~The Lady of Shalott by William Holman Hunt
One of my ongoing Life Questions has to do with understanding Karmic Relationships. So I was excited to jump into this Steiner lecture given on this day in 1906. It is full of the mystery wisdom seen in the Evolution of Human Consciousness – the awareness of our progressive internal & external existence, & is worth the read.
AT THE GATES OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE, GA 95, lecture 8. Good and Evil. Individual Karmic Questions. 29 August 1906, Stuttgart
“…What does occult science have to say about the origin of conscience? How did such an inner voice come into being?..
Conscience is the outcome of experiences spread over a number of incarnations…it has come into being as a result of trial and error…
A motive such as conscience binds itself to the etheric body, becoming in time a permanent characteristic of it because the astral body has been so often convinced that this or that would not do.
Another interesting karmic relationship is between an habitually selfish attitude and a loving sympathy with others. Some people are hardened egoists — not only in their acquisitiveness — and others are unselfish and sympathetic. Both attitudes depend on the etheric body and may even find expression in the physical body. People who in one life have been habitually selfish will age quickly in their next life; they seem to shrivel up. On the other hand, if in one life you have been ready to make sacrifices and have loved others, you will remain young and hale. In this way you can prepare even the physical body for the next life.
Fabre d’Olivet, who has investigated the origins of the Book of Genesis, once used a beautiful simile, comparing destiny with a natural process. The valuable pearl, he says, derives from an illness: it is a secretion of the oyster, so that in this case life has to fall sick in order to produce something precious. In the same way, physical illnesses in one life reappear in the next life as physical beauty. Either the physical body becomes more beautiful as a result of the illness it endured; or it may be that an illness a man has caught from infection in his environment is compensated by the beauty of his new environment.
Beauty thus develops, karmically, out of pain, suffering, privation and illness. This may seem a startling connection, but it is a fact. Even the appreciation of beauty develops in this way: there can be no beauty in the world without pain and suffering and illness. The same general law holds for the history of man’s evolution. You will see from this how wonderful karmic relationships really are, and how questions about evil, illness and pain cannot be answered without knowledge of the important inner relationships within the evolution of humanity.
What is inward has to become outward, and man will rise still higher when his karma has worked itself out. With all this something of extraordinary interest is connected. Centuries ago, with the future development of humanity in view, secret Orders which set themselves the highest conceivable tasks were established. One such Order was the Manichean…
The power to effect this change will bring about a condition of moral holiness on Earth. But this can be achieved only if the evil has first come into existence; then the power needed to overcome the evil will yield a power that can reach the heights of holiness.
A field has to be treated with manure and the manure has to ferment in the soil; similarly, humanity needs the manure of evil in order to attain to the highest holiness. And herein lies the mission of evil.
A man’s muscles get strong by use; and equally, if good is to rise to the heights of holiness, it must first overcome the evil which opposes it. The task of evil is to promote the ascent of man. Things such as this give us a glimpse into the secret of life.
Later on, when man has overcome evil, he can go on to redeem the creatures he has thrust down, and at whose cost he has ascended. That is the purpose of evolution…
If you do not look beyond the physical world of the senses, you will never understand illness, or the mission of evil. In all such relationships there is a deep meaning. Evolution had to take its course in this way, through a process of splitting off, because man was to become an inward being; he had to put all this out of himself in order that he might be able to see his own self.
So we can come to understand the mission of illness, of evil, and even of the external world. We are led to these great interconnections by studying the law of karma…” ~Rudolf Steiner
29 August 2023 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Tonight is the Eve of the Full Blue (2nd full moon this month) Sturgeon Moon. Both Saturn & Bella Luna are at opposition, so they shine together
“History, historical life, will only be seen in the right light when a true consciousness of the connection between the so-called living with the so-called dead can be developed” – The Living and the Dead by Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, 5th February, 1918
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
33 – Beheading of John the Baptist
“If we pass on to the sixth chapter of Mark we hear fully described how King Herod had John the Baptist beheaded. The tortured conscience of Herod arouses a strange foreboding in him. When he hears all that has occurred through Christ Jesus he says, “John, whom I beheaded, has been restored to life!” Herod feels that, though the physical personality of John had gone away, he is now all the more present! He feels that his atmosphere, his spirituality — which was none other than the spirituality of Elijah, is still there. His tormented conscience causes him to be aware that John the Baptist, that is, Elijah, is still there.
But then something strange happens. We are shown how, after John the Baptist had met his physical death, Christ Jesus came to the very neighborhood where John had worked. I want you to take particular notice of a remarkable passage and not to skim over it lightly, for the words of the Gospels are not written for rhetorical effect, nor journalistically. Something very significant is said here. Jesus Christ appears among the throng of followers and disciples of John the Baptist, and this fact is expressed in a sentence to which we must give careful attention: “And as Jesus came out He saw a great crowd,” by which could be meant only the disciples of John, “and He had compassion on them …” (Mark 6:34.) Why compassion? Because they had lost their master, they were there without John, whose headless corpse we are told had been carried to his grave. But even more precisely is it said, “for they were like sheep who had lost their shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.” It cannot be indicated any more clearly how He teaches John’s disciples. He teaches them because the spirit of Elijah, which is at the same time the spirit of John the Baptist, is still active among them. Thus it is again indicated with dramatic power in these significant passages of the Mark Gospel how the spirit of Christ Jesus entered into what had been prepared by the spirit of Elijah-John. Even so this is only one of the main points, around which many other significant things are grouped.
I will now call your attention to one thing more. I have several times pointed out how this spirit of Elijah or John continued to act in such a way as to impress its impulses into world history. I have often mentioned that the soul of Elijah-John appeared again in the painter Raphael. This is one of those facts that call attention to the metamorphoses of souls that take place under the impetus given by the Mystery of Golgotha. Because it was also necessary that in the post-Christian era such a soul should work in Raphael through the medium of a single personality; what in ancient times was so comprehensive and world encompassing now appears in such a different personality as that of Raphael. Can we not feel that the aura that hovered round Elijah-John is also present in Raphael? That in Raphael there were such similarities to these two others that we could even say that this element was too great to be able to enter into a single personality but hovered round it, so that the revelations received by this personality seemed like an illumination? Such was indeed the case with Raphael!” ~Rudolf Steiner, Gospel of Mark: Lecture 3
Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Prep-Stir / Potluck / Bon-fire
6 – 8 pm at the Lucchesi-Archer-Ginsberg domicile
Please Bring Food & Drink to share, & a jar for the prep
30 September 2023 – Michaelmas Festival & Zinniker Farm Day