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Insight into the Christ Event through the Gospel of St. John

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  • kmlightseeker
    Hi everybody, Steiner comments: (This is from: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospJohn/19090703p01.html) The Gospel of St. John LECTURE X Among the events
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 29, 2005
      Hi everybody,

      Steiner comments:

      (This is from:

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospJohn/19090703p01.html)

      "The Gospel of St. John

      LECTURE X

      Among the events in Palestine at the beginning of our era, there is
      one in particular to which attention has repeatedly been drawn; it is
      known as the Baptism of Jesus of Nazareth by John. It has also been
      emphasized that all four Gospels agree in all essential points with
      regard to this Baptism by John. Today it will be our task to concern
      ourselves once more with this event from one particular point of view.

      As we have seen, the manner in which this Baptism by John is presented
      in the Gospels embodies an indication of that other event, also
      explained by the Akashic records, the event which we described in the
      words: When Jesus of Nazareth had reached about the thirtieth year of
      his age, the divine Being whom we call the Christ entered into the
      threefold bodily sheath of this same Jesus of Nazareth. We have
      therefore — this is the result of Akashic investigation — to
      distinguish between two stages in the life of the Founder of
      Christianity. In the first place, we have the life of the great
      initiate whom we call Jesus of Nazareth, in whom, as we have seen,
      there dwelt an Ego which had passed through many incarnations, had
      lived repeatedly on earth, had risen higher and higher in each
      succeeding life, and had by degrees developed the faculty for the
      great sacrifice. This sacrifice consisted in the following act: When
      Jesus of Nazareth had reached about the thirtieth year of his age, his
      Ego, having purged, purified, and ennobled his physical, etheric, and
      astral bodies, was able to renounce these, so that a threefold bodily
      sheath was left — a most pure and refined human envelopment,
      consisting of a physical, an etheric, and an astral body. At the
      Baptism by John this threefold bodily sheath received into itself that
      Being who had never before descended to earth nor passed through
      former incarnations. This is the Christ-Being, who up to that time
      could only be found in the universe beyond our earth. At the Baptism
      by John this individual Being united Himself with a human body and
      dwelt therein for a space of three years in order to accomplish in
      that time the work which we are called upon to describe in
      ever-increasing detail.

      What I have just said is the result of clairvoyant observation, but
      the fact is clothed in the descriptions of the Baptism by John given
      us by the Evangelists. The meaning of these descriptions is as
      follows: whereas the others who were baptized by John underwent
      various experiences, in the case of Jesus of Nazareth what happened
      was that Christ descended upon him and entered his threefold bodily
      sheath. In the second lecture I explained that Christ was the same
      Being of whom it is said in the Old Testament: `And the Spirit of God
      moved (or brooded) on the face of the waters.' This same spirit, the
      divine spirit of our solar system, entered into the threefold bodily
      sheath of Jesus of Nazareth. We must now discuss what took place at
      that moment, but I would beg you to realize from the beginning that it
      cannot be an easy matter to comprehend what actually took place at the
      Baptism by John, because it is indeed the supreme event in the
      evolution of the earth. Is it not natural to believe that the less
      significant events are easier to understand, and that the greatest of
      all events presents the greatest difficulty? For this reason, what I
      am about to say to you may in some respects shock those who are
      unprepared for such things. But even one who is unprepared should
      acknowledge that the human soul comes to Earth for the purpose of
      growing ever more perfect, also with regard to its knowledge, and that
      what may seem repellent at first sight, comes to appear perfectly
      comprehensible in the course of time; otherwise we should have to
      despair of the possibility of evolution for the human soul. We must
      therefore always remember that, whatever we may have already learnt,
      our soul is always capable of improvement and will acquire an ever
      increasing understanding of the subject.

      We have therefore before us a threefold human vehicle, a physical, an
      etheric, and an astral body, into which the Christ, as it were,
      descends. This is indicated by the words which resound from cosmic
      space: `This is my son, filled with my love, in whom I manifest
      myself!' For this is the rendering of the words. That mighty changes
      must have taken place in the bodies of Jesus of Nazareth when the God
      entered into him, we can well imagine. But we can also easily realize
      that great changes took place in the whole of the human being in the
      old initiations. After a long period of study and meditation, the
      pupil to be initiated into the divine mysteries was thrown into a
      deathlike state lasting three and a half days, during which his
      etheric body was separated from his physical body, so that the fruits
      which had been garnered in the astral body could be imprinted upon the
      etheric body during that time; that is to say, the initiate rose from
      the state of `purification', as it is called, to the state of
      `illumination', and his eyes were opened to the spiritual world.
      Moreover, an initiate of the old times acquired a certain power over
      his whole bodily organization, so that when he returned once more to
      his physical body, he could exercise a marvellous control over certain
      of its finer elements. Perhaps you may be inclined to ask: `If one
      approached such an initiate, who had acquired an extraordinary mastery
      over his various bodies — even over his physical body — could one
      recognize this in his appearance, could one see this in him?' Yes! It
      could be seen by one who had acquired the ability for such vision; to
      the rest he usually appeared as an ordinary, unpretending man, with
      nothing remarkable about him. Why is this? Simply for the reason that
      the physical body, considered with physical eyes, is only the outer
      expression for that which is behind it; and the changes affect the
      spiritual part that is behind the physical body. Now all old
      initiates, in consequence of the special processes they had undergone,
      had succeeded in acquiring a certain degree of mastery over the
      physical body. There was one thing, however, which no old initiation
      had succeeded in bringing under the dominion of man's spirit. Here we
      touch the fringe, as it were, of a great secret or mystery. There was
      something in human nature to which the power of a pre-Christian
      initiate could not penetrate, namely, to the fine physical and
      chemical processes in the bony system. Strange as this may sound, it
      is nevertheless true. Before the Baptism of Christ Jesus by John,
      there had never been a human individuality in the evolution of the
      earth, either among the initiated or the uninitiated, who could
      exercise power over the physical and chemical processes of the bony
      structure. Through the entrance of Christ into the body of Jesus of
      Nazareth, the Individuality of Christ henceforward gained dominion
      over the bony structure itself. As a result, there once lived on earth
      a body able to use its forces in such a way that it caused the
      spiritual form of the bony structure to become embodied in the
      evolution of the Earth. The sum of everything that man has undergone
      in the course of his evolution would be irretrievably lost unless he
      were able to incorporate the noble form of his bony structure into the
      evolution of the Earth as an evolutionary law over which he could by
      degrees gain mastery. An old popular superstition is connected with
      this fact (as it so often happens that old traditions are connected
      with the occult), inasmuch as certain communities symbolize death by
      the image of the skeleton. This betokens that the laws governing the
      rest of the human organism were so perfect at the beginning of Earth's
      evolution that we find the same laws again, transformed and in a
      higher form, at the end of Earth's evolution; but no vestige of
      Earth's evolution would be carried over into the future, if the bony
      frame were not preserved. The form of the bony structure conquers
      death in a physical sense. Hence He who was to conquer death on Earth
      must necessarily gain dominion over the bony system in a similar way
      to the control I have indicated in respect of certain lesser
      qualities. Man's command over his circulatory system is very slight;
      when experiencing shame, for instance, he drives his blood from within
      outwards; that is, his soul works upon his circulatory system. When he
      turns pale, under the experience of fear, he drives the blood back to
      its centre, back to the heart. When oppressed with sadness, the tears
      rush to his eyes. All this denotes a certain mastery of the soul over
      the body. Far greater is this command over the bodily organization
      with one who has attained a certain degree of initiation; he acquires
      the power to control at will and in a definite manner the movements of
      the different parts of his brain and so on.

      Thus the human body of Jesus of Nazareth came under the dominion of
      Christ, Who, of His own free will and choice, penetrated with His
      Dominion into the very bones; His influence extended even into the
      bony system for the very first time. The significance of this fact may
      be described in the following words: The present form of his bony
      structure was acquired by man upon Earth, and not in an earlier
      incarnation of our planet; yet he would lose that form had not the
      spiritual Power whom we call the Christ appeared. Had not Christ
      established His dominion over the bony system, man would have nothing
      to carry over into the future as the harvest and fruit of his earthly
      existence. It was therefore a stupendous power that penetrated the
      threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, piercing into the inmost
      marrow of the bones. We must retain the impression of this moment, for
      it is one of the great events that occurred at that time.

      When an ordinary birth takes place, the fruits of a man's former
      incarnations unite with the elements which he inherits. The human
      individuality who was there in former lives unites with the physical
      and etheric bodily sheath which is provided for him. Something which
      comes from the spiritual unites with the physical and sensible. Those
      who have often heard lectures by me know that, with regard to external
      appearances in the spiritual world, everything there appears as in a
      mirror and reversed. When clairvoyance is developed in a man by
      rational methods and his eyes are opened to the spiritual world, he
      must slowly learn to find his way in that world, for everything there
      appears in a reversed form. When a number is seen, for instance 345,
      is must not be read as in the physical world, but as 543, that is, in
      reversed order. This applies not to numbers only, but to everything
      else as well. When Christ united Himself with the bodily sheath of
      Jesus of Nazareth, this event was revealed to one whose spiritual eyes
      were opened, also in a reversed sense. Whereas at a physical
      incarnation the spiritual descends from higher worlds and unites with
      the physical, in this case the element which was offered up in order
      that the Christ-Spirit might enter, appeared above the head of Jesus
      of Nazareth in the form of a dove. A spiritual principle appears as it
      detaches itself from the physical. This is an unquestionable
      clairvoyant observation, and it would be far from right to say that it
      is meant merely as an allegory or symbol. It is a real, clairvoyant,
      spiritual fact, actually visible on the astral plane to one gifted
      with clairvoyant sight. Even as the spiritual is drawn down at
      physical birth, this birth was a sacrifice, a surrender. The
      possibility was thus given for the Spirit `that moved upon the face of
      the waters' at the beginning of our earthly evolution, to unite itself
      with the threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth and to permeate
      it with fire and strength in the way we have shown.

      Now you will understand that at that moment something more was engaged
      in that event than the small area in which the Baptism by John took
      place. It would be an instance of human short-sightedness to believe
      that an occurrence affecting any being is confined to the limits of
      eyesight. That is the great illusion to which people fall a prey when
      they trust their physical senses alone. What is the boundary of the
      human being for the outer organs of sense? Speaking superficially, his
      skin would be regarded as his boundary, for he comes to an end with
      his skin on all sides. One might even say: `If I cut off your nose,
      which is a part of you, you are no longer a complete human being. By
      this I recognize that all your members are parts of your being.' This,
      however, is a very short-sighted observation. If we confine ourselves
      to what we can see with our eyes, we must hold that nothing belonging
      to the human being can be found a few inches distant from his skin.
      But only reflect that, with every breath you draw, you inhale air from
      the whole atmosphere surrounding you. If your nose is cut off you are
      no longer a whole human being; but you are just as incomplete if the
      air you breathe is cut off. It is an arbitrary view, to imagine that a
      man is bounded by his skin. Man's whole environment belongs to him,
      even in a physical sense. So that if something happens to someone in a
      particular place, it is not true that nothing but the spot occupied by
      the human body is engaged in the occurrence. If you poison the air to
      a sufficient extent at a distance of a mile from a man and in
      circumference, so that the vapours extend to him, you would very soon
      observe that the whole space for a mile round shared in his vital
      process. The whole earth participates in every life-process. Since
      this is true of a physical life-process, you will readily understand
      that, with an event like the Baptism by John, the spiritual world
      engaged therein in its widest periphery, and that a great, great deal
      was necessary in order that it should come to pass. If you vitiate the
      air for a mile in the periphery of a man so that his vital functions
      are affected, and then cause someone to stand near him, the latter
      will also suffer from the same effects. Perhaps the effect may vary in
      proportion to his nearness or remoteness from the vitiated zone. If
      far removed from it, the effect will be weaker, but some effect will
      be there none the less. Hence you will not find it strange that the
      question should be raised, whether there were no other effects in
      conjunction with the Baptism by John. Here we touch upon another
      profound mystery to which expression can be given only in words of awe
      and reverence: for mankind will only by degrees become fitted to
      understand such things.

      The moment when the Spirit of Christ descended into the body of Jesus
      of Nazareth and the transformation already described took place, an
      effect was wrought also upon the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. This
      effect consisted in the circumstance that in the instant of the
      Baptism by John she regained her state of virginhood: that is to say,
      her inner organism reverted to the condition of the feminine organism
      before maidenly puberty. At the birth of Christ the mother of Jesus of
      Nazareth became Virgin (due to the transformation of her inner organs
      to the state in which they existed prior to her puberty).

      These are the two most momentous facts, the great and awe-inspiring
      effects indicated to us, though in veiled terms by the writer of the
      Gospel of St. John. But when we read the Gospel aright we find that it
      is all there, in a certain sense. In order to recognize this we must
      revert to some of the points raised yesterday and considered under
      various aspects.

      We said that in ancient times men were under the sway of `near
      marriage'. This means that marriage was contracted only within the
      ties of blood and within the same tribe. It was only in the course of
      time that marriage outside the tribe and into a different race was
      introduced. The further we recede into antiquity the more do we find
      men under the influence of this blood relationship. Through the
      circumstance that family blood flowed in man's veins, intense magical
      forces were rendered possible in ancient times. As he looked back
      along his line of ancestry — a line of exclusive blood relationship —
      a man had magical forces working in his blood, so that influences
      could be exerted from soul to soul, in the way described yesterday.
      Even the simplest people were aware of this in former times. Now it
      would be entirely wrong to conclude that consanguineous marriage at
      the present day would produce similar conditions, and that magical
      forces would appear. There you would fall into the same error as the
      lily of the valley, if it said: `I will no longer bloom in May;
      henceforth I will bloom in October.' It cannot bloom in October
      because the conditions necessary for the lily of the valley are then
      absent. It is the same with the magical forces. These cannot unfold at
      a time when the necessary conditions are no longer present. In our day
      the magic forces must develop in another way; what has been described
      holds good only for ancient times. Of course the learned materialist
      is unable to understand that the laws have changed in the course of
      evolution; he thinks that what he experiences today must always have
      happened in that way. But that is nonsense; for physical laws change.
      People who derive their beliefs from modern natural science would have
      marveled at the events which occurred in Palestine as related by the
      Gospel of St. John, and have considered them something extraordinary.
      But those who have lived in the times of Christ Jesus were by no means
      so much astonished, for traditions of earlier times were then still
      alive — times in which such things were altogether possible. For this
      reason I mentioned yesterday that the people were not very greatly
      astonished by the sign performed at the marriage at Cana in Galilee.
      Why should they have been astonished? Outwardly it was only a
      repetition of something which they knew to have been observed again
      and again. Turn to the second Book of Kings, chap. 4, verses 42-44:

      `And there came a man from Baal-Shalisha, and brought the man of God
      bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of
      corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they
      may eat.

      `And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men?
      He said again, Give the people, that they may eat; for thus saith the
      Lord, They shall eat and shall leave thereof. So he set it before
      them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the
      Lord.'

      Here we find related in the Old Testament the feeding of the five
      thousand in the corresponding situation for olden times. Why should
      the people have marveled at the sign when their own documents bore
      witness that such a thing did not happen for the first time? It is
      essential that we should understand this.

      Now what took place in one who had partaken of the old initiation? He
      gained entrance into the spiritual world, his eyes were opened to the
      spiritually operative forces; that is, he obtained an insight into the
      connection of the blood with these active spiritual forces. Others had
      a dim presentiment of these things; but the initiate could look back
      to his earliest ancestors from whom the blood descended to him. Such
      an one might reflect: the blood courses down through the generations
      and the whole Ego of a people finds expression therein, even as the
      individual Ego expresses itself in the blood of individual man. Such
      an initiate looked back to the source of the blood-stream which
      coursed through the generations, and he felt his soul identified with
      his folk-spirit, whose physiognomy was expressed in the whole
      folk-blood. One who thus felt himself united with the whole blood of
      his people had attained a certain grade of initiation, and was, to
      some extent, master over certain magical forces in the old sense.

      Now we must bear something else in mind. The male and female elements
      cooperate in the propagation of the human race in a way which we may
      briefly describe as follows:

      Were the female element to predominate, the development of human
      beings would be such that identical characters would continually
      appear. Children would invariably resemble their parents,
      grandparents, and so on. All the forces that bring about resemblance
      are inherent in the female principle. All that alters the resemblance
      and introduces differences is inherent in the male principle. When we
      find within a national community a number of faces that resemble one
      another, we may ascribe this to the female element; but in these faces
      there are certain differences distinguishing one individual from
      another; this is the male influence. If the female alone prevailed, it
      would be impossible to distinguish between one individual and another;
      on the other hand, if only the male element operated, you would never
      be able to recognize that a group of people were of the same stock.
      Thus the male and female elements cooperate to the effect that the
      male individualizes, specializes, separates, whereas the female
      generalizes. In which of these forces, then, do we find the element
      which is common to the whole folk? This element is inherent in the
      female principle. Or we might say: the forces of the woman bear along,
      from generation to generation, the element which is otherwise
      expressed by the blood flowing from generation to generation. If
      anyone wished to describe more explicitly wherein the magic forces
      connected with ties of blood actually lie, he would say that they are
      bound up with the female principle which pervades the whole folk and
      lives in every member of it. What, therefore, was the essential
      characteristic of a man who had acquired, through initiation, the
      power to wield the forces implanted by the female element in the blood
      flowing through the generations?

      In the old initiation there were definite stages in the ascent to
      spiritual heights. To these stages certain names were attached, one of
      which — to use the expression peculiar to the Persian initiation — is
      of particular interest to us. The first degree of the Persian
      initiation was designated by the term `Raven'; the second was called
      the `Occult', the third `Warrior', the fourth `Lion', the fifth degree
      was known in every nation by the name of that nation; thus it was said
      of a Persian who had ascended to the fifth degree of initiation that
      he was a `Persian'.

      The initiate first became a `Raven'; that is, he observed the outer
      world and, being the servant of those who were in the spiritual world,
      he bore tidings to that world from the physical world. Hence the
      symbol of the raven as the messenger between the physical and the
      spiritual worlds, from the ravens of Elijah to the ravens of
      Barbarossa. The initiate of the second degree is fully within the
      spiritual world. The third degree is yet further advanced; here the
      initiate is called upon to enter the lists on behalf of the truth of
      occultism; he becomes a `Warrior'; an initiate of the second degree
      was not allowed to contend on behalf of the truths of the spiritual
      world. In the fourth degree the initiate becomes firmly established in
      the truths of the spiritual world. The initiate of the fifth degree
      was one of those who, as I explained, learnt to control the forces
      which were transmitted in the female element of reproduction and in
      the blood of the generations. What name then must have been given to
      one who had been initiated within the Jewish people? He was called an
      `Israelite', just as he would have been called a `Persian' in Persia.
      And now note well what follows.

      Among the first to be led to Christ Jesus, in the sense of the Gospel
      of St. John, was Nathanael. The others who were already disciples of
      Christ said to him: `We have found the Master, He who dwells in Jesus
      of Nazareth!' Whereupon Nathanael answers: `Can any good thing come
      out of Nazareth?' But when they bring Nathanael to Christ, Christ says
      to him: `Behold, truly an Israelite in whom there is no guile!'

      Truly an Israelite in whom the truth dwells! He says this because He
      knows Nathanael's degree of initiation; and Nathanael recognizes that
      he is speaking with One who knows more than he and who is above him.
      And Christ says to him, in order to indicate that He is really
      alluding to the initiation: `I saw thee not for the first time when
      thou camest to me, but before Philip called thee, when thou wast under
      the fig-tree, I saw thee!'

      The word `fig-tree' is used here in exactly the same sense as by
      Buddha. The fig-tree is the Bodhi-tree — the symbol of initiation.
      Christ says to him: `I know thee as an initiate of the fifth degree!'
      From this we see how the writer of the Gospel of St. John indicates
      that Christ sees through one who has been initiated to the fifth
      degree. We are led step by step, and are shown that in the body of
      Jesus of Nazareth One dwells who dominates an initiate of the fifth
      degree. Furthermore we have just seen that an initiate of the fifth
      degree can control the occult, magical forces inherent in the blood
      flowing through the generations. He becomes one with his folk-soul;
      and we have seen that the folk-soul expresses itself in the forces of
      the woman. Thus an initiate of the fifth degree has to do with the
      female forces according to the manner of antiquity. You must picture
      all this to yourselves in a spiritual way. But Christ deals in a
      manner entirely new with the female forces. He has to do with her who
      regained her virgin state at the Baptism by John and has within her
      again the fresh budding forces of virginity. This was the new element
      which the writer of the Gospel of St. John wished to indicate, when he
      said that a certain current of force passed from the son to the
      mother. It was familiar to all those who possessed occult knowledge at
      that time, that a son who had been initiated even only to the fifth
      degree was able to use magically the folk forces which express
      themselves in the folk-element of his mother. But Christ showed in a
      spiritually higher manner the forces of the woman who again became virgin.

      We thus see what preceded the marriage at Cana in preparation of this
      event, and we understand that these actions must necessarily have been
      performed by an initiate who dominated the fifth degree of initiation.
      We are also shown that this is connected with the folk-element
      inherent in the female personality. A marvellous preparation precedes
      what the writer of the Gospel of St. John here shows us. (As I have
      said, we shall deal later with the conception of the miracles, in
      another way.) Now you can easily imagine that freshly drawn water is a
      very different thing from water that has stood for a while; just as a
      plant freshly plucked is different from one that has been withering
      three days. Of course a materialistic view of things does not make
      such distinctions. Water still connected with the forces of the earth
      is a very different thing from water used at a later moment. Relying
      upon the forces still inherent in freshly drawn water, an initiate of
      sufficiently high grade can operate through the forces now bound up
      with a spiritual relationship such as that of Christ with His mother,
      who had again become virgin. He carries on the work of the earth. The
      earth can change water into wine in the vine. Christ, who has
      approached the earth and has become the spirit of the earth, is
      Himself that spiritual force which works in the whole body of the
      earth. As Christ, He must be able to do what the earth does, what the
      earth does when it changes water into wine.

      Thus the first of the signs performed by Christ Jesus, according to
      the Gospel of St. John, is one which stands in relation to what might
      have taken place in ancient times at the hands of an initiate who
      controlled the forces extending through the blood-ties of the generations.

      But now the power which Christ develops in the body of Jesus of
      Nazareth increases apace — not the power which Christ has in Himself!
      Do not therefore ask: `Does Christ then need to develop?' Of course
      not. What needed to be developed was the body of Jesus of Nazareth,
      however pure and ennobled it already was. Into that body were to be
      poured the forces which were to come to effect in the immediate future.

      The next sign is the healing of the nobleman's son, and this is
      followed by the healing of the man 38 years in his infirmity at the
      pool of Bethesda. What increase was shown here in the forces with
      which Christ worked upon earth? The increase consisted in the fact
      that Christ could affect not only those who were present in His
      immediate environment. He had worked in this way among the guests at
      the marriage at Cana, so that when they drank water, it was wine. Here
      He had worked upon the etheric bodies of those surrounding Him. By
      sending forth this force into the etheric bodies of those assembled,
      the effect in their mouths was such that the water which they drank
      became wine — that is, the water was tasted as wine. But now the
      influence was not to affect the body alone, it was to extend to the
      depths of the soul. For not otherwise could He work upon the
      nobleman's son, through the agency of the father; and again, send His
      influence into the sinful soul of the man 38 years in his infirmity.
      It would not have sufficed had He poured His force merely into the
      etheric body. It was necessary to work upon the astral body, for it is
      the astral body which commits sin. By working upon the etheric body,
      it is possible to turn water into wine; but it is necessary to
      penetrate deeper in order to exercise a profounder influence upon
      another personality. For this purpose it was necessary that Christ
      should work still further upon the threefold sheath of Jesus of
      Nazareth. Note well: Christ Himself does not become changed by the
      process; He works upon the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, with
      the result that the etheric body becomes more independent of the
      physical body than it was heretofore. Thus there came a time when,
      within the threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, the etheric
      body became freer and more detached from the physical body. A greater
      mastery over the physical body was thereby possible; Christ could
      accomplish mightier works in the physical body; that is, He could use
      powerful forces really within the physical body. The tendency was
      given at the Baptism by John, and it was now to be developed with
      special intensity. But all this was now to be directed from the
      spiritual worlds. The astral body was now to work so mightily within
      the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, that the etheric body could
      obtain this power of the physical. Now by what means can the astral
      body act so powerfully? By the acquirement of, and devotion to, the
      right kind of feelings with regard to everything that happens in our
      environment; above all, by the cultivation of the right attitude with
      regard to human egoism. Did Christ accomplish this with he body of
      Jesus of Nazareth? Did He act in such a way as to find the right
      relation to every form of egoism in His environment, so that the
      fundamental instinct of egoism in the soul was made plain to all? Yes,
      Christ did this. The writer of the Gospel of St. John relates how He
      comes forward as the purifier of the Temple, at the expense of those
      who exalt selfishness and who dishonour the Temple by selling all
      manner of merchandise therein. This enables Him to say that He had now
      made the astral body so powerful that, if the physical body were
      destroyed, He could build it up again in three days. This, too, is
      indicated by the writer of the Gospel of St. John:

      `Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three
      days I will raise it up.

      `The Jews therefore said, Forty and six years was this temple in
      building, and wilt thou raise it up in three days?

      `But He spake of the Temple of His body.'

      This indicates that the vehicle which had been offered up to Him had
      power to govern its physical part and master it completely. Then too
      this body, which had become so free, could move about everywhere,
      independently of physical laws; regardless of the laws of the world of
      space, it could bring about and govern events in the spiritual world.
      This is indicated to us in the chapter following the account of the
      Purification of the Temple.

      `There was a man of the Pharisees names Nicodemus, a ruler of the
      Jews; the same came to Jesus by night and said to Him. ...'

      Why do we find the words `by night'? It is of course the most trivial
      explanation imaginable to say that the Jew, being afraid to come to
      Jesus in the light of day, crept through the window at night. Anyone
      can give an explanation of that kind. `By night' means here nothing
      less than that this meeting between Christ and Nicodemus took place in
      the astral world, in the spiritual world, and not in the world of
      ordinary day consciousness. That is to say, Christ could communicate
      with Nicodemus outside the physical body — `by night' when the
      physical body is not there and the astral body is outside the physical
      and etheric bodies.

      Thus the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth was prepared by Christ
      for the deeds that were to come and for the work that was to be
      carried into the souls of men. To this end the soul in the threefold
      sheath of Jesus of Nazareth must be so free that its influence can be
      transmitted into other bodies. To direct an influence into another
      soul is, however, a totally different thing from the working of the
      signs which we considered yesterday. The next increase of power is
      shown in the feeding of the five thousand and the walking on the
      water. Something more was needed in order that Christ should be
      visible in the body, without being physically present, and indeed
      visible not only to his disciples; so mighty had the power in the body
      of Jesus of Nazareth become that Christ was also visible to those who
      were not His disciples. Only here again we must read the Gospels
      correctly, for it might be objected that one can believe this of the
      disciples but not of others.

      `On the morrow the multitude which stood on the other side of the sea
      saw that there was none other boat there save one, and that Jesus
      entered not with His disciples into the boat, but that the disciples
      went away alone.

      `Howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they
      ate the bread through the Lord's uplifting His thoughts to God.

      `When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither
      His disciples, they themselves got into the boats and came to
      Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

      I beg you expressly to note that it was the people who sought Jesus
      and that is then said:

      `And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said unto
      Him, Rabbi, when camest Thou hither?'

      This means exactly the same as in the case of the disciples. It does
      not say that every ordinary eye saw Him, but that they saw Him who
      sought and found Him through the heightening of their soul forces.
      When it is said that `someone saw someone else', this is not the same
      as saying that the latter `stood there as a fleshly form in space,
      visible to physical eyes.' What is usually called taking the Gospels
      literally is in reality anything but a `literal' reading of the
      Gospels. And if you bear in mind that a climax is in every instance
      observable, you will understand that something else must have preceded
      this sign. Once more, something must have taken place showing us how
      Christ had worked in the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth to the
      end that its forces should grow mightier and mightier. As a Healer did
      He work, pouring His forces into the souls of others! And He Himself
      now describes the manner of His work in the words spoken to the woman
      of Samaria at the well: `I am the living water!' At the marriage at
      Cana He showed Himself to be one with the forces which are at work in
      the entire world. We find this in the chapter `Jesus has power over
      life and death'; over life and death because He is master of the
      forces which are at work in the physical body. This chapter therefore
      precedes the sign in which His power must appear in heightened form.

      Then we see how the power gains in strength. We pointed out yesterday
      how, in the sign known as the healing of the man born blind, Christ
      touches not only upon the part of the human being which is subject to
      birth and death, but upon the individuality of the human soul which
      passes from life to life. The man was born blind because the divine
      individuality in him manifested itself in its works; he was to recover
      his sight by the power poured into him by Christ — a power so great
      that it caused that to be effaced which was due, not to his
      personality between birth and death, nor to inheritance, but to the
      deed of his own individuality.

      I have often explained that Goethe's beautiful words, which spring
      from a deep knowledge of Rosicrucian initiation, are based upon
      profound occult truth: `The eye is formed by the light for the light.'
      I have pointed out that Schopenhauer is right when he says: `Without
      the eye there is no light.' Yes, but where does the eye come from?
      Goethe quite rightly says: `Without light there would never have been
      an organ sensitive to light — an eye.' The eye is created by the
      light. A single instance will demonstrate this. When animals
      possessing eyes migrate into dark caves, they soon lose the power to
      see, through lack of light. The eye was formed by light. If Christ is
      to pour into the man's individuality a power enabling him to render
      his eye sensitive to light, then Christ must have in Him the spiritual
      force which is in the light. This must be indicated in the Gospel of
      St. John. The healing of the man born blind is preceded by the chapter
      in which we read:

      `Then Jesus spake again unto them saying: I am the light of the world.'

      The healing of the man born blind is not mentioned until after the
      words `I am the light of the world' have been spoken. Now turn to the
      chapter before the raising of Lazarus and consider the passage:

      `Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I
      may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down
      myself. I have power to lay it down. ... If I do not the works of my
      Father, believe me not. ...'

      All that is said here concerning the `good shepherd' is intended to
      show that Christ feels that He and the Father are One and that He will
      no longer speak of Himself as `I' except in the sense of His union
      with the Father-forces. Having said previously `I am the light of the
      world', He now says: `I lay down my Ego-power and receive the Father
      into myself, that the Father may work in me, that the primal principle
      may flow into me and through me into others. I lay down my life that I
      may take it again.' This precedes the raising of Lazarus.

      And now having concluded these reflections, let us try to grasp the
      Gospel of St. John with regard to its composition. Observe that up to
      the raising of Lazarus there is not only a wonderful climax of power
      shown in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, but we are also expressly
      told, before each increase of power, what is at work with regard to
      the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, everything in the Gospel of St.
      John is so firmly welded together that, when rightly understood, not a
      single sentence can be omitted. And it is thus wonderfully composed
      for the reason that it was written by one who, as we have seen, was
      initiated by Christ Jesus Himself.

      We set out today from the question: `What took place at the Baptism by
      John? And we saw how the conquest of death was first implanted in the
      world with the descent of Christ into the threefold sheath of Jesus of
      Nazareth. We have seen how the mother of Jesus of Nazareth was changed
      when Christ descended, and how the effect wrought upon her by the
      Baptism by John was such that she became again virgin. It is therefore
      a true belief, founded upon the Gospel of St. John: When Christ was
      born into the body of Jesus of Nazareth at the Baptism by John, the
      mother of Jesus of Nazareth became virgin.

      Here we have the starting point of the Gospel of St. John. And if you
      understand it in the sense of the mighty cosmic event which was then
      enacted at the river Jordan, you will realize that the first
      description of such an event, in accordance with the true facts, could
      only be at the hands of one who had been initiated by Christ Jesus
      Himself — the risen Lazarus, `whom the Lord loved', of whom it is
      henceforth always said that he was `the disciple whom the Lord loved'.
      The risen Lazarus has transmitted the Gospel to us, and he alone was
      able to weld together all the passages in the Gospel because he had
      received the greatest impulse from the greatest initiator, from the
      Christ. He alone could show us the truth which Paul grasped in a
      certain way through his own initiation: that at that time the germ
      which was to grow into the conquest of death, was implanted in the
      evolution of the earth. Hence the significant words spoken of Him who
      hung upon the Cross: `Not a bone of Him shall be broken.' Why not?
      Because they were not to touch the form over which Christ must retain
      His power. Had they broken a bone of Him, an inferior human force
      would have interfered with the power which Christ was to exercise over
      the very bones of Jesus of Nazareth. None must lay hands on that form!
      For it was to be altogether subject to the dominion of Christ.

      Starting from this point, we can proceed tomorrow to the consideration
      of the death of Christ."


      Thanks,

      Keith
    • Tarjei Straume
      ... All these mysteries connected to the human bony structure are extraordinarily interesting. It s what inspired my little piece about the skull at
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 29, 2005
        At 16:03 29.04.2005, Keith quoted RS:

        >Now all old initiates, in consequence of the special processes they had
        >undergone, had succeeded in acquiring a certain degree of mastery over the
        >physical body. There was one thing, however, which no old initiation had
        >succeeded in bringing under the dominion of man's spirit. Here we touch
        >the fringe, as it were, of a great secret or mystery. There was something
        >in human nature to which the power of a pre-Christian initiate could not
        >penetrate, namely, to the fine physical and chemical processes in the bony
        >system. Strange as this may sound, it is nevertheless true. Before the
        >Baptism of Christ Jesus by John, there had never been a human
        >individuality in the evolution of the earth, either among the initiated or
        >the uninitiated, who could exercise power over the physical and chemical
        >processes of the bony structure. Through the entrance of Christ into the
        >body of Jesus of Nazareth, the Individuality of Christ henceforward gained
        >dominion over the bony structure itself. As a result, there once lived on
        >earth a body able to use its forces in such a way that it caused the
        >spiritual form of the bony structure to become embodied in the evolution
        >of the Earth. The sum of everything that man has undergone in the course
        >of his evolution would be irretrievably lost unless he were able to
        >incorporate the noble form of his bony structure into the evolution of the
        >Earth as an evolutionary law over which he could by degrees gain mastery.

        All these mysteries connected to the human bony structure are
        extraordinarily interesting. It's what inspired my little piece about the
        skull at http://www.uncletaz.com/skullpage.html which uncomprehending PLANS
        has chosen as one of their favorite links to scare prospective Waldorf parents.

        Steiner's insight with regard to the Christ Mystery and the human bone
        structure lends very special significance to this easily overlooked detail
        from the Gospel:

        "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should
        not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an
        high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they
        might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the
        first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to
        Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one
        of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out
        blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true:
        and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things
        were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not
        be broken." - John 19:31-36

        >An old popular superstition is connected with this fact (as it so often
        >happens that old traditions are connected with the occult), inasmuch as
        >certain communities symbolize death by the image of the skeleton. This
        >betokens that the laws governing the rest of the human organism were so
        >perfect at the beginning of Earth's evolution that we find the same laws
        >again, transformed and in a higher form, at the end of Earth's evolution;
        >but no vestige of Earth's evolution would be carried over into the future,
        >if the bony frame were not preserved. The form of the bony structure
        >conquers death in a physical sense. Hence He who was to conquer death on
        >Earth must necessarily gain dominion over the bony system in a similar way
        >to the control I have indicated in respect of certain lesser qualities.

        Again, this brings us right home to Shakespeare and the churchyard scene in
        Hamlet (Act V Scene I).

        **************************************************************************

        FIRST CLOWN
        [Sings]
        But age, with his stealing steps,
        Hath claw’d me in his clutch,
        And hath shipped me intil the land,
        As if I had never been such.
        [Throws up a skull

        HAMLET
        That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once: how the knave jowls it
        to the ground, as if it were Cain’s jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It
        might be the pate of a politician, which this ass now o’er-reaches; one
        that would circumvent God, might it not?

        HORATIO
        It might, my lord.

        HAMLET
        Or of a courtier; which could say ‘Good morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou,
        good lord?’ This might be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord
        such-a-one’s horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?

        HORATIO
        Ay, my lord.

        HAMLET
        Why, e’en so: and now my Lady Worm’s; chapless, and knocked about the
        mazzard with a sexton’s spade: here’s fine revolution, an we had the trick
        to see’t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats
        with ’em? mine ache to think on’t.

        FIRST CLOWN
        [Sings]
        A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
        For and a shrouding sheet:
        O, a pit of clay for to be made
        For such a guest is meet.
        [Throws up another skull

        HAMLET
        There’s another: why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his
        quiddities now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why
        does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a
        dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This
        fellow might be in’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his
        recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: is this the
        fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
        pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his
        purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of
        indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box;
        and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?

        HORATIO
        Not a jot more, my lord.

        <.....................snip...................................>

        HAMLET
        How long will a man lie i’ the earth ere he rot?

        FIRST CLOWN
        I’ faith, if he be not rotten before he die­as we have many pocky corses
        now-a-days, that will scarce hold the laying in­he will last you some eight
        year or nine year: a tanner will last you nine year.

        HAMLET
        Why he more than another?

        FIRST CLOWN
        Why, sir, his hide is so tanned with his trade, that he will keep out water
        a great while; and your water is a sore decayer of your whoreson dead body.
        Here’s a skull now; this skull has lain in the earth three and twenty years.

        HAMLET
        Whose was it?

        FIRST CLOWN
        A whoreson mad fellow’s it was: whose do you think it was?

        HAMLET
        Nay, I know not.

        FIRST CLOWN
        A pestilence on him for a mad rogue! a’ poured a flagon of Rhenish on my
        head once. This same skull, sir, was Yorick’s skull, the king’s jester.

        HAMLET
        This?

        FIRST CLOWN
        E’en that.

        HAMLET
        Let me see. [Takes the skull]
        Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most
        excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now,
        how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those
        lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
        gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the
        table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
        Now get you to my lady’s chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch
        thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that. Prithee,
        Horatio, tell me one thing.

        HORATIO
        What’s that, my lord?

        HAMLET
        Dost thou think Alexander looked o’ this fashion i’ the earth?

        HORATIO
        E’en so.

        HAMLET
        And smelt so? pah!

        [Puts down the skull

        HORATIO
        E’en so, my lord.

        HAMLET
        To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the
        noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bung-hole?

        HORATIO
        ’Twere to consider too curiously, to consider so.

        HAMLET
        No, faith, not a jot; but to follow him thither with modesty enough, and
        likelihood to lead it: as thus: Alexander died, Alexander was buried,
        Alexander returneth into dust; the dust is earth; of earth we make loam;
        and why of that loam, whereto he was converted, might they not stop a
        beer-barrel?
        Imperious Caesar, dead and turn’d to clay,
        Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
        O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
        Should patch a wall to expel the winter flaw!
        But soft! but soft! aside: here comes the king.

        **************************************************************************

        >Man's command over his circulatory system is very slight; when
        >experiencing shame, for instance, he drives his blood from within
        >outwards; that is, his soul works upon his circulatory system. When he
        >turns pale, under the experience of fear, he drives the blood back to its
        >centre, back to the heart. When oppressed with sadness, the tears rush to
        >his eyes.

        This is what Steiner was getting at when he said the heart is not a pump -
        another point totally misunderstood and hyper-disputed by PLANS, making
        endless and senseless disputations about it.

        <snip>

        >When an ordinary birth takes place, the fruits of a man's former
        >incarnations unite with the elements which he inherits. The human
        >individuality who was there in former lives unites with the physical and
        >etheric bodily sheath which is provided for him. Something which comes
        >from the spiritual unites with the physical and sensible.

        <snip>

        >The moment when the Spirit of Christ descended into the body of Jesus of
        >Nazareth and the transformation already described took place, an effect
        >was wrought also upon the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. This effect
        >consisted in the circumstance that in the instant of the Baptism by John
        >she regained her state of virginhood: that is to say, her inner organism
        >reverted to the condition of the feminine organism before maidenly
        >puberty. At the birth of Christ the mother of Jesus of Nazareth became
        >Virgin (due to the transformation of her inner organs to the state in
        >which they existed prior to her puberty).

        We are here in touch with a great, great mystery with regard to the Holy
        Mother, her conception, her virginity, and the birth of Christ.

        >We said that in ancient times men were under the sway of `near marriage'.
        >This means that marriage was contracted only within the ties of blood and
        >within the same tribe. It was only in the course of time that marriage
        >outside the tribe and into a different race was introduced. The further we
        >recede into antiquity the more do we find men under the influence of this
        >blood relationship. Through the circumstance that family blood flowed in
        >man's veins, intense magical forces were rendered possible in ancient
        >times. As he looked back along his line of ancestry — a line of exclusive
        >blood relationship — a man had magical forces working in his blood, so
        >that influences could be exerted from soul to soul, in the way described
        >yesterday. Even the simplest people were aware of this in former times.
        >Now it would be entirely wrong to conclude that consanguineous marriage at
        >the present day would produce similar conditions, and that magical forces
        >would appear.

        Very important, especially in view of the slander thrown about by PLANS.
        What Steiner is describing here is the spiritual-scientific endorsement of
        interracial families in modern times. I have some other quotes about this
        at http://www.uncletaz.com/steinchrmar.html

        <snip>

        >The initiate first became a `Raven'; that is, he observed the outer
        >world and, being the servant of those who were in the spiritual world,
        >he bore tidings to that world from the physical world. Hence the
        >symbol of the raven as the messenger between the physical and the
        >spiritual worlds, from the ravens of Elijah to the ravens of
        >Barbarossa. The initiate of the second degree is fully within the
        >spiritual world. The third degree is yet further advanced; here the
        >initiate is called upon to enter the lists on behalf of the truth of
        >occultism; he becomes a `Warrior'; an initiate of the second degree
        >was not allowed to contend on behalf of the truths of the spiritual
        >world. In the fourth degree the initiate becomes firmly established in
        >the truths of the spiritual world. The initiate of the fifth degree
        >was one of those who, as I explained, learnt to control the forces
        >which were transmitted in the female element of reproduction and in
        >the blood of the generations. What name then must have been given to
        >one who had been initiated within the Jewish people? He was called an
        >`Israelite', just as he would have been called a `Persian' in Persia.

        This is how we come to understand that Nicodemus was an initiate of the
        fifth degree:

        "Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus
        answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not
        these things?"- John 3:9-10

        Steiner elaborates on Nicodemus, citing John 3:1-2:

        >`There was a man of the Pharisees names Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;
        >the same came to Jesus by night and said to Him. ...'
        >
        >Why do we find the words `by night'? It is of course the most trivial
        >explanation imaginable to say that the Jew, being afraid to come to Jesus
        >in the light of day, crept through the window at night. Anyone can give an
        >explanation of that kind. `By night' means here nothing less than that
        >this meeting between Christ and Nicodemus took place in the astral world,
        >in the spiritual world, and not in the world of ordinary day
        >consciousness. That is to say, Christ could communicate with Nicodemus
        >outside the physical body — `by night' when the physical body is not there
        >and the astral body is outside the physical and etheric bodies.

        <snip>

        >And now having concluded these reflections, let us try to grasp the Gospel
        >of St. John with regard to its composition. Observe that up to the raising
        >of Lazarus there is not only a wonderful climax of power shown in the body
        >of Jesus of Nazareth, but we are also expressly told, before each increase
        >of power, what is at work with regard to the body of Jesus of Nazareth.
        >Indeed, everything in the Gospel of St. John is so firmly welded together
        >that, when rightly understood, not a single sentence can be omitted. And
        >it is thus wonderfully composed for the reason that it was written by one
        >who, as we have seen, was initiated by Christ Jesus Himself.

        Yes, here we have it: Steiner sometimes refers to the apostle John as
        Lazarus-John because the "beloved disciple" was Lazarus who had been
        initiated into the very deepest of sublime mysteries by Christ Himself,
        which is reflected in his authorship of the John Gospel and the Apocalypse.

        Thank you, Keith.

        Cheers,

        Tarjei
        http://uncletaz.com/
      • winters_diana
        ... Tarjei, I m afraid you are flattering yourself. I don t think there s any link to your site from PLANS. I don t refer anyone to your site, and to my
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 30, 2005
          Tarjei:

          >All these mysteries connected to the human bony structure are
          >extraordinarily interesting. It's what inspired my little piece about
          >the skull at http://www.uncletaz.com/skullpage.html which
          >uncomprehending PLANS has chosen as one of their favorite links to
          >scare prospective Waldorf parents.

          Tarjei, I'm afraid you are flattering yourself. I don't think there's
          any link to your site from PLANS. I don't refer anyone to your site,
          and to my knowledge, other critics don't either, least I can't recall
          if so. (With the exception that I've referred people to our discussion
          of left-handedness a couple of years ago, which you've helpfully
          synopsized there. It has a title which always makes me giggle – sorry I
          know you hate that – something about Diana boiling over again.) Anyway
          I don't refer anyone there to scare them about Waldorf, don't be silly.
          Gigglingly yours,
          Diana
        • Tarjei Straume
          ... Diana, you re *shitting* on yourself now. ... Really? At http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/links.html you scroll down the page (IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 30, 2005
            At 15:01 30.04.2005, Diana wrote:

            >Tarjei:
            >
            > >All these mysteries connected to the human bony structure are
            > >extraordinarily interesting. It's what inspired my little piece about
            > >the skull at http://www.uncletaz.com/skullpage.html which
            > >uncomprehending PLANS has chosen as one of their favorite links to
            > >scare prospective Waldorf parents.
            >
            >Tarjei, I'm afraid you are flattering yourself.

            Diana, you're *shitting* on yourself now.

            >I don't think there's any link to your site from PLANS.

            Really? At http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/links.html you scroll down
            the page (IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT) until you come to "Selection of
            Waldorf and Anthroposophy Links / Personal Anthroposophist Pages". The
            first of these links is to Cathernie McCoun's article about Steiner's
            alleged cruelty and sado-masochism. The second is to my above-mentioned
            "Symbol of the Skull page. The third is to my main index page, followed by
            2 links to Joel Wendt's site. So there I am, wedged between Joel and
            Catherine of all people. They've misspelled my name (Straum instead of
            Straume), and it's been like that for 4-6 years(!), but I have no
            inclination to complain about it.

            You don't know your own hornet nest very well, do you, Diana?

            Tarjei
          • dottie zold
            ... Holy frieken cow Keith. Have you no idea what is happening here with this lecture you have brought? Wow! Okay. So, if we read the words in this chapter we
            Message 5 of 6 , May 1 9:22 PM
              Keith:
              > Steiner comments:
              >
              > (This is from:
              >
              > http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GospJohn/19090703p01.html)
              >
              > "The Gospel of St. John
              >
              > LECTURE X

              Holy frieken cow Keith. Have you no idea what is happening here with
              this lecture you have brought? Wow! Okay.

              So, if we read the words in this chapter we find the understanding
              for a certain legend about the bones of the Magdalene being put next
              to those of Lazarus and them coming to life. One might want to read
              the part about how the Christ helped bring about the physical body
              evolution imprinting it into the history of the earth. It wouldn't
              naturally catch my mind if I hadn't read about the bones of the
              Magdalene bringing Lazarus's to life. What lived within Lazarus and
              the Magdalene were, well I believe a possibility, the Elisha and
              Elijah personalities.

              I am not sure anyone can follow me or even wants to but here goes:

              The Magdalene was initiated at the Jordan when the ego of
              Zarathusthra went into the Mary we call the step mother, (just bare
              with me please) and then we have the Mary/Sophia ego of Jesus, leave
              and head towards the stepmother (Magdalene) as well and making her
              a 'virgin' again. So, in this we can find the Sophia within the
              Magdalene. So, the Eve/Mary/Sophia was here the whole time but
              through a regular time birth unlike that of the Christ.

              We then have at the raising of Lazarus, his twin, the Magdalene,
              Elisha taking part in the raising of the Baptist, Elijah. So in the
              two we have the Elijah and the Elisha stream reunitied and possibly,
              don't really know the specifics, but the Adam and Eve/
              Elisha/Elijah....well I'll have to let that be for now as I am not
              versed enough in the technicalities (sp:(.

              If we look to this lecture we see, and I see for the first time, that
              it was the Christ being that 'brooded over the waters' and whom did
              he brood over? Well ain't that an interesting thought. So, if we look
              to our kabbalah we find that the Christ would be above the Shekinah
              in the unmanifest as she would represent him, here on Earth. And so
              we have the above coming down to the below in order to rescue and
              whom did he have to rescue but the fallen soul, the Magdalene. Just
              as the Lazarus represents the rising male/mind/ principle, the
              Magdalene represents the fallen feminine/soul principle.

              Anyhoot I still do not know how to connect this stepmother to the
              Magdalene, but I think this specific lecture on the John gospel will
              help. I wish those who have time could take a newlook see at this
              specific lecture series as you are all better versed in Dr. Steiner's
              work than I and have a brain structure that I do not. But it is she
              and the fact that they confused the two marys as in virgin and whore
              I believe truly speaks to a thing. God, who can see this...........

              love, d

              Thanks Keith, whew.......................................












              > Among the events in Palestine at the beginning of our era, there is
              > one in particular to which attention has repeatedly been drawn; it
              is
              > known as the Baptism of Jesus of Nazareth by John. It has also been
              > emphasized that all four Gospels agree in all essential points with
              > regard to this Baptism by John. Today it will be our task to concern
              > ourselves once more with this event from one particular point of
              view.
              >
              > As we have seen, the manner in which this Baptism by John is
              presented
              > in the Gospels embodies an indication of that other event, also
              > explained by the Akashic records, the event which we described in
              the
              > words: When Jesus of Nazareth had reached about the thirtieth year
              of
              > his age, the divine Being whom we call the Christ entered into the
              > threefold bodily sheath of this same Jesus of Nazareth. We have
              > therefore — this is the result of Akashic investigation — to
              > distinguish between two stages in the life of the Founder of
              > Christianity. In the first place, we have the life of the great
              > initiate whom we call Jesus of Nazareth, in whom, as we have seen,
              > there dwelt an Ego which had passed through many incarnations, had
              > lived repeatedly on earth, had risen higher and higher in each
              > succeeding life, and had by degrees developed the faculty for the
              > great sacrifice. This sacrifice consisted in the following act: When
              > Jesus of Nazareth had reached about the thirtieth year of his age,
              his
              > Ego, having purged, purified, and ennobled his physical, etheric,
              and
              > astral bodies, was able to renounce these, so that a threefold
              bodily
              > sheath was left — a most pure and refined human envelopment,
              > consisting of a physical, an etheric, and an astral body. At the
              > Baptism by John this threefold bodily sheath received into itself
              that
              > Being who had never before descended to earth nor passed through
              > former incarnations. This is the Christ-Being, who up to that time
              > could only be found in the universe beyond our earth. At the Baptism
              > by John this individual Being united Himself with a human body and
              > dwelt therein for a space of three years in order to accomplish in
              > that time the work which we are called upon to describe in
              > ever-increasing detail.
              >
              > What I have just said is the result of clairvoyant observation, but
              > the fact is clothed in the descriptions of the Baptism by John given
              > us by the Evangelists. The meaning of these descriptions is as
              > follows: whereas the others who were baptized by John underwent
              > various experiences, in the case of Jesus of Nazareth what happened
              > was that Christ descended upon him and entered his threefold bodily
              > sheath. In the second lecture I explained that Christ was the same
              > Being of whom it is said in the Old Testament: `And the Spirit of
              God
              > moved (or brooded) on the face of the waters.' This same spirit, the
              > divine spirit of our solar system, entered into the threefold bodily
              > sheath of Jesus of Nazareth. We must now discuss what took place at
              > that moment, but I would beg you to realize from the beginning that
              it
              > cannot be an easy matter to comprehend what actually took place at
              the
              > Baptism by John, because it is indeed the supreme event in the
              > evolution of the earth. Is it not natural to believe that the less
              > significant events are easier to understand, and that the greatest
              of
              > all events presents the greatest difficulty? For this reason, what I
              > am about to say to you may in some respects shock those who are
              > unprepared for such things. But even one who is unprepared should
              > acknowledge that the human soul comes to Earth for the purpose of
              > growing ever more perfect, also with regard to its knowledge, and
              that
              > what may seem repellent at first sight, comes to appear perfectly
              > comprehensible in the course of time; otherwise we should have to
              > despair of the possibility of evolution for the human soul. We must
              > therefore always remember that, whatever we may have already learnt,
              > our soul is always capable of improvement and will acquire an ever
              > increasing understanding of the subject.
              >
              > We have therefore before us a threefold human vehicle, a physical,
              an
              > etheric, and an astral body, into which the Christ, as it were,
              > descends. This is indicated by the words which resound from cosmic
              > space: `This is my son, filled with my love, in whom I manifest
              > myself!' For this is the rendering of the words. That mighty changes
              > must have taken place in the bodies of Jesus of Nazareth when the
              God
              > entered into him, we can well imagine. But we can also easily
              realize
              > that great changes took place in the whole of the human being in the
              > old initiations. After a long period of study and meditation, the
              > pupil to be initiated into the divine mysteries was thrown into a
              > deathlike state lasting three and a half days, during which his
              > etheric body was separated from his physical body, so that the
              fruits
              > which had been garnered in the astral body could be imprinted upon
              the
              > etheric body during that time; that is to say, the initiate rose
              from
              > the state of `purification', as it is called, to the state of
              > `illumination', and his eyes were opened to the spiritual world.
              > Moreover, an initiate of the old times acquired a certain power over
              > his whole bodily organization, so that when he returned once more to
              > his physical body, he could exercise a marvellous control over
              certain
              > of its finer elements. Perhaps you may be inclined to ask: `If one
              > approached such an initiate, who had acquired an extraordinary
              mastery
              > over his various bodies — even over his physical body — could one
              > recognize this in his appearance, could one see this in him?' Yes!
              It
              > could be seen by one who had acquired the ability for such vision;
              to
              > the rest he usually appeared as an ordinary, unpretending man, with
              > nothing remarkable about him. Why is this? Simply for the reason
              that
              > the physical body, considered with physical eyes, is only the outer
              > expression for that which is behind it; and the changes affect the
              > spiritual part that is behind the physical body. Now all old
              > initiates, in consequence of the special processes they had
              undergone,
              > had succeeded in acquiring a certain degree of mastery over the
              > physical body. There was one thing, however, which no old initiation
              > had succeeded in bringing under the dominion of man's spirit. Here
              we
              > touch the fringe, as it were, of a great secret or mystery. There
              was
              > something in human nature to which the power of a pre-Christian
              > initiate could not penetrate, namely, to the fine physical and
              > chemical processes in the bony system. Strange as this may sound, it
              > is nevertheless true. Before the Baptism of Christ Jesus by John,
              > there had never been a human individuality in the evolution of the
              > earth, either among the initiated or the uninitiated, who could
              > exercise power over the physical and chemical processes of the bony
              > structure. Through the entrance of Christ into the body of Jesus of
              > Nazareth, the Individuality of Christ henceforward gained dominion
              > over the bony structure itself. As a result, there once lived on
              earth
              > a body able to use its forces in such a way that it caused the
              > spiritual form of the bony structure to become embodied in the
              > evolution of the Earth. The sum of everything that man has undergone
              > in the course of his evolution would be irretrievably lost unless he
              > were able to incorporate the noble form of his bony structure into
              the
              > evolution of the Earth as an evolutionary law over which he could by
              > degrees gain mastery. An old popular superstition is connected with
              > this fact (as it so often happens that old traditions are connected
              > with the occult), inasmuch as certain communities symbolize death by
              > the image of the skeleton. This betokens that the laws governing the
              > rest of the human organism were so perfect at the beginning of
              Earth's
              > evolution that we find the same laws again, transformed and in a
              > higher form, at the end of Earth's evolution; but no vestige of
              > Earth's evolution would be carried over into the future, if the bony
              > frame were not preserved. The form of the bony structure conquers
              > death in a physical sense. Hence He who was to conquer death on
              Earth
              > must necessarily gain dominion over the bony system in a similar way
              > to the control I have indicated in respect of certain lesser
              > qualities. Man's command over his circulatory system is very slight;
              > when experiencing shame, for instance, he drives his blood from
              within
              > outwards; that is, his soul works upon his circulatory system. When
              he
              > turns pale, under the experience of fear, he drives the blood back
              to
              > its centre, back to the heart. When oppressed with sadness, the
              tears
              > rush to his eyes. All this denotes a certain mastery of the soul
              over
              > the body. Far greater is this command over the bodily organization
              > with one who has attained a certain degree of initiation; he
              acquires
              > the power to control at will and in a definite manner the movements
              of
              > the different parts of his brain and so on.
              >
              > Thus the human body of Jesus of Nazareth came under the dominion of
              > Christ, Who, of His own free will and choice, penetrated with His
              > Dominion into the very bones; His influence extended even into the
              > bony system for the very first time. The significance of this fact
              may
              > be described in the following words: The present form of his bony
              > structure was acquired by man upon Earth, and not in an earlier
              > incarnation of our planet; yet he would lose that form had not the
              > spiritual Power whom we call the Christ appeared. Had not Christ
              > established His dominion over the bony system, man would have
              nothing
              > to carry over into the future as the harvest and fruit of his
              earthly
              > existence. It was therefore a stupendous power that penetrated the
              > threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, piercing into the
              inmost
              > marrow of the bones. We must retain the impression of this moment,
              for
              > it is one of the great events that occurred at that time.
              >
              > When an ordinary birth takes place, the fruits of a man's former
              > incarnations unite with the elements which he inherits. The human
              > individuality who was there in former lives unites with the physical
              > and etheric bodily sheath which is provided for him. Something which
              > comes from the spiritual unites with the physical and sensible.
              Those
              > who have often heard lectures by me know that, with regard to
              external
              > appearances in the spiritual world, everything there appears as in a
              > mirror and reversed. When clairvoyance is developed in a man by
              > rational methods and his eyes are opened to the spiritual world, he
              > must slowly learn to find his way in that world, for everything
              there
              > appears in a reversed form. When a number is seen, for instance 345,
              > is must not be read as in the physical world, but as 543, that is,
              in
              > reversed order. This applies not to numbers only, but to everything
              > else as well. When Christ united Himself with the bodily sheath of
              > Jesus of Nazareth, this event was revealed to one whose spiritual
              eyes
              > were opened, also in a reversed sense. Whereas at a physical
              > incarnation the spiritual descends from higher worlds and unites
              with
              > the physical, in this case the element which was offered up in order
              > that the Christ-Spirit might enter, appeared above the head of Jesus
              > of Nazareth in the form of a dove. A spiritual principle appears as
              it
              > detaches itself from the physical. This is an unquestionable
              > clairvoyant observation, and it would be far from right to say that
              it
              > is meant merely as an allegory or symbol. It is a real, clairvoyant,
              > spiritual fact, actually visible on the astral plane to one gifted
              > with clairvoyant sight. Even as the spiritual is drawn down at
              > physical birth, this birth was a sacrifice, a surrender. The
              > possibility was thus given for the Spirit `that moved upon the face
              of
              > the waters' at the beginning of our earthly evolution, to unite
              itself
              > with the threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth and to
              permeate
              > it with fire and strength in the way we have shown.
              >
              > Now you will understand that at that moment something more was
              engaged
              > in that event than the small area in which the Baptism by John took
              > place. It would be an instance of human short-sightedness to believe
              > that an occurrence affecting any being is confined to the limits of
              > eyesight. That is the great illusion to which people fall a prey
              when
              > they trust their physical senses alone. What is the boundary of the
              > human being for the outer organs of sense? Speaking superficially,
              his
              > skin would be regarded as his boundary, for he comes to an end with
              > his skin on all sides. One might even say: `If I cut off your nose,
              > which is a part of you, you are no longer a complete human being. By
              > this I recognize that all your members are parts of your being.'
              This,
              > however, is a very short-sighted observation. If we confine
              ourselves
              > to what we can see with our eyes, we must hold that nothing
              belonging
              > to the human being can be found a few inches distant from his skin.
              > But only reflect that, with every breath you draw, you inhale air
              from
              > the whole atmosphere surrounding you. If your nose is cut off you
              are
              > no longer a whole human being; but you are just as incomplete if the
              > air you breathe is cut off. It is an arbitrary view, to imagine
              that a
              > man is bounded by his skin. Man's whole environment belongs to him,
              > even in a physical sense. So that if something happens to someone
              in a
              > particular place, it is not true that nothing but the spot occupied
              by
              > the human body is engaged in the occurrence. If you poison the air
              to
              > a sufficient extent at a distance of a mile from a man and in
              > circumference, so that the vapours extend to him, you would very
              soon
              > observe that the whole space for a mile round shared in his vital
              > process. The whole earth participates in every life-process. Since
              > this is true of a physical life-process, you will readily understand
              > that, with an event like the Baptism by John, the spiritual world
              > engaged therein in its widest periphery, and that a great, great
              deal
              > was necessary in order that it should come to pass. If you vitiate
              the
              > air for a mile in the periphery of a man so that his vital functions
              > are affected, and then cause someone to stand near him, the latter
              > will also suffer from the same effects. Perhaps the effect may vary
              in
              > proportion to his nearness or remoteness from the vitiated zone. If
              > far removed from it, the effect will be weaker, but some effect will
              > be there none the less. Hence you will not find it strange that the
              > question should be raised, whether there were no other effects in
              > conjunction with the Baptism by John. Here we touch upon another
              > profound mystery to which expression can be given only in words of
              awe
              > and reverence: for mankind will only by degrees become fitted to
              > understand such things.
              >
              > The moment when the Spirit of Christ descended into the body of
              Jesus
              > of Nazareth and the transformation already described took place, an
              > effect was wrought also upon the mother of Jesus of Nazareth. This
              > effect consisted in the circumstance that in the instant of the
              > Baptism by John she regained her state of virginhood: that is to
              say,
              > her inner organism reverted to the condition of the feminine
              organism
              > before maidenly puberty. At the birth of Christ the mother of Jesus
              of
              > Nazareth became Virgin (due to the transformation of her inner
              organs
              > to the state in which they existed prior to her puberty).
              >
              > These are the two most momentous facts, the great and awe-inspiring
              > effects indicated to us, though in veiled terms by the writer of the
              > Gospel of St. John. But when we read the Gospel aright we find that
              it
              > is all there, in a certain sense. In order to recognize this we must
              > revert to some of the points raised yesterday and considered under
              > various aspects.
              >
              > We said that in ancient times men were under the sway of `near
              > marriage'. This means that marriage was contracted only within the
              > ties of blood and within the same tribe. It was only in the course
              of
              > time that marriage outside the tribe and into a different race was
              > introduced. The further we recede into antiquity the more do we find
              > men under the influence of this blood relationship. Through the
              > circumstance that family blood flowed in man's veins, intense
              magical
              > forces were rendered possible in ancient times. As he looked back
              > along his line of ancestry — a line of exclusive blood
              relationship —
              > a man had magical forces working in his blood, so that influences
              > could be exerted from soul to soul, in the way described yesterday.
              > Even the simplest people were aware of this in former times. Now it
              > would be entirely wrong to conclude that consanguineous marriage at
              > the present day would produce similar conditions, and that magical
              > forces would appear. There you would fall into the same error as the
              > lily of the valley, if it said: `I will no longer bloom in May;
              > henceforth I will bloom in October.' It cannot bloom in October
              > because the conditions necessary for the lily of the valley are then
              > absent. It is the same with the magical forces. These cannot unfold
              at
              > a time when the necessary conditions are no longer present. In our
              day
              > the magic forces must develop in another way; what has been
              described
              > holds good only for ancient times. Of course the learned materialist
              > is unable to understand that the laws have changed in the course of
              > evolution; he thinks that what he experiences today must always have
              > happened in that way. But that is nonsense; for physical laws
              change.
              > People who derive their beliefs from modern natural science would
              have
              > marveled at the events which occurred in Palestine as related by the
              > Gospel of St. John, and have considered them something
              extraordinary.
              > But those who have lived in the times of Christ Jesus were by no
              means
              > so much astonished, for traditions of earlier times were then still
              > alive — times in which such things were altogether possible. For
              this
              > reason I mentioned yesterday that the people were not very greatly
              > astonished by the sign performed at the marriage at Cana in Galilee.
              > Why should they have been astonished? Outwardly it was only a
              > repetition of something which they knew to have been observed again
              > and again. Turn to the second Book of Kings, chap. 4, verses 42-44:
              >
              > `And there came a man from Baal-Shalisha, and brought the man of God
              > bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of
              > corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that
              they
              > may eat.
              >
              > `And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred
              men?
              > He said again, Give the people, that they may eat; for thus saith
              the
              > Lord, They shall eat and shall leave thereof. So he set it before
              > them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of
              the
              > Lord.'
              >
              > Here we find related in the Old Testament the feeding of the five
              > thousand in the corresponding situation for olden times. Why should
              > the people have marveled at the sign when their own documents bore
              > witness that such a thing did not happen for the first time? It is
              > essential that we should understand this.
              >
              > Now what took place in one who had partaken of the old initiation?
              He
              > gained entrance into the spiritual world, his eyes were opened to
              the
              > spiritually operative forces; that is, he obtained an insight into
              the
              > connection of the blood with these active spiritual forces. Others
              had
              > a dim presentiment of these things; but the initiate could look back
              > to his earliest ancestors from whom the blood descended to him. Such
              > an one might reflect: the blood courses down through the generations
              > and the whole Ego of a people finds expression therein, even as the
              > individual Ego expresses itself in the blood of individual man. Such
              > an initiate looked back to the source of the blood-stream which
              > coursed through the generations, and he felt his soul identified
              with
              > his folk-spirit, whose physiognomy was expressed in the whole
              > folk-blood. One who thus felt himself united with the whole blood of
              > his people had attained a certain grade of initiation, and was, to
              > some extent, master over certain magical forces in the old sense.
              >
              > Now we must bear something else in mind. The male and female
              elements
              > cooperate in the propagation of the human race in a way which we may
              > briefly describe as follows:
              >
              > Were the female element to predominate, the development of human
              > beings would be such that identical characters would continually
              > appear. Children would invariably resemble their parents,
              > grandparents, and so on. All the forces that bring about resemblance
              > are inherent in the female principle. All that alters the
              resemblance
              > and introduces differences is inherent in the male principle. When
              we
              > find within a national community a number of faces that resemble one
              > another, we may ascribe this to the female element; but in these
              faces
              > there are certain differences distinguishing one individual from
              > another; this is the male influence. If the female alone prevailed,
              it
              > would be impossible to distinguish between one individual and
              another;
              > on the other hand, if only the male element operated, you would
              never
              > be able to recognize that a group of people were of the same stock.
              > Thus the male and female elements cooperate to the effect that the
              > male individualizes, specializes, separates, whereas the female
              > generalizes. In which of these forces, then, do we find the element
              > which is common to the whole folk? This element is inherent in the
              > female principle. Or we might say: the forces of the woman bear
              along,
              > from generation to generation, the element which is otherwise
              > expressed by the blood flowing from generation to generation. If
              > anyone wished to describe more explicitly wherein the magic forces
              > connected with ties of blood actually lie, he would say that they
              are
              > bound up with the female principle which pervades the whole folk and
              > lives in every member of it. What, therefore, was the essential
              > characteristic of a man who had acquired, through initiation, the
              > power to wield the forces implanted by the female element in the
              blood
              > flowing through the generations?
              >
              > In the old initiation there were definite stages in the ascent to
              > spiritual heights. To these stages certain names were attached, one
              of
              > which — to use the expression peculiar to the Persian initiation —
              is
              > of particular interest to us. The first degree of the Persian
              > initiation was designated by the term `Raven'; the second was called
              > the `Occult', the third `Warrior', the fourth `Lion', the fifth
              degree
              > was known in every nation by the name of that nation; thus it was
              said
              > of a Persian who had ascended to the fifth degree of initiation that
              > he was a `Persian'.
              >
              > The initiate first became a `Raven'; that is, he observed the outer
              > world and, being the servant of those who were in the spiritual
              world,
              > he bore tidings to that world from the physical world. Hence the
              > symbol of the raven as the messenger between the physical and the
              > spiritual worlds, from the ravens of Elijah to the ravens of
              > Barbarossa. The initiate of the second degree is fully within the
              > spiritual world. The third degree is yet further advanced; here the
              > initiate is called upon to enter the lists on behalf of the truth of
              > occultism; he becomes a `Warrior'; an initiate of the second degree
              > was not allowed to contend on behalf of the truths of the spiritual
              > world. In the fourth degree the initiate becomes firmly established
              in
              > the truths of the spiritual world. The initiate of the fifth degree
              > was one of those who, as I explained, learnt to control the forces
              > which were transmitted in the female element of reproduction and in
              > the blood of the generations. What name then must have been given to
              > one who had been initiated within the Jewish people? He was called
              an
              > `Israelite', just as he would have been called a `Persian' in
              Persia.
              > And now note well what follows.
              >
              > Among the first to be led to Christ Jesus, in the sense of the
              Gospel
              > of St. John, was Nathanael. The others who were already disciples of
              > Christ said to him: `We have found the Master, He who dwells in
              Jesus
              > of Nazareth!' Whereupon Nathanael answers: `Can any good thing come
              > out of Nazareth?' But when they bring Nathanael to Christ, Christ
              says
              > to him: `Behold, truly an Israelite in whom there is no guile!'
              >
              > Truly an Israelite in whom the truth dwells! He says this because He
              > knows Nathanael's degree of initiation; and Nathanael recognizes
              that
              > he is speaking with One who knows more than he and who is above him.
              > And Christ says to him, in order to indicate that He is really
              > alluding to the initiation: `I saw thee not for the first time when
              > thou camest to me, but before Philip called thee, when thou wast
              under
              > the fig-tree, I saw thee!'
              >
              > The word `fig-tree' is used here in exactly the same sense as by
              > Buddha. The fig-tree is the Bodhi-tree — the symbol of initiation.
              > Christ says to him: `I know thee as an initiate of the fifth
              degree!'
              > From this we see how the writer of the Gospel of St. John indicates
              > that Christ sees through one who has been initiated to the fifth
              > degree. We are led step by step, and are shown that in the body of
              > Jesus of Nazareth One dwells who dominates an initiate of the fifth
              > degree. Furthermore we have just seen that an initiate of the fifth
              > degree can control the occult, magical forces inherent in the blood
              > flowing through the generations. He becomes one with his folk-soul;
              > and we have seen that the folk-soul expresses itself in the forces
              of
              > the woman. Thus an initiate of the fifth degree has to do with the
              > female forces according to the manner of antiquity. You must picture
              > all this to yourselves in a spiritual way. But Christ deals in a
              > manner entirely new with the female forces. He has to do with her
              who
              > regained her virgin state at the Baptism by John and has within her
              > again the fresh budding forces of virginity. This was the new
              element
              > which the writer of the Gospel of St. John wished to indicate, when
              he
              > said that a certain current of force passed from the son to the
              > mother. It was familiar to all those who possessed occult knowledge
              at
              > that time, that a son who had been initiated even only to the fifth
              > degree was able to use magically the folk forces which express
              > themselves in the folk-element of his mother. But Christ showed in a
              > spiritually higher manner the forces of the woman who again became
              virgin.
              >
              > We thus see what preceded the marriage at Cana in preparation of
              this
              > event, and we understand that these actions must necessarily have
              been
              > performed by an initiate who dominated the fifth degree of
              initiation.
              > We are also shown that this is connected with the folk-element
              > inherent in the female personality. A marvellous preparation
              precedes
              > what the writer of the Gospel of St. John here shows us. (As I have
              > said, we shall deal later with the conception of the miracles, in
              > another way.) Now you can easily imagine that freshly drawn water
              is a
              > very different thing from water that has stood for a while; just as
              a
              > plant freshly plucked is different from one that has been withering
              > three days. Of course a materialistic view of things does not make
              > such distinctions. Water still connected with the forces of the
              earth
              > is a very different thing from water used at a later moment. Relying
              > upon the forces still inherent in freshly drawn water, an initiate
              of
              > sufficiently high grade can operate through the forces now bound up
              > with a spiritual relationship such as that of Christ with His
              mother,
              > who had again become virgin. He carries on the work of the earth.
              The
              > earth can change water into wine in the vine. Christ, who has
              > approached the earth and has become the spirit of the earth, is
              > Himself that spiritual force which works in the whole body of the
              > earth. As Christ, He must be able to do what the earth does, what
              the
              > earth does when it changes water into wine.
              >
              > Thus the first of the signs performed by Christ Jesus, according to
              > the Gospel of St. John, is one which stands in relation to what
              might
              > have taken place in ancient times at the hands of an initiate who
              > controlled the forces extending through the blood-ties of the
              generations.
              >
              > But now the power which Christ develops in the body of Jesus of
              > Nazareth increases apace — not the power which Christ has in
              Himself!
              > Do not therefore ask: `Does Christ then need to develop?' Of course
              > not. What needed to be developed was the body of Jesus of Nazareth,
              > however pure and ennobled it already was. Into that body were to be
              > poured the forces which were to come to effect in the immediate
              future.
              >
              > The next sign is the healing of the nobleman's son, and this is
              > followed by the healing of the man 38 years in his infirmity at the
              > pool of Bethesda. What increase was shown here in the forces with
              > which Christ worked upon earth? The increase consisted in the fact
              > that Christ could affect not only those who were present in His
              > immediate environment. He had worked in this way among the guests at
              > the marriage at Cana, so that when they drank water, it was wine.
              Here
              > He had worked upon the etheric bodies of those surrounding Him. By
              > sending forth this force into the etheric bodies of those assembled,
              > the effect in their mouths was such that the water which they drank
              > became wine — that is, the water was tasted as wine. But now the
              > influence was not to affect the body alone, it was to extend to the
              > depths of the soul. For not otherwise could He work upon the
              > nobleman's son, through the agency of the father; and again, send
              His
              > influence into the sinful soul of the man 38 years in his infirmity.
              > It would not have sufficed had He poured His force merely into the
              > etheric body. It was necessary to work upon the astral body, for it
              is
              > the astral body which commits sin. By working upon the etheric body,
              > it is possible to turn water into wine; but it is necessary to
              > penetrate deeper in order to exercise a profounder influence upon
              > another personality. For this purpose it was necessary that Christ
              > should work still further upon the threefold sheath of Jesus of
              > Nazareth. Note well: Christ Himself does not become changed by the
              > process; He works upon the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth,
              with
              > the result that the etheric body becomes more independent of the
              > physical body than it was heretofore. Thus there came a time when,
              > within the threefold bodily sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, the etheric
              > body became freer and more detached from the physical body. A
              greater
              > mastery over the physical body was thereby possible; Christ could
              > accomplish mightier works in the physical body; that is, He could
              use
              > powerful forces really within the physical body. The tendency was
              > given at the Baptism by John, and it was now to be developed with
              > special intensity. But all this was now to be directed from the
              > spiritual worlds. The astral body was now to work so mightily within
              > the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth, that the etheric body
              could
              > obtain this power of the physical. Now by what means can the astral
              > body act so powerfully? By the acquirement of, and devotion to, the
              > right kind of feelings with regard to everything that happens in our
              > environment; above all, by the cultivation of the right attitude
              with
              > regard to human egoism. Did Christ accomplish this with he body of
              > Jesus of Nazareth? Did He act in such a way as to find the right
              > relation to every form of egoism in His environment, so that the
              > fundamental instinct of egoism in the soul was made plain to all?
              Yes,
              > Christ did this. The writer of the Gospel of St. John relates how He
              > comes forward as the purifier of the Temple, at the expense of those
              > who exalt selfishness and who dishonour the Temple by selling all
              > manner of merchandise therein. This enables Him to say that He had
              now
              > made the astral body so powerful that, if the physical body were
              > destroyed, He could build it up again in three days. This, too, is
              > indicated by the writer of the Gospel of St. John:
              >
              > `Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in
              three
              > days I will raise it up.
              >
              > `The Jews therefore said, Forty and six years was this temple in
              > building, and wilt thou raise it up in three days?
              >
              > `But He spake of the Temple of His body.'
              >
              > This indicates that the vehicle which had been offered up to Him had
              > power to govern its physical part and master it completely. Then too
              > this body, which had become so free, could move about everywhere,
              > independently of physical laws; regardless of the laws of the world
              of
              > space, it could bring about and govern events in the spiritual
              world.
              > This is indicated to us in the chapter following the account of the
              > Purification of the Temple.
              >
              > `There was a man of the Pharisees names Nicodemus, a ruler of the
              > Jews; the same came to Jesus by night and said to Him. ...'
              >
              > Why do we find the words `by night'? It is of course the most
              trivial
              > explanation imaginable to say that the Jew, being afraid to come to
              > Jesus in the light of day, crept through the window at night. Anyone
              > can give an explanation of that kind. `By night' means here nothing
              > less than that this meeting between Christ and Nicodemus took place
              in
              > the astral world, in the spiritual world, and not in the world of
              > ordinary day consciousness. That is to say, Christ could communicate
              > with Nicodemus outside the physical body — `by night' when the
              > physical body is not there and the astral body is outside the
              physical
              > and etheric bodies.
              >
              > Thus the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth was prepared by
              Christ
              > for the deeds that were to come and for the work that was to be
              > carried into the souls of men. To this end the soul in the threefold
              > sheath of Jesus of Nazareth must be so free that its influence can
              be
              > transmitted into other bodies. To direct an influence into another
              > soul is, however, a totally different thing from the working of the
              > signs which we considered yesterday. The next increase of power is
              > shown in the feeding of the five thousand and the walking on the
              > water. Something more was needed in order that Christ should be
              > visible in the body, without being physically present, and indeed
              > visible not only to his disciples; so mighty had the power in the
              body
              > of Jesus of Nazareth become that Christ was also visible to those
              who
              > were not His disciples. Only here again we must read the Gospels
              > correctly, for it might be objected that one can believe this of the
              > disciples but not of others.
              >
              > `On the morrow the multitude which stood on the other side of the
              sea
              > saw that there was none other boat there save one, and that Jesus
              > entered not with His disciples into the boat, but that the disciples
              > went away alone.
              >
              > `Howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where
              they
              > ate the bread through the Lord's uplifting His thoughts to God.
              >
              > `When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither
              > His disciples, they themselves got into the boats and came to
              > Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
              >
              > I beg you expressly to note that it was the people who sought Jesus
              > and that is then said:
              >
              > `And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said
              unto
              > Him, Rabbi, when camest Thou hither?'
              >
              > This means exactly the same as in the case of the disciples. It does
              > not say that every ordinary eye saw Him, but that they saw Him who
              > sought and found Him through the heightening of their soul forces.
              > When it is said that `someone saw someone else', this is not the
              same
              > as saying that the latter `stood there as a fleshly form in space,
              > visible to physical eyes.' What is usually called taking the Gospels
              > literally is in reality anything but a `literal' reading of the
              > Gospels. And if you bear in mind that a climax is in every instance
              > observable, you will understand that something else must have
              preceded
              > this sign. Once more, something must have taken place showing us how
              > Christ had worked in the threefold sheath of Jesus of Nazareth to
              the
              > end that its forces should grow mightier and mightier. As a Healer
              did
              > He work, pouring His forces into the souls of others! And He Himself
              > now describes the manner of His work in the words spoken to the
              woman
              > of Samaria at the well: `I am the living water!' At the marriage at
              > Cana He showed Himself to be one with the forces which are at work
              in
              > the entire world. We find this in the chapter `Jesus has power over
              > life and death'; over life and death because He is master of the
              > forces which are at work in the physical body. This chapter
              therefore
              > precedes the sign in which His power must appear in heightened form.
              >
              > Then we see how the power gains in strength. We pointed out
              yesterday
              > how, in the sign known as the healing of the man born blind, Christ
              > touches not only upon the part of the human being which is subject
              to
              > birth and death, but upon the individuality of the human soul which
              > passes from life to life. The man was born blind because the divine
              > individuality in him manifested itself in its works; he was to
              recover
              > his sight by the power poured into him by Christ — a power so great
              > that it caused that to be effaced which was due, not to his
              > personality between birth and death, nor to inheritance, but to the
              > deed of his own individuality.
              >
              > I have often explained that Goethe's beautiful words, which spring
              > from a deep knowledge of Rosicrucian initiation, are based upon
              > profound occult truth: `The eye is formed by the light for the
              light.'
              > I have pointed out that Schopenhauer is right when he says: `Without
              > the eye there is no light.' Yes, but where does the eye come from?
              > Goethe quite rightly says: `Without light there would never have
              been
              > an organ sensitive to light — an eye.' The eye is created by the
              > light. A single instance will demonstrate this. When animals
              > possessing eyes migrate into dark caves, they soon lose the power to
              > see, through lack of light. The eye was formed by light. If Christ
              is
              > to pour into the man's individuality a power enabling him to render
              > his eye sensitive to light, then Christ must have in Him the
              spiritual
              > force which is in the light. This must be indicated in the Gospel of
              > St. John. The healing of the man born blind is preceded by the
              chapter
              > in which we read:
              >
              > `Then Jesus spake again unto them saying: I am the light of the
              world.'
              >
              > The healing of the man born blind is not mentioned until after the
              > words `I am the light of the world' have been spoken. Now turn to
              the
              > chapter before the raising of Lazarus and consider the passage:
              >
              > `Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that
              I
              > may take it again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down
              > myself. I have power to lay it down. ... If I do not the works of my
              > Father, believe me not. ...'
              >
              > All that is said here concerning the `good shepherd' is intended to
              > show that Christ feels that He and the Father are One and that He
              will
              > no longer speak of Himself as `I' except in the sense of His union
              > with the Father-forces. Having said previously `I am the light of
              the
              > world', He now says: `I lay down my Ego-power and receive the Father
              > into myself, that the Father may work in me, that the primal
              principle
              > may flow into me and through me into others. I lay down my life
              that I
              > may take it again.' This precedes the raising of Lazarus.
              >
              > And now having concluded these reflections, let us try to grasp the
              > Gospel of St. John with regard to its composition. Observe that up
              to
              > the raising of Lazarus there is not only a wonderful climax of power
              > shown in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, but we are also expressly
              > told, before each increase of power, what is at work with regard to
              > the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Indeed, everything in the Gospel of
              St.
              > John is so firmly welded together that, when rightly understood,
              not a
              > single sentence can be omitted. And it is thus wonderfully composed
              > for the reason that it was written by one who, as we have seen, was
              > initiated by Christ Jesus Himself.
              >
              > We set out today from the question: `What took place at the Baptism
              by
              > John? And we saw how the conquest of death was first implanted in
              the
              > world with the descent of Christ into the threefold sheath of Jesus
              of
              > Nazareth. We have seen how the mother of Jesus of Nazareth was
              changed
              > when Christ descended, and how the effect wrought upon her by the
              > Baptism by John was such that she became again virgin. It is
              therefore
              > a true belief, founded upon the Gospel of St. John: When Christ was
              > born into the body of Jesus of Nazareth at the Baptism by John, the
              > mother of Jesus of Nazareth became virgin.
              >
              > Here we have the starting point of the Gospel of St. John. And if
              you
              > understand it in the sense of the mighty cosmic event which was then
              > enacted at the river Jordan, you will realize that the first
              > description of such an event, in accordance with the true facts,
              could
              > only be at the hands of one who had been initiated by Christ Jesus
              > Himself — the risen Lazarus, `whom the Lord loved', of whom it is
              > henceforth always said that he was `the disciple whom the Lord
              loved'.
              > The risen Lazarus has transmitted the Gospel to us, and he alone was
              > able to weld together all the passages in the Gospel because he had
              > received the greatest impulse from the greatest initiator, from the
              > Christ. He alone could show us the truth which Paul grasped in a
              > certain way through his own initiation: that at that time the germ
              > which was to grow into the conquest of death, was implanted in the
              > evolution of the earth. Hence the significant words spoken of Him
              who
              > hung upon the Cross: `Not a bone of Him shall be broken.' Why not?
              > Because they were not to touch the form over which Christ must
              retain
              > His power. Had they broken a bone of Him, an inferior human force
              > would have interfered with the power which Christ was to exercise
              over
              > the very bones of Jesus of Nazareth. None must lay hands on that
              form!
              > For it was to be altogether subject to the dominion of Christ.
              >
              > Starting from this point, we can proceed tomorrow to the
              consideration
              > of the death of Christ."
              >
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > Keith
            • winters_diana
              Ah! I think this is where I left off. Sorry, Tarjei, I guess you re right. I stand corrected, there is a link to your site at the PLANS web site. ... scroll
              Message 6 of 6 , May 2 7:38 AM
                Ah! I think this is where I left off. Sorry, Tarjei, I guess you're
                right. I stand corrected, there is a link to your site at the PLANS
                web site.


                >Really? At http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/links.html you
                scroll >down the page (IF YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THAT) until you come
                >to "Selection of Waldorf and Anthroposophy Links / Personal
                >Anthroposophist Pages". >

                >You don't know your own hornet nest very well, do you, Diana?

                It *isn't* my hornet nest. I don't have a hornet nest, and I don't
                have any control over what is put on the PLANS web site. In the late
                fall of 2001, I helped with an update there, and that is the last
                time I had any input. I probably wouldn't have any more luck than
                you, getting the spelling of your name corrected over there.

                Diana
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