One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time

Just as there are definite stages in the evolution of the individual human being, just as the nature of his powers and faculties differs in childhood, middle life and old age, so too are the powers and faculties possessed by humanity in general constantly changing in the course of evolution. Not to take account of the fact that the character of humanity is different in the 20th century from what it was in the 15th century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world-evolution. One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time, is its failure to pay heed to this, as well as the prevalent notion that it is possible to speak of man or of humanity in terms of abstract generalisations, that there is no need to regard humanity as being involved in a continuous process of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 –The Work of the Angels In Man’s Astral Body – Zurich, 9th October, 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on January 17, 2018

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

One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time

Just as there are definite stages in the evolution of the individual human being, just as the nature of his powers and faculties differs in childhood, middle life and old age, so too are the powers and faculties possessed by humanity in general constantly changing in the course of evolution. Not to take account of the fact that the character of humanity is different in the 20th century from what it was in the 15th century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world-evolution. One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time, is its failure to pay heed to this, as well as the prevalent notion that it is possible to speak of man or of humanity in terms of abstract generalisations, that there is no need to regard humanity as being involved in a continuous process of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 –The Work of the Angels In Man’s Astral Body – Zurich, 9th October, 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on October 1, 2014

Ex Deo Nascimur

When the Gods created man, they gave him defects so that he could test his strength on them. We should thank the Gods for our defects, for combating them makes us strong and free. But we shouldn’t love the defects for even a moment. We couldn’t thank Gods who made us pure and without defects, because they would have made us into weaklings. We should tell ourselves: And even the world was full of devils we still come from God, Ex Deo nascimur.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Esoteric Lessons Part II – Kassel, 11th December 1910

Previously posted on September 19, 2014

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 April 14, 2014