Christ and the Mystery of Golgotha

From Anthroposophy

Introductory quotes

  • “.. the deepest lesson — the mission of earthly love in its connection with the Mystery of Golgotha — has not yet been grasped” (1911-12-03-GA130)
  • ".. it will be indispensable to turn attention in our time once more to this the greatest question of mankind, inasmuch as the essence and meaning of the whole evolution of the Earth lies in the Mystery of Golgotha" (1922-08-27-GA214)
  • " .. when, prepared by Anthroposophy, men again seek out the spiritual world, they will find it in a way that is needful for the present age, and they will also truly find the Christ as ever present with them. If in this age men do not turn to spiritual knowledge the Christ will be lost to them." (1923-05-17-GA226)
  • " .. through Anthroposophy we desire to seek the way to the living Christ. Let us feel that in each Anthroposophist the mystery of the first Pentecost may be renewed — that the knowledge of the Christ may dawn in his heart, that he may feel himself enwarmed and enlightened through the flaming tongues of universal Christ-like knowledge. May our way to that which is spiritual, through Anthroposophy, be at the same time our way to Christ through the Spirit.
    If a handful of men earnestly make this knowledge their own, the Mystery of Pentecost will take root ever more firmly among them at the present time and still more so in the future.
    Then that will come which is so badly required for the healing and health of humanity, then it will be possible for the Spirit to speak to a new human understanding, the Spirit that heals the sickness of the souls of men — the Spirit sent by Christ. Then will come that of which humanity has so great a need — the Pentecost of the World.''

    "... Such knowledge as will lead all men to the spiritual world, is the goal towards which Anthroposophical investigation strives. Through this knowledge, the Christ can again be known, but in such a manner that when anyone has true Anthroposophy he will be able to represent the Christ in a way that will be comprehensible to all men." (1923-05-17-GA226)
  • + add: the essence of spiritual science is MoG

Where to start?

Where to start, when one wants to get an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha (in short: MoG)?

Rudolf Steiner, as a 'spiritual scientist', or 'scientist of the invisible', touched on it from allmost any context in thousands of his lectures, and devoted hundreds of lectures dedicated to the subject of the Christ impulse as a cosmic phenomena. There are so many angles to shedding light on this, that it becomes intimidating trying to lecture or cover the topic. Here's just a first grab of some full cycles (not considering the cycles on the Gospels, or the many standalone lectures with focused titles on the subject):

  • GA097 in 1906/7 - The Chrystian Mystery
  • GA116 of 1909-10 - Christ Impulse and the development of ego consciousness
  • GA131 of 1911 - From Jesus to Christ
  • GA152 in 1913/14 - Approaching the Mystery of Golgotha
  • GA165 in 1915/16 - Unifying Humanity Spiritually through the Christ Impulse
  • GA175 of 1917 - Building stones for an understanding of the MoG
  • GA187 of 1918-12 - How Can Humanity Find the Christ Again

One would think - reading the titles of these cycles - that, to get the 'essence' of the MoG, one just has to read one or more of these cycles to 'get it', but this is not the case. One can read lectures for many years, and still not see the forest through the trees and have a really good understanding of what the Mystery of Golgotha is all about.

The more one reads and studies Rudolf Steiner's lectures, the more one comes to appreciate the bewildering breath and depth of the coverage presented in the GA Collected Works. But at the same time this becomes a challenge to integrate, assimilate, incorporate, .. and conceive to order, structure, represent this in a clear and didactic way.

Christ and the event at Golgotha are positioned and studied as a cosmic event in both a scientific context of physics and evolution, as an explanatory theological context relating to religious documents.

This site represents a prototype pilot exercise in support of lectures and study materials for people who want to gain an understanding and more insight into the Christ Impulse and the Mystery of Golgotha (or at least an introduction). I thereby assume you are familiar with spiritual science and its foundation works and concepts.

The approach consists of the following steps. Each step deepens the understanding and is more demanding, both in time invested and, much more importantly, mental-emotional and intellectual energy.

The drawing below depicts the proposed study approach with didactic Study Modules (in green), guiding the student from a starting point in various phases. That way you can cover the subject in breadth and depth without getting lost or discouraged.

  1. - Phase 1 - First introductory statement .. real short and concise, an introduction.
  2. - Phase 2: Modules 1-7: Initializing the understanding .. the main work lies in this phase with the first seven study modules . Only having gone through this stage in depth, can we spend much longer periods of study on the next two phases
  3. - In Phase 3: Study essays, we are 'guided' by essays by authors who take us along a journey or story.
  4. – In Phase 4: Modules 8 to 14: Gaining insight in cosmic dimension, we present study topics that are still at a deeper level.
  5. - Phase 5: Modules 15 to 21: the human Christ experience, where we look at everything 'practically' from a human experiental perspective (both between birth and death, and between death and a new birth)
  6. Finally, Phase 6: 'Classic' – biblical chronological storytelling