The phantom is the invisible form body of the physical bodily principle, a spiritual web structure or net in which mineral matter is woven into, and it works this mineral matter and etheric formative forces so as to give rise to Man on the physical plane. The phantom was created by the various contributing spiritual hierarchies starting from Saturn', and evolved and adapted throughout with the incorporation of the different bodily principles in the planetary stages.
With the 'fall into matter', the luciferic infection of certain formative forces into the astral body caused external mineral matter to be attracted, thus penetrating the phantom and invisible Man's structure, and causing the balance between the bodily principles. One consequence was the appearance of the mineral-physical death process, the final step of a slow but continuous falling apart process of Man throughout life. The luciferic influence affected or 'infected' the phantom and form of Man.
In a 'mystical Christological process' analoguous to the multiplication of cells, the human beings that give and will give rise to their cleansed phantom or resurrection body, are connected to the first pure phantom of the Christ. The Christ becomes like a group soul unifying these at the end of the Earth process and at the transition to Future Jupiter.
Lecture coverage and references
A good description is given in 1911-10-12-GA131
.. the human Phantom, the primal form which draws into itself the material elements that fill out the physical body and are laid aside at death, had degenerated in the course of time up to the Mystery of Golgotha. At the beginning of human evolution it was intended that the Phantom should remain untouched by the material elements that man takes for his nutrition from the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms.
But it did not remain untouched. For the Luciferic influence brought about a close connection between the Phantom and the forces which man absorbs through his earthly evolution; a connection particularly with the ashy constituents. The result was that the Phantom, while continuing to accompany man during his further evolution, was strongly drawn to these ashy constituents, and instead of adhering to the etheric body, it attached itself to these products of disintegration. Where the Luciferic influences had been kept away, as they were from the Nathan Jesus, no force of attraction arose between the Phantom and the material elements that had been taken into the bodily organism. Throughout the three years from the Baptism up to the Mystery of Golgotha, the Phantom remained untouched by these elements.
The human Phantom, according to its intended development through the Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon stages, should not have been attracted to the ashy constituents but only to the dissolving salt constituents, so that it would have taken the path of volatilisation in so far as the salt constituents dissolved. One can say that it would have dissolved and passed over, not into the earth but into the volatile constituents. The remarkable fact is that with the Baptism in Jordan and the entry of the Christ Individuality into the body of the Nathan Jesus, all connection of the Phantom with the ashy constituents was wiped out; only the connection with the salt constituents remained.
The most important lecture here is 1911-10-11-GA131, explaining the relationship between the Luciferic influence and the death of the physical body:
.. into the human organisation, in so far as it consists of physical body, etheric body, and astral body, the Luciferic influence penetrated, and the consequence was the disorganisation of the Phantom of the physical body. As we shall see, this is symbolically expressed in the Bible as the Fall, together with the fact, related in the Old Testament, that death followed the Fall. Death was indeed the result of the disorganisation of the Phantom of the physical body. The outcome is that, when man goes through the gate of death, he has to see the dissolution of his physical body. This crumbling physical body, lacking the strength of the Phantom, is indeed borne by man from birth to death. The crumbling away goes on all the time, and the decomposition, the death of the physical body, is only the final stage of a continuous process. For if the disintegration of the body — preceded by the disorganisation of the Phantom — is not countered by processes of reconstruction, death finally ensues.
and the key paragraph with the 'cells multiplying' analogy:
Such question as this might be asked: If indeed Paul really believed that a spiritual body had risen, what has this spiritual body which had risen out of the grave to do with what every man now bears in himself?
This is not hard to understand: we need only consider the analogy offered by the coming into existence of a human individual.
- As physical human being he begins from a single cell; a physical body consists entirely of cells which are all children of the original cell; all cells which compose a human body are traceable to the original cell.
- Now imagine that, through what we may call a mystical Christological process, man acquires a body quite other than the one he has gradually acquired in his downward evolution.
- Then think of each of these new bodies as having an intimate connection with the pure Phantom that rose from the grave, somewhat as the human cells of the physical body are connected with the original cell. That is, we must think of the Phantom as multiplying itself, as does the cell which gives rise to the physical body. So, in the evolution which follows the Event of Golgotha, every man can inwardly acquire something which is spiritually descended from the Phantom which rose from the grave, just as — to echo Paul — the ordinary body which falls into dissolution is descended from Adam.
1914-07-01-GA155 gives an essential aspect (read in full) because it shows how far the effect of the Luciferic influence had penetrated into Man, the fact that 'death that lives in Man means Man creates elementals of death
In GA131 I spoke of the human “phantom”. This is not the time for drawing the connecting thread between what is to be said here and what was said then about the human “phantom”, but such connecting threads do exist and you will perhaps find them for yourself. Today I have to present the matter from another side.
There is perpetually engendered in Man something that is also spiritual — the life in him. This is forever passing out into the world. Man projects an aura around him, an aura of rays whereby he continually enriches the earthly-spiritual element of the Earth. This earthly-spiritual element of the Earth, contains all the qualities, moral or otherwise, that man has acquired and bears within himself, for he sends it all out into his earthly environment. Clairvoyant sight perceives how man sends out his moral, intellectual and aesthetic aura into the world, and how this aura continues to live as earthly spirit in the spirituality of the Earth. As a comet draws its tail through the Cosmos, so does man draw through the whole of earthly life the spiritual aura which he projects. This spiritual aura is held together, phantom-like, during a man's life, but at the same time it rays out into the world his moral and intellectual properties of soul.
When in our occult studies we go back to the times before the Mystery of Golgotha, we find that the men of those days simply radiated this phantom-like entity, which contained their moral qualities, into the external world, into the external spiritual aura of the Earth. But humanity developed in the course of the Earth's existence, and just at the epoch where the Mystery of Golgotha came to pass, a certain stage had been reached in the evolution of this phantom-like entity.
In earlier times it was much more evanescent; by the time of the Mystery of Golgotha it had become denser, had more form; and into this phantom-like entity there was now mingled, as a fundamental characteristic, the death which man develops in himself by killing the ray of light that enters into his eye, and so on, as I have explained. These Earth-spirit entities which radiate from man are like a stillborn child, because he imparts his death to them.
If Christ had not come upon Earth, then, during the sojourn of their souls in earthly bodies, human beings could have continuously rayed out entities with the impress of death upon them. And with this impress of death there would have been bound up the moral qualities of man of which we spoke yesterday; objective guilt and objective sin. They would have lain within it.
Let us suppose that the Christ had not come. What would have happened in the evolution of the Earth?
From the time in which the Mystery of Golgotha would otherwise have taken place, men would have spiritually created dense forms to which they had imparted death. And these dense forms would have become the very things that had to pass over to the Jupiter stage with the Earth. Man would have imparted death to the Earth. A dead Earth would have given birth to a dead Jupiter.
It could not have been otherwise, because if the Mystery of Golgotha had not come about, man would not have been able to permeate the radiations he gives out with the essences of the Music of the Spheres and the Cosmic Life. These essences would not have been there; they would not have flowed into the human radiations; but Christ brought them back through the Mystery of Golgotha. And when there is a fulfillment of the words, “Not I, but Christ in me”, when we bring about a relationship to Christ within ourselves, that which rays out from us and would otherwise be dead, is made living. Because we bear death within us, the living Christ has to permeate us, in order that He may give life to the spiritual Earth-being that we leave behind us.
Christ the living Logos, permeates and gives life to the objective guilt and sin which detaches itself from us and is not carried further in our Karma, and because He gives it life, a living Earth will evolve into a living Jupiter. This is the outcome of the Mystery of Golgotha.
Furthermore also in 1915-12-28-GA165 is discussed the effect of the Luciferic influence and how it 'infected' the ether body (SWCC)
.. at the beginning of earthly evolution, human beings were exposed to luciferic temptation. Consequently, their normal progress of evolution was changed. Thus we are faced, symbolically, with Adam cast out of paradise; his being is other than what it was destined to be before luciferic temptation.
How does this manifest?
Imagine that Lucifer had never approached humankind, and that human beings had lived without the luciferic impulse. In that case human beings would have lived in a different way in their ether body. When we pass through the portal of death, we first retain our ether body and then cast it off. Nevertheless, this ether body continues its existence, and as a result of luciferic temptation it carries the impressions of everything we do and think. .. In this etheric part left behind are the impressions of what the ether body had become as a result of thinking, feeling, and actions, in an inevitable accordance with luciferic temptation.
Now, when the human physical body enters this earth it is given over to the earthly elements, but the ether body remains connected with the earth. Thus the ether bodies of human beings are present in the atmosphere of the earth. And they are different from what they would have been had the luciferic temptation never taken place. ..
All that our ether body has become during earthly life has become more dry or wood-like than it would have become had the luciferic temptation not occurred. Imagine that the luciferic temptation had never taken place; after death, human beings would leave behind a far more rejuvenated ether body, a much “greener” ether body, as it were. Because of the luciferic temptation, human beings leave behind a far more dried-up ether body than would have otherwise been the case. This was expressed in the legend that tells us a dried-up Tree of Paradise arose from Adam's grave.
But what lives in the earth actually lived before the Mystery of Golgotha in the human ether body, infected by Lucifer. It was precisely this element into which the body of Jesus of Nazareth entered as a healer, or as a 'phantom', as I explained in my lectures at Karlsruhe. Imagine that Adam's grave — Adam surrendered as a physical body to the earthly elements. Arising from his grave is the dried-up ether body, the representative of the human past that was infected by Lucifer and remains intact after death. This is, at the same time, the tree upon which one may be crucified.
Such a crucifixion does take place when the 'phantom' of Jesus of Nazareth remains behind on earth after the Mystery of Golgotha, and through it unites with the earth. This is expressed in the legend that tells us this tree was handed down from generation to generation and became, in turn, the cross on Golgotha. This is a pictorial view that corresponds to the fact that, through the crucifixion, the phantom of Jesus of Nazareth united with what lived in the earth etherically, as a totality of ether bodies infected by Lucifer. Those bodies were, of course, scattered, rarified, and dissolved, but they were nevertheless existent in the form of forces.
1905-06-05-GA093 describes what happens to the etheric body after death, and also about as clear as one can explain the immortality of Man, though not physical immortality, but etheric.
Only that etheric body which has been built up from within is a living body, that stays eternally. This is the etheric body of the Chela [the candidate for initiation] — and that does not dissolve after death. If you see a modern civilised man die, you may see the etheric body for a while, but then it dissolves. With the Chela it remains. The renunciation of the Spirit World by the Chela consists in the fact that the Chela stays on the astral plane and there makes use of his etheric body. With ordinary human beings a new etheric body has to be formed at each rebirth; the ability to create a new one is attained in Devachan. The etheric body which the Chela has built up from within will never be lost again; whereas that which is made by cosmic wisdom from elsewhere indeed dissolves itself again.
- The references above can be concatenated. Starting with the GA165 we learn that the purified ether body or phantom united with the earth ether and the totality of ether bodies of humanity with their luciferic infection. The GA131 lecture than adds that Christ Jesus' phantom was like the 'initializing cell' that affects the others around it. Not more is said about this 'mystical Christological process'. However, we can get inspired by the 1904-11-09-GA089 lecture studied in Module 7 and the 'creation of a new center'.
- The book Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon is a guide for the development of the different bodies in an initiation process in ten steps. At the end of the guide, some magical capabilities are described that are 'technically' possible once all the bodies were purified and a person has gained total control not just over the astral but also over the etheric and physical body. This includes becoming invisible and raising from the dead. Bardon refers to initiates who were known to demonstrate this in the course of history, but without giving names. For example Apollonius of Tyana is one such master, but also of Indian Masters (and apparently also Beinsa Douno) it is known that they were able to materialize and immaterialize their bodies, also Daskalos describes this. This by way of illustration of the spiritual nature of the physical body, and what is possible once one has control over it. The capabilities described are quite different than the second adam and resurrection, but one could say that a magician who arrives at this level of purification and control over the physical body has already joined the second Adam stream of Christ.
References and further reading