Hibernian Mysteries

From Anthroposophy

The mysteries of Hibernia are some of the most advanced and best shielded ancient mysteries of the current epoch. In Hibernia, current Ireland, was a Mystery School so advanced it was forward looking to the Mystery of Golgotha as the pivotal event in world evolution, and nowhere on Earth was the understanding as high when the Mystery of Golgotha actually took place.

Aspects

  • the process of the pupil's initiation: preparation, and the experience before two statues
  • are the Mysteries that in some respects preserved most faithfully the ancient wisdom-teaching of the Atlantean people (1923-12-27-GA233)
  • represented "a cosmic experience a Sun-experience and Moon-experience" (1923-12-27-GA233)
  • the Mysteries of Hibernia were strictly guarded and hidden in an atmosphere of intense earnestness (1923-12-29-GA233)
    • even contemporary clairvoyant research in the akashic records is extremely difficult as they are 'guarded' (1923-12-07-GA232 and 1923-12-09-GA232)
  • timing:
    • positioning in the fourth cultural age, several centuries before and after Christ
      • in 1923-12-22-GA232 is stated "the later Mysteries, whether the Samothracian or Hibernian" in contrast to the ancient Mysteries described
      • at least the period of "centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha" until after the MoG (1923-12-29-GA233) and "were in existence for a long time and were still there at the time of the foundation of Christianity ... and continued until the first centuries of the Christian era" (1923-12-27-GA233)
      • various other: the lecture reference below points to the existence of the Hibernian Mysteries in the third cultural age (approx 2000 BC)
        • the experience of Gilgamesh traveling to the West: became acquainted with a colony of the Hibernian Mysteries situated in the current Burgenland, and this soul experience worked on so between death and a new birth, that in the next earthly life he underwent at Ephesus a deepening of the soul in connection with this same experience. (1923-12-27-GA233)

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.439 provides a reference summary describing the two huge statues used in the process of initiation in the Hibernian Mysteries.

FMC00.439.jpg

Schema FMC00.439A is the blackboard drawing (BBD) from the lecture describing the two statues.

FMC00.439A.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

1923-12-07-GA232

I wish to speak of those Mystery Centres and their keynote-giving impulses, once to be found on the island of Ireland, the Mysteries of Hibernia concerning which indications are given in my Mystery Plays.

[Clairvoyant research]

It is relatively much harder to approach in the Akashic Record the ancient Mystery Centres of Hibernia, that much-tried island to the West of England, to call up in meditative vision the pictures which are imprinted in the Eternal Record, than it is in the case of the other Mystery Centres. For when these Mystery Centres of Hibernia are approached with inner vision one receives the impression that the pictures of these Centres possess extraordinarily repelling forces, forces which push one back. Yet if one goes forward with some degree of courage in such matters these repelling forces are through such courage not so hard to overcome as in other similar cases; they offer nevertheless, even to a courageous spiritual gaze resistance which produces, I might say, a kind of bewilderment. So that it is only against obstruction that one can arrive at that which I shall now describe. You will see during the next few days why there had to be such obstruction to knowledge.

In these Mystery Centres there were Initiates who had received the old primeval wisdom of humanity, and who, moved and inspired up to a certain stage by this primeval wisdom, could attain to a kind of insight of their own. And there were pupils, candidates for Initiation, in the particular way in which instruction was given in that place, who were led on to the Cosmic Word.

[preparation of pupils]

Now, if we look into the preparation which, first of all, the candidates received in Hibernia, we find that this preparation consisted in two things.

  • The first was, that those who were to be prepared were led to face in their souls all the difficulties of knowledge. All that which, I may say, may be the torture of the path of knowledge — not that path of knowledge which leads into the depths of existence, but that path which simply requires that we shall intensify our everyday consciousness as strongly as is possible to each one of us — all the difficulties which offer themselves to the ordinary consciousness on this path of knowledge were brought before the souls of the pupils. All the doubts, all the troubles, all the inner striving and the frequent catastrophes of this inner striving, the becoming disillusioned through Logic and Dialectic, be these ever so good, all this had to be gone through. The pupils had to go through all that we experience as difficulties if we have really gained knowledge and then wish to put it into words. You can realize that it is one thing to have attained a truth and quite another thing to be able to express it, to formulate it. Treading earnestly the path of knowledge we always have the feeling that that which we can clamp into words is something no longer strictly true, it is truth wedged between all kinds of cliffs and pitfalls. All that can be thus experienced, which he only knows who has really trodden the path of striving after knowledge, all this was to be experienced by the pupils.
  • The second thing that they had to experience in their souls was how little of that which by the usual way of consciousness can become knowledge contributes to human happiness, how little Logic, Dialectic, Rhetoric can contribute to human happiness. On the other hand it was shown to these pupils that Man, if he would keep his balance in life, must take part in that which to a certain extent will bring him joy and happiness. Thus the pupils were driven on the one side near to one abyss, and on the other side near to another abyss, and always forced as if to doubt and to wait till a bridge had been built for them over each abyss. And they were so deeply initiated into the doubts and difficulties of knowledge that by the time they were led from this preparation actually to enter the Cosmic Mysteries they had come to the conclusion: if it must be so, then we will renounce all knowledge, we will renounce all that cannot bring happiness to Man.


In all cases in the ancient Mysteries men were subjected to stern tests, and were actually brought to the point where in the most natural and simple way they developed feelings which ordinary commonplace reasoning considers as without foundation. It is easy to say: No one wishes to renounce knowledge, it stands to reason that man desires to get knowledge, even if it presents great difficulties. This is what people quite naturally say who do not know the difficulties, and who are not led systematically into these difficulties as were the pupils of the Mysteries in Hibernia.

It is also easy to say: Man is willing to renounce inner happiness as well as outer happiness and wishes only to pursue the path of knowledge. But to him who understands these things as they are, both these dicta, so often heard, are altogether beside the mark.

[Two statues]

When the pupils had been prepared up to the grade required they were led before two colossal statues, before two great, mighty, majestic statues. The one was more majestic on account of its huge dimensions, the other was equally large but it was in addition impressive through its peculiar aspect. One statue was a male form, the other female.

Through these statues the pupils experienced the approach of the Cosmic Word. These statues were to them, as it were, the external letters by means of which they must begin to decipher the Cosmic Secret placed before men.

  • One of the statues, the male statue, was of wholly elastic material, compressible in every part. The pupils were made to press the statue in every part. Through this action, it revealed itself to them as hollow. It was in fact only the skin of a statue made of elastic material, so that after being pressed it regained the same shape. Over this statue, over the head of this statue which was peculiarly characteristic, over the head there was something which represented the Sun. The whole head was such that one saw it must really be as a Soul-Eye. The head as Soul-Eye represented microcosmically the content of the whole macrocosm. This manifestation of the whole macrocosm came to expression through the Sun in this colossal head.

One of the statues then made the impression directly upon the pupil: Here the macrocosm works through the Sun and forms the human head, which knows what are the impulses of the macrocosm and forms itself inwardly and outwardly according to these impulses of the macrocosm.

  • The other statue was such that first of all the eyes of the pupil fell on something like bodies of light raying inwards with light. And in the midst the pupil then saw a female form, standing wholly under the influence of these rays. And the feeling came to him that the head was created out of these rays. There was something indefinite about the head. This statue was of another substance, a plastic substance, not elastic but plastic and extraordinarily soft. The pupil was made to press it also. Every pressure he made remained. Only always between one time when the pupil was tested before this statue and the next time the indentations he had made were corrected. So that whenever the pupils were led to the same ceremony before this statue the statue was always intact again. In the case of the other statue, the elastic one, the whole form recovered itself of its own accord.

The impression received in the case of the second statue was that it stood wholly under the influence of the moon-forces which permeated the organism and caused the head to grow out of the organism. An extraordinarily powerful impression was made on the pupils by what they thus experienced. They were often brought before this statue; each time the indentations were corrected. Often a group of pupils were led, at not too long intervals, before this statue.

When they were led before this statue on the first occasions soundless silence prevailed around them. They were led up to the statue by those already initiated and were then left, the door of the temple behind being shut. They were left in their solitude.

[The test]

Then came a time when each pupil was taken by himself and made to test the statue, to experience for himself the Elasticity of the first, and in the second case the plasticity in which the indentations he had made remained. Then he was left alone by himself with the impression, which as I have already indicated was working powerfully, most powerfully upon him.

And through all that he had formerly, gone through along the path which I have described to you, in which all difficulties as regards knowledge, all difficulties as regards happiness were experienced, there arose in the pupil a certain longing. Indeed, to experience such things signifies much more than the mere words which I now use express. Such experience signifies that one goes through a complete scale of sensations, and these sensations caused the pupil to have the most vivid longing when he was brought before these two statues, that what appeared to him as a great riddle should in some way or other become solved in his soul, that he should get to understand the nature of this riddle — on the one hand that he should understand the nature of this riddle, and on the other hand the problem as to what lay in the forms and in the whole manner in which he was to relate himself to them.

All this worked in a deep, strangely deep way upon the pupils. And they stood before the statues in their whole soul and in their whole spirit as, I might say, a colossal question-mark. Everything in them was a question, Reason asked, the heart asked, the will asked, everything, everything asked. The Man of today can still learn from these things, which were brought perceptibly before the mind in former ages, things which today can no longer be brought perceptibly before the mind in this way and used for Initiation, he can still learn what a scale of sensations one must go through in order really to approach the truth, truth which then leads into the secrets of the world. For even if the right way today for the student is to go through these things by an inner path of development, outwardly imperceptible to the senses, it still remains a fact that the modern student must go through the same scale of sensations, must struggle in himself through these sensations in inner meditative experience. Thus the same scale of sensations can be experienced by him which was gone through in the old manner of civilization, in those old times by men who were to be initiated.

[Probation and threshold]

When this was gone through, the pupils were led through a kind of probation in which both experiences worked together,

  • on the one side, that which they had previously gone through in the preparation stage on the ordinary path of knowledge and on the ordinary path of happiness,
  • and on the other side, what had become in them a great question of the whole mind, indeed of the whole man. These then had to work together.

And now, because they had inwardly realized the working together of these experiences, they were led as far as possible at that time before the Cosmic Mysteries of the Microcosm, and of the Macrocosm, before something of that Union which we have touched upon in these lectures, which formed the content of the Artemis Mysteries of Ephesus, a part of which was brought before the pupils during a kind of Probation-time.

Thereby the great question in the minds of the pupils became intensified. So that the pupil, through the tremendous deepening which his mind experienced and endured, was actually led in this question form to the Spiritual world. In actual fact his experience brought him into that region which the soul experiences when it feels: I stand now before the Power which guards the Threshold.

In earlier times of humanity there were the most different kinds of Mysteries, and men were led in the most different ways to that which we must feel in the words: Now I am standing on the threshold of the spiritual world. I know why this spiritual world is guarded from ordinary consciousness, and I know wherein lies the Being of the protecting Power, the Guardian of the Threshold.

[Again before the two statues - each with initiator]

After the pupils had gone through this time of Probation they were led again before the statue. They then received a quite remarkable impression, an impression which in actual fact shook their whole inner being. I can only represent the impression to you by rendering what was practised in that ancient language into modern speech.

When the pupils had advanced as far as I have described each one was again taken singly before the statue. But now the initiating priest, the Initiator, remained with the pupil in the temple. And now the pupil saw, after he once again in soundless silence had listened to that which his own soul could say to him after all his preparation and testing, after a still longer time had elapsed, he saw his initiating priest as if rising above the head of the first statue. And it then appeared as if the sun were further back, and in the space between the statue and the sun the priest appeared as if covering the sun. The statues were very large so that the priest, relatively small in size, only appeared here above the head of the statue, the rest of him was below, to a certain extent covering the sun. Then came forth as if out of a musical-harmonic (the ceremony began with a musical-harmonic) the speech of the initiator. And when the pupil was at this stage it seemed to him as if the words which sounded from the lips of the Initiator were pronounced by the statue. And the words sounded to him as follows:

I am the Image of the World

Behold, I lack Being

I live in thy knowledge

I become now in thee Consecration.

This too, made, as you may imagine, a powerful impression on the pupil for he had been prepared for it through that Power which came to meet him in the form of this statue, and which said to him these words.

...

Through his preparation as regards the difficulty of the ordinary path of knowledge, he was also prepared to accept this Image as something which released him from those difficulties, even though he could not overcome in himself doubt as regards knowledge, and he was brought to have the feeling that he could not overcome these knowledge doubts. He was prepared inwardly, through the fact that all this had passed through his soul, to cling, as it were, with his whole soul to this Image, to live with the Cosmic Power which was symbolized through this Image, to live with this Cosmic Power, to give himself, so to speak, up to it. He was prepared for this because he experienced that which now came from the mouth of the priest and which seemed to him as if this statue were simply the written character which placed before the pupil the meaning which lies in these four lines.

After the priest had stepped back and the pupil was left again in soundless silence, after the priest had gone out leaving the pupil alone, a second Initiator came after a little time. This one then appeared over that second statue and again out of a musical-harmonic resounded the voice of this priest-initiator. And this voice pronounced the words which I give to you as follows:

I am the Image of the World

Behold, I lack Truth,

If thou wilt dare to live with me

I will be thy Consolation.

And now, after all these preparations, after indeed he had been led to experience inner happiness, inner fullness — I would rather say “inner fullness of joy” instead of “happiness,” because the German word “Gluck” does not give the right meaning — after the pupil, through all that he had experienced, had been brought to feel the necessity that Man should come to this inner fullness of joy, now that he, hearing what the second statue said to him, had felt this necessity, he was again on the point, not only almost but actually on the point of recognizing the Cosmic Power which spoke through this second statue as that Power to which he wished to devote himself.

Again the Initiator vanished. Again the pupil was left alone, and during this silence and solitude each one really felt in himself — at least it appeared that each one felt something which may perhaps be expressed in the following words:

I stand on the threshold of the spiritual world. Here in this physical world there is something we call knowledge, but it has really no value in the spiritual world. And the difficulties which we have in the physical world with regard to knowledge are only the physical reflection of the worthlessness of the knowledge which in this physical world one can gain of the super-sensible, of the spiritual world.

So he had the feeling: Many say to me here in the physical world, ‘You must renounce the inner fullness of joy, you must tread the path of asceticism in order to enter the spiritual world,’ but that is really illusion, that is deception. For that which appears in this second statue says itself expressly: “Behold, I lack Truth.” Thus the pupil, on the threshold of knowledge came near to the feeling: One must struggle through to the inner joyful fullness of soul, of mind, shutting out that which here in the physical world through weak human striving, bound up with the physical body, is longed for as truth. The pupils had indeed the feeling that on that side of the threshold things must look quite otherwise than here on this side, that much that is valued on this side is worthless on that, and that even such things as knowledge and truth present a wholly different appearance on the other side of the threshold.

All these were experiences which called forth in the pupil the consciousness that he had reached beyond many illusions and disappointments in the physical world. But there were also feelings which from time to time were like inwardly active flames of fire. So that he felt himself as if consumed by inner fire, as if inwardly annihilated.

And the soul swung backwards and forwards between one feeling and the other. The pupil was, so to speak, tested in the balances of knowledge and happiness. While he went through this inner experience it was to him as if the statues themselves desired to speak. He had now attained something like the Inner Word. It was as if the statues themselves would speak.

  • One statue said: I am knowledge. But what I am has no Being. And now the pupil was wholly filled one might say with this feeling of radiating fear: What Man has of ideas is only Idea; there is no Being in it. Let Man exert his human head — so the pupil felt — he certainly reaches ideas but he never reaches Being. Ideas are illusion, not Being.
  • And the other statue, as if speaking, said: I am Phantasy, but what I am has no Truth.

Thus the two statues confronted the pupil, the one statue represented that ideas have no Being, and the other that the images of Phantasy have no Truth.

I beg you to understand here that nothing dogmatic is being presented to you, no phrases are being coined to express any truths or knowledge. The point is to give the experiences of the pupil in the sanctuaries of Hibernia. The content of that which stands in these sentences is not to be announced as a truth, but that which in the moment of Initiation the pupil experienced in the Hibernian Mysteries must now be written down.

All this the individual pupil experienced in absolute loneliness. His inner experience was so powerful that his outer senses functioned no longer. They functioned no longer. After a time he no longer saw the statue. But he read as in letters of flame on the place upon which he was gazing something indeed which was not outwardly physical, but which he saw with terrific clearness. He read there where he had seen before the head of the Knowledge-statue, he read the word “Science,” and there where he had seen the head of the other statue he read the word “Art.”

After he had experienced this he was led back through the Temple door. The two Initiators again stood by the temple. One of them directed the head of the pupil towards that which the other Initiator pointed out — the Form of Christ.

And at the same time there fell words of warning.

  • The priest who had directed him to the Christ-picture said to him: “Receive the Word and the Power of this Being into thy heart.”
  • And the other priest said: “And receive from Him what the two Images wished to give thee — Science and Art.”

These were, so to speak, the first two Acts of the Hibernian Initiation, the peculiar way in which, in Hibernia, the pupils were led to the actual experience of the innermost Being of Christianity.

And this stamped itself quite deeply into the souls and minds of the pupils. And now, after they had imprinted this into themselves, they could proceed further on their Path of Knowledge. What has to be said, and can be said of this, we shall study in the next few days in connection with other matters.

1923-12-08-GA232

You have seen that the Initiation of the Hibernian Mysteries described yesterday had for its object a real insight into the secrets of the world and man, for the inner soul-experiences of which I had to speak were of a deeply impressive kind for the human mind and soul-life. They really concern everything which leads Man along the path into the spirit-world, so that by means of specially impressive inner experiences he attains to certain conquests, essentially strengthens his own power through these conquests, and thereby by one way or another presses through into the spirit-world.

We saw, then, how in Initiation in Hibernia the candidate was placed before two symbolic statues — we must not misunderstand the word “symbolic.” I described to you, firstly, the nature of these statues and secondly, through what sensations and soul-experiences the pupil was conducted on the occasions for contemplation of these statues.

Now you must be quite clear on this point; the impression that one receives from such majestic statues in circumstances such as I have described is of course not to be compared with that which one receives through description only, but is an extraordinarily powerful, inner impression.

Hence it was possible that after the pupil had gone through all that I have described the Initiator was able to cause the experiences he had gone through in the presence of each individual statue to echo for a long while in his mind. The pupil was simply kept to this, that that which he had experienced through the male statue, through the female statue, echoed in him. For weeks together — these things are determined by the karma of the pupil — sometimes longer, in many cases shorter, the pupils were kept above all to feel the echo of the one, of the male statue. The tests of which I spoke yesterday were first made in the case of both statues, for the impressions which were made by both statues had to flow together into the deepest soul-life of the pupil. Yet the pupil was held in the most intense fashion to the experience of the impression which he had received from the male statue. And I will now describe the impression as it echoed in him.

[male statue - the impression as it echoed in the pupil]

Of course, for this, we must use words which are not coined for initiation experiences such as these. Hence much that is expressed in these words must be realized according to its true inner significance.

That which the pupil at first experienced when he gave himself up to the impression from the male statue, was a kind of soul-freezing, an actual benumbing of soul, a soul-stiffening, which came over him more and more the oftener he allowed these things to echo within him — a soul numbness which felt like a bodily numbness. In the intervening periods of time the pupil might certainly care for what is necessary for life, but his soul was again and again brought into this echo, and he then experienced this numbness.

This numbness brought about an alteration of his consciousness — it was certainly a very stern Initiation even if it no longer recalled the ancient form of the primeval Mysteries. One cannot say that the consciousness was dulled, but the pupil became aware: “The state of consciousness into which I have come is one to which I am wholly unaccustomed. I can actually at first make no use of it. I can make nothing of it.” The pupil really only felt that this state of consciousness was filled with a sensation of numbness. But presently he felt that that which was benumbed in him, in fact he himself, had been taken up by the Cosmos. He felt as if transported into the expanses of the Universe. He could say to himself: “The Cosmos receives me.”

Then something quite extraordinary came to him — not a vanishing of consciousness but an alteration of consciousness.

When the pupil had experienced this kind of numbness for a sufficiently long time — the Initiators had to take care that it was a sufficiently long time — when the pupil had experienced this kind of numbness, and this being taken up by the Cosmos, so that he said to himself somewhat as follows: “The rays of the sun, the rays of the stars are drawing me, they are drawing me out into the whole Cosmos yet I remain actually together within myself;”

when the pupil had experienced this long enough he attained a remarkable perception. He now actually learned to know whence arose this consciousness which had come upon him during the numbness, for now he received, according to his experiences echoing from this or that, the most manifold impressions of winter-landscapes.

Winter landscapes were before him in the spirit, winter landscapes in which he looked into whirling flakes of snow which filled the air — all, as has been said, seen in the spirit — or landscapes where he gazed into forests, where snow lay pressing down the trees or the like, really things which, as has been said, recalled that which he had seen here or there in life, and which always gave him the impression of reality. So that he felt after he had been taken up by the cosmos, as if his own consciousness conjured up whole wanderings in time through winter landscapes, and at the same time he felt as if he were not in his body but nevertheless in his sense organs. He felt his being in his eyes, he felt his being in his ears, he felt his being also on the surface of his skin. Here especially when he experienced his sense of feeling, his sense of touch spread out over his skin, he perceived: “I have become like the elastic but hollow statue.” And he felt an inner union of his eyes, for example, with these landscapes. He felt as if this whole landscape that he gazed upon were active in each eye, as if it worked everywhere into his eye, as if his eye were an inner mirror for all that which appeared outside.

But there was something more that he felt; he did not feel himself as a unity, but in very fact he felt his ego multiplied as many times as he had senses; he felt his ego multiplied twelve times, and because he felt his ego multiplied twelve times there came to him this remarkable experience, so that he said: “There is an ego that sees through my eye, there is an ego that works through my sense of thinking, in my sense of speech, in my sense of touch, in my sense of life. I am really split up in the world.” From this arose a living longing for union with a Being out of the Hierarchy of the Angels, in order that from this union with the Being out of the Hierarchy of the Angels he should receive ability and power to control this splitting-up of the ego into the individual sense-experiences. And out of all this there arose in his ego the experience: “Why have I my senses?”

This whole peculiar experience was such that the pupil felt how all that is connected with the senses and with the nerve continuations of the senses inwardly and is one with the inner being of man, how that this is related to the actual surroundings on earth. The senses belong to the winter — this is what the pupil felt. In this whole life which he went through in the changing winter landscapes which, as has been said, recalled that which he had seen in life, but which with great beauty rayed from the spiritual towards him, out of all this experience the pupil gained a unified condition of soul. This unified condition of soul had the following content: I have experienced in my Mystery Winter-wandering that which in the Cosmos is actually past. The snow and ice-masses of my magic winter have shown me what destructive forces work in the Cosmos. I have learned to know the impulses of destruction in the Cosmos, and my numbness on the way to my Mystery Winter-wandering was indeed the announcement that I should see into that which was present in the Cosmos as forces which come over out of the past into the present, but arrive in the present as dead Cosmic forces.

This was first of all communicated to the pupil through the echo of his experiences before the male statue.

[female statue - the impression as it echoed in the pupil]

Then he was brought to the echo of his experiences with the statue which was plastic, not elastic. And it was as if he now fell, not into an inner numbness but into an inner condition of heat, as into a fever condition of the soul, into a fever condition of such a nature that things which have power, because of their inner nature, to work on the soul, manifested themselves first as bodily symptom-complexes. The pupil felt as if he were being inwardly pressed, as if everything were pressing hard, his breath were pressing hard, his blood in every direction were pressing too hard. The pupil experienced a great anxiety, even to a deep inner distress of soul. In this deep soul-distress the second thing arose which he had to experience, and that which was born for him out of the soul distress can be clothed somewhat in the following words: “I have something in me which in my ordinary earth-life is claimed by my corporality. This must be conquered, my earth-I must be conquered.” This (impression) lived powerfully in the consciousness of the pupil.

Then when he had for a sufficiently long time experienced this inner condition of heat, this inner distress, this feeling that the earth-I must be conquered, there arose in him something by which he knew that it was not the earlier state of consciousness, but it was a state of consciousness well known to him, the state of consciousness in dreaming. While, in the case of the first, which arose out of a numbness, he had clearly the feeling that he was in a condition of consciousness which he did not know in ordinary life, he now recognized in his condition of consciousness a kind of dreaming. He dreamed, but he dreamed in contrast to that which he had dreamed earlier, and again in reminiscence of that which he had experienced, the most wonderful summer landscapes. But he knew these were dreams, dreams which affected him with an intense joy or an intense pain, according to whether that which came to him out of the being of Summer was either sorrowful or joyful, but withal with the possession with which a man is possessed by dreams.

You only need to remember what is possible to a dream which first rises in pictures, out of which you wake with a beating heart, hot and in anxiety. This condition of being inwardly possessed made itself known to the pupil in a quite elementary natural way, so that he said to himself: “My inner being has brought the Summer as a dream to my consciousness, the Summer as a dream.”

The pupil now knew that that which was there as magic summer before his consciousness in continuous change may be likened to the impulses from the vastfuture of the cosmos. But now he did not feel himself as he did before, dismembered into his senses as a multiplicity; he felt himself now truly drawn together as into a unity. He felt himself as drawn together into his heart.

This is the culmination, the highest point to which he attained, this being drawn together into his heart, this inner self-possession and feeling of kinship in his innermost human nature, not with the Summer as one sees it externally, but with the dream of this Summer.

And following on, the pupil said to himself “In that which the dream of Summer gives, which I inwardly experience in my human being, in that lies the future.” When the pupil had gone through this experience there came to him the experience that these two conditions followed each other. He looked, let us say, upon a landscape consisting of meadows, ponds and small lakes. He looked upon ice and snow. This changed into whirling, falling snow, like a mist of snowflakes. This prospect gradually grew dimmer, and finally vanished into nothing. In the moment when it vanished into nothing, when he felt himself to a certain extent in empty space, in that moment the summer-dreams rose on the threshold. And the pupil had the consciousness: “Now Past and Future meet in my own soul-life.”

And from now onwards the pupil learned to look on the outer world, and to say of this outer world as a permanent truth for the Future: In this world which surrounds us, in this world from which we derive our corporeality, in this world something continually is dying. In the winter crystals of the snow we have the outer sign of the spirit which is continually dying in matter. As men we are not yet fully in the condition to feel this dying spirit, which is rightly symbolized in outer nature in snow and ice, unless Initiation has taken place. But if Initiation has taken place then man knows that the spirit dies continually in matter, announces itself in freezing and frozen nature. Annihilation exists here everywhere. Out of this annihilation first of all something like nature-dreams are born. And nature-dreams contain the germs for the World future. But World death and World birth would not meet if man did not stand between them. For if man did not stand between them — as I have said, I am describing to you simply the experiences which the pupil of the Hibernian Initiation inwardly went through — if man did not stand between them the actual processes into which the pupil gazed by means of the new consciousness born of the numbness would be an actual world death, and the dream would not follow the world death. No Future would result out of the Past. Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth would be there; no Jupiter, no Venus, and no Vulcan. In order that the Future of the Cosmos may join itself to the Past man must stand between Past and Future. The pupil knew this directly out of what he experienced.

[summary by Initiators]

That which the pupil had lived through in this way was now summarized for him by his Initiators. The first condition, when he had gone through numbness, when he felt himself sucked up by the Cosmos, was summarized for him by his Initiators in words which I may give you somewhat in the following way, in the German language:

In spaces far and wide shalt thou learn

How in Blue of Ether-distance

World-Being first vanishes

And finds itself again in thee.

In these words were the experiences which had been gone through actually summarized. Then the experiences of the second condition, the after-effects of the second statue were summarized:

In the depths shalt thou solve

The riddle of fever-heated evil

How Truth is enkindled

And through thee finds foundation in Being.

Remember that at the stage of which I spoke at the end of yesterday's lecture, the pupil was dismissed with the words which appeared in the place of the two statues, with the words “Science,” “Art.” “Science” appeared in the place of the statue which actually said: “I am Knowledge but I lack Being.” “Art” was written in the place of the statue which said: “I am Phantasy, but I lack Truth.” And the pupil had experienced all the difficulty, all the inner fearful difficulty, because inwardly full of desire he had actually chosen something else instead of knowledge. For it had become quite clear to him: Concerning knowledge which is acquired on earth, only ideas, only images belong to it; Being is lacking. The pupil had now experienced the after-effects. Out of the after-effects he had learned to know that man must find Being for the knowledge he has acquired, by losing himself in Cosmic spaces:

In Spaces far and wide shalt thou learn

How in Blue of Ether-distance

World-Being first vanishes

And finds itself again in thee.

For this was in fact the sensation He rushes out as it were into Ether-distances which are bounded by the Blue of Space. He unites himself at last with this Blue of the far distances, but then that which was Earth is so scattered into the far spaces that it is as if changed into nothingness. And the pupil learned to experience annihilation in gazing upon the magic winter landscape. And he knows now that it is man alone who can hold himself upright in these far spaces, which lead away into the blue Ether-distances.

The tendency of Phantasy to disregard truth, that very tendency to be contented with a relationship to the world which does not include truth but runs amok in arbitrary subjective pictures, this tendency the pupil had experienced. But now, out of the dreamlike magical Summer experience he had gained the insight can carry out into the world that which as creative Phantasy arises in me. Out of my inner Being like the pictures of Phantasy grow Imaginations, Imaginations of plants. If I had only the pictures of Phantasy I should be a stranger to that which is around me. If I have Imaginations, there grows out of my own inner being that which I then find in this plant or that plant, in this animal or that animal, in this man or that man, all that I find in my inner being clothes itself in something that is external to me. And for everything that confronts me in the outer world I can cause to arise out of the depths of my own Soul-Being something which is connected with it, something which clothes itself with it.

This two-fold connection with the world is something which remained with the pupil as an inner grand and impressive sensation as the after-effect of both statues. And the pupil really learned in this way, on the one side to stretch his soul spiritually out into Cosmic Spaces, and on the other to plunge deeply into his own inner being, where this inner being works, not with the feebleness of ordinary consciousness but where it works with half-reality, i.e., chilled or shaken and bewitched as by dreams. The pupil learned to bring this whole intensity of inner impulse into union with the whole intensity of outer impulse. Out of the relation to the winter landscape and the relation to the summer landscape he has struggled through to explanations concerning external nature and concerning himself; he has become closely related to external nature and to himself. Then he was well prepared to go, as it were, through a kind of recapitulation. In this recapitulation it was brought clearly before his soul by his Initiators: “Thou must inwardly control thy soul in its condition of numbness. Thou must inwardly control thy going out into Cosmic Spaces, and thirdly, thou must inwardly control thyself when thou dost feel poured out into and multiplied in thy senses. Thou must make inwardly clear to thyself what each condition is, thou must be able to distinguish exactly each one of these three conditions from the other, thou must have an etheric inner experience of each one of these three conditions.”

When the pupil now called up again before his soul in full consciousness the condition of inner numbness there appeared before his soul all that he had experienced before he had descended from the spiritual worlds to Earth, before the earthly conception of his body, when he had drawn together out of cosmic spaces etheric impulses and etheric forces in order to surround himself with an etheric body. The pupil in the Mysteries of Hibernia was thus guided into the vision of the last condition before the descent into the physical body. Then he had to make quite clear to himself the inner experience when he went out into the Cosmic Spaces. Here he felt at this second time, at this recapitulation, not as if he were sucked up by the rays of the sun and the stars, but he felt at this recapitulation as if something came to meet him, as if from all sides out of the spaces the Hierarchies came to meet him, as if other experiences also came to meet him. He felt also that which lay still further behind in his pre-earthly life. Then he had to make quite clear to himself the condition when he was poured out into the senses, and found himself as if split up into the sense-world. For here he had reached the middle point of existence, between death and a new birth.

You see how that which gives the candidates for Initiation entrance into these hidden worlds, worlds to which, however, man with his being belongs, can be reached in the most manifold ways. And when we look around in the way in which yesterday and indeed frequently I have indicated, then we may say: In the different Mystery Centres the vision into the super-sensible world is reached in the most manifold ways.

Why man must strive in such manifold ways, why in all the Mysteries a single spiritual path was not indicated, we shall show in later lectures. Today I only mention the fact. But all these different paths of the Mysteries were appointed in order to unveil the hidden sides of existence in regard to the world and man, which have again and again been shown from the most varied points of view here in these studies and in other lectures and writings.

It was then made clear to the pupil that he ought also now to go through those other conditions which he had experienced as an echo from the other statue, he must live through those conditions inwardly separated, so that for each single condition he should always have an inner clear knowledge according to the feeling which he had experienced, which he should recall then in full consciousness. This then he did. And in the case of that of which I have spoken as a kind of distress of the soul, he felt directly that which follows in the soul-experience after death.

Then came the vision through that which he further experienced, when external nature showed itself in summer landscape, but as a dream of summer landscape.

When he lived through this again, and with a full consciousness now separated this condition from the other condition of consciousness, he learned to know what would be the further progress of his post-earthly life. And when he made the feeling of compression into his heart's being quite clear and living in his consciousness, then he could reach to the middle point of existence between death and a new birth. And the Initiator could say to him:

Learn in spirit to see Winter-being

To thee will come the vision of the pre-earthly.

Learn in spirit to dream Summer-being

To thee will come experience of the post-earthly.

I beg you to notice exactly the words which I use, for in the relation here of the vision of the pre-earthly to the experience of the post-earthly, and in the relation of seeing to dreaming, rests the mighty difference which lay in these two experiences of the Initiation candidates of the Mysteries of Hibernia. How this Initiation stands in connection with the whole history of mankind, in the whole evolution of mankind, what it betokens for human evolution, and how far the whole experience had a still deeper meaning — in that, at the stage where I closed the last lecture, something like a vision of the Christ appeared before the pupil of Hibernia — this will be set before you in the next lecture.

1923-12-09-GA232

I have related to you different things concerning the nature of the Hibernian Mysteries, and you saw in the last lecture that the peculiar path of evolution which men pursued on the island of Ireland led them to gain an insight, first of all, into what is possible to the human mind, into what the human mind can experience through its own inner activity. You must now consider how, through all the preparatory exercises which those about to be initiated had to go through, it was possible that as by magic, landscapes as they are usually spread out before human senses were conjured up before these senses. No religious or fanciful hallucinatory impressions were thus given, for that which man was accustomed to look upon appeared before the soul as from behind a veil, concerning which he knew very well something was behind. And it was the same in regard to the gazing into his own inner being in the case of the enchanted vision of the dreamlike summer landscape. The pupil was prepared beforehand to have Imaginations which were connected with that which he otherwise saw with his outer senses. But he really knew when he had these Imaginations that he was about to penetrate further by means of these Imaginations to something quite different.

I have shown you how the pupil penetrated through to the vision of the time before earthly existence, and to the time after earthly existence; by vision forwards to the time after death as far as the middle point between death and a new birth, and by vision backward s into the time which immediately preceded the descent to earth, — again to the middle point between death and a new birth. But something still further happened. Because the pupil had been led further to sink himself deeply into that which he had gone through, and because his soul was strengthened through the vision of the pre-earthly and of the post-earthly life, because he had gained insight into Nature dying and continually being re-born, because of all this he could with yet stronger inner power and energy sink himself into what had happened through the numbness, through his being taken up into world-spaces, through floating out into the blue Ether-distances, and again through what had taken place when he felt himself a personality only within his senses, when he so to speak received nothing through the rest of his whole being as man, but only received anything from existence through the eye, or in the auditory tract, or in the sensation of feeling, etc., when he thus became completely a sense-organ.

The pupil had learned to revive these conditions in himself with strong inner energy, and out of these conditions to allow that to come over him which worked a still further result. When all this was indicated to him, after he had gone through all that which I have described, quite voluntarily and inwardly to bring again before himself the condition of inner numbness, so that he felt, as it were, his own organism as a kind of mineral thing, that is to say, as something quite foreign to him, when he felt his external being, his bodily being, as a thing strange to him, and the soul, as it were, only floating around, ensheathing this mineral thing, then in the condition of consciousness which resulted he received a clear vision of the Moon-existence, which preceded that of the Earth.

You remember how I have described this Moon-existence in my Occult Science, and in many different lectures. That which has there been described arose in the consciousness of the pupil. It was actually present before him. This ancient Moon existence appeared to him as a planetary existence, actually at first only in a watery, in a fluid condition, but not like the water of today, rather I might say as if gelatinous, like something coagulated. And the pupil felt himself within it; he felt himself organized in this half-soft mass, and he felt the organization of the whole planet streaming out from his own organization.

But you must make clear to yourselves the difference between experience at that time and experience today. Today we feel ourselves to some extent bounded by our skin, and we say indeed that as men we are that which is inside the skin. It is of course a mighty mistake, for as soon as we consider that which is in the form of air in the man the foolishness is evident of feeling ourselves limited by the skin. I have often said: the volume of air which is within me was a little while ago not within me, and the volume of air which will soon be in me is outside. So that we only feel ourselves rightly today as men when we do not think ourselves, as regards the air, cut off from the outer world. We are everywhere where the outer air is; in fact there is no difference whether you have now a piece of sugar in your mouth and the next moment in your stomach, where it has gone a certain way, or whether a volume of air is out there this moment and next moment it is in your lungs. The piece of sugar goes its way through the mouth, the air also goes its way through the organs of air and breathing, and he who thinks this does not belong to him, should also think his mouth does not belong to him, but that his body begins with his stomach. So it is really nonsense for the present-day man to think he is contained within the limits of his skin.

But in the Moon-existence there was no possibility of thinking of oneself as enclosed within one's skin. Of such furniture as is around us, towards which we go and of which we take hold, there was none at that time. Everything that was there was a natural product. And if you stretched out such an organ as you had at that time, which may be compared with the finger of today, it was as if one could draw this finger until it disappeared, or an arm till it disappeared; one could make oneself quite thin and many other things. Today when you take hold of a table you do not feel as if the table belonged to you. If a man seized anything then, he simply felt it belonged to him, as the air-volume now belongs to him. So actually man's own organization was felt as only a piece of the whole planet-Moon-existence

All this arose before the consciousness of the Hibernian pupil. He received the impression that the gelatinous fluid was only a condition of the Moon-organization at a particular time. There were certain epochs in the Old Moon-organization when within the gelatinous material something arose which was physically much harder than our hard things today. It was not, however, mineral, as the present day emerald or corundum or diamond is mineral, it was just hard horny material. There was at that time nothing mineral in the present sense of crystallization or the like. That which was hard as a mineral was of a hard horny nature. It has such a structure that one saw it had been formed organically. Today we should not speak of the crystal formation of a cow's horn because we know that a cow's horn is what it is through organic agency. Similarly with deer or the like; all bone matter is the same. Mineral matter is different. But at that time there was a mineral-like substance built up out of organic life.

Those Beings who at that time partly went through their human stage, who have only to accomplish part of their human evolution during the earth-existence, are those individualities of whom I have spoken as the great wise primeval Teachers of humanity on earth, and who today find themselves in a colony on the moon.

All this appeared to the Hibernian pupil during the state of numbness. And when he had experienced all in the suitable manner, that is to say, in the way which seemed suitable to his Initiators, then he was directed to advance again, repeatedly to advance to causing the numbness to melt, to stream out into the Ether-distances, to that point where he could feel: The paths of the Heights bring me out into the distances of the blue Ether, even to the boundaries of space-existence.

Then when he had repeatedly gone through this experience, he felt all which was to be felt from the earth in his movement out towards the Ether-distances. But while he was moving towards the Ether-distances after the Heights had received him, and had brought him near the Ether-distances, he felt that there outside, as if at the boundary of the world of space, something pressed in to him which again permeated him, which we today should call the astral principle, something inwardly experienced, which united itself much more significantly, much more energetically with the human being of that time, though it could not be perceived as clearly as its counterpart can be perceived today. This astral element united itself with the human soul, only in a more energetic, more powerful, more living way than today. It may be compared with the way that a feeling would arise within the human inner being if a man were to expose himself to the in-streaming, refreshingly in-streaming sunlight to such an extent that the sunlight permeated his inner being with a vivifying element, enabling him to feel his organization right into each individual part. For if you only observe a little, you will indeed be able to feel that if you freely expose yourself to the sun, if you let the sun stream through you, but not in such a way that the sun becomes uncomfortable to your inner feeling; but if you expose yourself to the sun so that with a certain pleasure its light and heat pour on to your body and into your organism, then you will feel as if each individual organ felt slightly different from before. You come in fact into a condition in which you could inwardly give a description of yourself.

It is only through lack of power of observation in men today that such things are so little known. If there were not this lack of observation in man at the present day they would actually be able to give at least dreamlike indications of what I have shown you as to inner experience of the in-streaming sunlight. In earlier times the pupil was instructed differently from today concerning the interior of the human organism. Today corpses are dissected and from this study one makes anatomical maps. That does not require much attention, indeed it must be granted that many students do not bring much attention, but it does not demand much. But formerly the pupil was so instructed that he was placed in the sun, and was led to feel his internal parts in reaction to the pleasant in-streaming sunlight. Accordingly he could take note of his liver, stomach, etc. This inner relationship of man with the macrocosm is there if only the conditions are brought about. You may of course be blind, and yet through touch feel the form of an object. And so if one organ in your organism is made sensitive to another through attention to light, you may describe the internal organs so that at least you can get shadow-pictures of them in your consciousness. To a high degree it was implanted in the pupil of the Hibernian Mysteries that by the flowing out into the blue Ether-distance, by the flowing in of the astral light, he would not now pre-eminently feel himself, but he would feel in his consciousness a mighty world, a world of which he now said as follows: I live wholly in an element with other beings. This element is really nothing but Nature-goodness, for I feel streaming into me from all around out of this element (forgive that I use a mode of speech only possible in later times) out of this element in which I swim as a fish in water, but myself also only consisting in quite volatile imponderable elements, I feel how out of this planetary element from all sides comes this pleasant in-streaming. The pupil felt the astral light all around him streaming into him, forming and fashioning him. This element is pure Nature-goodness (thus he might have spoken) for from all around something is being given to me. I am really surrounded by pure goodness. It is goodness, but a Nature-goodness which is all around me. But this Nature-goodness is not only goodness, it is creative goodness. For it is that which at the same time with its powers causes me to exist, gives me form, and sustains me in so far as I swim, hover, move in this element. Thus the impressions which were produced were of a natural-moral character.

To compare with something of the present day we might say: If a man had a rose before him and could smell it and out of inner truthfulness and honesty said: “Divine goodness which is spread out in the whole earth-planet flows also into this rose, and because this rose communicated its essence to my organ of smell I smell the living divine goodness in the planet.” If a man today with inner honesty could say such a thing when inhaling the scent of the rose then he would experience something like a weak shadow of that which formerly, as complete life-element, was experienced by the individual man. And that was the experience of the sun-existence which preceded the Moon-existence. Thus the pupil could experience the Old Sun-existence and the Old Moon-existence, which preceded the existence of our Earth.

And further, when the pupil had been led to it, to feel himself only in his senses, when he had experienced something like the stripping off of his whole organism, and lived only in the experience in the senses, so that he actually lived in his eye, in his auditory tract, in his whole sense of touch, then he perceived that which I have described in my Occult Science as the Old Saturn-existence, as the existence where man lived and moved in the heat-element, in the differentiated heat-element. It was as if he did not feel himself as flesh and blood, as bones and nerves, but merely as an organism of heat, of heat amidst other heat, as planetary Saturn-heat; he perceived heat when the outer heat was of a different degree from the inner heat. Moving in heat, living in heat, sensing heat against heat, this was the Saturn-existence.

And this experience was gone through by the pupil when he was drawn into his senses. These senses themselves were not so much differentiated as today. The perception of heat against heat, of life through heat, of life in heat was the most important thing. But there were moments when man, himself a heat-organism, approached another heat-organism or heat-mass, when, through the contact, he felt in himself something like a springing-up of flames; he was now in an element not merely of heat which streams and moves and surges — he was suddenly something like a flaming thing, also something like a moving sensation of taste, taste not only as on the tongue — that organ of course did not exist at that time — but taste which a man feels in himself, but which is kindled by contact with another body which also imparts something of itself. The Saturn-existence had become active in the pupil.

You see, therefore, that in the Hibernian Mysteries the pupil was led into the past existence of our own Earth-planet. He learned to know Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon-existence as the successive metamorphoses of the Earth-existence.

And then he was repeatedly stimulated to live through the experience which now led him into his own inner being, first, to experience again what I have described as the sensation of inner pressure, as if he were pressed together by the feeling of his own centre, as if the air in him became condensed, so that, if we would compare the condition with something corresponding to the experience of a man today, we could compare it with the feeling that he could not get his breath out, it pushed and pressed in on him on every side.

That was the first condition, and the pupil again, by external voluntary effort had to re-awaken it in his soul. And if he did this, if he actually came into the dream-condition of which he had earlier been capable, of dreaming in the waking-state of nature-existence as Summer landscape, if he came into this condition, then at a particular moment he had suddenly a quite peculiar experience.

If I am to characterize this experience for you I must d o it in a somewhat roundabout way. Think then, as man of the present day, you come into a warm room; you feel the heat; you come out, and if it is 5 or 10 degrees below zero you feel the cold. You feel the difference between heat and cold, but you feel it bodily. You do not unite it with your soul. And as earth-man, when you come into a warm room, you do not always have the feeling: here in this room something has spread itself abroad like a great spirit which encircles me with love. You experience this heat as something bodily pleasant. You do not experience it as something for the soul. It is the same with the cold; you freeze, your body freezes; but you have not the feeling: out there, through particular climatic conditions, demons come in all directions towards you which whisper to you something so frosty that you are also cold in the soul. Physical heat is not at the same time something belonging to the soul, because you do not feel intensely the nature-soul experiences as earth-man with ordinary consciousness. As earth-man you can warm yourself in the friendship, in the love of another human being. You may feel chilled by his frostiness, or perhaps by his commonplace nature, but by such experiences we mean something belonging to the soul. Only think how little the physical earth-man of today is inclined to say when in summer he steps out into the hot sultry air: now the gods love me. Nor how little the man of today is inclined to say when he steps out into the wintry cold: now only those sylphs fly through the air who are frosty and commonplace in the sylph-world. Those are expressions which we do not hear at all today. Now you see, this sensation which I wish to indicate (this is why I said that I had to explain the thing, in a roundabout way), this sensation when the pupil experienced that inner feeling of pressure, resulted as a matter of course. All that he felt as heat he felt at the same time as soul-heat as well as physical heat. This was because with his consciousness he was transported into the Jupiter-existence, which will arise out of the earth-existence. For we shall only become Jupiter-men if we unite physical heat with soul-heat. As Jupiter-men we shall come to this, if we caress in love a human being, or it may be a child, we shall be to that child at the same time an actual pourer-forth of heat.

To pour forth love and heat will not be separated as now, we shall actually come to this that we shall pour forth from our souls into our surroundings the heat we experience.

Not indeed in this earth-world but transported into another world, was the pupil of the Hibernian Mysteries brought to this experience. Hence the Future Jupiter-existence was present to him, not of course, in physical earth-reality, but in a picture.

And the next advance was that the pupil felt so truly that inner distress of which I spoke yesterday, that he actually experienced the necessity of overcoming his own I, because otherwise it may be the source of evil.

If the pupil rightly caused this soul-conception to be present in himself, then something else arose in him. He did not only feel soul-heat and physical heat as one, but that which he felt as one, this soul-physical heat, began to shine. The mystery of the shining of light, of the shining of soul-light, arose for the pupil. Thus he was transported into that future when the Earth will be changed into the Future Venus-planet.

And now when the pupil felt everything flowing together into his heart which he had experienced earlier, just as I described it to you yesterday, all that he had experienced in his soul, manifested itself at the same time as the experience of the planet. Man has a thought. The thought does not remain within the skin of the man. The thought begins to resound. The thought becomes Word. That which the man lives forms itself into Word. In the Future Vulcan-planet the Word spreads itself out. Everything in the Future Vulcan-planet is speaking living Being. Word sounds to Word. Word explains itself by Word. Word speaks to Word. Word learns to understand Word. Man feels himself as the World-understanding Word, as the Word-world understanding Word.

While this was present before the candidate for Initiation in Hibernia, he knew himself to be in the Vulcan existence, in the last metamorphosed condition of the Earth-planet.

So you see that the Hibernian Mysteries really belong to those which we are entitled to call in spiritual science the Great Mysteries. For that into which the pupils were initiated gave them a survey, an outlook over human pre-earthly and post-earthly life. It gave them at the same time a survey over Cosmic life, into which man is woven, out of which in the course of time he is born. The human being learned thus to know the Microcosm, that is, to know himself, as spirit-soul-bodily Being in connection with the Macrocosm. He learned also to know the coming into being, the weaving, the arising and passing away, and the changing, metamorphosing itself of the Macrocosm.

These Hibernian Mysteries were great Mysteries. And they reached their full flower in the period which preceded the Mystery of Golgotha.

But there was this peculiarity in the great Mysteries, that in these great Mysteries the Christ was spoken of as the One who was to come, just as later men spoke of the Christ as of Him who had gone through events in the past. And actually when after the first Initiation, when the pupil leaving the Temple was led before the image of the Christ, they wished to show him: The whole trend of earth-evolution leads towards the Event of Golgotha. At that time it was presented as an Event which was to come.

[MoG]

There was in fact upon this island which was later to go through so many trials, a Centre of the Great Mysteries, a Centre of Christian Mysteries before the Mystery of Golgotha, in which in the right way, the spiritual gaze of a man living before the Mystery of Golgotha was directed towards the Mystery of Golgotha.

And then, when the Mystery of Golgotha took place, when over in Palestine, the wonderful events came to pass which we describe as the experience of Christ Jesus on Golgotha and its surroundings, while these wonderful events came to pass in Palestine, great festivals were held within the Hibernian Mysteries, and within their community, i.e. by the people who belonged to the Hibernian Mysteries. And that which came to pass in actual fact in Palestine, was portrayed in pictures on the island of Hibernia in ways a hundred-fold, though the picture was as a memory of the past. They experienced in pictures the Mystery of Golgotha contemporaneously on the island of Hibernia, while the Mystery of Golgotha came to pass historically, in Palestine. When later, in temples and churches, the Mystery of Golgotha was experienced pictorially, was shown in pictures to the people, then these were pictures which recalled something which had taken place on the Earth, which were drawn out of the ordinary consciousness as a kind of historic memory. These pictures existed on the island of Hibernia before they could be produced from historic memory of the past, but as they only could be produced out of the Spirit itself. On the island of Hibernia that was spiritually seen which took place before the bodily eye in Palestine, at the beginning of our era. And so, on the island of Hibernia, humanity actually experienced the Mystery of Golgotha spiritually. And this indicates the greatness of all that went forth later from the island of Hibernia, for the rest of the civilized world, but which vanished in later time.

[History - note]

I beg you now to notice the following. He who studies only external history will find much that is splendid, beautiful, that lifts up the heart, that illumines the mind, when he looks back historically into the ancient world of the East, when he looks back historically into ancient Greece, into ancient Rome. He may experience many things of this kind if he goes on, let us say, to the time of Charles the Great, and through the Middle Ages. But just notice how meager historical records were in that age, a couple of centuries after the rise of Christianity and approximately to the ninth or tenth post-Christian centuries. Examine historical works yourselves. In all the older genuine historical works you will find everywhere only short accounts, very little material for these centuries. Then the material begins to be set out more fully. Certainly later historians who are, as it were, ashamed for the sake of their profession to disperse their material so badly, because they cannot relate what they do not know, invent all sorts of fancy constructions which are now placed in these centuries. But that is all nonsense. If you honestly represent external history it is somewhat thin as regards historical records during that period when ancient Rome fell, and when devastating swarms of migratory peoples took place, which were really not so fearfully striking outwardly as men of today represent them, which were indeed only striking compared with the quiet of earlier and later times. For if you only consider today, or perhaps in the time before the War had counted how many people journeyed from Russia, let us say, to Switzerland each year, you would find they were more in number than during the times of the migrations of peoples through these same regions of Europe. All these things are relative. So that if we would speak in the style which the historians lavish upon the migrations of the peoples, we should have to say: up to the time of the late War the whole of Europe was in continual migration. The emigration to America was infinitely greater than the streams of the peoples' migrations. We do not make this clear to ourselves. Historic records are meager during the time that is called the period of migration of peoples, and in the period which followed that migration. Very little is known about this period. Very little can be described of what took place in this neighbourhood, for example, or in France, or in Germany. But this was the very time when the echoes of that which was seen in the Hibernian Mysteries spread over Europe, even though only in a weak echo, the very time when the effects, the impulses of the great Hibernian Mysteries streamed into civilization.

[Meeting of two streams]

And now two great streams met, one stream of which we may say — for all that I am saying now is simply a relation of facts, not in any way letting fall a shadow of sympathy or antipathy but simply describing actual history — two streams met:

  • one which in a roundabout way came from the East through Greece and Rome. This movement which took into account the endowment or talents more and more breaking in upon humanity, depending merely on the power of reason and the senses, occupied itself with that which existed as historic memory of externally visible, externally experienced events. From Palestine the news spread through Greece and Rome, which was taken up by men into their religious life, the news of what had taken place in the physical-sense World through the God Christ. This reckoned upon the human understanding, which by this time was dependent upon what today we call the ordinary consciousness bound up with the reason and the senses. This stream spread in the most magnificent way. But it finally overwhelmed ...
  • that stream which came over from the West, from Hibernia, which as a last echo of the ancient instinctive Earth-wisdom relied on the ancient treasures of wisdom of humanity, which were now to be illuminated by the new consciousness. Something spread over Europe from Hibernia which did not take into account illumination with the wisdom founded on sense perception, or proofs which could demonstrate that which had taken place historically. But cults, wisdom teachings as Hibernian cults, Hibernian wisdom teachings spread abroad which were based on illumination from the spiritual world, from the spiritual world even at the identical time when as in the case of the Mystery of Golgotha, the event was taking place in physical reality on another spot of earth. The physical reality of Palestine was seen spiritually in Hibernia.

But that which was based only on physical reality over-shadowed that which came from the spiritual exaltation of men, from the spiritual deepening of the inner nature of Man, from the spiritual permeation of the soul of Man. And gradually out of a necessity, of which I have often spoken from other points of view, gradually that which appealed to the sense-physical existence gained the upper hand over that which derived from spiritual insight. The news of the Redeemer living on Earth in a physical body, gained the upper hand over the wonderful imaginative pictures which came over from Hibernia and which could be presented in cults, over the magnificent imaginative pictures which announced the Redeemer as a spiritual Being, and which paid no attention in the presentation of their cult, in their descriptions, to the fact that it was also a historic event. For least of all were they able to take this fact into consideration in the period when it was not yet a historic event, for the rites were already instituted before the Mystery of Golgotha.

And the time dawned when men more and more were only to be reached through that which was to be seen physically, when men, one might say, naturally came to this, that things were no longer accepted as true which were not founded on physical sight. Thus wisdom which came over from Hibernia was no longer grasped in its reality. And the art which came from Hibernia could no longer be felt in its Cosmic truth. Thus there arose more and more not a Hibernian knowledge, but a knowledge which only had to do with the external sense world, not a Hibernian art, but an art — and even Rafael's art is no other — an art which needed the physical-sense world as model, whereas the Hibernian art was founded on the direct representation of the spiritual, and all that belongs to the spirit.

Thus a time came when in a certain sense, a veil of darkness was drawn over the spiritual life, in which men boasted about reason and the senses only, and founded philosophies which showed in some way how reason and the senses could approach existence, or truth, or attain to truth.

[Chemical Wedding]

Then there came about that amazing fact that men were no longer accessible to spiritual influences. And where could it be seen more clearly, I would say, how the consciousness of men was no longer accessible to spiritual influences, than in that which was given to men — the way in which the 'Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz' was given to mankind.

I explained this some time ago in the periodical 'Die Drei', Vols. 3, 4, 5 of 1927. There I called attention to the remarkable thing which happened regarding the 'Chemical Wedding'. Valentine Andreae is the physical writer of this 'Chemical Wedding'. This 'Chemical Wedding' was written down in the year just before the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. But no one who knows the biography of Valentine Andreae would not doubt that Valentine Andreae, who became later an orthodox pastor, and wrote other books full of unction, wrote the Chemical Wedding. It is pure nonsense to believe that Valentine Andreae wrote the Chemical Wedding. Just compare the Chemical Wedding, or The Organisation of the World, or the other writings of Valentine Andreae — physically it was the same personality — with the greasy unctuousness, fat oiliness of that which Pastor Valentine Andreae, who only bears the same name, wrote in his later life. It is a most noteworthy phenomenon. Here is a young man who has scarcely completed his school education, who writes down such things as the Organisation of the World, as the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, and we have to exert ourselves to fathom the inner meaning of these writings. He himself understands nothing of it, for he shows us that later. He becomes an unctuous pastor. It is the same man! And we only need to examine this phenomenon to find it a reasonable explanation which I have given, that the Chemical Wedding was not written by a human being, or only in so far written by a human being as Napoleon's secretary, constantly full of anxiety, wrote his letters. But Napoleon was always a man who stood on his feet, with his legs firmly on the ground, was in fact a physical personality. He who wrote the Chemical Wedding was not a physical personality. He made use of this secretary, who later became the oily pastor, Valentine Andreae. Think of this wonderful event, just preceding the Thirty Years' War — a young man, quite a young man, lends his hand to a spiritual Being, who writes down such a thing as the Chemical Wedding. And that which comes to light in this case only, in a particular example often happened at that time. Only things are not so well known or preserved. That which above all was important for mankind at that time was given to men in such a way that they were unable to grasp it with their reason. This was the spirituality flowing forth, which still revealed itself to men, which men themselves could set down, but could no longer experience.

Thus in those days when mere empty pages filled the history books, in that time humanity lived, I would say, in two streams, in one stream which proceeds from the physical world below, when men more and more only believe in that which reason and the senses say to them, but above, continually, there is to be found a spiritual revelation made manifest through men, but not understood by men. And to the most characteristic examples of this spiritual revelation belonged such things as the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz.

But all this revelation went in spite of everything through human heads, even though these human heads did not understand it. It went through human heads, became feebler and distorted. Fine poetry, grand poetry became such murmuring and babbling as the verses in the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz often are. Nevertheless, they are revelations of something magnificent, mighty macrocosmic images, mighty experiences majestically arising, between man and the macrocosm. If one reads the Chemical Wedding with the insight of today, one learns to understand these images of the Chemical Wedding; they explain themselves, for they are coloured by the brain through which they have passed, and behind them the grandiose element appears.

Such things are a proof that that which men once experienced has continued to live on in the sub-conscious. It was so undoubtedly in the first period of the devastating Thirty Years' War. In the first half of the 17th century there flowed in that which was great, majestic spiritual truth. Only the Mystics preserve the impress made by it on the mind. But the real substance, the spiritual substance is quite lost. Reason above all conquers, reason prepares the age of freedom. Today we look back over these things, we gaze back on the Hibernian Mysteries I would say, with a truly deepened inner soul-life, for they are in very truth the last great Mysteries, those last great Mysteries through which human and cosmic secrets could express themselves. And when today we search into these secrets again, then do these Hibernian Mysteries appear to us truly great.

[Akashic research Hibernian Mysteries]

But we cannot really fathom them if we have not first searched into these matters in an independent way. And even when we have investigated them in an independent way, something peculiar arises. If in the Akashic Record one approaches the images of these Hibernian Mysteries, then one experiences something which works in a repelling way. It is as if one were held back by some force, as if one could not approach with the soul. And the nearer one approaches, the more does that obscure itself towards which one would hasten in soul, and one passes into a state of soul-bewilderment. One has to work through this soul-bewilderment. One can do nothing else than vivify in oneself that which one already knows of as resembling it, that which has been achieved and discovered by oneself. And one realizes why that is so. We see that indeed these Hibernian Mysteries were indeed the last echo of an old wisdom given to mankind by the Divine Spiritual Powers, which, however, in the age when the Hibernian Mysteries sank down into the shadow-life were at the same time spiritually surrounded with a thick rampart, so that the human being cannot passively penetrate them, cannot passively gaze into them, so that he cannot approach them unless he has awakened in himself spiritual activity, and has thus become in the right way a man of modern times. I would say, the approach to the Hibernian Mysteries was closed at that time so that men are not able to approach the Mysteries in the old way, so that they are compelled to experience in the activity of their own consciousness that which in the epoch of freedom must be found inwardly by Man. No longer through a historical nor even through a clairvoyant historical vision of ancient, marvelously great secrets, may he reach these secrets, but he may enter this path only through his own inner activity.

Herewith it is most markedly indicated in regard to the Mysteries of Hibernia, that a new age begins in the epoch in which these Mysteries sink into the shadow-land; but they may be seen even today in their whole glory and majesty by the soul-being who is sustained by inner freedom. For through real inner activity we can approach them, we can conquer that which beats us back, a desire to bewilder us, which for the soul obstructs that which down to these latest times revealed itself to the candidates of the great ancient Mysteries of the former wisdom, instinctive indeed, but none the less a high spiritual wisdom, which once poured itself over humanity on the earth as a primal force of the soul. The most beautiful, the most significant memorials in later times to the primal wisdom of men, to the primal grace of the Divine Spiritual Beings, which reveals itself in the primal conditions of humanity, the most beautiful soul-spiritual memorials of this time are those images which can unveil themselves to us when we direct our gaze to the Mysteries of Hibernia.

1923-12-27-GA233

Let us first form an idea of the nature of such an initiation, that we may the better understand what came later. We shall naturally turn to a place where echoes of the old Atlantean initiation remained on for a long time. This was the case with the Hibernian Mysteries, of which I have recently spoken to the friends who are here in Dornach. I must now repeat some of what I then said before we can come to a clear and full understanding of the subject we are treating.

The Mysteries of Hibernia, the Irish Mysteries, were in existence for a long time. They were still there at the time of the foundation of Christianity. And they are the Mysteries that in some respects preserved most faithfully the ancient wisdom-teaching of the Atlantean peoples.

Let me give you a picture of the experiences of a person who was initiated into the Irish Mysteries in the Postatlantean epoch. Before he was able to receive the initiation he had to be strictly prepared; the preparation that had to be undergone before entering the Mysteries was always in those times of extraordinary strictness and rigour. The important thing in the Hibernian Mysteries was that the pupil should learn to become aware in powerful inward experience ofthat which is illusory in his environment, — in all the things, that is to say, to which man attributes being on the ground of his sense-perception. Then he was made aware of all the difficulties and obstacles which meet man when he searches after the truth, the real truth. And he was shown how, fundamentally, everything which surrounds us in the world of the senses is an illusion, that what the senses give is illusion, and that the truth conceals itself behind the illusion, so that in fact true being is not accessible to man through sense-perception.

Now, very likely you will say that this conviction you yourselves have held for a long time; you know this quite well. But all the knowledge a man can have in the present-day consciousness of the illusory character of the sense-world is as nothing compared with the inner shattering, the inner tragedy that men of that time suffered in their preparation for the Hibernian initiation. For when one says theoretically in this way: Everything is Maya, everything is illusion, — one takes it quite lightly! But the training of the Hibernian pupils was carried to such a point that they had to say to themselves: There is for man no possibility of penetrating the illusion and coming to real true Being.

The pupils were by this means trained to content themselves, as it were in desperation, with the illusion. They came into an attitude of despair: the illusory character, they felt, is so overpowering and so penetrating that one can never get beyond it. And in the life of these pupils we find always the feeling: Very well then, we must remain in the illusion. That means, however: we must lose the very ground from under our feet. For there is no standing firm on illusion! In truth, my dear friends, of the strictness and severity of the preparation in the ancient Mysteries, we to-day can scarcely form any idea. Men shrink in terror before what inner development actually demands.

Such was the experience that came to the pupils in regard to Being and its illusory character. And now there awaited them a similar experience regarding the search after Truth. They learned to know the hindrances man has in his emotions that hinder him from coming to truth, all the dark and overwhelming feelings that trouble the clear light of knowledge. And so once more they came to a great moment when they said to themselves: If Truth is not, well then we live — we must live — in error, in untruth. For a man to come thus to a time in his life when he despairs of Being and of Truth means, in short, that he tears out of him his own humanity.

All this was given in order that the human being, through experiencing the opposite of what he was finally to reach as his goal, might approach that goal with the right and deep human feeling. For unless one has learned what it means to live with error and illusion, then one cannot value Being and Truth. And the pupils of Hibernia had to learn to value Being and Truth.

And then, when they had gone through all this, when they had, as it were, experienced to the bitter end, the opposite pole of what they were eventually to reach, the pupils were led (and here I must describe what happened in the picture-language that can rightly represent what took place as reality in the Hibernian Mysteries) — they were led into a kind of sanctuary where were two pillar-statues of infinitely strong suggestive force, and of gigantic size. The one of these pillar-statues was inwardly hollow; the surface that surrounded the hollow space, the whole substance, that is, of which the statue consisted, was elastic throughout. Wherever one pressed, one could make an indentation into the statue; but the moment one ceased to press, the form restored itself.

The whole pillar-statue was made in such a way that the head was more particularly developed. When a man approached the statue, he had the feeling: Forces are streaming forth from the head into the colossal body. For of course he did not see the space within, he only became aware of it when he pressed. And the pupil was exhorted to press. He had the feeling that the forces of the head rayed out over the whole of the rest of the body, that in this statue the head does everything.

I willingly admit, my dear friends, that if a modern man in our present-day prosaic life were led before the statue, he would scarcely be able to experience anything but quite abstract ideas about it. That is certainly so. But it is a different matter, first to experience with one's whole inner being, with soul and spirit, yes, and with blood and nerves, the might of illusion and the might of error, — and then, after that, to experience the suggestive force of such a gigantic figure.

This statue had a male character.

By the side of it stood another, that had a female character. It was not hollow. It was composed of a substance that was not elastic, but plastic. When the pupil pressed this statue — and again he was exhorted to do so — he destroyed the form. He dug a hole in the body.

After the pupil had found how in the one statue, owing to its elasticity, the form was always re-established, and how in the other he defaced the statue by pressing it, and after something else too had taken place, of which I shall speak presently, he left the place, and was only led back there again when all the deformations he had caused in the plastic non-elastic female figure had been restored, and the statue was intact. Thanks to all the preparations which the pupil had undergone — and I can only give them here in outline — he was able to receive in connection with the statue having a female character a deep inner experience in the whole of his being — body, soul and spirit.

This inner experience had of course been already prepared in him earlier, but it was established and confirmed in full measure through the suggestive influence of the statue. He received into him a feeling of inward numbness, of hard and frozen numbness. This so worked in him that he saw his soul filled with Imaginations. And these Imaginations were pictures of the Earth's winter, pictures that represented the winter of the Earth. Thus was the pupil led to perceive Reality, in the spirit, from within.

With the other, the male statue, he had a different experience. He felt as though all the life in him, which was generally spread out over the whole body, went into his blood, as if his blood were permeated with forces and pressing against his skin. Whereas before the one statue he had to feel that he was becoming a frozen skeleton, he had now to feel before the other that all the life in him was being consumed in heat, and he was living in a tightly-stretched skin. And this experience of the whole inner man pressing against the surface enabled the pupil to receive a new insight. He was able to say to himself: You have now a feeling and experience of what you would be if, of all the things in the Cosmos, the Sun alone worked upon you. In this way he learned to recognise the working of the Sun in the Cosmos, and how its working is distributed in the Cosmos. He learned to know man's relation to the Sun. And he learned that the reason why man is not in reality what he now felt himself to be under the suggestive influence of the Sun-statue, is because other forces, working in from other corners of the Cosmos, ‘mummify’ this working of the Sun. In such manner did the pupil learn to find his bearings in the Cosmos, to be, as it were, at home in the Cosmos.

And when the pupil felt the suggestive influence of the Moon-statue, when he had in him the hard frost of numbness and experienced a winter landscape within him (in the case of the Sun-statue, he experienced a summer landscape in the spirit), then he felt what he would be like if the Moon influences alone were present.

What does man really know about the world in the present-day? He knows, let us say, that the chicory flower is blue, that the rose is red, the sky blue, and so forth. But these facts make no violent or overwhelming impression upon him. They merely tell him of what is nearest at hand, of what is in his immediate environment. If man would know the secrets of the Cosmos, then he must become in his whole being a sense-organ, — and, to an intense degree.

Through the suggestive influence of the Sun-statue, the whole of the pupil's being was concentrated in the circulation of the blood. He learned to know himself as a Sun-being, as he experienced within him this suggestive influence. And he learned to know himself as Moon-being, by experiencing the suggestive influence of the female statue. And then he was able to tell from out of these inner experiences he had received, how Sun and Moon work upon the human being; even as we to-day can say, from the experience of our eyes, how the rose affects us, or from the experience of our ears can tell the working of the sound of C sharp, and so on.

Thus the pupils of these Mysteries experienced still, even in Postatlantean times, how Man is placed, as it were, in the Cosmos. It was for them an immediate and direct experience.

1923-12-29-GA233

Nor is this all. There is something else, of which I have told you in recent lectures, and we must return to it here.

Over in Hibernia, in Ireland, were still the echoes of the ancient Atlantean wisdom. In the Mysteries of Hibernia, of which I have given you a brief description, were two Statues that worked suggestively on men, making it possible for them to behold the world exactly as the men of ancient Atlantis had seen it. Strictly guarded were these Mysteries of Hibernia, hidden in an atmosphere of intense earnestness.

There they stood in the centuries before the Mystery of Golgotha, and there they remained at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha.

Over in Asia the Mystery of Golgotha took place; in Jerusalem the events came to pass that were later made known to men in the Gospels by the way of tradition. But in the moment when the tragedy of the Mystery of Golgotha was being enacted in Palestine, in that very moment it was known and beheld clairvoyantly in the Mysteries of Hibernia. No report was brought by word of mouth, no communication whatever was possible; but in the Mysteries of Hibernia the event was fulfilled in a symbol, in a picture, at the same time that it was fulfilled in actual fact in Jerusalem. Men came to know of it, not through tradition but by a spiritual path. Whilst in Palestine that most majestic and sublime event was being enacted in concrete physical reality, — over in Hibernia, in the Mysteries, the way had been so prepared through the performance of certain rites that at the very time when the Mystery of Golgotha was fulfilled, a living picture of it was present in the astral light.

The events in human evolution are closely linked together; there is, as it were, a kind of valley or chasm moving at this time over the world, into which Man's old nearness with the Gods gradually disappears.

In the East the ancient vision of the Gods fell into decay after the burning of Ephesus. In Hibernia it remained on until some centuries after Christ, but even there too the time came when it had to depart. Tradition developed in its stead, the Mystery of Golgotha was transmitted by the way of oral tradition; and we find growing up in the West a civilisation that rests wholly on oral tradition. Later it comes to rely rather on external observation of Nature, on an investigation of Nature with the senses; but this after all is only what corresponds in the realm of Nature to tradition, written or oral, in the realm of history.

Discussion

Location of the isles of Iona and Staffa (where the famous Fingal's Cave is located)

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Hans Gsänger
    • 'Mysterienstätten der Menschheit
      • Irland, Insel des Abel. Das heidnische Irland (1969)
      • and also: 'Irland, Insel des Abel. Das christliche Irland' (Das christliche Abendland und seine Klosterschulen)
    • 'Die irischen Hochkreuze - Ihre Geschichte, ihre Verbreitung und ihre Formgeheimnisse' (1982
  • Walter Weber (1898-1991): 'Der Druide von Aiona : eine hybernische Einweihung' (1975, 2016)
    • self-published memories of Walter Weber of a celtic initiation in a previous life, karmic memories that started as crossed after visit to the isle of Staffa over to Iona.
    • re-published by Johannes Greiner as 'Wer war Walter Weber?' in: 'Walter Weber: Der Druide von Aiona. Eine hybernische Einweihung' (2016)
    • reviewed by Corinna Gleide in 'die Drei' 12/2017 (PDF online)
  • Renatus Derbridge
    • 'Der Iona Impuls' (Rudolf Steiner und die westlichen Mysterien), in 'die Drei 12/2015 (online in PDF)
    • initiated translation into English and script form of Weber's text above in 2015-16, see 'The last Druid of Aiona'
  • Markus Osterrieder: 'Sonnenkreuz und Lebensbaum: Irland, der Schwarzmeer-Raum und die Christianisierung der europäischen Mitte' (1995)