A series of 6 lectures were offered at the Marlborough, MA Public Library in 2007-2008. The PDF versions of those lectures are available below.
The Order of the Templars was founded in connection with the Crusades. At the time, materialism had deeply penetrated religion. People demanded physical proof for their belief. Relics and icons became popular. People began to go on pilgrimages to be physically where a saint or other object of veneration existed. In this way, the peoples of Europe sought to come nearer to the Mystery of Golgotha. Charlemagne had received from Harun al Rashid the keys to the Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem. This became a deep longing for a pilgrim to be where the crucifixion had taken place. The Crusades attempted to conquer these holy sites to enable safe pilgrimages.
The Order of the Templars was founded almost at the very beginning of the Crusades. They expressed an especially deep approach to the Mystery of Golgotha on the part of contemporary humanity. First of all, a small number of souls who were faithful and devoted followers of Christianity gathered together at a place that lay near or within the ancient Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. There they established their spiritual order.
On Golgotha, the blood of the God-who-became-Man had flowed into the earth. For a Templar, blood normally represented earthly Man. These monk-warrior souls were, in a sense, to forget their connection with sensible physical existence. They were to live solely in what streams from the Mystery of Golgotha, and fight for the continuance of the strongest impulses that are connected with the Mystery of Golgotha.
The blood of the Templars belonged to Christ Jesus — each one of them knew this — their blood belonged to nothing else on earth than to Christ Jesus. The words of Paul, “No longer I, but Christ in me” now meant that in every moment of their life they were to be filled with the constant consciousness of how in their own soul there dwelt the Christ, And in bloody and severe combats, in devoted work such as the Crusades demanded, the Templars lived out in practice what they had spiritually resolved. Words cannot describe what lived in the souls of these brave men. Even if force three times stronger approached them on the physical plane, they would not flee but were resolved even unto death. Such resolve sought to establish more firmly in earth the impulse which went forth from the Mystery of Golgotha. It was an intense life of the whole human being in union with the Mystery of Golgotha.