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A READER'S JOURNAL

Guardian Angels — Connecting with our Spiritual Guides and Helpers
by
Rudolf Steiner

Compiled by Margaret Jonas; Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Published by Rudolf Steiner Press/UK in 2000
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2006

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This volume, Guardian Angels, is a compilation of lectures and articles from various other sources. The first three lectures I have already read and reviewed. Lecture One "Guardian Angels" appears in the Questions from Dornach Workers book, From Mammoths to Mediums (pages 73 through 93). Lectures Two and Three appear in Cosmosophy, Volume II as Lecture Two (pages 33 through 48) and Lecture Three (pages 49 through 64). The lectures in Guardian Angels have been newly translated and thus its English text will be slightly different from the translations of the first three lectures in the other sources mentioned above. For ease of reading, I will include portions of my earlier reviews for Lectures 1, 2, and 3 using the page numbers from this volume, but the reader will note that the translations of quoted passages will vary from that in Guardian Angels.

Lecture One [From Mammoths to Mediums review]

Scientists such as physiologists aver that the human heart is a pump, while evidence shows that it is a hydraulic ram whose main function is to periodically interrupt the flow of blood in the chambers of the heart to create turbulence which facilitates the mixing of oxygen into the blood speeding its way to nourish the body. Check out this link: Click Here which says, among other things:

In 1932, Bremer of Harvard filmed the blood in the very early embryo circulating in self-propelled mode in spiraling streams before the heart was functioning. Amazingly, he was so impressed with the spiraling nature of the blood flow pattern that he failed to realize that the phenomena before him had demolished the pressure propulsion principle. Earlier in 1920, Steiner, of the Goetheanum in Switzerland had pointed out in lectures to medical doctors that the heart was not a pump forcing inert blood to move with pressure but that the blood was propelled with its own biological momentum, as can be seen in the embryo, and boosts itself with “induced” momenta from the heart. He also stated that the pressure does not cause the blood to circulate but is caused by interrupting the circulation. Experimental corroboration of Steiner's concepts in the embryo and adult is herein presented.

But it is not just the heart that is misunderstood by materialistic science, it is all the other organs as well, such as the stomach, the lung, and the liver. It is through these organs that spiritual entities speak to us. If you've heard a voice in your head tell you urgently to do something such as, 'Move!' and then discover you were saved from injury by moving, what you heard may have been a spiritual entity such as an angel communicating through your lower internal organs, not through your head.

[page 7] Spirits hardly ever speak through any of the organs in the head. The whole world speaks there; the stars in their motions and so on; they speak through the organs in the head. But spiritual entities do indeed also speak to us, and they do so through the other organs, such as the liver. The stomach speaks to the liver, but so do spirits, and also to the lung. Spiritual entities speak to all the organs which we do not use for our ordinary life in the conscious mind.

When someone gets really scared, what is it he says? "I was so scared I nearly soiled my pants." As commonly known as this connection of fear and diarrhoea is, medical science pays no attention to it and holds that there is no connection whatsoever. Steiner tells us there is a connection.

[page 8] An influence is there from the outside world, but the influence may also be from the realm of mind and spirit. And it does come from that world in such a way that those organs do indeed perceive things, but things that are quite different from those that exist in the outside world.

Steiner gives an example of a woman whose hearing had grown so acute from lying in bed all day that she could predict the doctor's arrival by detecting his footsteps at the gate outside, three floors below her, something no one else could do and they thought her clairvoyant. Then he gives an example of a man who heard the word, "Move!" and as soon as he moved, a shot was fired by accident by his servant who thought the gun was empty. The man's liver heard the warning from the man's guardian spirit and had to pass it along to his head.

[page 10] And on the way from the liver to the head the matter is translated into the language which the person speaks. This is the remarkable thing, something truly mysterious. And it is only here that you can really say what a remarkable creature man is. Not only is he able to have premonitions but, and this is much more to be marveled at, he unconsciously translates something that comes to him in the language of the spirit into his own language.

Children are known to have imaginary playmates with which they converse. These are spiritual beings which the child is able to see, speak to, and hear. It is something we lose as we grow up, but is common in childhood.

[page 11] Why in childhood? Well, the astral body is much more active in childhood, working with much greater intensity. Later on it no longer works with the same intensity. When the liver is still soft in the child, the astral body is able to transmit the things it hears in the world of the spirit to the liver. Later, when the liver has grown harder, it can no longer transmit things.

In 1925, Steiner died, in mysterious circumstances, perhaps from a poisoning. That happened two years or so from the day he spoke these ominous words of the next passage. According to witnesses at a Christmas party, he said, in alarm, "I have been poisoned." He apparently received a warning and he survived for about a year afterward, but he was in weakened health until his death.

[page 11, 12] External circumstances may put me in danger of having an accident one day, so that I'd have to die, and the matter might turn out in such a way that if I were to die, let us say, I'd really die disproportionately early as far as my earlier life on earth is concerned. According to my earlier life it is not right that I should die so soon, because I still have something to do on this earth. Now I might indeed die. Don't think there is any absolute certainty that I won't die. I might indeed die, the accident might happen. I might die, and this would change the whole of my destiny. The spiritual entity that guides the human being from earth life to earth life intervenes at this point. It is able to warn the person.

People who are always thinking of ways to enter the spiritual world are missing the point — they are doing the exact thing which will prevent them from achieving their goal. Yes, we humans are meant to think and to speak, but only in the earthen realm. Directly we attempt to enter the spiritual world, we must lose our thoughts.

[page 13] For human thinking is only meant for this earthly world. That is why thinking is so closely related to speaking. In the physical world we actually think in words, and we will only come near the spiritual world if we gradually get out of the habit of thinking in words.

Most writing today, especially from the academically trained, is dull; it is flat, monotone, and lethargic — all the while being rational, logical, and sensible. But it has no drive, no energy. One should always strive for thinking and writing with drive and energy. Steiner explains how dull writing originates.

[page 15] For the people who acquire an education today are usually those who have gone through all sorts of things like Greek, Latin and literature, all the things where one can think sloppily. In fact most of the educated and scholarly people have learnt to think in a sloppy way only because they think in the sort of way in which the ancient Romans and Greek actually thought, and the others learn it from them. So today there is a terribly sloppy way of thinking, the kind of thinking that has no real energy in it. This is why nowadays people cannot really understand the kind of things that are brought down from the spiritual world. If people had really sharp thinking they would far more readily come to understand what exists in the spiritual world.

Steiner gives us an example of this kind of sloppy thinking when he tells us about the initial reaction academics had to George Stephenson's proposal for the first railroad. He proposed, "one could make carriages with iron wheels that would move on iron rails." He was ridiculed by the academics of his time who made calculations to show that a carriage would never move unless each rail had notches cut into it and the wheels had cogs that fit into them. The postmaster general was consulted and his reply was that "the mail coaches today never have anyone traveling on them, so why build a railroad?" We have a similar situation happening today with the initial appearance of the Segway personal transport. Laws are already being written to prohibit them from sidewalks, which is the very place they are designed to be used! Such an attitude will be laughable in a hundred years when such personal transports are the rule rather than the exception on sidewalks.

[page 16, 17] Yes, that was the opinion then. But don't think people form different opinions today about things that really point the way ahead as they come into the world. We may laugh about what happened in 1835, but that is after the event, and people will also only be able to laugh later on about what is happening today, when it will be almost 100 years in the past.

Lacking the kind of sharp thinking Steiner spoke of on page 15 above, it is often necessary for our Guardian Angel to use a human assistant's astral body to communicate to his human charge who requires immediate help. To keep a man from suffocating, his Guardian Angel uses the astral body of his sick aunt to tell him, "Get up!" Naturally the man attributed the event to his aunt, but in actuality it was his own Guardian Angel who saved him.

[page 19] The being that we call the guardian angel could not approach the man directly, for his thinking was of the down-to-earth kind that people have got used to over the past centuries. If our friend over there had been a matter-of-fact thinker, he would not have heard what he heard, for it is drowned, blown away, by that kind of thinking.

[page 24] Yes, a guardian angel was speaking in that moment. But that the words come to expression in language often happens through the agency of a human being.

Lecture Two [From Cosmosophy, Volume II review, Lecture 2]

As a physicist by academic training I was taught to envision a world of moving atoms, electrons, ions, etc, existing behind our sensory impressions which generate the perceptions we have of the physical world. Steiner points to a reality ultimately more complex than any reductionistic physics theory has ever pointed to — he points to the spiritual realities dancing outside of our Plato's cave which cast the shadows we espy on the wall of our cave and from which we formulate our physics theories, up until now.

[page 28] I have made it clear to you on more than one occasion that the fantastic world of moving atoms that physicists dream of is definitely not to be found behind our sensory impressions. No, behind the world we perceive with the senses lies something which is of the spirit. It is present in the world of the senses, though we are not directly aware of it when we have the tapestry before us in ordinary consciousness. In reality the tapestry presented to the senses contains the totality of all the spirits which in my Occult Science are collectively called the Spirits of Form. Anything which presents itself in space has form, and the colored surface also gives objects form. In everything which we experience in space through the senses live the Spirits of Form, which in the Old Testament are called the Elohim.

The colored surfaces we perceive, therefore, are rightly called maya or illusions created by the underlying realities which we are not yet able to perceive at this stage of human evolution. What we are able to perceive or experience in our sleepy state is the effects of these realities in the form of Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition. If and when we wake up, we will experience a spirit-filled world in which we have always existed, but were mostly unconscious of, up until now.

[page 28, 29] We do, quite rightly, call the world that presents itself to the senses the world of phenomena. This is only correct, however, in so far as at our ordinary level of consciousness we human beings perceive no more than these outer phenomena of the world. It is the "maya" of the Orient. But the moment our conscious mind wakes up and is able to perceive in images, this whole world of the senses is filled with, or, even better, transformed into, a world of flowing, moving images which also reveals the world of the Angels that is woven into it. This is also the world which inspires us when we are capable of Inspiration. It is then transformed into the world of Inspiration in which the Archangels are active. Later we also experience the world of Intuitions, when we advance from the world of the senses to the world of the Archai.

In Roger C. Schank's 1900 book, Tell Me A Story, he looks at how we create memories in the process of telling a story. In a similar vein, Steiner tells us that thoughts live inside us and only comes out of us when we convert it into language.

[page 31] Initially a thought lives within us, and although it is by means of this thought that we relate to the external world, and the secrets of the outer world are disclosed to us through thoughts — the thought initially lives within our inner being. Yet it can be given expression. It comes to expression when we tell it to someone else. Language is an element in human life by means of which we bring our thoughts to external manifestation.

The world of will flows into our speaking and communicates much that cannot be explained by someone looking later only at a transcription of our words. Speaking in Toward Imagination, Steiner said that if someone speaks kindly to you, you will know that they are being kind regardless of the particular words they speak. Kindness speaks to the heart. "Love is borne from soul to soul on the wings of words," as I wrote in a poem entitled "On the Wings of Words" embedded in my review of the book, Toward Imagination.

[page 31] Although the will also flows into the element of thought, we are only to a very small degree aware of it in our ordinary consciousness. But the human will enters strongly into speaking, to a noticeable extent. Yet we have an extremely small grasp of what actually lives in language. In this materialistic age human beings perceive very little more of what lives in a sound of speech than its sign value, as a sign of something else.

Steiner on page 32 gives us an example of the genius living in the German language which doesn't make the point in the text as it might if it were completely translated into English. Let me hazard a try at it. Look at the English verb "walking" — you can feel in the two sounds of the word a gentle stepping with a calm demeanor. If instead of the gentle "walk" sound, you have "run," the sound of "run" makes a greater demand on your breathing, just as running makes a greater demand on your breathing than walking. So "running" expresses the feeling of running and "walking" the feeling of walking.

When writers are living in their imagination, they will say that their Muse is with them. Rightly understood, the Muse can be understood as an angel hovering over a writer at work. Any writer with only a book-learning view of language will miss this nuance, even while feeding off the inputs of an inspiring angel without knowing it is happening.

[page 33] Just as a human being usually has only an abstract experience of language . . . he is also not aware that in his imagination . . . an angel is actually moving through his individual life when he is living in his imagination.

We must be careful when entering the world of Imagination because we will encounter luciferic and ahrimanic elements there which can create on the one hand sheer fantasy and on the other hand strange unearthly elements.

[page 34] If we do not go out of ourselves inwardly when awake but do so in sleep, entering the region where the imagination we use when awake has its roots, the principle which shows itself in our imagination when we are fully awake comes to expression at a more subconscious level in our dreams. Imagination can become sheer fantasy if a luciferic element enters into it, and in the same way our dreams may degenerate into all kinds of strange things, which we may even take for real, if influenced by ahrimanic elements. Dreams are essentially luciferic, but an ahrimanic element may enter into them. Yet when our dreams are "innocent", as we may put it, and purely human, the Angel lives in them, the same Angel which is in us when we use our imagination and inwardly go beyond ourselves, as it were.

We can accept that what lives in us in soul form is a result of all our experiences in this lifetime, but there also lives in our body the results of our experiences between death and the beginning of this lifetime. Our experiences in this life are accessible as cognitive memories, but how can we access our pre-life experiences?

[page 38] What I have within me in soul form is the product of my experiences between birth and death. What I have within me as bodily organization is the product of my life between death and a new life.

In an amazing metaphor, Steiner imagines that a boy is asking what makes a freely mounted magnetized needle move, and a reductionistic scientist explains to him that to find out what makes the compass needle move we must closely examine the compass needle, analyze its components, and figure out what is happening to the compass needle based on its constituents parts. If the boy says, "Look, it always returns to pointing to the north," he is met with the retort, "We cannot talk about the whole Earth being involved in the needle's movement, we must look into the needle for the cause." That is blatantly foolish, of course, as anyone who took elementary school science would know: it is the Earth itself in which we must look for the source of the movement of the needle. And yet modern biologists insist that the human being develops only in the womb from a tiny germ, and that the universe has no effect on it. Steiner illustrates the interaction of the human embryo to the world of stars and planets surrounding it by drawing a compass needle on top of the embryo in left half of this colored blackboard diagram at right.

[page 39] They look only at the germ cell. But just as the whole earth is active in a magnetic needle, so the whole universe is active in the creation of the embryo. The part which the human being plays in this is, of course, at an unconscious level.

As human beings we are connected to both a material and a spiritual universe, and we ignore the latter at our peril. To those materialists who ignore that the universe is alive inside of them, we can only say, "Maya, oh my!" and shake our heads in dismay. For the truth of the matter will ever escape them until they come to see through their cherished delusions.

[page 40] The nature of our internal organs is truly such that a whole cosmos is alive in them. If we merely consider those organs the way they are presented in ordinary anatomy and physiology, this is maya to a much higher degree than the maya we face in the world around us.

We are able to know about the world from memories we have stored since we had conscious awareness, since about five years old. But we grasp, apprehend the things that occur to us in the world from bodily memories or doyles stored from events that happened to us before we were five. When we look back on a memory, any doyles associated with that memory will be triggered and those familiar feelings will arise that lead to what we call understanding or comprehension of the events we recalled. This is how we understand the world through our cognitive and doylic memories working together. But our entire human organization is required to understand the cosmic processes at work, and there are instruments that can perceive or register those processes outside of the complete human being.

[page 41] Isn't it true that we know about the world which has been our own for as long as we have had conscious awareness here on earth from memory? We are able to reflect on everything we are able to recall from memory. We look inwards and find that the world we have known outside is inside ourselves, and we realize that the outside life has entered into the images we have inside us. Looking back in memory we understand again what we experienced before. Now if we look at our physical organization and understand it, we also understand the cosmic process. Our memories let us understand life's experiences. Our whole human organization lets us understand the cosmic process, if we know how to look at it. And this is what anthroposophy is all about — to understand the human being in every way.

Any number of materialistic scientists would immediately hurl at Steiner the epithet of anthropomorphism if they were to read his book Occult Science, and they would be done with anthroposophy once and for all. But if the reality of the world is such that human evolution and cosmic evolution proceeded together then every appearance of anthropomorphism is the sign of a deep truth which we do best to respect and inspect and come to know deeply for our evolution and the evolution of the cosmos are bound up together. Thus Steiner tells us that "anthroposophy is also cosmosophy" and "The human being is to be found in the world, and the world in the human being."

[page 41, 42] This is also why it is not anthropomorphism to speak of human evolution in the same breath as evolution through Saturn, Sun, Moon and so on in my Occult Science. Cosmic evolution is something that is given, and human evolution is something that is given, for the further we penetrate the secrets of existence, the more do cosmos and human being come together; the more does it become apparent that the separation between cosmos and human being that exists for us on earth is mere maya [RJM: an illusion].

Lecture Three [From Cosmosophy, Volume II review, Lecture 3]

How did we arrive at a way of understanding the world that is so filled with maya or illusion in our time? To understand this we must overcome the chronomorphism of the materialistic scientist of today who operates as though what is true of our current way of understanding the world of imaginations, concepts, thinking, and abstract thoughts was always that way. If one projects our current way of understanding the world on ancients peoples, one becomes completely blind to the evolution of consciousness which has been taking place which has led us to our current condition of maya. He goes into details in Lecture 3, but a few passages will give us the flavor of his argument.

[page 42, 43] At about the beginning of the 8th century BC the nature of human understanding became what essentially it still is today, though with modifications. Until now, we have more or less characterized the earlier way that went before it by saying: It was a kind of instinctive perception. Insight lived not in concepts but in images; these were not entirely like the dream images we see, yet they did not have the clear definition when they lived in human souls which they have in the modern world of concepts, but took more the form of images that passed through the conscious mind.

All the Greek myths occurred before that time, but were written by people after that time, and thus we have written reports by a people who were dramatically different than the people they were writing about. Those people with the earlier capabilities, such as remembering their earlier incarnations and knowing their karmic destiny, were called "gods." Achilles' mother, Thetis, is one excellent example of such a "god." What the Greeks called "gods" were earlier human beings with capabilities that so far outshone their own, they called them "gods". Here's how Steiner characterized these early godlike Greeks.

[page 46] People acted more or less out of instinct on earth, we might say they acted like a higher kind of animal. And into this creature shone the sublime wisdom which began to fade away towards the 8th century B.C.

As we near Plato's time, things begin to change. With the fading away of divine wisdom, the rising up of the individual intellect began, and the intellectual soul age replaced the sentient soul age with its instinctive wisdom. Plato had one foot in each age and it showed in his writings.

[page 47] There followed the development that goes hand in hand with the intellectual or mind soul. Human beings began to let the mind be active in them and evolve concepts. Greek civilization still had the angelic wisdom of earlier times but worked it through with human concepts. Plato's wisdom makes such an impression on us because he was subjectively evolving concepts and ideas, but the old instinctive wisdom still shone into the process.

When the Homerian epics were written down, the author implored his Muse to radiate the story into him as he wrote it down. For example, in The Iliad, the first line goes, "Tell me, O Muse, of the wrath of Achilles." When Plato writes, he uses the form of a dialogue. Rather than merely copying down what a Muse told him, Plato held a conversation with his Muse, a definite sign of an evolution of humanity between Homer and Plato.

[page 47] His writings therefore are a marvelous combination of the highest wisdom and a way of thinking that was human and individual. Considering Plato's mind and spirit it would be impossible to imagine him writing his philosophical works in a form other than that of dialogues, for the simple reason that he was definitely aware of a wisdom that had only been an indefinite feeling to earlier people. They would say: The wisdom simply exists; it comes to me and radiates into me. Plato found himself in a form of dialogue with the entity that brought wisdom into him. Experiencing this wisdom in dialogue he also preferred to express it through dialogue.

From the time of the Greeks to the Romans, humanity underwent a metamorphosis again from the imaginative thinking of the Greeks to the abstract, logical thinking of the Romans. Someone once said that Latin was taught to early school children because it taught them how to think. It was a form of thinking that did not exist before the Romans and comes to us embodied in the Latin language and the Roman concept of jurisprudence, both of which have been cornerstones of civilization since the earliest Roman times.

[page 48, 49] Anything the Romans still had by way of imagination actually came from Greece. The Romans introduced the prosaic, logical thinking that was later to give the Latin language the logical quality that was to govern civilization for ages to come. . . . We may say that in the Latin language, a luciferic element lives on in an ahrimanic way.

How do we tell the difference between people who are primary luciferic or primarily ahrimanic? Here's an easy way: ask yourself about a given person: Are they more into anger or more into pain? If into anger or ire, they're luciferic. If into pain or suffering, either experiencing it or complaining about it, they're ahrimanic. While everyone may be angry at one time or in pain occasionally, those who have a demonstrated propensity for either can be seen to be under the influence of either luciferic forces (ire) or ahrimanic forces (pain).

[page 52, 53] The luciferic spirits may be said to be spirits of ire in the human soul who do not intend human beings to be glad to be on earth but draw them away from the earth, over and over again, always wanting to draw them up towards the superhuman. . . . The ahrimanic spirits, on the other hand, may be called spirits of pain and suffering. They seek to achieve the human form for themselves but are unable to do so. Essentially these ahrimanic spirits suffer terrible pain. It is as if an animal were to feel dimly: You ought to come upright and be a human being — as if it wanted to tear itself apart inwardly. That is the terrible pain experienced by the ahrimanic spirits. It can only be relieved by approaching human beings and taking hold of their minds. This will cool the pain.

We human beings are the battleground for the luciferic and ahrimanic forces, and our only chance for balancing these two sets of forces is through Christ who is ever ready to assist us with maintaining a healthy balance between the two forces. Anger, pain or balance — the choice is ours. The luciferic forces come down from the higher world and seek to lead us to rise to their level — they can be found in the "arts and abstract theology". The ahrimanic forces come up from below, from the level of matter and seek to achieve human status by possessing our mind. They want to keep us from progressing so that they might relieve their own pain.

[page 55] Ahriman has a hand in the development of mechanics, technology, anything that seeks to take the human intellect away from people and put it into machine tools and also the machinery of government.

The Artificial Intelligence researchers are the most ahrimanic of all the scientists today with their attempt to create human intellect in machines which is the ultimate in taking it away from people. If they are successful in their endeavor they will have succeeded in committing suicide, because they will have become so bound to the Earth that when the mineralized Earth dissolves into space they will die with it, having become unable to reach the spiritual development to live during the spiritualized Jupiter stage of evolution.

[page 57] If the industrial technology and materialistic science which has evolved from Renaissance times and is entirely ahrimanic by nature is allowed to spread without there being any understanding of Christ, it will bind human beings to the earth and prevent them from reaching the Jupiter stage. Yet if we bring understanding of Christ, a new life of the spirit, and Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition to what at present is mere discovery of the physical world, we will redeem ahrimanic nature.

How is this redemption to take place? It can begin to take place in you, dear Reader, when you endeavor to study and comprehend the truths of anthroposophy — the science of the material and spiritual human being, of the full human being or anthropos. Convert in your mind the battlefield of Luci and Ahri into a balance scale and imagine that Christ is holding that scale and placing His hand on the side of the scale that you need to restore balance in your world. He stands ready to help, if only you will ask Him for help.

[page 57] The human beings of today are caught in the midst of this battle. They need to realize that anthroposophy enables them to find and perceive the spirit and is therefore the true gift of Christ. Holding on to this they can keep the balance between luciferic and ahrimanic elements and thus find their way.

Steiner gives us the image of the two extremes of Lucifer and Ahriman, in what I might call the Buddhist Monk and the New York City Marketing Man. The Buddhist Monk has no use for his legs as he sits for long hours in a cross-legged posture while his head swells with divine inspiration. The NYC Marketing Man is constantly on the run from one market to another, one meeting to another, and his legs are constantly in motion as he executes the items on his To-Do list from morning till night.

[page 58] Lucifer wants [people] to use their heads and pour their hearts into their heads; Ahriman seeks to make people think only with their legs, pour everything into the legs.

In what one may interpret with 21st Century hindsight, Steiner seems to be saying that Personal Computers are a good thing to have around if they are pressed into the service of anthroposophy.

[page 60] The things they write in shorthand or on typewriters might just as well stay unwritten. We usually know all about it and there is no need to put it down on paper. The content does not matter, for only the ahrimanic skill has some significance. Yet it will be good to have the things that are coming up in the science of the spirit laid down exactly, for it is necessary to express ourselves in a careful, accurate way. And in this respect the ahrimanic element will be able to serve the realm of the spirit well.

Lectures Four, Five, and Six: Reconnecting with the Hierarchies, etc.

What will happen to human beings if we do not reconnect with the hierarchies of spiritual beings? Steiner tells us that they will turn away from us if we remain turned away from them. Our children continue to be connected to the angels, but as the soul-deadening force of what passes for education in most of our schools enters them, they will turn away from the hierarchy of the angels, archangels, and archai. It was not always this way — previously the spiritual beings of this hierarchy worked on us whether we believed in them or not. No more. It is up to us to turn to them of our own free will from now on, or they will ignore us.

[page 65] The relationship used to be such that these three hierarchies worked at human evolution from out of their own impulses, and for their own sakes. We now live in an epoch in which the work these beings did for us is finished. For the time being these beings are not interested in continuing to work as before on human evolution. A new relationship to humanity will come about only when we ourselves, out of our free will and of our own accord, begin to concern ourselves with spiritual worlds. If in days to come we were not, as human beings, to turn our attention to spiritual worlds, we should be bound to lose all connection with them, because the spiritual beings belonging to us have no reason to be interested in us for their own sakes. We shall only re-awaken their interest if we concern ourselves from out of our very souls with the spiritual world, that is, if we cultivate thoughts, feelings and will impulses into which spiritual forces can flow.

The very organizations, our religious denominations, that we would expect to help us connect to the hierarchies have become so enamored of Ahriman that they seem to be casting off all our moorings to the hierarchies.

[page 66] The first thing we must look at is the effectiveness of the various denominations, confessions, existing among civilized peoples. Until now there was a certain necessity for them to guide human hearts and minds to the spiritual world in the way they have done. But if, in the future, they do not allow something entirely new to enter their endeavors the confessions will be a contributory factor to severing human beings from the spiritual world.

In other lectures Steiner mentioned several times that the age of maturity has become lower and lower until it crossed over the age 33 at the time of Christ Jesus and now hovers around the age of 27. What this means is that, unless we make a special effort to learn after we pass the age of 27, we will remain stagnant. One can listen to people talk about how they hated school and were so anxious to get out of school and know that this person is one of stultified growth in their current life. Steiner saw the need for a school system which was capable of providing pleasant memories which will encourage a lifetime of future learning in their students. It was this need which led him to create the Waldorf School Systems which are thriving around the world today almost a hundred years later.

[page 69] Nowadays people do not give their organism a chance to develop. When they have reached the youthful age of thirty, people are embarrassed to learn anything further, to make themselves capable of change. What is needed is that human beings actually retain the possibility throughout life of looking forward to each new year, because each year charms forth the divine/spiritual content of our own inner being in new configurations. I would like to stress the point that we really and truly need to learn to see our whole lifetime as space for change, and not only the years of childhood. Of course a new kind of education will be necessary for this. When our elders think back to their school-days they usually have unpleasant memories. We must be able to create the kind of school-days that will provide memories which are a constant source of invigoration. You will see that this is yet another way of opening up the chance of really perceiving the soul/spiritual element in our own being, and really experiencing in ourselves something reaching beyond the kind of life stimulated in us from outside.

We as human beings have the ability of viewing the events of the coming day during our sleep-time at night, but few have developed the ability to be aware of these events in consciousness during the day. But we each have a guardian angel who is aware of them and if we respect our angel, we increase the probability of our angel giving us counsel at the right times during the coming day based on events about to happen. If you cooperate with your angel, you will best be able to bring about the events you two planned together the night before.

There are three processes that Steiner reveals in this lecture which are of importance to human beings:

[page 70, 71, paraphrased]
— One, that human beings learn to regard this life between birth and death as a continuation of the spiritual soul life they lived before birth.
— Two, that people throughout their lives experience the revelations of the guardian angel within themselves.
— Three, that people should be clearly conscious throughout each day that the things they do from morning to evening have been worked out with their individual guardian angels between going to sleep and waking up.

People speak of God these days as if each one had a personal relationship to the top of the hierarchies of spiritual beings while at the same time apparently having no comprehension of, acknowledgment of, nor a relationship to angels, the hierarchy lowest and nearest to us. This is the hierarchy of spiritual beings, the angels, especially our own Guardian Angel, which follows our spirit from lifetime to lifetime, from personality to personality, and provides the continuity we each require for balancing the events of destiny, one karmic act after another. This is a process which could be considered a fourth one for the above list: to learn that when we humans we talk to "God" we are actually communicating directly with our angel. Our current religions obfuscate this process in many ways and hinder us from understanding the reality of our spiritual communication, up until now.

[page 71] As you know, the present confessions [RJM: religions] speak a great deal about God and his works. What are they actually referring to? They are of course speaking merely of something of which the human soul is vaguely aware. It does not depend on what you call something but on what is present in a person's soul. People speak of God and of Christ, but all the time they only mean their angel. For when they turn to their angel this still produces an echo in the soul. It makes no difference whether the confessions are speaking about God, or Christ, or some other divine being, the substance of the thought only reaches to the angels connected with human beings. People do not reach anything higher than this hierarchy today, because people do not want to form a relationship with the spiritual world on the basis of anything larger than egoism.

Steiner spoke of a psychological confrontation between the East and the West looming during his time in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He saw clearly that the peoples of the East valued with their the heart the things of art, morals, religion, and law, whereas the peoples of the West valued with their head the products of economic reality. What the East valued, the West saw as by-products of what the West valued, and vice-versa. Each was right in their own way, but we can notice today how the confrontation which Steiner saw looming eighty years ago is blooming into a world-wide conflict, loosely called the War on Terrorism. Rightly understood, each side is attempting to assert their view as right and inflicting terror thereby on the other side. It is a fatalism of the worst kind that afflicts both East and West. Each sees the other's reality as maya (illusion). The East sees the internal life as reality and the West sees the external life as reality. And each sees what the other calls reality as ideology (maya or illusion). The West calls its internal life ideology and its external life reality; the East calls its internal life reality and its external life ideology(1).

[page 74, 75] Western fatalism, eastern fatalism, we know them both well. In the East — though not right at the beginning, but along with the development of the world view of maya — people lapsed into complete fatalism. Every world conception has within its inner structure the inclination eventually to become fatalistic. But we are now at the point when we have to realize that fatalism has to be got rid of. We must find the transition from mere observation and contemplation to will and action. We must rouse our will by developing the sort of impulses that arise out of the attitudes I have just been indicating: that you enter life as a continuation of pre-natal life, that you remain young until your hair is white and you have wrinkles, that the nocturnal work of the angel plays into the life of the day. This is essential. The way to go about enlivening one's will is to expand one's sphere of interest by seeing not only what touches one's own personal life but the differences which come to expression in the civilized world.
       Looking at the West, where we ourselves belong, we see the inner world as ideology and the outer world as reality. Looking to the East, we see the outer world as ideology, maya, and the inner world as reality. And the violent clashes occurring among people in the present time make it our duty to find the will to extricate ourselves from the fatalism of such a view of life.

Earlier in this review, I mentioned a poem "On the Wings of Words" that I embedded in my review of Steiner's book, Toward Imagination. In this next passage we can discern a pleading by Steiner for us in the West, especially the Anglo-Americans, to focus on the meanings which fly from soul to soul, from etheric body to etheric body, on the wings of words. The etheric body is the feeling component of the human being. Someone with no etheric or feeling body we call stone-hearted or say that they are cold-hearted. Without an etheric body infusing it, the human body becomes a cold corpse in a very short time. Our metaphors of stone-hearted and cold-hearts represent that reality which we experience directly when someone talks to us with no feeling whatsoever — in effect, only words arrive and impinge upon our ears, no feeling arrives on the wings of their words. Steiner traces the loss of the feeling content in western languages, beginning with his native German, ending the westernmost American language. We Americans must learn to listen for and experience directly in our etheric bodies the meanings which are carried "on the wings of words" if we are ever to comprehend the meanings of the peoples of the Eastern states.

[page 77] Take German, for instance. Nowadays it is being terribly misused, but if we look back at the language of Goethe and Lessing we know that not so long ago they could speak directly about the life of the spirit. This quality is there in the language, though by now it has been terribly neglected and reduced to empty phrases. But it is not due to the language alone that it can no longer be spiritual. The farther West we go the more we find that spirit has been jettisoned; out of the language itself, out of the sounds, the tone, even the grammar. Rejection of the spiritual/soul element from the Anglo-American idiom will lead to the world mission of the Anglo-American peoples. They will have to learn — though quite instinctively alongside their acquisition of world domination — as they listen to other people speaking, to hear not only the sound but to interpret the gesture of the language, to hear more than the mere physical sound, to hear something that passes from one human being to another, but reaches beyond the spoken word. This is something that works from etheric body to etheric body. This is the secret of western languages; the physical sound is losing in significance and the spiritual part of it is gaining in significance. It is the task in the West to let the spirit filtrate into language, and not only to hear physically but to hear intuitively more than goes into the sound. In the West, spirit will have to be sought through language itself.

When we begin to understand other peoples, especially the folk on opposite poles from us, we transcend the hierarchy of the angels, and enter the sphere of the archangels, who operate as folk spirits, among other things. If people call you a fool for talking this way about the contrasts of ideology and maya, you will be wise to understand that such persons are signaling their limited understanding of humanity — which operates only within the own parochial concerns of their own folk.

[page 78] If someone talks about maya and ideology nowadays in the way I do, and actually goes so far as to say that the essential dynamic of this lies in the sphere of the archangels, what do clever people take him for? A fool, of course, because the mental equipment they have makes them so hidebound that they take no interest in the wider concerns of humanity. To have an interest of this sort requires a spiritual vantage-point from which one can enter into the processes at work in the great concern of humanity.

One who is sensitive to the larger issues of politics in the West can discern two categories of people, each of which claim the truth to be on its side. In recent elections these two classes were called generically the Reds and the Blues. In previous times, the same way of thinking categorized people as Whigs and Tories. The Whigs were the people of the broad masses and the Tories those claimed a superior status by virtue of their blood, the nobles of England, for example. Steiner gives us a brief tutorial on this in the next passage when he shows how through learning the Greek language one can adopt an aristocratic bent.

[page 79, 80] No occupation was worthy of a free man in Greece except science and politics, and at the most agriculture — but only in a supervisory capacity; everything else was done by slaves. This is contained in the language. So when we imbibe Greek culture, together with the language, we are thinking into our selves the inclination to think as an aristocrat. It came naturally to the Greeks to structure their whole social organism in accordance with their way of thought, for this was connected with the blood. On the one side there were the broad masses, and on the other side there were the human beings of a higher type who were of a superior soul configuration through their blood. This is even expressed in Greek sculpture. Look at the way the nose and ears are placed in the Hermes type in comparison with the Zeus or Athene type. They are quite different. The Greeks knew exactly what they wanted to express in the contrast between the Hermes type and the Aryan Zeus type.

We not imbibe solely Greek culture, but Greek culture modified by the Romans. To be a Greek was to be a full human being, whereas to be a Roman was to be a citizen of the state. In 200 years we have seen a similar transition happen in the United States, where today, to be a human being, one must have a Social Security Number, which is now given shortly after birth! One does not need to inspect 2500 years of history to note a considerable evolution of consciousness; one can see it in a short 200 years.

[page 80] Compared to the Greeks, the Romans were a prosaic, unimaginative people, who developed other aspects of life. What was instinctively in the blood with the Greeks, became abstract with the Romans. They made even the human being into an abstraction, a citizen of the state. In the Roman sense a person is not a human being but a citizen of the state. This would have been incomprehensible to the Greeks. To be a member of humanity was not what gave a person his identity but being registered on some state document.

The state assigns a number to babies at birth, provides them with a job (those in federal jobs) for their natural life, and then provides them a pension for the rest of their lives, and all of this paid for by those who work in productive jobs, jobs that increase wealth rather than live off of wealth. One can see this Roman attitude towards jobs followed by lifetime pensions in the usual scenarios painted by Christian churches: be a good church member and when you die you will be rewarded by an eternal pension called Heaven.

[page 81, 82] If you tell someone today: 'If you do not want to miss out on immortality then you must activate your soul energies so that you yourself can pass as an active soul through the gates of death' — he will not understand you. The status quo has got him thoroughly out of the habit of applying his understanding to such matters. Instead, he has been told that he need only believe in Christ and in what the state does. So he knows that first of all the state will take care of his needs, and when he has worked long enough the state will give him a pension. And the church goes a step further; it offers a person, after his death, a pension for his soul, so that he does not need to work on his soul during life nor do anything himself when his souls passes through the gate of death. Nowadays a person is registered, and politics Roman style has already become second nature to people, and this will only increase.

Scientists extol the value of natural laws, but are unable to discover any natural laws which govern human life. Like the first cameras which needed exposure times of almost a minute requiring one to be as still as a corpse, scientists today can only understand the human being when it is a corpse. It is as if all of our natural laws are only useful for explaining the human being in the process of decaying once its life has gone. And yet, rightly understood, we must forever fight against science, against these natural laws, to live!

[page 85] Meanwhile the forces living in a human being between birth and death struggle against these nature laws, work in opposition to them. Even if you were to put real judgments — only to a certain extent — in the place of prejudices, then nowadays you would need to realize that between birth and death, actually from the first moments of the embryonic period, a human being is fighting against everything governed by natural laws as today's science understands them.

[page 86] Human beings are not part of the nature to which modern science lays claim. In fact, with every breath they draw they rebel against the kind of nature spoken of by science.

If one must have a monument, one might write a fitting epitaph for a tomb thus:

This Tomb is Empty.

The eggshell, the snake skin, the body, that imitation of me
That so many have mistaken for me
Has been cremated and turned into ashes immediately
So that no one might henceforth mistake
That which I shed for the real Me
As I continue upon my path.

Steiner likens the human being to a cake which is poured into a shaped cake tin for baking. The cake, will, we know, take the form of the cake tin. The cake tin is like our physical form which departs at death, and our corpse retains its shape for a time just the cake when its tin is removed. Where does our physical form go upon death? It returns to the archai, the hierarchy above the archangels, from which it came to Earth in the beginning of our life. We have now seen how an individual life is nestled in the bosom of an angel, the life of an entire folk in the bosom of an archangel, and the physical form of the human being in the bosom of the archai. You will only "arrive at what the archai actually do" when you understand "how they work from their kingdom down into the earthly realm, metamorphizing the human form."

[page 89] This transformation of the human gestalt, beginning in the Lemurian age and continuing on to the period when it will disappear from the earth, is something which is altogether constituted and fashioned from out of the kingdom of the archai. In working in this way at the human being they bring about at the same time what in the true sense of the word is that spirit of the age. For this time spirit(2) is intimately connected with the fashioning of the human being's form, in that the skin is brought into a certain shape. The time spirit is situated essentially in the outermost sphere of human sensibility. If one understands the working of these archai then one also understands that not only the human gestalt changes but that the time spirits themselves also change in the course of earth existence.

There is another hierarchy in which the very Earth itself in all of its evolution is nestled in. The human being is nestled in the archai and the Earth is nestled in the next higher hierarchy, that of the exusiai or elohim. Just as the human form comes from and dissolves back into the archai, so the form of the Earth comes from and dissolves back into the exusiai. By a similar process our etheric body comes from and dissolves back into the archangels, and our astral undergoes that process with the angels.

[page 91, 92] So you see, in that we have a physical human form, an etheric body and an astral body, we are enveloped in the realms of the hierarchies next above us. And in that we are involved in the laws governing the earth — that we can move about as human beings on the earth, can unfold will power and carry out actions — we are also involved in the realm of the exusiai, the spirits of form, the elohim.

With this background we are able to understand how critically important it is for each of us to have a relationship in which we acknowledge and respect our individual Guardian Angel. When we fall asleep having denied its existence, our angel will refuse to accompany our astral body because to do so would be the same as the "angel would denying its realm, its affiliation to the archangels, the archai and the exusiai." What kind of troubled dreams might one have if every night one's astral body went unaccompanied and unadvised by one's Guardian Angel of into the spiritual world? This is an area where one's attitude is crucial to one's life. Imagine if you had a body guard since you were a child and when you grew up, you began to hate having the body guard around, showed him disrespect, and ignored his suggestions for your safety. Would you be surprised that the bodyguard would stay home instead of accompanying you when you went away from home?

[page 92, 93] When children go to sleep their angel goes with them, but when a person has reached a certain maturity it actually depends on his attitude, on whether he has an inner relation to his angel. And if this relationship is not there, and he only has faith in material things, and his thoughts are entirely about the material world, his angel will not go with him. . . . his angel would be denying its realm, its affiliation to the archangels, the archaie and the exusiai if it were to accompany the human being.

Just as one's attitude to one's bodyguard can determine whether one will have a bodyguard, so also one's attitude to one's Guardian Angel will determine whether one will have its protection. We must nurture in ourselves the kind of thoughts and attitudes in which angels can live.

[page 94] Nowadays you cannot say: 'Well, if there are angels, we do not need to believe in them in our waking state, of course, for when we are asleep they are bound to look after us.' No, they do not go with us if we deny their existence during the day. This is something which leads us right into the mysteries of human existence, and which at the same time shows us that our attitude is just as much an integral part of the whole cosmic system as, let us say, our blood circulation is of the system which external science surveys . . .

What might one expect if one disdains one's Guardian Angel? What kind of impact will it have on one's life? Steiner explains that an intensified materialism will arise from ahrimanic Inspirations which will come into one each night while asleep and carry over into one's life the next day.

[page 97] Think about it and you will realize that it makes a great difference whether human beings acquire a spiritual frame of mind by means of which their astral bodies remain connected with their angels while they are asleep, or whether they acquire no such spiritual frame of mind and are not accompanied by their angel when they go to sleep. For human beings then bring ahrimanic Inspirations with them out of sleep. It is indeed the case that the whole materialistic mode of thought with which human beings are crammed full, is emerging in our time out of their sleep life, with greater and greater rapidity. The only way people can protect themselves from continually bringing with them from sleep the sort of ahrimanic Inspirations that condemn them to materialism, that is, to being bound to the earth, to becoming identified with matter and suffering the death of the soul, is by filling themselves with the frame of mind that comes when they accept spiritual scientific thoughts.

The archangels are the folk spirits and this can be seen best by calling to mind the image of the Egyptian god, Horus, which had an animal head. How did this come about? Steiner explains that human beings can experience with their earthly senses down to the mineral kingdom, but to angels, the mineral kingdom is a void, a hole in space, as they cannot perceive minerals. When we rise to the archangels, they are unable to perceive either minerals or plants — the perception of the archangels begins with animals. And archangels have a larger goal than angels — angels guide individual humans while archangels guide entire groups of folk or nations. One can see this in the case of the Egyptians and also in many American Indian tribes who have adopted animal totems.

[page 106, 107] This enables us to understand that because the life of whole national groups is deeply connected with the life of certain groups of animals, the Egyptians felt that the gods had assigned certain animals to them. They were right in seeing this as a deed of the folk spirit. They prayed to the power of the folk spirit who had assigned the animal to them.

Earlier I mentioned that angels are unable to see minerals. Human beings are unable to see the very organs with which they see the rest of world. One cannot see one's eyes except by reflection in a mirror. With angels, the very substances they are unable to see provide them with eyes with which they are able to see. While a human doctor can see with his eyes all of the organs of a body as comprising a full human being, what would the same doctor see of an angel being? He would see with those same eyes only the sensory organs of the angel, which are hidden in the mineral kingdom in what we call precious stones.

[page 107] You could now ask me whether it would be possible to think of a being who, whilst perceiving the individual organs of a human being, cannot comprehend him as a whole, cannot imagine that these organs form a whole. You could ask me whether perhaps with their current form of perception human beings do not perceive angels and archangels directly, but perceive their organs, their eyes and ears. Or we could visualize the angels perceiving plants, animals, human beings and angels, and ask where their sense organs are to be found. Are human beings perhaps able to perceive the sense organs of angels? Where are these? They not only exist but are perceptible to human beings. Only human beings do not know this. You will be able to understand what the sense organs of angels are if I tell you that a human being possesses as part of himself two eyes for seeing the mineral world, but that he does not perceive his eyes directly as part of himself. Our sense organs are there for perceiving with, but do not perceive themselves. The same applies to the angels and the mineral world. Their sense organs are to be found in the mineral, physical world, but they do not perceive this world itself. Our precious stones are the angels' sense organs! Precious stones are the secret instrument with which angels perceive. So these organs are in the mineral world. Just as human beings have a sense of feeling, a sense of touch, these beings also have a feeling sense, and this comes to expression in chalcedony, and their sense of sight in chrysolite. They do not perceive the mineral world because their sense organs are there.

When we proceed to the next level above the archangels, we come to archai, the principalities, or the time spirits. We humans have the mineral kingdom as the first level that we can perceive and we find our most durable building materials there. We manipulate concrete, glass, and steel into homes, skyscrapers, and other useful buildings and devices. The archai similarly operate on the first level of material they can perceive which is the human kingdom. The archai move people into the proper places for their time.

[page 109] The single human individuality is one thing, and the way it functions under the influences of the various spirits of the age is something quite different. Think of Giordano Bruno? It was not he himself, alone, who did what came about through him. If he had incarnated three hundred years earlier or later he would have been just as gifted an individual; but, under the guidance of the spirit of his age, he would have had to do something quite different. The time spirits, who are the expression of these principalities who reach down as far as human beings, put people in the appropriate places. You will understand how they work if you regard the single human being as the instrument of, the material for, these principalities. Wherever people appear, whether in an important or modest position, they have to be judged in this way, for human beings are to these principalities what the minerals are to us. Everyone engaged in spiritual science perpetually asks the question: To what extent is this or that personality the instrument of the time spirits? To be able to observe how human beings are put in their appropriate place in the world is to see deeply into the workings of evolution.

What happens to spiritual beings who do not advance in their evolution but remain behind? They seek things for us that would be more appropriate for another time. As Steiner defines evil as a "good out of its time", we can understand that evil spirits emerge from retarded good spirits.

[page 111] We have also heard that certain beings always remain behind in their evolution. The present powers were principalities on the Moon. But there are principalities (archai) from the Moon stage who did not complete their task on the Moon, and who came to Earth as principalities who have not developed fast enough, although they had the chance to become powers. The most outstanding of these principalities who could actually have reached the rank of a power is the being commonly called 'Satan'. He is of the rank of the principalities, and could actually have become a power (exusiai). Among the spirits who advance the world, this time spirit works against the others; he is, on the Earth, the kind of force that would have been suitable on the old Moon, and he is still intimately connected with those forces. He is the master of all the hindrances and obstructions which work counter to the progressive time spirits.

Immediately after the Christ spirit descended upon Jesus of Nazareth during the baptism in the Jordan, Christ Jesus wandered into the desert where he was confronted by Satan in the events recorded in the Bible as the three temptations.

[page 111, 112] You will understand what it means in the life of Christ Jesus that the first thing he had to do in the moment of his greatest increase was to overcome Satan, the opponent of progress; for Christ wanted to bring human beings, humanity, a great step further, but had first of all to overcome this adversary, the hindering, obstructing force in evolution, who wanted to prevent the advancement of the Earth principalities. Esoteric Christianity calls these unlawful principalities satanic powers. What often comes to be called providence can in actual fact be seen to be specific groups of beings.

On the evening of April 7, 1775, Samuel Johnson made his famous pronouncement that, "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels." In an extended footnote for Lecture Five of this book Steiner comments on people who have told a lie who nevertheless believe the lie to be true to the best of their knowledge. He says this makes as little difference to the objective facts as if you would put your finger in a flame and believe it would not burn your finger. This adds an interesting credence to the childish saying when someone is lying, "Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!" In this next passage I have italicized the sentence which so closely aligns with the Johnson quote above. To make a statement based simply on a patriotic belief and not on the facts is to tell lies out of ignorance, laziness, or lack of principles — all marks of a scoundrel.

[page 120, 121] To appeal to good intentions helps just as little when it comes to matter of universal significance — and it would be tragic if it were otherwise. Human beings are not at liberty to tell lies out of ignorance. . . . For it is the comfortable refuge disguising the very extreme of laziness when people make an assertion and feel no obligation to make certain whether what they say is true and corresponds to the facts, or not.

What is one to do to avoid the appearance of a scoundrel? The guidelines of General Semantics can be a huge help. Remember to use these six processes whenever you are uncertain about any situation, as described in this book How to Develop Your Thinking Ability by Kenneth S. Keyes, Jr. From my review of the book:

1. You can never know all about anything. [So far as I know.]
2. No two things are identical. [The What Index]
3. Things may act differently in new places. [The Where Index]
4. Thing exist in varying degrees. [Up to a Point]
5. Things appear differently to different people. [To Me]
6. Everything changes. [The When Index]

In summary of this compilation of lectures on Guardian Angels, Steiner has presented us with four processes to learn and to incorporate into our daily lives from now on. We must learn to regard this life on Earth as the latest and most important life of all our lives in the flesh. We must learn to respect and honor our individual Guardian Angel throughout all our lifetimes on Earth, from early childhood until we re-enter the spiritual world. We must learn to recognize the working out of each day as a collaboration of plans we made in collaboration with our Guardian Angel while we are asleep each night. And lastly, we must learn to distinguish the areas of activity of the Angels, Archangels, Archai, and Exusiai, and avoid the fostering of materialistic attitude by calling the spiritual hierarchies closest to us by the one name, God.

If you have a serious task ahead of you, remember that "fatigue makes cowards of us all" and the best way to approach a task when you are unsure is to sleep on it — secure in the faith that while you are asleep, the wisest part of you will be planning a solution in conjunction with your best friend in the spiritual world, your personal Guardian Angel.

~^~ Epilogue ~^~

Below is a poem written by a woman who re-connected with her Guardian Angel after an intruder entered her private space one night. This poem is from page 27 of Kathleen Nichols book, Morning Glories, which I had read and reviewed in 1995. I have updated and expanded the review I wrote then and it is published on-line for the first time here: http://www.doyletics.com/arj/morningg.htm. In the poem one can grasp how she applied some of the principles Steiner talks about to recover her Guardian Angel.

       Touched by an Angel

Today an angel touched my face
       with a feathery caress,
And as I felt that tender stroke,
       I knew that I was blessed.

Before the touch, my heart was filled
       with pain and nameless fear,
But now I'm calmed because I know
       my angel friend is near.

For all these years I've heard of them
       these guardians of our way
But I was just too caught up in
       the struggles of the day.

Oh, yes, I liked the stories of
       the miracles they brought,
But they really were just stories!
      (At least, that's what I thought.)

I always stayed so busy with
       the toils of daily life;
I thought that I was strong enough
      tTo handle any strife.

And then one night a stranger came,
      an intruder in my space,
And suddenly I knew a danger
       I had never had to face.

As terror flooded through my soul,
       I thought I was alone,
But now I know my angel's love
       was just waiting to be shown.

And then the stranger ran away,
      But anger filled my soul
How could I let these feelings go?
      Would I ever again be whole?

I flailed about in deep despair,
       and with my angry shouts,
I created so much noise inside
       I closed my angel out.

Then finally my rage was spent,
       and weariness set in,
And knowing that I needed help
      I went to meet with friends.

There, in the stillness of the hour,
       as healing light came through,
I simply set the anger free —
       there was nothing else to do.

And then, the angel touched my face —
       just a stroke upon my brow —
As if to say, "I'm always near.
       Yes, Dear, you know that now."

Today an angel touched my face
       with a feathery caress
And as I felt that tender stroke,
      I knew that I was blessed.

Notes on Poem: I was touched by an angel on Saturday afternoon, October 22, 1994, during a Healing Workshop at Life's Journey Bookstore. The previous Wednesday I had been a victim of a non-violent crime, thus the "intruder in my space." I had been shaken to the very core by this incident and felt unsafe and frightened. I cried out silently from the depths of my heart for comfort and reassurance and release, and I believe I was answered in this very special way. The angel's touch was as real as any human touch ever was, but so much more loving just a tender lifting of my hair from my forehead, brushing it back gently with a coolness like a soft whisper. I opened my eyes immediately to see who had touched me, but no human form was near. I felt relaxed, calm, secure — and filled with more love than I ever knew was possible, just filled up to overflowing as tears of joy rinsed and refreshed my face. And now I know — angels are not just pretty stories. They are real, and they are here — right now!
Kathy Nichols



---------------------------- Reference Links for Guardian Angels ---------------

A Reference Page of Material written by Bobby Matherne on Guardian Angels
http://www.doyletics.com/arj/gualinks.htm

---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------

Footnote 1. In his book, Unconditional Surrender, Eric Szuter avers that "unconditional surrender" offers us a way to resolve the differences between East and West. The eponymous phrase represents the acceptance of the views of the other side as having an equivalent reality to one's own side.

Return to text directly before Footnote 1.

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Footnote 2. Note: "time spirit" is another name for the archai. In modern times, as noted elsewhere the archangel we know as Mi-cha-el is taking over as time spirit by his promotion to archai. Not only do archai change or evolve over time, but so do the other hierarchies evolve, change, and move up the hierarchies, if they progress normally and do not fall back, such as certain retarded spirituals beings such as Satan did. These retarded beings are called evil because the good that they bring is a good that is out of its proper time.

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