Review of The Twilight and Resurrection of Humanity, the History of the Michaelic Movement since the Death of Rudolf Steiner – an Esoteric Study by Yeshayahu Ben-Aharon. Temple Lodge, 2020, 338 pages.
This is a book which presents new and original spiritual research in the sense of actual spiritual imaginative experience and communication. The subtitle of the book announces the object of research: The history of the Michaelic movement since the death of Rudolf Steiner. This history is not found in the physical but in the etheric world, and in order to tell it, Ben-Aharon presents us with major events and processes of the etheric world and their relation to the physical. But most importantly Ben-Aharon presents us with this history as an ongoing process where all aspects, whether of the past, present or future, belong to the present and near future tasks of anthroposophy. We all come into the world with a destiny, a task to fulfil and embody, and this book is clearly written for all who feel their destiny connected with anthroposophy. What is this task and goal? Imaginatively expressed, it is this:
The earthly Michaelic community will have to build on the earth an etheric earthly-human sun temple. It must be built consciously in the etheric heart of human beings, that will together form the etheric heart of the etheric earthly-human sun. (233)
This means to create a vibrant community of individuals able to raise consciousness to the level of the etheric world, and by means of the varied ways this manifest, to create a rich and powerful community-bridge. Such a bridge will be a communal etheric body which can unite the physical and etheric, and into which, in the future, the Michaelic School can incarnate and ever more realize humanity´s higher nature in the process of becoming an earthly-human sun. From the twilight and catastrophe of the 20th Century, humanity would begin a process of resurrection.
Such a community-bridge, Ben-Aharon writes, is the “only true task of the school and movement of spiritual science” in the present (233). Lofty as this goal may seem to some, Ben-Aharon conveys a real sense of the urgency and necessity for the building process to begin and intensify today and each day. The book is therefore not giving us any spiritual knowledge which is not immediately and directly related to concrete spiritual activity. Each idea and insight serve a purpose, and to read this book is to engage in a process.
Since the founding event of the Christmas Foundation Conference, anthroposophists have a task to fulfill, but this task remains untouched, not even understood until this day according to Ben-Aharon. This may seem a stern judgement for some, but for those who like myself sense a lack of real spiritual life and enthusiasm in the available “anthroposophical” institutions and initiatives, Ben-Aharon´s work not only rings true, but in fact stirs new hope and awakens a new belief in the anthroposophical path. I am no neutral reader of this book, if such a position exists, but I truly believe Ben-Aharon represents a watershed in anthroposophical life after Rudolf Steiner, and this book gives a comprehensive and inspiring introduction to this ongoing and potentially intensifying resurrection of the spirit of Anthroposophy.
The book consists of transcribed and extended lectures given at the annual international meeting of the Global School for Spiritual Science in Sweden in 2019. This school-community is forming itself around the affirmation and creative engagement with the research of the Spiritual Event of the 20th Century which Ben-Aharon published already in 1993. The content of the present publication thus naturally springs out of an ongoing attempt to realize the goal and research it portrays.
The task of creating a Michaelic community is explained in the book from many perspectives, drawing on a number of central spiritual scientific themes. These can only be indicated briefly here of course, but they include among others the Second Coming of Christ as the main spiritual impulse of our time; the “spiritual economy” of forces and bodies in the present evolution of the Michaelic movement; the opposing forces and the tasks one faces in overcoming them; the reversal of love and the future healing of the wound of egotism; the Germanic-Nordic mythology and how the twilight of these gods relates to the corruption of the human constitution; spiritual geography and its relation to the forces flowing together constituting the Michaelic stream; the timing of evolution in relation to anthroposophical tasks on the earth.
As readers of Anthroposophy will know, all these are central themes in spiritual science. Here we are presented with them to the extent that they apply to the theme of the book and can help us navigate and understand the task at hand. Mentioned should also be Ben-Aharon´s research of the two main groups composing the Michaelic stream, the Aristotelian and the Platonic souls. Ben-Aharon writes that following the Spiritual Event of the 20th Century, a spiritual counsel was held in the etheric world where a new plan was made for a future – and today potentially imminent – meeting of these groups on the earth. This is contemporary karmic research that speaks to our destiny.
Ben-Aharon published his first books in 1993 and 1994, revealing already then groundbreaking new spiritual research. The Twilight stands in an unbroken line of loyalty and dedication to the Event there presented, now updated as a more comprehensive and detailed picture of what it means to make the Second Coming of Christ real on the earth. As part of this picture we also learn to know more intimate aspects of this mission and being, and there is in this connection a very interesting discussion on the nature of initiation and the differences between an initiate, an ordinary human being and the new naturally given Christ-initiation, which, as some readers will know, was the point of departure for Ben-Aharon´s own spiritual path.
In my opinion, the comprehensive picture of the Michaelic movement in The Twilight is unparalleled in any literature since Rudolf Steiner. It not only gives us new spiritual research, it updates what it means to engage with anthroposophy from a truly heartfelt understanding born from anthroposophical knowledge and spiritual experience. The present publication shows to the full the potential of the anthroposophical Michaelic movement. Reading the book, one is struck by the urgency and possibility in our time as well as a profound sense of responsibility.
If I should summarize what this work is all about, then it is a call and an invitation: a call to become sun-builders of the Earthly-Human Sun.
As sun-builders, we must feel ourselves, dear friends, when we come together to build our community… creating together this sun-space and sun-time, sun-life and sun-light in our active working with each other. (108-109)
Torbjørn Eftestøl (PhD fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music and member of the Global Event College)