Sunday, July 17, 2016

St John’s Tide and the Four Sacrifices of Christ

On June 24 each year, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. His role in the entrance of Christ into this earth is not usually given the recognition it deserves. This is perhaps because Christ’s role is far from understood. Throughout these “Bible Unlocked”  posts we have considered Christ as a mighty Cosmic being, beyond our understanding, who entered into - penetrated - the body of Jesus of Nazareth. Because Christ was such a mighty Cosmic being it took many stages of refinement and preparation before this earth could receive him. It also involved some highly developed individuals: Jesus, and equally important, John the Baptist. This is why many famous painters included John the Baptist in their paintings of Jesus. He is usually the one carrying the staff.

This mighty Cosmic Christ prepared for his earthly baptism and crucifixion over eons in the spiritual worlds through sacrificial acts. In fact, there were three preceding baptisms and sacrifices before Golgotha. The German philosopher Rudolf Steiner revealed this information, held secret in societies over the centuries, just before the start of WWI. It is likely that he spoke of it at this time because each of these sacrifices had the purpose of averting chaos. While we cannot know for sure all the details of these sacrifices, we can be open to thinking about them as we observe our own life - which is the real purpose of this knowledge.

The first sacrifice took place at the time of Adam and Eve when humanity assumed physical form for the first time. As we adjusted to occupying a physical body, we felt the separation from the Universal All. Imagine the sensation of standing on two feet - anyone who has lost the use of their legs, and then been able to stand, would understand this. Not only that, we began to experience our senses and our nervous system; they are the interface between us and the outside world. We felt this as a separation and our immediate response was to want to feel part of the whole again. This is like wanting to re-enter our mother’s womb after we are born. This pain of separation gave rise to extreme selfishness. To save humanity from this destructive situation Christ intervened and helped us to experience ourselves as individuals, replacing selfishness with selflessness.

Eons later a new selfishness arose as we began to speak. Our speech is directly related to our inner organs and metabolism, which is why when we are ill we can’t speak we just moan. The selfishness of our organs meant that they fought over the nourishment we ingested. Imagine the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs fighting over which one gets the most nutrients; when an organ becomes selfish illness results. Rudolf Steiner says, “To be ill means that an organ has become selfish and is leading its own independent life within us.” Again, Christ entered to harmonize and balance the vital organs that rendered them selfless and gave us health.

The next intervention requiring Christ’s sacrifice took place around the time of the great flood which we read about in the Bible in the story of Noah. Selfishness arose in our soul, creating disorder in our thinking, feeling and willing. In my book “I Connecting : The Soul’s Quest” I describe how these faculties work.

“It is the will element that links or separates our thoughts. Feeling always permeates our thinking when we decide to like or dislike something. We experience feeling in our will when we are satisfied or dissatisfied with something we have done. Also, will plays through our feelings to give life to our thinking. If we think of walking the dog, it is not until our intentions are fired up with the warmth of feeling for the love of the dog and its wellbeing that our thought really comes to life. Otherwise it is just a thought and the dog won’t have its walk.” I Connecting : The Soul’s Quest by Kristina Kaine 

The fourth sacrifice took place to avert the selfishness of our individuality, to prevent us from becoming self-absorbed, so that we could observe ourselves from the outside. This sacrifice began with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan conducted by John the Baptist and enacted three and half years later on the cross at Golgotha when the blood flowed into the earth. Adriana Koulias, author of Rosicrucian Quintet  says,
“The reason people faint at the sight of blood has to do with the fact that they are observing outside them what inwardly gives them life and makes them individual, and it comes as a shock. We meet this mystery in stories and fairy tales, for instance in Sleeping Beauty when the beauty’s finger is pricked by a loom she is shocked into a deep sleep and so is the entire castle. In the story of Parzifal it is different when he sees blood fall on the snow he is shocked into wakefulness and remembers the suffering of his poor wife who he has not seen for long years. Parzifal exemplifies the new selfless consciousness. A consciousness, which is inspired by a memory of Christ who shed his blood selflessly for all humanity.”

At St John’s Tide, we can contemplate these ideas with deep gratitude for the sacrifices of the mighty Cosmic Christ who makes it possible for us to become true human beings by moving from selfishness to selflessness, still today. If we choose selfishness, we turn our back to him and play into the hands of all those forces that seek to destroy this world.

First published on Huffington Post 19 June, 2016

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