Dear Elder Brothers,
The issue of alcoholic beverages has a chequered past ranging from it being the 'draught of death' through your castigation of inebriation (implying perhaps the acceptance of moderation as compared to excess?), to Christ's teaching that 'nothing that goes into a man defiles him, only that which proceeds from a man'.
Some of us your co-workers, motivated by a desire to help the commonplace man feel more at home with us, have held that partaking up to the second glass was acceptable during the celebratory meals which sometimes follow our outreach studies, communions and pageants.These same co-workers are unwilling to dictate to others how they should behave on this issue.
We are absolutely clear that we cannot touch a drop of alcohol when committed to study or worship, in particular with respect to your sacred teachings. Up until now the imbibers as above, have taken any folly of more than two glasses as a normal sin along with say greed, gluttony, lying etc. etc. - by 'normal' meaning forgivable through the mercy of Christ.
However, we have come to depend upon your teachings to find our pathways into the future, along with our powers of discernment of the good and Christ's teachings in the Scriptures.
___ is aware that you have withdrawn from us and saw that this happened at the moment alcohol was introduced at the dinner which followed our pageant. The stopping of supply in a democratic government is known as the last drastic measure to be used only after everything else has failed to bring about a change for the good. We are therefore keenly aware that something deadly serious is at stake here - something more than Sin itself.
We desire to be the example to Mankind of the lifestyle that you, above all, advocate, and if abstinence for the sake of ensuring optimum clarity of consciousness at all times is required then we seek your comments on the above points for our consideration and final decision.
By the way, we love you, miss you and are fretful of a future without you.
It is with an arcane travesty - the same story told in Man repeatedly - that God is mistaken in forgery and paths are split. Through willowed ways and myriads of error, when the careless submit their differentiation and desire for discrimination, forlorn are our young, abandoned are our elders... to a facetious account of life, self-styled and purportedly chosen without care.
Yet how can any choice be made if the qualification to choose is relinquished? How strong are the coherent forces in Man when he is breaking asunder with complicity? Can the mind turn back upon itself and suffer repeatedly the nonsense to which it has been given to? What is to be asked-for by each man, for what is asked-for to be then given? How can one be given and another weaken - do we test the strength until that strength is exhausted, or shall we hearken to the gift ere then we value it well? We are glad of your asking, for this is no small matter as you have guessed.
All substance speaks of its own origin. It has inherent within it, and in expression of itself, a spiritual, quintessential modality and imprint, which not only relates unto its properties given, but to its family of properties long past. We too, in addition to the those lesser corporate beings, hold our heritage in essence, with all of that to which is implied.
Many beings are convened in Man. Shared signatures imply a cohesive evolution; however, apart from the immediate and more obvious relationships Man shares with the material world around him, there are also those signature beings who associate upon an unseen level.
Christ was as the mother who must contest and make claim for her children now stolen. Christ is as the father, who must leave the family to fight, in order that the battle lines do not draw in any closer. And Christ is as the shepherd sitting at a fire-lit campsite, staring back into the glowing eyes which surround him: these wolves of the night.
There can be multifarious explanations given as to the deleterious effect ferments bring upon the constitution, the organization, mind-soul and relations of Man. And we can do this: we may address each and every point of question, so that the understanding of the consequences, both immediate and of those compounding, are to be considered plainly and without confusion. Whether it be wines, cordials, beers, liqueurs, ciders or even 'tonics' consumed, whether it be one pint or one ounce, the effect upon the heart and soul are same; for which we shall begin to describe.
When, through the great gates of Chaldea, burst tens of thousands of visitors, when the Roman world relished its bounties and the grape was given to be the god's own produce, the sunshine infilled the grape so powerfully that the etheric properties therein prolonged life and visibly radiated out from it.
It was not merely token to prosperity, it was prosperity. The vine was wrought into metal work and trailed through garden, farm and cottage. The bulbous drops were pregnant with god-quality, for the Sun had then a differing configuration alongside our etheric life amongst the world - the two then, before Christ, were not one and the same as is now.
Perhaps this is the reason why the grape should be the first to deny Him as it did - perhaps it had long thought itself to be the first ambassador of Christ, and resented His Presence now permeating all life green and grown ... whatever the consternation, the grape departed its place of importance to Man and was given to shame, shortly after Christ's crucifixion.
When the Sun had left the sky, and exhumed itself within our very Earth, the etheric world was endorsed by our Lord as He melded with it and also therefore combined with our very futures. The Sun of the grape was no longer an immigrative transport - it had become inherent within its life, whilst also to be found in commensurate abundance everywhere.
The process of fermentation is the action of parasitic vampirism. It is when life from one nature is quickened by the death of another nature and expands with an astral attitude, from which a sub-life may then manifest. This process is anti-life even though in the technical sense it is also manfestive of abundant life-energy. It is anti-life because the natures involved are without cooperation - either in evolution or in force - and it is the very repelling feature and reactiveness to which the great fires respond with further 'life'.
There are guardian hosts which encompass the evolution of plant families and animal families. These beings all differ as to their roles requested and roles attributed in actuality. Some plants and animals have futures to fulfill, some shall adapt and re-embody with great development, whilst others may well become extinct for the time being, until such a time when the cycles recommence in similar conditions to that which they have known. If a species cannot make the jump into the future, then it may await the next round of associate manifestation and renew itself then………………..
Before Christ the forces incurred [alcohol] were mysteriously faithful to the Sun, and therefore to Him. Wakefulness, in respect to self, was the outcome. A man may be drunken with a joy or with the melancholy, but whichever overtook his emotion, it was nonetheless all material to him; there was a concentration of self and of impending incarnation. The actual process which encroached upon the 'sub-life' did not effect the grape or grain at that point in that same way, for it was by the forces of the Sun that such was enhanced and made stronger…………………………………
The pleasure experienced comes from the blood itself. The experience is not unlike that which occurs when we are given to experience a true love for something or somebody outside of ourselves.
Our wills are manifest most prominently in the blood, and the ego's activity can be felt in the quickening when our subtle bodies are expansive and our soul-expression is open and enlivened………………………
There can be two individuals who as drinking partners feel quite wonderful in each other's company, but it can be witnessed within the interaction (or lack thereof) that they are not exchanging between each other, they are in fact appearing to talk to themselves. It is quite like a man who is tickling himself and laughing along…….
Some of Rudolf Steiner's indications.