Summary of the spiritual seeing seminar October 2015.
The health value of the logical formation of idea.
The theme of the ‘Spiritual Seeing ‘ seminar held from the 2nd-4th October, under the moderation of Heinz Grill, was the visuddha cakra, the fifth center. From what materiality does it exist and what meaning does it have? Furthermore, how can we distinguish between astral influences in the light and ethereal qualities of light?
Initially the way of working together was described by Heinz Grill, not as a way of gathering information on the subject, but to reach out in the present moment and behold the fifth centre through the work. Out of this a first feeling for the 5th centre could develop over the oncoming days.
The picture of man was described in relation to the 7 cakras, which are associated with the 7 planets, the influence of the planets in man is mysterious, there are planetary beings that live and work in man with a quality and moral substance. The 5th centre relates to the planetary beings of Mars. These high beings want to express themselves in the human being, and alongside this, the human being longs for a development towards perfection. If a person wants to develop the fifth centre, they can study the essence of the Mars region and its expression within various spiritual literature.
How can you "behold" an object and how does it manifest itself?
In the seminar, the precise building up of an exercise to realise-knowledge was repeated, and first answers were sought to describe the mysterious metaphysical process of exactly coming into higher knowledge. It was said, it is important that the object is viewed as something outside (like a picture on the wall, which one confronts), then the image is drawn up again, and put consciously to oneself refraining from hasty judgements and statements.
There is also the need for an idea, which corresponds to the truth of the object. For example, we need a thought that relates to the light ether if we are to behold this. This makes the logic of the exercise. With continued attention on the object the reflecting back ether arises, with this one can say that the object begins to come towards the viewer, and it expresses itself through a sensation.
At first the senses only perceive an outer image of the object, we see the physical expression because we look with physical eyes, to see beyond the physical we need to develop something higher than the physical organs.
This happens in the exercise in the following way, the person themself properly builds up the idea that underlies the object from a spiritual scientific view. If someone, for example, were to learn to look at the ether body, so they must proceed from statements on the ether, and with this build up informed idea.
Through this precise forming of ideas and questions or thoughts, the practitioner creates something that did not exist before. The thought causes ether forces, it creates an additional ether, and since they are connected logically with the object and through the growing intense attentiveness, the object can radiate or reflect back. The reflecting back ether arises, this brings the object close to the viewer. In this moment, when the reflecting back ether arises the nervous system comes to rest and there is an order.
The next question was: Where does this reflecting back ether come from? The exact answer to this question, so that someone else can understand the idea well, is that, it is a quality of the fifth centre, which is reflected in the vivid and concrete description. It would be insufficient and going in too little depth, if you would only reply: "It comes from the object."
So the question arose: Does this reflecting back ether come from the object or does it come from the viewer?
Does it come out of the physical object itself or from its spiritual "archetype"? And what causes the emergence of reflecting back ether for the viewer and the object?
Does it come from previous building up of knowledge? And how are the arches that occur in the successful exercise, and how can you look clairvoyantly in connection with the angels?
The effort in the exercise of spiritual contemplation lies in the fact that we really look at the object freely, it’s not laden with interpretations, associations, etc, so the viewer considers closely everything that comes into consideration and differentiates very precisely where it comes from. They wonder, where does the feeling come from when they ‘see’? Is it coming from the object or from the person? This distinction is an ability of the fifth centre. The object speaks from out of itself - and therein lies a certain serenity – if we have released it enough from ourselves.
The object speaks out
With a gesture, that you consciously perform, the revealing of the object becomes clear. If you make this gesture with the hand, by putting all fingertips together like a point, this symbolizes the concentration in the exercise. Then open all the fingers into a wide opening gesture in beautiful arches, which are directed to the viewer right and left. This opening and revelation of the object Heinz Grill called a movement in which freedom arises. These bows are, according to Heinz, the angel wings. Through this we noticed concretely the spiritual action as it happens, today you say too quickly: "That makes the angel”, but we have no concrete idea of what exactly is happening.
For further exploration to the question, we can bring in another question: how can the perceived formative arc shapes be explained in terms of a metaphysical movement? Usually encounters among people are not free, either people move away and flee the encounter or they are too close. The common perception today is such that one would say: "You have to find the healthy middle ground. Not too close and not too far away." In this approach, however, freedom can’t be born, it would produce a passive centre. The human being must establish freedom by ones effort to really look to the other, one must use the activity of the consciousness to create thoughts, and learn to maintain and meet the other in a free encounter.
This truth can be seen in the sculpture by Rudolf Steiner "The Representative of Humanity". Man holds the middle between a certain escapism (a luciferic influence) and a strong attachment to the world (an ahrimanic influence), but through this position he thereby accomplishes a work that can be seen in this curve form created through the expression of his thought activity.
It should be added that, the free encounter established in relationship and the forming of the consciousness should lead to deep, inner knowledge. This work accompanied the course further.
The greatest freedom lies in forming relationship to that which stands outside.
This expresses an ideal of the visuddha cakra, for the human being wants to enter into a relationship and thereby create a freedom for others. They do not want to enter into a relationship with their ties. This longing awakens around the 29 years. Heinz Grill encouraged people to take up this process, to stand in relationship and create the greatest freedom for others. This is a task everyone can do, you don’t need to be clairvoyant to do this, what one then brings into life after death is a worthy moral value for the spiritual worlds.
The qualities of the 5th centre (visuddha-cakra)
A sound basis is provided through the development of the 5th centre (visuddha-cakra) towards realising-knowledge, the 5thcentre is described as a 16 petalled lotus flower, of which 8 petals need forming, this centre is located close by to the region of the larynx, and Rudolf Steiner describes exercises for forming these 8 petals into their meaningful qualities. (Found in "How to Know Higher Worlds", in the chapter: "Some effects of initiation")
If the practitioner wants to ‘see’ the 5th centre, he cannot look at another with the question of how it looks to him or how it is developed. It requires a criteria that relates to the true picture of the matter. So it’s good to form concrete ideas about these eight properties to come into knowledge. One capacity Steiner describes is ‘Right speech’, through the work it becomes clear that within this centre their own differentiated, sculptural, descriptive language arises, and not a moralizing language.
If we acquire quite concretely an idea about this ‘speech’, studying texts in which we find this ‘speech’ or also study examples to the contrary, so we begin to attract ether for this ideal, because we create it over and over again in the image.
A further content, with which one can study this cakra, is the statement of Rudolf Steiner: "Whoever develops the 5th center, radiates beautiful color." (This is explained in previously mentioned chapter.) Heinz Grill pointed out, that here a content is stated and usually this sentence is skipped over too fast.
Rudolf Steiner describes a "soul light", which is perceptible in the development of this cakra close by to the larynx. Günther Pauli raised the question, whether this ‘soul light’, this soul substance is an ethereal or astral light? By this he laid down a basis, within the investigation of this question, the basic images about the ethereal and about the astral light. This contribution was very valuable because it emphasized the precise, differentiated approach and especially the precise questions, which are fundamental for coming to spiritual vision.
The experience of the Mars region after death.
Another feature of the fifth centre or also the Mars region is the personal assumption of responsibility. Once the person is deceased and the soul expands in the Mars region, they can no longer excuse if they have, for example, followed a false master or a bad habit of life, because here they are aware of their real inner responsibility. Self-confidence of human beings can grow with courage to awareness of their own thought processes. It is an ability of this centre that man can recognise, correct and arrange beliefs, teachings, and denominations through the thought process. If this ability develops in life, then this brings the soul a "soul light" as a substance in the Mars region. (Referred to here are the comments on visuddha cakra in: "The Soul Dimension of Yoga" by Heinz Grill, p.58)
The importance of the fact that the old path of initiation, as expressed in the baptism of John, is no longer valid, and that today the Christian way is for man to walk on his own path of knowledge, was pointed out by Heinz Grill. Today the seeker of knowledge can no longer say: "I am a student of ...", but it is truthful when they say, for example: "I approach these thoughts because I find through them a freer and constructive relationship with others."
We used a text example to illustrate the differentiated views. A small text was looked at with the following questions:
- What is the relationship between the sentences?
- What is the main idea? Does the text describe one thought?
- What do we feel when reading?
- Do the feelings come from the text or from ourselves?
- Can the text be expanded upon?
Interesting was the good revival of the participants. In a differentiated and accurate effort.
To look and to recognise the message of the text without too early an interpretation, dissipated all the fatigue and alertness, this could clearly be felt.
What conditions are necessary, for the idea or the realizing of knowledge to enter into the space ?
Stefan Kurth described a well-known situation, in which a speaker or a teacher is provoked by an unexpected statement and then doesn’t know how to react favorably. Should the teacher or speaker sharply reject the statement? Should they simply grow a "thick skin"? Or is the answer in a method for such cases, which can be learned on advanced training? Or does it lie in treasured experience? Where is the sovereign answer? Where does the longed-for fortunate response lie? Is it in the person themself or is it outside, in an imagined ideal? In this situation the person concerned cannot give themself ten minutes for self-reflection. In his speech Stefan Kurth made a very interesting reference to the pedagogical book ("The signatures of the planets and spiritual-soul development in pedagogy" by Heinz Grill, p.100) Here it describes how the untrained senses always look on from the past. If we look at a tree, it is already a thing of the past. The consciousness is not yet creative. It is not yet able to perceive what is becoming.
So the question came alive again, which conditions are necessary so that something continuing occurs to the person concerned, but, is a reaction that also creates a freedom in which an ideal can express itself. In this question the differentiation and an idea about the matter lie with the questioning. If we asked, "How is the new coming in?", This question would be too differentiated, suggesting that this is a method, or that the questioner has no precise conceptions about the new. It is related to the question posed by Heinz Grill for the personal work of the individual: How does the so-called reflecting back ether form in the building-up of concentration? What conditions are necessary for the reflecting back ether to slowly find its origin?
The human being must form an idea about ideals, because this creates according to the development of aspiring seeker, an increasingly concrete picture of a particular ideal (for example, that of the 5th centre) and thus a substance. This has an existence and can then enter into the situation, the human being is then meeting something, by which he has always worked and works. It cannot come, a little bit like a supporting God, if nothing was formed before. Heinz Grill asked if we, in such a situation where we might be provoked, turn to the gods in an urgent prayer (as one often imagines), but to what do we direct the prayer? For it is the thoughts that were formed, which are the gods.
This, in this respect, is fundamental, because today a person hopes always to better methods or prayer, however, it is just their own creative work, that is the forming out of imagination an ideal, which create ether forces that radiate back to on the human being. Through this process the spiritually aspiring person can form an accurate idea. Here it is indicated, the importance of ones own goal. If the student does not take daily goals, they cannot create the ideal and meet others. One could look at the statement, which is not so rare today: "I have enough problems, so am I" (instead of: "I think, therefore I am.")
The described courage to lead the fifth cakra can only arise when a person places content into the goal. Through the goal and the effort to realise them, the human being is given content for existence. Problems are actually created when there is no content. For further work, it was particularly encouraged to accurately depict the significance a goal has.
How does the student meet the object?
The meeting of thoughts, or of a person was also very vivid in a lecture by Ludwig Meindl. He had studied extensively the philosopher Descartes and bought the public closer to his struggle for the realisation process. Descartes had recognized that the human being played a decisive role in the process of knowledge ( "I think therefore I am") and had himself thereby incurred criticism of the Church. Heinz Grill moved the research further on, with the question of how do the thoughts, which approach a person or a text with interest, work back again onto the aspirant? It was felt by the participants that the processes that takes place metaphysically have to be studied deeply and precisely, so that in each individual more and more concrete ideas are formed, and through this work each person individually enters into an independent creative activity.
This work of exact formation was then encouraged by Heinz Grill one day later through various questions.