Steiner was discouragingly vague about the Creation. He declined to discuss it much. But we can pick up tidbits, here and there.
The creative power that causes everything to exist can be referred to as the Godhead. This is the Biblical God, in a sense, but actually not.* The Godhead is the primal power that reveals itself in primal wisdom, or three forms of Logos. (“Logos” is Greek for “word”. Capitalized, "The Word" is — for Christians — the Word of God, which in living form is Christ. In Theosophy and, by extension, Anthroposophy, the “Logoi” are versions of Logos, distinct — as it were — from Christ, the Sun God.) We may think of God as the perfected Godhead — or, if we understand the Godhead to be eternally perfect, then we can say that God enfolds the perfected universe: God stands at the redemption of all, the epitome of evolution, when all are united in perfect divinity.**
The three Logoi, according to Steiner, may be seen as the actual creators, or at least the agents of creation. If the Godhead always existed, they always existed — they are primal. Then again, we can see their effects reaching back before the beginning of the universe to a previous universe. (According to Theosophy, a universe is a "planetary chain." Our universe, for example, passes through seven evolutionary stage, which Steiner called planets or planetary conditions or conditions of consciousness. Before the first of these, there was a previous universe, a previous planetary chain, as it were.) This may be an infinite regress: Before every universe there existed a previous universe. In this sense, there was no Beginning as such.
Let’s begin by looking at a couple of brief quotes that lay out some of what I have already said:
"When an East Indian wants to give the highest expression to his reverence for the Godhead who reveals himself in three Logoi, he summarizes his feeling in three times three words that describe the activity of the three Logoi:
"Primal-truth, primal-goodness, immeasurability, O Brahma
Primal-blissfulness, eternity, primal-beauty
Peace, blessing, undividedness
Aum, peace, peace, peace."
— Rudolf Steiner, FROM THE CONTENTS OF ESOTERIC CLASSES (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), GA 266.
"Religious doctrines and formulas are only echoes of the sensations that could be once communicated from person to person and that were drawn from the primal wisdom that created the world itself."
— Rudolf Steiner, THE LORD’S PRAYER: An Esoteric Study (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2008), p. 57.
Let’s dig a bit into the identity and operations of the Logoi.
"Consciousness in its different manifestations finds its expression in the seven Planetary evolutions: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, Vulcan ... Let us transfer ourselves to the primal beginning of such a planetary evolution, at the very beginning of Saturn. What is to be observed there? There was as yet no physical planet ... Nothing of our series of planets existed; certainly however there was the entire outcome of the preceding planetary chain, in much the same way as when we wake up in the morning, having as yet done nothing, and only the memory of what we did on the previous day is contained in our mind. So when we thus transfer ourselves completely into the beginning of the Saturn evolution, we have in the spiritual beings then in manifestation, the memory of a previous planetary chain and its happenings.
"...[T]he three ways of creating are as follows:
"Combining of existing parts: Form
Producing new formations with new Life content out of existing foundations: Life
Creating out of nothing: Consciousness
"Here we have three definitions of Beings who bring about, who underlie a planetary chain. They are called the three Logoi. The Third Logos produces by means of combining. When out of one substance something else having new life comes into being, this is brought forth by the Second Logos. Everywhere, however, where we have to do with a coming forth out of nothing, we have the First Logos. This is why the First Logos is also often called the One who is immanent in things, the Second Logos the One who in the quiescent substance in things creates life out of the living, the Third Logos the One who combines everything existing, who puts the world together out of things.
"These three Logoi always manifest in the world in and through one another. The First Logos also experiences both the inner wisdom and the will. In the creative activity of the First Logos there is experience, that is to say, the gathering of thoughts out of nothing and then creating once more in accordance with these thoughts out of nothing. Creation out of nothing is however not meant in such a way as if nothing at all had been there. On the contrary, in the course of evolution experiences are made and in the course of becoming the new is created, so that what is there melts away and out of experience there is the creation of the new."
— Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 27, GA 93a.
There is considerable squishiness in Steiner’s language on these subjects, as you have already seen. Nothing and something and everything flow together. Everything is created out of nothing, but by nothing we don’t mean nothing...
The following may or may not help. To put it in context: Steiner was a Theosophist before founding Anthroposophy. His version of Theosophy always differed from the main version: He always put much more emphasis on Christ (the Sun God), and he was often criticized for this. Perhaps the main lesson for us now is Steiner’s seemingly strong denial that, in his teachings, Christ is the so-called "second Logos". We can also discern at least one of Steiner's reasons for breaking away from Theosophy:
"[T]he word 'Logoi' can convey to the ordinary intelligence nothing more than its five letters. When it is alleged in certain quarters outside that here we speak of Christ as the 'second Logos,' we do well to realise that misrepresentation and distortion are the order of the day. We ourselves are quoted as the source of statements which have actually originated somewhere else! Our constant endeavour is to deepen, to widen and to gather from every side, knowledge that can shed light on the Christ Idea. Yet outside our field of work, by talking round an abstract concept, people allege that we speak of the Christ as the 'Second Logos.' In the Theosophical Society, conscience ought to be too sharp to permit such allegations. So long as sheer misrepresentation of other people's views is possible, the Theosophical Movement cannot be said to have reached any particularly high level, and while this sort of thing goes on, it is futile to boast about freedom of opinion in the Society. This is an empty phrase as long as people allow themselves to spread false ideas of the views held by others ... It was recently stated in periodicals abroad that the Christ is spoken of by us as the 'Second Logos' and that we are said to be cultivating a 'narrow' Theosophy, suitable for Germany, but not for any other country; we are said to be cultivating a 'narrow' Theosophy, whereas a really 'broad' Theosophical Movement is being conducted from a certain centre in Leipzig of which you have heard. When things of this kind are to be read, it can only be concluded that there does not exist in the Theosophical Movement the sharpness of conscience that is the pre-requisite of a spiritual movement."
— Rudolf Steiner, EARTHLY AND COSMIC MAN (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1948), lecture 6, GA 133.
Actually, Steiner indicated that Christ is the second Logos, but only in a special sense. Steiner taught that the human being consists of numerous components. You don’t need to fathom them all, at the moment. Just note that one of them may be referred to as the Son or the Word (i.e., Logos), specifically the second Logoi. But note that the being whom we may call the second Logoi has been evolving, like virtually everything else. Back on Saturn, we were not yet human — we were extremely primitive, far below the level of humanity. But beings such as the second Logos were human on Saturn. Today, of course, we have risen to the level of humanity — that is, we are now humans — whereas the beings who were human on Saturn are now much more advanced than they were when they were human.
"The present-day human being consists of four members: Physical body, Etheric body, Astral body and the Ego, and, prefigured in the ego, Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit and Spirit-Man (Manas, Budhi, Atma). The lowest, although of its kind the most perfect member on the Earth planet, is the physical body.
"The next higher is the etheric body, then the astral body and the ego. Now there are also beings who have no physical body, whose lowest member is the etheric body. They have no need of the physical body in order to occupy themselves in our sense world; in compensation they have a member which is higher than our seventh.
"Others have the astral body as their lowest member and in compensation a ninth, and again others who have our ego as lowest member, have in compensation a tenth member. When we consider the beings who have the ego as lowest member we must say that they consist of:
"Then come the eighth, ninth and tenth members, that which Christian esotericism calls the Divine Trinity:
Son or Word
"In theosophical literature one is accustomed to call these the three Logoi.
"These beings, whose lowest member is the ego, are those who come into special consideration for us in the Saturn evolution. They were at the stage where humanity stands today. They could exercise their ego under the quite different conditions that I have described. They were the human beings of Saturn and the ancestors of our present humanity.
"They irradiated the surface of Saturn with their ego-hood, their external nature, they were the implanters of ego-hood in the physical corporeality that was forming on the surface of Saturn.
— Rudolf Steiner, THEOSOPHY OF THE ROSICRUCIAN (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 9, GA 99.
One important implication of what we have just seen is that Steiner’s conception of the Divine Trinity — which Christians call God — is rather different from what we find in the Bible. God consists of three beings who are within us, as it were: They are our eight, ninth, and tenths members. And these members are evolving, they are not a uniform, separate, unchanging One True God. According to Steiner, the universe is polytheistic, filled by many gods at many levels of evolutionary development. Eventually the divine cosmic plan will be realized and all will be united in God, but that lies in the future. For now, we deal with many, many gods, the source or fountainhead of whom is the Godhead.
"Just as in each of the three Logoi the other two are perceptible, so too the first and second Logoi are sounding in the third. Similarly, the first and third Logoi radiate pictures in the second, and in the first Logos the second and third stream forth as fragrance." — Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC LESSONS 1904-1909 (Steiner Books, 2007), p. 153. [R.R. sketch, 2009, based on b&w image on that page.] The first Logos is to the left (smell, matter). Sun and light are at the dark-blue bottom point. The second Logos is in the center (sight, picture), with sound at the rounded violet top. The third Logos is on the right (hearing, movement), with aroma at the light-blue bottom point. Don't worry if none of this makes sense — it won't be included on the final. On p. 154 (this is for extra credit), we are informed that the first Logos is far above the physical plane, the second is closer, and the third is on the physical plane. Also, smell falls under the aegis of Leo, vision is under Capricorn, hearing under Aries, taste under Gemini, and feeling under Taurus.
Here's another way to speak of these things. The source or ground of all being is primal wisdom, Steiner taught. This wisdom is not an abstraction, it is a spirit — manifested in the three Logoi. It causes all and is apprehended in all — that is, all religious traditions have recognized it, although in varying ways. It is, in brief, the universal ground, the source. It always is and was.
The Theosophical/Anthroposophical project is an attempt to bring together all the bits and pieces of primal wisdom and thus attain full apprehension of the divine, as it were. (The project succeeds only if Theosophists and/or Anthroposophists bend and break the pieces, turning them into something very different from what they were. In Anthroposophy, for instance, Christ is twisted into the Sun God; heaven and hell disappear, replaced by evolutionary states; and so on — but of course Steiner didn’t describe his efforts in the terms I am now using.)
According to Steiner, all forms of “spiritual science” — dating all the way back to the beginning of our human existence — have, basically, told the same tale: They have all presented aspects of the primal wisdom. According to Steiner, Theosophy did a pretty good job of pulling all these pieces together; but Anthroposophy does a better job, according to Steiner.
"[T]his content of the spiritual worlds was preserved in the Mysteries, guarded by the priests of the Mysteries. The secret knowledge under the guardianship of the Priests of Hermes in Egypt, of Zarathustra in Persia, and the sages of Chaldea, the successors of the Holy Rishis in India, was nothing else than the art of enabling human beings, through Initiation, to witness what men in days of yore had seen around them in a perfectly natural way. Later, what the Mysteries preserved was expressed in the form of the folk-religion — here in one, there in another religion — according to the constitution of a people, according to its particular faculties and powers of perception, even according to its native climate. But the primal wisdom was the basis of them all, as the one great unity. This wisdom was one and the same, whether cultivated by Pythagoras in his School, by the Chaldean sages in Western Asia, by Zarathustra in Persia, or by the Brahmans in India. Everywhere it was the same primal wisdom — expressed in varied form according to the needs and conditions obtaining in the folk-religions of the different regions. Here, then, we see the primal wisdom as the fount and basis of all religion."
— Rudolf Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, Vol. 2 (Anthroposophical Publishing Company, 1956), lecture 6, GA 102.
"From what does spiritual science take its start? From the fact that mankind has originated from a common Godhead and that a primeval wisdom belonging to mankind as one whole and springing from one Divine source has only for a time been partitioned, as it were, in a number of rays among the different peoples and groups of human beings on the earth. The aim and ideal of spiritual science is to rediscover this primeval truth, this primeval wisdom, uncoloured by this or that particular creed, and to give it again to humanity. Spiritual science is able to penetrate to the essence of the various religions because its attention is focussed, not upon external rites and ceremonies, but upon the kernel of primeval wisdom contained in each one of them. Spiritual science regards the religions as so many channels for the rays of what once streamed without differentiation over the whole of mankind."
— Ibid., lecture 3, GA 130.
Primal wisdom is within us all. It is everywhere else, too. But unfortunately, at this particular stage of evolution, it is hidden from most humans. Thus, Steiner sometimes spoke of it in the past tense. Certain spiritual beings, now residents of the Moon, helped us apprehend the primal wisdom, but that was then...
"[W]ithin the Earth-evolution itself there once existed a primordial wisdom. But this primordial wisdom did not, of course, consist of concepts which, as it were, floated around in the air; it proceeded from Beings who do not assume a physical body in the human sense, but who, as the result of the instinctive clairvoyant forces possessed by man at that time, did nevertheless live in man; it proceeded from the Beings who continued their existence on the Moon, after the Moon as an external cosmic body had separated from the Earth. We must therefore say that within the Moon-being, not in the light that the Moon radiates back as reflected sunlight, and not in all the rest of what the Moon radiates back from the Cosmos, but in the inner being of this Moon-existence there live Beings who were once the founders of the primordial wisdom among Earth men. These are the Beings who passed over into the figures of myths and sagas in picture form, who did not assume forms perceptible to the ordinary consciousness; they are primordial Beings who were once the founders of the primordial wisdom among Earth men. These are the Beings who passed over into the figures of myths and sagas in picture form, who did not assume forms perceptible to the ordinary consciousness; they are primordial Beings to whom we look back with wonder and awe, even if we only discover them externally as the real foundations of the myths, sagas — primordial Beings to whom the intellectual forces of present humanity can attain only by great exertion through the development once again of Imagination, Inspiration, and so on. But there did remain, at all event within humanity itself, something that was a kind of unconscious memory. And then in the different evolutionary epochs of human civilization, by which I mean, of course, the more ancient epochs of civilization, these unconscious memories appeared in man's life of feeling and in his whole constitution of soul, so that when we survey civilization we can speak of a Sun civilization and a Moon civilization. These are, as it were, consciousness-memories of something that in earlier times worked in a far-reaching sense as Nature-forces in man; and what man perceived of them is only an appendage, reminiscent of growth forces, forces of inner organization."
— Rudolf Steiner, MAN IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 4, GA 228.
The ground or source of all may be referred to as Brahman, the progenitor of the god Brahma. The term "Brahman" is also applied to the highest caste in Hindu society.
Theosophists and Anthroposophists use the term somewhat differently. You can glean something of Steiner’s method by noting that the following Hinduish statement comes out of one of Steiner’s Christianish lectures.
"When mankind reaches a new turning point in its evolution, it must briefly recapitulate what it has previously passed through. Thus, the peoples of the first three post-Atlantean periods had briefly to recapitulate three important evolutionary epochs of mankind. In ancient India the wise Rishis looked back to a time when the sexes did not yet exist, to a time when man was sexually still a unity. They looked back to a primeval man, known in occult teachings as Adam Kadmon, who was both man and woman. The highest cosmic being expressing this primeval unity was indicated by the sacred name, Brahman. All manifoldness proceeded from Brahman, the Divine Unity. This unity was present for men on earth only as long as the male and female sexes did not exist. Thus, in the spirit of the great Indian Rishis there appears, like a mirrored image, the divine primeval unity of man, the pre-human Adam Kadmon, in whom lived peace, spirit, clarity and harmony. He it is who speaks in the Vedas that poured from the lips of the Indian Rishis. This occurred in the first period of human civilization after the great flood. At that time one did not yet speak of a trinity, of a threefold Divine Person, but solely of a primeval Unity, of Brahman, in whom everything was contained and in whom everything originated."
— Rudolf Steiner, SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (Anthroposophic Press, 1969), lecture 1, GA 90f.
If we are to distinguish at all between the Godhead and God — which is perhaps necessary but perhaps unwise — we can say that the Godhead is primal and diffuse, origin rather than goal, whereas God is the universe-embracing Divinity in whom all unite as the perfection of evolution.
Here are some statements dealing with the Godhead. In the first, we see that the Godhead brought form and being out of chaos or, as it were, nothing. As usual, to define things as he wanted, Steiner altered the gist of the teachings he drew from.
"The subject of our study today will appear at first comparatively remote; nevertheless, these things can interest us in a certain sense even for our everyday life. The motif of today's lecture will be what is called by a name borrowed from ancient times; namely, Chaos. What this word really refers to lies even beyond what we understand as Heaven. Not only the wonderful old Grecian myth speaks of Chaos when it says that the most ancient Gods were born out of the Chaos; the legends and myths of other nations, too, are acquainted with this Chaos, albeit under a different name. In the Norse Saga we find it designated as Ginnungagap, the Yawning Abyss, from which there arises on the one hand the cold Niflheim, and on the other hand, the hot Muspelheim. The beginning of the Bible also refers to it in the words: “In the Beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth; and the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the waters. Then there resounded the Word of the Godhead: ‘May Light become.’ And it became light. And the Godhead perceived the Light and perceived that it was beautiful, and severed the World of Light from the World of Darkness.”
"... Imagine how originally the pure, spiritual transparent space was there. What happened in this pure transparent space? In this same space is also the extended gaseous air. As the thoughts that rise from our soul, when they are spoken in the word, bring the air around us into vibration, and every word shapes itself into forms in the air, quite silently and unseen by us, so did the Spirit of God hover over the waters. Into the waters the creating words of the Godhead were spoken. Now let us imagine the empty widespread cosmic space; fertile, rich in seeds, and resounding into it, the Word of the Godhead, working formatively into this space."
— Rudolf Steiner, “On Chaos and Cosmos” (transcript, Rudolf Steiner Archive), a lecture, GA 284.
Just as the Godhead may be considered the initiatory stage or force, so should an esoteric pupil make reunion with the Godhead the initial stage of each day’s spiritual journey. Begin your day thus:
"In the early morning, immediately after waking, before any other impressions have passed through the soul, the pupil gives himself up to his meditation. He strives for complete inner stillness, which means that all attention is withdrawn from impressions coming from outside and from all memories of everyday life. He also endeavours to free the soul from all cares and anxieties, which are apt to oppress it particularly at this time. Then the meditation begins. In order to facilitate this inner stillness, the consciousness is first of all directed to a single idea, perhaps that of `Rest', and then this idea is allowed to disappear from consciousness so that no image whatsoever remains in the soul; the content of the following seven lines is then allowed to live in the soul, to the exclusion of everything else. These seven lines must be held in the consciousness for five minutes. If other images intrude, the pupil keeps returning again to these seven lines, in profound contemplation:
"In purest outpoured Light
Shimmers the Godhead of the world.
In purest Love toward all that lives
Outpours the god-hood of my soul.
I rest within the Godhead of the world;
There shall I find myself,
Within the Godhead of the world."
— Rudolf Steiner, GUIDANCE IN ESOTERIC TRAINING (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 31.
We play a central role, mediating the Godhead. Nothing would be as it is if not for us, within whom the Godhead has worked.
"When as yet man had no intellect it was possible for the active light of the Godhead to pass through him and illuminate objects. The human being was the mediator for the Godhead. The latter wished by means of light to make the solid objects visible. Because the light passed through him, man himself was formed. Before the light had passed through the human being the Godhead had no need of light, because the objects were not yet solid, but fluid, so that no use could be made of light. That is the condition described in the Bible: ‘And darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God brooded on the face of the waters.’ At that time the world was simply water, even gold and silver and the other metals ran, were fluid. When within the water, like blocks of ice, solid objects arose, man separated his membered form and light became necessary. God said: ‘Let there be light and there was light.’ Then it was that man too first received his form. That is the moment when the Light Ether was introduced and the solid element separated off. God said: ‘Let the dry land appear.’ Before that everything was of a watery nature. In the same way as the Light Ether was incorporated into the solid element, so was the Chemical Ether incorporated into the water. Chemical relationships were worked into man when he was still fluid. The chemical relationships according to which today the different substances are combined, were imprinted into the individual. Then we come back into a condition when man and also the whole Earth was still aeriform; the life, or the atomistic ether flowed into him. The life ether was at that time introduced into the world through man."
— FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM, lecture 28.
As the creative principle, the Godhead is — as it were — the father principle. On occasion, Steiner emphasized a Christian-like view; on other occasions, he gave more emphasis to Hinduism or other traditions. But even when seeming to endorse Christian teachings, Steiner stressed the fallacy of Christian teachings unless they are reinterpreted as he specified. Thus, The Father and the Son lead us in different directions:
"[T]he fundamental conception of Christendom tended to obliterate understanding of these things. Nobody in our days can fail to realise that men have very little insight into the truth that the Godhead may be venerated as the Father Principle but that the Godhead can also be conceived as the Son. Humanity in general, as well as our so-called enlightened theology, has more or less lost sight of the difference in nature between the Father God and the Son God. And because this insight had been lost, we find the most modern school of orthodox theology proclaiming the view that in reality the Gospels treat of God the Father, not of God the Son, that Jesus of Nazareth is simply to be regarded as a great Teacher, the messenger of the Father God.
"...The Father God lives in the blood. The Son lives in the soul and spirit of man. The Father God leads man into material life: Ex Deo nascimur. — Out of God we are born. But God the Son leads man again out of material existence. The Father God leads man out of the supersensible into the material. God the Son leads man out of the material into the supersensible. In Christo morimur. — In Christ we die.
"Two distinctly different feelings were there. The feeling and perception of God the Son was added to the feeling associated with God the Father. Certain impulses underlying the process of evolution caused the loss of the faculty to differentiate between the Father God and God the Son. And to this day these impulses have remained in mankind in general and in Christianity too. Men who were possessed of the ancient, primordial wisdom knew from their own inner experiences that they had come down from Divine-Spiritual worlds into physical and material life. Pre-existence was a certain and universally accepted fact. Men looked back through birth and through conception, up into the Divine-Spiritual worlds, whence the soul descends at birth into physical existence.
— THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1955), lecture 7, GA 202.
Here's where it is all tending:
"In an individual human being there lives a drop of divinity, and we are evolving toward the divine level, on the way to expressing our deepest, innermost nature. Once we have brought this deepest, innermost nature to expression we shall have gradually achieved the transformation of our own being into what is called in Christianity ‘the Father’. What lies hidden in the human soul, the highest goal that lies ahead of us, is ‘the Father in heaven’ ... Keep it holy, grow into the kingdom which is an outpouring of the Godhead and strive upwards to the will that will then become Atma but at the same time a principle of the Godhead."
— THE LORD’S PRAYER, pp. 17-18.
Atma is our own highest spiritual component, our Spirit-Man, below the level of the Trinity. Christ leads us to the fulfillment of Atma, which is the Father, which arises from the Father Principle, which is the Godhead.
In aspiring to become the Father, we enact — in a different, Anthroposophical way — the aspiration of ancient initiates (“mystai”). Christians share this aspiration, but not in the way perhaps they should:
"The mystai had been concerned with levels of divinity within themselves ... The Christian was concerned with this, but also with an exalted God, perfect beyond anything attainable by human beings. ... Mysticism is the unmediated feeling or perception of God within one’s own soul. Yet a God who transcends utterly everything merely human cannot in the strict sense of the word be said to indwell the human soul. Gnosticism and the Christian mysticism which succeeded it represent an effort to participate somehow in the divinity with one’s soul, without any intermediary.
"...A gulf begins to yawn between the experience of the soul and the God asserted by Christianity. It is the gulf between conviction and belief, between knowledge and religious feeling. For the mystai of the ancient world there could be so such divide. They accepted that God could be known only according to one’s own degree, and understood why this must be so. And they knew that the God whom they knew in this gradually unfolding way was the true, the living God. They would have found it difficult to speak about a Godhead perfect and closed in his own nature. The mystai were not interested in knowledge of a perfect God, but in an experience of the divine life. They wished to “become God,” not to establish a relationship to a Godhead outside of themselves.
"It is inherent in Christianity, then, that its mystical striving is not without presuppositions. The Christian mystic seeks the Godhead within, but to do so must look to the historical Christ as the physical eye looks to the Sun. The physical eye tells us that what it can see, it sees by the light of the Sun, and the Christian initiate tells us that one ascends in one’s own inner nature to the vision of God, but the light by which one sees is the light of Christ-made-manisfest. It is through him that the mystic ascends to the highest point within. So does the mysticism of medieval Christianity differ from the experiences of the mystai in the ancient Mysteries."
— Rudolf Steiner, CHRISTIANITY AS MYSTICAL FACT (Steinerbooks, 1997), pp. 151-152.
As we have seen, we human beings are, ourselves, intermediaries of the Godhead. Christ, according to Steiner, is not our intermediary but our prototype — he showed us how to be. By being like Christ, we can evolve and ultimately become the Father. Thus will the Godhead attain its ultimate purpose.
[R. R., 2011.]
* Steiner's conception of the Godhead is related to that of other gnostics and mystics. The following is from THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA:
"Negative mysticism: God and the Godhead
"The most daring forms of Christian mysticism have emphasized the absolute unknowability of God. They suggest that true contact with the transcendent involves going beyond all that we speak of as God — even the Trinity — to an inner 'God beyond God,' a divine Darkness or Desert in which all distinction is lost. This form of 'mystical atheism' has seemed suspicious to established religion; its adherents have usually tried to calm the suspicions of the orthodox by an insistence on the necessity, though incompleteness, of the affirmative ways to God. One of the earliest and most important exponents of this teaching was the Pseudo-Dionysius, who distinguished 'the super-essential Godhead' from all positive terms ascribed to God, even the Trinity (The Divine Names, chapter 13). In the West this tradition emerged later; it is first found in Erigena in the 9th century and is especially evident in the Rhineland school in the 13th and 14th centuries. According to Eckhart, even being and goodness are 'garments' or 'veils' under which God is hidden. In inviting his hearers to 'break through' to the hidden Godhead, he exclaimed, 'Let us pray to God that we may be free of "God," and that we may apprehend and rejoice in that everlasting truth in which the highest angel and the fly and the soul are equal' (German Sermons, 52). The notion of the hidden Godhead was renewed in the teaching of Jakob Böhme, who spoke of it as the Ungrund — 'the great Mystery,' 'the Abyss,' 'the eternal Stillness.' He stressed the fact of divine becoming (in a nontemporal sense): God is eternally the dark mystery of which nothing can be said but ever puts on the nature of light, love, and goodness wherein the divine is revealed to human beings." — "Christianity." ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, Online, 11 Dec. 2012.
** This is a rather rosy version of Anthroposophical belief, one that many Anthroposophists embrace. But will absolutely everyone and everything be redeemed? Not necessarily. Steiner said that some humans sink out of evolution, losing their souls. He said some will be thrown into the abyss. And he said that evildoers will be sent to an "irreclaimable moon." See "Hell".
- Compilation and commentary by Roger Rawlings
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch, use the underlined links, below.
also see "Anthroposophical Christianity"
and "Judaism, The Hebrew Bible"