Before we take a look at the most recent period of Christ’s descent through the sub-earthly spheres, we should refresh ourselves on Tomberg’s characterization of the fourth miracle of Christ, the Feeding of the 5000:
“The conversion of the senses brought about by the Christ impulse is shown in the sign of the feeding of the five thousand. It shows how hungry senses can become productive senses. After being blessed, the five loaves and two fish produced twelve baskets full of fragments; likewise, the five day senses and the two twilight senses having received the Christ impulse and taken it into the heart, lead to twelve currents that will flow from the heart and affect the whole sensory system. This sign deals mainly with the mystery of the human heart, which can receive the Christ impulse from without, and, as a result, begin to radiate through all twelve senses.”
The above quote encapsulates one of the central purposes in writing this article: to share a guiding image as we head into the future. It is one thing to work out of “pure faith,” hoping that our inspirations are true, without certainty of whether what we are doing is right or not. It is another thing altogether to rely completely on the instruction and guidance of an authority. In the first scenario, one has no security; in the second, one has no freedom. The blessing of a guiding image is that it falls into neither trap. It offers a centralizing focus to those who take it up, while leaving them in freedom to be inspired by it in their own individual way.
For me, this guiding image carries a great deal densely packed within it. Tomberg emphasizes the centrality of the spiritualization of the senses. Above and beyond this, the spiritualization of nourishment and economy are surely key features. Of particular note, however, is the presence of the masses of people; no other miracle gives record of many people present (possibly the Wedding at Cana and the Raising of Lazarus), and certainly not as many as 5000. This seems to indicate the question of spiritual community on the one hand, and on the other indicates the collaborative nature of this miracle. Each of these areas of potential sacred magic (food, economy, sensory content, community) are in dire need of spiritual reformation in our time. Can’t we hear our age crying out for the healing this miracle offers?
From another aspect we can observe how the latter half of the times of transition (1902-1908; 1939-1945; 1974-1980) planted the seeds for the miracle to come; each period of transition is sharply divided in the middle. In this light, how can we look at the latter half of Christ’s descent through the Earth Mirror from July 23, 2004 through June 3, 2016? Before focusing on the activity of Robert Powell during this time period, we should engage in a more reflective exercise. Robert Powell has to a certain degree prophesied the coming of his successor, the Maitreya Boddhisatva, whose public activity began in 2014. Surely it would be desirable for the sake of envisioning the coming fourth miracle to know the nature of this individual’s activity during this time period. That being said, it may be of even greater value to remember that the Maitreya is not just an individual, but a source of great inspiration for different groups of people. Indeed, I am quite certain that for anyone who has gotten this far in reading this article, the Maitreya is an inspiration in the endeavors you have taken up in your life. Rather than speculating on what the Maitreya might be doing, we should ask ourselves, “What has changed for me in the last six or seven years? What new strivings, impulses and initiatives have begun or come to fruition?” Keeping in mind the essentially collaborative nature of the fourth miracle, we can be sure that whatever new activities we have engaged in are part of the soil in which this miracle will grow.
For myself, this time period (2011 onward) brought me into connection with the Camphill stream. It is remarkable how applicable the imagery of the fourth miracle is to the striving in a Camphill: feeding the senses, redeeming agriculture, discovering a new form of economy, and building a truly collaborative community. It has become my conviction that the “Shepherd Stream” of the Maitreya includes Kaspar Hauser and the Camphill movement. The question I’ve been living with increasingly concerns how the impulses of the Maitreya could be woven consciously into the fabric of Camphill, and whether this would open up the possibility for an infusion of new life and new forms. Again, I feel certain that what is true for me is true for many reading this article: in some way that which you have each been engaged with over the past 7 years can be laid on the altar of preparation for the fourth miracle. The time for a central authority upon which the burden of initiative of a spiritual group rests (e.g. Rudolf Steiner) is over. The time has come for us to work from the periphery, as pillars in an Etheric Temple, into the center of our mutual striving.
This most recent time period of transition from 2004-2016, again one of mysticism, brought with it several strong experiences of the Christ: for Robert Powell himself (as he describes in the introduction to Cultivating Inner Radiance) as well as for modern seers such as Judith von Halle and Estelle Isaacson. In fact, when it comes to these two latter individuals, are they not a perfect example of forerunners for the moral impressions described above? Over the course of this time period, Judith von Halle has produced over 20 volumes, at least half of which have to do with her sense impressions from the time of Christ. Estelle Isaacson’s work is more recent, falling during the latter half of the time of transition; she too, describes her sense impressions from the time of Christ as well as that of Parzival.
This special time period from 2010-2016 (the latter half of the transition emphasized above) shows an outpouring of new impulses from Robert Powell: the unveiling of the Mysteries of Evil in our time; the announcement of the baptismal event of Kalki Avatar in 2014; and the science of Astrogeographia (the 12 signs of the zodiac shaping Mother Earth is another excellent derivation of the Feeding of the 5000). Possibly of greatest significance, he has cultivated several new ways of working with eurythmy: the Inner Radiance practice, the Grail Knight’s practice, and the (forthcoming) Path to Shambhala. Indeed, this time period fell under the sign of the Wheel of Fortune (marking this as a time of the Second Fall). Now Christ is descending (from June 3, 2016 through April 14, 2028) through the 8th sub-earthly sphere, the so-called Divisive Layer. We are now under the sign of the 11th Arcanum, Force. She is Purity, she is Virginal, Unfallen Nature. It is the Force of Purity with which we adorn ourselves when we put on the Resurrection Body through a practice like Inner Radiance or the Path to Shambhala. It is this same Force that can lead to a transformation of the senses. Deepening our relationship to these practices is crucial to our work at the present time.
With the incredible timing that seems to be second nature to him, Robert Powell remarkably enough signified in quite a conscious way that the time of transition was finished, and that we were entering a time of preparation for the fourth miracle. In April of 2016, he chose to step back from many of the activities he had led or co-led as part of the Sophia Foundation of North America, passing the leadership roles of these different initiatives to others over the course of 2016-17 (see https://sophiafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Choreocosmos_ConsiderationsEaster_2016.pdf for the full letter explaining his decision).
Our task in light of Robert Powell’s shift in his activities is twofold: on the one hand, to carry forward that which has been established in the aftermath of the third miracle (just as Christian Hermeticism and Anthroposophy have been maintained in the time since their flowering). On the other hand, we must seek in the activities and teachings brought forth through Robert Powell and Estelle Isaacson since 2010 for our sources of inspiration in terms of this new phase of preparation for the fourth miracle. Over and above this, it would be of great benefit to contemplate Valentin Tomberg’s description of the fourth miracle in Christ and Sophia, to the point that it has become a matter not just of memorization, but of heart and will, a driving force in our various initiatives.
With the threefold inspiration of Tomberg’s meditations, the work of Powell and Isaacson, and our own individual strivings over the past 7 years, we can work from the periphery to the center in the accomplishment of the fourth miracle. This has the possibility of occurring between April 14, 2028 and February 24, 2040 (Christ’s passage into the Earth Core). By the end of this time period, Christ will have completely re-opened the Path to Shambhala, to the lost Paradise of the Mother. This time period falls under the sign of the 12th Arcanum, the Hanged Man — he who has united the 12 impulses streaming from the zodiac into his radiant heart, the burning heart of the Road to Emmaus.
The final miracle (the Raising of Lazarus) will begin to be accomplished starting on January 20, 2135, a date whose significance was emphasized by Robert Powell in his article “The Descent of Christ” in the Journal for Star Wisdom 2017 as a time when “Christ’s ‘I’ will reunite with his ether body, an event analogous in importance to the resurrection on Easter Sunday morning in AD 33.” By 2157, Christ and humanity will have transitioned out of the time of miracles (at least in this particular form of them; one mustn’t limit the miracles accomplished by the Christ!). This time period from 2135 through 2157 will fall under the signs of The Fool and The World: Christ and Sophia.
Why is this time period (1896-2157) of such importance in terms of the accomplishment of the seven miracles? This cannot be an arbitrary decision on the part of the spiritual leadership of humanity. One reason has to do with the activity of the forces of opposition, the Hierarchies of the Left. Their activity during this time period is described in the 12th and 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation; we could imagine the following 22 verses as counterparts to the 22 Jupiter returns we have been contemplating. Sacred Magic, the miraculous, is the only force that can dismantle what is described here. May the gravity of this passage permeate our hearts, and steel our will to aid in the accomplishment of the “miracles of eternity:”
“‘12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.’ 13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
13 The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?’
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear. 10 ‘If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.’ This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.
11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads…”
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