Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sergei Prokofieff versus Judith von Halle

“History has shown that the most terrible crimes against love have been committed in the name of fanatically defended doctrines.” ― Paul Tillich

Prokofieff has long served as the Anthroposophical Society's Grand Inquisitor. How shameful that this was ever allowed!

Recommended: Open Letter to Sergei O. Prokofieff

Anthroposophy = Jñana Yoga

"Human life is vindicated only when we place our thoughts at the service of the good and the beautiful, when we allow the very heart's blood of divine spiritual life to stream through our intellectual activities, permeating them with moral impulses."  — Rudolf Steiner

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

13 ways of looking at my guru. #6: The Great Knock

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock." -Revelation 3:20

from chapter 9, "The Great Knock," in Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis:

We shook hands, and though his grip was like iron pincers it was not lingering. A few minutes later we were walking away from the station.

"You are now," said Kirk, "proceeding along the principal artery between Great and Little Bookham."

I stole a glance at him. Was this geographical exordium a heavy joke? Or was he trying to conceal his emotions? His face, however, showed only an inflexible gravity. I began to "make conversation" in the deplorable manner which I had acquired at those evening parties and indeed found increasingly necessary to use with my father. I said I was surprised at the "scenery" of Surrey; it was much "wilder" that I had expected.

"Stop!" shouted Kirk with a suddenness that made me jump. "What do you mean by wildness and what grounds had you for not expecting it?"

I replied I don't know what, still "making conversation." As answer after answer was torn to shreds it at last dawned on me that he really wanted to know. He was not making conversation, nor joking, nor snubbing me; he wanted to know. I was stung into attempting a real answer. A few passes sufficed to show that I had no clear and distinct idea corresponding to the word "wildness," and that, in so far as I had any idea at all, "wildness" was a singularly inept word. "Do you not see, then," concluded the Great Knock, "that your remark was meaningless?" I prepared to sulk a little, assuming that the subject would now be dropped. Never was I more mistaken in my life. Having analyzed my terms, Kirk was proceeding to deal with my proposition as a whole. On what had I based (but he pronounced it baized) my expectations about the Flora and Geology of Surrey? Was it maps, or photographs, or books? I could produce none. It had, heaven help me, never occurred to me that what I called my thoughts needed to be "baized" on anything. Kirk once more drew a conclusion--without the slightest sign of emotion, but equally without the slightest concession to what I thought good manners: "Do you now see, then, that you had no right to have any opinion whatever on the subject?"

By this time our acquaintance had lasted about three and a half minutes; but the tone set by this first conversation was preserved without a single break during all the years I spent at Bookham.

Life: The School of Hard Knocks

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

--Revelation 3:14-22

Ex Deo Nascimur        In Christo Morimur        Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To my guardian angel

                                  Spirit of my life, protecting companion,
                                  May you be kindness of heart in my willing
                                  May you be human love in my feeling
                                  May you be the light of truth in my thinking.

                                                                             --Rudolf Steiner

Point of Origin

Ex Deo Nascimur       In Christo Morimur       Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus

From my School of Metaphysics Intuitive Health Reading of June 5, 2007:

Me: How can I help?

SOM: By experiencing enthusiasm.

Me: How can I better receive Christ?

SOM: As this one receives--allows to come into the self--sensory stimulation, to hold within the mind the point of origin of these people, places, and things, and to honor that; to endeavor to let go of old thinking and old limitation; to constantly consciously embrace change.

* * *

"Each person, in his thinking, lays hold of the universal primordial being who pervades all human beings."
--Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy of Freedom, part 3

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Swaha the whole enchilada

 Tasmai Shri Guru murtiye namah, idam shri dakshina murtiye
 Unto that Guru-form who always guides me, gives to me, points me in the right direction:
my homage, my prostrations, my namah, I surrender. — Dakshinamurti Stotra

"He [Swamiji] said, 'Isn't this a cremation ground?' referring to his ashram. 'You come here to be burned, and if you can't get that into your head, there's no point in your being here!'" —Swami Veda

Related post: 

The Goal of Yoga: Union with the Spirit of Jesus Christ Through the Etherization of the Blood. Focus lecture for the May 29 meeting of the Rudolf Steiner Study Circle

Rudolf Steiner, October 1, 1911:

Wherever we, as human beings, have striven for knowledge, whether as mystics or realists or in any way at all, the acquisition of self-knowledge has been demanded of us. But as has been repeatedly emphasized on other occasions, self-knowledge is by no means as easy to achieve as many people believe — anthroposophists sometimes among them. The anthroposophist should be constantly aware of the hindrances he will encounter in his efforts. But the acquisition of self-knowledge is absolutely essential if we are to reach a worthy goal in world-existence and if our actions are to be worthy of us as members of humanity.

Let us ask ourselves the question: Why is the achievement of self-knowledge so difficult? Man is very a complicated being. If we mean to speak truly of his inner life, his life of soul, we shall not begin by regarding it as something simple and elementary. We shall rather have the patience and perseverance, the will, to penetrate more deeply into the marvellous creation of the Divine-Spiritual Powers known to us as Man.

Before we investigate the nature of self-knowledge, two aspects of the life of the human soul may present themselves to us. Just as the magnet has North and South poles, just as light and darkness are present in the world, so there are two poles in man's life of soul. These two poles become evident when we observe a person placed in two contrasting situations. Suppose we are watching someone who is entirely absorbed in the contemplation of some strikingly beautiful and impressive natural phenomenon. We see how still he is standing, moving neither hand nor foot, never turning his eyes away from the spectacle presented to him, and we are aware that inwardly he is picturing his environment. That is one situation. Another is the following: a man is walking along the street and feels that someone has insulted him. Without thinking, he is roused to anger and gives vent to it by striking the person who insulted him. We are there witnessing a manifestation of forces springing from anger, a manifestation of impulses of will, and it is easy to imagine that if the action had been preceded by thought no blow need have been struck.
We have now pictured two contrasting situations: in the one there is only ideation, a process in the life of thought from which all conscious will is absent; in the other there is no thought, no ideation, and immediate expression is given to an impulse of will. Here we have examples of the two extremes of human behavior. The first pole is complete surrender to contemplation, to thought, in which the will has no part; the second pole is the impelling force of will without thought. These facts are revealed simply by observation of external life.
We can go into these things more deeply and we come then into spheres in which we can find our bearings only by summoning the findings of occult investigation to our aid. Here another polarity confronts us — that of sleeping and waking. From the elementary concepts of Anthroposophy we know that in waking life the four members of a man's being — physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego — are organically and actively interwoven, but that in sleep the physical and etheric bodies remain in bed, while the astral body and ego are outpoured into the great world bordering on physical existence. These facts could also be approached from a different point of view. We might ask: what is there to be said about ideation, contemplation, thinking — and about the will and its impulses on the one hand during waking life and during sleep on the other?
When we penetrate more deeply into this question it becomes evident that in his present physical existence man is, in a certain sense, always asleep, Only there is a difference between sleep during the night and sleep during the day. Of this we can be convinced in a purely external way, for we know that we can wake in the occult sense during the day, that is to say, one can become clairvoyant and see into the spiritual world. The physical body in its ordinary state is asleep to what is then and there happening and we can rightly speak of an awakening of our spiritual senses. In the night, of course, we are asleep in the normal way. It can therefore be said: ordinary sleep is sleep as regards the outer physical world; daytime consciousness at the present time is sleep as regards the spiritual world.
These facts can be considered in yet another light. On deeper scrutiny we realize that in the ordinary waking condition of physical life, man has, as a rule, very little power or control over his will and its impulses. The will is very detached from daily life. Only consider how little of all you do from morning to evening is really the outcome of your own thinking, of your personal resolutions. When someone knocks at the door and you say “Come in!”, that cannot be called a decision of your own thinking and will. If you are hungry and seat yourself at a table, that cannot be called a decision made by the will, because it is occasioned by your circumstances, by the needs of your organism. Try to picture your daily life and you will find how little the will is directly influenced from the center of your being. Why is this the case? Occultism shows us that in respect of his will man actually sleeps by day, that is to say he is not in the real sense present in his will-impulses at all. We may evolve better and better concepts and ideas; or we may become more highly moral, more cultured individuals, but we can do nothing as regards the will. By cultivating better thoughts we can work indirectly upon the will but as far as life is concerned we can do nothing directly to it, for in the waking life of day, our will is influenced only in an indirect way, namely through sleep. When we are asleep we do not think; ideation passes over into a state of sleep. The will, however, awakes, permeates our organism from outside, and invigorates it. We feel strengthened in the morning because what has penetrated into our organism is of the nature of will. That we are not aware of this activity of the will becomes comprehensible when we remember that all conceptual activity ceases when we ourselves are asleep. To begin with, therefore, this stimulus shall be given for further contemplation, further meditation. The more progress you make in self-knowledge, the more you will find confirmation of the truth of the words that man sleeps in respect of his will when he is awake and sleeps in respect of his conceptual life when he is asleep. The life of will sleeps by day; the life of thought sleeps by night.
Man is unaware that the will does not sleep during the night because he only knows how to be awake in his life of thought. The will does not sleep during the night but it then works as it were in a fiery element, works upon his body in order to restore what has been used up by day.
Thus there are two poles in man: the life of observation and ideation, and the impulses of will; and man is related in entirely opposite ways to these two poles. The whole life of soul moves in various nuances between these two poles, and we shall come nearer to understanding it by bringing this microcosmic life of soul into relation with the higher worlds.
From what has been said we have learnt that the life of thought and ideation is one of the poles of man's life of soul. This life of thought is something which seems unreal to materialistically minded people. Do we not often hear it said: “Oh, ideas and thoughts are only ideas and thoughts!” This is intended to imply that if someone has a piece of bread or meat in his hand it is a reality because it can be eaten, but a thought is only a thought, it is not a reality. Why is this said? It is because what man calls his thoughts are related to what thoughts really are as a shadow-image is to the actual thing. The shadow-image of a flower points you to the flower itself, to the reality. So it is with thoughts. Human thinking is the shadowing forth of ideas and beings belonging to a higher world, the world we call the Astral plane. And you represent thinking rightly to yourself when you picture the human head thus — it is not absolutely correct but simply diagrammatic. In the head are thoughts but these thoughts must be pictured as living beings on the Astral plane. Beings of the most varied kinds are at work there in the form of teeming concepts and activities which cast their shadow-images into men, and these processes are reflected in the human head as thinking.

As well as the life of thought in the human soul, there is also the life of feeling. Feelings fall into two categories: those of pleasure and sympathy, and those of displeasure and antipathy. The former are aroused by good deeds, benevolent deeds; antipathy is aroused by evil, malevolent deeds. Here there is something more than and different from the mere forming of concepts. We form concepts of things irrespectively of any other factor. But our soul experiences sympathy or antipathy only in respect of what is beautiful and good, or what is ugly and evil. Just as everything that takes place in man in the form of thoughts points to the Astral plane, so everything connected with sympathy or antipathy points to the realm we call Lower Devachan. Processes in the Heavenly World, or Devachan, are projected, mainly into our breast, as feelings of sympathy or antipathy for what is beautiful or ugly, for what is good or evil. So that in our feelings for the moral-aesthetic element, we bear within our souls shadow-reflections of the Heavenly World or Lower Devachan.
There is still a third province in the life of the human soul, which must be strictly distinguished from the mere preference for good deeds. There is a difference between standing by and taking pleasure in witnessing some kindly deed and setting the will in action and actually performing some such deed. I will call pleasure in good deeds or displeasure in evil deeds the aesthetic element as against the moral element that impels a man to perform some good deed. The moral element is at a higher level than the purely aesthetic; mere pleasure or displeasure is at a lower level than the will to do something good or bad. In so far as our soul feels constrained to give expression to moral impulses, these impulses are the shadow-images of Higher Devachan, of the Higher Heavenly World.
It is easy to picture these three stages of activity of the human soul — the purely intellectual (thoughts, concepts), the aesthetic (pleasure or displeasure), and the moral (revealed in impulses to good or bad deeds) — as microcosmic images of the three realms which in the Macrocosm, the great Universe, lie one above the other. The Astral world is reflected in the world of thought; the Devachanic world is reflected in the aesthetic sphere of pleasure and displeasure; and the Higher Devachanic world is reflected as morality.

Thoughts: Shadow-images of Beings of the Astral Plane (Waking)
Sympathy and Antipathy: Shadow-images of Beings of Lower Devachan (Dreaming)
Moral Impulses: Shadow-images of Beings of Higher Devachan (Sleeping)

If we connect this with what was said previously concerning the two poles of the soul-life, we shall take the pole of intellect to be that which dominates the waking life, the life in which man is mentally awake. During the day he is awake in respect of his intellect; during sleep he is awake in respect of his will. It is because at night he is asleep in respect of intellect that he is unaware of what he is happening with his will. The truth is that what we call moral principles, moral impulses, are working indirectly into the will. And in point of fact man needs the life of sleep in order that the moral impulses he takes into himself through the life of thought can become active and effective. In his ordinary life today man is capable of accomplishing what is right only on the plane of intellect; he is less able to accomplish anything on the moral plane, for there he is dependent upon help coming from the Macrocosm.
What is already within us can bring about the further development of intellectuality, but the Gods must come to our aid if we are to acquire greater moral strength. We go to sleep in order that we may plunge into the Divine Will where the intellect does not intervene and where Divine Forces transform into the power of will the moral principles we accept, where they instill into our will that which we could otherwise receive only into our thoughts.
Between these two poles, that of the will which wakes by night and of the intellect which is awake by day, lies the sphere of aesthetic appreciation which is continuously present in man. During the day man is not fully awake — at least only the most prosaic, pedantic individuals are always fully awake in waking life. We must always be able to dream a little even by day when we are awake; we must be able to give ourselves up to the enjoyment art, of poetry, or of some other activity that is not concerned wholly with crass reality. Those who can give themselves up in this way form a connection with something that can enliven and invigorate the whole of existence. To give oneself up to such imaginings is like a dream making its way into waking life. Into the life of sleep you know well that dreams enter; these dreams in the usual sense, dreams which permeate sleep-consciousness. Human beings need also to dream by day if they do not wish to lead an arid, empty, unhealthy waking life. Dreaming takes place during sleep at night in any case and no proof of this is required. Midway between the two poles of night dreaming and day dreaming is the condition that can come to expression in fantasy.
So here again there is a threefold life of soul. The intellectual element in which we are really awake brings us shadow-images of the Astral Plane when by day we give ourselves up to a thought — wherein the most fruitful ideas for daily life and great inventions originate. Then during sleep, when we dream, these dreams play into our life of sleep and shadow-images from Lower Devachan are reflected into us. And when we work actively during sleep, impressing morality into our will — we cannot be aware of this actual process but certainly we can of its effects — when we are able to imbue our life of thoughts during the night with the influence of Divine Spiritual Powers, then the impulses we receive are reflections from Higher Devachan, the Higher Heavenly World. These reflections are the moral impulses and feelings which are active within us and lead to the recognition that human life is vindicated only when we place our thoughts at the service of the good and the beautiful, when we allow the very heart's blood of Divine Spiritual life to stream through our intellectual activities, permeating them with moral impulses.
The life of the human soul as presented here, first from external, exoteric observation and then from observation of a more mystical character, is revealed by deeper (occult) investigation. The processes that have been described in their more external aspect can also be perceived in man through clairvoyance. When a man stands in front of us today in his waking state and we observe him with the eye of clairvoyance, certain rays of light are seen streaming continually from the heart towards the head. Within the head these rays play around the organ known in anatomy as the pineal gland. These streamings arise because human blood, which is a physical substance, is perpetually resolving itself into etheric substance. In the region of the heart there is a continual transformation of the blood into this delicate etheric substance which streams upwards towards the head and glimmers around the pineal gland. This process — the etherization of the blood — can be perceived in the human being all the time during his waking life.

The occult observer is able to see a continual streaming from outside into the brain, and also in the reverse direction, from the brain to the heart. Now these streams, which in sleeping man come from outside, from cosmic space, from the Macrocosm, and flow into the inner constitution of the physical body and etheric bodies lying in the bed, reveal something remarkable when they are investigated. These rays vary greatly in different individuals. Sleeping human beings differ very drastically from one another, and if those who are a little vain only knew how badly they betray themselves to occult observation when they go to sleep during public gatherings, they would try their level best not to let this happen!
Moral qualities are revealed distinctly in the particular coloring of the streams which flow into human beings during sleep; in an individual of lower moral principles, the streams are quite different from what is observable in an individual of noble principles. Endeavors to dissemble are useless. In the face of the higher Cosmic Powers, no dissembling is possible. In the case of a man who has only a slight inclination towards moral principles the rays streaming into him are a brownish red in colour — various shades tending toward brownish red. In a man of high moral ideals the rays are lilac-violet in colour. At the moment of waking or of going off to sleep a kind of struggle takes place in the region of the pineal gland between what streams down from above and what streams upward from below. When a man is awake the intellectual element streams upwards from below in the form of currents of light, and what is of moral-aesthetic nature streams downwards from above. At the moment of waking or of going off to sleep, these two currents meet, and in the man of low morality a violent struggle between the two streams takes place in the region of the pineal gland. In the man of high morality there is around the pineal gland as it were a little sea of light. Moral nobility is revealed when a calm glow surrounds the pineal gland at these moments. In this way a man's moral disposition is reflected in him, and this calm glow of light often extends as far as the heart. Two streams can therefore be perceived in man — the one Macrocosmic, the other, Microcosmic.
To estimate the significance of how these two streams meet in man is possible only by considering on the one hand what was said previously in a more external way about the life of the soul and how this life reveals the threefold polarity of the intellectual, the aesthetic, and the moral elements that stream downwards from above, from the brain toward the heart; and if, on the other hand, we grasp the significance of what was said about turning our attention to the corresponding phenomenon in the Macrocosm. This corresponding phenomenon can be described today as the result of the most scrupulously careful occult investigation of recent years, undertaken by individuals among genuine Rosicrucians. These investigations have shown that something similar to what has been described in connection with the Microcosm also takes place in the Macrocosm. You will understand this more fully as time goes on.
Just as in the region of the human heart the blood is continually being transformed into etheric substance, a similar process takes place in the Macrocosm. We understand this when we turn our minds to the Mystery of Golgotha — to the moment when the blood flowed from the wounds of Jesus Christ.
This blood must not be regarded simply as chemical substance, but by reason of all that has been said concerning the nature of Jesus of Nazareth it must be recognized as something altogether unique. When it flowed from His wounds, a substance was imparted to our Earth, which in uniting with it, constituted an Event of the greatest possible significance for all future ages of the Earth's evolution — and it could take place only once. What came of this blood in the ages that followed? Nothing different from what otherwise takes place in the heart of man. In the course of Earth evolution this blood passes through a process of “etherization.” And just as our human blood streams upwards from the heart as ether, so since the Mystery of Golgotha the etherized blood of Christ Jesus has been present in the ether of the Earth. The etheric body of the Earth is permeated by the blood — now transformed — which flowed on Golgotha. This is supremely important. If what has thus come to pass through Christ Jesus had not taken place, man's condition on the Earth could only have been as previously described. But since the Mystery of Golgotha it has always been possibe for the etheric blood of Christ to flow together with the streamings from below upward, from heart to head.
Because the etherized blood of Jesus of Nazareth is present in the etheric body of the Earth, it accompanies the etherized human blood streaming upwards from the heart to the brain, so that not only those streams of which I spoke earlier meet in man, but the human bloodstream unites with the bloodstream of Christ Jesus. A union of these two streams can, however, come about only if a person is able to unfold true understanding of what is contained in the Christ Impulse. Otherwise there can be no union; the two streams then mutually repel each other, thrust each other away.
In every epoch of Earth evolution understanding must be acquired in the form suitable for that epoch. At the time when Christ Jesus lived on Earth, preceding events were rightly understood by those who came to His forerunner, John, and were baptized by him according to the rite described in the Gospels. They received baptism in order that their sin, that is to say, the karma of their previous lives — karma which had come to an end — might be changed; and in order that they might realize that the most powerful Impulse in Earth evolution was about to descend into a physical body. But the evolution of humanity progresses and in our present age what matters is that people should recognize the need for the knowledge contained in Spiritual Science and be able so to fire the streams flowing from heart to brain that this knowledge can be understood.
If this comes to pass, individuals will be able to receive and comprehend the event that has its beginning in the Twentieth Century: this event is the appearance of the Christ as an Etheric Being, in contradistinction to the Physical Christ of Palestine. For we have now reached the point of time when the Etheric Christ enters into the life of the Earth and will become visible — at first to a small number of individuals through a form of natural clairvoyance. Then in the course of the next three thousand years, He will become visible to greater and greater numbers of people. This will inevitably come to pass in the natural course of development. That it will come to pass is as true as were the achievements of electricity in the nineteenth century. A number of individuals will see the Etheric Christ and will themselves experience the event that took place at Damascus. But this will depend upon such men learning to be alert to the moment when Christ draws near to them.

In only a few decades from now it will happen, particularly to those who are young — already preparation is being made for this — that some individual here or there has certain experiences. If he has sharpened his vision through having assimilated Anthroposophy, he may become aware that suddenly someone has come near to help him, to make him alert to this or that. The truth is that Christ has come to him, although he believes that what he saw is a physical man. He will come to realize that what he saw was a supersensible being, because it immediately vanishes.

Many a human being will have this experience when sitting silent in his room, heavy-hearted and oppressed, not knowing which way to turn. The door will open, and the etheric Christ will appear and speak words of consolation to him. The Christ will become a living Comforter to men.

However strange it may as yet seem, it is true nevertheless that many a time when people — even in considerable numbers — are sitting together, not knowing what to do, and waiting, they will see the Etheric Christ. He will Himself be there, will confer with them, will make His voice heard in such gatherings. These times are approaching, and the positive, constructive element now described will take real effect in the evolution of mankind.
No word shall be said here against the great advances made by culture in our day; these achievements are essential for the welfare and the freedom of men. But whatever can be gained in the way of outer progress in mastering the forces of nature is something small and insignificant compared with the blessing bestowed upon the individual who experiences the awakening soul through Christ, the Christ who will now be operative in human culture and its concerns. Men will thereby acquire forces that make for unification. In very truth Christ brings constructive forces into human culture and civilization.
If we look into early post-Atlantean times, we would find that men built their dwelling places by methods very different from those used in modern life. In those days they made use of all kinds of growing things. Even when building palaces they summoned nature to their aid by utilizing plants interlaced with branches of trees and so on, whereas today men must build with broken fragments. All the culture of the external world is contrived with the aid of products of fragmentation. And in the course of the coming years you will realize even more clearly how much in our civilized life is the outcome of destruction.
Light itself is being destroyed in this post-Atlantean age of the Earth's existence, which until the time of Atlantis was a progressive process. Since then it has been a process of decay. What is light? Light decays, and the decaying light is electricity. What we know as electricity is light that is being destroyed in matter.

And the chemical force that undergoes a transformation in the process of Earth evolution is magnetism.

Yet a third force will become active; and if electricity seems to work wonders today, this third force will affect civilization in a still more miraculous way. The more of this force we employ, the faster the Earth will tend to become a corpse and its spiritual part prepare for the Jupiter embodiment. Forces have to be applied for the purpose of destruction, in order that man may become free of the Earth and that the Earth's body may fall away.

As long as the Earth was involved in progressive evolution, no such destruction took place, for the great achievements of electricity can only serve a decaying Earth. Strange as this sounds, it must gradually become known. By understanding the process of evolution we shall learn to assess our culture at its true value. We shall also learn that it is necessary for the Earth to be destroyed, for otherwise the spiritual could not become free. We shall also learn to value what is positive, namely the penetration of spiritual forces into our existence on Earth.

Thus we realize what a tremendous advance was signified by the fact that Christ lived for three years on the Earth in a human body specially prepared in order that He might be visible to physical eyes. Through what came to pass during those three years men have been made ready to behold the Christ who will move among them in an etheric body, who will participate in earthly life as truly and effectively as did the Physical Christ in Palestine.

If men observe such happenings with undimmed senses they will know that there is an etheric body that will move about in the physical world, but is the only etheric body able to work in the physical world as a human physical body works. It will differ from a physical body in this respect only, that it can be in two, three, nay even in a hundred, a thousand places at the same time. This is possible only for an etheric, not for a physical form.

What will be accomplished in humanity through this further advance is that the two poles of which I have spoken, the intellectual and the moral, will more and more become one; they will merge into unity. This will come about because in the course of the next millennia men will become aware of the presence of the Etheric Christ in the world; more and more they will be influenced in waking life too by the direct working of the Good from the spiritual world. Whereas at the present time the will is asleep by day, and man is only able to influence it indirectly through thought, in the course of the next millennia, through the power which from our time onwards is working in us under the aegis of Christ, it will come about that the deeds of men in waking consciousness too can be directly productive of Good.
The dream of Socrates, that virtue can be taught, will come true; more and more it will be possible on Earth not only for the intellect to be stimulated and energized by this teaching but for moral impulses to be spread abroad. Schopenhauer said “To preach morality is easy; to establish it is very difficult.” Why is this? Because no morality has yet been spread by preaching. It is quite possible to recognize moral principles and yet not abide by them. For most people the Pauline saying holds good, that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This will change, because the moral fire streaming from the figure of Christ will intensify recognition of the need for moral impulses. Man will transform the Earth by feeling with ever-increasing strength that morality is an essential part of it. In the future, to be immoral will be possible only for individuals who are goaded in this direction, who are possessed by evil demons, by Ahrimanic, Asuric Powers — and moreover aspire to be so.
In time to come there will be on Earth a sufficient number of individuals who teach morality and at the same time sustain its principles; but there will also be those who by their own free decision surrender themselves to the evil Powers and thus enable an excess of evil to be pitted against a good humanity. Nobody will be forced to do this; it will lie in the free will of each individual.
Then will come the epoch when the Earth passes into conditions of which, as in so much else, Oriental Occultism and Mysticism alone give some idea. The moral atmosphere will by then have gathered strength. For many thousands of years Oriental Mysticism has spoken of this epoch, and since the coming of Gautama Buddha it has spoken with special emphasis about that future condition when the Earth will be bathed in a “moral-ether-atmosphere.” Ever since the time of the ancient Rishis it was the great hope of Oriental Mysticism that this moral impulse would come to the Earth from Vishva-Karman or, as Zarathustra proclaimed, from Ahura Mazdao. Thus Oriental Mysticism foresaw that this moral impulse, this moral atmosphere, would come to the Earth from the Being we call the Christ. And it was upon Him, upon Christ, that the hopes of Oriental Mysticism were set.
Oriental Mysticism was able to picture the consequences of that event but not the actual form it would take. The mind could picture that within a period of 5,000 years after the great Buddha achieved Enlightenment, pure Akashic forms, bathed in fire, lit by the Sun, would appear in the wake of One beyond the ken of Oriental Mysticism. A wonderful picture in very truth: that something would happen to make it possible for the Sons of Fire and of Light to move about the Earth, not in physical embodiment but as pure Akashic forms within the Earth's moral atmosphere. But then, so it was said, in 5,000 years after Gautama Buddha's Enlightenment, the Teacher will also be there to make known to men what is the nature of these wonderful forms of pure Fire and Light. This teacher — the Maitreya Buddha — will appear 3,000 years after our present era and will speak of the Christ Impulse.
Thus Oriental Mysticism unites with the Christian knowledge of the West to form a wonderfully beautiful unity. It is also disclosed that he who will appear three thousand years after our era as the Maitreya Buddha will have incarnated again and again on the Earth as a Bodhisattva, as the successor of Gautama Buddha. One of his incarnations was that of Jeshu ben Pandira, who lived a hundred years before the Christian era. The being who incarnated in Jeshu ben Pandira is he who will one day become the Maitreya Buddha, and who from century to century returns ever and again in a body of flesh, not yet as Buddha, but as Bodhisattva. Even now there proceeds from him who later on will be the Maitreya Buddha the most significant teachings concerning the Christ Being and the Sons of Fire — the Agnishvattas — of Indian Mysticism.
The indications by which the Being who is to become the Maitreya Buddha can be recognized are common to all genuine Eastern mysticism and to Christian gnosis. The Maitreya Buddha, who in contrast to the Sons of Fire will appear in a physical body as Bodhisattva, can be recognized by the fact that in the first instance his early development gives no intimation of the nature of the individuality within him. Only those possessed of understanding will recognize the presence of a Bodhisattva in such a human being between the ages of thirty and thirty-three, and not before. Something akin to a change of personality then takes place. The Maitreya Buddha will reveal his identity to humanity in the thirty-third year of his life. As Christ Jesus began His mission in His thirtieth year, so do the Bodhisattvas, who will continue to proclaim the Christ Impulse, reveal themselves — in the thirty-third year of their lives.

And the Maitreya Buddha himself, as transformed Bodhisattva, speaking in powerful words of which no adequate idea can be given at the present time, will proclaim the great secrets of existence. He will speak in a language that has first be created, for no human being today could formulate words such as those in which the Maitreya Buddha will address humanity. The reason why men cannot be addressed in this way at the present time is that the physical instrument for this form of speech does not yet exist. The teachings of the Enlightened One will not stream into men as teachings only, but will pour moral impulses into their souls. Words such as will then be spoken cannot yet be uttered by a physical larynx; in our time they can be present only in the spiritual worlds.
Anthroposophy is the preparation for everything that the future holds in store. Those who take the process of man's evolution seriously resolve not to allow the soul's development to come to a standstill but to ensure that this development will eventually enable the spiritual part of the Earth to become free, leaving the grosser part to fall away like a corpse — for men could frustrate the whole process. Those who desire evolution to succeed must acquire understanding of the life of the spirit through what we today call Anthroposophy. The cultivation of Anthroposophy thus becomes a duty; knowledge becomes something that we actually feel, something towards which we have responsibility. When we are inwardly aware of this responsibility and have this resolve, when the mysteries of the world arouse in us the wish to become Anthroposophists, then our feeling is true and right. But Anthroposophy must not be something that merely satisfies our curiosity; it must rather be something without which we cannot live. Only then are our feelings what they ought to be, only then do we live as building stones in that great work of construction which must be carried out in human souls and can embrace all mankind.
Anthroposophy is a revelation of world-happenings which will confront the men of the future, will confront our own souls whether still in the physical body or in the life between death and a new birth. The coming changes will affect us, no matter whether we are still living in the physical body or whether it has been laid aside. Understanding of these events must however be acquired during life in the physical body if they are to take effect after death. To those who acquire some understanding of the Christ while they are still living in the physical body, it will make no difference, when the moment comes for vision of the Christ, whether or not they have already passed through the gate of death. But if those who now reject any understanding of the Christ have already passed through the gate of death when this moment arrives, they must wait until their next incarnation, for such understanding cannot be acquired between death and rebirth. Once the foundation has been acquired, however, it endures, and then Christ becomes visible also during the period between death and the new birth.
And so Anthroposophy is not only something we learn for our physical life but is of essential value when we have laid aside the physical body at death.
This is what I wished to impart to you today as a help in answering many questions. Self-knowledge is difficult because man is such a complex being. The reason for this complexity is that he is connected with all the higher Worlds and Beings. We have within us shadow-images of the great Universe and all the members of our constitution — the physical, etheric, and astral bodies, and the ego — are worlds for Divine Beings. Our physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego form one world; the other is the higher World, the Heaven world. Divine-spiritual Worlds are the bodily members of the Beings of the higher spheres of cosmic existence.
Man is the complex being he is because he is a mirror-image of the spiritual world. Realization of this should make him conscious of his intrinsic worth. But from the knowledge that although we are reflected images of the spiritual world we nevertheless fall far short of what we ought to be — from this knowledge we also acquire, as well as consciousness of our worth as human beings, the right attitude of modesty and humility towards the Macrocosm and its Gods.

Rudolf Steiner's Answers to Questions at the End of the Lecture
Question: How are the words used by St. Paul, “to speak in tongues” (1 Cor. 12), to be understood?
Answer: In exceptional human beings it can happen that not only is the phenomenon of speaking present in the waking state, but that something otherwise present only in sleep-consciousness flows into this speaking. This is the phenomenon to which St. Paul refers. Goethe refers to it in the same sense; he has written two very interesting treatises on the subject.

Question: How are Christ's words of consolation received and experienced?
Answer: Men will feel these words of consolation as though arising in their own hearts. The experience may also seem like physical hearing.

Question: What is the relation of chemical forces and substances to the spiritual world?
Answer: There are in the world a number of substances which can combine with or separate from each other. What we call chemical action is projected into the physical world from the world of Devachan — the realm of the Harmony of the Spheres. In the combination of two substances according to their atomic weights, we have a reflection of two tones of the Harmony of the Spheres. The chemical affinity between two substances in the physical world is like a reflection from the realm of the Harmony of the Spheres. The numerical ratios in chemistry are an expression of the numerical ratios of the Harmony of the Spheres, which has become dumb and silent owing to the densification of matter. If one were able to etherealize material substance and to perceive in the atomic numbers the inner formative principle thereof, he would be hearing the Harmony of the Spheres.
We have the physical world, the astral world, the Lower Devachan, and the Higher Devachan. If the body is thrust down lower even than the physical world, it comes into the sub-physical world, the lower astral world, the lower or evil Lower Devachan, and the lower or evil Higher Devachan.

The evil astral world is the province of Lucifer, the evil Lower Devachan the province of Ahriman, and the evil Higher Devachan the province of the Asuras.

When chemical action is driven down beneath the physical plane — into the evil Devachanic world — magnetism arises.

When light is thrust down into the sub-material — that is to say, a stage deeper than the material world — electricity arises.

If what lives in the Harmony of the Spheres is thrust down farther still, into the province of the Asuras, an even more terrible force — which it will not be possible to keep hidden very much longer — is generated. It can only be hoped that when this force comes to be known — a force we must conceive as being far, far stronger than the most violent electrical discharge — it can only be hoped that before some discoverer gives this force into the hands of humankind, men will no longer have anything unmoral left in them.

Question: What is electricity?
Answer: Electricity is light in the sub-material state. Light is there compressed to the utmost degree. An inward quality too must be ascribed to light; light is itself at every point in space. Warmth will expand in the three dimensions of space. In light there is a fourth; it is of fourfold extension — it has the quality of inwardness as a fourth dimension.

Question: What happens to the Earth's corpse?

Answer: As the residue of the Moon-evolution we have our present moon which circles around the Earth. Similarly there will be a residue of the Earth which will circle around Jupiter. Then these residues will gradually dissolve into the universal ether. On Venus there will no longer be any residue. Venus will manifest, to begin with, as pure Warmth, then it will become Light, and then pass over into the spiritual world. The residue left behind by the Earth will be like a corpse. This is a path along which man must not accompany the Earth, for he would thereby be exposed to dreadful torments. But there are Beings who accompany this corpse, since they themselves will by that means develop to a higher stage.
Reflected as sub-physical world:

Astral World: the province of Lucifer
Lower Devachan: the province of Ahriman

Higher Devachan: the province of the Asuras

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Christ, the Holy Bodhisattva Spirit, and Manichaeism

The East in the Light of the West. Lecture 9 of 9

Rudolf Steiner, August 31, 1909:

The facts stated at the end of the last lecture cannot but be somewhat unintelligible to persons who encounter them for the first time, for they belong to the secrets of numbers. And the secrets of numbers are those which are in a comparative sense the most difficult to master.

It has been stated that there is a certain relation between the numbers seven and twelve, and that this relation has something to do with time and space. Now this profound mystery can, gradually, be understood by everybody, but it must necessarily remain a mere statement to the kind of cognition which today is alone recognized as such. It has to be elucidated, explained. An understanding of the ‘machinery’ of the world may be reached, as I have already indicated, by distinguishing between conditions which are essentially those of space and conditions which belong essentially to time. We understand the world which surrounds us primarily in terms of space and time; but if we do not confine ourselves to speaking of time and space in an abstract sense and endeavor to understand how conditions are regulated in time and how the different beings in space are related to each other, we find a thread leading on the one side through the complicated relations of time, and on the other through the complex conditions of space.

In the first place we observe the course of world events in the light of spiritual science. We look back at earlier incarnations of man, of races and civilizations, as well as of the Earth itself. We build up within ourselves an idea of what will happen in the future, i.e. in time. And we shall always see our way if we judge of evolution in time from a framework built up by means of the number seven. We must not build and speculate and attribute all kinds of meanings to the number seven; we must only pursue the facts from the point of view of the number seven. In the first place this number seven is only a means of facilitating our task.

Take, for instance, a man whose spiritual vision is so far opened that he can examine data of the Akashic Records of the past. He may use the number seven as a guide and realize that what runs its course in time is built up on the basis of the number seven; that which repeats itself in various forms can very well be analyzed by using the number seven as a foundation and proceeding from this as a basis.

In this sense it is right to say that since the Earth goes through various embodiments we have to look for its seven incarnations; Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan. Because human civilizations pass through seven incarnations we must seek their connections by once more using the number seven as a basis. Let us for instance consider the civilizations in post-Atlantean times. The old Indian is the first, the second is the old Persian, the third the Chaldaic-Egyptian, the fourth the Graeco-Latin, the fifth our own, and we are expecting two more, the sixth and seventh, to succeed our own.

We can also find our way in the study of the karma of an individual by trying to look at his three former incarnations. By starting with the incarnation of a man of the present day and looking back at his three former incarnations it is possible to draw certain conclusions concerning his next three incarnations. The three former and the present incarnation plus the three following make seven again. Seven is a clue for everything that happens in time.

On the other hand the number twelve is a clue for all things that co-exist in space. Science, which at the same time was wisdom, was always conscious of this. It said: ‘It is possible to find the right way by connecting the spatial relationship of everything that occurs upon the Earth with twelve permanent points in space — the twelve signs of the Zodiac in the cosmos.’ These are the twelve basic points with which everything in space is connected. This declaration was not an arbitrary yield of human thinking; but the power of thought in those early times had learned from reality and so ascertained the fact that space was best understood when it was divided into twelve constituent parts, thus making the number twelve a clue for all spatial relations. But where the question of changes came in, that is to say in the time element, the seven planets were given as a clue by a still older science. Seven is here the clue.

Now how does this apply to the evolution of human life? We have said that up to the point of time in human evolution characterized by the advent of the Christ-impulse, it is a fact that when a man looked into his inner being, when he sought the way to the world of the Gods through the veil of his inner being, he entered — to use a collective name — the Luciferic world. This too was the path upon which, in those olden times, man sought for wisdom, upon which he sought to acquire a higher knowledge concerning the world than he could find behind the covering of the external sense world. His quest consisted in sinking down into his inner world; for in this world the intuitions and inspirations of moral and ethical life originated, even as the intuitions of conscience arose there. And of course all other intuitions and inspirations which pertain to the moral nature, to that which belongs to the soul, arose out of that soul world.

Hence those lofty individualities who were the leaders of mankind in ancient times had of necessity first to contact the inner life of a man if they wanted to give instruction upon that which belongs to the highest in humanity. The Holy Rishis had to contact the soul life of man, his inner being, that is, as did all the great teachers of humanity in older civilizations. But the soul life of man belongs to time; it runs its course in time. That which surrounds us externally groups itself in space; that which runs its course inwardly, groups itself in time. Hence everything which is to speak to the inner being of man must use the clue of the number seven. How can we best understand a being with a message for the inner life of man? How, for instance, can we best understand those beings with their fundamentally individual characteristics whom we call the Holy Rishis? By relating them to soul life which runs its course in time.

Hence in those ancient epochs wherein the great sages spoke, one question above all was asked: ‘Whence have they descended?’ Just as we might ask a son ‘Who are your father and mother?’ — so ancestry, the time element, was then the subject of inquiry. On meeting a wise man the primary concern was: ‘Whence does he come?’ Who was the being who preceded him? What is his descent? Whose son is he? Therefore in speaking about the Luciferic world, the number seven had to be taken as basic, and the interest was whose child it was who was speaking to the human soul. We speak of the children of Lucifer in this sense when we speak of those who in olden times taught of the spiritual world lying hidden behind the veil of soul life, behind that which belongs to time.

But the Christ comes under a different category altogether. The Christ did not descend to Earth by the path of time. The Christ came to the Earth at a certain point of time, but from outside, from space. Zarathustra saw Him when he directed his gaze to the Sun, and spoke of Him as Ahura Mazdao. To the spiritual vision of man in space Ahura Mazdao came nearer and nearer until He descended and became Man. Here therefore the interest lies in the approach through space, not in the time sequence. The approach through space, this advent of the Christ out of the infinitude of space down to our Earth, has an eternal and not a temporary value. With this is connected the fact that Christ's work upon Earth is not carried on only under the conditions of time. He does not bring to the Earth anything corresponding to the relationships between father and child, or mother and child, which exist under time conditions, but He brings into the world something which goes on side by side, which co-exists. Brothers live side by side, they co-exist. Parents, children and grandchildren live after one another in time, and the conditions of time express their individual relation to each other. But the Christ as the Spirit of Space brings a spatial element into the civilization of the Earth. What Christ brings is the co-existence of men in space, a condition of increasing community of soul regardless of time conditions.

The mission of the Earth planet in our cosmic system is to bring love into the world. In olden days the task of the Earth was to bring in love with the help of time. Inasmuch as through the conditions of ancestry and descent the blood poured itself from generation to generation, from father to child and grandchildren, those who were connected through time were ipso facto those who loved each other. Family connections, blood relationships, the descending stream of blood through the generations following each other in time, provided the foundation of love in the olden times. And the cases where love took on more of a moral character were also rooted in the conditions of time. Men loved their ancestors, those who had preceded them in time.

Through Christ there came the love of soul to soul, so that that which is side by side, which co-exists in space, enters a relationship which was at first represented by brothers and sisters living side by side and at the same time — the relationship of brother love which one human soul is intended to bear toward another in space. Here the condition of co-existent life in space begins to acquire its special significance.

Hence in the olden times it was natural to speak of those who were connected by the rule of the number seven: the seven Rishis, and the seven Sages. But Christ is surrounded by twelve Apostles, in whom we see the prototypes of man living side by side, co-existing in space. And this love, which independently of successive ages is to encompass all that exists side by side in space, will enter social life on Earth through the Christ principle. To love what is around us with brother love, that is to follow Christ. If, therefore, we speak in the olden times of the children of Lucifer, the Christ principle is the impulse which causes us to say: ‘Christ is the firstborn of many brethren.’ And the brotherhood relationship to Christ, the feeling oneself drawn not as to a father but as to a brother, whom one loves as an elder brother, but nevertheless as a brother, is the fundamental relationship which men have learned to assume in consequence of the descent of the Christ principle upon the Earth.

These of course are only instances which illustrate and make clear, although they do not prove, the relation between the numbers seven and twelve. The more, therefore, that the Christ influence shines down into the world, the more allusion is made to the nature and reality of things by grouping them in twelves, as for instance the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve Apostles, and so on. In this connection the number twelve has a mystical and secret meaning as regards the evolution of the Earth.

This may be termed the external aspect, the outer view, of the great change which took place in the Earth evolution through the infusion of the Christ principle. We might speak at great length about the relation of the number seven to the number twelve and have to leave much that concerns the deep mysteries of our universe still incomprehensible. If what has been said in elucidation of the numbers seven and twelve be taken as clues to the relationships existing in time and in space, we shall be able to penetrate more and more deeply into the secrets of the universe. But for all of us this relation between the numbers seven and twelve should, in the first place, be one which apart from everything else indicates how profoundly momentous the Christ event was for the world, and how necessary it is thenceforth to seek another numerical clue if we are to find our way in it.

But there is also an inner relationship of space and time which I can only indicate here in bare outline with which the numbers twelve and seven have something to do. And my illustration shall be made as was usual in the mysteries when the relations of twelve to seven in the cosmos was being portrayed. It has been said that if we do not consider universal space in an abstract sense, but really relate Earth conditions to universal space, we must refer those Earth conditions to the circle described by the twelve essential points of the Zodiac, viz. Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. These twelve points of the Zodiac were not alone the real and veritable world symbols for the very oldest divine spiritual beings, but the symbols themselves were thought to correspond, in a certain sense, with reality. Even when the Earth was embodied as old Saturn, the forces issuing from these twelve directions were at work upon that ancient planet; so they were later on the old Sun, and on the old Moon, and are now and will continue to be in the future.

Therefore they have as it were the nature of permanence, they are far more sublime than that which arises and passes away within our Earth existence. That which is symbolized by the twelve signs of the Zodiac is infinitely higher than that which is transformed in the evolutionary course of our planet from old Saturn to old Sun and from that to old Moon and so on. Planetary existence arises and passes away, but the Zodiac is ever there. What is symbolized by the points of the Zodiac is more sublime than what upon our Earth plays its part as the opposition between good and evil.

In an early lecture I called your attention to the fact that on penetrating into the astral realm we enter a world of change — where something which from one point of view works for good may from another point of view appear as evil. These differences between good and evil have their meaning in evolution and seven is the key number. That which is the symbol of Gods in the twelve points in space, in the twelve points of permanence, is above good and evil. Out in space we have to seek for the symbols of those divine-spiritual beings which, considered in themselves and without reference to their effects upon our earthly sphere, are beyond the differences between good and evil.

But now let us conceive that which becomes our Earth beginning to be active. That can only happen by a division as it were coming to pass in the permanent deities and that which takes place entering into a different relation to these gods of permanence, who are divided into two spheres, into a sphere of good and a sphere of evil. In themselves neither is good nor evil; but inasmuch as it influences the evolution of the Earth it is sometimes good, sometimes evil; so that all that belongs to the one may be described as the sphere of goodness, and that which belongs to the other, as the sphere of evil.

In order to obtain the correct conception we must consider the civilizations of the post-Atlantean era, which had gone through the old Indian, the old Persian, the Chaldaic-Egyptian civilizations, and which will also go through the civilizations which are to follow these, up to the next great catastrophe and beyond it. If we inquire where is there a truer image of what runs through the whole evolution of mankind than can be found in sense perception or in human intellect, we must turn to occult science and ask what is that which is to be discovered in the spiritual world, and which moves more or less as a continuous spiritual stream through all these seven civilizations. In the wisdom of the East a word has been formed for that which runs through all these civilizations; it is — if one considers its real nature — not an abstraction, but something concrete — it is a Being. And if we wish to describe this Being more intimately, of whom in reality all other beings — whether the seven holy Rishis or even higher beings who do not descend into physical incarnation — are the messengers, we may designate it by a name which has rightly been used by the East. Every revelation and all the wisdom in the world can be traced back finally to this one source, the source of primeval wisdom, under the dominion of a Being who evolves on through each and all the above-named civilizations of the post-Atlantean era, who appears in each epoch in one form or another, but who is always One Being, the bearer of the wisdom which has appeared in the most varied guises.

When I described in the last lecture how the holy Rishis breathed in this wisdom and took it in concretely, this soul of the light which was spread abroad externally and was breathed in as light-wisdom by the holy Rishis was the outflowing of that sublime — I cannot go into this fully here — we must understand that what only belongs in minor degree to the sphere of goodness must also be called good. As soon as that which in the spiritual world (which as I have said is permanent, eternal, having nothing to do with time) passes into time, it divides itself into good and evil. Of the twelve points of permanence there remain belonging to the good, the five actually within the sphere of good and the two on the border, making seven. Therefore we speak of seven as remaining over from the twelve. When we wish to speak of that which is good and which acts as our guide in time, we must speak of seven wise men, of seven Rishis, for this corresponds to reality. Hence also comes the conception that seven signs of the Zodiac belong to the world of light, to the upper world, and that the lower five beginning with Scorpio belong to the world of darkness.

This is only a mere indication serving to show that space, when it forsakes its sphere of eternity and takes into itself created things which run their course in time, is divided into good and evil; and in bringing out the good, seven is raised out of the twelve; seven then becomes the true number for temporal conditions. For truths which belong to time, we must take the number seven as our clue; the remainder, the number five, would lead us into error. That is the inner meaning of these things.

Do not at the moment imagine that this is very difficult to understand, but realize rather that the world is very profound and that there must be things whose meaning is very hard to fathom.

Christ came into the world to sit down even with publicans and sinners. He came in order to take up that which would otherwise have had to be cast out of the world process. In the story of Oedipus the same thing had to be cast out that in the Christ-life was gathered up as a leaven, as was corroborated by the story of Judas. Just as new bread must be leavened with a small portion of the old, if it is to rise and spread, so the new world must take in a leaven made of something which came out of evil. Hence Judas, who had been cast out from every place, who had even made himself impossible at the court of Pilate, could be admitted where the Christ was working, He Who came to heal the world in such a way that the seven could be changed into the twelve and that which had been represented by the number seven might henceforth be represented by the number twelve. The number twelve is in the first instance represented to us by the twelve brothers of Christ, by the twelve disciples.

This must serve as a slight indication of the profound change that thus came into our whole Earth evolution. It is possible to elucidate the significance of the Christ-principle, and of its entrance into the evolution of the Earth, from many different points of view, and what has just been touched upon is one of them.

Now let us once more place before our souls that which is a consequence of all that has gone before. It is felt and recognized by spiritual science wherever it is truly cultivated that with Christ something very special entered into the evolution of the Earth. Wherever true spiritual science is studied, it is felt and recognized that there is one thing which runs through all the Beings of whom we are now speaking. And what we then described as their wisdom had poured down in other ages (for instance, in that quite different conception which was expressed in the old Persian epoch) from the same one Being, who is the great teacher of all civilizations. The Being who was the teacher of the holy Rishis, of Zarathustra, of Hermes — the Being whom we may designate as the Great Teacher, who in the different ages manifests Himself in the most various ways — the Being who, as is natural, at first remains entirely concealed from external vision — is designated, by means of an expression borrowed from the East, as the totality of the Bodhisattvas. The Christian conception would designate it the Holy Spirit.

The Bodhisattva is a Being who passes through all civilizations, who can manifest Himself to mankind in various ways. Such is the Spirit of the Bodhisattvas. All the ages have looked up to the Bodhisattvas. The holy Rishis, Zarathustra, Hermes, and Moses looked up to them — it matters not how they named the Being in whom they perceived the embodiment of the Bodhisattva principle. The Bodhisattva can be given this one name, ‘the Great Teacher,’ and to him those individuals looked who wished to receive and could receive the teachings of the post-Atlantean era.

This Bodhisattva Spirit of the post-Atlantean era has taken human form many times, but one such interests us in particular. A Bodhisattva took on that radiant human form of the Being of Gautama Buddha — it does not for the moment concern us in what other fashion he was also manifest. And it signified an advance of this Bodhisattva when it was no longer necessary for him to remain in the upper spiritual realms, when his development in the spiritual worlds was such that he could master his physical corporeality to the extent of becoming man as Buddha. A Bodhisattva advancing in human existence is Buddha. The Buddha is one of the human incarnations of the all-embracing Wisdom figures underlying the evolution of the Earth. In the Buddha we have the incarnation of that Great Teacher who may be called the essence of wisdom itself. The Buddha is the Bodhisattva who has become an Earth being.

And it is unnecessary to believe that a Bodhisattva incarnated in only the Buddha; for one of the Bodhisattvas has incarnated either wholly or in part in other human personalities. Such incarnations are not all similar; it must be quite clear that just as a Bodhisattva lived in the etheric body of Gautama Buddha, so such a one also lived in the members of other human individuals; and because the being of that Bodhisattva who inherited the astral body of Zarathustra streamed into the members of other individualities, for instance Hermes, we may — but only if we understand the matter in this sense — call other individualities who also are great teachers an incarnation of a Bodhisattva. It is permissible to speak of ever-recurring incarnations of the Bodhisattva, but we must understand that behind all the men in whom the incarnation took place the Bodhisattva stood as a part of that Being who is the personified All-Wisdom of our world.

In this sense, then, we gaze upon the Wisdom-element which in olden times was imparted to mankind from the Luciferic worlds. When we gaze upon this we are looking at the Bodhisattvas.

Now, in post-Atlantean evolution there is a Being who is fundamentally different from a Bodhisattva and not to be confused with the latter, although this Being of Whom we are here speaking was once incarnate in a human individuality who at the same time received the inpouring of the Bodhisattva-Buddha being. Because a man once lived in whom the Christ incarnated and because at the same time the radiations of the Bodhisattva entered this human individuality, we must not take the essential thing in this incarnation to be the embodiment of the Bodhisattva in the personality who was Jesus of Nazareth. During the last three years the Christ principle was predominant, and the Christ principle and the Bodhisattva principle are fundamentally different.

How can we instance this difference? It is exceedingly important for us to know whereby the Christ, Who was once incarnate in a human body — only once, never before and never after — could so incarnate. Since that time He can be reached by the path which leads to the inner essence of the human soul; before then He was accessible if the gaze, as was the case with Zarathustra, was directed outward. Wherein, then, does the difference consist between the Christ, between that Being to whom we must ascribe such a central position, and a Bodhisattva?

It consists in this, that the Bodhisattva is the Great Teacher, the incarnation of wisdom, which pervades all the civilizations, which incarnates in many different ways; but the Christ is not only a teacher — that is the essential point — Christ is not only a teacher of men. He is a Being whom we can best understand if we expand to the sphere where in dazzling spiritual heights we can find Him as an Object of Initiation and where we may compare Him with other spiritual beings. There are regions of spiritual life where, freed of all the dust of Earth, we may find the sublime Bodhisattva Being in his spiritual essence and where we may find the Christ stripped of all that He became on the Earth or in its vicinity. There we find the origin of humanity, the source whence all life proceeds: the primeval, spiritual source. We find not only one Bodhisattva, but a series of Bodhisattvas.

Even as there is a Bodhisattva who underlies our seven successive civilizations, so there was a Bodhisattva underlying the Atlantean civilizations, and so on. We find in these spiritual heights a series of Bodhisattvas, who were, for their age, the great teachers and instructors not only of mankind but also of those beings who do not descend into the region of physical life. We find them there as the great teachers; there they gather that which they are to teach — and in their midst is One Being Who is great not only because He teaches, and that is the Christ. He is not alone great because He teaches; rather is He a Being Who works upon the Bodhisattvas who surround Him by manifesting Himself to them. He is seen by the Bodhisattvas and He reveals His Glory to them. The Bodhisattvas are what they are through being great teachers; the Christ is to the world what He is through His own Being, through His own Essence. He needs only to be seen, and the manifestation of His own Being needs only to be reflected in His surroundings, for the teachings to spring forth. He is not only a Teacher — He is Life, a Life that pours itself into the other beings, who then become teachers.

The Bodhisattvas are mighty teachers because from their spiritual heights they enjoy the bliss of being able to see Christ. And when in the course of the evolution of our Earth we find incarnations of the Bodhisattvas, we speak of great teachers of mankind, because the Bodhisattva principle is the most essential in them. The Christ does not only teach; we learn of Christ in order to understand Him, in order to recognize what He is. Christ is more an object than a subject of learning. The difference between Christ and the Bodhisattvas is that He is to the world what He is because the world is blessed by the sight of Him. The Bodhisattvas are to the world what they are because they are great teachers.

Therefore if we wish to look up to the living Being, the life-source, of our Earth, we must look at the incarnation in which was embodied not a Bodhisattva (in which this fact was the most important feature of the incarnation) but a Being who did not Himself leave any teaching behind, but who gathered around Him those who spread Gospels and teachings concerning Him over the whole world. The point of prime importance is that no document exists written by Christ Himself, but that teachers surround Him and speak about Him, so that He is the object and not the subject of the teaching. It is a remarkable circumstance and one of utmost importance with reference to the Christ event that nothing has been received from Him Himself, but that others have written about His Being.

It is therefore not to be wondered at that we are told we can find all the teachings of Christ in other faiths also; for Christ is in nowise merely a teacher. He is a Being who desires to be understood as a Being; He does not wish to sink into us only through His teachings, but through His life. We may gather together all the teachings in the world that are accessible to us, and we shall even then not have sufficient to enable us to understand the Christ. If men of the present day cannot turn directly to the Bodhisattvas, and with the spiritual eyes of the Bodhisattvas look up to Christ, then they must learn from these Bodhisattvas what can eventually make Christ comprehensible.

If therefore we wish not only to become participant in Christ, but to understand Him, we must not only look at what Christ has done for us, but we must learn of all the teachers of West and of East, and we must account it a holy thing to become familiar with the teachings of the whole known world; we must devote ourselves to the sacred task of understanding the Christ in His completeness by means of the highest teaching.

Now, the mysteries always make appropriate preparation for the corresponding duty of mankind. Every age has its special task; and every age has to receive the truth in the particular form needed by that epoch. Truth in its present form could not have been given to the old Indian, or to the old Persian. The truth had to be given to them in the form suitable to their capacities of perception. Therefore in the age which owing to its other characteristics was best suited to receive the Christ upon Earth — that is to say, the fourth or Graeco-Latin epoch — the truth about Christ and about the world connected with Him was brought to mankind in a form adapted for humanity of that time.

To believe that in the age following directly on the Christ-manifestation the whole truth about the Christ was already known is to be in complete ignorance concerning the progress of the human race. He who believes only the teaching of the first centuries after the Christ event, who considers that which was written and recorded then to be the only true Christian teaching, knows nothing of human progress; he does not know that the greatest teacher of the first Christian centuries could tell him no more about Christ than the people of that time were able to assimilate. And because the men of the first Christian centuries were preeminently such as had descended the deepest into the physical world, their understanding permitted them to take in comparatively little of the highest teaching concerning Christ. The majority of the early Christians could understand but little about the Christ Being.

We know that in old Indian times men possessed a high degree of clairvoyance in consequence of the relation of the etheric body to the other members; but the time had not then come for this vision to perceive the Christ as anything other than Vishva-karman — a Spirit in distant regions beyond the sense-world. In the time of the old Persian civilization it was first possible dimly to sense the Christ behind the physical Sun. And so it went on. It was possible for Moses to perceive the Christ, as Jehovah, in thunder and lightning that is quite near the Earth. And in the person of Jesus of Nazareth the Christ was seen incarnated as man. This is the manner of human progress; in old India wisdom was absorbed through the etheric body, in the old Persian period through the astral body, in the Chaldaic-Egyptian period through the sentient soul, in the Graeco-Latin period through that which we call the intellectual soul. The intellectual soul is bound to the world of sense. Therefore it lost the vision of that which extends far, far beyond the sense-world.

Accordingly in the first post-Christian centuries little more of existence was seen than that which lies between birth and death, and that which directly follows as the nearest spiritual region. Nothing was known of that which passes through many incarnations. This was due to the condition of human understanding. Only one part of the life cycle could be made intelligible: man's life on Earth, and the fragment of spiritual life which follows it. That, therefore, is what we find described for the mass of the people.

But that was not to continue. The outlook of man had to be prepared for an excursion beyond this part of his understanding. Preparation had to be made for a gradual revival of the all-embracing wisdom which man was able to enjoy in the time of Hermes, of Moses, of Zarathustra, and of the old Rishis, as well as for offering us the possibility of an ever increasing understanding of Christ. Christ had to come into the world just at a time when the means of understanding were most contracted. The way had to be opened for the revival of the ancient wisdom during the ages to come and for placing it gradually in the service of the understanding of Christ.

This could only be accomplished by the creation of Mystery wisdom. Those men who came over into and beyond Europe from old Atlantis brought with them great wisdom. In old Atlantis the majority of the people were instinctively clairvoyant; they could see into spiritual realms. This clairvoyance could not develop further; and withdrew perforce into separate personalities in the West. It was guided there by a Being who once upon a time lived in deepest concealment, withdrawn behind those who had already forsaken the world and who were pupils of the great initiates. This Being had remained behind in order to preserve for later ages what was brought over from old Atlantis. Among the great initiates who had founded mystery places in the West for the preservation of the old Atlantean wisdom, a wisdom that entered deeply into all the secrets of the physical body, was the great Skythianos, as he was called in the Middle Ages. And anyone who knows the nature of the European mysteries knows that Skythianos is the name given to one of the greatest initiates of the Earth.

But there also lived in the world for a long, long time the Being which in a spiritual sense we may describe as the Bodhisattva. This Bodhisattva was the same Being who after completing its task in the West was incarnated in Gautama Buddha about six hundred years before our era. This exalted Being, who as Teacher had by that time withdrawn more toward the East, was a second great Teacher, a second great Keeper of the Seal of the wisdom of mankind. There was also a third individuality destined to greatness of whom we have spoken in various lectures. [We are here speaking of these Beings in the spirit in which they were understood by older conceptions of the world, justified today from the standpoint of spiritual science.] It is he who was the teacher of the old Persians: the great Zarathustra. The three great spiritual Beings and individualities known to us under the names of Zarathustra, Gautama Buddha, and Skythianos are, as it were, incarnations of Bodhisattvas. That which lived in them was not the Christ.

Mankind had now to be given time to experience in itself the advent of Christ, Who had formerly made Himself manifest to Moses upon Mount Sinai; Jehovah was the same Being as Christ, though wearing another form. Time had to be allowed to mankind in which to prepare to receive the Christ. That occurred in the epoch in which the comprehension for such things reached the nadir. But preparation had to be made, in order that understanding and wisdom should again grow greater and greater; and this was part of Christ's mission on Earth.

There is a fourth individuality named in history behind whom, for those who have the proper comprehension, much lies hidden — an individuality still higher and more powerful than Skythianos, than Buddha, or than Zarathustra. This individuality is Manes, and those who see more in Manichaeism than is usually the case know him to be a very high messenger of Christ. It is said that a few centuries after Christ had lived on the Earth there was held one of the greatest assemblies of the spiritual world connected with the Earth that ever took place, and that there Manes gathered round him three mighty personalities of the fourth century after Christ. In this figurative description a most significant fact in connection with spiritual development is expressed. Manes called these persons together to consult with them as to the means of reintroducing the wisdom that had lived throughout the changing times of the post-Atlantean age and of causing it to unfold more and more gloriously in the future.

Who were the personalities brought together by Manes in that memorable assembly? (It should be remembered that such an event can only be witnessed by spiritual sight.) He called together the personality in whom Skythianos lived at that time, and also the physical reflection of the Buddha who had then appeared again, and the erstwhile Zarathustra who was wearing a physical body at that time. Around Manes was this council, himself in the center and around him Skythianos, Buddha, and Zarathustra. And in that council a plan was agreed upon for causing all the wisdom of the Bodhisattvas of the post-Atlantean time to flow more and more strongly into the future of mankind; and the plan of the future evolution of the civilizations of the Earth then decided upon was adhered to and carried over into the European mysteries of the Rose Cross. These particular mysteries have always been connected with the individualities of Skythianos, of Buddha, and of Zarathustra. They were the teachers in the schools of the Rose Cross; teachers who gave their wisdom to the Earth as a gift, in order that through it the Christ Being might be understood.

Hence in all spiritual Rosicrucian schools the deepest reverence is paid to these old initiates who preserved the primeval wisdom of Atlantis; to the reincarnated Skythianos, in whom was seen the great and honored Bodhisattva of the West; to the temporarily incarnated reflection of the Buddha, who also was honored as one of the Bodhisattvas; and finally to Zarathustra, the reincarnated Zarathustra. These were looked up to as the great Teachers of the European Initiates. Such presentations must not be taken in the sense of external history, although they elucidate the historical course of events better than any external description could do.

Let me illustrate this statement by saying that there is hardly to be found a single country in the Middle Ages in which a certain legend was not everywhere current, though at that time no one in Europe knew anything of Gautama Buddha, and the tradition of Gautama Buddha had been completely lost. Yet the following story was related (it is to be found in many books of the Middle Ages and is one of the widely disseminated stories of that period): Once upon a time there was a King in India to whom a son was born called Josaphat. Extraordinary things were prophesied about this child when he was born. His father therefore especially guarded him; he was only to know what was most precious, he was to dwell in perfect happiness, he was not to become acquainted with pain and sorrow or with the misfortunes of life. He was protected from everything of that sort. It happened, however, that Josaphat one day went out of the palace and passed in succession a sick man, a leper, an aged man, and a corpse — so runs the tale. He returned deeply moved into the king's palace and chanced upon a man whose soul was filled with the secrets of Christianity and whose name was Balaam; Balaam converted Josaphat, and this Josaphat who had experienced all this became a Christian.

It is not necessary to bring the Akashic records to our aid in order to interpret this legend, since ordinary philology suffices to reveal the origin of the name Josaphat. Josaphat is derived from an old word Joaphat; Joaphat again from Joadosaph; Joadosaph from Juadosaph, which is identical with Budhasaph — both these last forms are Arabic — and Budhasaph is the same name as Bodhisattva. So the European occult teaching not only knows the Bodhisattva, it also knows, if it can decipher the name of Josaphat, the meaning of that word. This cultivation of occult knowledge in the West by means of legends contained the fact that there was a time when the being who lived in Gautama Buddha became a Christian. Whether this be a matter of knowledge or no, it is none the less true. Just as belated traditions may exist, as men may believe today that which was believed thousands of years ago, and which has been propagated by means of tradition — so they may also believe that it accords with the laws of the higher worlds for Gautama Buddha to have remained the same as he was six hundred years before our era. But it is not so. He has ascended, he has evolved, and in the true Rosicrucian teachings the knowledge of this fact has been preserved in the form of the above legend.

Within the spiritual life of Europe we find him who was the bearer of the Christ: Zarathas or Nazarathos — the original Zarathustra — appearing again from time to time; in the same way we meet with Skythianos again, and the third great pupil of Manes, Buddha, as he was after he had taken part in the experiences of later ages.

Thus the European who had some knowledge of initiation looked into the changing ages and kept his gaze fixed on the true figures of the Great Teachers. He knew of Zarathas, of Buddha, of Skythianos — he knew that through them wisdom was pouring into the civilization of the future — wisdom which had always proceeded from the Bodhisattvas and which must be used in order to promote understanding of the greatest treasure of all comprehension: the Christ, Who is fundamentally a completely different Being from the Bodhisattvas and Whom we can understand only by gathering together all the wisdom of the Bodhisattvas. Therefore in the spiritual wisdom of Europe there is a synthesis of all the teachings that have been given to the world through the three great pupils of Manes and by Manes himself. Even though men may not have understood Manes, a time will come when European civilization will take such form that there will be a feeling for what is connected with the names of Skythianos, Buddha, and Zarathustra. They give to mankind the material whose study will teach us to understand Christ, and through them our understanding of Him will grow more and more complete.

The Middle Ages certainly showed a strange form of reverence and worship to Skythianos, to Buddha, and to Zarathustra when their names began to percolate through; in certain communities of the Christian religion anyone who wished to be taken for a true Christian had to utter the formula: ‘I curse Skythianos, I curse Buddha, I curse Zarathas!’ But what it was then thought necessary to curse will become the center for those who will best make Christ comprehensible to man, a central point to which mankind will look up as it did to the great Bodhisattvas through whom the Christ will be understood.

Today mankind can at the most bring two things to these teachings of the Rose Cross — two things which may indicate a beginning of the power and greatness that will appear in the future in the form of the understanding of Christianity. Spiritual science of today will be the means of making one such beginning, by bringing the teachings of Skythianos, of Zarathustra, of Gautama Buddha to the world again, not in their old but in an absolutely new form, accessible to investigation from out of its very nature. The elements of what we learn from these three great Teachers must be embodied into civilization.

From Buddha, Christianity had to learn the teachings of reincarnation and of karma, but in the older religion they are to be found in an ancient guise, unsuited to modern times. Why are the teachings of reincarnation and of karma flowing into Christianity today? Because the initiates have learned to understand them in a modern sense, just as Buddha himself after his fashion understood them — and Buddha was the great teacher of reincarnation. In the same way we shall attain to an understanding of Skythianos, whose teaching deals not only with the reincarnation of men but with the powers which rule from eternity to eternity. So shall the central Being of the world, the Christ, be ever more and more understood.

In this way the teachings of the initiates gradually flow into humanity. The spiritual scientist of today can only bring two things in as elementary beginnings compared to what must come about in the future spiritual evolution of mankind. The first element will be that which sinks into our innermost being in the form of the Christ-life; and the second will be an increasingly comprehensive understanding of the Christ by the aid of spiritual cosmology. The Christ-life in the inmost heart, and an understanding of the world which leads to an understanding of Christ — these are the two elements.

We may begin today, for we are only on the threshold of these things, by having the right feeling. We meet together for the purpose of cultivating right feeling about the spiritual world and all that is born out of it, as well as right feeling towards man. And as we cultivate this right feeling we gradually make our spiritual forces capable of receiving the Christ into our innermost being; for the higher and nobler our feelings become, the more nobly can Christ live within us. We make a beginning by teaching the elementary truths of our Earth evolution, by seeking that which we owe originally to Skythianos, Zarathustra, and Buddha and by accepting it as they teach it in our age, in the form they themselves know it, their evolution having progressed to our present age. We have reached a point in civilization now where the elementary teachings of initiation are beginning to be disclosed.