Origin and Destination of Humanity
XII. The Great Initiates
16 March 1905, Berlin
The theosophical world view differs from all remaining world views, which we can meet in the present, because it also satisfies knowledge. We have so often heard in the present: we cannot recognise certain matters; our cognitive faculties have limits and cannot rise up above a certain height. If we let the philosophical investigations of the present approach us, then one often speaks of such limits of knowledge in particular those philosophical schools which go back to Kantianism. The view of the theosophist and the practical mystic differs from all such discussions because it never puts limits to the human cognitive faculties, but considers them in such a way that they can be extended. Is it not a big immodesty, if anybody considers his particular cognitive faculties, his point of cognition as something decisive and says that we cannot go with our cognitive faculties beyond a certain limit?
The theosophist says: I stand on a certain point of view of human cognition today. From this point of view I can recognise this or that, and I cannot recognise this or that. But it is possible to develop the human cognitive faculties to increase them. What one calls initiatory schools is intended basically to increase these human cognitive faculties to a higher level, so that it is indeed correct if one says from a lower level of knowledge that there are limits of cognition, that one cannot recognise this or that. But one can also rise up above such a level of knowledge, one can get to higher levels, and then one can recognise what one could not recognise on subordinate levels. This is the nature of initiation, and this deepening or rise of knowledge is the task of the initiatory schools. It is a matter of raising the human being to the levels of knowledge on which he cannot stand from nature which he has to attain only with long-standing patient exercises.
At all times, there have been such initiatory schools. With all peoples recognising men of higher kind came from such initiatory schools. The nature of such initiatory schools and of the great initiates who have outgrown the lower levels of the human cognitive faculties and got to the highest knowledge, which is accessible to us on earth, expresses itself in the fact that these initiates gave the different religions and world views to the different peoples.
We want to outline the nature of these great initiates today. As one must get to know the methods of every science, of every spiritual procedure with which one penetrates to knowledge, it is also in the initiatory schools. Also there it is the point that we are led to higher stages of cognition using certain methods of which we have just spoken. Now I shortly invoke the concerning stages. Certain levels of knowledge are to be attained only in the intimate initiatory schools, where teachers are who themselves have experienced that school, who have carried out those exercises, who can really consider any single stage, any single step. One has to confide in such teachers of these initiatory schools only.
Indeed, there is nothing of authority in these initiatory schools, nothing of the principle of dogmatism, but only the principle of advising holds sway. Who has gone through certain stages of study and has thereby acquired the experiences of the higher super-sensible life knows the intimate ways leading to this higher cognition. Only such a man/woman is competent to say what one has to do. What is necessary in this field between pupil and teacher is confidence only. Who does not have this confidence is not able to learn anything. Who has this confidence sees very soon that by any esoteric or mystic teacher nothing else is recommended than what this teacher himself has worked through. The point is that only the externally visible part of the whole entity of the human being is completed, as well as the human being faces us today. Everybody who strives for esoteric instructions has to get clear in his mind that the human being is not a completed being today, as he faces us, but that he is developing that he gets to much higher stages in future.
What has already attained the image of God today, what of the human being has come to the highest level is the human sensuous body what we see of him with eyes, what we can generally perceive with our senses. However, this is not the only what the human being has. The human being has even higher members of his nature. At first, he has a member which we call the etheric body. Someone who has developed the soul organs can see this etheric body. Because of this etheric body the human being is not only a creation in which chemical and physical forces work but a living creation that lives and is provided with growth, life and the capacity of reproduction. One can see this etheric body which is a kind of archetype of the human being, if one suggests the usual physical body away with the methods of clairvoyance that are still characterised afterwards. You know that one can achieve by the usual methods of hypnosis and suggestion that if you say to anybody that here is no lamp he really sees no lamp. Thus you are able to thoroughly suggest the room away although you look into the room. That is possible if you develop enough strong willpower in yourselves, that willpower which diverts the attention from the physical body. Then you see the room not empty, but filled with a kind of archetype. This archetype has approximately the same figure as the physical body. However, it is not through and through of the same kind, but is organised thoroughly. It is not only interspersed with fine little veins and currents, but it also has organs. This formation, this etheric body causes the real life of the human being. Its colour can be compared only with the colour of the young peach-blossom. It is no colour which is included in the solar spectrum; it is approximately between violet and red. This is the second body.
The third body is the aura which I have already described occasionally, that cloud-like formation of which I have spoken last time, when I described the origin of the human being, in which the human being is like in an ovoid cloud. Everything expresses itself in it that lives in the human being as desire, passion and feeling. Happy, devoted feelings express themselves in bright colour currents in this aura. Hatred, sensual emotions express themselves in darker hues. Keen, logical thoughts express themselves in well-defined figures. Illogical, confused thoughts find expression in figures with unclear contours. Thus we have an image of the human soul-life in this aura.
As well as I have now described the human being he was placed so to speak, by the hand of nature on earth at that time which lies nearly in the outset of the Atlantean age. I have described last time what one has to understand by the Atlantean age. At the time when the fertilisation with the eternal spirit had already taken place the human being faces us with three members: body, soul and mind. Today these three members of the human being are basically somewhat changed because the human being has worked on himself since that time, since nature has dismissed him, since he has become a self-conscious being.
This work on himself means improving his aura, irradiating light from the self-consciousness to this aura. The human being who stands on a very deep level who has not worked on himself, we say a savage, has an aura as nature has given him. All those, however, who are within our civilised world, have auras in which they themselves have co-operated. For as far as the human being is a self-conscious being, he works on himself, and this work finds expression in him at first that his aura changes. Everything that the human being has learnt from nature what he has taken up, since he can speak and think self-consciously, is a new impact in his aura, caused by himself.
If you transport yourselves back to the Lemurian age when the human being was warm-blooded since long time when his fertilisation by the spirit had taken place in the middle of this Lemurian age, the human being was not yet a being capable of clear thoughts. All that just started developing. The spirit had just taken possession of the corporeality. At that time, the aura was completely a result of the natural forces. There one could notice and one can notice it still today with people of very low level , a smaller aura of bluish colour originating at a certain place within the head. This smaller aura is the external auric expression of the self-consciousness. The more the human being has developed this self-consciousness by his thinking and working, the more this smaller aura spreads out about the other aura, so that both become often completely different in short time. The human being who lives in the external civilisation who is an educated civilised person works on his aura in such a way as civilisation just drives him. We take up our usual knowledge, as our school offers it, our experiences, which life brings us, and they perpetually change our aura. But this change must be continued if the human being wants to join the practical mysticism. There he has to work particularly on himself. There he has to incorporate into his aura not only what civilisation offers him, but there he has to exert an influence in certain, regular way on his aura. This happens by means of the so-called meditation. This meditation or the inner contemplation is the first stage which the student of an initiate has to go through.
What is the sense and purpose of this meditation? Attempt once to hold the thoughts before yourselves, which you hold in the mind from the morning up to the evening, and to ponder how these thoughts are influenced by the space and time in which you live. Attempt once whether you are able to prevent your thoughts and ask yourselves whether you had them if you did not live by chance in Berlin and in the beginning of the 20-th century. At the end of the 18-th and at the beginning of the 19-th century, the human beings have not thought in the same way as the human beings of today. If you imagine how the world has been changed in the course of the last century and which changes time has caused, then you see that what permeates your soul from morning to night depends on space and time. It is different if we dedicate ourselves to thoughts which have an eternal value. Actually, these are only certain abstract, academic thoughts, the highest thoughts of mathematics and geometry to which the human being dedicates himself and have eternal value. Twice two is four: this must hold good at all times and places. The same applies to the geometrical truths which we take up. But if we refrain from the certain foundation of such truths, we can say that the average person thinks very little that is independent of space and time. What is dependent on them connects us with the world and exerts a small influence only on that being which itself is something permanent.
Meditation is nothing else than dedicating oneself to thoughts of eternal value, to educate oneself consciously to that which is beyond space and time. The great religious writings contain such thoughts: the Vedanta, the Bhagavad Gita, the John's Gospel from the thirteenth chapter up to the end, also the Imitation of Christ (1441) by Thomas à Kempis (~1380-1471, canon regular). Who becomes engrossed with patience and perseverance in such a way that he lives in such writings, who becomes engrossed every day anew and maybe works on one single sentence for weeks, and thinks and feels it through, gets an infinite use. As well as one gets to know and love a child with all its peculiarities more and more every day, one lets such a sentence of eternity penetrate the soul every day which arises from the great initiates or inspired human beings. This fulfils us with new life. The sayings in Light on the Path (1885), written down by Mabel Collins (1851-1927) according to higher instructions, are also very important. Already the first four sentences are suitable if they are exercised patiently to intervene in the human aura in such a way that this aura is completely illuminated with a new light. One can see this light lighting up in the human aura. Bluish colour nuances replace the reddish or reddish-brownish ones, light reddish nuances replace the yellow ones et etcetera All the colours of the aura change under the influence of such thoughts of eternity. The student cannot yet perceive this in the beginning, but he starts gradually feeling the deep influence that goes out from this changed aura.
If the human being exercises certain virtues, certain performances of the soul most carefully beside these meditations, then his soul senses develop within this aura. We must have these if we want to behold into the soul-world, just as we must have physical senses to be able to look into the physical world. As the external senses are implanted by nature into the body, the human being has to implant higher soul senses lawfully into his aura. The meditation causes that the human being becomes mature to work on these senses which exist as rudiments.
But we have to turn our attention to particular soul performances if we want to develop these senses. Consider that the human being has a number of such senses as rudiments. We call these senses lotus-flowers, because the astral structure which the human being starts developing in his aura takes on the figure of lotus-flowers comparatively. Of course, this is only comparative, just as one speaks of lungs which resemble to wings. The two-petalled lotus-flower is in the middle of the head about the nasal root between the eyes. Then near the larynx is the 16-petalled lotus-flower, near the heart is the twelve-petalled one, near the pit of the stomach the 10-petalled one. More far below there are the 6-petalled and the 4-petalled lotus-flowers. I would like to speak only of the 16-petalled and the 12-petalled lotus-flowers today.
In Buddha's teaching the so-called eightfold path is given. Now ask yourselves once: why does Buddha give just this eightfold path as especially important for the attainment of the higher stages of the human being? This eightfold path is: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Such a great initiate like Buddha does not speak out of a vaguely felt ideal, he speaks out of the knowledge of the human nature, and he knows which influence the soul performances have on those bodies which must develop only in future. If we consider the 16-petalled lotus-flower of a modern average person, we see, actually, very little. It is about to light up again, so to speak. In times of very distant past this lotus-flower existed already once. It declined in its development. Today it appears again due to the cultural work of the human being. However, in future this 16-petalled lotus-flower comes again to full development. It begins to gleam in its sixteen spokes or petals brightly, any petal appears in another hue, and, finally, it moves from the left to the right, clockwise.
Someone develops in the
initiatory school consciously what every human being experiences and
possesses once in future, so that he can become a guide of humanity.
Eight of the sixteen petals were already developed in the very distant
past. Eight are still to be developed today if the esoteric student
wants to get to the use of these senses.
These are formed,
-If the human being goes consciously and carefully the eightfold path
-If he exercises the eight soul activities given by Buddha
-If he arranges his whole soul-life in such a way that he exercises these eight virtues as intensely as possible,
So that he controls himself, supports his meditation work and not only matures the 16-petalled lotus-flower, but sets them also in motion to be able to really perceive.
Now I still want to speak of the 12-petalled lotus-flower near the heart. Six petals were already developed in the far-off past; six have to be developed in future with all human beings, with initiates and their pupils already today. In all theosophical manuals you can find certain virtues cited which someone who wants to ascend to the stage of a chela or student should acquire in the forecourt. These six virtues, which you find cited in every theosophical manual where of the development of the human being is spoken, are: control of thoughts, control of actions, tolerance, steadfastness, impartiality and balance or what Angelus Silesius calls calmness. These six virtues, which one has to practice consciously and carefully and to add to the meditation, develop the other six petals of the 12-petalled lotus-flower. This is not blindly or accidentally picked up in the theosophical textbooks or written down out of own internal feeling, but is spoken from the deepest knowledge of the great initiates. The initiates know that somebody who really wants to develop to higher super-sensible stages has to develop the 12-petalled lotus-flower. For this purpose he has to develop the six petals, which were not developed in the past, with these six virtues. Thus you see how from a deeper knowledge of the human being the great initiates gave their instructions for life. I could still extend this consideration to other organs of cognition and observation, but I want only to give you an outline of the initiatory process with these remarks which should be sufficient.
If the student has advanced so far that he starts developing these astral senses if he has advanced so far that he is thereby able to see not only the sensuous impressions in his surroundings but also what is mental, what the aura is in the human being, in the animal and in the plant, a quite new level of instruction begins. Nobody can see anything mental in his surroundings, before his lotus-flowers rotate, just as somebody who has no eyes can see no colours and no light. If now the wall is broken through if he has progressed on the preliminary stage of knowledge so far that he has an insight into this astral world, then only the real apprenticeship begins for him. This leads through four stages of knowledge. What happens now at this moment when the human being has become a chela, after he has gone through the preliminary stages? We have seen that everything that we have now described refers to the astral body. This is organised thoroughly by the human body. The human being who has experienced such a development has another aura. If he then examines his astral body with self-consciousness, if he himself has become the clear organisation of his astral body, we say that this student has examined his astral body with manas. Nothing else is manas than an astral body which is controlled from self-consciousness. Manas and astral body are one and the same, but on different developmental stages.
One has to realise this if one wants to practically use for the practical mysticism what is given in the theosophical manuals as seven principles. Everybody who knows the mystic way of development, everybody who knows something of initiation says that they have a theoretical value for the study, but for the practical mystic only if one knows the relationships which exist between the lower and upper principles. No practical mystic knows more than four members: the physical body, in which the chemical and physical laws are working, the etheric body, the astral body and, finally, the self-consciousness which we call kama-manas in the present development, the self-consciously thinking principle. Manas is nothing else than what the self-consciousness works into the body. The etheric body, as it is now, is taken away from any influence of the self-consciousness. We can influence growth and nourishment indirectly, but not in such a way as we let our wishes, our thoughts and ideas come from the self-consciousness. Thus we ourselves cannot influence our relationships of nourishment, digestion and growth. These are without any connection with the human self-consciousness. This etheric body has to come under the influence of the astral body, the so-called aura. The self-consciousness of the astral body must penetrate and treat the etheric body in the same way as the human being his aura, his astral body. If the human being has advanced so far by meditation, by contemplation and by the exercise of the soul activities that the astral body is organised of its own accord, then the work proceeds to the etheric body, then the etheric body receives the inner word, then the human being hears not only what lives in the environment, then the inner sense of the things sounds to him in his etheric body.
Many a time I have said here that the actually spiritual in the things is something sounding. I have drawn your attention to the fact that the practical mystic if he speaks of a sounding in the spiritual world that he speaks of a luminescence in the astral world, the world of desires. Not without reason Goethe says when he leads his Faust to the heaven:
In ancient rivalry with fellow spheres
the sun still sings its glorious song,
and it completes with threat of thunder
the journey it has been assigned.
And not without reason Ariel says, as Faust is led by the spirits to the spiritual world: “In these sounds we spirits hear the new day already born.”
This inner sounding which is, of course, no sounding perceptible to external sensuous ears, this inner word of the things by which they express their own nature is the experience which the human being has if he is able to influence his astral body from his etheric body. Then he has become the chela, the real disciple of a great initiate. Then he can continue this path. One calls such a human being who has ascended this level a homeless human being, because he has found the connection with a new world because the spiritual world sounds to him and because he has no longer his home, so to speak, in this sensuous world. One must not misunderstand this. The chela who has attained this level is a good citizen and father of a family, a good friend as he would be, if he had not become a chela. He needs to be torn out from nothing. What he experiences there is a course of soul development. There he attains a new home in a world which lies behind these sensuous one.
What has happened there? The spiritual world sounds in the human being, and while the spiritual world sounds into the human being, he overcomes an illusion, the illusion generally, in which basically all human beings are prejudiced before this level of development. This is the illusion of the personal self. The human being believes that he is a personality, separated from the rest of the world. Already a mere reflection could teach him that he himself is no independent being in the physical. Take into account if in this room the temperature were 200 degrees higher than now, we would not be able to exist here as we exist now. As soon as the circumstances change outside, the conditions are no longer appropriate to our physical existence. We are only the continuation of the outside world and absolutely inconceivable as a special being. This is even more the case in the psychic and in the spiritual worlds. We see that the human being, understood as a self, is only an illusion that he is a member of the general divine spirituality. Here the human being overcomes the personal self. It appears what Goethe pronounced it in the chorus mysticus (Faust) with the words: “All that is transitory is only a symbol.” What we see, is only an image of an eternal being. We ourselves are only an image of an eternal being. If we give up our special being, we have the external life and we live a separate life with the whelp of the etheric body , then we have overcome the external, separate life, we have become a part of the All-life.
In the human being something now appears that we have called buddhi. Buddhi is virtually now achieved as a developmental stage of the etheric body, of that etheric body which does no longer cause a special existence, but enters the All-life. The human being, who arrives at this, has arrived at the second level of chelahood. Then all scruples and doubts drop from his soul, and then he can no longer be a superstitious person, just as little as he can be a disbelieving person. Then he does no longer need to get truth comparing his ideas with the external environment, then he lives in the sound, in the word of the things, then it sounds and sounds out of the being what it is. Neither superstition nor doubt is there. One calls this the delivery of the key of knowledge to the chela. If he has attained this stage, a word of the spiritual world sounds into this. Then his word does no longer echo what the world is but what comes from another world which works into our external world which cannot be seen with our external senses. Messengers of the divinity are these words.
If this stage is stepped over, a new one comes. It happens that the human being wins influence on what his physical body is immediately doing. He had only influence on the etheric body before, now, however, on the physical body. His actions have to set the physical body in motion. What the human being does is integrated into what we call his karma. But the human being does not work consciously on it; he does not know that he pulls an effect behind himself because of his action. Only now the human being starts performing the actions consciously in the physical world in such a way that he consciously works on his karma. There he wins influence on the karma with the physical action. There it sounds not only from the things of the environment, but there he is so far that he is able to pronounce the names of all things. As the human being lives in our cultural stage, he is able only to pronounce one single name. And this is the name he gives himself: I. This is the only name the human being himself can give. Who becomes deeper engrossed in it, can come to profound knowledge nothing of which the academic psychology dreams.
It is only one thing to which only you yourselves can give the concerning name. No one else can say to you I, only you yourselves. To anyone you must say you and every other must say you to you. It is something in everybody that everybody can call I. Therefore, the Jewish secret doctrine also speaks of the inexpressible name of God. This is something that is immediately an announcement of the God in him. It was forbidden to pronounce this name unworthily and unholy. Hence, the holy shyness, the importance and fundamentality if the Jewish esoteric teacher pronounced this name. “I” is the only word which says something to you what can never come to you from the outside world. As the average person gives his self only the name, the chela of the third degree gives names which he has from intuition to all things of the world. That is he is merged up in the world-self. He speaks out of this world-self. He is allowed to say the deepest name of a thing to this thing, whereas the average present-day human being is only able to say “I” to himself. If the chela has attained this level, one calls him a swan. The chela who can rise to the names of all things is called swan because he is the herald of all things.
What is beyond the third degree cannot be expressed with everyday words. This requires the knowledge of a special script which is taught only in the esoteric schools. The following degree is the degree of the disguised. Beyond it are the degrees which the great initiates have, those initiates who gave our culture the big impulses at all times. They were chelas first. First they attained the key of knowledge. Then they were led to the regions where to them the universal and the names of the things were disclosed. Then they ascended to the stage of the All and could have the deep experiences by which they were enabled to found the great religions of the world.
Not only the great religions, but generally every big impulse, everything that is important in the world originated from the great initiates. Only two examples are cited which kind of influence on the world the great initiates have who experienced the training.
We transport ourselves back to that time where under the guidance of Hermes the students of the initiatory schools were instructed. These instructions were usual, so-called esoteric, scientific lessons.
Only with a few lines I am able to draw what such lessons contained. It was shown there how the world spirit descends to the body world, embodies itself, and how it revives in the matter, how it gets to its highest stage in the human being and celebrates its resurrection. Paracelsus expressed this pleasantly saying: what we meet outside, these single beings are the letters, and the word which is joined together from them is the human being. We have off-loaded all human virtues or weaknesses on the creatures outside. However, the human being is the confluence of all that. How in the human being a confluence of the remaining macrocosm revives as a microcosm, this was taught in details and with immense spiritual wealth as esoteric lessons in the Egyptian initiatory schools.
After these lessons the hermetic lessons followed. One can understand with the senses and with the reason what I have said. One can only understand what in the hermetic lessons was offered if one has achieved the first degree of chelahood. Then one gets to know that special script which is not an accidental and arbitrary one but echoes the great laws of the spiritual world. This script is not like ours an external image which is fixed arbitrarily in single letters and members, but it is born out of the spiritual law of nature because the human being who is expert of this script is in the possession of these laws of nature. Thus all his ideation is following a set pattern in the psychic and astral space. What he imagines he imagines in the sense of these big characters. He is able to do that if he gives up his self. He submits to the eternal laws. Now he is over his hermetic lessons. He is admitted to the first stage of a more profound initiation. He has to experience something in the astral world, in the real soul-world that has a significance extending over the world cycles. After he has attained the capacity that the astral senses fully work, so that they work down to the etheric body, he is introduced in a deep secret of the astral world for three days. He experiences in the astral world what I have described to you as the origin of the earth and the human being last time. He experiences this descent of the spirit, this separation of sun, moon and earth and the origin of the human being, he has this whole sequence of phenomena before himself. At the same time, he has them before himself in such a way that they become a picture. And then he comes out of the temple. After he has gone through this great experience in the initiatory school, he steps among the people and tells what he has experienced in this psychic and astral world. This story runs approximately in such a way:
Once a divine couple, Osiris and Isis, was combined with the earth. This divine couple was the regent of everything that happens on earth. But Osiris was persecuted and dismembered by Typhon, and Isis had to search for his corpse. She did not bring it home, but at different places of the earth Osiris's graves were laid out. There he descended completely and was buried in the earth. There a ray of the spiritual world radiated on Isis, fertilising her to the new Horus by an immaculate conception.
This image was nothing else than a big representation of what we have just got to know as the emergence of the sun and moon, as the separation of the sun and moon and as the origin of the human being. Isis is the symbol of the moon; Horus signifies the earthly humanity, the earth itself. When humanity was not yet provided with warm blood, when it was not yet covered with the physical body, it felt in big images what occurred in the soul-world. It was prepared to receive the big truths in such images from the great initiates in the beginning of the Lemurian, Atlantean and Aryan developments. Hence, these truths were not simply arranged, but were given in the picture of Osiris and Isis. All great religions which we find in antiquity were experienced by the great initiates in the psychic space. These great initiates came out and spoke to the people in the way how it could understand, namely in images of that which they themselves had experienced in the initiatory schools. This was in antiquity that way. Only because one was in such initiatory school one could ascend to the higher astral experience.
With the emergence of Christianity this changed. It represents a significant incision in the development. Since the appearance of Christ, it was possible that one could be initiated as a nature initiate as one also speaks of a nature poet. There are Christian mystics who had received the initiation by mercy. The first who was called to bring out Christianity all over the world under the effect of the saying “happy are they who find faith without beholding me” (John 20:29) was Paul. The appearance on the road to Damascus was an initiation outside of the mysteries. I cannot deal with further details.
To all great movements and cultural foundations the great initiates gave the impulses. A nice myth has survived to us from the Middle Ages which should show this in a time when one did not yet ask for materialistic reasons. The epic originated in Bavaria and, hence, has taken on the dress of Catholicism. We want to realise what happened at that time in the following way. At that time the so-called urban culture, the modern bourgeoisie originated in Europe. The mystic understood the further development of humanity, the advance of every soul to the next stage as the advance of the soul, of the female in the human being. The mystic sees something female in the soul that is fertilised by the lower sensory impressions of nature and by the eternal truths. In every historical process the mystic sees such a fertilisation process. The big impulses for the progress of humanity are given by the great initiates. Somebody can notice this who looks deeper into the evolution of humanity who beholds the spiritual forces behind the physical phenomena. Thus the medieval world view also attributed that rise of the soul to higher stages during the new cultural stage which was caused by the cities. This urban development was achieved because the soul took a leap forward in history. It was an initiate who caused this leap. One attributed all big impulses to the great lodge of the initiates who surrounded the Holy Grail. From there the great initiates came who are not visible to the external human being. And one called that person Lohengrin who provided the urban culture in those days with an impulse in mediaeval times. This is the emissary of the Holy Grail, the great lodge. And the urban soul, the female principle that should be fertilised by the great initiates is suggested by Elsa of Brabant. That who should mediate is the swan. Lohengrin is brought by the swan to this physical world. The initiate must not be asked for his name. He belongs to a higher world. The chela, the swan, provided this influence.
I could only suggest that the big impact was symbolised again for the people in a myth. The great initiates worked that way and put into their teachings what they had to announce. Also those worked this way who founded the elementary culture of humanity: Hermes in Egypt, Krishna in India, Zarathustra in Persia, and Moses in the Jewish people. Then again Orpheus, Pythagoras and, finally, Jesus worked who is the initiate of the initiates who carried Christ in himself.
With it only the great initiates are called. I have tried to characterise their connection with the world in these explanations. What has been described with it is still abstruse to many people. But those who themselves felt something of the higher worlds in their souls looked always up not only to the spiritual worlds but also to the leaders of humanity. Only with this point of view they were able to speak so enthusiastically like Goethe. But you also find something of a holy spark with others, which leads us to this point which spiritual science should give us again. You will find it with a German, with a young sensible German poet and thinker whose life looks like a blissful recollection of a former life of a great initiate. Who reads Novalis (pseudonym of Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772-1801, German poet and philosopher) feels something of the breath which leads to this higher world. It is not so pronounced as usually, but it is something in him that also the magic words have. That is why he wrote the nice word of the relationship of our planet to humanity, which applies to the lower, undeveloped human being as well as to the initiate:
Humanity is the sense of our earth planet, humanity is the nerve that connects this earth planet with the upper worlds, and humanity is the eye with which this earth planet faces the heavenly kingdoms of the universe.
Question: Why did Christ not leave writings behind?
This is just the basic difference between him and the former founders of a religion. Christ says: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” The other founders of a religion were way and truth. They announced what should be done and believed, as Moses did, for example. If we study the ancient religious confessions, we find no difference of the contents, no difference between Christianity as doctrine and the other great religions. Who knows the Egyptian religious system in its deepness finds everything that is included in Christianity also there. That applies to all religions. Christianity is still something absolutely new, not as a doctrine but as a fact. Hence, I have called my book: Christianity as Mystic Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity (CW 8). The appearance of Christ signifies something that is termed “blessed” (selig), filled with the soul (Seele). Now everybody should become blessed who was connected in faith with the founder. Christ descends to the valley and becomes a human being among human beings. He teaches nothing new, but he lives in the immediate existence, in the innermost personality in that which the others taught. What the others taught was the Logos, the divine truth. If you study Buddha, if you penetrate the lofty teachings of Hermes or of the Vedas, you have external sayings of the divine creator's word. The Logos became doctrine there.