Monday, April 17, 2023

From Death to Rebirth: The Sun, Our Cosmic Heart, and the Holy Spirit


Rudolf Steiner:

When he returns once again to the Sun, he begins to shut himself off more as an individual being. Very faintly the feeling dawns that he is becoming separate from the cosmos. This is connected with the fact that the first foundations of the heart are now being laid within him. The return journey continues. For the second time man passes through the Venus sphere and the Mercury sphere, where the spirit-germs of the other organs have to be implanted within him.
At the moment of entrance for the second time into the Sun existence — all these happenings and processes take a very long time, and long before man enters upon earthly existence he experiences, as we shall see, what is for him a very significant turn of destiny — at the moment when, out in the cosmos, the spirit-germ of the heart is laid within our being on the return journey to the Earth, there is of course not yet a physical heart. True, there is already an indication of a physical heart form, but it is surrounded and interwoven with all that constitutes the worth of the human being as the outcome of his previous earthly lives. The fact that we receive into ourselves in the Sun sphere the first germ of the physical heart is less important than the fact that in this germ of the heart is concentrated all that we are morally, all our qualities of soul and spirit. Before the spirit-germ of the heart unites with the embryonic germ of the future body, the heart in man is a spiritual being, a moral being of soul and spirit out in the cosmos; only later does this moral being of spirit and soul — which man now feels living within him, which man has, as it were, acquired in the course of his return journey to Earth — unite with the embryo. This concentration, in the germ of the heart, of his whole soul-and-spirit being is experienced by man in communion with the sublime Sun beings — those Sun beings who rule over the creative forces of the planetary system and therewith of earthly existence. Let me try to describe it to you in a picture. The expressions may sound strange but they are really appropriate.
At the time when this cosmic heart is bestowed upon man, he is living among those spiritual beings of the Hierarchies in whose hand lies the leadership of the whole planetary system in its connection with earthly existence. The experience is one of infinite grandeur and splendor. It is difficult to find words to describe what the human being experiences in this phase of existence. In a certain respect his feeling resembles a feeling he can have in physical existence. For just as in physical existence he feels that he is bound up with his heartbeat, with the whole activity of the heart, so, out in the Macrocosm, through his macrocosmic spiritual heart, he feels himself at one with his whole being of soul and spirit. The moral being of soul and spirit which he has become at this moment of his experience is, as it were, a spiritual heartbeat within him. His whole being seems now to be in the cosmos in the same way as his heartbeat is in him; he becomes aware also of a kind of circulation in connection with this heartbeat. Just as on Earth we feel in the heartbeat the blood circulation and breathing which give rise to it, so, when on the return journey through the Sun existence we begin to be aware of the beating of our spiritual, macrocosmic heart, it feels to us as though streams or currents were uniting this spiritual heartbeat with the beings of the Second Hierarchy. Even as the blood flows to the heart from the veins in the physical organism, so into our being of spirit-and-soul pour the words of the Exusiai, Kyriotetes, Dynamis — what they have to say concerning the World and the World's judgment upon man. The words and sounds of the spirit of the World-All are the circulation that now centers itself in this spiritual, macrocosmic heart, in this human being of soul and spirit. There, at the center, beats the spiritual heart of man. And the beat of the spiritual heart of man is the heartbeat of the world in which he is living. The bloodstream of this world is the deeds of the creative beings of the Second Hierarchy, the forces which stream out from them. And just as the bloodstream on Earth centers itself in the heart where it is unconsciously experienced by man, so at this point of time between death and a new birth it is given to man, as a grace bestowed, to hold and cherish within him a cosmic heart — one of the organs of perception, one of the cosmic hearts, created out of the pulse-beat of the Macrocosm, even the deeds of the beings of the Second Hierarchy. For let it be remembered that the physical heart is a sense organ, which perceives the movement of the blood, not a “pump” as the physiologists imagine. The spirituality and vitality of the human being — these it is that cause the movement of the blood.
The return journey continues — through the Mercury and the Venus spheres. But before this, indeed in that cosmic moment when the human being feels himself living in very truth within the spiritual heart of the cosmos, his gaze has already fallen upon the line of generations at the end of which stand the parents who will give him birth. The connection with the line of generations is, as you see, made relatively soon. We are born of father and mother, our parents again have each of them father and mother, and these too have their father and mother. This takes us back about a hundred years. But we must go further back, through many centuries; for long before a human being is born on Earth, he has united himself with the line of generations which culminates in the family into which he is born. It is quite early that the connection with the line of generations is determined, namely, when man is passing through the Sun existence for the second time. And in his passage through the cosmic colonies of Venus and Mercury he can, so to speak, arrange for his destiny to be brought as closely as possible into line with the outer experiences that must come to him through being born into a particular family and a particular nation.

Source: November 17, 1923. GA 231

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