As we dive ever deeper into Steiner’s ‘Inner Realities of Evolution’ we see that by adding the concept of resignation to those of sacrifice & the virtue of bestowing, we take another step into the birthright of our authentic humanness – we unfold the spiritual fact that thru this act of resignation, of renunciation, of forgoing or refraining, the gods created evolution out of eternity.
This abstinence also opened the way to resistance – embodied by the Luciferic beings.
The gods allowed ‘evil’ to come into the world for the sake of human freedom, which can only be achieved by acquiring the strength thru resistance to lead evil back to good. And this capacity can only come about as a consequence of renunciation & resignation.
We are called to take this concept of refraining into our thinking, feeling & willing, so that meditative images can arise, & inspire us to apply this principle in our lives, in our karmic relationships, & to the world karma we all share, to heal the social sphere – to enact progress in our evolution & fulfill the Divine Christic plan.
This cosmic act of giving up the opportunity to receive a sacrifice of will substance performed on ancient Sun by the Cherubim is the essence behind fasting or ‘giving something up’ for Lent…This makes sense, it all feels right & purposeful – An eternal teaching moment.
And yet when we live into the experience of The Thrones – those beings of Will who devoutly surrendered their innermost being, who sacrificed their very substance; when we imagine their pure gift being declined – that they were not allowed to give it, that it was thrown back at them; the bond that could have been forged with the higher choir of the Cherubim left unmade – we feel the reverberations in the cosmos of these rejected will forces.
The biblical picture of Cain & Abel gives us much to contemplate in this regard. For Cain’s inner experience & the symbolic historical reaction personifies this ‘rejected sacrifice’‘, in an exaggerated way.
It’s easy into fall into blaming Cain. But if we view his actions from the perspective of the inner realities of evolution, we see Cain & Abel out-picturing a cosmic act of surrender & resignation – as well as what was within those Spirits of Will whose sacrifice was refused – which gave rise to a mood of opposition toward those higher beings.
In Lecture 4 Steiner tells us: “Coming nearer and nearer to the earthly life of the human being, we find this mood in ourselves — everyone knows it — as uncertainty, and at the same time as torment, in the hidden depths of soul-life. This feeling with which we are all acquainted holds sway in the secret depth of our soul-life, and sometimes pushes its way up to the surface; and then perhaps its torment is lessened. We often go about with these feelings without being aware of them in our superficial consciousness; yet there they are within us.
We might recall the words of the Goethe’s ‘Wilhelm Meister’, if we wish to convey an idea of the tormenting nature of this soul-mood with which is connected a certain degree of pain: “Only one who knows longing knows, knows what I suffer.” This longing lives continuously in the human being as a mood of soul.”
We will explore this feeling of Longing in the next essay.
17 November 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: The Leonid meteor shower peaks, but the waning Moon will make spotting showers during the early morning predawn hours, when Leo is highest in the sky, the best bet for viewing.
Although the Leonids technically peaked late last night, the radiant in Leo the Lion is highest in the hours before dawn this morning. Look southeast in the hour or two before sunrise to again find bright Regulus. The Leonids’ radiant sits north of this star.
The Leonids come from dust left behind by passes of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle through the inner solar system.
Sunrise: 6:49 A.M.
Sunset: 4:41 P.M.
Moonrise: 12:50 A.M.
Moonset: 2:09 P.M.
Moon Phase: Waning crescent (29%)
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
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 – Deathday 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 17 NOVEMBER 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
The ‘Envy of the Gods’ – The ‘Envy of Human Beings’
Presented by Adriana Koulias*
A Winter Solstice offering preparing us for the Centennial commemoration of the burning of the first Goetheanum.
21 December 2022, at 5 pm PT, 6 pm MT, 7 pm CT, 8 pm ET
Here is a link to the World Clock for your time zone
Online & in-person at the Rudolf Steiner Branch Chicago
Dear Friends – This special presentation is supported by your generous donations. $10-$50 or pay what you will www.rschicago.org/donate (credit card or PayPal)
Please type ‘Adriana’ on the line of your payment that says: Purpose
For those attending in-person doors open at 5:30 pm for our Potluck meal. Please bring food & drink to share.
To register & receive the Zoom code Contact Cultural Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer-Ginsberg
Work on building the First Goetheanum, which was designed and supervised by Rudolf Steiner, began after the laying of the double dodecahedron foundation stone on the 20th of September 1913. Construction proceeded for a decade under enormous difficulties in the political, economic and cultural realms, brought on by the advent of the First World War. After the war when the building was near completion, the First Goetheanum was destroyed by an arsonist on New Year’s Eve 1922/1923.
This NYE 2022-23 will be the 100th anniversary of this event and the world is again facing many difficulties, political, economic and social. Adriana’s lecture will explore what Rudolf Steiner meant by the ‘Envy of the Gods and the Envy of Human beings’ and how a consciousness of this during the coming 12 Holy Nights can provide the necessary strengthening for the coming twelve months.
During this presentation Adriana will speak about the three gifts given by Rudolf Steiner in 1913: The naming of Anthroposophy, The Fifth Gospel, and The Laying of the Foundation Stone of the First Goetheanum. She will explore with us how we can link our hearts to the old Goetheanum during the coming 12 Holy Nights to prepare ourselves for the coming 12 months in 2023, so we can work towards a Cosmic New Year.
In this way we will celebrate the Jubilee of the Christmas Conference and the resurrection of the living impulse of the First Goetheanum in the most auspicious way.
For Rudolf Steiner tells us: ‘My dear friends, may this link our hearts to the old Goetheanum which we had to consign to the elements. May it link our hearts also to the Spirit, to the Soul of this Goetheanum. With this vow before whatever is best within our being we want to live on not only into the new year. In strength of deed, bearing the spirit, leading the soul we want to live on into the new cosmic year.’ ~Rudolf Steiner, ‘The Envy of the Gods and the Envy of Human Beings.’
Adriana Koulias was born in 1960 in Brazil. Adriana moved to Australia when she was 9 years old where she lives today. She has studied art, operatic singing and nursing. She has been studying Anthroposophy (awareness of our humanity) as given by Rudolf Steiner for 33 years and has since 2002-3 integrated this knowledge into several novels and a number of books, international lectures and articles online and in magazines.
8 thoughts on “Cain’s Sacrifice”
I read the Sorrows of Young Werther when I was 19. A friend recommended it to me, and she said it was the best book she ever read (coming from someone who was 19 at the time). I read it in one sitting.
I found it rather peculiar to come across a more obscure author, 19 years later, Ugo Foscolo. He wrote the Last Letters of Jabob Ortise – of which many compare to Sorrows of Young Wether.
I have always wanted to take sections of Goethe’s Sorrows & make them inot a play or readers theater…
I’ll have to check out Ugo Foscolo’s offering, thanks
BTW: Do you read/speak Italian?
If my memory serves, what was captivating to in Young Wether was the characters complete surrender (even though one may say to the extreme) to beauty. It ends up that all the beauty in the world can be encapsulated in this woman who he was just head over heels for. I’ll have to read it again, but what struck out to me was that he was so enchanted in the beauty that his rapture got the best of him. Maybe not the best review, but that was my impression at the time. Sometimes love can turn all the colors in the world that much more vivid and lively.
I can’t speak or read Italian, not well, at least. I do understand and can read Spanish a little… so there are some similarities. Unfortunately Foscolo is more known within Italy, so the English speaking world never included him in literature studies (except for a few people). There is a book translated in English, where Foscolo goes at length describing Eros, and Greek philosophy. He was a classicist, that’s for sure.
Your description of Goethe’s character captures his impossible longing which started out to be for art itself which then became transferred to Charlette.
I think this is Goethe examining a part of his younger self, he wrote it when he was 24, part of the Sturm und Drang movement. It turned Goethe into a celebrity almost overnight.
At first it was published anonymously, & then he actually distanced himself from it in his later years, regretting the fame it had brought him, & the attention to his own youthful love of Charlotte Buff, then already engaged to Johann Christian Kestner.
Goethe substantially reworked the book commenting: “That was a creation which I, like the pelican, fed with the blood of my own heart.”
The book started the phenomenon known as “Werther Fever,” which caused young men throughout Europe to dress like him; & it also led to some of the first known examples of copycat suicide.
This is really getting interesting, Hazel. With him writing that at such a young age. Where did that impulse come from, I might wonder? You know, this prompted me to dig a little as I was reminded by Foscolo. That work by Foscolo in English that I was referring to were actually Essays on Petrarch (1304-1374).
Foscolo writes on various themes of Petrarch, one of which is Love. This reminds me so much of Goethe’s Young Werther. Here is Foscolo:
“The imagination of Plato has apparently seized upon these exhortations to exalt and support an ingenious theory of Love, of which it will be sufficient to notice here that portion which constitutes the **machinery of Petrarch’s poetry** :—‘‘ Our souls emanate from God, and unto him they return again. They are pre-existent to our bodies in other worlds. The most tender and the most beautiful in- habit Venus, the brightest and the purest of the planets, called the third heaven. They are more or less perfect, and the most perfect love those which are most perfect also. They are connected together in pairs by a predes- tined and immutable sympathy: without par- taking of the sensual perturbations of the body, they are necessitated to follow it blindly, led by fatality or chance, for the procreation of the species. Each soul burns with the desire to find its companion; and, when they do meet together in their pilgrimage on earth, their love becomes so much the more ardent, because the matter by which they are enclosed prevents their re-union. On these occasions their pleasures, their sufferings, their ecsta- sies, are inexpressible: each endeavours to make itself known to the other; a celestial light burns in the eyes; an immortal beauty beams in the countenance; the heart feels less tendency to earth, and they mutually incite each other to the exaltation and purification of their virtue. In proportion as they love each other, they are lifted towards God, who is their common origin; and, in proportion as they feel the pains of their exile upon earth, and their captivity in matter, they desire to be freed, in order that they may unite eternally in heaven.”— Now, since the whole system is founded on the hypothesis, ‘‘ that each soul has a predestined sympathy towards one other soul only’—and since each person imagines, ‘that the being to whom he is attached is the most perfect,” it follows ‘‘ that every platonic lover ought to strive always to attain to the highest degree of moral perfection.”
Now, here is a wiki article on Laura de Noves, who is said to have inspired Petrarch’s lyrical love poetry:
“Petrarch saw her for the first time on 6 April (Good Friday) in 1327 at Easter mass in the church of Sainte-Claire d’Avignon. Since this first encounter with Laura, Petrarch spent the next three years in Avignon singing his romantic love and stalking Laura in church and on her walks, even purchasing a small estate in 1337 at Vaucluse to be near her. There is no evidence to suggest that Laura and Petrarch had a relationship, or that they were even acquaintances. At this estate, for the next three years, he wrote numerous sonnets in her praise. Petrarch’s Canzoniere (Songbook) is the lyrics to her in the troubadour tradition of courtly love. They advanced the growth of Italian as a literary language. They also popularized this form of sonnet that is called Petrarchan sonnet. Years after her death Petrarch wrote his Trionfi, which is a religious allegory in which Laura is idealized.”
Laura was a married woman. This is all sounding similar to Goethe’s Young Werther story, at least in the kind of Love felt.
I don’t have much more to add to this, other than Petrarch was Simone who valued a secluded and contemplative life… who was very spiritual, inwardly Christian, yet was completely taken away by this feeling all the same time. Might this be something he never quite reconciled with, at least that particular incarnation – as Plutarch?
Fascinating…I got shivers…
This theme may play into the quote that I am sharing today from Steiner given 100 Years ago on 19 Nov. 1922!
Apologies on the typos, I meant ‘Petrarch’ at the end, not Plutarch… and not Simone, rather, ‘someone’ 😉
haha Interesting typos eh…