Common steps and sub-activities

Courage

Courage is an act which requires us to conquer our more instinctive Emotions and to suppress emotions of fear.

Background

On a more general level courage helps a lot in facing life’s problems, but it also helps with spiritual experience.

In the process of spiritual experience, we can indeed experience bliss, love, joy, angels, vast landscapes, fields of gold, fields of green, portals and tunnels, woods!  And groves, forests and paths, caves and castles, palaces and rivers,  – lovely things.  This is no joke. There are some amazing things to be experienced. 

But we can also see Demons and know they are ours and that we need to vanquish them – whether of our own construction or imposed on us.  And some of those Demons can be truly frightening.

And in the observations I have collected it is also clear that we may have to confront Guardians of the spiritual world and Substance spirits – the spirits of the substances we may have taken – and these too, especially in the case of the man-made chemicals, can be terrifying.

So courage is indeed a hugely important thing to nurture and possess.  We have to know no fear in our travels in this realm of the soul and beyond.

Method

Courage has to be learnt, by practise and by facing your Demons.  There is no ‘method’, it is an attitude that you have to start applying to frightening situations.

How to Know Higher Worlds – Rudolf Steiner

Such self-education in courage and fearlessness develops quite specific forces that we need for initiation into higher knowledge. 

Just as we need healthy nerves as physical beings to make use of our physical senses, so - as beings of soul – we need the strength that develops only in courageous and fearless natures. 

For as we penetrate the higher mysteries, we see things that were previously hidden from us by the illusions of the senses.  In fact, it is a blessing that our physical senses do not allow us to perceive the higher truths.

In this way they protect us from things that, if we saw them unprepared, would cause us great dismay, things we could not bear to see. 

As students.. we must train ourselves to bear these sights.

But it helps to say to yourself – ‘what have I to be frightened of – really – what is the worst that could happen?’

Thomas Carlyle puts it better than me……………..

Sartor Resartus – Thomas Carlyle

… all at once, there rose a Thought in me, and I asked myself: 'What art thou afraid of ? Wherefore, like a coward, dost thou for ever pip and whimper, and go cowering and trembling? Despicable biped!

What is the sum-total of the worst that lies before thee?

Death?

Well, Death; and say the pangs of Tophet too, and all that the Devil and Man may, will or can do against thee!

Hast thou not a heart; canst thou not suffer whatso it be; and, as a Child of Freedom, though outcast, trample Tophet itself under thy feet, while it consumes thee?  Let it come, then; I will meet it and defy it!'

And as I so thought, there rushed like a stream of fire over my whole soul and I shook base Fear away from me for ever. I was strong, of unknown strength; a spirit, almost a god. Ever from that time the temper of my misery was changed: not Fear or whining sorrow was it, but Indignation and grim fire-eyed Defiance!

Thus had the Everlasting NO pealed authoritatively through all the recesses of my Being, of my ME; and then was it that my whole ME stood up, in native God created majesty, and with emphasis recorded its Protest.

Such a Protest, the most important transaction in Life, may that same Indignation and Defiance, in a psychological point of view, be fitly called.

The Everlasting No had said: 'Behold, thou art fatherless, outcast, and the Universe is mine (the Devil's): to which my whole Me now made answer:

 'I am not thine, but free and for ever hate thee!'

And some more thoughts on this……………

Rollo May – Man’s search for himself

Courage is required not only in a person’s occasional crucial decision for his own freedom but in the little hour to hour decisions which place the bricks in the structure of his building of himself into a person who acts with freedom and responsibility.

Only the suppression of one Emotion, but it seems to be the overriding emotion of many people.  We live in fear, fear of losing people, fear of being hurt, or being left, or being abandoned, or being sacked, or made redundant, or dying.  So such a powerful and all-consuming Emotion takes away a lot of our energy.  Squash it and you will be free.

Logan Pearsall Smith - Afterthoughts

What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree.

Observations

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