Towards the Deepening of Waldorf Education, Rudolf Steiner’s introductory remarks opening the Study of Man, Teacher Conference, August 21, 1919
“We wish to form our thoughts in such a way that we may be conscious that:
Behind each of us stands his Angel, gently laying his hands on the head of each. This Angel gives you the strength which you need.
Above your heads there sweep the circling Archangels. They carry from one to the other what each has to give to the other. They unite your souls. Thereby you are given the courage of which you stand in need. Out of this courage the Archangels form a chalice.
The light of wisdom is given to us by the exalted beings of the Archai, who are not limited to the circling movements, but who, coming forth from primal beginnings, manifest themselves and disappear into primal distances. They reveal themselves only in the form of a drop of light. Into the chalice of courage there falls this drop of light, enlightening our times, bestowed by the ruling Spirit of our Age.”
Fifth Gospel, Part 2: Lecture II, December 18, 1913, Cologne , 1913, GA 148
“But whereas we may have one thought, all our thoughts are the angels’ thoughts. The angels think our consciousness. We let the angels think our thoughts. We must realize that we are not conducting our thoughts, but that the beings of the next hierarchy are conducting them. We must feel the interweaving, undulating consciousness of the angels. We then receive information about the continuous impulse of evolution, for example about the truth of the Christ-impulse, how it continues to be active now. The angels can think this impulse; we humans can also think and describe it, if we devote our thoughts to the angels so they think in us.
“By means of further meditative practice we are able not only to be thought by the angels, but to be experienced by the archangels. Those things related to the epochs of the earth’s evolution – the ancient Indian epoch, the ancient Persian epoch and so forth – are thought by the archangels. You must then come to the point where you know that you are delivering your life to the life of the archangels. And continuing with practice we arrive at the feeling that we are brought to various regions of the world by the archangels and thus learn about those regions. To correctly describe the [ancient] Indian or Egyptian cultures one must understand the meaning of: “Your soul has been brought to this or that time by an archangel”. It is as though our life body fluids knew that they support the life process and are carried through the organism as the blood is. Thus the seer knows that he is conducted through the life process of the world by the archangels.
“It is just as true that we humans have the purpose of serving the Archai as food. While we walk around here on earth we are at the same time beings who are continually consumed, eaten by the Archai. Man is for the Archai what a grain of wheat is for you as a physical human being. Don’t only know this theoretically, but live in respect to the Archai as a grain of wheat would live were it to be ground to porridge by our teeth and pass through our pallets and stomach with the awareness: I am human food. Therefore also know: I am the Archai’s food, I am digested by the Archai; that is their life, which I live in them. To vividly know this means to enter the consciousness of the Spirits of Personality, the Archai. Just as what it means to enter the consciousness of the Archangels when one knows: Your soul is brought to this or that epoch by the Archangels; and what it means to enter the consciousness of the Angels when one knows: My thoughts are thought by the angels. If we wish to enter the higher worlds, the conditions of experience must be different. It is necessary to be knowingly consumed by the Spirits of Personality if concrete facts such as the life of Jesus of Nazareth in human evolution are to be investigated.
This means that higher research is not possible without inner pain and suffering. But where individual experiences of the soul are concerned, they can only be investigated if the soul gives meaning to the words: The soul delivers itself as food to the Archai, the spirits of personality.”
Wisdom of Man, of the Soul, and of the Spirit, Part 2, The Wisdom of the Soul, Lecture 4, Consciousness and the Soul Life, (Psychosophy)
“The current of desire, love and hate comes to meet you out of the future, and meets the current of visualizations flowing out of the past into the future. At every moment you are actually in the midst of this encounter of the two streams, and considering that the present moment of your soul life consists of such a meeting, you will readily understand that these two currents overlap in your soul. This overlapping is consciousness.
Thus, we will designate the current of visualizations, flowing from the past into the future, “the etheric body of the soul,” and the other, the current of desires, running from the future into the past, “the astral body of the soul.”
Consciousness is the meeting of the astral and etheric bodies.”