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Lectures from 1951

On-line since: 31st August, 2016

The Redemption of Evil

Unrevised Lecture by Willi Sucher - 6 August 1951, Wynstones Conference

In my previous lecture, we examined how the human brain is like a mirror, and one that is concerned with the death processes. Because the cosmic world, as it is seen in relation to our brain as an illusion, we live one-sidedly in our sense impressions. We know that it is our task to find the real universe, and we might liken this to the removal of mercury from behind a mirror. Thus we would no longer see false reflections, having made it transparent to the truth. In other words, we are then able to look through to the real world.

It is the same with human beings. Through the occult inner development, as given by Rudolf Steiner in Knowledge of Higher Worlds, we enhance the dormant faculties with which we are endowed but with which we are unaware. This transparency in seeing is a dominant theme in that basic spiritual culture at the root of the English Celtic heritage. We find it in the Druids' stone, the Serpent's egg of magical properties, also the transparent stone mentioned and used by St. Columba, the many glass stories in Celtic mythology, such as King Arthurs boat and the glass castle that was one of the eight castles he conquered, and also the glass slipper of Cinderella.

This morning we spoke of those earlier Celtic myths, in which Arthur came to Annwn (the Earth) to find the cosmos in matter. For this he needed a transparent instrument, the Grail, which is spoken of most wonderfully in Morte DArthur; and through this, we know how the transparent stone was spoken of, whereby Christ speaks to the three pilgrims. Always there is the theme of making the darkness transparent, which can be achieved by human beings through meditation and by the concentration exercises that are explained by Rudolf Steiner in the above book. For through such exercises we break the mirror of illusion and falsification (Lucifer and Ahriman) in order to be able to see and to perceive a quite different cosmos with a living organ. We have to break through the dead and hardened intellect into a living cosmos.

The plant perceives a universe that is quite different from ours, because it perceives with a living organ, though it does not have our consciousness. We must find our own Druids stone or Serpents egg. We have also seen how, in Mrs. Koliskos experiments, the molten minerals perceive a different cosmos, with different organs, as in her experiment with the Sun eclipse. This is truth. Our illusionary, inner star-world changes through this development.

At this time, Mercury and Venus stand in the constellation of Lion until Michaelmas, and both are very near to the Earth, which is rare with Venus. For Venus, this cosmic event has approximately an eight-year rhythm. (There are, or course, still greater rhythms.) Such things are traced into the sky like an invisible path of Great Beings. Development continues rapidly, and all these rhythms are connected with historic events, which we can often trace if we look back into the past as well as into our own environment and what is related to it, including the Crossing of the Threshold.

It is as though at the moment of crossing we see only the movement of the curtains. We know that the spiritual world lies behind them, though we cannot as yet draw them back. However, we are aware of an entirely different universe, a living one with a living body, soul, and spirit. This is our first stage of development through the realm of pictorial Imagination. But we move onward and create a meditative picture that is not drawn from the physical world. We learn to love this imaginative world of our creating, as it becomes ever more real and sustaining to the physical. Then we must renounce our creating if we would make progress; it takes courage to put it behind us and face the abyss of emptiness. At such a moment, it demands both integrity and strength and much energy to keep our real being and consciousness. There is a sense of shock at plunging into empty space in which there seems to be nothing to hold on to. It is as though we need a superhuman fund of strength not to fall into total despair at such a moment. Knowledge of Higher Worlds gives us this step by step ability to control and enter that void in full consciousness. At this stage, we may really find ourselves in the true cosmos. We are in the Sun realm in its reality, as distinct from that reflection we see in modern astronomy. Here is the Sun as it really is, and the Earth in relation to it. The Sun sucks in substance toward its surface; within, it is a great vacuum, a negative space, sucking in from the periphery. It is this inner world of the Sun that we enter at this stage of meditation and find ourselves within the Soul of the universe. At its periphery is the fixed-star Zodiac.

All that exists in our solar system is derived from these realms. The rays from the zodiacal substance pass through the Earth, which is able to contract and claim some of this substance from which all earthly kingdoms are built up. This is why we have twelve animal species. The Earth is really made up of spiritual soul-substance, not matter, which is transformed on Earth into minerals, plants, animals and human beings. All is derived from the Zodiac and the twelve constellations. This has to be experienced in the world of emptiness that lies beyond the realm of Imagination. In this world we find Inspiration. Whereas before we saw pictorially, once we have passed the abyss of emptiness we begin to hear spiritually the harmonies of the spheres. In effect, the curtain opens, and we stand face to face with the spiritual beings who speak to us. This is the Soul of the world, the Isis Sophia, or the Wisdom of the Gods, as we call it. It has a thousand names. Thus we experience in the cosmos the Soul of the world, the Wisdom of the Godhead, the Isis Sophia.

Earth is the place of sacrifice, and therein Arthur searched for the Zodiac on the Earth, known in Celtic mythology as Annwn, Caer Sidi, and the Cauldron of Inspiration. Cosmic beings and substance sacrificed themselves in it, and it is the altar of the universe where the greatest sacrifice of all times took place by the Christ, the Spirit of the Cosmos. It is as if the Earth has been carried in the womb of the Cosmos of Wisdom, which is the true Cosmos, and united with it are the sacrifices of the whole cosmic evolution of the Earth. At the heart of it lives a great Deed. In the image and transparency of the Holy Grail, it was revealed.

I have only been able to give you a superficial picture of a universe freed from the domination of evil. It is for us to look toward the redemption that lies in our whole being, becoming transparent even as the medieval alchemist spoke of the Philosophers Stone, which was prepared through the processes of sublimation and sacrifice, until it became of the quality of a diamond. We must do the same to our own inner being. Through this alchemic process, the alchemists opened the strong door to the Royal Chamber.

This is the diamond that we must ultimately become in order to redeem the world from the false reflection, from the two powers of falsification and illusion the great opposing forces of Ahriman and Lucifer. We must radiate from within. It is a slow process, but it is essential that we lift our whole being to these great cosmic aspects, if we would not forever be as wanderers groping in the darkness.

   

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