A Song of the Entombment … in the Key of Lent

A Song of the Entombment, … in the Key of Lent.

Whether we know this – or not – our biographies share common trials and experiences. In the wider cultures of the world there are different maps to the same territory. Here, I will use Christian Iconography, which is based on the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ: 1) Washing the Feet; 2) the Scourging; 3) the Crowning with Thorns; 4) the Carrying of the Cross; 5) the Crucifixion; 6) the Entombment; and 7) the Resurrection.

These are discussed in detail, in Tomberg’s “Inner Development”(1), written while he was still working within the School of Spiritual Science, and the Anthroposophical Movement. Theses seven lectures were given in Rotterdam, on 15-22 August 1938.

1. The New Michael Community and its Significance for the Future. 2. Meditation – Its Being and its Effect. 3. Indian Yoga in Relation to the Christian-Rosicrucian Path. 4. Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. 5. The Two Guardians of the Threshold. 6. The Occult Trials. 7. Rudolf Steiner’s Life-Path as the Way of the Christian Initiate.

I have made some personal observations over the years, of these trial aspects of Christian Initiation: see “Cowboy Bebop and the Physics of Thought as Moral Art”(2). Self observation, coupled with the intuitions of artists, revealed that we all go through these trials, and within any given biography they do not have to happen in the above order, or only once. We can experience “a Crowning with Thorns“ in our personal lives, and then later a “Scourging”.

A Crowning with Thorns happens when intimates deny the value of our thoughts. Scourging is the judgmental stones that are thrown at us in words, by these same intimates. It is called Karma … this power. Intimates are not just family, but also bosses, co-workers, jailers, and lovers.

For a shared trial within this crisis of civilization, we have the Plague. To conceive the world as a school of hard knocks and shared pain, allows us to also notice many opportunities to “wash the feet” aka: “Event and Aftermath – the Creation of Love Through Crisis”(3).

This potential practice of Stage 1 is always present. A Sign of coming Resurrection – a dying and becoming of “Western” civilization – is the everywhere cross-cultural experience of Entombment – so much going on all over, not just in the whole world, but as regards our intimates – we become aware of just how powerless we are to “save” them, and sometimes ourselves as well.

Entombment and depression are neighbors in the soul. In each case the will is paralyzed. The former can be dealt with, in a way quite different from the latter. (4) From this Plague Rite, we are in preparation for the 6th Epoch, engendering a soul capacity of waking up through pain. Not just ours, but other’s pain as well.

Yesterday I had a two hour phone call with my eldest daughter (age 56). We’ve had many such over the years. She lives now month to month, and needs serious and costly dental work. Her personal experience of the plague-illness was quite difficult, and she presently lives alone. The most I can do is lend an ear, hopefully seasoned with sage advice – yet still a limiting effect and sign of our own powerlessness (Entombment).

I know her voice, which these days does not so much despair, as revealing a courage and refusal to succumb. Today she is better at coping with life’s chaos, than when she spent 15 years teaching school in Los Angeles. She had dental back then, yet trying to educate children, in an environment that opposes creativity (lesson plans have to be approved and so forth), … it was eating her soul.

Today she teaches individual kids, whose families she met that had a child with special needs, none of which were being met by the “L.A. School District”.

All of us can tell such stories of family and friends. Meanwhile the News floods us with horror, yet if we think about it, 99.999% of the billions of humans on the planet, are not in war zones, or digging through rubble searching for signs of life.

The oddity of Entombment is that it is the Gate of Surrender. In recovery, the idea is: “Let go, let God”. Christ, the human being, also surrendered – at the ripe moment – to implacable circumstances.

Carrying the Cross happens when we act in life as a moral human being. The Crucifixion is when we are nailed to the demands of others, for the expression of our own heart’s mind.

The death of possibilities can be an experience of the soul, when we give up some aspects of self, in order to follow the Will of Fortune (Divine Providence) and Fate (the Artist of Karma). Yet, … it is curious is it not, that our prayer is “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. St. Paul allegedly wrote or said: “Not I, but Christ in me”.

I don’t think he understood … what was his idea of Christ? Something we already are, or some Ideal by which we should measure ourselves, … and others? Paul was not a disciple – a fisher of men, but a zealot who just changed the object of his religious passions. Many are the folk who have had their own Damascus Event, … the Roman Catholic Church called them saints, and confined them to holy orders. Which suggests Paul was not all that unique.

When we accept (surrender to) the biographical reality of the Seven Stages, we will then see we all are already sons and daughters of Mystery. The hard to bare moods of the trials are often longer than we wish, for growth of this sort requires time. Yet, if we just step back a bit, and see the Whole as it is, – we might get the idea of John the Baptist, about the One coming after him, who will baptize us all in Fire and Holy Breath.

(1) https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Development-Valentin-Tomberg/dp/0880103639/ref=sr_1_1?crid=N0LDPU82C5GE&keywords=tomberg+inner+development&qid=1676910263&s=books&sprefix=tomberg+inner+developement%2Cstripbooks%2C103&sr=1-1





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