The being of Elijah

From Anthroposophy

This page uses the term 'the being of' to distinguish from normal human Personality (physical incarnation and life of) or Individuality (spiritual Man across incarnations). Rudolf Steiner gives many hints about this intriguing being, he describes 'the being of Elijah' as a great significant spirit (1911-12-14-GA061), at the archangelic level of a folk soul (1912-09-17-GA139), a vessel for the 'Adam sister soul' (1909-09-19-GA114) and too large to fit into a normal human incarnation, fully penetrating the physical body. (1909-09-20-GA114)

Hence, Elijah was an important prophet to the Hebrew people, the man who lived as Elijah is described as an inspired personality 'filled with the spirit' (1909-09-20-GA114); he was the 'Naboth', what the bible calls the physical bearer of the spiritual being Elijah.

As stated in the New Testament with a quote by Christ-Jesus, the Individuality known as the prophet Elijah re-appeared as or also worked through John the Baptist. Rudolf Steiner identified that this was an angelic being (1911-02-25-GA127) that also worked in Raphael and Novalis.

Furthermore he describes how after his death, the spirit of John the Baptist worked over the twelve apostles, and also how it played a role in the initiation of Lazarus-John by the Christ (see the Mystery of John).

Aspects

The numbers in square brackets refer to Schema FMC00.377. The key relevant phrases are put in bold underlined in the lecture extracts below.

  • [1 to 3] - the Adam sister soul at the three pre-MoG sacrifices of Christ - see Three pre-MoG interventions of Christ
  • [4] - working through Krishna, see Krishna impulse
  • Phinehas at the time of Moses
    • the same individuality lived in Phinehas (the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest) at the time of Moses (1912-09-22-GA139)
  • [5] - the being of Elijah
    • Elijah as 'folk spirit of the hebrew people' and 'face of Jehovah' (1912-09-17-GA139)
    • according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible Elijah lived in northern Palestina/Israel during the reign of King Ahab (9th century BC).
    • the Bible calls the outer physical bearer of the spiritual being Elijah by the name 'Naboth' (1911-12-14-GA061)
    • 'cellular multiplication into human hearts' (1912-09-17-GA139):
      • "That which was to descend as the individual soul into every individual human breast was at the beginning of the Johannine age still in the super-sensible world. It was not yet in every human breast, and it could not yet live in this way in Elijah. So it entered into the individual personality of Naboth but only by hovering over it .. in Elijah-Naboth it manifested itself more distinctly than it did in the individual members of the ancient Hebrew people. This spirit .. was now about to enter more and more into every bosom. The spirit of Elijah itself shows how in multiplied form it must enter human hearts, so that in the further course of world history they may gradually take up ever more and more of the Christ Impulse."
  • [6] - working through (the nirmanakaya of) the Buddha (1909-09-20-GA114)
  • [7] - John the Baptist (7)
    • in John the Baptist lived an angelic being (1911-02-25-GA127 and 1910-12-12-GA124)
    • was an initiate who received an Aquarius initiation, in order so an angel could live in and work through him (1910-12-12-GA124)
    • in John the Baptist took place an amalgamation of the Buddha-stream with the Zarathustra-stream (1909-09-20-GA114)
  • after the death of John the Baptist
  • [10] - the personality of Raphael
  • [11] - the personality of Novalis

Other

  • the same individuality lived in
    • Elijah, in John the Baptist and in Raphael makes that: all three have the quality of being forerunners of Christianity (1912-05-23-GA155)
  • Note [1] in the 'Discussion area' below makes the link of Rudolf Steiner to the spiritual current of the Adam sister soul as preparatory for the Christ Impulse and 'not I but Christ in me' (FMC00.377)
  • various other
    • the Apocalypse of Elijah is an anonymous apocryphal work and purports to be a revelation given to Elijah by an angel

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.377 sketches the link between the Adam sister soul in the three pre-MoG sacrifices of Christ (1 to 3 on the drawing) its working through Krishna (4), and the being of Elijah (5). The being of Elijah continued to work through (the nirmanakaya of) the Buddha (6) and through John the Baptist (7) also after his death (8 and 9).

In green are the well known relationships between the Adam sister soul and the Nathan Jesus, and the fact this same spiritual being was used by the Christ ensouling an archangel in the pre-MoG sacrifices. Added here is the fact the same being was behind the Krishna impulse for the refined development of the I starting with the sentient soul around the start of the Egypto-Chaldean cultural age.

In blue are other well known relationships between the being of Elijah and John the Baptist, and the further working of the being of John the Baptist (after this one's death) as the group soul of the apostles and also at the initiation of Lazarus-John (see the Mystery of John).

Connecting the blue and green (the short horizontal between Nathan Jesus and John the Baptist) are the paragraphs in 1912-09-19-GA139, see also:

  • Schema FMC00.381 for a GA reference check, as the exact wordings are key
  • Note [2] in the Discussion area below for a commentary
  • the dark green box in Schema FMC00.377A below

Schema FMC00.377A is an alternative presentation showing the steps for the guidance of the development of the I, with the three pre-MoG interventions of the Christ, the preparatory working of the Krishna impulse and the being of Elijah, and the great enactment by Christ-Jesus and John the Baptist where the Adam sister soul worked as part of Christ-Jesus' structure and also 'from outside'.

The same colour code mapping is used for the green and blue streams as in Schema FMC00.377. The dark green box connecting John the Baptist and Nathan Jesus refers to 1912-09-19-GA139 and Schema FMC00.381.

FMC00.377A.jpg

Schema FMC00.381 provides detail around certain key sentences in the lecture of 1909-09-19-GA114 in the Gospel of Luke cycle, about the spiritual core or 'I' of John the Baptist. The four versions show the same fragment. On the left, the 1964 edition (that can be found in digital text format on several websites online) with rather unsatisfactory translation. The second column shows the 2001 ninth edition of the German official GA version. The third column shows original handwritten notes from the 1909 lecture. On the right, the handwritten notes were parsed and put in english to focus on the exact meaning of what was written and conveyed. The latter is not a professional translation, that not being the intention.

See further in Note [2] in the Discussion area below.

FMC00.381.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

Overview coverage

The being of Elijah is covered especially in the Gospel of Luke 1909-GA114, with 1909-09-19-GA114 and especially 1909-09-20-GA114 as the central lectures.

Lecture extracts

1906-03-05-GA094

We find the transfiguration scene in all the evangelists except St. John. This is significant. Let us clarify the meaning of this scene. What takes place? Jesus goes with three disciples Peter, James and John, up a mountain: this means into the inner sanctuary where one is initiated into higher worlds and where one also speaks in occult language. Then it is said: the master took his disciples up into a mountain; it means that he went to that place where he expounded the parable to them. The disciples were carried up into a higher state of consciousness. They saw then that which is not transitory but eternal.

Moses and Elias appear and Jesus himself with them. What does this mean? In occult science the word Elias means the same as El — the goal, the way. Moses is the spiritual scientific word for truth. By the fact that Elias, Moses and Jesus appear you have the fundamental Christian truth: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus himself says — this is a fundamental Christian mystical truth — “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John, ch. 14, v. 6)

The important thing is that here the eternal is shown as against the temporal, and the disciples see into a world which lies beyond this world. Afterwards they said to the master, “All this should only have come to pass once Elias has come again.” Thus they spoke to him as though reincarnation was taken as a matter of course, as also in many other passages in the gospels. John asked, “Art thou Elias come again?” Then answered the master, “Elias is indeed come again — John the Baptist is Elias. But the people did not recognise him. Say it unto no Man until I come again.”

Here we have the general, religious, profound truth of reincarnation uttered in the intimate conversation between the master and his disciples. At the same time it is set down as a testament: “Say it unto no man until I come again.” This coming again refers to a much later time, the time when all men will recognise Christ through their higher comprehension. When this comes about then will He reappear to them.

1909-09-17-GA114

This aspect of Christianity — Buddhism raised to a higher level — could be truly described only by one possessed of the heart and disposition of the writer of the Gospel of St. Luke. It was eminently possible for him to portray Christ Jesus as the Healer of body and soul because having himself worked as a physician he was able to write in the way that appealed so deeply to the hearts of men. That he recorded what he had to say about Christ Jesus from the standpoint of a physician will become more and more apparent as we penetrate into the depths of the Gospel

...

This expresses the great truth of the Bodhisattva becoming Buddha and sacrificing the substance of his very being to mankind for nourishment, so that his forces now ray out into the world from the hearts of men.

1909-09-19-GA114

The other facts described are also full of significance. A forerunner of Jesus of Nazareth was to arise in John the Baptist. To say more about the Individuality of the Baptist will only be possible as time goes on. But to begin with we will consider the picture presented to us — John as the herald of the Being who was to come in Jesus. John proclaimed this by gathering together and summarizing with infinite power everything contained in the old Law. What the Baptist wished to bring home to men was that there must be observance of what was written in the old Law but had grown old in civilization and had been forgotten; it was mature, but was no longer heeded. Therefore what John required above all was the power possessed by a soul born as a mature — even overmature — soul into the world. He was born of old parents; from the very beginning his astral body was pure and cleansed of all the forces which degrade man, because the aged parents were unaffected by passion and desire. There again, profound wisdom is expressed in the Gospel of St. Luke. For such an Individuality, too, provision is made in the Mother-Lodge of humanity. Where the great Manu guides and directs the processes of evolution in the spiritual realm, from thence the streams are sent whithersoever they are needed. An I such as that of John the Baptist was born into a body under the immediate guidance and direction of the great Mother-Lodge of humanity in the central sanctuary of earthly spiritual life. The John-I descended from the same holy region as that from which the soul-being of the Jesus-child of the Gospel of St. Luke descended, save that upon Jesus there were chiefly bestowed qualities not yet permeated by an I in which egoistic traits had developed: that is to say, a young soul was guided to the place where the reborn Adam was to incarnate.

It will seem strange to you that a soul without a really developed I could be guided from the great Mother-Lodge to a certain place. But the same I that was withheld from the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke was bestowed upon the body of John the Baptist; thus the soul-being in Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke and the I-being in John the Baptist were inwardly related from the beginning.

Now when the human embryo develops in the body of the mother, the I unites with the other members of the human organism in the third week, but does not come into operation until the last months before birth and then only gradually. Not until then does the I become active as an inner force; in a normal case.

When an I quickens an embryo, we have to do with an I that has come from earlier incarnations. In the case of John, the I in question was inwardly related to the soul-being of the Nathan Jesus.

Hence according to the Gospel of St. Luke, the mother of Jesus went to the mother of John the Baptist when the latter was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, and the embryo that in other cases is quickened by its own I was here quickened through the medium of the other embryo. The child in the body of Elisabeth begins to move when the mother bearing the Nathan Jesus-child approaches; and it is the I through which the child in the other mother (Elisabeth) is quickened. (Luke I, 39–44).

Such was the deep connection between the Being who was to bring about the fusion of the two spiritual streams and the other who was to announce His coming!

1909-09-20-GA114

[Introducting Elijah]

Hence it was inevitable that there should arise among the ancient Hebrew people Individualities such as the Prophets and Seers, one of the most important of whom was Elijah.

What is there to be said about a personality such as his?

Elijah was destined to be one of the ruling figures in the régime inaugurated by Moses. But the folk-substance of the Hebrews could produce no human being able to represent the whole content of the Law of Moses — which could be received only as a revelation from above.

What we described as being necessary in the ancient Indian epoch, also as the special nature of the Bodhisattva, had to be repeated again and again in the Hebrew people too: there had to be Individualities who were not wholly contained in the human personality; one part of their being was in the earthly personality and the other in the spiritual world. Elijah was an Individuality of this nature.

Only part of his being was present in his personality on the physical plane; the I-hood of Elijah could not penetrate fully into his physical body. He must therefore be called a personality ‘filled with the Spirit’. A figure such as Elijah could not possibly be brought into existence through the normal forces by which other men are placed in the world.

  • In the normal way the human being develops in the mother's body in such a way that through physical processes the Individuality who has been incarnated previously simply unites with the physical embryo. In the case of an ordinary man everything takes place as it were straightforwardly, without any intervention by forces outside the normal.
  • This could not be so in the case of an Individuality such as Elijah. Other forces had to intervene, concerned with the part of the Individuality that reached into the spiritual world. His development was necessarily attended by influences working upon him from outside. Hence when such Individualities are incarnated they appear as men who are ‘inspired’, ‘impelled by the Spirit’. They appear as ecstatic personalities whose utterances far surpass anything that might issue from their normal intelligence. All the prophets in the Old Testament are figures of this kind. They are ‘impelled by the Spirit’; the I cannot always account for its actions. The Spirit lives in the personality and is sustained from outside.

From time to time such personalities withdraw into solitude; the part of the I needed by the personality withdraws and inspiration comes from the Spirit. In certain ecstatic, unconscious states such a being is responsive to the inspirations from above. The man who lived as ‘Elijah’ was an outstanding example of this. The words uttered by his mouth and the actions performed by his hands did not proceed only from the part of his being actually present in his personality; they were manifestations of divine-spiritual Beings in the background.

[Gospel says John Baptist is reborn Elijah]

When this Individuality was born again he was to unite with the body of the child born to Zacharias and Elisabeth. We know from the Gospel itself that John the Baptist is to be regarded as the reborn Elijah.

But in him we have to do with an Individuality who in his earlier incarnations had not habitually developed or brought fully into operation all the forces present in the normal course of life.

  • In the normal course of life the inner power or force of the I becomes active while the physical body of the human being is developing in the mother's womb.
  • The Elijah-Individuality in earlier times had not descended deeply enough to be involved in the inner processes operating here. The I had not, as in normal circumstances, been stirred into activity by its own forces, but from outside. This was now to happen again. But the I was now farther from the spiritual world and nearer to the Earth, much more closely connected with the Earth than the Beings who had formerly guided Elijah.


[Joining of two streams]

The transition leading to the amalgamation of the Buddha-stream with the Zarathustra-stream was now to be brought about.

Everything was to be rejuvenated. It was now the Buddha who had to work from outside — the Being who had linked himself with the Earth and its affairs and now, in his Nirmanakaya, was united with the Nathan Jesus.

This Being who

  • on the one side was united with the Earth,
  • but on the other withdrawn from it because he was working only in his Nirmanakaya which had soared to realms ‘beyond’ the Earth and hovered above the head of the Nathan Jesus,

.. this Being had now to work from outside and stimulate the I-force of John the Baptist.

Thus it was the Nirmanakaya of Buddha which now stirred the I-force of John into activity, having the same effect as spiritual forces that had formerly worked upon Elijah.

In earlier times the being known as Elijah had been rapt in states of ecstasy; at those times God spoke through him, filling his I with a force, so that it could then be communicated to the outer world.

Now again a spiritual force was present: the Nirmanakaya of Buddha hovering above the head of the Nathan Jesus. This force now worked upon Elisabeth when John was to be born, stimulated within her the embryo of John in the sixth month of pregnancy, and wakened the I.

But being nearer to the Earth this force now worked as more than an inspiration; it had an actual formative effect upon the I of John. Under the influence of the visit of her who is there called ‘Mary’, the I of John the Baptist awoke into activity. The Nirmanakaya of Buddha was here working upon the I of the former Elijah — now the I of John the Baptist — wakening it and penetrating right into the physical substance.

What may we now expect?

Even as the words of power once spoken by Elijah in the ninth century before our era were in truth ‘God's words’, and the actions performed by his hands ‘God's actions’, it was now to be the same in the case of John the Baptist, inasmuch as what had been present in Elijah had come to life again.

The Nirmanakaya of Buddha worked as an inspiration into the I of John the Baptist. That which manifested itself to the shepherds and hovered above the head of the Nathan Jesus extended its power into John the Baptist, whose preaching was primarily the re-awakened preaching of Buddha.

This fact is in the highest degree noteworthy and cannot fail to make a deep impression upon us when we recall the sermon at Benares wherein Buddha spoke of the suffering in life and the release from it through the Eightfold Path. He often expanded a sermon by saying in effect:

‘Hitherto you have had the teaching of the Brahmans; they ascribe their origin to Brahma himself and claim to be superior to other men because of this noble descent. These Brahmans claim that a Man's worth is determined by his descent, but I say to you: Man's worth is determined by what he makes of himself, not by what is in him by virtue of his descent. Judged by the great wisdom of the world, Man's worth lies in whatever he makes of himself as an individual!’

Buddha aroused the wrath of the Brahmans because he emphasized the individual quality in men, saying:

‘Verily it is of no avail to call yourselves Brahmans; what matters is that each one of you, through his own personal qualities and efforts should make of himself a purified individual.’

Although not word for word, such was the gist of many of Buddha's sermons. And he would often expand this teaching by showing how, when a Man understands the world of suffering, he can feel compassion, can become a comforter and a helper, how he shares the lot of others because he knows that he is feeling the same suffering and the same pain.

The Buddha, now in his Nirmanakaya, shed his radiance upon the Nathan Jesus-child and continued his preaching inasmuch as he let the words resound from the mouth of John the Baptist. These words were spoken under the inspiration of the Buddha and it is like a continuation of his former preaching when, for example, John says:

‘You who set so much store by your descent from those who in the service of the spiritual powers are called Children of the Serpent, and plead the Wisdom of the Serpent, who led you to this? You believe that you bring forth fruits of repentance when you merely say: We have Abraham to our father’

... (now, however, John continues the actual preaching of Buddha) ...

‘Say not that you have Abraham to your father, but be good men, whatever your place in the world. A good man can be raised up from the stones upon which your feet tread. Verily, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham’

... and then again he says: ‘He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none!’

Men came to him and asked: ‘Master, what shall we do?’ — exactly as the monks once came to Buddha. All these sayings seem to be like utterances of Buddha himself, or a continuation of them. [See Luke III, 7–12].

Knowing that these beings appear on the physical plane at different turning-points of time, we learn to understand the unity of religions and the spiritual proclamations made to mankind. We shall not realize who and what Buddha was by clinging to tradition but by listening to how he actually speaks. Five to six hundred years before our era, Buddha preached the Sermon at Benares, but his voice has not been silenced. He speaks, although no longer incarnated, when he inspires through the Nirmanakaya. From the mouth of John the Baptist we hear what the Buddha had to say six hundred years after he had lived in a physical body.

There we have a real indication of the ‘unity of religions!’ We must look for each religion at the right point in the evolution of humanity and seek for what is truly alive in it, not what is dead — for everything continues to develop. This we must learn to realize. To refuse to hear Buddha's utterances from the mouth of John the Baptist is like someone who had seen the seed of a rose-tree and later on, when the tree has grown and bears flowers, refuses to believe that the tree grew from the seed, insisting that it is something different! The truth is that what was once alive in the seed now blossoms in the rose-tree. And the living essence of the Sermon at Benares blossomed in the preaching of John the Baptist by the Jordan.

1910-12-12-GA124

[John Baptist .. angel]

Such an event occurred when the individuality who lived in Elijah was reborn in John the Baptist. An angel entered his soul and used his body and soul to do what would have been impossible for a human being to accomplish.

An angel lived in John who had to announce the true I that was to live in Jesus of Nazareth.

It is extremely important to know that John the Baptist is only Maya and that an angelic messenger lived in him. This is found also in the Greek version of the Bible: “Behold, I send my messenger [i.e., angeloi or angel].”

Thus, a profound cosmic mystery connected with John the Baptist was prophesied by Isaiah. As we have seen, Isaiah characterized John as Maya or illusion, but in truth John encompassed the angel who had to announce what humanity really was to become through receiving the Christ impulse. Angels proclaim beforehand what humanity is to become later. So, this passage in the Bible should really read, “Behold, what gives I-hood to the world sends the angel before thee to whom I-hood will be given.”

Why was John the Baptist able to be the bearer of the Angeloi?

He could do this because he had had a certain initiation. Each initiation is specialized. Initiations are not just general, but specialized. Individuals who have a very special task need a particular kind of initiation. Now for everything that occurs in the spiritual world precautions have been taken so that the starry script in the heavens reveals spiritual facts. For example, people could have a sun-initiation and enter into the secrets of the spiritual world that is the realm of Ahura Mazdao, the world for which the sun is the external expression. There are, however, twelve different ways to be initiated into the secrets of the sun; each of these initiations was a “solar initiation,” yet different from the other eleven. Depending upon what a person has to accomplish for humanity, he or she receives an initiation that can be described as a solar initiation but, for example, one where the forces flow in as though the sun were standing in Cancer. This differs from the initiation where the forces flow in as though the sun were standing in Libra. This is how different specialized initiations were designated.

Individuals who have as important a mission as John the Baptist must be initiated in a very special way. Only then will they have the necessary strength to accomplish their mission in the world even in a rather single-minded way if circumstances require that. So, in order for John the Baptist to become the bearer of the Angeloi, he had to undergo the sun-initiation that can be called the initiation in the sign of Aquarius. The sun in Aquarius is a symbol for the initiation John the Baptist received to become the bearer of the angel. He received the force of the sun as it streams down when its relation to the other stars is characterized with the words, “The sun stands in the constellation of Aquarius.” That was the symbol. John had undergone the Aquarius initiation.

Today many learned ignoramuses try to interpret spiritual events by bringing the heavens down to Earth. They say, “Now, that indicates a forward movement of the sun.” These learned people, who really do not know anything, interpret human events from the heavens. However, it was the other way around. What lives in humanity spiritually was transferred to the heavens; the heavens were used as a means of expression. Thus, John the Baptist could say, “I have baptized you with water,” which was the same as saying, “I baptize you with water: I am endowed with the initiation of Aquarius.” That is what John could have said to his closest disciples. With our senses we see the constellation of Virgo opposite Aquarius, and from there the sun moves to Libra. However, in terms of initiation, the sun proceeds in the opposite direction, not as it appears to our senses. Thus, we have to look at the sun's path from Aquarius to Pisces. John could say, “Something will come that will no longer work in the way that corresponds to the sun's influence in Aquarius; instead, it will work in a way corresponding to the sun's effect in Pisces. One will come who will bring a higher baptism.”

When the spiritual sun rises higher, then the Aquarian baptism becomes a baptism with spiritual water. The sun ascends in the spiritual realm from Aquarius to Pisces, hence the well-known ancient fish symbol for the bearer of Christ. Through special spiritual influences, John had an Aquarian initiation.

But the initiation that came about mysteriously through the Mysteries around Jesus, of which I have spoken several times, was a Pisces initiation. It resulted from the sun advancing to the next constellation, and Jesus of Nazareth was integrated into his time through being subjected first to a Pisces initiation.

1911-02-25-GA127

In John [the Baptist] lives an angelic being that take possession of his soul and leads human beings to Christ. He is a sheath for the revelation of an angelic being. The angel could enter in him, because the reborn Eliah was ready to take in the angel. Hence the angel that was sent spoke through him, serving him of John for the process.

1912-05-20-GA133

Now that the dark age Kali yuga has come to an end, consciousness must be imbued with the forces necessary for the further evolution of the human race; what was lost during Kali yuga must be raised again from the depths. Our eyes must be directed more and more to the onflowing life of the Individuality. I have spoken of a series of lives in the West — Elijah, John the Baptist, Raphael, Novalis — and have shown how by the addition of knowledge derived from the spiritual worlds, we can perceive the continuous thread of the soul, the onflowing life of the one Individuality in Elijah, John the Baptist, Raphael, Novalis. In our Movement, development of this insight must be a conscious aspiration, for it is a necessity in the evolution and culture of the Earth.

1912-09-17-GA139

quote A we call the 'cellular multiplication into human hearts'

Only when we consider this connection does the spirit of Elijah, which also worked in John the Baptist, appear to us in the right light.

Then we see that Elijah was the spirit of the old Jewish people.

What kind of spirit was this?

In a certain respect it was already the spirit of the 'I'. However, it does not appear as the spirit of the individual human being but as the collective folk spirit of the whole people.

That which later was to live in each individual man was, so to speak, still in Elijah the group soul of the ancient Hebrew people.

That which was to descend as the individual soul into every individual human breast was at the beginning of the Johannine age still in the super-sensible world.

It was not yet in every human breast, and it could not yet live in this way in Elijah. So it entered into the individual personality of Naboth but only by hovering over it. Yet in Elijah-Naboth it manifested itself more distinctly than it did in the individual members of the ancient Hebrew people. This spirit, hovering, as it were, over man and man's history, was now about to enter more and more into every bosom.

This was the great fact now proclaimed by Elijah-John himself when he said, as he baptized the people, something like the following,

“What until now was in the super-sensible worlds and worked from these worlds you must now take into your souls as impulses that have come from the kingdom of heaven right into the hearts of men.”

The spirit of Elijah itself shows how in multiplied form it must enter human hearts, so that in the further course of world history they may gradually take up ever more and more of the Christ Impulse.

The meaning of the baptism by John was that Elijah was ready to prepare the way for the Christ. This was contained in the deed of the baptism by John in the Jordan,

“I will make a place for Him; I will prepare the way for Him into the hearts of men. I will no longer merely hover over men, but will enter into human hearts, so that He also can enter in.”

quote B

But if we wish to consider the whole spirit of Elijah's work, and the whole spirit of Elijah as it is presented in the Bible, and allow it to influence our souls, we may say that in Elijah we are confronted by the spirit of the whole ancient Hebrew people. All that lives and is interwoven in this people is encompassed within the spirit of Elijah. We may refer to him as the folk spirit of the ancient Hebrew folk.

Spiritual science shows him to have been too great to dwell altogether in the soul of his earthly form, in the soul of Naboth. He hovered over him like a cloud; and he not only lived in Naboth but went around the whole country like an element of nature, active in rain and sunshine. This is revealed ever more clearly the more we go into the whole narrative, which begins by saying that drought and barrenness prevailed, but that through Elijah's relationship to the divine spiritual worlds the drought was ended and the needs of the land at that time were fulfilled. He worked as an element of nature, a law of nature itself.

We could say that the best way to learn to recognize what worked in the soul of Elijah is to let the 104th Psalm influence us, with its description of how Yahweh or Jehovah works in all things as a nature-divinity. Of course Elijah is not to be identified with this divinity itself; he is the earthly image of that divinity, an earthly image which is at the same time the folk soul of the Hebrew people. Elijah was a kind of differentiation of Jehovah, an earthly Jehovah, or, as he is described in the Old Testament, the “countenance” of Jehovah.

quote C

If we pass on to the sixth chapter of Mark we hear fully described how King Herod had John the Baptist beheaded. The tortured conscience of Herod arouses a strange foreboding in him. When he hears all that has occurred through Christ Jesus he says, “John, whom I beheaded, has been restored to life!” Herod feels that, though the physical personality of John had gone away, he is now all the more present! He feels that his atmosphere, his spirituality — which was none other than the spirituality of Elijah, is still there. His tormented conscience causes him to be aware that John the Baptist, that is, Elijah, is still there.

But then something strange happens. We are shown how, after John the Baptist had met his physical death, Christ Jesus came to the very neighborhood where John had worked. I want you to take particular notice of a remarkable passage and not to skim over it lightly, for the words of the Gospels are not written for rhetorical effect, nor journalistically. Something very significant is said here.

Jesus Christ appears among the throng of followers and disciples of John the Baptist, and this fact is expressed in a sentence to which we must give careful attention:

“And as Jesus came out He saw a great crowd,” by which could be meant only the disciples of John, “and He had compassion on them …” (Mark 6:34.)

Why compassion? Because they had lost their master, they were there without John, whose headless corpse we are told had been carried to his grave. But even more precisely is it said,

“for they were like sheep who had lost their shepherd. And He began to teach them many things.”

It cannot be indicated any more clearly how He teaches John’s disciples. He teaches them because the spirit of Elijah, which is at the same time the spirit of John the Baptist, is still active among them.

Thus it is again indicated with dramatic power in these significant passages of the Mark Gospel how the spirit of Christ Jesus entered into what had been prepared by the spirit of Elijah-John. Even so this is only one of the main points, around which many other significant things are grouped.

I will now call your attention to one thing more. I have several times pointed out how this spirit of Elijah or John continued to act in such a way as to impress its impulses into world history. I have often mentioned that the soul of Elijah-John appeared again in the painter Raphael. This is one of those facts that call attention to the metamorphoses of souls that take place under the impetus given by the Mystery of Golgotha. Because it was also necessary that in the post-Christian era such a soul should work in Raphael through the medium of a single personality; what in ancient times was so comprehensive and world encompassing now appears in such a different personality as that of Raphael. Can we not feel that the aura that hovered round Elijah-John is also present in Raphael? That in Raphael there were such similarities to these two others that we could even say that this element was too great to be able to enter into a single personality but hovered round it, so that the revelations received by this personality seemed like an illumination? Such was indeed the case with Raphael!

The final paragraph is discussed in Discussion Note [1] below

1912-09-20-GA139

quote B

Where is this soul to be found? This Elijah-soul is at the same time the soul of the Old Testament people, as it enters the Baptist and lives in him. When he was imprisoned and then beheaded by Herod, what happened then to his soul? This we have already indicated. His soul left the body and worked on as an aura; and into the domain of this aura Christ Jesus entered. Where then is the soul of Elijah, the soul of John the Baptist? The Mark Gospel indicates this clearly enough. The soul of John the Baptist, of Elijah, becomes the group soul of the Twelve; it lives, and continues to live in the Twelve. We can say that it is artistically and pictorially shown in a remarkable manner how the teaching of Christ Jesus, his way of teaching, differed when he taught the crowd and when he taught his own individual disciples — and this, even before the Mark Gospel has told us of the death of John the Baptist. We have already spoken of this. However, a change takes place when the soul of Elijah is freed from John the Baptist and works on further in the Twelve as a group soul. And this is indicated, for from this time onward — this is quite clear if we read the passage and reread it — Christ makes greater demands on His disciples than before. He calls upon them to understand higher things. And it is very remarkable what He expects them to understand, and what later on He reproaches them for not understanding. Read it in the Gospel just as it is written. I have already referred to one aspect of these events, namely that mention was made of an increase of bread when Elijah went to the widow at Sareptah, and how, when the soul of Elijah was freed from John the Baptist, again an increase of bread is reported. But now Christ Jesus demands of His disciples that they should understand in particular the meaning of this increase of bread. Before that time He had not spoken to them in such terms. Now they ought to understand what was the destiny of John the Baptist after he had been beheaded through Herod, what happened in the case of the feeding of the five thousand when the fragments of bread were collected in twelve baskets, and what happened when the four thousand were fed from seven loaves and the fragments were collected in seven baskets. So He said to t/hem:

“Do you notice and understand nothing? Are your souls still in the darkness? You have eyes and do not see, ears and do not hear, and you do not think of what I did. I broke the five loaves for the five thousand. How many baskets of the fragments did you gather?” They answered, “Twelve.”

“And when seven loaves were divided among four thousand, how many basketsful of fragments did you gather?”

And they answered, “Seven.”

Then he said to them, “Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21.)

He reproaches them severely because they cannot understand the meaning of these revelations. Why does He do this? Because the thought was in His mind, “Now that the spirit of Elijah has been freed, he lives in you, and you must gradually prove yourselves worthy of his penetration into your souls, so that you may understand things that are higher than what you have hitherto been able to understand.” When Christ Jesus spoke to the crowd, He spoke in parables, in pictures, because there was still in their souls an echo of what had formerly been perceived in the super-sensible world in imaginations, in imaginative knowledge. For this reason He had to speak to the crowd in the way used by the old clairvoyants. To those who came out of the Old Testament people and became His disciples He could interpret the parables in a Socratic manner, in accordance with ordinary human reasoning capacities. He could speak to the new sense that had been given to mankind after the old clairvoyance had died out. But because Elijah's spirit as a group soul came near to the Twelve and permeated them like a common aura, they could, or at least it was possible for them to become in a higher sense clairvoyant. Enlightened as they were through the spirit of Elijah-John they could, when the Twelve were united together, perceive what they could not attain as individual men. It was for this that Christ wished to educate them.

1912-09-22-GA139

Thus we read in Numbers 25:10-12:

And the Lord spoke with Moses and said: “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away my anger from the children of Israel through his zeal concerning me. So in my zeal I have not destroyed the children of Israel. Therefore say: See, I give him my covenant of peace.”

Yahweh said this to Moses. And in this particular passage we must also see something that according to ancient Hebrew esoteric teaching is exceptionally significant. This is confirmed by occult research. We know that those representing the high priesthood of ancient Israel are direct descendants of Aaron, and that in them the essence of what was given to mankind by the Jewish people lives on. At that moment of world history, according to Hebrew esoteric teaching and confirmed by more recent occult research, the significant truth was indicated that Yahweh imparts the knowledge to Moses that in Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the grandson of Aaron, he was bestowing on the Hebrew people a very special priest who represents him and is closely connected with him.

And the esoteric teaching and occult research reveal that the same soul lives in the body of Phinehas that was later present in Elijah. Thus we have a continuous line of descent which in several points we have already described. In Aaron's grandson we have one soul that is of concern to us, the soul that lives in Phinehas. The same soul appears again in Elijah-Naboth and then in John the Baptist, and we know how it continues throughout the evolution of mankind. So there is pictured for us this soul on the one side of the Christ, and on the other the soul of Moses himself.

So in the Transfiguration, in the Transformation on the mountain, we have before us a streaming together of the entire spirituality of Earth evolution, the essence of which flowed through the Jewish blood into the Levitical line. Thus the soul of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron stands before us; Moses stands before us; and there stands before us also He who fulfilled the Mystery of Golgotha.

And the three disciples who were to be initiated, Peter, James and John, were to perceive in imaginative knowledge how these forces, these spiritual streams, flowed together. When yesterday I tried to picture for you how something like a call sounds over from Greece to Palestine and the call that answered it, this was something more than a mere pictorial description of the facts. It was indeed a preparation for that great world-historical discourse that now actually took place.

The disciples Peter, James, and John were to be initiated into what these three souls had to discuss together; one soul who belonged to the people of the Old Testament, one who carried within himself much of what we know about the Moses soul, while the third, as cosmic deity, is uniting Himself with the earth. This the disciples were to see.

1913-10-05-GA148

(2 versions on rsarchive)

Another experience was that Jesus of Nazareth made the acquaintance of a slightly younger man who had joined the Essene Order, but in an entirely different way than Jesus had, but who nevertheless did not completely become an Essene. He was John the Baptist, who lived as a lay brother within the Essene community. He dressed like the Essenes, who used clothing of camel's hair in winter, but he never completely exchanged Jewish teaching for Essene teaching. But the teachings and life of the Essenes made a great impression on him, so he lived the Essene life as a lay brother. He was stimulated and inspired and by and by became the John the Baptist described in the Gospels. Jesus of Nazareth and John the Baptist conversed often. One day – I know what it means to simply tell these things, but nothing can stop me; I also know that these things must be told – One day when Jesus of Nazareth was talking with John the Baptist, the physical body of the Baptist seemed to disappear and Jesus had a vision of Elias. That was the second meaningful experience in the Essene community.

1913-12-31-GA149

Yesterday we came to know about the threefold Christ-event which took place in Lemurian and Atlantean epochs. We saw how on three occasions the being who appeared later as the Nathan Jesus-child was permeated by the Christ, but in such a way that he did not incarnate on Earth but remained in spiritual worlds. And when we look back over what happened then, we must say that what was accomplished in Atlantean times flowed over into the East.

For example, Elijah was one of the prophets, but in what sense is he a prophet? He is a servant of the God Jahve, but in his soul an echo of the threefold Christ-event lives on. In his soul is the knowledge: “As a prophet of Jahve I must above all things proclaim that in Jahve there lives the Christ who will later on fulfil the Mystery of Golgotha; the Christ who poured His enduring influence into the cosmos through His third experience at the end of the Atlantean time.” Elijah proclaimed the Christ-filled Jahve. For the Christ was indeed living in Jahve, the Jahve-god, but as a reflection of Himself. As the moon reflects the sunlight, so did Jahve reflect the Being who then lived as Christ. Christ caused his Being to be reflected from Jahve or the Jahve-god. But a messenger such as Elijah worked in the after-effects of the threefold Christ-event; we might say that Elijah went ahead of the Nathan Jesus-being, who was passing spiritually from West to East in order to find his way into the course of civilisation and then to be born as one of the Jesus-children.

[Adonis cult]

The overflow, as it were, of Meteorology, especially when this came into touch with Geology, was felt by all peoples as a heralding of things to come. And we meet with the remarkable fact that in the region which afterwards became so important for Christianity one of these prefiguring signs occurred. We see how in the most varied places of Asia Minor, and also in Europe, festivals were held which were like foreshadowings of the Mystery of Golgotha. The cults of Attis and Adonis have been correctly noted as having this character. But if we look at these festivals in their true light, we see that the event they prefigure is on the meteorological level. The god who was slain as Adonis, and who rose again, was not thought of as embodied in the flesh. What his worshippers had for a god was primarily an image, a picture; and in fact it was a picture of the angelic Being who in spiritual heights was permeated by the Christ at the close of the Atlantean time and was later born as the Nathan Jesus-child. It was the destiny of the Nathan Jesus-child that was celebrated in the worship of Adonis and Attis.

We can now say that it was part of the karma of world history — you will perhaps look for something more behind these words — that in the place where the Bible with a certain truth locates the birth of the Jesus-child, in Bethlehem, there was a centre of the Adonis cult. Bethlehem was one of the places where Adonis had been worshipped. The Adonis who died and rose, again was often celebrated there, and so was an aura prepared by the calling up of a memory: Once in the spiritual heights there was a Being who then belonged still to the Hierarchy of Angels and was later to come to Earth as the Nathan Jesus-child; a Being who at the end of the Atlantean time had been permeated by the Christ. What had formerly been done for the harmonising of thinking, feeling and willing — this was celebrated at the Adonis festivals.

And in Bethlehem, where Adonis festivals had been held, we have also the birthplace of the Nathan Jesus-child.

In conjunction, these words sound strange.

But when we have sought out the threefold Christ-event, the super-earthly event which on three occasions preceded the Mystery of Golgotha, do we not see the Christ pass over from West to East, to the place where the Mystery of Golgotha was to be fulfilled?

Do we not see how He had sent His messenger in Elijah, and do we not know how in his next incarnation the messenger reappeared as John the Baptist?

And are we not expressly told of this in a wonderful harmony of words:

“He sent his angel before him, to herald his coming?”

[“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” Malachi, III. 1. “For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” Matthew, XI. 10.]

That can be said as well of John as of Elijah. Or even better of Elijah, as will be understood by those who remember my saying that Elijah remained in spiritual heights and worked through a representative, so that he himself never went about on Earth. If you reflect on that, the expression, “He sent his angel before him”, is even more appropriate to Elijah than to John. Such messengers were always messengers of the Christ, who was passing from West to East.

1914-01-13-GA148

is a lecture of the fifth gospel, that covers the figure of John the Baptist and of certain aspects of his mission

1924-09-28-GA238

The Individuality of Elias, John, Raphael, Novalis, see the Mystery of John

quote

And further we saw that this being appears once more in that world painter who let his artistic power unfold in marvellous depths of tenderness, as it moved hovering over the Mystery of Golgotha

quote A

If .. in the near future, in four times twelve human beings, the Michael Thought becomes fully alive — four times twelve human beings, that is, who are recognised not by themselves but by the Leadership of the Goetheanum in Dornach — if in four times twelve such human beings, leaders arise having the mood of soul that belongs to the Michael festival, then .. we can look up to the light that, through the Michael stream and the Michael activity, will be shed abroad in the future among mankind.

From various sources

Below is a combination of sources, with no further qualification.

[Incarnations of John the Baptist]

  • Adam (Lemurian Age)
  • Phinehas (ca. 1200 BC)
  • Elijah-Naboth (ca. 9th century BC)
  • John the Baptist
  • Raphael or Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520)
  • Novalis (1772-1801)

Discussion

Note [1] - Rudolf Steiner's personal note in context Elijah

[Note 1a]

This is a personal note. The below is an extract based on notes dated 2015-07-19/20:

I read Rudolf Steiner's Last Address and found it intriguing, but only really had an ‘Aha’ feeling when I found an earlier occasion where RS had covered the Grimm Raphael biography topic. This was on 17 Sep 1912, in Lecture 3 on the Gospel of Mark.

Here is the extract:

I will now call your attention to one thing more. I have several times pointed out how this spirit of Elijah or John continued to act in such a way as to impress its impulses into world history. And since we are all anthroposophists assembled together here, and able to enter into occult facts, it is permissible to discuss this subject here. I have often mentioned that the soul of Elijah-John appeared again in the painter Raphael. This is one of those facts that call attention to the metamorphoses of souls that take place under the impetus given by the Mystery of Golgotha. Because it was also necessary that in the post-Christian era such a soul should work in Raphael through the medium of a single personality; what in ancient times was so comprehensive and world encompassing now appears in such a different personality as that of Raphael. Can we not feel that the aura that hovered round Elijah-John is also present in Raphael? That in Raphael there were such similarities to these two others that we could even say that this element was too great to be able to enter into a single personality but hovered round it, so that the revelations received by this personality seemed like an illumination? Such was indeed the case with Raphael!

.

I could also say that there exists a proof of this fact, though it is a somewhat personal one, to which I already alluded in Munich.

I would like to refer to it again here, not for the purpose of bringing out the personality of John the Baptist, but the full being of Elijah-John. For this purpose I will venture to speak of the further progress of the soul of Elijah-John in Raphael.

Anyone who wishes honestly and sincerely to investigate what Raphael really was is likely to have his feelings aroused in a very remarkable way.

What follows is the Hermann Grimm story on the biographies and the life of Raphael. As Grimm’s life work was to study the life and work of Raphael, he made an intuitive connection with what was really speaking through Raphael and his work.

So note that RS qualifies this as “there exists a proof of this fact, though it is a somewhat personal one”. What is so personal about it?

Well he says so in 1912-08-25, this is the lecture traced back from the Munich clue referenced above. RS and Grimm knew eachother well.

He continues to describe the same now in the words of Hermann Grimm, especially the section of a world-power, a spirit like a great aura enveloping a person:

Hermann Grimm describes Raphael as a world-power, as a spirit striding on through centuries and millennia, as a spirit who could not be encompassed within one individual man. And we may read yet other words by Hermann Grimm, wrung from the honesty and sincerity of his soul. It seems as if he wanted to express that there is something about Raphael like a great aura enveloping him, just as the spirit of Elijah enveloped Naboth.

Could this be expressed in any other way than in these words of Hermann Grimm,

“Raphael is a citizen of world-history; he is like one of the four rivers which, according to the belief of the ancient world, flowed out of Paradise. (Fragments, Vol. II, page 153.)

That might also have been written by an evangelist, and it might almost have been written of Elijah! Thus even a modern historian of art, if his feelings are honest and sincere, is able to feel something of the great cosmic impulses that live through the ages.

Truly nothing further is required to understand spiritual science than to come close to the soul and spiritual needs of those men who strive longingly to discover the truth about the evolution of humanity.”

Commentary after the above extract from personal notes.

.

Note always the same image is used: "permeated them like a common aura", see above and again in quote B of 1912-09-17-GA139

.. in Elijah we are confronted by the spirit of the whole ancient Hebrew people. ... the folk spirit of the ancient Hebrew folk. Spiritual science shows him to have been too great to dwell altogether in the soul of his earthly form, in the soul of Naboth. He hovered over him like a cloud; and he not only lived in Naboth but went around the whole country like an element of nature, active in rain and sunshine.

Now one may intuit that Rudolf Steiner feels as the voice of a greater power, and it may be that the being of Elijah is a theme throughout his lectures that has something to it that points to a close connection. There are many small elements in this general sense of feeling, incl. eg the nature of his personal relationship with Grimm, the fact this is his choice of subject for his Last Address. Indeed in this Last Address he presents the Being of Elijah as the central theme of what he wants to say, and his last words have something prophetic to them too. The two references above connect all this in a certain way, especiall with this subtle allmost 'slip of the tongue': "there exists a proof of this fact, though it is a somewhat personal one".

[Note 1b] - A second clue is in 1912-09-20-GA139. See extract B of that lecture above.

This reads as: this spirit working in/through Elijah and in/through John the Baptist, works through, becomes, the group soul of the twelve "and continues to live in these twelve" .. "works further in the twelve as a group soul".

From this point onwards, Christ expects more from the human beings under this influence, he expects them to have grown in their spiritual understanding .. "so that you may understand things that are higher" .. this would enable them to be or become clairvoyant.

This may trigger the thought of the cellular multiplication principle of Christ (see the mystical Christological process with the 'cells multiplying' analogy on Cleansed phantom), and the spiritual economy lecture course GA109, until one rconnects 1912-09-17-GA139 (see above).

Let's call this quote A the 'Elijah cellular multiplication into human hearts'. It is described as 'preparatory' for the Christ Impulse.

See the underlined:

The spirit of Elijah itself shows how in multiplied form it must enter human hearts, so that in the further course of world history they may gradually take up ever more and more of the Christ Impulse.

The meaning of the baptism by John was that Elijah was ready to prepare the way for the Christ. This was contained in the deed of the baptism by John in the Jordan:

“I will make a place for Him; I will prepare the way for Him into the hearts of men. I will no longer merely hover over men, but will enter into human hearts, so that He also can enter in.”

One gets the image that the pure Adam sister soul is radiating on Earth. In the pre-MoG it allowed the Christ to work for the whole of humanity three times before.

To be continued

[Note 1c] But note, it says: "when the Twelve were united together, perceive what they could not attain as individual men".

This links to the twelve apostles around the Christ at the Last Supper, the twelve knights at the time of the Arthur stream, but not in the least to the other part in Rudolf Steiner's last address, see quote A above.

One can read this as that four incarnations of twelve human beings have to follow, before the light of the Michael stream and activity can be shed abroad in the future of mankind. This formulation does not imply it have to be same Individualities that incarnate, it could also be four sets of twelve, but those sets of twelve then are regarded to have the the characteristic of, or undergone the effect of, the 'Elijah cellular multiplication into human hearts' (see [Note 1b] above).

To be done: link with twelve fragments of etheric body

[Note 1d] The above descriptions point out that the Being of Elijah was at a higher level than a normal human spirit. Elijah is said to have the properties of the 'folk spirit of the hebrew people' (archangel) and 'face of Jehovah' (1912-09-17-GA139).

Interestingly, Michael is also at the archangel level and called the face of Jehovah.

To put the quotes above in perspective:

First, In the course on the folk souls, George Adams comments as follows on the lecture of 1910-06-08-GA121

.. an Archangel is not at all times working as the folk-spirit of a nation upon Earth. There are times when the Archangel withdraws into another state of consciousness (then the nation He belonged to passes away from earthly history); after an intervening time He may return again, to ensoul another nation in a new historic epoch.

Dr. Steiner now tells of how this ether-aura of the nation-spirit works in its turn into the individual's etheric body, making that subtle thing which we describe as national temperament. “Think of the ether-body of the human being” he says in conclusion (pp. 18–19 in the English version) “and picture it quite realistically: the ether-body of the human being, embedded in the ether-body of the nation as a whole. Think too of how the latter is reflected in the temperamental qualities of the nation — the mingling of temperaments in the many individuals concerned. Therein you have the secret of how the folk-spirit or nation-spirit reveals his character within a given people.”

A very interesting statement is that the ether-aura of the nation only affects the sanguine, choleric and phlegmatic temperaments in individual man — not the fourth, the melancholic. Remembering how the four temperaments are related to the Elements of air, fire, water and earth respectively, we may come back to this where in a later course of lectures. Dr. Steiner tells of how the nation-souls work in the several elements, in different nations of Europe.

Second, see Schema FMC00.313 on how an archangel ensouls and inspires the etheric body. Suggestion: contemplate this schema in the context of the discussion on Rudolf Steiner and the Bodhisattva in the 20th century; see: Individuality of Rudolf Steiner#The Bodhisattva question

This may close the loop with [Note 1b] and "there exists a proof of this fact, though it is a somewhat personal one".

Note [2] - study notes for this topic

2.1 - 'Elijah John the Baptist' stream and the Adam sister soul

This topic provides a huge basis of lecture material, on the personalities of Elijah, John Baptist, Rafael, Novalis .. as well the information on the spiritual being that flows as a current through these four lives. Hermann Grimm is a fifth name to research, not in the least because his mention in Rudolf Steiner's 'last address'.

The key lectures to provide a basis are in the 1909-GA114, and 1909-09-19-GA114 provides the intriguing quote on the link between the spiritual I that lived in John the Baptist, and the Adam sister soul

1/ Getting to the key sentences

Here are the two key sentences from 1909-09-19-GA114

The John-I descended

  • from the same holy region as that from which the soul-being of the Jesus-child of the Gospel of St. Luke descended,
  • save that upon Jesus there were chiefly bestowed qualities not yet permeated by an I in which egoistic traits had developed: that is to say, a young soul was guided to the place where the reborn Adam was to incarnate.

It will seem strange to you that a soul without a really developed I could be guided from the great Mother-Lodge to a certain place. But

  • the same I that was withheld from the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke was bestowed upon the body of John the Baptist;
  • thus the soul-being in Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke and the I-being in John the Baptist were inwardly related from the beginning.

The italics here gives rise to possible confusion of what is meant. Is it the Adam sister soul, or the Adam soul that is meant?

Schema FMC00.381 above explains how we can replace version by the one below. As a comment: this Schema was added to show how the effect of many editors and translators can lead us away of what was possibly said by Rudolf Steiner. In some cases, literal phrasing makes a difference, and one cannot expect (generations of) editors and translators to have the in-depth contextual understanding of earnest students of spiritual science, so they try to make sense of it as they have 'a job to do'. It is important to be aware of this and its consequences.

Because the I, that was held back and kept for the Jesus from the Luke Gospel, was bestowed (or granted, german: bescheert) to the John, the soul of John received the I of Jesus.

This way, both mothers and children were in a particular relationship to one another from the beginning.

Here however we have before us some real special abnormal phenomena (Luke ref).

In the sixth month, Maria the mother of the Nathan child, visited Elisabeth, the mother of John, and there

  • .. the I of the John germ was stimulated by the other bodily fruit (leibesfrucht);
  • .. the child of Elisabeth was being called to his I-being (wird zum Ichsein gerufen),
  • .. was stimulated, so that it moved (dass es sich regt) in the mother, from outside of here, from the child in the body of the other mother Maria.

So deep are these spiritual relationships and how things hang together. So at that time something really special out-of-the-ordinary happened, and the truth is not as simple as one thinks, she is mighty/formidable (gewaltig) and complicated.

First, the underlined sections show that Steiner is stressing here that something quite exceptional happened for normal human understanding. The passage shows how he makes the comparison with the process during 'normal' incarnation, implying this is something quite different.

Secondly, to the core of the matter, one may conclude from the above that indeed the spiritual entity in John the Baptist was (by/an 'infusion' of) the Adam sister soul.

2/ What follows from this

This makes quite a difference, linking it to other elements:

  • 1 - the fact that Steiner quite consistently stresses that the being of Elijah and John the Baptist are the same spiritual entity (and we may now forget about this just being a normal human being incarnating). This means that the Adam sister soul worked not only in the Krishna impulse, but also in the "Elijah and John the Baptist Impulse" in the age of the intellectual soul (some 800 years apart, see 1913-03-05-GA152). Consider in this context again the 'cellular multiplication into human hearts' (1912-09-17-GA139).
  • 2 - the fact that the Adam sister soul was i) a bodily principle of Christ-Jesus (after the Baptism, as a result of the Nathan Jesus boy); but also ii) working in the world outside of Christ-Jesus
    • 2a) it appears it is underestimated how important John the Baptist's following was (add sources, plus note by Herod after beheading)
    • 2b) that, after the death of John the Baptist, the spiritual entity of John the Baptist (or Elijah), and now it is clear this is the Adam sister soul, became the group soul of the apostles. Because of this, Christ-Jesus had certain expectations to the apostles (see Feeding five thousand, as well as the transfiguration (where he was expecting/hoping that some apostles could stay with him conscious-wise, but they didn't)), that unfortunately didn't pan out as hoped. And Steiner states that the effect stays and is working further in the world.
    • 2c) another fructification by the Adam sister soul happens during the Raising of Lazarus, see also The Mystery of John
  • 3 - Given the above, it is worthwhile to reflect on the spiritual constitution or structure of the Adam sister soul, as one reads the quote:

    .. the I, that was held back and kept for the Jesus from the Luke Gospel, was bestowed (or granted, german: bescheert) to John, the soul of John received the I of Jesus. .. the I of the John germ was stimulated by the other bodily fruit (leibesfrucht) .. the child of Elisabeth was being called to his I-being (wird zum Ichsein gerufen),

    It is pure 'I' material from the SoF, their lowest principle that they sacrifice, unpolluted by incarnations into lower bodies infected by the Luciferic influence. What is this pure I: the higher triad of spirit-self, life-spirit and spirit-man. And, hypothesis and question put forth here, also the pure soul material in the lower spirit world, ready for incarnation. In this case the boundary is between the structure of the entity with a lower and higher spirit world structure, in the seven layers of the spirit world, and the astral body. From the moment the Nathan child incarnates though, it receives a physical body that by necessity comes with some luggage in terms of inherited karmic inpurities, see Model for hereditary physical body.


4 - As a side reflection, one may ponder over why Rudolf Steiner was not more explicit in this matter. Different thought options:

  • i) maybe he did in lectures of which there are no records left (one third of all lectures have no records, see Schema FMC00.120)
  • ii) maybe he did not want to be explicit because it would be oversimplifying, and the spiritual reality is quite a bit more complex than we imagine, not unlikely
  • iii) maybe he deliberately left 'openings' in the contents he lectured, for people to put together the puzzle themselves. This is the classical way of distributing occult knowledge (see middle ages, grimoires, etc: it is open and anyone may see or access it, but only some will actually understand)

2.2 - Structure of the beings and their influence

Rudolf Steiner makes explicit mention that:

  • in the three pre-MoG interventions of the Christ, the latter ensouled and worked through an archangelic being
  • in Elijah (and John the Baptist), Christ send an angel messenger ahead of him
  • furthermore, the workings in 2b) (group soul inspiring apostles) and 2c) (consciousness soul to Lazarus-John)


With reference to 1909-04-16-GA 110

Note [3] - Role of Elijah in the future: Book of Revelation, Book of Malachi, Apocalypse of Elijah

Note: this section is preliminary coverage and requires further study

In the Book of Revelation 11:1-14, John sees two of God's prophets during the 'Second woe'. They are not identified but it appears the Gospel of Nicodemus states them as Enoch and Elijah, and this is also the case in the Apocalypse of Elijah (see below)

From the Wikipedia page for two witnesses

John is told that the court of God's temple has been given to the nations, and the holy city will be trampled by the nations for 42 months. During that period for 1260 days, two witnesses would be granted authority to prophesy. They are described as two olive trees and two lampstands who stand before the Lord of the Earth. Both are able to devour their enemies with fire that flows out of their mouths. Also, they have power over the sky and waters and are able to strike the earth with plague.

After their testimony, the Beast overcomes the two witnesses and kills them. For three and a half days, the people of the earth celebrate the two witnesses' death and will not permit the witnesses a proper burial.

After this time, God resurrects the two witnesses; their resurrection strikes fear on everyone witnessing their revival, and the two witnesses then ascend to heaven.

In the next hour, a great earthquake occurs and kills 7000 men, destroying a tenth of the city.

Furthermore, in the Book of Malachi 4:5-6

.. I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. . [other translation: "lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction"]

and

behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Elijah indeed shall come, and restore all things

And from the Apocalypse of Elijah

After these things Elijah and Enoch will come down and put aside the flesh of this world and put on their spiritual flesh. On that day Christ will come from heaven, the king of all the saints. He will set fire to this earth. He will spend a thousand years on it, because the sinners have ruled on it. He will make a new heaven and a new earth. No devil [... ] is in them, as he goes up and down, they being with the angels at all times and with Christ a thousand years

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Wolfgang Greiner: 'Christus-Künder : Elias, Johannes der Täufer, Raffael, Novalis' (1988)
  • Gerlind Zaiser: 'Die Erkorenen des Wortes aus der Sprache der Gottesbotschaft : Elias Naboth und Johannes der Täufer' (1956)

John the Baptist

  • Jean Steinman: 'Johannes der Täufer in Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten' (1960)
  • Friedrich August von Metzsch: 'Johannes der Täufer: seine Geschichte und seine Darstellung in der Kunst' (1989)

Apocalypse of Elijah

  • versions
    • Georg Steindorff, DE edition (1899)
    • Harold A. Attridge (and editors Albert Pietersma, Susan Turner Comstock), EN edition (1981)
  • Ivan Miroshnikov and Alexey Somov: 'A New Look at Enoch and Elijah in the Apocalypse of Elijah'