List of articles
by Rev. Michaël Merle
In Chapter 21 of The Revelation to John (The Book of the Apocalypse: Revelation) we read part of the description of the New Jerusalem, a picture of a mighty vision experienced by John in the Spiritual World: “The city has a great and high wall and twelve gates. And on the gates twelve angels, and names were written on them: the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.” (verse 12)
This year we hope to uncover an understanding of the twelve ways in which we can enter the New Jerusalem.
The way of Simeon:
The second son of Jacob, Simeon, represents the way of confrontation. This is often misunderstood as conflict, and certainly Simeon found himself as a fighter or warrior in conflict with others. But the true significance of the path he opens up for us is the way of facing the other and facing the truth, as well as the deep significance of facing ourselves – confronting our problems, anxieties and areas of distress. We can easily deny or disregard those facets of ourselves we find problematic and concerning. We are also very good at making excuses for our behaviour, attitudes and actions. The strength to face the reality of ourselves and the world takes courage. Simeon presents us with the courage to face adversity and the obstacles of life. We cannot hope to overcome issues or build resilience or manage and resolve a situation if we are not first willing to face the problem or challenge. The symbol of Simeon is often that of the entrance to a walled city. We may choose to regard it as the picture of the way through a barrier or obstacle, the opening through which we can enter that place of peace, resolution and solution.
Some thoughts and observations for consideration by Rev. Michaël Merle
Candlemas is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Holy Encounter. It is traditionally celebrated in the Christian tradition on 2 February. This date is significant in that it ties together important numbers that speak to periods of preparation and culmination. The two significant numbers here are 33 and 40. In accordance with Leviticus 12, a woman was to be purified by presenting a lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as a sin offering, 33 days after a boy's circumcision. Counting from the night of December 24th into Christmas Day this falls on 2 February, which is traditionally the 40th day (postpartum period) of and the conclusion of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some traditions to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in some other Christian traditions historically remove them after Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans and Methodists) also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year (hence the name: Candlemas). These blest candles can then serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the World, and are usually used as prayer candles. The significance of 40 relates to a gestation (a human approximately 9 month – in reality: 40 week – gestation). There are many biblical references to this number: the days and nights of the Great Flood, the years wandering in the desert before arriving at the Promised Land, the days of the journey of Elijah to the Mountain of God, the days of fasting in the desert after The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. The number 33 relates directly to the sacrifice of The Lamb of God: the age of Jesus, bearer of the Christ, at The Mystery of Golgotha (The Easter Mystery of Death and Resurrection). With our 4 Sunday-week long season of Epiphany, the latest date for the 4th Sunday of Epiphany would be 2 February. After this time we enter into a period between the seasons of the Father: Advent-Christmas-Epiphany, and the seasons of the Son: Passiontide-Easter-Ascension.
Gospel Study of Luke's Gospel
reported by John-Peter Gernaat
The Gospel Study began the study of the Gospel of Luke in the second half of 2022. In following the eight-fold path that Luke lays out in his gospel, as he explains that he will do in his opening introductory paragraph: set things in a certain order, we arrived at the Confession of Peter which encapsulates the first three paths. Christ asks the disciples: “… and who do you say that I am?” What is it that you understand (Right Understanding) from your thinking (Right Thinking) of who I am (Right Speech)?
We looked closely at the Transfiguration described by Luke. Michaël pointed out a difficulty in translation. This incident should start with “after eight days” and not “after about eight days”. The number eight is very significant. In the Hebrew tradition Creation was accomplished in seven days. The eighth day is thus the beginning of a new cycle of seven, but it is more than that. Holy Week is a recapitulation of Creation that ends with the human being on the cross before the seventh day. The seventh day is the day of rest. In this case the day of descending into the Underworld. The eighth day is Easter, the first day of the week, and the first day of a new beginning. It is the octave – taking creation to a higher level.
The vision of the Transfiguration which the disciples see is a prefiguring of what is to come. It is at once a reality but as yet not realised in a way that can always be seen (witnessed), hence it cannot remain in the everyday vision of the disciples; Peter, James and John. In Luke’s gospel the disciples fall asleep and wake up. They wake up just as Adam awoke after God put him into a sleep: he awoke to a new sense of himself, i.e. that a part of himself has been separated out and now stood before him as Eve. The disciples awake to a new sense of themselves and they realise that what they have seen cannot yet be spoken about (Right Speech). In the telling of the Transfiguration by Matthew, there is an instruction given to the disciples to not speak about this event. Luke wishes it to be clear that through Right Speech the individual discerns for himself what is the right speech and when is it right to be silent.
There are two men speaking with Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Moses led the Israelites in the desert for forty years. Elijah ran away from his mission into the desert for forty days. Jesus spent forty days in the desert after the Baptism. The number forty is the period of gestation (a human gestation is 40 weeks). It serves as a number for the recognition of an initiation. Moses brought the law; Elijah found the Divine in the ‘small slender silence’ at the opening in the cave on the mountain. The disciples see speaking with Jesus that with which the Christ is working: the law and its fulfilment – bringing the outer into the inner relationship.
Reported by John-Peter Gernaat
The theme for Christmas of 2022 is The Zodiac. The aim is to consider how it was understood: the relationship human beings had to the Zodiac at a time when it was not yet understood and at the time when human beings became conscious of the zodiac. At this time human beings named the constellations and placed them in the order that we still recognise today. We will then consider the position the zodiac currently holds in our rhythm of life. Finally, where is the zodiac taking us in the future?
Much of the information derives from many lectures given by Dr Rudolf Steiner on the subject.
This introductory talk is to introduce the topic of the Zodiac and the subject matter will remain broad. The idea is to link the Zodiac to a wholeness and to a whole rhythm.
What do we know of the Zodiac? Our interaction with the zodiac often revolves around the connection that the individual human being has to it at birth. We understand that there is a link between the signs of the zodiac and the months of the year. We have a link between the signs of the zodiac and the months of the year that is not reflected in the night sky when we observe the stars and the signs of the zodiac. There have been shifts of the zodiac in relation to the earth, but we maintain the relationship to the constellations. This is because the constellations have more to offer humanity than simply what we see of the positions of the stars in the night sky. This does not negate the astronomical study of the stars. Our interest though is to an inner connection to the constellations and what they bring. One constellation only brings what it brings which is only a part of a much bigger and wider picture.
What might be the first sign of the zodiac when considering the zodiac? We quickly realise that this is not a simple answer, but that it depends on the relationships we wish to draw. In studying the relationship to the zodiac from the point of Anthroposophy requires a knowledge of the sign with which to begin and the order in which the signs are considered from this starting point. There is good reason for this. The sun, in its yearly orbit, passes through the signs of the zodiac in one direction. The earth’s axis, which is tilted in relationship to its path of orbit, points at a sign of the zodiac. The tilt of the earth’s axis rotates around a mid-point resulting in the axis rotating through the signs of the zodiac in reverse order approximately every 25 771.5 years.
We might consider the influence of the constellations on the evolution of plants or on the evolution of animals. In each case we have known with which constellation to begin and in which direction we move through the zodiac.
We will begin by going through the chronological order of the zodiac. In this case Aries is often considered to be the first sign. Yet different constellations at different times in human history meant different things. The proto-Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia were the first people to name the zodiac in a way in which we still name the zodiac. Their first constellation was Cancer. Everything began for them with Cancer, as they saw Cancer as the gateway through which souls were born. Their understanding was that all souls passed through the constellation of Cancer before the soul arrived on the earth. At the heart of Cancer is a cluster of about 50 stars, which is the brightest cluster in the constellation of Cancer, that these peoples named the Manger. Cancer, we understand from esoteric science, is still strongly connected with moon-forces. It is a reality that as the soul descends towards earth for a new incarnation and descends through the planetary spheres, the last sphere is the moon sphere, connected with Cancer. Cancer is also connected with the time of the birth of John the Baptist and became strongly associated with baptism and was used in baptistries as a symbol. In Western Christianity, through the Middle Ages. Baptistries were built near the western entrance to churches, outside of the main church building. This was so that one could be baptised in order to enter the church. Later, baptistries were built inside the church at the west door as a side chapel on the right. More recently, through the work of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, the baptismal font in Catholic churches was moved to the front of the church near the altar. The Manger was where a new soul was placed before it came to the earth. It was therefore a very significant picture that a new-born child was placed in a manger. This was a recognition that a great soul had brought the Manger down to earth. At the time that this constellation was identified it was pictured as a turtle and not as a crab. The constellation looked like the tiny turtles that would annually emerge from the mud on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, where the eggs had been laid.
Today we consider Aries as the first constellation because it begins at the Spring Equinox. For centuries the year began in Spring, with March as the first month. Aries beginning in March became the first constellation. Only in the late Roman period did the beginning of the year move to mid-winter. We still recognise this historical year in our tax year that begins on 1 March. The Roman conception that only two things were assured, death and taxes, meant that the ordering of the year, in order to know when the new tax season began, was important. It is also that the month that began the year and the taxing of the Empire was named after the god of war, Mars, the beginning of action after winter.
The old Anglo-Saxon names for the months of the year are more closely connected with the experience in nature. Similar names would also have existed in other early European cultures. These cultures had a close connection with nature, whereas the Romans saw the influence of the gods on our actions. March was called Lide in Anglo-Saxon. This meant loud. March was a loud month, the month of storms. With the storms came rain which prepared for spring and planting. The name for March was later also Glory - Hreð-monaþ or Hreðmōnaþ. The word monaþ, pronounced monath with a soft ‘th’, derived from moon, and representing a lunar cycle, is the origin for our word ‘month’. At one time the English calendar moved the beginning of the year to 15 March or the middle of Hreðmōnaþ to bring it closer to the Equinox.
The second month, April, may have been named from the Latin word for opening. This may have been the case as it would be the month of the opening of flowers. The Anglo-Saxon name was Ēosturmōnaþ named after a goddess Ēastre, goddess of Spring. The constellation that begins in April is Taurus. From the beginning Taurus was seen as a constellation of opening. One had to go through the horns of the Bull. We see ancient images, especially on the Island of Crete, of people trying to jump through the horns of a bull. The imagination of ‘leaping over’ presents the individual with a new space spiritually. This would have brought prosperity for the year. The symbol for Taurus is the head and horns. The challenge in this symbol is that the head is closed while the horns are open. It is in the horns that the gap or aperture exists.
May was named after a fertility goddess in Rome named Miai, responsible for flowering plants. In Anglo-Saxon it was named þrimilcemōnaþ, literally meaning the month of three milkings per day. The constellation of Gemini, the twins, begins in May. What is the mystery of the twins? Identical twins come from one source. In the case of human identical twins, one egg is fertilised and splits after fertilisation to give rise to two foetuses. The mystery is that we are all, each one of us, a twin. As Rudolf Steiner explained, we each carry within us a wholeness, even though we present a one-sidedness. If our physical body expresses maleness, the etheric body expresses the feminine. We should consider ourselves as whole, even though we present a one-sidedness of our humanity. We are beings expressing one side of our humanity but also connected to the other side of our humanity too.
June is named after the goddess Juno. In Anglo-Saxon it was known as Ærra Liða, early lith, June is the beginning of Cancer which comes with the Solstice, which in the northern hemisphere is mid-summer. In early Mesopotamia the year began with mid-summer, at the height of the sun’s power. We can hear in this that it required some form of power to begin the year, whether it was the sun’s power for the Mesopotamians or the power of Mars for the Romans. Whether the sign of Cancer represents the turtle or the crab, both carry their home with them. There is a connection to find oneself at home on the earth, in a new home, carrying the home of our spiritual origin with us.
July was known as Quintilis, meaning the fifth month. The Romans has a naming tradition that only the first four children bore names and from the fifth child onwards they were numbered, although many Romans bore this number with pride. Julius Caesar was born in Quintilis and the month was renamed after him (Julius) by Caesar Augustus when he made Julius a god (in order to make himself a god as well). In Anglo-Saxon the month was named Æfterra Liða, after Lith; Lith being an important festival of midsummer. The sun moves into the constellation of Leo in July. Leo was depicted with a mane, but the constellation bore a strong feminine energy from the very beginning.
August, which was called Sextilis, was the month of the birth of Caesar Augustus. In Anglo-Saxon it was named Weodmōnaþ or weed month. The sun moves into the constellation of Virgo in August.
September was the seventh month in Rome. The Anglo-Saxons called it harvest month, Haligmōnaþ. It was the holy month of the harvest. The sun moves into the constellation of Libra in September. The Equinox in September brings us to balance which we see represented in the scales of Libra. The scales are strongly connected with harvesting. When the soul is harvested at death it must be weighed in the scales. If the essential-self weighed up against a feather it was pure. The feather was the symbol of the god of purity. In this symbology we also have the scales of the Archangel Michael. The connection of harvest and of weighing shifts, in the future, from an outer experience to an inner experience. Through time the symbol of the scales remains true even as the experience connected with it shifts.
October, the eighth month after spring, was called winter moon in Anglo-Saxon, Wintermōnaþ, because winter began with the full moon in this month. The constellation of Scorpio begins in October. This constellation was originally the constellation of the Eagle, but this constellation was later moved out of the band of the Zodiac as the Aquilla constellation. The eagle and scorpion share a sharpness of focus.
In November we move into the constellation of Sagittarius. Sagittarius is often associated with death. Thus, November was the month of the dead in pre-Christian times. It was also the month of sacrifice. The sacrifices were probably made in order to ask for protection through the winter months, to survive till spring. In Anglo-Saxon it was known as Blōtmōnaþ, blood month, for the sacrifices.
December was the tenth month after spring. In Anglo-Saxon it was known as Ærra Gēola, early yule or before yule. Yule being the festival associated with the midwinter solstice. Capricorn begins in December. This constellation was very significant for the early Mesopotamians who associated the constellation with a very powerful god, the god Enki, the god of creation. Enki was responsible for the creation of the human ability to hear. He was responsible for the creation of the inner ear. He was envisaged as a goat-fish and tail of the fish curls as does the cochlea of the ear.
The early Romans did not name the last two months of the year. It was very late in the Roman Empire that January was named after Janus who can look in both directions. It was the time of reflection after midwinter and the time of looking forward, over the two worst months of the year, to spring. In Anglo-Saxon it was known as after yule, Æfterra Gēola. In January the sun moves into the constellation of Aquarius. Aquarius is a very significant constellation because it is the sign of the Water Bearer, the one who bears the waters of life. The constellation is pictured with the waters of life flowing through the water bearer. It is in the human being that the waters of life can flow. Therefore, this sign is very strongly associated with life and lifeblood. Aquarius was also known as a great lord and had a strong association with gods that appear later in various mythologies. There is a strong association with Adonis, the Phoenician god also referred to as a great lord. In the Hebrew tradition the word Adonai refers to The Great Lord.
February is named after the god of death and purification Februa. In Anglo-Saxon it was known as Solmōnaþ, meaning soil month or muddy month. It was the month of rain and mud which prepared for spring. This brings us to the constellation of Pisces. The sign of Pisces is strongly connected with the eucharist as presented in the feeding of the five thousand and in John 21 with the catch of the fish and two fish on the fire on the shore when the disciples arrive ashore. The feeding of the five thousand is a prefiguring of the eucharist. In John 21 the question asked is whether the disciples have anything to eat with bread. There is a strong association in Pisces with something that flows out from Communion. Therefore, also a strong association of Pisces with the age of Christian development.
We can see the influence of certain aspects of the zodiac when we look at great events of history. One sign of the zodiac brings certain elements to be powerfully on the earth. When the same sign returns in the precession of the earth’s axis (i.e. 25 771.5 years later) it brings new aspects. The aspects that each constellation brings are specific to our understanding of that constellation. Through Rudolf Steiner we are aware of the pre-earthly deeds of Christ, those deeds of Christ before he embodied in Jesus of Nazareth. There are also three sacrifices of Christ before his earthly incarnation for the development of humanity. With Christ incarnating on earth the deed of Christ is the sacrifice of Christ that we refer to as the Mystery of Golgotha. The deed and the sacrifice become one. The Gospel of John helps us to understand the pre-earthly deeds of Christ. Christ says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. The way is the ability to walk. One cannot walk without being upright. The first great pre-earthly deed of Christ was to ensure that human beings in their physical constitution could stand upright. This was the form that would indicate a human being, an uprightness, a new alignment of the spine with the skull. In our uprightness we are bilateral, we have two sides. The force behind this pre-earthly deed of Christ is the constellation of Gemini. It is part of the twinned understanding of ourselves: the Way. This great deed of Christ occurred in the spiritual period of Lemuria. In Lemuria we developed a spiritual spine and an uprightness that would later become physical in our bodily form. Steiner describes the human being in Lemurian times as fire beings.
The next great deed of Christ was performed in Atlantean times. The constellation that spoke to the height of Atlantean times (there were seven constellations that covered the time of Lemuria and seven constellations that cover the time of Atlantis, and we will experience seven constellations in the post-Atlantean epochs) was Aquarius. Out of this time of water comes the Water of Life. The Truth that is that the inner world of the human being is a reflection of the outer world. The deed of Christ was the ability to form speech, to speak our truth. We notice that infants begin to speak once they begin to walk. We recapitulate the stages of our spiritual development.
The third deed of Christ was also performed in Atlantean times under the constellation of Libra. “I am the Life”. Life is the ability to speak objectively. A young child speaks completely subjectively. It speaks words that reflect its inner experience. To most people, except the parents, these words are often unintelligible. Speaking objectively means that the words one speaks are understood by everyone because they carry the same objective meaning for everyone. Objective speaking enables us to communicate ideas with one another. It has to do with building community.
As we study these constellations we will touch on what their role was in our past development and what their role is today and what their role will be in our future development should we be able to intuit something from our understanding. We are, in Christ, not only living with the great gift of peace which he has given us, but we are also in our thinking and willing taking steps to associate with the world as it evolves and as humanity evolves with the world. This concept that we, human beings, connect with the evolving of the world is spoken in the Act of Consecration of Man. We do this through our thinking and willing.
In the next eight talks three signs of the zodiac were considered at a time. The reports on the talks presented on one of the triad of signs will appear in the April, June and August newsletters. The first talk on each triad of signs covered the history of the signs, how they were understood and what their symbols represent. We considered the influence of these signs in allowing spiritual forces to pour down through them onto the earth allowing for something to manifest. The second talk covered how the signs may have significance in our future and what from the present may still undergo further transformation in spiritual manifestation.
Report by John-Peter Gernaat
This is an old understanding that if one wishes to understand what someone or a group or community of people believe, one can discover it in the way in which they pray. One can understand much of the relationship that they have with the Divine in the way in which they relate to the Divine.
Therefore, it is possible to find out what we, as The Christian Community, hold and understand from the way in which we pray. This includes the Act of Consecration of Man. It is in the Act of Consecration that we hear the Creed. This is a creed that was written specifically for us and for our times. The Creed that one will hear in the Act of Consecration of Man does not sound like the creed that one may hear in other denominations. There is value in referring back to the discussions of February 2022 on the Creed at this link https://bit.ly/creed2022 to discover the meaning of the word creed and that the ‘traditional’ creeds begin each of the twelve statements with “I believe” in the Apostles Creed, changed to “We believe” in the Nicene Creed. This change unites those who stand together in a common belief. The Nicene Creed was finalised in the latter part of the fourth, early fifth centuries. The Nicene Creed received an addition in the 11th century (that further divided the Western and Eastern Churches).
The problem with the traditional creed is that it pronounces statements of belief. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the statements are fact. Usually, in the normal way we speak, ‘belief’ has to do with ‘hope’. This is very different from a statement of faith which have to do with the conviction of the relationship. Rudolf Steiner, in wrestling with the creed, moved away from statements of belief to just statements. The Creed in The Christian Community does not begin with
“I believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.”
It begins with:
“An Almighty Divine Being …”
It is not dependent on my belief in an Almighty Divine Being or in the hope that this belief will confirm something. It is a statement made in the conviction of the existence of an Almighty Divine Being. “An Almighty Divine Being, spiritual-physical …” which explains something of the nature of this being.
“An Almighty Divine Being, spiritual-physical, is the ground of existence of the heavens and of the earth who goes before his creatures like a Father.”
Hearing this tells one what we understand, or we may understand, of the reality of this Almighty Divine Being.
Rudolf Steiner, in writing this creed, worked at finding expressions that speak to the reality of things independent of anyone’s personal belief. Thus, working with this creed is coming to terms with a reality. Coming to terms with a reality not only as a thought, but also working with this reality as a way of expressing actions and interactions in life.
The word Credo is Latin and the creeds that predate ours were written in the language of the Roman Empire. This was expressed in a language that primarily expressed law and contract. Latin is not a language of thought and feeling. Greek, in which the Gospels were written, was the language that expressed philosophy and understanding. Latin thus codified the creed, making it ‘law’ so that anyone who did not prescribe to the belief was not included.
Changing the creed to statements means that the induvial is free to relate to it in their thinking, feeling and the actions of their life. There is freedom in the relationship one builds with the creed, but the relationship does not change the reality of the statements.
The Creed is that part of the Act of Consecration where the priest removes the vestment of priesthood, the stole, that band of colour placed around the neck, crossed over the heart region and tucked into the belt. Thus, the Creed is spoken from the altar not by a human in their priestly capacity, but in their capacity as a human being. The Creed are words inserted into the ritual that come from our human understanding, wrestled out of our best thinking. Therefore, these words are not mediated out of the Spiritual World but rather words that are mediated out of a human being’s attempt to relate to the Spiritual World.
The Creed is written in twelve statements. In our Creed – reading only the first words of each of the twelve statements – is mostly about Christ. This is less easy to discern from the older creeds. Ours is clearly a creed of being Christian.
The first statement describes an Almighty Divine Being. Then: “Christ, through whom …”, “In Jesus, the Christ entered …”, “The birth of Jesus …” who becomes the bearer of the Christ, “The Christ Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate …”, “In death He became …” (He, referring to Christ), “Since that time He is the Lord …”, “He will in time unite for the advancement of the world …”, “Through Him can the Healing Spirit work”. Even when we come to the statement in the creed about the future working of the Holy Spirit, there is Christ. When the creed speaks about us, i.e. communities, the ecclesia (those who gather), it speaks about Christ: “Communities whose members feel the Christ in themselves …” and ends with “… the health-bringing power of the Christ”. The last three statements also flow from a relationship to Christ: “… hope for the overcoming of the sickness of sin; … continuance of Man’s being; … preservation of their life destined for eternity”. Except for the opening statement every other statement is connected with a relationship to Christ. It is thus a creed that is Christian.
In the Nicene Creed the reference to the ‘ecclesia’ is simple: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”. This only very indirectly has bearing on Christ. (Catholic in this context means universal. Apostolic means that it arises from a sending out.) There is no clear statement of the authority from which the sending out goes, nor is it clear what the spirit is that holds it as universal.
Compare this to our Creed: “Communities whose members feel the Christ within themselves may feel united in a church to which all belong who are aware of the health-bringing power of the Christ;”. The elements of oneness, of universality, of being united in, of being sent, are made clear because our Creed relates back all the time to Christ: the ‘Christ within themselves’, and the awareness of ‘the health-bringing power of the Christ’.
The insertion into the Nicene Creed in the 11th century occurred in the addition of the words, the filioque clause, “and the Son” to: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets”. The Eastern Church argued that there was no authority to make this change to the statement of faith that had existed for centuries. The Western Church responded that this had always been the understanding and that it was an omission to have not included it in the first place. This is poorly argued because in the scriptures it says: Jesus says “The Father will send you the Spirit because I will ask Him to do so”, It is through the intervention of Christ that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father, but the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, not the Son also. Thus, to have said: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father through the Son” would be more accurate and may have been more acceptable to the Eastern Church.
In our Creed you will hear: “Through Him can the Healing Spirit work” – through Christ. This is confirmed in the Act of Consecration when we hear: “May it come to pass through You who bear and order the life of the world as You receive it from the Father and make it whole through the Spirit”. In this we have a clear picture of a flow: the Father gifts the Son, the one who is “the Lord of the Heavenly forces upon Earth” and who is “the fulfiller of the Father Ground of the World” and it becomes possible for all things to transpire through the working of the Spirit. We see the centrality of Christ in receiving and in making it possible.
The Creed are words that come from us in our humanity, that express to the Spiritual World how we see it. Our connection to it is free, it is entire (whole) in the connection that each person can form for themselves. The way in which we pray does really inform us of the way in which we believe. Our lives are conducted on some form of belief and therefore the Creed is our prayer that informs how we conduct our lives. We confirm the Creed with “Yes, so it is”. In working with the Creed it may change something in me and thereby for those around me, but nothing I do changes the reality expressed in the Creed.
Therefore part of the struggle for Rudolf Steiner in writing the Creed is that the concepts that are expressed are not held in a human language, they are Spiritual. Thus, although Rudolf Steiner worked in a language that gave him the possibility of giving a clear expression to the concepts, they are a translation of Spiritual concepts. We are translating the German as clearly as possible into English so that they can connect with the Spiritual ideal.
The talk was concluded with a reading of the Creed.
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