The Fourth School (Aristotle and Plato concluded)

Well, my friends, we are now heading into quite uncharted territory. In fact, we may have already wandered quite far into the woods. Let’s recap just for orientation’s sake:

Traditionally, Anthroposophists have considered themselves “Michaelites.” At the end of his life, Rudolf Steiner indicated that there would be two classes of Michaelites that would come into incarnation, and would need to learn to work together:  Aristotelians and Platonists. These two karmic streams held the banner of spiritual research aloft, in the name of Michael, who guards the threshold to perception of the spiritual world from this side, the side of the human being.

In 1937, Valentin Tomberg emphasized this need for Aristotelians and Platonists to work together in the name of Michael in order to bring about the Grail Community of the modern age. It is the task, according to Tomberg, of the Michaelites to stand guard over this side of the threshold in the name of independent spiritual research; on the other hand, it is the task of Sophians to stand guard on the other side of the threshold, that of the spiritual world. Sophians are the guardians of the two revelatory streams in human history, which we have designated as the Shepherd stream and the Kingly stream. If the Michaelites and Sophians can work together, they will be able to bring about the modern Grail Community under the motto:  Michael Sophia in Nomine Christi (Michael Sophia in the name of Christ).

We have associated the Michaelites or the School of Archangel Michael with Archangel Michael in the East:  “Holy Michael, thou Sun-radiant power whose rose-hued aura shines on high, bestow on us thy omniscient light from thine inexhaustible fount of wisdom.” This School of Michael is represented on earth by Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy, particularly the First Class. It represents the virtue of Wisdom, and the third of the three medieval classes:  the workers. Here we have cultivators in the field of knowledge.

On the other hand, we have associated the Sophians or the School of Sophia with Archangel Gabriel in the South:  “Holy Gabriel, thou glowing one clothed in silvery moonlight, breathing graciousness, fill us with the ineffable beauty of thy gentle loving piety and reverence.” This School of Sophia is represented on earth by the Sophia Foundation and the work of Robert Powell, particularly in the Sophia Grail Circles. It represents the virtue of Love and Beauty, and the first of the three medieval classes:  the priesthood.  Here we have a priesthood of the arts.

We then investigated the existence of the third name in the motto of the Grail Community:  Christ. The Christ School is associated with Archangel Uriel in the North:  “Holy Uriel, thou blue radiance of shining glory, instill in us the inexpressible grandeur of thy awesome righteousness.” This School of Christ is represented on earth by Grail Knighthood (i.e. those who have put into practice the content of Valentin Tomberg’s Lord’s Prayer Course) and the Christian Hermeticism of Meditations on the Tarot. The two karmic streams that must work together here are Gardeners and Masons. This school represents the virtue of Goodness and Morality, and the second of the three medieval classes:  the knighthood. Here we have a knighthood of the good.

Up until now we have been referring to the School of Christ by another name as well:  the School of Archangel Jesus. But is this justified? Are they identical? After all, Christ and Archangel Jesus are two separate entities, although the Archangel Jesus consistently works together with Christ in order to facilitate his sacrifices on the behalf of advancing humanity forward in spiritual evolution. The Archangel Jesus has gone by other names over the course of the ages, such as Apollo and Krishna.

In fact, we might designate four parts to the Grail Community:  1) Michael 2) Sophia 3) in Nomine 4) Christi. Here we can see that the name of Christ—that is, Jesus—is distinct from Christ Himself. In an earlier article we pointed out that Michael guards one side of the threshold (that facing humanity), while Sophia guards the other (that facing the spiritual world), while Christ is Himself the Threshold. But the Threshold itself also has two sides—a cosmic side and an earthly side. We might say that Christ is the cosmic side radiating benediction towards the earth, while Jesus is the earthly side, offering prayer and supplication towards the heavens.

The Archangel Jesus is strongly identified with the task of healing humanity. This becomes clearer as we come to an understanding of the Archangel Jesus’s involvement in the pre-earthly (and earthly) sacrifices of Christ. This Archangel is constantly making sacrifices of aspects of his being in order to rectify imbalances in the human organization. We might associate the Archangel Jesus very closely with the work of Mani, especially in his incarnation as Parzival. The ability to ask the healing question, which Parzival extends to the ailing Anfortas, is an aspect of the work of Archangel Jesus. Similarly, we might see the Archangel Jesus as standing in a very close relationship with Kaspar Hauser, who has become the patron saint of the Camphill Movement worldwide—communities dedicated to healing and therapeutic work.

So perhaps we need to make a distinction:  whereas the School of Christ is associated with the Archangel Uriel, who works primarily in the religous/social spheres, we can associate the closely related School of Archangel Jesus with the Archangel who has thus far been missing from our considerations—Archangel Raphael in the West. And it is Archangel Raphael who is particularly related to therapy, healing, education: “Holy Raphael, thou gold-gleaming tower of strength, empower us with the magnificent force of thy healing presence.”

We enter a special realm here. Notice that in the above schools, it is brilliant individualities such as Rudolf Steiner, Valentin Tomberg, or Robert Powell who have founded the earthly reflections of these spiritual schools (although, in a way it is more complicated than this in the case of Robert Powell, but we don’t have the space or intimacy to go into that topic here). But we might say that the School of Archangel Jesus does not rely on or revolve around a great individuality, but around the “least of these, my brethren”: the stimulant for the work is the child, the sick, the broken, the special needs. Those who are seen as invalid or outcast and in need of healing are actually the Teacher. This ethos lives very strongly in Camphill.

We might say that the two streams of this fourth school revolve around the two Jesus children:  the so-called Nathan Jesus, an incarnation of the pure sister-soul of Adam, and the so-called Solomon Jesus, an incarnation of the great Zarathustra. The one stream is the stream of the simple and pure, the Kaspar Hauser beings in our midst. This is the stream that asks for help and receives care. It stimulates the urge to heal in the other stream. This stream is the stream of Zarathustra, the stream of the experienced and wise, who are ready to sacrifice all of their forces for the sake of healing the other.

This stream has actually expressed itself quite strongly ever since the early days of Anthroposophy. In fact, we might say that Anthroposophy has by and large so far been an exercise in the work of Michael (expansion of consciousness, self-development, research) and Raphael (healing and therapy, medicine, Waldorf education). It seems that the awful split that developed in the society in the 1930s was not just a matter of Aristotelians not getting along with Platonists (although, to be sure, Elisabeth Vreede was a Platonist as well as many of the Anthroposophists with whom she worked closely). No, it was also a split between the General Anthroposophical Society (Michaelites who fiercely wished to preserve the legacy of Rudolf Steiner) and the Free Anthroposophical Movement (Raphaelites who wanted to engage in practical healing work, and expand the boundaries of what Anthroposophy could be).

If any kind of an esoteric School of Archangel Jesus was founded in the past century, I would point to two different places:  first of all, the Camphill Community, the esoteric body of the Camphill Movement which became active in the 1940s. The Camphill Community is related very much to the stream of the Nathan Jesus, the pure and simple soul. We might say, though, that the true point of origin for this school lies in the biography of Kaspar Hauser over a hundred years prior. Second of all, we see this School active in the Universal White Brotherhood of Peter Deunov (or Beinsa Douno). He was himself an incarnation of Master Jesus, the great Zarathustra, and was contemporaneous with Rudolf Steiner, Karl Koenig, and Valentin Tomberg.

Interestingly, the model of the three classes of medieval times also seems to have its limitations. According to William Stoddart:  “Humankind may be looked at either from the point of view of its differences or from that of its equality. The hierarchical differentiation of humankind finds expression especially in Hinduism (with its four castes: brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras) and, analogously, in Christendom with its four estates, Lords Spiritual (the spiritual hierarchy), Lords Temporal (kings, nobles), the “middle class” (craftsmen, farmers, and merchants), and serfs (common laborers/peasants). However, it should not be forgotten that with the privilege of birth go obligations. Noblesse oblige.”

Caste is referred to frequently in the ancient Indian texts. The four classes were the Brahmins (priestly people), the Kshatriyas (also called Rajanyas, who were rulers, administrators and warriors), the Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers), and Shudras (labouring classes).

The following picture begins to emerge:

Kaspar Hauser, 1812-1833 —Founder of the School of Archangel Jesus. The Peasants of Healing.

Rudolf Steiner, 1861-1925—Founder of the School of Archangel Michael. The Craftsmen of Wisdom.

Valentin Tomberg, 1900-1973—Founder of the School of Christ. The Knights of the Good.

Robert Powell, 1947-present day —Founder of the School of Sophia. The Priests of Beauty.

In my articles on the Seven Miracles of the Etheric Christ, I pointed out that now is the time of the Fourth Miracle, the cosmic Feeding of the 5000. And in my articles on the Four Great Teachers, I made mention of the fact that now is the time when the Maitreya Bodhisattva is once again active upon the earth—the Fourth Teacher will facilitate the Fourth Miracle.

Now, both Rudolf Steiner and Robert Powell have indicated that the individual Mani, who was Parzival in the 8th-9th century, will also be incarnated and active in the 21st century. Just as the fourth and fifth miracles, those of the Feeding of the 5000 and the Walking on Water, happened in very close proximity to each other in the time of Christ, it may also be that the Fourth and Fifth Miracles of the Etheric Christ, and the Fourth and Fifth Teachers, will work in very close conjunction with each other in the 21st century.

The Fourth Teacher (the Maitreya) has a strong inner connection with the School of Christ, the School of Goodness and Morality. On the other hand, the Fifth Teacher (Mani) has a strong connection with the School of Archangel Jesus, the School of Healing. It may be the task of these two individualities in the present time to bring the School of Christ and the School of Archangel Jesus into more direct relationship (for example, weaving together Christian Hermeticism, the Camphill impulse, and the work of Beinsa Douno). Through this interweaving of Christ and the Archangel Jesus, the rift that to some degree separates the Michaelites (Anthroposophy) from the Sophians (the Sophia Foundation) can be bridged. Each of the four schools can begin to find its place as points on the spiritual compass of our time: Anthroposophy in the East, Christian Hermeticism in the North, Sophia Celebration in the South, and the “least of these, my brethren” in the West.

We might see these four schools in relation to the second Apocalyptic Seal:

Here it becomes clear that the focal point around which these four schools orient themselves is the Lamb who reads from the Book of Life.

The process of the Schools coming into proper alignment and position relative to each other might be compared with the events occurring at the very end of Goethe’s Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lilly:  “The old Man looked to the stars, and then began speaking: ‘We are assembled at the propitious hour; let each perform his task, let each do his duty; and a universal happiness will swallow-up our individual sorrows, as a universal grief consumes individual joys.’

For the time is at hand!