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Inner Realities of Evolution

III

THE INNER ASPECT OF THE MOON-EMBODIMENT
OF THE EARTH

In the last two lectures an endeavour was made to call attention to the fact that behind all the material phenomena of the substance of our earth something spiritual is to be sought. We endeavoured to describe the spiritual to be found behind the phenomenon of heat, and then that behind the phenomenon of flowing air. As, in order to do this, it was necessary to turn back to the very early ages of our evolution, we had to glance into our own soul-life to describe the spiritual conditions underlying matter. For it is obvious that the concepts by means of which anything is described must necessarily be drawn from somewhere. Words alone will not suffice; we must have quite definite conceptions. As we have seen, the spiritual conditions to which we referred are so far removed from anything experienced by man at the present time, or of which he can have knowledge — that we had to appeal to certain conditions in our soul-life, conditions by no means universal. We have seen that the deepest being of all conditions of heat and fire must be sought very far away from what we know as external physical fire or heat. To a man of the present day it must appear truly absurd that sacrifice should be recognised as the essence of all conditions of heat: a sacrifice made by very definite Beings to be met with on the old Saturn state of the Earth — the Thrones — who then brought their sacrifice to the Cherubim. And yet in truth we must say that a sacrifice such as possessed its starting point in the world-evolution, appears to us — although in maya or illusion — in all external conditions of heat or fire. In the last lecture we also recognised that behind all that we may call flowing air or flowing gas, there is something very far away, which we have called “the virtue of bestowal,” the devotional pouring forth by spiritual Beings of their own being. This is to be found in every breath of wind, in all flowing air. Thus what is perceived externally, physically, is in reality mere illusion, nothing but maya; and only when we progress from maya to the incorporeal, the spiritual, do we obtain the correct conception of fire and heat; for in fact fire, heat and light bear the same relation to the real world as does the reflected image of a man seen in a mirror to the person himself. For, just as the mirror presents merely an illusion in relation to the man, so in this sense, fire, heat and air are illusions; and the realities behind these bear the same relation to them as the real man to his reflection. We have to seek neither fire nor air in the world of reality, but sacrifice, and the virtue of bestowal.

When we saw the virtue of bestowal added to that of sacrifice we ascend from the life of ancient Saturn to that of ancient Sun. In the latter, the second cosmic embodiment of our earth, we find something which brings us a step nearer to the real conditions of our evolution. Yet another concept must be introduced to-day, which belongs to the world of reality as concerned with the world of illusion. But before passing to the actual conditions of evolution we must acquire a definite idea from the following.

When in his external life a man does something, accomplishes something, the impulse of his will as a rule underlies it. Whatever he does, be it the movement of a hand or the greatest of deeds, the impulse of the will underlies them. From his will proceeds everything that leads to an act, to an achievement. Now at first a man would say that a strong, forceful act, one for instance that is to bring about great healing and blessing, must proceed from a stronger impulse of will, while a less important act comes from a weaker impulse. And in general it is assumed that the greatness of the deed depends upon the strength of the impulse of the will. But only in a certain degree is it correct that as we intensify our will we accomplish great things in the world. From a certain point onwards that is no more the case. Certain deeds that man may do — particularly such as bear upon the spiritual world — do not, strange to say, now depend upon the strengthening of our impulses of will. In the physical world, in which we particularly live, the greatness of our deeds certainly does depend upon the strength of our impulses of will, for the more we wish to accomplish, the greater are the efforts we must make But in the spiritual world this is not so, there the opposite comes to pass. There it is the case that the greatest deeds, or, better said, the greatest results, do not necessitate any strengthening of the positive impulses of will, but far more a certain resignation, a renouncing. Take the very smallest purely spiritual facts. We do not attain any spiritual effects by bringing strong desires into play, or by bestirring ourselves as much as possible; no — in the spiritual world we attain certain results by controlling our wishes and desires, and renouncing all idea of satisfying them. Suppose a man has made up his mind to bring something about in the world by means of inner spiritual workings. To do this he would have to prepare himself by learning above all to suppress his own wishes and desires. For whereas in the physical world we grow stronger when we eat well, when we are well nourished and acquire greater strength thereby, so, in the spiritual world, when we wish to attain something important we can precisely do so with the greatest ease, if, by fasting or other means, we repress and control our wishes and desires; (this is only a statement, and not given by way of advice). The greatest spiritual, magical effects, always require preparation connected with the renunciation of wishes, desires, and impulses of will which may appear within us. The less we “will,” the more we say: We will allow life to flow over us, not longing for this or that, but accepting everything just as Karma sends it to us, the more we are able to accept Karma and its workings in this way, keeping quietly ready to renounce all that we should otherwise wish to choose for this life, the more forceful shall we become as regards the activity of our thinking. In the case of a teacher or tutor who is, above all things, fond of eating and drinking and has other masterful passions, it will be noticeable that his words to his pupils will not accomplish very much, his words will go in at one ear and out at the other. He will think that this is the fault of the pupils, but that is not always the case. A man who has begun to lead a higher life, who lives temperately, who only eats as much as is necessary to support life, who is determined to accept what destiny brings him with equanimity, will gradually notice that his words have great force; he will not even require to look at his pupils, but only to be near them and have encouraging thought without expressing it, and that thought will pass over to the pupil. It all depends on the degree of renunciation and self-denial he has acquired as regards the things usually desired by man.

The right path for spiritual activities intended to lead to spiritual effects in the higher worlds, is that of renunciation. In relation to this many delusions are met with, and delusions while resembling true renunciation, do not lead to the right results. We are all acquainted with what in ordinary life is called “asceticism,” self-inflicted suffering. In many cases the practice of this may be a spiritual self-indulgence, for a person may practise it in order to obtain great results, or from some other source of desire for self- satisfaction. In such cases asceticism produces no results; it is of no avail unless it is a sign of the renunciation rooted in the spirit. Let us then acquire the concept of the creative renunciation, the creative resignation. It is indeed of immense importance that we should accept this renunciation, this creative resignation, which we may experience in the soul, as a conception of something far removed from our everyday life; and then we are guided a step deeper into the evolution of humanity. For in the process of evolution something of the kind really does take place in the transition from the conditions of ancient Sun to those of ancient Moon. Something of the nature of renunciation takes place in the realm of the Beings of the higher worlds, for these Beings, as we know already, are connected with the process of the earth's development. At this juncture let us once again call to mind the ancient Sun evolution. But let us first give our attention to something else with which we are already familiar, but which may until now have appeared in some respects to be somewhat of an enigma.

We have repeatedly drawn attention to occurrences in evolution which must be traced back to those beings who have in the course of evolution “remained behind.” We know that the Luciferic beings have invaded the domain of our earth humanity. It has repeatedly been necessary to draw attention to the fact that these beings are able to enter our astral body during the development of our earth because they did not, during the evolution of the Moon, reach the stage they ought to have attained. A commonplace comparison has often been used, that as in our schools some pupils remain behind, so even in the great cosmic evolution there are cosmic beings who, remaining behind in the stages of their own evolution, subsequently interfere with the evolutionary stages of other beings, with a result similar to that produced by the Luciferic beings, who lingered behind on the ancient Moon. We might easily suppose these to be faulty beings actually injurious to the evolution of the world; for why did they linger behind? Such a thought might occur to us. The thought, however, which we should entertain is this: that man would never have attained his freedom, or the capacity for individual initiative action had not the Lucifer beings remained behind on the Moon. So that on the one hand man owes to the Lucifer beings the fact that he has in his astral body passions, emotions, and desires driving him constantly down from a certain height into lower pats of his nature. But, on the other hand, if man were incapable of wickedness, unable to err from good through the forces of the Lucifer beings in his astral body he could not act freely, or possess what we call freewill, freedom of choice. We must therefore admit that to the Luciferic beings we owe our freedom. The deduction to be drawn from this is that the one-sided view is not valid that claims that they only lead man astray; their remaining behind must be regarded as something beneficial, as something without which he could never have acquired his human dignity, in the true sense of the word.

Now what we call the “remaining behind” of the Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings is based on something much deeper, something already to be encountered in connection with ancient Saturn, although it is there so difficult to perceive that words could hardly be found in any language to describe it. But when we advance to the ancient Sun-existence, we are able to describe it quite distinctly if we bear in mind the idea of resignation or renunciation which we have to-day described. For what lies beneath all such remaining behind and all its influence is renunciation, resignation by higher Beings. So now, on the Sun we can see the following taking place. We have said that the Thrones, the Spirits of Will, offer sacrifice to the Cherubim; and this they do, as we have seen in the last lecture, not only during the Saturn period, but they continue their sacrifice through that of the Sun, so that there too we have the idea of the Thrones or Spirits of Will sacrificing to the Cherubim. In this sacrifice is to be found the actual essence of all the conditions of heat or fire present in the world. Now, if we look back into the Akashic Record of the Sun-age we can quite distinctly remark the following. The Thrones offer and continue their sacrificial activity; so that we have there the sacrificing Thrones and a host of Cherubim to whom, as we see, the sacrifice rises, while they take into themselves the heat which flows forth from it. However, another host of Cherubim accomplish something else; these renounce the sacrifice, they do not accept what is offered them. We must therefore complete the picture we called up before our minds in the last lecture.

In this picture we have the sacrificing Thrones and those Cherubim who accept their sacrifice, and we also have the Cherubim who do not accept it — but give back that which was offered up to them. It is extraordinarily interesting to follow this in the Akashic Record. For by reason of the bestowing virtue of the Spirits of Wisdom now flowing into the sacrificial heat we are able during the ancient Sun-period to see ascending something like sacrificial smoke of which we have said, that it is reflected back by the Archangels from the outermost periphery of the Sun, in the form of light. But now besides this, something altogether different seems to appear in the space of ancient Sun; not merely the sacrificial smoke thrown back by the Archangels in the form of light, but also that smoke which was not accepted by the Cherubim and which as it were flows back again, as though dammed back. So that we have permanent clouds of sacrifice in space; Sacrifice that ascends, Sacrifice that descends, Sacrifice accepted and Sacrifice rejected. The encounter of these intrinsically Spiritual cloud-formations is seen to take place between what in the last lecture we called the “outer” and the “inner,” until the separation occurs. Thus in the centre we have the sacrificing Thrones, then in the heights above the Cherubim accepting the sacrifice, and beside these, those other Cherubim who did not accept the proffered sacrifice, but diverted its course back again. Through this diversion arises, as it were, an encircling cloud, and right outside we have the cast-back masses of light. Let us try to form a picture of this in our minds. We must think of this ancient Sun-space, the ancient Sun-mass as a cosmic globe beyond which we conceive of nothing, so that we only imagine space extending as far as the Archangels. Let us further picture in the centre of this globular formation the meeting of the accepted and the rejected sacrifices. From these two, the accepted and rejected sacrifices, there comes into being in the ancient Sun something that we may call a division of the whole Sun-substance, a divergence. If we wish to compare the Sun in that bygone age with any external image, we can only compare it with the form of our present Saturn which is a globe encircled by rings; for that which is in the centre is thrown inwards by volumes of sacrifice and that which was outside is arranged as an encircling mass. Thus we have the Sun's substance divided into two parts by the force of the arrested and dammed up powers of the sacrifice.

What then is brought about by this renunciation of the sacrifice on the part of certain of the Cherubim?

We are now coming to an extremely difficult chapter indeed, and we shall only be able gradually to grasp, by means of meditation, what is comprised in the conceptions about to be set forth. Only after long and profound reflection upon the conceptions about to be given can we discern what the realities are that underlie them. That resignation of which mention has already been made, must be brought into connection with the origin of Time — the scene of which we have laid in ancient Saturn. Time, as we have seen, actually originated on ancient Saturn, with the Archai or Spirits of Time, and there is no sense in referring to Time previous to ancient Saturn. Now at the risk of repeating ourselves, we may say that Time continues. Continuity or Duration is a conception which contains Time within itself. Thus when we say that Time is continuous it means that when we observe Saturn and Sun in the Akashic records, on Saturn we find the origin of Time — and on the Sun we still find Time present. Now if all conditions remained as they were, as we described them in the last two lectures when speaking of Saturn and Sun, Time would then form an element in everything that happens in evolution. We could not in thought eliminate Time from any occurrence in evolution. We have seen that the Spirits of Time came into being on ancient Saturn, and that Time is implanted into everything. All that we have hitherto thought whether in pictures or in imagination concerning evolution we must bring into connection with Time. All that has taken place — sacrifice and the virtue of bestowal, which we have mentioned — would be subject to Time, nothing would not be subject to Time, which means that all arising and passing away which indeed pertains to Time, must be subject to it.

Now those Cherubim who renounced the acceptance of the sacrifice and of that which was, as it were, contained in the smoke of the sacrifice, did so because in so doing, they withdraw from the properties of this sacrificial smoke. And to these properties belongs, above all, Time, which includes “arising” and “passing away.” The whole renunciation of the sacrifice on the part of these Cherubim signifies that they had grown beyond the conditions of Time. These Cherubim extended beyond Time and withdrew from subjection to it. The combination of circumstances during the evolution of ancient Sun was such, that the sacrificing and the virtue of bestowal, which conditions continued in a direct line from Saturn, remain subject to Time; whilst others, brought about by the other Cherubim who renounced the acceptance of the sacrifice wrested themselves free, and chose Eternity, duration, permanence, the non-subjection to arising and passing away. This is in the highest degree remarkable: during the evolution of ancient Sun we come to a severance between Time and Eternity. Through the resignation made by the Cherubim during the Sun-evolution, Eternity was gained, as a property of certain conditions which then came about. Just as we saw, on looking into our soul, that in it certain effects were produced through the acquisition by man of the qualities of renunciation and resignation — so we see, speaking now of the ancient Sun alone, that eternity and immortality were acquired by certain divine Spiritual Beings, that they resigned the sacrifice and all that might have come to them from the virtue of bestowal and all its diffused gifts. Whereas we have seen Time coming into being on ancient Saturn, we have also seen certain conditions wresting themselves free from it during the Sun development. But we must take special care to note that this was prepared even during the Saturn-age; so that Eternity does not actually begin during the Sun-age. This can however, only be sufficiently clearly and distinctly observed so that it can be expressed in concepts, in the Sun-age: on Saturn the division between Time and Eternity is so faintly perceptible that our ideas and words do not prove precise enough to define anything of the sort for ancient Saturn and its evolution.

We have now learnt the significance of resignation, the renunciation made by the gods during the time of ancient Sun, and the attainment of immortality. What was the further consequence of this?

From the study of the book Occult Science which must in certain respects still be veiled in Maya, we learn that the evolution of ancient Moon followed that of ancient Sun, that at the close of the Sun-age all the existing conditions were immersed in a kind of twilight, in a sort of cosmic chaos, and emerged again as “Moon.” And we see the sacrifice reissuing in the form of heat. All that remained as heat on ancient Sun reappears as heat on the Moon; we see the virtue of bestowal reappearing as gas, or air. And the resignation also continues, the renunciation of the sacrifice; all that we have called “resignation” is within whatever takes place on ancient Moon. It is actually the case, that what we can ourselves experience as resignation we must think of in everything on ancient Moon, carried over from ancient Sun, and as we think of everything else in the external world. That which had been sacrifice reappears in Maya as Heat; and that which was bestowing virtue appears in Maya as gas or air. Resignation as it has now become appears in external Maya as Fluidity, as “Water.” “Water” is Maya and would not be in the world at all were it not that its spiritual foundation is renunciation, or resignation. Wherever water is to be found in the world there is divine-renunciation. Just as heat is an illusion behind which is sacrifice, and gas or air an illusion behind which is the virtue of bestowal, so is water as a substance, as an external reality, nothing but an illusion of the senses, a reflection; the only reality existing in it, is resignation by certain Beings of that which they receive from other Beings. It might be said, water could only flow in the world because resignation underlies it. Now, we know that while the Sun progressed to Moon, airy conditions condensed to watery conditions. Water first appeared on the Moon; on ancient Sun there was as yet no water. What we see gathering like clouds during the old Sun development coagulated as they interpenetrated each other, to denser substance, to “water,” and this appears on ancient Moon as the Moon-ocean.

If we bear this in mind it will at any rate be possible to grasp a question that may be raised. From resignation comes forth water; water is in literal truth resignation. We thus acquire a peculiar kind of spiritual insight into the actual nature of water. But now the question may be raised: is there after all a certain difference between the condition which would have arisen if the Cherubim had not made this resignation, and that which has actually come about through their having done so? Is this difference in any way conveyed? Yes, it is. It is conveyed in the fact that the consequences of that resignation appeared clearly during the Sun-State. If it had never been made, if the Cherubim had accepted the proffered sacrifice, they would — speaking figuratively — have had the sacrificial smoke as part of their own inner substance; what they themselves had done would have found expression in the smoke of the sacrifice. Suppose these Cherubim had accomplished this or that; this would have been apparent, it would have been outwardly expressed by the changing clouds of the air; that is to say: In the outer form of the air would have been expressed what the Cherubim who made no resignation did with the substance of the sacrifice. But they did reject it, and in so doing they passed from mortality to immortality, from a transitory state into a State of Duration. However, the substance of the sacrifice is there to begin with; it is released from the forces, so to speak, which would otherwise have absorbed it, and is now not obliged to follow the inclinations and impulses of the Cherubim; for they gave it up, they renounced it. What then happens to this substance of sacrifice? The following occurs: Other beings, because the sacrificial substance is not with the Cherubim, take possession of it, become independent of the Cherubim, self-reliant beings; whereas they would otherwise have been directed from the sacrificial substance within the Cherubim, if the latter had accepted it. Thus it became possible for the opposite of resignation to arise; in that certain beings attract to themselves the substance of the sacrifice that had been poured forth and become active within it. These beings are “they who remained behind”; “remaining behind” was therefore a consequence of the resignation made by the Cherubim. Through the very substance which they refused to accept, the Cherubim themselves first furnished backward beings with the possibility of staying behind. Through the rejection of a sacrifice, other beings who did not resign it, but give way to their wishes and desires and bring them to expression, were enabled to take possession of the object of the sacrifice, of the sacrificial substance, thereby attaining the possibility of taking their place as independent beings side by side with those who here were offering.

Thus, when evolution passed from ancient Sun to Moon, with the immortality of the Cherubim, the possibility was given for other beings to separate in their own substance from the progressive evolution of the Cherubim, generally speaking from the immortal beings. So now, when we learn the deeper reasons of the remaining behind, we see that the original fault — if we may venture to speak of such an original fault — did not lie with those who remained behind. This is the important point, which we must realise: If the Cherubim had accepted the proffered sacrifice, the Luciferic beings could not have remained behind; they would have had no opportunity of embodying themselves in that substance. To make it possible for beings to become thus independent, renunciation previously took place. Thus, in cosmic evolution it is the case that the gods themselves have called their opponents into being. If the gods had not renounced the sacrifice, beings would not have been able to oppose them. Put into simple words we may suppose the gods had foreseen as follows: “we merely go on creating as we have done from Saturn to Sun there would never be any free beings, capable of acting from their own initiative. In order that beings of this nature might come into existence, the possibility must be given for opponents to arise against us in the Universe, so that we should meet with resistance in that which is subject to time. If we ourselves ordain everything we shall meet with no such resistance. We could make everything very easy for ourselves by accepting the sacrifice offered to us; then would the whole of evolution be subject unto us. But this will not do, we want beings able to resist us. We will therefore not accept the sacrifice; so that through our resignation and because they accept the sacrifice, they become our opponents!”

So we see that we must not look for the origin of evil in the so-called “evil” beings, but in the “good” Beings, who, through their resignation first brought evil about through those beings who were able to bring it into the world. But now the following objection may easily be made (and I want you to let these thoughts work profoundly upon your souls): I have till now thought more highly of the gods! I have always believed them able to give freedom to man without creating the possibility of evil. How is it that all these “good gods” could not produce something like human freedom without bringing evil into the world In this connection I should like to remind you of that Spanish King who considered the world dreadfully complicated, and who said on one occasion that if God had allowed him to create it he would have made it much simpler — Man in his weakness may think that the world might have been made simpler than it is, but the gods knew better and therefore they did not leave it to man to create the world.

From the standpoint of scientific perception, we might describe these circumstances more accurately. Suppose something required supporting and the suggestion were made that a column might be erected and the weight rested on that. This person in question might say: “There must be some other way of doing it!” Why, indeed, should it not be done in some other way? Or again, when a triangle is made use of in building, it might be said: Why should a triangle have only three angles a Perhaps a god might make a triangle not having three angles? There would be just as little sense in thinking of a triangle without three angles, as in supposing that the gods might have created freedom without the possibility of evil and suffering. Just as three angles are necessary to a triangle, so the possibility of evil, given by the resignation of Divine Beings, is necessary to freedom. It all forms part of the Divine resignation, for the gods created evolution out of immortality, after they had through their renunciation or sacrifice, ascended to immortality, in order to lead back evil again to good. The gods did not shrink from the evil, which alone could give the possibility of freedom. Had the gods avoided evil, the world would be poor, without variety. For the sake of freedom the gods had to allow evil to enter the world, and for this reason they had to acquire the power enabling them to lead evil back again to good. This power is such as can only be acquired as a consequence of renunciation, resignation.

Religions always exist for the purpose of showing us the great cosmic mysteries in symbols, in imaginations. In this lecture we have alluded to primordial phases of evolution, and by adding the conception of resignation to those of sacrifice and of the bestowing virtue we have come a step further from Maya and illusion into the realities. Conceptions such as these were presented to man in religions. And in that of the Bible there is something whereby man can acquire a conception of resignation, of the rejection of the sacrifice. That is the story of the sacrifice about to be made by Abraham who was ready to offer his own son to God, and of the renouncing by God of the sacrifice offered by the patriarch. If we take into our souls this conception of sacrifice, then intuitive visions such as those described may come to us. On one occasion I suggested that we should suppose that the sacrifice of Abraham had been accepted, that Isaac had been sacrificed. As all the ancient Hebrew people are descended from him, God would then by accepting the sacrifice have taken this whole nation from the Earth. Everything derived from Abraham was a gift of God through the renunciation of a sphere which is outside Himself; if He had accepted the sacrifice He would have taken into Himself the whole sphere which played its part within the ancient Hebrew people; for the sacrificed Isaac would have been with God. But He renounced this and therewith He gave over that whole line of evolution to the earth. Thus in the significant picture of the offering made by the old patriarch, the conception of renunciation and of sacrifice can arise within us.

And in yet another part of our earth-history do we find this resigning on the part of Higher Beings, and here too we must again refer to something alluded to in the last lecture — the picture of the “Last Supper,” by Leonardo da Vinci. It represents the scene in which as it were, we have before us the meaning of the earth, the Christ. While trying to penetrate the whole meaning of the picture, let us recollect those words, which are to be found in the Gospel: “Am I not able to call forth a whole multitude of angels if I wish to avoid the death of sacrifice?” That which Christ might have accepted at that moment, which would of course have been quite easy for Him to do, He rejected in resignation and renunciation. And the greatest renunciation made by Christ Jesus confronts us when, by having made it, He allows the opponent himself — Judas — to enter His sphere. If we are able to see in Christ Jesus all that is to be seen, we must see in Him an image of those Beings with whom, at a certain stage of evolution, we have just become acquainted, those who must renounce the proffered sacrifice, those whose very nature was resignation. Christ renounced that which would have occurred if He had not allowed Judas to appear as His opponent just as once upon a time, during the Sun-age, the gods themselves called forth their opponents by the renunciation they made. So we see a repetition of this event in a picture here on earth: that of the Christ seated among the twelve, and Judas, the betrayer, in the centre. In order that that which makes mankind of such immeasurable value might enter into evolution, Christ Himself had to place His opponent in opposition to Him. This picture makes such a profound impression on us because when we contemplate it, it reminds us of such a great cosmic moment; and when we recall the words: “He who dips his bread into the bowl with me, he it is who shall betray me,” we see an earthly reflection of the opponent of the gods, placed in opposition to them by the gods themselves. For this reason I have often ventured to say that if an inhabitant of Mars were able to descend to the earth, he might find things which would be of more or less interest to him although he might perhaps not understand them properly; but as soon as he saw this picture by Leonardo da Vinci he would, through a cosmic position which has a connection with Mars just as with the earth, learn something which would teach him the meaning of the earth. The incident represented in the earthly picture is of significance to the whole Cosmos: the fact that certain powers place themselves in opposition to the immortal Divine powers. And this representation of Christ surrounded by His Apostles, He who on the earth overcomes death and thus proves the triumph of immortality, is intended to point to that significant universal moment when the gods severed themselves from temporal existence and gained the victory over Time, that is, they became immortal. When we contemplate the “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, we may feel this in our hearts. Do not object that a person of simple mind may contemplate this picture and not know all that has been referred to to-day. It is not necessary that he should. For such are the mysterious depths of the human soul, that it is not necessary to understand with the intellect what the soul feels. Does the flower know the laws which regulate its growth? No! yet none the less it grows. What does the flower want with laws or the human soul with intellect to feel the whole immeasurable greatness of the subject, when before our eyes we see depicted a God and His opponents; when the highest that can possibly be expressed, the opposition of immortality to the transitory is brought before our eyes. It is not necessary to know this; for it passes into the soul with magic force when one stands before this picture, which represents in painting an image of the cosmic purpose. The artist did not require to be an occultist in this sense in order to paint this picture. But in the soul of Leonardo da Vinci were precisely the necessary forces to enable him to express this, the highest and most significant. That is why great works of art make such a tremendous impression, because they are intimately connected with the purpose of the cosmic order. In earlier ages artists in dim consciousness were in touch with this cosmic purpose without being aware of it. Art would, however, die out altogether, there would be no continuation, if in the future Anthroposophy were not there as the knowledge of these things to give to art a new foundation. Subconscious art has become a thing of the past. The art which is inspired by Anthroposophy is only at its starting point, its beginning. This will be the art of the future. Just as the artist of old had no need to know what lay behind his works of art, so the artist of the future must know this — but with those forces which represent a kind of immortality, something from the full contents of the soul. For a man who uses Anthroposophy as an intellectual science knows nothing of it. That man alone understands who has made it his own, who in every conception that we evolve — sacrifice, bestowing virtue, resignation — is able to feel in every word what it is that is trying to burst forth in that word or idea, what at the most can flow forth in the many-sided significance of the pictures. If a man believes the evolution of the world is accomplished by means of abstract conceptions, he will perhaps make diagrams. If we wish to represent living conceptions such as sacrifice, or the virtue of bestowal and renunciation, diagrams are of no use; we must paint pictures in our minds like those described in the last lectures: of the Thrones offering sacrifice and sending up to the Cherubim the smoke of the sacrifice, ever spreading more widely and of the Archangels sending back the light; and so on. And when in our next study we pass on to the Moon-existence we shall see how much richer the picture becomes, how something like the liquefying of the dammed up masses of cloud actually had to take place, and that this becomes drizzling rain, into which flashes the lightning of the Seraphim. We must then pass on to richer conceptions with regard to which we must say: The future of mankind will certainly find the possibility, the artistic ways and means to express to the outer world what can otherwise only be read in the Akashic Records.




Last Modified: 15-Nov-2017
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