POD (Poem Of the Day)
Of what we call our knowing
Is both light & dark…
Humans are always dying & waking…
The rhythm between, we call life…
Miracles are about
“…the Egyptian-Chaldean period is repeated in our own…We may go back to the epoch of the Egyptian evolution, and there we find certain ritualistic ordinances and commands which appeared as given by the gods. And this they actually were. These ordinances related to certain ablutions which the Egyptians had to perform. This was a command of the gods, that found expression in a certain cult of cleanliness…
We now again, in our own period, encounter hygienic measures such as are given to humanity but in our time, for materialistic reasons. Here we see a repetition of what was lost at a corresponding period in Egypt. The fulfilment of what happened earlier is represented in the general karma in a most remarkable manner. In ancient Egypt the laws of cleanliness were laws of Divine revelation. The Egyptian believed that he was fulfilling his duty to humanity by caring for his particular cleanliness at every opportunity. This preoccupation for cleanliness comes to the fore again today, but under the influence of a mentality which is entirely materialistic. Modern man does not think that he is serving the gods when he is obeying such rules, but that he is serving himself. It is nevertheless a reappearance of what went before.
Thus all things are in a certain way cyclically fulfilled. If at a certain period people were not able to conceive certain measures against epidemics, these were times at which men could not do so because, according to the general wise world plan, the epidemics had to take effect in order to give human souls an opportunity of balancing what had been effected through the ahrimanic influence and certain earlier luciferic influences. If other conditions are now being brought about, these too are subject to certain great karmic laws. So we see that these matters cannot be regarded superficially.
How does this agree with our statement that if someone seeks an opportunity of being infected in an epidemic, this is the result of the necessary reaction against an earlier karmic cause. Have we the right now to take hygienic or other measures?
This is a profound question, and we must begin by collecting the necessary material for replying to it. We must understand that where the luciferic and ahrimanic principles are co-operating, whether concurrently or over longer periods, or where they are working against each other, there are manifested certain complications in human life. These complications appear under forms so diverse that we never see two identical cases. If we study human life, however, we shall find our way in the following manner: if in a particular case we try to discover the combined activity of Lucifer and Ahriman, we shall always find a thread by which this connection will become clear. We must discriminate clearly between internal and external man. We must examine the continuity in which karma is accomplished, and we must at the same time understand that we have still the possibility of influencing our inner being by means of certain karmic influences, so that in future a new karmic compensation may be prepared by the inner being.
It may well happen that we, following for a time a downward grade, beget evil. We at first descend in order to develop the contrary impetus that will cause us to re-ascend. Let us suppose that a being, by yielding to certain influences, tends towards uncharitableness. This uncharitableness will in a later life appear as karmic result, and will develop inner forces in his organism.
We can then act in two ways — consciously, or else unconsciously. In our epoch we have not progressed so far as to do it consciously. With such a person we can take precautions by which these characteristics in his organism, derived from uncharitableness, will be driven out and we may act in such a way that the effect that is expressed in the external organism as a lack of charity will be counteracted. By these means, however, the soul will not be cleansed of all uncharitableness, but only the external organ of uncharitableness will have been expelled. For if we do nothing further, we shall have accomplished only half of our task, perhaps even nothing at all, or we may even do harm. We may perhaps have helped this person physically, externally, but we shall not have given succour to his soul. Now that the physical expression of uncharitableness has been removed he will not be able to give expression to this uncharitableness, but he will have to retain it within his inner organism until a future incarnation.
Let us suppose that a great number of people, because of uncharitableness, had been impelled to absorb certain infectious germs, so that they succumbed to an epidemic. Let us further suppose we were in a position to protect them from this epidemic. We should in such a case preserve the physical body from the effects of uncharitableness, but by doing this we have not removed the inner tendency towards uncharitableness.
If we want to bring a true healing, we must also undertake the duty of influencing the soul in such a way as to remove from it the tendency towards a lack of charity, or the disease will go deeper into the soul.
The organic expression of uncharitableness is killed in the external bodily sense for instance by vaccination against smallpox, but the soul continues to be sick. In one period of civilisation, when there prevailed a general tendency to develop a higher degree of egotism, and uncharitableness, an epidemic made its appearance. Such is the fact investigated by Spiritual Science. In anthroposophy it is our bounded duty to give expression to the truth.
Now it will be clear why in our time the desire for the protection of vaccination appeared. We also understand why, among the best minds of our time, there also exists a kind of aversion to vaccination. This aversion corresponds to something within, and is the external expression of an inner reality, that seeks to karmicly rid itself of the cause of the disease.
So if on the one hand we destroy the physical expression of a previous fault, we should, on the other hand, undertake the duty of transforming the materialistic character of such a person by means of a corresponding spiritual education. This would constitute the indispensable counterpart without which we are performing only half our task. We are merely accomplishing something to which the person in question will himself have to produce a counterpart in a later incarnation. If we destroy the susceptibility to smallpox, for instance, we are concentrating only on the external side of karmic activity.
If on the one side we go in for hygiene, it is necessary that on the other we should feel it our duty to contribute to the person whose organism has been so transformed, something also for the good of his soul. Vaccination will not be harmful if, subsequent to vaccination, the person receives a spiritual education. But if we concentrate upon one side only and lay no emphasis upon the other, we weigh down the balance unevenly. We see how essential it is that we should not undertake one task without the other.
Here we approach an important law of human evolution which acts so that the external and the internal must always be counter-balanced, and that it is not permissible to act with regard to the one only, leaving the other out of consideration. We here get a glimpse of an important relationship, and yet we have not even arrived at the significance of the question: ‘What is the relationship between hygiene and karma?’ As we shall see, the answer to this question will lead us still further into the depths of karma, and we shall further see that there exist karmic relationships between man’s birth and death. In addition, other personalities influence a human life, and man’s free will and karma must be in harmony. ~ Rudolf Steiner, Manifestations of Karma, LECTURE 8
19 January 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Sirius twinkles brightly around 8 pm below Orion in the southeast – below fiery Betelgeuse in Orion’s shoulder. Also after dark, face East and look very high. The bright star there is Capella, the Goat Star. To the right of it, by a couple of finger-widths at arm’s length, is a small, narrow triangle known as “the Kids.”
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1736 – Birthday of James Watt, Scottish-English chemist & engineer, inventor of the steam engine.
1809 – Birthday of Edgar Allan Poe
1829 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy receives its premiere performance
1853 – Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Il trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.
1883 – The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison, begins service at Roselle, New Jersey
1938 – Deathday of Rosa Mayreder – an Austrian freethinker, author, painter, musician & feminist -The daughter of a wealthy Viennese innkeeper who was able to work as a painter & writer from her youth. She loved science & turned against the prevailing state of affairs that generally only allowed a higher education to men. She loved anthropology & physics, but soon came across the special meaning of language . Together with Hugo Wolf, she published the opera “The Corregidor“, she composed the libretto & was one of Wolf’s sponsors.
In 1881 she married her childhood friend, the architect & later rector of the Vienna University of Technology Karl Mayreder . In the women’s movement she worked with activist Marie Lang & Marianne Hainisch in the early 1890s. In 1893 she founded the General Austrian Women’s Association. From 1899 she published together with Marie Lang & Auguste Fickert the magazine “Documents of Women“.
Her books “The Critique of Femininity ” as well as ” Gender and Culture “ & also in conversations that she held in her diaries, she described to the ‘culture-makers’, that it was important for an equal ratio of the sexes. She gained recognition & approval in literary circles. The opposition was found especially in the field of medicine , which was perceived by her to falsely stress the ‘mental weakness of women’ as a haven of arbitrariness, but also the degradation of women as a sexual object. She turned against the discrimination of their gender & the existing double standards. Her works were widely distributed &translated into English.
Mayreder, who first worked as a painter also founded the “Art School for Women & Girls” in the years before the First World War with Olga Prager & Kurt Federn.
Before & during the war, she was involved with Bertha von Suttner in the peace movement, & in 1919 became the chairman of the “International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom” (IFFF).
Rosa Mayreder met Rudolf Steiner (with whom she entered into a long& extensive correspondence) through women’s rights campaigner Marie Lang. Mayreder wrote many passages in her diaries which describe how enlightening Rudolf Steiner was for her thinking. Steiner spent time with Mayreder & her husband at their villa discussing Goethe & politics over the years & right up until Stiner’s death.