There is an interesting aspect to spiritual development which can be met on the path given by Rudolf Steiner. This aspect is addressed in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds . It is arrived at by following the exercises and soul-spiritual practices which are needed in order to evolve the formation of astral organs for higher cognition. In this book these organs are called the lotus flowers. The exercises and practices are well depicted for the formation of the lotus flowers. The astral organs and the stages of consciousness related to the particular supersensible organ to be discussed can be discovered in other lectures and texts by Rudolf Steiner.
The astral organs which form the basis of the usual higher states of consciousness are: the two-petalled organ, related to the higher states of consciousness called Imagination; the sixteen-petalled organ related to Inspiration; and the twelve-petalled organ related to Intuitive consciousness, or the process of intuition. However, if inspiration is to take place the etheric makeup of the human being has to play a role in the process of cognition. In Knowledge of the Higher Worlds Inspiration is not addressed so directly, but what is spoken of is an organ that is etheric. The description of the use and working of this organ can lead one to think that inspiration is taking place. This is not said directly, however. In the section on the astral organs, Rudolf Steiner takes up the etheric, but in such a way that he notes an organ, called the “etheric heart organ.” It is this etheric heart organ which I would like to approach with the considerations that follow.
It is this etheric heart organ which I consider to be so interesting and so special that this little essay is written. This material was first shared on a Friday evening as a part of the large group gathering where Occult Science is the focus of the study and has been for the last three years. The sharing at that time was much more abbreviated.
THE PHYSICAL SENSES
Let us start not with the supersensible senses needed for spiritual cognition, the lotus flowers or the astral organs, but rather the usual senses, the physical senses. First let us look at the sense organs of the senses. The human physical senses have sense organs in the physical body as a basis for the sense process. As is suggested in what follows, the organs are only a part of the sense process; however, here I am identifying the organs used, possibly used. The specific sense organs were not specifically noted by Rudolf Steiner. He rather described the sense process and the supersensible members active in the formation and function of the senses.
As known by those busy with Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner has pointed to the existence of many more than the five to six senses . He has extended the usual six to twelve and then beyond. The physical senses serve as a basis for higher senses which are totally super-sensible senses. The twelve senses given by the wisdom of the human being, anthroposophy, are: 1 ) the sense of touch, 2) the sense of life, 3) the sense of movement, 4) the sense of balance, 5) the sense of taste, 6) the sense of smell, 7) the sense of sight, 8) the sense of warmth, 9) the sense of hearing, 10) the sense of word, 11 ) the sense of idea, and 12) the sense of ego.
These are the senses. What about the organs? Let me suggest the organs involved are as follows:
1) Sense of touch——- skin, and surface of all organs and structures.
2) Sense of life———– the movement of fluids, and the transformations of all substances in the body.
3) Sense of movement– all movements and all inner movements of the human organism.
4) Sense of balance—– semi-circular canals, cerebellum, spinal nerves.
5) Sense of taste——— tongue and intestinal canal.
6) Sense of smell——– nose, nerves and temporal lobes .
7) Sense of sight——— eyes, nerves and occipital brain.
8) Sense of warmth—– whole differentiated warmth of the body.
9) Sense of hearing—– ears, nerves and otic brain.
10) Sense of word——- larynx and respiration.
11) Sense of idea——– prefrontal brain.
12) Sense of ego——– circulation and heart.
It can be noted that the first senses listed above have no specific organs for their functioning. Then slowly specific organs can be pointed to. Not addressed here is the working of the various members in relation to the organs cited. The “members” are physical body, etheric body, astral body, sentient body, sentient-soul, intellectual- soul, consciousness-soul, spirit-self, life-spirit and spirit-man. Each sense has a different member which determines its makeup and functioning. How these members work into the human being to bring forth the senses has been addressed by Rudolf Steiner.
Rudolf Steiner says that these twelve senses belong to the ego of the human being, as a conscious individual, who lives in the physical world. These senses are formed, as it were, with relatively little effort on the part of the individual, except for the sense of word, idea and ego. The astral, supersensible organs, however, come into existence at this time in history by the active work and efforts of the individual. With the sense of the word, idea and ego, considerable effort has to be made by the individual, although few realize that this is the case. In fact most do not reckon with the sense of word, idea, and ego. Rudolf Steiner was perhaps the first to be able to take note of these senses for our sake, and to help us cultivate them more consciously. In fact, the Goethean method of observation asks for such cultivation.
A grouping of the physical senses could be as follows: 1 -4 more physical, 5-8 more etheric, and 9-1 2 more astral. The ego comes to use these senses all together to become a self-conscious being who lives in the physical world. At the same time, by use of these senses, particularly the astral related senses, the individual has a tendency to enter the elemental world, the astral plane of existence. The astral plane is the first plane of supersensible existence and is just the other side of the sense world. What has to be added to the physical senses are then the etheric senses, and then the astral senses where the physical drops away to a very large extent. There has to be some relation with the physical organism even with the highest of senses, or the human being in ordinary consciousness cannot access the different realms of spiritual reality. This relation is not so easy to find, and it is part of the effort here to share what has been researched on this subject. It is the process of sealing, and then transformation of the physical body that will form a part of the following considerations. For initiation means getting into the spiritual world, but as well, bringing content back for existence in the physical body, in the physical world.
In a lecture cycle given in Berlin in 1910 entitled “Anthroposophy,” Rudolf Steiner speaks about the physical senses, what forms them and what they reveal to the human being in their use. Such a detailed consideration is not taken up here. This short general view is deemed necessary as a point of departure.
Important with these twelve senses for our consideration here is that they give the human being a basis for perceiving in the physical world, and at the same time give a possibility for each to have the experience of “self”. The self with “object” consciousness is what is important in relation to the twelve senses. The higher senses, the etheric and astral senses have other purposes. The ether senses give the experience of “beingness” and the astral gives the revelation of other “beings.” Thus 1) object, 2) self, 3) beingness, and 4) other beings are very much a part of what has to follow.
THE ETHERIC SENSES– ORGANS WHICH GIVE BEINGNESS
Now if the physical senses are related to the ego, let me suggest that there are etheric senses not only related to the human ego, but to the astral body as well. The etheric senses are not grounded in physical organs and the physical body as noted above, but more anchored in the etheric of the inner organs . There are essentially seven inner organs: the brain-uterus, lung, heart, liver, spleen, gall, and kidneys. It is their freed ether that gives the experience of the different sides of beingness, where the astral can be active and the ego present as well.
As has been noted, the physical senses give the individual, the ego, the possibility of sensing oneself as a self, and the world outside as object. The senses of the etheric realm, of the inner organs, help that this same ego can come to the experience of being, of beingness. The ego comes to sense “beingness” through a relation with the etheric of the seven inner organs via the astral body, which is threefolded with sentient-soul, intellectual-soul and consciousness-soul.
As our astral body, our soul body, has a relation with the etheric of the seven inner organs, so it is that we might speak of astral sense-processes as being based in the etheric of the inner organs. (Another view can be that all senses have an astral element; however, with the inner organs the astral is quite in the forefront.) Just as the nose is the physical basis for smell (very much an astral organ), so the inner organs are the etheric basis for the astral to be active and active for a sense life that is higher than with the physical senses . As the physical senses offer differing experiences to the human ego, so the etheric of the inner organs support differing experiences for the human astral makeup, the astral-organization in which the ego lives as well.
What is common in the astral experiences is movement. The inner organs in their etheric makeup support the astral for the sake of movement, movements. From a certain vista, these inner movements, based in the etheric of inner organs, are sense experiences of a special kind. This will be addressed shortly.
At this time I am inclined to consider the inner movement activities as a basis for our potential to experience ourselves as “beings.” These movements are seven in number as will be spoken of shortly. They live in the embryologically freed ether, an ether that I have tried to identify in the last years. As the human astral lives actively in this freed ether, it becomes possible for each of us to come to ourselves as “beings.” Thus our existential qualities can be thought of as arising out of inner movements . The astral lives here, and the ego can then come to its beingness in this realm of the inner etheric senses.
With the physically-based senses something of the experience of form is significant for the human being. Self can come to consciousness as a restoration of form as with self-consciousness.With the etheric senses it is more the existential, the quality of being, existing, that steps to the fore. The form of a human being is more common, more general, while beingnes s tends in the direction of the person, the more singular. The etheric experience of egoity, the being-experience, is more personal, is more singular, than the general form of the human being. The outer form only becomes singular when the person as being is manifest in the general physical makeup as, for example, in the finger print, the eyeground, or the physiognomy. There is much in the human makeup, in the form of the human makeup, that is quite general, and it is just this general quality that permits the evolution of the personality, the individuality. I have been making quite some effort to address the inner movements in work with ANTHA in the last two years (1996-1997).
I have as just noted, suggested that the inner movements of the human being, seven in number, are related to the inner organs. The inner movements live more in the ether world than in the physical organs themselves . However, each organ does have a physical component. The physical of the inner organs has much to do with metabolism, and all are busy in secretional-excretional activities which are a part of metabolism. The metabolic processes make the organs physical, and physical- etheric, and the secretional-excretional makes these organs more etheric-astral. The secretional-excretional activities are actually astral activities pressing the physical back and permitting the etheric to become free of the physical. I have repeatedly spoken about the freed ether forces as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, freed through secretion-excretion, as forces which then can serve to support sense processes of the etheric and raise sense activity to the domain of human consciousness, to sense impression and sensation. Without the freed ether forces, from secretion and excretion, being extracted from the physical organs, consciousness for the soul could not exist in relation to the sense perceptible world. Let us follow this line of consideration. However, let us make note that the ether forces freed with secretion and excretion are different from the ether forces freed from the inner organs at the time of embryological formation. We will deal with the latter forces following a further look at the secretional and excretional processes.
Let us follow up the ether forces freed by dint of secretion and excretion. Let us look at the inner organs in relationship to the excretions-secretions, as not so many are familiar with this subject. I have repeatedly spoken of the seven inner organs: 1 ) brain with womb and prostate, 2) lung, 3) heart, 4) liver, 5) gall, 6) spleen, and 7) kidneys .
Here is a list of organs and excretions (some secretions) that have put together from my research. This relationship is not addressed directly by Rudolf Steiner but is taken from the usual knowledge of the inner organs . Now we can look at the secretions, or more the excretions of these organs. The excretions of the organs can be seen as follows:
|Womb||menses and the fetus|
|Lung||water, carbon dioxide, and proteins|
|Heart||destroyed blood cells|
|Liver||carbohydrates, fats, and proteins-fecal material|
|Spleen||destroyed blood cells, lymphocytes and platelets|
|Gall||fatty substances, and minerals via the pancreas|
|Kidneys||proteins and minerals|
This list permits a look at the organs and the secretion or excretion which is related to each organ. Such a view of organs and secretional-excretional activity is not very common. One has to be able to image ether forces being freed with each secretional-excretional activity. As substance is laid off, is gotten rid of, ether forces are freed from the inner organ. It is the human astral which comes to live in this etheric, and by this process the ego can in turn come to experience beingness. The self is experienced in the activity of the physical senses, but the element of beingness arises as the ego approaches the astral in the etheric freed from the inner organs. Inner movements also play into this sense of being.
The experience of “being” is not immediate and arises out of an effort to approach that which is more inward. As thinking is more inward, it is in the process and activity of thinking that varying degrees of beingness can arise. Existential experiences then are quite real, and point to the etheric domain of inner senses (the etheric freed from inner organs) and to a certain extent from inner movements which will be addressed shortly.
As each organ with its excretion helps that ether forces are freed, so ether forces become available for the support of the astral body where impressions and then sensations can take place. An example might be as follows: with the hormonal secretions of the brain (there are many) and the sand excretion of the pineal gland, forces are liberated to work in close association with the activities of the human eye. The astral body in relation to the pineal and the brain helps that ether forces are liberated. These freed forces serve that inner forms can arise within the astral which by this means becomes sentient-soul. The sentient-soul, in turn, serves to bring about the experience of image from the soul and thereby approaches the intellectual-soul.
If we look at the brain and pineal in this fashion we may come to appreciate why Descartes thought that this gland was so important as a step from the soul to the body. His assertion appears as a residue of old spiritual knowledge, as it were. (In older times the pineal was considered to be the seat of the soul.) All that is noted here can be thought of as a part of giving the element of “being” to the individual.
In order to broaden the perspective on the domain of freed ether forces, ether freed by secretion-excretion, let me offer the following outline:
1 ) Freed ether from the pineal sand–helps form images (my surmise).
1 ) Freed ether from the menses and the birth of the human being–helps form embryonic membranes and astral organs (my surmise).
1 ) Freed ether from semen–helps form embryonic membranes and in turn astral organs of perception (my surmise).
2) Freed ether from carbon dioxide excretion–helps form impressions (from suggestion by Rudolf Steiner)
3) Freed ether from the destruction of red blood cells by the heart–helps form sensations (my surmise).
4) Freed ether forces from fecal excretion–helps form the human brain for conceptive (specific indication by Rudolf Steiner and is the basis for my surmises).
5) Freed ether forces from the excretion of platelets–helps form conceptions and the human blood (my surmise).
6) Freed ether forces from the excretion of fatty substances–helps form myelin of brain (my surmise).
7) Freed ether forces from the excretion of mineral substances–helps form associational pathways in brain (direct indication from Rudolf Steiner).
An outline of inner organ formation and activity could be:
In the last several years as noted above, I have begun to relate what Rudolf Steiner calls inner movements to the ether freed from the inner organs during embryogenesis, as pointed to above. Note should be made of the difference between freed ether from secretional and excretional activity, and freed ether that comes about because of embryonic development. It is the freed ether from embryonic development that I am relating to the astral movements and the basis for astral senses. The embryologically freed ether can be thought of as the ether that is liberated as the inner organ is pushed back from remaining a sphere as it evolves. Ether forces structure each organ, and when the organ is not unfolded as a total sphere, then forces are freed to remain from embryonic times for the sake of evolving inner movements.
A thought that can be carried is that each inner organ is a derivative of the etheric cosmos, of the planetary world. (Each inner organ, except for the heart, is round and bud-shaped to begin with) If the etheric sphere of the planet were taken in totally to form the inner organ, then the organ would form a sphere. However, each mature organ is not a sphere. It can be thought that it is the astral of the cosmos which gathers the ether and brings the ether to the actively unfolding organ. Because of the way that the cosmic astral can work, work as a sentient-bodily process, the round of the pure ether sphere is invaginated. The sentient-body hollows out ( as indicated by Rudolf Steiner) and forms invaginations and hollows of physical structures. A cup form, a vessel form, is created with each organ by dint of the activity of the sentient body. Or a variant of a cup or vessel can be structured. This can be seen as a sentient-bodily activity where the sphere of cosmic dimension can be seen with an inner organ like the more spheric urinary bladder, the gall bladder or the uterine body.
If we turn the liver upside down, the invagination process is easily seen. If we with imagination unite the two kidneys and turn them upside down again a kind of bowl is formed. One might think of these as rather holy vessels which contain the working of the sentient-soul active in the ether which has been freed with the invagination process by the sentient body. Just as secretion and excretion can free ether forces, so invagination activity can as well. The human astral body then, is active to free ether forces, working as sentient-body, while the sentient-soul lives with many movements in the free ether. It is then the sentient-soul which has so much to do with the bringing about of inner movements. With inner movements the soul can come to sense “beingness” in an outward way and not just on a path inward. Thus “beingness” has an inward element, a soulness of thinking, feeling, and willing, and at the same time a more outward element as with the inner movements.
The inner movements have been enumerated by Rudolf Steiner. He has related the movements to planets, but not to specific organs as I have been suggesting, but only suggesting so that one can get a sense for the step from the inner organ to the inner movement. Needed is a path of contemplation which permits one’s deeper makeup to sense a transition from body to movements, inner movements. I have focused on the inner organs in order that the searcher might walk a little way with me, and the contemplations might help focus consciousness on the movements . When one comes to take up the inner organs as a basis for the movements crucial to the human being, then beingness and humanity can be experienced. Very mobile and fluid imaging, fleeting, rapidly fleeting sentient experiences can be anticipated. The usual sensations, the usual images of outer life have to be put aside. The fleeting and fluid quality of the inner experiences is not so easy to hold on to and put into ideas for others. So the attempt here can be considered as a kind of introduction.
Here are the seven inner movements, the organ relation and the planetary body or sphere (Rudolf Steiner has given the planet and movement relationship, I have added the organ relationship) :
|Upright position in space||Spleen||Saturn|
Now it can be asked, what brought the inner movements into existence? Here I think we can find some indications from Christological lectures given by Rudolf Steiner. The lectures on the “Pre-earthly Deeds of Christ” are particularly helpful. In this set of lectures, the Christ is identified as the One who, incorporating himself as an archangel, brings about walking, speaking, and thinking. During the Lemurian epoch Christ brought about the upright posture of the human being. He brought it about that the upside down orientation and the horizontal positioning of Adam, and Adam Cadman in the cosmos was righted. A result was that the plant and then the animal could be given off from cosmo-earthly man, so that upright man could come into existence.
I have suggested that it could be the Archangel Raphael who helped the Christ with this deed of evolving uprightness, which took place in early Lemuria. In later Lemurian and Atlantean times when race ruled evolution, the capacity to speak was given to man, again by the Christ and Raphael. Finally, with the later Atlantean evolution and until the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, thinking was brought to man, by Raphael-Christ, although at this time Michael joined Raphael in the process. So it is possible to think of the inner movements as brought about by the Christ in conjunction with Raphael, and then the process moved towards the Archangel Michael. Obviously other spiritual beings were involved as well.
I have considered at the suggestions given by Rudolf Steiner that Michael also works with the Christ during this period, from the time of Lemuria to the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. The cooperative working of Michael with Christ was also pre-earthly and brought about the ensouling and enspiriting of 1 ) the senses, 2) the life processes and 3) the soul. It is my impression that these human senses and life processes are more connected with the endocrine glands. The soul, in thinking, feeling, and willing is more connected with the freed ether from secretions as noted above, and the endocrine organs are organs of internal secretion. The inner organs are more organs of external excretion. The senses, life processes and the soul can be thought of as Christically penetrated working through Michael. Further, this Christic activity in conjunction with Michael, can be thought of as directed to the physical senses, the life processes in connection with the endocrine organs. The metabolic processes are also connected with this but are more inner organ dependent. (For now I will not pursue this direction into the metabolic processes of the inner organs as this direction leads more to the astral organs below the diaphragm in the mature human being today. The focus of this essay will be more towards the astral organs, the lotus organs.)
The role of inner movements in relation to astral organs will be taken up after the astral or lotus organs have been dealt with historically.
LOTUS FLOWERS – OLD AND NEW
A significant differentiation is made by Rudolf Steiner between the old and new lotus flowers. The differentiation is between the lotus, the astral structures already in use and given, and those that have to be evolved for the future. He tells us that half the petals of the lotus flowers, the astral organs, were evolved in the past by spiritual beings. The future lotus flowers, astral organs, can now be evolved by man, by the human being because he has the potential to work as a free being and take up a spiritual path.
My inclination, my suggestion, would be to consider the inner movements, as indicated above, for example, with uprightness, speaking and thinking, as the functions of the lotus petals (organ activities) brought about in the past. These inner movements can, to begin with, be related to the physical senses. Uprightness permits the cognition of life, movement, and space. With speech, it is possible that the inner processes of taste, smell, and sight take place. With the movement of thinking, it is possible for warmth, hearing, word and ego perception to take place. It can then be noted that the cognitive process, no matter what it is, is actually quite a spiritual process, and for this reason can be built on, rising from the senses used in the physical world to the senses used in the spiritual world. Again this will be elaborated to make more sense and help with meaning.
A next step can be to think that the inner movements might be somewhat transformed in the process of forming new astral organs, new lotus flowers. An outline might look as follows:
EMBRYOLOGICALLY FORMED ORGANS
INNER MOVEMENTS AND LOTUS FLOWERS
What seems important in looking at these inner movements is that they and the astral organs were formed in the past, as just noted.
Part of our astral organs were formed in earlier times and from these old astral organs new organs can arise. So I am suggesting that the inner movements of the past may be the basis for the older lotus or astral organs. This means that the inner movements are the expression of the already formed astral organs. These movements, some of them, were brought about by lofty spiritual beings, and particularly by the Christ. This makes all human beings very much of Christic origin in a way. Such a view brings a whole new Christology to light. We in our inner movements can be thought of as Christian beings, and can seek to find the Christ on this path, a verity for all human beings, and not a matter of present day religious confessions.
Let me outline the inner movements and place the lotus organs next to the movements. However let me first just list the lotus flowers in a way that is not following slavishly what is to be found in Occult Science, or Knowledge of the Higher Worlds.
|The Lotus Organs||Physical Organs||Movements|
|Two Petalled Lotus||Near brain-uterus||Reproducing|
|Sixteen Petalled Lotus||Near lung-larynx||Breathing|
|Twelve Petalled Lotus||Near heart-pericardium||Circulating|
|Ten Petalled Lotus||Near gall-liver||Speaking|
|Eight petalled lotus||Near spleen-liver||Uprightness|
|Six petalled lotus||Near kidney||Secreting|
|Four petalled lotus||Near liver-brain||Thinking|
For the person familiar with Occult Science and Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, it could appear totally insane to place the lotus flowers and the organs in this relation. For many the eight-petalled organ is not taken seriously. However such a perspective is not as crazy as it might first seem. First what should be noted is that the inner movements and the inner organs are not synonymous . It can be that certain lotus organs are metamorphosed and relatively unimportant at one time or another. Further it can be considered that the inner movements are actually totally freed from the inner organs and are based in the freed ether. So I would reason, why is this? My perspective is that the inner movements are dependent on the etheric which remains free of the inner organs out of the embryological process as I have outlined above. Thus there is a kind of inner rearrangement of the embryologically derived ether for the sake of supporting those movements which have come to serve the unfolding of the human being. All of the movements make the human being as he is today, with the possibility of activity, inner organic processes and recreative capacities . What would man be if he could not stand erect, speak and think, for example? These are just man’s human capacities of the present. A further consideration will be helpful .
Let us for a moment take recreative activities in relation to the brain and the uterus. Let us take the movement of reproduction in an attempt to speak of the inner movements in relation to higher spiritual life, to the forming of astral organs. We can site two forms of recreative activity, that of imaging, and that of human physical recreation. The imaging is a process which is more soul oriented and can be related more to the hind brain. Here with imagining the reproductive process is taken from the sense perceptible world and the recreative process is raised to take place in the upper pole of the human being. With reproduction from a physical perspective it is more the uterus that is involved. What is of the nature of image, in the case of the reproductive movement results in the creation of an actual embryo– another human being.
The reproductive processes that are transformed from a purely physical process to a soul-like process can be thought of as the basis for the human intellect (not intelligence) . With the human intellect the lower physical reproductive process is raised somewhat into the soul and there a kind of purification of lower desires and impulses can take place. Rudolf Steiner has indicated that this process was very much a part of the Egyptian culture, and the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris. My thoughts have been that the animal depictions from that time indicate what the human being had to take on in soul life, so that just this animal transformation process and the accompanying soul-spiritual and metabolic-reproductive processes could follow. In a way, the emergence of the human out of the archetype of the lion, bull and eagle can be seen as an image of this process. (Present day lion, bull and eagle are not archetypes.)
This might be an approach to the transformation of the reproductory movement. This however does not indicate where the movements began. For this, I think we have to look to the transition from Hyperborea, the time of cosmic andro-gynous man, and to Lemuria, when the division of the sexes took place. It would take quite some developing to take this movement up extensively, in its genesis. However, a direction might be to take the separation of the sun and then the moon from the earth as a beginning. The sun exited with the work of the Elohim, the Pleuromic Elohim, and the moon was taken out of the earth by the deeds of Jehova, also an Elohim. In this way one can consider that it is the Elohim deeds, on the way to Christic deeds that brings about the division of the sexes. It is the Isis and Osiris mysteries that deal with this process and the outcome is the emerging of human intellect and then a capacity of the human being so to speak to be differentiated from reproduction, yet related.
So this is a profound mystery, the mystery of the two forms of reproduction. I take it that this mystery is not yet complete in world evolution, it is in process. It is a mystery process that has yet to be worked out in its fullness. The just cited movements took place in the past, and bespeak the difference between reproduction by imaging and reproduction by physical means. The just cited mystery of these two forms of reproduction have taken place before the Mystery of Golgotha. Needed yet is to bring the reproductory movements in relation to the Christ as it is taking place now after the Mystery of Golgotha.
The present evolution can be considered to take the reproductory movements, and bring a Christic element into them. This has not yet fully taken place as was the case with erect position, with walking, the first speaking and thinking. The metamorphosis of the reproductory movements have yet to culminate in the “word that is creative” as can be found in the Johannine Christian approach. This would be my direction in contemplating the metamorphosis of reproduction, the movement of reproduction to the movement of speaking and thinking.
The movement of reproduction can be considered to have occurred because of the freed ether from the reproductory organs at the time of embryogenesis. The next step is to penetrate these movements with a Christic working. This then helps that the old lotus organs, the organs that functioned for reproduction can be penetrated again to bring about new lotus flowers, new astral organ activity. The movements of speaking and thinking need penetration again, in our times. This is a need so that new forms of reproductory activity can unfold for the future. New Christic impulses have to enter old movements for the sake of the future. The organs of reproduction for the future will arise out of new astral organs, which we have to form by conscious effort. Thus man, recreating man, will become the responsibility of each, with much less guidance from the spiritual world.
Let us now take a step from movement to organ, a step downward as it were. Let us step down to the liver. This is one of the organs with embryologically freed ether. These freed ether forces can be considered to be used to evolve an inner movement, that of thinking, a lotus activity from the past. As we know the liver itself is very much an organ of metabolism. Again and again we have taken the liver to a higher stage of metabolism, and this higher stage takes place in the brain. Rudolf Steiner has pointed to this upward transformation more than once. As the liver is raised, we can imagine that the embryonic freed ether from this organ comes to serve thinking. In fact it can be reasoned that it is cosmic thinking that raises the metabolism of the liver to the brain. This cosmic thinking is called the working of the World of Reason (see Macrocosm and Microcosm). The liver and free ether forces can support an evolving movement of thinking. Thus by stepping down to the liver, we can raise the liver to the head and in the process contemplate the movement of thinking. (It is possible to consider the myth of Prometheus as addressing this process, the metamorphic process that has to do with the liver, the brain and thinking.)
Now, as already pointed to, the movement of thinking is a deed of the Christ in pre-earthly times, at least the beginning of this movement. When the human being meets the world with human senses, then it is the movement of thinking that meets the sense process with conceptual activity. With this thinking movement, imaging-sense activity is not in the foreground but more the forming of concepts. The liver metabolic processes have to be present in the head of the human being, the movement of thinking and a new capacity to conceive spiritually. Now it is the forebrain, the thinking activity in relation to the forebrain that comes into consideration. The brain does not do the thinking, but serves as a mirror for the new movement of thinking.
In this way we can think of something of the freed ether from the liver serving conception as a spiritual activity. To this process we can, in addition, bring the activity of conceiving, from the reproductory pole. If we speak of conception of the physical human being, then sexual activity and actual conceptual process takes place on a physical level. With the latter it is more the uterus that is involved. If we think of the conception process where idea and concept formation is involved, then it has to be the ether forces from the uterus that support this form of conceptive process. The liver has had to be elevated to a brain process in order that the conceptive activity can be reflected, become conscious.
This example is given so that we might come to have a sense for the physical organs, and the movements which are more soul-like in nature, yet independently related to the physical-etheric organism.
THE TWO-PETALLED LOTUS , OR ASTRAL ORGAN- AN ASTRAL SENSE
Our path has been to first take up the physical sense organs. Next we have spoken of the etheric senses and the inner organs, which give rise to freed etheric forces to form a foundation for these senses.
These first set of freed forces supporting the etheric senses come from the secretional and excretional activity of the organs. A second set of freed ether forces comes from the embryological unfolding of the inner organs. In both cases, there comes a support for the “beingness” of the human soul.
Our next step has been to take up the movements which make use of the embryologically derived freed ether forces. I have equated these inner movements with the lotus flowers, the lotus organs, the astral organs formed from the past. Seven movements have been identified. The suggestion followed that the new lotus organs might be seen as a metamorphosis, in part, of the past lotus organs, or movements. Now let us turn to the four-petalled lotus.
The four-petalled organ is located near the reproductory organs. It is the movement of reproduction that is closely related to the physical reproductory organs when physical conception takes place. The usual reproductory process might be thought of as involving two petals of the lotus organ which has a total of four petals . It is the spiritual world which has brought about this movement in the distant past. I have found no direct indications of Christ at work in the bringing into existence this inner movement, but an indirect relation can be found. It would appear that the reproductory process comes about as a result of a fall from a very lofty movement archetype. The reproductory process fell out of higher spiritual activities which were originally responsible for the taking of the sun out of the earth at the time of Hyperborea. It was the Pleuromic Elohim who brought this separation, and by this separation laid the ground for the reproductory movement. Again, this original movement, activity, fell to become the reproductory process of our day.
This four-petalled organ, astral organ, is called the Kundalini, which we are hearing so much about today. In our time, it is the two remaining petals which have to be formed, while the first two of the Kundalini are ancient and I would say come from Hyperborean times . It is the present day spiritual practices which can raise the remaining two petals of the four-petalled organ into the region of the forehead and overcome the Fall, the fall of the original movements. What has fallen in cosmic history has to be raised. What has fallen into the pelvis of the human being has to be raised to the head.
The two remaining astral movements of the four petalled-astral organ bring about a metamorphosis of the original two. The movements of the remaining undeveloped astral organism have to be taken up by the conscious human being. Practices are needed for this . The new movements, the new astral movements or organs, petals, have to be raised from the lower reproductory organs to the head. The freed ether from the uterus has to be used to support and raise a purely physical reproductory process into the domain of the head. The freed ether of the liver has to be taken along. New soul-spiritual practices take hold of the fallen reproductory movement and raises a portion of the movement of the four-petalled lotus into the region of the head. This then becomes that potential for the two-petalled organ needed in our time for higher cognitional possibilities. The activity of conception, of thinking conception, not in relation to perception but as a rather pure process, can then gradually evolve. Pure thinking can be thought of as a resultant possibility from this change. In the region of the forebrain the two-petalled organ can become operative, supported by other ether forces freed by the dying brain, the retrogressing brain and as well by the ether forces from the inner organs . The liberated ether of the dying brain, the ether which remains free from the embryological process of the liver and the ether freed from the uterus can be used as a basis for bringing new movements, a new lotus organ, into existence in the forehead region. Etheric forces from the womb, liver and brain serve the evolution of a new astral organ, the two-petalled astral organ. This is an organ which is not given by the past, but appears as a result of the metamorphosis of the older astral organ, and is supported by the etheric freed from organs during embryology and a dying brain.
Therefore it is in the region of the human forehead that the two petalled astral organ can unfold when higher capacities are cultivated. Here the activity of thinking becomes the point of departure for the path of initiation inaugurated by Rudolf Steiner at the hand of the Archangel Michael. The inner movements related to Christ-Raphael pass over to movements of Christ-Michael in our times in the forming of the new cognitive organ, the organ for Imagination. What I have gathered is that the activity of the Cherubim and Seraphim implanted this potential into the spiritual striving of mankind in the 13th century, an event recorded by Rudolf Steiner. He gave the date of 1250 for this mighty change in the human make up.
These metamorphoses have not been worked out intellectually. The first time that I had an impression of the metamorphic process was in 1968 in working through the Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’ s World Conception. Since then this metamorphosis has been looked at again and again as a possibility. What is offered here is not done so out of a dogmatic stand, but is presented as a result of ever recurring efforts to comprehend the origin of higher organs, the metamorphosis of older spiritual organs, and the result of present day activities on a spiritual path.
INNER MOVEMENTS AND THE NEW LOTUS FLOWERS
From what has just been said it becomes obvious that the movements are not tied to specific organs, and that the embryonically freed ether is present to permit movements which have a very flexible relation with the formation of the astral organs for higher cognition. The view being presented here is that the inner movements from the past are supported by the embryologically freed ether from the inner organs. Thus with inner movements, largely the original astral organs, the physicality and the etheric of specific organs fall into the back ground. When these etheric-physical organs surface and direct the inner movements or astral organs, then pathology arises. It is too far reaching to follow up this line of contemplation here in this context.
What becomes important for the spiritual striver is how to alter the existent astral organs, the inner movements. That the movements can be altered has just been suggested, with the result that new cognitive organs might arise, new movements as it were. The example of the movement of thinking in relation to the movement of reproduction has just been cited. If this example is taken as a possibility then all other inner movements, can be altered with spiritual striving, but the specifics of spiritual striving have to be known. Such a metamorphosis takes place with the human being taking in hand what had previously been the work of higher spiritual beings. Already stated, human beings if they are free can undertake to bring new organs, new movements into existence.
The new astral organs with new movements are not totally the result of man transforming the given lotus organs, movements. Another dimension of the forming of the new organs can be added, nay has to be added from the researches that I have done. Another dimension of the ether and the astral has to be taken into consideration, as the alteration of the old organs takes place through human striving. The practices to be considered shortly have an added component, and that is a cosmic dimension which comes to meet one’s efforts, the human effort of a striver. What have to eventuate with the new organs are the capacities spoken of by Rudolf Steiner as mentioned earlier: Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. To these three must be added the cognitive capacity of sense perception upon which the three higher capacities are based. To these four, beginning with sense perception, three yet higher capacities are possible, but only when Intuition becomes the foundation for the yet three higher capacities. Rudolf Steiner has only hinted at the seven capacities outlined here. For the most part it is our task to wrestle out the first four capacities- and this may take centuries, millennia.
The usual form of knowledge is called physical cognition. Within this usual form of cognition, there lies the germ for the three higher modes, that is Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. Rudolf Steiner has pointed to these three germs as 1) perception, forming of images from sense life, 2) conceiving to gain ideas, and 3) seeking the beingness of each who does the conceiving, that is, the ego. Thus with the usual activities in gaining knowledge, something of the higher organ potential lies hidden. This approach can be found in the little booklet called Stages of Knowledge. These germinal activities for higher states of cognition are important in so far as a continuum from sense perception to higher forms of perception can be anticipated. The domain of sense life is not totally left as an isolated experience in the soul of the modern spiritual striver who seeks higher forms of knowledge based on new organs of cognition.
Much emphasis has been given to the usual form of sense cognition, so that it can become more alive and much more penetrating. This line of consideration leads to thinking as a central element in the usual form of cognition, the cognition of objects. With thinking it is possible for the human being of our day to become a master of an inner activity and lay the ground work for a path to higher knowledge. Thinking lies hidden in the usual cognitive capacity. In the material mode of cognition, it is the conceptive that can be taken hold of to bring about what is called pure thinking. This pure thinking is the ability to live solely in ideas without accompanying sense perceptions. This becomes a kind of starting point for the modern spiritual striver who dares to follow the path given by Rudolf Steiner. As already indicated, this form of thinking, pure thinking, helps to form the two-petalled organ. Once this organ is formed, then the human activity can begin taking in spiritual content in the form of images. The human being rises from a “self”, to a “being” and now to the cognition of “other beings” in the form of images. These images, Imaginations, are in no way similar to the images formed in the act of sense perception. From imagination, steps to inspiration and intuition have to follow– and with this the sixteen-petalled organ, and then the twelve-petalled organ become necessary.
Before progressing much farther let us quickly look at capacities which lie higher than Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. Three still higher forms of cognition are possible as noted above and need consideration to form a perspective for the future, a very far distant future- eons. (We might consider them to be ego-organs, to be compared with the physical sense organs, etheric and then astral sense organs.) The three highest stages of cognition I have come to think of as related to the three lotus organs, the ten-petalled lotus, the eight-petalled lotus and the six-petalled lotus . If one imagines the human being turned upside down as happens in the etheric world, then physical perception can be imaged as related to the head and the senses as a beginning. From there the two-petalled lotus can be considered as located within the head, and from there it is possible to ascend on a ladder of astral organs. In this way, the striver never sinks into the lower regions of the human organism but raises the lowest to the highest. This perspective places the two-petalled organ as a basis for higher cognition, and as noted, this organ in a way is a higher metamorphosis of the lowest, that is the four-petalled organ.
A totally different perspective could be interjected here. We might consider that higher capacities for cognition will unfold by themselves over long periods of time. These capacities are those far above the usual involved in sense perception, just as we have been speaking about. The etheric inner sense organ, the lotus organs and the higher ego organs, will bring about an ever more refined makeup of the human being. The human being will become ever more delicate and finally quite ethereal. Man will become an etheric form with some physical taken along. The upright posture of our day will perhaps give way to an inverted state, as is seen today in embryonic development. This will come about as the lotus organs become a kind of ladder for the activity of the human being in the etheric-astral to ego domains of existence.
My thought is that the lotus organs will fashion an increasingly different human being in the far future, and it is just the far future that is important with initiation. It is to be considered that the cognitive capacities in the distant future will begin with the twelve-petalled lotus organ and ascend from there. Three further supersensible organs will then unfold. As today there are three supersensible organs above the usual organs of the physical sense world. Thus a continuum of supersensible organs and ever higher capacities can be envisioned, but if they are built on the sensible of our day, the physical world will be taken along. Such a view then gives a sense of responsibility to the present physical world and its care. Such a view does not seek to live in a non-physical existence and neglect the already created.
THE EMBRYONIC MEMBRANES AND THE LOTUS FLOWERS
A discussion of the lotus organs would not be complete however if a consideration of the embryonic membranes did not take place. A perspective that I have been working with recently takes the embryonic membranes into consideration as the astral organs are formed. As the inner movements of the present are transformed, and this we will consider more carefully shortly, astral forces are freed for the creation of the new lotus flowers. However, more astral forces are needed than can be liberated by the alteration of the inner movements of the present. In a way new astral forces are needed for the formation of the consciously developed lotus organs. These forces can be thought of as coming from the discarded embryonic membranes .
The astral forces of the embryonic membranes are said to be active in the formation of the allantois during embryogensis . When the membranes are cast off, then the astral forces are free to enter the cosmos, and there serve as a source of renewal for the human being during sleep. These astral forces rise into the planetary world where they then come into relation to the zodiacal world. Archetypal man lives in a way in the astral zodiacal world, star world. There the outer stars shine covering the higher astral of Lion, Bull and Eagle, with Man in the ascendancy. The lower astral gives rise to the animals as we know them. The higher astral lives in the outer reaches of existence to help that the human being can emerge with an incorporation of the other three archetypes.
The astral movements in metamorphosis, the astral organs in the process of being formed, ascend in sleep into the astral of the cosmos to be unfolded. Thus the higher organs of cognition, once begun to be formed during waking life, are taken into sleep where they receive added forces from the former embryonic membranes and the star world of the cosmos. If I understand correctly, the human experience of this process is the refreshment from sleep. Here with our considerations the formation of new astral organs becomes an experience which in part replaces the simple experience of refreshment.
It can be asked, what spiritual beings are present in these astral forces of sleep, brought about from the astral forces which in embryonic times built up the embryonic membranes ? The best I can come to at this time, is that they are Christic Cherubim and Seraphim. It is they who permit the astral of the human being in sleep to be refreshed, and with the spiritual striver work into the gradual forming of the higher organs of cognition. The spiritual striver takes his deeds of the spiritual path to these Christic Beings of sleep.
It appears that the astral movements of sleep, the activity of the human astral body in sleep, unites with the astral forces which were active in forming the human organism in embryogenesis . These astral forces are working in the allantois in the embryo, and it is this structure which has so much to do with the excretional processes of the fully developed human being. These are the forces which are released at the time when the embryonic membranes are discarded at birth. And these forces normally work into the breathing, to help that breathing contains the soul, and that the breathing can be extended into sleep life. It is then in sleep life that the forces which helped form the human being can help form the higher organs of cognition. Here is a first outline to help with this line of thought:
- The astral which lays the basis for all types of movement in the human being is put together before birth this is a karmic process.
- The astral that becomes differentiated for thinking, feeling and willing, in the face of the ego.
- The astral that is transformed to become sentient-body, sentient soul, intellectual-soul, and consciousness-soul.
- The astral that becomes transformed to be the basis for spirit-self.
- The astral that works to form the embryonic membrane, the allantois, to work formatively in the creation of the invaginated inner organs, and brings about secretion and excretion.
- The astral that is freed during embryogenesis in the process of forming inner organs to serve inner movements or half of the lotus organs that come from the past.
- The astral that is freed from inner movements to help form the second half of the lotus or astral organs- the new organs.
- The astral that is freed with the casting off of the embryonic membranes, to become cosmic (Adam Cadmanic).
- Adam Cadmanic astral forces which work to form the higher organs of the soul.
- Adam Cadmanic astral forces which work into the soul to bring about breathing and sleep.
Thus from this outline, it can be considered that the lotus flowers, the astral organs are formed in the cosmos from astral forces freed from the inner movements and from the astral forces which were released with the elimination of the embryonic membranes. It is these two sets of astral forces that become active in the forming of new organs for higher cognition. Rudolf Steiner in the lecture on The Invisible Man, points to the membrane forces that are active in the process of initiation, and it is for this reason that what is presented here appears . Here are the two sources of the forces used to form the lotus organs:
Forces freed from inner movements by spiritual practice.
Forces freed from the embryonic membranes at the time of birth.
ETHER FORCES – EMBRYONIC MEMBRANE FORCES AND ENLIGHTENMENT
Now we have to step from the astral to the etheric. Again we have to consider freed ether forces for the evolution of higher organs . We have at different times reviewed the manifold origin of freed ether forces. The freed ether forces derived from the casting off of the embryonic membranes can be thought of in a quite similar fashion as is true of the astral forces from the same source. The etheric forces freed with the elimination of the embryonic membranes also have a cosmic destination. The function of these ether forces have been described by Rudolf Steiner as bringing new forces to the ether body in the time of sleep. As the astral forces bring refreshing impulses to the astral body and help with the other activities spoken to above, the freed ether forces bring new life, new stimulus to the ether body when a human being is in the sleep state. The difference is, of course, that the astral forces are busy cosmically while the ether forces have to work into the ether body which remains attached to the physical body while the human being is asleep.
I have ventured the thought that some of the same ether forces help with the organization of the astral organs when a human being takes a path of initiation. As just indicated, Rudolf Steiner reveals that membranes’ forces are active for the sake of initiation. Here I am only adding a more specific working which I have come upon out of my own research into the forming of the astral organs, the lotus flowers. My line of contemplation is that these ether forces help with the formation or organization of the new astral organs in the domain of the cosmos. I have thought that the ether forces freed from the embryonic membranes may be more organizational forces, while the ether forces freed from inner movement metamorphosis may be more supportive in relation to the unfolding of the astral organs (the ether forces are like a womb, a foundation). Again, I would identify ether forces which support the unfolding of astral organs and ether forces which help form the astral organs . Each has a different origin.
A brief outline of ether forces follows to give a sense for the etheric, and a context for the present considerations:
Ether forces liberated from the excretion of substance.
Ether forces liberated from the embryonic forming of inner organs.
Ether forces freed from the inner movements which support the unfolding of astral organs.
Ether forces freed from the embryonic membrane s which bring new life to the ether body of the sleeping individual.
Ether forces freed from the embryonic membranes which come to help with the formation of the astral organs, lotus organs.
Again, the view being developed here comes very much from the lectures by Rudolf Steiner entitled, The Invisible Man. In this lecture the whole emphasis is on the freeing of forces from the cast off embryonic membranes. The membranes are the chorion, the allantois, the amnion, and the yolk sac. The chorion is said by Rudolf Steiner to be connected with the ego, the allantois with the astral, the amnion with the etheric and the yolk sac with the physical. However, these four members I am inclined to see as the higher members of the human being. My sense is that the chorion is related to the ego, but I would call the ego, the ego-organizational. The allantois I would relate to the astral-organizational and the etheric I would relate to the etheric-organizational force system. The yolk sack might be considered to be supportive of the physical-organization, that part of the human organism which lies below the neck.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that these forces that form the embryonic membranes were taken out into the cosmos at the time of the separation of the sun and then the moon from the earth. These forces constitute a part of the makeup, the organization of Adam Cadman, the so-called sister soul of Adam. Again as previously noted, Rudolf Steiner indicates that these forces support nourishment, healing, and initiation. It is in relation to initiation that we here are considering these forces.
However, another factor has to come into play if one is to gain a more complete view of the forces of the embryonic membranes. This factor is the division of the sexes. With the division of the sexes, the masculo-feminine makeup of the human being became one or another. That is, originally the human being was andro-gynous . When the andro-gynous man divided, man became masculine and feminine. (This is not yet male and female as this only came later.) The forces which were freed when the human being became either feminine or masculine can be thought of as being the forces which gave rise to the formation of the embryonic membranes. So the one set of formative forces gave rise to man or woman, masculine or feminine, and another set gave rise to the forming of the embryonic membranes. The forces of the embryonic membranes have always remained cosmic, and are a balance to either the masculine or the feminine of human cosmic existence before the advent of earthly man before the birth of Adam as it were, or before the birth of the human being today.
When Adam was finally born onto the earth, then the separation between the sexes became manifest in the physical domain. Actually, Rudolf Steiner tells us that Adam was quite feminine. From a perspective of the sexes I have tried to think of the state of man and woman coming into the existence when the human being was cosmic and the earth as physical-mineral earth did not yet exist. There was only cosmic existence–cosmic astral existence. Then feminine and masculine appeared next, so it seems to me. First there was man and woman, more astral in makeup. Then there followed the just noted division and the makeup of the human being was more etheric – before the birth of Adam, the first physical man. At that time humans were sexually undifferentiated but more feminine or more masculine. Next came physical existence when the human being became truly sexually differentiated. Maleness, earthly maleness and femaleness evolved only slowly to become the basis for the events of Cain and Abel.
Again, the forces freed with the casting off of the membranes, seen as Adam Cadmanic forces, came about with the departure of the sun and the moon from the earth. These departures had to do with the activity of Christic Elohim Beings and the mighty Jehova-Elohim. Thus these membrane forces are very much related to the Christ, and their existence can be traced to the incarnation of the Nathanic Being into Jesus. This means that the evolution of the lotus organs in relation to the membrane forces is also closely related to the Being of the Christ. With this said, then it can be seen why the consuming of food for nourishment (the Common Meal or the Last Supper) and the healings in the New Testament are so important. Both the common meal and the healings play a very significant role with the Incarnation of the Christ and can be related to the forces of the embryonic membranes .
With our considerations here, the focus is not nourishment or healing, but initiation (perhaps a kind of breathing) . As noted above, the membrane forces are involved in initiation according to Rudolf Steiner, and from what has been shared here as far as the membrane forces are involved, these forces can be seen as Christ-related. If one traces the evolution of these forces as the time of the Mystery of Golgotha approaches, then the same forces can be contemplated in relation to the Nathanic Jesus . The forces as a whole can be seen as those belonging to the Nathanic being of the Nathanic Jesus, at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. These forces are incarnated as ego, a temporary etheric ego. With this perspective we can easily surmise that a spiritual path, with initiation practices and exercises, has to have as a part, the transformation of illness and consuming of food, as well as breathing.
Initiation stands in very close association with healing and nourishing, and the membrane forces which have become freed with the birth of the human being on earth. With this said, let us again turn to the astral in connection with the forming of new organs.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICES AND THE FREEING OF ASTRAL FORCES
THE EIGHT PETALLED LOTUS ORGAN
Let me begin with some introductory comments which at the same time are again a short review.
As we can see the whole development of the human being brings it about that ether forces are freed. They are freed with the casting off of the embryonic membranes. They are freed with the unfolding of the inner organs, as well as with the dying process of organs (e.g. the brain and the lung) and other organic activities. A further freeing can be considered to take place when physical nourishment is withheld. With fasting, ether forces are freed. So we have:
Freed forces from the embryonic membranes.
Freed forces from organ development.
Freed forces from organ dying.
Freed forces from excretion.
Freed forces from fasting.
If we look at these freed forces, almost nothing can be attributed to conscious human effort of the human being except in the case of fasting and the use of embryonic forces on a spiritual path. As organs lose life, like the brain which loses the capacity to reproduce, forces are freed. Here the activity of the conscious human being of our day does not bring this biological process about–rather it is a process initiated by higher spiritual beings. As noted previously there is an indication from Rudolf Steiner that the Cherubim and Seraphim are active in this dying process of the brain, particularly in more recent times for the sake of unfolding a spiritual path by dint of conscious effort.
With this background, let us re-consider how it might be that astral forces, not ether forces, are freed for spiritual life. Here we can immediately turn to what has been said about the astral forces of the embryonic membrane. Again, these forces are freed with the casting off of the membranes. From all that I can gather, these cast off membranes liberate all the forces that are active in the embryonic development of the human being- ego, astral, and etheric. As noted these forces enter the domain of the cosmos where they may well serve as a stimulus for conscious spiritual life. This means that our spiritual life actually has a seat in the cosmos; however, it is we who have to bring over the impulse for action out of this domain by our own destiny and effort. If this impulse for action is brought over from the spiritual world, humanity will gradually be freed. This means that the human being can strive for higher life out of freedom while on the earth, acting in accord with the membrane forces, the Adam forces, or the later Ego-like activity of the Nathanic Jesus . This I conclude, from what Rudolf Steiner has had to say about freedom.
The ego forces from the embryonic membrane can be seen as the ego-organizational forces at work in nutrition, in nourishing. The ether forces can be seen as the forces of healing and the astral forces from the membrane connected with initiation proper. When healing forces are taken hold of, then the stimulus for initiation can comes into existence. When forces of nourishment are taken hold of, then, too, initiation practices can be brought forward. I would see the actual initiation practices as centrally anchored in the astral forces of embryonic membranes. Thus it is said that the forces for initiation appear as a metamorphosis of healing and nutrition. With the result that initiation can be seen very much as changes in breathing.
Rudolf Steiner spoke directly to Ehrenfried Pfeiffer about nutrition. A proper nutrition is needed for the human being to be able to take a spiritual path, however, nutrition itself is not the path.
If we continue with thoughts about nutrition, it is also possible to think, that if a human being does not eat for a period of time, fasts for a period of time, then forces are freed from the nutritional process for higher soul-spiritual life. This was just pointed to, but now the emphasis is more directed to the ego. According to Rudolf Steiner, the ego lives in the forces of nutrition by dint of the mineral content of food. Therefore, if fasting takes place, the ego can be active not in its organizing activity, that is digestion, but for higher purposes. However, it is the astral body that mediates the nutritional process to a very large extent, so we can say that it is the freed astral forces which are very much in the forefront in the case of fasting as well. In this way fasting has been used in the process of initiation practices, a practice of asceticism, and for some, a spiritual experience. So working with healing forces and nutritional forces is essential on a spiritual path. In both cases the actual forces have to be held back, not engaged in actual physical activities and come to be used for spiritual striving.
Another freeing is possible, a freeing where astral forces are taken hold of directly. This can be contemplated with the altering of the usual inner movements – uprightness, speaking, thinking, etc. If these inner movements, the old lotus flowers, are taken hold of then a metamorphosis is possible for a conscious spiritual path. Let us look at the exercises given for the unfolding of the lotus organs on a conscious path, and as a basis for freeing astral forces for the structuring of the new lotus organs.
Let us begin with the exercises related to the eight-petalled lotus as given in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. Here is a summary of exercises from Knowledge of the Higher Worlds:
- Guard acquisition of ideas and conceptions.
- Control resolutions.
- Guard one’s words.
- Regulate outer actions.
- Manage life.
- Always endeavor and strive.
- Continually learn from all of life.
- Review all of life.
What do these exercises, have to do with the inner movements, and the freeing of astral forces? Let us look at each exercise in the light of the inner movement which might be related.
1 ). Let us begin with the first exercise. Here is an exercise which has to do with the taking hold of the movement of thinking. Anyone who tries to begin taking hold of thinking will find that just this thinking movement will easily run along in its own way. There is little that can be done at first to grasp this activity. But then as one works with the thoughts of those who practice thinking, the philosophers, it can be noted that their thoughts do not have the elemental force that seeks to surface, as with one’s own thinking. The thinking philosopher can be seen as having mastered a segment of the soul so that the elemental forcefulness of thinking is tamed. For the beginner time and repeated practice is needed to master the elemental nature of the movement of thinking, to make it one’s own. It is possible to take hold of thinking, the activity of thinking so that conceptions and ideas do not recreate themselves with the force of reproduction. Mastering the movement of thinking leads one to the more spiritual aspect of reproduction as previous ly mentioned. The movement of reproduction dawns in consciousness other than with the force of sexual pressures or impulses. A kind of chastity can be touched on, without the soul being given to asceticism in the realm of recreative life. A chastity, a purity of soul, comes about with the mastery and then transformation of the movement of thinking in relation to reproduction.
2). If we now turn to the control of resolutions, what comes to the surface is that a path to the forming of resolutions may be needed. This has been pointed to by Rudolf Steiner in the cycle, The Study of Man. In this cycle he points to the domain of resolution as being the last step in a process of will that begins with instinct.The steps are seven in all:
These can be held as differing aspects of the will. If we follow this direction in thought, we then have to find a way to practice these seven steps in will, we have to come to find these seven aspects of will. Here at the Fellowship we have tried to approach the practice of these steps in our method of budgeting. The steps are not slavishly followed and not exactly the same as in The Study of Man,but have the seven manifestations of will in the background, and permit a method to enter into the activity of budgeting, and can be practiced. The steps in budgeting are:
It is easily seen that the steps are not the same as those given by Rudolf Steiner but make use of his indications, but start with intention and move to resolution.
Now we can ask what movement does this resolution process belong to, or to which movements. My inclination would be to see the process of resolution closely related to uprightness. When one comes to a resolution out of real effort, then it is that one can experience oneself as erect, upright and ready to move forward.Thus we can start a list as follows:
Guarding idea or conception acquisition involves the movements of thinking and reproduction.
Control of resolution is closely related to the movement of uprightness and walking forward.
The next exercise of guarding what one says is quite obviously related to the movement of Here the obvious needs supplementation so that the impulsivity of speaking is as well taken into consideration. Speaking can run away just as can thoughts and instincts, urges and impulses. The speaking process can, as it were, grow and grow and grow. In slang expression we say that the individual can run at the mouth, has verbal diarrhea. With this form of speaking in mind, we can bring the movement of secreting-excreting to bear on the movement of speaking. Words can be secreted, excreted, as it were. In a healthy speaking we can reach to the movement of thinking. We can rise through the movement of speech, come to the movement of thinking, and to the idea. We can as well consider that speaking can lead over to the conception process and with this the movement of reproduction is touched on.
By and large there is a tendency for speech to run on in a way that secretion processes take place, where the deeper strata of the soul brings about an inner secreting of substance. This may be why with speech, the human being can come to such depths with the expression of words. With secretion all inner organs and particularly the endocrine glands are involved, and so with speaking something of the inner depth of the organism is touched. With the process of secretion the endocrine glands press substances into the blood. This secretion is an expression of the astral-organization (the astral from the embryonic membranes which is in the domain of the cosmos). This means that lofty activity can bring about deep inner processes and also rise to an activity which is more a part of conscious soul life, that is speaking. So the movement of secretion can be a part of human speaking, but has to be mastered and not be permitted to go its own course, so that one’s humanity is lost. Secretion also has lower elements, involves lower elements, as for example, the urges and instincts which lie within the reproductory movements .
If the secretion process is to be taken hold of in a truly spiritual way, and the movement of speaking brought to secretion, then I think we might consider that the inner word becomes manifest in consciousness. The inner word is much more than the words heard or remembered– it comes about with much work and practice and reveals the spiritual at work in the depth of the human organism–the spiritual from the ether, astral and ego-organizational domains of existence. Thus the spoken word can form and create just as the human organism has to be continually formed and organized.
|Guarding conceptions and ideas||thinking and reproduction|
|Guarding speech||speaking, reproduction, thinking, and uprightness|
Next comes the exercise of regulating outer Here it becomes more and more apparent that the training is not just the taking hold of inner soul life. This exercise, this practice, has to be taken up in relation to the world. The impulsive individual has little consideration for the world, the self is utmost and foremost. A kind of mutual interplay between the world and the striver can be considered with the regulating of outer actions. The inwardness of conceiving, of intending and resolving, is left behind, as with speaking. The activity of the soul is turned to the outer world. The fourth exercise cited here can be seen as stepping from inwardness to outwardness . Here is a training that leads the soul and spirit to the outer world, progressing from conceiving to action. Man has to live in the outer world and not only in the inner world. The path to the inner world is called the mystical path, and the path into the outer world is called the occult path. Here both paths are practiced and combined.
The movement which I would bring in relation to this exercise is that of breathing, the movement of breathing. Notable is that breathing is not to be focused on as a training and mastery as with the Yoga of the breath, but action is to be considered to be a breathing. From olden times, with the training of movement as with temple dancing, with Olympic exercises, and with the Yoga of movement, breathing was a training and was experienced in the use of the limbs. Today we can look to eurythmy as a kind of breathing process. Rudolf Steiner has included the process of sense activity and limb movement in the movement of breathing. So today, the training of the senses, and the training of movement (eurythmy and Bothmar gymnastics) can become a part of the inner movement of breathing. A person on an inner path can come to walk differently.
With this view, we can relate breathing to action, and to uprightness and thinking as well. With the training given here, what would be nothing but manifest movement is taken hold of, stilled to a certain extent, and united with the movement of thinking, speech, as well as uprightness. The result is that something of the astral activity inherent in the inner movement of breathing is transformed and brought into relation with spiritual striving. The usual movement of breathing is slightly dampened, and astral forces are freed slightly. This is what we can then see with each exercise. Something of an astral element is freed from the inner movement and made available for the unfolding of the astral organ, the lotus organ to be formed by conscious practice. The inner movement can take hold of the old lotus organ and free astral forces for a new organ of perception in the spiritual world.
|Guarding idea and conception activity||movements of thinking and reproducing.|
|Controlling resolutions||movement of uprightness.|
|Guarding speech||movements of speaking, secreting, reproduction and uprightness|
|Regulation of outer actions||movements of breathing and thinking|
5). Managing all of life is the next practice. This is highly complex and involves not only oneself and the world but a perspective on the world as a If one is to be free and to make one’s way in the world, then the whole of life needs an objective view of oneself and one’s activity. A kind of viewing of the self from the point of view of the world, and from an inner perspective is needed. Each individual, as it were, circulates in existence, outwardly, inwardly, and spiritually. For this reason I would place the movement of circulation as the movement that has to be metamorphosed for the sake of this particular striving. All has to be in balance as it were, and our hearts have to be able to tell us this. Our heart is not only our physical heart, our etheric heart but our astral heart as well. The astral heart can be thought of as the heart with a living conscience. Something of the domain of the sun and the entire cosmos needs to sound into the heart of men to be able to bring one’s entire life into a harmony in itself and with the world as well. It is the movement of circulation that moves through the heart. The world moves through the heart in such an exercise. The heart is inward and outward at the same time or in the process of balancing all the time.
|Guarding conception||movements of thinking and reproduction.|
|Control of resolution||movement of uprightness.|
|Guarding speech||movements of speaking, secreting, reproduction and uprightness.|
|Regulation of outer actions||movements of breathing and thinking.|
|Managing of all life||movement of circulation.|
6). Let us move on to endeavoring and striving as a practice. This is an activity which I would link with resolution and action. The action has, however, to be inward as well as outward. The striver has to be on this path to new dimensions, in outer as well is inner activity. Moral life is the outer dimension in relation to the world, and knowledge acquisition is the core of the inner life. The goal of the striving for inner life, and potential larger arenas of existence, is not a matter of self service, but service to the world, a love for the world. Thus again, the regulation of action with the movement of circulation comes into question, but as well a knowing where the movement of thinking has to be the foundation of striving leading to wisdom. If thinking is not the basis for striving, impulsiveness and proliferative action will follow. The striving also has to be balanced between the inner and the outer and with this a kind of breathing is needed. Thus something of the movement of thinking, of breathing and uprightness, with resoluteness is needed. Circulation, breathing, thinking and uprightness are all in need of transformation.
|Guard ideas||thinking and reproduction transformed.|
|Control resolutions||uprightness transformed.|
|Control of speech||speaking, secreting, reproduction and uprightness transformed.|
|Regulating actions||breathing and thinking transformed.|
|Managing all life||circulation transformed.|
|Endeavoring and striving||circulation, breathing, thinking, and uprightness transformed.|
7). Striving to learn is the next practice. This striving is embedded in striving in general but now becomes more and more focused. For this particular striving for the sake of spiritual life, the movement of thinking is actually central. All evolves around the faculty of thinking, as a transformation of the movement of thinking which is not individual. The movement of thinking as movement has to be seen as general, true for all of mankind. With thinking in the service of knowledge, it is the individual which has to become involved. Not all human beings have the same need, striving, desire, capacity for learning and knowledge acquisition. It is the individual who has this impulse, and the individual alone. It is also the learning that is so singular for this particular path of initiation. This is not a path of feeling, of only action, but of knowing, and letting this knowledge serve as the basis for freedom and moral life. Something of the whole of the human being, of all movement processes have to be transformed for thinking to become personal, and individual as well.
The process of thinking that is personal and individual leads into all domains of existence. The thinking, learning foundation that I would cite as the thinking which Rudolf Steiner addressed in the small set of lectures entitled, Human and Cosmic Thought. In this cycle he details a thinking that is personal. This means that it has a very personal, living and even physical element, and at the same time this thinking is individual, individual-cosmic. The universal is touched by this personal and individual activity of thinking.
The difference between personal and individual thinking is that individual thinking is impersonal, is a higher personal thinking which can unite with much larger dimensions of existence (nominalism), with general (universal), and with specific “ideas” which live cosmic existences (realism) . In order for this type of thinking to unfold, the help of a new “Spirit of Movement” has to come to one’s aid, has to live in the movement of thinking. It would take too much to identify this new spirit, but a little reflection can show how much this essay has to do with movement, with the being and activity of movement. Rudolf Steiner has pointed to this Spirit of Movement, but it has to be found on the path and is not disclosed as such.
This path of thinking, a thinking which is transformative of the usual thinking movement, is one that seeks to find not only a new movement process by the hand of a “New Spirit of Movement,” but I would like to suggest that it goes hand in hand with the search of the Being of Sophia, the many manifestations of Sophia. Ideas live in the garment of this Being. This Being, this Isis Sophia, this Natura, this Sophia of practical life, this it is Who has to be sought along with many domains of existence in the practice of learning from all aspects of existence. One has to grow far beyond one’s usual confines. One of the greatest learnings with this exercise, I would think, has to include learning, a learning about the human being and his wisdom. This learning is that of anthroposophy.
|Guarding Conceptions||transform thinking and reproducing.|
|Control of resolutions||transform uprightness.|
|Control of speech||transform speaking, secreting, uprightness, and reproduction.|
|Regulating actions||transform thinking and breathing.|
|Managing all life||transform circulation.|
|Endeavoring and striving||transform circulation, breathing, thinking, and uprightness.|
|Strive to learn through life||transform thinking.|
8). Now follows an eighth practice. This is a practice to review all of This last practice seems to me to point to the domain of memory. This memory, however, has to lead from personal memory to cosmic dimensions, so that with this practice it is no longer a body bound activity. Without memory there can be no review. Review is a process of not only recollecting, but recollecting in a backward fashion. The many disciplines that precede this culminating exercise have to be brought along, and this carefully structured soul life with memory can not be handled without care. Of course memory can be taken up in a forward fashion, but if one is true to the review process it has the element of going backward in time. This review in a backward fashion is the foundation for a new relation with existence. This might mean that one exists in a memory not only of oneself but the world as well. With this then the ground is laid to consider a pre-birth existence as well as previous lives.
Thus this exercise is more than one of a self review, a kind of self contemplation, meditation as it were. Here the stage is set for a quality of judgment about oneself. This practice opens the door for the evolving of an active conscience, and being able to judge whether one is making headway in moral life or not. This is an exercise where one can look to see if a self purification is taking place, the forming of a higher self, the lotus organs, is taking place. Comparing the actual deeds that accompany the practice with the ideal set for oneself in the practices brings one into a whole new relation with the world.
This eighth exercise places one closer to the eight exercises which Rudolf Steiner has given for the eight-fold path of the Buddha. The eight are seen in relation to right, to a quality of conscience. There is something of goodness related to the eight-fold path of the Buddha as it is given to us by Rudolf Steiner. The eight exercises in rightness to be found in the work of the First Esoteric School are:
- Right opinion
- Right judgment
- Right word
- Right action
- Right place
- Right habit
- Right memory
- Right contemplation
This eight-fold path of Buddha appears as a more abstract process, not as immediate and related to life as the practices given in Knowledge of the Higher World. The eight given in Knowledge of the Higher World might be seen as a possible variant of the eight which are more Buddha oriented. The eight given here are given out of a Roscicrusian orientation. It was, is, the intention of Christian Rosenkreutz that the immediate and the actual physical world has to be taken along on this path.
If we turn to this eighth practice on this Rosicrucian path it can be looked at, as previously noted, to be very much related to the carrier of memory, personal memory. Only slowly can another form of memory be brought to consciousness. At first the personal memory does not seem to extend to the immediate environment and then the larger cosmic environment. However, with time personal memory is pierced and layers of memory come to the fore. If one works diligently at the cultural epochs, one’s personal memory begins to blend with the epochs. With a little extra effort one stands before the possibility of previous life activities in relation to these cultural periods that have become one’s own through repeated review and penetration.
Slowly the cultural epochs begin to blend with the more cosmic earthly evolutionary epochs. Human history begins to blend with cosmic history. As this all takes place an archetype of the whole begins to dawn and this can be seen by looking into the deeds of the Christ. It is with Christ and His co-workers, particularly the Great Initiates that one’s deeds have a basis for comparison. There is not compulsion in this comparison, but there lives the sense of freedom in relation to what one practices on the path of initiation. This then can be said to be a moral path, with the basis of comparison gradually coming to be the ACTS OF THE CHRIST . It is just this cosmic side that I would suggest comes to the fore more than with the exercises of the more ancient Buddha path. In a way the Buddha path as given here leads to the Christ, while the more modern path helps that the ideal as given by Christ’s Deeds can appear in conscience and a free judgment made by comparison, not by compulsion. Thus the Buddha path can give a cosmic dimension of the Christ’s deeds while the exercises given by Rudolf Steiner helps conscience awaken in the soul. I would say that the eight exercises bring forth conscience and leads this over to a Christic form of judgment. Thus this eighth exercise has to combine, unite and harmonize all the previous exercises, the inner movement changes . The striver comes to live in the midst of the Great Initiates in approaching the cosmic dimension of the Christ.
FROM THE EI GHT TO THE TWO-PETALLED LOTUS ORGAN
The eight-petalled organ brings about the gradual surfacing of the two-petalled lotus organ. Both the Rosicrucian path given here, the Rosicrucian-Christian path, and the Buddha path point to the domain of thinking. Here the two-petalled lotus is being formed by the transformation of the lower four-petalled lotus. The element of thinking is common to both, though with the Rosicrucian the physical world comes into clear focus. With the path given by Rudolf Steiner the two-petalled lotus, the astral organ, is carved by the act of thinking which appears particularly in his epistemological works. Thus for the thinker, the The Theory of Knowledge (The Science of Knowing), The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, and Truth and Science are all books for the purification of the soul, for the evolution of the two-petalled organ. I would venture that all the metamorphoses of the lotus organs, all the transformations of the lower organismic life, all the changes needed for higher spiritual life are embedded in the books on epistemology. However, the moral actions pointed to in these texts have to be enacted out of insight, intuition and the capacity to act on this basis. This means undertaking the unfolding of the higher organs, without specific direction, the actions, and the practices. On this path of thinking, the individual has to find his own way, out of solitary thinking experiences. These experiences are for the most part not known to the non-thinker. If great care is not taken, the solitary thinker, may wind up in the world of the intellectual-soul and get stuck there.Rudolf Steiner warned about just this possibility.
Now this Rosicrucian-Christian, and thinking-to-knowledge path has to go beyond the forming of the lotus flowers. Enlightenment has to take place or the flowers will given impressions but not knowledge. The knowledge striving has to come to the stage of enlightenment, in which case the past can pass into the future for insightful action. However, for the sake of vista, another potential path for the forming of lotus organs can be pointed to.
ANOTHER PATH TO THE FORMING OF LOTUS ORGANS
Another approach to the support for the forming of lotus organs by mastering specific inner movements is to consider the anthroposophical trainings for vocational activity in science and the arts. Teaching, recitation with speech formation, eurythmy, painting, modeling, etc, all involve mastery of one or more inner movements. The teacher has to master the exercises of knowledge-striving. The thinking philosopher or mathematician has to master the movement of thinking. The eurythmyst has to master uprightness and the inner movement of speech. The one who masters speech formation masters the movement of speaking. The one who seeks to go a socially responsible path has to master all of the inner movements in a way. Thus life, vocation, can be a training ground for the unfolding of higher organs of perception.
THE SIX-PETALLED LOTUS ORGAN
Let us now move on to the six-petalled lotus organ. Again six exercises are given and again it is possible to think that an organ for higher perception can be formed from astral activities which are liberated from inner movements. However, I would venture that now it is the ether body that is be approached more and more as the six-petalled organ comes into existence. It is the astral which is mastered by the individual who seeks to change inner movements by cultivating new virtues, new capacities in life.
The six exercises for the heart chakra are now not so much that of practice but of MASTERY– CONTROL.
1) Thinking has to be mastered, controlled.
2) Actions have to be controlled, mastered. Practice now has to show results so that the activity can become the possession of the individual.
3) Endurance is a mastery of direction, without deviation unless error is present.
4) Tolerance is another mastery of oneself so that others, including spiritual existences can have a place in the soul. Tolerance makes space for other spiritual beings to be intuited in the soul of the striver.
5) The next mastery leads to impartiality, to the capacity to see all existence in the light of the sun. Judgment can be born for truth and goodness, for falsehood and evil.
6) When all the five are mastered and brought into harmony, then equanimity is born, is accomplished.
With these six accomplished activities of the human soul, the practices have been mastered. The whole has to become fully humanized. The acquisitions have to become the mode of life for a human striving for this type of initiation. The individual has to be present in all that has been mastered. The human being at this stage can then begin to imprint and seal what is of the soul into the life of the cosmos and the life body of the human being. The astral of the higher astral organs, the activity of the higher organs, and the experiences of the ego in relation to the higher organs can be sealed into the etheric for enlightenment to take place. The core of the individual can come to live in the human organism. The ego as organized activity can be present because the astral movements of the higher organs are sealed into the etheric body of the initiate-to-be.
What has died away in the human being can unite with the six accomplished deeds on the spiritual path. For this to take place a kind of new heart is needed. It is a heart that can live in the physical body and in the spiritual world as well. This is not the heart that has unfolded by practice of the exercises, a kind of astral heart. The heart being referred to here is a heart that has come into existence by virtue of the Christ’s Deeds with man and earth. This would be my approach to a new type of sealing – that means the astral organ content can be sealed into the etheric of this heart. (Imprinting will have to be addressed as well.)
THE ETHERIC HEART ORGAN
It has been pointed out that the etheric body was approached with the eight exercises when it came to a memory or review using the astral organs developed with the eight exercises. The eight have to be individualized by the six, so that the individual, the ego as organization can live into the astral organs that have been created. Once the ego has penetrated the astral organs the activity and content (the content might be considered as “meaning” as we know it in ordinary consciousness), this content has to be “sealed” into the etheric of the human being. This is needed so that the spiritual can be a part of daily life, so that life can be altered by spiritual experience.
In addition the astral organ activity and content needs to be “imprinted” into the etheric of the cosmos. I have the impression the imprinting into the cosmos takes place by the help of initiates,while the sealing is brought about by the Christ (perhaps with John, the beloved disciple at His side).
My perspective here in regard to sealing is influenced by the appearance of Christ in the midst of Elijah and Moses with the Christic illumination and transfiguration on the Mountain–in the astral world, to be found in the Gospels. Moses and Elijah imprinted into the etheric of the cosmos, into the book of life, while the Christ came to seal into the etheric of the heart. Moses and Elijah, scribed, imprinted, and Christ sealed. I would think that the eight-petalled organ is involved with the cosmic imprinting and the six-petalled organ with sealing into the etheric of the organism. This sealing is a process of illumination, but at this point I am inclined to include imprinting into cosmic ether as a part of the process. By this means the Christ becomes the Lord who helps men, all mankind to be able to read and judge from this “book of life,” the akasha.
Let us now turn to the etheric of the human organism, and to Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. In this text there is the indication that after the six-exercises are mastered, a heart organ is birthed. Or it can be that the heart organ accompanies the unfolding of the six-petalled organ. All is not totally clear in the text, not because it is not clearly written. What is written is left for the possibly of flexibility and mobility to take place, demanded by the individualism of our day and the individual on a path.
The etheric heart organ I would not make synonymous with the etheric-physical heart. Nor would I make the astral heart chakra synonymous with the astral of the physical heart. The view that I would put foreward, the view of the physical heart that I would put foreward, is that the physical heart is reflected in the muscular makeup, the etheric has more to do with the destruction of blood in the heart muscle and the forming of pericardial fluid, while the astral of the physical heart can be seen manifestly in the neural system (the nodes and the Purkinje system). The ego component of the physical heart I would link more with the blood itself, the leaflets and the tendons. The human heart with a four-fold make up is described quite clearly by Rudolf Steiner in a lecture on the heart, (published by Mercury Press). This four-fold heart is not the etheric heart organ as best as I can see.
The etheric heart organ pointed to in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds is an organ which is difficult to get a handle on. It appears as a kind of secret and is kept somewhat distant from those who strive on this path. For years I have lived with the question as to the origin of this etheric structure. I have up to now found nothing except for the indication given in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. Then recently in reviewing the formation of the lotus organs it dawned on me that the new lotus organs form to a certain extent by a slight involution of pre-existent structures. That means that the pre-existant lotus organs, the inner movements, have to undergo a slight involution for the sake of new astral organs. This I have been pointing to in the forgoing contemplations. Changes in the inner movements stay the activity of the old lotus organs, and by this staying, this cessation of activity, permit freeing of astral forces for new organs.
By this route of considering the involutional process I found a possible way to also consider the involuted organs of the physical body. There are vestigial organs which have significantly involuted and with this freed ether astral forces become available for higher spiritual life. Vestigial organs can become of the greatest import for the conscious work towards initiation.
With this possibility of following up on the involution of actual vestigial structures, I began looking into the John Gospel and the Apocalypse of St John. It then came as a real revelation when in going over the so-called “French Course” now called “Esoteric Cosmology” that I came to the insight that I would like now to share. This insight I would call the forming of the etheric heart organ out of the etheric that was freed from involuted physical organs –the pineal and the appendix.
It is in this course that Rudolf Steiner devotes a whole lecture to evolution and involution. He notes both dynamics in world history. With involution, the world becomes manifest while ether forces are freed. With evolution, ether forces can be at work and bring about certain manifestations of existence. The evil of Ahriman tends to play into involution bringing about retardation of events . The evil of Lucifer works into the process of evolution hastening events along so that human beings cannot keep up unless they become pure spiritual beings. With involution the manifest gradually shrinks into nothingness, and with evolution the manifest can outstrip all imagination. The forming of the kingdoms out of the human being is a kind of involutional process.
In the case of the human being it is the pineal and the appendix that are given over to the involutional process. At the same time birth and the casting off of the embryonic membranes accompany this involutional process. These are the forces that are freed and become available for Luciferic impulses. In this way both spiritual beings can be seen as working together, that is Lucifer and Ahriman. It is the Christ who has come as a world evolutionary Worker, to always strive to balance these two extremes, potential evils, Lucifer and Ahriman. The potential evils are just those forces which permit the human being to become free, but it is the Christ working that is needed for freedom, freedom in balance, freedom in equanimity.
In a moment I will develop some thoughts about the involuted organs but before this let me share some thoughts about what follows next in the lecture cycle called the “French Course”. This course of lectures was given by Rudolf Steiner in Paris in 1 904. He gave the lectures and then Eduard Schure wrote them up. In this way the lectures have the quality of Rudolf Steiner’s content, but with a decidedly esoteric twist from Schure. It is for this reason, as I see it, that the course is not put together for the reader – rather the reader has to struggle for a unity. There is a kind of rough terrain with the course, with bumps and potential jolts . The content does not hold together in a certain way, unless one makes considerable effort to bring the various lectures together with a delicate thread of deeper thought effort. Something of mystery hangs in the air as it were.
Not so long ago, this mystery quality stood before my soul in particular as I moved from the lecture on evolution and involution to the next lecture on St John the Evangelist in relation to occultism. This step from world process to the Evangelist was a jolt. It was such a jolt that I had to leave the step from one lecture to another for a period of time – several days. However the mystery stayed with me, and hovered for a time, so that about three days after busying myself with the transition from one lecture to another, I was struck by lightning and thunder. This means that for a moment the door opened and light shone into the darkness of the soul where this question was being carried. The light dawned as it were. It was no ordinary light, which not only enlightened the question about the two lectures but helped with another step around the mystery of the Raising of Lazarus as I had been carrying it in relation to the Evangelist.
Almost from the outset of my studies with Anthroposophy and my concern for esoteric life, the description of the Raising of Lazarus as found in the book entitled Christianity as Mystical Fact, has lived with me. I first took up this book in 1949. The fact that this deed by the Christ is said to be the end of the old mysteries and the beginning of the New Mysteries has stood before the soul with questions and longings to know. The same I could say about the Marriage at Cana. In both cases something of the depths of initiation can rise in the soul and live. What dawned, what glimmered for me in 1949 has lived on, has been alive into this day. For me the question has come to be how to see the Raising as a culmination of the old mysteries, and the Marriage as the beginning of the new mysteries.
With the Raising of Lazarus, the role of a Hierophant, one who carries the hierarchies in the soul as it were, comes to an end. The Hierophant is eliminated. The Raising of Lazarus stands as a culmination of a higher authority ruling in the soul at the time of initiation, eliminating the Hierophant – such can be a view. The Marriage on the other hand might be seen as the BEGINNING where the Christ and the Mother now stand in the spiritual world, but stood in the physical world at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. Initiation is changed from being laid into a grave, to that of becoming married – a marriage between the lower and higher self out of freedom. The mastery of someone over another is eliminated. I would formulate the marriage as an event. The human soul today, in the presence of the Mother Sophia of Man, can raise itself in freedom to the domain of the Christ in the act of knowing.
This standing in the presence of the Mother, at the time of the Crucifixion, is described by Rudolf Steiner in relation to his experiences at the turn of the century. For the present it is a way to speak of the lower soul uniting with the higher self. The marriage is actually the initiation process at the hand of the Sophia, the Mother of Worlds in the presence of Christ light. Recently I wrote about this in the essay on “Easter in the Light of the Sophias”.
The Raising of Lazarus, however, has remained quite a mystery for me. On the one hand it is an act, an act which points to history, the old form of initiation, and to the deed of Christ in relation to Lazarus. As an act it is imprinted in the akasha. It is available for all who take this on in the process of passing through the spiritual world with incarnation. On the other hand I have repeatedly sought to understand how this raising passes over to the new. The laying into the grave can be seen to a slight degree with the story of Lazarus – or let us say he is on the way to the grave with his illness. So one has to ask if he is raised, is he not raised from this grave by a process thwarted by the Christ deed? How is this Raising different from the raisings of the past? If Lazarus is not raised as in the past, where do the ether forces come from for the sealing, the illumination that took place? The illumination of Lazarus resulted in the coming forth of the Evangelist John, who could illumine the Incarnation of the Christ, the sufferings and the Resurrection, the DEEDS of the Christ.
With initiation the human being always needs free ether forces for sealing, for the sake of illumination. (I would say, that as the freed ether forces and their use are altered by the Christ for the new illumination, so it is Rudolf Steiner with Christian Rosenkreutz and Mani in the light of Master Jesus who permit the transformation of the astral forces with the indwelling ego that creates a basis for a new path to Imagination with the two-petaled lotus organ.)
We can ask further how the sealing took place at the time of the Raising by the Christ. Into what ether did the astral content come to be sealed? Where did the sealing take place, what was the setting? If the Transfiguration of Jesus points to the imprinting into the cosmic ether, how is the sealing accomplished by the Christ, bringing about the pressing of the astral into the ether of Lazarus? These are all potential questions to be lived with, and these questions have been lived with.
As a next step let us turn to the imprinting process. Here the astral and ether content of the lotus organs are placed, scribed into the cosmic ether. Is there a free ether in the cosmos? Is a free ether needed for this as well as a free ether within the human organism? My answer would be in the positive. Yes, free ether is needed for cosmic akashic memory, just as it is needed for human memory of supersensible experiences with sealing.
I would venture that akashic ether is that ether which is freed from evolutionary processes, in somewhat similar fashion as the ethers are freed from the human organism. For example, when Adam was born, there had already been an essential ether liberated. This took place when the sun exited the earth. The exit as we know was brought about by the six Pleuromic Elohim. This exit formed the basis for the “sister soul” of Adam, that is Adam Cadman. As already indicated, this process came to serve as the basis for the embryonic membranes that accompany the unfolding of all human beings from then on. The human being always has the influence of the freed ether, and in this way the human being, in a way, is also the memory of the cosmos, of the spiritual world.
Of course it is not only the ether of the membranes that serves as akasha ether. In addition, freed ether forces may come about as the human being enculturates existence. At first there was cosmo-spiritual influences which brought about change in the world. Next this same impulse brought about racial evolution with the memory which belongs to races, and today has fallen into heredity. But since the beginning of the Post-Atlantean period it is culture that is central to evolution. It is then with the gradual materialistic impulse in evolution that the earth and its products serve for cultural evolution. With the materialistic cultural developments, ether forces are freed that otherwise would be tied to the purely uncultured material of the earth. (There is also an Ahrimanic trend to tie more and more spiritual forces to the material, and make this materialized spirit subject to Ahriman) .
The whole of the temple building process, as it applies to physical building, artistic transformation of the physical, can be seen as a process of freeing ether forces for cosmic memory. By this route something of the earth will become vestigial. The ether of the solid, the watery, the airy and the warmth is freed in this process and it then comes to form the ether that serves the book of life.
Cultural epochs imprint themselves into the cosmic ether which is freed with the particular cultural period. This process has been spoken of as a very essential element in the initiation of the Rosicrucians in the Middle Ages . The impulse for this type of imprinting, scribing might well be traced to the Transfiguration of Jesus by the Christ on the mountain, an earthly astral structure.I take it that it is the Christ with the Cherubim and Seraphim that write, imprint into the cosmic ether, imprint the astral brought out of the physical world for the further development of the spiritual world.
Now let us return again to the human being and to the process of sealing. The lotus organs and their content, that is the cognitive experiences in the spiritual world have to be sealed, pressed, into the ether of the human physical body so that the higher soul experiences related to the lotus organs can become memory for the human being. In the past it was the purpose of cataleptic sleep that ether forces could be freed by the Hierophant for use with this sealing. It is this freeing at the hand of the Hierophant that was brought to a conclusion by the Raising. What has remained from this procedure, I have shared as a possibility. The present day consequences may well be cataleptic illness, illness unto death, and severe epileptic states where the post-seizure state, the post-ictal state, resembles trance-like consciousness. I tend to see these illnesses as a residue from this old form of initiation with the sealing by the hand of an authority.
So the question that I have carried for years has been: Into which ether did the Christ seal the experiences of the Raising, and then lay the basis for John’s initiation later on? But before we take this subject up let us return to the Raising to gaze more carefully upon the event.
With the life of Lazarus we hear that he lay at the door of the Palace, the Temple, at the door of the Space where Passover was to be celebrated. In the Christian tradition we can say, the space was that where the Last Supper celebration could take place. Lazarus lay at the gate severely ill unto death. He was a beggar at the gate of the Temple, seeking nourishment, hungering for the spirit. He was therefore hungry and ill on a spiritual path, and was approaching illness unto death. We can think of Lazarus as a potential initiate.
He needed nourishing, healing and initiation as such. There is a scene depicted where it is said that he “stinketh” and had already a decomposition process taking place. So it can be that his body was already quite broken down and was near to the state of falling to pieces to become part of the earth. He was near death. He had to be nourished, and healed. The initiation process had to contain the elements that could do what was needed, that is heal, nourish, and support initiation. If we take this view, we can see, that the forces of the sheaths, the embryonic membranes are needed by this individual, Lazarus. Christ can be seen as the mediator of these forces. Lazarus was healed, nourished, and initiated by the Christ. The domain of the embryonic membrane forces was drawn into this situation but now there becomes a possible new step.
The bringing of these forces to the human being in a state of hunger, illness, and near-death was done by the Christ. The Christ by his presence nourishes, heals, and now can lead to a new form of initiation. The Christ nourishes in speaking, heals in speech, and initiates out of command. The situation is that the Christ commands in speaking, “Lazarus come forth!” or “Lazarus arise!” Here the word nourishes, heals, and initiates. Something of the “BEGINNING LIVES IN THE WORD” for Lazarus. Something new is brought by the Christ who speaks. Here speaking can be thought of as organizing the etheric of Lazarus. The Word of the Christ is a kind of “Beginning” for an etheric within Lazarus, organized in a new way. This new etheric element in the life of Lazarus could be used later to seal the Christ Deeds as John experienced them with his astral body, his astral organs. Lazarus had to be able to seal into his own etheric organization.
Hunger, illness, and near death, might be seen as a mirror of the old initiation process. If I am at all in tune with the events that took place, the calling forth from near death through speaking, word and command might be considered as the new. It is just this new impulse, this new organized ether for mirroring the Christ Deeds, that had to be brought about in Lazarus who became John. As the Lazarus soul took up the Christ deeds into his astral body, astral organization, the Christ organized new ether forces for sealing. From Rudolf Steiner we hear that this event with Lazarus was recognized by those connected with the old mysteries and as a result they saw the Christ as betraying the mysteries. Thus the Christ was sought to be put to death.
What took place there can be thought of as an archetype which was imprinted into the book of life of the world, for the use of all men later on if desired. Today this archetype can be taken into the life of a human being on the path of incarnation, on the journey to be born again. If this archetype is sought, the past can be permitted to pass away, and the new can stand. The future is assured as is the case with all that is spoken in the name of the Christ. The past is healed in a way. The past, with its gradual fading and leaving mankind hungering for the spirit, was transformed. Another start is possible. And the form of initiation of the past can be set aside as something new was made possible. What is this that is new?
So we can seek something new in connection with this calling forth, with this Raising. This new overcomes the past with its temple sleep and cataleptic trance states. What is it, that takes place here, that mitigates the need for such altered states of consciousness, with lowered states of consciousness? What is needed, that the individual can take up a path, out of his own inner being and walk through life while still taking a spiritual path? What had to take place at the Raising so that the human being can practice exercises, exercises to evolve the eight-fold lotus organ, where a freeing from the body can take place? What had to take place then that the practices of the six-petalled lotus organ can follow with a birth of the heart organ and a sealing of the lotus organs into the etheric heart organ?
From the questions just asked it can be seen that I am assuming that the heart organ is an etheric organ into which the astral organs can be imprinted as well as the content of the astral organs. If the old freeing practice of initiation with cataleptic states of consciousness was put aside with the Raising, and a new set of free ether forces sealed, where do these ether forces come from? Could they possibly come from the organs of involution, which had their origin in cosmic history even earlier than the time of the forming of the embryonic membrane processes? What more is needed than the old form of raising? What is needed so that we can go our own way in daily life and not have to retire, retreat from life?
My answer to these questions would be, that one has to have a heart for the future, not only the past. One’s heart has to speak to one’s inmost being, so that what lies as practice can be imprinted in the cosmos, and sealed into a new etheric of the body. The content sealed into the new etheric can then be taken up by the inmost, the ego of the striver. I would say that what is needed is an etheric heart, a heart that can take the past as Logos, and bring it to expression as Word. Needed is a new organ for the ego, for the “I”ness of the striver, so that what is mastered can be sealed into the heart of the to-be initiate. What is accomplished on a path has to be sealed in the etheric so that what has been gained can enter the practices of daily life.
How can this take place; how did this take place? Again I am inclined to turn to the Raising, and look at the Lazarus who became John. I would look to this Lazarus who took up the Elijah-John-Baptist Being when the entelechy of Lazarus, the later Christian Rosenkreutz, exited the body of Lazarus. I take it that this incarnating of Elijah-John into the sheath makeup of Lazarus (very similar to a kind of Baptism by the Christ) was the act in human history when the body of “Adam” was taken from Lazarus-Adam (later Christian Rosenkreutz) and given over to Elijah-John. This took place at the time of the Raising, with the Elijah-John soul hovering somewhat over the body of the Lazarus-Adam’s bodily sheaths. With this initiation, the hunger, the illnesses, and the old initiation practices of the whole of mankind were healed. At the same time with the Words of the Christ, the already free ethers from organ involution were assembled anew, and the soul of Christian Rosenkreutz-Lazarus could accompany the further course of the Christ initiation, along with John the Evangelist. We later find this being, Lazarus-Christian Rosenkreutz as the Young Girl who accompanies the Woman with the Issue of Blood. This young girl is known as the Daughter of Jairius. Such would be my line of contemplation.
What about the already free ethers, the ethers used by the Christ with His Healing Words (Raphaelic) , His Forming Words (Johannian) . My impression is that the Words assembled the free ether forces into the form of a heart organ, an etheric heart organ. This is a heart for the future, but one that does not negate the past. The old physical heart of Lazarus had been there from the time of Adam. Needed was a new heart, so that the past could pass over into the future. The past as the etheric of the physical heart could be thought of as belonging to the Mother. The future could be contemplated as a new heart organ which could be used by John, John the Evangelist. It is the Christ who assembles this etheric heart organ so that the future can become the possession of John.
A possible view then can be as just noted that a new heart is needed for the future. The old heart assures the past, the new heart the future. The old heart is nourished, healed, and brought to initiation. The cosmic forces are brought to the old heart, but a future etheric heart organ for higher life, for the marriage of the lower soul with the spirit-soul, is also needed. The old heart gives logic, logos knowledge. The new heart gives the potential for new words, new expressions of existence. The Mother guards the old heart, and the Christ the new with the Disciple that He Loves. The past and the future become physically and etherically real.
For us today it is the individual, the individual ego, in relation to the Mother, the Sopheic, that holds the past in the form of wisdom, so that the past can be taken up by the soul, and the past can be raised into the soul. The past, the physical of all existence, has to be raised, and this is done in the process of gaining wisdom. This is a new raising. There has to be an etherization of the whole of existence and this takes place as wisdom; Sophia penetrates everything. At the same time it is the same individual human soul and spirit which help that the future can be addressed, taken up. It is John at the side of the Christ who assures this. The Logos of the past is transformed though Sophia for the Word of the future. The Sophia, the Mother, preserves the past. John who can unite with the Sophia to become a son of the mother, also stands with the Christ,and takes up the Christ-word for the sake of the future. The Christ words are Evangelic words.
With these considerations, considerations evolved over many years, the step from involution and evolution to the occultism of John the Evangelist could be contemplated. The step from involution and evolution to the occult of John, this finally appeared to me in a flash. The flash contained the idea that the involuted human organs, the pineal and the appendix, furnished the etheric which could be structured, and then used for sealing. The ether forces of these two organs I would conjecture laid the basis for the Christ in commanding, in controlling, demanding, in mastery, to be able to assemble the forces for the structuring of a new organ, that is an etheric heart organ. One might say that this was needed in anticipation of His own Raising. The Raising of Lazarus was a needed step on the path that permitted the Christ to come to his own Raising, which is more than a raising, it is a Resurrection.
THE PINEAL AND THE APPENDIX- THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE
Now let us turn to the pineal and the appendix, the two involuted organs in our present body. First the pineal, and then the appendix. Actually the two were at one time a single organ.
We can first look at the little pineal gland. It sits hidden on the roof of the mid-brain, hardly visible between the two cerebral hemispheres. We could imagine it being almost totally absent, except if one is a true occultist then the gland becomes highly significant. From a spiritual scientific perspective, the pineal has shrunken from the size of the cosmos to nothing but a little droplet organ. If we look back into the history of our Earth, to the time of Hyperborea, to the time when the Sun was within the Earth, as the pineal is within the cerebral hemispheres today, then at that early time the whole Earth was a brain with the pineal gland extending from the center of the Earth to the periphery – the periphery extended as far out as the Sun of the present time. That was the time of Adam Cadman. At that time Adam had not yet been born out of Adam Cadman. This birth of Adam only took place later, at the time of Atlantis.
In Hyperborean times Adam Cadman had his head in the Earth, which was warmth and air, the condition of substance without water or solid, a kind of brain, and also had his remaining body in the cosmos. The structure of the cosmos, the remaining body in the cosmos, was attached by light streams to the head pineal-brain. The pineal extended upward where it formed a unity with the later abdominal appendiceal organ which extended from the Sun to Saturn. Saturn was in the process of forming as the pineal rose further and further in the cosmos. The pineal extended from Earth to Sun, as an organ to perceive light and warmth. As it came to extend further and further out, air could be sensed along with light and warmth. The earth-brain in which the pineal sat was a sense organ of Earth and the rising pineal with the later appendiceal organ, served as a sense organ in relation to the cosmos. The earth brain and pineal gland are earthly-cosmic dimensions almost beyond imagination – extending today from Earth to Jupiter and Saturn.
Through the course of evolution, this earth brain-pineal-appendiceal organ shrank, involuted, to become the brain, the pineal and the appendix. In the process of shrinking, involuting, these two organs freed ether forces.
It is out of these freed ether forces, freed very early on, before the forming of the embryonic membrane forces, that the Christ could assemble a heart, and etheric heart organ for a new beginning with His command. Thus it is that John the Evangelist could say, “In the Beginning is the Word” while pointing to the past where the beginning was with the Logos. Thus we are in a way dealing with a new beginning, one formed by the Christ, by the Christ word. This word also formed a totally new organ for all of mankind, so that mankind and Earth could be assured a future.
We can imagine the pineal as a kind of light-warmth airy structure, anchored in the earth aspect of the cosmos, and the remainder of this organ as rising like a plant into the domain of the Sun – the appendix far beyond. This was a kind of tree, a cosmic tree. This very early tree can be seen as the origin of the tree that gradually gave rise to the brain and the spinal cord, with the inner organs . This was called by the ancient Hebrews, the Tree of Knowledge. This original tree, also a tree within Adam Cadman, died helping to give rise to the tree used for knowing, which we know as the nervous system.
If we go even further back in earth history, to the time of Polaria, there the pineal was only a warmth organ with the light within the warmth. Here in this olden times the pineal was an organ of heat, a kind of warmth circulatory heart organ which later helped birth the heart of man, and at the same time served as a nourishing organ, nourishing through warmth substance. The warmth substance of the cosmos, containing the Earth, Sun, Moon and planets, passed through a kind of circulatory streaming structure that fell as well and fell eventually into the organ of the heart. Freed ether forces remained for use later on. The digestive organs were carried along with the heart and contained the nourishing processes of the cosmos. Part of this first rudimentary pineal organ, circulatory and intestinal organ, fell to give rise to the heart, but at the same time shrank in size to become the later appendix within the human abdomen. A major portion of the vast first pineal became the intestinal organs of the abdomen. In the process, the ether forces of the original organ which extended as far out as Saturn were liberated to be used later for the sake of the future, for the forces of the etheric heart organ.
A view would be to consider that the ether forces from the original pineal-appendix of Polaria, and the ether forces from the pineal organ from Hyperborea, became the basis for forming an etheric organ, the heart organ. This is a wonderfully mysterious organ which seems to have come from nowhere. With these considerations, the organ is brought into the present for the future by the Christ at the time of the Raising. This deed, which brought the past, to be placed in the hands of the Mother, for the sake of the future given to mankind in Evangel revelation by John is always tended by the Christ.
The past of this etheric organ we can think was not given to John until the time of the Crucifixion, at which time both John and the Mother stood at the foot of the Cross. The Christ then gave the Mother to John. Soon thereafter both the Mother and John went to Ephesus, where the Mother had birthed philosophy centuries earlier. However, the forces of the future, which lie with the shriveled pineal and appendix, can be thought of as structured by the Christ at the time of the Raising. The past given to mankind through philosophy by the Mother was given to John, who could take up this past into his new heart, structured out of the freed ether forces from the pineal-appendix. The wisdom of the past was given to John, the “Apostle whom the Lord Loved,” at the foot of the Cross with the Mother at hand. By this means the past could come into the present for the future.
These are first efforts to share some thoughts about this most mysterious organ, the organ of the heart, needed for enlightenment on the path of initiation. My sense is that this organ is needed so that the human individual can master his destiny and take a path of initiation into his own hands . In this way, what is involuted and vestigial, and as such can be seen in the physical world, gains quite new meaning, and a significance for a modern day initiation. It is just what is so insignificant and unimpressive that may well be of the greatest from a spiritual perspective. In this light the step from involution and evolution to the occultism of St. John as is found in the early lectures of Rudolf Steiner, also gains new meaning. Perhaps this perspective can be extended to include the little things in life and that which is called “practical wisdom.”