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
The other ones, they strive
To take from cosmic waters
What will extinguish flames
And pour paralysis
Into all inner being.
O joy, when human being’s flame
Is blazing, even when at rest.
O bitter pain, when the human thing
Is put in bonds, when it wants to stir.
The Catholic Church, strongly influenced by the remains of the impulse emanating from Jundi-Shapur, decreed as a dogma at the Eighth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople in AD 869 that men were not to believe in the spirit. … This was because the Church did not desire that everybody should be enlightened about the Mystery of Golgotha, but that it should be kept hidden. In the year AD 869, belief in the spirit was abolished by the Catholic Church.
The dogma then decreed was to the effect that men must not believe in man as spirit, but only as body and soul, the soul possessing certain spiritual qualities. Thus the truth that man is a being of body, soul and spirit was abolished by the Catholic Church, acting directly under the influence of the impulse of Jundi-Shapur. History often presents a different spectacle from the one in which it is presented for the ordinary use of those whom one party or another would like to control.
Through the Mystery of Golgotha, however, man was related more closely to the spirit. Consequently there are two forces in him: the force whereby in his soul he is allied to death, and the force which liberates him from death and leads him inwardly to the spirit.
When we can experience powerlessness and recovery from it, the benediction of actual relationship with Christ Jesus is vouchsafed to us. For this experience is the recovery of what we experienced in the spiritual world hundreds of years before our birth. We must seek here, on the physical plane, for its mirror-image in the soul. Seek within yourselves and you will discover the powerlessness! Seek, and you will find, after the experience of powerlessness, the redemption from it, the resurrection of the soul to the spirit….
The Christ experience does not consist of the unitary realisation of the Divine, but of the twofold experience of the death in the soul wrought by the body and the resurrection of the soul wrought by the spirit. A man who can say that he feels not only the Divine within him — as mystical theosophists eloquently assert — but can speak of the two experiences — of powerlessness and the resurrection from it — such a man is speaking of the true Christ experience
Rudolf Steiner, How do I find the Christ
In these twelve men who came together to perform a special mission, the twelve different streams in the spiritual development of mankind were represented. The fact that all possible religions and all possible philosophies belong to the twelve basic types is in itself a mystery.
Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vedanta philosophy, materialism, or whatever it may be – all of them can be traced to the twelve basic types; it is just a matter of being quite exact. And so all the different streams of man’s spiritual life – the religions, the philosophies and world conceptions that are spread over the earth – were united in that council of the twelve.
After the period of darkness had passed and spiritual achievement was possible again, a thirteenth came in remarkable circumstances to the twelve. I am telling you now of one of those events which takes place secretly in the evolution of mankind once and once only. They cannot occur a second time and are mentioned not as an indication that efforts should be made to repeat them but for quite other reasons.
When the darkness had lifted and it was possible to develop clairvoyant vision again, the coming of the thirteenth was announced in a mysterious way to the twelve wise men. They knew that the time had come when a child with significant and remarkable incarnations behind him was to be born. Above all they knew that one of his incarnations had been at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha.
It was known, therefore, that one who had been a contemporary of the events in Palestine was returning. And the birth of the child in these unusual circumstances during the thirteenth century could not have been said to be that of a person of renown.
Rudolf Steiner, Intimate Workings of Karma
Manichaeism will endeavour, first and foremost, to preserve purity in outer life; for its aim is to produce human beings who will provide an adequate vessel in the future.That is why such great stress was laid on absolute purity of mind and of life.
The Cathars were a sect which rose like a meteor in the twelfth century. They called themselves Cathars because ‘cathar’ means ‘pure one’. They strove for purity in their way of life and in their moral attitude. They had to seek catharsis (purification) both inwardly and outwardly in order to form a community that would provide a pure vessel. That is what Manicheaism was striving for.
It was less a question of Manichaeism of the cultivation of inner life – for life will flow onwards through other channels – but rather the cultivation of the external form of life.
The consciousness will have been established in the successors to the ‘Sons of the Widow’ that evil must be included again in evolution and be overcome, not by strife but only through charitableness. It is the task of the Manichaean spiritual stream to forcefully prepare for this. This spiritual stream will not die out; it will make its appearance in many forms. It appears in forms which many can call to mind but which need not be mentioned today.
If it were to function merely in the cultivation of an inner mood of soul, this current would not achieve what it should do. It must express itself in the founding of communities which, above all, will look upon peace, love and passive resistance to evil as their standard of behaviour and will seek to spread this view. For they must create a receptacle, a form, for the life which will continue to exist even without their presence.
Rudolf Steiner, The Temple Legend, Manichaeism
Truly, our life is guided – from the other side of it, so to speak – with a far greater wisdom than is ours in guiding it from this side. Often in later life we meet a human being who becomes of extreme importance in our life. When we think back: How did we live until the moment when we met him?
Then our entire life seems like the very pathway to the meeting. It is as though we had tended every step, that we might find him at the right moment – or that we might find him at all, at a certain moment.
We need only ponder the following: Think, my dear friends, what it signifies for fully conscious human reflection. Think of what it means to find another human being in a given year of life, thenceforth to experience, work or achieve – whatever it may be – in common with him.
Think what it means, what emerges as the impulse that led up to it, when we reflect on this quite consciously. When we begin to think: How did it happen that we met him? It will probably occur to us that we first had to experience an event with which many other people were connected, for otherwise the opportunity would not have arisen for us to meet him in this life. And, that this event might happen, we had to undergo still another event….and so on.
We find ourselves in the midst of the most complex chain of circumstances, all of which had to occur, into all which we had to enter, so as to reach this or that decisive experience. And now we may perhaps reflect: If the task had been set us – I will not say at the age of one, but let us say at the age of fourteen – to solve the riddle consciously: to bring about in our fiftieth year a decisive meeting with another human being; if we imagine that we had to solve it consciously, like a mathematical puzzle – think what it would involve!
Consciously, we human beings are so appallingly stupid, whereas what happens with us in the world is so infinitely wise, when we take into account such things as these. When we begin to think along these lines, we become aware of the immense intricacy and deep significance in the workings of our destiny or karma. And this all goes on in the domain of the human kingdom. All that thus happens to us is deep in the unconscious life. Until the moment when a decisive event approaches us it lies in the unconscious.
Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Esoteric Studies, Vol. 1
If the candidate is found fit for the foregoing experiences, he is then given what is called symbolically the draught of forgetfulness. This means that he is initiated into the secret knowledge that enables him to act without being continually disturbed by the lower memory. This is necessary for the initiate, for he must have full faith in the immediate present. He must be able to destroy the veil of memory which envelops man every moment of his life. If we judge something that happens to us today according to the experience of yesterday, we are exposed to a multitude of errors.
Of course this does not mean that experience gained in life should be renounced. It should always be kept in mind as clearly as possible. But the initiate must have the ability to judge every new experience wholly according to what is inherent in it, and let it react upon him, unobscurred by the past. We must be prepared at every moment that every object and every being can bring to us some new revelation. If we judge the new by the standard of the old we are liable to error.
The memory of past experiences will be of greatest use for the very reason that it enables us to perceive the new. Had we not gone through a definite experience we should perhaps be blind to the qualities of the object or being that comes before us. Thus experience should serve the purpose of perceiving the new and not of judging it by the standard of the old. In this respect the initiate acquires certain definite qualities, and thereby many things are revealed to him which remain concealed from the uninitiated.
The second draught presented to the initiate is the draught of remembrance. Through its agency he acquires the faculty of retaining the knowledge of the higher truths ever present in his soul. Ordinary memory would be unequal to this task. We must unite ourselves and become as one with the higher truths.
Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds