|Ex Deo Nascimur|
In Christo Morimur
Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus
The conclusion to a lecture given by Rudolf Steiner
Düsseldorf, June 15, 1915:
What is the aim of spiritual science? Try to review and to compare what we try to cultivate in spiritual science. What is its aim and direction? It is our desire and aim to recognize out of knowledge that the world has meaning, significance, and purpose, and that the world is not filled merely with evil and degeneration. It is our aim to realize through direct knowledge that the world has meaning. By this realization we try to prepare for actual experience of the Christ. We desire to comprehend the living Christ, accepting all these things, of course, as a gift, as grace. We realize the portent of the words: “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” We accept all that the Christ unceasingly promises us. For He speaks not only through the Gospels; He also speaks within our souls. That is what He means by the words “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Always He can be found as the living Christ. We want to live in Him, to receive Him into ourselves.
“Not I, but the Christ in me!” Of all St. Paul's sayings this is the most significant for us. “Not I, but the Christ in me.” For thereby we realize: Wherever we may turn, meaning and purpose are revealed. Faust expressed the same truth when he clothed his philosophy in the following words:Spirit sublime, thou gav'st me, gav'st me all
For which I prayed. Not unto me in vain
Hast thou thy countenance revealed in fire.
Thou gav'st me Nature as a kingdom grand,
With power to feel and to enjoy it. Thou
Not only cold, amazed acquaintance yield'st
But grantest, that in her profoundest breast
I gaze, as in the bosom of a friend.
The ranks of living creatures thou dost lead
Before me, teaching me to know my brothers
In air and water and the silent wood.
And when the storm in forests roars and grinds,
The giant firs, in falling neighbor bough
And neighbor trunks with crushing weight bear down,
And falling, fill the hills with hollow thunders;
Then to the cave secure thou leadest me,
Then show'st me mine own self, and in my breast
The deep mysterious miracles unfold.
These words indicate a spiritual understanding of the outer and the inner worlds, of universal purpose, of the meaning of death itself and the realization that death is the passage from one form of life to another. In seeking the living Christ we also follow Him through death and through the Resurrection. We do not, as the man of Eastern Europe, take the Resurrection as our starting point. We follow the Christ, letting His inspiration flow into us, receiving Him into our imaginations. We follow the Christ until death. We follow Him not only by saying: Ex Deo Nascimur, Out of God we are born; but by also saying: In Christo Morimur, In Christ we die.
We scrutinize the world and know that the world itself is the document through which God expresses His divinity. As we try to experience and understand the weaving power of the spiritual, we in the West cannot say that if God were to come into the world we would need a document to establish His identity, but rather we seek for God everywhere, in nature and in the souls of men.
So this Fifth post-Atlantean epoch of civilization needs what we develop and cultivate in our groups. It needs the conscious cultivation of the spiritual aura that still hovers above us, cherished by the spirits of the higher hierarchies, and that will flow into the souls of men when they live in the sixth epoch. It is not our way to turn as in Eastern Europe to the group soul life that is dead, to a form of community that is a mere survival of the old. Our efforts are to cherish and cultivate a living reality from its childhood — such is the community of our groups. It is not our way to look for what speaks in the blood, calling together only those who have blood in common, and to cultivate this in community. Our aim is to call together human beings who resolve to be brothers and sisters, and above whom hovers something that they strive to develop by cultivating spiritual science, feeling the good spirit of brotherhood hovering over and above them.
At the opening of one of our groups, this is the dedicatory thought we will receive into ourselves. Hereby we consecrate a group at its founding. Community and quickening life! We seek for community above us, the living Christ in us, the Christ Who needs no document nor has first to be authenticated, because we experience Him within ourselves. At the foundation of a group we will take this as our motto of consecration: Community above us; Christ in us. We know furthermore that if two, or three, or seven, or many are united in this sense in the Name of Christ, the Christ lives in them in very truth. All those who in this sense acknowledge Christ as their Brother are themselves sisters and brothers. Christ will recognize as His brother that man who recognizes other men as brothers.
If we are able to receive such words of consecration and carry on our work in accordance with them, the true spirit of our Movement will hold sway in whatever we do. Even in these difficult times, friends from outside have associated themselves with those who have founded the group here. This is always a good custom, for thereby those who are working in other groups are able to carry to other places the words of consecration. They pledge themselves to think constantly of those who have undertaken in a group to work together in accordance with the true spirit of the Movement. The invisible community, which we should like to found through the manner of our work, will thus grow and prosper. If this attitude, uniting with our work, becomes more and more widespread, we shall put to good account the demands made by spiritual science for the sake of the progress of mankind. Then we may believe that those great masters of wisdom who guide human progress and human knowledge will be with us. To the extent to which you here work in the sense of spiritual science, to that extent I know full well that the great masters who guide our work from the spiritual worlds will be in the midst of your labors.
I call down upon the labors of this group the power and the grace and the love of those masters of wisdom who guide and direct the work we perform in brotherhood within such groups. I call down the grace and the power and the love of the masters of wisdom who are directly connected with the forces of the higher hierarchies. May there be with this group the spirit of good that is in you, great masters of wisdom, and may there also prevail and work in this group the true spirit of the Movement!
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