Thursday, March 29, 2018
It was more important that the gods had to give up Christ to the Earth than it was for humanity to receive Christ
Rudolf Steiner, Cologne, Germany, December 18, 1913:
Before continuing with the study of the life of Jesus Christ, I would like to mention some indications about the way such things are found. With few words such a comprehensive subject can of course only be characterized. But I want you to have an idea of what we can call occult research, at the stage where one can penetrate to such concrete facts as those which, for example, we considered here yesterday.
To begin with, we can say that this research rests on a study of the Akasha Chronicle. In general terms, I described how such reading in the Akasha Chronical is to be understood in articles in the magazine “Lucifer-Gnosis” which appeared under the title “From the Akasha Chronicle”. It should be clear that different facts about cosmic events and cosmic being must be researched in different ways, so now I would like to be more specific about what has already been said.
Basically in the universe there is nothing but consciousness. Except for consciousness, everything else belongs in the domain of maya, or the great illusion. You can find these facts in two places — in others as well — but especially in the description of the evolution of the Earth from ancient Saturn to Vulcan in An Outline Of Occult Science, where the evolution from ancient Saturn to ancient Sun, from Sun to ancient Moon, from Moon to Earth, and so on, are described as stages of consciousness. This means that if one wants to reach these important facts, he must ascend to a stage of cosmic events where they consist of stages of consciousness. Therefore, if we are describing realities we can only describe various stages of consciousness. It is also included in another book published this summer: The Threshold of the Spiritual World. Shown there is how through a gradual ascension of the seer's vision it rises from the objects and processes around us, which disappear into nothingness, melt away so to speak, and finally reaches the region where there are only beings in various stages of consciousness. So the true realities of the world are beings in various stages of consciousness. Due to the fact that we live in the human stage of consciousness, and in this stage of consciousness have no complete overview of the realities involved, the effect is that what is unreal appears to us as real.
You have only to ask yourselves the following question. Is a human strand of hair a reality, even in a narrow sense? Does it have an independent existence? It would be nonsense to say that a human strand of hair has an independent existence. It does make sense to consider it as growing from the human body; otherwise it is not possible for it to exist on its own. Everyone would agree that it is nonsense to speak of a strand of hair as having an independent existence. A plant is often seen as an individual being, but is no more an individual being than is a strand of hair. For what the strand of hair is to the head, the plant is to the Earth organism, and it makes no sense to consider the plant in isolation. We must think of the Earth as analogous to man and all plants on the Earth as belonging to the Earth, as does the hair on one's head. It is no more possible for a plant to exist as an independent being outside the Earth organism than it is for hair to exist without a head to grow on. It is important to know when to cease considering something as an autonomous being. But everything which the human being can attain to which does not have its roots in consciousness is not an independent being. Everything is rooted in consciousness, only in different ways.
Let us take thought, that is, what we as humans think. At first these thoughts are in our consciousness, but not merely in our consciousness. At the same time they are in the consciousness of the beings of the next higher hierarchy, the angeloi, the angels. But whereas we may have one thought, all our thoughts are the angels' thoughts. The angels think our consciousness. Thus you can see that when we ascend to clairvoyance, we must develop a different feeling toward perceiving the beings of the higher worlds than is the case in ordinary reality. If we thinks as we do in the physical-sensory earthly existence, we cannot achieve higher clairvoyance. One must not merely think, one must also be thought, and be aware that one is being thought. It is not easy — for human words have not yet been devised to describe what the feeling about this perceiving is. But to use a comparison: we make all kinds of movements and if we don't observe these movements in ourselves, but in the eyes of another and see there the reflection of our own movements we say to ourselves: by observing in this way we know that we are doing this or that with our hands or with our facial expressions. One already has this feeling at the next stage of clairvoyance. We know in general that we are thinking, but we see ourselves [doing it] in the consciousness of the beings of the next higher hierarchy. We let the angels think our thoughts. We must realize that we are not conducting our thoughts, but that the beings of the next hierarchy are conducting them. We must feel the interweaving, undulating consciousness of the angels. We then receive information about the continuous impulse of evolution, for example about the truth of the Christ-impulse, how it continues to be active now. The angels can think this impulse; we humans can also think and describe it, if we devote our thoughts to the angels so they think in us. We can achieve this by continuous practice, as I described in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment. From a certain moment on we connect a feeling, a sensation with the words: “Your soul doesn't think any more, it is a thought which the angels think”. And when this becomes a truth for the individual human experience, we experience the thoughts about the truths of the Christ-impulse, and also other thoughts about the wise guidance of Earth evolution.
Those things related to the epochs of the Earth's evolution — the ancient Indian epoch, the ancient Persian epoch, and so forth — are thought by the archangels. By means of further practice we are able not only to be thought by the angels, but to be experienced by the archangels. You must then come to the point where you know that you are delivering your life to the life of the archangels. In The Threshold of the Spiritual World I go into this in more detail: how you have the feeling, when you continue the exercises — I also spoke about this in Munich, using a grotesque example — as if you were to stick your head in an anthill, and the ants are the thoughts in movement. Whereas in ordinary life we think that we think our thoughts, through practice we realize that the thoughts think in us, because the angels think in us. And continuing with practice we arrive at the feeling that we are brought to various regions of the world by the archangels and thus learn about those regions. To correctly describe the [ancient] Indian or Egyptian cultures one must understand the meaning of: “Your soul has been brought to this or that time by an archangel”. It is as though our life-body fluids knew that they support the life process and are carried through the organism as the blood is. Thus the seer knows that he is conducted through the life process of the world by the archangels. But where individual experiences of the soul are concerned, they can only be investigated if the soul gives meaning to the words: The soul delivers itself as food to the Archai, the spirits of personality.
What I just said sounds grotesque, but it is nevertheless true that one cannot investigate such concrete facts as the life of Jesus of Nazareth before one gives meaning to the words: One is eaten as spiritual food and thus serves the Spirits of Personality. Obviously this sounds like madness to people who live in the outer world. Of course it does! Nevertheless it is just as true as the piece of bread that enters our stomachs becomes our food, and if it could think it would know that its existence has meaning and purpose in that we make it our food. It is just as true that we humans have the purpose of serving the Archai as food. While we walk around here on Earth we are at the same time beings who are continually consumed, eaten, by the Archai. You will not deny that people in ordinary life don't know this, and that they would call it madness if someone told them something like this. Man is for the Archai what a grain of wheat is for you as a physical human being. Don't only know this theoretically, but live in respect to the Archai as a grain of wheat would live were it to be ground to porridge by our teeth and pass through our palates and stomach with the awareness: I am human food. Therefore also know: I am the Archai's food, I am digested by the Archai; that is their life, which I live in them. To vividly know this means to enter the consciousness of the Spirits of Personality, the Archai. Just as what it means to enter the consciousness of the Archangels when one knows: Your soul is brought to this or that epoch by the Archangels; and what it means to enter the consciousness of the Angels when one knows: My thoughts are thought by the angels. If we wish to enter the higher worlds, the conditions of experience must be different. It is necessary to be knowingly consumed by the Spirits of Personality if concrete facts such as the life of Jesus of Nazareth in human evolution are to be investigated.
Perhaps what I have said will serve to show that this occult research is completely different from research in the outer world. If you can think the analogies through, they provide the correct hints: You can imagine yourselves as the grains of wheat ground into porridge by your teeth in order to have a mental image, which is an analogy for reading in the consciousness of the Archai. One must be mentally ground up and feel it. It means that higher research is not possible without inner pain and suffering. If it is so abstract that it doesn't hurt, as is research in the physical world, then research in the higher worlds cannot be achieved if it is to be more than complete fantasy.
Therefore my efforts yesterday in describing the life of Jesus to separate it from abstract concepts and descriptions. Remember what I said in an attempt to point out what is important. I said: this was the life of Jesus of Nazareth from his twelfth, eighteenth, and up to his thirtieth year. What I described is less important than having a vivid feeling of what Jesus' soul went through, to feel the pain of loneliness, the endless pain of having to stand alone with the untruths about which there were many ears to hear. I wanted to point out Jesus of Nazareth's feelings. His great threefold compassion for humanity from his twelfth to his thirtieth year. Not by describing the events to yourselves or to others will you know something about the meaning of Jesus' experience as preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha, but rather that by conceiving of an idea — a mental picture — which shocks and moves your souls, a picture of what that man Jesus of Nazareth had to suffer before the Mystery of Golgotha in order that the Christ-impulse could stream into the Earth's evolution.
In this way a vivid idea of the Christ-impulse is brought about in that the suffering is reawakened, so that one must describe these facts which are related to such things by trying to bring to mind feelings. You can see this in how I tried to characterize in few words what Akasha research is. The more you are able to feel in yourselves the billowing, undulating feelings in a being such as Jesus of Nazareth was, the more you fathom such mysteries.
I have often spoken about what happened then — that through the baptism in the Jordan, after Jesus of Nazareth's three bodies [physical, etheric, astral] were spiritualized by the Zarathustra-I in them, the Christ-being entered them, that is, a being from the realm of the spiritual world descended whose destiny was to live bound in a human body for three years. It is important to understand what that fact means. Because this fact is fundamentally different from all other facts in the Earth's evolution. Here we are entering into something which is not merely a human event in the Earth's evolution. This must by clear.
We can consider this from a human standpoint. Then we say: “Once there was a man as we have described him. He received the Christ-being, the Christ-impulse”. But we can also consider it differently — although the considerations are rather skimpy on representations, that's doesn't matter. By means of our spiritual-scientific preparation, we will be able to make something of them.
Imagine that were are sitting in a council considering the Mystery of Golgotha not as men, but in a council of the higher hierarchies as the beings of the higher hierarchies are considering the Mystery of Golgotha. In a spiritual sense this change in viewpoint is possible. A comparison could be: We have a mountain before us and halfway up is a town. We can see the town from below, but it can also be observed from the summit. Naturally we mostly observe the Mystery of Golgotha from a human point of view. But we could also climb up to the sphere of the higher hierarchies. How then would we speak of the Mystery of Golgotha? We would have to say: When the Earth's evolution began, the beings of the higher hierarchies had certain intentions for humanity. They wanted to guide the Earth's evolution in a certain way. But Lucifer inserted himself into this intended guidance of humanity's earthly affairs. So if we are looking down at Earth evolution as a being of the higher hierarchies, we see that Lucifer changed the direction of this evolution from our original intention.
And we say: Not everything that happens down there happens through us. Lucifer is continually intervening. Due to Lucifer's intervention, and later Ahriman's, a foreign element is present in human evolution. It could be expressed in such a way that the beings of the higher hierarchies say: “To a certain extent the sphere of the Earth has been lost to us. There are forces there which distance the Earth with its humanity from us”.
Guidance by the higher hierarchies is gradual; each participates according to its powers, first of all the lowest. All the hierarchies participate in Earth's evolution, up to the highest, but these latter leave certain tasks to their subordinates — to the Angels, Archangels, and Archai. So they are the first to be active in the evolutionary process.
We transfer ourselves — in all humility of course — to the council of the higher hierarchies, not the council of men. Then we can say: “Our messengers, the Angels, Archangels, and Archai, are there; they could carry out our orders very well if foreign powers were not present in the sphere of Earth”. So the great council decides something like the following: "Since we were not able to prevent Lucifer and Ahriman from interfering in the Earth's evolution, our subordinates, the Angles, Archangels, and Archai, have lost the ability, from a certain point in time, to do for humanity what had to be done according to our intentions." And this point in time was when the Mystery of Golgotha took place.
As this point in time approached, the gods of the higher hierarchies had to say: “We are losing the possibility for our subordinates to intervene in human souls. Because we could not deter Lucifer and Ahriman, we have only been able to act through our subordinates until this point in time. Thus forces arise in human souls, which can no longer be conducted by the Angels, Archangels, and Archai. The human beings are turning away from us through the powers of Lucifer and Ahriman”.
That was really — if I may express it so — the mood in heaven as the point in time approached which was calculated to be the beginning of the new era. Because their subordinates could no longer sufficiently care for humanity from a certain point in time, it became the “angst” of the gods. You will not misunderstand this, for you are prepared by spiritual science to understand that expressions have a different sense and feeling value when used to characterize the higher worlds.
This divine anxiety grew, ever more tantalizing, ever more worryingly — if I may say so — in the heavens. So the decision was made to send the Sun Spirit down, to sacrifice him by deciding: “He shall choose a different lot from now on than that of sitting in the council of the gods: he shall enter the arena where human souls live. We sacrifice this Son Spirit to them. Until now he has lived among us, in the spheres of the higher hierarchies; now he will enter the Earth aura through the portal of Jesus”.
That's how it looked from above in the council of the gods as the Mystery of Golgotha approached. It was an affair of the gods who guide the Earth, not merely a human affair. It can be understood as not merely asking: What must be done so humanity is not lost on its precipitous path? Rather the question: What should we gods do in order to create a counterbalance for what has happened because we had to allow Lucifer and Ahriman into Earth evolution?
And one can then create a feeling that the Mystery of Golgotha is other than a mere earthly affair, that it is an affair of the gods, an event of the world of the gods. Truly, it was more important for the gods that they had to give up Christ to the Earth than it was for humanity to receive Christ.
And what is knowledge of the Mystery of Golgotha more than recognizing it as Earth's central event? That when one observes the Mystery of Golgotha it is seen as an affair of the gods, that the gods opened a window to heaven, that the gods revealed their affairs to human eyes for a while and that men could observe these godly affairs! One must learn to feel this observing the Mystery of Golgotha by imagining that if one were to pass by the closed house of heaven, one could look through that window and see what otherwise is invisible behind the walls of the domicile of the gods.
The person with reverent feelings about the occult nature of the Mystery of Golgotha is like someone who walks silently around a house that is always closed, only suspecting what is happening inside. At one point there is a window through which he can witness a small part of what is happening inside. For humanity the Mystery of Golgotha is such a window to the spiritual world. Therefore we must feel what happened as the Christ-being descended into the body — or rather the three bodies — of Jesus of Nazareth. We should absorb this idea ever deeper, that we are witnesses to a godly affair through the Mystery of Golgotha.
When we speak of such things words must be used in a different way than in ordinary life. One must speak about such things as the gods' “angst” and “fear” before the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. One must use words about the spiritual affairs of humanity in a different way. It is very easy for those who are all too ready to denigrate what is meant in the most sacred sense — whether from stupidity, frivolousness, pride, or other reasons. All they have to do is twist the meaning of words into how they are used in exoteric life. In that way it is possible to turn them into the opposite of what is meant, even though they come from the need to announce the truths of the spiritual world which are so difficult to wring from the soul. Their meanings are reversed, thereby making them sound ridiculous or satanic.
This is all too widespread in our times. And those who should be protecting the treasure of the sacred-spiritual truths, which are so necessary for human souls just in these times, are not wakeful enough.
How great is the comfort with which we like to feed our spirit! How often must we see lamentable things! If when speaking of the spirit one goes even a little beyond materialism, people declare themselves satisfied because that way they don't have to strain themselves, in particular they don't have to strain their sensibilities. What we must feel is that because we are taking part in a consideration of the most sacred developments in earthly evolution, we have a responsibility toward the treasures of knowledge relating to the spiritual world. There is great frivolity in our times about such things, and people tend to take it all lightly. You will notice it popping up here and there, but will only recognize its abominable nature if you're alert enough and your hearts are kindled enough for the most sacred of the spiritual truths. Perhaps then you can assess the value of the spiritual treasures and become their good guardians, for we are all called to guard them together.
Perhaps the easiest way to speak of something so important is: that the Mystery of Golgotha is not merely a human affair, but also an affair of the gods, and that we can observe this affair of the gods. But the way this is described will be distorted in such a way that I hesitate to even mention it. The time will perhaps come when it will be realized that we must reformulate the words of the sensible world when we use them for the supersensible world, and that it is easy to insinuate other meanings to them.
Popular Christianity says what I have just indicated with the words: “The Father sacrificed his son for humanity”. These words describe what is felt by human hearts in a popular sense, though the true meaning is: The Mystery of Golgotha is an affair of the gods.
And if we consider all of what I have said, we can have an idea of what happened during the event which we call the baptism by John in the Jordan. The temptation, which is also described in the Gospels, followed. From the viewpoint of the Akasha Chronicle we would say: After Jesus of Nazareth took the Christ-being into himself he had to go into the wilderness. There he had clairvoyant visions, which are described fairly accurately by the words of the clairvoyant Gospel writers. It could also be said that now the Christ-being was really bound to the three bodies of Jesus. That means that he descended from the spiritual world and became limited to the capacities of the three bodies. Therefore it would be false to think that Christ, because he belonged to a higher world from which he had descended, could now immediately envision that higher world. That is not the case. Whoever finds this incomprehensible should think again about what it means to be clairvoyant. You are all clairvoyant! All! There is not one here who is not clairvoyant. So why don't you all see clairvoyantly? Because you haven't developed the organs in order to use the forces which reside in all humans. It is not a question of having the capacities, but rather of being able to use them.
The Christ-being had all possible capacities, but in the three bodies of Jesus of Nazareth he only had the capacities which corresponded to those three bodies. That is why they had to be prepared in such a complicated manner, for the capacities of these three bodies were indeed high capacities, greater than the corresponding capacities of all the other people on the Earth. But Christ was bound to them just as your clairvoyant capacities are bound to the organs which you have, only cannot yet use. It was possible through the capacities which the Zarathustra-soul had left behind in Jesus of Nazareth's three bodies, the remnants of which now served Christ to confront a being who could arouse all the pride and arrogance that a human soul is capable of. This being confronted Christ Jesus.
At that moment he sensed what that being was attempting in the language of visions — what the Bible describes with the words: “All the kingdoms you see before you” — kingdoms of the spiritual world — “can be yours if you recognize me as the lord of this world.” If one is full of pride and arrogance and brings it into the spiritual world, one can own this world's kingdom of Lucifer because arrogance submerges everything else if everything except arrogance is left behind. But man is not prepared for that; it would mean confronting a terrible destiny.
Christ Jesus faced this possibility. Then two images appeared before his soul. The first was of his experience on the way to the Jordan river, which I described yesterday as having met the despairing man. And once again the figure which had appeared to that despairing man in a dream stood before Jesus of Nazareth's soul, who now said: “Recognize me as lord of the world”. Then he recognized that figure as the one he had seen at the gates of the Essenes: Lucifer! Therefore he knew that now Lucifer was speaking to him, and he repulsed the attack. He defeated Lucifer.
Then two beings came to attack him, and he had the impression which was more or less what the Bible describes. They said to him: “Show all your fearlessness, your strength, show what you can do as a man by throwing yourself from the heights and not fear being injured”. In such a case consciousness of strength and courage should awaken in the human soul, but it can also make him a sensualist. Two figures stood before him. Because Jesus had had the impression that it was Lucifer and Ahriman who had flown away from the Essene gates, he now had the impression that within one them was the same being whom the leper had encountered and who had presented himself as death. Because of these experiences he recognized Lucifer and Ahriman. Thus he relived what he had experienced on the road to the Jordan. He also repulsed this attack. He defeated both Lucifer and Ahriman.
Then Ahriman came again. A kind of temptation ensued. He said to Christ Jesus something similar to what the Bible describes: “Make these stones into bread to show your power.” But now Jesus could not give a complete answer to what Ahriman demanded. He was able to repulse the first and the second attacks: the attack by Lucifer alone, and the attack of both together. But now he could not repulse Ahriman's attack. The fact that he could not totally repulse Ahriman's attack had meaning for the effectiveness of the Christ-impulse on Earth.
I must characterize what this mean in a popular, almost frivolous way: Make these stones into bread, so they become food for humanity. The higher hierarchies were not able to completely eliminate Ahriman from the field of the Earth's evolution until the Vulcan epoch. It will never be possible through purely spiritual efforts to defeat Ahriman's inner temptations: the desires, cravings, and lusts which arise from within, and what arises as arrogance and sensuality. When Lucifer attacks men alone he can be defeated by spirituality. Also when Lucifer and Ahriman attack together from within, they can be defeated through spiritual means. But when Ahriman is alone, he engulfs his effectiveness in the material events of Earth evolution. That cannot be completely fended off.
Ahriman, Mephisto, Mammon — they mean the same. They are immersed in money and in everything connected with human egotism. The fact that it is necessary for human life to be commingled with materialistic things means that humanity must reckon with Ahriman. If Christ was to help earthly humanity in the right way, he had to allow Ahriman to act. Ahriman, the material, must be active until the end of the Earth's evolution. His work had to remain undefeated by Christ, not completely overcome. The Christ must accept the struggle with Ahriman until the end of Earth evolution. Ahriman had to remain.
We as humans can overcome the attacks of Lucifer and the attacks of Lucifer and Ahriman together. The struggle in the material outer world must be fought out until the end of the Earth's evolution. Therefore Christ had to hold Ahriman in check, but allow him to stand alongside him. For this reason Ahriman remained active during the three years that Christ worked in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, and he entered the soul of Judas and was decisive in the betrayal of Jesus. What happened through Judas is related to the temptation in the desert after the baptism in the Jordan.
Slowly and gradually the Christ-being united with the three bodies of Jesus. It took three years. At the beginning the bond was loose, and then it gradually pressed into the three bodies. Only when death approached were the three bodies truly permeated with the Christ-being. And all the suffering and pain experienced during the three stages of his development was immeasurably increased as he gradually was able to completely immerse himself in the three human bodies. It was a continual pain, but a pain which was transformed into love — and love — and love.
And then the following happened. When we consider how Christ Jesus lived during the first, second, and third years he spent with his closest disciples, we find it to be different in each year. In the first year Christ was, as I said, only loosely bound to the body of Jesus of Nazareth. So there where moments when the physical body was in one place or another and the Christ-being was elsewhere. The other Gospels report that the Lord appeared to his disciples when his physical body was somewhere else — meaning that Christ wandered about the land in spirit.
That was in the beginning. Then the Christ-being bound himself more and more to the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Later, when Christ was with the circle of his closest disciples, they were so intimately united with him that he was never separated from them. The more he lived into his body, the more he lived in the inner being of his disciples. He traveled about the land with his disciples. He would speak through one of them, then through another disciple of the inner group, so that as they went about the land it was no longer only Christ Jesus who spoke, but one of the disciples; but Christ spoke through them. He lived in the disciples with such power that the facial expressions of a disciple through whom Christ spoke changed so much that the people who heard him had the feeling that he was the Master. Another, though, who was really Christ, was so modest that he looked ordinary. In this way he spoke through one, then another, throughout the land. That was the secret of his effectiveness during the last of the three years.
As he went about with his disciples in this way and he seemed ever more dangerous to his enemies. They wondered: “How can we hunt him down? We can't arrest the whole bunch. For we can never know when we grab the one who is speaking if he's the right or the wrong one. If we grab the wrong one, the right one escapes.” That was their greatest fear. They knew that one spoke and then a different one did. And the right one was unrecognizable, for he took on the ordinary form of another.
There was something wonderful about that group. Therefore a betrayal was needed. The way this is usually described is mistaken. What is it supposed to mean that Judas had to kiss the right one? According to the usual accounts it should not have been difficult to trap Jesus of Nazareth. So the kiss would make no sense if someone who knew which was the right one had to point him out to those who could already have known anyway. But because of the reasons I have related, the enemies did not know who the right one was.
Only when the great suffering — the Mystery of Golgotha — was before him was the total union of the Christ-being with the bodies of Jesus of Nazareth accomplished. What happened then is beautifully described in the Gospels. For the seer who reads in the Akasha Chronicle about what happened, it is a fact that while Christ was hanging on the cross something like an eclipse of the Sun took place in the area around Golgotha. I can't say if it was an eclipse of the Sun or a powerful darkening of the clouds, but a darkening like what can be observed during an eclipse of the Sun took place in the area around the event of the Mystery of Golgotha.
When occult vision observes life on Earth during such a darkening, all living things are shown to him differently than when there is no such darkening. In plants the connection of the etheric body and the physical body is different; and also in animals the astral body and the etheric appear completely different. During an eclipse of the Sun it is different on the Earth from when the Sun is simply missing in the night. Of course this is not the case when in the ordinary sense the sky is covered with clouds; only when an especially thick darkening occurs. And such a darkening took place then. As I said, I cannot yet tell if it was an eclipse of the Sun, but what can be seen was like an eclipse of the Sun. While this transformation of the Earth was taking place, also in the physical sense, he whom we call the Christ-being went over into the Earth's living aura. Through the death of Christ Jesus the Earth received the Christ impulse.
The greatest event to occur on Earth must be described in such simple, stammering words, because it is impossible to even approximate this greatness with human words.
When the body of Jesus was taken down and placed in a tomb, a natural event occurred. A whirlwind arose, then the earth split open and the body of Jesus was taken into it as the shrouds were blown away from the body. It is awesome to see that the arrangement of the shrouds described in the Gospel of John coincides with this vision.
These two events: the darkening of the earth, the earthquake and the powerful whirlwind show at one point in the Earth's evolution how natural events coincide with spiritual events. Otherwise such things only occur with living beings as, for example, when thinking and a decision of the will precede a hand's movement. In ordinary life we are only concerned with such mechanical phenomena. Only at a very special moment did a spiritual and two physical phenomena coincide — also in other earthly phenomena, but most especially with this one.
I don't think that the consideration of these concrete facts, which it is now possible to describe to a small number of people as a kind of Fifth Gospel, can detract from the grand ideas we have more theoretically worked through about the Mystery of Golgotha. On the contrary, I believe that if we try to let these concrete facts work on us more and more deeply we will feel what was previously presented more theoretically, more abstractly, strengthened. We will realize through these facts that in this our own time in earthly evolution important events will take place.
By means of these concrete facts you will perhaps be able to achieve the right feelings and nuance of soul about the Mystery of Golgotha, and it is this nuance of feeling that I wished to present to your souls with what I have related from the Fifth Gospel. Perhaps some of you will be able to attend other lectures on the Mystery of Golgotha, or we may be able to continue here in Cologne. For we must say: Regardless of the fact that people nowadays show so little interest in hearing about the facts we have spoken about today, there is a great necessity for such facts to flow into human evolution, especially now. Therefore they have been disclosed, although it is quite difficult to speak of these things. Nevertheless, although I may be inclined not to speak of them, I do so from a sense of inner responsibility, as long as there are people to hear them. They will be needed in humanity's evolution. Those who are hearing them now will surely need them for the spiritual work they are doing for further human development.
You see, gradually we are learning through our considerations what should arise in our souls in order to be useful members of advancing human evolution. That is the meaning of human development on Earth: that human souls be more aware of their tasks.
The Christ has come. His impulse is working. For a long time he could act only in the unconscious; then he had to act through what was understood until that time. But it will be ever more necessary for man to learn to understand him, the Christ, who through the bodies of Jesus of Nazareth has entered the Earth's aura and humanity's development.