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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness
GA 116

Printed for Members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class I. No person is held qualified to form a judgment on the contents of this work, who has not acquired — through the School itself or in an equivalent manner recognised by the School — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded; the authors decline to take them as a basis for discussion.

This Course of Seven lectures, edited by Harry Collison, was given in Berlin from October 1909 to May 1910. The shorthand report it was translated from was unrevised by the Lecturer. The translator is unknown. In the collected edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled: Der Christus-Impuls und die Entwicklung des Ich-Bewusstseins (vol. 116 in the Bibliographic Survey). Edited by Harry Collison

I. The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas October 25, 1909
Conscience. — Development of the different principles of man's being at different epochs. Old Indian. The Etheric body of the Old Indian looked like the astral body of the Old Persian. The nature of a great teacher at that time. Ordinary man was then inactive but began to bestir himself in Greco-Latin period; conscience begins. A Bodhisattva becomes Buddha, having accumulated all experiences in one incarnation only. Reason for Buddha's incarnation in the East. Buddha introduced the Ethics of compassion, once and for all; no repetition was necessary. Clear thinking was given by another teacher later and its germ planted in an earlier epoch. This was planted during the sentient soul period in the West through Music by Apollo. The Bards. The Son of Apollo. Orpheus and Eurydice. Apollo is the Bodhisattva who prepares the Ego quality. The teacher prepared the soil and Buddha had only influenced man from within; another Being was necessary to complete the whole being. At Jordan, Christ sinks into the etheric body, which is the lowest principle. The names of the heavens. Elemental world. Devachan, also ‘World of Providence’. Christ and the Twelve Bodhisattvas.
II. The Law of Karma with Respect to the Details of Life December 22, 1909
We cannot give Anthroposophy in tabloid form or pocket editions. Mere belief does not carry far. Necessity for youth to feel devotion and reverence. Education of children. Pain. Healing. Karma is a friend not an enemy to life. Why should Anthroposophists meet often together? Inherited tendencies.
III. The Entrance of the Christ-Being into the Evolution of Humanity February 02, 1910
The Hebrew mission (according to Matthew by physical inheritance). Through Lucifer man reaches in Lemuria a point intended for Atlantis. Otherwise he would have followed the instinctive guidance of the Elohim. “The Fall.” Mystery of Golgotha had been intended for mid-Atlantis. The same span of time between Lucifer and mid-Atlantis as between mid-Atlantis and the Christ Impulse. Man not a free agent before Christ's descent. Reason for lies, disease, death. The Golden Age or Krita juga. The Silver age or Treta juga. The Bronze age or Dvapara juga. The Dark Age or Kali juga, beginning 3101 B.C. From Lemuria to Mount Sinai was the power to choose good or evil. Sin. The ten commandments tell man how an Ego should behave. The Poor in Spirit. The Christ Impulse. The Etheric body. Illness. The Inner Comforter. The Astral body. Indifference to things of the Earth. Sentient Soul. Blessed are the Just. The Intellectual Soul. Blessed are those who can feel with others, for others shall feel with them. By the Sermon on the Mount Christ turns within man what the Commandments had dictated from outside. Tacitus. Necessity for Christ to descend during the darkest time. The Kali juga or Dark age ended with the 19th century. Christ will not return in the flesh. A new era and a new understanding are being prepared for 1930 onwards. Materialism will spread to spiritual conceptions.
IV. The Sermon on the Mount February 08, 1910
Reason for Christ's descent to physical plane. Zarathustra The Generations. Itiel, Lemuel. Ben Jage. Agur. Jedidjah. Kohelet. Salomo. Old dreamy clairvoyance. Unconscious of ego outside. Ecstasy in company with good spirits changes to obsession by bad spirits. ‘Blessed’ means ‘God-filled’. The Beatitudes. Further individual developments after 1930. The near future and its possibilities and dangers. The Event of Damascus. The danger of preaching a physical return. Christ is here always even unto the end of the world. False Messiahs.
V. Correspondences Between the Microcosm and the Macrocosm March 09, 1910
Difference between North, South and Christian Initiation. Duality and unity. Male and female Duality in Universe. Duality in man. Sun and Earth. Head and Limbs. Original uniform being divided into man and woman. Woman crystallises an earlier spiritual form. Man is a caricature of what should be a future form. Both male and female forms are distortions. The female brain is more pliable and spiritual. A woman corresponds to a comet which enters our existence with laws pertaining to Old Moon. It carries a former condition into a later. The Moon-like man, is a present caricature of the Jupiter condition. The above applies to the male in the woman and to the female in the man. Man is male in physical but female in etheric. Woman the reverse. Spiritual science in Paris, 1906, declared comets must possess cyanogen. This has now been discovered true by spectro-analysis. The comet appears in the regular life of cosmos, like the new-born child arriving in the well ordered home of hum-drum matrimony. Like children, some comets are good, some bad. Halley's comet gives an impulse to materialism. ‘Signs from the Heavens.’ In the next 2,500 years the etheric realm will be added to our perception, so that our environment will look quite different. The fairy land of Shamballa.
VI. The Birth of Conscience May 02, 1910
Conscience. Æschylos. Orestes. Shakespeare. Euripides. People in Graeco-Latin countries before Greece and Rome. The Graeco-Latin developed civilisation, at the same time felt as individuals. In Europe some peoples felt as individuals before they were civilised and in Egypt people became civilised before they developed the Ego. Europe had developed the Self too far to allow the Incarnation of Christ in Europe. Reason for Christ's incarnation in Palestine. Empedokles. Conscientia. Empedokles. Conscience appears in the West at the time Christ appears in the East that through Christ, conscience may be accepted.
VII. The Further Development of Conscience May 08, 1910
Meaning of 8th May. Death of Blavatsky. Transition from activity on physical plane to one in Spirit world. The Impulse of the Rishi's, of Zarathustra, of Moses, of Christ. Egoism in religious tradition. The absence of a historic Jesus. Professors Drews and Hartmann. St. Paul. People think what they want to think. Historic records lose their value. The Event at Damascus. Paul convinced by the ‘risen Christ’. This event can be renewed in each human being, and this is the proof of the historic Jesus. The old way has died out. Historical proofs matter not. Danger in the Theosophical Society of the worship of Personality and belief in Authority. Test the person by the truth, not the truth by the person. The Christ experience was completely veiled from Blavatsky. The Christ must be added to Theosophy. The danger in the Theosophical Society. Adonis. Tammuz. Karma in the 20th century ceases to be theory; it is definite experiences. Paul says to man ‘What you now see you have turned into illusion by your own deeds. Take the Christ that is within, and reality will be restored to you.’