Rudolf Steiner: "We do not seek the higher self only in ourselves but also in our fellow human beings. Everyone living around us exists in undivided unity in the inner kernel of our being."
Rudolf Steiner: "Only when we experience human feeling on Earth as a weak, half-living reflection of the radiant might of the Sun that shines through the entire cosmos as universal cosmic love, only then do we experience feeling in the right way."
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
. . . still a third thing is necessary. We sense ourselves truly as human beings when we no longer permit our feelings to be completely absorbed within the earthly life. For that which we now come to know as our pre-earthly life penetrates into us in pictures and is added to what we previously sensed as our humanity, making us for the first time completely human. Our feelings are then, as it were, shot through with inner light, and we know that we have now developed our feeling into a sense organ for the spiritual. But we must go further and must be able to make our will element into an organ of knowledge for the spiritual.
For this purpose, something must begin to play a role in human knowledge which, very rightly, is not otherwise considered as a means of knowledge by those who desire to be taken seriously in the realm of cognition. We first become aware that this is a means of knowledge when we enter the supersensible realms. This is the force of love. Only, we must begin to develop this force of love in a higher sense than that in which nature has bestowed love upon us, with all its significance for the life of nature and of man. What I shall have to describe as the first steps in the unfolding of a higher love in the life of man may seem paradoxical.
When you undertake, with complete sober-mindedness as to each step, to sense the world otherwise than is customary, you then come upon this higher form of love. Suppose you undertake in the evening, before you go to sleep, to bring your day's life so into your consciousness that you begin with the last occurrence of the evening, visualizing it as precisely as possible, then visualizing the next preceding in the same way, then the third from the last, thus moving backward to the morning in this survey of the life of the day: this is a process in which much more importance attaches to the inner energy expended than to the question whether one visualizes each individual occurrence more or less precisely. What is important is this reversal of the order of visualization. Ordinarily we view events in such a way that we first consider the earlier and then the subsequent in a progressive chain. Through such an exercise as I have just given you, we reverse the whole life: we think and feel in a direction opposite to the course of the day. We can practice this on the experiences of our day, as I have suggested, and this requires only a few minutes. But we can do this also in a different way. Undertake to visualize the course of a drama in such a way that you begin with the fifth act and picture it successively through the fourth, then the third, and so on back to the beginning. Or we may represent a melody to ourselves in the reverse succession of tones. If we pass through more and more such inner experiences of the soul in this way, we shall discover that the inner experience is freed from the external course of nature, and that we actually become more and more self-directing. But even though we become in this way more and more individualized and achieve an ever increasing power of self-direction, yet we learn also to give attention to the external life in more complete consciousness. For only now do we become aware that the more powerfully we develop through practice this fully conscious absorption in another being, the higher becomes the degree of our selflessness, and the greater must our love become in compensation. In this way we feel how this experience of not living in oneself but living in another being, this passing over from one's own being to another, becomes more and more powerful. We then reach the stage where, to Imagination and Inspiration, which we have already developed, we can now unite the true intuitive entrance into the other being: we arrive at Intuition, so that we no longer experience only our self, but also learn — in complete individualization yet also in complete selflessness — to experience the other being.
Here love becomes something which gradually makes it possible for us to look back even further than into the pre-earthly spiritual life. As we learn in our present life to look back upon contemporary events, we learn through such an elevation of love to look back upon former earth lives, and to recognize the entire life of a human being as a succession of earthly lives. The fact that these lives once had a beginning and must likewise have an end will be touched upon in the next lecture. But we learn to know the human life as a succession of lives on earth, between which there always intervene purely spiritual lives, coming between a death and the next birth. For this elevated form of love, lifted to the spiritual sphere and transformed into a force of knowledge, teaches us also the true significance of death. When we have advanced so far, as I have explained in connection with Imagination and Inspiration, as to render these intensified inner forces capable of spiritual love, we actually learn in immediate exact clairvoyance to know that inner experience which we describe by saying that one experiences oneself spiritually, without a body, outside the body. This passing outside the body becomes in this way, if I may thus express it, actually a matter of objective experience for the soul. If we have once experienced in actual knowledge outside the body — clairvoyantly, I mean — this spiritual element in existence, we know the significance of the event of laying aside the physical body in death, of passing through the portal of death to a new, spiritual life. We thus learn, at the third stage of an exact clairvoyance, the significance of death, and thus also the significance of immortality, for man.
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