I feel freed of enchantment.
In heart-high gladness has
The holy cosmic Word engendered
The heavenly fruit of hope,
Which grows rejoicing into worlds afar
Out of my being’s godly roots.
Rudolf Steiner, Calendar of the Soul, Christmas
To forget is to dismiss the things which do not interest us to the darkness of latent memory; and to recall things is to call anew to active ego consciousness – because t hey interest us – from the same darkness of latent memory. It goes without saying that it is not the images and concepts which come to birth when we recall them, or perish when we forget them; rather, they are present in our mind or are removed from it.
to be endowed with good ‘concentration’, therefore amounts tot he faculty of chasing away swiftly and completely all images and concepts which are not useful for action. It is mastery of the art of forgetting.
To be endowed with ‘good memory’, in contrast, signifies mastery of the mechanism of recall – of that which renders present the images and concepts which one needs. It is mastery of the art of recalling.
There is therefore a continual coming and going between ordinary consciousness of the waking state (or cerebral consciousness) and the domain of memory. Each ‘going’ corresponds to the action of falling asleep or dying. Each ‘coming’ corresponds to awakening or resurrection. Every representation that goes from the field of cerebral consciousness experiences an analogous fate to that stated by the saying: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…Lazarus is dead.” And every representation that one recalls has a fate analogous to that which took place when Jesus cried with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!
Memory therefore supplies us with a key of analogy which allows intelligence not to remain simply taken aback in the face of the problem of resurrection. It renders it intelligible. Indeed, the analogy between the ‘loud voice’ which called Lazarus to life and the inner effort which evokes a memory reveals, mutatis mutandis, the essence of the magic of Jesus’ ‘loud voice’ and of the ‘sound of the trumpet’ of the Angel of the resurrection – as the following shows.
Experience teaches us that we easily forget, and recall with difficulty, the things to which we attach no value – that we do not love. One forgets what one does not love and one never forgets what one loves. It is love which gives us the power to recall at any desired moment the things that our hearts preserve ‘warm’. Indifference, in contrast, makes one forget everything.
It is the same with the ‘awaking and resurrection of the dead’. Here it is not cosmic indifference (what we call ‘matter’) which will effect anything, but rather it is cosmic love (what we call ‘spirit’)which will accomplish the magical act of resurrection, ie, the reintegration of an inseparable unity – the unity of the spirit, soul and body – not by way of birth (reincarnation) but by way of the magical act of divine memory. What can one say about divine memory?
Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XX, The Judgement
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’.
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
There is only one Christ – the living Christ who is the manifestation of God, the manifestation of Love. Christ is God revealing Himself to the world. As a manifestation of God, Christ cannot be separated from Him, cannot be considered apart from Him.
And when I speak of Christ, I do not mean an abstract principle, but rather an actual incarnation of Love. Love is the greatest reality and not an abstraction. It has form, content and meaning. Christ – whatever conception people have of him as “historical,” as “cosmic,” as “mystical,” – gave to the earth the fullest expression of Love.
This is because as an historic personality, as a cosmic essence, and as a mystical experience, Christ is and remains the most perfect expression of Love. Indeed, no other man on earth before Christ had greater love than His. There is neither in the cosmos without, nor in the mystic depths of the soul within, a fuller expression of Love than that which we personify in Christ.
Therefore, how are the words “historical,” “cosmic,” and “mystical” to be understood?
Manifested on the earth at a certain historical moment as the ideal man, as an example of the real man, Christ is “historical.” And the times in which he lived record an bear witness to Him: “Behold, the man! Behold, the true man in whom Love, Wisdom, and Truth live, and who applies them.”
When he is experienced in the inward depths, he is “mystical,” and when he is comprehended and known as God manifested in the world, he is “cosmic.”
The physical side of Christ is all of humanity united in one body. All human souls in which Christ lives, united into one – this is the physical aspect of Christ. All angels, gathered into the heart of Christ, represent his spiritual aspect. And all divine beings, united in the mind of Christ, are his divine aspect.
This is the “cosmic” Christ, God manifested in the world.
Beinsa Douno, Christ, Manifestation of Love
The ‘last things’ – or the spiritual horizon of humanity – are not the same for the whole of humanity. For some everything finishes with the death of the individual and with the complete dissipation – maximum entropy – of the warmth of the universe.
For others there is a ‘beyond’, an individual existence after death and an existence of a non-material universe after the end of the world. For still others there is not only spiritual life after death for the individual but also his return to terrestrial life – reincarnation – as well as cosmic reincarnation, ie, an alternation of states of manvantara and pralaya.
Others, again, see for the individual something beyond repeated incarnations, namely the state of supreme peace of union with the eternal universal Being (the state of nirvana). Lastly, there is a part of mankind whose existential horizon goes beyond not only post mortem existence and reincarnation, but also even beyond the peace of union with God – it is resurrection which constitutes their spiritual horizon.
It is in the Iranian and Judaeo-Christian spiritual currents, ie, in Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity – that the idea and ideal of resurrection have taken root.
Memory supplies us with a key of analogy which allows intelligence not to remain simply taken aback in the face of the problem of resurrection. it renders it intelligible. Indeed, the analogy between the ‘loud voice’ which called Lazarus to life and the inner effort which evokes a memory reveals, mutatis mutandis, the essence of the magic of Jesus’ ‘loud voice’ and of the ‘sound of the trumpet’ of the Angel of resurrection – as the following shows.
Experience teaches us that we easily forget, and recall with difficulty, the things to which we attach no value – that we do not love. One forgets what one does not love and one never forgets what one loves. It is love which gives us the power to recall at any desired moment the thing that our hearts preserve ‘warm’. Indifference, in contrast, makes one forget everything.
it is the same with the ‘awakening and resurrection’ of the dead’. Here it is not cosmic indifference (that we call ‘matter’) which will effect anything, but rather it is cosmic love (that we call ‘spirit’) which will accomplish the magical act of resurrection, ie, the reintegration of an inseparable unity – the unity of spirit, soul and body – not by way of birth (reincarnation) but by way of the magical act of divine memory.
I am telling you facts, facts that are connected with the intentions not only of certain individuals who are joined together in brotherhoods but also of other beings who influence such brotherhoods and whose influence is also sought by those brotherhoods, beings who are not incarnated in the flesh like human beings but ones who have their body in the spiritual world…
Those brotherhoods who know about the spiritual impulses at work in human evolution saw the approach of that important event of the early 1840s, the battle between certain spirits and some other higher spirits which ended in 1879 when some spirits of an angel nature, spirits of darkness, fell victim to the event that is symbolised as the victory fo Michael over the dragon. On seeing this, those brotherhoods had to decide how to react to it and had to ask themselves: What is to be done about it?
….it was out of good intentions that spiritualism was launched in the world during the 1840s…..well-meaning spiritual mebers of the brotherhoods held the erroneous view that by using mediums they could convince people of hte existence of the spiritual world all around them; and they thought on the basis of that conviction it would then be possible to teach them about higher truths as well…..
….It will be up to humanity during this period to come to grips with evil as an impulse in world evolution….a certain degree of evil must be placed at the service of world evolution in a good sense….
The fact that there are beings invisibly amongst us who are so closely related to human beings, and that human beings are prevented by the way forces of evil play into their lives from recognising the spirit with their reason, means that there will be many opportunities for people to succumb to obscure errors and suchlike…..the human being must be a warrior for the spirit.
What people lack today is the courage to embark properly on researching the spiritual world. …during [this] period the time is approaching when humanity will have to deal very carefully with certain great life questions that have thus far been hidden, in a way, by the wisdom of former times.
Endeavours are to be undertaken to place the spiritually etheric element in the service of external, practical life….
….certain groups of people working in egoistically occult ways are making efforts in certain directions. Initially it was necessary for a specific kind of knowledge to retire into the background for humanity…This knowledge had to disappear, be slept through, so that people no longer had the possibility of drawing soul qualities out of their observations of nature but were instead more thrown back on themselvs. So that human beings could awaken the forces of their own being it was necessary for certain matters to appear first in an abstract form which must now take on a concrete spiritual form…
…a certain quarter seeks to remove the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha from the world by bringing in another impulse from the West, a kind of antichrist, and that coming from the East the Christ-impulse as it appears in the twentieth century is to be paralysed by distracting people’s attention from the coming of Christ in the etheric realm….
…More than anything else, that quarter will strive to make use of the electricity, especially the earth’s magnetism, to bring about effects all over the world. I have shown you how the forces of the earth rise up in what I have termed the human double. People will discover this secret. It will be an American secret to use the earth’s magnetism in its duality, the northern and southern magnetism, in order to send controlling forces across the whole earth, forces that work spiritually.
What lies in store for humanity is that cosmic forces will be won for humanity in a dual way that is wrong or a single way that is right. This will bring a genuine renewal to astrology, which is atavistic in its old form – a form in which it cannot continue to exist. Those who know about the cosmos will struggle against each other….for the remainder of earthly existence the dead will collaborate with us to a high degree.
The moment you penetrate fully into all the secrets of the double, you will find yousrelf able to assess the value of brains that are merely lumps which you have placed on a scale, lumps which can be brought to life solely by the double.
You must come to realise that all the wishy-washy talk of ‘cosmic religosity’ or ‘how powerful the yearning for it is’, and so on is nothing other than a means of spreading fog over these matters which ought actually to be entering the world in clarity and which, above all, ought only to be carried in clarity into human life as practical moral and ethical impulses.
Rudolf Steiner, Individual Spirit Beings and the Constant Foundation of the Universe
And now picture to yourselves a certain inner relationship which may exist between one person and another and comes to physical expression. Picture it quite graphically.
You are caressed by someone who loves you. You feel the caress but it would be childish to associate it in any way with physical matter. The caress is not matter at all, it is a process, and you experience it inwardly, in your soul.
So it is when we look outwards into the spheres of the Ether. The Gods in their love caress the world. But the caress lasts long, because the life of the Gods spans immense reaches of time.
In very truth the stars are the expression of love in the Cosmic Ether; there is nothing physical about them. And from the cosmic aspect, to see a star means to feel a caress that has been prompted by love. To gaze at the stars is to become aware of the love proceeding from the divine-spiritual Beings.
What we must learn to realise is that the stars are only the signs and tokens of the presence of God in the universe. Physical science has much to learn on its path from illusion to truth!
Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Vol VII
Standing on the outskirt of the forest, Hermes whispered a message to his light‐headed, wine‐brining friend: “Zeus’s twice‐born son, your time shall surely come. You bear the living vine; on you the sun shall shine”.
The wolf by Apollo’s side pricked up its ears and whined. “And what of me, Father, bringer of the cosmic light, voice of all reason and destroyer of dark night?”
Zeus raised an eyebrow. “How soon, I wonder, my great golden child, ’til you think yourself greater, even, than I?”
It was then that his deer‐daughter put a restraining hand on her brother’s shoulder and entreated him in an urgent voice. “Bait him not, beloved brother; the chariot of the sun shall be struck down by lightening and the silver moon shall die of grief! Then you would see that our licentious youth shall sober in a second and sit upon thy gilded chariot!”
“Ay, sister of the moon, with his hairy hand upon my priceless goblet, while his sluts strum tuneless ditties upon my incomparable turtleshell lyre!”
Dionysus raised his cup to them in a toast: “You have my blessing brother, I think not to steer the chariot of the sun, nor to take your hallowed place in heaven…I’d rather have a bit of fun! You’ll have to watch the lyre, though, methinks the sound of music shall do much to make our mystery.”
The setting sun saw the Master facing East in a seemingly effortless but distinctly prayerful posture; calling the Earth to witness. In time the Moon rose and Venus emerged triumphant like a diamond on its band of gold.
Looking up at the sky, the Master saw how the quintessential force of the evening star was thrown into relief by the glowing pharos of Mars, silently beckoning his paramour as he bequeathed to her the dark and endless night. The imperator of war was in a state of surrender at the temple of beauty, but he also had a message to impart:
Here in orbit turn the star-lings – planets binding, suns inclining – in such ways that whole dimensions fold inside the vaults of Heaven.
The Master wondered about the possible effects of Mars’ conjunction with Venus, pouring out onto Earth the magnified force of a sublime alchemical wedding.
This compelling planetary event was irresistibly conspiring with the imminent precession of the equinoxes to create the most potent cosmic conditions that had ever been witnessed from Earth; at least since the Star of the Magi had heralded the turning point of history. Or so it seemed.
How could the signs at this time be ignored? Thought the Master. The answer was that they could not! That the divine plan might remain unfulfilled was inconceivable, but how, precisely, it would manifest was nonetheless a mystery of Mysteries.
When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.