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Part 1 – Introduction
This Gospel was read over the Holy Nights 1987-88. The dictation was given after the completion of the reading.
The St. Matthew Gospel begins with a view of the four Gospel writers. Elsewhere Rudolf Steiner has indicated that they were initiates, with each expressing a different aspect of the initiation process. St. John spoke particularly of the cosmic being who entered into man. His is a gospel of knowledge. St. Luke points out the elements of sacrifice and love. St. Luke was a physician. His gospel is filled not so much with the knowing process, but with the feeling element. Something of the beingness of he who sacrifices, and the being who is filled with love, comes across. St. Mark is depicted by Rudolf Steiner as able speak to the cosmic splendor and power of the beingness of the Christ. The quality of the juror, the quality of rightness, of lawfulness, appears in the Mark Gospel. Rudolf Steiner tells us that the Matthew Gospel is many-sided, but primarily it is concerned with man. Rudolf Steiner speaks about the other three Gospel writers as he takes up the Matthew Gospel. When he speaks of the John Gospel, he also speaks much about the Luke Gospel. The Mark Gospel stands somewhat alone. In the Matthew Gospel the element of man as a human being, as a being in the physical world, is important. The human being, in this case, is preparing for the reception of a divine being.
At the outset, this Gospel speaks of the three-times-fourteen generations, or the forty-two generations. This is the line that goes back to Abraham. In Abraham begins an impulse that goes down through the generations of the Hebrews in preparation for the Christ being. In order to introduce these considerations, Rudolf Steiner, in the first lecture, speaks particularly about the Turanians and the Iranians. In doing so, he indicates how culture is introduced into human evolution with the Iranians. In this way Rudolf Steiner acquaints us with the individuality of Zarathustra, who brings culture to the Iranians. The Turanians were nomads, with atavistic clairvoyance, who lived by the fruits of the earth. They lived out of lower astral impulses. They remained nomads—remained without culture. They did not take hold of the earth. They refused to take hold of the first culture that penetrated the earth—this is agriculture. They followed impulses that were based in atavism. A certain selfishness lives in atavism—human dignity is not necessarily developed or spoken to. Lower forms of magic are used. Self-service is a goal. Thus, the Ahrimanic beings were able to enter the souls of the nomadic people. Of this they were not aware. There are also those who are carried away in Luciferic temptation as they gaze away from the earth. It is only by taking hold of the earth and working it consciously that man comes to be introduced to culture. Knowledge and life practice are united. The pure path of knowledge, which lies as a temptation in the realms of Lucifer, has to be transformed; while the domain of daily life, which can be guided by the spirits of Ahriman, and the undisciplined soul, by the Asuras, have to be infused with new knowledge and life practices. Culture needs to lead man to the earth, while slowly the soul can become an island unto itself. Insight into nature and moral life has to slowly be able to be gained by the emerging person. Personality needs to be born to mankind as man’s self-responsibility and responsibility to nature grows as well. For this to occur, man is introduced to time and to the battle of light and darkness—in the Persian culture of Zarathustra. The aura of the sun, the being of the sun, Ahura Mazdao, is seen in contrast to the being of darkness, Ahriman, who is the being that entwines the earth and can thereby take hold of man so that man can experience darkness. The sun aura element points to a light that can penetrate darkness and transform darkness into color. Another aspect of this aura points to a light that is wisdom, a colder light, which leads to the forming of pure crystal. This is a light that does not live in the warmth of the earth atmosphere. This cold light (cold only in appearance—to the soul it can lead to much warmth and enthusiasm) is pointed to in the aura, but the aura stands in the Persian Mystery in polarity to the darkness of Ahriman. Man is directed to the realm of Ahriman—to the outer physical world where darkness reigns and where the human being has to find his own image, but not be lost in this image of darkness. Ahriman, the principle of darkness, has to be overcome by Ahura Mazdao, the being of the sun aura—or the beings of the aura. For man to work on the physical plane, he cannot live passively but has to begin to work creatively in an earthly culture. As this culture was inaugurated by Zarathustra, the true source of man’s inner being has to be pointed to. This essence of man’s being is connected to the sun, and the stronghold of opposition to this is the dark earth. Man had to come to transform the darkness in a creative way.
I would be inclined to formulate this yet in another way. With the beginning of culture, civilization, man had the task to unfold and find his way from the stage of being born and living passively to becoming creatively active. In order for this to happen, man had to be challenged from three sides. There was the challenge on the astral plane by the Asuras for man’s ego to be annihilated through primitive clairvoyance. There was the possibility for man’s astral organization to be blinded by the light of Lucifer in the ether worlds of devachan. And in the physical world, man had the potential to be drawn into the darkness of Ahriman. The Indian Mysteries strove to guide man in the world of the devas, where Lucifer can work in a seductive fashion. The challenge of the Asuras, I understand, is yet to come, though in the decadent cultures of the Mongols I understand that Asuric attacks did play a role in man’s evolving history. In order for the element of light to be kept alive in earthly working, the man of the Iranian culture had to be brought to time—time had to be introduced to man. This means that memory had to be implanted in man so that the process of time could become a factor in memory. Memory could no longer unfold in tableau fashion, but had to become a sequential process controlled by the individual. While earthly events flowed and the darkness of earth moved, sustaining the individual, man began to come about through a light process. This process (memory) laid a foundation for human identity (to be distinguished from animalness, even if lofty) and began a path to enable the unfolding of personal and individual identity. This path to individual identity was assured by the beings of the sun—the Ahura Mazdao. These beings had to work in man’s etheric organism to create a vehicle for light activities to unfold in him while he was on earth working to transform the dark element of earth—this process is earthly memory, in which the element of time is embedded.
Rudolf Steiner indicates that the leader of the Iranians was Zarathustra (or Zoroaster or Zerdutsch). Zarathustra worked through the Iranian leader, Guschtasb. The leader of the Turanians was known as Ardschasb. Indications from Spiritual Science, as well as the usual historical records, show that the leader of the Iranians lived 5,000 years before the Trojan War. The struggle, as I understand it, occurred somewhere in the area of Afghanistan, between Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea in Russia. Therefore it is in upper and western Asia where this mighty struggle occurred. The struggle lasted three centuries, involving generations. Only slowly could an impulse come into existence whereby what is of the sun could work into man as he met the dark beings of the earth. This bringing of the sun aura—the sun element—into man can be called the impulse of culture, agriculture being the first of the cultures. The insertion of the cultural element into mankind is a second significant creative impulse. The first creative impulse involved the birth of man, which occurred when the sun at the spring equinox stood in the sign of Leo—this points to Atlantis. The Indian cultural impulse stands under the sign of Cancer, and the Persian culture under the Twins—a culture of duality. Zarathustra worked with the mighty beings of the sun, but then an influx from the creative world of the Twins began. Zarathustrian culture stands in the sign of the Twins.
This direction in contemplation points to cosmic impulses that are brought to man. They are brought through the light of the sun. What is of cosmic origin is inculcated into man. Man in turn works the earth to bring about a spiritualization. Man’s Fall requires redemption, as well as that of the earth. During the time of Atlantis, man finally comes to earth. At this time, the Oracles carry the task of keeping man and earth in connection with the cosmos—the spirit. From these Oracles, stream out the various peoples of mankind that have come to populate most of the central and northern lands of the earth: the races follow from the Oracles. The more southern lands of the earth were already populated by human remnants from the Lemurian time. It is of importance that not only races but also cultural impulses come out of the Oracles. The Sun Oracle is central in giving birth to the cultural evolutionary changes we are considering. The Oracles give man guidance as he begins to descend into incarnation after the Fall. Man gradually begins to populate the earth, coming from the various planetary astral-ether spheres. Through the Oracles, man finds organisms that can be taken up. At this point, Man is like a sheep, requiring a shepherd. The Oracles act as the shepherd. Many different impulses come into existence through the planetary-originated men and their oracle-guided existence. From the Sun Oracle comes the effort to work with man, to redeem man from the Fall, while helping to transform the earth as well. At the time of Atlantis, a great sun initiate worked. He worked in order that man could take something out of the heavens for his own evolution, as well for as the earth. Impulses had to be brought that would enculturate man and raise him again through the ages. A great sun initiate worked in Atlantis and also led a small group of people into the East—into the cultural center located near the Gobi desert. This leader is given the name Manu (or Mani or Noah). He was able to preserve the ether bodies of the great Atlantean Oracle initiates and carry them over to the holy rishis. From this bit of history, we can gather that this sun initiate had much to do with the configuration of the etheric organization, so that cosmic-astral impulses could be brought slowly into mankind and thereby to the earth. The archetypal ether bodies of the rishis gave a basis for the Indian culture—a Cancer culture. This culture lived in the flowering, blossoming, fruiting and growing of the etheric organization of these great initiates. By this means, it was possible for these souls to give forth great wisdom, to transform the physical body and give expression to this in the mighty ancient Indian culture, which directed man to heaven – devachan – nirvana.
We have an indication that out of the Atlantean Sun Oracle (and Moon Oracle) also came the great initiate Melchisedek. My impression is that he worked so that a people sensitive to moon-planetary forces could arise. With this came the birth of the Hebrew people and their progenitor, Abraham. Abraham descended from the being of Noah-Manu, but he took up the impulses inculcated by Melchisedek. It is my understanding that these impulses worked via the moon into the ether body of Abraham, so that in the course of forty-two generations the ether body could be directed to transform mankind. This ether body had to transform man so that he would turn away from the heavens as perceived by atavistic faculties and gain the heavenly as a citizen of the earth.
Melchisedek in this light can be seen as a great sun initiate, but he is also a servant of the Moon Oracle. He brings a new impulse into the etheric organization, so that man can become an individual person and at the same time remain in connection with the divine. We might consider that he works together with the Jehovah-task to create earthly man, and as well with the lofty beings of Lucifer that wish to raise man as a soul into the higher reaches of existence. I would contemplate that Melchisedek, as the Abraham line, is created so that the supra-earthly and the divine can be preserved in Abraham as the astral and devachanic worlds vanish from the consciousness of his line. The buddha or bodhisattva impulse that is inculcated into Abraham is a sun impulse, but is reflected in the “moon-structured” brain of Abraham. Therefore, Abraham could become the first mathematician—arithmetician—with the capacity to enter the world of number—ether—while being grounded on the earth and sense-perceiving the given world.
We might consider the nature of the bodhisattvas for a moment. We have indications that the names Buddha, Scythianos, and Zarathustra are linked with this sphere of existence. The indications from spiritual science are that there are bodhisattvas gathered about the Christ. The cosmic outer image is of the twelve zodiacal regions gathered around the sun. These twelve highly developed beings have the task of bringing spiritual impulses into the world. They are not creative beings in relation to the spiritual world, but are creative in relation to the physical world. They have to carry spiritual impulses out of the spiritual world and into the physical world. They are not creative within the spiritual world. They carry out tasks given by the spiritual world for the sake of man and earthly evolution. The names given to the beings of this sphere of existence are also the name of initiates, and therefore can be commonly applied to any being who carries out a similar task. The region of existence is lofty. From a spiritual-scientific point of view, I would like to think it corresponds with the human unfolding where all the experiences of incarnations on the earth culminate in a certain perfection of a human member. This is the case of the Buddha—where the perfecting of an etheric organism is the central task. The transformation of the etheric organization from an earthly etheric into a life-spirit sheath suggests the task of the Gautama, who accomplished buddhahood. Therefore, the life-spirit sheath is called budhi. In the process, the being who accomplishes the task rises into another rank of being known as nirmanakya. This is an accomplishment of Buddha. Each of the bodhisattvas will have a task to do and in the process will progress in beingness—in their essential inwardness. The height of accomplishment is to become as of the being of a god—or god-like. This progression in the spheres of unfoldment for the being involved, if such outer and inner earthly and cosmic deeds are done for the first time, means accomplishing different tasks on earth while evolving an archetype for all man. In the case of the Buddha, we are told that by his path he gave man the possibility to rise to heaven, to Nirvana existence. This is the fulfillment of the ancient Indian cultural impulse. However, we are told that the further progress and evolution of the Gautama Buddha required him to enact a sacrifice on Mars that was similar to the sacrifice of the Christ. This sacrifice resulted in the Buddha now being able to give us a new spiritual science that is appropriate for our time. I understand then that we in our anthroposophical spiritual science have a current Buddha impulse. We can tread an eightfold path—with new elements. We are informed by Rudolf Steiner’s research that Christian Rosencreutz sent the Buddha to Mars in the fifteenth century. From this we can gather that on earth highly developed men—initiates—can work into the lofty reaches of the cosmos. The Buddha, as I can gather, transformed the human etheric so that it could serve as a basis for a foothold in the higher ether spheres. These spheres exist in the outer planetary reaches and serve as a foundation for human consciousness in spirit-land—the spirit-land that approaches the Godhead of our existence.
The being of Zarathustra had the task of bringing something of the astral to man, as well as the etheric, so that these members could serve the earth. About 6000 BC, we are told that he inaugurated the cultural impulse for man to begin to penetrate the earth. Zarathustra pointed, on the one side, to the aura (etheric-astral) of the sun and, on the other, to the dark earth. He had the task to enable what is of the sun to flow to the earth, beginning the process of “enculturation”—of the re-ascentof man. He perfected his astral organization, which he could give for further “enculturation” during the Egyptian period. Zarathustra gave his etheric body to Moses, the founder of the Jewish culture, developed in the line of Abraham. Already in the line of Abraham, out of the work of Melchisadek, there is the cultivation of the ether body. We are told that this line came from Abel-Seth. An etheric organism that could carry a creative astral impulse is given to Moses as a gift by Zarathustra. The task of Zarathustra flows through the gift of his etheric and astral organizations into the culture of Egypt and a people—the Jews.
When Zarathustra is born in the Solomon line, he is born into the line of heredity that ran through the etheric organization in six-times-seven generations. Zarathustra as an ego being meets what he had given over to form new cultures. He then receives back what he had sent into the world. In the Persian culture his impulse was able to initiate the transformation of the earth. Through Hermes, this was continued. In the impulse born into Moses, the inwardness of Abraham was able to be opened outward. The impulse enters the etheric configuration of the Hebrew-Jew so that the coming into existence (Genesis) could be seen in the image of man. Genesis is pictured in the forms of man’s embryonic development. The coming forth of the world is seen in the light of man’s unfolding. Man is born for culture, human culture, not only the earth (agri-culture). When the Solomon Jesus has to pass out of Judea into Egypt and back to Israel into the land of Moses, he can experience the evolution of his former gift, which has been worked through by the world.
First Zarathustra takes up the problem of evolution that is depicted in the slaying of Abel by Cain. The first effort to bring forth existence resulted in the event in which a being filled with cosmic astrality, with the impulses of the Elohim (Cain), slays he who is born more of the earth, that is, Abel. The mighty cosmic problem comes forth: how to insert cosmic creativity (culture) into man and the earth so that the mighty cosmic impulses do not destroy the life that needs to work for man and the earth. What is needed is the possibility that cosmic impulses, which require life, do not destroy life, but permit of the death process so that new life can come about. The impulses from the cosmos become impulses of the spirit (the Holy Spirit), so that the Elohim who first united with man, in Cain, can bring forth new creative impulses without destroying man. This impulse of the Cain-Elohim has always been associated with the male element. The impulse associated with Abel-Seth, the etheric element, has been more connected with the female element. This latter element has been carried by the Elohim beings known as Jehovah. Into this line, carried by Melchisedek and incarnated into Abraham, enters Zarathustra as the Solomon Jesus. He gives over his ether body to Moses who works this etheric together with the etheric of the Abraham line. This etheric organization is now received back by Zarathustra—in the Solomon Jesus. In the first stages of creation, Cain had to slay Abel—the astral had to overcome the etheric. With the complicated events of evolution, the impulses of a higher astral (Cain impulse) can slowly be brought into an etheric evolutionary process. My consideration is that the deeds of the lofty initiates—Melchisedek and Zarathustra—work together with the activities of spiritual-hierarchical beings, which enable heaven and earth to flow together. (They work out of spirit-land.) The aura of the sun and the dark beingness of earth need to work together so that a new color-creation can emerge. The Zarathustra being, a being of great lofty dimension, a lofty spiritual and human being, can bring impulses out of the heavenly astral world in such a way that step by step something of the earthly element is transformed. The being of man is also transformed so that a god-being can incarnate. As Buddha’s task was to bring man to the gods, so we can consider Zarathustra bringing creative impulses from the world of the gods to earth. Zarathustra so works through mankind that the human ego, the human being, becomes able to incarnate a god.
In our previous consideration we spoke of Zarathustra. He had the destiny to bring impulses out of the domain of the spiritual, out of the spiritual world, in order to begin earth culture. We might say that he had the task to rectify the Cain impulse, which had failed earlier in earthly evolution. The process of the astral slaying the etheric is the archetype of the story of Cain slaying Abel. In the case of Zarathustra, we find a being who so works out of the astral element, out of the karmic astral element, that the etheric can evolve in man—can support and sustain man, and enable his enculturation. When we contemplated the task of Zarathustra, we picked up another important world-evolutionary development—the implanting of an etheric sequentialdevelopment from one man to another to govern physical unfolding, the unfolding of a “blood”line. Through the deeds of Melchisedek, a line is originated in Abraham that could flow through the twelve tribes of Israel, that could receive the impulses of lofty astral-zodiacal formative forces. Here a pure astral (formative) activity is interdigitated into the etheric of the physical. Tribes, peoples and races unfold—not individual creativity. In the Temple Legend it is my understanding that King Solomon is the passive carrier of this line formed out of the cosmos and carried in life through the generations. Another impulse is needed to create, to enculture, to build new forms from the given. Hiram has to come to Solomon—a new Cain impulse has to come to the Abel-Seth line. This is what we are contemplating in the case of Zarathustra, who incarnated into the Solomon Jesus. The existent temple, which was initiated by Melchisedek, slowly is worked at by what Zarathustra has given as astral (creative) and etheric (re-creative) archetypal impulses. Finally, Zarathustra, as ego, has to enter the Solomon line to take up what was initiated by Melchisedek, carried by Abraham, altered by the archetypal astral and etheric creative and re-creative activities that he himself gave over to this line. This is a lofty temple-building process, which has to be carried beyond the line created in the six-times-seven generations.
For the further work and unfolding of Zarathustra, we need to turn to the Nathan Jesus. This is very important because some do not sufficiently consider the Nathan Jesus within the Abraham stream. The Nathan Jesus arose out of the House of David, which descended within the line of Abraham. The Nathan Jesus also had an etheric-physical organization that flowed through the line of Abraham. In the case of the Nathan Jesus, we do not have the incarnation of the Zarathustra ego, as such, at birth. Rather the Nathan Jesus’ organization was penetrated by an ego element of a totally different makeup. The Nathan Jesus was born with a temporary ego, an etheric ego. This etheric ego was active for twelve years.
Let us try to look at the etheric principle that became the tentative ego in the Nathan child. This ego, we are told, is actually the etheric principal that was held back at the time of man’s first incarnation on earth. This etheric worked as an ego principle—as a formative agent (as a principle of pure spiritual activity). We are told that this etheric principle is known as Adam Kadmon. This etheric being was withdrawn as a refined ether when the human ether (coarsest warmth ether) was called forth in order for man to incarnate on earth. This is when the Jehovah-Elohim called forth the etheric configuration that permitted earthly physical substance to be taken into the form of man. Man was still in Paradise, was still in the earlier Atlantean evolutionary period. The refined etheric forces constituting Adam Kadmon were taken into the sphere where the sun had been taken at the time of its exit during Hyperborea. The working of these etheric forces can be seen in the human embryonic membranes during fetal development. This lofty etheric principle I have called pralaya etheric principles, and they are evolved during the lesser and greater cosmic sleep states. It is the etheric principle upon which the gods work while cosmic activity has passed into an inward condition. My contemplations are that it is the domain where the bodhisattvas are born and find their starting point of being. They come into this world, the world of pure ether, to work at the archetype of man, which governs all other archetypes. Just as the embryonic membranes govern the form of man, the lofty ether world is where the bodhisattvas work within the world of human archetypes. The etheric archetypal man, Adam Kadmon, is upside down in this heavenly world; and this is not untrue of man before birth. Upright man is born for the first time as Adam-Man. Until birth all men in the womb are within the embryonic membranes. All men before their birth are upside down. The working of Adam Kadmon we see in the embryonic membranes and in upside down man, while within the sheaths, earthly-statured man is unfolding. At birth the membranes with lofty Kadmon forces fall away to begin working purely in a suprasensible fashion. These Kadmon-ether forces I consider as those etheric forces that for the most part were taken away with the sun when the sun exited from the earth. Mighty Elohim beings performed this task. The Jehovah beings, the Jehovah-Elohim, stayed with the earth—with the coarser etheric (light- to warmth-ethers) to help the moon leave the earth so that the earth could be inhabited by man. The Jehovah beings, some from the rank of the Elohim, helped work with the earth and man, so that man, in fact, could become the Adam being of the first incarnation. Other Elohim beings worked in the higher ether spheres—in the spheres connected with the sun (light-, tone-, life-ethers or rather wisdom—number- and word-ether spheres.) These later Elohim beings worked into the lofty ether to structure Adam Kadmon or the archetypal ego—the etheric man. They brought about the general cosmic configuration of man, which in fact, is man upside down. These Elohim beings became the Elohim who worked together in their evolution so that eventually they could incarnate into man as the Christ being. These Elohim beings worked with the lofty etheric principles that for twelve years could serve as the ego of the Nathan child.
Let us try to contemplate how for twelve years this lofty etheric-Ego worked renewing the embryonic sheaths on the human organism that had come through the line of Abraham in the six-times-seven generations. This brought new creative and re-creative forces to this child. This is a new line—a new generation of seven-times-eleven. This line is not carried in the blood, but by the spirit. Etheric activities come to play in the child that are brought over from the realm of the Godhead itself. We are told how these forces, at first active in the embryonic membranes, come to work in nutrition, healing and initiation. This is the point of departure of the Nathan Jesus.
Using this line of reasoning, we come to the fact that the Adam-Kadmon ego working in the Nathan Jesus works through the astral body and into the etheric and physical bodies. We might consider that the astral body is purified, the ether body enlivened, and the physical body restatured. We can consider that totally fresh new impulses are worked into the Nathan child, so that this child is prepared for the lofty being of Zarathustra. The Nathan child is being prepared to be able to receive the impulse of the domain of Cain, so that what is of the line of Abel will not be destroyed. The cosmic events begin to be healed; slaying and murder are to be overcome. The Nathan Jesus gives over his sheaths to the mighty being of Zarathustra.
In addition to the temporary etheric-ego in the Nathan child, what is also working is the nirmanakya or the purified astral body of the Buddha.The Buddha has accomplished a rather perfected state of an etheric body for man, but now can work to further transform the astral body by the ego—out of the Ego embedded in the cosmic ether of the sphere of the bodhisattvas. This Nathan child has a cosmic ego, an etheric (similar to the nature of the human akashic [cosmic memory] ether) indwelling and overshadowing, and, as well, a highly evolved purified astral overshadowing. The purified astral, the pure activity of a lofty spirituality, overshadows this child to give a heavenly innocence (a pure spiritual activity). Cosmic ego and cosmic-ego astral-like higher members overshadow and work from outside into the Nathan child. There cosmic principles work into the line originated by Abraham, but lift this line into a higher sphere.
When at twelve years of age, the Zarathustra ego steps into the sheaths of the Nathan child, then this ego can meet the active workings of the Adam Kadmon and the nirmanakaya of Buddha (something of budhi and manas ego activities). The Zarathustra ego, which had to bring spirit to the earth (impulses from the domain of the bodhisattvas), now meets mighty workings from the cosmos in a specific human being. At twelve years of age and for the next sixteen to eighteen years, the Zarathustra ego works toward the earth, but also meets ego-etheric (cosmic memory or akashic) activity and ego-astral activity (pure spiritual activity), which has been active in this simple healer, this peace-loving child. Zarathustra steps into a child of the line of Abraham (in which the arithmetic-number process has been evolved) to now meet impulses of cosmic dimension to further his evolution as he penetrates the sheaths of the line of Abraham. For sixteen to eighteen years, he works into the bloodline of six-times-seven where a new spiritual line (a new Adam line) is at work.
To me it seems to be exceedingly important to contemplate what the Kadmon ego brings. Here the working of the etheric is of ego nature. This is an etheric that is of a lofty makeup. This etheric is a kind of archetype for the human ego that is active in the spirit. This spirit is influenced by culture—bringing about cosmic memory faculties for the ego. The ego takes these fruits into spirit, and there can sustain an activity in cosmic individual memory. This is an ego-cosmic memory that can be brought into the sphere where the bodhisattvas are active to bring the spirit to man. Man as “Pure-man” (the all-human) can bring, in turn, his fruits to this sphere of existence. The Adam-Kadmon ego opens the door for the Zarathustra ego to work on earth and bring fruits to the etheric that can serve as individualized cosmic memory. The fourth region of spirit-land is made up of this pure etheric substance—pure thought substance. Zarathustra is the first to live into this archetypal world as a human being.
In the case of the work of the nirmanakya, this has already been taken up by the ego of the Buddha. Zarathustra meets this working of such a lofty astral activity (pure spiritual activity—not pure thinking now) because the nirmanakaya of Buddha overshadows the Nathan child for twelve years. On incarnating into the Nathan child, Zarathustra has to take on these activities of out his own ego. This brings new activities into humanity, inaugurated by the Jehovah-Elohim and developed into a bloodline by Melchisadek working through Abraham. Cosmic memory needs to be established for the ego (in the sphere of the bodhisattvas) in addition to earthly memory, which streams through the generations. The latter gives person; the former, individuality.
Zarathustra, stepping over from the Solomon line to the Nathan line of the House of David, encounters new facets of ego-unfolding. At the same time, this mature ego of Zarathustra has penetrated the bodily sheaths of the Nathan organism so that these sheaths can be prepared for the incarnation of the Christ-Elohim directly. Every member of man has to be prepared by the most mature of human earthly egos for the reception of the Christ. Zarathustra has to evolve the physical sheaths of man so that they can be given or sacrificed to another being. By this means, the Zarathustra ego advances to a higher state. The Zarathustra being grows as the lower sheaths—physical, etheric and astral—become spirit entities—spirit-man, life-spirit, and spirit-self. The being who can make such a sacrifice is known as a Petris. The next step is to become a Master—Master Jesus.
The number process that Rudolf Steiner relates to the Nathan Jesus seems to me to be very important. He says that seven-times-eleven generations are connected with the Nathan Jesus. This is in contrast with the six-times-seven generations of the Solomon Jesus. To me the six-times-seven points us to the planetary world, to the world of perfection that comes out of the planetary astral-etheric domain. On the other hand, the seven-times-eleven points more to the zodiac, to the number twelve. Here the zodiacal twelve can be taken up by the single individual. Here we are dealing with a perfected ego that can work into the cosmic astral—can take up creative activity, sacrificial activity, within the cosmic-zodiacal astral. The ego begins to take on the activity of the Gods—to create God-man. The bodhisattvas work from the domain of the twelve, with a center in the thirteenth. The ripe ego that can work creatively as a God-man works to evolve the twelve, with the thirteenth in the center, into a sevenfold being who has become a star being. This is a progression in the cosmos, so that out of the eleventh, a twelfth is formed that includes the other eleven. Here the “twelve” are not formed and enlightened by the thirteenth. This is quite a transformation in the whole world of the cosmos. This is quite a new impulse in mankind. This seven-times-eleven numbering, the generations that stream from the Nathan Jesus back to God and not back to Abraham, points to a process expressed in numbers whereby the activities in the cosmos are altered by the deeds of such a being as Zarathustra. God-Man (Master Jesus) works into the world with the creative process of a star. It is little wonder that the Wise Men of the East sought this human star.
To me this number process points to the chemical-ether, tone-ether activities in the cosmos. These etheric forces work as harmonic activities in the planetary work. This is a lofty domain of activity. This is the domain where the human spirit lives in the pure spiritual activity in “number” discipline. (See how the text of Theosophycan be worked out in relation to number, as in the efforts of Carl Unger.) I am inclined to see that this is the sphere out of which the Kabbalah of number originates. This is the domain of the higher ethers taken out of the earth by the Elohim at the time of Hyperborea. This number ether sphere is the point of departure for new creative impulses that are to come to the earth. It is not the ether domain of the human ego—the akasha ether but the devachan ether out of which the Masters of Wisdom work. The bodhisattva who we have come to know through Rudolf Steiner as Jeshu ben Pandira, who worked within the Essene-Therapeutic stream, so worked that what could be gained out of this region as an earthly ego being was given to man in the form of the Kabbalah. The Sephiroth Tree is structured by the bodhisattva who works toward the life ether, word ether, through the three thousand years of incarnation yet to be lived. The harbinger of the word, the creative word, works as bodhisattva into devachan ether spheres to bring number and word to man so that the being of the Christ can be comprehended as we go into the future. This impulse to bring Christ-wisdom out of the sphere of the word is encountered by Zarathustra when he enters the Essene community in which the bodhisattva Jeshu ben Pandira worked. Zarathustra met this impulse of the future as he came into the Essene community while living within the spiritual lineage of seven-times-eleven.
It seems to me that Rudolf Steiner is using a Kabbalistic numerology in this Gospel in order to give us an indication from whence he is coming. As far as I know, Rudolf Steiner uses numerology much less in the other Gospels, though he does somewhat when he talks about the St. John Gospel. Important here is to see that we are dealing with an esotericism of numbers. This in turn points us to a sphere where those who work out of the word find their primal impulse.
For a brief review, we can take up the indications of Emil Bock and Rudolf Steiner about the life of Jesus from age twelve to thirty that the Zarathustra being went through three essentially different phases. During the first phase within the Nathan Jesus, Zarathustra experienced the decadence of the rabbinical teachings: the fall of wisdom was experienced for the first six years after the incarnation of Zarathustra in the body of the Nathan Jesus. Then, the Zarathustra being in the Nathan body goes on to work as a carpenter, and for six years he wanders the earth as a simple carpenter. Love and healing become his life expression. The reality of illness in mankind stands before the soul of Zarathustra. In the last phase, the Zarathustra-Nathan Jesus stands within the sphere of the Essenes. It is here that the influence of Jeshu ben Pandira begins to penetrate into the life of the Zarathustra Jesus. I infer that it is here that the esotericism of number becomes important. Here we have again the working of a bodhisattva (Pandira) who is transforming the man of the earth for the future. Here we have the being who wants to bring in knowledge from the essence and being of the Christ. I take it that it is in the Kabbalistic number process that the Essenes were active. What is in the Kabbalah of numbers comes through. The Kabbalah of the word is of a higher order. Zarathustra met both if my inferences are correct. In the Essene circles he also experienced asceticism, the removedness from the world that is inherent in the old Buddha impulse. It was this being removed from the world, this tendency for knowledge to take man out of the world, that had to be perceived by the Zarathustra being in order to lead over into the future as he steps out of the Nathan Jesus.
Following the incarnation of the Christ into the Nathan Jesus, these experiences of Zarathustra are transformed into the temptations that beset Christ. The first six years of the Zarathustra-Nathan Jesus transform themselves into Christ’s first temptation, to turn stone into bread. The second six years of Zarathustra lay the basis for Christ’s second temptation, which is connected with the overcoming of gravity—of living purely in the spiritual. The final and third temptation comes from the last six years of Zarathustra—where he is tempted to become a ruler on the earth. The Essene path could remove man from the earth to rule the earth. But what is needed is to serve the earth—to become one with man. The three Zarathustra experiences, very much connected with old Buddha impulses, had to be redeemed as Zarathustra, now in the spiritual world, rose to the rank of a Master for the sake of man and the earth.
Our first discussions were very much connected with the problem of the two Jesus children, the Solomon Jesus and the Nathan Jesus. We concerned ourselves a bit with Zarathustra and then with the Adam-Nathan Jesus. We will continue this direction of consideration and look at the etheric and astral elements in connection with the Tree of Life. This is a very difficult domain to discuss. It is more complicated than I presented in our Christmas discussions, but I shall nonetheless make an effort.
To begin, we can start with the evolutions, speaking to Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, then Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan. The physical was born on Saturn, the etheric on Sun, the astral on Moon and the ego on Earth. Spirit-self, life-spirit, and spirit-man are to follow. These are the larger evolutions and man’s members. Of earth itself, we have the stages or rounds that we know as Polaria, Hyperborea, Lemuria, Atlantis, our present round—the fifth—and two to follow—the sixth and the seventh. The fifth, sixth and seventh are known to be on the ascending line of the curve. The lowest point in evolution is to be found in Atlantis. The post-Atlantean period connected with cultures or the enculturation process is to lead man back to the spirit. There follow the rounds where the planetary bodies are with the earth so that by the seventh round man is in a different position than he was to begin with—he is close to the divine.
Saturn-evolutionis characterized by the coming forth of the physical, but it is also the birth of man—it is the time of the coming forth of the senses. (Man comes to exist in the first elementary condition.) Sun-evolution is the time of the coming forth of the animal; the etheric is contributed to evolution. Man gains that structure called the solar plexus, or the gland-nerve element. (Man passes into the second elementary condition.) During Moon-evolution the astral is added to evolution. The plant kingdom comes into existence. As for the human being, he acquires a kind of digestive-nerve activity, and a primitive circulatory process begins. (Man enters the third elementary condition.) The warmth element, the soul-warmth element comes into existence during Moon. Finally on Earth, the ego is born. The kingdom of the mineral comes into existence; and for man, brain and spinal column. The latter is present on Moon in a germinal condition in the spiritual environment. This now becomes a part of the constitution of man. During the first rounds of Earth-evolution, the kingdoms of mineral, plant and animal are pressed out of man. During this current round —post-Atlantean—man forms the human kingdom by working with and totally penetrating the mineral kingdom. In future times, man will slowly come to master the plant and animal kingdoms, and finally man himself. Man will eventually be able to create man.
What we can say is that at every stage of evolution, we have a human condition. Within the human condition we have something of a structure that in a way serves what we call an ego process. An ego process was served on Saturn by the senses. They were used by the Spirits of Personality or the Asuras. On Sun, the solar plexus was used as an ego instrument by the Archangels or the Spirits of Fire. On Moon, the Angels made use of the circulatory process in order to have an ego-like experience. It is not until man is born on earth that he is able to so work that the spinal cord and brain can be used as an ego instrument. This spinal cord and brain instrument is created by the highest spiritual world. It is created out of the activity of the devachan world by the beings that work out of this sphere. They are called devas. This is where devachan gets its name. Deva also means god. It also means beings who are working creatively out of themselves in order to be able to form something that can be used as a human instrument by various spiritual beings. Archai, Archangels and Angels have their human stage, while man is in the elementary kingdoms or in elementary conditions of life.
In the case of man during Earth-evolution, we have to speak of the ego. The ego has to go through an evolution just as does the physical, the etheric, and the astral. The course that the ego has to take through evolution is a very deep mystery. It is hidden. It can take years and years of seeking to find where that ego development is occurring. The human ego element is born of the Elohim. In fact anything connected with man comes from the Elohim. The physical that has to do with man comes from the Elohim. The same is true of the etheric and astral. The members of man’s makeup are unique in all of existence in their particular relation to the Elohim. Man is very much connected with these beings of the second hierarchy in his entire makeup, be it physical, etheric, astral or ego. The ego has to go through evolutions that recapitulate the past, live in the present, and anticipate the future. This is the development of the ego in relation to the past, the present, and the future.
This ego, as ego and not as elementary condition, was first born in Lemuria. This ego has to go through the recapitulations of Saturn, Sun and Moon during Polaria, Hyperborea and Lemuria. Only during Atlantis is the human ego brought to earth. The ego has to progress through the Atlantean times and into the post-Atlantean cultural epochs or the “sub-racial” development of man. The sixth and seventh rounds will follow the cultural (sub-racial) unfoldings. Rudolf Steiner has portrayed this process again and again. I would like to portray this development in another way to try to emphasize some aspects of the secret of the human ego. I hope this effort will point to something of the deeper secrets connected with the Matthew Gospel.
In order to take this adventure in connection with the human ego, where the ego is seen in a slightly different light, I would like to point to the lecture cycle entitled Foundations of Esotericism. It was only recently, after reading these lectures, that I could develop this line of thought. Although I have been concerned with the problem for many years, until then I could not find the concepts that Rudolf Steiner had used. In the sixth lecture of this cycle, it is possible to find a description about spiritual unfolding. It does not say that it is the ego that is involved, but I would like to make this inference. Rudolf Steiner takes his start from what is given by Helena Blavatsky in her Secret Doctrine.It is in this sixth lecture that he speaks of, I would say, several different types of existence, several different types of beinghood. I am suggesting that the types of beingness refer to different aspects of the human ego. Rudolf Steiner does not say directly that it is man’s ego he is speaking about. I am suggesting this.
Rudolf Steiner begins with the Elementalstage or aspect of beingness (I take it as ego-beingness). The next stage is that of Kama-rupa—Kama-rupa-man. (I look to these stages as levels, aspects or the livingness of the ego.) Pure-manis a third type of man, where another aspect of the ego is active. Bodhisattva-manfollows Pure-man. Further development leads to Nirmanakaya-man.Pitris-manfollows as stage six, and God-manas stage seven.
This description of the different types of men, or the different ranks of men can be found in different places. This ranking of man—this seven-folding of man’s evolution—comes from Blavatsky. It is different enough to permit a slightly different perspective. Every member of man goes through evolutionary stages, and so too should the human ego. Though it is the Mystery of Golgotha that does so, I am inclined to consider that the stages of initiation in ancient Persian also point to ego stages. (With the Christ, not only is the mystery of the ego revealed, but other members of man’s makeup as well.) It seems to me that what we can see in the sevenfoldness of man as portrayed by Blavatsky is transformed by Rudolf Steiner in his anthroposophical spiritual science and pointed to in the Matthew Gospel.
Let me begin by discussing the Elementary man—the first ego stage of man. Here the ego is incarnating into the physical for the first time (Lemurian man). The human ego incarnates and is very much dominated and influenced by the elementality of the earth. This is Elemental-man. (Man has to experience the physical all the way back to Saturn.)
The next step in ego-unfolding is Kama-rupa-man. This means that man is still very much determined by the earth, by the elemental beingness of existence and earth, but also by what lies within the astral body. The activities of the human astral organization now can mold the bodily organs for the reflection of karma. The human heart within the circulatory system comes into existence. The circulatory system is constructed out of the desiring man, out of his astral being, and is brought into connection with the heart. This lays the foundation for kama to become karma. Slowly the individual and personal elements connected with astrality can become karmic and are planted into the human circulatory system.
The next aspect of the ego or the next stage of man is to become Pure-man(the all-human). Here the astral is not determined by the elemental world or by personal karma, but by the highest ether spheres. The human ego becomes an etheric ego. This gives rise to Pure-man. I think of this as Adam Kadmon. Here the ether is a very pure nature. The astral is governed by the purity of the ether light (not astral light).
The fourth stage of man is where the ego penetrates the etheric and astral organizations so that within one incarnation an ego can completely encompass the whole meaning of Earth-evolution. Such an ego being does not direct or give meaning to the whole of Earth-evolution, but enables the ego to work intensely in and guide Earth-evolution for about 5,000 years. This is Bodhisattva-man.Such a man reincarnates again and again over a 5,000-year period. The earth gains the impulses brought by the bodhisattva. The bodhisattva slowly fulfills his being as an ego so completely that reincarnation is not necessary. The ego has completed its earth mission. Another activity is now necessary. The bodhisattva has become a buddha.
So far we have enumerated the Elemental-man aspect of the ego, the Kama-rupa ego, the Adam-Kadmon ego, and the Bodhisattva ego. There are still further stages of ego development and unfolding in man. This is the stage where the perfected astral organization can be evolved further so that man can bring creative impulses out of the planetary spheres. Here the being of man becomes creative out of a higher order. There is no longer the impulse to bring spiritual impulses, but a creativeness out of the depth of individual beingness can occur. This stage of being is called Nirmanakya. This is a stage higher than the stage of the Bodhisattva. A still higher stage of development of the ego can be found. This is where it is possible for the ego to sacrifice all that has become the fruit of the ego. This sacrifice is what the ego has been able to gather as fruits from the stages of Elemental-man, Kama-rupa-man, Pure-man, Bodhisattva-man, and Nirmanakya-man. At this sixth stage of unfolding, the ego can sacrifice the physical that has arisen out of the earlier stages. All that can arise on earth out of the height of attainment can be sacrificed. This is the stage, rank, accomplishment or attainment of being known as Pitris (Father). This stage of beingness was accomplished for the first time on Moon as a Lunar Pitris and on Sun as a Sun Pitris. During Sun-evolution, this was accomplished by the Elohim, and it was done for the sake of man. (Christ is a Sun Pitris.) There is a suggestion that the Jehovah-Elohim performed this deed on Moon. It may well be that the Pitris stages correspond with the evolution of spirit-self and life-spirit.
In this foregoing line of development, the focus is on the ego—by the ego. Through the various evolutions, the manifold ego is unfolding. In the case of man’s ego, the ego is achieving full beingness. Slowly the ego is unfolding its fullness—to become an archetype for mankind. In the last stage of beingness, the ego becomes god-like, becomes able to create God-man. Here, man is not created in the image of God. Man attains the creative-sacrificial capacity to bring forth man.
This direction leads then to a profound insight into the human ego. Here we follow the evolution of the human ego in its sevenfoldness. The initiation process focuses on the ego and the emergent creative capacity of the ego to bring forth on earth what stands as a need when the creation and evolution of the earth is seen as a backdrop. From being created to becoming a creator, the human ego stands there to serve the world.
We might state this in a very simple way by repeating what St. Paul was able to say: “Not I, but the Christ in me.” To me this suggests we are dealing with an ego that has passed through all these seven stages and now bears a god-like ego that can dwell among the gods. At this stage, the human ego becomes a part of the spiritual-hierarchical world while still on earth. This formulation of the “not-I,”but the “being-in-the-I”suggests the stage of development known as the Pitris.
Now we can go back to look at what we have discussed in the two streams of the six-times-seven and seven-times-eleven. Here we can come to a quite interesting formulation in relation to the sevenfolding of the human ego. The two Jesus beings permit Zarathustra to go through these two streams to become a Pitris. Zarathustra is able to sacrifice the physical instrument he has created. He is able to rise thereby to the next stage to become a God-man. He goes from the stage of being a Pitris to rising to the rank of the Godhead. I wonder if this is not the stage of what is called masterhood. It is out of this activity that masterhood is attained. In this case, it is masterhood in relation to the human ego. There would be other forms of masterhood depending on what member of man is to be evolved. Each will have to find the master needed in order to evolve the member that is to be worked on. Each member of man has to go the seven conditions of being, of life. Man has to attain to the “kingdom” of God, as in the Lord’s Prayer.
Now let us again go back to the beginning. We have learned that the six-times-seven number process gives us insight into the line that was developed by Abraham. Abraham’s task follows out of the Sun Mystery of Atlantis. He is initiated by the Sun Priest, Melchesidek. This impulse was carried out of the Sun Mystery by Manu, or Noah. My understanding is that it was taken up by Melchesidek to be placed in the bloodline, to be propagated by Abraham. The master is Melchesidek. I take it that he was the masterly being who was able to direct the human etheric organization in such a way that it can become a dominant organization to form the physical, so that the physical can become the basis for ego development. The etheric can become the vehicle for impulses that stream from both the planetary and zodiacal world, and these impulses can flow into the physical body. This Abraham line is taken up by Zarathustra (the Solomon Jesus). Zarathustra then is able to again work into the organism given by the Abraham line. By so working that this organism is crucial in the experiences of the Zarathustra ego, we can look to the significant incarnation of Zarathustra in the Persian culture—to give birth to “time” for mankind. This enables earth to become important for the human ego. By this means, the elemental world can in fact become an experience for the ego. Zarathustra pointed to the polarity of the earth and the aura of the sun. The Zarathustra impulse develops further through Hermes and Moses. In the Solomon Jesus, Zarathustra meets again what he had given to the world. The Zarathustra impulse is given so that man can come to experience the earthly-elemental world. The human astral and etheric organisms have to be worked through so that the human ego can become a conscious being in the world of the elements—where earth substance is taken hold of. At the same time, Zarathustra incarnates to prepare the human astral body and physical body so that man can take up karma on earth. This permits Kama-rupa-man—heart-man—to unite his destiny with earthly events, and thereby laying the basis for ego-consciousness. Zarathustra incarnating into the Abraham line (six-times-seven generations) enables the self-sustaining activity of mathematical activity to unite with the element of karma. With this, an ego can become a self-conscious being in relation to his destiny. This introduces a much more singular and individual element into karma. This permits Kama-rupa-man to become more of a person in relation to karma.
We now have to consider the other line, the Nathan line, in order to see that other impulses are at work; and these are to be taken up by the Zarathustra being when he enters this line at twelve years of age. First let it be noted that the Nathan line is also that of Abraham. Then we can note that the impulse of the Adam Kadmon is interdigitated into this Nathan line. Something of the Kadmon pure beingness of man is at work for twelve years in the Nathan Jesus. The ego of the Nathan Jesus is of the essence of Adam Kadmon. Zarathustra comes to meet this impulse in the Nathan Jesus. We are also told that the nirmanakya of the Buddha, a lofty astral organization, is at work within the Nathan Jesus. This is another domain that Zarathustra meets in his incarnation into the Nathan Jesus. Rudolf Steiner, through his spiritual-scientific research, tells us how Zarathustra in the Nathan Jesus comes to meet the bodhisattva workings. This Zarathustra meets in the community of the Essenes where the bodhisattva impulse of Jeshu ben Pandira worked. This, of course, is after the Zarathustra being has incarnated into the Nathan line.
In this way, we can follow a development of the Zarathustra ego—through the manifold beingness of man. I would see Zarathustra recapitulating Elemental- and Kama-rupa-man in the Solomon Jesus. As his being incarnates in the Nathan Jesus, Zarathustra comes to live into Bodhisattva-man and Nirmanakaya-man. What is next related by Rudolf Steiner is that Zarathustra goes on to sacrifice the body of the Nathan Jesus for the incarnation of the Christ. Zarathustra becomes a Pitris. Zarathustra is able to sacrifice the instrument, the physical instrument that he himself helped to create. This he does by giving over the organization that he has worked on and nurtured to the being of the Christ. He thereby can make another step. We can say, he thereby can become Master, he can work to become God-man. It is in the form of Master that we would have to meet the Zarathustra of that time.
It is for this reason that I have not wanted to see the Zarathustra only as a bodhisattva being. Rudolf Steiner indicates that Zarathustra was a bodhisattva. We can, however, contemplate his evolution, and I wonder if this is what is presented to us in the St. Matthew cycle. Zarathustra worked in the two directions of existence. He worked to come to earth to transform the earth. He also had to develop in such a way that he could span the whole domain of etherexistence so that he could also become God-man. In order for the physical to be sacrificed—the work of a Petris—the etheric organization must be able to exist independently, sustaining the astral and heavenly worlds, so that the Ego can stand in the light of God (God-man). The ego has to go through seven stages of ego-development, ego-unfolding. I would like to suggest that the ego constructs the Tree of Life—an etheric tree that is rooted in the physical and grows in the sphere of the Godhead. I am inclined to think that such an individuality, such an ego, is sevenfolded, bringing about the Sephiroth Tree or the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life itself is ninefold, and through man becomes tenfold. It is anchored in the created world, bearing all the beings of the hierarchies and their fruits within the light of the Godhead. The construction of the branches establishes the spheres of the spiritual-hierarchical world in a knowledge-process. A theosophical view can result from this. It is then little wonder that the knowledgeable Saul, who became Paul, could pass on this ranking of the spiritual world to Dionysus the Areopagite.
This Sephiroth Tree I like to think of as a construction in the ether world. It is a living, moving, changing and evolving entity. Our tree structure is a static mirror of this living entity. As a tree it bears the finest of physical substance into the lofty spiritual world. It takes the accomplished sevenfold ego-man to structure such a formation in the etheric world. This structure permits the blossoming of the pure astral of man in the domain of the Godhead. The ego is born as a perfected sevenfold being out of which the astral can grow. This is a path to become God-man—Master. One might say it is lofty, and at the same time it is germane to every aspect of our physical life.
In order to see the Sephiroth Tree as an etheric structure, we would have to go back and recapitulate the evolution of the etheric elements, which I have often spoken about before. We would have to go back to the Sun stage to see the ether as given by the Spirits of Wisdom. Sun-evolution is the time when the human ego comes into existence in the second elementary kingdom. The first appearance of the ego is during Saturn-evolution in the first elementary kingdom. Sun was important for the life of the Ego. For life, for beingness, the Sun was primary. Form states begin with Saturn, life conditions more with Sun. Not only new forms, but new life comes into existence during Sun-evolution. What is important is to see that the etheric as given during Sun-evolution is predominately light ether, though it bears a close resemblance to warmth. It evolves through the pralaya stages to tone and life ethers. Life ether we see in the plant world; and tone ether is manifest in growth, also in the plant world. During Earth-evolution, light ether is condensed into warmth ether, so that the warmth substance of earth can be taken up into the ether, into the living penetrated by the human ego. By this evolutionary step, man becomes an elemental human being. Man’s ego, which until then had existed within the spiritual-hierarchical world in the elementary kingdoms, is born. The mineral kingdom comes into existence. The ego is now connected with the elemental human being in us in our digestive-assimilative process. Here the ego comes into contact with the physical substance of the mineral kingdom, which points all the way back to Saturn-evolution.
The next step in the evolutionary process is that the human astral, which bears the impulse of karma, can come into relationship with the physical organism. For this to happen, the heart has to unfold within the circulatory system; and the warmth of blood, which is characteristic of man, results in the pressing out of the cold-blooded animals from the human organization. Kama-rupa man unfolds, and man begins to establish a relationship with the other kingdoms of nature. The purification of the soul is now necessary for man’s relationship with the animal kingdom.
With these evolutionary events, the ethers of pralaya are advanced (light, tone and light ethers). There is yet another ether stream that descends from life ether to tone ether to light ether to warmth ether as the earth-moon congeals. This is an ether stream that follows the impulse of Kama-rupa-man. The coarser astral, which constitutes much of lower human desire and impulses, unites with the coarser ether stream—life ether, tone ether, light ether, and warmth ether. The warmth ether unites with the physical warmth so that circulatory warmth and Kama-rupa-man can come into existence.
Elsewhere we have noted that the etheric elements that were descending were further metamorphosed into a lower form, into a subnature state, as electricity, magnetism and gravity. This took place at the time of Lemuria. Kama-rupa-man—circulatory-heart man—formed and developed into earthly Atlantean man. The life-plant element and the mineral kingdom formed. So we see man gradually descending to earth—first having formed a kind of digestive-nutritive process to become elemental man and then circulatory-heart man. With this descent of man and the differentiation of the kingdoms of nature, impulses from the domain of Adam Kadmon began to work into man. The pre-earthly deeds of the Christ, working through Adam Kadmon, began to unfold. Christ working through Adam Kadmon, worked into man to bring about walking, speaking, and thinking, and also to rescue the senses, the human soul, and the life processes. The senses and the life processes came about so that the soul could enter into man. A breathing life-sense process came about. Through the work of Lucifer the senses were opened, and man became a breathing-perceiving being. In Atlantis, man descended into the domain of Malchut—into the kingdoms of nature. The inwardness of man’s soul was born as a monad to hold the soul together.
With man’s descent into nature, the etheric domains were at work to bring about the states of matter; only during the time of Atlantis did the solid state come into existence. The etheric world is articulated into the mineral kingdom. In the plant kingdom works the warmth, light, tone and life ethers. Warmth and light are evident in plant life. Tone or chemical ether is manifest in growth, and life ether in the perpetuation of life itself. Within man, we have these same four ethers at work in the states of matter, in the temperaments as a basis for soul life, and in the life processes as well. Man lives in what I would call higher etheric forms: in the tone experience (tone ether) and word experience (life ether). The soul experience of light ether is very much connected with thinking. The experience of light in idea, tone in music and inner word in speech already points to man’s entering the higher etheric spheres. Here the ethers are supportive, not only of soul life, but they enable man to slowly enter the world of the spirit. Lower forms of ether, working to support the soul, are reflected in the physical organism in the processes known as salt, mercury and sulfur. There are ether workings in the cosmos associated with the hydrosphere, atmosphere and thermosphere. In the domain of inner planets, the ether elements are at work, as well as in the atmosphere. In the outer planets we have the higher ether conditions that are connected with the spheres of the planets. In these ether spheres, we find the tone ether at work as number ether and life ether as inner-word ether. When man begins to intone harmonics in the number process, then he begins to penetrate into the higher reaches of the ether spheres. When man begins to experience the inner word, then the higher manifestation of life ether from the outer cosmos rings in the soul of man.
What we have depicted is the metamorphosis of the etheric. It is metamorphosed downward into the subnature world, is determinative in the states of matter, and begins to rise in refinement in the atmosphere. The ether spheres determine the spheres of the planetary world and rise into conditions of ever-greater refinement—number and word ether. In the outer reaches of our planetary world, it supports the domain of arupa devachan, where it can serve the human ego as akasha ether. In the lower ether spheres, the astral is supported in cosmic memory as astral light.In the outer reaches of the etheric cosmos, the ego is supported in memory as ether light.The higher ether, which is more connected with higher soul function, with the devachan world, with thinking and then pure thought activity, creates what I understand as the ether light, which creates the true memory for the human ego. The activities of the soul that are connected with the inner word process, with the creative process, with this higher ether state, require the purest of soul activity, which is evident in “pure spiritual activity.”Rudolf Steiner indicates this is equivalent to the ego-astral activity of Nirmanakya-man. This indicates a creative activity within the domain of the midnight hour of existence. Such an ego-soul being is on the way from Nirmanakya-man to Pitris. Such an ego-soul is anchored in the etheric world and can sacrifice the physical sheaths to higher spiritual beings. The individuality of Zarathustra traversed these higher ether spheres by incarnating in the Nathan Jesus with a genealogy number of seven times eleven. This permitted Zarathustra to enter the highest spheres of existence so he could develop his bodhisattva to completion, fulfill the beingness of Nirmanakya-man, and enter the sphere of God-man to become Master. This line indicates the loftiness of the domain of the masters and points to the necessary unfolding of the ether world so that the human ego can be permanently anchored in the etheric world. Existence is not overcome—rather a spiritual being can live permanently with the existent world and work for its advancement.
A view of the etheric is necessary in order to see that there is the potential for the human ego, as a spiritual being, to live in eternity for the earth and also for the sake of the heavens. Man is anchored in Malchut, as well as in the En Soph. A path of knowledge, a quest of wisdom, requires the etheric of the world. The Tree of Life can be climbed as a path of knowledge and wisdom. The thinker of today can enter the domain of nirmanakya to which Zarathustra rose out of the initiation experience of the Nathan Jesus. Man today can perfect the human ego because of the archetypal deeds and accomplishments by such a spiritual leader as Zarathustra.
Anyone contemplating what has been set forth here in regard to the sevenfoldness of ego-man can place Rudolf Steiner in this context. The designation of Zarathustra as Master points to the sphere out of which Rudolf Steiner worked. It is little wonder that Rudolf Steiner pointed to Master Jesus, but this does not mean that Rudolf Steiner is Master Jesus. He can be seen as a Master in his own right. It may well be helpful to look not to the Pitris of this earth when contemplating Rudolf Steiner, but the domain of the Lunar-Pitris.
Part 4 – The Development of the Human Being through the Impulses and Line of Zarathustra
In our last discussions we described the developmental stages of the human being, of the human ego. We mentioned the Adam-man or the Elemental-man. This phase of ego-being appeared early on in the unfolding of the earth. In this Gospel, we have the indications of how the human being, from Lemurian and into Atlantean times, was essentially a kind of Elemental-man. The picture that we often have of the awakening of Adam by Michaelangelo depicts an earth being (see the earth elemental in the picture) who has to be raised through the working of a higher spiritual god-like being. I would say that this is on the way of raising elemental man to a second stage of unfolding. The kama, the soul being of man, has to enter Elemental-man. Kama-rupa-man needs to unfold. The next stage of man is the uniting of the human soul with the elementalness of man so that soul life can unfold. The ego at this stage is passive and is formed out of the astral-soul. When the individual ego awakens, then karma can be brought into the life of the soul. Rudolf Steiner has indicated that here the human being is raised out of a purely earthly condition into a being who begins to have his own circulatory processes, his own temperature processes, his own soul life. I take it that this is the secret of fire, the Promethean secret. Here is an implanting of warmth substance into man in his circulatory process so that the circulation with the heart becomes a vehicle for working out karma. In order to evolve this soul life—kama—into a karma principle, something of an individual element has to work into the soul. The soul has to be individualized, and this individual element has to find a physical reflection. The whole of our circulation bears a cosmic imprint, as does our brain. Our brain is a cosmos that has been individualized, and its activity also is individual-cosmic activity. This individualization was accomplished by Abraham so that man can arithmetize. Abraham was an individual who could accomplish this within a “bloodline.” The “bloodline” has to be individualized so that the blood/circulation is not alone a reflection of the cosmos. The bloodline of a peoples is already a first stage of this individuation. For karma—individual karma—to enter into the blood-circulatory process, impulses have to enter into this region of man’s constitution. Let us first look at the brain, as it belongs to the highest evolution of that which begins as Elemental man.
Abraham worked at an archetype for the human brain. Rudolf Steiner, in discussing the secrets of evolution in relation to the Matthew Gospel, points to the being of Abraham. It was his task and destiny to mold the instrument of the human brain so that man could be capable of arithmetical activity. It is Abraham who is the father of arithmetical processes. That we can do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division as a conscious soul activity requires a specific bodily configuration—and in particular the brain needs a particularized configuration. This arose out of a bloodline or was established in the bloodline of an entire people—the Hebrew people. Elsewhere, Rudolf Steiner indicates that the mathematizing process is actually an abstracted process from the movement-circulatory processes in man. Arithmetical processes have been lifted out of the movement and circulatory activities that belong to the muscle-limb and circulatory activities involved in human movement. In the case of arithmetic, movement is stilled in limb and blood, and lifted to a more conscious domain to be reflected in the brain as number activity. Abraham took up the task to bring about a particular brain configuration. About his initiation, there is this legend: It is told that he was taken into the wilderness and was able to feed himself there for three days by sucking his fingers. My understanding of this is that he becomes an initiate who is able to take nourishment for his brain from his limb-metabolism. (Thumb-sucking points to this sucking—the archetype for thumb-sucking). What is in the metabolic system could be sucked up into the region of the head. The head becomes sufficiently separate (through correspondence of the etheric and physical) that the lower body could come to nourish the head. Nourishment via the senses has added to this, the nourishment from the lower organs and the lower organization of man. What lies in the elemental system of man is raised into the head—into the brain. From a lower elemental region of man, substance can be raised and carried to the brain to nourish the brain.
If we take this legend and the development of Abraham, we can consider that in him the person, the individual element, enters into his being so that what is elemental (the taking up of earth substance in nourishment) is individualized, so that a marked individualness enters into the entire human biological process. The individualization in the mathematical process is the higher reflection of this direction in development. The “person” impulse is carried in the bloodline as well.
If we consider the brain and what Rudolf Steiner has said we come to some very interesting insights in relation to the evolution of this organ as an instrument for mathematical processes. Rudolf Steiner indicates that the human brain is configured by those forces that have been liberated because there is an eliminative process in the bowel—the elimination of fecal material. Out of this arises an etheric brain organization that then can constitute the brain in the higher centers. A delicate etheric structure arises as a result of the eliminative process. This can become formative for the brain. What is formative in the brain arises out of the activities of excretion in the lower organization. This is not exactly the picture of the sucking of the fingers, but it is in that direction, as I see it. The forces that ordinarily just ray out of the fingers, ray out in the excretory processes. They are assembled, turned back in the organism itself, and used by the individual to form an organ of reflection. This is a kind of nourishing, formative process.
Going further, we have Rudolf Steiner’s indication in The Spiritual Ground of Educationthat there is, in fact, an eliminative process occurring in the brain. This occurs in the forming of myelin. Rudolf Steiner indicates that the reason young adults or children have an anathema for intellectual activities is because forming myelin in the brain is an excretory process. Man has a natural distaste for the eliminative activity. It is, however, this myelinization process that structures the brain in its finer configurations. I have often spoken of the U-fibers of the cerebral cortex, which are essential and crucial to the developing of a brain that can carry on individualized thinking activity in the form of arithmetic and other mathematical activities. The first sited indication about the eliminative processes in relation to the brain is given by Rudolf Steiner in Spiritual Science and Medicine. I have spoken about this on numerous occasions.
This line then leads us to the fact that excretory processes are very essential to the structuring of this instrument, the brain. I would like to carry this further and say that the whole line of evolution that goes through the generations connected with Abraham has to have such an eliminative process so that, in fact, this brain organ can be created. We would have to see not only the elimination of fecal material as a part of this process, but we would have to see the establishing of all the excretory processes as essential. I have often spoken of the excrement of urine, the excrement of breath, the excrement of sweat, as well as that of fecal material, as the four avenues of excretion. Each one establishes the human configuration or helps to establish it, and secondly makes forces available. Those forces can give a particular configuration to man. Man’s upright posture, and his ability to move and speak and think, as I have often said, are very much connected with the excretory processes. We can say that the instrument of the brain, which is very much involved with all the other excretory processes, is intimately configured in relation to this excretory activity. The six-times-seven generations that are connected with Abraham I like to think of as the directing formative activities, liberated from the activities of excretion. The epitome of this structuring is to be found in the brain. The six-times-seven generation then points to a generational process of configuration—a generational process in which the organ of the brain ultimately results, and the soul is then able to carry on an abstracted interiorized activity. The present excretory activities of man are but an echo of the processes that pressed the kingdoms out of man. The four excretory processes are related to the formation of the kingdoms as follows—urine is related to the mineral, feces to the plant, breath to the animal, and sweat to man. The human ego can go through an elemental phase of development because of these processes of casting off and raising the digestive-eliminative processes into the region of the head. This is the first step in the individuation process of man, which is carried further in the circulatory process that lays the possibility for the individualization of soul life to be reflected in the human organism so that karma can arise.
The line that we have to deal with in the case of Abraham relates man to mathematical thought, on the one hand, and to the kingdoms of nature and the cosmos, on the other. This mathematizing enables both an active life on the earth in relation to nature and a higher life at the same time. This relates man to earth as earthly man, as Elemental-man, but it lays the basis for the further development of man, as an ego being. Man has to be able to bring his soul to earth, into a body where the events of the soul can be reflected. Soul events reflected in the human organism bring about the circulatory process. For these soul events to find not only an earthly reflection, but a cosmic one as well, the human heart had to come into existence. The human heart, like the brain, is carried out of the cosmos and into man. The heart, however, is created to enable the activity of judgment to have an organ of reflection. By this means, man can become a judge of his soul life and his actions. Karma can begin. The brain is carried out of the cosmos and into man with forces from Old Moon-evolution. Jehovah has much to do with this. The heart is carried out of the cosmos and into man with forces from Old Sun-evolution. The Elohim of the sun—the Christ—is very central to this. The circulatory process influenced by the earth has built into it an organ of judgment that permits the light of judgment to be rayed into it from the sun. Once the human soul has been established in the circulatory fluids of the human organism, the ego process of Kama-rupa-man is at work in the circulatory system to create the heart—and karma is thereby established.
If we now look further at the circulatory system, we can find something exceedingly pure occurring there. It is in the purity of the circulatory process that the ego can work to establish Pure-man. To understand this I am inclined to consider the ductless glands—the endocrine glands. For this, I would look to the endocrine system as the physical agent for the manifestation of the activities of a very pure man. To be sure, a very low form of man can be active in the endocrine system. However, I would look to the much more lofty, pure ether elements that are at work there, pouring substances into the blood so that the basic archetype of man can find expression. If we imagine the human circulatory system with the refined substances of the endocrine system secreted into the blood, we can construct a very rarified, ether configuration that is secreted over into the blood. There is something individual in this, but something very universal as well. The forces alive in the seven-times-eleven generations are at work in this process. This is a new Adam—a Kadmon being who is at work in us—structuring a physical but fluid configuration within the circulation. This is creating a new man within us, within our circulatory process. With every aspect of life, consciousness, and deed, something is pressed into our circulatory process from the gland system. Here we are not concerned with an excretory process, but with a secretory process. In our contemplations of light metabolism, we have tried to give due attention to this aspect of our vegetative and conscious soul life as this is related to the endocrine system. In our discussions about light metabolism we related sentient-soul, intellectual-soul, and consciousness-soul to the different endocrine glands. My suggestion is that we consider Pure-man to be the man that is created within our circulatory system by the working of the ductless glands, which are so essential to life and to the basic maintenance of life in relation to our soul. (The province where the sympathetic nervous system and the gland system intertwine.) In this circulation, we have the head of the sympathetic system in the abdomen (the solar plexus), the chest of the system in the thorax (cardiac plexus) and the limbs of the system in the pineal and pituitary glands. The endocrine glands, which parallel this nervous system, likewise continually create a new being within the circulatory system. We might consider this to be a pure childlike being—an etheric-physical cosmic being that is being created continually. I would contemplate that something of the very lofty cosmic-etheric Adam-Kadmon forces are related to this endocrine process and the sympathetic nervous system (autonomic nervous system).
The next stage in the development of ego man is to look at man from the side of the astral organization. The human nervous system is a fixed form reflecting our makeup as an astral being. But our deeds are expressed in gesture and word (thoughts too). What takes place as activity that makes use of the human instrument in deed gives rise to a secretory process that constitutes the man of the future. With every deed, our organs and tissues secrete fluids into the lymphatic system to constitute the man of the future—evolving man. This system of streaming fluids accompanies all deeds enacted by man. This system configures man in an ever more pure way on the earth, depending on his morality. In this way deeds can be taken into the future and be born into the cosmos as a perfected man. This gives rise to Bodhisattva-man. When we follow the being of Zarathustra, who steps over into the Nathan Jesus, into the sphere of the Essenes and Jeshu ben Pandira, then we can contemplate what is to stream through man and into the cosmos with the creative word as a creation reflected in the lymph system. New impulses enter Bodhisattva-man as an evolving ego, a moral being. I would contemplate how such lofty activity brings forth lymph, configures this system; and then the lymph is poured over into the circulatory system. The lymphatic-circulatory process is very much connected with the activities of the astral organization evolved out of the ego. How the inner organs are used, how they are constituted, how man moves and how he moves and weaves in life is all connected with our own evolving astrality. In the case of a Bodhisattva-man, his whole beingness is to raise man into the higher worlds as the future is woven of moral deeds. In the case of Jeshu ben Pandira, we are told of a bodhisattva at work in the future where the creative power of the word will become revealed. This works to advance a system that reflects these evolving deeds.
If we look at the lymph system, we notice that it comes from four different domains. It is developed out of the activities of the muscle-lymph system. It is developed out of the digestive process. It also evolves out of the activities of the inner organs themselves. And finally it originates in the brain. These four sources all flow together into the blood system to enter into the domain of the ego itself. This is a very lofty province of activity. It is where lofty forms of activity can penetrate the organism to create excretions that come not from life (as in the endocrine system), but from activity—spiritual activity, moral deeds. The secretions can all pour over into circulatory man and configure a being who is not only living and pure, but who is also active within this purity. This becomes not only Pure-man, but a pure spiritual activity within the blood itself. The purity of soul life determines what can be given over to the blood and carried in the blood for the future. This is very much connected to the bodhisattva stage of ego-unfolding.
By looking at the human organization, by looking at how the brain is constituted, the circulation, and the lymphatic circulation, we can recognize the various initiations of our spiritual leaders as those that bring about changes in this organism. The initiations we have been considering here become an archetype for the evolution of all mankind, while preparing an organism for the reception of the Christ. Man’s organism needs evolution as the human ego works to fulfill its manifoldness. The organism changes of an initiate (of the human ego) are significant for the whole evolution of mankind. Man is evolving through the impetus of initiates, down to the very fiber of his makeup.
Let us look now at the further stages of ego development,and at the physical counterpart that also has to be considered. The next stage of development we have called the Nirmanakaya stage. This is the fulfillment of the Bodhisattva stage, which can progress through buddhahood to a being of nirmanakya. Let us consider where such a being might work in order to bring creative spiritual impulses to man. Here I am inclined not to look to excretion or secretion processes, but to a kind of destruction process. I would look to a destruction process that is active, that transforms what is physical into a kind of etheric condition. Here I would look to the etherization of the blood. The fact that the blood is broken down, that it is destroyed in the human body in the capillary system, permits the physical constituents of the blood to be recast into a physical-ether condition. This is a lofty spiritual process. A highly developed ego-astral destructive-creative activity is carried on in this process. Here we have the destruction of the physical and at the same time a re-creation into a higher state. Here an etherization activity is occurring. This etherization process goes on in all of the organs, in all areas of the body. It gives rise to etheric physical substantiality that can then be penetrated by a very pure ego-astral creative activity. Rudolf Steiner has pointed to the importance of the etherization of the blood that arises in the heart and rises toward the pituitary gland. An etherization process occurs in the heart, and the resultant substantiality arises toward the brain to bring new life to this organ. (The brain in this case can be likened to the earth.) The stream of life that came out of the astral-ether spheres of the sun at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha is a cosmic mirror process. However, this process continues in man throughout life. There are other ether-physical substances created in the entire organism, and this must not be forgotten. I take it that it is out of the region of the nirmanakaya—the region of creative germ points in spirit-land—that this process finds its origin. Here spiritual beings work to transform this process for the evolving human ego. At the Nirmanakaya stage, the ego begins to enact this process in a responsible way (life-spirit activity).
This whole process of transforming the ego from the Bodhisattva stage to the Nirmanakaya stage, I see evolving where the Zarathustra Jesus comes into contact with the Essenes and the impulse of Jeshu ben Pandira. As the Zarathustra Jesus progresses toward the stage of Baptism, we might contemplate the evolving of the etherization process—the ego-etheric destructive-creative process—for the sake of the Incarnation. Here the ego as spirit works to destroy its own substance, but re-creates it at the same time with new life.
In the next stage of ego-unfolding, man is to be able to become a Pitris-man, or a Father. Here the bodily sheaths can be sacrificed for another being. This we see happening at the Baptism. Here Zarathustra gives over his bodily sheaths. These sheaths have been worked through by numerous initiates and overshadowed for the future by the being of the Maitreya Buddha. The Zarathustra being has evolved and worked on these sheaths. This final ego development that leads to potential sacrifice, I am inclined to find in the crystal-forming process of the pineal gland. Out of the death and now life connected with the human brain, a crystal is formed in its midst. This is a reflection of the sacrificial deeds of spiritual beings of a lofty nature. This is a creative and sacrificial process. This is not an etherization process, but an astralization of physical substance. My impression is that this is connected with the secret of the Holy Grail in Christian terms. This crystal-sacrificial process has to be taken hold of and carried into every crystal form of the human organism. This stage is accomplished by the Christ to create the archetype for God-man. The astral-physical substance sacrificed is formed into a human-cosmic phantom. This is a creation and formation out of lofty spheres that work into the crystal bone system and then into the earth—Atma, or Ascension man, in the making while on earth. At this point the human ego in its perfection is creating an ego-astral-physical phantom.
What I have tried to indicate here then is that the ego goes through seven stages, developing seven aspects of its own being. This is reflected in the body. In the present cosmic system seven stages are possible, and the human being can be raised to God-man. All of this would have to be seen as already laid out as an archetype. The Preparation, Incarnation, Sufferings, and Re-ascension of the Christ work for this archetypal development. This can give a totally different view of the constitution of man —body, soul and spirit. Man can begin as Adam-man, go through the seven stages of development out of the ego, and finally become God-man. Slowly man, as an ego-spiritual being, can live in the domain of the gods. Man can become “religious”—be united with the gods. Slowly, man can become the tenth hierarchy.
I take it that some of what we are talking about here is actually what is striven for in the Essene-Kabbalistic striving. As already indicated in the previous notes, this all permits the Zarathustra being to go through the six stages toward the seventh stage of man.
This can lead the human ego to create God-man. My thesis is that this permits Zarathustra to become a Master for the evolution of the human ego. These educational impulses are given to man in the form of germinal-archetypal impulses. Man’s accomplishment of mastership depends on the accomplishment of Zarathustra, who became Master by being able to suffer the task of Earth-Pitris. This is why I try to see the stages of Persian initiation as culminating in the stage of the Father. For me it is important to see that the next stage to be accomplished by us is heralded by the bodhisattva working through Jeshu ben Pandira. The task is one of knowledge—knowledge of the Christ—not of sacrifice. The next step is that of leading man from the lofty stage of Earth-Pitris to that of the Moon-Pitris. Man has to mold the capacity for knowledge from his ego so that the being of the Christ—the Sun-Pitris—can be comprehended. In this light one can ask about Rudolf Steiner. I would suggest we not overlook the transformation of the human sheaths, which are necessary for this.
This, I understand, is “THE WORK.”