Four Mystery Plays
The Portal of Initiation (Written 1910)
A room for meditation as in Scene 3
Theodosius (in spirit-garb):
Now canst thou feel all worlds within thyself:
So now feel me as love-power of all worlds.
A nature, that is lighted up by me,
Feels its own being's power enhanced, whene'er
It gives itself to give another joy.
Thus do I work with true creative joy
To build the worlds. Without me none can live,
And naught without my strength can e'er exist.
So thou dost stand before my spirit's eye,
Joy-giver of all worlds, My spirit's strength
Doth feel creative joy, when I behold
Thee as the fruit of self-experience.
Within the temple to my spirit's eye
Once didst thou show thyself, yet at that time
I knew not whether dream or truth appeared.
But now the scales have fallen from mine eyes,
Which kept the spirit's light concealed from me:
Now know I that thou dost exist indeed.
I will reveal thy nature in my deeds;
And they shall work salvation through thy power.
To Benedictus I owe deepest thanks:
Through wisdom hath he given me the strength
To turn my spirit's sight unto thy world.
Feel me in thy soul-depths, and bear my power
To all the worlds. Thus, serving Love's behests
Thou shalt experience true blessedness.
I feel thy presence through its warming light;
I feel creative power arise in me.
He hath departed: but he will return
And give me strength from out the springs of love.
His light can disappear but for awhile;
Then, in mine own existence, it lives on.
I can resign myself unto my Self,
And feel Love's spirits in mine inmost soul:
My love uplifted I can feel my Self:
Love shall through me reveal himself to man.
(He grows uncertain, as is gradually made manifest by his gestures.)
Yet what is it I feel about me now?
It seems some spirit-being draweth near.
Since I was counted worthy to receive
The spirit's sight, I feel it ever thus,
When evil powers desire to seize on me.
Yet, come what may, I have strength to resist;
For I can feel myself within my Self;
Which quickening words give strength invincible.
Yet now most strong resistance do I feel;
Well may it be the fiercest of all foes:
But let him come, for he will find me armed.
Thou foe of Good; 'tis surely thine own self!
For near me I can feel thy potent strength,
I know thou dost desire to rend in twain
Whate'er has wrenched itself from thy control.
But I shall strengthen in me that new strength,
Wherein thou canst have neither part nor lot.
(Benedictus appears in spirit garb.)
O Benedictus, fount of my new life!
It is not possible. It cannot be.
Nay, nay, it cannot be thyself. Thou art
Some vain illusion. Oh, revive in me
Ye good powers of my soul, and straightway crush
This phantom image, that would mock at me!
Ask of thy soul now, whether it can feel,
What through these years my nearness meant to it.
Through me the fruits of wisdom grew for thee;
And wisdom only now can lead thee on,
And fend from error in the spirit's realm.
So now experience me within thyself.
Yet wouldst thou go still further, thou must then
Enter that way, which to my temple leads.
And if my wisdom is to guide thee still
To loftier heights, it must flow from that spot
Where with my brethren close conjoined I work.
The strength of truth I gave to thee myself;
And if this kindles power from its own fire
Within thyself, then shalt thou find the way.
Oh, he doth leave me. How shall I decide
Whether I have some phantom form dispelled,
Or if reality hath left me now?
Yet do I feel in me my strength renewed.
'Twas no illusion, but the man himself.
I will experience thee within myself,
O Benedictus, thou hast given me power,
Which, growing of itself within myself,
Will teach me to distinguish false from true.
And yet to vain illusion I succumbed:
I felt a shudd'ring fear at thine approach;
And could consider thee a fantasy,
When thou didst stand before my very eyes.
From all illusion thou shalt free thyself,
When thou dost fill thyself with mine own strength:
To me could Benedictus lead thy steps,
But thine own wisdom now must be thy guide.
If thou dost only live what he hath put
Within thee, then thou canst not live thyself.
In freedom strive unto the heights of light;
And for this striving now receive my strength.
How glorious these words of thine do sound!
I must now live them out within myself.
From all illusion they will set me free,
If they but fill my nature to the full.
Work on then further in my soul's deep core,
Ye words, sublime and grand! Ye surely must
Proceed from out the temple's shrine alone,
Since Benedictus' brother uttered you.
I feel already how ye mount within
Mine inmost being.
Soon shall ye resound
From out my very Self, that I may read
Your meaning rightly. Spirit, that doth dwell
Within me, forth from thy concealment come!
Now in thine own true nature show thyself!
I feel thy near approach: thou must appear.
(Lucifer and Ahriman appear.)
O man, know me. O man, feel thou thyself.
From spirit guidance hast thou freed thyself,
And into earth's free realms thou hast escaped.
Midst earth's confusion thou didst seek to prove
Thine own existence; and to find thyself
Was thy reward. So now use this reward.
In spirit-ventures keep thyself secure.
In the wide realms on high a being strange
Thou shalt discover, who to human lot
Will fetter thee, and will oppress thee too.
O man, feel thou thyself: O man, know me.
O man, know thou thyself: O man, feel me.
From spirit darkness hast thou now escaped;
And thou hast found again the light of earth.
So now from my sure ground draw strength and truth.
The solid earth do I make hard and fast:
Yet canst thou also lose that certainty.
Weak hesitation can e'en now destroy
The power of being, and thou canst misuse
The spirit-strength e'en in the heights of light.
Thou canst be rent in twain within thyself.
O man, feel me. O man, know thou thyself.
(Exit with Lucifer.)
What meaneth this? First Lucifer arose
Prom me, and Ahriman did follow him.
Doth now some new illusion haunt my soul,
Although I prayed so ardently for truth?
Hath Benedictus' brother roused in me
Only those powers, which in the souls of men
Do but create illusion and deceit?
(The following is a spirit voice coming from the heights.)
To founts of worlds primeval
Thy surging thoughts do mount.
What unto illusion urged,
What in error held thee fast,
Appeareth to thee now in spirit-light.
Through whose fulness seeing,
Mankind doth think in truth;
Through whose fulness striving,
Mankind doth live in Love.