Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Michael reading/speaking and doing/perceiving
Although Rudolf Steiner is quite clear that when learning to speak we do not think yet and that language is not able to describe concepts, just to point at their existence, he also consider that it can be imbued with ideal. In a lecture he relates speech and archangels, walking and doing with Archai, I bring here an exrtact about what we do in freedom and some relation between all this, the Philosophy of Freedom, and Michael od 1879 and after 1899..
Beyond the question of reading a text with materialistic or Michaelic eyes, as Michael is now an Achai, Spirit of the begining, my musing is very much on how in what we do in Freedom or Spiritual Activity we are doing something that neither nature, nor society can do, In nature we find 'natural things, and also things which are the result of society, man made things, but now we can find something made by the 'individual' through his individuality, thoughts that change the world. It seems that not only the cosmic intelligence is in our head, but also something is happening in the natural earth: "the Michael force, which in former centuries did not descend to earth, now comes down through natural forces". It reminds me of the Romantics who were the first one to 're-discover',, ensoul, Autumn and instead of the brown, created in their minds the gold of leaves etc.
Full lecture at
Pneumatosophy. The Mysteries of the Inner Human Being & the Approach of the Michael Force, Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, Whitsuntide, May 23, 1923, Translated by Frances E. Dawson
Lets consider next an activity that children learnspeechin relation to human evolution as a whole. It must be said that what children learn in this way is truly magnificent. Jean Paul, the German poet, said that during the first three years of lifewhen the essential lessons are walking, speaking, and thinkinghuman beings learn much more than they do in the three years at school. Those three school years have become many, but we still learn no more in those three years than children learn during the first three years of life. Consider speech. In speaking, first there is the outer physiological aspect: the larynx and speech organ as a whole are set in motion. They move the air, which then becomes a medium for tone. Here we have, in a sense, the physiological aspect. But there is also soul in what we say, and the soul permeates and shines through all that we say in the sounds. Insofar as speech is physical, our physical and ether bodies share in the process. As a matter of course, these bodies are silent while we sleep. In other words, normal human beings do not speak between going to sleep and waking; but inasmuch as the soul and the I participate in speech, theythe astral body and Itake with them the soul power of speech as they leave the physical and ether bodies at the time of going to sleep; they actually take with them everything of a soul nature that we have put into our speech throughout the day. We are, in fact, different beings each evening, because we have been busy talking all day longone more, another less, many too much or too little. But, it doesnt matter; we have been busy talking throughout the day, and we put our souls into what was said. And what we put into our speech we take with us into sleep, and it remains our being while we sleep.
Perhaps in todays materialistic age, people no longer have any notion that idealism or spirituality may be expressed in speech. People today generally think that speech is merely intended to describe external, tangible phenomena. The sense that ideals may be expressed in the speech has disappeared almost entirely. Consequently, it is also true that people today typically find what is said to them about spirit unintelligible. After all, what do people tell themselves when spirit is mentioned? They acknowledge the words being used, but those words are understood only in the sense that they indicate something that can be grasped or seen. People have come to dislike the idea that words may also indicate something else, something suprasensory and invisible. That may be one view of speech; but the other may be, of course, that people will rediscover idealism, even in words and language, knowing that soul and spiritual experiences may be heard through each word, as it were.
When people live entirely in the materialism of the language, what they carry into sleep and into the spiritual leads, strangely enough, to a difficult relationship with the world of the archangels, or archAngeloi, into which we should enter each night while asleep. Those, on the other hand, who guard the idealism of speech in themselvesthose who know how the genius of the language lives in speechenter the proper relationship with the hierarchy of the archangels, especially the archangel to whom they themselves belong in the world between sleeping and waking. Indeed, this is expressed even in ordinary world phenomena. Why do people today look so frantically for an outer relationship to the national languages? Why did this frightful misfortune descend upon Europeone that Woodrow Wilson considered good fortune? (But then, he was a strange illusionist.) Why did this great misfortune come upon Europe, that freedom is connected to with a convulsive desire to use of national languages, even those of the smallest nations? It is because, in reality, people are frantically looking externally for a relationship that they no longer have in spirit; in going to sleep they no longer have a natural relationship to the language, nor, therefore, to the hierarchy of the archangels. Unless human beings find a way back to the permeation of everything that connects language with idealism, they will lose their way into the spirit world.
How do people today see what happens for the individuals between going to sleep and waking? People do not consider this sleep state at all. If we recall our past life, it seems that we have a complete life picture before us. But this is not the case; the time spent in sleep generally drops out, and the whole picture is continuously interrupted. We always connect the morning with the previous evening, but between these is the night. First, events during our nightly sleep makes up, outwardly, at least a third of outer human life (at least, respectable people say this); second, for the inner human being, it is far more important than the whole days outer activity. To be sure, the outer activity is more important for external civilization; but inner development in life is the result of coming into relation with the spirit world in the right way while we sleep at night.
This is also true of what forms the basis of the other activities Those who place idealism into the whole sphere of their actionsincluding the entire realm of movements one first learns when entering earth lifeand whose life includes the realization of ideals can also rediscover the right relationship with the hierarchy of the archai. And if the thoughts contain idealism, if they are not merely materialistic, people find during sleep a relationship to the hierarchy of the angels. This is what we discover when, with the help of spiritual science, we investigate the relationship between the sleep state and these three activities acquired during childhood.
I have often said here that, of the spiritual beings with whom we are united each night as I describedfor example, through speech with the archangelsspecific beings become the ruling spiritual powers throughout certain periods of time. In the last third of the nineteenth century, the time of Michael began. At that time, the spirit who is usually called Michael became the determining spirit in the affairs of human civilization. These conditions are repeated in a cyclic way. In ancient times, people knew something about all these spiritual processes. The ancient Hebrew age spoke of Yahweh, but always spoke of the countenance of Yahweh, and countenance meant the archangels who, in fact mediated between Yahweh and the earth. When the Jews expected the Messiah on earth, they knew that it was the time of Michaelthat Michael was the agent of Christs activity on earth. They misunderstood, however, the deeper significance of this. Now, since the 1870s, it is time again on earth for Michael to be the ruling spiritual power in the world, and the time has come for us to understand how to bring spirituality into our actions and to arrange our life according to the spirit. This means serving Michael, and not ordering our lives merely according to a materialistic perspective. It means being aware that Michael, whose mission is to overcome of the low ahrimanic forces as his mission, must become our genius for the evolution of civilization.
How can Michael become this? He can become our guiding spirit if we call to mind how we can reconnect with the course of the year in a spiritual sense. There is indeed great wisdom in the whole cosmic course, in that we can unite the spring festival with the festival of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. The traditional connection, as I have often explained, is wholly correct: The spring festival, or Easter festival, must occur on a different day each year, precisely because it is viewed from the other world. We on earth, however, maintain the narrow view that time goes along at an even pace, that one hour is always the same length as any another. We determine time by means of our earthly expedience: mathematics. In the actual spiritual world, however, the cosmic hour is alive. There, one cosmic hour is not equal to another, but may be longer or shorter. Consequently, it is always possible to err by determining, from our earthly perspective, something that should be fixed according to the heavens. The Easter festival has been established correctly, in accordance with the heavens.
What kind of a festival is this? It is the festival intended to remind usand at one time it did remind humanity with great claritythat a god descended to earth, took up his abode in the man Jesus of Nazareth, so that, at a time when human beings were approaching the development of the I being, they would be able in a suitable way to find their way back through death into the spiritual life. I have frequently explained this here. The Easter festival is, therefore, the festival when people see death, with immortality following, in the Mystery of Golgotha. We view this spring festival in the right way when we think this way: Christ affirmed human immortality when he conquered death; but, as human beings, we understand the immortality of Christ Jesus correctly when we appropriate this understanding during the earth life. In other words, we must vitalize, in our souls, our relationship to the Mystery of Golgotha and free ourselves from the materialistic concept that would separate the Mystery of Golgotha from all spiritual meaning. People today no longer want to acknowledge Christ at all, but only Jesus, the humble man of Nazareth. People would feel embarrassed, as it were, in the presence of their own scientific instincts, if they were to concede that the Mystery of Golgotha involves a spiritual mystery at the center of earthly existencethat is, Gods death and resurrection.
When we experience this fact spiritually, we prepare ourselves to experience other things spiritually as well. This is why it is so important today for people to gain the possibility of experiencing, at the outset, the Mystery of Golgotha as purely spiritual. They will experience other spiritual facts and find the way into spirit worlds through the Mystery of Golgotha. Then, however, beginning with the Mystery of Golgotha, the people must understand the Resurrection while still living on earth; and, if they understand the Resurrection through feeling while still alive, they will be enabled to pass through death in the proper way. In other words, death and resurrection in the Mystery of Golgotha should teach people to reverse the condition; during life they must experience resurrection within the soul, so that they may then pass through death in the right way. That experience is the opposite of the Easter experience. During the Easter season, we should be able to immerse ourselves in the death and resurrection of the Christ. As human beings, however, we also need to be able to immerse ourselves in what is for us resurrection of the soul, so that the resurrected human soul may pass correctly through death. As we acquire the true Easter mood during spring as we see plants germinate and sprout, the way nature is resurrected and how it overcomes the death of winter, if we have experienced summer in the right way, we will be able to gain a sense of certainty that the soul has then ascended into cosmic spaces. Then, we approach autumn, with September and the autumnal equinox; the leaves that were budding and turning green in spring now become brown and yellow and fall; the trees stand partly denuded as nature dies. But we understand this slowly dying nature by looking deeply into the process of decay and into the approach of the snowy covering of the earth. And we say to ourselves: The earth soul is now returning to the earth, and it will be entirely within the earth by the winter solstice.
We can feel this autumn just as intensely as we do spring. And if we feel in spring, at Easter time, the death and resurrection of the God, then we can also feel in the autumn the resurrection and death of the human soul; we can experience resurrection during earthly life so that we can pass through death in the right way. Then, however, we must also understand what it means for us that today the earths soul is breathed out into the cosmic spaces during St. Johns season during summer, to be united with the stars and then return. Those who understand the mystery of this seasonal succession through the year know that the Michael force, which in former centuries did not descend to earth, now comes down through natural forces. So we are able to meet the autumn and the falling leaves when we perceive the Michaelic force descending from the clouds to earth. Indeed, the name Michael can be found in the calendars on this date, and Michaelmas is also a festival day among the rural folk. But we cannot experience the present moment spiritually and in such a way that earthly human events are closely connected with natural events unless we can understand the years progression to the degree that we can also reestablish the annual festivals through the year, just as people historically established them through ancient dreamlike clairvoyance. The ancients understood the year, and, based on the mysteries I have merely outlined today, they established Christmas, Easter, and the St. Johns Festival. At Christmastime people exchange gifts and so on; but I have frequently explained in the Christmas and Easter lectures I have given here how little of these ancient institutions remains with todays humanity; everything has become mere tradition and exoteric. If we come to understand the festivals againwhich today we merely celebrate but do not understandthrough knowing the course of the year spiritually, we will also gain the power to establish a festival that will have real meaning for todays humanity. This will be the Michael festival at the end of September, just as autumn approaches, the leaves become withered, the trees become bare, and nature moves toward decay, just as we move toward the sprouting of the Easter season. We will have the power to establish such a festival if we can perceive in decaying nature how the earths soul unites with the earth and how the earths soul brings Michael with it from the clouds. If we have the force to create such a festival from the spirit and bring it once again into the social life of our community, we will have started something among us that has spirit as its source. This would be more significant than any kind of social reflection, which, in todays confused conditions, cannot lead anywhere unless spirit is present. If a group of intelligent people were come together and reestablish on earth something from the cosmos, it might lead to something like a festival of Michael, which would be equal to the Easter festival, but an autumn festival and a counterpart of the Easter festival. If people could agree on something motivated only by the spirit worldsomething created out of the full, joyous human heart in the immediate present that would also reestablishing common interest among peoplethis would also lead to something that will reunite people socially. For in ancient times, the festivals created strong bonds among human beings.
Just consider what has been done and what has been said and thought on behalf of the festivals for all of civilization. This has been woven gradually into the physical world through the establishment of festivals directly from the spirit. If people today could decide in a worthy way to establish a Michael festival at the end of September, it would be a act of the greatest significance. To this end, people would have to have courage not only to argue over exoteric social organizations and such, but also to do something that will unite earth and heaven, and this will also reconnect matter and spirit. Then, because spirit would be returned to earthly affairs, something would happen among humankind that would provide a powerful impulse to extend our civilization and our life as a whole. Of course, this is no time to go into detail about all that this would imply for science, religion, and the arts, but, created in grand style from spirit, such a renewed festival would affect those areas, just as the ancient festivals did. Such a creation from the spiritual world would be much more important than anything developed today through social tirades. What would such a creation mean? Well, it means much in terms of a deep observation of the human soul when I see a persons intentions or if I understand a persons words correctly. If we can learn today by observing how the cosmic course as a whole functions in the approaching autumn, if we can decipher the whole face of the universe, and out of that knowledge act creatively, we will disclose not only human volition in the creation of such a festival, but we will also reveal the spiritual volition of the gods themselves. This is how spirit can resume it place in the life of humankind.
[end of lecture, beginning about walking, talking, thinking, then those three in sleep and between death and rebirth]