This post is an attempt to build a bridge from the last post to the next one. I grew up in the Catholic Church. I went to Catholic schools from grade one through university. My Mom was a devout Catholic with a very strong and full faith. I am grateful in so many ways for this upbringing. It taught me reverence and so much else. Catholicism fed my soul for the search for truth and meaning as well as developing a commitment to social justice.
As I aged and read widely, I observed how Catholicism and many other religions frequently used the words Grace and Mystery. I too adopted those terms. But I frequently wondered; can we know more beyond just grace and mystery? Can we really “know”? Yes “I believe,” but can I and others possibly know far more of what is behind those words grace and mystery. So, I began to look for people who might “know.” Hence, a major in psychology, many courses in philosophy and theology and the courses for pre-med. As those University years drew to a close, I was doing my senior thesis on Jung. As I did so I discovered Steiner who respected grace and mystery, but who also seemed to “know.” I could read Steiner and others who I will call “spiritualists”, and I could discern with my common sense what was true for me and what was not.
This did not make me question my faith, it only enhanced faith. It was beyond faith that answers arrived to questions. Like the question —what happens after we die? Steiner has given many lectures and written books on this topic. Following are links to related books:
- Between Death and Rebirth
- The Connection Between the Living and the Dead
- Life Between Death and Rebirth
- Life Beyond Death
- Staying Connected
- Bridge Over the River
So over time with my common sense reincarnation became for me not something that I believed, but something that I knew. And this is just one small example of arrival at a “knowing.”
Another is the incarnation of the Christ took on a glorious, huge, fuller and deeper meaning with the insights that Steiner provided about the Gospels and the life of Christ. Following are related links:
- Christianity as Mythical Fact
- From Jesus to Christ
- The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric
- The Gospel of St. John
In Post 2 on meeting Nelson Mandela, I wrote about how in prison in particular Mandela engaged in a process of Thinking about Thinking. This process – if engaged in with higher thoughts through poetry, verses, scripture and other texts reveals a Higher self. President Mandela on many occasions and at many times lived, worked and loved out of his birthed Higher Self. As he did so Grace came to meet him.
Also, in post 4 I wrote about Owen Barfield who as an atheist early in his life enjoyed reading the lyrical poetry of Coleridge. When he did so he felt elevated by the process of Thinking about these great poetic Thoughts. When he discovered Steiner, it was explained in a spiritual scientific way what he was experiencing when he was Thinking about Thinking. Owen was most grateful. He now understood his prior experience of joy when reading Coleridge that he was actually having a spiritual experience of his Higher Self. Owen then started working with Steiner’s inner meditation guidance which is personal and unique for each person to practice. When Owen did this he too like Mandela discovered his Higher Self.
In Post 3, I wrote about meeting Thomas Merton. Merton is one of the great Catholic Mystics. He never to my knowledge read or was influenced by Steiner. He is different from so many who have been influenced by Steiner, but who do not acknowledge it. Merton like Mandela walked his own path looking deeply into Buddhism and writing so beautifully about the inner life. He also surely assisted many in understanding grace and mystery. He arrived in my view at a different type of knowing. His was a “Knowing Faith.” He exemplified this in so many beautiful prayers, verses or poems. Merton incarnated great spiritual thoughts that we can meditate on. What Merton writes in the below verse is in complete harmony with Anthroposophy. As discussed in the last post I make an attempt to see the truth of Anthroposophy exemplified in others such as Mandela and Merton. I leave you with Merton’s words as the bridge to my next post:
The Almighty’s Presence is present in my own presence,
If I am, then The Almighty is. And in knowing that I am,
If I penetrate to the depths of my own existence and my own present reality,
the indefinable “I am” that is myself in its deepest roots,
then through this deep center I pass
into the infinite “I am”
which is the very name of The Almighty.(from Thoughts in Solitude pg. 67 Thomas Merton – adjusted to edit out distracting male pronouns)