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.

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

13 thoughts on “After-Image 1

  1. I was looking at this book by Baruch Luke Urieli and Hans Wiedemann, and I see that they were CC Priests, and also involved in the Camphill movement. They have also crossed the Threshold since 2014, and 1997, respectively. This makes citing this work all the more compelling. When the name, Kaspar Hauser, comes up I always see an invitation to look at something very important. Steiner only spoke one time in public about Kaspar Hauser, ref. GA 104, 17 June 1908, and this was some two years before first heralding the Reappearance of Christ. As such, the Mystery of this Angelic Being continues to this very day. Steiner could not say more about it in 1908 for the simple reason that he had yet to discern the Second Coming, and then when he did, beginning in January 1910, it would involve a process of removing layer by layer all of what had to occur in order to make it possible. So, Steiner’s perception of Kaspar Hauser was still rather undefined back in 1908, but he knew it was important.

    When World War I began, it became necessary to shift the focus from the Christological phase, which would have revealed all the further implications of what was needed for the Second Coming, including the second Mystery of Golgotha in the Etheric World, which implicates Kaspar Hauser, to a third phase, which invoked the Archai Michael as the Time-Spirit during wartime.

    Notes: “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.”

    1. Yes, the fact that they were CC Priests was the clincher!

      According to a report from Rudolf Rissmann’s mother who lived in Nuremberg & had known Prof. Daumer in 1905 Rudolf Steiner referred to Kasper Hauser as a ‘straggler from Atlantis’.

      1. Yes, and further revelations from Steiner just before he died indicate that Kaspar Hauser had not had any prior incarnations going back to Atlantis. This would more than suggest that he was an Angeloi who had experienced the *human stage* on Ancient Moon. He was a straggler in the same sense as the Nathan Soul, and waiting for the moment to make a sacrifice.

  2. Hazel, I have practiced a certain discipline going back about twelve years which seems closely associated to this book you describe concerning creating an after-image. In fact, I would have to say that it draws its thesis from the lectures given that leads to the so-called “New Yoga Will”, which has been described before. We know of how the very last of the air-ensouling mysteries, The Mystery of Ephesus, which laid its emphasis on the Cosmic Word as a sounding device, was torched on the day that Alexander the Great was born, c. 356 BC. This, in effect, left an after-image, which was the Temple of Artemis, which became a remnant much like the first Goetheanum after it was burned.

    Your diagram drew me right away to this lecture on the New Yoga, and wherein Steiner indicates that the last mystery wherein the air-ensouling process existed was traceable back to Jahve, and its sacrifice was necessary in order to pave the way for Christ to enter Earth evolution in order to create the light-ensouling process. So, this lecture gives a very concise description (with diagrams) of what now in today’s world becomes our focal point in preparing for the experience of Christ in the Etheric body.

    I find it truly extraordinary that you led a workshop of anthro newbies in this kind of engagement, which has to be seen as difficult, but it also becomes a starting point with a huge potential. Goethe’s whole scientific basis was built upon the concept and function of the so-called “Primal Phenomenon”, which is nothing less than perceiving the outer-external world of matter, and yet being able to discern the underlying Reality at the same time. This is what he sought for. Well, this lecture displays a series of diagrams which correspond to the Post-Atlantean Cultural epochs, beginning with the Ancient Persian, and wherein the first measure of containment is displayed as an Oval. Then, the system undergoes increasing complexity, as seen.

    I like the fact that the Movement for Religious Renewal is asking these burning questions. A synthesis of Science, Religion, and Art has always been the contemplation of a more esoteric worldview. Steiner did hope that one day the Christian Community would evolve to see that what had been imparted to general Anthroposophy over the years was the same as what they were getting. The difference was that they needed a liturgical process with the usual sacraments, while Anthroposophical Life leads it all.

    1. Yes this is one of the many lectures I have worked with over the years, thanks for sharing the link. The book also gives excepts from many of Steiner’s indications which are helpful.

      1. The secret to the new yoga, which focuses on Buddhi, or cultivating Life Spirit, is yoking the two disconnected loops at the fifth stage, which is the present 5th Cultural epoch. This ‘X’ is the Feeling Soul, which is rhythmic and respiratory, but more consciously oriented than the Pranayama of ancient India. The upper loop is the Objective Self, experienced in Thinking, and the lower loop is the Subjective Self, experienced in Willing. As such, they are a polarity which needs to be joined (yoked) by the mediating power of the Feeling Soul. Then, they experience each other consciously, and the Will grows and illuminates Thinking toward the Supersensible dimensions of life. Anthroposophical Life.
        Through Occult Mercury, the Astral Body has become a part of this process of rhythm and respiration, just as true Venus works to save the Etheric Body for its redemption. We can do this process very effectively.

          1. Contemplate the pictures! There was a time when all was blank because no containment existed. All was undifferentiated and Absolute. This is why the Holy Rishis exhorted, “Earth is Maya”; return to the great Satya Yuga of Atlantis.

            Action is what is being advocated here; not abstraction. The Yoga of Will is dynamic.

              1. I understand. The words can make one stumble, and I apologize for my technical precocity. I see divinity in the details, and this is good for etheric regeneration. Yet, the action-dynamic here is a serious consideration. New Yoga Will seems to imply something, Horatio 🙂

              2. Sure, if you wannabe! But, seriously, there is more to consider here than meets the eye of mere philosophy. Even Hamlet saw the dim reflection, or after-image of his former life as the mighty Hector, of Trojan War fame. In the Consciousness/Spiritual Soul age, since the 15th century, we all start anew and under the deep influence of Christ. Hamlet’s indecisive character had once a mighty conviction when the Group Soul ruled in human affairs. Now, he felt alone as an individual soul without convictions. The New Yoga Will is a crystallization of sorts, and wherein we become the Master of our own being. Hamlet is famous for saying, “To be or not to be, that is the question”.

                Hazel, when you start to experience the incommensurable, and what to do with it, you’ll know and feel the angst of Hamlet. And, it truly will be the new beginning that you anticipate/expect.

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