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THE ETHERIC BODY
My DEAR FRIENDS,
I should like to put before you some
The footnotes refer to Dr. Steiner's thoughts and observations upon the etheric
lectures as they exist in the original body, the results of work in our group at Stutt-
German. Most of them have been gart. Theywil1 be in aphoristic fonn because my
translated and can be procured either subject makes it necessary to deviate sometimes
by loan or purchase from the Rudolf into adjoining domains in order to make myself
intelligible. Only in this way can I achieve what
Steiner Centre, 27, Clareville Grove,
I am aiming at to give a stimulus to work, and
London, S.W. 7.
to point out what may be little known.
Let me begin with some elementary truths
wiwith which you are all acquainted, thus remind-
ing you of what Spiritual Science tells us of the
differences between man and the three kingdoms
- of nature that surround him. We know as a
higher spiritual fact that no physical body can
exist without some kind of etheric body,
astral body, and Ich, * and that the mineral,
plant, and animal kingdoms of nature also have
certain parts of their total being in the higher
worlds. For this reason, as compared with
men, they appear to be incomplete beings on
the physical plane. The mineral has only its
physical body upon the physical plane. This
accOWlts for the rigid, the dead, of minerals.
Cycle 8/2/4. Note by Ed.: The Gennan word
"Ich" can be translated by "Ego" or "I."
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THE ETH E:RIC BODY THE: ETHERIC BODY

Living beings begin with the plants whose for the soul is always the intermediary between
physical body is permeated by an etheric body ,
the corporeal and the spiritual. In the remote
which enables them to nourish themselves, to when the "I" was not as yet mature
grow, and to propagate themselves. But this enough for independent conscious work, this
exhausts their being, and as soon as they arrive took place with the help of higher beings. So
at maturity, their task is, so to speak,fulfilled. the sentient soul was formed through dim work
They die, and the same process begins over on the astral body with the help of the Mars
again, as we see in the case of shrubs and trees. beings. Then the intellectual or rational soul
A similar process takes place in the animal. was formed through work on the etheric body
When its astral body has developed in the with the help of the Mercury beings. And
nonnal way, it has nothing more within it finally, with the help of the Jupiter beings the
waiting to unfold in the physical world, for spiritual-soul or Consciousness Soul was built up
its " I" lives as a group-soul in the elemental out of the forces of the physical body. * These
world. But in man the real specific human three soul-members are what, at the present
development begins just here, for when the time, we call our "I." Man thinks, feels,
astral body has finished unfolding, the highest and wills through his sentient, rational, and
member, the "I," becomes free. But the spiritual souls.
development of the "I" is unlimited; every- . You may be surprised that I include the
thing that one can achieve in the higher stages astral body in man's corporality. By this
of development, right up to the highest spiritual- tenn I mean the member originally lent to
ity, takes place through the" I" itself. him by the gods, that Rudolf Steiner, finely
This work begins by our transfonning the distinguishing, calls the "soul-body" in his
members lent us by the gods, first the astral book, TheQsophy. This only becomes what we
body, then the etheric body, and finally the are accustomed to call the astral body through
forces of the physical body also. In other words, the sentient-soul, with which at the present
our threefold corporality is to be transfomled time it fonns a unity. (See the chapter on
into a threefold spirituality, but for this it is Body, Soul and Spirit in the book, Theosophy.)
necessary first to create the stages of the soul, * Cycles 8/7, 6/9, 18/1.
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THE ETH ~:RIC BODY TH E E1'HI<:RIC BODY

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It was only quite ' gradually that . ~;tIIe flee-remaining part of the etheric body
Steiner told us about the deeper nature tllat remains unemployed if various things are
etheric body. At first we thought its imparted in education which it then works
was exhausted by preserving the physical nip ' thus participating gradually as one
from decay every moment of its life. . beeomes older, though not so much in child-
the year 1906 we met for the first ti.me years. These various things become
sentence, " Memory is impressed on the in the etheric body through

body," but without further explanation. impressions received in the whole life of the
when An Outline of Occult Science human body, even within."
and about the same time a lecture on When we spoke recently of the difference
did the inner connection of the etheric between man and animal, we said that man
with the memory become clear. In the . is the only being to have the " I" upon the
scription of life on Ancient Sun in An physical plane. In education we meet this
of Occult Science, when the human ger.... ctitrerence very plainly. Education means the
able to develop an inner activity through . of implanting capacities of soul and
instreaming of the etheric body, the ..drit in a growing being, with a view to
occurs: "And now a great change .for developing his talents. In the animals this
human germ set in. It was organized in twQ, . . . '. is not present. In training them
parts: while previously the physical body quite different elements come into considera-
the life-body formed a closely connected w~ ' tion, but to explain these here would lead us
the physical portion now began to .
too far from our subject. What is of im-
itself as a special part. . Yet this separateill. .,' liolrtance to us is that Rudolf Steiner adds,
physical body was still permeated by the that on the whole, man's entire evolution
body _ Thus we now have to do with a depends upon his possessing this free-remaining
membered human being. One part is a physiolll:': member of the etheric body .
body permeated and worked upon by a . I once described to you how memory actualJy
body, and the other is mere life-body." . works in our life; We not only remember
And in the lecture on ForgeUing he spoke Cycle A 4/4-5.

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THE ETHERIC

BODY THE ETHERIC BODY
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occurrences which lhave a 01 Occult Science, illuminate the relationship


strong impression u\>on us, but also of the etheric body to the substance of the
we have not even consciously experienced to the spiritual foundation of
later on emerge in our memory. I said", the world. And without involving ourselves
conclusion that in memory we really ea~ > in intellectual speculation, we understand that
about with us a sort of living chronicle. In the - the importance of the etheric body far tran-
ordinary course of life only isolated entrilil . scends what one attributes to it in a cursory
are known to us, but this record is also aWe examination. It becomes more comprehensible
to bring even the most unimportant impressioll . to us when we remember how the etheric body
to our consciousness if the necessary conditioD8 originated on Ancient Sun, what Beings
are established. - "sponsored its birth," and to whom it owes
Now let us add to these purely intellectlial its existence.
conceptions what we know from Rudolf Steiner's The spiritual investigator described to us in
spiritual investigations. Mter death, memory the most glowing colours the being of the
is changed into reading the Akashic Record Ancient Sun which brought life and light to
Through occult development memory becomel . everything that had been inaugurated on
sight.t Each recollection is really called forth Ancient Saturn. There was an illumination, a
in us by the cosmic ether, in which our etheric raying forth, a glory, for which Rudolf Steiner
body engraves its impressions,t and finally the ever sought to find new words in order to give -
Akashic Record itself reveals its content totbe .. us who are spiritUally blind some idea of the
spiritual investigator from the highest spiritual indescribable grandeur and sublimity of that
regions. Then we can realize something of cosmic body. One has the impression that on
tremendous importance of the etheric body lor Ancient Saturn all was dark and dead, every-
our life on earth. For all these facts, as COIl'- thing was a preparation, a prelude to the
veyed to us by Rudolf Steiner in his Outline mighty cosmic drama to come. But now the
Cycle A 4/11. t Cycle 41)/5/5. cosmic existence was awakened and the cosmic
: Lecture, December 7, 1919. body sent forth Warmth, Light, Love, and
Cycle 1/11, 2/4. WISdom. And the Regent of this cosmic
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TH E ETH ERIC BODY THE ETH ERIC BODY


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body was the Christ the Christ ',,"hAD mission. For Vulcan already repre-
midst of the sun-evolution brought IIIlts the beginning of a new cosmic evolution.
sun-sacrifice which made that other .. Nothing of what we call to-day matter and
possible for Him, in which the force . survive the Venus-evolution," says
Logos descended to our dark and dying . Rudolf Steiner.. "Vulcan will be more than
lending it the germ of ..ro, and thereby will become mature enough
etheric body was born in this glory; for sacrifice, mature enough to disintegrate
originated in the mighty Wisdom of... "t But above all the consummation of
Kyriotetes; the Love of Christ rayed the Christ-sacrifice, the union of the Earth-
And so it became the dispenser of life Logos with the Sun-Logos will be accomplished
future, for all beings who are bound up . upon Venus.
the great cosmic evolution, through Now we understand how in the succession of
mankind is to reach its consummation. the days of the week a hint of the future
If we follow further Rudolf Steiner's course of mankind was given out of the old
tion of the evolution of the earth and Mystery-Wisdom. Vulcan has no place there:
in the future, we find that Jupiter,
. which .
the ennmeration of the cosmic bodies ends
follow this earth-existence, represents the. with Freya, with Venus. Yes, there are even
summation of the Ancient Moon, Bnd esoteric sayings accompanying the seven days
Venus of the future will bring us of the week, the last of which says beyond
experience of all that was awakened on contradiction that a new cosmic evolution
Sun by Christ and His Hosts from begins after the Venus-planet. All that Rudolf
into life, although as yet man faced it Steiner has said about Vulcan is extraordinarily
feeling. Then something very in comparison with the descriptions he
shown us, namely, that with the has given us of the other embodiments of the
tion actually the boundary of the human earth. For .. a man can only meditate on
is reached, i.e. in the narrower sense. Vul(lAJl when his thinking is no longer bound
goes beyond the Venus-evolution .. to a physical brain."
strictly speaking, no longer to our . Cycle 50/21. t Cycle 7/5.
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THE ETHERIC BODY THE ETHERIC BODY


May I here insert something personal' ,. -.ody in human evolution, and its relationship
is something at which perhaps etymol~' to the astral body.

Will smile, for it is purely a matter of teeling= f,i' " , The astral body transmlts to us lmpresslons
When I go over what Rudolf Steiner from the sUrrounding world externally, for it
about the sun, how at the beginning it ill the builder of our sense-organ, but also
earth and moon within it, and then set inwardly, for the sentient soul forming a
outside itself for the good of its planets; unity with it, is that member of our being in
,
incessantly it protected these planets, ' which sensation lights up. But all this only
out to them Love, Wisdom, Warmth, its true significance through the work
and everything that made it possible for of the etheric body in giving duration to these
as independent beings to climb upwards io, " impressions. And not consciously only, but
ever higher stages of evolution; and again, also unconsciously, memory-impressions are
when I see how, in the distant future wben ~ ' ," continually made by means of the etheric body.
children have matured to divinity, the ImBm , And as we know, enduring habits and tempera-
motherly love will receive them again into ita ' ment, enduring inclinations and desires are
womb,- it is very congenial to me to ftnd-M rooted in the etheric body. This relationship
as I said, it is only a matter of of the etheric to the astral body comes out
,
in the German language (which also "bideIo most clearly in occult development and in the
within it the secret of the .. I" of the I.CB. pre-Christian Initiation. In the Initiation of
the sun is spoken of as feminine. All other. ' pre-Christian Mystery-schools the etheric body
languages, French, Italian, Spanish, of the candidate was lifted out of the physical
Greek, and Latin call it masculine, and it,. ' body, so that everything taken up into itself
only in German, the language of Middle E~, by ,the astral body, through exercises and so '
that it is feminine. : on, was, so to speak, imprinted into the etheric
Now let me return to my subject after tbiIJ" " body. Only by this means did the Initiate
digression. I should like to show you pin the capacity to be a seer in physical life:-
yet another side the importance of the etherie: one who really knows the spiritual world. You
Cycle 7/5. , ; 1t aU know that in occult evolution of the present
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and future, this procedure must be replaced by that . there is no question of fighting this
the powers lent us by Christ upon Golgotha, egoism, "for it would be an imperfection for
and that this "imprinting into the etlJ,eric the astral body as such, if it could not per-
body" must gradually take place without any meate itself with the force of egoism."
powerful intervention from another. Butthe Naturally a question arises here as to how the
essentials of the process remain the same; matter stands with regard to Christ-Love, that
Important as is the work of the astral body, it
represents the exact opposite of this. Rudolf
needs the activity of the etheric body in order Steiner shows us a way that can lead us through
that its acquirements may be able to work on these qualities of the astral body to the Christ-
into the future. Love in short, he solves the mystery for us,
What then is the characteristic quality of the -Expansion!
astral body? Of what does it really consist? Yes, expansion! that is the magic word, the
The true essence of the astral body is egoism; open Sesame of Ali Baba in the " Thousand
egoism in its most perfected form. The astral And one Nights."
body wants to achieve everything for itself Rudolf Steiner gives mother-love as an
and by itself alone. This is so, astonishing t'xarople of how egoism enlarges its sphere.
and paradoxical as it may seem at the Everything for itself alone; but now the child
glance. Rudolf Steiner's words are: "Thjs belongs to the mother's ego. The same
egoism is right for the astral body, and it egoism is there, but now it extends over the
would be extremely bad for it, and an ' jmper- child also, and what is done to the child of
fection, were it unable to permeate itself with love or of ill-will is done also to her. We can
the force of egoism, and unable to say to itself: find such examples everywhere, and can apply
'I will attain everything through this to many situations that we ourselves have
what I work at I will work over We must not stop at the word
myself; I will bestow all my care upon egoism, which, as ordinarily used, has a meaning
myself alone.' That is the right mood for ~e .. of something low, that has to be overcome.
astral body." tl'bere is nothing good or bad in itself. All
You will see from this simple deseription .. ",~ 1Fe call evil has arisen through the wrong
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THE ETHERIC BODY THE ETHERIC BODY

employment of something to suffer" a little longer in order, as he


Let me remind you that in 8 in his last poems, H to work off many
it was the .. good" beings who " In those days of grievous pain
resignation and relinquishment bloomed in him that love which includes
beings to bring in evil, only . creation, that all-embracing love which I
way could freedom ariset In to us others as a far-off ideal. In
neither good nor bad. It becomes days of pain these words arose within
bad. through the use we make of it. '.'
expand it adding to our ego the
. Into the deeps of man's form I have seen,
drawing into this "I" " In all its components I know the world.
outside us the whole earth, the .'. I know Love is here in its deepest sense,
cosmos then, yes then, we shall that I am here ever to love more and more.
. A8 He did, I spread out my arms and long
egoism and altruism have become one To embrace 88 He did, the world.
is what Anthroposophy wants to
in mere abstract conceptions, but by . : 1'bese words are not the result of a happy I
us experience it when we rightly but originate in experience. One I
I must now mention our dear friend . , understand Rudolf Steiner's saying about
I
Morgenstern, the eighteenth poems of Christian Morgenstern's, " These
whose death occurs within a few daY8~ , have an aura." I
I came to know him a short time But as he said, the astral body alone could
death, he was hopelessly ill and accomplish this. It needs also the forces
could no longer speak, and was etberic body, that gives duration to
breathe isolated words into my eaJ:.' . . been won, makes an abiding-place I
soul he was happy, for It'hat is hurrying rapidly by, and trans-

ripened in him that supreme rota settled tendencies those feelings
Rudolf Steiner called .. each moment arise. We see this
Karma." He was glad to be all0we4 . When we look at the tasks which
Cycle 29/2, 81/5. , t, . for us since the Christ-Sacrifice
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TH Ii: ETH ERIC BODY THE ETHERIC BODY

and which await their fulfllment in the people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour
Christ Jesus spoke of them in two thyself: I am the Lord."
sentences. "He that loveth father or The words with the same content as the words
son or daughter more than me, and he fill ChrilIt: "Whoso loveth father or mother
taketh not up his cross and followeth me IIlOfe than me," were spoken by Moses when
not worthy of me." And the other: " he the twelve tribes of Israel, to Levi,
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Jacob's son, the progenitor of the tribe of
You know that at the present time Levi. They are applied quite personally to
attempts are made to reduce the Levi the ancestor, and not to human relation-
of the Christ and to represent Him as a lbips in general. That may be concluded
like other men. Attempts are also made funn the words he goes on to say: "Bless, Lord,
prove that His sayings are taken from his substance smite through the loins of them
sources, Oriental and others. I may that rise against him." It is the prophecy
you of the Beatitudes which and the blessing pronounced over Levi by
informs us are in the so-called Slav Moses.
In the 9th lecture of cycle 15, Rudolf Here you have the peculiar case that words
shows how just in essentials, in quite out of the ordinary, sounding almost
Christ's words differ widely from those of the same, are to be found in both
Slav Henoch. Now in regard to both the Old and the New Testament, and yet
sayings we can prove that they are already fnndament.ally have nothing to do with each
be found in the Old Testament. In Deut. other.
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9, 10, it is written: " Who said unto his And in the case of the other saying: "Love
and to his mother: I have not seen him, thy neighbour as thyself," it is plain that by
of his brother I know him not, and of his .. neighbours " Moses meant those of the same
I know him not they shall teach Jacob faith as himself. You will notice he says:
judgments and Israel thy law."
.. Thou shalt not bear any grudge against the
And Lev. xix. 18: "Thou shalt not children of thy people . . . thou shalt love

.
nor bear any grudge against the children thy neighbour I" When he speaks of other
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THE ETHERIC BODY
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nations than the Hebrew nation, he uses the etheric body are inexhaustible, and that
words: .. You shall spoil the heathen," .. In order really to understand it we must rise
shall destroy their groves." to the highest attainable to the Christ-
And it was really natural for Moses to . Spirit.
in this way. For the mission of the And this thought can become reality if we
nation was a two-fold one: .. To prepare once again transplant ourselves to far distant
corporality in which Christ could incarnate'~
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ages of the earth-evolution, and look at that
and to bring to humanity the morality laid " event which is described in the Bible as "The
down by Moses in the Ten Commandments . : ' "
'!. . Fall." The earth at that time was only
For both aims the children of Israel needed inhabited by what Rudolf Steiner calls the
isolation from other nations. Only Christ could original pair for in the Lemurian period the
spread morality over the whole of humanity. souls had withdrawn to the planets because
And Moses would have misunderstood the they were too weak to incarnate in the hardened
mission of the Hebrew people had he tried to earth-substance. So upon this pair (Adam
force upon an immature humanity that which and Eve) depended the propagation to which
he was first to prepare in a small circle. the souls later returning to earth were sub-
Now, it is important, my dear friends. to jected. But this principal human couple,
pause at such a place. for thereby we can . even though they were strong enough to endure
acquire that power of discernment so necessary the earthly incarnations, were unable to with-
to resist external attacks and the doubts of stand the Luciferic influence. So the gods
one's own soul. resolved to keep back a part of the etheric
What has been said shows clearly how the body that was as yet untouched and innocent.
etheric body works and is beneficial. And if They withdrew from man's free will the two
we follow up the nature of the etheric body in finest of the four kinds of ether, the sound-
this way always standing by the results of ether and the life-ether or mind-ether (Sinnes-
Rudolf Steiner's investigations the thought ather) (i.e. the one which is the inner part of
continually gains ground that possibilities of our thoughts and gives them meaning).
Cycle 10/6. Cycle 10/4.
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Wan nth and Light-ether (i.e. arbitrarily have permeated the thought and
Feeling) were given free to mankind. mind ether." But that portion that was kept
appropriately expressed in the Bible: " back, from which this power was not with-
men have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge"r . drawn, and which in consequence preserved
(i.e. they had learnt to distinguish good from its full divinity and its undisturbed purity,
evil through the Luciferic Light), "now we ' that did not pass through heredity to the
must take away from them the possibility to descendants of that principal couple.

eat also of the Tree of Life." I need not Now here there is a danger that either we do
describe this in detail, for we all know what not think at alI about these reserved forces of
was meant by it. Let me only shortly point the etheric body, or that we form abstract
out to you what we feel and what we conceptions of how they whirl around in the
each can decide for himself. But thought and spiritual world.
speech are subject to fixed laws; upon these But in the spiritual world there are no abstract
depend indeed the nature of Mathematics and conceptions, for there everything is being.
Arithmetic. And therefore in every nation And so we must think of these reserved forces
we find a common speech, even though we of the etheric body as bearers of a being of
also have different languages; only the fonns a spiritual being who three times made a
of expression are different; if we translate deed of sacrifice, and three times through a
from one language to another, the sense is three-fold reception of the Christ-forces pre-
the same .
served mankind from being shattered and
But note well, it is not that the two finer destroyed through the Luciferic-Ahrimanic
etheric forces were withdrawn; the etheric body influence in his whole organization. To his
of present-day people contains all four kinds of sacrificial deed man owes the hannonization of
ether. It was only the power to shape them his sense-organs, of his life-organs, and of his
of one's own free will that was taken away. soul-forces, which threatened to degenerate
Therefore Rudolf Steiner said: "There was into the wildest chaos.
taken away from them what would freely yet But we know more still. We know that
Cycle 10/7. Cycle 81/3.
22 28
THE ETHERIC BODY
TH E ETH ERIC BODY
this reserved portion of the etheric body was destiny could do this. * And so Buddha
embodied as the representative of the ego in inclined

his spirit-body dowIl to the Shepherds
the Nathan Jesus-boy. That matured yet in the Field, and announced to them in the
another consequence, described by Rudolf song of the angelS the birth of the Nathan
Steiner, which was of the highest importance Jesus-boy, and united himself by his etheric
for cosmic evolution. body with the newly-born Jesus-child.t He
Gautama Buddha, son of a king, rose to the was connected with Him thus until his twelfth
dignity of a Buddha, but all the wisdom that year, when he united himself with the boy's
he could then bestow from the spiritual worlds astral body then releasing itself.
required rejuvenation, for it was a condensation The objection may be raised: "Admitting
of all the primitive wisdom that had been lost* that the above-mentioned facts are quite
-it was the close of an ancient civilization.t correct and a conscientious presentation of
He could only accomplish this rejuvenation what the Spiritual Investigator himself has
by uniting his spirit-body (Nirmanakaya) with described in his various lectures, yet the
the matrix (Mutterhiille) of an astral body etheric body spoken of here, to whom these
that had fresh and youthful forces within it, high powers belong, is not really the specifically
such as no man who had gone through incarna- human etheric body. It is the same etheric
tions could possess. The Zarathustra ego was body that was withheld
from man, that man
a powerful and exalted being, who for thousands does not possess and never has possessed
of years had consciously prepared himself to during his sojourn on earth. For just as this
be the Bearer of the Christ-Being.! He was sojourn began in the Lemurian period, that
already capable of offering up his etheric and portion of the etheric body which we are now
astral bodies, but had been unable to give them considering, was taken from man and "pre-
that invigorating youthful force which Buddha served and fostered" in spiritual worlds, while
needed to rejuvenate his forces. Only a soul our etheric body, the real human etheric body,
whose essence consisted of all the forces of the deteriorated more and more through Lucifer
human etheric body untouched by earthly and Ahriman.
Cycle 8/14. t Cycle 15/4. t Cycle 9/5. Cycle 10/4. t Cycle 15/4.
24 25
THIi: ETHERIC BODY TH Ii: ETHlmIC BODY
Certainly this objection has an apparent essence of essence of that soul that lived in the
justification. But he who raises it does not Nathan Jesus-boy. And that which was with-
remember one thing. Every human being, drawll from man when he began his pilgrimage
everyone of us, has been through the Saturn- on earth is not lost to him for ever. In his
existence, the Sun-existence and the Old Moon- sacrifice upon Golgotha, Christ embodied in
existence. Every one of us in an earlier the earth those forces that were held back at
incarnation was an Ancient Indian, a Persian, the Fall; He gave to the earth those forces
a Greek,and so on. That is all over, and to-day that will enable man in the future to have the
we are such as we are. But there still remains free use of the Sound- and Life-ethers. Under-
'within us the old Saturn-man, the Sun-man, stand! to the earth, and not to man direct,
the man who has been through all these changes for we must first attain to it in freedom.
up to the present human being. What we But when we follow the path of Christ, when
have experienced in the past has not simply in times to C4W}e, endowed with the Power of
disappeared; it lives" as if comprised within," Christ, we awaken the divine germ of the
like an unconscious germ of memory in us, and etheric body in self-conscious development,
the whole of evolution in the future depends then upon the Venus of the future our etheric
upon our reawakening this germ, upon our body will be transformed into Life-Spirit.
consciously, in self-won freedom, making all the That is, of free will it will belong to man in
forces active that, sleeping in the past, uncon- that form, as it belonged to him unconsciously
sciously belonged to us. before the Fall. It will work like a sacrifice in
And just as all experiences of the past leave the great universal cosmos, as the soul . of the
behind in us their memory-germ, that we must Nathan-Jesus in cosmic reality preserved man
consciously develop in the future, so is it with from the destructive disharmony of his being.
the experiences of our etheric body in the past. For what is this Life-Spirit? What does
However, it may be lowered and stripped of Spiritual Investigation say about it?
divinity by modern man, it is essence of the The Logos is the totality of the Six Elohim.
essence of that etheric body which was our In the sunlight streamed down to earth what
own before the so-called Fall into Sin; it is we may call the spirit and soul of the Elobim
26 27

THE ETHERIC BODY THE ETHli;RIC BODY

or the Logos.- In so far as He is to be grasped Bread of Life is indicated. But" Bread of


in abstract thought, His Name is Spirit-Self, Life" is the technical expression for what we
or Manas, which is the Oriental teon for the call Life-Spirit: Bread of Life is the trans-
Spirit-Self. Thus the outward sign through fomled human etheric body, the etheric body
which the Logos meanwhile only compre- of the future.
hensible in thought flowed down into the We have sought (even though in superficial
Israelites, was the manna of the desert, for hints and indications, for in a short lecture it ,

manna is the same word as Manas, the Spirit- cannot be otherwise) to illumine the etheric
Self. body from different sides, and have advanced
"When the Logos simply calls his Name, by a series of facts up to this highest stage.
one must understand and grasp Him with the It is hard to put into words the feelings stirring
reason. When the Logos becomes Flesh and in the soul when we stand before such per-
appears within mankind, He is a force-impulse spectives. The courage is lacking to wound,
--icontained in the world, in which we can perhaps, with our hard earthly words that which
share. But then He calls Himself no longer is the highest spiritual reality. We perceive
.. Manna," but "Bread of Life."t "And as in the far, far distance this picture of the
Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of oneness, the homogeneousness, of the human
Life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; etheric body with the Christ-Being, and the
and he that believeth on me shall never thought weighs heavily upon our souls that this
thirst." And in St. John vi. 48 50, Christ picture can only become Reality if we are not
says: .. I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers found wanting, if we really and truly will for
did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. will in Rudolf Steiner's sense is deed.
This is the Bread which cometh down from In rich measure Rudolf Steiner gave us help
heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not towards this will. Not only do his lectures
die." glow with the enthusiasm that he so desired
You see how in Christ's words also the to kindle in us; in powerful Imaginations he
connection of Manas, of .. Manna" to the gave us the stages up which we can climb
Cycle 3/7. t Cycle 8/6. until we come to the loftiest heights attainable
28 29
THE ETHERIC BODY TH E ETH ERIC BODY
to human endeavour. We remember the the AngeJoi illumines the way that for human
Group in this building, with the Representative beings lies in the darkness that materialism
of Humanity bearing the features of the has spread over it.
Redeemer, and we intuitively feel the connection A special destiny is ours. The Christ-
with that other mighty Imagination created Messenger we have had in our midst. He
by the gods in a far-distant past, when they has given us everything that may enable us to
combined their capacities and forces in order tread the Path which our Genius illuminates
to create man. Rudolf Steiner says that in for us, to kindle enthusiasm that is the essence
the second half of our life between death and of the Archangeloi, and to gather the forces
rebirth that Imagination stands before us in offered us by earthly lives under the pro-
the SpiritIand in such a way that we cannot tection of the Archai. Therefore we will be
overlook it. For the gods themselves this mindful of him. The outside world lies in
stands there as a sanctuary, to the realization war, poverty and despair, because it does not
of which they have given their best forces. As summon up courage to come out of the close
on the furthest shores of divine existence, rises air of materialism into the sun-illumined field
for the gods the temple, the highest divine of spiritual cognition.
artistry, the copy of divine being in the human So much the more must the few who have
body. found the way to our spiritual teacher deepen
And in our ordinary earthly existence they themselves in what he has revealed, making it
are standing by our side to help us, so that we the impulse of all their actions, so that until
do not sink in this everyday life. The Archai, the decisive struggle at the turn of the century,
the Time-Spirits, lead us from one epoch to the continuity of a spiritual way of t.hinking
another, that we may create ever new powers and of spiritual way of thinking and of spiritual

from earthly happenings. The Fire-Spirits, work may be preserved.


the Archangeloi, enkindle our souls that we And so much the more must we try to make
may turn from earthly deeds to spiritual this deepening active right into the simplest
activity. And our Genius from the realms of and most elementary truths, for it is pre-
Cycle 82/8. cisely these that form the foundation upon
30 81
THE ETHERIC BODY
which higher knowledge can be built. They
lead from a theoretical grasp to an under-
standing of the heart, and of the soul. That
gives us the certainty that our knowledge will
not sink after death into the River of Lethe,
but will accompany us into those regions that
are the workshop for our future incarnations .

. .

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