I read the Ringing Cedars right after I finished studying Anthroposophy and Education at Taruna College in NZ.
Over the summer, we gardened, packed apples, maintained a property and worked as lifeguards at the local pools saving to come to Europe.
I read the RC books with such delight ... and just knew they were the best little gems to land in my lap after an intensive, exhausting, amazing year; introducing myself with tour de force and fulltime immersion into the world and writings of Rudie.
Well today, I pieced something together, that for me, explicitly unites the two beings and their contributions.
The Evolution of Consciousness study during my course, was something that stood out. So much so, we have actually decided to take the 'western thread' tour, after CH - albeit backwards, before returning home. (Greece, Egypt, India).
I went to Uni at 18 and studied for 3 years, Art History and Politics. I was thinking of going on with a masters in curatorship, but just couldn't see the point in a snooty, academic job wanking (mind my Aussie) on about something and attempting to sell art as an investment. ...
Finally, finally, finally - I found what I had been looking for - what had actually driven me to study art and political thinking in the first place - an attempt to understand our history, the world - US.
I found this studying anthroposophy, more exactly the so-called Evolution of Consciousness. Something at least along the lines of the real questions, completely ignored at Uni ----- Why we are here .... Who we are ... and Where we are headed. A stream of development was studied at Taruna .... taking Human history from Atlantean times ( this realisation of Atlantis actually existing took me a day or 2 to swallow!) through the Indian epoch, the Persian, the Egypto/Chaldean, the Graeco/Roman, our present - the Anglo/German era .... seeing this thread of evolution, or, Humanity's gradual incarnation to the earth .... this was the story that fed my spirit.
This knowledge began to beg the same questions, "Yes, but what is the point?!" WHY are we here, WHAT is the thread leading us to ... ??
Very very soon I learned the deeper esoteric significance of Christianity - of the Christ Impulse - the true significance of the resurrection. This too was something I needed to hold a while before being able to absorb ... like so many I rebelled from Christianity as the disgusting contradictions and plays of power became obvious through my early years. I had to question hard my experiences, and had to learn to separate the false Christianity, from the pure. And such purity exists in those events ... that they are completely central to our experience now (whether we know it or not). And are completely central to the evolution of Humanity (and Earth).
Steiner shows a diagram like this.
This suddenly gave me some reference points as to Humanity's evolution - what we had done so far ... what we were doing on Earth, and a far greater understanding of the implication of Christ. And as the year went on, I learned that the essential nature of Christ's resurrection, had to do with the Earth's etheric body.
(Yes there are parallel between the epochs - we see some in our current time - gross materialism for one - and the Egyptians believed they needed their bodies and household items in the afterlife... So interesting to note the next major cultural influence will be coming from Mama Russia! And the Persian epoch was Zorostrian - religious revelation concerning the eternal flame and the duality of light and dark, Ahura Mazdao ü Ahriman. .. how this will have developed come the Russian epoch, I have no idea)
Now this year from Little Grandmother, I learned once more, that nothing separates Humans from Earth. We all operate on the same frequency; you do something to one and you will affect the other, and vice versa. We are evolving together, because we are One. We all have physical, etheric, astral and spirit ego bodies.
When Christ was sacrificed, he affected the Earth's etheric body. The Christ or 'Sun being' entered the Earth's etheric ... and hence all of our Etheric bodies are now imbued with this Christ or Sun energy - each and every single one of us. I think we see these effects in our personal desires to become completely free individuals - to know and understand for ourselves, to learn, to experience ... these are all inherent 'Sun' qualities. And you can see how Christian societies have developed with this Sun centre, as compared with pre or parallel Christian societies, Jewish and Muslim, which you may say are more 'Moon' --- emphasis on the group, clan or tribe, family name - a registration of hereditary, ancient shadowy mystical traditions - emphasis placed on the group instead of the individual.
Eventhough, the Christ Principle still exists in these traditions, like it does in every culture's mystical traditions. The Bhagavad Gita, the Epic of Gilgamesh, indigenous knowledge etc, all hold the same esoteric wisdom - the truth is te same everywhere for everyone! And so, the Christ etheric is in us all, which is why we are seeing huge uprisings in the name of democracy and personal liberty in the middle east now ... and 2000 years is a very short time in the scale of evolution considered here!
This all laid an interesting hypothesis, for sure! ... But what is the point of a Sun Being in our planet's Etheric body? ...I had to ask myself. With further research I discovered something which totally stirred my deepest Soul ....
"The mission of our Earth is the cultivation of the principle of Love to its highest degree by those beings who are evolving upon it. When the Earth has reached the end of its evolution, Love should permeate it through and through"
Ah-ha!! Ok so, now Love comes into it, as it should. Thank you Rudolf, this is language I can understand! This is the time talked about, when the Earth will become spiritualised.
This for me, really plugged my interest ... as this describes the future of the Earth ... it's actual purpose and destiny.
I mean you have to think big here! But once you have a wider conception of the whole Universe ... of everything ... your own existence makes more sense.....
Q: What power will be used to spiritualise matter?
Steiner: The power of Love gained through the Christ principle. Beings become capable of dissolving matter through taking love into their souls. The more the soul is warmed by love the more powerfully will it be able to work on matter; it will spiritualise the whole Earth and transform it into an astral (feeling) globe."
And after reading the RC books ... these quotes and notes I had collected, seemed to take on a whole new angle.
Suddenly, a way was described. Not something abstract, concerning millenia or obscure spiritual beings.
So today I was listening to lecture 10 of the lecture cycle, 'The Apocalypse and St John', given by RS in 1908.
The gospel of St John is apparently, the most esoteric in nature, and describes with beauty, the experiences of a highly initiated person - and the true significance of Christ.
Steiner says in lecture 10, this wee point:
When man is in the Plant Kingdom, he will have reached a stage of evolution morally, in which it will be impossible to feel happy as an individual, if others of his kind feel unhappy.
The happiness of the individual is inseperably connected to the happiness of all.
(When RS refers to the 'plant kingdom', he is describing a state of consciousness evolution, rather than simply being 'in' Nature)
A brief background of the lecture up to this point: RS had spoken about Humans (us) in our current point of earthly evolution - and how we are in the Mineral Kingdom at present. We understand the material of the world, and are able to recreate in this medium. Our next phase of evolution, will incorporate the Plant Kingdom. We will move beyond the purely material, and will understand the life forces connected to the plants. This is the Etheric.
For into the living being flows, when it is put together, something which is in the Man himself.
Only when it is realised that Man as a whole being works with his whole inner being in what he produces, will the world be ready to produce something that is alive - Plants, Animals and Human Beings - In free activity.
Man will then have risen into the Plant Kingdom when he understands the plant nature as he now understands the mineral. He will have risen to the Animal Kingdom when he understands feelings in such a way that he can make a sensitive being through his own spirit power, just as he now makes an external object.
And he will have ascended to the Animal Kingdom when he can form Man anew, in free activity.
And that is the truly Human stage of evolution. What deep held mystery lies in this notion of free activity?
I suposse the Planet too, will mirror this evolution. The astral globe permeated with Love, will become something ever more profound, and permeated with something higher yet --- something more Human.
Something I took away from my year at Taruna, is how important it is to develop our Etheric bodies. This has been the one strongest nugget of advice, something felt with deep understanding and urgency.
I can recommend Steiner's book, How to Know Higher Worlds, as an excellent source of initiation information; Meditation exercises, and what to expect when the veil is lifted, and how to deal.
It seems the Christ event has ushered in this age of Etheric development.
Now back to the RC series ... And here including all inspirational appeals of 'getting back to the land'.
What better way to develop our Etherics, than by being surrounded by Nature?
By living in the plant world, tending, eating, communicating, understanding the etheric of the planet, we in turn, tend, communicate with and understand our own etheric bodies. We will begin to perceive etherically, that is, the life forces of everything. Many of us already have these perceptions. All of Humanity will too oneday - and it is up to us to work diligently, to develop these senses purely and wholly, if we are to plant the seeds for our future generations to come - etheric, astral, ego seeds.
We are the ancestors of the future, who will develop our Etherics, as to make it possible for our descendents to develop their Astrals, and for their descendents to develop their Egos.
Our forebears, are the ones who stepped forward to develop their Mineral forms, to incarnate properly onto the Earth.
This is a huge story, one we have only just begun when you consider these phases of 'bodies evolution'!
And it is ever humbling to acknowledge, that we must still sit back, and ask for guidance, for teaching from our differently developed ancestors, our mineral, plant and animal kin.
I have only read the RC books once, and don't own any copies, so cannot make references or check up on what Anastasia may have said. I only have memory to go on ... I would love it if someone understood parallels from the books - something about developing our etheric bodies. I am convinced now that the big push towards a healthy natural life, the shift from head to heart and the immersion in Nature ... why we all have this urgency and understanding is because we are leaping over the threshold of mineral existence into etheric. I think this pulls back the viewfind a little bit more, and a wider horizon of the picture is shown. And there is no doubt, that the creation of Spaces of Love and Kin's Domains facilitate the development of earth/human etheric -- Mama loves to be touched by us, plants grow stronger when nurtured and admired and enjoyed! Our souls are fed .. it is so beautiful, ... and so important!
I think I have found a connection here, that satisfies something in me - that adds another squiggly line looping Steiner's words, with beautiful Anastasia's.