Friends, I wanted to take an interlude today from the work of understanding the origins of the ‘Sacred Wound’ to bring you this fascinating quote from Rudolf Steiner, given 100 years ago today: 19 November 1922, London, PLANETARY SPHERES AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON MANS LIFE ON EARTH AND IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS, Lecture VI. Christ and the Metamorphoses of Karma.
“The human being prepares the spiritual seed of his own physical body, which he takes over when he steps forth into his new life on Earth. Now however, since the Christ-Michael-leadership has begun, men will be able ever increasingly to make another important decision before they come down to Earth. Today as yet only a few will do so; a growing number will as time goes on. For spiritual knowledge sheds its light not only on the Earth, but out into the higher realms as well. Through the present leadership of Michael man will now learn to make a very significant decision at the moment when he has already taken on his Karma — taken it into his new ether-body — but is still only setting out upon the way into the physical. With the increasing spread of spiritual knowledge on the Earth and with man’s growing experience within himself of universal human love, the following possibility will arise for mankind in coming time.
When at the point of descending into a next earthly life, man will be able to say to himself: ‘This is the body I have been preparing; yet, having sent it down to Earth and having now received my Karma into the ether-body which I have drawn together from the Cosmos, I see how it is with this Karma. Through something that I did in former lives I see that I have gravely hurt some other human being.’ For we are always in the danger of hurting others through the things we do. The light of judgment as to what we have done to another man will be particularly vivid at this moment when we are still living only in our ether-body, having not yet put on the physical. Here too in future time the light of Michael will be working, and the love of Christ. And we shall then be enabled to bring about a change in our decision, — namely to give to the other man the body we have been preparing, while we ourselves take on the body he prepared, whom we have injured.
Such is the mighty transition which will be taking place from now onward in the spiritual life of men. It will be possible for us of our own decision to enter into the body prepared perforce by another human soul to whom we once did grievous harm; he on the other hand will be enabled to enter into the body we prepared. What we are able to achieve on Earth will thus bring about Karmic compensation in quite another way than heretofore.
We human beings shall be able even to exchange our physical bodies. Indeed, the Earth could never reach her goal if this did not take place; mankind would never grow into a single whole.
In preparation for future planetary embodiments of the Earth, a time must come in earthly evolution when it will be impossible for one individual to enjoy things on the Earth at the expense of another. As in a plant the single leaf or petal feels itself a member of the whole and shares — pictorially speaking — in the weal and woe of the whole plant, so must a future come for the planet Earth when one human being will not want to enjoy happiness at the expense of the whole, but man will feel a member of mankind. And it will be the true spiritual counterpart of this when we shall learn to prepare the physical body even for one another.
Moreover, as our incarnations of the Earth go on, this will lead even further. For in thus working for one another in the spirit, we shall prepare for a yet later time, to tell the character of which will sound completely strange and paradoxical, yet it is true. For in that more distant future, human souls even while on Earth will be able to go across into the bodies of those to whom they have done some special hurt and to receive the other soul into their own body. That will be when the Earth herself will have passed into quite new conditions. Yet it is also being prepared for by the actual and impending change of which I have been telling, and which is coming about in the spiritual world through the leadership of Michael.
From this example you can see most vividly the essence of “ideal magic”. If while on Earth you are receptive to the illumination that comes from Spiritual Science, then you are truly helping on the leadership of Michael. Then you are helping on those spiritual forces which will enable men so to live for one another, that even in deciding upon the physical body they are to take, they will consider what is best for all mankind. When we are choosing our physical body, this will determine our decision. If you prepare for this event even now on Earth — prepare for it by the Wisdom-of-Man and by the Love-of-Man — what you are doing will have reality in the spiritual world. And this is true “ideal magic”. It is the true “white magic” as it was called in olden times, and into it mankind is now about to enter.
I wanted to tell you of this most vital factor which has now come into the evolutionary pathway of mankind. We must not shrink for want of courage when it is needful to unveil facts of the spiritual world entering deep into the life of man. For the whole future of mankind depends on man’s learning really to live with the spiritual world as naturally as on the Earth he lives with the physical. Mankind must learn to be at home again in the spiritual world as it was in the beginning, in primeval time. Only by doing so shall we be helping mankind’s future. In the true sense we must understand the word of Christ: “My Kingdom is not of this world”. How then shall we understand it? Did He not after all come down to Earth? Should He not therefore have said: “My kingdom is of this world?” No, He did not say that, for He intended gradually to transform the Earth into a Kingdom that should not be utterly absorbed in earthly things, but should pass over, ever more and more, into a spiritual state. Christ’s Kingdom is not as the Earth was until the Mystery of Golgotha, nor as it still continued, running on in the old lines as if by dint of inertia. The Spirit shall prevail upon the Earth, — such is His Kingdom! And this will come to pass when mankind truly comprehends the leadership of Michael. Nor is true comprehension proved in any other way than by the quest I have now indicated — the quest of spiritual illumination and of human, Christ-filled love.” ~Rudolf Steiner
& go out the same door
A portal ever undulating
To greet the passage of Time
To trace the footfall
Of a hidden god
To stand in space
When the rest disappears
In a face of flowers out of season…
No day passes
When we are not
Part of each other
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 Hazel@reverseRitual.com
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.
11 thoughts on ““Ideal Magic””
“Anyone who approaches the Mysteries today must feel that he is confronting himself in such a way that he will strive after the virtues of Parsifal, while knowing that — because of the modern conditions already described and because he is a man of modern times — he is in fact someone else also, the wounded Amfortas. A man of our time carries within him this double nature — aspiring Parsifal, wounded Amfortas. That is what his self-knowledge must lead him to feel. Then from this recognition will flow the forces which out of duality must make a unity, and so should bring man a little further on in the course of world-evolution. In our Intellectual Soul, in the depths of our inner life, there must be a meeting between Amfortas, wounded in body and soul, and Parsifal, whose task is to cultivate the Consciousness Soul. And it is entirely true to say that in order to gain freedom for himself, a man must go through the “wounding” of Amfortas and become acquainted with the Amfortas within himself, so that he may also come to know Parsifal. Just as it was right for Egyptian times that one should rise up into the spiritual worlds in order to know Isis, so is it right for our times to start with the spirituality, the spiritual nature, of this world, and through it to rise into the higher spiritual worlds. A wish to deny the Amfortas-nature is not a true characteristic of our time. It is because modern man is so fond of surrounding himself with Maya that he wants to deny Amfortas. For how delightful it sounds when we hear it said: “Humanity is always advancing!” Yes, but this “advance” follows a very tortuous path. And in order to develop the forces of Parsifal in human nature, the Amfortas-nature in man must be recognised.”
Yes this Steiner Quote that the Central Reginal Council has worked with in their theme of the Grail Mysteries relates to today’s offering by Steiner on Spiritual Economy.
Of course this quote is referring more to a personal responsibility to take up our own spiritual development. And the one given 100 years ago today is more of a future social impulse related to karmic relationships, which was new to me.
Well, a hundred years has transpired since this social impulse was forecasted for the future and it can be shown that Steiner was already beginning to cognitively perceive it when he expressed this about the “wound of Amfortas” in the lecture from 1913. If we all bear this wound it is because we all bear a ‘sacred wound’ that afflicts this life. Mine occurred in the summer of 1958, and I must tell you that my father was very much of an Amfortas figure having suffered extreme trauma in WW II. Steiner’s lecture from a hundred years ago today also cites this, which can be traced to this earlier lecture from 1913:
“What, in effect, is the relation to the human being of all the learning and information accumulated in the last few centuries? It lives as knowledge in the human head; it does not reach the entire man, — it fails to flow from the head into the human being as a whole. Knowledge of this sort then becomes a kind of tumour in the soul. Failing to receive the proper forces from the rest of the human being, it gradually hardens. This is what happens when we merely grow more clever in our head, and the appropriate feelings, springing from the rest of our human being, no longer permeate our increasing cleverness. A kind of cancerous growth becomes established in our soul and spiritual life. The head itself cannot truly thrive if the whole human being is not living in the world with heartfelt love, and also willing what he loves.”
That is why we bear today a so-called “sacred wound”. It is because the soul has become unconscious where it was once conscious, and something that was once alive and well in the physical organism has died. In the Parsifal saga, Parsifal failed to ask Amfortas the questions that would have led to the healing of the affliction that plagued him, and this had the effect that Parsifal had to start all over again in his quest for the Holy Grail. As such, their karma was linked in an especially important way for their next life together as father and son. This enabled the special work of the Christ to take place between them as indicated in the citations from the lecture from a hundred years ago in which a new metamorphosis of karma is being worked out by Christ.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” ~Hermes Trismegistus
This seems to be the antidote to the Parsifal/Amfortas equation. It really is a metamorphosis between the two dynamics, which we can also see working in the being of Goethe… as you write:
“This enabled the special work of the Christ to take place between them as indicated in the citations from the lecture from a hundred years ago in which a new metamorphosis of karma is being worked out by Christ.”
I was thinking how collectively, we have to heal the Amfortas aspect in our society. There is one popular figure who actually said this, in different words, and I thought that was refreshing to hear it being said, in a political debate of all places! When Marianne Williamson, who was running for the Democratic primaries, she said that there was a a ‘dark cloud’ over America that needs to be healed (or something to that effect, I don’t have the exact quote). The result was her being the subject of jokes, no one took this statement seriously and just laughed about it. But she was/is right in saying so.
My point is, is that much stress/anxiety/depression in individuals is caused by disconnection to society as a whole. It is so deep that it renders many helpless, and adopt a kind of fatalistic attitude. Of course, we have to learn to get past this as individuals and do what we can. The individual healing can eventually contribute to collective healing.
It’s true that collectively we share the Amfortas wound – It seems that society is stuck in the adolescence phrase – all astral urges & selfish desires.
I pray that we can mature & come to a cooperative place that champions people like Marianne Williamson. What a powerful reality she could bring to political realm. Her world view would also bring love into the economic & cultural realms.
When we see a moral person like her being scorned, it does foster a disconnect in the soul life of a striving human being, which can lead to a fatalism.
Working to unfold Anthroposophia thru inner development helps me get perspective, & strengthens me to do the hard task of healing my personal & collective wounds. It is my hope that when we join with others who are also doing their inner work, making steps to embody the Christ impulse, a healing resonance of change can vibrate out like a healing balm into the etheric we all share…This is my hope & imagination anyway…
I was impressed by where Rudolf Steiner says:
” ….. the essence of “ideal magic”. If while on Earth you are receptive to the illumination that comes from Spiritual Science, then you are truly helping on the leadership of Michael. Then you are helping on those spiritual forces which will enable men so to live for one another, that even in deciding upon the physical body they are to take, they will consider what is best for all mankind. When we are choosing our physical body, this will determine our decision. If you prepare for this event even now on Earth — prepare for it by the Wisdom-of-Man and by the Love-of-Man — what you are doing will have reality in the spiritual world. And this is true “ideal magic”. It is the true “white magic” as it was called in olden times, and into it mankind is now about to enter.”
This “ideal magic” can be equated to the the “magic idealism” of Novalis, and especially it seems, where Steiner refers to Novalis in his Last Address:
“When we read the “Fragments” of Novalis, and give ourselves up to the life that flows so abundantly in them, we can discover the secret of the deep impression they make on us. Whatever we have before us in immediate sense-reality, whatever the eye can see and recognise as beautiful — all this, through the magic idealism that lives in the soul of Novalis, appears in his poetry with a well-nigh heavenly splendour. The meanest and simplest material thing — with the magic idealism of his poetry he can make it live again in all its spiritual light and glory.
And so we see in Novalis a radiant and splendid forerunner of that Michael stream which is now to lead you all, my dear friends, while you live; and then, after you have gone through the gate of death, you will find in the spiritual super-sensible worlds all those others — among them also the being of whom I have been speaking to you today — all those with whom you are to prepare the work that shall be accomplished at the end of the century, and that shall lead mankind past the great crisis in which it is involved.”
For me, this evokes what Steiner had recently told his faithful members of the anthroposophical movement about their collective karma in returning to Earth by the end of the 20th century, including himself. As such, in this Last Address, he takes pains to place himself next to Novalis in the more concrete realization of the Michael Impulse serving Christ. This also has implications for the continuity of the lineage which began with Elijah.
Beautiful – such a Wonderful connection with Novalis – & with the ‘Michael Prophecy’ bringing the Platonists & Aristotelians together now after 100 years…
I pray we can fulfill the prophecy.
If Marianne Williamson sees a “dark cloud” over America’s head than it signifies a potentially fatal symptom of our age. America has a certain relationship to the Consciousness/Spiritual Soul in the same way that Russia has to the Spirit Self unfoldment to be seen in the 6th Cultural epoch, which is also the Time of Christ. Yet, Steiner’s prophecy of Michael has to be fulfilled. Certain forces would have it be that both the Russian and American Folk Souls be undermined at the same time in order to secure a defeat of the present and future plan of evolution. But, can that really happen?
An active dynamic would seem to be called for wherein the Spirits of Movement, or Dynamis, who led the Ancient Moon evolution, are invoked in an especially strong and concentrated way today. Yoking the Thinking, or “objective self”, with Willing, or “subjective self”, which stand as a polarity without the conscientious intervening of a third aspect, the Feeling Soul, is a definite methodology that comes with the advancement of the Michael Culture today. The dark cloud is an illusion born out of taking a stagnant position in the world. It is too bad that Marianne Williamson is not a student of Spiritual Science because she has power, and a persuasive voice.
Certainly something to ponder!