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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Instructions
GA 270

Fourth Lesson

7 March 1924, Dornach

My dear friends! We have endeavored in the previous lessons to become acquainted with the Guardian of the Threshold. And this acquaintanceship with the Guardian of the Threshold must become more and more solid, so solid in fact, that the intended solemnity of this acquaintanceship with the Guardian of the Threshold, in its entirety, in reality can stand before our souls at all times. For in this way we will have entered an area that is substantially different from other areas of spiritual life, areas usually visited in today’s civilization in contemplating the nature of what is called the spiritual world, and in forming an acquaintanceship with it. A meeting with the Guardian of the Threshold is most certainly the first thing that a person comes upon, if in a truly earnest sense a person’s relationship with the spiritual world becomes possible. A relationship with the spiritual world cannot come into being without this appreciation for meeting the Guardian of the Threshold. For only on the other side of the Threshold is the spiritual world. As one receives messages from the spiritual world, then these messages are so to be taken up, merely as messages, as to establish for us a relationship to the spiritual world.

I would like to present to you, initially, of all that should be surveyed by our souls today, an anecdote, my dear friends, an anecdote taken from ancient esoteric traditions. Once upon a time a student was taken into the mysteries. He fulfilled the necessary prerequisites. He had achieved a certain condition of worthiness, more than others who had never engaged their hearts and minds in such a manner, so that in a short time he was drawn into the sort of state that most people would possibly see as clairvoyant, but actually, he had just stepped into relationship with the spiritual world. And as he stepped into such a relationship, moreover into the only proper sort of relationship in which one intuitively receives impartations from the spiritual world, the master spoke to him:

Behold, when I speak to you in purity, then the words that I speak to you are no longer merely human words; the words I use to speak are only clothed in the words of men. The words I use to speak to you are the thoughts of gods, and these thoughts of gods will at first be openly spoken to you through human words. You must likewise be clear that I call upon all that is in your soul. You must bring forth to the words that I say to you in the service of the gods, all your thinking, all your feeling, and all your willing. You must bring forth to what I speak to you all the enthusiasm of your soul, all the inner warmth, all the inner fire. You must bring this forth in vigilant awareness, a mindfulness as intense as you are able to deploy in your inner life of soul.

But there is another force of soul, which I am not calling to your attention initially, most certainly not appealing to, namely your memory, your ability to recollect. And I would be most happy if you do not just gather into your memory, all that I say to you. I would be most happy, if tomorrow you have simply forgotten what I am to say to you. For what you usually call your memory, what other people call your memory, is initially only appropriate for matters of the earth, is not appropriate for matters of the gods. And when you appear before me again tomorrow, and when I once again speak to you, appealing to your thinking, feeling, and willing, to all of your enthusiasm, to all your warmth, to all your inner fire, to all your vigilant mindfulness of soul, then all should be new in confronting these forces of your soul, all you should accept. It should all be new, fresh, full of life, and so likewise for the next day, and the next day afterward. On every day it should be new and fresh and full of life.

I speak, I appeal not to your memory. I appeal not to your ability to recollect. At the same time, I am not saying that you should not retain some of what has been spoken of today. You should just not entrust it solely to your memory. You should be on watch as to what your memory does with it. But what should lead you to me tomorrow with a new state of mind, that should be your direct sensing of it, that should be your innermost soul-impression. You should preserve what is being spoken to you today. Please take note that memory, the ability to recollect, is there for the sake of learning. But what is said to you of esoteric matters should not be there merely for the sake of learning, but rather, it should be there throughout life, and should in every hour that you chance upon it be able to be newly alive, without your needing the appropriate conceptions and visualizations of your memory to come to your aid.

It is in fact so. We should approach whatever sort of esoteric truth we chance upon in such a way that the thought never comes to us, that it is already known by us. For the ways of the esoteric do not pertain to knowledge, but to direct experience. And inwardly, where memory also abides, in deep layers of our soul-life, there the esoteric should also be enfolded by us and held in trust.

My dear friends, when you mull this over, your contemplation of this will mean a great deal for achieving a perception of genuine esoteric life in times to come. And so what must be taken quite in earnest, at the very moment that we come face-to-face with the esoteric, our simple understanding of the esoteric calls forth in us quite another relationship to thinking, to feeling, to willing, than we are used to in everyday awareness.

For in everyday awareness a person's thinking, feeling, and willing are bundled together. We can take a rather trivial example, and be overwhelmed by citing such a trivial example, at just how narrowly our thinking, feeling, and willing are bundled in ordinary awareness. Just think, you may be acquainted with someone, no one in particular, and your relationship with this person may be either somewhat close, or somewhat distant. Whatever you have mutually experienced you have tucked away in your memory and infused with your feelings. If and when you happen to come upon this person, a certain impetus arises in you in regard to your manner, in regard to your whole demeanor towards the person. Your thoughts and feelings in regard to this person continue to live in you. One day someone might come along who either reminds you about, or says something about this person, so that thoughts about the person burst forth from within you. At the same time the selfsame feelings you have been holding for this person, either for or against, also flash up from within. If you regarded him fondly, your fondness flashes up, if in distaste, your distaste flashes up. If you had embarked with him on some intended course of action, this also flashes up, that you had embarked on some sort of intentional activity with him. You simply cannot separate all that you carry in your feelings and force of will in regard to this person, from your thoughts about the person.

All of this, which in a manner lies wholly dormant in one's organization of soul, can in no way be held to be esoteric truth in the true sense. Just that can be held to be esoteric truth, in its true sense, which can be present in the moment. If someone is acquainted with a person, then he has a certain predisposition toward this person. To him certain things about this person may be extraordinarily antipathetic. But he has the possibility of remembering this person, of visualizing this person, without the antipathies that he carries for this person in his soul, which he has the possibility of somehow snuffing out. He can simply think about him.

My dear friends, you may imagine that it is really somewhat difficult, shall we say, to simply think about your enemy without allowing unfriendly feelings to emerge. But in properly musing about such things poetically, then you can cultivate this in yourself. For example, you can present the question of whether one can be really clear in understanding people who are spoken about as having abhorrent natures, as sometimes portrayed by Shakespeare, who has portrayed such people moderately clearly in imagination. If such people were introduced to me in the course of my life, I would have quite a bit of antipathy toward them. But as a poet I can also, in all likelihood, even though they are so obviously villains, place such people in my mind's eye objectively. I can simply think about them. It is sometimes possible to do this as a poet, for one certainly does not always want to see a Shakespearean villain laid flat on his back, thrown down, and thoroughly thrashed. As a poet it is possible for thoughts to lose their connection to feelings.

You must of course do this as a proper esoteric, and also have the ability to bring it forward into life. At the moment something esoteric is presented, in order for it to be drawn into the soul in the right way, it must be possible to detach thoughts as such from their connection to feelings. For it is not lost by itself. When we are thinking about esoteric material, or I might say, when it is so starkly drawn into thoughts, initially it should lie very far removed from any personal feelings, for it simply cannot be comprehended unless it is comprehended in pure thoughts. Therefore, if we are to hearken to the esoteric, and not as a sack of straw allow it all to pass complacently before us, then we must disassociate from that which the thought gives to us, which the feeling, the impulse of will develops in us. Feelings subsequently ought to be developed, for the esoteric should not remain a cold icy field that simply pours itself out and into our minds. The esoteric should immerse us in most brilliant enthusiasm. But such enthusiasm, such wealth of feeling, should really come forth from a source far removed, and should not come forth from thoughts.

You see, about this we must be quite clear, if from here on our wealth of feelings are to achieve inner warmth in the right manner. When esoteric matters have been spoken outwardly, they have been spoken outwardly out of the sphere of the gods, and we bring forth our feelings not now as thoughts, but rather as realities.

It was concerning this, in the very first lesson I delivered to this first class, concerning this I spoke in the first lesson, that the school itself speaks, namely the real spirit that runs through the school, and that it is necessary for us to perceive that the school has not grown out of just any particular personal viewpoint, but rather that it has been willed and has been initiated by the spiritual world. When we regard the school in this way, then will the school as an existence aware of itself give us the enthusiasm that we need.

And then I would like you to understand still something more. Of course, my dear friends, in conventional life and in conventional knowledge we speak to one-another in words. In doing this we conceptualize the words, and thoughts come to us, thoughts meant to be communicated, for these thoughts are in the words. An esoteric must also utilize words, for he must of course speak. But he needs the words only in order to make apparent just how the spirit streams around and about in his reality and may flow into the hearts of men.

So, in an esoteric school it is essential to gradually develop a sense of hearing behind the words. And when this sense has been developed, one may align with the esoteric, in what in all times, in all esoteric streams, has been known with such reverence, namely a familiarity with silence, a silence filled with holiness. And this holiness-filled silence is an essential and integral component of something else, without which the esoteric cannot be conveyed to a person. It is a key component of what we most definitely need in esotericism. It is a key component of a person's most inner humility. And without a person's innermost humility the esoteric cannot initially be approached. And why not? Well, if we are admonished to hear behind the words, then this applies to the most inwardly essential part of our souls. Not to our memories, it applies rather to the most inwardly essential part of our souls. And this brings into question our ability, it brings into consideration just how capable we are of hearing behind the words. And it would be good for us, for our own souls, to hear as much as possible. Moreover, it would be good to postpone thinking about it with too much confidence, about what has just begun to dawn within our souls, as if it were something that we ourselves could simply bring into the world as something definitely valid. We will need a long time, especially as we begin to hear behind the words, we will need a long time to personally come to terms with it. And we should develop this demeanor, that the esoteric must first live itself out in wordless weaving of the soul, before it can be considered to be inwardly mature.

And so it is, with the esoteric we must indeed move away from what in normal life lies in the sense of the words, to what lies in the deeper constitution of soul. And that is just what was bestowed upon us here in the last Class lesson, in the mantric verses I laid out for you, my dear friends. A chant of rhythmic meters appeared, appearing in the first verse in trochaic rhythm, in the second verse in iambic rhythm, and in the third verse in spondaic rhythm. Only when we inwardly feel the flow of trochees in rhythm, descending from hill to vale, may we feel properly attuned therein to what our thoughts are drawn from. When we feel with the soul this valley-bound descent from the heavens to the earth, then we may feel a proportionate sense of what lies within our living thinking weaving. So the trochaic verse began with a syllable that was stressed, and proceeded to an unstressed syllable, and thereby should have produced in us a clarion call, a call to the blood to circulate, to circulate filled with soul, to place itself within the abode of the spirit. We don't simply stay there, with such a mantra beginning to ̄ within our souls, and to some extent also within our thoughts, but rather we bring ourselves into motion with just what with lively spirit moves in the world, by means of which a person's thoughts live and weave in a person's soul. In the first verse it came forth as a calling out to one's weaving thoughts.

Lōok ŭpon your web of thoughts:
Wōrld ŏf semblance you experience,
Sēlf-ăwareness hides from you;
Plūnge bĕneath appearance:
Ēthĕr being whirls in you;
Sēlf-ăwareness, it should honor
Yōur ŏwn spirit’s guiding beings.

Yes, the gods have gathered us into their midst from afar, in that they have given us thoughts. And we stride, insofar as we allow these thoughts to move with life in our souls, we stride from the summit, where the gods have laid out the thoughts for us, which they have bequeathed on us, we stride from this summit down into the valley, where with these thoughts we encompass and comprehend earthly things.

It's quite different with feelings. There we have the correct inward bearing when we feel ourselves remaining down in the valley, and by means of our feelings we mount up with springing step, as if on a ladder, up to the gods. Feelings bring us conversely into waves of motion from below upward. So the mantric verse is constructed iambically. It begins with the unstressed syllable and rises to the strongly stressed syllable. And we should sense this.

Ĕmbrāce your stream of feelings:
Whĕre sēmblance and substance mingle,
Ăwāre-self leans toward semblance;
Sŏ plūnge beneath appearance:
Ănd wōrld soul forces are in you;
Ăwāre-self should consider well
Ĭnhērent in soul the powers of life.

It is different again when we come to willing. If we would come to willing, then we must become aware of how our human nature is actually somewhat split apart. Then we must approach the gods in sensing, and must through strength in sensing be halfway able to bear the impulse of willing. That is bestowed solely when we meditate in spondees, with a stressed syllable following the beginning stressed syllable.

Lēt reīgn in you the thrust of will:
Īt clīmbs from all apparent being
Wīth aūtonomous existence well-equipped;
Tūrn tō this throughout your life:
Fīlled īt īs with world-spirit-might;
Yoūr aūtonomous existence, it should grasp
Wōrld-māker-might into spirit-I.

As I already said the last time, what is needed here is not merely to grasp the meaning of the words, but also to grasp what lies in the inner movement of the words. We must wrench our souls into motion. In this way we no longer remain merely within ourselves, but we expand outward into the world.

Remaining with words, remaining attached merely to the meaning of words, leaves us within ourselves. The esoteric indeed has much to say about this, about our need to grow out into the world, out into togetherness with the world, ever more and more to come out of ourselves. For only so, by ever more and more coming out of ourselves, will we be able to endure the discontinuity of thinking, feeling, and willing, which are initially held together in awareness in daily life by the embodiment of our I. Without, they must be held together by the gods. For this, however, we must enter into the reality of the gods. For this we must grow out into togetherness with the world. For this we must really learn to develop an inner demeanor, by means of which we may learn to say honorably and quite in earnest, "Here is my hand; I regard it so. There is the tree; I regard it so. I regard my hand so; there you are. I regard the tree so; there you are. I regard the clouds so; there you are. I regard the rainbow so; there you are. I regard the thunder so; there you are. I regard the bolt of lightning so; there you are. I am at one with the world.”

Abstractly, disingenuously, it is easy to pass right by this. Concretely, with genuine purity and honor, a person would have to inwardly skip over quite a lot to pass it by. Only when one does not shy away from this, but has a steadfast inner state of mind, does one have the inner demeanor that is needed. For the esoteric, my dear friends, the question must be ever prominent, "I regard my hand; it belongs to me.” Where would I be in this life on earth, begun so many decades ago, without having had my hand? It is an essential part of all that has occurred, of all that I have become. But the tree, the tree as it stands before us today, was formed in all its details out of the whole organism of the earth, during ancient moon-existence. It was formed specifically out of what was in the entire earth organism at that time, and it could not be as it is, the tree in all its detail, except in having been formed in this way. In the same way, moreover, the composition of my thinking also originated out of the whole being of the ancient moon-existence. Were the tree not to have come into being, today I would not be able to think. It is not only the hand that is painfully necessary for my present-day earth existence. The tree is painfully necessary in importance for my having become a thinking being. And so, in what way is the hand worth more than the tree? Why should I consider the hand to be dearer to me than the tree? I come to a reckoning, that everything that I call the external world is much, much more related to my inner nature, than what I can regard as my delightful inner nature in this incarnation. That, however, to be felt in all its depths and honesty, must be learned.

And today we will place before ourselves three verses, mantric verses, through which this feeling of unity with all so-called external existence may gradually be stamped upon the soul.

How do we stand at first in relation to external existence? We look down upon the earth. We feel dependent upon this earth; it gives us just the things that we need in external life. We look around into the distance. There comes the sun, arising in the morning. There goes the sun, setting in the evening. The light shines steadily down upon the earth. It appears in the distance, and it sets in the distance. We look overhead. At night the star-filled heavens mysteriously speak to us. In this three-part gazing, we have defined our relationship with the world. I look down, I look around, and I look overhead. But doing it with the most intense awareness possible, is just how we should do it, as delineated in the following mantric verse.

Feel how the depths of earth
Sends its forces to your being
Surging in through body parts.
You'll lose1verlierest is in the subjunctive, showing a possibility. yourself in them,
If powerless you entrust
Your willing to their striving;
They’ll overshadow in you the I.2Here das Ich may be translated as the ego, which although proper in English, carries some psychological overlay. What is here referred to is that part of one’s essential nature that produces the phrase I am. And so, although unusual in English, simply saying the “I” may adequately express it.

[The verse was now written on the blackboard.]

Feel how the depths of earth
Sends its forces to your being,
Surging in through body parts.
You'll lose yourself in them,
--in these forces--
If powerless you entrust
Your willing to their striving;
They’ll overshadow in you the I.

Well, there it is, my dear friends, these are the things that fetter and bind us on the earth, if we do not bring them together as human beings in full awareness. We look down on the earth, knowing that contained therein are crystals, each tiny one of which is held in earth-embrace, knowing, that earth exerts the power of gravity, that it pulls each tiny particle, causing it to fall to earth, knowing that it pulls on each of us as well. We tend not to think about all of this. We do not think about the appetites, instincts, ambitions, and passions that are within us, of all that is living in us, that we are in the midst of in our lowly human nature, in the midst of all that belongs to the earth. When we direct our gaze down and downward, and say, just what is it that the earth is doing in us? Then we may recollect that lying within us, made by means of the earth, is all that draws us down and under, beneath the human, that darkens our ego, that drives us into sub-humanity. However, we must bring this into awareness, this being united so with the earth, in spite of all the beauty and livability spread over the face of the earth, this being pulled down and under as human beings, sinking in this way into sub-humanity. In honorably owning up to this we are developing ourselves into true human beings.

But then, we may become conditioned, not merely to turning our gaze down in developing our human potential, but rather more to turning our gaze outward, all the while holding ourselves up high, turning our gaze around and about, upon all that the earth forcefully encompasses, upon all that our humanity encircles and gathers unto itself. Something begins, already on the physical level, something that in a certain measure lifts us up on top of the downward-drawing powers of the depths of earth. The forces of the depths of earth can cause a man to become evil, but not so easily the air that we breathe, which also belongs to the circle of earth, and still less easily the light, left in the circle of the earth by the sun. We may look upon the air that we breathe and upon visible light as having little spiritual significance, but the very gods live in what we breathe and in the light. And we ourselves must be aware of this, that especially in light the might of gods is made to rule, and that something else rules beside all that runs through us as forces from the depths of earth.

All of which brings us into alignment with the second mantric verse.

[The second verse was now written on the blackboard.]

Feel how from world’s expanse
The powers of gods their spirit clarity
3Geisteshelle is spirit clarity or spirit brilliance, but since we are to feel it, spirit clarity is better.
Sets your inner soul aglow.
Find yourself in them with love,
And they’ll make, wisdom weaving,
You as someone in their midst,
Strong in virtuous spirit works.

We may not always be aware that we can love the substance of what radiates down upon the earth as light, be it sunlight, or starlight. We may not always be aware of this, although when we become aware of it, that we can love the sunlight, that we can love it warmly as a friend, then we may also learn that gods circle the earth in this raiment, in these robes of light. Then sunshine ceases to appear simply as earth's illumination, but rather, sunshine becomes the garb of gods, of gods wandering the earth arrayed in light. And then something comes into being for us, arising out of this experiencing of the light, namely, wisdom arises. For the gods bring their wisdom into our hearts, deep into our souls. And then, in having differentiated in feelings, we actually have begun to ascend, to soar.

Initially we developed feelings corresponding to the forces of the depths of earth. That part of our humanity belonging to the forces of the depths of earth we rightfully spurned. We lifted ourselves up into the higher part of our humanity, into the part adherent to the essence of the gods spread out over the earth and arrayed in light, into the part we do not allow to remain within the circle of earth, but rather, while still wandering on the earth, into that part with which we enter into the circle of the gods of light, so that later, when we go through the portal of death, we may continue to wander in the circle of the gods. For the gods do not wish us to remain alone upon the earth; they wish to draw us into their circle. They wish us to become beings living under their care. The forces of the depths of earth, however, wish to snatch us away from the force of the gods.

We were acquainted with this in an earlier verse, which will now be repeated.

The first beast’s boney mind
Is the bad creative-might
Of willing, that estranges suitable body
From your soul's domain
And devotes it to adverse powers,
Who would rob world-existence
Of gods-existence in times to come.

And of course, we must feel it, we must put ourselves out into the world, we must feel and identify ourselves as being one with the world.

But we have still not gathered up a conscious mindfulness of our full humanity, if we are not able to also look up into the heights. We must look into the depths and we must look into the surrounding expanse, but we must also look up into the heights. And in what otherwise reigns in our everyday consciousness as a mixture of the depths, the expanses, and the heights, in this we must differentiate between a conscious mindfulness of the depths, a conscious mindfulness of the expanses, and a conscious mindfulness of the heights.

[The start of the third verse was now written on the blackboard.]

Feel how in heaven's heights
Selfhood selflessly can live,

We can feel this, if and when we are fully aware when communing with the heights. But just think for a moment, my dear friends, as if you were standing outdoors in a field, looking up at the star-bedecked sky in the heavenly heights. It is most noticeable then, if we choose this happenstance, but of course it can also occur in full sunshine. But it is most noticeable when we picture ourselves standing outdoors in a field, looking up at the star-bedecked sky. We feel at one with the world. We feel, there you are. But the single spot we are standing on, on the earth, held in such high respect, normally regarding it as a part of ourselves, why, this simply melts away when we look into the far-off distance splayed out over the whole vault of the heavens above. Done properly, our limited sense of self ceases, and we become selfless as we expand outward without end into the far-off distances of the heights.

Feel how in heaven's heights
Selfhood selflessly can live,

[More of the third stanza was written down.]

If spirit-imbued power of thought
With highest strivings will align

Whoever has really felt the sunlight streaming radiantly over the earth as being the illuminated raiment of gods, drawn in and out of the human soul with every breath of air, and whoever then looks out and beyond, feeling selfless in selfhood in heaven's heights, such a person soon comes upon, and furthers the development in his awareness, of what arrives within the following lines, and is contained within the following lines.

Feel how in heaven's heights
Selfhood selflessly can live,
If spirit-imbued power of thought
With highest strivings will align

[The third stanza was completed on the board.]

And in fortitude takes up the word,
That from on high resounds in grace,
In mankind’s true enduring being.
4In des Menschen wahre Wesenheit: In that part of a person’s being that persists through the portal of death, that part in which the word really resounds in grace.

The heights have spoken. And so, as we may grow together in love with the gods, radiant over the earth in illuminated garb, we may likewise grow together with the words intoned from the heights, if we develop an appreciation for it, aspiring to align with the powers of thought from on high.

However, my dear friends, you may only become inwardly filled through and through with a proper appreciation of your conscious awareness extending out, of consciously becoming aware of the depths, the breadths, and the heights, when with proper depth and clarity of soul, you are able to compare the contradistinctions between the three verses [The first, second, and third stanzas were indicated.].

You arrive before the Guardian of the Threshold. From this experience your thinking, your fully alive conceptualization, should hold sway in your soul. The Guardian of the Threshold shows you the third beast, of which we have spoken of in previous lessons. It resounds within you; just what characterizes the third beast resounds within.

The third beast’s glassy eye
Is the bad contrary-type
Of thinking, that denies itself
In you and chooses death,
Forsaking spirit powers
That held it before its earth-life
Living in spirit in spirit fields.

This is the one that draws us down and under. We wrest ourselves away from this one, by means of saying to ourselves with fortified soul:

Feel how the depths of earth
Sends its forces to your being,
Surging in through body parts.
You'll lose yourself in them,
If powerless you entrust
Your willing to their striving;
They’ll overshadow in you the I.

It makes little difference, I may say, in one's perspective, whether you gaze upon the beast, or whether you gaze upon yourself doing the wrestling. Think a moment, how similar people cling to one another, both characterized by being drawn down and under, the one openly displaying the beast, the other becoming its attentive servant.

But now let us turn to the second beast, and take up just what wrests us away from the second beast. Let us place both mantric verses side by side. The sentiment, the spirit, is altogether different. On the one hand the ghastly display of the second beast, on the other hand the appeal to the gods, coming to us arrayed in light. Listen and hear, next to one another, how these two mantric verses are so very different in their whole style.

The second beast’s mocking face,
Is the bad contrary-force
Of feeling, that hollows-out suitable soul
And in it fashions living emptiness
Instead of spiritual worth, which was
Illuminating it before its earth-existence
By means of spirit’s sunny might.

Feel how from world’s expanse
The powers of gods their spirit clarity
Sets your inner soul aglow.
Find yourself in them with love,
And they’ll make, wisdom weaving,
You as someone in their midst,
Strong in virtuous spirit works.

As we characterize the third beast first, we should place the corresponding mantric verse next to the third beast’s characterization. At first, we just try to avoid losing our way, given the challenge of remaining aware of just where the third beast is leading us. As we turn our awareness to the second beast and to the associated mantric verse [Feel how from world expanse…] however, the verse itself has already done it, and carried us off and away from the beast, the one we characterize in its horrid manner of mockery.

And as we progress to the first, we will see how the character of the first beast contains willfulness in impeding us in human life in our pure and holy overview of the heights of heaven. This first beast is characterized by this style; it is willful in trying to throw us deeply into disarray within, as we turn our attention to the mantric verse that is proclaimed to us in heaven's heights.

The first beast’s bony mind
Is the bad creative-power
Of willing, that estranges suitable body
From your soul's domain
And devotes it to adverse powers,
Who would rob world-existence
Of gods-existence in times to come.

And so, just as we would be scorched by what has been said in this verse and would rise into the flame, just then the other verse appears, becoming a comfort and giving grace concerning what the first beast is. Through our own brave strength of soul, thus appears the other verse concerning him.

Feel how in heaven's heights
Selfhood selflessly can live,
If spirit-imbued power of thought
With highest strivings will align
And in fortitude takes up the word,
That from on high resounds in grace,
In mankind’s true enduring being.

You see, as we have already seen in the last lesson, that we are taking on an inner rhythm. If we want to come into the midst of the weaving of the high illuminated being of the world with our own being, then we have to make known to ourselves now, that the things which up to now have approached us in the esoteric have a certain inner coherence, and how we must ever and ever again re-engage and re-form a relationship not merely with the sense of the words, for they try to remain earthly, but rather we must re-engage in a relationship with the demeanor of the words. And this demeanor will confront us in the entirety, but will also confront us in the individual details.

So, we take up the first verse, "Feel how the depths of earth," in which we are redirected to the depths of earth. And the other verse directs us to "The third beast's glazed eye.” They stand next to one another.

In the second verse, "Feel how from world’s expanse," we feel we have come upon the gods garbed in light. Here we are lifted up, if we can really feel it, over whatever in the world mocks matters of the gods. "The second beast, the mocking face," will in truth be effaced through the bright sunshine, if we will only embrace the bright sunshine in spirit.

And most certainly, the third verse, beginning with "The first beast, the bony mind," should arrest our attention. We will only warm ourselves if and when we emerge from our immobility through an overview of the heights of heaven. And so we may therefore say:

Behold the third beast’s glassy eye,
Stand fast and feel what the deep of earth wills for you.
Gaze upon the second beast, the mocking face,
Receive the sunlight filled with love.
Be awestruck by the first beast, the bony mind,
As a human being, be warmed as a human should,
By lifting your heart in warmth to heaven's heights.

And so, we may gradually feel our way into spiritual living, and spiritual living will ever more and more become second nature to us.

Blackboard (left side)
Blackboard (left side)
Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard (right side)
Blackboard Text for the Fourth Lesson

Fühle wie die Erdentiefen
Ihre Kräfte deinem Wesen
In die Leibesglieder drängen.
Du verlierest dich in ihnen,
Wenn du deinen Willen machtlos
Ihrem Streben anvertrauest;
Sie verfinstern dir das Ich.

Fühle wie aus Weltenweiten
Göttermächte ihre Geisteshelle
Dir ins Seelenwesen leuchten lassen.
Finde dich in ihnen liebend,
Und sie schaffen weisheitwebend
Dich als Selbst in ihren Kreisen
Stark zum guten Geistesschaffen.

Fühle wie in Himmelshöhen
Selbstsein selbstlos leben kann,
Wenn es geisterfüllt Gedankenmächten
In dem Höhenstreben folgen will
Und in Tapferkeit das Wort vernimmt,
Das von oben gnadevoll ertönet
In des Menschen wahre Wesenheit.

Feel how the depths of earth
Sends its forces to your being,
Surging in through body parts.
You'll lose yourself in them,
If powerless you entrust
Your willing to their striving;
They’ll overshadow in you the I.

Feel how from world’s expanse
The powers of gods their spirit clarity
Sets your inner soul aglow.
Find yourself in them with love,
And they’ll make, wisdom weaving,
You as someone in their midst,
Strong in virtuous spirit works.

Feel how in heaven's heights
Selfhood selflessly can live,
If spirit-imbued power of thought
With highest strivings will align
And in fortitude takes up the word,
That from on high resounds in grace,
In mankind’s true enduring being.