Monday, August 5, 2019

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free : Going beyond the zodiac

Rudolf Steiner:

Man as he now is, built up in accordance with the forces of the periphery and of inner movement, with the forces too of the organs and of the metabolic system, is complete and finished in his dependence on the forces from without; and now he is able, with his complete and finished organisation to sever himself from this connection. In the same sense that we have in waking and sleeping a copy of day and night, having thus in ourselves the inner rhythm of day and night, but not needing to make this inner rhythm correspond with the outer rhythm of day and night (i.e. we need not sleep at night, nor wake during the day), so in a similar way does Man sever his connection with the Macrocosm in other departments of his existence. Upon this is founded the possibility of human free-will. It is not the present formation of Man that is dependent upon the Macrocosm, but his past formation. Man's present experiences are fundamentally a picture or copy of his past adaptation to the Macrocosm, and in this sense we live in the pictures of our past. Within these we are enabled to evolve our freedom, and from them we receive our moral laws, which are independent of the necessity ruling in our nature. It is when we understand clearly how Man and Macrocosm are related to each other that we recognise the possibility of free-will in Man.
Finally we must think over the following. It is clear that in Man the metabolic forces are still, in a certain respect, connected with the rhythm of his daily life. The forces of form have solidified. Now consider the animal instead of Man. Here we shall find a much more complete dependence upon the Macrocosm. Man has grown out of or beyond this dependence. The ancient wisdom therefore spoke of the Zodiac or Animal Circle, not of the Man Circle, as corresponding to the forces of formation. The forces of form manifest themselves in the animal kingdom in a great variety of forms, while in Man they manifest essentially in one form covering the whole human race; but they are the forces of the animal kingdom, and as we evolve beyond them and become Man, we must go out beyond the Zodiac. Beyond the Zodiac lies that upon which we, as human beings, are dependent in a higher sense than we are upon all that exists within the Zodiac, that is, within the circle of the fixed stars. Beyond the Zodiac is that which corresponds to our Ego.
With the astral body — which the animal also possesses — we are fettered to a dependence upon the Macrocosm, and the building up of the astral vehicle takes place in accordance with the will of the Stars. But with our ‘ I ’ or Ego we transcend this Zodiac.
Here we have the principle upon which we have gained our freedom. Within the Zodiac we cannot sin, any more than can the animals; we begin to sin as soon as we carry our action beyond the Zodiac. This happens when we do that which makes us free from our connection with the Universal forces of formation, when we enter into relationship with regions exterior to the Zodiac or region of fixed stars. And this is the essential content of the human Ego.
You see, we may measure the Universe in so far as it appears to us a visible and temporal thing, we may measure its full extension through space to the outermost fixed stars, and all that takes place by way of movement in time in this starry heaven, and we may consider all this in its relation to Man; but in Man is being fulfilled something that goes on outside this space and outside this time, outside all that takes place in the astral. There beyond, is no ‘necessity of Nature’, but only that has place which is intimately connected with our moral nature and moral actions. Within the Zodiac we are unable to evolve our moral nature; but in so far as we evolve it, we record it into the Macrocosm beyond the Zodiac. All that we do remains and works in the world. The processes taking place within us from the forces of formation to the forces of metabolism, are the result of the past. But the past does not prejudge the whole of the future, it has no power over that future which eventuates from Man himself in his moral actions.

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