritual for that which was around him, that which was accomplished in reality, that was the ritual/cult: the great offering of mass was fulfilled on Golgotha. Here we are led back to the first fulfilment of the ritual: at least this is what lives in Christian consciousness. This was followed by outward signs: it required the necessity for an outward imprint of activity, like remembrance, to show the eyes and to impress it on the soul in prayer, which could not be as alive as it had been with the apostles and the apostle disciples.
I know that many people who hear such things with today's consciousness say: Why don't you simply express it in a short and sweet answer, shaped in sharply outlined terms, this or that is apostolic succession? — If someone wants such sharply outlined concepts, his argument is inwardly untruthful. One only speaks truth when it introduces the view of something that has been experienced. Such a thing can't be understood in sharply outlined concepts.
Apostolic succession is something experienced first and then one knows that actually something is being experienced in a spiritual line of ancestors leading back to Christ, just like the ancestral line flowing through the blood links to the natural ancestral line, to any of the ancestors. This spiritual blood lies in the continuous fulfilment of the priestly ordination ceremony. It forms therefore the direct connection, for those who become priests, to the spiritual world. It is consecrated by someone who have themselves received such a consecration, and these, to those, and so on, up to the point where the supersensible descended into a human body and in this way for the first time brought a new, substantial fructification in the earth, which had become old.
We will want to develop the particular format of the priest ordination, into a ritual form. I would like, still today, to point out that you could eventually find something which remains incomprehensible in the priest ordination. Now, by me saying something like this you will understand, also in connection with the regular previous lectures up to this morning, that in fact a complete break had to take place regarding the understanding of such things, when the changed consciousness appeared from the middle of the 15th century. In me expressing these things, I'm using words, which actually for the general consciousness could only have been fully understood before the middle of the 15th century. Then people actually stopped having a real sense for the meaning of these words. It is basically only through the trust you have been able to put in me, that you can hear something here in the manner and way it happened in former times when the soul constitution experienced things in quite a different way. Then came the time when less importance was attached to a concrete connection, when people who still knew how to attach importance to this concrete connection, became rare. Now, the most importance was attributed to the comprehensible content of the Gospels, to the comprehensible content of religion as such. Thus, gradually it took on particular importance to discuss the content of the Gospels, to discuss the content of the sacraments and to a certain extent particularly look into the teaching material, at the teaching content. The teaching content gradually became the most important. Not actually the concrete, but the abstract, became the most important, that is the essential thing. While for the catholic consciousness — I don't mean merely the roman catholic, but the catholic Christian consciousness — the priest ordination placed the chosen one in a spiritual ancestry up to Christ, which actually for the modern person made everything quite comprehensible, from definitions to declarations which places nothing into a reality. However, we must be very clear about it, that we live again in a time where we need deepening again in that direction.
Well, the catholic consciousness has basically always acted quite consistently according to these prerequisites; quite consistently. In order not to be misunderstood regarding what follows, I would like to introduce it like this. When today we want to prepare someone — in fact, I mean for something which we see as a new ritual — when we, today, want to prepare someone to perform ceremonial actions, then we would for those who stand outside Catholicism in the world, no longer with full inner devotion be able to integrate a person into the apostolic succession. As I've mentioned to you, there have been remarkable Theosophists like Leadbeater and similar ones, who have likewise tried to place themselves in the apostolic succession, but that's going to resist any man who's honest with the world, if he is not imbued with Catholic consciousness.
We need to look for something else. We need to fully understand that a reality is not something which is spoken about, something abstract. We must also learn to understand the sacramental. We must learn to understand, throughout, that the content of the teaching does not contain the essential but that something must be added from real processes and in such a way that these actual processes are carried on the waves of reality as the weaving of the Divine. There have only been single individuals, like Novalis, who understood this — do read his Aphorisms, then you'll see. He spoke about magical idealism; he knew this wasn't alive in outer sensory worlds, but within people, there lived the soul—spiritual. Then there was Schelling — in his old age, that's why he was hardly understood — for whom it was quite absurd to believe that the essence of Christianity consisted in the acceptance of what Christ taught; rather, Schelling recognised the essential much more according to the account of Jesus going through the process of the entire Golgotha drama, in the description of actions which took place around Golgotha. However, there are individuals who tend towards the reality, who in turn want to enter into actual experiences connected to the spiritual. In totality one could say that the way Catholicism experiences it, is something quite antiquated which can't be introduced into modern consciousness any longer. For this reason we mustn't only search for a renewal of old rituals but we must search for a ritual which we can create out of ourselves, but created in such a way that it creates the Divine in us in the sense we have spoken about, so that the words of Paul become the truth — in Gospel interpretation, and in all religious activities: Not I, but Christ in me.
Catholicism, as Roman Catholicism, has actually always known how to act consistently. To a certain extent it has turned out, lifted out, from general humanity, all those who were descendants of Christ Jesus himself and so a sharp awareness has come about, separating the priestly spiritual generation, meaning those people connected to consecration, from all other people who had not attended consecration. Like a member of the nobility who for instance connects his bloodline back to the 18th ancestor and knows who carry this blood in their veins, their ancestral connection differs from that of the rest of humanity, in the same way there's a difference from those consecrated into the apostolic succession up to Christ himself, who have continuously and consistently received consecration, right down to those who had not received it. They felt themselves placed in this connection and felt others were different; that's why it was quite necessary during a certain time period that certain things were presented to people. A person gradually absorbed what had more or less consciously existed in his awareness and allowed this to be expressed in his actions. After this, because of the ever-increasing sharper awareness related to the Christ developed, came the necessity for greater withdrawal for the uninitiated: celibacy. The celibate already had his inner foundation and there where the celibate was dogmatised it was found throughout that the priest had to withdraw from connecting to all others, was a human personality who found it far more important to practice the priest consecration as a conscious inheritance of the father of his ancestors and because he was placed in this ancestral blood of a spiritual ancestry, he could not be in contact with that world from which he was taken out by the consecration ceremony. The moment a person strongly experienced this particular situation of priesthood in relation to the world, the necessity for celibacy was added, and of course there's no denying that one could also feel the political usefulness for Rome, and so on. However, you can be quite certain that during the time when celibacy was introduced — it was a time when the celibate person came from the monk priesthood — in the unconscious impulses was the urge for a certain honesty and truthfulness. It was certainly the case that the creation of celibacy was understood in the way I have presented it now. Just as in the 19th century, in a kind of natural way — as I said — the consequential process living in the Catholic consciousness resulted in the dogma of immaculate conception and how this resulted in the infallibility dogma, so at a certain time causes led to the consequences of celibacy.
Well, if you take all of this in then we already come to what is of particular importance today. Of particular importance today for us is to again return to the ritual, to ceremonies. You are experiencing, at least many of you have said you experience it like this: you are actually experiencing necessities based on what has come out of, and is given by, this time. Of course we can't undo events, we can't go back to untruths for instance, we can't reverse an untruth, such as taking something which no longer feels alive were to be changed externally, like being ordained by an olden-time Catholic priest. That would be contradictory to those who have already ignited the Protestant consciousness too strongly in themselves because for the Protestant consciousness this possibility doesn't exist; in their experience one can't oppose something which has been created out of quite other circumstances.
What you need to arrive at, if reality is at all part of your striving, is what can flow out of the spiritual world itself, which can be seen as flowing directly from Christ Jesus. We must strengthen ourselves in the words of Jesus: I am with you until the end of earthly days. —
These words out of the Gospels also announce such a process of the Christ impulse will be found on the earth for so long, that it will last until the end of the earth comes about. For this reason, one must firstly announce this as a postulate to a certain extent, that it must be possible — as a reality — to come to Christ, like with the Catholic consciousness, through the apostolic succession historically the spiritual family tree is searched for, reaching right to Christ. It must be able to find Him again, in a moment in the present; a connection to the Divine, a connection to the Christianized Divine as it was historically found by the Catholics in the apostolic succession right up to the Christian ancestors of this apostolic succession. That is why it must take place this way, that we find the spiritual again, not only in words about the Christian aspect, but so that we actually connect with what is real in the Christian aspect. Then we can create the ritual out of this, like the ritual was created within the apostolic succession. However, we need to penetrate it with an understanding which goes far beyond the understanding of the time.
We must indeed move towards an understanding that can be expressed — I want to first formulate it as follows: In the world and in ordinary human thinking we experience the phenomenal: we however want to experience the nominal, we want to try and enter into the essential and out of this essence find the ritual. If you really want to find the ritual, then it must finally be so that this ritual is discovered as it had been during the second century, where gradually, what used to exist in simpler forms — only a few of which have been recorded — has now been transferred to the forms of later rituals. How was the ritual experienced? A person was caught up in it, just like a person who smokes knows what he is doing by smoking; he knows he can express what he wants to, only by smoking. So you must again learn to feel that you, when you perform some or other ceremony, know for yourself: the ceremony must be performed in this way. A person knows what he has to say today when he turns to other people, he knows how to clothe his inner life with words. My dear friends, there is a moment in life, where one inwardly experiences that it is impossible to continue using words, where what you want to say no longer translates into words, where you have to stop with words or at most continue with words by carrying out the sacred act by starting to not merely letting the word sound out but where, for instance, the development of smoke must take place, where in particular one of the other actions must be carried out imaginatively. Where the words connect with a particular action, by coming into the original consciousness, where also, like your soul content, being enlivened by the Divine, pours into the words, now your soul content will no longer be merely a phenomenal one but a nominal one, then you will be lifted out of what the outer world comprises, there you will gradually enter into the sacramental.
Somewhat in this way, I've tried to clarify how one must enter into the sacramental. It actually makes no sense, let's say, in simply transforming holy water as is often done today by subordinate clerics. There is simply no point in performing the transubstantiation in this way, as is done by many subordinate clerics today, who are left in the dark in relation to the esoteric consecration of the Catholic Church. Regarding the old soul constitutions, it had made sense to be fully aware of one's actions when a certain word was spoken over the salt substance, and that they knew the salt substance had changed as a result.
Today experiments have already been done to make the gentle sensitivity of a flame visible, by placing a flame somewhere and a person speaking rhythmically at a distance from it, to see the flame copy the rhythm. Here a rhythm is being copied by something inorganic. If I know the right words in the right word correlation over the salt substance, then the salt substance will change. If I now allow this salt substance which has been permeated, to enter into water, then I have kindled a process, which, if I understand it, when I have performed it in spirit, is a sacramental act. We must be able, once again, to look at the nominal as such. This we will address tomorrow. I think, in any case, my dear friends, that many questions could be conjured out of the soul by me speaking about these things, and I would love it if the questions, while you are all here, not in general, could also be formulated concretely so that no doubt remains. I completely understand that with earnestness your small circle has turned to me with the clear intention to really work toward a renewal of the religious life. It is not possible to do so by merely changing the teaching content; it is only possible when you enter with a changed soul constitution. We are now entering more deeply into things and, triggered through your questions we will become ever more acquainted with these things so that you're actually going to understand what I mean to convey.