[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive Home

From the Contents of Esoteric Classes

Esoteric Lessons Part III: Leipzig, 12-30-'13

EL, Leipzig, 12-30-'13

There would be no esotericism if the view that medieval soul investigators had and that is shared by modern psychologists were correct. Back then they said: Everything that goes on in the soul is intentional, that is, a particular intention underlies all soul processes; when I think, then my thinking has a particular content, I have to think something; when I feel, hope, imagine, will then I must feel, hope, imagine or will something. Medieval soul investigators expressed this much more clearly than modern psychologists, for our age is the age of fuzzy concepts. If this medieval view were correct no esoteric thinking would be possible, for an esoteric wants to remove this something from his soul also and make it completely empty, so that divine thinking can then stream into his soul. In a way this is also not produced by our exercises, for in them we concentrate on particular words, pictures, etc. that are given us by occult teachers. That is, on something that isn't taken from the sense world. Our soul becomes prepared to receive divine existence when it has matured through these exercises.

What's the purpose of this concentrated thinking? To divert us from the material thoughts that whiz around us and to get us to rest in a particular thought content. We must get to the point of ignoring a particular object of our thinking, of freeing ourselves completely from it and of developing the forces that are necessary for thinking. Medieval soul investigators knew that quite well, but they obeyed a rule that's still followed by many people and that's become a basic principle in all cognitional theory today. They said that it's very difficult to attain thinking, feeling and willing that is devoid of intentions, and that what's difficult is impossible for men. That's how all these ideas about limits to cognitional capacity came into philosophy.

Of course it isn't easy for an esoteric to remove all thinking, feeling and willing content from his soul during meditation and to only develop forces. He'll only attain this through steady, strenuous meditation. A meditator is really in the same position as a sleeping man, except that he keeps himself conscious.

For what happens in sleep? The astral body and ego leave the body, and the physical and etheric bodies remain lying on their resting place, but as I've often mentioned this is only correct to a certain extent. Just as the sun only sets for one part of the globe and arises anew for the other half, so only one part of the physical body rests. The sun of the astral body and ego begins to unfold its activity in the other part. For the astral body and ego are withdrawn from the nervous and blood systems, but they begin to work on the senses and glands during sleep. Many of you have gone to sleep in a room that's not very warm and have then felt cold on awaking. That's because the astral body and ego aren't in your blood and nervous system during sleep. It may seem strange, but senses are awake the most during sleep. For instance, while our eyes are closed at night the forces of the ego and astral body work into them. Whereas our eyes are really sleeping during the day when we're awake. A man wouldn't be able to use them if they weren't asleep. The fact is that the sun of the astral body and ego rises at night on the hemisphere of the sense and glandular systems. One who wakes up consciously in sleep can experience the light that works on eyes and the building up of senses that must stop in daytime so that a man can see. Such a man can see the image of an angel who's floating towards him when the lens expands and contracts again. If he could expand his gaze he would see an angel fighting with a demon, projected out of him. This imagination arises because in sleep the blood is taking care of the eyes. For generations of archangels and Gods have worked on the human eye. When one makes this clear to oneself one will also feel how irreverently physiologists are probing into what was created over a very long time by hierarchies of divine beings.

When a meditator looks at himself from outside he can have the feeling of a space that's filled with warmth only, like an oven. What lives in there is what weaves in a man's own soul life. We must feel the warmth ether that fills and surrounds the physical body. This takes a lot of attentiveness. Inexperienced esoterics won't notice this ether, they notice something quite different, namely, thoughts that storm in on them, often long forgotten images, feelings and worries press in on them. Then they come and complain. A more experienced esoteric can say: I congratulate you on the progress that you're making now.

This fits in with the word in John's Gospel, “And the light shone into the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not.” For this warmth that's in us is darkness. Light wants to press in from outside, but it can't, because there's a battle going on between two kinds of warmth. It's hard for a man to see that there are two kinds of warmth. Once when a thunder storm was approaching an old shepherd told me: Those are two weathers that are gathering against each other. Modern physicists speak abstractly of positive and negative electricity, but that's as far as it goes. The old shepherd still felt and knew out of the depths of his soul that when a thunderstorm comes up two powers are fighting each other, that a battle is taking place there.

A modern isn't aware of two kinds of warmth anymore. It's easier for him to imagine that there are two kinds of light: the inner luciferic light and the outer divine light that he sees coming towards him in meditation. But aside from man's warmth that's luciferic there's another warmth that can irradiate him from outside, but which he'll feel to be cold in meditation to begin with. In meditation it's a good sign to feel breathed on by cold, which is warmth in spiritual worlds. If we focus on this cold we feel our own warmth like a sphere around and in us. We seem to go through a fiery oven in which everything luciferic is burned, and yet this fire of divine wrath — which is really love — is felt to be cold that's breathing on us. Once one has become aware of this happening one tells oneself: Thank God that I'm punished and tortured and have to experience God's wrath that burns up the things in me that shouldn't be in me any more.

Then warmth that's initially felt to be cold comes to us from outside. and this comes with light — which is also from Lucifer, but from Lucifer's good side. Spirits in the good hierarchies use Lucifer to let this light radiate into us.

Thereby we can arrive at a soul life that's not intentional, at a spiritual world that's not just a continuation of the physical one, but a quite different one. The rose cross can be a symbol of this for us.

People often say: The rose cross remains a mere symbol for me. But that's their own fault. The feelings with which a man should permeate himself so that the red rose cross becomes a live force and not just a symbol were already indicated in Occult Science. We can also convert what was said today into a feeling: We're born from God. But since Lucifer mixed himself into creation the cross's wood must become burnt charcoal and black. In ... morimur. If we've died in Christ like this then the world forces, the forces of the seven red heavenly roses that radiate into us as light and warmth can approach us from outside from the seven planets.




The Rudolf Steiner Archive is maintained by:
The e.Librarian: elibrarian@elib.com
[Spacing]