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Are Faith and Knowledge Mutually Exclusive?

Generally knowledge is acquired through experience. Often it results from our having perceived a pattern: every day, at predictable times, the sun rises and sets. Therefore, I know that the sun rises and sets on a daily basis. I also know, either from close observation or from the observations of others, that there is a gradual shift of the point on the horizon at which it rises or sets, and that this shift from one extreme to the other and back takes a year to complete. Generally knowledge is related to the past and is founded on past experience.

But even a single event, a single experience, can give us knowledge. The sun rose this morning; I saw it; there is such a thing as sunrise. An angel appeared to me; I saw it; I know that angels exist. Read more

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Christianity and Reincarnation: Irreconcilable?

Where can one begin in considering how Christianity might be reconciled with a belief in reincarnation? Perhaps a starting point for moving in this direction would be an acceptance that the human spirit is eternal. That the spirit of the human being does not come into existence only at the start of life but that it exists firstly in the world of spirit and from there enters the earthly world.

The human spirit is eternal: “Into whatever human sheath I have been born, my real being is both unborn and deathless”. The Christmas Festival in the Changing Course of Time, Rudolf Steiner, Berlin, December 22, 1910.

With this understanding we see the human soul as crossing the threshold from the spirit world into the physical world at birth and again crossing this threshold at the moment of death as it returns to the world of spirit. Read more

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The Word Speaks in the World

In the past a farmer would pray before going into the fields to sow. The ritual of the seeds in his warm hand and the rhythm of his light steps did not change for centuries. The old farmers working in their fields were in perfect harmony with nature, and as they went through the process of growing the grain, they understood that nature was communicating God’s Word to them.

Today, we hardly ever see a lone farmer sowing seeds in his field. It was our parents’ generation that last witnessed the love of the farmer for the earth. Read more

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Christ and the Law of Scarcity

In everyday life, to give means to have less for ourselves. If someone gives you some money or some food, immediately they notice that they have less money or less food. Or, if one gives more time to his work, he has less time for his family. It is a law in this world of ours, that giving to one means taking from another. It is this reality, the reality of scarcity in our world that  brings us fear.

At the end of the day, the fear and anxiety that we carry is born from our awareness of what we can lose and have lost, or that perhaps there will not be enough for us. Fear rules this world.

But there is another world. Read more

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Gravity, Warmth and Light: Three Gifts of the Trinity

sunlight in treesThe Earth has sometimes been compared to a spaceship, a machine hurling through the black void of outer space. In this scientific vision space is stunningly cold and inimical to all life. But this simplified picture is wrong; it leaves out the Sun.

The Earth is not alone. The Sun’s gravity, warmth, and light, a trinity of forces, constantly bless the Earth. Read more

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The Star of Grace

dark-woodsFrom time immemorial the stars have been, literally, a guiding light for mankind. In the dark nights of ancient times people lifted their gaze to the starry heavens: to navigate their way through the world, to know when to sow their crops, to receive guidance in making critical decisions. The world of the stars and the world of humanity were united in a symbiosis of which our times can only dream. The starry heavens, once the focal point of mankind’s relationship to the spiritual world, has been degraded to an object of pure science, functioning at best as a subject for sentimental art or religious metaphor. Read more

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Guardian Angels

Angel photo 1In artistic renderings of angels, three characteristics are frequently pictured. The first is of course that angels have wings. When we think of the earthly creatures that have wings, the birds, we realize that they inhabit a sphere above the earth, the airy regions. They live in a world of light and uplift not limited by earthly gravity. Picturing angels as having wings is an artistic way of saying that angels, too, are not bound to the earthly. They are limitless; they live in expanses. They live with the world of eternity at their backs.

Another characteristic is described in Ezekiel 10:12. It is a mighty description of great angelic beings covered in eyes. Therefore angels’ wings are sometimes artistically rendered as having eyes on them, often by portraying their wings covered in peacock feathers. Eyes convey consciousness. Angels take things in, into a awareness that is broader, brighter, clearer, purer and more transparent than human consciousness. Eyes also shine forth: the gaze of an angel radiates love and recognition. Read more

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Kings Offer Their Gifts to a Child

The Adoration of The Magi, Albrecht-Durer, 1504

The three Kings have recognized that something extraordinary and significant will come into existence. This insight gives them the courage to go on a long and dangerous journey. And when they finally find what they were seeking for, in a little child it makes sense to them as well – despite their age, wisdom and regal dignity – to kneel down, to worship and to offer precious gifts.

Within us also lives a divine child, which is to come, though not yet mature will develop in the future. The worldly “King in us”, who has already in his earthly existence acquired external power, knowledge and maybe even wisdom, and on whom we rely in our everyday decisions, is probably not very much inclined to bow down before a force in our soul which has the voice of a child and has not yet come to perfection.

The image of the three Kings, who bring their gifts, inspires us to see our possibilities to nourish this potential of the divine within ourselves and all human beings.

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Between Heaven and Earth

Sunset from spaceAt sunset, the sun is midway between heaven and earth. Its light hits us in the middle and is warm and full of color. The sun is not too high as to burn our eyes with its light, and not too low as to be swallowed up by the earth. At sunset, the sun is the balance point between heaven and earth.

Within each one of our hearts there is also a sun, an inner sun.
But from time to time, it gets too high, too far away from the earth and its light, our ideals—can burn us, burn others around us with its harshness and judgment…

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Preparing to Embody Christmas: A Journey through the Threefold Act of Consecration of Man and the Holy Nights

Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_BirthWe come to the Act of Consecration of Man because it holds within it a richness and depth we can work with and be nourished by our whole lives. It is a gift which in itself is full and complete. But then, imagine a gift so precious and great that it cannot be fully given in one Act of Consecration of Man… in the festival of Christmas, something wants to be given to the human being from the spiritual world, a gift that can give us strength for the coming year: the renewed birth of the Child in our hearts.

Beginning Christmas night, we are given the living reenactment of the descent of Christ out of the heavens into our earthly human sphere—for Christ descends anew into our hearts, asking to be born there and thereby born anew on earth. We know it is a poor shed into which we receive Him, but we kindle a light there with our attention and our hope, and He comes!

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