Monday, September 16, 2013
Love is the creative force in the world
Love of the wisdom acquired from life may be compared with the flowering of a plant when the necessary stage of maturity has been reached. Love arises for something that is contained within ourselves. Men have often made the attempt to sublimate the impulse of love for what is within themselves. In the mystics, for example, we find evidence of how they strove to transmute the urge of self-love into love of wisdom, and to let this love ray out in beauty. By sinking in contemplation into the depths of their own soul-life they strove to become aware of the Divine Spark within them. But the truth is that the wisdom which man acquires in life is only the means whereby the seed of his next life is unfolded. When a plant has completed its growth through the year, the seed remains. So it is with the wisdom acquired from life. Man passes through the Gate of Death and the spiritual core of being in its process of ripening is the seed of the next life. A man who feels this may become a mystic and mistake what is only the seed of the next life to be the Divine Spark, the Absolute. This is his interpretation of it, because it goes against the grain for a man to acknowledge that this spirit-seed is nothing but his own self. Meister Eckhart, John Tauler, and others spoke of it as the “God within”, because they knew nothing of reincarnation. If we grasp the meaning of the law of reincarnation we recognize the significance of love in the world, both in a particular and in a general sense. When we speak of karma, we mean that which as cause in the one life has its effect in the next.
In terms of cause and effect we cannot, however, speak truly of love; we cannot speak of a deed of love and its eventual compensation. True, if there is a deed, there will be compensation, but this has nothing to do with love. Deeds of love do not look for compensation in the next life.
Suppose, for example, that we work and our work brings gain. It may also be that our work gives us no joy because we do it simply in order to pay off debts, not for actual reward. We can imagine that in this way a man has already spent what he is now earning through his work. He would prefer to have no debts, but as things are, he is obliged to work in order to pay them. Now let us apply this example to our actions in general. By everything we do out of love we pay off debts. From an occult point of view, what is done out of love brings no reward but makes amends for profit already expended. The only actions from which we have nothing in the future are those we perform out of true, genuine love.
This truth may well be disquieting and men are lucky in that they know nothing of it in their upper consciousness. But in their subconsciousness all of them know it, and that is why deeds of love are done so unwillingly, why there is so little love in the world. Men feel instinctively that they may expect nothing for their “I” in the future from deeds of love. An advanced stage of development must have been reached before the soul can experience joy in performing deeds of love from which there is nothing to be gained for itself. The impulse for this is not strong in humanity. But occultism can be a source of powerful incentives to deeds of love.
Our egoism gains nothing from deeds of love — but the world all the more. Occultism says: Love is for the world what the Sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the moral Sun of the world. Would it not be absurd if a man who delights in the flowers growing in a meadow were to wish that the Sun would vanish from the world? Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the Earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the Earth — that and that alone is wisdom.
What do we learn from Spiritual Science? We learn facts concerning the evolution of the Earth, we hear of the Spirit of the Earth, of the Earth's surface and its changing conditions, of the development of the human body and so forth; we learn to understand the nature of the forces working and weaving in the evolutionary process. What does this mean? What does it mean when people do not want to know anything about Spiritual Science? It means that they have no interest for what is reality. For if a man has no desire to know anything about the nature of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, then he can know nothing about the Earth. Lack of interest in the world is egoism in its grossest form. Interest in all existence is man's bounden duty. Let us therefore long for and love the Sun with its creative power, its love for the well-being of the Earth and the souls of men! This interest in the Earth's evolution should be the spiritual seed of love for the world. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger to mankind. But love should not be a matter for preaching; love must and indeed will come into the world through the spreading of knowledge of spiritual truths. Deeds of love and Spiritual Science should be inseparably united.
Love mediated by way of the senses is the wellspring of creative power, of that which is coming into being. Without sense-born love, nothing material would exist in the world; without spiritual love, nothing spiritual can arise in evolution. When we practice love, cultivate love, creative forces pour into the world.
Can the intellect be expected to offer reasons for this? The creative forces poured into the world before we ourselves and our intellect came into being. True, as egoists, we can deprive the future of creative forces; but we cannot obliterate the deeds of love and the creative forces of the past. We owe our existence to deeds of love wrought in the past. The strength with which we have been endowed by these deeds of love is the measure of our deep debt to the past, and whatever love we may at any time be able to bring forth is payment of debts owed for our existence.
In the light of this knowledge we shall be able to understand the deeds of a man who has reached a high stage of development, for he has still greater debts to pay to the past. He pays his debts through deeds of love, and herein lies his wisdom. The higher the stage of development reached by a man, the more does the impulse of love in him increase in strength; wisdom alone does not suffice.
Let us think of the meaning and effect of love in the world in the following way. Love is always a reminder of debts owed to life in the past, and because we gain nothing for the future by paying off these debts, no profit for ourselves accrues from our deeds of love. We have to leave our deeds of love behind in the world; but they are then a spiritual factor in the how of world-happenings. It is not through our deeds of love but through deeds of a different character that we perfect ourselves; yet the world is richer for our deeds of love. Love is the creative force in the world.