Mystical death

From AnthroWiki

Mystical death is the fifth stage of the Christian initiation, which is based on the mystical re-experiencing of the descriptions of the Gospel of John.

„The fifth stage is mystical death, where the disciple actually first experiences something like a black curtain standing between him and reality. Until the realisation dawns on him, he feels something like a kind of being lost, a kind of being completely alone. The world of the flesh is as if it were submerged, and like an impenetrable black curtain it lies before the eye of the soul. This is a moment that everyone who takes this initiatory path must experience. One becomes acquainted with everything that can rest as really great suffering and pain at the bottom of the soul, and with all the evil that exists in the world. This is the descent into hell. Then it seems to the pupil as if the curtain were torn, and he sees into the other world.“ (Lit.:GA 97, p. 232f)

Mystical Death and Mystical Wedding

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, The Wedding at Cana, 1820

Mystical death, the mystical union of the soul with the astral world, is occultly also called mystical marriage or mystical wedding. The Gospel of John refers to this in its description of the Marriage at Cana. The relationship of the physical body to the astral body is like that of mother to son:

„Now read how this process is figuratively, symbolically described in the Gospel of John 8:58–59: "Jesus said to them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. - Then they took up stones to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out into the temple, passing through the midst of them", through the hindrances. This is the end of the eighth chapter. This is the process of the astral body coming out of the physical body. Usually such a process, a final act that leads to this emergence, in order to make the human being completely sighted, takes three days. When these three days are up, the human being attains the same consciousness on the astral plane as before on the physical plane. Then he unites with the higher world.

In occult language, this union with the higher world is called the marriage of the soul with the powers of the higher world. When one has emerged from the physical body, the physical body stands opposite one, just as the child, if it could have consciousness, would stand opposite the mother from whom it was born at birth. Thus the physical body faces one, and the astral body can quite well say to the physical body: This is my mother. When it has celebrated its wedding, then it can say that, then it looks back on the union that existed before. After three days this can happen. Such is the occult process for the astral plane. Chapter 2:1, it says, "And on the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there." That's the figurative expression for what I just said. On the third day it came to pass.“ (Lit.:GA 94, p. 198)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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