YOU know of the long and lengthy passage - at one time or another, there you were in such an aisle that was confined to either following through to the end or resuming the entrance. You know the sort of corridor, whereby the width is so tight that were one to advance upon another, try to pass or confront another person, the space between would be noticeably constricted and uncomfortably so.
In such a long corridor, there one is momentarily locked into confrontations and made aware of presences and personages who would otherwise make but vague impressions, if impression at all.
When we combine our solitudes and encounter the relationship which is forged within a given group, it is as though we enter into the narrowed corridor within each other's scrutiny, inflicting a new set of points to orbit, establishing a vision which is confined and set.
We have discussed previously the entities who may be claimed by particular gatherings and bonds of men. We have entered into the problems whereby a man may be conferred to forfeit all that is his for the sake of the larger party, but today we shall examine the blessing of community in the pursuit of spiritual endeavor.
Firstly it must be said, that Man may well be or become a vain and haughty creature should he come to learn of his power of summoning. For it is that the dear spirits - both the higher and the lesser angelic beings and their companions - all are unwittingly obliging, and almost one could say, compelled to draw near when called upon. Particularly this is the case when a body of men and women search the ethers intensely and invoke their presence by prayer and by topic voiced.
Perhaps too, they may have far more than they did bargain for, or their entitlement. For soft and tenuous utterings are received and hurriedly replied to. It is fact that there is much eagerness on behalf of the kindly beings, to heed any such welcome - even the dubious or doubtful.
It is not to be imagined that the insensitivity of Man is so interpreted by accusation. It is understood and appreciated by those who have vision to see, that there are limitations, which by ordinary standards inhibit a man from breaking through his perception and running into the arms of les invisibles. Nor should this, at this point, be so desired; for here the ordinances are clear: the bow may not combine with the violin save to quiver the strings. It is their relationship to each other that creates- a blending of the two would be to no advantage.
It is true that there are such groups of men who seek to manipulate devas and devils, even too they suggest, dear angels also, and err from mischievous to destructive design. For these men who are cajoled upon the path of upset and evil desire, there can never be anything other than unhappy outcomes. Devices and rituals, empowerments and ill-used inverted sacraments, invoke powerfully malevolent characters who seize the humanity out from the man who invites them at will.
Isn't it of note particularly, that the 'black' path intentionally wills and commands, pronounces and dictates, when they only have to ask? Furthermore, it is the very attraction to such power-lust that invokes the very beings who have similar urges and designs, and are far more competent than the men involved; whilst also, eager to associate!
So one must be careful when entering in upon the subject of precisely how 'compelled' as it were, the beings of love, are to love. This is a compelling of an entirely different order and fashion whereby the soul or angel would fail to delight in the company of an evil malevolent man; and too, become constrained, held back from the repelling impulses.
However, when there becomes a gathering of genuine souls who desire to incorporate, the locality abounds with the gracious, the curious and even the fantastic! This is why there may be good reason for time provided for which there is an open forum, so that the study-group may become somewhat inspired by the contribution of one or more of the guests-invisible. This is not to suggest that there becomes an unsavory attempt to be mouthpieces for formless, voiceless words - mediumship is not required, but moreso that one may refine their intuition and be sensitive enough to come to the general nature within and without.
So too - this is very important - if for some reason there is an atmosphere which is unconducive to proceeding harmoniously, if this can be sensed afore time, it may be remedied by concerted prayer precisely for such. One need not develop fixations, which of themselves can become unwholesome, however, do be mindful that loving assistance and inspiration is ever at hand, literally.
The corridor-phenomenon, as experienced, does exaggerate the best and the worst attributes of each and every participant. Perhaps this is why individuals seek to counter this by extreme methods of inducing relaxation - socially or in group-effort - for the intensity may turn to aggravation, if not relieved.
The actual premises can make a difference here. Weather permitting, a group will find immediate relief if they may take small sessions outdoors. This shall provide the exact, if not more, 'ease' for individuals than say: over-humor, wine, party games etc. Of course recreation is beneficial too, in its place; depending upon what it is the group-study intends to steer the group-boat into, as it were. (Throw in another 'as it were' for good measure.)
The beauty is, on the other hand, that one cannot, should not, be emphatic about an infant group-body whereby it becomes either crippled from restriction or frail from an accelerated maturity. A group-body will be characteristically individual and comparable to no other. And unless the same mix of men and women gather repeatedly, the nature and characteristic will shift and alter also.
Similarly, one may choose to forge a study-group in one locality to comply with the reading and ritual of another (say, for example Sandringham) but it will never come close to being adhered to; even though it may present the same.
One must remember that as regards this work especially, we are essentially under the one umbrella and this is understood. Our visions - all of us - and our aspirations, reach up and out to the one source and we must not become unsure or insecure in this, just because our starry lights of soul activity appear disconnected. This will be so: our larger community, regardless of this and that group.
A body of men may provide for two things in the world however: They may nurture each other and bring great revelations to be, by their concerted effort as a group - witness by the equation of two, and three and four and so forth. This is a power indeed, for a shared moment of inspiration infills the being with a greater recollection that remains ad infinitum. This is the stuff of future relationships for all men.
Secondly, as a body of men - openhearted, open-minded and wonder-filled - there can be such a good influence imparted to the world at large that there is a healing as given all of its own. For it is weakness and the ensuing sickness which is born firstly from spiritual malady - the repeated conflicts and agonies expressed and impressed, propounding and compounding, gaining on the free-spirit of Man. Group effort may answer this.
Christ Himself needs to be wanted. We are well to be reminded that there is no shame in needing to be wanted and also wanting to be needed - and furthermore, in "knocking on those secret doors".
When we venture into the great and profound mysteries, we do so nimbly. If we have the good fortune of good company alongside us, then we may be sure that the warmth and stimulation will exchange apprehension for anticipation, desperation for fervor, effort for application; and the eyes of love will be keen and bright as to one day behold the brilliance, which in truth surrounds them.
To gather in reverence and consideration is as an open asking. We ask for ourselves, for our companions, and on behalf of the greater world.
Commiserations and congratulations fledglings! (And also, to you, dear J.H. Sen.)
Masters at Steiner's Esoteric Classes - July 9, 1904, Berlin. Stenographic notes by Franz Seiler: First a prayer spoken by Dr. Steiner. Then a remark that the masters are speaking through Dr. St...