At the turning point of time
The cosmic spirit-light stepped
Into earthly evolution;
Had ended its reign;
The bright light of day
Streamed into human souls;
The poor shepherd hearts
The wise kings’ heads.
Sun of Christ,
Our hearts —
So that good results
Our hearts beget,
Forcefully will to do.
Foundation Stone Meditation, Rudolf Steiner
Or perhaps it had been Venus….
Again there was no answer, but the witness now felt sure this was when the rare and ancient copy of ‘Pros Theon’, which translated into English as ‘By the Gods’, had last been consulted.
But where is it now, for heaven’s sake?
Who could say?
Precisely as the confident sun was crossed by a thick, scudding, cloud, the atmosphere in Mysteries was electrified by morbid anxiety verging on panic. To lose the book would be an unmitigated disaster, of that there could be no doubt. There were only seven known-of copies on the planet, the other two having been lost in the midst of time – one after being buried many moons ago by the earthly entrance to Shambhala – while three updated versions were yet to be recalled and translated from the Akashic records.
A well-preserved copy was with the Dalai Lama, while the elder Rabbi – who had denied its existence no less than 28 times because of his pathological obsession with total secrecy – kept a pristine version within a hidden compartment in his personal library. Mahavatar Babajihad also received a Pros Theon scroll that he subsequently left with his disciples, while an un-heard of Sufi Magician inherited the fifth from his grandfather.
The Catholic Church had the remaining extant copies of Pros Theon. The first was mostly in fragments and frequently misinterpreted due to the high number of puzzling gaps in crucial places, while a second had been retrieved by the Knights Templar from a vault below the Church of the Sepulchre in Jerusalem, shortly before mad caliph al-Hakim came to power in the dark ages.
Sealed in a ruby and amethyst-encrusted casket that was locked with a golden key bearing three perfect emeralds and a set of alchemical sigils that were barely understood by anyone alive or dead, this particular copy of Pros Theon had not been opened for almost 1,000 years and nor would it ever be again.
The witness felt a sudden chill. Was it possible that the only freely available text had been lost or – it hardly bore contemplating – stolen? Oh, the horrors if that were true! The very thought brought about cold sweats and a search that was renewed with marked zelatory.
Holy Moses and Mary, Christ the everlasting Lord, please don’t let Pros Theon fall into the wrong hands. Forgive me for so carelessly misplacing it, I beg of you to let me find The Book…I sense that the shift is now occurring and the world must be told what is written for The Days of Transformation!
The ‘gift of tears’ was always considered by the masters of Christian spirituality as a grace from the Holy Spirit, for it is thanks to this gift that the soul surpasses itself and ascends to a degree of intensity of life which is certainly above that to which it is accustomed.
Now, the ‘gift of tears’ is a comparatively recent spiritual phenomenon in the history of human spirituality. In the ancient world one wept only ritually, ie through verbal lamentations and through prescribed gestures of mourning or grief, and it was amongst the chosen people, Israel, that real weeping began.
It was as a manifestation of the share that the chosen people had in the mission of preparing for the coming of Christ – who wept at the time of Lazarus’ resuscitation and who sweated sweat and blood during the night in the Garden of Olives – that real weeping came to have its rudimentary origin from the womb of this people. And to this present day the Jews preserve, cultivate and respect the ‘gift of tears’. In fact, every revelation in the narrative of the Zohar is preceded or accompanied by the weeping of the one who had it and who comes to share it with the others.
Meditations on the Tarot, Letter II, The High Priestess
Christians expect this manifestation to be clothed in the form of Jesus. Muslims anticipate the return of their own great Prophet. The Jews are looking forward to the arrival in their midst of a modern manifestation of Jehovah. Followers of other oriental faiths are imbued with similar expectations, in accordance with the prophetic tenets of the religion to which they belong. Expectation is world wide and by no means confined to any one section of the human race. The Bahais are convinced that this universal ‘Coming’ has already happened and that the founder of their faith Baha’u’llah, arrived among us last century, in fulfillment of the Promise made by Jesus, the Christ, nearly 2,000 years ago.
I should like to turn your attention to a wider and more extensive concept of the ‘Coming of the Lord’ in these latter times. I do not interpret this coming as a single event, fixed immutably in history for a particular moment in time and space.
In my view this Advent consists of a long series of cosmic and mundane happenings, that may well extend over a period of at least 100 years of our ‘time’. I have touched upon this thesis in ‘A Man Seen Afar’ in relation to the incarnation of Jesus in Palestine to herald the birth of the Christian era. His Coming had been in process for the best part of a century, before his bodily arrival on earth. During this period, cosmic and spiritual movements were taking place in regions beyond our ken, preparing the way and the conditions for hte personal arrival of the Master. Details of these preparations cannot be defined in human terms – they included the release of a particular and specific wave of spiritual energy, which was destined to bring a measure of enlightenment into human consciousness: to create a leaven of a kind that would enable the Christ Spirit through Jesus, to carry out its mission, when the time came for Jesus to walk bodily among us. In my view, similar happenings have always preceded the descent to earth levels of great messengers from the mind of the Creator and from time immemorial.
Now let us return to our times. I have spoken of what Christians refer to as the Second Coming, adding that, in my view, it is already here. By this I mean that the influx of a fresh wave of cosmic energy is now among us, available for immediate use in our daily lives.
The Coming is gradual, unrelenting and still far from its culmination. The first evidence of its presence and influence is to be seen in the mighty fermentation now so apparent in the hearts and minds of many millions everywhere, and especially among the younger generation. Fermentation of this kind is a cleansing process, involving, to use a trite phrase, the shattering of many old bottles and formal outworn beliefs. It is a process which causes unrest, tribulation, revolution and in so doing, its Divine purpose is obscured from the eyes and minds of all those who are ‘Asleep in matter’. Behind and within all this turmoil, the discerning can perceive that a ‘Coming’ is now in process of manifesting here and now. The vast movements influencing human consciousness inwardly herald the dawn of a new Era and cannot be stayed, or prevented from ultimate fulfillment.
The culmination of this coming may well be already on the horizon – beyond time and space conditions this culmination has in fact reached its fulfillment, but we who are at present confined in time and space, are aware of this and await mundane events to prove it concretely and to our limited understanding.
Wellesley Tudor Pole, God is Love
Let every pious man who loves God rejoice in this beautiful and glorious
Let the devoted servant delight to share the joy of his Master!
Let him who has fasted diligently now receive the promised reward!
Let the labourer of the first hour come forward to receive his due,
Let him of the third hour also render thanks and be joyfull
Let him of the sixth hour have no doubt: nothing
will be held back from his wages!
Let him who waited until the ninth hour
approach without hesitation or fear,
and let him who appeared only at the eleventh hour not be afraid,
for the Lord is generous! He welcomes the last as the first.
He gives rest to the labourer of the eleventh hour,
as to the one of the first hour.
He is full of mercy towards the former,
and of kindness towards the latter.
He commends the completed work
and appreciates the intention.
He esteems the act, and he lauds the desire
Enter ye all to the joy of your Master
First come or last, now take your reward!
Rich man or poor, you can celebrate together!
You who have abstained, and you who have neglected to do so,
honour this day! Whether you have fasted or not, exult today! The banquet
is ready: come all and sit down; the calf is fat: let no one go hungry! Enjoy the
banquet of Faith, gather the riches of mercyl Let no one deplore his poverty,
for a Kingdom has appeared which
belongs to us all! Let no one lament his faults, since pardon has sprung from
the tomb! Let no one fear death: foe the death of the Saviour has liberated us!
He who was its prisoner has vanquished it. He who descended into hell has
overcome it. He has struck down the death which tasted His flesh. Isaiah
prophesied about it:
‘Hell was brought low by death when it met You under the earth,’ Hell was
brought low by death because You have annihilated it; brought low by death
because You have laid it low; brought low by death because You have
enchained it. View yourself as flesh,you will find yourself before God; View
yourself as earthly, it is Heaven you will see. Regard yourself as visible,
and you will find yourself face to face with the invisible. Where then is
thy sting, O death? Hell, where is thy victory? Christ is risen, and thou
art brought lowl Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen,
and the Angels rejoice! Christ is risen and Life remains.
Christ is risen and the tombs are emptied of their dead, Christ
has risen from the dead; For He is the first of them all!
To Him be glory and power for ever and ever.
St John Chrysostom
But I determined this with myself that I would not come again to you in heaviness. For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, bu the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part; that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also; for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ. Lest Satan should not get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. Furthermore, when I came to Tro-as to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord. I had no rest in my Spirit, because I found not Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumpth in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
2 Corinthians 2, St Paul
Imagine here, the stream of the spiritual world descending, and the lower ego looking back into the past. The connection between two points can be seen through this image of looking forward to the future in the spirit world and looking back to a point in the past and to what has happened then on Earth.
For example, say a man experiences something in the past through the lower ‘eye’. With both ‘eyes’, he seeks a corresponding ‘distant’ point in the future. Then he discovers what is to happen on Earth as the karmic result of these two factors. Then he discovers what is to happen on Earth as the karmic result of these two factors.
We can say that it is a matter of building a certain figure whereby the future is seen and the temporal and spatial place is discovered where the karmic result of the past can be realised. This faculty will arise not as a kind of trick or acquired dexterity; rather, it will have varied degrees of clarity exactly because it will be a faculty instead of a mere skill.
Through this concept of karmic clairvoyance, we can understand that people will increasingly begin to know what they are doing in the stream of karmic events. They will experience and recognise karma in such a a way that an event of the past will always be experience in conjunction with a future event. This will not be a general theory of karma but real knowledge of concrete, specific karmic configurations. This ability will indicate the etheric return of Jesus Christ for humankind.
Valentin Tomberg, Christ’s Return in the Etheric
During the period of struggle, questions as to the purpose of life and man’s own being had formulated themselves, but when the answers come they do not answer the questions but rather obliterate them in the experience of the reality itself.
Thus, with regard to the mystery of man’s own being, the answer is not an intellectual exposition of the constitution of man, but rather an awareness of his own inner Self and as a result, the discovery of the world of that Self. When, in that world, we consider the problem of the duality which we all experience in daily life, of a higher Self on the one hand and a lower self on the other, we find a wonderful truth.
Man is essentially divine; as a son of God he partakes of the nature of his Father and shares His Godhead. Man’s own and true home is therefore the world of the Divine; there we live and move and have our own being ‘from eternity to eternity’. In his own world the Ego of man has his own activities and lives a life of joy and splendour beyond all earthly conception. There is, however, one lesson or experience which he cannot learn in his own world, but for which he has to put forth his consciousness into the worlds of outer manifestation where there is manifoldness and the antithesis of “I” and “not I”.
It is there alone that, through the medium of bodies composed of the matter of these outer worlds, the Ego can gain self-consciousness, that is to say, consciousness of himself as a separate individual. The divine world which is the true home of the Ego is a world in which there is not that distinction between Self and not-Self, but in which every part shares of the universal consciousness of the whole. That is why in this world the particular self-realisation which is necessary to the Ego cannot be gained. It is only the three-fold universe of outer manifestation, the physical world, that we find the duality of subject and object necessary for the gaining of self-consciousness.
Thus it is truly for the gaining of knowledge that the Ego puts himself forth into these outer worlds and assumes bodies of the matter of these worlds. It is this going forth of the soul into the worlds of darkness which we find symbolically described in the story of Genesis. Primitive Paradise is not a state which can last, however great its beauty and harmony. The soul must eat of the tree of good and evil, the tree of knowledge, even though at the cost of Paradise.
Having thus become conscious of the desire to know the worlds of matter, the soul is clothed in “coats of skin,” the bodies of matter, and henceforth has to live under the conditions of material existence, “labouring and bringing forth in pain.” The end of this long exile is the redemption or regeneration, which takes place when the soul regains knowledge of her own divinity, and Christ is born in the heart of man. Then Paradise is regained, but now in full self-consciousness, the Ego in his own divine world possessing the fruits yielded by the soul’s descent into the worlds of matter.
J.J van der Leeuw, God’s in Exile
Wisdom is the that streams out from the interior of a being in many directions. It is what dwells, actively present, in the interior of the being itself, comprehending its surroundings not in a one-sided way, but many-sidedly. If we wish to represent this schematically, we draw a point – for wisdom is contained within the human being. Out of the point, wisdom issues forth in many-sided forms. Thus we have the sign of the Sun. This is the expression of wisdom – which is inner and, at all the same time, comprises everything. It radiates forth equally in all directions – it is universal. The life force is in fact this striving of the inner being outward towards universality.
And the struggle that wisdom, as well as life, must endure in existence consists precisely in the fact that a power must be developed out of wisdom that can put up a resistance to one-sidedness, to impact from without, from right and left. For wisdom is the condition of a being that is capable of relying upon itself, of not needing any point of support, whether from right or from left, of relying upon nothing save its own inner strength of being, and of not being drawn into one-sidedness.
This is the power that lives in the principle of wisdom. It was shown in the Gospels in deeply moving portrayal when Christ Jesus was scourged by his fellow human beings. The ability to be centred in oneself – to stand, out of the power of one’s own inner being, in spite of all assaults from without – this is the power that is developed through scourging. What constituted the essential heart of the old Sun, what caused the planet to shine forth, was the same power that manifests and endures in the scourging. The planet of the scourging was the old Sun.
And if we now move on to the old Moon, we find the astral element being poured out into existence through the Spirits of Movement. At the same time, this astral element was taken hold of by Lucifer, and a battle then took place in the the heavens. Human Karma began on the Earth, but cosmic karma began on the old Moon. We can also put it this way: If the human fall into sin took place on Earth, then the cosmic fall into sin took place on the old Moon. And as a guardian was placed on Earth to guard the threshold, so also – when the spirits fell – a guardian was placed on the old Moon, one who took karma onto himself. This guardian was the realiser of spiritual karma.
By remaining true to themselves, spirits received the dignity of the guardian of the divine intentions. The dignity of the guardian is what is expressed by the crown of thorns. The crown of thorns symbolises a dignity that indeed corresponds to a state of being crowned, but at the same time it wounds the one who is crowned. For the power that the guardian, the representative of karmic necessity, must unfold from within is the power of inexorableness. It is the principle of taking a oral stand so that the Truth and the Law will be fulfilled. Pity must be overcome by the being who assumes this guardian’s mission.
And so the spiritual beings who had to represent the karma of the worlds needed, on the one hand, to look upon the Luciferic being with the greatest pity, and on the other hand they had to repeatedly overcome this pity in order to stand unshakably on the cosmic threshold. The power that reveals itself in being crowned with thorns is that of being obliged to judge while experiencing an inward pity that must, however, be constantly controlled and overcome. Thus this crown pricks the wearer himself. And that is what happened in the cosmos during the time of the old Moon that during this time the crown of thorns came into being in the Cosmos.
If we now pass on further to the development of the Earth, we find earthly existence represented by the cross. The carrying of the cross is the fundamental note, the fundamental motif, of earthly existence, and every being connected with the Earth has to experience it in some form or other. During the development of the Earth, humanity must, on the whole, reach the stage of carrying the cross; again and again individuals will have to take the cross upon themselves and learn to bear it through the whole cycle the whole circle, of their experiences. The symbol of the Earth itself expresses bringing to fulfillment of the carrying of the cross.
Valentin Tomberg, Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian-Rosicrucian Path
The revival of hermeticism in Christianity that, as we said, was foreign to the spirit of the religion of Israel – the latter being based wholly on family and community – was not in any way the result of an ‘Indian influence’ on Christianity. Neither St Anthony of Thebes nor St Paul the Hermit had been influenced at all by India. The same is true for St Jerome and all the other hermits (the Irish Anglo-Saxon hermits included)of whom history has related anything definite.
Christian hermeticism arose out of a profound need of the soul – namely, the need to personally experience the truth of the tradition. And the fact that this need is at the same time the living core of Hindu Buddhist spiritual life, only makes it more plausible that the eternally valid kernel of Hinduism and Buddhism reappeared in transfigured form – that is to say, was resurrected.
Its transfiguration consists in this: the ideal of redemption of the self from the world became the ideal of the redemption of the world: the striving for eternal rest in nirvana became a striving after unity with the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and the yearning for deathlessness in the world became the hope for resurrection in this world.
The Christianity of the hermits, as the essential core of Indian spiritual life resurrected within Christianity, was no passing phenomenon limited to a few centuries only. Today it still lives with all the intensity of its youth. Though it may not be deserts and thick forests into which one can retire into an undisturbed solitude nowadays, there are still people who have found or created in the deserts of the great cities and among the thickets of the crowds a solitude and stillness of life for the spirit.
And as before, their striving is devoted toward becoming a witness for the truth of Christianity. The way into the depths has not led them to an individualistic brand of belief, but has given them unshakable security in the truth of the Christian revelation as transmitted and taught by the Church.
They know the truth of the following: Extra Ecciesiam non est salus (‘there is no salvation outside the Church’); the Holy Father is not and cannot be the mouthpiece of an ecumenical council; the Holy See alone can make decisions in questions of faith and of morals – a majority of bishops cannot do so, and even less can a majority of priests or congregations do so; the Church is hierarchic theocratic – not democratic, aristocratic, or monarchic – and will be so in future times; the Church is the Civitas Dei (‘the City of God’) and not a superstructure of the will of people belonging to the Church; as little as the shepherd follow the will of the herd does the Holy Father of the Church merely carry out the collective will of his flock; the Shepherd of the Church is St. Peter, representing Christ – his pronouncements ex cathedra are infallible, and the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven belongs to him, and him alone.
In other words, those who become solitary in order to seek profundity may reach on their path of spiritual experience to the unshakable insight that the dogmas of the Church are absolutely true. And so it can happen that, as they did at the time of the Arian darkening of the Church, the ‘hermits’ of today may again come to the assistance of the Holy See, leaving their solitude to appear in witness to the truth of Peter’s Throne and its infallible teaching.
In those times it happened that St Anthony of Thebes left the desert and hurried to Alexandria to support St Athanasius with the weight of his moral authority – St Athanasius who became the standard-bearer for the divinity of Christ. The darkening that today is described as ‘the present crisis of the Catholic Church’ can lead to the necessity for the solitary sons of the Church to hurry to the aid of the Holy Father, the most solitary of solitaries, in order to save the Church from the abyss toward which she is moving.
Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus Come Forth!