The Circle Jubilee

Dear friends – I was especially looking forward to attending our Christian Community Church this morning since Rev. Jeana Lee & several members of our congregation have just returned from the celebration of the founding of the Christian Community, which occurred on 16 September 1922.  

And today on 16 October 2022 we are honoring the Anniversary of the Founding of the Esoteric Youth Circle, an independent, self-directed community of meditants – a path of inner striving as a servicea social working in the suprasensible‘ – established thru Rudolf Steiner in 1922.

The task of the Circle member is an inner contemplation of mantras to be done 3 X’s a day, morning, noon & evening, using the spiritual content that came thru Dr. Steiner, to create an etheric relationship with others working with the mantras here on earth, as well as those across the Threshold, in collaboration with Powerful Spiritual Beings, (Steiner explained: What you seek is to find a friend in the spiritual world) to foster the Christic progress in the evolution of humanity.

Steiner told the original members that this: meditation is a fulfilling of the Spiritual Will that the Time Spirit bears within itself. When such meditation is practiced, a spiritual force is able to work into the earthly events. Spiritual worlds want to work into earthly events today, but they can do this only when, through human meditation, space is created for it…the power of meditating such a meditation in common increases by potentization. 

To be clear – the members of The Circle do not constitute some spiritual or social elite, but join together because an inner urge, stemming perhaps from karma, compels them to search for an inner, meditative relationship to Anthroposophy that prepares them 1st thru an individual inner development, which then benefits the wider society as a whole, to receive the Michaelic stream of spiritual working that is seeking to enter the evolution of Humanity.

At the Founding, Steiner tells us: It is the mutual taking on of karma that is created in such a community.

Like in The Mystery Dramas, Steiner tells us must realize that: what we ourselves do within the community bears no fruit for us ourselves, but for others, & that the fruits for us come from others.

After the Founding, Steiner annouced: What has taken place now is a first in the post-Christian era: human beings themselves chose, out of freedom before the spiritual world, to join together esoterically’.

Dear freinds – The Circle did not start out to be, & was never intended as a ‘Secret Society’; but unfortunately, as can be the case with the School of Spiritual Science & its First Class, or in the ‘Sections’, some people have fed into this false notion.

The Circle is not an institution in the world. It should have no hierarchy, no guru’s, it is not an organization or a separate society. The Circle has never had, nor should it have, any ‘leaders’ or select representatives. (but again unfortunately some people do aggrandize their ‘seniority’, so beware) There is no constitution or code of conduct, or enforced bylaws. No papers are signed, no proof of membership. No financial transactions of any kind occur.

The Circle grows by word of mouth, mostly thru conversations between people. It’s been interesting to see how this impulse, living as it does in the etheric & astral worlds, & in the “I” of many striving souls, has been called to become so much more present these days, as we come to this Centennial milestone.

Meetings, (in many cases these days on zoom) occur as a way of sharing research, personal experience with The Circle Meditation as seen thru the seasonal round, or working with the esoteric lessons which Steiner specificly gave them – And as the Good Doctor emphasized to the original members “To get to know each other well” thru biography work, as way of building a ‘new kind of community of equal peers.

Unlike other communities, where a person’s actions & judgments can be subject to censure or sanctions, The Circle is meant to leave each person completely free, never exerting any kind of pressure or influence on other members. There is no ‘acting on behalf of the Circle’.

The many quotations here & below, from the initial conversations with Rudolf Steiner, clarifies the relationship of the members to each other:

To unite together through a mutual promise in striving for a common spiritual purpose, and in doing so to nevertheless leave each one completely free in their actions and their judgments – a community founded upon such precepts is something quite new in the development of humanity and something which is needed today as a matter of utmost necessity.

The Circle was never an official part of the Anthroposophical Society, it is independent in the same sense as the Christian Community. But the history shows that Rudolf Steiner was asked by the Circle members during the Christmas Conference whether they were meant to continue in light of the new impulse from the refounding of the Anthroposophical Society. In response, he gave them a 2nd Esoteric Lesson on the morning of 30 December 1923 – before Continuing the Foundation Meeting – deepening their insights to further their work on into the future.  

Also interesting is that among the other mantras that make up that Christmas Conference lesson, Steiner spoke the 3 so-called “Tablets” asking the Cirlce members to write them down, & use them in their daily work. This was before Steiner had established the First Class.

Rudolf Steiner never intended that the Circle should stop its work or be dissolved, which he confirmed to Maria Röschl when she asked him about it.

Steiner also told the members: The community will never die out. With the 1st community members who reincarnate, the community returns to Earth.

Therefore The Circle will continue to exist, according to Steiner, beyond death, as long as there are people that find its task meaningful, are prepared to carry thru with the daily meditations, & are called to pass it on to others.

When, after much deliberation one determines that The Circle work is part of their destiny, the person makes ‘the pledge’ – to serve the spiritual world.  

Steiner affirmed: By persevering with the exercises we have a chance to stand up to Ahrimanic powers that no one person can withstand alone.

Below is a letter from Ernst Lehrs, one of the founding members of the Esoteric Youth Circle, where he answers a question posed to Alan Howard, one of the editors of the Autumn 1979 newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in America. This was written a few weeks before his death.

“I am writing in response to your inquiry in the Autumn ’79 issue of the American Newsletter concerning what seems to you to be a “secret Society” within the general Anthroposophical Movement.

As an original member of this “Circle”, which came into being with the help of Rudolf Steiner 56 years ago, I feel obliged to convey as far as possible a picture fitting its true nature. At the time of the so-called Youth Course (available in English under the title “The Younger Generation,”) held by Rudolf Steiner in 1922, some of us who had carried the initiative for this course out of impulses shared and agreed by us during a preparatory period, approached Rudolf Steiner in all modesty about the possibility of receiving common material for inner work.

Our question had been prompted by realizing the rapid crumbling of human society in its different spheres. This was at the same time that the inevitable failure of the Threefold Commonwealth Movement became apparent. We felt that something quite definite ought to be undertaken which would ensure the continuity of the anthroposophical substance regardless of external conditions. For this purpose, purely individual meditations carried out for one’s own spiritual progress – indispensable though these are – could not suffice. What we were striving for, or so we put it, was a Schulung als Dienst (a path of inner striving as a service), whereby one wishes to serve the Spirit of the Time, i.e. Michael.

After a number of preparatory conversations between Rudolf Steiner and those of us who had requested them, a meditative content was passed on to us which Rudolf Steiner said was given im Auftrag der geistigen Welt (on behalf of the spiritual world). At the same time, the manner of its use as well as indications of how to pass on this meditative work to others striving in a similar direction was explained to us by Rudolf Steiner. He then further helped the birth of this community and said that we should regard it as having been gestiftet by the spiritual world itself. (Rudolf Steiner distinguished clearly between begründen – to found, and stiften – to institute, to endow; the former refers to an impulse originating in the physical world, the latter to one coming directly out of the spiritual world working down into the physical.)

This took place in a solemn act. Rudolf Steiner also handed down to the initial group a pledge which, by being read in the presence of the others who already belong to the Circle, constitutes a commitment purely to the spiritual world. We were the first to do so on Rudolf Steiner’s advice by reading these words to one another.

Subsequently, Rudolf Steiner met twice with the members of this community endowing them with two esoteric lessons, (the 1st was in Stuttgart on 13 July 1923, which BTW Steiner also gave to the Priests) the second of which was held on December 30, 1923, this is during the Weihnachtstagung (the Christmas Foundation Meeting). It took place in a room of the Glashaus; and on this occasion, Frau Ita Wegman and Frau Marie Steiner accompanied him as guests. From what Rudolf Steiner said with regard to Dr Wegman’s presence, we realized that this work was in a way linked to the newly formed Hochschule (School for Spiritual Science).

In subsequent months, Rudolf Steiner made himself available to us whenever required either personally until his illness, or in writing until shortly before his death. The Vorstand in Dornach was thoroughly informed about these matters to their complete satisfaction.

The connection between the members of this community is established solely through the same mantric words meditated by each individually. No earthly initiative is ever undertaken by its members by virtue of belonging to this community. In some places, friends foster meetings from time to time of those locally in reach. Here again, they do so following the advice by Rudolf Steiner to engage in conversations and Gespräch about spiritual matters, e.g. based on the content of the two esoteric lessons, if they wish to do so.

The community has no name of its own and Rudolf Steiner recommended that we should keep it so. However, in the opening part of the second lesson, he said, “I am addressing myself today to the youth in you. For you are after all the esoteric youth circle.” This has prompted some friends to refer to it as “der Jugendkreis” but usually when it is mentioned it is spoken of as “der Kreis” (The Circle).

I hope that through my description it has become clear that this community is in no way an institution on earth and that there is no secrecy about its work. Friends find this work who feel within themselves questions arising of a nature similar to those which have led to the original formation of this community. Experience has shown that individuals earnestly seeking answers to vital inner questions are often led by personal encounters to situations where this work may become known to them. It is then a matter of whether one is able, prepared and willing to undertake responsibly the specific meditative work described above. ~Ernst Lehrs, Advent 1979”

The history of ‘The Circle’ can be found in “Esoteric Lessons Vol. 3 – 1913-1923”. Other documents are at the Archives at the Goetheanum or the Rudolf Steiner Archives in Dornach.

Here are a few notes from the various preparatory discussions for the founding of the Group:

If I am to go into what I understand with the term “esoteric group” then let me say that if you want to take the esoteric earnestly, you must say to yourself that it is an action out of the impulses from the spiritual world. One can strive toward this. Anthroposophy is a path to this end. To build such a community would constitute a decision to set upon this path.

The spiritual is a living element & so such a group must not be something dead. The group must be a force-group. The health of each part is the health of the whole. It is the mutual taking on of karma that is created in such a community. There is then mutual suffering to live through, but also mutual joy. People must be treated like fellow human beings, with all their imperfections.

What you seek is to find a friend in the spiritual world. The important thing is to remain spiritually true to the friend once found. Therefore, the 1st requirement is that you learn quite precisely what spiritual loyalty is.

Your community will have in it something of the primordial mystery of all human community. This mystery is that, what we ourselves do within the community bears no fruit for us ourselves, but for others, & that the fruits for us come from others.

We must work for the progress of humanity – Just as the physical social life consists of deeds done together, so too we strive for common deeds in the spirit – thus actually, for a social working in the suprasensible.

We must endeavor to carry spirit into the furthest consequences of our actions. This alone – that we bring spirit & love into our will can make it possible to stand firmly against being overrun by the cultural machine. Too few people today develop real initiative. There is a lot of willfulness, but little will.

The true meditation is a fulfilling of the spiritual will that the Time Spirit bears with itself. Where such meditation is practiced, a spiritual force is able to work into the earthly events. Spiritual worlds want to work in to earthly events today, but they can do this only when, through human meditation, space is created for it. Through meditation, something like an empty space comes about. Into this space, the spiritual beings can enter with their effects. And the power of meditating such a meditation in common increases by potentization.

When we do this community-meditation, it will bring about a deeper connection of the core of our being with our sheaths.

These meditations, when used correctly, could become something like windows into the spiritual world. The words & pictures given, form only half of what is to be entrusted to us. The other half we are to find ourselves through spiritual activity.

Each of you must feel joy for the success of the other. You must avoid every feeling of rivalry & have the awareness that what each of you accomplishes, you accomplish through the power of all of the others.

Uniting yourself through a mutual promise to strive toward a common spiritual goal – & leaving one another completely free in actions & judgements in life – such a community based on this is something completely new in the evolution of humanity. And it is what is most necessary today.

For someone who comes to specific results on the esoteric path, there is always the danger of delusions of grandeur. Such a community as yours can be a protection against this. For in it, you strive together to cross the threshold of the spiritual world. And there each of you has to say that you have the efforts of all the others to thank for what you have achieved personally.

Effects will arise in the destiny between human beings who are connected with us in the community physically & spiritually. The community will never die out. With the 1st community members who reincarnate, the community returns to Earth.

By persevering with the exercises we have a chance to stand up to Ahrimanic powers that no one person can withstand.

Through the reading of the oath given by Rudolf Steiner on 16 October 1922, in the presence of the others, the admittance into the community was effected.

And now consider your community as having been founded by the spiritual world itself…Now get to know each other well.

This gave us the idea to tell each other our biography at the mutual acceptance into membership.

What has taken place now is a 1st in the post-Christian era: human beings themselves chose, out of freedom before the spiritual world, to join together esoterically’.

The 12 founding members:

Daniel van Bemmelen, co-founder of the 1st Dutch Waldorf School

Georg Groot MD, 3-fold social order, co-worker in the Berlin Group of the College Association

Herbert Hahn, called by Steiner to teach at the Independent Waldorf School in Stuttgart

Ernst Lehrs, teacher at the Waldorf school in Stuttgart, served on the committee for the Independent Anthroposophical Society founded for the youth. Later taught in The Hague, London, & Aberdeen. Also taught with his wife Maria Roeschl in the Rudolf Steiner Seminar.

Rene Maikowski, business manager of the Association for Anthroposophical College Studies, also a Waldorf teacher.

Wilhelm Rath, bookseller, man of letters, farmer, was on the committee of the Independent Anthroposophical Society.

Wilhelm Selling, mechanical engineer, colonial officer in Africa, in charge of the Theosophical library, mentor of the youth work in Berlin

Karin Selling, part of the Scandinavian Theosophical Society, teacher at the Waldorf School in Stockholm

Emma Smit, teacher & organizer of the Independent school in The Hague

Maria Spira, came from the Zionist Youth Movement, married Wilhelm Rath

Albrecht Strohschein,Walter Johannes Stein, Karl König

Albrecht Strohschein, business man, 1st co-worker in the Der Kommenden (The Coming Day) in Stuttgart, student of psychology in Jena, co-founder of the therapeutic pedagogical movement

Kurt Walther, postal officer, lecturer, & leader of many courses, the successor of Marie Steiner in the Executive Council of the Anthroposophical Socety, married Wilhelm Selling’s sister Clara Selling, who was part of Steiner’s household

Blessings as we take this impulse into the next Century & beyond…


34 thoughts on “The Circle Jubilee

  1. ” Through meditation, something like an empty space comes about. Into this space, the spiritual beings can enter with their effects. And the power of meditating such a meditation in common increases by potentization.”

    This is what I was saying to Rod the other day, that meditation is an energetic practice, that when meditating we willingly position ourselves into this “negative” space, because the impulse from the spiritual beings is a “positive”, constructive energy that’s in the ether all around us, waiting for us to avail ourselves of it. Prayer can be similar – these can be powerful practices, especially when done collectively. This is what the apostle Paul learned, when he said to the Corinthians that he’d learned that when he was weak, he was actually strong. It takes the power of will to put ourselves into that negative space, as our tendency is to want to be strong, to be positive, but by so doing we only hinder the strength that could be coming to us from the spiritual world. Anyone willing to try this will find their lives transformed, but not in any understandable manner, since it goes against our logic.

    1. This is a Rosicrucian principle made new in Anthroposophy –we build up an Imagination & then we let it got – we extinguish it – leaving the space, which has been lit up by the working of the enthused imagination, charged & open – ready to receive Inspiration from the Spiritual world. And when we have worked to really listen & can truly hear & discern – then we prove ourselves worthy to take the next step by rising out of the Etheric so that the Astral can imprint our etheric bodies thru Intuition – which is a co-creative process with these beings.

      This principle is also behind the 10:10 Thought-Seed Project.

  2. Are the Circle Meditations something that is passed from one to the other? I can’t seem to find them. There are three specific ones?

    1. It is one meditation that is divided up to be worked with a various times. Yes they are meant to be passed on from one person to another, but many find them in the book I mentioned that has all the history of the Circle as well as the meditation & the esoteric lessons.

      1. Reading lecture XIII of GA 217 holds the key it seems in connecting Michael to the whole enterprise of what this fourth sphere means. RS speaks of Michael here as the catalyst, and evidently the meditation arose as a result. Hazel, I am very impressed with the level of knowledge you show here, which has become of a very high caliber in many recent essays. What is going on? Have you had an Epiphany; Glastonbury realized! You are clearly moving in a more defined direction in the Spirit of the Circle, it seems.

        1. Thank you for pointing up this last powerful lecture in the series for the Younger generation. I will share it in the blog.

          Please clarify what you mean by ‘The 4th Sphere’?

          Is this the passage to which you refer to the 4th Sphere?

          “But here there is a mystery and it consists in the fact that the dragon can exercise his power everywhere, even where he is not spatially present. And when he does not succeed in killing man directly through ideas and intellectualism, he succeeds by so rarefying the air everywhere in the world that one can no longer breathe.

          And this will certainly be the case — young people who ran from the dragon so as not to be injured, and who came into such rarefied air that they could not breathe the future, felt intensely the nightmare of the past because the air had become unwholesome where it was formerly possible to escape the immediate influence of the dragon. The nightmare that comes from within is, as regards human experience, not very different from the pressure that comes from without, from the dragon.

          In the last third of the nineteenth century, the older generation felt direct exposure to the dragon. The young people then experienced the nightmare of the air corrupted by the dragon — air that could not be breathed. Here, the only help is to find Michael who conquers the dragon.”

          1. Wow, Hazel — don’t know where you got this quote, but my thought immediately went to Russia and Iran teaming up to send drones into Ukraine:

            ““But here there is a mystery and it consists in the fact that the dragon can exercise his power everywhere, even where he is not spatially present. And when he does not succeed in killing man directly through ideas and intellectualism, he succeeds by so rarefying the air everywhere in the world that one can no longer breathe.”

            There has been speculation that Russia is evacuating any Russians from Kherson because they plan to use some sort of gas or chemical. Can you imagine these drones that have been bringing such devastation to Ukraine’s energy grid, laden with gas? This quote would certainly be fulfilled. It’s easy to see the dragon as Russia & Iran teaming up to bring such destruction.

            1. It is the culminating lecture for the Younger Generation striving to become Waldorf teachers, part of the series that was in the background to the Founding of the Esoteric Youth Circle that I have been highlighting in the last 4 essays. I was inspired to explore it by the comment from Steve Hale.

              Yes we can find many glaring examples of the adversarial powers influencing our world today – This is part of our task – to be awake to their impulses working thru human beings on the world stage…

              Can we look behind it all to see what the real plan is?

              Is it to stop the Slavic people from achieving their true aims in the 5th cultural epoch?

              Or perhaps these adversarial forces are meant to strengthen them for this future task?

              It is difficult to see past the obvious horrors to know what the spiritual world is doing for the long term plan in the big picture…& also we can’t know for sure what is really happening since the media is a corporate propaganda machine…

              But we can call in the Christ & pray for the highest good for all – now in the ages to come…

          2. Earth is the fourth sphere having morphed out of the previous third sphere; the ancient Moon. Ego is associated with Earth as the basis of human consciousness now directed to the Self as an integration of the three bodies , i.e, physical, etheric, and astral, as previously developed in spheres 1, 2, 3. Yet, all Aims of the Circle point to the Fifth Sphere, which leads to the Jupiter embodiment and the recognition of the ‘Other’ in our very midst. This is also close to the Sixth Epoch, in which the Time of Christ will manifest. You point to places in that lecture 13 that would have Michael take on a new role as protector of the human etheric body in order to keep it from succumbing to the dragon. Michael’s victory in the War in Heaven anno 1879 would have seen ahrimanic spirits come ever closer to the human etheric body, with imprisonment within the physical sheath being the consequence. This was averted by a sacrificial act conducted by Michael wherein Michael Impresses His Image on the Human Etheric Archetype in order to prevent the encroachment of the Spirit of Darkness now having been cast down. The Mystery of Golgotha is saved for its continued working as the Appearance of Christ in the human etheric body. Michael’s sacrificial act enables this, and why Michael’s evolution from Archangel to Leading Time Spirit Archai in our time is tantamount to an evolution of the Michael-Christ connection. Lecture 13 wants to firm up this Michael connection as the driving force behind the Circle. I don’t believe that RS mentions Michael even once in the previous twelve lectures, but Earth as the fourth sphere needs to be explained. Then, Michael appears as indicated.

            1. Yes, I would say that one of the ‘aims’ of the Circle is to become a conscious community of companions with Michael, upholding the Christ impulse thru all of evolution, especially when the various Archai – the other Time Spirits – whose agendas are not Christ centered – are holding sway.

              Remember how the inspiration came to Rath from Steiner’s lecture on the friend of God & the Circle of 12 – A renewed Grail Impulse.

              It was interesting to read in lecture XIII of GA 217, the concept of the Dragon succeeding “by so rarefying the air everywhere in the world that one can no longer breathe.
              And this will certainly be the case — young people who ran from the dragon so as not to be injured, and who came into such rarefied air that they could not breathe the future, felt intensely the nightmare of the past because the air had become unwholesome where it was formerly possible to escape the immediate influence of the dragon. The nightmare that comes from within is, as regards human experience, not very different from the pressure that comes from without, from the dragon.

              In the last third of the nineteenth century, the older generation felt direct exposure to the dragon. The young people then experienced the nightmare of the air corrupted by the dragon — air that could not be breathed. Here, the only help is to find Michael who conquers the dragon.”

              I always associate suffocation of the breath with Luciferic tendencies; Steiner is specific about that in many places.
              This picture of wanting to rise up above the dragon only to be so expanded out that the atmosphere is too rarified to breathe.
              And the Ahrimanic as being a calcification which is demonstrated by the older members in this lecture…
              It seems Steiner is speaking about both sides of the adversarial forces here.

              1. You mention Wilhelm Rath and the inspiration of the friend of God around the Circle of 12. Aren’t these 12 the so-called Rhineland Mystics who were inspired by this *One*, who is also called “The Unknown One from the Oberland”. Do we not find the Master Jesus here? Steiner wrote of the mysterious CRC here in this context in September 1907. As we know, Manes/Mani initiated Christian Rosenkreutz in 1459 in order to gather up the knowledge of the East for a Western-Occidental transformation.


                In the early part of the fifteenth century Christian Rosenkreutz
                went to the east to find a balance between the initiations of the
                East and West. One consequence of this, following his return, was
                the definitive establishment of the Rosicrucian stream in the West.
                In this form Rosicrucianism was intended to be a strictly secret
                school for the preparation of those things which would become the
                public task of esotericism at the turn of the 20th century, when
                material science would have found a provisional solution to certain
                These problems were described by Christian Rosenkreutz as:
                1) The discovery of spectral analysis, which revealed the
                material constitution of the cosmos.
                2) The introduction of material evolution into organic science.
                3) The recognition of a differing state of consciousness from
                our normal one through the acceptance of hypnotism and suggestion.
                Only when this material knowledge had reached fruition in science
                were certain Rosicrucian principles from esoteric science to be made
                public property.
                Until that time Christian-mystical initiation was given to the
                Occident in the form in which it passed through its founder,
                the `Unknown One from the Oberland’, to St. Victor, Meister Echkart, Tauler, etc.
                Within this whole stream, the initiation of Mani, who also
                initiated Christian Rosenkreutz in 1459, is considered to be of
                a `higher degree’; it consists of the true understanding of the
                nature of evil. This initiation and all that it entails will have
                to remain completely hidden from the majority for a long time to
                come. For where even only a tiny ray of its light has flowed into
                literature it has caused harm, as happened with the irreproachable
                Guyau, of whom Friedrich Nietzsche became a pupil.

                Barr Document to Eduard Schure, September 1907, part II.

              2. You are bringing into the light what I have only hinted at, & yet it seems to me to be hidden in plain sight for all who have eyes to see & ears to hear…
                But I also know that just as the Sun can burn, the light must be tempered or as the Barr Documne testifies, it has & can cause great harm…
                And yet these connections must be made –
                For the rgolden thread is eternal & calls to be woven in…

              3. You’re correct Hazel in saying that the Sun can burn and the light must be tempered. From Angus Jenkinson’s webinar today on The Power of Three , he quoted from Class Lesson 19: “Once people spoke of a threefold Sun, as the source of light, life and of love.” Then he added this comment: “With the Sun alone, the human being couldn’t process matter. We need Mercury (Ahriman contributing) to weaken the effect of the Sun to enable matter to permeate the human organism.” Cosmosophy, 21-10-21.

              4. What came to mind upon first mention of the ‘Breath of the Dragon’ – if you will – is ‘despair’ and ‘frustration’. This is my own personal account. You cannot escape it by running away. Actually, it is a lonely feeling.

                Now I find this rather fascinating to compare these two feelings with the Etheric. Some post not long ago, there was discussion of what ‘is’ the Etheric? Looking at lecture XIII of the Gospel of St. John, there is something to consider here. Steiner explains how the Etheric body of humans during the Atlantean Epoch was quite larger than their physical head. Since then, it has taken on the actual shape of our physical head. We have thus, contracted into ourselves. More so, we have contracted into ourselves progressively further from the 1st cultural epoch (Indian), until now. And with that, in the Ancient Indian Epoch, one could ‘yoke’ their Etheric body out of their physical (if I am saying it correctly).

                The reason why I am bringing this up, because this feeling of suffocation – if I am understanding this – is an actual ‘tightening’ of our Etheric bodies, to such an extent, that we feel imprisoned in a physical shell. Of course, this is a sensation. But from experience frustration, despair, you literally lose all connection to anything because it seems so hopeless.

                When picturing a tightening, or shrinking, of the Etheric from an evolutionary standpoint through the cultural ages, we know that the ascending trend would be the gradual increase of the Etheric body. In past times, that larger Etheric body was part of why – I gather – we did not identify as “I”… but the difference in the upswing of if, is that we retain the “I” while enlarging our Etheric body. This is the importance of the social good will… and these Youth Movements (for example). The Sixth Age is about communal feel, and that is how I see this Christ/Michael impulse. It is a feeling that all can share… it is the opposite of despair/frustration.

                Much can be elaborated on what the Dragon actually is. Michael didn’t slay ‘it’, but sent it down. I gather that the inner fire, the divine spark in each of us, is enough to deter any adversarial forces. We have to realise that we are not alone in our struggles.

              5. This sensation of the tightening of the etheric body is a great image. That is the quality that I associate with the older folks & the Ahrimanic part of the Dragon, the contracting or hardening, the densification that cuts us off from one another.

                The idea of suffocation makes me think of the opposite more Luciferic aspect of the dragon that I equate with the youth – trying to run away – an expansion that takes us so high out of the atmosphere – into the void of space – that there is no air.
                If we sweep into the ‘upswing’ before we have gained our “I”, our etheric body can be taken over by the Luciferic forces. And we lose the chance to mature into our humanity.

                As you say, Michael had to remove the dragon from the spiritual world to keep the harmony of the spheres, sending those forces down to earth to enter the human being as a catalyst for our growth. For sure ‘our inner fire, the divine spark in each of us’, can transform the Luciferic forces within us if they are unselfishly directed for the good of all. With Ahriman we need a community to work together in order to redeem that deadening force.

                The Ausras & Sorat are another matter…

              6. Hi Kyle. Just want you to know that I’m still digesting some of these thoughts you’ve given regarding the etheric body. There’s lots to take in on this subject, and I keep learning more as we go along. I can see how feelings of despair and frustration could show up if a person is constantly moving from our physical world into the spiritual world, and vice versa, even a feeling of suffocation. Moving from a lower vibration, denser existence, where there is so much division for purposes of our comprehension, into a realm where all is One, and there’s no separation, can be disorienting. For example, we have 12 senses in our physical being that respond to phenomena – we need 12 to take in such spiritual manifestations as we’re presented with on Earth. However, moving into the etheric/astral realm, those 12 are united into one, as all is one in that realm. We still have the 12 senses, but they’re perceived as one — there’s no separation between them. This is why we, in normal waking consciousness, have difficulty understanding the variations between our physical, etheric, astral and I , because we separate them so that we can understand them, while in the spiritual world we still have the same four, but they’re seen as one — no separation. So if one is meditating regularly, spending a quantity of time outside of one’s physical body, this could lead to some despair and frustration, especially trying to correlate the two. It can take a great deal of patience and editing of communications attempting to convey concepts between the two worlds.

                This is why it can be really hard to get the concepts Steiner speaks of, because he’s in and out of the two worlds so much. Eventually, if one ponders his subject long enough, our brain starts to develop an understanding, especially when we incorporate heart thinking. It helps to have an image, and he often makes use of those. With the dragon, it seems important to remember that John was clear that it was a sign, an image designed to convey to us an underlying truth. There’s much about this sign I’m still trying to understand. One aspect of it I’m working on is what was meant when John wrote, early on in the vision, that the dragon, with his tail, drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth? Did this action precipitate the war that broke out in heaven, such that the dragon’s being cast to earth was a type of karmic retribution for doing the same to those stars? What kind of being do those stars represent on earth, finding themselves here in this 3-dimensional environment, having been sent here involuntarily? I’m asking because I’m trying to understand these things.

                Wanted you to know I’m still seeking understanding on the etheric body, and hope to delve into the subject more in future. Likewise, I hope you’ll be sharing any new insights you come across. Cheers.

              7. I was thinking about that passage from John’s revelation the other day – wondering if perhaps this drawing down of a third of the stars was in preparation for when the battle would take place on earth, & that those ‘stars’ are a reference to the cast out angels…?

              8. Might have been angels, but not the angels who were associated with the dragon – they were involved in the ensuing war that broke out after the “stars” were cast down, the war against Michael and his angels. Once defeated by Michael & host, the dragon along with his angels were cast down to earth.

              9. yes, i know the order in the verses, it was just a thought about the prefiguring.
                I was also thinking about the idea of 1/3, as somehow refering to the time we spend in kamaloca after death.

              10. Rudolf Steiner’s own meeting with ‘M’; the Master, is conveyed early in part I of the Barr Document, and wherein a number of emissaries from the early childhood experience in Pottschach, to a mysterious layman concerning the importance of being grounded in Fichte at eighteen, to Felix the herb gatherer, are brought forth. Karl Julius Schroer could even be said to be the most conspicuous of these emissaries because of what is eventually revealed about Plato. As well, when Goethe’s life as an Athenian sculptor who lived and was admired at the time of the elderly Plato when Aristotle was set to leave the Academy, it fits like a glove as to who the former incarnation of Goethe was. Thus, Schroer’s setting Rudolf Steiner the task of editing Goethe’s scientific writings was the means, coming in the very important three periods of his life between 1879 and 1900; three seven-year periods from Vienna to Weimar to Berlin. This set the stage for the unexpected shift from philosophy to theosophy that very year in which two major philosophers died that summer. This was the catalyst. The parable of the white lily and the red rose became the symbols of the Russian and German folk souls. If not for the ‘Master’, Rudolf Steiner reminds Marie in a letter from GA 262, dated January 9, 1905, that he would have been a literary reviewer, minor philosopher, and Goethe scholar even after 1901.

              11. Yes, seeing these cycles, & the karmic connections between individualities – using biography – especially of an initiate like Steiner – as a way of understanding the inner side of the evolution of human consciousness is enlightening.

              12. That is a great point, Hazel, regarding the Luciferic forces potentially taking hold of us. I would honestly say that I’ve experienced this, for I quite literally ‘ran away’. So yes, in a way, the ‘reactionary’ impulse to being suffocated would be to get away as far as possible. Again, having experience with this, and also seeing it manifested in several ways. I do think, however, this can be amended.

                I took part in a Rainbow Gathering in Indonesia once, for about a month. There was a common term to call civilisation ‘Babylon’. And here, there were mostly the Youth partaking in a sort of tribal revival, Anarchic, experience of living on the land. Even though the whole philosophy is based on ‘Love’, many sought to it as a form of escapism… and perhaps a very small percentage were in it for the right reasons – if I may say so. I do remember reaching a point where I felt the need to reintigrate with friends still caught in ‘Babylon’. What happened was that when I met with friends in Jakarta, I happened to be at the right place at the right time and was helping a friend that needed a good dose of positivity!

                My take on that, is that escaping… living off-grid, it may seem like a solution, but it is not. I personally feel it would be great to live off grid for certain reasons (connecting with nature more intimately, being the main one), but escaping from society should not be one. We need each other, and I think this is a big part of getting to that next cultural epoch, where we will develop more empathy for others, and so on.

                Its interesting to hear how the Ahrimanic manifests. This does seem to be the plight of Anthroposophy, institutionally speaking. I think part of the issue is that there are so many ‘louder’ outlets of ‘spirituality’ out there – if you know what I mean – and also, people read less nowadays. And what of Dornach and the people who run the Goetheanum? Do they even talk to people? This is an earnest question, because I don’t see any presence anywhere from them (whoever they are). And perhaps that is also an issue, when you start finding yourself referring to actual people as ‘they’, you have no face to refer to.

              13. That ‘running away’ can also come from doing drugs…which at 1st lifts you up into those rarified ethers where an ecstatic union can be felt – but the come down is brutal, often leading to depression & dependence, which lames the will to achieve these higher states thru grounded hard work, free from illusion.

                I do think that the folks in Dornach are making an attempt to be more accessible. There are many opportunities to gather at the Goetheanum for various events, including youth conferences & yearlong teachings as well as special artistic events or themed gatherings.

                On Michaelmas there was a tour of the model of the first Goatheanum on zoom – very cool.

                Here is a great English newsletter

                And here is the link to the Society in Dornach

              14. For sure, Kyle, you raise some earnest issues, about “they”, and others. Political parties always talk about the “grass roots”, how important they are for building loyalties, and I find I don’t know who “they” are either, but I know that I enjoy the grass roots contacts I have with Hazel through her blog, and a few who regularly converse there, such as yourself. I can almost picture you – actually Hazel shared a photo once when she met you, but it’s a hazy memory.

                You reminded me of something important from my life, when someone showed up for me at a time when I was down and needed their help. This was 40 years or so previous, and I’ve attempted to find them a couple of times to no avail, such that I wonder if they weren’t an angel sent to help me get through that very difficult time. So I think that’s great that one of the memories you have from going to the other side of the globe was being there to help a friend. Thanks for sharing that. Cheers.

              15. “It was not for the sake of mere symbolism that Goethe sought everywhere for things that suggest a breathing — outbreathing, inbreathing; outbreathing, inbreathing — Goethe saw the whole of life as a picture of receiving and giving. Everyone receives, everyone gives. Every giver becomes a receiver. But for the receiving and the giving to find a true rhythm it is necessary that we enter the Michael Age.” GA 217, Lecture 13

              16. Yes this Goethe qoute from the last lecture in the series THE YOUNGER GENERATION, (also called Becoming the Companions of Michael) GA 217, Lecture XIII, 15 October 1922
                stuck out for me too

              17. Reading the lecture below is probably Steiner’s best indication of what he wants to reveal about Goethe’s former incarnation as an Athenian. He always felt the need to visit Italy, and did so around the time he was forty. Yet, he went there for the Greek influence, and not the Roman. Out of this came the Metamorphosis of Plants, and the second part of Faust.

                It only follows that Rudolf Steiner would be shown his own destiny through the opportunity provided by Karl Julius Schroer to edit Goethe’s scientific writings, which clearly works from this former incarnation at the time of Plato.


              18. For me it really points up the connection that Steiner’s teacher, the former Plato had with Goethe, in that Karl Julius Schroer was even less able to bring his thinking into the modern age…Tapping the young Rudolf Steiner to take over the work of researching & archiving Goethe’s scientific writings – helping illuminate their Greek incarnations.

              19. I’m still digesting everything related to the Etheric, too, Maverick. Lately I’ve been reflecting on how I’ve had tendencies towards the Luciferic end of the spectrum. And surely, it is suffocating. Not to mention having spent many years playing music in bars/nightclubs… many people went there to escape and let loose. And as a reaction, I’ve wanted to be somewhat of a hermit. But I know that wouldn’t be helpful in the long run – or in the grand scheme of things.

                So yes, I suppose it helps – for starters – to reflect on where on that Lucifer/Ahriman spectrum we fall on, she’d light on it… and do our best to redeem it.

              20. All part of the admonition to “Know Thyself” & then to stand in uprightness in the Christic center…

                Learning to understand & redeem our own etheric & astral bodies is part of this

            2. Yes, Maverick. It was a good feeling to know that I was in a place that I was supposed to be… I actually didn’t know what was happening ‘in that particular situation’ until I arrived. I was in Eastern Java, and travelled to the Western part because I felt I needed to connect to some friends there, and then I realised why. It was interesting coming from the jungle, un-groomed with a wild beard, and leaving the comfort of Mother Nature to a hectic bustling metropolis. Right place at the right time.

              I see what you mean by ‘they’. It would be great for more of those ‘parties’ to have somewhat of a more personal connection to their constituents. And thank you Hazel, again, for more info. Glad to see that there is an attempt from the GAS to branch out more.

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