Christ Module 5 - Initiation and spiritualization

From Anthroposophy

Scope

The title of this study module points to how the MoG affected initiation, and what it means for the future ascent of Man - hence 'spiritualization'.

  • This module will go into the symbolism of the rite related with initiation: how that was in the old mysteries, and how this changed through Christ. It brings us closer to the symbolism of the Last Supper, and the deeper meaning of the circle of twelve apostles, the acts performed and words spoken.
  • 'Spiritualization' refers to the change, through the MoG, from the descending into the ascending evolution. And the fact that the descent into matter and the physical (that can be symbolized by the lower abdomen: lower desires and egotism, sexual reproduction and death), now found its turning point into ascent and spiritualization of Man (meaning the end of sexual reproduction and death, the development of the higher principles, in which the heart plays a key role). The heart is not just a symbol here, the human heart is a future organ which is just at the beginning of its development, and as a voluntary muscle will be the tool of the soul through which Man will create.

Note that the scope of the modules was defined based on the top lectures on the Mystery of Golgotha. In other words: these are aspects on which Rudolf Steiner shed light in these core lectures.

Illustrations

The schema below provides an overview on the topics in this study module. In summary it is about:

  • the initiatory processes and rituals in the Mysteries since the Atlantean epoch and previous cultural ages like ancient India, Persia, Egypt.
  • how the Last Supper contains links and pointers to these old mysteries
  • but also how it contains deeper symbolism and pointers for the future
FMC00.100.jpg

Aspects

  1. Impact of Christ and MoG on initiation
    1. initiation as basis for authority vs trust/freedom
    2. Before & after
    3. Mysteries spirit/son PS check Lazarus - https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA008/English/RPC1961/GA008_c08.html
    4. Holy Spirit (& sin against) – Pentecost
      1. wisdom instead of opinions -> Spiritual science
      2. meaning Pentecost/Whitsuntide lectures GA093 1904-5 .. spirit wrestling free ………….<-> Prometheus legend, link mid Lemuria & Lucifer
    5. EELS
  2. Symbolism of the Holy Supper
    1. Christ and apostles - a special relationship
    2. symbolism of the circle of 12 in initiation
    3. 12 .. 12 petals heart, 12 virtues, 12 initiators, zodiac   -> Da Vinci’s painting
  3. Symbolism of bread and wine
    1. body of Christ as spirit earth
    2. outward symbols ref 2 prep in Mysteries replace blood rel
    3. Two kingdoms
  4. Mystery of the Heart
    1. Future organs
    2. Sixth epoch

From the above, scoping the aspects for further study:

  1. what was different before and after the MoG - how did it affect initiation?
    1. Mysteries of the Spirit, the Son and the Father + EELS
  2. what is the symbolism of the Holy Supper? and more specifically
    1. the circle of the 12 apostles
    2. the bread and wine
  3. what is the importance of the heart in all this (this 'detail' we are told of about one of the apostles lying on the breast of Christ-Jesus)
    1. ascent -> future organs
    2. sixth epoch

Each of these areas individually represents a vast scope that we can continue to go into deeper. This page however is about the holistic view where all these perspectives meet. Therefore separate pages are made to 'drill-down' on each area from here.

Introduction

The following excerpt 'binds together' the different perspectives

As introduction to this study topic we start with the extract from 1906-12-02-GA097 where the Mysteries of the Heart are linked with the Holy Supper and EELS.

Human perfection consists in the falling away of the lower soul-forces, so that only the higher forces remain behind; in future, man will no longer have the lower forces; he will, for example, no longer have the forces of procreation. John's soul-power above all will raise those lower forces to the loving heart. It will send out streams of spiritual love. The heart is the most powerful organ, when Christ lives in man. The lower soul-forces are then raised from the abdominal regions to the heart.

Every initiate experienced this in the Mysteries of the heart. It re-echoed in the words: “My God, my God, how thou hast raised me!”

With the appearance of Christ Jesus, the whole Mystery, the whole experience, became reality upon the physical plane. At that time there were brotherhoods in Palestine which had developed out of the old order of the Essenes. Among their institutions, they also had a meal symbolizing the mystical Holy Supper. “To eat the Easter Lamb” is a general expression for something which took place at Easter. Jesus sat down with the Twelve and inaugurated the Holy Supper with the words: “At the end of the evolution of the earth, all men will have absorbed what I brought down to the earth, and the words, ‘This is my Body, This is my Blood,’ will then be true.”

Afterwards he said: “There is one among you who will betray me.” This is brought about by the power of egoism. But as surely as this power of egoism is the source of treason, so surely will this lower soul-force be raised to a higher stage.

One of the disciples rested upon Jesus' bosom, he rested upon Jesus' heart. This means that all the lower forces, every form of egoism, will be raised to the heart. At this point Jesus repeated to his Disciples the words: “Eli, Eli, lama sabathani” — “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him!

the Meuss translation reads

That was the initiation known in ancient Judaism. The initiate would be in the higher worlds for three days and experience the whole progress of future human evolution, what was to come for him in human evolution. In the perceptions he had during the three days, the future stages for humanity were not as a rule seen in abstract form but every stage was represented by an individual. The initiate would perceive twelve people. They represented the twelve stages of inner development. Powers of soul thus appeared before him in the form of human individuals.At a given moment the initiate would see a particular scene. He would see his own individual nature taken to the stage where the whole of humanity is filled with buddhi, meaning that it will be christed. He would see himself in the God, with the powers of soul ranged behind.

Immediately behind him stood John, the final figure who indicates that he had reached completion. He would see himself transfigured in a state he would achieve when he had reached completion; his powers of soul personified, with John the final stage of completion, proclaiming the Christ stage.

In the yoga sleep those twelve figures would then make a group, gathering for the `mystic communion' as it was called.This would be as follows. The human being sitting surrounded by the powers of soul would say to himself: these are at one with me; they have taken me through earth evolution. I have walked with the feet of these apostles. The communion meal means that the twelve powers of soul are at one with the human being. Completion or perfection is reached when the lower soul qualities drop away and only the higher ones remain. Humanity will no longer have those lower powers in time to come, an example being the power of reproduction.

John's very power of soul will have brought it about that those powers are then lifted up into the loving heart. Rivers of spiritual love will flow from it. When the Christ is in us, the heart is the organ which is most powerful in us. The lower power of soul will then have been raised from the lower abdomen to the heart. Every initiate experienced this as the mystery of the heart. It came to expression in the words `my God, my God, how you have raised me up high!

Commentary:

Note the special role of John in this context. The lecture goes on to talk about the baptism and John standing at the cross, that Christ-Jesus transferred his wisdom to John:

Quote: "The text should thus be read to say:`By the cross stood Sophia, the mother of Jesus.' He spoke to this mother, saying: `Woman, this is your son.' He had himself transferred the Sophia who had been in him to John. He made him the son of Sophia, saying: 'This is your mother.' From now on you must acknowledge divine wisdom to be your mother and dedicate yourself solely to her.' What John has written was this divine wisdom, Sophia, embodied in the gospel of John itself. He received the knowledge from Jesus himself, and was authorized by the Christ to transfer the wisdom to the earth."

Recall (a) the paintings with not two but three babies [Raphael's Terranuovo Madonna], and (b) the story in the Bible whereby Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and the recognition of two souls in womb both mothers (ps Mary remains with Elizabeth until the birth of John). Then also (c) the fact that in Christian Rosenkreutz was incarnated the individuality of Lazarus-John being the writer of the John Gospel, that this individuality incarnes every century, and brings souls to this knowledge (

The excerpt

John's soul-power above all will raise those lower forces to the loving heart

or

John's very power of soul will have brought it about that those powers are then lifted up into the loving heart. Rivers of spiritual love will flow from it

may well point to what is written under purification of the blood on the page Mystery of the Blood, whereby Wagner is quoted saying it is the will (lower forces) are purified by knowledge, the wisdom that John brings.


1920-02-17-GA266/3 (p204 in 2011 edition)

If we do not unite with Christ in such a manner that we can say: "Not I, but Christ in me", then in the future we cannot even live on as human beings. The Godhead that we call Father God gave humanity the forces necessary for us to feel ourselves as an 'I', an I that continues on through the incarnations. But these forces are used up, and the gods have ordained that each of us human beings, out of our own self and out of our own free will, leads our 'I' frurther, so that we can feel ourselves an 'I' in our further incarnations.


Related pages




From old section

One of the disciples rested upon Jesus' bosom

Steiner refers to how the apostle Lazarus-John describes how he raised from the bosom to the breast and heart region of Christ Jesus.

This symbolizes the higher etheric forces of the Christ Impulse raising from the Earth spirit and ennobling the heart. See the mystery of the blood and mystery of the heart.

-> see Mystery of the Heart