Chapter 4 Summary
- The summary of Chapter Four is in the "Files" section at e-groups.
I've copied it below for those having trouble with the "Files"
function of the list.
The Raising of Lasarus
I remember as a very young child hearing the story of Lasarus and
wondering about this man--who he really was and why Christ chose to
raise him from the dead. Lasarus is referred to in the early pages
of the Gospel as "one whom the Lord loved," which, in the language of
the Mysteries, refers to the tender, intimate relationship of a
Master to his pupil. This same expression is later used to refer to
the writer of the gospel of St. John. It is therefore quite clear
that the writer of the Gospel of John and the man Lasarus are one and
the same. St. John, the "Beloved Disciple", who baptized Jesus of
Nazareth, is none other than Lasarus.
The raising from the dead of the "Beloved Disciple" is, in fact, the significant ending to a form of Initiation practiced in the ancient Mysteries. This practice involved the neophyte being put into a three and a half day death-like trance by his master. During this time, the astral body was able to stamp on the etheric body the images of the spiritual worlds and the initiate would then be able to speak of them in full waking consciousness. This was done in great secrecy, for only a few individuals possessed an astral body mature enough to undergo this process. Only a few individuals were therefore conscious of their individual egos through this process of initiation. By publicly initiating Lasarus/John, Christ was seen as having betrayed the Mysteries.
With the coming of the Christ to earth, this form of initiation would
no longer be necessary. Man's astral body was mature enough and
through meditation, concentration, and THE FORCE OF THE CHRIST humans
could imprint their own astral bodies. All humans would be able to
know themselves as an "I" and therefore possess the knowledge of the
Logos. The initiation of Lasarus/John was intended to show us this
fact. More importantly, the writer of the Gospel of St. John ,
therefore, could recount of the Mystery of Golgotha not as one of the
group ego, but as one who can stand in the world as his own "I",
having been initiated by the Christ himself.
"The same came in order to bear witness of the Light, that through
him all might believe."*
Mankind is therefore called to make the break with the group ego (as
existed in the times of Adam or Noah) and begin the ultimate mission
of the earth evolution--to love one another freely. Love must be
given as a "voluntary offering by self-conscious human beings". The
Christ is the "Great Bestower" of this Impulse of self consciousness.
God had become flesh and could be perceived with human eyes! This
God-made-Man created a "safe" environment for every individual to
break out of the group ego. He is part of human history!
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."*
* On pages 66 and 67 (1962 edition, paper back), you'll find Rudolf
Steiner's translation of the first passages of the Gospel of St. John.
Blessings for the Holy Nights,