Sunday, August 25, 2019

What the world needs now is Anthroposophy

"Not I, but Christ in me"

The conclusion to the lecture
"The Relation of Anthroposophy and Christianity"

Rudolf Steiner, London, November 18, 1922:

A man who desires to find the true path to Christ in our modern age must, above all else, inwardly deepen his soul. He must learn to look within himself in order that he may find and become aware of inner reality when he turns his gaze away from the world of sense. And within him too, he will find the power that carries him through the gate of death, inasmuch as here, on the Earth, knowledge of this power has come to him through devotion to Christ and to the Mystery of Golgotha.
The guru of olden times said to his pupils, and through them to all human beings: When you pass through the gate of death you will find the sublime Sun Being Who makes good the imperfections of Earth-existence. The teacher of modem times says: If here on the Earth, with inner reverence and deep devotion of heart, you establish connection with Christ Who has descended, and with the Mystery of Golgotha, you will be inwardly filled with a power that does not die with you, but bears you through death and will work together with you toward the fulfillment of what cannot be wholly fulfilled on Earth while you are living in a physical body. What in olden times was wrought by the sublime Sun Being will be wrought, now, by Christ's power within your own being from which the body has been cast off at death. Christ's power will work in human imperfections on Earth and men will be drawn together in the social life through their recognition of Him. For the power that streams from Christ, the power upon which anthroposophical Spiritual Science is able to shed the light of understanding, can enter into the actions and the will of men and thereby flow into their social life.
There is much talk today of social reform and social progress. Who will be the great reformer of the social life when men's actions are performed in the name of Christ Jesus and the world becomes truly Christian? Who will be the mighty reformer, having the power to establish peace amid social strife on Earth? The Christ — He and He alone can bring peace, when men lead a social life hallowed by acts of consecration, when as they look up to Christ they do not say “I,” but rather: When two or three, or many, are gathered together in the name of Christ, then He is in the midst of us. Activity in the sphere of social life then becomes a veritable hallowing, a continuation of the sacred acts of cult and rite in olden times. Christ Himself in very truth will be the great social reformer, since He works today as a living reality within the being of man.
The social life must be permeated with the Christ Impulse ... Men of simple piety long to find Christ's power within the soul so that what they do in the social life may be done in Christ's name. These men of simple piety can still be sure of their ground when a modern initiate says to them: The power you can find through your simple piety of soul when you meditate upon your own being and upon the Christ Who lives within you — this power streamed from the Death on Golgotha, from Christ Himself. It works as the Christ Impulse in the deeds you perform in social life, because Christ is present among men as a living reality when they find the way to Him. They are led to Him through that deep inner love which links human hearts together and brings a supersensible element into feeling, just as the light that is kindled within a man's being brings a supersensible element into knowledge.
And so men of simple piety need say no longer that their path is disturbed by the knowledge imparted by anthroposophical Spiritual Science. If natural science were to continue along purely external paths, this simple piety would in the course of time die out altogether; but if natural science itself can lead on to knowledge of the supersensible and thereby to knowledge of the Christ as a supersensible being, then all truly pious men will be able to find that for which they long: assurance in their life of soul, certainty that their deeds and actions are in harmony with the Christ Impulse. That for which pious and godly men yearn can be imbued through anthroposophical Spiritual Science with all the certainty of knowledge. This Spiritual Science has therefore the right to insist that it does not disturb the path of simple godliness or lead men away from Christ. Seeking as it does to lead the way to the spiritual world by working with and not against modern science, Anthroposophy has this message to give: Mankind must not go forward into the future without Christ, but with him — with Christ as a Being Who is known and recognized, Whose reality is felt and Whose Impulse men resolve to make effective in the world.


Saturday, August 24, 2019

Air: The body of Jehovah

Diagram 1

Rudolf Steiner:   "Air is the body of Jehovah just as skin is the body of man."

INRI: The Meaning of the Inscription on the Cross

Rudolf Steiner:

Now I must tell you something which, though easy to understand intellectually, is difficult for the man of today to grasp with his whole soul. The time when the gospels were written was the dawn of Christianity. One used names then in a way which I will now explain. One did not look to the outer physical man, but one saw something higher, the spiritual, shining through it. A name was not used as it is today, it had a significance. Suppose someone was called James (Jacobus). James really means water. Water is the spiritual scientific term for the soul element. If I call somebody James, I say that his soul shines through his body. With this, I signify that he belongs to the watery element. If I give the name James to an initiate, he is to me the symbol for water (Hebrew — Jam). James is nothing but the technical name for an initiate who especially governs the force of water in its occult sense.
Thus were the three disciples who were taken up to Mount Tabor called by their initiate names: James means water, Peter stands for earth, or rock (Hebrew — Jabascha), John signifies air (Ruach). Thus, John means he who has attained the higher self. This leads us deep into the secret doctrines. Transport yourself back into the time when man only possessed the lower principles — the third Root Race, the Lemurian epoch. Mankind did not then breathe air, he breathed through gills. Lungs and breathing through lungs developed later. This process coincided with the impregnation by the higher self. Air is, according to the hermetic principle, the lower which represents the higher — the higher self. If I call somebody John (Johannes), then he is one who has awakened his higher self, who governs the occult forces of air. Jesus is the one who governs the occult forces of fire (Nur). Thus you  have in these four names the representatives of earth, water, air, and fire. They are the names of the four who ascended Mount Tabor.

Jam : Water — James
Nur : Fire — Jesus
Ruach : Air — John
Jabascha : Earth — Peter

Think of these four together on the Mount of Transfiguration. There you have at the same time the initiates who govern the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. What happened? It was made manifest spiritually that through the appearance of Jesus the whole power of the elements was renewed in such a way that the life pulsing through the elements passed through a new, important phase of its development. This is the transfiguration seen occultly. If somebody goes through the transfiguration in this manner, if he has within himself the stages of water, earth, and air, and even rises to the forces of fire, then he is a reawakened one, someone who has gone through the crucifixion. Thus in the case of the other evangelists this scene is but a preparation for the deeper initiation scene of the crucifixion itself. In the John Gospel, everything is already prepared. The preparatory scene does not appear, only the death on the Mount of Golgotha. Jam, Nur, Ruach, Jabascha — INRI — this is the meaning of the words on the cross.

New wine in new bottles — Anthroposophy: The redemption, the resurrection, the rejuvenation of thinking

"Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."  — Matthew 9:17

Rudolf Steiner:  "No one who strives for knowledge of true reality can attain it if he fails to realize that ordinary cognitional means are inadequate for this knowledge, and that the cognitional means necessary for it must first be developed. Man feels that there is more slumbering in him than is encompassed by the consciousness of ordinary life and science. Instinctively he longs for a knowledge which is not attainable by this consciousness. For the attainment of this knowledge he must not shrink back from transforming the forces which are directed toward the sense world in ordinary consciousness, so that they are able to grasp a supersensible world. Before one can grasp true reality, one has to produce a soul condition which can relate to the spiritual world. What is attainable by ordinary consciousness depends upon the human organization that disintegrates at death. Therefore it is comprehensible that the knowledge of this kind of consciousness can know nothing of the supersensible and of the eternal in human nature. Only transformed consciousness sees into that world in which man lives as supersensible being, and as a being that is untouched by the disintegration of the sense organization."

Source: "Philosophy and Anthroposophy," page 35

Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe. Lecture 14 of 16

"I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"  — Luke 12:49-50

Diagram 2

Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, May 14, 1920:

The essential part of our present study is to recognise how the two streams of the world's history, the heathen stream and the Christian stream, meet in our life, how they work into one another and are connected with the events in the whole Universe. In order to search more closely into this, we must first consider the following. It is essential that we should discriminate as exactly as possible wherein the heathen world-conception, taking it in the widest sense (for indeed, it is still and must remain at the basis of our modern conception of the Universe) — wherein this heathen world-conception differs from the Christian, which has only in a very small degree, in its full reality, passed into the minds of men. The point is, as I have often pointed out, that we have now come to a time when what we may call the cosmogony of Natural Science, and what we call the Moral Order of the Universe — to which of course, also belongs the religious view of the world — stand side by side, utterly unconnected. For the man of today, more than he is aware of, the occurrences belonging to natural and moral happenings are two things wholly apart, which he cannot at all unite if he wishes honestly to hold the position of modern cosmogony. That is why the greatest part of the advanced theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries actually has no Christology. I have often remarked on the existence of such books as Adolf Harnack's The Nature of Christianity, in which there is no reason whatever why the name of Christ should be mentioned; for what appears therein as ‘Christ’ is no other than the Deity met with in the Old Testament as the God Jehovah. There is really no actual difference between Harnack's ‘Christ’ and the God Jehovah — that is, there is no difference between what is said of the Christ-Being and what followers of the Old Testament view of the Universe said of their Jehovah. If we take the idea of Christ held today by many persons and compare it with what they have otherwise as their view of life, there is no reason whatever why they should speak of Christ and Christianity, for to speak of Christ and Christianity — and Nationalism, for example — as many do today is an absolute contradiction. These things only escape notice because people today avoid courageously drawing the logical conclusion of what they see before them. The widest rift however, the widest gulf, exists between the view of things held by natural science and what is held by Christianity; and the most important task of our time is to build a bridge over the gulf. The conception of the Universe held by natural science is absolutely the off-spring of the nineteenth century; and it is well not always to describe these things in the abstract, but to look into them a little in a concrete way.
I have often mentioned the name of a prominent personality of the nineteenth century, one who directs our attention directly to the conception of the Universe held by natural science — I refer to Julius Robert Mayer, whom we must associate with the nineteenth century view although in his case it leads to some misunderstanding. You know how in a popular way it has been said that the assertion of the law of the conservation of force originated with him — or, to speak more accurately, the law that the Universe contains a constant sum of forces which can be neither increased nor lessened, and can only be changed into one another. Heat, mechanical force, electricity, chemical force, all change one into the other; yet the quantity of the force existing in the Universe remains always the same. Every modern physicist holds this view. Although in popular consciousness men are not aware of this law of the conservation of force and energy, they think of natural phenomena in a way that they can only be thought of when one is under the influence of this law. I want you clearly to understand what I mean. There may be something in the action of a being that corresponds to a certain principle, even when that being is not in a position to understand that principle. Suppose, for instance, that one wished to make a dog understand that a double quantity of meat means that a single quantity has been taken twice over; it could not be done. The dog could not take that in consciously, but practically he will act according to this principle; for if he has the chance of snapping at a small piece or at one twice the size, he will as a rule, seize the larger, other conditions being equal. And a man can stand under the influence of a principle without explaining it to himself in abstract form as such. Thus we may say: Certainly most people do not think of the law of conservation of force, but they do picture the whole of Nature in a way that is in accordance with the law, because what they were taught in school was taught on the assumption that the law of conservation of force exists. It is interesting to see how Mayer's line of thought expressed itself when he had to put it clearly to others who did not as yet think along the same lines.
Julius Robert Mayer had a friend who kept a record of many of their conversations. He relates many interesting facts, facts by which one can examine thoroughly the mode of thought of the nineteenth century. In the first place, to give something quite external, I will choose the following. Julius Robert Mayer was so thoroughly steeped in the whole mode of ideas leading to that of the conservation of force, of the mere transmutation of one force into another, that as a rule, whenever he met a friend in the street he could not help calling to him from a distance: ‘Out of nothing, nothing comes!’ Visiting his friend one day — Rümelin was the friend's name — knocking at the door and opening it, these were his first words, even before greeting his friend: ‘Out of nothing, nothing comes.’ So deeply was this saying rooted in Mayer's consciousness.
Rümelin tells of a very interesting discussion in which he, not as yet knowing very much of the law of the conservation of force, wished to have its nature explained. Julius Robert Mayer, who came from Heilbronn — (his monument stands there) — said ‘If two horses are drawing a carriage and they go for some distance, what will happen?’ — ‘Well’, said Rümelin, ‘the travelers in the carriage will arrive at Ohringen.’ — ‘But if they turn and go back without having done anything in Ohringen, and return to Heilbronn?’ ‘Well,’ replied Rümelin, ‘in that case the one journey has so to speak cancelled the other, so that there is apparently no result; yet there is the actual effect that the travelers came and went between Heilbronn and Ohringen.’ ‘No’, said Mayer, ‘that is only a secondary effect; it has nothing to do with what actually happened. The outcome of the expenditure of force on the part of the horses, that is something quite different. Through this expenditure of force, first the horses themselves grew hotter, secondly the axles of the carriage round which the wheels moved became hotter, and thirdly if we were to gauge with a delicate thermometer the grooves made by the wheels in the road, we should find that the warmth within them was greater than at the sides. That is the actual result. In the horses themselves, matter was also consumed through the transmutation of substance. All this is the actual effect. The other effect, that the people traveled backwards and forwards between Heilbronn and Ohringen is a secondary effect, but not the actual physical occurrence. The actual physical occurrence was the spent force of the horses, the transmutation into increased heat of the horses, the increased heat in the axles, the heat-consumption of cart-grease through friction in the wheels, the warming of the tracks on the road, and so forth.’ When one measures — as Mayer then did and specified the corresponding amount — one finds that the whole of the force which the horses exerted passed without remainder into heat. The rest is all a secondary matter, a side issue.
This has of course a certain influence on our conception of things, and the ultimate result is that we must say: ‘Well, we must free natural occurrences from everything that is a side issue in the sense of strict scientific thought, for side issues have nothing to do with scientific thought in the sense it is understood in the nineteenth century. The secondary effect is right outside the bounds of the events of natural science.’ If, however, we ask: How does what we may call natural moral law come to expression? In what are human worth and human dignity expressed? Certainly not in the fact that the force (energy) of the horses is transmuted into the heat of the carriage axles; no, in this case the secondary effect is the chief point! Let us reflect however, how in all that is considered in natural science, this secondary effect is wholly omitted. The men of the nineteenth century, and even Kant in the eighteenth, formed their view of the origin of the Universe simply out of the principles which Julius Robert Mayer so sharply defined, when he separated out what belongs to nature alone from all that was for him merely secondary effect.
If we bear this clearly in mind, we are obliged to say: The Universe must thus be constructed from the principle we recognise as Nature-Principle; all that has taken place through Christianity, for instance, is just a secondary effect, like the fact of the persons journeying by coach from Heilbronn to Ohringen, for what they had to do there does not come into consideration in the view of Natural Science. Yet, do these two streams not cross in some way or other?
Let us suppose Rümelin had not been satisfied, but had raised the following objection — I know it does not hold good for the physicist of today, but it is applicable to the construction of a general view of the Universe — suppose the following was said: If the people who were traveling from Heilbronn to Ohringen had chosen not to do so, the horses would not have expended their force, the transmutation into heat would not have taken place, or it would have happened at a different place and under different conditions. Thus in our consideration of what happened in accordance with natural science, we are limited to that part of the event which does not lead us to the ultimate cause. The event would never have taken place if the travelers had not supposed they had something to do in Ohringen. Thus what natural science must regard as a side-issue enters notwithstanding into natural occurrences. Or, suppose that the travelers had something to do in Ohringen at a definite hour. Suppose the carriage axles not only became hot, but that one of them broke — in that case they could not have continued their journey. What happened, the breaking of the axle, would then of course be explicable scientifically, but what occurred through this natural phenomenon — namely, that something planned could not be carried out — might, as can easily be imagined, have tremendously far-reaching consequences, leading moreover to other natural processes, which would in their turn have led to further consequences.
Thus we see that even when one stands on purely logical grounds very significant and grave questions arise. We must at once say, that these cannot be answered by the conception of the Universe arising from the hypothesis of our modern training; they cannot be answered without Spiritual Science. They can in no wise be answered without it; for before the tendency to the natural-scientific mode of thought arose, which was first brought to such exactness by Julius Robert Mayer, there was not that sharp line of division between the natural-scientific mode of thought and moral thought. If we consider the twelfth or thirteenth century, we find that what people had then to say of the moral order and the physical order always harmonised. Today people no longer read seriously; but if you read such works — I might say, there are not many things left from olden times which have come down to our days quite unadulterated — but if you take works which are like stragglers of the old cosmic conceptions, you will discover many things that prove how in earlier times the Moral was carried into the Physical, and the Physical raised to the Moral. Read one of these — now already somewhat falsified yet still fairly readable — read one of the writings of Basil Valentine. When you read there about metals, planets, medicinal drugs, in almost every line you will come across adjectives applied to the metals — good, bad, sagacious metals, and the like; which show that even in this domain some moral thinking was introduced. That of course could not be done today. Abstraction has gone so far that natural phenomena have been severed from all the secondary effects, as we may see in Julius Robert Mayer; one cannot say that it was the kindness of the horses' feet which moved them to use up the axle-grease by the warmth produced by their movement! It is not possible in this scientific connection to bring in any kind of moral category. There are two domains, the natural and the moral, and these stand quite definitely side by side. If the world-happenings were as shown by that kind of presentation, man could not exist at all in our world, he would not be there — for what is the reason for the present physical form of man?
When I speak here of the physical form of man, I must ask you to take the word ‘form’ seriously. The natural philosophers of today do not take the expression ‘human form’ seriously. What do they do? Like Huxley and others, they count the bones of man and of the higher animals, and from the number of these they draw the conclusion that Man is only a more highly evolved stage of the animal. Or they count the muscles and so forth. We have repeatedly had to point out that the essential point is that the line of the animal spine is horizontal, while the human spine is vertical; and although certain animals raise themselves, the position with them is not characteristic, what is characteristic of the animal is the horizontal line of the spine. Upon this depends the whole formation. Thus I ask you to take seriously what I wish to express by the word ‘form’.
This form of man; where must we look for its origin, its primary physical origin, in a spiritual way in the Universe? I have already touched on this point in these lectures, I have pointed to the starry heavens which move — whether apparently or actually is immaterial at the moment — round the Earth; the Sun also. Thus the Sun takes the same way; but if we take into consideration what we now know, namely that the Sun shifts its point of departure every Spring, remaining behind a little in relation to the stars, we come to a specially important fact. The change in position of the Vernal Point can be seen in the fact that the constellation in the following year rises earlier than the Sun and sets earlier, showing us that the Sun remains behind. I have pointed out that even the old Egyptians knew that if the circle is divided into 360 degrees, the Sun remains one day behind in 72 years. That is, in 360 times 72 years, or 25,920 years, it remains the whole circle behind, and returns to the star from which it started 25,920 years before.
Thus we have the fact that in the Universe the stars travel round, and the Sun goes round — I will not go into the question as to whether this revolution is only apparent or not, the important point under consideration is that the Sun travels more slowly, remaining behind one degree of the cosmic circle in 72 years; and 72 years, as I have already indicated, is the normal maximum duration of a man's life. Man lives 72 years, exactly the period the Sun remains one degree behind the other stars.
We have lost the right feeling for these things. Even as late as in the Hebraic Mysteries, the teacher still impressed very strongly upon his scholars that it is Jehovah who brings it about that the sun lingers behind the stars and, with the force which the Sun thus kept back, He fashioned the human form, which is His earthly image. Thus, mark well, the stars run their course quickly, the Sun more slowly, and so a slight difference arises which, according to these ancient Mysteries, was that which produced the human form. Man is born out of time, he is so born that he owes his existence to the difference in velocity between the cosmic day of the stars and the cosmic day of the Sun. In modern parlance we should say: If the Sun were not in the Universe as it is, if it were just a star like other stars, having the same velocity as other stars, what would be the consequence? It would be that the Luciferic powers alone would rule. That this is not so, that man is able to withhold himself from the Luciferic powers with the whole of his being, is due to the circumstance that the Sun does not share in the velocity of the stars but lags behind them, not developing the Luciferic velocity but the velocity of Jehovah. Again, if there were only the Sun velocity and not that of the stars, man would not be able to run on in front of the rest of his development with his mental powers, as he does at present. Such a condition would not fit well into his whole evolution. In our time this is very striking. If we have studied Spiritual Science seriously, we know that a man of 36, for instance, understands things he could not at 25. Experience is necessary for the comprehension of certain things. This is not admitted today, for a man of 25 feels himself complete. He is only complete as regards mental powers, but not in experience, for experience is gained more slowly than understanding. If this were taken into account, we should not find that the young people of today have already formed their point of view, for they would know that they could not do so before acquiring a certain amount of experience. Understanding travels with the stars, experience with the Sun. Assuming that human life is 72 years (unless events of Nature intervene causing Man to die older or younger), we say that it lasts the time the Sun takes to retrograde one degree. Why is this? The reason lies in a certain fine adjustment in the Cosmos. Our preliminary study obliges me to ask you to follow me for a little while into this domain.
If we consider a lunar eclipse occurring in a certain year, then there will be a certain date when the eclipse can occur. The lunar eclipse occurs on the same date about every 18 years, and in the same constellation. There is a periodical rhythm in the lunar eclipse, a rhythm of 18 years. That is just a quarter of a cosmic day and just a quarter of a man's life. Man, if I may so express it, endures four such periods of darkness. Why? Because in the Universe everything is in numerical harmony. On the average, Man has in accordance with the rhythmic activity of his heart, not only 72 years of life, but 72 pulse beats, and approximately 18 respirations — again the quarter — in the minute. This numerical accord is expressed in the Universe by the rhythm between the 18 years — the Chaldean Saros period, so-called because the Chaldeans first discovered it — and the Solar period; and it is the same rhythm as is also to be found in man in the inner mobility between his respiration and his pulse-beats. Plato said, not without reason: ‘God geometrises, arithmetises’ ... Thus our 72 years of life, to which is co-ordinated also our heart and pulse activity, goes through the Saros period four times; because in our heart and pulse activity we have our breathing activity, as it were, four times over. Our whole human organism is constructed on the lines of the Universe, but we only see into its significance when we bear in mind another connection.
As I said in one of the foregoing lectures, we only gauge correctly the movement of the Moon, its revolution round its axis, when we connect its revolution not with the day of the Sun, but with the day of the stars. If we have the solar time in view, we must consider a shorter time, 27.5 days for the revolution of the lunar day. I have told you that the Moon's revolution is not such as quite to accord with that of the Sun, but with the time of the stars. Hence we only understand our lunar movement aright when we do not think of it as belonging to the solar movement, but to that of the stars. In a certain sense therefore, the solar movement is outside the system to which the Moon and stars belong. Thus we are so situated in the Universe that on the one hand we are co-ordinated to the stellar-lunar system, and on the other to the solar movement.
Here we see the gradual divergence of the solar and the stellar astronomy. As we have seen, if we have one astronomy only, everything falls into confusion. We can only reach a right understanding if, not limited to one astronomy, we say: On the one hand we have the starry system which, in a certain respect, contains within it the Moon; and on the other, the system to which the Sun belongs. They mutually interpenetrate. They work together. But we are wrong if we apply the same law to the two.
When we realise that we have two quite different astronomies, we shall say: The cosmic happenings in which we are involved have two origins, but we are so placed that these two streams flow together in us. They fuse in us human beings. What is it then that takes place in us? Suppose that only what is admitted by the natural scientist took place in us — all sorts of things would take place in the human organism, movements of substances and so forth; these would extend over the whole organism, also to the brain and consequently to the senses. What then would the consequence be if the whole transmutation of substances which goes on in the human organism and which is inserted into the Cosmos as I have explained — if this metabolism were to extend to the brain? We should never be able to have the consciousness that we ourselves think. Oxygen, iron and other substances, carbon and so forth — of these we should say, in their mutual relations, ‘they think in us’. But as a matter of fact we are not conscious of any such thing. There is no question of its being in our consciousness. What we have as a fact of consciousness is the content of our soul-life. That can exist under no other hypothesis than that the whole of this quite material happening is demolished, is annihilated, and that in us there actually is no conservation of force and substance, but room is made by the annihilation of substance, for the development of the thought life. In fact, Man is the one arena in which an actual annihilation of substance takes place. We shall never realise it so long as we are only conscious of what is outside ourselves.
Now, if we start from the assumption that after 72 years the Sun lags one degree behind in the celestial sphere, that there is this difference of velocity between the movement of the stars and that of the Sun (which difference works in us, converges, as it were, in us); and if we then picture to ourselves how the formation of our head comes from the starry heavens, and how when we, according to a very beautiful saying, first ‘see the light’, we become involved in the Sun's movement, then we must say: There is in us a continual tendency to work with a lesser velocity over against the more rapid velocity of the stars. The action of the stars in us is opposed. What is the effect of this opposition? It is the destruction of what the stars bring about in us materially, its destruction; thus, the destruction of the purely material law comes about through the solar activity. Hence we may say: In our progress through the world as human beings, if we kept pace, as it were, with the stars, we should accompany them in such a way as to be subject to the material law of the Universe. But this we are not. The solar laws oppose it, they hold us back. There is something within us which holds us back. The resultant of the two activities in us could be exactly calculated, for instance, in the following case. (The calculation cannot be followed up here, first because it would take too long and secondly because you would not be able to follow it). Here, let us say, a certain movement occurs (arrow pointing downwards), i.e. a flow takes place with a certain velocity; and the stream then fuses with another stream — it must be assumed that the other flow is going not in the same
Diagram 1
but in the opposite direction (arrow upwards). The two streams flow therefore into one another. Or imagine a wind whirling with a certain velocity from above downwards, and another from below upwards, and they whirl into one another. If we take the difference of velocity between the downward and the upward current, relating the latter to the former in such a way that a difference in velocity results bearing the same relationship as the difference in velocity between the stellar time and the solar time, then through the rotation a condensation arises which receives its own distinct form. One whirls downwards, and because the other whirls upwards driving with a greater velocity, the lesser velocity would be that driving downwards, which gives here (see diagram) through the collision, a condensation, a certain figure. This figure, disregarding imperfections, is a silhouette of the human heart.
Thus, through the meeting of the Lucifer stream and the Jehovah stream, it is possible to construct exactly the figure of the human heart. It is constructed simply out of the revelations of the Universe. It is absolutely true; the Sun-movement is an expression of a slower movement which meets a quicker movement, and we are so inserted into the two movements that the silhouette of our heart arises; and on to it the rest of the human form is fitted. We see from this what Mysteries are actually hidden in the Cosmos, for as soon as we admit we have two astronomies, which work together in their results — what is the result? The human heart. The whole outlook of modern natural science is based on the fact that it does not distinguish these two streams from one another. This brings upon it the tragic fate, that the harmonious working is split apart, leaving on the one hand, the events in Nature, as reasoned by Julius Robert Mayer; and on the other hand, the ‘secondary results’, because people are unable to unite cosmically in thought what works together from these two streams. Thus for man's thinking the world falls asunder in two extremes.
Here lies the cosmic aspect of something tremendously significant in regard to the understanding of Man and the Universe. Unless man can renew, on that basis of thought which we are giving today, the knowledge contained in the ancient Mysteries at the time when man was awaiting Christianity — as I have described in the book, Christianity as Mystical Fact — unless we can bring this ancient knowledge to life in a present form, as must be done, all knowledge remains an illusion; for that which comes to expression with such clarity in the human heart is to be found everywhere. Everywhere the events that happen are explainable through the union of two streams, arising from different sources.
In the insertion of the Mystery of Golgotha into the evolution of our Earth, we have to do with an Event of a totally different nature from all the rest of the happenings of Earth-evolution; and this we shall never understand unless we begin by learning to understand the Cosmos itself.
What I have said today is intended as a preparation or groundwork on which we shall be able to build up in our lectures of to-morrow and the day after.

Friday, August 23, 2019


Rudolf Steiner:  "Today there are already enough people whose hearts bleed to see these conditions — which, though necessary, will only take effect in the right way if we fully understand them. The impulses for new universal action must be consciously drawn from our heart's blood. What arises by itself is alienation of individuals from each other, and in response we must consciously endeavor to let flow what is needed from human hearts. Difficulties await every single soul in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, and only by overcoming them will we meet and engage with the trials through which the consciousness soul can be developed."


Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity

You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Twining Eternally
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
Radiant Calvary
Ultimate Mystery


Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe. Lecture 13 of 16

"I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"  — Luke 12:49-50

Diagram 2

Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, May 9, 1920:

I have now brought together many and various matters which may help us to a perception of the structure of the Universe in its relation to Man. We have seen — and this must be emphasised again and again — that the Universe cannot be grasped without Man. That means that it is not possible to understand the Universe in itself, without keeping in mind Man and the relation of the Universe to him. If one wishes to form in a very simple way an idea of Man's connection with the Universe, one need only think of a theme in elementary astronomy — the so-called ‘obliquity of the ecliptic’ — that is, the oblique position of the Earth's axis in relation to the line, the curve, which passes through the Zodiac. This obliquity of the ecliptic may be understood and even interpreted as you will; with such interpretations we are not for the moment concerned as to whether they accord with reality or not; we are concerned rather to bring a certain fact to your notice. If the Earth's axis — the axis on which the Earth turns daily — were perpendicular to the plane through the Zodiacal ecliptic, then day and night would be equal throughout the year over the whole Earth. If the Earth's axis lay in the ecliptic, then over the whole Earth one half of the year would be day and one half night. Both extremes do in a certain respect actually occur at the equator and at the poles. But in between lie regions where the length of day varies in the course of the year. We need only reflect a little on this matter to arrive at the tremendous significance for the whole evolution of earthly civilisation, of the position of the Earth's axis in cosmic space. Just reflect, we could all of us throughout the Earth be only Eskimos if the axis lay in the ecliptic; were it vertical to the ecliptic, the whole Earth would be filled with the kind of civilisation that prevails at the equator.
Thus as regards the position of the Earth's axis, no matter how it may be interpreted — of course an understanding of the truth depends upon what interpretation we give it, but any interpretation will serve to make one perceive the connection between Man, his culture and civilisation, and the structure of the Universe; and the fact behind the interpretation, whatever the latter may be, compels us to regard Man and the Earth as forming part of the Universe, and not, in respect of man's physical being, as though he could be considered independently. This cannot be done. As physical being, Man is not a reality in himself, but only when regarded as one with the whole Earth, just as a hand severed from the human organism cannot be regarded as in any true sense a reality: it dies, it is only thinkable in connection with the organism. A rose, when plucked, dies, and as a reality it is only conceivable in connection with the rose-tree which is rooted in the Earth; so too, to estimate Man in his entirety, in his totality, one cannot regard him as simply enclosed in the boundaries of his skin.
Thus what we experience on Earth must be considered in connection with the Earth's axis. It is important in a view of the Universe based on reality that what is a partial truth should not be interpreted as a whole truth. We come to comprehend in its reality the whole man as a being of soul and spirit by not considering him as a reality in his physical nature. He is a reality as a being of soul and spirit, a complete independent reality, a true individual. What he inhabits between birth and death — the physical and etheric bodies — are not realities in themselves, they are members of the whole Earth, and as we shall presently see, they are even part of another whole.
This brings us to something which must be observed still more closely. I must again and again point out one thing. The ideas we form of man almost always tend, unconsciously, to our regarding him as a solid body. True, we are aware that he is not precisely a hard body, that he is to some extent plastic, but we are very often unaware that he consists of far more than 75% fluid, of which only the residue can be regarded as solid mineral being. Man is really 75% a water being. Now I ask you, therefore, is it possible to describe the human organism, as is usually done, in sharp outlines — saying: ‘Here we have the lobes of the brain, here this organ’, and so forth, and then assume that the solidly circumscribed organs combine in their activity to bring about the activity of the whole organism? There is no sense whatever in that. It is a question of bearing in mind the fact that Man within the limits of his skin, is, as it were, surging water; that what is purely inwardly surging fluidity also has a meaning, and that we should not describe Man as if he were more or less a solid body. In Spiritual Science this has a very deep significance. For precisely when we consider the solid in Man, which is in a manner connected with the external minerals, we find that the solid in the human being has a certain relation to the Earth.
We have observed the various relations of Man to the world around him, we will now establish the relation of his solid substance to the Earth. This connection exists; the watery element in Man has, however, primarily no connection with the Earth but with the planetary Universe outside, and especially with the Moon. Precisely as the Moon, not directly but indirectly, has a relation to the ebb and flow of the tides, to certain configurations of the fluid part of the Earth, so too it has a connection with what takes place in the fluid part of the human organism. I described yesterday that we have on the one side the astronomy that applies to the Sun — and also to the Earth. We ourselves are part of that astronomy, for we are organised into it as organisms containing solid substances. Lunar astronomy however, is different. We are organised into lunar astronomy in so far as it is connected with our fluid constituents. Thus we see that the forces of the Cosmos work into the solid and fluid parts of our physical nature.
This has a still greater significance, which is, that what we call our Ego has primarily a direct influence on our solid man, and that what we call our astral body has an indirect influence on our fluid man — so that what works from the soul and spirit upon our organisation, comes, through our bodily nature, also into connection with all the forces of the Cosmos. These movements of the Cosmos have always been a subject of observation, from the most varied points of view. When we look back to the ancient Persian civilisation we find that even then researches were made into the movements of the Universe. These researches were also made by the Chaldeans and by the Egyptians, and it is not without interest to study the attitude of the Egyptians to movements of the Universe. They had, of course, for what were apparently quite material reasons, to study the connection of the Earth with the outer Cosmos, for their land depended upon the inundations of the Nile which took place precisely when the Sun was in a definite position in the Universe. This position could be determined by that of Sirius; so that the Egyptians had arrived at making observations as to the position of the Sun in relation to what we now call the Fixed Stars. Especially in the Egyptian sacerdotal colonies, in their Mysteries, extensive researches were made into the relation of the Sun to the other stars. As I have already said, the Egyptians knew perfectly well that each year the Sun appeared to have shifted its position in the heavens in regard to the other stars, and they calculated thereby that the stars — whether apparently or really is immaterial just now — as they daily moved round the heavens, had a certain velocity, and that the daily movement of the Sun had also a certain velocity, but not quite so great as that of the stars. The Sun always lagged somewhat behind. The Egyptians knew and recorded the fact that the Sun lagged behind about one day in 72 years, so that when a particular star which rose with the Sun in a definite year rises again 72 years later, the Sun does not rise with it but 24 hours later. A star belonging to the world of fixed stars, a star in the Zodiac, outstrips the Sun by one day, one full day, in every 72 years. Multiply 72 by 360 and we obtain 25,920 years. That is a number which we often meet with. It is the time needed by the Sun in its lagging behind to get back to its starting-point; having thus gone round the whole Zodiac. The Sun is therefore exactly one degree behind in 72 years, for a circle has, as we know, 360 degrees. According to this reckoning, the Egyptians divided the great year — which really comprises 25,920 years — into 360 days; but such a day was 72 years long. And 72 years, what is that? It is the average limit of duration of man's life. Certainly there are individuals who live to be older, others not so old, but in general it constitutes the farther limit for human life. Thus one can say: The whole connection in the Universe is so constructed that it sustains a man's whole life for a solar day, which is 72 years. True, man is emancipated from that. He can be born at any time; but his life here as physical man between birth and death is arranged according to the solar day. Referring to historical records, one generally finds that the ordinary year of the Egyptians was reckoned as 360 days (not 365.25 as it actually is), until later on it was found to accord so little with the course of the stars that the other 5 days had to be inserted. How came it that the Egyptians originally took 360 days for the year? In the cosmic year a degree — that is, a 360th part — is actually a cosmic day of 72 years. Thus in the Egyptian Mysteries it was taught that man is so connected with the Cosmos, that the duration of his life is one day of the cosmic year. He was thus organised into the Cosmos. His relation to the Cosmos was made clear to him through connections which belong to the decadence of the whole evolution of the Egyptian people.
The essential nature of man and his connection with the Cosmos was not then made known to the wide mass of the Egyptians — that is characteristic of the time. It was said that if all men knew the nature of their being, how it is organised into the Cosmos, and that the duration of their own life has its part in the duration of the Sun's revolution, then those who felt themselves organised into the Universe would not allow themselves to be ruled, for each would regard himself as a member of the Universe. Only those were allowed to know this who it was believed were called to be leaders. The rest were not to possess such knowledge of the Cosmos, but a knowledge of the day only. This is connected with the decadence of the Egyptian civilisation. It was certainly necessary in regard to many other things, that immature people should not be initiated into the Mysteries, but this was extended to such things as gave power to the leaders and rulers.
Now, very much of what permeates our human souls today is derived from oriental sources. Traditional Christianity too contains much which has come from oriental sources; and especially into Roman Christianity a strong impulse has descended from Egypt. Just as the Egyptians were kept in ignorance concerning their connection with the Cosmos, so in certain circles of Romanism the view prevails that people must be kept in ignorance of their connection with the Cosmos which comes about through the Mystery of Golgotha. Hence the fierce conflict which arises when, from an inner necessity of our age, we emphasise that the Event of Golgotha is not simply something which must be regarded as outside the rest of cosmic conception but rather as inserted into it, when we show how what took place on Golgotha is really connected with the whole Universe and its constitution. It is regarded as the worst heresy to describe Christ as the Sun-Spirit, as we have done.
It must not be supposed that the point at issue is not well-known; but just as the Egyptian priest knew quite well that the ordinary year has not 360 days but 365.25, so certain people are perfectly well aware that the matter with which the Christ Mystery deals is also connected with the Sun Mysteries. But present-day humanity is to be hindered from receiving this knowledge— the very knowledge that it needs; for as I have already said, the materialistic view of the Universe is much preferred by that side to Spiritual Science. Materialistic science also has its practical consequences, in which again the present time may be compared with ancient Egypt. I call attention to the fact that the Egyptians as such were thus dependent upon the course of the Sun, on the relation of the earthly to the heavenly, as regards their external civilisation. The withholding of the knowledge of the connection of cosmic phenomena and their effect on the cultivation of the land, represented a certain power in the hands of the declining priesthood, for thereby the Egyptian labourers had to submit to direction from the priests, who had the requisite knowledge.
Now if the European and American civilisations were to retain their present character, adhering only to the materialistic, Copernican view of the Universe — with its off-shoot, the Kant-Laplace theory — a materialistic cosmogony must necessarily arise concerning earthly phenomena, biological, physical and chemical. It would be impossible for a cosmogony of this kind to include the moral world order in its structure. It could not embrace the Christ-Event, for it is impossible to be a believer in the materialistic view of the world and at the same time a Christian; that is an inner lie, it is something that cannot be, if one is honest and upright. Hence it was inevitable that the practical consequences should be seen in Europe and American culture, of the split between materialism on the one hand and a moral cosmogony on the other, and along with the moral cosmogony, also the contents of the religious faiths. This result was evidenced in the fact that men who had no external reason for being inwardly dishonest, threw faith overboard, and established a materialistic cosmogony for human life also. Thereby the materialistic cosmogony became a social cosmogony. This would however have the further consequence for our European and American civilisation that man would have a materialistic cosmogony only and would know nothing of the Earth's connection with cosmic powers, in the sense that we have described it. Within a certain caste, however, the knowledge of the connection with the cosmogony would remain, just as the Egyptian priests kept the knowledge of the Platonic year, the great cosmic year and the great cosmic day; and such circles could hope then to rule the people who under materialism degenerate into barbarism.
Of course these things have been said today only from a sense of duty towards truth; but they must be said out of such a duty to truth. It is of importance that a certain number of people should realise how necessary it is to give the Mystery of Golgotha its cosmological significance. This significance must be recognised by a number of people, who must on their part, undertake a certain responsibility that the fact should not remain hidden from earthly humanity — the fact that humanity is connected with the non-earthly Spirit, who lived in Palestine in the Man Jesus, at the beginning of our era. It is necessary that the knowledge of the entrance of Christ from the non-earthly world into the Man Jesus of Nazareth, should not be withheld. To such penetration belongs the overcoming of that dishonesty which is so general today in questions of cosmic conceptions and of faith. For what is done today? We are told on the one hand that the Earth moves in an ellipse round the Sun and has evolved in the sense of the Kant-Laplace theory, and we subscribe to this; and on the other hand we are told that at the beginning of our era such and such events took place in Palestine. These two things are accepted, without being connected; people accept them and think it of no consequence. It is not without consequence however, for it is much less evil when a lie is consciously accepted, than when it takes shape unconsciously, and degrades Man and drags him down. For if we consider a lie as it appears in a man's consciousness, every time he falls asleep it leaves his physical and etheric bodies with his consciousness, and lives on in spaceless, timeless being, in the eternal being, while Man is in dreamless sleep. There is prepared all which can result from the lie in the future; that is, everything is made ready to correct it, if it is in the consciousness. But if it is in the unconscious, it remains with the physical and etheric bodies lying in bed. When Man is not occupying these bodies, it then belongs to the Cosmos, and not to the earthly Cosmos alone, but to the whole Cosmos; there it works for the destruction of the Cosmos; above all, for the destruction of the whole of humanity, for this destruction begins in humanity itself.
Man can escape what threatens humanity in this way, by no other means than by striving after inner truth as regards such supreme questions of existence. Thus there is a kind of appeal to humanity today from out of the impulses of our time to realise that a materialistic astronomy knowing nothing of how at a definite point of time the Event of Golgotha took shape, should no longer exist. Every astronomy which includes the Moon in the structure of the Universe just the same as the Sun and Earth, instead of allowing the two streams to run in with one another, but still as separate streams — every such astronomy is no Christian astronomy but a heathen astronomy. Therefore every theory of evolution which describes the Universe homogeneously must from the Christian stand-point be rejected. If you follow my book, Occult Science, you will see how, in the description of the Saturn and Sun periods, the stream divides into two, which then intermingle and work together. Here we have two streams. In the descriptions usually given, however, the ideas are in accordance with the continuation of the pagan development. And you will find this true down to the very details. You know that Darwinian theorists describing the evolution of the organic form, would say: First there were simple organic forms, then more complicated forms, then more and more complicated forms, and so forth, up to Man. But this is not so. If we take Man as three-membered, his head alone is the development from the lower animal form. What is added to it has arisen later. Thus we cannot say that in our vertebral column we have something which transforms itself into head, we must say: Our head certainly arose from earlier structures which were spine-like; but the present spine has nothing to do with that development, it is a later appendage. What is now our head-organisation has arisen from a differently formed spine.
This I say for those who are interested in the theory of descent. I mention it so that you may see that a straight line leads from cosmic considerations to consideration of what lies in human evolution, and so that you may see the necessity for an enlightened Spiritual Science in all different realms of knowledge and of life. For science must not simply continue to develop, as did the science of the last century, under the influence of the materialistic view of the Universe, which is itself a child of the materialistic comprehension of Christianity. We owe materialism to the materialisation of the Christian view of the Universe. The teaching of the cosmic Christ must be re-established in opposition to the materialised form of Christianity we have today. This is the most important task of our time; and until its importance is realised, man will not be able to see clearly in any domain.

I have wanted to tell you these things, because they will enable you to understand better why ill-willed opponents fight so strenuously against what we are bringing before the world today. I was obliged to connect this whole study with a kind of cosmology, with the consideration of which we will continue in the next lecture.

The essence of the ego is cosmic-divine

Rudolf Steiner, from a lecture given May 27, 1923:

In ancient India man did not speak of the ego in our modern way; it was not, for him, a point comprising all his soul experiences. On the contrary, when he spoke of the ego it was to him self-evident that it had little to do with Earth and Earth events. In experiencing himself as an ego, man did not feel that he belonged to the Earth, but, rather, that he was connected with the heaven of the fixed stars. This was what gave him the sense and security of his deepest self. For it was not felt as a human ego. Man was a human being only through the fact that here on Earth he was clothed by a physical body. Through this sheath-for-the-ego he became a citizen of Earth. But the ego was regarded as something foreign to the earthly sphere. And if today we were to coin a name for the way the ego was experienced, we would have to say: man felt not a human but a divine ego.

He might have looked outward to the mountains, to the rocks; he might have looked at everything else on Earth and said of it all: This is, this exists. Yet at the same time he would have felt the following: If there were no other existence than that of Earth's plants, rivers, mountains, and rocks, no human being would have an ego. For what guarantees existence to earthly things and beings could never guarantee it to the ego. They are in different categories.

To repeat: Within himself man felt not a human but divine ego: a drop from the ocean of divinity. And when he wanted to speak about his ego (I say this with the previously-made reservations) he felt it as a creation of the fixed stars; the heaven of the fixed stars was the one sphere sharing its reality. Only because the ego has a similar existence is it able to say “I am.” If it were able to say “I am” merely according to the level of existence of stone or plant or mountain, the ego would have no right to speak so. Only its starlike nature makes it possible for the ego to say “I am.”

Again, the human beings of this primeval epoch saw how the rivers flowed and the trees were driven by the wind. But if we regarded the human ego which dwells in the physical body and has an impulse to move about on the Earth hither and thither — if we regarded this ego as the active force in movement, as wind is the active force in moving trees, or as anything else of Earth is an active force, we would be wrong. The ego is not this kind of outer cause of motion.

In ancient times the teacher in the Mysteries spoke to his pupils somewhat like this: You see how the trees sway, how the river water flows, how the ocean churns. But from neither the moving trees, the flowing rivers, nor the heaving ocean could the ego learn to develop those impulses of motion which human beings display when they carry their bodies over the Earth. This the ego can never learn from any moving earthly thing. This the ego can learn only because it is related to the planets, to starry motion. Only from Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and so forth can the ego learn motion. When the ego of its own volition moves upon the Earth, it achieves something made possible by its relation to the wheeling world of the stars.

Further, it would have seemed incomprehensible to a human being of the ancient Indian epoch if somebody had said "Look how thoughts arise out of your brain!" Let us travel backward in time and imagine ourselves with the soul constitution we once had (for we have all passed through lives in ancient India); then confronted by the present-day soul condition, the one which makes people assume that thoughts arise out of the brain. All that modern people believe would appear as complete nonsense. For the ancient human being knew well that thoughts can never spring from brain substance; that it is the Sun which calls forth thoughts, and the Moon which stills them. It was to the reciprocal action of the Sun and the Moon that people of old ascribed their life of thought.

Thus in the first post-Atlantean epoch, the ancient Indian time, the divine ego was seen as belonging to the heaven of the fixed stars, to the planetary movements, to the reciprocal action of Sun and Moon; and what came to it from the Earth as transient, the essence of the ego being cosmic-divine.