Christ Module 15 - Study of Spiritual Science and the Mystery of Golgotha

From Anthroposophy

How do we have to understand what is really going on when we study spiritual science, and how come it's impact is so important?

For this we need an in depth understanding of a number of aspects:

  • how Initiation evolved through the last millenia and is linked to the state of consciousness (the I of Man), see the Mysteries of the Spirit, the Son and the Father. This is related to the Michaelic Stream .
  • what is going on as a spiritual activity when we study spiritual science with our heart and soul, how our non-sensory thoughts inscribe in the spirit world and create something new, and contribute to the future .. see also the topic of 'enlivened images'
  • the study of spiritual science by modern Man as the 'reverse ritual'. In short: whereas before Man's ritual offered devotion and received from divine guidance, it is now upto Man himself to create through devotion
    • editor note: sorry contact me if you have suggestions for better phrasing, I'm still to refine the concise descriptions but not always easy to capture essence in one or two sentences)
  • essential is the section on 'About the study process and working spiritual science' that describes the state of soul required, and what is meant with 'studying spiritual science' as soul work, 'developing imaginations', or the importance of working together.
  • the working in groups, see 1915-06-15-GA159 on Communicating over spiritual science

There is an important link here with cosmic breathing (as in: what we take into our souls), and the process at night.

Anecdote

Friedrich Rittelmeyer describes in his book 'Rudolf Steiner enters my life' how he, as someone who had a deep inner soul connection with Christ and Christology, why he had to bother learning about Old Saturn. See also Evolution Module 1 - Foundation.

Illustrations


Lecture coverage and references

1905-01-19-NOGA?

[editor: there are two lectures on that date for Dusseldorf, the statement below is not in the lecture called 'about the concept of the divine' (which is also about Man redeeming the other kingdoms to which he owes life), it may be in the other lecture about Goethe's Faust - the transcripts for that lecture are not on steinerdatenbank]

Man can only meet these Vulcan beings with understanding by raising himself to an artistic perception and insight (Imagination). True Spiritual Science points to an artistic understanding. ... The study of Spiritual Science is not something abstract; it opens the door to cosmic influences which have sought to pour themselves into the Earth since the last third of the 19th century.

1915-06-15-GA159 is about the importance of meeting and working in groups. This is related to the 'creation of a new center', as explained in Module 7 on the Christ and the GA089 lecture where this principle is explained. This principle is iterated in other lectures: that a common ideal between a group of people is the development of, building of, a group soul, a new common center.

If this question is to be answered truly, we must realize that we make a distinction, even if only in thought, between the work we do in a group like this and our other work in the world. Those who are unwilling to enter deeply into more intimate truths connected with the spiritual progress of humanity, might ask if we could not cultivate spiritual science without forming ourselves into groups, but simply by finding lecturers and providing opportunities for people who may not know each other to come together and have access to the spiritual treasure of which we speak. We could, of course, proceed in this way. But as long as it is at all possible to establish, in the wider and narrower senses, associations of human beings who are known to one another and who come together in friendship and brotherliness within these working groups, we will continue to found them in full consciousness of the attitude of soul that is part and parcel of spiritual science. It is not without meaning that among us there are human beings who want to cultivate the more intimate side of spiritual knowledge and who sincerely intend to work together in brotherliness and harmony.

Not only are relationships and intercourse affected by the fact that we can speak quite differently among ourselves, knowing that we are speaking to souls consciously associated with us — not only is this so, but something else is also to be remembered. The establishment of individual groups is connected with the whole conception that we hold of our Movement if we understand its inmost nature. We must all be conscious that our Movement is significant not only for the existence known to the senses and for the existence that is grasped by the outward turned mind of man, but that through this Movement our souls are seeking a real and genuine link with the spiritual worlds. Again and again, in full consciousness, we should say to ourselves that by the cultivation of spiritual science we transfer our souls as it were into spheres that are peopled not only by beings of earth but also by the beings of the higher hierarchies, the beings of the invisible worlds. We must realize that our work is of significance for these invisible worlds, that we are actually within these worlds.

In the spiritual world, the work performed by those who know one another within such groups is quite different from work carried on outside such a group and dispersed about the world. The work carried out in brotherly harmony within our groups has quite a different significance for the spiritual world than other work we may undertake. To understand this fully we must remind ourselves of truths we have studied in many aspects during recent years.

...

We may therefore picture to ourselves that by uniting in brotherliness in working groups, something hovers invisibly over our work, something that is like the child of the forces of the spirit self - the spirit self that is nurtured by the beings of the higher hierarchies in order that it may stream down into our souls when they are again on earth in the sixth cultural age.

In our groups we perform work that streams upward to those forces that are being prepared for the spirit self.


1916-03-15-GA174B covers the importance of spiritual scientific thinking and thoughts for the development of humanity (and the fact our human thoughts are work material for the third hierarchy). See also: Seeds for future worlds


1917-08-28-GA176

At the present time man is going through a crisis as far as understanding the Mystery of Golgotha is concerned. Last week I attempted to illustrate this crisis by means of a specific example. I wanted to show how a human being may make a thorough study of Christianity yet fail to find Christ. At present it is possible to belong to established Christian communities, perhaps to one which at present has an ever-increasing influence, without approaching Christ. This is a phenomenon which spiritual science must emphasize again and again. What must also be emphasized is that it is modern man's task to call up the inner forces of his soul which enables him to grasp spiritual-scientific thoughts. A certain power of soul must be called upon in order to make these thoughts inwardly living. Unless we do we shall make no progress, for it lies in the nature of present-day man that he should call upon this soul-force. A force which ought to be used, but is not, produces sickness in some form. Illness is caused not only through lack of something but also through overabundance of something. Numerous people who appear weak are in reality strong. Paradoxical as it may seem they are strong inwardly. Many who go about like weaklings dissatisfied with life, not knowing how to be — as they put it — “in tune with the infinite” are actually strong, but subconsciously. However, they are incapable of bringing their subconscious strength into consciousness because they have no inkling of what it is that clamours for recognition within them. As a consequence the subconscious rebels and causes instability. The aim of spiritual science is to make man conscious of what is stirring within him, of what is in fact striving to become conscious. A true and satisfying understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha is what above all wants to become conscious, a fact which often expresses itself in remarkable ways.

Discussion

It is a very difficult thing for our dry intellect to accept: that what you study would make such a difference. But then it's not only the what but also the how.

The difficulty one may have at first to grasp this, is because one does not have the frame or perspective to realize what is going on with sense-free thinking and the processes of perception and thinking in the soul. The fact we fill this activity with something that comes from our innermost human nature and lives deep deep inside of us.

Related pages

References and further reading