Man as a Picture of The Living Spirit
One lecture, London, September 2,1923 (CW 228)
From the text: “In reality it is for Europeans and Americans themselves once more to summon courage to look into the spiritual worlds from which the knowledge of the Christ, the wisdom of the Christ can be regained. Christ is the Being who came down from spiritual worlds into the earthly life. Therefore, in His true inwardness He can only be understood in the light of the Spirit. – “Upon this way it is also necessary for man to learn to look upon himself as a picture—an image of the spiritual Beings, spiritual realities and activities, on Earth. And he can do so best of all by permeating himself with such ideas and perceptions as I presented to you at the beginning of this lecture. Amid his conscious experiences in the stream of time he looks into the emptiness. He becomes conscious that his true ‘I’ never descends from the spiritual world; that in the physical world he is but a picture. The real ‘I’ is not here in the physical world at all. He sees, as it were, a hole in time—a seeming darkness—and it is to this that he says ‘I.’ – “Man should therefore become aware of the deep significance of this fact. When he looks back and remembers his past life, he must admit: I see in memory the experiences I underwent from day to day, but there is ever and again a hole, a gap of darkness. It is this darkness which in my ordinary consciousness I call ‘I’. But I must now become conscious of something more than this. – “I have summed up this ‘something more’ in a few words, which — as a kind of meditation reaching out to the true ‘I’ — may be inscribed in the soul of every human being of our time. Ever repeatedly we may call to life in us these words of meditation, which I will write as follows: “I gaze into the Darkness. In it there arises Light — Living Light! Who is this Light in the Darkness? It is I myself in my reality. This reality of the ‘I’ Does not enter into my earthly life. I am but a picture of it. But I shall find it again, When with good will for the Spirit, I shall have passed through the Gate of Death.”
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.