Sunday, March 15, 2020

In the Beginning was the Logos : the Veda : the Word : Saturn : The Wellspring of Love, Light, and Life

The conclusion to lecture 3 of
The Gospel of John and Its Relation to the Other Gospels.
Rudolf Steiner, Kassel, June 26, 1909:

We know that during the old Saturn stage the first beginning of the human physical body was formed. What today we see as the physical human form first took shape on Saturn as though emerging from cosmic chaos. Then came the Sun stage, during which the etheric body was added to the physical; and on the old Moon these were joined by the astral element in the case of those beings who continued their development on the sundered Moon, as well as of the spirits who had remained with the sun. On the sun dwelt the spiritual prototypes, on the Moon, their counterparts on the animal level; and finally, upon the Earth there had gradually evolved a condition under which man was once more able to receive into himself the astral element developed on the sun during the Moon evolution, an element that now acted in him as a force.

Let us now trace these four states. The exalted power which during the Saturn stage provided the spiritual germ of the physical human form is called by the author of the John Gospel the Logos. The element that was added on the Sun and merged with what had arisen on Saturn he designates Life, known to us accordingly as the etheric or life body. And what was subjoined on the Moon he terms the Light, for it is the spiritual light, the astral light. On the severed Moon this astral light effected a hardening, but on the sun itself, a spiritualization. What was thus engendered as spirit could and did continue to develop; and when the sun again split off, the principle that had evolved during the third stage shone into men, but man was as yet unable to see what thus shone in from the sun. It took part in the shaping of man, acted as a force; but man could not see it.

What we have in this way come to recognize as the essence of the Saturn evolution we can now express in the words of the Gospel of St. John:

In the beginning was the Logos.

Now we pass to the Sun. To denote what came into being on Saturn and was further developed on the Sun, we say, the etheric body was added:

And the Logos was Life.

On the Moon the astral element entered into both the physical and the spiritual aspects of men:

Within the animated Logos Light arose.

When the separation occurred the light developed in two directions: on the sun into a clairvoyant light, among men into darkness. For when man was to receive the light he, who was the darkness, comprehended it not.

So if we illuminate the John Gospel by means of the akashic record, what we read concerning cosmic evolution is a follows: In the beginning, during the Saturn evolution, everything had come into being out of the Logos; during the Sun evolution, Life was in the Logos; and out of this living Logos there arose Light during the Moon evolution. Finally, out of the living, light-filled Logos there appeared on the sun, during the Earth evolution, the Light in heightened luster — but men walked in darkness. And the beings who had become the advanced spirits of Bull, Lion, Eagle, and Man shone down as light from the sun to the earth and into the forms of men that were taking shape. But these were the darkness, and they could not comprehend the light that shone down upon them. — Naturally we must not think of this as the physical light, but rather, as the Light that was the sum of the radiations from the spiritual beings, the spirits of Bull, Lion, Eagle, and Man, who constituted the continuation of the spiritual evolution of the Moon. It was the spiritual Light that streamed down. Men could not receive it, could not comprehend it. Their whole development was advanced by it, but without their consciousness taking part. The light shone in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Thus paradigmatically does the writer of the John Gospel present these great verities; and those versed in such matters have ever been called the “servants or ministers of the Logos as it was from the beginning.” He who speaks thus was such a minister or servant of the Logos as it was from the beginning; and in the Luke Gospel we find what is basically the identical disposition. Just read understandingly what the writer of the Luke Gospel says: his purpose is "to report events as they occurred from the beginning, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the Word. And we believe that these documents were written by servants of the Word, or the Logos."

We learn to believe this when by means of our own spiritual research we see what took place, when we see how our Earth evolution came about by way of Saturn, Sun, and Moon. And when we then find that we can rediscover, independent of all documents, what is presented in the comprehensive words of the John Gospel and in the words of the Luke Gospel, we learn anew to appreciate these documents and to find in them their own evidence that they were written by those who could read in the spiritual world. They provide a means of communication with men of remote times whom we can face, in a sense, and say, We recognize and know you — because what they knew we have found again in Spiritual Science.

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