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Re: [steiner] New file uploaded to steiner-DIONYSIUS THE AEROPAGITE

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Today, October 3rd, is the day of Dionysius the Aeropagite. Those of you who read the Calendar of the Soul mailings I send out each week may notice that
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2002
      Today, October 3rd, is the day of Dionysius the Aeropagite.

      Those of you who read the Calendar of the Soul mailings I send out each
      week may notice that Steiner pointed out particular people to remember on
      certain dates. This practice was handed down from the old Catholic Church,
      where holy men were remembered on the day of their deaths. This was their
      "birth-day" into the spiritual world, just as when we were born is our day of
      entrance into the physical world and is a sort of "death" for the spiritual
      world. So a Saint's Day in the old Catholic Church was usually the day they
      died. In later centuries people's birthdays were remembered as well. When
      Steiner created the Calendar of the Soul, he had with it a list of birth and
      death days, but not just of saints: he updated it and had the birth and death
      states of important scientific personalities as well as events like the
      founding of universities, opening of railways, discovery of America, etc., in
      it. When you contemplate the work of a great spirit on his date of birth into
      the spiritual world each year (his death date), you connect with him, just as
      you would if you were joining with others in celebrating the birthday of
      someone living.

      For many of us, the first we ever heard of Dionysius the Aeropagite was
      from Rudolf Steiner. But his writings were some of the most important
      Christian teaching for centuries. Nowadays if you search for his name you
      won't even find it. This is because scholarship determined that those books
      must have been written several centuries later than the time of Dionysius the
      Aeropagite, who was a Greek converted to Christianity by St. Paul, mentioned
      in the Acts of the Apostles. So you have to look under "pseudo-Dionysius the
      Aeropagite" to even find them. but although they were written down much
      later, they preserved a Christian teaching that existed among the Platonists
      in Greece, one which is the key to esoteric Christianity.

      There are four books attributed to Dionysius the Aeropagite, and in them he
      details the hierarchies of being above man, starting with the Angels, then
      the Archangels, then above this is the Archai, above them the Authorities and
      so on, for a total of 9 above us. St. Paul in his epistles uses these words
      (in the original Greek of course) to describe the spiritual beings above us,
      as in his famous quote about Principalties and Powers. Just as the Hebrew
      Kabbalah was not written down for many centuries while it was passed on
      orally, in mystical Christianity there likewise was a teaching about the
      levels of being above us, and Dionysius the Aeropagite is the major place it
      was written down. (For a great work on how well known this was all down
      through the middle ages, read C. S. Lewis' last book, "The Discarded Image.")
      Charles the Bald had John Scotus Erigena translate it, and it influenced
      Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas. As is often the case with things that we
      first hear about from Rudolf Steiner, it is a part of Mystery Wisdom that was
      once well-known.

      The image I put in this group's Files section is a drawing I did combining
      the names of the hierarchies in Dionysius with the diagram of them called the
      Tree of Life. This is what Steiner gained the ability to see, and described
      in his books Cosmic Memory and An Outline of Occult Science and in
      innumerable lectures. The reason why his description of these hierarchies is
      so startlingly new to us is because we no longer know the teachings of
      Dionysius the Aeropagite. Once everyone was taught these as part of their
      education. His works are an outstanding evidence of the fact that the
      Christian religion, as we have had it handed down to us, once had an esoteric
      core that has been removed. That heart which must be restored to it is what
      we need today and are fortunate to know as Anthroposophy.

      Dr. Starman

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