सत्यं ज्ञानम् अनन्तं ब्रह्मा
satyam jñānam anantam brahma
—Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1.1
Notes from a person in attendance at an Esoteric Lesson given by Rudolf Steiner in Berlin on April 18, 1906:
Archetypal Self from whom we have proceeded
Primal Self who lives in all things
To you, you higher Self, we return.
To this we add the verse that expresses how this primal Self works on man, how it appears to men:
Truth, wisdom, immeasurability, O God,
Bliss, eternity, beauty,
Peace, blessedness, undividedness
Peace, peace, peace.
The nature of the Trinity is expressed in the first part, and at the end the way in which this Trinity sinks down into a man's soul.
Primal Self from which everything proceeded
To which everything returns
Primal Self that lives in me
Toward you I strive.
AUM peace, peace, peace AUM.
Everything proceeded from this higher Self, even human bodies. We should not think that there's anything lowly or of little value in the world. Everything is divine. Even a grain of sand is something that came from the Godhead. In minerals we see the thoughts of the Godhead that have become form. The Godhead's thought comes to expression in all mineral forms.
Aside from form the Godhead also poured out its life in plants.
In addition to their life the Godhead has also poured feeling into animals and man's form and lower soul. Everything around us is an expression of God's power.
A man's body is the most perfect thing that the Godhead created for him. Man's body is the most perfect form that the Gods developed. It's an instrument through which man's soul looks out into the world. The human body is equipped in a wonderful way. Man's body is supposed to be a sacred temple for his soul. But the soul is not yet perfected. It's just beginning to develop. Man's body makes no mistakes; it's the imperfect soul that's constantly making them. Passions, desires, and drives live in it, and it uses the body to satisfy these desires.
But just as there are senses in man's body through which the soul looks out into the world, so organs will also gradually develop in the soul that will make it ever more perfect. Such organs are already developing in the soul.
We find a mighty drive in the animal kingdom that's independent of sense organs. If one brings a foreign pair of butterflies to Germany and releases the male in Frankfurt and the female say in Magdeburg, the two will reunite without fail. They do this with special organs that are even finer than sense organs. If we meet a total stranger whom we feel a great sympathy for, as happens between man and wife and also between friends, then this is a sign that these people belong together and that they have soul organs that tell them this and bring them together.
Men will develop such soul organs ever more as they purify their astral body and ennoble their other bodies. It's quite important to consider which foods are good for or harmful to higher development. Not everyone is in a position to pick out the foods that are favorable for his occult development. Sometimes it's better to renounce things that promote us inwardly. But it's nevertheless true that some foods have qualities that do not help men. A man must develop certain organs for his higher development. To this end certain concentrations are done in yoga exercises. When a man concentrates on a point between the eyes at the root of the nose with the thought “I am” he develops the organ that we call the two-petaled lotus flower and that makes him into an “I”. An animal can't say “I” to himself. When man's forebrain developed, the organ of the I was put into man's head at the root of the nose. The I lives there in man. But in animals the I is outside in front of the head and not in the skull. In animals it lives in the astral world. For instance all dogs have an ego in the astral world. In dogs a real stream from the astral plane streams in at the place where we have the organ of the I, and in a dog this ego becomes manifest in lower desires. In man the I streams out of this place.
But it isn't enough that the organ of the ego is developed in man. So that the higher self can stream into him to make him into a higher being, we find the organ for this where a vertical line from the top of the head crosses a horizontal line through the root of the nose, or a little above it. This organ is the pineal gland. Man makes a connection with the divine self in the world through the pineal gland. A third higher organ, the 16-petaled lotus flower, lies in man's larynx, and a fourth organ, the 12-petaled lotus, is in the heart region. A man must choose his foods wisely so that these organs can develop in the right way. What's good for his inner development is what's connected with an animal's life process, namely, milk and what's made from it, and in plants what grows toward the Sun above the ground.
A plant is an inverted man. When the Sun was still united with the Earth a plant's flowers stuck into the Sun and its roots turned outwards. After the Sun left the Earth, plants turned around and chastely turned their flow toward the Sun with their roots in the Earth. An animal is a half inverted plant, and man is a completely inverted plant since he turns all the organs that a plant turns towards the Sun, away from it. Man's root, head or brain, is turned toward the Sun. Plant, animal, and man together form a cross.
Subterranean plant parts that are turned away from the Sun aren't good for occult development, whereas everything that grows upward is good for men, especially fruit and grain that a plant gives us without us having to destroy it. Beans, lentils, and other leguminous fruit pollute the etheric body (nitrogen). Milk is good for men because it's connected with an animal's life process and animals give it voluntarily. Whereas meat obtained by killing animals is bad for occult development, and so are all salts.
The higher self can enter a man if he prepares himself through a selfless life and through purification of his body. It's not enough to retreat within. The higher self is not in man at first but outside in nature and in his older brothers, the masters and leaders of mankind. From there it must go into him. Then he's overcome by the peace that's higher than all reason. That's what the formula: Truth, wisdom, immeasurability, O God ... refers to.
Satyam jñanam anantam brahma
Anandarupam amritam bibharti
Shatam sivam advaitam
Om shantih, shantih, shantih Om
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