Saturday, December 28, 2019

Anthroposophy: The Elixir of Life. Only through Anthroposophy can the Mystery of Golgotha be comprehended.

Two translations of the same passage

#1. Rudolf Steiner:  "This is one of the most certain facts of Christianity. The Death on the Cross, and that which we shall describe tomorrow as the Resurrection, and as the effect of the words ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!’ — these facts constitute the essence of Paul's teaching. For him, the Resurrection of Christ is the starting point of Christianity. We might say that it is only in our own day that people have begun again to reflect a little upon these things, not as the subject of theological controversy, but as the vital question of Christianity. The great philosopher Solovioff assumes, strictly speaking, the Pauline standpoint when he says: ‘Everything in Christianity centres upon the idea of Resurrection; and if this idea be not believed or understood, a Christianity of the future is impossible.’ He repeats, after his fashion, Paul's words: ‘If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and our faith is also vain!’ Then the Christ-impulse is impossible. Indeed, there could be no Christianity without the risen, living Christ.
It is a striking fact, and we may therefore draw attention to it, that isolated profound thinkers come to recognize the truth of this Pauline saying, purely from their own philosophy and quite without occultism. If we devote some attention to such minds we see that, in certain cases, ideas are being formed, already in our time, of what will one day constitute human belief and human conceptions of the world — that is, of the knowledge which spiritual science must bring. But without spiritual science, even a profound thinker like Solovioff cannot get beyond empty conceptual forms. His systems of philosophy are like conceptual receptacles into which must be poured the content they require and for which they have fashioned the mould — the content they do not possess, for it can be derived alone from the anthroposophical movement. Anthroposophy will pour that living water, the message of the facts of the spiritual world, occult knowledge, into these vessels, and bring its gifts to the noble minds who show that they require Anthroposophy, and whose tragic fate it is that they have not been able to find it. Of such minds it is not too much to say that they thirst for Anthroposophy, but they have not been able to find it. Anthroposophical knowledge must flow into such prepared vessels, and enable these minds to form clear and true ideas regarding such cardinal events as the Christ-event and the Mystery of Golgotha. On these subjects only Anthroposophy or spiritual science can enlighten us with its revelation of the realms of the spiritual world. Indeed, the Mystery of Golgotha cannot be understood in our day save through Anthroposophy or spiritual science."

#2. Rudolf Steiner:  "Among the most indubitably established elements of Christianity are this Death on the Cross and what we shall elucidate tomorrow: the Resurrection and the effect of the words: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” And these were the substance of Paul's message, hence he could say, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” For him the Resurrection of Christ was the starting point of Christianity. Not until our time have people begun again to reflect, so to speak, upon such things — not in circles where they are made the subject of theological disputes, but where the actual life of Christianity is involved. So the great philosopher Solovyev really takes entirely the Pauline standpoint in emphasizing that everything in Christianity rests upon the idea of the Resurrection, and that a Christianity of the future is impossible unless the concept of the Resurrection be believed and grasped. And after his own fashion he repeats Paul's utterance, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” In that case the Christ impulse would be an impossible thing: there could be no Christianity without the risen Christ, the living Christ.
It is characteristic, and therefore worthy of emphasis, that certain isolated deep thinkers have come to recognize the truth of Paul's message solely by means of their philosophy, without benefit of occultism. If we devote some attention to such thinkers we realize that men are beginning to appear in our time who have a concept of what the future convictions and Weltanschauung of mankind will have to be, namely, that which spiritual science must provide. But without spiritual science even so profound a thinker as Solovyev achieved no more than empty conceptual forms. His philosophical paraphernalia resemble vessels for containing concepts; and what must be poured into them is something they indeed crave and for which they form the molds, but something they lack; and this can come only out of the anthroposophical current. It will fill the molds with that living water which is the revelation of facts concerning the spiritual world, the occult. That is what this spiritual-scientific Weltanschauung will offer its finest minds, those who already today show that they need it, and whose tragedy lies in their not having been able to obtain it. We can say of such minds that they positively yearn for anthroposophy. But they have not been able to find it.
It is the task of the anthroposophical movement to pour into these vessels, prepared by such minds, all that can contribute to clear, distinct, true conceptions of the most significant events, such as the Christ event and the Mystery of Golgotha. By means of its revelations concerning the realms of the spiritual world, anthroposophy or spiritual research alone can throw light on these events. Verily, it is only through anthroposophy, through spiritual research, that the Mystery of Golgotha can be comprehended in our time."

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