Christ Module 19 - experiencing the Christ

From Anthroposophy

The Christ is a high spiritual being and the regent of the evolution of Earth and humanity. But the Christ is also a moral compass for how to stand in life and in the world. How to balance between luciferic and ahrimanic influences. The 'golden rule' of compassion and brotherly love, because buddhi is love. When buddhi is developed in Man, all astral desires (kama) are transformed into selflessness, into love.

Hence the experience of the Christ is an attitude of the soul, with which we choose to fill our hearts and minds, and what we radiate out to world and the people around us.

Rudolf Steiner explains the workings of the Christ Impulse in humanity, and individual Man. It is a blossoming of a divine seed in every Man. We are living in a most exciting era, after the end of the dark age (kali yuga, ended in 1900), in the period guided by archangel Michael (from 1879 onwards for some 350 years), and the start of the appearance of Christ in the etheric. The latter means the slow emergence of new faculties of clairvoyance and memory in Man. At the same time we are in the midst of a challenging period of attacks by Ahrimanic and Soratic counterforces.

This module complements the other modules about the Study of spiritual science as a reverse ritual, and the experience of the year, and also what is on this site about Initiation. The focus is on the attitude and state of soul, and the actual Christ experiences.

Aspects

  • [19.1] - our state of soul during life
    • from the ability to appreciate everyday things of life with awe or wonder, to the love for our fellow men and the golden rule which is the foundation of every religion (see Charter of compassion), see Schema FMC00.371 and lecture reference extracts below.
  • [19.2] - appearance of Christ in the etheric
  • [19.3] - workings of Christ impulse in the world
    • can one discern a growing moral responsability in the development of initiatives such as Medicins sans frontieres, Amnesty International, Greenpeace and other movements, such as human aid in case of disasters? Just as conscience and empathy arose earlier but have not always been part of the human soul and consciousness.

Other relevant aspects covered in dedicated modules

Inspirational quotes

The 'problem statement' is already put clear in 1917-08-14-GA176

Many secrets are connected with an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha.

People often ask: How can I find a relationship to Christ? Certainly it is a question that is justified.

But anyone with insight will know that it is a question that cannot be answered just like that. Let me make a comparison: we see objects by means of our eyes, but the eyes we do not see. For the eyes to be able to see they must be unable to see themselves. They see mirror images but not themselves. That which does the seeing cannot itself be seen. Since the Mystery of Golgotha man must see the spiritual world through the impulse coming from Christ just as he sees external colors through his eyes. We do not see the eyes through which the colors, etc. are seen, nor do we see the Christ impulse through which we see the spiritual world. This is why the Mystery of Golgotha is veiled in mystery and the history of the event is also veiled. Since the Mystery of Golgotha the historical event associated with it cannot be discovered by historic means. To seek for Christ historically like any other event in history would be like trying to induce the eye to see itself.

Then, from 1917-08-28-GA176

How can one approach the Christ impulse, how does one come near the Being of Christ?

In one form or another this question is asked again and again, and rightly so.

It is essential to realize that seeking Christ is deeply connected with the nature of the human ‘I’ and is therefore something inward and intimate. .. Because of the inner relationship between the Being of Christ and the human ‘I’, the Christ Being has for us the same intimate character as our own ‘I.’

All the impulses of feeling and will which stir within us when we contemplate the Mystery of Christ are actual means by which we draw near the Christ. It is through feeling- and will-filled contemplation of Christ that we have reason to hope we may find Him.

Historically, the present is a significant moment in time. Few are aware of its full implication ..

On this quote: Our life of mental images and concepts, our intellectuality, is closely connected with the astral world, our life of feeling with lower spirit world and our life of will with higher spirit world (1911-11-18-GA130).


Another short quote from 1914-07-16-GA155

When the soul of Man really lives into Christ, feeling that Christ is the living Being who from the death on Golgotha flowed out into the atmosphere of the Earth and can flow into the soul, it feels itself inwardly vivified through the Christ. The soul feels a transition from death into life.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.371 shows how our state of soul brings us closer to the Christ Impulse.

FMC00.371.jpg

Schema FMC00.082 shows (linking into schema FMC00.047), the evolving relationship Man will have (or be able to develop) with the Christ

FMC00.082.jpg

Schema FMC00.081 gives an overview of some of the expected faculties related to the appearance of 'Christ in the etheric' due to the arising new clairvoyance. As depicted in the GA191 BBD (see eg FMC00.013) this clairvoyance will be a mixture of wisdom with moral consciousness, hence the elements related to karma in the table below.

FMC00.081.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

State of soul

See quotes on: Notes on the study process#The importance of wonder of .27awe.27

of o.a.

1912-01-01-GA134 is called 'Conscience and Wonder as Indications of Spiritual Vision in the Past and in the Future'

1924-04-27-GA236 is also about the attitude of 'Wonder in Everyday Life' towards the things of everyday life.

1909-12-22-GA166 is about reverence and devotion

General

1908-05-26-GA103

All this is at present only in germ within the human being, but a time will come when it will live in him in its fulness. And by lifting his gaze to the Christ Personality, to the Christ Impulse, by energizing and strengthening himself through this Christ Impulse, he draws into himself the force that can accomplish this transformation.

1917-08-28-GA176

How can one approach the Christ impulse, how does one come near the Being of Christ?

In one form or another this question is asked again and again, and rightly so.

People feel a need to ask this all-important question which must be approached from many aspects as we have done in our anthroposophical studies. Just as a photograph of a tree taken from one angle does not convey its full shape, so one aspect or indeed several do not exhaust the many-sidedness of a spiritual reality. All we can hope is that we shall come near it by approaching it from as many aspects as possible.

It is essential to realize that seeking Christ is deeply connected with the nature of the human ‘I’ and is therefore something inward and intimate. The special nature of the human ‘I’ comes to expression in the way we use the word ‘I.’ All other words are applicable to other things whereas the word ‘I’ can never refer to anything except to the one who speaks it. Because of the inner relationship between the Being of Christ and the human ‘I’ the Christ Being has for us the same intimate character as our own ‘I.’ All the impulses of feeling and will which stir within us when we contemplate the Mystery of Christ are actual means by which we draw near the Christ. It is through feeling- and will-filled contemplation of Christ that we have reason to hope we may find Him. At present it is of particular importance to pay attention to mankind's historical evolution especially in relation to the Event of Christ. Historically, the present is a significant moment in time. Few are aware of its full implication; it is therefore all the more important to be mindful of man's historical development in relation to every issue of significance.

...

It may be asked why in these circumstances such a great number of people still do not acknowledge the Christ?

All one can say about this is that so many and so far-reaching secrets are connected with this question that at present it is not yet possible to speak about them in a general way. But what I have just described is a fact of human evolution.

...

One comes to realize that one must bring to the Mystery of Golgotha all the depths of one's thoughts and feelings; for example when one attempts to relate the Mystery of Golgotha to the secrets of human death and man's subsequent awakening in the astral body and ‘I.’ It is through thoughts, through contemplation that one draws near to this Mystery. It is of no use to express through empty words a general wish to reach union with Christ; what is needed is a concrete understanding of what the actual appearance of Christ in earth evolution means for one's own life. It is not without meaning that the same time span elapsed between the death and the resurrection of Christ Jesus as the one that elapses between our leaving the physical body and our leaving the ether body in death. There is an intimate bond between Christ's life on earth and the man of today living after the Mystery of Golgotha. It is now possible to say with greatest conviction: Christ came in order that man should not be lost to the earth. Had the Mystery of Golgotha not taken place man's body would have become larva-like, directed from above by his soul. Death would gradually have removed man from the earth altogether. Through the Mystery of Golgotha man's connection with the earth was restored. Through the Mystery of Golgotha the possibility of consciousness arising from death was created.

These things can be understood today, they are revealed to contemplation of the spiritual world; making them our own deepens our inner life. When we are faced with crucial events we are not helped by knowing in a general way that we are connected with something called “the Christ,” whereas our inner life is deepened and strengthened when we know quite concretely that we are intimately connected with that Being who actually experienced earthly life and went through the Mystery of Golgotha. In contemplating these things we feel our innermost being intimately connected with the historical events of Golgotha.

...

The first understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha came about through direct experience. At first people could speak of Christ because some had actually seen Him; later some had known others who had seen Him. There was still an echo of Christ's own words in those spoken by the first apostles. Thus mankind's first experience of Christ was on the physical plane. Through the centuries this knowledge faded and had vanished altogether by the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries. That the present situation should arise was therefore inevitable when there are people who, though they want to be Christians, do not actually seek Christ. We must realize that we live in a time of crisis as far as understanding Christ is concerned.

We can reach understanding appropriate to our age in no other way than through an ever-deeper understanding of spiritual science. Ahrimanic forces battle against this knowledge just because it is so essential in our time. However, this does not prevent those who recognize the task of spiritual science from seeing this task connected with the enormous world-historical events taking place in our time. The solution to today's great problems can only come from real knowledge of the present age. And it is not biased propaganda to say that only through spiritual science can a solution be found.

Discussion

Related pages

References and further reading

.

Various unqualified

  • Mara Friederich, Georg Goelzer: 'Falter und Blüte Christuswort und Christerkenntnis' (1994)
  • Peter Selg: Seeing Christ in sickness and healing (Anthroposophical medicine as a medicine founded in Christianity) (2001 in DE, 2005 in EN)
  • Wolfgang Garvelmann: 'Sie sehen Christus – Erlebnisberichte von der Passion und der Auferstehung Christi' (2008)