FOR the very reason that men do not glimpse outside of their own splendor for very long, or indeed effectively, there is that which does save them from the consideration of inertia and dullness also.
When men strike confidence within themselves, and by which are so self-bound as to refute the world before their own wisdoms, it is from a quality so endowed in ego which is lastingly good and godlike by nature and inclination. The certainty of one’s ego and one’s direction is born firstly from that same certainty of God; with there being lesser characteristics following to distinguish a false confidence in lesser activity.
A false confidence is one which is falsely based; i.e. wherein the individual is clearly wrong about something, the judgment has gone awry, and yet there is little or no perception of the fact, and little or no connection with the outer reality or inner truth.
However, if a man is to know something, then he must be given the right to know what he does know; and were one to forcibly shake just one certainty out from his gather, he should then be corrupted and lessened in regards to all. Disillusioned, he would become inept and without the compulsion to evermore learn – and inertia (a spiritual disease of soul-consciousness, which afflicts the mind - when there is one) (or forces thereof) would set upon the individual, who in lackluster treatise would become most ineffectual within the world.
Fortunately there is no simple way to unhinge a man in this way, and so the events of this happening are exceedingly rare. The point is though, that there is a responsibility of attitude by this that we can arrive at, and an understanding of one’s place unto another, and furthermore of Christ’s position in this as well.
In reference to there being a cloak of invisibility that one could don at will, we may take the consideration of Christ of the Gospels as He beseeched His beloved to make recognition, whilst time and time again was refused; even the belief in Him, let alone the vision of the obvious. As our first example of this cloak, now transversed, we may go to our Master and wonder why it was that He was not 'seen' or understood or comprehended with clarity to be He who He was. This is an important point.
The frustrations that are often experienced in one soul who is keen to share realities with another but cannot because the other individual stares back blankly as if there is no such thing brought before them, this basic frustration that one may experience from another is best to be understood and worked through, rather than aggravated with annoyance.
For there are two types of communication that can be shared between men: one is where there are 'toes dipped in water' wherein the consciousness flits in and out and to and fro, from self into logic then quasi-logic, with only a little rapport. In this instance the distance is marked, and each man is quite separate even though there is a consciousness-meet wherein they agree in kind. The separation is natural to the necessity of knowing who is who (that being that which distinguishes one from the other) which is elementary to individual life, whilst also perfunctionary to an underdeveloped consciousness also.
The second form of communication is empathetic, sympathetic and, in a higher sphere, sequelogistic to the soul comprehension. Here there has been a space given willingly by each participant, to which they go, away from their own definition’s restraints, and meet consciousness in communication, in experience, direct experience - which is not solely worked out within the one mind of one party, but is cohesive and accurate to the two.
In other words, in this mingle there becomes a temporary conjoining, which really thereby, has been a moment or so which was shared completely. By contrast to 'toe-dipping' we may liken this to full immersion; and so the communications shared between individuals do vary and differ markedly.
The space which is given over to where the two souls may meet, is a space made by the heart, which is the only true entrance into a man that he shall initially give his faith, to enable some other to be warranted worthy for communication. In this we find Christ asking of the men for them, to make a space in their hearts that they should believe in Him, so that He would then be made known to them, as they to He. Without this consent the men who sought evidence would find none, and the grand majesty of soul would go unrealized, as was proved.
One cannot come to the unknown by way of the mind or intellect, as this would be contrary to logic in the first instance. Either a man comes to what he does know, learning anew, or he must find a capability which would be outside of his mind to enable the addition. For mind alone cannot increase other than in parallels - it cannot add to itself complete contrasts from what substance it already has.
Intrinsic to our beings is our preoccupation with relevancy. That we may be specific to only a handful of realities at the one time is a gift which assists the consciousness and the soul to live in time, and experience wakefulness. If a man could not be particular, and was not insensitive to the many myriads of spiritual realities which breathe through him and accompany his immediate life, then he should have little or no knowledge of self or contrast of self, and therefore self consciousness. He would be and become all else firstly.
So the gift of self and of knowing self is valuable and to be respected. No matter how important it may appear to our selves that another individual come to our understandings as we have them, one can see that their station and aspect of self and the protection thereof, is of more gravity. One may not forcibly request a mutual meeting in thinking or in being; and further to this one can actually step back and become less persuasive in attitude, whilst more effective in soul experience.
Many men go to break the egg to find the chick, not waiting for the bird to manifest in its own time. They would will for another, rather than love for another – the approach is all or nothing and therefore ill-satisfying.
Later on, if a man lives in commonness, he shall only seek out the company of those in which there is a shared likeness, because he cannot stand the frustration of trying to bend others to him. His narrow hatreds will deepen because they are born from intolerance and weak mindedness, dismissing the value of all which is unknown.
This is yet another case for the exercise of heart logic. If we think with our hearts we may find another way to actually confer with a man; one in which he will be pleased and enhanced, as we too would hope to be.
Let this be said furthermore - the story of Cinderella is just that; as we may find:
We begin with the picture of the hearth, as it was the sweet Cinders’ title to attend to the space in which the fires would burn heartily. Let this space be now her heart, which is given over to the household and to the world. She does clear away the ashes that she may prepare for the fires to burn again. In this there is truth that the soul’s love which inflames our inner spaces, graced by spirit and the life of the spirit, becomes choked with residue and the impulses subside, ever needing prompting back to life; for love and love’s passion, does ebb and flow in rhythmic obedience. There is the time in which we contain the fire, and the time in which we clean the hearth and prepare for its coming again.
Cinders had two sisters which dominated this story: Slovenliness and Wickedness. These sisters were unlike her in nature, bearing little or no resemblance to the child of the heart/hearth.
There was to be an occasion. A prince of the district was to hold a gala party that he may choose a wife to couple with. The sisters were eager to try their chances. The prince resembled all that a stately soul should be, in upright virtue, in strength and in capability. Therefore the acquaintance and subsequent mingling was desirable. For it can be said too, that when an individual truly meets in soul with another friend, then the qualities are shared. This is why we seek our Christ in combining, as best influence upon our humble natures.
Returning to the story: The haughty sisters mocked Cinders that she would wish to go to the Prince’s party. This party was the community host of all his invited confederates. This other soul has opened himself to the world at large, that he may seek out true commune in spirit, and so by inviting all of those who would accept the invitation (and others who would not) he has gone through the necessary obligations of being openhearted as well as openminded. For we must remember that all men are unknown to us, unless we truly know them. Should we really come to know them, then there is much love and affinity thereby. However, at the stage he was at, the Prince was seeking for his soul’s commune (that being the theme of this story) and so he was open to all, that he may find that which was especial.
The sisters are attributed to be quite ugly, but did do the best they could, dressing themselves in common finery, pretending that the outer appearance could conceal their sinful and lazy natures. In the outer world this does happen, that a man may feel uplifted, almost morally, by such clothes which are stately- however, it may be but a good guise and little more; particularly if the individual wears pride as well. And proud these two were, as they did strut with self admiration.
Here now, our picture of sweet Cinders is of rags, and she is overcome with the soot-black of ash upon her white skin. Why then should it be this way, that the pure of heart is portrayed so forlorn? This is because the soul is wanting and is not fulfilled. The closer to God that a soul does become, the more it suffers the world. It does also come to great happiness accordingly, however.
When the sisters had departed, Cinders fell into great upset at her self’s condition. If we are to review ourselves by comparison, we shall always find disparity; and so it is that the sadness came, but was answered in the appearance of an Angel. The Angel appeared to Cinders in beauty and in radiance, saying "You shall go to the party tonight, and I have come to help you."
That Cinders was to attend was ordained by her right to do so. The assistance that she was given is one that we all have. Although our angel’s presence goes unrecognized (for they are forbidden to make themselves known), in this special story our Cinders catches the vision of her intervening Angel and hears her speak.
Our physical presence which carries us through a lifetime in the world, is comprised of the service of both the animal and plant kingdoms. The transformation of pumpkin into coach was an example of this; as quite so, our physical bodies are just such an issue, wherein the dear contributory kingdoms serve to bear our souls by their constant reformation.
Cinders herself was clothed anew in the most beautiful of wraps, with also two crystal shoes upon her feet. In her case the outfit bore the resemblance of her inner nature, inasmuch as she was worthy to wear the finery. It was produced from the Angel herself, and of much better material than could be purchased within the world.
The crystal shoes are significant, for they are the connection she has within the world, and they represent the very clarity of being, true to the world in perceiving how it is for what it is. Shoes are our protection, and they may be of fashion as well as practical, however they are worn to soften our relationship with the world, and do cordon our selves from the immediate reality. By the wearing of crystal slippers, Cinders is still quite separate and protected from the tearing and scratching and skinning of coarse grounds, but is connected in the most refined way possible, as her perceptions of the world are nonetheless accurate – therefore she meets with the world in a consciousness of purity. Only she was entitled to wear them; and this was so because there was no selfishness to mark and mar the clarity.
The Angel made warning that there was but a definite time for which Cinders could make use of her equipment; that she must indeed return home before midnight, for then it should happen that all would return to how it was.
When Cinders made her entrance she appeared exquisite and quite obviously beautiful. The Prince immediately recognized this, and had come to see the quenching of his longings; for there was this other soul which was in likeness to his, and with space waiting there to fill; for she had gone in faith and with open expectation.
The love became a rapture and they danced together for the length of the night. But as the late hours did filter into the new morning’s day, Cinderella (Cinders now made beautiful), lost her strength in magic glamor as she remembered the Angel’s warning of returning back. She fled the court lest he catch her great indignity - leaving behind one of two crystal shoes.
That which the Prince had retained was rightfully now his to keep. For this is the way of soul commune, that there is always the remaining evidence and shared qualities; so one of the shoes became of his belonging. It is significant also because they both shared now a same connection with the world, and that he would come to know this to seek it further.
The Prince had no immediate way of finding his love directly. The powers of soul are illusive, and perhaps better understood to say that our comprehensions are many, with not one being so constant as to prevail over all. Continuance is always assured - that we pick up and return to this and that understanding, situation or soul. But change occurs in lively fashion, for without change, there becomes inertia leading to subsequent expiration; which necessitates a different change regardless. So he took charge to find his beloved, in whom he experienced a mutual knowing - but he knew not enough to simply recognize her by sight alone!
How often Christ has appeared to those who knew Him, but knew Him not! The way in which they could come to Him, once again, was not by this the visual appearance, and not by expectation born of themselves, but in being true to the spiritual reality, in meeting with crystal clear connection (the other half recollected), knowing that the love between you both verily made two sets of keys. You may go into the space of faith, into the heart, to find Him.
The noble search continued until the Prince happened upon the cottage in which Cinders took rest. Pushing their way before her, the sisters were determined to press their feet into the shoe - bleeding and crushing, bones cracked and toes looped off. But even so, there was no fit, and their false proof of soul-hood came to no real description. It was then that Cinderella was given the opportunity and so placed her foot in his half of the pair. Of course, the fit was perfect! It could not have been otherwise, and he knew her to be the one that he longed for.
Without the shoe he may have well bypassed this individual and kept up the lonely search. By appearance only we are ill-informed. Her costume given to her from the Angel, was one which showed only substance of soul; but it could not survive as visible within the outer world for long – it had to withdraw.
As it is said, the heart sees what the eyes do not; and contrariwise, the heart is a gentle informant. We can be peaceful in the proposition that others rarely see us as we are in truth. Although there most certainly will come the day when aspects are shared openly and obviously, for the time being there is a self protection for immature egos, that they develop a sense of self firstly; and then may go on to such sharing amongst selves in the greater outreach.
If we are aware of this, then we shall immediately lessen our penetrating influences upon others: those that impinge or dominate, or devastate the less developed individual. Once again it is a matter of understanding and attitude that people shall come to understandings with us and by us at the time when we cease to force ourselves upon them.
Our cloaks of humility are apparent when we are relaxed in our selves (and no, this does not mean inebriated or casual, or inconsiderate or sleepy). In spiritual definition it means that the inner tensions of want and will are divorced from our interest in another, and our love for their being prevails over personal desire. Our desire here of course, is that of being seen for who we are etc., and so we may forgo even that in order to meet them with love. This is not to say that we wear a cloak of falsehood or deception, for that kind brings sadness to both souls and no real convening.
Expressions of love from men, bring the gods their great happiness. We can only give love where it is chosen to be received; and if the space is not there for us to go into, there is no reality thus given it. And the space shall not be made if there is no faith there within that heart – as so cried Christ, for us to believe in Him.
The Prince did find his sweetheart and delivered her from the service of the sisters. The three were truly the one – our sweet souls are mocked thus by our own laziness and wickedness, which pretend to be beauteous and worthy of another soul’s consideration. When we have departed from these two undesirables, when we listen to our Angel’s counsel and pursue our heart’s destiny with clarity within the world, then it shall happen accordingly that we will find our destiny through faith, in believing of the greater love that shall one day come to reclaim us.
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...