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Lectures to the First Class, part 3

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Lectures to the First Class, part 3

First Class Lessons: Lesson XXV
(recapitulation)

Schmidt Number: S-5943

On-line since: 30th September, 2017

The First Goetheanum

The First Goetheanum

by Rudolf Steiner

Volume Three, Lesson Six
(recapitulation)

Dornach, September 17, 1924

Lessons for members of the Free School for Spiritual Science, from stenographic notes in German unrevised by the author.

Translation: Frank Thomas Smith

Capital M  

y dear sisters and brothers,

Once again, I must say that the introduction about the character and the responsibilities connected with the School cannot be repeated for the new arrivals each time. Therefore, I must request that those of you who were already here and have the mantras inform the new members concerning the contents of the introduction.

Today we will once again begin with the words which contain the fundamental exhortation to the human being, which resound to him from all the kingdoms of nature and from all the spiritual hierarchies, if he has the necessary sensibility, to seek his own being, and also exhort him to recognize, through his own being, the world in its true spiritual nature. They resound from all that interweaves and lives in the earthly depths, in water and air, in warmth and light, from what lives in the mountains and springs, in rocks, in the plants and animals, in the physical human form, in human souls, in human spirits, what lives in the residents of the stars, in the spiritual hierarchies — it resounds thus:


O man, know thyself!
So resounds the Cosmic-Word.
You hear it strong in soul,
You feel it firm in spirit.

Who speaks with such cosmic might?
Who speaks with such depth of heart?

Does it work through distant radiant space
Into your senses' sense of being?
Does it ring through weaving waves of time
Into your life's evolving stream?

It's you yourself who,
In feeling space, in experiencing time,
The Word create, feeling foreign
In space's soulless void,

Because you lose the force of thought
In time's destroying flow.


My dear sisters and brothers, the description of the spiritual path which leads from the sunny, light-filled world in which we live on earth appears on the other side of the yawning abyss of being at first as a gloomy, night-cloaked darkness. The path which leads us to where we become aware that, when we seek our own being in all that lives in the depths, flows in the air, all that creeps and flies, in all that our senses perceive in the majestic glow of the stars, in the powerful depths of universal space, in the immeasurably distant flow of time, that all that does not contain our being, the true source of our humanity, that it becomes gloomy when we look here for our humanity. The description has led us thus far to show that we must find the way past the Guardian of the Threshold, who has told us so much about the meaning of the spiritual world, over to what is still night-cloaked, black gloom, so that it can become bright there, and in this brightness the light arises to illumine before the eyes of our soul our own being, and therewith the being and essence and interweaving of the world.

It must be clear to us that in the moment — and we have come so far in the description — when we have crossed over the abyss of being, past the Guardian of the Threshold, in that moment an important change takes place in the human being, that is, in ourselves.

Let us look, my dear sisters and brothers, at our human existence as it is between birth and death on earth: we grasp the world thinking, we grasp the world feeling, we act in the world by willing. But thinking, feeling and willing are interwoven in our human earthly existence. If we want to carry out something in the near future, we consider it first, so what we carry out is already present as a seed in our thoughts. We see it flowing out in impulses of will. We feel that it is worthy. We feel love flowing to this or that being. Because we feel it, we form a thought about it. Or we go beyond that and carry out a deed of love towards the being, we let ourselves grow wings of love, and are urged forward to willing. But all that — thinking, feeling, willing — is closely related to our humanity as it unfolds between birth and death in the physical world. We are at one in thinking, feeling and willing.

And the truth is that we are only really awake in our thoughts. They are bright and clear, although the Guardian of the Threshold had revealed them to be illusory. They are bright and clear, we are awake in them.

Our feeling is darker and less clear. We are closer to existence in feeling, but the content of what we feel is like a dream, so that we can only speak of dream-feeling, even when awake.

The will, however, as it emerges from our being, remains at first completely unclear to our normal consciousness. We have the thought that we want this or that; the thought appears, grasps the organism; the organism acts, carries out the thought; we see what we have carried out, again with thought. But the will itself rests in deep sleep, as do the things in our soul rest between falling asleep and awakening.

But the initiate sees the thoughts in their living state, which they were in before the human being had descended from the supersensible world to the sensory one. He sees radiant being in the thoughts. But this radiant being he sees is not the illusion of thoughts as in ordinary thinking.

We stand beside the Guardian of the Threshold. The abyss of being is there; before us — beyond the abyss, beyond the threshold — is the black, night-cloaked gloom; but from out of the darkness gleaming, living shapes are moving. We say to ourselves — because we sense that the kind of thoughts we had as physical persons have abandoned us — we say to ourselves: There is our flowing, living thinking. It doesn't belong to us now, it belongs to the world. Light on light, thought extracts itself from the black gloom. We know that thought, all our thinking, is there as the first brightness within the black gloom that we are approaching.

And then we see something further down. We have the feeling — and the Guardian of the Threshold points to it with an admonishing gesture — we see how the darkness below is becoming fire-like. Fire, dark fire yes, but fire that we can sense psychically, spreads out below us. What we recognize as our willing comes towards us over the abyss of being. The initiate gradually learns the following: What happens when thinking merges with willing? The thought — of what is wanted — is grasped; then this thought merges with corporeality as beneficent fire. What brings the will to existence is warmth, which is fire when our own will meets us from out of the darkness.

And between this warmth, from which our willing streams toward us across the abyss of being (for our human will is a mere reflection of our cosmic will) — between this warm, dark out-streaming from below, which has at most a whiff of bluish-violet, and the bright lights of thoughts above, between both there is an interweaving, flowing warmth rising, light descending. Light-enveloped warmth rising, warmth-enveloped light streaming down: that is our feeling. 

It is a powerful picture which the Guardian of the Threshold draws. And now we know that when we cross over from the sensory world, from the world of physical reality in which we are between birth and death, into the world of the spirit, then we will be — in thinking, feeling and willing — no longer the unity that we are here; there we are Three. In the universe, we are Three: our thinking merges with light across the threshold; our will becomes fire; our feeling becomes light-enveloped fire.

We must have the courage to expand and intensify the Self, the I, so that it holds the Three together when we cross over. We can do this once we are permeated with what could otherwise be a banality: that our head is the source of all our senses and thinking: All our senses and thoughts are distributed over the whole body, but what is especially expressed in our head is that in its roundness, with an opening below, it imitates the shape of the universe. If we can say to ourselves in all seriousness and inner ardency: my head is inwardly and outwardly an imitation of the world's shape, we feel then, in that we want to view the head from within, how this perspective expands to include the universe, which is only concentrated in our head for our earthly vision.

We should then intensely feel how our heart, the physical expression of our soul, does not only beat because of what is in our body, because of what is enclosed within the skin; we breathe in the air, which is the impetus of the heartbeat, we breathe it out again. The world in all its grandeur and majesty participates in our heartbeat. What is sensed in our heart is not merely what is within us: it is the universal pulse-beat.

If we consider how our limbs work through willing, it gives us the strength to not only will what is within us. Consider for a moment how the forces of heredity are in us when we are born, how the forces of karma, which we have acquired through many, many earth-lives, live in our willing. Let us think of all that, and feel: when we will, world-force lives in our limbs, not merely human force.

Just think, my dear sisters and brothers, while still here at the Guardian of the Threshold's side he points over to the brightly lit, universally living and acting thoughts; to what wells up as warmth, light-bringing, light-filled; to what spiritually wafts over us from below like warm wind — the universe's fire, which is the ur-force of the will. 

 

So we hear, resounding, what the Guardian of the Threshold has to say to us in this situation:


Behold the Three


(thinking, feeling, willing; man is split in three)

Behold the Three,
They are the One,
When you in earthly life
the human imprint bear.

Experience the head's cosmic form

The Guardian makes this sign:

[It is drawn on the blackboard.]


Diagram 1


so that we stop and feel the head's cosmic form in this closed, upward pointing triangle. Let us concentrate on this.


Feel the heart's cosmic beat

The Guardian makes this sign:

[It is drawn on the blackboard.]


Diagram 2


for us to feel in this sign the wave-like pulse of the universe, which crosses in the heart.


Consider the cosmic force of the limbs.

The Guardian of the Threshold makes the other sign:

[It is drawn on the blackboard:]

 

Diagram 3


We should concentrate on this line in order to sense the mantric force of this line and of the whole verse.


Then the Guardian of the Threshold strengthens it again:

They are the Three,
The Three, which as the One
In earthly being live.


This is the verse by which the Guardian announces how we are to prepare — through forceful courage, through ardent striving for knowledge — to sense the wings which carry us over from the One to the Three. In the physical world, we are the One. In the spiritual world, we are the Three, which we experience in imaginative pictures.

[Written on the blackboard]

The Guardian reminds us:

See the Three,
They are the One,
When you in earthly life
The human imprint bear.


[Alongside the first sign on the blackboard is written:]

Experience the head's cosmic shape
the cosmic shape can be experienced in the head

[Alongside the second sign is written:]

Sense the heart's cosmic beat
the cosmic beat can be sensed in the heart

[Alongside the third sign is written:]

Consider the limbs' cosmic force
the cosmic force can be considered in the movement of the limbs.

The escalation is:

[The following words are underlined:]

Experience
Sense
Consider

Shape
Beat
Force


The three lines must be strengthened by concentrating on these figures.

[Written:]

They are the Three,
The Three, which as the One
In earthly being live.


My dear friends, when we are standing here in earthly existence — and we are still doing so, we are just preparing to cross to the spiritual world — we ascribe to our head our spirit, in that it contains thoughts. At first, though, this spirit is only apparent. The thoughts are the appearance of the spirit. We ascribe the thoughts to our head, that is, we ascribe the spirit to our head, because the spirit lives in the form of thoughts during earthly existence. 

But we can do something else, recalling the Guardian of the Threshold's admonition. In this situation, as we are preparing to cross over the abyss of being, we must endeavor to concentrate on the force we normally use when we move a limb, when we walk or stand, when our will pervades us. We must endeavor to concentrate to the extent that we will each thought, as though it were being pushed out. We must sense the thought being pushed out as when we stretch out an arm: thus, reality passes through the will into the thoughts. Then the things perceived by our senses, whereas they came to us previously as the appearance of color or tone, now stream toward us from the multifaceted sensory appearance as cosmic will.

My dear sisters and brothers: Learn to extend your thoughts out to the world as you learn to stretch out your hands through willing. Just as the objects of the world respond when you extend your will to them, offering resistance, so do the spirits offer resistance when you extend your thoughts to them, in that the will permeates them. If we do this, we are interweaving reality in wisdom. The Guardian of the Threshold's admonishes us once again.


The Guardian's last admonition:

The head's spirit,
You can will it;

(otherwise we only think it, now we will it; and when we do so, willing becomes something different)

And willing

(the willing of thoughts)

provides you with
The senses' multi-forming heaven-weave;
You interweave with wisdom.

The next thing the Guardian of the Threshold points to is the heart, in which the rhythm of our humanity is concentrated. We cannot bring anything except feeling into the heart, that is, feeling here in the sensory world between birth and death. But we must also bring the feelings to the heart when we are in the spiritual world.

If we could feel the heart as if the world were feeling our heart, because we are, after all, in the world, then our feeling would be different. Just as willing becomes “the senses' multi-forming heaven-weave”, so feeling becomes something which must be conceived of in a way that we can say — Look: thinking, the spirit's head, becomes the will; feeling remains feeling, but rays out to thinking on one side and willing on the other. It is both at the same time. Therefore, at this point we must get used to concentrating on a line in which we interweave what rays upward and downward.

This line must read as follows: “And feeling becomes your will's thinking, your thinking's will, the awakening seed of cosmic life.” Then you live in the glow. This is not a dying away glow, it is the world's revelation in beauty, which can also be called “glow” in the sense of “gloria”. The glow here means gloria.

Thus, the Guardian's second admonition is:

The heart's soul,
You can feel it;
And feeling becomes for you
The awakening seed of cosmic life:
    Will's thinking, thinking's will.
        You live in the glow.

[This second verse is written on the blackboard and “heart's” and “feeling” are underlined:]

The heart's soul,
You can feel it;
And feeling becomes for you
The awakening seed of cosmic life:
    Will's thinking, thinking's will.
        You live in the glow.


You must, my dear sisters and brothers, by practicing this, try to think that — the will's thinking, the thinking's will — flow together in one, because it is so in the world.


The third thing to which the Guardian of the Threshold points is the force of our limbs. The Guardian of the Threshold demands that that our spirit wills our limbs, that we do not feel that what we do is the result of exerting our own force, but that we observe it as if we stepped out of our bodies and were standing beside ourselves. Then the will's thinking becomes the thinking which we unfold here: the will's goal-oriented human striving. And now we recognize the virtue of human diligence, what human will can accomplish in the world's evolution. The guardian of the Threshold admonishes us:

[The third verse is written on the blackboard and “limbs” is underlined.]

The limbs' force,
You can think it
And thinking becomes
The will's goal-oriented human striving.
        You strive in virtue.

The escalation is:

[Now the following three words are underlined:]

weave
live
strive
.

The other escalation is:

wisdom
glow
virtue.


Now I will read the lines as the appear to us at first when the Guardian speaks them to us:

The head's spirit,
You can will it;
And willing becomes for you
The senses' multi-formed heaven's interweaving.
             You interweave in wisdom.

The heart's soul,
You can feel it;
And feeling becomes for you
The will's thinking, thinking will´s
Awakening seed of cosmic life.
             You live in the glow.

The limbs' force,
You can think it;
And thinking becomes
The will's goal-oriented human striving.
             You strive in virtue.


That is the Guardian of the Threshold's last admonition.


That is the decisive point which is indicated by the words which are spoken here as the words Michael himself speaks, because this Esoteric School has been founded and is sustained by Michael and his force. Now we have come to the important point in our instruction where, if we have conscientiously practiced all that we have learned, it gives us wings to fly over the yawning, deep abyss of being.

Everything which has been said in this Michael School shall again be accompanied by the sign and seals of Michael; for all has been given in such a way that while it resounds through the space of this School, Michael is present, which may be confirmed by his sign:

Diagram 4

[Michael-sign (in red)
Come in, the door has opened, you will become a free human being]


and which may be confirmed by his seal, which he has impressed on the threefold Rosicrucian verse:

Ex deo nascimur

In Christo morimur

Per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus


the seal makes us feel the first line in this gesture:

[The lower seal is drawn on the blackboard.]

Diagram 5

[lower seal-gesture]


the second line in this gesture:

[the middle seal gesture is drawn on the blackboard]

Diagram 6

[middle seal gesture]


the third verse in this gesture:

[the upper seal gesture is drawn on the blackboard]

Diagram 7

[upper seal-gesture]


As we know, this first gesture means [beside the lower gesture is written:]

I revere the Father

We feel this as we say “Ex deo nascimur” and confirm it by the gesture, which is Michael's seal.

The second gesture means [beside the second gesture is written:]

I love the Son

We feel this while saying “In Christo morimur”, thus expressing the feeling through what lies in the Michael-Seal.

The third gesture means:

I unite with the spirit

It accompanies, in feeling, “Per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus”. It is the gesture which is Michael's seal upon the third part of the Rosicrucian verse.

Thus, Michael's Sign and Seal accompany the path onward, which will be followed in this School for spiritual development:

[the Michael-Sign is made]

[The following three lines are spoken, accompanied by the three seal-gestures:

Ex deo nascimur

In Christo morimur

Per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus.


Then the moment comes when the Guardian of the Threshold's decisive words resound as though coming from Michael, as though from the cosmic distances. After the Guardian has said how we are to prepare ourselves — and we feel this preparation to be necessary — then his words resound as though coming from Michael, as though coming from the cosmic distances:

Come in.
The door has opened.
You will become
A true human being.

We must create the feeling that we are not speaking ourselves, but that as we are speaking it becomes objective, that we hear it, as if it is coming from the other side:

[Across the mantra “See the three” on the blackboard, the following is written in red chalk:]

Come in.
The door has opened.
You will become
A true human being.


In the following lessons, what resounds on the other side of the threshold will be described.

But now let us again consider — for all real development always leads back to the starting point — how from all the beings of the world the challenge speaks to us about what we have learned from the Guardian's mouth:


O man, know thyself!
So resounds the Cosmic-Word.
You hear it strong in soul,
You feel it firm in spirit.

Who speaks with such cosmic might?
Who speaks with such depth of heart?

Does it work through distant radiant space
Into your senses' sense of being?
Does it ring through weaving waves of time
Into your life's evolving stream?

It's you yourself who,
In feeling space, in experiencing time,

The Word create, feeling foreign
In space's soulless void,
Because you lose the force of thought
In time's destroying flow.


Once more — confirming all, confirming Michael's presence — the sign and seal of Michael:

[the Michael-sign is made]


[The following is spoken together with the seal-gestures:]

Ex deo nascimur

In Christo morimur

Per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus.


The mantric verses given here in order to practice contain the force necessary to experience what is described here. Only the members of this Class may possess them, no one else. If someone who belongs to the School cannot attend a lesson during which he would have received the corresponding verse, he may receive it from another member who was present. But for each time this happens permission must be received either from Dr. Wegman or myself. However, the one who is to receive the verse may not request permission, but only the one who is to give it.

Once permission has been granted to give someone the verses, it continues to hold good for that particular person. For every other person, permission must be obtained from Dr. Wegman or myself. It would be useless for the one who wants to receive the verses to request permission; only the one who is to give them should ask. So, if one wants to have the verses, he must go to someone who has them legitimately. The latter should then ask for each individual to whom he wishes to give them.

If someone makes notes of something else, other than the verses, he is only authorized to keep them for one week; after that they must be burned. We must really observe the occult rules. An occult rule is contained in all I have said and insist upon. This is not an arbitrary administrative measure, but because if esoteric things fall into the wrong hands, then, my dear sisters and brothers, the mantras lose their force. It is simply based on an occult law.


*


At twelve o'clock tomorrow is the Speech Formation course; at 10.45 the Theology course; at five o'clock the Pastoral Medicine course and at eight o'clock the lecture for members.






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