Holy Week theme talk
Talk by Rev. Michaël Merle: Finding the Inner Balance Point, The outer and inner aspects of the moods of the days in Holy Week – Initiative
reported by John-Peter Gernaat
Holy Week is an extraordinary week because it begins on Palm Sunday and it goes up to, and draws into itself, Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is the first day of a new week and equally the eighth day of Holy Week. The eighth day is a completion that also begins something new. It gives a sense of an octave of what unfolds towards Easter.
Sunday is a day of the sun and the rising of the sun. There is a rising on Palm Sunday and again on Easter Sunday with the Resurrection. Each day of any week begins with a reflection on the previous day, a reflective mood as befits Monday, the day of the moon. Then the business of the day begins and we are into the mood of Mars, Tuesday. The day invariably requires that we become flexible which is the mood of Mercury, Wednesday. But the day does not end before we organise everything, knowing that we have met the unexpected. This is the Jupiter time of the day, Thursday. When we realise that day has been good and we feel good about what has been accomplished we experience the Friday mood of the day. By evening we go into rest and sleep, the Saturday time of the day. In this way the moods of the week are expressed in a single day.
This talk is about taking initiative. In John 1:35 we read that John the Baptist says: “See the Lamb of God” and two of his disciples leave to follow Jesus. What prompted this? On the previous day John speaks of the Lamb of God which prepared his disciples to take an initiative. There was a capacity in the disciples to do something out of themselves. They needed some preparation and the words of John on the previous day would have been sufficient: John 1: 29-34. In these words John speaks about the Lamb of God as: “he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit”.
This baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurred on the first Whitsun is a baptism of which we are the inheritors. We have received this baptism of the Holy Spirit. As a result of this great event, possible only through the Resurrection, something became integrated in us. The earthly “I”, the capacity to organise ourselves, became integrated into the human being. Before this we were not truly able to take true initiative.
Initiative comes from Latin meaning to start. Initiative starts from me, an “I” response. An initiate can initiate something. An initiate is someone who is anointed for a task. In taking initiative we recognise that some aspect of ourselves has been anointed by the Holy Spirit and through this anointing a part of ourselves is integrated within us. Before we could take initiative from our true self human beings did things, but what they did was out of need. What they did was a reaction to their situation, not a response, and therefore it was an instinct – an appropriate human instinct. In time, drive and desire caused human beings to act. Initiative occurs out of freedom. It is an ability that arises in us through motivation. Motivation is entirely self-generated. The word comes from ‘to move’.
Initiative requires an “I” which is more than a physical body, the etheric life force or an astral capacity. This capacity wakes up on Palm Sunday. It is the first step. Not yet the completion. The ability to motivate ourselves out of our own freedom is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Prior to this the activity of human beings was driven externally and therefore not yet free. Humanity was under a condition that may be described as ‘The Fall’.
The disciples of John acted out of themselves because this ability was dawning for the human being.
Jesus turns to these two disciples and asks: “What are you seeking?” They are seeking out of their own sense of something of importance. They answer that they wish to know where they can find him. It is clear they have not yet found themselves, their own home. Jesus responds with an invitation. It will be revealed to them. This generates a new initiative in their freedom to go out and invite others to also come and find it as well. This next step in their initiative is vital. They send themselves out to find others.
Modern initiation, in the time of the Consciousness Soul, is leaning to get on with other people. We are all modern initiates because we are capable of beginning something, of taking initiative.
This talk was followed on each evening of Holy week with a contemplation at the altar that spoke of the mood of each day as described in a word in the second paragraph of the report above.
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