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407812 Holy Nights Study-2

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  • Durward Starman
    Dec 27, 2006
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      In the second lecture, Dr. Steiner focuses once more on the opening words
      of the Gospel of St. John about the Word becoming flesh. He then repeats his
      basic anthroposophic teaching of Man consisting of ego, astral body, etheric
      body and physical body, and how we have passed through 3 previous worlds,
      Saturn, Sun and Moon, in which we developed the three lower bodies, the ego
      being added only in this Earth phase.
      He then shows how the same 3 worlds he calls Saturn, Sun and Moon, when
      experienced in the akashic records, are the same experiences John describes
      by saying at first was the Word (the created basis of our physical bodies in
      the Saturn stage), then this became Life (the etheric body that makes the
      physical one alive, which was added in the second phase, the Old Sun), and
      then Light (Man experiences light through his astral body, which we gained
      in the third stage, the Old Moon).
      So Steiner shows how the first words of the Gospel repeat the story of
      our development through the three lower phases which the present-day
      animals, plants and minerals are still going through. We have now reached
      the point where we can utter speech, in other words the Word can manifest
      itself in us, which means the creative power of God realizing itself.



      >From: "Durward Starman" <DrStarman@...>
      >Reply-To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      >To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [steiner] 12 Holy Nights Study-1
      >Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2006 18:28:07 -0500
      >******* How about a little background for the study of anthroposophy in
      >general and the Gospel of St. John lectures in particular? Although it's
      >quite possible that what I have to say here may offend some people by being
      >too blunt, in which case I apologize in advance.
      > We modern people live in a scientific, technical civilization which,
      >however, only goes back a few hundred years. People before that time
      >quite differently, and appear to be more different the further back one
      >in time. In fact, many people automatically conclude that people in ancient
      >times were just plain stupid, and human beings have only gotten clever in
      >the past few centuries. Those ancient times were those in which all our
      >religions originated: therefore, either religions were all foolishness to
      >the modern mind, or at best were ignorant gropings for knowledge which we
      >modern people can get more easily and exactly. For the modern mind, it's
      >quite natural to seek to develop a comprehensive view of the world from the
      >speculations of our intellect. This is philosophy.
      > But in the past century or two, the modern mind has largely lost its
      >faith in its ability to fashion a complete, profound philosophy of the
      >and man from out of the modern intellect. Modern man feels often that he
      >lost his way. So, in the midst of scientific achievements which as far as
      >know have no historic parallel, we have the spectacle of modern Western man
      >returning to primitive superstitions and religions in large numbers,
      >it is the attempt to re-create the 'paganism ' which Christianity replaced
      >or to look to Eastern religions for the inspiration modern man no longer
      >feels from his Western religion.
      > The modern scientific man rejects religion but cannot seem to create
      >own which will be truly satisfying and answer all the mind's questions; the
      >religious man rejects science as being limited and of no use in answering
      >the deepest questions about the being of man, his origin and destiny.
      > Many modern thinkers (for instance, C.S. Lewis) regard this dualism of
      >science and religion as the only two possible choices. But there have been
      >others who have recognized a third choice with elements of each ----
      >occultism, a scientific development of the mind which leads beyond the
      >present limits of science to the point where a man becomes able to know the
      >spiritual beings described in ancient religions through knowledge rather
      >than blind faith.
      > In the 1800s there was a particularly strong movement of occultism
      >Theosophy. Its founder, a woman named Madame Helena Blavatsky, claimed that
      >she had been given certain knowledge to start this movement by a group
      >called the White Brotherhood in the East, beings who no longer need to
      >incarnate in human bodies but instead guide the human race from in secret,
      >like the Invisible College described by Sir Isaac Newton. These beings saw
      >the danger of Western science continuing to develop disconnected from all
      >religion----- dangers which we now know too well. They gave her a mission,
      >and the Theosophical movement was very influential in seeking to awaken
      >people to the third way between religion and science. But Blavatsky became
      >very anti-Western and anti-Christian due to the attacks on her, and after
      >her death the Theosophical society became even more Eastern in orientation,
      >regarding Western science as valueless and Western religion as a mere copy
      >of the truly inspired Eastern ones.
      > About the turn of the century, a Western philosopher who was born with
      >psychic ability but had been hiding it most of his life joined the
      >Theosophical society in Germany and began giving lectures and writing books
      >from out of his own direct insight (as opposed to the leaders of the
      >at that time who merely quoted things from other people's books with no
      >insight of their own or else were fakers who pretended to have developed
      >clairvoyance of their own). This was Dr. Rudolf Steiner. Starting about
      >1900, he began lecturing and writing about a higher knowledge than
      >present-day science possesses, but one which is not achieved by running
      >from Western consciousness and self-awareness into an illusion of
      >'surrendering the ego' as pitched by Eastern religions. Thousands of people
      >in central Europe responded to his message, which emphasized the Western
      >Christian, European mystics instead of Buddhism and other foreign imports.
      >By 1907, his version of Theosophy had become more popular then the
      >Eastern-oriented one, and in addition to lectures about what happens after
      >death and how to develop psychic ability, society members began asking
      >Steiner to lecture about the connection between the Western Path of
      >initiation he described and the Christian religion that had been handed
      >to them ---- connections he had already hinted at in many lectures.
      > The result was 10 years of lectures on the Gospels and the Bible in
      >general. He began with the Gospel of John -- -- -- not accidentally, but
      >because it is different than the other three Gospels in ways that betray an
      >understanding of initiation by the author -- -- -- in May 1908 in Hamburg,
      > Below is a summary of the first of Dr. Steiner's 10 lectures on the
      >Gospel of St. John I did six years ago for this group, with a few
      >Anyone who wishes to summarize the second lecture may do so tomorrow, and
      >course comments stimulated by this summary are welcome.
      >***The purpose of people doing a summary of each chapter is to give
      >a jumping-off point for discussion as well as to give each person a chance
      >really read a section intensively. Here, then, is a jumping-off point!
      >First, a verse for group study in English translation:
      >From the luminous heights of the Spirit
      >May God's clear light ray forth
      >Into those human souls
      >Who are intent on seeking
      >The grace of the Spirit,
      >The light of the Spirit,
      >The life of the Spirit.
      >May He live
      >In the Hearts,
      >In the inmmost souls
      >Of those of us
      >Who feel ourselves gathered together
      >In His Name.
      >In the first lecture, Steiner begins by pointing out that in spiritual
      >science, it is not a question of studying just the words of a Gospel
      >themselves, but rather that the spiritual scientist has discovered occult
      >truths through supersensible perception, and now finds the same truths are
      >expressed in an old religious document. Therefore it is a study which will
      >deepen the understanding of spiritual science itself as well as explain the
      >Gospel. (This is something that we need to keep in mind when introducing
      >people to the study of anthroposophy by a lecture-cycle, that one must
      >already be acquainted with some of the fundamentals from the basic books or
      >else one will often be lost: the study is not only OF the Gospel, but OF
      >spiritual science and how it is found IN the Gospel.)
      >To make clear how independent of blind faith and tradition this study is,
      >Steiner makes two statements: first he says that even if all earthly
      >documents were destroyed in a catastrophe, the truths we find in them would
      >still be capable of being discovered by our inner human spiritual
      >Then he compares this to how we learn geometry today without ever picking
      >the 'Principles' of Euclid, the book in which they were first published,
      >because the ability to know geometry originates in a faculty of the human
      >spirit and is independent of history and tradition. So too with spiritual
      >knowledge. He then goes on to say that studying spiritual documents with
      >philology or word-knowledge is just as if someone who knew no geometry were
      >to translate Euclid. Without the knowledge given by the inner human spirit
      >(e.g., geometry), the words inevitably would be misunderstood.
      >He then turns to clearing up some of the misunderstandings produced by
      >this spiritless "word-smithery." He points out how people in recent
      >trying to consider the gospels only as history, have found many
      >contradictions and become doubtful how much they can be trusted. Then, such
      >commentators found that Matthew, Mark and Luke were not so far off from
      >other, but John's was quite different, and therefore, they concluded, not
      >"trustworthy." Steiner then says that the attempt to say that the writers
      >the gospels were just intending to write a history of Jesus and his times
      >completely refuted by the opening lines of John---"En arche en ho Logos",
      >the beginning was the Word", and that "The Word was made flesh and dwelt
      >amongst us". He says John clearly means 'We have seen a man, but in this
      >was the creative principle by which all Nature was made'. He then says that
      >so-called 'religious' commentators today want to talk only about a man
      >who is just like other men, not about any Principles which transcend the
      >physical world. Materialism, he says, entered into religious thought first
      >the past several centuries and only afterwards corrupted all else. As
      >examples, he shows how the changing of the bread and wine into Christ's
      >and blood became materialistically interpreted when it is nothing of the
      >sort, how the interpretation of the 7 Days of Creation was likewise
      >confounded (when everyone knewe in olden times it wasn't days like our days
      >which are meant, because the sun and moon aren't even made till the 4th
      >and how the Lord causing Adam to "fall into a deep sleep" had its meaning
      >lost (that he made him leave his body for the first time).
      >Then, in looking at the Gospel of John compared to the other 3, Steiner
      >says that each is like a person standing at a different point on a mountain
      >and describing what he sees. Each will see truly but from a different
      >perspective. John, however, he compares to one who has ascended the
      >and can see all from its summit.
      >This point of view from the 'summit' he connects with the doctrine of the
      >"Logos". He first disposes of the theory that John borrowed the doctrine
      >Greek philosophy (men like Heraclitus and Philo) by showing that Luke also
      >used the term, that it was a natural part of Christianity from the start.
      >Then he gives a brief description of what this doctrine was: in looking at
      >the whole of nature, it is only as we approach Man that the higher animals
      >become able to utter SOUND; the lower animals are mute. But the ancients
      >taught that what appears in nature last was there from the start and had to
      >prepare a place for itself to manifest. So the Creative Word slowly
      >the creation for the Word itself to enter it, and MAN IS THIS WORD BECOME
      >FLESH. The ability to speak shows that the Divine has entered into its
      >creation---in Man.
      >Merry Christmas, all----Fr�hlich Weihen�chten.
      >*******Dr. Starman
      >From photos to predictions, The MSN Entertainment Guide to Golden Globes
      >it all. http://tv.msn.com/tv/globes2007/
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      >Recommended books by Rudolf Steiner at:
      >ommended books by Rudolf Steiner at:
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