Not the whole story

Over and over again one hears that people are saying: “Last time he described man’s experience between going to sleep and waking, and now he is telling us something different about it.” My dear friends, if I tell you what an official experiences in his office, it does not contradict what later I tell you about him in the bosom of his family. The two things go together. So you must be clear that when I tell you of experiences between going to sleep and waking this is not the whole story, just as an official can still have a family life outside his office.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Memory and Love – Stuttgart, December 4th, 1922

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Doppelganger/The second ego

An unavoidable experience one has by faithfully doing the exercises is a splitting of the personality. A man will begin to feel as if something was accompanying him, something that thinks and hears with him and even speaks with him if he’s inwardly weak. It’s a second ego that emerges, a doppelganger that one has placed outside one. The more seriously someone treads the esoteric path, the more of his old man he places outside him, that is, he sheds one skin after another like a snake. These skins become like a second body, a doppelganger who never leaves one again for the rest of one’s life. In the old Egyptian mysteries someone who had placed his double outside him was called a kha man. The double is chained to the kha man to constantly remind him what he was or still is. That’s not always a pleasant feeling. But the awareness that he always has his double with him will remind him of his defects and that he should improve himself. He should constantly feel this presence, otherwise things would get dangerous, and because of his many, high ideals and intentions, he would forget what his inner life and defects are. Under certain circumstances it could even endanger a high initiate’s life if in spite of his high striving he would forget this double for even a moment. […] The more the double appears the better it is for our development, for otherwise, we would be living under great delusions about ourself.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Hannover, 31st December 1911

Previously posted on November 16, 2017

Self-knowledge and self-control

Let’s take a closer look at esoteric life. We know that various changes take place in our soul life through the exercises we received. For instance, the passions that a man had before get stronger. Old inclinations, drives and passions one thought one had overcome and put aside reemerge from the dark shafts of soul life and assert themselves vehemently. Or an esoteric often thoughtlessly does something which he would have been ashamed of before the start of his esoteric training or wouldn’t have done at all. His antipathies and sympathies for people become stronger than before; his whole soul life becomes stirred up. In short, a man gets to know what he’s really like in his soul depths so that he has real self-knowledge. Therefore strict and strong self-control is indispensable for an esoteric pupil.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Basel, 20th September 1912

Previously posted on November 12, 2017

Fear and antipathy for the spiritual world

Sometimes people present themselves outwardly as quite robust – but in the depths of their souls they are cowards. Because of the fear they experience for the spiritual world, they look for various ways to stun themselves. Many believe they lose the ground beneath their feet when they penetrate the spiritual world, that is why there is fear. But they try to drown this fear out – mostly from fear of the serious and earnest strength they must use to reach the spiritual world. One has often seen those who believed to have reached the spiritual world within four weeks, but then it turns out, o worst of all horrors, that based on the spiritual knowledge they gain, they will not become famous in this incarnation! Many lose the pleasure in searching for spiritual knowledge because they fear what they might learn. That is why they would rather be stunned, and therefore they invent the antipathy penetrated with hate and vanity against this spiritual science.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Okkulte Untersuchungen über das Leben zwischen Tod und neuer Geburt – Stuttgart, February 20, 1913 (page 224-225)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on November 11, 2017

Two things must be completely avoided

Two things must be completely avoided during occult training. We should never harm anyone through deeds, thoughts or words intentionally or not. Secondly, the feeling of hate must disappear in us, otherwise it reappears as a feeling of fear; for fear is suppressed hate. We must transform the hate into a feeling of love, the love of wisdom.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Kassel, 26th February 1909

Previously posted on November 10, 2017