30 January 2019 – “Speaking with the Stars”: As dawn begins to brighten on Thursday morning, Antares, Jupiter, Venus, & the waning crescent Moon form a graceful arc in the southeastern sky.
But the stars of this show are Bella Luna & Venus, so close they could be kissing.
Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
516 BCE – The Second Temple of Jerusalem finishes construction
1128 – Birthday of Alanus ab Insulis, Teacher at Chartres. Rudolf Steiner speaks about him in many of his Karmic relationships lectures:
“…By the twelfth century a certain School had come into being — as it were through inner necessity — a School in which the afterglow of the old Platonic seership lit up once again. It was the great and illustrious School of Chartres. In this School were great teachers to whom the mysteries of early Christianity were still known and in whose hearts and souls this knowledge kindled a vision of the spiritual foundation of Christianity. In the School of Chartres in France, where stands the magnificent Cathedral, built with such profusion of detail, there was a concentration, a gathering-together, as it were, of knowledge that only shortly before had been widely scattered, though confined to the small circles of which I have spoken. ..There, for example, we find Bernard of Chartres, Bernardus Sylvestris, John of Salisbury, but above all the great Alanus ab Insulis. Mighty teachers indeed! When they spoke in the School of Chartres it was as if Plato himself, interpreting Christianity, were working in person among them. They taught the spiritual content and substance of Christianity. The writings that have come down from them may seem full of abstractions to those who read them to-day. But that is due simply to the abstract trend that characterises modern thinking. The impulse of the Christ is implicit in all the descriptions of the spiritual world contained in the writings of these outstanding personalities. I will give you an idea of how Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis, above all, taught their initiated pupils. Strange as it will seem to the modern mind, such revelations were indeed given at that time to the pupils of Chartres.
It was taught: New life will come to Christianity. Its spiritual content and essence will be understood once again when Kali Yuga, the Age of Darkness, has come to an end and the dawn of a new Age breaks. And with the year 1899 this has already come to pass for us who are living at the present time; this is the great and mighty change that was to come for humanity at the end of Kali Yuga, the mighty impulse given two decades previously through the advent of Michael. This was prophetically announced in the School of Chartres in the twelfth century, above all by Bernardus Sylvestris and Alanus ab Insulis. But these men did not teach in the Aristotelian way, they did not teach by way of the intellect. They gave their teachings entirely in the form of mighty, imaginative pictures — pictures whereby the spiritual content of Christianity became concretely real. But there were certain prophetic teachings; and I should like by means of a brief extract to give you an indication of one such teaching.
Alanus ab Insulis spoke to the following effect to a narrow circle of his initiated pupils: — ‘As we contemplate the universe to-day, we still regard the Earth as the centre, we judge everything from the Earth, as the centre. If the terrestrial conception which enables us to unfold our pictures and our imaginations… if this conception alone were to fertilise the coming centuries, progress would not be possible for mankind. We must come to an understanding with the Aristotelians who bring to humanity the intellect which must then be spiritualised so that in the twentieth century it may shine forth in a new and spiritual form among men. We, in our time, regard the Earth as the centre of the Cosmos, we speak of the planets circling around the Earth, we describe the whole heaven of stars as it presents itself to physical eyes as if it revolved around the Earth. But there will come one who will say: Let us place the Sun at the spatial centre of the cosmic system! But when he who will thus place the Sun at the centre of the spatial universe has come, the picture of the world will become arid. Men will only calculate the courses of the planets, will merely indicate the positions of the heavenly bodies, speaking of them as gases, or burning, luminous, physical bodies; they will know the starry heavens only in terms of mathematical and mechanical laws. But this arid picture of the world that will become widespread in the coming times, has, after all, one thing — meagre, it is true, yet it has it none the less. … We look at the universe from the Earth; he who will come will look at the universe from the standpoint of the Sun. He will be like one who indicates a “direction” only — the direction leading towards a path of majestic splendour, fraught with most wonderful happenings and peopled by glorious Beings. But he will give the direction through abstract concepts only.’ (Thereby the Copernican picture of the world was indicated, arid and abstract yet giving the direction…) ‘For,’ said Alanus ab Insulis, ‘everything we present through the Imaginations that come to us must pass away; it must pass away and the picture men now have of the world must become altogether abstract, hardly more than a pointer along a path strewn with wonderful memorials. For then, in the spiritual world, there will be One who will use this pointer — which for the purposes of world-renewal is nothing more than a means of directive — in order that, together with the prevailing intellectualism, he may then lay the foundations of the new spirituality … there will be One who will have this pointer as his only tool. This One will be St. Michael! For Him the ground must be made free; he must sow the path with new seed. And to that end, nothing but lines must remain — mathematical lines!’
A kind of magic breathed through the School of Chartres when Alanus ab Insulis was giving such teachings to a few of his chosen pupils. It was as if the ether-world all around were set astir by the surging waves of this mighty Michael teaching.
And so a spiritual atmosphere was imparted to the world. It spread across Western Europe, down into Southern Italy, where there were many who were able to receive it into themselves. In their souls something arose like a mighty Inspiration, enabling them to gaze into the spiritual world.
But in the evolution of the world it is so that those who are initiated into the great secrets of existence — as to a certain degree were Alanus ab Insulis and Bernardus Sylvestris — such men know that it is only possible to achieve this or that particular aim to a limited extent. A man like Alanus ab Insulis said to himself: We, the Platonists, must go through the gate of death; for the present we can live only in the spiritual world. We must look down from the spiritual world, leaving the physical world to those others whose task it is to cultivate the intellect in the Aristotelian way. The time has come now for the cultivation of the intellect. Late in his life Alanus ab Insulis put on the habit of the Cistercian Order; he became a Cistercian. And in the Cistercian Order many of these Platonic teachings were contained. Those among the Cistercians who possessed the deeper knowledge said to themselves: Henceforward we can work only from the spiritual world; the field must be relinquished to the Aristotelians.
These Aristotelians were, for the most part, in the Order of the Dominicans. And so in the thirteenth century the leadership of the spiritual life in Europe passed over to them.
But a heritage remained from men such as Peter of Compostella, Alanus ab Insulis, Bernard of Chartres, John of Salisbury and that poet who from the School of Chartres wrote a remarkable poem on the Seven Liberal Arts. It took significant hold of the spiritual life of Europe. What had come into being in the School of Chartres was so potent that it found its way, for example, to the University of Orleans. There, in the second half of the twelfth century, a great deal penetrated in the form of teaching from what had streamed to the pupils of Chartres through mighty pictures and words — words as it were of silver — from the lips of Bernardus Sylvestris, of Alanus ab Insulis. ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships Volume VI, Arnhem, 18th July, 1924
1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
1882 – Birthday of Franklin D. Roosevelt, American lawyer and politician, 32nd President of the United States
1889 – Deathday of Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, is found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in the Mayerling.
1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
1945 – World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with German refugees, sinks in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, killing approximately 10,500 people
1948 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist. A year earlier on this same date, W.J. Stein sent him Steiner’s Threefold Social Order
1956 – Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.’s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~Beneath the crust of ice I hear
A ready roar
Rumble up from the tap root
Of the dogwood tree
It knows my secret name
Witch will rise with the sap
When Brigid-Bride calls me…
Today as the temperatures drop below zero, I am turning to Dr. Seuss for help in formulating a few leading thoughts. I am remembering a story he told of dining in a restaurant with his uncle, who ordered a popover, which Dr. Seuss described as a ‘puffy muffin that’s hollow on the inside’. “To eat these things,” said his uncle, “you must exercise great care. After much chewing you may swallow down what’s solid, but you must spit out the hot air!”
Drawing a lesson from these wise words, I say thank you to the good Doctor; for that’s darned good advice to follow when partaking of the world’s bill of fare: digestion begins with the chewing; be careful what you swallow; masticate thoroughly; & be sure to spit out all the empty air!
& so it is, that today, (& everyday) I will work to apply these principles.
Stay cozy – relax with pep