By Douglas Gabriel
Esoteric history recognizes Shambhala as an actual land or district, the seat of the greatest brotherhood of spiritual avatars and their masters on earth today. At certain times in history, messengers or envoys for spiritual and intellectual work come to humanity from a place called Shambhala. This Great Brotherhood of Masters and Avatars has etheric lodges in various parts of the world, but Shambhala is the center or chief location. Theosophists locate it in a little-known and remote district of the high tablelands of central Asia, more particularly in Tibet.
According to esoteric teachings, Shambhala is surrounded by an Akashic veil of invisibility. Airplanes might fly over it and not see it at all. Armies of soldiers might pass through it and not know that it existed. It is said that some of the most valuable records of the human race are located in its libraries. There, surrounded by the greatest and most evolved human beings, the Silent Watcher of the Earth has his invisible abode.
The physical threshold of Shambhala is said to comprise two localities on Earth. These are actually physical doorways into the etheric realm. One of them is situated in the highlands of Asia, somewhere west of the meridian line passing through Lhassa, China. Long ago, this locality was a sacred island in a vast Central Asian inland sea, known as the ‘abyss of learning’ or ‘sea of knowledge’, and was accessible via subterranean passages. According to tradition, this place exists today as an oasis surrounded by the Gobi Desert.
The other doorway is said to be in a paradisiacal, primeval land in the far north. Sometimes this sacred land is said to be located in the center or navel of the earth, which refers to the North Pole as viewed above the pole. The northern paradise is often associated with a world tree, a world mountain, or pillar from which four rivers emerge, and a serpent encircles the world. All these symbolic features can be interpreted on different levels – terrestrial, astronomical, and spiritual. But clearly are descriptions of the tattvas or ethers. The World Tree is the Akasha ether branching out as four rivers in the other four ethers (warmth, light, sound, and life).
In other words, Shambhala is the Sacred Imperishable Land that exists beyond this physical world, yet has doorways on physical earth onto the ethers. Theosophical literature also states that there is an even higher Shambhala located in the sun. All of these realms, here on earth and on the sun, are inhabited by classes of entities to which the human race is spiritually and intellectually connected.
The Mysterious Sacred Land of the North
Theosophist H. P. Blavatsky (1831-1891) taught that a series of seven root-races or humanities would develop during the present fourth round of the earth’s evolution. Each root-race lives on its own continent, yet like continents that overlap, so, too, can root-races overlap one another. However, this is not the case with the continent known as the Imperishable Sacred Land, the most mysterious of the seven continents. It is said to be located in the region of the North Pole. As described in theosophy, this sacred land has never shared the fate of other continents because it is the only one whose destiny is to exist from the beginning to the end of the cycle of physical manifestation. It is the cradle of the first human and the dwelling of the last divine mortal.
According to the Hindu Kurma Purana, an island called Shveta-Dvipa, or White Island, lay in the northern sea, the paradisiacal homeland of great yogis possessing supreme wisdom and learning. As Blavatsky writes: “According to Tibetan tradition the White Island is the only locality which escapes the general fate of other continents and can be destroyed by neither fire nor water, for — it is the eternal land.”
North of the Himalayas, possibly in the Tarim Basin, lay Uttarakuru or northern Kuru, a version of Shambhala which the Mahabharata of ancient India describes as the blissful land of the sages towards which Arjuna, the warrior prince of the Bhagavad-Gita, travelled in search of enlightenment. It is described as a place of marvels where magic fruit trees yield the nectar of immortality. This magical place is said to be one of four regions surrounding Mount Meru like the petals of a lotus and to be the homeland of the siddhas, enlightened yogis famed for their miraculous powers.
The Sun’s Etheric Ropes of Magnetism
Legends and lore about the North Pole are told in many cultures, from the higher spiritual beings described by the Mahabharata or to contemporary stories of Santa Claus in western cultures. Whether ancient or contemporary interpretation, this place in the north is one of wonder, abundance, and magic. According to these traditions, the purified northern realms are also the home of the ethers which only now are being studied by modern science. It has been found that the electro-magnetic dynamics of the Earth’s Van Allen Belts interact with solar wind (ethers) through the North Pole and South Pole creating a complex system of electron defusion through the magnetosphere surrounding the Earth which produces the aurora borealis and aurora Australia. These electrical, magnetic, and etheric forces are only now beginning to be studied by scientists and the data indicates that the ties between the Sun and Earth are more profound than ever imagined.
The Sun’s ethers are transformed into Earth ethers through a type of cable tow that pulls the Earth behind the spiraling motion of the Sun and its solar system as it moves towards the fixed star Vegas.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that we should study the Finnish national epic, The Kalevala, as a soul exercise of the greatest importance in our time. The Kalevala is a fairy-tale like story that directly addresses the longings of the soul that a modern person feels trying to find his place in the world and connection to spirit. The main task of the story is that three great heroes must go “to the Northland – Kalevala” and battle the Old Woman of the North to win one of her daughters who ride on the “rainbow of the north,” ostensibly the aurora borealis. The “ancient smithy”, Ilmarinen, forges the great desire of the Old Woman of the North, the Sampo, to win one of her daughters.
An artistic rendition of the Sampo.
Harald Falck-Ytter, a student and scholar of Rudolf Steiner, tells us in his brilliant book entitled,Aurora the Northern Lights in Mythology History and Science, that the aurora borealis is the same as the Sampo from The Kalevala. He reminds us that the Sampo was created by the divine-human smith Ilmarinen in the dark land of the North. It was forged with cunning art:
On One side was a corn-mill
On another side a salt-mill
And upon the third a coin-mill.
Now was grinding the new Sampo,
And revolved the pictured cover.
The corn, salt, and coin are the life-processes of body, soul, and spirit which are brought forth by the Sampo as it grinds. The Sampo is roofed over by a many-colored lid which also revolves and is called the ‘vaults of heaven’ or ‘heavenly spheres.’ It is defined as ‘colorful, embroidered with rune and script,’ or the revolving vault of the heavens filled with brilliant stars and colored northern lights, upon which a numerous variety of runes and written signs and forms are visible. Whoever could interpret the ‘many colored lid’ would be able to read the heavenly script.
Forging the Sampo.
An elemental supersensory sheath of forces surrounding the earth dips down at the poles. The elemental sphere of forces does not move with the earth, but remains in a kind of static relationship to the sun. The structure of its forces is able to influence the earth-elements so that, for example, it can give rise to fluctuations in atmospheric pressure. In this way, a sort of friction is generated on the earth, a perpetual grinding between this sheath of forces and the earth’s sphere which produces the Schumann Wave.
In essence, a picture arises that the Sampo is the visible land of Shambhala covering the northernmost pole where the ethers rush into the atmosphere of the earth, mitigated by the magnetic torus field of the earth. “Winning” this Sampo is the ultimate prize for gods and men. It is a sort of “marriage” to another part of yourself that is transmitted from the sun and the cosmos through the currents that bring the etheric formative forces into play in the etheric body of the earth and the human etheric body.
This region of the earth is a crucial connecting point between Earth and Sun. Spiritual scientists describe these etheric forces as a rope, or masonic cable tow, that reaches from the sun to Earth and “pulls” Earth behind the space that the sun has previously traversed. This “rope” or “cable” is tantamount to a magnetic tractor beam that is the source of ethers flowing into the earth’s etheric body. This concept was not taken seriously in the past, but is now making its way into scientific exploration. Four space satellites have now been put into orbit around the earth to study these phenomena which esotericists have known of since ancient times.
A NASA-funded researcher, C. Q. Wei, at the University of Iowa has figured out how to find these ropes, also known as electron diffusion regions. “We call them X-points or electron diffusion regions,” explains plasma physicist Jack Scudder of the University of Iowa. “They’re places where the magnetic field of Earth connects to the magnetic field of the Sun, creating an uninterrupted path leading from our own planet to the sun’s atmosphere 93 million miles away.”
Researchers have long known that the earth and sun must be connected. Earth’s magnetosphere (the magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet) is filled with particles from the sun that arrive via the solar wind and penetrate the planet’s magnetic defenses. They enter by following magnetic field lines that can be traced from Earth all the way back to the sun’s atmosphere.
On the dayside of Earth (the side closest to the sun), Earth’s magnetic field presses against the sun’s magnetic field. Approximately every eight minutes, the two fields briefly merge or “reconnect,” forming a portal through which particles can flow. The portal takes the form of a magnetic cylinder about as wide as Earth. The European Space Agency’s fleet of four Cluster spacecraft and NASA’s five THEMIS probes have flown through and surrounded these cylinders, measuring their dimensions and sensing the particles that shoot through them. The cylindrical portals tend to form above Earth’s equator and then roll over Earth’s winter pole. In December, Flux Transfer Events roll over the North Pole; in July they roll over the South Pole. Flux Transfer Events and interplanetary magnetic clouds are associated with magnetic flux ropes or tubes containing helical magnetic field lines.
Magnetic flux ropes have been measured and there seems to be a cluster of four ropes spiraled around a central rope. It is interesting that the four ethers cluster around the Akasha ether as they “descend” into the atmosphere at the North Pole. Anthroposophist Guenther Wachsmuth describes this in more detail in his book, The Etheric Formative Forces.
The Mythical Paradise of Shambhala
Tibetan sacred texts speak of a mystical kingdom called Shambhala, hidden behind snow peaks somewhere north of Tibet, where the most sacred Buddhist teachings – the Kalachakra or Wheel of Time – are preserved. It is prophesied that a future king of Shambhala will come with a great army to free the world from barbarism and tyranny, and will usher in a golden age. Similarly, the Hindu Puranas say that a future world redeemer – the Kalki Avatara, the tenth and final manifestation of Vishnu – will come from Shambhala. Both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions indicate that Shambhala has a magnificent central palace radiating a powerful, diamond-like light.
The mythical paradise of Shambhala is known under many different names, such as, the Forbidden Land, the Land of White Waters, the Land of Radiant Spirits, the Land of Living Fire, the Land of the Living Gods and the Land of Wonders. Hindus have known it as Aryavarsha, the land from which the Vedas come; the Chinese as Hsi Tien, the Western Paradise of Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Mother of the West; the Russian Old Believers knew it as Belovodye and the Kirghiz people as Janaidar. Throughout Asia it is best known by its Sanskrit name, Shambhala, meaning ‘the place of peace, of tranquility.’
It is regarded by most esoteric traditions as the true center of the planet, as the world’s spiritual powerhouse and the heartland of a brotherhood of adepts from every race and country who have been influential in every major religion, every scientific advance and every positive social development in history.
Buddhist texts indicate that Shambhala can be reached only by a long and difficult journey across a wilderness of deserts and mountains, and warn that only those who are called and have the necessary spiritual preparation will be able to find it; others will find only blinding storms, empty mountains, or even death. One text says that the kingdom of Shambhala is round, but it is usually depicted as an eight-petalled lotus blossom – a symbol of the heart chakra. Indeed, an old Tibetan story states that ‘The kingdom of Shambhala is in your own heart.’
According to Lama Kunga Rimpoche, “Shambhala is probably at the North Pole, since the North Pole is surrounded by ice, and Shambhala is surrounded by ice mountains.” A few lamas believe that Shambhala exists outside the earth on another planet or in another dimension. Other Tibetans believe that “Great Shambhala” is far beyond the ocean. It is the mighty heavenly domain. It has nothing to do with our Earth. Only in some places, in the Far North, can you discern the resplendent rays of Shambhala. The lamas concede that the heavenly Shambhala has an earthly counterpart. Indeed, the expression “the resplendent rays of Shambhala” seems to be a reference to the aurora that manifests in the polar region. The ruler of Shambhala is “ever vigilant in the cause of mankind.” He sees all the events of earth in his magic mirror and the might of his thought penetrates into far-off lands.
Uncountable are the inhabitants of Shambhala. Numerous are the splendid new forces and achievements which are being prepared there for humanity. Messengers from Shambhala are at work in the world, and the ruler himself sometimes appears in human form. The lamas stress that the secrets of Shambhala are well guarded, and that it is impossible for anybody to reach Shambhala unless their karma is ready and they are called.
Mount Meru and Shambhala
In Hindu mythology Meru is the mystical mountain at the center of the world, where Indra, king of the gods, has his jeweled palace. Mount Meru is conceived of as the earth’s navel as well as its central staff, its source of life and power spreading out from the central region to the world. The symbolism here is derived from embryology; just as the embryo grows from the navel outwards, so does the earth. Meru actually has several different meanings, including a mountain in Asia, the north geographical pole, the north celestial pole, the earth’s spin axis, the world axis connecting earth to higher realms, and the cerebrospinal axis of the human body.
Like the Egyptians and the Akkadians, the Indians conceived of two opposed polar mounts: the arctic Meru, known as Sumeru (su = good, beautiful), the dwelling of the gods, and the antarctic Meru, or Kumeru (ku = bad, miserable), the dwelling of the demons.
Meru, the Olympus of the Indians, is said to be guarded by serpents, which “watched the entrance to the realm of Secret Knowledge.” According to tradition, it was the land of bliss of the earliest Vedic times. Occult teachings place it in the very center of the North Pole, pointing it out as the site of the first continent on our earth, after the solidification of the globe. In the ancient astronomical text, Meru is described as “passing through the middle of the earth-globe, and protruding on either side.” H.P. Blavatsky says that Meru is not “the fabulous mountain in the navel or center of the earth,” but its roots and foundations are in that navel, though it is in the far north itself. This connects it with the “central” land “that never perishes.”
Just as the human body contains a series of chakras, or subtle energy centers, linked by the sushumna, a central channel in the spinal cord, so there may be corresponding energy centers on and in the body of the earth. Shambhala is sometimes described as the main power center with auxiliary centers scattered about the globe. In theosophy, the heart of mother earth is said to beat “under the foot of sacred Shambhala”, and we are told of the existence of a fountain of life in the bowels of the earth and in the North Pole. It is the blood of the earth, the electro-magnetic current, which circulates through all the arteries; and which is said to be found stored in the ‘navel’ of the earth.
This inner reservoir of physical and psycho-spiritual life-forces may correspond in one sense to the root chakra in the human body, situated at the base of the spine. From this viewpoint, Meru represents the central duct or path of terrestrial kundalini or shakti running through the earth.
The Etheric Realm of Christ
The Mysteries of the Etheric Christ are inspired by a number of lecture cycles Rudolf Steiner gave on the topic. Steiner’s revelations on this subject have been corroborated by many modern clairvoyants and found to be very accurate. It is the Wisdom of the Cosmic Christ that the Maitreya Buddha will teach in our time. The secrets of the Etheric Christ will be revealed by the Kalki Avatar because both the Maitreya Buddha and the Kalki Avatar work directly for Christ and Sophia. The past and the future meet when these two streams unite. An accurate understanding of what Christ has done in the past is necessary to understand the Turning Point of Time, or what is called the Mystery of Golgotha, for Christ died on the Mount of Calvary or Golgotha.
Christ’s incarnation into the body of Jesus of Nazareth lasted for three and a half years only. There will not be another incarnation of Christ in a physical body. Christ Jesus conquered the physical realm and redeemed the over-hardened material world by His selfless sacrifice of a human death and descent into hell. Christ Jesus went to the core of the Earth and built a golden altar upon which Christ-like actions are offered to the heavens. He redeemed the earth and is now helping humanity turn the Planet Earth into the Star Earth. Through the polar lights, new light is born from human spiritual efforts and this is the beginning of Earth shining as a Star.
Christ will not come again in the physical body because He no longer needs to descend that far down the ranks of the hierarchy. At this point in time, Christ can come down into the realm of the angels, the etheric realm. Christ has risen to heaven but appears wherever two or more are gathered in His name, in the development of their Christened souls. Christ must now redeem the dying etheric realm of the earth and the human etheric body. The etheric body is essentially an “eternal youth” that builds up the physical body through forces of alternating levity and gravity. The etheric body of the earth encompasses the elements of earth, water, air, fire, light, sound, and life. These elements and ethers are manipulated by science into electrical and electromagnetic forces as a “shadow substance” of spirit.
We can see that humanity has spoiled the earth, water, air and the warmth of the planet. Furthermore, we have also poisoned our body’s elements and ethers and used the stomach, blood stream, and the senses as a dumping ground for toxic waste. We have defiled the earth and the human body with evil. The result is the inability to connect with the earthly and cosmic nutrition stream, thereby starving the spiritual world and our bodies. The etheric realm of Earth and the human body are in dramatic apocalypse. The Apocalypse of Revelation is happening now, in our environment and in our bodies. The dragon of materialism has taken the human body hostage and is demanding that all of our thoughts and feelings should be given over to evil.
True spiritual Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions feed the spiritual world. In return, the spiritual world feeds the aspirant with heavenly dew, the elixir of life, ambrosia and nectar, and the philosopher’s stone as reciprocal nourishment. When dead brain-bound thinking makes lifeless gray shadow thoughts of materialistic concepts, the etheric world dies. Human spiritual thought builds up the ethers while gray shadow thoughts kill the ethers and don’t allow for new spiritual matter to be created in the human heart. This would be similar to all plants on the earth dying, thereby ending the production of oxygen. Subsequently, humans would die without the oxygen created by plants. Likewise, the spiritual world and our bodies are in a symbiotic relationship. We are not the highest organism on the food chain. We create food for the gods, and they create the spiritual nourishment our souls need to be able to fuel the search for spirit.
There is an etheric realm around Earth and it interpenetrates all life on the planet. This etheric realm is the “womb of life” on Earth. It is the body of the Mother of All, Sophia the Goddess of Wisdom. It is being killed by technologies that humans have not evolved high enough to utilize with wisdom. We are on a dying planet that some want to kill even quicker. The thoughtless ones want personal gain immediately, leaving Earth as a trash heap upon their mortal exit. This is offset by Christ’s deed in the realm of the living etheric formative forces. He has come to re-enliven the etheric realm and make it new, just as He has done with the physical Earth. Christ will resurrect the etheric realm and save the source of life that renews the physical.
Rudolf Steiner pointed out that the Mystery of Golgotha was the greatest event in world history. He also said that the Mystery of Christ’s resurrection in the etheric realms of the Earth is the second most important event in history. Human history could end if Christ is not successful. Christ needs every person who knows eternal life in their heart to help enthrone His nature in their thinking. Imaginations need to flame up as living spiritual deeds so that the etheric realm can be filled with the warmth of spiritual thoughts imbued with the light of wisdom. Each person who develops a living cosmology of Christ that places Him as the cosmic and human solution to the challenges of the forces of death can be a gardener who plants the seeds of the Tree of Life so that all may live. We can be sky-dancers and heroines of the Labors of the Sophia who re-enliven a new Imagination of the Wisdom of Christ, Sophia Christos. These Imaginations can feed our souls and renew the earth so that we can behold a new heaven and a new Earth.
Rudolf Steiner indicated in his book, The Reappearance of the Christ in the Etheric, that Christ would start to appear to some people around 1933 and beyond in a “new type of spiritual vision.” He also said that many people would start to experience the Etheric Christ in the fashion that Paul experienced Christ on the road to Damascus. One could say that this is similar to the ascension body that Christ developed before He died. This ascension body is a body created out of etheric substance instead of physical substance. Christ can utilize the entire etheric body of the earth to congeal His form wherever and whenever He wishes. This manifestation is in advance of what all aspirants will be able to experience in the far future. Sophia and Christ will walk among us and be with us whenever we need them.
It has often been imagined that Christ will appear to the whole world in a rapture moment, “seen from East to West, coming on a cloud.” This vision of the Second Coming of Christ is confused with the apocalyptic accounts of Christ manifesting as the “judge of time.” The moment of death, sleep, or when the aspirant consciously crosses the threshold are opportunities for a personal apocalypse to occur. The aspirant will experience Christ during that revelation because Christ is the guardian of the threshold. Christ, not the Egyptian God Anubis, weighs and judges the soul to see if it has gained spiritual merit. Christ stands at the threshold between the physical and spiritual worlds as the Lord of Karma, the one who weighs the merit of the soul. Truly, death is an awful apocalypse for the materialist who has been killing the etheric realm and who has not been nourished spiritually. These materialistic beliefs create a terrifying experience of fear, doubt, and hatred as the unredeemed aspects of the soul that cannot cross into the spiritual realm burn the soul clean, a hell realm of sorts. As Christ is working hard to enliven the etheric realms, the materialistic thinker is raping his soul and starving the spiritual world of the nourishment that he can give it.
This battle for the life of the etheric is another war in heaven. Lucifer and Ahriman, pride and fear, have been loosed upon Earth and attempt to steal the wings of every human soul so they cannot rise up to the etheric realm and find nourishment. These evil specters can be tamed and properly utilized by the Christ forces in the human soul. Balancing the trinity of thinking, feeling, and willing is the prerequisite for conquering the evil forces that would are working to steal life from humans.
There is a wonderful source of ever renewing forces of life surrounding the Earth. It is called the super-etheric realm of Earth, or Shambhala in the East, and New Jerusalem or Eden Redeemed in the West. This realm has been claimed by Sophia Christos as the redeemed part of the etheric already under Their control. Every perfected body of a saint, avatar, bodhisattva, or spiritual person is imprinted and saved for all time to come in this etheric realm. Once a perfected “vehicle” is imprinted into this realm, it is available to copy itself for the use of any initiate who wishes to embody it. This super-etheric realm is also called the “Realm of Spiritual Economy,” where the spirit employs wise economy by replicating perfected bodies for those in like resonance.
The most profound aspect of the Realm of Spiritual Economy is that even the perfected bodies of Christ Jesus and Maria Sophia are imprinted in the super-etheric realm of Shambhala. St. Augustine, Johannes Tauler, Meister Ekhart, St. Francis, and Rudolf Steiner all used perfected vehicles from this realm. There is no need to create other perfected vehicles because the spirit knows how to utilize multi-dimensional holographic mirroring in the processes of creation and maintenance of the universe. Humans who are emulating Christ, Sophia, saints, and great thinkers may use this realm of spiritual economy.
Christ joined His physical karma with the Earth as a whole and gave His life to re-enkindle the forces of life that were waning. Earth would have died and humanity would have failed in its evolution to become angelic without Christ’s intervention. Christ’s blood and body went into the earth and descended to its core. When Christ rose from the dead, He brought the physical life of the earth along with Him. After ascending to heaven, Christ is now bringing the dying etheric realm of the earth and the human etheric body along with Him again in His continuing ascent. The battle is engaged but the victory is not yet won. Each human soul is an entire world. Worlds are being lost to Lucifer, Ahriman, and the Asuric beings who wish to tie thinking to sense-bound desire of the physical and not let Christ enliven their thoughts with spiritual Imaginations. Christ is giving wisdom, love, and the “waters of life” in the realms of the super etheric, whereas the demons are giving lies, jealousy, and evil that drain life from the etheric body.
Materialistic enslavement to physical pleasures and selfishness darken the spiritual world at night when sense-bound thinkers sleep. Instead of shining like a star as they sleep, the materialist weaves spider webs of desire that are gray and filled with blind vices that bind the soul to earthly matter. Their nights are filled with horrors and fears, instead of the light and nourishment of the spiritual food of the gods. They fight demons all night who act like “living darkness” that swallows light. They remain bound to the earth and the fiery hells that arise from unconscious desire.
When you reading spiritual books and thinking spiritual thoughts, you are providing a banquet for the gods. Reflecting and meditating on spiritual content is a fountain of living water that refreshes and nourishes your guardian angel. Prayer and spiritual practices are solemn rituals of communion with the spirit, dialogues that nurture both sides. A good conversation about lofty ideas will raise the human spirit, so, too, it feeds the spiritual world. As a wondrous spirit-filled dream continues to impress living pictures and Imaginations upon the soul for long periods of time, so the loving deeds of a human light up the etheric world and drive away the darkness. By seeking self-initiation and having the desire to embody the spirit, the aspirant joins in the battle for the etheric realm with every thought, feeling, and deed.
Christ continues His ascent through the physical, etheric, astral, and ego realms of the Earth and the human body. Each new realm needs a new turning point in time to align it with the macrocosmic evolution of Christ as He brings the Earth and humanity along with His development. Christ redeemed the physical and is now trying to permanently redeem the etheric realm. We are the battleground. Sides have been chosen and you are on a side, whether you know it or not. Self-initiation is to Know Yourself so that you might know the gods and the world. It is taking responsibility for your own development and being a witness and participant in the new War in Heaven, the battle for the etheric realm.
Christ in the Etheric Realm is the Second Coming
Seeing Christ in the etheric realm is a cure for the illness of materialism. Christ engenders love and love creates light wherever it flows. He implanted a drop of His blood that was enlivened through the Mystery of Golgotha in every human heart. It brings the “light of life” that shows us the way back to heaven and feeds our soul spiritual nourishment. In the darkest times, this light will draw Christ to us if we are in desperate need of His presence. Often, at the lowest point in a person’s life, Christ will walk into their presence and heal her. This has been reported many times by people who have wanted to commit suicide, but didn’t after Christ appeared to them. Steiner pointed out that after 1933 Christ would appear to more and more people. He also warned that if they reported their wondrous experience it, they might be considered crazy and have to be locked up in the psychological ward.
At the same time, those aspirants who have advanced along the path will also be able to develop “etheric vision” that will be able to see Christ and His manifestations in the etheric realm. This new “vision” will be able to see Christ active in a variety of ways in the resurrected etheric formative forces. The Etheric Christ will be visible to advanced souls and His presence can be with them on a continuous basis. Christ manifests in the etheric realm and is visible for those with “eyes to see” this realm of Shambhala.
The New Etheric Earth as a Star
One Imagination of Christ in the etheric realm is found in the aurora borealis. Just as human etherize blood, Earth, as a whole, etherizes elements that are fueled by forces of human spiritual activity that rise up from the core of the earth towards the magnetic North Pole flowing along the magnetic lines of the Van Allen belts. When solar wind collides with these rising etheric particles, a fantastic light display illuminates the sky. This “new light” from the Earth constitutes the first star-light of our “Earth as Sun.” One could say that the Christened efforts of humanity light up the globe with a halo. This also happens in the human body and appears to a clairvoyant as a “rainbow light” emitted from the midbrain that lights up the aura making it shine like a halo. Saints are noted to create this rainbow bridge. The human etheric body and the earth’s etheric body have many resonant associations.
The aurora borealis is a living Imagination of what happens in the human body through the wise and loving interaction between Sophia and Christ. When the baptism of fire alights upon the brow of the initiate, we can see the forces of Christ illuminating the Christened self of the individual. Christ heals the etheric body of Earth and the etheric body of the individual through a new World Pentecost.
Rudolf Steiner indicated in, The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric, Lecture I: The Event of the Appearance of Christ in the Etheric World, that “the Etheric Christ would be able to be seen especially in 1933, 1935, and 1937.” Clairvoyant capacities will become natural abilities. Great changes will take place, and Biblical prophecies will be fulfilled. Human souls will begin to develop “new faculties out of themselves” and exhibit “clairvoyant powers.” He said that “a new age is at hand, in which the souls of human beings must take a step upward into the kingdom of heaven.” Then, Christ will reappear because human beings will be raising themselves toward Him in etheric vision. Spiritual science is preparation for the return of Christ.
Just as Paul of Damascus, others will be “convinced through experiences in the etheric realm that Christ truly lives.” Steiner said that the “greatest mystery of our time is the second coming of Christ.” Human beings must advance to this etheric vision and see it in their own etheric body. Steiner speaks of the second coming of Christ and tells us that we must “raise ourselves up to Christ in the spiritual world by acquiring etheric vision.” If humanity were to ignore the second coming of Christ in the etheric, the “vision of Christ in the etheric body would be limited to those who, through esoteric training, prove themselves to be ready to rise to such an experience.”
In Lecture II: Spiritual Science as Preparation for a New Etheric Vision, Steiner indicates that Paul was convinced Jesus was Christ when he saw Christ clairvoyantly in the atmosphere of the earth. Paul became convinced that the descent of Christ to the earth consummated the ancient mysteries. Paul’s experience of Christ in the atmosphere of the earth can be clairvoyantly experienced after esoteric schooling or through natural clairvoyance that will become entirely natural to humanity. This “Damascus Event” will be experienced by people as a “return of Christ.” Christ is present for all those who are able to ascend as far as the “vision of the etheric body.” He is always present within the etheric atmosphere of the earth. The second coming of Christ will happen when human beings advance to beholding Christ in the etheric.
Shambhala as the Fountainhead of the Super-Etheric
In Lecture V: The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric, Dr. Steiner indicates that initiates in the past always went to “an ancient country” in order to “fetch from it” the guiding impulses of humanity and the “strength and wisdom for their missions.” This land is often referred to as Shambhala or the fountainhead of the super-etheric realm and ancient clairvoyants could see into these worlds like some sort of fairyland. This land of Shambhala is said to have risen up into the atmosphere and became invisible. Shambhala will be seen again, at first only for a few, then for more and more human beings.
This light-woven, light-gleaming Shambhala abounds in infinite fullness of life that fills hearts with wisdom. Christ is the Lord of this realm. It is from this realm that understanding of the cosmic nature of the deed of Christ flows forth as wisdom. The more humans can witness Christ in this realm, the more they will be able to understand the wisdom in the Gospels. As we grow into this mysterious land of Shambhala, it is possible to have a “Damascus Event or Experience” wherein the aspirant directly encounters the living Christ in the etheric realm, just as Paul did on the road to Damascus. The initiate rises into this land and can have this Damascus Experience as part of self-initiation, a kind of etheric revelation or apocalypse, an uncovering of the soul. This experience can be the foundation for a “new faith” or “religion of one.” A direct dialogue begins with the being of Christ as He appears there as a “second coming” for the awakened initiate.
Christ only comes to Earth once in a physical body and now appears in His etheric body to awakened souls as a natural initiation. According to the level of the initiate, a spiritual kingdom can be felt surrounding him that is led by Christ who will be acknowledged by all who rise into the etheric realm, no matter what their prior religious affiliations have been. Clear waking consciousness is the tool to enter this land under the guidance of Christ. The initiate must go there often to draw new forces from the radiant light and enter the portal to the land of the super-etheric, Shambhala. In The Return of Christ, Dr. Steiner goes further to say that new faculties will arise in humanity that will be able to perceive the human etheric body. Another capacity will develop wherein the aspirant will be able to look within himself and behold a dream-like picture that is the karmic outcome of a deed about to be performed. This is a prefiguring or precognitive perception, but not a dream. It is a “seeing into the karma of a deed,” a sort of taking responsibility for the karmic outcome of an action.
There will also be the experience of Christ that Paul had before Damascus, but now instead of it being a personal experience, it will become a common experience for certain people. Paul could only be convinced that Jesus was the Christ through a direct clairvoyant experience of Christ in the etheric realm. This clairvoyant experience will be more and more common in the future. Many people will have a direct encounter with the living being of Christ in the etheric realm as a ‘second coming.’ Previously, only initiates could reach this realm through initiation.
All of the faculties attained by initiation will become universal faculties of humanity. Human beings with etheric clairvoyance will behold the Christ appearing before them in an etheric body. This etheric vision is a spiritual seed in the soul that awaits development by the individual. Etheric clairvoyance can appear without an individual understanding its meaning and can be interpreted as delusion, fantasy, and mental illness. We must be ready to help and understand those who may appear to be psychologically ill, but in fact are witnessing the etheric sphere. People should have this experience in a healthy way as part of spiritual development. It is imperative that Christ be found in the etheric realm before death because the individual cannot come to an understanding of Christ’s physical incarnation after death. This is a most important spiritual task, to encounter Christ in the etheric while alive on Earth so that the Wisdom (Sophia) of Christ can accompany the aspirant through death. It is the development of the higher senses and sense organs that allow this vision of the etheric Christ to arise.
To develop the supersensible organs to perceive Christ’s Second Coming in the realm of Shambhala, the aspirant should train the astral body to become a sheath for the astral body of Christ to use. This body is developed through wonder, astonishment, devotion and reverence towards the spirit. To develop the etheric sheath for Christ to utilize, the aspirant should express love and compassion towards all beings. To develop the physical sheath for Christ to utilize, the aspirant should purify his conscience into a new transformative energy of life that adds to the work of the group Ego of humanity through Christ. This development leads the aspirant to understand Christ’s role as the Lord of Karma. These three sheaths for Christ are developed through wonder, love, and conscience.
Initiation and the Etheric Realm
To reach the etheric body, the aspirant must first advance through the more immediate concern of the astral body. The “astral body of desires” impresses its good and bad habits on the “time-body of the etheric.” Before you can reach Christ in the etheric, you usually must tame the astral body of desires. The aspirant will not methodically advance without stopping bad habits and developing new spiritual habits that impress healthy rhythms into the etheric body. Daily prayer, meditation, and spiritual practice must be well established before the aspirant can “look into” the realm of Shambhala. The aspirant must stop the habits that create astral impurities and then the positive spiritual habits can help raise the aspirant to etheric vision.
References to rising and going up into the etheric realm refer to the super-etheric sphere around the earth. There is also the etheric body of the human being. The two etheric bodies are connected but different. We rise up to the super-etheric but we look inside our own bodies to find the personal, human etheric body. The forces of warmth and light alternate with sound and life in both etheric realms. In the near future, we will be able to look into the super-etheric sphere with the help of the human etheric body and find the connecting links. When a human beholds the etheric body with etheric vision, Christ is seen in the human etheric body and the super-etheric sphere. The same mechanisms underlie the development of new spiritual organs that are commonly used by initiates and will become more and more common for humanity over the next two thousand years. Initiates are the avant-garde of human development.
The gradual path to seeing Christ in the etheric is through first developing thinking, feeling, and willing into new capacities of soul, new supersensible organs that can see, hear, and dialogue in the spiritual world. This path of development is steady, gradual, and step by step. Seeing Christ in the etheric is seeing Christ in living Imaginations. The purified etheric body can be the organ of perception of this cosmic light. The aspirant can train the mind to receive these Imaginations by meditating on sense free qualities of the spirit, like the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Through development of a complete cosmology, the aspirant can exercise the spiritual organs of vision by thinking about the invisible spiritual world and the beings who inhabit that world. Envisioning the workings of the hierarchies is one of the best ways to see the forces of life that are commonly thought of as invisible. Enough meditation and thinking about spiritual matters will eventually bring those realms into the purview of the aspirant. Angels have little to do with anything visible, but they can be imagined in ways that bring them “into view.”
The etheric body of Earth and the human etheric body are ruled by rhythm. Our breath and heartbeat are two examples of cosmic timing that we only partially control. In sleep, we have no control over those rhythms and they reset to the universal rhythm of four heart beats to one breath. These cosmic rhythms accompany our life and are created by a type of “sound.” Rhythm is the tool of the spirit that brings life and health. When natural rhythms are disturbed, the human body falls ill. We were somewhat asleep in Eden and were healthy and without illness. When we awoke to the outside world, the forces of dissonance brought illness. When we take on unnatural rhythms in our life, they will deaden our etheric bodies. The initiate builds into their life healthy rhythms that nourish the etheric body to become a tool of spiritual perception. Christ feeds the initiate through the life of the etheric body.
To find Christ in the etheric realm, the aspirant on the path of self-initiation will first conquer the dragon of his astral desires and develop higher forms of Imagination to approach Christ in the etheric. Through rhythmic spiritual practices, the etheric realm will begin to enliven thinking until it is full of warmth and the light of wisdom. Then, the aspirant can find Christ in His second coming, long before death and without an apocalypse in the outer world. The revelation and apocalypse come in the soul of the aspirant as the threshold is crossed and the images of ascension appear before the higher soul. These images are the spiritual body of the aspirant coming to him through the intervention of Sophia and Christ in the etheric realm. The etheric realm holds the past, present, and future parts of the individual and the world. It is ever alive and renewing everything. The etheric body is essentially a complete picture of the universe from beginning to end as an ever-present now rushing in from the future. Christ has claimed the etheric realm for humanity and thereby has assured a future where love and wisdom will reign.
The battle for the etheric realms (Earth and human) is the battle between Ahriman and Christ in our time. Lucifer should have already been tamed and turned into a good force through the intervention of the Holy Spirit and Holy Sophia. This intervention created the new World Pentecost or baptism by fire. The tongues of flame were the sign that the apostles and the three Mary’s had tamed their astral bodies, which was denoted by the idea that they “spoke as angels” in a language that everyone could hear and understand.
The training of the etheric body is much more difficult. The habits and rituals of life create the etheric body’s relationship to the spirit and to matter. Most people spend their time active in and thinking about the material realm. The initiate spends more time focused on and thinking about the spiritual realm. The daily spiritual practice of an initiate is more important to her than things in the outer world of materialism. Human relationships and spiritual relationships are much more important for advancement than material things. The rhythms of synchronicity and spiritual influence can begin to “sound” in the initiate and become impressed in the etheric body over time. The etheric body becomes the musical instrument of the initiate and living sound is heard as the initiate “ascends” to the super-etheric body around the Earth. The music of the spheres sounds in the etheric body and brings the forces of the planets to the organs and systems of the human etheric body. The planets and stars sing forth continuously, just as the etheric body does. Both are mirrors of the divine plan that is a grand symphony in which we play our humble instrument.
Are You Ready for Second Coming of Christ in the Etheric?
Experiencing Christ in the etheric is accompanied by amazing sights, sounds, and words. We learn that sights denote the astral, sounds denote the etheric, and words denote the physical. Christ has already redeemed the physical nature of the Earth and humanity by the Mystery of Golgotha, His death and resurrection. Christ is known as the “Word” or “Logos”, implying that He is the word of God that sounded forth creation as a spoken Language of the Spirit. The human body is a manifestation of the “word of the spirit.” Christ descended from the Trinity into a human body so that He could make all of humanity whole and renewed so that they might become suitable vessels for spirit. This physical body is the word becoming flesh. Through the pre-earthly deeds of Christ, humans became able to stand erect, speak, and think. Christ brought with Him to Earth the “ego capacity to think as a free being” and donated it to humanity as His fourth gift. In our time, Christ is renewing the etheric body of humanity so that it will continue to have eternal life. Christ is found intimately in every part of the human physical constitution because He is the divine archetype of the human being.
Christ is active in the etheric realms, bringing the living forces of His resurrection body into these realms. Christ is bringing the warmth, light, and levity to counteract the cold darkness of Ahrimanic gravity. The human soul stands in the middle of the battle and much will be lost in both Earthly and humanly etheric realms if the Wisdom of Christ is not found. An initiate can receive the forces of the risen Christ and remake his personal etheric body into the image of Christ’s etheric body, thus assuring eternal life.
The etheric realm is the realm of time. Christ rules time and is the Lord of karma, destiny, and providence. If Christ cannot win the battle for life in the etheric, the Earth will change its destiny and destroy itself. The same is true for each individual who can either kill or enliven his or her own etheric body of formative forces. The aspirant can choose between the life and love of Christ or the selfish egotism of Lucifer and the cold dead nihilism of Ahriman, the Lord of Materialism. Lucifer distracts the aspirant from the light, while Ahriman darkens and extinguishes the light. The landscape of the etheric body of the human is the domain that each person can make a difference in, for better or worse. Christ and the entire spiritual world stand ready to help each aspirant.
It is the free deed of the aspirant that either builds or destroys her personal etheric body. As for the etheric body of the earth, suffice it to say, that the battle is very visible and heated. The greedy are winning at this point and the earth’s life body has suffered great damage. Consciousness is being raised slowly to focus on sustainability and environmental homeostasis. All of our lives are ultimately connected to that global battle. Inner and outer etheric awareness is crucial for the continuity of life on Earth.
As we behold Christ’s activity in human evolution, we are struck with awe, reverence, wonder, and amazement. The intricate design of Christ’s wisdom manifesting through love is wondrous to contemplate. Christ’s divine deed for humanity is miraculous, and He continues His loving offerings in the etheric world to vouchsafe humanity’s future. This knowledge fires the initiate with spiritual resolve to accomplish moral, conscientious deeds. It is a type of spiritual nourishment that engenders further spiritual deeds that again feed the divine world. This great Mystery of the Etheric Christ is the wonder of our age.
To behold the etheric realm of the Earth is to lift the veils of Sophia. This is the sign of the resurrection of Sophia from the darkness of history. As the Wisdom of Sophia is added to a picture of a living Earth, science gets the chance to re-think what life is really based upon. New discoveries are happening every day that reveal another living aspect of Natura. Everywhere, Sophia is alive and inspiring the world. Sophia brings to us the Wisdom of the Cosmic Christ that is necessary to fully understand the Mystery of Golgotha and the Mystery of the Etheric Christ. This Wisdom is Sophia Christos, the Wisdom of Christ. Christ can represent love active through time while Sophia represents wisdom active through space. Together, they create consciousness of the past and future.
The Mysteries of the Etheric Christ are the most personal and profound mysteries of the human being. Evolution hangs in the balance as human soul life is fought over between the forces of good and evil. Each day is a battle in this war, and each person and humanity as a whole, is in danger of dying to spirit. If this happens, it will darken the etheric realm and the spiritual world.
Each of us holds the key to whether the battle will be won or lost. Each individual will be called on to declare whose side they are on, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Joining together with Sophia, in all of Her many names, is one way to rise up to the refined realms of the super-etheric where we can meet Christ. Sophia is our guide, and She teaches us the very wisdom we need to understand Christ and the language He speaks. As we join our virtuous development and the fruits of the Labors of Sophia with the risen ONE, or the “Christ in me”, we can rise into the higher realms and participate in the work of the divine. Sophia has been our personal midwife in the process of spirit birth and Christ is the being who gives us our higher self to wed. The soul filled with Wisdom can then join with the spirit of Love, Sophia Christos, and maintain the living realm of Shambhala as a home for masters and initiates.
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