2. The Purpose of Resisting Selfishness

There is a clear connection between selfishness and evil and they are part of our life for our own good. Understanding this brings the freedom to achieve our highest potential. In his lecture “The Four Sacrifices of Christ” 1 June, 1914, Rudolf Steiner speaks of the astonishing story of Christ accompanying human development through all its stages. He urges us to be more aware of Christ and with deep gratitude to recognise that we could not live on this earth without him.

How do we feel when we make an important contribution that goes unrecognised? We could say this is egotistical, but is it? Perhaps it is preparing us to experience heartfelt gratitude for the being without whom we could not achieve our true destiny – for ourselves and for this Universe.

A second stage in Christ’s journey to Golgotha involved his intervention in the activity of Lucifer and Ahriman who worked to make our vital organs selfish. Imagine the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs fighting over who gets the most nutrients. Illness results, as Rudolf Steiner says, “To be ill means that an organ has become selfish and is leading its own independent life within us.”

We can only be healthy because of Christ’s second sacrifice. Rudolf Steiner gives this example; “when we picked cherries, for example, the related organ would have felt an inordinate greed. The human being would have felt, not the self-seeking organ only, but all the other organs also, striving against it with equal selfishness!”

It is helpful if we create an Imagination of an archangel offering up his soul powers to be permeated by the Christ. Then to see “What was accomplished by this deed shining down into the earth’s atmosphere. Then that harmonizing and balancing of the vital organs took place that rendered them selfless.”

It is only when we can use our will to create pictures, combining ideas through our thinking, then imbuing them feeling, that we will be able to say, ‘in true piety, “I realize that I am able to exist as a physical man with unselfish organs because not I alone have developed myself in the world, but Christ in me, Who has so conditioned my organs that I can be a man!”’

These are wonderful ideas to contemplate as we approach St John’s Tide, the festival of John the Baptist.

Painting: Herbert Gustave Schmalz

The Sufferings of the Nathan Soul by Peter Selg http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Sufferings-of-the-Nathan-Soul-Peter-Selg-Matthew-Barton/9781621481508 or a different translation of the lecture “The Four Sacrifices of Christ” is available free here http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/ForSac_index.html

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