Katherine Rudolph, Easter 2015
The events of the turning point in time and the original Mystery of Golgatha, which healed and transformed the potential development of human beings and all the world of nature will be my main theme today.
I realise there are other turning points of time: for example, events in the 19th century, the end of Kali-Yuga, or the age of darkness, but without the Mystery of Golgatha, these events would not have been possible.
The consciousness of ancient Greece, the Hebraic stream and the Eastern happenings relating to that first turning point in time, the first Easter, and the events that prepared the way for it, is my theme for today.1) Without these events human beings would not be able to contemplate later turning points in time.
At the turning point in time
The spirit light of the world
Entered the earthly stream of being.
Darkness of night had held its sway.
Day radiant light streamed forth into human souls:
Light that gives warmth to simple shepherd’s hearts,
Light that enlightens the wise heads of kings
O’ Light divine
O’ Sun of Christ
Warm thou our hearts
Enlighten thou our heads
That good may become
What from our hearts we found,
And from our heads direct,
With single purpose.2)
The Birth of the Nathan Jesus, the vessel for the Christ, of which the first painting is a representation, is the ‘Gloria’ experience as related in the Gospel of St Luke. (displayed in the lecture exhibition)
The father of this Nathan Jesus was descended from the House of David, and the glorified Bodhisattva who had become Buddha in the 5th century BC, shone the power of his purified being, radiating from the spiritual world on the Nathan Jesus, hovering above the head of this child.3)
The Baptism at the Jordan was the moment when the Christ being entered into the being of the Nathan Jesus, who had become interwoven with the soul of the Kingly Jesus. That Kingly Jesus, the Zarathustra being had excarnated, and was already accompanying the Nathan Jesus from the spiritual world at the time of the baptism.
These deeds are in my understanding preparations for allowing the spirit light of the world to begin entering into the earthly stream of being.
At the time of the baptism of St John, when the dove of the spirit descended to earth, Christ Jesus had a physical body, an etheric body, and an astral body, similar to the rest of mankind; but instead of the ego there was a cosmic being living in that human sheath.2) Because of the deed of that cosmic being, human destiny has been transformed forever.
The deed at Golgatha saved the human ego from destruction. Its far-reaching effects will eventually transform all of the four kingdoms of nature: the mineral, the plant, the animal and the human being.
The whole of nature is now imbued with the spirit of Christ in the elements. The animal kingdom is waiting at the threshold to continue its evolution; but humanity must cross the threshold in full consciousness before the animals can actually evolve further.3) Human beings can strive to evolve, solely because of the Christ’s deeds at the turning point of time.
Christ Jesus, bringing the ‘I am’ allowed for redemption, renewal and the seed of true freedom and individuality.
Later, Lazarus, through the will forces was able to rise up out of the tomb. His sickness was not unto death. Thus he represented the hope of all mankind. In Christ Jesus, through The Mystery of Golgatha we can die the physical death and still ‘be alive’. We can again experience the spiritual reality of the Heirarchies, which in the centuries before Christ, had been fading from consciousness.4)
The human being is able now to attune to the higher worlds. We can in our inner being, consciously glean first hand knowledge from the starry worlds. The spiritual kernel of our planet can begin to transform into a star because of the Mystery of Golgatha.
To understand the workings involved in the births of the two Jesus children, the Easter events, and finally, on to St John’s Tide, and Michaelmas, would not take a short time, although each event, I believe, has brought the spirit light more fully into the world.
This sequence of four paintings attempts to give an overview of the festivals, inspired by The Four Seasons and The Archangels by Rudolf Steiner.5) (displayed in the lecture exhibition)
Ex Deo Nascimur
In Christo Morimur
Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus 2)
In early times we had a memory of pre-existence in the world of soul and spirit. There appeared in the time before the Mystery of Golgatha, the Therapeutae or healers. In Greek times all spiritual life was somehow focussed on the healing of humanity. At the entry into the physical world, one felt sick and ill.
The Greeks could earlier remember that the sun was a dwelling place of spiritual beings. This experience began growing dimmer and dimmer in Greek times, because they were forgetting their lives between death and rebirth.
The Sibyls, from the Greek stream –“theobule, means divine council, – were oracular women of ancient times, believed to possess prophetic powers. Those at Delphi, Pessinos and others, were known to prepare the Greek soul for the coming of Christ. (More about this in the lectures The New Mysteries and the Wisdom of Christ Virginia Sease and Manfred Smidt-Brabant.)
The three Kings belonged to the eastern stream of thought. In their initiation, they learned that when the time was fulfilled, Christ’s coming would be proclaimed by the signs in the heavens. They followed the prophecy of the stars.
Manes, 216-274 AD, ( imagination of Manes displayed in the lecture exhibition) from the eastern stream, had a student called Skythianos, who proceeded to travel north and later west to the area of the Black Sea and then eastern Russia.
‘ Skythianos, an extraordinary being, who could observe what is happening at any place on the earth, had viewed the Mystery of Golgatha, as it was taking place. His pupils were aware of the three years, when the great Sun Spirit lived in the body of Jesus, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Christ’s descent into the underworlds were made known to them through Skythianos.
Prior to Holy Saturday individuals had lost ability to travel consciously through the planetary spheres between death and a new birth. Easter Sunday and the resurrection were revealed to the pupils of Skythianos. After the resurrection, Christ was at first an etheric entity. Mary Magdalen thought he was the gardener.
Here I have painted an imagination of the Celtic World seeing The Mystery of Golgatha. The American Indian is also looking on….(displayed in the lecture exhibition).
The students of Skythianos were reincarnated in the 4th and 5th centuries as the Celtic monks, Columba, Gallus and Alcuin, who were aware of the Golgatha event and what had happened there.’
This account of Skythianos was quoted from a lecture given by Virginia Sease at Montreal on 14 July, 2014.6)
Sergei Prokofiev wrote related material concerning in his book The Spiritual Sources of Eastern Europe and the New Mysteries of the Grail.
What necessitated the coming of Christ in the first place?
Here in the painting of ‘Adam Kadmon in Early Lemuria’ (inspired by a sketch of Rudolf Steiner, and displayed in the lecture exhibition), we see the human being before external physical incarnation and of course before the fall.
The human being, Adam Kadmon, 7) you see, is floating above the earth. We were that being, experiencng the becoming of the mineral, the plant, and the animal kingdoms, like a symphony, through a heightened sense of hearing. But we were not yet incarnated into an external physical body. (See also the second Ephesus lecture in Steiner’s lectures on Mystery Centres).
The human phantom is actually that which holds the organs of the physical body. 4) At the point represented in this sketch, the original phantom-seed would have been existent. The human being would have been very different if this being would have matured without the Luciferic influence.
After we had become subject to the Luciferic temptation, and mortality; only one human being remained in that pure ‘un-incarnated’ Adam Kadmon. From the sun he awaited birth to become the sheath for the Nathan Jesus child. The pure un-incarnated being, the vessel for Christ – Jesus bore the original seed for the pure human phantom. . From the sun he awaited birth and became the etheric-physical sheath for the Nathan Jesus child. The purified astral sheath shining from the spiritual worlds, was that of the Gautama Buddha.
After the fall, which is esoterically described in Genesis by Rudolf Steiner, the physical body could not become what the divine spirits had prepared for it through the Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions of the earth.
Without the Luciferic interference mankind would have received what is known as the Phantom in full strength along with our physical body. The phantom still holds together the material parts that are woven into our physical body, but it became disorganised. 3) Imagine, for example that the human kidneys were originally, a part of the ear. The disorganisation of the Phantom was caused by the early Luciferic influence. The result is the death of the physical body. The condition will not be fully corrected until the end of the Vulcan incarnation of the earth
The saying ‘Better a beggar in the upper worlds than a king in the realm of shades.’ referred to the gradual dimming of the spiritual memory of the Greek’s after-death experiences. The mirror of the physical body with the incomplete phantom could no longer reflect mysteries from beyond the threshold.3) Human beings were becoming estranged from the being of spirit. The Ego was loosing ground. The Hierarchies of the Father God could no longer be experienced. We needed to be able to remember our afterlife again.
Humans of today are now able to practice Spirit-Remembering, because of the deeds of Christ Jesus. ‘Ex Deo Nascimur’. From God we are born. 2)
In the ancient human being, the time between death and rebirth was remembered. The clairvoyant connection with the spiritual world was realised and self- evident.
Remembering that the Greek soul had reached the interval of the fifth, we have to imagine a harmonious feeling of completion, appearing in early Greek times, a feeling of just meeting the world, as if preparing to blossom. The early Greek was content in the world of the senses :‘I am standing in my skin’ could be a healthy statement at that time. For that reason, a perfect sculptural perception of the human body was present in art. Yet there were signs that the blossom might decay before reaching its time of regeneration.
‘In the centuries just before the Mystery of Golgatha, much of the memory was receding. Initiates were able to renew their vision of the spiritual worlds, but for them, as recorded by Plato, the cosmic being, who was Christ had lost his mission in the Worlds beyond the earth. They said ‘We still behold him in the super-sensible worlds, but his activities become less and less.’ He had been the great teacher in the afterlife, but those memories had been fading.1)
As the Mystery of Golgatha drew near, human beings were beginning to feel the real fact of death. The fear of death was more the fear of losing consciousness than the fear of the pain of death. However at this time there arose in the initiates’ consciousness:’ He will come down to earth to reawaken human beings to super-sensible spirituality.’
Throughout the Greek plays, deeds of untamed desire and unforgivable guilt, seeking but not finding true redemption, were prevalent. The suffering of Prometheus, recorded in ‘Prometheus Bound’ by Aeschylus, can be seen to have a connection to the fall in the story of creation. Prometheus, a Titan, punished by Zeus, for stealing fire from heaven was fastened to Mount Caucasus where an eagle daily devoured his ever-regenerating liver. Another way of describing the human condition after the fall, when the external physical body came under Luciferic influence
Our physical body is indeed still disintegrating daily, regenerating at
night, and, finally dying during a period of three days. I have tried to
represent our excarnation in the three days following physical death. (displayed in the lecture exhibition)
The word Elpis means Hope in Greek. Without the rescue of our Ego,
made possible by the Christ, we would never have a chance of
overcoming the condition we call death or being conscious in the time
between death and rebirth..
In the stream that comes down from Hebraism, a Folk Ego lived in each single member of the ancient Hebraic people. Every member traced his ego back to his ancestor in the flesh, Abraham.1)
With the Gospel of St John, we learn about the children of God, which changes the conception of ancestral families, to the one human family who by free will believes in the resurrection.
In the Old Testament there are many instances of prophecies fulfilling the scriptures. One, which is particularly related to Rudolf Steiner’s painting ‘Golgatha’, which you see here,(displayed in the lecture exhibition) came from Zechariah Chapter 9 verse 11 :
‘As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free prisoners from a waterless pit.’ They are freed from the black pit, into the watery life, and thence to rise with Christ.
Rudolf Steiner chose to represent the scene of the raising of the dead in his Golgatha painting. (According to the ‘Gospel of Nicodemus’, from the Apocrypha, the great figures of the Old Testament, including Abraham, Jacob, Moses and others were being raised from the underworlds.)
(It is also portrayed in the English Miracle Plays (Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays Aldine Press, Letchworth, 1956.) The Chester Pageant named ’The Harrowing of Hell’, as written by the Cooks and Innkeepers, may be of interest.)
Many painters seek to understand the colour proportions and techniques of Rudolf Steiner by painting his works and sketches, and making their own interpretations. The sketches are indications, which we have been given to work on. It was Steiner’s wish that this should be done.
As I have said, after the crucifixion, Christ descended into the realm of the dead to bring the righteous ones to heaven. As it is recorded in ‘The Gospel of St Matthew’ Chapter 2, 51-56
‘And behold, the veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. The tombs were opened and many of the bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep, were raised and coming out of the tomb, after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.’ On earth Christ Jesus spoke of the ‘Therapeut’, the Comforter who would be coming. According to Rudolf Steiner, He conveyed this to the Greeks,
‘In former times, I gave you consciousness of your pre-earthly existence. But now, if you receive me into your hearts and souls, I will give you power to go forward through the gate of death, conscious of immortality.
You will feel the Son as Him with whom you can die and yet remain alive.4) Human beings are able to practice Spirit-mindfulness because of the deeds of Christ.
‘In Christo Morimur’ In Christ life arises out of death 2)
In ancient times the experience of the resurrection of Christ Jesus transformed human beings, as it does today.
Now the etheric Christ walks amongst us. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus revealed to him that Christ comes from the real worlds beyond the earth, uniting his cosmic forces with earthly man. Thus, humankind, which was so near to annihilation, belongs to the cosmos and can grow in communion with the starry worlds.
In matter that is imprinted with death, there lives a love related element,
which underlies every renewal of life. A region of Nature exists, ruled by the forces of love, it works and wrests life from that which would drive it to death. ( In the Christian Rosenkreuz lectures, Rudolf Steiner, Fifth Day) The conception of the resurrection can be difficult for us to grasp, even after The Mystery of Golgatha, because our consciousness has become bound up with the decadence of the body. The up-building forces must again regenerate before we can hold the destructive forces in balance.
I believe that an understanding the resurrection and its relationship to the human phantom, which through the grace of Christ Jesus still exists, might help us know how the raising of the dead occurred when Christ descended into hell. Why were these souls represented in Steiner’s painting here, shown to have something similar to a physical body, which looks white? Was a connection to the phantom intimated?
At Easter the bearer of the Christ had gone through such a death that after three days, the mortal part of the physical body had to disappear. The pure Phantom of the physical body with all the attributes of the physical body rose out of the grave –becoming the resurrection body transformed by Christ Jesus1)
As we now take the leap into the consciousness soul faculties, we can begin to understand the following words of Rudolf Steiner in GA 214. The Mystery of Golgatha. Lecture Seven as given at Oxford, on August 27th, 1922:
‘The real reason that our thoughts are unalive is so that they can make way for spiritual freedom,’ and, ‘as the dead body is to the human being in the fullness of life, so are our thoughts to what we were in soul and spirit before we came down to earth.
The resurrection of dead thought into living thought can occur as we walk, accompanied by Christ, we carry our dead thoughts into the world of sun and moon, the clouds, the mountains and rivers, the minerals, plants, and animals and the whole physical world of mankind; then our vision of nature can become alive.
Imagine: from the quartz tomb of the mineral world, dead thought is lifted up again as living thought. The spirit is resurrected. We are indeed sick and ill; allowing the resurrected Christ to be our companion, we can dive into the mineral world saying, ‘Not I but the Christ that liveth in me.’ By the living spirit, dead science can be resurrected.’ The Alchemists
were awake to this understanding. The truth of the resurrection stands since the Mystery of Golgatha. The resurrection of thought can be understood in our times as a new revelation: We are able to practice Spirit-Vision; because of the deeds of Christ, super-sensible spirituality will be reawakened.’ 4)
‘In the Holy Spirit we shall be reawakened : Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus In the spirit world thoughts, the soul awakens.2)
1.From Jesus to Christ, Rudolf Steiner, Chapter 7 (about the human phantom)
2.’The Foundation Stone Meditation’ 13 Jan, 1924 At the re-founding of the Anthroposophical Society ( The last two verses are shown)
3.Goethean Science (version in German) ‘The Animals at the Threshold’
4. The Mystery of Golgatha GA 214, 27 Aug. 1922 Oxford Rudolf Steiner
5. The Four Seasons and the Archangels Rudolf Steiner
6. Skythianos, Lecture by Virginia Sease in Montreal, July 14, 2014
7.The Birth of the Sun Spirit as the Spirit of the Earth Rudolf Steiner
All the information in the Bibliography was found in Google