Eternal Israel and the Region of the Grail
In August of 2016, Robert Powell led a workshop centered around practices meant to enliven the Sephiroth Tree, the Tree of Life within the human being. In a lecture during this workshop, he made mention of a little known piece of the story of the development of humanity. He described how the first portion of the Earth to mineralize in Ancient Lemuria was the original Grail Stone, and that this Grail Stone formed where Jerusalem was later to be built. This was Eden, where Adam and Eve, the first human beings to incarnate physically, had their origin. This original Grail Stone followed the nation of Israel over the millennia. It took its place as the foundation stone of the Temple of Solomon. It now rests at the Mount of Olives, the original site of the Garden of Eden.
From an anthroposophical perspective, this is fascinating. Looking back into cosmic prehistory, we see that from the Polarean epoch up through the end of the Hyperborean and the beginning of the Lemurian, the Earth goes through a gradual process of densification. It begins as a body of pure, undifferentiated etheric/astral warmth. By the time of the transition into ancient Lemuria, the Earth has become much denser. At this point in time, Mars is extracted from the Earth, bringing about a rapid mineralization of the evolving world.
Up until this point, human beings did not experience birth and death. They built up a physical body for themselves, one of a much more rarefied substance than our dense mineral bodies. Inhabiting this physical form, they would build up from out of themselves the vessel for their next “incarnation.” As Saturn, Sun, and Jupiter extracted themselves, the world became denser and this process became more difficult. Some souls remained within the other planetary spheres, unable to incarnate in the denser materiality.
This process accelerated greatly when Mars was extracted. It was a crisis point for humanity. The first place to become completely mineralized with the extraction of Mars was the Grail Stone (or Foundation Stone) of Jerusalem. Eventually, all but two human souls were too weak to penetrate this mineral substance to form a body. These last two were Adam and Eve, John the Baptist and the Solomon Mary. In a certain sense, one could say these were the last two human beings rather than the first two. At the same time as this seeming end of humanity, the moon was extracted. Lucifer made his entry into human astrality. Knowledge of Good and Evil (moral relativity) was given to human beings at the expense of their lives (eating from the Tree of Knowledge leads to Death, the Wheel of Incarnations). Sense perception and sexual reproduction began. With the extraction of the Moon, the Earth was temporarily softened to the extent that souls from other planetary spheres could once again incarnate on Earth.
What is fascinating about this is the role Jerusalem plays. While Israel has never been included in the train of “cultural epochs” named by Steiner and others (Indian, Persian, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, etc.) it seems to bookend the main act of the cosmic drama. It is there at the very beginning of materiality, at the start of the Lemurian epoch, and remaining the center of activity until the Fall of Humanity. It then recedes into the background in terms of cultural evolution until the time of Abraham. For two thousand years after Abraham until the time of Christ, it once again becomes the most crucial scene of human and divine activity. Israel and Jerusalem become the overarching culture around which and eventually into which the others center themselves.
At the time of Christ, the first two members of the Holy Family redeemed their karma, and accomplished a great mission on behalf of humanity: making possible the advent of Christ and the Mystery of Golgotha. Adam facilitated this through his incarnation as John the Baptist, facilitating the spiritual conception and birth of the Christ within Jesus. It is clear, on the other hand, the manner in which Eve made possible the advent of Christ, as the mother of Jesus. Each of them has taken on a new role since the time of Christ. John’s incarnations prior to Christ (Phinehas, Elijah, John) vs those after Christ (St. Elisabeth, Raphael, Novalis) are strikingly different. It is as though one task was finished and another begun. Mary/Eve, on the other hand, seems to have taken on a much more Angelic role, becoming the Queen of Heaven at the time of Christ.
If we live into this picture of the main act of the cosmic drama, we can feel potently an incredible shift that occurred at that time. The story from Creation and the Fall to Redemption through Christ is in a sense one act in the Cosmic Drama. Despite manifold change of scenery, we could say that the main arena of activity was Jerusalem, particularly during the 2000 years leading up to Christ, but also at the very beginning during the Fall. The main characters, we could say, were Adam and Eve, resolving the crisis of the Fall through Christ. Is this still the case? Or have we turned the page to the next part of the Drama? If so, who are the key players? What is the main arena of activity? What is the crisis and resolution?
As we consider these questions, let’s keep in mind the key significance of the fact that the life of Christ is the Turning Point in Time. Is there a site, a region of the world, that almost immediately took on significance after Pentecost? Was this region also a Grail Site? Who were the two key figures in this Act of the Drama?
A few years after the Ascension, a group of Christ’s Apostles were arrested and put on a boat without sail, oar, or provision, more or less left to die. Miraculously they arrived in Southern France. The two main figures in these events were Mary Magdalene and Lazarus-John, the reincarnated Cain and Abel – the younger two of the Primal Family. However, these were not two human beings descending for the first time into matter, falling into temptation and sin. No, the crisis that meets humanity since the time of Christ is not Redemption from the Fall, the low point in the path of descent, but rather the path of Reintegration. The path of Reintegration is not only a problem for humanity, but for Nature, and even for Sub-Nature. Yes, it is the crisis of how, once saved by the Deed of Christ, human beings can bear that Deed to all Creation, drawing it back up to the Spirit. In Anthroposophical parlance, it is the question of Etherization of the material world.
Just as Jerusalem and Israel played a key role in the 2000 years leading up to the time of Christ, so in the past 2000 years since Christ, the region of southern France and western Switzerland has taken on a special significance. It was the location of Magdalene and Lazarus’s missionary work in the 1st century; it was the location of the Parzival story in the turn of the 8th to the 9th century; in the 15th century, it was the region that produced the Tarot of Marseilles; in the 18th century, it was the region in which the Count de St Germaine and others resurrected and Christened the Hermetic Mysteries. Most recently, it was the location of the razing of the first Goetheanum and the laying of the Foundation Stone of Love.
Just as with Israel, it may be that in an external sense, the Grail Region in France/Switzerland will seem to have little significance for many long periods of human history. It is only one piece of the “cultural epoch” of our time, the European. We know all to well that the scene of operations culturally will move ever eastward into the Slavonic and Russian nations. Eventually America will close this period of human history. But just as an “entrance” was created at the beginning of Lemuria, a point of materiality which later spread to the whole Earth, an “exit” has now been created. The physical Grail Stone originated in Jerusalem; the Etheric Grail Stone, the first etherized portion of the Earth, is in the region of France and Switzerland. This is the key point of access for the Etheric Christ and for the ascending Mother. It is no coincidence that France has been a focus of many terrorist attacks at this time; it is no coincidence that CERN is located in Geneva; it is no coincidence that Spirits of Division constantly attack the spiritual center at Dornach. But the deed has been done. A sacrifice was made in the 1920’s by Rudolf Steiner, a sacrifice that planted the seed for the New Jerusalem, for Jupiter evolution – the Foundation Stone, a Seed of Love.
Just as Israel was the overarching center of activity, the heart of human evolution from the Fall to the Mystery of Golgotha, so will Grail Country play this role until the end of Earth evolution. This is the center of Eternal Israel.
Two thousand years before Christ, the nomadic Abraham was led to found Israel. The forces of the Jewish people were concentrated during this time in order to prepare for Christ. As a reflection of this, the Grail Community concentrated itself in modern day France and Switzerland until now, two thousand years after Christ. It is time for this community to become “nomadic;” for the seeds of Hermeticism and the Culture of the Grail to spread far and wide throughout the Earth.
Humanity is now experiencing the Second Fall. We have not stolen from the Tree of Knowledge, with the assurance that “surely, you shall not Die.” No, now we steal from the Tree of Life, with the assurance that “surely, you shall not become Evil.” Just as Knowledge of Good and Evil brought about Death, now in our time the Knowledge of Life and Death (scientific knowledge) brings about Evil. Modern man is convinced of the neutrality and overwhelming benefit to humanity of scientific and technological progress, the ultimate goal being to overcome the Death process. The consequence of this, unnoticed by modern man, is pervasive Evil.
The invasion of Lucifer into the astral body resulted in the heavenly realm becoming hardened into dense materiality. Now in our time, the invasion of Ahriman into the etheric body is resulting in the descent of Nature into Sub-Nature, the technological realm. Our ether bodies are under constant stress and attack due to this influence. The answer given by the spiritual world to this dilemma lies in what has been cultivated in France. The Paths of the Tree of Life connect us with the Etheric Christ and with the Divine Mother in the depths; they show us the way to re-enliven the etheric body, and to redeem Nature from Sub-Nature.
The Tree of Life contains the Ten Sephiroth of the etheric body of the human being. Knowledge of this Tree was brought by Moses from ancient Egypt, and guarded by the Hebrew people. The Tree of Life could also be called the Tree of Lives; it bears a mysterious connection with the karma of the individual and humanity. Moses, up until the modern age, was the Guardian of Karma. One could say he was a representative of the Cherubim guarding the Tree of Life.
It is now Christ who is the Lord of Karma; Christ who is the Lord of the Tree of Life. Moses, who incarnated as Rudolf Steiner, now guards the mysteries of the Tree of Knowledge (the 7 chakras, the 7 bodies, the 7 stages of evolution). He has begun the process of redeeming Lucifer. Cultivation of the Tree of Life has been passed on to Christian Rosenkreuz, who works hand in hand with Abraham, the Maitreya Boddhisatva.
Steiner once said that anthroposophy required a new language in order to flourish and be truly communicated. The 22 Paths of the Tree of Life are connected with the Hebrew Alphabet traditionally. Now we know that each of those letters is connected to one of the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot. The work of Christian Rosenkreuz and the Maitreya has been to cultivate a deeper and deeper relationship with the Tarot (see for example, Meditations on the Tarot). These are not just cards for divination; they are the alphabet for the new language of Anthroposophy. They contain within them everything that came through Rudolf Steiner, and more. It is only when we learn this alphabet, re-enlivening our etheric bodies, that we meet the Etheric Christ, the Lord of Karma.
The time of Abraham is now at hand. He will teach us to speak the language of the Grail once we have learned the alphabet. He will lead us out of abstract, univocal concepts, and return us to pictorial, multivocal concepts. When we learn this new language, and speak with the Etheric Christ, we serve the Mother and redeem Nature: we Etherize the Earth.
The time of Moses is over. The Tree of Life is being unveiled. Through Christ, knowledge of karma and reincarnation may now become the responsibility of each human being; it is no longer the task of Moses to be the judge, but Christ. It is no longer Moses’s cross to bear, but Christian Rosenkreuz/Lazarus, who guides us at this time.