Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Creative Renunciation, Creative Resignation

Rudolf Steiner [lecture of November 14, 1911]:

"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 descripton, 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."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today is Michaelmas!

Rudolf Steiner:

"One who understands how to observe such things knows what a great change took place in the last third of the nineteenth century with respect to the life of human thought. Before that time man could only feel how thoughts formed themselves in his own being; from the time indicated he is able to raise himself above his own being; he can turn his mind to the spiritual; he there meets Michael, who proves his ancient kinship with everything connected with thought. He liberates thought from the sphere of the head; he clears the way for it to the heart; he enkindles enthusiasm in the feelings, so that the human mind can be filled with devotion for all that can be experienced in the light of thought.
The Age of Michael has dawned. Hearts are beginning to have thoughts; spiritual fervor is now proceeding not merely from mystical obscurity but from souls clarified by thought. To understand this means to receive Michael into the heart. Thoughts which at the present time strive to grasp the spiritual must originate in hearts which beat for Michael as the fiery Prince of Thought in the universe."

Springing from powers of the Sun,
Radiant spirit-powers, blessing all worlds!
For Michael's garment of rays
You are predestined by Divine Thought.

He, the Christ messenger, reveals in you--
Bearing humankind aloft--the sacred will of worlds.
You, the radiant beings of ether worlds,
Bear the Christ-Word to human beings.

Thus shall the herald of Christ appear
To the thirstily waiting souls
To whom your Word of Light shines forth
In the cosmic age of the Spirit Human Being.

You, the disciples of spirit knowledge,
Take Michael's beckoning wisdom;
Take the Word of Love of the Will of Worlds
Into your soul's aspiring, fervently!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Behold Your Mother: Isis-Mary-Sophia

Rudolf Steiner, December 24, 1920:

"We must realize that through the force of the Christ we must find an inner astronomy that will show us again the cosmos moving and working by the power of the spirit. When we have this insight into the cosmos that is awakened through the newfound Isis power of the Christ--which is now the power of the Divine Sophia--then Christ, united with the Earth since the Mystery of Golgotha, will become active within us, because then we shall know him. It is not the Christ that we lack; what we lack is the knowledge and wisdom of Isis, the Sophia of the Christ....Human beings today must realize that for Christ to appear to them they must first seek Isis-Mary-Sophia."

Wisdom of God--
Lucifer has slain her,
And on wings of cosmic forces
Carried her away into the depths of space.
Working in us
Shall free her from Lucifer
And on grounds of spiritual knowledge
Call to new life in human souls
Wisdom of God.

"Behold your mother!"

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) in a letter to a priest:

When, in the year 1170 after the incarnation of the Divine, I lay in my sickbed for a long time, I saw, while I was awake in both body and spirit, the form of a very beautiful lady. She was a woman of exquisite charm, so attractive in her loveliness and possessed of such beauty that the human spirit was unable to comprehend it. Her form towered above the Earth all the way up to the heavens. Her face sparkled with the most incredible brightness. Her eyes looked up to heaven. She was clothed in a brightly radiant robe of white silk and in a cloak decorated with costly jewels: emeralds, sapphires, and pearls both large and small. On her feet she wore shoes made of onyx. But her face was smudged with dust and her dress was torn on the right side. Her cloak, too, had lost its exquisite beauty and the tops of her shoes were soiled. She cried to high heaven with a loud, plaintive voice and said: "Hear me, O heaven, for my countenance is sullied. Mourn, O Earth, for my robe is torn. Tremble, O abyss, for my shoes are soiled. The foxes have their holes and the birds of the sky have their nests, but I have no helper, no consoler, not even a staff to lean on that might give me some support."
And she went on to say: "I was hidden in the heart of the Divine until the Son of Man, conceived and born in virginity, poured out his blood. It was this blood that was his dowry when he married me, so that I might bring forth anew, in the pure and simple rebirth in the Spirit and in water, those who were stunted and sullied by the venom of the serpent. Priests are supposed to be those who nourish me, who see to it that my face sparkles like the morning light, that my robe shines like lightning, that my cloak radiates like costly jewels, and that my shoes brightly gleam. But instead they cover my face with dust, tear my robe, and make my cloak dark, and my shoes black. Those who should be beautifying me in every way have been faithless and have totally abandoned me....The wounds of my Bridegroom remain fresh and open, so long as the wounds of the human race's sins are open...." And I heard a voice from heaven which said: "This image represents the Church...."

N.B. Francis of Assisi was born in 1186.