"If my mind is not quiet, empty, poor in spirit, what can enter there? Inner silence has two valuable moral consequences.
"The first benefit of inner silence is that it is essential to listening to someone else speak. If we cannot quiet our own mind when we are listening, if our whole concentration is instead on our anticipated response or on what we think, then our attention is not focused at all on the other person or what they are saying.
"In some lectures published under the title: The Inner Aspect of the Social Question, Rudolf Steiner suggests the practice of seeking to hear the presence, of what he calls "the Christ Impulse", in the other's thinking. This is very difficult. It is not just listening, but a feeling-imagining of the heart felt purposes living in the speaker. What brings them to speak so? What life path has brought them to this place? Even if they are throwing "stones" at us, we must still "actively" listen; otherwise, there will be no understanding of their humanity.
"There is a wonderful experience possible here, when we have won past our antipathetic judgment and actually have begun to hear what lives in the other speaker. Each of us has learned in life some wisdom, and these little jewels lie every where around us, often in the most improbable places, the most unsuspected souls. These treasures are often hidden only by the darkness we cast over the world through our unredeemed thought-judgments.
"The second benefit is this. Unless I am silent, and empty, that is poor in spirit, how will it be possible for the Mystery to touch me?
"John 3:8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit
"The Mystery goes where it wills. If we are not listening outwardly, we well may miss it when it appears through others. An inflated sense of self righteousness will certainly interfere. How much have we missed in life because we did not listen to what was being offered? Even a piece of an overheard passing conversation on a bus, which seems to jump into our silent waiting, may have an import just for us. And inwardly? The Mystery is silence itself, quiet, like an angel's beating wings. How much has been offered to us just there as well, a barely audible whispering that our own internal rambling dialogue has covered over in its insistent and restless commentary.
""It thinks in me" spoke
Rudolf Steiner. The Mystery
has its own will. "It" comes like a gentle wind, when "it" wills, and
prepare the way by "learning to think on our knees", as Valentin
another passionate seeker I find very helpful, has advised. Two acts,
one our own."
Then there is what I wrote in my book the Way of the Fool,
in that part of the section in the appendex called: 2)
Sacrifice of Thoughts: cleaning out
the garden of the mind before growing new insights, and
other unusual properties of our
Steiner spoke of what he called: it
thinks in me, which is a kind of scientific, or reasoned
introspective observation of something occuring in the soul; while
Valentin Tomberg wrote of what he called: thinking on your knees, which is
the same thing seen from the side of devotion. Christ, in the
Sermon on the Mount, comes at it from this direction: blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven, which means that when we are empty
inwardly (poor in spirit) contact with the higher worlds is made more
possible. What this has become in my experience, I will call the
mind feeling-sensation of fullness.
and which I will next describe in a little detail.
"Many years ago I started to notice that
various intutions of an excellent qualitative nature (new thoughts)
were accompanied by a unusual kind of soul-sensation. I would be
thinking, and there would be this feeling, and with the feeling would
come the new thought content. Often this arose when a certain
question was living in me. I would would be seeking, and the
answer would be preceeded by this mind feeling-sensation of presence or fullness.
"The essence of the feeling was that I was
not alone inwardly. At the same time the presence did not
advertise itself in the sense of saying something really weird like: hi. I'm a spirit, and I'm here to
give you a message from above. The fullness was really only a sign
that my thinking activity would be meet by a cooperative presence, who
was not interested in credit, but rather only responding to my
heartfelt question. Over time, whenever I began to hear this wind
blow [John 3:8 The wind blows
where it wills, and you
hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it
goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit] when I was
thinking, more and more I would then stop whatever I was doing and
write down what I thought.
if I was driving a car, I would pull over to the side of the
road. If I was in bed, thinking as we do, and this sense of fullness came, I would get
up. Always, it was my own activity that inaugurated the result,
and what was happening was only a kind of cooperation that I could not
only sense, but I could count on when sensing it that my thinking would
deepen, and produce new content, new thoughts never before thought.
the sense of fullness was quite strong. There were nights I could
not sleep, or even write, but only be awake and think (these mostly
were personal, in the sense of facing certain issues of my own nature
and karma). Yet, the fact remains, that the more I honored this presence of fullness and the fullness of
presence, the richer
was my understanding of the world, and of myself and others.
Barfield, mentioned above, describes this from another direction.
In his book (previously mentioned), Saving
the Appearances: a Study in Idolatry, Barfield describes the
evolution of consciousness using these broad terms: original
participation; the on-looker separation; and final participation.
We, many incarnations ago, were naturally integrated with the world of
spirit - that was original participation. With the on-looker
separation (what we called above the enchantment into materialism, or
the Ahrimanic Deception), we were set free of this prior given
relationship to the Divine Mystery. Final participation is a
choice we make. We are free not to seek reintegration. In
the case of the presence of fullness
and the fullness of presence (it thinks
in me) we begin that reintegration by an act of will, in our
own minds, in full consciousness and by our own choice.
the less I am there in a certain way (sacrificing my prior thinking -
i.e. poor in spirit), the more room there is for the other-presence of
Spirit (the kingdom of heaven). Then we think together (final
the same, we have to keep in mind that we are so individual in our
nature and temperment, needs and capacities, that there is no common
path - each Way is individual
and unique. All that we really share is the struggle, the
failures, the getting up again and trying once more."
the reader will now see my problem with regard to considering myself
the sole author of my forms