325

From Anthroposophy

This topic page is about the the 4th century and specifically the years 325 and 333.

The year 333 is the point in time in which the I shot into the intellectual soul which developed in the period 747 BC to 1413, and this shook up to the depths of their soul the part of humanity which comes into consideration for the reception of spiritual influences. (1924-09-11-GA346)

Men started to become unsure of how they should think about the relation of the gods to the world and to human beings, at the time when a somewhat unconscious question about 'how the divine I lives in human nature' arose from a lack of clarity which was present when the I shot into the soul.

This happened in times when the spreading Christian teaching mixed with local religions and cults and took over many of their rites and festivals and some of their beliefs. Confusion and multiple doctrines reigned over what people believed concerning the nature of Jesus and Christ and in how far he was human being and how far he was God.

All the above is reflected in outer events in the dispute between Arius and Athanasius and the Council of Nicaea in 325. The two views of Arius and Athanasius were sharply opposed to each other and each represented the views of a large part of the European population. Athanasius' view gained the upper hand in western Europe whereas the view of Arius gradually lost favor.

  • Arius sees that man is climbing higher and is supposed to get ever closer to the divine, and on the other hand he sees the divine being. Trying to understand the MoG he tries to understand how the human or the divine natures are contained in Christ, and answers that one should not look upon Christ as a purely divine being. Not wanting to admit that God dwells in Man, he placed a boundary or abyss between Man and God. However ... "if Aryanism had won there would have been much talk of god in the inner being of Man but not with the necessary depth of reverence and inward dignity. ... The conception that God dwells in Man only has value if it contains at the same time the active impulse to rise ever higher in spiritual development, for then only do we find the god within. The statement that there is a divine within us at any and every stage of life can have a meaning only if we take hold of this divine in a perpetual upward striving of the self, by whom it is not yet attained."(1924-09-19-GA238)
  • Athanasius sees a divine sun-spirit in the Christ and who sees a really divine in Christ, he looked upon Christ as a god who is equal to the Father God. This view continued to work on, though this changed again at the eighth council in Constantinople in 869 which cancelled this doctrine of the council in Nicaea by declaring that trichotomy is heretical. Therewith things began to degenerate, and this cut off any possibility of growth into spirituality for the catholic church in later centuries). "In the way in which Athanasianism afterwards evolved, the human soul was largely separated from its divine origin and it became heretical to speak of the god in the inner being of Man. "(1924-09-19-GA238)

After 333 came times in Europe that broke away from the ancient Roman culture that could not absorb Christianity - see Central European cultural basin and also Migrations and Transition between 4th and 14th century

Aspects

First Council of Nicaea

  • The First Council of Nicaea in May–August 325 was the first general council in the history of the Church, convened by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father
  • the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus was established by majority vote, thereby separating the Roman Catholic Church from ancient wisdom concerning the Cosmic Christ (and led to ongoing distortion and misunderstandings, further resulting in the council of 869).
  • attendees:
    • (from wikipedia) Constantine invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church within the Roman Empire (about 1,000 in the East and 800 in the West), but a smaller and unknown number attended, probably 220-240 to 270-300.
    • participants included:
      • Saint Spyridon (ca 270-348) - Individuality of Daskalos
      • Individuality of Solovyov; see: KRI - Karmic Relationships Individualities#KRI 49: Vladimir Solovyov
        • "took an active part in these discussions, but at the end was very disappointed and depressed. His main effort had been to bring forward the arguments for both Aryanism and for Athanasianism. And if things had gone as he wished, the result would have been a kind of synthesis and a much more intimate way of relating the divine in the inner being of man to the divine in the universe. " (1924-09-19-GA238)
  • polarity between Aryanism and Athanasianism
    • dispute as to whether Christ was the Son, of the same essence with the Father, or only of like essence with the Father (Aryanism) (1924-09-19-GA238)
    • Arius (ca 250-336)
      • "Arius came from an aristocratic background and was an well-educated and articulate theologian who preached that Jesus should be considered as a great master like the Buddha. He had a strong following and his chances were excellent to win his argument and establish a new doctrine for the Church. ... he had great oratorical skills but was wrong on the theological doctrine" (quote Daskalos)
    • Athanasius of Alexandria (ca 297-373)
      • In 325, at age 27, Athanasius began his leading role against the Arians as a deacon and assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria during the First Council of Nicaea. This conflict with Arius and Arianism, as well as with successive Roman emperors, shaped Athanasius' career as spent most of his life battling against Arianism
      • Saint Spyridon was an illiterate 'peasant' uneducated insisted on the divine supremacy of Christ, that Christ was the embodiment of the Logos, the incarnation of God. He demonstrated magical powers in a conflict with Arius (see more in Daskalos under references below). To demonstrate to those who doubted the substance of the trinity and divine, he took a brick in his hand and asked the assembly a question about the constitution of a brick. They replied: earth, water, and fire. At that moment, he squeezed the brick and water trickled to the floor, fire emanated from his hand, and earth remained in the palm of his hand.

Positioning

  • positioning - the importance of:
    • the 4th century in general, see the excellent contextualization in Transition between 4th and 14th century#1921-05-15-GA325
    • the year 333 is the middle of the cultural age of the intellectual soul between -747 BC and 1413, and a balancing tipping point between 0 and 666 so between the two points where:
      • a) Emperor Augustus wanted to stop the further development of intellectual soul and future consciousness soul around the year 0, and
      • b) the Academy of Gondishapur wanted to give humanity an ahrimanic consciousness-soul consciousness millenia too early (1918-10-13-GA184 and 1918-10-16-GA182)
  • Schema FMC00.533 illustrates the 'water flowing in many rivers': it illustrates the pagan, gnostic, neoplatonic streams coming together with the so-called 'sceptics' and johannine christianity.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.533 positions some important personalities in the first four centuries after Christ, a period of persecution of Christians, but also where Christianity was established by the roman empire, and with major debates between various streams due to influences from pagan and gnostic streams, as well as scepticism about the divinity of Jesus, the trinity, etc. The schema is not intended to be complete, but can be used as a mind map to position some important names that occur in the storyline of the Michaelic stream in the lectures of Rudolf Steiner.

Above with rectangles in grey are three main church fathers, blue rectangles show important Individualities of special high stature, as explained by Rudolf Steiner (and see also White Lodge and Three classes of Buddhas). Brown rectangles below relate to the christianization of central europe preparing for the age of the consciousness soul, see 1921-05-15-GA325 and Central European cultural basin, also Schema FMC00.438)

The blue KRI numbers are the Karmic Relationship Individualities, see more on Karma research case studies and KRI - Karmic Relationships Individualities. For example: Origen and Spyridon are incarnations of Daskalos, part of the stream of John the Evangelist. Augustinus was a carrier of a copy of the etheric body of Christ, see Principle of spiritual economy and (- also on that topic page) the I of Master Jesus (KRI90) lived again in Lucian of Antioch, the teacher of Arius (1909-02-19-GA109 notes to lecture).

Rudolf Steiner often described the importance of the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and the great polarity between Aryanism and Athanasianism, also Daskalos describes this from a perspective of Spyridon. Also the Individuality of Soloviev attended (KRI 49) attended that council (in an incarnation not further named).

For a broader perspective and what followed, see Transition between 4th and 14th century and The Christ Impulse from the 1st to the 20th century (oa covering battle between Constantin and Maxentius in 312).

FMC00.533.jpg

Schema FMC00.534: is a schema intended to support study of the fourth and fifth cultural ages and gain insights of the patterns underlying evolutionary development of humanity, see also Schema FMC00.059 on History. This schema has:

  • a) a lower section with key dates and phases described in Rudolf Steiner's lectures, and focus on i) the period of the 4th century (see also 325) and the Transition between 4th and 14th century (including aspects such as Central European cultural basin but also 869, the Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams, Academy of Gondishapur, and more); and ii) the period 1840 and it's relation to the new start in the age of the consciousness soul (see 1840 and 1879)
  • b) an upper section showing the inhale-exhale cycle of cosmic breathing and the two halves of an evolutionary cycle related to this. In this case focus is on a cultural age corresponding to an archai time spirit, whereby certain centuries or periods represent crucial transitions on the timeline of the development of mankind. History and evolution does not progress linearly but with jumps or step changes represented by the spiral symbol. This is linked to the activity of spiritual activities (above) and their emanation that can be observed (below).
    • For example: the year 333 is described (in 1918-10-16-GA182) as the time the intellectual soul was coming to its prime, up to then it was developing on the ascending arc, then began the arc of descent.

The Discussion Note The two halves of an evolutionary cycle#Note 1 - First and second half of a cultural age provides a narrative to the schema with explanations and relevant lecture excerpts and references, to explain the point the schema conveys, and how it helps to understand the 'jump' in Schema FMC00.535.

See also related Schema FMC00.052 and Schema FMC00.052A.

For purposes of personal study, this scaled down image on the site can be saved as high resolution JPG file and printed on A3 format for readability, so one can add personal annotations.

is a schema intended to support study of the fourth and fifth cultural ages and gain insights of the patterns underlying evolutionary development of humanity, see also Schema FMC00.059 on History. This schema has: *a) a lower section with key dates and phases described in Rudolf Steiner's lectures, and focus on i) the period of the 4th century (see also 325) and the Transition between 4th and 14th century (including aspects such as Central European cultural basin but also 869, the Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams, Academy of Gondishapur, and more); and ii) the period 1840 and it's relation to the new start in the age of the consciousness soul (see 1840 and 1879) *b) an upper section showing the inhale-exhale cycle of cosmic breathing and the two halves of an evolutionary cycle related to this. In this case focus is on a cultural age corresponding to an archai time spirit, whereby certain centuries or periods represent crucial transitions on the timeline of the development of mankind. History and evolution does not progress linearly but with jumps or step changes represented by the spiral symbol. This is linked to the activity of spiritual activities (above) and their emanation that can be observed (below). **For example: the year 333 is described (in 1918-10-16-GA182) as the time the intellectual soul was coming to its prime, up to then it was developing on the ascending arc, then began the arc of descent. The Discussion Note The two halves of an evolutionary cycle#Note 1 - First and second half of a cultural age provides a narrative to the schema with explanations and relevant lecture excerpts and references, to explain the point the schema conveys, and how it helps to understand the 'jump' in Schema FMC00.535. See also related Schema FMC00.052 and Schema FMC00.052A. For purposes of personal study, this scaled down image on the site can be saved as high resolution JPG file and printed on A3 format for readability, so one can add personal annotations.


Lecture coverage and references

1918-10-13-GA184

[333 is pivotal between 0 (Golgotha) and 666 (Beast)]

Yesterday we saw how the mood of soul, towards which in this age of the Consciousness Soul we have to aim, was in a certain sense prepared historically. Let us keep clearly before us the relevant situation in the external world. We may say: The year 333 after Christ represents a kind of equilibrium (see diagram), distinctly perceptible in the course of historical events, but figuring very little in external history, for the simple reason that affairs revolve round it, and the actual pivot — this holds good even in mechanical motion — does not belong to the system that is moving. Take a pair of scales. You see the movement of the scales and of the beam, but the pivot itself is an ideal point — something we cannot really see. Yet it is obviously the most important part of the balance and must essentially have proper support.

It is particularly necessary for us to grasp what happened in this important year 333, as little noticed by the external world as is the pivot in a pair of scales. The year 333 is indeed the mid-point of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch, the midpoint of that significant epoch which ran its course from the founding of Rome, 747 years before the Mystery of Golgotha, until approximately 1413, when the Graeco-Latin epoch came to an end and was followed by the epoch which will last until the middle of the fourth millennium — the epoch of the Consciousness Soul. When we consider outward events, this midpoint of 333 is as little apparent as the mid-point of a balance.

But we could indicate something else, 333 years later — the year 666. Of this year we can say that what later developed as the scientific method of thinking was already then evident in the activities of the Academy of Jundí Sábúr, which were later blunted by Mohammedanism. We tried yesterday to follow up how a certain mood of spirit, or mood of soul, spread among the people of Southern Europe — that typically scientific mood which still pervades modern natural science and has extended very widely into modern ways of thought. This was 333 years from the time when people still only looked back to the old days, as Julian the Apostate did. Up to 666 is 333 years; if we then go back and take the other side of the scales, 333 years earlier, we come to the preparations for the Mystery of Golgotha through the birth of Christ Jesus.

[What if MoG did not happen?]

Fundamentally, we have been considering these events in such a way as to ask:

What would have happened if the Mystery of Golgotha had never taken place?

For the whole founding of the Academy of Jundí Sábúr and all that it brought about, was independent of the Mystery of Golgotha. The Schools of Philosophy in Athens had already come into contact with Christianity, but Justinian had closed them in 529. A purely Greek wisdom passed through Syria to Jundí Sábúr, in the new Persian kingdom. And everything else bound up with this, in so far as it was not blunted and was actually intended by Jundí Sábúr, was thought out without reference to Christianity, without reference to the Mystery of Golgotha. In reality, nothing has happened since the very beginning of our era without the working of the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha; but of course many things have been aimed at.

In fact we may say that even the impulses which were active in non-Christian souls during the fourth century, at the time of the turning-point, can be seen in their essentials only if we ask:

What would have become of the evolution of mankind in the West if the Mystery of Golgotha had never taken place?

This can indeed be studied, even historically — for example, in the case of Augustine, who offered both sides for later people to contemplate. At first he is quite independent of Christianity, seeking to find in Manichaeism an answer to the problems that weighed on him, and only afterwards is drawn to Christianity.

[Question about Golgotha in Rome and Palestine]

But we can go further back and then a significant question arises. Suppose we were to look at human evolution during the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, and ask:

How was it in all the regions untouched by the occurrence in Palestine of the Mystery of Golgotha?

(Strictly speaking, outside the narrow circle of Christ's activity, this would apply to ail the regions of the earth.)

How did people look on things, especially in Rome, when the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha spread later on, and became particularly effective?

This question is of quite special importance just now; it is truly no mere theoretical question:

How were things in Rome when the Mystery of Golgotha took place in Palestine?

For presently we shall see how similar — but in another sphere — our immediate present is to the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. We should never forget something that is easily forgotten when we look back to that time: we must repeatedly feel our way back in imagination to the culture of the old Roman Empire, where people were ignorant of the fact that over in Palestine a solitary human personality had arisen with a few followers, a personality who went through a certain life, suffered death by crucifixion, and with whom was linked the knowledge, the important knowledge, that men in the future will have concerning birth and death. We must increasingly accustom ourselves to the idea that although this event, which to-day sheds its rays as a fully risen sun into the history of man, was enacted at the beginning of our era, it developed at that time in such a way that throughout the world there was little recognition, either inwardly or externally, of this Palestinian Mystery of Golgotha. Hence the question must be asked:

How was it looked upon, especially in Rome?

Now we shall understand each other better if we take our start from the desire that was present later, in 666, among those who were particularly influential in bringing the Academy of Gondishapur to the fore. As I said yesterday, the desire was to give men through revelation, received on an Ahrimanic path, that which can only later be acquired by the consciousnesssSoul through the efforts of men themselves. The year 666 was still in the age of the intellectual soul, when men could not by their own efforts think in such a way as to be conscious of everything. So the desire was to give them prematurely something that was intended to come thousands of years later. The whole thing, however, was completely reversed at the very beginning of our era, during the age when the Mystery of Golgotha itself was enacted.

Three hundred and thirty-three years after 333, the wish was to give men something belonging to the future, something destined for them only in the future. Three hundred and thirty-three years before 333, just at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, there was a wish to force men back to a condition which in the normal way had entered human evolution thousands of years earlier.

[Augustus and his role in the ‘bad guy intentions']

It is very difficult, my dear friends, to speak of these things, for the very reason that history, which itself has a history, has developed in such a way that in these matters people have actually been driven into error by history. Happenings in the southern districts of Europe — happenings with important consequences — have been covered up; people have not been allowed to know about them. In the history books we have a picture, for instance, of the personality of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor [63 BC-14 AD] [See Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha, lecture 5.] But in what sense he was an important, an incisively effective personality — of this no understanding is called forth, intentionally from a certain side, but for the most part unintentionally. For the Emperor Augustus was the centre-point of quite conscious Roman endeavours to bring about a world-wide form of civilisation that would cast a veil over all that the Intellectual or Mind Soul had brought to mankind — over everything that men had been able to achieve in the way of culture by their own efforts since 747 B.C. Above all, people were to be limited to what they had acquired for themselves prior to the age of the intellectual soul — that is, in the age particularly of the sentient soul, in Egypto-Chaldean times.

Thus whereas

  • in 666 the sages of the Jundí Sábúr Academy wanted to bring to an earlier time something that was meant to come later,
  • in the days of the Emperor Augustus there was to be an extinguishing of that which men could acquire in their own age. Instead, they were to have, in its ancient glory and significance, that which had been proper to the people of earlier times, the time of ancient Persia, and of the Egypto-Chaldean culture.

And when, through all the undergrowth heaped up as history, we look back at the reality, we must ask: Among certain Romans there was a deliberate wish to preserve something from the past, and this project was defeated by the Christian impulse — what exactly did the Romans want to preserve?

It was above all of a twofold nature.

1/ First, there was the wish to preserve a feeling for the meaning of the old cults, those cults which thousands of years before had been customary among the Egyptians, in Asia Minor, and deeper into the heart of Asia. The aim was to render inoperative the capacity for intelligent understanding and to allow only the sentientsoul to come to fruition. This was to be done by presenting all the significant, sublime, powerful rituals which had proved effective in earlier times, before people had acquired intelligence and when the cults of the Gods had arisen out of the sentient soul, so that men should not be left without Gods. There were great rituals then, full of significance, designed to take the place of reflection — rituals which, according to old, atavistic customs, were to arouse the soul in a half hypnotic condition to a living experience of the Gods and of blissfulness through the Divine, It was this experience that some people in Rome wished to infuse with new life.

We can get to know the specific character of this by observing the finer points of distinction between the Roman and the Greek outlooks — although Greek culture was then approaching its outward decline. This feeling, which the Emperor Augustus in particular, with his powerful initiation-impulse turned towards the past, wished to introduce into Rome — all this was unknown over in Greece. The Greeks had no wish to bring back the past; they preferred to keep their eyes on what they could understand and could feel at one with. And if the Christian impulse had not come at a quite early date, and if it had not worked very quickly against the intentions of Augustus and his followers, the old rituals would have been revived in Rome with a much greater display of brilliance than they actually were.

[Augustus’ intention]

Let us, therefore, to begin with, hold fast to this: it was the intention of Augustus and his supporters that there should go out from Rome — just as later a prophetic wisdom was intended to go out from the Academy of Jundí Sábúr — a powerful ritual which was to spread a haze over the whole world so that the possibility of acquiring the Intellectual Soul, as well as the later Consciousness Soul, would be ruled out.

Had the Academy of Jundí Sábúr straightway given man the consciousness soul in order to cut off what was to come later — to cut off Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, Spirit-Man .. Augustus and his supporters in Rome would not have wanted the consciousness soul ever to be acquired. They would have wished — 333 years before the turning-point — to blot out all possibility of the intellectual soul, and to place before mankind powerful rituals, intended to lead the soul to a consciousness of God. This was one side, meant to be introduced in accordance with the wishes of the initiate Augustus.

2/ But the intellectual soul has always two aspects. One of its aspects tends towards the sentient soul. You know that we have the Sentient Soul, the Intellectual or Mind Soul and the Consciousness Soul. The first to be developed was the sentient soul; its evolution came to an end in 747 B.C. The intellectual soul evolved from 747 to about A.D. 1413. These are approximate dates. Then follows the age of the Consciousness Soul.

Now the intellectual soul inclines on one side towards the sentient soul, when it wishes to permeate itself with the past, as we have seen. This tendency is what Augustus wanted to infuse with fresh life.

What then is brought about by this forcing back of the Intellectual Soul to the standpoint of the Sentient Soul — what becomes of the part that inclines towards the future, towards the Consciousness Soul? What becomes of the more intelligent inclination?

We have to ask this question, and in the age of Augustus it had to be raised as a great cultural question.

What happens if the Intellectual Soul is now allowed to develop further; what becomes of the human soul that wishes to strive towards the Consciousness Soul?

A striving backwards towards the Sentient Soul through a renewal of old rituals is satisfying to men, more than is permissible for their normal development — but what is provided to meet a striving towards the Consciousness Soul? In this connection a certain word is always avoided, in order that a particular fact of human evolution since that time may not be seen in its true light: we need only mention this word and we shall understand what is involved. For this other side of the soul, rhetoric is provided — rhetoric which gives mere husks in place of permeating the soul with substance, with inner content; mere husks which, where living concepts should hold sway, are concerned with the forms of words and the construction of sentences.

Yes, indeed, my dear friends, under the influence of Augustus something developed in Rome very different from anything experienced earlier in Greece. However similar the Roman attire was to the Greek, a Roman in the folds of his toga no longer felt as a Greek had felt; the toga was looked on as a garment meant to be decorative. A certain glamour reflected from the exaltation of the old rituals is there in the fall of the folds of the Roman toga, quite in contrast to the Greek garment. And a strong distinction would be felt — if only people had a feeling for such distinctions — between Demosthenes, who stuttered, but still expressed the Greek nature, though not in rhetoric, and the Roman rhetoricians, among whom there was no stutterer, but men who well understood how to formulate the order of words and the structure of sentences.

From this Augustan age came the wish to give mankind, on the one hand, the incomprehensible old cults; there was indeed an endeavour to keep people from understanding them, even from asking what anything in the ritual meant This attitude is still prevalent in all sorts of realms even to-day. There are Freemasons who say the most curious things. For instance, one says to them: “You have an extensive symbolism in which very much is concealed, but modern Freemasons do not bother about the real meaning of the symbols.” One may say this to people who answer: “That is just what I find so beautiful about Freemasonry to-day; everyone can think what he likes about the symbols.” A person of this kind mostly thinks what his simplicity allows him to think, and this is far, very far, from the profound significance of the symbols — a significance that leads us deeply into the hearts and souls of men.

This is what it was intended to bring about in Rome at that time — a cult with no questions asked as to what it all meant, no attempt to approach the ritual with intelligence and will.

The other pole, necessarily connected with this, is rhetoric devoid of content — rhetoric which does not take effect only in speeches, but which as rhetoric went into the laws of Justinian, and afterwards flooded the Western world as so-called Roman law. This Roman law bears the same relation to what should be active in souls approaching the development of the Consciousness Soul as rhetoric does to a soul-warming substance of speech. The frigidity inherent in Roman law has been the cause throughout the world of Roman law being related to warmth of soul in the same way that rhetoric is related to what is spoken out of the warmth and light of the soul — even if spoken with a stuttering tongue.

My dear friends, the fact that nothing willed by Augustus in this connection came fully to fruition was a result of the influence of the Mystery of Golgotha flowing in from the East. Yet just as the aftermath of the Academy of Jundí Sábúr has been preserved in our present-day science, so has the after-effect of what Augustus aimed at been preserved. It could no more come to fruition in the form he intended than could the Academy of Jundí Sábúr achieve its purpose. It was simply the super-sensible that was banished from the impulse of the Academy of Jundí Sábúr, and this is still evident in the scientific attitude of our own time. But the super-sensible was driven out also from what Augustus aimed at — at least the grander super-sensible element through which he wished to bring about a real renewal of the old religious feeling of the Sentient Soul. The super-sensible was driven out, and of the rest — which in the time of the Mystery of Golgotha was founded chiefly in Rome — there remained only Catholicism, the Catholic Church; for the Catholic Church is the continuation, the true continuation, of the Augustan age. The fact that the Catholic Church has taken the form it has is the result of its not being founded upon the Mystery of Palestine, not upon the Mystery of Golgotha. Only a breath of this has passed over it. The most active element that runs through the Catholic Church is at best its ritual. And into this ritual there are woven only some threads derived from the Mystery of Golgotha; in its forms and ceremonies it has come over from the age of the Sentient Soul.

At the centre of this ritual there is something truly great, truly holy, because it brings the holiness that from primeval times has been woven into mankind (everything has its great and powerful aspects and needs only not to be developed one-sidedly), but we can relate ourselves rightly to this central point, the sacrifice of the Mass, which is an image of the highest Mysteries of all time, only if new life is brought into what is dead and was intended for the age of the Sentient Soul. The new life must come from all that Spiritual Science has to say in our modern lime concerning the Mystery of Golgotha. All that is found again, in the normal course of human evolution, by the researches of Spiritual Science — all this can be carried into the designs of Augustus, in so far as these have been preserved by Catholicism. In the same way, that which Spiritual Science can bring from the spiritual world must be carried into what has remained — physically blunted — of the aims of the Jundí Sábúr Academy. Spirit must be drawn into science.

Spirit must be drawn down into all that is enacted in the sacraments, to which men must turn again.

[Second coming info]

The weighty, momentous content of what I have just said will be taken in only by those who feel — and anyone who has studied spiritual science for more than a short time can feel it — how like our age is, in terms of what lives for the most part unconsciously in our souls, to the time when the Mystery of Golgotha was approaching mankind.

[Intersection on changing of the guards]

I have often mentioned, and you will find it brought out in the first of my Mystery Plays, The Portal of Initiation, that as at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha men stood facing the turning-point of the fourth post-Atlantean age, the year 333, so we today are facing a turning-point.

The time is rather shorter because the movements of the higher Spirits change in velocity; we cannot reckon that today we have 333 years again before the turning-point. It changes somewhat in the course of time, this speed with which the various separate Spirits of the higher Hierarchies move on.

Thus today, in the first third of the twentieth century, we are facing the approach of an important event for mankind.

And all the convulsions, all the catastrophes, are nothing else than the earth-shaking occurrences which precede a great spiritual event of the twentieth century. It is not an event now in the physical world, but an event that will come to men as a kind of enlightenment, reaching them before the first third of the twentieth century has run out. If the phrase is not misunderstood, one can call it the reappearance of Christ Jesus. [See True Nature of the Second Coming. Two lectures given at Carlsbad and Stuttgart in January and March, 1910.] But Christ Jesus will not appear in external life, as at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, but will work in man and be felt supersensibly. He is present in the etheric body. Those who are prepared can constantly experience Him in visions, constantly receive His counsel; in a certain sense they can enter into a direct personal relation with Him. All this that lies before us is comparable with what the Romans felt prior to the Augustan age, as the physically real Mystery of Golgotha that was approaching.

1918-10-16-GA182

What was the situation of humanity when the Mystery of Golgotha took place in the Fourth post-Atlantean, Graeco-Latin epoch of culture?

You know what this epoch signifies. The functions of the different members of which man's nature is composed unfold in humanity as evolution proceeds through the ages. In the Egypto-Chaldean age — the ageprior to the year 747 B.C. — the Sentient Soul developed in man; in the Graeco-Latin epoch the Intellectual Soul; and since the year 1413, in our Fifth post-Atlantean culturam age, the Consciousness Soul has been in process of development. Thus we may say that the essential feature of Graeco-Latin culture from 747 B.C. to A.D. 1413 is that humanity was being ‘educated’ — to use Lessing's phrase — into the unhampered exercise of the Intellectual Soul.

Let us now consider the middle point of this cultural age which lasted from 747 B.C. to A.D. 1413. Up to that middle point the evolution of the Mind Soul was on the ascending arc; then began the arc of descent. This point you can easily calculate; it is the year 333 after the birth of Christ Jesus. The year A.D. 333 therefore marks a very important point in the evolution of humanity.

[What if no Golgotha?]

It is only by asking ourselves what would have happened if the Mystery of Golgotha had not taken place that we can rightly assess the whole situation in which humanity was placed at that time, and properly understand what the Mystery of Golgotha meant for mankind. If that Event had not taken place, humanity would have been brought to the middle point of the Fourth post-Atlantean epoch in the year A.D. 333 through its own, inherent forces alone. Humanity would have developed out of itself all the faculties belonging to the Intellectual or Mind Soul and would have possessed them through the following centuries. An essential change, however, was wrought through the Mystery of Golgotha. Something utterly different from what would otherwise have happened came to pass. Now in assessing this unique Event which gave new meaning to the whole Earth, it is very important to keep in mind the fact we have already noted, namely, that the only avenue of approach to the understanding of this Mystery is a super-sensible one.

Although in the Fourth post-Atlantean epoch, towards the year A.D. 333, the Intellectual Soul was coming to its prime, yet in his physical life between birth and death man was totally unable to understand the nature of the Mystery of Golgotha through his ordinary human faculties. Indeed, however much mankind may develop and grow, with the faculties we unfold as the result of our bodily development between birth and death we cannot comprehend the Mystery of Golgotha.

1924-09-11-GA346

Let's connect this time of the first Christian centuries with general world evolution in a spiritual way. The year 333 A.D. is an important year if we look at the evolution which occurs behind outer events. This year 333 is the point in time in which the I shot into the intellectual soul, which developed between the year 747 before the Mystery of Golgotha and the beginning of the age of the consciousness soul in the 15th century. This year 333 stands right in the middle. The intellectual soul developed during this age and it played an important role in the development of the Greek mentality. It continued to work until the age of the consciousness soul began. The Mystery of Golgotha took place in this age of the development of the intellectual soul (or hearty feelings) soul.

Now we must realize that this shooting in of the I into the intellectual and mind soul is something which is very important. One has to tell oneself that one understands things with the intellectual soul. But this bursting in of the I which occurred around the year 333 nevertheless shook up the humanity which comes into consideration for the reception of spiritual influences; it really shook them up right down into the depths of their soul. Anyone who wants to participate in the spiritual life and to work along spiritual lines must see the outer facts of historical developments on their spiritual backgrounds.

Which major events must be looked at in the light of this I-entry into man's soul at the time when it was occurring behind the illusions of outer events, as it were?

It was here that the whole relation off divine beings to men started tó become uncertain, contested and misunderstood.

At this point we have the significant dispute between Arius and Athanasius. Men started to become unsure of how they should think about the relation of the gods to the world and to human beings, etc., at the time when a somewhat unconscious question about how the divine I lives in human nature arose from a lack of clarity which was present when the I shot into the soul.

The two views of Arius and Athanasius were sharply opposed to each other, and we see that Athanasius' view gained the upper hand in western Europe whereas the view of Arius gradually lost favor.

Let's look at this contrast from a spiritual standpoint, because it is important that we do so if we really want to understand the inner meaning and the inner spirit of something like the Apocalypse.

  • On the one hand Arius sees that man is climbing higher and higher, and that he's supposed to get ever closer to the divine, and on the other hand he sees the divine being. In addition to these great world principles he must also understand the Mystery of Golgotha and the nature of Christ. He wants to answer the question: How is the human or the divine nature contained in Christ? Should one look upon the Christ as a really divine being or not? And he basically answered this question with a no. He basically took the position that became the general position of a large part of the European population, namely, he put up a boundary between man and God, that is, he didn't really want to admit that God dwells in man, so he placed an abyss between God and man.

We must go back to the time of the first Christian developments in an unbiased way, which basically had nothing in common with the things that happened later when Christianity became decadent within Roman Catholicism.

  • And this is why we should realize that it became necessary for the further evolution of mankind to decide the whole question in the way that Athanasius does, who sees a directly divine being in the Christ and who sees a really divine sun-spirit in Christ, even though this later receded into the background because of a disinclination to think of the Christ in a cosmological way. But it lay in Athanasius' whole mentality to look upon the Christ as a god who is really equal to the Father God.

This view continued to work on, although it lost its entire evolutionary thrust at the eighth council in Constantinople in 869 which basically cancelled the doctrine of this first council in Nicaea, because it declared that trichotomy is heretical. Therewith things began to degenerate. For this definitely cut off any possibility of growth into spirituality for the catholic church in later centuries.

It was definitely that shock which occurred within when the I broke into the intellectual soul which colored this outer event and which gives the latter its real inner meaning. And if we continue to look at things in a historical way we, have to tell ourselves: After this year 333 came those times which broke away from the ancient Roman culture, especially in Europe. We see that the old Roman culture could basically not absorb Christianity, because of what it had become. It is a marvelous picture which unrolls before us if we direct our gaze at this year 333.

1924-09-19-GA238

KR on The Council of Nicæa and Vladimir Solovioff, see KRI - Karmic Relationships Individualities#1924-09-19-GA238 3

Daskalos in HTS Ch 4

[Spyridon]

'Under no circumstances would I jeopardize the autonomy of the Cypriot Church. How could I? I was once one of its central pillars.'

.. Daskalos went on to say matter-of-factly that in one of his incarnations he was a Cypriot clergyman by the name of Spyridon. ...

[Nicaea in 325 AD]

`You think he was a saint?' Daskalos responded with a mischievous look on his face. 'Believe me he was no such thing. He committed an act of black magic for which he paid dearly. My incarnation as Spyridon was in fact a spiritual fall.'

`At the ecumenical council in Nicaea in 325 AD,' Daskalos went on to explain, 'the Church fathers convened to resolve a theological conflict that plagued the Church during its early formation. The dispute was between those who argued that Christ was a man that attained godliness versus the others who insisted on His divinity.

Arius, the leader of the dissenters, was an urbane, well-educated and articulate theologian who preached that Jesus should be considered as a great master like the Buddha. He had a strong following and his chances were excellent to win his argument and establish a new doctrine for the Church. Most of the clergymen in Cyprus were followers of Arius.

As Spyridon I opposed this doctrine and insisted on the divine supremacy of Christ, that Christ was the embodiment of the Logos, the incarnation of God. For me it was blasphemy to argue otherwise.

`The governor of Paphos [south-west city in Cyprus] and most of the higher clergymen of the island were followers of Arius. They passed a decree prohibiting my departure from Cyprus so that I might not be able to attend the meeting at Nicaea. No boat was allowed to have me on board.

'I was illiterate but had powers. I spread my gown on the ground, sat on it, floated in the air until I reached a boat at the harbor. I told the crewmen, "Here I am, not in a boat. Take me on board."'

.. 'Levitation' ..

`The boatmen were terrified when they saw me in that condition and had no choice but to take me aboard. That is how I managed to escape from Cyprus and attend that most crucial gathering of Nicaea. Before my departure I sold my golden crown, put on a white robe and on my head I placed a woven basket. I also held a wooden stick which I carved and decorated myself.

`The other church leaders who attended the Nicaea meeting were accompanied by their entourages and wore royal garments, holding silver sticks on top of which two serpents were engraved. I had no need for silver serpents myself. I was master of the living ones. Arius, who came from an aristocratic background, referred to me as the "stinking peasant." He was right. Unlike himself I was uneducated and smelled of sheepskin because, in addition to being a clergyman, I was also a shepherd.

'I knew I had no chance to win the debate. Arius had great oratorical skills but he was wrong on the theological doctrine. I had to convince those attending of the falsity of his arguments, not with words, but by demonstrating my powers. In front of the others I grabbed a brick, squeezed it and turned it into fire, water and earth. Arius responded, "Only a mason is interested in bricks."

I then made a terrible curse. "If God is listening to me now and if indeed you are fighting the Truth, let your bowels flow down from you." Immediately Arius bent down from extreme pain in his belly and dropped dead.

Some holy man I was all right,' Daskalos exclaimed and laughed. 'I would never do such a thing now,' he added reassuringly.

`Upon my return to Cyprus the governor and the other followers of Arius, including all the bishops, ordered my arrest. Many fanatical supporters of mine were present while they dragged me to prison.

"They don't deserve the heads they carry on their shoulders," I muttered to myself, referring to the governor and the bishops. It was as if I had invited the fanatics to do just that. What I had muttered to myself they took literally and slew the governor and all the bishops. I then proceeded to appoint new bishops and life moved on. But I did pay heavily for what I did to Arius.' ...

`I lost my daughter Erene who has reincarnated in this life as my older daughter. Whenever we violate the law of Karma,' Daskalos said slowly, 'we must pay.

`As Spyridon, I conducted church services at the village of Tremedousia. Because the chanters could not always be relied on to be in church on time for the services, as they had their fields to tend, I created angels who sang along with me. I insisted that the liturgy begin on time. The chants of the angels were often heard by others. These phenomena can be observed today with seances, the hearing of voices and the like.' Daskalos then proceeded to recite the wording, in Byzantine Greek, of Spyridon's hymn, sung in church to this day in homage to the Cypriot saint.

`If Spyridon was no saint as you claim,' I said half jokingly, `then people are really deceiving themselves when they light candles and pray for his help. They are actually praying to someone who does not exist now as Spyridon and who once committed an act of sorcery.'

`It does not matter whether Spyridon was a real saint or not. Believers pray to the elemental of Spyridon that they themselves have created with their thoughts and sentiments. They will get the benign effects. Spyridon as self-consciousness exists no more. He is now Daskalos. But the shadow of Spyridon will always remain within Universal Memory and can be activated and imbued with therapeutic qualities by the worshippers themselves.'

[Origen]

Was the incarnation of Spyridon your only bond with the Orthodox Church?' I asked after a short pause.

`No, there were more.'

Daskalos seemed to be reluctant at first to pursue the subject but with further probing on my part he finally revealed that in one of his incarnations he was none other than Origen himself, the early Christian mystic and Neoplatonist philosopher. The church fathers fought Origen as a heretic for his teachings which included the doctrine of reincarnation and the eventual salvation of all human beings.

`As Origen I was an intellectual and fought for the preservation of Orthodox Christianity. By orthodoxy, of course, I do not mean the temporal dogmas of the priests. I mean the essence of Christianity which is virtually identical with the essence of all the great religions. Do you see now why I am so attached to Orthodox Christianity?'

`That I may be able to understand. What I do not understand is why, as Origen, you cut your genitals,' I replied trying hard to remain serious.

Daskalos laughed and shook his head when I brought up this issue. Origen, according to historians, cut his genitals for unknown reasons. A plausible explanation that has been suggested is that Origen committed the unspeakable act because of his extreme asceticism, to avoid the temptations of the flesh. A historian colleague of mine, a specialist in early Christianity, said in a conversation I had with him, that it was a puzzle to him how an advanced thinker like Origen could commit such a ridiculous act.

`No doubt,' Daskalos said, 'what Origen did was preposter­ous. But the reasons why he did it were different from those proposed by the historians. In order to discredit his teachings, the religious hierarchy of the time spread rumors that he was a seducer of women. He therefore cut his genitals to protect the teachings. You may say that Origen as a personality had some problems but what he taught was true.'

...

[Nicaea synod of 325 AD]

[reference to article .. The author, a Greek theologian, eulogized Spyridon as an 'ecumenical beacon.' Most of the article was about the Nicaea synod of 325 AD and the description was almost identical to the manner that Daskalos described it ..

Saint Spyridon's influence at the Synod was profound from the very fact that he was . . . illiterate. However, when he confronted the heretic Arius, who was well versed in church law and one wielding much influence throughout the area, the faith of Spyridon was so overwhelming that the heretical teachings of Arius and his followers were shown for what they in fact were: diabolical machinations. . . . Saint Spyridon had taken a brick in his hand and immediately asked the assembled delegates a question relating to the component factors of a brick. They replied: Earth, Water, and Fire. At that moment, it was written, Saint Spyridon squeezed the brick; immediately, water trickled to the floor, fire emanated from his hand, and earth remained in the pall' of his hand.

This miracle was his reply to those who doubted ­the substance . . . of the Blessed Trinity.

Discussion

Related pages

References and further reading

on the internet