Without the school of sensuality, we can never reach spirituality

Spiritual science does not teach us to turn away from life. The spiritual scientist may use the following comparison: the soul resembles a bee that flies out to the meadows to seek honey and bring it back to the hive. Here on earth the soul gathers the honey of life which he brings to the altar of the Godhead after death. The soul could never do this without a life in the physical world.

When man incarnates and begins to see, he at first simply perceives through his eyes. Gradually spiritual enjoyment grows out of this. Physical pleasure changes into spiritual enjoyment. The savage with but a few incarnations enjoys the many colors and the simplest sense-impressions. With each incarnation his senses grow more refined. — If we had never enjoyed colours sensually, we could never attain spiritual enjoyment of colors. The sensually enjoyment is therefore a necessary deviation. We should enjoy the beauty of the physical world. Similarly, sensual love gradually leads to the highest, purest, spiritual love. The soul should transform every experience and carry it up to the altar of spirituality. Nothing, really nothing, is ever lost. Without the school of sensuality, we can never reach spirituality. The Earth is not a valley of tears, it is a gathering place and the human beings are — so the Bible says — messengers, Angels of God, sent out to gather honey.

Source: Rudof Steiner – GA 94 – POPULAR OCCULTISM: III. Man’s Different States after Death – Leipzig, 30 June 1906

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Painting by David Newbatt

An ascetic fleeing from the world does not serve clairvoyance

Spiritual science teaches of the existence of certain highly evolved men, the initiates, and it has been taught in the Mystery Schools of all times how man can bring himself to such a stage of evolution. Definite exercises were prescribed there which develop man in quite a natural way. They are exercises of meditation and concentration which are to give man another kind of sight which cannot be attained with the intellect and the five senses. Meditation in the first place leads away from the grasp of the senses. Through inner soul-work man becomes free of the senses. Something then takes place similar to the operation on a man born blind. There is a kind of operation which opens man’s spiritual eyes and ears. It will be attained in the development of the whole human race in the course of a long period of time. But one must not disclaim the world when one wishes to rise higher; an ascetic fleeing from the world does not serve clairvoyance. Clairvoyance is the fruit of what the soul collects in the sense-world. Greek philosophy beautifully compared the human soul with a bee. The world of colour and light offers the soul honey which it brings with it into the higher world. The soul must spiritualise sense experience and carry it up into higher worlds.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – The Origin of Suffering, Origin of Evil, Illness and Death – Berlin, 22nd November 1906

Translated by M. Cotterell

Previously posted on Januari 29, 2014

An ascetic fleeing from the world does not serve clairvoyance

Spiritual science teaches of the existence of certain highly evolved men, the initiates, and it has been taught in the Mystery Schools of all times how man can bring himself to such a stage of evolution. Definite exercises were prescribed there which develop man in quite a natural way. They are exercises of meditation and concentration which are to give man another kind of sight which cannot be attained with the intellect and the five senses. Meditation in the first place leads away from the grasp of the senses. Through inner soul-work man becomes free of the senses. Something then takes place similar to the operation on a man born blind. There is a kind of operation which opens man’s spiritual eyes and ears. It will be attained in the development of the whole human race in the course of a long period of time. But one must not disclaim the world when one wishes to rise higher; an ascetic fleeing from the world does not serve clairvoyance. Clairvoyance is the fruit of what the soul collects in the sense-world. Greek philosophy beautifully compared the human soul with a bee. The world of colour and light offers the soul honey which it brings with it into the higher world. The soul must spiritualise sense experience and carry it up into higher worlds.

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Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – The Origin of Suffering, Origin of Evil, Illness and Death – Berlin, 22nd November 1

 Translated by M. Cotterell