Spiritual Research and Pain
At various time, Steiner spoke of the 5th, or Consciousness Soul, Epoch as a prelude to the 6th Epoch.
“There is lacking in human society nowadays a quality that, in the sixth epoch, will be a characteristic of those men who reach the goal of that epoch, and have not fallen short of it. It is a quality that will not, of course, be found among those who in the sixth epoch have still remained at the stage of savages or barbarians. One of the most significant characteristics of men living on the earth at the peak of culture in the sixth epoch, will be a certain moral quality. …
… In the sixth epoch, the most highly cultured will not only feel pain such as is caused today by the sight of poverty, suffering and misery in the world, but such individuals will experience the suffering of another human being as their own suffering. If they see a hungry man they will feel the hunger right down into the physical, so acutely indeed that the hunger of the other man will be unendurable to them. The moral characteristic indicated here is that, unlike conditions in the fifth epoch, in the sixth epoch the well-being of the individual will depend entirely upon the well-being of the whole” https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19150615p01.html
Personally, I find a foretaste of this in my inability to halt the suffering in the world, visible everywhere. I become aware of all the awful, … I can feel sympathy or empathy, but I can’t change the course of any individuals biographical/karmic tasks.
One of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ is: the Entombment. It lies in between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. In my own life I have come to know this Stage too frequently. My soul is still full of a fire of will to change what is around me, and completely powerless to act.
How I’ve learn to deal with this is to seriously ask myself why I should be assuming that what is needed is for me to fix something, whether a way of life, or an individual’s soul life. I’ve learned to respect the biography of others, in fact to be amazed with the knowledge that the Mystery loves all of us equally.
The Entombment is then a kind of self-generated illusion. We task ourselves beyond what is needed. This does not mean to not be a helping stranger. It just means that there is a riddle in the soul when the spirit feels impotent. An energy wanting release can serve another purpose.
The passage from Death to Resurrection is one of Surrender to the Unknown. The wanting we feel to fix things is the last gasp of the lower ego’s habit of seeking to fulfill these wants and needs, … By changing/controlling the world, instead of changing/mastering ourselves.
Each human being is a song authored by The Author. Do these songs exclude: “those who in the sixth epoch have still remained at the stage of savages or barbarians.”.
My anticipation is that the immediate future (next two hundred years) will see a mass movement of folks from cities, towards and through the farmland, and back into the wild.
This will not happen so much by intelligent choice, as by necessity. “Savages” was a word Steiner used to describe aboriginal culture in America. Yet, it is precisely, in an Earth-Religion sense, that the spiritual way into the future is to be found by us reacquiring the ability to live once more again in Communion-With the Goddess Natura.