Daily Archives: July 11, 2023

After-Image 1

~Christian Schoel

The theme of the ‘Fire of the Heart Conference’ had at its core an invitation to share the questions burning in our hearts around the ‘Movement for Religious Renewal’ – surveying this modern Christian Path thru the lens of the Arts.  

Human consciousness is ever evolving; every age presents opportunities & challenges.  In our present age, the Festival Life, as well as the Religious Ritual, exists to nourish & foster a new relationship between humanity & the beings of the spiritual worlds. (We can speak about the Cognitive/Reverse Ritual & how it enhances this at another time 😉

Advancing responsibility in freedom – is crucial in recognizing The Christ Impulse as the pivotal Turning Point for our human renewal.

Community reveals karma, opening us to a cosmic conception of Christ as Lord of Karma & as the Being of Love, who ‘goes before us,’ that we may become Anthroposophia.  

Rev. Jeana Lee did a stellar job organizing & engaging folks from the greater community to come & share their gifts. I was thrilled to be asked to lead one of the workshops carrying a ‘burning question’ to be worked with over 2 days. My main goal was to make it experiential, so I didn’t prepare any formal leading thoughts as such but brought with me my personal practice with what Rudolf Steiner calls the After-Image to delve into the question of How to tune into the Etheric Christ.

For reference I brought the Book “Learning to Experience the Etheric World, Empathy, the After-Image & a New Social Ethic” by Christian Community priests Baruch Urieli & Hans Muller-Wiedemann.

I was nervous – it was a big group with a lot of Anthro-Newbees. I was grateful to have a chalk board to work with. The imagination of the good ol’ ‘Anthroposophical Bathtub’ (which, come to think of it, is the same glyph that we see on the back of the Priests Chasable in various colors most times of the year) this image can be used to show how in earlier times the human being derived a powerful soul-spiritual element from the atmosphere, thru the air. This was particularly strong during Atlantean times. And in the 1st post Atlantean epoch of Ancient India, it could be seen in the Hindu Yogic Breath work which was the main form of initiation for that age. These forces slowly faded away.

And now, since the ‘Turning Point of Time’, it is not air – but Light that is ensouled.  This was made possible thru Christ’s uniting with the Earth.

In our time of the Consciousness Soul we are called to consciously take in Light to spiritualize our sense impressions.

At the same time that Steiner gave lectures on ‘The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric’ he also spoke for the first time about Kasper Hauser. His sacrifice, like that of the Nathan Soul in the pre-earthly deeds of Christ, brought about the possibility for humanity to develop the capacity for pure sense perception. “The gift of empathy, the capacity to form after-images which penetrate earth existence & unveil its inner meaning, found its way to earth through the sacrificial deed of Kasper Hauser. In this way a tool has been given to humanity by means of which it can free itself from the encapsulation intended by the Dark Powers.”

But what is this thing called ‘after-image’ & how do we cultivate it?

Right away we got into the practicum. I brought out some cards with various shapes & colors. In Steiner’s day folks painted a red or blue or yellow circle on white paper. They then beheld the image for 30 seconds & then transferred their gaze to a plain sheet of white or grey paper which produced the complementary color in their vision.

Everyone in our group was amazed.

The idea of point & periphery was explored.

We spoke a bit about Goethe’s theory of Color, & the idea of ‘echoing’ which is what he called the complementary colors. Steiner’s vision tells us that ‘color is the sacrifice of Light‘; & how we can see the 3 primary colors as representing the 3-fold human being, & the 3 soul forces of thinking, feeling & willing. One color calls forth the other two.

We can go out into nature & try to experience the after-image of a rock, or a tree, which can reveal a great deal about its essence, or what it may need in terms of care. The next step is to turn to the animal kingdom – what does its movement or sound tell us in reflection?

The after-image is an experience that is given to us by our etheric body, our Time Body giving us formative forces.

Steiner gave us ‘Karma & after-image exercises’ where we are encouraged to take a detailed impression of a person into our thinking before sleep, & wait for the after-image to arise upon waking. Steiner tells us this can lead to new social capacities & moral qualities.  The Good Doctor spoke about the after-image as ‘the foundation of a Michaelic Culture’, how the sense of the “I” of the other brings us into empathy & compassion.

In Rosicrucianism & Modern Initiation, The Tasks of the Michael Age, 13 January 1924, Dornach, he showed how the path that begins with experiencing the after-image of a physical color leads to empathy, & that of the plant, animal & human being to a sense of the “I”, so that we can gain entry to the New Mysteries, which leads us to the destiny-experience of the future where we can consciously perceive The Etheric Christ.

I think I will leave it here for today – to be continued – soonly – Do you feel called to take up some of these practices…? If so, please share…Thanks


11 July 2023– “Speaking with the Stars”: The waning crescent moon will pass Jupiter, heading toward the glittering Pleiades star cluster. They’ll be rising about 4 hours before sunrise. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day (RSarchives) 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (Rudolf Steiner’s original Calendar of the Soul; The Free Social Encyclopedia)

The feast day of Nertha, ancient Germanic Goddess of the Earth

1767 – Birthday of John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States. He began his diplomatic career as the U.S. minister to the Netherlands in 1794, and served as minister to Prussia during the presidential administration of his father, the formidable patriot John Adams. After serving in the Massachusetts State Senate and the U.S. Senate, the younger Adams rejoined diplomatic service under President James Madison, helping to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent (1814), which ended the War of 1812. As secretary of state under James Monroe, Adams played a key role in determining the president’s foreign policy, including the famous Monroe Doctrine. John Quincy Adams went on to win the presidency in a highly contentious election in 1824, and served only one term. Outspoken in his opposition to slavery and in support of freedom of speech, Adams was elected to the House of Representatives in 1830; he would serve until his death in 1848. ~history.com

1864 – Birthday of Peter Deunov, Bulgarian spiritual master and teacher of esoteric Christianity in the early 20th century, is also known for his inspired musical compositions and as the inventor of the Paneurhythmy, a sacred dance of the Universal White Brotherhood. Beinsa Duono is his Bulgarian spiritual name.

I will be heading out for our next training 1-7 August 2023

Here is a newsletter with an article I wrote about my expereince working with Steiner’s Inner Realities of Evoultion