The farthest reaches of the etheric world lead out of and beyond space, into the spheres where the Gods have their abode.

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

Shy she is as daisies in the meadow,

Walking with a step that lights the ether,

Paler than the moon with veils of shadow,

Moving on the water stretched beneath her.

 

Sweet she is as lilies dripping nectar,

Dancing with the sunbeams on the ocean,

Golden is the sphere and it surrounds her,

Silver stars a-light her every motion.

 

Green the gown that covers her in beauty,

Violet is the robe she wears at midnight,

Rosy-hued the colour of her secret,

Blue as rain the sky within her eyesight.

 

Silent is the soul that came down gently,

Carried in the arms of love so tender,

Wedded to the Prince of Peace intently,

Gazing at the one so He defends her.

 

Mercy springs and splendour mark their presence –

Two as one they stand as all united –

Perfect is the love, their only essence,

Faerie queen and son of man be-knighted.

 

Crystal stones bejem the kingdom’s pathways -

Topaz, onyx, jasper, sapphire, beryl –

Plus a thousand others at their passage –

Amethyst, carnelian and emerald.

 

In her breast a bird of light is flying,

Spreading open wings of joy now boundless,

Whiter than the swan with grace undying,

Every step she takes the ground is thrice-blessed.

 

Lady from the high-walled faerie palace,

She who gathers sea shells on the sea shore,

She who saved the spark to give her master,

Now does reap the promise of the rainbow.

I lifted up skyward the crown of the faeries,
Tarnished by oceans of sea-crossing time.
Forged in the fire of golden-days dawning,
Lit with a halo of stars in the night.

Who now shall wear it? I wondered in silence
Una is resting with Duessa at play.
Gwenevere wanders in halls of forgetting,
Deep in the summer of dreaming this day.

On her feet sandals of gold, steps the princess,
Floating on air through the green garden grass,
Walking alone by the castle of ether,
Seen but unseen by the world through a glass.

The seal of the nether-world opened up freely;
Through the dark tunnel with reason behind,
Following meekly the one with a mission;
Perfect in will and a reader of signs.

Once past the stream of the guardian lizards,
On through the gate to the bright other place,
Land of reflection and fathomless knowledge,
Home elemental of alchemic race.

Where do we go? I looked left and then eastward,
Somehow forboding the place that I saw.
Life’s university, building of sandstone
Burnished and gleaming, a prison by law.

Silent, but knowing, did reason stand sweetly
Holder of mysteries, the teacher and guide.
Younger and wiser and older all-seeing,
Dressed up in white and demure by my side.

Then came a voice – and as if out of nowhere –
Do you need help, you seem lost in this realm?
There stood a faerie, bewitchingly golden
Silken and spun was her hair from the sun

Stepped forth the reason – seduced by her magic -
Stretched out a hand to her beautiful hair.
Won’t you come with me? The faerie enticed us,
Stop by the hearth of the potter this day...

Brooding I pondered, could faeries be trusted?
Should I be swayed from the pathway assigned?
Yet I had watched how my reason surrendered
So before airs of a beautiful kind….

Loathe to offend such a glorious being,
One who had offered with kindness and grace,
Help just when needed. I bowed to the faerie;
Take now your highness my reason away.

Then the wind changed as a wandering mistral,
Warm as the breeze on a meadow of wheat,
Swift, warm and golden the faerie-bird air-borne
Flew o’er myself that fell under her wing.

Passed by all time as I sailed down the sleep-stream,
Far to the land where the doe and stag graze.
Home to the garden that blooms East of Eden,
Land of the ancestors covered in praise.

Opened my eyes as I reached the cool garden
Wonder-filled, wide, as memories unfolded.
Looked up the stag and the doe from their incline,
Wakened my self from the river of time.

Safe in the knowledge of paradise tended,
Turned I my thought to the reason once lost.
So in a blink of my eye I went searching,
Straight to the hearth of the faerie-bird’s host.

‘From the swelling seas, un-silent,
Rising from the salt, through ether,
Neptune holds aloft his trident,
Cries: “The Spring has come; be patient!

As the centre of his offspring
Glows – outraged to so be lectured –
So much wisdom of the ages
Flows from father-ocean’s lectern:

‘“Take some good advice, Orion:
Watch and learn the way of heaven;
Time just moves around in circles,
From the fish becomes a turtle.”

“Onward then in time, a deluge
Caused a boar to swim the ocean;
Then the lion, Narasimha
Came before the dwarf Vamana.

“Then to life a noble hero
Sprang and rid the world of tyrants.
This made way for Rama’s charm,
Which came before the Bhagavad Gita.

“In this way the prince of paupers
Broke the wheel of earthly suffering;
Maybe, son, you’ll hear him teaching
In the realm of endless loving…”

‘“Thanks for nothing! Shouts Orion,
Show to me my loving mother.
She, at least, would save her scion.”
No; alas: She’s with his brother.’

‘Peering through the velvet darkness,
Seeks the Starman souls like-minded.
Souls who cry for freedom – ‘partners’ -
Ones to rend his endless bindings.

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.

*

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

 

From the grail, begotten vessel -

Duly called the cup of life -

Outwards grew a blossom. Special

Was the bloom, a trine of light.

It was more: In centrifugal

Ways it grew, spiraling into

Realms of matter, jewelled, extending,

Source of incense never ending.

Sweet ambrosia filled the ether

In tumultuous swathes, divine.

All around the glittering Seraphs

Showed the selves the leaves of time.

Turned were ages into twinkling

Swaying, starry-studded trees,

While the watching, held in thrall,

Turned their gaze, beheld, believed.

Summoned from the rest by angels,

Once named souls were then uprisen.

Those perceived the open door and

Streamed in dew-lit robes to Heaven.

Deep within the endless ocean
Swam the dolphin, swift in motion,
With a haunting cry, the seeking
Spirit felt its wisdom speaking.

Hosts of angels sang a promise
‘Here’s eternal bliss in heaven’.
More than all they dared to dream of
Heard the sages deep within them.

Music of the highest order,
Tones of never-ending beauty,
Filled the dolphin’s soul completely
So it rose back into ether.

Now the circling bird, so patient,
Dived again to catch the spirit
As it reached for air, transpiring
At the dolphin’s exhalation.

All at once the ones in heaven
Heard an instrument of glory,
Sounding far beyond their memories
Rolling out the timeless story.

Not a thing would they remember
Of the secrets of the music
‘Cept that it was more than wisdom,
More than knowledge; all that truth is.

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