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Fall 2012, Issue #63: From Unborness to "I" Consciousness

Download the article: From Unborness to "I" Consciousness

There are three steps for 'I"-consciousness awareness to find its place in the physical body. How does this happen? We constantly experience I -awareness as a point [a large dot as 'point” was drawn on the blackboard]; and if we don’t succeed in focusing, concentrating, so that we become totally present with ourselves, we are not really there. We have to “be there” to look at the complexity of this world and make it clear to ourselves, the world of thoughts, feelings, of our striving, of what we want to do and are not able to do because of something in our way. There is all this richness, this wealth. On the other hand there are the complex conditions of our life—one billion people are starving; they live with the minimum. Someone else has too much to eat, and those in between ask what planet we are on here where this can be tolerated. Rudolf Steiner said calmly that the social question is a pedagogical question. And the pedagogical question is a medical question. If you don't know what is healthy and what is sick, how can you recognize the healthful aims of education?

Another statement of Rudolf Steiner is that in the future, people will not ask what is true or false but about what is healthy and what is sick. What is healthy? What is unhealthy? Physicians can define that well. Healthy is being master of possibilities. Sick is not being master and being unable to unfold ones possibilities. Health is being able to serve. Sickness is being limited, restricted from serving. And that is a question of education. How do we have to incarnate so we become an instrument for ourselves and for others too, so that we humanize and do not dehumanize? When we can do this, we will be able to solve the social question. We can also advance possibilities for others. This is the possibility surrounding a young child. The young child is obviously in need of support, and the whole surroundings become centered on the child and on his need for development. We want to please the little child and make him happy. Sometimes we do this with sweets, but it is better to do it through a smile.

But we need a concept of what is healthy self-awareness, self-consciousness. Everything around me, the world in which I am, finds itself within me and finds a point in me from which I can relate to the outer world without losing myself. With all this wealth of feelings and thoughts, it is amazing that we do not lose ourselves. All this is the gift of the physical body. In the physical body self-awareness awakens. The whole world of wisdom finds itself. 1 have my balance point, my center of gravity. And it is on that balance point that my spiritual center of gravity forms, so that I can sense myself in one point. Then around this point there is my destiny (a large circle was drawn with the point as its center).

Rudolf Steiner states in his lectures on occult investigations into the life between death and rebirth that an incarnating soul knows that for the next earth life he needs a certain kind of education. The soul needs a certain kind of knowledge that he can absorb early on.

(Editor's summary of the next passage: If the child's incarnation involves parents who cannot provide him with a happy life, the proper education becomes more critical than ever. )

One finds souls who before birth had the most terrible struggle in themselves because they saw that they might be abused in youth by a horrible set of parents. We see many souls who go through terrible struggles in the spiritual world as they proceed toward the preparation of their births. This is not only an inner struggle but is also projected to the outside and one has the struggles outside oneself as well. The souls go to their next incarnation feeling a deep split within. Rudolf Steiner describes a situation of looking ahead to preview the coming incarnation. We know that the soul prepares for a particular generation, country, language, parents, etc. But now because of interference with birth (through abortion), hundreds of thousands of girls, especially, are murdered. These souls then have to orient themselves to decide if they want to come. Souls are constantly rejected and sent back.

Then there is the additional struggle to decide between a happy family life and educational constellation or a horrible one. (Editors summary: 'Then it becomes urgent that we found healthy early childhood programs to meet and support these children'.)

(Returning to the chalk drawing) This circle is our destiny. It has a wide aspect as well. We are constantly in conversation with our destiny which is our partner, the sphere with which we have to converse.

Destiny is the horizon with which we are always iii dialogue. The more we have this dialogue about its meaning, about the positive side of what we can learn from it, especially in very difficult destiny situations, the better it will be for our "I"-consciousness. There is a wonderful statement from medieval mysticism—“I do not know who I am, I do not know what I know.”

I am a strange thing, a dot and a circle, I only unfold a healthy "I"-awareness when I am point and circle, becoming aware of myself in my body and developing the ability to have this conversation with my destiny, the developmental chance I have when I bring point and circle so together that attention is brought together for the unfolding of my biography.

There are three great steps into incarnation. The third step does not have to do with our dialogue partner of destiny. It has to do with our true essence, our true persona, the being that resounds through the body and through the soul—how we feel, think and act. Always something radiates through of the essence of a person, the radiation of her persona. What radiates through is love. Our destiny is tied to the astral body, ether body and physical body. Everything is inscribed into them, depending on what we have done that is good or difficult. All these consequences are drawn onto the paper or sand of these bodies.

Our “I,” however, did not experience the fall from paradise and remains innocent, pure. It is pure love; pure light; the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Our 'I' holds within it the goddesses we are seeing each morning of this conference [in a eurythmy performance representing a series of goddesses from Isis to Sophia], If we look at the male virtues of vigor and courage and add these as well, there are expressions of 'I' that are neither male nor female. The I' can bring different properties to expression through a male body than a female one. It also depends upon what the world around us allows us to do, what is possible for our gender, as for example in China or Peru. If there are no partners to share our destiny with, we reserve our possibilities for another incarnation.

Radiating and holding back are the two sides. The body is a carrier of the‘I'-consciousness and it is a carrier of developmental possibilities. Both are there.

There are two beings, Lucifer and Ahriman, who do not like these components at all. Lucifer does not want us to have awareness of the world around us. He wants us to enjoy ourselves, mirror ourselves, and develop aberrations from healthy self-awareness that go toward egoism. Like Lilith, we are not so nice as women if Lucifer tempts us. Men can do this in their own way. This is where Luciferic temptation comes in. Lucifer is a microcosm interested in small things. Lucifer is happy with vanity. Life has to be fun and joyful, where we can take pride in ourselves and show off.

Rudolf Steiner once came onto the school playground in Stuttgart and said that there were two ladies sitting in front of the school who could not be allowed in. A teacher who went to look saw no one. But Rudolf Steiner explained that the two he saw sitting there were vanity and the craving for power.

Ahriman, on the other hand, has a deep hatred and lack of understanding for destiny People are only numbers to him. Everyone is exchangeable to him. Schiller described through the inquisitor in Don Carlos that people are just numbers. Rudolf Steiner told physicians that Ahriman wants to kill karma. We cannot use a more accurate concept. We have to listen to it and ponder on it. Ahriman wants to kill destiny because it makes development possible. Grand Ahrimanic powers focus on the earth, on the solid, the rational, the mathematical.

Of course we cannot live without these; all this is his work. But Ahriman wants us to use these powers to dominate and control others. Lucifer and Ahriman cannot understand development, which is a Christian, human, humane motif. Therefore the third aspect of incarnation is that the persona is always in dialogue with these two powers. Ahriman works with hatred and envy. Lucifer works with enjoyment, pleasure, and vanity. If we keep these in mind, we understand what is essential. The true persona, the human principle, works with love, dignity and freedom. If I am not constantly in danger of doing something wrong, I cannot find out for myself what is right. We learn from mistakes and doing so is always a victory over Lucifer and Ahriman. There is nothing more Christian than making mistakes. If we feel stupid because we have made a mistake and resolve to do better, then feelings of inner strength come. We practice and practice and overcome Ahriman, because we devote our time to improving ourselves and do not try to dominate others. Then what arises is an atmosphere around children where they experience that the world is good.

I was so pleased when Louise deforest (the keynote speaker of the previous evening) spoke of kindergartens that are too perfect. But there are also “oh dear!” kindergartens where the educators do not understand the requirements of sensory development. It is important that we know why we do what we do, why the walls are a certain color, for example. When each experience that greets the children is consciously chosen we can feel joy each morning that what surrounds us is good for the children. We radiate our joy in knowing what is good. We must add to the outer experience an understanding of what it stands for, with a commitment to thoroughly know what we are doing. We combine light, air, color, form and enough space to be flexible. We also allow moments of intentional chaos, so that we can all find our way back to form. Then the children will be able to feel the process toward development.

Taking hold of the body, looking toward destiny from pre-earthly life, and developing‘T-awareness are all things that we need to do. Taking hold of the body is the first step of incarnating.

(Beyond this excerpt Dr. Glöckler continued the lecture with the two points indicated at the beginning—(I) the environment we offer to the incarnating child and its interplay with the child's destiny and (2) how the "I" finds its way into physical incarnation, accompanied by a rich picturing from embryology. “Nature” ‘nurture,” and the eternal 7” are the three essential elements that work together to achieve the child's individual incarnation.)

Dr, Michaela Glockler is the leader of the Medical Section of the School of Spiritual Science at the Goetheanum. She is the author of many books, including A Guide to Child Health (with Wolfgang Goebel).