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Tuesday

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  • Sarah Ford Elliott
    The Day of Mars Gospel Events: On this day the Christ disputes with his enemies. This is interesting because the popular image of Jesus is a meek figure who
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12, 2006
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      The Day of Mars
       
      Gospel Events: On this day the Christ disputes with his enemies. This is interesting because the popular image of Jesus is a meek figure who smiles at everyone or who looks mournful.
       
      In this section of the Gospel he is meeting the Mars energy that comes towards him from his enemies head on. When the energy of Mars is met and forcefully blocked then the truth and order of the universe resounds forth in the form of musical laws. This can be experienced using the Chladni plates experiment. The force of the bow and the resistance of the plate allow the sound patterns of the universe to be observed.
       
      Christ instructs his disciples in “The Little Apocaplypse”: the truth is not always kind. Ultimately humanity will be sorted, sheep from goats. Essentially into those who love and those who do not: those whose concern and interest is bound up with their own Ego (Egoism) and those whose love is released to be directed towards humanity.
       
      The Day of Mars is to do with activity. In the eightfold path this is a day to contemplate Right Action. Our actions should be considered in order to serve the eternal good, not just as a response to immediate circumstances.
       
      Fundamentally there are two motivations for action: fear and love. Within these two is a great diversity of lesser motivations, but ultimately they all boil down to the same thing: fear of losing something, or the love that allows something new to be created. Fear will motivate us to preserve and protect, to attack something that threatens what is known, something that we perceive as belonging to us.
       
      In this way the Priests, Pharisees and Saducees attack the Christ. Their motivation is fear. They ask questions, but their concern is not with learning the truth, but with tricking the Christ into saying something which will expose the fact that he is a threat to the established order.
       
      Christ meets their attacks with eternal truth. His responses are not clever replies to the immediate situation, but point beyond their shallow concerns to fundamental principles.
       
      In entering into Jerusalem Christ entered beyond fear. He entered fully into the demands of his destiny: he has come to complete the task for which he set out on his long journey of earthly incarnation.
       
      In order to be motivated by love we need to realise that we have nothing to fear. We have nothing to fear because even the things we perceive of as belonging to us, in our moon-like acceptance of earthly value, do not belong to us. Even death is inevitable, so why fear it?
       
      We see this kind of relinquishing of earthly value in the biographies of people such as St. Francis. When we extricate ourselves from the moon-like deception of accepted culture we open ourselves to new possibilities of love.
       
      All of us have come to earthly incarnation with demands of karma to fulfil. Often it is the encounter with such demands that we most fear. They require us to go beyond what is comfortable and known, what has gone before.
       
      In “How to know Higher Worlds” Steiner describes the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold. The spiritual entity which stands guard over the possiblity of descending into our subconscious realms. This is a terrifying figure that is composed of all the unmet demands of our own Karma. One might say that it is a figure composed of our own fears: our worst nightmare.
       
      Lievegoed, in his book “Man at the Threshold” describes how half-conscious approaches to this threshold is part of today’s culture:
      “A half-conscious approach to the threshold already gives a hint of the immenent encounter. This expresses itself in feelings of repulsion, of depression, of disgust, and of fear. Since this half-conscious approach of the threshold is now part of our culture, these feelings are epidemic.”
       
      Our survival instinct, based on fear, motivates us to run away, or perhaps attack. We seek escape in trivia, entertainment, drugs or perhaps in alternative activity which is ‘safe’ but does not cause us to meet the demands of our destiny. Or perhaps we attack by blaming society, adopting a cause or through more psychotic forms of violence. Any of these form a distraction that temporarily allow us to alleviate the feelings of unrest caused by the avoidance of the inevitable.
       
      The Lesser Guardian is the Angel of Death. Even if we spend our entire life avoiding our fears, we will meet this embodiment of what is necessary at our death. Further, it is this entity that will call us back once more to earthly incarnation.
      “I was present at the hour of your death and it was on my account that the Lords of Karma ordained your reincarnation… You have formed me, but by so doing you have undertaken, as your duty, to transform me.” (Higher Worlds)
       
      I am reminded of “Beauty and the Beast” and other such stories where a terrifying figure is transformed by being embraced by love that is freely given. Thus the Lesser Guardian is beautified by our loving and successful engagement in taking up and meeting the demands of our destiny.
       
      If we not only meet our fears but embrace them: observe them with loving interest, this is the surest way we will discover what it is that is necessary for us to meet the demands of our Karma. Each fear is in itself a threshold; a dark and forbidding threshold. If we examine our fears we can learn what is needed to cross the threshold. Thus our fear becomes an ally and not an enemy if we welcome and embrace the lessons that it has to teach us.
       
      If we identify with our fears and impediments as being part of our true being, something which we are unwilling or unable to give up, we will not cross the threshold. If we say “I cannot do that, it is not in my nature,” then we are allowing fear to create the definion of our self identity.
       
      What on earth could induce us to take up this work? Why would we leave the comfort zone and step forward to embrace our fears? Only love can do this. The love that motivates us to reach beyond our self, to relinquish those “belongings” that we are clinging on to, and recognise that in developing ourselves we are allowing the whole of humanity to move forward. In developing our own capacities we are making ourselves worthier and stronger helpers for our fellow men.
       
      To embrace our fear we need courage. Willingness for sacrifice lies at the root of courage.
       
      Many sayings of Christ are recorded which give this message.
       
      “Greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his fellows,” and the exhortation to “pick up your cross and follow me.”
       
      In doing this we are not necessarily asked to sacrifice our life by being killed. Neither do we have to give up our worldly goods as did St. Francis. This may not be our destiny. What we need to relinquish is the feeling of ownership toward the things of this world, the need to presereve, the need to fear. The challenge for us in this age is both to own things, to live and take up an active role in the world, and yet not allow this to become an impediment to becoming.
       
      I have the image of a dragon, sitting on its hoard of jewels and treasure. These treaures are hidden away from the light of day and fiercely protected. These treasures are never used, their beauty is never admired.
       
      Within each dark fear lies the shining possiblity of creating something good, beautiful and true. Can we see the beauty in our fears? Perhaps by removing one letter we could change “give up your life” to “give up your lie.”
       
      Steiner also describes the Greater Guardian of the Threshold who guards the entrance to the spiritual world. This is a spiritual being of great beauty that shows us the goal of our evolution.
       
      Just as in fear there is potential beauty, in beauty there is potential fear. Amidst the longing for union with this beautiful being is the fear that we might never achieve this degree of perfection, we become disHEARTened. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
      Blessed are those who have a seed of faith in their heart that is completely free from all doubt.
       
      For teachers Steiner gave the prayer:
       
      “Heavenly Father, make it possible for me utterly to obliterate myself
      where my personal ambitions are concerned.
      And may Christ make true in me the Pauline word:
      ‘Not I, but the Christ in me,’
      That the Holy Spirit may (hold sway / reign) in the teacher.”
       
      Utterly to obliterate myself.
       
      The Holy Spirit, also called the Paraclete, the Comforter.
       
      In Chilten Pearse’s “Unconflicted Behaviour” he describes what is possible for human beings, basically when they don’t get in the way. He describes the incredible potential that we have if we simply let ourselves; if we allowed the eternal, the transcendent to resound through us.
       
      For a teacher fear is a constant companion. It is impossible to escape the sense of responsibility of being instrumental in helping young human beings to develop. The only way to avoid this responsibility is to stop being a teacher.
       
      The symptoms of fear abound in education. We have the curriculum to tell us what to teach; the text book to tell us how to teach it - just in case we did something wrong. We have Assessment Tests to tell us whether the children learnt anything. We have a Principal to blame and judge when all else fails.
       
      When a Waldorf teacher walks into the classroom there are no props. No curriculum, no text book, no tests, no principal. Ostensibly we have nothing except ourselves and the children. In the sight of the physical world this is completely irresponsible: it generates fear.
       
      We have nothing – except the co-operation of the spiritual hierarchies, particularly those spiritual beings who watch over these particular children! We have nothing except power of the Holy Spirit! And we only have this if we let ourselves: if we obliterate ourselves, if we lay down our lives for our fellow men.
       
      A teacher must cross this threshold every day.
       
      The willingness for sacrifice lies at the root of courage.
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