Talk by Rev. Michaël Merle: Deepening our understanding of the inner working of the Trinity
reported by John-Peter Gernaat
Rudolf Steiner gave this insight in a private instruction that was found in his notebooks and permission was given for it to be published.
There are seven relationships within the Trinity. In each of the great cycles of time one of the relationships comes to the fore in terms of the influence experienced during that cycle of time. The other six relationships continue but express themselves less directly onto the cycle of time.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of the entities in the Trinity as principles, therefore he refers to the Father-principle, the Son-principle and Spirit-principle. He says that these can equally be referred to as the Logos and he sometimes speaks of the First Logos, the Second Logos and the Third Logos.
In these relationships within the Trinity there is an act of revelation occurring. One aspect of the Trinity reveals itself to another aspect of the Trinity. These relationships do not differ from other relationships in that in all relationships the entities concerned reveal themselves to each other.
The fourth relationship is the Turning Point.
Turning to the relationship that dominated our Earth Cycle, Plato recognised four cardinal qualities that make us human (cardinal means hinge, our humanity hinges on these qualities):
In Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, Rudolf Steiner speaks of a trial by fire, by air and by water, but he does not speak of a trial by earth. The trial on Earth is to act with Justice. Justice required discernment; it is not a blind justice for all. Each situation and person is treated according to what and who they are. The same justice is not meted out equally to all, that is not Justice.
The first six relationships depict a triangle in a circle, which is the usual picture used to depict the Trinity. The seventh relationship adds to this usual picture the three-leafed clover image used by Saint Patrick of Ireland.
It is in the relationship of the Father-principle veiled in the Son-Principe revealing Himself to the Spirit-principle that we begin to understand ourselves. Think of our Trinity Epistle: “We grasp the Spirit …” and everything we behold is “drenched with His Spirit Light”. This is the Spirit Light the Father-principle sees through the Son-principle in revealing Himself. The most significant passage in scripture about this revelation is John chapter 17, the high priestly prayer.
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