Beatitudes and the etheric forces

Wed, May 26 2010 02:34pm EEST 1
Jouko
Jouko
2 Posts

Beatitudes and the etheric forces

This writing was part of my discussions with anthroposophy forum, so there are also references to the teachings of Dr. Steiner.

In his book "Knowledge of the Higher Wordls" in chapter "Some
Results of Initiation" Dr. Steiner has clarified the four necessary
requirements in esoteric training. (Start of the quote):
" In esoteric training there is question of four attributes which
must be acquired on the so-called preparatory path for the
attainment of higher knowledge. The first is the faculty of
discriminating in thoughts between truth and appearance or mere
opinion. The second attribute is the correct estimation of what is
inwardly true and real, as against what is merely apparent. The
third rests in the practice of the six qualities already mentioned
in the preceding pages: thought-control, control of actions,
perseverance, tolerance, faith and equanimity. The fourth attribute
is the love of inner freedom." (end of quote)

These attributes were known already in the old (vedantic) teachings
of India. According to Mr. Ervast there they were expressed as 1)
Viveeka – faculty of discriminating between real (essential) and
unreal (non-essential) 2) Vairaagja – indifference concerning the
non-essential (or unreal). 3) Shatsampatti - six qualities (most
important is the thought-control) 4) Mumuksha - longing for
redemption.

Mr. Ervast has "arranged" the beatitudes in four pairs and he deals
with this matter e.g. in his book "The Sermon on the Mount", which
also contains a translation from the original text. The order of the
beatitudes (Matthew V:3-10) is then the same as in the "Versio
Vulgata", the latin version of the Bible, which is often regarded as
the "other original" along the Greek version. The ninth beatitude
(Blessed are ye, when man shall revile...) is placed under the
heading "Admonitions for those who enter the Kingdom" in Ervast'
translation and not along other beatitudes. When we think about
these beatitudes as pearls in a string and then lift this string up,
there is formed a "narrow gate", where two beatitudes are allways on
the same level. These four pairs form the needed requirements to
spiritual students. There are expressed the conditions, if seeker
wants to pass through the "Portals of the Kingdom of Heaven".

Mr. Ervast says that in these four pairs of beatitudes are stated
the four old requirements (in new form) and they are also connected
to the four etheric forces; they give us the ethical key to these
forces. It can also be said that Mr. Ervast teaches how to redeem
these great formative forces. He describes (in four lectures between
7.11.1926 – 20.2.1927) the etheric forces connected to a human being
and their effects in different phases of life. One listener has
written these lectures down; they is not checked by Mr. Ervast and
then there is yet my poor (and scarce) translation, so there can
easily be inaccurasies in the following text, but I hope that the
idea "comes through". In the beatitudes I use the translation of Mr.
Ervast (Pekka Ervast = PE later on).

Warmth Ether / first pair of beatitudes:

The first ether deals with our growth process; PE calls it usually
Growth Ether but he also uses the term Warmth Ether. Fire is an
outer expression of this ether and same kind of a chemical process
happens in our digestion. This force connected to the growth process
is essential in the life of a child. Later when we stop growing
physically, it can be taken "symbolicly" that we must learn to grow
spiritually and make our soul life richer and nobler.

The beatitudes connected to this ether are: "Blessed are the poor in
spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that
are persecuted for the righteousness' sake, for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven." Especially the first one is the more important
now, the other is like an attribute to the first one. The
word "poor" describes the attitude of spiritual seekers towards the
world. They don't ask anything, they don't want anything; they feel
how they are poor and "the smallest of all". In this respect
St.
Paul called himself as the first of all sinners.

(Start of quote:) "The secret of this growth ether lies
in 'poorness'; it is the magic word. And poorness doesn't mean (even
though someone might make himself also poor and empty in outer word)
that one would not work anymore, would not earn anymore, but become
penniless. That would be stupid...Poor is the one, who feels himself
to be poor, even if he in outer world is rich. He/She doesn't want
anything from it to him/herself...Buddha left his palace and went to
the forest, Jesus came as a poor to the world and also St. Francis.
They have solved the problem of poverty and achieved the eternal
youth. We can also think about wise king Salomon, who saw that
everything is vanity here on earth. And so he was poor though he had
much richness. Wisdom doesn't live alone in forests and rags, but
sometimes also in a golden chair." (end of the quote). So stories of
the "life elixir" and "eternal youth" can also be linked to the
secrets of this etheric force.

It is also said that we must learn to be poor, when we are rich and
vice versa. PE has also stated that the fear of poverty is even
worse than greed for riches. The first pair of the beatitudes is
linked to the first "old" requirement: to discern between the
essential and non-essential. The teaching of Dr. Steiner was: The
faculty of discriminating in thoughts between truth and appearance
or mere opinion.The first attribute is also in relation to the two-
petalled lotus in the forehead and linked to clear thinking. When we
are not in the "chains of Mammon" or clouded by the illusions of our
own "greatness", clear thinking becomes a possibility.

Sound Ether / second pair of beatitudes:

PE names the next ether (which becomes prominent in
puberty) "Propagation Ether" (Dr. Steiner uses the term "Sound
Ether".) It is linked to the following pair: "Blessed are the
peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are the
meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Again the first one is the
more important and the other is a "quality" linked to the first one.
(Start of the quote):

"This ether is a creative force; the spiritual secret of it is
creative force. A human being can not be just "eternally young",
s/he must also be active, someone who works and helps and "pushes
the world ahead". It is the everlasting life in us. Of course there
are rest periods. There are people, who believe that life in
something enjoying here and before God....From the point of eternal
life it is true that we can suffer and work. It is wonderfull peace,
which is above enjoying and suffering. We must have the ability to
forever enjoy and suffer and live in peace outside everything.
Eternal life is working and giving up. It is not such a work as
walking just up and down a hill; it is not a work of an idiot. It is
a work with purpose and content. It is artistic work, which fills
our being with eternal bliss and because of this we are ready to
suffer. Because life gives us sufferings, no matter how high beings
we are, but this suffering is included in the loveliness of creation
and blessedness.

This all is hidden in the second ether, in the creative force in our
bodies. And there is this wonderfull problem, which becomes in front
of every human being. How can we solve the terrible riddle of
sexuality?" ... (then PE warns about certain advices, which are
given in order to get the power over the sexuality through violent
or other dubious means. These are usually given by some grey
brotherhoods and lead easily to cruelty. Joksu's comment) ..."Human
being in the Brotherhood of Christ grows like a flower in a field,
and s/he can not set any obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit in
him/herself.

And what is the only real means for a human being to be the "lord"
over the sexual forces, to get rid of all misfortunes connected to
these forces and to get a grip from everlasting happiness and
peace? It is the means told by Jesus in the second
beatitude: 'Blessed are the peacemakers'; it includes: the only way
to become the master of this magnetic ether lies in the declining of
all evil, not resisting that, which is evil. Just like Jesus taught
in the fourth commandment: 'do not be against evil'. It is the
commandment of peace and it is linked to this second ether. In this
way it is as if the second ether kneels before us. We take a
negative (passive) attitude to evil. E.g. man is inflicted in
his/her love life. Man notices that the companion is deceiving
him/her and then the inner love life rises to the front and along it
the feeling, how unhappy one is, when the other doesn't care. S/He
starts talking and proving all things to the other, and doesn't
realise that one is making him/herself only less lovable, when s/he
starts fighting for his own happiness.If s/he instead understands
what Job said: 'Lord gave, Lord took, praised be the name of the
Lord'. perhaps s/he then appears as a very lovely creature to the
other one. S/he does not resist the evil, that the other deceives
and gives him/her up, but is happy instead that the companion can be
happy with someone else. Then feeling, sexual life cannot do
anything to him/her, but a mastery over it has been achieved.

This is why we human beings pray: give us today our transcendental
bread. It means that even today something would happen to us, which
robbes from us our fancies, that we must be loved. That life would
give us some blow, which reminds us that we are poor and that we
could get rid of all illusions. Then we can realise how little
lovable we are. When we humble ourselves, in the same time we get
freed from the school of sexuality. It is tough, so be it, but
nothing is tough for a spiritual scientist, because in his/her soul
s/he wants to get on the spiritual path." (end of the quote).

(These lectures were directed to the pupils of Mr. Ervast, not to an
ordinary audience.) This etheric force and the before mentioned
beatitudes are connected to the second requirement: indifference
concerning the non-essential. The teaching of Dr. Steiner was: The
second attribute is the correct estimation of what is inwardly true
and real, as against what is merely apparent. And according to Dr.
Steiner, the second attribute is in relation to the sixteen-petalled
lotus in the throat. This is very interesting, because in the future
throat and the "Word" will be directly linked to the "generative
process" and birth will connected to the abilities of the throat.
Also the name "Sound Ether" is very illuminating in this context.

Light Ether / third pair of beatitudes:

So the next ether in Ervast' terminology is the "Perception Ether",
but he also uses "Light Ether" –term, which is commonly used in
Antroposophy. PE says that we can win over all our senses with the
help of this ether or with the help of the force hidden in it. This
secret is linked to the third pair of the beatitudes: "Blessed are
the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are they that
mourn, for they shall be comforted." (The first one is again the
more "dominant". This "mourning" is a quality connected to
the "purifying heart") This pair is also linked to the third
requirement conserning the six qualities out of which the most
important was the control of thoughts.

The world is such that it "attacks" us with the help of our senses;
we don't have to search for the outer world. Then all kind of
temptations can come to us along these sense perceptions. E.g. many
things what we see, can wake in us lust or greed etc. (Start of the
quote):

"In this third beatitude Jesus Christ ment, that a human being
becomes conscious of God, if s/he wants to purify him/herself. What
is the greater victory over everything than to see the Spirit of
Life in all? What is greater to our senses? In knowing God and
eternal life there is no temptation, but the greatest happiness and
bliss. Like Jesus says: You are blessed when you can develop so;
when your senses have been so purified, that you don't see anything
ugly, unreal, lies and filth, but you can see the life of God in
everything. And how is this possible? When you make your heart pure,
says Jesus.

And I ask: how can we purify our heart? What kind of a heart is
pure? Jesus refers to this, when He is saying: What man puts in his
mouth (eating, drinking) does not hurt him, but instead what comes
out of his mouth. Because out of the human heart comes everything
what is unclean and filthy there. It comes out from the heart. So
when Jesus says: 'blessed are the pure in heart', it means that
such heart is pure, out of which can come goodness. What good can
come out from our heart? There can come out love, which is serving
and devotion. So, if we want to purify our heart and become the
master of our senses, we must learn to g i v e.

So strangely are the things arranged. Our senses can be purified,
when our attitude can be named as "giving". We can't have the
attitude of one asking and taking, but that of a giver. If we can
first gradually learn from small things, that we have the attitude
of a giver and not a taker, then our senses get purer and we get
control over them. It is a question about experience, like also the
other matters, what I have discussed in these lectures....I can only
talk from my own experience and if I have learned something about
the senses, then it is just this that by giving they are purified."

Dr. Steiner tells about the third attribute (quotes from the
KotHW): "The third rests in the practice of the six qualities
already mentioned in the preceding pages: thought-control, control
of actions, perseverance, tolerance, faith and equanimity." "The six
virtues of which the third attribute consists have already been
dealt with; they are connected with the development of the twelve-
petalled lotus in the region of the heart, and, as already
indicated, it is to this center that the life-currents of the
etheric body must be directed." (end of quotes). The connection
between heart chakra and "those pure in heart" is obvious.

Life Ether / fourth pair of beatitudes:


Then there is the fourth ether, which is usually called Memory Ether
or Reflex Ether by PE, but Dr. Steiner uses mostly the term Life
Ether, which PE also uses occacionally. The pair of beatitudes in
this context is: "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after
righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy." Again the first beatitude is
the "dominant" one and the other is defining the quality of this
effort. These beatitudes are connected to the fourth requirement ;
longing for redemption.

This is the highest ether and it is directly linked to memory.
(Start of the quote):
"How can we become the master of this ether? In the same time we are
asking: how can we become the lord of our memory? The answer is
given to us in the fourth beatitude of Jesus. Then everything what
happens to the seeker, is allways right; one can feel that nothing
else can happen to him/her. 'Blessed are you, when you hunger and
thirst after righteousness'. One is seeing here a very close
connection, because what is required to become to some extent
the "master of the memory"? Honesty and justice is required. Seeker
must want that all things are allways true and straight, and
especially that a human being is absolutely honest before his/her
(inner) God. S/he should not hide anything. It is necessary every
day to look at oneself. A seeker must everyday create again his/her
whole world, in perfect righteousness go through his/her whole
development..."

Then PE tells that in this phase the memory can temporarily become
worse, when the etheric forces are "shaken", but when the spiritual
scientist goes forward in honesty and righteousness, the
memory "comes back". I still continue the translation:

(The quote continues):
"The waking up of this highest ether makes the effect, that a human
is, in a way, outside his own personality. S/he is not anymore
restricted by the brains as before...When the etheric side is
more "shaken", the seeker feels himself more "alien" physically and
begins to see more objectively than other people. S/He is not
anymore so much stucked to the lower self, but can see through the
old personality. This all is effected by the waking of the highest
ether.

When a human being in this way is "positioned" as if above his
mortal and personal self, in the same time S/he becomes in touch
with the higher self and along it wakes up a remarkable memorylife."
(end of quote)

Then PE goes on telling that in this phase vivid dreams of distant
times can occur and other such glimpses. But he warns the students
not to talk about these publicly, especially as memories of past
lifes, because it can make the seeker conceited and fancifull. If
these memories later are seen as not reliable, it is good that one
has not told about them. And if these glimpses of past incarnations
are later seen as reliable, it is possible that a permission is
given from the "spiritual world" to tell something, if it can be
done by helping the world.

Dr. Steiner tells about the fourt attribute: The fourth attribute is
the love of inner freedom. The fourth attribute serves to bring to
fruition the etheric organ in the heart region. (E.g. Florin Lowndes
deals with this new etheric organ near the heart region in
his "Chakra-book".) It is often said that the "whispers of our
higher self" can be heard/felt etc. in the heart.


Jouko

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