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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Esoteric Lessons II
GA 266

Lesson 38

Berlin, 12-16-'11

In our meditations we'll soon notice that something like an inhibiting force is opposing us. We must get to know it and see that it's related to the earth's destructive power. The earth is involved in a destructive process. Outer science knows that certain new formations on the earth's surface are produced by destructive forces. The latter were on the increase since the middle of the Atlantean epoch through the karma that men created. Karma that has not been made good intensifies the earth's destructive forces, and the earth had already become a physical corpse that would have had to fall out completely from the plan of evolution if a strong power hadn't intervened. Everything that's connected with earth evolution is permeated by these destructive powers or Luciferic beings who remained behind on old Moon. A wise being saw this and remained behind even earlier on old Moon and old Sun in order to be able to mix a virginal element into earth evolution that's not taken hold of by destructive forces. Upbuilding forces worked until the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Men saw them behind the maya. Men increased the weight of destructive forces ever more through their unadjusted karma so that by the Mystery of Golgotha on April 3, 33, the scale's crossbeam was level, and then Christ's deed was placed on the other pan. He connected himself with the earth, so that now every man can find the Christ deep within his soul. A man would have had to drown in the maya that surrounds him, but the Christ connected himself with earth evolution, so that a man can find him again behind maya.

We know why this maya was woven by the Gods. It was so that a man did not live in the world of real things and have to be fettered by its glory, but could relate to it freely. We know what our states of waking and sleeping are. In ancient times, a man still saw divine beings through the veil of maya at the moment of waking, but at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, he only saw demonic ones. Then the portal closed completely and man had to drown in maya. In ancient times the mantle or power of Elijah had to be given to Elisha so that he could divide the Jordan and walk through it safely; whereas Christ's forerunner dipped men into the Jordan. A man had to go through water; but a material is given out of which he can himself make a bridge to cross it instead of drowning in it. Christ offers himself as this material.

Now a man might look upon the fact that he's supposed to join this victorious Christ force as an incursion upon his freedom. But the Christ leaves us so free with respect to the acceptance of his being, that he can't be found with anything earthly, not even with the intellect or reason, because they're something compulsive for men. Intellect and reason are permeated by Luciferic forces. Before they intervened, Christ remained behind and so men find him in the mystical sub-depth of their being. Previous religions were an expression of the respective state of science, and it's considered to be a shortcoming of Christianity that it's not at all connected with external science. In the future, it'll go beyond everything that is outwardly findable and knowable, and even today it can only be found in one's inner experience. How the revelation of Christ will take place in the near future has often been indicated.

Surrounded by maya wherever we look, something real sounds forth from us — a strong longing that lives in every human soul; for we are born from God. And we won't drown in more maya, for we die in Christ; deadly separatedness submerges in divine egoity. And we'll rise again, whole, strong and free; we'll be resurrected out of the Holy Spirit. So much has been stimulated by these words that you should open up for yourself in mediation that you have far more decades of work with them than are in the rest of your incarnation. Place these facts in your souls, shut out the surging of maya, and they'll become living forces in you.