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Re: [steiner] First Lecture

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  • Richard Distasi
    This opening lecture by Steiner culminates and concludes with the expressive thoughts and truths of the ever on-going cycle of evolution. . . . ; in like
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 25, 2000
      This opening lecture by Steiner culminates and concludes with the expressive
      thoughts and truths of the ever on-going cycle of evolution. . . ."; in like
      manner the divine creative Word created the mute human seed, in order (for
      the Word) to spring up again within it, it sounded forth in words." Out of
      the creative activity of the Christ we come into being ourselves as seeds
      from Christ. In embryonic fashion we spring from Christ and evolve to be
      thinking, feeling and active beings in the world in which we too learn to
      'create'. In another lecture of Steiner's he explained that the activity of
      creating, spiritually creating, is spiritual speech. Spiritual beings
      communicate with one another through the acts of creation. Christ is the
      'Creative Fiat';the first Principle of life in our world.Christ as a Logos
      Being (and I wish to raise the question as to whether there are a
      multiplicity of Logos beings beyond what we know as the 'Holy Trinity' that
      manifest themselves throughout the universe) has created beings who in time
      become Logos beings themselves just as the lily-of-the-valley example which
      Steiner employs. [rick distasi]
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <starmann77@...>
      To: <steiner@egroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2000 6:18 PM
      Subject: [steiner] First Lecture

      The purpose of people doing a summary of each chapter is to give everyone
      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:

      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, by OF
      spiritual science and how it is found IN the Gospel.)

      To make clear how independent of blind faith and tradition this study
      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 faculties.
      Then he compares this to how we learn geometry today without ever picking up
      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 centuries,
      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 each
      other, but John's was quite different, and therefore, they concluded, not as
      trustworthy. Steiner then says that the attempt to say that the writers of
      the gospels were just intending to write a history of Jesus and his times is
      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 man
      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 Jesus
      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 body
      and blood became materialistically interpreted when it is nothing of the
      sort, how the interpretation of the 7 Days of Creation was likewise
      confounded, and how the Lord causing Adam to fall into a deep sleep had its
      meaning lost.

      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 mountain
      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 prepared
      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----Fröhlich Weihenächten.

      *******Dr. Starman

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