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How the Spiritual World Interpenetrates the Physical
GA 155

Christ and the Human Soul I

12 July 1914, Norrköping

LET me begin by extending to you my heartiest greeting. Friends in Norrköping have expressed the wish that on this occasion I should speak upon a theme concerning that Being Who, in the realm of Spiritual Science, is above all else near to us-the Christ Being. I have endeavored to comply with this wish by undertaking to speak about the coming to life, and the meaning, of the Christ Being in the human soul. We shall thereby have the opportunity of speaking of the most human and intimate significance of Christianity from the standpoint of Spiritual Science.

Let us consider the human soul. Speaking from the standpoint of Spiritual Science, we have a short word which, although it does not embrace all that is included in the expression ‘human soul,’ indicates that which for us earth-men fills and permeates the soul element to its furthest limits-the word ‘I.’ In so far as we are earth-men, our Ego being reaches as far as does our soul nature. By the name of the ‘I,’ or Ego being, we are reminded of one of the four most immediate principles of man. We speak, in the first instance, of four members or principles of the human being-the physical body, the etheric body, the astral body and the Ego. And we need only recall one thing in order to have the starting point for what we shall be considering in these lectures. It is only necessary to be reminded of the fact that we do not regard the laws and the living essence of the physical body of man as being capable of explanation by anything presented by our earthly environment. We know that when we want to understand the physical human body we must go back to the three preceding embodiments of our earth-the Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon periods. In a remote, primordial past, during Old Saturn, the germ of the physical body was already laid. During the Old Sun the foundation of the etheric body was laid; and during the Old Moon that of the astral body. In reality our Earth evolution in all its phases and in all its epochs is none other than that which gives to the Ego the possibility of the fulfillment of its whole being. It may be said that just as at the end of the Old Saturn period the physical body had reached a significant stage of its evolution, at the end of the Old Sun the etheric body had reached a significant stage of its evolution, the astral body at the end of the Old Moon, so at the end of the Earth period our Ego will have reached a significant point of its evolution. We know that our Ego develops through three soul members or principles, through the sentient soul, the intellectual or rational soul, and the conscious or spirit-soul. All the worlds that come within the range of these three soul members are also concerned with our Ego. In the course of our Earth evolution these three soul members first prepared for themselves the three external bodily members-the physical body, the etheric body and the astral body-through long Earth periods. In successive Post-Atlantean epochs of civilization the three soul principles developed further, and in future Earth periods they will again adapt themselves to the astral, etheric and physical bodies, so that the Earth can be prepared to pass over to the Jupiter evolution. If we take the expression comprehensively enough we might also speak of man's Earth evolution as his soul evolution. It may be said that when the Earth began, the soul element also began, in conformity with law, to bestir itself in man. At first it began to work on the external sheaths, then it developed its own being, and from then onwards begins again to work on the external sheaths in order that preparation may be made for the Jupiter evolution. We must keep before our mind's eye what man is meant to become in his soul during the Earth evolution. He is to become what may be designated by the expression ‘personality.’ This personality needs in the first place what may be called ‘the free-will.’ But it needs also, on the other side, the possibility of finding within itself the way to the Divine in the world. On the one side free-will, the possibility of choosing between the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the evil, the true and the false; and on the other side, the laying hold of the Divine so that the Divine penetrates into the soul and we know ourselves to be inwardly filled with it. Such are the two goals of man's soul evolution on the Earth. This human soul evolution on the Earth has received two religious gifts for the purposes of the attainment of these two goals. The one religious gift is destined to lay down in the human soul those forces which lead to freedom, to the capacity for differentiation between the true and the false, the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad. And on the other side another religious gift had to be given to man during his Earth evolution, in order that there might be laid in his soul that seed through which the soul can feel united to the Divine within itself. (‘Atoned’ is the rendering suggested by a translator.)

The first religious gift is that which we meet in the beginning of the Old Testament as the mighty picture of the Temptation and the Fall.

The second religious gift comes to us from all that ‘the Mystery of Golgotha’ signifies.

The Temptation and the Fall have to do with what planted freedom in man, the gift of being able to distinguish between good and bad, beautiful and ugly, true and false. The Mystery of Golgotha points to the possibility of man's soul finding once again the path to the Divine, of knowing that the Divine can flash up within it and penetrate it. These religious gifts include everything that is most important in the Earth evolution—everything proceeding from the Earth evolution that the soul can experience in its uttermost depths, that is associated most profoundly with the being and the development of the human soul. How far is there a connection between existence and development of the inner experience of the human soul?

I do not want to put these matters before you in an abstract way. I want to start from a perfectly concrete element, from a certain scene in the Mystery of Golgotha as it stands before our eyes in historical tradition and has impressed itself-and should indeed have impressed itself still more—in the hearts and souls of men. Let us assume that we have in Christ Jesus, that Being of Whom we have again and again spoken in the course of our lectures on Spiritual Science. Let us assume that in Christ Jesus we have before our spiritual eyes That Which must be manifest to us men as bearing the greatest importance for the whole universe. And then let us place in contrast to this feeling the outcry, the fury, of the enraged multitudes of Jerusalem at the time of the condemnation before the crucifixion. Let us place before our minds the fact that the High Court of Jerusalem for its own sake held it above all things necessary to question Christ Jesus as to His relationship with the Divine, as to whether He claimed to be the Son of God.

Let us recall to our spiritual eyes the fact that the High Court held such a claim to be the greatest blasphemy that Christ Jesus could have uttered. An historical scene is there before us—a scene wherein the people cry out and clamor for the death of Christ Jesus. And now let us try to picture to ourselves what this shouting and rage of the people signified historically. Let us ask: ‘What ought these people to have recognized in the Christ Jesus?’ They ought to have recognized that Being Who gives meaning and significance to earth life. They ought to have recognized that Being Who had to accomplish the deed without which earth humanity cannot find the way back to the Divine. They ought to have understood that humanity has no significance apart from this Being. Men would have to strike out from the evolution of the earth the word ‘man’ if they wished to strike out the Christ event. Now let us set before our minds that this multitude condemned and were enraged against the Being Who actually makes man upon this earth, and Who is destined to give to the earth its goal and purpose. What lies in this? Surely this, that in those who in Jerusalem at that time were the representatives of human knowledge concerning the true being of man, the knowledge of man was obscured. They had no knowledge of what man is, what his mission on the earth is to be. We are told nothing less than that humanity had reached a point where it had lost itself, where it had condemned That Which gives to the earth evolution its purpose and significance. And out of the cries of the enraged multitude could be heard, not the words of wisdom, but of folly: ‘We do not wish to be men, rather do we wish to cast away from us that which gives us any further meaning as men.’

When we reflect on all this, the relation of man to sin and guilt, in the sense of Pauline Christianity, assumes a different aspect. Man, in the course of his evolution was able to fall into sin which he could not of himself wash away; that is what St. Paul says. And in order for it to be possible for man to be cleansed of sin and debt, Christ had to come to the Earth. That is St. Paul's view. If this view requires any evidence, it is there in the fury and the clamoring of those who cried ‘Crucify Him!’ For this cry implies that the people did not know what they themselves were to be on the Earth; they did not know that it was the aim of their earlier evolution to veil their being with darkness. Here we come to what may be spoken of as the attitude of preparation of the human soul for the Christ Being. This attitude of preparation may be described as follows: Through what it is able to experience within itself, the soul feels, even though it may not be able to express it in words: ‘Since the very beginning of the Earth I have developed in such a way that through what I possess in my own being I cannot fulfill the aim of my evolution. Where is there anything to which I can cling, which I can take into myself and with it reach my goal in evolution?’ To feel as if the human being extends far beyond anything that the soul can achieve through its own strength won during its evolution on the Earth hitherto—such is the Christian attitude or mood of preparation. And when the soul finds that which it must recognize as essentially bound up with its being—but for the attainment of which it could not find the power within itself—when the soul finds that which bestows this power—it finds Christ. The soul then develops. its connection with the Christ, saying to itself: ‘At the very beginning of the Earth a living nature was predestined for me: during the course of Earth evolution darkness has descended over this living nature and when I now look into this darkness I lack the power whereby I may bring it to fulfillment, but I turn my spiritual gaze upon the Christ Who gives me the power.’ The human soul feels the approach of Christ and stands as if in a direct personal relationship to Him. The soul seeks Christ and knows that it cannot find Him if He does not give Himself to humanity through human evolution, if He does not approach from the beyond.

There is a fairly well-known Christian Church Father who was not afraid to speak of the Greek philosophers, Herakleitos, Socrates and Plato, as Christians who lived before the founding of Christianity. Why does he do this? St. Augustine himself said: ‘All religions have contained something of the Truth, and the element of Truth in all religions is what is Christian in them, before there was Christianity in name.’ St. Augustine dares to say that. Nowadays many a man would be regarded as a heretic if he were to say a similar thing within certain Christian bodies.

We most readily arrive at an understanding of what this Church Father wished to convey when he called the old Greek philosophers Christians, by endeavoring to transport ourselves into the feeling of those souls who in the first post Christian centuries tried to determine their personal relationship to the Christ. These souls did not think of Christ as having had no relation to the Earth evolution before the Mystery of Golgotha. The Christ has always had something to do with the evolution of the Earth. Through the Mystery of Golgotha, however, His task, His mission in the Earth evolution, was changed from what it was before. It is not Christian to seek Christ in the evolution of the Earth only since the Mystery of Golgotha. True Christians know that Christ had always been connected with the evolution of the Earth.

Let us now turn to the Jewish people. Did the Jews know Christ? I am not speaking of whether the Jewish people knew the name of Christ or whether those who really understand Christianity are justified in saying: ‘Judaism had Christ: Judaism knew Christ.’ It is possible to have some person or other near one, and to see his external form without recognizing his essential being, or being able to place a right value upon him, because one has not risen to real knowledge of him. In the true Christian sense ancient Judaism had Christ, only it did not recognize Him in His true Being. Is it Christian to speak in this way? It is Christian in as true a sense as it is Pauline. Where was Christ for ancient Judaism? It is said in the Old Testament that when Moses led the Jews into the wilderness, a Pillar of Cloud went before them by day and a Pillar of Fire by night. It is said that the Jews passed through the sea, that the sea parted in order that they might pass through; but that behind them the Egyptians were drowned, for the sea closed in on them. It is also said that the Jews murmured, but that at the command of God, Moses was able to go to a rock and to strike it with his staff so that water poured forth for the Jews to drink. Moses led the Jews, he himself being led by God. Who was the God of Moses? We will in the first instance allow Paul to answer. We read in the First Epistle to the Corinthians (x. 1-4): ‘Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud (he means the pillar of fire) and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.’ Thus according to Paul, Who was it who led the Jews and who spoke with Moses? Who was it who had allowed water to flow out of the rock and who turned away the sea from the path of the Jews? Only those who wished to declare that Paul was no Christian would dare pronounce it unchristian to see Christ in the guiding God of the Old Testament, in the Lord of Moses.

In the Old Testament there is a passage which must, I think, present great difficulties for all who reflect more deeply. It is a passage to which anyone who does not read the Old Testament thoughtlessly, but who wants to understand its connections, will return again and again. ‘What may this passage mean?’ he asks himself. The passage is as follows: ‘Then Moses raised his hand, and struck the Rock with the staff twice; thereupon much water came forth, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron: Because ye have not believed in Me to sanctify Me before the children of Israel, ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I will give unto them.’ Take this passage in its context in the Old Testament: When the people murmured, the Lord commanded Moses to strike the rock with a staff: Moses struck with his staff on the rock, and water flowed out; everything that the Lord commanded took place through Moses and Aaron, and directly after this, we are told that the Lord reproved Moses—if it is a reproof—for not having believed in Him. What does it mean? Take all the commentaries on this passage, and try to understand the passage by means of what has been written in them. One understands it as one understands a great deal in the Bible—that is to say, really not at all, for behind this passage a mighty mystery is hidden. What is hidden in this passage is this: He Who led Moses, Who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He Who led the people through the Wilderness and caused water to flow out of the Rock, He was the Lord Christ! But the time was not yet come; Moses himself did not recognize Him; Moses thought He was another. That is what is meant by Moses not having believed in Him Who had commanded him to strike the Rock with his staff.

How did the Lord Christ appear to the Jewish People? We are told that by day it was in a Pillar of Cloud, and by night it was in a Pillar of Fire—and by His dividing the waters for their safety ... and many other things which we can read in the Old Testament. In phenomena of cloud and fire He appeared and was active, but never did it occur to the ancient Jews: That Which appeared in the Pillar of Cloud and in the Pillar of Fire, That Which worked wonders such as the parting of the waters, appears in its purest original form in the human soul. Why did this never occur to the ancient Jews? Because, owing to the course taken by human evolution, the soul of man had lost the power to feel its deepest being within itself. Thus the Jewish soul could look into Nature, it could allow the glory of the phenomena of the elements to work upon it; everywhere it could divine the existence of its God and Lord; but directly, within itself as it was, it could not find Him.

There in the Old Testament we have the Christ. There He worked, but men did not recognize Him. How did the Christ work? Do we not see how He worked, when we read through the Old Testament? The most significant thing Moses had to impart to his people through the mouth of Jehovah was the Ten Commandments. He had received them out of the power of the elements from which Jehovah spoke to him. Moses did not descend into the depths of his own soul; he did not ask in lonely meditation: ‘How does God speak in my own heart?’ He went up into the mountain, and through the power of the elements the Divine Will revealed itself to him. Volition, or Will, is the fundamental character of the Old Testament—this fundamental character is often called that of Law. Will works through the evolution of man, and is expressed in the Decalogue, in the Ten Commandments. The God proclaimed His Will to man through the elements. Will holds sway in the Earth evolution. That is, really, the purport of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament, in accordance with its whole purport, calls for man's subjection to this Will.

If we hold before our souls what we have just been considering, we can express the result in the words: The Will of the Lord was given to men; but men did not know the Lord: they knew not the Divine in such a way as to connect it with their own human soul.

Now let us turn from the Jews to the heathen. The heathen, had they Christ? Is it Christian to say of the heathen that they also had Christ? The heathen had their Mysteries. Those initiated in the Mysteries were brought to the point where their soul passed out of their bodies; the tie connecting body and soul was loosened; and when the soul was outside the body, the soul perceived the mysteries of being in the spiritual world. Much was connected with these Mysteries; much varied knowledge came to the candidates for initiation in the Mysteries. But when we investigate what was the highest that the disciple of the Mysteries could receive into himself, we find that it consisted in the fact that outside his body he was placed before the Christ. As Moses was placed before Christ, so, in the Mysteries was the disciple placed with his soul, outside his body, before Christ. Christ was there for the heathen also, but for them He was there only in the Mysteries. He revealed Himself to them only when the soul was out of the body. Christ was there for the heathen, even if among the heathen there was as little recognition of this Being as Christ, as there was among the Jews of that Being of Whom we have just spoken and before Whom the Mystery-Disciples were placed. The Mysteries were instituted for the heathen. Those who were fit and ready were admitted into the Mysteries. Through these Mysteries Christ worked upon the heathen world. Why did He work thus? Because the soul of man, in its development since the beginning of the earth, had lost its inherent power to find its true being through itself. This true being had to reveal itself to the soul of man when unhampered by the ties of human nature, that is to say when it was not bound up with the body. Hence Christ had to lead men through their being divested of their human nature in the Mysteries. Christ was there for the heathen too I He was their Leader in the Mysteries. For never could man have said: ‘When I develop my own powers, then I can find the meaning and purport of the earth.’ This meaning was lost, obscured in darkness. The forces of the human soul had been pressed down into regions too deep for the soul of itself, through its own powers, to have been able to realize the meaning of the earth.

When we allow that, which was given in the heathen Mysteries to the disciples and candidates for initiation, to work upon us, it is Wisdom. To the Jews was given WILL, through the Laws; to the disciples of the heathen Mysteries was given WISDOM. But if we look at what characterizes this heathen Wisdom, may we not express it in the words: If he did not go out of his body when he was a pupil of the Mysteries, the Earth-man could not recognize his God as such. As little through Wisdom as through Will could the Divinity reveal Himself to man. We find words that sound most wonderfully through Greek Antiquity, like a mighty demand upon humanity. At the entrance to the abode of the Mysteries of Apollo stood the words, ‘Man, know thyself!’ What are we told by the fact that these words, ‘Man, know thyself,’ stood before the abode of the Mysteries, like a demand upon man? We are told that when man remains what he has become since the beginning of the Earth, nowhere outside can he fulfill the commandment ‘Know thyself.’ He must become something more than man; he must loosen in the Mysteries the ties which bind the soul to the body, if he is to know himself. These words, standing like a mighty demand before the abode of the Mysteries of Apollo, point to the fact that darkness had fallen upon humanity—in other words that God could be reached through Wisdom as little as He could directly reveal Himself as Will.

In the same sense as the individual human soul feels that it cannot bring forth within itself the forces which impart to it the purport of the Earth, so we see the human soul at such a stage of development among the Jews that even Moses himself, their leader, did not recognize Who was leading him. Among the heathen we see that the demand ‘Know thyself’ could be fulfilled only in the Mysteries, because man, as he had developed in the course of the evolution of the Earth, was unable with his connection of body and soul to unfold the power whereby he could know himself. The words, ‘Not through Will and not through Wisdom is God to be known,’ sound to us from those ages. Through what, then, was God to be known?

We have often characterized the essential nature of the point of time when Christ entered into the evolution of earth-humanity. Let us now consider exactly what it meant when it is said that a certain darkness of the soul of man had set in, that the Divine could be revealed neither through Will nor through Wisdom. What is the real meaning of this?

People speak of so many relationships between the human and the Divine. They often speak of the relationship between the human and the Divine and of the meaning which the human has within the Divine, in such a way that it is impossible to differentiate between the relation of the human to the Divine, or of any other earthly thing to the Divine. To-day we find again and again that philosophers want to rise to the Divine through pure philosophy. But, through pure philosophy one cannot rise to the Divine. Certainly by means of it man does come to feel that he is bound up with the universe, and to know that the human being must, in some way or other, be bound up with the universe at Death; but how and in what manner he is thus connected with the universe man cannot know through pure philosophy. Why not? If you take the whole meaning of what we have considered to-day, you will be able to say to yourselves:

That which is first revealed to the soul of the Earth-man between birth and death is too weak to perceive anything that transcends the earthly that leads to the Divine-Spiritual. In order to make this quite clear to ourselves let us investigate the meaning of immortality.

In our day, many people have no longer any knowledge of the real meaning of human immortality. Many to-day speak of immortality when they can merely admit that the being of the human soul passes through the gates of death, and then finds some place or other in the Universal All. But every creature does that; what is united into the crystal passes over into the Universal All when the crystal is dissolved; the plant that fades passes into the Universal All. For man the thing is different. Immortality has only a meaning for man when he can carry his consciousness through the gates of death. Picture to yourselves an immortal human soul which was unconscious after death; such immortality would have absolutely no meaning at all. The human soul must carry its consciousness through the gates of death if it is to speak of its immortality. Because of the way in which the soul is united to the body, it cannot find anything in itself of which it can say, ‘I carry that consciously through death,’ for the consciousness of man is enclosed between birth and death; it reaches only as far as death; at first the consciousness possessed by the human soul extends only as far as death. Into this consciousness there shines the Divine Will, for example in the Ten Commandments. Read in the Book of Job as to whether this illumination could stimulate man's consciousness to such strength that it might say to itself: ‘I pass as a conscious being through the gates of death.’ What an intense interest there is for us in these words spoken to Job: ‘Submit thyself to God and die!’ We know that the man was uncertain as to whether he would pass through the gates of death with consciousness. And let us set beside this the Greek saying which gives expression to the dread felt by the Greek in the face of death: ‘Better a beggar in the upper world than a king in the realm of shades.’ Here we have the testimony from heathenism also to the uncertainty felt by man concerning his immortality. And how uncertain many people are even to-day. All those people who say that man, when he goes through the gates of death, passes into the Universal All and is united with some Universal Being or other, take no heed of what the soul must ascribe to itself if it is to speak of its immortality.

We need only pronounce one word, and we shall recognize the position that man must take up with regard to his immortality—this is the word Love. All that we have said concerning the word Immortality we can now connect with what Love designates. Love is nothing we appropriate to ourselves through the Will; Love is nothing that we appropriate to ourselves through Wisdom; Love dwells in the region of the feelings, and we know that we could not be the ideal human soul, if that human soul could not be filled with love. When we penetrate into the nature of the soul, we realize that our human soul would no longer be a human soul if it could not love. But now, let us suppose that we were to pass through the gates of death in such a way that our human individuality was lost, and that we were to be united with some Universal Divinity. We should then be within this Divinity; we should belong to It. We could no longer love the Godhead; we should be in Him. Love would have no meaning if we were in the Godhead. If we could not carry our individuality through death, we should in death have to lose love, for in the moment that individuality ceased, love would cease. One being can only love another that is separate from itself; if we carry our Love of God through death, we must carry with us through death that which kindles Love within us.

If the meaning of the earth is to be brought to man, information concerning his immortality must be given him in such a way that his nature may be thought of as inseparable from Love. Neither Will nor Wisdom can give to man what he needs; only Love can give man what he needs. What was it then that became darkened in the course of man's evolutionary path over the Earth? Let us take the Jews, or the Heathen: the consciousness beyond death had become obscure, dark. Between birth and death-consciousness; beyond death and beyond birth—darkness; nothing remained of the consciousness within the earth-body—‘Know thyself’—at the entrance of the Greek Mysteries, the most holy demand of the Greek sanctuary upon mankind. Man could only answer: ‘If I remain bound to my body with my soul as when an earth-man, I cannot recognize myself in that individuality which can love beyond death. I cannot do it.’ The knowledge that man can love as individuality beyond death—that was what had become lost for man. Death is not the cessation of the physical body. Only a materialist can say that. Suppose that in every hour that he lived in his body, man's consciousness were such that he knew as certainly what lies beyond death as he knows to-day that the sun will rise on the morrow and take its journey across the heavens. Then death would have no sting for him, death would not be that which we call death; man would know in the body that death is only a phenomenon leading from one form to another. Paul did not understand by ‘death’ the cessation of the physical body; by ‘death’ he understood the fact that consciousness only extends as far as death, and that man, in so far as he was united with the body in the existence of that period, could, within his body, extend his consciousness only as far as death. Wherever Paul speaks of death we might add: ‘Lack of consciousness beyond death.’

What gave to man the Mystery of Golgotha? Is it a number of natural phenomena, a pillar of cloud, a pillar of fire that stands before humanity with the Mystery of Golgotha? No! A man stands before men—Christ Jesus. With the Mystery of Golgotha did anything out of mysterious nature take place—did a sea divide so that the people of God could go through? No! A man stood before men, Who made the lame to walk and the blind to see. That proceeded from a man.

The Jew had had to look into Nature when he wanted to see Him Whom he called his Divine Lord. Now it was a man Who could be seen. Of a man it could be said that He had God dwelling in Him. The heathen had to be initiated; his soul had to be withdrawn from his body in order that he might stand before the Humanity which is the Christ. On the earth he had been unable to divine the Christ; he could only know that the Christ was outside the earth. But He Who had been outside the earth came upon the earth, took on a human body. In Christ Jesus there stood as man before men That Being Who formerly had stood in the Mysteries before the soul that was liberated from the body. And what came to pass through this? In this the beginning was made, whereby the powers that man had lost since the beginning of the Earth in the course of the earth-evolution—the powers through which his immortality was assured to him—were to come again to him through the Mystery of Golgotha. In the overcoming of Death on Golgotha the forces originated which could rekindle the powers which had been lost. And the path of man through the earth-evolution will henceforth be that by taking the Christ more and more into himself he will discover that within himself which can love beyond death—that is to say, he can stand before his God as an immortal individuality. Therefore only since the Mystery of Golgotha, has the saying become true: ‘Love God above all, and thy neighbor as thyself.’

Will was given from the burning thorn bush; Will was given through the Ten Commandments. Wisdom was given through the Mysteries. But Love was given when God became man in Christ Jesus. And the guarantee that we can love beyond death, that by means of the powers won back for our souls a Society of Love exists between God and man, and love of all men for one another—the guarantee for that proceeds from the Mystery of Golgotha. In the Mystery of Golgotha the human soul has found what man had lost from the primal beginnings of the earth, in that his forces had become ever weaker and weaker.

Three forces in three members of the soul: Will, Wisdom, Love I In this Love the soul experiences its relation to Christ.

I wanted to bring these things before you from a certain angle. What may have seemed aphoristic in the explanations given to-day will find its context later on. But I think we can inscribe deeply within our souls, that progress in the knowledge of Christ is a real gain for the human soul, and that when we consider the relationship of the human soul to Christ, it again becomes clear to us how before the Mystery of Golgotha there was a sheath, as it were, between the human soul and Christ; how this sheath was broken by the Mystery of Golgotha, and how we can say with truth: ‘Through the Mystery of Golgotha a Cosmic Being flowed into the Earth-life, a Super-earthly Being united Himself with the Earth.’

As to what the human soul can experience in itself with its Christ, we shall speak of together during the next few days. We shall speak in the following lectures of all that the human soul, with Christ, can experience within itself.