Monday, June 17, 2019

Courage, Dear Heart



Rudolf Steiner:  "Air is an illusion; it is courage that is everywhere around us. If we are really to live in the world in which we breathe, we need courage."





Rudolf Steiner:  "The spirit needs to become strong enough in our sensibilities for spirit to be more than a sense of personal grace and redemption, and to actually intervene in what we seek to do in outer material reality. We have to introduce the spirit, allow it to flow into this outer material reality."


"What matters most is how you walk through the fire."
— Charles Bukowski

"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."


Rudolf Steiner:  "a truth which should be engraved in the human soul as a lofty moral maxim: When you see something evil in the world, do not say, Here is evil — that is, imperfection; ask, rather, How can I attain to the enlightenment which will show me that on a higher plane this evil is transformed into good by the wisdom of the cosmos? How can I learn to tell myself: Here you see naught but imperfection because you are as yet unable to grasp the perfection of this imperfect thing? Whenever man sees evil he should look into his own soul and ask himself, Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?"





Rudolf Steiner:  "The kundalini fire will acquire great influence on what lives in the human heart. The human heart will really have this fire. At first this seems to be mere symbolism, but man will then really be permeated by a force which will live in his heart, so that during the sixth root-race he will no longer make a distinction between his own well-being and the well-being of the whole. So deeply will man be permeated by the kundalini fire! He will follow the principle of love as his own innermost nature. In the seventh sub-race of the fifth root-race the whole of mankind will be in a real chaos, for the root-race will then be near to its collapse. But a small number of the seventh sub-race of the fifth root-race will become the true sons of the kundalini fire. They will be permeated with its full power. They will provide the material, they will pass it on to the leaders of those who will develop man further. Thus is the fifth root-race directed to the heights which kindle the divine fire; thus is kindled out of inmost depths with holy fervor the divine principle which no longer separates man from man, but evokes brotherliness as far as the human understanding reaches. And thus far shall brotherliness be quickened in our own root-race and in the next. This fire will live in single individuals; and in those who are initiated in the course of the fifth root-race there already lives a spark of this divine fire which is the capacity for brotherliness and will put an end to separation."

"The degree to which the necessity for brotherliness is felt
      is the degree of our permeation by Christ."  ~ Rudolf Steiner




Rudolf Steiner:

"Let us suppose that a person intended to accomplish something in the world through inner spiritual means. The individual has to prepare himself or herself by learning above all to suppress his or her wishes or desires. And while one becomes stronger in the physical world if one eats well and is well nourished and thus has more energy, one will achieve something significant in the spiritual world--this is a description, not advice--when one fasts or does something to suppress or renounce wishes and desires. Preparation that involves relinquishing the wishes, desires, and will impulses arising in us is always part of the greatest spiritual endeavors. The less we will, the more we can say that we let life stream over us and do not desire this or that, but rather take things as karma casts them before us; the more we accept karma and its consequences; the more we behave calmly, renouncing all that we otherwise would have wanted to achieve in life--the stronger we become."


"To have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that."  —Saint Teresa of Avila


"Reminding myself that in this life it is not aunts that matter, but the courage that one brings to them, I pulled myself together.”  ― P. G. Wodehouse





Fear can make you do more wrong than hate or jealousy. If you’re afraid you don’t commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back.  — Philip K. Dick







Rudolf Steiner:  "Another virtue can be called — though it is difficult to describe it exactly — the virtue of Courage. It contains the mood which does not remain passive towards life, but is ready to use its strength and activity. It can be said that this virtue comes from the heart. Of one who has this virtue in ordinary life it can be said: he has his heart in the right place. This is a good expression for our condition when we do not withdraw in a timid way from things which life asks from us, but when we are prepared to take ourselves in hand and know how to intervene where it is necessary. When we are inclined to get moving, confidently and bravely, we have this virtue. It is connected with a healthy life of feeling, which develops bravery at the right moment, while its absence brings about cowardice."


"Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other."  — Samuel Johnson


Rudolf Steiner:  "Only courage, inner bravery of the soul, seizes those forces and capacities needed to traverse the path leading to true, life-filled spiritual knowledge."


Spirit Triumphant! Flame through the impotence of faltering, fainthearted souls! Burn up egoism, kindle compassion, so that selflessness, the lifestream of humanity, may flow as the wellspring of spiritual rebirth!  — Rudolf Steiner

Frederick Douglass

"It is not light that is needed, but fire."



Rudolf Steiner:  "Rather than surrendering to the fear that the elements of will in the spiritual world will seize, devour, and strangle us, one must swing oneself to the back of the lion, grasp these elements of will, and make use of them for action."

"I AM THE MAN."  — Frederick Douglass

"I have often been asked, how I felt when first I found myself on free soil. And my readers may share the same curiosity. There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath, and the 'quick round of blood,' I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: 'I felt as one might feel upon escape from a den of hungry lions.' Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted; but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil."



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Rudolf Steiner: "The shadow-side of the rational soul, senseless aggression, depicted as a lion, can be overcome by the corresponding virtue: self-reliant courage."



* * *



Rudolf Steiner:  "As a spiritual-scientific researcher today, the strength of your courage will be more important than your intellectuality. Spiritual-scientific research is fundamentally a moral task, because it is a moral fall that has to be overcome and set aside."


"Valor transposed into the spiritual, bravery transposed into the spiritual, is love." — Rudolf Steiner

Ephesians 6:10-18

What it comes to in the end is this: Let the intense strength of his might flow through those who want to serve the Lord. Put on the full armor of God that you may resist the well-aimed attacks of the Adversary. For our part is not to fight against powers of flesh and blood, but against spirit beings, mighty in the stream of time, against spirit beings, powerful in the molding of earth’s substance, against the cosmic powers whose darkness rules the present time, against beings who, in the spiritual worlds, are themselves the powers of evil.

    Therefore courageously take up the armor of God, that you can resist the evil on the day when it unfolds its greatest strength. You should stand firm, following everything through to the very end. Stand fast, girded about the loins with truth. Put on the breastplate of the higher life which fulfills our human destiny. Shoe your feet with preparedness to spread the message of peace that comes from the angels. In all your deeds continually hold to your heart’s vision of Christ’s presence, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. Take into your thoughts the certainty of the coming world-healing, that it protect you as with a helmet, and grasp the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God which you utter.
    May this armor cover you in all your supplications and prayers; may your inmost heart light up in spirit in your prayers. To this end direct your spirit strength in all your efforts of soul and in your intercessions for all who would know Christ’s healing power.


And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  —Luke 9:23-24



"I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." — Galatians 2:19-21



Godly Light!

Christ Sun!

Warm our hearts!

enlighten our heads!

that good may come

from what we cradle in our hearts,

what we direct from our heads


with true-to-the-mark, consecrated willing!




The Altar of Humanity
 The Solar Plexus
The Manipura Chakra
The Stronghold of Manu

Rudolf Steiner: "There will have to be a festival in honor of human courage, of the human manifestation of the courage of Michael. For what is it that holds man back today from spirit-knowledge? — Lack of soul courage, not to say soul cowardice. Man wants to receive everything passively, wants to set himself down in front of the world as if it were a movie, and wants to let the microscope and the telescope tell him everything. He does not want to temper the instrument of his own spirit, of his own soul, by activity. He does not care to be a follower of Michael. This requires inner courage. This inner courage must have its festival in Michaelmas. Then from the Festival of Courage, from the festival of the inwardly courageous human soul, there will ray out what will give the other festivals of the year also the right content." 





Rudolf Steiner, from his final lecture, given September 28, 1924:

"This ability to rise to the point at which thoughts about spirit can grip us as powerfully as can anything in the physical world, this is Michael power. It is confidence in the ideas of spirit — given the capacity for receiving them at all — leading to the conviction: I have received a spiritual impulse, I give myself up to it, I become the instrument for its execution. First failure — never mind! Second failure — never mind! A hundred failures are of no consequence, for no failure is ever a decisive factor in judging the truth of a spiritual impulse whose effect has been inwardly understood and grasped. We have full confidence in a spiritual impulse, grasped at a certain point of time, only when we can say to ourself: My hundred failures can at most prove that the conditions for realizing the impulse are not given me in this incarnation; but that this impulse is right I can know from its own nature. And if I must wait a hundred incarnations for the power to realize this impulse, nothing but its own nature can convince me of the efficacy or impotence of any spiritual impulse. 

If you will imagine this thought developed in the human heart and soul as great confidence in spirit, if you will consider that man can cling firm as a rock to something he has seen to be spiritually victorious, something he refuses to relinquish in spite of all outer opposition, then you will have a conception of what the Michael power, the Michael being, really demands of us; for only then will you comprehend the nature of the great confidence in spirit. We may leave in abeyance some spiritual impulse or other, even for a whole incarnation; but once we have grasped it we must never waver in cherishing it within us, for only thus can we save it up for subsequent incarnations. And when confidence in spirit will in this way have established a frame of mind to which this spiritual substance appears as real as the ground under our feet — the ground without which we could not stand — then we shall have in our heart and soul a feeling of what Michael really expects of us."


Rudolf Steiner:  "Michael will point out the right road with respect to the world which lies about man, for him to know and be active in it."


"The Christian Knight" by Albrecht Dürer

Rudolf Steiner:  "The famous image of The Christian Knight, or as it is often called, Knight, Death, and the Devil. Please note how this copperplate engraving grew entirely out of its era. Because if you put this image up next to the lines that I cited earlier from Goethe's Faust:

    I've more sense, to be sure, than the learned fools,
    The masters and pastors, the scribes from the schools;
    No scruples to plague me, no irksome doubt,
    No hell-fire or devil to worry about...

then you find yourself with this whole character who need fear neither death nor the devil, but instead strikes out into the world. And this is how he is to be depicted, the Christian knight who rebels utterly against the doctors, masters, scribes, and clerics brought into his sphere, that knight who must make his way in the world fearing neither death nor the devil that stand in his way and that he must simply push aside in order to continue his journey. The title of the engraving really should be The Christian Knight because death and the devil are simply standing on the path; but he steps over them, passing them by without paying them any mind."

 "Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."  — Thoreau 

"In the karma of every single Anthroposophist is written: Become a person of initiative; observe whether out of the hindrances of your body or any other hindrances that thwart you, you do not discover initiative to be the center of your being. Suffering and joy for you will actually depend on whether or not you can discover personal initiative. As if in letters of gold, there should always stand before the soul of the Anthroposophist: 'Initiative is part of your karma; much of what meets you in life will depend on whether you can bring this initiative to consciousness.'"  —Rudolf Steiner

Rhinoceros, woodcut by Albrecht Dürer

From the Sutta-Nipata:

Go forward without a path,
Fearing nothing, caring for nothing,
Wandering alone, like the rhinoceros!
Even as a lion, not trembling at noises,
Even as the wind, not caught in a net,
Even as the lotus leaf, untainted by water,
Do thou wander alone, like the rhinoceros!






Brave and true I will be.

Each good deed sets me free.

Each kind word makes me strong.

I will fight for the right.

I will conquer the wrong.






I bear within me peace;
Within myself I bear forces to make me strong.
With the warmth of these forces I shall be imbued.
With the power of my will I shall be filled.
And then I shall feel
How peacefulness pours through all my being
As I strengthen myself
To find peace as strength within myself
Through steadfast inner striving.



— Rudolf Steiner, Verse for the Esoteric School





O Spirit of God: fill me,
Fill me within my soul,
On my soul bestow a strengthening force,
Strengthening force too for my heart,
For my heart that seeks union with you,
Seeks union with deepest longing,
Deepest longing for good health,
For good health and strong courage,
Strong courage that streams through my body,
Streams as precious divine gift,
Divine gift from you, O Spirit of God,
O Spirit of God: fill me.

—Rudolf Steiner



O Gottesgeist, erfülle mich,
Erfülle mich in meiner Seele,
Meiner Seele schenke Stärkekraft,
Stärkekraft auch meinem Herzen,
Meinem Herzen das dich sucht,
Sucht durch tiefe Sehnsucht,
Tiefe Sehnsucht nach Gesundheit,
Nach Gesundheit und Starkmut,
Starkmut der durch meine Glieder strömt,
Strömt wie edles Gottgeschenk,
Gottheschenk von dir, O Gottesgeist,
O Gottesgeist, erfülle mich.





Rudolf Steiner:

Feel how in the heights of heaven
selfhood selflessly can live
if in spirit-fullness it will follow
powers of thought and striving to the heights
and courageously receive the Word
that, with blessing from heights above,
rings forth true being into man.


Fühle wie in Himmelshöhen
Selbstsein selbstlos leben kann,
Wenn es geisterfüllt Gedankenmächten
In dem Höhenstreben folgen will
Und in Tapferkeit das Wort vernimmt,
Das von oben gnadevoll ertönet
In des Menschen wahre Wesenheit.






The Word of God
"Es ist Ich"



THE ALTAR OF EXISTENCE








Rudolf Steiner [1915]:

The terrible suffering which is poured over the world is nevertheless necessary for the course of existence as a whole. For the blood which now flows will be the symbol of a certain refreshing of spiritual life at a particular time in the future, and this is necessary for the whole evolution of humanity. Then will the souls, who now go through the gate of death so early, descend again; but most of them will descend different from what they would have been had they reached the limits of life in material existence, and then died. It is Cosmic Wisdom which now calls away a number of souls, that they may be allowed to perceive even in their retrospective tableau and experiences, deep spiritual secrets connected with the earth. That, too, is Cosmic Wisdom, for these souls are thus filled with that which they will behold in stronger form when they come to see it again; they will have been strengthened by the shorter earth life which they have undergone. That is the true Wisdom of the Cosmos. And so we must say that much of what rightly gives us pain when we are only able to regard it from the standpoint of earthly existence shows us its redeeming side when we observe it from the standpoint of spiritual vision. Thus it is with the whole of life.
     Certainly, my dear friends, earthly pain cannot be at present avoided through such a consideration. It must be experienced. For that is the very condition for its compensation. If we did not experience it in the physical world it could never be compensated. But although we must suffer many things in the physical world, there are nevertheless moments in which we can place ourselves at the standpoint of the spiritual. Then we shall recognize that much of that which must appear to us as painful from a lower point of view is a tribute which must be offered to the higher spiritual worlds and the wise beings therein, in order that the evolution of the whole Cosmos and of human existence may go forward not in a one-sided manner, but in every direction. The expiation for much suffering must be achieved, and to this end the suffering itself must first be endured. Spiritual science cannot indeed spare us that, but it can teach us to lay it on the altar of existence, to seek the compensation, and to recognize the Wisdom of the Cosmos, in spite of all the pain which for higher ends it must cause. This is what spiritual science can give us as a precious unction for the whole of human existence. Thus from this standpoint also and right from the feelings which spiritual science can arouse in us, let us regard the powerful events of our time, and say again that which we have often repeated here:

From the fighters' courage,
From the blood of battles,
From the mourners' suffering,
From the people's sacrifice,
There will ripen fruits of Spirit
If with consciousness the soul
Turns her thought to Spirit Realms.



  I am defeated all the time, yet to Victory I am born.   Emerson

Everything that the human spirit undertakes or suffers will lead to happiness when it is guided by wisdom.   Plato


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  — Romans 8:28 

"For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes."  — Revelation 7:17

Ma Swaha
Evil is always in the service of the greater good.
"Whenever you see evil you should look into your own soul and ask yourself, Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?" — Rudolf Steiner


"In spiritual life, so long as you have grasped it properly, nothing can go wrong." 
— Rudolf Steiner


See I am God.


See I am in all things.


See I do all things.


See I never lift my hands off my own works, nor ever shall, without end.


See I lead every thing to the end I ordained for it from without beginning with the same might, wisdom, and love that I made it.


How should anything be amiss?


And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  —Luke 9:23-24


All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.  — Julian of Norwich   


Aries


Arise, O shining light,
Take hold of growth and becoming,
Lay hold of the weaving of forces,
Yourself ray forth, life-wakening.
In face of resistance, gain;
In stream of time, disperse;
O shine of light, abide!



Erstehe, o Lichtesschein,
Erfasse das Werdewesen,
Ergreife das Kräfteweben,
Erstrahle dich Sein-erweckend.
Am Widerstand gewinne,
Im Zeitenstrom zerinne.
O Lichtesschein, verbleibe.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
— Hebrews 13:8

Lead, kindly light