To see the stars it needs to be dark. In the long dark winter nights we have many opportunities to lift our gaze and stand in wonder at the abundance of sparkling stars. Fixed stars we call them. They are always there and can be found reliably in that higher order, and they never stop shining. The experience is: stars stand above us. Even if they rise and set, we “look up” to them.
In contrast, the sun always rises up from below. Strong and powerful its rising light lets the stars recede as if they were no longer there. We don’t usually look up to the sun: we look into the world, work in the world, live our destiny in the bright sunlight. Ideals shine above our head like stars. There are moments, when we see them clearly, when they motivate and inspire the course we take in life. Then there can be long periods when we seem to lose sight of them, even doubt they are real. When in the soul, the darkness of confusion, loss of orientation and motivation spreads itself, it requires a decision to turn the inner gaze upward and trust that the star of one’s ideal is still shining.
When we make such a decision, we experience what a free deed is truly about. And the more such a free decision is practiced, the stronger the connection to the ideal we once saw so clearly becomes. Then something interesting happens with the ideal. It seems to come nearer and move from above to within. It begins to rise up in the midst of mundane daily events. The way we look into the world changes, at least for moments; the way we work in the world and accept what life brings shifts subtly. We begin to notice, mostly in retrospect, the presence of a power that was “totally I, but much more than I”. Things are possible that seemed impossible. We are awake. We feel free. We stand in wonder.
The following meditation can support the decision to turn the inner gaze upward. The author is unknown to me, but it most likely stems from Rudolf Steiner’s circle of personal students.
A star stands above my head.
Christ speaks from the star:
Let your soul be borne by my strong power
I Am with you
I Am for you
I Am in you
I AM your I
Rev. Reingard Knausenberger