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Heads Up: Steiner's "Esoteric Lessons"

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  • Robert Mason
    To All: Readers alert: Some excerpts, in English, from GA 266 have recently appeared at the eLib. This volume contains notes taken in the esoteric lessons
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 3, 2007
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      To All:

      Readers' alert: Some excerpts, in English,
      from GA 266 have recently appeared at the eLib.
      This volume contains notes taken in the
      "esoteric lessons" that Steiner gave in the
      first Anthroposophical esoteric school. This
      school was conducted circa 1904-14, associated
      first with the German section of the
      Theosophical Society and then with the newly
      founded Anthroposophical Society.

      Compared to the usual lecture transcripts,
      these notes are very sparse, which would seem
      to indicate that they were not stenographic
      records, but probably just the jottings of some
      of Steiner's students in that school. Thus,
      the reader usually doesn't get much
      explanation, but mostly bare assertions and
      hints, and is left to puzzle out for himself
      how to fill in the gaps. Nevertheless, the
      depth and richness of these hints makes the
      effort well worthwhile.

      Another difference from Steiner's usual
      lectures lies in the fact that in at least some
      (perhaps most? perhaps all?) of these esoteric
      lessons he was not speaking for and of himself
      but was relaying messages from those Teachers
      that he called *The Masters of Wisdom and of
      the Harmony of Sensations [or Feelings]*. On
      this aspect, here are some words from the
      respected Steiner archivist Hella Weisberger:
      (quoted here from the Yahoo "Spiritual Science"
      group, message #4376, with my punctuation:}
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/spiritualscience/message/4376>

      "Whereas, in the above sense, Rudolf Steiner
      took personal responsibility for the
      supersensible knowledge he gave in public, this
      did not apply in the same way to the Esoteric
      School. He stated that the School stood under
      the direct guidance of the Masters and that
      therefore all that flowed through it must
      emanate only from the Masters of Wisdom and of
      the Harmony of Sensations and Feelings, ,and
      from no other source. The chief obligation of
      the pupils of the School was to apply all the
      common sense they had to what was taught them
      and to ask themselves if it was a reasonable
      path to follow (from an esoteric class,
      Dusseldorf, April 19, 1909)."

      "It was apparently not always the case, but in
      certain of his esoteric lessons, or at certain
      moments during his esoteric lessons, Rudolf
      Steiner spoke as the direct mouthpiece of the
      Masters. A participant in the Dusseldorf lesson
      of April 19, 1909 reported that this particular
      lesson commenced with the following words: '"My
      dear Sisters and Brothers, this esoteric lesson
      is one where the responsibility does not rest
      with the one who is speaking!" Those words were
      uttered because, in the following description
      of how Zarathustra had once received initiation
      from the Sun Spirit, Rudolf Steiner himself was
      Zarathustra at that moment. It must have come
      as a grand experience that "our great teacher,
      who had shared the results of his
      investigations with us, could now demonstrate
      through his own person how an ancient leader of
      humanity revealed himself by means of
      inspiration -that is, how Rudolf Steiner, as
      the first of the modern age, could transform
      himself through his own strict inner discipline
      into a serviceable tool for spiritual beings to
      work through, not as a medium, but as a fully
      conscious spiritual investigator."'

      "There are very few accounts of this particular
      feature of Rudolf Steiner's activity in the
      esoteric lessons where he could be experienced
      as the Messenger of the Masters. The following
      account is from memory: 'I remember exactly how
      Rudolf Steiner entered the room. It was he and
      it was not he. When he came to the esoteric
      lesson he did not look like Rudolf Steiner, but
      only like his outer sheath. "Through me are
      speaking the Masters of Wisdom and of the
      Harmony of Sensations and Feelings," he began.
      It was always a solemn occasion. One is quite
      unable to forget it-the expression of his
      countenance.'

      "Another person wrote of the deep impression he
      had when first attending an esoteric lesson:
      'Everyone sat in silence. When Rudolf Steiner
      entered the room it seemed to me that a super-
      earthly radiance still shone upon his features
      out of that realm from which he had come to us-
      it not only appeared this way; it was so. As
      though with direct knowledge and understanding,
      he spoke of the great Masters who guide our
      life and our endeavors from above: Kut Hoomi,
      Morya, Jesus, and Christian Rosenkreutz- the
      "Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of
      Sensations and Feelings."

      "'This much can be said: that the sanctity of
      this hour was indescribably beautiful. Rudolf
      Steiner appeared at this moment entirely as the
      Messenger of a higher realm. The impression is
      unforgettable.'"

      -- It seems to me that in considering these
      notes the reader should repeatedly ask which
      advice is universal, as was given to the public
      in *KoHW* and *OS*, and which might not be
      applicable to everyone, everywhere? It might
      be well to keep in mind the fact that these
      lessons were given to particular groups under
      particular circumstances, and that therefore
      the advice might be restricted to those people,
      times, and places . . . or not?

      -- RS give many hints on the practice of
      meditation, hints that might be very helpful .
      . . or perhaps confusing. In *OS* and *KoHW*
      we are already given many exercises, so many
      that it is hard to know how or whether to
      practice them all. And in these lessons RS (or
      the Masters) gives still more exercises.
      Again, the reader now is forced to use caution
      while he is sifting through these rough jewels.

      Steiner said:

      "What's elaborated in meditation doesn't just
      benefit the meditator — it goes back into the
      cosmos and is of use to the whole world."

      "Some people get angry at city noise, but
      the really harmful thing there is the demons
      that the noise keeps in check. One must be able
      to live in noise without getting angry."

      "There's an occult way of silencing these
      unwanted thoughts, and that is to clearly
      imagine a [bright, yellow] shining Mercury
      staff with a black snake winding around it and
      then a white snake winding against the other
      one."

      ". . . the evening retrospect is such an
      important, indispensable exercise."

      "Before going to sleep in the evening do a
      short retrospect of the day's experiences.
      Completeness is of less importance than the
      judging of oneself as if one were a different
      person. One should learn from oneself. Life
      should increasingly become a lesson."

      "Meditation should be the first work of the day
      in the morning."

      "Another exercise that makes abstract ideas
      into mobile and living pictures is to imagine
      the old Moon as a kind of peat of living
      spinach containing woody bark that corresponds
      to our present mountain chains. Likewise
      imagine the old Sun as being full of life and
      spiritual development."

      Steiner even gives some indication of how
      "dream journaling" might be useful:

      "One gradually notices that one's dream life
      takes on a more regular character. The
      spiritual world flows into this at first.
      Meditation is the occult key for this. One
      should get a notebook and briefly write down
      characteristic reams in the morning. Thereby,
      one gets practice in retaining what flows to
      one from higher worlds. That's the first
      elementary method to later get to bringing
      spiritual experiences through, that is, that
      they break through into bright day
      consciousness. Dreams that are only
      reminiscences from daily life or that are based
      o heart disturbances, headaches or other bodily
      conditions are only of value if they're clothed
      in a symbolical form, for instance if the
      thumping heart appears as a cooking oven, or
      the painful brain as a dome into which animals
      creep, etc. Only the symbolism is of value here
      and not the dream's content. For the symbolic
      form is initially used by the spiritual world
      to introduce us to the forces of higher
      worlds."

      -- Here's a puzzling little hint about physical
      hygiene; one might wonder whether one has to be
      a filthy couch-potato in order to be an
      esoteric student:

      "The jogging, exercising and bathing that are
      often recommended are wrong for an esoteric;
      they pull him down into his physical body. He
      should try to move his limbs as little as
      possible."

      -- Some hints on diet:

      "Although one can't eat one's way into the
      spiritual world, eating the wrong things an
      make spiritual development difficult or
      impossible."

      "Not everyone is in a position to pick out the
      foods that are favorable for his occult
      development. Sometimes it's better to renounce
      things that promote us inwardly. But it's
      nevertheless true that some foods have
      qualities that do not help men."

      "Milk is good for men because it's connected
      with an animal's life process and animals give
      it voluntarily. Whereas meat obtained by
      killing animals is bad for occult development,
      and so are all salts." [This, of course, was
      said before "factory farming".]

      "Vegetarianism without spiritual striving leads
      to disease."

      "It's especially important to avoid alcohol in
      every form." [This sounds pretty categorical;
      one might wonder why this advice was not given
      in *KoHW* and *OS*. Should we assume that
      there might be exceptions to this rule?]

      "It's inadvisable to eat meat and fish." [also
      not legumes and mushrooms]

      ". . . it's mainly filberts that supply the
      brain-building substance. All other nuts are of
      less value and peanuts should be avoided
      altogether."

      -- And on sexuality:

      "The terrible degenerations that we see in
      sexual things will get much worse when Saturn
      rules the earth 400 years from now."

      "Asuras are starting to work in the post-
      Atlantean epoch. They're the words of the three
      an they mainly work into sexual life in the
      physical body. The many sexual aberrations
      today re to be ascribed to this strong influx."

      "The [sexual] productive force as such is the
      most sacred thing that we have, because it's
      directly divine. The more divine what we pull
      into the dirt is, the greater the sin."

      . . . and for the romantics among us:

      "The nectar and ambrosia that the Gods feed on
      is the love of men and women."

      -- Some surprising miscellany, such as the deep
      importance of smells:

      "In occultism one calls the eternal part of man
      that goes through all evolutions his personal,
      spirit aroma."

      "A being of a higher or lower nature lives in
      every odor. Very high, god beings live in
      incense; they draw us up directly to God. The
      lowest kind of beings are incarnated in musk
      scent."

      -- More profound miscellany:

      "AUM. One wards off bad influences when one
      says it in the right way; it connects man with
      the creating Godhead, the three Logoi. The evil
      beings who want to tear men away from the
      Godhead can't stand it."

      "Christ is the archetype of the I, let my I
      strive to become a copy of this archetype.
      And 'I am' is the only right name for this
      archetype; we can never speak of 'He.'”

      "And no one can arrive at knowledge unless what
      was already revealed is first given to him as a
      teaching. That's quite impossible. That's why
      in esoteric schools they always taught things
      that can let a pupil come to knowledge. That's
      why teachings that can be given publicly are
      given in theosophy to give those who long for
      it a chance to arrive at a knowledge of truth,
      to get to Christ."

      "But world karma is God. Everything that God is
      and does in the way of good is better than we
      could do it."

      ". . . Jesus says that if someone strikes you
      on one cheek you should offer him the other one
      also, because if he hits you there too he's
      making bad karma good."

      "One can find a wrong idea behind every
      disease, if one traces it back."

      "Together with Michael [in 1879], a dark God
      has begun his rule — the God Mammon. For
      occultism Mammon isn't just the God of money.
      He's the leader of all base, black forces. And
      his hosts attack men's bodies and souls to
      corrode and ruin them."

      "If all men didn't want our earth to become
      Jupiter, it couldn't happen — although this
      would be black magic."

      ”The rejection of spiritual wisdom is a sin
      against the Holy Spirit."

      -- And there were deeper Mysteries that Steiner
      couldn't reveal even in "esoteric" lessons (in
      general, despite the stupendous, revolutionary
      information that Steiner did give, he still
      knew far more than he said):

      "Even you, my brothers and sisters, couldn't
      receive some of the highest truths. If I would
      tell you such a truth this room would be empty
      in a few minutes."

      -- IMO the notes, sketchy though they may be,
      are well worth reading. (There are a few
      typos; but not so much that one can't figure
      out what the words should be.) Thanks be to
      James Stewart et. al.

      Robert Mason
      <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/EsoClass01/EsoC01_index.html>




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    • happypick2000
      Dear Robert and Friends, I cannot even begin to supply logical responses to these notes, although I did wish to take this chance to insert a few comments
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 3, 2007
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        Dear Robert and Friends,

        I cannot even begin to supply logical responses to these notes,
        although I did wish to take this chance to insert a few comments
        regarding thoughts derived from studying Steiner which may prove of
        some help:

        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Robert Mason <robertsmason_99@...> wrote:
        >
        > To All:
        >
        > Readers' alert: Some excerpts, in English,
        > from GA 266 have recently appeared at the eLib.
        > This volume contains notes taken in the
        > "esoteric lessons" that Steiner gave in the
        > first Anthroposophical esoteric school. This
        > school was conducted circa 1904-14, associated
        > first with the German section of the
        > Theosophical Society and then with the newly
        > founded Anthroposophical Society.
        > ===============================================
        > "Milk is good for men because it's connected
        > with an animal's life process and animals give
        > it voluntarily. Whereas meat obtained by
        > killing animals is bad for occult development,
        > and so are all salts." [This, of course, was
        > said before "factory farming".]
        >
        Steiner speaks of milk as "a perfect food" should one source of
        nutrition be called for, although he did not specify that milk is to
        be used solely while ignoring other nutrition. I think this is to be
        found in his "The Effects of Occult Development Upon the Sheaths of
        Man and Mankind"
        ====================================================
        >
        > "It's especially important to avoid alcohol in
        > every form." [This sounds pretty categorical;
        > one might wonder why this advice was not given
        > in *KoHW* and *OS*. Should we assume that
        > there might be exceptions to this rule?]

        I cannot recall the specific work(s) where avoiding alcohol is most
        definitely to be adhered to unless a reference may be in Steiner's
        "Lectures to Doctors" or "Spiritual Physiology" - the reason one is
        strongly advised to avoid all alcohol intake is because alcohol takes
        the place of the human ego, the human "I" by working in the
        bloodstream and this is seen in the pinkish flushing of the alcohol
        consumer's face but more importantly, one is acting without his/her
        own ego.
        >
        ============================================================
        > "It's inadvisable to eat meat and fish." [also
        > not legumes and mushrooms]

        A reference to not eating fish is to be found in "The Effects of
        Occult Development on the Etheric Sheaths of Man and Mankind".
        > ==============================================================
        > -- Some surprising miscellany, such as the deep
        > importance of smells:
        >
        > "A being of a higher or lower nature lives in
        > every odor. Very high, god beings live in
        > incense; they draw us up directly to God. The
        > lowest kind of beings are incarnated in musk
        scent."

        Somewhere among Steiner's works is to be found his words to the effect
        we must not ever use perfumes. Also, in speaking of the miasma and
        odors found in some swampy areas, Steiner mentions Luciferic or
        Åhrimanic influences often find a fertile atmosphere for their work.
        >
        > -- More profound miscellany:
        ================================================
        >
        > "AUM. One wards off bad influences when one
        > says it in the right way; it connects man with
        > the creating Godhead, the three Logoi. The evil
        > beings who want to tear men away from the
        > Godhead can't stand it."

        AUM, as I think most of us realize, is the deeply spiritual word used
        during the Ancient Indian civilization and perhaps elsewhere under
        certain definite circumstances.
        =============================================
        "One can find a wrong idea behind every
        > disease, if one traces it back."

        Some of us are doomed after our physical death to spend some time in
        the spiritual worlds spreading disease among mankind on earth. This
        may possibly be found in "The Inner Being of Man and the Life Between
        Death and Rebirth". Perhaps it is in Steiner's "Cosmic Metamorphosis"
        where he speaks of those working among the very ill, and I think this
        was in regard to the highly fatal flu epidemic of 1917-18] those who
        gave no thought whatsoever to becoming ill from a contagious disease
        very seldom became ill from it, while fear, an Ahrimanic trait,
        allowed the illness to imbed itself within the human being so effected.
        >
        ============================================================
        > "The rejection of spiritual wisdom is a sin
        > against the Holy Spirit."
        This one may be in Steiner's "Building Stones to an Understanding of
        the Mystery of Golgotha".

        I most sincerely apologize for this disjointed response while thinking
        perhaps I might be able to shed a glimmer of light upon very important
        knowledge.

        Blessings,

        Sheila
        >

        > Robert Mason
        > <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/EsoClass01/EsoC01_index.html>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        ____________________________________________________________________________________
        >
      • Mathew Morrell
        Here is what Steiner has to say on milk: Among oriental peoples there is a certain way of practicing the art of healing in which the doctors attach the
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 3, 2007
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          Here is what Steiner has to say on milk:

          "Among oriental peoples there is a certain way of practicing the art of healing in which the doctors attach the greatest importance to the nourishing of their own physical body. (78) In places where the old spiritual life still exists, there are those who have become healers by following a diet consisting exclusively of milk. They are quite clear that because they exclude everything else they gain certain healing forces within themselves, especially in the treatment of so-called mental illnesses. They have their special methods. They know for certain that when they only take milk they then develop quite definite forces."

          Rudolph Steiner
          http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Places/Berlin/19051104p01.html

           

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