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Meditation, Contemplation & Painting with Spiritual Worlds; an Artist's Life

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“The starting point for a new life of art can come only by direct stimulation from the spiritual world. We must become artists, not by developing symbolism or allegory, but by rising, through spiritual knowledge, more and more into the spiritual world.” Rudolf Steiner

"Thus the anthroposophical world-conception is capable of giving a strong impetus to cognition as well as to religious experience. In the case of cognition it stresses the fact that one must travel a road of purification before passing the gate to the spiritual world. On the other hand, it stresses the truth that religious life leads far beyond the facts observable by a person with only ordinary earthly consciousness. For Anthroposophy recognizes that the Mystery of Golgotha, the earth-life of Christ Jesus, though placed among historical events comprehensible to the senses, can be comprehended in its fulness only supersensibly." (Rudolf Steiner)


"Fortunately the abyss on the edge of which man lives, the abyss opening out before him in religion and cognition, can be bridged. But not by contemporary religion, nor yet by a cognition, a science, derived wholly from the earth.
It is here that art enters. It forms a bridge across the abyss. That is why art must realize that its task is to carry the spiritual-divine life into the earthly; to fashion the latter in such a way that its forms, colors, words, tones, act as a revelation of the world beyond. Whether art takes on an idealistic or realistic coloring is of no importance. What it needs is a relationship to the truly, not merely thought-out, spiritual. No artist could create in his medium if there were not alive in him impulses springing from the spiritual world. This fact points to the seriousness of art, standing alongside the seriousness of cognition and religious experience. It cannot be denied that our materialistically oriented civilization diverts us, in many ways, from the gravity of art. But any devoted study of true artistic creation reveals it as an earnest of man's struggle to harmonize the spiritual-divine with the physical-earthly." (Rudolf Steiner)


Describing how to try to work with spiritual beings, Steiner's lecture, "Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom," states...
"The fact that man, if he wants to penetrate to the spiritual world, has to acquire a totally different relation to the world than that, which he has to the sense world, as has often been stressed. Man has the sense world all about him. He looks at the sense world and sees it in its colors and forms and hears its sounds. The sense world is there, and we are in the midst of it, feeling its influence, perceiving it and thinking about it. That is how we relate to the sense world. We are passive and the sense world, as it were, works its way into our souls. We think about the sense world and make mental images of it.
Our relationship is quite different when we penetrate into the spiritual world. One of the difficulties consists in getting the right idea of what a person experiences when he enters the spiritual world. I have attempted to characterize some of these difficulties in my booklet (‘The Threshold of the Spiritual World’). We make mental images of the sense world and we think about it. If we go through all a person has to go through if he wants to follow the path of initiation, something occurs that can be described like this: We ourselves relate to the beings of the higher hierarchies in the same way as the things around us relate to us; they make a mental image of us, they think us. We think the objects around us, the minerals, plants and animals; they become our thoughts, whereas we are the conceptions, thoughts and perceptions of the spirits of the higher hierarchies. We become the thoughts of the Angeloi, Archangeloi, Archai and so on. They take us in, in the same way as we take in the plants, animals and human beings. And we must feel their sheltering protection when we say, ‘The beings of the higher hierarchies think us, they make mental images of us. These beings of the higher hierarchies take hold of us with their souls’. In fact we can actually picture that when Olaf Asteson fell asleep he became a mental image of the spirits of the higher hierarchies, and in the course of his sleep these beings of the higher hierarchies experienced what the beings of the earth spirit were experiencing (these are, of course, a plurality for us). And when Olaf Asteson sinks back into the physical world he remembers what the spirits of the higher hierarchies experienced in him. Let us imagine for a moment that we are setting out on the path of initiation. How can we relate to the spiritual world, which is a host of spiritual beings of the higher hierarchies, into which we wish to enter? How can we relate to them?

We can appeal to them and say ‘How can we enter into you, how do you reveal yourselves to us?’ And then, when we have acquired an understanding of the different kind of relationship the human soul has to the higher worlds, there will sound forth to us, as it were from the spiritual worlds, ‘You cannot perceive the spiritual world the same way as you perceive the sense world, the way the sense world appears before you and impinges on your senses. We must think you, and you must feel yourself in us. You must feel the kind of experience in you which a thought you think in the sense world would have if it could experience itself within you. You must surrender yourself to the spiritual world, to the beings of the higher hierarchies who can reveal themselves to you will enter into you. This will stream into your soul and live within it, bringing grace, in the same way as you live in your thoughts when you think about the sense world. If the spiritual world wishes to favor you and have compassion on you, it will fill you with its love!" (Rudolf Steiner)

Art: Mary & Christ by Kristena West M.A. 2/21/2017

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