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From the Contents of Esoteric Classes

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

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From the Contents of Esoteric Classes

On-line since: 15th February, 2011

EL, Stuttgart, 5-18-'13

If an esoteric wants to make progress he should make certain things increasingly clear to himself meditatively. For example, just as the lungs breathe in air, so the physical and etheric bodies inhale the spirit on awaking in the morning. Our materialistic age only wants to accept what's perceived through the senses, but just as it denies the spirit someone could deny the existence of air, because it's perceived by a finer sensibility. An esoteric should become accustomed to look upon outer happenings as only letters or signs of a world word. For instance an esoteric wouldn't ask whether the b in “about” is the effect of the a, for he knows that this sequence of letters is necessary to form the word. So an esoteric should ask less about cause and effect, but should say that things and events are necessary to form world words.

An exoteric is all too inclined to look at things only from the viewpoint of sympathy and antipathy. He readily accepts and notices what pleases him, and he ignores other things if possible. A form of mental disease that's sometimes observed is that an otherwise normal person suddenly travels from one place to another and finally seems to wake up, but he can't remember what happened while he was travelling. If one investigates the past of such a sick person occultly one can find that he passed by many things in the world with great indifference and thereby weakened his ego a great deal. It's a weakening, almost like an occasional loss of the ego.

Theosophists also often tend to turn away from the outer world. But a loving interest in our surroundings is absolutely necessary if one wants to make progress. One doesn't have to neglect what one is striving for theosophically thereby.

So the ego grasps itself in memory, and high beings gave us the ego and memory. The ego that grasps itself in memory is like a letter that an esoteric must learn and that the Gods have written into world space. The high beings who gave the ego have their seat on the sun; they give us what goes from incarnation to incarnation. We got our physical body from forces that work down through the incarnations, and these forces work on us from the circle that's described by the moon's orbit. What goes from one generation to the next like this is like a second letter. We can draw this schematically. We draw the ego that becomes conscious through memory as the earth or a point, and around it the moon's orbit as a circle. If the moon would be moved to another place by some force, what would result for the earth thereby? The reproductive forces working through the generations would dry up. Men would no longer reproduce and would die out. So a real esoteric must look up to the beings who work on him through moon forces from outside full of reverential thanks and must tell himself that he owes his development through the generations to them. Mankind will have reached the end of its physical evolution when the moon is attracted by the earth's forces so much that it goes into it, as is supposed to happen later. We receive the forces that strengthen our ego from the sun, and we shouldn't just stare at the sun but should let these ideas arise in us: You marvellous world body, it was through you, through your sun-grace forces that I received my ego and all the forces that are connected with it. I thank you in shy reverence. — We can draw the sun forces as another circle. But so that what comes from the series of incarnations and generations can come together forces are at work above the moon forces — the Mercury forces. We also got our intellect that's bound to the brain from them. And when we look towards Mercury and generally whenever we use our intellectual forces we should fill ourselves with thanks to these beings who gave them to us. But there's something still higher than mere intellect. If new, creative ideas hadn't flowed in evolution would always have stayed at the same point. School children learn things today that wise Pythagoreans didn't know yet, and these new things that are continually flowing in come from a sphere above Mercury, from Venus. The creative thoughts that become manifest in inventions flow into evolution through it. This is the only thing that makes progress possible. This thinking isn't brain bound, it's lighter and has more feeling to it.

Then there are sublime forces above the Venus sphere that no longer work on mankind directly. They work through Venus forces and fertilize them. These are Mars forces. To prevent them from working in a warlike way in their interaction with Venus a sublime, divine light force streams in from Jupiter, a spiritual light that's imperceptible to ordinary men and is darkness for them. An esoteric can get a feeling for this when he looks up in thanks to these sublime world beings who let their grace stream down on us. And one feels this inner spiritual light that one can only grasp inwardly, as warmth, if one can concentrate on still more distant heights — on the Saturn periphery, whose beings let warmth stream down through the other spheres. Now between the interaction of Mars and Venus is the circle of the third sun. They spoke about the third sun in all the mysteries. The first is the creative physical one that sends us its warming rays. The second is the spiritual one that stands behind it and that gave us the ego, and the third is the high bearer of the Christ principle, the Christ, who gives us the higher I with his grace-sun forces. This third sun has been making a connection with the earth since the Mystery of Golgotha. It's the sun of which Paul said: “Not I, but Christ in me,” the Christ whom every man since then can receive. This third sun became manifest to Christian neophytes through initiation, and the tragedy that's connected with Julian the Apostate's fate is that he knew about the third sun but couldn't identify it with the Christ.

We should remember these seven spheres when we look at the seven roses of our rose cross; they are a symbol for them. The spheres' effects are divided into two parts by the Christ circle, into a lower one with four circles, whose forces work from below, and an upper spiritual one with three circles that work indirectly. The saying: I'm reborn in the Holy Spirit applies in the spiritual, upper part, Ex Deo nascimur holds for the lower part and Christ makes the connection between the two. In ... morimur.

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