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by Rev. Michaël Merle
Simon was referred to as a Zealot. The Zealots were a political movement bent on overthrowing the Romans. They were referred to as Zealots because of their passion for their cause. It was long thought that Simon was called a Zealot because of his passion for his discipleship of Christ.
Jerome, in his translation of the Gospels, does not refer to Simon as a Zealot but rather as a Canaanean, someone from Cana in Galilea. This may have been his birthplace, but it is more likely that it referred to his spiritual path. Cana is associated with the manifestation of the Glory of God in the act of the water being turned into wine. It is therefore likely that Simon was at the Wedding in Cana.
The way in which John writes about the Wedding Feast in Cana, all those who accompanied Jesus had been with Jesus at the Jordan. They had witnessed the baptism in being present or in spirit.
Simon and Thaddaeus Jude are referred to as brothers of the Lord. This may have been as a result of being blood brothers of the Royal Family of Jesus or they were part of a spiritual brotherhood.
Simon received an apostate to Egypt. The changing of the water into wine revealed to Simon the power of the Christ – the power of the Sun-forces in the world that transform the water within the grape into wine and the ripening of the vine is through the power of the sun. Simon goes to Egypt to transform the magic that still resided in Egypt through the miraculous power of the whole of nature that is contained in a human being. Simon took on a Greek name when he went into service, rather than a Latin name.
Simon the Canaanean is connected with Taurus. The stone of Taurus is Jacinth which is a yellow-red gem variety of Zircon. The soul quality connected with Taurus is equilibrium that must be transformed into the spiritual quality of progress.
List of articles
by Rev. Michaël Merle
Thaddeus, also known as Jude, is quite obscure. It seems that he has a relationship with Simon the Zealot. Simon is referred to by St Jerome as Simon the Canaanean. This relationship to Canaan suggests that he was present at the marriage in Cana when Jesus preformed his first sign. Simon and Jude are referred to as brothers of the Lord. Is this brotherhood because both Simon and Jude are of the Royal family of Bethlehem and therefore blood brothers of Jesus, or cousins? Or is the brotherhood a spiritual brotherhood? Is it related to them being present at the baptism and accompanying Jesus to Cana for the Wedding Feast and remaining as part of the company of Jesus to the end? This also places Matthias into the same company. Matthias is connected with the mission that Judas Iscariot fails to complete and Matthias is elected an apostle after Judas kills himself. The criteria for selection to be confirmed by the Holy Spirit was that the twelfth apostle be chosen from among those who had been with Jesus “from the beginning” and was still connected now after the Ascension. These three men understood the event at the Wedding Feast of the forces of the sun that turns the water in the vine to wine. They recognised the forces of the Sun in the man Jesus and thereby the Being of the Son become flesh.
Jude wrote an Epistle that forms part of the cannon of the New Testament – The Letter of Judas (Jude). In this Epistle Jude describes himself as the brother of James (son of Alphaeus). There is therefore also a relationship that could see James, Jude and Simon as a triad. They could have belonged to a spiritual community known as sons of Alphaeus.
Thaddeus is connected with chrysoprase (literally golden leak). Chrysoprase is connected with Gemini. Jude refers to himself as a brother hence the connection to the sign of brothers (twins). The soul quality connected with Gemini is perseverance which must be transformed to the spiritual quality of faithfulness. Jude has been long associated with assisting and aiding what appears to be a hopeless cause. He thus represents the hope in Christ that is never exhausted, even when it may so appear to us.
The Michaelmas Conference of 2 and 3 October Feet, free of the weight of earth; Hand, formed to beckon was connected to the theme that we have begun for the coming year: the appearance of Christ in the Etheric. Rev. Reingard Knausenberger used the Michaelmas Epistle to reveal the task of Michael in this age. Michael asks that we awaken and shift in this time. The image of Michael. as presented in the Epistle. is one of a dynamic movement. Michael leads us to a new and higher understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha. Our growth and development come only through pushing against a resistance (as muscles are developed in a gym). That which we face in the world is there to offer this resistance. We are told by Christ not to seek the Kingdom of God out there, in the world, because it is within us already. The pandemic we are facing is part of the resistance the world presents. It is asking that we learn to lead ourselves, each one of us individually. “What do I think, and do I lead my thinking irrespective of the thinking in the world?”
Rev. Michaël Merle led the participants in a process that culminated in words that were then given to another who fashioned them into a poem.
Joy is to be at one
Relationship is to be at one
Peace is to be at one
Harmony is to be at one
Dynamism is to be at one
Recognition is to be at one
Welcome is to be at one
To be at one is to be
Completely at one with HIM
Release with soul freedom
Bringing joy and lightness of being
Heat warmth from gentleness
Create fulfilment – release!!
From the caring, carrying way into …
a new seeing orientation
Now shiny radiant light
I and He one flowing into each other
Love is blossoming into irradiant shining life force
In this eternal flowing my heart is elevated
My soul ordering is ordered.
Help me O my Angel
To accept the challenge:
to take the path of endurance,
acceptance and surrender
to see the beauty of the troubles world
to use my strength
for inner peace,
for truth enlightening.
The light of inner divining
Leading to movement
Instilled in my heart
Observing my other self
in new beingness,
through truth descending.
the newborn lightness
The ultimate Presence
… my response
needs to sing
TO THINK OF LEARNING
AS A WAY OF CONSECRATION
TO SELF KNOWLEDGE, AND SACRIFICE
TO PEACE AND THE PATH OF A BODHISATTVA
TO ULTIMATELY FULFIL THE MISSION OF THE DALAI LAMA
BUT MORE, ULTIMATELY WALKING WITH CHRIST
In the world of
Beaty, Truth and Goodness,
The light of knowledge,
Pours out in the
Pure Relationship of Life towards
the Christ in humanity.
Heartfelt love, revealing
The profound balance of body
mind … in
The Etheric Life Force.
I will touch the truth and journey through the fear and light. Listening to the exchange of fire and water I will find the happiness of the earth in freedom.
I stand within myself
Heart knowing all
Complete and whole
Around me, enveloping all
Love-light all pervasive
My being in a stream
of all life, present experience
Knowing I-in-You, You-in-Me
Now and into all future cycles.
presented in lieu of a sermon on Sunday 10 October by Rev. Reingard Knausenberger
There is a war going on in heaven. What we see happening on earth is a reflection and result of a reality occurring in the world of spirit. The imagination given in the Book of Revelation chapter 12 is a relevant imagination to ponder in our time. These are the images: a process of giving birth, adverse forces ready to snatch up what emerges, the protection given to the ‘higher child being’ which is born, the war in heaven around this birth and the fact that ‘there is no place in heaven’ for beings which want to use these higher spirit powers for their own purpose.
So now it has become our reality and is blatantly apparent that here on earth, in this lifetime, we are experiencing an open attack on our humanity, on what distinguishes us as human and as moral, spiritual, evolving beings. There are real spirit beings not interested in our evolving; ‘dragon-beings’ not on a human trajectory, having their own agenda for the use of human power. As these inhuman dragon beings are at work within our soul, clarity and care in our thinking, discernment in our feelings and presence in our intentions for what we do is called for.
The dragon has been cast onto the earth, into the inner arena of human life. We can experience the resistances, the confusion, the fear and weaknesses: all these are signatures of such beings at work.
Yet, we have choice. We have freedom to choose. To do our own thinking. To choose what we think and infuse it with trust. We can decide what to do and what not to do, and know why. We can allow and disallow certain feelings to live in us. In small ways, in present-moment actions, we can take charge, creating our free power. This is the power that those spirit beings which are interested in our higher development can harness and magnify to support us.
When we focus all our attention on merely our earthly physical living and worries, we fail to provide the substance that the angelic realm requires from us in order to help us. Through deliberately using forces of choice, we can generate a power that the higher angelic world can use exponentially.
Under the leadership of the archangel Michael and how he deals with the dragon attacks, we can orientate ourselves. We come to recognise adverse conditions and events as opportunities. We can welcome them as opportunities to wake up, make the effort for choices which align us to our highest purest intentions.
As we bring our thinking into connecting with our heart, where gratitude resides, we begin to follow those spirit beings who are servants to the purpose of uplifting, yes, even consecrating humanity.
by John-Peter Gernaat
Old Testament Study in October by Rev. Michaël Merle related to Moses, the Ten Commandments and the transformation within Moses as a result of standing before YHWH (Yahweh of the Elohim). The translation that Rudolf Steiner gave of the Ten Commandments in a lecture allows us to hear the Commandments, not in the form of “thou shalt …” and “thou shalt not …” but rather as an invitation to humanity to hold before it an external law that they could take into themselves in order to develop new attitudes of self-mastery in their relationship to God and others, thereby allowing humanity to take another step. Therefore Christ could say, when asked, that the greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God” and, linked to this great commandment, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. In other words, work on your relationship to the Divine and to others in terms of your relationship to yourself. The individual should come to a healthy sense of appreciation and love for the new capacities that they were developing and these gave the individual the power and the strength and the possibility to love the other and to offer some appropriate reverend love and worship and devotion to the Divine. The law had, to some extent, achieved this goal in the people of Israel and fully in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and other initiate seekers of the time. Through the Mystery of Whitsun the next step in our relationship to the Divine became possible where Christ sent the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ now resides in the human being. Now we have a power within us to love in a Divine way. We have gone from loving God and neighbour as we have come to love ourselves to loving God and loving neighbour as God loves us by the power of Christ in us. “Love one another as I have loved you” (Christ’s new commandment).
Moses went up the mountain and received the Commandments in a crystalline form, as stone tablets. The prophets implored that these stones should become a living heart within the people. The external law was to become an inner morality. Following the law in a rigid and crystalline way had to be transformed to becoming a living experience. YHWH has an interest in the coming of Christ and as the agent of the Divine saw in Abraham the seeds of what he, YHWH, could develop. The Commandments and Law form a part of this development. There was also an archangelic being who worked in service of the Trinity working with YHWH. This was Michael.
Moses as a full initiate (under Zarathustra in a previous incarnation and confirmed shortly after birth and again reaffirmed in the forty years he served his father-in-law) alone could meet YHWH, the Elohim. YHWH inscribes the Commandments onto the substance of the earth – stone; much as Jesus inscribed into the earth as he waited for the men who brought the woman taken in adultery to reflect on their own inner state of being. And the Christ is buried in the earth to inscribe the full Divinity into the earth.
Moses remained on the mountain for forty days and nights. This again was a further initiation for Moses.
While Moses was away, with no indication of his return, the people of Israel required something to retain an internal mobility. Aaron responded by asking for the gold from earrings, items that mark that part of the face through which we take in the world as it was created by the Logos, the Word. Gold is sun metal; gold purifies the hearing, bringing to consciousness what is heard. The Sumerian god who was revered as the most powerful god, Enki, was the god who created the ear. He was the god of magic. The magi of Zarathustra spoke the ritual spells that revealed what they knew. Moses had let go of this capacity that he had had once, as a magus, but Aaron still possessed the power of the ritual word. Aaron casts a molten calf; gold that did not solidify but remained molten. He proclaimed to the people of Israel that the molten gold was to them their gods. The calf is a symbol of the Sumerian Epoch, the age of Taurus. This age was past and the world had moved into the age of Aries. The calf replaced Moses for the people if Israel, it did not replace YWHW, who is a being of the Moon having sacrificed his place as a Sun Being.
YHWH instructed Moses to use the connection he had with his I-organisation to speak with the people of Israel who had lost their direction. The people are described as stiff-necked, meaning that they were hard of hearing. YHWH and the Elohim could turn their heads and see what had preceded their task as the creator spirits of Earth: warmth, air and water (refer to Genesis 1: 2). When someone turns their head, their ear becomes visible to our sight. This is a reflection of a quality that is truly human.
When Moses came down the mountain he is described as horned. This is often described as his skin being radiant, but the Hebrews knew the image of the lamassu, the Sumerian depiction of the Four Living Beings, or Cherubim. These beings are horned. Having horns meant being spiritual. Horns are made of hair. Our hair rays from our heads as ‘horns’ forming a halo of light. Moses being horned after visiting with YHWH would also have made him bright and radiant.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of horns as symbols of etheric organs, organs of the formative life force. All etheric organs appear to our supersensible sight as horns. Jesus became radiant at the Transfiguration when the Christ had fully permeated the etheric life-force sheath of the man Jesus. The Transfiguration took place 6 or 8 days later, depending on the Gospel writer. Seven is a full cycle of time. The Transfiguration marks the beginning of a new cycle of time for which the first cycle was the foundation. The sixth day marks the end of a creation process with the seventh as a day of rest. The eighth day becomes the first day of a new process.
Moses achieved a new level of initiation through his encounter with YHWH making him ready for a new cycle. For this reason, Moses had no need to enter the Promised Land with the Israelites. Moses kept his face veiled, he could not be seen. Only when he spoke to the people did he remove his veil and become seen. The Temple in Jerusalem would be veiled until the moment of Christ’s death when the veil was torn from top to bottom and in this event the human being is again able to see into the spiritual world. Not immediately, but after 2000 years we are able to begin to experience the etheric in a new way and see the appearance of Christ in the Etheric.
Presented by Rev. Michaël Merle, reported by John-Peter Gernaat
The context for this and the next two talks on the Mystics is related to the description given by Rudolf Steiner on The Second Coming of Christ in the Etheric World on 6 March 1910 in Stuttgart, and the picture below tries to put into an image the content of part of Steiner’s lecture.
Humanity had a natural clairvoyance which was lost in the Third Post Atlantean Epoch. Abram responded to the call of YHWH (Yahweh of the Elohim) not because of a clairvoyant recognition of this mighty being, but because of his brain-based thinking, that allowed him to decide to follow because he had thought through the decision. His was able to take action of his own accord. Moses senses in the depth of his soul what is required. Solomon was admired for his ability to make deductions through thinking. After the Mystery of Golgotha there are three periods of each a thousand years that mirror the previous periods, although these were longer. In the first one thousand years of Christian thought we were graced with the pictures of a new theology that has not yet been fully penetrated. As an example, we came to a full awareness of the Hierarchies. The following thousand years was a period of a new mysticism, a new understanding of spirituality. Meister Eckhart is the preeminent example to this new mysticism. We are now entering the new era of Abraham where we develop through our inner activity a new spiritual sight that arises from our conscious thinking.
Meister Eckhart was born Eckhart von Hockheim in in the village of Tambach, near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia, perhaps between 1250 and 1260 and he died around 1328. He was a theologian, an ordained priest and belonged to the Dominican Order. He died in Avignon, France, where Pope John XXII had moved his court. Eckhart was there because he was accused of heresy and had been brought up before the local Inquisition, and was now appealing his case to the Pope. He died before receiving the verdict of his appeal and the Catholic Church cleared him of heresy only in the 1992.
A source of work for this talk is a book by Reiner Schürmann translated as Wandering Joy, Meister Eckhart’s Mystical Philosophy. The French title of the original German work translates directly as: Master Eckhart and the wandering joy.
The wandering of Meister Eckhart, his itinerancy, was three-folded and had four stages. The three movements were:
The four stages described by Meister Eckhart are not progressive, i.e. we do not reach them as we reach different stages of our life, but rather that we are busy with these four stages all the time. This is a path of renunciation or isolating. Meister Eckhart coined a word: “Abegescheidenheit” that refers to the process of renunciation where one dies to the self and becomes one with God.
In brief, this path of four stages is:
The three movements relate to the four stages as follows. Between dissimilarity and similarity we reach detachment; between similarity and identity we reach releasement and between identity and dehiscence we reach dehiscence.
Much of what we know about the mysticism of Meister Eckhart comes from his written sermons. Michaël quoted from these sermons to ensure that each concept was brought exactly as Meister Eckhart had articulated it. This summary is presented as the essence of an understanding of each concept.
by Eva Knausenberger
There it is again, the Michaelmas Gospel of the royal wedding. Every year it stands before our inner eye and every year we grapple to understand a little bit more of its meaning for us. “The kingdom of God IS like a man, a king ...” (Matt 22).
Should we take Christ’s words as truth: “… the kingdom of God is within you ...” (Luke 17), then we are looking at two images: the macrocosmic as well as the microcosmic reality of ‘the kingdom of God’; in other words, the sense-perceptible and the spiritual imaginative words. The Michaelic message given in Matt 22 requires a reverential approach rather than an interpretive shortcut.
For me, it takes courage to add my thoughts to the multitude of insights already published and spoken in The Christian Community. But it is a worthwhile venture to (hopefully) add a sliver to the puzzle. Why courage? Because if the kingdom of God is within me, it means that every last one of the personalities described are in me waiting to be met.
The Gospel speaks of the divine command: “the wedding feast has been prepared; come to the wedding”, I am sending out my messenger (Mark 1: 2) to let you know that you are invited. And this is no conventional wedding, indeed it has been prepared, one could say through evolutionary eons of time. On the other hand, the story itself could be read like an every-day description of life: being invited to participate in a celebration of life and fruitfulness, but being too busy, too preoccupied with other matters; maltreating, even killing the messengers and in return having the (mental and physical) ground we work, live and love on destroyed, burnt, flooded, etc. Paying the price for lack of foresightfulness, of listening with the heart, so to speak. And when ‘I’ finally heed the call, ‘I’ realise the fetters binding my will to accept that ‘I’ have been called and lack of the proper attire for a wedding.
On the other hand, before any wedding, the question has been asked and affirmed: “Do you love me more than the others?” (John 21: 15) Are you ready to give yourself to me? Will you make your home with me? Is that the wedding gown?
I am not going to pursue those questions here, firstly because I think that all human beings have been endowed with ‘a wedding gown’ at the door between heavenly excarnation and earthly incarnation, also that having a wedding gown means to be a human being; and thirdly because being married is hardly as easy as saying: ‘yes, I will, I love you’.
Instead, I want to consider who is the stern, uncompromising judge -in us-, the one who knows the difference, the one who has the moral authority to “see”, determine and differentiate/judge?
The divine guiding spirit of our age Michael has the spiritual and moral authority. Pictures and statues show him clad in the armour of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18) He also holds the scales. Michaelic attributes are imprinted in us in/on our human conscience; not so much as moral codes, but as guiding gestures to a ‘higher divining’ of the kingdom of God in us. The outstanding attributes of Michael are the same as those in/of our spiritual-moral conscience: first and foremost among these is his unwavering uprightness. He is, -as our conscience is designed to be- the steady fearless centre, (I am) fully conscious of the threat, the instinct-driven fury of the 7-headed dragon under his feet and its power to instil fear, horror, strife and war.
And I think that without Michael’s vision, without his uprightness and courage in us, we will engage in a fight against the dragon, while forgetting the invitation: “… come to the wedding I have prepared for my Son”. In Rev 6: 13 is another image of the wedding gown.
Who is the king, who are all the other actors (for lack of a better word) in me? This passage has, it seems to me, no feelings normally associated with Christ, like mildness, inclusion, empathy, understanding and so forth; on the contrary, ‘the king’ invites the guests and expects attendance.
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