Sunday, January 10, 2016

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice

Rudolf Steiner:
"Let us now ascend to that which works as sentient soul within the astral body. Herein we still possess in a dim sort of way, a ruling ego, an ego which has not yet wholly emerged and hence is still developing the most egotistical passions. As long as the ego is still really within the sentient soul, it develops the most selfish egoism. The wish that others should have the same as we have is lacking. Egoism dims the sense of justice, for the ego wants everything for itself. But if the ego transmutes itself in imitation of the Christ-Impulse, it will hunger and thirst after justice for all the beings around us. ‘Blessed will be those who hunger and thirst after the feeling of justice in their sentient-soul; for they shall be satisfied. ‘They will be able to bring about conditions all over the world corresponding to the proper new spirit of justice in the depths of the soul.
Let us further ascend to the intellectual or mind soul. This principle brings about to a still greater extent the consideration of one man for another, not merely as a feeling of justice such as is produced by the sentient soul, but as compassion, a true compassion for the sorrows of others and a sharing in their joy. One who takes in the Christ-Impulse grows to feel what others feel, not only what he feels himself; he immerses himself in the ego of others and in so doing feels bliss in his intellectual or mind soul. Blessed is he who develops fellow-feeling; for only by feeling himself within the soul of others, does he stimulate them to feel themselves in him. He will receive the sympathy of others when he himself radiates fellow-feeling for them. ‘Blessed are those who feel with others, for others shall feel with them.’

"When we now ascend to the Ego, we know that this works in the sentient soul, intellectual soul and spiritual soul. The ego works in the sentient soul, that is: it spiritualised it. This enables man to feel the outpouring of human brotherly love — which becomes universal through the spreading of Christianity — as righteousness: ‘hunger and thirst after the all-ruling righteousness’. The sentient soul otherwise feels only in the physical body; it must now, through Christianity, learn to feel for spiritual things: to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Those who are able to find their human centre in the ego, will, as a result of their work on themselves, satisfy the longing in their sentient soul for an all-ruling earthly righteousness. ‘Blessed are they who, through the Christ-Impulse, learn to hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they will find a strong force in their inner being whereby, because they are working for the righteousness of the world, they shall find within themselves the satisfaction of this quality.

We now come to the intellectual soul. We have often emphasised the fact that whereas in the sentient soul the ego is as yet but dimly brooding, in the intellectual soul it begins to shine forth, later to attain full consciousness in the spiritual soul where it first becomes a pure ego. In the intellectual soul something very singular happens: the human ego — i.e., that wherein we each resemble all other men, for each of us bears the ego within him — shines forth. No matter in what part of the world we meet with our fellow-man, through the fact that an ego shines out of his intellectual soul he is a human being like ourselves. Something shines forth from our intellectual soul, and if we receive it as well as we can and carry it out into the world, we can enter into the right relation with our fellow-men. In our intellectual soul we are to develop something which we must pour forth into our surroundings and which must flow back to us again. That is why this is the only occasion in the Sermon on the Mount when the subject of the Beatitude is like the predicate, ‘Blessed (or God-filled) are they who develop love; for as they radiate forth love, it will return to them again. ‘This shows the infinite depths of such a spiritual document, for it can be understood by the very way in which the sentences are constructed, it can be understood even down to the smallest details, if gradually, year after year, one collects all that Spiritual Science can give for the understanding of man. The difference between the fifth Beatitude and the others, in all of which the subject and the predicate are different, cannot in the least be understood without knowing that the fifth Beatitude points directly to the intellectual soul, or Mind-soul. We will now ascend to the work of the ego on the Spiritual or Consciousness soul. Here at last the ego is pure and unalloyed; only here can it become conscious of itself. This is beautifully expressed in the Sermon on the Mount, in the verse which expresses that only in the ego can the divine substance in man come to life. ‘Blessed are they, who are pure in blood or in heart (which is the expression of the ego), who allow nothing to enter there but the pure ego-nature; for they will recognise God therein, they will perceive God!’
The Sermon on the Mount now rises to that which refers to the Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, and Spirit-Man. Here man can no longer work through himself alone; at this stage of his evolution be must appeal to the divine Spiritual worlds, which, through Christ, have been brought into connection with the earth; he must look up to the renewed divine spiritual worlds. Whereas in former times strife and disharmony entered humanity through the ego-nature — as indeed it still does to-day — peace will be poured out over the earth through the Christ-Impulse. And those who take up the Christ-Impulse will become the founders of peace in that part of human nature which in the future will gradually develop as Spirit-Self; they will thus in a new sense become the sons of God, in that they will bring down the spirit from the Spiritual Realms — ‘Blessed are they who bring peace — or harmony into the world; for they shall thereby be the sons of God!’ Thus must they be called, who are really filled inwardly with a spirit self which is to bring peace and harmony on the earth.
Now, we must clearly understand, that of all that develops on the earth, some part survives into later ages. This, in a certain respect, is hostile to what implants itself as a germ in later ages. What the Christ-Impulse brings, enters into the whole evolution of humanity — it does not, however, enter all at once, but rather in such a way that something still remains from the earlier stages of evolution. It is therefore necessary that those who first understand this Christ-Impulse should stand firm on the basis thereof, quite permeated inwardly with its force. If they are inwardly permeated by the force that proceeds from the seed that has come from the Christ and stand firm on that foundation, they will then be blessed in a new sense; in this they develop the force of firmness. ‘Blessed are they who stand under the new order, who stand under Christ and who suffer persecution from that which remains over from the old order!’ And the last of the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount points straight to the Christ-Impulse itself, for He says to the Apostles: ‘Blessed are ye, who are especially called to carry the Name of Christ out into the world!’
Thus we see how the Sermon on the Mount directs Christianity from out of the great teachings of cosmology and humanity, while everywhere directing attention to the force within, the centre point of which must be found in the Ego itself. The time has now come when this must be understood, and understood in such a way that people must not believe themselves to be true Christians because they try to find Christianity in some dogmatic collateral signification or side issue, but rather those are true Christians who understand the meaning of the text: ‘Change the disposition of your souls, for the kingdoms of heaven have descended even into the ego!’ Those persons can be called ‘Christians’ in the true sense who realise that this is the essential point, and who further understand that this had to be put at the beginning of our era in a different way from that in which it must be given out now! It would be a mistaken idea of Christianity to believe that what was considered Christian in the words spoken two thousand years ago has not since then undergone further development. Christianity would stand for nothing but a dead stream of culture. But it is a living one! It is developing, and will continue to develop! Just as it is true that Christianity had to start from the time when man had descended right down to the physical plane, when a Divine Being became man in a physical human body, so it is also true that at our present time man must learn to rouse himself to the understanding of Christianity and of the Christ Being Itself, from a Higher Spiritual Standpoint!"


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