Online Whitsunday, 31 May 2020 from 10 am–11:15 am EDT Zoom Call* Sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society in New Hampshire
Through leading thoughts and conversation we are called to redeem the ether spheres to create an Ecclesia, a chalice for The Sophia. Then the spirit flame can spread out to become what Steiner called a “World Whitsun”, which began in earnest at the Christmas Conference. The Whitsun Festival highlights one of the greatest challenges of being human: placing our individual gifts, in right relationship within the social realm. This challenge is especially strong now during this ‘pandemic’. Our groups striving to know Spiritual Science must work together as a community, to have the possibility to create a new culture where a sacrament is possible in every encounter. Our individual strength is enhanced by weaving our gifts together, kindling our social world in conscious community.
The Festival of Whitsun or Pentecost (50 Days after Easter)
Rudolf Steiner calls it: Festival of the Holy Spirit
Festival of Flowers
Festival of United Soul Endeavor and Spirit Community
Festival of the Higher Self and the Universal Human Being
Festival of the human unbound from materialism
Festival of the purified astral body
– the lifting out of one’s egotism into universal caring
– out of opinion into truth
– out of opinion into wisdom
The heart of the human being as it opens to warmth & light is like the flower aligning itself to the Sun. And what pours down from the Sun, giving the flower the potency it needs, is like the tongues of fire descending upon the heads of the disciples. Human hearts, once warmed, can rise up to meet the Sophia, the source of wisdom.
Spiritual Science is a Whitsun gift. But we must grow ripe to withstand the surging of the Spirit. Whitsun is the festival of our true higher self, which as yet only hovers above us like a dove. Promoting us to ask: What are my gifts? How can I place them in right relationship within the social realm? How can I hone them to strengthen and enhance the world?
Our work is to take our individual Inner Whitsun & expand it, into what Steiner calls the “World Festival of Knowledge” a path leading from ‘Sprit Recollection’, to ‘Sprit Sensing’, to ‘Sprit Beholding’.
The Being of Anthroposophia lives within every striving individual who works in the world to continue this work of evolution. Our Sophia inspired Michaelic community can be seen as a vessel in which the Christ Being can unite with humanity. Warming the “I”, to open the heart, in support of healthy community, we will endeavor to strengthen our individual soul forces to collectively open the portal into the Spirit worlds to co-create a “World Whitsun” – Where separate egos are united by a common truth. “Where the senses can know no more”, the higher group-soul can descend. Schiller once said “Take the divine into your will & it descends from its cosmic throne.”
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”
Emil Bock 1992 The Rhythm of the Christian Year (Extracts):
The Whitsun festival is not just bestowed on us by nature. It must be uncovered out of the innermost reaches of our soul. It is the festival of the future, for the Holy Spirit, which we hope touches us at Whitsun, is always that which is not yet in existence. It is that which must ever come into existence through a new act of creation. Properly speaking, the Holy Spirit is the future. This is the reason why we still have to grow up towards the point of properly celebrating the Whitsun festival. We must mature towards that mighty blowing of the Holy Spirit. For Whitsun is the festival of our true higher self, which as yet only hovers above us.
At the same time, it is the festival of community, but not the one that emerges from human intimacies but the one that arises through the harmonizing of our higher selves that are one in Christ.
Whitsun is the esoteric festival of Christianity, the festival of the secret still in concealment. Yet it has always existed outwardly as well: the people celebrated it as the festival of the first fruits, in Hebrew Shavuot – the first gifts of newly awakening nature. The outer was the image of the inner. In the new esoteric context, Whitsun was the festival of the first fruits of the spirit. But as the first ray of the sun broke on that first Whitsun day of the wing-ed flames, the disciples experienced the beginning of a higher soul condition, the first ignition of a higher spirit spark. Mighty fulfillment blew through the room when, on this occasion, the fiery spirit flames blazed forth directly out of the Easter sun and brought along the experience of the inner presence of the Resurrected One.
It is thus a Pentecostal theme to speak of the ascension of man. We humans are now allowed to follow the tracks of the one who has ascended to heaven; a path up to the heights has been prepared that we can henceforth tread. There, we grow wings. For this to happen we must let the ground of our soul become warm. Just as air only rises when it becomes warm, so it is with our inner being. If our soul does not become warm and animated, it does not rise.
Solely and purely through prayer from the heart, from the feeling human nature, can the soul’s very being become warm and animated. This is the form of prayer in which we ask for nothing whatsoever and set out solely on the path to the Father. Then the heart becomes warm and the warmth allows our soul to ascend to where our true self exists. The soul’s union with the spirit then comes to pass and only in this way does man’s being become complete. The ego we possess, which is merely the shell of an ego, then is filled with the higher self as its true content. Thus we approach that sphere out of which the flames of Whitsun descended upon the disciples.
On the one hand, the Whitsun flames have warmth, on the other hand, they possess light. Their warmth must arise out of human hearts like a fire. Then the Spirit responds out of the sphere of the Father, where Christ and the Father are now one. The light flame of the Spirit sinks down, joining the warmth flame of the praying heart. The light flame from above answers to the warmth flame from below. Only when we have actively striven with sufficient patience and endurance to become warm, may we hope for illumination. Becoming warm is our task, then illumination is the answer from heaven. As the gifts of light from a higher realm come towards us, Whitsun expands into the world.
Now thinking can change and with that the whole activity of human life, which today is formed so utterly out of the intellectual forces. But once the human being truly thinks and not just his brain and cleverness, then the Holy Spirit joins such thinking, for then the true higher self thinks in man. Still, to begin with, without the Christ’s Grace of Ascension, this higher self is separated from us. When, in future Christ’s Grace bestows on us a new thinking, a new culture can finally come into being from the breath that touches us out of the Spirit of Pentecost.
‘Holy Spirit’ existed at the beginning of humanity’s earthly evolution. Through the Christ impulse it can and should exist in a new sense as we look towards the future. What is ‘holy’ is whole. In the primal beginning, world and man were still whole. As yet, the separating, wounding tear between creator and creation, heaven and earth, and spirit and substance did not exist. The Madonna-like open human soul was still an instrument of divine thinking and will, and thus a vessel of the Holy Spirit.
The significance of Whitsun and Damascus are great….We celebrate Whitsun in the right way when, as modern humans, we strive in a manner befitting the modern age for a fulfillment of the Spirit mysteries which, like a premonition and foretaste, shone forth once in early Christendom and the context of the Grail. Thinking in particular requires healing by the Spirit. As long as only the brain thinks, the reign of the lifeless, of death, spreads out evermore. When the spirit part of man moves through the Grail’s fire into the human being and likewise into human thinking, the Easter and Whitsun garden of a new living culture begins to bud and blossom.
The Festival of United Soul Endeavor (excerpt) Rudolf Steiner, Cologne, June 7, 1908
…In the past, mankind became free of the group-soul. Through spiritual-scientific knowledge mankind is now for the first time in position to discover with the utmost certainty of purpose what will unite mankind again. When people unite together in a higher wisdom, then out of higher worlds there descends a group-soul once more. What is willed by the Leaders of the spiritual-scientific Movement is that in it we should have a society in which hearts stream toward wisdom as plants stream toward sunlight.
In that together we turn our hearts towards a higher wisdom, we give a dwelling-place to the group-soul—we form the dwelling-place, the environment, in which the group-soul can incarnate. By developing what enables spiritual beings to come down out of higher worlds we will enrich earthly life.
This spirit-enlivened ideal was once placed before humanity in a most powerful way. It was when a number of disciples, all aglow with a common feeling of fervent love and devotion, were met together for a common deed. Then the sign was given, the sign that could show each individual with overwhelming power how in unity of soul he could provide a place for the incarnation of the common spirit.
In this company of souls the same thing was living: in the flowing together, in the harmony of their feeling they provided what was needed for the incarnation of a common spirit. That is expressed when it is said that the Holy Spirit, the universal, higher group soul, sank down as it were into incarnation. It is a symbol of what mankind should strive towards, how it should seek to become the dwelling-place for the Being who descends out of higher worlds.
The Easter event gave humanity the power to develop these experiences; the Whitsun event is the fruit of this power’s unfolding. Through the flowing of souls together towards the common wisdom there will always result that which gives a living connection with the forces and beings of higher worlds and with something which as yet has little significance for humanity, namely the Whitsun festival.
When people come to know what the coming down of the Holy Spirit in the future can mean for mankind, the Whitsun festival will once more become alive for them. Then it will be not only a memory of the event in Jerusalem; but there will arise for mankind the everlasting Whitsun festival, the festival of united soul-endeavor.
It will depend on human beings themselves what value and what result such ideals can have for humankind. When in this right way they strive towards wisdom, then will higher spirits unite themselves with the human being.
Chicago Festival Event: