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The Imagery of the Goetheanum Windows

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

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The Imagery of the Goetheanum Windows

On-line since: 15th September, 2017

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‘I behold’

Has the temple's veil been rent in twain
That hid the sanctuary from view?
Is it the shrouded image of Sais
That is now unveiled?
That — in the glow of a new dawn — -
Reveals to man of present times
The image of his true humanity?
Deep into my heart the gaze
Of this countenance austere is plunged.
In language new I hear the word
Sounding to every man that draweth near
The Mystery's threshold:
O Man! Know thou thyself!

Of beings divine and starry heights
The universe entire I see
Which, quickening and forming,
Has worked creating
On this fair human countenance divine.
The radiant head, its rounded shape
By Saturn's forming power is crowned.
The Sun's bright rays
And Moonlight's ether waves
Create for him his lustrous eye.
And lofty beings of heavenly rank
Grant spirit vision to his brow.
I see the stellar Lion and heavenly Bull
In priestly garb.
They whisper secrets of the world
Into his ear,
Secrets that on the ether waves of sound,
Through ethereal waves of brightest hue
His being's inmost depths suffuse.
Below his mouth, from larynx born,
A mighty organ is revealed
That from the word of worlds receives its power,
So that the human word, in times to come,
Shall also win creative power.
I read the language of the lines of force
Which in this place meet so mysteriously;
What speaks to man from universal heights,
Inspiring his vision with godlike power,
He takes, transforming it within himself
And, creator-like, to new form quickened
Returns it to the world.
So shall the word, in man to resurrection brought,
Anew a man create.

Here, to my vision is revealed
How man is born from worlds afar,
And how new worlds at last he shall create.
The meaning of creation
In the passage through man's being
Is vouchsafed.

But evil lurks in darkness' depths, and forms itself
To rounded dragon's head.
His tongue licks up the light,
Reflecting it again from glassy eye.
The dragon, he would fain destroy
The meaning of the world,
Were't not for Michael's figure radiant
Who — with sword in hand —
Holds him in check.


‘It doth reveal’

But first, before I further tread
Upon this steep and lonely crag,
I must extend my gaze to the abyss.
My aim must be to train myself
To look into the depths with balance true.
Courageously I must confess
It is mine own abyss whose night
Is nourished by the beasts
That rise up from the depths.
They are my share of dragon's force,
Who fain would rob me of my vision,
And robbed me unawares till now;
But from now on revealed shall they be.

How laughable my thinking now appears,
Of which till now I was so proud.
Earthbound and shadowy with stunted wings,
It scarce can rise above the ground,
Gibbering its judgements to the empty air,
Illusion-riddled, baseless, vain.

And is that slender snaky neck
Rooted to earth — above puffed out
In idle self-reflection,
Haughtily the world despising,
Itself alone enjoying —
Alive in my own feeling?
Now first I see how self's o'erweening
Could rob me of compassion.
How I abhor yon stunted fellow
That dwells within my will!
By his cold look and teeth all bared
I recognize my own destructive urge,
Which would not shrink — if need arose
From killing human lives or souls.

Howe'er this insight shatters me
Which my abyss reveals,
Yet do I owe it to the light,
Which from my being true is shed.


‘It has revealed’

Now can I reach the highest peak,
And give myself to spirit-worlds.
The heavenly beings join their hands in jubilation
Aloft to bear me —
In thinking, feeling, willing — spirit-filled.
They shield me from those powers
That lurk in the abyss.
These powers sink into the depths deceived.
Their heads alone their presence show,
A warning that I still must be on guard.

All this, new spirit-knowledge has revealed
To grant me knowledge of the self.

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