Real history, real spirituality
- They just published over on he e-lib -thanks James S - a Christmas Eve lecture. It's very beautiful:
"If we have lived the great ideal which we want to express through the Anthroposophical Society, and if we are accordingly inclined to dedicate our forces to this great ideal of mankind, then we can naturally let our thoughts sweep on from this our spiritual light or means of light to the dawn of the great light of human evolution which is celebrated on this night of love and peace. On this night spiritually, or in our souls we really have before us that which may be called the Birth of the Earthly Light, of the light which is to be born out of the darkness of the Night of Initiation, and which is to be radiant for human hearts and human souls, for all that they need in order to find their way upwards to those spiritual heights which are to be attained through the earth's mission.
What is it really that we should write in our hearts the feeling that we may have on this Christmas night?
In this Christmas night there should pour into our hearts the fundamental human feeling of love the fundamental feeling that says: compared with all other forces and powers and treasures of the world, the treasures and the power and the force of love are the greatest, the most intense, the most powerful. There should pour into our hearts, into our souls, the feeling that wisdom is a great thing that love is still greater; that might is a great thing that love is yet greater."
The lecture continues with a sensitive appreciation of Empress Eudocia's Christian poem from the C5, a Faust-like story named 'Martyrdom of St Cyprian'. In the poem is an account of an experience of the Greek Mysteries, grown decadent by then, and it recounts Cyprian's experience trying to make Justina fall in love:
"`I wandered from the Persian land away,
And came to Antioch, great town of Syria.
Here I accomplished many a miracle
Of hellish mystery and of enchantments' crafts.
Here a fair youth, Aglaidas, once sought me out;
And others with him, fired with passionate love.
Towards a maiden was his heart aglow,
Justina was her name. He now entreated me,
Clasping around my knees, to conjure her
Into his arms by means of magic craft.
I hearkened to his prayers and then at first
Appeared to me the demon's powerlessness.
Many as were the spirit-throngs he ruled,
So many he sent out to tempt her soul;
And every one returned from her abashed.
Me too, who pleaded for Aglaidas, Justina's faith
And purity and piety could put to shame.
She shewed me then the vanity of mine arts,
And many a sleepless night I lingered on
With manifold enchantments' drudgery.
Ten weeks the prince of spirits stormed the heart
Of yonder maiden. Till Eros, alas,
Not only sped his shaft to wound Aglaidas:
I too was seized and torn with frenzied love."
This is real history and spirituality and is the kind of thing, as Tarjei has observed, that Der Staudi never touches (though he claims to be a 'historian who takes the spiritual in history seriously'). Here's to real history and real spirituality in 2012!