Social Understanding, Liberty of Thought, Knowledge of the Spirit

The light in the soul Painting by Chirila Corina
Chirila Corina

‘I Think Speech’ podcast

Dear friends – Many a day I am staring at the white page asking the spiritual world what wants to be said in the moment. And I am constantly in a state of awe as to the synchronicities which bring the ever relevant wisdom from our Dear Dr. Steiner into the present need. This lecture How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome? Social Understanding, Liberty of Thought, Knowledge of the Spirit’, by Rudolf Steiner given in Zurich, October 10th, 1916, GA 168, is so pertinent & right on, it is meant to be read by us today. I have trimmed it, so if you have time, go & read the whole thing on the archives. It’s still quite lengthy here, but every word rings true. (The juiciest bits are emboldened have a *** next to the paragraph to draw your attention)Dig in dear ones, this is our work:

“As the fifth post-Atlantean epoch continues it will become increasingly difficult to bring ourselves into a right relationship with others, because this demands inner development, inner activity. How hard it is already in this present time for people drawn together by karma to understand each other.

The fifth post-Atlantean epoch requires of us that we should not dream our lives away in the dark, nor close our eyes to the condition of evolution, because this is an absolutely necessary condition. If the difficulty of coming to mutual understanding were not hanging over fifth post-Atlantean humanity, the cultivation of individuality — which belongs to the consciousness soul — would not be able to develop either. This must take place. Humanity will have to undergo this test.

Nevertheless, if only this negative aspect of evolutionary conditions in the fifth post-Atlantean period were to prevail, war and strife would inevitably arise, and find their way into even our most intimate concerns. I need only say – more and more conscious interest will have to be felt for SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING.

What have we had up to now in the shape of social understanding? All kinds of abstract ideals, concerned with national welfare and human happiness, have made their appearance. What in the first place is important is not to found sects and societies with fixed programmes. Practical knowledge of humanity, practical, effectual interest in humanity, this is what counts. For how do we judge a person whom we meet nowadays? As being agreeable to us, or the reverse. We make for ourselves an idea of what someone should be, and when we find that they differ from it we criticise. No progress will be made towards a true practical understanding of humanity until we do away with these prejudices and fancies for this person or that, and make up our minds to take people as they are.

How often, when two people meet for the first time, one of them arouses instantaneous antipathy in the other, whom he dislikes so much that afterwards whatever they have to do with each other is coloured by this dislike. As a consequence the karmic connection between them can be entirely blotted out, or set on a false track, and will have to be laid aside until the two meet again in their next incarnation. Sympathy and antipathy are the greatest enemies of true social interests, though only too little heed is paid to the fact.

Understanding for spiritual science would cause practical knowledge of the human soul to become matters of general interest. This is a necessity for social understanding if it is, to some extent, to create the opposite pole to the difficulty of understanding one another. Humanity must go through trials and provings, for the opposing forces set snares in our way. And accordingly feelings of sympathy and antipathy will be widespread, and it is only by consciously combating these superficial feelings that we shall bring the consciousness soul safely to birth.

Social understanding between people will also be more and more powerfully opposed by national sympathies and antipathies, they are fearful testings for humankind. Were they to gain the upper hand, we should dream away the development of the consciousness soul, because nationalism works in the opposite direction, and stands in the way of man’s independence by tending to make of him a mere reflection of this or that national group.

And further to this development: if as individualism increases religion does not adapt itself to the needs of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, but remains as it was suitable for the fourth post-Atlantean period, a certain drying up of the religious life must take place. In the fifth period Christ is actually entering the individual soul. Already, unconsciously or subconsciously, we all carry Christ within us. But this will not come from the imposing of fixed dogmas, only from doing all we can to further what will make Christ universally comprehensible, to further the spread of universal religious knowledge in general. The need for more and more tolerance, particularly where thought in connection with religious experience is concerned. We must try to make the essential nature of the different religions intelligible, to make clear different aspects of the Christ-conception. In this way we bring to every soul what it requires for its particular deepening. But we do not ourselves intervene in the moulding of the soul; we leave the soul, especially in the sphere of religion, its own liberty of thinking and scope to unfold this liberty.

Just as social understanding is necessary for the fifth post-Atlantean period at the point I have described, so is liberty of thought on religious grounds a fundamental condition for the development of the consciousness soul.



In this very age of the consciousness soul, the ahrimanic powers are most fiercely renewing their attack upon liberty of thought — the nerve and sinew in the stream of the spiritual scientific conception of life. And in the age which prompted by modern life feels the first stirrings of a need to think freely, we find the opposing power at work in the so-called Jesuitism of the different religions. It is actually brought to life in order that the strongest possible resistance may be offered to liberty of thought, so vital a necessity for the fifth post-Atlantean period. It will become more and more necessary to exterminate Jesuitism, the enemy in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch of free thinking, because from religion outwards liberty of thought must spread over every sphere of life. But as it must be striven for independently, humankind is put, as it were, to the proof, and difficulties spring up everywhere. These difficulties will increase as people of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch advance towards clear consciousness, yet feeling this at first to be a disadvantage, and in many respects stupefying themselves.

***So we find the clash of sharp conflict between germinating liberty of thought and the principle of authority which works into our times like a hang-over from the past. And there is a passion for dulling the consciousness and for self-deception where belief in authority is concerned. In our time putting faith in authority has become so great and so intensified that under its influence people are losing their power of judgment. We are becoming bound hand and foot to our belief in authority, with no wish to acquire discernment for healthy conditions of living. Above all we must realise that whole theories are being built up which in their turn will become the basis of convictions only serving to uphold belief in authority.

***In medicine, in law and in every other sphere people declare themselves from the outset incompetent to judge, and accept what science tells them. The complications of modern life make this understandable. But under the pressure of authority we shall become more and more helpless. And systematically to build up this force of authority, this habit of authority, is actually the principle of Jesuitism transferring itself to other spheres of life. We already find it in medical circles where a certain dogmatism strives after more power for the medical profession. This is typical of Jesuitical aspiration everywhere; and it will grow stronger and stronger.

***People will find themselves more and more tied down by what authority imposes upon them. And in face of this ahrimanic opposition — for such it is — salvation for the fifth post-Atlantean epoch will be found in asserting the rights of the consciousness soul which is wishing to develop. The development of the consciousness soul demands liberty of thought.

We see what tremendous and growing opposition there is to social understanding and liberty of thought. But this opposition is not acknowledged to be such; it is looked upon in the most extensive circles as right and proper, as something in no way to be condemned but on the contrary most carefully to be fostered.

There are, however, a great many people whose sincerity and clear vision make them fully aware of what dangers modern man is exposed to and who have a keen sense for what is already plain to see. There are already a sufficient number of people who realise that these necessary conditions can work for good only when they are faced with the understanding which rises from the very life of the heart. For the impulse for this new world-working must be consciously wrung out of the heart’s blood. What comes too easily brings estrangement between individuals. Every single soul has difficulties to encounter in the fifth post-Atlantean epoch because the consciousness soul can develop only through the testing occasioned by the overcoming of these difficulties.

***How often nowadays one hears: “I don’t know what to do with myself, I don’t know how to organise my life.” This comes from inability to see clearly what the needs of the present time are, and what the human beings position is with regard to them. Many people are reduced by existing conditions to physical illness, physical strain and loss of balance. And a real understanding for this must be more and more intensively cultivated because what threatens us, and is at the same time a necessity for the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, is the danger of DESTITUTION OF SOUL.

Many people see what this means and feel how necessary it is that we should come to social understanding on the one hand and liberty of thought on the other. But today very few are inclined to make use of the right means to this end. For social understanding, what would be necessary to achieve it, is only too often served by a hodge-podge of high-sounding phrases. The theoretical programme is the enemy of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch of culture. At present, what is the usual procedure? It begins with a drawing up of rules which at present puts everything into sections and regulations as if into a straight jacket. But what concerns us must be the life in common as individuals, what issues from actual human beings; that reciprocal understanding is what counts.

It stands to reason that to what has been said the following objections would be justified: “Yes, indeed — but we are not qualified to pronounce an opinion upon what experts nowadays officially give out. Only consider” — it might be objected — “what the medical student has to learn! That he should learn it is right and proper, but we could not; and then add to this what the lawyer must know, and the art student, and so on.” —

***Yes, we must allow the expert to create, but we must be able to criticise the expert. And this faculty of judgment we shall not acquire by specialising, but only by cultivating in an all-round way our powers of understanding and our faculty of judgment. This, however, can never come about through expert knowledge in some particular branch of science, but only through the all-embracing knowledge of the Spirit.

***Spiritual science must be the centre around which all the sciences revolve; for it not only throws light upon the connections in human evolution, but the way of thinking peculiar to it develops in us sound understanding. The construction of concepts and representations necessary for spiritual science, and peculiar to it, does not qualify us to become experts in any particular sphere, but it gives us the power of judging. And the reason for this will become more and more plain to see. There are mysterious forces in the human soul, and these forces, these mystery forces, will link the human soul with the spiritual world, and through our participation in spiritual science this link will enable us to use our judgment when we stand in the presence of authority. We shall be able to form our own judgment about it.

***Emphasis must be laid upon the fact that spiritual science not only teaches us but in this connection develops our faculty of judgment — that is to say, it makes possible and fosters the freedom and independence of our thinking. Spiritual science may not qualify us to enter the medical profession, but if we can penetrate to its reality it makes us capable of forming a right judgment upon the results of medicine in public life. Spiritual science will, remodel the human Intellect in such a way that man’s critical faculty may be able to unfold itself, and in releasing his intellectual life from the life of his soul he may be able to develop true liberty of thought.

…human beings on earth in their physical bodies should live with the Christ-thought in such a way that it can shine upwards as a light to the Angels — since the Mystery of Golgotha — shine up to the Angels as a light. The human beings says: Christ has entered into us, and we can develop in such a way that He will be able to dwell in us — “not I, but Christ in me.” The Angels say: Christ has gone from the sphere of our inner life, and He shines up to us now like so many stars in the Christ-thought of individual human beings; He shines up to us since the Mystery of Golgotha, and there we find Him again. There is a real connection between the spiritual world and the human world. And this is also shown by the fact that the spiritual beings who apart from ourselves inhabit the spiritual world look with satisfaction and approval upon our thoughts about their world. They can help us only if we think about them; and although we may not have attained to clairvoyant vision into the spiritual world, if we know about these spiritual beings they can help us. In return for our study of spiritual science help comes to us from the spiritual world. It is not merely the things we learn, the knowledge we acquire, it is the beings of the higher Hierarchies themselves who help us when we know about them.

***And if in future, as the fifth post-Atlantean epoch proceeds, we face the authority of the expert, it will be good to have behind us not only our own human understanding but also what the spiritual beings are able to weave into it through our knowing about them. They qualify us to confront authority with sound judgment. The spiritual world helps us. We have need of it, we must know about it, and unite ourselves with it through conscious understanding. This is the third thing which must come to pass in the fifth post-Atlantean period.




These three things must be the great true ideals of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. We must have reciprocal understanding in the social sphere, liberty of thought in religion and in the other branches of community life; and in the sphere of knowledge we must have knowledge of the spiritual worlds.

***SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING, LIBERTY OF THOUGHT, KNOWLEDGE OF THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS. These are the three great aims and impulses of the fifth post-Atlantean period. In the light of these impulses we must develop, for they are the true lights of our time. In this sense the three great concrete social ideals and ideals of cognition will enable the consciousness soul in the fifth post-Atlantean period to understand the Mystery of Golgotha, and to receive Christ in a new way. For we forge a real link with the spiritual worlds by learning to know how these worlds also stand to the central impulse of earth evolution, to the Christ impulse. The Christ impulse will become our real link with the spiritual worlds under the influence of the thoughts which stream from them earthwards, and which we offer up again in our thinking about Christ; because in earth existence since the Mystery of Golgotha the thoughts of human souls shine upwards consolingly like bright stars, as I have described, even to the world of the angels who lost Christ from their sphere in order that they might find Him again shining up to them from the sphere of human thinking.

~Rudolf Steiner, How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome?
Social Understanding, Liberty of Thought, Knowledge of the Spirit 10/10/1916. Zurich


5 May 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: You can thank Halley’s Comet for this meteor shower! Even though this comet was last seen in the sky in 1986, the debris cloud left behind causes the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower. To spot meteors streaking across the sky, look towards the constellation Aquarius before sunrise on 5/5 & 6th.

Waning moon goes by the planets Saturn and Jupiter in the predawn/dawn sky.
The Karma Project – Manifestations of Karma Study Group
May 5, 2021 – 7:15 pm Central (8:15 pm Eastern)

This is the other aspect of the karma of higher beings — that we develop a power of love which is not confined to humanity alone but which penetrates right into the cosmos. We shall be able to channel this love into beings higher than ourselves, and they will accept this as our offering. It will be a soul sacrifice. This sacrifice in soul will rise up to those who once poured their gifts upon us like the smoke of incense rising up to the spirits in times when human beings still possessed the gifts of the spirit. In those days they were only able to send up the symbolic smoke of sacrifice to the gods. In times to come they will send up streams of love to the spirits and out of this offering of love higher forces will pour down to humankind, which will work, with ever-increasing power, in our physical world, directed by the spiritual world. These will be magical forces in the true sense.“~Rudolf Steiner, Manifestations of KarmaChapter 11“Individual Karma and Shared Karma”, Hamburg, 28 May, 1910 … focus of the May 5 meeting.

The lecture can be found online at the RS Archive (eLib) by clicking this link: Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing  study conversation.  The study has been divided among four volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.This collection of lectures has been republished by Rudolf Steiner Press under the title: “Manifestations of Karma.”  This book is a translation from German of Die Offenbarung des Karma (Ga 120), published in English by Rudolf Steiner Press in 1996.

Video Conference Details:
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Meeting ID: 812 1011 0113

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If you have questions, please contact Alberto Loya
Agenda for our Study Call
7:15  Welcome and Introductions        
7:18  Verse
7:25  Study led by three volunteers
Note: CRC team will ID volunteers
          Camille – pg. 202 to 207
          Travis – pg. 207 to 212
          Mary – pg. 212 to 218
          Hazel – pg. 218 to end
8:05  Conversation
8:28  Close with verseDestiny

I bear within me what has Been
I feel within me what is Becoming
In willing, I carry both toward the Future
 Faith looks upon what has Been
And is founded upon Truth
 Trust looks upon what will be
And is founded upon Hope
 Love Embraces Here and Now
Eternal Becoming
Eternal Being
~Rudolf Steiner

Living into the Spheres of Cosmic Life and Cosmic Light: Easter, Ascension, Whitsun in the Calendar of the Soul  with Luigi Morelli, Hazel Archer and Geoff Norris – Zoom Host Frank Agrama

13 May 2021 Ascension Thursday 5- 6:30pm PT / 6-7:30 pm MT / 7 pm – 8:30 pm CT / 8-9:30 pm ET / 1 am – 2:30 am GMT / 2 am – 3:30 am CET

Join Zoom meeting: 

Meeting ID: 705 293 1041 – Passcode: Ascension

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Welcome – Frank Agrama

Verse #6 – Geoff Norris

Ascension: The Secret Teachings, The Elementals, & The Etheric Christ – Hazel Archer

Calendar of the Soul – Luigi Morelli

For those who are familiar with the Calendar of the Soul we could say that during spring and summer we follow the ascent of cosmic life, cosmic light, cosmic warmth and cosmic Word as gifts bestowed upon the human being by the cosmos. By being receptive to them we strengthen our connection to cosmos and Self.

We will briefly explore the dynamics of the year, then look at what qualities of soul we need to develop as we move into spring and summer, most particularly from Easter to Ascension and Whitsun. We will look at the verses of the calendar in conjunction with the artistic renditions of Anne Stockton and Karl König, drawn for each of the verses.

We will ask ourselves: How can we live into and grow from this time of the year? How can we deepen our inner relationship to the event of Ascension? What can we receive and what can we give?

Break-out Groups

Group Speech Work with Geoff Norris

Angels, in the early morning
May be seen the Dews among,
Stooping — plucking — smiling — flying —
Do the Buds to them belong?”

~Emily Dickenson

Closing Thoughts – Hazel Archer


Holy Grail - Wikipedia

Sangraal: A Pentecost Pilgrimage & Whitsun Festival with the Central Regional Council an experiential ‘Pageant’ written by Hazel Archer, taking us on a Quest from The Cauldron of Ceridwen, to The Holy Grail, & into The Sacred Vessel of the Sophia.

with Special Guests: Eurythmist Elizabeth Carlson, & Music with Ultra-Violet Archer & Lucien Dante Lazar

Join us on Whitsunday 23 May 2021, at 11 am PT / 12 noon MT / 1 pm – 2:30 pm CT / 2 pm ET / 8 pm CET

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 811 8155 0712

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Meeting ID: 811 8155 0712
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Bio – Elizabeth Carlson – I was born and grew up in upstate [Woodstock] New York. I completed the eurythmy training at Eurythmy School Zuccoli in Dornach, age 24, and studied again later at Eurythmeum Stuttgart for two years. I have worked in Waldorf education since, in eurythmy, (in USA, SA and UK) for 16 yrs, in Early Years for five years, and intermittently in care for the elderly and learning disabled. I completed an MA in eurythmy (education) with Alanus University (Germany, but in the UK)  in 2016. I have lived in the UK, presently in Cardiff, Wales, since 1992. My son is 26.

Music by Ultra-Violet Archer – Here’s her solo stuff

The discography

Bandcamp has all the lyrics & you can ‘buy’ the album to show support for ‘In Case of Emergence’ by ‘Circles Edge’ her new band with her boyfriend Morgen Vallet

After working with Karma & Reincarnation for 3 years the CRC has chosen a new Theme: ‘The Mysteries of the Holy Grail, from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation’

The Mysteries of the Holy Grail: From Arthur and Parzival to Modern  Initiation: Steiner, Rudolf, Barton, Matthew: 9781855842342:  Books

You are also invited to get the Book & Join us for study sessions through out the year as well. contact Alberto Loya for more info.

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