“Our epoch will come to an end through other forces, through a mighty increase of egoism in human nature, and, on account of this, through the “war of all against all.” Only those who turn to a spiritual life will survive the catastrophe. Those who are now turning towards a spiritual life should feel it their duty to do all that is possible to rescue the good seed of our age and carry it over into the sixth epoch.” Rudolf Steiner, Universe Earth and Man, Lecture 10, August 4, 1908, GA 105
(Douglas Gabriel) Are you in despair about what you read and hear on the news today? Do you wonder what you can do to help the world heal? Do you believe that we are in apocalyptic times or that we are approaching the ‘war of all against all’? Do you wonder why a loving creator could take us this far on our journey as humans to have us come to such a cataclysmic ending?
Are there great master beings coming to save us? Is the rapture coming soon? Am I one of the chosen ones who will survive? Is there a way through the apocalypse of modern times?
Indeed, it seems like the world is more wicked than ever before in history, and we are more powerless than ever to unshackle the chains of economic, geopolitical, and religious slavery that were put on humanity many centuries ago.
But what if the purpose of the human journey is to awaken higher consciousness in each one of us? What if apocalyptic stories, which have always been in our cultural myths and religious stories since the beginning of time, serve a greater purpose in creating unending personal fear and terror to the point that we feel hopeless and helpless, full of despair, and incapable of fully understanding or solving the overwhelming problems in the world? Then, after exhausting all efforts to stay abreast of the latest shocking headline, we finally choose another way to see and be in the world. We turn towards prayer and spiritual comfort. We look for answers that exist beyond the machinations that lead us here in the first place. Perhaps there is a greater purpose for apocalyptic stories since they have always been with us. Perhaps the way out is walking through the very fear and terror that end-of-days stories create in us.
For the time that it takes you to read this essay, the reader is asked to suspend all fear and doubt of any impending disasters that will affect him or her personally or the world as a whole. Imagine that our apocalyptic expectations act more as a mirror to our anxieties, whether personal or collective, than as actual signposts to imminent disaster and death. See fear as F.E.A.R—false evidence appearing as reality—and hold a thought that maybe the intensity of apocalyptic stories and headlines today are directly related to the state of consciousness that each of us has about crossing the threshold. And that if, one by one, we start awakening to our own higher consciousness, then collectively we can find hope for any end-time scenario.
Here is a great truth that all initiates eventually come to know when they are fully awake in spirit. Everything you see before you, in the world and in your personal life, is all for a purpose; and that purpose is to awaken you to yourself as a spiritual being (Spirit Self), the everlasting part of you that is one with the divine. Once you pass across the threshold of fear and doubt, by studying, living, and embracing a spiritual life exemplified by the Heavenly Virtues, you will be liberated from the terror and fear of apocalypse.
Stories of the Apocalypse are as Old as Man
We all know of the apocalyptic stories of Noah and the flood and St. John’s Revelations. These stories, which have been with us for thousands of years, depict how one civilization ended and how another might begin. Apocalyptic stories have a long history. Five centuries span the images of the four horsemen, from the woodcut of the Four Horsemen by Albrecht Durer (German, 1498) to Jason de Caires Taylor’s contemporary sculptures of the four horsemen immersed in tides of the river Thames (The Rising Tide, 2015), with countless paintings, sculptures, poetry, and prose all along the way, warning each new generation of the coming of the end.
From Noah to Stephen King’s The Stand (1978) to the recent movie Amerigeddon (2016), our final demise comes by flood, global pandemic, atomic war, global governance, demons, the anti-Christ or Ahriman, asteroid impact, extraterrestrials, world-wide volcano explosions, climate change, artificial intelligence. The list is exhaustive and only limited by our imagination. Yet, the grand finale never seems to occur. As Chicken Little said, “The sky is falling; the sky is falling.”
A mix of doom and redemption is at least more hopeful than the standard dystopia that most futuristic movies depict as a starting point – total apocalypse and destruction being a given. There is a sense that the future fate of humanity hangs in the balance and a decision confronts the modern thinker that tends to make one an extreme optimist certain of a New (Golden) Age, or an extreme pessimist wondering whether humanity will continue at all. Spiritually oriented people tend to see the future as positive, but can also be disappointed by the daily ‘war of all against all’ that appears in the world.
Materialists expect the ‘end of days’ any moment and may spend much time and effort in disaster, end-times preparation; they want to ensure that the cataclysmic days ahead will not cause them or their families loss of modern comforts. Those in the middle are adrift in apathetic bliss brought on by comfortable ignorance. Others may be preparing for a type of ascension where alien spacecraft will take them to a place beyond the world’s chaos. Perhaps your end-time scenario has more to do about who you are in relationship to your spiritual consciousness than what might actually happen. After all, if you are reading this article, the end-time scenario for you hasn’t happened yet and what you think will happen is still pure speculation, just a mirror of your own state-of-mind or manifestation of your consciousness soul.
When there is an ‘end time’, like the flood myth, there is always a way through it for those who are listening carefully and obeying a higher power. In this case, God tells Noah to build an ark and to others ‘flee into the mountains.’ There is always a way out for the righteous, even if it entails forty days in an ark or living in mountain caves for years. In the end, the pruned stock of humanity carry on and multiply, whether through Noah, Abraham, Lot, or any of the anti-deluvian heroes. Those found to be righteous continue on and develop a new world.
Young gods in Norse and Greek myths overthrow the older gods, a tradition that continues until the gods themselves are overthrown by humans. In each transitional phase, only a few chosen ones are spoken to by a higher power and told what to do to survive and carry over the old wisdom into a new age. In Norse mythology, a new rainbow bridge was created for the younger gods to cross over into the higher realms after the older gods died in the battle of Ragnarok. In modern versions of this transition, the mothership shows up and takes 144,000 of the elect to a new and better planet. There is not much of a difference between the old and the new versions that refer to New Jerusalem descending from the sky to be the new home of the chosen 144,000 who come through the twelve gates.
Whether we use images from sacred books or the plots of modern movies, we come up with similar descriptions of what the future may hold. Religions may teach that we could be “translated” into heaven by a “rapture” wherein the good people just disappear and are “caught up in the clouds” with their redeemer who has returned to get them. Or we could wait for a spectacular spaceship to open its doors and welcome us aboard. In both versions—religious or Hollywood, we are lead to believe that there isn’t much we can do except wait for the event and then take our ride to heaven.
Unfortunately, that is not quite how spiritual development works. It takes effort to rise up to the next level. Self-development is like climbing a mountain, a quest to find the refined aspects of thinking, feeling and willing that transform the soul into spirit, or the mundane into the eternal. In actuality, those who will be “saved” from the earthly apocalypse will be those who work steadily at self-reflection that leads to spiritual development that reunites the individual with the twelve celestial forces that ray down into the currents of the human etheric body, a body of time that is aligned with the movement and rhythms of heavenly bodies.
Those who study the works of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and anthroposophy know that we are currently in the epoch of consciousness soul. The epoch just before it was the intellectual soul epoch (747 BC to 1415 AD) where the Greek and Roman cultures prevailed, and the one following the consciousness soul epoch, which is the one to which we are evolving, is called the Spirit Self epoch when the Russian people will lead human cultural development. In the epoch of the intellectual soul, humans developed thinking, logic, reasoning and the human mind. This epoch gave birth to early Roman and Greek cultures and lead to the advent of the Renaissance.
During the consciousness soul epoch (1415 AD to 3575 AD), humanity evolves to discover the eternal truths in the world. In order for this to happen, the spiritual world is temporarily veiled from consciousness until the aspirant re-discovers, with waking consciousness, the spiritual behind the material world. According to Steiner, the epoch of consciousness soul fills the aspirant with despair, loss of hope, helplessness, and soul isolation. When we see the world through the lens of materialism, it looks like illness, sickness, lack and scarcity, old age, death, terror, fear, and apocalypse. It is during this epoch that we are supposed to fully awaken to our egohood, and hence our spiritual nature; in language frequently used on the internet today, we are supposed to WAKE UP during this epoch. We pierce the veil of maya and see that behind the material world is a teeming life of spirit.
The epoch that follows is Spirit Self where the eternal truths of the consciousness soul epoch are transformed into higher thinking called Imagination. This is where the aspirant is released from the illusion of the material. For some, it will take all 2,160 years and several incarnations to wake up and evolve from the consciousness soul to Spirit Self because we have been given free will to decide when and how we will tread this path. For others, the transition will not be made. And for spiritual initiates who have already begun to re-discover spirit behind all events and phenomena, the evolution can come sooner.
If you are feeling despair and anguish and see only chaos in the world around you, take comfort that you are right where you are supposed to be and can ascend to a higher consciousness by turning to a spiritual life. At any point you can choose to know a higher dimension, frequency, awareness, or resonance, and free yourself from the illusion of the material matrix.
The Sun Seed and Quest for Circle of Twelve
The quest for the circle of twelve (and the inspiration of the thirteenth) was at the heart of a story that I wrote many years ago entitled, Sun Seed. In it, a young man goes to South America to fulfill a hounding dream that draws him to hidden caves near Cuzco and Lima. After many adventures, he discovers the caves and realizes that his dreams were more than real. He finds the other parts of his being in the circle of twelve beings who he is familiar with from numerous incarnations they have spent together.
This group was the earthly counterpart to the Mother Lodge of Humanity that is composed of twelve bodhisattvas surrounding Christ. A second group was in an underground cave called Agartha in the Himalayan Mountains. That group of twelve was the same group that were the apostles of Jesus Christ in Palestine. These two groups usually alternate their incarnations so that only one group of twelve is incarnated at one time and that group tries to mirror the Mother Lodge of Humanity who are often called the Masters of Wisdom and the Harmony of Feelings and Sensations.
The Comte de St. Germaine is the leader of one group and Zarathustra (the Master Jesus) leads the other. These groups have been written about in the history of the Rosicrucians, and Rudolf Steiner goes into great detail outlining who each of the masters is and what their missions entail. Seven of them are the reincarnated Holy Rishis who traveled in the ship with Manu from Atlantis to the Central Asian Mystery Initiation Center. The other five are leading representatives of each of the five cultural epochs. When all of the circle of twelve unites, sacred magic is possible.
Because our world is faced with overwhelming challenges that could bring on the ‘war of all against all’ much too early, the spiritual world has emptied itself of all souls, including great beings that have incarnated to help us through these critical times. This includes both groups of twelve that mirror the Mother Lodge. These twenty-four beings are referred to as the twenty-four elders before the throne and they are all here to help us. Never before have so many master beings been incarnated and available to help us on the physical plane. These master beings will have much to say about the directions humanity will take at this significant turning point in human spiritual history.
In Sun Seed, the protagonist of the story is the last of the masters to join the circle, drawn there by the minds of the other eleven through spiritual gravitation. He discovers underground caverns filled with gold beyond imagination. He finds a round temple whose walls are lined with concave dishes of polished gold that continuously reflect the sunlight let into the chamber. Streams of water swirl around the sphere and through six different eddies around the outside. Flames burn brightly at twelve points along the sphere in a Zodiacal band. The air is filled with an ethereal substance that is cleansing and nourishing at the same time. Though there is no source of light, the entire sphere is lit up by glow that seems alive and interacts with the twelve flames.
Once the young master finds his place amid the other twelve, he discovers in the midst of the circle an angel-like being who they call Unam, or Sophia. Her very presence is like a brilliant light filled with wisdom that nourishes parts of the soul and spirit that had been long forgotten or yet to awaken. She is the paragon of his aspirations, the substance of divine origin that illuminates the self through the selfless eyes of the others in the circle of twelve. Through her, the twelve are able to move through space and time together directed by consciousness and travel the spheres through the paths of life, death and rebirth.
This story is a fairy tale that basically describes the parable of the prodigal son who returns to his home and is rewarded for his suffering. It is the story of Cinderella, Psyche, Heracles, Orpheus, and all of the souls on the quest for the Holy Grail of love.
Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Twelve Crystal Skulls
In the eighties, I shared the Sun Seed story with Kathleen Kennedy during a time we were discussing themes and story lines for the Indiana Jones movies. Unfortunately, the content of the Sun Seed-Holy Grail story that had been discussed with Steven Spielberg’s associate turned out to be only a few minutes of screen time in Indiana Jones and the Final Crusade. The deeper meaning of the Holy Grail was usurped by big screen action and thrills. Very little of the spiritual richness of the grail story found its way into the final cut except at the end where a simple fairy tale version of the Holy Grail was given.
Likewise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was disappointingly lacking in spiritual content and fell back into the use of crystals as the central activating mechanism of transcendental experience. Using a fictitious story about eleven crystal skulls that had been recovered from different archeological sites, like the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, the screen play writers combined the story, Sun Seed, about an aspirant looking for the other eleven members of his Sun Ark, with the quest for the missing twelfth crystal skull.
Instead of a Sun Ark, which is a circle of twelve initiates joined together to balance the forces of the sun and the planets against the upheavals on Earth created by large sunspots and solar flares, the Indiana Jones’ movie gave viewers an image of a UFO with twelve aliens (crystal skulls) which had been brought back to life. Although the original Sun Ark in Sun Seed becomes an other-worldly vehicle for moving through the solar system, it wasn’t imagined originally as it was depicted in Indiana Jones—a physical alien ship that arises from its underground hiding place and zooms off into the galactic sunset.
In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the missing skull is of an alien that once awakened, unites with the other eleven alien skulls. This part of the story is somewhat similar to Sun Seed in that the spiritual aspirant is on a quest to find others like himself and unites with them to become the new “Noah’s Ark” that helps save the planet. The Sun Ark is not a UFO or alien vessel, but an archetype of higher spiritual groups (lodges, chariots, temples, or circles) coming together to unite the forces of consciousness that can perceive and utilize the harmony of the spheres that emanate from the sun and planets as positive forces that transform the human into a higher order being.
This “reuniting with the twelve” is an old tradition that goes back to the division of the heavens into twelve images, or imaginations of the forces emanating from the different areas of the sky. Just as Heracles accomplished his Twelve Labors and was given a permanent home in the stars, the task of bringing together twelve divergent energies into one synthesis is the modern Twelve Labors. Understanding and focusing the three soul forces of thinking, feeling and willing is difficult enough in self-development. Adding to them the forces and energies of the twelve directions is indeed a Herculean labor that matches the intensity of modern apocalyptic life.
The Sun Ark is reminiscent of the twelve Egyptian hierophants (masters) standing around the ritual tomb of the candidate for initiation. The twelve hierophants each represented one of the Zodiacal twelve influences and they hold those influences in check while the candidate becomes acquainted with them as actual Beings. After three days of ritual, death-like sleep, the candidate is awakened and the memory of his experiences are imprinted into the etheric body of the candidate. The twelve Zodiacal influences then became available as a celestial map for the soul to find the spirit. The candidate learns to walk through the Zodiac as a Herculean hero walking through the starry sky.
Finding Your Own Group of Twelve
In our time, we need to find our own group of twelve, even if participants can’t be physically together in one time and space. Uniting souls of like nature gives the modern thinker a group that can reflect together on the challenges of the day and try to make sense of where we are going and how we are going to get there. Each member of the group has a significant contribution that cannot be ignored if the group is to find the inspiration to fight the dragon of the apocalypse and salvage the ‘good seed’ of our time and carry it forward into a brighter tomorrow.
After the destruction of Lemuria by fire, Atlantis by water, or, in our time through the air, we will still go on and re-constellate to find our way forward and upward. Pruning a tree is sometimes the best thing you can do for its overall health.
After Lemuria, only sparse remnants survived and migrated across Africa and left three small tribes, the ones we now call the Three Eves of Africa. Most of modern humanity is descended from these three small tribes.
There were only a few survivors of the sinking of Atlantis, and after the Great Flood, only Noah and his family of seven remained. Each ark, whether Noah’s or a Sun Ark carries the ‘good seed’ of the past into the future. This is the hope of an apocalypse, or the end times – that some will survive and take the best of humanity into the future. It won’t be the ones waiting around for the aliens to beam them up; it will be those who put forth an effort of optimism and hope that can re-envision a new world based upon a cosmology that unites humans with the masters and the hierarchies who stand ever-ready to assist in spiritual awakening and advancement.
The Consciousness Soul Epoch
In order to better understand the consciousness soul epoch in which we are now living, it is helpful to take passages from the Bible and Rudolf Steiner. As noted previously, these are times that seem desperate and hopeless. The author hopes that by reading through them, you can find solace in knowing that even one person, who has individual consciousness, awareness, and righteousness of the spiritual world can prepare an ark, a vehicle for surviving the apocalypse.
The Remedy for Our Diseased Civilization, Dornach, August 6, 1921, GA 206
“If we allow things to take their course, in the manner in which they have taken their course under the influence of the world-conception which has arisen in the nineteenth century and in the form in which we can understand it, if we allow things to take this course, we shall face the war of all against all, at the end of the twentieth century.”
The Adept School of the Past, March 7, 1907, GA 97
“Mighty flames of fire destroyed ancient Lemuria, and mighty floods ancient Atlantis. Our civilization will also perish, through the war of all against all. This is what we must face. Our fifth root-race will perish, because egoism will reach its highest pitch. But at the same time, a small group of people will develop the power of Budhi, of the Life-Spirit, through the force of thought, in order to carry over Budhi into the new civilization.”
As humans on Earth are warring against one another, New Jerusalem, as a counterpoint begins to descend and become visible to those ‘with eyes to see’. There is always hope even with end-time scenarios. The twelve doors of New Jerusalem are open to all sides of the giant cube-shaped city. No sun or moon is necessary, as described below in Revelation, signifying this is the future incarnation of Earth called Jupiter. Nothing physical or foul may enter the holy city for it is a picture of the spiritual world that is being created by the love of humans and their spiritual efforts to build a ‘temple’ where their other eleven friends may enter.
The Revelation of St. John, Chapter 21
1-3 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
10-12 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
We can see in this description the foundation of New Jerusalem rests upon twelve – the twelve apostles, the twelve tribes entering the twelve doors, the twelve gates, twelve pearls, and the twelve foundations. The earth is left behind and a new place is found descending to meet the faithful.
As you read below, you will see that the chosen ones are the 144,000 derived from the twelve tribes. What makes them chosen is the ability to hear the ‘many waters’, the ‘voice of loud thunder’, and ‘the playing of harps’ so that they might and learn and sing a ‘new song’ that only they can hear. This is what Steiner referred to above as participating with the spiritual life.
The Revelation of St. John, Chapter 7
2-4 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
The Revelation of St. John, Chapter 14
1-3 Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
Preparing the New Ark
Steiner and spiritual scientists don’t pull any punches on the subject of the importance of our time in the completion of the entire cycle of Earth incarnations. As a culture, we are walking towards the brink, unaware of the fatal fall that we are about to encounter. Some will be aware and stop before it is too late. Others will mindlessly walk over the edge. Others will metaphorically sprout wings and learn to leave the earth, or one might say that they will spiritually ascend into a new dimension or higher consciousness.
The New Ark must be able to fly, at least in a transcendental manner. It only takes twelve people centered on inspiration to float the biosphere bubbles (arks) that will ascend into the rarified atmospheres above the earth where the sun always shines. But too few are ready to awaken from a life where sleep rules one third of the time and a type of spiritual unconsciousness rules waking hours. Our task is to evolve into angels, and angels don’t sleep.
When you have a group of twelve companions on the path, one of them can always stay awake and be ready for the coming of the light. God spoke directly to Noah and Lot and Vishnu spoke to Manu through a great one-horned fish. Each was seen as righteous and worth saving compared to the rest of humanity. It is a harsh statement about the way humanity often goes astray, but we can see it happening in our time again. The question arises whether many will even notice what is going on or care.
Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse, Lecture 3, Munich, May 8, 1907, GA 104a
“A small part of humankind will live toward the sixth main epoch; a larger part will not yet have found the light within. Because egotism is the fundamental power in the soul, the war of all against all will rage within this larger part of humanity. As the Lemurian race found its end through the power of fire, the Atlantean through water, so will the fifth race find its destruction in conflict between selfish, egoistic powers in the war of all against all. This line of evolution will descend deeper and deeper; when it arrives at the bottom everyone will rage against everyone else. A small part of humankind will escape this, just as a small part escaped during the destruction of the Atlantean race. It is up to every individual to find a connection to the spiritual life in order to be one of those to go over into the sixth epoch. Mighty revolutions stand before humankind; they are described in the Apocalypse.”
The Work of Secret Societies in the World, Berlin, December 23, 1904, GA 93.
“The downfall of our present epoch will be caused by lack of morality. The Lemurian epoch was destroyed by fire, the Atlantean by water; our epoch and its civilization will be destroyed by the War of All against All, by evil. Human beings will destroy each other in mutual strife. And the terrible thing will be that the blame will lie with human beings themselves.
A tiny handful of men will make good and thus insure their survival in the sixth epoch of civilization. This tiny handful will have attained selflessness. The others will develop every imaginable skill and subtlety in the manipulation and use of the physical forces of nature, but without the essential degree of selflessness.
In the seventh epoch of civilization, this War of All against All will break out in the most terrible form. Great and mighty forces will be let loose by the discoveries, turning the whole earth-globe into a kind of [self-functioning] live electric mass. In a way that cannot be discussed, the tiny handful will be protected and preserved.”
Are You One of the Chosen?
Rudolf Steiner made an enigmatic statement in his last address that many of his followers have been trying to understand ever since. He refers to the necessity to have “four times twelve human beings” who can bring forth the Michaelic thinking that will lead humanity into a brighter spiritual future. This number “48” has caused much speculation and needs clarification so that we can understand what bringing Michaelic thinking into human thinking is and who may be carrying out this all important mission.
Let’s review the particular statement of Rudolf Steiner’s that has caused this speculation:
The Individuality of Elias, John, Raphael, Novalis – The Last Address, Dornach, September 28, 1924, GA 238
“…in the near future, in four times twelve human beings, the Michaelic thinking becomes fully alive and leaders arise having the mood of soul that belongs to the Michael festival, then we can look up to the light that through the Time Spirit Michael will be shed abroad in the future among mankind.
May you receive the Michael thinking in the sense of what a faithful follower of Michael may feel when, clothed in the light rays of the Sun, Michael appears and points us to that which must now take place. For it must even be so that this Michael garment, this garment of Light, shall become the Word of Worlds, which can transform the Logos of the World (Christ) into the Logos of Humanity.”
There are many explanations that might clarify the reference of four times twelve people. One is within the story of Sodom and Gomorrah where God decides to kill the wicked villagers for their sins. Abraham debates God and asks that He spare the towns if fifty righteous people can be found within them, reasoning that fifty good people might save the lives of the many. Abraham then continues to ask for mercy from God and tries to lower this number down, first 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, to finally 10. Ten righteous people can then make up for the many, he reasoned with God.
In the end, not even ten could be found and the visiting angels command Lot, his wife, and two daughters to leave and not look behind them. Only three survived, Lot and his daughters because his wife was lost when she “looked back” and was turned into a pillar of salt. The point is, it only takes a few good souls to balance out the bad and mitigate a brighter future through being “righteous” in the eyes of Gods. Lot is one of the chosen ones who is warned before the event of destruction takes place.
Genesis 18: 20-26
And the Lord said, “Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?” And the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”
In Noah we have the same story wherein God sees evil and decides to stop by ending humanity except for the lives of a few righteous people. Noah, his three sons, and their wives are the eight people chosen to live on past the flood and start a new world. Whether these images are fact or fiction is not important for the value of the imaginative archetypes that they represent. Most traditions have similar stories because the souls of humans across the earth all experience the same spiritual world and use the images and symbols they are familiar with to describe transcendental experience.
We often forget that Noah had the skeleton and head of Adam, which had turned into a stone. This stone, Adam’s head, was placed in the center of the ark, and it gave light and nourishment to all the humans and animals in the ark. This holy grail of the ark is the “inspiration” that is often not mentioned. Adam’s head had in its mouth three seeds of the Tree of Life that Seth brought back from Eden. Shem took the head after the flood and buried it. A mighty tree grew from it that later became the pillars of Solomon’s temple and even later became the wood of the holy cross.
Whether we see it as New Jerusalem filled with light and giving forth nourishment from the rivers of life or we drink in the light and nourishment of Adam’s head, or the Holy Grail, or the chalice of the Holy Eucharist, we can find similar content in all of these stories. Noah’s ark is a clear example of this small gathering of the righteous who must weather the challenges of the time and find themselves being a small hand-full of people who carry on with hope.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
…And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
The nature of the 24 Elders is treated differently by religious scholar and spiritual scientists. One version of who these twenty-four elders are that they are two sets of twelve which mirror the Mother Lodge as previously referenced. But what are their roles today? Much discussion in different church philosophies describe the elders as virtues, hierarchy, or saints. Steiner gives a number of explanations for the twenty-four and their importance in the pictures of the book of Revelation.
Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse, Munich, May 8, 1907, GA 104a
“Before the Lemurian age the sun, moon and earth, united in one body, moved forward in terms of the zodiac. Time was measured following this movement. For this reason, the twelve signs of the zodiac are characterized as the heavenly clock and drawn as such. A planet alternates between pralaya, a cosmic night, and manvantara, a cosmic day, just as we alternately pass through day and night. The planet passes through the signs of the zodiac during pralaya and manvantara; for that reason the twelve signs of the zodiac are counted twice, just as we also count two times twelve to equal twenty-four hours. The hours symbolize the signs of the zodiac.”
For those who want a more detailed explanation of the twenty-four and their significance, the description below gives the Eastern view of why twelve is actually seven. Also, why twelve should be seen as twenty-four. This points to the question of why Steiner referred to forty-eight people carrying the mission of Michaelic thinking, or Manasic thinking, into the realm of the Spirit Self. Often mystery numbers get doubled because they are manifesting in the earthly realm, a realm of duality. The Eastern perspective on the twenty-four Elders is not the standard way a Western esoteric student would address these questions. It gives the picture that even in ancient times, the significance of a circle of twelve is the principle means through which master beings manifest and earthly beings mirror.
The Apocalypse of St. John: Lecture II, June 19, 1908, GA 104.
“We must understand what this number twelve signifies. In ancient times that by which it is surrounded was symbolized by the Zodiac, by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. He perceives that which is symbolized by the constellations, by the number twelve. The path indicated by the twelve signs of the Zodiac was conceived of as signs, and the time during which a planet passed through one of these constellations was spoken of as a cosmic hour; twelve cosmic hours, twelve hours of day and twelve of night! To each cosmic body, Saturn, Sun and Moon, is reckoned a consecutive number of cosmic hours which are grouped into cosmic days; and of these periods of time seven are outwardly perceptible and five are more or less outwardly imperceptible. We distinguish therefore seven Saturn revolutions or seven great Saturn days and five great Saturn nights. We might also say five days and seven nights, for the first and last “days” are twilight days. We are accustomed to call these seven revolutions, these seven cosmic days, Manvantaras, and the five cosmic nights, Pralayas. If we wish to have it exactly correspond to our reckoning of time, we reckon two planetary conditions together, that is, Saturn and Sun, Moon and Earth; and we then get twenty-four revolutions. These twenty-four revolutions form important epochs in the representation of the world and we picture these twenty-four revolutions ruled by beings in the universe who are represented in the Apocalypse as the twenty-four Elders, the twenty-four rulers of the cosmic revolutions, the cosmic periods. They are the Time-Kings because they rule the revolutions of the cosmic bodies. The initiate sees this when he first looks back into the picture of the past.”
Circles of Twelve Seed the Future
The archetypal circle of twelve and the inspiration of the thirteenth is a reflection of the work of higher hierarchy and the Mother Lodge they created on the Sun with Christ’s help. This archetype is a perfect example of the higher stage of development called Inspiration. Each night when we sleep, we have the possibility of rising up to the “Lodge” and participating with these beings as they administer wisdom and harmony throughout creation. We can participate with the Masters of Wisdom and the Harmony of Feelings and receive our nourishment from those realms. Steiner has described the importance of a circle of twelve as a true archetype of spiritual manifestation.
The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers, Berlin, January 1, 1909, GA 107
“Those who know that the progress of mankind depends upon living apprehension of the mighty Event of Golgotha are they who as the “Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings” are united in the great Guiding Lodge of mankind. And as once the “tongues of fire” hovered down as a living symbol upon the company of the apostles, so does the “Holy Spirit” announced by Christ Himself reign as the Light over the Lodge of the Twelve. The Thirteenth is the Leader of the Lodge of the Twelve. The “Holy Spirit” is the mighty Teacher of those we name the “Masters of Wisdom and of the Harmony of Feelings.”
The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness – The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas, Lecture 1, Berlin, October 25, 1909, GA 116
“A being such as the Christ works into the nature of man from the other side. He also works, from the other side, into those worlds to which the Bodhisattvas ascend when they leave the region of man; in order themselves to learn, in order that they may become teachers of humanity. They become pupils of Christ. A being such as He, is surrounded by twelve Bodhisattvas. Thus twelve Bodhisattvas belong to Christ, and they prepare and further develop what He brought as the greatest impulse in the evolution of human civilization. We see the twelve, and – in their midst – the thirteenth. We have now ascended to the sphere of the Bodhisattvas, and entered a circle of twelve stars; in their midst is the Sun, illuminating, warming them; from this Sun they draw that source of life which they afterwards have to carry down to earth.”
The Gospel of St. Luke, Lecture 7, September 21, 1909, GA 114
“Our wisdom on Earth must follow the lead of the Bodhisattvas, whose unceasing task it is to proclaim the Thirteenth among them. A survey of the whole of Earth evolution would reveal that there are twelve such Bodhisattvas. A Lodge of twelve Bodhisattvas is to be regarded as the Lodge directing all Earth evolution. They are Teachers, the great Inspirers of one portion or another of what mankind has to acquire.
If you were able to look into the great Spirit-Lodge of the twelve Bodhisattvas you would find that in the midst of the Twelve there is a Thirteenth — one who cannot be called a ‘Teacher’ in the same sense as the Bodhisattvas, but of whom we must say: He is that Being from whom wisdom itself streams as very substance. It is therefore quite correct to speak of the twelve Bodhisattvas in the great Spirit-Lodge grouped around One who is their Center; they are wrapt in contemplation of the sublime Being from whom there streams what they have then to inculcate into Earth evolution in fulfilment of their missions. Thus there streams from the Thirteenth what the others have to teach. They are the ‘Teachers’, the ‘Inspirers’; the Thirteenth is himself the Being of whom the others teach, whom they proclaim from epoch to epoch. Hence the content of the proclamation made through the whole choir of the Bodhisattvas is the teaching concerning Christ. The Baptism by John in the Jordan marked the point of time in the evolution of humanity when this heavenly ‘Thirteenth’ – as spiritual substance itself – appeared on the Earth.”
The twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ mirrored the Mother Lodge of Humanity and thus began the tradition of two groups of twelve who are centered on Christ – the Bodhisattvas circle and the circle of the Apostles.
Evolution of Consciousness – Man’s Life after Death in the Spiritual Cosmos, Lecture X, August 28, 1923, GA 227
“In the ancient days of Earth evolution, the Moon-influence was closely connected with the Earth, and cared for its spiritual element, with the participation, direct or indirect, of the Bodhisattvas. Then, when the time was ripe, after the first third of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch had expired, the effects of the Mystery of Golgotha, the working of the Christ, came in. This work of the Christ was surrounded by the twelve-fold activity of the Bodhisattvas, indicated in the twelve Apostles.”
We have many examples of model groups of twelve who are centered on the thirteenth. King Arthur and his twelve Knights of the Round Table were centered on the quest for the Holy Grail, among other things. Together, the twelve are able to work together and accomplish the mission they set out for themselves.
Cosmic Christianity and the Impulse of Michael, Lecture III, August 21, 1924, GA 240
“To take hold of the spirit-forces working there in nature would have been beyond the power of one individual alone. A group of men was necessary, one of whom felt himself as the representative of the Sun at the center, and whose twelve companions were trained in such a way that in temperament, disposition and manner of acting, all of them together formed a twelve-fold whole – twelve individual men grouped as the Zodiacal constellations are grouped around the Sun. Such was the Round Table: King Arthur at the center, surrounded by the Twelve, above each of whom a Zodiacal symbol was displayed, indicating the particular cosmic influence with which he was associated. Civilizing forces went out from this place to Europe. It was here that King Arthur and his Twelve Knights drew into themselves from the Sun the strength wherewith to set forth on their mighty expeditions through Europe in order to battle with the wild, demonic powers of old still dominating large masses of the population, and drive them out of men. Under the guidance and direction of King Arthur, these Twelve were battling for outer civilization.”
Groups of twelve “Wise Ones” have also been formed throughout history that worked together to advance all of humanity. Steiner is speaking here of an amazing group of twelve who gathered around the body of Christian Rosenkreutz and laid out the path of the future for humanity through their own deed of gathering together to conduct Rosenkreutz on his initiation into the mysteries of the future and the transformation of evil.
The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, January 27, 1912, GA 130
“At that time, when the spiritual world was entirely shut off from human vision, a “College” of twelve wise people came together. All the spiritual knowledge of the world and its secrets then existing was gathered into this College – distributed as it were in different sections. By means of certain occult processes there had been transmitted to seven of these twelve wise people, the wisdom that had passed over from Atlantis into the holy Rishis. In four others lived the wisdom of the sacred mysteries of the Indian, Persian, Egyptian and Graeco-Latin epochs respectively. And what existed in those days of the kind of culture which was to characterize the Fifth post-Atlantean epoch – this constituted the wisdom of the twelfth. The whole range of spiritual life was accessible to these Twelve.”
It seems that once the circle of twelve has met together physically, they don’t necessarily have to meet again physically. The circle of twelve can meet at night in the Lodge of the Masters of Wisdom. Even aspirants can accomplish this uniting at a distance. Once the circle has been established, it can meet in the etheric realm.
The Four Human Group Souls, Berlin, October 29, 1908, GA 107
“Imagine a circle of twelve men are sitting somewhere. These twelve men are sitting in a circle. Through evolution as it is today, each of these men has his ego within himself. Thus twelve egos are sitting in this circle. Let us consider such a circle of men in the Atlantean age; then the physical bodies sat thus around, but the ego is only in the etheric body which is still outside. The ego is thus to be found in front of each one. This ego, however, has another characteristic. It is not so centralized. It develops, as it were, its forces and unites with the egos of the other men so that they form a ring which again sends its forces towards its center. Thus we have here an etheric circular body which forms a unity in itself, and within it, the egos. Thus there is a circle of physical bodies, and within an etheric circular surface, which forms a unity because the egos are caught up in it, and the single ego is enclosed. Through this image we come to a pictorial idea of the group souls.
We must imagine such a regular circle of people in our own times; these human beings can be scattered in the world in the most manifold way. Let us imagine one in west France, another in the east of America. Where the laws of the spiritual world are in question the egos can still be connected, although the human beings are scattered over the world. These human beings form, then, this “round.” That which is formed through the flowing together of their egos is not indeed such a beautifully formed etheric body, but still it is a unity.”
Each human being is a microcosm of the macrocosm and mirrors below that which is above. If twelve spiritual colleagues cannot come together, then the single individual can go through twelve stages of consciousness as a path of self-development that creates the vehicle of the spirit – Ezekiel’s turning wheels or Elijah’s fiery chariot.
Foundations of Esotericism, Lecture I, Berlin, September 26, 1905, GA 93a
“There are seven grades of human consciousness: trance consciousness, deep sleep, dream consciousness, waking consciousness, psychic, super-psychic and spiritual consciousness. Actually these are in all twelve stages of consciousness; the five others are creative stages. They are those of the Creators, of the creative Gods. These twelve stages are related to the twelve signs of the zodiac. The human being must pass through the experiences of these twelve stages. He ascended through the trance, deep sleep and dream consciousness up to the present clear day consciousness. In the succeeding stages of planetary evolution he will reach still higher stages. All those which he has already passed through he will also retain within him.”
The Elders of the Apocalypse
The teachers are here in abundance and work in their own groups to build a loving and hopeful future out of the eternal wisdom they glean from the outer world of nature. Each of us also can work independently to achieve heightened levels of awareness that can consciously cross the threshold between the physical and spiritual worlds. When the Masters of Wisdom and their emissaries manifest in the world, we call them ‘elders.’
Apocalyptic Writings, Lecture 3, Berlin, October 24, 1904, GA 92
“In the course of the Fifth Root Race, something very significant comes to pass, namely that in the course of the Fifth Root Race, men themselves progress so far that a few of them will be able to take into their hands the spiritual guidance of the human race. Those whom we call “Fathers” or “Elders,” will then be able to guide and lead men as formerly they were led by the superhuman Beings. Thus the guidance and leadership of mankind passes over from the Manus to those who are “Human Brothers,” “Brothers of Men.” The Holy Spirits, the Sons of God, the Fathers, become the leaders of the human race in the successive epochs of time. The “Fathers” are also called “Elders.”
Once a full understanding and consciousness of the twelve (the Zodiac) is achieved, the group, ark, or individual can then directly communicate with the spiritual beings who stand behind the starry Zodiac that surrounds them. This is called the ‘cosmos.’ The cosmos and the human being are macrocosm and microcosm to one another. Eventually, in the far distant future, humans will become a Zodiac unto themselves. Beyond a planet with its moons, or even a sun with its system is the stage of development called the Zodiac. In essence, each group of twelve or twenty-four, or forty eight, or 144,000 is a Zodiac, an ark unto itself. We are the microcosm of the macrocosm, the perfect ark that transforms the vehicle of the spirit into a fiery chariot. This chariot, which is sent to the person when the time is right, carries the righteous soul directly into the spiritual world, New Jerusalem, Shambhala or some other divine place. There is communication implied between the saint and the forces of heaven that send the chariot. Again, a way out is provided for the righteous.
Macrocosm and Microcosm, Paris, May 5, 1913, GA 150
“We relate the heavenly bodies of our solar system to the twelve constellations of the Zodiac, and we can find our bearings in the World of Spirit only by viewing it in such a way as to be able to assert that Spiritual Beings and events are realities; we compare the facts with the courses of the planets but the Spiritual Beings with the twelve constellations of the Zodiac. If we contemplate the planets in space and the zodiacal constellations, if we conceive the movements and relative positions of the planets in front of the various constellations to be manifestations of the activities of the Spiritual Beings and the twelve constellations of the Zodiac as the Spiritual Beings themselves, then it is possible to express by such an analogy what is happening in the World of Spirit.”
The Spiritual Hierarchies and Their Reflection in the Physical World, Dusseldorf, April 12, 1909, GA 110
“I have only spoken about four names of the zodiac. They represent the four principal expressions of the Cherubim, but in reality each of these cherubic beings has to the right and left of it a kind of follower or companion. Thus we have twelve-fold forces in the Sun’s periphery belonging to the realm of the Cherubim.”
No matter what size the group, if conversation can ensue that is focused on higher thinking, then spiritual beings can come into the images and pictures being created by the words that are, in fact, beyond the spoken words. Group intent can focus consciousness to the point that it is pleasing to the spiritual word, whereupon the spiritual world responds by inspiring people to say things that build up the conversation beyond what any one individual can achieve, even what the whole group can achieve. A certain type of “group-think” leads to higher connections that open the possibility of two way communication with higher beings.
There arises a type of spiritual thinking that communes with angels. The group itself elevates in a consciousness that is beyond the consciousness of any one or few group members. This type of group conversation has been practiced by followers of Rudolf Steiner and represents a new “ark” of conversation.
Goethe believed that conversation is the art of arts. There is a key scene in his fairy tale, The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, when the four kings who are enthroned in the subterranean mystery temple are awakened to the dawning of a New Age when the serpent, made luminous by the gold she has swallowed, penetrates with light into their dark temple underground. The following dialog takes place:
“Whence came you hither?” asked the golden king.
“Out of the clefts where the gold dwells,” replied the serpent.
“What is more glorious than gold?”
“What is more quickening than light?”
This is a beautiful description of the value of conversation – it is more life-giving than light. Light is indisputably life giving, yet conversation is more quickening, leading to the idea that while light is life-giving to the body, conversation goes deeper, giving life to the soul. Conversation enlivens the soul.
This requires an inner poise of listening, not just to others, but also to ourselves, our thinking process, and most importantly our impressions from the spiritual world. It also requires a receptivity, an openness to the life of thought. Thought, being the precursor of Goethean conversation, is a process that has life, and as such is entwined with the spiritual. Conversation can be transformed into a communion or fellowship with any size group. There are a number of techniques that have been used in efforts to accomplish “Goethean Conversation.” Some of the techniques of Goethean conversation are listed below.
Be aware that the spiritual world wishes to be known and will respond to our reverent interest.
Preparation is necessary for a living conversation to arise. A theme of a conversation is set in advance and the participants meditate on that theme before coming together to discuss it.
A willingness to sacrifice previous thinking to allow new thoughts to enter.
Invite the spirit by becoming spiritually active, and then hold yourself open to its visitation.
Learn to live comfortably with quiet. Develop “inner quiet” to cultivate intuition.
Treat silence equal with speaking: learn to distinguish the formed thought from the unformed thought so that the necessity of speaking becomes evident and only then break the silence.
Sacrifice personal desire in order to allow the conversation to find its way to necessity.
This technique requires equanimity, non-attachment, openness, and a sense of selflessness.
This technique arises out of daily meditation.
In Goethean conversation there is an act of listening to the spiritual world for what wishes to manifest and an act of faith when one wishes to speak what the spiritual world wishes to manifest through you. This is the “art” of Goethean conversation where listening is as important as speaking in a true conversation.
Creating an Ark for One
Building the ark, which is needed to survive an apocalypse, is a vehicle of consciousness; you do not need to wait for other partners to begin. We have seen that just being righteous and connecting to the spiritual world is the way to find a path through our apocalyptic times. The vehicle, or chariot, will arrive and take us further upward when the time is right. Any work we do with others to enliven a hopeful and loving future builds the vehicle of transcendence that descends from the heavens.
To find your way through the apocalypse, you can unite with others or you can find a synthesis of the world that perceives the eternal forces of life working through Nature. The forces and energies of Nature insinuate the beings who stand behind Her and can inspire us to walk through fear, doubt, and hatred, otherwise known as the challenges that each of us meet daily, in order to conquer the appearance of apocalypse all around us.
The anti-social forces of the war of all against all can be conquered by joining together in groups of twelve people who are consciously creating spiritual organs of the future. If the forces of love and wisdom can unite twelve divergent views of the cosmos through understanding that each of the twelve points of view are perfectly valid and yet completely different, then all of the twelve can become a single organ that can perceive higher beings and thereby learn to listen to what is needed to overcome the apocalypse.
Whether you are part of the 144,000, or 48, or 12, or by yourself as an aspirant of one, we can all listen to the wind of the twelve directions and hear the language of the spirit as we face the apocalypse, which is the path of spiritual self-development that provides all twelve views of the cosmos and creates a new synthesis, a new cosmology, for perceiving the world.
We will rise up in some fashion, whether with wings of the soul or through direct contact, with our older brothers and sisters who wish to help us ascend. Ascension takes effort on our part to climb to the highest point and there await the intervention of higher beings, the beings of Wisdom (Sophia). That is why it is the Sophia of Christ that is needed in our time – Sophia Christos.
Experiencing Sophia in our spiritual development and Christ in the etheric realm of the earth are expeditious ways to build the chariot of the gods that can span the apocalyptic chasm that separates the material from the spiritual.
“For wherever two or three have gathered in my name, I am there in their midst,” Christ told us. And if you are alone, then speak with Christ or His emissaries and gather in His name. Once a dialogue is established, the spiritual world begins to commune with the righteous and sets a clearly marked path for the aspirant whose heart is open and whose eyes are aimed towards heaven.
The good news is, we are all the chosen one–each and every one of us who wish to mount the skies and rise to our new homes.
The dragon of the apocalypse has no power in these new realms and the Queen of Heaven reigns there until Her Son comes to power. There is no need to wait for the apocalypse because we manifest it every time we consciously do battle with the dragon to protect wisdom and nurture love. These are the messages of resurrection found in Revelations and the path through the apocalypse of our time.
We each live the message of resurrection every day that we consciously take up the battle between spirit and matter. Sophia needs warriors to find the way upward to Her path to the stars, the encircling wisdom of twelve that is found in the celestial heavens and in the human etheric body.
In the words of Rudolf Steiner, “only those who turn to a spiritual life will survive the catastrophe.” For those that turn to a spiritual life, the apocalypse is seen for what it is—a method of awakening human consciousness out of its materialistic sleep. We recognize that we are immortal beings having a temporal experience. For those that choose to remain in a materialistic life, pushing the spiritual world further into the recesses of their lives, the apocalypse, in some form or fashion, will always be in your world view. And if the majority of the people in the world are “not awake,” then you will continue to see chaos and madness in the world with headlines and news reports that cry out, “the sky is falling.” Each of us has an opportunity in the consciousness soul epoch to re-discover the spiritual nature of the world and at least until the end of this epoch, end-of-time stories will be with us until every soul has an opportunity to awaken.
A threshold is a doorway, and one through which only you can traverse. Not until you are ready to wake up and turn to a life of spirit, will you be able to board the Sun Ark and rescue the good seed of our age.
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