Greetings friends on this the Feast day of Nicodemus. As fate would have it, yesterday as I was doing some research about the Holy Grail for the Pageant: ‘The Royal Art: A Social Pilgrimage of the Soul’ (for the ASA AGM on Sunday 10 October); I was reading from Sergei O. Prokofieff’s book ‘The Spiritual Origins of Eastern Europe and the Future Mysteries of the Holy Grail’ Chapter 3 ‘Scythianos & the Grail Stream’, where he reveals the connection between this great initiate of the mysteries of the physical body (The blood & body) & his 2 pupils – Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus. So this powerful individuality was already ‘visiting me in the night’.
Just like Lazarus, Nicodemus does not belong to the tradition of the Synoptic Gospels & is only mentioned by John, who brings him in 3 times, devoting more than half of Chapter 3 of his Gospel, a few verses of Chapter 7 & again in Chapter 19.
The first time Nicodemus is mentioned, he is identified as a Pharisee who comes to see Jesus “at night”. John places this meeting shortly after the Cleansing of the Temple & links it to the signs which Jesus performed in Jerusalem during the Passover feast. “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2).
Then follows a conversation with Nicodemus about the meaning of being “born again” or “born from above” (Greek: ἄνωθεν), & the mention of seeing the “kingdom of God”.
In Chapter 7, Nicodemus advises his colleagues among “the chief priests and the Pharisees”, to hear & investigate before making a judgment concerning Jesus. Their mocking response argues that no prophet comes from Galilee. Nonetheless, it is probable that he wielded a certain influence in the Sanhedrin.
Finally, when Jesus is buried, Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh & aloes—about 100 lbs [John 19:39]
“We have already pointed out in these lectures that in the words of Christ-Jesus to Nicodemus, we must recognize a conversation between Christ and a personality who is able to perceive what can be beheld outside of the physical body by means of higher organs of cognition if developed to a certain stage. For those who understand such things, this is clearly and distinctly indicated in the Gospel wherein it is stated that Nicodemus came to Christ-Jesus “in the night,” meaning in a state of consciousness in which the human being does not make use of his outer sense organs.” ~Rudolf Steiner, The Gospel of St. John, lecture VI -THE “I AM”
You can also find some amazing insights about Nicodemus from the work of Emil Bock in his book ‘The Three Years’ Chapter 8.
3 August 2021 – “Speaking with the Stars”: Today is a great day to view Saturn, which reached opposition at 1 am last night. If you’re up early, the ringed planet won’t set until nearly sunrise; if you’re an evening observer, it will rise again as the Sun sets in Capricornus the Sea Goat.
Bella Luna reaches apogee, the farthest point from our planet in its orbit. ~astronomy.com
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
1829 – Birthday of Laurence Oliphant – a Member of the British Parliament, was a South African-born British author, traveler, diplomat, intelligence agent, & Christian mystic. (see Steiner’s Quote below that in a former life he was Ovid)
From Rudolf Steiner in Karmic Relationships, VIII: Lecture V
“In the early years of this century I was several times in London. On the occasion of one of these visits I was prompted to make myself acquainted with an extraordinarily significant personality — to begin with, simply in his writings. And as in those days there were rather longer intervals between the journeys than there are now, I obtained from the Theosophical Library the books he had written — the books that is to say, of Laurence Oliphant.
Laurence Oliphant is a remarkably interesting and significant personality: he strikes you in this way directly you begin to study his writings. These books deal with the similarities to be found in different religions, with spiritual religions, and so forth; and all of them bear evidence of a deep understanding of how in the various processes of his body and soul, man is connected with the secrets of the universe. When you read Oliphant’s writings you have the impression: Here is a picture of man in his earth-life that owes its inspiration to deep cosmic instincts. The processes of the earthly life of man that are connected with birth, embryonic life, descent and so forth, are described in such a way as to show how man, as microcosm, is wondrously rooted in the macrocosm.
Now I was very soon led in this study to a point where the figure of the dead Laurence Oliphant stood before me, but not in a form which suggested that I had here to do with the individuality as he was then living after death; it was rather that what was contained in these writings (which may be described as setting forth a kind of cosmic physiology, a cosmic anatomy) began to come alive, began to spiritualise; and a figure appeared, not all at once entirely clear, but unquestionably there before me on many different occasions. I was able to make occult investigations into the matter and I could never do otherwise than bring the figure into connection with what came to me from reading Oliphant. It was very often there before me. At first I was often unable to satisfy myself as to what this figure wanted, what its manifestations meant. The whole manner of its appearance however, left me in no doubt whatever that it was none other than the individuality of Laurence Oliphant; and it was likewise clear to me that this figure had had a long life in the time between death and a new birth — that is to say, the birth as Laurence Oliphant — probably only broken by one earth-life that was not very significant for the rest of the world. What might not then be hidden in the personality of Laurence Oliphant! In short, this appearance of the figure of Laurence Oliphant suggested significant questions of karma.
When I entered on an investigation of the karma, a spiritual Being became manifest who is engaged in the elaboration of human karma…
Now the investigations which I described in Torquay led me into close contact with the spirit of Brunetto Latini, the teacher of Dante. When one penetrates into these spiritual worlds in the manner described, it also becomes possible to stand before individualities in the form in which they lived in a particular epoch. Thus one can stand face to face with Brunetto Latini, the great teacher of Dante in the 13th century. Brunetto Latini still possessed a knowledge whereby nature was seen, not in the abstraction of natural laws, but as under the influence of living spiritual Beings. On the way back to his native town of Florence from his post as Ambassador in Spain, Brunetto Latini heard all kinds of reports that troubled and disturbed him, and in addition he had a slight sunstroke. In this condition and under the influence, too, of the pathological disturbances, glimpses came to him of nature in her creative work, of cosmic creation, and of the connection of man with the planetary world. What he was able to see was wonderful and sublime and no more than a shadow-picture of it subsequently found its way into the great work of Dante — the Divine Comedy.
But now if we follow this Brunetto Latini, we find that in a critical moment, when the knowledge was like to suffocate him, when it seemed to him that he might go astray from true knowledge and fall into error — in this critical moment, Ovid became his guide, Ovid, the Roman author of the Metamorphoses which contain such wonderful visions of the old Greek age, though expressed in the prosaic, characteristically Roman style.
And so we meet the individuality of Ovid together with Brunetto Latini. If we have a true grasp of the connection we can see Brunetto Latini, in the pre-Dante time, actually together with Ovid. Ovid is with him. And now, precisely in connection with the scientific, medical researches of which I was speaking, Ovid revealed himself as Laurence Oliphant.
In reality, Ovid was the guide in the spiritual world for many Initiates, appearing again as Laurence Oliphant with his sublime treatment of physiology and pathology. This connection between Laurence Oliphant and Ovid is of most far-reaching import and is one of the most illuminating examples one could possibly find. ~Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, VIII: Lecture V
1929 – Krishnamurti dissolves the Order of the Star in the East
1936 – Jesse Owens wins the 100 meter dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.
1977 – Tandy Corporation announces the TRS-80, one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers
On August 3, 2019, a mass shooting occurred at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, United States. 21 year old Patrick Crusius shot & killed 23 People & injured 23 others, in an act of domestic terrorism -a hate crime described as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.
Shortly before the shooting Crusius posted a manifesto with white nationalist anti-immigrant themes, online, citing that year’s earlier Christchurch mosque shootings & the right-wing conspiracy theory known as the Great Replacement as inspiration for the attack.
POD (Poem Of the Day)
~I travel inwardly
I gather berries that have fallen
Fully ripened to the ground
& swing the scythe under hot blue skies…
What is remembered, lives…
|The Central Regional Council’s Holy Grail Study Group|
Mysteries of the Holy Grail – from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation
August 4, 2021 – 7:15 pm Central (8:15 pm Eastern)
We had a lively discussion during our July 7 meeting. Here are two lectures that may shed some lights on two of the more hard-to-grasp ideas discussed. You can click on the “Prev” or “Next” button to scroll through other lectures in the same series.
1. About the Holy Trinity:
The Mystery of the Trinity (Dornach, July 23, 1922)
2. About the Seven Elohim and the Christ Logos:
The Challenge of the Times (Dornach, Dec 7, 1918)View this email in your browser
“The higher I which may be born in every human soul points to the rebirth of the divine I in the evolution of humanity through the events in Palestine. In the same way that the higher self can be born in every human being, the higher self of humanity as a whole was born in Palestine and is preserved and further developed behind the external symbol of the Rose Cross.”~Rudolf Steiner, The Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Chapter 2, “The Birth of Higher Perception”, excerpts from Steiner’s The Gospel of St. John in its Relation to the Other Three Gospels given at Kassel on 24 June, 1909 .. focus of the August 4 meeting.
This chapter from the book can be found online at the CRC’s website by clicking this link
The complete transcript of the lecture can be found on the RS Archive by clicking this linkThe Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America invites you to join our ongoing study conversation. The study has been divided among two volunteers who will summarize their section to rebuild it as a foundation for our conversation. Please familiarize yourself with the lecture if possible so you will feel comfortable sharing your reflections and thoughts with the group.This collection of lectures has been republished by Rudolf Steiner Press under the title: “The Mysteries of the Holy Grail — from Arthur and Parzival to Modern Initiation.” The book was compiled and edited by Matthew Barton, published by Rudolf Steiner Press in 2010.
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|Agenda for this meeting (CST)|
7:15 Welcome and Introductions
7:25 Study led by volunteers
Note: CRC team will ID volunteers
Kate – pg. 15 to 17
Michael – pg. 18 to 20
8:28 Close with verse
There is a knighthood of the 21st centurywhose riders do not ride through the darknessof physical forests as of old,but through the forest of darkened minds.They are armed with a spiritual armorand an inner sun makes them radiant.Out of them shines healing,healing that flows from the knowledgeof the human being as a spiritual being.They must create inner order, inner justice,peace and conviction in the darknessof our time.~Karl Konig