Dear friends – I have been wrangling once again with my role as lightning rod, which is not a pleasant part to play, & yet it seems to be my karma to rattle the cage; – a constant call for me to work out all my shadow pieces, which get reflected back in the karmic group around me. I am working hard to let go of the need to be on the defensive. I want to repent; & cease perpetuating reactive scenarios. I strive to soften my bluntness thru compassion. I pray to forgive myself, & those that have trespassed against me. I beg my angel to help me release the sadness & resentment of feeling misunderstood or unappreciated, that I may stand upright in humble equanimity – Constantly speaking The Lord’s Prayer & this verse:
Flame through the weakness of my fainthearted soul!
Burn up my false egoism,
So that selflessness
The life-stream of humanity,
May flow as the wellspring of spiritual rebirth!”
I think about karma & delve into spiritual scientific research:
In 1924, the final full year of his life, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of urgent, sometimes impassioned, talks to members of the Anthroposophical Society regarding our karma & its relationship to the culture of the time, referring in particular to the vital task of renewing civilization & preserving it from the threat of decline. Steiner’s words characterize vividly a great spiritual battle – of forces gathering to fight for the soul of humanity itself. He presents a striking panorama in which anthroposophers are compelled to broaden our vision; to see true esoteric anthroposophical work as a live yeast that can set all culture rising.
To awaken the members of the Society to the dimensions of their task, Steiner saw it as essential that we begin to understand the many different karmic threads from which the movement is woven. This recognition of unity, as well as difference – can give the strength of diversity which, if unconscious & unrecognized, easily leads to division.
Steiner speaks of the need of 2 specific groups of souls within the anthroposophical movement to reconcile: the Platonists & the Aristotelians. In the karmic background lies a conflict of approaches, but the task today calls for a unity based on love & the wisdom to work with Michael, Christ & The Sophia; in the face of Ahriman, materialism & the possibility of civilization collapsing into decadence. Given the challenges faced by humanity today, it has never been more urgent for those of us who ally themselves with Rudolf Steiner’s work to study, take to heart & practice the central task of anthroposophy: ‘a renewal of human karma in community from out of the spirit’. In ‘Awakening to Community’ Steiner speaks of an ‘awakening of the human being in the spiritual and soul qualities of the other.’
Steiner remarks about the conditions applying to such a higher awakening: We have to see the other as their highest Self. Blaming, & shaming brings in the adversarial beings. ‘Spiritual beings interpose themselves between us as we meet’.
What kind of Being are we creating in our interactions?
“The individual who finds himself within the Anthroposophical Movement should begin to feel something of the peculiar karmic position which the impulse to Anthroposophy requires. If such authentic souls, such willing anthroposophists can be found, then an upward movement and dynamic will arise. If such souls are not willing to do the hard work of living into the uncomfortable karmic balancing, then decadence will take its inexorable downward course...It is most necessary for the anthroposophist to know his karma will be harder to experience than it is for other men. From the very outset those who come into the Anthroposophical Society are predestined to a harder, more difficult experience of karma than other men. And if we try to pass this harder experience by — if we want to experience our karma in a comfortable way — it will surely take vengeance on us in one direction or another. We must be anthroposophists in our experience of karma too. To be true anthroposophists we must be able to observe each other and our own experience of karma with constant wide-awake attention, without reproach. If we do not, then our denial, or rather our desire to experience it so — will find expression and take vengeance in physical illnesses, physical accidents and the like…Today humanity stands before a great crisis: either it will see all civilization collapsing into the abyss; or else spirituality will raise civilization up by the power of the Michael impetus, through which the Christ impetus works, thus continuing, enriching and sustaining it…” ~Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume III
Bernard Lievegoed advises in his deathbed testimonial in, The Battle For The Soul: “The consciousness-soul develops itself especially in the sometimes difficult cooperation with others”.
The following quote is from a letter written by Elisabeth Vreede right before she was expelled from the Society: “The being of Anthroposophy—I myself have always felt it as a spiritual being newly created by Dr. Steiner, as it were the first hierarchical Being that men have begotten, quite young and still under-developed, as is the case with a child—a Being that must now begin to develop further through our common work as a ‘community of Love and Wisdom’, and with the cooperation of its creator from the spiritual world. Just for this reason I find it so painful when attacks are continually made against part of the active members such as to exclude them from the work, from creating together the Being of Anthroposophy.”
In relation to the Mystery Dramas, Hans Pusch states the following: “It is a clear sign of genuine relationship to Anthroposophy, if the forces of destiny become more and more active, even though they may be disturbing and uncomfortable. The spirit of our time is an awakener, a conscious troublemaker, and a dis-illusioner. Anyone who feels inner turmoil as a necessary tribute to the forces of progress will be prepared to see how our trials help us to understand and have compassion for one another. Sometimes it’s indeed a daily, almost hourly inner battle with oneself to say ‘Yes’ to what destiny throws in our path.
In these four plays we see the characterizing of people towards the inevitability of fate that unites them, and the consequences of their interrelationship. Steiner intended to show how spiritual development manifests in a karmically-intertwined group of people – how they must support one another, for the good of all. If one in the group is not upheld, they all suffer; showing the driving forces of destiny, events, openly and consistently on the stage.
Words of the initiate character Benedictus in the first drama The Portal of Initiation sound as the leitmotif that echoes on through all four dramas: ‘Here in this circle a knot forms out of the threads that karma spins in world becoming’. (Scene 3) In this ‘karmic knot of destiny’ lies the ‘seed’ of the karmic task of this particular group of people.
They have the possibility of creating something new if they can gradually take hold of their karmic ties from the past and transform the threads of destiny that have bound them together in a ‘knot.’ Those who are ripe to awaken to their karmic tasks with respect to one another, must ultimately unravel the karmic knot. Only free deeds of love performed in the name of Christ can fully redeem past karma, it is revealed. Few of the characters have the inner strength and courage to do this fully. They are continually pitted against the forces of evil in their soul life, that would draw them away from doing this — often with tragic consequences for the whole group. But every little step taken in this direction by one or the other helps in the gradual realization of their karmic task – which, in the case of this particular group of people, is to lay the foundations for a modem mystery centre. Through conscious acts of sacrifice certain individuals can take it upon themselves to share in the karma of another person or, as in the case of Benedictus, even the karma of the whole group. But each is called upon in his own way to awaken to his particular karmic task within the group. One is reminded of the apocalyptic words of the old Man with the Lamp in Goethe’s fairy-tale The Beautiful Lily and the Green Snake (1795) – a work that was the major source of inspiration for the Mystery Dramas: The old Man looked up to the stars, and then began to speak: ‘We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys.’
We are called to live the Mystery Dramas both in our own personal lives and in our lives together as a group. We have to face the same kind of trials and temptations as the characters in the drama. We have had, from time to time, to take on the role of Benedictus for one another, in our attempt to awaken to ‘the knot of destiny’ that seemed to have bound us together to do the work. It has been a challenge not to lose sight of the ‘star’ that had originally brought us together. The powers of darkness do all that they can to lead us astray. We feel the tragedy of our own times. But through honest experiences and ordeals we find new powers of hope that will lead us on into the future.
Awakening to the reality of reincarnation and karma is perhaps one of the greatest challenges in our time — something that concerns the whole of humanity. Through such an awakening we will be able to find the moral forces that will be needed if we are to lay the foundations for human community in the future.”
Harry Collison: “Within one’s present incarnation, there are deeds to perform to help rectify misdeeds, before the death of the body. We all have knots to loosen and unbind in our individual destinies. In daily life, it is the suffering in destiny situations, which leads to soul-growth. Present states of mind may hold the clues to understanding past misdeeds. Likewise does heightened consciousness assist in planting seeds of service for the future of humankind”.
Friends, if you have taken any of this to heart, I would love to hear your thoughts
Blessings & Peace –
15 November 2020 – “Speaking with the Stars”: New Moon
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1280 – Death & Feast Day of Albertus Magnus, a German Catholic Dominican friar & bishop, theologian, & philosopher, one of the founders of Scholasticism. Canonized as a saint, one of the 36 Doctors of the Catholic Church. He was known during his lifetime as Doctor Universalis & Doctor Expertus.
Albertus was the first to comment on virtually all of the writings of Aristotle, making them accessible to wider academic debate. The study of Aristotle brought him to take an interest in the teachings of Muslim academics, notably Avicenna & Averroes.
Albertus took part in the General Chapter of the Dominicans at Valenciennes together with Thomas Aquinas establishing a program for the Dominicans that featured the study of philosophy. This innovation initiated the tradition of Dominican scholastic philosophy put into practice, for example at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the “Angelicum“
Albert’s writings went to 38 volumes, displaying his prolific habits & encyclopedic knowledge of topics such as logic, theology, botany, geography, astronomy, astrology, mineralogy, alchemy, zoology, physiology, phrenology, justice, law, friendship, & love. He digested, interpreted, & systematized the whole of Aristotle’s works, gleaned from the Latin translations & notes of the Arabian commentators. Most modern knowledge of Aristotle was preserved and presented by Albertus.
According to legend, Albertus is said to have discovered the philosopher’s stone & passed it on to his pupil Thomas Aquinas, shortly before his death.
Among the last of his labors was the defense of the orthodoxy of his former pupil, Thomas Aquinas, whose death grieved him deeply.
Albertus is known for his commentary on the musical practice of his times. Most of his written musical observations are found in his commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics
“Essentially speaking, the task of the time which lies between the fourth and the fifteenth century was, therefore, the development of a technique of thinking. This thinking activity has now adopted a definite attitude in regard to man’s cognitive faculty towards the contents of the world. We may say: Spirits such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas have set forth the position of man’s thinking activity towards the contents of the world in a manner which was, at that time, quite incontestable.
How do their descriptions appear to us?
Thinkers such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas had dogmatically preserved truths which originated from old traditions, but their meaning could no longer be grasped. To begin with, these truths had to be protected as contents of a supernatural revelation, which at that time was more or less equivalent to a super-sensible revelation. The Church preserved these revelations through its authority and teachings, and people thought that the dogmas of the Church contained the revelations connected with the super-sensible worlds. They were to accept what was offered in these dogmas, they were to accept it as a revelation which could not be touched by human reason, that is to say, by the human intellect. The Dual Form of Cognition During the Middle Ages and the Development of Knowledge in Modern Times” ~ A Lecture By Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, August 5, 1921, GA 206
1630 – Deathday of Johannes Kepler, German astronomer & mathematician
“Johannes Kepler was as much a natural scientist of an earlier time as of a later one. He drew his thoughts from external observation, but in his inner experience he had an absolute feeling that spiritual Beings are there when man is receiving his thoughts from Nature. Kepler felt himself to be partly an Initiate, and for him it was a matter of course that he experienced his abstract building up of the universe artistically”. ~Rudolf Steiner, The Younger generation
“It cannot be denied that such spirits formerly imparted their oracular sayings to men through idols and oak-trees, out of groves and grottoes, through animals and so on; and sooth-saying from the flight of birds was not merely an art of deceiving the weak. Those spirits were active in guiding the birds through the air, and by this means, with God’s permission, much was intimated to men in former times. Even today we hear stories of fateful birds, such as owls, vultures, eagles, ravens, but the more such stories are despised, the rarer they become. For these spirits cannot bear being despised, as according to the law of God and Christian teaching, they certainly deserve to be: they prefer to fly away and keep silent. From the beginning the lying Tempter was allowed to speak through animals: he spoke to Eve through the serpent and thus he led the human race astray. That was always the way of these spirits from then onwards: whenever they could speak to men through the bodies and movements of animals, through voices or portents, they misused this power, appropriating for themselves the reverence due to God and misleading unhappy men. And now, although Christ came to destroy the work of the Devil, and imposed silence on these spirits, and although they lost their temple-statues, their groves and their caves and the earth they had so long possessed, yet they are always here still in the empty air, and with God’s permission they utter their scattered cries. Often they are God’s scourges; often he allows certain things to be announced through them to men.”
The author of these words gives a gentle indication of how the spiritual revelations come to be permeated by Christ, for he writes in a frame of mind that can truly be called Christ-filled. In 1607 he spoke thus of the changes that had come about in the spiritual world. Who is this man? Is he someone who has no right to speak, someone we can leave unheard? No, for without him we should have no modern Astronomy or Physics: he is Johannes Kepler. And one would like to advise those who call themselves materialists or monists and look to Kepler as their idol — one would like to advise them to consider carefully, just for once, this passage in Kepler’s writings. The greatest astronomical laws, the three Kepler laws, which dominate present-day Astronomy, are his. Yet you have heard how he speaks of the new influence which gradually enters into Earth evolution with the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. We must all again get accustomed by degrees — having thoroughly absorbed the new influence — to recognise something of the spiritual activities connected with the stars. ~Rudolf Steiner,Christ and the Spiritual World: The Search for the Holy Grail
On February 4, 1600, Kepler met Tycho Brahe, he stayed as a guestin his observatory, analyzing some of Tycho’s observations of Mars; Tycho guarded his data closely, but was impressed by Kepler’s theoretical ideas & soon allowed him more access. Through most of 1601, he was supported directly by Tycho, who assigned him to analyzing planetary observations . Tycho secured him a commission as a collaborator on the new project he had proposed to the emperor. Two days after Tycho’s unexpected death on October 24, 1601, Kepler was appointed his successor as imperial mathematician with the responsibility to complete his unfinished work. The next 11 years as imperial mathematician would be the most productive of his life.
Kepler slowly continued analyzing Tycho’s Mars observations—now available to him in their entirety—& began the slow process of tabulating the Rudolphine Table.
In October 1604, a bright new evening star appeared, but Kepler did not believe the rumors until he saw it himself. Kepler began systematically observing the nova. Astrologically, the end of 1603 marked the beginning of a fiery trigon, the start of the about 800-year cycle of great conjunctions; astrologers associated the two previous such periods with the rise of Charlemagne (c. 800 years earlier) & the birth of Christ (c. 1600 years earlier), & so expected events of great portent, especially regarding the emperor. It was in this context, as the imperial mathematician & astrologer to the emperor, that Kepler described the new star two years later in his De Stella Nova. The birth of a new star implied the variability of the heavens. In an appendix, Kepler also discussed the recent chronology work of the Polish historian Laurentius Suslyga; he calculated that, if Suslyga was correct that accepted timelines were four years behind, then the Star of Bethlehem—analogous to the present new star—would have coincided with the first great conjunction of the earlier 800-year cycle
In 1611, the growing political-religious tension in Prague came to a head. Emperor Rudolph—whose health was failing—was forced to abdicate as King of Bohemia by his brother Matthias. However, it was clear that Kepler’s future prospects in the court of Matthias were dim.
In 1615, Kepler’s mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft.
Kepler’s laws of planetary motion were not immediately accepted. Several major figures such as Galileo and René Descartes completely ignored Kepler’s Astronomia nova. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy was read by astronomers throughout Europe, & following Kepler’s death it was the main vehicle for spreading Kepler’s ideas. In the period 1630 – 1650, this book was the most widely used astronomy textbook, winning many converts to ellipse-based astronomy. This culminated in Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica (1687), in which Newton derived Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from a force-based theory of universal gravitation.
Kepler’s self-authored poetic epitaph:
“I measured the skies, now the shadows I measure
Skybound was the mind, earthbound the body rests”
1670 – Deathday of John Amos Comenius, Czech bishop, philosopher, & educator.
“Our task is to appeal to those forces which we have as a replacement for the ancient way of grasping the spiritual. There are two ways of doing this. One way is to continue to propagate tradition and many secret societies arose from being satisfied with the propagation of what the ancient said through tradition. However, there were people who attempted to reckon with the new soul forces which came in as replacements for it. They attempted to translate that which came in from the ancient way in the form of pictures, of direct perception into the form of intellectual power, this intellect which is bound to the physical body of our 5th post-Atlantean period. One of the people who tried to do this was Amos Comenius.
Very few people today know that Amos Comenius was the actual founder of the modern pedagogy and that he founded the primer in the 16th, 17th century…
The whole way of writing children’s books rests upon Amos Comenius. He was connected with many secret brotherhoods all over Europe and he wanted to establish what he called his “Pan Sophia”. In the beginning of our period, in the 16th, 17th century, we have in Amos Comenius a human being who knew that now is the time for a sudden change, that one must transmute all the knowledge from earlier times into the form of external intellect. You do not simply continue it in the form of the ancient tradition. This tradition rests upon that which was the Temple architecture. Amos Comenius had as his task translating in his “Pan Sophia” everything which worked in the 5th post-Atlantean period and he says the following: “Why should the Temple of Pan Sophia be erected according to the ideas, directions and laws of the higher architect Himself? Because we have to follow the primal picture of the totality; measure, number, position and the goal of the paths according to the wisdom of God, Himself, when, indeed, He instructed Moses to erect the Tabernacle, then Solomon to erect the Temple and finally Ezekial to reestablish the Temple. The structure materials of Solomon’s Temple were very precious stones, metals, marble and sappy, good smelling trees like spruce and cedar.” And so we want to establish a school of wisdom, a universal wisdom, a “Pan Sophia” wisdom so that one can say that that which is in Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister, which was represented in the Wander Years, is a continuation of what Amos Comenius wanted.” ~Rudolf Steiner, Things in Past and Present in the Spirit of Man
1738 – Birthday of William Herschel, German-born British astronomer, the founder of sidereal astronomy for the systematic observation of the heavens. He discovered the planet Uranus, hypothesized that nebulae are composed of stars, & developed a theory of stellar evolution. He was knighted in 1816.
1741 – Birthday of Johann Kaspar Lavater, a Swiss poet, writer, philosopher, physiognomist & theologian. Goethe was a dear friend for many years, but later had a falling out with him, accusing Lavater of superstition & hypocrisy.
1887 – Birthday of Georgia O’Keeffe, American painter & educator
1893 – Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom (Spiritual Activity) 1st appears
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~A glimmer caught
My eye I
Turned to see the primal warmth
In the fires of perhaps
A beacon of human possibility
Etched in the bones of my skull
At the edge of
That I might
Re-collect my Self
Wed. 2 December 2020 – 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm CT The Karma Project
The Karma Project
Manifestations of Karma Study Group
December 2, 2020 – 7:15 pm Central (8:15 pm Eastern)
“… We have now learned that it is possible to seek out accidents or other causes of illness due to karmic effects. In due course we will deal with the details of such processes, such as the way in which the forces in deeper levels of consciousness work within the human being, or to what extent our ordinary consciousness may avoid such accidents. We can understand that someone who goes to a place where he may succumb to an infection will have been driven there under the influence of a certain level of consciousness; in like manner we must be able to understand how it is that human beings take certain measures to render such infections less and less effective; in other words, that through our ordinary consciousness we are able to avert certain consequences by means of hygiene.“
~Rudolf Steiner, Manifestations of Karma, Chapter 6, “Karma in Relation to Accidents”, Hamburg, 21 May, 1910 … focus of the December 2 meeting.
The lecture can be found online at the RS Archive (eLib) by clicking this link: https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA120/English/RSP1984/19100521p01.html
The Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided among four volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.
This collection of lectures has been republished by Rudolf Steiner Press under the title: “Manifestations of Karma.” This book is a translation from German of Die Offenbarung des Karma (Ga 120), published in English by Rudolf Steiner Press in 1996.
This will be a “Zoom” conference call allowing us an opportunity to see one another while conversing (or audio only if you prefer). To connect to the audio/video-conference:
Video Conference Details:
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82715186258
Meeting ID: 827 1518 6258
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kclU2SSTF
If you have questions, please contact Alberto Loya firstname.lastname@example.org
Agenda for our Study Call
7:15 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by five volunteers
Note: CRC team will ID volunteers
Laura – pg. 106 to 110
Ana – pg. 111 to 115
Camille – pg. 116 to 120
Alberto – pg. 121 to end
8:28 Close with verse
Holy Nights 2020-21 “A Rose By Any Other Name” The many faces of The Sophia
24 December 2020 – 5 January 2021
Hosted by Laura Scappaticci & Tess Parker, featuring the Sophia Working Group
Everyday 9 am – 9:30 am ET, 10 am – 10:30 am MT, 11 am – 11:30 am CT, 12 pm – 12:30 pm ET
International online gathering on the Theme of the Divine Feminine.
stay tuned for details
Our Annual Conscious NYE gathering 8 pm 1 am
In-Person at Elderberries Bio-dynamic Outpost & Cultural Hub & The Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago 4249-51 N. Lincoln Ave. 60613
This Years Theme is a Masked Ball –
Live Music, Folk Dancing, Potluck, Mask making with Lucien Dante Lazar, more TBA
$20 per person
Stay tuned for details
Epiphany 6 January 2021 What Joan of Arc Calls for Today 7 pm – 9 pm CT
In-person at Elderberries Chicago & online
Today on the Birthday of Joan of Arc we will explore ‘The Destinies of Individuals and of Nations, Lecture 5, The Nature of the Christ Impulse and the Michaelic Sprit Serving It by Rudolf Steiner with Leading Thoughts by Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Social Sculpture: “The Passage” with Luicen Dante Lazar – Eurythmy
Singing & Eurythmy
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