On April 6th we were in Zurich for a seminar on mysticism. Someone once said to me: "The person who gives the lecture learns the most.....”.
I remembered my beginnings with anthroposophy when I got to know Rudolf Steiner's book "Mysticism...". I already had my experiences with the Philosophy of Freedom, I was familiar with the contemplation of living thinking, and in the introduction to this book on mysticism I found an extraordinarily "exciting" continuation of it.
When I was asked to hold a seminar on "Old and New Mysticism" in Zurich, I was very happy to do so.
In ancient mysticism, the mystic still had the ability to go from total peace in the soul and exclusion ofall external impressions (Unannehmlichkeit, i.e. not accepting impressions from the environment) to a raising up of mystical perceptionsfrom the forces of the physical body. In our time this is no longer the right way - and in any caseno longer possible. The body no longer provides access to the good spiritual world in mystical experiences. These must now be found on the basis of scientific thought, by observing and acknowledging them.
With a group of people full of inner devotionwe understood this together and then tried to put it into practice as an idea.
Quote from the chapter on Nicholas of Kues:
‘But the point can come at which it becomes clear to man through an incontrovertible inner experience that in what he perceives and experiences within himself he possesses, not the manifestation, the action, of a hidden force or entity, but this entity itself in its primordial form. He can then say to himself: All other things I encounter in a way ready-made, and I, who stand outside them,add to them what the spirit has to say with regard to them. But in what I myself thus creatively add to things in myself, in that I myself live, that is what I am, that is my own essence. But what is it that speaks in the depths of my spirit? It is knowledge that speaks, the knowledge I have acquired about the things of the world. But in this knowledge it is not some action, some manifestation which speaks; something speaks which keeps nothing back of what it has in itself. In this knowledge speaks the world in all its immediacy. But I have acquired this knowledge from things and from myself, as from a thing among things. Out of my own essence it is I myself and the things who speak. In reality I no longer merely express my nature; I express the nature of things. My “I” is the form, the organ through which things declare themselves with regard to themselves. I have gained the experience that I experience my own essence within myself, and for me this experience becomes enlarged into another, that in me and through me the universal essence expresses itself, or, in other words, knows itself. Now I can no longer feel myself to be a thing among things; I can only feel myself to be a form in which the universal essence has its life. — (Translationrs-archive)
From: Rudolf Steiner, Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age. GA 7.
Old and new mysticism by