Before the crucifixion Jesus had announced that he will go to the Father, and therefore the Holy spirit/ the "Comforter"/ the "Spirit of the truth" will be sent by the Father (John 14,15,16).
About ten days after the ascension, the early Christian community assembled at Jerusalem for prayer. "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house... They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues …" (Acts 2). Nobody describes a normal feeling of being fulfilled after prayer in such words. It sounds more similar to the practices of the Pentecost Churches and the Quakers. That first Whitsun event follows here as an externally perceptible sign of what has been described in the chapter about the ascension, the distribution of the power of Christ to the disciples and those around them. With this "sending down" the Spirit of truth we see again something of a mutual effect of God and Christ. In this respect the first Whitsun event can also be seen as a first sign of the beginning of a "Second Coming of Christ" or at least of an approach. Even from this viewpoint we can expect that the prophesied "Second Coming of Christ" does not only mean a second personification as a human being.
Annotation: The "Comforter" or "Counsellor" or the "Spirit of truth" (John 15:26) must not - strictly speaking - be equated with the "Holy Spirit"; see below: "Sophia".
- "The Spirit of truth" appears like a piece of Christ himself, which reminds of the community of him and his words and now enables the disciples to continue his work on earth. Since then it is basically no longer respectable to deal with religious and philosophical questions as a mere historical and literary adoption or mental derivation. A lot has been written about that viewpoints. Other factors are also at work, within people too and the main object of this text is to help people to "feel for" these factors.
The heritage of the creator, of the father in man, provided he is "born of God" (John 1) is offered in the life of Jesus, given for everyone to make it one's own consciously; and now since the Whitsun event the heritage of Christ himself is anchored in those who remained on earth.
- The Holy Spirit as a "feminine, maternal" spiritually intelligent divine quality and energy was found in different levels of existence and manifestations already before Jesus' life on earth, - outside of man and in his inspiring effect on the people as well.There are even relations to the "manna" (Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Psalms, Nehemiah, Joshua, John, the Letter to the Hebrews, Revelation.)
But it is not completely wrong to equate the terms "Spirit of the truth" and "Holy Spirit", as is often the case, with respect to practical experiences. It may happen more and more frequently that divine powers work together and finally as a unit like man, who was initially "created in the image of God", can have the experience of the differentiation of consciousness and then again the integration of his being.
Through that, the life shared between mankind and the earth will really be able to appear in a way which is still hardly noticeable today. This will be looked at in the coming chapters in connection with the revelation of John - without thinking that this future could be in any way adaptable to the contemporary imagination.
The "Holy Spirit" is not simply spirit or breath of life or vitality. It can be quite useful to pursue this seemingly gradual occurrence on the path of Christ. It is named in connection with the conception of Mary, therefore at least as participating in an individual event.
It can also be found in that reference where Christ, being personally present in his resurrected body, "blows" on the disciples, saying "Take the Holy Spirit" (John 20, 22) - which therefore performs through him here. A purification of their ability to perceive or, in the deeper meaning, of their conscience can be seen as a prerequisite for the responsibility that is transmitted to them or that is made conscious to them: "to forgive sins or not (to do anything)". This conscience, according to J. Lorber defined by Christ as an effect of the Holy Spirit, is not that mixture of biographically moulded fears, often wrongly confused with conscience, behind which however a piece of genuine conscience may sometimes be concealed. Conscience in the purest sense is also a conscious inner guidance of the individual.
In the first Whitsun event the Holy Spirit seems to be impersonal, even "cosmic". However, in diverse ways, depending on the various situations of the people penetrated by it, or according to the varying conditions of those addressed by it, and of the world, it is able to hit sore points in the mind - and to clean those points, if one looks at it in the light of spirit. To recognize essential differences and truths increasingly better, are other features of a consciousness that seems to be activated by the Holy Spirit. Where the cleaning up of confusion is not so much important, the same power shows itself more as creatively forming, community forming, perfecting - leading to God.
The 19th century, with its various revival movements in churches and its new revelation movements, as also in the 20th century also shows us new waves of the Holy Spirit and its resulting effectswhen looked at more closely. Anyway it suggests that Christian impulses and the Holy Spirit turned more and more to the larger matters of the book of Revelations.
In these sections of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts) Mary and the other female disciples are "united in praying and beseeching God" with the male disciples. The role of the women - whether talking or "silent" as said by Paul - ought to be indispensable for various reasons. They were, for example, emotionally more receptive to fine influences and were certainly capable of passing it on, verbally or non-verbally, to the people around. Even today in meetings of every kind, also spiritual ones, one can see the difference when both men and women participate. Without masculine display behaviour many events can progress in a more inspiring and enthusiastic way, as long as the inward participation in the event is sufficient. In Anthroposophical and Rosicrucian areas Mary, the mother of Jesus, is even seen as the actual source through which the Holy Spirit was able to come down onto the disciples.
Here we also encounter the secret of the „Sophia", the "Wisdom" of the Old Testament, a feminine expression of divine power. In the eastern Orthodox Church Mary was often identified with Sophia. The "Sophiologian" and visionary Solowjoff experienced her as a being of our time - this is also ascribed to Christ (e.g. Steiner's lectures about an "ethereal Second Coming" about (around) 1909, or other teachings.) As it was with Jesus and Mary on a small scale, so the "Cosmic Christ" and "Sophia" as a heavenly mother can be experienced apparently on the large scale by mystics, etc. See also Hildegunde Wöller "Ein Traum von Christus" (German, "A Dream of Christ" - not known, if available in English). The context may also be described like this: the "maternal" aspect of God helps creation to grow towards the creator, just as the creator approaches his creatures.
Feminist theologians have pointed out that the Holy Spirit was called female in the former language. Mary and Sophia might be seen more precisely as a form in which the Holy Spirit takes shape, as in the symbol of the dove.
However, in various feminist movements in west and east "Sophia-like" influences can also be found, see Dr. Susanne Schaup in the record of the "Evangelische Akademie" (Protestant academy) at Bad Boll, Germany for the meeting "New Age 3: Sophia". Similarly also "Christ-like" influences can be found not only in new worldwide Christian model projects like the "Universal life" or in renewal movements in the churches, but also in other, even secular movements. Comment of the New Testament: "The wind (spirit) blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit." (John 3).
That which is coming has a masculine-feminine nature, is neither patriarchal nor matriarchal.
While something of the work of Christ is in every individual, as described in preceding chapters, this can be amplified now by the external Christ and the Holy Spirit anew, also by his words - however, not only by these.
The Grail knighthood also presumed that there was something left of the work
of Christ on earth 2000 years ago, that people could search and find - the
"Grail". This legend reported that some of the blood of Jesus had
dropped onto the earth at the cross and been collected in a bowl. Joseph of
Arimathea (John 19:38) and his companions were supposed to have saved it and
brought it to France or England and always assembled in front of this
"miracle-producing Grail" for prayer and inspiration. See, for
example, Robert de Boron "The story of the Holy Grail", written
down about (around) 1200. Although this legend can be based on an external
reality, it is noticeable that the golden Grail bowl with its cup above, its
thickening in the middle and its broadening or opening below symbolizes man, who
from his middle or his heart opens himself upwards for the Holy Spirit and
downwards for the "redemption of the earth."* It is a "redeemed
human being", which "the creature waits for" (Letter to the
Romans 8, 18-28). On the large scale it can also be seen as a symbol of the
earth opening to God there. The Catharians and Albigense people, minnesingers
and troubadours formed groups in the context of this movement. Some of them had
become a little detached from the world. Several million of these
"esoteric" Christians were exterminated by the papacy as putative
"heretics". Anyway, the deeper significance of the Grail is not
exhausted by the other legend that physical descendants of Jesus in royal
families are supposed to have been the Grail.
*Extra window: sketch of the Holy Grail
John 4: "... woman, believe me, the time will come when you will not worship the father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem... The time will come and it is already now, that the true worshippers will worship the father in the spirit and in the truth; because the father wants to have those who worship him this way. God is Spirit and they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." Churches would only be able to cope with this self-conscious, free attitude of a Christianity interested in recognition, if they had the courage to renew themselves on the basis of free Christian men and women. Since such schools of a spiritual Christianity were decimated so that it is even difficult to reconstruct their teachings, the church removed its own substance of spiritual tradition, which is gradually being recognized as a mistake today. After a lot of sometimes doubtful offers from other cultures attempting to fill this gap, churches are also now searching for this missing Christian spiritual practice.
The famous abbot, Joachim di Fiore - about (around) 1100 - spoke of the era of the Father - the era of the religious law of the Old Testament; as well as the time of the son with the help of the church; and prophesied a 3rd "Era of the Holy Spirit" - ="Zeitalter des heiligen Geistes", title of a German book of the Turm-Verlag (publisher), in which the people’s individual connection to God increases. From this prophecy too, whose significance we are just starting to recognize, various elements flowed directly and indirectly into all sorts of movements, from Luther via Marx up to Hitler, where it became misunderstood and respectively misused. There is also usually a reasonable archetype from such misunderstandings.
Here is also an annotation about the distinction between the spirituality of the Holy Spirit and spiritualist practices: "Being deeply stirred by the Holy Spirit", in the ideal case a conscious taking of the Holy Spirit, goes via the innermost core of man. Hypnosis or ecstatic trance states and "possession" by "spirits" of deceased ones don't happen here; never mind "calling up spirits". Neither for those concerned nor for others in the gathering does this experience rob strength as in spiritualist sessions. The consciousness is not narrowed, but broadened. Extraordinary perception may be possible, but then consciously and without amnesia.
The effect of the Holy Spirit would be compatible, both with meditative silence - in western churches almost always missing - and with the opposite attempts to achieve the same by more and better communication, as is particularly the case in the west or in America. If silence and communication were connected - a chance especially for the central European mentality - - the intention of the Spirit could become very clearly recognisable. It often manifests "a third way" beyond eastern and western extremes. However, only if the aspiration is not egoistic, i.e. unethical. Christ can only be understood with modesty, ethics and the purpose which he gave to the world as a history of salvation, stressing God's saving grace.
The Holy Spirit can not be considered ascompletely separated from Christ or his requests. Christ ascribed to the Holy Spirit the quality, that it will remind the disciples "of everything I told you". He added: "I still have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of the truth comes, he will guide you into all truth" (John 16:12-13).
Whatever is purified towards the truth could unite itself with the Holy Spirit and the entirety of those powers that want to save the earth.
In the teachings of Christ there is man with his subjectivity - but not that unlimited relativism that, according to some modern philosophical ideas, no longer allows objective truth.
Help: a self-examination for the work with the main text
What has God already helped to develop within me, and what is coming to me from God today?
Reference to a complete version for print, and Copyright Ways of Christ™