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Spiritual Hierarchies - Lecture 1

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  • Tarjei Straume
    The Spiritual Hierarchies LECTURE I Düsseldorf, 1909 This course of lectures will take us into the high spiritual regions we shall be led from the earth,
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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      The Spiritual Hierarchies
      LECTURE I

      Düsseldorf, 1909

      This course of lectures will take us into the high spiritual regions we
      shall be led from the earth, where we live, not only into the wide physical
      spaces of our universe, but also be uplifted to those spiritual worlds,
      from which this whole physical universe has derived its origin.

      Such a course will show us, that the fundamental object of all knowledge
      and all wisdom is to solve the greatest problem of all ­ the problem of
      humanity. In order to make the human being understandable, explanatory
      facts have to be brought from far away. Above all it is necessary that
      those who wish to follow this course should be acquainted with the
      fundamental conceptions of Anthroposophy; although it is true that all
      Anthroposophists are acquainted with them in a general way. In these
      lectures we may rise in spirit to very exalted spheres, but we shall always
      endeavour to bring those facts which lie so far afield near to you and make
      them as comprehensible as possible.

      When we have to speak of what we call the Spiritual Hierarchies, it means
      that our souls’ gaze must rise to those beings who, in the sphere of our
      earth, have a higher existence than man. In the visible world we can only
      progress to beings that represent four degrees of one hierarchy, i. e. ,
      the mineral world, the plant world, the animal world and the human world.
      Above man begins a world of invisible beings, through the knowledge of the
      supersensible world, and man is able (as far as it is possible for him) to
      rise a certain distance towards those beings and powers, which are the
      continuation in the invisible world of the four grades found within the
      realm of the earth. The knowledge and investigation which lead us into
      those regions has not, as you all know, come into existence only at our
      present time in evolution. There is what we may call a primeval
      world-wisdom; ­ all that man can fathom, all that he can know and realise,
      all that he has gained in ideas and conceptions, all that he has attained
      through clairvoyant imagination, inspiration, and intuition, ­ all has been
      lived before, and known before, by those Beings who are higher than he. He
      only follows so to say, in their track. To make use of a trivial example:
      the watchmaker has first the idea, then he makes the watch according to the
      idea. A watch is made after the maker’s ideas which preceded the watch;
      afterwards everyone can study and observe for himself from what ideas the
      watch was made, he can follow up the thoughts of the watchmaker. At the
      present point of evolution it is indeed only this kind of connection that
      man can have with primeval world-wisdom and with the spiritual beings that
      stand above him. Spiritual beings had first those imaginations,
      inspirations, intuitions, those ideas and thoughts according to which the
      world, as we see it, was formed. Man finds these thoughts and ideas in the
      world again; when he rises to clairvoyant vision, he finds the
      imaginations, inspirations, and intuitions, by the help of which he can
      penetrate into the world of those spiritual beings. We can, therefore, say
      that before our world came into being there already existed the wisdom of
      which we are going to speak: it is the PLAN OF THE WORLD.

      How far must we go back, while still remaining within the limits of
      reality, if we want to come into touch with that primeval world-wisdom?
      Must we go back to some time or other in the historical past, when some
      great teacher was teaching? We can certainly learn a great deal if we do;
      but to come into touch with true primeval world-wisdom we must go back to
      the time when there was no outwardly visible earth, when no world visible
      to the outer senses was as yet in existence. It was from out [of] that
      wisdom itself that the world came forth. But this wisdom, out of which
      spiritual beings formed our world, was imparted to man later. Man with his
      thoughts could see behind those thoughts, could realise the thoughts
      according to which spiritual beings have built the world. After this
      primeval wisdom, this wisdom of the creators of the world had worked
      through many forms, it appeared in a form known to many of you: after the
      great Atlantean period it appeared in those ancient, holy Rishis, the great
      teachers of India, during our first epoch of civilisation. With these
      sublime Rishis the primeval wisdom expressed itself in a form which the man
      of the present day can but little understand. The human capacities of
      feeling and thinking have greatly changed since the times when the great
      teachers of India taught man in the first epoch of civilisation after
      Atlantis; and if the words which came from the Rishis were simply repeated
      as they were said, there would be hardly one soul in the whole earth who
      could hear anything more in them nowadays than just words and again words.
      One has need of other capabilities of feeling than those at present
      existing, in order to understand the wisdom which was given to humanity in
      the first epoch after Atlantis. For all that is found in the best books
      regarding primeval world-wisdom, is but a faint echo of what this really is
      which in many ways is but a deceptive, obscured wisdom. However grand and
      sublime the Vedas appear to us, however beautiful the songs of Zarathustra
      sound, and however magnificent the language in which the ancient wisdom of
      Egypt speaks, so that we can never sufficiently admire it; still, all that
      has been written down gives us but a dim, dull reflection of the wisdom of
      Hermes, of the grand teaching of Zarathustra, or of the sublime knowledge
      which the Ancient Rishis proclaimed. This sublime wisdom has been preserved
      and guarded for humanity; it was always to be found in certain very limited
      circles of people who watched over what is called the knowledge of the
      Mysteries. In the Mysteries of India, Persia, Chaldea, Egypt, and in the
      Christian Mysteries, all the primeval wisdom of humanity has been safely
      preserved up to our times. Up to a short time ago it was only in those
      narrow circles, that not book-wisdom, but living wisdom, could be found.
      For certain reasons which will be made clear in this course of lectures,
      our time has been chosen for extending to larger masses of people that
      which has been kept alive by those little groups. The original wisdom of
      the Rishis, for instance, has never lost life. It permeated, like the
      fountain of youth, the age which we regard as the beginning of our era. The
      very holy wisdom which the Rishis gave to man was continued through
      Zarathustra and his pupils, through the Chaldean and Egyptian teachers. It
      also flowed in the words of Moses, and it came forth again with. an
      altogether new impulse, as from the fountain of life, with the appearance
      of the Christ upon earth. It then became so deep, so intrinsically
      internal, that it could only gradually flow again into humanity. Thus we
      see that since the outward declaration of Christianity, the primeval world
      wisdom has penetrated but slowly and gradually into humanity from most
      elementary beginnings. Its messages are there, they are to be found in the
      Gospels and in other Christian writings which include the wisdom of the
      holy Rishis, in a new form; like a new birth out of a new fountain. But how
      could these messages be understood at the beginning of the era for whose
      purification Christianity had been created? Through the Gospels it was
      least of all understood; they only attained very gradually to further
      comprehension and in many ways to a still further obscuration, and to-day
      the Gospels are, in truth, the most sealed of all books for the larger part
      of humanity ­ books which will only be first understood by a future age
      which will have refreshed itself at the source of the original
      world-wisdom. But the treasures hidden in the Christian revelation have
      been preserved, treasures no other than those of the Eastern wisdom, but
      renewed by means of fresh forces They have been guarded in narrow circles
      which were the continuation of Mystery Societies, like the Brotherhood of
      the Holy Grail, and finally in the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross. These
      treasures of truth have been kept well hidden and have been accessible only
      to those who through severe trials had prepared themselves for the living
      wisdom. Thus the treasures of the Eastern and Western wisdom, through all
      the centuries of evolution from the beginning of our era, were made almost
      inaccessible to the larger mass of humanity.

      Only a little trickled through here and there to the outer world: the most
      part remained a secret of the new Mysteries. Then came a time when some of
      the contents of primeval wisdom, treasured in narrow circles, was allowed
      to be given out to larger masses of humanity in a language comprehensible
      to them. Since the last third of the nineteenth century or thereabouts one
      can speak of this world wisdom in a more or less unveiled form. It is only
      because certain things have taken place in the spiritual worlds that the
      Guardians of the Mysteries received permission to allow some of the ancient
      wisdom to penetrate to the outer world. All of you, my dear friends, know
      the course of development of the Anthroposophical Society. You know how the
      ice in which its development was bound was, so to say, broken by those
      words of wisdom, revealed in a way which I am not going to enter into now
      ­ the stanzas of Dzyan. Those stanzas of Dzyan, of the secret teaching,
      contain in truth some of the deepest and most important wisdom; they have
      in them much of that which coming from the teaching of the holy Rishis has
      flowed through the sanctuaries of the East. They contain also much of what
      has streamed into Western Europe since the Christian rejuvenation. For the
      stanzas of Dzyan do not include only the wisdom which had to be kept
      exclusively for the East, but also a great deal of that which streamed as a
      clear light through the centuries of our time, through the Middle Ages into
      the Mystery Schools of the West. Much that is to be found in the stanzas of
      Dzyan will only be gradually understood in all its depth. It may well be
      said here that the wisdom of the stanzas of Dzyan is of such a kind that it
      cannot yet be understood in the widest anthroposophical circles, or
      fathomed with the exoteric capabilities of the present day.

      After the first ice had been broken in this way, the time came when one
      could speak more openly from the sources of Western occultism, which is no
      other than the occultism of the East transplanted and continued in a way
      that has adapted itself to new circumstances and conditions of physical and
      spiritual life.

      The time has come when one can speak from those ever living sources of
      occultism which have been faithfully treasured in the Mysteries of the Rosy
      Cross. There is no wisdom of the East which has not streamed into Western
      occultism and into the teaching and investigations of the Rosy Cross; in
      them is to be found absolutely all that the great teachers of the East ever
      had in their keeping. Nothing, nothing whatever of that which is to be
      found in the Eastern wisdom is lacking in the wisdom of the West. The only
      difference ­ if it can be called a difference ­ is that Western occultism
      has to include the whole of the Eastern wisdom and teaching and, without
      losing anything, to blend it with the light which has been kindled in
      humanity through the Christ Impulse. When one speaks of Western occultism,
      of that which has its derivation from the hidden Western Rishis (whom
      certainly no eye hath seen) it is impossible to say that in it is wanting
      one single iota, one single shred of the Eastern wisdom. Only it had all to
      be brought forth again fresh and new from the fountain-head of the Christ
      Impulse. All the great treasures of wisdom which were first revealed by the
      holy Rishis regarding superhuman worlds and supersensible existence,
      resound in the description we have to give of the spiritual hierarchies and
      their reflection in the physical world. Just as the geometry of Euclid has
      not become something different from what it used to be, because one teaches
      and learns it with new human capabilities, just as little has the wisdom of
      the holy Rishis changed because we learn and teach it with the new
      capabilities which have been kindled in us by the Christ Impulse. Therefore
      much of what we have to say about the spiritual worlds can be called
      Eastern wisdom. There must not be any misunderstanding in these things
      ­ and misunderstandings happen so easily. Those who will not free
      themselves of a misconception, in order to come to understanding, can very
      easily misinterpret what, for instance, was said yesterday at the Easter
      lecture. They might assert about the so-called truths of Buddha, that I had
      said that the Buddha had taught and revealed the truths about life and
      life's pain as follows: ‘birth is pain, illness is pain, old age is pain,
      death is pain; to be separated from those one loves is pain, not to be
      united with what one loves is pain, not to have what one desires is pain’
      and that I said: ‘Let us look at those who, in the times after Christ,
      really understood the Christ Impulse; for all the holy truths of the Buddha
      about the pain of life have no more their full importance; something has
      been created by the Christ Impulse that is like a cure for the pain of
      life.’ The Buddha taught: ‘Birth is pain’; but those who understood the
      Christ would answer that through birth we enter
      into a life shared with the Christ, and through the Christ’s share in it
      the pain of life will be extinguished. Illness will also be extinguished
      through the healing power of the Christ Impulse, and there is no more pain
      in illness for one who understands Christ, and death also has no more pain
      for him who understands Christ. Yet someone might reply to this 'Yes, hut I
      cou1d point to the Gospels to show that also there you will find it said
      that illness is pain, life is pain': and one might superficially come to
      the conclusion: ‘We have those modern religious documents, but what they
      contain can also be found in Buddhism, therefore religions are not making
      progress, there is no evolution in them. All religions say the same things,
      but you have spoken of a progress, you expounded to us how, with the help
      of Christianity, the old truths of Buddhism would not be true any more.’ If
      anyone were to say this he would be guilty of a very serious
      misunderstanding. For that was not said: everything indeed was said with
      the exception of the last sentence. It is very important that this very
      subtle question should be rightly understood. A fanatic can never
      understand with precision, but a man who is objective can. No one who
      speaks with knowledge of Rosicrucian wisdom will ever expound anything that
      would be against any of the writings of the great Buddha, or say that
      anything in them is untrue. Every man who speaks from the sources of
      Rosicrucian wisdom shares the conviction of Buddha, no one denies it.
      ‘Yes,’ such a man says, ‘what thou, great Buddha, through thy inner
      illumination, hast seen of the great truths about pain and life is exactly
      true, it is true to its last iota.’ Nothing, absolutely nothing will be
      taken away from it. All of it remains as it was. And it is just because all
      of it remains as it was, because all is true of what the Buddha said about
      the pain of life, of illness, of old age and of death, just because of
      this, the Christ Impulse is such a powerful and important saving help to
      us, for it is just this which lifts the pain, because it is true that pain
      would be there, if the world could not be lifted beyond and above it
      through that great Impulse. Why could the Christ work effectively? Because
      the Buddha had spoken the truth. Humanity had to be brought down out of the
      spiritual heights where the primeval world wisdom is active in its purest
      form; man had to be led to independence, through physical existence with
      which life’s pain and illness are bound up, and the great healing help had
      to oppose those unavoidable facts in the course of further evolution. Does
      that man deny the reality of facts who, while declaring that these
      realities exist, holds at the same time that remedy has been given us by
      which the facts, about which those truths have been said, can be brought to
      a salutary development; does he who says this deny any existing reality?
      Oh! in those heights of existence where we must look for the spheres of the
      spiritual hierarchies ­ there Buddhism is not opposed to Christianity, nor
      Christianity to Buddhism; there the Buddha gives his hand to the Christ,
      and the Christ to the Buddha. But every misconception regarding human
      evolution, every misconception as to its ascending development, is a
      misconception also of that spiritual act in our earthly evolution which is
      the Act of Christ.

      Thus nothing is denied. of the wisdom of the East, the wisdom which has
      brought down to us the teaching of the holy Rishis, and with it the
      primeval world-wisdom, which through such long epochs of time has ever been
      streaming into humanity. But, all through those very long epochs, large
      masses of humanity could not penetrate to the sources of that wisdom, could
      only understand it with great difficulty; it was precisely the
      understanding of it which came with such difficulty. In ancient Atlantean
      times, before the great catastrophe, when the masses of humanity were still
      clairvoyant with the thin ancient clairvoyance, they beheld something quite
      different when they looked upwards to the spaces of heaven, to the
      spiritual hierarchies, from what they saw in the times after Atlantis when
      the larger part of humanity had lost its clairvoyance and so could gaze
      only with its physical eyes into the physical distances of the heavens.
      Therefore, in the times before the Atlantean catastrophe, it would have
      been quite senseless to speak to them of the heavenly bodies spread out in
      space as they are to-day. The clairvoyant human eye gazed into heavenly
      distance and saw the spiritual worlds. In those times there would have been
      no sense in speaking of Mercury or of Neptune or of Saturn, etc., as our
      astronomy speaks. The way astronomy speaks of the spaces of the world and
      what they contain is merely a reflection of what is seen by our own
      physical sight when it looks into depths of the sky. This did not exist for
      the ancient clairvoyant humanity of Atlantis; when they looked upwards,
      they did not see physically-limited stars, what the physical eye sees
      to-day is but the outer physical expression of the spiritual realities
      which people then beheld. When looking to-day with one’s physical eye
      through a telescope at the place where Jupiter is, one perceives a physical
      globe surrounded by moons. What was seen by the man of Atlantis when he
      lifted his clairvoyant gaze to that same point which we look at to-day with
      our physical eyes? The Atlantean’s eyes would have seen as little of what
      our sight sees to-day, as we should if we looked at a light through a thick
      autumn fog. The eye of the Atlantean would not have seen the physical star
      Jupiter, but he would have seen that which is also united with Jupiter
      to-day, which the man of the present day does not see: the aura of Jupiter,
      a totality of spiritual beings, of which the physical Jupiter is only the
      external expression. Thus did the gaze of man, before the Atlantean
      catastrophe, sweep round the spaces of the world seeing everywhere its
      spiritual content. He could speak only of the spiritual, for it would have
      had no meaning to speak of physical stars, when the physical eye was not
      yet opened as it is to-day. Looking into the spaces of the universe man saw
      spiritual beings ­ the spiritual hierarchies. He actually saw beings. We
      can compare the changes that took place with further evolution in this way:
      let us suppose that we are going out into a thick fog; we do not see
      separate lights, everything is surrounded by aura or fog. The fog lifts and
      disperses, the separate lights are visible, but their aura becomes
      invisible…. This is only a physical process which must serve for an
      example. But the ancient eye saw the aura of Jupiter, it saw spiritual
      beings in that aura which at certain points of their evolution were united
      to Jupiter. Humanity then developed further, to the attainment of physical
      sight. The aura remained: men could no longer see it, but the physical body
      in the centre became ever clearer and clearer, spiritually it was lost to
      sight as its corporeal part became visible. But the knowledge of the
      spiritual, the knowledge of the beings surrounding the star was kept and
      guarded in the holy Mysteries.

      All the holy Rishis speak of that knowledge. In the times when men already
      saw only in a physical way, the Rishis spoke to them of the spiritual
      atmospheres, of the spiritual inhabitants of those spheres which are spread
      out in the spaces of the world.

      Consider what the situation then was. In the centres of knowledge,
      spiritual beings were spoken of which surround the spheres of the universe.
      Outside where the physical eye was growing always sharper, physical matter
      was spoken of more and more. When the Ancient Rishis said the word Mercury
      (they did not use that word, but we take it as an example), did they mean
      by it the physical orb of that name? No ! ­ even the ancient Greeks did not
      use it in that sense; what they meant was the totality of spiritual beings
      belonging to that planet. Spiritual world and spiritual beings were spoken
      of when, in the centres of secret knowledge for instance, the word Mercury
      was pronounced. When the disciples of that sacred knowledge spoke of the
      Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn pronouncing these words in
      their different languages, they expressed the gradations of spiritual
      beings. When those names are used to-day, only the coarsest part is meant
      of that which was originally understood by Moon, Mercury, Venus. The
      principal part is just what is omitted to-day; the ancient teacher of
      wisdom said the word Moon and with that word he evoked the idea of a great
      spiritual world. When he, pronouncing the word ‘Moon’, pointed to the place
      in heaven where the moon was, he felt in his consciousness that it was the
      lowest stage of the spiritual hierarchies, but the man to whom he was
      showing it, who was getting ever further from that spiritual sight because
      humanity was growing more and more physical, saw only the physical moon,
      and called it ‘Moon.’

      One single word for two things which, though they certainly belong to each
      other, call forth quite different ideas in man. It was the same when the
      sages of the sacred knowledge pointed to Mercury, Sun, or Mars. Thus we see
      that the two -currents grew always further apart in humanity, the spiritual
      one describing something quite different from the material current. In the
      sacred Mysteries these words ­ which later became the mere names of
      physical planets ­ were always understood as descriptions of spiritual
      worlds and gradations of spiritual realms. The outer world always
      understood it materially up to the time of modern Mythology ­ I use the
      word purposely ­ which is called Astronomy. And as Anthroposophy has
      recognised the full worth of all the other Mythologies, it has also, as you
      will understand, given full value to that Mythology which is called modern
      Astronomy, which sees only space and in it, the physical world-spheres as
      physical orbs. But to him who knows, modern Mythology is only a special
      phase of all Mythologies. What the ancient inhabitants of Europe said in
      their myths about gods and stars, what the Romans gave in their
      Mythologies, and what appeared as the obscured Mythology of the Middle
      Ages, lead up in a straight line to the wonderful and admirable discoveries
      of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. A future will come when modern
      Mythology will be spoken of somewhat in this way: ‘There was a time when
      people found it right to place a material sun as the middle point of an
      ellipse and let the planets rotate within it, and spin round themselves on
      their own axes in different ways; they arranged a world system in that way,
      as people of earlier times also did. To-day’ ­ so will that future age
      think ­ ‘all that is only legend and fairy tale.’ Yes, that future age
      will come, although the man of the present who laughs at former Mythologies
      thinks it impossible that one could ever speak of Copernican Mythology. But
      this consideration will make clear to us how through the same words
      something ever more different may be meant. In spite of this the true
      primeval wisdom has always been cultivated and has always continued; it has
      however always been less understood exoterically and its spiritual side
      less seen, the more it has been materially explained.

      In the beginning of our era, when there was a rejuvenescence of primeval
      wisdom, (in order that humanity should not lose all touch with that ancient
      wisdom), it was said. in sharp, clear words, that when man looks at the
      outer space of the world and his physical eye sees only what is physical,
      the space is filled with spirit. It was the most intimate pupil of St Paul,
      Dionysius the Areopagite, who said in clear-cut words: ‘There is not only
      matter out there in space; there is, for the soul which rises consciously
      into the spaces of universal existence, the spiritual part which stands
      above man in the evolution of existence.’ And he used words which sounded
      different from the old ones, for if he had used the old words everybody
      would have understood them in the material sense. The Rishis spoke of the
      spiritual hierarchies, they expressed in their language what the Greek and
      Roman wisdom still described when speaking of the ascending scale of
      worlds: of the Moon, of Mercury, Mars and Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
      Dionysius, the pupil of the Apostle Paul had the same worlds in his mind as
      the Rishis, he repeated in clear cut words that here one had to do with
      spiritual realms, and he used words which he could be certain would be
      understood in their spiritual sense: he spoke of Angels, Archangels,
      Archai, Powers, Mights, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim. For now
      humanity had completely forgot what it once knew. Had it still been able to
      understand the connection between what Dionysius and the Rishis had seen,
      it would have grasped, while hearing on the one side of the Moon, and on
      the other side of the Mysteries of the Angels, that these were one and the
      same thing. It would have heard the word Mercury on the one hand and
      Archangel on the other, and would have known they were the same. The word
      ‘Archai’ spoken by the one, and ‘Venus’ by the other, were the same. And
      men. would have understood that with the words ‘Sun’ and ‘Powers’ the same
      worlds were meant. With the name ‘Mars’ they would have felt that they had
      to rise to the Mights (Dynamis). When they heard Jupiter mentioned, they
      would have known that it was the same as when in the school of Dionysius,
      Dominions were described. Saturn corresponds to ‘Thrones’; but in wider
      circles this was not known any more, it could not be known. Thus there was
      on the one side a science of matter, which became ever more material, and
      the old names which once signified spiritual forces, were now used in a
      material sense. And on the other side, there was a spiritual life which
      spoke of Angels and Archangels, etc. which had lost its connection with the
      physical designations of these spiritual beings.

      Thus we see how the primeval wisdom enters through Dionysius into the
      school which Paul had inaugurated, and how this new inauguration had to be
      penetrated by the ancient spirit. It is the task of modem Spiritual
      Science, or anthroposophy to form once more the bond which must unite the
      physical to the spiritual, the bond between the earth and the spiritual
      hierarchies. It is impossible for those who do not know where their ideas
      about the outer world of the senses come from, to realise the other, the
      spiritual side of knowledge. This will he particularly noticeable when we
      have to deal with those writings which, although they are but a faint echo
      of the primeval cosmic wisdom, can still be understood in the light of that
      wisdom.
      Let me show you an example of the difficulty there is in understanding
      writings which come down to us from that primeval wisdom. It is an example
      out of the Song Celestial, the Bhagavad Gita, where a sentence throws a
      very significant light on the connection between human life and the
      hierarchies. It is the following: (8th Chap. beginning with 23rd verse) ‘I
      will explain unto thee, oh man seeking for truth’ (it is thus generally
      translated) ‘under what circumstances those who know the Eternal leave the
      earth through the gate of death, to be later reborn or not. I will tell
      thee: Behold the fire, behold the day, behold the time of the waning moon,
      behold the half year when the sun is high ­ those who die at that time,
      who die in fire, in the day, in the time of the waxing moon, those enter
      through the gates of death into Brahma , but those who the in the sign of
      the smoke, in the night, when the moon is waning, in the half year when the
      sun stands low, these when they leave the world and pass through the gates
      of death enter only into the light of the moon, and return again to the
      world.’ Here you have, my dear anthroposophical friends, a sentence from
      the Bhagavad Gita, in which it says that the condition of man’s progress
      and of his reincarnation depends on whether he dies in the sign of the
      light, by day, with the waxing moon, during the half year when the sun
      stands high, or whether he dies in the sign of the smoke, by night, when
      the moon wanes and when the sun is low. It is said that this refers to the
      material sun. Of those who die in the sign of the fire by day, with the
      moon waxing, and during that half of the year when the sun is high, it is
      said that they do not need to return. Those who die in the sign of the
      smoke, by night, with the moon waning, and when the sun is low, must return
      into the world. This sentence out of the divine song of the East presents
      the greatest difficulty to all those who want to explain it within the
      limits of exoteric life. It can be explained only when it is illuminated by
      the light of spiritual knowledge, by the light in which it was received and
      written, the light which streams out of the Mystery schools, which can be
      increased. which has known its rejuvenescence through Christianity and
      which shows us how to find the link which binds the names Moon to Angels,
      Mercury to Archangels, Venus to the Archai and so on. With its help we
      shall find the key to such sentences as the one we gave as an example. Our
      course of studies will start from the explanation of this sentence in the
      Bhagavad Gita, a thing which is impossible in exoteric life; and after we
      have found the key to it, we shall pass on to further explanations of the
      spiritual hierarchies.

      ****************************************************************************

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      Uncle Taz
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    • Tarjei Straume
      I m sorry about all the dashes disappearing from the text; it won t happen with the next lectures nor in the web version. This stuff is so dynamite it s worth
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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        I'm sorry about all the dashes disappearing from the text; it won't happen
        with the next lectures nor in the web version. This stuff is so dynamite
        it's worth a little commenting:

        Rudolf Steiner:

        >This course of lectures will take us into the high spiritual regions we
        >shall be led from the earth, where we live, not only into the wide
        >physical spaces of our universe, but also be uplifted to those spiritual
        >worlds, from which this whole physical universe has derived its origin.

        Wow. That's my Steiner, and this is precisely what we need.

        Bob Dylan:

        Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship,
        My senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip,
        My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
        To be wanderin'.
        I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade
        Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way,
        I promise to go under it.

        Rudolf Steiner:

        >Above man begins a world of invisible beings, through the knowledge of the
        >supersensible world, and man is able (as far as it is possible for him) to
        >rise a certain distance towards those beings and powers, which are the
        >continuation in the invisible world of the four grades found within the
        >realm of the earth.

        Let there be no doubt about it: Anthroposophically oriented spiritual
        science is NOT some kind of preferable symbolic Jungian philosophy in a
        world that popped into existence at random from some chemical soup, and it
        is NOT a question of believing or not believing in "God", some kind of
        all-knowing, almighty metaphysical dictator who pops condoms like a circus
        magician from a comic book. We're talking about species older and more
        highly developed than man who are active among us; higher intelligences
        that NASA will never ever succeed in tracking down.

        >For certain reasons which will be made clear in this course of lectures,
        >our time has been chosen for extending to larger masses of people that
        >which has been kept alive by those little groups.

        This is why Old Age religions lead to decadence, sending hordes of fundies
        into the arms of Ahriman - especially monotheistic religions phantasizing
        about "God," that nasty, almighty, supersmart metaphysical dictator. These
        Old Age religions are drying up, and their followers are running out of
        spiritual nourishment, becoming increasingly desperate and dangerous
        So-called Biblical Christianity, orthodox Judaism, medieval Islam, all once
        great religions, are becoming dangerous cults. They're becoming so
        dangerous and cause so many wars that when Ahriman incarnates, he'll
        probably outlaw religion and spirituality altogether, and this will be
        enforced. Steiner actually *predicted* that the day will come when health
        authorities will vaccinate children against spiritual experiences.

        >There is no wisdom of the East which has not streamed into Western
        >occultism and into the teaching and investigations of the Rosy Cross; in
        >them is to be found absolutely all that the great teachers of the East
        >ever had in their keeping. Nothing, nothing whatever of that which is to
        >be found in the Eastern wisdom is lacking in the wisdom of the West. The
        >only difference ­ if it can be called a difference ­ is that Western
        >occultism has to include the whole of the Eastern wisdom and teaching and,
        >without losing anything, to blend it with the light which has been kindled
        >in humanity through the Christ Impulse. When one speaks of Western
        >occultism, of that which has its derivation from the hidden Western Rishis
        >(whom
        >certainly no eye hath seen) it is impossible to say that in it is wanting
        >one single iota, one single shred of the Eastern wisdom. Only it had all
        >to be brought forth again fresh and new from the fountain-head of the
        >Christ Impulse.

        So much for those who bemoan that we're doing things the Western way and
        that some kind of exotic, non-Christian path from the Far East is so much
        better.

        >A fanatic can never understand with precision, but a man who is objective
        >can.

        Nice one. This is why certain topics can be difficult or even impossible to
        discuss objectively when passions run high and opinions are stubborn.

        >Looking into the spaces of the universe man saw spiritual beings ­ the
        >spiritual hierarchies. He actually saw beings.

        Does anyone here believe that the man of Atlantis was delusional and
        deranged, or that Atlantis never existed?

        >The outer world always understood it materially up to the time of modern
        >Mythology ­ I use the word purposely ­ which is called Astronomy. And as
        >Anthroposophy has recognised the full worth of all the other Mythologies,
        >it has also, as you will understand, given full value to that Mythology
        >which is called modern Astronomy, which sees only space and in it, the
        >physical world-spheres as physical orbs. But to him who knows, modern
        >Mythology is only a special phase of all Mythologies.

        Here we have it: The modern scientific superstition. The world of NASA is a
        myth; they're chasing shadows and wasting an awful lot of taxpayer dough in
        the process.

        >Yes, that future age will come, although the man of the present who laughs
        >at former Mythologies thinks it impossible that one could ever speak of
        >Copernican Mythology.

        Bob Dylan:

        Though you might hear laughin', spinnin', swingin' madly across the sun,
        It's not aimed at anyone, it's just escapin' on the run
        And but for the sky there are no fences facin'.
        And if you hear vague traces of skippin' reels of rhyme
        To your tambourine in time, it's just a ragged clown behind,
        I wouldn't pay it any mind, it's just a shadow you're
        Seein' that he's chasing.

        Rudolf Steiner about Dionysius the Areopagite:

        >he spoke of Angels, Archangels, Archai, Powers, Mights, Dominions,
        >Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim.

        Well, that's something radically different from abstract babble about
        "God." That's what all those pastors and preachers and clergy members talk
        about: "God." They even call themselves "men of God." And this God is a
        mean, brutal, cruel, and tyrannical, causing suicides and abortions and wars.

        Anyway, this is just the first of ten lecture, folks; they belong to my
        favorites and are very powerful taking you all into the loftiest regions of
        the universe if you get on the train.

        Bob Dylan:

        Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
        Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
        The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
        Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
        Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
        Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
        With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
        Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

        Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
        I'm not sleepy and there is no place I'm going to.
        Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me,
        In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.


        Cheers,


        Tarjei
        http://uncletaz.com/
      • Mike helsher
        ... happen ... dynamite ... regions we ... spiritual ... origin. ... Yes, this is precisely what I need. Hey there Mr. Tazberine man, thanks for playing
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume
          <reefer@u...> wrote:
          > I'm sorry about all the dashes disappearing from the text; it won't
          happen
          > with the next lectures nor in the web version. This stuff is so
          dynamite
          > it's worth a little commenting:
          >
          > Rudolf Steiner:
          >
          > >This course of lectures will take us into the high spiritual
          regions we
          > >shall be led from the earth, where we live, not only into the wide
          > >physical spaces of our universe, but also be uplifted to those
          spiritual
          > >worlds, from which this whole physical universe has derived its
          origin.
          >
          > Wow. That's my Steiner, and this is precisely what we need.

          <snip>

          Yes, this is precisely what I need. Hey there Mr. Tazberine man,
          thanks for playing this song for me!

          Mike
        • yogidahl2000
          So much for those who bemoan that we re doing things the Western way and that some kind of exotic, non-Christian path from the Far East is so much better.
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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            So much for those who bemoan that we're doing things the Western way
            and that some kind of exotic, non-Christian path from the Far East
            is so much better.

            Nah,Tarjei,there are already 1 billion hindus in
            this world - ONE more can hardly harm........
            Flemming
          • yogidahl2000
            ... won t ... wide ... Hey You Tazberine Tarjei! Thank You for throwing this lecture my way! You know,I so much love your Enthusiasm! me,I ve been reading
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 1, 2005
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              >
              > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume
              > <reefer@u...> wrote:
              > > I'm sorry about all the dashes disappearing from the text; it
              won't
              > happen
              > > with the next lectures nor in the web version. This stuff is so
              > dynamite
              > > it's worth a little commenting:
              > >
              > > Rudolf Steiner:
              > >
              > > >This course of lectures will take us into the high spiritual
              > regions we
              > > >shall be led from the earth, where we live, not only into the
              wide
              > > >physical spaces of our universe, but also be uplifted to those
              > spiritual
              > > >worlds, from which this whole physical universe has derived its
              > origin.
              > >
              > > Wow. That's my Steiner, and this is precisely what we need.
              >
              > <snip>

              Hey You Tazberine Tarjei!
              Thank You for throwing this lecture my way!
              You know,I so much love your Enthusiasm!
              me,I've been reading Rudolf Steiner for 20 years,and can You believe
              it? – Every day I find the Doktor even more
              inspiring,interesting,exciting,fascinating and mind-blowing!
              and I'm not saying this in some kind of Fundie Spirit
              (sorry,Diana!),it's just genuine appreciation – There oughta be a
              law against him not coming around!
              Vibes,
              Flemming


              >
              > Yes, this is precisely what I need. Hey there Mr. Tazberine man,
              > thanks for playing this song for me!
              >
              > Mike
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