The Gospel of Luke. Lecture 5 of 10.
Rudolf Steiner, Basel, September 15, 1909:
The great streams inspired by Buddha and by Zarathustra converge in Jesus of Nazareth. The Nathan Jesus and the Solomon Jesus.
Every great spiritual stream in the world has its particular mission. These streams are not isolated, and are separated only during certain epochs; then they merge and mutually fructify each other. The Event of Palestine is an illustration of one most significant fusion of the spiritual streams in humanity.
We have set ourselves the task of understanding the Event of Palestine with increasing clarity. But conceptions of the world and of life do not, as some people seem to imagine, move through the air as pure abstractions and ultimately unite. They are borne by beings, by individualities. When a system of thought comes into existence for the first time it must be presented by an individuality, and when these spiritual streams unite and fertilize each other, something quite definite must also happen in the individualities who are the bearers of the world-conceptions in question. The concrete facts connected with the fusion of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism in the Event of Palestine as described in yesterday's lecture may have seemed very complicated. But if we were content to speak of the happenings in an abstract way and not in concrete detail, it would only be necessary to show how these two streams united. As anthroposophists, however, it is our task to give accounts of the two individualities who were the actual bearers of these world-conceptions as well as to call attention to the contents of the teachings. Anthroposophists must always endeavor to get away from abstractions and arrive at concrete realities, so you should not be surprised to find such complicated facts connected with a happening as momentous as the fusion of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism.
This fusion necessarily entailed slow and gradual preparation. We have heard how Buddhism streamed into and worked in the personality born as the child of Joseph and Mary of the Nathan line of the House of David, as related in the Gospel of St. Luke. Joseph and Mary of the Solomon line of the House of David resided originally in Bethlehem with their child Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew. This child of the Solomon line bore within him the individuality who, as Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, had inaugurated the ancient Persian civilization. Thus at the beginning of our era, side by side and represented by actual individualities, we have the stream of Buddhism on the one hand (as described in the Gospel of St. Luke) and on the other the stream of Zoroastrianism in the Jesus of the Solomon line (as described in the Gospel of St. Matthew). The births of the two boys did not occur at exactly the same time.
I shall have to say things today that are not found in the Gospels; but you will understand the Bible all the better if you learn from investigations of the akashic chronicle something about the consequences and effects of facts indicated in the Gospels. It must never be forgotten that the words at the end of the Gospel of St. John hold good for all the Gospels — that the world itself could not contain the books that would have to be written if all the facts were presented. The revelations vouchsafed to humanity through Christianity are not of a kind that could have been written down and presented to the world once and for ever as a complete record. Christ's words are true: ‘I am with you always, until the end of the world!’ He is there not as a dead but as a living being, and what He has to reveal can always be perceived by those whose spiritual eyes are opened. Christianity is a living stream and its revelations will endure as long as human beings are able to receive them. Thus certain facts will be presented today, the consequences of which are indicated in the Gospels, though not the facts themselves. Nevertheless you can put them to the test and you will find them substantiated.
The births of the two Jesus children were separated by a period of a few months. But Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke and John the Baptist were both born too late to have been victims of the so-called ‘massacre of the innocents’. Has the thought never struck you that those who read about the Bethlehem massacre must ask themselves: How could there have been a John? But the facts can be substantiated in all respects. The Jesus of St. Matthew's Gospel was taken to Egypt by his parents, and John, supposedly, was born shortly before or about the same time. According to the usual view, John remained in Palestine, but in that case he would certainly have been a victim of Herod's murderous deed. You see how necessary it is to devote serious thought to these things; for if all the children of two years old and younger were actually put to death at that time, John would have been one of them. But this riddle will become intelligible if, in the light of the facts disclosed by the akashic chronicle, you realize that the events related in the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew did not take place at the same time. The Nathan Jesus was born after the Bethlehem massacre; so too was John. Although the interval was only a matter of months, it was long enough to make these facts possible.
You will also learn to understand the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Matthew in the light of the more intimate facts. In this boy was reincarnated the Zarathustra individuality, from whom the people of ancient Persia had once received the teaching concerning Ahura Mazdao, the great Sun Being. We know that this Sun Being must be regarded as the soul and spirit of the external, physical Sun. Hence Zarathustra was able to say: ‘Behold not only the radiance of the physical Sun; behold, too, the mighty Being who sends down His spiritual blessings as the physical Sun sends down its beneficient light and warmth!’ — Ahura Mazdao, later called the Christ — it was He whom Zarathustra proclaimed to the people of Persia, but not yet as a Being who had sojourned on the Earth. Pointing to the Sun, Zarathustra could only say: ‘There is His habitation; He is gradually drawing near and one day He will live in a body on the Earth!’
The great differences between Zoroastrianism and Buddhism are obvious as long as they were separate; but the differences were resolved through their union and rejuvenation in the events of Palestine.
Let us once again consider what Buddha gave to the world. Buddha's teaching was presented in the Eightfold Path — this being an enumeration of the qualities needed by the human soul if it is to escape the harsh effects of karma. In course of time Buddha's teaching must be developed as compassion and love by men individually, through their own feelings and sense of morality. I also told you that when the Bodhisattva became Buddha, this was a crucial turning-point in evolution. Had the full revelation of the Bodhisattva in the body of Gautama Buddha not taken place at that time, it would not have been possible for the souls of all human beings to unfold what we call ‘law-abidingness’ — dharma — which a man can only develop from his own being by expelling the content of his astral nature in order to liberate himself from all harsh effects of karma. The Buddhist legend indicates this in a wonderful way by saying that Buddha succeeded in ‘turning the Wheel of the Law’. This means that the enlightenment of the Bodhisattva and his ascent to Buddhahood enabled a force to stream through the whole of humanity as the result of which men could now evolve dharma from their own souls and gradually fathom the profundities of the Eightfold Path. This possibility began when Buddha first evolved the teaching upon which the moral sense of men on Earth was actually to be based. Such was the task of the Bodhisattva who became Buddha. We see how individual tasks are allotted to the great individualities when we find in Buddhism all that man can experience in his own soul as his great ideal. The ideal of the human soul — what man is and can become — that is the essence of Buddha's teaching and it sufficed as far as his particular mission was concerned.
Everything in Buddhism has to do with inwardness, with human nature and its inner development; genuine, original Buddhism contained no cosmology — although it was introduced later on. The essential mission of the Bodhisattva was to bring to men the teaching of the deep inwardness of their own souls. Thus in certain sermons Buddha avoids any definite reference to the cosmos. Everything is expressed in such a way that if the human soul allows itself to be influenced by Buddha's teaching, it can become more and more perfect. Man is regarded as a self-contained being apart from the great universe whence he proceeded. It is because this was connected with the special mission of the Bodhisattva that Buddha's teaching, when truly understood, has such a warming, deepening effect upon the soul; for this reason too the teaching seems to those who concern themselves with it to be permeated with such intensity of feeling and such inner warmth when it appears again, rejuvenated, in the Gospel of St. Luke.
The task of the individuality incarnated as Zarathustra in ancient Persia was altogether different — in point of fact exactly the opposite. Zarathustra taught of the God without; he taught men to apprehend the great cosmos spiritually. Buddha directed man's attention to his own inner nature, saying that as the result of development there gradually appear, out of the previous state of ignorance, the ‘six organs’ of which we have spoken, namely, the five sense-organs and Manas. But everything within man was originally born out of the cosmos. We should have no eye sensitive to light if the light itself had not brought the eye to birth from out of the organism. Goethe said: ‘The eye was created by the light for the light.’ This is a profound truth. The light formed the eye out of neutral organs once present in the human body. In the same way, all the spiritual forces in the universe work formatively upon man. Everything within him was organized, to begin with, out of divine-spiritual forces. Hence for every ‘inner’ there is an ‘outer’. The forces that are found within man stream into him from outside. And it was the task of Zarathustra to point to the realities that are outside, in man's environment. Hence, for example, he spoke of the ‘Amshaspands’, the great Genii, of whom he enumerated six — in reality there are twelve, but the other six are hidden. These Amshaspands work from outside as the creators and moulders of the organs of the human being. Zarathustra showed that behind the human sense organs stand the creators of man; he pointed to the great Genii, to the powers and forces outside man. Buddha pointed to the forces working within man. Zarathustra also pointed to forces and beings below the Amshaspands, calling them the ‘Izards’ or ‘Izeds’. They too penetrate into man from outside in order to work at the inner organization of his bodily nature. Here again Zarathustra was directing attention to spiritual realities in the cosmos, to external conditions. And whereas Buddha pointed to the actual thought-substance out of which the thoughts arise from the human soul, Zarathustra pointed to the ‘Ferruers’ or ‘Fravashars’, to the ‘world-creative thoughts’ pervading the universe and surrounding us everywhere. For the thoughts that arise in man are everywhere in existence in the world outside.
Thus it was the mission of Zarathustra to inculcate into men an attitude of mind particularly concerned with analyzing the phenomena of the external world, to present a view of the universe to a people whose task was to labor in the outer world. This mission was in keeping with the special characteristics of the ancient Persians, and the function of Zarathustra was to promote energy and efficiency in this work, although his methods may have taken a form that would be repellant to modern man. Zarathustra's mission was to engender vigor, efficiency, and certainty of aim in outer activity through the knowledge that man has not only shelter and support in his own inner being but rests in the bosom of a divine-spiritual world and can therefore say to himself: ‘Whatever your place in the world may be, you are not alone. You live in a cosmos permeated by Spirit, among cosmic gods and spiritual beings; you are born of the Spirit and rest in the Spirit; with every indrawn breath you inhale divine Spirit; with every exhalation you may make an offering to the great Spirit!’ Because of his special mission, Zarathustra's own initiation was necessarily different from that of the other great missionaries of humanity.
Let us consider what the individuality incarnated in Zarathustra was able to achieve. So lofty was his stage of development that he could make provision in advance for the next (Egyptian) stream of culture. Zarathustra had two pupils: the individualities who appeared again later on as the Egyptian Hermes and as Moses respectively. When these two individualities were again incarnated in order to carry forward their work for humanity, the astral body sacrificed by Zarathustra was integrated into the Egyptian Hermes. Hermes bore within him the astral body of Zarathustra, which had been transmitted to him in order that all the knowledge of the universe possessed by Zarathustra might again be made manifest and take effect in the outer world. The etheric body of Zarathustra was transmitted to Moses. And because whatever evolves in time is connected with the etheric body, when Moses became conscious of the secrets contained in his etheric body he was able to create the mighty pictures of happenings in time presented in Genesis. In this way Zarathustra worked on through the power of his individuality, inaugurating and influencing Egyptian culture and the culture of the ancient Hebrews that issued from it.
Through his ego too, such an individuality is destined to fulfill a great mission. The ego of Zarathustra incarnated again and again in other personalities, for an individuality of such advanced development can always consecrate an astral body and strengthen an etheric body for his own use, even when he has relinquished his original bodies to others. Thus six hundred years before our era, Zarathustra was born again in ancient Chaldea as Zarathas or Nazarathos, who became the teacher of the Chaldean Mystery schools; he was also the teacher of Pythagoras and again acquired profound insight into the phenomena of the outer world.
If we steep ourselves in the wisdom of the Chaldeans with the help not of Anthropology but of Anthroposophy, an inkling will dawn in us of what Zarathustra, as Zarathas or Nazarathos, taught in the Mystery schools of ancient Chaldea. The whole of his teaching, as we have heard, was given with the aim of bringing about concord and harmony in the outer world. His mission also included the art of organizing empires and institutions in keeping with the progress of humanity and with order in the social life. Hence those who were his pupils might rightly be called not only great magi, great initiates, but also kings — that is to say, men versed in the art of establishing social order in the external world.
Deep and fervent attachment to the individuality (not the personality) of Zarathustra prevailed in the Mystery schools of Chaldea. These Wise Men of the East felt that they were intimately connected with their great leader. They saw in him the ‘Star of Humanity’, for ‘Zoroaster’ (Zarathustra) means ‘Golden Star’, or ‘Star of Splendor’. They saw in him a reflection of the Sun itself. And with their profound wisdom they could not fail to know when their master was born again in Bethlehem. Led by their ‘Star’, they brought as offerings to him the outer symbols for the most precious gift he had been able to bestow upon men. This most precious gift was knowledge of the outer world, of the mysteries of the cosmos received into the human astral body in thinking, feeling, and willing; hence the pupils of Zarathustra strove to impregnate these soul-forces with the wisdom that can be drawn from the deep foundations of the divine-spiritual world. Symbols for this knowledge — which can be acquired by mastering the secrets of the outer world — were gold, frankincense, and myrrh: gold, the symbol of thinking; frankincense, the symbol of the piety which pervades man as feeling; and myrrh, the symbol of the power of will. Thus by appearing before their master when he was born again in Bethlehem the Magi gave evidence of their union with him. The writer of the Gospel of St. Matthew relates what is literally true when he describes how the Wise Men among whom Zarathustra had once worked knew that he had reappeared among men, and how they expressed their connection with him through the three symbols of gold, frankincense, and myrrh — the symbols for the precious gift he had bestowed upon them.
The need now was that Zarathustra, as Jesus of the Solomon line of the House of David, should be able to work with all possible power in order to give again to men, in a rejuvenated form, everything he had already given in earlier times. For this purpose he had to gather together and concentrate all the power he had ever possessed. Hence he could not be born in a body from the priestly line of the House of David but only in one from the kingly line. In this way the Gospel of St. Matthew indicates the connection of the kingly name in ancient Persia with the ancestry of the child in whom Zarathustra was incarnated.
Indications of these happenings are also contained in ancient books of wisdom originating in the Near East. Whoever really understands these books of wisdom reads them differently from those who are ignorant of the facts and therefore confuse everything. In the Old Testament there are, for instance, two prophecies: one in the apocryphal Books of Enoch pointing more to the Nathan Messiah of the priestly line, and the other in the Psalms referring to the Messiah of the kingly line. Every detail in the scriptures harmonizes with the facts that can be ascertained from the akashic chronicle.
It was necessary for Zarathustra to gather together all the forces he had formerly possessed. He had surrendered his astral and etheric bodies to Hermes and Moses respectively, and through them to Egyptian and Hebraic culture. It was necessary for him to reunite with these forces — as it were to fetch back from Egypt the forces of his etheric body. A profound mystery is here revealed to us: Jesus of the Solomon line of the House of David, the reincarnated Zarathustra, was led to Egypt, for in Egypt were the forces that had streamed from his astral body and his etheric body when the former had been bestowed upon Hermes and the latter upon Moses. Because he had influenced the culture and civilization of Egypt, he had to gather to himself the forces he had once relinquished. Hence the ‘Flight into Egypt’ and its spiritual consequences: the absorption of all the forces he now needed in order to give again to men, in full strength and in a rejuvenated form, what he had bestowed upon them in past ages.
Thus the history of the Jesus whose parents resided originally in Bethlehem is correctly related by St. Matthew. St. Luke relates only that the parents of the Jesus of whom he is writing resided in Nazareth, that they went to Bethlehem to be taxed, and that Jesus was born during that short period. The parents then returned to Nazareth with the child. In the Gospel of St. Matthew we are told that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that he had to be taken to Egypt. It was after their return from Egypt that the parents settled in Nazareth, for the child who was the reincarnation of Zarathustra was destined to grow up near the child who represented the other stream — the stream of Buddhism. Thus the two streams were brought together in actual reality.
The Gospels become especially profound when they are indicating essential facts. The quality in the human being that is connected more with will and power, with the ‘kingly’ nature (speaking in the technical sense), is known by those cognizant of the mysteries of existence to be transmitted by the paternal element in heredity. On the other hand, the inner nature that is connected with wisdom and inner mobility of spirit is transmitted by the maternal element. With his profound insight into the mysteries of existence, Goethe hints at this in the words:
From my father I have my stature
And life's serious conduct;
From my mother a happy nature
And delight in telling fables.
And life's serious conduct;
From my mother a happy nature
And delight in telling fables.
You can find this truth substantiated again and again in the world. Stature, the outer form, whatever expresses itself directly in the outer structure, and in ‘life's serious conduct’ — this is connected with the character of the ego and is inherited from the paternal element. For this reason the Solomon Jesus had to inherit power from the father, because it was his mission to transmit to the world the divine forces radiating through the world in space. This is expressed by the writer of the Gospel of St. Matthew in the most wonderful way. The incarnation of an individuality was announced from the spiritual world as an event of great significance and it was announced not to Mary but to Joseph, the father. Truths of immense profundity lie behind all this; such things must never be regarded as fortuitous. Inner traits and qualities such as are inherited from the mother were transmitted to the Jesus of the Nathan line. Hence the birth of the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke was announced to the mother. Such is the profundity of the facts narrated in the scriptures! — But let us continue.
The other facts described are also full of significance. A forerunner of Jesus of Nazareth was to arise in John the Baptist. To say more about the individuality of the Baptist will only be possible as time goes on. But to begin with we will consider the picture presented to us — John as the herald of the being who was to come in Jesus. John proclaimed this by gathering together and summarizing with infinite power everything contained in the old Law. What the Baptist wished to bring home to men was that there must be observance of what was written in the old Law but had grown old in civilization and had been forgotten; it was mature, but was no longer heeded. Therefore what John required above all was the power possessed by a soul born as a mature — even overmature — soul into the world. He was born of old parents; from the very beginning his astral body was pure and cleansed of all the forces which degrade man, because the aged parents were unaffected by passion and desire. There again, profound wisdom is expressed in the Gospel of St. Luke. For such an individuality, too, provision is made in the Mother Lodge of humanity. Where the great Manu guides and directs the processes of evolution in the spiritual realm, from thence the streams are sent whithersoever they are needed. An ego such as that of John the Baptist was born into a body under the immediate guidance and direction of the great Mother Lodge of humanity in the central sanctuary of earthly spiritual life. The John ego descended from the same holy region [Stätte] as that from which the soul-being of the Jesus child of the Gospel of St. Luke descended, save that upon Jesus there were chiefly bestowed qualities not yet permeated by an ego in which egoistic traits had developed: that is to say, a young soul was guided to the place where the reborn Adam was to incarnate.
It will seem strange to you that a soul without a really developed ego could be guided from the great Mother Lodge to a certain place. But the same ego that was withheld from the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke was bestowed upon the body of John the Baptist; thus the soul-being in Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke and the ego-being in John the Baptist were inwardly related from the beginning. Now when the human embryo develops in the body of the mother, the ego unites with the other members of the human organism in the third week, but does not come into operation until the last months before birth and then only gradually. Not until then does the ego become active as an inner force; in a normal case, when an ego quickens an embryo, we have to do with an ego that has come from earlier incarnations. In the case of John, however, the ego in question was inwardly related to the soul-being of the Nathan Jesus. Hence according to the Gospel of St. Luke the mother of Jesus went to the mother of John the Baptist when the latter was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, and the embryo that in other cases is quickened by its own ego was here quickened through the medium of the other embryo. The child in the body of Elisabeth begins to move when the mother bearing the Nathan Jesus child approaches; and it is the ego through which the child in the other mother (Elisabeth) is quickened. [ 1 ] (Luke I, 39–44). Such was the deep connection between the being who was to bring about the fusion of the two spiritual streams and the other who was to announce His coming!
Events of great sublimity take place at the beginning of our era. When, as so often happens, people say that truth should be simple, this is due to indolence and a dislike of having to wrestle with many concepts; but the greatest truths can be apprehended only when the spiritual faculties are exerted to their utmost capacity. If considerable efforts are needed to describe a machine, it is surely unreasonable to demand that the greatest truths should also be the simplest! Truth is inevitably complicated, and the most strenuous efforts must be made if it is desired to acquire some understanding of the truths relating to the Events of Palestine. Nobody should lend himself to the objection that the facts are unduly complicated; they are complicated because here we have to do with the greatest of all happenings in the evolution of the Earth.
Thus we see two Jesus children growing up. The son of Joseph and Mary of the Nathan line was born of a young mother (in Hebrew the word ‘Alma’ would have been used), for a soul of such a nature must necessarily be born of a very young mother. After their return from Bethlehem this couple continued to live in Nazareth with their son. They had no other children; the mother was to be the mother of this Jesus only. When Joseph and Mary of the Solomon line returned with their son from Egypt, they settled in Nazareth and, as related in the Gospel of St. Mark, had several more children: Simon, Judas, Joseph, James, and two sisters. (Mark VI, 3).
The Jesus child who bore within him the individuality of Zarathustra unfolded with extraordinary rapidity powers that will inevitably be present when such a mighty ego is working in a body. The nature of the individuality in the body of the Nathan Jesus was altogether different, the most important factor there being the Nirmanakaya of Buddha overshadowing this child. Hence when the parents had returned from Bethlehem, the child is said to have been full of wisdom — that is, in his etheric body; he was “filled with wisdom and the grace of God was upon him.” (Luke II, 40). But he grew up in such a way that the ordinary human qualities connected with understanding and knowledge of the external world developed in him exceedingly slowly. A superficial observer would have called this child comparatively backward — if account had been taken only of his intellectual capacities. But instead there developed in him the power streaming from the overshadowing Nirmanakaya of Buddha. He unfolded a depth of inwardness comparable with nothing of the kind in the world, a power of feeling that had an extraordinary effect upon everyone around him. Thus in the Nathan Jesus we see a being with infinite depths of feeling, and in the Solomon Jesus an individuality of exceptional maturity, having profound understanding of the world.
Words of great significance had been spoken to the mother of the Nathan Jesus, the child of deep feeling. When Simeon stood before the newborn child and beheld above him the radiance of the being he had been unable to see in India as the Buddha, he foretold the momentous events that were now to take place; but he spoke also of the ‘sword that would pierce the mother's heart’. These words too refer to something we shall endeavor to understand.
The parents were in friendly relationship, and the children grew up as near neighbors until they were about twelve years old. When the Nathan Jesus reached this age his parents went to Jerusalem ‘after the custom’, to take part in the Feast of the Passover, and the child went with them, as was usual. We now find in the Gospel of St. Luke the mysterious narrative of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple. As the parents were returning from the Feast they suddenly missed the boy; failing to find him among the company of travelers, they turned back again and found him in the temple conversing with the learned doctors, all of whom were astonished at his wisdom.
What had happened? We will enquire of the imperishable akashic chronicle.
The facts of existence are by no means simple. What had happened on this occasion may also happen in a different way elsewhere in the world. At a certain stage of development some individuality may need conditions differing from those that were present at the beginning of his life. Hence it repeatedly happens that someone lives to a certain age and then suddenly falls into a state of deathlike unconsciousness. A transformation takes place: his own ego leaves him and another ego passes into his bodily constitution. Such a change occurs in other cases too; it is a phenomenon known to every occultist. In the case of the twelve-year-old Jesus, the following happened. The Zarathustra ego which had lived hitherto in the body of the Jesus belonging to the kingly or Solomon line of the House of David in order to reach the highest level of his epoch, left that body and passed into the body of the Nathan Jesus, who then appeared as one transformed. His parents did not recognize him; nor did they understand his words, for now the Zarathustra ego was speaking out of the Nathan Jesus. This was the time when the Nirmanakaya of Buddha united with the cast-off astral sheath and when the Zarathustra ego passed into him. This child, now so changed that his parents did not know what to make of him, was taken home with them.
Not long afterwards the mother of the Nathan Jesus died, so that the chid into whom the Zarathustra ego had now passed was orphaned on the mother's side. As we shall see, the fact that the mother died and the child was left an orphan is especially significant. Nor could the child of the Solomon line continue to live under ordinary conditions when the Zarathustra ego had gone out of him. Joseph of the Solomon line had already died, and the mother of the child who had once been the Solomon Jesus, together with her children James, Joseph, Simon, Judas, and the two daughters, were taken into the house of the Nathan Joseph; so that Zarathustra (now in the body of the Nathan Jesus child) was again living in the family (with the exception of the father) in which he had incarnated. In this way the two families were combined into one, and the mother of the brothers and sisters — as we may call them, for in respect of the ego they were brothers and sisters — lived in the house of Joseph of the Nathan line with the Jesus whose native town — in the bodily sense — was Nazareth.
Here we see the actual fusion of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. For the body now harbo\ring the mature ego-soul of Zarathustra had been able to assimilate everything that resulted from the union of the Nirmanakaya of Buddha with the discarded astral sheath. Thus the individuality now growing up as ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ bore within him the ego of Zarathustra irradiated and pervaded by the spiritual power of the rejuvenated Nirmanakaya of Buddha. In this sense Buddhism and Zoroastrianism united in the soul of Jesus of Nazareth.
When Joseph of the Nathan line also died, comparatively soon, the Zarathustra child was in very fact an orphan and felt himself as such; he was not the being he appeared to be according to his bodily descent; in respect of the spirit he was the reborn Zarathustra; in respect of bodily descent the father was Joseph of the Nathan line and the external world could have no other view. St. Luke relates it and we must take his words exactly:
‘Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him and a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten Thee. And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age ...’
and now it is not said simply that he was a ‘son’ of Joseph, but: ‘being as was supposed the son of Joseph’ (Luke III, 21–23) — for the ego had originally incarnated in the Solomon Jesus and was therefore not connected fundamentally with the Nathan Joseph.
‘Jesus of Nazareth’ was now a being whose inmost nature comprised all the blessings of Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. A momentous destiny awaited him — a destiny altogether different from that of any others baptized by John in the Jordan. And we shall see that later on, when the Baptism took place, the Christ was received into the inmost nature of this being. Then, too, the immortal part of the original mother of the Nathan Jesus descended from the spiritual world and transformed the mother who had been taken into the house of the Nathan Joseph, making her again virginal. [ 2 ] Thus the soul of the mother whom the Nathan Jesus had lost was restored to him at the time of the Baptism in the Jordan. The mother who had remained to him harbored within her the soul of his original mother, called in the Bible the ‘Blessed Mary’.
Notes:1. There is a slight ambiguity in the German text and the reader will do well to turn to the passage in the next lecture (p. 119) where Dr. Steiner speaks again of the mysterious process connected with the birth of John the Baptist and of the influence of the Nirmanakaya of Buddha hovering above the Nathan Jesus.2. The German words are: und machte sie wieder jungfräulich.
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