Originally posted 8/13/2016. "Written this afternoon as possible teaser copy for a Swamiji video clip."
Monday, July 31, 2017
There is only one source of life; we are all receiving the same breath from this one life-source. By paying attention to our breath using the principles and practices of yoga science and philosophy, we can realize ever more fully the truth that there is indeed only this one breath that we all share; that we are all of us brothers and sisters together, children of the one God, the source of life, the Breathing Lord.
Originally posted 8/13/2016. "Written this afternoon as possible teaser copy for a Swamiji video clip."
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb are We
Awash in a Sonburst Sea
You—Love—and I—Love—and Love Divine:
We are the Trinity
You—Love—and I—We are One-Two-Three
Two—Yes—and One—Yes—and also Three:
One Dual Trinity
The meaning of the name of Heaven is: replenishment. It is the ever-flowing fountain; and, paradoxically, through death one will find, that it is the very home of everlasting youth.
For nothing dwindles or dies in the spiritual realms. The depleted are fulfilled, and the shapeless become regenerated. Thoughts and hopes are the sprites of a cosmic dance that joyously twirl those starry lit fields in the ever morn.
Yes! everyone is Irish in Heaven! (a joke)
Revelation, not intoxication, enlights the mind with cheer and wonder.
And, everyone has their place.
One does not wander homeless as a constant refugee from materiality ... no, every single monadic soul has a home of their own that they can return to with visitors, companions, and cherished animal friends. Life is more tangible than the physical world, because it is permeated with meaning and its very substance is durable.
From Heaven's perspective our descent into mortal life is death itself, rather than a becoming. At the very least it is as a tedious dream, at times with night terrors and at others, with perplexity ... a forgetfulness of one's root being, and immortality.
It is little wonder that the mortal consciousness is considered to be less than perfect, and only dimly aware; when, with the walk into Heaven one is fully sensing and knowing so much more. The forgetfulness of this world is its greatest peril. And the embrace of all that is Heaven is our ultimate life.
Passing back into the realm is as before - only with each venture had, there are treasures in hand, to be kept for ever more.
The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness. Lecture 2 of 14.
Rudolf Steiner, Dornach, Switzerland, September 30, 1917:
This lecture will add further details to an image which I finally hope to present in its entirety tomorrow.
We are living at a time — yesterday's lecture will have given you an idea of this — of which we can say that much will have to change in the way people think, feel, and use their will. Our inner aims will have to change. It is especially with regard to our innermost being that old, inherited and acquired habits will have to go and a new way of thinking and feeling develop. This is what our time demands. I think it can have a profound and truly significant effect on people to ponder the truth I presented yesterday, which is, to put it simply, that there can only be one of two things: destructive processes here on the physical plane, or the spiritual development of humanity. Just think what it means — that, knowing this truth, we shall be compelled to feel socially at one with the dead, the departed. Our inner response to present events on this physical plane is one of deep pain, and it is right this should be so; on the other hand, we should not forget that the number of people who have taken up spiritual life in recent decades is small, and the souls of those who have not done so are thirsting for destructive processes here on the physical plane because these will give them the powers they need for the life of soul and spirit which comes after death. In practice this means we are challenged to do everything we can to encourage spiritual life as the only way of freeing future humanity from those destructive forces. It has to be clearly understood, of course, that this was different in the past, when the fact that an age of materialism must inevitably summon up an age of wars and devastation did not hold true to the same degree. It will, however, hold true in future.
Humanity is laboring under numerous illusions that have their origin in the past. The consequences of these have not been as serious in the past as they will be in the future evolution of humanity. I think it is fair to say that, generally speaking, human souls are still very much asleep at the present time, and fail to notice many of the tremendous changes now taking place. Sometimes, however, some of this comes through at an instinctive level, and individuals are then aware of the great riddles of the age. However, many are not fully active inwardly and therefore not yet able to experience these riddles in their full depth.
Taking note of the turbulent and destructive events of today, some individuals are becoming aware of one such riddle. Yet they are in many respects quite unable to find the answers. The riddle I am speaking of is the discrepancy between intellectual and moral development in human evolution. Strangely enough, recent developments in materialistic thinking have led none other than the Darwinists to this conclusion. Haeckel, too, has commented to this effect in his Welträtsel.[ Note 1 ] Now, in these times of war, it can be seen again and again that this imbalance between intellectual and moral life in human evolution is beginning to puzzle people. They say to themselves, quite rightly, that the life of the intellect, the rational mind, has made tremendous advances. This is what many people call the realm of science today; it provides the basis for the modern materialistic view. Consider the tremendous advances made as the laws of nature have been penetrated, studied, and finally used to build all kinds of instruments — most recently especially the instruments for murder! People will also begin to consider other things in the light of this science of theirs. They will analyze foods for their constituents and manufacture chemical foods, never realizing that chemical foods are not the same as those provided by nature, even if they do have the same constituents.
Intellectual, or we may also say scientific, development has shown an upward trend. Moral development has not progressed to the same extent. Surely the present world catastrophe could not have arisen, or taken the course it has taken, if moral development had kept pace with intellectual development. It would be right to say that because moral development has not progressed, intellectual development has assumed something of an amoral character and has in many respects become downright destructive. Many people are beginning to notice that the moral development has not been keeping pace with the intellectual development of humanity today. However, no one asks at the present time that issues like these should be gone into sufficiently deeply so that they may serve a truly human evolution. No one asks that they should be tackled at the point where it is fully evident that modern people simply cannot penetrate to the deeper sources of human thinking and human actions, because elements which are separate and distinct in man and relate to quite different regions of the universe are all mixed up in people's minds.
Modern scientists are faced with a human being consisting of physical body, etheric body — the body of generative powers — astral body, and ego; but everything is mixed up. People do not make the distinction in modern science. How can we arrive at a science that will enable us to grasp these things if everything is mixed up together? The truth is that these different aspects of human nature belong to entirely different regions and spheres of the universe. Our physical body and our generative powers relate to the physical world; with the astral body and the ego we enter a totally different world every night, and initially this has extraordinarily little to do with the world in which we are awake during the day. The two worlds really only work together in so far as they are brought together in the human realm.
Consider also that the human ego and astral body are much younger than the physical and etheric bodies. The first beginnings of the physical body go back to the time of ancient Saturn. That early body progressed through four stages — Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth — to reach its present level of evolution on Earth. The etheric body has gone through three stages, the astral body through two stages. The ego has only come in during Earth evolution; it is young and belongs to an entirely different cosmic age. The apparatus or instrument of our human intellect is intimately bound up with the physical body. It has reached a great level of perfection because the physical body has gone through such a comprehensive process of development in the Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth periods. We can see this from the level to which the nerves, the brain, and the blood have developed. This, then, is the highly developed instrument we use for our intellectual activity.
On a previous occasion here in Dornach I suggested that the human being is much more complex than we are inclined to think. When we say ‘physical body’ we are speaking of something that is far from simple. It is based on principles that go back to ancient Saturn. Then the etheric body was added. This created its own element in the physical body; the astral body also created its own element in the physical body, and so did the ego. The physical body thus really has four elements to it. One of these relates to the physical body as such, one to the etheric body, one to the astral body, and one to the ego. The etheric body has three elements — one related to itself, one to the astral body, one to the ego.
Let us stay with the physical body for the moment. We find that during the night, when we are asleep, the element of the physical body relating to the physical body continues in the usual way. The element relating to the etheric body can also continue, for the etheric body stays with the physical body. But what happens to the element relating to the astral body, which is organized to meet the needs of an astral body that wants to go outside, and with the element relating to an ego which has also gone outside? During the night, these two elements — let us call them the astral physical body and the ego's physical body — are forsaken by the principles on which their whole organization is based. The ego and the astral body are then outside the parts of the physical body to which they belong. For as long as we live between birth and death we are really leaving something behind in bed every night which is not taken care of by the principle to which it relates. It clearly has to function differently during the night than it does during the day; I think you can see this. During the day the astral body and the ego are active and aglow in it; during the night they are not. People do not enquire into these things today because everything has merged into one and become mixed up in their minds, as I have said. They do not distinguish between the different aspects of their body, though these can be quite clearly distinguished.
During the night when we are asleep the ‘astral physical’ element in the physical body exercises powers very similar to the powers of Mercury, the mercurial powers that make mercury liquid, and so on. The part of the physical body relating to the ego acts like salt during sleep. Human beings thus have Salt and Mercury flowing through them during sleep.
Up to the fourteenth century, those alchemists who must be taken seriously still knew of these things. After this, sectarianism came into alchemy and the books were written which are generally read today. The old knowledge was still to be found with Jacob Boehme, [ Note 2 ] however, who used the terms Salt, Mercury, and Sulphur.
These are some of the secrets of human nature. We say, then, that when we are asleep we look down on a body that has become mercurial and salty. The fact that the body becomes mercurial has highly significant consequences, and we may be able to say more about this in the course of these weeks. The fact that it becomes salty — well, I think it is not at all difficult for people to discover this for themselves when they get up in the mornings.
What is the significance, however? It is more or less like this: On waking, the ego and astral body, having been outside in the world of the spirit during sleep, enter into the salty, or mineral, principle in the human body and into the mercurial principle, which flows within the human being as a vitalizing principle. Principles which have been separated during the night now come together. As they interact, opportunity is given for the things acquired in the world of the spirit to be brought in. Mercury and Salt have been resting; now the ego and astral body enter and fill them with what they have gained in the world of the spirit. As a result, the physical body, the instrument which has evolved from ancient Saturn, is enriched still further. On the one hand the physical body is the instrument we use for intellectual activity, and it is truly venerable and highly developed because it has evolved over such a long time. Yet, on the other hand, the process I have just described can bring the influence of the spiritual world to bear in the present time. As a result, human beings are now able to influence the instrument of the intellect from the world of the spirit, and intellectual thinking can play such a significant role in the present age.
The world in which we are between going to sleep and waking up again does, however, have one peculiarity — there is nothing in it by way of moral laws. Strange as it may seem, between going to sleep and waking up again you are in a world devoid of moral laws. We might also say it is a world that is not yet moral. When we wake up, the impulses we bring from this world may take hold of the physical body and the etheric body with regard to the intellect, but cannot in any way take hold of them in any moral sense. This is quite impossible, for the world in which we are between going to sleep and waking up again does not have moral laws. People who think it would have been better for the gods to arrange things in such a way that humans did not have to live on the physical plane at all are very much mistaken; for in that case people could never become moral. Human beings acquire morality by living here on the physical plane. In short, we bring wisdom to the physical body from the world of the spirit, but not morality.
This is tremendously important and significant, for it explains why humanity must inevitably lag behind when it comes to moral principles, whereas the gods have made excellent provision for their intellectual development, not only providing them with an instrument which has evolved through the Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth periods, but also giving them the wherewithal by which to maintain the intellect by filling them with wisdom in the world which they enter during sleep. It will not be until later periods, in the second half of Venus evolution, that we make connection with a moral world during sleep. Clearly, it is therefore tremendously important for us to see to it that our social life becomes truly moral.
These are the things modern humanity does not want to consider. Some are aware of the riddles, as I have said, but people do not want to consider the deeper reasons, for that would be too much of an effort. They want to take human nature as it presents itself and refuse to consider that in many respects it extends into the worlds of the cosmos, beyond space and beyond time, and that human nature cannot be explained if we merely look at it the way in which it normally comes to expression and do not take account of these other aspects. It is a magnificent and awesome truth that sleep helps our intellectual thinking, even our genius — for geniuses, too, bring back elements from sleep that enter into their mercurial and salt principles — in fact, it is this which makes someone a genius; but morality can only be provided for if human beings gradually let the moral element enter into them here on the physical plane.
For humanity here on earth, the Christ impulse is the heart of the moral life. It is therefore most important — I have stressed this before, from other points of view — that human beings encounter the Christ impulse here on the physical plane. We have to look at this from many different points of view. So it seems we can now understand why people who have all kinds of impulses based on wisdom at an instinctive level — for these impulses are given in sleep — and are able to invent tremendously complex machines, playing a role in the advance of science and technology, need not connect this in any way with morality, for morality belongs to a totally different sphere.
People do not like to hear or know such things today. Yet they will have to be known if we are to escape from the chaos that has arisen in the world. And this is a very serious matter. Human evolution will not progress unless these truths become part of our life on Earth. The gods did not intend human beings to become automatons which they could influence like automatic machines. They wanted them to be free individuals who realize what will take them forward. It is wrong to ask why the gods do not intervene. Attempts have to be made; and if one such undertaking should go awry, we should not draw the wrong conclusions. Instead, those who come later must let this give them an even greater impetus to work in a way that helps to encourage such an attempt at further development in the spirit. I have recently been much concerned with a significant attempt made in the past which did not entirely come off. I discussed this in the first part of my essay on The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz: Anno 1459 — it is to be continued in Das Reich. [ Note 3 ] The work was written in the early seventeenth century. People were given it to read as early as 1603, and it was published in 1616. The author, Johann Valentin Andreae, also wrote Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Rosicruci, unusual works which attracted all kinds of comment, some sensible but most of them absurd. All I want to say about them today is that although they may at first sight appear to be satirical, they nevertheless represent one great impulse — to deepen insight into nature in its spiritual aspect to a point where deeper knowledge of the laws of nature also discovers the laws that govern human social life.
This is an area where people find it particularly difficult to distinguish between maya — illusion — and reality. The motives we ourselves or others tend to ascribe to our actions are not the true ones. It is painful to have to realize this, but — I have spoken of this on several occasions — they are not our true motives. Nor are the outward positions people hold in social life their true positions. People are usually completely different inside from the way they present themselves in the social sphere and also from the way they see themselves. People believe so strongly that their actions are based on a particular motive. Some think their motives are entirely selfless, when in reality they are nothing but the most brutal egotism. People are not aware of this because they have such illusions concerning themselves and their social connections. This is another area where we can only discover the truth if we look more deeply into the whole scheme of things.
Johann Valentin Andreae was someone who wanted to look more deeply. What mattered to him, among other things, was to see beyond maya into reality. He was not the kind of superficial person who thinks he can do this with all those harangues profound educationists and others today think will reform the world; he realized that one must look more deeply into the whole scheme which lies behind the world of nature if one is to find the spirit in nature. Then one will also find the threads which truly connect human beings with the spirit. And only then shall we really know the social laws that are needed. You cannot reflect on social relationships today if you think the way people do in modern science, for this will only give you the surface of nature and the surface of social life. Johann Valentin Andreae looked deep down to find nature and the social life, for only there do they come together. It really is like this: Think of the borderline between maya and reality — there you have a peep-hole on nature on the one side and a peep-hole on social life on the other. And you have to look deeper before you realize that they actually only meet a long way back.
People will never reach this point, however. They will continue to look at some of the laws of nature at a surface level and will then speak about social life out of their feeling, out of superficiality. This will not help us to see the scheme of things, however, that Johann Valentin Andreae sought to find. At most we shall get to be — excuse me calling a spade a spade — a Woodrow Wilson. Andreae wanted to discover the scheme of things, and his desire to do so fills such works as his Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Rosicruci. He was addressing the leaders, the statesmen, of his time; it was an attempt to establish a social order based on truth and not illusion. The Fama appeared in 1614, the Confessio in 1615, and The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz in 1616, though it had already been written in 1603. The year 1618 marked the beginning of the Thirty Years War, [ Note 4 ] which brought conditions in which the truly great things aimed at in the Fama and the Confessio were swept away.
We are now living in an age when one year of war is equal to more than ten years of war in the seventeenth century, because war has become so much more destructive. By the standards of those times we have more than a Thirty Years War behind us already.
Try and see this as something that can guide you toward the will and endeavor that arose in the seventeenth century but was brought to a halt by the Thirty Years War. As I have said, if there have been such attempts and a beginning has been made, we must not let ourselves be put off by this but rather let it spur us on to even greater activity; then a later attempt may not end in failure. The first condition is, however, that we really come to know life.
I now want to relate this to matters I discussed with you last year and at the beginning of this year. I drew your attention to the strange course that the whole of human life and human evolution is taking. Individuals will gain in years, being 1, 2, 3, 4 years old, and later 30, 35, 40, and so on, years old; but the opposite is true for humanity as a whole. Humanity was old to begin with and is getting younger and younger. If we go back in time — for our present purposes we need only go back as far as the watershed between Atlantean and post-Atlantean life when the catastrophe happened on Atlantis — we come first of all to ancient Indian times. Conditions were very different then; humanity as a whole remained capable of further development beyond the 50s. Today we are only capable of developing in such a way in childhood and up to a certain time of our youth, for only then is our physical development directly connected with the development of soul and spirit, and the two run parallel. This soon comes to an end, however. In ancient Indian times, development in soul and spirit continued to be dependent on physical development until well into the 50s. People went on developing the way a child develops, and this only came to an end when they were old men and women. This is the reason why people looked up with such humility to their old people.
During the time of ancient Persia, people were no longer able to develop to such a high level but only into their 40s and early 50s; and in Egyptian and Chaldean times only into their 40s. In Graeco-Latin times, this kind of development went only as far as the thirty-fifth year. Then came a time — you will remember, the Graeco-Latin age began in the eighth century before the Mystery of Golgotha — when human beings were only capable of development up to their thirty-third year. That was the time when the Mystery of Golgotha took place. The age of humanity then matched the age at which Christ went through the Mystery of Golgotha.
After this, the human race got younger and younger. By the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean age, in the fifteenth century, humanity was only able to develop up to the age of 28, with no further development after this, and today we have reached a point where people only reach the age of 27, if this is left to nature. In the past, human beings naturally remained capable of development into a ripe old age. Today people must conclude such development as comes of its own accord and is tied to the physical body by the age of 27, unless they take up a spiritual impulse in their inner life and push on from within. People who do not take up anything spiritual remain 27 years old even if they live to be 100. It means they have the characteristics of 27-year-olds. And with people refusing to look for inner spiritual impulses, we now have a culture and a social life that is 27 years of age. We do not grow beyond the age of 27 in our outer social life. This age now rules humanity. If we go on like this, humanity will go down to 26, 25, and 24 years, then in the sixth post-Atlantean age to the twenty-first, and later to the fourteenth year.
These things must be looked into, and they should not be taken pessimistically; instead they should give us the inner impulse to go toward the life of the spirit and set out on an inner quest to look for the elements nature is unable to provide.
This is another point of view from which it is apparent that spiritual impulses are needed in civilization. The most characteristic people of our age, those who take the lead today, are people who do not get beyond their twenty-seventh year. The question is, what would really make someone a present-day leader? Well, let us say we have someone who is born and is very much alive, who does not take in much by way of tradition but only what comes by nature, without undue influence from outside; this individual would be very much determined by what comes of its own accord. Education usually gives color and nuance to this in most people. But let us take a really typical individual who essentially shows only the characteristics of the present age, someone born into poverty perhaps and not given an education that puts much emphasis on tradition, but who would only be influenced by whatever arises from circumstance. Such a person would grow up, would be very active initially, for it is part of the present age that one is active up to the seventh, fourteenth, and twenty-first year, and perhaps be a forceful personality up to his twenty-first year. But unless he is able to develop spiritually, then, being very much a representative of the age, he will come to a halt at the age of 27. Now if he were to be truly representative of the age, something like the following would have to happen: At the age of 27 he would come to a key point in his life, to such effect that the circumstances he creates for himself at the age of 27, committing himself for life, would not allow him to progress beyond this. In modern life this could take the form, for instance, that such a person, a self-made man with tremendous energies and all kinds of impulses arising from the time itself, gets himself elected to parliament at the age of 27. To get oneself elected to parliament means one has committed oneself and there are some things that now have to be maintained. And so the individual remains as he is — which is entirely due to this development in the present age — and he is highly representative of the present age. Parliament being the great ideal in the present day and age, this would be a key point in the life of an individual, who would then refuse to accept anything capable of growth for the future and who would have become completely adapted to external circumstances or, in a word, remained 27 years of age. And so at the age of 27 this would be a strong, powerful individual imbued with the impulses of the age who now entered parliament. After some time he would even be a minister and advance to become one of the leading figures. But he would merely be a man of our time, a typical 27-year-old.
There is such an individual, someone born into such circumstances who only took in what came, nothing by way of tradition. He grew strong and powerful under these circumstances — someone who would go through thick and thin for anything that came to him in the first twenty-seven years of his life and who did, in fact, become a member of parliament at the age of 27. He was a thorn in the flesh at first, being in opposition, but soon rose further and has become a kind of axis of rotation at the present time — and this is Lloyd George. [ Note 5 ] No one is more characteristic of the present age than Lloyd George. ‘His own man’, he committed himself for life within a week of his twenty-seventh year by getting himself elected to the House of Commons. This and the rest of his life story show him to be a typical representative of life in the present age, a life we should not follow, for spiritual impulses should have taken over in the twenty-seventh year.
If one is able to penetrate the inner aspects of life one sees the most important events of the present time to be events to which other people are asleep. To anyone who can take a wider view it is immensely significant that such a self-made man is elected to the British Parliament exactly at the age of 27 and thus commits himself.
These are the realities which people must gradually learn to observe and consider, for they reveal the deeper connections in life. People like to skip over them today because they are not easy. Reluctance is felt because people prefer to give free rein to their passions, the emotions they create for themselves in the outer world, and to their instincts, rather than seek to gain insight. They want to live the life of the world, basing themselves on these emotions and not on their true selves.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Rudolf Steiner: "Chaos is arising because reality has changed; reality is becoming fuller and richer than anything people are able to think of or create in their heads. And we shall have to be clear in our minds that we are faced with a choice: to go on beating each other to a pulp, shooting at one another, in the way we do now, because we do not know how to bring order into the world, or start to develop concepts and ideas to match the complexity of the situation. A spiritual movement must exist where people seek to develop concepts which meet the real situation."
|Meet the Clumps|
"Ahriman's messengers are an iron necessity; they have to bring about the destruction that will lead to the next step forward in civilization." — Rudolf Steiner
"It is the devil who will and must be the bearer of our future civilization." — Rudolf Steiner
Related post: http://martyrion.blogspot.com/2017/07/in-person-of-donald-trump-america-is.html
Rudolf Steiner: "After this, the human race got younger and younger. By the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean age, in the fifteenth century, humanity was only able to develop up to the age of 28, with no further development after this, and today we have reached a point where people only reach the age of 27, if this is left to nature. In the past, human beings naturally remained capable of development into a ripe old age. Today people must conclude such development as comes of its own accord and is tied to the physical body by the age of 27, unless they take up a spiritual impulse in their inner life and push on from within. People who do not take up anything spiritual remain 27 years old even if they live to be 100. It means they have the characteristics of 27-year-olds. And with people refusing to look for inner spiritual impulses, we now have a culture and a social life that is 27 years of age. We do not grow beyond the age of 27 in our outer social life. This age now rules humanity. If we go on like this, humanity will go down to 26, 25, and 24 years, then in the sixth post-Atlantean age to the twenty-first, and later to the fourteenth year."
|"The return of the prodigal son" by Rembrandt|
The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of Paul. Lecture 5 of 5.
A lecture given by Rudolf Steiner on New Year's Day, 1913:
During this course of lectures we have brought before our souls two remarkable documents of humanity, although necessarily described very briefly on account of the limited number of lectures; and we have seen what impulses had to flow into the evolution of mankind in order that these two significant documents, the sublime Gita and the Epistles of St. Paul, might come into existence. What is important for us to grasp is the essential difference between the whole spirit of the Gita and that of the Epistles of St. Paul. As we have already said: in the Gita we have the teachings that Krishna was able to give to his pupil Arjuna. Such teachings can only be given and should only be given to one person individually, for they are in reality exactly what they appear in the Gita: teachings of an intimate nature. On the other hand, it may be said that they are now within the reach of anyone, because they appear in the Gita. This naturally was not the case at the time the Gita was composed. They did not then reach all ears; they were then only communicated by word of mouth. In those old days teachers were careful to ascertain the maturity of the pupil to whom they were about to communicate such teachings; they always made sure of his being ready for them. In our time this is no longer possible as regards all the teachings and instructions which have in some way come openly to light. We are living in an age in which the spiritual life is in a certain sense public. Not that there is no longer any occult science in our day, but it cannot be considered occult simply because it is not printed or spread abroad. There is plenty of occult science even in our day. The scientific teaching of Fichte, for instance, although everyone can procure it in printed form, is really a secret teaching; and finally Hegel's philosophy is also a secret doctrine, for it is very little known and has indeed many reasons in it for remaining a secret teaching; and this is the case with many things in our day. The scientific teaching of Fichte and the philosophy of Hegel have a very simple method of remaining secret doctrine, in that they are written in such a way that most people do not understand them, and fall asleep if they read the first pages. In that way the subject itself remains a secret doctrine, and this is the case in our own age with a great deal which many people think they know. They do not know it; thus these things remain secret doctrine; and, in reality, such things as are to be found in the Gita also remain secret doctrine, although they may be made known in the widest circles by means of printing. For while one person who takes up the Gita today sees in it great and mighty revelations about the evolution of man's own inner being, another will only see in it an interesting poem; to him all the perceptions and feelings expressed in the Gita are mere trivialities. For let no one think that he has really made what is in the Gita his own, although he may be able to express in the words of the Gita itself what is contained in it, but which may itself be far removed from his comprehension. Thus the greatness of the subject itself is in many respects a protection against its becoming common. What is certain is that the teachings which are poetically worked out in the Gita are such that each one must follow, must experience, them for himself, if through them he wishes to rise in his soul and finally experience the meeting with the Lord of Yoga, with Krishna. It is therefore an individual matter; something which the great Teacher addresses to one individual alone.
It is a different thing when we consider the contents of the Epistles of St. Paul from this point of view. There we see that all is for the community, all is matter appealing to the many. For if we fix our attention upon the innermost core of the essence of the Krishna-teaching we must say: What one experiences through this teaching, one experiences for oneself alone, in the strictest seclusion of one's own soul, and one can only have the meeting with Krishna as a lonely soul-wanderer, after one has found the way back to the original revelations and experiences of mankind. That which Krishna can give must be given to each individual.
This is not the case with the revelation given to the world through the Christ Impulse. From the beginning the Christ Impulse was intended for all humanity, and the Mystery of Golgotha was not consummated as an act for the individual soul alone; but we must think of the whole of mankind from the very beginning to the very end of the Earth's evolution, and realize that what happened at Golgotha was for all humans. It is to the greatest possible extent a matter for the community in general. Therefore the style of the Epistles of St. Paul, apart from all that has already been characterized, must be quite different from the style of the sublime Gita.
Let us once more picture clearly the relationship between Krishna and Arjuna. He gives his pupil unequivocal directions as Lord of Yoga as to how he can rise in his soul in order to attain the vision of Krishna. Let us compare with this an especially pregnant passage in the Pauline Epistles, in which a community turns to St. Paul and asks him whether this or that was true, whether this could be considered as giving the right views about what he had taught. In the instructions which St. Paul gives we find a passage which may certainly be compared in greatness, even in artistic style, with what we find in the sublime Gita; but at the same time we find quite a different tone, we find everything spoken from quite a different soul-feeling. It is where St. Paul writes to the Corinthians of how the different human gifts to be found in a group of people must work in cooperation. To Arjuna, Krishna says “Thou must be so and so, thou must do this or that, then wilt thou rise stage by stage in thy soul-life.” To his Corinthians St. Paul says: “One of you has this gift, another that, a third another; and if these work harmoniously together, as do the members of the human body, the result is spiritually a whole which can be permeated with the Christ.” Thus through the subject itself St. Paul addresses himself to men who work together, that is to say, to a multitude; and he uses an important opportunity to do this: namely, when the gift of the so-called speaking with tongues comes under consideration.
What is this speaking with tongues that we find spoken of in St. Paul's Epistles? It is neither more nor less than a survival of old spiritual gifts, which, in a renewed way, but with full human consciousness, confront us again at the present time. For when, among our initiation methods, we speak of Inspiration, it is understood that a man who attains to Inspiration in our age does so with a clear consciousness; just as he brings a clear consciousness to bear upon his powers of understanding and his sensory realizations. But in olden times this was different; then such a man spoke as an instrument of high spiritual beings who made use of his organs to express higher things through his speech. He might sometimes say things which he himself could not understand at all. Thus revelations from the spiritual worlds were given which were not necessarily understood by him who was used as an instrument — and just that was the case in Corinth. The situation had there arisen of a number of persons having this gift of tongues. They were then able to make this or that prediction from the spiritual worlds. Now, when a man possesses such gifts everything he is able to reveal by their means is under all circumstances a revelation from the spiritual world, yet it may nevertheless be the case that one man may say this and another that, for spiritual sources are manifold, One may be inspired from one source and another from another, and thus it may happen that the revelations do not correspond. Complete harmony can be found only when these worlds are entered in full consciousness. Therefore St. Paul gives the following admonition: “Some there are who can speak with tongues, others who can interpret the words spoken. They should work together as do the right and left hands, and we should not only listen to those who speak with tongues but also to those who have not that gift but who can expound and understand what someone is able to bring down from the spiritual sphere.” Here again St. Paul was urging the question of a community which might be founded through the united working of men. In connection with this very speaking with tongues St. Paul gave that address which, as I have said, is in certain respects so wonderful that in its might it may well compare, though in a different way, with the revelations of the Gita. He says (1 Cor. 12:3-31): “As regards the spiritually gifted brethren, I will not leave you without instructions. You know that in the time of your heathendom it was to dumb idols that you were blindly led by desire. Wherefore I make clear to you: that just as little as one speaking in the Spirit of God says: Accursed be Jesus; so little can a man call Him Lord but through the Holy Spirit. Now there are diversities of gracious gifts, but there is one Spirit. There are diversities in the guidance of mankind, but there is one Lord. There are differences in the force which individual men possess; but there is one God Who works in all these forces. But to every man is given the manifestation of the Spirit, as much as he can profit by it. So to one is given the word of prophecy, to another the word of knowledge; others are spirits who live in faith; again others have the gift of healing, others the gift of prophecy, others have the gift of seeing into men's characters, others that of speaking different tongues, and to others again is given the interpretation of tongues; but in all these worketh one and the same Spirit, apportioning to each one what is due to him. For as the body is one and hath many members, yet all the members together form one body, so also is it with Christ. For through the Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Greek, bond or free, and have all been imbued with one spirit; so also the body is not made of one but of many members. If the foot were to say: Because I am not the hand therefore I do not belong to the body, it would nonetheless belong to it. And if the ear were to say: Because I am not the eye I do not belong to the body, nonetheless does it belong to the body. If the whole body were only an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were a sense of hearing, where would be the power of smell? But now hath God set each one of the members in the body where it seemed good to Him. If there were only one member, where would the body be? But now there are truly many members, but there is only one body. The eye may not say to the hand: I do not require thee! nor the head to the feet: I have no need of you; rather those which appear to be the feeble members of the body are necessary, and those which we consider mean prove themselves to be especially important. God has put the body together and has recognized the importance of the unimportant members that there should be no division in the body, but that all the members should work harmoniously together and should care for one another. And if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, and if one member prosper, all the members rejoice with it. But ye,” said St. Paul to his Corinthians, “are the Body of Christ, and are severally the members thereof. And some God hath set in the community as apostles, others as prophets, a third part as teachers, a fourth as miraculous healers, a fifth for other activities in helping, a sixth for the administration of the community, and a seventh He set aside to speak with tongues. Shall all men be prophets, shall all men be apostles, shall all be teachers, all healers, shall all speak with tongues, or shall all interpret? Therefore it is right for all the gifts to work together, but the more numerous they are the better.”
Then Paul speaks of the force that can prevail in the individual but also in the community, and that holds all the separate members together, as the strength of the body holds the separate members of the body together. Krishna says nothing more beautiful to one man than St. Paul spoke to humanity in its different members. Then he speaks of the Christ Power, which holds the different members together just as the body holds its different members together; and the force that can live in one individual as the life-force in every one of his limbs, and yet lives also in a whole community; that is described by St. Paul in powerful words: “Nevertheless I will show you,” says he, “the way that is higher than all else. If I could speak with tongues of men of or angels and have not love, my speech is but as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal; and if I could prophesy and reveal all secrets and communicate all the knowledge in the world, and if I had all the faith that could remove mountains themselves and had not love, it would all be nothing. And if I distributed every spiritual gift, yea, if I gave my body itself to be burnt, but were lacking in love, it would all be in vain. Love endures ever. Love is kind. Love knows not envy. Love knows not boasting, knows not pride. Love injures not what is decorous, seeks not her own advantage, does not let herself be provoked, bears no one any malice, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices only in truth. Love envelops all, streams through all beliefs, hopes all things, practices toleration everywhere. Love, if it exists, can never be lost. Prophesies vanish when they are fulfilled; what is spoken with tongues ceases when it can no longer speak to human hearts; what is known ceases when the subject of knowledge is exhausted; for we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away with. When I was a child I spoke as a child, I felt as a child; when I became a man, the world of childhood was past. Now we only see dark outlines in a mirror, but then we shall see the spirit face to face; now is my knowledge in part, but then I shall know completely, even as I myself am known. Now abides Faith, the certainty of Hope, and Love; but Love is the greatest of these, hence Love is above all. For if you could have all spiritual gifts, whoever himself understands prophecy must also strive after love; for whoever speaks with tongues speaks not among men, he speaks among Gods. No one understands him, because in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” We see how St. Paul understands the nature of speaking with tongues. His meaning is: The speaker with tongues is transported into the spiritual worlds; he speaks among Gods. Whoever prophesies speaks to men to build up, to warn, to comfort; he who speaks with tongues, to a certain extent satisfies himself; he who prophesies builds up the community. If you all attain to speaking with tongues, it is yet more important that you should prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, for he who speaks with tongues must first understand his own speaking, in order that the community should do so. Supposing that I came to you as a speaker with tongues; of what use should I be to you if I did not tell you what my speaking signifies as prophecy, teaching, and revelation? My speaking would be like a flute or a zither of which one could not clearly distinguish the sounds. How could one distinguish the playing of either the zither or of the flute if they did not give forth distinct sounds? And if the trumpet gave forth an indistinct sound, who would arm himself to battle? So it is with you; if you cannot connect a distinct language with the tongue-speaking, it is all merely spoken into the air.
All this shows us that the different spiritual gifts must be divided among the community, and that the members as individuals must work together. With this we come to the point at which the revelation of Paul, through the moment in human evolution in which it appears, must differ absolutely from that of Krishna. The Krishna revelation is directed to one individual, but in reality applies to every man if he is ripe to tread the upward path prescribed to him by the Lord of Yoga; we are more and more reminded of the primeval ages of mankind, to which we always, according to the Krishna teaching, return in spirit. At that time men were less individualized; one could assume that for each man the same teaching and directions would be suitable. St. Paul confronted mankind when individuals were becoming differentiated, when they really had to become differentiated, each one with his special capacity, his own special gift. One could then no longer reckon on being able to pour the same thing into each different soul; one had then to point to that which is invisible and rules over all. This, which lives in no man as a separate individual, although it may be within each one, is the Christ Impulse. The Christ Impulse, again, is something like a new group soul of humanity, but one that must be consciously sought for by men.
To make this clearer, let us picture to ourselves how, for instance, a number of Krishna students are to be distinguished in the spiritual worlds from a number of those who have been moved in the deepest part of their being by the Christ Impulse. The Krishna pupils have every one of them been stirred by one and the same impulse, which has been given them by the Lord of Yoga. In spiritual life each one of these is like the other. The same instructions have been given to them all. But those who have been moved by the Christ Impulse are each, when disembodied and in the spiritual world, possessed of their own particular individuality, their own distinct spiritual forces. Therefore even in the spiritual world one man may go in one direction and one in another; and the leader of both, the One Who pours Himself into the soul of each one, no matter how individualized he may be, is the Christ, Who is in the soul of each one and at the same time soars above them all. So we still have a differentiated community even when the souls are discarnate; while the souls of the Krishna pupils, when they have received instructions from the Lord of Yoga, are as one unit. The object of human evolution, however, is that souls should become more and more differentiated.
Therefore it was necessary that Krishna should speak in a different way. He really speaks to his pupils just as he does in the Gita. But St. Paul must speak differently. He really speaks to each individual, and it is a question of individual development whether, according to the degree of his maturity, a man remains at a certain stage of his incarnation at a standstill in exoteric life, or whether he is able to enter the esoteric life and raise himself into esoteric Christianity. We can go further and further in the Christian life and attain the utmost esoteric heights; but we must start from something different from what we start from in the Krishna teaching. In the Krishna teaching you start from the point you have reached as man, and raise the soul individually, as a separate being; in Christianity, before you attempt to go further along the path you must have gained a connection with the Christ Impulse, feeling in the first place that this transcends all else. The spiritual path to Krishna can only be trodden by one who receives instructions from Krishna; the spiritual path to Christ can be trodden by anyone, for Christ brought the mystery for all men who feel drawn toward it. That, however, is something external, accomplished on the physical plane; the first step is, therefore, taken on the physical plane. That is the essential thing.
Truly one need not, if one looks into the world-historical importance of the Christ Impulse, begin by belonging to this or that Christian denomination; on the contrary one can, just in our time, even start from an anti-Christian standpoint, or from one of indifference toward Christ. Yet if one goes deeply into the spiritual life of our own age, examining the contradictions and follies of materialism, perhaps one may genuinely be led to Christ even though to begin with one may not have belonged to any particular creed. Therefore when it is said outside our circle that we are starting from a peculiar Christian denomination, this must be regarded as a special calumny; for it is not a matter of starting from any denomination, but that in response to the demands of the spiritual life itself, everyone, be he Muslim or Buddhist, Jew or Hindu, or Christian, shall be able to understand the Christ Impulse in its whole significance for the evolution of mankind. This desire we can see deeply penetrating the whole view and presentation of St. Paul, and in this respect he is absolutely the one who sets the tone for the first proclamation of the Christ Impulse to the world.
As we have described how Sankhya philosophy concerns itself with the changing forms, with that which appertains to Prakriti, we may also say that St. Paul, in all that underlies his profound Epistles, deals with Purusha, that which pertains to the soul. What the soul is to become, the destiny of the soul, how throughout the whole evolution of mankind it evolves in manifold ways, concerning all this St. Paul gives us quite definite and profound conclusions.
There is a fundamental difference between what Eastern thought was still able to give us and what we find at once with such wonderful clearness in St. Paul. We pointed out yesterday that, according to Krishna, everything depended on man's finding his way out of the changing forms. But Prakriti remains outside, as something foreign to the soul. All the striving in this Eastern method of development and even in the Eastern initiation tends to free one from material existence, from that which is spread outside in nature; for that, according to the Veda philosophy, is merely maya. Everything external is maya, and to be free from maya is Yoga. We have pointed out how in the Gita it is expected of man that he shall become free from all he does and accomplishes, from what he wills and thinks, from what he likes and enjoys, and in his soul shall triumph over everything external. The work that man accomplishes should equally fall away from him, and thus resting within himself, he shall find satisfaction. Thus he who wishes to develop according to the Krishna teaching aspires to become something like a Paramahansa, that is to say, a high initiate who leaves all material existence behind him, who triumphs over all he has himself accomplished by his actions in this world of sense, and lives a purely spiritual existence, having so overcome what belongs to the senses that he no longer thirsts for reincarnation, that he has nothing more to do with what filled his life and at which he worked in this sense-world. Thus it is the issuing forth from this maya, the triumphing over it, which meets us everywhere in the Gita.
With St. Paul it is not so. If he had met with these Eastern teachings, something in the depth of his soul would have caused the following words to come forth: “Yes, thou wishest to rise above all that surrounds thee outside, from that also which thou formerly accomplished there! Dost thou wish to leave all that behind thee? Is not then all that the work of God, is not everything above which thou wishest to lift thyself created by the Divine Spirit? In despising that, art thou not despising the work of God? Does not the revelation of God's Spirit dwell everywhere within it? Didst thou not at first seek to represent God in thine own work, in love and faith and devotion, and now desirest thou to triumph over what is the work of God?”
It would be well, my dear friends, if we were to inscribe these words of St. Paul — which though unspoken were felt in the depths of his soul — deeply into our own souls; for they express an important part of what we know as Western revelation. In the Pauline sense, we too speak of the maya which surrounds us. We certainly say: We are surrounded by maya. But we also say: Is there not spiritual revelation in this maya, is it not all divine spiritual work? Is it not blasphemy to fail to understand that there is divine spiritual work in all things?
Now arises the other question: Why is that maya there? Why do we see maya around us? The West does not stop at the question as to whether all is maya: it inquires as to the wherefore of maya. Then follows an answer that leads us into the center of the soul — into Purusha. Because the soul once came under the power of Lucifer it sees everything through the veil of maya and spreads the veil of maya over everything. Is it the fault of objectivity that we see maya? No. To us as souls objectivity would appear in all its truth if we had not come under the power of Lucifer. It only appears to us as maya because we are not capable of seeing down into the foundations of what is spread out there. That comes from the soul's having come under the power of Lucifer; it is not the fault of the Gods, it is the fault of our own soul. Thou, O soul, hast made the world a maya to thyself, because thou hast fallen into the power of Lucifer.
From the highest spiritual grasp of this formula, down to the words of Goethe: “The senses do not deceive, but the judgment deceives,” is one straight line. The Philistines and zealots may fight against Goethe and his Christianity as much as they like; he might nevertheless say that he is one of the most Christian of men, for in the depths of his being he thought as a Christian, even in that very formula: “The senses do not deceive, but the judgment deceives.” It is the soul's own fault that what it sees appears as maya and not as truth. So that which in Orientalism appears simply as an act of the Gods themselves is diverted into the depths of the human soul, where the great struggle with Lucifer takes place.
Thus Orientalism, if we consider it aright, is in a certain sense materialism, in that it does not recognize the spirituality of maya, and wishes to rise above matter. That which pulses through the Epistles of St. Paul is a doctrine of the soul, although only existing in germ and therefore capable of being so mistaken and misunderstood as in our Tamas-time, but it will in the future be visibly spread out over the whole Earth. This, concerning the peculiar nature of maya, will have to be understood; for only then can one understand the full depth of that which is the object of the progress of human evolution. Then only does one understand what St. Paul means when he speaks of the first Adam, who succumbed to Lucifer in his soul, and who was therefore more and more entangled in matter — which means nothing else than this: ensnared in a false experiencing of matter. As God's creation, external matter is good: what takes place there is good. But what the soul experiences in the course of human evolution became more and more evil, because in the beginning the soul fell into the power of Lucifer.
Therefore St. Paul called Christ the Second Adam, for He came into the world untempted by Lucifer, and therefore He can be a guide and friend to men's souls, who can lead them away from Lucifer, that is, into the right relationship to Him. St. Paul could not tell mankind at that time all that he as an initiate knew; but if we allow his Epistles to work on us we shall see that there is more in their depths than they express externally. That is because St. Paul spoke to a community, and had to reckon with the understanding of that community. That is why in certain of his Epistles there seem to be absolute contradictions. But one who can plunge down into the depths finds everywhere the impulse of the Christ Being.
Let us here remember, my dear friends, how we ourselves have represented the coming into existence of the Mystery of Golgotha. As time went on we recognized that there were two different stories of the youth, of Christ Jesus, in the Gospel of St. Matthew and that of St. Luke, because in reality there are two Jesus boys in question. We have seen that externally — after the flesh, according to St. Paul, which means through physical descent — both Jesus boys descended from the stock of David; that one came from the line of Nathan and the other from that of Solomon; that thus there were two Jesus boys born at about the same time. In the one Jesus child, that of St. Matthew's Gospel, we find Zarathustra reincarnated: and we have emphatically stated that in the other Jesus child, the one described by St. Luke, there was no such human ego as is usually to be found, and certainly not as the one existing in the other Jesus child, in whom lived such a highly evolved ego as that of Zarathustra. In the Luke Jesus there actually lives that part of man that has not entered into human evolution on the Earth. [See also Steiner's The Spiritual Guidance of Mankind; The Gospel of St. Luke; The Gospel of St. Matthew.]
It is rather difficult to form a right conception of this, but we must just try to think how, so to speak, the soul that was incarnated in Adam, he who may be described as Adam in the sense of my book Occult Science, succumbed to Lucifer's temptation, symbolically described in the Bible as the Fall of Man in Paradise. We must picture this. Then we must picture further that side by side with that human soul nature which incarnated in Adam's body there was a human part, a human being, that remained behind and did not then incarnate, that did not enter a physical body, but remained “pure soul.” You need only now picture how, before a physical man arose in the evolution of humanity, there was one soul, which then divided itself into two parts. The one part, the one descendant of the common soul, incarnated in Adam and thus entered into the line of incarnations, succumbed to Lucifer, and so on. As to the other soul, the sister-soul, as it were, the wise rulers of the world saw beforehand that it would not be good that this too should be embodied; it was kept back in the soul world; it did not therefore take part in the incarnations of humanity, but was kept back. With this soul none but the initiates of the Mysteries had intercourse.
During the evolution preceding the Mystery of Golgotha this soul did not, therefore, take into itself the experience of an ego, for this can only be obtained by incarnating in a human body. Nonetheless, it had all the wisdom that could have been attained through the Saturn, Sun, and Moon periods, it possessed all the love of which a human soul is capable. This soul remained blameless, as it were, of all the guilt that a man can acquire in the course of his incarnations in human evolution. It could not be met with as a human being externally; but it could be perceived by the old clairvoyants, and was recognized by them; they encountered it, so to say, in the Mysteries. Thus, here we have a soul, one might say, that was within, but yet above, the evolution of mankind, that could at first only be perceived in the spirit; a pre-man, a true super-man.
It was this soul which, instead of an ego, was incarnated in the Jesus child of St. Luke's Gospel. You will remember the lectures at Basle; this fact was already given out there. We have therefore to do with a soul that is only ego-like, one that naturally acts as an ego when it permeates the body of Jesus, but which in all it displays is yet quite different from an ordinary ego. I have already mentioned the fact that the boy of St. Luke's Gospel spoke a language understood by his mother as soon as he came into the world, and other facts of similar nature were to he observed in him.
Then we know that the Matthew Jesus, in whom lived the Zarathustra ego, grew up until his twelfth year, and the Luke child also grew up, possessing no particular human knowledge or science, but bearing the divine wisdom and the divine power of sacrifice within him. Thus the Luke Jesus grew up not being particularly gifted for what can be learnt externally. We know further that the body of the Matthew Jesus was forsaken by the Zarathustra ego, and that in the twelfth year of the Luke Jesus his body was taken possession of by that same Zarathustra ego. That is the moment referred to when it is related of the twelve-year-old Jesus of Luke's Gospel that when his parents lost him he stood teaching before the wise men of the Temple.
We know further that this Luke Jesus bore the Zarathustra ego within him up to his thirtieth year; that the Zarathustra ego then left the body of the Luke Jesus, and all its sheaths were taken possession of by Christ, a superhuman being of the higher Hierarchies, Who only could live in a human body at all inasmuch as a body was offered Him which had first been permeated up to its twelfth year with the pre-human Wisdom-forces, and the pre-human divine Love-forces, and was then permeated through and through by all that the Zarathustra ego had acquired through many incarnations by means of initiation. In no other way, perhaps, could one so well obtain the right respect, the right reverence — in short, the right feeling altogether — for the Christ Being as by trying to understand what sort of a body was needed for this Christ Ego to be able to enter humanity at all.
Many people consider that in this presentation, given out of the holy Mysteries of the newer age about the Christ Being, He is thus made to appear less intimate and human than the Christ Jesus so many have honored in the way in which He is generally represented — familiar, near to man, incarnate in an ordinary human body in which nothing like a Zarathustra ego lived. It is brought as a reproach against our teaching that Christ Jesus is here represented as composed of forces drawn from all regions of the cosmos.
Such reproaches proceed only from the indolence of human perception and human feeling which is unwilling to raise itself to the true heights of perception and feeling. The greatest of all must be so grasped by us that our souls have to make the supremest possible efforts to attain the inner intensity of perception and feeling necessary to bring the Greatest, the Highest, at all near to our soul. Our first feelings will thus be raised higher still, if we do but consider them in this light.
We know one other thing besides. We know how we have to understand the words of the Gospel: “Divine forces are being revealed in the Heights, and peace will spread among men of goodwill.” We know that this message of peace and love resounded when the Luke Jesus appeared, because Buddha intermingled with the astral body of the Luke Jesus; Buddha, who had already lived in a being who went through his last incarnation as Gautama Buddha and had risen to complete spirituality. So that in the astral body of the Luke Jesus, Buddha revealed himself, as he had progressed up to the occurrence of the Mystery of Golgotha on Earth.
Thus we have the Being of Christ Jesus presented before us in a way only now possible to mankind from the basis of occult science. St. Paul, although an initiate, was compelled to speak in concepts more easily understood at that time; he could not then have assumed a humanity able to understand such concepts as we have brought before your hearts today. His inspiration, however, was derived from his initiation, which came about as an act of grace. Because he did not attain this through regular schooling in the old Mysteries, but by grace on the road to Damascus when the risen Christ appeared to him, therefore I call this initiation one brought about by grace. But he experienced this Damascus Vision in such a way that by means of it he knew that He Who arose in the Mystery of Golgotha lives in the sphere of this Earth and has been attached to it since that Event. He recognized the risen Christ. From that time on he proclaimed Him.
Why was he able to see Him in the particular way he did? At this point we must enter somewhat into the nature of such a vision, such a manifestation, as that of Damascus: for it was a vision, a manifestation, of a quite peculiar kind. Only those people who never wish to learn anything of occult facts consider all visions as being of one kind. They will not distinguish such an occurrence as the vision of St. Paul from many other visions such as appeared to the saints later. What really was the reason that St. Paul could recognize Christ as he did when He appeared to him on the way to Damascus? Why did the certain conviction come to him that this was the risen Christ? This question leads us back to another one: What was necessary in order that the whole Christ Being should be able completely to enter into Jesus of Nazareth, at the baptism by John in the Jordan? Now, we have just said what was necessary to prepare the body into which the Christ Being could descend. But what was necessary in order that the Arisen One could appear in such a densified soul form as he appeared in to St. Paul? What, then, so to speak, was that halo of light in which Christ appeared to St. Paul before Damascus? What was it? Whence was it taken?
If we wish to answer these questions, my dear friends, we must add a few finishing touches to what I have already said. I have told you that there was, as it were, a sister-soul to the Adam-soul, to that soul which entered into the sequence of human generations. This sister-soul remained in the soul world. It was this sister-soul that was incarnated in the Luke Jesus.
But it was not then incarnated for the first time in a human body in the strictest sense of the words: it had already been once incarnated prophetically. This soul had already been made use of formerly as a messenger of the holy Mysteries; it was, so to say, cherished and cultivated in the Mysteries, and was sent whenever anything specially important to man was taking place; but it could only appear as a vision in the etheric body, and could only be perceived, strictly speaking, as long as the old clairvoyance remained. In earlier ages that still existed. Therefore this old sister-soul of Adam had no need at that time to descend as far as the physical body in order to be seen. So it actually appeared on Earth repeatedly in human evolution: sent forth by the impulses of the Mysteries at all times when important things were to take place in the evolution of the Earth; but it did not require to incarnate in ancient times, because clairvoyance was there.
The first time it needed to incarnate was when the old clairvoyance was to be overcome through the transition of human evolution from the third to the fourth post-Atlantean age, of which we spoke yesterday. Then, by way of compensation, it took on an incarnation, in order to be able to express itself at the time when clairvoyance no longer existed. The only time this sister-soul of Adam was compelled to appear and to become physically visible, it was incorporated, so to speak, in Krishna; and then it was incorporated again in the Luke Jesus.
So now we can understand how it was that Krishna spoke in such a superhuman manner, why he is the best teacher for the human ego, why he represents, so to speak, a victory over the ego, why he appears so psychically sublime. It is because he appears as human being at that sublime moment which we brought before our souls in the lecture before last, as Man not yet descended into human incarnations. He then appears again, to be embodied in the Luke Jesus.
Hence that perfection that came about when the most significant world-conceptions of Asia, the ego of Zarathustra and the spirit of Krishna, were united in the twelve-year-old Jesus described by St. Luke. He who spoke to the learned men in the Temple was therefore not only Zarathustra speaking as an ego, but one who spoke from those sources from which Krishna at one time drew Yoga; he spoke of Yoga raised a stage higher; he united himself with the Krishna force, with Krishna himself, in order to continue to grow until his thirtieth year. Then only have we that complete, perfected body which could be taken possession of by the Christ. Thus do the spiritual currents of humanity flow together. So that in what happened at the Mystery of Golgotha we really have a cooperation of the most important leaders of mankind, a synthesis of spirit-life.
When St. Paul had his vision before Damascus, He Who appeared to him then was the Christ. The halo of light in which Christ was enveloped was Krishna. And because Christ has taken Krishna for His own soul-covering through which He then works on further, therefore in the light which shone there, in Christ Himself, there is all that was once upon a time contained in the sublime Gita. We find much of that old Krishna-teaching, although scattered about, in the New Testament revelations.
This old Krishna-teaching has on that account become a personal matter to the whole of mankind, because Christ is not as such a human ego belonging to mankind, but to the Higher Hierarchies. Thus Christ belongs also to those times when man was not yet separated from that which now surrounds him as material existence, and which is veiled to him in maya through his own Luciferic temptation. If we glance back over the whole of evolution we shall find that in those olden times there was not yet that strict division between the spiritual and the material; material was then still spiritual, and the spiritual — if we may say so — still manifested itself externally. Thus because in the Christ Impulse something entered into mankind which completely prevented such a strict separation as we find in Sankhya philosophy between Purusha and Prakriti, Christ becomes the Leader of men out of themselves and toward the divine creation.
Must we then say that we must unconditionally give up maya now that we recognize that it seems to be given us through our own fault? No, for that would be blaspheming the spirit in the world; that would be assigning to matter properties which we ourselves have imposed upon it with the veil of maya. Let us rather hope that when we have overcome in ourselves that which caused matter to become maya, we may again be reconciled with the world.
For do we not hear resounding out of the world around us that it is a creation of the Elohim, and that on the last day of creation they considered: And behold, all was very good? That would be the karma to be fulfilled if there were nothing but Krishna-teaching (for there is nothing in the world that does not fulfil its karma). If in all eternity there had been only the teaching of Krishna, then the material existence which surrounds us, the manifestation of God of which the Elohim at the starting-point of evolution said: “Behold all was very good,” would encounter the judgment of men: “It is not good, I must abandon it!” The judgment of man would be placed above the judgment of God. We must learn to understand the words which stand as a mystery at the outset of evolution; we must not set the judgment of man above the judgment of God. If all and everything that could cling to us in the way of guilt were to fall away from us, and yet that one fault remained, that we slandered the work of the Elohim, the Earth-karma would have to be fulfilled; in the future everything would have to fall upon us and karma would have to fulfil itself thus.
In order that this should not happen, Christ appeared in the world, so to reconcile us with the world that we may learn to overcome Lucifer's tempting forces, and learn to penetrate the veil; that we may see the divine revelation in its true form; that we may find the Christ as the Reconciler, Who will lead us to the true form of the divine revelation, so that through Him we may learn to understand the primeval words: “And behold, it is very good.” In order that we may learn to ascribe to ourselves that which we may never again dare to ascribe to the world, we need Christ; for if all our other sins could be taken away from us, yet this sin could be removed only by Him. This, transformed into a moral feeling, is a newer side of the Christ Impulse. It shows us at the same time why the necessity arose for the Christ Impulse as the higher soul to envelop itself in the Krishna Impulse.
An exposition such as I have given you in this course, my dear friends, should not be taken as mere theory, merely as a number of thoughts and ideas to be absorbed; it should be taken as a sort of New Year's gift, a gift which should influence our New Year, and from now on it should work as that which we can perceive through the understanding of the Christ Impulse, in so far as this helps us to understand the words of the Elohim, which resound down to us from the starting point, from the very primeval beginning, of the creation of our Earth.
And look upon the intention of this course at the same time as the starting point of our Anthroposophical spiritual stream. This must be Anthroposophical because by means of it it will be more and more recognized how man can in himself attain to self-knowledge. He cannot yet attain to complete self-knowledge, not yet can Anthropos attain to knowledge of Anthropos, man to the knowledge of man, so long as this man can consider what he has to carry out in his own soul as an affair to be played out between him and external nature. That the world should appear to us to be immersed in matter is a thing the Gods have prepared for us, it is an affair of our own souls, a question of higher self-knowledge; it is something that man must himself recognize in his own manhood, it is a question of Anthroposophy, by means of which we can come to the perception of what theosophy may become to mankind.
It should be a feeling of the greatest modesty which impels a man to belong to the Anthroposophical movement; a modesty which says: If I want to spring over that which is an affair of the human soul and to take at once the highest step into the divine, humility may very easily vanish from me, and pride step in, in its place; vanity may easily install itself. May the Anthroposophical Society also be a starting point in this higher moral sphere; above all, may it avoid all that has so easily crept into the theosophical movement in the way of pride, vanity, ambition, and want of earnestness in receiving that which is the highest Wisdom. May the Anthroposophical Society avoid all this because from its very starting point it has already considered that the settlement with maya is an affair for the human soul itself.
One should feel that the Anthroposophical Society ought to be the result of the profoundest human modesty. For out of this modesty should well up deep earnestness as regards the sacred truths into which it will penetrate if we betake ourselves into this sphere of the supersensible, of the spiritual. Let us therefore understand the adoption of the name “Anthroposophical Society” in true modesty, in true humility, saying to ourselves: Let all that remains of that pride and lack of modesty, vanity, ambition, and untruthfulness that played a part under the name of Theosophy be eradicated, if now, under the sign and device of modesty, we begin humbly to look up to the Gods and divine wisdom, and on the other hand dutifully to study man and human wisdom, if we reverently approach Spiritual Science and dutifully devote ourselves to Anthroposophy.
This Anthroposophy will lead to the divine and to the Gods if by its help we learn in the highest sense to look humbly and truthfully into our own selves and see how we must struggle against all maya and error through self-training and the severest self-discipline. Then, as written on a bronze tablet, may there stand above us the word: Anthroposophy! Let that be an exhortation to us, that above all we should seek through it to acquire self-knowledge, modesty, and in this way endeavor to erect a building founded upon truth, for truth can only blossom if self-knowledge lays hold of the human soul in deep earnestness.
What is the origin of all vanity, of all untruth? The want of self-knowledge. From what alone can truth spring, from what can true reverence for divine worlds and divine wisdom alone come? From true self-knowledge, self-training, self-discipline. Therefore may that which shall stream and pulsate through the Anthroposophical movement serve that purpose.
For these reasons this particular course of lectures has been given at the starting point of the Anthroposophical movement, and it should prove that there is no question of narrowness, but that precisely through our movement we can extend our horizon over those distances which comprise Eastern thought also.
But let us take this humbly in self-educative anthroposophical fashion, by creating the will within us to discipline and train ourselves. If Anthroposophy, my dear friends, be taken up among you in this way, it will then lead to a beneficial end and will attain a goal that can extend to each individual and every human society for their welfare.
So let these words be spoken which shall be the last of this course of lectures, but something of which perhaps many in the coming days will take away with them in their souls, so that it may bear fruit within our Anthroposophical movement, within which you, my dear friends, have, so to speak, met together for the first time. May we ever so meet together in the sign of Anthroposophy that we have the right to call upon words with which we shall now conclude, words of humility and of self-knowledge, which we should now at this moment place as an ideal before our souls.
|"He must increase; I must decrease." — John 3:30|
|Ex Deo Nascimur In Christo Morimur Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus|