And the God of Gods created the soul, fashioning it for beauty.
He gave unto it the gentleness of a breeze at dawn, the scent of flowers, the loveliness of moonlight.
He gave unto it also the cup of joy, and He said:
‘You shall not drink of this cup save that you have forgotten the past and renounced the future.’
He gave unto it also the cup of sorrow, saying:
‘Drink that you may understand the meaning of joy’.
Then God bestowed within the soul love that would depart with the first sigh of content,
And sweetness that would flee from the first word of arrogance.
He made a heavenly sign to guide it in the path of truth.
He placed in its depths an eye that would behold the unseen.
He created within it a fancy to flow like a river with phantoms and moving figures.
He clothed it in garments of longing woven by angels, from the rainbow.
Within it he placed also the darkness of bewilderment, which is the shadow of light.
And God took fire from the forge of anger,
Wind blowing from the desert of ignorance;
Sand he gathered from the seashore of selffulness
And dust from beneath the feet of the ages;
Thus he fashioned man.
And unto man He gave blind strength that leaps into a flame
In moments of mad passion, and lies down before desire.
God gave him life which is the shadow of death.
And the God of Gods smiled and wept, and He knew a love which hath no bound nor end;
Thus He united man and his soul.
Kahlil Gibran, The Soul
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
“What’s the use?” spoke out the Shaman,
“Each set out to meet his maker,
Now on Earth are white-washed spirits,
Blown out minds, who seem as strangers.
“And, I see, the thrall of blissful
States is tempting. Two remain there,
Lying still in deep hypnosis,
Thinking not; they’re quite unconscious!”
Chanted, then, the single Shaman
Words, recalled his greatest magic:
Brought from yonder plane of dreaming
Sages seven from the heaven.
“Make a circle, watch the fire,
Round it form a chain together,
Listen – hear – the holy drum speaks;
Rhythm forms, the sacred heartbeat.”
Thus, they made a single circle
Round the pile of glowing embers,
Let the drums recall the rhythm
Of the heart that time remembered.
“We’re as one.” They spoke in chorus,
“Though the paths we followed differed,
There was but one destination,
Stand united generations.”