Christ Module 8 - Resurrection
For many the Resurrection is central to Christianity. However, and remarkably, in the one, three, five main introductory lectures that Rudolf Steiner gave on the Mystery of Golgotha, that theme was not even touched on. Instead focus was on the unification of humanity.
As will become clear through these study modules, the 'unification of humanity'can be seen as the 'what' essence of Christianity, the 'resurrection' is a key to the 'how'.
To understand the resurrection, not only as a 'one-off historical event' but as a 'cosmic event with consequences for the whole of humanity' requires an understanding of the true nature of the physical body. Today we mainly consider our mineral physical matter as our body, but in fact the true physical body it is a spiritual body that originates from the Old Saturn planetary stage. As such it is the oldest of our bodily principles, and was adapted in every planetary stage to accomodate the higher principles, resulting in the miraculously complex structures of our body today. We need to distinguish that spiritual structure from the mineral matter with which this form was filled. The spiritual structure is referred to by the (rather unfortunate) terms 'phantom' or 'resurrection body'.
A second key to understanding is to realize the impact of the Luciferic influence that happened in the Lemurian epoch. That influence brought good things to Man, such as true freedom, as opposed to being dependant on the guidance of higher spiritual beings. However, it also caused an infection of the astral body, but also - as these influences work their way downward - of the etheric body and physical body. This means that these bodies require cleansing or purification in order to re-acquire their purely spiritual characteristics.
In Christ-Jesus this happened for the first time. This is why Christ-Jesus could 're-appear' after his death at Golgotha in the resurrection body. The detailed interpretation of this event is one area of study. The other aspect is the investigation what its implications are for mankind as a whole, and yourself in particular.
Therefore the scope of this module encompasses:
- physical body and phantom or resurrection body
- impact of luciferic influence
- the process of what happened from Christ-Jesus physical death at the cross, to the Resurrection
- the descent into Hades or hell
- study of the writings by St Paul on the resurrection, this includes the concept of the Second Adam and how it leads to unification
- integration of all the above in an overall understanding
- the occurence of stigmata and its connection to the phantom or resurrection body (and the Christian initiation)
- the principle of spiritual economy and christophori, the re-use of copies of Christ-Jesus' bodily principles
For interpretation of the events after Golgotha as described in the Gospels - see also 'After the resurrection'
Lecture coverage and references
Soloviev's quote of and the strength of the words of Saint-Paul is provided with commentary 1915-06-15-GA159
If Christ had not risen the world would be senseless, therefore Christ has risen
Descent into Hades
For the descent into Hades (three days in the grave) and the battle with Lucifer and Ahriman and the link to the judgment day on Future Jupiter, see 1915-04-03-GA161 in the section on the full planetary chain
1909-04-19 notes from memory by Mathilde Scholl (in GA264)
At the moment when the blood flowed from the wounds, when Christ started his journey into the spiritual world, he appeared in Devachan, Spirit Land. That was the spiritual mirroring in the heavenly world of the physical events in the world below.
References and further reading
- Maximilian Rebholz: essays on resurrection and phantom body
- Max Hoffmeister: The Resurrection Corporeality: A Contribution to Understanding Christ Jesus (unpublished translation by FMC project), original: Die Auferstehungsleiblichkeit Ein Beitrag zum Verständnis des Christus Jesus (1992)
- Frank Linde: Auferstehung: Band 1 und 2: Die Auferstehung im Werk Rudolf Steiners (2015)