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The Guardian of the Threshold
Volume 3 of 4 Mystery Dramas, GA#14

Rudolf Steiner

Soul Events in Dramatic Scenes
Translated by Ruth and Hans Pusch
Published by Anthroposophic Press in 1997
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2006


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The action of this play occurs some thirteen years after the previous one, The Soul's Probation. The twelve spiritual entities which appear have names which suggest some attribute in their English translation from the German, such as Edelmann (noble man), Treufels (loyal), Geist (spirited), and Wahrmund (truthful), among others. When these entities speak in quotes in this review, the attribute will be listed next to their name as it will reveal the thrust of their expressed thoughts. We are warned not to take these attributes nor any of the spiritual entities as allegorical or symbolic, but rather as living spiritual beings which are only portrayed by human beings for the purposes of the production of the stage play.

The drama opens with Ferdinand Reinecke (the Fox) explaining the purpose of the gathering.

[page 15] It is a most extraordinary summons
      that brings us all together here and now.
       It comes from people who have always thought
       that they were given special spirit-tasks,
       and kept themselves aloof from other mortals.
       But no it must be that the cosmic plan
      has clearly shown their spiritual eyes
      that they must link themselves with their own efforts,
      without the blessing from the spirit-temple.

He is followed in short order by Maria Treufels (Loyal) who expresses the hope that Dr. Strader's invention may forever end the burden of technology on humankind.

[page 18, 19] If such men plant the roots of spirit-work
      in the good soil of plain reality,
      they will be able, soberly,
      to work in this world for the good of all.
      Being convinced entirely of this view,
      I see in Strader, rather than the mystics,
      the forces needed for the leadership of men.
      How long we have experienced with pain
      that all our technical accomplishments
      have only added to the heavy fetters
      that hindered our free striving toward the spirit.
      But now we can begin to have a hope,
      a hope of which, till lately, none could dream.
      In Strader's workshop one can find
      already amazing things still in the model stage,
      which, if they work, may change technology
      in such a way that it will nevermore
      oppress our souls with dreary hopeless weight.

Strader's reply is enlightening. He begins with an apology for seeming immodest, which is the most unlikely thing one will ever hear from an inventor!

[page 19] Your words are optimistic, but my work
      seems headed in the right direction.
      It still must cross the gap that
      separates experiment from application,
      but up to now the expert eye inclines
      to find it technically feasible.
      I hope that the inventor of the thing
      may be allowed to give his own opinion
      of what he has accomplished at this stage.
      And since my words to some may seem immodest,
      I ask indulgence for them in advance.

What was the purpose of Strader's invention? It was to allow workers to maintain their connections to spirit and not be deadened by the blunt force of mechanized factories. First Strader lays out the problem as he saw it, and it is a problem still very much with us today in spite of able minds working towards solutions for dehumanizing the work place. The ultimate solution will only come when people are not paid by the hour, but by the amount of work produced and their ideas for improving the work will credited to them together will proportional recompense. Today, instead, most workers have to sign away all rights to ideas conceived while in the employ of a large corporation as if the primary property (thoughts and ideas) become by virtue of a fixed salary the automatic property of the corporation. This is the most dehumanizing aspect of the structure of work today and leads to employees taking pittances for their work and providing back a sleepy pittance of minimal work. Those with great ideas must leave the company and risk being sued simply to utilize and be compensated fully for an idea which could have brought great gains to their employer. It is not technology that labor must be rescued from, but rather the antiquated means of compensation and lack of protection of primary property.

[page 19, 20] For years much careful thought has been devoted
      to finding measures, finding ways and means,
      to rescue labor from technology,
      so that the soul would not be lamed by work
      but workers feel connected with the spirit.

Strader explains how he worked for years on solving this problem, until one day a "seeming accident" occurred. So much of our life is composed of such "seeming accidents" which occur at turning points in our career and personal relationships. But for some accidental meeting or happenstance we would never have met the person or taken the job which was to fill our years and fulfill our purpose in this lifetime on Earth. What seems like an accident to us consciously is carefully planned out by our unconscious spirit who has our best interests at heart. The more one understands the spiritual world which fills this material existence of ours, the less one believes in random accidents and innocent victims.

A good friend of ours lost her husband of many years and soon afterward, she fell and broke both of her ankles. This very independent lady has suddenly had to rely on others to care for her. This seeming accident may be a turning point in her life, but it is too soon to tell exactly how it will be so.

[page 20] Then there occurred a seeming accident,
      producing a solution from the muddle.
      I had to institute experiments
      which seemed at first remote from all these problems,
      but suddenly the thoughts sprang forth
      that showed me the right way.
      Through one experiment upon another
      I finally discovered at my desk
      a way by which to harmonize the forces
      so that, when all the details are worked out,
      through pure technique there will result that freedom
      in which the soul can properly unfold.

If Strader was alive in the past 30 years, we might suspect that the products of technology he was referring to were the Personal Computer and the Internet, both of which have distributed work so that an individual may work at home in a manner previously available only in large corporations. As I type these words at home on my PC Workstation, using Google to find data, references, and word spellings, and publishing my work directly in pixel form to the World Wide Web, I am performing functions daily which would have required a large staff of people to achieve. And any one of those might have felt dehumanized by doing look-ups in dictionaries or libraries, or setting type on a linotype machine, day-in and day-out, with no prospect for advancement or soul-filling work. Technology has made much of that kind of work redundant and people who would have worked in those jobs can now find more fulfilling work elsewhere.

[page 20] No longer must our laborers be forced
      to spend their days in soul-degrading sweatshops,
      dreaming their lives away like vegetables.
      The products of technology will now
      be so distributed that every man
      will have what he may need for his own work
      within a house arranged to suit himself.

As a scientist who came to feel himself"fumbling in obscurity" in the depths of science, I say Amen! to this next passage. The blindfold of the senses prevents us from seeing the spiritual reality behind the seeming accidents which shape our lives. One cannot with one's human eyes see the blindfold of the senses, just as fish cannot see the water within which they live, move, and have their being. We can only experience the difference when, like the fish, we are removed from water and see the world beyond water in all clarity. Till the blindfold of the senses are removed, this major tool of science itself comprises our biggest handicap to seeing the spiritual reality behind the material world.

[page 21, 22] And on this path it is not hard to learn
      how all that leads us men to mastery
      of forces working in the realm of sense
      imposes on us too a sort of blindfold,
      so that we grope to find our way in darkness.
      And all the treasures gained on earth by science
      through application of the mind and senses
      are still a fumbling in obscurity.

Louise Fuerchtegott (god-fearing) says (page 22) "But one is lost who only in blind faith surrenders to the leadership of others." Scientists are mostly lost in their blind faith in their tools and they are like King Oedipus, who could see, but not understand his dilemma. He needed the advice of the Seer of Thebes, who was blind, but could see the spiritual reality which beset Oedipus and offer him a solution. Rudolf Steiner was a scientist who was able to see — born without a blindfold of the senses — and for this reason he provides, yet today through his writings and transcribed lectures, leadership to scientists who are otherwise fumbling in obscurity, attempting to understand the big questions of life and death and the meaning of human existence.

Frederick Geist (enspirited) explains why it is important for us to understand the mystics, who must climb the mountain to see what we might seek to see without the climbing.

[page 23] Every modern man should feel impelled
      to understand the workings of the mystics.
      It seems to me that if one thinks he knows
      just what the goal is like before he starts,
      illusion will result instead of truth.
      But of the mystic it is said that he
      relates himself to his high goal of truth
      as men do who desire to see the beauty
      of distant views from a high mountain peak.
      They do not paint the picture in advance:
      they wait until they've climbed up to the top
       and actually see what they have sought.

The words the Second Perceptor used to refer to Johannes Thomasius(1) seem to apply directly to the author of the Mystery Play, Rudolf Steiner.

[page 32] He came to see that spiritual science
       -can have a firm foundation only if
       the sense for rigorous scientific thinking
       is freed by art from its intense desire
       for rigid forms and is enlivened so
       that it can feel the world in all its glory.

When Thomasius proclaims himself later, one has an eerily sense that this was Steiner's way of predicting the impact that he would have after his passage into the spiritual world, an event which has been in progress for some eighty years now.

[page 39] From spirit realms I'll have continually
       to influence all that results on earth
       from my activity in sense existence.

Trautman, the Master of Ceremonies, asks Thomasius how he can believe evil will result from his work by the agency of Lucifer.

[page 40] How can a man who's reached such spirit heights
       and knows all this for certain, still believe
       that he will not escape such evil?
       You can behold what is so harmful to you;
       therefore you must destroy it and with courage save
       yourself and the results of your great work.
       A spirit-pupil has the iron duty
       to kill what hinders progress in himself.

But Thomasius (Steiner) knows this already and is powerless because ultimately his own karma determines the course that things will take. Like the rest of humankind, he must deal with the two forces of Lucifer and Ahriman, and no insight can otherwise prevent this. He must climb this mountain to get the view from the top. He responds to Trautman:

[page 40, 41] I see you do not judge by cosmic laws.
       What you demand is something I could do
       at present and could tell myself right now
       all this that you are telling me.
       But though my karma could permit this at the moment
       it will not tolerate it later on.
       For things must come which will obscure
       my spirit and direct me just as I described.
       I shall then in world-evolution greedily
       seize everything destructive in my work
       and shall endeavor to embody it within the spiritual life.
       I then, in having to love Ahriman,
       must joyfully hand over to his ownership
       whatever came from me in earthly life.

Who is the "solemn Guardian" that Maria, in the next passage, tells Thomasius he has often met? Have you or I met this Guardian in our lives? Consider that the Guardian of the Threshold of the spiritual world lives in each of us as the un-perfected portions of our own self, i. e., the karma we must pay back(2).

[page 46] The solemn Guardian you have often met,
       who keeps an unrelenting watch upon the threshold
       that severs spirit life from worlds of sense;
       but you have never penetrated past him.
       At sight of him each time you turned away
       and from the outside looked at everything.
       Since you have never been within that inner world
       which widens out as spirit actuality
       beyond you, so be ready now for what reveals itself,
       when at my side you can not only enter
       but also pass beyond the Threshold.

Lucifer confronts Maria and tells her that she is following Benedictus who is his foe. Benedictus rebukes Lucifer by telling him that Maria will not fail to gain Thomasius's release from his realm. For insight into this passage, think of some human being you have known who was operating under the influence of luciferic spirits. They were so taken by their own brilliance that they were unable to see the light shining from those they ignored, who, in their midst, could actually help them. Unable or unwilling to dim their brilliance, they were unable to see those who effectively could oppose them. For a prominent example, one only need study how Thomas Edison was unable to see the brilliance of Nicola Tesla and drove him into becoming a ditch-digger and then Edison's most effective competitor.

[page 53] Your aura's brilliant light gives you
       the magic power of opposition
       and power to gain by force all selfhood.
       If you, with strength of thought, will
       dim your brilliance,
       the healing rays that shine out of Maria's vow
       perhaps will be perceptible to you.
       These rays will shine in future with such force
       that their strong love will draw Johannes to their

Maria lets Lucifer know that she knows his game. She understands the role he played in the maturation of human beings, how he provided knowledge to them so soon that humans began to follow their own will, in freedom, at a time when it would have been natural for the normal order of evolution for humans to follow the will of the spirit instead.

[page 57, 58] You Bearer of the Light which would restrict
       man's love to the advantage only of himself,
       you gave, at Earth's beginning, knowledge
       too soon to feeble human beings.
       For they were destined by the gods
       to follow not their own but spirit will,
       unconsciously at first.
       And since that time the souls of all mankind
       have been the place where you combat the gods.

She places Lucifer on notice that his time is running short and that humans like Johannes Thomasius will release "out of your grasp that fruit of knowledge with which you first seduced mankind." Lucifer is trying to seduce Thomasius with a love for the seer, Theodora, and Maria sees that is not according to his destiny. Maria speaks:

[page 58] You wish to battle wisdom now with love,
       as once you battled love through wisdom,
       but know that in the heart
       with which Maria now confronts you,
       discipleship of spirit has enkindled forces
       enabling her to keep self-love apart
       forever from all knowledge.

Maria swears that she will never let herself be swayed by a luciferian glow, but she will instead offer the gods in sacrifice her own thinking as a sacred gift. And through her sacrifice she will strengthen Thomasius so that in the future when he finds out, as Lucifer tells him, that “love gives his personality strength,” Maria will from her heart give forth this answer:

[page 59] 'His human nature shall discover it is love
       that gives his personality its strength,'
       my heart will answer you with might:
       you once were listened to at Earth's beginning
       when you revealed the fruits of wisdom.
       The fruits of love shall only be received by man
       when they spring forth out of the realms of gods.

Lucifer replies, "I mean to fight." And Benedictus adds, "And fighting serve the gods." Benedictus's terse statement seems to say, "That Lucifer by his fighting serves the gods." This confirms what I have encountered in Steiner's spiritual science in several places, namely, that Lucifer's deed of gifting early human beings with precocious knowledge was a service by the gods, one which required Christ's Deed on Golgotha to undo or redeem.

It has been seven years since Strader married Theodora the seer, and they are talking about how they came together. Here is a snippet of their conversation which leads us to see how it is the human heart with its feeling ability which directs our destiny more than the head with its thinking ability. Rightly understood, the head often gets in the way, requiring what we call "seeming accidents" to set us back on the right path.

[page 62, 63] Theodora: When you confided to me how you felt,
       so strangely did you put it into words:
       as if not even with a single thought
       could you conceive of the fulfilment
       of the longing living in your heart.
       Your words seemed only seeking
       for good advice from a dear friend.
       You spoke of help of which you were in need
       and of the strengthening of powers of so
       that they might steady you in times of trial.

[page 63] Strader: That she who heralded the spirit could
       be destined also as my life-companion
       was something far removed from all my thought,
       when I confided in you, seeking help.

[page 63] Theodora: And how the words, released
       from heart to heart, revealed
       that this would be our path.
       It is the heart that often points out destiny.

Theodora dies unexpectedly and Capesius and Strader meet at Felix and Felicia Balde's house. He comments that Lucifer wishes to unite Thomasius's human knowledge with pure spirit vision and thereby turn what is good into evil.

[page 72] Capezius:
       Thomasius, however, will be turned with certainty away from evil paths,
       if Strader gives himself to aims that in the future
       can change all human knowledge in a spiritual way
       to bring it closer to the knowledge of the gods.

Strader suspects that his beloved Theodora has put these words in Capezius's mouth and asks Felix if that may be so? Felix speaks about Capezius thus:

[page 73, 74] Capesius is undergoing genuine
       discipleship of spirit, though it seems
       quite different now, if judged by his appearance.
       His destiny has preordained that he
       accomplish much in spiritual life.
       He only can fulfil such lofty tasks
       for which his soul has been selected,
       if now his spirit can prepare itself for them.
       And yet his inmost nature did not always choose
       to seek the light on spirit paths,
       preferring to devote itself to the false science
       that blinds so many souls today.
       The mighty guardian at the solemn threshold,
       which separates the world of sense from spirit
       had special obligations, strong and strict,
       when he should find Capesius at the gate.
       He had to open to the earnest seeker
       but then to close the gate at once behind him,
       because the way he earlier had acquired his forces
       in sense existence, now prevented him
       from penetrating further into spirit realms.
       He now can best prepare for the high service
       he is to render in the future to mankind, <
       when he unheedingly ignores our presence.

This prompts Felicia to recall the days and nights when she told Capezius her fairy tales.

[page 74] There's only one thing he still notices
       and that's the fairy tales I used to tell him
       so often in those earlier days. Through them,
       whenever he felt emptied out and stale,
       his thinking was refreshed and fructified.

[page 74] Capezius:
       Such stories travel also to the spirit land,
       if you can tell them only in the spirit.

[page 74] Felicia:
       So then, if I collect myself enough
       to speak my tales in silence to myself,
       I'll think of you with love — so that they may
       be audible to you, as well, in spirit land.

In this next passage we hear Lucifer talk about the boon he gives to human beings on Earth. He is the artificer of beauty and is proud of that.

[page 82] Lucifer: All those who flee from me, love me as well.
       The children of the earth have always loved me.
       They think, however, they should hate me.
       And yet they seek me for my deeds. They would
       have pined away in bounds of frigid truth
       throughout the earth's becoming,
       if I had not sent down into their souls
       beauty as life's adornment.
       I fill the artist's soul with my creative power.
       Wherever men perceive the beautiful,
       it has its archetype within my realm.
       Now ask yourself, should you fear me?

Felicia shows up with a fairy tale to tell Benedictus and Capezius. This tale will seem very familiar to many.

[page 84, 85] Felicia: Once upon a time there lived
       a light-filled child of gods.
       It was akin to beings who with foresight weave
       in spirit realms the web of wisdom.
       Cared for by Father Truth, the child grew up
       within its world to primal power.
       And when it felt the ripened will
       bestir itself creatively within its limbs of light,
       it often looked with pity toward the earth
       where human souls were longing for the truth.
       Then spoke the child of light to Father Truth:
       'Men thirst, O Father, for the drink
       which you can offer them out of your springs.'
       And Father Truth with earnestness replied:
       'The springs which I must guard
       let light stream forth from spirit suns;
       and only those may drink the light
       who never need to thirst for air to breathe.
       On light, therefore, I have brought up the child
       who feels compassion for the souls on earth
       and can engender light in breathing beings.
       So go, my child, and wend your way to men
       and lead the light within them, spirit-kindled,
       confidently forth to meet my light.'

With this charge the child of light found its way to Earth where it was greeted by the air-breathers and was overjoyed to hear the magic word Imagination spoken. But humans also had freedom to speak and disagree.

[page 85] One day, however, there approached this being
       a man who cast on it quite strange and chilling looks.
       'I turn on earth the souls of men
       toward Father Truth who tends the springs of light,'
       thus spoke this being to the unknown man.
       Then spoke the man: 'You weave wild dreams
       in human spirits and deceive their souls.'
       And since that day which saw this come to pass,
       right many a man heaps slander on this being
       that can bring light into the souls that breathe.

The three spirits or soul-forces of Philia, Astrid, and Luna arrive to counter the slander of the man with prayers and directions for humans to find their souls, to shuffle all their fears, and to build a solid foundation for themselves in life.

[page 85] Philia:
       Let the soul find itself,
       by drinking the light,
       in cosmic expanses
       awakened to power.

[page 86] Astrid:
       Let the spirit, by knowing
       no fear, feel itself
       in cosmic unfoldment
       arising with power.

[page 86] Luna:
       Let him who aspires
       to reach to the heights
       in life's firm foundations
       sustain himself strongly.

The next being explains how the threshold of the spiritual world is guarded specifically to ward off souls who feel fear. It is as though the gate into the spiritual world has a sign above it which says: "ABANDON FEAR ALL YE WHO WOULD ENTER HERE". If one needs reminding, it would be well to recall the words of the child of light when he visited Earth, "Fear not, for I am with you always. . ."

[page 86] The Other Philia:
       Let man struggle on
       to the bearer of light
       who unlocks for him worlds
       that liven and quicken
       glad senses in man.
       Inspired admiring
       will lead on the spirit
       to regions of gods
       that waken a radiant
       beauty in souls.
       Achievement consoles
       those feelings that dare
       to step towards the thresholds
       which strictly are guarded
       from souls that feel fear.
       And energy finds
       a will that grows ripe
       to face without fear
       the powers creative
       sustaining the worlds.

While those who fear will be turned away, those who love, especially those who love as a little child does, will have the gates opened wide for them. The child of light said, "Let the little children come unto me."

[page 91] Maria:
       But you may open wide the gate for those
       who turn their inmost self to purest love
       and permeate themselves with it completely.

In the next passage, Ahriman explains why the number twelve is special when applied to a group. In the wisdom of these words, we can understand why there are twelves signs of the zodiac, twelve apostles in the Bible, and so forth.

[page 106] Ahriman:
       From time to time I take a look at men
       and study how they are, what they can do.
       And when I once have picked out twelve of them,
       I need not go on searching any more,
       for when I come to thirteen in my count,
       the last is clearly equal to the first.
       So if I can lure twelve into my kingdom,
       with all their different kinds of soul,
       others will surely follow after them.

Benedictus helps us out with an explanation of how the stars surrounding the Earth are arranged into what the Greeks called a "circle of little animals" or a "zodiac." He wisely points out that it is not the stars or constellations of stars that are important because they are but an outward sign of the inner spiritual reality. It would indeed be strange if some inner arrangement of spiritual reality were not to create some outer sign by which humans might organize their lives. Those scientists who coldly scoff at the zodiac and its astrological implications can do so because they have scrapped away all vestiges of spiritual reality inside their humanness, and replaced humanness with measuring numbers and numbing measurements.

[page 114] Benedictus:
       The cosmic powers guide their deeds so that
       in strict accord with measure and with number
       they follow wisely cosmic progress.
       The outer token of this ordering
       shows itself clearly to the earthly senses
       when they observe the sun upon the course
       it takes through the twelve stellar constellations.
       The way that it relates itself to these
       reveals how on earth things come to pass
       in the successive periods of time.
       So Ahriman desired to use those souls
       who are united with you, for energies
       from which your work can radiate forth.
       He wished by measure and by number
       to bind your own soul fast to theirs.

Next Capezius takes on Lucifer who is universally deemed as evil. In the process he gives us an insight into the essence of good and evil.

[page 121] Capezius:
       Whoever says that Lucifer is only evil
       might also say that fire is evil, too,
       because its power can do away with life;
       he might call water evil, since a man
       might easily be drowned in it.

       So Lucifer appears to you as evil
       through other things, but not
       through what he, in his being, signifies.

[page 122] Capezius:
       The cosmic spirit, who at earth's beginning
       could bring the light to human souls,
       must render service to the universe.
       That spirit's work is neither good nor bad,
       when spirits view it who have learned
       to see what stern necessity reveals.
       Good turns to evil if an evil mind,
       destructive in itself, make use of it.
       And what seems evil may be changed to good
       if some good being offers it its guidance.

Maria offers her insight into Lucifer by adding this:

[page 123] For Lucifer, in truth, reveals himself
       as bearer of the light to eyes of soul
       that turn themselves toward spirit distances.

                    . . .

       A man may turn toward Lucifer
       and warmly feel inspired by his bright glory;
       he may in that way well experience himself
       but he should not take Lucifer into his will.
       A man, however, when he rightly understands
       himself, will call out to that other Spirit:
       this is the goal of love for earthly souls,
       'Not I, but Christ lives in my life and being.'

Trautman speaks to Strader about the step he made into the spirit realm, noting how difficult it was for him, especially how he was constantly dashed on the rocks by his thinking, and yet he never gave up, turning the rocks into a gold mine of the spirit.

[page 126] Trautman:
       Throughout your life, your thinking cast you up
       on rocks of opposition which have caused
       within your soul grave doubts and sufferings.
       You learned on them to know yourself in thinking,
       just as the light can only see itself
       with its own power radiance, through its

Theodora arrives in spirit-form by Strader's side to add:

[page 127] Theodora:
       Because your strength was striving toward my light,
       I was allowed to gain the light for you
       as soon as your right time had been fulfilled.

At the end of this third play in the four drama series, we have seen the players encounter the Guardian of the Threshold and be allowed through its portal. In the next play we will experience The Soul's Awakening.

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Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne

~^~^~^~^~ ADDENDUM ~^~^~^~^~

Seal for The Portal of Initiation from page 5.

The first impression is that of continuous motion. It is as if a whirlwind is bending, curving and sweeping everything along with it so that no straight line remains. It characterizes the atmosphere surrounding the Guardian, created by the earthly desires souls bring with them. But the seal reveals within this turbulence also a process which develops stage by stage: the building and shaping of a community of free individuals.

This process starts in the center where two curved lines cross each other. Wherever man experiences such a crossing, whether physiologically in the crossing of the nerves that lead from the eyes to the brain, for instance, or by an outward gesture, crossing his legs or folding his hands, he creates awareness or sustains consciousness. In the central crossing of the seal we become conscious of the four directions aiming out towards the circumference.

But the aim itself seems to be interrupted by the four separate, isolated curves. It is a phase in the attempt towards a community, familiar to those seeking a balance between the individual and the whole. These four forms remain each for itself, and yet they follow nevertheless the radii of the circle.

The periphery is set in motion by a fourfold wave-like thrust. One can feel a pull from the center which bends the regular circular swing downward. But the dynamics of this form overcomes the pull and it swings energetically back into the circle. Here the individual motion through its own energy and activity joins the all-embracing circle. But out of it something new is created: the small figures above each downward-upward curve are a replica of this happening in the circle. They stand out as individual outposts, breathing the air of the circumference.

What is developed in these several phases of the seal depicts the action in the play leading to the climactic movement at the end: when individuals take over the duties of the Brotherhood. The altars in their sanctuary are still symbols of the overcoming of the downward trend of an earth-bound existence, and the cultivation of a spirit life which follows the guidance of higher beings. Now free individuals take on themselves this spirit-inspired guidance.

Hans Pusch

---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------

Footnote 1. This is the main character, the young artist introduced in the first Mystery Play, The Portal of Initiation. He is referred to simply as Johannes or Thomasius at various places in the play.

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---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------

Footnote 2. The mechanism for this is described in Lecture 2 of Foundations of Esotericism by Rudolf Steiner in this next passage. (Thanks go to Edward Reaugh Smith for pointing me to this lecture.)

Before the human being as pupil is led to that point at which of his own choice he can work on his etheric body, he must at least, to a certain extent be able to evaluate karma in order to achieve self-knowledge. Meditation therefore should not be undertaken without continual self-knowledge, self-observation. By this means, at the right moment man will behold the Guardian of the Threshold: the karma which he has still to pay back. When one reaches this stage under normal conditions it merely signifies the recognition of his still existing karma. If I begin to work into my etheric body, I must make it my aim to balance my still remaining karma.

Return to text directly before Footnote 2.


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