Τετάρτη, 24 Φεβρουαρίου 2016

Stainer about Christ

 

Stainer about Christ

But the Christ Being could find no body at that period; the bodies of that time would not have been suitable for Him.
When we come to the fourth post-Atlantean epoch, we can say of it: Now there is present a body in which the Christ can incarnate. It was not there in the preceding epochs; but now it is there. In this fourth epoch, however, men lack the possibility of finding their way to a real understanding of what is happening. Indeed a strange paradox, is it not? For the fact that confronts us is actually this: the Christ appeared on Earth in an epoch that was least adapted to understanding Him. 

And when we look at all the attempts that were made in subsequent centuries to understand the nature of Christ Jesus, we find endless theological wrangling; and finally in the Middle Ages a sharp distinction is drawn between knowledge and faith — which implies a complete abandonment of any knowledge about the being of Christ Jesus ... not to speak of modern times, which up to the present have remained powerless in face of this manifestation.

With this aim in view, let us ask again: Why would it have been so easy for the old Indian Rishis, with their scarcely conceivable wisdom, to understand Christ Jesus? It seems trivial, yet it is true to say — because they had the necessary concepts and gifts of wisdom, and in the fourth post-Atlantean epoch these were lacking. They had everything for which the Gnostics, and the anti-Gnostics, and the Apostolic Fathers, as they are called, thirsted in vain. 

They had it all, but in what form did they have it? Not as ideas that had been worked out, somewhat as the ideas of Plato and Aristotle were worked out, but as inspirations, as something that stood before them with the full power of concrete inspirations. Their astral bodies were laid hold of by that which streamed into them from the great Universe, and out of this working of the Cosmos on their astral bodies came the concepts which could have conjured up before their souls the Being of Christ Jesus. 

One might say that this was given to them. They had not worked it up for themselves; it came as though showered forth from the depth of the astral body. And with wonderful clarity it showered upon the holy Rishis and their pupils, and fundamentally speaking upon the whole Indian culture of the first post-Atlantean epoch. It became more and more narrowed down, but in the second and third post-Atlantean epochs it was still there, and the remains of it passed over into the fourth epoch. But what was this remainder?

If we were to examine what things were like in the third post-Atlantean epoch, we should find that at least those who had raised themselves to the height of their epoch — and proportionately there were many more spiritually developed persons than there are today had ideas about the interconnections of the super-earthly and the symbolic significance of the starry heavens. They could read world-secrets in the motions of the stars. It is quite certain that the third post-Atlantean epoch, if Christ had appeared on Earth then, would have known from the writing in the stars what relationship it had with Him. 

But  in accordance with the principle we have often mentioned with regard to the evolution of humanity it was necessary that the gift of entering into relation with the mysteries of the world through living pictures should recede more and more into the background of the astrality of man. These pictures became increasingly chaotic. That which flowed by this channel into the human soul became less and less authoritative — I am not saying that it lost all authority — but it became less and less authoritative as a means of fathoming the real mysteries of the Universe.

And so two quite different developments can be traced. On the one hand there was the world of concepts, let us say of Plato and Aristotle: a world of ideas which could be called the most attenuated form of the spiritual world, a world which had in it the least of spirit, a world grasped and explored directly by the Ego and no longer experienced through the astral body. 
For that is the distinguishing mark of Greek philosophy: there for the first time the spirit spoke out of the Ego, as it can do, in concepts that were perfectly lucid, but far removed from real spiritual life. But the Greek philosopher still felt that his thoughts emanated from the spiritual world, whereas a modern philosopher is by necessity a doubter, a sceptic, because he no longer feels any connection between his thoughts and the mysteries of the world.

.. the Christ, who through the Mystery of Golgotha infused the Earth's aura with His Being; thus He destroyed the Sibylline force in the souls of men and has driven it away.
And so on the ground of Spiritual Science we observe the remarkable fact that men with their wisdom have not understood much about the Christ Impulse: their concepts and ideas have turned out to be virtually powerless in this respect. 
But the essential thing is not that the Christ Impulse came into the world primarily as a teaching. The essential thing is the character of the facts, the direct impulse that flowed from the Mystery of Golgotha. And this we must look for not only in what is taught or understood, but in what is accomplished for human souls. And one of these deeds, the struggle waged by Christ, who had permeated the Earth-aura, against Sibyllism — it is this deed that I wished to bring before you today.

Yesterday we came to know about the threefold Christ-event which took place in Lemurian and Atlantean times. 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.

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Thus did John behold the approach of Jesus of Nazareth, whose development he felt as his own increase, as the increase of the Sun. ‘I must henceforth decrease,’ he said, ‘as the Sun decreases after midsummer day. But He, the spiritual Sun, will increase and his Light will shine forth from out of the darkness.’ Thus did John the Baptist speak of himself and his mission. In this manner was the universal Ego of humanity reborn, and the condition fulfilled for the rebirth of the individual higher self in every human being.  

We have herewith described the most momentous event in the evolution of individual man: the rebirth of the immortal being which can issue from the ordinary Ego. This is inseparable from the greatest of all events, the Christ-event, to which we shall devote the following lectures. 
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