The Second Crucifixion of the Christ in the Etheric in the 19th Century

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The second crucifixion of the Christ in the etheric in the 19th century, which took place towards the end of the Gabriel Age as a result of advancing materialism, a second, a new Golgotha in the etheric, as it were, led to a suspension of the consciousness of the angelic being through which the Christ has been revealed since Golgotha. A kind of "spiritual suffocation" occurred through this immersion in the "black sphere of materialism".

„Although Christ came into the ancient Hebrew race and was there led to his death, nevertheless the angelic being, which has since been the outward form of the Christ, suffered an extinction of consciousness in the course of the nineteenth century as the result of the opposing materialistic forces which had come up into the spiritual worlds, as the result of the materialistic souls of men passing through the gate of death. And the entrance of unconsciousness into the spiritual worlds in the manner just described will become the resurrection of the Christ Consciousness in the souls of men on earth between birth and death in the 20th century. In a certain sense, therefore, one can predict that from the 20th century onwards, that which has been lost to humanity in terms of consciousness will certainly rise again for clairvoyant vision. At first only a few, then an ever-increasing number of beings will be able in the 20th century to perceive the appearance of the etheric Christ, that is, Christ in the form of an Angel. For the sake of humanity, what may be called a destruction of consciousness occurred in the worlds immediately above our earthly world, and in which the Christ has been visible in the time between the Mystery of Golgotha and the present day.“ (Lit.:GA 152, p. 45)

Men carried this materialistic disposition through the gate of death to an extent that was quite impossible in earlier ages. They thereby entered a spiritual world of which they knew nothing and to which they had no understanding. And when the Christ met them in the spiritual sphere close to the earth, into which he had entered through the Ascension, they repelled him.

„The Christ descended from the supersensible worlds into the world in which he has lived ever since, as a secret power, but one that will reveal itself from our century onwards. He descended from the world in which there is no death into the world of death. And he - this power - has united with the earth. He went from being a cosmic power to being a power of the earth. It has passed through death in order to revive within the existence of the earth, in order to be within the world of the earth. And humanity has endeavoured in these or those souls who filled themselves with this impulse to understand it through the centuries. But the further the evolution has approached the past Gabriel Age, the more the understanding has diminished. And today this understanding is in a very bad way, especially among those who should have it, and materialism is not only making itself felt in the materialistic science of today, but is also making itself felt in many cases in theology. The real understanding of the Christ-impulse has diminished. Materialism has taken hold of the souls, it has nested itself deeply in the souls. In many respects materialism has become the basic impulse of the last, the expired epoch. Numerous souls have died, having passed through the gate of death with a materialistic mind. To pass through the gate of death with a materialistic attitude to such an extent as souls have passed through in the past epoch could not have taken place in earlier ages.

Then these souls lived in the time between death and new birth in the spiritual world in such a way that they knew nothing of the world in which they lived. Then a being met them. They saw it in this world. They had to see it because this being had united with earthly existence, even if it was invisible for now in sensual earthly existence. And the efforts of these souls who had passed through the gate of death succeeded in driving the Christ, we cannot say otherwise than: out of the spiritual world. And the Christ had to experience a renewal of the Mystery of Golgotha, although not on the same scale as the previous one. At that time he went through death, but now he was expelled from his being in the spiritual world. And thereby the eternal law of the spiritual world was fulfilled in him. What disappears in the higher, spiritual world, arises anew in the lower world.“ (Lit.:GA 152, p. 71f)

Thus, an eternal law of the spiritual world was fulfilled at the same time: What disappears in the higher, spiritual world, arises anew in the lower world. The Christ had to connect even more closely with the earthly world and thus the prerequisite was created for the return of the Christ in the etheric to be seen by more and more people from the 20th century onwards.

„"The seeds of earthly materialism", which since the 16th century were carried up into the spiritual world in ever greater measure by the souls passing through the gate of death, and which brought about ever more darkness, formed the "black sphere of materialism". This black sphere was taken into his being by Christ in the sense of the Manichaean principle in order to transform it. It brought about "spiritual suffocation" in the angelic being in whom the Christ-being revealed itself since the Mystery of Golgotha. This sacrifice of the Christ in the 19th century is comparable to the sacrifice on the physical plane in the Mystery of Golgotha and can be called the second crucifixion of the Christ on the etheric plane. This spiritual suffocation, which brought about the suspension of the consciousness of that angelic being, is a repetition of the Mystery of Golgotha in the worlds immediately behind ours, so that a revival of the formerly hidden Christ consciousness may take place in the souls of men on earth. This revival becomes the clairvoyant vision of humanity in the 20th century.

Thus the Christ-consciousness can be united with the earthly consciousness of humanity from the 20th century onwards, for the dying of the Christ-consciousness in the angelic sphere in the 19th century means the resurrection of the immediate Christ-consciousness in the earth sphere, that is to say, the life of the Christ will be felt more and more in the souls of men from the 20th century onwards as a direct personal experience.“ (Lit.:GA 152, p. 46)


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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