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7758Re: The Christ Event and the world of the dead: Comments III

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  • joksu57 <jouko.sorvali@kolumbus.fi>
    Feb 23, 2003
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      --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, "Pacbay" <pacbay@a...> wrote:
      > I lost something here. Who is Mr. Ervast and where is most of this
      insight derived from??
      >
      > Jeff

      Hello Jeff!

      That is a relevant question. Let's see if I can provide a decent
      answer. I admit right away that perhaps it was a bit thoughless of
      me to give such detailed descriptions from sources that cannot
      studied in english (for the most part) and from an "unknown
      teacher". As those who have read my earlier post might remember, I
      am not an antroposophist, rather a christosophist and this name
      refers to the teachings of Mr. Ervast. But names don't matter that
      much. I have also studied Dr. Steiner's books and lectures nearly 30
      years and I value his work highly.

      There are many similarities in the lives Dr. Steiner and Mr. Ervast
      and this holds true also to their teachings. Pekka Ervast (1875-
      1934, usually called PE) had already as a child many clearvoyant and
      spiritual experiences. PE tell e.g. about an incident when he was
      playing with his younger brother at the age of six, if my memory
      serves me. Suddenly he was watching both children from the ceiling
      and he could understand that it was the same "i" in both children.
      The other children was more a source of joy (his brother) and with
      the other there was more burden and responsibility.

      As a child Mr. Ervast got angry easily, if he saw something
      unjustice done around him. At the age of 14 he heard a voice saying
      to him: you don't have to get angry. PE was surprised and very
      pleased: "What, is it not necessary for me to get angry?". And after
      that day he never got angry. He says also that after this day he
      never knew breaking against the commandments given by Jesus Christ
      in the Sermon on the Mount (though he didn't formally know about
      them yet.) But he says also that he never fulfilled the ideals
      given by Jesus Christ either, he could always see his
      own "incompleteness".

      Mr. Ervast's experinces could not satisfy the spiritual thrist
      inside him, he had to know about God and the meaning of life.
      Eventually this attitude lead him to serious sufferings
      and "soulpains". Finally the situation grew so acute that he was
      crying out to life: Now must come the answer or death. Then he got
      an powerful Christ-experience in waking consciousness (1896), when
      he was nearly 21 years old. Publicly Mr. Ervast told first time
      about this "experience" nearly 20 years later, in his "theosophical
      memories" 1915. It was mainly three times, when during his whole
      life he spoke about this "babtism". PE said that it was very
      difficult to speak about this incident; it was so holy to him and he
      felt like exposing himself to "world which cannot understand".

      Now there was a firm basis to his spiritual work. The path which PE
      promoted afterwards, was this: Seeking the truth above anything else
      and following the ethical advices given by Jesus Christ, the
      disciple should get his own "Damascus-experience" in waking
      consciousness, the Mystical Christ in his heart is "activated",
      Christ is born in him. Then with Christ it is safe to enter in to
      the invisible worlds, "after-the-death-states" as a helper etc.

      When Theosophical Society (TS) was formed in Finland in the
      beginning of 20th century, it was natural that Mr. Ervast became the
      first president. In the beginning everything went smooth, but when
      Mrs. Besant's "social reforms", all new organisations, which
      deviated from the original impulse and especially the "Order of the
      Eastern Star" gained ground, the troubles began. Mr. Ervast could
      not approve this "Krishnamurti-World Teacher" mess advocared by Mrs.
      Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. In the local TS there were though some
      eager supporters of these "official leaders".

      Mr. Ervast invited Dr. Steiner to give lectures in Finland and in
      1912 Dr. Steiner came. During the lecture-cycle these men had deep
      conversations and Dr. Steiner proposed that they should have co-
      operation later. But then the "Krishnamurti-case" grew more acute
      and there was the separation from TS. This separation of Dr. Steiner
      and his followers was very sad thing to Mr. Ervast. He tried to
      prevent this separation by proposing that membership could
      be "spiritual, not geographical". This means that if e.g. a member
      in Great Britain feels that Dr. Steiner is his teacher, he can be a
      member of the TS section lead by Dr. Steiner. Because of
      some "technicality" this proposal was never discussed in official
      meeting. And soon broke the WW I.

      A small group of ex-theosophists in Finland went to the new
      Antroposophical Society (so the "antromovement" in Finland has also
      benefited from the pioneering work of Mr. Ervast) and then there
      were (inside TS) some eager admires of Besant-Leadbeater-
      Krishnamurti "coalition". Mr. Ervast was accused that his views and
      teachings were too near Dr. Steiner. And PE answered that he is an
      independent occultist, who relies on his own researches. This need
      to make some "demarcation line" to Steiner is maybe somehow
      reflected in his books "The Key to the Kalevala" and "The Esoteric
      School of Jesus" from the year 1916 (both books are avaible in
      english translations).

      PE didn't approve the "national views" of the english TS leaders
      during the WW I. He saw that they were prisons of the
      lower "national spirit", when these leaders inspired theosophist to
      fight against to germains, who were lead by supposed "black
      magicians". Universal brotherhood was the only required tenet of the
      original TS. As I said earlier PE didn't approve the "Krishnamurti-
      views" and then there was this schism between Mrs. Besant's "eastern
      occultism" and the occultism of Mr. Ervast, which based on the
      Christ Event and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Eventually all these
      differences lead to a separation and 1920 Mr. Ervast founded the
      Rose-Cross of Finland and a large amount of ex-theosophist joined
      this new organisation. PE called his teachings "Rose-Cross-
      Theosophy" or Christosophy. Now it was easier for him to consentrate
      to "Christ-issues" without internal opposition.

      As a person Mr. Ervast was modest and as a teacher he used allways
      when it was possible, as a starting point, some "old holy texts",
      writings of earlier teachers and most of all, the teachings of Jesus
      Christ. So the descriptions (in my earlier post) which I picked from
      lectures held 1928-1929, are "untypical", there he relies solely on
      his own researches. Mr. Ervast represents a different stream of
      christianity compared to Dr. Steiner. I feel that Dr. Steiner is
      close the "Johannine christianity" and Mr. Ervast represents more
      the "real St. Peter stream". (As I have said in some earlier post, I
      think that St. Stephen is the "real" exponent of this stream, and
      St. Stephen got his own "Damascus-experience" when he was stoned to
      death.) Ethics are crucial in this stream and I have linked also
      Tolstoi to this stream. Some points abouts manicheanism (e.g. Dr.
      Steiner's lecture Manichaeism, Berlin 2 December 1904) fit also to
      Mr. Ervast's teachings, especially to our relation to evil.

      Later Mr. Ervast adopted rituals from freemasonry and he started a
      spiritual school, which had three grades: Blue Lodge, Red Logde and
      the Grail Logde. But he could only open the first degree, the blue
      lodge, before his death in 1934. This is also a striking similarity
      compared to Dr. Steiner and his school in Gotheanum.

      Well, now I realise that this is quite a desperate task which I am
      trying to accomplish. I can give only some "rudimentary pieces".
      Imagine this: Someone asks you: Who is this Rudolf Steiner and where
      are his insight based on? And then you try in a short post (with
      foreign language) to give an adequate answer. So I stop here and in
      the end I cite a few passages from Mr. Ervast's book (authors
      translation), which forms the "ethical core" of Christosophy:

      Pekka Ervast: The Sermon on the Mount or the Key to Christianity
      (pp. 157-158)

      "These are "the five commandments of the heavenly Father,"
      proclaimed by Jesus:
      1) Be not angry
      2) Be pure even in thy thoughts
      3) Swear not
      4) Resist not evil
      5) War not, but love all men.

      The individual man cannot keep these commandments unless a new life
      begins for him. Little by little his condition will alter.

      If all Christians would begin to follow the commandments of Jesus,
      life on earth would be utterly changed. The kingdom of heaven would
      descend upon earth amongst men, and a new age would indeed begin for
      humanity. The lost paradise would be regained.

      But when will that day dawn? It will not dawn, until the children of
      men shall learn about the kingdom of God, about the Eden of
      happiness and bliss, about the path leading to its portals and about
      the keys, given by Jesus wherewith the portals may be opened.

      The kingdom of heaven will not come by itself, spontaneously. It
      will remain in the wordls of the spirit above, until men will pray
      for it to descend upon earth. And prayer is not empty talk, but the
      longing of the soul for the great heights, and the silent meditation
      of the spirit. Nor does preyer empty itself in thoughts; it realises
      itself in works, getting purified into new enthusiasm by the holy
      fire of thruth.

      He who prays follows the Master. He who does the will of the Father,
      he prays indeed."

      Warm Regards
      Joksu
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