Posts Tagged Goethe
Sophia existed in the beginning, from before Chaos. When the Beginning is mentioned in religious or esoteric texts it’s always about beings known as the Beginnings, Æons, or Spirits of Time and Personality, with her started time. Her dominion is what we call soul, the soul contain our personality and understanding of time.
She came out of Pistis (faith) in the form of primeval light. Immediately her will manifested itself as a likeness of heaven, with an unimaginable magnitude.
Together with Pistis, she brought a great power into being in the first æon, who we know as the Father, Adam or Brahman, which became like a veil between the immortals and those who came into being after them. It means that we are Fathers too, we and the Father is one, we know everything that are within him, what there was before we don’t experience within us.
A shadow arose out of the Father, Achamod, that gave birth to envy and wrath, and became like dark waters of immeasurable deepness. This is also symbolized through Adam being created out of the earth.
We know this darkness as the minerals that our physical world is created. We also know it as Lilith, Tiamat or the Asuras. Pistis appeared over it, and was disturbed at what had come into being.
In the second æon, Sophia creates the Living-Eve, Zoë, the Mother and Instructors of Life, by letting a droplet of her own light flow onto the water, onto the etheric, creating the first seed of Buddhi. It became an androgynous human, which Sophia molded as a female body who bore another androgynous being. Eva proclaims her identity with Sophia and assumes the title of Isis.
Sophia sent her emanation Eve, to awaken Adam in whom there was no soul,” so that his offspring would become vessels of the light.
Then Pistis Sophia caused a lion-like spirit to come into being out of the waters, to rule over the world of matter. She called him Yaldabaoth, Aramaic for “child of chaos”, the etheric gave life to matter. He had power, but did not know how he came to be, and was “ignorant of the power of Pistis.” He is in reality her masculine side who we later will know as Vishnu or the Son, the I AM who enter chaos where he creates order out of chaos, this chaos we know also as the Ahrimanic, Yin. Alexander the Great, Faraoh and Son of Zeus, is an emanation of the transformed Yaldabaoth, creating order in chaos. He is also the same as Marduk who we later will know as the Archangel Michael or Mahakal. Marduk created the solar system out of Tiamat.
The Platonic philosophy used the name Demiurge instead of Yaldabaoth. Demiurge meant originally “craftsman” or “artisan”, then became “producer” and lastly “creator”. The Demiurge is the ‘incarnated’ God, he who forms the physical out of chaos.
Chaos was his karma, so when he incarnated he took his karma on him, and although he was good, when he took the garment of karma on him he became weighted down under its weight, and had to work with the karma as any human soul must when incarnating on Earth.
Another place Adam’s creation is described in this way: The seven archons, the elemental beings of the seven planetary hierarchies, molded a man corresponding to man’s seven layers or bodies. But he had no spirit, no I AM, so they left him. Sophia sent her breath into Adam, gave him life, gave him his I AM.
Yaldabaoth and his archons were disturbed, but rejoiced when they found that Adam was not able to rise. They are the untransformed human layers, and the I AM couldn’t permeate these wild powers. Yaldabaoth is her not yet developed masculine side.
Sophia “withdrew up to her light.”, to Buddhi, where she is known as Eve.
The thoughts of Yaldabaoth becomes the Word and moves over the waters as a spirit, and he separates the waters and land, making heaven and earth, the etheric and the physical.
Pistis says, “You are wrong, Samael, there is an immortal light man that exists before you.” He later realizes the truth of her words when he glimpses her image on the water, sees the image of buddhi into the etheric, when he had transformed to buddhi himself.
Sophia creates Sabaoth in the third æon, who we also know as Abel or Seth, the son of Adam and Eve, the Son of Man. But he enters first the Earth in the form of Seth, as the etheric body wasn’t ready to receive the astral body in the start, why Abel has to await his time, await Golgotha.
Sabaoth helped Yaldabaoth up of the darkness, also known through the legend where Shiva stopped Vishnu running wild as the Lion avatar. We also know the story in the form of Enkido incarnating to help King Gilgamesh or the incarnation of Lucifer or Seth, giving man the astral body, the animal body.
Sophia daughter of Pistis instructs Sabaoth about all the things that exist. He becomes the first teacher of man, Lucifer, Shiva or Seth, the first Lightbringer, the bringer of civilization. Later we learn to know him as the Holy Spirit. The true light-bringer is the Son of God, her masculine side.
Eve worked through the Snake, Lucifer. She promised the couple that they would be able to tell good from evil.
Kronos – Æon – Zervan
Sophia exist both in a masculine form and a feminine form, but the feminine form is the main gender. We know her masculine form as the Son or Vishnu, but also as Kronos or Chronos. The masculine form are transforming chaos to order, to Manas, Buddhi and Atma. Sophia or Kronos introduced time.
Isis – Sophia
From Rudolf Steiner, Isis and Madonna:
“… Therefore in the true sense of spiritual science we do not speak only of one Mother but of the Mothers, realizing that what we have today as the physical Mother is the last development of the soul-spiritual figure out of the spiritual realm.
There are in fact images of Isis representing not one Mother but Mothers, three Mothers.
In front we have a figure, Isis with the Horus child at her breast, resembling the oldest representations of the Madonna.
But behind this figure in certain Egyptian representations we have another figure, an Isis, bearing on her head the two familiar cow horns and the wings of the hawk, offering the “Crux Ansata”☥ (Ankh) to the child.
We see that what is physical, human, in the foremost figure is here more spiritualized.
Behind there is yet a third figure, bearing a lion’s head and representing the third stage of the human soul. This is how these three Isis figures appear, one behind the other. It is an actual fact that our human soul bears in it three natures — a will nature, found in the inmost depths of the being, a feeling nature and a wisdom nature. These are the three soul Mothers; we meet them in the three figures of the Egyptian Isis.”
The universe as seen in old Egypt:
The same in modern form:
Goethe and the Mothers
Rudolf Steiner on Faust and the Mothers:
“Now what does this journey to the Mothers signify for Faust? …
Mephistopheles himself cannot enter the realm where the Mothers are enthroned although he gives Faust the key. Mephistopheles is the spirit of materialism, the spirit contained in the forces and powers of man’s material existence. To him the realm of the Mothers is the realm of nothingness.
Faust, the spiritual human being, with his bent towards the spirit is able to answer: “In thy nothingness I hope to find the All.”
Then follows the highly remarkable and significant description of the realm of the Mothers, and we are told how they weave and live in a sphere out of which the forms of the visible world are fashioned; how man, if he would penetrate to the Mothers, must rise above all that lives in space and time.
Formation, transformation, this is the essence of their realm. They are mysterious Goddesses holding sway in a spiritual realm behind the reality of the senses.
Faust must penetrate to them if he is to obtain knowledge of all that transcends the sensory and physical. Only by widening his soul to this realm of the Mothers can Faust worthily unite in Helen the eternal with the temporal.
… Goethe fully understood how in this realm of the Mothers one has to do with a sphere into which man is able to penetrate when he awakens slumbering spiritual forces in his soul.
This is for him the great moment in which are revealed to him the spiritual beings and facts which are always around us, but which with the eyes of the senses we see as little as the blind man sees color and light. It is the moment when the spiritual eyes and ears are opened to a world lying behind the physical world. Entrance into this realm is portrayed by the journey to the Mothers.”
More here on Faust and the Mothers.
The Three Fates
The three aspects of Isis-Sophia is a mystery, hidden in plain sight. Who does the gods bow for, the Three Fates. They lay the plan for everything in existence, for gods and man.
The three are called Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable). The string of fate is a concrete experience for many who can see clairvoyantly, as a string with markings of old and new karma, what we have or had to handle. When zooming in on the thread it is seen as the Akashic Chronicles.
The Norns was the absolute powers of destiny. They took the one eye of Odin and gave him the language instead, here we have the start of Kali Yuga or End of Dreamtime, we lost the spiritual communication, dream-language and got the spoken language in its stead. This we also know from India, where Vac or Saraswati was the giver of language.
In Norse mythology the Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of gods and men, twining the thread of life. They set up the laws and decided on the lives of the children of men. Their names were Urðr (that which became or happened) related with Wyrd, weird (fate), Verðandi (that which is happening) and Skuld (that which should become, debt, guilt).
From “Myths of the Norsemen“:
As soon as the Golden Age [dreamtime] was ended, and sin began to steal even into the heavenly homes of Asgard, the Norns made their appearance under the great ash Yggdrasil, and took up their abode near the Urdar fountain. …
These three sisters, whose names were Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld, were personifications of the past, present, and future.
Their principal occupations were to weave the web of fate; to sprinkle daily the sacred tree with water from the Urdar fountain, and to put fresh clay around its roots, that it might remain fresh and ever green.
Thence come the maids Who much do know;
Three from the hall
Beneath the tree;
One they named Was,
And Being next,
The third Shall be.
~The Voluspa (Henderson’s tr.)
Some authorities further state that the Norns kept watch over the golden apples which hung on the branches of the tree of life, experience [Buddhi], and knowledge [Etheric body], allowing none but Idun to pick the fruit, which was that with which the gods renewed their youth.
“In Snorri Sturluson’s interpretation of the Völuspá, Urðr (Wyrd), Verðandi and Skuld, the three most important of the Norns, come out from a hall standing at the Well of Urðr or Well of Fate.
They draw water from the well and take sand that lies around it, which they pour over Yggdrasill so that its branches will not rot.
These three Norns are described as powerful maiden giantesses (Jotuns) whose arrival from Jötunheimr ended the golden age of the gods.”
Here’s two things that are especially interesting, the Norns keep Yggdrasill alive, the Tree of Life, they keep our microcosmos alive, they are Sophia.
The other thing are that they ended the Golden Age of the gods, meaning that they ended what the Australian Aboriginals calls Dreamtime, what the Indians calls Kali Yuga and connects to the death of Krishna, and the old testament connects to the Tower of Babel. Now the gods, our archetypes, where tamed.
The Ariadne Thread
The hero Theseus handled six Chtlonic demons at six gates to the underworld and the Marathonian Bull, corresponding to the seven chakras, before he was send to Crete to slay the Minotaur. He was send to Crete together with six men and seven women as sacrifices to the Minotaur, but his goal was to slay the Minotaur.
Ariadne was the Mistress of the Labyrinth, and she falls in love with him, she spins a thread he should use in the labyrint to find his way out again, and she gave him a sword to kill the Minotaur.
The Labyrinth is the physical world. The Ariadne thread is the Thread of Life, the Akashic Record, the wisdom of his life, dharma, he builds while descending into the physical world.
Theseus uses the Thread of Life to ascend from the depth again. The Minotaur is Karma, Chaos, called Sin or Ahriman by some traditions, and the Sword is the ‘I’ used to fight Karma.
Theseus was god working on Earth and Ariadne god working from the spiritual world.
See also The Strings of Fate.
Sophia in Hindu Mythology
Vāc – The Word
She is called the “mother of the Vedas”, and she gave mankind speech, which connects her to the Norns, who gave Odin and humankind language, replacing the dream-language.
She is identified with goddess Saraswati in later Vedic literature and post-Vedic texts of Hindu traditions.
The Tantric vision of Vāk displaying her omniform manifestation (viratsvarupa)
19th century. Rajasthan. The same form as Arjuna’s cosmic vision of Krishna.
Saraswati – Goddess of wisdom
Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom and matches Sophia nicely.
The creation myth of India are many and complicated, but they are all inspired describing what happened with different words.
Some say that Saraswati, as part of Vishnu, created Brahma, but Saraswati became unconscious after the creation, first when Brahma had created the physical did Saraswati become conscious again, and Brahma gave Birth to her into his new creation, bound Buddhi together with Atma and the etheric to the physical.
Until then, Brahma’s creation was full of chaos, but with the help of Saraswati the creation got form, the etheric formed the physical.
Brahma is Atma and the physical, Saraswati is Buddhi and the etheric world, but also the spiritual side of Vishnu.
When the creation continues, she also emanates down into Lakshmi and Parvati, the feminine side of the Trimurti, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Though Krishna recited the Gita, the credit goes to Saraswati as she resided in Vishnu’s tongue, was the wisdom of Vishnu, was Buddhi. Together they created the Gita. Thus Saraswati, who is called the mother of the Vedas, also becomes the mother of the Gita.
Brahma, the Supreme Being of Light
The first living being within the world of matter is Brahma, the highest Light being within the universe, in the topmost seventh heaven, Atma.
Brahma, is the first created being in countless universes with countless Brahmas but in each universe there is only one Brahma.
The universes themselves emanate from the absolute Individual, in Sanskrit called Vishnu, ‘the omnipresent One’, God as Creator. The emanation and dissolution of the countless universes is described as the exhaling and inhaling of Vishnu, as bubbles of space and time within the Causal Ocean of Vishnu.
Within this primordial universe Brahma appears as a ray, or ‘son’, of Vishnu. Through Brahma, hierarchical dimensions of existence are materialized, basically seven in number. It is Brahma who creates in ‘seven days’, starting with the channelling of light into the dark universe: ‘Let light come to be.’
I can’t separate Sophia from Vishnu, they are one. It’s as if Sophia is the inner wisdom where Vishnu is the active wisdom, forming the universe.
Vishnu is Atman, and Atman is the soul, the developing agent of the universe.
Brahma emerges at the moment when time and universe is born, inside a lotus rooted in the navel of Hari, Vishnu. The Lotus could symbolize Sophia, wisdom, order in chaos.
For Brahma and Shiva it seems to be opposite, it’s as if their feminine part is the physical and the astral world.
Vishnu is the All-Pervading One, derived from “vis’ in Sanskrit which means both ‘to spread’ and ‘to be present everywhere’. Even when there was Nothing, there was Vishnu, present as a nameless, formless, dormant energy. In this un-manifested (nirguna) state, even Vishnu was not aware of his own being. He just was.
In this Nothingness, when the first ripple of awareness stirred , spontaneously and of its own will, the formless energy became Vishnu, the Supreme Being, Parabrahman.
When Brahma begins the process of Creation, it is Vishnu who expands into everything and becomes part of everything. Now he is Brahman, the Cosmic Consciousness.
As if he is seeing a dream, Vishnu watches Brahma create the Universe. By the act of watching his dream, Vishnu sustains the Universe. When Vishnu wakes from his dream one cycle of Creation ends.
Vishnu who dreams up the Universe must also now protect it. To maintain the order of Creation, Vishnu becomes The Protector. He takes the form of Ishwara or God.
At times, when world descends into total chaos, Lord Vishnu comes to its rescue in the form of an Avatar, or incarnation.
The wisdom of Sophia or Saraswati was what formed the universe.
Shakti is another description of Sophia, she is both wisdom and the chaos order is created from. She is the karma that teaches the gods.
In Shrimad Devi Bhagwat Puranas 1st book and 4th chapter. Devi addressed the Trimurti as follows:
“I am Adi Parashakti. I am the owner of this universe. I am the Absolute Reality. I am dynamic in feminine form and static in masculine form. You have appeared to govern the universe through my energy. You are the masculine form of Absolute Reality, while I am the feminine form of that Reality. I am beyond form, beyond everything, and all the powers of God are contained within me. You must know that I am the Eternal limitless energy.
She then said: Brahma! You will be generator of the universe; the Goddess Sharada (Saraswati) is your consort, she will be recognized as the goddess of wisdom and the primeval sound. Lord Brahma, this goddess will be with you when you create the universe.
She continued: Lord Narayana (Krishna)! You are formless, yet you take form. I assign you to be the preserver of the universe. You will take a different incarnations in order to save this universe’s inhabitants. Oh Narayana! You have created Lord Brahma, and Brahma will further create thirty three kind of gods and goddesses. My third shakthi, goddess Mahakali, has been born from your mystic sleep. Your consort will be goddess Lakshmi. Lord Vishnu, this goddess will be with you when you rule/maintain the universe. When life evolves, you will take the form of Vishnu, the one who will perform the task of observing and preserving this universe.
At Last she instructed: “Oh Lord Rudra, the Great God, you are the personification of time, which is above all. You will perform the task of destroying and regenerating this universe. When you are formless, time stands still. It is due to my power that you become dynamic and are capable of bringing about the destruction and regeneration of this universe. Your consort is goddess Mahakali, Mahakali is myself , my full form , where Laxmi and Saraswati is just my clone, partial form but due to meditation, you will surpass all my forms. It is then that I will incarnate from your left half in my manifested form. This form will be my truest manifested form. Lord Shiva, I will perform the task of destroying evil and will incarnate as your consort”.
It is interesting that she will be the consort of Shiva (Lucifer) in the form of Mahakali, the feminine form of Mahakal, who we know as Michael. Mahakali was part of Vishnu, but when she left his body, he became conscious.
The Aitareya Upanishad mentions that only the “Atman” (the Self) existed in the beginning. The Self created the universe we know, the physical, the etheric (breath of life) and the astral (fire). He also created the speech. He then formed the Purusha from the etheric.
The beginning points to Sophia, she was a spirit of time and personality, time started with her. Creating the speech, language, also points to Sophia.
In the beginning Atman, the I AM, pointed at the physical, and was nearly unconscious. This is the same that are said about Sophia, that she was unconscious in the first period where Adam was created.
In the next period or æon, the old Sun, Atman points to and develops the etheric. In the following period, the old Moon, Atman points to and develops the astral. In our current period Atman points at and develops the soul, our soul.
Atman will in this way develop all the seven layers of the human body ending with Atma!
More on the periods, æons: Esoteric History of Man.
Anima Sola – From an Esoteric View
In the following I have some texts describing Anima Sola or Lonely Soul from Catholic lore, and Steiners description of the Homeless Souls and in relation to his description of Goethe’s distinctiveness.
The Anima Sola or Lonely Soul is a Catholic depiction of a suffering person — almost always a woman — in chains amidst the barred prison doors and flames of Purgatory, the place where sinners go while awaiting final judgement.
It is said that those who die while wearing a blessed brown scapular, as directed by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, will not suffer long in Purgatory, but on the Saturday following their death, the Virgin of Mount Carmel will arrive bearing the Infant Jesus in her arms, accompanied by a group of angels, and at her direction, the angels will pull from the flames all those who died while wearing her scapular. Thus the Anima Sola, whose purgatorial chains are broken, is closely identified with the Carmelite devotion to Mary.
The Blessed brown scapular is the Etheric Mantle, the result of Illumination or Initiation, the background for the meeting with Christ in the Etheric. The releasing of Anima Sola of purgatory means that the person don’t die as a person, but continues living in the Etheric body. The first person known to wear the etheric mantle was Saint John, the Evangelist, and it’s reasonably to believe that it also were the case with Mary Magdalene.
The Anima Sola (Lonely Soul or Solitary Soul) has its roots in the Latin folk religions…
The woman appears penitent and reverent, and her chains have been released, so this sends quite an ambiguous message to the believer: she suffers and at the same time is released from suffering – perfectly representing Purgatory itself – a way-station for on the way to redemption to clear or burn away past sins.
Anima Sola is celebrated in folk religions much as a saint – and she hears the prayers of the living. She may bless and intercede on the prayer’s behalf to accelerate the conclusion of a purgatorial penance of a loved one who died in sin.
She might also be called up on to create a living purgatory for someone who has hurt the person praying to her.
The Lonely Souls becomes God’s helper. Even though some woman want to take all virtues in under the female brand, this is quite democratic, it’s distributed in pairs, one man one woman, Dual’s – Twin Spirits.
From The Homeless Souls
In contrast, there are a number of souls, particularly at present, whose interest is concentrated less on
worldly happenings as they approach a new life on earth than on the question of how they can develop maturity in the spiritual world. Their interest lies in the spiritual world right up to the moment before they find their way to earth. As a consequence, when they incarnate they arrive with a consciousness which has its origins in spiritual impulses. With their spiritual ambitions they outgrow their environment, and are thus predestined and prepared to go their own way.
Thus the souls who descend from pre-earthly to earthly existence can be divided into two groups. One group, to which the majority of people today still belong, comprises those souls who can make themselves remarkably at home on earth; who feel thoroughly comfortable in their warm nest, which so fascinated them long before they came down to earth, even if it does occasionally appear unpleasant — but that is only appearance, maya.
Other souls, who may pass patiently through childhood — appearance is not always the decisive thing — are less able to make themselves at home, are homeless souls, and grow beyond the warmth of the nest much more than they grow into it. …
The things which are being sought by these souls on the byways of life, away from the major highways, manifest themselves in many ways. If the others did not find it so agreeable to take the well-trodden paths and did not put such obstacles in the way of homeless souls, the numbers of the latter would be much more obvious to their contemporaries. But it is widely apparent today how many souls have a hint of such homelessness about them.
The tendency to such homelessness could be anticipated: the rapidly growing evidence of a longing in homeless souls for an attitude to life which was not laid out in advance; a longing for the spirit in the chaos of contemporary spiritual life.
The Sign of the Rosicrucian
A chock, an accident, or a sickness can loosen the etheric body from the physical, making it possible for the person to look at the world and himself as spectator, that he is not as immersed into the physical world as is usual. This is the sign of the Rosicrucian. It is symbolized with Jacob’s wrestling with the Angel, one who is too absorbed in the physical don’t fight with his angel, the physical world is too fascinating. Jacob is marked physically after the ‘fight’ with his angel, who symbolizes the spiritual world or his higher I, himself; he is becoming less physical.
From “The Karma of Vocation” – On Goethe
With Goethe, this force of soul became even stronger, and yet he lived to an advanced age. What enabled him to live so long? You will recall that I reminded you yesterday of a fact that intervened significantly in Goethe’s life. After he had spent some years in Leipzig as a student, he became seriously ill and stood face to face with death. He virtually looked death in the face. This illness is, to be sure, a natural phenomenon in the organism. However, we never learn to understand a man who creates out of the elemental forces of the world — indeed, we never learn really to understand any man — unless we take into consideration such events in the course of his karma. What really happened to Goethe when he became ill in Leipzig? We may describe it as a complete loosening of the etheric body in which the life forces of the soul had been active until then. It was loosened to such an extent that, after this illness, he no longer had that closely knit connection between the etheric and the physical bodies that he had formerly possessed.
The etheric body, however, is the supersensible member in us that really makes it possible to form concepts, to think. Abstract concepts such as we have in ordinary life, the only concepts that are approved by most persons who are materialistically disposed, come about through the fact that the etheric body is, as it were, closely united with the physical by a strong magnetic union. It is also through this fact that we possess a strong impulse to project our will into the physical world, that is, provided the astral body is strongly developed. In the case of Robespierre, Mirabeau and Danton, we have an etheric body strongly united with the physical but also a powerfully developed astral body. This works, in turn, upon the etheric body, which establishes these human individualities strongly in the physical world. Goethe was also organized like this, but another force now worked in him and brought about a complication. The result was that the etheric body was loosened and remained so through the illness that had brought him to the point of death. When the etheric body is no longer so intimately united with the physical body, however, it no longer thrusts its forces into the physical but retains them. This explains the transformation Goethe passed through when he returned to Frankfurt. There, during his acquaintance with Fräulein von Klettenberg, the mystic, and with various medical friends who were devoted to studies in alchemy, and through the writings of Swedenborg, he really developed a systematic spiritual world conception. It was still somewhat chaotic, but nevertheless a systematic spiritual world conception, and he was profoundly inclined to occupy himself with supersensible things.
Here we see how a natural event seems to enter with immense significance into the life of a human being. Undoubtedly, it points to a deeper interrelationship than the one the biographers generally wish to reveal. The significance of an illness to a man cannot be explained on the basis of hereditary tendencies but rather points to the connection between a man and the world in such a way that this relationship must be conceived spiritually. You will note also how Goethe’s life was thus complicated; such experiences determine how we take things in and what we are ourselves.
This event of near death appeared in Goethe at the end of the sixties in Leipzig, but its force had been prepared long before that….In anyone possessing a compact connection between the physical and etheric bodies, the external world exerts its influence and, as it makes impressions on the physical body, they pass over immediately into the etheric body; this is one and the same thing. Such a person simply lives in direct contact with the impressions of the external world. In Goethe’s case, the impressions are, of course, made upon the physical body, but the etheric body does not immediately respond because it is loosened. As a result, such a person can be more isolated, in a sense, from his environment, and a more complicated process takes place when an impression is made on his physical body. If you establish a connection between this organic structure of Goethe and the fact that, as we learn from his biography, he lays himself open even to historic events without forcing them, you have then arrived at an understanding of the peculiar functioning of his nature. I told you that he took the autobiography of Gottfried of Berlichingen and, influenced only by the dramatic impulses received from Shakespeare, did not really alter much in it. So he did not call it a drama but The History of the Iron-handed Gottfried of Berlichingen, Dramatized. You see, this soft and almost timid handling of things, as I might call it, without taking hold of them forcefully is due to his quite unusual connection between the etheric and physical bodies.
Through what I have explained, a sort of chasm had been created between his unusual inner nature and the external world. Just as he does not alter by force what is living in the external world but only delicately modifies its form, he also does not carry his feelings and sensations, which he can experience only in his etheric body, through the physical body to such a firm contact with the external world — something that, in others, would have led to quite definite events in life.
There is really a tremendous difference between Goethe’s mood up to 1775 and that after 1775, a difference that may be compared with a mighty wakefulness followed by a subdued life. The word “Dumpfheit,” an inner feeling of numbness, comes into his mind when he describes his life in Weimar, where he engages himself so much in events but responds to them more than at an earlier age, when he had rebelled against them. It is peculiar that after this dampening down for ten years there followed a period when events confronted him in a more gentle way. Just as the life of sleep is by no means a direct effect of the preceding daytime life, so also this sleep life of Goethe was not at all the result of what had gone before.
If, however, as in the special case of Goethe, the astral body is brought into a more vivid relationship with the spinal cord system and the ego with the ganglionic, because the ether body has withdrawn from the head, then far more vivid intercourse occurs with what is going on in our surroundings. But it is concealed from us in normal life because it is only while we are asleep at night that we enter into relationship with our spiritual environment.
He was able to sense this because what lived mysteriously in his fellow men made an impression on him such as is made by one person on another only when an especially intimate relationship, indeed when love, develops between them. In such a case of ordinary life, the connection of the ego with the ganglionic system, and of the astral body with the spinal cord system is highly active, although this is not consciously perceived as such. Something very special is activated. But what is otherwise active only in a love relationship came about in Goethe vis à vis a far larger number of people, so that he experienced a tremendous, more or less subconscious, compassion for the poor fellows — excuse the expression — who did not know what their inner natures were going through as they were driven from class to class and from examination to examination.
They were nothing but actual experiences that he gained from the most extensive environment because his ganglionic and spinal cord life was stimulated to more than normal wakefulness. This was the opposite from the subdued head life, but it was a potentiality in him even in his boyhood. We can see this from his description of what became active in him: not only what ordinarily engages people, say in piano lessons, became active in him but also the entire being. Goethe partook much more in the happenings of real life as a whole person than others, and we must say, therefore, that he was more wide-awake during the day than they. During the time in his youth when he was working on Faust, he was more awake during the day, and because of this he also needed what I described yesterday as the time of sleep — the ten years in Weimar. This dampening was necessary.
The world must be protected, so to speak, from standing still. It seems trivial to say this, but it is nevertheless a profound mystery-truth: not all people can dream in this way. The forces with which they dream must first be applied in the external world to something different so that through it a foundation may be created for a further evolution of the earth. It would come to a standstill were all men to dream as I have indicated.
An astrological session exemplifying some of the above: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze8VwNle15I
These homeless souls don’t have as massively an impact on the physical world as those with strong physical connections, but they may have a much more subtle influence on other people, may be changing other peoples destiny by putting inspirations into words. In this way they don’t create new karma, but resolves old karma.
From “The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz” on The Mark of Christian Rosenkreutz
Christian Rosenkreutz has always made use of the short intervals of time between his incarnations to call into his particular stream of spiritual life those souls whom he knows to be ripe; between his deaths and births he has concerned himself, as it were, with choosing out those who are ready to enter his stream. But human beings themselves, by learning to be attentive, must be able to recognise by what means Christian Rosenkreutz gives them a sign that they may count themselves among his chosen. This sign has been given in the lives of very many human beings of the present time, but they pay no heed to it. Yet among the apparently “chance” happenings in a man’s life there may be such a sign — it is to be regarded as an indication that between death and a new birth Christian Rosenkreutz has found him mature and ready; the sign is, however, given by Christian Rosenkreutz on the physical plane. This event may be called the mark of Christian Rosenkreutz. Let us suppose that a man is lying in bed … in other places I have mentioned different forms of such a happening but all of them have occurred … for some unaccountable reason he suddenly wakes up and as though guided by instinct looks at a wall otherwise quite dark; in the half-light of the room. He sees, written on the wall: “Get up now, this minute!” It all seems very strange, but he gets up and goes out of the house; hardly has he done so than the ceiling over his bed collapses; although nobody else would have been in danger of injury, he himself must inevitably have been killed. The most thorough investigation proves that no single being on the physical plane warned him to get up from the bed! If he had remained lying there, he would certainly be dead. — Such an experience may be thought to be hallucination, or something of the kind; but deeper investigation will reveal that these particular experiences — and they come to hundreds of people — are not accidental. A beckoning call has come from Christian Rosenkreutz. The karma of the one called in this way always indicates that Christian Rosenkreutz bestows the life he may claim. I say explicitly: such experiences occur in the lives of many people at the present time, and it is only a question of being alert. The occurrence does not always take such a graphic form as the example quoted, but numbers of human beings nowadays have had such experiences.
Many people think that they’re working for the good of mankind from morn till eve, but this is questionable. A clairvoyant can see that efforts coming from materialistic thinking have the wrong effect, and it may lie in some people’s karma that they should wait until they can do certain things. Then a higher being can whisper such a task in his ear, so that it’s not induced by outer circumstances. Life is a destructive process for someone who only devotes himself to outer sense impressions. A meditating esoteric doesn’t let his life be determined by outer circumstances as much.
The motif in the birth of Krishna, where his mothers brother wished to take his life, and his wounded feet as a result of his fight with the snake, are known in different myths, within the same time frame, for Zarathustra, Oedipus, Dan, and Isak. I am not making a deep interpretation, which Steiner does better than I, but I just want to emphasize the motif:
Hence the legend relates how the child Krishna, even at his birth, was surrounded by miracles, and that Kansa, the brother of his mother, wished to take the life of the child. In the uncle of the child Krishna we see the continuance of the old, and Krishna has to defend himself against him; for Krishna had to bring in the new, that which kills the third epoch and does away with the old conditions for the external evolution of mankind.
That was the twofold deed of Krishna, He acted as a world-historical hero, in that he crushed the head of the serpent of the old knowledge and compelled man to re-enter the physical body, in which alone the ego could be won as free and independent ego, whereas formerly all that made man an ego streamed in from outside.
I am wounded in the feet, but with my own body I tread under foot the head of the serpent,” that is to say, the serpent with its head ceases to be the instrument of thought. The physical body and especially the physical brain, kills the serpent, and the serpent revenges itself by taking away from one the feeling of belonging to the earth. It bites one in the heel.
There may also be a relation to Orpheus [Orphan] and Eurydice. Orpheus could charm animals by his music, as Zarathustra could charm the animals when people would kill him as child, and also Eurydice was bitten in the heel like Krishna. Both Zarathustra and Orpheus was killed at the Holy place of Apollo/Ahura Mazdao.
Poets like Simonides of Ceos said that, with his music and singing, he could charm birds, fish and wild beasts, coax the trees and rocks into dance.
While fleeing from Aristaeus (son of Apollo), Eurydice ran into a nest of snakes which bit her fatally on her heel.
Oedipus was set out in the wood to die, with his feet mutilated. He was found by shepherds after an attempt to get rid of him. Teiresias was a blind prophet, as in the story about Krishna. Oedipus goes through life with clubbed feet. Steiner relates the story of Oedipus and the Sphinx with Faust and the clubfooted Mephistopheles of Goethe (Steiner).
In Apocalypse of Moses chapter 26 states:
1 But he turned to the serpent [in great wrath] and said: “Since thou hast done this, and become a thankless vessel until thou hast deceived the innocent hearts, accursed art thou among all beasts.
2 Thou shalt be deprived of the victual of which thou didst eat and shalt feed on dust all the days of
3 thy life: on thy breast and thy belly shalt thou walk and be robbed of hands and feet. There shall not be left thee ear nor wing, nor one limb of all that with which thou didst ensnare them in
4 thy malice and causedst them to be cast out of paradise; and I will put enmity between thee and his seed: he shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel until the day of Judgement.”
Jacob says the following words about his son Dan:
“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”
Wikipedia have a good reference article on the symbolism of serpents: