Starting from ancient and timeless wisdom, we quote Hermes Trismegistus:
And as for himself, when Man noticed that form which was so much like him by the reflection in the water in nature, he fell in love with it and wanted to live there. And what he wanted he did at once, and so he went and inhabited the senseless form.
For Hermes, our basic problem as human beings has to do with our identification with a projection of ourselves in matter. This is true for the individual human being, it is also true for humanity. And still we have this very strong tendency to draw everything too deeply into matter. We see, translate, and interpret in matter what belongs in psychic space. And we forget that in that matter it is a metaphor, a visual lesson.
Four hundred years ago, the basic books of the classical Rosicrucians were published. If you read the historian Frances Yates, a fairly short time later an important split occurs in European thinking. Freely translated: two currents arise, a magical-scientific current and a knowing-magical current. The latter we can also call gnostic-magical. Now, four centuries further on in time, we can clearly see where these two lines of development lead. The difference between the two streams, between the two approaches, is: whether or not to drag a number of lines of force for manifestation in the material world. The lines of force are there, as if drawn on a plan. We can manifest these lines of force either in physical space or in soul space.
The magical-scientific stream became a scientific brotherhood at the beginning of the twentieth century. A parallel incarnated group of human souls, who developed into scientists and through the events and wars of the first half of the twentieth century gathered in America in the Los Alamos Project. These scientists fought the Axis powers – Germany, Italy and Japan – in that period and from their perspective the powers of evil. Experimentally, they were working on the atom bomb. Their first copy was detonated and made to work, with fear and trembling, during the Trinity Test. Which is a very telling name. The visual experience of the test can be described as: we have created the sun!
The gnostic-magical stream has its own development. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a school of the spirit is founded in this part of Western Europe, with which Jan van Rijckenborgh follows in the footsteps of Rudolf Steiner and Max Heindel. He does so in both spaces with a group of pupils: the focal point is in the soul world but the school also takes shape in the material world.
It may be interesting to look at the atom bomb and its development as a metaphor, as a series of lines of force that, through human ignorance, have been drawn too deeply into matter.
The magical-scientific stream works experimentally, alternating between physical experimentation and theoretical developments in physics and mathematics. Things happening in that experimentation also include a number of accidents that have to do with the unwanted release of great energies.
The gnostic-magical stream works according to the plan of God for the world and humanity. There is emphatically no experimenting in the dialectical laboratory for human souls. According to its manifestation in this world, this one lab is divided into an undefined number of schools, which together form the one School for the Spirit of present-day humanity.
For the magical scientists the notion of critical mass is the central notion. A sufficient amount of actively radiating matter must be assembled in a given, relatively small volume. In the first atomic bomb, this is done by an inwardly directed, spherical implosion field, which compresses the small sphere of radioactive material. In this way, the critical mass is reached.
The chain reaction is greatly accelerated and ends in a nuclear explosion. All this takes place in physical space.
In my opinion, the Gnostic-magical School of the Spirit also wants to reach a critical mass. It works this in the psychic space, the soul space. As the metaphor shows, it is not so much a question of a large mass. It is rather a matter of compressing a collection of active emitters. Human souls in which, through attitude to life and influences of a collective radiation field, the individual capacity for radiant activity has been awakened and activated to a certain degree. Radiation is in this case: energy to transform the soul. Metaphorically, they have been transformed into enriched uranium, into nuclear fuel. The external pressure to compress this collection of souls into a critical mass in accordance with the Plan comes from cosmic and fraternal influences. The mystery planets, including Uranus, play an important role in this.
How does this work in the School of the Spirit? Human souls are collected, activated, transmuted and enriched through a planned process. Then, still in a completely planned way, they are ordered and brought together in groups. The invitation to the members of such a group is to achieve the highest possible density of radiant souls. We experience a constant gentle pressure, an urge to get closer together in the psychic space, to become more of a unit. In practical terms, this means that the spacers have to be removed: the interference fields of consciousness material, of psychic matter, of attraction and repulsion forces that are present around each individual. And which, like carbon in a nuclear reactor, absorb some of the radiation released and thus render it powerless.
An important potential spacer is our body. Let us assume for a moment that a lovingly biologically minimally maintained body is currently the best achievable and that such a cared-for body then allows the soul its freedom. As a counter example: when you are hungry, your attention goes only to food. When you are in love, your attention goes to the object of your love. Whence the soul is not free. The tensions within us and around us are working material. An important element in this is identity. Identity is the basic problem of the soul, the soul that has identified itself with its projection into matter and has thus forfeited its freedom to reveal itself. We read this earlier with Hermes Trismegistus.
With our own limited potential of consciousness, we repeat the same mechanism: we identify ourselves with our creations, our conceptions. I am a man, you are a woman. Or: I am a Rosicrucian, you an anthroposophist. Or atheist. Or … You immediately feel the spacers rising! To a great extent we can and must let go of these identifications, especially if we want to enter the temple. Metaphorically, you can compare the temple with a central laboratory in the soul space. That is where transformational energy is worked with. That is where alchemy is practised. So the spacers have to be eliminated! A more acute problem is criticism: we compose a thought precisely to create distance. You are doing wrong, see how well I am doing. Two souls are put at a distance. The invitation is: remove the spacers and do not forge new ones!
There are also spacers that we share, that belong to the group. A special category of them are the ideas about power and organisation. We can put someone with a certain responsibility in the organisation on a pedestal and just see ourselves on the floor. That picture creates distance. In which space does that happen?
Identity, identification and distancing are also at play on a larger scale: out of their creation and construction, the various revealed schools, the various alchemical laboratories, have developed their own identities. But these identities only come into being through identification with, by definition, things from the outside, in physical space. Through this identification we distance ourselves from the other groups. We put between us and them a collective spacer.
Group unity and soul unity, unity of being human, experiencing the unity, are the result of removing spacers. From letting go of identifications. From giving up identity. In the temple. As a group of striving souls, we are repeatedly invited to stand in this unity. Are we willing? Are we willing to do everything in order to come so close that we can transform humanity, let it shine like a new sun in the soul space?
The first part of the journey is long, arduous and requires sacrifice. It takes constant willingness and therefore human love to belong to the evolving active nuclear core. Then there is the sudden uplift into the solar fire, into the Christ. Who shines for all of mankind.