Advent is a journey towards a new birth. Each week we light a candle representing four awakenings along the path to the birth of deeper self-knowledge. The outer light can ignite our inner light if we experience the truth of this Advent festival.
This year let us have a look at the spiritual faculties of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. These three faculties are the eyes of our spirit. They are also three stages of knowledge. Through them we live into the higher world.
The first stage is Imagination, which we can call spiritual Imagination because it is not fantasy; it is a very conscious activity born out of our thinking. This experience of Imagination takes place in the space between our physical body and our etheric body – the body of weaving formative forces.
If we consciously focus on a spiritual truth, and allow the thought-weaving of the world to weave into us, it is received into our etheric body. When we allow what we receive to work in us in a very mobile way we will experience spiritual Imagination. We mustn’t interfere with the images that come to us, we must let them flow freely and try to see what they are telling us. These images may not make a lot sense to us initially; we need to allow them to live their own life within us.
One example Rudolf Steiner gives may assist with this task. He says that something else lies behind everything we see in the world.
“In the meadow saffron, for example, he will discover a picture of the melancholy soul, in the violet a picture of calm piety, in the sunflower a picture of strong, vigorous life, of self-reliance, of ambition. When a man lives in this sense, he raises himself to Imaginative knowledge. He then sees something like a cold flame ascend out of a plant, a color picture, which leads him into the astral plane.” Esoteric Development Lecture 9
When we spiritualize the senses by silencing the intellect we attain this consciousness of Imagination.
During December we can think about the purpose of the impending birth of Jesus allowing new understanding to arise from the images that come to us.
Rose by Liane Collot d’Herbois