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Lecture 5:


Berlin. 4th November 1904

[See the Notes for this Lecture]

We have spoken about various legends which contain esoteric truths in the pictures which they present. These were given to man in this form at a time when he was not mature enough to receive the truths directly. These pictures took hold of man's ‘causal’ body — that part of man which bore the germ of his future Higher Manas — and thus made him ready to understand the truths directly in a future incarnation.

I would like now to show one such legend as this which dates back only a few centuries and is still extant today in many versions. It is the following.

At the beginning of the fifteenth century (Note 1) a personality appeared in Europe who had been initiated into certain secrets in the East. This was Christian Rosenkreutz. (Note 2) By the time this incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz had come to an end, he had initiated about ten other people into such matters as he himself had learned through initiation — in so far as this was possible among Europeans at that time. This small brotherhood called itself ‘Fraternitae Rosae Crucis’, the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross. This small group of people then gave a certain legend to a larger, more exoteric fraternity, through whom it then became generally known to the world.

Christian Rosenkreutz himself had revealed certain deep secrets of the Mysteries to those people who were sufficiently prepared to receive them. But, as I said, there were not more than ten in this small circle, consisting of initiated Rosicrucians. What was taught by Christian Rosenkreutz could not be imparted to many people, but it was embodied in a kind of myth. (Note 3) Since it was first given out in the fifteenth century, it has often been repeated and explained in the various brotherhoods. It was told in larger brotherhoods, but was interpreted only in intimate circles.

This is the approximate content:

There was a time when one of the Elohim created a human being whom he called Eve. That Elohim united himself with Eve and she gave birth to Cain. After this, another Elohim, named Yahveh, created Adam. Adam also united himself with Eve and from this union came Abel.

Thus we see that Cain is a direct descendant of the gods, but Abel is a descendant of Adam and Eve who are human.

Now the myth proceeds:

The sacrifices which Abel made to Yahveh were pleasing to him, but the sacrifices brought by Cain did not please him because the birth of Cain was not ordained by him. The result was that Cain committed fratricide. He killed Abel and for this he was excluded from communion with Yahveh. He went away into distant lands and founded his own race there.

Adam again united himself with Eve and from this union came Seth, also mentioned in the Bible, who took over the role of Abel. Thus we have two generations of mankind: the race of Cain, who was a descendant of Eve and one of the Elohim, and the other race which had human parentage and was brought into existence at the command of Yahveh.

Among the descendants of Cain are all those who have been creators of art and science, as, for instance, Methuselah, the inventor of the Tau script, and Tubal-Cain, who taught the use and working of metal ores and iron. In this line of descent, stemming from the Elohim, were all those who trained themselves in the arts and sciences.

Hiram also descended from the race of Cain, and he was the inheritor of all that had been learned by the others of his line in technology and art. He was the most significant architect we can imagine.

Out of Seth's line came Solomon, who excelled in everything which came from Yahveh. He was endowed with the wisdom of the world and all the attributes of calm,clear, objective wisdom. This wisdom can be expressed in words which go straight to the human heart and can uplift a person, but it is unable to produce anything tangible of a technical nature, in art or science. It is a wisdom which is a directly inspired gift of God and not attained from below through human passions welling up from the human will — that would be the wisdom pertaining to the sons of Cain, a legacy of the other Elohim, not Yahveh. They are the hardworking industrious ones who seek to accomplish everything through their own efforts.

Solomon now decides to build a temple and calls upon Hiram, the descendant of Cain, to be his master builder. It was at the time when Balkis, the Queen of Sheba, was visiting Jerusalem because she had heard of the wisdom of Solomon. And she was certainly impressed and charmed by the exalted and clear wisdom and beauty of the King when she first arrived, and when he made love to her she consented to be his bride. Now she heard about the temple which was being built and she desired to make the acquaintance of the master builder, Hiram. When she first met him she was captivated merely by his glance. As a result, a certain mood of jealousy arose between Hiram and Solomon and the latter wished to do something or other against Hiram, but he was dependent upon him for the completion of the temple.

Now came the following: The temple was almost complete. Only one thing was still lacking, which was to have been Hiram's masterpiece; that was the Molten Sea, which was to represent the ocean cast in bronze and was to have adorned the temple. All the necessary mixtures of ores had been prepared by Hiram in a most wonderful manner, ready to be cast. Now, however, three apprentices got to work, whom Hiram had found so lacking in skill that he had been unable to promote them to become masters. They had therefore sworn to be revenged on him and desired to prevent the casting of the Molten Sea. A friend of Hiram, who got to know about these plans, confided them to Solomon, so that he should prevent their realisation. But Solomon, through jealousy, did nothing to stop them, because he wished to destroy Hiram. The result was that Hiram had to look on while the whole casting disintegrated due to the addition of a wrong ingredient in the mixture by the three apprentices. He tried to quench the bursting flames by pouring water over them, but this only made matters worse. Just as he was on the point of despairing about the work ever being completed, Tubal-Cain, his ancestor, appeared to him and told him that he should not hesitate to cast himself into the fire, as he was invulnerable to the flames. Hiram did as he was advised and came to the centre of the earth. He was led by Tubal-Cain to Cain, who there resided in a condition of pristine divinity. Hiram was thus initiated into the Mystery of Fire and into the secret of bronze casting, receiving from Tubal-Cain a hammer and a Golden Triangle which he was able to carry with him as a pendant round his neck. Then he returned and was able to complete the casting of the Molten Sea and to put everything in order again.

Hereupon the Queen of Sheba consented to become Hiram's bride. He, however, was set upon by the three apprentices and murdered. But before he died, Hiram managed to throw the Golden Triangle into a well. As no one knew where he had disappeared, a search was made. Even Solomon was afraid and was anxious to find out what had happened. It was thought that the ancient Master Word could be betrayed by the apprentices, and therefore another one was devised. The first word to be spoken when Hiram was discovered should be the new Master Word. At last Hiram was found and was able to utter a few last words. He said: ‘Tubal-Cain had promised me that I shall have a son who will be the father of many descendants who will people the earth and bring my work — the building of the Temple — to completion.’ Then he pointed to the place where the Golden Triangle was to be found. This was then collected and brought to the Molten Sea and both were preserved together in the Holy of Holies. They are only to be discovered by those who can understand the meaning of the legend of the Temple of Solomon and its Master Builder Hiram.

Now we shall proceed from the recounting of the legend itself to its interpretation.

This legend portrays the destiny of the third, fourth and fifth Post-Atlantean cultural epochs. The Temple is the Temple of the Occult Societies, that is to say, what is being built up by the whole of mankind belonging to the fourth and fifth cultural epochs. And the Holy of Holies is the place where these Occult Societies have their abode. The latter are aware of what is meant by the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle.

We are dealing, therefore, with two races of mankind: with those who, like Solomon, are in possession of divine wisdom and with those of the Race of Cain, who are conversant with fire and know how to make use of it. This fire is not physical fire, but the fire of wishes, desires and instincts which bums in the astral world.

Who, then, are the Sons of Cain? In the sense of this legend, the Sons of Cain are the sons of those Elohim who, during the Moon Epoch, were a little retarded in their role of Elohim. We are dealing with Kama, astrality, during the Moon Epoch. This Kama, or fire, was penetrated with wisdom at that time. But there were two kinds of Elohim. The one kind of Elohim did not remain static with the union of wisdom and fire; they went further. And during the creation of man they were no longer filled with desires and so they were able to endow their creation with calm and clear wisdom. That is the essential Jahve — or Jehovah — religion, the wisdom of which is quite without personal desire. The other Elohim, those in whom wisdom was combined with the fire of the Moon Epoch, created the Sons of Cain.

Therefore, in the case of the Sons of Seth, we find representatives of the religious type of human being with detached wisdom, and in the case of the Sons of Cain, we find those who possess an impulsive nature, who are capable of flaring up and showing enthusiasm for wisdom. These two types are creative within all races of mankind and in all periods of history. Out of the desire life of the Sons of Cain, all arts and the sciences originate; out of the Seth-Abel current, all detached piety and wisdom, lacking enthusiasm, has its origin.

These two types were always present and continued thus until the fourth Post-Atlantean cultural epoch.

Then came the founding of Christianity. Through it, the earlier piety, which had been bestowed on mankind from above, became passionless and detached, and was merged with the element which came to the earth through Christ — Christ, who is not only the incarnation of wisdom, but who is also love itself, a supreme being who has so purified his astral body or Kama that it has been changed into Buddhi. A pure flowing Kama which seeks nothing for itself, but turns every passion into unending devotion towards the things outside itself, is inverted Kama. Buddhi is Kama which has been changed into its opposite.

A higher kind of piety is thereby being prepared among those who are of the pious type, the Sons of Wisdom. This new kind of piety can also develop enthusiasm. It is Christian piety, which was prepared during the fourth Post-Atlantean cultural epoch. This whole stream is not yet in a position to unite with the Sons of Cain, however; they remain adversaries. Were Christianity to take hold of human beings too quickly, they would certainly become filled with love, but the individual human heart would not become involved. It would not be a piety springing from freedom. Christ would not be born within man as his brother, but only as the ruler. It is therefore necessary that the Sons of Cain are active throughout the whole of the fifth Post-Atlantean period. They are active in their initiates who build the temple of all mankind, constructed out of worldly art and worldly science.

This worldly element becomes more and more evident in the history of the fourth and fifth cultural epochs, thus making manifest the entire development of world history at the physical level. And alongside this worldly stream of materialism, the personal element of egoism is involved, which leads to the War of All against All. Even though Christianity had come into the world, it was, in a sense, a secret shared by a few. But it made people of the fourth and fifth cultural epochs aware that everyone is equal in the sight of God. That is a basic principle of Christianity, but it cannot be completely understood by man on earth so long as he is enmeshed in materialism and egoism.

The French Revolution drew its conclusion from this Christian doctrine in a worldly sense. The spiritual conception that all are equal in the sight of God was changed into the purely earthly precept that all men are equal here on earth. That is couched in even more physical terms today.

Before the outbreak of the French Revolution a personality appeared to Madame d'Adhemar, (Note 4) the lady-in-waiting of Marie-Antoinette, who prophesied all the important events of the coming strife, in order to warn against them. It was the Count of St. Germain, (Note 5) the same as he who, in a former incarnation, had founded the Rosicrucian Order. He subscribed to the view that mankind at that time must be led in all tranquillity from a worldly view of life to a truly Christian culture. Worldly powers, however, desired to gain freedom for themselves by material violent means. Christian Rosenkreutz foresaw the French Revolution as a necessary consequence of this, but warned against it. He, Christian Rosenkreutz, in his incarnation in the eighteenth century, as guardian of the innermost secrets of the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle, appeared with the warning that mankind should develop slowly. But he also saw what was to happen.

That is the course taken by mankind's evolution during the fourth and fifth Post-Atlantean epochs when seen esoterically. The temple of mankind's earthly culture, the great Temple of Solomon, has already been built, but what is to crown it must still remain a secret. That could only be brought into being by an initiate. That initiate was misunderstood, betrayed, killed. The secret may not yet be revealed. It remains the possession of a few initiated Christians. It is sealed up in the casting of the Molten Sea and in the Golden Triangle. It is the same as the secret belonging to Christian Rosenkreutz, who was present in a very highly evolved reincarnation prior to the birth of Christ, and who gave utterance to a remarkable saying at that time.

Let me describe in a few words how this Christian Rosenkreutz came to repeat a certain saying at the time of the outbreak of the French Revolution. He said: ‘For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.’ (Note 6) This was said by him long before it was said by Hosea and written down. It stems, however, from Christian Rosenkreutz.

This saying: ‘For they have sown the wind, and shall reap the whirlwind’, is the leading thought for the fourth and fifth cultural epochs and can be rendered in the following way: ‘Mankind shall be made free. The incarnated Buddhi will unite himself with this your freedom and make you equal in the sight of God, but the spirit (‘wind’ means spirit = Ruach) will first become a whirlwind (the War of All against All).’

At first Christianity had to appear as the Christianity of the Cross, which had to develop through the earthly sphere, through the physical plane. But the crucifix was not the symbol of Christianity from the beginning. It was when Christianity became political that the crucified Son of God was introduced, the Son of God suffering on the Cross of the World Body. (Note 7) It has remained thus to outward sight throughout the rest of the fourth epoch, and will continue to do so during the whole of the fifth epoch of our present Post-Atlantean cycle.

To begin with, Christianity is bound up with the purely materialistic culture of the fourth and fifth epochs, and the true Christianity of the future, which possesses the secret of the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle, only exists secretly. (Note 8) This Christianity has another symbol — no longer that of the crucified Son of God, but the Cross encircled by roses. This will become the symbol of the new Christianity of the sixth Post-Atlantean epoch. Out of the Mystery of the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross will arise the Christianity of the sixth cultural epoch, which will recognise the significance of the Molten Sea and the Golden Triangle.

Hiram is the representative of the initiates among the Sons of Cain belonging to the fourth and fifth epochs. The Queen of Sheba is the soul of humanity — every female character denotes the soul in esoteric terminology. She has to choose between the detached piety which does not concern itself with worldly conquest, and the masterful wisdom which is achieved through the overcoming of earthly passions and desires. She is the representative of the true human soul, taking her position between Hiram and Solomon and uniting herself with Hiram in the fourth and fifth epochs, because he is still engaged in building the Temple.

The Molten Sea is what is created when the appropriate amounts of water and molten metal are cast. The three apprentices do it wrongly, and the casting is destroyed, but when the mysteries of fire are revealed to Hiram by Tubal-Cain, he is thereby enabled to unite water and fire in the proper way. This brings the Molten Sea into being. This is what the secret of the Rosicrucians is. It is brought about when the water of calm wisdom is united with the fire of the astral world, with the fire of passion and desire. A union must be brought about which is ‘of bronze’, that is to say, is lasting and durable. It must endure into the next epoch, when the secret of the sacred Golden Triangle is added to it; the secret of Atma, Buddhi and Manas. This Triangle, with all which it entails, will form the content of the renewed Christianity of the sixth cultural epoch. That is being prepared by the Rosicrucians and then what is symbolised by the Molten Sea will be united with a knowledge of reincarnation and karma. That is the new occult teaching which will be united again with Christianity. The higher self of man, composed of Atma, Buddhi and Manas, will become an open secret when the man of the sixth epoch has become ripe enough to receive it. Christian Rosenkreutz will then no longer be required to give warning, but everything which signified strife on the outer plane will be resolved in peace through the Molten Sea and the sacred Golden Triangle.

That is the course which world history will take in the future. What was disseminated by Christian Rosenkreutz in the Temple Legend through the Brotherhood, the Rosicrucians have made into their task: to teach not merely religious piety, but also science in an external way; not merely knowledge of the outer world, but knowledge of spiritual forces, too, and from both directions to go forward into the sixth Round of evolution.

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