Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Haha Yoga

Rudolf Steiner:  "Humor is the soul's exhaling."

cw 300a, p. 364

Maps deaden respect.

Rudolf Steiner:  "Maps deaden respect."

cw 300a, p. 370

Humor is the soul's exhaling

Rudolf Steiner:  "Humor is the soul's exhaling."

Haha yoga

cw 300a, p. 364

Man Now Speaks to the Stars

Rudolf Steiner, Christmas Day, 1922:

The Stars once once spoke to Man.
It is World Destiny they are silent now.
To be aware of this silence
Can become pain for Earthly Man.
But in the deepening silence
There grows and ripens
What Man speaks to the Stars.
To be aware of this speaking
Can become Strength for Spirit Man.

The Consecration of Teaching. The Primary Task of Education. Lecture 1 of 14 of "The Study of Man"

Rudolf Steiner to the first Waldorf teachers just before the opening of the first Waldorf school, Stuttgart, August 21, 1919:

My dear friends,

We will begin by making a preliminary survey of our educational task; and to this I would like to give you a kind of introduction today. Of necessity our educational task will differ from those which mankind has set itself hitherto. Not that we are so vain or proud as to imagine that we, of ourselves, should initiate a new worldwide order in education, but because from anthroposophical spiritual science we know that the epochs of human evolution as they succeed each other must always set humanity fresh tasks. The task of mankind in the first Post-Atlantean epoch was different, it was different again in the second, and so on down to our fifth Post-Atlantean epoch. And we must realise that, in actual fact, what has to be accomplished in any one epoch of human evolution does not enter into the consciousness of mankind until some time after this epoch has begun.

The epoch of evolution in which we live today began in the middle of the fifteenth century. And only now is there coming forth, from spiritual depths as it were, a perception of what has to be done in this epoch, particularly in the realm of education.

Hitherto, even with the best will in the world, men's work in education has been done in the light of the old education; I mean in the sense of the education of the fourth Post-Atlantean epoch. Now much will depend on our placing ourselves in the right relation to our task at the outset. We must learn to understand that we have to give a very definite guidance to our age — guidance which is of importance not because it is considered valid for the whole evolution of humanity but because it is valid just for this age of ours. For, among other things, materialism has brought it about that men have no idea of the particular tasks of a particular age. Please do understand this at the very beginning: particular epochs have their own particular tasks.

You will have to take over children for their education and instruction — children who will have received already (as you must remember) the education, or mis-education, given them by their parents. Indeed our intentions will only be fully accomplished when we, as humanity, will have reached the stage where parents, too, will understand that special tasks are set for mankind today, even for the first years of the child's education. But when we receive the children into the school we shall still be able to make up for many things which have been done wrongly, or left undone, in the first years of the child's life. For this we must fill ourselves with the consciousness through which alone we can truly teach and educate.

In devoting yourselves to your task do not forget that the whole civilization of today, even into the sphere of the most spiritual life, is founded on the egoism of humanity. In the first place, consider with an open mind that domain of spiritual life which receives men's reverence today: the domain of religion. Ask yourselves if our present civilization, particularly in the religious sphere, is not so constituted as to appeal to man's egoism. It is typical of all sermons and preaching of our time that the preacher tries to reach men through their egoism. Take for example that question which should concern people most deeply: the question of immortality. You will see how almost everything today, even in sermons and exhortations, is directed by the preachers to appeal to man's egoism in the supersensible sphere. Egoism impels man to cling to his own being as he passes through the gate of death, to preserve his ego. This is a form of egoism, however refined. And today every religious denomination appeals largely to this egoism when treating of immortality. Hence official religion mostly forgets one end of our earthly existence in addressing man, and takes account only of the other. It fixes its gaze on death and forgets birth. Though these things may not be openly acknowledged, they are nevertheless underlying tendencies.

We live in a time when this appeal to human egoism must be combated in every domain, if the life of mankind is not to decline further and further on its present downward course. We must become more and more conscious of the other end of man's development on Earth, namely birth. We must consciously face this fact: that man evolves through a long period between death and a new birth and that then, within this evolution, he reaches a point where he dies, as it were, for the spiritual world — where conditions of his life in the spiritual world oblige him to pass over into another form of existence. He receives this other form of existence in that he lets himself be clothed with the physical and etheric body. What he has to receive by being clothed with the physical and etheric body he could not receive if he were simply to go on evolving in a straight line in the spiritual world. Hence although from his birth onwards we may only look upon the child with physical eyes, we will all the time be conscious of the fact: “This too is a continuation.” And we will not only look to what human existence experiences after death, i.e. to the spiritual continuation of the physical; but we will be conscious that physical existence here is a continuation of the spiritual, and that we, through education, have to carry on what has hitherto been done by higher beings without our participation. This alone will give the right mood and feeling to our whole system of teaching and education, if we fill ourselves with the consciousness: here, in this human being, you, with your action, have to achieve a continuation of what higher beings have done before his birth,

In this age when men have lost connection with the spiritual worlds in their thought and feeling, we are often asked an abstract question which in the light of a spiritual conception of the world has no real meaning. We are asked how so-called pre-natal education should be conducted. There are many people today who take things abstractly, but, if one takes them concretely, then in certain domains one simply cannot continue asking questions in an arbitrary manner. I once gave this example: On a road we see tracks. We can ask: Why are they there? Because a carriage has been driven over the road. Why was the carriage driven? Because its occupants wanted to reach a certain destination. Why did they want to reach a certain destination? The asking of questions must come to a stop somewhere in reality. If we remain in abstractions we can continue for ever asking why. We can go on turning the wheel of questions without end. Concrete thought will always find an end, but abstract thought goes on running around like a wheel for ever.

And so it is with the questions that are asked about domains that do not lie so close at hand. People begin thinking about education and then they ask about pre-natal education. But, my dear friends, before birth the human being is still in the protection of beings who stand above the physical. It is to them that we must leave the immediate and individual relationship between the world and the human being. Hence a pre-natal education cannot be addressed to the child itself. It can only be an unconscious result of what the parents — especially the mother — achieve. If until birth the mother behaves in such a way that she brings to expression in herself what is morally and intellectually right, in the true sense of the word, then of its own accord what the mother achieves in this continuous self-education will pass over to the child. The less we think of beginning to educate the child before it sees the light of the world and the more we think of leading a right and proper life ourselves, the better will it be for the child. Education can only begin when the child becomes a true member of the physical world — and that is when he begins to breathe the external air.

Now, when the child has come forth on to the physical plane, we must realize what has really happened for him in the transition from a spiritual to a physical plane. Firstly, we must recognize that the human being is really composed of two members. Before the human being comes down to Earth a union is entered into between the spirit and the soul — meaning by "spirit" what for the physical world of today is still entirely hidden, and what in Spiritual Science we call Spirit-Man, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Self. These three members of man's being are present in a certain way in the supersensible sphere to which we must now work our way through. And between death and a new birth we do already stand in a certain relationship to Spirit-Man, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Self.

Now, the force which proceeds from this trinity permeates the Soul element in man: Consciousness Soul, Intellectual or Mind Soul, and Sentient Soul. And if you were to observe the human being when, having passed through the existence between death and a new birth he is just preparing to descend into the physical world, then you would find the spiritual which we have just described united with the soul. Man descends, as it were, as Spirit-Soul or Soul-Spirit from a higher sphere into earthly existence. He clothes himself with earthly existence.

In a similar way we can describe the other member of man's being which unites itself with the one just described. We can say: down there on the Earth the Spirit-Soul is met by what arises through the processes of physical inheritance. And now the Soul-Spirit or Spirit-Soul meets with the Life-Body in such a way that two trinities are united with two other trinities. In the Spirit-Soul: Spirit-Man, Life-Spirit, and Spirit-Self are united with that which is soul, namely: Consciousness-Soul, Intellectual Soul, and Sentient Soul. These two trinities are united with one another, and descend into the physical world, where they are now to unite with the Sentient or Astral body, Etheric body, and Physical body. But these in turn are united — first in the body of the mother and then in the physical world — with the three kingdoms of the physical world: the mineral, the plant, and the animal kingdoms. So that here again, two trinities are united with one another.

If you regard with an open mind the child who has found his way into earthly life, you will observe that here in the child, Soul-Spirit or Spirit-Soul is as yet dis-united from the Life-Body. The task of education conceived in the spiritual sense is to bring the Soul-Spirit into harmony with the Life-Body. They must come into harmony with one another. They must be attuned to one another; for when the child is born into the physical world, they do not as yet fit one another. The task of the educator, and of the teacher too, is the mutual attunement of these two members.

Let us now consider this task more concretely. Among all the relationships which man has to the external world, the most important of all is breathing. We begin breathing at the very moment we enter the physical world. Breathing in the mother-body is still, if I may put it so, a preparatory breathing: it does not yet bring the being into a complete connection with the external world. The child only begins to breathe in the right sense of the word when he has left the mother-body.

Now, this breathing signifies a very great deal for the human being, for in this breathing there dwells already the whole threefold system of physical man. You know that among the members of the threefold physical human system we reckon, in the first place, the digestion and metabolism. But the metabolism, the assimilation, is intimately connected at one end with the breathing. The breathing process is connected with the blood circulation through metabolism. The blood circulation receives into the human body the substances of the external world which are introduced by another path, so that on the one hand the breathing is connected with the whole metabolic system or digestive system.

On the other hand the breathing is also connected with the nerve-sense life of man. As we breathe in, we are continually pressing the cerebro-spinal fluid into the brain: and, as we breathe out, we press it back again into the body. Thus we transplant the rhythm of breathing to the brain. And as the breathing is connected on the one hand with digestion and assimilation, so on the other hand it is connected with the life of nerves and senses. We may say: the breathing is the most important mediator between the outer physical world and the human being who is entering it.

But we must also be aware that this breathing cannot yet, by any means, function so as fully to maintain the life of the body. This applies particularly to the one side of breathing. At the beginning of his physical existence man has not yet achieved the right harmony, the right connection, between the breathing process and the nerve-sense process. Observation of the nature of the child will show us that he has not yet learnt to breathe in such a way that breathing maintains the nerve-sense process rightly. In this lies the finer characterization of what we really have to do with the child. We must first gain an Anthropological-Anthroposophical understanding of the human being. Thus, the most important measures in education will consist in paying attention to all that rightly organizes the breathing process into the nerve-sense process. In the higher sense the child has to learn to take up into his spirit what is bestowed on him in that he is born to breathe.

This part of education will, you see, tend to the side of the soul and spirit. By harmonizing the breathing with the nerve-sense process we draw all that is soul and spirit into the physical life of the child. To express it roughly we may say: the child cannot yet breathe in the right inner way, and education will have to consist in teaching the child to breathe rightly.

But there is yet another thing which the child cannot do rightly, and this must be taken in hand, in order that a harmony may thereby be created between the two members of the child's being — between the bodily corporeality and the Spirit-Soul. What the child cannot do properly at the beginning of his existence is this: he cannot yet accomplish the alternation between waking and sleeping in the way proper to man. It will strike you that what we have to emphasize from the spiritual side generally appears to be in contradiction to the external world-order. Externally speaking it is of course possible to say: “But the child can sleep perfectly well: indeed he sleeps far more than the human being at a later stage of life. The child sleeps his very way into life.” Nevertheless, what inwardly underlies sleeping and waking, this the child cannot yet do. The child experiences all sorts of things on the physical plane. He uses his little limbs: he eats, drinks, and breathes. He alternates between sleeping and waking, but he is not able to carry into the spiritual world in sleep all that he experiences on the physical plane — all that he sees with his eyes, and hears with his ears, and does with his little hands, and the way he kicks and tosses with his little legs. All this he is not able to carry into the spiritual world and work upon there, carrying the results of this work back again on the physical plane.

The child's sleep is characterized by the very fact that it is a different sleep from that of the grown-up person. What distinguishes the sleep of the adult is that his experiences during waking life are then worked upon, are metamorphosed. The child is not yet able to carry into his sleep what he has experienced between waking and falling asleep again. Thus in sleep the child still lives his way into the universal world order without being able to take with him what he has experienced externally in the physical world. It is this that a rightly guided education must accomplish: it must enable the human being to carry over his experiences on the physical plane into what the Soul-Spirit or Spirit-Soul is engaged upon during sleep.

We, as teachers and educators, cannot really teach the child anything about the higher world. For what enters the human being from the higher world enters in during the time between falling asleep and waking again. All we can do is to use the time which the human being spends on the physical plane in such a way that he gradually becomes able to carry over into the spiritual world what we have done with him here; and that, in carrying it over, he can receive and bring back with him power from the spiritual world which will help him to be a true human being in physical existence.

Thus you see that all our activity of teaching and education is first directed to a very lofty domain — namely to the teaching of right breathing, and to the teaching of the right rhythm in the alternation of sleeping and waking. Needless to say, my dear friends, in our educational practice there will be no question of direct training of the breathing, or of direct training of sleeping and waking. All this will only be in the background. What we have to learn will be concrete measures of educational practice. But we must be conscious of what we are doing, right down to the foundations. When we teach this subject or that, we must be fully aware that we are working either in the one direction to bring the Spirit-Soul more into the earthly body, or in the other direction to bring the bodily nature into the Spirit-Soul.

Do not let us underestimate the importance of what has now been said. For you can only become good teachers and educators if you pay attention not merely to what you do, but also to what you are. It is really for this reason that we have Spiritual Science with its anthroposophical outlook: to perceive the significance of the fact that man is effective in the world not only through what he does, but above all through what he is. Truly, my dear friends, it makes a very great difference whether one teacher of the school or another comes through the classroom door to any group of children. There is a big difference; and the difference is not merely that the one teacher is more skilful in his practice than the other. No, the main difference — the one that is really influential in teaching — lies in what the teacher bears within him, as his constant trend of thought, and carries with him into the classroom.

A teacher who occupies himself with thoughts of the evolving human being will work very differently upon his pupils from a teacher who knows nothing of all these things, and never gives them a thought. Once you begin to know the cosmic significance of the breathing process and of its transformation through education, and the cosmic significance of the rhythm between sleeping and waking — what is it that happens? The moment you have such thoughts something in you is combating your purely personal nature. The moment you have such thoughts the very basis of this spirit of personality is of less effect. In that moment all that enhances a personal spirit is damped down, all that man possesses through the fact that he is a physical man. If you have quenched this personal spirit, then, as you enter the classroom, it will come about through inner forces that a relationship is established between the pupils and yourself.

Now, it may be that at first external facts will contradict this. You enter the school and perhaps you find yourself faced with scamps, both boys and girls, who make fun of you. Now you must be so strengthened with such thoughts as we shall here cultivate that you do not pay any attention to their ridicule but accept it as something perfectly external. Accept it, shall I say, like the external circumstances that when you go out without an umbrella it suddenly begins to rain. Undoubtedly this is an unpleasant surprise. But we usually make a distinction between being ridiculed and being taken by surprise in a shower when we have no umbrella. This distinction must not be made. We must evolve thoughts so strong that the distinction is not made — that we take ridicule like a good shower of rain. If we are permeated by these thoughts and have real faith in them, then (perhaps after a week, or a fortnight, or maybe longer still), we shall certainly find that however much the children may laugh at us, we have nevertheless established a relationship with them such as we would wish.

Through what we make of ourselves we must come to this relationship, even in the face of difficulty and resistance. And we must above all become conscious of this first of educational tasks: that we must first make something of ourselves, so that a relationship in thought, an inner spiritual relationship, may hold sway between the teacher and the children. So that we enter the classroom with the conscious thought: this spiritual relationship is present — not only the words, not only all that I say to the children in the way of instruction and admonition, not only my skilfulness in teaching. These are externals which we must certainly cultivate, but we shall only cultivate them rightly if we establish the importance of the relation between the thoughts that fill us and the effects of our teaching on the children, in body and soul.

Our whole conduct and bearing as we teach will not be complete unless we keep this thought in our minds: the human being was born. Thereby the possibility was given him to do what he could not do in the spiritual world. We have to teach and educate first of all so as to give the breathing its right harmony in relation to the spiritual world. The human being could not accomplish the rhythmical alternation between waking and sleeping in the same way in the spiritual world as in the physical world. By education, by teaching, we must regulate this rhythm in such a way that the bodily nature in the human being becomes properly membered with the Soul-Spirit. Needless to say, this is not something that we should have before us as an abstraction, and apply it as such directly to our teaching, but this thought about the human being must be our rule and guide.

This is what I wanted to give you in this present introduction. Tomorrow we will begin with the subject of education proper.

Source: http://www.webcitation.org/5wKKulJLx

Monday, April 29, 2019

September 8, 1991: The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita: How Rudolf Steiner entered my life

"The significance of a philosophical poem such as the Bhagavad Gita, or similar works of world literature, can be rightly valued only by one to whom they are not just theory, but destiny."
Rudolf Steiner

Sunday, September 8, 1991. I walked into the residents' lounge of the Himalayan Institute's headquarters, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Darlene and I had been living there for ten years. I had received a mantra initiation from my guru, Swamiji, eleven days before (August 28, Goethe's birthday). I was 44 years old. I was the custodian of the residents' lounge library, and was in the lounge almost every day. I'd been on fire for the Bhagavad Gita since the Seventies; it was my bible. On this day I noticed a new book on one of the shelves: The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita, by Rudolf Steiner. I opened it 
— and that was that.

"The Lord dwells in the hearts of all creatures
and whirls them round upon the wheel of maya.
Run to him for refuge with all your strength,
and peace profound will be yours through his grace."

                                   — Bhagavad Gita 18:61-62

Guru Gita 76

Dhyana mulam guror murtih

Puja mulam guroh padam

Mantra mulam guror vakyam

Moksha mulam guroh krpa

The root of meditation is the guru's form

The root of worship is the guru's feet

The root of mantra is the guru's word

The root of liberation is the guru's grace.

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you"
— Matthew 7:7

Related posts:

Anthroposophy: Life flowing from the Spirit

Rudolf Steiner:  "Anthroposophy can thrive only as a living thing. The essence of its being is life. It is life flowing from the spirit. Hence it needs to be fostered by the living soul, in warmth of heart."

Sunday, April 28, 2019

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1 Corinthians 15:12-58

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Suffering is a side effect of higher development

Rudolf Steiner:  "Suffering is a side effect of higher development. We cannot avoid it in attaining insight. Human beings will one day say to themselves: 'I am grateful for the joy the world gives me, but if I had to face the choice of keeping my joys or my sufferings, I would want to keep my sufferings for the sake of gaining insight.' Every suffering presents itself after a certain time as something we cannot do without, because we have to grasp it as part of the development contained within evolution. There is no development without suffering, just as there is no triangle without angles. When unison with Christ is attained, we will see that all the preceding sufferings were necessary preconditions for this unison. In order for the union with Christ to be, suffering must be; it is an absolute factor in development. 
By overcoming egotism, human beings get over the mood of depression and feeling lamed or paralyzed. In this phenomenon we can see something that is good: strength out of insufficiency or inadequacy. Thank God that I am encouraged by an inadequate deed--that is, by its failure--to further action! Human striving is not a vague matter of luck. Only those whose free will turns away from the destiny of the human being remain unredeemed. In the synthesis of the world process, suffering is a factor."

April 21, 1909. In The Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World, 2008 edition, p. 147

Now I lay me down to sleep

Rudolf Steiner: “I fall asleep. Until I awaken, my soul will be in the world of spirit and will meet there the guiding impulse-giver of my earthly life, my genius, who dwells in the world of spirit, hovering around my head.”

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Life in the fast lane

The wildcard of love

The world's shortest man holding the tip of a finger of the world's tallest man

"It is through a love of fellow men (individually or collectively) that our fixed karma becomes less fixed. We are involved in their karma also, and according to the wildcard of love, we are open to possibilities that hitherto had not existed for us."

Source: http://supernal-interests.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/chapter-7-physics-recommended.html

Beatings will continue until morale improves

"The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood."
— Voltaire

The Return of the Prodigal Son

And so, how to maintain the connection to the present and nurture it, whilst work creatively and safely with future ideas and projects?
1. Never become personally invested in your projections for the future; i.e. they are not selfish, but a furtherance for all.
2. Try to limit complaining in general. One can work to better a situation but complaining without the actual work is injurious to the ethers. There are elemental beings who hear and feel this and become upset and agitated. It goes on to spread more agitation generally. Even casual remarks (like about the weather) are potentially bringing everyone and everything down. Conversation does almost expect it, but it is far better to invoke cheerful observations in light conversation.
3. Give thanks daily. It is so important to be thankful for what one has - because to live in a disharmonic wanting brings chaos to the immediate life. Having visions for times to come, and plans for a different future, or even to participate in truly creative and innovative ideas, requires especially that a person find the level mean within, which calms those elementals of discontent and disquiet. It requires the ability to be able to soothe oneself at the same time.
"In spiritual life, so long as you have grasped it properly, nothing can go wrong."  — Rudolf Steiner
"Whenever you see evil you should look into your own soul and ask yourself, Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?" — Rudolf Steiner

"Gratitude is the vessel that we lift to the Gods that they may fill it with their wonder-gifts. If in all earnestness we foster the feeling of thankfulness, then gratitude, living devotion, must be there to the invisible spiritual givers of life; and it is the most beautiful way to be led from one's personality to the supersensible if this guidance goes through gratitude. Gratitude ultimately brings us to veneration and love of the life-bestowing spirit of man. It gives birth to love, and love makes the heart open for the spirit-powers pervading life. If after every meditation we arouse in ourselves the feeling of gratefulness and reverence — a feeling that we can call a mood of prayer — and be aware in what grace we are taking part, we shall realize that we are on the right path for spiritual worlds to approach us."

Rudolf Steiner, Guidance in Esoteric Training

Source of first quote: http://888-esoteric-christianity.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/why-did-atlantis-fall-27th-february.html

Friday, April 26, 2019

Gratitude is the vessel that we lift to the Gods that they may fill it with their wonder-gifts.

"Gratitude is the vessel that we lift to the Gods that they may fill it with their wonder-gifts. If in all earnestness we foster the feeling of thankfulness, then gratitude, living devotion, must be there to the invisible spiritual givers of life; and it is the most beautiful way to be led from one's personality to the supersensible if this guidance goes through gratitude. Gratitude ultimately brings us to veneration and love of the life-bestowing spirit of man. It gives birth to love, and love makes the heart open for the spirit-powers pervading life. If after every meditation we arouse in ourselves the feeling of gratefulness and reverence — a feeling that we can call a mood of prayer — and be aware in what grace we are taking part, we shall realize that we are on the right path for spiritual worlds to approach us."

Rudolf Steiner, Guidance in Esoteric Training

Thursday, April 25, 2019

East/West Advaita and the Threefold Social Organism

Rudolf Steiner, a lecture given August 21, 1920:

Genuine knowledge of the impulses holding sway in humanity, knowledge that must be acquired if we wish to take a position in life in any direction, is possible only if we attempt to go deeply into the differences of soul conditions existing between the members of the human race. In respect to the right progress for all mankind, it is certainly necessary that human beings understand one another, that an element common to all men is present. This common element, however, can only develop when we focus on the varieties of soul dispositions and developments that exist among the different members of humanity. In an age of abstract thinking and mere intellectualism such as the one in which we find ourselves, people are only too prone to look only for the abstract common denominators. Because of this they fail to arrive at the actual concrete unity, for it is precisely by grasping the differences that one comprehends the former. From any number of viewpoints, I have referred in particular to the mutual relationships resulting out of these differences between the world's population of the West and East. Today, I should like to point to such differentiations from yet another standpoint.

When we look at the obvious features of present general culture, what do we actually find? The form taken by the thoughts of most people in the civilized world really shows an essentially Western coloring, something originating in the characteristic tendencies of the West. Look at newspapers today that are published in America or England, in France, Germany, Austria or Russia. Although you will definitely sense certain differences in the mode of thinking, and so on, you will also notice one thing they have in common. If this is the Western region here (see sketch), this the middle one and that the Eastern, this common element, which comes to light everywhere, say, in newspapers as well as in ordinary popular literary and scientific publications, does not derive its impulse from the depths of the national characteristics. In a St. Petersburg paper, for instance, you do not find what arises from the heritage of the Russian people. You do not discover the heritage of Central European peoples by reading a Viennese paper or one from Berlin. The element determining the basic configuration and character (of all publications) has basically arisen in the West, and then poured itself into the individual regions. The fundamental coloring of what has come to the fore from among the peoples of the West has, therefore, essentially spread out over the civilized world.

When things are viewed superficially, one might doubt this; but if you go more deeply into the matters under discussion here, you can no longer doubt them. Consider the attitude, the basic sentiment, the conceptual form, expressed in a newspaper from Vienna or Berlin, or a literary or scientific work from either city. Compare this with a publication from London — quite aside from the language — and you will discover that there is a greater similarity between the publication from London and the book from Vienna, Paris, or even New York or Chicago than there is between the present thoughts and ideas in literary and scientific works from Vienna and Berlin, and the special nuance which Fichte for example, poured into his thoughts as an enlivening element. I shall demonstrate this to you by citing just one example.

There is a saying by Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the great philosopher who was born at the turn of the nineteenth century, that is so characteristic of him that no one today understands it. It goes, “The external world is the substance of duty become visible.” The sentence means nothing less than this. When we look out into the world of mountains, clouds, woods and rivers, of animals, plants and minerals, all this is in itself something devoid of meaning, without reality, it is merely a phenomenon. It is only there to enable the human being in his evolution to fulfill his duty. For I could not carry out my obligations in a world in which I would not be surrounded by things that I could touch. There must be wood, there must be a hammer. In itself, it has no significance and no materiality. It is only the substance of my duty which has become sense-perceptible. Everything outside exists primarily for the purpose of bringing duty to light.

This saying was coined by a man a century ago out of the innermost sentiments of his soul and character as well as his folk spirit. It did not become generally known. When people talk about Johann Gottlieb Fichte today, when they write books about him and mention him in newspaper articles, they only perceive the external form of his words. No one really understands anything about Fichte. You may take everything you find an him today, either literary or scientific, but it has nothing whatever to do with Johann Gottlieb Fichte. It does, however, have a great deal to do with what arose out of the Western folk spirit, and has spread over the rest of the civilized world.

These more delicate relationships are not discerned. That is the reason why nobody even thinks of characterizing in a deep and exhaustive manner the essential feature of what arises from the spirit of the various nationalities. For it is all inundated today by what arises from the West. In Central Europe, in the East, people imagine that they are thinking along their own ethnic lines. This is not the case, they think in accordance with what they have adopted from the West.

In what I am now saying lies the key to much of what is really the riddle of the present age. This riddle can be solved only when we become aware of the specific qualities arising from the various regions of the world. There is, first of all, the East that today certainly offers us no true picture of itself. If untruthfulness were not the underlying characteristic of all public life in our time, the world would not be so ignorant of the fact that what we call Bolshevism is spreading rapidly throughout the East and into Asia; that it has gone far already. People have a great desire to sleep through the actual events, and are glad to be kept in ignorance. It is therefore easy to withhold from them what is really taking place. Thus, people will live to see the East and the whole of Asia inundated by the most extreme, radical product of Western thought, namely Bolshevism, an element utterly foreign to these people.

If we wish to look into what it is that the world of the East brings forth out of the depths of its folk character, it becomes obvious that it is possible to discover the fundamental nuance of feeling in the East only by going back into earlier times and learning through them. For, in regard to its original character, the East has become completely decadent. Forgetting its very nature, the East has allowed itself to be inundated by what I have described as the most extreme, radical offshoots of Western thought. Certainly, it is true that what was once there is still living within Eastern humanity, but today it is all covered up. What once lived in the East, what once vibrated through Eastern souls, survives in its final results where it is no longer understood, where it has turned into a superstitious ritual, where it has become the hypocritical murmurings of the popes of the Orthodox Russian ritual, incomprehensible even to those who believe they understand it. A direct line runs from ancient India to these formulas of the Russian church ritual, which are now only rattled off to the multitudes in the form of lip service. For this whole inclination which thus expressed itself, which bestowed on the Eastern soul its imprint and also does so today in a suppressed form, is the potential for developing a spiritual state of mind that guides the human being towards the prenatal, to what exists in our life before birth, before conception. In the very beginning, the nature of what permeated the East as a world conception and religious attitude was connected with the fact that this East possessed a concept which has been completely lost to the West. As I have said here before, the West has the concept of immortality, not that of “not having been born,” of “unbornness.” We have the word immortality, we do not have the term “unbornness.” This implies that in our thinking we continue life after death, but not into the time before birth. On the other hand, the East possessed that special soul inclination it had that still included Imagination and Inspiration in its thoughts and concepts. By means of this particular manner of expressing the conceptual content of its soul world, the East was far less predisposed to pay heed to the life after death than to that before birth. In regard to the human being it viewed life here in the sense world as something that comes to man after he has received his tasks prior to birth, as something that he has to absolve here in the sense of the task given him. He was disposed to regard this life as a duty set human beings by the gods before they descended into this earthly body of flesh. It goes without saying that such a world conception encompasses both repeated earth lives and the lives between death and birth; for one can quite well speak of a single life after death, but not of only one before birth. That would be an impossible teaching. After all, one who refers at all to pre-existence would then not speak of one earth life only, which is something that should be obvious to you upon reflection. It was the way they had of looking up into the supersensory world, which was brought about by the whole predisposition of these Eastern souls, but it was one that focused their attention on the life we lead between death and a new birth prior to being drawn down to earthly life. Everything else, everything in the way of political, social, historical and economical ideas was only the consequence of what dwelt in the soul due to the orientation towards the life between birth and conception.

This life, this mood of soul, is particularly fitted to turn the human soul's gaze to the spiritual, to fill man with the supersensible world. For even here on earth, man considers himself entirely a creation of the spiritual world, indeed, as a being who, in the world of the senses, is merely pursuing his supersensible life. Everything that became decadent in later ages, the establishment of kingdoms, the social structure of the ancient Orient and its very constitution, developed from this special underlying mood of soul. This soul condition might be said today to be overpowered, because it became weak and crippled, because it was only promulgated as if out of what I would like to call “rachitic” soul members, as for example, in the works of Rabindranath Tagore, which are like something that is poured into vague, nebulous formulas. In actual practice, we are today inundated by what expresses itself in Bolshevism as the most extreme, radical wing of Western thinking. The West will have to experience that something it did not wish to have for itself is moving over into the East, that in a not very distant future, what the West pushed off on the East will surge back upon it from there. This will result in a strange kind of self-knowledge.

What has this remarkable development in the East led to? It has led the people of the East to employ the holy inner zeal they once utilized to foster the impulse for the supersensory world and to apprehend the spiritual in all its purity, to accept the most materialistic view of outer life with religious fervor. Even though Bolshevism is the most extreme consequence of the most materialistic view of the world and social life, it will, as it moves further into Asia, increasingly transform itself into something that is received there with the same religious zeal as was the spiritual world in former times. In the East, people will speak of the economic life in the same terminology once used to speak of the sacred Brahma. The fundamental disposition of the soul does not change; it endures, for it is not the content (of the soul) that matters here. The most materialistic views can be approached with the same fervor formerly used to grasp the most spiritual.

Let us now turn and look at the West. The West has given rise to the human soul's most recent development. It must be of special interest to us because it has brought forth the view which, rising like a mist, has since spread over the whole civilized world. It is the manner of conception that already found, its most significant expression in Francis Bacon and Hobbes; in minds of more recent times, in the economist Adam Smith, for example; among philosophers, in John Stuart Mill, and among historians, in Buckle, and so on. It is a form of thinking that no longer contains any Imagination and Inspiration in its conceptions and ideas, where the human being is dependent on directing his conceptual life entirely outwards to the sense world, absorbing the impressions of the latter according to the associations of thoughts resulting from that same world. This came to its most brilliant philosophical expression in David Hume, also in other such as Locke.

There is something very strange here that must, however, be mentioned. When we focus on the West, we must pay heed to how minds like John Stuart Mill, for example, speak of human thought associations. The term “association of ideas” is in fact a completely Western thought form, but in Central Europe, for instance, it has been in such common use for more than half a century that people speak of it as if it had originated there. When psychology is taught in John Stuart Mill's sense, one says, for instance, that in the human soul, thoughts first connect themselves by means of one thought embracing another, or by one thought attaching itself to another, or by one permeating another. This implies that people look upon the thought world and view the individual thoughts as they would little spheres that relate themselves to each other (see drawing). To be consistent one would have to eliminate everything to do with the ego and astral body, inwardly referring only to a mere thought mechanism, something that a great number of people do, in fact, speak of. The soul of man is disemboweled, as it were. When you read a book by John Stuart Mill with its deductive and inductive logic, you feel as if you were mentally placed in a dissecting room where a number of animals hang that are having their innards taken out. Likewise, in the way Mill proceeds, one feels as if man's soul-spiritual being were disemboweled. He first empties the human being of everything within, leaving only the outer sheath. Then, thoughts do, indeed, appear only like so many associated atomistic formations that coalesce when we form an opinion. The tree is green. Here “green” is the one thought, “tree” is the other, and the two flow together. The inner being is no longer alive; it has been disemboweled and only the thought mechanism remains.

This manner of conceiving of things is not derived from the sense world; it is imposed upon it. In my book The Riddles of Philosophy I have drawn attention to how a mind such as John Stuart Mill's is in no way related to the inner world; it is simply given to behaving like a mere onlooker in whom the external world is reflected. Our concern here is that this method of thinking brings about what I have often described as the tragedy of materialism, which is that it no longer comprehends matter. For how can materialism fathom the nature of matter — and we have seen that, by going deeply into the human being, one penetrates into the true material element of the earth — if it first eliminates in thought what actually represents matter? In this regard, an extreme consequence already has been reached.

This extreme consequence could easily be traced today if it were not for the fact that people never look at the whole context of things, only at the details. Imagine where it must lead if all the actual inner flexible aspects of the ego are eliminated, if the human being is emptied of the very element that can enlighten him in the sense world concerning the spirit. Just think, where must this finally lead? It must result in the human being feeling that he no longer has anything of the actual content of the world. He looks outside at the sense world without realizing the truth of what we said yesterday, namely, that behind the external world of the senses there are spiritual beings. When he gives himself up to illusions, he assumes that atoms and molecules exist outside. He dreams of atoms and molecules. If man has no illusion concerning the external world, he can say nothing but that the whole outer world contains no truth, that it really is nothing. Inwardly, on the other hand, he has found nothing; he is empty. He must talk himself into believing that there is something inside him. He has no grasp of the spirit; therefore, he suggests spirit to himself, developing the suggestion of spirit. He is not capable of maintaining this suggestion without rigorously denying the reality of matter. This implies that he accommodates himself to a world view which does not perceive the spirit but only suggests it, merely persuading itself into the belief of spirit, while denying matter. You find the most extreme Western exponent of this in Mrs. Eddy's Christian Science as the counterpart of what I described just now for the East. This was bound to arise as the final outcome of such conceptions as those of Locke, David Hume or John Stuart Mill. Christian Science as a concept is, however, also the final consequence of what has been brought about in recent times by the unfortunate division of man's soul life into knowledge and faith.

Once people start restricting themselves to knowledge on one side and faith on the other, a faith that no longer even tries to be knowledge, this leads in the end to their not having the spirit at all. Faith finally ceases to have a content. Then, people must suggest a content to themselves. They make no attempt to reach the genuine spirit through a spiritual science. In their search for the spirit, they arrive at Mrs. Eddy's Christian Science, this spirit which has come to expression there as the final consequence. The politics of the West have for some time been breathing this spirit. It does not sustain itself on realities; it lives on self-made suggestions. Naturally, when it is not a matter of an in-depth cure, one can even effect cures with Christian Science, as has been reported, and accounts are given of its marvelous cures. Likewise, all kinds of edifying results can be achieved with the West's politics of suggestion.

Yet, this Western concept possesses certain qualities, qualities of significance. We can best understand them when we contrast them with those of the East. On looking back to the ages when the Eastern qualities came especially to the fore, we find that they were those which, first of all, were capable of focusing the soul's eye on the prenatal life. They were therefore preeminently fitted to constitute what can represent the spiritual part, the spiritual world, in a social organism. Fundamentally speaking, all that we have created in Central Europe and the West is in a certain sense the legacy of the East. I have already mentioned this on another occasion. The East was particularly predisposed to cultivate the spiritual life. The West, on the other hand, is especially talented at developing thought forms. I have just described them in a somewhat unfavorable light. They can, however, be depicted in a favorable light as well, namely, if we consider all that has originated with Bacon of Verulam, Buckle, Mill, Thomas Reid, Locke, Hume, Adam Smith, Spencer, and others of like mind, for example, Bentham. [ Note 59 ] On the one hand, we admit that these thought forms are certainly not suited to penetrate into a spiritual world by means of Imagination and Inspiration, to comprehend the life before birth. Yet, on the other hand, we are obliged to say, particularly when one studies how this manner of thinking has pervaded and lives in our Western science, that all this is especially appropriate for economic thinking; and one day, when the economic life of the social organism will have to be developed, we shall have to become students of Western thought, of Thomas Reid, John Stuart Mill, Buckle, Adam Smith, and the rest. They have only made the mistake of applying their form of thinking to science, to epistemology, and the spiritual life. This thinking is in order when we train ourselves by means of it and reflect on how to form associations, how best to manage the economy. Mill should not have written a book on logic; the spiritual capacity he applied to doing this should have been used for describing in detail the configuration of a given industrial association. We must realize that when anyone today wishes to produce a book such as my Towards Social Renewal, it is necessary for him to have learned to understand in what manner one attains to the spiritual sphere in the Oriental sense, and in what manner — although following a much more erratic path — one arrives at economic thinking in the West. For both directions belong together and are necessary to one another.

As far as a view of life is concerned, this Western thinking then does lead to pseudo-sciences like the one by Mrs. Eddy, her Christian Science. We must not, however, look at matters according to what they cannot be, but consider what they can be. For unity must come about through the cooperation of all human beings on earth, not by some abstract, theoretical structure of ideas that is simply laid down, and then viewed as a unity.

At this point, one may ask from where in the human organization this particular thinking of Mill, Buckle, and Adam Smith originates. We find that Oriental thinking has basically arisen from a contact with the world, especially when looking back to the more ancient forms of Oriental philosophy. It is a thinking, a feeling, which gives the impression that, out of the earth itself, the roots of a tree grow and produce leaves. In just this way, the ancient Indian, for example, seems to us to be united with the whole earth; his thoughts appear to us to have grown out of earthly existence in a spiritual manner, just as a tree's leaves and blossoms appear to have grown out of it by means of all the forces of the earth.

It is precisely this attachment to the external world in the Oriental person, the absorption of the spirituality, that I have referred to as lying beyond the sense world. In the West, everything is brought out of the instincts, the depth of the personality — I might say, from man's metabolic system, not the external world. For the Oriental, the world works upon both his senses and Spirit, kindling within him what he calls his holy Brahma. In the West, we have what arises from the body's metabolism and leads to associations of ideas; it is something that is particularly suited to characterize the economic life, something that does not apply until the next earth incarnation. For, with the exception of the head, what we bear as our physical organism is something that does not find its true expression, as we have outlined, until the following life on earth. We have been given our head from our previous earth life; our limbs and our metabolic system are Borne by us into the next earthly incarnation. This is a metamorphosis from one life on earth to the next. Hence, in the West, people think with something that only becomes mature in the following earth life. For this reason, Western thinking is particularly predisposed to focus on the life after death, to speak of immortality, not of eternity, not to know the term, “unbornness,” but only the word, “immortality.” It is the West which represents life after death as something that the human being should above all else be concerned about. Yet, even now, something I might call radical, but in a radical sense something noble, is preparing itself in the West out of the totally materialistic culture. One with the faculty to look a little more deeply into what is thus trying to evolve makes a strange discovery. Although people strive in the most intimate way for life after death, for some kind of immortality, hence, for an egotistic life after death, they strive in such a manner that, out of this effort, something special will develop. While a large part of humanity still harbors an illusion in this regard, something quite remarkable is, oddly enough, developing in the West. Since individual elements of the ideas concerning life after death being developed by the West are reflected to a certain extent in a great majority of Europeans, they, too, have especially perfected this preoccupation with the postmortem life. The European, however, would prefer to say, “Well, my religion promises me a life after death, but in this transitory, unsatisfactory, merely material earth life I need make no effort to secure the immortality of my soul. Christ died to make me immortal; I need not strive for immortality. It is mine once and for all; Christ makes me immortal.” — or something to that effect.

In the West, particularly in America, something different is preparing itself. Out of the most diverse, occasionally the most bizarre and trivial religious world conceptions, we see something trying to arise which, although it has quite materialistic forms, is nevertheless connected with. something that will be a part of life in the future, particularly in regard to this world-view of immortality. Among certain sects in America, the belief is prevalent that one cannot survive at all after death if one has made no effort in this earthly life, if one has not accomplished something whereby one acquires this life after death. A judgment concerning good and evil is envisioned after death that does not merely follow the pattern of earthly truth. He who makes no effort here on earth to bear through the portals of death what he has developed in his soul will be diffused and scattered in the cosmic all. What a person wishes to carry with him through death must be developed here. A man dies the second death of the soul — to use the saying of Paul — who does not provide here for his soul to become immortal. This is something that is definitely developing in the West as a world concept in place of the leisurely, passive, awaiting what will happen after death. It is something that is emerging in certain American sects. Perhaps today it is still little noticed, but there is a great deal of feeling in favor of viewing life here in a moral sense, and to arrange the conduct of life in such a manner that by means of what one does here, something is carried through the gate of death.

As I said, in the East, the particular attention to the life before birth developed long ago. This made it possible for life on earth to be viewed as a continuation of this prenatal, supersensory life in the spirit. Earthly life thus received its content, not out of itself, but out of the spiritual life. In the West, an attitude is developing today for the future that will have nothing to do with a passive, indifferent life of waiting here for death because the life beyond is guaranteed; instead, the knowledge is growing that man carries nothing through the portal of death unless care is taken on earth to make something out of what one already has here.

Thus, Western thinking is adapted, on the one hand, to organizing economic matters within the social organism; on the other hand, it is suited to develop further the one-sided doctrine of life after death. This is why spiritualism has had a special opportunity for developing in the West, and from there, could invade the rest of the world. After all, spiritualism was only devised to give a sort of guarantee of immortality to those who could no longer attain to any conviction concerning immortality by means of any kind of inner development. For, in most instances, a person actually becomes a spiritualist in order to receive by some means or the other the certain guarantee that he is immortal ,after death.

Between these two worlds lies something that is implied in Fichte's words, “The external world is the substance of my duty become visible.” As I said before, people really have no understanding for this mode of thinking, and what is written today about Fichte could well be compared to what a blind man might say about color. Particularly in the last few years, a tremendous amount of talking and lecturing has been done about this saying by Fichte, but it was all accomplished in such a way that one is disposed to say that Fichte, that out-and-out Central European mind, has really been americanized by the German newspapers and writers of literature. One is confronted with americanized versions of Fichte. There, we find the nuance of human soul life which, in a special way, is supposed to develop the middle member of the social organism, the one that arises from the relationship of man to man. It would be of benefit if some of you would for once make an in-depth study — it isn't easy — of one of Fichte's writings where he speaks as though nature did not exist at all. Duty, for example, and everything else is deduced by first proving that external human beings actually exist in whom the materialized substance of duty can become reality. Here, all the raw material is contained, so to speak, from which the rights and state organism of the threefold social order have to be put together.

What, then, is the actual cause of the catastrophic events in the past few years? The basic reason is that there was no living perception, no feeling, for such matters. Berlin's policies are American. This is fine for America, but it is not suitable for Berlin. This is why Berlin's politics amount to nothing. For, just imagine, since American policies were constantly carried out in Berlin or Vienna, we could just as well have called Berlin, New York, apart from the difference in language, and Vienna, Chicago for all the difference there would have been otherwise. When, in Central Europe, something is done that is completely foreign to it, something originating in the West where it has its rightful place, then the primal essence of the folk spirit is aroused and gives it the lie without the people being aware of it. This was basically the case in recent decades. This was the underlying phenomenon of what happened, the phenomenon that consists, for instance, in the fact that people have trampled Goethe's thinking underfoot, and as another example, have read Ralph Waldo Trine  out of a sort of instinct. Actually, all our aristocratic dandies in politics have shown an interest in Trine, and received their special inner stimulus or whatever from that direction. When affairs came to the boiling point, they even turned to Woodrow Wilson; and he who would now again like to be President of the German Republic still has that frame of mind that allows his brain automatically to roll out Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points. Thus, in recent times, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, we experienced how a formerly truly representative German personality spouted forth americanisms. This is the best and most immediate example of how matters really stand at present. Indeed, we must be able to see through these archetypal phenomena if we wish to understand what is actually happening today. If we merely pick up a newspaper and read Prince Max von Baden's speeches, simply studying them out of context, then this is something absolutely worthless today. It is a mere kaleidoscope of words. Only when we are able to place such things into the whole context of the world can we hope to understand anything about the world. No progress can be made until people realize how necessary it is today that world understanding be acquired if one wishes to have a say. The most characteristic sign of the time is the belief that when a group of individuals have set up some trashy proposition as a general program — such as the unity of all men regardless of race, nation or color, and so forth — something has been accomplished. Nothing has been accomplished except to throw sand into people's eyes. Something real is attained only when we note the differences and realize what world conditions are. Formerly, human beings could live in accordance with their instincts. This is no longer possible; they must learn to live consciously. This can be done only by looking deeply into what is actually happening.

The East was supreme in regard to life before birth and repeated earthly lives that are connected with it. The greatness of the West consisted in its disposition in regard to life after death. Here, in the middle (see drawing on next page), the actual science of history has originated, although today it is as yet misunderstood. Take Hegel as an example. In Hegel's works, we have neither preexistence nor postexistence; there is neither life before birth nor after death, but there is a spirited grasp of history. Hegel begins with logic, goes from there to a philosophy of nature, develops his doctrine of the soul, then that of the state, and ends with the triad of art, religion and science. They are his world content. There is no mention of preexistence or an immortal soul, only of the spirit that lives here in this world.

Preexistence, postexistence — this is really life in the present state of mankind, the permeation of history. Read what has been drawn up particularly by Hegel as a philosophy of history. In libraries, one generally finds the pages of his books still uncut! Not many editions have appeared of Hegel's works. In the eighties of the last century, Eduard von Hartmann wrote that in all of Germany, where twenty universities exist that have faculties of philosophy, no more than two of the instructors had read Hegel! What he said could not be refuted; it was true. Nonetheless, it hardly needs to be said that all the students were ready to swear to what they had been told about Hegel by professors who had never read him. Do familiarize yourselves with his work and you will find that here, in fact, historical conception has come about, the experience of what goes on between human beings. There you also find the material from which the state, the rights sphere of the threefold social organism, has to be created. We can learn about the constitution of the spiritual organism from the Orient; the constitution of the economic sphere is to be learned from the West.

In this way, we have to look into the differentiations of humanity all over the whole earth, and can gain an understanding of the matter from one side or the other. If the goal is approached directly, namely, if the social life is studied, one arrives at the threefold order as developed in my book, Towards Social Renewal. By thus studying the life of mankind throughout the earth, we come to the realization that there is one part with a special disposition for the economy; there is another with a special aptitude for organizing the state; and yet another with a specific inclination towards the spiritual life. A threefold structure can then be created by taking the actual economy from the West, the state from the Middle, and from the East — naturally in a renewed form, as I have often said — the spiritual life. Here you have the state, here the economic life and here the spiritual life (see above sketch); the two others have to be taken across from here. In this way, all humanity has to work together, for the origins of these three members of the social organism are found in different regions of the earth, and therefore must be kept properly apart everywhere. If, in the old manner, human beings wish to mix up in a unified state what is striving to be threefold, nothing will result from it except that in the West the state will be a unity where the economic life overwhelms the whole, and everything else is only submerged into it. If the theorists then take hold of and study the matter, meaning, if Karl Marx moves from Germany to London, he then concludes that everything depends on the economic life. If Marx's insanity triumphs, the three spheres are reduced to one, the one being of a purely economic character. If one limits oneself to what wishes to be merely the state or rights configuration, one apes the economic life of the West, which for decades has been fashioning an illusory structure, which then naturally collapses when a catastrophe occurs — something that has indeed happened!

The Orient, which possesses the spiritual life in a weakened state in the first place, simply has adopted the economic life from the West and has inoculated itself with something that is completely alien to it. When these matters are studied, we shall see particularly that blessings can only fall upon the earth when, everywhere, one gathers together into the threefold social organism through human activity what by its very nature develops in the various regions.

Source: http://www.webcitation.org/5tYOsPIZD