XIV: light

Light, apparently. Let’s overdose on some anthroposophical light, with the help of the Anthroposophical Society in America!

The Holy Nights are soon upon us – the time of the year when the veils between the spiritual world and the earthly world lift and spiritual light pours down on us. The Holy Nights are the heart of soul’s inner year.  The Holy Nights begin with Nativity and end at Epiphany – the twin gates of the soul’s innocence and the soul’s wisdom.

The awareness of the spiritual light shining down on our souls, the willingness to have the innocence of newbornness in our souls, and the openness to a new wisdom arising in our souls are three gestures shaping our Holy Nights activity.  We bring the warm listening of the simple shepherd hearts and the clear seeing of the wise heads of kings to our wonder of what is born to us and in us at Christmas each year.

If we bring to this picture of the Holy Nights the archetypal admonition so often spoken by Rudolf Steiner “Oh Human Soul, Know Thyself!” we find a direction for our inner work over these amazing nights. [Source.]

You know how epiphany is important in some waldorf schools. I can’t personally remember any such celebrations. Can’t remember the kings’ play either, but it’s possible I have it mixed up with the shepherds’ play. Of course, we can’t neglect Steiner himself, on a day like this.

Why was it that the festival of Christ’s birth was set back thirteen days and became the festival of the birth of Jesus? To understand this we must penetrate into deep mysteries of human existence. Of outer nature, man believes, because he sees it with his eyes, that what the rays of the sun charm forth from the depths of the earth, unfolding into beauty through the spring and summer, withdraws into those same depths at the time when the outer sun-sphere is darkest, and that what will spring forth again the following year is being prepared in the seeds within the depths of the earth. Because his eyes bear witness, man believes that the seed of the plant passes through a yearly cycle, that it must go down into the earth’s depths in order to unfold again under the warmth and light of the sun in spring. But to begin with, man has no notion that the human soul too passes through such a cycle. Nor is this revealed until he is initiated into the great mysteries of existence. Just as the force contained in the seed of every plant is bound up with the physical forces of the earth, so is the inmost being of the human soul bound up with the spiritual forces of the earth. And just as the seed of the plant sinks into the depths of the earth at the time we know as Christmas, so does the soul of man descend at that time into deep, deep spirit-realms, drawing strength from these depths as does the seed of the plant for its blossoming in spring. What the soul undergoes in these spirit-depths of the earth is entirely hidden from the ordinary consciousness. But for one whose eyes of spirit are opened the Thirteen Days and Thirteen Nights between the 24th of December and the 6th of January are a time of deep spiritual experience. [Source.]

Mr Dog and I wish each and every one of you, dear friends and readers: Merry Dogmas! (‘No cats! Make sure you remember to explicitly exclude cats!’ shouts mr Dog. Ok, ok. Not to cats.)