Saturday 14 April 2018

It was ancient legalism that killed Jesus (as it kills all Goodness, now)

The following is edited from Lecture 5 of The Karma of Materialism (1917) by Rudolf Steiner and translated by Owen Barfield

It was also inevitable that an ahrimanic [i.e. Satanic-materialistic] code of law should be particularly in evidence and concentrated, so to speak, at one particular spot on the earth at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha [i.e. the death and resurrection of Jesus].

Such circumstances did not prevail everywhere, but in this one place the social structure was completely ahrimanic. 

Therefore the appearance of its very antithesis - the appearance of a God - was for this society the most hateful thing that could happen, it had to be eliminated...

Two things in particular brought about this social structure. First, the kind of thoughts that had evolved out of Judaic law, were so saturated with ahrimanic forces that by means of them there was no possibility of grasping the fact that a God could come so close to man as was the case of Christ Jesus. This was something Judaic law had of necessity to reject. 

Secondly, the Romans were also responsible for the death of Christ Jesus; they were a powerful and efficient force in establishing the external side of the social structure. One cannot imagine a more powerful example than the social structure created by Roman Imperialism, particularly at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. Yet at the moment the Mystery of Golgotha is enacted, Pilate, the representative of the strongest earthly power, proves a weakling when faced with spiritual power. He is incapable of coming to any insight or to make any decision about what is to happen.

This phenomenon of satanic materialism is therefore connected with the Mystery of Golgotha... it took place at a time when mankind was least able to understand

In earlier times the advent of Christ would have been understood, but when it actually happened it was not understood.


Note: Rudolf Steiner's idea of 'Ahriman' is a demonic being/ set of beings - roughly similar to the concept of Satan is the character of The Devil - a demon whose distinctive tempting of Men is this-worldly materialism, legalism, denial of the reality of the spiritual; who works by-means-of procedures and laws, organisation and systems; and who typically works-via emotions such as fear, resentment and demotivation.

Clearly, the ahrimanic has been The rising ideology in The West since the modern era (post 1600s) and since about 1800 is now globally dominant in the form of the single-interlinked, expanding totalitarian bureaucracy.

Steiner's point is that the timing and placing of Christ's life was such that the reality of the Son of God could not be acknowledged by either of the dominant institutions.

The Jews could see no further than that Jesus transgressed The Law - that was the whole of their perspective (just like any typical modern official with her standard practices, or the PC Thought Police and their many and multiplying taboo words/ facts); the Romans regarded stability of their systematic regime as the priority; and Jesus as having provoked a dangerous, albeit irrational, response from the Jews.

Both Jews and Romans were blinkered to any genuine and significant spiritual realities; such that it was either impossible or irrelevant that Jesus might be exactly who-and-what he said he was. Contrary evidence was by definition false; all eye-witnesses were by definition fools or manipulators.

The 'obvious' and apparently unavoidable, conclusion for Jews and Romans alike was to 'eliminate the problem' - by killing Jesus.

So, despite that all the people involved in the death of Jesus had free will, and any of them could have chosen Not to kill him; in an era of established and accepted Ahrimanic dominance it was almost inevitable that Jesus would be killed by 'the authorities' one way or another, living in that place and at that time.

(And this was why the death by murder of Jesus could be fore-known, prophecied - despite the free will of Men.) 

The many lessons for today are obvious enough...


David said...

"(And this was why the death by murder of Jesus could be fore-known, prophecied - despite the free will of Men.)"

This is the best explanation for the necessity of the crucifixion and atonement I have encountered. The return of ahriman appears to have surpassed the roman age level many fold now! I suppose that is why they are prophesied end times. May God help us all to open our eyes to the evil of the bureaucracy all around us

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - I agree - it is a very telling point. And one which is obviously relevant to us here and now.