December 30-31 – Cancer
The serpent on the sword pommel: wisdom. We should busy ourselves with uplifting readings. It is the night of the great command.
The mystery of activity: who exercises command over our soul? Who is the master of our soul, the doer of our deeds? We have the freedom to strengthen the goodwill in ourselves.
Rudolf Steiner’s indications for the Holy Nights given to Herbert Hahn
Translation from German by Laura Zanutto 2015 adjusted by Mark Willan 2016
7. Heilige Nacht
30./31. – Krebs
Die Schlange am Schwertknauf: Weisheit. Man soll sich mit erhebender Lektüre beschäftigen. Es ist die Nacht des großen Befehles.
Das Mysterium der Tätigkeit: Wer befiehlt über unsere Seele? Wer ist der Herr unserer Seele, der Täter unserer Taten? Wir haben die Freiheit, den guten Willen in uns zu stärken.
Seventh Contemplation: Kristina Kaine
Esoteric truth is not static, it evolves as we evolve. Hanging on to concepts can hold us back. Always referencing what we say to substantiate our ideas is constrictive. What we seek is living truth and all we need is a taste and the search is on.
Occupying ourselves with uplifting reading helps us breathe, inspire. We know that whenever we breathe in we must also breathe out. So we breath in uplifting concepts, then, what we breathe out must be something different; just as we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
What isn’t always clear to us is that when we read and understand esoteric truth we can change it. Esoteric truth becomes something different when we behold it (a phenomena that has also been discovered in Quantum Physics). This surely means that ancient knowledge is no longer relevant today. Of course we can read it, but by reading it with love – which is the great command – ancient knowledge is changed. Not just once, but again and again.
This changing or shifting of meaning is an experience we can have when we read esoteric truth with devotion. Our understanding lights up, at last we see the meaning. Then we discover we have read the same text before, but now we see more deeply into its meaning. Or, did we change it the first time we read it?
To discover what lies at the heart of this we can consider the two trees in the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.
And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9
We were told not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, and when we ignored that advice and ate of it, we were removed from the Garden of Eden in case we ate of the Tree of Life and lived forever.
In a lecture given 101 years ago, Rudolf Steiner says we must unite ourselves anew with the rightly understood Tree of Knowledge. This means that we take the wood from the tree and make something with it, creatively, usefully, which is more than the tree could do. Rudolf Steiner certainly did this, and he is recommending we do the same.
“When I behold this knowledge it becomes something that I must alter if the earth’s goal and task are to be attained. I see something grow forth from my earthly deeds which must become different.” The Christmas Thought and the Secret of the Ego 19 December 1915