Dear friends – In many essays here on RR I am often called “to follow the path of humankind’s spiritual development” – Which Steiner explains is revealed in the Calendar of the Soul. And so I ask: How do our cosmic origins affect our lives today?
In order to transport ourselves into what went on spiritually in the ancient evolutionary phases, we have to raise our inner vision to a time when the human soul 1st aspires to comprehend the nature of the Spirits of Wisdom, & begins to prepare for a higher striving. This has its origin in what may be called: a “readiness to bestow,” a willingness to give, to give of oneself.
With this contemplation we encounter a soul-mood of “longing”. And what is this longing? Steiner describes it as a “Homesickness”.
It is a kind of willing; an unattainable yearning of the will.
We can characterize the mood of the Thrones, those Spirits of Will whose sacrifice was rejected, to be of this nature. What we may discover in the depths of our own soul-life as longing, is a heritage coming to us from these primeval times.
Just as we have inherited other qualities from these ancient stages of evolution – the sacrifice of Fire, the giving quality of air, & the renunciation that lives in water – we also inherit from ancient Moon, all kinds of longings, all kinds of repressed wishes impossible to fulfil – of will that is lamed.
Thru the rejection of the sacrifice there came into existence beings with a repressed, held back will.
We can picture the ones whose sacrifice was accepted, we can rejoice in how they were able to join their will with the Spirits of Harmony, the choir of Beings a step above them on the ladder of evolution. As human beings we can relate to their feelings of joy & unity.
We can also relate to those who were rejected – excluded from this union – those that remained behind with repressed longings & wishes.
These Spirits of Will who wanted to offer all that dwelt within them were compelled, because of the rejection of their sacrifice, to draw back into themselves.
From this, Steiner shares that “egoity flashed up”! Which we can see is a big part of our heritage today. From Spiritual Science we learn that a mild form of this egoity is longing.
In those primal times we see how these beings who were forced to focus only on themselves, on their egoity, would be condemned to a one-sided development, IF something else had not entered evolution to redress the balance.
On ancient Moon we see arriving on the scene – the Spirits of Movement – who “prevent the condemnation & exile into one-sidedness.“
Movement here can be compared to the fluid movement of our own thought. Thru the watery element of old moon – The Spirits of Movement guide the rejected Spirits of Will that had been driven back into themselves; moving them out into relation with all the other higher Beings, bridging the gap – creating a relationship between those Beings.
We can get an idea of what was going on in the Cosmos at this stage of evolution if we reflect upon our own corresponding disposition of soul: when we feel stuck! We all know the torment of this, how it drives our state of mind.
As a way to numb ourselves when things become too painful, we may dumb it down – which can be described as “a state of boredom” – a feeling of ennui – a paralyzed will, a malaise.
But really, this ‘boredom’, at its core, is longing.
And as we may have experienced, the torment of longing can often be overcome thru our relationships – pulling us out ourselves into the other.
From Lecture 4 of Steiner’s ‘Inner Realities of Evolution’: “Thus we see that while the earth was passing through her Moon-phase, the Spirits of Movement brought into the lives of those beings who were filled with longing, and would otherwise have been desolate — for boredom is also a kind of desolation — the change which is brought about by movement, a constantly renewed relation to ever new beings and new conditions…We can then overcome the one-sidedness of longing by means of variety, by change and the movement of the things experienced.”
As the Spirits of Movement introduce change & movement into the Universe, the Will that is a longing, is transformed within these Beings into “thought pictures.” We can relate this to the fluid pictures of our human dreaming.
But even with the help of the Dynamis there is not the ability to completely merge with the higher beings, because this new aspect of ‘egoism’ within the will, prevents it.
But they are able to take in a transitory picture of the other being, which lives in them like a dream-picture. At this phase of development we see the arising of “picture-consciousness“.
It’s mind-blowing to think how we ourselves, as rudimentary human beings, passed thru this phase of evolution, so, yessiree bob, we too are infused with these feelings of longing & this ability to live into “thought pictures.”
What’s interesting to me is how this gift of the Spirits of Movement has in our time become so debased. The constant use of screens – an overloading of images coming from sub-nature which actually exasperates our craving – turning it into an addiction – distracting us from cultivating our own picture-consciousness, which I believe we are meant to use to perceive the Etheric Christ.
If we take this to heart, it gives us both the spiritual basis of what developed during the moon-phase of our Earth, & how this has affected “the deep subsoil of our being“. – It’s like how a movement under the surface of the ocean drives up the waves – this sub-conscious stuff influences us, without us being aware of its ancient cause.
Again Steiner hits the nail on the head: “By the constant succession of pictures, arising one after the other, the yearning is satisfied and brought into harmony; but should the pictures remain any length of time the old longing begins to glimmer faintly up from the depths and the Spirits of Movement call up new pictures. And when these have been there for a little time the longing arises again, demanding fresh ones. Now with respect to a soul-life such as this the momentous sentence must be pronounced: if this longing can only be satisfied by a continual flow of pictures following one after the other, there would be no end to the infinite flow. The only thing that can supervene on this is what must come if the endless flow of pictures is to be replaced by something that is able to redeem it otherwise than by mere pictures — namely, by realities! In other words, the planetary embodiment of our earth through which we have passed, when pictures were brought to us by the activity of the Spirits of Movement, must be replaced by that planetary phase of the earth’s embodiment which we call the phase of redemption. We shall see presently that the earth is to be called the “Planet of Redemption,” just as her last embodiment — that of the Moon-existence — may be called the “Planet of Longing”; longing capable of satisfaction yet flowing on endlessly.
And while we live in the consciousness belonging to this earth, in which as we know redemption comes to us through the Mystery of Golgotha — there arises continually within us from the subsoil of our soul, a never-ceasing craving for redemption. It is as though, on the surface, we had the waves of our ordinary consciousness — while below, in the depths of the sea of our soul-life, lives longing, which is the ocean-bed of our soul. This strives continually to ascend to the One who accomplishes the sacrifice, the Universal Being, Who is able to satisfy the longing once and for all time — not in a never-ceasing succession of pictures.”
May we take this into our thinking, feeling & willing.
18 November 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: All month Jupiter shines below the Great Square of Pegasus, boxy emblem of the fall sky.
Orion clears the eastern horizon by around 8 pm CT. now. Upper left of Orion, bright Mars glares. Keep going upper left of Mars & there’s Capella.
High straighter above Orion are Aldebaran & higher still, the little Pleiades cluster, the size of your fingertip at arm’s length.
Down below Orion, Sirius rises around 10 pm. Sirius always follows two hours behind Orion.
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1923 – The founding of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society. Willem Zeylmans van Emmichhoven becomes its General Secretary.
1961- Deathday of Willem Zeylmans van Emmichhoven, a Dutch psychiatrist and anthroposophist. From 1923 until his death in 1961 he was chairman of the Dutch Anthroposophical Society. He was a familiar figure in public life & had a considerable influence on the Anthroposophic movement, particularly through his numerous lectures & his work as an author, which included the first biography of Rudolf Steiner.
Zeylmans was the son of a Dutch chocolate manufacturer. His mother came from Germany. In childhood he was often troubled by visions of color & emotional turmoil that later stimulated his preoccupation with what would later be called synesthesia: a condition when you hear a sound & automatically see a color. After recovering from an attack of typhoid, he entered medical school at eighteen, specializing in psychiatry. His interest in color, inspired by the painter Jacoba van Heemskerck & her friend & patron Marie Tak van Poortvliet, led him to research more about the effects of colors. He continued his medical studies in Leipzig under Wilhelm Wundt in 1919, where he became a member of the Anthroposophical Society. After meeting with Rudolf Steiner, he was encouraged to continue his research into the effect of colors & in his dissertation he wrote on “The effect of colors on the life of feeling.’’ On 27 September 1921 he was married to Ingeborg Droogleever Fortuyn, whom he had met for the first time many years earlier. Their first son was born in 1926.
At the age of 28, Zeylmans began lecturing on Anthroposophy to an enthusiastic public, as well as academic colleagues. He helped establish the first Waldorf School in The Hague, where he also founded a small psychiatric hospital, which soon moved into its own building (now the Rudolf Steiner Zorg). When the Anthroposophical Society was founded in the Netherlands, Rudolf Steiner appointed him as its first General Secretary. In addition to his psychiatric work Zeylmans undertook worldwide lecture tours. He spoke often about the effect of color on humans & gave advice to paint manufacturers, architects, directors of museums & artists.
Zeylman’s primary concerns were the rapprochement & understanding between the different nations & peoples, as well as a furtherance of cosmopolitanism. His attempt to found the global schools association suggested by Rudolf Steiner (a ‘”Weltschulverein”), to promote the dissemination & funding for free school education, failed due to resistance from anthroposophic circles against fostering broader public awareness.
In the face of increasing political fanaticism, another initiative Zeylmans took was to further interest for anthroposophy in European youth. In the summer of 1930 he organized a youth camp on the Stakenberg near Nunspeet in the Veluwe. More than a thousand participants gathered in working groups & heard lectures by leading anthroposophists like Eugen Kolisko, Walter Johannes Stein, Elisabeth Vreede & Ita Wegman on their thoughts to the situation of the time.
His work, however, was increasingly restricted by political developments. His involvement with the administration of the General Anthroposophical Society in Dornach Switzerland also met with increasing disapproval. The internal disputes since the death of Rudolf Steiner & his close collaboration with the physician Ita Wegman in 1935 led to his exclusion & that of the majority of the Dutch members.
After the war Zeylmans took up once again his international lecturing work. In 1954 he embarked on a global tour for nine months. Encouraged by Bernard Lievegoed, in 1960 he sought a mandate from the members of the Anthroposophical Society in the Netherlands to reunite it once more, after 25 years of separation, with the General Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Switzerland. He undertook a second journey through South Africa in 1961, visiting the newly established Waldorf schools & other institutions to give advice & hold lectures. During this trip, he died unexpectedly in Cape Town.
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.