Friday, January 6, 2012
Rick Distasi on Elijah / John the Baptist / Lazarus / John the Evangelist
The beginning of the book The Fleeing Youth: The Cosmic Principle of Christ by Richard Distasi:
“When we look back into olden times, we see rise up before us within the traditions of Judaism the prophetic figure of Elijah. We know what significance the prophet Elijah had for the people of the Old Testament, and therewith for all mankind; we know how he set before them the goal and destiny of their existence. And we have shown how in the course of time the Being who was present in Elijah appeared again at the very most important moment of human evolution, appeared again so that Christ Jesus Himself could give him the Initiation he was to receive for the evolution of mankind. For the Being of Elijah appeared again in Lazarus-John — who are in truth one and the same figure, as you will have understood from my book Christianity as Mystical Fact.”
These words are from Rudolf Steiner’s The Last Address, given in Dornach on September 28, 1924, during the season of Michaelmas. In Rudolf Steiner’s The Last Address, he delves into the successive incarnations of Elijah-John the Baptist. What is significant in the above words from Rudolf Steiner and which is a major point of focus in this present work is his disclosure of the Initiation of John the Baptist. The Initiation that will be addressed in this work is the simultaneous Initiation of John the Baptist at the time of the Raising/Initiation of Lazarus while at the same time becoming one with Lazarus within the consciousness soul of Lazarus. A crucial premise of this work rests on the assertion that after his execution and the loss of his mineral body John the Baptist remained within the earthly realm while continuing his presence among the Apostles as their group-soul spirit. This work adopts the term Rudolf Steiner used to describe the unseen human physical body, which he designated as the phantom body. In esotericism, the phantom body is deemed to be the true non-visible physical body that is devoid of the earthly substances of mineral, water, and air. This work proposes that during the time of Christ’s ministry on earth John the Baptist, after his execution, remained present in his phantom body and continued to accompany the Christ in a non-visible fashion. A more comprehensive discussion pertaining to the phantom body is addressed in chapter seven.
Moreover, in this work the author’s references to the Risen Christ contend that the Christ was present in His resurrected phantom body throughout the centuries since the time of the Event of Golgotha. Though Steiner does assert that it was the etheric body of Christ that is seen after His resurrection this work accepts this assertion. However, allowance is made which holds that Steiner applies a more encompassing usage of the term ‘etheric body’ which includes the phantom body. In centuries past, for those who experienced the Risen Christ from the time of the Event of Golgotha to the time of 1933 this work contends that many were primarily experiencing Christ in His resurrected phantom body within the realm of the earth’s own phantom/physical sphere as well as within the earth’s etheric sphere. The Event of Golgotha established the redemption of the human phantom body through Christ Jesus: “This was the mission of Christ upon earth; by His deed to substitute the true form for the false form of death.” (GA112; lecture XIII). The Event of Golgotha also induced the germinal stages of the eventual and complete redemption of the earth’s phantom, etheric, and astral spheres. This work postulates the thesis that until 1933 the phantom body of Christ was the body of prominence to many of those who experienced an appearance of Christ. However, during the time period of 1933-1945 Christ’s work within the earth’s etheric sphere had reached its zenith which resulted in the culmination of the earth’s etheric sphere becoming sun-like; the creation of which had been in progress since Christ’s Ascension. Prior to this time, the earth’s astral sphere alone was sun-like due to the blood that flowed from the wounds of Christ Jesus on Golgotha. The First Dispensation of Christ had come to an end in 1933. Following the time period of 1933-1945 Christ has been active in an etheric body within the etheric/astral sun-sphere of the earth. This marked the beginning stages of the Second Dispensation of Christ which is more conventionally referenced as the Second Coming of Christ. This time period inaugurated the second phase of Christ’s exalted and enduring work regarding the eventual transfiguration of the earth, the solar system, and the zodiacal cosmos. It has proceeded from the epoch of the Dispensation of Christ’s phantom body prominence in the earth’s etheric element in centuries past to the present epoch of the Dispensation of Christ’s etheric body prominence within the earth’s astral element which will continue for centuries to come. Future Dispensations will include Christ in an astral body within the realm of Lower Devachan. While further in the future Christ will appear in an Ego Form within the realm of Upper Devachan.
The fundamental questions presented in this work are: Did the raising of Lazarus salvage the Event of Golgotha? Was the mission of Christ in jeopardy of failing due to the incomprehension of the Apostles? Was this incomprehension of the mission and nature of the Christ Being by the Apostles a significant component to the agony that Christ experienced in the garden of Gethsemane? In answer to these questions the Mystery of Golgotha can be viewed as comprising two aspects. In one aspect Christ imbued the earth with life forces which gave life to what would have become a dying and lifeless planet over the successive centuries. This afforded humanity the possibility of continuing to evolve on earth. This was a gift from Christ to humanity and the earth. This gift needed no corresponding deed from humanity. The other aspect of the Event of Golgotha did require a corresponding human deed. Christ held within Him the macrocosmic Ego which was to unite with the human microcosmic Ego to the extent that would allow Christ to endow a human with a temporary mantle of an Atman body along with the Buddhi and Manas bodies. This mission was to be achieved through the twelve Apostles in conjunction with what they were to internalize from both the Christ and from the hierarchical Beings who occupy the regions of the twelve zodiacal constellations. However, due to the Apostles’ incomprehension of the Christ Being and their eventual incapacity to consciously follow Christ through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection John the Baptist, the group soul and unitary consciousness of the Apostles, acted as their surrogate. John the Baptist was able to do so because of the high initiation he simultaneously received from Christ at the time of the raising of Lazarus. This initiation provided John the Baptist the internalization of both his Ego forces and the Ego forces of Christ within his phantom body. This enabled him as a singular human Being to receive from Christ a temporary Atman body condition as well as the other higher bodies. These bodies came to full expression as the young man in the tomb on Easter morning as narrated in Mark’s Gospel. This accomplishment of both Christ and John the Baptist together became the new seed force for the further evolution of all of humanity.
The years 1933-1945 were also a time in which the lower Self of humanity began to separate from its Higher Self, the Christ. Humanity's lower Self at this time consisted of its own unresolved karmic world debt since the time of the incarnation of Christ on Earth. It also consisted of humanity's incomprehension of the Christ. From this, we can draw a parallel between the Apostles, during the time of Christ's physical incarnation, to that of humanity as a whole during His etheric manifestation. Though at times Christ had brought their consciousness to cross over into the spiritual realms, the continued incomprehension of the Apostles eventually resulted in severing the bond between them and their Higher Self, the Christ Being. The Apostles, then, could no longer hold the cosmic forces of the Aura of Christ within their souls. In like fashion during the period of 1933-1945 the new and youthful `Tree of Life' forces of the Aura of Christ were in jeopardy of separating from the Earth and humanity. On a larger, macrocosmic level the failing of humanity as a whole to comprehend and recognize the Etheric Christ resulted in similar circumstances during the time period of 1933-1945. Since the ending of the Age of Darkness, the Kali Yuga, which lasted 5000 years, a “new age of light began in 1899.” Humanity's consciousness, as a single whole, began crossing the threshold into the spiritual world in a way that it hadn't achieved as a whole for 5000 years. However, humanity was unconscious of it and unprepared to apprehend the spiritual world. This was analogous to an illicit Initiation. Humanity was unable to consciously unite with the Etheric Christ at this most critical point in time. The tragic result was the same as that of the severance of the Apostles' bond with Christ. However, in this twelve-year period it was on a worldwide scale. Humanity, as a whole, was not cognizant of the new manifestation and mission of the Etheric Christ during this historically critical time. Therefore, the sun-like Christ-imbued portion of the earth's etheric-astral sphere began to separate itself from the earth. The very element that is to ultimately create and evolve into the future Jupiter planetary condition, the New Jerusalem, was losing its earthly connection. A bridge of consciousness and comprehension had to be forged between the soul element of humanity and the Etheric Christ in order for this sun-like, etheric-astral sphere to remain united with the earth and humanity. A group of souls who were capable of comprehending the Etheric Christ provided such a bridge. Jesaiah Ben-Aharon states that three stages were involved during this time period. They consisted of: 1) the separation of humanity's lower Self with its higher Self, the Christ; 2) a group of Michaelic souls who, because of their comprehension of the Christ and their awakened consciousness, acted with free will as surrogates for the whole of humanity, thereby bridging the abyss between humanity and the Etheric Christ; 3) Christ descended into the depths of humanity's lower Self and united with the Being of humanity's lower Self in a Manichean sacrifice.
Reprinted with the permissiion of Rick Distasi