Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Christ Impulse of Salvation, Peace, and Compassionate Love

Rudolf Steiner:

That is why it is significant that an appreciation of the whole intensity and power of the Christ impulse leads us to the comprehension of a certain great truth: In a world lacking the Christ impulse the isolation and segregation of men, their mutual antagonism, something like a struggle for existence, would be brought about — similar to the materialistic-Darwinistic theory foisted upon us today — a struggle for existence such as reigns in the animal kingdom, but which should have no place in the world of men. Somewhat grotesquely we might say, when the earth has run its course it will present the picture of humanity painted by certain materialists in line with a Darwinistic theory borrowed from the animal world; but today this theory, when applied to mankind, is wrong. It is true in the animal kingdom because there no impulse governs which could transform discord into love. Christ, as a spiritual force in humanity, will confound all materialistic Darwinism.
But in order to grasp this, one must understand that in the outer sense world men can eliminate the antagonistic attitude arising from their differences of opinion, feelings, and actions only by combatting and adjusting within themselves all that would otherwise flow out into the external world. No one is going to quarrel with a different opinion in the soul of another if he first fights against all that must be combatted in himself, if he establishes harmony among the various principles of his being. He will confront the outer world as one who loves, not as one who quarrels. It is all a matter of diverting the conflict from the outer world to the inner man: the forces holding sway in human nature must battle each other within man.
Two conflicting opinions must be looked at as follows: This is one opinion — it is tenable; that is the other — it is also tenable. But if I recognize only the one and consider justifiable only what I want, resisting the other, then I shall be involved in a struggle on the physical plane. To insist on my opinion is to be selfish; to consider my action the only justifiable one means being egotistical. But if I consider the other man's opinion and endeavor to create harmony within myself, my attitude toward the other will then be a very different one; and only then will I begin to understand him. Diverting external strife into another channel — the harmonizing of inner human forces — that would be another way of expressing the idea of progress in the evolution of mankind. The possibility of inner concord, of finding the way to harmonize the resisting forces within, this had to be bestowed upon man by the Christ. Christ gives man the power first of all to eliminate the discord within himself, and without Christ this could never be achieved.

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