Wednesday, January 11, 2012
"Sabachthani and Shevachthani: A Cosmic Dichotomy" by Richard Distasi
When we read from the Gospels the words of Christ upon the Cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," what are we to make of these words. Was his consciousness waning at the time when he spoke these words. Does he say this because the spiritual realms were darkening for him at this time. It should noted that these particular words are recorded in the Matthew Gospel and more notably in the Gospel of Mark 15:35; the Gospel of the Cosmic Christ. Was it at this point that Christ had his greatest separation from his own aura; his own Cosmic element. Was he crying out that he no longer had the faculties of a God and that he now had completely united with the body of Jesus of Nazareth and became fully human at this time. It can be argued that the death and resurrection of Christ was a macrocosmic initiation of the Christ by the Father. In the initiation of Christ all is reversed from that of the normal proceedings of an initiation of a human being. In most primary forms of initiation the initiated neophyte ascends into the higher spheres when initiated and at the conclusion of his initiation he cries, “My God, my God, thou hast glorified me!” The words, My God, are a reference to one's Ego. With the initiation of Christ it is all reversed. He says at the beginning of his initiation the opposite words of that of a primary human initiation: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The higher spiritual realms are closed to the Christ being. He does not ascend into them. Alternatively, he descends into the sub-realms of the earth. A possible allusion to the cosmic element of Christ and its bond with John the Baptist may have been presented here since Elijah is mentioned at this very point in the Passion. We know that John the Baptist was present at the death of Christ because of his presence within the consciousness soul of Lazarus who stood at the foot of the Cross. The entire passage reads as follows: "And when the sixth hour came, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, `Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?' which, translated, is, `My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And some of the bystanders on hearing this said, `Behold he is calling Elias.' But someone ran, soaked a sponge in common wine, put it on a reed and offered it to him to drink, saying, `Wait, let us see whether Elias is coming to take him down.' But Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and expired." (Mark 15:33-37).
It should be noted that Steiner does give an alternative rendering to the words: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” On December 30, 1904 he relates the following: “At the time of the founding of Christianity it was still necessary for an advanced individuality to sacrifice his own I and send it into the astral realm, in order that the Logos might dwell in the body. This is an act upon which light is shed by the last words on the cross. What other meaning could these words contain: 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?' These words give expression to the mystical fact then consummated. At the moment of Christ's death, the Divine Being had departed from the body, and it is the body of Jesus of Nazareth that utters these words – a body so highly developed that it could voice the reality. And so these words give expression to an event of untold significance.” [GA 60].
This body was able to speak as it did from the cross after the departure of the spirit of Christ due to the exceptional properties it held within it. It was a body that held the Christ for three plus years. It once held the spirit of Zarathustra and also that of the soul qualities of the Nathan Jesus. The forces of Vidar had fashioned it as well as did the astral forces of the Buddha. The eternal etheric life forces that emanated from Anthroposophia-Mary, its mother, were alive in it also. The fact that this body could speak while the spirit of Christ was no longer incarnated within it affirms what Rudolf Steiner avowed: “ . . . these words give expression to an event of untold significance.” [GA 60].
Three years later in April 1907 [GA 96] Rudolf Steiner said the following in regard to Christ departing from the body of Jesus as the death of the body begins to ensue: “Christ Jesus will once again be able to call out on the cross: 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!' that is, 'My Lord, my Lord, how you have glorified the I in humanity, making it spiritual.' [Note: These words of the departed Christ Spirit should read as follows: “Eli, Eli lama shevachthani]. This is the meaning of these words. There is a later translation which is wrong, taking up the lines from the psalm. But the proper translation of these words is the one you have now heard. Those are the words that express the Mystery of Golgotha: 'My God, my God, how greatly you have glorified me, made me spiritual'.” Rudolf Steiner says here that “Christ Jesus will once again be able to call out on the cross . . .” When he said, “once again,” he was referring to the fact that Christ was able to call out once again as the Initiates of old were once able to do when they were being initiated into the ancient Mysteries. When Christ expressed these words in spirit, it is naturally assumed that they were not sensibly audible. Whereas, the words spoken by the body of Jesus after Christ had departed from it were sensibly audible.
This excerpt from Rudolf Steiner does not contradict his earlier statement regarding the body of Jesus of Nazareth. It was the body of Jesus of Nazareth which spoke the words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” in the very final moments on the cross. The dichotomy between the words spoken by the spirit of Christ lifting out from the body and that of the words spoken by the body of Jesus which remained upon the cross is replete with profound esoteric implications. Christ spoke: “Eli, Eli lama shevachthani.” Whereas the body of Jesus cried out: “Eli, Eli lama sabachthani.” In chapter 17 of John's Gospel we read the following from the prayer of Christ during the Last Supper prior to His Passion: “These things Jesus spoke; and raising His eyes to heaven he said, 'Father the hour has come! Glorify thy Son that thy Son may glorify thee, even as thou hast given him power over all flesh, in order that to all thou hast given him he may give everlasting life'.” (John 17: 1-2).
There are two major points to consider in these verses. One would be the transition of regency from the Father to the Son. Christ now becomes the full regent of our planetary system. The remainder of the evolutionary path of this planetary system is now under the full regency of the Christ from that of the Father. The second major point is that Christ is in the process of redeeming the human phantom body for all of humanity. This is what is meant when Christ spoke the words, “ . . . power over all flesh, in order that to all thou hast given him he may give everlasting life.” It was the phantom body of Jesus which was to take the reversed course of initiation while traversing through the sub-realms of the earth. The exceptional properties of the mineral body of Jesus of Nazareth presage this series of events with the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” After which, the phantom body of Jesus of Nazareth then passes through these realms with Christ and was later fully glorified after sunset on Easter Sunday. The Christ 'I AM' Spirit was glorified on Golgotha. The Impulse of this glorification, now and forever present among the earth, was rendered to the human Ego as well.
As Christ spoke of being glorified while he departed from the body of Jesus this signified the ending of His incarnation within the mineral body of Jesus. It also closed the circle from the time of the words of the Father at the moment of the baptism in the Jordan who spoke: “This is my Son, imbued with my love, in whom I manifest myself.” (Rudolf Steiner – The Gospel of Saint John cycle: Lecture X). These words of the Father at the beginning of the Incarnation and the words of Christ at its ending stand as arching pillars to one another. The mantle of the Father was now being passed on to the Christ. This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew when Christ speaks these words in the final passages of the Gospel: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28: 18).
However, what was to become of the phantom body? After Golgotha, Christ passed through the sub-realms of the earth to its very core. All the while being present within the phantom body of Jesus. He descended into the heart of the Father. While during this time the mineral body had been converted to ash and had been taken up by the earth after it was lain in the tomb. The origins of the phantom body were rooted in the distant past as far back as the Saturn Manvantara. It was quite appropriate and imperatively necessary that Christ returned the phantom body to its Saturn-like conditions. These Saturn-like conditions are found within the deepest core of the earth. It was here that Christ, in the phantom body of Jesus of Nazareth, returned to the Father. Christ then resurrected within the phantom body of Jesus from out of the Father. He ascended through the interior spheres of the earth and manifested in this phantom body before Mary Magdalene. Later that same evening he appeared before His Apostles save one. It should be noted that the complete redemption of the phantom body was not yet fully realized until after sunset on Easter Sunday. At sunrise on Easter morning Christ exhorted Mary Magdalene to refrain from touching Him. The redemption of the phantom body had not been fully consummated. Later, that evening after sunset when the powers of the Elohim had concluded their unitary affinity with the resurrected phantom body, Christ then implored the Apostles to touch Him.
Reprinted with the permission of Rick Distasi