The Individuality of Elias, John, Raphael, Novalis
The Last Address given by Rudolf SteinerThe truth is, my dear friends, this earthly personality of Raphael was completely yielded up and was only present through what Lazarus-John gave to this soul to be poured out into colour and line for all mankind.
Such was the life of this being. And it was so, that this Raphael life could only be, as it were, absolved in another life of thirty years — in Novalis. And so we see Raphael die young, Novalis die young — one being, who came forth from Elijah-John, appearing before mankind in two different forms, preparing through art and through poetry the true Michael mood of soul, sent down by the Michael stream as messenger to men on Earth.
And now we behold the wonderful artistic power of Raphael come to life again in Novalis in poetry that stirs and enraptures the hearts of men. All that through Raphael was given to human eyes to see, — of this could human hearts drink deep, when it came again in Novalis.
When we consider the life of Novalis, what an echo we find there of the Raphael life for which Hermann Grimm had so fine an understanding! His beloved dies in her youth. He is himself still young. What is he going to do with his life now that she has died? He tells us himself. He says that his life on Earth will be henceforth to “die after her”, to follow her on the way of death. He wants to pass over already now into the super-sensible, to lead again the Raphael life, not touching the Earth, but living out in poetry his magic idealism. He would fain not let himself be touched by Earth life.
When we read the “Fragments” of Novalis, and give ourselves up to the life that flows so abundantly in them, we can discover the secret of the deep impression they make on us. Whatever we have before us in immediate sense-reality, whatever the eye can see and recognise as beautiful — all this, through the magic idealism that lives in the soul of Novalis, appears in his poetry with a well-nigh heavenly splendour. The meanest and simplest material thing — with the magic idealism of his poetry he can make it live again in all its spiritual light and glory.
And so we see in Novalis a radiant and splendid forerunner of that Michael stream which is now to lead you all, my dear friends, while you live; and then, after you have gone through the gate of death, you will find in the spiritual super-sensible worlds all those others — among them also the being of whom I have been speaking to you today — all those with whom you are to prepare the work that shall be accomplished at the end of the century, and that shall lead mankind past the great crisis in which it is involved.
This work is: to let the Michael Power and the Michael Will penetrate the whole of life. The Michael Power and the Michael Will are none other than the Christ Will and the Christ Power, going before in order to implant in the right way into the Earth the Power of the Christ. If this Michael Power is able verily to overcome all that is of the demon and the dragon [and you will know what that is], if you all, who have in this way received in the light Michael Thought, have indeed received it with true and faithful heart and with tender love, and will endeavour to go forward from the Michael mood of this year, until not only is the Michael Thought revealed in your soul, but you are able also to make the Michael Thought live in your deeds in all its strength and all its power — if this is so, then will you be true servants of the Michael Thought, worthy helpers of what has now to enter Earth-evolution through Anthroposophy, and take its place there in the meaning of Michael.
If, in the near future, in four times twelve human beings, the Michael Thought becomes fully alive — four times twelve human beings, that is, who are recognised not by themselves but by the Leadership of the Goetheanum in Dornach — if in four times twelve such human beings, leaders arise having the mood of soul that belongs to the Michael festival, then we can look up to the light that through the Michael stream and the Michael activity will be shed abroad in the future among mankind.
Because this is so, my dear friends, I have made the effort today to rise up and speak to you, if only in these few short words. My strength is not sufficient for more today. May the words so speak to your soul that you receive the Michael Thought in the sense of what a faithful follower of Michael may feel when, clothed in the light rays of the Sun, Michael appears and points us to that which must now take place. For it must even be so that this Michael garment, this garment of Light, shall become the Words of the Worlds, which can transform the Logos of the Worlds into the Logos of Mankind. Therefore let my words to you today be these:
Springing from Powers of the Sun, Radiant Spirit-powers, blessing all Worlds! For Michael's garment of rays Ye are predestined by Thought Divine.
He, the Christ-messenger, revealeth in you — Bearing mankind aloft — the sacred Will of Worlds. Ye, the radiant Beings of Aether-Worlds, Bear the Christ-Word to Man.
Thus shall the Heralds of Christ appear To the thirstily waiting souls, To whom your Word of Light shines forth In cosmic age of Spirit-Man. Ye, the disciples of Spirit-Knowledge, Take Michael's Wisdom beckoning, Take the Word of Love of the Will of Worlds Into your soul's aspiring, a c t i v e l y !
Ex Deo Nascimur,
In Christo Morimur,
Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus
From God we are born,
In Christ we die,
(and) in the Holy Spirit we are reborn revived-reborn
For my yearly EASTER painting, I wanted to work with Raphael and see where this led. What should not have been surprising is that instead of a painting of the Sun of Christ, a soul portrait of John the Beloved is emerging. We are still working on this painting, but the breakthrough came into color at 3-4 o'clock on Good Friday as I was resting gazing at the painting, and listening to En Passion et Morte Dominae (Nova Schola Alberto Turco) Gregorian Chant for Good Friday. It's always a mystery entering into painting with sacred intention.
I remember something Rudolf Steiner said when Marie Steiner would go to a room to think about which writer she might work with for Speech and Eurythmy, he said the room would fill with spirits of departed poets. May it be so for all of us!
May a Sun Rise in All Our Hearts
Good Friday 2017