Love and Its Meaning in the World

Excerpts from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner given in Zurich on December 17th, 1912

posted by Elizabeth Sevison on 4/4/2018

… Love is for the world what the sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the “moral” sun of the world … Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the earth - that and that alone is wisdom.

What do we learn from Spiritual Science? We learn facts concerning the evolution of the earth, we hear of the Spirit of the earth, of the earth’s surface and its changing conditions, of the development of the human body and so forth; we learn to understand the nature of the forces working and weaving in the evolutionary process. What does this mean? What does it mean when people do not want to know anything about Spiritual Science? It means that they have no interest for what is reality. For if a man has no desire to know anything about the nature of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, then he can know nothing about the Earth. Lack of interest in the world is egoism in its grossest form. Interest in all existence is man’s bounden duty … This interest in the earth’s evolution should be the spiritual seed of love for the world. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger to mankind. But love should not be a matter for preaching; love must and indeed will come into the world through the spreading of knowledge of spiritual truths. Deeds of love and Spiritual Science should be inseparably united.

Love mediated by way of the senses is the wellspring of creative power, of that which is coming into being. Without senseborn love, nothing material would exist in the world; without spiritual love, nothing spiritual can arise in evolution. When we practice love, cultivate love, creative forces pour into the world. Can the intellect be expected to offer reasons for this? The creative forces poured into the world before we ourselves and our intellect came into being. True, as egotists, we can deprive the future of creative forces; but we cannot obliterate the deeds of love and the creative forces of the past. We owe our existence to deeds of love wrought in the past. The strength with which we have been endowed by these deeds of love is the measure of our deep debt to the past, and whatever love we may at any time be able to bring forth is payment of debts owed for our existence. In the light of this knowledge we shall be able to understand the deeds of a man who has reached a high stage of development, for he has still greater debts to pay to the past. He pays his debts through deeds of love, and herein lies his wisdom. The higher the stage of development reached by a man, the more does the impulse of love in him increase in strength; wisdom alone does not suffice.

Let us think of the meaning and effect of love in the world in the following way. Love is always a reminder of debts owed to life in the past, and because we gain nothing for the future by paying off these debts, no profit for ourselves accrues from our deeds of love. We have to leave our deeds of love behind in the world; but they are then a spiritual factor in the how of world happenings. It is not through our deeds of love but through deeds of a different character that we perfect ourselves; yet the world is richer for our deeds of love. Love is the creative force in the world.

… If we try to discover the source of whatever is creative we come to love; love is the ground, the foundation of everything that lives. It is by a different impulse in evolution that beings are led to become wiser and more powerful. Progress is attained through wisdom and strength. Study of the course taken by the evolution of humanity shows us how the evolution of wisdom and strength is subject to change: there is progressive evolution and then the Christ Impulse which once poured into mankind through the Mystery of Golgotha. Love did not, therefore, come into the world by degrees; love streamed into mankind as a gift of the Godhead, in complete, perfect wholeness. But man can receive the Impulse into himself gradually. The Divine Impulse of love as we need it in earthly life is an Impulse that came once and forever.

… The ancient wisdom, acquired by the seer through revelation, comes to expression in the sublime words from the original prayer of mankind: Ex Deo Nascimur - Out of God we are born. That is ancient wisdom. Christ who came forth from the realms of spirit has united wisdom with love, and this love will overcome egoism. Such is its aim. But it must be offered independently and freely from one being to the other. Hence the beginning of the era of love coincided with that of the era of egoism. The cosmos has its source and origin in love; egoism was the natural and inevitable offshoot of love. Yet with time, the Christ Impulse, the impulse of love, will overcome the element of separation that has crept into the world, and man can gradually become a participant in this force of love. In 2 monumental words of Christ we feel love pouring into the hearts of men:

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

In like manner does the ancient Rosicrucian saying resound into the love that is wedded with wisdom: In Christo Morimur - In Christ we die.

… Together with selfishness, evil came into the world. It had to be so, because without evil man could not lay hold of the good. When a man gains victory over himself, the unfolding of love is possible. To man in the clutches of increasing egoism Christ brought the impulse for this victory over himself and thereby the power to conquer the evil. The Deeds of Christ bring together again those human beings who were separated through egoism and selfishness. True in the very deepest sense are the words of Christ concerning deeds of love:

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

The divine Deed of Love flowed back upon the earthly world; as time goes on, in spite of the forces of physical decay and death, the evolution of mankind will be permeated and imbued with new spiritual life through this Deed - a Deed performed not out of egoism but solely out of the spirit of love. Per Spirit Sanctum Reviviscimus - Through the Holy Spirit we live again.

… Wisdom steeped in love, which at once furthers the world and leads the world to Christ - this love of wisdom also excludes the lie. For the lie is the direct opposite of the actual facts and those who yield themselves lovingly to the facts are incapable of lying. The lie has its roots in egoism - always and without exception. When, through love, we have found the path to wisdom, we reach wisdom through the increasing power of selfconquest, through selfless love. Thus does man become a free personality. The evil was the subsoil into which the light of love was able to shine; but it is love that tables us to grasp the meaning and place of evil in the world. The darkness has enabled the light to come into our ken. Only a man who is free in the real sense can become a true Christian.

The following thoughts are on wonder, one aspect of the recent talk given by Jane Hipolito, ‘Wonder, Compassion and Conscience’, presented on April 30th at the Waldorf School of San Diego. 

This essay is included in the 2012 book by Dutch doctor and anthroposophist, Mieke Mosmuller, entitled SEEK THE LIGHT THAT RISES IN THE WEST. It is worth pondering in our polarized times. 

PHILOSOPHY AS WONDERMENT Joyously so long ago My eager mind did strive To study and discover Nature in her works alive: She, the everlasting Oneness, Is the manliness divined, Big minuteness, tiny bigness, All according to its kind, Ever changing, ever constant, Near and far, far and near, Shaping and reshaping ….. Why but to wonder am I here. J. W. Goethe - 

 Goethe gives evidence in this poem of a true scientific method of research. But philosophy too takes its start from wonderment. One must be able to inquire out of wonderment. He who already knows everything does not need philosophy, just as little as he who sleeps through life. However, he who experiences something in life, even the smallest something, as a mystery, is inherently a philosopher. To be able to solve a riddle, one needs wonder. One wonders when one does not know something, when one has the courage to be interested and to admit to oneself: ‘I don’t know’. 

Really good questions spring from wonderment. What one knows, or an answer to a question, prompts not wonderment but satisfaction or gratitude. Questioning arises from wondering, and one must be able to ‘forget’ what one already knows: Firstly one must be able to 1 forget the content of what one knows because otherwise, this content would influence one’s questioning and thereby distort the question that arises. 

Secondly, in true questioning one must put aside the attitude of one who knows, because this knowing attitude would darken the light which the question in its entire scope and all its aspects causes to appear. However one may keep that which one has become through learning, cognition and knowing. Through the act of knowing, one is a human being in the process of becoming. 

Before I had started my medical studies, I was a completely different person from who I was after after I finished my medical studies. Of course, I changed in that period because of the life lessons I experienced, but also through the knowledge I gained. And when now, in philosophizing, I can leave all my knowledge out of consideration and at the same time still be able to realize that all my knowing is not yet wisdom, then I can understand myself as someone who is in the process of becoming when I am philosophizing. 

Yes, this person who I am is the starting point for asking in wonderment. Fear of the unknown, of the not yet known, of the ‘I do not know it (yet)’ on the other hand, and the self satisfaction of the ‘I already know that’, through what is familiar, what is understood on the other hand, are the two enemies of wonder. These two strive against any questioning. But can one ask capriciously? Can one start asking questions at any point one pleases? Can one ask: what is the human being, what is thinking, what is being, what is logic, etc.? Are answers at all possible here? Or is there a prior question, a question which really can only be posed first? Is it possible to find this first question and indeed, in such a way that the question will organically call up a new question? 

Philosophy is not a game of chess, in which at the beginning, all the concepts are already in a certain order. The first chess move in a certain sense determines the whole game. Every move defines the game more strictly, until a checkmate ends the process. At the beginning of philosophizing, no fixed position of concepts can already serve as a starting point; inwardly one must hold oneself quite impartially without being a fool. For it would be foolishness if one were not to discuss a specific question, if one wanted to remain in ones impartiality. 

The first question I have found determines the course of my philosophy. If I can choose my first question freely without any kind of inner necessity through lawfulness in thinking itself, then my question does not well up from wonderment but from partiality, subjective partiality. Through my inclination I choose a first question from various possible questions and I call this question the first question. However, if I leave all my opinions, preferences and knowledge out of consideration, if I only observe the riddle of where to start in my questioning, then a question becomes visible which lies even before the first question, namely: with which question does a philosophy begin in wonderment? 

Mieke Mosmuller, Seek The Light That Rises In The West. Occident Publishers, 2012, p 22-24. “Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophic thought has done its best, the wonder remains. There have been added, however, some grasp of the immensity of things, some purification of emotion by understanding.” 

Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought,168-169.

The Mission of Rudolf Steiner by Dr. Ernst Katz  

An essay derived from an address given at the 

American Anthroposophical Society's Annual General Meeting, November, 2004.

This is an excerpt from Dr. Katz’s address which can be found in its entirety on the site: Rudolf Steiner Archives. It touches upon the compelling insights presented to us by Rev. Cindy Hindes in her talk given at WSSD on January 28th, “The Friend of God from the Highland”. Rev. Hindes spoke about the work and teachings of the Master Jesus and of Christian Rosenkreutz. Here Dr. Katz connects the work of Rudolf Steiner with these individualities. I urge you to read the entire address. It can also be found in the book, CORE ANTHROPOSOPHY: Teaching Essays of Ernst Katz, 2011, Steiner Books. 

About the Leading Initiates of the Western World  Rudolf Steiner describes the work of Christian Rosenkreutz as being in harmony with the will of St. Michael, and as a precursor of anthroposophy.    One of the two Great Initiates who are the guides of the spiritual life of the Western World is fairly well known. His name is Christian Rosenkreutz. He lived in the Middle Ages, and according to Rudolf Steiner, he has reincarnated several times since. And he felt it to be his mission to make it possible for every human being, no matter where he stands in modern life, to rise to spiritual heights. His Rosicrucian teachings were given in the form of alchemical imaginative imagery, a form that was appropriate for medieval consciousness. Rosicrucian students could continue with their professional work in the outer world in the daytime, but then in special meetings, at special moments, they could work at achieving contact with the spiritual world. In that time, secrecy still had to be required, though this was not due to intrinsic values, but served as protection against the vicious attacks of the Inquisition, which persecuted all who deviated from the precisely prescribed Roman Catholic faith with most cruel punishments.    Rudolf Steiner describes the work of Christian Rosenkreutz as being in harmony with the will of St. Michael, and as a precursor of anthroposophy. He builds on this past. His first encounter with the Rosicrucian stream may have been through Goethe's unfinished tale Die Geheimnisse [The secrets] where Goethe poses the question: “Who put the roses onto the cross?” Rudolf Steiner labels his first two Mystery Plays as “Rosicrucian Mysteries” and in his major work An Outline of Esoteric Science the only explicit description of how one can meditate centers on the Rose Cross. He mentions Christian Rosenkreutz and the Rosicrucian stream in numerous lectures and states that Christian Rosenkreutz is an active spiritual helper also in present times.    The second modern leading Great Initiate who guides the spiritual life of the Western World is called the “Master Jesus.” It is said that he incarnates in every century A.D. His task is to further humanity's understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha. This is a continuing task, because, as John the Evangelist writes, this Mystery is so rich, profound and inexhaustible, that if all its wisdom were written out, the whole earth would not have enough room to contain these writings. It follows that more and more of the Christ Mystery will gradually become known in the course of time. The “Master Jesus” is the unobtrusive inspirer of this growing knowledge. Who is this “Master Jesus?”    Understanding the answer to this question requires a subtle appreciation of one of the most profound riddles of Christianity, onto which Rudolf Steiner was able to shed considerable light. One has to work one's way up to understand that the human “I” or ego of Jesus of Nazareth worked up to age 29 on his body in a preparatory way, so as to make it a worthy receptacle for the divine ! 2

“I” of Christ. Then this human “I” of Jesus left this body prior to the baptism in the river Jordan, in order to make room for the divine “I” of Christ to enter into this body, and use it for three years as His instrument. The physical life of the divine Christ Being was a unique occurrence that accomplished its entire mission in the physical world in one incarnation. It was a life complete in itself, after which, therefore, no reincarnation is to follow.    But what happened to the human “I” of Jesus that had left the body, to make room for the divine “I” of Christ? According to Rudolf Steiner this human “I” of Jesus was one of the most advanced human individualities. This is the very “I” of the “Master Jesus.” As a human being this “I” reincarnates. In other words, the body of Jesus was inhabited in succession by two different beings: before the baptism by Jesus, after the baptism by Christ. The “I” of Jesus reincarnates as a human being, the “I” of Christ does not reincarnate, being a divine entity. If one considers what Rudolf Steiner achieved in his Christological work as new insights into the Mystery of Golgotha, then one can realize that this aspect of his mission was greatly helped by inspirations from the “Master Jesus.”    However, the guidance of the spiritual life of the Western World by these two Great Initiates required an adjustment when the Archangel St. Michael, the spiritual Ambassador of Christ, was promoted to become the time spirit, the leading spiritual guide for all of humanity, in 1879 A.D. A third leading Great Initiate was needed as special earthly Ambassador of St. Michael. His rank would have to be above all regional Initiates, in conformity with the supreme rank of St. Michael. We shall see that it was the destiny of Rudolf Steiner to be able to accept the mission of being this Michaelic initiate. 

          Toward the end of his address, Dr. Katz       gives us this beautiful imagination:     So what was and is the mission of Rudolf Steiner? I want to answer this question by means of a picture that I ask you to imagine, and by a poem that Rudolf Steiner wrote. I hope that the picture will tell more than a thousand words can tell. With this picture I try to summarize the various aspects of the mission of Rudolf Steiner. It is my picture. Do not try to paint it. Rather keep it fluid in imagination. I could present it especially well because I spoke from the stage of the Detroit Waldorf School. It is a large stage, brightly illumined, backed by a white wall on which is painted a great mural of St. Michael subduing the dragon.      Imagine in the front of this stage stands Rudolf Steiner, in his black suit as we know him from many pictures. About, five feet behind him stand two figures, one somewhat to the right, the other somewhat to the left. The one on the right appears in red regalia. It is Christian Rosenkreutz, who renewed the Mysteries for the Western World in such ways that his students could remain engaged in worldly pursuits. The one on the left appears almost transparent, of a bluish hue. It is the Initiate who is most closely associated with the Christ Mystery, the “Master Jesus.” About fifteen feet behind these two, on a slight elevation, stands St. Michael, and on a somewhat higher elevation about fifteen feet behind St. Michael stands the radiant figure of Christ, surrounded behind Him by a semicircle of angelic beings of the various hierarchies.      From Christ streams forward a rose-pink stream of divine love towards the smaller hill where St. Michael, the Ambassador of Christ, stands. He adds brilliant cosmic light to the stream of divine love. Now this stream of light-permeated divine love streams further forward, spreading slightly, reaching the two Great Initiates of the Western World. They focus the stream onto Rudolf Steiner in front of them. 

     As Rudolf Steiner receives this stream from the spiritual world behind him, he transforms it so that it becomes a power that fills the entire space in front of him — the Ambassador of St. Michael, with a living three-dimensional mosaic of constantly moving little luminous cells of the most variegated colors and brightness, a spectacle that tells, in a secret language of light and love, how the human being can find who he or she really is, and what the mission of each one is in being active, always true to oneself. Thus Rudolf Steiner, the Ambassador of St. Michael, who is the Ambassador of Christ, brings to mankind in a form appropriate for our consciousness, the inspiration of cosmic light-permeated divine love. That is (as well as I can say it) the mission of Rudolf Steiner which he accepted and carried out. 


from Bruce Laurelin January through March

We enter the year with the planet MERCURY RETROGRADE on SAG/CAPRICICORN CUSP, affecting those born Dec. 20th to 24th or opposite, or 90 degrees from that. It goes direct Jan. 8th--then all planets are direct. That’s as good as it gets--until JUPITER TURNS RETRO FEBRUARY 6TH. That’s the best January we've had in this century so far !!

February is quiet except JUPITER (think 'hope') is walking backwards away and then OPPOSES URANUS the last 2 days and the first 4 days of March. Then VENUS (think ‘social harmony’) GOES RETRO until April 15th, but only recovers its former position on May 19th, affecting all birthdays opposite or 90 degrees from 0-13 degrees TROPICAL ARIES.

March ends with JUPITER SQUARE 90D. PLUTO—challenging for group work. Contact Bruce for further explanation and information at or 619-286-0816.

The following is a Rudolf Steiner quotation from Truth Wrought Words, page 187: 

"With the gradual development of selfishness, evil came into the world. Yet this had to happen because the good could not be grasped without the evil. Through man’s victory over himself, the possibility is given for the unfolding of love. Christ brought to man, who was sinking ever deeper into egotism, the impulse for this overcoming of himself, and thereby the power to conquer evil. The deed of Christ on Golgotha, for the entire world, brings together once more all those who were separated by self-seeking. True in the deepest sense are thus Christ’s words when He says: Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me."


Dear Friends,

Dear Members of the Anthroposophical Society


We apologize for the late communication

 but we thought you might be interested in this

free webinar from the Kolisko Institute:


"Christmas and the Mystery of the Etheric Body"

Wednesday December 14, 7PM, CT


This presentation is meant as a preparation for the coming 12 Holy Nights, and the time beyond.

We will look at concrete aspects for daily practice.

We will have a new look at the Christmas Foundation Stone Meditation and its Rhythms.

We will include some lesser known pictures.

To register for this free webinar click here.


It would be helpful, but not essential, to have listened to last year's December Christmas webinar (which was co-sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society). 

For those who missed the opportunity last year please go to

We hope you join us for a shared experience.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas,

For the Kolisko Institute Team,

Ross Rentea MD

Dear Friends, Thank you for carefully considering this appeal of our Autumn Fundraising Campaign. We need your help or most of our research and other activities will have to stop. Please do us the favor and carefully read this page in its entirety. You might be interested in this story: A patient of ours was recently given an anthroposophical remedy called Oxalis 6x.

This potentized herb (wood sorrel) was indicated by R. Steiner for enlivening/strengthening the etheric body. In general over the past years we had not seen much response from patients given this remedy. However, based on the research done at the Kolisko Institute a new form of this remedy was available and we decided to give the patient this new remedy. The patient reported that upon taking just six tiny pellets he felt “like water waves upon waves” were ascending in his body. The reaction was so powerful that he had to lower the dosage he was taking again and again until he got down to just one pellet! Should we stop research that can potentially lead to more remedies like this? In the past several years we have been working on new methods for determining the efficacy of potentized remedies. (The direction for this research, potentially groundbreaking, had already been given by R. Steiner and L. Kolisko).

Aside from obviously benefitting the future health of patients this research also helps to establish anthroposophic points of view in the general medical world. It allows us to show that anthroposophy can bring fresh, original work backed by hard data. (We have also had an intensive educational program but will concentrate here on the research activities.) That this work continues is all the more important since recently throughout the world (literally, from Europe to the US) various open minded medical associations have shown an interest in finding out more about anthroposophic medicine..

Now is the time to “put our best foot forward”. And yet sadly, just now when these activities are needed most, due to a lack of funding, our “hard data” generating experiments, and other programs are threatened to come to a halt. This is all the more troublesome since the Kolisko Institute, a non -profit organization, is perhaps the only such anthroposophic research performing institution in the US..