Individuality of Rudolf Steiner
This page is about the Individuality of Rudolf Steiner in the context of The Michaelic stream and the White Lodge, for information on the incarnation and personality of Rudolf Steiner, see The life of Rudolf Steiner
Some spiritual topics have potential for causing human interest and sensation, and 'Who is Rudolf Steiner really?' is one of them (eg stigmata is another). Typical human then that this topic causes lots of speculation, whereas it really does not matter 'who is who'. It is actually irrelevant and besides the point for all those who have not reached the level of maturity. Franz Bardon stipulates this level of threshold to be the mastery of his third book (see above).
The 'who is who' speculative threads abound especially on:
- who is the individuality of Rudolf Steiner? Certain elements are 'known', such as previous incarnations as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, etc. But the question remains, how does he fit it with, or what is his relationship to the White Lodge. Note that Schema FMC00.117 on White Lodge links Master Morya to the sixth cultural age. Steiner's lectures do so explicitly, but one could say Beinsa Douno's work does also.
- Rudolf Steiner's personal masters, and the Michaelic stream he is working in or represents. Rudolf Steiner works in the stream of Master Jesus and Christian Rosenkreutz, both were his masters. It may be safe to say the Masters used his incarnate personality to channel directly in some lectures.
- who is the Bodhisattva known as Jesus ben Pandira, the future Maitreya Buddha, that was incarnated in the 20th century (dixit Steiner)? Statements and opinions can be researched from oa Adolf Arenson, E. Vreede and T.H. Meyer. Proposed candidates include Beinsa Douno, Tomberg, and others.
- and furthermore
- Further speculation about Rudolf Steiner as a potential Christophorus (with a copy of the I of Christ). See e.g. Benjamin Schmidt in 'Der Europäer Jul/Aug 2009, p 45: 'Rudolf Steiner und die Ich-Abbilder der Jesus Christus' on information from Ernst Lehrs.
- Another perspective is Rudolf Steiner's connection to the Adam sister soul, following a potential hint he gave himself, see The being of Elijah#Note .5B1.5D - Rudolf Steiner.27s personal note in context Elijah
- .. and/or his relationship to the etheric body of the Individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz
- Individuality of Eabani <-> Aristotle <-> Thomas Aquinas <-> Rudolf Steiner (KRI36) and also <-> Cratylus <->Schionatulander
- relationship with Gilgamesh (KRI37) and Hypatia (KRI59)
- Schionatulander and Sigune und are characters from Wolfram von Eschenbach works Titurel and Parzival. Sigune is the daughter of Kyot and Schoysiane, and a cousin of Parsival. Sigune and Schionatulander grow up together and have a youthly love affair but are then separated.
The following books document Rudolf Steiner's direct contacts with his two masters, being the Individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz and Master Jesus.
- Thomas Meyer: 'Rudolf Steiner's core mission' (2009)
- Peter Selg: Rudolf Steiner and Christian Rosenkreutz (2010 in DE, 2012 in EN)
Note, GA264 mentions (p238)
In response to a question from Friedrich Rittelmeyer concerning the Friend of God [from the Oberland, fourteenth century], Rudolf Steiner answered that he was [an incarnation of the] Master Jesus, who since the Mystery of Golgotha was incarnated in every century. Regarding the further question whether he was presently (at that time) incarnated, the answer was that at that time [around 1920] he was in the Carpathians, and Rudolf Steiner indicated that he was in purely spiritual connection with him.
The above quote is interpreted and linked by some to Beinsa Douno.
The personality Of Rudolf Steiner and his development (in 'The Way Of Initiation')
The Master of Rudolf Steiner was one of those men of power who live, unknown to the world, under cover of some civil state, to carry out a mission unsuspected by any but their fellows in the Brotherhood of self-sacrificing Masters. They take no ostensible part in human events. To remain unknown is the condition of their power, but their action is only the more efficacious. For they inspire, prepare and direct those who will act in the sight of all.
In the present instance the Master had no difficulty in completing the first and spontaneous initiation of his disciple. He had only, so to speak, to point out to him his own nature, to arm him with his needful weapons. Clearly did he show him the connection between the official and the secret sciences; between the religious and the spiritual forces which are now contending for the guidance of humanity; the antiquity of the occult tradition which holds the hidden threads of history, which mingles them, separates, and re-unites them in the course of ages. Swiftly he made him clear the successive stages of inner discipline, in order to attain conscious and intelligent clairvoyance. In a few months the disciple learned from oral teaching the depth and incomparable splendor of the esoteric synthesis.
Rudolf Steiner had already sketched for himself his intellectual mission: “To re-unite Science and Religion. To bring back God into Science, and Nature into Religion. Thus to re-fertilize both Art and Life.”
But how to set about this vast and daring undertaking? How conquer, or rather, how tame and transform the great enemy, the materialistic science of the day, which is like a terrible dragon covered with its carapace and couched on its huge treasure? How master this dragon of modern science and yoke it to the car of spiritual truth? And, above all, how conquer the bull of public opinion?
Rudolf Steiner’s Master was not in the least like himself. He had not that extreme and feminine sensibility which, though not excluding energy, makes every contact an emotion and instantly turns the suffering of others into a personal pain. He was masculine in spirit, a born ruler of men, looking only at the species, and for whom individuals hardly existed. He spared not himself, and he did not spare others. His will was like a ball which, once shot from the cannon’s mouth, goes straight to its mark, sweeping off everything in its way. To the anxious questioning of his disciple he replied in substance:
“If thou wouldst fight the enemy, begin by understanding him. Thou wilt conquer the dragon only by penetrating his skin. As to the bull, thou must seize him by the horns. It is in the extremity of distress that thou wilt find thy weapons and thy brothers in the fight. I have shown thee who thou art, now go—and be thyself!”
Rudolf Steiner knew the language of the Masters well enough to understand the rough path that he was thus commanded to tread; but he also understood that this was the only way to attain the end. He obeyed, and set forth.
Poem of Rudolf Steiner to Ita Wegman
Rudolf Steiner wrote the following poem for Ita Wegman. Owen Barfield translated the poem from the German. It lists six incarnations of Steiner and Wegman.
I ask by the Tigris (Enkidu a.k.a. Eabani), A friendly nod says “Yes”. (Gilgamesh)
I ask at Ephesus (Cratylus), A friendly nod says “Yes”. (Mysa)
I ask with the Kabiri (Aristotle), A friendly nod says “Yes”. (Alexander)
I ask on Odile’s hill (Schionatulander), A friendly nod says “Yes”. (Sigune)
I ask in the Cloister-cell (Thomas Aquinas), A friendly nod says “Yes”. (Reginald of Piperno)
And on the Dornach hill (Rudolf Steiner)
There must the soul again
Find herself with courage
That she may truly know (Ita Wegman)
How the unshadowed Spirit Sun
Weaves the pure red of dawn
Around the Rose Cross stars.
Note that during his stay in Paris in May 1924, Steiner and Wegman visited the Louvre together. Gunther Wachsmuth who accompanied them reported how they spent considerable time in the Assyrian section (Gilgamesh statue), the area of the Greek statues (Alexander), by the painting 'Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas' (1471) by Benozzo Gozzoli (ca 1421-1497), and the Sainte-Chapelle (today in the court of the Palace of Justice).
More background on the above incarnations:
- Margarete and Erich Kirchner-Bockholt: Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman
- articles by Martha Keltz see articles on tcpubs.com, see direct links in the Further reading section below
covers Gilgamesh (KRI37) and Eabani (KRI36)
The spirit of Eabani appears to him, and from the discourse which then takes place we can glean how, for the culture of the Egypto-Chaldean age , a consciousness of the link with the spiritual world could arise. This relationship between Gilgamish and Eabani is very significant. I have now outlined pictures from the significant myth of Gilgamish which, as we shall see, will lead us into the spiritual depths lying behind the Chaldean-Babylonian cultural age. These pictures show that two individualities stand there:
- the individuality of one — Gilgamish — into whom a divine-spiritual being has penetrated;
- and an individuality who is more of a human being, but of such a nature that he may be called a young soul, who has had few incarnations and for that reason has carried over ancient clairvoyance into later times — Eabani.
Eabani is depicted as being clothed in skins of animals. This is an indication of his wild nature; but because of this very wildness he is still endowed with ancient clairvoyance an the one hand, and an the other hand he is a young soul who has lived through far, far fewer incarnations than other souls who have reached a high level of development.
- Gilgamish represents a being who was ready for initiation but was not able to attain it, for the journey to the West is the journey to an initiation that was not carried through to the end. On the one side we see in Gilgamish the actual inaugurator of the Chaldean-Babylonian culture, and working behind him a divine-spiritual Being, a kind of Fire-Spirit.
- And beside Gilgamish there is another individuality — Eabani — a young soul who descended late to earthly incarnation. If you read the book Occult Science, you will find that the individualities returned only gradually from the planets.
The exchange of the knowledge possessed by these two is the root of the Babylonian-Chaldean culture, and we shall see that the whole of this culture is an outcome of what proceeds from Gilgamish and Eabani. Clairvoyance from the divine man, Gilgamish, and clairvoyance from the young soul, Eabani, penetrate into the Chaldean-Babylonian culture. This process, enacted by two beings working side by side, each of whom is necessary to the other, is then reflected in the later, fourth culture-epoch, the Greco-Latin, and in fact reflected on the physical plane. We shall of course only very gradually reach complete understanding of such a process. A more spiritual process is thus reflected on the physical plane when humanity has descended very far, when men no longer feel the relation of human personality to the divine-spiritual world.
Alexander the Great stands there as the shadow-image of Gilgamish. A profound truth lies behind this. In the Greco-Latin epoch, Alexander the Great stands there as the shadow image of Gilgamish, as a projection of the spiritual on to the physical plane. And Eabani, projected on to the physical plane, is Aristotle, the teacher of Alexander the Great. Here indeed is a strange circumstance: Alexander and Aristotle standing, like Gilgamish and Eabani, side by side. And we see how in the first third of the fourth Post-Atlantean epoch there is carried over, as it were, by Alexander the Great but transformed into the laws of the physical plane — that which had been imparted to the Babylonian-Chaldean culture by Gilgamish. This comes to wonderful expression in the fact that, as a result of the deeds of Alexander, there was established an the scene of Egypto-Chaldean culture Alexandria itself, the city founded by Alexander in 332 B.C. in order that the great achievements of the Egypto-Babylonian-Chaldean culture-epoch might be brought together in one centre. And gradually all the streams of Post-Atlantean culture that were intended to come together did indeed converge on Alexandria, the city established an the scene of the third culture-epoch but with the character of the fourth.
covers Gilgamesh (KRI37) and Eabani (KRI36)
quote A - on younger and older souls
The individuality hidden behind the name Gilgamesh was an old soul, and a younger soul was incarnated in Eabani, at the starting-point of the Babylonian civilisation. Indeed, in connection with human souls being younger or older in this sense, something very remarkable discloses itself — something that might almost be said to cause astonishment even to the occultist.
- If someone has reached the point to-day of giving a little credence to the truths of spiritual science, but otherwise still clings to the prejudices and criteria of the external world, it will seem plausible to him that modern philosophers or scholars, for example, should be accounted among the older souls. But, strangely enough, occult research finds just the opposite; and for the occultist himself it is surprising to find that in Kant, for example, there lived a young soul. Yes, the facts show that it is so ... it cannot be gainsaid.
- It can also be intimated here that younger souls — the majority at any rate — incarnate in the coloured races, so that it is the coloured races, especially the african race, which mainly brings younger souls to incarnation. The characteristic quality of that kind of thinking which comes to expression in erudition, in the materialistic science of today, calls for younger souls. And it can be shown that in the case of many a personality where one would not in the least expect it, the preceding incarnation was in an [lesser developed] race. That again is what the facts tell us! It must be kept strictly in mind, for it is so. Naturally this does not in the least detract from the significance or value of the opinions we have formed about the world around us; nevertheless it must be grasped in order fully to understand the essentials here.
In this sense, in Eabani we have to do with a young soul and in Gilgamesh with an old soul in ancient Babylonia. The whole nature of an old soul will enable it early in life to grasp not only the essential element, the essential factor, in the existing culture, but also that which strikes into it as a new impulse, opening up a wide vista into the future.
There will be many, of course, who will protest if one tries to make it plausible to them that the theosophists [whom they are want to look down upon] are, generally speaking, older souls than people who deliver scientific lectures. Investigation shows, however, that this is so; and although spiritual research must not be misused for the purpose of forcing people to change their criteria of judgment, or of scoffing at what is after all part of the very make-up of our civilisation, nevertheless the truth must be faced fairly and squarely.
Gilgamesh, then, was a personality who, owing to his particular condition of soul, participated in the most progressive spiritual elements and spiritual factors of the age — in everything that threw light far into the future and at that time could be attained only if such a personality went through a kind of initiation. Through the imparting of something that can be received only through a certain initiation, Gilgamish was to be enabled to provide a kind of leaven for the Babylonian culture. He had to experience an initiation up to a certain degree.
Thus the more advanced Gilgamesh had in Eabani a man at his side who, because of his young soul and the bodily Organisation conditioned by it, still possessed ancient clairvoyance. This friend was given to Gilgamesh in order that he might find his own bearings in life. With the help of this friend he was then able to achieve certain things, such as the retrieval of that spiritual power presented to us in the myth in the picture of Ishtar, the Goddess of the city of Erech. I told you how this Goddess had been stolen by the neighbouring City and that for this reason Gilgamesh and Eabani together waged war against this city, vanquished its king and brought the Goddess back.
In the condition of soul at first prevailing in him, Gilgamesh could not himself be aware of such things; he did not see their full implications. But a younger soul could be for him as it were the clairvoyant sense which enabled him to recapture the temple treasure for his own city.
Gilgamish now realised that in human life, especially in times of transition, there is such a thing as is described in the legend of the blind man and the cripple: each is helpless alone, but together they can make progress inasmuch as the blind man carries the cripple on his shoulders and the cripple lends the blind man his power of sight. In Gilgamesh and Eabani, whose respective gifts differed so greatly, we see the same kind of co-operation transformed into the spiritual.
In the historical facts of ancient times we find this at every turn. And it is important to understand it, for only then do we realise why it is that myths and sagas so often tell of friends who have to achieve something together — friends who are generally as unlike in their nature of soul as were Gilgamesh and Eabani. But what Gilgamish also acquired through his friend Eabani was this: he was as it were 'infected' by Eabani with a clairvoyant power of his own, so that to a certain extent he could look back into his own earlier incarnations. This would certainly have been beyond his normal faculties.
And now let us picture vividly how Gilgamesh must have been influenced by this vision of his past incarnations.
And then Gilgamish was to undergo a kind of initiation by being led back to that kind of vision which his own soul had possessed during Atlantean incarnations. What the myth presents as the journey over the sea, and the wanderings of Gilgamesh to the West, is nothing else than the inner path towards initiation by which his soul is led upwards to spiritual heights where it can perceive its ancient Atlantean surroundings, when, still clairvoyant, it had gazed into the spiritual world. The myth tells that an this, his spiritual journeying, Gilgamesh was brought to the great Atlantean being, Xisuthros, This was a Being who belonged to certain higher hierarchies and who during the Atlantean time lived in the sphere of humanity but was afterwards transported from the world of men to dwell in higher regions. Gilgamesh was to meet this personality in order that through beholding him he might come to know the condition of souls when they are able to look into the spiritual worlds. Thus he was to be led upwards again into the spiritual spheres by being transported in his life of soul into Atlantean times.
And when he is bidden not to sleep for seven nights and six days, this signifies nothing else than an exercise which was to make the soul capable of penetrating fully into the corresponding spiritual regions. When we are now told that he was not able to endure the test, Isis again signifies something of great importance, namely that Gilgamish is represented as a personality who was brought to the very brink of Initiation — who was destined, as it were, to look through the portal of Initiation into the mysteries of the spirit but owing to the conditions of the times was not able to penetrate fully into their depths. In short, this is intended to indicate that the inaugurator of the Babylonian civilisation had remained at the portal of Initiation, that he could not look with full clarity into the higher worlds, with the result that he gave Babylonian culture the stamp that is a sign of no more than a glimpse into the secrets of Initiation.
- in this lecture, Steiner refers to the 1910-12-GA126 lectures held 13 years before
- [*]: from wikipedia, on the Epic of Gilgamesh: ancient document from Mesopotamia, regarded as the earliest surviving literature and the second oldest religious text, after the Pyramid Texts. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about Bilgamesh (Sumerian for "Gilgamesh"), king of Uruk, dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2100 BC).
We could trace this course of events by reference to many different examples. Today we will follow one thread, the same that I touched upon thirteen years ago, when I spoke of that historic document [*] which represents the most ancient phase of the evolution we have now to consider, I mean, the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Epic of Gilgamesh has in part the character of a Saga, and so today I will set before you the events that I described thirteen years ago, as they manifest themselves directly to spiritual vision.
[Epic of Gilgamesh]
In a certain town in Asia Minor — it is called Erech in the Epic — there lived a man who belonged to the conquering type of which we spoke in the last lecture, the type that sprang so truly and naturally out of the whole mental and social conditions of the time. The Epic calls him Gilgamesh. We have then to do with a personality who has preserved many characteristics of the humanity of earlier times. Clear though it is, however, to this personality that he has, as it were, a dual nature, — that he has on the one hand the spirit-and-soul nature into which the Gods descend, and on the other hand, the physical-and-etheric into which substances of the Earth and the Cosmos, physical and etheric substances, enter, — it is none the less a fact that the representative people of his time are already passing through a transition into a later stage of human evolution. The transition consisted in this. The Ego-consciousness, which a comparatively short time previously was above in the sphere of spirit and soul, had now, if I may so express it, sunk down into the physical and etheric, so that Gilgamesh was one of those who began no longer to say ‘I’ to the spirit-and-soul part of their being, in which they felt the presence of the Gods, but to say ‘I’ to that which was earthly and etheric in them. Such was the stage of development in the human soul life of that time.
But along with this condition of soul, where the I has drawn down from the spirit and soul and entered as conscious I into the bodily and etheric, this personality had still left in him habits belonging to the past; and especially the habit of experiencing memory solely in connection with rhythm. He still retained also that inward feeling that one must learn to know the forces of death, because the death-forces can alone give to man that which brings him to powers of reflection.
Now owing to the fact that in the personality of Gilgamesh we have to do with a soul who had already gone through many incarnations on Earth and had now entered into the new form of human existence which I have just described, we find him at this point in a physical existence that bore in it a strain of uncertainty. The justification, as it were, of the habits of conquest, the justification, too, of the rhythmic memory, were beginning to lose their validity for the Earth. And so the experiences of Gilgamesh were throughout the experiences of an age of transition.
Hence it came about that when this personality, in accordance with the old custom, conquered and seized the city that in the Epic is called Erech, dissensions arose in the city. At first he was not liked. He was regarded as a foreigner and indeed would never have been able alone to meet all the difficulties that presented themselves in consequence of his capture of the city. Then there appeared, because destiny had led him thither, another personality — the Epic of Gilgamesh calls him Eabani — a personality who had descended relatively late to the Earth from that planetary existence which Earth-humanity led for a period, as you will find described in my Outline of Occult Science.
You know how during the Atlantean epoch souls descended, some earlier, some later, from the different planets, having withdrawn thither from the Earth at a very early stage of Earth evolution.
- In Gilgamesh we have to do with an individuality, who returned comparatively early to the Earth; thus at the time of which we are speaking he had already experienced many Earth incarnations.
- In the other individuality who had now also come to that city we have to do with one who had remained comparatively long in planetary existence and only later found his way back to Earth. You may read of this from a somewhat different point of view in my Stuttgart lectures of thirteen years ago.
Now this second individuality formed an intimate friendship with Gilgamesh; and together they were able to establish the social life of the city on a really permanent footing. This was possible because there remained to this second personality a great deal of the knowledge that came from that sojourn in the Cosmos beyond the Earth, and that was preserved for a few incarnations after the return to Earth. He had, as I said in Stuttgart, a kind of enlightened cognition; clairvoyance, clairaudience and what we may call clair-cognition. Thus we have in the one personality what remained of the old habits of conquest and of the rhythmically-directed memory, and in the other what remained to him from vision and penetration into the secret mysteries of the Cosmos. And from the flowing together of these two things, there grew up, as was indeed generally the case in those olden times, the whole social structure of that city in Asia Minor. Peace and happiness descended upon the city and its inhabitants, and everything would have been in order, had not a certain event taken place that set the whole course of affairs in another direction.
There was in that city a Mystery, the Mystery of a Goddess, and this Mystery preserved very many secrets relating to the Cosmos. It was, however, in the meaning of those times, what I may call a kind of synthetic Mystery. That is to say, in this Mystery revelations were collected together from various Mysteries of Asia. And the contents of these Mysteries were cultivated and taught there in diverse ways at different times. Now this was not easily understood by the personality who bears the name of Gilgamesh in the Epic, and he made complaint against the Mystery that its teachings were contradictory. And seeing that the two personalities of whom we are speaking were those who really held the whole ordering of the city in their hands and that complaints against the Mystery came from so important a quarter, trouble ensued; and at length things became so difficult that the priests of the Mysteries appealed to those Powers Who in former times were accessible to man in the Mysteries. It will not surprise you to hear that in the ancient Mysteries man could actually address himself to the Spiritual Beings of the higher Hierarchies; for, as I told you yesterday, to the ancient Oriental, Asia was none else than the lowest heaven and in this lowest heaven man was aware of the presence of Divine-spiritual Beings and had intercourse with them. Such intercourse was especially cultivated in the Mysteries. And so the priests of the Istar Mysteries turned to those Spiritual Powers to whom they always turned when they sought enlightenment; and it came about that these Spiritual Powers inflicted a certain punishment upon the city.
What happened was expressed at the time in the following way: Something that is really a higher spiritual force, is working in Erech as an animal power, as a terrible spectral animal power. Trouble of all kinds befell the inhabitants, physical illnesses and more especially diseases and disturbances of the soul. The consequence was that the personality who had attached himself to Gilgamesh and who is called Eabani in the Epic, died; but in order that the mission of the other personality might be continued on Earth, he remained with this personality spiritually, even after death. Thus when we consider the later life and development of the personality who in the Epic bears the name of Gilgamesh, we have still to see in it the working together in the two personalities; but now in such a way that in the subsequent years of Gilgamesh's life he receives intuitions and enlightenment from Eabani, and so continues to act, although alone, not simply out of his own will, but out of the will of both, from the flowing together of the will of both.
What I have here placed before you is something that was fully possible in those olden times. Man's life of thought and feeling was not then so single and united as it is to-day. Hence it could not have the experience of freedom, in the sense in which we know it to-day. It was quite possible, either for a spiritual Being who had never incarnated on Earth to work through the will of an earthly personality, or, as was the case here, for a human personality who had passed through death and was living an after-death existence, to speak and act through the will of a personality on Earth. So it was with Gilgamesh. And from what resulted in this way through the flowing together of the two wills, Gilgamesh was able to recognise with considerable clearness at what point he himself stood in the history of mankind. Through the influence of the spirit that inspired him, he began to know that the Ego had sunk down into the physical body and etheric body, — which are mortal; and from that moment the problem of immortality began to play an intensely strong part in his life. His whole longing was set on finding his way by some means or other into the very heart of this problem. The Mysteries, wherein was preserved what there was to say on Earth in those days concerning immortality, did not readily reveal their secrets to Gilgamesh. The Mysteries had still their tradition, and in their tradition was preserved also in great measure the living knowledge that was present on Earth in Atlantean times, when the ancient original wisdom ruled among men.
The bearers of this original wisdom, however, who once went about on Earth as spiritual beings, had long ago withdrawn and founded the cosmic colony of the Moon. For it is pure childishness to suppose that the Moon is the dead frozen body that modern physics describes. The Moon is, before all, the cosmic world of those spiritual beings Who were the first great teachers of earthly humanity, the Beings Who once brought to earthly humanity the primeval wisdom and Who, when the Moon had left the Earth and sought a place for itself in the planetary system, withdrew also and took up their abode on this Moon.
He who today through Imaginative cognition is able to attain to a true knowledge of the Moon, gains knowledge too of the Spiritual Beings in this cosmic colony, Who were once the teachers of the ancient wisdom to humanity on Earth. What they had taught was preserved in the Mysteries, and also the impulses whereby man himself is able to come into a certain relationship with this ancient wisdom.
The personality who is called Gilgamesh in the Epic had, however, no living connection with these Mysteries of Asia Minor. But through the super-sensible influence of the friend who, in the after-death existence, was still united with him, there arose in Gilgamesh an inner impulse to seek out paths in the world whereby he might be able to come to an experience concerning the immortality of the soul. Later on, in the Middle Ages, when man desired to learn something concerning the spiritual world, he would sink down into his own inner being. In more modern times one could say that a still more inward process is followed. In those olden times, however, of which we are speaking, it was a matter of clear and exact knowledge to man that the Earth is not the mere lump of rock which the geology books would lead one to imagine, but that the Earth is a living being, — a living being, moreover, endowed with soul and spirit. As a tiny insect that runs over a human being may learn something of that human being as it passes over his nose and forehead, or through his hair, as the insect acquires its knowledge in this way by making a journey over the human being, so in those times it was by setting forth upon journeys over the Earth and by learning to know the Earth with its different configurations in different places, that man gained insight into the spiritual world. And this he was able to do, whether access to the Mysteries were permitted to him or no. It is in truth no mere superficial account that relates how Pythagoras and others wandered far and wide in order to attain their knowledge. Men went about the Earth in order to receive what was revealed in its manifold configurations, in all that they could observe from the different forms and shapes of the Earth in different places; and not of the Earth in its physical aspect alone, but of the Earth too as soul and spirit.
Today men may travel to Africa, to Italy, — and yet, with the exception of external details, at which they gape and stare, their experience in these places may be very little different from their experience at home. For man's sensitiveness to the deep differences that subsist between different places of the Earth has gone.
In the period with which we are now dealing, it had not died out. Thus the impulse to wander over the Earth and thereby receive something that should help to the solution of the problem of immortality, betokened something full of meaning for Gilgamesh.
So he set forth upon his wanderings. And they had for him a result that was of very great significance. He came to a region that is nearly the same as we now call Burgenland, a district much talked of in recent times and concerning which there has been a good deal of contention as to whether it should belong to Hungary or not. The whole social conditions of the country have of course greatly changed since those far off times. Gilgamesh came thither and found there an ancient Mystery — the High Priest of the Mystery is called Xisuthros in the Epic — an ancient Mystery that was a genuine successor, as it were, of the old Atlantean Mysteries; only, of course, in a changed form, as must of necessity be the case after so long a time had elapsed.
And it was so that in this ancient Mystery centre they knew how to judge and appraise the faculty of knowledge that Gilgamesh possessed. He was met with understanding. A test was imposed upon him, one that in those days was often imposed on pupils of the Mysteries. He had to go through certain exercises, wide-awake, for seven days and seven nights. It was too much for him, so he submitted himself only to the substitute or alternative for the test. Certain substances were made ready for him, of which he then partook, and by means of them received a certain enlightenment; although, as is always the case when certain exceptional conditions are not assured, the enlightenment might be doubtful in some respects. Nevertheless a degree of enlightenment was there, a certain insight into the great connections in the Universe, into the spiritual structure of the Universe. And so, when Gilgamesh had ended his wandering and was returning home again, he did in fact possess a high spiritual insight.
He travelled along the Danube, following the river on its northern bank, until he came again to his home, to the home of his choice. But before he reached home, because he did not receive the initiation into the Post-Atlantean Mystery in the other way that I described, but instead in a somewhat uncertain way, he succumbed to the first temptation that assailed him and fell into a terrible fit of anger over an event that came to his notice, — something, in effect, which he heard had taken place in the city. He heard of the event before he reached the city, and burst out into a storm of anger; and in consequence, the enlightenment he had received was almost entirely darkened, so that he arrived home without it.
Nevertheless, — and this is the peculiar characteristic of this personality — he still had the possibility, through the connection with the spirit of his dead friend, of looking into the spiritual world, or at least of receiving information thence.
It is, however, one thing by means of an initiation to acquire direct vision into the spiritual world, and another thing to receive information from a personality who is in the after-death condition. Still, we may say with truth that something of an insight into the nature of immortality did remain with Gilgamesh. I am setting aside just now the experiences that are undergone by man after death; these do not yet play very strongly into the consciousness of the next incarnation, nor did they in those days; — into the life, into the inner constitution they do work very strongly, but not into the consciousness.
You now have before you these two personalities whom I have described and who together bring to expression the mental and spiritual constitution of man in the third Postatlantean period of civilisation at about the middle point of its development, two personalities who still lived in such a way that the whole manner of their life was in itself strong evidence of the duality in man's nature.
- The one — Gilgamesh — was conscious of this duality; he was one of the first to experience the descent of the I-consciousness, the descent of the I into the physical and etheric nature in man.
- The other, inasmuch as he had passed through but few incarnations on Earth, had a clairvoyant knowledge, by means of which he was able to know that there is no such thing as matter, but that everything is spiritual and the so-called material only another form of the spiritual.
Now you can imagine that, if a Man's being were so constituted, he could certainly not think and feel what we think and feel today. His whole thinking and feeling was indeed totally different from ours. And what such personalities could receive in the way of instruction was of course quite unlike what is taught to-day at school or in the universities. Everything of a spiritual or cultural nature that men received in those days came to them from the Mysteries, whence it was spread abroad as widely as possible among men by all manner of channels. It was the wise men, the priests, in the Mysteries, who were the true teachers of humanity.
Now it was characteristic of these two personalities that in the incarnation that we have described they were unable just because of their special constitution of soul, to approach the Mysteries of their own land.
- The one who is named Eabani in the epic stood near the Mysteries through his sojourn in the extra-earthly regions of the Cosmos;
- the one who is named Gilgamesh experienced a kind of initiation in a Postatlantean Mystery, which however only bore half fruit in him.
The result of all this was that both felt in their own being, as it were, something that made them kin to the primeval times of earthly humanity. Both were able to put the question to themselves: How have we become what we are? What share have we had in the evolution of the Earth? We have become what we are through the evolution of the Earth; what part have we played in its evolution?
The question of immortality that was the occasion of such suffering and conflict to Gilgamesh, was connected in those days with a necessary vision into the evolution of the Earth in primeval times. One could not think or feel — using the words in the sense of those times — about the immortality of the soul unless one had at the same time some vision of how human souls who were already there in very early phases of the Earth's evolution, during the Ancient Sun and Ancient Moon embodiments, saw approaching them, that which later has become what we call earthly. Men felt they belonged to the Earth. They felt that to know himself, man must behold and recognise his connection with the Earth.
Now the secret knowledge that was cultivated in all Mysteries of Asia, was first and foremost cosmic knowledge; its wisdom and its teachings unfolded the origin of the evolution of the Earth in connection with the Cosmos. So that in these Mysteries there appeared before men in a living way, in such a way that it could become living Ideas in them, a far-spread vision, showing them how the Earth evolved, and how in the heave and surge of the substances and forces of the Earth, all through the Sun, Moon and Earth periods of evolution, man has been evolving together with all these substances. All this was set before men in a most vivid manner.
One of the Mysteries where such things were taught, was continued on into much later times. It was the Mystery centre of Ephesus. This Mystery had in the very middle of its sanctuary the image of the Goddess Artemis. When we look to-day at pictures of the goddess Artemis, we have perhaps only the grotesque impression of a female form with many breasts. This is because we have no idea how such things were experienced in olden times; and it was the inner experience evoked by these things that was all-important.
The pupils of the Mysteries had to go through a certain preparation before they were conducted to the true centre of the Mysteries. In the Ephesian Mysteries the centre was this image of the Goddess Artemis. When the pupil was led up to the centre, he became one with such an image. As he stood before the image, he lost the consciousness that he was there in front of it, enclosed in his skin. He acquired the consciousness that he himself is what the image is. He identified himself with the image. This identification of himself in consciousness with the divine image at Ephesus had the following effect. The pupil no longer merely looked out upon the kingdoms of the Earth that were round about him — the stones, trees, rivers, clouds and so forth — but when he felt himself one with the image, when he entered as it were into the image of Artemis, he received an inner vision of his connection with the kingdoms of the Ether. He felt himself one with the world of the stars, one with the processes in the world of the stars. He did not feel himself as earthly substance within a human skin, he felt his cosmic existence. He felt himself in the etheric. And as he did so, there rose before him earlier conditions of Earth-experience and of man's experience on Earth. He began to see what these earlier conditions had been. Today we look upon the Earth as a great piece of rock or stone, covered with water over a large part of its surface and surrounded by a sphere of air containing oxygen and nitrogen and other substances, — containing, in fact, what the human being requires for breathing. And so on and so on. And when men begin to explain and speculate on what passes to-day for scientific knowledge, then we get a fine result indeed! For only by means of spiritual vision can one penetrate to the conditions that prevailed in the earliest primeval times. Such a spiritual vision, however, concerning primeval conditions of the Earth 7 and of mankind was attained by the pupils of Ephesus, when they identified themselves with the divine image; they beheld and understood how formerly what surrounds the Earth to-day as atmosphere was not as it now is; surrounding the Earth, in the place where the atmosphere is to-day, was an extraordinarily fine albumen, a volatile, fluid albumenous substance. And they saw how everything that lived on the Earth required for its own genesis the forces of this volatile, fluid albumenous substance, that was spread over the Earth, and how everything also lived in it. They saw too how that which was in a certain sense already within this substance — finely distributed but everywhere with a tendency to crystallisation — how that which was present in a finely distributed condition as silicic acid was in reality a kind of sense-organ for the Earth and could take up into itself from all sides the Imaginations and influences from the surrounding Cosmos. And thus in the silicic acid contained in the earthly albumenous atmosphere were everywhere Imaginations, concretely, externally present.
These Imaginations had the form of gigantic, plant-like organisms, and out of that which was, so to speak, ‘imagined’ into the Earth in this way, there developed later, through absorption of the atmospheric substance, — the plant; everything that is of a plant-like nature. At first it was in the environment of the Earth, in volatile, fluid form; only later did it sink down into the soil and become what is known to us as the plant.
Besides the silicic acid, there was imbedded also in this albumen-atmosphere another substance, lime, in a finely-divided condition. Again, out of the lime substance, under the influence of the congelation of the albumen there arose the animal kingdom. And the human being felt himself within all this. He felt one with the whole Earth. He lived in that which formed itself as plant in the Earth through Imagination, he lived too in that which was developing on Earth as animal, in the way I have described. Each single human being felt himself spread out over the whole Earth, felt himself one with the Earth. So that the human beings were all — as I have described it for the Platonic teaching in my book Christianity as Mystical Fact, in reference to the human capacity for ideas — were all each within the other.
Now destiny brought it about that the two personalities, of whom I spoke in Stuttgart and of whom I am speaking to you again here, reincarnated as adherents of the Mystery of Ephesus, and there received with deep devotion into their souls the things that I have here pictured to you in brief outline. Thereby their souls were, in a manner, inwardly established. Through the Mystery they now received as Earth-wisdom what had formerly been accessible to them only in experience, — for the most part unconscious experience.
Thus was the human experience of these personalities divided between two separate incarnations. And thereby did they bear within them a strong consciousness of man's connection with the higher, the spiritual world, and at the same time a strong, an intense capacity for feeling and experiencing all that belongs to the Earth.
For if you have two things that perpetually flow together, so that you cannot keep them apart, then they merge and lose themselves in each other. If, on the other hand, they show themselves clearly distinct, then you can judge the one by the other. And so these two personalities were able on the one hand to judge the spiritual of the higher world that came to them as a result of life-experience and that lived in them as an echo from their earlier incarnations.
And now, as the origin of the kingdoms of nature was communicated to them in the Mystery of Ephesus under the influence of the Goddess Artemis, they were able, on the other hand, to judge how the things external to man on the Earth came into being, how gradually everything external to man on the Earth was formed out of a primeval substance, which substance also included man.
And the life of these two personalities — it fell partly in the latter end of the time when Heraclitus 8 was still living in Ephesus, and partly in the time that followed — became particularly rich inwardly and was powerfully lit up from within with the light of great cosmic secrets.
There was in them moreover a strong consciousness of how man in his life of soul may be connected, not merely with that which lies spread out around him on the Earth, but with that too which extends upward, — when he himself reaches upward with his being. Such was the inner configuration of soul of these two personalities, who had worked together in the earlier Egypto-Chaldean epoch and then lived together at the time of Heraclitus and after, in connection with the Mystery of Ephesus.
And now this working together was able to continue still further. The configuration of soul that had been developed in both, passed through death, through the spiritual world, and began to prepare itself for an Earth life that must needs again bring problems which will now of course present themselves in quite a different way. And when we observe in what manner these two personalities had to find their part later in the history of Earth evolution, we may see how through the experiences of the soul in earlier times — these experiences having their karmic continuation in the next life on Earth — things are prepared which afterwards appear in totally different form in the later life, when the personalities are once more incorporated into the evolution of humanity on Earth.
I have brought forward this example, because these two personalities make their appearance later in a period that was of extraordinary importance in the history of mankind. I indicated this in my lectures at Stuttgart thirteen years ago; in fact, I dealt with all these matters from a certain point of view. These personalities who had first in the Egypto-Chaldean epoch gone through what I may call a widely-extended cosmic life, and had then deepened this cosmic experience within them, thereby in a sense establishing their souls, now lived again in a later incarnation as Aristotle and Alexander the Great. When one understands the underlying depths in the souls of Aristotle and Alexander the Great, then one can begin to understand, as I explained in Stuttgart, all that was working so problematically in these two personalities, whose lives took their course in the time when Greek culture was falling into decay and Roman rule beginning to have dominion.
The Bodhisattva question
Lots of debate has been around the true individuality of Rudolf Steiner in the context of the White Lodge of Bodhisattvas, also because of the statements he made regarding the future Maitreya Buddha. See ao Arenson and Vreede, but also Prokofieff and T.H. Meyer.
See also ao Bodhisattva#1958-10 - Walter Vegelahn
The purpose of this section is not to give an overview or enter in that debate. But irrespective of taking any position, it is worthwhile to mention how Ernst Hagemann interestingly points to key sentences in 1910-09-10-GA123 (copied here from: Bodhisattva#1910-09-10-GA123)
Let us suppose that this Jesus — the son of Pandira — who was stoned to death in Palestine a hundred years before our era were to be reincarnated in our time and that he announced the coming of Christ; he would not tell of His coming in a physical body but in an etheric garment, similar to that seen by Paul. By teaching this fact, Jesus ben Pandira would be recognized for what he was.
The other most essential thing that we shall have to understand from him who will one day be the Maitreya Buddha is what might be called the new Essene teaching. We shall learn from him how Christ will appear in our time, and he would especially warn us against false conceptions concerning this rebirth of the Essene teaching.
There is one sure sign by which we would be able to recognize Jesus ben Pandira were he to be born again in our day. He would not declare himself to be the Christ.
and the second excerpt states clearly that Steiner speaks with the authority of direct inspiration from the Bodhisattva
If the Essene teaching is to be revived in our day, if we strive to live according to the living spirit of a new Bodhisattva, and not in the tradition of an ancient one, we must make ourselves receptive to the inspiration of that Bodhisattva who will one day appear as the Maitreya Buddha. This Bodhisattva will inspire us and draw our attention to the time drawing near when the Christ will appear in a new form in an etheric body. He will bless, and endow with light, those who through the new Essene wisdom are developing new forces in preparation for His return in etheric raiment. We are now speaking entirely in the sense of that inspiring Bodhisattva who is to be the Maitreya Buddha; we know therefore that we are not speaking in accordance with any religious confession. We are not speaking of a return of Christ that will be perceptible on the physical plane. It is a matter of indifference to us that we are obliged to differ from such a teaching; we know, however, that our teaching is true. We have no prejudice in favour of any form of Oriental religious teaching, but live only for the truth, and we declare the manner of the future coming of the Christ to be in the form we have learned from the inspiration of the Bodhisattva himself.
Furthermore, it can be noted that Rudolf Steiner and Beinsa Douno were the two main adepts that announced the second coming publicly to the world. In GA130 on 4 and 5 Nov 1911, Rudolf Steiner holds two lectures on Jeshu ben Pandira, and states in 1911-11-04-GA130:
He is now the Bodhisattva of humanity until he in his turn advances to the rank of Buddha after 3,000 years, reckoned from the present time. In other words, he will require exactly 5,000 years to rise from a Bodhisattva to a Buddha. He who has been incarnated nearly every century since that time, is now also already incarnated, and will be the real herald of the Christ in etheric raiment, just as he prophesied the physical appearance of the Christ.
Note  - Commentary on Rudolf Steiner and Sources of spiritual science
In this section a hypothesis will be put forth, and it is nothing more by a hypothesis.
A number of statements are given (between square brackets), that can be supported by various elements. As the thread below unfolds, the correlation and cohesion will become clear. See also: Sources of spiritual science
 - Rudolf Steiner seemingly had the balanced incarnation, bodily principles, and required faculties to do something that few or no other teachers of mankind could. And/or, he was the best option or the best card that the Masters pulled, as a single voice for bringing their teachings to mankind.
In what follows, elements will be brought forth to lead to the above statement by section  and  below.
 - Already from the 1870, the Masters of the White Lodge were looking for ways to dissimanate the teachings of spiritual science.
Proof of this is the investment made in Helena Blavatsky (upto visits by and to the Masters in Tibet), the publication of Isis Unveiled.
What is remarkable is that Steiner describes that Master Rosenkreutz inspired the writing of Isis Unveiled, and he does explain elements from that book with the greatest respect. However he also writes 'This book must give to an ordinary reader the impression of a veritably chaotic, bewildering hotchpotch.' For more background, see the topic page on Helena Blavatsky.
[3a] Something clearly happened in this period after publication of Isis Unveiled, around 1879.
- The Secret Doctrine (1889) is no longer the teachings as intended for Europe. Note Blavatsky was in India 1879-1885 and her health weakened.
- Furthermore it is interesting to see that meanwhile A.P. Sinnett publishes Esoteric Buddhism (1883) but also receives the Mahatma Letters (1880-84).
In both case the European stream is linked to eastern buddhism to the expense of the teachings of true esoteric christianity.
First Harrison and afterwards Steiner, from a Christian esoteric perspective (read: the stream of Master Rosenkreutz and Master Jesus), clearly react to this publication. They want to correct the situation and the impact of these Eastern teachings on the Western European culture. Harrison's lectures are generally seen as a direct response to Esoteric Buddhism. From Harrison's later writings, and the amazing contents of the six 'Transcendental Universe' lectures (held in 1893), it is clear or very likely (hypothesis though) that these were inspired rather than purely Harrison's own wisdom.
Years later, in 1904-1923 (quotes on the Helena Blavatsky page) Rudolf Steiner actually explains this 'interference' through which Blavatsky was side-tracked in some form of spiritual imprisonement, and how the change of influences came about.
[3b] Dubious sources and publications.
From the above logic one can challenge the Mahatma Letters, in the sense that:
- they were supposedly written by Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi - which would be trustworthy sources
- but why Sinnett? who is clearly under the side-tracking Eastern influences, as proven by Esoteric Buddhism in the same period.
- Furthermore Steiner clearly doesn't feel the Mahatma letters are worth mentioning or commenting on as source of any valuable wisdom
On the contrary: in 1923-06-12-GA258 (read in full for context) a lecture called 'opposition to spiritual revelations' he mentions:
Such documents were called the Mahatma Letters. It then became a rather sensational affair, when evidence of all kinds of sleight of hand with sliding doors was produced. And there are other such examples. ... Take the affair with the sliding doors through which the Mahatma Letters were apparently inserted, when in fact they had been written and pushed in by someone outside. The person who pushed them in deceived Blavatsky and the world.
Another illustration from what was going on in this period is the book: 'Man: Fragments of Forgotten History', by 'two chelas' (1885).
- Meanwhile it is known that Laura Hollaway en Mohini Chatterji wrote this under direct guidance of 'a master' in 1884. It is not clear by which Master these two chelas were inspired. However, as is shown by letter exchanges between Sinnett and Blavatsky, they were coordinating and editing behind the scenes. Furthermore some sources report other stories still about the process how that text came into being, with no master at all being involved. PS: Nevertheless, in contrast with certain other theosophical publications, 'Man Fragments' is well readable and its contents is not inconsistent with the later teachings by Rudolf Steiner.
Both 'Man Fragments' and the 'Mahathma letters' are illustrations of an approach to publish esoteric knowledge from the side of the Blavatsky/Sinnett 'camp', but this did not always happen in full transparency.
Hence, in the period 1879-1893 a counterstream had already been active within the theosophical teachings, community and organization. This further develops, a.o. with Leadbeater joining and going to India in 1894, and upto the culminating episode with the 'farce' or 'set-up' with Krishnamurti as the 'new world leader' in 1909-1911.
[3c] What is not clear of [3a] and [3b] above, is how this lack of alignment was possible, and what the position of the Masters what in this matter. One can see two elements in this:
- the general movement towards spiritual science via the theosophical society and its publications (which was established 'from nothing' by Blavatsky and grew much later under Besant. This was a positive development, addressing a societal need in the new era after 1879, the end of the dark age kali yuga and the start of the Michael age, for the community of souls that now had a platform that legimately brought people together on these matters. It gave spiritual science a sort of place in society worldwide.
- the esoteric christianity stream (needed/fitting for the European culture) vs the eastern indian teachings (with strong tradition but originating in another age and culture). Here other forces interfered - with Blavatsky as a visible exponent undergoing this fate. How these forces related to the Masters themselves is little known. What we do know is that several masters, or (so-called) 'masters', seemed to 'feed into' the different channels, irrespectively. We also do not known if all of these so-called masters, or the originators behind their messages, were all truthfull and consistent with the workings of the White Lodge.
 What happened then in the period between 1880 and 1901-4, between the year Blavatsky was no longer working for the European esoteric christianity of the Masters of the White Lodge as expected, and the year Rudolf Steiner started teaching?
Interestingly, we see that the Masters of the White Lodge, as confirmed later via Steiner, were (also) active trying to find other channels. This is exemplified by (see more on Sources of spiritual science)
- 'Light on the path' (1885) by Mabel Collins, inspired by Master Hilarion
- 'Pistis Sophia' (1896) by George R.S. Mead
- 'Transcendental Universe' (1894) - six lectures by C.G. Harrison given in 1893
- 'Nature's Finer Forces - The Science of Breath', by Rama Prasad (1897, published in The Theosophist 1887-1889)
Certain of these are works that ..
- Rudolf Steiner also referred to and spoke highly or respectfully of (numbers 1 and 2), or referenced (4)
- are of such contents that it is clearly not the writer's wisdom (numbers 3, 4), and this is said on the basis of the writer's profile, reputation and other life's work and writings. For example Blavatsky may not have thought highly of Rama Prasad, but Steiner did reference the above book to Wachsmuth and Pfeiffer when they asked him about the etheric formative forces.
 - A stream made up of waves of reincarnating spirits .. needs a voice (and beacon)
Now let us add the following: Many important individualities part of the Michaelic stream incarnate so as to be part of the new Michael age starting in 1879. This can be witnessed by the wave of publications, as well as the circle of souls in the theosophical and anthroposophical movements (as well as various circles of magic).
Amongst them Rudolf Steiner (1861), Peter Deunov (1864), but also other members who may not have become so publicly known.
Either their incarnations didn't pan out to be a blossoming incarnation, which can be the case - as we learn from the Karmic Relationship lectures. Possible names? Karl Julius Schröer (1825-1900, incarnation of Plato), .. and/or 'stuff happened', such as the Ahrimanic influences that took hold of the soul of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). And there are many other great souls in that period, eg Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, so-called incarnation of Socrates - informal through word of mouth from Steiner), Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), Franz Brentano (1838-1917), Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900). But also the less known: who would have even thought of, or named, Schröer .. if Steiner had not told us about this?
It seems as if there are no guarantees .. as if a rain of souls is coming down in a wave of incarnating spirits, and so many factors influence the societal impact they will have in any given incarnation.
Interestingly, Steiner holds off and starts lecturing in 1901 aged 40 after having had a 'Christ experience'. Peter Deunov (a.k.a. Beinsa Douno) starts his activities small scaled in 1897 (after an 'angelic message') but starts lecturing more publicly only in 1914 aged 50.
Furthermore, we put forth the premise that the Masters of the White Lodge do not count on or set up a dozen voices for their teachings to mankind. With Blavatsky, there was one. With Steiner too, one. Just contemplate: One suffices, two or three are actually not helpful and can only confuse. So one is the right number. Hypothesis.
 - Rudolf Steiner as the first 'working' voice succesfully channeling the Masters
From here it is easy to see the logic, that if Rudolf Steiner was the first 'working' voice, i.e. that he channeled other teachers. This has to do with many elements, condensed in statement  above.
In early lectures, Steiner literally and expliclitly refers to his channeling of Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi (eg 1904-07-09-GA266/1 and 1904-07-14-GA266/1), that is: these masters speaking directly through him. Something that apparently also happened later in certain lecture courses, eg the lecture cycle on the spiritual hierarchies (re: E. Vreede).
- It is left open here why or how these two Masters Morya and Koot Hoomi apparently played a key role initially in this period 1880-1905, whereas Rudolf Steiner clearly positions his masters to be: Christian Rosenkreutz and Master Jesus. And also Master Hilarion was behind the inspiration of Light on the Path (see: Sources of spiritual science).
However, if this is the case, then it is not impossible nor unlikely, that he would also channel - for example - the 'unnamed' but incarnated Bodhisattva. Referencing the quotes above as put forth by Ernst Hagemann:
in the form we have learned from the inspiration of the Bodhisattva himself
He is now the Bodhisattva of humanity until he in his turn advances to the rank of Buddha after 3,000 years, reckoned from the present time. In other words, he will require exactly 5,000 years to rise from a Bodhisattva to a Buddha. He who has been incarnated nearly every century since that time, is now also already incarnate.
Here one element is strikingly coincidental regarding Beinsa Douno, and that is Rudolf Steiner's stating in his lectures that a Bodhisattva only becomes known as of age 33, which in the case of Beinsa Douno is 1864+33=1897 or the year of his prophetic message, made public, and the start of his spiritual leadership - albeit small-scaled. For the sake of completeness: in an informal conversation, when asked about the unnamed incarnate Bodhisattva, Steiner mentioned humanity would (probably?) see his impact around the 1930s (free rephrasing here).
Concluding as with the previous point : if one considers the important message to mankind of the etheric Christ, then one forum and voice worldwide should be choosen for channeling this message. And possibly Steiner did have, maybe as the only one, the best respected public position and forum in Europe at this time.
 - Connecting the above elements
In the period 1880-1900, the Masters seek various channels and inroads, but no direct public voice speaks up in the world, in the league of a Blavatsky or Steiner. In this period Steiner (1861) and Deunov (1864) are between 15-20 and 35-40. Both had some sort of calling/awakening around 1897 (Deunov) or by the turn of the century (Steiner).
- Note on the side: also in this period, another interesting or influencing character comes to the foreground: Annie Besant (1847-1933), who only in 1890 met Blavatsky and joined the Theosophical Society, just as Steiner did in 1902. Rudolf Steiner did so on the express suggestion of his Master(s). That is: knowing that the society was maybe not 'clean', but: it was the largest movement worldwide at that period in time, and offered a unique platform and audience for esoteric teachings. Hence Steiner was asked and choose to enter through this channel, maybe despite but probably aware of the situation described under  above.
It is interesting to contemplate the fact that - to our knowledge - the Masters did not 'have', or choose to 'use', any incarnate personality publicly in this period 1880-1900.
- (a) Maybe they were waiting and counting on the two major personalities we discussed here ..
- (b) .. or there were other options, but they are not publicly known and have not realized ('options not pulled').
Either way, it is interesting to see that Masters of the White Lodge were still active in the way that books 1 to 4 - listed under point  - come to realization. It may show the (seeming) difficulties the Masters may have had to find appropriate channels for their teachings.
Of the two options above, more likely than (b) is (a): that there was conscious council held and the plan was carried out, as we now know as history.
To conclude, one other element: on the Principle of spiritiual economy page, Schema FMC00.089 puts forth the hypothesis that Rudolf Steiner is a christophorus, that is: received a copy of the 'I' of Christ. This is not such a far-fetched hypothesis if a) one compares the other names in that table, b) considers Steiner's special but very personal Christ experience ànd c) his lifelong teachings that at least resonate with this.
 - Conclusion.
This page was started with:
Some spiritual topics have potential for causing human interest and sensation, and this is one of them. Typical human then that this topic causes lots of speculation, whereas it really does not matter 'who is who'. It is actually irrelevant and besides the point for all those who have not reached the level of maturity.
The above just provided some elements or snippets of information, that are left for the interested reader to concatenate as pieces of an incomplete and unlaid puzzle.
References and further reading
- Margarete and Erich Kirchner-Bockholt: 'Rudolf Steiner's Mission and Ita Wegman' (1976 in DE as 'Die Menschheitsaufgabe Rudolf Steiners und Ita Wegman' with second edition in 1981; 2016 in EN)
- Herbert Wimbauer: 'Die Individualität Rudolf Steiners - das offenbare Geheimnis der Anthroposophie' (1979)
- Thomas Meyer: 'Rudolf Steiner's core mission' (2009)
- Peter Selg: 'Rudolf Steiner and Christian Rosenkreutz' (2010 in DE, 2012 in EN)