Rudolf Steiner - 'Materialists talk of matter, of the physical world,
whereas their malady consists of the fact that they are not properly
connected with their physical and etheric bodies. A man becomes a
materialist precisely because he does not reach the physical and etheric
bodies, because the spirit is too weak to lay hold of the body in the right
way.' end quote from 'The Driving Force of Spiritual Powers in World
History' Dornach 1923
In this wonderful series of lectures, pure gold from the Christian
Initiate, a methodology is given for acquiring inner strength needed to make
and sustain a relationship with the Archai, which delivers us from the
mind-bondage of materialism. Such a relationship can only be achieved
through mental exertion, firing the will, spiritual activity. Can we really
expect mighty Spiritual Beings to whisper mere platitudes into our passive
ears? Hardly. They have great revelations to impart. It is we who suffer
from spiritual tinnitus, are so easily deafened, we who are found wanting.
Rudolf Steiner speaks in a spiritual sense of the ringing 'trumpet tones' of
the Archangeloi as they speak to us during sleep. Can the Archai be less
clarion? We need not be daunted. Rudolf Steiner begins these lectures with
the Elemental Beings, just as vital in the unity of super-sensible
intercourse between Man and Hierarchies, and easily accessible. We spoke
before of Tolkien and Inkling, of bringing Peep to Gaze. Here is Rudolf
Steiner doing just that and much more. Speaking of medicine in earlier
times he says
'Men worked in their laboratories - if their workshops can be called that
- in such a way that the operations of the elemental forces were clearly
revealed to them. Actually, men have always asked: How does sulphur - or
some other process combine with a different substance? What effect has this
behind the actual sense phenomenon? How are the elemental beings working
here? Men made their experiments in order to learn, let us say, by paying
attention to the transformation undergone by a substance when it combines
with another, or when it arises out of another, how - especially in the
change of colour revealed by a substance in the process of transition -
beings of the elemental kingdom peep out into the world of the senses.
Even Paracelsus, when he described sulphur, salt and mercury was not
describing these ordinary physical substances, but what peeped out at him
from the elemental kingdom where the substances were undergoing
Hence you can never understand Paracelsus if you take his expressions in
the sense in which they are used today in chemistry, because everywhere he
really means what peeps out from the elemental world in the way described.
Here, however are the healing forces, the real healing forces. In what you
see when you look at at the external appearance of any plant, say the Meadow
Saffron, you do not see the healing forces that are its characteristic; if
you want to perceive the healing forces of the Meadow Saffron you must watch
it when it is fading, when it is undergoing its unique, bold changes of
colour; then the elemental being is escaping and this brings about the
changes of colour. You know the saying that when the devil makes off he
leaves a stink behind him - and as they escape the elemental beings assert
their audacity by the colouring' end quote above lecture.
He goes on to explain that the actual healing is achieved by the human
being's relationship to the elemental beings working in the processes of the
plant, and how these relationships are further evolved and developed during
Steiner - 'So you see that in the domain of speech, man should again
establish a right relationship to the Archangeloi, but that through the
stronger effort of will that is needed for understanding Spiritual Science,
he should bring about an intensified relationship to the Archai, the Primal
Powers. A kind of knowledge entirely different from anything that is
available today will then come naturally to him. What frightens people so
greatly today is that the study of Spiritual Science entails development of
the will. The concepts and ideas brought forward by spiritual science must
be absorbed with an inner energizing of the will, with inner activity, and
this is not to man's liking today.' end quote from above lecture.
To acquire that entirely different knowledge, not slightly different
knowledge, but entirely different knowledge, to acquire it naturally, so
that it becomes Manichean metamorphic power vital for the world, we must
forge a relationship with the Archai, who then facilitate our night converse
with Angels and Archangels, so bridging spiritual-elemental and
Hierarchical-spiritual worlds. The Hierarchies will intervene in world
affairs, Steiner assures us, if we ask them, if we provide them with our
opened eyes and ears. If we let them know them what is going on. They can
hold Ahriman in check.
To this end we study Spiritual Science, read the signs and symptoms of
the times, grant free speech to gagged, tortured and mutilated Nature, enter
conversation with Spiritual and Elemental Beings who long for humanity to
awaken and join in the World's wondrous Work in spirit of lark, hop-skip
laughter and love that not merely believes six impossible things before
breakfast but performs them, digests them, enjoys them, makes of them a Way
and a Play.
Strangely, it is light heartedness, heart-lightened in true sense that
bears strongest forces of perception. Light heartedness is not facile, but
tensile, able and willing to be pivot, around which change of mind can
become spiritual impetus in society.
Our task is to bring greatly enhanced observation to nature, sub nature,
to every moment of daily personal and social life and set all in spiritual
scientific context. We can do this. We can be antidote. We can sleep and
take our spirit-imbued observations to the Hierarchies, via willing
elementals, and enjoy refreshing new streams of thought upon the morning.
Therefore, in order to have something real to bear into dungeons of
Guantanamo, to offer to Fallujah, to be aspirant Priest-King of New
Mysteries it is important to develop ears that hear the groaning,
travailing-traveling Earth; the wailing despair of neglected elementals, the
agony of animals. Eyes that glimpse the audacious elemental escaping in
fading colour, and become cognizant of how the adversary works to force
those elementals who could be our friends into sub-etheric servitude and
serve instead sterile forces of death.
If the newly available Risen Ethers are to be realized in human societal
life, if they are to sustain and support the natural world and Earth's
future evolving, they must needs pass through the Love-Fired Alchemical
retort of the Human Heart, which must first break its old boundaries, take
in new wine, admit fresh flows, be antithisis and so healer of Ahriman's
We need to understand the technique of terminator gene technology. The
plant has been genetically altered and primed, bomb like, to commit chemical
suicide and abortion as it is about to set seed. By releasing chemicals
inimical to itself, it denies its own present and all potential future
multiplied and progressed life, thereby denying sustenance and star forces
to human beings. It transgresses Natura's ever generous, prodigal Law of
Plenty - 'One grain = ten thousand grains'.
Life potential is thus bought and sold, its Archetype and Ideal is
patented, 'owned' by Ahriman and must be paid for most dearly with more than
just money. Here Ahriman begins, with human connivance, to breach the holy
boundaries set by the Father God to protect the Plant Kingdom from the
adversaries. It is not only parody and antithesis of Seed Idea, but an
attack upon all Mustard Seed transformation and generosity.
For the human heart that does not leap through eye of needle does not
germinate into Divine Mustard Seed. Instead it falls into fell embrace of
Terminator technology, commits spiritual suicide and abortion. The Gospel
tells us that Mustard Seed grows so high, so strong that the birds of the
air roost in its branches.... If our own lives do not reach for new heights,
branch out trusting in non-space horizon, shoreline and boundary, will
thought formed Eagle feathers of New-Song-Birds bear us aloft along lively
Oak-think pathways when excess gravity threatens to drag all into
We cannot physically break into torture chamber, soothe the pain of
prisoner, go into guarded laboratory and release tormented animals, cannot
as yet turn back bombs, undo 'collateral' damage, raise what has been razed,
but we can all undertake basic, primary groundwork of future Manichean Magic
and go with Holy Bee into poisonous flowers bringing forth potent nectar.
Paradox is, that gentleness is strength. Light Heart can bear heavy burden.
Power comes in unexpected ways, unlikely places. It is not all heaviness and
gloom. Not far along the Way we may glimpse twinkle in Day's Eye, glimmer
and glance of Spirit in what seemed material merely. We can Inkle through
half closed eyes, see more clearly through squint.
A man who has among his large collection of rarest books, original
manuscripts of Shakespeare's plays, once told me that when a 'W' was written
as two crossed 'V's', what followed was in cipher. Suddenly something more
is offered to one who has a key.
Michaelites are code breakers. A group of materialistic British
scientists, who cannot properly engage with their own physical and etheric
bodies, are attempting in their own words, to 'crack the code, discover the
secrets of butterfly flight' by attaching tiny electronic chips to them and
monitoring the result. This will never reveal the secret of butterflight.
Hop skip methodology is necessary.
Sometimes we can read the expression on the face of the sky and other times
not. It is obscured. A perfectly ordinary, straightforward morning is
suddenly arcane. A slight, barely perceptible sign may be observed or passed
by. The Day is in cipher, the sky enigmatic, wind cryptic, the air flows
otherwise, even the trees secretive, their emanations too subtle for jaded
At such points the World hints that it has something more than the obvious
to say to us. It is not merely sulking or turning away its face, but sheaths
a richer, flowing seam of purer gold that we have yet proved unworthy to
mine. To make mine own in order to give away. On such occasions one must
simply crack the code as one might crack a nut from the Celtic Hazel Tree of
Knowledge, or else turn hard, skull-shelled Walnut inside out. Or find that
Jupiter curved and Mars-strengthened cosmically open crown of Oak, is
conversing with interested winds, and will condescend to speak with us also.
What nutcracker is cosmic code-breaker? Reverence, deepened by Wonder and
Gentleness. There are others. We are beginner, novice, greenhorn, but we
have long, rich pasts and can reawaken and reclaim what was gifted and won
in Old Mysteries, refreshed by the Incarnation, link treasure trove within
to world without. We can crack our own code.
What follows are tiniest Inkles of Tree converse-code-crack, specific to
particular place, person and time.
Oaks are the spiritual base note and Mystery founding of the North
London Heights I live on, fortunate to be Oak nourished, Oak fed, Oak
schooled, Oak reared. An Oak grows behind the fence at the end of my
Through the spring days I scooted among Oaks so mighty, so individual so
interested and alive to my presence that I remained long beneath them,
listening, observing, commenting, deeply, dearly reverent in the subtle,
speaking, breathing wind of their auric blessing. Each of these trees is an
oddball, non-conformist, idiosyncratic, a singular even wayward character.
They have long outgrown any species uniformity of shape, each going Ent-wise
their own unique way. They take Gravity dancing. Make fool of Time. They
Master Space; argue it, impact it, debate it, suddenly turn it about, play
tricks on it, take new directions, mad angles, enclose odd, significant
shapes of sky, branch diversely and follow unconventional lines of their own
to extremes of weight, balance and measure, defying Ahriman to follow,
forcing him to peer through eye of needle, making the dance an illogical
impossible one that defies his dictate. In fact, they really are impossible
Branches that must weigh tons jut out unsupported into the air at
improbable, seemingly unsustainable angles, veer off suddenly, always going
their own way and somehow do not collapse or fall but remain stubbornly,
incredibly, master of weight and measure in lively geometric nonchalance.
One guesses at deep ballast roots gnomed far beneath, but still not nearly
explanation enough. These Lordly trees make their own rules. They don't
follow leaders. In fact the leader branch is often lightning blasted or
discarded, allowing a light permeable, irregular crown.
Paradoxically, this heaviest, densely wooded tree, which backs up its
forces, presses them into utterly new powers, is chalice for instreaming
impulses. It is open to the sky. Fresh revelations and insights can be found
in every inch of crannied, cracked and insect inhabited bark. I find Oaks
the most open, transparent trees. The bark is deeply fissured, harrowed,
the trunk often hollow. The branches are widely spaced, leaves lobed,
flow-formed, the soft green flowering catkins surprisingly tender.
'Thunderbolt cleaved Oak' is eccentric in the sense of asymmetric, odd,
and can give straight answers to direct questions with Entish humour.
Sitting beneath an Oak that was one great gesture of upholding, I asked
aloud 'What lives in Thee?'
Hearing my voice, a Woodpecker popped his head out of a hold high up
where the trunk forked into two massive branches and watched me intently.
Now Woody's home is my first visiting port on every ride. He chooses
well. Oak is host to more insect species than any other tree. Fast food on
Usually I ask more obliquely, study lecture cycles in continuity with Oak
visits, make long observation of the processes of the tree, and 'wait on the
Lord' for hints and glimpses on awaking from sleep.
Oak is mighty, even immense, but never, ever ponderous. Slow growing, it
is quick. Lord of matter, Oak is wick, active, almost transparent, vital,
has anti-gravity audacity. Understands Butterflight. And if a branch is
shed, storm torn, it is lost with unconcern, as one simply drops a line of
inquiry that is finished and moves on to develop another. More light floods
in. Scar merely adds wrinkle of thought or quirk of laughter on Oak face;
space and light work new ratios into the tree geography, tree entelechy,
allows streaming upward of gnomic root routes to quite other realms and
journeys. Oaken roots are super-highways for gnomic beings, great branching
subterranean mystery centers, counter-space Initiation Chambers of Christed
starry knowing whose map-master-elementals can wend into our dreams and
leave think-gifts upon the morning pillow. Oaken travel is wild and stormy,
is no easy ride. Acuity and tenacity of thought is demanded, the pass-port
that opens this realm is fearless good-will.
Oaks have the capacity to turn themselves inside out, to become mighty
reeds for New Tuned Sound Ethers. Memory banks of Old Mysteries grown New,
archives where we read future as well as past, even the slightest Christ
Resonance in our souls places us in relation with new starry forces which
the trees take up and emanate, transformed, for the healing of Earth and of
Wonderful insights regarding this tendency in Oaks have come from the
Forester-Guardians of Windsor Royal Park who tend the grounds of Windsor
Castle, where truly gigantic hollow Oaks have stood for many centuries. It
seems that older Oaks deliberately seek, need and achieve hollowness, aided
by a fungus which is usually considered parasitic and therefore harmful, but
which, in some instances, is actually a relationship of mutual benefit and
co-operation. When the Great Ancient Oaks of Royal Windsor have achieved
full maturity they seek to shed their heart wood, which, being heavy,
renders them, in their majestic full height and spread, more liable to
damage and felling by wind or storm when lightning strikes, as it so often
does, attracted to these Jupiter Trees.
Helpful fungus invades, seething antithisis of Oak solidity and strength,
eats the heart wood and leaves the hollow tree with little or no apparent
sapwood to sustain it, whereon, mysteriously, they live and flourish for
many centuries more, growing ever more individual and eccentric. It is in
that hollowed, lighter, inwardly spaced condition that they achieve their
full and true stature, symbol of real Egoic, Michaelic orientated thought
Near to my home is what I call the Miracle of the Torn Branch. A long and
heavy branch has been torn from another Michaelite tree, an old, Kingly
Hawthorn, leaving only a very thin, dried and much holed shard of crusty
outer bark linking it with the trunk. No physical sap can be flowing through
this crumbling scrap of dry wood, no real contact with the tree remains at
all - I can see the sky through its crumbling - and yet the great branch,
lying horizontal along the top of some iron railings, comes into full,
abundant leaf every year, flourishes and drops its leaves in Autumn,
beginning again to bud and sprout anew each Spring along with the tree,
nourished by etheric currents within the protective aura of the Tree Being.
I look up from Miracle Branch over the rooftops of surrounding streets to
where Ahriman's hilltop Arial points accusingly at the sky and make my own
broad-cast 'So what do you make of that, Mr Ahriman?' And, smiling at the
Day, apply the unlikely code cracker of Wondering-Reverence.
Tardis like, Head-Nut is vastly larger inside than out, Eye of Needle
Pass lets into the sun-space hollow within hills, peripheral etheric star
inflow, Mustard Seed abundance. The Birds of Heaven rest in branches that
can go adventuring in any direction. The Day smiles back, decoded, and
begins to resound with high poetry.