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Sunday

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  • Sarah Ford Elliott
    The Day of the Sun. Obviously there are 2 Sundays in Holy Week, the day of the Old Sun and the Dawning of the New Sun of Christ on Easter Day. In the Gospels
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 11 1:22 AM
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      The Day of the Sun.

      Obviously there are 2 Sundays in Holy Week, the day of the Old Sun
      and the Dawning of the New Sun of Christ on Easter Day.

      In the Gospels this Day is dominated by the triumphant entry into
      Jerusalem. This is Christ's final step in the journey of sacrifice
      which began when he left the sphere of the Sun to begin his long
      journey into earthly incarnation. The Christ is fully incarnated into
      man.

      The people experience the presence of the divine will which has been
      fully realised in the person of Jesus. Their response is an ecstatic
      jubilation expressed through the cries of "Hosanna!" This is not a
      conscious experience however, but a response to what is experienced
      in a sensory way, perhaps like an experience of mass hysteria. Too
      soon the cries of "Hosanna!" will turn to cries of "Crucify Him!"

      In the time of the sentient soul people experienced the divine
      through an ecstatic, excarnated union. The priest became the
      embodiment of the divinity. Ritual created the necessary experiences
      that allowed this to happen, not though the intellectual
      understanding of the Mind Soul era, nor through the conscious direct
      unification of each individual with the divine as is the task of the
      Consciousness Soul Age. In his "The Three Streams of Human
      Evolution" lectures Steiner describes how the Roman church, taking
      up the impetus of the emperor Augustus, perpetuated the Ahrimanic
      desire to keep human beings in this state of being "spiritual
      infants" - being in a state of dependence. This is the Old Sun state.

      If we are dependent on what is going on around us, if we need a
      certain environment (usually cut of from the activities of every day
      life), a certain person (a priest or a guru), or a certain activity
      (religious practice), to engender in us an experience of the
      spiritual world, then we do not have spiritual freedom. We are not
      conscious of the ever present fact of our essentially divine nature.
      When our environment changes, we change: the cries of "Hosanna!"
      change to cries of "Crucify him!"

      I have been reading Audrey McAllen's book "Sleep". In the third
      chapter she relates Steiner's description of how the original
      intention was that man's astral body, with its 3 functions of
      thinking, feeling and willing, was to have been a sense organ with
      which the human being would observe the physical world. Through "the
      fall", or Luciferic intervention, the human Ego was sucked into the
      Astral Body. Consequently we identify ourselves with our thoughts,
      feelings and actions: our sense of identity is dependent on what we
      think, feel and do.

      Our development in the consciousness soul age is to break this
      attachment and allow our essential divinity to guide who we are. This
      essential part of man is unchangable and eternal: immutable.

      All this reminds me of other, non-anthroposophical books that I have
      read over the past year. Particularly Steven Covey's "The 7 Habits of
      Effective People", but also Marshall Rosenburg's "Non-Violent
      Communication."

      Covey speaks of being "Principle Centred". One of the first habits he
      describes is that of creating a space between yourself and what is
      going on around you. Not a physical space, cutting yourself off from
      the world; but an inner space. In that inner space it is possible to
      realise that you can choose how to react to what is going on around
      you. He describes many other centres that one might have: money
      centred, friendship / spouse centred, church centred, family centred
      et. al. If we develop the habit of being principle centred then we
      can learn to act out of what we really are - our essential being. We
      are not reliant on "the weather" of what is going on around us.

      It always makes me think of the Crowded House song: "Everywhere you
      go you always take the weather with you." (Arguably) you cannot
      change the weather (at least I haven't reached that stage of mastery
      yet!), but you can choose your response to it.

      Rosenburg also speaks of how we need to recognise that we do have
      feelings, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't mean we
      have to BE our feelings.

      In common speech we have the phrase "To rise above it."

      Of course there are correlations between all of this an Steiner's
      revitalisation of The Eightfold Path:

      Sunday:
      To determine on even the most insignificant matter only after fully
      reasoned deliberation. All unthinking behaviour, all meaningless
      actions should be kept far away from the soul. One should always have
      well-weighed reasons for everything. One should definitely abstain
      from doing anything for which there is no significant reason. Once
      one is convinced of the rightness of a decision, one must hold fast
      to it with inner steadfastness.
      This may be called "RIGHT JUDGEMENT" having been formed independently
      of sympathies and antipathies.

      Did the people in the crowd have a well-reasoned motivation for
      laying palm leaves at the feet of the Christ? When the emotional
      environment changed did they hold fast to their conviction with inner
      steadfastness? No.

      A Meditation for Palm Sunday.
      Imagine being present at the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
      Experience the magnificence of the fully deified Christ. Experience
      the momentousness of the cosmic significance of what is soon to
      happen. Experience the exuberance of the crowd. Experience all this
      fully but in a totally inner way without expressing it with the
      physical body.
    • Sarah Ford Elliott
      The Day of The Sun The Resurrection: Biblical scholars would have a field day with the four accounts of the resurrection. I never studied these texts in the
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 18 12:43 AM
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        The Day of The Sun
         
        The Resurrection:
         
        Biblical scholars would have a field day with the four accounts of the resurrection. I never studied these texts in the past, but I can imagine what they would do with them. The textual contradictions would be enough to conclude that the resurrection can be viewed, at best, metaphorically.
         
        Bock explains that, rather than placing one text against another, the four accounts should be taken as a whole, as a journey. The experiences at the tomb show a journey through the realms of the hierarchies. The Angel of the Lord experienced within the earthquake (Matthew) is a manifestation of the Exusiai, or Elohim, the gods of the creation and of Sinai. Signifying a new creation.The young man described in Mark’s Gospel is a manifestation of the Archai who bring new impulses to humanity. The two angels in Luke’s Gospel are a manifestation of the archangels. Finally, in John the angelic realm is encountered, along with Christ in the form of a human being – the gardener, and then recognisable as the risen Lord. The destiny of humanity is to become the 10th hierarchy.
         
        He also speaks of the later experiences in terms of “Enlightened Remembrance” and “Bodily Resurrection.”
         
        “While they were gathered together in the upper room, living in the great memories of the last three years… they become aware of certain words and actions of their Master, as fresh and as overwhelming as if they were now being spoken for the first time.”
         
        This is not to write the experiences off as mere memories or “tricks of the mind”. The spiritual insight gained through the force of remembrance has real validity.
         
        “The interplay of the forces of remembrance will, if faithfully cultivated in the soul, undergo a deepening: this will enable organs for the spiritual to develop, and they will speak either for people’s immediate guidance, or for their future.” Thus the force of remembrance becomes a new form of conscience within men.
         
        Memory is a projection of divine forces into human nature. If we school our faculty of memory it becomes a vehicle by which the spiritual world can communicate with us. Re-membering, or putting things back together, becomes a formative force in our soul. (In fact the recall part of the Main Lesson should be a schooling of this faculty.)
         
        Bodily Resurrection cannot be understood in the terms of the physical world. It can only be understood if you comprehend in the first place that matterial forms are a densification of matter by spiritual forces. If it is possible for spiritual forces to densify matter into one form, or body, it is also possible for that force to dissolve the original formation and create a new one. There may be reasons why a spiritual being, or a master, might need to do this. This renewed densification was necessary to help the disciples to begin to understand the changes that had taken place in the cosmos. The earth had now become Christ’s sphere of activity, in the same way as he was once active in the sun.
         
        “Behold, I am with you, even to the end of the earth (age).”
         
        The clearest explanation of this that I have come across is in a remarkable book: “The Magus of Strovolos” by Kyriacos C. Markides. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I came across the name Spyros Sathi (or Daskalos – teacher – as he is most often referred to) “by chance” whilst searching for something on the internet. This is the real name of a spiritual master and healer who lived until very recently on Cyprus. The book is written, Carlos Castaneda style, by a writer who sought permission to become one of his disciples and write about his teachings. If one of the tasks of Rudolf Steiner was to make the mysteries of The Mysteries known in a form comprehensible to modern man, I can only say that, to my mind, this book furthers that task.
         
        Daskalos himself was not involved in teaching on an international scale, although he had many schools of disciples on Cyprus and a couple in Greece I think. His primary concern was with healing. He called himself an “Invisible Helper”, a Master who had chosen to reincarnate for the love of humanity to lessen their suffering.
         
        I am no great expert on Anthroposophy, but as far as I can see, the teaching and practice of this man are completely indistinguishable from Steiner’s although different (and more modern) terminology is used. The language is very accessible for a modern reader, having been written in 1985.
         
        Reading it I asked myself the question, “Who is this remarkable individuality?” He works under the guidance of “Father Yohannan” or John the Beloved (Evangelist). In one chapter he explains how, in a previous incarnation, he was a young child, a friend of John’s, who met and sat at the feet of Jesus. Previously he had been a Hierophant in the Egyptian mysteries.
         
        The thing that impresses me about this book is that, even though it is written by someone who started out as a sceptic, there is no concern in the accounts to “make” people believe what is being said. Like Steiner’s work, he simply describes things and lets them speak themselves. Neither is it sensationalist, although it could so easily have been. As far as I know the book is not widely known.
         
        Anyway, amongst many other subjects (including, I now see, a section on Judas!), he speaks about Materialisation and Dematerialisation, including Christ’s resurrection body:
        “After the resurrection… he became Spirit, Absolute Spirit and could at any moment, as a complete self-conscious personality, reconstruct a body identical to the gross material body he had before, even with the marks of the wounds from the crucifixion.”
         
        Such a body is created from etheric matter and is densified by the force of will of the personality. Thus the body is palable and Christ was able to join his disciples in eating and drinking.
         
        The heart is the organ if the sun. If the movement of Easter is from the Old Sun to the New Sun, the past to the future, the future is a time of the heart. What seemed like an end (and was an end) has turned out to be a beginning with more incredicble possiblilites than were imagined.
         
        I really experienced this on Easter morning. Walking up the mountain in the dim light before sunrise, (having already stumbled around in the woods being “the Easter hare” at 5.30am in the almost dark!). The birds had already started their mysterious dawn chorus (why do they sing so much?). Having watched the sun rise, there was a real sense that now its time to get on with life – there is so much out there. There is so much more and so much out there – more than I ever think about on a day-to-day basis.
         
        When we descend into the materialism of our daily lives it is easy to get stuck there. It is easy to believe that this is the way things have to be and that miracles are something peculiar. We forget that miracles are possible, and are happening, every moment of every day. All we have to do is let them. All we have to do is release our bondage to the material, release our bondage to fear and allow what wants to be to channel its way into our material world. This is the power of the heart.
         
        A final passage from “The Magus of Strovolos”:
         
        “When you implant within your subconscious that kind of faith, you literally can accomplish so-called miracles. That is what Jesus Christ meant when he said that if you have faith equivalent to a seed of mustard, you can move mountains. Believe me it is true. ‘But how is it done?’ someone will ask. I know how but it is not easy to teach it to others, particularly when their interest is nothing more than curiosity.’
        ‘You mean, Daskale, you can move mountains?’ I said jokingly.
        ‘Why should I? Why not go over the mountains? It is a more practical way,’ Daskalos replied, laughing. ‘All I am really doing is harnessing and employing certain forces in Nature unknown to ordinary people.’
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