A cycle of twelve lectures given at Hamburg,May 18–31, 1908.Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, from the German edition published with the title,Das Johannes-Evangelium (Vol.103 in the Bibliographic Survey,1961).Translated by Maud B. Monges.
Copyright 1940 by Anthroposophic Press, Inc.
Revised edition copyright © 1962 by Anthroposophic Press, Inc.
Published by Anthroposophic Press
A part from chapter V :
The Gospel of St. John
THE SEVEN DEGREES OF INITIATION
The First Sign
''At that time the ancient blood-relationship was spoken of only as a relationship with a God. This could all be learned, but all that was learned through it was nothing more than that one was related to this ancient divinity. But, if there was a desire to comprehend the Christ, then all the ancient laws, all the ancient artificialities were unnecessary.
What the Christ taught could be understood to the degree that men understood the spiritual ego within themselves. At that time, it is true, it was not possible to have full knowledge of Divinity, but one could understand what was heard from the lips of Christ-Jesus. The preliminary conditions for understanding were there. The Psalms were not then necessary, nor all the poetically constructed teachings, for all that was needed was the simplest means of expression.
One needed only to speak in halting words to become a witness of God. Even in the simplest, stammering words it was possible to become a witness of the Divine; it need be only single words without metre. Anyone who felt in his ego that he was sent from God, even though he were halting in his speech, could understand the words of the Christ. Anyone knowing only the earthly relationship with God speaks in the poetic measure of the Psalms, but all his metre leads him to nothing but the ancient gods.
However, anyone who felt himself deeply rooted in the spirit worlds is above all, and can bear witness of what has been seen and heard in those worlds. But those who accepted a testimony only in the accustomed way did not accept His. If there were those who accepted it, they showed by their acceptance that they felt themselves sent from God. They not only believed, they understood what the other one said to them, and through their understanding they bore witness of their words.
“He who feels the ego, reveals even in his stammering words the Word of God.” This is what is meant, for the spirit here referred to does not need to express itself in metre, in any form of syllabic measure, but it can declare itself in the simplest, halting manner. Such words can easily be taken as a license for folly. But whoever refuses wisdom just because, in his opinion, the most sublime mysteries should be expressed in the simplest form possible, does so, although often quite unconsciously, merely from an inclination toward psychic ease.
When it is said, “God giveth not the spirit by measure” (metre), it only means that the “measure” or metre does not help towards the spirit. But where the spirit really exists, there also is “measure.” Not everyone who has “measure” has the “spirit;” but one who has the “spirit” will come most certainly to “measure” or metre. Naturally, certain things cannot be reversed. It is not an evidence of possessing the “spirit” if one has no “measure;” nor is the possession of “measure” a proof of the “spirit.” Science is certainly no sign of wisdom, nor is a lack of science a proof of it.
So we are shown that Christ appeals to the independent ego in every human soul. “Measure” you must consider here as metre, poetically constructed speech. Then the foregoing sentence will read: “He who finds God in the ‘I AM, bears witness of Divine Speech or God's language, even in his stammering words” — and he finds the way to God.''