ENCOUNTERING OUR HUMANITY

 

Figure 1, The human Being in the Zodiac, 15th Century Prayer Book

Encountering our Humanity 

The Verse Connecting All of Us.

Faith, Love and Hope
Will lead me in my willing

When I light a candle, and unite
With the ever-present love of the Almighty
And His creative force.
It works in me when I in love embrace all people
Who come to me with
Faith, love and hope.
 
This verse may lead us on our path
To create a circle of light around the world.
It will unite us and disperse loneliness.
It will open our minds to imagination,
Strengthen our inspiration,
And bless us with intuition.

 

This verse is the one that creates the Circle of Light around the world. Here I would like to bring some thoughts which could be helpful in explaining the spiritual connection of the first line Faith, Love and Hope with the three last ones: Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition.

If we could go back in time to the 14th century before Christ we would find that at that time human beings still felt carried like children in a large family, loved and protected by the gods. They lived embedded in nature, and in a dreamy way they felt to be part of the spiritual world. Many of them still experienced, perhaps even saw and heard, spiritual beings and not only angel beings, but also nature spirits.

Today humanity lives in the age of the consciousness soul when we learn to connect our logical, sense-bound thought life to spiritual thoughts, finding the way in clarity between spiritual and sense-perceptible facts. The human being must first pass through this stage of the Consciousness Soul if he wishes to receive, after his own fashion, the forces of the Spirit Self, Life Spirit and the Spirit Man. And to this end he must, in the course of the fifth post-Atlantean [Rudolf Steiner, Esoteric Science, an Outline.] epoch, even up to the middle of the fourth millennium, fully unite his being with the forces of death; this lies within man’s power writes Rudolf Steiner.  [GA 185, lecture 5.] In the fall and winter seasons the forces of death can be experienced by each human being in the out- breathing of nature.

Through the consciousness soul, our humanity asks us to realise that evil forces have taken part in the evolution of mankind and still are part of our problems today. They are attempting to prevent the union with the forces of death; yet only what we experience we can learn to overcome.

Referring back to Moses who brought to his people the Ten Commandments given to him on Mount Sinai by Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, we are told that when this gift was received by Moses, it was accompanied by lightning and thunder, fire and earthquakes. The Ten Commandments were an important step in human development because they required obedience and respect through the presence of the involved nature forces. Humans had evolved in the sense world to the point where it became necessary for them to learn to obey the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness etc. Why had it become necessary to expose humanity to laws or commandments? The answer cannot be given without looking a little closer into our human development.

During the Lemurian epoch, [The Submerged Continents of Atlantis and Lemuria. Their History and Civilization, by Rudolf Steiner, translated by Max Gysi. GA 11.] quite early in the evolution of humanity, Lucifer entered the astral- or soul-body of the human being and exposed mankind to passions, drives, desires and deceit. He planted temptations in the human soul.  Man would have remained a child in the hands of higher, divine-spiritual beings, had this not taken place. Independence would not have been established in the human soul. It did not happen so because Lucifer had approached man and made part of the underlying spiritual world invisible to him. The personal instincts, passions and desires which arose in the human astral body spread a cloud of darkness over the spiritual beings of the world out of which man is born and who would otherwise have remained perpetually visible to him. Read more

Faith, Love and Hope – Revisited

Faith, Love, and Hope
Faith, Love, and Hope

The Verse Uniting All of Us.

Faith, Love and Hope
Will lead me in my willing
When I light a candle and unite
With the ever-present Love of the Almighty –
And His Creative Force.
It works in me when I in love embrace all people
Who come to me with
Faith, love and hope.
This may lead us on our path to create
A circle of light around the world.
It will unite us and disperse loneliness.
It will open our mind to imagination,
Strengthen our inspiration,
And bless us with intuition.

 

In his book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, Rudolf Steiner[1] writes in the last chapter, Life and Death: The Great Guardian of the Threshold, that the supersensible world came first and the physical, sense world developed out of it. “We see that, before we entered the physical world for the first time, we ourselves belonged to a supersensible world.” When one knows this, and thinks of the verse Faith, Love and Hope one could ask: From where does its power arise to protect and guide us and to help us in difficult situations? Are we not children of the spiritual hierarchies? One can also ask, where would we find the origin of the three human soul faculties: faith, love and hope, what do they mean to us, and how is it possible that the verse which unites us rests fully on these three faculties?

In a lecture Joan Sleigh[2] touched on these three faculties. Her topic was connected to the Michaelmas festival: Helplessness and Powerlessness. What new approaches or strengths can each of us find to overcome these? Her suggestion was that we must begin to unlearn our logical, intellectual, earth-bound thinking and to consciously focus on creative thinking. In this way, we can open a door to inspired thinking. She referred to three soul faculties to overcome powerlessness, and they are faith, love and hope.

The gesture of faith,” she said, “is needed, as a person steps out into the unknown and says ‘yes’ to destiny. The gesture of love is needed, as one expands oneself to include others. And the gesture of hope is needed, as one opens to the endless possibilities of becoming selfless and engaging in new activities. It is important to ask for guidance from the spiritual world during this process and to include others as we go about freeing ourselves from being stuck.

When these three human faculties of faith, love and hope are thought of in our verse, it was said that they take on a protecting, guiding and transforming capacity, important for every human being on his or her path through life. They will reveal great wisdom when one takes a closer look at what they actually mean to each one of us, and when one considers their relationship to us during the human evolution.

Regarding FAITH, Rudolf Steiner shares with us that in the past people said, “What I believe, I know for sure.” Those people were not natural scientists, but they were certain, intuitively, that they were right. They believed in forces of the soul out of a deep connection with a supersensible world. Still today there lives, next to materialistic science, a deep conviction in people that they carry in themselves an inner force of faith. Rudolf Steiner said, “These are forces of which every soul should become increasingly aware because they are forces which look up to the spiritual world.”

How do we use the word faith in our language? We have faith in guidance and protection; we have faith in our own ego-strength. When we struggle with difficulties we have faith to overcome them. We also can experience faith when we give a task to someone that he or she will complete it to our expectations. Read more

A World Initiative

 

A World Initiative

 

An early morning intuition after a deep sleep began for me with a very difficult realisation: I was at fault. What had I done? The news once again presented me with a frightening picture: A young man with a gun in his hand had cold-bloodedly shot another human being. This news was accompanied by a desperate feeling that connected itself to our increasing technology and its effect on youths and on children.

It is a fact that such a deed is only possible if the shooter has a deep-seated feeling of anger, lack of reasoning and tries to get even, by applying his will without any feeling whatsoever for his victim’s future and his own. This could have been avoided by a harmonious upbringing, in peace and quiet. Love and caring for babies, young and older children is lacking in many homes today. It is not realised that this lack shows up in later years. Is it due to technology, to a change in values or to time available among family members? Children of all ages begin to play with technical devices in schools, indeed, already in kindergartens, even in cribs. Ever new ideas appear on the market to fascinate also the youngest. In many families, both parents are required to work full time so that their children are becoming more and more dependent on their cell phones, i-pads etc. It is rare that imaginative story books are read to or by the children. All this turns out to be a restricted way of upbringing. As a result, in many cases thinking is over-activated and trained in the growing child. ***

It is important to remember that the human I or ego always expresses itself through thinking, feeling and willing. Only a harmonious interaction between these three soul faculties helps the growing person when he or she becomes a young adult. It is necessary that all three soul faculties be developed evenly because they are expected to play their part in later life. As our time has evolved into a technological age, only thinking is required for many school subjects. Google becomes our guide in research projects rather than classroom teaching. A living relationship from human to human has been exchanged for a calculating search tool for finding a goal. This trend continues, of course, in young adults while life in many homes has moved away from gatherings for family meals, from interesting discussions and making music together. In short, what was called quality time, being together, has turned into a social life where most young people are left to their own devices. Many of them watch movies which are either inappropriate for their age or harmful because of portrayed violence. In sports, young people prefer competitive games to cooperative ones, and they are given less opportunities to become physically active themselves because ever more school work is asked of them. So they prefer to watch these games on a screen rather than get out and play them with friends.

One can observe that another factor enters the picture: thinking, feeling and willing begin no longer to harmonize. Our evolution has entered a time where thinking, feeling and willing slowly separate from each other. Eventually they must be held together by the developing ego or I. Around the twenty-first year this begins to become possible. In the past, this separation of soul faculties did not take place. Each deed of the will was automatically weighed in the light of thinking and the warmth of feeling.

How can humanity find a solution to this problem?  
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