The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 5

We have now come very far into our investigation of the seven sacrifices of Archangel Jesus and Christ. It would take me too far afield to offer a recap at this point: I encourage the reader to go back and read (or re-read) parts 1-4 in order to be fully caught up.

At the time of the Baptism in the Jordan, the astral body of the Archangel Jesus—in unity with the astral body of Gautama Buddha—offered a chalice into which the Ego of Christ could descend. The descent of this Ego—the Eje asher Eje, the Self of Selves—brought to fulfillment the promise of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ eons earlier during the Lemurian epoch, during which the physical, material body of the human being was formed and organized, and the seed was planted for the eventual unfolding of the personal, individual human ego.

Christ was the “first fruit” of the manifestation of the Ego—something that over the course of the next years would grow to become to common property of all humanity. For the first time in history, each human being would feel themselves to be a unique, individual personality, with a unique, individual biography.

And so now we have a new formation of the human being. The human being now has a fully externalized/individualized physical body; a fully individualized etheric body; a fully individualized astral body; and now the personal, “lower” ego has separated itself out from the three higher members of the human being—Manas, Buddhi, Atman—which continue to be a kind of undifferentiated conglomeration, still in formation. They were the transcendental and collective fifth member of the human being.

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This separation expresses itself in the presence of two “eyes” in the human being. The lower self, the personality, is an eye directed below to the sense-perceptible world for the sake of the development of the self-conscious intellect. Increasingly, human beings begin to feel that their thoughts are produced out of their own inner activity, not given to them as perceptions akin to sense-perceptions. Meanwhile, the higher self, the conscience, is the eye directed above. The dim, intuitive stirrings of conscience are the expression of the higher self, the mixture of Manas, Buddhi, Atman.

At this moment, with the unfolding of the individual, personal ego, the mission of the Hebrew people has been fulfilled. Hand in hand with this, the fulfillment of the ancient Hebrew sacrificial rite has come—the animal sacrifice is no longer necessary, is done away with. The “old Law” is replaced by the “new Law” of the Love of Christ. It is this Love of Christ that maintains the unity and connection between the lower “eye” below and the higher “eye” above. A new goal and mission comes to humanity—for the life of Christ represents the complete inversion of the first sacrifice of Christ. Whereas at the first sacrifice, the seed of the Ego was planted as future potential so that the physical body could be immediately organized, the fourth sacrifice performed the counter-operation. Here, the seed of Atman—the Resurrection Body—was planted so that the Ego could be immediately organized.

After the first sacrifice, an individual material physical body became the common property of each incarnating human being. In the meantime, a sacrificial rite had to be performed, in preparation for the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, when the individual personality would be born. During the fourth sacrifice, the individual personality—the Ego—now became the common property of each incarnating human being. And analogously, a new rite had to be initiated in order to prepare for the seventh sacrifice of Christ, when the transformed physical body—Atman, the Resurrection Body—will become the common property of all humanity. It is the Holy Eucharist, the Mass of Bread and Wine which is instituted at this time. The Mass can never be altered or replaced by any other rite—it is valid until the seventh sacrifice, until the Resurrection Body becomes the common property of all humanity, after which physical incarnation will no longer be necessary; i.e., it is valid until the “end of time,” or “end of the Age.”

And so the religious ritual of humanity can be divided into two clear sections: the time from ancient Lemuria through the Mystery of Golgotha—until the Last Supper—when the Hebrew sacrifice was the most fundamental rite; and the time from the Last Supper until the beginning of the Anglo-American cultural age, the “end of time”—when material incarnation (reincarnation, birth and death) will cease.

In the midst of the first portion, from ancient Lemuria through the Mystery of Golgotha (what could be broadly termed the Ancient Hebrew era), we see the emergence of the ancient Atlantean rituals, in the heart of the Atlantean era between the second and third sacrifices of Jesus and Christ which bookended this time period. We noted that at the time of the first sacrifice, Cain attempted to bring the Atlantean rituals too soon, while Abel brought the sacrifice of the Lamb, one that was appropriate then and until the Last Supper.

It is interesting that Cain attempted to institute the Atlantean rituals before their time—in a sense, you could say he played the role of a forerunner, giving a foretaste of the Atlantean rituals which were to come in a subsequent time. Now, if we turn our attention back to the being Philosophia, to whom we gave our focus in part 4, we will see something similar occurring at the time of her birth, at the dawn of the Age of Aries in 1945 BC. We see there that Abraham met with Melchizedek, the Manu or spiritual guide in the transition from Atlantis to the post-Atlantean era. Together they shared an Agape (Love) Feast of Bread and Wine. Similar to Cain laying the foundation for ancient Atlantis in his sacrifice of the vegetable harvest, here Abraham lays the foundation for the institution of the Eucharist with Melchizedek some 2000 years prior to the Last Supper. But it was not yet time for this rite to become widespread—it was only preparation. Rather, it was time for the further codifying of the sacrifice of the Lamb, shown to us in the story of Isaac’s sacrifice being prevented by the appearance of a Ram in the bushes.

Let’s now go back to the biography of Philosophia where we have left off: at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. If the “Moon years” of her biography lasted from the time of Abraham to Moses/Joshua (1945 BC – 1225 BC) and her “Mercury years” lasted from the time of Moses/Joshua to the Babylonian captivity (1225 BC – 505 BC), then the Mystery of Golgotha and the gift of the human personality occurred toward the end of her “Venus years”: 505 BC – 215 AD. In fact, we see that the life of Christ approximately corresponds to the time of the first Nodal return (18.61 years) and the end of the first Metonic cycle (19 years) in the normal human biography. This is the time when the Earth, Moon and Sun have been in every possible relationship, and the pathway of the Sun and Moon intersect at the place they did at birth. The human being is given a reminder at this time of pre-heavenly purposes and intentions—we might say that the Ego flashes up at this point, and begins to express itself more and more strongly over the next 20+ years of the individual’s biography.

And this is precisely what occurred during the biography of Philosophia. The first three of her life cycles took place over the course of the Age of Aries. Aries is related to the human head, to the development of human thinking and the personality centered in the head. During the last third of this time—the Venus years, from 505 BC – 215 AD—this development came to a head. We saw the full flowering of human thought capacity in Plato and Aristotle: Plato’s world conception directed vertically, to the realm of the Eternal Archetypes—to the One—and Aristotle’s world conception directed horizontally, to elaborating every branch of science based out of a perception of those archetypes as immanent in every aspect of external reality—to the Multiplicity.

However, after Aristotle, Greek Philosophy petered out. No one could top Aristotle. He had investigated and elaborated everything more thoroughly than any successor could hope to add to. They could only pore over his work, trying to develop a complete systematism out of what he had brought. This work was, through the life of Alexander the Great, transmitted to the Middle East, where it was preserved for a later time.

Afterwards, and around the life of Christ, the decadence of the Greco-Roman era reached its height. It was as though the cultural flame had burned brightest in the Michaelic era of Plato, Aristotle and Buddha, only to burn out completely. The entire culture devolved on the one hand into a hedonist paganism, devoid of any true relationship to the Spirit, and on the other hand to a martial law and order, an all too rigid Roman empire. It was into this compost heap of culture that the Christ-Ego was planted, to spring up and flourish mightily over the next 2000 years. The Mystery of Golgotha marked the “flashing in” of the eternal mission—the pre-Earthly intention, the Ego—of Philosophia.

In the next section, we will investigate the next three life cycles—the three Solar cycles—of the being Philosophia, leading up to her second Nodal return and the end of her second Metonic cycle in our own time, the time of the 5th Sacrifice of Jesus and Christ. If we can come to understand the last 1800 years with due clarity, we can also see with clear vision what the next 1900 years hold in store for human spiritual and cultural development: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/31/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-6/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/16/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-4/

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 4

Last time we began to investigate Rudolf Steiner’s indications from the lecture “Perception of the Nature of Thought: Sun Activity in Earthly Evolution”, given on January 10, 1915. Here he describes the development and biography of the being Philosophia; he alludes to her approximately 700-year cycles, analogous to the 7-year cycles of the biographical development of the human being. He also points to the fact that the birth of Philosophia’s astral body, corresponding to age 14 of the human being, was expressed in the rise and flowering of the philosophy of ancient Greece—Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

In this lecture, he goes on to describe the succeeding three life cycles of this being—the period of the Neoplatonists and early Church Fathers up through John Scotus Eriugena corresponding to the “Sentient Soul years” of 21-28; the time from Eriugena through Descartes corresponding to the “Intellectual Soul years” of 28-35; and the time since then, the time in which we still live, corresponding to the “Consciousness Soul years” of 35-42. We will elaborate further on these different time periods in future sections of this article series.

What has become clear to me in working deeply with these indications is that the rhythm of the biographical development of Philosophia follows the rhythm of the Zodiacal Ages. Each life cycle is 720 years, one-third of a Zodiacal Age of 2,160 years. Her  first three life cycles took place in the Age of Aries, from 1945 BC to 215 AD:

Physical Body/Moon Years (0-7) = 1945-1225 BC

Etheric Body/Mercury Years (7-14) = 1225-505 BC

Astral Body/Venus Years (14-21) = 505 BC – 215 AD

Aries is related to the human head; this was the time period when the human head became particularly active. We can see this first of all in that the human being’s pictorial consciousness faded, and was eclipsed by a perception of thoughts rather than pictures. This development reached its apotheosis in the Greek philosophers. On the other hand, the Age of Aries culminated in the birth of the human personality, which felt itself as centered in the head.

Can we try to understand the nature of these first two cycles, the “Moon years” and “Mercury years” of Philosophia, which Rudolf Steiner barely goes into? The closest he comes to doing so is an allusion to pre-Socratic philosophers such as Thales and Anaxagoras who grasped their world philosophy in an elemental, temperamental form: the origin of the world was found in a primal Water or a primal Fire. These philosophers were active when Philosophia was equivalent to the age of 12-14 years old (between 700-500 BC), transitioning out of the “Mercury years” of primary school into the “Venus years” of the teenage adolescent.

We can find an answer to the mystery of these first two “life cycles” of Philosophia by looking to two other lectures given by Rudolf Steiner five years previously, in 1910: the second lecture on the “True Nature of the Second Coming,” from March 6 (https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19100306p02.html) and the second lecture from the series on the Gospel of St Matthew on September 2 (https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19100902p01.html).

From the first of these two lectures, we get the clearest indication as to why exactly the start of the Age of Aries marked the birth of the being Philosophia in the history of mankind. This is related to the Hebrew Patriarch Abraham, who was born and lived around the start of the Age of Aries, 1945 BC (emphasis mine):

…at the conclusion of the first millennium of Kali Yuga [i.e., around the year 2000 BC], a kind of substitute was given for vision of the spiritual worlds. This substitute was made possible through the fact that a particular individual — Abraham — was chosen out because the special organisation of his physical brain enabled him to have consciousness of the spiritual world without the old faculties. That is why in Spiritual Science we call the first millennium of Kali Yuga the Abraham-epoch; it was the epoch when man did, it is true, lose the direct vision of the spiritual worlds, but when there unfolded in him something like a consciousness of the Divine which gradually made its way more and more deeply into his ego, with the result that he came to conceive of the Deity as related to human ego-consciousness. In the first millennium of Kali Yuga — which at its conclusion we can call the Abraham-epoch — the Deity is revealed as the World-Ego.

So we see that with Abraham, we have the birth of thinking that is attached specifically to the physical brain. The spiritual world is no longer perceived in a pictorial sense as something outside the human being; it now begins to be grasped as an internal reality of World-Ego. This new development in human evolution, this birth of Philosophia, is represented in the sacrificial lamb appearing to spare Isaac from the sacrifice. The lamb, Aries, the human head, sacrifices its perception of the spiritual world as an objective reality, and begins to turn itself to the perception of thoughts, so that the individual human personality (Isaac) can arise within the human soul.

This first cycle—the Moon cycle, the years related to the physical body in human development (0-7)—is consequently born with Abraham. In the three Hebrew Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob we might see an image the first three years of child development, and the gifts of uprightness (Abraham), speech (Isaac), and thought (Jacob). The second half of these years, the equivalent of 3.5 to 7, are then spent in Egypt. It is the departure from Egypt back into the Holy Land that marks the “change of teeth” of Philosophia. Moses is the figure which marks the end of the “Moon years,” transitioning to the “Mercury years” of 1225-505 BC (equivalent to 7-14 in a human biography).

The story of the “Moon years” is the gradual establishment, the “codifying” so to speak, of the religious rite of the ancient Hebrews. Up until this point it had existed as a kind of golden thread, organically flowing from generation to generation through more-or-less direct perception and/or memory of the spiritual world. But with the life of Abraham this direct perception and memory is sundered. With the time in history between the lives of Abraham and Moses, we see the rise of the first alphabets—picture-writing to begin with, hieroglyphics. Writing came about in order to preserve the knowledge that was no longer accessible through direct perception. This process culminated in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible written by Moses.

Here we see that picture-consciousness of the spiritual world has become mythology; a remnant of what was once perceivable. At the same time, we see written in exact detail the rites of the Hebrew people, which up until that time had not been codified. What existed previously as direct inspiration from the spiritual world needed to be transmitted to and codified by a chosen individual for the sake of the many.

And so we see that although Steiner first speaks of the Ancient Greeks in relation to the development of Philosophia, it is in the Ancient Hebrew peoples that we find her origin, her birth. Further confirmation of this is found in the second lecture mentioned above, from the series on the Gospel of St. Matthew. Steiner is here speaking of Zarathustra’s incarnation in Ancient Persia, some 5,000 years before Christ. Zarathustra had two pupils at this time. To one of them he passed on his astral body, and all the mysteries of Space. This individual reincarnated as Thoth or Hermes Trisgmegistus, around the year 2500 BC. He originated the Osiris cult and much of the external culture of Ancient Egypt. The other pupil received the etheric body of Zarathustra, and all the mysteries of Time. This individual reincarnated as Moses, who, along with the rest of the Ancient Hebrews from Joseph onwards, was immersed in the Hermetic culture of Ancient Egypt:

Now the contact of the wisdom of Hermes with that of Moses was pictured in the Mysteries of ancient Egypt as representing something that, according also to Spiritual Science, had previously taken place in the cosmos. We know that early in evolution the sun separated from the earth, leaving the moon for a period within the earth. Later a part of this globe separate from the earth, and remained as the present moon. Thus the earth sent a portion of itself, as moon, into universal space, towards the sun. We may think of the remarkable occurrence of the meeting of the Earth-wisdom of Moses with the Sun-wisdom of Hermes as comparable with this streaming forth of the Earth-forces towards the sun. One might say: The wisdom of Moses, in its further course, after separating from the Sun-wisdom of Zarathustra, developed as the wisdom of the earth and of men in such a way that it drew again towards the sun, absorbing and filling itself with direct solar wisdom. The earth was destined to receive direct Sun-wisdom only to a certain extent, then to develop further alone and independently. The wisdom of Moses, therefore, only remained in Egypt until it had absorbed sufficient for its needs. Then came the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, in order that the Sun-wisdom taken up by the Earth-wisdom might be assimilated and brought to greater self-dependence.

The wisdom of Moses was two-fold. One part was developed under the sheltering wing of the Hermes-wisdom which it continually absorbed from every side, then, after the exodus from Egypt, it separated from this development, continued further within itself, and later passed through three stages. Towards what should this wisdom evolve? What is its task? Its ultimate task was to find its way back from the earth to the sun. It had become earthly wisdom. Moses was born with all he inherited from Zarathustra, as a wise man of earth. He was to find the way back, and he sought it in three stages, the first being that in which he absorbed the wisdom of Hermes. These stages are again best expressed in the images drawn from cosmic events. When what takes place upon the earth streams back in space from the earth towards the sun, it first encounters what is of the nature of Mercury (in ordinary astronomy the Mercury of astronomy is the Venus of Occult Science), then that of Venus, and ultimately that which is of the nature of the sun. The soul of Moses had to develop his Zarathustrian inheritance in inner experiences in such a way that he might return and find once more what appertained to the Sun. In order to do this he had to attain a certain degree of development. The wisdom Moses had implanted in western culture had to develop according to the way he gave it to his people. The wisdom he had gained from Hermes and which came to him like the direct rays of the sun, he had to develop anew, and reflect it back again in a changed form, after he had absorbed some part of it.

And so we can discover from the above quotation that the “Moon years” center around the meeting of the Hebraic Earth wisdom with the Egyptian Solar wisdom, like the Moon reaching out to the Sun from the Earth. Next, we come to the description of the second life-phase, the Mercury phase, of the being Philosophia. This life-phase centers around the time of Kind David, who is an image of the “nine-year change” in the life of Philosophia. At this time the Hebrew people transition to an age of Kings, to the “Solomon era” which comes after the “Moses era.” Mythology slowly transforms into epic poetry. The law established by theocratic, initiate priest-kings now transitions into a monarchy: the roles of king, priest and prophet each separate, specialize and mutually influence each other. We can see in the Psalms of David, in the Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes a kind of proto-philosophy—part philosophy, part poetry.

Steiner describes the time periods of the “Mercury years” (1225-505 BC) and the “Venus years” (505 BC – 215 AD) as such:

Now we are told that Hermes, who was later called ‘Mercury,’ brought to his people science and art, that is, external knowledge and art, in a form suitable to them. But it was in a different and almost opposite way that the wisdom of Moses attained to the Hermes-Mercury standpoint. Moses had himself to develop the wisdom of Hermes further. This is shown in the progress of the Hebrew people up to the age and reign of David. David, who is presented to us as the royal singer of Psalms and holy prophet, who as a man of God worked both as warrior and harpist, is the Hermes, or Mercury, of the Hebrew people. That stream of the Hebrew folk had now so far evolved that it had developed an independent form of Hermetic or Mercury wisdom. At the time of David the wisdom received from Hermes had reached the Mercury sphere, or Mercury stage, on its return journey. It then continued to the region of Venus. This came to pass for the Hebrews when the Moses-wisdom, or rather that version of it which had endured as his wisdom for hundreds of years, had to unite with an entirely different element, with a stream issuing from another direction.

Just as that which streams back in space from the earth towards the sun encounters Venus, so the wisdom of Moses encountered an Asiatic wisdom that came from another direction during the Babylonian Captivity. The Moses-wisdom came in touch with the weakened form of another wisdom in the Mysteries of Babylon and Chaldea. Like a wanderer who, having acquired knowledge of the earth, leaves it for the Mercury sphere, and thence passes on to Venus desirous of experiencing the sunlight as it is felt there, so the Moses-wisdom, having received the direct Sun-wisdom from the holy teachings of Zarathustra, passed over in a weakened form to the mystery schools of Chaldea and Babylon. The wisdom of Moses experienced this weakening during the Babylonian captivity, where it united with all that had penetrated into the lands of the Tigris and Euphrates. Here something else happened.

In the sanctuaries which the wise men among the Hebrews were obliged to frequent during their captivity, the wisdom of Moses was directly impregnated with the qualities of the Sun-wisdom. For at this time Zarathustra was himself incarnated and taught in the mystery schools of the Tigris and Euphrates, and was known to the learned among the Hebrews. He who had relinquished part of his wisdom so that he might receive it back again, was himself teaching at this time. He had frequently reincarnated, and in this incarnation in which he was known as Zarathos or Nazarathos, he taught the captive Jews in Babylon.

Thus in the course of its further progress, the wisdom of Moses came in touch with what Zarathustra had himself become after he had withdrawn from the more distant Mystery Sanctuaries and had entered those of Asia Minor. Here he became the teacher of the initiate Chaldean disciples, as well as teacher of the Hebrews. They now received a fructification of their Mosaic wisdom by a stream they were now fitter to encounter, because what had once been given to their ancestor Moses by Zarathustra came to them now directly from himself, in his incarnation as Zarathos or Nazarathos. This was the destiny through which Mosaic wisdom passed. Originally it sprang from Zarathustra, but was then transplanted into an alien land. It was as if a Sun-being with bandaged eyes had been brought down to earth, and now, on its backward journey, had to seek all it had lost. Such a wanderer was Moses, the pupil of Zarathustra. His destiny had placed him within Egyptian civilization, so that all the wisdom given him at one time by Zarathustra might be quickened and illuminated in his inner being. He was cut off, as it were, from the sun on the fields of earth, where unaware of the source of his illumination he moved unconsciously towards what once was sun. In Egypt he was attracted towards the wisdom of Hermes, which brought to him direct Zarathustra-wisdom, not an indirect reflection like his own. After absorbing sufficiently of this, the wisdom of Moses continued its development in a more direct way. Having founded an Hermetic wisdom at the time of David, and a science and art of its own, it turned again towards the sun from which it had originally come forth, though in a way that had at first to appear veiled.

In the ancient Babylonian schools of learning where, among others, Zarathustra taught Pythagoras, his teaching was restricted by the type of physical body of the period. If Zarathustra was to give full expression to his Sun-nature through a form suited to those times, as he was able to do in that earlier incarnation when he had passed it on to Moses and Hermes, he would require a bodily instrument fitted to the new age. Restricted by a body such as could be produced in ancient Babylonia, he was only able to convey such wisdom as he passed on to Pythagoras, to the learned Hebrews and wise men of Chaldea and Babylon, who in the sixth century before Christ, were ready and able to hear it. In respect of this teaching it was exactly as if the sunlight were first taken up by Venus and prevented from shining directly on the earth; as if his teaching could not shine with its original splendour but only in a weakened form. Before the Sun-wisdom of Zarathustra could shine forth once more in its pristine power, a body suited to him must first be provided, and in a very special way.

So we see that the Venus years were inaugurated at the time of the reincarnated Zarathustra (Nazarathos) in the 6th century AD. Both the Ancient Hebrew and the Ancient Greek streams were given a kind of infusion of life at this time: Nazarathos taught both Pythagoras and the prophet Daniel. Yet each stream carried a different mission. The Ancient Hebrews had the mission of cultivating a physical body that could actually bring to birth the individualized ego—the promise of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ finding its fulfillment in the fourth sacrifice, the Mystery of Golgotha, the birth of the human “I”:

In the first lecture, we told of the three folk-souls of Asia, the Indian in the South, the Iranian, and the Turanian to the North, and we described the connection of these with the Atlantean migrations into Asia. Where the northern stream which came from Atlantis met the southern stream which passed through Africa, an extraordinary mixture of races occurred. From this admixture a race developed from which later the Hebrew people sprang.

Something unusual occurred in the development of these ancestors of the Hebrews. The lower astral-etheric clairvoyance which had become so decadent among certain races because it was the last phase of external perception, had in those people who developed into the Hebrew race, turned inwards and manifested as an organizing force. That which we have described as being externally decadent, as having remained behind in certain races as a last phase of declining clairvoyance, and as being permeated somewhat by the Ahrimanic element, had progressed among the Hebrews in the right direction by becoming an actively organizing force within the human body. Through this, bodies became more perfect. What among the Turanians was decadent worked constructively and progressively in the Hebrews. Within the physical nature of the Hebrews, as propagated from generation to generation in the close bond of blood relationship, all those forces were active which had accomplished their mission in developing external sight. These were no longer required to provide external sight, so could enter on another sphere of action, thus passing into their right element. That which had given to the Atlantean the power to gaze spiritually into space and into spiritual realms, that had run wild in the Turanians, appearing as a last relic of clairvoyance — all this force worked inwardly in the little Hebrew nation. What in the Atlantean had been spiritual and divine, worked inwardly in the Hebrew race to form certain organs. It worked constructively in the body and could therefore flash forth in the blood of this people as an inward divine consciousness. With the Hebrew people it was if all the Atlantean had seen when directing his clairvoyant vision into space was turned inwards, as if it constructed inwardly an organ of consciousness which was the Jahve-consciousness — the consciousness of God within him. This people felt the God Who filled all space to be united with their blood, felt they were filled, impregnated with Him, and that He lived in the pulsation of their blood.

As in the last lecture we contrasted the Iranians and the Turanians we have now considered the Turanians and the Hebrews, and have seen that what in its further progress and in its essence had become decadent in the Turanians, pulsated later in the blood of the Hebrew people. All that the Atlantean had seen, lived on in the Hebrew as an inward feeling, and could be comprised in a single word: Jahve or Jehovah. The consciousness of God lived throughout the generations of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concentrated as into a single point, invisible but inwardly felt. The God Who had revealed Himself to the Atlantean clairvoyance behind all living things was now the God dwelling in the blood of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and led the generations of their race from destiny to destiny. The outward had thus become inward; it was experienced, no longer seen; it was no longer described by different names, but by one single name ‘I am the I am!’ It had taken on an entirely different form. Whereas for the Atlantean this was found where he was not — in the external world — it was now found by man in the centre of his own being; in his ego; he was conscious of it in the blood that coursed through the generations. The mighty God of the Universe had now become the God of the Hebrews; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and flowed through the generations as the blood of the race.

It was in this way that the race was founded whose special inner mission for humanity we shall consider in the next lecture. We have thus far only been able to indicate the very earliest stage of the composition of the blood of this people, in which was concentrated everything that in the age of ancient Atlantis, humanity had allowed to be impressed upon it from without. We shall see later what mysteries were fulfilled in that which had here its beginning, and shall learn to recognize the peculiar nature of that people from which Zarathustra could take his body to become the being we call Jesus of Nazareth.

In contrast to the Ancient Hebrews, it was the mission of the Ancient Greeks to bring to absolute perfection the human astral body that had been born at the end of the Atlantean Age. Their goal was to allow perception of thought to fully eclipse the ancient picture-consciousness. This perfected astral body could then be the solid foundation upon which the individualized Ego could stand. The Ancient Hebrews realized the promise of the Ego given to them at the time of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ; but they would have been unable to do this without the perfecting of the astral body on the part of the Ancient Greeks.

We see this perfecting and offering the astral body brought to a single point—an individual, representative, sacrificial activity—at the time of Christ. The Archangel Jesus once again offers his astral body to the Nathan Jesus, the vessel for Christ. He had offered this astral body at the dawn of the Atlantean Age in order to allow its force to flow down into the human etheric body, organizing and elaborating it, allowing it to separate off from the higher conglomeration of “bodies.” During the fourth sacrifice at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, the Archangel Jesus once again offers this astral body—but this time in order to lay the foundation for something higher to be born: the human ego. Keeping in mind that Rudolf Steiner indicated that Archangel Jesus was the same as the Apollo of the Ancient Greeks, we could say that the Apollonian wisdom of Greece was offered to the representative Hebrew—indeed, the representative of all Humanity—in order to facilitate the birth of the individual human “I”, the promise of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ. We will investigate this further in part five: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/27/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-5/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/09/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-3/

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 3

Let’s briefly recap before going further:

The first sacrifice of Archangel Jesus was the offering of his Ego in order to organize and bring to manifestation the physical body of the human being at the end of Ancient Lemuria. The offering of his Archangelic Ego planted the seed for the eventual unfolding of the purely human “I”, the earthly personality, at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. The cultivation of this developing Ego was performed primarily by the Ancient Hebrew culture through the Hebrew religious rites, beginning with Abel’s sacrifice of a Lamb to Yahweh, all the way through to the time of Jesus Christ.

However, at the beginning of the Age of Atlantis, Archangel Jesus also sacrificed his astral body in order to facilitate the coming-to-birth of the human being’s etheric body. While the full manifestation of the human being’s etheric body was the immediate gift of this sacrifice, it also planted the seed for the eventual and similar full development of the astral body, at the end of the Atlantean era. In between, certain ancient rituals—ceremonial magical rites—were enacted in order to cultivate this developing astral body. These occurred alongside of the ongoing Hebrew rituals meant to develop the Ego. At the culmination of Atlantis, with the birth of the astral body in the human being, these rituals were no longer necessary. Any remnant of them was decadent and potentially harmful, but ineffective at best. On the other hand, the Ancient Hebrew rite carried on, and continued to take on a more and more codified form.

We can put before our mind’s eye a larger cycle of development, extending from the first sacrifice at the end of Lemuria through the fourth sacrifice at the Mystery of Golgotha, consisting of the ancient Hebrew religion. Embedded within this cycle is a smaller one, which only unfold between the second and third sacrifices of Jesus and Christ during the Atlantean Age:

First portion

As the post-Atlantean Age unfolded, the Zodiacal Ages of Cancer, Gemini, and Taurus recapitulated the time period laid out above, from the end of Lemuria to the end of Atlantis. It was the Age of Aries that properly brought something—or Someone—new to birth, and finally saw the concrete codification of the Hebrew rituals through the patriarchs and Moses. When I say “birth,” the reader may very well ask: what exactly—or Who exactly—was it that was born at the beginning of the Age of Aries, around 1945 BC?

In a lecture from January 10, 1915, Rudolf Steiner paints a vivid picture of a being named Philosophia—see https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19150110p01.html. He characterizes her unfolding biography as the remnant or expression of the Ancient Sun evolution in our current Earthly world. Whereas the normal human being’s biography unfolds over a series of ten seven-year cycles, her biography, according to Steiner, unfolds in a series of approximately seven hundred-year cycles.

For the human being, these seven-year cycles are as follows:

0-7 = birth of physical body, development of etheric body. Related to the Moon Sphere.

7-14 = birth of the etheric body, development of the astral body. Related to the Mercury Sphere.

14-21 = birth of the astral body, development of the sentient soul. Related to the Venus Sphere.

21-28 = birth of the sentient soul, development of the intellectual soul. Related to the Sun Sphere.

28-35 = birth of the intellectual soul, development of the consciousness soul. Related to the Sun Sphere.

35-42 = birth of the consciousness soul, development of Manas or Spirit-Self. Related to the Sun Sphere.

42-49 = birth of Manas, development of Life-Spirit or Buddhi. Related to the Mars Sphere.

49-56 = birth of Buddhi, development of Atman. Related to the Jupiter Sphere.

56-63 = birth of Atman, development of the “Zodiacal Man,” the karma-free human being. Related to the Saturn Sphere.

63-70 = birth of the Zodiacal Man. Related to the Zodiac. (see Hermetic Astrology vol II by Robert Powell for more information)

In this fascinating and complicated lecture, Rudolf Steiner describes the evolution of this being Philosophia in terms related to the above unfolding of human biography. He points to the historical evolution of human consciousness as an indication of the evolution of this being. Oddly enough, he begins his description of the biography of this being at her third life cycle—that of the astral body, related to the Venus sphere. He makes only very vague remarks regarding the first two life cycles. (We will return to this later).

The third life cycle (14-21) of this being begins around the time of the pre-Socratic philosophers. These pre-Socratic philosophers represented the bridge from the old elemental picture consciousness that understood the cosmos via myth, and the newly arising consciousness that revealed itself to the human soul in the form of thought. This new capacity of the thinking soul only fully revealed itself in Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. For these three most representative Greek philosophers, the activity of human thinking did not proceed as though thoughts were created by the Ego, as it does for modern man. These thinkers perceived thoughts as being given to them as any other perception, out of the nature of the very phenomena to which they gave their attention. The divide between soul and world became clear; this divide was bridged through thoughts which were given to the human soul, like words whispered in one’s ear.

Steiner indicates that this third cycle lasted from around the 6th century BC up to the early days of the Church. He indicates that while the development of a world conception based on thought was coming from Ancient Greece, something else was arising in human evolution in connection with the Hebrew people. Their entire mission was tied up with the birth of the individual human Ego, the “I.” This was born towards the end of this period, in 33 AD, at the Mystery of Golgotha.

The next approximately 700-year life cycle in the biography of Philosophia begins during the days of the early Church Fathers and extends through the late 9th century AD—Steiner explicitly refers to John Scotus Eriugena as representing the end of this cycle. This time period was typified by a processing of the world conceptions that had been born in Ancient Greece—in particular Platonism—but at the same time recognizing the limitation of human thinking. It began to be recognized that human thinking does not encapsulate the entirety of the soul’s experience of the world. The thought conceptions of Plato were put to use in order to understand and bring to full consciousness (gnosis) the primal, mystical religious experience of the soul, and the content of religious traditions (primarily Judaism and Christianity).

This was followed by a crucial time period—the approximately 700-year time period of the development of the intellectual soul, the heart of which contains the Christ years of the human being’s biographical unfolding (ages 30-33). It was during the heart of this time period, from the 9th century through the 16th/17th century, that the philosophical/religious movement of Scholasticism began to unfold. Just as the prior time period was a revisiting of Platonism through the burgeoning forces of the Ego bestowed upon the human being through the Mystery of Golgotha, the Scholastic period saw a revisiting and revival of Aristotelianism. Through Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle was Christianized. It was at this point in human history that, for the first time on a completely conscious level, thought was experienced as being produced by the human soul, rather than as a perception coming towards it from without. The task of Scholasticism was to form a truce between the thinking produced out of the Reason of the human soul with the content of religious experience and tradition (dogma). Religious experience was a matter of grace, of a gift from another world that could only be perceived through the capacity of Faith. It was fundamentally based on a trans-subjective experience, and therefore could not become universal. On the other hand the activity of Reason, of the thinking soul, was the effort of the human being to bring this religious content into a conceptual structure and justification that had a universal, objective value.

This time period ended around the 16th/17th centuries, with the Copernican and Cartesian revolutions. The human self began to be felt very strongly as an independent, thought-creating entity. Scientists and philosophers began to feel ever more acutely the lack of the Ego’s self-justification, a deeper and deeper confusion in regards to the fundamental accuracy of human thinking and sense observation, and a loss of the sense of the human personality’s place in the cosmos. World conceptions based on natural science and observation seemed to have no room left for the human soul. More and more the Ego had to struggle to find its place in the world conceptions that were being forced upon the human being due to the rise of materialism. It is in the midst of this struggle that we currently stand.

This year I have had the great opportunity to teach a course of Philosophical Perspectives in the Camphill Academy. I used this lecture as my point of departure, in conjunction with the book Riddles of Philosophy (see here: https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA018/English/AP1973/GA018_index.html). As we’ve worked with this material over the past three months, it has helped me to strike upon what I believe is the exact timing of the unfolding of this being Philosophia.

The first three life cycles of Philosophia take place over the course of the Age of Aries (1945 BC – 215 AD), each one lasting 720 years—this is why Steiner said the life cycles of Philosophia were approximately seven hundred years in length:

Physical body/Moon Sphere: 1945 BC – 1225 BC

Etheric body/Mercury Sphere: 1225 BC – 505 BC

Astral body/Venus Sphere: 505 BC – 215 AD

The life of Christ in this schema would fall right around what would be the equivalent of age 19. We might imagine the Mystery of Golgotha as related to the extremely potent time period in a human being’s biography between the first return of the Moon’s Node (18.61 years old) and the end of the first metonic cycle (19 years old). A window opens for the human being at this time, when one in a way “renews one’s vows” in relation to decisions made prior to incarnating.

The next three life cycles take place over the course of the Age of Pisces (215 AD – 2375 AD), and the final three will take place over the course of the Age of Aquarius (2375 AD – 4535 AD). We will look more closely at these time periods in the next sections. We will also turn our gaze to the mystery of the first two life cycles of the being Philosophia, which took place between 1945 BC – 505 BC. Did Steiner give any indications as to the nature of these two life cycles? Why did the birth of Philosophia coincide with this time period—the start of the Age of Aries? And what developed during that time period that had directly to do with the Mystery of Golgotha, the fourth Sacrifice of Jesus and Christ?

Next section: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/16/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-4/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/04/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-2/

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt. 2

The first sacrifice of Archangel Jesus and Christ occurred sometime in the last third of the Lemurian epoch. At this moment, human beings were given the immediate gift of the organized mineral-physical body, due to the developing seed of the Ego being planted within them. At this point, the human being’s primal, intuitive clairvoyance began to dim; they began to have the first inklings of a division between subject and object, but in the form of primal inspirations. They no longer felt completely at one with the spiritual world. Instead, they felt this world to be outside of them, yet still made up of concrete spiritual beings. None of this was in anyway occurring in full consciousness, but in a dim, almost hypnotic state.

It is my conviction that the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ went hand in hand with the events described in Genesis involving Cain and Abel. As we will see, the seed of the Ego that had been planted within humanity by the spiritual world needed to be met with a corresponding action on the part of humanity towards the spiritual world. In essence, the Ego that had been provided was a sacrifice on the part of Archangel Jesus—he sacrificed a fully-formed portion of his being to act as a substitute, and a guide, until the human being could have a fully individualized personality. And so what was required from humanity as sacred magical rite was a corresponding sacrifice, a properly performed sacrificial ritual.

We might say that the story of Cain and Abel shows us humanity’s tragic discovery of what is true ritual (i.e. sacred magic) and what is arbitrary or fallen ritual (ceremonial or black magic). The shepherd Abel properly mirrored the sacrifice enacted by Archangel Jesus, by sacrificing the best of his lambs. The animal sacrifice, since the time of Abel onwards, carries on through the entire history of the Hebrew people, becoming ever more codified and precise, until the time of Christ. It is there that the need for the sacrificial lamb ceases (we will return to this in a later section).

Cain, on the other hand, attempts first an arbitrary/ceremonial magical rite (symbolized by the burning of vegetation), and then in his frustration, a black magical rite (symbolized in the human sacrifice of his brother Abel). The seed is already planted here at the beginning of all ritual for three paths to open up: to the sacred, the arbitrary, and the debased.

The attention of Jesus and Christ now turns to the etheric body of the human being. At this point in time, the etheric body (body of life-forces) of the the human being is completely permeated by the other five members, particularly the astral body. Our organic functions at this point in time are not just keeping us alive, they are deeply felt and experienced, as a content of soul. We only experience our etheric body in such a way in modern times when we feel ill—our astral body sinks down into our etheric at such times. The human being constantly felt unwell—and due to the existence of arbitrary and debased magical practices, constantly ran the risk of becoming even more ill and out of balance, and sunken within him or herself.

Archangel Jesus, towards the beginning of the Atlantean epoch, sacrificed his astral body for the sake of the human being. The sacrifice of this body resulted in the coalescing, the birthing of the fully formed etheric body, separated from the other five members of the human being, as the physical body had been during ancient Lemuria. And at the same time, due to the sacrifice of the astral body of Archangel Jesus, the seed was planted for the eventual unfolding and distinct formation of the astral body.

three of coins marseilles

The etheric body and the physical body now existed as distinct members active in the material earthly plane. Both the astral body and the Ego had been potentized due to the first two sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, yet they remained essentially united and blended with the other three higher members of the human being (Manas, Buddhi, and Atman), in a sense “hovering above” the other two externalized members. The Ego and the astral body each demanded a different sort of ritual in order to continue to develop within the “flowing together” of the higher human being (i.e. higher than the etheric body).

With the astral body now separated from the etheric body, the possibility for vocalization, and kind of song-language based in vowel sounds could develop. This is reflected in human development at the age of 2, when the first attempts at speech are made. In this sounding, the human being now developed in the horizontal, towards other human beings and nature, in juxtaposition to its vertical development during the first sacrifice.

The rituals for the development of the astral body consisted in the rites of the ancient Atlantean oracles. It is entirely possible that these rites consisted in the “vegetable sacrifice,” the ceremonial or nature magic that Cain attempted to establish at too early a period, but which now had found their place. Abel’s animal sacrifice created smoke which rose up vertically, relating it to the development of the uprightness of the Ego, while the vegetable sacrifice created smoke which spread out horizontally, relating it to the community and nature oriented development of the astral body.

The human being at this point had entirely entered a stage of dim inspirational clairvoyance, and with the second sacrifice of Jesus and Christ, began to feel even more distinctly the split between subject and object. Inspirational clairvoyance, direct contact with spiritual beings, gradually faded into imaginative clairvoyance—a dream-like awareness of flowing pictures which represented the spiritual world to the human being.

Eventually, the astral body reached its full fruition. At the same time, it ran the risk of overwhelming the higher members of the human being, particularly the still-developing Ego. And so Archangel Jesus sacrificed his etheric body to Christ to facilitate the birth of the astral body in the human being, separating it from the other four higher members which continued to operate as a single conglomeration.

Four of Coins Marseilles

The astral body could now begin to differentiate into its three faculties of thinking, feeling, and willing. The human being at this stage had entirely lost the inspirational clairvoyance that had gradually faded since the second sacrifice at the beginning of the Age of Atlantis, living entirely in the dream pictures of imaginative clairvoyance. Out of this imaginative clairvoyance, the human being had experienced a continuity of consciousness from life to life, its memory extending back thousands of years. The speech of human beings had had a magical effect on the natural world, a creative force had lived within it.

These faculties now began to fade. As humanity transitioned from Atlantis into the post-Atlantean period, picture-clairvoyance began to fade away. The human being very gradually began to experience thoughts—but as perceptions, not yet as independent creations of the Ego. By the time of Ancient Greece, the human being was fully experiencing the world as subject and object—as soul and world, but an outer world permeated with thoughts, like the residue of a once perceptible spiritual world.

This third sacrifice at the end of Atlantis, the event which began this transition from picture-consciouses to thought-consciousness, also brought with it the development of consonantal speech, of allowing ideas to incarnate in language and not just feeling and will. This third sacrifice is reflected in the third year of child development, when the child begins to be able to think—albeit at a very rudimentary, imaginative level.

Take note that the development and cultivation of the astral body took place between the second and third sacrifices of Jesus and Christ—during the heart of the Atlantean period. Whatever rituals were attached to the development of the astral body either died away or lived on in a decadent (and unnecessary) form. But after the third sacrifice of Christ in particular, when the Manu (Noah) laid the foundation for the coming post-Atlantean culture, the ritual animal sacrifice for the sake of the development of the Ego (the content of the ancient Hebrew religion) only took on greater form and significance.

We might say that the subsequent Ages of humanity—after the third sacrifice of Jesus and Christ, as humanity transitioned from ancient Atlantis to the post-Atlantean world—were a kind of recapitulation of what had come before. The Age of Cancer (8425 – 6265 BC) straddled the end of Atlantis and the beginning of the ancient Indian culture. This time period recapitulated the transition from Paradise, through the Fall, to the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ that gave the human being the upright physical body. The Age of Gemini (6265 – 4105 BC) straddled the ancient Indian culture and the ancient Persian culture. This time period recapitulated the transition from the end of Lemuria (the first sacrifice) to the beginning of Atlantis (the second sacrifice). Then the Age of Taurus (4105 – 1945 BC) straddled the end of the Persian culture and the start of ancient Egyptian/Assyrian/Babylonian culture, recapitulating the heart of ancient Atlantis, between the second and third sacrifices of Jesus and Christ.

All of which culminated in the time period of the Hebrew Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, at the dawn of the Age of Aries (1945 BC). This was the point in history at which the true preparation for the pivotal fourth sacrifice—the Mystery of Golgotha—could begin in earnest: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/09/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-3/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/02/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-1/

The Sacrifices of Jesus and Christ, pt 1

Dear Friends,

It has been a long time since I’ve written anything for this site. I’ve had quite a few life changes in the past year—moving away from my home community, Plowshare Farm, in New Hampshire; spending two months in a cabin in the woods of the White Mountains; and adjusting to a new life in Camphill Village Copake. My wife and I have taken on running an elder care house here, which is a level of care totally new to us. It has been quite an adjustment, and now the global hysteria and subsequent lockdowns due to covid-19 have added a further layer to the complexity of our lives.

That being said, it has been a while since I have been inspired to write. I simply haven’t had the energy. I believe it was Rilke who said, in Letters to a Young Poet, that a writer doesn’t put pen to paper because he wants to, it’s that he cannot help himself. So it is in my experience; I can only write if I feel compelled by the content to make it known. I do not write “for fun.”

And in the past week, something that has been bubbling for a long time has begun to take form within me, that I feel compelled to share with you all. This has been formed due to a deep engagement with some friends of mine, fellow “Itinerant Hermits” or “Grail Knights” on the topic of the biography of our friend Robert Powell. It has also been formed due to an engagement with Valentin Tomberg’s essays on the pre-Earthly sacrifices of Christ (available in english in the book Christ and Sophia) as part of my journey through Tomberg’s Lord’s Prayer Course. A further element has been provided in my ongoing exploration of the Suit of Swords of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot of Marseilles with my friend and colleague Phillip Malone. And finally, in teaching a course on Philosophical Perspectives here at the Camphill Academy, many new insights have come to light.

I want to begin these considerations by pointing to the first portion of the 16th Letter-Meditation from Meditations on the Tarot, on the Arcanum of the Tower of Destruction. Here, the Anonymous Author contextualizes what exactly the “Fall of Humanity” involved. A Manichaean/Anthroposophical interpretation of the Fall would say that humanity was tempted by the Luciferic spirits to turn its gaze toward the physical material world rather than maintaining a strictly spiritual sensory orientation. From an Anthroposophical perspective, the human being bears seven bodies which interpenetrate each other: Physical body, Etheric body, Astral body, Ego, Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Man (for more information see here: https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA009/English/AP1971/GA009_c01.html). However, what is significant in Anthroposophy is Rudolf Steiner makes it clear that the physical body as such is not necessarily material. It is a “phantom,” a body of physical forces, not necessarily of material substance.

What occurred at the time of the Fall according to a surface understanding of Anthroposophy or Manichaeism is that in turning their gaze toward the material/sensory world, human beings absorbed material substance, were in a sense “poisoned” by materiality. Like a drop of milk into a glass of water, the milk permeates the entirety of the water, making the whole of it cloudy. The two become impossible to separate—at least, without the intense procedure of distillation. So with the clear, diamond-like physical body being “infected” with materiality.

But this is a one-sided and very inaccurate perspective to take. The Anonymous Author makes clear to us in the Tower of Destruction that the Fall of Humanity occurred on the level of the soul first; it is not the poison of materiality entering the physical body that hampers the human being. It is the poison of desire for illicit knowledge, to make oneself like gods, that has poisoned the human’s overall organization—a poisoning of the astral body primarily, one might say, which then opens the gateway to infection in the rest of the human being.

And so let’s take our gaze back to the time of Ancient Lemuria. The human being has fallen due to a desire for illicit knowledge being inspired within it through attentiveness to Luciferic spirits (hierarchies of the Left) rather than maintaining obedience, poverty, and chastity to the nine hierarchies of the Right. The human being subsequently “falls” out of Paradise (a sphere in between the Lunar Sphere and Earth) and incarnates in a physical body. But it isn’t strictly a physical body…how can we understand this better?

We might say that while the body of the human being at that time is physical, it actually is a kind of homogenous mixture of all seven bodies listed above. There is no differentiation; all flows together. The human being exists at an extremely dim level of intuitive consciousness, with a body that can be extended and transformed more or less at will—and the will of the human being, at this point, is merged with, flows into, whatever will surrounds and comes in contact with it. The human body is at the whim of the human soul; the human soul is at the whim of the cosmos, for good or ill.

Ace of Coins M

An extreme danger presents itself here—the human sense organs, at this point, are totally alive, utterly receptive and engaged with whatever is confronting them. It is through the physical senses that spiritual beings—some with extremely dark intentions—can find their way into the human organism, more or less possessing and overtaking it completely. In the region of Paradise, a kind of hole has opened in the cosmos; where once the absolute purity of the human being dwelt in relation to the guiding spirits, a sphere of lies and delusion begins to open up, the so called “Belt of Lies” or “Luciferic Sphere.” This sphere allows Ahrimanic spirits to dedicate themselves to robbing human beings of their physicality, which would turn the human race into a group of ghosts, imprisoned in between life and death. A decision is made at this point. An Archangelic being, the Archangel Jesus, in union with Christ, sacrifices his Ego—his body of conscious intention, conscious will—in order to bring about a protection of the human organization.

This sacrifice of Ego results in two things: first of all, the Moon is extruded from the Earth and enters the Lunar Sphere. The Elohim Yahweh leaves the sphere of the Sun (and the other six Elohim) to take up his abode in the Lunar Sphere. This Lunar Sphere takes on a dense materiality—this dense materiality acts as a kind of shield or barrier from the attempts on the part of Ahrimanic spirits to rob human beings of their physicality. It is like the skull protecting the brain. Yahweh is the cosmic cross-bearer, bearing the cross of the Moon for the sake of humanity. (See here: https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19151018p01.html)

The second result is in the human organization itself: the physical body takes on materiality, and for the first time a distinct, concrete physical body coalesces out of the homogenous mass of seven bodies of the human being. This results in changes to our organization: the senses “die,” they no longer participate in such a dangerously intimate way with the phenomena they present to the human soul. In dying, they are able to be integrated. This is reflected in the sensory integration that occurs in the normally developing child around age one. Notice that at the age of one the child normally attains uprightness and the ability to walk, to have some control of its movements.

This is exactly what happened during this time of the first sacrifice of Jesus and Christ. The Seed of the Ego’s formation was planted within the human being. This drew the human being upright, creating the basis for the skull and spinal cord, and the skin—the primal barrier between outside and inside—was in a way poured out over the human form from above to below. The material body is not a poisoning of the physical body—on the contrary, it is the shield, the barrier which has allowed the human being to develop into a free spiritual being.

marseilles two of coins

And so to be clear in this first sacrifice: the first or “lowest” body of the human being coalesced into a distinct entity. In the meantime, the other six bodies remained as a homogenous “flowing together,” albeit with the the seed of the Ego’s eventual formation planted within it by Jesus and Christ. This seed would take many ages to come to fruition. While the physical, material body was the immediate gift of these two beings, a potential and a promise was planted within the developing human being. While the physical body could immediately be put to use, the developing member of the human being (the Ego) had to be properly cultivated—and this is the origin of Rite, of Ritual. Certain rituals had to be performed, in exact ways, so that the development of the Ego could take its proper course.

In the next section, we will investigate what exactly this Rite or Ritual consisted of, and try to come to a better understanding of the subsequent sacrifices of Jesus and Christ: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/04/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-2/

Previous article: https://treehouse.live/2019/05/05/the-nine-beatitudes/

The Nine Beatitudes

A simple meditative ferment:

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven is made up of those who Bear Suffering
  2. The Comforted shall become Meek
  3. The Inheritors of the Earth Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
  4. Those filled with Righteousness shall become Merciful
  5. Those who are shown Mercy shall Purify their Hearts
  6. To See God is to become a Peacemaker
  7. The Sons of God are Persecuted for Righteousness Sake
  8. The Kingdom of Heaven is made up of those who are Reviled, Persecuted, Slandered for the sake of Christ
  9. The Great Reward in the Kingdom of Heaven is Poverty of Spirit

Pax et Bonum ~ GK

Next article: https://treehouse.live/2020/05/02/the-sacrifices-of-jesus-and-christ-pt-1/

Previous article: https://treehouse.live/2019/01/11/the-fourth-school/

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!

Next article: https://treehouse.live/2019/05/05/the-nine-beatitudes/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2018/12/30/aristotle-and-plato-further-reflections/

 

Aristotle and Plato: Further Reflections

Over the course of the past month or so, I have reflected more on the topic of these three streams of Michael, Christ and Sophia. I’ve had time for conversation with others who have read what I wrote last month, and taken in their reflections as well. One of the main things we wondered was, “what exactly is it that characterizes and sets apart the Gardeners from the Masons?” We might say that the Gardeners are those who are tending the “eternal springtime” of humanity; they are those who maintain the Tradition, i.e. the Living Tradition of Hermeticism. On the other hand, the Masons are those who have an eye on the “eternal autumn” of humanity, who receive inspirations from the future of humanity and do their best to steer humankind steadily to the great city, the New Jerusalem, when all the earth will have been transformed by human activity. “May that which is fired in the East in the West take form.”

And so we have Aristotelians and Platonists as scientists and historians; we have Shepherds and Kings as mystics working in the realm of Beauty (i.e. artists); and we have Gardeners and Masons working in the religious and social realms. We begin to approach, in a quite roundabout way, a picture presented by Rudolf Steiner of the four compass points in the realm of the Archangels (see for example this excellent piece: http://www.waldorfresearchinstitute.org/pdf/Creating-Social-Sacraments.pdf):

Archangel Michael works in the East as the leader of Cosmic Wisdom. Here, clearly, the School of Michael (Aristotelians and Platonists) finds its home. This is equivalent to the Medieval class of laborers/artisans/farmers.

Archangel Gabriel works in the South as the leader of Cosmic Beauty. Here we might place the School of Sophia (Kings and Shepherds) in relationship to Gabriel. As Robert Powell writes in the introductory invocations in his Christian Hermetic Astrology:  “Holy Gabriel, thou glowing one clothed in silvery moonlight, breathing graciousness, fill us with the ineffable beauty of thy gentle loving piety and reverence.” The Virgin Mary was the bearer of Archangel Gabriel in her life mission at the time of Christ, with whom she had a revelatory experience at the time of the Annunciation. Indeed, we might say that other than the newborn Jesus, it is Mother Mary who is the focal point of the nativities. The School of Sophia is equivalent to the priestly class.

Then we have Archangel Uriel working in the North as the leader of Cosmic Righteousness. He is the Archangel who oversees the religious and social realms. The School of Christ finds its home here, with the “Gardeners” more related to the religious realm, and the “Masons” more related to the social realm. The School of Christ is equivalent to the class of Knights/Royalty.

(Here the perceptive reader might wonder, what of the fourth point on the compass? What of Raphael in the West? More on that later).

It is perhaps here that we come to the heart of the problem with the School of Christ. The Knights Templar were perhaps the last time that these two streams of Tradition and Progress were totally united. For the stream of Tradition is upheld most of all by Orthodoxy, by the Catholic Church. And the stream of Progress is upheld most of all by the western occult brotherhoods, for example Freemasonry. And yet, since the time of the destruction of the Templars, these two impulses have been sundered, and are even at odds with one another. Especially since the time of Napoleon and Kaspar Hauser, these two streams have even begun working in a destructive, anti-Christian way towards humanity: they have become their opposite, the School of Antichrist.

Rudolf Steiner made the unfortunate characterization of the egregore of the Catholic Church as “Jesuits.” I say that this is unfortunate, as there are plenty of Jesuits who are not working for dark brotherhoods, and there are plenty of individuals who are working for dark forces who are not part of the Jesuit brotherhood. The important point is not the name, but the activity. The goal of the egregore of the Traditional stream of Gardeners is to arrest progress. The wish is for Tradition to no longer be living, for it to be removed from the realm of “Spring Time.” These dark forces wish for a permanent caricature of celestial hierarchy to be established on earth, for oligarchical centers of power and control to be established. We see this manifesting in many realms as religious fundamentalism that will go to violent extremes in order to achieve its goals.

On the other hand, the egregore of the Western lodges (which has more or less entirely absorbed Freemasonry, but again this would be a misleading title to give to this egregore, as “Jesuit” is for the egregore of Tradition) has as its goal to bring the future too quickly into the present, crashing down upon our heads in a revolutionary and chaotic manner. Ironically, the egregore of progress, of the Masons, has the same goal as the above mentioned traditional egregore in mind:  establishing centers of control and power. The progressive egregore wishes to achieve this by misusing occult knowledge of the future and of scientific technology in order to completely abolish all traditional hierarchy, particularly in the form of cultural marxism. The wish is to eradicate traditional morality and replace it with moral relativism. The end result they have in mind is for a large majority of human beings to be sick, immoral, medicated, and addicted to things which nullify the human spirit (entertainment devices, opiates, etc).

Since the time of Kaspar Hauser and Napoleon, these two streams have worked together (to whatever degree dark forces can actually collaborate) in order to create that which they both desire:  99% of humanity in subservience to a small oligarchy. In fact, these two streams over the course of the 20th-21st century more or less merged into one school, the school of antichrist. This school achieved its zenith of power, and the closest that humanity has come to being knocked completely off course of its evolutionary path, between March 13, 2013, and November 8, 2016.

Already, however, in the 1960’s, essentially all of the groundwork had been laid by these two egregores for the machinations of the early 21st century to come to fruition. Readers familiar with the work of Robert Powell are already aware of the fact that the Antichrist, the vessel for Ahriman, was born on February 5, 1962. Around this same time period, the Vatican was engaging in black magical occult rituals dedicating the Holy See to Satanic forces. It was during this time that the unfortunate decisions of Vatican II came about within the Catholic Church (for more on this, see the worlds of Malachi Martin). The traditional egregore was effectively consumed by and united with the progressive egregore.

Looking back even earlier, we can see the cooperation between the Catholic Church and the Nazis. Many of the Nazis at the end of World War II were smuggled into the Americas and became a part of the American power structure (particularly the CIA and NASA). Interestingly, many Nazis found their way into Argentina—the birth country of Pope Francis. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_XII

And here is where Meditations on the Tarot comes into play. Valentin Tomberg attempted to establish the Knighthood of Christ via the Lord’s Prayer Course in Amsterdam in the 1940’s. When this was swept away due to World War II, he continued this Knighthood more or less on his own. Aspects of his daily meditative practice are now being disseminated through the Grail Knight’s Training, facilitated by the Sophia Foundation annually. Valentin Tomberg, we could say, was at the forefront of the battle between good and evil during this time. Part of why he was led to join the Catholic Church was to create an antidote to the black magical union that occurred there between the 1940s and the 1960s. His goal was to plant the seed of the regeneration of an authentic Knights Templar, where Masons are active under the auspices of the Gardeners—Tradition and Progress working together in the name of Christ. In Meditations on the Tarot, the “Martinist—Templar—Rosicrucian” Hermeticism of Mebes, into which Tomberg was initiated in 1920 (see page 590 of Meditations on the Tarot), was married to the orthodoxy and tradition of the Catholic Church.

For hundreds of years we have witnessed the battle between past and future in the name of Antichrist. What needs to be re-established, and to some degree has been through Tomberg, is the marriage of Past and Future in the name of Christ. We might say that the goal of the egregores of the Gardeners and Masons is the annihilation of Time; whereas the goal of the true Gardeners and Masons is the transmutation of Time into Metamorphosis, an alchemical transformation.

Uriel is the inspiring Archangel of both the religious and social life:  i.e. the life of morality. Notice that the Catholic Church has more to do with the traditional administration of the sacraments. However, the Freemasons have always been associated with the “great art” of the transformation of society, of the shaping of culture. Here is the place for the administration of “social sacraments” such as those laid out by Dieter Brull in the text linked to above. The Masonic gesture must become one that is of service to humanity, and not a secret masterminding, coercion, and manipulation from behind the scenes. Remembering that the School of Christ is one of morality, goodness, and righteousness, here is the relevant invocation from Christian Hermetic Astrology:  “Holy Uriel, thou blue radiance of shining glory, instill in us the inexpressible grandeur of thy awesome righteousness.”

Now, we have only been discussing three Great Teachers, and three Schools—but there is a fourth Archangel, is there not? What of Raphael in the West? Is there possibly a relationship between the impulse of Raphael and the fourth teacher—the current incarnation of the Maitreya Bodhisatva? Here we will have to come to a further degree of discernment in regards to what we have already been addressing thus far. We will address this in the next portion: https://treehouse.live/2019/01/11/the-fourth-school/

Previous section: https://treehouse.live/2018/11/15/moving-beyond-aristotle-and-plato/

Moving Beyond Aristotle and Plato

In response to a question from a friend (“What is the School of the Archangel Jesus?”), I decided to go back and revisit a lecture from Valentin Tomberg that I hadn’t read for quite a long time. Tomberg’s first lecture from the series Inner Development, “The New Michael Community,” given in Rotterdam in 1938, begins with his extremely brief outline of the new Grail Community, a Community whose motto is to be Michael Sophia in Nomine Christi. He spends a good deal of this lecture describing the nature of the School of Michael and its relationship both to Sophia and to the threshold between the spiritual and material worlds.

For those of us involved with the Sophia Foundation or any of Robert Powell’s work, this lecture is key. This lecture planted the seed for two perspectives which lie at the heart of our work and our approach to spiritual life. The first perspective is hidden in the motto of the Grail Community:  Michael Sophia in Nomine Christi. What is contained in this simple phrase is the following:  the 20th into the 21st century witnesses the advent of Christ’s second coming. In order to facilitate this, three great Teachers of Humanity came to establish three spiritual schools on Earth. These three schools satisfy completely different needs of the spirit, yet are meant to be complementary to each other.

The first school was founded by the first great teacher, Rudolf Steiner, over the course of the years 1902-1925:  the School of Michael. The primary aim of this school is to enable human beings to rise to the Cosmic Thinking of the Archangel Michael:  it works for Wisdom.

The second school was founded by the second great teacher, Valentin Tomberg, over the course of the years 1940-1967:  the School of Christ (represented by the Archangel Jesus). The aim of this school is to bring human beings to a higher level of morality and experience of conscience:  it works for Goodness. (Although to be clear, this School was unable to incarnate fully as intended by Valentin Tomberg. More on this later, perhaps).

The third school has been developing under the guidance of Robert Powell and Karen Rivers, inspired by the third great teacher, the reincarnated Novalis, since the year 1994:  the School of Sophia. This school works on the heart forces of the human being in order to promote feelings of love and community:  it works for Beauty. This school, like the Michael School, has properly incarnated, and has attained its mature manifestation in the Grail Priesthood of the Sophia Foundation. (A much clearer and thorough description of the three Great Teachers is given in Robert Powell’s Most Holy Trinosophia).

In fact, we might characterize these three schools in relation to the three classes of the Middle Ages:  the workers, the priests, and the knights. The Michael School consists of laborers in the fields of Thought, of Wisdom. The Sophia School is made up of priests in the church of Beauty and Love. And the Christ School is meant to be composed of knights on the battlefield of Good and Evil.

This is of course a woefully brief characterization that could be discussed at length, but it will suffice for now.

So much for the first perspective (that of three teachers and three schools) that has become a guiding light in the work of the Sophia Foundation and of Robert Powell. It is the second perspective that has become somewhat more entrenched and divisive—and as we will see, is very likely based on a misunderstanding of the words of Valentin Tomberg. This perspective has to do with the so-called “Aristotelian” and “Platonic” karmic streams, and their respective relationship to Michael and Sophia.

Tomberg refers to Sophia and Michael each guarding different sides of the Threshold to the spiritual world. Sophia wishes to administer revelations from the spiritual to the earthly, but stands as a warning to the spiritual beings who wish to bestow their revelation upon human beings. Michael, on the other hand, stands as guardian of human beings towards the spiritual world, only allowing those who are adequately prepared to cast their gaze across the threshold. He is the guardian of the revelatory content bestowed by Sophia, and simultaneously puts out the call to “Michaelites” who are ready to investigate and research beyond the threshold.

For readers who have the English edition of Inner Development, it is especially between pages 28-31 that the core characteristics of these Michaelites are presented. On the one hand, there are Aristotelians, those who research and bring to conscious understanding the spiritual realities operating behind the manifestations of nature. On the other hand, there are Platonists, those who research and bring to conscious understanding the spiritual realities operating behind human history, particularly in the realms of karma and reincarnation.

Note that both of these streams are Michaelites. The following quote from the lecture has led to a certain level of confusion:  “The men and women of Sophia, of revelation, will walk the path together with the men and women of knowledge; the Platonists will stand guard together with the Aristotelians at the threshold of the spiritual world.” Here two separate ideas have been merged into one. It ought to read as such:

“The men and women of Sophia, of revelation, will walk the path together with the men and women of knowledge.

The Platonists will stand guard together with the Aristotelians at the threshold of the spiritual world.”

You see, Tomberg is making a sharp distinction here:  the Sophia School will be a revelatory stream. Meanwhile, the Michael School, which is composed of both Aristotelians and Platonists, is a stream dedicated to knowledge. Both the Aristotelians and Platonists must stand together as Michaelites, as “men and women of knowledge” to guard the threshold of the spiritual world.

A dangerous misunderstanding of the above has come about in certain circles. There has developed a false (or at the very least short-sited) identification between “Sophian” and “Platonist,” as though the Platonic stream of Michael were the same thing as the Sophia stream of revelation. This is not the case. This way of thinking only breeds divisiveness. One begins to imagine that all mainstream or traditional Anthroposophists are Aristotelians; that they are stuck in a one-sided version of Anthroposophy; and that they have “missed the boat” and rejected the Platonic element, which Steiner foretold would come to Anthroposophy at the turn of the 20th to the 21st century. He emphasized the need for these two groups to work together to bring Anthroposophy adequately into the world. One begins to identify all Sophians as Platonists, and that they carry the “next level” of spirituality that has been rejected by mainstream Anthroposophy.

True as the above may be on some level, the reality is (as reality tends to be) much more complicated.

There was of course discord and enmity for a time between the Aristotelian and Platonic streams of Anthroposophy. The rejection of Elisabeth Vreede, and along with her much of the Free Anthroposophical Groups, Valentin Tomberg, Willi Sucher, and others, more or less represented a rejection and ejection of the Platonists from Anthroposophy (in April 1935). But this only held true for a time. The work of many of these Platonists has been recognized and integrated into mainstream Anthroposophy. Other Platonists have incarnated and work in a very strong way in modern Anthroposophy. Whether or not those Platonists are also Sophians, or for that matter whether all Sophians are Platonists, is another matter altogether.

No, when we look at the Sophian streams, we are not looking for two different branches of knowledge. We are looking for two different forms of revelation, of mystical experience. And this is an important distinction to make. When we read Meditations on the Tarot, or Christ and Sophia, which were written by Valentin Tomberg (who described himself as a Platonist), and we compare these works to, for example, Through the Eyes of Mary Magdelene by Estelle Isaacson, we can feel that we are working with two different schools of spirituality. The former are Michaelic—certainly Platonic, but one could not say “revelatory.” They are books of knowledge. The works of Estelle Isaacson, on the other hand, are mystical and revelatory. It is not the knowledge conveyed, but the message that is being transmitted, the mood that is living, which is of primary import here. Isaacson’s works are, therefore, Sophianic par excellence. 

Clearly “Aristotelian” and “Platonist” are inadequate, indeed incorrect, titles to associate with the Sophianic stream of revelation. But if we reflect for a moment, we may find two other streams that we can characterize as the two streams which must work together in order to accomplish the mission of Sophia. Let us look to the Letter-Meditation on The Sun for a clue in this direction. Tomberg characterizes the experience of mystical revelation as such:

“According to the case, it can take either the character of a ‘conversation through forces’ or that of a ‘conversation through words.’ In the former case it is not precise and articulated thoughts or images which are communicated to you, but rather ‘forces’ or impulses—spiritual and psychic seeds impregnated germinally with moral ideas and judgements. In the case of the ‘conversation through words,’ a revelation of articulated thoughts and representations takes place. The revelation to the shepherds at Bethlehem can be considered as a prototype of the meeting whose character is ‘conversation through words’ and the experience of the mages of the Orient—who saw the star of the ‘king of the Jews…in the East,’ but who had to ask at Jerusalem, ‘where is he who has been born king of the Jews?’ (Matthew 2:2)—is an example of the meeting whose character is ‘conversations through forces.’ The ‘star’ of the king of the Jews gave them certainty concerning the coming of Christ and gave them the impulse to go and search where he was awaited, but it did not give them information with respect to the place and parents, whilst to the shepherds of Bethlehem is was revealed that ‘to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger’ (Luke 2:11-12), i.e. precise and complete information was given to them with respect to time, place, and external circumstances.”

Ah, and here we find more than a clue, but a clear outline of the two revelatory streams of Sophia:  the Shepherds and Kings. The Shepherd stream of Sophia experiences revelatory content with sound and color, with precise and complete information. This is the type of revelatory experience had by Estelle Isaacson or Judith von Halle. On the other hand, the Kingly stream of Sophia experiences revelation on a more intuitive level, without sound and color, and must apply research and effort in order to come to clarity. One might characterize the mystical experience of a Carl Jung or St. John of the Cross as such.

Is there a uniting factor between the Shepherds and Kings, beyond the fact that they both came to see the newborn Jesus, and beyond the more-or-less arbitrary connection we have made between them by naming them the two streams of Sophian revelation? Both of these streams are related strongly to the individuality who incarnated as Mary Magdelene. In her incarnation as Abel, she was the primal Shepherd; in her incarnation as Solomon, she was a great King. (Note that the Solomon Jesus, visited by the Kings, is a product of the Solomon line—a kingly stream; while the Nathan Jesus visited by the Shepherds is the product of the Nathan line—a priestly stream. This brings us back to the Sophia School as a Grail Priesthood.)

So, life is not so simple as we thought it was. It is not only that Aristotelians and Platonists must learn to work together; Shepherds and Kings must also learn to cooperate. Above and beyond this, Michaelites and Sophians must unite their complementary forces: not just respecting, but honoring and revering each other’s differences, as members of different streams, yet learning to work together. And of course, there are many of us who belong to both schools (I might consider myself a Platonic King, for example). This is very important; in fact, ultimately it will be important that there are individuals who are members of all three schools, who have integrated them into a harmonious unity.

Which brings us to the third school, the School of the Archangel Jesus (or Christ). What is this school? Are there two representative streams who must work together here? This is harder to answer, as I believe this school was a sort of miscarriage. It has been preserved  in two ways:  through the notes of the Lord’s Prayer Course which was held between 1940-1943 in Amsterdam, and through the anonymously written Meditations on the Tarot, which for all intents and purposes founded the Christ School in the heart of anyone who lovingly devoted their attention to the 22 Letter-Meditations contained within this text. It was an ingenious move, really:  to unofficially found the Christ School amongst an enormous spectrum of spiritually striving individuals. A very strong foundation is laid for the existence of this school, and in a way it does exist, but informally, stealthily. It remains to be seen whether it is the destiny of this school to incarnate in a formal, external way, as has the Michael School (in the form of the First Class of Spiritual Science, which has been in existence for 94 years) and the Grail Priesthood (which has been in existence in a limited sense for 24 years, and a broader sense for 12).

But in spite of all this, can we discover two streams active within this School? Well, we have looked at the two streams of Abel in reference to Sophia:  Kings and Shepherds. The Kings represent the human/spiritual realm (awakening the Ego); the Shepherds the animal/astral (awakening the Spirit Self). Might we find two streams in the Christ School related to the plant/etheric realm (awakening the Life Spirit) and the stone/physical realm (awakening the Resurrection Body)?

For this, we must look to the individuality who incarnated as Lazarus. Who did this individual incarnate as during the times of Abel and Solomon? At the time of Abel, he incarnated as Abel’s older brother, Cain—a Gardener; and during the time of Solomon, the architect of the Temple, he incarnated as Solomon’s partner and rival, Hiram Abiff, the actual builder of the Temple—a Mason.

And so, with the Christ School, we are dealing with another stream altogether. In fact, we find that we are dealing with nothing less than the Rosicrucian stream—for Lazarus incarnated in the 14th-15th century as Christian Rosenkreuz. This stream is deeply associated with the Freemasons, with the Tarot, and with the Knights Templar—bringing us back to the characterization of the Christ School as a school of Grail Knights.

This school has less to do with knowledge or revelation, but rather with deeds, both inner and outer. It has to do with the overcoming of evil inwardly, overcoming the double, in order to create new and ever higher forms of Goodness within; and it has to do with overcoming evil externally, in order to create new and ever higher forms of Goodness without. The only other individual to have traversed the path through the nine sub-earthly spheres other than Christ himself was Lazarus. He is our guide in the navigation and transformation of Evil. Lazarus was given Christ’s ether body (Life-Spirit) when he was raised from the dead; and we are all given a new physical body, the Resurrection Body, through Christ.

Here we do not look to the Nativity of the Christ Child to find the archetypes of Gardener and Builder:  we look to his Entombment and Resurrection. For he was entombed in a grave belonging to Joseph of Arimethea, a stone-mason. And when he rose from the dead, he first appeared to Mary Magdalene in the form of a groundskeeper, a gardener.

Michael guards this side of the threshold, the side of human beings. Sophia guards the other side, that of the spiritual world. But the Threshold itself is Christ—it is Conscience. The aim of the Christ School is not to stand guard over one side or the other, but to be the Threshold itself, to cultivate ever deeper levels of Conscience that the Threshold may open ever wider between the spiritual world and humanity, between Heaven and Earth. Its members are the cultivators and builders of the future—the New Jerusalem.

And this third stream is in the same situation as the others. It must find a way to enhance cooperation between the Gardeners and Masons; and it must find a way to properly engage with both the Sophianic and Michaelic streams. I reiterate that it will be of great importance for there to be individuals who feel themselves to be active members of all three streams, in order to bring about the Grail Community of our time:  Michael Sophia in Nomine Christi.

As a final note, and keeping in mind that Tomberg described the upper chakras as chakras of knowledge, and the lower chakras as those of revelation, here is how these streams might relate to the seven chakras of the human being:

Crown—Plato

Brow—Aristotle

Larynx—Michael (Mason)

Heart—Christ

Solar Plexus—Shepherd (Gardener)

Sacral—King

Root—Sophia

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Death and Rebirth in the USA

In my last series of articles (“The Seven Miracles”), I made the observation that the time period from 2028-2040 would be the ideal time for the 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ to come to fruition. This miracle would be analogous to the Feeding of the Five Thousand, and would be the organic metamorphosis following upon the founding of the Michael School (within the vessel of the General Anthroposophical Society), the Christ School (within the vessel of Meditations on the Tarot), and the Sophia School (within the vessel of the Sophia Foundation).

However, in an earlier series of articles (“The Cosmic Communion of Fish”), I observed that the year 2018 might be the beginning of a time period analogous to that of the 40 days the Risen Christ was with his disciples after the Resurrection, following up on a period analogous to the first five Stages of the Passion (1879-1928) and a period analogous to the sixth stage, that of Entombment (1928-2018).  I also made the observation that just as there was confusion, fear, and anxiety around the phenomenon of the empty tomb subsequent to Christ’s Resurrection, there may be a similar mood on a wider scale next year.

The question may arise as to whether there is a connection between the year 2018 and the years from 2028-2040, and if so, what that connection is. In fact, it is my observation that these are not two isolated periods; that there is a bridge connecting the two; and that both time periods point in the direction of a third:  that of the year 2047, which according to Robert Powell is the end of a Cosmic 40 Days of Temptation, in which every day of the life of Christ has transformed into one Saturn year of 29.46 years. From this perspective, the entire time period from 869 AD through 2047 AD is analogous to 40 Days of Temptation, with 2018-2047 marking the last “day.”

Before we can make sense of the connection between the three time periods 2018 — 2028-40 — 2047, we will have to look more closely at the three prior “days” of temptation, those during which the three temptations recorded in the Gospels occurred on a global scale for humanity. From 1929-1959, humanity was faced with the temptation of the will to power, with Lucifer offering all the kingdoms of the world at the price of us worshipping him. From 1959-1988, both Lucifer and Ahriman approached with the temptation to throw ourselves down from the pinnacle, to rely on blind instinct rather than conscience. Finally, from 1988-2018, the temptation proceeding from Ahriman has been to turn stones into bread, to create a completely technological/materialistic culture.

The three temptations involved a roving spotlight, one that first cast its focus onto Middle Europe (particularly Germany), then onto the USSR, and finally onto the USA. We can see a progression from the current and into the future cultural epochs spoken of by Rudolf Steiner and others: the 5th (European – Age of Pisces), 6th (Slavic – Age of Aquarius) and 7th (American – Age of Capricorn) cultural epochs.

During the first temptation, it was primarily a question of the world at large under threat from Germany. The crumbling of the world situation occurred primarily in the first 4 years of the “day” of temptation (1929-1933). This time period saw both the Great Depression as well as the rise of Adolf Hitler to power. The threat reached a fever pitch and a turning point 10-16 years into the “day” (1939-1945), the time period during which World War II was fought. Finally, it was during the shift into the next “day” of temptation that cultural breakdown and punishment of Germany took place, primarily on the part of the USSR in the splitting of Germany into East and West and the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

We see here that now Germany (and the rest of Europe) experienced something from 1959-1963 akin to what the world at large experienced from 1929-1933. Rather than Fascist Europe threatening the whole world, Communist Russia became the threat to a broken Germany. And once again, 10-16 years into this tension between Europe and Russia, a turning point was reached: from the years 1969-1974, the Prime Minister of Germany was Willy Brandt, whose “Ostpolitik” aimed at relieving tensions between East and West Germany. (There are of course other geopolitical events happening parallel to these, reflecting the same core shift. For example, the election and assassination of John F. Kennedy between 1959-1963 on the one hand, and on the other the Nixon administration and its failure in Vietnam between 1969-1974).

So we can see that between 1929-1959, the entire globe went through a kind of death and renewal process via the threat emanating from Germany. Subsequently Germany herself experienced a death and renewal via the split into two pieces and the construction of the Berlin Wall. The first four years of the next day of temptation (1988-1992) saw the renewal of Germany come to a certain level of fruition:  as Communism began to lose its grip as a cultural impulse in the USSR, the Berlin Wall came down, and Germany was once again a whole nation.

Now it was Russia’s turn to die. Between 1988-1992, there were massive upheavals in the USSR; the entire country experienced a breakdown and descent into chaos and poverty. This was brought about primarily through the covert operations of the USA in their attempts to destabilize the USSR as a world power and a threat to global hegemony. Once again, 10-16 years into this “day” of temptation (from 1998-2004) a turning point was reached. With the election of Vladimir Putin to the Presidency in the year 2000, Russia became a new nation. In the time since he was first elected President, Putin has directed and facilitated a miraculous turn around of his culture.

And now where do we stand, here at the threshold to the last “day” of temptation, when Angels are meant to come and minister to us as they did to Christ on the 40th day? Is the USA really getting ready to have nuclear war with Russia? Is the world completely doomed?

This was my fear for quite some time, but now I see it differently. The Resurrection event alluded to above, one that will leave confusion and fear in its wake for a time, will primarily be the Resurrection of Russia coming to its fruition, the time period 1988-2018 being analogous for Russia what 1959-1988 was for Germany. The recent sanctions on Russia on the part of the USA will have the unintended consequence of welding Russia and China further together, and driving the EU into their waiting arms. In fact, the USA may have inadvertently written sanctions against themselves. On the other hand, the time from 2018-2022, which will be a resurrection for Russia, is also a time of the death of the American Empire. Whatever and whoever Donald Trump is on the level of personality, it is clear what his task in the cosmic drama is:  the demolition man. It is in the destiny of America at this moment in time that all of the false systems, ideology, and culture that we have cultivated for the last 70 years will be exposed for what it truly is. The phenomenon of Trump is the unveiling of what has been there all along, what needs to come to the light of day and evaporate. His complete lack of competence will only more quickly dissolve the utterly inadequate structures upon which the Empire has been built.

This is a tragic time for America; tragic to the same degree 1929-1933 was for the world, as 1959-1963 was for Germany, and as 1988-1992 was for the USSR. But just as when one has an upset stomach, one can only avoid purging for so long, so the United States has reached the end of its tether. At the same time, this is a glorious time for the rest of the world, a time during which the unilateral hegemony of the USA can potentially give way to the more multilateral and cooperative approach of a nation like Russia.

As tragic as this time period is for the USA, however, it bears within it the seed of a great hope. We can look forward to the time 10-16 years into this “day” of temptation as a turning point, a time when renewal might begin to occur. This falls on the years 2028-2034, which also happens to fall during the time in which the 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ has the opportunity to unfold (2028-2040). This time period also bears the 2000th anniversary of the three and a half year ministry of Christ, from 29-33 AD. It may be that during this time period, the American people will be given the opportunity to find the spiritual impulses which have been buried under the atrocities committed by Empire, the original spiritual impulses which lay behind the founding of many Utopian communities early on in America’s history.  Many of these found their place in Pennsylvania, such as the Quakers in Penn’s Woods, the Society of the Woman in the Wilderness (who settled in Germantown, PA), the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster, PA, the Harmony Society (who settled in Butler County, PA), and the Moravian Brotherhood, a Pietist movement that settled in Bethlehem, PA. One could also look to the founding of places like New London, Connecticut; John Winthrop, Jr., the founder of New London, based his life around the resurgent Rosicrucianism and alchemy of the 17th century. In fact, all of the Utopian communities above can trace much of their origin back to the Hermetic stream of Jakob Boehme.

The uniting threads of these communities, the founding impulses of a true America, consist in 1) the intention to infuse traditional Christianity with the forces of the Heart, 2) an appreciation of the Divine Feminine, 3) an eye for the spiritual in Nature (Pan-en-theism), and 4) a direct and unmediated experience of the spiritual world (specifically, Christ). We could see modern forms of such communities in this country in the Camphill Movement as well as the Sophia Foundation.

As the Cosmic Days of Temptation finally come to a close in 2047, we may find a very different arrangement of world leadership compared to what we now experience. And we can make it our hope and intention that we will find a completely reformed American culture in the United States; one that is ready to bear a folk-soul. Valentin Tomberg, in his Lord’s Prayer Course, makes the observation that the USA does not have a folk-soul; it suffers the tension between a Luciferic (backward) Archai and an Ahrimanic elemental. What if the long and difficult road of redemption we are to take in America over the course of the next 30 years is meant to overcome these two opposing forces and midwife the birth of our folk-soul, Columbia?

The year 2047 will mark the time that the turning point reached between 2028-2034 (the 4th Miracle) can fully flower, placing America back on its feet as a member of the world community. And so we have come to our bridge:

2018 — The beginning of the 40th Cosmic Day of Temptation; the Resurrection event of the Grail Stream; full re-emergence of Russia, demise of American Empire

2028-2034 — The 4th Miracle of the Etheric Christ; The beginning of American Reform

2047 – The end of 40 Days in the Wilderness; America reborn, birth of Columbia.

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