RS about atheism

 

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:12 pm
Subject: RS about atheism

"Not to find the Father god, to be an atheist, is an illness. Not to find the Son God, the Christ, is a misfortune."

- "The Mission of the Archangel Michael", Dornach 28th November, 1919, GA 194:

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/MissMich/19191128p01.html

Here is a more comprehensive excerpt where the above quote is included:

It was impossible for the ancient Greeks who retained the remnants of ancient Mystery culture to be an atheist ­ although it happened in a few abnormal cases, but not to the degree it occurs today. Atheism has only arisen in more recent times, at least in its radical form. For the Greek who was really imbued with dialectics felt the Divine holding sway in thinking, even in thinking void of content.

If we know this and then look upon the appearance of atheism, upon the complete denial of the Divine, we shall find the reason for this atheism. Only those human beings, my dear friends ­ naturally, we need the methods of spiritual science in order to recognize this ­ only those human beings are atheists in whose organism something is organically disturbed. To be sure, this may lie in very delicate structural conditions, but it is a fact that atheism is in reality a disease.

This is the first thing we have to hold fast: atheism is a disease. For, if our organism is completely healthy, the harmonious functioning of its various members will bring it about that we ourselves sense our origin from the Divine ­ ex deo nascimur.

The second point, to be sure, is something different. Man may sense the Divine but may have no possibility to sense the Christ. In this respect we do not differentiate carefully enough today. We are satisfied with words, also in other spheres. For, if we test today the actual spiritual content of the view of many human beings of the occident and are not influenced by their words ­ they say they agree with Christian precepts, they believe in the freedom of the will, and so forth ­ we shall find that the whole configuration of their thinking contradicts what they thus express. Only through their participation in cultural life have they become accustomed to speak of Christ, of freedom, and so forth. In reality, my dear friends, a great number of human beings living among us are nothing but Turks; for the content of their faith is the same as the fatalistic content of faith of the Mohammedans ­ although this fatalism is often described as a necessity of nature. Mohammedanism is much more prevalent than we think. If we do not focus our attention upon the words but upon the spirit-soul content, we shall find that many Christians are Turks. They call themselves “Christians” even though they cannot find the transition from the God they sense to the Christ.

I only need to draw your attention to the classical example of a modern theologian, Adolf Harnack, who wrote the book, Wesen des Christentums. {Essence of Christianity.} Please, make the following test: scratch out in this book the name of Christ wherever it occurs and replace it by the name of God, this will change nothing in the content of this book. There is no necessity that what this man states should refer to the Christ. What he states refers to the general Father god who lies at the foundation of the world. There is no need at all that he should refer to the Christ with what he states. Wherever he proves something it is externally and internally untrue as he borrows the various communications from the Gospels. In the way he elaborates these communications there can be seen no reason whatsoever for connecting them with the Christ. We must acquire the possibility of conceiving of the Christ in such a way that we do not identify Him with the Father god. Many of the modern evangelical theologians are no longer able to differentiate between the general concept of God and the concept of the Christ. To be unable to find the Christ in life is a different matter from being unable to find the Father God ­ You know that it is not here a matter of doubting the Divinity of the Christ. It is a matter of clear differentiation, in the sphere of the Divine, between the Father God and the Christ God. This comes to expression in the soul of man. Not to find God the Father is a disease; not to find the Christ is a misfortune. For the human being is so connected with the Christ as to be inwardly dependent upon this connection. He is, however, also dependent upon that which has taken place as a historical event. He must find a connection with the Christ here upon earth, in external life. If he does not find it is a misfortune. Not to find the Father god, to be an atheist, is an illness. Not to find the Son God, the Christ, is a misfortune.

And what does it mean if we do not find the Spirit? To be unable to take hold of one's own spirituality in order to find the connection of one's own spirituality with the spirituality of the world signifies mental debility; not to acknowledge the Spirit is a deficiency of mind, a psychic imbecility.

Please remember these three deficiencies of the human soul constitution. Then we shall e able to continue tomorrow in the right way. Remember what I have told you today about the three kinds of consciousness; remember that it is a disease if we are an atheist, if we do not find the God out of whom we are born and whom we must find if we possess a completely sound organism; that it is a misfortune if we do not find the Christ; that it is a psychic deficiency if we do not find the Spirit.

This is also the way in which the paths that lead man to the Trinity differ from one another. It will become more and more necessary for mankind to enter into these concrete facts of soul life and not to remain stuck in general, nebulous notions. People are specially inclined today toward these nebulous notions. To replace this inclination by the inclination to enter into concrete facts of soul life is an essential task of our age.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: RS about atheism

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume wrote:

And what does it mean if we do not find the Spirit? To be unable to take hold of one's own spirituality in order to find the connection of one's own spirituality with the spirituality of the world signifies mental debility; not to acknowledge the Spirit is a deficiency of mind, a psychic imbecility.

Please remember these three deficiencies of the human soul constitution. Then we shall e able to continue tomorrow in the right way. Remember what I have told you today about the three kinds of consciousness; remember that it is a disease if we are an atheist, if we do not find the God out of whom we are born and whom we must find if we possess a completely sound organism; that it is a misfortune if we do not find the Christ; that it is a psychic deficiency if we do not find the Spirit.

R.S.

"Consider what people have been learning for quite a long time now and what they think it right to instill into children; consider what is accepted as the basis of modern education — all this should not be judged in accordance with the views of someone who, believing he is very clever, says he understands these things and knows they are entirely correct. No, all this should be judged in accordance with how it influences and fructifies the soul, and in terms of the impressions it produces on the soul.

And when a person becomes cleverer and cleverer, in the sense in which it is fashionable to call people clever to-day, he develops in his soul certain forces which in this incarnation may make him very well able to dominate the conversation in circles wedded to materialistic or monistic ideas; but then certain vital forces necessary for the human organism are worn away. And when such a person has taken into himself only these typical dregs of modern education, in his next incarnation he will lack the forces that are required for properly building up the human organism. The "cleverer" a person is by the standards of the time we are now facing and the closer his intellectual attunement to it, the more of an imbecile will he be in a later incarnation."

Bradford comments;

Critical problems of the Intellectual Soul, speaking to those who understand soul strata, soul structure and soul development, have arisen very clearly before us. It is a good time to evaluate carefully in a Goethean manner, how we observe, when such opportunity presents itself, living soul conditions. So here we enter into a very living relation to the problems of the Intellectual Soul Development in this our 5th post Atlantean epoch. Here we encounter, in ourselves, A-Typical problems that are normally hidden. But when opportunity arises for us to study the problems of the 5th post-Atlantean epoch carefully we should.

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/19130207p01.html

R.S.

"Let us take an Initiate of later times when, having freed his ego and astral body from his physical and. etheric bodies and come forth from them, he looked down at them from outside, and let us picture what he saw in them. He saw something which could be very disturbing, if he had not learnt to understand it thoroughly. And he still sees it today. The physical and etheric bodies have woven into them something which flows through them like streams or strands running in various directions. As the nerve fibres run through the physical body, so is there woven into the physical body something finer than the nerves, of which occult sight reports: That is dead — so dead that there really is something like a piece of dead substance in the human body.

"It is now condemned to be dead throughout the time between birth and death, but during the Eastern period of human evolution it was still living. Yes, one has the experience that in human bodies there is something dead which once was alive. And one sets out to discover what it really is. "Dead" is to be understood here in a relative sense; the dead part is indeed stimulated by its environment, but there are tendencies and currents in the human body which, in comparison with the life that animates it, have always a disposition toward death. We investigate how this has come about, and we find that the origin of it is as follows.

"Once in ancient times men's souls possessed a certain faculty of clairvoyance, and in the latter part of the Egyptian-Chaldaic civilisation this clairvoyance still existed to such a degree that a man, when gazing into the starry heavens, saw not merely the physical stars but also the spiritual beings united with them. And so, when in the intermediate state between waking and sleeping the human soul looked out into the universe and saw something spiritual, the impression received was different from the impressions made upon the human soul to-day, when people study science in the modern way or are living mostly in the ordinary consciousness of the times.

"But all the souls living and embodied to-day were also incarnated in the Egyptian-Chaldaic epoch. All the souls present here to-day once looked out from their bodies into starry space, took part in the spiritual life of the universe and received its impressions. This sank into our souls and became an intrinsic part of them. All the souls of to-day once looked out into the universe and received spiritual impressions in the same way as they now receive impressions of colours and sounds.

"It is all there still, in the depth of our souls, and the souls created their bodies in accordance with it. But our souls have lost remembrance of it! For modern consciousness it is no longer present in the souls of men. And that which corresponds to the old up- building forces which the souls used to receive, cannot now build upon the body, with the result that the corresponding part of the physical and etheric bodies remains lifeless.

"If nothing else were to happen, if men went on living merely with those sciences which are concerned with the outer physical world, then men would deteriorate more and more, because their souls have forgotten those former impressions of the spiritual world which go with the vivifying and building up of the physical and etheric bodies.

"That is what the candidate for Initiation sees to-day. And he can say to himself: Souls are thirsting to vitalise something in the physical and etheric bodies which they have to abandon as lifeless because the impressions they once absorbed do not penetrate into modern consciousness. This is the disturbing impression received to- day by the candidate for Initiation.

"Thus there is something in man that is withdrawn from the sovereignty of the soul. I beg that you will take these words with all earnestness; for a characteristic of modern man is that something in his nature is withdrawn from the rule of the soul, something that is dead in contrast with the life of the organism that surrounds it. And by working upon this dead part, the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces exercise on man a very great influence in a quite special way.

"While on the one hand men can acquire more and more freedom, the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces insinuate themselves precisely into that part of the organism which has been withdrawn from the sovereignty of the soul. That is why so many people in modern times feel (and quite rightly say they feel) as if there were two souls dwelling within their breast, and as if one wanted to tear itself away from the other."

(snip)

"One needs to learn what has to be poured into the still living part of the soul in order to become master of the part of the physical body that has died, and the part of the soul that has become unconscious.

"In fact, there was in Goethe something that can be called, in a crude sense, a double nature. To a superficial view the two sides can hardly be brought into harmony. On the one hand there is the great, high-minded soul who could bring forth certain portions of the second part of Faust, and gave expression to many deep secrets of human nature in the Fairy-Story of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily; and one would like to forget everything one knows from biographies of Goethe and pay homage only to the soul who was capable of such achievements.

"On the other side there ,appears in Goethe, tormenting him and often causing him pangs of conscience, his other nature, "human, all- too-human", in many respects. In earlier times the two natures of man were not so widely separate in their development; they could not diverge in this way. A person with a biography comparable with Goethe's could not rise to such heights as are revealed in certain passages of the second part of Faust or in the Fairy-Story of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, and at the same time be so divided in his soul. That was not possible in earlier times.

"It has become possible only in later days, because there now exists in human nature something we have already spoken of — the part of the soul that has become unconscious, and the part of the organism that has died. The part that has remained alive can be so elevated and purified that the impulse which leads on to the Fairy-Story of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily; can be nurtured there, while the other part may remain exposed to the attacks of the outer world.

"And because the forces described are able to make their abode there, circumstances may arise in which there is very little agreement with the higher ego of the person.

"It should be understood that the soul living in Goethe had once belonged to an Egyptian Initiate, and had then lived in Greece as a sculptor and a disciple of philosophy; then, between this Greek incarnation and the one as Goethe, there comes an incarnation (probably only one) which I have not yet been able to find. If we keep this in mind, we can see how a soul who in former incarnations could rule the entire man can be led downwards, and then has to relinquish a part of the total human nature, which then lies open to the influence of evil forces.

"That is what is mysterious and so hard to understand in a nature such as Goethe's; but by the same token it brings to light many hidden aspects of the human soul in modern times. Everything brought about by the duality of human nature lays hold, in the first place, of the Intellectual Soul, and the Intellectual Soul divides into those "two souls", whereof one can sink fairly deeply into matter and the other can rise into the spiritual.

"...we must say that in our time and on into the far future there will still be many natures similar to that of Goethe, persons who with one part of their being rise up into the heights, while with the other part they are connected with the "human, all-too-human". Persons who in earlier incarnations showed no sign of these peculiarities, but on the contrary displayed a certain harmony between the outer and the inner, may enter fresh incarnations in which a deep disharmony can show itself between the external and the inner organisation.

"Those who know the secrets of human incarnations will not feel confused in face of this disharmony. For in proportion as these things increase, the human faculty of judgment grows also, so that the old principle of authority comes to an end. Hence there will be an ever more insistent call to test the fruits of the Mysteries."

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