BY MARIE STEINER
HERE the life-story abruptly ends. On 30th March, 1925 Rudolf Steiner
His life, consecrated wholly to the sacrificial service of humanity,
was requited with unspeakable hostility; his way of knowledge was
transformed into a path of thorns. But he walked the whole way, and
mastered it for all humanity. He broke through the limits of
knowledge; they are no longer there. Before us lies this road of
knowledge in the crystal clarity of thoughts of which this book itself
constitutes an example. He raised human understanding up to the
spirit; permeated this understanding and united it with the spiritual
being of the cosmos. In this he achieved the greatest human deed. The
greatest deed of the Gods he taught us to understand; the greatest
human deed he achieved. How could he escape being hated with all the
demonic power of which Hell is capable?
But he repaid with love the misunderstanding brought against him.
He died a Sufferer, a Leader, an Achiever
In such a world as trod him under foot
Yet which to raise aloft his strength sufficed.
He lifted men; they cast themselves before him,
They hissed with hate and blocked his forward way.
His work they shattered even as he wrought it.
They raged with venom and with flame;
And now with joy they brand his memory:
So he is dead who led you into freedom,
To light, to consciousness, to comprehension
Of what is Godlike in a human soul
To your own selves, to Christ.
Was this not criminal, this undertaking?
He did what once Prometheus expiated
What gave to Socrates the poisoned cup
The pardoning of Barabbas was less vile
A deed whose expiation is the cross.
He made the future live before you there.
We demons cannot suffer such a thing.
We harry, hunt, pursue who dares such deeds
With all those souls who give themselves to us,
With all those forces which obey our will.
For ours are the turning-points of time
And ours this humanity which lies,
Without their God, in weakness, vice, and error.
We never yield the booty we have won,
But tear to pieces him who dares to touch it.
He dared and, daring, he endured his fate
In love, long suffering, and tolerance
Of weak, incapable humanity
Which ever all his work in peril set,
Which ever wrenched his word' awry,
Which misinterpreted his kind forbearance,
And in their smallness did not know themselves
Because his greatness was beyond their compass.
'Twas thus he bore us we were out of breath
In following his stride, his very flight
Which ravished us away. 'Twas our weakness
That was the hindrance ever to his flight,
The lead that weighed his footsteps down ...
Now he is free, a helper to those high ones
Who take whatever hath been wrung from earth
As safeguard of their goal. So now they greet
The son of man who his creative power
Unfolded thus to serve the Gods' high will;
Who to the age of hardened understanding
And to the time of dead machinery
Stamped clear the Spirit, called the Spirit forth ...
They would not suffer him.
The earth rolls into shadows.
Behold those forms which now appear in space.
The Leader waits; the heavens part and open;
In joy and reverence stand the rangéd hosts.
But earth is wrapped in grey enshrouding night,
Springing from Powers of the Sun,
Radiant Spirit-powers blessing all Worlds!
For Michael's garment of rays
Ye are predestined by Thought Divine.
He, the Christ-messenger revealeth in you
Bearing mankind aloft the sacred Will of Worlds.
Ye, the radiant Beings of Aether-Worlds,
Bear the Christ-Word to Man.
Thus shall the Herald of Christ appear
To the thirstily waiting souls,
To whom your Word of Light shines forth
In cosmic age of Spirit-Man.
Ye, the disciples of Spirit-Knowledge
Take Michael's Wisdom-beckoning,
Take the Word of Love of the Will of Worlds
Into your soul's aspiring a c t i v e l y!