Report by John-Peter Gernaat
The Old Testament Study continued the study of the soul journey of the Hebrew people for 40 years after leaving the land of Egypt. The Hebrews are a newly constituted nation formed from the constellation of a single family.
The Song to YHWH (Yahweh of the Elohim) expresses the battle of the soul for a new way of being human. It is a time of Kali Yuga when the connection with the Divine is lost. The Egyptians were unable to establish a new connection and felt themselves completely plagued. The Hebrews, through the newly acquired ability of brain-based thinking, could be led by an initiate to a new connection with the Divine. The initiate is Moses, initiated in a previous incarnation into the Zarathustran stream as a disciple of Zarathustra and then initiated shortly after birth in a basket of rushes (a coffin, so to say) on the Nile before being led into the decaying Egyptian Mysteries in the court of Pharaoh.
The new ordering of society in a humanity no longer clairvoyant was through statutes and laws.
The first camp of the Hebrews is at Elim or El-him that is a place related to El or God. It has 12 springs, a full constellation and hence a spring for each tribe, and 70 palms, a completeness of time – time, represented by 7, and then multiplied by 10 being the completeness of whatever it is associated with. Seven is related to the 7 mobile stars or planets. This is echoed in the Trinity Gospel readings between St John’s Tide and Michaelmas in which we read of Jesus sending out first the 12 disciples and then at another time sending out 70 disciples into the villages where he is to go.
Next YHWH establishes the idea of Daily Bread for the Israelites. Note that the Israelites are given ravens to catch and eat every evening, without restriction. It is the Manna that they find like a white dew in the morning that may be collected only in sufficiency for each person for that one day (except on the sixth day). The Manna, that is wafer thin, feeds the soul. The wafer is now imbued with the Christ as his body in our Eucharistic celebrations. The seventh day is given to the Israelites to establish a rhythm of life. Rhythm is required for the development of the human being. YHWH recognises that the Israelites do not have an incorporated I-organisation but that they are nation that will develop the conditions necessary to allow this to be brought about. While the Israelites do not yet have the indwelling capacity for discernment, he established the need that they must follow what he says to the letter.
Thereafter the Israelites suffer thirst. Their life forces are in need of regeneration and Moses, who is most in contact with his I-organisation and can stand upright in himself like a staff, strikes the rock with his “staff” - literal and metaphorical – allowing the spiritual water of life to flow again for the Israelites. The staff begins to turn green and bud into leaf with the Water of Life.
Thereafter Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, arrives where the Israelites are camped. (Clearly, they are not lost in the desert, if others know exactly where they are!) Jethro offers a sacrifice to El (God the Father). This establishes for the Israelites the relationship between El and YHWH. In order for the individual to be able to discern for themselves what is right laws and order must be established to replace the direct word of the Divine that had sounded in their ears when humanity was still clairvoyant. The new brain-based thinking must be given the measures with which to discern. At first only Moses acts as judge for all of the Israelites. It is Jethro who proposes that judgement can be shared out at various levels of responsibility. It is Jethro who recognises that people have the capacity to share in this responsibility. With the incorporation of the I-organisation into the human being it is now our task to each take on this responsibility and stand in judgement of our own discernment, no longer needing external laws and judges. It is the prophets who first recognise that the law must become internalised, and it is Christ who says: “I have come to fulfil the law” with the full incorporation of the I- organisation into the human being. By each Israelite carrying the letter of the law for himself the nation of Israel becomes a nation of ordained priests for all of humanity.
In order that the Israelites know that YHWH is their Elohim and the agent of El they will experience Him in a cloud over the mountain of God. It requires a three-day preparation for their souls to be opened for this experience. In this preparation the instruction is not to incline themselves towards the feminine or creative principle. The experience is heralded by the sounding of the ram’s horns, the new Age of Aries; no longer the Egyptian Age of the Bull. The experience of YHWH as the principle of El is that of sound and light. Moses makes the people leave their camp to meet this experience. Through the experience the Israelites are shaken in their souls like an earthquake.
Then the Israelites receive the Ten Commandments, or the completeness of the law. They are referred to as the decalogue, literally meaning ten words. Rudolf Steiner has offered an accurate translation from the ancient Hebrew that requires some amplification to be fully understood. These Commandments are not legal ordinances, they are not punishable laws, as they have become. They all point to what is required in order for the preparation of the human being to be able to incorporate the I-organisation in the future. When understood correctly, it is also easy to understand that Christ says: ”I have come to fulfil the law”.
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