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Original Impulses for the Science of the Spirit
GA 96

XVIII. Purifying the Blood by Removing Egoism through the Mystery of Golgotha, an Easter Lecture

1 April 1907, Berlin

Today we are going to talk about the Mystery of Golgotha. At the same time we'll be looking at Easter in the light of spiritual science. A week ago, I said that the Mystery of Golgotha had not only been significant in the evolution of human history but that it is of the most profound significance for the whole of earth evolution, and we do, of course, include the human being in this earth evolution. At the time I drew your attention to the way an observer of our globe, someone who had been able to look at our planet from a distant planet for millennia before our present calendar started, would have perceived the way the planet changed. Such an observer looking down from a distant planet would indeed have seen the appearance of the earth change through those millennia. And if the eye had been clairvoyant, able to observe not only the physical events on our planet but also the non-physical changes, it would have seen that the whole spiritual atmosphere of the earth changed, became different, when Christ Jesus came to the earth.

Just as the human being has a physical body, ether body and astral body, so does the earth, too, have a physical body, ether body and astral body. We are all of us surrounded not merely by air, but also by the ether body and the astral body of the earth. Such a clairvoyant observer would see this ether and astral body of the earth. It would have had a specific colour and a specific way of moving up to the time of the coming of Christ Jesus. Then, however, it changed, assuming new colours and new movement. This event has such a profound effect on our earth and on human evolution that the whole spiritual content of the earth then changed.

You should not think that this happened suddenly as the Christ was born, suffered and died. It had been in preparation for centuries in the spiritual content of our planet and has not reached completion to this day. With clairvoyant vision one would be able to see how the new spiritual element that came to the earth at that time is still in the process of condensing and consolidating. It will be a long time yet before all the fruits that were produced at the coming of Christ Jesus have been received into the earth.

To understand what this is about we must once more let the whole of earth evolution go through our minds. We have to go back to the time in earth evolution when man's present form was only evolving, developing. We call this the Lemurian age. We reach it by going back through the different historical periods of our present age.

Today we live in the fifth sub-period of the fifth main era of the earth. Going back to the time of the Graeco-Latin peoples, to a time when that wonderful art developed which really only came into existence in the Greek period, a time when the Romans developed their legal way of thinking, we would be in the fourth sub-age of our era. Going even further back we would come to a time when the Egyptian, Babylonian and Chaldean civilization was at its height. Beyond this we should find the time when there came the first beginnings of a life in the spirit, with Zarathustra bringing the first culture of the mind. That would have been the second sub-age. Even further back we'd come to the most ancient Indian peoples, not the culture of which the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita speak, but the preVedic peoples who were taught by the holy Rishis themselves. That was a marvellous ancient civilization, and clairvoyants are still able to see the whole of it. It was the first period of development, immediately preceded by the flooding of the earth in which the Atlantean continent that used to be between Europe and America was washed away.

Our ancestors lived in Atlantis, the people of the fourth main era. They did not yet have a social order, for there were no rules, no laws. Nor did they have logical thinking or the ability to do sums. Elements of counting only come up towards the end of the Atlantean age. Memory gradually came to be the highest inner power. Man then lived in marvellous interaction with nature. We only have the right idea of Atlantean culture, however, if we realize that physical conditions on earth were very different from those that developed later. Central European legends still hold memories of those early Atlantean times in Niflheim (land of mists), which was full of dense, heavy mists. All life forms then lived in such dense, heavy mists, and because of this conditions were also very different in the life of soul and spirit. It would take too long to go into more detail about the Atlantean age. I just wanted to, and had to, mention it briefly, so that we may move on to the time when human beings assumed their present form. For this we would have to go back not only to a flood but to tremendous upheavals caused by powers of fire. These fiery upheavals destroyed the land which in theosophical literature is known as Lemuria. It lay far down to the south, extending from the north of Africa to southern Australia. This was the region where man first appeared in his present form.

Going far back into Lemurian times we would see people walk about on the earth who were very different from people today, figures we should not yet call human, for they did not yet have the seed of the human soul in them which alone would enable them to rise to higher levels of development. We would find people there who only had the bodies that envelop the soul, people who had only a physical body, ether body and astral body. And their astral bodies had a depression, a kind of bay, in them—figuratively speaking—for the reception of self awareness. Essentially the four parts of the enveloping human form were already there, but the principle you call 'I' today, a principle that lives in you, was still in the keeping of the godhead then.

Figures were thus walking about on this earth. To describe those human figures that were ready to receive the core of essential human nature, we have to say they were completely different from today's human beings. You would think them to be utterly grotesque, going to the very limits of ugliness. Where today's human beings have air all around them, those human 'casings' were surrounded by a spiritual atmosphere. They were surrounded by a spiritual sphere of air in which they were alive and active.

primordial human casings
Fig. 20

To give you a diagram of the human beings of that time, I'd have to draw them like vessels, as it were, vessels ready to receive the higher soul quality into themselves (Fig. 20). The inner space is meant to be a hollow made in the astral body and this is ready to receive a higher soul quality into itself. That higher soul element was still in the surrounding atmosphere, the layer of spiritual air. Something which today is inside you was not yet inside human beings at that time, but moved around them. You have to understand, of course, that the spirit can assume different forms and that the element which was then your spirit did not need a physical body. Further development actually consisted in the human spirit coming to dwell in a physical body where it developed further inwardly as soul. Something which today lives in you was then living outside you, in the spiritual atmosphere that was around you. At that time, the individual souls which today live in separate bodies were not yet separate and individual.

Let us think of this glass of water containing thousands of droplets, all connected with each other. All the souls which were later to be distributed among human beings were like this, soul drops in this spiritual atmosphere, but as though dissolved to make a uniform, fluid element. And you may go on and image this: if I were to take a thousand tiny sponges and let them absorb a thousand drops, those thousand drops would then be distributed among the thousand tiny sponges. That is how you should think of the way the spiritual principle was distributed in Lemurian times. Having been all around on the outside before, this principle then came down into the bodies and separate entities were created. Just as the thousand droplets of water would be individualized in the thousand tiny sponges, so was the communal spiritual substance individualized in the separate human forms in Lemuria. At the beginning of the Lemurian age, every human form did not immediately receive the soul fully into itself. To show the way the soul content was received in my diagram, I'd have to do it like this (Fig. 20). I'd also have to show, however, that much of it remained outside the body, in the surrounding area. The body was thus surrounded by a spiritual content that was of the same kind as the part that was already inside the human form.

Evolution for the Lemurian and Atlantean periods and into our time meant that the element that was outside the physical body was gradually drawn into the body. This happened throughout the Lemurian and the whole of the Atlantean age. You have to imagine that human beings were in a permanent state of being half asleep and half awake, though they also had a kind of clairvoyance. If someone whose inner eye had been opened could have looked at the human beings of Atlantean times, these would have looked the way someone who is asleep does today. When a human being lies asleep, the physical and etheric body lies in bed, and the higher spiritual content is spread around it. It is exactly because it is outside that the individual falls asleep. You would see an Atlantean in such a permanent state of sleep; yet this would be full of lively dreams.

One individual approaching another in those times would not have seen the other the way we do today, sharply defined; instead, a colour form would arise in the first individual's soul. This colour form was such that if the other individual was congenial, it would indicate sympathy; with someone uncongenial it would show unsympathetic colour nuances. In those times human beings would perceive the world around them in a more clairvoyant way. The more the spiritual substance entered into them, the more did their state of consciousness become like the one we know in full daytime awareness today.

The process in which the soul came down into the physical body also had its physical aspect, a secondary physical fact. In the Old Testament this is significantly referred to in the words: 'And the Lord God ... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.'109Genesis 2: 7 Truth is, it was not only air that was breathed into man at the time but the spiritual human being that filled him with life. You have to understand that the matter which lives all around us is not simply physical matter or substance. With every breath you inhale not only physical air but also spirit. It is perfectly true that when the physical air was inhaled at that time, in the way in which it is done by people in their present-day form, everything I have drawn here came down into the physical form. This is what the passage in the Old Testament refers to. And if you were to ask: ‘What was the human body at that time, when the soul came down from being in the keeping of the godhead?’ The body was the air, and today you still breathe the element which at that time came down into the body of human beings. For the principle we call the spirit is in the air. The air is merely the body, the substance, of the spirit.

You also have to understand that something else was connected with this way of breathing air, with the spirit coming down into the human form. It was closely bound up with what we call the warm blood of man, or rather blood that was warmer than the surroundings. Before this moment in time had come in earth evolution, there were no warm-blooded life forms. Warm-blooded animals only came into existence at a later stage. This breathing was therefore connected with warm-bloodedness, and this meant that something else also happened then. A certain quantity, a certain amount of warmth entered into the human being, the blood warmth you still have today. This is a higher kind of warmth than the warmth in the world around you. In those days, at the time that preceded this actual time when man came into being, something was present in the environment of our ancestors that was very different from the spirit embodied in the air.

You can get an idea of what was also present in the earth's atmosphere if you consider the following—not literally, a bit figuratively, yet also real—if you consider the warmth present in the different human beings who lived on earth, [if you consider] the warmth that lives in your blood, and then the warmth that has flowed out into your surroundings, and all this warmth enveloping the earth, all the blood warmth, therefore, all warmth that comes from the blood and flows within us—is the warmth that used to be around us on the outside in the past. Just as it is true that the spirit which used to be outside you is now inside you, so it is true that the warmth which was outside you is now inside you.

We would thus reach the time when the whole earth was enveloped in an atmosphere of heat. Another spirit was embodied in this warmth atmosphere, a spirit that was like the spirits who had been on the Sun—meaning one of the three planets that had preceded the earth. These had reached perfection at the time when the Sun was still a planet. The spirit embodied in this heat had reached a level of completion, perfection, which otherwise has been reached only by the spirits who achieved completion on the Sun planet at that time and dwell in the sun today. It is a fact that at the time when this warmth enveloped the earth there was in it the bearer of a unique spirit for the whole of humanity. And for a long time after this, the warmth that surrounded the earth was the bearer of one particular spirituality for all humanity, a spirituality which is no other but that of the spirit of the earth itself.

Just as every human being has his own spirit, is filled with his own spirituality, so for someone who is able to perceive these things, every plant and every material thing is at the same time also an expression of a spiritual entity. And our earth is the body or spiritual expression of the earth spirit. The blood warmth enables the earth spirit to enter into the human being. In the blood warmth which lives in the human being, and in pre-Lemurian times lived outside the human being, we have the medium by which the spirit of the earth enters into the human being himself.

You have to imagine, therefore, that at the time when actual human development began in Lemurian times, the spirit which belonged to the air came down upon human beings, and then the higher spirit began to come down which is in the warmth of the blood, the actual earth spirit. The relationship between these two spirits is such that we may say: ‘The spirit which has the air for its body is the one that has made it possible for human beings to gain speech.’ For the configuration of the human organism which makes the present-day breathing process possible, also makes speech possible. Speech developed in Atlantean times, and came to its highest expression in the ability to utter the word ‘I’ towards the end of the Atlantean period.

The process began in Lemurian times and gradually reached perfection towards the end of Atlantean times. The Bible says: 'And the Lord God ... breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.' This was gradually perfected until it became the word ‘I’, until the spirit began to speak out of the inner human being and began to call itself, out of the inner human being: ‘Y-a-h-w-e-h’. That is at the same time the eternal core and essence of every individual human being: ‘I am the one I am, the one I was and the one who shall be. ‘I am’ is the deepest inmost core. It came into man at that time and will remain for all eternity as the human being’s individual spirit.

This was the first outpouring of the godhead. It is called the outpouring of the spirit, or of Yahweh. In the mythologies of religious peoples, which are always more intelligent than scientific treatises, this outpouring of the spirit or of Yahweh is described as a breath in the air, something that moves over the earth in the air. Ancient German legend, and also Jewish, Hebrew legend, where Yahweh is the god of the tempest or the wind, shows that this is a divinity which has its outer body in the flow of the air and has poured into the human being.

Because of its essential nature this divinity did indeed play a role in human beings becoming individual when it entered into them. The uniform, fluid element which prior to the Flood had been all around humanity on a magnificent scale, was divided up among individual human beings, like the water being absorbed into tiny sponges. But this could not make the human being wholly individual. Human beings had to find the transition to complete individualization. They were not ordained to be complete individuals right away. Initially they formed groups. We have mentioned before that people lived in small tribal groups. They did not as yet feel themselves to be separate individuals. The human individual felt himself to be entirely part of such a tribal group or family, just as a hand is part of the body. Modern people with their very different way of thinking cannot really imagine what it is like to belong to a tribe, feeling oneself part of the tribal body. But that is how it was, and the more the small tribes spread, and the family came to be the tribe, the more individual did people become.

You have to think of this as a process of singling out, of progressively becoming more individual, as bound to the human being's blood. You can understand it if I tell you one thing, and I would ask you to remember it. The pouring out of the spirit in Lemurian times was not uniform. You would have been able to see many spirits coming down on to the earth from the spiritual surroundings of the earth. Many individual spirits were coming down. Speaking of Yahweh, we are not speaking of a single divinity but the spirits of many nations. The Jews know that it was one of many divinities. Nations were split up into tribes because many such souls of nations—please note that these were something real—were coming down. And the more they developed, the more did they live in families, in tribes, which then came together in large tribal nations. One thing that was not possible at that time was for all to come together in a great universal brotherhood. It will only gradually be possible for all of humanity on earth to come together, because apart from this sending out of the spirit and ensouling human beings with this spirit, which has come down into many souls of nations, there is also something that lived in the warmth of the earth, not in the air, and this more universal principle has also entered into human beings. In Christian esoteric terms, the element which came first is also called the Holy Spirit. Speaking of the old spirits that have come down, we should really refer to many holy spirits, many Yahwehs. When we speak of the spirit that has all warmth in it, we can only refer to a single one. In Christian esoteric terms this is called the Logos, the Christ, the universal spirit of the human race on earth.

Just consider that everything which lives in the spirit self, everything we call manas, came down in a multiplicity, and that everything we call budhi poured itself out over humanity as a spiritual oneness, and you have the difference. You'll then understand that humanity needed to be prepared first by the outpouring of the spirit before the outpouring of the Christos, of the budhi, the life spirit. Up to the time when Christ Jesus appeared on earth, everything there was of the Christ spirit was a oneness. It was a uniform sphere surrounding the whole earth, the solid earth being its skeletal system, as it were. If you take the solid earth with everything that is in it, and add to this the warmth that surrounds the earth, you more or less have the body of the Christ spirit, as it is called. Hence the beautiful words in the Gospel of John, where Christ Jesus refers to himself as the spirit of the earth: 'He who eats my bread has lifted his heel against me.'110John 13: 18. What do we eat when we eat? Bread. We eat the bread which is the body of the Christ. And in walking on the earth we do the other thing—we lift our heel against the Christ. This must be taken quite literally.

Just as in Lemurian times the Yahweh spirit poured something of the element of the spirit into separate individuals, so during the ages that preceded Christ Jesus and in those that followed, the Christ spirit gradually poured in, the Christ spirit which has its body in the blood warmth. When the whole of the Christ spirit has been poured out into individual human beings, the Christian spirit, the great brotherhood of humanity, will have conquered the earth. Then there simply will no longer be any thought of cliques and small groupings, but only awareness of humanity as a brotherhood. There will be the greatest degree of individualization, yet each will be drawn to the other. The small tribal and national communities will have given way to the community of the life spirit, the budhi, the community of the Christ.

The eye of a soul looking down clairvoyantly on our planet would then see this. It would be able to follow the way in which the Christ spirit had been wholly in the sphere surrounding the earth and had then poured into individual human beings. It would see the earth changing more and more. Other colours and moods would appear. An element that had been in the sphere surrounding the earth would then have to be looked for in the inmost being of individual human beings. This is what the coming of Christ Jesus means; it is the cosmic significance of this event.

Anything else you may find in the spiritual development of our earth has been preparation. The coming of the Christ was in preparation for centuries. The preparation for this event which was so important for the whole of cosmic earth evolution was such that the Christ showed human beings how to overcome the narrow limits of tribal relationships. You know Mercury, Hermes Trismegistos, the Persian Zarathustra, the Indians Krishna and Buddha and the Greek Pythagoras. The Christos spirit, which until then had been in the earth's surroundings, began to enter into human beings. Then came a band of time when religions were founded; there we can see the process of transformation advancing more and more, and we can get to know the nature of the Christian spirit.

The outpouring of the spirit—what effect was it able to have? It was able to bring it about that love was tied to the blood. In those early times when tribal communities had not yet developed, people loved one another no less than they do today. In fact, they loved one another more, but it was in the way a mother loves her child and the child his mother. Love was therefore more due to nature. Blood felt drawn to blood, and people felt they belonged together because of this. But the people drawn to such blood-based communities progressed further in their development and this meant that their sympathies became more individual. This led to smaller groupings, families and communities, which then became part of larger communities. Individual people were, however, getting more egoistical and self-seeking. The situation thus was the following. On the one hand humanity was getting more selfish, and on the other hand the influence of the Christ made people one. On the one hand we have individualization, with the individual progressively more independent, and on the other the unifying nature of the Christian spirit. These two streams must come fully into their own before it will be possible to have a condition on earth where everyone is independent and on the other hand also connected with everyone else, for each will be filled with the 'Christ spirit', as it is called.

We must clearly understand that all this is connected with the blood, and that originally something came to expression in human blood that brought to light feeling and inner responsiveness. These would come into play within the blood relationship, but they brought about blood-based love. We must also understand that feelings then became more egoistical. Self-seeking came to be increasingly more present in the blood. That is the secret of human evolution, that the blood gained more and more of the quality of self-seeking. This blood which had grown egoistical had to be overcome.

The principle which was excessive egoism in the human blood ran from the wounds of Christ Jesus on the cross in real mysticism; it became an offering. If this blood had not flowed, self-seeking would have grown more and more in human blood as evolution progressed. The cleansing of the blood from self-seeking—this is what the Mystery of Golgotha achieved. By this deed of love, human blood was saved from its self-seeking.

It is impossible to perceive the cosmic significance of the event on Golgotha if one only sees a human being hanging on a cross, bleeding from a wound made by a lance. The profound mystical significance of this event is that vicariously this is the blood which humanity had to lose in order to be redeemed. We shall never understand the Christian spirit if we take these things in a materialistic sense only, knowing only the material event and not also the spiritual principle which lies behind it This spiritual principle is the regenerative power of the redeemer's blood that flowed on the cross. We shall only understand the further evolution of the human race if we perceive how crucial this fact is, realizing that the most tremendous and complete change in humanity's spiritual evolution on earth is connected with this fact.

If we consider this evolution on earth, we find that in early times, before the Christos principle entered into human souls, the mysteries of the spirit were profound centres of teaching and ritual The more the Christ came into the world, the more did the Mysteries of the Son unfold; and in future the Mysteries of the Father will be important. We are told of them in the Book of Revelation.

Let us go back to the Mysteries of the Spirit. They were initially established in a place that would have been between Europe and America and has long since vanished. The nursery of the great adepts was founded there, inaugurating the Mysteries of the Spirit that have continued into our age. People who had given evidence of having achieved maturity could be initiated in the Mysteries of the Spirit. The mystery centres would accept people who had been adequately instructed and purified. There they would receive the teachings, the theosophy, that is the basis of all religions, teachings we receive today through the science of the spirit. They would have purified their instinctive drives, trained to bring order into their thinking, and then have learned not only to love people who were blood-related but to embrace the whole of humanity in love. They had become 'homeless people'. The process which occurs at the highest levels of human development is one that points to the future.

Initiation at the ancient mystery temples continued on into the last pre-Christian centuries. We see evidence of this in the Egyptian pyramids. There the disciple who had come so far that he was able to love the whole of humanity would be put to sleep for three days. His physical body would be as if dead, in total lethargy. The initiator would be able to draw his spirit forth from him the way your spirit is drawn from your body every night when you're asleep. Just as it is true that this spirit is unconscious in ordinary sleep, so it is true that it would be conscious in disciples who had been frilly prepared. The interference that comes from the physical body would no longer be there. But in those three days the disciples would be able to remember everything they had learned before; they were able to take this into their body.

Because the candidate had been learning, taking in the necessary concepts and feelings, the initiator was now able to let him experience as a spiritual reality everything he had previously worked for and taken in by way of inner feelings. The soul would wander through the astral and devachanic world during the three days when it was out of the body. It would encounter the reality of what it had previously learned, and the individual thus came to know, to be initiated. The theosophical teachings ceased to be mere theory; now they were something in which he himself had been, as though in a living element. When he woke again in his body and looked at his physical surroundings, a sound would come to his lips that must wrest itself from the soul of its own accord when after wandering through the world of the spirit for three and a half days the soul found itself back in the physical world again. The soul was then aware that the I had become a citizen of higher worlds, that it had been in those worlds and could now speak to people about its experience in those worlds. Speaking of the world of the spirit from experience, he had become a herald of the spirit in the physical world, a missionary of the spirit. And this comes to expression in the words: 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!'111Matth. 27: 46; Mark 15: 34. sabachthani generally translated as 'abandoned'. A similar sounding term, shevachthani means 'elevated' or 'glorified'. See Steiner R. The Gospel of St Matthew (GA 123), 12th lecture. Tr. D. Osmond, M. Kirkcaldy. New York: Anthroposophic Press 1985. which means: 'Oh God, my God, you have indeed glorified me!' These were the words one would have been able to hear from every individual who had been initiated in this way.

If you had examined such an individual with regard to his whole essential nature, you would have found that someone who was initiated in the mysteries of the spirit became a herald of something which in Christ Jesus was given for the whole of humanity. The budhi had, however, only awoken inwardly, in the 'ether body', as it is called, of such an initiate. Initiates in the spirit, in whom the Son, the Christos, had inwardly awakened, existed throughout antiquity in pre-Christian times. This Christos had not penetrated as far as the physical body, but he had been awakened in the ether body. Those initiates had become immortal as ether human beings.

The great step forward for humanity came because what applied to the great initiates in the spirit also applied to Christ Jesus coming to the earth. But in the case of the individual who died on the cross, this applied right down to the physical body. Everything which in the ancient mysteries could be experienced when out of the body could be seen on the physical plane in this one case, because of the event on Golgotha. It became visible even for those who had only physical eyes. In earlier times, initiates who were able to progress that far would be able to see it. They would feel at one with God because, being the chosen, they experienced inwardly how life must conquer death. Now, however, this was no longer necessary. With the event on Golgotha it had taken place in front of human eyes. There it happened that life overcame death. And through the connection with this unique event, through the bond that connects every individual with it, like a family bond, something was given that replaced the things which had been given to individuals in the Mysteries of the Spirit.

There is one great, significant image from the Mysteries of the Spirit which I must describe to you if you are to understand the Mysteries of the Son. I had to describe how the individual who lay in his sleep for three and a half days was surrounded by twelve human forms, as though he were sitting around a table with them. And how should they appear to someone who had had experiences of the higher worlds as an initiate? Twelve of his incarnations would appear to him, twelve of the bodies he had gone through before. Those twelve bodies were nothing more or less than what he bore within himself as the elements of his body. In occult terms, the human body is divided into twelve parts, and these are a recapitulation of twelve incarnations in which the individual human being is gradually purified and taken to a higher level of perfection. The individual would thus feel himself to be surrounded by the forms or figures which he himself had gone through in earlier times, and he would say to himself: The one form you had before lives in one part of you; the second form lives in another, the third in again another, the fourth, and so on.’ They are thus around you like the guests sitting at a meal with their host.

This image would appear before the soul of every individual entering into the Mysteries of the Spirit. It was the Son of Man who brought this to an end, no longer the son of a family, a tribe, a nation, but the son of the whole of humanity. It was really the thirteenth who had the greatest perfection among the twelve. Being outside his earthly self, he saw himself as the thirteenth.

Let us now consider how the experiences every candidate would have in the higher world came to be repeated in Christ Jesus. It is covered with a kind of veil, the way everything given outwardly, exoterically, is veiled. The Easter feast celebrated by the Christ and the twelve was not to be an ordinary feast. It was to be something else—a recapitulation on the physical plane of the experience which the initiates in the spirit had had a number of times on the higher plane.

In Luke's gospel, chapter 22, verses 7-12, we read: ‘When the day of unleavened bread came, ... they said to him, “Where do you wish us to prepare it?” And he told them, “Now when you enter the city, a man will meet you who is carrying a jar of water. Follow him into the house where he is going. Then speak to the master of the house, saying, The teacher says to you, Where is the guest room so that I may eat the Passover there with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room which has been set out ready; prepare for us there.”’

During the feast he explained once again that the bread was his body, that the blood flowing in his body was like the sap in the body of a plant. It was right for him to say, with reference to the plant sap, the wine: ‘This is my blood,’ and it was right for him to say this because he is the spirit of the earth. It is right for him to say of all substance: ‘This is my body,’ and of all juices: ‘This is my blood.’

Then comes the scene where Christ Jesus developed the Mysteries of the Spirit further into the Mysteries of the Son, and ultimately into the Mysteries of the Father. Again you must consider the twelve apostles sitting around him to be an embodiment of the twelve parts of his own body. If you really contemplate this, using inner delicacy and discretion as you approach a passage which unveils—or rather veils—the deepest truth of the Christian spirit, you will be able to encompass in your mind the transition from the Mysteries of the Spirit to those of the Son.

Consider once again what had to happen as the Mysteries of the Son were approaching. People had to become aware that the blood had to give up its connection with blood bonds. One day blood bonds would mean less to people than their egoism. Looking to the future mission of the Christian spirit, Christ Jesus realized that this could only be achieved by his sacrifice. It had to be thus. For times would come when people grew more and more egoistical in order to gain their freedom. The excess of egoistical blood therefore had to be sacrificed in a cosmic deed, so that human beings, however independent, might one day be able to unite in one great brotherhood. The egoistical element exists particularly because of the human race; it has grown more and more, and it needs to be made spiritual, to be ennobled, by the Christian spirit. Human beings are thus getting more and irore independent. Let us take a look, however, at something which has since come to girdle the earth—our forms of transport. What are they but arrangements to satisfy our egoism? Everything thought up by using the rational mind and common sense has only been thought up to satisfy our egoism, even if only in a roundabout way. Humanity was less egoistical when grain was still ground by using two stones. Humanity had to grow independent, however, and therefore also had to go through egoism, with the whole of our civilization providing the material basis for this.

Someone initiated in the Mysteries of the Spirit thus sees his own incarnations, with himself at the head, as the part which is now the most perfect, just as the Son of Man saw the group of disciples around him as versions of himself. Someone who looks into the future will see the configurations humanity will need to go through. Anyone who lives through the Mysteries of the Son sees into the future, to the end of earth evolution, when the earth state changes into a new star state. Christ Jesus was therefore able to say of the former state: 'You who are sitting around me represent different degrees of perfection, and when I look into the future, you, as you are sitting around me here, represent the twelve stations. These must be overcome, however. I must guide them through myself to the Father. I must guide you to the Father as though through myself, so that the earth may achieve a higher degree of perfection.' All sensuality, all drives, passions and affects attaching to human beings must be overcome. This can be seen in symbolic form in what happened with the twelve.

The age that followed is represented in Judas Iscariot. The representative of low sensuality is closely connected with the representative of the greatest moral and ethical qualities. It is Judas Iscariot who really betrayed the Christian spirit immediately afterwards. Oh, a time will come when it will look as though what happened on Golgotha is also happening all over the earth! It will look as if egoism was to bring death for the Christ, the budhi. It will be the time of the Antichrist. It is law that everything that happened around the cross will also have to happen on the physical plane. What happened on Golgotha does at the same time also have profoundly symbolic significance. Judas' betrayal signifies the lower drives gaining the upper hand. All things sensual must, however, become spiritual.

We thus have reference made here to the future evolution of humanity within the earth. I have spoken of this on several occasions. Everything of a lower nature will drop away from human beings. The future human being is already preparing in the human race. They will not be creative then the way they are today. They will not be working out of their lower passions. Today they produce the word, which can embody the most sublime, and they will become more and more creative through the word. They have grown more egoistical because of their sexuality, and they will be selfless again once that sexuality drops away.

Today the word is produced on a stream of air coming from the larynx; in humanity's future the word will be productive again. Boys' voices break at puberty. It will be the voice which will be productive. And in becoming productive, this word will at the same time—in the future, for the whole situation will be turned around—give expression to human control over the air. It means that the principle which originally breathed through man will cause a transformation in something which is even more deeply connected with essential human nature. The word will be creative with regard to the preparation of the blood. Even the blood of man will be transformed. It will only be able to produce pure, selfless feelings. A human race will arise that is creative through the word. Selflessness will be transformed into a quality of the blood, and the thinking organ will be transformed to be in the heart. This is one of the two evolutions that will follow Christianity. The age when egoism rules is represented by Judas Iscariot. Anyone taking an unbiased look at world events can see how sexuality is capable of betraying man as spirit, to kill him. But human beings who today can produce the word as something higher in themselves will one day be creative through the word. This will be when the heart is the organ of their mind and spirit.

I would now ask you to apply this to the gospel and note a passage which puts what I have just been saying in a truly wonderful way, with magnificent symbolism. Consider what will follow when Christianity has grown selfless and brotherly; how Judas Iscariot embodies everything that makes people egoistical; and consider also the direction in which humanity will develop through the twelve stations—to the form which Christ Jesus himself assumed. Everything rises upwards towards the heart.

The way the transformation occurs is such that creative power pushes upwards from the lap to the heart. This has to come to expression in the one who represents the highest form and is closest to Jesus. Now read this: ‘One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, lay in Jesus' lap at the table. Simon Peter beckoned to him, indicating he should ask which one it was. He then leaned against the breast of Jesus and said to him: “Lord, which one is it?”’112John 13: 23-25. The translation of the Greek ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ tends to be a problem. A kolpos was the space, a kind of pouch, created above the belt in a loose Greek-style tunic. It was the place where men in those times would keep things that were valuable to them. Translations vary between ‘bosom’ and ‘lap’ (in Abraham's bosom, in the lap of the gods). Verse 23 says kolchos, whilst verse 25 has στῆθος, stethos, meaning ‘breast’. The passage tells us how the lowest power of production in man moves up into the breast, shown here by Christ Jesus' closest disciple. The Mystery of the Son, of Jesus, is suggested in the most delicate way. One cannot think of a more magnificent way. You will see that it is meant to be a mystery if you read what the initiated disciple himself writes at the end of this whole scene, having had living experience of how he would be transformed and come to the Father through the Son. What was he then able to say? At a higher level, he was able to say what initiates are able to say: ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.’ Those are his words. Read it for yourselves in John's gospel: ‘And Jesus said: Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him.’113John 13:31.

This Easter feast was the preparation for what then happened on the physical plane. In contemplating Christ's death we learn of death being overcome on the physical plane, and egoistical blood being overcome as the blood flowed from his wounds. We also come to perceive the great prospect that lies ahead as the words are once again heard coming from the cross, out of an awareness of what the future holds: The earth will have reached the goal of a great brotherliness, of becoming spiritual, overcoming everything that could drag the human spirit down.'

Those who have gone through this with the Christ will be able to gather around him once they leave earth evolution behind and rise to a higher form of evolution. And perceiving that the perfecting of the earth has been accomplished, Christ Jesus will once again be able to call out words he once called out on the cross: 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!' that is ‘ My Lord, my Lord, how you have glorified the I in humanity, making it spiritual.' That is the meaning of these words. There is a later translation which is wrong, taking up the lines from the psalm.114Psalm 22:2. But the proper translation of the words is the one you have now heard. Those are the words that express the Mystery of Golgotha: ‘My God, my God, how greatly you have glorified me, made me spiritual.'

These words reveal to us how the spirit wrests itself free of the body. The Mystery of the Son reveals to us how at that time, the inner visionary eye of the world's redeemer looked ahead to the end of the earth's perfecting and put the great goal of humanity in words, speaking of overcoming all differences and the founding of utter human love. This goal will only be reached if people learn to enter more and more in a spiritual way into the world of the spirit. For it is in the spirit that humanity comes to be at one. Once human beings were at one as they stepped forth out of the spirit, out of that oneness, out of the way where everything merges into one in the divine. They became individualized as they entered into individual human bodies—the way water is individualized when droplets of it are absorbed into small sponges. And human beings, now become individual, will be at one again when they enter into the great bond of brotherhood, still maintaining their individual nature. They will thus prepare themselves to be deified creators, just as they were gods, creators, before they came to earth as human beings.

Human evolution took its origin in a divine spirit and it is going back to a divine spirit. The different ‘I’s will be individual, yet at the same time they will be a oneness, being united in the bond of brotherhood. This oneness will give birth to a new star, the new star which in the Book of Revelation is called 'the new Jerusalem'.115Rev. 3: 12; 21:2. The human ‘I’s will be born in their I-nature, and then the harmonies of the spheres will create the echo for the words in which the Mystery of Golgotha came together, the words: 'My God, my God, how you have glorified me!'

Those words were spoken then, in the past. They will be repeated when human beings ascend to the highest levels, to ever greater heights, when they will have gone through the Son to the Father. The Son guides humanity to the end of earth evolution; then human beings will be taken up into the cosmos again, retaining their I-nature. The earth will go back to the Father. 'No one comes to the Father except through me.'116John 14: 6.

The inner eye is able to see a long, long way if human beings are prepared to seek insight into the profound secret of Golgotha. But festivals like the great seasonal festivals exist as important points where people should abandon their everyday routine, when they should let their inner eye go out to the great milestones in evolution, when they should survey not only centuries but millennia. We should consider humanity in a vision that comes to the conscious mind. If we let the distant goal of the future come alive in our hearts, as the great teachers of the human race have taught us, if we let this distant goal come alive in us, a goal that is so far away, yet can be so close if it becomes a power in our hearts—then alone shall we reach it.

Let us resolve never to let such festivals pass by without inscribing in our souls those great future prospects and goals for humanity. People have time for everyday things in their everyday lives, but when the bells ring on holy days, they do well to remember that they are children not just of their age, but in their spirit, also children of eternity.