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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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How the Spiritual World Interpenetrates the Physical
GA 154/155

This First Edition book brings together two very meaningful lecture series by Rudolf Steiner: How the Spiritual World Penetrates the Physical — GA 261 — and Christ and the Human Soul — GA 155.

The first two lectures are from the lecture series entitled, How Does One Gain Understanding of the Spiritual World?, published in German as, Wie erwirbt man sich Verstaendnis fuer die geistige Welt? Das Einfliessen Geistiger Impuls aus der Welt der Verstorbenen (buy from the Steiner Verlag).

The next four lectures are from the lecture series entitled, Christ and the Human Soul, published in German as, Christus und die Menschliche Seele. Ueber den Sinn des Lebens. Theosophische Moral. Anthroposophie und Christentum. Translated and Edited by H. Collison

How Does One Gain Understanding of the Spiritual World?
Lecture I May 09, 1914
Importance of spiritual thoughts on going to sleep. The spiritual thoughts must be selfless. Danger of fear when going to sleep. Egoism. Parasites. Epidemics. The dead are starving for spiritual food which it is our duty to supply. The consciousness of the dead is refreshed when we read to them. The religious disposition of the future. Importance of communion with the dead. But it is always a presumption to force our will beyond what is karmic ally allowed to us by cosmic wisdom. Death is a transformation of activity. A reason for early death. The soul is sometimes too powerful for the body. A long illness. Christian Morgenstern.
Lecture II May 10, 1914
The Spiritual world is dull and weak and dreamy to us if the soul cannot, during life on earth, acquire an inward activity. Fantastic idealism IS dangerous even III the spiritual world. Before Golgotha the clairvoyance was aroused in the physical body. To counteract the danger of wrong and fantastic vision, the great religious teachers appeared. Spiritual knowledge at that time was given on authority, it is now produced inwardly. The Christ-Impulse. ‘I am with you always.’ In the spiritual world one does not see, but one is seen. The dead perceive the living according to the measure of force received from Higher Hierarchies. We on earth can thus be helped by the dead to be good. They do not give us faculties, but the fact of our knowledge of their presence is a help. The Mystery Plays. We are also helped unconsciously. For this help, spiritual vision is not necessary. The old dreamy clairvoyance was stimulated by the physical body. Now spiritual knowledge is gained by Spiritual Science. Understanding is necessary for spiritual development. A chaotic psychic power belongs only to the backward soul. Fichte: ‘Heaven exists everywhere, in every living heart.’
Christ and the Human Soul
Lecture I July 12, 1914
The Soul element begins with the Earth. Two religious gifts: Free Will and Atonement. The trial at Jerusalem. The claim of Christ Jesus. The choice of the multitude. Moses and Christ. The Jews could see God in nature but not in themselves. The Will of God shown in the elements. The Ten Commandments. The heathen perceived Christ in the Mysteries: but He was not recognized by Jews or heathen, though He came to both. Immortality without consciousness means nothing. Will to the Jews; Wisdom to the heathen. Love takes individuality through death.
Lecture II July 14, 1914
No certainty in ideals. Christian Morgenstern. Individual immortality the proof of Cosmic reality in the Anthroposophical Society. The Christ impulse when taken up by one person affects not him alone, but the whole of humanity. Responsibility to the Spiritual World. Dr. Steiner's Plays. Our ideals are often Luciferic. Christ-enfilled ideals are the reality, ‘Not I, but Christ in me.’ ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’
Lecture III July 15, 1914
Immortality without consciousness means nothing. Sin and guilt. The Crucifixion and the two malefactors. The mission of Lucifer and Ahriman is in Cosmos, outside the Physical. Christ also is a Cosmic being whose judgment is different from ours. Karma and compensation. The descent of Christ into Limbo. Michelangelo's Last Judgment. The Atonement. The power to forgive sins depends on the consciousness of the sinner that Christ can blot out the Cosmic fact, but not the Karmic fact. The woman taken in adultery. The Theosophical idea of Karmic adjustment is an egoistic misconception when Christianity is omitted. We should say ‘Not I and my own redemption but the Christ in me and the earth redemption.’ Convenience sometimes is miscalled Christianity. Our Cosmic responsibility to Christ. There is so much cheap knowledge, and the desire to rush into print. Objective truth is more important than man's opinion. The crisis in the Theosophical Society.
Lecture IV July 16, 1914
The New Testament must be absorbed before it can be understood. Christ had to become akin to death. We kill this light and air. We cannot kill ‘Chemical Ether’ or ‘Life Ether.’ ‘Of the Tree of Life man shall not eat, and the Spirit of Matter he shall not hear.’ The Music of the Spheres, from which came Christ. ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ Christ had to enter what is slain by human nature, and akin to death; hence ‘Christ in us.’ Plants transform light into air-spirits: animals transform ‘Chemical Ether’ into water-spirits: man transforms ‘Life Ether’ into earth-spirits. The Phantom. Man's moral and intellectual aura. The Christ Impulse. The Bridegroom and Bride. Bernard of Clairvaux. Pythagoras. The Sphere music and the Cosmic life. In the body we shall rise again as a body condensed from the incarnations. The two races upon Jupiter. ‘Forgiveness in My Name.’ The sinner must be conscious of his guilt to feel union with Christ. An Anthroposophist should be his own Father Confessor.