Active soul participation

From Anthroposophy


Lecture coverage and references

1914-05-08-GA69D has an extended coverage worth reading, free translation paraphrased below:

It's understandable that such explanations do not find a lot of understanding in our current times. A trivial comparison will illustrate. Suppose there are two pamflets for two lectures somewhere, one animated with movie and another one without .. what would speak most to people? The one where they can just go and passively attend and everything is being spoon-fed without the need for them to be active in any way. This can not work for spiritual science. Although imagery perceived clairvoyantly could also be presented with images, I have chose to work solely via the word, so it can work on one's thinking and feeling. Spiritual science is only possible with active soul participation.

Further the example is made of a published article suggesting to make a short movie about Spinoza's Ethica, and the total lack of impact if one is fed such movies without any active work in the soul.

It's part of our zeitgeist that people have a tendency to let everything work on them passively. Spiritual science however needs to call for the opposite. The soul needs to actively work everything by itself. And through such work the soul is being fed and strengthened by what it needs most for soul and spiritual health: activity; strengthening of the will, of the forces of thinking and feeling.

And he continues to make the link how this will be necessary when confronted with the lack of love In 1921-10-14-GA207 some fun is made of the need for having Outline of Esoteric as a movie, or a 'fully illustrated edition':

This is truly the I-culture. It is prevailing more and more. Anthroposophical spiritual science comes along, however, and with that one cannot work in this way. A modern theologian said that he would not read the Akashic Chronicle even if it were bestowed on him in a special illustrated edition; but he need not have feared that he would receive the Akashic Chronicle in a special illustrated edition, for it must be acquired in such a way that one participates in an inwardly forming way. Even if once one were really to fix in a symbolic, artistic way what is found in the Akashic Chronicle, this theologian still could not do anything with it because he primarily values the illustrations.

With anthroposophical spiritual science, one must participate inwardly, for otherwise one naturally hears only the words, which can be regarded arbitrarily as fantasy. This inner participation, however, one must learn to love. One must resolve to do this. It is uncomfortable, but it becomes noticeable, if one resolves to do it, that this activity refreshes, that it makes the human being fresher in soul and body. I know that many people raise objections concerning this becoming refreshed, but they would very much like to attain through merely passive thinking what should be attained through an active participation of the astral body in a difficult wrestling for comprehension, just as that theologian would have been most content to have the entire Outline of Occult Science played out for him in a movie. This is just how he uses his concepts in the essay where he speaks of a “special illustrated edition of the Akashic Chronicle.”

Briefly, by means of anthroposophical spiritual science something comes into activity that is no longer merely the I but that includes the astral body. There are certainly those people who sense this when they read an anthroposophical book. As they read it they sense something; something stirs in them. Before things were disposed to move inwardly only passively, as thought shadows. Now something like an active intellect begins to stir in them. Something emerges from them as if inwardly they had lice, and then they become so nervous about this inner stirring that they say: this is unhealthy. Then they complain about the difficult things with which people in anthroposophical spiritual science are challenged. Especially those who then observe people who are noticeably affected inwardly in this way — their brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles — complain that anthroposophy is something that makes people nervous.

GA221-L3 so 1923-02-04 schematics alone no use, doing the work necessary, needs to happen in one's soul

GA218 - L6: not dry brain but feeling and willing

GA217-L7 becoming tired

GA153 or 155-L1 movie Spinoza


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References and further reading