Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A stigmatic regarding the Passion of Christ Jesus

Judith von Halle, a stigmatic, from her book Secrets of the Stations of the Cross and the Grail Blood (p. 99 fn.):

It belongs, surely, to  a schooling of broad-mindedness to be able to accompany in one's thoughts not only the lofty moments of Christ's incarnation but also the most degrading ones. Anyone who has ever experienced--in his soul or in a rudimentary way upon his own body--how the beloved Redeemer sacrificed all His powers for humanity will never wish to turn away and leave Him alone in His indescribable suffering in order to spare his own sensitivities. What, apart from our faith and Christian deeds, can we do for the Christ being other than at least participate in what was inflicted on Him by our own human race? How could we turn away? He suffered so greatly to endow us with the potential for freedom, and we find it too difficult to contemplate His suffering? People often refuse to believe in anything that unsettles the basis of their safe view of the world, even though it is beyond dispute. Those who establish a view of the world that prevents it ever disturbing them will not develop insight or knowledge. Knowledge is not merely given. It arises only in the earthly vale of incarnation, through love and suffering.

One insight which we can acquire from Christ's path of suffering is that the outer humiliations, the powerlessness, were a part of His sacrifice: that is, a penetration of the deepest point of human incarnation. Light can only shine for us when we are in darkness. The sacrifice of powerlessness is a great mystery of the Christ event.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wisdom is the precondition of love

A poem by Johann Gottlieb Fichte

What gave my eye this force,
That all misshapen forms have dissolved,
That the nights become like brilliant suns,
Disorder becomes order, decay life?

What intricate weaving through time, through space,
Guides me surely to the eternal well
Of the Beautiful, the True, the Good, and of all delight,
And in destroying immerses all my striving?

It is this: into Urania's eye, the deep,
Itself clear, blue, still, pure
Lightflame, I myself have quietly gazed.

Since then, this eye rests in my depths
And is in my being--the eternal One
Lives in my life, sees in my seeing.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

13 ways of looking at my guru. The thirteenth amid the twelve

"The Christ is a sort of focal point, in which the being works through his deed; the being works through what he is. Around the Christ sit the twelve boddhisattvas of the world, upon whom flows all that comes from the Christ, and they elevate it, in the sense of iincreased wisdom, to higher principles. Nevertheless, it all flows from the fourth principle--even upon the higher principles--insofar as these evolve on Earth."

"[How do the truths contained in the Gospels present themselves to us?] They come to us as though gushing forth--the perfect, highest good, directly from the being of Christ without effort or exertion of any kind--and speaking in such a way to hearts that allow themselves to be permeated by the Christ impulse, so that souls are illuminated and warmed through and through."

--Rudolf Steiner, "Cosmic 'I' and Human 'I'"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Marvellous in our eyes": Today is my sixty-third birthday

"And how, my dear friends, is one in the true sense in the Anthroposophical Society? If one has an inkling for what is welling up today from spirit depths for both young and old as a cosmic youthfulness that renews every area of our lives."--Rudolf Steiner

"How can the old ones still grow? They have finished growing, have grown crooked and become covered in moss so that nothing but knots and gnarls remain. Hence, if a physician is to be firmly grounded he must be sown in the cradle like a mustard seed and grow in it like the great ones before God, like the saints before God, and must grow in such a way that in matters of medicine he grows like a mustard seed, that he grows beyond all others. That must rise with youth and must grow."--Paracelsus

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.


Hearts interpret karma
When hearts learn to
Read the Word which
Human lives
When hearts learn to
Speak the Word which
Human essence.

--Rudolf Steiner, composed on the occasion of his 63rd birthday

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Take, eat: this is my body"

Rudolf Steiner, from lecture 11 of The Fifth Gospel:

The feeling one has after death is as follows. I told you that the ether body expands after death and we see it as a kind of firmament forming a backdrop to everything else. The body of Christ Jesus, drained of blood and taken up into the Earth, is like the ground substance of this spreading ether body. It is seen as giving new life to the vast tableau of the ether body. Seeing this, we gain certainty that humanity will not perish but continue to live on as the spiritual content of the Earth when the physical part of it drops away just as the physical body of an individual human being drops away from the spiritual aspect. The I and the astral body certainly guarantee human freedom and immortality. But the individual human being would live on entirely by himself. He would arrive on Jupiter [the next incarnation of Earth] and not fit into Jupiter life if it were not for the fact that the Christ impulse entered into the Earth’s sphere, an achievement that will be taken on to Jupiter.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thinking: Receiving the Holy Phantom

Rudolf Steiner, from a lecture given in Dornach July 31, 1915:

Every thought is essentially different from what people usually believe it to be. People take it to be a reproduction of something perceptible. It is not recognized as a form builder, a molder. Every thought that arises in us seizes, as it were, upon our inner life and shares (at first as we are growing) in our whole human construction. It already takes part in building our structure before we are born and belongs to the forming forces of our nature. It goes on working continually and again and again replaces what dies away in us. So it is not only the case that we perceive our concepts externally, but that we are always working upon our being through our thoughts; through what we picture mentally, we are working continuously to shape and build ourselves anew.

Seen with the eyes of spiritual science, every thought appears like a head with a sort of continuation downwards, so that with every thought we actually insert into us somehting like a shadowy outline, a phantom, of ourselves; not exactly like us, but as similar as a shadow picture. This phantom of ourselves must be inserted, for we are continually losing something; something is being destroyed, is crumbling away. And what the thought inserts into our human form preserves us, generally speaking, until our death. Thought is thus at the same time a definite inner activity, a working on our own construction.

The Western worldview has practically no knowledge of this at all. People do not sense or feel inwardly how the thought grips them, how it really spreads itself out in them. Now and again a person will feel in breathing—though for the most part it is no longer noticed—that the breath spreads out in him, and that breathing has something to do with his rebuilding and regeneration. This applies also to thoughts, but the European scarcely feels any longer that the thought is striving all the time to become man, or better said, to form the human shape.

But unless we arrive at a feeling of such forces within us, we can hardly reach a right understanding, based on inner feeling and life, of what spiritual science really desires. For spiritual science is not active at all in what thought yields us inasmuch it reproduces something external; it works in the life element of thought, in this continuous shaping process of the thought.

Therefore it has been very difficult for many centuries to speak of spiritual science or to be understood when it was spoken of,  because the awareness just characterized became increasingly lost to European humanity. In the Eastern worldview this feeling about thought which I have just expressed exists to high degree. At least the consciousness exists to a high degree that one must seek for this feeling of an inner experience of thought. The inclination of the Eastern person for meditation comes from this. For meditation should be a familiarizing of oneself with the shaping forces of thought, a becoming aware of the living feeling of the thought. That the thought accomplishes something in us should become known to us during meditation. Therefore we find in the East such expressions as: A becoming one, in meditation, with Brahma, with the fashioning process of the world. What is sought in the Eastern worldview is the consciousness that when one lives rightly into the thought, one not only has somehting in oneself, not only thinks, but one becomes at home in the fashioning forces of the world. But it is rigidified, because the Eastern worldview has neglected to acquire an understanding for the Mystery of Golgotha.

To be sure, the Eastern worldview—of which we have yet to speak—is eminently fitted to become at home in the forming forces of thought life, but nevertheless in so doing, it comes into a dying element, into a web of abstract, dead mental pictures. So that one could say: whereas the right way is to experience the life of the thought world, the Eastern worldview feels at home in a reflection of the life of thought. One should become at home in the thought world as if one were transposing oneself into a living being; but there is a differnce between a living being and a reproduction of a living being, let us say a papier-mache copy. The Eastern worldview—whether Brahmanism, Buddhism, or the Chinese and Japanese religions—does not become at home in the living being but in something that may be described as a copy of the thought world, which is related to the living thought world as the papier-mache organism is related to the living organism.

This, then, is the difficulty....

Source: The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, Mercury Press, pp. 30-31

R.I.P. Wayne Collett, An American Hero

Wayne Collett during the medal ceremony for the 400 meters at the 1972 Olympics.

Wayne Collett, a runner who won a silver medal for the United States in the 1972 Munich Olympics and who was then judged to have acted so disrespectfully during the medal ceremony that the International Olympic Committee barred him as a competitor for life, died Wednesday. He was 60 and lived in Los Angeles.

His death, at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, was caused by cancer, said Marc Dellims, the sports information director for U.C.L.A., where Collett had been a track and field star.

In 1972, Collett and his U.C.L.A. teammate John Smith were favored in the Olympic 400-meter dash. They advanced to the final along with Vince Matthews, another American. Matthews won the gold medal in 44.66 seconds, Collett finished second in 44.80 and Smith was injured early in the race and did not finish.

In the previous Olympics, in 1968 in Mexico City, the runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both African-Americans, had staged a demonstration during a medal ceremony to protest treatment of blacks in the United States. Olympic officials feared a repetition in Munich.

There, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played, Matthews and Collett, also African-Americans, did not face the flag. They stood casually, hands on hips, their jackets unzipped. They chatted and fidgeted. When the anthem ended and they climbed off the stand, the crowd booed. Matthews twirled his medal and Collett gave a black power salute.

The I.O.C. called it a “disgusting display” and barred them.

Collett defended his actions many times. “I couldn’t stand there and sing the words because I don’t believe they’re true,” he once said, adding, “I believe we have the potential to have a beautiful country, but I don’t think we do.”

In 2002, he told The Los Angeles Times: “I love America. I just don’t think it’s lived up to its promise. I’m not anti-American at all. To suggest otherwise is to not understand the struggles of blacks in America at the time.”

With Matthews and Collett barred and Smith injured, the United States was short-handed and withdrew from the 4x400-meter relay, in which it would have been a strong favorite.

After returning from Munich, Jim Bush, Collett’s coach at U.C.L.A., defended him, telling Track & Field News, “I was disappointed in him and told him that to his face, but I love him just as much as before the Olympics.” He called Collett “the greatest athlete I ever coached.”

At the 1972 United States Olympic trials, Collett ran the fastest 400 time at sea level to that point.

At U.C.L.A., at 6 feet 2 inches and 180 pounds, he ran close to a world-record time in the 400-meter and 440-yard dashes and the 440-yard hurdles. He competed for U.C.L.A. from 1968-71, winning Pac-8 titles in the 440-yard intermediate hurdles and the 440-yard dash. He anchored three consecutive N.C.A.A. championship relay teams.

He was born on Oct. 20, 1949, in Los Angeles, where he took up track in high school.

At U.C.L.A., he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1971, an M.B.A. in 1973 and a law degree in 1977. He worked in a law practice and real estate and mortgage businesses. In 1992, he was elected to the U.C.L.A. Athletics Hall of Fame.

His survivors include his wife, Emily; his sons Aaron and Wayne II; and his mother, Ruth.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/sports/18collett.html?ref=obituaries#

Friday, March 19, 2010

13 ways of looking at my guru: "Follow Me"

"All true, great cognition is born from pain and sorrow. When we set out on the path to higher worlds using the means of cognition described in anthroposophical spiritual science, we can reach our goal only by enduring pain. Through suffering—much suffering—we are freed from the oppressive aspects of pain. Without this step, we cannot perceive the spiritual world."
—Rudolf Steiner

Thursday, March 11, 2010

13 Ways of Looking at My Guru: Receiving the Holy Spirit

"It must be possible for individuals to transform their capacity for love into a power of perception."
—Rudolf Steiner

"From that point onward, those enlightened in this way—in other words, those who have received the Holy Spirit into themselves in the sense of Christian esotericism—speak differently. How so? When they speak about Saturn, Sun, and Moon or about the various members of the human constitution or processes of world evolution, they are not stating their positions or beliefs. Their views are left out of the picture entirely. When such people talk about Saturn, Saturn speaks through them. They are the instrument. The personal "I" sinks into oblivion, meaning that in such moments it ceases to be personal. The cosmic World-I then uses these individuals as tools, speaking through them."
--Rudolf Steiner, from p. 29 of Rudolf Steiner as a Spiritual Teacher by Peter Selg

Monday, March 8, 2010

When you look into your heart

"When you look into your heart, you can see pretty well—in outline, not as a fully filled-in picture—what you will do in your next life. We can therefore say not just in general, in abstracto, that we prepare in our current life what will have a karmic effect in the next one, but we can directly show the casket, I might say, which contains the karma of future periods."—Rudolf Steiner

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Behold the Lamb of God, Which Takes Away the Sins of the World!

"The guilt we accrue, the sin we accrue, is not just a fact related to us--we have to make a distinction here--but it is an objective fact in the world, it is something that affects the world. We make up in our karma for deeds we have committed; but that we stabbed somebody's eyes out, for example, is a real event and if we, let us say, stab somebody's eyes out in this incarnation and then do something in the next to make up for that, it nevertheless remains in existence in terms of objective world events that we stabbed somebody's eyes out so and so many hundred years ago. That is an objective fact in the totality of the world.... We must distinguish between the consequences of a sin for ourselves and the consequences of a sin for the objective progress of the world.... We would have to bear unspeakable suffering if a being had not united with the Earth which undoes those things for the Earth which we ourselves can no longer change. This being is Christ. He has taken the burden off us not of subjective karma, but of the spiritually objective effects of deeds, of guilt."--Rudolf Steiner, lecture of July 15, 1914

Love's Alchemy: "Woman, behold your son!" "Behold your mother!"

"The soul and spiritual element in human beings is faced at all times with the physical and bodily element; human beings must ensure that they get into the right rhythm to prevent the soul and spiritual element from becoming animalistic or that they do not ignore their physical side and descend into the soul and spiritual sphere in an unworldly way which weakens the soul and spirit. This is what human beings must seek to bring into a proper rhythm through receiving the sacrament at the altar."--Rudolf Steiner


"Transubstantiation is placing into the external world what really happens in the innermost sphere of the human being. We see in transubstantiation what we cannot see in the external world because the external world is a fragment of existence, not a totality. In the sacrament, we add that element to the external world which in the realm of nature is only fulfilled within the human being."--Rudolf Steiner

The Goal of Yoga

"I am the life-giving bread which descends from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live through all cycles of time. And the bread which I shall give: that is my earthly body which I shall offer up for the life of the world.... Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood has life beyond the cycles of time, and I give him the power of resurrection at the end of time. For my flesh is the true sustenance, and my blood is the true draught. Whoever truly eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."--John 6:51,54-56

Friday, March 5, 2010

Come, Lord Jesus!

"Jesus Christ acted out of his 'I' and he worked on the 'I' of his sick interlocutor. Healing no longer took place magically, circumventing the individual will of the sick person. On the contrary, in order to be effective Christ required the affirmative volition, and thus the willingness to receive, of the other self: 'Your faith helped you!' It is also explicitly noted in the gospels that Christ was only able to heal in this way. In Nazareth, where he encountered little faith, there was no healing activity. It is the affirmative power of faith, grounded in the 'I,' which is described by Rudolf Steiner as being able to receive the Christ impulse in a person's own being or which can work as the power of Christ in a person's soul: 'Everyone has faith who receives Christ within himself, so that Christ can live in him, and his 'I' is not just an empty vessel but overflows with content. And this overflowing content is none other than the overflowing content of love.'"

--Peter Selg, Seeing Christ in Sickness and Health: Anthroposophical Medicine as a Medicine Founded in Christianity, p. 30

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

13 Ways of Looking at My Guru: #X: Penance

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:1-8

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

May We Be

May we be centered in the feeling of compassionate love in our hearts
as we seek to unite with human beings who share our goals
and with spirit beings who, full of grace,
look downward on our earnest, heartfelt striving,
strengthening us from realms of light
and illuminating our love.

--"Verse for America" by Rudolf Steiner