Rudolf Steiner's weekly meditations
soul-calendar-39

Artistic Response

Here is my artistic response to this week's Soul-Calendar-39 meditation verse by Rudolf Steiner. I hope to do this every week in 2020. Let's see how it goes, I may not be able to keep strictly to the weekly post, but am interested in using this as an anchor for my life in the coming year. And "if not now, when?" (Rumi?), in other words, it's been on my mind, so I might as well get on with it. Hopefully this will be meaningful to some of you.

I often use the translation by John Thomson,. The edition I have of this has beautiful images by Anne Stockton, but here I will post the original German meditation and then my own (literal) translation. The artistic response above is informed by my work, singly and jointly with local friends, with the Thomson translation and also by several other translations (for example by Ruth and Hans Pusch, George Adams. Owen Barfield). See also calendarofthesoul.net where you can see a range of translations into English and other languages.

Soul-Calendar-39 meditation

Rudolf Steiner's original soul-calendar-39 meditation
29 December - 4 January
An Geistesoffenbarung hingegeben
Gewinne ich des Weltenwesens Licht.
Gedankenkraft, sie wächst
Sich klärend mir mich selbst zu geben,
Und weckend löst sich mir
Aus Denkermacht das Selbstgefühl.


My translation:

To spirit-revelation surrendered
I reach the world-essence’s light.
Thought-strength, it grows
While clearing itself to give me my self,
And waking loosens itself for me
From thinker-power the self-feeling.

My interpretation of the soul-calendar-39 meditation

Once I give my self over to the revelation of spirit, I reach the universal light, the light that forms the essence, the innermost being of the world, the cosmos. My ability to think grows and while it does so, it 'clears' or clarifies myself to myself. In other words, through the clarity of thinking I begin the become clear about who or what I truly am. So I am gifted my true self, as in 'know yourself'. At the same time, this waking up also allows me to distinguish as well as tune in to the feeling of myself as self, in addition to the knowledge of myself as self. 
It's worth noting that in the previous and this verse, there is very little direct reference to the outer world, to what goes in in nature, but in earlier verses there is a gradual turning inside out of the relationship between nature and our inner experience. Now, in soul-calendar-39, we're almost entirely withdrawn within, concentrating all our strength of thinking (or meditative strength) on (re)discovering ourselves. But we can only do this through the forces that have been bestowed on us from nature and the cosmos througout the spring and summer. 

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