The commonplace man learns best by good example, this is true. There are many ways in which one can temper their appearance of goodness if the goodness itself is contemptible to the sinner. By and large we meet infrequently with most, and it is that every meeting with every individual holds significance, wonderful significance and opportunity also…………….
But if a man cannot come to love or to meaning without the illusion of such then it is better to know what is what and what is not.
Granted, the cunning is there ... that a man believes the doorways are then opened, that in sharing the common drink the magic has awakened one unto another. The happiness from this mistake is embittered by the shrinking within; for shrinking it is…………… we find that the vitality of the etheric case has dulled and sagged within his aura. The subtle form takes on a cower, as the thinking becomes depressed and the feelings become heavy.
It is understood that the subscription to moderation is an appeasement for all concerned. In the strictest of terms however, it should be explained that the forces which interact with a man in conjunction with any amount of alcoholic beverage are depressive to the ego and depressive to the overall condition of Man as well…………….
It has been said that we as teachers are aloof from the karmic recourse inspired by our students. With a romantic idealism our same students believe that they can bear all responsibility for us and protect us from outcome lest things ever go awry. But this is not so - neither is it of our ability or choosing.
Having said that, the consideration therefore remains: that we may only be attached and involved with our beloved providing that they do not misrepresent us or cause harm to other brothers in our name. For in relation to our work and representation all becomes our responsibility first and foremostly, and in being so we are answerable for what is passed from one unto another. Even though our co-workers strive to ease their brother's condition and being, we must warn against what we know to be perilous, and withdraw from those who encourage other men to partake in this way.
For a teacher, be it here or there, the actual sharing out of any amount of alcohol denotes a karma which is responsible for the blight upon that man's ego. It is therefore the very worst encouragement a teacher could offer - in or out of 'hours', the karma remains the same. And all of this does not take into account the actual upset it causes within the weaker constitution and how sadly the ego of a lesser man is injured yet once more.
So you can see that it is for the safety of our future work with other men that we cannot afford to keep associations intact where in truth we have already been departed from. Why this to such importance? Why not gluttony, greed or ill-temper? When Man stands on the side of death and willingly invites those repulsive forces into himself then he defies our Father and Christ into the bargain. The laws are exactly the same as with the man who chooses suicide - to poison oneself and yet 'live' is still remarkable to that which would turn back upon itself; it is unholy.
Gluttony is an abundance of life so desired beyond the capacity to make profitable that consumption. It is excessive by nature, but in virtue may be transmuted into great effort and further striving. The same forces which plague that temperament also imply that same person shall take on upon themselves more work, more prayer, and ever more promise, ever stretching themselves beyond their immediate reach; and when managed well they do bring the recipe also for an extended man when the sin of gluttony makes its way for the greater virtue of deliberate striving.
Pride in its shortcomings inhibits the true perspective of a man, that he may not measure himself in accordance with the reality of Grace being his greatest benefactor. When put to remedy, pride transforms back into the heavenly dignity which asserts its righteous self fixed firmly in Christ. To be lukewarm in identity and in ego does not necessarily imply that one is without pride. Often as not it is pride which queries the 'right' to a firm standing in righteousness. Its virtue leads us to know of the upright power within the man which identifies his Christly demeanor.
In sins of passion it is the man who travails the expression and experience himself……….
The consequence of heroin or marijuana usage is that the bodies of the man lose their cohesiveness, slipping out from each other; the ego may become divorced and detached, but is left nonetheless, intact.
The consequence of alcohol is that the etheric body is shot with premature expiration; the lower astral body is imbued with 'life' force and so stimulated; the higher astral body is cut off from the consciousness as the gateway through the heart is then closed……………
In this we have a direct strike to Christ who in truth resides in our egos equally to that of our hearts, for it is in the developing Man that He has invested unique qualities which have given him the opportunities to self-realize, God-realize, correspond and co-create with a consciousness that will one day define the very constellations.
You ask why it is that all this has not been put to you as clearly and dramatically as is now. Occult knowledge has always the propensity to be used for evil ways. Whatever the esoteric learning concerns there is, unfortunately, an element that could be misused and turn powerfully dangerous…………….
Whether or not the goodhearted student may fathom the complexity, we can only add to this by saying that there does exist in the world such forces which would bring all men down, would that they could. Not all evil is naive, but rather is maliciously designed in aggressive onslaught. To these concerns which we do not always openly give our attention to, or acknowledge, we still hold a quiet vigilance against, as do our supporting team of the practicing 'good guys'. It is a marvelous inspiration to all (for teachers included) that the pious should desire to be examples to and of our future Man.
In the sacrament of Holy Communion, where wine is in use, we are witnessing an exorcism (when achieved) when Christ may reclaim once again his men. "This is my blood" we are told by Christ - that our blood is of His Ego……………And for this there is a mighty consequence, further to the Incarnation when we restore Christ into our beings and into those spaces to which He belongs.
But in practice one could not safely [do this] every time they were to take the recreational sip!
Our Lord is the True Vine, and for that which, before His coming we may have sought Him in, let it be now sung in praise that He may come to us directly - not even in extraction, or in substance, but before us whole and presently as known by our heart. The greater mystery of ego is that we can know Him; to knowingly know Him.
As the individual ego is reclaimed after a period of time, the revelations shall be all the more marvelous, the experiences of soul more gracious and vivid. Time periods differ from one man to the next, and the astral clouds which enshroud the consciousness may hover for many months after the very last gulp. However, in contrast to this the strengthening begins almost immediately in that the etheric renewal can work a constant at last, and the inspiration incoming does excite the imaginative forces (rather than the lower astral centers involved). The rewards of study and of prayer are in time quite intensified, whilst a new sense of egohood begins. The naturalness in aspect and in worship is once again brought in to the being of the adult within.
For some unfortunate folk who may labor with even the thought of abstinence, we may understand that their wills have been weakened in the experience, and this weakening itself is endorsed every time in the combining. Of course whether it be in this lifetime or the next, there is only one action, one statement, one pathway to cease the spiral downwards.
Every man, as with heroin also, has his own limit of strength, and it is impossible to forecast that one last time the decision is to be had before there becomes no turning back. For some it could be that they remain to be seemingly unchanged in self, but in esoteric observation we cannot recommend a moderate approach offers any more safety than otherwise, for it is that the powers invoked are present in any quantity of the substance and the man is immediately affected whatever the potency.
Also in summation, we may understand something of the 'commonplace man' and the conditions he may be caught in. We can view all mistakes compassionately, knowing that most men move about the world quite oblivious to its underside or brighter side. 'Normal' life confounds them whilst the actual day-to-day marvels elude them. Thinking becomes habitual, rather than experiential and the humblest of desires prevail. Yet all the while each man lives in preparation, and also in a reliance that there will be those somewhere that they can depend upon, that they may look to, to find their true soul's glory. If we are so fortunate as to be removed from a tangle of problems, then we are in the very best position to live that example so mentioned. Homeopathically we can be then either very very good for the world, or sadly we can also impact to great detriment; but a man who has kept his clarity saved but for Christ is always reliably 'on call'.
And on call he is, for there are moments all around the Globe whereupon souls are necessary to be at worship, and be with insight in their region. While some sleep and some are occupied it is required for the very sake of the spiritual life of all, that there are a number of men who can meet the spiritual worlds with this, so that Christ may continue His Living Link. Every man who can add to this with his being is exceptionally important - particularly at this time, when the incarnating souls are still so few. Even with some who have had lifetimes of readiness, we have watched them simply 'disappear' (as it is to us) out from the realms of their spiritual linkages. Some come in and go out. Some remain. It is far more alarming to us to have such go, and know that it could and should have been otherwise.
We love you too.
Rudolf Steiner on Alcohol