- by Renée Cossette
A dozen anthroposophists came together in the Eastern Townships on April 26th in order to participate in a free exchange of ideas after having read two suggested texts on the theme of the Antichrist. (Soloviev’s Antichrist and the chapter entitled The Grand Inquisitor from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.)
The figure of the Antichrist
Strong ties link Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) although they were born some thirty years apart. Russia is the carrier of the spiritual consciousness that is destined to incarnate in human society, and the Antichrist is the counter-image of this consciousness. The Russian Sophia represents the human being who becomes spiritualized through his own inner development.
In the texts of the two above-mentioned authors, the Antichrist is always the inquisitor, the individual who wants to bring happiness to mankind while at the same time limiting freedom. Might we not say that the current idea of offering an unconditional minimum salary to every person is an aspiration of this very type? Another thing these texts show is that the individual who takes on the role of the Antichrist is a mere mortal (and not a god), because he flees and “dies” when unmasked by human consciousness.
Is it we ourselves who create the Antichrist through our mode of thinking? Is it we who summon him? Does the Antichrist play an important role in human evolution?
The inquisitor wields his strength by giving commands and spouting dogma. In our current world situation this dogmatization is to be found, for example, in:
- The church
- Clichés and stereotypes
- Language: definitions, affected sincerity, etc.
In 1914, Morgenstern said that spirituality is expressed primarily through language. Those who speak several languages understand how each tongue has its own spirit, its own inherent “genius”.
The most insidious aspect, the one for which language is so often the vehicle, is the question of evil. Evil takes on a form which often appears to express the good. In Goethe’s Faust the following question is put to Mephistopheles: who are you? He answers: a part of that force which always seeks evil and always creates good. What actually occurs is that the good is caused to deviate from its goal. Thus, it is easy for us to fall from good into evil. Arts and meditation can help us maintain a state of balance between Lucifer and Ahriman. The battle between good and evil is also being waged on a cosmic scale.
To be Christ-filled
The role of the Antichrist is to keep us from reaching the spiritual, but to be Christ-imbued means to take responsibility for one’s freedom as a human being with all the difficulties this entails. The “I” of each one of us belongs to Christ. Man is destined to become the 10th hierarchy, and as such will be called upon to redeem the beings we know as Lucifer and Ahriman. If we simply eliminate them, we fall into a state of bliss which is not free. Ahriman and Lucifer shoot bullets at us, but there is a safe place within us, a little “cubic space” where freedom exists. We must find the answer to the question of evil on the spiritual level as we dive into worldly life and attempt to avoid its pitfalls. Just by the very fact that we have lived in the 20th century means that we are all weak and ailing. But how can we transform evil into good?
- by practicing forgiveness
- by engaging in activities which bring the soul into balance (cf. arts, meditation, etc.)
- by seeking to find the balance between Lucifer and Ahriman (cf. the Representative of Man)
It is said that Christ bears the sword. Is not the sword a symbol for consciousness? Christ does not bring division among men, but rather the consciousness of division. In the West, Christ has been imposed upon men by use of the sword (we only have to think of the Templars.) The word Occident (West) comes from the Old French word “occire” which means to slay. Christ has brought us freedom and the inner battle for freedom. Rudolf Steiner said that when Christ died, the entire spiritual world experienced distress. But each time we say: Christ in me we send light into the spiritual world.
Christ descended from the Devachan, became manifest in the Logos, and incarnated in matter where He became Man. As human beings we now possess three potential qualities in our Heart Lotus: compassion, love and moral strength.
The coming incarnation of Ahriman
The Gods needed Ahriman, and his incarnation in a material body is expected within the next 100 years. We now live in a time which denies the existence of the spirit, and we identify our self very strongly with our physical body. Hubert Reeves ended a lecture by stating: 400,000 atoms are speaking to you. Fortunately, there are writers such as Christian Bobin who claims that he writes in order to save the soul which at the present time is disappearing. We cannot be aware of the reality we live in if we are unable to experience the consequences of the absence of the spirit in the present time.
Ahriman has now taken over from Lucifer. Sorat will appear at a later time and will be the Antichrist, but he has already begun preparing his coming. We can detect signs of his activity in the following seven elements given by Schroeder in an article where he refers to Rudolf Steiner:
- Abstract thinking and the mechanical conception of the universe
- Anything pertaining to the spiritual is confined to libraries
- Excessive belief in the reality of abstract numbers (statistics) which allow opinion to be manipulated
- Acting for no reason (finding no meaning in what one is doing)
- Disharmony within human communities
- Mechanistic interpretation of the Gospels
- Schools devoted to divinatory arts (spiritualism, hallucination)
These seven elements are drawn from an article in German by Schroeder which refers to Rudolf Steiner.
 These are notes taken during the gathering, which I have organized here according to their respective themes.