Q00.006 - spiritual events at various points in life
Some people are confronted with special or unusual events in their lives. Sometimes important events or life hardships go hand in hand with special states of consciousness, or remarkable coincidences or syncronicities. Sometimes not. But 'stuff happens' that has an eye-opening effect and intervenes into one's life.
These events can be felt as karmic or spiritual in nature. They can happen at certain stages of life, and one can wonder why. Often life takes its turn for quite a long time in a 'normal' (or more mundane, materialistic) way, and then one is called to the spiritual by specific events triggering some kind of awakening.
In this question we comment on some case examples and put them against spiritual scientific knowledge of how a human life develops characterized by certain rhythms, as:
"Just after turning 21 I had a huge awakening of consciousness which struck deep into my normal functioning. I got into a serious crisis about the meaning of life, to the point I wouldn't go on without answers. In that period there were also special moments of vision, out of the ordinary. I was very alone in experiencing them. I didn't know then what was happening to me as it was quite different than how the rest of the world around me functioned and seemed to go on without realizing or bothering. I recall reaching out to a well-known philosopher, writing him a letter, and going to visit him. I recall reading Spinoza's Ethica, being touched by and writing an essay about the Nachtwanders song in Nietzsche's Zarathustra, etc ..
Then life took it's turn .. I met girfriend, graduated, travelled, started a professional career, I lived in the materialistic world, had to live out the karma, until something came swinging back in the period 42-47, but now in a much more mature, and explicit fashion. Some special events turned my world upside down, and by now, seemingly, I was mature enough to understand what was happening. From synchronicities and guidance by coincidences (ao to Bardon's IIH and Steiner) to some unexplainable events. The latter ones I could only understand later through spiritual science.
Some feelings are maybe details but still one knows they are significant, they contain meaning far greater than the feeling or event which may be minute. For example when the doorbell rang and brought the IIH book, I immediately started browing and reading, and had this awareness of recognition with certain passages, like in some strange way this is not totally new, it is as if I know some of this stuff already or it rings a bell somewhere far off, maybe in my subconscious.
Some events come totally unexpected. When one expects them the least. One event was lying down in the grass after running, closing my eyes, and in a glimpse being struck by something deep inside that took me back to my birth, it blew me away. That weekend felt as if it lasted weeks or months, most unusually, as I was aware of some kind of transition effect taking place inside of me. Another event was spending a night in a hotel in a bit of a strange state with long periods on and off between awake and asleep, then waking up and taking a shower: experiencing spontaneous imaginative clairvoyance, seeing my life tableau in front of me and realizing I was in a very different state of consciousness whilst at the same time being able to fully awake and thinking (but which was a very different thing) .. understanding how everything in my life hung together in the most beautiful way. Unfortunately that state didn't last. Another event was diving into another person and, as if escaping down a tunnel, feeling their feelings.
Then more special, some other events. Just before meditation one evening, I looked into Rudolf Steiner as just a week before I has been brought to investigate the year 1879 and that's how I came to Steiner. That first text I read was about the Michael call and how some need to be prepared now for the Oriphiel age [editor: re Topic 4 and 1907-12-05-GA266 below]. As I enter meditation and vacancy of mind I feel a presence of a special energy, like a warm bath, I am in myself but not alone, and can communicate through my mind. I feel sublime love, so close. My diary recalls dreams the days and weeks afterwards, clearly my inner nature changed and so did my life. [editor: re Topic 3 and/or Topic 2 or 1].
Years later along the spiritual path, I realized how strong the seven year periods stood out in my life pattern. Like a clockwork calendar they delineated major phases in my life, with major transitions both personal and professional. Also very apparent was the fact new people came into my life, and then went out again, very closely linked to this seven year rhythm."
[Was in need of change - asked for change ..
Next day: accident .. in hospital for a year
Led to .. ]
Rudolf Steiner gave clear indications and clues about the different types of interventions that can take place in one's life and trigger a spiritual calling.
- Topic 1 - the influence of Chr. Rosenkreutz meetings (and the work of his 'team', re also Daskalos)
- Topic 2 - intervention of archangel Michael bringing order in karma (re 1924-08-08-GA237)
- Topic 3 - what can happen in the Mars seven year period 42-49 due to the work of Buddha - see lecture references below
- Topic 4 - preparing for the Oriphiel age is related to the three previous topics, putting it in context
- Topic 5 -
Our life itself, patterns and experiences, all you know, also subconsciously .. is all interesting food for doing The Work (as in Initiation and Initiation exercises) .. but also biography work .. as well as contemplative karma exercises and regression work.
More info on the cycle of the Seven year rhythm and life patterns in the Human Life book by George O'Neil (recommended).
Age 21 is the start of the development of the threefold soul, upto age 42.
What happened between age 42 and 49 might well have to do with Topics 3 and 2 above.
- First: 37 years and 2 months is your second lunar node .. and 18 years 7 months was your first
- Furthermore, 37-38 is consciousness soul timeframe,
- .. and also 'mid life' when the meeting with archai-level spirit man takes place (re Three meetings, 1917-02-20-GA175)
Regarding life being orchestrated by angels. Man is made up of the higher hierarchies, they work and live in us, sustain and guide us. We are fully connected to the third hierarchy of angels, archangels and archai (eg folk souls). See eg Schema FMC00.131 on Man and the spiritual hierarchies.
- for background on the three meetings, take schema FMC00.023 on the three meetings and link it with Schema FMC00.132 on the structure of Man. Put it in context with Man's bodily principles and Schema FMC00.056 on the Man's higher triad page
- read up on our Guardian angel, or the work of the angel in our astral body, etc.
Lecture coverage and references
Topic 1. Christian Rosenkreutz' calling
See also: Christian Rosenkreutz
Christian Rosenkreutz selects those whom he wants to have as his pupils in a remarkable way. The one chosen has to pay attention to a certain kind of event, or several events in his life of the following kind
When such an event awakens in a person the inner disposition to look at his life from that time onwards as a gift, nowadays this makes him a follower of Christian Rosenkreutz. For that is his way of calling these souls to him. And whoever can recall having had such an experience can tell himself: Christian Rosenkreutz has given me a sign from the spiritual world that I belong to his stream. Christian Rosenkreutz has added the possibility of such an experience to my karma. That is the way in which Christian Rosenkreutz makes his choice of pupils. He chooses his community like this. Whoever experiences this consciously, knows: a path has been shown me, and I must follow it and see how far I can use my forces to serve rosicrucianism. Those who have not understood the sign, however, will do so at a later time, for whoever has received the sign will not be free of it again.
That a man can have an experience of the kind described is due to his having met Christian Rosenkreutz in the spiritual world between his last death and his last birth. Christian Rosenkreutz chose us then, and he put an impulse of will into us that now leads us to such experiences. This is the way in which spiritual connections are brought about.
Many a person of whom we do not expect it, is a pupil chosen by Christian Rosenkreutz. Even today it is possible to speak of a sign by means of which Christian Rosenkreutz calls to one whom he has chosen. Many people can apprehend this sign in their life; it may express itself in a thousand ways, but these different manifestations all lead back to a typical form which may be described as follows. —
And when the man in question realises this he will be led to the resolve to work in a spiritual movement.
If the resolve is taken, this means that he has actually been chosen. This is how Christian Rosenkreutz begins to gather his pupils around him, and many human beings, if they were sufficiently alert, would be conscious of such an event in their inner life.
The human beings of whom it can be said that they were, or will now be, united in this way with Christian Rosenkreutz, are those who should be the pioneers of a deeper understanding of esoteric Christianity. This stream of spiritual life connected with Christian Rosenkreutz provides the highest means for enabling the Christ Impulse to be understood in our present time.
Topic 2. Intervention of archangel Michael bringing order in karma
And now we may express something that is deeply connected with the karma of the Anthroposophical Society. It is a thing of immense significance, and, if I may say so, it is only here that we come to the right shade of feeling. For with all that we can describe by choosing comparisons from the conditions that surround us, we cannot exhaustively characterise what is taking place behind the scenes in spiritual worlds. Whatever thoughts we may select from the earthly conditions that surround us, they are but dim and feeble. Having made all these preparations, we must have recourse to the pure description of things spiritual.
Thus we must say: All that has led the souls together into the Anthroposophical Society, all that has brought them into this community through a sincere and inward impulse of their souls, holds good, needless to say.
Yet how does it come about? How are the forces really there, which lead these human beings in our time to find their way together under purely spiritual principles, when in the ordinary world of today they are complete strangers to one another? Where do the forces lie, that lead them together?
My dear friends, they lie in this: Through the entry of Michael's dominion in the Michael age in which we live — with the penetration of Michael to earthly rulership, replacing the rulership of Gabriel — Michael himself is bringing the power which is to bring order again into the karma of those who have gone with him.
Thus we may say:
What is it in the last resort that unites the Members of the Anthroposophical Society?
It is that they are to bring order again into their karma. This unites them.
And if any one of them notices in the course of his life that
- he is entering here or there into relationships that do not conform to his inmost impulse, — relationships, perhaps, diverging in one way or another from what we may call the true harmony in man as between good and evil, — if he has this on the one hand,
- while on the other hand he has constant impulse to press forward in the Anthroposophical life, —
- the fact is that such a man is striving back again to his real karma. He is striving once more to live and express the real karma. This is the cosmic ray that pours through the Anthroposophical Movement, clearly perceptible to him who knows. It is the restoration of the truth in karma.
In this connection we can understand very much, both of the destiny of individuals in the Anthroposophical Society and of the destiny of the whole Society. For these, of course, merge into one another.
[editor: And ending again:]
This, my dear friends, shall now rest in your souls. You must say to yourselves: Those who out of these great decisions feel in themselves the impulse to come to the anthroposophical life today, will be called again at the end of the 20th century, when at the culminating point the greatest possible expansion of the Anthroposophical Movement will be attained. But it will only happen if these things can really live in us, — if there can live in us the perception of what penetrates cosmically, spiritually, into the earthly physical domain. It will only be so if there penetrates even into the earthly Intelligence, into the perceptions of men, the knowledge of the significance of Michael. This impulse must be the very soul of our anthroposophical striving. The soul itself must have the will to stand fully in the midst of the Anthroposophical Movement. Thus we shall find it possible, my dear friends, for a certain time to come, to carry in our souls thoughts of a great and far-reaching nature. But we shall not only preserve them, we shall make them living in our souls. And through these thoughts our souls will grow and develop anthroposophically, so that the soul will become what it was intended to become through its own unconscious impulse to come to Anthroposophy.
I say again: So that the soul may be taken hold of by the mission of Anthroposophy. I have spoken these earnest words to you in this last hour, so that you may let them work in you quietly and in silence for a time: that the soul shall really be taken hold of by the mission of Anthroposophy.
Topic 3 - Effect of Buddha's intervention in the Mars sphere
The lecture extracts below have to be put in context with Schema FMC00.236 on Seven year rhythm showing how the impact of the Mars sphere 'rolls off' in life in the period between 42 and 49 years.
The Christ Being, the Essence of Divine Love, had once come down to the Earth to a people in many respects alien, and in the seventeenth century, Buddha, the Prince of Peace, went to Mars — the planet of war and conflict — to execute his mission there. The souls on Mars were warlike, torn with strife. Thus Buddha performed a deed of sacrifice similar to the deed performed in the Mystery of Golgotha by the Bearer of the Essence of Divine Love. To dwell on Mars as Buddha was a deed of sacrifice offered to the Cosmos. He was as it were the lamb offered up in sacrifice on Mars and to accept this environment of strife was for him a kind of crucifixion. Buddha performed this deed on Mars in the service of Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus do the great Beings who guide the world work together, not only on the Earth but from one planet to another.
Since the Mystery of Mars was consummated by Gautama Buddha, human beings have been able to receive different forces from Mars during the corresponding period between death and a new birth. Not only does a man bring with him into a new birth quite different forces from Mars, but because of the influence exercised by the spiritual deed of Buddha, forces also stream from Mars into men who practise meditation as a means for reaching the spiritual world. When the modern pupil of Spiritual Science meditates in the sense indicated by Christian Rosenkreutz, forces sent to the Earth by Buddha as the Redeemer of Mars, stream to him.
Because all these things had transpired, it was possible to avert the division of human beings into the two distinct classes — consisting on the one hand of men of the type of Francis of Assisi and on the other, men who live wholly in materialism. If Buddha had remained in direct and immediate connection with the Earth he would not have been able to concern himself with the “men of practical affairs”; and his influence would have made the others into monks like Francis of Assisi. Through the deed of Redemption performed by Gautama Buddha on Mars, it is possible for us, when we are passing through the Mars-period of existence between death and a new birth, to become followers of Francis of Assisi without causing subsequent deprivation to the Earth. Grotesque as it may seem, it is true nevertheless, that since the seventeenth century, every human being in the Mars-existence is, for a time, a Buddhist, a Franciscan, an immediate follower of Francis of Assisi. Francis of Assisi has since made only one brief incarnation on Earth as a child; he died in childhood and has not again incarnated. He is intimately linked with the work of Buddha on Mars and is one of his most eminent followers.
We have thus placed before our souls a picture of what came to pass through that great Conference at the end of the sixteenth century, resembling what had happened on Earth in the thirteenth century, when Christian Rosenkreutz gathered his faithful around him. Nothing less was accomplished than this. — It was possible to avert from humanity the threatened separation into two classes, so that men might remain inwardly united. And those who are intent upon esoteric development, in spite of their absorption in practical life, can achieve their goal because the Buddha is working from the sphere of Mars and not from the sphere of the Earth. Those forces which help to promote a healthy esoteric life are also attributable to the work and influence of Buddha.
In my book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, I have dealt with the methods that are appropriate for meditation today. The essential point is that in Rosicrucian training, development is such that the human being is not torn away from the earthly activities demanded of him by karma. Rosicrucian esoteric development can proceed without causing the slightest disturbance in any situation or occupation. Because Christian Rosenkreutz was able to transfer the work of Buddha from the Earth to Mars, it has become possible for the influences of Buddha, from outside the Earth, to pour down to men.
Again, then, we have heard of one of the spiritual deeds of Christian Rosenkreutz but to understand these deeds of the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries we must find our way to their esoteric meaning and significance. It would be good if people were to realise how entirely consistent the progress of Theosophy in the West has been since the founding of the Middle European Section of the Theosophical Society. Here in Switzerland, lecture-courses have been given on the four Gospels. The substance of all these lectures is contained in germ in my book Christianity as Mystical Fact, written twelve years ago. The book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment describes the Western path of development that is compatible with practical activities of every kind. Today I have indicated that a basic factor in these matters is the mission assigned to Gautama Buddha by Christian Rosenkreutz, for I have spoken of the significant influence which the transference of Buddha to Mars made possible in our solar system.
Let us remind ourselves of what has been said about the passage of the human soul through the various regions of the Cosmos between death and the new birth. We have heard how during that period of existence the soul of a man has to pass through the planetary spheres, to traverse the expanse of cosmic space. Between death and the new birth we actually become inhabitants, in succession, of Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. We then draw our life together again in order to incarnate through a parental pair and undergo the experiences that are possible on Earth but not in other planetary spheres. Since the last death, every soul incarnated on the Earth has undergone the experiences that belong to the heavens. Through birth we bring into our existence on Earth the forces we have acquired in the various heavenly spheres.
Now let us remind ourselves of how life flows by on Earth, how at each new incarnation the human being finds that the Earth has changed and that his experiences are quite different. In the course of his incarnations an individual will have lived in pre-Christian times and have been incarnated again after the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha had been given to evolution. Let us picture with the greatest possible clarity how the Earth evolves, descending from divine-spiritual heights to a certain nadir. The impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha then made an ascent possible in the evolutionary process. The ascent is at present only beginning, but it will continue if human souls receive the impulse of this Mystery and so, later on, rise again to the stage they had reached before the temptation of Lucifer. Let us realise that, in accordance with the fundamental laws of evolution, whenever we return to the Earth through birth we find quite different conditions of existence.
The same applies to the heavenly spheres into which we pass between death and a new birth. Like our Earth, these heavenly bodies also pass through descending and ascending phases of evolution. Whenever we pass into a planetary sphere after death — let us say of Mars, or Venus, or Mercury — we enter different conditions and have different experiences receive different impulses, which we bring back again into physical existence through birth. And because the heavenly bodies are also undergoing evolution, our souls bring back different forces into each incarnation.
Today, because of the profound significance of the Christmas Festival, our thoughts are directed to the spiritual realities of cosmic space itself and we will consider a particular example of evolution. This example is revealed to occult investigation if that investigation is able to penetrate deeply enough into the spiritual nature of other planets and planetary systems as well as into that of the Earth. In the spiritual life of the Earth there was a descending phase of evolution until the time of the Mystery of Golgotha and thereafter a phase of ascent — now latent for the sole reason that a deeper understanding of the Christ Impulse is necessary. Similarly, there were phases of descent and ascent in the evolution of Mars, into whose sphere we pass between death and rebirth. Until the fifteenth/sixteenth century the evolution of Mars was such that what had always been bestowed upon it from the spiritual worlds was undergoing a phase of descent, just as was the case in the evolution of the Earth until the beginning of the Christian era. By the time of the fifteenth/sixteenth century it was necessary that the evolution of Mars should become a process of ascent, for the consequences of the phase of descent had become all too evident in that sphere. As already said, when we pass again into earthly existence through birth we bring with us the impulses and forces gathered from the worlds of stars, among them the forces of Mars. The example of a certain individuality is clear evidence of the change that had come about in the forces brought by human beings from Mars to the Earth.
It is known to all occultists that the same soul which appeared on Earth in Nicolas Copernicus, [Born 1473, died 1543.] the inaugurator of the dawn of the modern age, had been previously incarnated from 1401 to 1464 in Cardinal Nicolas of Kues, Nicolas Cusanus. But how utterly different were these two personalities who harboured the same soul within them! Nicolas of Cusa in the fifteenth century was dedicated in mind and heart to the spiritual worlds; all his study was rooted in the spiritual worlds, and when he appeared again as Copernicus he was responsible for the great transformation which could have been achieved only by eliminating from the conception of space and the planetary system every iota of spirituality and thinking only of the external movements and interrelationships of the heavenly bodies. How was it possible that the same soul which had been on the Earth in Nicolas of Cusa and was wholly dedicated to the spiritual worlds, could appear in the next incarnation in an individual who conceived of the heavenly bodies purely in terms of their mathematical, spatial and geometric aspects? This was possible because a soul who passed through the Mars sphere during the interval between the time of Nicolas of Cusa and that of Copernicus had entered into a phase of decline. It was therefore not possible to bring from the Mars sphere any forces that would have inspired souls during physical life to soar into the spiritual worlds. The souls who passed through the Mars sphere at that particular time could grasp only the physical and material nature of things. If these conditions on Mars had continued without change, if the phase of decline had been prolonged, souls would have brought with them from the Mars sphere forces that would have rendered them incapable of anything except a purely materialistic conception of the world. Nevertheless the results of the decline of Mars were responsible for bringing modern natural science into existence; these forces poured with such strength into the souls of men that they led to triumph after triumph in the domain of materialistic knowledge of the world; and in the further course of evolution this influence would have worked exclusively for the promotion of materialistic science, for the interests of trade and industry only, of external forms of culture on the Earth.
It would have been possible for a class of human beings to be formed entirely under the influence of certain old Mars forces and interested in external culture only; these human beings would have confronted another class of individuals, composed of followers of Francis of Assisi, in other words, of Buddhism transported into Christianity. A Being such as the Buddha, having continued to work until the time of Francis of Assisi as previously indicated, would have been able to produce on the Earth a counterweight to the purely materialistic conception of the world by pouring strong forces into the souls of men. But this would have led to the formation of a class of individuals capable only of leading a monastic life patterned on that of Francis of Assisi; and these individuals alone would have been able to scale the heights of spiritual life.
If this state of things had remained, humanity would have divided more and more sharply into two classes:
- the one composed of those who were devoted entirely to the interests of material existence on the Earth and the advancement of external culture,
- and the other class, due to the continuing influence of Buddha, would have consisted of those who fostered and preserved spiritual culture. But the souls belonging to the latter class would, like Francis of Assisi, have been incapable of participating in external, material forms of civilisation.
These two categories of human beings would have become more and more sharply separated. As the inevitability of this state of things could be prophetically foreseen, it became the task of the individual whom we revere under the name of Christian Rosenkreutz to prevent such a separation taking place in the further evolution of mankind on the Earth. Christian Rosenkreutz felt it to be his mission to offer to every human soul, living no matter where, the possibility of rising to the heights of spiritual life. It has always been emphasised among us and is clearly set forth in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. How is it Achieved? that our goal in the sphere of occult development in the West is not to rise into spiritual worlds as the result of ascetic isolation from life but to make it possible for every human soul to discover for itself the path into the spiritual world. That the ascent into spiritual worlds should be compatible with every status in life, that humanity should not divide into two categories, one composed of people devoted entirely to external, industrial and commercial interests, becoming increasingly ingenious, materialised and animalised, whereas those in the other category would hold themselves aloof in a life patterned on that of Francis of Assisi — all this was the concern of Christian Rosenkreutz at the time when the approaching modern age was to inaugurate the epoch of materialistic culture during which all souls would bring with them the Mars forces in their state of decline. And because there could not be within the souls of men the power to prevent the separation, it has to be ensured that from the Mars forces themselves there would come to man the impulse to work with his whole being for spiritual aims. For example, it was necessary that human beings should be educated to think in terms of sound natural scientific principles, to formulate ideas and concepts in line with those principles, but at the same time the soul must have the capacity to deepen and develop the ideas spiritually, in order that the way can be found from a natural scientific view of the world to lofty heights of spiritual life.
This possibility had to be created! And it was created by Christian Rosenkreutz, who towards the end of the sixteenth century gathered around him his faithful followers from all over the Earth, enabling them to participate in what takes place outwardly in space from one heavenly body to another but is prepared in the sacred Mystery Centres, where aims are pursued leading beyond those of planetary spiritual life to the spiritual life of cosmic worlds. Christian Rosenkreutz gathered around him those who had also been with him at the time of his Initiation in the thirteenth century. Among them was one who for long years had been his pupil and friend, who had at one time been incarnated on the Earth but now no longer needed to appear in a physical incarnation: this was Gautama Buddha, now a spiritual Being after having risen to the rank of Buddhahood. He was the pupil of Christian Rosenkreutz. And in order that what could be achieved through the Buddha should become part of the mission of Christian Rosenkreutz at that time, a joint deed resulted in the transference of the Buddha from a sphere of earthly activity to one of cosmic activity. The impulse given by Christian Rosenkreutz made this possible. We will speak on another occasion in greater detail of the relationship between Gautama Buddha and Christian Rosenkreutz; at the moment it is simply a matter of stating that this relationship led to the individuality of the Buddha ceasing to work in the sphere of the Earth as he had formerly worked in the Mystery Centre near the Black Sea, and transferring his activity to Mars. And so at the beginning of the seventeenth century there took place in the evolution of Mars something similar to what had come about at the beginning of the ascending phase of Earth evolution through the Mystery of Golgotha. What may be called the advent of the Buddha on Mars was brought about through Christian Rosenkreutz and the ascending phase of Mars evolution began from then onwards just as on Earth the ascending phase of culture began with the Mystery of Golgotha.
Thus the Buddha became a Redeemer and Saviour for Mars as Christ Jesus had become for the Earth. The Buddha had been prepared for this by his teaching of Nirvana, lack of satisfaction with earthly existence, liberation from physical incarnation. This teaching had been prepared in a sphere outside the Earth but with the Earth's goal in view. If we can look into the soul of the Buddha and grasp the import of the Sermon at Benares we shall witness the preparation of activity that was not to be confined to the Earth. And then we shall realise how infinitely wise was the contract between Christian Rosenkreutz and the Buddha, as the result of which, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Buddha relinquished his activity on the Earth through which he would have been able, from the spiritual world, to influence human souls between birth and death, in order henceforward to work in the Mars sphere for souls between death and rebirth.
This is the momentous outcome of what might be called the transference of the essence of the Christmas Festival from the Earth to Mars. As a result, all the souls of men, in a certain sense, pass through a phase of being followers of Francis of Assisi and thereby, indirectly, of the Buddha. But they do not pass through this phase on the Earth; they pass through their monasticism — to use a paradoxical expression — their adherence to Francis of Assisi, on Mars, and bring forces from there to the Earth. As a result, what they have thus acquired remains in the shape of forces slumbering in their souls and they need not adopt a strictly monastic life in order to undergo the experiences undergone by intimate pupils of Francis of Assisi. This necessity was avoided by the transference of the Buddha to cosmic worlds by agreement with Christian Rosenkreutz whose, work on Earth now continued without the collaboration of the Buddha. If the Buddha had continued his activity on the Earth, all that he could have achieved would have been to make men into Buddhist or Franciscan monks and the other souls would have been abandoned to materialistic civilisation. But because what may be called a kind of ‘Mystery of Golgotha’ for Mars took place, during a period when human souls are not incarnated on Earth, these souls absorb, in a sphere outside the Earth, what they need for their further terrestrial existence, namely, an element of true Buddhism, which in the epoch after Christ's coming can be acquired only between death and a new birth.
We are now at the threshold of a great mystery, a mystery which has brought an impulse still operating in the evolution of mankind. Those who genuinely understand this evolution know that any truly effective influence in life on the Earth inevitably becomes part of the general stream of evolution. The event that may be called the Mystery of Golgotha on Mars was different from the Mystery of Golgotha on Earth — less powerful, less incisive, not culminating in death. But you can have some idea of it if you reflect that the Being who was the greatest Prince of Peace and Love, who was the Bringer of Compassion to the Earth, was transferred to Mars in order to work at the head of the evolution of that planet. It is no mythological fable that Mars received its name because it is the planet where the forces are involved in most bitter strife. The mission of the Buddha entailed his crucifixion in the arena of the planet where the most belligerent forces are present, although these forces are essentially of the nature of soul-and-spirit.
Here, then, we face a deed of a Being whose destiny it was as a great servant of Christ Jesus, to receive and carry forward the Christ Impulse in the right way. We stand face to face with the mystery of Christian Rosenkreutz, recognising his wisdom to have been so great that, as far as lay within his power, he incorporated into the evolution of mankind as a whole the other impulses that had been decisive factors in preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha.
A subject such as this cannot be grasped merely in terms of words or intellect; in its depth and range it must be felt — with the whole heart and soul. We must grasp what it signifies to be aware that among the forces we bring with us in the present epoch when we pass into incarnation on the Earth there are also the forces of the Buddha. Those forces were transferred to a sphere through which we pass between death and the new birth in order to enter in the right way into earthly life; for in this earthly life between birth and death it is our task to establish the right relationship to the Christ Impulse, to the Mystery of Golgotha. And this is possible only if all the impulses work together in harmony. The Christ descended from other worlds and united with the Earth's evolution. His purpose is to give to men the greatest of all impulses with which the human soul can be endowed. But this is possible only if all the forces connected with the evolution of humanity take effect at the right point in the process of that evolution. The great Teacher of the doctrine of Nirvana, who exhorted men to liberate their souls from the urge for reincarnation, was not destined to work in the sphere of physical incarnation. But in accordance with the great Plan designed by the Gods — in which, however, men must participate because they are servants of the Gods — in accordance with this Plan, the work of that great Teacher was to continue in the life that lies in the realm beyond birth and death.
We have already considered certain aspects of man's life between death and rebirth, and a short time ago an account was given of the relationship between Christian Rosenkreutz and Buddha. This was done because since the time indicated then, the Buddha has been connected with the planetary sphere of Mars and because the human being, after experiencing the Christ Event in the Sun sphere between death and rebirth, passes into the Mars sphere and there undergoes an experience connected with Buddha in the form that is right for the present age, though not, of course, for the age when the individuality of whom we are now thinking lived on the Earth as Gautama Buddha. Genuine enlightenment about the being of man and his connection with the evolution of worlds is possible only if our understanding keeps abreast of that evolution.
We know that in the post-Atlantean era there have so far been five main consecutive epochs during which the human soul has undergone significant experiences. These epochs are: the ancient Indian, the ancient Persian, the Egypto-Chaldean, the Graeco-Latin, and our own.
We also know that in each such epoch the next is prepared — as it were in germ. In our present epoch the sixth post-Atlantean period is already slowly being prepared in the souls of men. The preparation consists in human souls being helped to understand what is now spreading in the world in the form of occult teachings, of Spiritual Science. In this way not only will a knowledge of the being of man that is necessary for the future be promulgated but there will also be an ever deepening understanding of the Christ Impulse. Everything that contributes to this increasing understanding of the Christ Impulse is comprised for the West in what may be called the Mystery of the Holy Grail. This Mystery is also closely connected with matters such as the one spoken of recently, namely, the mission for Mars being delegated by Christian Rosenkreutz to Buddha. This Mystery of the Holy Grail can impart to men of the modern age knowledge that will help them to understand the life between death and rebirth in the way that is right for our time.
Topic 4 - Preparing for the Oriphiel age
In the previous topic, and many other lectures, Rudolf Steiner puts spiritual science in context of preparation for the next coming sixth cultural age, which in itself is a forebode of the next great sixth epoch. As well as the end of the dark age kali juga from 1879, and the new phase with Christ's appearance in the etheric.
However, in the esoteric lessons Rudolf Steiner quite often put the spiritual work of meditation and initiation exercices in context of the coming Oriphiel age. See volumes GA264, GA265, GA266 and GA267. This will be an extremely dark period for humanity, and brave souls need to be prepared now for that stage.
See also: Future Oriphiel age
The Age of Michael began in 1879. After that comes the Age of Oriphiel, when great conflicts will rage among human beings. Therefore a tiny handful of human beings is now being prepared to keep the torch of spiritual knowledge alight in that sombre epoch
Anyone who feels an urge to participate in spiritual life under Michael's guidance is called to serve Michael and learn from him. This is the preparation for service under Oriphiel's terrifying rule. Sacrifice will be required of those who want to consecrate themselves to the spiritual life. The willingness to put oneself at the service of humanity is the necessary prerequisite from anyone who seeks to receive the spiritual life.
In four to six hundred years the handful of human beings who are now preparing themselves will be put in the service of Oriphiel, so that humanity can be saved. If the people who assume the leadership then have not prepared for it by holding their own against the troops of Mammon, they will not be able to play the role assigned them under Oriphiel. Then humanity will not be raised from its misery. Therefore, we must set to work now with the utmost seriousness.
But it is when the darkest forces are at their most violent that the brightest light also shines. Oriphiel has assumed the leadership in the past. The last time was when Christ appeared upon the earth, a period when the worst rottenness and decadence reigned all over the earth. It took terrible sufferings then for the human race to be jolted forward. Oriphiel has been called the Archangel of Anger, who purifies humanity with a strong hand.
The story of Christ's cracking his whip at the money-changers in the Temple has deep meaning in it. At this darkest of times in human history, Christ appeared to save humanity.
Since November, 1879, a few men have become mature enough to take in theosophical teachings, but it's only a small host, whereas other moderns are till unable to acquire the teachings, consider them to be fantastic ideas and dreams or even get angry about them.
When people who prove to be receptive for theosophical teachings let the latter work upon them, their etheric body begins to oscillate slightly.
Whereas someone who loses himself in external things gets an expanded and rarified etheric body.
When such a person hears some spiritual teachings it's as if the wind were blowing through a cleft in the etheric body, which announced itself in him as fear, but appears outwardly as doubt. Such a man only notices the doubts, but they're the expression of fear and anxiety that have moved into his rarified etheric body as into a vacuum and have become noticeable there as doubt. We can't help a man who behaves in a rejective manner. It's better not to bother him with theosophy
But wherever an opportunity rises we should quietly let theosophical ideas flow in according to the principle “steady dripping hollows the tone.”
For we only have another 400 years or so to give these teachings in a theosophical form to all men. So that everyone will have an opportunity those who resisted them now will be born again in the next four centuries. A suitable number of men must be present then who represent theosophy in the right way.
Men could only tread the inner path for a long time before the event of Golgotha. Men who went out into the macrocosm in ancient India would have become lost in it as in darkness and emptiness, because their inner members had a different relationship to each other then. This kind of union with God existed until medieval times, because man changes but slowly. Mystics like Eckhart, Tauler and Molinos teach us the inner path an describe it exactly. Miguel de Molinos speaks of five stages of immersion He says that we must turn away from all creatures that corresponds to the forces of our etheric body, from our talents that correspond to the astral body, and from our ego that coincides with our fourth part and that we must merge with God.
But it gradually became necessary for men to tread the inner and outer paths simultaneously, and that's why the Rosicrucian, esoteric schools that taught both ways rose in the 11th and 12th centuries.
On a personal note