100. EL, Stuttgart, 2-20-'12
evolution and human evolution always go hand in hand, and one who
goes to an esoteric school must take his age into account. But since
one is connecting oneself with evolution's eternal values
through an esoteric training something went through an Egyptian
mystery school, for instance, that's of lasting importance for
a pupil, namely words that can work on a modern just as well s they
did back then. Such words from the past are the following: I arrived
at the portal of death; I got to know the four elements; I saw the
sun at midnight; I got close to the upper and lower Gods. I returned
to the outer world.
does “I arrived at the portal of death” mean? In our
meditations we'll gradually start to feel like a double
personality, where we no longer feel that our I belongs to what we
previously identified with our ego — the physical body. When a
man dies, it's only natural that he no longer looks upon his
physical body as something that belongs to him. But he must already
attain this through his training. If a man had developed in the way
that the good Gods wanted, he would have directed his body from
outside. For instance, if a man had wanted to travel from one city to
another, he would have directed his body there from outside through a
magical will impulse. His body would have been like a weight that
belonged to him. We can make this clear to ourselves if we suppose
that a Mars dweller was suddenly placed on earth, and the first man
whom he met was carrying a weight in each hand. Since the Mars
dweller had never seen a man before, he might think that the two
weights were grown together with the body. Likewise, we think that we
are grown together with our body too much. But if we train ourselves
properly, we'll increasingly get the feeling that our ego is
splitting and that one part of it is directing the other from
outside. As we come in contact with sublime, creative beings with our
I that's lifted out — which we should humbly feel to be
grace — it may happen that we increasingly identify this I with
the sublime beings. For we have no idea of how permeated we are by
pride and vanity. However, there's a good way to counteract
men's predecessors on earth, the Elohim, appeared, how did they
do this? They didn't vainly bask in their glory. The Bible
tells us that they created and that they then looked at their deeds
and saw that they were good. So we should look at the deeds of our
ego, at what the ego has achieved; then we'll see how bad
everything still is. Let's take our handwriting. This is an
expression of our ego, a part of us that we place outside. Now man
would be so vain as to think that his handwriting was very beautiful.
And if a man looks at many of his achievements more closely, he will
find them rather deficient.
what does “I got to know the four elements” mean? The
first element in which man was created was warmth. And in earth
evolution it was really intended that a man was supposed to send
streams of warmth into his body from outside. The heat of summer and
winter's cold that he now experiences in his body as a single
man he was, as it were, supposed to feel as his ego streaming towards
him from outside. He was supposed to feel that this ego was connected
with all other egos The fact that warmth has moved into our blood is
Lucifer's deed. Air is the second element with which
we're closely connected. We should really have the feeling that
we are the air that's outside there, that we stream into the
body with every breath to re-enliven it. Instead of this, we feel
that air is something that comes to us from outside, and we give it
back as something that kills. Ahriman comes towards us in this lethal
identify ourselves with the solid and fluid elements in us — the
physical body and its blood. But we should identify ourselves so
little with our respective personality that even if we get to know
our previous incarnations, we only look upon these as through
stations. We should never say that we were this or that personality.
For thereby, we combine our eternal I with something perishable.
Steiner's version of the Egyptian verse above:
went up to the boundary of death
I crossed Proserpina's threshold.
after I had gone through all the elements
I came back again.
midnight I saw the sun
Radiating with bright, white light.
stepped before the lower and upper Gods, face to face
And prayed to them from close up.