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Understanding without effort?

Someone asked how to present this type of biblical interpretation to people who are unwilling to read a serious book on the matter. Presenting these ideas to people unwilling or unable to make the effort to read Bock or Steiner is generally not possible; I find that you can at best plant a seed that might one day lead them in that direction. You can do this easily if you memorize Bock's arguments for his (and Steiner's) interpretation. For example, Genesis must be allegorical because the sun was not created on the first or day second day. If these were literal days, how was the time they measured? After all, we measure time by the earth's rotation around the sun. There are several such "hummm" points that Bock brings up, such as the difference between "God" the Elohim (plural in the Hebrew) mentioned at the beginning of Genesis and "God" Jehova (singular masculine) later. I don't have the book handy, but you can find them. Bringing them up in conversation, as questions can be interesting.

Sources?

I've been asked how I came to the understanding of the Bible that I expressed in previous postings. In all modesty I must confess that I came to this understanding first through Emil Bock. The Bible frankly made no sense to me before then. I had lived with the pictures from childhood, and they were beautiful, but when I tried to understand them with my literal and factual mind, I was only frustrated, and the more so because I trusted my reason over the beautiful pictures. When I read Bock's book on Genesis it was an epiphany. Later I read piece by piece in Steiner the parts that inspired Bock's book, and my understanding was further enhanced. I read the Bible carefully after that, and found myself agreeing with what I had learned.

From my own understanding of Steiner's Christology, the importance of the Jesus child of the Gospel of St. Luke (also referred to as the Nathan Jesus, because Nathan is the ancestor where Luke's genealogy diverges from Matthew) is the special quality of the ether body that he brought. Because the Ego of that Jesus was incarnating for the first time, it had no karma, and therefore no consequences of sin. Being, as it was, without the consequences of sin, it was undamaged and possessed none of the weaknesses that sin causes. Only thus could it even hope to contain the immense power that a God would bring to a human incarnation, and allow a divine ego inhabiting it to work in the world without hindrances and distortions. Were Christ to attempt to inhabit a human being with a less perfect ether body (say, mine, or for that matter any other random person you might imagine), one consequence would be that the intentions of the divine would not be able to be properly expressed, because the instrument, in this consideration specifically the etheric body, would be forever getting in the way. I should note that in such a hypothetical case, the astral and physical bodies would of course also be hindrances. To really understand these things, you have to go into the details from every angle.

For references to the above, see Rudolf Steiner's lecture cycle on The Gospel of St. Luke, especially the 7th lecture (September 21st 1909), and From Jesus to Christ, especially the 8th lecture (October 12th, 1911) As to there being no more souls, I think this concept too is best understood out of a deeper understanding of the being of man as presented by Rudolf Steiner. In An Outline of Occult Science (or Esoteric Science as it is being translated today) Steiner describes the processes that have created the human being as she/he is today. This is an incredibly long process, beginning as it does, at the near edge of eternity, and is already in the 4th major phase of development. If the process, as described there, makes sense to you, it should also become evident that more ego's could not simply pop into existence at divine whim. Now if we are dealing with a finite number of egos, who were all present in the beginning with God, then the question becomes how they all subsequently developed. Steiner describes the process in great detail, summarized in the book and Outline of Esoteric Science, but filled out to a complete picture of extraordinary richness in his lecture cycles, with virtually every lecture between 1904 and 1911 adding at least some new details. To shorten it all to one sentence, once the earth became suitable, the egos started incarnating on it, some sooner, some later, so that by the start of recorded history almost all had been incarnated at least once. At that point, the few that were still coming down for the first time bore extraordinary tasks, and the very last to come down was the Jesus of the Gospel of St. Luke.

Ways of looking at the Bible

The stories in Genesis can be read from a number of different levels. Thus, for example, a day of creation is not one rotation of the earth around the sun - the sun had not even been created at the end of the first day. So day is just an indication for a period of time. Likewise, from one level, the story of the creation of Adam and Eve is an expression of the experiences that everyone went through at that time period, not just two individuals. The requirements of the earth and of cosmic evolution necessitated a division of the human form into two genders. As a consequence, the egos wishing to incarnate had to limit themselves to just one aspect of the human experience for one lifetime, and through reincarnation alternate so as to balance and complement the experiences gained as one gender through those of the other. The spirit has no gender, only the body (physical and etheric) has gender. The spirit moves from body to body (with rest in between) from male to female and back. Eve is contained within the unfallen Adam. In Emil Bock's translation of Genesis: "In the Image of God they created him, male/female they created him." (Another mystery - in the Hebrew version of Genesis, God is plural, so it reads: "During the beginning, the Elohim (plural) created the heaves and the earth..." Jehova, singular, only comes later.) There is much profound knowledge hidden in plain sight in these texts.

The Feminine in the Bible V

Answering another question:

While I don't doubt that there is a force running through human history intent on thwarting the feminine principle, I somehow dislike the idea that specific souls are consistently (through a series of incarnations) on one side of the issue. Firstly there is Steiner's statement that the greatest number of instances that he had ever observed of one (soul is the wrong word, with soul we usually refer to the astral, it is the spirit that is eternal) individual incarnating in the same gender repeatedly was seven, and that was an exceptional case. Steiner was quite specific that everyone, yes everyone, in all cases, incarnated alternating between male and female, with only very exceptional instances of even two back to back incarnations of one gender. If anyone thinks that they are equal to Christian Rosenkreuz and therefore can go multiple incarnations in the same gender, I will certainly abstain from judging them from my limited insight.
The force working against the feminine principle I would consider similar to the forces working against other progressive human strivings: one or more Ahrimanic or Luciferic beings (or perhaps a combination of both). Their task is to mislead the incarnated human on this issue, and by all accounts they have been quite successful. As I see it, the eternal ego of any specific individual, once they have passed beyond death and Kamalocha is beyond the influence of such beings, and thus incapable of carrying these impulses in Devachan. So for the greater part of life between death and rebirth, an individual is beyond masculine and feminine, and beyond taking sides on the issue. Once they incarnate again, they are again subject to all manner of temptations and errors, and may even make the same mistake as they made before and find themselves again alligned against the feminine. However, I would argue that this is not because they carried the impulse with them as an integral part of their being from one life to the next, but because they fell into the same error as they had in their previous life. So I would caution against personalizing impulses and forces in history. Usually the forces are far greater than the individuals who find themselves representing them.

The Feminine in the Bible IV

Answering a question I received from yesterday's post, I see the actual stream as being the responsibility of a spiritual being. The individuals that are involved with that stream, even the most important individuals, are involved for only a limited time. Unnamed freemasons were involved in their effort for only a limited time. They have moved on, and are now working in other ways. Christian Rosenkreuz will evolve, his tasks will change, and he will take on new things as they become necessary for human advancement. This individuality is notable for being on the forefront of development, but even he does not work by exactly the same method each incarnation. If something veers to the left, you must push it to the right to get it back to the center. The masculine principle in spiritual striving was weak, and needed reinforcing. For a while, a force for the masculine was necessary. This was true starting about 3000 BC until by the early 18th Century (according to Steiner) it was no longer necessary (same lecture, October 23rd 1905). Anyone still pushing to the left, as it were, is no longer working progressively in human development, but in a regressive manner. Evil is good at the wrong time.

The spiritual being responsible for Freemasonry has moved on to other tasks, and any strivings in that old manner are now animated by beings who work as hindering forces (Luciferic and Ahrimanic) and not as progressive ones [I should note that that last sentence is strictly my interpretation]. Thus any individuals still working in that manner are under the influence of hindering forces.
I have already stated my case for why I feel that the individuals do not carry the impulse of Freemasonry from one life to another. Indeed, I feel that those still working to this day in the manner described are actually different individuals than the original Freemasons.

The Feminine in the Bible III

Another recent conversation concerned how the feminine principles of spirituality have been repressed in Western culture over the last 2000 years, with reference to some lectures by Steiner in "The Temple Legend". That the Freemasons were aligned on one side of the conflict ? against the feminine - was quite clear in Steiner's presentation. As such, to me they represent "individuals who find themselves representing... forces are far greater than [themselves]". I feel we must see the forces (such as Freemasonry) as separate and above the individuals who work in that stream. That an individual freemason may have incarnated to a specific destiny with specific anti-feminine goals is probable. However, I don't see that same individual reincarnating again as a Freemason and again with the same goals. That individual would likely have some karmic balancing to do, and probably would be working in a pro-feminine manner in their next incarnation. Others would be continuing the work of Freemasonry, and the former Freemason might even find himself opposing them!

The Feminine in the Bible II

Following up on yesterday's posting?
The writers of the OT and especially parts of the NT didn't emphasize the importance of the feminine. However, in as much as they recorded the facts, the feminine is definitely to be found. They might not place Magdalene on center stage and praise her role, but since she is mentioned it becomes possible for us reading the Gospels to reconstruct the scene and put the emphasis where we feel it belongs. Many of the personalities described in the Old Testament and New Testment definitely had an understanding of the feminine stream. However, the writers of those texts generally placed little emphasis on this. I find it a very interesting question to consider how the personalities of the Evangelists colored their retelling of events. Another question much discussed is how Paul's personality formed the outer structures of the Christian church and how that does or does not represent what Christ actually intended.

The Feminine in the Bible

Someone asked me recently why the feminine mysteries were so buried in the Bible. My answer:

The Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, was written primarily by men, and (especially for parts of the New Testament - the Epistles) arguably by men who had little understanding of the importance of the feminine. Hence, what is found there concerning the feminine tends to be "between the lines" as it were. Important allegorical supplementary material is available in the form of the Classic Jewish Folktales. Micha Josef Bin Gorion collected these in central Europe in the mid to late 19th Century much in the same manner as the brothers Grimm. There is much true in these tales, and they expand upon the creation stories, Cain and Abel, etc. Steiner referred to them occasionally. I would look there for an understanding of the feminine in the Old Testament. A translated version of these tales is available from amazon.com.

In the Old Testament the feminine stream is represented by Abel - not Abel as an individual person, but Abel as a pictorial representation of a certain type of human being. All of Genesis is to be read as an allegory, and not as literal fact. Names are indicative of tendencies that many individuals manifested at one point or another (even and especially Adam and Eve). After the Flood the Old Testament moves into the historical. Solomon - an actual individual, and thus simultaneously both archetypal and factual - is also representative of the feminine stream.

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