Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The working of the Christ Impulse in us: standing upright, speaking, thinking
Rudolf Steiner, March 7, 1914:
In our age it has become of ever increasing importance that those souls who, by reason of their karma, have been led to Spiritual Science, should acquire a deep understanding of that which we call “The Mystery of Golgotha.” Those friends who were present at our recent Group meetings have already heard much concerning this Mystery: that it had a spiritual pre-history and that it was, as it were, the conclusion of a series of events. It was also explained that at that time in our Earth-evolution there took place the union of the Christ-Being with the body of Jesus of Nazareth, and that thereby a Being walked upon the Earth of whom it may be said: “By virtue of this Being moving on the physical plane the Cosmic Christ was present in our Earth-existence.”
It is important for the whole future of human evolution that through a deeper understanding of this Mystery men should develop more and more reverence and loving and true heartfelt devotion for what occurred through that event for the evolution of mankind.
It has been said repeatedly, and is well known to you, that in preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha two Jesus-children were born. The one was the Jesus who descended from the line of Solomon and bore the Ego of Zarathustra. The other, coming from the Nathan line of the House of David, was a very special Being. In the twelfth year of the life of the latter the Ego of Zarathustra passed over into him from the child of the line of Solomon, and from that time until his thirtieth year the Nathan child with the Ego of Zarathustra made himself ready to receive the Christ-Being. This event is indicated through the Baptism in Jordan when Jesus of Nazareth was permeated by the Christ-Being. At His death the Christ-Being poured Himself out into the spiritual Earth-sphere, so that mankind may become more and more able to participate in that which, proceeding from the Mystery of Golgotha, can pour forth spiritual forces into the souls and hearts of all men.
In a certain sense as preparation this Mystery, as I have already pointed out, had already been accomplished three times before for the salvation of mankind: once in the old Lemurian epoch, then in the Atlantean, and once again at the end of Atlantean times. That is, three times and then a fourth time in the post-Atlantean epoch at the beginning of our own era. That which we know as the Mystery of Golgotha, however, was the only one enacted on the physical plane. The other events, which were preparatory, took place wholly in the spiritual world; but the forces which were thus developed flowed down into the earthly souls and bodies for the salvation of mankind.
In all three of these preparatory events that same Being was present who was born later as the Nathan-Jesus and who was permeated by the Christ-Being. This is the essential fact in the Mystery of Golgotha: that the Jesus-Being who grew up as the Nathan boy was permeated by the Christ-Being. He who was later the Nathan-Jesus had been present in the three earlier events, but not incarnated as physical man; he lived in the spiritual worlds as a spiritual Being of the nature of the Archangels; and in the spiritual worlds, in the preparatory stages of the Mystery of Golgotha — in the Lemurian age and twice in Atlantis — he was permeated by the Christ-Being.
It may be said, therefore, that there were three Archangel-lives in the spiritual world, and that the Being who lived those lives was the same as he who was later incarnated as man and is described in the Gospel of St. Luke as the Jesus-child. Three times had this Angelic being, who later sacrificed himself as Man, offered himself for permeation by the Christ-Impulse. As in Christ Jesus we have a Man permeated with the Christ-Impulse, so it may be said that three times previously we have an Angel permeated with that Impulse. And as that which was accomplished by the Mystery of Golgotha streamed forth into the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth, so did that which was brought about by the first three events pour into the Earth from out the Cosmos. Looking at the course of our human evolution we note that the Mystery of Golgotha stands in its very center. Everything that went before was in preparation for and pointed to this Event, which was the center-point of human development, and everything that has since happened is a gradual advance in the streaming of the forces of the Mystery into the hearts and souls of men.
The human principle into which these forces stream, if it makes itself receptive, is that which is able to develop its consciousness in the world of the physical plane. We cannot speak to a newborn infant about Christ Jesus; there are no means whereby we can make him understand what He is. We may show him a picture such as the Sistine Madonna with the Jesus Child, or a representation of the Crucifixion, but could we look into his soul we should know that he cannot possibly be approached in these first stages of his life by means of our external methods of education on the physical plane. We may indeed, when he first begins to lisp, accustom him to pronounce the name of Christ, and we can surround him with ideas about Christ, but we find that the deeper understanding of the heart is not yet ready. One thing is clear to everyone able by means of Spiritual Science to look into the child's mind: only when he has reached an age when he can look back in memory, and his Ego-consciousness has awakened, is it at all possible for us to convey to him by our external education even the faintest glimmerings of a feeling for Christ. Nor during the first few years after the awakening of the Ego-consciousness will there be any great understanding. Nevertheless all that we can give him in the way of ideas about Christ without dogma, and all we can convey by means of words and ideas containing something of the Christ-Impulse, will be of advantage throughout the whole of his later life. After the awakening of the Ego-consciousness, though it be only a glimmer, and when we are still unable to work on the child by physical means, he will look upon a picture of the Madonna and Child or at the Cross on which hangs the Christ in quite a different way from before. For just as the Mystery of Golgotha has entered the earthly evolution of man, so is it also destined to work in the advancement of spiritual life on the physical plane. Man, in fact, only enters the physical plane consciously when his Ego awakens.
What occurs before this? Three things, which I have pointed out in former lectures, precede the awakening of the Ego in the child — three things of immense importance.
The child learns to walk; that is to say, he learns to raise himself from the position in which he was incapable of lifting his body from the earth level towards the heavenly heights of the Cosmos. He is now in that position which, above all, distinguishes man from the animals. Having learnt by his own inner forces to assume it, he turns his gaze away from the earth at which the animal is compelled to look by reason of its nature and form. (There are exceptions in the animal world, but they are only apparent.)
It is this upright position that the child learns to acquire before the awakening of his Ego-consciousness. In our present post-Atlantean life we recapitulate those things which, as man, we have acquired only in the course of the ages. This power to stand and to walk in an upright position was acquired by slow stages in the old Lemurian epoch, and we now recapitulate it in infancy before our Ego awakens to consciousness. This pre-knowledge is crowded into a time of life when the process does not yet depend upon our consciousness but works as an unconscious impulse towards the upright position.
In the case of the animals which have an approximately upright walk the whole organism is so arranged that they assume this attitude by nature. But like so many of the comparisons which are made, this one is incomplete. Man, in the early stages of his life and before his Ego-consciousness has awakened, is destined by means of the rudiments of this Ego to bring himself to a vertical position, to raise himself out of the condition he still occupied during the old Moon period when the line of direction of his spine was practically horizontal, parallel with the Moon's surface. During the old Lemurian time he learnt to alter the Moon direction to that of the Earth.
This came about because, during the Earth development, the Spirits of Form poured the Ego into man out of their own substance. And the first manifestation of this inflowing of the “I” was that inner force by means of which man raised himself into an upright position. Thus, through this position, he is wrested from the Earth. The Earth contains within itself spiritual forces capable of streaming through the spine as in the case of the animal body, where in its natural growth it remains horizontal. But the Earth has no forces enabling it directly to serve the human being, who, through his Ego when it awakens later to consciousness, can raise himself upright. In order that man may develop harmoniously with an upright position and vertical walk, forces had to stream into the Earth from the Cosmos, the extra-earthly.
If, during the old Lemurian epoch, the first Christ-Event had not taken place, Lucifer and Ahriman would have been able to bring about disaster to the whole of humanity since man, through his upright position, was wrested from the spiritual forces of the Earth. In that old Lemurian epoch, in the realm which is the nearest spiritual sphere to our Earth, the Being — at that time, however, of an angelic nature — who later on became the Nathan-Jesus, was permeated with the Christ-Being.
This was a first stage of the Mystery of Golgotha. The consequence was that in that old Lemurian epoch — but in etheric spiritual heights — the being who later became the Nathan-Jesus, and who otherwise would have had the form of an angel, took on human form (not of flesh, but a human etheric form). In the super-earthly region Jesus of Nazareth is to be found as an etheric angel-form. Through permeation with the Christ he then assumed etheric human form. Thereby something new entered the Cosmos and rayed down upon Earth and made it possible for man, the physical earthly human form, into whom streamed the force of the etheric super-earthly Christ-Being, to protect himself from that destruction which must have overtaken him had not the Formative Force, which enabled him to become an upright harmonious being, permeated and lived on in him. Disorder must inevitably have entered had not this form-giving force, which was able to stream into mankind because of the first Christ Event, poured in with the forces of the physical Sun.
This which man received into himself in the old Lemurian epoch has since lived on in the evolution of humanity. We take the right view of a growing child when we see him emerging from the crawling, wriggling, helpless state and managing for the first time to stand upright or walk, when we realize that his being able to do so has only become possible because the first Christ-Event took place in the old Lemurian time for the help and salvation or mankind; because he who, as the Nathan-Jesus, was permeated by Christ, took on as a spiritual etheric being the human etheric form as the result of that permeation.
Yes, my dear friends, Spiritual Science is here that we may enrich our feelings. Such a feeling as can live in our souls when we see a little child learning to stand upright and to walk has most certainly a deep religious background. We should often call to mind why the child walks and realize how we must thank the Christ-Impulse for it. Then we have enriched our conception of the world through Spiritual Science and acquired a feeling for our environment which we could not possess otherwise. Through Spiritual Science we take note, as it were, of the protectors and guardians of a child's growth and development and see how the Christ-Force radiates around his being.
You will have seen from my descriptions of Atlantean times taken from the Akashic Records that our Atlantean forefathers were dumb. The Atlantean man was actually the first to learn to speak, and the Akashic Records show how that came about. Learning to speak is the second capacity which a child acquires before the actual Ego-consciousness awakens, the awakening coming after he has learnt to speak. Learning to speak depends altogether on a kind of imitation, the aptitude for which, however, is deeply embedded in human nature. Speech came to man as a consequence of progressive development. The Spirits of Form poured themselves into man and permeated him, and thereby he became able to speak a language, to live his earth life on the physical plane.
Thus, by means of two principles, viz., the upright position and speech, he wrests himself free from those spiritual forces that are active upon the Earth. Animals are permeated by those forces; they do not in reality speak. Speech through gestures is not the speech of man. If, by means of training or other methods, animals were to be taught a speech similar to man's, special conditions would arise external to their bodily structure. These conditions must some day be dealt with by Spiritual Science, but they are outside our subject today. We will restrict ourselves to the normal development of man by saying that human speech was established in man from out of divine heights through that which the Spirits of Form poured into him, and we will consider how he has transformed himself from a dumb into a speaking being.
Man has made himself independent of those forces which spiritually flow through the Earth, just as through acquiring the power to stand upright he made himself independent of the first stream. If he had been abandoned entirely to the Earth, if Cosmic-spiritual influences had not come down to Earth and poured into him, everything connected with his speech must have become debased through the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences. If nothing had been brought about by Christ, man in the Atlantean epoch would so have developed his whole life-culture — all his bodily organs: larynx, tongue, throat, etc., and indeed even the organs lower down, such as the heart, in so far as they are connected with the former — that he would only have been capable of expressing his own selfish joy or pain, desire or bliss, in poor babbling sounds somewhat like the utterances of Sibyls or mediums.
Certainly he would have been able to utter much more artistic or intelligent sounds than an animal can produce, but these sounds would only have been expressive of that which lived within him, of the bodily processes taking place in his organism. He would have found expressive interjections for these only; his speech would have consisted entirely of interjections. Whereas we now limit our interjections to a few words, the human art of speech with all its subtleties would have developed at that time only as far as a language of such interjections.
This disorder in the power of speech in so far as it would have affected man's inner being was averted; the second Christ-Event prevented it from entering human evolution. Through the fact that for the second time the Being in the etheric heights, who later became the Nathan-Jesus child, received into himself the Christ-Being who henceforward permeated the bodily organs of man, man became capable of uttering more than interjections. The power of grasping the objective was brought about through the second Christ-Event.
But the human capacity for expressing the working of the mind in words was again faced with danger. Through the second Christ-Event it might indeed have come to pass that man would have found not only sounds, interjections, and words to express the feelings of his inner being; in a certain sense he might also have been able to give out what he had called forth as an inner speech movement. But the power of so describing outer things in words, in order that the words should rightly indicate them, was still in danger from the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences right into the Atlantean epoch.
Then came the third Christ-Event. For the third time that Being in the spiritual heights, later to be born as the Nathan-Jesus, united himself with the Christ-Being and again poured the forces so received into the human power of speech. The force of this Christ-Jesus Being now permeated once more the organs of the human body in so far as those organs come to expression in the power of speech. In this way it was made possible for the power of speech to create, by means of words, actual signs representative of the external environment, thus enabling mankind to create language as a means of communication between the different inhabited regions.
A child learns to speak, but he could never do so if these two Christ-Events had not taken place during the Atlantean epoch. Through Spiritual Science we can enrich anew our inner feelings if we remember, when we see a child beginning to speak and gradually improving his power of expression, that the Christ-Impulses rule within the unconscious nature and that the Christ-Force lives in the child's power of speech, guarding and stimulating it.
After the occurrence of the three Christ-Events, which have again been described today from a certain standpoint in their influence on human evolution, came the post-Atlantean epoch. In this evolution the mission of the peoples belonging chiefly to that stage of man's development known to us as the Egyptian-Chaldean was to recapitulate what had happened for humanity in the Lemurian epoch; but at the same time to permeate it with consciousness. Quite unconsciously man learnt to stand upright in the Lemurian epoch, and to become a speaking being in the Atlantean epoch. Quite unconsciously he took in the Christ-Impulse at that time because his power of thought had not been awakened. In the post-Atlantean times he has had to be led slowly to understand what it was that he had thus taken in unconsciously in prehistoric ages.
It was the Christ-Impulse which enabled him to stand upright and look up into the cosmic heights. In the Lemurian epoch man lived as he was obliged to do. Later the peoples of Egypt, who were not yet fully conscious but in a condition preparatory to the attainment of full consciousness, had to be led to revere what dwells in the human power of erectness. The Initiates, whose mission it was to influence the culture of Egypt, taught the people to revere that power by causing them to build the Pyramids which reach up from the earth towards the Cosmos. Even now we cannot but marvel at the way in which, through the working of the cosmic forces into the whole form and position of these structures, this power of the upright is brought to expression. The Obelisks were erected so that man might begin to penetrate into the power of the perpendicular. The wonderful hieroglyphics in the Pyramids and on the Obelisks, which were intended to point to the Christ, awakened to consciousness the super-earthly forces of the Lemurian epoch.
As regards the power of speech, however, the Egyptians could not even acquire that dim comprehension which they had for the power which enables man to stand upright. Their souls had first to undergo the right schooling, so that in later times they might be able to understand the riddle — how the Christ lives in man's gift of speech. That riddle was to be received with the most sacred reverence by the maturing human soul. This was provided for in the most wonderful way by the Hierophants, the Initiates of the Egyptian civilization, when they erected the enigmatic Sphinx with its dumb, granite form which only produced sound under the influence of the Cosmos when the human beings of that day were in an exalted state of consciousness. In the contemplation of the silent Sphinx, from which sound only proceeded at sunrise under certain cosmic conditions and in certain relations, there came to man that deep reverence by which the soul was prepared to understand the language which must be spoken when it would be brought to higher consciousness how the Christ-Impulse gradually enters into the evolution of earthly humanity. That which the Sphinxes themselves could not yet say, although they prepared the way for it, had to be said to mankind. In the forming of the word-movement lies the Christ-Impulse.
This was announced to mankind in the words: —
In the Primal Beginning was the Word
And the Word was with God
And a God was the Word.
The same was in the Primal Beginning with God.
It was there where all things came into being,
And nothing came into being but through the Word.
In the Word was the Life, and the Life was the Light of men.
“In the Word was the Life, and the Life was the Light of men.” These words are to be found where the Gospel was born out of the fourth post-Atlantean age; when man, prepared by the Greco-Latin civilization, had reached the stage when he was to recapitulate in the fourth post-Atlantean age what had taken place before. Just as the reverence for the upright position was recalled in the Egyptian epoch, so now the reverence for the Word was recalled. Thus do the super-human spiritual forces work into the evolution of humanity.
A third thing which the child has to learn before he actually awakens to the Ego-consciousness is to form ideas, to think. This power of thinking was reserved for the humanity of the post-Atlantean epoch; and, indeed, for the humanity of the fourth age in that epoch. Before that men thought in pictures. I shall treat of this subject further in my book Riddles of Philosophy, which is about to be published. The child, too, thinks in pictures. It was only gradually given to humanity to think in thoughts, this faculty not being aroused in man until the sixth and seventh centuries before Christ. From that time onwards the thinking of thoughts has developed more and more; we now stand in the middle point. It is through the development of this power that the Ego can be grasped. In order that thinking, too, might be united with the Christ-Impulse, that thinking as such might not come into disorder in its activity on the Ego, there came the fourth Christ-Event, the Mystery of Golgotha.
If our thinking is gradually to be brought more and more into order, to develop on the right lines so that our thoughts shall no longer be chaotic and confused, but filled, permeated, with inner feeling, if there is to be an increasing development of healthy thinking based upon truth — it will be because thinking has acquired, through the Mystery of Golgotha, the fourth Christ-Event, the impulse which it could only acquire as a result of the Christ-Impulse having poured itself out into the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth.
This outpouring occurred for the first time in the Lemurian epoch when the upright position of man was threatened by Lucifer.
It occurred for the second time in the Atlantean epoch when man's power of speech — which, as an expression of his inner being, was in danger of being disordered — was saved.
Towards the end of the Atlantean epoch it occurred for the third time. When the Christ permeated the spiritual being of the later Jesus of Nazareth, the gift of speech, inasmuch as words are signs which represent things in the outer world, was delivered by Christ from danger.
The fourth danger was to man's thinking, the inner representation of his ideas. From this danger man is saved by permeation with thoughts on such forms as live within him — forms such as that which flowed out into the spiritual sphere of the Earth through the Mystery of Golgotha. This can be the case even now if man will prepare himself for it through Spiritual Science.
My dear friends, we have progressed so far in the evolution of humanity that the first words of the Gospel of St. John may be set forth in another form, in the following form:
In the Primal Beginning is the Thought,
And the Thought is with God,
And a God-like being is the Thought.
In it is Life,
And the Life shall become the Light of my Ego.
And may the Divine Thought shine into my Ego
That the darkness of my Ego may grasp the Thought Divine.
It was not expressed quite clearly, but human evolution strove forward in this direction.
The fourth post-Atlantean civilization began in the eighth century before Christ. About three and a half centuries later thought had ripened sufficiently to be expressed by the Greek philosophers with such clarity that it led to the Platonic Philosophy. Then the life of man was permeated with the Christ-Impulse. With the dawn of the fifteenth century after Christ the fifth post-Atlantean age began. There was exactly the same length of time between the beginning of the fourth post-Atlantean age and the understanding of thought as there was between the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean age and the conscious utterance of the nature of thought, that is to say, until Hegel. Human thought attained its highest point with Hegel: “The living and weaving of thought in truth is the causative Spirit.” What Hegel says, in a form so apparently quite incomprehensible, can really be expressed as follows: —
In the Primal Beginning is the Thought,
And Infinite is the Thought.
And the Life of the Thought is the Light of the Ego.
May light-giving Thought fill the Darkness of my Ego,
That the Darkness of my Ego may grasp the Living Thought
And live and weave in its Divine Primal Beginning.
Thus with rhythmical steps the evolution of humanity goes forward. Humanity has not yet advanced very far; even Hegel was much maligned. It may well be said that “The Light-giving Thought did indeed shine into the Darkness, but the Darkness wished to know nothing of it.” When man learns to understand the Life of Thought he will understand what devolves upon humanity in its further existence.
And now there is still something more to be said, as we are standing on the ground of Spiritual Science. Later epochs are always being prepared for during those that precede them. And inasmuch as we stand within the fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, inasmuch as we foster Spiritual Science and have continuously more to contribute to the understanding of living thought, of the thinking which is becoming clairvoyant — we have at the same time the sixth Post-Atlantean epoch.
Just as the Christ-Impulse now streams into the thoughts of life, so will it stream later into something which is indeed one of the qualities of the human soul but must not be confused with mere thinking. The child develops his capacities out of the unconscious. When he attains to Ego-consciousness he enters the sphere in which he can acquire, in which he must develop, all that can come to him from outside through the Christ-Impulse. When the child has learnt to walk, when he has learnt to speak, and when with learning to think he has begun to work through to the Ego, we can see how the conscious Christ-Impulse, which entered through the Mystery of Golgotha, begins gradually to work upon him. At the present time there is something else among the powers of the human soul which is not yet able to take in the Christ-Impulse. It is possible to introduce the Christ-Impulse into the power of walking upright, and into speaking and thinking; these things are possible because of that which has been done for the civilization of mankind for centuries.
We have now to prepare for the introduction of the Christ-Impulse into a fourth element, a fourth human capacity, if we truly stand on the foundation of Spiritual Science. We must consider this, too! The soul-capacity into which the Christ-Impulse cannot yet be directed, but into which we must prepare to direct it, is the human memory. For in addition to the walking and standing upright, the speaking and thinking, the Christ-Force is now entering the memory. We can understand the Christ when He speaks to us through the Gospels. But we are only now being prepared as human beings for His entrance also into the thoughts which live in us and which then, as remembered thoughts and ideas, live on further in us. And a time will come for humanity which is now being prepared but which will only be fulfilled in the Sixth Great Period of humanity when men will look back upon that which they have lived through and experienced, upon that which lives on within them as memory. They will be able to realize that Christ Himself is present in the power of Memory. He will be able to speak through every idea. And if we make concepts and ideas alive within us Christ will be united with our memories, with that which as our memory is so closely and intimately bound up with us.
Man, looking back at his life, will realize that just as he can remember, just as the power of recollection lives within him, so in this recollection there also lives the Christ-Impulse which has streamed into it. The path which is shown to man is to make the words “Not I, but Christ in me” more and more true. And the way will be made smooth through the Christ-Impulse gradually drawing into man's power of memory. The Christ-Impulse is not yet within the memory. When it actually comes, when it lives not only in the understanding of man but is poured out over the whole length and breadth of his memories, he will not have to turn to external documents to learn history, for then his whole power of memory will be extended. Christ will live in this memory.
And when Christ has entered into the power of Memory, when Christ lives in that power, man will know that until the Mystery of Golgotha Christ worked outside the Earth; that He prepared for and went through that Mystery, and that He works on further as an Impulse in history. Man will be able to survey this in the same way as he now perceives facts which live in his ordinary life as Memory. He will not be able inwardly to survey the earthly evolution of humanity otherwise than by seeing the Christ-Impulse as the central point. The whole power of Memory will be penetrated, and at the same time strengthened, by the entrance into it of the Christ-Impulse. In time to come, if we grasp Christianity in a living way, the following words will also hold good for us:
In the Primal Beginning is Memory,
And the Memory lives on further,
And Divine is the Memory.
And the Memory is Life.
And this Life is the Ego of Man
Which streams into Man himself,
Not he alone, the Christ in him.
When he remembers the Divine Life
In his Memory is the Christ.
And as the radiant Life of Memory
Christ will pour Light
Into every Darkness of the immediate present.
We shall be able to say that Christ is in our inner soul-life. Many of us will feel it to be so if we learn to unite ourselves with the Christ-Impulse, even as the human child learns to stand upright and to speak because he has united himself with the Christ-Impulse. Looking upon our present faculty of memory as a preparatory stage, many of us also realize that it must fall into disorder in the future unless it has the will to allow itself to be permeated with the Christ-Impulse. Should there be upon the Earth a state of materialism in which the Christ is denied, the power of Memory would fall into disorder. More and more people would appear whose memory was chaotic; who would become duller and duller in their dark Ego-consciousness if memory were not to shine into this darkness of the Ego.
Our power of Memory can only develop in the right way if the Christ-Impulse is perceived aright. History will then be a living memory because a true understanding of events has entered the memory; human memory will understand the central point of world-evolution. A perceptive faculty will then arise in man, and his ordinary memory, which at present is only directed to one life, will extend over former incarnations. Memory at the present time is in a preparatory stage, but it will be endowed through the Christ. Whether we look without and see how as children we have developed as yet unconsciously, or through an intensive deepening of our soul forces look within to what remains in our memory as our inner being — everywhere we behold the living force and activity of the Christ-Impulse.
The Christ-Event which is now approaching us — not in the physical but in the etheric, and connected with the first kindling of the power of Memory, with the first kindling of the Christ-permeated Memory — will be such that Christ will approach man as an Angel-like Being. For this event we must prepare ourselves.
Spiritual Science is not simply to enrich us with mere theories. It is to pour into us something which will enable us to accept that which meets us in the world, and that which we ourselves are, with new feelings and perceptions. Our life of feeling and perception can be enriched if, through Spiritual Science, we penetrate in the right way into the nature of the Christ-Impulse and its sovereignty in man, in the spiritual being of man. It is well for us to think often on the following:
In the Primal Beginning was the power of Memory.
The power of Memory shall become Divine;
And a Divinity shall the power of Memory become.
All that arises within the Ego shall become
Something which has arisen
Out of the Christ-permeated, God-permeated Memory.
In it shall be the Life;
In it shall be the radiant Light
Which, out of the Thinking which remembers,
Shines into the Darkness of the present time.
May that Darkness as it is today
Comprehend the Light of the Memory which has become Divine!
When we take into our hearts the meaning of such words as these, we take in something which is right for us human beings to receive. Just as the plant forms the seed for the next plant life, so do we learn to perceive and feel within ourselves not only the fruits that come to us from former incarnations, but also how to pass over into our future incarnations. It would go ill with our power of Memory in future incarnations if we were not permeated with the Christ-Impulse. Our Thinking is at yet permeated with the Christ-Impulse in the barest measure, and already this Impulse is approaching our Memory. May we learn, through Spiritual Science, to live not only for the transitory man who exists between birth and death but for that man who passes through ever-recurring incarnations. Let us learn, through Spiritual Science, what it means for the full development of the individual soul to have the right understanding, the right feeling and perception, for the most powerful Impulse in the whole evolution of humanity: the Christ-Impulse.