Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The First Seal: "And flesh will become the Word"
Rudolf Steiner, September 16, 1907:
The first seal presents a person clad in white, his feet of molten metal, and a fiery sword projecting from the mouth. His right hand is surrounded by the signs of our planets — Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus. Those familiar with the Apocalypse of St. John will remember that there is to be found in it a description that closely corresponds to this picture, for St. John was an initiate. It can be said that this seal represents the idea of total humanity. This will be understood when we recall some ideas already known to the older members here. When we go back in human evolution, we come to a time when men were at an imperfect stage. Thus, for example, they did not have heads like the ones you carry on your shoulders today. It would sound grotesque, indeed, were you to hear a description of the men of that time. Only gradually was the head developed, and it will continue developing. Men also have organs today that have come to the end of their development and in the future they will no longer form part of the human body. There are others that will transform themselves. An example is the larynx, which, to be sure, has a great future connection with the heart. At present the larynx is at the beginning of its development, but in times to come it will be transformed into a spiritualized organ of reproduction. You will get an idea of this mystery if you make clear to yourselves just what it is that a man achieves with his larynx today.
While I speak to you, you hear my words. Through the fact that this sound fills the air and that certain vibrations are produced in it, my words are transported to your ears and to your souls. When I say a word, for example, “world,” the air vibrates in an embodiment of that word. What we produce in this way today is called “creation in the mineral kingdom.” The movements of the air are mineral movements, so to speak, and thus through the larynx we have a mineral effect on our environment. But men will progress and will also become effective in the plant kingdom. Then they will call forth not only mineral, but also plant-like vibrations. They will speak “plants.” The next step will be that men will be able to speak “feeling beings.” On the highest stage of their development, they will generate their like through the larynx. A man now can only express the contents of his soul through his larynx, but then he will express himself. As men in the future will be able to call people into being through their speaking, so it was that the forerunners of mankind, the gods, were gifted with an organ with which they expressed all things that are around us today. It is they who have made all men, animals and everything else that is manifest. In the literal sense of the word, all of you are words uttered by divine beings.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and a God was the Word!” This does not mean a philosophical word in the speculative sense; St. John set down a primal fact that is to be taken quite literally.
At the end there will be the Word. Creation is a realization of the Word, and men in the future will bring forth a realizations of what today is the Word. Then men will no longer have the physical forms they have today; they will have progressed to the form that existed on Saturn, to fire matter.
That being who spoke forth all that is in the world today is the great prototype of men. He spoke forth Saturn into the universe, the Sun, Moon, Earth, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The seven planets in the seal point to this. They are the sign that indicates the height to which a man will be able to develop himself. His planet then will consist of fiery matter, and he will be able to speak creatively into this fiery matter. The fiery sword that projects from the mouth of the figure in the seal represents this. All will be fiery, hence the feet of flowing metal.