Before I read Steiner, I read a-lot of Blavatsky. Before I read Blavatsky, I read a-lot of Plato. Before I read Plato, I read a bunch of myths, thousand-year-old myths. All of this information that I read and assimilated pointed to one particular fact:
The existence of a Spiritual World that cannot be perceived by the senses. This Spiritual World is superimposed into the Material World, the world of Matter, and the reason we can’t see it in our daily lives is because the Senses are so powerful that they overwhelm us.
On a side note, I would like to state that I am learning that we can enter these spiritual worlds specifically through dreams. When we dream, our senses shut down. Our patterns of thoughts and feelings then emerge in symbolic form. Because most people (including me) have muddled thought-patterns, dreams are also usually muddled and incoherent. The degree to which we train our thoughts and feelings in a single direction is the same degree that our dreams become organized and meaningful.
Coming back to my main point. The Esoteric Tradition is a Millenary Tradition–it has existed for thousands of years. This Tradition includes the findings and wisdom of ancient masters such as Buddha, Zoroaster, Manú, and the 7 Holy Rishis of Ancient India, and many, many more. The wisdom that was communicated by these masters is–essentially–the same wisdom communicated by Steiner in his ‘Spiritual Science’.
In reality, nothing Steiner proposes is new. A-lot of it is his own construction, his own phenomenological explanations and such. On some level, it is subjective. But on another level, it is inspired by and connected to this ancient Millenary Wisdom which The Esoteric Tradition has guarded and maintained throughout the Ages.
Let’s take the concept Guardian of the Threshold as an example.
Chinese mystics speak of Guardians between the physical realm and the etheric realm, between the etheric and the astral, between the astral and the ego.
It’s not a new concept.
When Buddha speaks of Nirvana, he is talking of a state that is reachable by surpassing the Greater Guardian of the Threshold–a state of consciousness where it is no longer necessary to reincarnate because all Karma has been cleansed.
As another example, the 7 Holy Rishis of ancient India speak of the Godhead (the Trinity), a symbol that is repeated throughout many cultures and religions.
Plato speaks of the Logos (extensively), the Disciple John speaks of the ‘Word’–which would be the same.
What all of these Masters of Wisdom are pointing to is an actual Spiritual Reality–independent of us, yet also IN us, because in the spiritual world we become what we think and what we feel.
There is subjectivity. There is bias. The Guardian of the Threshold is a psychological phenomenon that may manifest differently to different individuals (hence the 3 lower guardians as described by Steiner in ‘Esoteric Lessons for the First Class’, as opposed to the single lower Guardian also described by Steiner in ‘Higher Worlds’)–that much is true.
But it is also the manifestation of an actual spiritual reality, more specifically; the reality of an individual confronting their own Karma.
Steiner–for all his possible spiritual scientific subjectivity, and Blavatsky (who also spoke of the Guardian), for all her theosophical bias, and Buddha, for all his eastern modes of expression–were all looking at the same reality, ONE spiritual reality, through their different lens.
We become what we think. That is true! But what we THINK is already real, already there, and what we are doing is merely assimilating it and getting to know it through our own personal individualities and colorings. The Esoteric Tradition, although very colorful, points to a single reality… the reality of the Spiritual Worlds.