Oct 182012
 

The temple has stood since primeval times; it is the place of initiation of human souls; to ‘enter’ it means simply to acquire the knowledge of the sublime plan of cosmic evolution.

To be initiated does not mean to know all things; no one can do that, not even the beings of the spiritual hierarchies. It means, rather, to perceive in a single survey the main outline of the evolutionary movement of everything.

This survey is made possible by the suprasensory ‘buildings’ of the Temple of Wisdom, constructed on the lines of intuition. The ‘buildings’ of the temple (if we imagine them as visible shapes) form an inverted bowl, out of which the seven streams of revelation flow.

These streams are the pillars of the temple, and the bowl is the dome. The seven pillars of the House of Wisdom, about which Solomon spoke, are also seven paths, or methods, of absorbing the streaming contents of the bowl, or the temple’s dome.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia

Aug 082012
 

The manifestation of Christ’s resurrection in the human soul was the Pentecost. That event is the primal phenomenon of the sixth cultural epoch, which the Apocalypse calls the ‘church of Philadelphia’.

The community of Pentecost was no longer a circle surrounding Jesus Christ, but now a circle from which Christ revealed himself to the outer world. The language he used to reveal himself was such that people of all nationalities were able to understand.

The two main characteristics of the philadelphian spiritual culture are the immanence of Christ in human consciousness and the cosmopolitan community that arises from that consciousness. In this sense, the sixth cultural epoch can be called the epoch of Pentecost.

This name acquires even more meaning because the consciousness that leads to the culture of that time must stand the test of ‘keeping the word’ and ‘not denying the name of Christ’ (3:8); that is, much be concerned with the word of Christ and with a relationship to his being as these become realities in the Pentecost.

What was given then as a ‘dispensation of grace’, however, must now be earned or submitted to before the cultural epoch of the spirit self can be realised. We must study the path that leads from the consciousness soul to the spirit self (manas) in order to understand the meaning of ‘keeping my word’ and ‘not denying my name’.

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When it comes to understanding ideas, the point is not to spin them into a system of logic, but to root them firmly in the spiritual moral organism of Christ’s cosmic work. In the Apocalypse, such work is called the ‘name of Christ’ and ‘not denying’ his ‘name’ is the soul attitude that accepts as true only ideas indebted not just to logic, but also always to the moral forces.

Not to deny the ‘name’ is moral logic, just as amoral, formal knowledge is itself a denial of the name of Christ, since it excludes the voice of goodness from the realm of knowing.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia, Letters to Future Churches

Mar 132011
 

How was Jesus of Nazareth able so to experience the destiny of humankind and how did this experience bring with it the descent of the Healer? He carried within himself both a  comprehensive knowledge of the Zoroaster “I” and, united in his physical nature, the conscience of humankind and the third hierarchy. The fact that this conscience lived in his physical nature indicates its highest development.

Within itself, his astral body continued the inner impulse effected in it by the hierarchical being Jesus in his former union with the Christ. This astral body was made up of the condensed inspirations of the Archangel Jesus, who, while functioning as an angel, had in the past been interpenetrated by the Christ three times. The active aftereffects of this earlier interpenetration made the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth a body of “longing after Christ.”

On the other hand, the whole organization of this body (likewise the result of its participation in the earlier healing influence of Christ on humankind) participated fully in all human destiny. We could even say: In its upward flow, the astral body of Jesus was human longing: in its downward flow, human suffering.

No physical body could have borne such an astral body had the “I” living within it not possessed an unusual power of cohesion, and had its superhuman sensibility to shock not been balanced by a force able to return it to equilibrium. Because the Zoroaster “I” could give a wisdom-filled direction to the immense forces of the longings of the Nathan Jesus, the physical organisation was empowered to bear those longings; because the being of Buddha radiated into the astral body of the Nathan Jesus, the tranquil calm of Buddha flowed into the intensely agitated life of the soul.

This current of calm preserved the physical organism from destruction by a fiery excess of pain; the centralising Zoroaster force preserved it from congealing in an excess of longing. Thus the astral nature of the Nathan Jesus united within itself the greatest possible capacity for ecstasy – for expanding in purest self-surrender – with the greatest possible capacity for enstasy, or concentrated repose in the self. The first faculty made it possible to sustain the ordeal of the baptism in Jordan, that is to say, the absorption of the cosmic being of the Christ; the other gave proof of its power soon after, during the temptation in the wilderness.

The ether body of Jesus of Nazareth bore the innocent life spirit of the sister soul of Adam, and hence the forces of human youth bestowed the freshness of the first day of creation on every impulse in the soul of Jesus. When he spoke, he did so as only the most childlike child would be able to speak if it also possessed the most mature wisdom of the ages. The wisdom of the great Zoroaster shone in him with all the freshness of youth, without weariness, without the wounds of innumerable disappointments, and without the heaviness of soul that must be experienced and endured on the paths leading to such wisdom.

Experience leads to wisdom, but it wearies even souls. Therefore, from very early ages, the soul of Zoroaster had carried within itself the experience of the terrestrial history, but it surrendered that earthly experience to a soul that was without it. Thence the wonderful combination of the most mature wisdom arose along with the most childlike mind. Here was a man who could speak in such a way that not only did he speak the truth, but in speaking, restored the life that animated it on the first day of creation. Cosmic dawn lived in the great Western concepts of human destiny when he spoke during the time before the baptism in Jordan.

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The Nathan Jesus possessed an organism we could call an organism of love, as distinct from an organism of force that reverts to the centaur. The nature of the Nathan Jesus, however, is not exhausted by a study of his astral, ether and physical bodies. Something more belongs to the organism of every incarnate human being, something that envelops that being just as the bodies do. Every incarnate human being brings another kind of “body” that may be called a “karmic sheath”. This sheath is made up of the forces of good and evil, which are not rooted in the three human bodies but are drawn by past karma into one’s environment as a circle of influence, so to speak.

Nathan Jesus was an exception. He had no individual human karma from the past; thus his “karmic sheath” was very different from that of other people. Because he was without past individual karma, he was not surrounded by an individual karmic sheath, but by the karmic sheath of humanity as a whole. This meant, however, that a vast range of human impulses were active in his environment, born by spirit beings who represented them quite accurately.

These particular impulses were active around him, “making smooth the way” for the Christ within him. These impulses revealed themselves in the simple forms of “insight”, “the spirit of sacrifice”, and “penitence.” Later, st Paul – after being transformed by the presence of Christ – understood the scope of these impulses and described them as “faith,” “love” and “hope”.

Christ and Sophia, Jesus of Nazareth

 

Dec 232010
 
“The ‘I’ is the member of the human being that continues from incarnation to incarnation. The result of each incarnation continues to live in the ‘I’, …forming what is often called a ‘string of beads’ in Indian symbolism, of which the individual ‘beads’ are the ‘I’ being of various incarnations, while the ‘string’ represents the continuity of consciousness from incarnation to incarnation. Thus the ‘I’ being of former lives lives on and represents the ‘inner’ past that is inseparable from an individual. This miracle of healing indicates a power that affected not only the present but also past ‘I’ being – the ‘I’ that passed through death with the responsibility for the previous life course.
‘I’ consciousness of the past, which preserves its activity from the previous incarnation and in which many human beings live and act, is called consciousness of the ‘dead’ in the Gospels, and those who live under the ‘I’ impulse of the past are simply called ‘the dead’. Thus, healing the paralysed man involved more than merely the present ‘I’; the ‘dead’, in particular, heard the ‘voice of the Son’ and experienced a conversion in his past consciousness. ‘For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will’ (John 5.21).

These words of Jesus Christ have a direct connection with the healing and refer to it. And words that follow express it even more clearly: “Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5.25). True, only a few of the dead had heard this voice – a fact expressed, for example, in these words: “let the dead bury their dead.” (Luke 9.60).

This is the fundamental challenge to which we must respond if we wish to gain spiritual hearing. It is a summons to conquer ourselves again and again and, shutting out all personal impulses, repeatedly listen in silence to the voice of conscience. The sounds that the spiritual world uses to speak are moral and spiritual voices, not fixed ‘vibrations’ for the purpose of being caught by a sensory organ. Those voices can be heard only after the soul has adapted to the voice of the conscience; those who are prepared to follow dictates of conscience without hesitation are thus prepared to hear the voices of cosmic consciousness.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia, The Signs and Miracles in John’s Gospel

Aug 072010
 

The spiritual revelation recorded in the seventh chapter of the Book of Daniel affords us what we need for our task. In that chapter, the karma of evil is boldly outlined. The delineation begins with the picture of “the four winds of heaven [that] strove upon the great sea” (Daniel 7:2).

This figure shows us the cosmic scene of the conflict between good and evil. Space – with its four cardinal points of north, south, east, west – is neither one of the three abstract categories of Kantian philosophy, nor is it merely the distance that must be covered to reach some particular point; it is an ocean of forces at rest, set in motion by four active forces. These four active forces are the spiritual influences within the elemental world – the “winds” that cover the elemental world.

The currents caused by the four “winds” in the elemental world give rise to the four elements, which are impregnated by the four realms of elemental beings (salamanders, sylphs, undines and gnomes). These four groups of elemental beings are simply the lowest expression of the “four winds”. Their origin is rooted in the eternal Trinity, from which issue the cosmic impulses called ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’. The Father being works through the cosmic impulses of north and south’ the Son and the Holy Spirit are active in the impulses of east and west.

When these impulses work together, cosmic good results; when the “four winds” work against one another, the result is cosmic evil. This is why the description of Daniel’s night vision begins with this image: “The four winds of the heaven strove.” These winds striving against one another are the four currents of cosmic evil. They are not controlled from Heaven, but from the depths of the ‘sea’; their origin must be sought in the “four….beasts” that appear out of the depth of the sea:”And  four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another” (Daniel 7:3).

Christ and Sophia, Valentin Tomberg

Jul 092010
 

The “I” is the member of the human being that continues on from incarnation to incarnation. The result of each incarnation continues to live in the “I”, forming what is often called a “string of beads” in Indian symbolism, of which the individual “beads” are the “I” being of various incarnations, while the “string” represents the continuity of consciousness from incarnation to incarnation.

Thus, the “I” being of former lives lives on and represents the “inner” past that is inseparable from an individual. This miracle of healing indicatees a power that affected not only the present but also the past “” being – the “I” that passed through death with the responsibility for the previous life course.

“I” consciousness of the past, which preserves its activity from the previous incarnation and in which many human beings live and act, is called consciousness of the “dead” in the Gospels, and those who live under the “I” impulse of the past are simply called “The dead”. Thus, healing the paralysed man involved more than merely the present “I”; the “dead”, in particular, heard the “voice of the Son” and experience a conversion in his past consciousness. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will (John 5:21).

These words of Jesus Christ have a direct connection with the healing and refer to it. And words that follow express it even more clearly: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (John, 5:25). True, only a few of the dead had heard this voice – a fact expressed, for example, in these words: “Let the dead bury their dead.” (Luke 9:60). This is the fundamental challenge to which we must respond if we wish to gain spiritual hearing. It is a summons to conquer ourselves again and again and, shutting out all personal impulses, repeatedly listen in silence to the voice of conscience.

The sounds that the spiritual world uses to speak are moral and spiritual voices, not fixed “vibrations” for the purpose of being caught by a sensory organ. Those voices can be heard only after the soul has adapted to the voice of conscience; those who are prepared to follow the dictates of conscience without hesitation are thus prepared to hear the voices of cosmic conscience.

Christ and Sophia, Valentin Tomberg