I have enjoyed a lot when I was reading Bradford Riley's text "Star
Mysteries and the Word". The text gives e.g. many insights to the
background of Richard Wagner's operas, particularly to Tannhauser and
Parsifal. In Wagner's Tannhauser there was Heinrich Tannhauser
against the other Minstrels and now we can see the connection to
Heinrich von Ofterdingen, who also stood against all others. And then
there's the question about Klingsor, with whom Wagner dealt thorougly
in his Parsifal opera.
It is mentioned in Bradford's text that matter is in fact enchanted
light. From this came to my mind a saying: A Human being is a
creature of light, when we think "the outer garments", and a creature
of love, when we think the inner side. The Gospel according to St.
John deals with these questions. The Logos, "the Word was the true
light that enlightens all men". In some sense this Word is
also "reason or intelligence", but this Light (Son) is also "one with
the Father" (= all encompassing Love). The Light of Asia, Gautama
Buddha, told us about the great Law (karma) and how to cease the
suffering (cycle of reincarnation), but not about the loving
Father "behind" the Law. He told us how to "born through water".
In the third chapter (St. John's) there is an interesting discussion
between Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus was an Initiate of the "old
school", and he could come "by night" to Jesus, it is, conciously in
the "astral body", if we want use such an expression. But Nicodemus
couldn't understand when Jesus told him that "unless a man is born
from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God". Then Christ Jesus
explained further that man must be born through water and Spirit.
This "water-business" is part of the "old way" and it includes the
purifications etc., but the "Spirit-thing" is new.
"No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from
heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be
lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that
everyone who believes may have eternal life in him". It is written
(St. John: 1:17) that "the Law was given through Moses, grace and
thruth have come through Jesus Christ". Before the Christ Event
the "way to God" was through lifting up the serpent, lifting up the
serpent power, kundalini, starting from the base chakra up to the
Now the Son of Man must be lifted up. Son of Man can be translated in
sanskrit "Manasaputra". Our higher Self, "reincarnating ego", Manas,
must be lifted up to the Christ-principles (Atma-Buddhi), then we are
also connected to love. (We can also remember how Dr. Steiner said
that "we must learn to think with our heart, because there's much
egoism in our usual "head-thinking"). After the Christ Event and
after the ethereal (second) coming of the Christ there are new
possibilities in this "been born through Spirit -aspect".
In Wagner's Ring-cycle (Part I) Alberich did just the opposite
compared to this "lifting up the Son of Man". He renounced
deliberately love and through this act he could forge the mighty Ring
out of the Gold. This is ego sewered from the higher principles, and
it can only turn towards the "lower world" and there achieve a great
power (for a while). This "black act of Alberich" gets it
redeeming "counteract" in the end of Parsifal (Ring-cycle Part V, as
it is sometimes called). There the reincarnating ego, Kundry, wants
only to serve; like the Prodigal Son, who wanted to return to his
Fathers house as a servant. Parsifal brings back the Holy Spear,
which is connected to serpent-power and also to the best achievements
from the time before Christ Event.
The Spear and the Grail must be together, otherwise there are "big
troubles" coming. (In some sense I think there is an analogy in the
historic events. The original Theosophical Society was the "Spear",
old religions, and through Dr. Steiner there was working the Grail
aspect. When Dr. Steiner had to leave the T.S., the Spear and Grail
were separated, and a catastrophy ensued, WW I.) Eventually all
seekers must come to Christ and we can't deny the fact that Cosmic
Christ was brought to us by Jesus Christ. But it would be fine, if
the old religions, as a way of "been born through water", could
eventually lead seekers to the Grail-Mysteries.
In the end of the opera, Parsifal, with the help of the Spear, heals
the wound of Amfortas, which is inflicted by the same Spear. Parsifal
performs the Grail-seremony and a voice is heard from the
above: "Miracle of supreme salvation! Our Redeemer redeemed!" A white
dove decends and hovers over Parsifal's head. Then Kundry dies
reminding to us St. Paul's words: Now I don't live anymore, but
Christ in me. The act of Alberich is finally redeemed.