As a young person I once had the strange thought: Could something have gone wrong in Western development? Could our development have been completely different? Were there decisions that we are now seeing the results of? The thought was too monstrous for me. I pushed it away. To accept it was beyond my capabilities. Today, many years later, I see that we Westerners have taken a certain path and that there was indeed a shift of the switch in the course. I would like to illustrate this with the example of Christmas, and also with Corona.
Each of us lives his or her life, and once a year is Christmas. Until now, the family could meet without hindrance and some saw each other especially at Christmas. They had a big meal, exchanged information and gave each other presents. All in all, it was a good feeling, usually. This year, however, everything is different, and we can take this as an opportunity to ask what Christmas could actually mean.
Yes, of course, we know that Jesus was born about 2000 years ago. We were taught that he was the Son of God and that through his life and death he redeemed those who believe in him. Many people go to church at Christmas to reflect on this.
Now we have Corona. And there are great fears, and the hopes of most people rest perhaps more on the vaccine than on what happened 2000 years ago.
Couldn't Christmas be getting stale? Couldn't we choose another day of the year when the family gets together and we have an exchange with each other?
Or have we forgotten something? Is there something buried in us that we could uncover and that has to do with Christmas?
The inner source of light
During the meetings in the spiritual community I belong to, I experience again and again that a light can come on for me. Not in relation to some question to which I am looking for an answer, no, in general a light within. I experience that it becomes bright inside, sometimes stronger, sometimes less so. A friend told me that he was once so taken by the source of this inner light that he himself became this source. For moments he was a point of light, in infinite silence and very awake. And from a great height he perceived himself.
Light can flare up in us. Countless people have experienced this and can experience it. And this light wants to be fulfilled. It forms a field around us, an energetic field, a soul field. In our spiritual gatherings, this field increases in its vibration. I experience it as a kind of soul space that can reach far out, depending on the intensity of its energy. When it is very intense, this space even fills with consciousness. And I know that our community forms such a space that extends across the earth.
When I meet people, they enter my soul space and I enter theirs. One does not usually pay attention to this. What then are the spaces filled with at that moment? Is there space for the other in it? Everything depends on what the spaces are filled with because through them we touch each other. We also speak of the radiance of a person. We can enter into a field full of problems with another person, or we can enter into a field full of light. When inner light fills the space, it widens it. There is then room for everything with which such a person comes into contact. Everything is embraced and touched by his light and receives impulses from it.
Where does this light come from? Every human being is connected to a spiritual focal point. I would like to compare it to a star that one sees in the sky, a point of light, a point of fire. On the one hand it is in me, it belongs to me, and on the other hand it is part of a spiritual universe. This star and I, we belong together. It is the opposite pole of my existence. I am the earthly pole, it is the spiritual one. We seem to be far away from each other. And the feeling of being lost that so many people experience is based on the fact that they do not know their spiritual opposite pole. All of man's searching is probably ultimately aimed at finding this divine aspect that belongs to him. Our spiritual aspect urges us and calls us. We are to become complete, we are to find our true self, that unknown “partner” of us that is in the eternal.
I take food every day and it gives me my biological life forces. The other pole of my being gives me the spiritual forces.
I have often experienced how this star rises in me and its light fills the soul space. For me, that is the real meaning of Christmas. Inner light shines into the night, a night that is myself.
Every human being has such a transcendent aspect. In this divine aspect we are united with each other, even if we face each other as strangers in ordinary life.
When the barrier to the inner star is taken away and we are thus seized by its light, our relationship with other people changes. We experience something of the same potential in them. Deeper understanding becomes possible, understanding also of the tragedy of life, the tragedy of ignorance in relation to our own innermost being. Everyone carries the source of light within themselves. When we become aware of this, we stimulate each other's development in a powerful way. It is a very different development from the one we are experiencing right now in the world. And our relationship to animals and plants also changes radically.
The shift of the switch
What then has happened in occidental development? About 2500 years ago, Greek philosophers like Pythagoras and Heraclitus recognised that there is a God hidden in man. They spoke of the Logos in man. And they tried to walk a path with their followers on which the inner God awakens. There are many passages in the Bible that also point to the divine in man. In the Gospel of John, in the 10th chapter, Jesus says: "Do you not know that you are gods?” The Gnostic Christian groups in the first centuries experienced the Logos within themselves. And they understood the Gospel to be about awakening this divine in man.
But these efforts were opposed. The Gnostics were persecuted and their writings burnt. And this is what happened later to other groups and individuals, especially the great mystics. But one of the early Church Fathers, Origen, also experienced the God within himself and proclaimed him in his writings. At a council in Constantinople in the 9th century, however, his teachings were declared heresy. Something divine in man? No, man has only soul, and not also divine spirit.
Therein we find the switch. People turned their attention more and more to the earth. The thought of a divine aspect in man was forgotten, it disappeared into the unconscious. Of course, its impulses continued to have an effect and everyone received them. People also prayed, they were religious, but they regarded the impulses from within as good impulses, as conscience impulses of their own natural being. They attributed them to themselves and not to the divine source, the invisible spiritual companion.
People endeavoured to shape their lives better, and so the intellect developed and with it the sciences, and our present ego was formed. It has become strong and usually fills our mental space, so that there is little room in it for anything else. The divine source, which could also shine into it, is forgotten. Only when someone enters a very great life crisis can they feel that they are suddenly carried by an incomprehensible inner force.
Today's sciences explain to us that man came into being through a play of mere particles of matter in the course of a long evolution. There is no room in this doctrine for a divine meaning. It becomes different when a person's inner light dawns. Then it becomes clear to him that in everything external that we experience and explore, there is always another world involved, the spiritual world. It radiates its contents and impulses into nature and people. The basic forms in the realm of plants and animals are expressions of spiritual impulses. We sense something of them when we engage with the magic in nature.
Let us return to Christmas. Children's souls are seized by the Christmas story. In them, the inner God is not yet overlaid by the ego. The inner star still shines, and it is reflected in the soul space of the child. We could learn something from this. Christmas should result in us allowing that which takes place unconsciously in the children’s souls to occur consciously in us also.
And what about the Corona crisis? We are urged to keep our distance from each other. But the outer distance is only a mirror of the great inner distance, indeed of being separated from the centre of our being, from the source of light, the source of warmth and fire within us. The corona restrictions and the rational coldness associated with them demonstrate our situation. They make us realise that we generally live in the cold, away from the innermost hearth. The generally existing coldness is only somewhat intensified by the restrictions. In economic life, this coldness has been prevalent for a long time: in business dealings with each other, in dealing with the earth, in dealing with the indigenous cultures of peoples.
Is this now the final result of occidental culture?
Something has come alive in me, something like an outcry. Maybe it's the same for others, maybe it's happening right now, these days. Something is stirring inside me, a source of light casts its light into soul spaces. And this light wants to unite with the light of others. The inner God, rejected, branded as a heretic, repressed, forgotten – He begins to awaken. He is the basis for being human, the basis of every human being, regardless of whether they are religious or not.
When the inner God awakens, soul eyes develop and a new consciousness arises. We see, we experience something of the inner worlds.
In the course of my life, I have dealt a lot with the material side of things. But at the same time I have experienced that living in matter is only one side of the coin. We also reach into the transcendent, into the divine, into dimensions that go beyond time and space.
Christmas is celebrated in the darkest of nights. That is where we might have now arrived. Then the turning of our lives can take place. We can set out to become whole. We can set about healing the great wound within us.
And Corona? What does Corona have to do with it? We will look at this in the second part of the article.
(to be continued in part 2)