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The Temple Legend

Freemasonry and Related Occult Movements

On-line since: 15th January, 2013

The Temple Legend

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

These lectures form part of the teachings of Steiner's first Esoteric School, in existence from 1904 - 1914. Steiner elucidates here the esoteric content of symbolic pictures found in myths, sagas, and legends, focusing particularly on the Temple Legend and the Golden Legend. For modern consciousness, he says, the right effect depends on our permeating the picture language with a conceptual content as a preliminary step to imaginative thinking. Though compiled from incomplete notes, these deeply esoteric lectures form a unique and indispensable part of Steiner's complete works.

By Rudolf Steiner

Translated by John M. Wood
Bn/GA 93

These lectures form part of the teachings of Steiner's first Esoteric School, in existence from 1904–1914. Steiner elucidates here the esoteric content of symbolic pictures found in myths, sagas, and legends, focusing particularly on the Temple Legend and the Golden Legend. For modern consciousness, he says, the right effect depends on our permeating the picture language with a conceptual content as a preliminary step to imaginative thinking. Though compiled from incomplete notes, these deeply esoteric lectures form a unique and indispensable part of Steiner's complete works.

These twenty lectures, translated from the German by John M. Wood, were given in Berlin from May 1904 to January 1906. In the collected edition of Rudolf Steiner's works, the volume containing the German texts is entitled: Die Tempellegende und die Goldene Legende als symbolischer Ausdruck vergangener und zukuenftiger Entwickelungsgeheimnisse des Menschen. Aus den inhalten der Esoterischen Schule (vol. 93 in the Bibliographic Survey).

This volume is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.

Copyright © 1985
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CONTENTS

 Cover Sheet  
Contents
Notes by the Editor of the German Edition
 
PART I
 
Lecture 1: Whitsuntide — Festival of the Liberation of the Human Spirit May 23, 1904

Whitsuntide and its connection with world evolution, according to a manuscript in the Vatican library and one in the possession of the Count of St. Germain. The two great world philosophies of the fifth Root Race: the Egypto-Indo-South European outlook depending on the intuition of the Devas; the Persian-Germanic world outlook connected with the intuition of the Asuras. The contrast between these two currents. The beginning of human reincarnation during Lemuria and the events connected therewith. The Fall of Man as prerequisite of freedom-seeking mankind. Prometheus as representative of man's striving for freedom. The reference to the Whitsuntide Mystery in St. John's Gospel. Whitsuntide as a symbol of man's striving for freedom.

Lecture 2: The Contrast between Cain and Abel June 10, 1904

The occult core in the Mosaic story of Adam and Eve and their descendants: asexual and sexual propagation. Sexual propagation only since the time of Seth. The transition from Adam to Seth: Cain and Abel. Contrast between Cain (male spirit) and Abel (female spirit): The principle connected with the intellect and the principle of inspiration. The birth of egoism through the intellect. The struggle against the occult enemies of mankind; the race of the Rakshasas. The fulfillment of Nostradamus's prophesy through the founding of the Theosophical Society and the re-establishment of the original mysteries. The doctrine of reincarnation and karma.

Lecture 3: The Mysteries of the Druids and the ‘Drottes’ September 30, 1904

Drottes or Druids, the ancient Germanic initiates. The three stages of initiation. The Edda as a description of what actually took place in the ancient Drottic Mysteries. The Druid priest as architect of the human race; a faint copy of that in the beliefs of the Freemasons.

Lecture 4: The Prometheus Saga October 07, 1904

The exoteric, allegorical and occult interpretation of sagas. The Prometheus saga. Its interpretation as mystery account of the history of post-Atlantis. The Lemurian, Atlantean and post-Atlantean times. The discovery of fire, and Prometheus as representative of post-Atlantean times. The contrast of kama-manasic thinking of Epimetheus and the manasic thinking of Prometheus, the initiated leader, in wisdom and deed, of post-Atlantean mankind.

Lecture 5: The Mystery known to Rosicrucians November 04, 1904

The myth of Cain and Abel and of Hiram and Solomon (the Temple Legend) given by Christian Rosenkreutz to the Rosicrucian Brotherhood in the fifteenth century. The legend as a symbolic representation of the destiny of the third, fourth and fifth Sub Races of the fifth Root Race in connection with the development of Christianity. The Christian principle of the equality of man in the sight of God and its application in a worldly sense during the French Revolution. The Count of St. Germain and the French Revolution. The Christianity of the Crucified One and the future Christianity of the Rose Cross. The secret of the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle.

Lecture 6: Manicheism November 11, 1904

The spiritual current of Manicheism. The life of its founder Mani. The great opponent of Manicheism: Augustine. The legend of Manicheism and the Manichean interpretation of evil. Evil as unseasonable good, and the Manichean principle of one's own spiritual enlightenment (Faustus) in contradistinction to the principle of external authority (Augustine and Luther). The interaction of good and evil in connection with the principle of life and form. Life and form in the evolution of Christianity. The conquest of evil through gentleness as the task of the Manichean spiritual stream. Augustine's opposition to Faustus and the battle of Jesuitism against Freemasonry.

Lecture 7: The Essence and Task of Freemasonry from the Point of View of Spiritual Science (First Lecture) December 02, 1904

The Temple Legend as the basis of Freemasonry. Ceremonies of initiation in Craft Masonry (‘Blue’ Masonry). The Master degree and the Temple Legend. The symbolic proceedings as an image of occult events on the astral plane. Freemasons were in fact practising masons in olden times. Architecture in relationship to a knowledge of the universe. Freemasonry has outgrown its real task; its justified existence during the fourth Sub Race.

Lecture 8: The Essence and Task of Freemasonry from the Point of View of Spiritual Science (Second Lecture) December 09, 1904

Freemasonry, an outer sheath lacking its proper contents. Goethe and Freemasonry. The Holy Royal Arch. Operative Masonry and architecture. The Higher Degrees. The Manifesto of the Grand Orient of Memphis and Misraim Masonry in Germany. The meaning of the Temple Legend, of Operative Masonry; intuitive knowledge which had to disappear. Our epoch (fifth Sub Race) as the true epoch of human understanding. The transmutation of the mineral world by human spirituality as the meaning of the Molten Sea. The speech of the English Prime Minister, Lord Balfour, about the meaning of electricity: a reference to a turning point in human thinking. The very ancient origin of Freemasonry establishments.

Lecture 9: The Essence and Task of Freemasonry from the Point of View of Spiritual Science (Third Lecture) December 16, 1904

Freemasonry of the Higher Degrees. The Combined Rite of Memphis and Misraim. Cagliostro and the Higher Degrees. The Philosopher's Stone (immortality) and the Mystic Pentagram in the teaching of Cagliostro. The French Revolution and the Count of St. Germain. The difference between the step-by-step initiation in the Higher Degrees and the democratic administration of knowledge in Craft Masonry. The four teaching methods of the Memphis and Misraim rites. The reality of the occult establishments: the significance of outer forms. The new knowledge about the atom, and future knowledge of the connection between the atom, electricity, and human thought.

Lecture 10: Evolution and Involution as they are Interpreted by Occult Societies December 23, 1904

The significance of occult knowledge in promoting conscious prolongation of life, immortality. The universal law of the development of consciousness. The task of our epoch to permeate the mineral world with human spirit. Spiritualised natural kingdoms as future soul-content of man, resting on the law of evolution and involution. Future penetration of man's spirit into the atom. Relationship of the atom, thought and electricity. The destruction of the fifth Root Race through the War of All against All. The significance of forms in connection with future stages of development. Their correspondence with the Higher Degrees of Freemasonry. The fifth Sub Race as epoch of pure intellect, as epoch of egoism and its necessary defeat.

 
PART II
 
Lecture 11: Concerning the Lost Temple and How it is to be Restored (In connection with the Legend of the True Cross, or Golden Legend) May 15, 1905

Theosophy and practical life (example; tunnel building). Knowledge of the laws of human co-operation as prerequisite for the building up of human society. The substitution of the old priest-state culture by the worldly-wise culture of the fourth Sub Race. The Trojan War. The foundation of Rome. The first seven Kings of Rome as representation of the seven stages of the fourth cultural epoch. Their connection with sevenfold man. The Temple Legend and its connection with the Lost Temple in need of being rebuilt.

Lecture 12: Concerning the Lost Temple and How it is to be Restored (Second Lecture) May 22, 1905

Solomon's Temple as a symbol that man is a dwelling place of the Divine. Noah's Ark, Solomon's Temple and the measurements of man's body. The interior of Solomon's Temple. The concept of Solomon's Temple. The Knights Templar and their teachings. Two currents at the inception of the race of mankind: the children of this world (Sons of Cain) and the children of God (Abel-Seth Sons). The aim of the Rosicrucians, as continuators of the Order of the Knights Templar, was no different from that of theosophy; the building of the great Temple of Humanity.

Lecture 13: Concerning the Lost Temple and How it is to be Restored (Third Lecture) May 29, 1905

The Legend of the True Cross and the world historic significance of Solomon's Temple. The contrast of the two currents within mankind: the Sons of God (descendants of Abel-Seth) and the Sons of Man (descendants of Cain). The uniting of the two streams in Christ Jesus. The construction of the three stage World Temple (corresponding to physical body, etheric body and astral body of man) throughout the time of the Old Covenant by the Sons of Cain, the servants of the world. Work performed in the service of the Divine World Order by the Sons of God, the servants of the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon's Temple, an external expression of what the Ark of the Covenant should become. Man's earthly evolution in connection with the symbol of the Cross. The Pauline distinction between the law and grace. The connection of law and sin in the Old Covenant and law and love in the New Covenant.

Lecture 14: Concerning the Lost Temple and How it is to be Restored (Fourth Lecture) June 05, 1905

The Lost Word to be rediscovered — an allegory connected with the Whitsuntide festival. Whitsuntide, the festival of Mankind's freedom. Freedom of choice between good and evil. The Fall of Man. The evolution of the world throughout the aeons: Rounds, Globes and Races or Epochs. The seven Kings of Solomon's Dynasty during the seven epochs of the Astral Globe. The construction of the macro-cosmos by Spirit, Son and Father; the inner working of man from the Spirit, through the Son, to the Father. Post-Atlantean culture until the time of the Christ event in its connection with the principles: Father, Son and Spirit. The awakening of the Inner Word, the resurrection of the etheric body as the secret of the Whitsuntide Festival.

Lecture 15: Atoms and the Logos in the Light of Occultism October 21, 1905

The task for the future of the theosophical world current. The plan for the guidance of mankind by the Masters of the White Lodge. Logos, earth evolution, and atoms.

 
PART III
 
Lecture 16: The Relationship of Occultism to the Theosophical Movement October 22, 1905

The essence of occult societies is their heirarchical structure; the essence of the Theosophical Society is its democratic basis. The connection of these two lies in the fact that the Theosophical Society is intended as a centre for the expression of occult truths. The task of true occultism is inner training; within the theosophical movement the aim is to popularise occult knowledge. The task of the Theosophical Society is to foster occult teachings and occult life by means of understanding. Rigid contrast between the occult current and the Organisation within the Theosophical Society.

Lecture 17: Freemasonry and Human Evolution (men only) October 23, 1905

Physical severance of the bi-sexual into male and female during Lemurian times. A kind of recapitulation of this on a spiritual level during post-Atlantean times: division of knowledge into wisdom tending towards the male and wisdom showing affinity with the female. Cain and Abel as the representatives of this ancient mystery teaching and the Freemasonry Temple Legend as the symbolic expression of this. The Freemasonry interpretation of the future generative forces centred in the Word. One-sided endeavours in Freemasonry and Jesuitism. The conquest of ancient wisdom through the new wisdom of theosophy which has its origin in superior asexuality.

Lecture 18: Freemasonry and Human Evolution (women only) October 23, 1905

Physical severance of the bi-sexual into male and female during Lemurian times. A kind of recapitulation of this on a spiritual level during post-Atlantean times: division of knowledge into wisdom tending towards the male and wisdom showing affinity with the female. Cain and Abel as the representatives of this ancient mystery teaching and the Freemasonry Temple Legend as the symbolic expression of this. The Freemasonry interpretation of the future generative forces centred in the Word. One-sided endeavours in Freemasonry and Jesuitism. The conquest of ancient wisdom through the new wisdom of theosophy which has its origin in superior asexuality.

Lecture 19: The Relationship Between Occult Knowledge and Everyday Life (evening lecture) October 23, 1905

The involvement of occult information in the life of our immediate surroundings. Man's astral body. Importance of education. ‘Intermediary’ astral substance. The transformation of the astral substance through feelings, concepts and decisions of will. Astral thought forms. Individual astral bodies and astral substance of whole nations. Expression of national tasks on the astral plane. The temperament and character of whole nations. Slavonic and American peoples beginning to be inspired by the thought of their nationhood. Spirituality of national inspiration in the east (the Slavs), psychic inspiration in the west (the Americans). Their affinities — in the east with the Mongolian element, in the west with the Negro element.

Lecture 20: The Royal Art in a New Form January 02, 1906

Misunderstandings and errors of Freemasonry. The Taxil swindle. Origin of the name ‘Freemasonry’. The three spheres or pillars of culture: Wisdom, Beauty and Strength. Consideration of the twelfth century and the Saga of the Holy Grail according to masonic interpretation. Contrast between the male-masonic and female-priestly principles; mastery over inanimate nature and acceptance of God-bestowed living forces. The sign of the Cross. The Holy Grail as a symbol of the mastery over the forces of life to be attained in the future: the Royal Art in a new form.

 
Goethe and His Connection with Rosicrucianism
Notes




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