My Esoteric Education, How I became and Anthroposophist, and How to Know Higher Worlds 


It’s one of those nights again where I can’t get any sleep. I’ve been thinking about this lately and decided to use this time under the disappointingly clouded night-sky to type it all down. Heeereeee it goes:

I was re-introduced to esoterism at the age of 14. I say reintroduced because I’m sure I’ve studied it before, in my past lives. I was raised Protestant Christian (my mother’s influence on the household) in a Catholic country, with a non-practicing Catholic father. I grew up religious. I read a lot of fantasy books growing up, a lot of epic novels. I played a lot of sports (still do so). I was a normal kid with a happy, healthy life.

The shift came when my first boyfriend lent me a few of his books on Metaphysics.

There was one fundamental idea in those books that changed the way I looked at things, and it was this: There’s another reality beyond the physical reality that we can approach in the form of ideas, and when we engage with these ideas, new neural pathways are formed in the brain, which in turn influences how we behave, which directly affects our reality. In other words, our thoughts create our reality.

He also lent me a book called The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy about the seven principles of existence. The Kybalion was authored by the “Three Initiates” (whoever they are), and its seven principles of existence are:

1. Mentalism: The ALL is MIND—The Universe is mental.

2. Correspondence: As above, so below, as below so above.

3. Vibration: Nothing rests, everything moves, everything vibrates.

4. Polarity: Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet, all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

5. Rhythm: Everything flows, all things rise and fall.

6. Cause and Effect: Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.

7. Gender: Everything has its masculine and feminine principles, gender manifests on ALL planes.

I started viewing the world through the lens of these seven principles of existence and saw that it was true—these are the laws of reality.

About a year later, a friend invited me to a philosophical organization with strong theosophical inclinations. It was in this school that I was introduced to Madame Blavatsky. I read all of her Isis Unveiled, which is a torrent of information. It was during this time that I also started reading Plato and studying all different kinds of religions.

A guy from this school was studying Blavatsky’s cosmogenesis (the creation of the cosmos) from her Secret Doctrine. While doing so he had come across some research regarding Anthropogenesis (the creation of mankind) from an Austrian philosopher called Rudolf Steiner.

This guy told me that Rudolf Steiner thought that before understanding the creation of the world it was imperative that we understand the creation of man, because the cosmos is so complex that we cannot firmly grasp how it’s built before understanding ourselves first. This, he told me, was only one of the many ideological differences between Theosophy and Anthroposophy, the esoteric movement founded by Rudolf Steiner… another main difference being that Rudolf Steiner believed that man could become an initiate without necessarily having a guru to guide him every step of the way.

I was intrigued, but not enough to start my own research on the subject.

When I turned 17 I dropped out of the organization, mainly because I felt it was infringing on my freedom and because I wasn’t willing to accept their dogma. The guy who had introduced me to Rudolf Steiner also dropped out because of ideological differences. I ended up marrying him 5 years later, actually. His name is Miguel (Michael in Spanish).

Around the time I turned 18, Miguel went on a business trip to Argentina and came back with a present to me: the book An Outline of Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner.

He wasn’t studying Anthroposophy, but he saw this book on his visit to the library and was reminded of what he’d read about Steiner. He knew that Occult Science was one of Steiner’s major works, and that I had been talking a lot about human freedom and about the idea that we don’t necessarily need a guru to become enlightened, that we could find out the truth for ourselves. So Miguel bought it for me thinking I would resonate with the material.

I read it… and it was dense. Even for me, who had read Isis Unveiled. But from the little I understood, I knew something was there. And I continued to be intrigued. Very intrigued. Here was an occultist who was taking an entirely new approach to this kind of knowledge, a western approach. I had studied so much eastern spirituality that this was refreshing. This man was a scientist. He was logical, not mystical.

I read some of Steiner’s other books, including The Fifth Gospel, several times during the course of three years. I also read some of his lectures.

The understanding of Steiner’s Fifth Gospel led to a profound and very emotional return to Christianity for me, which I had abandoned at 14 when I first started studying esotericism and accepted all religions as truth. In a way, Steiner helped me rediscover my faith. But even though I admired him immensely as an occultist and I gave credit to his work for my return to Christianity, I didn’t consider myself an anthroposophist.

Then, quite accidentally, I stumbled upon a book in college that once again changed things for me entirely. I was 21 years old at the time.

I remember the class, Maritime Law. The professor was droning on and on about things that were already in the textbook, so I zoned out and started surfing the Internet with the campus’s free WiFi on my MAC while pretending to take notes.

I went to amazon.com and typed ‘Rudolf Steiner’ in the search box, and started scrolling. I saw a book with a pretty cool drawing, very impressionist in my opinion, and I clicked on it.

How to Know Higher Worlds

Hmm.

I googled the book. There was a free .pdf available. I started reading immediately.

The book stirred a deep vocation in me for the Spirit. This was the path! This is the manual, the guide. Finally I found it, a Path of Initiation into the Mysteries that I could follow and also profoundly understand.

And it was a noble path. The first chapter speaks of cultivating Reverence, or deep admiration for everything that is true and good and beautiful. Deep admiration for those powers and forces who are superior to us and who seek to guide us into the truth. It also speaks of loving your neighbor, of working for the world, of being of service to others.

As I said, I am a kid who grew up on stories like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, epic brave fantasy novels. This means I grew up aware of the fight of good versus evil and of the importance of heroic, virtuous acts. For me How To Know Higher Worlds is the path of the JEDI.

If I liked Rudolf Steiner before, this book took it to a whole other level. From that point on, I started downloading, buying, and reading Steiner e-books on my amazon kindle e-reader. I basically read everything on the market.

All of this led me to become an anthroposophist. Not suddenly, but gradually, after prolonged thought and inner questioning about whether this was the philosophy I wanted to follow the rest of my life. And it was. I remember the day I declared it to myself: “I am an anthroposophist”.

I have read HTKHW easily more than 15 times in the span of the last 4 years (I am 25 now). I pick it up and read through it about every four months or so.

The book feels different every time I pick it up. Or I’m in a different mood, or something. Sometimes I read new sections with an expanded comprehension. Other times I unravel things I hadn’t understood, or thought I understood but really didn’t. One time, even, I read over an entire three pages of information that I had totally glazed over before. And good information, too, about the etheric currents surrounding our bodies and hands.

My relationship with this book keeps evolving. I follow the exercises, but not perfectly. There’s a part in the book where Steiner says that what matters isn’t that we’re perfect, but that we always have the intention of striving towards the Spirit and of working on ourselves honestly. That’s what I try to do, every day.

As for the clairvoyance?

Well, there’s another part in the book where it says that if we still don’t understand what we’re seeing, then the less we try to define it to ourselves or explain it to others, the better. That way we don’t form judgments and our mind remains flexible for when we absorb more information in the future, and start seeing the whole picture and are able to understand it all.

Also, the desire for clairvoyance, to want to be clairvoyant just for the sake of seeing stuff in the spiritual worlds, is a selfish desire and the higher powers constantly retreat from it. In other words, the more you want it, the more you’ll be denied it. You have to focus on the exercises because you want to develop yourself and be of service to the world. The clairvoyance is secondary.

As a hypothetical example, let’s say that I possess some form of clairvoyance, however rudimentary or dim. If I admitted it publicly it would serve little more than boasting, and the emotion behind this boasting would be pride. As a result of this pride, the perception would retreat. Perhaps for days, even weeks. That’s just how it works.

If I could condense the entire practical wisdom of this book in 4 exercises, they would be the following:

1. OBSERVATION: Observe yourself and others. Detach yourself from your opinions and study the world as objectively as possible.

2. MEDITATION: Retreat into the spiritual worlds. Make time in your day where you separate the essential from the inessential, the transcendental (Spirit) versus the untrascendental (Form).

3. CONTEMPLATION: Think about your actions, your feelings, and your thoughts. Judge yourself fairly, from a third person perspective. If you can’t judge yourself with honesty, how will you grow?

4. REVERENCE: Devotion to higher forces, concepts, principles, truths. Continuous attention and focus on everything virtuous and worthy of respect.

There are also practical exercises like the observation of plants, stones, animals, sounds, conversations, and human activity to develop clairvoyant faculties, as well as an in-depth explanation of all of the soul qualities necessary to develop the throat and heart chakras so that they start rotating and we can actively participate in greater currents of energy. The Buddha’s eightfold path actually fully develops one of these two chakras, I can’t remember which.

In conclusion, How To Know Higher Worlds is not only my favorite book, but also the one that has had the most impact in my life as a spiritual seeker, and definitely the book that led me to declaring myself an anthroposophist. It is the manual that I hope to continue to use until the moment of my death, and I hope to absorb and interiorize as many truths from it as possible to take with me to my next life.

I’m starting to realize other people don’t necessarily think the same way I do. I know this sounds foolish, but it’s the truth. For example, I’m starting to realize that maybe some people don’t even think about their next lives, or what they want to take over from this life into the next one. For some people the term ‘occultism’ might even cause discomfort. Or pupilhood, or initiates or even mysteries.

Since I spent my entire adolescence familiarizing myself with these terms, and also terms like guru, master and discipleship; terms taken out of the traditional esoteric schools of wisdom that originated in ancient times, these terms don’t cause me any kind of discomfort, but I’m starting to emotionally understand that others might have different approaches to this. So I ask you to please try to understand from my point of view what it was like, just like I will try to understand yours.

In contrast, Steiner’s whole approach to esotericism initially struck me as very ‘laissez-faire’. But it was a difference that I quickly grew to love as I became more aware of what initiation meant on the western path. Just to illustrate –

This was my experience of the concept of initiation with theosophy:

Teacher: The only path of initiation into the mysteries is through a guru, through the path of discipleship. Blavatsky had her gurus, Koot Hoomi and Lord Moria, and we have to work on ourselves and wait patiently for a master to appear and lead the way.

This was my experience of the concept of initiation with anthroposophy:

Steiner: Hey, girl. You’ve been reading through my stuff and I’ve noticed you’re interested in the path of initiation into the mysteries. Want some tools so you can get to know them yourself?

Me: Yeah! Cool!

Steiner: Okay. I’m going to tell you because you deserve it. But you have to use this knowledge for good and not for selfish reasons. And I’m not your master. I won’t ever tell you what to do, that’s up to you. But I am your friend. (introduces How To Know Higher Worlds)

Me: Wow. Thanks, you rock.

And the book slowly started to change things. Which I will not go into now.

As to my status as an ‘occult pupil’, or an active seeker of the Spirit, or an aspirant to the mysteries, or an esoteric scholar, or a JEDI, or you get what I’m saying… as to how I’m doing in THAT field…

I’m one of the kids in the back of the room getting into trouble instead of focusing on the class, which is such a shame because I could be an A+ student but instead I’m just scraping by with C’s. That’s my status. And I’m okay with it, because hey, at least I know the material well enough that I’m not flunking.

An Angel Speaks

angel

 

 

 

 

O if you knew how your countenance
is changed, when in the midst
of that pure gaze which can unite you with me
Your hold upon yourself is lost
And you turn away.

Just as a landscape in clear light
May suddenly cloud over, do you close
Yourself against me, and I have to wait
And wait in silence, often long.
And if I were like you a human being
The pain of disdained love would kill me.

But since the Father has given me unending patience
I wait for you unshaken
and expectant, whenever it may be you come.
And even this gentle reproach
Take not as reproach—only as a pure message.

One must not be crazy.

So there are people out there who talk about us and say, ‘Oh, the anthroposophists are crazy!’ As a matter of fact, what one can least of all afford to be in order to reach anything at all in the spiritual world is to be crazy.

One must not be crazy in the very slightest degree if one hopes to attain something in the spiritual world. Being a tiny bit crazy is a hindrance to attaining anything. This must be avoided. One must not be the slightest bit crotchety or moody.

If you want to make headway in the field of Anthroposophy there is nothing for it but to have an absolutely sane head and an absolutely sane heart. Raving about something is already starting to go crazy, and this way you will achieve nothing.

– Rudolf Steiner, ‘An excercise in Karmic Insight’

We are what we think

As explained by Rudolf Steiner
From the Lecture: “Behind the Scenes of External Events, part 2”

“In their souls, human beings more and more come to resemble the thought, to resemble that which they regard as knowledge. This will seem a strange truth to the modern mind, but it is so, nevertheless. (…)

For example; to regard Darwinism as the one and only valid conception of the world, believing the only possible truth to be that man descends from the animals–that I descend entirely from forces which also produce the animals… such thoughts, in our age, tend to make the soul resemble its own conceptions of itself.

When the body is discarded, the soul is then confronted with the sorry fate of having to perceive its resemblance with its own thought! A man who lives in the physical body believing that animal forces alone were at work in his evolution, fashions for himself a kind of consciousness in which he will perceive his own likeness to animal nature.

It is ordained that in times to come, what the human considers himself to BE, that he will BECOME.”

————————————————————–

“What man thinks himself to BE, that he is obliged to BECOME… This is a truth that was destined, after the great changes in the nineteenth century, to find its way to men. The human being must be voluntarily anything that he can be really; he must be able to think about his own being if he is to be truly himself in his life of soul.”

————————————————————-

“Spirits of darkness, who oppose Man’s destiny, inspired human beings to announce the following: ‘Man is what he eats’. And although this is not, in theory, widely acknowledged, the practical conduct of life amounts very nearly to being an acknowledgement of the principle that man is what he eats–that and nothing else.”

————————————————————

“If it is true that in yonder world man becomes what he has pictured himself to be, then something else is also true. For example: A man dies, leaving relatives behind him. Although thought may not be entirely lacking in these relatives, they may be materialistically minded, and then, quite inevitably, they will think either that the dead man is decaying in the grave or that what exists of him is preserved in the urn.

THIS THOUGHT IS A REAL POWER. It is an untruth. When those left behind think that the dead man is no longer there; this thought is real and actual in the souls of those who form it. And the dead man is aware of this thought-reality, is aware of its significance for him.

It is therefore a matter of fundamental importance whether those left behind cherish in their souls the thought of The Dead living on in the spiritual world, or whether they instead succumb to the woeful idea that the dead man… well, he is dead; he lies there decaying in the grave.”

– Zurich, 13 November, 1917

Anger from the perspective of Spiritual Science

anger

‘Spiritual science’ is a term coined originally by Rudolf Steiner to mean the systematic way to approach/understand the spiritual universe with the same integrity and coherence, as one would approach the natural universe through natural science.

This post is a reflection on the emotion of anger, from the perspective of spiritual science.

Let’s start with Google’s definition of the word anger:

“Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life.”

Google is being very avant-garde and modern by stating that anger is a completely normal and usually healthy human emotion. Certain spiritual circles hold the belief that anger is a completely negative emotion and should be banished from human souls.

In all truth, Google’s definition resonates more with the perspective of spiritual science on anger, than the belief that anger should be banished from our souls entirely.

Angry people are, deep down, people who care very much about justice and about things being fair. This is part of their coloring as human beings, part of the personality that makes them unique. To banish anger completely from their soul would be like cutting off a metaphorical limb from their personality, or making themselves more bland on purpose; less in tune with their present soul expression.

People who suffer from anger or are more prone to angry reactions should view it as an opportunity to perfect themselves, should view their anger as a teacher, rather than something entirely negative or something to be feared or feel guilty about.

There are different types of anger: Righteous and unrighteous. Righteous anger is born out of Love, and unrighteous anger is born out of selfishness.

Righteous anger manifests within us whenever we are rightfully angry about something, as the name indicates. If we grow angry over someone treating another person cruelly, about the state of affairs of our world, about exploitation of others, about torture, about injustice towards the weak and the poor… this anger, in reality, is born out of the Love we feel towards others and towards the world.

If we were to be indifferent to all these things, we would also be limiting the Love our hearts are capable of feeling. In a way, we would grow distant and disinterested in the suffering of others.

So how do we cultivate righteous anger?

First, we have to observe ourselves when we react in anger, and learn to differentiate righteous from unrighteous anger. Sometimes we grow angry because somebody does something we dislike. This anger is born out of our emotional sympathies and antipathies, and should be disregarded.

Any reaction born out of the nature of our sympathies and antipathies anchors us to ourselves and turns us more egoistic, or egocentric: I am angry because I dislike him. I am pleased because she amuses me. It’s all about me, and how I feel, and how other people make me feel… me me me.

This feeds the negative parts of our ego, and these types of reaction should in reality be evaluated as selfish and unrighteous, and treated as such. The way to overcome this type of reaction is not to fight against them, but to become overall more selfless, more interested in the welfare of others, more attentive on how I can serve others rather on how they can amuse me. This growing selflessness will keep negative reactions in check, and soon they will disappear on its own.

Indeed, unrighteous anger is cured by selflessness.

Besides learning to identify unrighteous anger and work on transforming it into selflessness, we can also train ourselves on how best to express the righteous anger that is born out of Love.

In our communications towards others, we should always seek to cultivate at least two things: Tact and gentleness. This is a way of not only honoring and serving others, but also of honoring and serving ourselves.

This also goes for the expression of righteous anger. When we feel angry about something unfair or unjust, we should by all means express it, but with tact and gentleness. This is possible when we place the feeling of Love at the center of our being, rather than the feeling of anger. We can feel angry, but we can choose to focus on Love and express ourselves through Love.

Through these two exercises, the increase of selflessness and the expression of Love, our angry reactions will become transformed into something more noble than it previously was.

This way, we do not lose part of our personality, but transform it into something Higher.

Thus, anger can become the teacher for the transformation into true Gentility of Soul, instead of something to be feared, avoided, or banished from our personalities.

Sympathetic Vibration & Vibrational Frequencies

vibration

Sympathetic vibration is a naturally occurring phenomena. An example of it is when you sound a tuning fork and bring it close to, but not touching, another fork of the same frequency. The second fork will then begin to vibrate sympathetically.

The scientific String Theory asserts that reality is made up of tiny strings that vibrate at different frequencies. Everything in existence is in a state of constant vibration, whether we realize it or not.

Including ourselves as human beings.

To learn how to affect, and even control, our vibrational frequency, we have to ask ourselves the following question: What are human beings essentially made of?

Well, as human beings, we can observe that we have a physical body, we have an energetic body, we have emotions, and we have thoughts.

These four bodies (physical, energetic, emotional, and mental) are what make us who we are.

The most important of these four bodies is The Mind, because it effectively controls the other three bodies.

For example… When we start paying attention to our thoughts, we realize the degree of influence they have over our emotions, over how we feel.

Just imagine how easy it is for a person of choleric nature to get carried away by a thought that makes him angry, and how it affects his whole mood. Also notice how difficult it is to undertake a task that we find extremely boring. We seem to have no energy for it… but when it’s something that we like, suddenly we can’t contain our energy.

Everything starts with the thoughts in The Mind.

And just like the vibrational frequency of our thoughts influences our feelings and energy, they also influence our actions and our relationship to ourselves, the people that we choose to surround ourselves with, and our circumstances. In essence, our thoughts determine our reality.

So when we consciously choose to entertain The Mind with thoughts that generate a high vibrational frequency, we’re like the tuning fork that is resonating at a certain pitch. We will resonate with those people whom we share a sympathetic vibration with, those people who are also vibrating at a high frequency.

Inversely, thoughts with a low vibrational frequency will negatively impact not only our emotional, energetic and physical bodies, but also our relationship to the world and to others.

This leads us to the question…

What types of thoughts generate a high vibrational frequency?

Initiates & The Esoteric School

esoteric school

The capacities by which we can reach an elevated state of spirituality lie dormant within each one of us. The path of spiritual development is traced out in indelible symbols in what is known in occult circles as The Akashic Records, and only those masters who can understand these symbols can give us precise direction and guidance as to how properly come into a relationship with these mysteries.

These masters are known as Initiates, and the school by which they impart their knowledge is called The Esoteric School. There is only one school, as there is only one Truth. This school has existed throughout mankind’s entire known and unknown history, and will continue to exist well into the foreseeable future.

Anyone can become a pupil of the Esoteric School by developing certain faculties of soul. The aspirant pupil must develop these faculties to a certain degree of excellence, seeing as there are two laws that bond all Initiates of The Esoteric School together:

1. Knowledge may not be imparted upon anyone not qualified to receive it
2. Knowledge due a seeker cannot be withheld

The more perfect the initiate, the more perfectly these two laws are kept.

One’s quality is measured by the extent to which certain faculties of soul are developed in one’s soul. Spiritual masters have a way of observing these faculties by themselves, without us needing to say anything.

We can be sure that when the time is right and if the student is willing, the master shall appear and initiation into the mysteries will reach us whatever the circumstances.

But until then, an aspirant pupil to The Esoteric School must dutifully work on his own self to continue developing these faculties of soul to a more perfect degree each day.

The aspirant must aim to nurture within him a sincere and unwavering pursuit for virtue and truth that in every way will prepare him to receive secret knowledge.