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Lectures from 1974

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The Birth of the Human Image

Unrevised Lecture by Willi Sucher, 5 January 1974

Last week we spoke of the Son of God in the Son of Man. I recalled the words of Tauler, the German mystic, who spoke of the threefold Son of God as being born first in the cosmic realm of the Father, then secondly in a human incarnation on Earth, and thirdly in the human soul. This third birth is most important for humanity and Christianity. What is this birth of the great archetypal image in the human soul? What is the Image of Man? In the true spiritual sense, this was always known in the mysteries, and fragments have come through to us that can divine the grandeur of this ancient perception of the great Image of Man. We find it in the image of the Sephirod Tree in the Kabbalah, which goes back even to prehistoric times. It is a fundamental aspect of our nine-fold being, and that we stand on the Earth is the tenth principle. This image is really twelvefold, but the ancient sages forming the Kabbalah were silent on the other two principles. Theirs was the age of monotheism, where instead of the Trinity there was the One. The Three were still One, which gave the nine-fold being and not the twelve. The Sephirod Tree can be regarded as the archetypal ideal of the Image of Man in regard to pre-Christian times. However, there is another image used today, and that is the pentagram, which is also the starry image of the human being the Mercury human of the future. This is also connected with the five ancient planets, plus the Sun and Moon. It was seen as follows:

Saturn stands at the top of the five-pointed star, the Sun in the middle, and the Moon below. This was the Sephirod human-tree, in the ancient sense, as connected with the Zodiac, and the five-pointed star with the planets. Human beings were born by the great Cosmic Mother, out of the great cosmic world, during cycles of divine creation through the Father. Humans entering the physical world bear the cosmos on their shoulders, as far as the physical and etheric are concerned. The Sephirod Tree refers to the cosmic nature of the physical body as it descends from the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. The ether body comes from the planets, and this star is a product of the planetary world.

All this has now changed since the time of Christ, and we really ought to reverse the whole and remove the planets from this star, because the new human being does not just take from the planets but fills what has been received with earthly content, which can be produced and evolved in the course of a life on Earth. This has been outlined and pre-established in the building of destiny by certain Deeds of Christ especially where the coming of Christ was connected with the human realm, and where humans enabled his coming. The planets only describe the vessel, but the contents of this vessel come through our own efforts, as the background of the earnestness of Christianity.

This top or head of the pentagram-star, representing the human being, must speak to the cosmos of the new mysteries, as indicated by the King and Shepherd streams within the human being, and by the true and spontaneous experience of the human heart. Kings and Shepherds must meet within each person, united by Christ and in Christ, the Wisdom and the Love. In this we can see the portal of self-preparation, and these two streams must unite in us to create the new mysteries. So there are five points to this new Star, representing human beings, in which we have to experience the way to Christianity.

New Mysteries

Placing the Star within the Zodiac, we see that on the right and the left are the great sacrifices. These mysteries are veiled in the Gospels. In Mark: VII, Christ goes to Tyre and Sidon and heals the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, who was possessed of an evil spirit. Both mother and daughter represent the ancient decadent mysteries; but the healing power goes even deeper, concerning all humanity. So at the head we will place the New Mysteries. On the one side stands the sacrifice of John the Baptist, representing all humanity as the fallen Adam. He sacrificed the past with all its immense wisdom, even back to Elijah and beyond this to the greatest of the ancient wise men. With the right foot, he steps into persecution, which culminated in the persecution of Saul, who became Paul. Saul would never have become Paul if he had not persecuted Christ. This is a great mystery to be contemplated. On the left stands another difficult obstacle, the temptation, such as Christ-Jesus experienced after the Baptism. Also before the Baptism, when Jesus dealt with the Essenes, when he saw that even though their pure life protected them from Lucifer and Ahriman, it also drove their forces into the lives of humanity (see Steiners, The Fifth Gospel).

Thus there are five planets within the human being that are on the way to Christ. These we will experience within ourselves, and these will sound back to the cosmic world as a new language, which will bring new content and new substance and meaning to the star world when we approach it after death. However, there are other things I would like to mention tonight beyond this Christian human Image. We are born out of the cosmic world and enter into the physical world; we die and enter the spiritual world. We take the cosmos into ourselves, and what we receive, we transform and fill with our own experience, saturated with the capacity of our ego; and then we hand back to the cosmos at death the transformed essence of all that we received.

In a sense, this is the great cosmic aspect of the human image, and it is even a means of changing the cosmic world. Let us look at the process of incarnation, at the process of life, and at the process of excarnation. We descend through the spheres of the planets into the physical world. These planets are established and maintained in the cosmos by hosts of spiritual beings, the highest of which are the spiritual hierarchies. There are a host of other ranks attached, but the leaders and great guides of the cosmos are the hierarchies. First, we descend from the world of the Zodiac, then through the planets, including Sun and Moon, in the following order:

   

Incarnation   Birth
Zodiac Seraphim/Cherubin
  [Purpose]
Saturn Thrones   Uprightness
Jupiter Kyriotetes   Thinking
Mars Dynamis   Speaking
Sun Exusiai   Circulation
Venus Archai   Breathing
Mercury Archangels   Glandular
Moon/Earth Angels   Reproductive    Earth-

   

We could leave out the names of the planets and write in the names of the hierarchies. Saturn is a gesture of those hierarchies who guide it. In the Zodiac we find an expression of the Seraphim and Cherubim, while in Saturn we find the deeds of the Thrones, in Jupiter the Spirits of Wisdom, in Mars the Spirits of Motion, in the Sun are the gestures of the Spirits of Form, in Venus are the Archai, in Mercury the Archangels, and in the sphere of the Moon are the Angels. From each sphere, the souls take certain substances to bring them down to the Earth on their incarnating journey; each takes what it needs of these gift parcels of the cosmos. The highest spheres are the most spiritual, while the lower spheres are less so. The human being descends into the Earth at birth with all that has been acquired. Souls descend into the grave of the Earth, where they become heads and the bodies and limbs are dissolved into the planets. The forces of the cosmos die into the Earth with each human being. We are born, grow up and go through our destiny. We use these forces, which have died into Earth existence, and put them upright again as we stand upright upon the Earth. For instance, we transform the gift of Saturn into uprightness, the gifts of Jupiter into thinking, that of Mars into speech, the gifts of the Sun into the heart and circulation, the gifts of Venus into breathing, that of Mercury into our glandular processes, and the gifts of the Moon into the reproductive processes. Thus we stand on the Earth with these living forces.

The Thrones, or Spirits of Will, created the very first beginnings of cosmic existence in the solar universe. Through their sacrifice, it became possible for the laying of the foundation for Ancient Saturn evolution. They pointed the direction of cosmic existence. One who dies deep into Earth existence brings the cosmic forces of the Thrones with them, and transforms them into the uprightness of the human form. This is the supreme character of the human beings, standing vertical and free between heaven and Earth.

In the sphere of Jupiter, the Spirits of Wisdom created the wisdom of the Ancient Sun evolution and permeated its lifeless substance with their light and life. We now take these deeds of the Spirits of Wisdom as a memory and transform all our earthly existence into our capacity for thinking, which can go to the periphery of the universe and yet enter the smallest entity. This is a wonderful contemplation. The Spirits of Motion, whose deeds resound in a kind of cosmic ego in the sphere of Mars, created during the Ancient Moon evolution our astral body. This enables us to distinguish between our inner and outer world, and in this clash, so to speak, comes the recognition of the object; and there resounds the name. This is transformed into cosmic speech.

The Sun that we see in the sky is really only a caricature of the true Sun, which reaches out to the outermost periphery of the universe and brings creative substance into our solar universe. There we find the power of the circulation. Cosmic metabolism creates all that exists in our solar universe, and we see the great deeds of the Archetypes, the Spirits of Form, and we establish them on the Earth in the circulation. In this manner we can continue with the lower planets, but there isnt time to go into detail.

The Earth is now the planet of death, and a great reversal takes place at death through the Earth being a realm of death and elimination. It has thereby become a realm of freedom, but a freedom bought at the price of death. We die here and return to the cosmic world.

   

Saturn      
Jupiter      
Mars     Spirit Land
       
Sun      
Venus      
Mercury     Soul Land
Moon/Earth      

What have we done on Earth with what we received from the plan, or purpose, when we return to the cosmos? We have transformed it with our ego, and uprightness is an activity connected with the ego. If our ego does not work properly, or we are tired, we are liable not to walk upright. But now we have taken the planets to the Earth in our own being and transformed them into the functions of our body; thereby through death we gain our freedom. Egohood was given to us on the Earth, and now we must hand back all that we have transformed to the cosmos. First, there comes the three day tableau, and we enter the sphere of Soul land (see Steiners, Theosophy). Here we go through the four lower regions of Kamaloka, to disconnect the soul from all that clings to it from the Earth. Then we go through the 5th, 6th, and 7th spheres, where we dissociate from the subtler affiliations of the Earth. Only then can we enter the spirit world.

While on Earth, our organic functions make life possible for us, but we are too deeply connected [to matter] and must push this away through suffering in order to obtain and become accustomed to the true picture of the planets, which have been hidden by matter. The respiration, glandular and breathing processes are veiled to us while we are on Earth. After death, we have to free this picture of the planets in ourselves and return our individualized picture to the cosmos. First we have seen the hierarchies and their spheres as the actions of those who are obedient to the divine Will. This is the great secret: creation by obedience. However, Lucifer and Ahriman stepped in, for human beings were destined to develop freedom through love. We are free to be disobedient, as in Genesis, and out of this freedom we have also gained the possibility to act out of love, not out of authority. We can deny; we can say that the goals and aims of the deity do not concern us, but we can also follow and fulfill out of the power of love. This must develop. This is the grand aspect of humanity. On the other hand, there also threatens the grave danger to which we are exposed by virtue of this freedom.

As we come down into incarnation, we receive our gifts, and then we transform them into our vehicle of existence through organic functions; we transform the ego into consciousness bought at the price of death and illness; and finally there is what is able to be permeated and individualized, which returns to Kamaloka [the Moon sphere] for purification, before returning to the cosmos. We must first rid ourselves of all that we cling to of the world of matter, so that the planets may glow within us like precious stones, and so we can enter the spiritual world. First our incarnation of death [from the spiritual world], and finally we return to the spiritual world.

Let us look at the first incarnation of the human being and the final return to the cosmos. If only we could see it, the first we see would be a glorious experience, to see the birth of the whole cosmos into a human being. Only the human being can take in the whole cosmos, for the animal and plant can only take in part of the twelve constellations and the seven planets that we absorb into our being. For example, each animal species only takes in a twelfth. This gives us a grand vision of how the hierarchies sacrificed themselves for humanitys entry into the Earth. The last incarnation of human beings will demand the transformation especially of the lower spheres and the Moon sphere within themselves. We have only a comparatively short time for this transformation and purification, which cannot be done at later times. In the Moon, after death, we have to purify our desires and cleanse our being from the burning desires of the Earth. However, we must not see this as punishment but as of great benefit, and for which we should be grateful when we see this precious stone of the Moon being more purified and unblemished, and so it is with Venus, Mercury and the Sun. Souls then enter Spirit land. We received the gift of the Spirits of Motion from Mars and transformed it into earthly speech. After death, we experience the physical archetypes in Mars of all the Earth beings and so learn their true name.

When we pass through our life on Earth, we may experience much grief and disappointment, but our experiences are purifying and they help us to prepare our gifts on Earth for the spheres after death. First we die but only to resurrect, and then we are the cosmos recreated; we receive a new beginning for the future, after going through endless death experiences in Christ.

©Astrosophy Research Center 2012 ‒ ISBN 1-888686-11-1
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