Monday, January 3, 2011

Rudolf Steiner and the Mood of Christmas

In working on a post for Epiphany, with a little circle play and a song and a cake, I came across this lecture given by Rudolf Steiner on the mood of Christmas. The Festival of Christmas, according to Steiner, is one of the greatest festivals of the year that humaity can celebrate. Steiner asks, in this lecture, " does what is happening in the streets correspond with what is meant to flow through the hearts and souls of man?" in referring to the Christmas celebration.

This was written in 1919, nearly one hunderd years ago, yet it is so precise for today, for me. Steiner leaves his audience with reassure that, " humanity can once again experience the depth and greatness of the impulse which belongs to this festival. "

This is an excerpt from that lecture given on the 22nd of December 1910, in Berlin:

"What has become often a mere festival of gifts cannot be said to have the same meaning as what the Christmas festival meant to people for many centuries in the past. Through the celebration of this festival the souls used to blossom forth with hope-filled joy, with hope-borne certainty, and with the awareness of belonging to a spiritual Being, Who descended from Spiritual heights, and united Himself with the earth, so that every human soul of good will may share in His powers. Indeed, for many centuries the celebration of this festival awakened in the souls of men the consciousness that the individual human soul can feel firmly supported by the spiritual power just described, and that all men of good will can find themselves gathered together in the service of this spiritual power. Thereby they can also find together the right ways of life on earth, so that they can mean humanly as much as possible to one another, so that they can love each other as human beings on earth as much as possible.

Suppose we find it appropriate to let the following comparison work on our souls: What has the Christmas festival been for many centuries, and what should it become in the future? To this end, let us compare, on the one hand, the mood which social custom creates nowadays in certain parts of the world around us, with the mood that once permeated the Christmas festival. On the other hand, let us compare this mood of the present time with what can come about in the soul as a renewal of this festival, made as it were timeless, through Spiritual Science."

To read more, click here.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this lecture and Christmas.


1 comment:

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