I have long wondered about the phrase from Matthew 6:12, the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” It does not say “forgive me my debts as I forgive my debtors.” What could be meant by the collective “our debts”? Who are “our debtors” as distinguished from “my debtors?” Could there be a “cosmic” explanation?
Let’s explore this cosmic possibility. When Rudolf Steiner discussed the previous planetary condition that esotericists call Old Moon, he mentions that the beings who are now Angels were then at the human stage. Roughly mid way through Old Moon’s times, evolution continued but devolution took precedence. This is similar to how during one’s life the forces of youth give way to the forces of old age when we reach the downhill part of our lives. At this point of cosmic devolution, higher beings of the heavenly hierarchy who have completed their mission are able to progress to the next level of the hierarchy and, at the same time, those beings who will be human at the next planetary condition begin to weave into life. During Old Moon, those next humans were us! And Steiner mentions that during this descending times on Old Moon, we were ‘troublesome’ for the angels.
What was the outcome of this trouble that we gave to those who are now angels? They became our guardian angels! As our individual angel, they will stay with us, for better or worse, to rise or fall with us. They truly are our guardian who guides us from death to rebirth through the vast spheres of the spiritual world. They are known as the Sons of Twilight. Through their senses they observe the lightness and the darkness, the colors, of our thinking.
In Steiner’s book Knowledge of Higher Worlds, we are introduced to a being one meets when they attempt to enter the spiritual world. The Guardian of the Threshold protects us from entering this world unprepared for the experience. For being unprepared will likely make the experience “shattering” thereby negatively affecting one’s ability to carry on with daily life in a healthy way. This Guardian first meets us on our side of the abyss of existence; that is, on the side where our everyday consciousness can extend up to where the twilight of the abyss exists. I have come to the conclusion that the Guardian of the Threshold begins as our guardian angel when we begin our meditative activity. As one progresses in becoming aware of the spiritual world, the Guardian of the Threshold’s guidance continues.
Eventually, as Steiner describes, when one is near the point where one’s ability to fully and healthfully participate in the spiritual world, then one finds that the Guardian has become the Christ. This incorporation of Christ within our guardian angel is significant not only for us but also for our angel and for the work of Christ.
“Our debt” began on Old Moon. By taking up meditation seriously and effectively now, we pay back this debt. Our guardian angel is united with us. Whether we, in freedom, choose to unite with Christ or take another path, our angel will go with us – for better or worse. Through meditation in harmony with the Guardian of the Threshold, we unite our angel’s destiny as well as our own destiny with Christ. In doing so, we can pay off “our debt”.
But what about “our debtors”? The Earth planetary condition is now well into devolution and so those beings who will be at the human stage in the next planetary conditions, Jupiter, are now, invisibly, among us. As we were troublesome to today’s angels when they were at the human stage on Old Moon, so will the Jupiter-humans be troublesome to us. They become “our debtors” and we will need to forgive them. Because they are thrust up from below, they pass through the realm of Ahriman and take on his character. Such Ahrimanic beings are definitely among us, challenging us to become strong in spirit. Our debtors will inherit a human stage for their development; a stage we help to build with the love we learn from the Christ. Thus, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” has not only personal significance but also cosmic.