Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What the world needs now is anthroposophy


Rudolf Steiner:  "Because things are as they are, the spiritual science of anthroposophy is what needs to come about. Not until people admit that the sickness of our present time can be cured only by an anthroposophically oriented spiritual research, not until people realize this, will it be possible to evade the chaos.... Only those who not only recognize the significance of this worldview but also make of it the inmost impulse of their will can become its true bearers."

Related posts:

December 7, 1919. Michael's Mission, p. 129

Whitewashing history: The Tulsa race massacre — a personal footnote


I find it astonishing that my grandmother was born in Tulsa in 1901 and lived there all her life; my mother was born in Tulsa in 1922 and lived there until 2018; my sister and my brothers and I grew up in Tulsa--I was born in 1947 and finally moved away from Tulsa at the age of thirty--AND I NEVER KNEW OF THE EXISTENCE OF THIS EVENT until I was in my thirties!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

And the Word was made flesh: Bridging the physical and the moral; the reality of karma; the human being's spiritual form; what the world needs now is anthroposophy


Man as Symphony of the Creative Word. Lecture 12 of 12.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, November 11, 1923:

When we realize that everything of external nature is transformed inside the human organism, and this in so radical a way that the mineral must be brought to the warmth-etheric condition, we will also find that all that lives in man, in the human organization, flows out into the spiritual. If — according to the ideas so frequently deduced in current textbooks on anatomy and physiology — we imagine man to be a firmly built form taking into itself the products of external nature and returning them almost unchanged, then we will always labor under the absence of the bridge which must be thrown from what man is as a natural being to what is present in him as his essential soul-nature.
At first we shall be unable to find any link to join the bony system and system of muscles, composing the solid body which man believes himself to be, with, let us say, the moral world-order. It will be said that the one is simply nature and that the other is something radically different from nature. But when we are clear about the fact that in man all types of substantiality are present and that they must all pass through a condition more volatile than that of muscles and bones, we shall find that this volatile etheric substance can enter into connection with the impulses of the moral world-order.
These are the modes of thought we must use if we are to develop our present considerations into something which will lead man upwards to the spiritual of the cosmos, to the beings whom we have called the beings of the higher hierarchies. Today, therefore, let us do what was not done in the foregoing lectures — for those were more occupied with the natural world — and take our start from the spiritual-moral impulses active in man.
The spiritual-moral impulses — well, for modern civilization these have more or less become mere abstract concepts. To an ever greater degree the primal feeling for the moral-spiritual has receded in human nature. Through the whole manner of his education modern civilization leads man to ask: what is customary? what has convention ordained? what is the code? what is the law? — and so on. Less account is taken of what comes forth as impulses rooted in that part of man which is often relegated in a vague way to conscience. This inner directing of oneself, this determining of one's own goal, is something which has retreated to an ever greater degree in modern civilization. Hence the spiritual-moral has finally become a more or less conventional tradition.
Earlier world-conceptions, particularly those which were sustained by instinctive clairvoyance, brought forth moral impulses from man's inner nature; they induced moral impulses. Moral impulses exist, but today they have become traditional. Of course nothing whatever is implied here against the traditional in morality — but only think of the Ten Commandments, how old they are. They are taught as commands recorded in ancient times. Is it to be expected today that something might spring forth from the primary, elementary sources of human nature which could be compared to what once arose as the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments? Now, from what source does the moral-spiritual arise, which binds men together in a social way, which knits the threads uniting man to man? There exists only one true source of the moral-spiritual in mankind, and this is what we may call human understanding, mutual human understanding, and, based upon this human understanding, human love. Wheresoever we may look for the arising of moral-spiritual impulses in mankind, in so far as these play a role in social life, it will invariably prove to be the case that, whenever such impulses spring forth with elemental power, they arise from human understanding based upon human love. These are the actual driving forces of the social moral-spiritual impulses in mankind. And fundamentally speaking, in so far as he is a spiritual being, man only lives with other men to the degree that he develops human understanding and human love.
Here one can put a deeply significant question, a question which is indeed not always voiced, but which, in regard to what has just been said, must be on the tip of every tongue: If human understanding and human love are the real impulses upon which communal life depends, how does it come about that the very reverse of human understanding and human love appears in our social order?
This is a question with which initiates more than anyone else have always concerned themselves. In every age in which initiation science was the primal impulse, this very question was regarded as one of their most vital concerns. When this initiation science was still a primary impulse, however, it possessed certain means whereby to get behind this problem. But if one looks at conventional science today, one is forced to ask: As the god-created soul is naturally predisposed to human understanding and human love, why are these qualities not active as a matter of course in the social order? Whence come human hatred and lack of human understanding? Now, if we are unable to look for this lack of human understanding, this human hatred, in the sphere of the spiritual, of the soul, it follows that we must look for them in the sphere of the physical.
Yes — but now modern conventional science gives us its answer as to what the physical-bodily nature of man is: blood, nerves, muscles, bones. No matter how long one studies a bone, if one only does so with the eye of present-day natural science, one will never be able to say: It is this bone which leads man astray into hatred. Nor yet, to whatever degree one is able to investigate the blood according to the principles by which it is investigated today, will one ever be able to establish the conviction: It is this blood which leads man astray into lack of human understanding.
In times when initiation science was a primal impulse, matters were certainly quite otherwise. Then one turned one's gaze to the physical-bodily nature of man and perceived it to be the counter-image of what one possessed of the spiritual through instinctive clairvoyance.
When man speaks of the spiritual today he refers at most to abstract thoughts; this for him is the spiritual. If he finds these thoughts too tenuous, all that remains to him is words, and then, as Fritz Mauthner did, he writes a “Critique of Language”. Through such a “Critique of Language” he manages to dilute the spirit — already tenuous enough — until it becomes utterly devoid of substance. The initiation science which was irradiated with instinctive clairvoyance did not see the spiritual in abstract thoughts. It saw the spiritual in forms, in what produced pictures, in what could speak and resound, in what could produce tones. For this initiation science the spiritual lived and moved. And because the spiritual was seen in its living activity, what is physical — the bones, the blood — could also be perceived in its spirituality. These thoughts, these notions, which we have today about the skeleton did not exist in initiation science. Today the skeleton is really regarded as something constructed by the calculations of an architect for the purposes of physiology and anatomy. But it is not this. The skeleton, as you have seen, is formed by mineral substance which has been driven upwards to the state of warmth-ether, so that in the warmth-ether the forces of the higher hierarchies are laid hold of, and then the bone formations are built up.
To one who is able to behold it rightly, the skeleton reveals its spiritual origin. But one who looks at the skeleton in its present form — I mean in its form as present-day science regards it — is like a person who says: There I have a printed page with the forms of letters upon it. He describes the form of these letters, but does not read their meaning because he is unable to read. He does not relate what is expressed in the forms of the letters to what exists as their real basis; he only describes their shapes. In the same way the present-day anatomist, the present-day natural scientist, describes the bones as if they were entirely without meaning. What they really reveal, however, is their origin in the spiritual.
And so it is with everything that exists as physical natural laws, as etheric natural laws. They are written characters from the spiritual world. And we only understand these things rightly when we can comprehend them as written characters proceeding from spiritual worlds.
Now, when we are able to regard the human organism in this way we become aware of something which belongs to the domain of which the true initiates of all epochs have said: When one crosses the threshold into the spiritual world, the first thing one becomes aware of is something terrible, something which at first it is by no means easy to sustain. Most people wish to be pleasantly affected by what seems to them worthy of attainment. But the fact remains that only by passing through the experience of horror can one learn to know spiritual reality, that is to say true reality. For in regard to the human form, as this is placed before us by anatomy and physiology, one can only perceive that it is built up out of two elements from the spiritual world: moral coldness and hatred.
In our souls we actually possess the predisposition to human love, and to that warmth which understands the other man. In the solid components of our organism, however, we bear moral cold. This is the force which, from the spiritual worlds, welds, as it were, our physical organism together. Thus we bear in ourselves the impulse of hatred. This it is which, from the spiritual world, brings about the circulation of the blood. And whereas we may perhaps go through the world with a very loving soul, with a soul which thirsts for human understanding, we must nevertheless be aware that below in the unconsciousness, there where the soul streams down, sends its impulses down into the bodily nature, for the very purpose that we may be clothed in a body — coldness has its seat. Though I shall always speak just of coldness, what I mean is moral coldness, though this can certainly pass over into physical coldness, traversing the warmth-ether on its way. There below, in the unconsciousness within us, moral coldness and hatred are entrenched, and it is easy for man to bring into his soul what is present in his body, so that his soul can, as it were, be infected with the lack of human understanding. This is, however, the result of moral coldness and human hatred. Because this is so, man must gradually cultivate in himself moral warmth, that is to say human understanding and love, for these must vanquish what comes from the bodily nature.
Now, it cannot be denied — this presents itself in all clarity to spiritual vision — that in our age, which began with the fifteenth century and has developed in an intellectualistic way on the one hand and in a materialistic way on the other, much human misunderstanding and human hatred has become imbedded in men's souls. This is so to a greater degree than is supposed. For only when man passes through the gate of death does he become aware of how much failure to understand, how much hatred, is present in our unconsciousness. There man detaches his soul-spiritual from his physical bodily nature. He lays his physical bodily nature aside. The impulses of coldness, the impulses of hatred, then reveal themselves simply as natural forces, as mere forces of nature.
Let us look at a corpse. Let us look with the spiritual eye at the actual etheric corpse. Here we are looking at something which no longer evokes moral judgment any more than does a plant or a stone. The moral forces which have previously been contained in what is now the corpse have been changed into natural forces. During his lifetime, however, the human being absorbed very much from them; this he takes with him through the gate of death. The ego and astral body withdraw, taking with them as they go what remained unnoticed during life because it was always entirely submerged in the physical and etheric bodies. The ego and astral body take with them into the spiritual world all the impulses connected with the human body, all the impulses of human hatred and coldness toward other men which had gained access to their souls. I mentioned that it is only when one sees the human being pass through the gate of death that one perceives how much failure to understand, how much human hatred have been implanted into mankind just in our civilization by various things about which I shall still have to speak. For the man of today carries much of these two impulses through the gate of death, immensely much.
But what man thus carries with him is in fact the spiritual residue of what should be in the physical, of what the physical and etheric bodies should deal with themselves. In the lack of human understanding and in human hatred which man carries into the spiritual world we have the residue of what really belongs in the physical world. He carries it thither in a spiritual way, but it would never profit him to carry it onward through the time between death and a new birth, for then he would be quite unable to progress. At every step in his further evolution between death and a new birth he would stumble if he were obliged to carry further this failure to understand the other man, this human hatred. Into the spiritual world, which is entered by the so-called dead, people today continually draw with them definite currents which would halt them in their development if they had to remain as they actually are.
From whence do these currents proceed? To discover this we need only look at present-day life. People pass one another by; they pay little heed to the individual characteristics of others. Are not people today mostly so constituted that each one regards himself as the standard of what is right and proper? And when someone differs from this standard we do not take kindly to him, but rather think: This man should be different. And this usually implies: He should be like me. This is not always brought into the consciousness, but it lies concealed in human social intercourse.
In the way things are put forward today — I mean in the whole manner and form of people's speech — there lies very little understanding of the other man. People bellow out their ideas about what man should be like, but this usually means: Everyone should be like me. If someone different comes along, then, even if this is not consciously realized, he is immediately regarded as an enemy, an object for antipathy. This is lack of human moral understanding, lack of love. And to the degree in which these qualities are lacking, moral coldness and human hatred go with man through the gate of death, obstructing his path. Now, however — because man's further development is not his own concern alone, but is the concern of the whole world-order, the wisdom-filled world-order — he finds the beings of the third hierarchy: Angels, Archangels, Archai. In the first period after man has passed through the gate of death into the world lying between death and a new birth these beings stoop downward and mercifully take from man the coldness which comes from lack of human understanding. And we see how the beings of the third hierarchy assume the burden of what man carries up to them into the spiritual world in the way I have described, in that he passes through the gate of death.
It is for a longer period that man must carry with him the remains of human hatred; for this can only be taken from him by grace of the spirits of the second hierarchy: Exusiai, Kyriotetes, Dynamis. They take from him all that remains of human hatred.
Now, however, the human being has arrived about midway in the region between death and a new birth, to the abiding place of the first hierarchy — Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones — which I described in my Mystery Play as the midnight hour of existence. Man would be quite unable to pass through this region of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones without being inwardly annihilated, utterly destroyed, had not the beings of the second and third hierarchies already taken from him in their mercy human misunderstanding — that is to say, moral coldness — and human hatred. And so we see how man, in order that he may find access to those impulses which can contribute to his further development, must at first burden the beings of the higher hierarchies with what he carries up into the spiritual world from his physical and etheric bodies, where it really belongs.
When one has insight into all this, when one sees how this moral coldness holds sway in the spiritual world, one will also know how to judge the relation between this spiritual cold and the physical cold here below. The physical cold which we find in snow and ice is only the physical image of that moral-spiritual cold which is there above. If we have them both before us, we can compare them. While man is being relieved in this way from human misunderstanding and human hatred, one can follow with the spiritual eye how he begins to lose his form, how this form more or less melts away.
When someone first passes through the gate of death, for the spiritual vision of imagination his appearance is still somewhat similar to what it was here on earth. For what a man bears within him here on earth is in fact just substances in more or less granular form, let us say, in atomistic form; but the human figure itself — that is spiritual. We must really be clear about this. It is sheer nonsense to regard man's form as physical; we must represent it to ourselves as spiritual. The physical in it is everywhere present as minute particles. The form, which is only a force-body, holds together what would otherwise fall apart into a heap of atoms. If someone were to take any of you by the forelock and could draw out your form, the physical and also the etheric would collapse like a heap of sand. That these are not just a sand heap, that they are distributed and take on form, this stems from nothing physical; it stems from the spiritual. Here in the physical world man goes about as something spiritual. It is senseless to think that man is only a physical being; his form is purely spiritual. The physical in him may almost be likened to a heap of crumbs.
Man, however, still possesses his form when he goes through the gate of death. One sees it shimmering, glittering, radiant with colors. But now he loses first the form of his head; then the rest of his form gradually melts away. Man becomes completely metamorphosed, as though transformed into an image of the cosmos. This occurs during the time between death and a new birth in which he comes into the region of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones.
Thus, when one follows man between death and a new birth, one at first still sees him hovering, as it were, while he gradually loses his form from above downwards. But while the last vestige of him is vanishing away below, something else has taken shape, a wonderful spirit-form, which is in itself an image of the whole world-sphere and at the same time a model of the future head which man will bear on his shoulders. Here the human being is woven into an activity wherein not only the beings of the lower hierarchies participate, but also the beings of the highest hierarchy: the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones.
What actually takes place? It is the most wonderful thing which, as man, one can possibly conceive. For all that was lower man here in life now passes over into the formation of the future head. As we go about here on earth we only make use of our poverty-stricken head as the organ of our mental images and our thoughts. But thoughts also accompany our breast, thoughts also accompany our limb-system. And in the moment that we cease to think only with the head, but begin to think with our limb-system, in that moment the whole reality of karma is opened up to us. We know nothing of our karma because we always think only with that most superficial of organs, our brain. The moment we begin to think with our fingers — and just with our fingers and toes we can think much more clearly than with the nerves of the head — once we have soared up to the possibility of doing so — the moment we begin to think with what has not become entirely material, when we begin to think with the lower man, our thoughts are the thoughts of our karma. When we do not merely grasp with our hand but think with it, then, thinking with our hand we follow our karma. And even more so with the feet; when we do not only walk but think with our feet, we follow the course of our karma with special clarity. That man is such a dullard on earth — excuse me, but no other word occurs to me — comes from the fact that all his thinking is enclosed in the region of his head. But man can think with his entire being. Whenever we think with our entire being, then for our middle region a whole cosmology, a marvelous cosmic wisdom, becomes our own. And for the lower region and the limb-system especially karma becomes our own.
It already means a great deal when we look at the way a person walks, not in a dull way, but marking the beauty of his step, and what is characteristic in it; or when we allow his hands to make an impression upon us, so that we interpret these hands and find that in every movement of the fingers there lie wonderful revelations of man's inner nature. Yet that is only the smallest part of what moves in unison with the walking man, the grasping man, man as he moves his fingers. For it is man's whole moral nature which moves; his destiny moves with him; everything that he is as a spiritual being. And if, after man has passed through the gate of death, we are able to follow how his form dissolves — the first to melt away being what is reminiscent of his physical form — there then appears what does indeed resemble his physical structure, but which is now produced by his inner nature, his inner being, thus announcing that this is his moral form. Thus does man appear when he approaches the midnight hour of existence, when he comes into the sphere of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. Then we see how these wonderful metamorphoses proceed, how there his form melts away. But this is not really the essential point. It looks as though the form would dissolve away, but the truth is that the spiritual beings of the higher worlds are there working together with man. They work with those human beings who are working upon themselves, but also upon those with whom they are karmically linked. One man works upon the other. These spiritual beings, then, together with man himself, develop out of his previous bodily form in his previous earth-life what, at first spiritually, will become the bodily form of his next earth-life.
This spirit-form first connects itself with physical life when it meets the given embryo. But in the spiritual world feet and legs are transformed into the jaw bones, while arms and hands are transformed into the cheekbones. There the whole lower man is transformed into the spiritual prototype of what will later become the head. The way in which this metamorphosis is accomplished is, I do assure you, of everything that the world offers to conscious experience the most wonderful. We see at first how an image of the whole cosmos is created, and how this is then differentiated into the structure which is the seat of the whole moral element — but only after all that I have mentioned has been taken from it. We see how what was, transforms itself into what will be. Now one sees the human being as spirit-form journeying back once more to the region of the second hierarchy and then to that of the third hierarchy. Here this reversed spirit-form — it is in fact only the basis for the future head — must, as it were, be welded to what will become the future breast-organism, to what will become the future limb-organization and the metabolic system. These must be added. Whence come the spiritual impulses to add them?
It is by grace of the beings of the second and third hierarchies, who gathered these impulses together when the man was on the first half of his journey. These beings took them from his moral nature; now they bring them back again and form from them the basis of the rhythmic system and metabolic-limb system. In this later period between death and a new birth man receives the ingredients, the spiritual ingredients, for his physical organism. This spiritual form finds its way into the embryonic life, and bears within it what will now become physical forces and etheric forces. These are, however, only the physical image of what we bear in us from our previous life as lack of human understanding and human hatred, from which our limb-organization is spiritually formed.
If we wish to have such conceptions as these, we must acquire a manner of feeling and perceiving quite other than that needed in the physical world. For we must be able to behold what arises out of the spiritual becoming physical in the way I have described; we must be able to sustain the knowledge that coldness, moral coldness, lives as physical image in the bones, and that moral hatred lives as physical image in the blood. We must learn to look at these matters quite objectively. It is only when we look into things in this way that we become aware of the fundamental difference between man's inner being and external nature.
Just consider for a moment the fact I mentioned, namely that in the blossoms of the plant kingdom we see, as it were, human conscience laid out before us. What we see outside us may be considered as the picture of our soul-being. The forces within ourselves may appear to have no relation to outer nature. But the truth is, bone can only be bone because it hates the carbonic acid and calcium phosphate in their mineral state, because it withdraws from them, contracting into itself, whereby it becomes something different from what these substances are in external nature. And one must face up to the conception that for man to have a physical form, hatred and coldness must be present in his physical nature.
Through this, you see, our words gain inner significance. If our bones have a certain hardness, it is to their advantage to possess this physical image of spiritual coldness. But if our soul has this hardness it is not a good thing for the social life. The physical nature of man must be different from his soul-nature. Man can be man precisely because his physical being differs from his being of soul and spirit. Man's physical nature also differs from physical nature around him. Upon this fact rests the necessity for that transformation about which I have spoken to you.
All this forms an important supplement to what I once said in the course on Cosmology, Philosophy, and Religion [*Ten lectures at the Goetheanum, September 1922] about man's connection with the hierarchies. It could only be added, however, on such initial considerations as those in our present lectures. For spiritual vision gives insight alike into what the separate members of the mineral, animal, and plant kingdoms really are here on earth, and into the acts of the hierarchies — those acts which continue from age to age, as do also the happenings of nature and the works of man.
When man's life between death and a new birth — his life in the spiritual world — is beheld in this way, one can describe his experiences in that world in just as much detail as his biography here on earth. So we may live in the hope that when we pass through the gate of death, everything of misunderstanding and hatred between man and man will be carried up into the spiritual world, so that it may be given anew to us, and that from its ennobled state human forms may be created.
In the course of long centuries something very strange has come to pass for earthly humanity. No longer is it possible for all the forces of human misunderstanding and human hatred to be used up in new human forms, in the structure of new human bodies. Something has become left over. During the course of the last centuries this residue has streamed down on to the earth, so that in the spiritual atmosphere of the earth, in what I may call the earth's astral light, there is to be found an infiltration of the impulses of human hatred and human misunderstanding which exist exterior to man. These impulses have not been incorporated into human forms; they stream around the earth in the astral light. They work into man — but not into what makes up the single person, but into the relationships which people form with one another on the earth. They work into civilization. And within civilization they have brought about what compelled me to say, in the spring of 1914 in Vienna [*The Inner Nature of Man and Life between Death and Rebirth (Rudolf Steiner Press)] that our present-day civilization is invaded by spiritual carcinoma, by a spiritual cancerous disease, by spiritual tumors. At that time the fact that this was spoken about in Vienna — in the lecture-course dealing with the phenomena between death and a new birth — was somewhat unwelcome. Since then, however, people have actually experienced something of the truth of what was said at that time. Then people had no thought of what streams through civilization. They did not perceive that actual cancerous formations of civilization were present, for it was only from 1914 onwards that they manifested openly. Today they are revealed as utterly diseased tissues of civilization. Yes, now it becomes evident to what a degree our modern civilization has been infiltrated by these currents of human hatred and human coldness which have not been used up in the forms of the human structure, to what a degree these infiltrations are active as the parasites of modern civilization.
Civilization today is deeply afflicted with parasites; it is like a part of an organism that is invaded by parasites, by bacilli. What people have amassed in the way of thoughts exists, but it has no living connection with man. Only consider how this shows itself in the most ordinary phenomena of daily life. How many people have to learn without bringing enthusiasm to the learning; they simply have to get down to it and learn in order to pass an examination, so as to qualify for some particular post, or the like — well, for them there is no vital connection between what they have to take in and what lives in their soul as an inborn craving for the spiritual. It is exactly as though a person who is not predisposed to hunger were to be continually stuffed with food! The digestive processes about which I have spoken cannot be carried through. What has been taken in remains as ballast in the organism, finally becoming something which definitely induces parasites.
Much in our modern civilization has no connection with man. Like the mistletoe — spiritually speaking — it sucks its life from what man brings forth from the original impulses of his mind, of his heart. Much of this manifests in our civilization as parasitic existence. To anyone who has the power of seeing our civilization with spiritual vision in the astral, the year 1914 already presented an advanced stage of cancer, a carcinoma formation; for him the whole of civilization was already invaded by parasites. But to this parasitic condition something further is now added.
I have described to you in what may be called a spiritual-physiological way how, out of the nature of the gnomes and undines who work from below upwards, the possibility arises of parasitic impulses in man. Then, however, as I explained, the opposite picture presents itself; for then poison is carried downwards by the sylphs and the elemental beings of warmth. And so in a civilization like ours, which bears a parasitic character, what comes down from above — spiritual truth — though not poison in itself, is transformed into poison in man, so that our civilization rejects it in fear and invents all kinds of reasons for this rejection. The two things belong together: a parasitic culture below, which does not proceed from elemental laws and which therefore contains parasites within itself, and a spirituality which sinks down from above and which — in that it enters into this civilization — is taken up by man in such a way that it becomes poison. When you bear this in mind you have the key to the most important symptoms of our present-day civilization. And when one has insight into these things, just out of itself the fact is revealed that a truly cultural education must make its appearance as the antidote or opposing remedy. Just as a rational therapy is deduced from a true diagnosis of the individual, so a diagnosis of the sickness of a civilization reveals the remedy; the one calls forth the other.
It is very evident that mankind today again needs something from civilization which stands close to the human heart and the human soul, which springs directly from the human heart and the human soul. If a child, on entering primary school, is introduced to a highly sophisticated system of letter-forms which he has to learn as a ... b ... c etc., this has nothing whatever to do with his heart and soul. It has no relation to them at all. What the child develops in his head, in his soul, in that he has to learn a ... b ... c ...  is — speaking spiritually — a parasite in human nature.
During his years of education a great deal is brought to the child of this parasitic nature. We must, therefore, develop an art of education which works creatively from his soul. We must let the child bring color into form; and the color-forms, which have arisen out of joy, out of enthusiasm, out of sadness, out of every possible feeling, these he can paint on to the paper. When a child puts on to the paper what arises out of his soul, this develops his humanity. This produces nothing parasitic. This is something which grows out of man like his fingers or his nose! — whereas, when the child has forced on him the conventional forms of the letters, which are the result of a high degree of civilization, this does engender what is parasitic.
Immediately the art of education lies close to the human heart, to the human soul, the spiritual approaches man without becoming poison. First you have the diagnosis, which finds that our age is infested with carcinomas, and then you have the therapy — yes, it is Waldorf School education.
Waldorf School education is founded upon nothing other than this, my dear friends. Its way of thinking in the cultural sphere is the same as that in the field of therapy. Here you see, applied in a special case, what I spoke about a few days ago, namely that the being of man proceeds from below upwards, from nutrition, through healing, upwards to the development of the spiritual, and that one must regard education as medicine transposed into the spiritual. This strikes us with particular clarity when we wish to find a therapy for civilization, for we can only conceive this therapy as being Waldorf School education.
You will readily be able to imagine the feelings of one who not only has insight into this situation, but who is also trying to implant Waldorf School education into the world in a practical way, when he sees in the cumulative effect of this carcinoma of civilization something which may seriously endanger this Waldorf School education, or even make it altogether impossible. We should not reject such thoughts as these, but rather make them the impulse within ourselves to work together wherever we still can in the therapy of our civilization.
There are many things today such as the following. During my Helsingfors lecture-course in 1913, I indicated from a certain aspect of spiritual knowledge a view as to the inferior nature of Woodrow Wilson, who was at that time a veritable object of veneration for much of civilized mankind and in respect of whom people are only now — because to do otherwise is impossible — gaining some measure of perception. As things went then, so have things also gone in regard to the civilization-carcinoma about which I have been speaking. Well, at that time things went in a certain way; today those things which hold good for our time are proceeding in a similar manner. People are asleep. It devolves upon us to bring about the awakening. And Anthroposophy bears within it all the impulses for a right awakening of civilization, for a right awakening of human culture.
This is what I wished to say to you in the last of these lectures.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Cloud-Cuckooland versus Cambodia


Rudolf Steiner: 

It is not a question of knowing things in an abstract sense but above all of calling for a changing of ways, for an effort to be made; the old easy ways must go, and a spiritual approach must be seen to be the right way. And the effort must be made to find energies through spiritual science, not the kind of mere satisfaction where people say: 'Wasn't that nice! I feel really good!’ — and float around in Cloud-Cuckooland where they gradually go to sleep in their satisfaction at the harmony which exists in the world and the love of humanity which is so widespread. This was very much to the fore in the society endeavor headed by Mrs Besant. Many of you will remember the many protests I made against the precious sweetness and light that was particularly to be found in the Theosophical Society. High ideals were dished up liberally and internationally in the sweetest tones. All you heard was ‘general brotherhood’, ‘love of humanity’. I could not go along with this. We were seeking real, concrete knowledge about what went on in the world. You will remember the analogy I have often used, that this sweetness and general love seemed to me like someone who keeps on encouraging the stove which is supposed to heat the room: ‘Dear stove, it is your general stove duty to get the room warm; so please make it warm.’ All the male and female aunts, it seemed to me, were presenting the sum total of theosophy in those days in sweet words of love for humanity. My answer at the time was: ‘You have to put coal in the stove, and put in wood and light the fire.’ And if you are involved in a spiritual movement you must bring in real, concrete ideas; otherwise you will go on year after year with sweet nothings about general love of humanity. This ‘general love of humanity’ has really shown itself in a very pretty light in Mrs Besant, the leading figure in the theosophical movement.
It is, of course, more of an effort to deal with reality than to waffle in general terms about world harmony, about the individual soul being in harmony with the world, about harmony in the general love of humanity. Anthroposophy does not exist to send people off to sleep, but to make them really wide awake. We are living at a time when it is necessary for people to wake up.

Anthony Bourdain:  "Once you've been to Cambodia, you'll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands."


The more I learn about nazis the less I like them

Related posts:

Source: October 13, 1917  GA 177

Sunday, May 28, 2023

In Memoriam


War: What is it good for?


"Wisdom is crystallized pain."  — Rudolf Steiner

Getting drafted in 1969 forced me to wrestle with the problem of evil — specifically: How could something this bad happen to me?

“War is waged by men; not by beasts, or by gods. It is a peculiarly human activity. To call it a crime against mankind is to miss at least half its significance; it is also the punishment of a crime.” —Frederic Manning

Paul Fussell:

That month away from the line helped me survive for four weeks more but it broke the rhythm and, never badly scared before, when I returned to the line early in March I found for the first time that I was terrified, unwilling to take the chances that before had seemed rather sporting. My month of safety had renewed my interest in survival, and I was psychologically and morally ill prepared to lead my platoon in the great Seventh Army attack of March 15, 1945. But lead it I did, or rather push it, staying as far in the rear as was barely decent. And before the day was over I had been severely rebuked by a sharp-eyed lieutenant-colonel who threatened court martial if I didn’t pull myself together. Before that day was over I was sprayed with the contents of a soldier’s torso when I was lying behind him and he knelt to fire at a machine gun holding us up: he was struck in the heart, and out of the holes in the back of his field jacket flew little clouds of tissue, blood, and powdered cloth. Near him another man raised himself to fire, but the machine gun caught him in the mouth, and as he fell he looked back at me with surprise, blood and teeth dribbling out onto the leaves. He was one to whom early on I had given the Silver Star for heroism, and he didn’t want to let me down.

As if in retribution for my cowardice, in the late afternoon, near Ingwiller, Alsace, clearing a woods full of Germans cleverly dug in, my platoon was raked by shells from an .88, and I was hit in the back and leg by shell fragments. They felt like red-hot knives going in, but I was as interested in the few quiet moans, like those of a hurt child drifting off to sleep, of my thirty-seven-year-old platoon sergeant—we’d been together since Camp Howze—killed instantly by the same shell. We were lying together, and his immediate neighbor on the other side, a lieutenant in charge of a section of heavy machine guns, was killed instantly too. My platoon was virtually wiped away. I was in disgrace, I was hurt, I was clearly expendable—while I lay there the supply sergeant removed my issue wristwatch to pass on to my replacement—and I was twenty years old.
I bore up all right while being removed from “the field” and passed back through the first-aid stations where I was known. I was deeply on morphine, and managed brave smiles as called for. But when I got to the evacuation hospital thirty miles behind the lines and was coming out of the anesthetic from my first operation, all my affectations of control collapsed, and I did what I’d wanted to do for months. I cried, noisily and publicly, and for hours. I was the scandal of the war. 

Here's a salutation to my fellow draftees, all of whom were sacrificed by evil for evil.


A man coerced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.  ~Nietzsche

Karma and Pentecost : Necessity and Freedom


from "To Althea, from Prison"
by Richard Lovelace:

Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage.
If I have freedom in my Love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such Liberty.

Ex Deo Nascimur
In Christo Morimur
Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus


"Of what value is knowledge if it is not a living power in our life? Wisdom must be such a living power. The goal is not mere knowledge of the divine: it is the divinization of the human being."


Whitsun Verse:

Where knowledge through the senses ends
There stands the gateway
Which alone opens
Living reality to our soul's being;
The soul creates the key
When it grows strong within itself
In the struggle which the forces of the world
On their own ground wage
With human powers,
When by its own strength it drives away
The sleep which cloaks the powers of knowledge
At the limit of the senses
In spiritual sight.

— Rudolf Steiner

Wo Sinneswissen endet,
Da stehet erst die Pforte,
Die Lebenswirklichkeiten
Dem Seelensein eröffnet;
Den Schlüssel schafft die Seele,
Wenn sic in sich erstarket
Im Kampf, den Weltenmächte
Auf ihrem eignen Grunde
Mit Menschenkräfte führen;
Wenn sic durch sich vertreibt
Den Schlaf, der Wissenskräfte
An ihren Sinnesgrenzen
Mit Geistesnacht umhüllet.

Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, June 4, 1924:

When we consider how karma works we always have to bear in mind that the human ego, which is the essential being of man, the inmost being of man, has as it were three instruments through which it is able to live and express itself in the world. These are the physical body, the etheric body, and the astral body. Man really carries the physical, etheric, and astral bodies with him through the world, but he himself is not in any one of these bodies. In the truest sense he is the ego; and it is the ego which both suffers and creates karma.
Now the point is to gain an understanding of the relationship between man as the ego-being and these three instrumental forms — if I may call them so: the physical, etheric, and astral bodies. This will give us the foundation for an understanding of the essence of karma. We shall gain a fruitful point of view for the study of the physical, the etheric, and the astral in man in relation to karma if we consider the following.
The physical as we behold it in the mineral kingdom, the etheric as we find it working in the plant kingdom, and the astral as we find it working in the animal kingdom — all these are to be found in the environment of man here on Earth. In the cosmos surrounding the Earth we have that universe into which, if I may so describe it, the Earth extends on all sides. Man can feel a certain relationship between what takes place on the Earth and what takes place in the cosmic environment. But when we come to Spiritual Science we have to ask: Is this relationship really so commonplace as the present-day scientific conception of the world imagines? This modern scientific conception of the world examines the physical qualities of everything on the Earth, living and lifeless. It also investigates the stars, the Sun, the Moon, etc.; and it discovers — indeed it is particularly proud of the discovery — that these heavenly bodies are fundamentally of the same nature as the Earth.
Such a conception can only result from a form of knowledge which at no point comes to a real grasp of man himself — a knowledge which takes hold only of what is external to man. The moment, however, we really take hold of man as he stands within the Universe, we become able to discover the relationships between the several instrumental members of man's nature — the physical body, the etheric body, and the astral body — and the corresponding entities, the corresponding realities of being, in the Cosmos.
In regard to the etheric body of man, we find spread out in the Cosmos the universal Ether. The etheric body of man has a definite human shape, definite forms of movement within it, and so on. These, it is true, are different in the cosmic Ether. Nevertheless the cosmic Ether is fundamentally of like nature with what we find in the human etheric body. In the same way we can speak of a similarity between what is found in the human astral body and a certain astral principle that works through all things and all beings out in the far-spread Universe.
Here we come to something of extraordinary importance, something which in its true nature is quite foreign to the human being of today. Let us take our start from this. (A drawing is made on the blackboard). We have, first, the Earth; and on the Earth we have Man, with his etheric body. Then in the Earth's environment we have the cosmic Ether — the cosmic Ether which is of the same nature as the etheric in man. In man we also have the astral body. In the cosmic environment too there is Astrality. Where are we to find this cosmic Astrality? Where is it? It is indeed to be found, but we must first discover — what it is in the Cosmos that betrays the presence of cosmic Astrality; what it is that reveals it. Somewhere or other is the Astrality. Is this Astrality in the Cosmos quite invisible and imperceptible, or is it, after all, in some way perceptible to us?
In itself, of course, the Ether too is imperceptible for our physical senses. If I may put it so, when you are looking at a small fragment of Ether, you see nothing with your physical senses, you simply see through it. The Ether is like an empty nothingness to you. But when you regard the etheric environment as a totality, you behold the blue sky, of which we also say that it is not really there but that you are gazing into empty space. Now the reason why you see the blue of the sky is that you are actually perceiving the end of the Ether. Thus you behold the Ether as the blue of the heavens. The perception of the blue sky is really and truly a perception of the Ether. We may therefore say: In that we perceive the blue of the sky we are perceiving the universal Ether that surrounds us.
At first contact, we see through the Ether. It allows us to do so; and yet, it makes itself perceptible in the blue heavens. Hence the existence for human perception of the blue of the sky is expressed in that we say: The Ether itself, though imperceptible, yet rises to the level of perceptibility by reason of the great majesty with which it stands there in the Universe, revealing its presence, making itself known in the blue of the vast expanse.
Physical science theorizes materialistically about the blue of the sky; and for physical science it is indeed very difficult to reach any intelligent conclusion on this point, for the simple reason that it is bound to admit that where we see the blue of the sky there is nothing physical. Nevertheless men spin out the most elaborate theories to explain how the rays of light are reflected and refracted in a peculiar way so as to call forth this blue of the sky. In reality, it is here that the supersensible world begins already to hold sway. In the Cosmos the Supersensible does indeed become visible to us. We have only to discover where and how it becomes visible. The Ether becomes perceptible to us through the blue of the sky.
But now, somewhere there is also present the astral element of the Cosmos. In the blue sky the Ether peers through, as it were, into the realms of sense. Where then does the Astrality in the Cosmos peer through into the realms of perceptibility? The answer, my dear friends, is this.
Every star that we see glittering in the heavens is in reality a gate of entry for the Astral. Wherever the stars are twinkling and glittering in towards us, there glitters and shines the Astral. Look at the starry heavens in their manifold variety; in one part the stars are gathered into heaps and clusters, or in another they are scattered far apart. In all this wonderful configuration of radiant light, the invisible and super-sensible astral body of the Cosmos makes itself visible to us.
For this reason we must not consider the world of stars unspiritually. To look up to the world of stars and speak of worlds of burning gases is just as though — forgive the apparent absurdity of the comparison, but it is precisely true — it is just as though someone who loves you were gently stroking you, holding the fingers a little apart, and you were then to say that it feels like so many little ribbons being drawn across your cheek. It is no more untrue that little ribbons are laid across your cheek when someone strokes you, than that there exist up there in the heavens those material entities of which modern physics tells. It is the astral body of the Universe which is perpetually wielding its influences — like the gently stroking fingers — on the etheric organism of the Cosmos. The etheric Cosmos is organized for very long duration; it is for this reason that a star has its quality of fixity, representing a perpetual influence on the cosmic Ether by the astral Universe. It lasts far longer than the stroking of your cheek. But in the Cosmos things do last longer, for there we are dealing with gigantic measures. Thus in the starry heavens that we perceive, we actually behold an expression of the soul-life of the cosmic astral world.
In this way an immense, unfathomable life, yet, at the same time, a soul-life, a real and actual life of the soul, is brought into the Cosmos. Think how dead the Cosmos appears to us when we look into the far spaces and see nothing but burning gaseous bodies. Think how living it all becomes when we know that the stars are an expression of the love with which the astral Cosmos works upon the etheric Cosmos — for this is to express it with perfect truth. Think then of those mysterious processes when certain stars suddenly light up at certain times — processes which have only been explained to us by means of physical hypotheses that do not lead to any real understanding. Stars that were not there before, light up for a time, and disappear again. Thus in the Cosmos too there is a “stroking” of shorter duration. For it is true indeed that in epochs when divine beings desire to work in an especial way from the astral world into the etheric, we behold new stars light up and fade away again.
We ourselves in our own astral body have feelings of delight and comfort in the most varied ways. In like manner in the Cosmos, through the cosmic astral body, we have the varied configuration of the starry heavens. No wonder that an ancient science, instinctively clairvoyant, describes this third member of our human organism as the “astral” or “starry” body, seeing that it is of like nature with that which reveals itself to us in the stars.
It is only the Ego that we do not find revealed in the cosmic environment. Why is this? We shall find the reason if we consider how this human Ego manifests here on the Earth, in a world that is in reality threefold: physical, etheric, and astral. The Ego of man, as it appears within the Universe, is ever and again a repetition of former lives on Earth; and again and again it finds itself in the life between death and a new birth. But when we observe the Ego in its life between death and a new birth, we perceive that the Etheric which we have here in the cosmic environment of the Earth has no significance for the human Ego. The etheric body is laid aside soon after death. It is only the astral world, that shines in towards us through the stars, that has significance for the Ego in the life between death and a new birth. And in that world which glistens in towards us through the stars, in that world there live the beings of the higher hierarchies with whom man forms his karma between death and a new birth.
Indeed, when we follow this Ego in its successive evolutions through lives between birth and death and between death and a new birth, we cannot remain within the world of space at all. For two successive earthly lives cannot be within the same space. They cannot be within that Universe which is dependent on spatial co-existence. Here therefore we go right out of space and enter into time. This is actually so. We go out of space and come into the pure flow of time when we contemplate the Ego in its successive lives on Earth.
Now consider this, my dear friends. In space, time is still present, of course, but within this world of space we have no means of experiencing time in itself. We always have to experience time through space and spatial processes. For example, if you wish to experience time, you look at the clock, or, if you will, at the course of the Sun. What do you see? You see the various positions of the hands of the clock or of the Sun. You see something that is spatial. Through the fact that the positions of the hands or of the Sun are changed, through the fact that spatial things are present to you as changing, you gain some idea of time. But of time itself there is really nothing in this spatial perception. There are only varied spatial configurations, varied positions of the hands of the clock, varied positions of the Sun. You only experience time itself when you come into the sphere of the soul's experience. There you do really experience time, but there you also go out of space. There, time is a reality, but within the earthly world of space, time is no reality. What, then, must happen to us, if we would go out of the space in which we live between birth and death and enter into the spacelessness in which we live between death and a new birth? What must we do? The answer is this: We must die!

We must take these words in their exact and deep meaning. On Earth we experience time only through space — through points in space, through the positions of spatial things. On Earth we do not experience time in its reality at all. Once you grasp this, you will say: “Really to enter into time we must go out of space, we must put away all things spatial.” You can also express it in other words, for it is really nothing else than — to die. It means, in very deed and truth: to die.
Let us now turn our eyes to this cosmic world that encircles the Earth — this cosmic world to which we are akin both through our etheric body and also through our astral body — and let us look at the spiritual in this cosmic world. There have indeed been nations and human societies who have had regard only to the spiritual that is to be found within our earthly world of space. Such peoples were unable to have any thoughts about repeated lives on Earth. Thoughts about repeated lives on Earth were possessed only by those human beings and groups that were able to conceive time in its pure essence, time in its spaceless character. But if we consider this earthly world together with its cosmic environment, or, to put it briefly, all that we speak of as the Cosmos, the Universe; and if we behold the spiritual manifest in it, we are then apprehending something of which it can be said that it had to be present in order that we might enter into our existence as earthly human beings; it had to be there.
Unfathomable depths are really contained in this simple conception — that all that to which I have just referred had to exist in order that we as earthly human beings might enter this earthly life. Infinite depths are revealed when we really grasp the spiritual aspect of all that is thus put before us. If we conceive this Spiritual in its completeness as a self-contained whole, if we consider it in its own purity and essence, then we have a conception of what was called “God” by those peoples who limited their outlook to the world of space alone.
These peoples — at any rate in their wisdom-teachings — had come to feel: The Cosmos is woven through and through by a divine element that is at work in it, and we can distinguish from this divine element in the Cosmos that which is present, on the Earth in our immediate environment as the physical world. We can also distinguish that which, in this cosmic, divine-spiritual world reveals itself as the Etheric, namely that which gazes down upon us in the blue of the sky. We can distinguish as the Astral in this divine world that which gazes down upon us in the configuration of the starry heavens.
If we enter as fully as possible into the situation as we stand here, within the Universe, as human beings on this Earth, we shall say to ourselves: “We as human beings have a physical body: where, then, is the Physical in the Universe?” Here I am returning to something which I have already pointed out. The physical science of today expects to find everything which is on the Earth existing also in the Universe. But the physical organization itself is not to be found in the Universe at all. Man has in the first place his physical organization: then in addition he has the etheric and the astral. The Universe on the other hand begins with the Etheric. Out there in the Cosmos the Physical is nowhere to be found. The Physical exists only on the Earth, and it is but empty fancy and imagination to speak of anything physical in the far Universe. In the Universe there is the Etheric and the Astral.

There is also a third element within the Universe which we have yet to speak about in this present lecture, for the Cosmos too is threefold. But the threefoldness of the Cosmos, apart from the Earth, is different from the threefoldness of the Cosmos in which we include the Earth.
Let these feelings enter into our earthly consciousness: the perceiving of the Physical in our immediate earthly dwelling-place; the feeling of the Etheric, which is both on the Earth and in the Universe; the beholding of the Astral, glistening down to the Earth from the stars, and most intensely of all from the Sun-star. Then, when we consider all these things and place before our souls the majesty of this world-conception, we can well understand how in ancient times, when with the old instinctive clairvoyance men did not think so abstractly but were still able to feel the majesty of a great conception, they were led to realize: “A thought so majestic as this cannot be conceived perpetually in all its fullness. We must take hold of it at one special time, allowing it to work on the soul in its full, unfathomable glory. It will then work on in the inner depths of our human being, without being spoilt and corrupted by our surface consciousness.” — If we consider by what means the old instinctive clairvoyance gave expression to such a feeling, then out of all that combined to give truth to this thought in mankind in olden time there remains to us today the institution of the Christmas Festival.
On Christmas Night, man, as he stands here upon the Earth with his physical, his etheric, and his astral bodies, feels himself to be related to the threefold Cosmos, which appears to him in its Etheric nature, shining so majestically, and with the magic wonder of the night in the blue of the heavens; while face to face with him is the Astral of the Universe, in the stars that glitter in towards the Earth. As he realizes how the holiness of this cosmic environment is related to that which is on the Earth itself, he feels that he himself with his own Ego has been transplanted from the Cosmos into this world of Space. And now he may gaze upon the Christmas Mystery — the new-born Child, the Representative of Humanity on Earth, who, inasmuch as he is entering into childhood, is born into this world of Space. In the fullness and majesty of this Christmas thought, as he gazes on the Child that is born on Christmas Night, he exclaims: “Ex Deo Nascimur — I am born out of the Divine, the Divine that weaves and surges through the world of Space.”
When a man has felt this, when he has permeated himself through and through with it, then he may also recall what Anthroposophy has revealed to us about the meaning of the Earth. The Child on whom we are gazing is the outer sheath of That which is now born into Space. But whence is He born, that He might be brought to birth in the world of Space? According to what we have explained today, it can only be from Time. From out of Time the Child is born.
If we then follow out the life of this Child and His permeation by the Spirit of the Christ-Being, we come to realize that this Being, this Christ-Being, comes from the Sun. Then we shall look up to the Sun, and say to ourselves: “As I look up to the Sun, I must behold in the sunshine Time, which in the world of Space is hidden. Within the Sun is Time, and from out of the Time that weaves and works within the Sun, Christ came forth, came out into Space, on to the Earth.”
What have we then in Christ on Earth? In Christ on Earth we have That which coming from beyond Space, from outside of Space, unites with the Earth.
I want you to realize how our conception of the Universe changes, in comparison with the ordinary present-day conception when we really enter into all that has come before our souls this evening. There in the Universe we have the Sun, with all that there appears to us to be immediately connected with it — all that is contained in the blue of the heavens, in the world of the stars. At another point in the Universe we have the Earth with humanity. When we look up from the Earth to the Sun, we are at the same time looking into the flow of Time.
Now from this there follows something of great significance. Man only looks up to the Sun in the right way (even if it be but in his mind) when, as he gazes upwards, he forgets Space and considers Time alone. For in truth, the Sun does not only radiate light, it radiates Space itself, and when we are looking into the Sun we are looking out of Space into the world of Time. The Sun is the unique star that it is because when we gaze into the Sun we are looking out of Space. And from that world, outside of Space, Christ came to men. At the time when Christianity was founded by Christ on Earth, man had been all too long restricted to the mere Ex Deo Nascimur, he had become altogether bound up in it, he had become a Space-being pure and simple. The reason why it is so hard for us to understand the traditions of primeval epochs when we go back to them with the consciousness of present-day civilization is that they always had in mind Space, and not the world of Time. They regarded the world of Time only as an appendage of the world of Space.
Christ came to bring the element of Time again to men, and when the human heart, the human soul, the human spirit unite themselves with Christ, then man receives once more the stream of Time that flows from Eternity to Eternity. What else can we human beings do when we die, i.e. when we go out of the world of Space, than hold fast to Him who gives Time back to us again? At the Mystery of Golgotha man had become to so great an extent a being of Space that Time was lost to him. Christ brought Time back again to men.
If, then, in going forth from the world of Space, men would not die in their souls as well as in their bodies, they must die in Christ. We can still be human beings of Space, and say: Ex Deo Nascimur, and we can look to the Child who comes forth from Time into Space, that he may unite Christ with humanity. But since the Mystery of Golgotha we cannot conceive of death, the bound of our earthly life, without this thought: “We must die in Christ.” Otherwise we shall pay for our loss of Time with the loss of Christ Himself, and, banished from Him, remain held spellbound. We must fill ourselves with the Mystery of Golgotha. In addition to the Ex Deo Nascimur we must find the In Christo Morimur. We must bring forth the Easter thought in addition to the Christmas thought. Thus the Ex Deo Nascimur lets the Christmas thought appear before our souls, and in the In Christo Morimur the Easter thought.
We can now say: On the Earth man has his three bodies: the physical, the etheric, and the astral. The Etheric and Astral are also out there in the Cosmos, but the Physical is only to be found on the Earth. Out in the Cosmos there is no Physical. Thus we must say: On the Earth — physical, etheric, astral. In the Cosmos— no physical, but only the etheric and the astral.
Yet the Cosmos too is threefold, for what the Cosmos lacks at the lowest level, it adds above. In the Cosmos the Etheric is the lowest: on the Earth the Physical is the lowest. On Earth the Astral is the highest; in the Cosmos the highest is that of which man has today only the beginnings — that out of which his Spirit-Self will one day be woven. We may therefore say: In the Cosmos there is, as the third, the highest element, the Spirit-Selfhood [Manas].
Now we see the stars as expressions of something real. I compared their action to a gentle stroking. The Spirit-Selfhood that is behind them is indeed the Being that lovingly strokes — only in this case it is not a single Being but the whole world of the Hierarchies. I gaze upon a man and see his form; I look at his eyes and see them shining towards me; I hear his voice; it is the utterance of the human being. In the same way I gaze up into the far spaces of the world, I look upon the stars. They are the utterance of the Hierarchies — the living utterance of the Hierarchies, kindling astral feeling. I gaze into the blue depths of the firmament and perceive in it the outward revelation of the etheric body which is the lowest member of the whole world of the Hierarchies.
Now we may draw near to a still further realization. We look out into the far Cosmos which goes out beyond earthly reality, even as the Earth with its physical substance and forces goes down beneath cosmic reality. As in the Physical the Earth has a sub-cosmic element, so in Spirit-Selfhood the Cosmos has a super-earthly element.
Physical science speaks of a movement of the Sun; and it can do so, for within the spatial picture of the Cosmos which surrounds us we perceive by certain phenomena that the Sun is in movement. But that is only an image of the true Sun-movement — an image cast into Space. If we are speaking of the real Sun it is nonsense to say that the Sun moves in Space; for Space itself is being radiated out by the Sun. The Sun not only radiates light; the Sun creates Space itself. And the movement of the Sun is only a spatial movement within this created Space. Outside of Space it is a movement in Time, What seems apparent to us — namely, that the Sun is speeding on towards the constellation of Hercules — is only a spatial image of the Time-evolution of the Sun-Being.
To His intimate disciples Christ spoke these words: “Behold the life of the Earth; it is related to the life of the Cosmos. When you look out on the Earth and the surrounding Cosmos, it is the Father whose life permeates this Universe. The Father-God is the God of Space. But I make known to you that I have come to you from the Sun, from Time — Time that receives man only when he dies. I have brought you myself from out of Time. If you receive me, you receive Time, and you will not be held spellbound in Space. But you find the transition from the one trinity — Physical, Etheric, and Astral — to the other trinity, which leads from the Etheric and Astral to Spirit-Selfhood. Spirit-Selfhood is not to be found in the earthly world, just as the Earthly-Physical is not to be found in the Cosmos. But I bring you the message of it, for I am from the Sun.”
The Sun has indeed a threefold aspect. If one lives within the Sun and looks down from the Sun to the Earth, one beholds the Physical, Etheric, and Astral. One may also gaze on that which is within the Sun itself. Then one still sees the Physical so long as one remembers the Earth or gazes down towards the Earth. But if one looks away from the Earth one beholds on the other side the Spirit-Selfhood. Thus one swings backwards and forwards between the Physical and the nature of the Spirit-Self. Only the Etheric and Astral in between are permanent. As you look out into the great Universe, the Earthly vanishes away, and you have the Etheric, the Astral, and the Spirit-Selfhood. This is what you behold when you come into the Sun-Time between death and a new birth.
Let us now imagine first of all the inner mood of a man's soul to be such that he shuts himself up entirely within this Earth-existence. He can still feel the Divine, for out of the Divine he is born: Ex Deo Nascimur. Then let us imagine him no longer shutting himself up within the mere world of Space, but receiving the Christ who came from the world of Time into the world of Space, who brought Time itself into earthly Space. If a man does this, then in Death he will overcome Death. Ex Deo NascimurIn Christo Morimur. But Christ Himself brings the message that when Space is overcome and one has learned to recognize the Sun as the creator of Space, when one feels oneself transplanted through Christ into the Sun, into the living Sun, then the earthly Physical vanishes and only the Etheric and the Astral are there. Now the Etheric comes to life, not as the blue of the sky, but as the lilac-red gleaming radiance of the Cosmos, and forth from the reddish light the stars no longer twinkle down upon us but gently touch us with their loving effluence.

If a man really enters into all this, he can have the experience of himself, standing here upon the Earth, the Physical put aside, but the Etheric still with him, streaming through and out of him in the lilac-reddish light. No longer now are the stars glimmering points of light; they are radiations of love like the caressing hand of a human being. As we feel all this — the divine within ourselves, the divine cosmic fire flaming forth from within us as the very being of man; ourselves within the Etheric world and experiencing the living expression of the Spirit in the Astral cosmic radiance — there bursts forth within us the inner awakening of the creative radiance of Spirit, which is man's high calling in the Universe.
When those to whom Christ revealed these things had let the revelation sink deep into their being, then the moment came when they experienced the working of this mighty concept, in the fiery tongues of Pentecost. At first they felt the falling away, the discarding of the earthly-Physical as death. But then the feeling came; This is not death, but in place of the Physical of the Earth, there now dawns upon us the Spirit-Selfhood of the Universe. “Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus.”
Thus may we regard the threefold nature of the one half of the year. We have the Christmas thought —Ex Deo Nascimur; the Easter thought — In Christo Morimur; and the Whitsun thought — Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus.
There remains the other half of the year. If we understand that too, there dawns on us the other aspect of our human life. If we understand the relationship of the physical to the soul of man and to the superphysical — which contains the true freedom of which man is to become a partaker on the Earth — then in the interconnection of the Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun festivals we understand the human freedom on Earth. As we understand man from out of these three thoughts — the Christmas thought, the Easter thought, and the Whitsun thought — and as we let this kindle in us the desire to understand the remaining portions of the year, there arises the other half of human life which I indicated when I said: “Gaze upon this human destiny; the Hierarchies appear behind it — the working and weaving of the Hierarchies.” It is wonderful to look truly into the destiny of a human being, for behind it stands the whole world of the Hierarchies.
It is indeed the language of the stars which sounds towards us from the thoughts of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide; from the Christmas thought, inasmuch as the Earth is a star within the Universe; from the Easter thought, inasmuch as the most radiant of stars, the Sun, gives us his gifts of grace; and from the Whitsun thought, inasmuch as that which lies hidden beyond the stars lights into the soul, and lights forth again from the soul in the fiery tongues of Pentecost.
Enter into all this, my dear friends! I have told you of the Father, the Bearer of the Christmas thought, who sends the Son that through him the Easter thought may be fulfilled; I have told you further how the Son brings the message of the Spirit, so that in the thought of Whitsun man's life on Earth may be completed in its threefold being. Meditate this through, ponder it well; then for all the descriptive foundations I have already given you for an understanding of karma, you will gain a right foundation of inner feeling.
Try to let the Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun thoughts, in the way I have expressed them to you today, work deeply and truly into your human feeling, and when we meet again after the journey which I must undertake this Whitsuntide for the Course on Agriculture — when we come together again, bring this feeling with you, my dear friends. For this feeling should live on in you as the warm and fiery thought of Pentecost. Then we shall be able to go further in our study of karma; your power of understanding will be fertilized by what the Whitsun thought contains.
Just as once upon a time at the first Whitsun Festival something shone forth from each one of the disciples, so the thought of Pentecost should now become alive again for our anthroposophical understanding. Something must light up and shine forth from our souls. Therefore it is as a Whitsun feeling, to prepare you for the further continuation of our thoughts on karma, which are related to the other half of the year, that I have given you what I have said today about the inner connections of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide.