17 November 2017 – Astro-Weather: This morning marks the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower. Astronomical conditions should be nearly perfect because the Moon remains out of the sky all night. (It reaches its New phase tomorrow morning.) An observer under a clear, dark sky can expect to see up to 10 “shooting stars” per hour. The meteors appear to radiate from a point in the Sickle asterism of Leo the Lion, a region that rises in late evening & climbs high in the southeast before dawn. Prime viewing occurs between approximately 2 CST & the start of twilight some two hours later.
As the evening twilight fades, look low in the southwest for Saturn & Mercury. They’re about a fist at arm’s length apart.
With Bella Luna not yet back from her monthly journey into the Underworld; take advantage of the dark nights to explore the galaxies inside the top right corner of the Great Square of Pegasus.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
“Art is a continuous setting free of the human spirit; it also educates humanity about how to act out of love. ” ~Rudolf Steiner
1624 – Birthday of Jakob Böhme, a shoemaker in Görlitz, Silesia, is regarded to be one of the most profound mystics in Germany.
“Jakob Böhme’s thoroughly healthy way of knowledge — his original deeper heart’s knowledge, so in accordance with the feeling of the people — beheld freedom as weaving and working through everything necessitated, working even through natural necessity. And Schelling, ascending from a view of nature in accordance with the spirit to a beholding of the spirit, felt himself in harmony with Jakob Böhme…
Hegel‘s world view has its place in the course of mankind’s spiritual evolution through the fact that in it the radiant power of thoughts lifts itself up out of the mystical depths of the soul, and through the fact that in Hegel’s seeking, mystical power wants to reveal itself with the power of the light of thought. And this is also how he sees his place in the course of this evolution. Therefore he looked back upon Jakob Böhme in the way expressed in these words (to be found in his History of Philosophy): “This Jakob Böhme, long forgotten and decried as a pietistic visionary, has regained his rightful esteem only in recent times; Leibniz revered him. His public has been greatly reduced by the Age of Enlightenment; in recent times his profundity has been recognized again. … To declare him a visionary means nothing. For if one wants to, one can call every philosopher so, even Epicurus and Bacon. … But as to the high esteem to which Böhme has been raised, he owes this particularly to the form of his contemplation and feeling; for, contemplation and inner feeling … and the pictorial nature of one’s thoughts the allegories and so on — are partly considered to be the essential form of philosophy. But it is only the concept, thinking, in which philosophy can have its truth, in which the absolute can be expressed and also is as it is in and for itself.” And Hegel finds these further words for Böhme: “Jakob Böhme is the first German philosopher; the content of his philosophizing is truly German. What distinguishes Böhme and makes him remarkable is … that he set the intellectual world into his own inner life (Gemüt), and within his own consciousness of himself he beheld, knew, and felt everything that used to be in the beyond. This general idea of Böhme proves on the one hand to be profound and basic; on the other hand, however, he does not achieve clarity and order in all his need and struggle for definition and discrimination in developing his divine views about the universe.”
Such words are spoken by Hegel, after all, only from the feeling: In the simple heart of Jakob Böhme there lived the deepest impulse of the human soul to sink itself with its own experience into world experience — the true mystical impulse — but the pictorial view, the parable, the symbol must lift themselves to the light of clear ideas in order to attain what they want. In Hegel’s world view Jakob Böhme’s world pictures are meant to arise again as ideas of human reason. Thus the enthusiast of thoughts, Hegel, stands beside the deep mystic, Jakob Böhme, within the evolution of German idealism”. ~Rudolf Steiner, The Riddle of Man
1858 – Deathday of Robert Owen, Welsh manufacturer turned reformer, one of the most influential early 19th-century advocates of utopian socialism. His New Lanark mills in Lanarkshire, Scotland, with their social & industrial welfare programs, became a place of pilgrimage for statesmen & social reformers. He also sponsored or encouraged many experimental “utopian” communities, including one in New Harmony, Indiana, U.S.
1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is opened
1901 –October 1901 to April 1902, Rudolf Steiner delivered a series of lectures in the Theosophical Library leading from the ancient mysteries up to the mystery of Golgotha which provided a comprehensive expansion of the subject treated in the previous year on mysticism. These lectures were published as Christianity As Mystical Fact
According to T.H. Meyer & Johannes Hemleben, in his book “Rudolf Steiner: A documentary biography”: Today in 1901 Marie von Sivers asks THE question of Rudolf Steiner –Marie von Sivers “appeared one day” at one of Rudolf Steiner’s early lectures in 1900. In the autumn of 1901, she posed the question to Steiner, “Would it be possible to create a spiritual movement based on European tradition and the impetus of Christ?” Rudolf Steiner later reported:
With this, I was given the opportunity to act in a way that I had only previously imagined. The question had been put to me, and now, according to spiritual laws, I could begin to answer it.
From Rudolf Steiner’s The Story of My Life, Chapter 30: “The Brockdorffs were leaders of a branch of the Theosophical Society founded by Blavatsky. What I had said in connection with Goethe’s fairy-tale led to my being invited by the Brockdorffs to deliver lectures regularly before those members of the Theosophical Society who were associated with them. I explained, however, that I could speak only about that which I vitally experienced within me as spiritual knowledge.
In truth, I could speak of nothing else. For very little of the literature issued by the Theosophical Society was known to me. I had known theosophists while living in Vienna, and I later became acquainted with others. These acquaintance ships led me to write in the Magazine the adverse review dealing with the theosophists in connection with the appearance of a publication of Franz Hartmann. What I knew otherwise of the literature was for the most part entirely uncongenial to me in method and approach; I could not by any possibility have linked my discussions with this literature.
So I then gave the lectures in which I established a connection with the mysticism of the Middle Ages. By means of the ideas of the mystics from Master Eckhard to Jakob Böhme, I found expression for the spiritual conceptions which in reality I had determined beforehand to set forth. I published the series of lectures in the book Die Mystik im Aufgange des neuzeitlichen Geisteslebens(2). At these lectures there appeared one day in the audience Marie von Sievers, who was chosen by destiny at that time to take into strong hands the German section of the Theosophical Society, founded soon after the beginning of my lecturing. Within this section I was then able to develop my anthroposophic activity before a constantly increasing audience.
No one was left in uncertainty of the fact that I would bring forward in the Theosophical Society only the results of my own research through perception…
My object was to set forth the evolution from the ancient mysteries to the mystery of Golgotha in such a way that in this evolution there should be seen to be active, not merely earthly historic forces, but spiritual supramundane influences. And I wished to show that in the ancient mysteries cult-pictures were given of cosmic events, which were then fulfilled in the mystery of Golgotha as facts transferred from the cosmos to the earth of the historic plane.
This was by no means taught in the Theosophical Society. In this view I was in direct opposition to the theosophical dogmatics of the time, before I was invited to work in the Theosophical Society. For this invitation followed immediately after the cycle of lectures on Christ here described.
Between the two cycles of lectures that I gave before the Theosophical Society, Marie von Sievers was in Italy, at Bologna, working on behalf of the Theosophical Society in the branch established there.
Thus the thing evolved up to the time of my first attendance at a theosophical congress, in London, in the year 1902. At this congress, in which Marie von Sievers also took part, it was already a foregone conclusion that a German section of the Society would be founded with myself – shortly before invited to become a member – as the general secretary.
The visit to London was of great interest to me. I there became acquainted with important leaders of the Theosophical Society. I had the privilege of staying at the home of Mr. Bertram Keightley, one of these leaders. We became great friends. I became acquainted with Mr. Mead, the very diligent secretary of the Theosophical Movement. The most interesting conversations imaginable took place at the home of Mr. Keightley in regard to the forms of spiritual knowledge alive within the Theosophical Society.
Especially intimate were these conversations with Bertram Keightley himself. H. P. Blavatsky seemed to live again in these conversations. Her whole personality, with its wealth of spiritual content, was described with the utmost vividness before me and Marie von Sievers by my dear host, who had been so long associated with her.
I became slightly acquainted with Annie Besant and also Sinnett, author of Esoteric Buddhism. Mr. Leadbeater I did not meet, but only heard him speak from the platform. He made no special impression on me.
All that was interesting in what I heard stirred me deeply, but it had no influence upon the content of my own views.
1907 – Birthday of Israel Regardie, English occultist & author
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~a dusky grape
ripening in the oblique rays
of a westering daystar…
Monday November 27th– 7 pm – 9 pm Open Community Conversation
After our gathering in September with General Secretary John Bloom, & Daniel Evaeus, from Elderberries, many folks made it known that they would like to continue to meet once a month to discuss how to best serve Anthroposophia & the various Steiner initiatives in Chicago.
For this November meeting, Biography Worker, Paulette Arnold, will offer up some research into the Chicago personality, Studs Terkel, & lead us in a biography exercise.
We will also share the latest developments about Elderberries Chicago!
And as always, the floor will be open for a community conversation.
All are welcome. Snacks to share encouraged.