Listen to the ‘I Think Speech’ Podcast for Today.
“To meditate is to become a stage where the eternal and transitory meet, so that our actions can become those of the eternal, for which we are but mediators; we are the eyes and the hands of the primal spirit, who sees and creates through us. Out of the spirit, then, let us create a better world.”-Rudolf Steiner
Dear Friends – Our imaginative cognition is a treasure when it spins out scenarios that are aligned with our higher “I”. Then it’s an indispensable tool in creating a reality that brings in the flow of the universe. Nothing manifests on the material plane unless it first exists as a mental picture. We can form images of the tools we hope to wield in the world, & the conditions we’d like to inhabit.
But for most of us, the imagination is as much a curse as a blessing. We are just as likely to use it to conjure up premonitions that are at odds with our conscious values. Fearful fantasies regularly pop up, many disguising themselves as rational thoughts & genuine intuitions. They hijack our psychic energy, directing it to exhaust itself in dead-end deliberations.
Meanwhile, ill-suited longings are also lurking in our unconscious mind, impelling us to want things that aren’t good for us. Anytime we surrender to their allure, our imagination is practicing a form of black magic.
These unsavory aspects of our imagination are what Zen Buddhists describe as the chatter of the “monkey mind.” If we can stop associating our sense of self with this endless surge of slapdash distractions & fruitless fantasies, then we can ‘Be Here Now’ to see what is actually needed.
But whether our imagination is in service to our noble ideals or in the thrall of compulsive fears & inappropriate yearnings, there is one thing for sure: These thoughts can become prophesies.
Of course many of our visions of the future do not come to pass – Thank the good gods – The situations we expect to occur & the experiences we rehearse & dwell on, all the worry about the future, just zaps us, & lames our will. It’s downright self-destructive to keep infecting our imaginations with pictures of loss & failure, doom & gloom, fear & loathing.
The far more sensible approach is to anticipate blessings…
“Learn to dance, or else the angels in heaven will not know what to do with you”. ~Saint Augustine
21 January 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
259 – Deathday of St. Fructuosus, bishop of Tarragona arrested during the persecutions of Christians under the Roman Emperor Valerian. He was burned at the stake in the local amphitheater.
304 – Feast Day of St. Agnes of Rome a virgin martyr, 1 of 7 women, who along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, are commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass. She is the patron saint of chastity, gardeners, girls, engaged couples, rape survivors, virgins, & the Children of Mary. Agnes is depicted in art with a lamb. The name “Agnes” is derived from the feminine Greek adjective meaning “chaste, pure, sacred”
1793 – After being found guilty of treason Louis XVI of France is executed by guillotine
1841 – Birthday of Édouard Schuré, a French philosopher, poet, playwright, novelist, music critic, & publicist of esoteric literature. Born in the old cathedral city of Strasbourg. As a young boy he experienced events that, “Ieft traces upon my thoughts, to which my memory returns ever and again.” The result of these events he called “inner vision, evoked by impressions of the external world.” The first of these experiences occurred shortly after the death of his mother, when he & his father visited a resort in Alsace. On the walls of one of the buildings the ten-year-old boy saw a remarkable series of frescoes, depicting the world of undines, sylphs, gnomes & fire-spirits. Before these representations of the Elemental Beings, the boy was transported into another world, the world of creative fantasy. Like a talisman, the pictures awakened the magic forces of wonder in the child soul, & the result was a new perception.
Not long after the death of his father, which occurred when Schure was fourteen, he visited Paris, & saw for the first time the classical sculptures in the Louvre. The beauty of the Venus di Milo, of Dionysus, of the wounded Amazon, penetrated deeply into the boy, awakening in him a love & appreciation for the world of ancient Greece, which was to play so significant a role in his later work as a playwright. In these sculptures Schure became aware of the fact that a divine beauty can be made manifest in physical substance through the magic of art. At about this same time Schure read a description of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Ancient Greece, & the inner pictures this evoked were so vivid, so compelling, that he dedicated himself to the task of recreating the sacred drama of Eleusis for modern humanity. For Schure was convinced that through the experiencing of such a drama, people of modern times can acquire a totally new conception of the relationship between the spiritual striving of the ancient world & the religious conceptions of today.
Parallel with these experiences of soul & spirit, Schure’s early years were devoted to formal education. Eventually he received his degree in law at the University of Strasbourg, but he never entered into practice. He visited Germany, remaining there for a few years, during which time he wrote Histoire du lied published in 1868. In this book he expressed his love for music & poetry which had been enhanced by his personal acquaintance with Richard Wagner, then living in Munich.
Shortly after his return from his travels in Germany, Schure married the sister of his friend, the composer Nessler. They moved to Paris, where Schure continued his writing & studies, making friends with some of the most important men & women in the cultural life of France of his time. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, Schure & his wife went to Italy.
In Florence Schure made the second great friendship of his life. One day Malvida von Meysenbergs, the devoted admirer & helper of the philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, introduced Edouard Schure to a Greek lady, Margherita Albana Mignaty. The meeting made a profound impression upon Schure, an impression he was to recall clearly in the last year of his life: “When I saw those great sunny radiant eyes directed questioningly upon me, I felt my consciousness almost desert me, for my whole being seemed called upon to reveal itself.” In the presence of this beautiful woman, so reminiscent of the women of the classical Greece he so deeply loved, Schure once again found access to the spiritual world opening within him. In Margherita Albana Mignaty he discovered a soul to whom the unseen world was as immanent as the physical. This direct relationship with the spiritual world was the result of the death of her child, which had taken place some years before. Through their many conversations, Schure’s own spiritual perception broadened & deepened beyond anything he had previously imagined. He referred to her as his Muse, & saw in her a “spirit that moves mountains, a love which awakens and creates souls, and whose sublime inspiration burns like a radiant light.” on one occasion he asked her how she acquired such precise knowledge of the spiritual history of humankind, such intimate details concerning long-forgotten antiquity. Her reply was profoundly simple: “When I wish to penetrate to the very depths of a subject, I shut myself in my room and reveal myself to myself.” Through the inspiration of Margherita Albana Mignaty ‘as a testimony of a faith acquired and shared,’ Schure’s book The Great Initiates came into being.
Schuré now turned increasingly to the esoteric & the occult, his major influence being the famous French occultist-scholar Fabre d’Olivet. In 1884, he met the founder of the Theosophical Society Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Although unwelcome in the Theosophical Society, he nevertheless entered.
In 1900, the actress Marie von Sivers came into contact with him because she intended to translate his works into German (The Great Initiates, The Sacred Drama of Eleusis & The Children of Lucifer). At the German Section of the Theosophical Society, he met the Austrian philosopher & later founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner. In 1906, Sivers brought about a meeting between Schuré & Steiner. Schuré was deeply impressed & thought of Steiner as an authentic ‘initiate’ in line with his The Great Initiates. After hearing Steiner lecture in Paris for the first time in 1906, Schuré in an ecstatic state ran home & wrote down the entirety of the lecture from memory. This first lecture, & the other lectures in the series (which Schuré wrote down) were published as Esoteric Cosmology. Subsequently, Steiner & von Sivers staged Schuré’s esoteric dramas at the Theosophical Congresses in Berlin & Munich. Schuré’s The Children of Lucifer, served as a precursor of Rudolf Steiner’s own esoteric dramas.
In 1908 Schuré brought out Le Mystère Chrétien et les Mystères Antiques, a French translation of Steiner’s work Christianity as Mystical Fact & the Mysteries of Antiquity.
Édouard Schuré was often visited by Rudolf Steiner in Barr, Alsace. Steiner produced many of Schure’s plays. In speaking about his book The Great Initiates Steiner says: “Édouard Schuré speaks about the ‘Great Illuminated,’ the Great Initiates, who have looked deeply into the background of things, and from this background have given great impulses for the spiritual development of mankind. He traces the great spiritual deeds of Rama, Krishna, Hermes, Pythagoras and Plato, in order to show the unification of all these impulses in Christ…. The light streaming from Schuré’s book enlightens those who wish to be firmly rooted in the spiritual sources from which strength and certainty for modern life can be drawn.” ~Rudolf Steiner
1924 – Deathday of Vladimir Lenin
1950 – Deathday of George Orwell
1959 – Deathday of Cecil B. DeMille
Sunday 24 January 2021 – Reclaiming the Wisdom of America –
2–4 pm CST – An interactive Zoom Presentation with
Hazel Archer-Ginsberg, Rosemary McMullen, Anne Nicholson, Stewart Lundy, Sally Greenberg, Anne Dale
* Anne Nicholson, Social Scientist & tech guru is our Host
* Sally Greenberg – Opening Verse: Walt Whitman-Leaves of Grass
* Hazel Archer will explore the concept of Columbia as the Folk Spirit of America, as seen from the perspective of the Native Peoples’, as well as the Founding Fathers. How do we renew this for our age of the consciousness soul, as a preparation for the unveiling of the New Isis-Sophia in the 7th epoch – to fulfill the true destiny of America?
* Stewart Lundy of Perennial Roots Farm brings the connection of Bio-dynamics
* Rosemary McMullen sets the scene for the ancestors – ‘Land Acknowledgement’, as a way for each participant to look at their current placement in America. A look also at how The 3 Realms of Culture, Rights, Economy, becomes 4-fold when we bring in the element of Ecology.
* Artistic gesture: The Spirit of Place
* Sally Greenberg & Anne Dale: a contemplation of the expression of our Civil Responsibility that recommits us to our core values, to one another, & to the Spirit of Place & Time.
* Breakout Groups: Social Sharing – What do you see is wanting to come into being in America? How will you contribute to it? Each will share their artistic creation in relation to these questions to see if something new arises.
* Anne Nicholson: Plenary- Closing
* Anne Dale – Closing: Verse for America by Rudolf Steiner
We are bringing Anthroposophy to the People! Our presentation will be screened along with many other offerings from around the country in conjunction with ‘The People’s Inauguration’.
Only 100 zoom slots, so don’t be late
Time: Jan 24, 2021 02:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 705 293 1041 – Passcode: dove
Dial by your location-Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/a961qZZhF
Meeting ID: 705 293 1041 – Passcode: 664936
for more info. contact Events & Festivals Coordinator Hazel Archer-Ginsberg hag@rsChicago.org
4 thoughts on “Mental Pictures”
I am imagining tonight a possible situation in which your conference this Sunday might provoke a negative response from a certain element. It is the element that exists that is opposed to anthroposophy. I have had a great deal of experience with this over the years, and especially with those that deplore the European colonization of America. This, of course, is to be expected, and even more so today with people’s sensitivity to race and cultural freedom in the world. Thus, I want to draw attention again to a very important lecture that Rudolf Steiner gave in early January 1921, when he was in Stuttgart giving those 18 lectures on Astronomy (with clear intentions to overcome the Copernican model).
The lecture is “The Past Incarnations of the People of Today”, and it is utterly unique in what it has to say. I paraded its contents to our European allies a couple of years ago , and they did not much like the idea that practically the entire continent of Europe today is filled with the quick reincarnations of the original Native Americans! But, the salient features are clearly evident as a proof of similarity. The American continent before the colonization began in the early 17th century was comprised of some 600 individual tribes , all seeking a kind of “Differentiated Tribal States of America”. This has been transposed to present-day Europe , wherein any idea of a United States of Europe is rejected out of hand. This is an important proof.
The other aspect of this lecture, which is even more important, is what constitutes present-day America. According to Steiner, the larger populace of America today are the reincarnations of the ancient Indians from two thousand years ago! And, we spent a very long time in the spiritual world before incarnating again in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is because, while we knew nothing of the Christ Event, or the Mystery of Golgotha taking place at that time, we were deeply involved with Krishna, who was the personal god of the Hindus, and therefore our spiritual development involved studying Vedanta, Sankyha, and Yoga, which Krishna had originally taught to Arjuna, as recorded in the Bhagavad Gita.
It seems to me, then, in a kind of further imagination this evening, that America does indeed have an important role in the lead-up to the seventh cultural epoch. I think Steiner said as much a number of times, but my German friend thinks this could be presumptive, as if the present German Folk Soul of the fifth epoch, and the Russian Folk Soul of the sixth, will possibly amalgamate for the seventh.
All I know for sure is that it is 2021, and Rudolf Steiner gave these thoughts to his listening audience a hundred years ago. I also append the important lecture concerning how we must deal with our opponents. I have had a lot of experience battling against the opponents, and Steiner says somewhere that he expected that a few would have to do it as a karmic condition.
Yes dear brother, I have already begun to encounter this mindset of opposition, which is indeed my karmic lot.
I cannot go into these particular indications on Sunday as it is already a pack event with all there is to say about the Spirit of America, which is the stated theme.
Of course these truths from Steiner underlie my work. We shall see what the participants are wanting to bring, I do hope it includes an open mind & a willingness to be civil.
Will you be joining us?
Fascinating introduction to Edouard Schure. Thank you Hazel.
Fascinating also is the fact that Schure had a falling out with Rudolf Steiner over World War I. Schure called Steiner a chauvinist, supporter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and a German nationalist. This is to be expected considering the rather tenuous relationship between Germany and France since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871, and its fraudulent pretext for occurring. If Germany had won the first Battle of the Marne in September 1914, and they were within a few kilometers of Paris, the war would have ended quickly. But, the redeployment of German troops to the eastern border in order to engage the Russian threat had the effect of enabling the French troops to maintain their slim hope for success, and the war turned into a brutal four-year trench war. Schure finally realized his error in condemning Rudolf Steiner in 1921. He saw the cosmopolitan spirit that had been working steadfastly all the time for peace and harmony, and duly apologized for his own nationalist pride.