Rudolf Steiner's weekly meditations
soul-calendar-45

Artistic Response

Here is my artistic response to this week's Soul-Calendar-45 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. By the way, I am not in any way suggesting that my translations are preferable to any of the published translations. But I don't want to infringe any copyright, hence I am offering my own, literal, translations here.

Soul-Calendar-45 meditation

Rudolf Steiner's original soul-calendar-45 meditation
February 9-15

Es festigt sich Gedankenmacht
Im Bunde mit der Geistgeburt,
Sie hellt der Sinne dumpfe Reize
Zur vollen Klarheit auf.
Wenn Seelenfülle
Sich mit dem Weltenwerden einen will,
Muss Sinnesoffenbarung
Des Denkens Licht empfangen.

My translation
Thought-power consolidates itself
In union with the spirit-birth,
It lights up the sense’s dull appeal
To full clarity.
If soul-fullness
Wants to unite itself with world-becoming,
Then senses’-revelation must
Welcome the light of thinking.

My interpretation of the soul-calendar-45 meditation

This verse seems only a small progression from the previous one. Again we are reminded of the spirit's birth. While in the previous verse this was referred to as being fulfilled, here it seems it is still in progress and while it progresses the power of thought establishes it more firmly. I think it is important to notice that the German 'festigt sich' is a 'transitive' verb, which I have tried to translate by saying that it is thought-power that consolidates itself. If you reflect on your own thinking and try to come to a more general insight into the nature of thinking on the basis of such reflection, then it does seem that the power of thought is strengthened by itself. In other word, it is thinking that strengthens thinking. This seems like an obvious statement, but in my experience many people believe that thinking is the stuff that happens all the time in our minds. But Steiner continually draws our attention here (and throughout all his work, as far as I can tell) to thinking as something we actively do, rather than the stuff that just happens to go through our minds. The latter I prefer to call 'mental events', as they at least in part do not happen because I do them, but rather they just seem to happen, often despite of me. So active thinking, almost by definition, gives rise to itself and strengthens itself. 
Once we have taken hold of this active thinking and apply it to the sense-perceptibel world, as well as to ourselves, then, the verse seems to suggest, it will ight up that world to full clarity. Suddenly everything makes sense, everything somehow takes its rightful place in the scheme of the cosmos, everything, including myself. Then, to summarise, if my soul in all its fulness, that is in all its spiritual essence, wants to become one with world's becoming, of which it itself is of course part and parcel, then the sense impressions must be open to, even welcome, the light of thinking. It seems even that this act of thinking contributes creatively to that very same world-becoming and to my own coming-into-being.


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