with Rev. Michaël Merle reported by John-Peter Gernaat
At Ascension Christ rises through the Hierarchies and ascends to the Father. For ten days the disciples live, and begin their work, in anticipation of the Paraclete. On the fiftieth day (Pentecost) after Easter the disciples experience the descent of the Spirit in the form of individualised flames. These flames are absorbed into the disciples, so to say, so that the Spirit can now ray forth from their hearts. Once this is achieved by even one human being (within the family of humanity as a whole), this gift of Grace is truly available to all of humanity to take into oneself. We radiate the Spirit forth from our hearts.
Early humanity lived strongly through their will. They connected with the Spiritual world through their will forces such as the tradition of the trance-dance around a fire. As humanity developed, the dimension of feeling opened which expressed itself through the heart and larynx in the form of singing or chanting. We experience how we are moved in our soul when we hear Gregorian Chant. Neither of these religious experiences require our full participation; we give ourselves over to the experience, but the experience is not of our own individualised initiative and creating capacity. The Spirit gives us a capacity for a new way of thinking. We can now take hold of our religious life with our thinking.
The Eucharistic sacrament is a gift, and in the Act of Consecration of Man we follow it with our thinking. The Act of Consecration of Man goes beyond the transubstantiation of the Christ uniting his body and blood with the bread and the wine. In the Act of Consecration this act is followed by: “And he went on”. There is more to be understood. The new faith and the new confession, that come from the cross and that we take into ourselves, begin to work in us to transform our very substance so that matter begins to transform into Spirit. However, it is important that matter does not return to the Spirit, in other words it is not a regression back to the state before creation. Through the Act of Consecration, the human being is consecrated, and matter becomes Spirit through the individual development of the person towards Future Human. The Divinity is given anew for us to take into our thinking and live in our thoughts. Through our thinking we gain the wisdom that the Spirit has given us. We are called upon to take the words of the Spirit with our thinking and transfer then to our hearts and into our actions. Our thinking becomes the source of our actions. We take what we have thought into our lives as the gift of wisdom we receive from the Spirit. The Spirit changes our soul constitution to allow us to think.
Being attentive is a choice, a moral choice, and mastering our ability to be attentive is the work of adulthood.
In this study we are looking at the faculties of soul that we are developing for our time as Future Human. Thinking is leading us to a new faculty that is only possible when the soul is filled with the Spirit. When thinking is eventually purified it leads us to enter into Imagination: a new way of holding an image. We will then be able to think the true picture and the picture will become reality.
When the Spirit fills our feeling, our feeling will become pure Inspiration. And when the Spirit fills our willing it will become pure Intuition.
In our initial development we first activated our spiritual life through will, then through feeling and lastly through thinking; this further development of the human being begins thinking, and thinking will inform our feeling, and our feeling will inspire our willing.
In our present time we live strongly in our feelings. Our feelings direct our thinking. It is important to realise that our developing need is to have our feelings directed by our thinking. Through thinking we can see the Spiritual World. Feeling allows us to hear the word of the Spiritual World, which is Inspiration. We will be in ‘tune’ with the Spiritual World.
Feeling has a polarising effect in us to either drive us to aloneness or to connection with others.
The word empathy is only about one hundred years old. Sympathy has been a human experience for a long time, well before the Mystery of Golgotha, but the ability to set one’s self aside and feel into the experience of another and to reflect it back to them, is a very new feeling. The Christ in me leads me into the experience of another. The word is derived from Greek and literally means “in feeling”.
In the sixth Post Atlantean Epoch empathy will have developed to the extent that we will not be able to continue living our regular lives when we are aware of an unresolved situation in the life of another person.
When we studied the descending Chakra Path, we learned that we have already opened the third eye chakra of thinking and the throat chakra of willing. We are working on the heart chakra of feeling. We are preparing our feeling for the sixth Post Atlantean Epoch. In the Gospels the word used is a change of feeling and thinking.
Rudolf Steiner reminds us that there is a purpose to being human. This purpose is a duty. We must learn to love our duty; this is our responsibility.
The Spirit as Mother gives birth to the Son in us.
Rudolf Steiner pointed out that most of our experiences begin in our feeling. We engage our thinking or our will as a result of our feeling and often swing from thinking to willing. Feeling remains in the middle realm. When we experience life through our feeling, we develop important qualities in our thinking. Remembering is one pole of thinking. Through remembering we can go back, and in time it will be possible to cross over the threshold of birth and remember our experiences before birth. When we experience life through our willing, we strengthen another important aspect. What do we take with us across the threshold of death as the other pole of our thinking? The activities of this life act as seeds for our future.
We can review our actions and attitudes in our life. There is a ladder of the will. The physical body has will. This we share with plants and animals and is instinct. We still experience instinctive will such as when we experience a fright. The etheric body experiences will as drive. The astral body experiences will as desire. The gift of the Spirit is that the aspect of the will that resides in the “I” now is in us. This creates motivation. I can only be moved my myself. This quality of motivation is purely human. Other beings in physical bodies do not have it. We can move ourselves in complete freedom.
Our will is still evolving through the Spirit. When our “I” has worked on desire, this astral quality will be elevated to wish. Our will then has the ability to bring that which we wish into being through our actions. This is connected to the development of Spirit Self. When our “I” has worked on our etheric body, we will elevate drive to intention. This is related to Life Spirit. When our “I” has elevated instinct, the Spirit Human will express this as resolution. This means that we will have the ability to solve things; that is, bring about change so that the thing will be as it should be.
Our will is thus elevated so that these qualities will become a reality through the Spirit, in freedom.
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