Sep 012016
 

mother lettersIf one goes through this trial by water – if one develops self-control – then one’s soul enters into a region of destiny where one not only has no ground beneath one’s feet and must find one’s own direction by a kind of ‘swimming’; the soul also enters here into a space devoid of air. One enters into an utter loneliness and wilderness of soul life.

The impulses of thinking, willing and feeling cease. One’s soul is like a sailing ship standing with sagging sails in windless weather. It enters into a condition in which all experiences cease. There is no basis upon which to sense, to feel, or to will. The soul is in complete loneliness.

Now the soul must find the presence of the spirit out of its own power. Without surrendering to passivity, it must find the strength for an impulse-to-action within itself. The soul’s awakening at the moment of falling asleep – awakening itself through the strength of its own inner being, through the power of the I itself, without any motive for staying awake – is the presence of the spirit (presence of mind).

The soul is spiritually present when it is silent. The power of the soul to keep itself awake at the moment of falling asleep is this presence of spirit. It makes intuition possible, and is necessary for intuitional knowledge.

These first three trials – these first three experiences – represent the human ascent into the spiritual world.

Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, The Occult Trials

Jan 092015
 

sunriseGenesis gives an account of the history of the world’s gradual attainment of independence and inwardness, which culminates in the birth of freedom; and, further, it portrays the misuse of freedom and the consequences thereof.

In fact, what is the essence of the account of the creation according to Genesis? It is essentially nothing other than a description as to how the world in the first instance received its own existence alongside God, then its own movement (‘water’), then its own life (‘plants’), then its own soul life (‘animals’) and lastly – in man, as the ‘image and likeness of God’ – its own self consciousness, ie, freedom.

And what is the seventh day of creation – the cosmic sabbath, God’s day of rest? Is it not the level of freedom attained where God ‘rests’ from his deeds, ie, where he manifests his freedom attained where God ‘rests’ from his deeds, ie, where he manifests his freedom in relation to the world, while the world, the beings of the world, experience themselves as being left to their own freedom, ie, to experience their freedom?

The seventh day of creation is the day of freedom. The blessing of the seventh day is the divine act of creating the highest value of existence, the foundation of all morality: freedom. Here created being attains the highest level of inwardness: freedom. The seventh day of creation is the ‘day’ of the meaning of the world. Here the created world becomes something moral; here the world enters into a free relationship with God and God enters into a free relationship with the world.

However, since it is only in love that freedom is perfect, one may therefore also say that the seventh day is the day of the founding and sealing of the relationship of love between the creator and all created beings. Thus love is the foundation , the meaning, and the purpose of the world.

Valentin Tomberg, The Seven Miracles of John’s Gospel

May 122014
 

clairvoyanceImagine here, the stream of the spiritual world descending, and the lower ego looking back into the past. The connection between two points can be seen through this image of looking forward to the future in the spirit world and looking back to a point in the past and to what has happened then on Earth.

For example, say a man experiences something in the past through the lower ‘eye’. With both ‘eyes’, he seeks a corresponding ‘distant’ point in the future. Then he discovers what is to happen on Earth as the karmic result of these two factors. Then he discovers what is to happen on Earth as the karmic result of these two factors.

We can say that it is a matter of building a certain figure whereby the future is seen and the temporal and spatial place is discovered where the karmic result of the past can be realised. This faculty will arise not as a kind of trick or acquired dexterity; rather, it will have varied degrees of clarity exactly because it will be a faculty instead of a mere skill.

Through this concept of karmic clairvoyance, we can understand that people will increasingly begin to know what they are doing in the stream of karmic events. They will experience and recognise karma in such a a way that an event of the past will always be experience in conjunction with a future event. This will not be a general theory of karma but real knowledge of concrete, specific karmic configurations. This ability will indicate the etheric return of Jesus Christ for humankind.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ’s Return in the Etheric

Dec 122013
 

SunSymbolWisdom is the that streams out from the interior of a being in many directions. It is what dwells, actively present, in the interior of the being itself, comprehending its surroundings not in a one-sided way, but many-sidedly. If we wish to represent this schematically, we draw a point – for wisdom is contained within the human being. Out of the point, wisdom issues forth in many-sided forms. Thus we have the sign of the Sun. This is the expression of wisdom – which is inner and, at all the same time, comprises everything. It radiates forth equally in all directions – it is universal. The life force is in fact this striving of the inner being outward towards universality.

And the struggle that wisdom, as well as life, must endure in existence consists precisely in the fact that a power must be developed out of wisdom that can put up a resistance to one-sidedness, to impact from without, from right and left. For wisdom is the condition of a being that is capable of relying upon itself, of not needing any point of support, whether from right or from left, of relying upon nothing save its own inner strength of being, and of not being drawn into one-sidedness.

This is the power that lives in the principle of wisdom. It was shown in the Gospels in deeply moving portrayal when Christ Jesus was scourged by his fellow human beings. The ability to be centred in oneself – to stand, out of the power of one’s own inner being, in spite of all assaults from without – this is the power that is developed through scourging. What constituted the essential heart of the old Sun, what caused the planet to shine forth, was the same power that manifests and endures in the scourging. The planet of the scourging was the old Sun.

And if we now move on to the old Moon, we find the astral element being poured out into existence through the Spirits of Movement. At the same time, this astral element was taken hold of by Lucifer, and a battle then took place in the the heavens. Human Karma began on the Earth, but cosmic karma began on the old Moon. We can also put it this way: If the human fall into sin took place on Earth, then the cosmic fall into sin took place on the old Moon. And as a guardian was placed on Earth to guard the threshold, so also – when the spirits fell – a guardian was placed on the old Moon, one who took karma onto himself. This guardian was the realiser of spiritual karma.

By remaining true to themselves, spirits received the dignity of the guardian of the divine intentions. The dignity of the guardian is what is expressed by the crown of thorns. The crown of thorns symbolises a dignity that indeed corresponds to a state of being crowned, but at the same time it wounds the one who is crowned. For the power that the guardian, the representative of karmic necessity, must unfold from within is the power of inexorableness. It is the principle of taking a oral stand so that the Truth and the Law will be fulfilled. Pity must be overcome by the being who assumes this guardian’s mission.

alchemyAnd so the spiritual beings who had to represent the karma of the worlds needed, on the one hand, to look upon the Luciferic being with the greatest pity, and on the other hand they had to repeatedly overcome this pity in order to stand unshakably on the cosmic threshold. The power that reveals itself in being crowned with thorns is that of being obliged to judge while experiencing an inward pity that must, however, be constantly controlled and overcome. Thus this crown pricks the wearer himself. And that is what happened in the cosmos during the time of the old Moon that during this time the crown of thorns came into being in the Cosmos.

If we now pass on further to the development of the Earth, we find earthly existence represented by the cross. The carrying of the cross is the fundamental note, the fundamental motif, of earthly existence, and every being connected with the Earth has to experience it in some form or other. During the development of the Earth, humanity must, on the whole, reach the stage of carrying the cross; again and again individuals will have to take the cross upon themselves and learn to bear it through the whole cycle the whole circle, of their experiences. The symbol of the Earth itself expresses bringing to fulfillment of the carrying of the cross.

Valentin Tomberg, Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian-Rosicrucian Path

 

Oct 182012
 

The balance of karmic justice is an exact balance; nothing remains unpunished, nothing unrewarded.

Jacob recognised this and separated himself from his family so that they might remain unscathed. He waited alone on this side of the river, because he knew that he was destined to death. But he did not succumb to the temptation of fatalism; he defended himself against death.

He did not allow himself to be led astray by the spiritual falsehood of fatalism, but set love against the knowledge of inevitable death. The power that preserved his breathing is expressed in the words indicating the successful issue of his wrestling: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32.26).

If he had yielded to the knowledge of death, his breathing would have ceased, and he would have died. The balance of the first principles of breathing – knowledge and love – would have been overthrown in favour of knowledge. But as he resisted knowledge with the whole force of love, at the “breaking of the day” the angel of death, the archai being, surrendered. Love proved itself stronger than death.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia

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

Jan 222012
 

The resurrection within Christianity of the Hindu and Buddhist spiritual life, to which the church owes the arising of the whole monastic movement and the founding of religious orders in late antiquity, is not the last event of its kind in church history.

Others followed according to the law that all truth and love of the past that have timeless values are called back out of the realms of forgetting, sleep and death into the daylight of Christian spiritual life through the call that from age to age reminds, rouses and awakens.

Through this call sounding forth from Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, saying ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ – the most noble and valuable aspects of pagan antiquity were also resurrected.

The Platonic and Aristotelian treasury of thought arose radiant in transfigured form and inspired great spirits of the church to take up the philosophia perennis, in which lay the task of lifting up the chalice of pure human thinking and sacrificial offering to divine revelation.

For this was the essential aim of the scholastics: the raising up of the chalice of crystal clear human thinking upon the altar of Godhead – the Godhead manifesting in divine revelation.

Lazurus, come forth!, Valentin Tomberg

Jun 132011
 

If one has been inwardly active at the stage of preparation and purification for a sufficient length of time, sooner or later there approaches the trial of encountering the “Guardian of the Threshold”, which is also called the trial by fire. Consisting of shame, this fire is an inward expression of the awakened conscience. A person on the path must go through this fire.

It is a matter of recognising one’s own lower nature standing before oneself in undisguised form. This is the “double” that one has generated and expelled. To look in this way upon one’s own human double, undisguised, is a trial of courage. To pass through it one must find the strength not to despair over oneself. One must find the courage not to despair over one’s karma.

Such strength does not arise from the view of what has stood there, confronting oneself. This strength can only be drawn from the power of the humnan I itself. No inspiration can be of help, nor can one derive help from thoughts and memories. One must find one’s own power of courage….this courage is the power that gives rise to imagination. It is needed in order to “paint in spiritual space”. That is the reason one must develop courage for imaginative consciousness. The content of the trial – facing one’s own inner nature – makes it possible to distinguish imagination from illusion. One is then aware of the sources of illusions, and can exclude them.

Having passed the test of courage, the soul then enters into a stage of no  longer having firm ground upon which to stand. The situation is such that the human soul is surrounded by endless possibilities of movement – in all directions, simultaneously. Immersed in the realms of myriad influences and evocations directed towards it, the soul can surrender itself, engage itself with a thousand things.

A power must therefore be created that keeps the soul steadfast and gives it a sense of direction. The soul must develop out of itself the ability to renounce the abundance of spiritual influences. It must become able to restrict itself to one option among this abundance of possibilities. This is at once the trial of self control and the experience of it. And self-control is necessary for inspirational knowledge.

If one goes through this trial by water – if one develops self-control – then one’s soul enters into a region of destiny where one not only has no ground beneath one’s feet and must find one’s own direciton by a kind of “swimming”; the soul also enters a place devoid of air. One enters into an utter loneliness and wilderness of soul life.

The impulses of thinking, feeling and willing cease. One’s soul is like a sailing ship standing with sagging sails in windless weather. It enters into a condition in which all experiences cease. There is no basis upon which to sense, to feel, or to will. The soul is in complete loneliness. Now the soul must find the presence of the spirit out of its own power.

Without surrendering to passivity, it must find the strength for an impulse-to-action within itself. The soul’s awakening at the moment of falling asleep – awakening itself through the strength of its own inner being, through the power of the I itself, without any motive for staying awake – is presence of spirit (presence of mind). The soul is spiritually present when it is silent.

These first three trials – these first three experiences – represent the human ascent into the spiritual world.

Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, The Occult Trials

 

 

Apr 052011
 

When in the life after death one has passed through the cosmic midnight hour, the midpoint int he soul’s path after death, then one stands before the possibility of a definite temptation.

One says to oneself: “I live in the spiritual; spiritual light surrounds me. It would be possible for me to incorporate into this spiritual light everything that I bear within myself, to unite with it so that everything in me that is imperfect would be transformed into perfection.”

This is the Luciferic temptation. It means inwardly to break away from, and refuse, the whole further development of humanity. A temptation can be so great that a human soul cannot withstand it. Such a temptation is therefore concealed by the gods, but nevertheless it is effectively present in the world.

The element of temptation here does not consist in one’s being offered the possibility of, say, dominion, or of realising evil intentions, or the temptation of egoism in the worldly sense; no, the possibility offered is that of remaining pure and holy in the spiritual world.

But in that case what is imperfect – and yet, as potential perfection, is still present in human nature – will not be developed, even if what is already developed in human nature were to remain forever in the light of purity and holiness. The temptation, then, is to renounce the great ideal of the future. In return, one can attain to a high degree of beauty and light in one’s being, insofar as this is now developed.

Thus every human soul stands at one time before the choice of becoming wonderfully holy or else at soem time the future – by working through many, many imperfections – of attaining a far-off ideal, wherein all undeveloped faculties implanted in human nature by the gods will come to fruiton.

Valentin Tomberg, Inner Development, Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian Rosicrucian Path