and Mother Earth
by Juan Antonio Revilla
The feelings observed: faith, devotion, sorrow, etc. are "the object" of observation and conform a whole, a presence, a landscape or an atmosphere of colours. Observing is never passive, it requires a strong focus of attention that is deliberate, we must know how to observe and do it with discipline, we want to position ourselves correctly with respect to the object, to establish the right relationship to it, which must be characterized by our feelings of wonder, reverence, etc. without which the experience does not bear fruit in the form of thinking that is alive or true knowledge. When Steiner describes this he uses (ga 134-1) the word "feelings" (wonder, surrender), but I think a more accurate term is "gestures of the soul". In this case the gestures are the object of observation and even though one characterizes them by means of different words (faith, sorrow, etc.) they form one single whole, they are part of the same landscape.
These gestures --because of their kind-- leave in us an impression similar to something that has surrendered, or more accurately, of a filled cup that has just passed its point where it has started to overflow. The feeling-gestures contain a movement, like a sort of dance, even though the external physical circumstances may appear static: the person may be completely immobile, yet the gesture contained in the act of praying that we perceive is a movement. This movement is like a river that flows between we as observer and the gesture of the soul that is being observed, and this movement produces in us a feeling-response which is another gesture, a movement that has sprung in our soul. When this movement-response has appeared in us, when we observe it happening, it means that we are already touching the object's soul, and our response-gesture is the knowledge that we obtain from it, a real, concrete, satisfying knowledge which --however-- is not exact and has nothing to do with concepts or theories, or with science.
(NOTE: I'm not saying that there is no place for science here, or that this type of science is not needed. I'm saying: this is a type of knowledge which is not exact but is true. We can make it more exact (assuming that it is within our possibilities), but for this a sharpening and intensification of our thinking is needed. This sharpening of thinking --in differing degrees depending on each individual case-- is required when we want to *inform* of this knowledge, when we want to communicate it and make it meaningful to an audience. The sharpening may also be called forth by the object itself, the cycle of reciprocity may not be complete until we inquire more into the object's soul, so the thinking becomes more "exact" naturally-- but even then it would not be "scientific". I personally cannot see the necessity of being "scientific" about this type of soul-knowledge)
Later on we are able to identify this landscape of soul-gestures under different circumstances, we recognize it independent of the original person who appeared to us "enveloped" in it. For example: one can see sometimes the same attitude or gesture enveloping a young mother who surrenders to the little child in her arms. The action or movement however is here inverse: in the first instance (praying or talking to the virgin) one can feel the colored (very bluish) atmosphere "pulling" the person towards it, the strength resides in the atmosphere. In the second instance (the mother looking down to her child in arms), one can perceive the strength pouring down on the mother and covering her. These two different events or observations, in turn, make me realize that the observations I considered before I brought this example up, of a watery life-giving light in the earth's atmosphere(*), is a different phenomenon, the gestures are very different. This light is golden and solar, with a redeeming, liberating quality, it is more open; the other is bluish and its gesturing is more "enclosing". One is more social and proactive, the other more intimate and silent.
(*) NOTE: We can see today a kind of etheric light in the earth's atmosphere that is life-giving and freedom-giving, joyous and fresh like spiritualized water and light that flows and pours itself on everything living. It is almost physical thanks to a collective heightened consciousness, a certain level of consciousness reached by humanity today that is related or akin to a love of the earth, the protection of animals, ecology, human rights, etc. It has a lot to do with pre-Christian earth religions and shamanism, except that these appear now full of the Christ spirit. This light comes directly from overwhelming pain of the earth or the world, however it is not the pain but its transmutation, and it pours into people's souls in the form of love and strength to act beyond all concepts and beliefs. Our perception of this etheric life-giving light-water, the gift of bathing in it, is a result of working-out the raw experience of life and the pain of the world with the awakened powers of the *I* expressed in acts of love. It has absolutely nothing to do directly with doctrines or teachings of any kind.