Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Great Goal of the Tao

The full English translation of a lecture by R. Steiner spoken November 16, 1905 has still to my knowledge, not been done. This is unfortunate. The following excerpt below, is a fuller one of a smaller portion which has several times been posted on this blog. This longer quote is fundamental to understanding Steiner more fully as concerns a reading of the great Tao.

"The Tao gives expression to the highest to which a large part of humanity can look up and has revered for thousands of years. It is something which was considered as a distant goal of the world and of humanity, the highest element which man carried as a germ within him, which would one day develop into a fully opened blossom from the innermost depths of human nature.

Tao signifies both a deeply hidden basis of the soul and at the same time an exulted future. Not only the name Tao, but the very thought of Tao filled those who had insight into it with timid reverence. The Tao religion is based on the principle of development, and it proclaims That by which I am surrounded today is but a stage which has to be overcome. I must clearly see that this development in which I am involved has a Goal, that I am going to work towards an exulted Goal and that within me there lives a power which spurs me on to come to the Great Goal of Tao.

If I can feel this great force within me and if I can feel that all creatures are aiming towards this great goal, then this force becomes the guiding force rushing towards me in the wind, sounding out of the stones, flashing its light to me from the sun. In the plant it is revealed as the force of growth, in the animal as feeling and perception. It is the force which will continually create form after form for every exulted aim, through which I know myself to be at one with the whole of nature, which flows out from me and into me with every breath I take, the symbol for the highest evolving spirit which I experience as life itself. I feel this force as Tao."

So, I will now add a few thoughts to say that the Tao belongs to all of humanity not to the Chinese alone. This should seem obvious.  But why I say this now is that I have been speaking to some who believe that the Tao Te Ching, as written down by the Chinese Lao Tzu in the 6th century B.C. can never really be understood by those who are not Chinese.

However as humanity's consciousness as a whole evolves stage by stage towards a more spiritual existence (though seen externally from today's perspective this will appear difficult to understand in view of how far the world has ...and is continuing to fall from the grace of the Divine)...then we will be more and more open to the great teachers of humanity who are able to grasp the very essence of world masterpieces such as the Tao Te Ching, Buddha's words, the Bhagavad Gita, the Islamic Koran, the Jewish Tanakh, or the Christian New Testament Bible, and then also place these all in a greater context such as Steiner was able to do from his modern Initiate perspective.

All these great spiritual treasures belong to humanity as a whole though they have originated through a particular folk at a particular time in various civilizations evolutions. Naturally some of the texts concern the particular people of a time and place but their general core message is timeless and they are more greatly understandable by anyone who seek through the help of interpreters who have any depth of Intuition.

When one can begin to come to grips with the great mystery of each of our own individual new lives... through reincarnation and the laws of karma, then we get a more transparent understanding of why when we read these great works, each one of these great works speak of mysteries which can touch deep into the soul and lift the spirit. This is so because the spirit is universal for all in spite of time and space.

Before there were religions and separate languages there was One Spirit, a Unity...and beyond time and space there will be once more...One Spirit...all are merely rivers and streams which have parted for a time and will flow together once again into that Great Ocean uniting as a great Brotherhood. The Long Way is tough... blood, sweat and tears will flow along the way...but every individual sacrifice... great and small... will bear fruits of hard won Joyful Love.

Then that Great Ocean...a Unification of all individual sacrifices... meaning the heart-willed effort of selfless self-sacrifice...when Heaven and Earth become united as One through human love...this Great Tao becomes magnificently exulted...  js.

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