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References to Peter

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  • Mathew Morrell
    Christianity As Mystical Fact Introduction: Rudolf Steiner — A Biographical Sketch By ALFRED HEIDENREICH London, England August 1961
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2008
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      Christianity As Mystical Fact
      Introduction: Rudolf Steiner — A Biographical Sketch
      London, England
      August 1961


      This is at first a most disturbing experience. One feels like a man who has pushed off from the shore and who must now strive with might and main to maintain himself in the raging sea. The sheer power of cosmic thought is such that at first one loses one's identity. And perhaps one would lose it for good, if it were not for a fact which now emerges from the hidden mysteries of Christianity. One does not finally lose one's identity because He Himself has walked the waves and extended a helping hand to Peter who ventured out prematurely. Gradually the waves seem to calm down, and a condition ensues which Steiner expresses in a wonderful phrase: "Thinking itself becomes a body which draws into itself as its soul the Spirit of the Universe."


      Greek and Germanic Mythology in the Light of Esotericism
      Berlin, 7th October, 1904


      "Thus the Manas of the fifth root-race is chained to the mineral forces, as the Atlantean race was bound up with the life forces. All Promethean force is chained to the rock, to the earth. Hence, too, Peter is the rock upon which the Christ built. It is the same as the rock of the Caucasus . The man of the fifth race has to seek his evolution on the physical plane. He is chained to the inorganic forces."

      "…You will see how profoundly the Prometheus saga symbolises these occult connections. A vulture gnaws at Prometheus's liver. The vulture symbolises Kama , which really destroys the forces of the fifth race. The vulture gnaws at the human liver, the basis of life; so does this force of the fifth root-race gnaw at the essential life-forces of man, because man is chained to mineral nature, to Peter, to the rock, the Caucasus ."


      The Fifth Gospel
      By Rudolf Steiner
      Lecture II
      Oslo , Norway
      October 2, 1913


      "It was of course astonishing that such a transformation could happen to a number of people. But those people who experienced the transformation, who had been awakened by the cosmic spirit of love, those people felt in themselves a new understanding for what had acted in common in their souls, but which they had until then not understood. Now, in that instant, understanding of what actually happened on Golgotha appeared before their minds' eye. And if we look into the soul of one of those apostles, the one usually called Peter in the other gospels, clairvoyant observation sees his normal consciousness as having been completely obliterated from the moment the gospels usually call the denial. He looked back to the denial scene, when he was asked if he had a connection to the Galilean, and he knew now that he denied it because his consciousness had begun to fade and an abnormal state to take its place, a kind of dream state, which meant removal into a completely different world. For him it was like a person who upon waking in the morning remembers the last events before going to sleep the night before; that's how Peter remembered what is called the denial, the triple denial before the cock crowed twice. And then the intermediate state of Peter's consciousness unfurled. It wasn't filled with mere dream-images, but with images presented by a kind of higher state of consciousness, which presented an experience of purely spiritual matters. And everything that happened, that Peter had slept through since that time, appeared before his soul as a clairvoyant dream. Above all he learned to see the event, about which one can truly say he slept through, because for a full understanding of that event the fecundation by all-encompassing love was necessary. Now the images of the mystery of Golgotha appeared before his eyes in a way similar to how we can recall them with clairvoyant vision if we establish the necessary conditions.

      "Frankly, it is with a unique feeling that one decides to put into words what is revealed when looking into the consciousness of Peter and the others who were gathered on that Pentecost day. One can only bring one's self to speak of these things with a holy awe. One could even say that he is almost overcome with awareness that he is treading on the holy ground of human esteem when expressing what is revealed to the soul's vision. However, it seems to him necessary, due to certain spiritual considerations, to speak of these things in our times; with full knowledge that other times will come in which these things will meet with more understanding than is the case now. For in order to understand much of what will be said at this opportunity, the human soul must free itself of quite a few things which are necessary to it during this cultural period."

      "…We can only approach these events if we clairvoyantly take the path which I have indicated, if we first examine Peter's or one of the other apostle's souls, who felt themselves fecundated by all-encompassing cosmic love. Only if we look into their souls and see how they experienced things do we find via this detour the ability to observe the raised cross on Golgotha , the darkening of the earth and the earthquake which followed it. That the eclipse and the quake were normal natural events is not denied; but he who follows these events clairvoyantly reads them as I have described, insofar as he has created the necessary conditions in his soul. For in fact what I have described was for Peter's consciousness something which had crystallized from the basis of the long sleep. From the many images which crossed through Peter's consciousness the following were emphasized: The cross raised on Golgotha , the eclipse and the quake. Those were for Peter the first fruits of the fecundation by all-encompassing love at the Pentecost event. And now he knew something which he had not previously known: that the event of Golgotha really took place, and that the body which hung on the cross was the same body with which he had often wandered in life. Now he knew that Jesus died on the cross, that this death was really a birth, the birth of that spirit who as all-encompassing love exuded in the souls of the apostles gathered at Pentecost. Peter sensed it as a ray of the infinite, aeonic love. He sensed it as what was born as Jesus died on the cross. An awesome truth penetrated Peter's soul: a death only seemed to have taken place on the cross.

      "In reality that death, preceded by infinite suffering, was the birth of what entered his soul like a ray. With the death of Jesus something entered the earth which had previously existed only externally: all-encompassing cosmic love. That's easy to say abstractly. But one must penetrate the Peter-soul for a moment to imagine how it felt: In the instant that Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross at Golgotha , something had been born to the earth which previously only existed in the cosmos. The death of Jesus of Nazareth was the birth of cosmic love within the earth's sphere.

      "That is the first insight which we can gather from what we call the Fifth Gospel. With what is called in the New Testament the arrival, the pouring out of the spirit, begins with what I have now described. The apostles, due to their soul constitution, were not able to accompany the death of Jesus of Nazareth except with an anomalous consciousness.

      "Peter, also John and James, recollected still another moment in his life, which can only be revealed to us in all its grandeur through the Fifth Gospel. He with whom they wandered led them to the mount and said: Stand guard! And they fell asleep. Their souls were already being gradually overtaken by the sleeping state. Their normal consciousness sank into a sleep which lasted through the event of Golgotha , and out of which beamed what I have been trying to describe in stammering words. And Peter, John and James had to recall how they fell into that state and how now, as they looked back, the great events dawned on them which had to do with the physical body of him with whom they had wandered. And gradually, as dreams emerge in human consciousness, in human souls, the previous days emerged in the apostles' consciousness. What emerged was the whole time which they had experienced from the Mystery of Golgotha to Pentecost, which had remained hidden in their subconscious. Especially the ten days between the so-called Ascension until the Pentecost event seemed to be a period of deep sleep. Looking back, however, the time between the Mystery of Golgotha and the Ascension of Christ Jesus emerged day by day. They had experienced it, but it only emerged now, and in a remarkable way."

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