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Mystery Plays
Main Index
Cover Sheet
Introduction
 
1. Portal
Summary
Beings
Prelude
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Interlude
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
Scene 11
 
2. Probation
Summary
Beings
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
Scene 11
Scene 12
Scene 13
 
3. Guardian
Summary
Beings
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
 
4. Awakening
Summary
Persons
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
Scene 11
Scene 12
Scene 13
Scene 14
Scene 15

Four Mystery Plays

The Soul's Awakening

Scene 8

Part I

As in Scene 7. An Egyptian woman is seen crouching by the wall. She is a previous incarnation of Johannes Thomasius.

Egyptian woman:
This is the hour in which he dedicates
Himself to serve the ancient holy laws
Of sacred wisdom, — and in doing this
He must forever tear himself from me.
From out those heights of light to which his soul
Progresses there must flash into mine own
The ray of death. When I am torn from him —
Naught doth remain for me in life on earth
But mourning — resignation — sorrow — death.

(Clinging to the wall.)

Yet though in this hour he abandons me
I, none the less, will stay close to the spot
Where he unto the spirit gives himself.
And if mine eyes are not allowed to see
How he loth tear himself away from earth,
Perchance 'twill be now granted in a dream
To linger disembodied by his side.

Part II

Inside the temple. The hall of initiation. The ceremony is performed on a broad flight of steps descending from the back to the front of the stage. The characters stand in groups below one another and on different steps. The drop-curtain goes up, disclosing everything in readiness for the initiation of the Neophyte, who is to be thought of as an earlier in-carnation of Maria; behind the altar and to the left of it stands the Chief Hierophant who is to be thought of as an earlier incarnation of Benedictus; on the other side the Recorder, an earlier incarnation of Hilary True-to-God; a little in front of the altar the Keeper of the Seals, an earlier incarnation of Theodora; in front, on the right side of the altar, the Impersonator of the Earth Element, an earlier in-carnation of Romanus, and with him the Impersonator of the Air Element, an earlier incarnation of Magnus Bellicosus; quite close to the Chief Hierophant, stands the Hierophant, an earlier incarnation of Capesius; on the left side of the altar the Impersonator of the Fire Element, an earlier incarnation of Doctor Strader, with the Impersonator of the Water Element, an earlier incarnation of Torquatus. In front of them Philia, Astrid, Luna and ‘the Other Philia.’ Four other priests stand in front of them. In front of all Lucifer to the left of altar and Ahriman to the right in the guise of sphinxes, with the cherubim emphasized in the case of Lucifer and the bull in the case of Ahriman. Dead silence for a while after the interior of the temple with its grouped mystics has become visible. The Keeper of the Temple, an earlier incarnation of Felix Balde, and the Mystic, an earlier incarnation of Dame Betide, lead the Neophyte in through a doorway on the right of stage. They place him in the inner circle near the altar, and remain standing near him.

The Keeper of the Temple:
From out that web of unreality
Which thou, in error's darkness named'st world,
The mystic hath conducted thee to us.
From being and from naught the world was made
Which to a semblance wove itself for thee.
Semblance is good, when from existence viewed;
Thou didst but dream it in thy sembled life;
And semblance known by semblance disappears.
Learn, semblance of a semblance, what thou art.

The Mystic:
Thus speaks the guardian of this temple's door.
Feel in thyself the sore weight of his words.

The Impersonator of the Earth Element:
Beneath the weight of earth-life seize upon
The semblance of your being without fear.
That thou mayst sink into the cosmic depths
In darksome cosmic depths thy being seek.
Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;
Its weight will give thy being unto thee.

The Recorder:
Thou wilt not understand, as thou dost sink,
Whereto we lead, till thou hast heard his call.
We forge for thee the form of thy real self;
Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself
As semblance in the cosmic nothingness.

The Mystic:
So speaks the guardian of this temple's words.
Feel in thyself the sore weight of his words.

The Impersonator of the Air Element:
Fly from the weight of earth-life which would kill
The being of thyself, as thou dost sink.
Fly from it on the lightness of the air.
In light of cosmic space thy being seek.
Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find
Its flight will give thy being unto thee.

The Recorder:
Thou wilt not understand, as thou dost fly,
Whereto we lead, till thou hast heard his call.
We light for thee the life of thy real self;
Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself
As semblance in the cosmic weightiness.

The Mystic:
So speaks the guardian of this temple's words.
Feel in thyself the uplift of his words.

The Chief Hierophant:
My son, thou wilt on wisdom's noble road
The mystic's counsel carefully obey.
Thou canst not see the answer in thyself;
For error's darkness still doth weigh thee down
And folly strives in thee for distant things.
Gaze therefore — on this flame which is more close

(The bright, quivering sacred flame flares up on the altar in the middle of the stage.)

To thee than is the life of thine own self,
And read thine answer hidden in its fire.

The Mystic:
So speaks the leader of this temple's rites.
Feel in thyself the ritual's holy power.

The Impersonator of the Fire Element:
Let all the errors of thine own ideas
Be burned in fire that this rite lights for thee.
Let, with thine errors, thyself also burn.
As flame of cosmic fire thy being seek;
Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;
Its fire will give thy being unto thee.

The Keeper of the Seals:
Thou wilt not understand why to a flame
We fashion thee till thou hast heard his call.
We cleanse for thee the form of thine own self
Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself
As formless being in the cosmic sea.

The Mystic:
So speaks the guardian of this temple's seals.
Feel in thyself the power of wisdom's light.

The Impersonator of the Water Element:
Resist the flame-powers of the world of fire
That they may not devour thy being's might.
From semblance, being will not rise in thee
Unless the wave-beat of the cosmic sea
Can fill thee with the music of the spheres.
As wave in cosmic sea thy being seek;
Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;
Its waves will give thy being unto thee.

The Keeper of the Seals:
Thou wilt not understand why to a wave
We fashion thee till thou hast heard his call.
We build for thee the form of thine own self;
Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself
A formless being in the cosmic fire.

The Chief Hierophant:
My son, by powerful exercise of will
These mystic counsels too thou must obey.
Thou canst not see the answer in thyself;
By cowardly fear thy power is still congealed;
Thou canst not fashion weakness to a wave
That lets thy note ring out amongst the spheres.
So listen to thy soul-powers when they speak;
And thine own voice within their words perceive.

Philia:
In fire cleanse thou thyself; — and lose thyself
As cosmic wave in music of the spheres.

Astrid:
Build thou thyself in music of the spheres;
In cosmic distances fly light as air.

Luna:
Sink with thy weight of earth to cosmic depths;
Take courage as a self in thy sore weight.

The Other Philia:
From thine own separateness withdraw; unite thyself
With all the forces of the elements.

The Mystic:
Thine own soul speaks thus in these temple halls;
Feel thou therein the guidance of the powers.

The Chief Hierophant (addressing the Hierophant):
My brother hierophant, explore this soul,
Which we are to direct to wisdom's path,
Down to its depths; tell us what thou dost find
Its present state of consciousness to be.

The Hierophant:
All hath been done that our rite doth demand.
The soul no more remembers what it was.
The web of semblance, spun on error's loom,
Opposing elements have swept away;
In elemental strife it doth live on;
Naught save its being hath the soul retained.
Now of this being it shall read the life
In cosmic words, that speaks from out the flame.

The Chief Hierophant:
O human soul, read now what through the flame
The cosmic word declares within thyself.

(A pause of considerable length ensues, during which the stage is darkened till only the flame and indistinct outlines of the characters are visible; at the conclusion of the pause the Chief Hierophant continues.)

And now from out the cosmic vision wake!
Declare what can be read from cosmic words!

(The Neophyte is silent. The Chief Hierophant, much alarmed, continues):
He speaks not. Doth the vision leave thee? Speak!

The Neophyte:
Obedient to thy strict and sacred rite
I sank into the being of this flame
To wait the sound of lofty cosmic words.

(The assembled mystics, the Hierophant excepted, show an ever-increasing alarm during the speech of the Neophyte.)

I felt that I could shake off from myself
The weight of earth and be as light as air.
I felt the loving tide of cosmic fire
Did bear me up on streaming spirit-waves.
I saw the body that I wear on earth
As other being stand outside myself.
Though wrapt in bliss, and conscious of the light
Of spirit round me, yet I could regard
Mine earthly sheath with longing and desire.

(Consternation all around.)

Spirits rayed light thereon from lofty worlds;
Like shining butterflies there hovered near
The beings who attend its active life;
The body by these beings bathed in light
Reflected sparkling colours manifold;
They shone close by, grew fainter further off,
And then were scattered and dispersed in space.
Within the being of my spirit soul
There lurked the wish that weight of earth should sink
Me down into my sheath, that I might feel
And learn the sense of joy within life's warmth.
So, diving gladly down into my sheath,
I heeded thy stern summons to awake.

The Chief Hierophant (himself alarmed, to the alarmed Mystics):
This is no spirit-vision; earth's desires
Escaped the mystic and as offering rose
To radiant spirit-heights; — O sacrilege!

The Recorder (angrily to the Hierophant):
This could not have occurred, hadst thou performed
The office granted thee as hierophant
As ancient holy duty did demand.

The Hierophant:
I did the duty in this solemn hour
Which those from higher realms did lay on me.
I did not think that which it is my place
To think, according to the ritual,
And which, proceeding from me, should appear
In spirit-working in the neophyte.
The young man therefore path declared to us
None other's thoughts but his own being's self.
The truth hath conquered. Ye may punish me
I had to do what ye perceived with fear.
I feel the times approach which will set free
The ego from the group-soul and let loose
Its own true individual powers of thought.
What if the youth escapes your mystic path
At present? — Later lives on earth will show
With clearest signs the kind of mystic way
Which destiny hath foreordained for him.

The Mystics:
O sacrilege; — thou must atone — and pay

(The sphinxes begin to speak one after the other as Ahriman and Lucifer; hitherto they have been as statues motionless; what they say is heard only by the hierophant, the chief hierophant, and the neophyte; — the others are full of excitement over the preceding events.)

Ahriman as Sphinx:
For my realm I must lay my hands upon
What here doth wrongly seek the way to light,
And in the darkness further foster it;
That it may bring forth spirit-qualities
Which later on will let it weave itself
With rightful meaning into human life.
But till it gains these spirit-qualities,
What in this holy service did appear
As earthly burden, this will serve my work.

Lucifer as Sphinx:
For my realm I will bear away what here
As spirit-wish in semblance doth rejoice;
T'will gladly shine as semblance in the light,
And thus in spirit dedicate itself
To beauty from which it is kept apart
At present by the burden of earth's weight.
In beauty, semblance into being turns,
Which later shall illuminate the earth,
Descending as the light which flies from here.

The Chief Hierophant:
The sphinxes speak — who were but images
Since e'er this rite by sages was performed.
Upon dead form the spirit now hath seized.
O Fate, thou dost sound forth as cosmic word!

(The other mystics, with the exception of the Hierophant and the Neophyte, are amazed at the words of the Chief Hierophant.)

The Hierophant (to the Chief Hierophant):
This holy mystic rite which we perform
Rath not importance for ourselves alone.
Fate's stream of cosmic evolution pours
Through word and deed of sacred priestly rites.

Curtain

Notes:

N.B. — Dr. Steiner has also translated the word ‘schein’ by ‘glory’ in an old English sense; we have here adopted the word semblance.




Last Modified: 17-Oct-2017
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