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Lectures from 1966

On-line since: 31st August, 2016

THE CHRIST EVENT AND THE 20th CENTURY - 15 July 1966

   

Let us imagine we are living in about 3000 AD and looking back to the 20th century. What would be our verdict? What would we consider to be the most significant event of this century? It has seen the life and work of Rudolf Steiner. One might call the greatest event the beginning of a new religion, which must develop over the next 3000 years. Can humanity understand this consciously? We are in a time of Christian crisis, during which Christianity has become only literature, and the Bible and Gospels subject, as such, to intellectual criticism.

In such moments of crisis, one can see the reality working behind the stream of external events, in the realm of the unseen. Rudolf Steiner spoke of the Second Coming of Christ in the ether, as promised in the Gospels (Acts I). One has no time to embark on a course of cosmic corroboration, though this would be possible. But Rudolf Steiner, through his spiritual insight, spoke of the significance of the years 1933-7, as the beginning of something that would mature during the next 3000 years, during which time humanity progresses toward a natural clairvoyance by which to perceive the supersensible Christ as a reality (Luke XXI, 27: Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory).

Tonight we will try to build a bridge toward this understanding. Therefore, let us return to the Palestine events, of which there were two of great significance: one at the beginning and one at the end of the 33 years. We will deal with the Great Conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter at that time. We will take it from the heliocentric viewpoint. Fig. 2 - Heliocentric

These conjunctions occur at three different places in the Zodiac, thereby making a triangle that takes 60 years to complete. Bear in mind that Saturn takes nearly 29.5 years to proceed round the Zodiac, while Jupiter takes 12 years, thereby Jupiter catches up to Saturn about every 20 years.

These meetings are like great conferences between Saturn and Jupiter. They were the measuring rod and pilot light of the whole ancient school of Initiates, the last of which were the Three Kings of the Bible tradition. Such schools knew of such conjunctions well in advance and their timing in history. For instance, there was one in Fishes in 6 BC. We must also remember that all planets loop and curve during their progress geocentrically, which is not entirely straightforward, and this also accounts for certain variables in the calculations.

It is for this reason that in 6 BC, Saturn and Jupiter met three times in the same place as seen from Earth, which is rare. This was known as the Star of the Three Kings, though it is naive to think that they actually followed it other than clairvoyantly. They knew, through their star wisdom that the conjunction had moved into Fishes, the last of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, which begins with Ram. They therefore knew this as a conclusion of long expectations, and they knew from inner experience that Fishes is associated with healing as well as suffering.

Let us study the symbol (1a above), which is always significant. It is a duality, associated with the feet and hands of the human being. The whole human form is an Archetype from deep in the Cosmos; for we are literally made in the Image of God. It is through these members that we touch and walk upon the Earth. One can compare this with the Twin symbol (1b above), which represents the original twin powers of the universe. We have this in Celtic mythology. Gwydion, really Mercury, has two sons: one is dark and one is light. We know also of Castor and Pollux. Represented in Twins is a lower and a higher world, e.g., a kind of hierarchy is conjured up, as represented in ancient societies, where the king was raised on a throne, with his ministers flanking him in descending ranks. We have it also in the caste system. It is really a reflection of a Divine Hierarchy. But note that the Celts also had the Round Table of King Arthur, which was a totally new order. This overcoming of hierarchy is indicated in the Fishes symbol: brothers standing side by side.

The Three Kings foresaw the Great Event that was to come, the incarnating God in the human body of Jesus of Nazareth. The Great Spirit of the Sun universe descended to live three years in a human body and said, You are not as servants, but as brothers. He then washed His disciples feet His brethren. This was a Great Deed, which can only be compared with the dominating Godhead of Jehovah, now transformed into universal brotherhood. It was after this Saturn-Jupiter conference that they knew the birth of their King would come, and Whom they then visited.

This conjunction recurs every 60 years. It came again in 54 AD but in Ram, as it moves slightly forward, changing the place of the conference. Thus it moves through the Zodiac, through the Bull, Twins, and so on. At present, the conference is in the constellation of Archer. Fig. 2a

In Fishes it was an Annunciation Conference. We have not the time to follow up all the intervening conjunctions, although one discovers an amazing correspondence in them to the Great Event that entered the Earth as a mighty challenge at a time when Christianity was neither practiced nor realized, for the adverse forces wished to eliminate it.

The modern conjunction has a special character. The Archer represents the Centaur, half human and half horse. It also represents human evolution to our present position and the standards of the last few thousand years. This

Centaur rides the firmament, not the Earth. His head is the Earth. Once, humanity was far out in the cosmos (the Paradise Imagination) and slowly grew toward the present solid Earth manifestation. Now, it is a question of bringing down from the cosmos our higher Image.

We must learn to understand, not our limitations, but our cosmic counterpart. We must ask questions. Rudolf Steiner started to speak in 1901 of the Anthropo-Sophia. For 25 years, with deep insight, he presented humanity with an understanding of our cosmic origin and nature, as well as of smaller recapitulations through incarnation and our great future perspectives; for at death, we experience a dramatic cosmic prevision of future becoming. The year 1901 was also a moment of Annunciation concerning our present 20th century.

In the 9th century, the Great Conjunction was in the constellation of Lion, and this historical period saw the Parsifal and Grail Events, which was also an Annunciation of a new stage of experience of our Christianity of the Cup containing the Divine Sustenance and opening portals to esoteric Christianity against the prevailing dogmatism, and worse.

We know that Golgotha took place on April 3, in the year 33 AD. Soon after this, another Great Conjunction occurred, about 34 AD, which was about the time of Pauls conversion. Paul had not been able, hitherto, to see Jesus as manifesting the Messiah, and he was present at the stoning of St. Stephen. But at the gate of Damascus he had a shattering experience, which caused temporary blindness. He heard, too, the words, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? This changed the whole course of his life, so that he became Paul, the great Apostle of Christianity. It was not the stars that created his conversion. The stars only wait and confer and watch for fulfillment by humanity. They throw their challenge into our freedom, and we must bear the consequences of failure, which may be severe.

The Great Conjunction in Lion, in the 9th century, expressed the wish that after the Great Event, humanity would grow up to the cosmic dimensions of that conference as Saul had responded to the Cosmic Being although he was too late to recognize the earthly One. We must realize, too, that the clouds of the Gospel are not such as frequent the sky, but rather represent a kind of ether element of cosmic life forces.

So these conferences march on: Saturn, the Father of Time, and Jupiter, the Architect of the Future, discussing how ready humanity is in realizing the cosmic nature of Christ and Christianity. The conference in 34 AD in Ram moved on, and we will refer to its return to Ram as the Great Conjunction that occurred in 1940, when again the Spiritual Beings gazed upon humanity. Was humanity ready to realize the Presence of Christ in Greek, called the Parusia or was the message powerless? The year 1940 brought a time of trial and stress the blitz in Britain, chaos in Europe blotting out the realization of the inauguration by Paul. This conference also occurred three times.

However, the real events were in the background and became more evident after the War. There are records in Germany of a few people who had such a meeting with the Presence, the Etheric Christ, and experienced help when in despair. Sometimes it is difficult to realize what really was experienced at such moments. But to give an example: A person was sick and dying in bed, when someone entered the room, seemingly a messenger boy, but he made a gesture toward the sick person, whereby he seemed to gather into himself the sickness and then left, and the patient recovered. Rudolf Steiner indicated that it is in such a manner that the Etheric Christ may be experienced, and that Christ will take on an apparent human shape in order to bring comfort and consolation to an individual or a group.

These Great Conjunctions relating to 34 AD have always to fight against terrific odds, such as those in 1940. In 869, too, the 34 AD conjunction was in Archer, and then things were so designed by the opposition as to destroy the spiritual being of humanity. This was at the time of the Council of Constantinople, when the edict went forth that man no longer consisted of body, soul and spirit, but had only some spiritual attributes. This would have meant that humanity would lose the capacity to experience the Christ and His garment of Ether. It led directly toward materialism, and by now the inclination is toward the concept that the human being is only a body.

At another time we will deal with the third corner of this triangle in Archer, about 14-15 AD, which refers to the event of Jesus in the Temple, at 12 years of age. But all that we have given today presents the background of the century in which we live.

   

   



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