Our bookstore now ships internationally. Free domestic shipping $50+ →

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

From Limestone to Lucifer
GA 349

X. Sleeping and Waking. Life after Death. The Christ Spirit. The two Jesus Children

21 April 1923, Dornach

Good morning, gentlemen! Have you thought of a question?

Speaker: You were so kind as to tell us what it is like when the spirit has left the body. Me and my colleagues did find we could understand the last lecture very well. But in the [book] Theosophy it says that when the spirit has left the body the soul still has its cravings. We find this a tough nut to crack. Rudolf Steiner: Very good. Now tell me the other question as well.

Speaker: A pamphlet has come into my hands, by chance; it's by a Dr Hauer.37Hauer, J.W., Werden und Wesen der Anthroposophie (Origins and nature of anthroposophy), Stuttgart 1922. I suppose you have read it and therefore know about it. This man Hauer makes you appear as if the things you are saying are nothing new, as if everything said in anthroposophy has been known for a long time, that it is all known already. And he then goes on to say that the thing he has found most incredible in anthroposophy is the story of the two Jesus children.

[The speaker went on to say that he had to admit that he, too, could not understand the thing about the two Jesus children himself, with one of them coming from another world. No doubt Dr Steiner had the pamphlet himself.]

Rudolf Steiner: Yes, I have the pamphlet, but I have not yet cut the pages.

The speaker then went on to say that if it were not too much to ask, he'd be pleased if Dr Steiner were to say something about the Jesus family.

Another question: In the last few days my colleagues have asked me about the Christ. So it would please me if Dr Steiner could say something about the Christ spirit.

Rudolf Steiner: Is there perhaps another question as well, so that we may consider the whole of it?

I'll first of all deal with the question of the desires. The thing is like this. If you consider the things which human beings experience other than those experienced by stones and plants, you will find that human beings experience their world of thought. Plants do not show that they have a world of thought. Thoughts do live in plants, but it would be nonsense to look for conscious thought in a plant.

Now with science often so superficial today, something rather peculiar has come about. Scholars are of all kinds nowadays, and since some of them are not able to believe completely that all processes are merely physical, mineral by nature and without life, they do assume that there is at least a soul element. Not knowing anything about this soul element they will say, therefore: 'The soul element shows itself in the fact that some creature does something or other.'

There are plants that behave in a very strange way. One of them is called the Venus's fly-trap because of the way it behaves.38Venus's fly-trap (Dionaea muscipula), member of the sundew family (Drosera). See Darwin on insect-eating plants, in his collected works. The surface of the broad leaves in the ground rosette is divided into two halves, with three bristle-like outgrowths on each. If an insect lands on the leaf and touches one of these bristly outgrowths the two halves of the leaf fold up so quickly that the small insect is trapped between them. So that is something which exists.

People who talk superficially of the soul and do not know anything about it will say: 'A plant has a soul just as human beings have a soul.' I always have only one thing to say to such people: 'I know a small device; you put some fat bacon into it, having browned it a little first—a mousetrap. And when a mouse nibbles on the bacon the trap will close of its own accord. Someone who concludes from such things as the Venus's fly-trap that there has to be a soul in there would also have to say that the mousetrap has a soul, for it closes of its own accord.' It always is a matter of how we take the background of anything.

You see, the characteristic of anthroposophy is that we always consider the background. Others who do think there is a soul but know nothing of the soul will say a plant also has a soul if it acts in a similar way to a mousetrap when an insect comes close. In anthroposophy, it is not outer appearances that lead to conclusions but true insight into the soul element. Part of this is that human beings develop cravings. A craving arises, for instance, when one is thirsty. If I'm thirsty I crave a drink of water or something. All right, then, good; the water will quench my thirst. A craving is anything where you wish for, want, something out of the inner organism; that would always be a craving.

Now you see, people never think about one thing. They do not think about the state of soul that exists when someone wakes up. You know, when someone wakes up, these people now investigate how much carbon dioxide is in the blood and so on; that is, they only investigate the physical condition. The truth of the matter is that a human being wakes up because he has a craving for his physical body. When you go to sleep at night you no longer crave your physical body. It is filled to the brim with getting-tired substances. It is no longer a good place to be. The soul—being the I and the astral body—wants to go outside to recover. In the morning, when the physical body has been restored, and the soul which is outside the body has noticed this from the condition of the skin, being close to it—the soul will return to the physical body, for it craves to be in the physical body for as long as the physical body is at all able to live. The soul thus craves to live in the body for the whole of its life.

Now consider something else. You cut your finger and it hurts. This would be the finger [Fig. 26]. You cut it and it hurts. What has actually happened? Well, the physical body has been torn apart a little bit. You can cut into the physical body but not into the astral body. Let me now draw in the astral body. If I make it a big cut, you have a gap, and the astral body is in it. It craves to be able to get also into the place where the physical body has been torn apart. It craves to be in the body and cannot do so because the body is torn there. That is the pain.

moon sphere
Figure 26

Now just think, if the soul craves for the physical body throughout life, something has to happen after death.

If you develop a craving for sugar as a child and someone who is important, someone who means something to you, considers it better for you at some stage in your life not to take so much sugar, you will still have your craving for sugar. Let us assume you have developed diabetes and therefore should no longer do it—well, gentlemen, it will take a long time to get out of the habit! You'll always have the craving for sugar and have to get out of the habit gradually. You know, someone who drinks a lot has developed a craving for drink; he'll need to get out of the habit gradually. Someone who eats opium, the way I told you the other day, and people deprive him of it, he'll go quite mad in his craving for opium.

The craving for the body lives in the I and astral body throughout life. After death, the soul wants again and again to wake up in the body. This is something it has to learn to do without, and it will take about a third of a lifetime to do so. Sleep takes up about a third of life. The first day after you have died you'll want to go back. You'll want to do what you did the last day of your life. On the second day you'll want to do what you did the last but one day of your life, and that is how it goes on. The craving thus has to be got rid of for this third of life. You won't feel the cravings of hunger or thirst after death, but for everything you have had through your physical body. It will be like this after death. All your life you developed a love for the area around your home village. It is something you have always been seeing. And you have been seeing it through your physical body. Only people with strange beliefs will think that they'll have much more beautiful meadows, flowers and so on after death than they have here on earth. And we have to let go of all this. And because this needs to be done, we have to say that cravings continue. I think you can understand this?

Answer: Yes, indeed.

Cravings for the physical body and for life altogether continue after death, therefore. No longer hunger and thirst, for that would need a stomach. We won't have a stomach then, that will have been put into the coffin. But above all there is a craving after death still to see all the things we have seen during life.

There is something else as well. After death we'll not be able to see things rightly in the spiritual way in the world we have entered, just as an infant does not see things fully here in the physical world. This is something that has to be learned. We have to grow into the world of the spirit. The first stage after death, a third of our past life, therefore is such that we are blind and deaf to the world of the spirit but still long for the physical world. This comes after the two or three days in which the individual who has died looks back on his life, as I have told you. And it is only when he has shed these longings that he will grow into the world of the spirit and gain perceptions in the spirit. He'll no longer have the craving for the physical world then. Anyone able to understand the inner life will therefore also understand what remains of our physical life. And the things that remain are not all pleasant, of course. If someone has been always wanting to beat up other people, the craving to beat people up will remain, and he must gradually get out of the habit. These are the things one comes to understand.

In anthroposophy we always seek to understand what can be truly seen of the soul, being truly apparent. This is what it is about.

As to your other question, the one concerning Christ Jesus, we'll consider it a little bit right now, today, so that you'll not feel dissatisfied. It does mean, however, that I have to go into history first.

I have told you of all kinds of stages which the earth went through in very early times. Now the thing is like this. Conditions on earth today have at most existed for six to eight or nine thousand years, let's say 6,000 to 9,000 years. This also agrees with observations made by modern scientists, and I have mentioned this to you before. Before that, you would not have been able to go far from here and you would be in the glacier region, as it is called. Switzerland was then covered with glaciers all the way to here, in places where you can walk around today. Glaciers then flowed in valleys where rivers flow today. The Aare, the Reuss and so on, are thinned-down remnants of glacier rivers from those times.

The time when Europe was largely under ice was preceded by a time that was very different. The earth is such—though you have to think in very large spans of time for this—that its surfaces are always going up and down, rising and falling. So if this is the sea, for example [drawing on the board], with land up there, this land is floating in the sea. All land actually floats in the sea. Can you imagine this? It is not that it goes down to the bottom; the land, all lands, float in the sea. The sea is also beneath the land.

Now you'll say: 'But why does it not move around in that case, like a ship?' Let me first tell you something else. The land masses do indeed float in the sea, but imagine this is Great Britain, England [drawing on the board]. It is an island. It does indeed float in the sea, but close to Europe, and the distance does not change. Even from the modern scientific view, however, it has not always been like that, and there have been times when the water went over the land. England was then under the sea. Going across this little bit of sea you would, of course, reach bottom. So there have been times when England was beneath the sea. The situation is actually like this. If you study the soil in England you'll find some fossilized creatures in it and they are not all the same. If you look at a bit of English soil here, and then again higher up, the fossilized animals will be quite different, and quite different again if you go even higher up. You'll find four successive layers of fossilized animals in the English soil!

Where do these fossilized animals come from? When the sea floods the land, the animals die. Their shells drop down and the animals are fossilized. If I find four different layers in a soil, the land must have been under the sea four times. It would have put down a layer each time. And looking at England we find that the land was up above and then down below again four times. England was below sea level four times, and it always rose again.

Now you may ask: 'Why does such an island, which is really floating in water, not move about like a ship?' Well, it is not held in place by the earth. If only the earth were involved, you simply cannot imagine how things would be shaken up and thrown into confusion. England would hit the Norwegian coast one day and then be moved across to America, and so on, and the countries would all be thrown into confusion if it were only a matter for the earth. But it is not just a matter for the earth, for it is the relative positions of the stars which send out the forces that keep a land mass in a particular place. It thus is not the earth which does it. It is the relative positions of the stars. And it is always possible to show that when a land mass has changed position, the relative position of the stars has changed—not the planets, of course, but the fixed stars. Someone who does not want to know about this world is just like people who say the powers of thought come from the brain. If I leave footprints in soft soil and someone coming from Mars, if you like, says the footprints have been produced by the earth, with the earth pushing the sand up or pulling it down, that is not the way it is at all, for I have pressed down the soil from outside. And the convolutions of the brain have also come from outside, from the soul's thinking. And that is also how it is with the land masses on earth. They are held in place by the relative position of the stars. And so we find that the spirit has to be seen to be not only in the human beings on earth, and on the earth altogether, but in the whole of the universe.

Now just think, gentlemen, people of earlier times actually knew these things, though in a very different way than we do today. Let me prove this to you. Several centuries before the birth of Christ a great philosopher called Plato lived in Greece39Plato (c. 427-347bc), Athenian philosopher. The passage about Solon, the Athenian lawgiver, is in the Timaeus dialogues, translated as Plato's Cosmology by F.M. Comford in 1937. He knew a great deal. He told how one of the wisest people of his nation, Solon, went to see an Egyptian once. The Egyptians were the older nation at the time, but the Greeks had more sense than we have, for though they greatly revered the Egyptians—as we shall see in a minute—they did not learn Egyptian, the ancient language of the Egyptians. The Greeks did not learn Egyptian! Our scholars all have to learn Greek! The Greeks had more sense. We do not copy what they aimed to do; but we copy their language. Our scholars are handicapped exactly because they do not grow into the things that would come to them naturally on earth but are deflected from this by having to find their way into a very ancient language. Well, people are now trying to change this in Switzerland. When our young people wanted to study medicine, they first had their minds warped by having to learn Greek. I am not saying this because I, too, had to learn it once. I truly love the Greek language. But it should be for people to learn who want to gain something from it, not because they want to be doctors or lawyers and later forget their Greek again.

Plato told the story of Solon and the Egyptian. And this clever Egyptian said to him: 'You Greeks may be quite advanced, but you are still children, for you do not know anything about the land masses being drawn up above the sea all the time and then going down again, with the situation changing all the time.'

The ancient Egyptians thus still knew it and the Greeks no longer did. Only Plato. He did know something about the fact that there had been land out there in the Atlantic Ocean, where ships go from Europe to America today, so that there had been a land connection between the west coast of Europe and the east coast of America. But the old truths have been forgotten. And this was because knowledge was then still at a more unconscious level. We have learned to think in an abstract way, which is something we need in order to be free. For those people in the past were not free; but they did know more. And Lessing, I told you, set great store by the fact that earlier people knew more than those who came later.

And so we come to a point where we say to ourselves: 'It is true that in very early times, and because of the way they then were by nature, people knew that a spiritual principle is present all around. People knew this for quite a long time.'

There was a Roman emperor in the fourth century after Christ, for instance, whose name was Julian.40Julian, Flavius Claudius Julianus, 'the Apostate' (c. 331-63). Concerning the triple sun, see also the lecture Rudolf Steiner gave in London on 24 April 1922 (in GA 211), Man's Life on Earth and in the Spiritual Worlds, tr. G. & M. Adams. London: Anthroposophical Publishing Co. 1952. He was taught by people who still had some of the Asian knowledge. And Julian said that there was not one sun but three. The first sun is the physical sun, the second a sun of soul, and the third a sun of spirit. The first is visible, the other two are invisible. This is what Julian said.

Then something very strange happened. Julian has always been given a bad name in history, for he did not believe in Christianity. But he did believe in the things people knew before Christianity came. And one day, when he had to conduct a military campaign in Asia, he was murdered all of a sudden. It was a kind of assassination. But the assassination was done by people who hated him because he had still acquired the old knowledge.

You just have to remember that at that time, in earlier days, the matter was handled very differently from the way it is today. The Egyptians were terribly clever, as I've told you. But they did not have the kind of writing we have; they wrote in pictures, with a word always looking similar to what it meant. And the scribes of ancient Egypt were always told that writing was a sacred task and that they had to copy things exactly. Do you know what would happen to someone who was careless enough to make an error in writing in pictures? He would be condemned to death! Now today we'd be really surprised if someone were condemned to death for a spelling error. But human history is different from the way we think. The ancient Egyptians were indeed both wise and cruel in some respects. So there has of course been some progress in human evolution. But though writing was so sacred to them, we cannot deny that they were indeed wise in other respects and knew about things that are only gradually emerging again today in anthroposophy, in a very different way. They actually dreamt it, and we know it. It was a completely different way.

Now you see, Julian was right. It is indeed true that just as you have soul and spirit in your body, so does the sun have soul and spirit. Someone who knows the soul element will say so. He would not say that a Venus's fly-trap has a soul, for it would be nonsense to say that anything that moves in some way for a purpose also has a soul. He knows, however, that light has a soul when it shines, and moves in a soul way. This is something he perceives. And people thus knew that the sun had a living entity inside it.

Now you know we are told that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Palestine at a particular time. You see, gentlemen, Jesus of Nazareth grew up in fairly simple circumstances—we can check the things written in the Gospels today, that they are true. He was the son of a carpenter, a joiner. That is correct. He grew up in a fairly simple way. He still had a great deal of the old wisdom. And it is also true that he was able to give very good answers to the scribes and scholars when he was 12 years old. It can still happen today that a boy of 12 gives more sensible answers than a scholar whose head has been turned by scholarship. It was then apparent what he was a greatly gifted child. He continued to grow up, and when he was 30 years old something suddenly changed in him.

What happened in Jesus when he was 30 years old? When Jesus was 30 years old he suddenly understood something—he had of course been prepared for this by the great knowledge he'd had before. It was something people no longer knew at that time. Only a few unknown scholars still knew it from ancient wisdom, so that Julian was also able to discover it at a later time. He came to see, out of ancient knowledge, that the whole universe and the sun had soul and spirit. And the reality that lived in the universe filled him when he came to know it. When we know something, we do indeed have it.

In those days things had to be taught to people in images. The things I am telling you today can only be put the way they are put since the fifteenth century. Before that, people did not have these concepts. They therefore said that a dove came down and he received the holy spirit into him. The situation was, of course, that anyone able to perceive it would know that something had happened to him. It would be put in this way, and in one of the Gospels it says: 'And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.'41Matthew 3:17. Properly translated: 'This is my beloved son; today I have born him.' It means that the event which happened in his thirtieth year was truly seen as a second birth. The birth of Jesus was just the birth of a boy who was more gifted than others, but who did not yet have this feeling in him. This was felt to be something extraordinarily important. It was the baptism in the Jordan.

There was something once that was a real problem to me. You do get such problems in science, gentlemen! One had the four Gospels, as you know, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And of course today everyone knows that they contradict each other. When you read the genealogy of Jesus at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel and compare it with the genealogy in Luke's Gospel, they are contradictory. People will say: 'They do not agree.' But they don't give it any further thought. At most they'll say: This was invented by one person, and this by another; one of them simply invented something different from the other, and we therefore have the contradiction.' But that is not how it is. It is like this. Goethe, for example, said of himself: 'I have my stature from my father, meaning he looked rather like him:

I have my stature from my father,
The serious approach to life;
My cheerfulness comes from my mother,
As does delight in making up stories.42Goethe, 'Zahme Xenien' VI, 32, in collected poetic works (in German).

Well, perhaps Goethe was not yet able to make up stories when he was three; it may have been something he was able to do when he was nine. Then he had to say: 'Right, delight in making up stories comes from my mother; it has come to me from my mother.'

I am telling you this because it will help you understand how my problem of the contradictions in the Gospels was resolved.

I first of all took these two Gospels, the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. Now if one does not just carelessly say they are inventions, no one can know why the two are contradictory. I therefore did a spiritual scientific investigation to discover what lies behind it and found that it was not just one boy who was born but that two Jesus children were born. Both were called Jesus. That need not really surprise us, for if a boy is called Joseph in Austria, no one will be surprised if another boy, born at the same time, is also called Joseph. It need not surprise us if two boys are called Seppi (short for Joseph) or Francis. And so one need not be surprised that two boys were both called Jesus at that time. Two boys were in fact born who were both called Jesus.43See Steiner, R., Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity (GA 15), tr. S. Desch, New York: Anthroposophic Press 1992. They lived together up to their twelfth year. And then something strange happened. Because they had lived together, the gifts which one of them had suddenly appeared in the other. Just as a son can inherit gifts from his mother, so did the one Jesus child inherit the gifts of the other, for instance. And the Jesus child whose gifts the other one had inherited did not continue to live, he died at 12 years of age; he died soon after. One of them thus remained, and because he was deeply touched by the fact that the other one was departing from this life, the wisdom of the other boy came alight in him. And it was only because of this that he could impress the scholars with his brilliance. The parents could have said: 'Where does he get it from?' An explanation can be found if we accept that the soul principle also has an influence. And such soul influences simply exist. The one Jesus child did not have wisdom until he reached his twelfth year. The other one died, and his wisdom had come to the other Jesus child, partly due to the shock of the other boy dying, partly because they had been friends. And this Jesus went through the baptism in the Jordan. The truth is that two Jesus children were born, not one. One of them died in his twelfth year, and the other suddenly woke up from the shock and then had the wisdom of the other boy.

And you then find that one of the evangelists, Matthew, wrote of the childhood of the one Jesus child, whilst the other, Luke, wrote of the other Jesus child. The two therefore are in agreement. I have not thought this up. It is the result of research work. And I am therefore speaking of two Jesus children because I have knowledge that the others do not have.

You can see from this that in the science of the spirit we apply the same principles as in natural science, saying that if there are causes, effects will also show themselves. We do not simply say: 'Well, two people simply invented something. The one Jesus child, in Matthew, is an invention, and the other Jesus child, in Luke, is an invention.' At the time when the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written, there was no thought of inventing things like this. People spoke in images; but they did not invent things, for they took things very seriously, so seriously that when a scribe wrote something that was not correct he would have been condemned to death a few centuries earlier in Egypt. We should not just carelessly say that people in earlier times invented things. They put it in images. But it would never have entered their heads to invent anything. Only an ignorant person would say that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are probably inventions. Yet this is what present-day scholars and theologians are saying. They cannot help themselves but have to admit that there are contradictions. But if one knows that there were two Jesus children, one of them the Jesus child of Matthew's Gospel, the other the Jesus child of Luke's Gospel, the matter is made clear in the best possible way.

Now there comes Mr Hauer. He is a visiting lecturer at Tübingen University and elsewhere. He's against anthroposophy. Today it does not profit you to speak for anthroposophy, but it does certainly profit you to speak against anthroposophy. Mr Hauer has therefore come along and found this to be something strange and peculiar. Well, gentlemen, it certainly is strange and peculiar because no one has discovered it before. It is of course peculiar for me to say that there was not one Jesus child but two, and one of them died in his twelfth year. Of course it is peculiar. It is not at all surprising that it is peculiar. But it is peculiar only because it is something no one else has said before. Because of this, Hauer finds it all strange and peculiar. You find this on every page of his book.

On the other hand you will find this: 'Well now, Steiner does not say anything that has not been known before.' Well, gentlemen, Mr Hauer finds anything he did not know before peculiar. He complains about it. On the basis of things he has read here and there—the old wisdom has existed, and you will of course find it written down everywhere today; I do not read it up here and there but it comes together—he concludes: 'Well, Steiner is not saying anything people have not been saying before.' That is how you find yourself at the mercy of these people. If something has to be said somewhere they will say: 'He is not saying anything new.' To write a book on geometry I would of course have to include the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagoras discovered this 600 years before Christ was born. I may have a number of new things in the book, and I must also have the Pythagorean theorem. I'd prove it in a slightly different way today, but it would be there in the book. Surely people cannot complain if something that has been forgotten is found again! And so it is true that many of the things which are today, of course, said in the science of the spirit can be found in the works of the ancient Gnostics, who were the writers in an earlier time. They will have put it differently, for it was a different situation then. Gnostics still existed at the time when Christ was on earth, and also after that. They wrote down such ancient wisdom, but this did not come from science but from ancient knowledge, so this was different from anthroposophy. People will compare what is written in anthroposophical works with Gnostic works. It is a little bit the way it is also found in the work of the Gnostics, because it is true. And these people will then say: 'Well, he's not saying anything that the others did not also say.' But when it comes to the two Jesus children, Hauer is, of course, unable to say: 'Here Steiner has discovered something which the others also knew.' In this case, he simply has no notion of anyone ever knowing this before.

The whole book—I've not yet cut the pages—but anything I have seen of it so far is teeming with this kind of contradiction. If you compare one page with another, you find nothing really hangs together. But that is what modern scholars do. On the one hand they say: Others have said this before, many times.' And on the other hand they'll say: 'He's not saying anything new. We already knew all about it.' Well, if they've known all about it already, why then are they complaining? And on the other hand, if there is anything they did not know before they find it unbelievable.

But you see, when I had found this, truly finding it entirely by means of spiritual research, that there were two Jesus children who lived together until their twelfth year, I knew no more than that it is a fact. Then one day in Turin we saw a painting.44Described by Hella Krause-Zimmer in her book Die zwei Jesusknaben in der bildenden Kunst, S. 157 ff. and 159 ff., Stuttgart 1997. This painting is rather unusual. It shows the mother of Jesus and two boys. One of them was not John, for we all know what John is like from all the paintings that show both Jesus and John. The two boys in the picture look fairly similar and yet also not similar. It is quite evident that these are two young friends. If one has already discovered that there were two Jesus children, one will realize what this painting tells us. It was painted at a relatively late date; but an Italian painter put two Jesus children in a painting at a time when people still knew that there had been two Jesus children.

If Hauer knew that this had still been the case, from ancient knowledge, he would now say: 'It simply means that Steiner has seen the painting in Turin.' He would say he had known it all along. And he would go on to say: 'Steiner is not telling us anything new; he always only says things we've known anyway.' That's how people are. It really is quite a terrible thing to consider the contradictions people come up with, evidently silly things, to fight anthroposophy. On the one hand the things I say are supposed to be invented. All right, let us assume it is an invention of mine. But the same person then surely cannot say in the same book: 'What he says is nothing new!' He insists that I have invented those things and objects to my doing so. And then he goes on to say that others have known them before. What these people do is simply crack-brained. Yet if you truly approach the Christ event and investigate it the way you normally investigate facts, it becomes very clear that the Jesus child's tremendous gifts had come from give-and-take between the two boys.

Let me prove to you that such give-and-take is possible, with other people not realizing that it is taking place. You see—I am going to tell you of one such case, but there are many such cases—there was a little girl once who had older brothers and sisters. Those brothers and sisters had learned to talk quite properly. The little girl did not learn to talk properly at first. When she did start to talk—which was a bit later than with other children—she was talking, true enough. But she spoke a language which no adult could understand. She'd say 'papazzo', for instance, and when she used this word she meant the dog. And so she invented her own names for all the animals. These are scientific facts. Those names cannot be found anywhere else.

After a time the girl had a new little brother. And the little brother very soon learned that language from his sister. And they would talk to one another in that language. The little brother died when he was about 12 years old, and the girl got out of the habit of that language and learned to talk like everyone else. She married later and was a perfectly ordinary middle-class woman. She'd tell people the story. It was something she had gone through herself. A fact. The two children communicated in that language, talking to one another in a language which no one else understood. Gentlemen, that may be the greatest wisdom! Only those two understood one another and had an understanding about this.

You can see from this how one individual is influenced by another. So why should it not have been the case that the one Jesus child, who died when he was 12, knew something which no one else understood? If you know the facts, you see it again and again.

Nothing is said here, therefore, that cannot also be most eminently scientific. People who will not accept that it is scientific don't always get their facts together. Someone who knows that such things happen, that two children speak a language which no adult can understand, and share something in mind and spirit in which the adults have no part, will understand everything I am saying about the two Jesus children up to their twelfth year. And it is not surprising that this was an unusual thing. It does not happen every day. And it only happened once in world history in the form in which it happened then—with illumination then coming to this individual when he was 30 years old. Now you see, there the Christ story becomes true science, true insight. And here one cannot help oneself; it changes of its own accord when insight is gained.

Now you might say: 'All right, then, Jesus had been illuminated when he was 12 years old by the other boy, the one who died. But when he was 30, he had again suddenly become a different person.' The evangelist put it in words by writing: 'A dove came down upon him from heaven.'45Matthew 3:16.

Yes, gentlemen, the fact is that he did become another person. So what happened there? I have told you that when a child is born you first of all have an embryo. The spirit of he universe has to influence this embryo. No wonder that he spirit of the universe has an influence when it even has an influence on the island that is England, as we have seen. The event that happened for Jesus in his thirtieth year cannot be explained if we just consider the earth. Just as a human being comes into existence on fertilization, with one thing influencing another, so did the whole universe have an influence on the 30-year-old Jesus at that time, fertilizing him with a soul and spirit principle, and he then became Jesus Christ, or, better, Christ Jesus. For what does it mean? Christ is the name for someone who has been illuminated. And Jesus was a common first name in Palestine, just as people are called Seppi in Austria today, meaning Joseph, or in Switzerland, and so on, where you find such names in every family. Many were called Jesus, therefore, and he was called the Christ because there had been this illumination. Yes, gentlemen, if you read my book Christianity as Mystical Fact,46Steiner, R., Christianity as Mystical Fact (GA 8), tr. A. Welbum, Hudson: Anthroposophic Press 1997. you will find proof there that this illumination had already been brought about artificially before that for some people, only to a lesser degree. They would then be called the wise ones of the mysteries. The difference between people trained to have the greatest wisdom in dim antiquity, the difference between them and Jesus Christ was that those wise ones of the mysteries were taught by others in schools which were then called the mysteries. In Jesus it happened of its own accord. It therefore was a different process.

In the ancient mysteries, people who achieved the greatest wisdom were known as 'Christ'. It is just like today when you need not be surprised if someone who has been studying until he was 25—before that he was plain Joseph Miller, now he is suddenly Dr Miller. That is how people became 'Christ' in the old mysteries, though not exactly in such a simple way; for you can of course be an absolute nincompoop and still have the doctor title at 25. That was not possible in the ancient mysteries; there it was deep, deep wisdom. Then people became 'Christ'. It was the title given to the wisest people, just as today the doctor title is given after some degree of study. Only in those days, if things went the way they should, it was genuine wisdom. And this happened of its own accord in the case of the Christ. It means that something which was otherwise given from the earth, by people, was given from the wide expanse of the cosmos. It only happened once. World history then took another turn. And it cannot be denied by anyone, not even someone who is not a Christian, that world history took a different turn then.

The Romans did not take account of it, for they did not know it. Christianity was founded over yonder in Asia by Christ Jesus. At the same time the Romans progressed from an ancient republic to being an empire, and they persecuted the Christians. The Christians had to make catacombs for themselves down below, underground. There they thought about the nature of their Christianity. Up above ground, what did people do there? They had circuses, tying human beings, their slaves, to pillars and burning them to provide a spectacle for the people sitting in the circus. That was up above ground. And down below in the catacombs the Christians lived their wisdom, religion, which at that time was for people who lived in slavery. Religion simply means union—religere, to bind, to unite. The Christians had their religion below ground.

And what happened a few centuries later? The Romans were no longer there in the old way. No one was any more looking at burning people just for pleasure; that had gone. The Christians had taken their place.

And that is also how it will be. People who talk like Dr Hauer today, the man you mentioned, will without doubt be swept away. And something which today has to be active in catacombs—not physically so, but in spirit—will have its effect. But you have to understand that it is genuine science; and how it annoys people who are not learning much today that something like this is coming up! I'll be able to take this further when I am back again. But I think you will have got a general idea of the way in which this is going.