Anthroposophical Guidelines - intermezzo 11
By absorbing Michael's nature and deeds with deep feeling and inner vision, one will have a correct understanding of how to grasp a world which is neither of a divine nature nor of revelation nor of effectiveness, but is the handiwork of the gods. To see into this world knowledgeably means to have forms, formations before us which everywhere speak aloud of the divine; in which, however, if one does not succumb to illusion, no living divine being will be found. And it is not sufficient to merely consider knowledge of the world. This reveals most clearly the world's configuration which today surrounds man of course. But more important for daily life is feeling, willing, working in a world which, although seemingly divine in its formation, cannot be experienced as divinely enlivened. In order to bring true moral life into this world, the ethical impulses which I described in "The Philosophy of Freedom" are necessary.
In this handiwork-world, Michael's Being and contemporary deeds can be illuminating for truly feeling people. Michael does not come into the physical world phenomenally. He and all his activity remain within a super-sensible region which, however, borders on the physical world of the present phase of evolution. Therefore the possibility can never arise that the impressions that people receive through Michael cause their vision of nature to become fantastic, or that they will want to practice ethics in a god-formed but not god-enlivened world as though impulses could exist which must not be ethically-spiritually sustained by people themselves. Man will always have to approach Michael, whether by thought or volition, when moving to the spirit.
One may therefore live spiritually in the following way. Accept cognition and life as they must be accepted since the fifteenth century. But hold to the Michael-revelation, allowing it to burn brightly in thoughts that one receives from nature, carrying them as warmth in the heart when living in a world made possible by divine handiwork. One will then not only observe and experience the contemporary world, but also what Michael imparts a past stage of the world, a stage which Michael carries into the present by his being and his deeds.
If it were otherwise and Michael brought his deeds into a world which man must recognize and experience as physical, then we would see in the world not what is in it, but what was. If this were to happen, then this illusory understanding of the world would deflect the reality which is appropriate for the soul to another, namely to a Luciferic one.
The way in which Michael brings the past to effectiveness in the present life of humanity is coherent with the correct spiritual progress of the world which contains no Luciferic elements. It is important to realize that in Michael's mission all Luciferic elements will be avoided.
To realize this about the dawning Michael-Light in human history also means being able to find the correct path to Christ. Michael will give the correct orientation in respect to the world which surrounds man in order for him to know and act in it. He will have to find the way to Christ within himself.
It is completely understandable that in a time in which natural science has taken on the form which the past five hundred years have given it, that knowledge of the super-sensible world has become what is currently experienced by humanity.
Nature must be known and experienced as devoid of gods. Thereby man no longer experiences himself in his relation to a world of this kind. Inasmuch as man is a super-sensible being his relationship to nature, which is appropriate to the times, tells him nothing about his own being, nor can he live ethically in a way appropriate to his humanity.
As a result, this knowledge and way of life is induced to regard the super-sensible human being or even the super-sensible world itself as meaningless. This domain becomes separated from what is accessible to human knowledge. The separate domain of revelation by faith is ordained in contrast to what is knowable.
The purely spiritual activity of Christ, however, is in contrast to this. Since the Mystery of Golgotha Christ is accessible to the human soul. And its relation to him need not remain an undefined, dimly felt mystical one; it can be completely concrete, humanly profound and clearly experienced.
Through living together with Christ, what the human soul should know about its own super-sensible being flows into it. The revelations of faith must then be felt so that they continuously flow into the Christ experience. Thereby life will be penetrated with Christ, so that in Christ the Being is found through whom man's soul is made aware of its own super-sensible nature.
Thus the Michael experience and the Christ experience will be simultaneous. Through Michael man will be able to correctly find the way to the super-sensible in respect to exterior nature. Without falsifying it, he will view nature together with a spiritual view of the world and man, inasmuch as he is a cosmic being.
By means of the correct attitude towards Christ and active contact with Him, man will experience what he otherwise could only receive through the traditional revelation by faith. The inner world of the soul's experiences will be illumined by the spirit, as the outer world of nature is supported by the spirit.
Were man to wish to obtain information about his own super-sensible nature without living together with Christ, it would lead him out of his own reality and into that of Ahriman. Christ carries within him the impulse of the future of humanity in a valid manner. To unite with Him signifies validly receiving the seeds of the future into the human soul. Other beings, who are already showing forms which will only be cosmically valid for humanity in the future, belong to the Ahrimanic spheres. To bond with Christ in the correct way also means to protect oneself from the Ahrimanic in the correct way.
Those who strictly demand the protection of revelation by faith as opposed to the influence of human knowledge, unconsciously fear that man could thus be subjected to Ahrimanic influences. This must be understood. But it should also be understood that it is to the honor and true recognition of Christ when the grace-filled flow of the spirit into the human soul is attributed to the experiencing of Christ.
Thus in the future the Michael-experience and the Christ-experience can stand side by side. And man will find be able to find his way to freedom between the Luciferic illusions in thinking and life and the Ahrimanic temptation of future modes, which satisfy his pride, but do not yet correspond to his contemporary reality.
To succumb to Luciferic illusions means not being fully human, not wanting to advance to the stage of freedom, but to remain at a previous stage of development as godly. To succumb to Ahrimanic temptation means not wanting to wait until at a certain stage of human development the right cosmic moment comes, but to want to anticipate this moment.
In the future Michael-Christ will stand as the signpost-word at the beginning of the path upon which man can arrive in equilibrium at his cosmic goal between the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic powers.
Goetheanum, November 2, 1924