Experiencing the Christ

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 11:13pm.


Experiencing the

     Christ


Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.–Matthew. 18:20

Who is the Christ? How is the Christ active now within the lives of each of us, individually and in community? Does the Christ have a being that transcends narrow doctrinal, national and religious boundaries to bring together all human beings truly striving “in his name”?

Moderator
Tim Bourke
Your experiences and insights, from whatever perspective, are needed here to answer these questions in a fully personal and constantly renewable way in accordance with our present-day need to understand above all else. This is the only religious path which is truly valid for human beings in this age. The answers to the above question are only to be found through the realisation Saint Paul’s phrase “Christ in You” – as also implied in the above quotation from the Gospel of Saint Matthew.

Historically, the development of Christianity has often ended up in the hands of a select group – we encounter for example the idea of an original “inner circle” of Christ’s disciples and their successors. This is manifested in the present-day in the idea of the “Apostolic Succession” of the Pope of the Catholic Church who claims spiritual authority over the members of the Church based on an unbroken succession going back all the way to Saint Peter.

Later, Martin Luther was a leading figure in the Protestant movements of Christianity which generally encouraged the development of individual understanding of Christian scriptures in every true Christian believer as the basis of true faith thus achieving individual redemption and salvation. Here emphasis was placed more upon individual understanding, but only within a circumscribed field of belief as prescribed by generally accepted Church tradition and upheld by individuals’ reading of canonical Christian scriptures.

Movements such as Rosicrucianism, the Freemasons and related organizations arising especially in the time around and after the Renaissance emphasized a more private and esoteric relationship to Christianity, drawing freely on more ancient traditions such as Hermeticism and Gnosticism and Oriental approaches to spirituality as are found, for example, in the various expressions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam.

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw the rise of many movements religious, spiritual and so-called “secular” many of which in different ways attempted to place the free individual even more at their centre in accordance with a new spirit and emphasis arising in the world. The vitality and originality of artistic work arising at this time also bears mentioning as a symptom of something new arising in the world.

In this social and spiritual context Rudolf Steiner originally wrote his work “The Philosophy of Freedom” in the late nineteenth century. This work stands on its own in one sense but also relates most intimately to his later work, as he himself said on more than one occasion.

“The Philosophy of Freedom” itself does not appear on first reading to be Christian in any sense – in fact, some passages could be read, especially out of context, as even being “anti Christian”. However it is my contention that this book is in a deeper sense a critical development in the evolution of Christianity despite this surface appearance.

Steiner himself once gave a lecture entitled “Christianity Began as a Religion but is Greater than All Religions”. Only through realising the Being of Christ in our own lives encompassing our life in Community with others can we begin to realise the ideal implied in this as a force that is active now and on into the future.

This discussion group is dedicated to the exploration of these and related issues.

 

 

Death and the Modern

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 09/12/2008 - 7:29pm.

It appears that death was much more a part of life in medieval times than it is for us at the moment in many parts of the world, and this for many obvious reasons such as medical advances and other desirable cultural improvements in such fields as law, culture and civilisation generally. Nevertheless, there may have been some advantages to being more familiar with death - for example, a common theme in medieval religious art was that of the "three corpses" - here is a modern description of part of a page from a medieval...more

A Solemn Festival of Knowledge

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Wed, 09/03/2008 - 4:18am.

Bryn recently posted a comment that has started me thinking about the Philosophy of Freedom, freedom, spirituality and the Christian path:

I often wondered how Steiner made his leap from philosopher/clairvoyant/Nietschzean to full-on Christian, using only willed thinking as main instrument (ie no conversion experience) . Now I see that this, philosophical "knowledge over ego" insight as clarifying. I recall RS mentioning a "festival of Knowledge" (correct me if I'm mistaken in my memory) around this issue in his autobiography. I can see that  If one were to be gifted with a very personified experience of the concept of knowledge it becomes highly plausable to shift philosophical thinking (willed) toward matters "Christ-ish".

The Christ Community of the Future - Air

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Tue, 04/22/2008 - 11:29pm.

 

The Christ Community of the Future - Fire

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Sat, 12/08/2007 - 7:54pm.

Sacred Geometry and Christ - the Community of the Future

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Wed, 11/28/2007 - 3:56am.
If you observe the physical body in this objective but more sensitive and subtle way, I'm sure you can arrive for yourself at many more relationships of geometrical figures to the human body.

Christ Willing - Feet, Walking and the Cosmic Will

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Sat, 11/17/2007 - 1:02pm.
Our feet are not something we normally pride ourselves on (unless perhaps we are a hobbit!) - we quite rightly feel they are lowly, humble things.  But as an example of an extremity (quite literally) they may help us to learn something about the true nature of the human body.

Walking Diagram

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 9:11pm.
Walking Diagram

Ascension by Dali

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 11/16/2007 - 9:10pm.
Ascension by Dali

Christ Thinking - Heaven, Earth and In Between

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 11/09/2007 - 7:28pm.
Nowadays our thinking is often very earthly in a literal sense.  When we observe the stars, the planets, the clouds, the wind all around us, and try to understand them, sometimes all that comes to mind are the kind of dry concepts we learnt at high school.

Thinking the Resurrection Body

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Sat, 11/03/2007 - 6:56am.
Through PoF, we may experience that the power and potential of what manifests itself in us as thinking has no limit, it is spirit, it is divine. But what follows from this?  Is this simply a power which is totally separate from the human body, from what I inhabit from day to day, at least during my waking hours?

Thinking and the Harrowing of Hell

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Thu, 11/01/2007 - 9:01pm.
Through reading PoF, through studying anthroposophy and through many other paths we can experience a death and resurrection in our thinking, so that we can begin to experience not I but Christ in me in our thinking.

Sistine Madonna by Raphael

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 1:40am.
Sistine Madonna by Raphael

Christ in You II: The Third Who is Always Present

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Sat, 10/13/2007 - 6:08am.

Christ's presence in human trials and sufferings.

Christ in You - The Sacredness of Relationship

Submitted by Tim Bourke on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 10:50pm.

What is it that weaves between us...

Pope says other churches not churches 'in proper sense'.

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 7:52pm.

For the second time in four days Pope Benedict XVI has laid out a traditionalist marker in a document released yesterday proclaiming that the "one Church of Christ . . . subsists in the Catholic Church".

Relationships

Submitted by Caryn Louise on Mon, 07/02/2007 - 2:53am.

We recently had a discussion about relationships;  my comment was ambiguous and not taking in general day to day life.  If I may place my reply here;

In appreciation

Submitted by Caryn Louise on Mon, 06/25/2007 - 5:18am.

St John 14