I am doing research for a book I am writing whose working title is Technology’s Role in Human Evolution. Currently, I am focused on light and electricity and their relationship to levity-gravity and, in alchemy, to salt-sulfur polarities. In doing this research I ordered and began to read Nick Thomas’ book The Science Between Space and Counterspace. Now I have another polarity to penetrate. All this research is slowing my book writing progress and brings up a difficult question about how or if to include any of these concepts that most potential readers will not understand or find too far removed from their sense of reality.
I take part in a weekly online discussion group that is part of a Theological University in America. I am a welcomed outsider. This coming week I will lead a discussion on Easter. The students and professors at this university tend towards Eastern spiritual paths. I plan to offer a perspective of the Western Spiritual Path as part of the Easter experience. Here is a draft outline of what I plan to cover:
- Easter is the Main Christian festival – Pentecost (aka Whitsun) has to be considered part of the greater Easter festival
- St. Paul said “Had He not risen, then our faith is in vain”
- Christianity was NOT about Christ’s teachings but about His deeds – many before him had offered similar teachings so that historians find little new and others can say “our tradition, our teachings are better.”
- Christmas was not about the birth of Jesus; rather it was about the coming of Christ into a human body. This happened not at the birth of Jesus but at the Baptism. What occurred before in the birth stories of Matthew and Luke as well as at the Temple at age 12 are part of the preparation for Christ-mas. This is why both Mark and John begin with the baptism as this is the beginning of story of Christ on Earth as a human being.
- The triumphal entry into Jerusalem, on the back of an ass, announces that this God had fully entered the body, its vehicle. What remained was to go through what the Gods and the beings of the hierarchies had not experienced – death – so that the battle with death could be won.
- Earlier, at the Transfiguration, Christ had attained to the level that previous great sages had attained at their death. From this point on, Christ’s cosmic hour has come and the great deed on Golgotha is prepared.
- The ancient mysteries expected the Sun God to come. They knew that their own trainings and initiations were weakening, not achieving the same heights of consciousness. These ancient mysteries had a Janus face, able to look back in time and ahead but the visions were clouding over. In these initiations, the neophyte was put into a state where to others he or she appeared dead because his or her life body (etheric, prana, chi) was freed from the physical body by the hierophant. This occurs normally only at death. Christ was the hierophant for Lazarus – read this story and you will see the parallels to the process of initiation in the ancient mysteries only here this is done in public rather than inside the Holy of the Holies. Thus the high priest had to condemn this hierophant to death to save the nation from losing its connection to its Folk Spirit (Yahweh).
- On Golgotha, the transition from moon to sun occurs for earth. Our planet becomes the seed for a future universe as the blood and spirit of Christ, the sun god, enters the earth. Enacted in public, for the world to see, was the Turning Point in Time, the Mystery of Golgotha enacted by the Heavenly Hierophant, Christ.
- Christ is called the new or the second Adam. Through him, an individual person can now overcome death. This is what is meant when the Rosicrucians said “In Christos Morimor” – in Christ I die. For the death of the lower ego allows for one to find their higher ego – their Christ in me (St. Paul “No longer I, but Christ in me”).
- What Christ achieved as one human being applies to all human beings. Each of us can now go this path that St. Paul describes.
- As this Holy Spirit descended at the Baptism to Jesus and remained upon him – as witnessed by John the Baptist, so did the Holy Spirit descend upon the disciples at Pentecost. The descent to one man, Jesus, was in the form of a dove while to the many disciples it was as flaming tongues. What descended onto Jesus was pure, serene, able to fly and move like a spirit. What descended upon the disciples was now human – a tongue for speaking into the hearts of others but no longer was this speaking merely dispassionate knowledge, it now was full of enthusiasm for life, for Earth, for the future. The world itself was to be renewed through Love.
- Before Golgotha, the primary battle was against the temptation of Lucifer through whom mankind was gifted Knowledge. On Golgotha there were three crosses. No picture of Golgotha is fully accurate without the three crosses representing Lucifer on one side, Christ in the middle, and one who brings the battle of our times that the ancient Persians called Ahriman, the Prince of Darkness on the third cross. A discussion breaks out between the three. Lucifer recognizes the Christ and he/she is forgiven. But the one of our times, mocks the Christ.
- While the Battle with Death has been won (the war continues), the Battle with Evil is now raging. This battle will continue for a long time, well after our human appearance has severely changed, well after women will have become infertile. Evil will not be defeated in any accustomed way. Through gentleness, through an ever stronger love for thy neighbor, through feeling the pain of others as one’s own pain, will Evil elect to leave this world – “and the meek shall inherit this world.”
- Is technology evil? Is it something we should fear and keep away? No! Evil is a spiritual “thing”. The ideas and concepts embedded into and enabling our technology can be carriers of evil. But as we rise in consciousness in balance with our sinking into the depths of electricity and other forces employed in technology, so shall we remain in our humanity. Christ reversed things: no longer is royalty or priesthood carried in the blood. No longer will the ancient mysteries work. Now new mysteries must arise through the working together of humans and spiritual beings who are now descending to help develop this seed of the future, the earth, the cosmic earth.
Easter was THE important Christian festival. St. Paul said, “If Christ be not risen, then is your faith vain.” A key purpose to the Council of Nicaea was to set the date of Easter (as calendars in those days had insufficient leap years to prevent the spring equinox from sliding in March towards February). The festival of the birth of Jesus was not at all celebrated. Christians felt that Jesus (both of Matthew’s gospel and of Luke’s) was born as a man and Christ entered this body at the baptism. As full of mystery as birth and baptism may be, for early Christians the important new mystery was what happened from Golgotha to the grave to the resurrection. With the early Christians, we do not find symbols of the suffering of Christ; rather we find their focus is on the resurrection.
Later, after 325 when the Council of Nicaea took place, materialism began to set in; even Christianity succumbed. The symbolic emphasis moved to the suffering Christ on the crucifix, to the bodily suffering of Christ. The crucifix is the expression of the transition to materialism taking root in Christianity. Spiritual reality is expelled by materialism. This comes to full reality with the 8th Ecumenical Council (Fourth in Constantinople). Here, by majority vote of the bishops, 27 canons were passed. The eleventh canon states “Though the Old and New Testaments teach that a man or woman has one rational and intellectual soul [compare to Aristotle], and all the fathers and doctors of the church, who are spokesmen of God, express the same opinion, some have descended to such a depth of irreligion, through paying attention to the speculations of evil people, that they shamelessly teach as a dogma that a human being has two souls, and keep trying to prove their heresy by irrational means, using a wisdom that has been made foolishness. Therefore this holy and universal synod is hastening to uproot this wicked theory now growing like some loathsome form of weed. Carrying in its hand the winnowing fork of truth, with the intention of consigning all the chaff to inextinguishable fire, and making clean the threshing floor of Christ, in ringing tones it declares anathema the inventors and perpetrators of such impiety and all those holding similar views; it also declares and promulgates that nobody at all should hold or preserve in any way the written teaching of the authors of this impiety. If however anyone presumes to act in a way contrary to this holy and great synod, let him be anathema and an outcast from the faith and way of life of Christians.”
Photius, who is revered as a saint in the Eastern Church but despised in the West, had argued that Aristotle indicated that each person has two aspects to their soul, one aspect focuses on the senses of the physical body and is thereby liable to error while another aspect focuses on the spiritual and is thus immune to error. With this decree, however, the human was reduced; no longer body, soul, and spirit, but now only body and (one) soul. One could be excommunicated from Christ’s Church for stating anything differently. When Christianity reaches the twentieth century, few theologians use or understand the term ‘soul’ anymore. Materialism reigns supreme.
Following this Ecumenical Council, the Eucharist was altered. Only the ‘prepared’ priests could receive the wine while all received just the body, the bread. For the congregation, this meant only the body matters. The troubadours then come to this drama to sing about the search for the Holy Grail. Where has the blood of Christ gone? Spirit triumphant over death, over the physical fades away replaced by portrayals the pain-racked soul of Jesus. Who guards and sustains mankind? Replacing the Triumphant Son of Man is the Man of Sorrows.
The Knights Templars dash onto this scene two hundred years later. In their initiation ceremony, one was led to understand why they rejected the crucifix as a symbol of their Christianity. Supposedly, during the initiation process, the elect was to spit on a cross that had an image of the suffering savior.
Western culture where materialism is most deeply rooted must find a renewal of the Easter experience. The renewed Easter thought should lead one to be lifted into the Spirit. Christ then becomes ‘visible’ as a super-sensible, super-earthly Being who entered into the stream of earthly evolution.
At the tomb that is the body, do we see only the stone? When we enter the tomb (Oh Man, Know Thou Thyself — Delphi) can we see the Kingdom within? Will we find “The One you seek is not here” or will we find “The One Who is here now,” the one Who from the spirit calls you to your spirit-awakening.
“In this Easter mood we shall also be able to find the strength with which our will must be imbued if the forces of decline are to be countered by those which lead humanity upwards. We need the forces that can bring about this ascent. And the moment we truly understand the Easter thought of Resurrection, this Easter thought — bringing warmth and illumination — will kindle within us the forces needed for the future evolution of mankind. Easter must become an inner festival, a festival in which we celebrate in ourselves the victory of the Spirit over the body. But we need the Christ for Whom we can seek in our inmost being, because when we truly seek Him, He at once appears.” — Rudolf Steiner,The Festivals and Their Meaning II, Lecture 4, March 27, 1921.