Rudolf Steiner's weekly meditations
soul-calendar-42

Artistic Response

Here is my artistic response to this week's Soul-Calendar-42 meditation verse by Rudolf Steiner. For a brief introduction to this project, please see my first couple of posts on the blog pages. See also calendarofthesoul.net where you can see a range of translations into English and other languages.

Soul-Calendar-42 meditation

Rudolf Steiner's original soul-calendar-42 meditation
January 19-25

Es ist in diesem Winterdunkel
Die Offenbarung eigner Kraft
Der Seele starker Trieb,
In Finsternisse sie zu lenken
Und ahnend vorzufühlen
Durch Herzenswärme Sinnesoffenbarung.

My translation
It is in this winter-darkness
The revelation of own strength
The soul’s strong drive,
In darkness her to steer
And expectantly to anticipate
Through heart’s-warmth senses’-revelation

My interpretation of the soul-calendar-42 meditation

In the dark of winter, the soul is eager to reveal it's own strength. In fact, the soul has to reveal its own strenth to carry me through this time of darkness. But that's just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The soul is desiring deeply to come to herself, to find herself and to be master of herself. She wants to be her own guide in this darkness and develop out of herself, from the depth of heart-warmth a feeling for what comes to it through the senses. We're of course still in winter (in the Northern hemisphere) and in the part of the world where I live (Scotland), nature is still withdrawn. However, the buds are on the trees and seem ready, anticipating the gradually lengthening days and increasing warmth. But it's still some tiem before that will happen. The soul too, anticipates the Spring, when once again nature will become active and the senses will be saturated with new sense-impressions of a myriad of form and colour and scent, sound and sense. So I wonder if in this verse Rudolf Steiner is really indicating that deep down, the soul is already imagining the blossoming of nature, filling itself with mental pictures of what is to come. This reminds me very much of Steiner's book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. This book is essentially a guide book into the esoteric realms, a training manual for developing higher faculties of soul that would allow us to have direct perception of the spiritual worlds. In it, there is the 'seed exercise' where you are to take a seed of a plant and study it carefully. This is followed by a carefully crafted meditation that invites us to go through a beautiful sequence of thoughts and feelings. One of the thoughts consists of forming a clear mental picture of the plant that would grow out of the seed, if it were planted in the soil. And then, at the end of the meditation, the thought "if I could not think, then that which will become visibile only later [i.e. the plant, that will row out of the seed; my  comment] could not already announce its presence to me" (p. 65 in my edition, which is the Osmond and Davy translation). So in the verse, similarly, the soul is able to already see through its own mental pictures, to some extent at least, what is yet invisible, what is still to come. Is it not incredible that we can consciously picture the future in this way?

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