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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Macrocosm and Microcosm

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

Macrocosm and Microcosm

On-line since: 7th July, 2002


Abbreviated Summary

Lecture One:

The world behind the tapestry of sense-perceptions. Ecstasy and mystical experience. Waking and sleeping. The stream of forgetfulness. Man's life alternates between Macrocosm and Microcosm. The condition of expansion over the Macrocosm in ecstasy. Experiences of the mystic in the inner life.

21st March, 1910

Lecture Two:

The planets and their connection with sleeping and waking life. The different forces and influences to which the human soul is exposed during sleep. Dreamless sleep, dream-life, somnambulism. The planetary system as a cosmic clock. Consciousness-Soul, Mind-Soul, Sentient Soul.

22nd March, 1910

Lecture Three:

The inner path followed by the mystic. Experience of the cycle of the year. The sentient body as a boundary between inner and outer experience. It screens from everyday consciousness what would otherwise produce a burning sense of shame. The Lesser Guardian of the Threshold. The cycle of Nature. The Northern Mysteries. The sun at midnight. The ability to see through matter. The Greater Guardian of the Threshold.

23rd March, 1910

Lecture Four:

Faculties of the human soul and their development. The regions beyond the two frontiers within which manes normal consciousness is enclosed. Passing the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold through conscious attention on waking. Experience of the three main forces of the soul as an incoming stream from the Macrocosm. Feelings of gratitude and obligation towards the Macrocosm. Cosmic Thinking, cosmic Feeling, cosmic Will. Cosmic forces must be replenished by the efforts of men to reach the higher worlds. The outcome of sins of omission. The mystic vow.

24th March, 1910

Lecture Five:

Egyptian Mysteries of Osiris and Isis. Experiences of the candidates in the process of Initiation. Preparation of inherited characteristics. The “Upper” and the “Lower” man. Moving backward in the etheric body to the frontier of the mineral kingdom. The descent into the physical body. The priest of Hermes as Guru. The Rosicrucian path. Mystics of the Middle Ages.

25th March, 1910

Lecture Six:

Experiences of Initiation in the Northern Mysteries. Suppression of the Ego, a necessity. Danger of loss of the Ego in the state of ecstasy. Methods for strengthening the Ego during Initiation in the Northern Mysteries. Experiences connected with the seasons of the year. Helpers in the process of Initiation. Conscious ascent into the Macrocosm. Passage through the higher worlds: Elementary World, World of Spirit, World of Reason, World of Archetypal Images. (See note on different terminology at end of final lecture)

26th March, 1910

Lecture Seven:

The four spheres of the higher worlds. The process of union with the Elementary World, to which the four temperaments belong. Adaptation to the World of Spirit after balancing the temperaments. At the threshold of the World of Spirit the objective perception of one's own imperfection as an image composed of all the Elements. Passing the Greater Guardian of the Threshold and the vow to acquire self-knowledge and self-perfection. Intercourse with spiritual Beings in the World of Reason. Forces for developing clairvoyant consciousness in the World of Archetypal Images.

28th March, 1910

Lecture Eight:

Mirror-images of the Macrocosm in man. Sense-impressions arise by a portion of the Elementary World being held back. The nervous system as an inner solar system. Reflection of the formative forces of the three higher worlds in the nervous system, brain and spinal cord. Imaginative perception produces the reflecting apparatus for the World of Archetypal Images in the spiritual organs of perception. The image of the purified blood and the conquest of the lower nature in the symbol of the Rose-Cross. The staff of Mercury. The “lotus flowers”: higher organs of perception. The Rosicrucian path is the one best suited to man's present stage of development.

28th March, 1910

Lecture Nine:

Spiritual organs of perception and the strengthening powers of sleep. Formulae and symbols. The thinking of the heart. Three stages of the faculty of judgment. Preparation for experience of the higher worlds. The Ego to be viewed from twelve different vantage-points. Surrender of personal opinions. Experiences in the higher worlds must be translated into clearly formulated thoughts.

29th March, 1910

Lecture Ten:

Transformations of soul-forces and stages in the evolution of physical organs. Reading in the Akasha Chronicle. Transition from intellectual thinking to the thinking (or logic) of the heart. Three stages of development. Transformation of memory into another mode of soul-activity, not in Time but in Space. The relative ages of heart and brain. Circulation of the blood: a symbol of the mobility of the consciousness of the spiritual investigator. Four dimensional space. Transformations of the heart organ as symbol of the three successive phases of the evolution of man and of the world. Transformation of the Microcosm and also of the Macrocosm. Intellectual questions have no meaning when applied to states before intellect itself existed.

30th March, 1910

Lecture Eleven:

Man and planetary evolution. Spiritual knowledge and the powers of response to truth slumbering in the heart. Adaptation to the various states of the Earth's existence. The physical is born out of the spiritual. Transformations of organs from earlier into new forms: for example, the Earth-heart as the outcome of the Old Moon-heart. Formation of an organ as a germinal organ for the future; for example, the larynx, through which we are part of a spiritual order into which we must grow with our own individuality. The spirit was breathed into us through the larynx. Breathing as used in speech and song must co-operate in the development of Spirit-Man (Atma). Direct influence on the breathing process should be practised only when knowledge becomes prayer.

31st March, 1910

Note on terminology

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