Friday, December 31, 2010
Why did Christ die in a human body? Understanding the riddle of guilt and sin
Christ and the Human Soul. The last of four lectures
Rudolf Steiner, Norrköping, Sweden, July 16, 1914:
Mankind is always in need of truths which cannot, in every age, be wholly understood. The assimilation of truths is not significant only for our knowledge; truths themselves contain life-force. By permeating ourselves with truth we permeate our soul-nature with an element drawn from the objective world, just as we must permeate our physical being with air taken from outside in order to live. Deep truths are indeed expressed in great religious revelations, but in such a form that their real inner meaning is often not understood until much, much later.
The New Testament has been written; the New Testament stands there as a record for humanity — but the whole future course of the Earth's evolution will be required for a full understanding of the New Testament to be reached. In the future, men will acquire much knowledge of the external world and of the spiritual world also; and if taken in the right sense it will all contribute to an understanding of the New Testament. The understanding comes about gradually, but the New Testament is written in a simple form so that it can be absorbed and, later, gradually understood. To permeate ourselves with the truth that resides in the New Testament is not without significance, even if we cannot yet understand the truth in its deepest inwardness. Later on, truth becomes cognitional force, but it is already life-force, in so far as it is imbibed in a more or less childlike form. And if the questions we began to consider yesterday are to be understood in the sense in which they are imparted in the New Testament, we need knowledge of greater depth, greater insight into the spiritual world and its mysteries.
If we are to carry further the studies we began yesterday, we must again examine some occult mysteries, for they will be able to guide us to a further understanding of the riddle of guilt and sin, and from this point of view throw light on the relation of Christ to the human soul.
In the course of our anthroposophical work we have often been faced with a point of view which may be put as a question, a question often asked: Why did Christ die in a human body? Here indeed is a fundamental question concerning the Mystery of Golgotha. Why did Christ die, why did the God die, in a human body?
The God died because the evolution of the universe made it necessary that He should be able to enter into humanity; it was necessary that a God of the upper worlds should become the leader of the Earth-evolution. For this reason Christ had to become related to death. Related to death! One could wish that this expression will come to be deeply understood by the soul of man.
As a rule a man encounters death only when he sees another person die, or in other phenomena akin to death which are to be found in the world, or in the certainty that he must himself pass through the gate of death when his present incarnation is over. But that is only the external aspect of death. Death is present in a quite different form in the world in which we live, and attention must be drawn to this.
Let us start from a quite ordinary, everyday phenomenon. We breathe the air in and we breathe it out again; but the air undergoes a change. When the air is exhaled it is dead air; as exhaled air it cannot be inhaled again, for exhaled air is deadly. I indicate this only in order that you may understand the meaning of the occult saying: “When the air enters into men, it dies.” The living element in the air does indeed die when it enters into man.
That, however, is only one phenomenon. The ray of light which penetrates our eye must likewise die, and we should gain nothing from the rays of light if our eye did not set itself up against the ray of light, as our lungs do against the air. The light that enters into our eye dies in our eye; and through the death of the light in our eye it comes about that we see. We are filled with much that has to die in us in order that we may have our Earth-consciousness. Corporeally we kill the air; we kill also the rays of light which penetrate us, and so we kill in many ways.
When we call spiritual science to our aid, we distinguish four grades of substance — earth, water, air, and warmth. We then enter the realm where we speak of warmth-ether, of light-ether. As far up as the light-ether we kill that which penetrates us; we slay it unceasingly in order that we may have our Earth-consciousness.
But there is something we cannot kill by our Earth-existence. We know that above the light-ether there is the so-called chemical ether, and then there comes the life-ether. These are the two kinds of ether that we cannot kill. But because of this, they have no special participation in us. If we were able to kill the chemical ether, the waves of the Harmony of the Spheres would sound perpetually into our physical body, and we should perpetually destroy these waves with our physical life. And if we would also kill the life-ether, we should destroy and continuously kill within ourselves the cosmic life that streams down to the Earth. In earthly sound we are given a substitute, but it is not to be compared with what we should hear if the chemical ether were audible to us as physical human beings. For physical sound is a product of the air and is not the spiritual sound; it is only a substitute for the spiritual sound.
When the Luciferic temptation came, the progressive gods were obliged to place man in a sphere where, from the life-ether downwards, death lives in his physical body. But at that time the progressive gods said — and the words are there in the Bible — ”Man has come to know the distinction between Good and Evil, but Life he is not to have. Of the Tree of Life he shall not eat.” In occultism, we can continue the sentence “Of the Tree of Life man shall not eat” by adding the words “and the Spirit of Matter he shall not hear.” Of the Tree of Life man shall not eat and the Spirit of Matter he shall not hear! These are the regions which were closed to man. Only through a certain procedure in the old Mysteries were the tones of the Sphere-Music and the Cosmic Life, pulsating through the universe, revealed to those who were to be initiated when it was given them, outside the body, to see the Christ in advance. Hence it is that the old philosophers speak of the Music of the Spheres.
In drawing attention to this, we indicate at the same time those regions from which the Christ came to us at the time of the baptism by John in the Jordan. Whence did Christ come? He came from those regions which had been closed to man as a result of the Luciferic temptation — from the region of the Music of the Spheres and from the region of Cosmic Life. These regions had to be forgotten by man because of the Luciferic temptation at the beginning of Earth-evolution. At the baptism by John in the Jordan, Christ entered into a human body, and that which permeated this human body was the spiritual essence of the Harmony of the Spheres, the spiritual essence of the Cosmic Life — the element that still belonged to the human soul during the first phase of its time on Earth, but from which the human soul had to be shut out as a result of the Luciferic temptation.
In this sense also man is related to spirit. With his soul he really belongs to the region of the Music of the Spheres and to the region of the Word, of the living Cosmic Ether. But he was cast out from those regions. They were to be restored to him in order that he might gradually be permeated again by the spiritual elements from which he had been exiled. So it is that from the standpoint of spiritual science the words of St. John's Gospel touch us so deeply: In the primal beginning, when man was not yet subject to temptation, was the Logos. Man belonged to the Logos ... the Logos was with God, and man was with the Logos, with God. And through the baptism by John in the Jordan the Logos entered into human evolution — He became Man.
Here we have the all-important connection. Let us leave this truth as it stands there, and approach the question from another side. Life as a whole shows itself to us only from the external side. Otherwise man would know all the time how he absorbs the corpse of the light into his eye when he sees.
What was it that the Christ had to undertake in order that the fulfillment of St. Paul's saying, “Not I, but Christ in me”, might be made possible? It had to be possible that Christ should permeate the nature of man; but the nature of man is filled with what is slain by human nature in Earth-existence, from the light-ether downwards — the light-ether that dies in the human eye. The nature of man is filled with death; but the life-element in the two highest kinds of ether was withdrawn in order that human nature might not be laden with their death also.
In order that Christ might dwell in us, He had therefore to become related to death, related to all the death that is spread out in the world, from the light down to the depths of materiality. Christ had to be able to pass into all that we bear within us as the corpse of the light, of the warmth, of the air, and so on. It was only because He was able to become related to death that He could become related to man. And we must feel in our souls that the God had to die so that he might be able to enfill us, we who had acquired death as a result of the Luciferic temptation, so that we might be able to say: “Christ in us.”
Many other things are hidden for man behind sense-existence. He turns his gaze upon the plant-world; he sees how the light of the Sun conjures the plants out of the soil. Science teaches us that light is necessary for the growth of plants, but that is only half the truth. Anyone who looks at the plants with clairvoyant sight sees living spiritual elements rising out of them. The light dips down into the plants and rises again out of them as a living spiritual element.
In the animals it is the chemical ether that enters, and this chemical ether is not perceptible to man; if he could be aware of it, it would sound forth spiritually. The animals transform this ether into water-spirits. The plants transform light into air-spirits; animals transform the spirit active in the chemical ether into water-spirits.
Finally, the cosmic ether, or life-ether, which man is prevented from killing and without which he could not live at all — he transforms the life-ether into Earth-spirits.
In a course of lectures given in Karlsruhe, From Jesus to Christ, I once spoke of the human “phantom”. This is not the time for drawing the connecting thread between what is to be said here and what was said then about the human “phantom”, but such connecting threads do exist and you will perhaps find them for yourself. Today I have to present the matter from another side.
There is perpetually engendered in man something that is also spiritual — the life in him. This is forever passing out into the world. Man projects an aura around him, an aura of rays whereby he continually enriches the earthly-spiritual element of the Earth. This earthly-spiritual element of the Earth, however, contains all the qualities, moral or otherwise, that man has acquired and bears within himself, for he sends it all out into his earthly environment. This is absolutely true. Clairvoyant sight perceives how man sends out his moral, intellectual, and aesthetic aura into the world, and how this aura continues to live as earthly spirit in the spirituality of the Earth. As a comet draws its tail through the cosmos, so does man draw through the whole of earthly life the spiritual aura which he projects. This spiritual aura is held together, phantom-like, during a man's life, but at the same time it rays out into the world his moral and intellectual properties of soul.
When in our occult studies we go back to the times before the Mystery of Golgotha, we find that the men of those days simply radiated this phantom-like entity, which contained their moral qualities, into the external world, into the external spiritual aura of the Earth. But humanity developed in the course of the Earth's existence, and just at the epoch where the Mystery of Golgotha came to pass, a certain stage had been reached in the evolution of this phantom-like entity. In earlier times it was much more evanescent; by the time of the Mystery of Golgotha it had become denser, had more form; and into this phantom-like entity there was now mingled, as a fundamental characteristic, the death which man develops in himself by killing the ray of light that enters into his eye, and so on, as I have explained. These Earth-spirit entities which radiate from man are like a stillborn child, because he imparts his death to them. If Christ had not come upon Earth, then, during the sojourn of their souls in earthly bodies, human beings could have continuously rayed out entities with the impress of death upon them. And with this impress of death there would have been bound up the moral qualities of man of which we spoke yesterday; objective guilt and objective sin. They would have lain within it.
Let us suppose that the Christ had not come. What would have happened in the evolution of the Earth? From the time in which the Mystery of Golgotha would otherwise have taken place, men would have spiritually created dense forms to which they had imparted death. And these dense forms would have become the very things that had to pass over to the Jupiter stage with the Earth. Man would have imparted death to the Earth. A dead Earth would have given birth to a dead Jupiter.
It could not have been otherwise, because if the Mystery of Golgotha had not come about, man would not have been able to permeate the radiations he gives out with the essences of the Music of the Spheres and the Cosmic Life. These essences would not have been there; they would not have flowed into the human radiations; but Christ brought them back through the Mystery of Golgotha. And when there is a fulfillment of the words “Not I, but Christ in me”, when we bring about a relationship to Christ within ourselves, that which rays out from us and would otherwise be dead is made living. Because we bear death within us, the living Christ has to permeate us, in order that He may give life to the spiritual Earth-being that we leave behind us. Christ the living Logos permeates and gives life to the objective guilt and sin which detaches itself from us and is not carried further in our karma, and because He gives it life, a living Earth will evolve into a living Jupiter. This is the outcome of the Mystery of Golgotha.
The soul, if it reflects, can receive Christ in the following way. It can realize that there was once a time when man was within the bosom of the divine Logos. But man had to succumb to the temptation of Lucifer. He took death into himself; into him there passed the germ by which he would have brought a dead Earth to birth as a dead Jupiter. The endowment which, before the temptation, the human soul had been destined to receive for its Earth-existence was left behind. With Christ it entered again into man's Earth-existence.
When man takes Christ into himself, so as to feel permeated with Christ, he is able to say to himself: “The endowment which the gods had allocated to me before the Luciferic temptation, but which owing to the temptation by Lucifer had to remain behind in the cosmos, enters into my soul with the Christ. The soul becomes whole again for the first time by taking the Christ into itself. Only then am I fully soul; only then am I again all that the gods intended me to be from the very beginning of the Earth.”
“Am I really a soul without Christ?” man asks himself, and he feels that it is through Christ that he first becomes the soul that the guiding divine beings meant him to be. This is the wonderful feeling of “home” that souls can have with Christ; for out of the primal cosmic home of the soul of man the Christ descended, in order to give back to the soul of man that which had to be lost on Earth as a result of the temptation by Lucifer. The Christ leads the soul up again to its primordial home, the home allotted to it by the gods.
That is the bliss and the blessing in the actual experience of Christ in the human soul. It was this that gave such bliss to certain Christian mystics in the Middle Ages. They may have written much which in itself seems to be too strongly colored by the senses, but fundamentally it was spiritual. Such Christian mystics as those who joined Bernard of Clairvaux, and others, felt that the human soul was as a bride who had lost her bridegroom at the primal beginning of the Earth; and when Christ entered into their souls, filling them with life and soul and spirit, they experienced Christ as the soul-bridegroom who united Himself with the soul; the bridegroom who had been lost when the soul forsook her original home in order to follow Lucifer along the path of freedom, the path of differentiation between good and evil.
When the soul of man really lives into Christ, feeling that Christ is the living being who from the death on Golgotha flowed out into the atmosphere of the Earth and can flow into the soul, it feels itself inwardly vivified through the Christ. The soul feels a transition from death into life.
So long as we have to live out our earthly existence in human bodies — and this will continue far into a remote future — we cannot hear directly the Music of the Spheres or have direct experience of the Cosmic Life. But we can experience the incoming of the Christ, and so we can receive, by proxy as it were, that which would otherwise come to us from the Music of the Spheres and the Cosmic Life.
Pythagoras, an initiate of the ancient Mysteries, spoke of the Music of the Spheres. He had gone through the process whereby the soul passes out of the body, and he could then be carried away into the spiritual worlds. There he saw the Christ who was later to come to the Earth. Since the Mystery of Golgotha we cannot speak of the Music of the Spheres as did Pythagoras, but we can speak of it in another way. An initiate might even today speak as Pythagoras did; but the ordinary inhabitant of the Earth in his physical body can speak of the Music of the Spheres and of the Cosmic Life only when he experiences in his soul “Not I, but Christ in me”, for the Christ within him has lived in the Music of the Spheres and in the Cosmic Life. But we must go through this experience in ourselves; we must really receive the Christ into our souls.
Let us suppose that a man were to fight against this, that he did not wish to receive Christ into his soul. Then he would come to the end of the Earth period, and in the nebulous spirit-structure that had then taken shape out of the Earth-spirits arising in the course of human evolution, he would have all the phantom-like beings which had issued from him in former incarnations. They would all be there. The tendency indicated here would lead to a dead Earth, and this would pass over, dead, to Jupiter. At the end of the Earth period a man might have carried through and completely absolved his karma; he might have made personal compensation for all his imperfect deeds; he might have become whole in his soul-being, in his ego, but the objective sin and guilt would remain. That is an absolute truth, for we do not live only for ourselves, so that by adjusting our karma we may become egotistically more nearly perfect; we live for the world, and at the end of the ages the remains of our Earth incarnations will stand there like a mighty tableau if we have not taken into us the living Christ.
When we connect what was said yesterday with what is being said today (and it is really the same, only seen from two sides) we understand how Christ takes upon Himself the guilt and sin of Earth humanity, in so far as these are objective guilt and sin. And if we have inwardly realized this “Not I, but Christ in me”, the Christ in us, then He takes over the objective remains of our incarnations, and they stand there vivified by Christ, irradiated by Christ and permeated by His life.
Yes, the remains of our incarnations stand there, and what do they come to, taken as a whole?
Because Christ unites them all — Christ who belongs to all mankind in the present and in the future — the remains of the single incarnations are all compressed together. Every human soul lives in successive incarnations. From each incarnation certain relics or remains are left, as we have described. Further incarnations will leave other remains, and so on, up to the end of the Earth period. If these relics are permeated by Christ, they are compressed together. Compress what is rarefied and you will get density. Spirit also becomes dense, and so our collective Earth-incarnations are united into a spiritual body. This body belongs to us; we need it because we evolve onwards to Jupiter, and it will be the starting-point of our embodiment on Jupiter. At the end of the Earth period we shall stand there with the soul — whatever the particular karma of the soul may be — and we shall stand there before our earthly relics which have been gathered together by Christ, and we shall have to unite with them in order to pass over with them to Jupiter.
We shall rise again in the body, in the earthly body that has condensed out of the separate incarnations. Truly, my dear friends, from a heart profoundly moved I utter these words: “In the body we shall rise again!”
In these days, young people of sixteen and even less are beginning to claim a creed of their own, and to talk of having happily grown beyond such nonsense as the “Resurrection of the Body”. But those who seek to deepen their occult knowledge of the mysteries of the universe strive gradually to rise to an understanding of what has been said to mankind, because — as I explained at the beginning of the lecture — it had first of all to be said, in order that men might grasp it as life-truth and come to understand it later. The resurrection of the body is a reality, but our soul must feel that it will rise again with the earthly relics that have been collected, brought together by Christ, by the spiritual body that is permeated with Christ. This is what our soul must learn to understand.
For let us suppose that, because of our not having received into ourselves the living Christ, we could not approach this Earth-body, with its sin and guilt, and unite with it. If we had rejected the Christ, the relics of our various incarnations would be scattered at the end of the Earth period; they would have remained, but they would not have been gathered together by the Christ, who spiritualizes the whole of humanity. We should stand there as souls at the end of the Earth period and we should be bound to the Earth, to that part of the Earth which remains dead in our relics. Certainly our souls would be free in the spirit in an egotistic sense, but we would be unable to approach our bodily relics. Such souls are the booty of Lucifer, for he strives to thwart the true goal of the Earth; he tries to prevent souls from reaching their Earth-goal, to hold them back in the spiritual world. And in the Jupiter period Lucifer will send over what has remained of scattered Earth-relics as a dead content of Jupiter. It will not, as Moon, separate from Jupiter, but will be within Jupiter, and it will be continually thrusting up these Earth-relics. And these Earth-relics will have to be animated as species-souls by the souls above.
And now you will remember what I have told you some years ago: that the human race on Jupiter will divide itself into those souls who have attained their Earth-goal, who will have attained the goal of Jupiter, and into those souls who will form a middle kingdom between the human kingdom and the animal kingdom on Jupiter. These latter will be Luciferic souls — Luciferic, merely spiritual. They will have their body below, and it will be a direct expression of their whole inner being, but they will be able to direct it only from outside. Two races, the good and the bad, will differentiate themselves from one another on Jupiter. This was stated years ago; today we wish to consider it more deeply.
A Venus-existence will follow that of Jupiter, and again there will be an adjustment through the further evolution of the Christ; but it is on Jupiter that man will realize what it means to be perfected only in his own ego, instead of making the whole Earth his concern. That is something he will have to experience through the whole course of the Jupiter cycle, for everything he has not permeated with Christ during his earthly existence may then appear before his spiritual sight.
Let us reflect from this point of view upon the words of Christ with which He sent His disciples out into the world to proclaim His Name, and in His Name to forgive sins. Why to forgive sins in His Name? Because the forgiveness of sins is connected with His Name. Sins can be blotted out and transformed into living life only if Christ can be united with our Earth-relics, if during our Earth-existence He is within us in the sense of the Pauline saying: “Not I, but Christ in me”.
And wherever any religious denomination associates itself in its outer observances with this saying of Christ, in order to bring home to souls, again and again, all that is connected with Christ, we must seek this deeper meaning in it. When, in any religious denomination, one of Christ's servants speaks of the forgiveness of sins, as though by Christ's command, it means that with his words he forms a connection with the forgiveness of sins through Christ, and to the soul in need of comfort he says, in effect: “I have seen that you have developed a living relationship to Christ. You are uniting the objective sin and guilt, and the objective sin and guilt that will enter into your Earth-relics, with everything that Christ is for you. Because I have recognized that you have permeated yourself with Christ — therefore I dare say to you: your sins are forgiven.”
Such words always mean that he who in any religious denomination speaks of the forgiveness of sins is convinced that the person in question has found a connection with Christ, that he wants to bear Christ in his heart and in his soul. Because of this he can properly give comfort when the other person comes to him conscious of guilt. “Christ will forgive you, and I am permitted to say to you that in His Name your sins are forgiven.”
Christ is the only forgiver of sins because He is the bearer of sins. He is the Being who gives life to human Earth-relics, and a wonderful link with Him is created when those who want to serve Him can give comfort in the words “Your sins are forgiven” to those who show that in their inner being they feel a union with Christ.
For it is like a fresh strengthening of the relationship to Christ when the soul realizes: “I have understood my guilt and sins in such a way that it can permissibly be said to me that Christ takes them upon himself, works through them with His being.” If the expression “the forgiveness of sins” is to be an expression of the truth, it must always carry an undertone which reminds the sinner of his bond with Christ, even if he does not form it anew. Between the soul and Christ there must be a bond so intense that the soul cannot be reminded of it often enough. And because the Christ is bound up with the objective sin and guilt of the human soul, the soul can best remind itself in daily life of its relationship to Christ by always remembering, at the moment of the forgiveness of sins, the presence of the Cosmic Christ in the Earth's existence.
Those who join Anthroposophy in the right spirit, and not merely in an external sense, can most assuredly become their own father confessors. Most assuredly through Spiritual Science they can learn to know Christ so intimately, and feel themselves so closely connected with Him, that they can be directly conscious of His spiritual presence. And when they have solemnly vowed themselves to Him as the Cosmic Principle, they can in spirit direct their confusion to Him and in their silent meditation ask from Him the forgiveness of sins.
But as long as men have not yet permeated themselves with spiritual science in this deep spiritual sense, we must look with understanding at what the “forgiveness of sins” signifies in the various religious observances of the world. Men will become spiritually freer and freer, and in this greater spiritual freedom their communion with Christ will become more and more a direct experience.
And there must be tolerance! A person who believes that through the deep inward understanding he has of the Spirit of the Mystery of Golgotha, the Christ, he can hold direct intercourse with the Christ, must look with understanding upon those who need the positive declarations of a confession of faith, and a minister of Christ to give them comfort with words: “Your sins are forgiven”. On the other hand, there should be tolerance on the part of those who see that there are men who can be independent. In earthly life this may be all an ideal, but the anthroposophist may at least look up to such an ideal.
I have spoken to you of spiritual secrets which make it possible for men — even those who have absorbed much anthroposophical teaching — to look still more deeply into the whole nature of our being. I have spoken to you of the overcoming of human egoism, and of those things we must understand before we can have a right understanding of karma. I have spoken to you of man in so far as he is not only an “I” being, but belongs to the whole Earth-existence and is thereby called to help forward the attainment of the divine aim appointed for the Earth. The Christ did not come into the world and pass through the Mystery of Golgotha in order that He might be something to each one of us in our egoism. It would be terrible if Christ were to be so understood that the words of Paul, “Not I, but Christ in me,” served only to encourage a higher egoism. Christ died for the whole of humanity, for the humanity of the Earth. Christ became the central spirit of the Earth, who has to save for the Earth the spiritual-earthly elements that flow out from man.
Nowadays one can read theological works — and those who have read them will bear me out — which assure us that certain theologians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have at last disposed of the popular medieval belief that Christ came to Earth in order to snatch the Earth from the devil, to snatch the Earth from Lucifer. Within modern theology there is an “enlightened” materialism which will not recognize itself as such but on the contrary imagines itself to be specially enlightened. It says: “In the dark Middle Ages people said that Christ appeared in the world because He had to snatch the Earth away from the devil.” But the true explanation leads us back to this simple, popular belief. For everything on the Earth that is not set free by Christ belongs to Lucifer. All that is human in us, all that is more than what is merely confined in our ego, is ennobled, is made fruitful for the whole of humanity, when it is permeated with Christ.
And now, at the end of our considerations during the last few days, I would not like to conclude without saying those further words to each single one of the souls who are gathered together here:
Hope and confidence in the future of our work can dwell in our hearts, because we have endeavored, from the very beginning, to fill what we had to say with the will of Christ. And this hope and confidence may allow us to say that our teaching is itself what Christ has wished to say to us, in fulfillment of His words: “I am with you always, even to the end of the Earth ages.” We have wished to be mindful only of what comes from Him. And all that He has inspired us with, according to His promise, we want to take into our souls as our spiritual science. It is not because we feel our spiritual science to be imbued with any sort of Christian dogmatism that we regard it as Christian, but because, having Christ within us, we look on it as a revelation of the Christ in ourselves. I am therefore also convinced that the springing up of true spiritual science in those souls who want to receive, with us, our Christ-filled spiritual science will be fruitful for the whole of humanity, and especially for those who welcome these fruits.
Clairvoyant observation shows that much of what is good, spiritually good, in our Movement proceeds from those who have taken our Christian spiritual science into themselves, and then, having passed through the gate of death, send down to us the fruits of this Christian spiritual science. The Christian spiritual science which those souls have taken into themselves and are now sending down to us from the spiritual worlds is already living in us. For they do not keep it in their own karmic stream for the sake of their own perfecting; they can let it stream into those who want to receive it. Comfort and hope arise for our spiritual science when we know that our so-called “dead” are working with us.
In the second lecture we spoke about these things in a certain connection. But today, when we have come to the close of the course, I should like to add a personal word.
While I have been speaking to the Norrköping Branch of our society I could not be other than conscious always of the spirit of one who was so closely connected with us here. The spirit of Frau Danielsen looks down like a good angel on all that this Branch wants to undertake. Hers also was a Christian spirit in the sense described, and the souls who knew her will never feel themselves separated from her. May that spirit hover as guardian-spirit over this Branch! Most willingly and surely will it do so if the souls who work in this Branch receive it. With these words, spoken from the depths of my heart, I close these lectures, and I hope that we shall continue to work together on the spiritual path we have embraced.