Hilary's business is threatened with disaster because of his attempt to introduce into it his spiritual ideals and occult methods. He has engaged as controller of his machinery, Strader, who is generally known to be a failure because of his impractical inventions. With him comes a group of similar “cranks.” Hilary's old manager is in despair.
Johannes is a prey to delusion and loves to wander in his own dreamland. He is warned by Maria and Benedictus. Capesius, in a moment of clairvoyance gets a glimpse of Johannes' inner mood, and is so alarmed that he decides that there can be no blending of spiritual gifts with earthly things, and he withdraws from Hilary's group and goes to the old mystic Felix. Maria urges Johannes to discriminate between truth and self-delusion which can be done by the study of elemental sprites.
The dance of gnomes and sylphs.
The Youth of Johannes appears. It is in despair because it is separated from Johannes. Lucifer tries to console it with promises of human wisdom and love of beauty. Theodora offers divine wisdom.
Arguments on plans of action and occult powers, during which Ahriman glides stealthily across the stage to bring dissension and confusion of thought among the speakers, who are ignorant of his presence.
Felix speaks on mysticism.
The appearance in spirit form of Maria and Benedictus to help Strader, and of Ahriman to thwart him. There is a repetition of Strader's part in Scene 2.
Similar discussions between Hilary's manager and Romanus. Ahriman had succeeded in separating the various mystics. (see Strader's vision on p. 268.)
Romanus makes a great impression upon the manager.
Johannes and his double.
Ahriman scoffs at the Guardian of the Threshold. Strader with Maria and Benedictus. The vision of the latter is troubled.
The Spirit World.
This scene needs careful meditation and some knowledge of the author's system. Attention should be given to the indications of the planetary spheres — Mercury, Venus, Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn — to which in turn we may expand after death. Heed should be paid to the warning given by the Guardian of the Threshold.
Lucifer here appears as a beneficent guide; so, too, the Other Philia.
The Spirit World. The same remarks apply. Capesius is struck by the figures of his previous incarnations, as shown in the former plays. The Guardian of the Threshold will allow an even earlier incarnation to appear.
Theodora's quotation refers to Scene 9 in ‘The Soul's Probation.’
and 8: The earlier incarnations in Egypt giving the key to the four plays, and showing the origin of development of the different characters.)
Shows in a remarkable way how the future development of the Baldes and Capesius is going to proceed. The concluding speech of the hierophant fore-shadows the approach of a new Era when candidates for initiation will get the hidden light independently and not under the hypnotic suggestion of the guiding priest.
Drop scene. Egyptian woman (otherwise Johannes Thomasius) is in love with a man who is a neophyte or candidate for mysticism and about to retire from the world. This mystic is known to us otherwise as Maria.
About 2000 B.C. The hierophant (Capesius) has refused to use his thought power to suggest to the candidate what his vision should be. The candidate has a free vision looking far into the future. A breath of love and freedom is wafted into the closely sealed precincts. The truth shall make thee free. But with this rebellion against the old order, there is a consequence. Lucifer and Ahriman hitherto chained within the temple break their chains and begin to work their will. The ancient temple has been invaded, but the Ego begins to wake. The reader will not over-look, in all this cosmic development, the individual development of the different characters which are difficult to understand from the other plays with-out this glimpse into their previous incarnation. The author has presented it in this order, as it corresponds to the reader's own experience.
Maria's awakening. The reminiscence in waking of what has happened in a spiritual condition.
Johannes' awakening. The quotations refer to Scenes 7 and 8.
Strader's awakening. Benedictus' vision is again clouded. The reason here is probably Strader's approaching death. The quotations refer to Scene 3.
Ahriman's manner, shape, and speech betray the fact that he is being found out by the followers of Benedictus. Ahriman hopes, however, to catch Strader. Note the satire indulged in at the expense of those occultists, theosophists, and others whose air of superiority makes them a laughing stock. Note also the last lines showing the importance of remembering the dead.