ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS AFTER THE FOREGOING
What is the
meaning of the temptation of Jesus by Satan? Are Satan and
Lucifer identical? How can the highest of all Beings be
tempted by one of a lower order?
Ahriman. In the Gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew, Lucifer
is meant; in the Gospel of St. Mark, Ahriman. An impressive
description is given in that Gospel of how hideous animal
forms make their appearance when a man enters the spiritual
world in the usual way. There are people who believe that
entrance to the spiritual world can be achieved by adopting
some special diet and other material practices of a similar
kind. But everything they then see, particularly when it
takes the form of sublime figures of light, is only a
reflection of their own self, an Ahrimanic deception. Both
Lucifer and Ahriman are tempters; and Christ in human form
showed how man must resist them when he begins to find his
way into the spiritual world.
Shall we see
in higher worlds those who belong to us?
seeing is very different from physical seeing. In the
spiritual sense we shall certainly see again those who belong
to us. The fact that Mary Magdalene did not immediately
recognise Jesus is an indication that the Risen Christ cannot
be recognised by everyone; certain powers must first have
been developed. These powers began to function in Mary
Magdalene only when Christ spoke her name. Much of what
Spiritual Science teaches is regarded as heretical, although
the Gospels confirm it. The Risen Christ could be recognised
only by clairvoyant sight.
Are not the
contents of the Babylonian Tables and the Ten Commandments
speak about similarities in such a case are not aware of the
essentials. This is very evident in the case of the Sermon on
the Mount. The Bible does not say: ‘yours is the
kingdom of heaven’, but: ‘you will find the
kingdom of heaven within yourselves’. The Ten
Commandments too are fundamentally different from anything
previously in existence. Hebraism and Christianity added the
impulse of the ‘I AM’ to what was already
contained in earlier religions. When such things are studied
in depth they are extraordinarily enlightening.
How is the
doctrine of reincarnation to be reconciled with the
It is not yet
possible to understand the Bible fully. Each epoch has
translated it in the way that suited itself. The Bible has
nothing to fear from the doctrine of reincarnation. It used
to be thought that every discovery of a new scientific truth
constituted a danger to the Bible.
What is the
relation between Christ and Lucifer?
It is not easy
to explain this briefly. We have often spoken of how man has
passed from incarnation to incarnation and how the Luciferic
power took root in very early times in the astral body and
Ahriman later on in the etheric body. With the coming of
Christ all this acquired a new meaning. We are only at the
beginning of Christian evolution. If the Gospels are
understood they make it clear that Christ was obliged to deal
with Lucifer and Ahriman. But there are very few who realise
to-day that the stories of the Temptation differ in the
Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. Luke. Occultists
know that there is not only a Luciferic temptation by way of
man's desires, but also an Ahrimanic temptation — when
a man carries his own passions out into the Macrocosm and
sees all manner of animal figures and forms. The Gospel of
St. Matthew describes a Luciferic temptation: in the Gospel
of St. Mark, Jesus is ‘with the wild beasts’ of
human nature. In all occult writings Lucifer is pictured as a
serpent, Ahriman as a hound.
of the Temptation point to deep mysteries. Just as the advent
of the Luciferic and Ahrimanic powers was a necessity in
order that man might become a free, independent being, so he
must tear himself away from them again through the power of
Christ in his soul. The spheres of Lucifer and Ahriman will
gradually be reversed. Men will take the Christ Impulse into
themselves, confronting Ahriman in the outside world. Up to
now, and at present, the opposite has been the case. Such
things can be studied in
The Portal of Initiation.
You should pay attention to the vowel sounds. These things
are in accordance with an inner necessity. The verses in the
first part change in the second into their opposite. This is
It is true
that Jesus did not write anything. There is actually a
theologian who discusses whether He could write at all! — In
four hundred years people will call what is said nowadays
about Copernicus and Galileo a modern form of mythology.
Theosophists of all people should not talk about
about the authenticity of the writings of Dionysius.
It is usual
nowadays to regard the actual writer as more important than
the spiritual originator and inspirer. (Rudolf Steiner here
referred to his own experience in connection with
Goethe's prose-hymn, Nature, the authorship of
which had been disputed by some philologists.) Dionysius, the
disciple of the Apostle Paul, actually wrote nothing down
because in those days to have done so would have seemed
unimportant. But his successors, who, as was customary in
those times, were also called Dionysius, presented a faithful
account of his teachings as handed down by tradition. These
were the writings of the so-called pseudo-Dionysius.
‘believe in good faith’ is not enough; everyone
should convince himself of the truth. People to-day
have no conception of what is possible and what is
impossible. Things become tragic in this respect when, for
instance, the Bible is ruthlessly analysed by scholars.
Erudition and nonsense often go hand in hand!
Jesus appear to men on Earth?
In the way in
which He appeared to St. Paul, this is possible. When this
happens it is a kind of Initiation which can sometimes take
place without previous training. From the middle of the
twentieth century onwards many people will have this