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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Mystery Plays
Main Index
Cover Sheet
1. Portal
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
Scene 11
2. Probation
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
Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9
Scene 10
4. Awakening
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 Portal of Initiation

Scene 7

The domain of spirit: a scene of various coloured crystal rocks and a few trees. Maria, Philia, Astrid, Luna; the child; Johannes, first at a distance, then coming nearer; Theodora; lastly Benedictus.

My sisters who of old
So oft my helpers were;
In this hour help me too
That Ether of the worlds
May quiver in itself;
Resound in harmony,
And thus resounding reach
And permeate a soul
With knowledge that is true.
I now can see the signs
Which guide us to our work;
For your work must to-day
Unite itself with mine.
Johannes who doth strive
Must be by our designs
To real existence raised.
Within the temple walls
The brethren counsel took
How they should raise him up
From depths to heights of light;
From us they do expect
To fill the soul with power
For such high spirit flight.
From breadths of space shalt thou,
My Philia, win for me
Clear essence of the light;
And fill thyself with all
The charm of sound which wells
From soul-creating power.
That thou mayst give to me
Gifts gathered by thyself
From out the spirit's depths.
Then can I weave for him
Their perfect harmonies
In the soul-stirring dance
And rhythm of the spheres.
And thou, my Astrid,
Dear image of my spirit,
Shalt cause within the light
The power of shade to grow
That colours may shine forth.
To formless harmonies
Thou shalt give shape, and thus
World-substance, weaving life,
May sound upon its way.
So I can give to man
When he doth seek therefor
A spirit consciousness.
And thou, strong Luna, too,
So firm in thine own self;
E'en like the living sap
Hid deep within the tree,
To these thy sister's gifts
Do then unite thine own.
Impress thyself thereon
That he who seeks may find
True wisdom's surety.

I will myself imbue
With clearest rays of light
From cosmic spaces wide.
I will breathe deep within
Sound-substance that gives life
From distant ether-bounds,
Dear sister, that thou may'st
Succeed in this thy work.

Through all the streaming light
I will weave darkness in
To cloud its radiant beam.
I will make dense and thick
The living life of sound;
That glowing it may sound
And sounding it may glow,
Dear sister, that thou may'st
Direct the soul-life's rays.

Soul substance will I warm,
Life's ether harden too.
That they may thus condense
And may thus feel themselves
As living in themselves
And powerful to create,
Dear sister, that thou may'st
Prove wisdom's certainty
To mankind's seeking soul.

From Philia's realm
Shall stream forth delight;
And transforming powers
Of Undines arouse
The sensitive soul.
That he who is roused
May feel all the mirth
And feel all the woe
In cosmic domains.

From Astrid's close web
Love's joy shall come forth.
The Sylphs' airy life
Shall rouse in the soul
Self-sacrifice true;
That consecrate man
May rouse to new life
Souls laden with grief,
Souls yearning for joy.

From Luna's domain
Shall firmness stream forth.
And Fire-Beings' might
Shall form for the soul
Security's strength.
That he who doth know
May find his own self
In weaving of souls
And life of the worlds.

From cosmic spirits I
Will beg their being's light
The soul-sense to enchant,
The sound too of their words
To charm the spirit's ear;
That he, whose wakening nears,
May raise himself aloft
Upon the paths of soul
Unto celestial heights.

The love-streams will I guide
That fill the world with warmth
Unto the heart of man Who is initiate;
That thus he may bring down
Into his work on earth
The grace of Heaven, and give
The joy of holy rite
Unto the sons of men.

From primal powers will I
For might and courage pray
And lay them deep within
The human seeker's heart:
That so trust in himself
May guide him through his life,
Then shall he feel secure
In his own self, and pluck
Each moment's ripened fruit
And draw the seeds therefrom
For all eternity.

With you, my sisters, joined in noble work
I shall succeed in what I long to do.
But hark! There rises to our world of light
The cry of him who hath been sorely tried.
(Johannes appears.)

'Tis thou, Maria! Then my suffering
Hath at the last born richest fruit for me.
It hath withdrawn me from the phantom shape
Which I at first did make out of myself,
And which then held me fast, a prisoner.
Pain do I thank for thus enabling me
To reach thee o'er the pathways of the soul.

And what then was the path that led thee here?

I felt myself from bonds of sense released:
My sight was freed from that close barrier,
Which hid all but the present from mine eyes.
Quite otherwise I viewed the life of one
I knew on earth, and looked beyond the space
Bound by the present moment's narrow ring.
Capesius, whom with the eyes of sense
In his old age I saw — this man
The spirit placed before my soul a youth;
As first he entered on life's thorny path
Full of those dreams of hope, which ofttimes brought
A group of faithful hearers to his feet.
And Strader, also could I see e'en thus
As he appeared in earthly life when young,
E'er he had full outgrown his cloistered youth:
And I could see what he might once have been,
If he had followed out in that same way
The goal he set before himself of old.
And only those who in their earthly life
Are filled already with the spirit's power
Appear unchanged within the spirit-realms.
Both Dame Felicia and good Felix too
Had kept the forms in which they lived on earth,
When I beheld them with my spirit's sight.
And then my guides showed kindness unto me,
And spake of gifts which shall one day be mine
When I can reach to wisdom's lofty heights.
And many things besides have I beheld
With spirit-organs which sense-sight at first
Had shown to me in its own narrow way.
And judgment's all-illuminating light
Irradiated this new world of mine.
But whether I lived in some shadowy dream,
Or whether spirit-truth surrounded me
Already, I could not as yet decide.
Whether my spirit-sight was really stirred
By other things, or whether mine own self
Expanded into some world of its own,
I knew not. Then didst thou appear thyself;
Not as thou seemest at the present time,
Nor as the past beheld thee; nay — I saw
Thee as thou art in spirit evermore.
Not human was thy nature: in thy soul
Clear could I recognize the spirit-light,
Which worked not as man clothed in flesh doth work.
As spirit did it act, that strives to do
Such work as in eternity hath root.
And only now, when I dare stand complete
In spirit nigh thee, doth the full light glow.
In thee my sight of sense already grasped
Reality so fast, that certainty
Doth meet me even here in spirit-realms
And well I know that now before me stands
No phantom shape. 'Tis thy true character
In which I met thee yonder, and in which
'Tis now permitted me to meet thee here.

I feel compelled to speak. A glow of light
From out thy brow, Maria, upward mounts.
This glow takes shape, and grows to human form.
It is a man with spirit deep imbued,
And other men do gather round his feet.
I gaze into dim times, long passed away
On that good man who rose from out thy head:
His eyes do shine with perfect peace of soul;
And deep true feeling glows in every line
And feature of his noble countenance.
A woman facing him mine eye doth see,
Who listens with devotion to the words
Proceeding from his mouth; which words I hear,
And thus they sound: ‘Ye have unto your gods
Looked up with awed devotion until now.
These gods I love, as ye love them yourselves.
They did present unto your thought its power,
And planted courage in your heart; but yet
Their gifts spring from a higher spirit still.’
I see how rage doth spread amongst the throng
At this man's words. I hear their mad wild cries:
‘Kill him; for he desires to take from us
The gifts the gods have given to our race.’
But unconcernedly the man speaks on.
He tells now of that God in human form,
Who did descend to earth and conquer death.
He tells of Christ; and as his words flow on
The souls around grow calm and pacified.
One only of the heathen hearts resists,
And swears it will wreak vengeance on the man.
I recognize this heart; it beats again
In yonder child, that nestles at thy side.
The messenger of Christ speaks to it thus:
‘Thy fate doth not permit thee to draw nigh