Rudolf Steiner's weekly meditations

Artistic Response

Here is my artistic response to this week's Soul-Calendar-33 meditation verse by Rudolf Steiner. For a brief introduction to this project, please see the blog post for week 49, which is when I started this..

Soul-Calendar-33 meditation

Rudolf Steiner's original soul-calendar-33 meditation
17-23 November

So fühle ich erst die Welt,
Die ausser meiner Seele Miterleben
An sich nur frostig leeres Leben
Und ohne Macht sich offenbarend,
In Seelen sich von neuem schaffend,
In sich den Tod nur finden könnte.

My translation
So feel I at first the world,
Which outside my soul’s sympathy
By itself only frosty empty life
And without power itself revealing,
In souls itself anew creating,
Within itself death only to find could.

See also

*As I don't want to infringe any copyright, I am offering my own, literal, translations here. There are many excellent translations available at but keep in mind that most translations lose at least some of the various possible meanings that lie within the original German. Starman's translation tends to be the most literal.

My interpretation of the soul-calendar-33 meditation

This is a beautiful and interesting and challenging verse. Now for the first time perhaps I realise more fully that the world around me cannot and should not be thought of as separate from myself. And it's not simply the notion that I and the world are one, but that the world actually needs me in the most fundamental sense. I am reminded again of the 'I am that I am' from the Old Testament (Torah), which teaches me that the Divine needs the world to know Itself, just as I need the Divine to know myself (or perhaps I need to know myself to know the divine, or perhaps both). And in my evolutionary path towards self-knowledge I am not merely pleasing myself, but am in fact working for the entire world, the entire cosmos. The idea that the world would be much better off without the human being thereby shows itself as an abstraction, which actually affirms rather than overcomes separation. No, this verse shows me that I am inseparable from the world. without the world I would surely perish, but the world without me, without the human being, would equally perish. It seems to be our taks to become conscious of the extent to which we are key players in the evolution of the world and espeically in the furtherance of the spiritual worlds, who need us to become enriched in soul and spirit through this incarnated life so that our transformation in relation to the material world bears fruit for the spiritual world. In other words, we seem to be the 'middle men' between heaven and earth, to put it bluntly. So perhaps I should take this so-called self-improvement and spiritual work a bit more seriously and realise I'm really not just doing it for myself. No, indeed, the world depends on it! It's a daunting thought and a huge responsibility. Let's keep working at it.

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