Rudolf Steiner excerpts:

MAN AND WOMAN IN LIGHT OF SPIRITUAL SCIENCE

In this Lecture, Rudolf Steiner reminds us to look beyond immediately sense-perceptible definitions of man and woman to the levels of polarity which are at work within these outer “garments,” to look behind our male and female physical bodies for the interacting of masculine and feminine elements within the whole human being.

Lecture 11 of 15 from the lecture series: Perception of the Soul and of the Spirit. Published in German as: Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes. Published in The Anthroposophical Review, Vol. 2 No. 1 (1980). GA# 56.

18 March 1908, Munich

At present we will concern ourselves with the physical and etheric bodies. For herein lies the solution to the riddle of the sexes. The etheric body is only to a certain extent a picture of the physical body. In regard to the sexes things are different. In the man the etheric body is female and in the woman it is male. However strange it may seem, a deeper observation will disclose the following: Something of the opposite sex lies hidden in each person. It is no good however to look for all kinds of abnormal phenomena, rather one needs to pay attention to normal experiences. By confronting this fact, it is no longer possible in the strict sense to speak of man and woman, but rather of masculine and feminine qualities. Certain qualities in the woman work more outwardly while others are more inward. The woman has masculine qualities within herself and the man feminine qualities. For example a man becomes a warrior through the outer courage of his bodily nature, a woman possesses an inner courage, the courage of sacrifice and devotion. The man brings his creative activity to bear on external life. The woman works with devoted receptivity into the world. Countless phenomena of life will become clear to us if we think of human nature as the working together of two polar opposites. In the man the masculine pole works outwards and the feminine lives more inwardly, while in the woman the opposite holds true.

THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING I: CHRISTMAS

VII. The Revelation of the Cosmic Christ

26 December 1921, Basle

Modern Christianity has very little knowledge or understanding of the profundity of the discussions that were carried on among the wise Church Fathers in the first centuries of Christendom as to the manner in which the two natures — the Divine and the Human — had been united in the personality of Jesus of Nazareth. In the early Christian centuries this was a Mystery which addressed itself to a living wisdom — a wisdom which then faded away into empty abstraction. Very little has remained in Western Christianity of the holy zeal with which men tried to understand how the Divine and the Human had been united in the Mystery of Golgotha.

But the Christian impulse is mighty and powerful. And it was the power of love which came to replace the wisdom with which the Mystery of Golgotha was greeted at the time when its radiance shone over the earth. In marvelous abundance, love has been poured out through the centuries from the minds and hearts of men to the Jesus Child in the manger. And it is really wonderful to find how strongly this power of love is reflected in the Christmas Plays which have come down to us from earlier centuries of Christendom. If we let these things work upon us, we shall realise how deeply the Christmas Festival is a festival of remembrance. We shall realise too that, just as the peoples of the Old Testament strove in wisdom to be gathered to the Fathers, so the peoples of the New Testament have striven in devotion and love to gather together at Christmas around the sinless Child in the manger.

Happy Sunday, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

And here is a YouTube playlist of some lovely modern choral music, starting with Sleep by Eric Whitacre, who is also conducting.