True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation

By Rudolf Steiner

Lecture ten of a cycle of lectures given in Torquay, England from August 11 to August 22, 1924 –
from stenographic notes unrevised by the speaker.
(GA243)

Translation: A.H. Parker

Influences of the extra-terrestrial Cosmos upon the Consciousness  of man


Yesterday I spoke of abnormal and pathological approaches to the spiritual world: the path through enrichment of inner understanding, the path of deeper penetration into the world of dream on the one hand, and on the other, the path which sets out to investigate the external manifestations of somnambulists and mediums by methods which are really a travesty of those of natural science. I pointed out that it is essential to follow both these paths and to pursue them purposefully if we are to develop true Initiation-knowledge. Today I propose to examine this problem more closely and to explore those cosmic influences to which man's consciousness and his total being are subject.

It is easy to see that amongst the influences working upon man, apart from those of the Earth, the influences of the Sun and Moon are paramount. Although people as a rule do not pay much attention to this, it is none the less evident today, even to a scientist, that nothing would exist on Earth without solar radiations.

Sun forces conjure plant life out of the Earth. They are essential to all animal life and to the physical and etheric bodies of man. Sun activities are to be found everywhere if we are prepared to look for them; they are vitally necessary to the higher members of man's being. Less attention, however, is paid to the Moon influences. They often survive today in the form of superstitious beliefs, and any precise knowledge about them is frequently distorted by the existence of superstitious notions about such influences. Those who propose to work in the scientific field today feel themselves to be above superstition; in consequence they deny that Moon influences have any significance and refuse to consider them seriously. Now and then, however, not only poets who are aware that the magic of the Moon stimulates their poetic imagination, not only lovers who exchange their tender passion by the light of the Moon, but also sages have a presentiment of the influences of the Moon upon the Earth, each in their different way. And this can prove highly instructive.

In the middle of the nineteenth century there lived in Germany two professors, Schleiden and Gustav Theodor Fechner. Fechner was attracted to a scientific study of the more mysterious workings in man and in the wider kingdom of nature. He collected data and statistical evidence to show that the rainfall over a particular area was related to Full Moon and New Moon and he concluded that rainfall varied with the phases of the Moon. He did not hesitate to defend his point of view against the scientific theories of the day. His colleague at the university, the eminent botanist Professor Schleiden, held a different opinion. He ridiculed the ideas of Fechner and declared that it was nonsense to speak of Moon influences of this kind. Now both professors were married and in the relatively small university town of the day conditions were still patriarchal. At that time it was customary for the wives to collect rainwater because they believed it was ideal for washing linen. Not only the two professors debated the issue, but their wives also tried to get to the bottom of the question. One day Professor Fechner said to his wife: “Professor Schleiden refuses to believe that the phases of the Moon have any influence on the rainfall. I want you to collect the rainwater that falls during one phase of the Moon, and Frau Professor Schleiden to collect the rainwater that falls during the following phase. As Professor Schleiden does not believe that the Moon phases play any part in the matter, there can be no possible objection.” But Frau Professor Schleiden was unwilling to grant to Frau Professor Fechner that phase of the Moon during which, according to her husband, a higher rainfall was impossible! A regular quarrel ensued; university and families took sides.

Now this incident has a scientific basis. When we investigate these influences with the methods of Spiritual Science we find that we can speak of powerful Sun and Moon influences, not merely as a relic of superstitious beliefs, but as a scientific fact. Having stated this, we have virtually exhausted all that modern man in normal consciousness can know on this subject. Modern man lives, so to speak, under the influences of Earth, Sun and Moon, and his consciousness also is fundamentally dependent upon them. For, as I have already pointed out, the external, visible aspect of the stars, Sun and Moon, is not the decisive factor. We have already emphasized that the Moon sphere harbours those Beings who were once the primordial teachers of mankind. The Sun sphere also harbours a vast multitude of spiritual beings. Every star is a colony of beings, just as the Earth is the cosmic colony of humanity. As I have already indicated, man lives today almost exclusively under the influence of Earth, Sun and Moon during the period between birth and death. We must now acquire a more precise knowledge of the spiritual, psychic and physical conditions in which man lives under the influence of Sun and Moon.

Let us consider the two poles of consciousness between which lies the state of dream — the waking consciousness and the emptied consciousness of sleep, of dreamless sleep. If we observe man during sleep when his physical and etheric bodies are detached from his astral body and I, we find that between falling asleep and waking he carefully preserves in the astral body and I the Sun influences which are withdrawn from the physical and etheric bodies.

From waking to sleeping we experience the Sun externally. We are aware of its effects even when totally blanketed by rain, for we owe our perception of objects around us to the reflected rays of the Sun. During the whole of our waking life we are exposed to the influence of the Sun which illumines objects from without. The moment we pass over into the condition of sleep the Sun begins to shine in our I and astral body and we perceive it with our spiritual eyes. Between sleeping and waking the Sun is within us. You are aware that certain minerals when left in a dark room after exposure to irradiation absorb the light and then become luminous. To spiritual perception the I and astral body of man follow the same pattern. In the waking state they are to some extent overpowered by the external sunlight. They begin to glow and to shine, since they are now imbued with sunlight between sleeping and waking.

To sum up: in waking life man lives under the influence of the external Sun forces; during sleep he is under the influence of the Sun forces which he now bears within himself until the moment of waking. During sleep we have the Sun within us and only the physical and etheric bodies are left behind. But from the spiritual world during sleep we irradiate from without our physical and etheric bodies with the sunlight stored within us. If we should omit to do this, if we did not irradiate our skin and the innermost recesses of the sense-organs with the sunlight stored within us, then we would soon collapse and die. In fact we provide for the vigour, growth and vitality of our organism by directing the stored-up sunlight from without on to our skin or by assimilating it into the sense-organs.

In effect, therefore, when man's astral body and I are outside his physical and etheric bodies during sleep, he first of all irradiates his skin with sunlight and then directs the sunlight through the eyes and ears to the nervous system.

This is the phenomenon of sleep. The Sun shines from the human I and astral body, irradiating the skin and penetrating into the human being through the doors of the senses.

Then, irrespective of whether it is New Moon or Full Moon — for the influences are always present, although they change with the phases of the Moon — Moon forces from without invade man's physical and etheric bodies. Thus, in the physical and etheric bodies during sleep we see the workings of the Sun proceeding from the I and astral body; in the physical and etheric bodies the workings of the Moon.

We have thus characterized the state of sleep in relation to the Cosmos. During sleep man's inner life is related to the Sun, his external life to the Moon. For, although the astral body and I are outside, they are, in reality, his inner being.

In waking life, the situation is reversed. When we are awake, Moon influences permeate our whole inner being, whilst Sun influences invade us from without. In waking life, therefore, Sun influences stream directly into our physical and etheric bodies, and the I and astral body within us are subject to the stored-up Moon forces.

During waking life, therefore, the Sun forces stream into our physical and etheric bodies from without and our inner being is permeated with the stored up Moon forces. During sleep the Sun inhabits the astral body and I; during waking life, the Moon. In waking life the Sun inhabits the physical and etheric bodies, during sleep, the Moon.

Even when man becomes a night-reveller and by sacrificing sleep invites the next day's hang-over, even then these influences are still present. For although we may choose to ignore nature's laws, the fact remains that things will take their normal course for man by virtue of their inherent inertia, by virtue of the law of cosmic continuity.

If man sleeps by day and wakes by night, the Moon influences are still active within his I and astral body during his nocturnal waking life; and the Sun influences also stream into him, but he experiences them as he would normally experience the light shed by street lamps, or dim starlight were he to lie out in the open and look up at the stars. But the Sun forces which man stores up during sleep and the Moon forces which pervade his inner being during waking life are present everywhere. With the physical and etheric bodies the position is reversed.

Man owes his ordinary consciousness between birth and death to this pattern of events. We shall now consider how the situation changes when man attains to higher forms of consciousness. For the relationship of the Initiate to Sun and Moon is progressively modified, and through this change of relationship to the Cosmos man finds his way into the spiritual world.

There is no need for me to describe man's relationship to the world, to the Sun and Moon in normal consciousness; everyone is aware of this when he recalls how man lives in his day consciousness and his night consciousness. The moment man begins to strengthen his inner soul-forces in relation to the normally chaotic dream consciousness, the moment he succeeds in transforming this dream consciousness into an instrument for the apprehension of reality, in that moment he becomes aware that the accumulated Moon forces are present in his I during waking life. The moment he actually transforms the dream into reality through Initiation-knowledge, he feels the presence of a second being within him, but he knows that the forces of the Moon sphere live within this second being.

In the early stages of Initiation consciousness man becomes aware that Moon forces are within him and that they always tend to develop within him a second man who is encased within the first man. A conflict now sets in. When the Moon forces begin to be inwardly active in this second man of whom I am speaking, not in waking consciousness, but during sleep, in such a way that this second man is released naturally by these inner Moon forces — when he is set free by the presence of the Moon at night and begins to wake to consciousness in the passive condition of sleep, then this second man concealed within the first, the normal man, seeks to wander around in the light of the Moon and takes the other with him. This is the origin of the somnambulistic condition peculiar to sleep-walkers.

When the Moon is shining outside, it is possible to awaken the second man who then makes contact with magical forces, i.e. anomalous forces which differ in kind from those of nature. He begins to wander around. As a sleep-walker in a diminished state of consciousness he behaves in a way that would be foreign to ordinary consciousness. Instead of lying in bed, as he would normally do, he wanders around and climbs on roofs. He is looking for the sphere which, in reality, he ought to experience outside his physical body. .

When this becomes a conscious inner experience and is directed into normal channels we take the first step in Initiation-consciousness. In this case however, we do not contact the actual external Moon influences; but the Moon forces in our inner being enable the second man to develop his consciousness. We must at all costs prevent this second man from breaking loose. There is always the danger that the second man might break loose, wander phantom-like abroad and stray along false paths. He must be kept under control.

Inner stability and self-control are essential for the acquisition of Initiation-knowledge in order to ensure that this potentially errant second man stays within the body and remains linked to the ordinary, matter-of-fact consciousness associated with the physical body. We must perpetually struggle to prevent this second being, the creation of the strengthened inner Moon nature, from dissociating itself from us. The second being is strongly attracted to everything associated with metabolism, peristalsis, the stomach and other organs, and makes heavy demands upon them.

The first indication, the first experience, of man's dawning Initiation-knowledge is that he follows one of the two paths which have to be traversed — the path that leads through the development, through the conscious realisation of the dream world.

And if he now becomes aware (in the dream state) — and, as I have pointed out, this is a necessary step — he realizes that though it is day without, within himself he bears the night. In the daytime there awakens within him something like an inner night.

When this Initiate-consciousness awakens, the day is still day to the outward eyes and for the external apprehension of things; but in the course of this day the spiritual light of the Moon with its refulgent beams begins to invade and illumine all around — and the spiritual begins to shine.

We know, therefore, that by inner effort man brings the night consciousness into the day consciousness. When this happens in full consciousness, just as other activities are performed consciously during the day, when this vigilant man is able to invoke the night activities of the Moon into the waking experiences of the daytime, then he is on the true path. If he allows anything to enter into him when he is not fully conscious so that out of their own inner momentum the night experiences arise in the day consciousness, then he finds himself on the false path that ultimately leads to mediumism.

The essential point is, therefore, that we must be fully conscious, in full control of experiences. The phenomena and experiences as such are not the decisive factors, but the way in which we respond to them. If the ordinary sleepwalker could develop full consciousness at a time when he is climbing on the roof top, he would at that moment experience an intimation of Initiation. Since he fails to develop this consciousness he falls to the ground when we shout at him to awaken him. If he did not fall, but developed full waking consciousness and could maintain this condition, he would then be an Initiate. The task of Initiation-knowledge is to develop along sound lines, sound in every respect, what is developed in the sleep-walker pathologically.

You will note, then, how a hair's breadth separates the true from the false in the spiritual world. In the physical world there is no difficulty in distinguishing between the true and the false because man can appeal to common sense and practical experience. As soon as he enters the spiritual world, it is exceedingly difficult to establish this distinction; he is wholly dependent on inner control, inner awareness. Furthermore, when man has awakened the night in the day, the moonlight gradually loses its character of external radiance. We experience it less externally; it creates a general feeling of inner well-being. We become aware however of something else. The wonderful glowing light of Mercury illumines this spiritual night-sky. The planet Mercury actually rises in this night that has been wooed into the day; it is not the physical aspect of Mercury, for we realize that we are in the presence of something living. We cannot recognize immediately the living spiritual Beings who are the inhabitants of Mercury, but we have a general impression that, from the way in which Mercury appears to us, we are in touch with a spiritual world.

When the spiritual moonlight becomes a universal life-giving force within us in which we participate, then the spiritual planet Mercury gradually rises in the night consciousness that has been wooed into the day consciousness. Out of this sparkling twilight in which Mercury appears there emerges the Being whom we call the Divine Being Mercury. We have absolute need of him for otherwise confusion will set in. We must first of all find this Being in the spiritual world, the Being whom we know for certain belongs to Mercury. Through our knowledge of this Divine Being (Mercury) we are able to control at will the “second man” who is awakened within us. We no longer need to stumble along undefined paths like the sleep-walker, but we can be led by the hand of Mercury, the messenger of the Gods, along the clearly defined paths that lead into the spiritual world. .

If, then, we wish to find the true paths into the spiritual world we must first undergo certain definite experiences which serve to guide and direct us. The ordinary mystic looks inward. Through introspection he sets up an emotional ferment compounded of God, the universe, angels and devils. At best his introspection leads to normal dream states where it is impossible to tell whether they come from the sexual or the intellectual plane. As a rule the experiences are confused and chaotic. This is the vague and nebulous mysticism which does not illumine the dream, but, as only the Initiate can understand, makes the confusion more confounded.

Such experiences, so instilled with wonder and poetry as described by Catherine of Siena and others, can only be understood by the Initiate, for only he knows what they really experience. Hence, if we pursue our Initiation with the same clear and lucid consciousness with which we calculate, or study geometry, if we penetrate with full consciousness into these things, we are on the right path. Only through the realization that we woo the inner night of the Moon into the external day, do we discover the real spiritual world. Just as no one can deny that the Moon or Mercury rises in the outer world of space, that this is a reality, not a dream delusion, so we find that the spiritual world is equally real and no delusion when we enter it in full consciousness and meet with spiritual Beings, just as we meet with human beings here on Earth. When we seek the spirit without becoming conscious of the nature of the spiritual world we are at all times on a false track. If we remain on Earth and are content to experiment with mediums and their manifestations and do not have direct contact with the spiritual, then we are on the false path. Every activity that fails to awaken consciousness in the spiritual world, that stumbles along blindly and only looks for effects, as superficial occultism for example, is on the false path. Everything which, on penetrating into the spiritual world, immediately experiences this world as a spiritual reality, is on the right path.

And thus an inner, living knowledge of the Moon sphere is the starting-point of the one path of Initiation. And we may say: man's normal experiences in relation to Sun and Moon which are normally experienced in sleep, the Initiate now experiences in waking life. Man becomes aware of the Moon influences as though they were external to him. He woos the night into the day. And instead of the night sky which we normally see studded with stars when we look out into the night, we see first of all the planet Mercury rise up before our inward vision: and if we have followed the instructions described in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and have succeeded in developing real Imaginations, then in this Moon sphere during waking life, the world of Imaginations is revealed to us as a reality.

When we enter into the sphere of Mercury influences these Imaginations pass over to the Mercury Beings. We do not now experience mere visions devoid of reality, but we perceive visions as Imaginations. These Imaginations pass over to the beings corresponding to them. Therefore, if we have not advanced far enough along the path of Initiation we may have the vision of an Archangel, but it remains a vision. Only at a further stage does the vision really contact the Archangel and then the real Archangel is revealed within the vision. At an earlier stage, when we experienced the light of the Moon within us, the Archangel was not of necessity there. But now the Archangel has become a reality. Thus we become conscious of the Mercury influences in that our world of visions passes over into a world in which we really perceive the spiritual. I must emphasise constantly that all this can only be achieved in the right way when we are fully conscious.

And then if we pursue our meditations further, strengthen and vitalize our inner being in increasing measure, we attain to the sphere where the Venus influences are added to those of Mercury. Then, when we contact the Venus influences, when Venus rises in this inner night which has been wooed into the day, the visions of the Beings who have appeared in the Imagination pictures, in the images of the true visions, are lost and we face the spiritual world with emptied consciousness. We know that the spiritual Beings are there; we have attained to the Venus sphere where the spiritual Beings dwell. We wait until the Sun sphere draws near to us. The whole process is a preparation for experiencing the Sun a second time. All this takes place during the waking consciousness of day, when we are subject to the influences of the Sun from without. We take the path I have described through Moon, Mercury and Venus. Then the visions vanish. We press on. The entire path was a path leading from Earth, to Moon, to Mercury, Venus and finally to the Sun. We enter into the inner being of the Sun and behold the Sun a second time, spiritually. Its appearance is fleeting and undefined, but we know that we are perceiving it spiritually. We gaze into the inner being of the Sun.

If I may use a crude analogy, it is as if we were to say to ourselves: I see something in the distance, and draw near to it. At first I take it for an inanimate object, take hold of it, whereupon it bites my hand. Now I know that it is not an inanimate object, but a real dog; I realize that it is possessed of inner being.

This crude comparison may draw your attention to the fact that these experiences are rooted in reality. We pass from the Earth through the influences of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, and arrive at the stage where we behold the Sun; we realize that it is a living spiritual Being and that spiritual Beings dwell within it.

In the first place this is the path that can be followed. At every stage along the path it becomes abundantly clear that as the Initiate progresses, he must retain his full consciousness and that he is then on the right path, and that if man, irrespective of the way he leaves his body, loses consciousness and enters into the Cosmos that has become spiritual reality before his spiritual gaze, then he is on the false path. We must have an inner realization of the difference between the true and false paths of inner spiritual perception.

Yesterday I indicated how, in accordance with the demands of the time, various psychic and occult societies, using methods which are a travesty of those of natural science, are attempting to investigate the spiritual world through external phenomena. Please do not misunderstand me. I have no wish to disparage these methods for I know only too well how ardently men desire to know scientifically the real nature of the spiritual world through observation of external phenomena. I only wish to point out how these paths must lead into error and what must be the nature of the true paths. Since we are living today, and must continue to live, in a scientific age, it is perfectly understandable that there should be men who wish to investigate the spiritual world by the direct methods of natural science and who consider other, purely spiritual paths to be unreliable. And they come to the conclusion that there exists, on the one hand, the ordinary world in which men live and fulfil the demands of social life and who think and act in terms of this social life. There is nothing unusual in this. It is the accepted way of life. This is the field of scientific investigation which is concerned with external phenomena, with the phenomena of heat, light, electricity, magnetism and so on.

On the other hand, however, abnormal situations occur in life. Men practise automatic writing; they perform various acts under the influence of hypnosis and suggestion. They suspect that an unknown world is revealed in this way in the ordinary world and they want to interpret these external signs and abnormal phenomena. They want to explain how the thoughts and experiences of someone in New York are communicated telepathically to a friend living in Europe who has a psychic affinity with him, whereas normally the news is transmitted by wireless telegraphy. Phenomena of this kind of which innumerable instances could be cited, are investigated by the statistical methods of natural science. This path cannot lead to any goal or final understanding because man lacks the necessary spiritual orientation which must be sought in the spiritual world itself. All these phenomena, wonderful as they may seem, are seen to be aggregates of unrelated phenomena in the external world. We cannot arrive at any knowledge or understanding of them, we can only record them, regard them as extraordinary and formulate hypotheses about the spiritual world which are meaningless, because the phenomena themselves have their source in the spiritual world and do not betray their real nature. However much we concern ourselves with mediums and scientific facts, the spiritual world is always with us, but it does not reveal its real essence.

In this context I would like to recall the investigations which I mentioned yesterday when I stated that Dr. Wegman and I are now endeavouring to provide an accurate description of these phenomena. This method of investigation, even as the other line of enquiry I have just described which seeks to throw light on the inner life of dreams, cannot dispense with spiritual insight. It proceeds in such a way that the phenomena to be investigated are related directly with their counterpart in the spiritual world itself.

But these phenomena are not associated with the isolated and miraculous events which we encounter in the external world in the manner I have just described. They belong to the realm that is perceived by the person who is trained in medicine, anatomy and physiology when his perception of the external form of a human organ — the lung, the liver, or some other organ — is transformed into an imaginative apprehension of this organ, when he gradually begins to be able to see the human organisation in Imaginations.

This becomes possible therefore when we are able to study the organs of man which normally function after the fashion of the abnormal rather than the normal external phenomena of nature, i.e. when we are in a position to transform our initial human, scientific, anatomical knowledge into spiritual penetration into the human organisation. In the method which I described before, we take our starting-point from the total being of man. The path that starts from the individual human organs which we apprehend and perceive directly through a spiritual anatomy is the path that can lead to true results in contrast to the false approach that seeks to understand external phenomena by statistical methods that are a travesty of natural science. You will appreciate, therefore, that before these matters could be discussed, we needed the co-operation of a medical practitioner trained along these lines. Furthermore you will realize that when a human organ is apprehended spiritually in this way by a person who looks at anatomy from this standpoint, he must harbour no doubts about the goal before him. And now there is disclosed to spiritual perception not an inner man such as I described earlier, but an external, cosmic man, still nebulous of course, but in the form of a mighty, gigantic being — man as he is perceived, not as a totality, but as he appears through an inner spiritual perception of his organs. Because these organs are seen spiritually, not merely the physical man, but the cosmic man stands revealed. Just as formerly the world of night — the Moon-sphere — was wooed into the day, so we now woo into this being — who is not the complete man, but a being who consists of the single organs — the impulses of the Saturn sphere.

Just as at an earlier stage the Moon sphere was charmed into the ordinary waking consciousness, the Saturn sphere is now charmed into the scientific consciousness. We become aware that the forces of Saturn work in a special way in every organ, most strongly in the liver, relatively feebly in the lungs and least of all in the head.

We thus become conscious of the goal which demands of us that we seek the Saturn influences everywhere. Just as in the earlier stages we advanced spiritually through the practice of meditation, so now, through identification with the search for Saturn, for the inner spiritual structure of each organ, we penetrate into the Jupiter sphere and come to recognize that every organ is in effect the terrestrial counterpart of a divine-spiritual Being.

In his organs man bears within him the images of divine-spiritual Beings. The entire Cosmos first appeared as a gigantic Being in the Saturn sphere and the whole man is seen as a gigantic cosmic Being appearing as the sum-total, as the inner-organic, cooperative activity of generations of Gods.

Once again we must pursue this path in full consciousness so that we are activated by forces which are able to support and sustain us in the course of our spiritual experiences. We must bear in mind that all these influences are in the first instance in the embryonic stage, but their appearance is transient. It is indeed easy to recognize their presence, but it is impossible to describe them, to retain a clear impression of them and mould them into mental images if we succumb to the inherent danger, namely, that all that arises in this sphere may immediately disappear from our consciousness, so that we are never in a position to contemplate it.

Now those who are today engaged in psychical research never dream of taking the spiritual into account. They prefer to work experimentally in their own way, by inviting certain individuals for laboratory tests. But spiritual realities cannot be reduced to the human level, especially when the declared intention is to apprehend them by these methods and to arrive gradually at a scientific explanation.

The medical book of which I spoke yesterday can only offer a first, elementary introduction to what will become a fully developed science in the distant future. But to the extent to which these things exist in the spiritual world today and are natural to the Beings who live, not on Earth, but on the Sun — to that extent they can be brought into earthly consciousness in the manner I have described. We should not imagine that we can develop spiritual insight by means of laboratory experiments or the abstract anatomy to be found in text-books. The essential point is that all spiritual matters must be directly experienced by man himself. Why is this so?

We can only hold these realities steady in the light when they are supported and sustained by the forces which arise from the common endeavours of man, by the forces which man derives from earlier incarnations on Earth. When this happens there enters into the world of the Saturn and Jupiter spheres what we may call the Mars sphere. From then onwards these things begin to speak. They are revealed through Inspiration. Then we return to the Sun once more with the consciousness of Inspiration.

This is the other path that is demanded of natural science today and which the Initiates of whom I spoke yesterday would prefer to avoid. They feel ill at ease when they are brought in contact with this path, but none the less it is a path which must be traversed.

The path through the Moon sphere, as you will realize from the present discussions, was admirably suited to the old Initiates and we have remarkable information about this Moon path in H. P. Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine. If we can distinguish fact from fiction, many important truths are to be found in the Secret Doctrine. But this path leads through the sphere of the Lunar-astral light with which H. P. Blavatsky was intimately associated and where an exalted Mercury messenger directed her interpretations. When we follow her disquisitions we realize how she always directed her imagination to the right source. The remarkable thing about Blavatsky is that no sooner does she feel the first promptings of an Imagination than it is immediately realized. Guided by the Mercury messenger, she is led to a secret library. The idea takes shape within her and the Mercury messenger leads her to a book carefully guarded by the Vatican. She reads the book and we find in her writings a variety of information to which she would otherwise not have had access because it had been jealously guarded by the Vatican for centuries! This path is indeed a well trodden path which must be carefully distinguished from everything that is achieved under firm inner control.

The other path takes the course I have described and relies upon the methods of modern natural science which H. P. Blavatsky detested like the plague. This is the path that must be trodden in the manner I have described, in the full realization that it finds its strength and support in the karmic development of the forces of human beings, not so much for the sake of awakening karmic memories, but in order to hold fast to them for the purpose of describing them.

The science of today must be imbued with human values such as I described yesterday, when I referred to my collaborator in this sphere. It is by discussing concrete examples, not through definitions that we can best discover the origin of the true and false paths. In order to conclude this course of lectures I propose tomorrow to add as much information upon this subject as is possible in the short time at our disposal.


Thanks to the Rudolf Steiner Archive.

 


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