Posts Tagged Religion and Spirituality
Lucifer is one of the more mythic beings, clouded in mystery, but I read a beautiful description by Rudolf Steiner on the origin of Lucifer:
“We find the Sun still as a planet among the seven planets, we find Venus with Lucifer as her ruler [Christ is the ruler of Sun]; and these two, the Sun Spirit and the Venus Spirit – in other words Christ and Lucifer – appear at first sight like brothers. Only by straining to the utmost our powers of perception are we to mark out the difference between them.
“Lucifer, the ruler of Venus, appears in a form that is extraordinarily full of light … spiritual light. We have the feeling that all the glow and brilliance we can ever experience on Earth…is weak and dim in comparison to the majesty of Lucifer in the old Sun time. But then we notice, when we begin to perceive his intentions…that Lucifer is a being endowed in his very nature with infinite pride.
“Lucifer’s proud greatness, Lucifer’s pride in his majestic figure of light …”Unmanifest light,” light that does not shine outwardly, but has immense strong power in itself – that Lucifer has in full measure … The Christ figure in the time of old Sun – the Lord and ruler of the Sun planet – is a picture of utmost devotion, entire devotion to all that is around Him in the world. Whereas Lucifer looks as one who thinks only of himself – we are obliged to cloth it all in human words, notwithstanding the fact that they are quite inadequate – Christ appears as wholly given up, in devotion, to all that is around Him in the great world.”
These [the starsigns of the Zodiac] were not then externally visible; but instead, twelve great Forms, twelve Beings were present who let their words ring forth from the depths of the darkness, … they were words that told of primeval times, of times that even then were in a remote and ancient past.
The twelve were twelve World-Initiators [Logoi]. Today we behold standing in the directions of these twelve World-Initiators the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, but from them resounds, for the soul that is open to the whole world, the original being of the Unspoken Word of Worlds, that could take form in the twelve Voices.
And whilst Lucifer alone — I must now begin to speak more in pictures; human words do not in the least suffice — whilst Lucifer had the impulse to let stream out upon all things the light that was present in him and therewith come to a knowledge of all things, the Christ on the other hand, gave Himself up to the Impression of this Word of the Worlds, received It in its fulness and entirety into Himself, so that this Christ Soul was now the Being that united in Himself all the great Secrets of the World that sounded into Him through the inexpressible Word.
Such is the contrast that presents itself, — the Christ Who receives the Word of the Worlds [AdamKadmon], and the proud Lucifer, the Spirit of Venus, who rejects the Word of the Worlds and wants to found and establish everything with his own light [outside Adam Kadmon].
(“Man in the Light of Theosophy, Philosophy, and Occultism”, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964, lectures 8, 10)
This description is one of the more profound esoteric statements, it contains information that joins many other texts to a whole, and opens up for the understanding of the fall.
The above took place two æons back in time, a period called old Sun in esoteric parlance, see also Esoteric History of Man
Shiva as Lucifer
The previous text describes in reality Shiva, every place the name Lucifer is written there could as well have stood Shiva.
Every religion has to be referred back to a founder who through this religion made known to a group of people, in a manner suited to their capacity, some experience belonging to a particular stage of initiation.
You have for instance the religion which is not able to rise to the Christ, the Spirit of the Sun, but is peculiarly adapted to rise to the great and far-reaching soul that lived in the being who was many times incarnated as a Bodhisattva — a religion that looks up in worship to him who is the great Initiator, the great Inspirer, of the Buddha [Shiva, Lucifer].
This religion is not able to ascend to a vision of how the Christ is the Sun Spirit and has descended to Earth.
It sees only as far as to the one who is sent as a messenger; it gathers together, as it were, for its content that which goes forth from the Sun and becomes a planetary spirit.
And we can well understand that Buddha is regarded as a planetary spirit.
Such a religion, that lifts men’s thoughts to the Spirit who guides the evolution of the Buddha, could only grasp a figure like the figure of Vishnu in the Indian Trimurti.
Moreover, since a religion of this kind has not yet come through to the knowledge of the universal victory of Christ over Lucifer, neither is it able to place the figure of Lucifer in such relation to the Christ as we can today.
To the followers of such a religion Lucifer seems to be standing beside the Christ as an independent figure, — His equal, unsubdued. We have seen how Lucifer is given the place of a kind of brother. This is what you have when Shiva confronts Vishnu [Christ]. Look into the religion of Shiva, study it carefully; and you will follow me when I say that the Shiva religion of India can be understood when one has knowledge of the Lucifer Being. For Shiva is in reality Lucifer in the form in which he is not yet overcome.
(“Man in the Light of Theosophy, Philosophy, and Occultism”, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1964, lectures 8, 10)
Here Shiva is Lucifer as he entered the Earth development, he represent the angelic hierarchy, as it was when our development started on Earth, and he represents our etheric body before we began working on it.
Shiva represents our situation after we left Paradise, the etheric world, and entered the physical world, he represent tedious work in blood, sweat and tears, our way down into the physical.
See also Shiva and the Origin of the Earth
Vishnu represent Christ, but yet not very visible on Earth, Shiva was the absolute power, longer could man, at that time, not reach up into the spiritual worlds.
Krishna is the transformed Shiva, the transformed Lucifer, transformed through our development, we are now on the way up from darkness of the material world, our soul should become filled with music and joy, with art, work is not the main part of life any longer, Krishna is the teacher of Love. See Krishna as Teacher of Love
“In general,” continued the Master, “we distinguish three kinds of individuals: those whose intelligence is completely dull : those whose intelligence is of average quality, able to understand some Truths which are specially evident; those endowed with an intelligence better equipped for acute perceptions, who are fit to penetrate below the surface of the world of physical phenomena and grasp the causes which are at work there.’
The last group is not bound by opinions, their mind is free to work with ideas presented to them:
“It is enough to direct the attention to these last, to say to them: ‘Look from this point of view, consider that’ and they perceive what is to be perceived there where they have been told to look; they understand what is really the thing which one has pointed out to them.
The dull will not be able to fathom the secret ideas:
“One may proclaim on the high road the Teachings considered secret, they will remain ‘secret’ for the individuals with dull minds who will hear what is said to them, and will grasp nothing of it but the sound.
“It is not on the Master that the ‘secret’ depends but on the hearer. A Master can only be he who opens the door: it is for the disciple to be capable of seeing what lies beyond. Teachers exist who are able to discern the degree of intellectual acuteness of those who desire their Teaching, and they reserve the detailed explanation of certain doctrines for those whom they judge able to understand them. It is thus that the deep Teachings, transmitted orally from Master to disciple for many generations, have been passed on and preserved from oblivion. You have heard them. Do with them as you think fit. They are very simple, but, like a powerful battering ram, they run counter to the wall of false ideas rooted in the mind of man and the emotions which delight him casting him into suffering ….. Try!”
Those in between will create beliefs, opinions, out of what they hear, but will not understand the depth.
The Tibetan Masters who pass on the traditional oral teachings repeat insistently the fact that these teachings are for the use of individuals in the rab category, that is to say endowed with superior and excellent intelligence, the “lotus whose flowers grow above the level of the water” according to the picturesque comparison quoted above.
The object of these teachings is not to amuse the simple-minded, those charitably called in the Tibetan Scriptures the “children”, it is meant for the strong to make them stronger, for the intelligent to make them more intelligent, for the shrewd to develop their shrewdness and to lead them to the possession of transcendent insight (lhag thong) which constitutes the real enlightenment.
This oral tradition stems from a brilliant period of Buddhist philosophy, being handed down from master to disciple. They are not the result of supernatural revelation alone, but are the result of intellectual and spiritual investigations by men who also investigated the material plane, who possessed superior faculties of understanding, transcendent insight: lhag thong.
Transcendent Insight was the goal of the oral teachings:
The attainment of transcendent insight is the real object of the training advocated in the traditional Oral Teachings, which do not consist, as so many imagine, in teaching certain things to the pupil, in revealing to him certain secrets, but rather in showing him the means to learn them and discover them for himself.
What we learn from each other is of no value, only what we ourselves understand trough our own investigations becomes wisdom. That’s what separate the second group from the third, the second group eats books and save their content as abstract thoughts in their memory, where the third group transforms it to wisdom.
Lhag thong means to look through the curtain, through the illusion:
Literally, lhag thong, means to see “more”, to see “beyond”, to see “extremely”, “supremely”. Thus, not only to see more than that which is seen by the mass of mankind who are crassly ignorant, but to see beyond the bounds limiting the vision of cultivated minds, to bring into being the third eye of Knowledge which the adepts of tantric sects place in the centre of the forehead of their symbolic Gods.
The primary advice Buddha gave his disciples was: Doubt. It leads to research and research leads to knowledge.
Those who follows the path has to take all the things up they take for granted, to understand it fully instead of abstract knowledge we have learned up through life.
“Now investigate whether these facts which you accept as representing a reality are, truly, real. Examine them attentively and at length, putting aside all preconceived ideas, empty your mind of all the opinions which it has harboured concerning these facts; doubt that which you have mechanically admitted up to the present, look as you would look at quite new things, those which form your physical environment; you will then investigate the mental reactions to which they give rise.
Where have we received our current knowledge, from our senses:
We have seen, heard, tasted, smelt, touched various objects, either material or of a more tenuous nature. We have given names to these various objects, we have classified them in series of similar objects, we have built up, with them, a world which has become familiar to us in the same way as we furnish a house in which we live.
This is the illusion we live in. As children we have build our first illusions, the first rules we live by, we are not old enough to understand, so we create rules to live by, which we can change when we become older, but often we don’t, and these rules or packets of experiences are our karma and they can be sore to touch, but we have to open them to be free, and when we do, it only contains a childs fears, not a problem for a grown up.
The World Egg is the most universal symbol we have, and the Zodiac is the most developed form of it, but we find it everywhere in all cultures, we just don’t recognize it as representing the world egg.
See also this album: The World Egg and the Zodiac
We can find the history of the zodiac in the four heavenly beasts, Eagle, Lion, Ox and Man; they were the first members of the Zodiac, first later came the Cardinal signs, and later again the mutable, they came when man began developing these qualities, just as the outher planets first became visible when they became influential.
Amma created the egg, what became our sun system, not the whole universe. Within his egg, Amma began spinning around, forming the po seed. The po is the smallest invisible seed at the center.
Amma then placed seven ‘words’ [Planets] in the po, which began to vibrate strongly within the seed. The spiraling vibrations caused four clavicles to grow forth from the po.
These were the four heavenly beasts, the fixed star signs. These four powers were the main factors in developing the sentient soul, Eros of Plato, or Tamas of Hinduism.
These four Androgyne beings split into four male and four female, so we now had the cardinal and fixed star signs. The cardinal powers were necessary for developing the intellectual soul, or Logos of Plato, or Rajas of Hinduism.
The Dogon call these beings the Nommo Anagonno, ‘The Word (Nommo) that Became Fish-Man’ (Anagonno). The male and females got a son, and the mutable star signs was created. The mutable signs were necessary for developing the conscious soul, Thumos of Plato, or Sattva of Hinduism.
The Nommo entered the world through the place on the sky where Sirius is placed. They were the teachers of mankind, the Angels. They are also associated with the moon.
This Zodiac are fields going from the circumference around the sun system into the system, not just radiation, and not from the large universe, this is called the Tropical Zodiac.
The Egg, the Zodiac are spiraling through the universe so it’s changing position in relation to the stars, but the fields are constant in relation to the Sun system, to the vernal equinox:
Sun-system passing through the universe
It can also be seen in this fashion:
Sun system through the universe
Man is created in the likeness of God, here in embryonic form, folding itself out from the circular form:
Man Embryonic form
We are not a copy of the whole universe, we are a copy of our own sun system, not including far sun systems.
Auric form of man:
The Auric Egg
Lucifer gives visions. One has to break through them, otherwise one doesn’t break through the shell that’s around every man and covers the real spiritual world. Visions and voices are around us like the shell around a chick. One might see an angel in a vision and when one presses through the vision the angel will change into a snake, Lucifer’s symbol, for at the Temptation he appeared as a snake. Or one might see the colour blue in one’s meditation — if one breaks through it the blue can become red, and then it turns out that we saw our own passions. As a result of his temptation by Lucifer man doesn’t have everything that the Gods have; he received knowledge, but not life. Thereby everything that we know and perceive is permeated by Lucifer and Ahriman. … An ordinary man is like the chick that would consider its shell to be the real world. If the chick could see, it would see the egg’s contents as if it were the whole world. Likewise we see our eggshell or aura spread out around us as the blue dome of the heavens. If we break through our shell the sun and moon become darkened, the stars fall down onto the earth and the spiritual world spreads out in its place.
A man lives in his eggshell — his aura. The Elohim gave us our aura, and through the fall into sin it has become like a shell around us, and we’re in it like a chick in an egg. The stars in the heavens are our boundary and we must break through it with our soul force, just as a chick must break out of its shell through its own power. Then we get into a new world, just as a chick has a new world before it when it has crept out of the egg. And since men all have the same eggshell around them an astronomy could arise that lets the heavenly bodies move along the celestial dome. The egg shell is the Ex Deo nascimur. To break through it and to bring something with us into the spiritual world we must bring what penetrates the shell from the outer spiritual world and that’s common to all; and that’s the Christ. That’s why we say: In Christo morimur and hope that when we’ve broken through the shell we will be awakened again: Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus. Esoteric Lessons Part III
Formed as the world egg:
Wael Al-Mahdi have made an analysis of the fight between Mittras and the bull, which have it’s like in the Gilgamesh epic. Today we have our mental focus in the Ego, the Intellectual soul or left brain hemisphere, but then our mental focus was in what we today call our subconsciousness, the Sentient soul or Limbic brain. This fight describes the change of focus from the sentient soul to our current ego, but it’s an ongoing fight between our ego and the subconsciousness, or rather it’s a fight between our superconsciousness and subconscioussness and the battleground is the ego. Wael Al-Mahdi writes that Mithras is the devine ego, but I see him as the ego, the lower I, where I see his father, the mighty Sol Invictus, as the higher I.
Let us now take a look at the symbolism of the Mithraic mysteries and try to make some sense of them. Mithras himself, in the manner of all epoch-making developments of the unconscious, appears suddenly and unexpectedly, from a rock. Here Mithras takes on the role of the divine ego – the ego of the average man transfigured and lifted up by energy from the unconscious harnessed through myth and ritual. In this Mithras is strong, solid, rocklike. The divine ego and the everyday ego (the one that worries about food, shelter, money etc) are not identical; the divine ego, despite its disctinctness but in keeping with unconscious manifestations, is foreign, in this instance, of exotic Persian origin. To symbolize freedom from the unconscious as enemy, and also the actual emancipation of freedman Mithraists, Mithras dons a Phrygian cap, the so-called liberty cap. With the rise of Mithras, miracles are performed, as he strikes a solid rock with the thunder of consciousness and live-giving water spouts from the rock. Here the dead and inanimate can produce life, just as a psychological impasse can give rise to a new lease on life; the Qur’an states of God, “He brings the living out of the dead, and the dead of the living.”
The central and most striking image of Mithraism is the tauroctony – the slaying of the bull. This supreme act of defiance, even hybris, is depicted on subterranean murals in Mithraea from Britain to Rome to Syria. The bull in his power and animal intransigence is the unconscious as enemy. He is the personification, or rather theriomorphization, of all the alien powers that ailed the forward looking man of action. He is the heaviness of the heart at dawn, he is the tightness of the chest before a dangerous act. He gives rise to the autonomous moods of self-doubt and self-loathing. He is boredom, lack of meaning, existential ennui. He represents every social disappointment, lack of control, failure to follow custom, and most dangerously, lack of adaptation. The evil father, father as a depressant, is in the bull – as is the evil friend, the devil, who both attacks the ego and forces to do evil. Every worthless feeling of the ego is projected onto him – and he is indeed a fitting target of projection. In short, he is the great No to life. He is the enemy within that must be vanquished if the conscious ego is to grow.
In contrast to conciliation myths, in which the ego tries to make peace with the unconscious, here the ego strikes with its readiest weapon – its will. After a long chase and a difficult haul to the womb-cave where a transformation can occur, Mithras’ right hand performs the unspeakable act of stabbing the bull’s neck. The cave serves a dual purpose are both regenerative womb and the unconscious cosmos which parallels the real cosmos. But there is respect in Mithras – out of respect, he pulls the animal back by the nostrils, never by the horn. Mithras’ face is serene, almost sublime – divinely devoid of emotion, Zen in his imperturbability – looking up towards his father, the mighty Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, as if saying, “Behold my most brazen act, father. Soon we are to become equals” Mithras is steadfast, unflinching – he takes full responsibility for his act, he never hesitates or backs down. As a result of Mithras’ challenging of the evil-animal father archetype, Father Sun emerges in a more human guise but with his divinity still intact.
In some reliefs the sacred bull bleeds wheat or grapes, symbolizing the paradox of the ability of the unconscious, even at is most evil, to heal after it harms. The killing of the bull is not a real-world death but an unconscious event that breathes life into a new psychological energy and outlook. But Mithras, this self-overcoming hero, is not alone in his daring act. Like all good heroes he has his sidekicks, the torchbearers, Cautes with his torch pointing up and Cautopates with his torch pointing down. They are his awareness of opposites, his ability to make distinctions, to discern opposites, and in their astral aspect symbolize his heavenly outlook. There is his dog too, lapping up the bull’s blood – his discipline, self-control, honed intellect, and the vital ability of self-obedience. On the scene is a serpent of wisdom and shrewdness, also drinking the life giving blood, for no quantum is wasted here. A sneaky scorpion sucks the ‘vim’ out of the bull’s genitals, literally ‘breaking his balls’ – energy that can be better utilized by the conscious hero Mithras. Mithraism and the Unconscious as Enemy
More on the Tropical vs. Sidereal Zodiac(Bruce Scofield):
We all know that this astrological system (Vedic) uses one or another version of the sidereal zodiac, the slight differences between them being measured by what is called the ayanamsha, the gap between the tropical and sidereal zodiac.
The twelve sidereal-based zodiacal signs (rasis) used in this system are not particularly important overall, and they serve more as a background reference plane for planets than as a matrix for personality distinctions.
The houses are important, however, but house boundaries between planets will remain roughly constant in a timed birth chart no matter which zodiac is employed. After reading a number of texts on the subject it became apparent to me that Hindu astrology was a tradition that was not concerned with extracting psychological insights from birth charts, it was more event-oriented.
In my opinion, Rudhyar remains the most important astrologer of the 20th century. He had something intelligent to say on just about every issue in astrology, including the sidereal-tropical problem.
Rudhyar wrote that the sidereal zodiac, the zodiac of constellations, was a product of the myth-making faculty of the human psyche. These constellations, groupings of stars, are a remnant of an earlier age that saw the rise of agriculture, but they are not relevant to modern life.
He felt it was unfortunate that both zodiacs use the same names for their 12-fold division of the yearly circle, and he regarded the tropical zodiac as being the proper framework on which to assess the evolution of mankind.
Distance to the Stars of the Signs
The star signs are purely symbolic, giving name to the star signs because they were at the particular part of the zodiac when the twelve 30° degrees parts of the ecliptic was named.
The stars in the signs are nowhere near each other, they may even not exist anymore, they are placed long from each other in the far past of the universe.
History of Tropical Zodiac
The classical zodiac was introduced in the neo-Babylonian period (ca. 7th to 6th century BC). At the time, the precession of the equinoxes had not been discovered. Classical Hellenistic astrology consequently developed without consideration of the effects of precession.
The discovery of the precession of the equinoxes is attributed to Hipparchus, a Greek astronomer active in the later Hellenistic period (ca. 130 BCE).
Ptolemy, writing some 250 years after Hipparchus, was thus aware of the effects of precession. He opted for a definition of the zodiac based on the point of vernal equinox, i.e. the tropical system.
While Ptolemy noted that Ophiuchus is in contact with the ecliptic, he was aware that the twelve signs were just conventional names for 30 degrees segments (especially since the Aries sign had ceased to be in contact with the Aries constellation already in his time). Wikipedia
He connected the thirty degree segments to the time of year, with the traditional names given.
The Zodiac with the old rulers:
It is as a round table with twelve seats, with the King and Queen sitting together as Leo and Cancer for Sun and Moon, with the ten other seats taken by the knights. From The Sons of Jacob and the Zodiac.
Po Tolo (Sirius B) the oldest of stars, it’s name means ‘deep beginning’. The Dogon consider Po Tolo the reservoir and source of all things in this realm, and the germ of creation for our Solar System. It ejected it’s essence out into creation, and the particles of it’s essence was ‘infinitely small’.
Reconciliation of the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs. Part III.
Anima Sola – From an Esoteric View
In the following I have some texts describing Anima Sola or Lonely Soul from Catholic lore, and Steiners description of the Homeless Souls and in relation to his description of Goethe’s distinctiveness.
The Anima Sola or Lonely Soul is a Catholic depiction of a suffering person — almost always a woman — in chains amidst the barred prison doors and flames of Purgatory, the place where sinners go while awaiting final judgement.
It is said that those who die while wearing a blessed brown scapular, as directed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will not suffer long in Purgatory, but on the Saturday following their death, the Virgin of Mount Carmel will arrive bearing the Infant Jesus in her arms, accompanied by a group of angels, and at her direction, the angels will pull from the flames all those who died while wearing her scapular. Thus the Anima Sola, whose purgatorial chains are broken, is closely identified with the Carmelite devotion to Mary.
The Blessed brown scapular is the Etheric Mantle, the result of Illumination or Initiation, the background for the meeting with Christ in the Etheric. The releasing of Anima Sola of purgatory means that the person don’t die as a person, but continues living in the Etheric body. The first person known to wear the etheric mantle was Saint John, the Evangelist, and it’s reasonably to believe that it also were the case with Mary Magdalene.
The Anima Sola (Lonely Soul or Solitary Soul) has its roots in the Latin folk religions…
The woman appears penitent and reverent, and her chains have been released, so this sends quite an ambiguous message to the believer: she suffers and at the same time is released from suffering – perfectly representing Purgatory itself – a way-station for on the way to redemption to clear or burn away past sins.
Anima Sola is celebrated in folk religions much as a saint – and she hears the prayers of the living. She may bless and intercede on the prayer’s behalf to accelerate the conclusion of a purgatorial penance of a loved one who died in sin.
She might also be called up on to create a living purgatory for someone who has hurt the person praying to her.
The Lonely Souls becomes God’s helper. Even though some woman want to take all virtues in under the female brand, this is quite democratic, it’s distributed in pairs, one man one woman, Dual’s – Twin Spirits.
From The Homeless Souls
In contrast, there are a number of souls, particularly at present, whose interest is concentrated less on
worldly happenings as they approach a new life on earth than on the question of how they can develop maturity in the spiritual world. Their interest lies in the spiritual world right up to the moment before they find their way to earth. As a consequence, when they incarnate they arrive with a consciousness which has its origins in spiritual impulses. With their spiritual ambitions they outgrow their environment, and are thus predestined and prepared to go their own way.
Thus the souls who descend from pre-earthly to earthly existence can be divided into two groups. One group, to which the majority of people today still belong, comprises those souls who can make themselves remarkably at home on earth; who feel thoroughly comfortable in their warm nest, which so fascinated them long before they came down to earth, even if it does occasionally appear unpleasant — but that is only appearance, maya.
Other souls, who may pass patiently through childhood — appearance is not always the decisive thing — are less able to make themselves at home, are homeless souls, and grow beyond the warmth of the nest much more than they grow into it. …
The things which are being sought by these souls on the byways of life, away from the major highways, manifest themselves in many ways. If the others did not find it so agreeable to take the well-trodden paths and did not put such obstacles in the way of homeless souls, the numbers of the latter would be much more obvious to their contemporaries. But it is widely apparent today how many souls have a hint of such homelessness about them.
The tendency to such homelessness could be anticipated: the rapidly growing evidence of a longing in homeless souls for an attitude to life which was not laid out in advance; a longing for the spirit in the chaos of contemporary spiritual life.
The Sign of the Rosicrucian
A chock, an accident, or a sickness can loosen the etheric body from the physical, making it possible for the person to look at the world and himself as spectator, that he is not as immersed into the physical world as is usual. This is the sign of the Rosicrucian. It is symbolized with Jacob’s wrestling with the Angel, one who is too absorbed in the physical don’t fight with his angel, the physical world is too fascinating. Jacob is marked physically after the ‘fight’ with his angel, who symbolizes the spiritual world or his higher I, himself; he is becoming less physical.
From “The Karma of Vocation” – On Goethe
With Goethe, this force of soul became even stronger, and yet he lived to an advanced age. What enabled him to live so long? You will recall that I reminded you yesterday of a fact that intervened significantly in Goethe’s life. After he had spent some years in Leipzig as a student, he became seriously ill and stood face to face with death. He virtually looked death in the face. This illness is, to be sure, a natural phenomenon in the organism. However, we never learn to understand a man who creates out of the elemental forces of the world — indeed, we never learn really to understand any man — unless we take into consideration such events in the course of his karma. What really happened to Goethe when he became ill in Leipzig? We may describe it as a complete loosening of the etheric body in which the life forces of the soul had been active until then. It was loosened to such an extent that, after this illness, he no longer had that closely knit connection between the etheric and the physical bodies that he had formerly possessed.
The etheric body, however, is the supersensible member in us that really makes it possible to form concepts, to think. Abstract concepts such as we have in ordinary life, the only concepts that are approved by most persons who are materialistically disposed, come about through the fact that the etheric body is, as it were, closely united with the physical by a strong magnetic union. It is also through this fact that we possess a strong impulse to project our will into the physical world, that is, provided the astral body is strongly developed. In the case of Robespierre, Mirabeau and Danton, we have an etheric body strongly united with the physical but also a powerfully developed astral body. This works, in turn, upon the etheric body, which establishes these human individualities strongly in the physical world. Goethe was also organized like this, but another force now worked in him and brought about a complication. The result was that the etheric body was loosened and remained so through the illness that had brought him to the point of death. When the etheric body is no longer so intimately united with the physical body, however, it no longer thrusts its forces into the physical but retains them. This explains the transformation Goethe passed through when he returned to Frankfurt. There, during his acquaintance with Fräulein von Klettenberg, the mystic, and with various medical friends who were devoted to studies in alchemy, and through the writings of Swedenborg, he really developed a systematic spiritual world conception. It was still somewhat chaotic, but nevertheless a systematic spiritual world conception, and he was profoundly inclined to occupy himself with supersensible things.
Here we see how a natural event seems to enter with immense significance into the life of a human being. Undoubtedly, it points to a deeper interrelationship than the one the biographers generally wish to reveal. The significance of an illness to a man cannot be explained on the basis of hereditary tendencies but rather points to the connection between a man and the world in such a way that this relationship must be conceived spiritually. You will note also how Goethe’s life was thus complicated; such experiences determine how we take things in and what we are ourselves.
This event of near death appeared in Goethe at the end of the sixties in Leipzig, but its force had been prepared long before that….In anyone possessing a compact connection between the physical and etheric bodies, the external world exerts its influence and, as it makes impressions on the physical body, they pass over immediately into the etheric body; this is one and the same thing. Such a person simply lives in direct contact with the impressions of the external world. In Goethe’s case, the impressions are, of course, made upon the physical body, but the etheric body does not immediately respond because it is loosened. As a result, such a person can be more isolated, in a sense, from his environment, and a more complicated process takes place when an impression is made on his physical body. If you establish a connection between this organic structure of Goethe and the fact that, as we learn from his biography, he lays himself open even to historic events without forcing them, you have then arrived at an understanding of the peculiar functioning of his nature. I told you that he took the autobiography of Gottfried of Berlichingen and, influenced only by the dramatic impulses received from Shakespeare, did not really alter much in it. So he did not call it a drama but The History of the Iron-handed Gottfried of Berlichingen, Dramatized. You see, this soft and almost timid handling of things, as I might call it, without taking hold of them forcefully is due to his quite unusual connection between the etheric and physical bodies.
Through what I have explained, a sort of chasm had been created between his unusual inner nature and the external world. Just as he does not alter by force what is living in the external world but only delicately modifies its form, he also does not carry his feelings and sensations, which he can experience only in his etheric body, through the physical body to such a firm contact with the external world — something that, in others, would have led to quite definite events in life.
There is really a tremendous difference between Goethe’s mood up to 1775 and that after 1775, a difference that may be compared with a mighty wakefulness followed by a subdued life. The word “Dumpfheit,” an inner feeling of numbness, comes into his mind when he describes his life in Weimar, where he engages himself so much in events but responds to them more than at an earlier age, when he had rebelled against them. It is peculiar that after this dampening down for ten years there followed a period when events confronted him in a more gentle way. Just as the life of sleep is by no means a direct effect of the preceding daytime life, so also this sleep life of Goethe was not at all the result of what had gone before.
If, however, as in the special case of Goethe, the astral body is brought into a more vivid relationship with the spinal cord system and the ego with the ganglionic, because the ether body has withdrawn from the head, then far more vivid intercourse occurs with what is going on in our surroundings. But it is concealed from us in normal life because it is only while we are asleep at night that we enter into relationship with our spiritual environment.
He was able to sense this because what lived mysteriously in his fellow men made an impression on him such as is made by one person on another only when an especially intimate relationship, indeed when love, develops between them. In such a case of ordinary life, the connection of the ego with the ganglionic system, and of the astral body with the spinal cord system is highly active, although this is not consciously perceived as such. Something very special is activated. But what is otherwise active only in a love relationship came about in Goethe vis à vis a far larger number of people, so that he experienced a tremendous, more or less subconscious, compassion for the poor fellows — excuse the expression — who did not know what their inner natures were going through as they were driven from class to class and from examination to examination.
They were nothing but actual experiences that he gained from the most extensive environment because his ganglionic and spinal cord life was stimulated to more than normal wakefulness. This was the opposite from the subdued head life, but it was a potentiality in him even in his boyhood. We can see this from his description of what became active in him: not only what ordinarily engages people, say in piano lessons, became active in him but also the entire being. Goethe partook much more in the happenings of real life as a whole person than others, and we must say, therefore, that he was more wide-awake during the day than they. During the time in his youth when he was working on Faust, he was more awake during the day, and because of this he also needed what I described yesterday as the time of sleep — the ten years in Weimar. This dampening was necessary.
The world must be protected, so to speak, from standing still. It seems trivial to say this, but it is nevertheless a profound mystery-truth: not all people can dream in this way. The forces with which they dream must first be applied in the external world to something different so that through it a foundation may be created for a further evolution of the earth. It would come to a standstill were all men to dream as I have indicated.
An astrological session exemplifying some of the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze8VwNle15I
These homeless souls don’t have as massively an impact on the physical world as those with strong physical connections, but they may have a much more subtle influence on other people, may be changing other peoples destiny by putting inspirations into words. In this way they don’t create new karma, but resolves old karma.
From “The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz” on The Mark of Christian Rosenkreutz
Christian Rosenkreutz has always made use of the short intervals of time between his incarnations to call into his particular stream of spiritual life those souls whom he knows to be ripe; between his deaths and births he has concerned himself, as it were, with choosing out those who are ready to enter his stream. But human beings themselves, by learning to be attentive, must be able to recognise by what means Christian Rosenkreutz gives them a sign that they may count themselves among his chosen. This sign has been given in the lives of very many human beings of the present time, but they pay no heed to it. Yet among the apparently “chance” happenings in a man’s life there may be such a sign — it is to be regarded as an indication that between death and a new birth Christian Rosenkreutz has found him mature and ready; the sign is, however, given by Christian Rosenkreutz on the physical plane. This event may be called the mark of Christian Rosenkreutz. Let us suppose that a man is lying in bed … in other places I have mentioned different forms of such a happening but all of them have occurred … for some unaccountable reason he suddenly wakes up and as though guided by instinct looks at a wall otherwise quite dark; in the half-light of the room. He sees, written on the wall: “Get up now, this minute!” It all seems very strange, but he gets up and goes out of the house; hardly has he done so than the ceiling over his bed collapses; although nobody else would have been in danger of injury, he himself must inevitably have been killed. The most thorough investigation proves that no single being on the physical plane warned him to get up from the bed! If he had remained lying there, he would certainly be dead. — Such an experience may be thought to be hallucination, or something of the kind; but deeper investigation will reveal that these particular experiences — and they come to hundreds of people — are not accidental. A beckoning call has come from Christian Rosenkreutz. The karma of the one called in this way always indicates that Christian Rosenkreutz bestows the life he may claim. I say explicitly: such experiences occur in the lives of many people at the present time, and it is only a question of being alert. The occurrence does not always take such a graphic form as the example quoted, but numbers of human beings nowadays have had such experiences.
Many people think that they’re working for the good of mankind from morn till eve, but this is questionable. A clairvoyant can see that efforts coming from materialistic thinking have the wrong effect, and it may lie in some people’s karma that they should wait until they can do certain things. Then a higher being can whisper such a task in his ear, so that it’s not induced by outer circumstances. Life is a destructive process for someone who only devotes himself to outer sense impressions. A meditating esoteric doesn’t let his life be determined by outer circumstances as much.