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Title: Four Mystery Plays
       The Portal of Initiation - The Soul's Probation - The
              Guardian of the Threshold - The Soul's Awakening

Author: Rudolf Steiner

Translator: Harry Collison
            Shirley Mark Kerr Gandell
            Robert Theodore Gladstone

Release Date: April 2, 2019 [EBook #59191]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at for Project
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Newly Designed Front Cover.


Newly Designed Title Page.

Four Mystery Plays
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press



The four plays here produced in an English translation in two volumes, are perhaps best described as Christian Mystery Plays. They are intended to represent the experiences of the soul during initiation; or, in other words, the psychic development of man up to the moment when he is able to pierce the veil and see into the beyond. Through this vision he is then able to discover his real self and carry into effect the cryptic injunction graven on the old Greek temples Γνῶθι σεαυτόν, know thyself. At a later stage he comes to ‘realize’ himself, and finally learns the true significance of the Second Advent of our Lord. This process is known as the ‘Rosicrucian’ initiation—an initiation specially adapted to modern days—the time and manner of which depend on the individual nature and circumstances of each person.

The four plays form one continuous series, and the characters portrayed are of quite an ordinary kind except that they take more than the usual interest in spiritual matters, their first desire being so to improve their own mental and moral state as to make them able to benefit their fellows.

We find amongst them many types—the occult leader and the seeress who explains the coming of Christ. We are shown the spiritual development of [iv]an artist, a scientist, a philosopher, a historian, a mystic, and a man of the world; and we hear too the scoffing cynicism of Germanus and the materialistic views of Fox. We are led to realize how the characters are connected on the physical as well as the spiritual plane; and we learn also about the nature of elementals and the twin forces of hindrance known as Lucifer and Ahriman; the former of whom may be described as an embodiment of the spiritual impulse to action, an impulse always necessary but often distorted to bring about self-glorification rather than the ambition to do good; the latter as an embodiment of an influence which seeks to materialize everything, thus hindering true spiritual growth and freedom. These two influences are given to man that he may gain free will by having perfect liberty to guide them in the one direction or in the other.

With regard to the writing and production of the plays, Doctor Steiner’s habit is to write a play whilst the rehearsals are actually in progress, finishing it a few days before the first public performance, and the first play was written and acted in this manner in August, 1910, the second in August, 1911, the third in August, 1912, and the fourth in August, 1913. It was not until then that the complete key to the development of the characters was attainable. The last play explains the progress of the other three, and, following out the hint given in the second play by the account of the previous incarnation in the Middle Ages, traces the characters right back to their earlier incarnation in ancient Egypt.

The plays were performed in Munich every summer [v]under the personal direction of the author and were acted by men and women of several nationalities—all students of his teaching. The audiences numbered some two thousand and were composed entirely of his followers.

In 1913, owing to the difficulties and expense incurred each year in securing an appropriate theatre, his supporters acquired a plot of ground in Munich, and plans were designed for a theatre of their own, but the Munich authorities after much prevarication and delay finally prohibited its building, exhibiting in their treatment of Rudolf Steiner the same illiberal spirit as they had shown at an earlier date in the case of Richard Wagner.

Because of this, and because of the hostility which his writings and lectures had aroused in other parts of Germany, Doctor Steiner was led to set up his theatre in Switzerland at the little village of Dornach—not far from Bâle. Here a theatre is being built in accordance with his own designs and it is hoped that the plays will be performed there regularly as soon as the edifice is complete.

In conclusion I should like to express my gratitude to my friends and fellow students R. T. Gladstone, M.A., Cantab., and S. M. K. Gandell, M.A., Oxon., for their most valuable help in the very difficult task of translating the plays into English verse. Only a translator can appreciate the difficulties involved in preserving both the sense and rhythm of the original, and it is no exaggeration to say that without their aid the production of these works in English would not have been possible at the present time. [vi]

I should also like to take this occasion of thanking Doctor Steiner himself for permitting me to attend the rehearsals and assist in the performances of the plays. It was a great privilege and pleasure for which I can never feel sufficiently grateful. And last, but not least, I have to thank him for his ever kind and patient attention to all my questions on the subject of these plays and of spiritual science in general.

H. Collison.




The general public has never been admitted to the performance of these plays. The English editor has, however, ventured to give some indication of the costumes and scenery, though this can only be sufficient to give a general idea. The following is a summary of the scenes:

A Prelude

Scene 1: A debating room. Theodora’s vision of the coming Christ.

Scene 2: Johannes’ meditation among the mountains: ‘Know thou thyself.’

Scene 3: Meditation chamber. Maria’s separation.

Scene 4: The Spirit of the Elements. The Soul-world.

Scene 5: The subterranean rock temple. The consultation of the hierophants.

Scene 6: Continuation of Scene 4. Felicia: her First Fable. Germanus.

Scene 7: The Spirit-world. Maria and her soul powers. Theodora’s vision of the past incarnation of Maria and Johannes. The scene ends with Benedictus’ great mystic utterance.

An Interlude

Scene 8: The portrait of Capesius by Johannes. Strader’s bewilderment.

Scene 9: Johannes’ second meditation among the mountains three years later than Scene 2. ‘Feel thou thyself.’

Scene 10: As in Scene 3. A trial for Johannes.

Scene 11: The Temple of the Sun. Destiny and debtors. [3]



In the Prelude and Interlude:

  • Sophia.
  • Estella.
  • Two Children.

In the Mystery:

  • Johannes Thomasius.
  • Maria.
  • Benedictus.
  • Theodosius, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as that of the Spirit of Love.
  • Romanus, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as that of the Spirit of Action.
  • Germanus, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as that of the Earth-brain.
  • Helena, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as that of Lucifer.
  • Retardus, active only as a Spirit-influence.
  • Philia } Friends of Maria, whose prototypes, as the Mystery proceeds, reveal themselves as spirits of Maria’s soul-powers.
  • Professor Capesius.
  • Doctor Strader.
  • Felix Balde, who reveals himself as representative of the Spirit of Nature.[4]
  • Felicia Balde, his wife.
  • The Other Maria, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as the Soul of Love.
  • Theodora, a Seeress.
  • Ahriman and Lucifer, conceived as Soul-influences only.
  • The Spirit of the Elements, conceived as a Spirit-influence.
  • A Child, whose prototype, as the Mystery proceeds, reveals itself as a young soul.

As is usual in English stage directions, right means right of the stage, and not right of the audience as in the original German. So too the left is left of the stage.

The music at the representation of each play was by Mr. Adolf Arenson.

Notes on the Costumes Worn: The costumes worn are those of every day, except that the female characters, over their dress, wear bright broad stoles of a colour to suit their character.

Benedictus is usually in a black riding suit, top boots, and a black mantle.

Lucifer has golden hair, wears crimson robes, and stands upon the right of Johannes. Lucifer appears as female.

Ahriman, the conventional Satan, wears yellow robes and stands upon the left of Johannes.

In the fifth and eleventh scenes and when in spirit form or acting as hierophant Benedictus wears a long white robe over which is a broad golden stole with mystic emblems in red. He also wears a golden mitre and carries a golden crosier.

On such occasion Theodosius is similarly robed except that the stole, mitre, and crosier are silver and the emblems blue. Similarly the stole, mitre, and crosier of Romanus are bronze and the emblems green. Retardus’ costume is a mixture of the above three. [5]

Germanus wears long brownish robes and is made to appear like a giant with heavy clogs, as if tied to earth. Scene 6.

Philia, Astrid, and Luna in the seventh and eleventh scenes and in the other plays have conventional angel-forms; Astrid is always in the centre of this group; Luna is on her right; Philia on her left.

Theodora wears white and has angel’s wings in the seventh and eleventh scenes.

The Other Maria is dressed like a spirit (except in Scene 1) but one associated with rocks and precious stones. [7]





Sophia’s room. The colour scheme is a yellow red. Sophia, with her two children, a boy and a girl; later, Estella.

Children (singing, whilst Sophia accompanies them on the piano):

The light of the sun is flooding

The breadths of space;

The song of the birds is filling

The heights of the air;

The blessing of plant-life unfoldeth

Elemental Beings of earth;

And human souls in reverent gratitude,

Rise up to the spirits of the world.


Now, children, go to your room and think over the words we have just practised.

(Sophia leads the children out.)

(Enter Estella.)


How do you do, Sophy? I hope I’m not intruding?


Oh no, Estelle. I am very glad to see you.

(Asks Estella to be seated and seats herself.)



Have you good news from your husband?


Very good. He writes to me saying that he is interested in the Congress of Psychologists; though the manner in which they treat many great questions there does not appeal to him. However, as a student of souls, he is interested in just those methods of spiritual shortsightedness which make it impossible for men to obtain a clear view of essential mysteries.


Does he not intend speaking on an important subject, himself?


Yes, on a subject that seems important both to him and to me. But the scientific views of those present at the Congress prevent his expecting any results from his arguments.


I really came in, dear Sophy, to ask whether you would come with me this evening to a new play called Outcasts from Body and from Soul. I should so like to hear it with you.


I’m sorry, my dear Estelle, but tonight is the date set for the performance of the play, which our society has been rehearsing for a long time.


Oh yes, I had forgotten. But it would have been such a pleasure to have spent this evening with my old friend. I had set my heart on having you beside me, and gazing with you into the hidden depths of our present-day life.… I only hope that this world of ideas, in which you move, and which is so strange to me, will not finally destroy that bond of sympathy, which has united our hearts since we were at school together.


You have often said that before; and yet [9]you have always had to admit that our divergent opinions need not erect barriers between those feelings which have existed between us in our companionship from our youth upwards.


True, I have said so. Yet it always arouses a sense of bitterness in me, when, as the years roll on, I see how your affections are estranged from those things in life that seem to me worth while.


Still, we may be of much mutual help to one another if we recognize and realize the various points of view which we reach through our different inclinations.


Yes! My reason tells me that you are right. And yet there is something in me that rebels against your view of life.


Why not candidly admit that what you require of me is the renunciation of my inmost soul-life?


But for one thing, I should admit even that. And that is, that you always claim that your view is the more profound. I can readily understand that people whose conceptions differ radically may still meet in sympathy of feeling. But the nature of your ideas actually forces upon you an inner assumption of a certain superiority. Others can compare views and realize that they do indeed diverge towards different standpoints, but they nevertheless stand related by an equality of values. You, however, seem unable to do this. You regard all other views as proceeding from a lower degree of human development.


But you realize, I hope, from our previous discussions, that those who think as I do, do not [10]finally measure the character of man by his opinions or by his knowledge. And while we consider our ideas such, that without vital realization of them life has no valid foundations, we nevertheless try most earnestly not to over-estimate the value of the individual, who has been permitted to become an instrument for the manifestation of this view of life.


All that sounds very well, but it does not remove my one suspicion. I cannot close my eyes to the fact, that a world-view which ascribes to itself illimitable depth must needs lead by the circuitous route of a mere appearance of such depth to a certain superficiality. I rate our friendship too high to point out to you those among your companions who, whilst they swear allegiance to your ideas, yet display spiritual arrogance of the most unmitigated sort, despite the fact that the barrenness and banality of their soul speaks in their every word and in all their conduct. Nor do I wish to call your attention to the callousness and lack of sympathy shown by so many of your adherents towards their fellow men. The greatness of your own soul has never permitted you to stand aloof from that which daily life requires at the hands of the man whom we call good. And yet the fact that you leave me alone on this occasion, when true and artistic life comes to be voiced, shows me that your ideas too with reference to this life are to a certain extent superficial—if you will forgive my saying so.


And wherein lies this superficiality?


You ought to know. You have known me long enough to understand how I have wrenched myself away from that manner of life, which, day in [11]and day out, only struggles to follow tradition and convention.

I have sought to understand why so many people suffer, as it seems, undeservedly. I have tried to approach the heights and depths of life. I have consulted the sciences, so far as I could, to learn what they disclose.

But let me hold fast to the one point which this moment presents to us. I am aware of the nature of true art; I believe I understand how it seizes upon the essentials of life and presents to our souls the true and higher reality. I seem to feel the beating of the pulse of time, when I permit such art to influence me, and I am horrified when I have to think what it is which you, Sophy, prefer to this interest in living art. You turn to what seem to me the obsolete, dogmatically allegorical themes, to gaze on a show of puppets, instead of on living beings, and to wonder at symbolical happenings which stand far away from all that appeals to our pity and to our active sympathies in daily life.


My dear Estelle, that is exactly the fact that you will not grasp—that the richest life is to be found just there where you only see a fantastic web of thoughts: and that there may be, and are, people who are compelled to call your living reality mere poverty—if it be not measured by the spiritual source from whence it comes. Possibly my words sound harsh to you. But our friendship demands absolute frankness. Spirit itself is as unknown to you as it is to the multitude. In its place you know only the bearer of knowledge. It is only the thought side of spirit of [12]which you are aware. You have no conception of the living, the creative spirit, which endows men with elemental power, even as the germinal power of nature shapes living entities. Like many another, for instance, you call things in art which deny the spirit, as I conceive it, naïve and original. Our conception of the world unites a full and conscious freedom with the power of naïve creation. We absorb consciously that which is naïve, and do not thereby rob it of its freshness, its fulness, and its originality. You believe that the character of man shapes itself, and that we can merely form thoughts and considerations about it. You will not see that thought itself actually merges into creative spirit; reaching the very fountain of Being; and developing thence into an actual creative germ.

Our ideas do not teach, any more than the seed-power within a plant teaches it how to grow. It is the actual growth itself, and in like manner do our ideas flow into our very being, kindling and dispensing life. To the ideas that have come to me, I am indebted for all that makes life worth while; not only for the courage, but also for the insight and power that make me hopeful of so training my children, that they shall not only be capable and useful in ordinary everyday life, in the old traditional sense, but that they shall at the same time carry inward peace and contentment within their souls. I have no wish to stray from the point, but I will say just one thing. I believe—nay I know—that the dreams which you share with so many can only be realized when men succeed in uniting what they call the realities of life with those deeper experiences, [13]which you have so often termed dreams and fantasies. You may be astonished if I confess it to you: but much that seems true art to you is to me a mere fruitless critique of life. No hunger is stilled, no tears are dried, no source of degeneracy is discovered, when merely the outer show of hunger, or tear-stained faces, or degenerate beings is shown upon the stage. And the customary method of that presentation is unspeakably distant from the true depths of life, and the true relationship between beings.


I understand your words indeed, but they merely show me that you do prefer to indulge in fancies, rather than to look upon the realities of life. Our ways, indeed, part.—I see that my friend is denied me tonight. (Rises.) I must leave you now. But we remain friends, as of old, do we not?


We must indeed remain friends. (While these last words are spoken, Sophia conducts her friend to the door.)




Scene 1

Room. Dominant note rose-red. Large rose-red chairs are arranged in a semicircle. To the left of the stage a door leads to the auditorium. One after the other, the speakers introduced enter by this door; each stopping in the room for a time. While they do so, they discuss the discourse they have just heard in the auditorium, and what it suggests to them.

Enter first Maria and Johannes, then others. The speeches which follow are continuations of discussions already begun in the auditorium.


My friend, I am indeed distressed to see

Thy spirit and thy soul in sadness droop,

And powerless to help the bond that binds

And that has bound us both for ten blest years.

E’en this same hour, filled with a portent deep

In which we both have heard and learned so much

That lightens all the darkest depths of soul,

Brought naught but shade and shadow unto thee.

Aye, after many of the speakers’ words,

My listening heart could feel the very dart

That deeply wounded thine. Once did I gaze

Into thine eyes and saw but happiness

And joy in all the essence of the world. [15]

In pictures beauty-steeped thy soul held fast

Each fleeting moment, bathed by sunshine’s glow—

Flooding with air and light the forms of men

Unsealing all the depths and doubts of Life.

Unskilled as yet thine hand to body forth

In concrete colour-schemes, those living forms

That hovered in thy soul; but in the hearts

Of both of us there throbbed the joyous faith

And certain hope that future days would teach

Thine hand this art—to pour forth happiness

Into the very fundaments of Being;

That all the wonders of thy spirit’s search

Unfolding visibly Creation’s powers

Through every creature of thine art would pour

Soul rapture deep into the hearts of men.

Such were our dreams through all those days of yore

That to thy skill, mirrored in beauty’s guise,

The weal of future men would trace its source.

So dreamed mine own soul of the goal of thine.

Yet now the vital spark of fashioning fire

That burned within thee seems extinct and dead.

Dead thy creative joy: and well-nigh maimed

The hand, which once with fresh and youthful strength

Guided thy steadfast brush from year to year.


Alas, ’tis true; I feel as if the fires

That erstwhile quickened in my soul are quenched.

Mine eye, grown dull, doth no more catch the gleam

Shed by the flickering sunlight o’er the earth.

No feeling stirs my heart, when changing moods

Of light and shade flow o’er the scenes around. [16]

Still lies my hand, seeking no more to chain

Into a lasting present fleeting charms,

Shown forth by magic elemental powers

From utmost depths of Life before mine eyes.

No new creative fire thrills me with joy.

For me dull monotone obscures all life.


My heart is deeply grieved to hear that thou

Dost find such emptiness in everything

Which thrives as highest good and very source

Of sacred life itself within my heart.

Ah, friend, behind the changing scenes of life

That men call ‘Being,’ true life lies concealed

Spiritual, everlasting, infinite.

And in that life each soul doth weave its thread.

I feel afloat in spirit potencies,

That work, as in an ocean’s unseen depths,

And see revealéd all the life of men,

As wavelets on the ocean’s upturned face.

I am at one with all the sense of Life

For which men restless strive, and which to me

Is but their inner self that stands revealed.

I see, how oftentimes it binds itself

Unto the very kernel of man’s soul,

And lifts him to the highest that his heart

Can ever crave. Yet as it lives in me

It turns to bitter fruitage, when mine own

Touches another’s being. Even so

Hath this, my destiny, worked out in all

I willed to give thee, when thou cam’st in love.

Thy wish it was to travel at my side [17]

Unhesitating all the way, that soon

Should lead thee to a full and perfect art.

Yet what hath happened? All, that in mine eyes

Stood forth revealed in its own naked Truth

As purest life, brought death, my friend, to thee

And slew thy spirit.


And slew thy spirit. Aye. ’Tis so indeed.

What lifts thy soul to Heaven’s sun-kissed heights

When through thy life it comes into mine own

Thrusts my soul down, to death’s abysmal gloom.

When in our friendship’s rosy-fingered dawn

To this revealment thou didst lead me on,

Which sheds its light into the darkened realms,

Where human souls do enter every night,

Bereft of conscious life, and where full oft

Man’s being wanders erring: whilst the night

Of Death makes mock at Life’s reality.

And when thou didst reveal to me the truth

Of life’s return, then did I know full well

That I should grow to perfect spirit-man.

Surely, it seemed, the artist’s clear keen eye,

And certain touch of a creator’s hand,

Would blossom for me through thy spirit’s fire

And noble might. Full deep I breathed this fire

Into my being; when—behold—it robbed

The ebb and flow of all my spirit’s power.

Remorselessly it drove out from my heart

All faith in this our world. And now I reach

A point where I no longer clearly see,

Whether to doubt or whether to believe [18]

The revelation of the spirit-worlds.

Nay more, I even lack the power to love

That which in thee the spirit’s beauty shows.


Alas! The years that pass have taught me this:

That mine own way to live the spirit-life

Doth change into its opposite, whene’er

It penetrates another’s character.

And I must also see how spirit-power

Grows rich in blessing when, by other paths,

It pours itself into the souls of men.

(Enter Philia, Astrid, and Luna.)

It floweth forth in speech, and in these words

Lies power to raise to realms celestial

Man’s common mode of thinking; and create

A world of joy, where erstwhile brooded gloom.

Aye, it can change the spirit’s shallowness

To depths of earnest feeling; and can cast

Man’s character in sure and noble mould.

And I—yes, I am altogether filled

By just this spirit-power, and must behold

The pain and desolation that it brings

To other hearts, when from mine own it pours.


It seemed as though the voices of some choir

(Enter Prof. Capesius and Dr. Strader.)

Mingled together, uttering manifold

Conceptions and opinions, each his own,

Of these who formed our recent gathering. [19]

Full many harmonies there were indeed,

But also many a harsh-toned dissonance.


Ah, when the words and speech of many men

Present themselves in such wise to the soul,

It seems as though man’s very prototype

Stood centred there in secret mystery:

Become through many souls articulate,

As in the rainbow’s arch pure Light itself

Grows visible in many-coloured rays.


Through changing scenes of many centuries

We wandered year on year in earnest search;

Striving to fathom deep the living force

That dwelt within the souls of those who sought

To probe and scan the fundaments of being,

And set before man’s soul the goals of life.

We thought that in the depths of our own souls

We lived the higher powers of thought itself;

And thus could solve the riddles set by Fate.

We felt we had, or seemed at least to feel,

Sure basis in the logic of our mind

When new experiences crossed our path

Questioning there the judgment of our soul.

Yet now such basis wavers, when amazed

I hear today, as I have heard before,

The mode of thought taught by these people here.

And more and more uncertain do I grow,

When I perceive, how powerfully in life

This mode of thought doth work. Full many a day [20]

Have I spent thus, thinking how I might shape

Time’s riddles as they solved themselves to me

In words, that hearts might grasp and trembling feel.

Happy indeed was I, if I could fill

Only the smallest corner of some soul

Amongst my audience with the warmth of life.

And oftentimes it seemed success was mine,

Nor would I make complaint of fruitless days.

Yet all results of teaching thus could lead

Only to recognition of this truth

So loved and emphasized by men of deeds,

That in the clash of life’s realities,

Thoughts are dim shadows, nothing more nor less:

They may indeed wing life’s creative powers

To due fruition, but they cannot shape

And mould our life themselves. So have I judged

And with this modest comment was content:

Where pale thoughts only work, all life is lamed

And likewise all that joins itself to life.

More potent than the ripest form of words,

However art might weave therein her spell,

Seemed nature’s gift, man’s talents—and more strong

The hand of destiny to mould his life.

Tradition’s mountainweight, and prejudice

With dull oppressive hand will always quench

The strength of e’en the very best of words.

But that which here reveals itself in speech

Gives men, who think as I do, food for thought.

Clearly we saw the kind of consequence

That comes when sects, in superheated speech,

Blind souls of men with dogma’s seething stream.

But nought here of such spirit do we find; [21]

Here only reason greets the soul, and yet

These words create the actual powers of life,

Speaking unto the spirit’s inmost depths.

Nay even to the kingdom of the Will

This strange and mystic Something penetrates;

This Something, which to such as I, who still

Wander in ancient ways, seems but pale thought.

Impossible, it seems, to disavow

Its consequences; none the less, myself

I cannot quite surrender to it yet.

But it all speaks with such peculiar charm

And not as though it really meant for me

The contradiction of experience.

It almost seems as if this Something found

The kind of man I am, insufferable.


I would associate myself in fullest sense

With every one of thy last spoken words:

And still more sharply would I emphasize

That all results in our soul-life, which seem

To spring forth from the influence of ideas,

Cannot in any wise decide for us

What actual worth of knowledge they conceal.

Whether there lives within our mode of thought,

Error or truth—’tis certain this alone

The verdict of true science can decide.

And no one would with honesty deny

That words, which are, in seeming only, clear,

Yet claim to solve life’s deepest mysteries,

Are quite unfit for such a scrutiny.

They fascinate the spirit of mankind, [22]

And only tempt the heart’s credulity;

Seeming to open door into that realm

Before which, humble and perplexed, now stands

The strict and cautious search of modern minds.

And he who truly follows such research

Is bound in honour to confess that none

Can know whence streams the well-spring of his thought,

Nor fathom where the depths of Being lie.

And though confession such as this is hard

For souls who all too willingly would gauge

What lies beyond the ken of mortal mind,

Yet every glance of every thinker’s soul

Whether directed to the outer side,

Or turned towards the inner depths of life,

Scans but that boundary and naught beside.

If we deny our rational intellect

Or set aside experience, we sink

In depths unfathomable, bottomless.

And who can fail to see how utterly

What passeth here for revelation new,

Fails to fit in with modern modes of thought.

Indeed it needs but little thought to see,

How totally devoid this method is

Of that, which gives all thought its sure support

And guarantees a sense of certainty.

Such revelations may warm listening hearts,

But thinkers see in them mere mystic dreams.


Aye, thus would always speak the science, won

By stern sobriety and intellect. [23]

But that suffices not unto the soul,

That needs a steadfast faith in its own self.

She ever will give heed to words that speak

To her of spirit. All she dimly sensed

In former days, she striveth now to grasp.

To speak of the Unknown may well entice

The thinker, but no more the hearts of men.


I too can realize how much there lies

In that objection; how it seems to strike

The idle dreamer, who would only spin

The threads of thought, and seek the consequence

Of this or that premise, which he himself

Hath formed beforehand. Me—it touches not—

No outer motive guided me to thought.

In childhood I grew up ’mid pious folk

And, following their custom, steeped my soul

In sense-intoxicating images

Of future sojourn in celestial realms,

Wherewith they seek to comfort and beguile

Man’s ignorance and man’s simplicity.

Within my boyish soul I sensed the throb

Of utmost ecstasy, when reverently

I raised my thoughts to highest spirit-worlds;

And prayer was then my heart’s necessity.

Thereafter in a cloister was I trained;

Monks were my teachers, and in mine own heart

The deepest longing was to be a monk,—

An echo of my parents’ ardent wish.

For consecration did I stand prepared

When chance did drive me from the cloistered cell; [24]

And to this chance I owe deep gratitude.

For, many days before chance saved my soul

It had been robbed of inward peace and quiet;

For I had read and learned of many things,

That have no place within the cloister-gate.

Knowledge of nature’s working came to me

From books that were forbidden to mine eyes.

And thus I learned new scientific thought.

Hard was the struggle as I sought the path

Wandering through many a way to find mine own;

Nor did I ever gain by cunning thought

Whate’er of truth revealed itself to me.

In fierce-fought battles have I torn the roots

From out my spirit’s soil of all that brought

Peace and contentment to me when a child.

I understand indeed the heart that fain

Would soar up to the heights—but for myself,

When once I recognized that all I learned

From spirit-teaching was an empty dream,

I was compelled to find the surer soil

That science and discovery create.


We may surmise, each after his own kind,

Where sense and goal of life doth lie for each.

I altogether lack the power to prove

According to the science of today,

What spirit-teaching I have here received:

But clear within my heart I feel and know

My soul would die without this spirit-lore,

As would my body, if deprived of blood.

And thou, dear doctor, ’gainst our cause dost fight [25]

With many words, and what thou now hast told

Of thy life’s conflict lends them weight indeed

Even with those who do not understand

Thy learned argument. Yet would I ask

(Enter Theodora.)

Exactly why it is that hearts of men

Receive the word of Spirit readily,

As though self-understood: yet when man seeks

Food for his spirit in such learned words

As thou didst use his heart grows chill and cold.


Although I am at home ’mid just such men

As circle round me here, yet strangely sounds

This speech I have just heard.


This speech I have just heard. What strangeness there?


I may not say. Do thou, Maria, tell.


Our friend has oftentimes explained to us

What strange experiences come to her.

One day she felt herself completely changed,

And none could understand her altered state.

Estrangement met her wheresoe’er she turned

Until she came into our circle here.

Not that we fully understand ourselves

What she possesses and what no one shares.

Yet we are trained by this our mode of thought

The unaccustomed to appreciate, [26]

And feel with every mood of humankind.

One moment in her life, our friend perceived,

All that seemed hers aforetime, disappear;

The past was all extinguished in her soul.

And since these wondrous changes came to her,

This mood of soul hath oft renewed itself;

It doth not long endure; and other times

She lives her life as ordinary folk.

Yet whensoe’er she falls into this state,

The gift of memory doth fade away.

She loseth from her eyes the power to see

And senseth her surroundings, seeing not.

With a peculiar light her eyes then glow,

And pictured forms appear to her. At first

They seemed like dreams; anon they grew so clear,

That we could recognize without a doubt

Some prophecy of distant future days.

Full many a time have we seen this occur.


It is just this that little pleaseth me

Amongst these men; who mingle with good sense

And logic, superstition’s fallacies.

’Twas ever thus where men have walked this path.


If thou canst still speak so, thou dost not yet

Perceive our attitude towards these things.


Well, as for me, I freely must confess,

That I would sooner revelations hear [27]

Than speak of questionable spirit-themes.

For even if I fail to read aright

The riddle of such dreams, yet those at least

I count as facts; and would ’twere possible

To see one instance of the mystery

Of this strange spirit-mood before mine eyes.


Perchance it is—for look, she comes again.

And it doth seem to me as though e’en now

This mystic spirit-mood would show itself.


I am compelled to speak. Before my soul

A pictured form stands wrapped in robes of light;

From which strange words are sounding in mine ears.

I feel myself in future centuries,

And men do I behold as yet unborn:—

They also see the pictured form; they too

Can hear the words it speaks, which thus resound—

‘O ye, who lived in faith’s sincerity,

Take comfort now in sight, and look on Me.

Receive new life through Me. For I am He

Who lived within the souls of those who sought

To find Me in themselves, by following

The gospel-words My messengers did bring

And by their own devotion’s inward power.

The light of sense ye saw—believe ye now

In the creative spirit-world beyond.

For now indeed ye have yourselves achieved

One atom of divine prophetic sight.

Oh, breathe it deep, and feel it in your souls.’ [28]

A human form steps from that sphere of light.

And speaks to me: ‘Thou shalt make known to all

Who will give ear to thee, that thou hast seen

What all mankind shall soon experience:

Once, long ago, Christ lived upon the earth,

And from this life ensued the consequence

That in soul-substance clad He hovers o’er

The evolution of humanity,

In union with the earth’s own spirit-sphere;

And though as yet invisible to men,

When in such form He manifests Himself,

Since now their being lacks that spirit sight,

Which first will show itself in future times;

Yet even now this future draweth nigh

When that new sight shall come to men on earth.

What once the senses saw, when Christ did live

Upon the earth; this shall be seen by souls

When soon the time shall reach its fulness due.’



This is the first time we have heard her speak

In such a manner to so many folk.

At other times she felt constrained to speech,

Only when two or three were gathered round.


To me indeed it seems most curious,

That she, as though commanded or required,

Should find herself to revelation urged.


It may so seem; but we know well her ways.

If at this moment she desired to send [29]

Her inward soul-voice deep into your souls,

The only reason was, that unto you

The source, whence came her voice, desired to speak.


Concerning this strange future gift of sight,

Whereof she spake, as dreaming, we have heard

That he, who of this circle is the soul,

Hath oft already given full report.

Is it not possible that from his words

The content of her speech hath origin,

The mode of utterance coming from herself?


If matters thus did stand, we should not deem

Her words of any consequence or weight:

But we have tested this condition well.

Before she came into our circle here,

Our friend had never heard in any way

Of that same leader’s speeches, nor had we

Heard aught of her before she came to us.


Then what we have to deal with is a state,

Such as so often happens, contrary

To all the laws of nature; and which we

Must merely estimate as some disease.

And only healthy thought, securely based

On fully conscious sense-impressions, can

Pass judgment on the riddles set by life.


Yet even here one fact presents itself;

And what we now have heard must have some worth— [30]

For, even if we set aside all else

It doth compel the thought that spirit-power

Can cause thought-transference from soul to soul.


Ah me, if ye would only dare to tread

The ground your mode of thought doth choose to shun:

As snow before the sunlight’s piercing glare

Your vain delusion needs must melt away,

Which makes the moods revealéd, in such minds

Appear diseased, abnormal, wonderful.

They are suggestive, but they are not strange.

And small this wonder doth appear to me

When I compare it with the myriad

Of wonders that make up my daily life.


Nay, nay, one thing it is to recognize

What lies before our eyes on every side,

But quite another, what is shown us here.


Of spirit ’tis not necessary to speak

Until there are things shown to us which lie

Outside the strictly circled boundary

Set by the laws of scientific thought.


The clear shaft of the sunlight on the dew

Which glistens in the morning’s golden light,

(Enter Felix Balde.)


The hurling stream that riseth ’neath the rock,

The thunder rumbling in the cloud-wrapped sky,

All these do speak to me a spirit tongue:

I strove to understand it; and I know

That of this speech’s meaning and its might,

Only a faint reflection can be glimpsed

Through your investigations, as they are.

And when that kind of speech sank deep within

My heart, I found my soul’s true joy at last.

Nor could aught else, but human words alone

And spirit teaching grant this gift to me.

Felix Balde:

Those words rang true indeed.


Those words rang true indeed. I must essay

To tell what joy fills all my heart to see

(Enter Felicia Balde.)

For the first time here with us yonder man,

Of whom we oft have heard; and joy doth cause

The wish to see him here full many times.

Felix Balde:

It is not usual for me that I should

Associate with such a crowd of men:

And not alone unusual——


And not alone unusual—— Aye, ’tis so.

His nature drives us into solitude

Away from all; year in, year out, we hear [32]

Scarce any other converse save our own.

And if this good man here from time to time

(Pointing to Capesius.)

Came not to linger in our cottage home,

We scarce should realize that other men,

Besides ourselves, live on the earth at all.

And if the man, who spake such wondrous words

But recently in yonder lecture-hall,

And who affected us so potently,

Did not full many a time my Felix meet,

When he is gone about his daily tasks,

Ye would know nought of our forgotten life.


So the professor often visits you?


Assuredly. And I may tell you all,

The very deep indebtedness I feel

To this good woman, who doth give to me

In rich abundance, what none other can.


And of what nature are these gifts of hers?


If I would tell the tale, then must I touch

A thing that verily doth seem to me

More wonderful than much that here I’ve heard,

In that it speaks more nearly to my soul.

And were I in some other place, these words

Would hardly pass the barrier of my lips; [33]

Yet here they seem to flow therefrom with ease.

In my soul-life there often comes a time

When it doth feel itself pumped out and dry.

It seems as though the very fountain-head

Of knowledge had run dry within my heart.

Then can I find no word of any kind

Worthy to speak or worthy to be heard.

And when I feel such spirit barrenness

I flee to these good people, and seek rest

In their reviving, peaceful solitude

Then Mistress Felix tells me many a tale

Set forth in wondrous pictures, manifold,

Of beings, dwelling in the land of dreams,

Who lead a joyous life in fairy realms.

When thus she speaks, her tone and speech recall

Some legend oft-told of the ancient days.

I ask no question whence she finds these words

But this one thing alone I clearly know:

That new life flows therefrom into my soul,

And sweeps away its dull paralysis.


To hear such splendid witness to the skill

Of Dame Felicia doth, in wondrous wise,

Harmoniously blend in every way

With all that Benedictus told to us

About his friend’s deep hidden knowledge-founts.

Felix Balde:

He who spake words to us just now, which showed

(Benedictus appears at the door.)


How in the realm of universal space,

And vast eternities his spirit dwelt,

Hath surely little need to speak o’er much

Of simple men.


Of simple men. Thou errest friend. For me

Infinite value hath each word of thine.

Felix Balde:

It was presumption only, and the bent

Of idle talk, when thou didst honour me

To wander at thy side our mountain paths.

Only because thou didst conceal from me

How much thyself dost know, I dared to speak.

But now our time is up, and we must go—

A long way hence doth lie our quiet home.


It hath been most refreshing once again

To come amongst mankind: and yet I fear

It will not happen very soon again:

There is no other life which Felix deems

Better than living in his mountain heights.

(Exeunt Felix and his wife.)


Indeed I well believe his wife is right,

Nor will he come again for many days.

It needed much to bring him here today.

And yet the reason lies not in himself

Why no one knoweth aught of him or his.



He only seemed to me eccentric, strange;

And many an hour I found him talkative

When I was with him; but his mystic speech

And strange discourse remained obscure to me,

When he revealed all that he claims to know.

He spoke of solar beings housed in rocks;

Of lunar demons, who disturb their work;

And of the sense of number hid in plants;

And he who listens to him cannot long

Keep clear the thread of meaning in his words.


And yet ’tis also possible to feel

As if the powers of Nature, through these words,

Sought to reveal themselves in their true state.



Already do I feel forebodings strange

That now dark hours are coming in my life.

For since the days of cloistered solitude,

Where I was taught such knowledge, and thereby

Struck to the very darkest depth of soul,

Not one experience has stirred me so,

As this weird vision of the seeress here.


Indeed I cannot see that aught of that

Should prove unnerving. And I fear, my friend,

That if thou once dost lose thy certainty,

Dark doubt will soon envelop all thy thought.



Too true! And ’tis the fear of just this doubt

That causeth me full many an anxious hour

From my experience I know nought else

Of this strange gift of seership, save that when

Life’s vexing problems sorely trouble me,

Then, ghostlike, riseth from dark spirit-depths,

Before my spirit’s eyes, some phantom form

Like some dream-being, grim and terrible,

Pressing with fearful weight upon my soul,

And clutching horribly around my heart.

It seems to speak right through me words like these:

‘If thou dost fail to gain the victory

O’er me with those blunt weapons of thy thought,

Thou art a fleeting phantom, nothing more,

Formed by thine own deluded imagery.’


That is the destiny of all such men,

As do approach the world by thought alone.

The spirit’s voice dwells deep in every soul.

Nor have we strength to pierce the covering

That spreads itself before our faculties.

Thought doth bring knowledge of things temporal,

Of things that vanish in the course of time:

The everlasting and all spirit-truth

Are found but in the inner depths of man.


If, then, the fruitage of a pious faith

Is able to give rest to weary souls,

Such souls may wander safely in that path, [37]

And find sufficiency within themselves.

And yet the power of knowledge, pure and true,

Doth never bloom on such a path as this.


Yet there can be no other way to light

True spirit-knowledge in the hearts of men.

Pride may seduce and change to fantasies

The soul’s true depths of feeling, and may see

A vision only where faith’s beauty lies.

One thing alone of all we here have heard

From spirit-teaching of the higher worlds,

Strikes clear upon our honest human sense:

That only in the spirit-world itself

The soul can feel itself in its true home.

The Other Maria:

So long as man feels need of speech alone,

And nought besides, so long such words as these

May satisfy him: but the fuller life

With all its strife, its yearnings after joy,

And all its sorrow, needeth other food

To nourish and sustain the fainting soul.

For me, an inner voice did drive me on

To spend all the remaining days of life

Which were allotted me, in helping those

Whom stress of destiny had smitten down

And plunged in deepest poverty and need.

And far more oft I found it necessary

To soothe the anguish of the soul of man

Than heal his body’s pain and suffering.

But I have felt indeed in many ways [38]

My will’s weak impotence to comfort men.

So that I am compelled to seek fresh strength

From out the treasured store which floweth forth

Abundantly from spirit-sources here.

The quickening warmth of words which greet mine ear,

Flows forth with magic force into my hands;

And thence, like healing balsam, forth again,

When those hands touch some sorrow-laden soul.

It changeth on my lips to strengthening words

Which carry comfort unto pain-racked hearts.

The source of words like these I do not ask;

I feel their truth—they give me living life.

And every day more clearly do I see,

That they derive their strength not from my will

In all its weakness, but create anew

Myself each day unto myself again.


Yet surely there are men enough on earth

Who, though they lack such revelation’s aid,

Perform innumerable deeds of good?


In sooth there is no lack of men like these

In many places; but my friend doth mean

A different thing; and if thou didst but know

The life she led, thou wouldst speak otherwise.

Where unused powers in full abundance dwell

There love will cause the seed to germinate

In rich abundance in the heart’s good soil.

But our friend here exhausted life’s best powers [39]

In never-ending toil beyond her strength;

And all her will to live lay crushed and dead

Beneath the cruel weight of destiny,

Which fell upon her. All her strength she gave

To careful guidance of her children’s weal:

And low already had her courage ebbed

When early death took her loved husband home.

In such a state as this, days dull and drear

Seemed all fate had in store whilst life remained.

But then the powers of destiny prevailed

To bring her ’neath the spell of spirit-lore;

And soon with us she felt the vital force

Of life break forth in her a second time.

Fresh aims in life she found, and with them came

Fresh courage once again to fight and strive.

And thus in her the spirit hath achieved

In very truth to fashion from decay

A new and living personality.

And when the spirit in such fruit as this

Shows its creative potency, we learn

Its nature, and the way it speaks to us.

And, if no pride lies hidden in our speech,

And highest moral aims live in our hearts;

If we believe that in no way at all

Our teaching is our own;—but that alone

The spirit shows itself within our souls—

Then may we surely venture to assert

That in thy mode of thinking may be found

But feeble shadows waving to and fro

Athwart the real true source of human life:

And that the spirit, which ensouls our work

Is linked in inward harmony with all [40]

That weaves the web of destiny for man

Deep in the very fundaments of life.

I have been privileged for many years

To give myself to vital work in life:

And during all this time more bleeding hearts

And yearning souls have come before mine eyes,

Than many would conceive were possible.

I do esteem thy high ideal flight,

The proud assurance of thy sciences:

I like to see the student-audience,

Respectful, sit and listen at thy feet:

And that to many souls thy work doth bring

Ennobling clarity of thought, I know.

But yet regarding thought like this, it seems,

Trustworthiness can only dwell therein

So long as thought lives in itself alone.

Whereas the realm of which I am a part

Sends into deep realities of life

The fruitage of its words, since it desires

To plant in deep realities its roots.

Far, far away from all thy thought doth lie

The written word upon the spirit-heaven

Which with momentous tokens doth announce

New growth upon the tree of humankind.

And though indeed such thought seems clear and sure

As follows faithfully the ancient path,

Yet can it only touch the tree’s coarse bark,

And never reach the marrow’s living power.


For my part I do seek in vain the bridge

That truly leadeth from ideas to deeds.



On one side thou dost over-estimate

The power which can be wielded by ideas,

And on the other thou dost fail to grasp

The actual course of true reality:

For it is certain that ideas must form

The germ of all the actual deeds of men.


If this friend doth so many deeds of good,

The impulse thereunto lies in herself

And her warm-hearted nature, not in thought.

Most certainly ’tis necessary for man,

Whene’er he hath accomplished any work,

To find foundation for it in ideas.

But yet ’tis only schooling of man’s will

In harmony with all his skill and power

To undertake some real work in life

Which will help forward all the human race.

When whirr of busy wheels sounds in mine ears,

Or when I see some creaking windlass drawn

By strong stout hands of men content to work,

Then do I sense indeed the powers of Life.


Often in careless speech have I maintained

That I preferred things droll and humorous

And held these only full of wit and charm,

Deeming that for my brain at any rate,

They always would provide material

Best fitted to fill up the time that lies

Between my recreation and my work. [42]

But now quite tasteless to me seem such things;

The Power Invisible hath conquered me;

And I have learned to feel that there may be

More powerful forces in humanity,

Than all our wit’s frail castles in the air.


And did it seem that nowhere else but here

’Twas possible to find such spirit-powers?


Indeed the life I lived did offer me

Full many a type of intellectual works:

Yet cared I not to pluck or taste their fruit.

But this strange mode of thought which blossoms here

Seemed to attract and draw me to itself

However little I desired to come.


Most pleasant hath this hour of converse been,

And we are debtors to our hostess here.

(Exeunt all, except Maria and Johannes.)


Oh, stay a little while yet by my side,

I am afraid:—so desperately afraid:—


What is it aileth thee, my friend? Speak forth.


The first cause was our leader’s speech; and then

The chequered converse of these people here. [43]

It all hath moved and stirred me through and through.


But how could simple speeches such as these

Seize on thine heart with such intensity?


Each word seemed in that moment unto me

A dreadful symbol of our nothingness.


Indeed it was significant to see

Pour forth in such short time so many kinds

Of life and man’s conflicting tendencies,

In all the speeches that we lately heard.

Yet ’tis indeed a most peculiar trait

Of life, as it is lived amongst us here,

To bring to speech the inner mind of man;

And much that otherwise comes slowly forth,

Stands here revealed in little space of time.


A mirrored picture ’twas of fullest life

That showed me to myself in clearest lines:

This spirit-revelation makes me feel

That most of us protect and train one trait

And one alone in all our character,

Which thus persuades itself it is the whole.

I sought to unify these many traits

In mine own self and boldly trod the path

Which here is shown, to lead unto that goal; [44]

And it hath made of me a nothingness.

Keenly I feel what all these others lack,

And yet I sense as keenly that they all

Have actual part in life itself, whilst I

Stand but on unsubstantial nothingness.

It seemed whole lines of life ran into one

Significant in those brief speeches here.

But then mine own life’s portrait also rose

And stood forth vividly within my soul.

The days of childhood first were painted there,

With all its fulness and its joy in life:

Then came the picture of my youthful prime

With that proud hopefulness in parent-hearts

Awakened by the talents of their son.

Then dreams concerning my career in art,

Which formed life’s all in those old happy days,

Surged up from out my spirit’s inmost depths

Exhorting to fulfil my cherished hopes;

And then those dreams in which thyself didst see

How I translated into coloured form

The spirit-life that liveth in thy soul.

Then saw I tongues of fire spring up and lick

Around my youthful dreams and artist hopes,

Reducing all to dust and nothingness.

Thereafter rose another pictured form

From out that drear and dreadful nothingness—

A human form, which once had linked its fate

In faithful love with mine in days long past.

She sought to hold me by her when I turned

Long years ago unto my home again,

Called to attend my mother’s funeral rites. [45]

I heeded not, but tore myself away.

For mighty was the power that drew me here

To this thy circle and the goals of life

Which here are set before our eager gaze.

In those dark days I felt no sense of guilt

When I did rend in twain the bond of love,

That was unto another soul its life.

Nor later when the message came to me

How that her life did slowly pine away,

And finally was altogether quenched

Did I feel aught of guilt until today;

But full of meaning were those recent words

In yonder chamber which our leader spake;

How that we may destroy by power misused

And perverse thought the destiny of those

Whom bonds of loving trust link to our souls.

Ah, hideously these words again resound

Out of the picture, thence re-echoing

With ghastly repetition from all sides:

‘Her murderer thou art! her hast thou slain!’

Thus whilst this weighty speech hath been for all

The motive to probe deep within themselves,

Within my heart it hath brought forth alone

The consciousness of this most grievous guilt.

By this new means of sight I can perceive

How far astray my striving footsteps erred.


And at this moment, friend, in dark domains

Thou walkest, and none else can help thee there,

Save he, in whom we all do put our trust.

(Maria is called away; re-enter Helena.)



I feel constrained to linger by thy side

A little while; since now for many weeks

Thy gaze hath held so much of grief and care.

How can the light, which streams so radiantly

Bring gloom unto thy soul, which only strives

With utmost strength to seek and know the truth?


Hath then this light brought naught but joy to thee?


Not the same joy as that which once I knew,

But that new joy which springeth from those words,

Through which the spirit doth reveal itself.


Natheless I tell thee that the self-same power,

Which doth in thee create, can also crush.


Some error must have crept into thy soul

With cunning tread, if this be possible;

And if dull care instead of happiness,

And moods of sorrow flow forth from the source

Of truth itself instead of spirit-bliss

In free abundance: seek then in thyself

The stumbling-blocks that thus impede thy way.

How often are we told that only health

Is the true fruitage of our teaching here,

Which makes to blossom forth the powers of life.

Shall it then show the contrary in thee? [47]

I see its fruitage in so many lives,

Which, trusting me, find union in themselves.

Their former mode of life grows day by day

Strange and still stranger to such souls as these;

As well-springs are fresh opened in their hearts,

Thenceforth renewing life within themselves.

To gaze into the primal depths of being

Doth not create those passionate desires

Which torture and torment the souls of men.



It took me many years to understand

And know the vanity of things of sense

When spirit-knowledge is not joined with them

In close and intimate companionship:

And yet one single moment proves to me

That e’en the highest wisdom’s words may be

But vanity of soul in man’s own self.




Scene 2

In the open. Rocks and springs. The entire scene is to be thought of as taking place in the soul of Johannes Thomasius. What follows is the content of his meditation.

(There sounds from the springs and rocks:)

Know thou thyself, O man.


’Tis thus I hear them, now these many years,

These words of weighty import all around,

(hear them in the wind and in the wave:

Out from earth’s depths do they resound to me:

And as a tiny acorn’s mystery,

Confines the structure of a mighty oak,

So in the kernel of these words there lies,

All elemental nature; all I grasp

Of soul, of spirit, time, eternity.

It seems mine own peculiarities

And all the world besides live in these words:

‘Know thou thyself, O man. Know thou thyself.’

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.



Know thou thyself, O man. And now—I feel

Mine inmost being terrified to life:

Without the gloom of night doth weave me round,

And deep within my soul thick darkness yawns:

And sounding from this universal gloom

And up from out the darkness of my soul

These words ring forth: ‘Know thou thyself, O man.’

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.


It robs me of my very self: I change

Each hour of day, and am transformed by night.

The earth I follow on its cosmic course:

I seem to rumble in the thunder’s peal,

And flash adown the lightning’s fierce-forked tongue—

I AM.—Alas, already do I feel

Mine own existence snatched away from me.

I see what was my former carnal shape,

As some strange being, quite outside myself,

And infinitely far away from me.

But now another body hovers near,

And through its mouth I am compelled to speak:—

‘Ah, bitter sorrow hath he brought to me;

So utterly I trusted him of old.

He left me lonely with my sorrow’s pain,

He robbed me of the very warmth of life,

And thrust me deep beneath the chill, cold ground.’

Poor soul, ’tis she I left, and leaving her

It was in truth mine own self that I left; [50]

And I must suffer all her pain and woe.

For knowledge hath endowed me with the power

Myself into another’s self to fuse.

Ah me! Ye quench again by your own power

The light of inner knowledge ye have brought,

Ye cruel words, ‘Know thou thyself, O man.’

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.


Ye lead me back again within the sphere

Of mine own being’s former fantasies.

Yet in what shape know I myself again!

My human form is lost and gone from me;

Like some fierce dragon do I see myself;

Begotten out of primal lust and greed.

And clearly do I see how up till now

Some dim deluding veil of phantom forms

Hath hid from me mine own monstrosity.

Mine own self’s fierceness must devour my Self.

And through my veins run like consuming fire

Those words, that once with elemental force

Revealed the core of suns and earths to me.

They throb within my pulse, beat in mine heart;

And even in mine inmost thoughts I feel

Strange worlds e’en now blaze forth like passions fierce.

They are the fruitage of these very words:

‘Know thou thyself, O man. Know thou thyself,’

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.



There,—from that dark abyss, what creature glares?

I feel the chains that hold me chained to thee.

So fast was not Prometheus rivetted

Upon the naked rocks of Caucasus,

As I am rivetted and forged to thee—

Who art thou, fearful, execrable shape?

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.


Oh yea, I know thee; for thou art myself:

Knowledge doth chain to thee, pernicious beast,

(Enter Maria unnoticed by Johannes.)

Chain mine own self to thee, pernicious beast.

I willed to flee from thee; but I was blind,

Blinded by glamour of the worlds, whereto

My folly fled to free me from myself;

And now once more within my sightless soul

Blind through these words: ‘Know thou thyself, O man.’

(From the springs and rocks resounds:)

Know thou thyself, O man.

Johannes: (As though coming to himself, sees Maria. The meditation passes to the plane of inner reality.)

Know thou thyself, O man. Thou here, my friend?


I sought thee, friend, although I know full well

How comforting to thee is solitude, [52]

When many varying thoughts of many men

Have flooded o’er thy soul. I also know

I cannot by my presence help my friend

In this dark hour of strife—yet yearnings vague

Drive me in this same moment unto thee;

When Benedictus’ words, instead of light,

Such grievous sorrow drew from thy soul’s depths.


How comforting to me is solitude!

Yea, I have sought to find myself therein,

So often when to labyrinths of thought

The joys and griefs of men had driven me.

But now, O friend, that, too, is past and gone.

What Benedictus’ words at first aroused

Within my soul, and all that I lived through

When listening to the speeches of those men,

Seems but indeed a little thing, when I

Compare therewith the storm that solitude

With sullen brooding hath brought forth in me.

Ah me! when I recall this solitude!

It hounded me into the voids of space,

And tore me from my very self in two.

Within that soul to whom I brought such pain

I stood, as though I were some other man.

And there I had to suffer all the pain

Of which I was myself the primal cause.

Ah cruel, sombre, fearful solitude

Thou giv’st me back unto myself indeed,

Yet but to terrify me with the sight

Of mine own nature’s fathomless abyss. [53]

Man’s final refuge hath been lost to me:

I have been robbed of solitude itself.


I must repeat what I have said before.

Alone can Benedictus succour thee;

Only from him may we obtain support

And that firm basis which we both do lack.

For know thou this: I also can no more

Endure the riddle of my life, unless

His gentle guidance solveth it for me.

Full often have I kept before mine eyes

This truth sublime, that o’er all life doth float

Appearance and deception if we grasp

Life’s surface only in our moods of thought.

And o’er and o’er again it spake to me:

Thou must take knowledge how illusion’s veil

Weaves all around thee; and however oft

It may appear to thee as truth, beware;

For evil fruitage may in truth arise

If thou shouldst try within another’s soul

To wake the light that lives within thyself.

Yet in the best part of my soul I know

That even this oppressive weight of care

Which hath o’erwhelmed thy soul, dear friend of mine,

As thou didst tread with me the path of life,

Is part and parcel of the thorny way,

That leads unto the light of Truth itself.

Thou must live through each horror and alarm

That can spring forth from vain imagining

Before the Truth in essence stands revealed.

Thus speaks thy star; and by that same star speech [54]

It doth appear to me that we shall walk

One day united, on the spirit-paths.

And yet whene’er I seek to tread these paths

Black night doth spread a curtain round my sight.

And many things that I must live and do,

Which spring as fruitage from my character,

Intensify the darkness of that night.

We two must seek clear vision in that light,

Which, though it vanish for a while from sight,

Can never be extinguished in the soul.


But then, Maria, dost thou realize

Through what my soul hath fought its way but now?

A grievous destiny awaiteth thee,

Most noble friend. For well I know that far

From thy pure nature lies that potent force,

That hath so wholly shattered me to bits.

Thou canst ascend the clearest heights of truth,

And scan with steadfast gaze life’s tangled path;

And whether in the darkness or the light

Thou wilt retain thine own identity.

But me each moment may deprive of Self.

Deep down I had to dive within the hearts

Of those who late revealed themselves in speech.

I followed one to cloistered solitude,—

And in another’s soul I listened to

Felicia’s fairy lore. I was each one;

Only unto myself I seemed as dead;

For I must fain believe that primal life

Did spring from very Nothingness itself,

If it were right to entertain the hope, [55]

That out of that dread nothingness in me

A human being ever could arise.

For I am driven from fear into the dark

And from the darkness back again to fear

By wisdom stored within these living words:

‘Know thou thyself, O man. Know thou thyself.’

(From the springs and rocks the words resound:)

Know thou thyself, O man.




Scene 3

A room for meditation. The background is a great purple curtain. The scene is purple in colour with a large yellow pentagonal lamp suspended from the ceiling. No other furniture or ornaments are in the room except the lamp and one chair. Benedictus, Johannes, Maria, and a child.


I bring to thee this child who needs some word

From out thy mouth.


From out thy mouth. My child, henceforth each eve

Thou shalt come unto me to hear the word

That shall fill full thy soul ere thou dost tread

The realm of souls in sleep. Wilt thou do this?


Most gladly will I come.


Most gladly will I come. This very eve

Fill thy soul full ere sleep embraceth thee, [57]

With strength from these few words: ‘The powers of light

Bear me aloft unto the spirit’s home.’

(Maria leads the child away.)


And now, that this child’s destiny doth flow

Harmoniously through future days beneath

The shadow of thy gracious fatherhood,

I too may claim my leader’s kind advice,

Who am its mother, not by bond of blood

But through the mighty power of destiny.

For thou hast shown to me the way wherein

I had to guide its footsteps from that day,

When I discovered it before my door

Left by its unknown mother desolate.

And wonder-working proved themselves those rules

Whereby thou madest me train my foster-child.

All powers, that deep in body and in soul

Lay hidden, issued forth to light and life:

Clear proof it was that all thy counselling

Sprang from the realm which sheltered this child’s soul

Before it built its body’s covering.

We saw the hopes of manhood blossom forth

And radiate more brightly each new day;

Thou dost know well how hard it was for me

To gain the child’s affection, at the first.

It grew up ’neath my care, and yet nought else

Save habit chained its soul at first to mine.

It only realized and felt that I

Gave it the nurture and the food that served

The needs of body and the growth of soul.

Then came the time when in the child-like heart [58]

There dawned the love for her who fostered it.

An outer incident brought forth this change—

The visit of the seeress to our group.

Gladly the child did go about with her

And soon did learn full many a beauteous word

Steeped in the mystic charm that graced her speech.

Then came the moment when her ecstasy

Descended on our friend with magic power.

The child could see her eyes’ strange smouldering light,

And, terrified unto its vital core,

The young soul dawned to consciousness of self.

In her dismay she fled unto mine arms;

And from that hour did grow her love for me.

Since that same time she doth accept from me

The gifts of life with her full consciousness

Not with blind instinct: aye, and since that day

When this young heart first quivered into warmth,

Whene’er her gaze met mine with loving glance,

Thy wisdom’s treasures of their fruitage failed,

And much already ripe hath withered up.

I saw appear in her those tokens strange

That proved so terrible unto my friend.

A dark enigma am I to myself,

And grow still darker. Thou wilt not deny

To solve for me life’s fearful questionings?

Why do I thus destroy both friend and child,

When I in love approach my work with them

To give them knowledge of that spirit-lore

Which in my soul I know to be the good?

Oft hast thou taught me this exalted truth— [59]

‘Illusion’s veil o’erspreads life’s surfaces’—

Yet must I see with greater clarity

Why I must bear this heavy destiny,

That seems so cruel and which works such harm.


Within our circle there is formed a knot

Of threads that Karma spins world-fashioning.

Thy sufferings, my friend are links in chains,

Forged by the hand of destiny, whereby

The deeds of gods unite with human lives.—

When in life’s pilgrimage I had attained

That rank which granted me the dignity

To serve with counsel in the spirit-spheres,

A godlike Being did draw nigh to me,

Who would descend into the realms of earth,

And dwell there, veiled in form of flesh, as man.

For just at this one turning-point of time

The Karma of mankind made this demand.

For each great step in world-development

Is only possible when gods do stoop

To link themselves with human destiny.

And this new spirit-sight that needs must grow

And germinate henceforth in souls of men

Can only be unfolded when a god

Doth plant the seed within some human heart.

My task it was to find that human soul

Which worthy seemed to take within itself

The powerful Seed of God. I had to join

The deed of heaven to some human lot.

My spirit’s eye then sought, and fell on thee. [60]

Thy course of life had fitted thee to be

The mediator in salvation’s work.

Through many former lives thou hadst acquired

Receptiveness for all the greatest things

That human hearts can e’er experience.

Within thy tender soul thou didst bring forth,

As spirit heritage, the noble gift

Of beauty, joined to virtue’s loftiest claim:

And that which thine eternal Self had formed

And brought to being through thy birth on earth

Did reach ripe fruitage when thy years were few.—

Too soon thou didst not scale steep spirit-heights;

Nor grew thy yearning for the spirit-land

Before thou hadst the full enjoyment known

Of harmless pleasures in the world of sense.

Anger and love thy soul did learn to know

When thy thoughts dwelt yet far from spirit-life.

Nature in all her beauty to enjoy,

And pluck the fruits of art,—these didst thou strive

To make thy life’s sole content and its wealth.

Merry thy laughter, as a child can laugh

Who hath not known as yet life’s shadowed fears.

And thus thou learn’dst to understand life’s joy,

And mourn its sadness, each in its own time,

Before thy dawning conscience grew to seek

Of sorrow and of happiness the cause.

A ripened fruit of many lives that soul,

That enters earth’s domains, and shows such moods.

Its childlike nature is the blossoming

And not the ground-root of its character.

And such a soul alone was I to choose

As mediator for the God, who sought [61]

The power to work within our human world.

And now thou learnest that thy nature must

Transform itself into its opposite,

When it flows forth to other human souls.

The spirit in thee ripens whatsoe’er

In human nature can attain the realm

Of vast eternity; and much it slays

That is but part of transitory realms.

And yet the sacrifices of such deaths

Are but the seeds of immortality,

All that which blossoms forth from death below

Must grow unto the higher life above.


E’en so it is with me. Thou giv’st me light:

But light that doth deprive me of my sight,

And sunder me from mine own self in twain.

Then do I seem some spirit’s instrument

No longer master of myself. No more

Do I endure that erstwhile form of mine

Which only is a mask and not the truth.


O friend, what ails thee? Vanished is the light

That filled thine eye: as marble is thy frame.

I grasp thine hand and find it cold as death.


My son, full many trials have come to thee;

And now thou stand’st before life’s hardest test.

Thou seest the carnal covering of thy friend;

But her true self doth float in spirit-spheres

Before mine eyes.



Before mine eyes. See! Her lips move; she speaks.


Thou gav’st me clearness; yet this clearness throws

A veil of darkness round on every side.

I curse thy clearness; and I curse thee too,

Who didst make tool of me for weird wild arts

Whereby thou willedst to deceive mankind.

No doubt at any moment hitherto

Had crossed my mind of heights thy spirit reached;

But now one single moment doth suffice

To tear all faith in thee from out my heart.

Those spirit-beings thou art subject to,

I now must recognize as hellish fiends.

Others I had to mislead and deceive

Because at first I was deceived by thee.—

But I will flee unto dim distances,

Where not a sound of thee shall reach mine ears;

Yet near enough that thy soul may be reached

By bitter curses framed by these my lips.

For thou didst rob my blood of all its fire,

That thou mightst sacrifice to thy false god

That which was rightly mine and mine alone.

But now this same blood’s fire shall thee consume.

Thou madest me trust in vain imaginings;

And that this might be so, thou first didst make

A pictured falsehood of my very self.

Often had I to mark how in my soul

Each deed and thought turned to its opposite;

So now doth turn what once was love for thee,

Into the fire of wild and bitter hate. [63]

Through all worlds will I seek to find that fire

Which can consume thee. See—I cur—Ah—woe!


Who speaketh here? I do not see my friend.

I hear instead some gruesome being speak.


Thy friend’s soul hovers in the heights above.

Only her mortal image hath she left

Here with us: and where’er a human form

Is found bereft of soul, there is the room

Sought by the enemy, the foe of good,

To enter into realms perceptible,

And find some carnal form through which to speak.

Just such an adversary spake e’en now,

Who would destroy the work imposed on me

For thee, my son, and millions yet unborn.

Were I to deem these wild anathemas,

Which our friend’s shell did utter here and now,

Aught else but some grim tempter’s cunning skill,

Thou durst not follow more my leadership.

The enemy of Good stood by my side,

And thou hast seen into the darkness plunged

All that is temporal of that dear form,

For whom, my son, thy whole love burns and glows.

Since through her mouth spirits spake oft to thee,

The Karma of the world could not restrain

Hell’s princes also speaking thus through her.

First now thou mayst seek her very soul

And learn her nature’s inmost verity;

For she shall form for thee the prototype [64]

Of that new higher type of humankind

To which thou dost aspire to raise thyself.

Her soul hath soared aloft to spirit-heights,

Where every man may find his being’s source

Which springs to life and fulness in himself.

Thou too shalt follow her to spirit-realms,

And see her in the Temple of the Sun.—

Within this circle there is formed a knot

Of threads which Karma spins, world fashioning.

My son, since thou hast now attained thus far,

Thou shalt still further pierce beyond the veil.

I see thy star in fullest splendour shine.

There is no place within the realm of sense

For strife, such as men wage when they do strive

And struggle after consecration’s gift.

The riddles which arise in worlds of sense

Must find solution through man’s intellect;

From all that sense engenders in man’s heart

Whether of love or hate, whate’er its source

And howsoever direful its results,

The spirit-seeker needs must stand aloof,

Whence he may cast his glance all undisturbed

Upon the fields where such contentions rage.

For him must other powers unfold themselves

Which are not found upon that field of strife.

So didst thou need to fight to prove thy soul

In combat such as comes to him alone,

Who finds himself accoutred for such powers

As do belong unto the spirit-worlds.

And had these powers found thee not ripe enough

To tread the path of knowledge, they needs must

Have maimed thy powers of feeling, ere thou daredst [65]

To know all that which now is known to thee.

The Beings, who can gaze into world-depths,

Lead on those men, who would attain the heights,

First to that summit whence it may be shown

Whether there lies in them the power to reach

To conscious sight within the spirit-realms.

And those in whom such powers are found to lie

Are straightway from the world of sense set free.

The others all must wait their season due.

But thou, thou hast preserved thy Self, my son,

When Powers on high stirred to its depths thy soul.

And potent spirits shrouded thee with fear.

Right powerfully thy Self hath fought its way

E’en though thy very heart was torn by doubts,

That willed to thrust thee into darksome depths.

True pupil of my teaching hast thou been,

First since that hour, so fraught with fate for thee,

When thou didst learn to doubt thy very self,

And gavest up thyself as wholly lost,

But yet the strength within thee held thee fast.

Then might I give thee of my treasured store

Of wisdom, whence to draw the strength to stand

Assured, e’en when mistrusting thine own self.

Such was the wisdom which thou didst attain

More steadfast than the faith once given to thee.

Ripe wast thou found, and thou may’st be set free.

Thy friend hath gone before and waits for thee

In spirit-worlds, and thou shalt find her there.

I can but add this guidance for thee now:

Kindle the full power of thy soul with words

Which through my lips shall grant to thee the key

To spirit-heights, and they will lead thee on [66]

When naught else leads, that eyes of sense can see.

Receive them in the fulness of thy heart:

‘The weaving essence of the light streams forth

Through depths of space to fill the world with light;

Love’s grace doth warm the centuries of time

To call forth revelation of all worlds.

And spirit-messengers come forth to wed

The weaving essence of creative light

With revelation of the souls of men:

And that man, who can wed to both of these

His very Self, he lives in spirit-heights.’

O spirits, who are visible to man,

Quicken with life the soul of this our son:

From inmost depths may there stream forth for him

That which can fill his soul with spirit-light.

From inmost depths may there resound for him

That which can wholly wake in him his Self

To the creative joy of spirit-life.

A Spirit-Voice behind the stage:

To founts of worlds primeval

His surging thoughts do mount;—

What as shadow he hath thought

What as fancy he hath lived

Soars up beyond the world of form and shape;

On whose fulness pondering

Mankind in shadow dreams,

O’er whose fulness gazing forth

Mankind in fancy lives.




Scene 4

A landscape, which seeks to express the world of souls by its characteristic peculiarities.

Enter Lucifer and Ahriman. Johannes is seen at the right of the stage in deep meditation. What follows is experienced by him in meditation.


O man, know thou thyself; O man, feel me.

From spirit guidance, thou hast freed thyself,

And into earth’s free realms thou hast escaped.

Midst earth’s confusion thou didst seek to prove

Thine own existence; and to find thyself

Was thy reward, and was thy destiny.

Me didst thou find: for certain spirits willed

To cast a veil before the eyes of sense;

Which veil I rent in twain. Those spirits willed

To follow out their own desires in thee;

But I gave thee self-will and foiled their aim.

O man, know thou thyself; O man, feel me.


O man, know me; O man, feel thou thyself.

Thou hast escaped from darkened spirit-realms

And thou hast found again the earth’s pure light,

So now from my sure ground drink strength and truth. [68]

I make earth hard and fast. The spirits willed

To snatch away from thee the charm of sense;

Which charm I weave for thee in light condensed.

I lead thee unto true reality.

O man, know me; O man, feel thou thyself.


Time was not when thou didst not live through me.

I followed thee throughout the course of life,

And was permitted to bestow on thee

Strong personal traits and joy in thine own self.


Time was not when thou didst not me behold.

Thy mortal eyes saw me in all earth’s growth;

I was permitted to shine forth for thee

In beauty proud and revelation’s bliss.

Johannes (to himself in meditation):

This is the sign as Benedictus told.

Before the world of souls stand these two powers:

The one, as Tempter, lives within the soul;

The other doth obscure the sight of man

When he directeth it to outward things.

The one took on the woman’s form e’en now,

To bring the soul’s illusions ’neath my gaze;

The other may be found in everything.

(Enter the Spirit of the Elements with Capesius and Strader, whom he has brought to the earth’s surface from the earth’s depths. They are conceived as souls looking out upon the earth’s surface. The Spirit of the Elements [69]is aged and stands erect upon a sphere. Capesius and Strader are in astral garb; the former, though the older man of the two in years, here appears the younger. He wears blue robes of various shades, Strader wears brown and yellow.)


So have ye reached the spot ye longed to find.

It proved indeed a heavy care to me,

To grant your wish. Spirits and elements

Did rage in mad wild storm when their domain

I had to enter with your essences.

Your minds opposed the ruling of my powers.


Mysterious Being, who art thou, who hast

Brought me to this fair realm through spirit-spheres?


The soul of man may only look on me,

Whene’er the service which I render it

Hath been achieved. Then may it trace my powers

Through all the moving sequences of time.


It matters little to me to enquire

What spirit led me hither to this place.

I feel life’s powers revive in this new land,

Whose light doth seem to widen mine own breast;

In my pulse-beat I feel the whole world’s might;

And premonitions of exalted deeds

Thrill in my heart. I will translate in words [70]

The revelation of this beauteous realm,

That hath refreshed me in such wondrous wise;

And souls of men shall bloom, as choicest flowers

If I can pour into their life on earth

The inspiration flowing from these founts.

(Lightning and thunder from the depths and heights.)


Why quake the depths, and why resound the heights?

When hope’s young dreams surge upward in the soul?

(Lightning and thunder.)


To human dreamers words of hope like these

Sound proud indeed; but in the depths of earth

The vain illusions of mistaken thought

Awake such thunderous echoes evermore.

Ye mortals hear them only at those times

When ye draw nigh to my domain. Ye think

To build exalted temples unto Truth,

And yet your work’s effects do but unchain

Storm-spirits in primeval depths of earth.

Nay more, the spirits must destroy whole worlds,

That deeds ye do in realms where time hath sway

May not cause devastation and cold death

Through all the ages of eternity.


So these eternal ages must regard

As empty fantasy what seems the truth

To man’s best observation and research.

(Lightning and thunder.)



An empty fantasy, so long as sense

Doth only search in realms to spirit strange.


Thou may’st well call a dreamer that friend’s soul

Which in the joy of youth its goal doth set

With such a noble strength and high desire;

But in mine aged heart thy words fall dead

Despite their summoned aid of thunderous storms.

I tore myself from cloistered quietude

To proud achievement in my search for truth.

In life’s storm-centres many a year I stood,

And men had confidence in me, and what

I taught them through my deep strong sense for truth.

(Lightning and thunder.)


’Tis fitting for thee to confess that none

Can tell whence stream the fountains of our thought,

Nor where the fundaments of Being lie.


Oh this same speech, which in youth’s hopeful days

So oft with chill persistence pierced my soul

When thought-foundations quaked, which once seemed firm!

(Lightning and thunder.)


If thou dost fail to gain the victory

O’er me with those blunt weapons of thy thought [72]

Thou art a fleeting phantom, nothing more,

Formed by thine own deluded imagery.


So soon again such gruesome speech from thee!

This too I heard before in mine own soul,

When once a seeress threateningly did wish

To wreck the firm foundations of my thought

And make me feel the sharp dread sting of doubt.

But that is past, and I defy thy might,

Thou aged rogue, so cunningly concealed

Beneath a mask devised by thine own self

To counterfeit the form of nature’s lord.

Reason will overthrow thee, otherwise

Than thou dost think, when once she is enthroned

Upon the proud heights of the mind of man.

As mistress will she reign assuredly

Not as some handmaiden in nature’s realm.


The world is ordered so, that every act

Requires a like reaction: unto you

I gave the self; ye owe me my reward.


I will myself create from mine own soul

The spirit counterpart of things of sense.

And when at length all nature stands transformed,

Idealized through man’s creative work,

Her mirrored form shall be reward enough;

And then if thou dost feel thyself akin

To that great mother of all worlds, and spring’st [73]

From depths where world-creating forces reign.

Then let my will, which lives in head and breast,

Inspiring me to aim at highest goals,

Be thy reward for deeds done at my best.

Thy help hath raised me from dull sentiment

To thought’s proud heights—Let this be thy reward!

(Lightning and thunder.)


Ye well can see, how little your bold words

Bear weight in my domain: they do but loose

The storm, and rouse the elements to wrath,

Fierce adversaries of the ordered world.


Take then thine own reward where’t may be found.

The impulse that doth drive the souls of men

To seek true spirit-heights within themselves

Set their own measure, their own order make.

Creation were not possible for man

If others wished to claim what he had made.

The song that trills from out the linnet’s throat

Sufficeth for itself; and so doth man

Find his reward, when in his fashioning work

He doth experience creative joy.

(Lightning and thunder.)


It is not meet to grudge me my reward.

If ye yourselves cannot repay the debt

Then tell the woman, who endowed your souls

With power, that she must pay instead of you.




He hath departed. Whither turn we now?

To find our way aright in these new worlds

Must be, it seems, the first care of our minds.


To follow confidently the best way,

That we can find, with sure but cautious tread,

Methinks should lead us straightway to the goal.


Rather should we be silent as to goal.

That we shall find if we courageously

Obey the impulse of our inner self,

Which speaks thus to me: ‘Let Truth be thy guide;

May it unfold strong powers within thyself

And mould them with the noblest fashioning

In all that thou shalt do; then must thy steps

Attain their destined goal, nor go astray.’


Yet from the outset it were best our steps

Should not lack consciousness of their true goal,

If we would be of service unto men

And give them happiness. He, who would serve

Himself alone, doth follow his own heart;

But he, who wills to serve his neighbour best,

Must surely know his life’s necessities.

(The Other Maria, also in soul-form, emerges from the rocks, covered with precious stones.)

But see! What wondrous being’s this? It seems [75]

As though the rock itself did give it birth.

From what world-depths do such strange forms arise?

The Other Maria:

I wrest my way through solid rock, and fain

Would clothe in human speech its very will;

I sense earth’s essence and with human brains

I fain would think the thoughts of Earth herself.

I breathe the purest airs of life, and shape

The powers of air to feel as doth mankind.


Then thou canst not assist us in our quest.

For far aloft from men’s endeavour stands

All that which must abide in nature’s realm.


Lady, I like thy words, and I would fain

Translate thy form of speech into mine own.

The Other Maria:

Most strange doth seem to me your proud discourse.

For, when ye speak yourselves, unto mine ear

Your words do sound incomprehensible.

But if I let them echo in my heart

And issue in new form, they spread abroad

O’er all that lives in mine environment

And solve for me its hidden mystery.


If this, thy speech, be true, then change for us

Into thy speech, that nature may respond, [76]

The question of the true worth of our lives.

For we ourselves lack power to question thus

Great mother nature that we may be heard.

The Other Maria:

In me ye only see an humble maid

Of that high spirit-being, which doth dwell

In that domain whence ye have just now come.

There hath been given me this field of work

That here in lowliness I may show forth

Her mirrored image unto mortal sense.


So then we have just fled from that domain

Wherein our longing could have been assuaged?

The Other Maria:

And if ye do not find again the way,

Your efforts shall be fruitless evermore.


Then tell which way will lead us back again.

The Other Maria:

There are two ways. If my power doth attain

To its full height all creatures of my realm

Shall glow in beauty’s most resplendent dress.

From rocks and water, glittering light shall stream,

And colours in their richest fulness flash

On all around, whilst life in merry mood

Shall fill the air with joyous harmony.

And if your souls do then but steep themselves [77]

In mine own being’s purest ecstasy

On spirit pinions shall ye wing your way

Unto primeval origins of worlds.


That is no way for us; for in our speech

We name such talk mere fancy, and we fain

Would seek firm ground, not fly to cloud-capped heights.

The Other Maria:

Then if ye wish to tread the other path

Ye must forthwith renounce your spirit’s pride.

Ye must forget what reason doth command,

And let the touch of nature conquer you.

In your men’s breasts let your child-soul have sway,

Artless and undisturbed by thought’s dim shades.

So will ye surely reach Life’s fountain-head,

Although unconscious of the way ye go.



Thus are we thrown back on ourselves alone,

And have but learned that it behoveth us

To work and wait in patience for the fruit

That future days shall ripen from our work.

Johannes (speaking, as it were, from his meditation. Here and in the following scene he sits aside and takes no part in the action):

So do I find within the soul’s domain

Those men who are already known to me:

First he who told us of Felicia’s tales, [78]

Though here I saw him in his youthful prime;

And also he who in his younger days

Had chosen for his life monastic rule,

As some old man did he appear: with them

There stood the Spirit of the Elements.




Scene 5

A subterranean rock-temple: a hidden site of the Mysteries of the Hierophants.

At the right of the stage, Johannes is seen in deep meditation.

Benedictus (in the East):

Ye, who have been companions unto me

In the domain of everlasting life,

Here in your midst I stand today to ask

The help of which I stand in need from you

To weave the thread of destiny for one,

Who from our midst must now receive the light.

Through bitter trials and sorrows hath he passed,

And hath in deepest agony of soul

Prepared the way to consecrate his life

And thus attain to knowledge of the truth.

Accomplished now the task assigned to me,

As spirit-messenger, to bring to men

The treasured wisdom of this temple’s shrine.

And now, ye brethren, ’tis your sacred task

To bring my work to full accomplishment.

I showed to him the light that proved the guide

To his first vision of the spirit-world,

But that this vision may be turned to truth

Your work must needs be added unto mine. [80]

My words proceed from mine own mouth alone,

But through your lips world-spirits do sound forth.

Theodosius (in the South):

Thus speaks the power of love, which bindeth worlds

And filleth beings with the breath of life:—

Let warmth flow in his heart that he may grasp

How by the sacrificing of that vain

Illusion of his personality

He doth draw near the spirit of the world.

His sight from sleep of sense thou hast set free;

Love’s warmth will wake the spirit in his soul:

His Self from carnal covering thou hast drawn;

And love itself will crystallize his soul

That it may be a mirror to reflect

All that doth happen in the spirit-world.

Love too will give him strength to feel himself

A spirit, and will fashion thus his ear

That it can hear and know the spirit-speech.

Romanus (in the West):

Nor are my words the revelation true

Of mine own self. Through me the world-will speaks.

And since thou hast thus raised unto the power

To live in spirit-realms the man to thee

Entrusted, now this power shall lead him forth

Beyond the bounds of space and ends of time.

To those realms shall he pass wherein do work

Creative spirits, who shall there reveal

Themselves to him; demanding from him deeds;

And willingly will he perform their work.

The purposes of Him who moulds the worlds [81]

Shall fill his soul with life; there too the earth’s

Primeval sources shall enspirit him;

World potencies shall there empower him;

The mights of spheres shall there enlighten him,

And rulers of the worlds fill him with fire.

Retardus (in the North):

From the foundation of the world ye have

Been forced to suffer me within your midst.

So must ye also to my words give ear

In your deliberations here today.

Some little time must surely yet elapse

Before ye can fulfil and bring to pass

What ye have set forth in such beauteous words.

No sign as yet hath come to us from earth

That she doth long for new initiates.

So long as this spot, where we council hold,

Hath not been trodden by the feet of those

Who, uninitiate still, cannot set free

Their spirit from realities of sense,

So long the task is mine to check your zeal.

First must they bring us message that the earth

Doth seem in need of revelations new.

For this cause hold I back your spirit-light

Within this temple, lest it may bring harm

Instead of health to souls that are not ripe.

Out of myself I give to man on earth

That faculty which lets the truths of sense

Appear to him the highest, just so long

As spirit wisdom would but blind his eyes.

Nay more, e’en such belief may also lead

Him nearer to the spirit, for the aims [82]

Formed by his will may yet be guided right

Through his blind tastes and gropings in the dark.


From the foundation of the world we have

Been forced to suffer thee within our midst.

But now at length the time hath run its course

That was allotted to such work as thine.

The world-will in me feels that they approach—

(Felix Balde appears in his earthly shape: the Other Maria as a soul-form from out of the rock.)

—Who, uninitiated, can release

The spirit from the outward show of sense.

No more ’tis granted thee to check our steps.

They near our temple of their own free will

And bring to thee this message, that they wish

To help our spirit labours, joined with us.

They found themselves till now not yet prepared

For union, since they clung to that belief

That seership’s power with reason needs must part.

Now have they learned whither mankind is led

By reason, which, when severed from true sight,

Doth err and wander in the depths of worlds.

They now will speak to thee of fruits which needs

Must ripen through thy power in human souls.


Ye, who unconsciously have forwarded

My work till now, ye shall still further help—

If ye will distant keep from all that doth

Belong unto my realm and that alone. [83]

Then shall ye surely find a place reserved

For you to work as hitherto ye worked.

Felix Balde:

A power, which speaks from very depths of earth

Unto my spirit, hath commanded me

To come unto this consecrated place;

Since it desires to speak to you through me

Of all its bitter sorrow and its need.


My friend, then tell us now how thou hast learned

The woe of world-depths in thine own soul’s core.

Felix Balde:

The light that shines in men as learning’s fruit

Must needs give nourishment to all the powers

Which serve world-cycles in the earth’s dark depths.

Already now a long time have they starved

Well-nigh entirely reft of sustenance.

For that which grows today in human brains

Doth only serve the surface of the earth,

And doth not penetrate unto its depths.

Some strange new superstition now doth haunt

These clever human heads: they turn their gaze

Unto primeval origins of earth

And will but spectres see in spirit spheres,

Thought out by vain illusion of the sense.

A merchant surely would consider mad

A purchaser, who would speak thus to him:

‘The mists and fog, that hover in the vale,

Can certainly condense to solid gold; [84]

And with such gold thou shalt be paid thy debt.’

The merchant will not willingly await

To have his ducats made from fog and mist;

And yet whene’er his soul doth thirst to find

Solution of the riddles set by life,

Should science offer him such payments then

For spirit needs and debts, right willingly

Will he accept whole solar systems built

Out of primeval world-containing fog.

The teacher who discovers some unknown

And luckless layman, who hath raised himself

To heights of science or of scholarship

Without examinations duly passed

Will surely threaten him with his contempt.

Yet science doth not doubt that without proof

And without spirit earth’s primeval beasts

Could change themselves to men by their own power.


Why dost thou not thyself reveal to men

The sources of this light of thine, which streams

Forth from thy soul with such resplendent ray?

Felix Balde:

A fancy-monger and a man of dreams

They call me, who are well-disposed to me:

But others think of me as some dull fool

Who, all untaught of them, doth follow out

His own peculiar bent of foolishness.


Thou show’st already how untaught thou art

By the simplicity of this thy speech: [85]

Thou dost not know that men of science have

Sufficient shrewdness to make just the same

Objection to themselves as unto thee.

And if they make it not they know well why.

Felix Balde:

I know full well that they are shrewd enough

To understand objections they have made,

But not so shrewd as to believe in them.


What must we do that we may forthwith give

The powers of earth what they do need so much?

Felix Balde:

So long as on the earth men only heed

Such men as these, who wish not to recall

Their spirit’s primal source, so long will starve

The mineral forces buried in earth’s depths.

The Other Maria:

I gather, brother Felix, from thy words,

That thou dost think the time hath now expired

When we did serve earth’s purposes the best

Through wisdom’s light, ourselves unconsecrate—

When we showed forth from roots in our own life

The living way of spirit and of love.

In thee the spirits of the earth arose

To give thee light without the lore of books:

In me did love hold sway, the love that dwells

And works within the life of men on earth.

And now we wish to join our brethren here,— [86]

Who, consecrate, within this temple serve,—

And bring forth fruitful work in human souls.


If ye unite your labour now with us,

Then must the consecrated work succeed.

The wisdom which I gave unto my son

Will surely blossom forth in him as power.


If ye unite your labour now with us,

Then must the thirst for sacrifice arise.

And through the soul life of whoever seeks

The spirit-path, will breathe the warmth of love.


If ye unite your labour now with us,

Then must the fruits of spirit ripen fast.

Deeds will spring up, which through the spirit’s work

Will blossom from your soul’s discipleship.


If they unite their labour now with you

What shall become of me? My deeds will prove

Fruitless to those who would the spirit seek.


Then wilt thou change into thine other self:

Since now thou hast accomplished all thy work.


Henceforth thou wilt live on in sacrifice

If thou dost freely sacrifice thyself.



Thou wilt bear fruit on earth in human deeds

If I myself may tend the fruits for thee.

Johannes (speaking out of his meditation, as in the previous scene):

The brethren in the temple showed themselves

To my soul-sight, resembling in their form

Men whose appearance I already know.

Yet Benedictus seemed a spirit too.

He who stood on his left seemed like that man

Who through the feelings only would draw nigh

The spirit-realms. The third resembled him,

Who doth but recognize the powers of life

When they show forth through wheels and outward works.

The fourth I do not know. The wife who saw

The spirit’s light after her husband’s death,

I recognized in her own inmost being.

And Felix Balde came just as in life.

The curtain falls slowly.



Scene 6

Scene the same as the Fourth.

(The Spirit of the Elements stands in the same place.)


Thou calledst me. What wouldst thou hear of me?


Two men did I present unto the earth

Whose spirit-powers were fructified through thee.

They found their soul’s awakening in thy words

When meditation dry had lamed them both.

Thy gifts to them make thee my debtor too.

Their spirit doth not of itself suffice

To render full repayment unto me

For all the service which I did for them.


For many years one of these men did come

To our small cottage, that he might obtain

The strength that lent unto his words their fire.

Later he brought the other with him too;

And so they two consumed the fruits, whose worth

Was then unknown to me: but little good

Did I receive from them as recompense. [89]

Their kind of knowledge to our son they gave,

With good intent indeed, but yet the child

Found nought therein but death unto his soul.

He grew to manhood steeped in all the light,

His father Felix, through the spirit-speech,

Taught him from fountains and from rocks and hills:

To this was joined all that had lived and grown

In my own soul from my first childhood’s years;

And yet our son’s clear spirit-sense was killed

By the deep gloom of sombre sciences.

Instead of some blithe happy child, there grew

A man of desert soul and empty heart.

And now forsooth thou dost demand of me

That I should pay what they do owe to thee!


It must be so, for thou at first didst serve

The earthly part in them; and so through me

The spirit bids thee now complete the work.


’Tis not my wont to shrink from any debt;

But tell me first what detriment will grow

In mine own self from this love-service done?


What thou at first didst do for them on earth,

Robbed of his spirit-powers thine only son;

And what thou givest to their spirits now

Is lost henceforth to thee from thine own self;

Which lessening of the powers of life in thee

Will show as ugliness in thine own flesh.



They robbed my child of all his spirit-power,

And in return I needs must wander forth

A monster in the sight of men, that fruits

May ripen for them, which work little good!


Yet thy work aids the welfare of mankind

And leads as well to thine own happiness.

Thy mother’s beauty and thy child’s own life

Will blossom for thee in a loftier way,

When one day in the souls and hearts of men,

New spirit-powers shall seed and fructify.


What must I do?


What must I do? Mankind thou hast inspired

Full often with thy words. Inspire then now

The spirits of the rocks: in this same hour

Thou must bring forth from out thy treasured store

Of fairy pictures some one tale to give

Those beings who do serve me in my work.


So be it then:—A being once did live

Who flew from East to West, as runs the sun.

He flew o’er lands and seas, and from this height

He looked upon the doings of mankind.

He saw how men did one another love,

And, how in hatred they did persecute.

Yet naught could stay this being in his flight, [91]

For love and hatred none the less bring forth

Full many thousand times the same results.

Yet o’er one house—there must the being stay;

For therein dwelt a tired and weary man,

Who pondered on the love of humankind,

And pondered also over human hate.

His contemplations had already graved

Deep furrows on his brow; his hair was white.

And, grieving o’er this man, the being lost

His sun-guide’s leadership, and stayed with him

Within his room e’en when the sun went down.

And when the sun arose again, once more

The being joined the spirit of the sun;

And once again he saw mankind pass through

The cycle of the earth in love and hate.

But when he came, still following the sun,

A second time above that selfsame house,

His gaze did fall upon a man quite dead.

(Germanus, invisible behind the rock, speaks. As he speaks, he gradually drags his unwieldy size on to the stage; his feet like clogs are almost earth-bound.)


A man once lived, who went from East to West:

Whose eager thirst for knowledge lured him on

O’er land and sea; and with his wisdom’s sight

He looked upon the doings of mankind.

He saw how men did one another love,

And, how in hatred they did persecute;

And at each turn of life the man did note

How blind was wisdom’s eye to probe its depths. [92]

For, though the world is ruled by love and hate,

Yet could he not combine them into law.

A thousand single cases wrote he down

Yet still he lacked the comprehending eye.

This dull, dry seeker after truth once met

Upon his path a being formed of light;

Who found existence fraught with heaviness

Since it must live in constant combat with

A darksome being formed of shadows black.

‘Who art thou then?’ the dry truth-seeker asked.

‘Love,’ said the one; the other answered, ‘Hate.’

But these two beings’ words fell on deaf ears;

The man heard not, but wandered blindly on

In his dry search for truth from East to West.


And who art thou, who thus against my wish

Dost parody my words in his own way

Until they sound a very mockery?


Only a dwarf-like image of me lives

In man, and therein many things are thought,

That are but mockery of their own selves.

When I do show them in the actual size,

In which they do appear within my brain.


And therefore dost thou also mock at me?


I must right often ply this trade of mine;

Yet mostly men do hear me not, so now [93]

I seized for once this opportunity

To speak as well where men can hear my words.

Johannes (out of his meditation):

This was the man, who of himself did say

That spirit-light grew of its own accord

Within his brain; and Dame Felicia came,

Just like her husband, as she is in life.




Scene 7

The domain of spirit: a scene of various coloured crystal rocks and a few trees. Maria, Philia, Astrid, Luna; the child; Johannes, first at a distance, then coming nearer; Theodora; lastly Benedictus.


Ye sisters, who so often proved of old

My helpers, help me also in this hour;

That I may cause to vibrate in itself

The ether of the worlds. Let it resound

In harmony, and thus resounding reach

And permeate a soul with knowledge true.

Signs can I see which guide us to our work;

For your work must unite itself with mine.

Johannes, he who strives, by our designs

To real existence shall be lifted up.

The brethren in the temple counsel took

How they should guide him to the heights of light

Out of the depths, and they expect of us

To fill his soul with power for such high flight.

Thou shalt absorb for me, my Philia,

The light’s clear essence from the breadths of space;

And fill thyself with all the charm of sound,

Which wells from out the soul’s creative power; [95]

That thou mayst then impart to me the gifts

Which thou dost gather from the spirit’s depths.

Then can I weave their perfect harmonies

In the soul-stirring rhythmic dance of spheres.

Thou, Astrid, too, loved mirror of my soul,

Thou shalt produce within the flowing light,

The power of shade that colours may shine forth;

Thou shalt give shape to formless harmonies,

That as world-substance weaveth to and fro

It may sound forth upon its living way.

So am I able to entrust to man,

When he doth seek, a spirit-consciousness.

And thou, strong Luna, firm in thine own self,

E’en like the living marrow, which doth grow

Within the centre of the tree, do thou

Unite unto thy sisters’ gifts thine own;

Impress thereon thy personality,

That he who seeks may wisdom’s surety find.


With clearest essence of the light will I

From world-wide breadths of space myself imbue;

From distant ether-bounds will I breathe deep

Living sound-substance that such things may cause

Thy work, beloved sister, to succeed.


I will weave through the beaming web of light

Subduing darkness, and I will condense

The living sounds, that, sounding, they may glow,

And glowing, sound; that thou mayst thus direct,

Beloved sister, soul-life’s radiant beam.



Soul-substance will I warm; and will make hard

The living ether; that they may condense,

And feel themselves as living entities

With active power to fashion their own life;

That thou, beloved sister, mayst create

True wisdom’s surety in man’s seeking soul.


From Philia’s realm shall stream forth conscious joy;

And water nymphs with their transforming power

Shall then unfold receptiveness of soul;

That the awakened one may undergo

And live the mirth and sorrow of the world.

From Astrid’s web shall grow the joy of love;

And sylphs, that live in air, shall then incite

The soul’s desire to willing sacrifice;

That thus the consecrated one may give

New life to sorrow-laden souls of men,

And comfort those who crave for happiness.

From Luna’s power shall stream forth solid strength;

And salamanders with their fiery breath

Shall then create security of soul;

That he who knows may find himself again

In weaving soul-streams and the life of worlds.


I shall implore the spirits of the world

That their own being’s light may so enchant

The senses of the soul; and their words’ sound

So fill with happiness the spirit ears;

That he, whose wakening nears, may thus ascend

The path of souls unto celestial heights.



The streams of love, which warm the worlds, will I

Direct unto his consecrated heart;

That he may bring into his work on earth

The grace of heaven, and create desire

For consecration in the hearts of men.


From earth’s primeval powers will I implore

Courage and strength, that may lay them deep

Within the seeker’s heart; that confidence

In his own Self may guide him through his life.

Then shall he feel secure in his own soul

And pluck each moment’s ripened fruit, and draw

The seeds therefrom to found eternities.


With you, my sisters, joined in noble work

I shall succeed in what I long to do.

But hark! There rises to our world of light

The cry of him who hath been sorely tried.

(Johannes appears.)


’Tis thou, Maria! Then my suffering

Hath at the last born richest fruit for me.

It hath withdrawn me from the phantom shape

Which I at first did make out of myself,

And which then held me fast, a prisoner.

Pain do I thank for thus enabling me

To reach thee o’er the pathways of the soul.


And what then was the path that led thee here?



I felt myself from bonds of sense released:

My sight was freed from that close barrier,

Which hid all but the present from mine eyes.

Quite otherwise I viewed the life of one

I knew on earth, and looked beyond the space

Bound by the present moment’s narrow ring.

Capesius, who in his older years

Hath but employed the sight of sense—this man

The spirit placed before my soul a youth,

As first he entered on life’s thorny path

Full of those dreams of hope, which ofttimes brought

A group of faithful hearers to his feet.

And Strader, also could I see e’en thus

As he appeared in earthly life when young,

E’er he had full outgrown his cloistered youth:

And I could see what he might once have been,

If he had followed out in that same way

The goal he set before himself of old.

And only those who in their earthly life

Are filled already with the spirit’s power

Appear unchanged within the spirit-realms.

Both Dame Felicia and good Felix too

Had kept the forms in which they lived on earth,

When I beheld them with my spirit’s sight.

And then my guides showed kindness unto me,

And spake of gifts which shall one day be mine

When I can reach to wisdom’s lofty heights.

And many things besides have I beheld

With spirit-organs which sense-sight at first

Had shown to me in its own narrow way.

For judgment’s all-illuminating light [99]

Irradiated this new world of mine.

But whether I lived in some shadowy dream,

Or whether spirit-truth surrounded me

Already, I could not as yet decide.

Whether my spirit-sight was really stirred

By other things, or whether mine own self

Expanded into some world of its own,

I knew not. Then didst thou appear thyself;

Not as thou seemest at the present time,

Nor as the past beheld thee; nay—I saw

Thee as thou art in spirit evermore.

Not human was thy nature: in thy soul

Clear could I recognize the spirit-light,

Which worked not as man clothed in flesh doth work.

As spirit did it act, that strives to do

Such work as in eternity hath root.

And only now, when I dare stand complete

In spirit nigh thee, doth the full light glow.

In thee my sight of sense already grasped

Reality so fast, that certainty

Doth meet me even here in spirit-realms;

And well I know that now before me stands

No phantom shape. ’Tis thy true character

In which I met thee yonder, and in which

’Tis now permitted me to meet thee here.


I feel compelled to speak. A glow of light

From out thy brow, Maria, upward mounts.

This glow takes shape, and grows to human form.

It is a man with spirit deep imbued,

And other men do gather round his feet. [100]

I gaze into dim times, long passed away

On that good man who rose from out thy head:

His eyes do shine with perfect peace of soul;

And deep true feeling glows in every line

And feature of his noble countenance.

A woman facing him mine eye doth see,

Who listens with devotion to the words

Proceeding from his mouth; which words I hear,

And thus they sound: ‘Ye have unto your gods

Looked up with awed devotion until now.

These gods I love, as ye love them yourselves.

They did present unto your thought its power,

And planted courage in your heart; but yet

Their gifts spring from a higher spirit still.’

I see how rage doth spread amongst the throng

At this man’s words. I hear their mad wild cries:

‘Kill him; for he desires to take from us

The gifts the gods have given to our race.’

But unconcernedly the man speaks on.

He tells now of that God in human form,

Who did descend to earth and conquer death.

He tells of Christ; and as his words flow on

The souls around grow calm and pacified.

One only of the heathen hearts resists,

And swears it will wreak vengeance on the man.

I recognize this heart; it beats again

In yonder child, that nestles at thy side.

The messenger of Christ speaks to it thus:

‘Thy fate doth not permit thee to draw nigh

In this life; but I shall wait patiently,

For thy path leads thee to me in the end.’

The woman who doth stand before the man [101]

Falls at his feet and feels herself transformed.

A soul prays to the God in human form;

A heart doth love God’s messenger on earth.

(Johannes sinks upon his knees before Maria.)


Johannes, that which dawneth in thy mind

Thou shalt awaken to full consciousness.

E’en now within thee hath thy memory

Wrenched itself free from fetterings of sense.

Thou hast found me, and thou hast felt myself,

As we were joined in former life on earth.

Thou wast the woman whom the seeress saw,

For so didst thou lie prostrate at my feet,

When I as messenger of Christ did come

Unto thy tribe in days long since gone by.

What in Hibernia’s consecrated shrines

Was then entrusted to me by that God,

Who dwelt in human form, and did become

A conqueror o’er all the powers of death,

I had to bring to tribes, in whom still lived

A soul that brought a willing sacrifice,

To mighty Odin, and with sorrow thought

Upon the death of Balder, god of light.

The power, which from that message grew in thee,

Attracted thee to me from the first day

Thine eyes of sense beheld me in this life.

And since it strove so mightily in us,

And yet remained unrecognized by both,

It wove into our life those sufferings,

Which we o’ercame. Yet in that pain itself

There lay the power to guide us on our way [102]

To spirit-realms, where we might recognize

And know in very truth each other’s soul.

Intolerably did thy pain increase

Through all the men who thronged thee round about,

With whom by fate’s decree thou art conjoined.

Hence was the revelation of their selves

Able so fiercely to convulse thine heart.

These men hath Karma gathered round thee now,

To wake in thee the power that once did urge

Thee on the path of life, which selfsame power

Hath thus far roused thee, that, from body freed,

Thou couldst ascend into the spirit-world.

Thou standest nearest to my soul, since thou

Hast kept through pain thy steadfast faith in me.

And therefore hath it fallen to my lot

That consecration to complete in thee,

To which thou owest this thy spirit-light.

The brethren, who within the temple serve,

Have wakened sight in thee; yet canst thou know

That what thou seest is very truth indeed,

Only when thou dost find in spirit-realms

A being, unto whom in worlds of sense

Thou wast united in thine inmost soul.

And that this being might thus meet thee here,

Before thee did the brethren send me out.

And this did prove the hardest of thy tests,

When I was summoned here to wait for thee.

Our leader, Benedictus, did I ask

To solve for me the riddle of my life,

That seemed to be so cruel and unkind;

And blessedness streamed from his every word,

Telling of his own mission and of mine. [103]

He told me of the spirit I must serve

With all the power which I have found in me.

And at his words it seemed to me as though,

All in a moment clearest spirit-light

Streamed through and through my soul, and suffering

Was changed to joyous blessedness; one thought

Alone then filled my soul;—he gave me light,

Yea, light, that gave to me the power of sight;—

It was the will that lived within the thought

Wholly to give myself to spirit-life,

To make me ready for the sacrifice

Which would unto our leader draw me near.

This thought did generate the highest power:

It gave wings to my soul and wafted me

Into that realm where thou hast found me now.

In that same moment when I felt released

From my sense body, I was free to turn

My spirit’s eye upon thee, and I saw

Not only thee, Johannes, standing there;

I saw the woman too, that followed me

In ancient times; and had bound close to mine

Her destiny. E’en thus was spirit-truth

Revealed to me in spirit-realms through thee,

Who in the world of sense already wast

Made one with me in inmost consciousness.

So did I gain this spirit-certainty

And was endowed to give it unto thee.

Sending a ray of highest, tenderest love

To Benedictus, I went on before;

And he hath given unto thee the power

To follow me into the spirit-spheres.

(Benedictus appears.)



Ye here have found yourselves in spirit-realms

And so it is permitted unto me

To stand once more beside you in these realms.

I could confer the power that urged you here,

But I could not conduct you here myself.

Thus read the law, which I must needs obey:—

Ye must through your own selves first gain the eye

Of spirit, which doth here make visible

My spirit to you. Ye have just begun

E’en now the path of spirit-pilgrimage.

Henceforth indeed upon the plane of sense

Endowed with novel powers shall ye both stand,

And with the spirit in your hearts unsealed

The cause of human progress shall ye serve,

For Fate itself hath so united you,

That ye together may unfold the powers

Which needs must serve divine creative work.

And as ye journey on the path of souls

Wisdom herself will teach you that the heights

May only be obtained by souls of men,

Who have gained spirit-certainty, when they

Unite in faith to do salvation’s work.

My spirit-guidance hath united you

To realize each other: now do ye

Unite yourselves to do the spirit’s work.

May powers that dwell within this realm confer

On you through these my lips this Word of strength:—

‘The weaving essence of the light streams forth

From man to man to fill all worlds with truth.

The grace of love spreads warmth from soul to soul

To work out bliss eternal for all worlds. [105]

And spirit-messengers come forth to wed

Man’s works of love and grace to cosmic aims.

And when a man who dwells amongst mankind

Can wed these twain, there doth stream forth on earth

True spirit-light from his warm loving soul.’





Scene: same as in the Prelude. The day after the play to which Estella, in the Prelude, invited her friend to accompany her.


Forgive me, dear Estelle, for keeping you waiting. I had to attend to something for the children.


Here I am back again with you already. I long for your sympathy, whenever anything stirs me deeply.


Well, you know that I shall always sympathize most warmly with you in your interests.


This play, of which I spoke to you, Outcasts from Body and from Soul touched me so deeply. Does it seem to you odd when I say that there were moments when all I had ever known of human sorrow stood before me? With highest artistic force the work not only gives the outer mischances, met with by so many people, but also points out with wonderful penetration the deepest agonies of the soul.


One cannot, I fear, form a proper conception of a work of art by simply hearing of its contents. But I would like you to tell me what stirred you so.


The construction of the play was admirable. The artist wished to show how a young painter loses all his creative desire, because he begins to doubt [107]his love for a woman. She had endowed him with the power to develop his promising talents. Pure enthusiasm for his art had produced in her the most beautiful love of sacrifice. To her he owed the fullest development of his abilities in his chosen field. He blossomed, as it were, in the sunshine of his benefactress. Constant association with this woman developed his gratitude into passionate love. This caused him to neglect, more and more, a poor creature who was faithfully devoted to him, and who finally died of grief, because she had to confess to herself that she had lost the heart of the man she loved. When he heard of her death, the news did not seriously disturb him, for his heart belonged entirely to his benefactress. Yet he grew ever more and more certain that her noble feeling of friendship for him would never turn to passionate love. This conviction drove all creative joy from his soul, and his inner life grew constantly more desolate. In this condition of life the poor girl, whom he had forsaken, came again into his mind, and a wrecked life was all that resulted from a hopeful and promising man. Without prospect of a single ray of light he pined away. All this is portrayed with intense dramatic vividness.


I can easily see how the play must have worked upon your feelings. As a girl you always suffered intensely at the destiny of such people, who had been driven to bitterness by heavy misfortunes in their life.


My dear Sophy; you misunderstand me. I can easily distinguish between what is real and what is merely artistic. And criticism fails, I know, if one [108]carries into it the feelings one had in life. What stirred me here so deeply was the really perfect representation of a deep problem of life. I was once again able to realize clearly how art can only mount to such heights, when it keeps close to the fulness of life. As soon as it departs therefrom, its works are untrue.


I understand you perfectly when you speak like that. I have always admired the artists who could represent what you call the reality of life. And I believe a great many have that power,—especially nowadays. Nevertheless even the very highest attainments leave behind them in my soul a certain discomfort. For a long time I was unable to explain this to myself, but one day the light came that brought the answer.


You mean to tell me, that your conception of the world has dispelled your appreciation of so-called realistic art?


Dear Estelle, let us not speak of my conception of the world today. You know quite well, that the emotion you have just described was entirely familiar to me long before I knew anything at all about what you call my ‘conception of the world.’ And these feelings are not only aroused in me with reference to so-called realistic art: but other things also create a similar feeling in me. It grows especially marked when I become aware of what I might call, in a higher sense, the want of truth in certain works of art.


There I really cannot follow you.


A vivid grasp of real truth must needs create in the heart a sense of a certain poverty in works [109]of art. For of course the greatest artist is always a novice compared with nature in her perfection. The most accomplished artist fails to give me what I can get from the revelation of a landscape or a human countenance.


But that is in the nature of the case and cannot be altered.


But it could be altered, if men would only become clear on one point. They could say that it is irrational for the soul to reproduce what higher powers have already set before us as the highest form of art. Yet these same powers have implanted in man a desire to continue to work upon creation in a certain sense, in order to give to the world what these powers have not yet placed before the senses. In all that man can create, the original powers of creation have left nature incomplete. Why should he reproduce her imperfections in an imperfect form, when he has the ability to change that imperfection into perfection? If you think of this assertion as changed into an elemental feeling you will understand why I feel a sense of distress towards much that you call art. This perception of an imperfect reproduction of some obvious truth must needs produce distress. On the other hand, the least perfect representation of what is concealed behind the outwardly observed phenomenon may prove a revelation.


You are really talking of something that nowhere exists. No true artist really tries to give a bare reproduction of nature.


That is just why so many works of art are imperfect; for the creative function leads of itself [110]beyond nature, and the artist cannot know the appearance of what is outside his senses.


I see no possibility of our coming to any understanding with one another on this point. It is indeed sad that, in these most important problems of the soul, my best friend follows views so different from my own. I hope our friendship may yet fall on better days.


On such a point we shall surely be able to accept whatever life may bring us.


Au revoir, dear Sophy.


Good-bye, dear Estelle.




Scene 8

Same room as for Scene 1. Johannes at an easel, before which Capesius, Maria, and Strader are also seated.


I think those are the final touches now,

And feel that I may call my work complete.

Especial pleasure hath it given me

Thy nature to interpret through mine art.


This picture is a marvel unto me

And its creator a still greater one.

For naught, which men like me have up till now

Considered possible, can be compared

With this change that hath taken place in thee.

One only can believe, when actual sight

Compels belief. We met three years ago;

And I was then allowed to count myself

A member of that small community,

In which thou didst attain thine excellence.

A man of sad demeanour wast thou then,

Witness each glance and aspect of thy face.

Once did I hear a lecture in thy group,

And at the end felt urged to add thereto

Words that were wrenched with pain from out my soul. [112]

I spake in such a mood wherein one doth

Think almost always of oneself alone;

And none the less my gaze did ever rest

Upon that painter, whelmed ’neath sorrow’s load,

Who sat and kept still silence, far apart.

Silent he pondered in a fashion strange,

And one might well believe that he heard not

A single word of all those spoken near.

The sorrow unto which he gave himself

Seemed of itself to have a separate life;

It seemed as though the man himself heard not,

But rather that his very grief had ears:

It is perhaps not inappropriate

To say he was by sorrow quite obsessed.

Soon after that day did we meet again,

And even then there was a change in thee;

For happiness did beam forth from thine eyes;

Within thy nature power did dwell again,

And noble fire did ring in all thy words.

Thou didst express a wish to me that day—

Which seemed to me most strange and curious—

To be my pupil didst thou then desire.

And of a truth thou hast throughout these years

With utmost diligence absorbed thyself

In all I had to say on world events.

And, as we grew more intimate, I then

Did know the riddle of thine artist life,

And each new picture proved a fresh surprise.

My thought in former days was ill-inclined

To soar to worlds beyond the life of sense—

Not that I doubted them—but yet it seemed

Presumptuous to draw near with eager mind. [113]

But now I must admit that them hast changed

My point of view. I hear thee oft repeat

That thine artistic skill depends alone

Upon the gift to function consciously

In other worlds; and that thou canst implant

Naught in thy work but what thou hast first seen

In spirit worlds: indeed thy works do show

How spirit stands revealed in actual life.


Never so little have I understood

Thy speech; for surely in all artists’ work

The living spirit is thus manifest.

How therefore doth thy friend, Thomasius,

Differ from other masters in his art?


Ne’er have I doubted that the spirit shows

Itself in man, who none the less remains

Unconscious of its nature. He creates

Through this same spirit, but perceives it not.

Thomasius however doth create

In worlds of sense what he in spirit-realms

Can consciously behold; and many times

Hath he assured me, that, for men like him,

No other method of creation serves.


Thomasius is a marvel unto me,

And freely I admit this picture here

Hath first revealed to me in his true self

Capesius, whom I thought I knew full well. [114]

In thought I knew him; but his work doth show

How little of him I had really known.


How comes it, doctor, that thou canst admire

The greatness of this work so much, and yet

Canst still deny the greatness of its source?


What hath my wonder at the artist’s work

In common with my faith in spirit-sight?


One can indeed admire a work, e’en when

One hath no faith in that which is its source;

Yet in this case there would be naught to rouse

Our admiration, had this artist not

Trodden the path that led to spirit-life.


Yet still we must not say that whosoe’er

Doth to the spirit wholly give himself

Will consciously be guided by its power.

The spirit power creates in artists’ souls,

E’en as it works within the trees and stones:

Yet is the tree not conscious of itself.

And only he, who sees it from without,

Can recognize the spirit’s work therein.

So too each artist lives within his work

And not in spiritual experience.

But when mine eyes now on this picture fall,

I do forget all that allures to thought;

The very soul-force of my friend doth gleam [115]

From out those eyes, and yet—they are but paint!

The seeker’s thoughtfulness dwells on that brow;

And e’en his noble warmth of words doth stream

From all the colour-tones with which thy brush

Hath solved the mystery of portraiture.

Ah, these same colours, surely they are flat!

And yet they are not; they seem visible

Only to vanish straightway from my sight.

The moulding too doth seem like colour’s work;

And yet it tells of spirit intertwined

In every line, and many things besides,

That are not of itself.—Where then is that

Whereof it speaks? Not on the canvas there,

Where only spirit-barren colours lie.

Is it then in Capesius himself?

But why can I perceive it not in him?

Thomasius, thou hast so painted here

That what is painted doth destroy itself,

The moment that the eye would fathom it.

I cannot grasp whereto it urgeth me.

What must I grasp from it? What should I seek?

I fain would pierce this canvas through and through

To find what I must seek within its depths;

To find where I may grasp all that which streams

From this same picture into my soul’s core.

I must attain it.—Oh—deluded fool!

It seems as though some ghost were haunting me,

A ghost I cannot see, nor have I power

Which doth enable me to focus it.

Thou dost paint ghostly things, Thomasius,

Ensnaring them by magic in your work.

They do allure us on to seek for them, [116]

And yet they never let themselves be found.

Oh—how I find your pictures horrible!


My friend, in this same moment hast thou lost

The thinker’s peace of mind. Consider now,

If from this picture some ghost speaks to thee

Then I myself must surely ghostly be.


Forgive me, friend, ’twas weakness on my part.


Ah, speak but good, not evil, of this hour!

For though thou seemed’st to have lost thyself,

Yet in reality thou wast upraised

Far, far above thyself; and thou didst feel,

Even as I myself full oft have felt.

At such times, howsoe’er one feels oneself

Strong-armoured at all points with logic’s might,

One can but be convinced that one is seized

By some strange power that can have origin

Not in sense-knowledge or sense-reasoning.

Who hath endowed this picture with such power?

To me it seems the symbol in sense-life

Of soul-experiences gained thereby.

It hath taught me to recognize my soul,

As never heretofore seemed possible;

And most convincing this self-knowledge proved.

Thomasius did search me through and through:

For unto him was given power to pierce

Through sense-appearance unto spirit-self.

With his developed sight he penetrates [117]

To spirit verity; and thus for me

Those ancient words of wisdom: ‘Know thyself,’

In new light do appear. To know ourselves

E’en as we are, we must first find that power

Within ourselves, which, as true spirit, doth

Conceal itself from us in our own selves.


We must, to find ourselves, that power unfold

Which can pierce through into our very souls:

And truly do these words of wisdom speak—

Unfold thyself and thou shalt find thyself.


If we admit now, that Thomasius

Hath through th’ unfolding of his spirit power,

Attained to knowledge of that entity,

That dwells, invisible, in each of us,

Then must we say that on each plane of life

Knowledge doth differ.


Knowledge doth differ. So would I maintain.


If matters thus do stand, then is all thought

Nothing: all learning but illusory;

And every moment I must lose myself.…

Oh, do leave me alone.…



Oh, do leave me alone.... I’ll go with him.




Capesius is nearer far today

To spirit lore, than he himself doth think;

And Strader suffers deeply. What his soul

So hotly craves, his spirit cannot find.


The inner nature of these two did stand

Already then before my spirit’s eye

When first I dared to tread the realm of souls.

As a young man I saw Capesius,

And Strader in the years he hath not reached

By some long span as yet. Capesius

Did show a youthful promise which conceals

Much that this life will not allow to come

To due fruition in the realms of sense.

I was attracted to his inner self:

In his soul’s essence I could first behold

What is the essential kernel of a man;

And how a man’s peculiarities

In earthly life do manifest themselves

As consequences of some former life.

I saw the struggles that he overcame,

Which in his other lives had origin,

And which have shaped his present mode of life.

I could not see his death-discarded selves

With my soul’s vision, yet I did perceive

Within his nature that which could not rise

From his surroundings as they are today.

Thus in the picture I could reproduce,

What dwells within the basis of his soul.

My brush was guided by the powers, which he [119]

Unfolded in his former lives on earth.

If thus I have revealed his inmost self,

My picture will have served the aim, which I

Did purpose for it in my thought: for as

A work of art I do not rate it high.


It will confirm its work within that soul

Which it hath showed the path to spirit-realms.

Curtain falls whilst Maria and Johannes are still in the room



Scene 9

Same region as in Scene 2. From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’


O man, feel thou thyself! For three long years

I have sought strength of soul, with courage winged,

Which doth give truth unto these words, whereby

A man may free himself to conquer first;

Then conquering himself may freedom find

Through these same words: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’)

I note their presence in mine inmost soul,

Their whispered breathing thrills my spirit-ear;

And hid within themselves they bear the hope,

That they will grow and lead man’s spirit up,

Out of his narrow self to world-wide space,

E’en as a giant oak mysteriously

Builds his proud body from an acorn small.

Spirit can cause to live in its own self

All weaving forms of water and of air,

And all that doth make hard the solid earth.

Man too can grasp whate’er hath ta’en firm hold

Of being, in the elements, in souls, [121]

In time, in spirits and eternity.

The whole world’s essence lies in one soul’s core,

When such power in the spirit roots itself,

Which can give truth unto these selfsame words:

O man, experience and feel thyself—

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’)

I feel them sounding in my very soul,

Rousing themselves to grant me strength and power.

The light doth live in me; the brightness speaks

Around me; soul light germinates in me;

The brightness of all worlds creates in me:

O man, experience and feel thyself;

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’)


I find myself secure on every side,

Where’er these words of power do follow me.

They will give light in sense-life’s darkened ways:

They will sustain me on the spirit-heights:

Soul-substance will they pour into my heart

Through all the æons of eternity.

I feel the essence of the worlds in me,

And I must find myself in all the worlds.

I gaze upon the nature of my soul,

Which mine own power hath vivified; I rest

Within myself; I look on rocks and springs;

They speak the native language of my soul.

I find myself again within that soul, [122]

Into whose life I brought such bitter grief;

And out of her I call unto myself:

‘Thou must find me again and ease my pain.’

The spirit-light will give to me the strength

To live this other self in its own self.

Oh hopeful words, ye stream forth strength to me

From all the worlds: O man, feel thou thyself.

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’)


Ye make me feel my feebleness, and yet

Ye place me near the highest aims of gods;

And blissfully I feel creative power

From these high aims in my weak, earthly form.

And out of mine own Self shall stand revealed

Those powers, whereof the germ lies hid in me.

And I will give myself unto the world

By living out mine own essential life;

Yea, all the might of these words will I feel,

Which sound within me softly at the first.

They shall become for me a quickening fire

In my soul-powers and on my spirit-paths.

I feel how now my very thought doth pierce

To deep-concealed foundations of the world;

And how it streams through them with radiant light.

E’en thus doth work the fructifying power

Of these same words: O man, feel thou thyself.

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself!’)


From heights of light a being shines on me,

And I feel wings to lift myself to him:

I too will free myself, like all those souls,

Who conquered self.

(From springs and rocks resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself.’)

Who conquered self. That being do I see

Whom I would fain be like in future times.

The spirit in me shall grow free, through thee

Sublime example, I will follow thee.

(Enter Maria)


The spirit-beings, who did take me up,

Have woken now the vision of my soul.

And as I gaze into the spirit worlds,

I feel in mine own self the quickening power

Of these same words: O man, feel thou thyself.

(From springs and rocks resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself!’)


Thou here, my friend?


Thou here, my friend? My soul did urge me here.

I saw thy star shining in fullest strength.


This strength can I experience in myself.



So closely are we one, that thy soul’s life

Allows its light to shine forth in my soul.


Maria, then thou also art aware

Of what has just revealed itself to me.

Man’s first conviction has just come to me,

And I have gained the certainty of self.

I feel that power to guide me everywhere

Lies in these words: O man, feel thou thyself.

(From rocks and springs resounds: ‘O man, feel thou thyself!’)




Scene 10

A room for meditation as in Scene 3.

Theodosius (in spirit-garb):

Now canst thou feel all worlds within thyself:

So now feel me as love-power of all worlds.

A nature, that is lighted up by me,

Feels its own being’s power enhanced, whene’er

It gives itself to give another joy.

Thus do I work with true creative joy

To build the worlds. Without me none can live,

And naught without my strength can e’er exist.


So thou dost stand before my spirit’s eye,

Joy-giver of all worlds. My spirit’s strength

Doth feel creative joy, when I behold

Thee as the fruit of self-experience.

Within the temple to my spirit’s eye

Once didst thou show thyself, yet at that time

I knew not whether dream or truth appeared.

But now the scales have fallen from mine eyes,

Which kept the spirit’s light concealed from me:

I know now that thou really dost exist.

I will reveal thy nature in my deeds;

And they shall work salvation through thy power.

To Benedictus too I owe deep thanks: [126]

Through wisdom hath he given me the strength

To turn my spirit’s sight unto thy world.


Feel me in thy soul-depths, and bear my power

To all the worlds. Thus, serving Love’s behests

Thou shalt experience true blessedness.


I feel thy presence through its warming light;

I feel creative power arise in me.

(Theodosius disappears.)

He hath departed: but he will return

And give me strength from out the springs of love.

His light can disappear but for awhile;

Then, in its own existence, it lives on.

I can resign myself unto my Self,

And feel Love’s very self in mine own soul:

By Love uplifted I can feel my Self:

Love shall through me reveal himself to man.

(He grows uncertain, as is gradually made manifest by his gestures.)

Yet how shall I experience myself?

It seems some spirit-being draweth near.

Since I was counted worthy to receive

The spirit’s sight, I feel it ever thus,

When evil powers desire to seize on me.

Yet, come what may, I have strength to resist;

For I can feel myself within my Self;

Which quickening words give strength invincible.

Yet now most strong resistance do I feel: [127]

Well may it be the fiercest of all foes:

But let him come, for he will find me armed.

Thou foe of Good; ’tis surely thine own self!

For near me I can feel thy potent strength.

I know thou dost desire to rend in twain

Whate’er has wrenched itself from thy control.

But I shall strengthen in me that new strength,

Wherein thou canst have neither part nor lot.

(Benedictus appears.)


O Benedictus, fount of my new life!

It is not possible. It cannot be.

Nay, nay, it cannot be thyself. Thou art

Some vain illusion. Oh, revive in me

Ye good powers of my soul, and straightway crush

This phantom image, that would mock at me!


Ask of thy soul now, whether it can feel,

What through these years my nearness meant to it.

Through me the fruits of wisdom grew for thee;

And wisdom only now can lead thee on,

And fend from error in the spirit’s realm.

So now experience me within thyself.

Yet wouldst thou go still further, thou must then

Enter that way, which to my temple leads.

And if my wisdom is to guide thee still

To loftier heights, it must flow from that spot

Where with my brethren close conjoined I work. [128]

The strength of truth I gave to thee myself;

And if this kindles power from its own fire

Within thyself, then shalt thou find the way.



Oh, he doth leave me. How shall I decide

Whether I have some phantom form dispelled,

Or if reality hath left me now?

Yet do I feel in me my strength renewed.

’Twas no illusion, but the man himself.

I will experience thee within myself,

O Benedictus, for thou gav’st me power,

Which, growing of itself within myself,

Taught me to sever error from the truth.

And yet to vain illusion I succumbed:

1 felt a shudd’ring fear at thine approach;

And could consider thee a fantasy,

When thou didst stand before my very eyes.

(Theodosius appears.)


From all illusion thou shalt free thyself,

When thou dost fill thyself with mine own strength:

To me could Benedictus lead thy steps,

But thine own wisdom now must be thy guide.

If thou dost only live what he hath put

Within thee, then thou canst not live thyself.

In freedom strive unto the heights of light;

And for this striving now receive my strength.




How glorious these words of thine do sound!

I must now live them out within myself.

From all illusion they will set me free,

If they but fill my nature to the full.

Work on then further in my soul’s deep core,

Ye words, sublime and grand! Ye surely must

Proceed from out the temple’s shrine alone,

Since Benedictus’ brother uttered you.

I feel already how ye mount within

Mine inmost being.

Mine inmost being. Soon shall ye resound

From out my very Self, that I may read

Your meaning rightly. Spirit, that doth dwell

Within me, forth from thy concealment come!

Now in thine own true nature show thyself!

I feel thy near approach: thou must appear.

(Lucifer and Ahriman appear.)


O man, know me. O man, feel thou thyself.

From spirit guidance hast thou freed thyself,

And into earth’s free realms thou hast escaped.

Midst earth’s confusion thou didst seek to prove

Thine own existence; and to find thyself

Was thy reward. So now use this reward.

In spirit-ventures keep thyself secure.

In the wide realms on high a being strange

Thou shalt discover, who to human lot

Will fetter thee, and will oppress thee too.

A man, feel thou thyself: O man, know me.



O man, know thou thyself: O man, feel me.

From spirit darkness hast thou now escaped;

And thou hast found again the light of earth.

So now from my sure ground draw strength and truth.

The solid earth do I make hard and fast:

Yet canst thou also lose that certainty.

Weak hesitation can e’en now destroy

The power of being, and thou canst misuse

The spirit-strength e’en in the heights of light.

Thou canst be rent in twain within thyself.

O man, feel me. O man, know thou thyself.

(Exit with Lucifer.)


What meaneth this? First Lucifer arose

From me, and Ahriman did follow him.

Doth now some new illusion haunt my soul,

Although I prayed so ardently for truth?

Hath Benedictus’ brother roused in me

Only those powers, which in the souls of men

Do but create illusion and deceit?

(The following is a spirit voice coming from the heights.)


To founts of world primeval

Thy surging thoughts do mount.

What unto illusion urged,

What in error held thee fast,

Appeareth to thee now in spirit-light. [131]

Through whose fulness seeing,

Mankind doth think in truth;

Through whose fulness striving,

Mankind doth live in Love.




Scene 11

The Temple of the Sun. Hidden site of the mysteries of the Hierophants.

Capesius and Strader appear as in Scene 4.

Retardus (to Capesius and Strader before him):

Ye have brought bitter grief to me, my friends.

The office which I did entrust to you

Ye have administered with ill success.

I call you now before my judgment seat.

To thee, Capesius, I did entrust

Full measure of the spirit, that ideas

Of mankind’s upward striving might compose,

With graceful words, the content of thy speech,

Which should have worked convincingly on man.

Then thine activity I did direct

Into those gatherings of men, wherein

Thou didst Johannes and Maria meet.

Their tendency towards the spirit-sight

Thou shouldst have superseded by the power

Which thy words should have exercised on them.

Instead of that thou didst thyself give up

Unto the influence which flows from them.—

And to thee, Strader, did I show the way

That leads to scientific certainty. [133]

Thou hadst by rigid thinking to destroy

The magic power that comes from spirit-sight.

But yet thou lackedst feeling’s certain touch.

The power of thought did slip away from thee,

When opportunity for conquest came.

My fate is close-entwinéd with your deeds,

Through you are these two seekers after truth

Now lost for evermore from my domain;

For to the brethren I must give their souls.


Thy trusty messenger I could not be.

Thou gav’st me power to picture human life;

And I could well portray whate’er inspired

The souls of men at this time or at that:

But yet it was impossible for me

To gift my words, which painted but the past,

With power to fill and satisfy men’s souls.


The weakness which must needs befall me too

Was but a true reflection of thine own.

Knowledge indeed thou couldst give to me:

But not the power to still that yearning voice,

Which strives for truth in every yearning heart.

Deep in mine inmost soul I none the less

Felt other powers continually arise.


See now then what result your weakness brings.

The brethren are approaching with those souls

In whom they will o’erthrow my power. E’en now

Johannes and Maria feel their might.


(Enter Benedictus with Lucifer and Ahriman; behind them Johannes and Maria.)

Benedictus (to Lucifer):

Johannes’ and Maria’s souls have now

No longer room for blind unseeing power:

To spirit-life they have been lifted up.


Then must I straightway from their souls depart.

The wisdom unto which they have attained,

Doth give them power to see me, and my sway

O’er souls of men doth only last so long

As I remain invisible to them.

Yet doth the power continue which hath been

From the creation of the worlds mine own.

And though I cannot tempt their souls, yet still

My power will cause within their spirit-life

Most beauteous fruits, to ripen and endure.

Benedictus (to Ahriman):

Johannes’ and Maria’s souls have now

Destroyed all error’s darkness in themselves;

And spirit-sight hath been revealed to them.


I must indeed renounce their spirits then;

For they will turn henceforth unto the light.

Yet one thing hath not yet been ta’en from me;

With sense-appearance to delight their souls.

And though no longer they will deem it truth,

Yet will they see how truth it doth reveal.

(Enter the Other Maria.)


Theodosius (to the Other Maria):

Close intertwinéd was thy destiny

With thine exalted sister’s loftier life:

The light of love I could impart to her:

But not the warmth of love, so long as thou

Didst always let thy noblest impulses

From dim sensations only rise in thee,

And didst not strive to see them clear and bold

In the full light of wisdom’s certainty.

The influence of the Temple does not reach

Unto the nature of vague impulses,

E’en though such impulse wills to work for good.

The Other Maria:

I needs must recognize that noble thought

Can only work salvation in the light.

So to the temple I now wend my way.

My own emotion shall in future times

Not rob the light of love of its results.


Through this, thine insight, thou dost give me power

To make Maria’s soul-light on the earth

Run smooth and evenly upon its path:

For aye aforetime it must lose its might

In souls, such as thine own was heretofore,

Which would not unify their light with love.

Johannes (to the Other Maria):

I see in thee the nature of that soul,

Which also holdeth sway within mine own.

I was unable to find out the way

Which led to thine exalted sister’s soul [136]

So long as in my heart the warmth of love

From love’s light ever held itself apart.

The sacrifice which to the temple’s shrine

Thou bring’st, shall be repeated in my soul.

Therein the warmth of love shall sacrifice

Itself unto love’s wonder-working light.


Johannes, in the realm of spirit-life

Thou hast attained to knowledge through myself.

To spirit knowledge thou canst only add

True soul-existence, when thou findest too

Thine own soul, as thou didst find mine before.

(Enter Philia, Astrid, and Luna.)


Then from the whole creation of the worlds

The joy of souls shall be revealed to thee.


From thine whole being then can be outpoured

The light and radiance of the warmth of souls.


Then shalt thou dare to live out thine own self,

When such light can illuminate thy soul.

(Enter Felix and Felicia Balde.)

Romanus (to Felix Balde):

Long hast thou from the temple held thyself.

Thou only wouldst admit enlightenment,

When light from thine own soul revealed itself. [137]

Men of thy nature rob me of the power

To give my light unto men’s souls on earth.

They wish to draw from darksome depths alone,

What they should freely offer unto life.

Felix Balde:

Yet ’twas man’s own illusion in itself,

That brought me light from out the darkest depths:

And let me to the temple find my way.


The fact that thou hast hither found thy way

Gives me the power to give light to the will

Of both Johannes and Maria here.

That it no more may follow forces blind,

But from world-aims henceforth direct itself.


Johannes, thou hast seen thine own self now

In spirit in myself. Thou shalt live out

Thine own existence as a spirit, when

The world’s light can behold itself in thee.

Johannes (to Felix Balde):

In thee, good brother Felix, do I see

That soul-power which did hold my will fast bound

In its own spirit. Thou wouldst find the way

Unto the temple: with the strength of will

Within my spirit I would fain point out

The path unto the temple of the soul.


Johannes’ and Maria’s souls e’en now

Escape from my domain: how then shall they [138]

Discover all that springs forth from my might?

So long as they did lack within their souls

The fundaments of learning, they did still

Find joy and pleasure in my gifts, but now

I see myself compelled to let them go.


That man without thine aid, may fire himself

To rational thought, that have I shown to thee

From me a learning streams that dare bear fruit.


This learning shall be wedded to the light,

Which from this temple’s source can fill men’s souls.


Capesius, my son, thou art now lost.

Thou hast withdrawn thyself from my domain

Before the temple’s light can shine for thee.


He hath begun the path. He feels the light.

And he will win the strength to search and know

In his own soul all that, which up till now

Good Dame Felicia hath produced for him.


Then I alone seem lost, for of myself

I cannot cast all doubts from out my heart;

And surely I shall never find again

The way that doth unto the temple lead.


From out thine heart a glow of light spreads forth; [139]

A human image now is born therefrom;

And I can hear the words, which do proceed

From this same human form. E’en thus they sound:

‘I have achieved the power to reach the light.’

My friend, trust thou thyself! These very words,

When thy time is fulfilled, thyself shalt speak.







Scene 1: Capesius. His occult exercises and his despair.

Scene 2: Meditation chamber the same as Scenes 3 and 10 of Play 1. Benedictus warns Maria that Johannes must be free. She resolves to look back upon past incarnations.

Scene 3: Johannes and his painting. Maria resolves not to hinder his freedom by her love.

Scene 4: As Scene 1. Capesius and Strader.

Scene 5: Capesius at the Balde’s cottage. Dame Felicia’s fable. Johannes and his double.

Scene 6: The 14th century. The meadows by the Castle of the Mystic Knights. Country folk. The Jew. Thomas confesses to the Monk his love for Keane’s daughter.

Scene 7: Same period. The Interior of the Castle. The Grand Master and Council. The Monk’s demand. The apparition of his late Master, Benedictus.

Scene 8: Same period. Keane has discovered that Thomas and his sweetheart are the children of the 1st Preceptor and informs the 1st Preceptor of the fact. The scene closes with a discussion on evolution, and the inspired warning of the Second Master of Ceremonies.

Scene 9: Same period. The Keanes. Dame Keane’s fable. The Country folk. Thomas and Cecilia.

Scene 10: Scene same as Scene 5. The return to the present day. Explanation of Scenes 6 to 9.

Scene 11: Meditation chamber as in Scene 2. Maria defeats Ahriman.

Scene 12: The same. Johannes and Lucifer.

Scene 13: The Temple of the Sun. Destiny. [143]



The spiritual and psychic experiences of the characters appearing in this “Soul’s Probation” are a continuation of the experiences given in the scenes of “The Portal of Initiation,” and the events related occur several years later.

  • Benedictus } Hierophants of the Temple of the Sun.
  • Professor Capesius.
  • Philia } The spiritual beings who facilitate the connection between the Soul and the Cosmos. They are not allegorical, but are realities for the spirit Seer.
  • The Other Philia, The spiritual being who hinders the connection between the Soul and the Cosmos.
  • The Voice of Conscience, not allegorical, but a reality, for the spirit Seer.
  • Maria.
  • Johannes Thomasius.
  • Doctor Strader.
  • Felix Balde.
  • Felicia, his wife.
  • The ‘Double’ of Johannes Thomasius.
  • Lucifer.
  • Ahriman.


The events of the Sixth to the Ninth Scenes contain the spiritual vision of Capesius into his former life. Maria and Johannes share the experiences at the same time; but Strader’s former incarnation is only seen by Capesius, Maria, and Johannes.

These scenes back into the fourteenth century are conceived as results of imaginative cognition, and in the physical world are only recognizable by their effect. The way in which a life is repeated (from occurrences of the fourteenth century into the present day) should not be taken arbitrarily, but merely as what may happen at any turning point of time. These conflicts and consequences of a former life are only possible at such a time.

The Vision of Capesius into the Fourteenth Century

  • The Spirit of Benedictus.
  • The Grand Master, chief of a branch of mystic brotherhood.
  • First Preceptor, of the mystic brotherhood. (A former incarnation of Professor Capesius.)
  • Second Preceptor, of the mystic brotherhood.
  • First Master of the Ceremonies, of the mystic brotherhood.
  • Second Master of the Ceremonies, of the mystic brotherhood.
  • Simon, the Jew (a former incarnation of Dr. Strader).
  • Thomas (a former incarnation of Johannes Thomasius).
  • A Monk (a former incarnation of Maria).[145]
  • Joseph Keane (a former incarnation of Felix Balde).
  • His Wife (a former incarnation of Felicia Balde).
  • Bertha, their daughter (a former incarnation of the Other Maria).
  • Cecilia, their foster-daughter (a former incarnation of Theodora).
  • Six Country Men, and
  • Six Country Women.

Note on the Costumes Worn (see also notes to the “Portal of Initiation”). The knights are in chain armour and dark blue robes of their order, with a white Maltese cross on their mantle and on their tunic. The mantle of the Grand Master is crimson; his tunic is white with a red cross. Their blue caps and the Grand Master’s red cap are flat and triangular. The apparition of Benedictus in Scene 7, is in pink peach blossom colour. He appears in the background about nine feet above the stage and remains rigid with his arms extended in cross fashion the whole time of his appearance in this scene. [147]




Scene 1

The library and study of Capesius. Prevailing colour brown. Evening. First Capesius, then the Spirit-Forms who are powers of soul; later Benedictus.

Capesius (reading in a book):

‘By inward gazing on the Beingless,

And dreaming through the shadowy picture realm

Of thought, conformably to self-made laws:—

Thus erring human nature often seeks

To find the meaning and the goal of life:

The soul from its own depths would draw replies

To questions that concern the universe.

Yet such attempts are vain, illusory

E’en at the outset, and they lead at last

To feeble visions which destroy themselves.’

(Speaking as follows.)

Thus is portrayed in words of import grave

Through Benedictus’ noble spirit-sight,

The inward life of many human souls.

Each phrase goes home destructive to my heart—

Unfolding truly mine own way and life

Until this day, with cruel vividness.

And should a god this very hour appear

Descending on me in a raging storm [148]

And clad in wrath, yet could his threatening might

Not torture me with more appalling fears

Than do the Master’s words, as strong as fate.

Long hath my life been, but its web displays

Nothing but pictures shadowy and dim

Which haunt my dreaming soul and fondly strive

To mirror truths of nature and of mind.

With this dream-fabric hath my thought essayed

To solve the riddle of the universe.

Down many a path my restless soul I turned.

Yet do I clearly see that I myself,

Was not the active master of my soul

When threads of thought along illusion’s path

Spun themselves out to cosmic distances.

So that which I in my content beheld

In pictures, left me empty, led to naught.

Then came across my path Thomasius,

The youthful painter. He indeed strode on,

Upheld by truest energies of soul

To that exalted spiritual way

Which transforms human life, and makes to rise

From hidden gulfs of soul the energy

Which feeds the springs of life within ourselves.

That which awoke from out his inmost soul

Abides in every man. And since from him

I gained this revelation, I do count

As chief amongst the many sins of life

To let the spirit’s treasure grow corrupt.

I know henceforth that I must search and seek

And nevermore allow myself to doubt. [149]

In days gone by my vanity of thought

Could have enticed me to the false belief

That unto knowledge man aspires in vain;

And only failure and despair belong

To those who would lay bare the springs of life.

And were all wisdom to unite in this,

And were I powerless to reject the claim

That human destiny demands of man

That he shall lose his individual self

And sink into the gulf of nothingness,

Yet would I make the venture unafraid.

Such thoughts would be a sacrilege today,

Since I have learned I cannot win repose

Until the spirit treasure in my soul

Hath been unveiléd to the light of day.

The fruits of work of spirit-entities

Have been implanted in the human soul,

And whoso leaves the spirit seed to lie

Unheeded and decay, he brings to nought

The work divine committed unto man.

Thus do I recognize life’s highest task;

Yet when I try to take one single step

Across the threshold that I dare not shun,

I feel my strength desert me, which of yore

Did pride itself on elevated thought,

And sought the goals of life in time and space.

Once did I reckon it an easy thing

To set the brain in action and to grasp

The nature of reality by thought.

But now, when I would search the fount of life [150]

And comprehend it as in truth it is,

My thought appears as some blunt instrument;

I have no power, no matter how I strive,

To form a clear thought-image from the words

Of Benedictus, though his earnest speech,

Should now direct me to the spirit’s path.

(Resuming his reading.)

‘In silence sound the depths of thine own soul,

And ever let strong courage be thy guide.

Thy former ways of thinking cast away

What time thou dost withdraw into thyself;

For only when thine own light is put out

Will spirit-radiance show itself to thee.’

(Resuming his soliloquy.)

It seems as though I could not draw my breath

When I attempt to understand these words.

And ere I feel the thoughts that I must think,

Fear and misgiving have beset my soul.

It is borne in on me that everything

Which hitherto was my environment

Is crumbling into ruin, and therewith

I too am crumbling into nothingness.

An hundred times at least have I perused

The words which follow, and each several time

Darkness enfolds me deeper than before.

(Resuming his reading.)

‘Within thy thinking cosmic thought doth live,

Within thy feeling cosmic forces play,

Within thy will do cosmic beings work;

Abandon thou thyself to cosmic thought,

Experience thyself through cosmic force,

Create thyself anew from cosmic will. [151]

End not at last in cosmic distances

By fantasies of dreamy thought beguiled.

Do thou begin in farthest spirit-realms

And end in the recesses of thy soul.

The plan divine then shalt thou recognize

When thou hast realized thy Self in thee.’

(Becomes entranced by a vision, then comes to himself and speaks.)

What was this?

(Three Figures, representing soul-forces, float round him.)


Abundant power is thine

For lofty spirit-flight;

Its sure foundation rests

Upon the human will.

Its temper hath been tried

By sure and certain hope.

It hath grown strong as steel

By sight of future times.

Thou dost but courage lack

To pour into thy will

Thy confidence in life.

Into the vast Unknown

Dare but to venture forth!


From cosmic distances

And from the sun’s glad light,

From utmost realms of stars

And magic might of worlds, [152]

From heaven’s ethereal blue

And spirit’s lofty power,

Win mightiness of soul;

And send its radiant beams

Deep down within thine heart;

That knowledge glowing warm

May thus be born in thee.

The Other Philia:

They are deceiving thee

This evil sisterhood;

They seek but to ensnare

By trickery and guile.

The gifts so seeming fair

Which they have offered thee

Will vanish into air

When thou wouldst hold them fast

With all thy human strength.

They lead thee on to worlds

Inhabited by gods,

Where thou wilt be destroyed

If, once within their realm,

Thou strivest to o’ercome

By human strength alone.


It was quite plain that here some beings spake—

And yet it is most sure that no one else—

Beside myself—is present in this place.

So have I but held converse with myself

And yet that too seems quite impossible— [153]

For ne’er could I imagine such discourse

As here I listened to.…

As here I listened to.... Am I still he

I was before?

(From his gestures it is plain he feels unable to reply ‘yes.’)

I was before? Oh! I am—I am not.

The Spirit-Voice of Conscience:

Thy thoughts do now descend

To depths of human life

And what as soul doth compass thee around

And what as spirit is enchained in thee,

Is lost in cosmic depth,

From whose fulness quaffing

Mankind doth live in thought;

From whose fulness living

Mankind illusion weaves.


Enough.… Enough.… Where is Capesius?

You I implore … ye forces all unknown.…

Where is Capesius? Where is … myself?

(Once more he relapses into a reverie.)

(Enter Benedictus. Capesius does not notice him at first. Benedictus touches him on the shoulder.)


I learned that thou didst wish to speak with me,

And so I came to seek thee in thy home.



Right good it is of thee to grant my wish.

Yet it had scarce been possible that thou

Shouldst find me in worse case than now I am.

That I am not this moment on the ground

Prostrate before thy feet, after such pain

As even now hath racked my soul, I owe

To thy kind glance alone which sought mine own,

So soon as thou didst with thy gentle touch

Arouse me from the horrors of my dream.


I am aware that I have found thee now

Fighting a battle for thy very life.

Since I have known full well this long time past

That thus it was appointed us to meet.

Prepare to change the sense of many words

If thou wouldst understand my speech aright

And do not marvel that thy present pain

Bears in my language quite another name—

I call thy state good fortune.


I call thy state good fortune. Then indeed

Thou dost but heap the measure of the woe

Which casts me into gloom’s abysmal depths.

Just now I felt as if my real self

Had flown afar to cosmic distances,

And unfamiliar beings through its sheaths

Were speaking here. But this I took to be

Hallucination, spirit mockery,

And mourned that thus my soul could be deceived: [155]

This thought alone kept me from breaking down.

Take not away my right thus to believe,

The only prop I lean on; tell me not

My fevered dreaming was good fortune; else

I shall be lost indeed.


I shall be lost indeed. A man can lose

Nought else but that which keeps him separate

From cosmic being. When he seems to lose

That which in dreamy fantasies of thought

He misapplied to labours purposeless,

Then let him seek for what has gone from him.

For he will surely find it, and withal

The proper use to which it should be put

In human life. Mere words of comfort now

Were nothing more than clever play on words.


Nay—lore that may by simple human wit

Be comprehended thou dost not impart.

Bitter experience has shown me this.

Like deeds which lead one on to lofty heights

And also cast one to abysmal depths,

Thy counsels pour a stream of fiery life

And also deathly chill into men’s souls.

They work at once e’en as the nod of fate

And also as a storm of living love.

Much had I sought and thought in earlier days

Before I met thee; yet the spirit’s powers,

Creative and destructive, I have learned

Only since I have followed in thy steps. [156]

The turmoil and confusion of my soul,

Caused by thy words, was evident when thou

Didst come within my chamber. Oft I felt

Much pain whilst reading in thy book of life,

Until today my cup of woe was full.

And so my agony of soul o’erflowed,

Spilled by thy fateful words. Their meaning swept

O’er all my soul unrecognized, and yet

Like some elixir they revived my heart.

In such wise wrought they in the magic worlds

That all my clarity of sense was lost.

Then ghostly phantoms made a mock of me,

And words of import dark I seemed to hear

Issue from my distraught tormented soul.

I know that all the secrets thou dost guard

For human souls may not be written down,

But that the answer to men’s doubts may be

Revealed to each according to his need.

So grant me that of which I stand in need;

For verily I must indeed be told

What robbed me of my senses and my wits

And compassed me with magic’s airy spells.


Another meaning hides within my words

Than that of the ideas which they convey;

They guide the natural forces of the soul

To spirit-verities; their inward sense

Cannot be understood until the day

On which they waken vision in the soul

That yields itself to their compelling power.

They are not fruitage of mine own research; [157]

But spirits have entrusted them to me,

Spirits well skilled to read the signs in which

The Karma of the world doth stand revealed.

The special virtue of these words is this,

Unto the source of knowledge they can guide.

Yet none the less it must be each man’s task,

Who understands them in their truest sense,

To drink the spirit-waters from that source.

Nor are my words designed to hinder thee

From being swept away to worlds that seem

To thee fantastic. Thou hast seen a realm

Which must remain illusion just as long

As thou dost lose thyself on entering it.

But wisdom’s outer portal will be found

Unsealed to thine advancing soul so soon

As thou dost near it with self-consciousness.


And how can I maintain self-consciousness?


The answer to this riddle thou shalt find

When, with awakened inner eye, thou dost

Perceive before thee many wondrous things,

Which shortly will be found to cross thy path.

Know that a test hath been ordained for thee

By lords of fate and by the spirit-powers.



Although their meaning is not clear to me

I feel his words at work within myself. [158]

He hath appointed me a goal; and I

Am ready to obey. He doth not ask

For stress of thought; it seems that he desires

I should press forward with exploring feet

To find the spirit-verities myself.

I cannot tell how he was sent to me;

And yet his actions have compelled my trust;

He hath restored me to myself once more.

So though at present I may not divine

The nature of the spell that shook me so,

I will not shrink from facing these events

Which his prophetic vision hath foretold.

Curtain whilst Capesius remains standing



Scene 2

A meditation chamber. Prevailing colour violet. Serious, but not gloomy atmosphere.

Benedictus, Maria, then the Spirit-Figures representing soul-powers.


Great conflicts in my soul bid me invoke

Wise counsel from my master in this hour.

Gloomy forebodings rise within my heart.

And I am powerless to withstand the thoughts

That overwhelm me ever and again.

They pierce me to my being’s inmost core;

They seek to lay upon me a command

Which to obey doth seem like sacrilege.

Deceitful powers must be obsessing me;

Oh, I implore thee—lend me aid … that I

May exorcise them.


May exorcise them. Never shalt thou lack

What thou dost need of me at any time.


I know how closely to my soul are knit

Johannes’ life and aims. A stony road [160]

Of fate brought us together; and God’s will

Hath hallowed in high spirit-realms our bond.

All this stands out before me e’en as clear

As only truth itself can be. And yet—

Horror o’erpowers me that these lips of mine

Must utterance give to sacrilegious words—

And yet—deep in my soul I hear a voice

Which tells me plainly and repeatedly

Despite my utmost will to fight it down:

‘Thou must give up Johannes, let him go.

No longer mayst thou keep him at thy side

If thou wouldst not work evil to his soul.

Alone he must proceed along the road

On which he travels to his longed for goal.’

I know that if thou dost but speak the word

This lying dream will cease to haunt my soul.


Maria, noble grief leads thee astray

To see the truth yet call it counterfeit.


What I have seen—is truth.… It cannot be!

Between my master’s utterance and mine ear

Delusion steals. O speak to me again.


What I have spoken, thou hast heard aright:

Thy love is noble, and Johannes stands

Close-knit to thee. But love must not forget

That she is wisdom’s sister. Long indeed

For his salvation hath Johannes been

With thee united. Now his soul demands, [161]

For its own progress, freedom to pursue

Its aims unhindered. Fate doth not decree

That ye shall be no longer outward friends;

But this it doth demand with strict decree

Johannes’ freedom in the spirit-realm.


Still do I hear delusion: so let me

Alone continue speaking, for I know

That thou must understand me without fail.

For sure it is no lying shape will dare

To change the words unto thine ear addressed.

My host of doubts were easily dispersed

If earth-life’s tortuous course alone it were

That knits Johannes’ soul unto mine own.

But to our bond was lofty sanction given

Which knits soul unto soul eternally.

And spirit-powers did speak with blessings meet

The word that bans all doubt for evermore:

‘He hath won truth within th’ eternal realms

Because in worlds of sense his inmost self

Already was united with thine own.’

What can this revelation mean to me

If now its very opposite is true?


Thou hast to learn that even one to whom

There hath been much revealed, may yet be found

Lacking perfection still in divers ways.

Tangled the paths that lead to higher truth: …

And only those may hope to reach the goal

Who walk in patience through their labyrinths. [162]

Thou didst but see one part of what is real

In that great realm of everlasting light,

When with thine inner vision thou didst gaze

Upon a picture of the spirit-land.

Not yet hast thou seen full reality.

Johannes’ soul is knit unto thine own

By earthly ties of such complexity

That it may be allotted unto each

To find his way into the spirit-realm

Through forces borrowed from the other one.

But nothing hitherto hath clearly shown

That thou hast conquered each and every test.

To see a picture hath been granted thee

Of what the future holds for thee in store

When thou canst pass unscathed the full ordeal.

That thou hast seen the ultimate reward

Of unremitting effort is no sign

That thou hast reached the end of all thy strife.

Thou hast beheld a picture, which thy will

Alone can turn unto reality.


Although thy words just spoken fall on me

Like bitter pain that follows hours of bliss,

There is at least one lesson I have learned,

Which is to bow my head to wisdom’s light

When it doth prove itself through inward force.

Already something is becoming clear

Which up till now lay hidden in my heart.

But when in highest bliss delusion’s snare

Doth wear the mask of truth to human minds,

Darkness of soul is difficult to ban. [163]

I need still more than that which thou hast given

To plumb the depth of meaning in thy words.

Thou once didst lead myself to those soul-depths

Wherein a light was then vouchsafed to me

By which I could behold the lives I spent

In previous incarnations long ago.

Thus was it granted me to learn the way

In which my soul was linked unto my friend’s.

My act of bringing, in those days of old,

Johannes’ soul unto the spirit-fount

I felt and recognized to be the seed

Which grew and bore such cherished friendship’s fruit,

As was found ripe for all eternity.


Thou wast accounted worthy to retrace

Thy path on earth in days long since gone by.

But thou must not forget to look and see

If thou canst be assured with certainty

That of thine actions none remain concealed

When backward thou didst turn thy spirit’s eye.

Maria (after a pause betokening deep reflection):

How could I be so blinded, so misled?

The rapture which I felt on looking back

Over a period of bygone times

Deluded me to vain forgetfulness

Of manifold shortcomings. Not till now

Did I foresee that I must turn my gaze

Into the darkness ere I comprehend

The road that leads back from this present life [164]

To olden days when my friend’s soul sought mine.

To thee, my master, will I make my vow

Henceforth to bridle my soul’s arrogance …!

Now for the first time do I realize

How pride of knowledge leads the soul astray;

So that, instead of its imbibing strength

From freely offered stores of spirit-wealth,

It misapplies the gift in wanton use

And only holds the mirror up to self.

I know at last from my heart’s warning call,

To which thy words lend added power, how far

I am today e’en from the nearest goal.

No more will I be overswift to read

A meaning into words from spirit-lands.

I will esteem them power wherewith my soul

May shape its course—, not as some message sent

To free me from the need of finding out

The goal of action in my daily life.

Had I paid earlier heed unto this truth

And gone my way in due humility;

I had not failed to see that only then

When he decides to tread a path not traced

By me beforehand, can my friend unfold

To fullest bloom his richly-gifted soul.

And now that this is clear I shall not fail

In finding strength sufficient to fulfil

What love and duty may require of me.

Yet do I feel assured this very hour

More clearly than I ever was before

That some grave testing of my soul draws nigh.

For mostly, when men tear from out their hearts

That of themselves which in another lives, [165]

Love hath been changed into its opposite.

Themselves they change the ties that coupled them,

Yet passion’s impulse gives to them the power.

Whilst I must of mine own free will uproot

The workings of my soul’s life, which I saw

Accomplishing themselves in my friend’s acts;

And still unchanging must my love abide.


If thou wouldst steer thy course direct, thou must

Become aware of what thou most didst prize

In this thy love. For once thou knowst the force

That leads thee all unknown within thy soul,

Thou wilt find power to do what duty bids.


By saying this thou giv’st e’en now that aid

Of which my soul so sorely stands in need.

I must investigate mine inmost self

With earnest questioning: and so I ask,

What potent cause impels me in my love?

I see my own soul’s life and strength at work

In my friend’s nature and activities.

So that which I desire to satisfy

Is nothing but the hunger of myself,

Which I, deluded, call unselfishness.

Thus it hath been concealed from me till now

That in my friend I mirror but myself.

It was the dragon Selfishness who veiled

The truth from me in wrappings of deceit.

And selfishness can take an hundred forms:—

I see it clearly now. And when one thinks [166]

The enemy subdued, behold him rise

Out of defeat and stronger than before.

Moreover ’tis a foe with added skill

To hide the truth with cloak of counterfeit.

(Maria sinks into deep thought.)

(The three Spirit-Figures of the soul-powers appear.)


Ye sisters, whom I find in Being’s depths

Whene’er my soul expands and guides herself

To cosmic distances, release for me

From out the ether’s heights the powers of sight

And lead them hence to earthly paths, that I

May know myself as I exist in Time,

And may be able to direct my course

From Life’s old ways unto new spheres of Will.


From my heart’s depths will I myself imbue

With soul’s aspiring light; I will breathe deep

From spirit-forces living powers of Will;

That thou, beloved sister, mayest seek

And find the light in bygone spheres of life.


With selfhood, conscious of itself, will I

Weave in the self-surrendering Will of love;

I will set free from fetters of desire

The budding powers of Will, and will transform

Thy crippled wish to spirit-certainty; [167]

That thou, beloved sister, mayest learn

To find thyself in distant paths of life.


I will call self-denying powers of heart;

And will make firm enduring soul-repose;

Then shall they wed, and raise up spirit-light

In all its power from out the depths of soul.

Then shall they interpenetrate and force

Earth’s bounds to heed the listening spirit-ear,

Compel earth’s distances to answer.

That thou, beloved sister, mayest find

Life’s varied traces in Time’s vast expanse.

Maria (after a pause):

If I can only tear myself away

From my bewildered consciousness of self

And give myself to you: that thus ye may

Reflect my very soul from cosmic space;

Then from this sphere of life I gain release,

And find myself in other states of being.

(Long pause, then the following:)

In you, my sisters, I see spirit-forms

In whom dwell cosmic souls. Ye have the power

To bring seed-forces from eternal realms

To fruitage in humanity itself.

Through my soul’s gates oft have I found the way

Into your kingdom, and have there beheld

The primal shaping of this earthly globe

With inner vision. Now your help I crave

Since I am bidden to retrace the way

That stretches back far from my present life [168]

To long past ages of humanity.

Release my soul from consciousness of self

In time-enclosed existence, and reveal

The duties laid on me by former lives.

A Spirit-voice,—the spiritual conscience:

Her thoughts are seeking now

For clues in Time’s vast space.

What as debt she still doth owe,

What as duty is imposed,

Arise from out her inmost depths of soul,

From whose deepness dreaming

Mankind doth guide his life,

In whose deepness straying

Mankind himself doth lose.

Curtain falls; everybody still standing on the stage



Scene 3

A room whose prevailing tint is rose-red, cheerful atmosphere.

Johannes at an easel; Maria enters later; finally the Spirit-Figures representing soul-powers.


Maria, when she saw my picture last,

Stood silent. Heretofore she ever gave

Hints to assist the progress of my work

From her rich store of wisdom manifold.

Little as I can trust myself to judge

Whether my art indeed accomplishes

The task our spirit-current hath imposed,

Yet is my confidence in her complete.

And ever through my spirit ring her words

Which lent me strength and brought me happiness

When I took courage and began this work.

‘In such a way as this,’ she said, ‘thou canst

Attempt this enterprise, and so reveal

Thy spirit’s visions unto earthly eyes.

Thou wilt not fail to recognize how forms,

Fashioned like thoughts, shape matter to their will;

Nor yet how colour, to desire akin,

Doth fill thy vital energy with warmth.

In such wise canst thou even represent [170]

On canvas through thy skill the higher realms.’

I feel the power that dwells within these words

And diffidently yield to that belief

That I am drawing nearer to the goal

Which Benedictus hath appointed me.

Full oft I sat discouraged at my work;

It seemed at one time so presumptuous,

And at another so impossible

To represent in colour and in form

The visions that are granted to my soul.

How can the ceaseless web of spirit-life,

Which is revealed to inner sight alone

And is so far withdrawn from outward sense,

Be manifest in matter which is drawn,

As drawn it must be, from the realm of sense?

This question have I asked myself full oft.

Yet when I banish personality,

And follow spirit-teaching faithfully,

And feel myself caught up in blessedness

Unto creative forces of the worlds,

At once belief awakens in an art

As true and mystic as our spirit-quest.

I learned to live with light, and recognize

In colour’s power the action of that light,

As faithful students of true mystic lore

See in realms reft of colour and of form

The spirit’s deeds and soul’s reality.

Relying on this spirit-light, I won

This power to feel in flowing sea of light,

And live within the stream of glowing tints;

And sense those spirit-forces which maintain

Their might in non-material webs of light, [171]

And radiant colours filled with spirit-life.

(Enter Maria, unobserved by Johannes.)

And when my courage faileth me, once more

Of thee, my friend most noble, do I think.

At thy soul’s fire my love of work is warmed;

Thy spirit-light awakes my faith anew.

(He sees Maria.)

Oh, thou art here.… Impatiently I craved

Thy coming, yet I marked not thine approach!


I must rejoice to find my friend so wrapt

In work as to forget his friend herself.


Nay, speak not thus, since thou dost know full well

That I cannot create one single thought

Which hath not first been hallowed by thine aid.

No work of mine owes not its life to thee.

Through thy love’s fire have I been purified;

Through thee my art hath learned to represent

The beauty of the truths revealed to thee,

Which warm my heart, illuminate my sense,

And clothe in radiant light the spirit-world.

The current of my work must take its rise

From thy soul’s spring and flow thence into mine,

Ere I can feel the wings that lift me up

To lofty heights of spirit, far from earth.

I love the life that quickens in thy soul,

And, loving it, can give it form and hue.

Love only can beget artistic power

And make an artist’s work bear fruit and live. [172]

If I, as artist, am to carry back

Pictures of spirit to the world of sense,

Then cosmic spirit must speak forth through me,

My personality be but its tool.

I must first burst the bonds of selfishness

Ere I can know that I shall not mistake

For spirit-worlds my own vain fantasies.


And if thou hadst to seek through thine own sight

And not through mine the true source of thy work,

It might well be that, coming from one soul

Thy dream of beauty might be unified.


I should be spinning webs of idle thought

In speculating which I should prefer:

Whether to incarnate thy spirit-sight,

Or in myself to seek my vision’s source.—

I am convinced I could not find it thus.

I can withdraw to deep retreats of soul

And find delight in wide-flung spirit-worlds:

I can be lost to all the world of sense

And follow colour-wonders with mine eye

And watch creative energies at work,

If I am left with mine own soul alone.

Whate’er may thus befall me I am not

Thereby impelled to my creative art.

But if I follow thee to cosmic heights,

And in warm rapture live again what thou

Already hast in spirit there beheld,

Then in my spirit-sight I feel a fire [173]

Which burns on in me also, and whose flames

Kindle the powers that drive me to my work.

If my desire were simply to relate

That which I can find out in higher worlds,

Then with my soul I well might upward soar

To spheres where spirit unto spirit speaks.

But as an artist I must find that fire

Which lights the picture and inflames the heart.

And my soul cannot to my picture give

The magic warmth that streams through human hearts,

Till it can quench its thirst with spirit-truths

Revealed from out the depths of thine own heart.

How primal force by longing is condensed,

How powers creative blaze with spirit-light,

And, sensing even then their need of man,

Display themselves as gods in earliest times,

All this, my friend, thy soul in noble speech

Hath often led me on to learn unseen.

In hues ethereal of the spirit-world

I sought to densify what hid from sight;

And felt how colours longed to see themselves

Mirrored as spirit in the souls of men.

So doth my friend’s soul speak as if ’twere mine

Out of my pictures to the human heart.


Bethink, Johannes, how the One Soul must—

A personality apart from all—

Evolve from out the womb of time.

Love serves to knit together separate souls [174]

Not kill their individuality.

The moment is upon us, when we twain

Must test our souls, and find the spirit-path

That each must follow for its separate good.



What meant my friend? Her words did sound so strange.

Maria, I must follow thee forthwith.

(The three Spirit-Figures of the soul-powers appear with the Other Philia.)


Thou canst not find thyself

Portrayed in other souls.

The power of thine own self

Must root in cosmic soil,

If from the spirit-heights

Thou wouldst indeed transplant

Their beauty to earth’s depths.

Be bold to be thyself,

That thou, strong souled, mayst give

Thyself to cosmic powers—a willing sacrifice.


In all thy ways on earth

Thou must not lose thyself;

Mankind doth not attain

To sun-kissed distances

If he would rob himself of personality.

So then prepare thyself,

Press on through earthly love [175]

To utmost depths of heart

Which ripen cosmic love.

The Other Philia:

O heed the sisters not;

They lead thee far astray

To cosmic distances,

And rob thee of earth’s touch.

They do not understand

That earthly love bears trace

Of cosmic love itself.

In cold their natures dwell

And warmth flies from their powers.

They fain would lure mankind

From out his own soul depths

To cold and lofty worlds.

Curtain: Johannes, Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia still standing



Scene 4

The same room as in Scene 1. Capesius and Strader.

Capesius (to Strader who is entering):

A hearty welcome to the friend whose tongue

With many a disputatious argument

Stoutly withstood me! ’Tis long time since

Thou crossed this threshold. Yet in earlier days

Thou wast my constant welcome visitor.


Alas I have not had the time to spare;

My life hath undergone a curious change.

No longer do I plague my weary brain

With hopeless problems. Now I dedicate

The knowledge I have won to honest work,

Such as may serve some useful end in life.


Thou meanest that thou hast given up thy quest?


Say rather, that it hath abandoned me.


And what may be thy present labours’ goal?



There are no goals in life ordained for man

Which he may see and clearly understand.

It is a mighty engine by whose wheels

We are caught up and wearied, and cast out

Into the darkness when our strength is spent.


I knew thee in the days when eagerly

And undismayed thou didst set out to solve

The riddle of existence. I have learned

How thou didst see thy treasured knowledge sink

Into the bottomless abyss, and how

Thy soul, profoundly shaken, had to drain

The bitter cup of disappointed dreams.

But never for one moment did I think

That thou couldst drive the impulse from thy heart

Which had become so fully master there.


Thou hast but to recall a certain day

On which a seeress by her truthful speech

Made clear to me the error of my ways.

I had no choice but to acknowledge then

That thought, however hard it toil and strive,

Can never reach the fountain-head of life.

For thought cannot do otherwise than err

If it be so that highest wisdom’s light

Can be revealed to that dark power of soul

Of which that woman showed herself possessed.

The rules of science cannot ever lead

To such a revelation; that is plain.


Had this been all, and had I only met

This one defeat whilst following my quest,

I do believe I could have brought myself

To start afresh by striving to unite

My methods with those other different ones.

But when it further was made evident

That some peculiar spirit-faculty,

A mere hallucination as I deemed,

Could transform trance into creative power,

Hope disappeared, and left me in despair.

Dost thou recall the painter, that young man

We both encountered whilst he was engrossed

Following the dubious course of spirit-ways?

After such buffetings from fate I lived

For many weeks benumbed, to madness nigh.

And when by nature’s aid I was at last

Restored to sense, I made a firm resolve

To meddle with such seeking never more.

Long, long it was before I had regained

My body’s health; and ’twas a joyless time.

I made myself proficient in those things

That lead to business and to normal life.

So now I am a factory manager,

Where screws are made. This is the work I thank

For many hours in which I can forget

My bitter sufferings in a futile quest.


I must confess I scarce can recognize

My friend of former days; so different

Is now the guise in which he shows himself. [179]

Beside those hours of which thou spak’st just now

Were there not others full of storm and stress,

In which the ancient conflicts were renewed

That urged thee forth from this benumbing life?


I am not spared those hours in mine own soul

When impotence ’gainst impotence doth strive.

And fate hath not so willed it in my case

That rosy beams of hope should force their way

Into my heart, and leave assurance there

That this my present life is not an utter loss.

Renunciation is henceforth my goal.

Yet may the force which such a task requires

Endow me later on with faculty

To follow up my quest in other ways.


If this terrestrial life repeats itself.


Thou spak’st,—if I indeed have heard aright,—

Of repetition of thy life on earth.

Then hast thou really won this fateful truth,

Found it on spirit-journeys, which today

Thou none the less condemnst as dubious?


This is the way once travelled by thyself

To that conviction which hath given me strength

To make a new beginning of my life.

I sought upon my sick-bed once for all

In comprehensive survey to embrace [180]

The field of knowledge traversed by myself.

And this I did, ere seeking other aims.

I must have asked myself an hundred times

What we can learn from nature, and infer

From what we know at present of her laws.

I could not find a loophole for escape.

The repetition of our earthly life

Cannot and must not be denied by thought

That doth not wish to tear itself away

From all research hath found for ages past.


Could I have had one such experience

Then should I have been spared much bitter pain.

I sought through many a weary wakeful night

For liberating thoughts to set me free.


And yet it was this spirit lightning-flash

Which robbed me of my last remaining powers.

The strongest impulse of my soul hath been

Ever to seek for evidence in life

Of what my thought hath forced on me as truth.

So it befell, as if by chance, that I

E’en in those days of misery should prove,

And by my own life testify the truth,

That cruel truth with all that it involves:

Which is, that all our sorrows and our joys

Are but results of what we really are.

Aye! this is often very hard to bear.


Incredible seems such experience. [181]

What can there be to overshadow truth,

For which we search unwearying, and which

Unto our spirit firm assurance gives.


For thee it may be so, but not for me.

Thou art acquainted with my curious life.

By chance it seemed my parents’ plans were crossed.

Their purpose was to make a monk of me;

And naught so hurt them, they have often said,

In all their life as my apostasy.

I bore all this, yea and much more besides;

Just as one bears the other things in life

So long as birth and death appear the bounds

Appointed for our earthly pilgrimage.

So too my later life and all the hopes

That came to naught, to me a picture seemed

That only by itself could be explained.

Would that the day had never dawned, on which

I altered those convictions that I held,

For—bear in mind—I have not yet confessed

The total burden laid on me by fate.

No child was I of those who would have made

A monk of me, but an adopted son

Chosen by them when but a few days old.

My own real parents I have never known,

But was a stranger in my very home.

Nor less estranged have I remained from all

That happened round me in my later life.

And now my thought compels me to look back

Unto those days of long ago, and see

How from myself I stole the world away. [182]

For thought is linked with thought to make a chain:

A man to whom it hath been thus ordained

To be a stranger in the world, before

His consciousness had ever dawned in him,

This man hath willed this fate upon himself

Ere he could will as consequence of thought.

And since I stay that which I was at first

I know without the shadow of a doubt

That all unknowing I am in the power

Of forces that control my destiny

And that will not reveal themselves to me.

Do I need more to give me cruel proof

How many veils enshroud mine inmost self?

Without false thirst for knowledge, judge this now;

Hath my new truth revealed the light to me?

It hath, at any rate, brought certainty

That I in mine uncertainty must stay.

Thus it portrays to me my destiny

And like in its own way, is my reply,

Half anguish and half bitter mockery.

A fearful sense of horror on me grew.

Tortured by scorn I must confront my life;

And scoffing at the mockery of fate

I yielded to the darkness. Yet there stayed

One single thought which I could realize:

Do with me what thou wilt, thou life-machine;

I am not curious how thy cog-wheels work!


The man whom I have recognized in thee

In such condition cannot long remain,

Bereft of Knowledge, even if he would. [183]

Already I can see the days approach

When we shall both be other than we are.

The curtain falls, leaving them standing opposite one another



Scene 5

A mountain glade, in which is situated Felix Balde’s solitary cottage. Evening. Dame Felicia Balde, Capesius, then Felix Balde; later on Johannes and his Double; afterwards Lucifer and Ahriman. Dame Felicia is seated on a bench in front of her cottage.

Capesius (arriving, approaches her):

I know an old friend will not ask in vain

For leave to stay and rest awhile with thee;

Since now, e’en more than any former time,

He needs what in thine house so oft he found.


When thou wast still far off thy wearied step

Told me the tale which now thine eyes repeat;

That sorrow dwelleth in thy soul today.

Capesius (who has seated himself):

Even aforetime ’twas not granted me

To bring much merriment into thy home;

But special patience must I crave today

When, heavy-hearted and of peace bereft,

I force my way unto the home of peace.


We were right glad to see thee in the days

When scarce another man came near this house. [185]

And thou art still our friend, despite events

That came between us, e’en though many now

Are glad to seek us in this lonely glade.


The tale is true then which hath reached mine ears,

That thy dear Felix, so reserved of yore,

Is nowadays a man much visited?


’Tis so; good Felix used to shut us off

From everyone—; but now the people throng

To question him, and he must answer them.

His duty bids him lead this novel life.

In former days he cared not to impart,

Save to his inner self, the secret lore

Concerning spirit-deeds and nature’s powers

By rock and forest unto him revealed.

Nor did men seem to value it before.

How great a change hath now come o’er the times!

For many men now lend a willing ear

To what they counted folly in the past,

Greedy for wisdom, Felix can reveal.

And when my dear good husband has to talk

(Felix Balde comes out of the house.)

Hour upon hour on end, as oft he doth,

I long for those old days of which I spake.

How oft would Felix earnestly declare

That in the quiet heart enshrined, the soul

Must learn to treasure up the spirit-gifts

From worlds divine in mercy sent to her.

He held it treachery to that high speech [186]

Of spirit, to reveal it to an ear

That was but open to the world of sense.


Felicia cannot reconcile herself

To this much altered fashion of our life.

As she regrets the loneliness of old,

So she deplores the many days that pass

In which we have but few hours for ourselves.


What made thee welcome strangers to a house

That shut them out so sternly heretofore?


The spirit-voice which speaks within my heart

Bade me of yore be silent; I obeyed.

Now that it bids me speak I show myself

Equally faithful unto its command.

Our human nature undergoes a change

As earth’s existence gradually evolves.

Now are we very near an epoch’s close.

And spirit-knowledge therefore must in part

Be now revealéd unto every man

Who chooseth to receive it to himself.

I know how little what I have to tell

Is in agreement with man’s current thought;

The spirit-life, they say, must be made known,

In strict and logical thought sequences,

And men deny all logic to my words.

True science on a firm foundation based,

Cannot, they say, regard me otherwise,

Than as a visionary soul who seeks [187]

A solitary road to wisdom’s seat,

And knows no more of science than of art.

Yet not a few declare it worth their while

The tangle of my language to explore

Because therein from time to time is found

Something of worth, to reason not opposed.

I am a man into whose heart must flow,

Untouched by art, each vision he may see.

Nought know I of a knowledge lacking words.

When I retreat within mine inmost heart

And also when I list to nature’s voice

Then such a knowledge wakes to life in me

As hath no need to seek for any words;

Speech is to it as intimately linked

As is his body’s sheath to man on earth;

And knowledge such as this, which in this wise

Reveals itself to us from spirit-worlds,

Can be of service even unto those

Who understand it not. And so it is

That every man is free to come to me

Who will attend to what I have to say.

Many are led by curiosity

And other trivial reasons to my door.

I know that this is so, but also know

That though the souls of just such men as these

Are not this moment living for the light,

Yet in them have been planted seeds of good

Which will not fail to ripen in due time.


Let me, I pray thee, freely speak my mind.

I have admired thee now these many years; [188]

Yet up till now I have not grasped the sense

Which underlies thy strange mysterious words.


It surely will unfold itself to thee;

For with a lofty spirit dost thou strive

And noble heart, and so the time must come

When thou thyself shalt hear the voice of truth.

Thou dost not mark how full of rich content

Man, as the image of the cosmos, is.

His head doth mirror heaven’s very self,

The spirits of the spheres work through his limbs,

And in his breast earth-beings hold their sway.

To all of these opposed, in all their might

Appear the demons, natives of the Moon,

Whose lot it is to cross those beings’ aims.

The human being who before us stands,

The soul through which we learn to feel desire,

The spirit who illuminates our path:

All these, full many gods have worked to mould

Throughout the ages of eternity;

And this their purpose was: to join in one,

Forces proceeding out of all the worlds

Which should, in combination, make mankind.


Thy words come near to causing me alarm,

For they regard mankind as nothing else

Than product of divine activities.


And so a man who sets himself to learn

True spirit science must be meek indeed. [189]

And he who, arrogant and vain, desires

To gain nought else than knowledge of himself;

For him the gates of wisdom open not.


Once more, no doubt, will Dame Felicia

Come to mine aid, as she so oft hath done,

And make a picture for my seeking soul,

Which, being warmed thereat, may rightly grasp

The real true meaning in thy words contained.


Dear Felix oft hath told me in the past

The very words which now he spake to thee.

They freed a vision in mine heart, which I

Did promise, then and there, I must relate

Some day to thee.


Some day to thee. Oh do so, dearest dame;

I sorely crave refreshment, such as thou,

Out of thy picture-storehouse canst provide.


So be it then. There once did live a boy,

The only child of needy forest-folk,

Who grew up in the woodland solitudes;

Few souls he knew beside his parents twain.

His build was slender, and his skin well-nigh

Transparent; marvels of the spirit hid

Deep in his eye; long could one gaze therein.

And though few human beings ever came

Into the circle of his daily life, [190]

The lad was well befriended none the less.

When golden sunshine bathed the neighbouring hills,

With thoughtful eyes he drew the spirit-gold

Into his soul, until his heart became

Kin to the morning glory of the sun.

But when the morning sunshine could not break

Through dense dark banks of cloud, and heaviness

Lay on the hills around, his eye grew sad,

And sorrow took possession of his heart.

Thus his attention only centred on

The spirit-fabric of his narrow world,

A world that seemed as much a part of him

As did his limbs and body. Woodlands all

And trees and flowers he felt to be his friends;

From crown and calyx and from tops of trees,

The spirit beings spake full oft to him,

And all their whisperings were lucid speech.

Marvels and wonders of the hidden worlds

Disclosed themselves unto the boy when he

Held converse in his soul with many things

By men deemed lifeless. Evening often fell,

And still the boy would be away from home,

And cause his loving parents much distress.

At such times he was at a place near by

In which a spring rose gushing from the rocks,

To fall in misty spray upon the stones.

When silver moonbeams would reflect themselves,

A miracle of colour and of light,

Full in the rush of hasting waterdrops,

The boy could spend beside the rock-born spring

Hour after hour, till spirit-shapes appeared

Before the vision of the youthful seer [191]

Where moonbeams shivered on the falling drops.

They grew to be three forms in woman’s shape,

Who spoke to him about those things in which

His yearning soul made known its interest.

And when upon a gentle summer night

The lad was once more sitting by the spring,

A myriad particles one woman took

From out the coloured web of waterdrops

And to the second woman handed them.

She fashioned from the watery particles

A gleaming chalice with a silver sheen

And handed it in turn unto the third.

She filled the vessel with the silver rays

Of moonlight and then gave it to the boy,

Who had beheld all this with inner sight.

During the night which followed this event

He dreamed a dream in which he saw himself

Robbed of this chalice by some dragon wild.

After this night had passed, the boy beheld

But three times more the marvel of the stream.

Then the three women stayed away from him

Although he sat and mused beside the spring

That gushed beneath the moonlight from the rock.

And when three times three hundred sixty weeks

Had passed, the boy had long become a man,

And left home, parents, and his woodland nook

To live in some strange city. There one eve

He sat and thought, tired with the day’s hard toil,

Musing on what life held in store for him,

When suddenly he felt himself caught up

And set again beside that rock-bound spring;

The women three, he there beheld once more, [192]

And this time clearly he could hear them speak.

These were the words the first one spake to him:

‘Think of me always whensoe’er thou art

O’ercome by loneliness, for I am she

Who lures the inner vision of mankind

To starry realms and heavenly distances.

And whosoever wills to feel my sway

To him I give a draught of life and hope

Out of the magic goblet which I hold.’

The second also spake these words to him:

‘Forget me not at times when thou art nigh

To losing courage on life’s battlefield.

I lead men’s yearning hearts to depths of soul

And also up to lofty spirit-heights.

And whosoever seeks his powers from me,

For him I forge unwavering faith in life

Shaped by the magic hammer which I wield.’

The third one gave her message in these words:

‘Lift up thy spirit’s eye to gaze on me

When by life’s riddles thou art overwhelmed.

’Tis I who spin the threads of thought that lead

Through labyrinths of life and depths of soul.

And whosoever puts his trust in me

For him I weave the rays of living love

Upon this magic loom at which I sit.’

Thus it befell the man, and in the night

That followed on his vision he did dream,

How that a dragon wild in circles crept

Round him, but was not able to draw near.

He was protected from that dragon’s claws

By those same beings whom he saw of old

Seated beside the spring among the rocks, [193]

Who had gone with him, when he left his home,

To guard him in his strange environment.


Accept my thanks, dear dame, before I go,

For this rich treasure thou hast given me.

(Stands up and departs; Felix and Dame Felicia go into the house.)

Capesius (alone and at some distance):

I feel the health that such a picture brings

Into my soul, and how to all my thoughts

It can restore the forces they had lost.

Simple the tale unfolded by the dame,

And yet it rouseth powers of thought in me

That carry me away to worlds unknown.…

Therefore will I in this fair solitude

Myself to dreams abandon, which so oft

Have sought to usher thoughts into my soul,

Thoughts which have proved themselves of higher worth

Than many a fruit of weeks of close research.

(He disappears behind some thick bushes. Enter Johannes, sunk in deep thought.)

Johannes to himself:

Was this some dream, or was it truth indeed?

I cannot bear the words my friend just spake

In calm serenity and yet so firm

About our separation which must come.

Would I might think it was but worldly sense,

That sets itself against the spirit’s trend,

And, like a mirage, stands between us twain. [194]

I cannot, and I will not let the words

Of warning which Maria spake to me

Thus quench the sounding voice of mine own soul

Which says ‘I love her,’ says it night and day.

Out of the fountain of my love alone

Springs that activity for which I crave.

What value hath my impulse to create

Or yet my outlook on high spirit-aims

If they would rob me of that very light

Which can alone irradiate myself?

In this illumination must I live,

And if it is to be withdrawn from me

Then shall my choice be death for evermore.

I feel my forces fail me at this hour

As soon as I would set myself to think;

It must be that I wander o’er a path

Whereon her light sheds not its radiant beam.

A mist begins to form before mine eyes

Which shrouds the marvels o’er, which used to make

These woods, these cliffs a glory to mine eyes,—

A fearful dream mounts from abysmal depths—

Which shakes me through and through with fear and dread—

O get thee gone from me;—I yearn to be

Alone to dream my individual dreams;

In them at least I still can fight and strive

To win back that which now seems lost to me.

He will not go;—then will I fly from him.

(He feels as if he were rooted to the ground.)

What are the bonds that hold me prisoner [195]

And chain me, as with fetters, to this place?

(The Double of Johannes Thomasius appears.)

Ah!—whosoe’er thou art; if human blood

Doth course within thy veins, or if thou art

Some spirit only—leave me and depart.

Who is it?—Here some demon brings to me

My own self’s likeness,—he will not depart;—

It is the picture of my very self

And seems to be more powerful than that self.—


Maria, I do love thee;—beating heart

And fevered blood are mine when at thy side.

And when thine eye meets mine, my pulse doth thrill

With passion’s tremor: when thy dearest hand

Doth nestle in mine own, my body swoons

With rapture and delight.


With rapture and delight. Thou phantom ghost,

Of mist and fog compact, how dost thou dare

To utter blasphemy and so malign

The purest feelings of my heart. How great

A load of guilt must I have laid on me,

That I must be compelled to look upon

Such lust—befouled distortion of that love

That is to me so holy.


That is to me so holy. I have lent

Full oft unto thy words a listening ear.

I seemed to draw them up into my soul

As ’twere some message from the spirit-world. [196]

But more than any scene thy words disclosed

I loved to have thy body close to mine.

And when thou spakst of soul-paths I was filled

With rapture that went leaping through my veins.

(The voice of conscience speaks.)


This is the unconfessed

But not yet dispossessed

Apparently repressed

Still by the blood possessed

The hidden lure

Of sexual power.

Double (with a slightly different voice):

I have no power to go away from thee;

Oft wilt thou find me standing by thy side;

I leave thee not till thou hast found the power

Which makes of me the very counterpart

Of that pure being which thou shalt become.

As yet thou hast not reached that high estate.

In the illusion of thy personal self

Thou thinkst mistakenly that thou art he.

(Enter Lucifer and Ahriman.)


O man, o’ercome thyself.

O man, deliver me.

Thou hast defeated me

In thy soul’s highest realm;

But I am bound to thee

In thine own being’s depth.

Me shalt thou ever find [197]

Across thy path in life

If thou wouldst strive to shield

All of thyself from me.

O man, o’ercome thyself,

O man, deliver me.


O man, be bold and dare.

O man, experience me.

Thou hast availed to win

To spirit seership here,

But I must spoil for thee

The longing of thy heart.

Still must thou suffer oft

Deep agony of soul,

If thou dost not consent

To make use of my powers.

O man be bold and dare.

O man, experience me.

(Lucifer and Ahriman vanish; the Double also. Johannes walks, deep in thought, into the dark recesses of the forest. Capesius appears again. He has, from his post behind the bushes, watched the scene between Johannes and the Double as if it were a vision.)


What have I seen and heard! It lay on me

Just like some nightmare. Came Thomasius

Walking like one who is absorbed in thought;

Then he stood still; it seemed as if he talked

With someone, and yet no one else was there. [198]

I felt o’ercome as by some deadly fear;

And saw no more of what went on around.

As if I were asleep, and unaware,

I must have sunk into yon picture-world

Which I can now so clearly call to mind.

It can indeed have been but little time

I sat and dreamed, unconscious of myself;

And yet, how rich was yonder world of dreams,

What strange impressions doth it make on me.

Persons were there who lived in bygone days,

I plainly saw them move and heard them speak.

I dreamed about a spirit-brotherhood

Which strove with steadfast purpose to attain

Unto the heights which crown humanity.

Among them I could clearly see myself,

And all that happened was familiar too.

A dream …, yet most unnerving was that dream.

I know that in this life I certainly

Can ne’er have learned to know the like of it.

And each impression that it leaves behind

Reacts like very life upon my soul.

Those pictures draw me with resistless power …;

O if I could but dream that dream again.

Curtain, whilst Capesius remains standing


The following four scenes represent events taking place during the first third of the XIVth century.

Their contents will show what Capesius, Thomasius, and Maria saw on looking back at their last incarnation.


Scene 6

A woodland meadow. In the background, high cliffs on which stands a castle. Summer evening. Countryfolk; Simon, the Jew; Thomas, the Master miner; the Monk. Countryfolk walking across the meadow, and stopping to talk.

First Countryman:

See yon vile Jew; he surely will not dare

To take the same road that we take ourselves;

For things might very well come to his ears

On hearing which they’d burn for many a day.

Second Countryman:

We must make clear to his effrontery,

Aye, very clear indeed, that we no more

Will tolerate his race in our good land

Across whose bounds he hath contrived to slink.

First Countrywoman:

He is protected by the noble knights

Who live up in yon castle; none of us [200]

May enter it; the Jew is welcome there.

For he doth do whate’er the knights desire.

Third Countryman:

’Tis very hard to know who serves the Lord

And who the devil. Thankful should we be

To our good lords who give us food and work.

What should we be if it were not for them?

Second Countrywoman:

The Jew shall have my praise; his remedies

Have cured me of the evil sickness that I had.

Besides, he was so good and kind to me.

And many more can tell the selfsame tale.

Third Countrywoman:

Yet did a monk let slip the truth to me,—

The devil’s remedies the Jew employs.

Beware his drugs; transformed within the blood

They grant an entrance to all kinds of sin.

Fourth Countryman:

The men who wait upon the knights oppose

Our ancient customs, saying that the Jew

Hath stores of knowledge both to heal and bless

Which will in days to come be rightly prized.

Fifth Countryman:

New times and better are in store; I see

Their coming in my spirit, when my soul

Pictures to me what eyes cannot behold.

The knights intend to bring all this about.


Fourth Countrywoman:

We owe the Church obedience, for she guards

Our souls from devil-visions, and from death,

And from hell-fire. The monks bid us beware

The knights, and their vile sorcerer, the Jew.

Fifth Countrywoman:

Only a short time longer need we bear

In patience the oppression of the knights.

Soon will their citadel in ruins lie.

Thus hath it been foretold me in a dream.

Sixth Countrywoman:

I fear such tales betoken mortal sin—

That noble knights do plot to bring us harm—

Nought do I see but good come from their hands;

I needs must count them Christians, as ourselves.

Sixth Countryman:

What men shall think of them in days to come

’Twere best to leave to be adjudged by those

Who shall live after us. Mere tools are we,

Used by the knights in their satanic arts

To war against true Christianity.

If they be driven out we shall be freed

From their pernicious sway, and live our lives

As we shall choose, in this our native land.

Now let us go to vespers, there to find

That which our souls require, and that which is

In harmony with our ancestral ways.

These novel teachings suit us not at all.

(Exeunt the countryfolk.)

(Simon, the Jew, enters from the wood.)



Where’er I go, I find awaiting me

The ancient hatred and the bitter taunts.

And yet I suffer not a whit the less

Each time I find myself exposed to them.

There seems to be no reasonable cause

Why people should behave toward me thus.

And yet one thought pursues me evermore

Which makes the truth apparent to my soul,

That nothing can befall us without cause.

So too a reason there must be for this,

That suffering is the lot of all my tribe.

So with the lords of yonder citadel,

I find their lot is near akin to mine.

They have but chosen of their own free will

That which by nature is imposed on me.

They set themselves apart from all mankind,

And strive in isolation to acquire

The powers through which they may attain their goal.

Thus can I feel the debt I owe to fate

And find her blessing in my loneliness.

Forced to rely on my own soul alone

I took the realms of science for my field.

And recognized from what I learned therein

That ripe for new attainments was our time.

The laws of nature, hitherto unknown,

Must now reveal themselves unto mankind

And make him master of the world of sense

Whence he will be allowed to liberate

Powers he can put to use for his own ends.

So have I tried, as far as in me lay,

To make fresh progress in the healing art. [203]

This toil endeared me to the brotherhood.

Its members made me free of their estates

To seek to find the forces that reside

In plants and ’neath the surface of the ground,

That they may yield for us new benefits.

My actions therefore march with their designs,

And I confess that I have plucked with joy

Much goodly fruit whilst going on my way.

(Exit into the wood.)

Thomas, the Master miner, enters from the wood. Enter the Monk.)


Here will I sit and rest a little while.

My soul hath need of rest to find itself

After the shocks which I have had to bear.

(The Monk comes up to him.)


I greet thee heartily, most valiant son.

Thou hast come here in search of solitude.

Thy work well done, thou wouldst have peace and quiet

In which to turn thy thoughts to spirit-worlds.

To see my well-loved pupil thus employed

Rejoiceth me. But why so sad thine eyes?

’Twould seem anxiety weighs down your soul.


Pain oft is neighbour unto highest bliss;

That this is so my own life proves today.


Hast thou then met with bliss and pain at once?



I told thee, reverend father, that I loved

The mountain-warden’s daughter, and confessed

That she was also greatly drawn to me.

She is to marry me and share my life.


She will be true to thee, come weal, come woe;

She is a faithful daughter of the Church.


Such an one only would I take to wife;

Since, honoured master, I have learned from thee

The meaning of obedience to God’s will.


And art thou also certain of thy soul,

That it will walk still further in the way

Of righteousness, which I have pointed out?


So sure as in this body beats a heart,

So sure will I, thy son, be true for aye

To those exalted teachings which of old

From thine own lips I was allowed to learn.


And now that thou hast told me of thy bliss

Let me hear also from thee of thy woe.


Oft have I told thee what my life hath been.

Scarce had I left my childhood’s days behind

Than I began to travel and to roam. [205]

I never worked for long in any place.

Ever I cherished in my heart the wish

To meet my father, whom I loved, although

I had not heard a good report of him.

He left my dear good mother all alone

Because he wished to start his life anew

Unhampered by a wife and children twain.

The impulse for adventure dwelt in him.

I was a child still, when he went from us.

My sister was a tiny new-born babe.

My mother died of grief in no long time.

My sister was adopted by good folk

Who later moved away from my old home.

And of her fate I never more heard tell.

Some relatives assisted me to learn

A miner’s work, in which I expert grew,

So that I found employment where I wished.

The hope that some day I should once more find

My father, never vanished from my heart.

And now my hope at last is realized

But also is for ever torn from me.

Matters of business led me yesterday

To seek for speech with my superior.

Thou knowst how lightly I esteem the knight

Who issueth the directions for my work

Since I have learned thou art his enemy.

From that time forward I made up my mind

Not to remain in service under him.

For reasons which remain unknown to me

The knight alluded in our interview

To matters which allowed him to declare

Himself to be—the father whom I sought. [206]

What followed … I would gladly leave untold.

It would not have been hard to overlook

My mother’s sufferings at his hands, and mine,

When he and I once more stood face to face,

And when he spoke, grief-burdened, of old days.

But in his form, stood facing me, thy foe.

And one thing then was manifest to me:—

How deep a gulf must ever separate

Myself from him, whom I so fain would love,

And whom I sought so long and ardently.

Now have I lost him for the second time,

Such is the lot that hath befallen me.


I would not e’er estrange thee from those ties

Imposed on thee by blood-relationship.

But what I can bestow upon thy soul

Shall ever be to thee a gift of love.




Scene 7

A chamber in the castle whose exterior was shown in the preceding scene. Decorated throughout with symbols of a Mystic Brotherhood. (For costumes, see note on page 145.) Columns, arches, and vaulted roof with the mystic symbols shown in the Author’s ‘Occult Symbols.’ First the Knights assemble; then the Monk and one of the Knights; later appears the spirit of Benedictus who has passed away about fifty years earlier. Then Lucifer and Ahriman. The Grand Master seated with four Brothers at a long table.

Grand Master:

Ye who are joined with me in comradeship

To seek the goal appointed unto man,

And bring that knowledge from the spirit-realm

Into the scope of earth’s activities,

As is appointed to our brotherhood,

Must also truly help me in this hour

When heavy trials impend. Then, know ye all

That since our venerated master fell,

A victim by the Powers of Darkness claimed,

Who draw their strength from Evil, helping on

The plan of Wisdom by their natural means,

That is by means of Opposition’s strength,

Since Wisdom turneth Evil into Good: [208]

Since that sad loss we strive on earth in vain,

For many a castle of our brotherhood

Hath by our enemies been overwhelmed,

And many brothers dear to us have fallen

In fight, and followed our great Master home

Into the realm of everlasting light.

For us too doth the hour approach apace

When these stout walls that shelter us shall fall.

Our foes already spy the country round

To find a pretext under which they may

Rob us of our possessions, ne’er acquired

For our own use, but as a means to draw

Around us individuals, in whose souls

We could implant the germs of things to come.

These germs shall ripen when those men themselves

Find their way back from out the spirit-land

To live anew in future days on earth.

First Master of Ceremonies:

That this our brotherhood should be o’erthrown

By some obscure design of destiny,

Is something nowise inconceivable.

But that the fall of our community

Should doom so many brothers’ single lives,

Would seem to contravene the cosmic law.

I do not wish my words to make complaint,

Since willingly our brothers suffer death.

But still my soul desires to comprehend

The sacrifice demanded from these men

Who have allied themselves unto a whole,

Because the powers of destiny decree

The overthrow and ruin of that whole.


Grand Master:

The separate life of individual men

Is linked most wisely to the world’s design.

Amongst our brothers there will surely be

Some who have given proof of competence

To serve our brotherhood with their soul’s power

And yet whose nature still shows many a stain.

The errors and misdeeds of such a heart

Must find their expiation in the pain

Suffered by it in service for the whole

And he who, blameless both in act and deed,

Must none the less walk in the thorny way

Traced by the Karma of the brotherhood,

Will find his pain requited by the power

To mount aloft unto the higher life.

First Master of Ceremonies:

So then the brotherhood may tolerate

Within its ranks souls not yet purified

Who vow themselves to its exalted aims?

Grand Master:

He who to lofty works is dedicate

Doth mark alone the goodness in men’s souls;

He lets the evil work its ransom out

As cosmic justice in its course decides.

My brothers, I have bid you meet me here

In order to remind you with grave words

That we have duties in our days of grief.

We must be ready to lay down our lives

For those high purposes to which we swore

Lifelong allegiance. Ye then are indeed [210]

My brothers, if undauntedly your souls

Repeat the motto of our brotherhood:

‘Both separateness and life must be forsworn

By those who would set eyes on spirit-goals

Through occult senses unto them revealed;

Who dare to let the spirit’s will pour down

And flood their individual purposes.’

First Preceptor:

Exalted Master, shouldst thou deign to test

The heart of each man in our brotherhood,

It would repeat that motto loud and clear!—

Yet do we beg thee to explain to us

Why, not content with robbing us of life

And our possessions, now our enemies

Would rob us also of those humble souls

Whom we have tended with unselfish love.

For every day affords new evidence

That not alone compulsion makes our folk

Submit themselves unto our conquerors;

But that indeed they too have learned to hate

The spirit-path which we had shown to them.

Grand Master:

That which we have implanted in men’s souls

May die indeed today; but these same men,

Who once have breathed our spirit-radiance,

Will come again to earth, and then bestow

Upon the world the fruitage of our work.

Thus speaks unto my spirit oftentimes

Our mighty leader from the realm of death,

When in my quiet hours, I do sink down

Into my soul’s deep places, and arouse [211]

Strength to abide awhile in spirit-lands.

Then may I feel the master’s presence near

And hear his words, as in the life of sense

I often heard them. Never doth he speak

About our work as drawing to a close;

But only of fulfilment of our aims

In later days that are to come on earth.

(Exeunt the Grand Master and two Brothers.)

First Preceptor:

He speaks of spirit-worlds in just such words

As men may speak of villages or towns.…

The way in which our loftiest brothers speak

Of other states of life oppresseth me.

And yet I am devoted fervently

Unto the progress of our earthly aims.

Second Master of Ceremonies:

My firm reliance is our master’s words.

The man who cannot hear with perfect faith

The tale of spirit and of spirit-worlds,—

Is nowise lacking in the faculties

To grasp a revelation of this kind.

The things he lacks are of a different mould.

He may well guess, unwilling to admit,

That he is conscious of unworthiness

To be a member of the higher worlds.

A soul must be defiled by secret stain

And eager to deny that they are there,

That will not bow before the spirit-lore.


(Enter the Monk; the Second Preceptor enters and steps up to him.)


Second Preceptor:

What errand bringeth thee to this our house

Which is for thee the home of enemies?


I must include amongst my friends all those

Who bear the form of men. This is our rule.

But hostile thou mayst well esteem the claim

Which I, by duty bound, must here present.

Those who are over me have sent me here.

And their desire is that the property

Belonging to the Church, as by old deeds

Is well attested, should be given back

To them without dispute. Yon tract of ground

Upon which ye have sunk your mine, belongs

In law and equity unto the Church.

The manner in which ye possessed yourselves

Of this estate confers no legal rights.

Second Preceptor:

Whether in law we have a right to call

It ours or no, would constitute a case

For legal disputation long drawn out.

But certain ’tis that it belongs to us

If we refer it to a higher law.

Yon tract of ground was lying lost and waste

When it was purchased by our brotherhood:

Not e’en an inkling had ye of the fact

That far below rich treasure lay concealed.

This have we won for human industry.

Its treasures travel far and wide today

To distant lands, to further human weal. [213]

And many honest souls are now at work

In shaft and tunnel underneath the ground

Which in your hands lay waste and desolate.


Then it doth not seem fair and right to thee

To urge upon thy brotherhood the need

Of peaceably accepting our demand

That so we may regain our property?

Second Preceptor:

Since we are not aware of any guilt,

But are convinced our cause is wholly just,

We can but wait in quiet confidence

To see if ye are really bent on strife,

When as before, yourselves are in the wrong.


Then will ye have to thank your headstrong will

If we are driven to a sterner course.

Second Preceptor:

The honour of our brotherhood demands

That only when defeated, sword in hand,

Do we allow ourselves to be despoiled.


So be it! Now my mission is fulfilled.

Between us there is no more need of words.

Will it be possible for me to have

An audience with thy lord, who here commands?


Second Preceptor:

The master doubtless will concede thee this;

Yet wait, I pray three, for a little while.

He cannot at this moment come to thee.



O, that mine office forceth me to tread

The halls of this detested brotherhood.

Turn where they may, my eyes must contemplate

Sinful devices and satanic spells.

Almost a horror seizeth hold on me;

A crackling and a rumbling fill the air;

I feel the powers of ill are gathered round.

(Noises heard.)

But as my conscience is entirely clear

I will defy the enemy.

(Noises heard.)

I will defy the enemy. Oh, this

Is terrible.…

(The spirit of Benedictus appears.)

Is terrible.... Defend me, Saints in Heaven!


Collect thyself, my son. I often came

To meet thee, when the fervour of thy prayers

Transported thee unto the spirit-world.

Take therefore courage in this present hour

And learn a truth which thou must realize

If spirit clearness is to hold its sway

And drive away the darkness from thy soul.



When in my trials I prayed to Heaven for light,

And when my supplication winged its way

To realms celestial, and won response,

Thou, venerated master, didst appear.

Thou, who wast aye our Order’s ornament,

The while thou wert amongst us here on earth,

And out of higher realms didst speak to me,

Enlightening my mind and strengthening me.

My soul beheld thee with its inner eye,

My spirit ear was open to thy words.

In this hour also then, will I receive

The revelation with humility

Which thou shalt cause to flow into my soul.


Thou art within that brotherhood’s abode

Whom thou dost charge with wicked heresies.

They seem to hate what we are taught to love

And hold in honour what we count as sin.

Our brethren feel themselves in duty bound

To haste the spirit-brethren’s overthrow,

And think their action sanctioned by the words

I spake myself whilst I was still on earth.

Yet do they not imagine that these words

Can only hold the living truth so long

As they are rightly acted on by those

Who have been my successors in my work.

So let those thoughts which I once held on earth

Rise up afresh and live within thy soul

In harmony with needs of newer times.

And thus behold this Order, which doth seek [216]

Its goal in mystic realms, as I should judge

And look on it, if it had been my lot

To dwell on earth and work with thee today.

This brotherhood is vowed to lofty aims.

These individuals who have joined its ranks

Have premonitions of the days to come;

Their leaders see with a prophetic eye

The fruits that shall grow ripe in future times;

Science and daily life shall undergo

A change of form and seek ideals new;

And what this brotherhood doth now achieve,

Whom thou hast lent a hand to persecute,

Are deeds which serve to bring this change about.

Alone by peaceful union of the aims

Sought by our brethren and these heretics

Can good be made to blossom on this earth.


This warning, of which I am worthy found,

How can I act upon it? It departs

Amazingly from all that I have held,

Up to this moment, to be right and good.

(Ahriman and Lucifer appear.)

But other beings now are drawing nigh!

Why do they come and stand beside thee now?


This further message comes from other realms.

It cannot seem an easy thing for thee

Thy predecessor’s bidding to obey.

Reflect—he dwells in everlasting bliss.

And actions by decree and duty there

Desirable, may well upon the earth [217]

Lead to confusion at the present time.

Lift up thine eyes to where he dwells on high

If thou wouldst seek for comfort from the bliss

That, when the latter days of earth draw near,

By cosmic spirits is to be bestowed.

But if at present thou wouldst act aright,

Be guided only, in the choice of paths,

By that which reason and the senses teach.

Thou hast been able clearly to discern

The sinful ways of yonder brotherhood

Which they would fain keep secret from the world;

Thus hast thou learned that laws for future life

Can well be framed by souls now steeped in sin!

How canst thou wish, now that thou knowst these things,

To live in friendship with the brotherhood?

For error is a poor and sterile soil

Where good fruit cannot come to ripening.


Thy pious mind hath shown the road to thee.

It is most true that times and objects change;

But none the less ’tis not for heretics

To trace the paths on which mankind must tread.

The error of this spirit-brotherhood

Is dangerous, because it speaks the truth,

And yet expresses it in such a way

As makes the truth more deadly than a lie.

A man who openly avowed he lied

Would have to be bereft of common sense

’Ere he could bring himself to such belief

That men would gladly follow where he led. [218]

The spirit-knights indeed are shrewd of mind;

They do not fail to speak about the Christ

Because this name can open every door

That gives admission to the souls of men.

But ever can men easiest be led

Into the service of the Antichrist

When in the name of Christ he is proclaimed.


Conflicting voices from the world of souls

Assail mine ears, as often heretofore,

And always with an aim to counteract

The pious promptings of a mind devout.

How shall I find the paths that lead to good

If by the Powers of Evil they be praised?

Almost it seems to me as if indeed …;

But no, such words shall not be thought by me—,

The wisdom of my master shall reveal

The meaning of his words, so dark to me.


I can direct thee to the proper path,

If thou wilt let the words which once I spake

On earth possess thee in thine inmost soul.

And if thou art resolved to find the life

That lives within those words upon those planes

On which thou now canst see me face to face,

The proper path shall be made plain to thee.

Curtain, while the Monk, the Spirit of Benedictus, Lucifer, and Ahriman are still on the stage



Scene 8

The same. The First Preceptor; Joseph Keane; then the Grand Master with Simon; later the First and the Second Master of Ceremonies. Joseph Keane is there first; the Preceptor approaches him.

First Preceptor:

Thou didst send word thou wouldst have speech with me.

What is the news that thou art come to bring?

Joseph Keane:

Most weighty matters both to thee and me.

Thou knowst the master miner Thomas here,

Who renders service to thee?

First Preceptor:

Who renders service to thee? Well I know

The worthy man; we prize him for his skill,

And his subordinates hold him in love.


And dost thou know my child, Cecilia, too?

First Preceptor (moved):

It hath so chanced that I have seen the maid

When I have met thee with thy family.



It happened that soon after Thomas came

He paid us frequent visits in our home.

They grew more frequent; it was evident

That to Cecilia his whole heart went out.

We did not marvel that this should be so.

But, knowing our girl’s nature, it was long

Ere we could think that she returned his love.

Her life was well nigh one continuous prayer,

And almost all society she shunned.

Yet ever doth it now appear more clear

That to this stranger she hath giv’n her heart.

And as things are, we feel ourselves compelled

Not to oppose the wishes of our child;

Thomas she loves, and she would marry him.

First Preceptor (with faltering movements):

Why runs this marriage counter to thy will?


My lord, there is no need for me to tell

Of my devotion to the brotherhood.

My heart would have to bear a heavy load

If my child’s love, in its entirety,

Were cast upon the side of those who say

That you and I alike are heretics.

The monk who now o’er yonder abbey rules

Close by our home, and who doth ever seek

To thwart the mission of the brotherhood,

Hath won dominion o’er our daughter’s soul.

As long as she is still beneath my roof

So long shall I too not abandon hope [221]

That she may yet again retrace the path

Which leads from spirit-darkness unto light.

But I shall have to give her up for lost

When she shall have become the wife of one

Who, like herself, works for the weal of man

According to the precepts of that monk.

His Reverence hath had complete success

In foisting such opinions as he holds

On Thomas, who receives them in full faith.

A thrill of terror would run over me

To hear the curses pour from Thomas’ lips

Whene’er we spake about the brotherhood.

First Preceptor:

Our enemies are many; if one more

Is added it cannot affect us much.

Thy words have not yet made it clear to me

What my concern is with this tale of love.


My lord, thou seest this packet in mine hand.

Its contents warrant me to come to thee.

My wife and I alone have read the lines:

None else in these parts knows a word of them.

Now must they be made known to thee as well—

The maid who passeth for our flesh and blood

Is not the offspring of my wife and me.

We undertook the training of the child

When her own mother died. What I have still

To say will make it seem unnecessary,

To tell at length how all this came to pass.

For long we knew not who her father was; [222]

The girl today knows not her parentage.

Father and mother she beholds in us.

And such a state of things might have gone on

Since we do love her as our very own.

But some years later than her mother’s death

The papers that I hold were brought to us;

They make it plain who our child’s father is.

I cannot tell if he is known to thee.

(The Preceptor loses control over himself.)

But now I know—am sure …

But now I know—am sure … that thou art he.

There is no need for me to tell thee more.

But since it is thy child who is concerned

I beg thee to extend to me thine aid.

United our endeavours may succeed

To save her from the darkness that impends.

First Preceptor:

Dear Keane. Thou hast been ever true to me,

And I would fain still further count on thee.

Neither within nor yet without these walls

Must any in this country ever know

The truth of my relation to this girl.


My word thereon. I mean no harm to thee;

I only beg that thou wilt lend thine aid.

First Preceptor:

Thou dost perceive that at the present time

I cannot talk with thee at greater length.

I pray thee come tomorrow.



I pray thee come tomorrow. I will come.


First Preceptor:

How cruelly my fate fulfils itself.

I left my wife and child in misery,

Since they seemed hindrances upon the path

Along which vanity did beckon me.

It led me on to join this brotherhood.

In words of solemn import I then vowed

My service to the cause of human love

Albeit I was laden with the guilt

Arising from the opposite of love.

The brotherhood’s clear vision, as applied

To acts and men, is manifest in me.

It welcomed me a brother in its ranks

And forthwith laid on me its rules severe.

To self-examination was I led

And knowledge of myself, which otherwise

In other walks of life I had not found.

And then when, under Fate’s decree, my son

Came and dwelt near me, I was fain to think

That mighty Powers were merciful to me

In showing how to expiate my sin.

I knew long since that this Keane’s foster-child

Was none else than the daughter whom I left.

The brotherhood is near its overthrow,

Each brother resolute to meet his death,

Convinced that those high purposes will live

For which he makes his life the sacrifice. [224]

But I, alas, have felt for many days

I was not worthy of this glorious end.

My purpose ever ripened to make known

My case unto the master, and to crave

Permission to forsake the brotherhood.

I had in mind thenceforward to devote

My days unto my children, and so far

As in this earth-life yet is possible

To offer penance. But I clearly see,

That ’twas not filial longing brought my son

To this same spot to seek his father out,

Although his good heart made him thus believe.

But he was led by forces in the blood

Which drew him to his sister. Other ties,

Blood-born, were loosened by a father’s guilt,

Or else yon monk had never had the power

To rob me so entirely of my son.

Indeed the robbery is so complete,

That with the brother will the sister too

From my paternal longings be estranged.

And so nought else remains for me but this,

To take immediate measures to ensure

That they shall know the truth about themselves,

And then with resignation to await

The penance laid upon me by those powers

Who keep the reckoning of our misdeeds.


(After an interval the Grand Master and Simon enter.)

Grand Master:

Henceforward Simon, in the castle walls [225]

Thou must abide, for since that lying tale

Was published that thou art a sorcerer,

Peril awaits thine every step outside.


My heart is sore indeed to find that men

In ignorance assail a proffered aid

Whose only object is to do them good.

Grand Master:

Those who, by grace of lofty spirit-powers,

Can turn their gaze upon the souls of men,

Will see the enemies therein arrayed

Which fight against the nature of the soul.

The battle which our mortal foes prepare

Is but an emblem of that greater strife

Waged in the heart incessantly by powers

Which are at enmity amongst themselves.


My lord, in very truth these words of thine

Arouse an echo in my deepest soul.

Indeed my nature is not prone to dreams;

Yet when I walk alone through wood and field

A picture often riseth in my soul

Which with my will I can no more control

Than any object which mine eye beholds.

A human form appears in front of me

Which fain would grasp my hand in fellowship.

Such suffering on his features is expressed

As never yet I saw in any face.

The greatness and the beauty of this man [226]

Seize firmly hold of all my powers of soul;

I fain would sink to earth and humbly bow

Before this messenger from other worlds.

Next moment like a raging flame, there comes

The wildest anger searing through my heart,

Nor can I gain the mastery o’er the power

That fans the opposition of my soul,

And I am forced to thrust aside the hand

Which is so lovingly held out to me.

So soon as to my senses I return

The radiant form hath vanished from my sight.

And thereupon, when I recall in thought

That which my spirit hath so often seen,

Before my soul this thought presents itself

Which moves me to the bottom of my heart.

I feel myself attracted by thy lore,

In which a Spirit-being is revealed

Descending from the Kingdom of the Sun,

To take a human form upon Himself,

In order to disclose Himself to men.

I cannot keep the glowing beauty out

That pours upon me from thy noble lore,

And yet my soul will not assent thereto.

The primal form of our humanity

In thy great Spirit-being I admit;

But still my individual self rebels

When I would turn to him in faith and love.

So must I ever wage an inward war

The archetype of every outer strife.

In sore distress, I seek in vain a clue

To solve the riddle of my life and fate:

How comes it that I understand so well [227]

And yet that I in no wise can believe

The things thy noble teachings do reveal?

I follow thine example faithfully,

Yet find myself opposed at every point

To this example’s goal and origin.

And when I must thus recognize myself,

A flood of doubt o’erwhelms my falt’ring faith

That in this life I may yet find myself.

Nay, worse than this, the dread doth haunt me oft

That this bewilderment of doubt may run

Through all the lives that I shall live on earth.

Grand Master:

The picture, which thou sawest, my good friend,

Before my spirit stood out strong and clear

Whilst thou didst paint it in those vivid words;

And as thou didst speak further, then it grew

In breadth before mine eyes until I saw

How cosmic aims are linked to human fate.


(After an interval, the two Masters of Ceremonies enter.)

First Master of Ceremonies:

Dear brother, I must openly confess

That our Grand Master’s clemency exceeds

My comprehension, when I needs must see

What bitter wrong our foes inflict on us.

Although they will not study what we teach

They scruple not to paint us in men’s eyes

As heretics and messengers from hell.


Second Master of Ceremonies:

His clemency from our own teaching flows.

Can we proclaim life’s highest aim to be

To understand the soul of every man,

And then misunderstand our foes ourselves?

There are amongst them many men indeed

Who follow in the footsteps of the Christ.

Yet even from the souls of such as these

The essence of our teachings must be veiled,

Though they should hear them with the outer ear.

Remember, brother, how reluctantly,

And with what inner conflict, thou wast led

To grant admission to the spirit-voice.

We know, from what the master hath revealed,

That future men will see in Spirit-light

The lofty Being of the Sun, who trod

This Earth once only in a human frame.

This revelation we with joy believe

And gladly follow where our leaders tread.

Yet but a short time since these weighty words

Were said by him whom we acclaim as Head:

‘Your souls must ripen slowly, if indeed

With eyes prophetic ye would see today

That which the men of later days shall see

And ye must not imagine,’ said our chief,

‘That after passing one initial test

Ye can have sight of things that are to be.

When ye shall have attained to certainty

That all mankind must needs be born again,

Ye then will have to meet the second test

Which sets your personal illusions free [229]

To dim the radiance of the Spirit-light.’

This solemn warning, too, the master gave:

‘Ofttimes reflect, in meditation’s hour,

How psychic monsters, of illusion born,

Beset the path of those who seek the light.

Who falls their victim may see even there

Human existence where the Spirit seeks

To be revealed to Spirit-light alone.

If ye would worthily prepare yourselves

To recognize, by help of inner sight,

The Light of Wisdom streaming from the Christ,

Over yourselves ye must keep watch and ward

Lest personal illusion blind you then

When your souls think that it is furthest off.’

With this injunction clearly held in view

We soon shall rid us of the vain belief

That in these times we can transmit these truths,

Whose beauty we confess within our souls,

In easy manner to posterity.

Rather must we take comfort from the fact,

That we today can meet so many souls

In whom the seed, although they know it not,

Already hath been sown for future lives.

This seed can only manifest itself

In man, by opposition to those Powers

With which it later will ally itself.

In all this hatred which pursues us now

I do but see the seed of future love.

First Master of Ceremonies:

Certain it is that highest truth’s intent

Can only in such manner be disclosed; [230]

Yet hard it seems in this our present age

To shape our lives to follow out its aim.

Second Master of Ceremonies:

Here too I follow out our master’s words:

‘It is not granted unto all mankind

To live Earth’s future stages in advance.

But individuals there must ever be

Who can foresee what later days will bring,

And who devote their feeling to those Powers

Which loose all being from its present ties

To guard it safe for all Eternity.’

The curtain falls, while the two Masters of Ceremonies are still in the hall



Scene 9

The woodland meadow, as in Scene 6. Joseph Keane, Dame Keane, their daughter Bertha; afterwards, Countryfolk, later the Monk; finally Keane’s foster-daughter Cecilia and Thomas.


Dear mother, I so long to hear the tale

Cecilia often spake of years ago.

Thou dost know all those fairy-tales to tell

Which father brings back with him from the knights

When he comes home, and which with greatest joy

So many friends are always glad to hear.


The soul can find real treasure in those tales.

The gifts which on the spirit they confer

Decay not with the body in the grave

But bear their fruits in later lives on earth.

Darkly, as through a glass, we glimpse their truth;

And from such darkened sight, our souls can win

Knowledge to serve our needs in daily life.

If only folk could realize the store

Of precious gifts our knights have to bestow!

Cecilia and Thomas have, alas, [232]

Deaf ears at present for such things as these;

Since they draw wisdom from another source.


Today I fain would listen to that tale

Which tells about the Evil and the Good.

Dame Keane:

Right gladly will I tell it thee. Attend.

Once on a time there lived a man who spent

Much time in puzzling over cosmic truths.

That which tormented his poor brain the most

Was, how to learn of Evil’s origin.

And to that question he could not reply.

The world was made by God, so he would say,

And God can only have in him the Good.

How then doth Evil spring from out the Good?

Time and again he puzzled over this,

But could not find the answer that he sought.

Now it befell that on a certain day

This seeker on his travels passed a tree

That was engaged in converse with an axe.

Unto the tree the axe did speak these words:

‘That which thou canst not do I can achieve,

I can fell thee; but thou canst not fell me.’

Unto the vain axe thus the tree replied:

‘’Twas but a year ago a man did cleave

The very wood of which thine haft is made

Out of my body with another axe.’

And when the man had listened to these words

A thought was straightway born within his soul

Which he could not set clearly down in words, [233]

But which completely answered his demand:

How Evil could originate from Good.


Think on this story, daughter and thou’lt see,

How contemplating nature’s mysteries

May form fresh knowledge in a human head.

I know how many things I can make clear

Unto myself by spinning out in thought

The tales by which the knights enlighten us.


I know I am a simple little thing,

Without ability to understand

The learned words which clever people use

In setting forth the science they profess.

I have no taste for matters of that kind.

Whenever Thomas tells us of his work

I nearly fall asleep. But I could spend

Unnumbered hours in listening to the tales

Which father brings back home on his return

From visiting the castle, and wherewith

He often weaves a story of his own

As he recounts them to us hour on hour.


(After an interval, the Countryfolk come across the meadow.)

First Countryman:

My uncle yesterday came home again.

He dwelt a long time in Bohemia,

And earned an honest living in the mines. [234]

Full many a bit of news he hath to tell

Picked up by him upon his journeyings.

Excitement and unrest are everywhere.

Attacks are made upon the Spirit-Knights.

Our local brotherhood can not escape;

Already preparations have been made

And ere long will this castle be besieged.

Second Countryman:

I hope ’twill not be long ’ere they attack.

Many amongst us will most certainly

Gladly enlist among the fighting-men;

I mean to be among the first myself.

First Countrywoman:

Thou wilt but hurry headlong to thy doom!

How can a man be such a witless fool!

Hast thou forgot how strongly fortified

The castle is? The battle will be grim.

Second Countrywoman:

It is no business of the countryfolk

To mix with things they do not understand.

Yet there are many hereabouts today

Who do naught else but go from place to place

And fan the embers of revolt and strife.

Things have already come to such a pass

That sick folk have to cry in vain for aid.

The good man who in former days was wont

To help so many in sore need, can now

No more pass out beyond the castle gates,

So cruelly have folk belaboured him.


Third Countrywoman:

Of course! for many people were enraged

On hearing from what source the sickness came

That broke out, all at once, among our cows.

The Jew brought this upon them by his spells.

He only seems to make sick people well

In order, by the use of hellish arts,

Better to serve the ends of evil powers.

Third Countryman:

This fuss about vile heresy is nought,

And matters not. The fact is that these folk

Had all they needed, and nought else to do

But spend their leisure in abusive talk.

A clever judge of human nature then

Devised this silly tale about the Jew,

How he had laid a spell upon our stock.

And so from this alone the storm arose.

Fourth Countryman:

I think that every one of you might know

What wars do mean, with all their misery.

Have not our fathers told us all that they

Must needs endure, when all the countryside

Was overrun by bands of soldiery?

Fourth Countrywoman:

I always said that it would come to pass:

Their lordships’ rule must shortly fade away.

Already hath a dream revealed to me

How we can be of service to the troops

When they arrive to carry out the siege,

And take good care of all their creature needs.


Fifth Countryman:

If dreams today are still to be believed,

That is a matter we need not discuss.

The knights have tried to make us cleverer

Than were our fathers. Now they have to learn

How much our cleverness hath been increased.

Our fathers let them in; in our turn we

Shall drive them out. I know the secret tracks

That yield an entrance to the fortalice.

I used to work within it until rage

Drove me away; now will I show the knights

How we can make their science serve our ends.

Fifth Countrywoman:

He surely hath no good thought in his heart;

I trembled as I listened to his words.

Sixth Countryman:

In spirit-vision I have lately seen

A traitor leading hostile soldiery

By secret ways into the castle’s keep.

Sixth Countrywoman:

Such visions are destructive, I should say.

No one who thinks as Christians ought to think

But is aware that honesty alone,

Not treason, can from evil set us free.

Sixth Countryman:

I let folk talk, and help as best I can.

How often do we hear a thing called wrong

By those who lack the courage in themselves [237]

To do that very thing. Let’s go our ways;

I see the father coming down the road;

We will not interrupt his train of thought.

I found no difficulty up till now

In understanding everything he taught;

But in the sermon which he preached today

He said much that one could not understand.

(The Countryfolk go away towards the forest.)

(After an interval the Monk comes along the meadow path.)


It must be that a soul is led astray

In striving to pursue her natural course.

The weakness of my heart alone allowed

Such visions to appear before mine eyes

As those which I beheld within those walls.

That they must show themselves to me in strife

Is proof enough how little yet in me

The psychic forces work in harmony.

Therefore will I address myself anew

To kindle in myself those potent words

Which bring me light from out the Spirit-heights.

That man alone prefers another road,

Whom personal illusions have made blind.

The soul can only triumph over lies

By proving herself worthy of the grace

Which Spirit-light, outpoured from founts of love,

In words of wisdom doth reveal to her.

I know that I shall find the greatest strength

Which can throw light on what the Fathers taught. [238]

When from the gloom of self’s imaginings

With lowly heart submissive I can flee.


(After an interval there appear on the meadow Cecilia and Thomas.)


Dear brother, when in fervent ecstasy

Of silent prayer my soul did bow herself

Unto the Fountain of the World, and yearn

Whole-heartedly to be made one therewith,

A light before my spirit would appear—

With gentle warmth and radiancy aglow;

This then transformed itself into a man

Who looked into my face with tender eyes,

And spoke to me. These were the vision’s words:

‘Human delusion left thee once forlorn,

And now thou art upborne by human love;

Wait therefore until longing finds a way

To bring the seeker safely to thy side.’

Thus spake this human figure oft to me;

Nor could I fathom what the words might mean;

And yet a dim foreboding made me glad,

That some time they should be fulfilled for me.

And then, beloved brother, thou didst come,

And when I first set eyes upon thy face,

I felt my senses leave me; for thou wast

That human figure’s very counterpart.


Dream and foreboding told thee but the truth,

Indeed ’twas longing guided me to thee.



And when thou didst request me as thy wife

I thought the Spirit had ordained it so.


That in good truth the Spirit’s purpose was

To re-unite us, clearly may be seen,

Although we read it not aright at first.

As wife and helpmeet, sent me from above,

So didst thou seem to me, when first we met.

And then my long-lost sister did I find.


And henceforth nothing shall divide us twain.


Yet many obstacles between us rise.

Thy foster-parents by close ties are bound

Unto the brotherhood which I must spurn.


They are incarnate love and kindness both;

And loyal friendship will they give to thee.


My creed will separate me from their love.


Through me you will find out the way to them.


Keane, the dear fellow, is so obstinate; [240]

He never will see aught but darkness there

Where I perceive the very fount of light.

In riper years it was first granted me

To turn my steps toward this light of truth,

Since all I learned of it in childhood’s days

Upon my spirit made but little mark;

Whilst later on, my every thought was bent

On scientific knowledge as a means

To gain a livelihood. When I came here

At last I found the teacher and the guide

Who had the power to liberate my soul.

The teaching he hath let me listen to

Doth bear the very stamp of truth itself.

Such is his speech that heart and head alike

Must yield themselves as captives to his words,

So full at once of gentleness and good.

I took the greatest trouble heretofore

To understand the other spirit type;

And found it could but unto error lead.

Since it clings only to those spirit-powers

Which may be faithful guides in earthly ways

But cannot lift one up to higher worlds.

How shall I therefore ever find the way

Into the hearts of people who believe

That from this error all salvation springs?


I hear thy words, dear brother, and they seem

The product of no peaceful frame of mind.

Yet ’tis a peaceful scene of former days

Which they have reawakened in my soul.

’Twas one Good Friday, many years ago, [241]

I saw the scene of which I speak to thee.

It happened that upon that day the man

Who wore my brother’s features, said to me:

‘From source divine hath sprung the human soul;

It can in death dive down to nature’s depths,

In time it will set spirit free from death.’

Not until afterwards was I aware

That these words are the motto of our knights.


Alas! my sister, that thy lips should speak

Those evil words, which our opponents take

As revelation of the highest truth.


I have at heart no sympathy at all

With outward acts committed by the knights;

I truly serve the creed that nourished thee.

But never could I make myself believe

That men who guide the footsteps of the soul

By such instruction toward so high a goal

Walk not themselves the path that Christ hath trod.

The Spirit’s pupil am I, staunch and true,

And I confess that it is my belief

That on that day, my brother’s spirit strove

To speak of aims that lead the soul to peace.


The powers of destiny have not ordained

Peace for the soul, it seems, for thee and me;

They take our father from us that same hour

That sees him once again restored to us.



My faculties are clouded o’er with pain

When of our father thus I hear thee speak.

Thy heart would draw thee to his side in love,

And yet thou tremblest at the very thought

Of union with him whilst he is alive.

Thou followest our leader in good faith,

Yet canst not hear the messages of love

Which his commands so tenderly convey.

A dark enigma faceth me; I see

The goodness of thy heart, thy steadfast faith,

And yet must shudder at the deep abyss

That yawns so horribly betwixt you twain.

And did not hope live on to comfort me,

And tell me love is never overcome

I should lack courage to endure this pain.


Dear sister, thou hast yet to learn the power

Of thought, once it hath gripped a human soul.

This is no case of son opposing sire;

But one thought from another turns away.

Thought is the sovereign whom my soul obeys;

Did I refuse her homage I should be

In very truth my spirit’s murderer.

Curtain; Thomas and Cecilia still standing in the meadow

(This closes the vision into the XIVth Century and the following is the sequel of the events described in the first five scenes.)



Scene 10

The same landscape as in Scene 5.

Capesius (waking from the vision which had brought his previous incarnation before his soul):

This unfamiliar landscape, and this seat,

A cottage and a wood in front of me!

Are they familiar? Urgently they claim

Familiarity; yet thy do lie

Upon my nature, like some heavy weight.

They seem like real things. But no; all this

Is but a picture of soul substance spun.

I know how pictures such as these are made

Out of the thirst and longing of the soul.

As if awaking from my craving’s dream

From out the spirit-ocean I have come—

And memory, dread and shuddering shape, appears

To bring to mind these longings of my soul.

How burnt my thirst to know the world’s design!

This longing vain, of self-denial born,

Consumed my nature to its very roots.

Sought I existence with impetuous will,

Then all the world’s design did flee from me.

A moment, of eternity methinks,

Poured out such storms of suffering on my soul

As only can be felt in life’s full course. [244]

Between me and this craving fear there stood

That which had brought this fear to life in me.

I felt myself embrace the universe

And all my personality was lost.…

But no, it was not I who felt like this,

It was another being sprung from me.

I saw mankind and all its works evolve

From cosmic thoughts which rushing fast through Space,

Pressed on in eagerness to be revealed.

They drew the picture of a living world

In all its detail spread before my gaze.

From my soul-substance did they draw the power

With which to fashion Being out of Thought.

And as this world condensed before mine eyes,

My personal sense of feeling passed from me.

And words resounded from this picture-world,

Thinking themselves; and thrust themselves on me.

From out life’s needs they brought to being things,

And gifted them with power from deeds of good.

Thus they resounded through the breadths of Space:

‘O man know thou thyself within thy world.’

Then saw I one who stood in front of me

And, showing me his soul, displayed mine own.

And then the cosmic words went on to say:

‘So long as in the circle of thy life

Thou canst not feel this being close entwined,

Thou art a dream, and dost but dream thy life.’

I could not think in figures clear and plain;

I did but see bewildering forces press

From thought to life, and from life back to thought— [245]

But if my spirit seeks yet further back

And recollects what I beheld before,

A living picture stands before my soul,

Which is not blurred, as was all else that I

In later moments could experience,

But which more plainly sets before my soul

Men’s lives and actions with each detail clear.

I gaze upon this picture, and can tell

What men these are, and what it is they do;

I recognize each soul I look upon,

Although their bodies’ shapes are not the same.

I look upon all this as though myself

Were then a person living in this world;

But none the less with cold unfeeling eye

I scan a picture that seems life itself.

It seems as if its working on my soul

Reserves itself until that later time

Which to my spirit earlier was displayed.

Within a spirit-brotherhood I could

Myself and others clearly recognize;

And yet just as a man doth feel a scene

Of bygone days arise from memory’s fount,

Thomas I see, a miner and my son,

And forthwith I must call to mind that soul,

Who, as Thomasius, is known to me.

The lady whom I know as seeress now

Stands there before mine eyes as mine own child.

Maria, who befriends Thomasius,

Reveals herself to me in monkish garb,

And doth condemn the spirit-brotherhood.

And Strader wears the visage of the Jew.

In Joseph Keane and in his wife I see [246]

The souls of Felix and Felicia.

The others’ lives lie open to my view

Without concealment; so too, doth mine own.

But while I am engrossed in reading it,

The picture fades and disappears from view.

And I can feel that those soul-elements

Of which that living picture was composed

Themselves are pouring into mine own soul.

I feel myself endowed with strength of soul

In my whole being, and I seem set free

From all the fetters of the world of sense:

My being doth embrace the universe.

Thus do I feel that instant so prolonged

Which I was able to live through, before

That living picture rose before mine eyes.

And now still further backward can I look.

Itself condensing out of cosmic thought

This forest doth appear before my gaze,

This house where Felix and Felicia

So often brought me comfort in distress.

Now—in the world I find myself once more

From which a moment since I felt myself

Removed by vast expanse of time and space.

And that which latterly I still could see:

The picture which disclosed to me myself

Is wafted like some misty fantasy

O’er all that now I feel by means of sense.

It is a nightmare, that oppresseth me;

It gropes in deep recesses of my soul;

It opens cosmic doors to breadths of Space.

What storm is this that shakes my being’s depths,

What enters forcibly from cosmic space?


A Voice (representing spirit-conscience):

Feel now what thou hast seen,

Live o’er what thou hast done

Refreshed from Being’s source;

Thine own life hast thou dreamed.

Work out this deed in thee

With noble spirit-light:

Regard thy daily task

With force of spirit-sight.

If this thou canst not do,

To empty Nothingness

Thou art for ever doomed.

Curtain, before Capesius has left the stage



Scene 11

The same meditation-chamber as in Scene 2. Maria, Ahriman.


So Benedictus spun a cunning web

Of thought, whose pattern thou hast followed out,

And now thou art fast bound in error’s toils.

Thomasius too and e’en Capesius

Are victims of this same illusion’s spell.

For at the same time as thine eyes beheld

This long-past earthly life—so too did theirs.

Henceforward ’tis in that time thou dost seek

To find the causes of thy present life;

But only error can be error’s fruit

If thou art ready to allow thyself

To make the path of duty here and now

Depend upon such vain imaginings.

That Benedictus took from thine own brain,

And placed these visions in an earlier age,

Thine own self’s knowledge can quite clearly prove.

Thou sawst people of this present time

But little changed from those of former days.

Woman thou sawst as woman, man as man, [249]

And all their attributes were similar;

Thou canst not therefore any longer doubt

That what thou didst transfer to time’s dim past

By spirit-vision, far from being truth

Was but the vain delusion of thy soul.


In thee I see the sire of all deceit;

Yet know I too thou oft dost speak the truth.

And any one who chose to set aside

All counsel that might reach him through thy words

To utmost error soon would fall a prey.

And as illusion wears the mask of truth

The better to ensnare the souls of men,

So ’tis but easy for a man to yield

Thereto, by trying like a coward to slink

Past every place where error might be hid.

More than illusion finds the soul in thee;

For in the Spirit of Deceit doth live

The force that gives mankind discernment true.

I therefore shall oppose thee without fear.

Thou hast attacked that portion of my soul

Which must at all times keep the most alert.

If I weigh all the evidence which thou

In clever calculation hast advanced,

’Twould seem that only pictures from my brain

Have been transferred into an earthly past.

Yet would I ask thee if thy wisdom can

Unlock the door of every earthly age?


No beings live in any spirit-realm [250]

Which set themselves to thwart me when I seek

Admission into any earthly age.


The lofty Powers of Fate have chosen well

In setting thee to be their enemy.

Thou dost encourage all thou wouldst restrain.

Thou bringest freedom to the souls of men

When thou dost penetrate to their soul-depths.

From thee originate the powers of thought

Whence knowledge springs with all its vain deceits

But which can also guide man to the truth.

In Spirit-land there is but one domain

Where may be forged the sword that bids thee flee

As soon as thou dost set thine eyes thereon.

It is a realm in which the souls of men

Do gather knowledge through their reason’s powers,

Which knowledge they will afterwards transmute

To Spirit-wisdom. If I have the strength

To forge the word of truth into that sword,

That very moment thou must flee from hence.

So hearken well, thou sire of all deceit;

If truth triumphant I proclaim to thee—

In earthly evolution there are times

In which the ancient forces slowly die,

And dying, see the growth of newer ones.

At such a cyclic point my friends and I

Did find ourselves drawn close by spirit-bonds

Whilst seeking out our former lives on earth.

True Spirit-men were working at that time,

United in a brotherhood of souls

Whose aims were sought in mysticism’s realm. [251]

Now, at such seasons certain tendencies

Are carefully implanted in men’s souls,

Which need a long time for full ripening.

In their next incarnation, therefore, men

Must show strong traces of their previous life.

At such times, many men will be reborn

In their succeeding lives as men—so too

Women as women often re-appear.

At that time also is the interval

Shorter than usual ’twixt two earthly lives.

To understand aright these cyclic points

Thou lackest power, and therefore canst not yet

Survey their growth with eyes from error free.

Call but to mind the time when last we met

In temples of that Spirit-brotherhood:

Then thou spakest words of flattery, intent

To break my inner consciousness of self.

I recollect this time; and draw therefrom

The force now to oppose myself to thee.

(Ahriman withdraws with reluctant mien. Thunder.)


Defeated he has had to leave the spot

Which Benedictus hath so often blessed.

But unto me hath been made manifest

How lightly souls may into error fall

Who give themselves unto the Spirit-voice

Without due heed, and shun the safer ways.

The Enemy indeed hath mighty power

Life’s contradictions to accentuate

And thus rob souls of their security. [252]

He must fall silent when the Light appears

That from the fount of Wisdom issuing

Doth bring full clearness to our spirit-sight.

Curtain, while Maria is still in the room



Scene 12

The same. Johannes and Lucifer.


Take warning by Capesius’ fate and learn

What fruits are ripened when a soul attempts

To penetrate too soon the spirit-world.

He knows the words writ in his book of life

And knows his tasks for many lives to come.

But suffering not ordained by destiny

Is wrought by knowledge which hath not the power

To change itself to deeds in earthly life.

The choice that to successful issue leads

Depends upon the ripeness of the will.

At every step that he would take in life

Henceforth Capesius must ask himself:

Can all my obligations thus be met

Which are the outgrowth of my former lives?

So o’er his path a dazzling light is shed,

Causing his eyes to suffer from the glare

And giving him no help upon his way.

It kills the forces which, whilst still unknown,

Are trusty guides for every human soul,

And doth not aid the power of careful thought.

Thus it can only hurt the body’s strength

Before the soul hath learned to conquer it.



I can perceive the error of my life.

I stole the soul-powers from my carnal frame

And proudly carried them to spirit-heights.

Yet it was not a human being whole

That thus was carried upward to the light.

Nought was it but the shadow of a soul,

Which could but rhapsodize of spirit-realms

And feel a oneness with creative powers;

It wished to live all blissful in the light

And deeds of light in colour to behold;

It fancied that as artist it could paint

Spirit-existence in a world of sense.

This form that took its semblance from mine own

Hath shown to me myself with cruel truth.

I dreamed of soul-love, pure and free from stain,

Whilst passion yet was coursing through my veins.

But now mine eyes have seen the earthly road

Which is the real creative force in life.

And shows me whither I must truly strive.

Those spirit-pathways which of late I trod

Cannot be followed far by such a soul

As just before its present life on earth

In Thomas’s body found a fitting home.

The fashion of his life must be for me

The rule by which to seek my present goal.

I’ve striven for attainment here and now

Of things that only later can bear fruit.


My light must serve to guide thy further steps

As it hath done to guide them hitherto. [255]

The spirit-path which thou hast sought to tread

Can wed the spirit to the lofty heights,

But to thy soul it bringeth nought but gloom.


What hath a man attained who gives himself

A soul-less puppet to the spirit-world?

E’en at the end of all his earthly days

He is but that same being which he was,

When in earth’s primal days his human form

From out the cosmic womb did first emerge.

If to those impulses I yield myself

Which, springing from unfathomed depths of soul,

Clamour imperiously for life and form,

Then in me works the universal all.

I know not then what drives me on to act;

But surely it must be the cosmic will

Which leads me on to its appointed goal.

This will must know the wherefore of man’s life

Though human knowledge cannot make it plain.

That which in perfect manhood it creates

Is vital wealth wherewith to form the soul.

To it will I surrender, and no more

By idle spirit-striving kill it out.


Myself I work in this same cosmic will

When it flows mightily through human souls,

Which are but limbs of higher entities

Until they can experience my power.

And ’tis my task to make them perfect men

And fit themselves into the universe.



I long have thought I knew the whole of thee;

Yet dwelt within me but thy phantom shade

Portrayed there by my visionary dreams.

Now must I feel thee, live thee by my will;

Then can I overcome thee later on

If so ’tis written in my destiny.

Let spirit-knowledge, that I gained too soon,

Repose henceforth within mine inmost soul

Till impulses in life shall call it forth.

With confidence I yield me to that will

That hath more wisdom than the human soul.

(Exit Johannes with Lucifer.)




Scene 13

The Temple of the Sun; hidden site of the Mysteries of the Hierophants; Lucifer, Ahriman, the three Soul-Figures, Strader, Benedictus, Theodosius, Romanus, Maria.

(Enter first Lucifer and Ahriman.)


The Lord of Wishes stands as victor here—

He hath been able to o’erpower the soul

Which even in the light of spirit-sun

Still had to feel akin to this our realm.

I seized th’ auspicious hour in which to cast

A glamour o’er its vision of the light

To which in dreams alone it had bowed down.

Yet all my hopes must forthwith disappear

That victory is ours in spirit-realms,

Since thou art worsted, comrade of my fight.

Thou wast unable to o’erpower the soul

Which was to bring our labours to their goal.

The human soul that gave itself to me

I can possess and in our kingdom hold

For short earth-lives alone, but all in vain;

For then I must restore it to our foes.

To win outright we need the other, too,

That hath withdrawn itself from thy domain.



The times are not well suited to my arts,

I find no means of access to men’s souls.

See, here comes one whom I did sorely plague.

Though ignorant in spirit he draws nigh;

For reason doth compel him to push on.

So I withdraw from him and from this place

Which he can only tread unconsciously.

(The three Soul-Figures with Strader.)


With faith’s clear power will I myself imbue

And force of living trust will I breathe deep,

From out the soul’s glad striving that the light

May dawn upon the spirit-slumberer.


With humble joy of soul will I entwine

That which hath been revealed; and will condense

The rays of hope that light in dark may shine;

And twilight in the light, that thus the powers

May bear aloft the spirit-slumberer.


Soul light will I make warm, and will make hard

The power of love. Then shall they daring grow,

And shall release themselves, and mounting up

Endue themselves with weight, that cosmic loads

May fall from off the spirit-slumberer

That his soul’s love of light may set him free.


My comrades, I have hither summoned you [259]

Who with me seek to find the spirit-light

That should flow streaming to the souls of men.

Ye know the nature of the sun of soul;

Oft doth it shine with fullest noontide glare,

And then again like feeble twilight steal

Powerless through mists of visionary dream.

And often doth the darkness drive it out.

The temple-servants’ spirit-gaze must pierce

To soul depths where there shines with powerful ray,

The spirit-light that comes from cosmic heights.

Then too it must disclose mysterious aims

That lurk unnoticed in the soul’s dark lairs

Intent on shaping man’s development.

Those spirit-beings who from cosmic powers

Bestow the spirit-food on human souls

Are present now within the sacred fane

To guide this man’s soul from the spirit-night

Into the kingdom of the light on high.

The sleep of knowledge still envelops him;

But spirit-calls already have been heard

In his soul’s depths of which he never knew.

That which they spoke deep in his inmost soul

Will shortly find its way to spirit-ears.


This soul hath not been able hitherto

To recognize itself in spirit-light

That through sense-revelation is outpoured,

To show the meaning of all earthly growth.

It saw God’s spirit stripped of nature’s guise,

And Nature’s self estranged from deity.

And so through many lives it had to pass [260]

And stay a stranger to the sense of life;

It could but find alone such carnal tenements

To carry out its individual work

As barred it from the cosmos and from man.

Now in the temple it will earn the power

To recognize strange Being as its own,

And so be able to attain the force

That leads out from the labyrinths of thought

And points the way unto the springs of life.


Another man strives to the temple’s light;

Though not at once will he approach its doors

And seek for entrance to this hallowed spot.

Throughout a life of studious research

He planted germs of thought in his soul-depths.

And so perforce the spirit-light went forth

To ripen them outside our temple’s doors.

’Twas given him to know his present life

To be the product of a former one

Lived in a time that now hath long gone by.

Now he can see the errors of that life

And realize what their result will be,

But lacketh power, those duties to fulfil,

Which through self-knowledge he can recognize.


Capesius shall, through the temple’s power,

Learn how a man must, in a single life,

Take up a load of duties which demand

For their entire accomplishment the space

Of many lives of earthly pilgrimage. [261]

So casting fear aside he will admit

That ancient errors with their consequence

Pursue the soul e’en past the gate of death.

Nor shall he then be vanquished in the fight

By which the spirit-portals are flung wide

If eye to eye, undaunted, he shall brave

The Guardian of the Threshold of that realm.

To him shall by that guardian be revealed

That none may climb up to the heights of life

Who fears to look on destiny’s decrees.

His insight will admit with courage then

That of self-knowledge suffering is the fruit

For which she knows no words of comforting.

Will shall become his comrade on the way

Which faceth boldly all that may befall,

And, heartened by a draught from hope’s clear spring,

Endures the pain of widening consciousness.


Ye have, my brothers, at this present hour,—

True servants of the temple that ye are,—

Set forth the ways in Wisdom’s outlines drawn

By which these two who seek the spirit-truth

Shall have their souls brought to their goal by you.

Yet other work the temple-service claims.

Here by our side the Lord of Wishes stands;

He can be present in this holy place

Because Johannes’ soul unbarred for him

The gates which he would otherwise find barred.

The brother who is our initiate

Lacks for the moment courage to withstand

With power the words that from the darkness rise. [262]

The powers of good can only strengthen him

When on their opposite they test themselves.

’Twill not be long ere he again appears

Here in this temple, compassed by our love.

Yet must his spirit-treasure guarded be

Now that he must descend into the dark.

(Turning to Lucifer.)

Thee must I now address who not for long

Canst occupy the ground where thou dost stand.

The temple’s power can at the present time

Not yet release Johannes from thy grasp.

In times to come he will be ours again,

When those fruits of our sister shall be ripe

Whose blossoms we already see unfold.

(Maria appears.)

She could behold in bygone earthly lives

How closely linked Johannes was to her.

He followed after her so long ago

As in these days when she would fain oppose

The light whose humble handmaid now she is.

When soul-links prove themselves so staunchly true

As to outlast the spirit’s wanderings

Then shall the Lord of Wishes find his power

Unable to effect a severance.


But Benedictus’ will itself compelled

Johannes’ and Maria’s souls to part.

And wheresoe’er men from each other part

There is the field made ready for my power.

I ever work for separateness of soul,

To set the earth-life free, and for all time [263]

To break its servitude to cosmic chains.

Maria’s being, in monastic garb,

Turned from its father yonder soul away

That now is dweller in Johannes’ form.

This too hath caused some germs of mine to sprout

Which I shall surely bring to ripening.

Maria (turning to Lucifer):

In human nature there are springs of love

To which thy power can never penetrate.

They are unsealed when faults of former lives—

A load unwittingly assumed by man,—

Are in a later life by spirit seen,

And by the free-will of self-sacrifice

Transformed to earthly action, which shall tend

To bear fruit for the real good of man.

The powers of destiny have granted me

The vision which can penetrate the past;

Already too have I received the signs

So to direct my free-will sacrifice

That good may pour therefrom for every soul

Whose thread of life shall have to twine with mine

Throughout the evolution of this earth.

I saw how in its earthly frame of yore

Johannes’ soul turned from his sire away,

And saw the forces that compelled myself

To make the son repel the father’s heart.

Thus is the father now opposed to me

To bring to mind my own offence of old.

Plainly he speaks in cosmic language clear

Whose symbols are the actions of man’s life.

That which I set between the sire and son [264]

Must reappear, though in another form

In this my life in which Johannes’ soul

Hath once again been closely knit to mine.

The suffering which I had to undergo

In severing Johannes from myself

Was but my own act’s fated consequence.

If now my soul is faithful to the light

Which from the spirit-forces comes to it,

It will be strengthened by the services

Which it may render to Capesius

In this sore stress of his life-pilgrimage.

And with such forces, similarly won,

Will also learn to see Johannes’ star

When he, by fetters of desire misled

Treads not the way illumined by the light.

The spirit-vision which hath led me back

To distant days on earth will teach me now

How I must deal with soul-links at this time

So that life-powers unconsciously prepared

Shall henceforth work awakened for man’s weal.


In olden days on earth was formed a knot

Of threads which Karma spins world-fashioning.

Three human lives are interwoven there,

And now upon this fateful knot there shines

This holy temple’s lofty spirit-light.

’Tis thee, Maria, I must now address;

Of these three souls at this time thou alone

Art present at the place of sacrifice.

May this light operate within thyself

And turn to welfare those creative powers [265]

Which once upon a time thy life-threads wove

Fast in a life-knot with those other two.

The father could not in his former life

His son’s heart find; but now in other scenes

The spirit-seeker will accompany

Thy friend’s self on its way to spirit-land.

And thine is now the duty to maintain

Johannes’ soul in light by thine own force.

Once didst thou hold it in so fast a bond

That it could only blindly follow thee.

Thou didst then give it back its liberty,

When still it clung to thee in fancy fond.

But thou shalt once more find it, when, self-willed,

It wins its individuality.

If thy soul to that light holds ever true

Which powers from spirit-realms bestow on thee,

Johannes’ soul will thirst to drink of thine

E’en where the Lord of all Desire holds sway;

And through the love which holds it bound to thee

It will regain the path to light on high.

For ever must a living being strive

Through light or darkness, which hath once beheld

And known the heights of spirit in its soul.

It hath drawn breath from cosmic distances

Of air that pulseth with immortal life,

And living raiseth all our human kind

From its soul depths up to the sunshine’s heights.







Scene 1: The ante-chamber to the rooms of the Mystic League. The reincarnated country folk have been invited to attend a meeting here.

Scene 2: The same. Thomasius is invited to join the league and receive the blessing of the Rosy Cross. He declines on the ground that he has undertaken other work inconsistent with the objects of the league.

Scene 3: The kingdom of Lucifer.

The challenge:

Lucifer: ‘I mean to fight.’

Benedictus: ‘And fighting serve the gods.’

Scene 4: The house of Strader and his wife Theodora. (Lucifer at work.) Theodora’s painful vision of Thomasius.

Scene 5: The house of the Baldes. Strader’s vision of his wife Theodora who has recently died. Capesius as a medium.

Scene 6: The groves of Lucifer and Ahriman and their creatures who dance. Dame Balde’s fable.

Scene 7: The Guardian of the Threshold.

Scene 8: The kingdom of Ahriman. The reincarnated country folk come here unconsciously at night. Strader comes consciously.

Scene 9: The home of Benedictus, overlooking a factory town. The law of number.

Scene 10: The Temple of the Mystic League. The admission of Thomasius and others. [3]



The spiritual and psychic experiences of the characters, sketched in this series of scenic pictures called ‘The Guardian of the Threshold,’ are a continuation of those which appeared before in my life pictures called ‘The Portal of Initiation’ and ‘The Soul’s Probation,’ and are supposed to take place about fifteen years later than the occurrences in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’

The three plays together form an organic whole.

In ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ the following persons and beings appear:

I. Representatives of the Element of Spirit:

  • 1. Benedictus. Leader of the Temple of the Sun and the teacher of a number of people who appear in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold.’
  • 2. Hilary True-to-God, Grand Master of the Mystic League, represented in a former incarnation in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as the Grand Master of a Mystic Brotherhood.
  • 3. Johannes Thomasius, a pupil of Benedictus, sometimes called Johannes and sometimes Thomasius.

II. Representatives of the Element of Sacrifice:


  • 4. Magnus Bellicosus, Preceptor of the Mystic League, known as Germanus in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
  • 5. Albertus Torquatus, Master of the Ceremonies in the Mystic League, known as Theodosius in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
  • 6. Professor Capesius.

III. Representatives of the Element of Will:

  • 7. Frederick Trustworthy, Master of the Ceremonies in the Mystic League. The Reincarnation of the Second Master of the Ceremonies of the Spirit-Brotherhood in ‘The Soul’s Probation’; and known as ‘Romanus’ in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’
  • 8. Theodora, a Seeress, in whom the Element of Will is changed into a simple gift of prophecy.
  • 9. Doctor Strader.

IV. The Representatives of the Element of Soul:

  • 10. Maria, a pupil of Benedictus.
  • 11. Felix Balde.
  • 12. Dame Felicia, his wife.

V. Beings from the Spirit World:

  • Lucifer.
  • Ahriman.

VI. Beings of the Element of Human Spirit:

  • The Double of Thomasius.
  • The Soul of Theodora.
  • The Guardian of the Threshold.[5]
  • Philia } The spiritual beings through whose agency the human soul forces are connected with the Cosmos.
  • The Other Philia, the spiritual being who hinders the union of the soul-powers with the Cosmos.
  • The Voice of Conscience.

These spiritual beings are not intended to be allegorical or symbolic, but realities, who to spiritual perception are exactly like physical persons.

The following persons are the reincarnations of the twelve peasants in ‘The Soul’s Probation’:

  • 1. Ferdinand Fox.
  • 2. Michael Nobleman.
  • 3. Bernard Straight.
  • 4. Francesca Humble.
  • 5. Mary Steadfast.
  • 6. Louisa Fear-God.
  • 7. Frederick Clear-Mind.
  • 8. Gasper Hotspur.
  • 9. George Candid.
  • 10. Mary Dauntless.
  • 11. Erminia Stay-at-Home.
  • 12. Katharine Counsel.

In ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ the nature of the reincarnation is not to be regarded as a law holding good generally, but as something which can only happen at a turning-point of time. Hence, for example, the incidents of Scene 8 between Strader and the twelve others are only possible at such a period. The spiritual entities taking part in this [6]play are by no means to be considered as merely allegory or symbol. For any one who recognizes the spiritual world as reality, the beings there exist, just as much as physical men in the sense-world, and as such they may be portrayed. Spiritual beings do not have human form, as they are bound to have upon the stage. If the writer of these psychic incidents in pictures considered these beings to be allegories, he would not have represented them in the way he has done.

The systematic arrangement of the characters into groups (3 × 4) is not intentional or in the original plan of the play; it is a result—by way of afterthought—of the incidents, which are sketched out quite independently, and fall naturally into such a division. It would never have occurred to the author to include it in the original plan; but it may be permitted to cite it here as a result.

The scheme of stage decoration is in accordance with the planetary signs shown in Dr. Steiner’s Lecture on Occult Seals and Symbols. In Scene 2, the walls and furniture, etc., are decorated with Dr. Steiner’s architectural design for Jupiter. Scene 4 is devoted to Venus. And Dr. Steiner’s symbols for the Sun govern the little wooden hut and all its appurtenances in Scene 5. To the other scenes no architectural design is applicable.

The costumes are as follows:

Except when officiating as Hierophant Benedictus is in black frockcoat and trousers. Hilary, Bellicosus, Torquatus, and Trustworthy are in dark frockcoats etc., except when acting as officers in the Temple or as leaders in the Mystic League. Johannes is in a dark blue velveteen suit, short coat, breeches, and [7]stockings. Capesius, when he is in the soul, e.g., in Scenes 3 and 6, appears quite young, beardless, and in flimsy blue and white robes; at other times in ordinary modern attire.

Theodora, modern with a coloured stole. Strader, modern, short brown jacket; except in Scene 4, where he is in grey lavender.

Maria, modern with stole.

Felix Balde, a blue tunic trimmed with fur.

Felicia Balde, modern with stole.

Lucifer, flowing crimson and red robes, long golden hair, and crowned when on his throne.

Ahriman in yellow robes.

The Guardian of the Threshold, conventional angel with a flaming sword.

Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia, flowing muslin robes of many colours, but Astrid is in white.

The reincarnated male peasants are in frockcoats of very brilliant colour, crimson, chocolate, blue, etc. The trousers, coat and waistcoat are always to match. The women are in modern costumes with stoles.

See also the notes on the costumes in the two preceding plays. [9]




Scene 1

A hall with a ground tone of indigo blue. The antechamber to the rooms in which a Mystic League carries on its work. In the centre a large door with curtain. On each side of the door two pictures which represent, beginning from the right of the stage, the Prophet Elijah, John the Baptist, Raphael, the poet Novalis. There are present, in a lively conversation twelve Persons, who in one way or another take an interest in the activities of the League. Beside them: Felix Balde and Doctor Strader.


A most unusual summons ’tis indeed,

That draws us here together at this time.

It comes from men, who ever hold that they,

From all Earth’s other children separate,

Are honoured with a special spirit-aim.

Their spirit-eyes shall now, however, see

That in the world’s plan they must be bound close

With men whose spirit is unconsecrate;

Who face life’s fight in their own strength alone.

I ne’er felt drawn towards such spirit-ways

As find their chief resource in secrecy,

And only care to hold fast to sound thought,

And to the commonsense of human minds. [10]

This Spirit-League by which we now are called

Means not through this same call that we should be

Initiated in its higher aims.

It will thro’ mystic dim word-portraiture

Keep us but in the Temple’s outer courts;

And use our powers but as the people’s voice—

A cunning plan to strengthen its own will.

So shall we merely be the helpers blind

Of men who from the spirit heights above,

Look down to lead us on with beckoning hand.

They do not hold that we are ready yet

Even to take one step that might lead on

Toward their holy Temple’s treasure-house,

Or to the spirit-light in which they dwell.

When I observe the true state of this league

It seems I see but pride and self-deceit

Clothed in a prophet’s robe and humble dress.

And so ’twere surely best to shun each thing

That here is offered us in wisdom’s garb;

That we at any rate may not appear

To strive without due proof against the work

Which is so highly prized by many men;

So would I counsel you at first to hear

What aim this wisdom-teacher hath in view

And then to follow simple commonsense.

Who takes such sense as guide within himself

Will not be led astray by tempting lures

Which from the Mystic Temple issue forth.

Michael Nobleman:

I do not know, I cannot even guess

With what strange spirit-gift these men are dowered [11]

Who now desire to find a bridge to us.

But still I know well several honest men

Within the ranks of this same Spirit-League.

Strictly they guard the secret of the fount

Whence this their knowledge is supposed to come;

But that the fountain whence they drink is good,

Their life and deeds make manifest to all.

And all that from their circle issues forth

Bears on its face the mark of truest love.

So may we well believe the aim is good

Which leads them in this special way to men,

To whom the mystic path is strange and new,

But in whose souls the instinct for the truth

And honest goals of spirit-life find place.

Bernard Straight:

Caution would seem to me our duty now.

I think the mystics find the time draws nigh

Which brings an ending to their sovereign power.

Reason will scarcely ask in future times

What dreams of truth these holy temples had.

If this league tells of goals of such a kind

As have seemed wise to mankind’s general thought

Then it were good to join our lot to theirs.

Yet he had better shun the mystic’s robe

Who only seeks to pass the portal by,

Which, like some barrier of heavenly light,

Shuts out his present life from other worlds.

For in that world ’twill be of small account

What value each shall put upon himself.

No higher value shall each one receive

Than universal judgment granteth him.


Francesca Humble:

So much that here I needs must listen to

Sounds like the words of those poor blinded men

Who cannot see the noble spirit-light

Which streams from every consecrated shrine

In rays of wisdom to the outer world

To comfort and to heal the souls of men.

He only in whose heart this light doth shine,

And pierce with warming glow his inmost soul

Can recognize the true worth of this hour,

Which opens up the mystic’s solemn realm

Even to those who feel themselves too weak

To reach, through deep soul struggle, to the high

And consecrate abodes of spirit-light.

Mary Steadfast:

Many sure signs show plainly much must change

Within those souls who strive to follow close

This guidance, in their daily life on earth;

But little can be said which goes to prove

That mystic ways can lead on to those ends

Which bring strong powers into the souls of men.

It seems to me that what our time requires

Is leaders, who by using nature’s powers

Can join dexterity to genius,

And working thus amidst the things of Earth

Fulfil their purpose in the world of men.

Such men do search for roots of spirit-work

Deep in the mother-earth of truth itself,

And thus are kept from idle wandering

Along the path away from human health.

Feeling myself possessed with this idea [13]

I recognize in doctor Strader’s self

The powers which for such guidance of the soul

Are better suited than the mystics’ are.

How long hath man with sorrow had to feel

That thro’ the great inventions of technique

Full many a fetter has been riveted

On the free spirit-instinct in his soul.

But now a hope doth rise within the breast

Whereof none heretofore can e’er have dreamed.

In Strader’s workshops we can see, in small,

The working of those wonders, which, in great

Shall soon transform the meaning of technique

And free its shoulders from that heavy load

Which in our day doth weigh on many souls.


Indeed such words as these are full of hope

About my seemingly successful work.

’Tis true there yet remains the bridge to pass

Between experiment and actual use,

But still the eye of science up till now

Can only see that it is possible

That in technique the proof of all things lies.

The author of this work may be allowed

To speak here freely of the hopes he hath

As to the service it may render man.

He begs to be forgiven any words

That sound vainglorious to the general ear;

They only shadow forth the feelings whence

The strength for this work flows into his soul.

We see how in man’s daily life on earth

The workings of emotion and the soul [14]

Disperse and lapse into a soulless state

The more the spirit masters all the powers

That it can find within the realm of sense.

Each day the work grows more mechanical,

Which makes for worth in life; and through such work

Man’s life itself becomes mechanical.

Most likely much once held as burdensome

May now be proved of service to mankind.

So that the art and work of cold technique

May no more lame the soul-life of mankind

Nor prove a hindrance to true spirit-aims.

But little was achieved through all this strife

In which one question only seemed of weight,

How man should act towards his fellow-men.

I have myself spent many a solemn hour

In thinking out this riddle of man’s life.

But ever did I find such thought produced

No fruit of any value for real life.

I felt myself draw near the bitter thought

That cosmic fate hath foreordained the lot

That victory in this material realm

Must ever be to spirit-paths a foe.

Release from this bewilderment of thought

Was brought me by a seeming accident.

It was my lot to make experiments

In matters from such questions far removed;

When suddenly there flashed across my mind

A thought which showed me where the right path lay.

Test followed close on test, until at last

Such powers were gathered there in front of me,

As in their full expression shall some day

Through pure technique that freedom bring to man, [15]

In which his soul may find development.

No more shall men be forced to dream away

Their whole existence plant-like, fashioning

In narrow factory rooms unlovely things.

The powers of technique will be so unveiled

That every man shall have what he may need

To keep him in his work, in his own home

Arranged by him, as he may think it best.

I thought it well to speak first of this hope

So that it may not seem quite out of place

To say, what I must say, about this call

Which now the Rosicrucian Brotherhood

Issues to men who stand outside their league.

’Tis only when a human soul unfolds

And finds its own true being in itself

That those fine instincts, which from endless time

Draw spirits each to each, can have full scope.

And therefore, only he will think aright

Who recognizes that this call conforms

To signs, which we have learned to know full well.

The brotherhood in future will bestow

Its highest treasures freely on mankind

Because all men must learn to long for them.

Felix Balde:

The words just spoken have been wrung from out

A soul, which hath been given to our times

To grace the realms of sense with life’s true worth.

And in this field I doubt if any one

With doctor Strader could compete today.

But I myself trod very different paths

To find out what is needful for the soul. [16]

So I, too, beg your leave to speak a word.

Fate hath made clear to me that I must search

Among those treasures, which disclose themselves

To every man within his inmost soul.

Therein I seemed to find true wisdom’s light

Which can full well illuminate life’s worth.

The mystic pupilship was given me

In solitude and contemplation deep.

And thus I learned that all that makes man lord

Of this strong realm of sense, doth only serve

To blind his being, and condemn mankind

To search in darkness for the way of life.

Aye, e’en those gems of knowledge which the use

Of reason and of sense hath found on earth,

Are but faint gropings in a darkened realm.

I know it is the mystic way alone

That can direct our steps to life’s true light.

Myself I stood upon that path of truth

As one who strives without a helping hand;

But all men cannot struggle thus alone.

The knowledge gained by sense and intellect

Seems like a body left without a soul

When it doth set itself defiantly

Against the light that since Earth’s dawn hath streamed

From sacred temples of true mystery.

Ye therefore ought in gratitude to grasp

The hand that beckons from the Temple now

Upon whose threshold roses full of light

Girdle significant the sign of death.

Louisa Fear-God:

A man who feels the worth of his own soul [17]

Can but rely upon his own ideas,

If he desire to know the spirit-worlds

And find himself therein in very truth.

Whoe’er can give himself, with blindfold faith,

To outside guidance, first must lose himself.

Aye, e’en that light, which deep within himself

A man may feel as highest wisdom’s power

Claims spirit-recognition only when

Its truth admits of proof within itself.

This light may be a danger to a man

If he draws near thereto without such proof.

For often on this path the soul appears

But as some picture, drawn from cosmic depths,

Springing from out its own unconscious wish.

Frederick Clear-Mind:

Fully to understand the mystic way

Each man must trace its impulse in himself.

Who, ere he enters on the search, doth form

In his own soul a picture of the goal,

Whereto that search must lead, is sure to find

Instead of truth, delusion’s fantasy.

For, we may say, that each true mystic should

Thus hold himself toward the goal of truth

As one who from a mountain-top would gaze

Upon the beauty of a distant view.

He waits till he has gained the utmost height

Before he tries to picture all the scene

Whereto his pilgrimage hath guided him.


At such a time as this we should not ask

How men should hold themselves toward the truth. [18]

The brethren of the league will not require

To hear about such things from men like us.

It hath indeed already reached mine ears

That an occurrence of a special sort

Hath forced the league to turn and think of us.

Thomasius, who came some years ago

Beneath the influence of a spirit-stream,

Which set itself to follow mystic aims,

Hath learned just how to use such forms of thought

As in our time compel men’s confidence,

And hang them, as a mantle, round that lore

Which should be sacred to initiates.

In this way he was able to succeed,

And gain approval from both far and near

For writings which had borrowed logic’s garb

But which, in fact, contained but mystic dreams.

Even inquirers of acknowledged worth

Are with the message of the man inspired

And so lend colour to his present fame,

Which grows, I fear, in dangerous degree.

Initiates did dread this line of thought

Since it must needs destroy their fixed idea

That wisdom is their sole prerogative.

And so they try to shelter ’neath their wing

That which Thomasius is giving forth.

Indeed, they wish it to appear as if

They knew already in the years gone by

That such a message would just now be sent

To serve in building up their own great work.

If they succeed now at this present time

In drawing us with craft into their net,

They will make clear unto the world at large [19]

That powers of destiny did wisely send

Thomasius with his message at this time

So that belief in their significance

Might with the commonsense of man combine.

Gasper Hotspur:

This Mystic League is bold to make the claim

That it alone must ever guide mankind:

It proves thereby what small account it takes

Of all that can be won for man’s true weal

Just by sound commonsense, for we may say

That ’tis now proved that nature and the soul

Can be explained as things mechanical.

And ’tis indeed a check to all free thought

That doctor Strader with so clear a brain,

Should countenance this mystic fallacy.

Who thus doth master powers mechanical

Should not indeed lack insight, and we know

That ere we gain true knowledge of the soul

All mystic leanings needs must be destroyed.

Yet this false science, which Thomasius

Is giving forth today to all the world,

Enables e’en extreme sagacity

To reconcile itself with wildest dreams,

When once it falls a victim to that snare.

If through strict training in the way of thought,

Most natural to man, Thomasius

Had for this work of his prepared himself,

Instead of studying the mystic art,

He might have plucked full many a noble fruit

From wisdom’s tree through his own inborn gifts.

Instead of which upon the way he chose [20]

Naught but disastrous error could occur.

No doubt the brotherhood may like to think

Such error can be turned to their account.

It finds acceptance, since it seeks to show

That science now hath giv’n souls strong proof

Of knowledge only found in dreams before.

George Candid:

That it is possible to speak such words

As we have just been forced with pain to hear,

Shows clearly how that insight which flows forth

From spirit-life hath scarce indeed begun

To grow at all ‘midst all our modern thoughts.

Turn your eyes backward o’er the flight of time

And see what things lived in the souls of men

Before the science which is now in flower

Was even able to reveal its seed.

Then you will find that this same Mystic League

Doth but today fulfil a work which then

Was traced beforehand in the cosmic scheme.

We had to wait until Thomasius

Had finished this great work he had in hand.

The way is new by which the spirit-light

Illuminates through him the souls of men.

And yet this light did ever work in all

That men have dared to make upon the Earth.

But where, then, was the source of all this light

Which, tho’ souls knew it not, could shine so clear?

We find all signs point to the mystic art,

Which dwelt in secret consecrated shrines,

Before mankind let reason be its guide.

The Spirit League which now hath called us here [21]

Will gladly let the mystic light stream forth

On that bold work, which out of human thought

Strives to perfection in the spirit-world.

And we, who, in this hour so big with fate,

May stay awhile on consecrated ground,

Shall be the first who, uninitiate,

Shall see the torch of God from spirit-heights

Leap down into the depths of human souls.

Mary Dauntless:

Thomasius, indeed, needs not the shield,

The Rose-Cross Brothers have in mind for him,

If in an earnest scientific way

He can portray the pathway of the soul

Through many earthly lives and spirit-realms.

This work hath now revealed the light on high,

To which they say the mystic temples lead,

E’en unto men who erstwhile had to shun

The very threshold of such sacred shrines.

Such recognition doth he well deserve

As he already hath so richly found

Because he gave that freedom unto thought,

Which was denied it by the mystic schools.

Erminia Stay-at-Home:

The Rose-Cross Brothers can in future live

But in the recollection of mankind.

That which they call for, at this very time

Will soon gain consciousness of its own power

And undermine the Temple’s fundaments.

They boldly wish to join in future days

Reason and science to their sacred shrine.

Thomasius, therefore, whom so willingly [22]

They now admit into their Temple’s midst

Will count hereafter as their conqueror.


I have been sorely blamed because I think

That he acts well, who holds himself prepared

To further, in close union with the league,

The work which through Thomasius is fulfilled.

One speaker took objection to my views

And held I ought to know how dangerous

The mystic’s true soul-searching may become.

I often felt I best could understand

The spirit-way when I gave up myself

Completely to the influence binding me

To mechanisms which I made myself.

The way in which I stood toward my works

Hath shown the meaning of the sacred shrine.

And while I was at work, I often thought:

‘How do I seem to one who only tries

To understand the working of those powers

Which I put into things mechanical?

And yet what might I be unto a soul

To whom I might reveal myself in love?’

I have to thank such thoughts as these that now

The learning which from mystic circles springs

Reveals itself to me in its true light.

And so, though not initiate, I know

That souls of gods can in the sacred shrine

Reveal themselves in love to human souls.

Katharine Counsel:

The noble words which doctor Strader speaks [23]

About the sacred shrines must surely find

An echo in those souls which stand without

The gates through which initiates may pass,

But yet are counted worthy to receive

The lore initiates do strive to teach:

It is not difficult to understand

Why our forefathers held to the belief

That mystics were the enemies of light.

It even was denied their souls to guess

What hidden secrets lay within the shrine.

All this is changed today. The Mystic Light

Is not entirely hid, but tells the world

As much as uninitiate folk may know.

And many souls, who have received this light

And been revived thereby, have felt forthwith

A rousing up of soul-powers, which before

Worked in them, as in sleep, unconsciously.

(Three knocks are heard.)

Felix Balde:

The owners of this place will soon approach

And ye will hear what they desire to say.

But if ye wish to understand their words

And to receive through them the light yourselves

Ye must not by pre-judgment blind yourselves.

The power of the initiates will now

Prove itself mighty, wheresoe’er it finds

Good hearts and wills prepared to offer up

Erroneous fancies to the light of truth;

But where the will hath grown through error hard

And thus hath slain the sense of truth itself,

This power will there be proved of none effect.



Such words as these might be of use to one

Who through self-contemplation did desire

To find himself within his inmost soul.

But at the first appearance of this league

’Twere better to hold fast to those reports

About this kind of spirit-brotherhood,

Which may be credited historically.

From them we see that very many men

Have been enticed into the holy shrine

By secret words, which led them to believe

That in these temples, step by step, the soul

Could from the lowliest grades of wisdom rise

Up to the heights where spirit-sight is gained.

Who followed such inducement soon perceived

That in the lower grades he could see signs

Whose purport offered him much food for thought.

He dared to hope that in the higher grades

The meaning of these signs would be disclosed,

And wisdom be revealed: but when he reached

Those higher grades himself, he found instead

That masters knew but little of those signs

And did but speak about the world and life—

Nothing but meaningless and barren words.

If he was not deceived by these same words

Nor yet was tricked by their futility,

He turned himself away from such pursuits.

And so at this time ’tis perhaps of use

To listen to the judgment of the past

As well as unto edifying speech.

(Again three knocks are heard.)


(The curtain is drawn back, and there enter the Grand Master of the Mystic League, Hilary True-to-God; after him, Magnus Bellicosus, the Second Preceptor; Albertus Torquatus, the First Master of the Ceremonies; and Frederick Trustworthy, the Second Master of the Ceremonies. The persons who were before assembled group themselves on each side of the hall.)

Frederick Trustworthy:

Dear friends, this moment, when we join us first

At this our temple’s ancient holy gates

Is most significant for you and us.

The call which we have given to you now

Was strongly laid upon us by the signs

Which our Grand Master could discern full well

In the wise plan of earth’s development.

There it is very plainly shadowed forth

That at this time the service wise and true

Of this our sacred Temple must unite

With universal commonsense of man,

Which seeks for truth far off from mystic paths.

Yet in the plan were also signs to show

That ere this consummation could be reached,

A man must first arise who understood

How to bring knowledge, built on commonsense

And reason only, into such a form

As truly to comprise the spirit-world;

This now hath happened. To Thomasius

The lot has fallen to produce a work

Based on that very science, which today [26]

All men demand. This work in their own tongue

Doth bring full proof of spirit-worth, which men

Could only find in mystic paths before,

And in the temples of initiates.

This work will now become the fetter firm

That you with us unites in spirit-life;

Through it will ye be able to discern

How firm the base on which our teaching rests.

And through it, too, ye will receive the power

To take from us that knowledge with free will

Which is confined to mystic paths alone

And so, in living fruitfulness, that Life

Can now unfold itself, which doth unite

The universal commonsense of man

With all the customs of the sacred shrine.

Magnus Bellicosus:

Our brother’s words have made it clear to you,

That we have been induced by solemn signs

To call you to the Threshold of our Shrine.

The Master soon will speak to you and show

The deeper reasons for thus calling you.

But first I must, so far as may be meet,

Tell you of this great man, whose work hath made

Our present union possible today.

Thomasius gave himself to painting’s art

Until he felt an inward spirit-call

To take up science as his work in life.

His gifts which were so great and so unique

Within the region of the painter’s art,

Were first developed when he passed within

The spheres devoted to true mystic lore, [27]

These led him to the Master, and, through him,

He learnt the first steps in that world of truth

Where wisdom teaches spiritual sight.

Upborne to spirit-heights and thus infilled

With great creative power, he painted then

Pictures, which seem indeed like living men.

That which would soon have driven other men

To strive amain toward the highest goal

Upon the beaten track of art—all this

Was but a fresh incentive to his brain

To use hard-won success in such a way

As might prove best for welfare of mankind.

He saw full well that spirit-science must

First find a firm foundation, and for this

The sense for science and strict reasoning

Must be released from mania for set form

Through contact with an artist mind, and gain

The inward strength to realize the truth

Of world-relationship in life and deed.

And so Thomasius hath offered up,

A willing off’ring to humanity,

The artist-power, he might have used himself.

O friends, read ye aright this man’s true soul

And understand the call which now we give

And hesitate no more to follow it.

Hilary True-to-God:

In that same Spirit’s Name, which is revealed

To souls within our sacred shrine, we come

To men who until now might never hear

The word which here doth secretly sound forth.

Those Powers which guide the purpose of our Earth [28]

Could not in its beginning be revealed

To all humanity in their full light.

As in the body of a child, the powers

Through which it learns to act and use its mind,

Must gradually ripen, and grow strong;

So must humanity unfold itself

As one great whole throughout its earthly course.

The impulse in the soul which later on

Might worthy prove to gaze on spirit-light

In higher worlds, first lived in atrophy.

Yet in the Earth’s beginning there were sent

From out the higher kingdoms of real life

Exalted spirit-beings, who might act

As wise instructors of humanity.

In mystic holy shrines did they employ

Those mighty spirit powers, which were poured forth

In secret into souls which could know nought

Of their exalted leaders or their work.

Then later from the ranks of men themselves

These masters wise could choose for pupils those

Who by well-tested lives of self-denial

Had proved that they were ripe to be ordained

Into the mystic aims and wisdom’s lore.

And when the pupils of those early seers

Could guard in worthy way the good and true,

Then those sublime instructors turned their steps

Back to their own especial realms of life.

These pupils of the gods then chose out men

Who might succeed them in the guardianship

Of spirit-treasures; and in such a way

The treasures were passed on from age to age.

Until the present time all mystic schools, [29]

If they are such in truth, have really sprung

From that which first was founded from on high.

Humbly we cherish in this very place

That which our fathers handed down to us.

We do not ever speak about the dues,

Which through our office we inherited,

But only of the favour shown to us

By those great spirit-powers, who chose weak men

As mediators, and entrusted them

With treasures which bring forth the spirit-light

In souls of men: and ’tis our lot, dear friends,

To open to you now this treasured store.

For signs which in the plan of all the worlds

Can clearly be discerned by spirit-eyes

Show most propitious at this very time.


From distant worlds, it seems, the reasons come

Which should convince us that ’twere meet that we

Should join ourselves to you, and in this way

Should be the first to give the impetus

To this great work Thomasius gives the world.

However grand what thou hast spoken sounds,

It cannot drown in hearts of homely men

The thought that such a work will take effect

Through its own power, if it should prove to hold

Within itself what souls of men require.

If this work prove important, it will be,

Not through the things the mystics offer us,

But since true science comes to the support

Of spirit-knowledge, and doth prove it true.

If this be really so, what use is there, [30]

If mystic approbation paves the way,

And not th’ intrinsic merit of the work?

Albertus Torquatus:

The science which is opening on the world

From such foundations as Thomasius laid

Will neither gain nor lose through such applause

As we or ye may choose to render it.

And yet thereby a way can now be found

By which mankind may study mystic lore.

It would accomplish only half its work

If it should show the goal, but not the road.

And now it rests with you to understand

That now at last the moment hath arrived

For reason and the mystic path to join;

And to the spirit-life of this our world

To give thereby the power which can but work

When it reveals itself in season due.




Scene 2

The same. The persons who were at first assembled have left, with the exception of Felix Balde and Dr. Strader, who remain with Hilary True-to-God, the Grand Master; Magnus Bellicosus, the Second Preceptor; Albertus Torquatus, the First Master of the Ceremonies; Frederick Trustworthy, the Second Master of the Ceremonies; Maria; and Johannes Thomasius.


My son, what thou hast perfected must now

Within this holy place receive the seal,

Which sacred and primeval knowledge gives,

Besides the blessing of the Rosy Cross.

What thou hast brought the world must be through us

Unto the Spirit offered, that it may

Bear fruit in all the worlds, where power of man

Can be made use of for world-fashioning.


That thou might’st give unto the world this work

Thou had’st to part for many years with much

That in thine inmost soul thou loved’st best.

There stood a spirit-teacher at thy side,

Who went from thee, so that thy human soul

Might perfectly unfold its powers in thee. [32]

Thou wast in closest touch with one dear friend;

She also left thee, for thou had’st to learn

That which men only learn when they are set

To follow out their soul’s powers in themselves.

With courage hast thou passed through this ordeal.

That which was taken from thee for thy good

Is, for thy good, restored to thee anew.

Thy friend stands here before thee: in the shrine

She waits for thee to follow out our wish.

Soon, thou wilt meet thy teacher once again.

These friends, who on our temple’s threshold stand,

Desire to join with us in greeting thee,

As one who brings great knowledge here with him.

Felix Balde (to Thomasius):

The mystic art which heretofore aspired

Through inward contemplation toward the light,

Will through thine act be able now to work

Through knowledge gained within the world of sense.

Strader (to Thomasius):

Those souls who after spirit-knowledge strive

While life still unto matter binds them fast,

Will now through thee find out a road by which

They can attain the light in their own way.


Exalted Master, and ye, honoured sirs!

Ye think to see before you now a man

Who, through the Spirit’s power and earnest strife,

Was able to produce the work you praise

And can acknowledge with your fostering care. [33]

Ye think that he will certainly succeed

In reconciling science of today

With ever-ancient sacred mystic art.

And truly were there anything besides

The voice of mine own soul, which could instil

Belief about it into me, I think

It well might be your words.…


It well might be your words.... The Master’s word

Doth but express that which without a doubt

Thou feelest in thy soul. There is no need

To strengthen what thine inner voice declares.


Ah! were it so, most humbly would I stand

Before you and implore that I might gain

The temple’s blessing on this work of mine.

I used to think it so, when first I heard

The word by which I came to understand

That ye would take my work beneath your care

And open gateways to me, which before

Only initiates could e’er approach.

But as I trod the path that led to you

There opened out upon my soul a world

To which, at such a time ye certainly

Would not have wished to lead me. Ahriman

In all his greatness stood before me there.

And then I saw that he it is in truth

Who is the expert in real cosmic laws.

What human beings think they know of him

Is of no value. Only he can know [34]

Who once hath seen him in the spirit-world.

It was from him alone that I could learn

The truth about this work of mine in full.

He showed how in the progress of the world

One could not judge effects of such a work;

Since its true progress cannot be appraised

By those impressions men may form of it

Who judge by science and strict logic’s law.

The final verdict cannot be pronounced

Till creature from creator is set free,

And, freed from him, can follow its own path

Throughout the courses of the spirit-life.

Yet now the work is so bound up with me

That it is possible that I might turn

That which I guide back from the spirit-realms

To something evil, even though it were

Good in itself and in its working power.

I must myself from out the spirit-world

Send forth afar my influence on all

Which shows itself on Earth as the result

Of that which I have brought forth from my mind.

And if I should let evil issue forth

From out the spirit-world, through these results,

Then would the truth do damage greater far

Than error, for men follow after truth

According to their insight, error not.

I shall for certain at some future time

Turn the results of this my act to ill

For Ahriman hath clearly shewn to me

That these results must all belong to him.

While I was at my work, and filled with joy [35]

That it should lead me with such certain tread

Step after step, up truth’s great pyramid,

I only noticed in my soul that part

Which lent itself to help me in my search;

And all the rest I left without a guard.

All those wild impulses, which formerly

Were but in bud, could now in quietude

Bloom forth and ripen into full grown fruits.

I thought I dwelt in highest spirit-realms,

But was in truth in deepest night of soul.

It was the strength of these same impulses

Which showed me clearly Ahriman’s own realm.

And so I know the effect that I shall have,

For in the future all these impulses

Will go to form my personality.

Before I took this work in hand, I gave

Myself to Lucifer, because I wished

To learn to know and understand his realm.

Now know I, what I could not see before

When I was lost entirely in my work,

That he it was who wove around my thought

Those beauteous pictures, which within my soul

Brought forth wild impulses, which silent now

Will surely one day gain control of me.


How can one who hath reached such spirit-heights

And knows all this for certain, yet believe

That he hath no escape from evil left?

Why, thou canst see where danger for thee lies;

And so canst crush it, and with courage save

Thyself, and the results of thy great work: [36]

A spirit-pupil is in duty bound

To kill what hinders progress in himself.


I see, thou judgest not by cosmic laws,

I could e’en now fulfil what thou dost wish

And I myself could quite well tell myself

In this same hour all that thou tellest me.

But that which Karma now doth let me do

Will not in future be permissible.

For things must come which will o’ershadow me

And darken all my spirit, till I turn

To that which I described to thee just now.

Then as the world progresses I will seize

With greed on anything that’s in my work

Which can be used for harm, and all of this

I will embody in my spirit-life.

Then I shall have to love great Ahriman

And joyfully to his possession give

All that I have derived from earthly life.

(Pause, during which Thomasius meditates deeply.)

If all alone I could encounter this,

And bear it also in my soul alone,

I could await with fullest peace of mind

All that was destined for me on my way.

But it will harm your league as much as me.

Whatever bad shall follow from my work

Both for myself and other souls of men,

Will find its balance through just Karma’s law.

The fact that ye fell victims to this fault

Makes it far harder for the life of earth, [37]

Since ye are leaders in this self-same life

And ought to read the spirit-worlds aright.

Ye ought not to have failed to notice then

That it was someone else, and not myself

Who should have had the doing of this work.

Ye should have known it must be put aside

For now; and later would appear again

Through one who otherwise would guide its course.

So by your judgment, ye deprive the league

Of rights it ought to have, if it would still

Direct the service of the Sacred Place.

Because this fate for you was shown to me

I now appear upon your threshold here.

Knowledge would otherwise have kept me far,

For truly I can claim no blessing now

Upon this work, which does both good and harm.


Dear brethren, that which we have just begun,

Cannot be carried any further now.

We must betake ourselves unto the Place

From whence the Spirit can make known His will.

(Hilary leaves the hall with Bellicosus, Torquatus, and Trustworthy. Doctor Strader and Felix Balde also leave. Only Maria and Thomasius are left.)

(The hall grows dark. After a short pause the three Spirit-forms Philia, Astrid, and Luna appear in a cloud of light, and group themselves so that they completely hide Maria. The following is a spirit-experience of Thomasius.)



The soul is athirst

To drink of the light

Which flows from the worlds,

An all-caring will

Hides close from mankind.

But eagerly seeks

The spirit to hear

The language divine

Which wisdom in love

Doth hide from the heart.

For danger surrounds

The thoughts that would search

In realms of the soul,

Where secret things rule

The senses from far.


Yet souls are enlarged,

Which follow the light

And work through the worlds

Which bold spirit-sight

Reveals to mankind.

The spirit doth strive

Enraptured to live

In realms of the gods

Which wisdom benign

Makes known to the seer.

There mysteries beckon

The bold keen desire

To win those new worlds [39]

Which far from man’s thought

Deep secrets conceal.


It ripens the soul

To picture the sight

Whence powers will spring forth

Which will, reft of fear,

Doth kindle in man.

The ransoming powers

From primeval depths

Bring magical might

That sense cannot know,

Close barriered in earth.

And traces are there

That each searching soul

May find out the gate

Fast closed by the gods

’Gainst erring desire.

The Voice of Conscience (invisible):

Now totter thy thoughts

In Being’s abyss;

And what was lent as help to them,

Thou now hast lost.

And what shone as the sun for them

For thee is quenched.

Alone in cosmic depths thou wanderest,

Which men intoxicated with desire

Would seek to win.

Thou tremblest in the fundaments of growth [40]

Where men must learn to be bereft of all

Comfort of soul.…

(The last words run straight on into the following ones spoken by Maria, who is still hidden by the Spirit-forms and cannot be seen. She speaks at first in a ghostly inward voice.)


So blend thy soul

To powers of love

Which once could penetrate her with the hope

Of living warmth,

Which once could all her will illuminate

With spirit-light.

Rescue from loneliness

The powers of heart that seek

And feel the nearness of thy friend

In the darkness of thy strife.

(The Spirit-forms vanish with the cloud of light. Maria becomes visible in her old place. Maria and Thomasius are alone, standing opposite each other. From now onwards the experiences are on the physical plane.)

Thomasius (rousing himself from deep meditation):

Where was I even now? My powers of soul

Unveiled the conflict of my inner-self;

The conscience of the world revealed to me

What I had lost; and then as blessing came

The voice of Love within the darksome realm.


Johannes, the companion of thy soul

May once again be present at thy side, [41]

And follow thee to earth’s primeval depths,

Where souls can win perception e’en as gods,

By conquest that destroyeth, yet acquires

By bold persistence life from seeming death.

E’en in the ever empty fields of ice

She may go with her friend, where he will be

Encircled with the light which spirits form

When darkness wounds and maims the powers of life.

My friend, thou standest at that threshold now,

Where man must lose what once he hath attained.

Full many a glance thou hast toward spirit-realms

Directed, and from them hast gained the power

That made thee capable of thy great work.

It seems to thee, that now that work is lost;

Desire not then that it were otherwise,

For such desire must rob thee of all power

Of further progress into spirit-realms.

Whether thou walk’st in error or in truth,

Thou canst keep ever clear the view ahead,

Which lets thy soul press further on its path

If thou dost bravely bear necessities

Imposed upon thee by the spirit-realm.

This is the law of spirit-pupilship.

So long as thou still harbourest the wish

That what hath happened might be otherwise

Thou wilt forego the power which must be thine,

If thou dost wish to stay in spirit-land.

That thou hast lost what thou erewhile hadst won

Is surest sign to thee that thou may’st walk

In safety further on the spirit-path.

Henceforward thou must not rely upon,

If thou in truth regardest it as lost, [42]

That understanding which thou hast till now

Well-used as the criterion of thy work.

Therefore thy being must become quite still

And wait in silence for the spirit’s gifts;

Then only wilt thou commune with thyself

When thou once more hast won thyself anew.

Oft hast thou met the solemn Guardian

Who on the Threshold keeps so strict a watch

When spirit-life must part from world of sense;

But past that presence hast thou never been.

At sight of him aye didst thou turn away

And all thy view was pictured from without.…

Ne’er in that inner world which widens out

Beyond thee as the spirit-verity,

Have thy steps trod: so must thou now await

That which shall be revealed, when at my side

Thou shalt not only to such world draw nigh,

But shalt pass o’er the Threshold’s boundary.




Scene 3

In Lucifer’s kingdom. A space which is not enclosed by artificial walls, but by fantastic forms which resemble plants, animals, etc. All in various brilliant shades of red. In the background are arranged three transparencies showing the top of Raphael’s ‘Disputa,’ Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper,’ and Raphael’s ‘School of Athens.’ These are illuminated from the back of the stage whenever Maria or Benedictus challenges Lucifer. At other times they are invisible. On the right, Lucifer’s throne. At first only the souls of Capesius and Maria are present. After a time Lucifer appears, and later on Benedictus and Thomasius, with his etheric counterpart or ‘double,’ and lastly, Theodora.


Thou, who within the realm of sense art named

Capesius, I wonder why it is

Thou art the being whom I meet the first

In Lucifer’s domain: ’tis dangerous

When spirits of this place blow round one’s head.

Capesius (in astral garb):

O speak not to me of Capesius

Who in the kingdom of the Earth erewhile

Strove through a life which he hath long since known [44]

Was but a dream. Whilst there be bent his mind

Upon such things as ever come to pass

As time streams on. And he had set himself

In that way to discover all the powers

Through which mankind fulfils its spirit-life.

What thus he came to know about those powers

He tried to keep deep fastened in his soul.

Now only in this realm one understands

To judge aright the knowledge he pursued.

He thought the pictures he possessed were true

And could reveal to him reality;

But, viewed from here, they clearly show themselves

As naught but empty dreams, which Spirit-hands

Have woven round about weak men of Earth.

They cannot bear the cold clear light of truth.

They would be utterly afraid and stunned

If they should learn how all the course of life

Is turned by spirits after their ideas.


Thou speakest as I’ve only heard those speak

Who ne’er have been incarnate on the Earth.

They tell you Earth hath no significance,

That in the universe its work is small.

But he who hath belonged to realms of Earth

And owes to it the best powers that he hath,

Will have a different tale to tell thereof.

He finds important many threads of fate

Which bind Earth’s life to that of all the worlds.

E’en Lucifer who works here with such power

Must keep his gaze fixed fast upon the Earth,

And seek to turn men’s deeds in such a way [45]

That their results may ripen his own soul.

He knows he’d fall a victim to the dark

If he could find no booty on the Earth,

And so his fate is bound up with that sphere.

So too, with those who dwell in other worlds.

And when the human soul can clearly see

The cosmic goal, which Lucifer desires,

And can compare with it what those powers wish

Who have him as opponent to their aims,

Then will she know that he can be destroyed

Through conquests which she gains o’er her own self.


The human being who here talks with thee

Thinks that fate dreadful, which compels him now

To wear a body round him; which hath yet

The breath of life and keeps its earthly form,

Although the spirit hath no more control.

At such a time this spirit feels indeed

That worlds, he values, fall at one fierce blow.

He feels himself within a prison-house

Narrow and horrible with naught all round.

Remembrance of the life that he passed through

Seems, as it were, extinguished from his soul.

At times he feels aware of human souls,

But what they say he cannot understand;

He only catches some especial words

Which lift themselves from out the general talk,

And bring remembrance of the loveliness

Which he can gaze on in the Spirit-realms.

He’s in his body then, and yet is not;

And lives within himself a life he fears [46]

When he beholds it from this region here:

And he is longing for the time to come

When from this body he will be set free.


The body which is proper to Earth-souls

Bears in itself the means to recreate

In lofty pictures loveliness sublime:

Which pictures, even if their substance now

Seems but a shadow in the human soul,

Are yet the buds which in the future worlds

Will open out to blossom and to fruit.

So through his body man may serve the gods.

And his soul’s life doth show in its true light

Only when in his body he doth find

The power to give his “I” reality.


Ah, utter not that word in front of him

Who stands before thee now in Spirit-realms

And on the Earth is called Capesius.

He fain would flee away when that word sounds,

So fierce it burns him here.


So fierce it burns him here. So thou dost hate

That which first gives true being unto men?

How canst thou come to live within this realm

If so appalling seems that word to thee?

For no one can arrive as far as this

Who hath not faced the nature of that word. [47]


He who appears to thee hath often stood

Before great Lucifer who rules this realm.

And Lucifer hath made it clear to him

That only souls, who consciously make use

Of powers that from their earthly bodies come,

Can harm the realm which doth obey his will.

Those souls however who go through their life

Within the body, as it were in swoon,

And yet already have clairvoyant power,

These only learn in Lucifer’s domain,

And cannot cause it harm in any way.


I know that in these realms of Spirit-life

’Tis not by words, but sight, that one doth learn.

What in this moment I have come to see

Because of thine appearance to me here,

Will later show itself within my soul

As progress in my spirit-pupilship.


Here ’tis not only teaching that one gains;

Duties are also shown one in this place.

Thou hast here spoken with the soul of him

Who calls himself Capesius on earth.

The spirit-glances into former lives

That are accorded thee, will show to thee

Thou owest much through Karma unto him.

Therefore thou shouldst petition Lucifer

That he, the great Light-Bearer, should allow

Capesius to guard thee on the Earth. [48]

Thou knowest through thy wisdom well enough

What thou canst do for him, so that he may

Be led again to thee in later lives

So that through thee the debt may be wiped out.


And so this duty which I hold so dear

Must be fulfilled through power from Lucifer?


Thou dost desire this duty to fulfil,

And that can only be through Lucifer.

Look! Here he comes, the Spirit of the Light.

(Lucifer appears and, in the course of his speech, Benedictus.)


Maria, thou art asking at my throne

Self-knowledge for that very human soul

Who standeth near thee in the life on Earth.

It cannot learn to know itself aright

Except by gazing deep into myself;

And that it will achieve without thine aid.

How canst thou think that I would grant to thee

All that thou mayst desire for this thy friend?

Thou namest Benedictus as thy guide,

Who is my strong opponent on the Earth,

Lending unto mine enemies his strength.

Already hath he stolen much from me.

Johannes cut himself adrift from him

And placed himself beneath my guiding hand.

He cannot yet indeed see my true self [49]

Because he hath not yet the seer’s full power.

He will attain it later through myself,

And then he will entirely be mine own.

But I command thee not to speak a word

That might apply to him in any way

So long as thou dost stand before my throne.

Any such word would burn me in this place.

Here words are deeds, and deeds must follow them;

But what might follow—from such words of thine—

It must not be——


It must not be—— Thou must give ear to her.

For where words have an equal power with deeds

They come in consequence of former deeds.

The deed is done that conquers Lucifer.

Maria is my spirit-pupil true.

I could direct her to that point, whence she

Could recognize the highest spirit-task,

Which same she will most certainly fulfil.

And in fulfilling it she will for sure

Build in Johannes power and balm to heal,

Which will release him from thy kingdom’s grip.

Maria carries deep within her soul

A solemn holy vow which doth awake

Such healing powers in progress of the worlds.

Soon wilt thou hear all this put into words,

But if with powerful thought thou wouldst suppress

And veil the rays of light through which thou gainst

The magic power to strive against, and win

The victory o’er all that selfhood means, [50]

I think that then thou’lt glimpse the healing rays,

Which will in future shine with such a strength

That they will draw Johannes to their realm,

By their all-powerful love.


By their all-powerful love. Johannes soon

Will here appear; and yet in such a form

As earthly souls would recognize as theirs,

Will come that being, who within the man

Lies hid as dual personality.

And if Johannes could but recognize

Thee as thou seemest to his earthly form

It could not bring to him all he requires

To help him in the progress of his soul.

Thou shalt vouchsafe to him this double now

For him to use upon those spirit-paths

O’er which I shall in future guide his steps.


Johannes then must stand before me now.

I feel full well the power which comes from thee;

It hath opposed me since the Earth began.

(Enter Johannes Thomasius and his Etheric Counterpart from different sides of the stage at the same moment, and meet face to face.)


O mine own Likeness, up till now thou hast

Shown thyself to me only that I might

Be frightened at the sight of mine own self.

I cannot understand thee much as yet;

I only know that thou dost guide my soul. [51]

’Tis thou then who dost baulk me of free life

And dost prevent me from due cognizance

Of what I really am. Now must I hear

Thee speak in front of Lucifer, to see

What I in future years shall yet achieve.

Thomasius’ Double:

’Tis true I often was allowed to come

And bring Johannes knowledge of himself.

But I could only work in those soul depths,

Which still are hidden from his consciousness.

My life within him hath for some long time

Been subject to considerable change.

Maria used to stand close to his side.

He thought her bound in spirit to himself;

I showed him that the true guides of his soul

Were only passion and impulsiveness.

He could but think of this as some reproach,

But thou couldst show, O Light-Bearer sublime,

To sensual tendencies the way by which

They best might serve the spirit-purposes.

Johannes from Maria had to part,

And give himself forthwith to earnest thought

Which hath the power to purify men’s souls.

What from his purity of thought streamed forth

Flowed also into me, and I was changed.

I felt his purity within myself.

Nought need he fear from me, if he should now

Feel once more drawn toward Maria’s soul.

But he belongs, as yet, to thy domain,

And at this moment I demand him back.

For he could now experience myself, [52]

Unless thou will’st to misdirect his sense.

He needs me now, that from me there may flow

Into his thought with mighty conscious strength

Both warmth of soul and also power of heart.

Then once more shall he find himself as man.


I count thy striving good. Yet can I not

Grant to thee all that thou dost ask of me.

For should I give thee to Johannes now

In that same form wherein in former years

Thou didst appear before his mind and soul,

He would at present only give his love

To thinking and to knowledge cold and bare;

And all warm individuality

Would seem unfeeling, meaningless and dead.

It is not thus my power must fashion him.

Through me he must discover in himself

His living personality and self.

I must transform thee, if the thing that’s right

Shall come forth for his health and progress now.

I have a long time since prepared for all

That now shall clearly show itself in thee.

In future thou wilt seem another man.

Johannes will no more Maria love,

As he hath loved her in the days gone by.

Yet none the less he’ll love, with all the strength

And all the passion he once gave to her.


The glorious work in which we’ve gained success

Thou wouldst now turn unto thine own account. [53]

Thou hast Johannes through his power of heart

Marked for thine own one day; and yet thou seest

That thou must make the fetters stronger still

If thou wouldst keep his being for thyself.

His heart will be beneath his spirit’s rule—

If that is so then all the knowledge-work

Which he on Earth accomplished, must be giv’n

In future, for their own, to those great Powers

Which thou hast fought against since Time began.

If thou succeed’st in lowering that love

Which now Johannes for Maria feels

And changing it by cunning to the lust

Which thou dost now require for thine own ends,

Then will he turn the good he did on Earth,

To evil ends from out the Spirit-worlds.


Then he may yet be saved? ’Tis not decreed

That he must fall a victim to the powers

That want to gain his work now for themselves?


It would be so if all the Powers remained

Just as at present they have formed themselves;

But if at the right hour thou dost allow

Thy vow to take effect in thine own soul

Those powers must change their course in future times.


So work, compelling powers,

Ye elemental sprites,

Feel now your Master’s power; [54]

And smooth for me the way,

That leads from realms of Earth

That so there may draw near

To Lucifer’s domain

Whate’er my wish desires

Whate’er obeys my will.

(Theodora appears.)


Who calleth me to realms so strange to me?

I like it not, unless the world of gods

Reveals itself in love unto my soul,

And glowing warmth entwining round my heart

Draws spirit-speech from out mine inmost soul.

Thomasius’ Double:

Ah, how thou dost transform my very life!

Thou hast appeared, and here am I, a man

Who now can only work when filled by thee.

Johannes shall, through me, be now thine own,

And from henceforward thou shalt have the love

Which once so fearful and so radiant

Was wrested for Maria from his heart.

He saw thee years ago, but did not then

Feel all the warmth of love which was to grow

In secret in the depths of his own soul.

Now it will rise, and fill him full of power,

And turn his thoughts entirely to thyself.


The crucial moment is arriving now,

His strongest power hath Lucifer let loose: [55]

Maria, all the training of thy soul

Thou must put forth in strength to vanquish him.


O Bearer of that Light, which would confine

Love only to the service of the self;

Thou hast from Earth’s beginning granted men

Knowledge, when they, still guided by the gods,

Obeyed the spirit, knowing nought of self.

But since that time each soul of man hath been

The place in which thou fightest ’gainst the gods.

Yet now the times are coming, which must bring

Destruction on thyself and on thy realms.

A thinker bold was able to release

Science from all thy gifts in such a way

That unto mankind’s gods it gave itself.

But thou dost try once more to get the powers,

Which for the gods are destined, for thyself.

Because Johannes through his work hath now

Deprived thee of that knowledge, with whose fruit

Thou from the first deceived’st all mankind,

So now thou would’st deceive him, through that love

Which, should he follow out his destined path

For Theodora he should never feel.

Thou fain wouldst conquer Wisdom now by Love,

As once ’gainst Love thou didst by Wisdom fight.

But know full well that in Maria’s heart,

With which she now opposeth thy designs,

The spirit-pupilship hath planted powers

To keep far off, for ever, all self-love

From Knowledge. Never from this hour will I

Allow myself to be possessed by joy [56]

Such as men feel when thoughts grow ripe within.

I’ll steel my heart to serve as sacrifice

So that my mind can always only think

In such a way that through my thoughts I may

Offer the fruits of Knowledge to the gods.

My sacred service shall such Knowledge be,

And what I thus effect within myself

Shall o’er Johannes powerfully outstream,

And oft, in future, when within his heart

These words are whispered from thyself to him:

Man’s human nature shall through love find out

What gives strength to his personality.’

Then shall my heart this powerful answer give:

‘Once didst thou hear these words, when Earth began,

And there didst show forth signs of Wisdom’s fruit,

“The fruits of love can only come to man

When they are brought to him from realms divine.” ’


I mean to fight.


I mean to fight. And fighting, serve the gods.




Scene 4

A cheerful pink room in the home of Strader and his wife Theodora. One notices by the arrangement that they use it as a room in common, where they carry on their various works. On his table there are mechanical models; on hers things to do with mystic studies. The two are holding a conversation which shows that they are absorbed in the fact that it is the seventh anniversary of their wedding day.


’Tis seven years today since thou becam’st

The loved and dear companion of my life

And also unto me a source of light,

Which shone upon a life which formerly

Was threatened only with approaching dark.

In spirit-life I was a starving man

When thou didst first stand at my side and give

That which the world had aye withheld from me.

For long years had I striven earnestly

To probe the depths of science with my mind

And find the worth of life and goal of man.

One day I clearly had to recognize

That all this striving had been quite in vain

Hadst thou not shown that man’s spirit seeks

How to reveal itself through certain things

Which shunned my knowledge and my eager thought. [58]

I met thee then amongst that company

Where Benedictus was the guide of all,

And listened to thy revelations there.

Later I saw how in Thomasius

The spirit-pupilship could work with power

Within the human soul. What thus I saw

Robbed me of faith in science and good sense,

And yet it showed me nothing at that time

Which really seemed to me intelligent.

I turned away from all the realm of thought

And went on living in an aimless way

Since life had ceased to be of worth to me.

I gave myself to technique that it might

Bring me oblivion and forgetfulness,

And lived a life of torment, till once more

I met thee, for the second time; and then

Our friendship soon grew deep and ripe for love.


It is but natural, that on this day

Remembrance of those old times should again

Stand out so vividly before thy soul.

I also feel a need in mine own heart

To look back once again upon those days

When we were drawn together in life’s bond.

I felt the constant strengthening at that time

Within me of the power which made my soul

Able for knowledge from the spirit-worlds.

And under Felix Balde’s noble lead

This power grew on thenceforward to that height

At which it stood just seven years ago.

About that time I met Capesius [59]

One day in Felix’ lovely woodland home.

A long life had he spent in deep research

And won his way to spirit-pupilship.

He greatly wished to be allowed to learn

My way of gazing on the spirit-world.

So after that I spent much time with him.

And in his house I chanced to meet with thee

And could bring healing to thy mental wounds.


And then the true light shone into my soul

Which long had only gazed upon the dark.

I saw at last what spirit is, in truth.

Thou ledd’st me on in such a way to see

What was disclosed to thee from higher worlds,

That every doubt might swiftly disappear.

All this at that time worked so much on me

That first I thought of thee as nothing else

Except a medium for the spirit’s work.

It was a long while e’er I recognized

That not my mind alone hung on thy words,

Which did reveal to it its true abode;

But that my heart was taken captive too

And could no longer live without thee near.


Then didst thou tell me that which thou didst feel

And all thy words were in so strange a form;

It seemed as if thou never hadst one thought

That all the longing dwelling in thy heart

Could even hope it might be satisfied.

Thy words showed clearly that it was advice [60]

That thou wast seeking from thy sister-soul.

Thou spakst of help which thou didst then require

And of the strengthening of thy powers of soul

Which otherwise must keep thee prison-bound.


That my soul’s messenger could be by fate

Destined to be companion of my life

Lay very far from all I had in mind

When, seeking help, I showed my heart to thee.


And yet those very words which cut adrift

Thy heart from mine at first, soon went to prove

That all of this could not be otherwise—

Hearts often have to point the way to fate.


And when thy heart pronounced the fateful word

My soul was flooded o’er with waves of life

Which, though I could not feel, I knew were there;

’Twas not till late, when my memory

Rose from the depths of my subconscious soul,

That they fulfilled themselves in rays of light.

I could know all, from what my mem’ry taught,

But could not live it then, because so much

Still held me far apart from spirit-life.

’Twas then indeed I first became aware

Of spirit in close contact with my soul.

Ne’er have I felt like that again; and yet

That knowledge gave to me a certainty

That hath illuminated all my life.

And then flowed on these seven wondrous years. [61]

I learned to feel how e’en mechanic skill

Which now I study, is enriched by souls

Whose attitude t’ward spirit-life is right.

’Twas through the spirit-power which thou couldst give

And which made such demands upon my life

That I was able to look out beyond

The strife for power, and thence quite suddenly

As if it had been prompted, there appeared

Before my wondering spirit that new work

From which we now may dare to hope so much

And in thy light I felt within my soul

The full awakening of all those powers

Which would have perished, had I lived alone.

This certainty of life which I had won

Let me stand upright then, just at that time

When, in such startling wise, Thomasius

Condemned before the Rose Cross brotherhood

The work of his own brain, and cast himself

Adrift, with judgment hard, just at that hour

Which could have brought him to his life’s full height.

This inner certainty could hold me fast

When all the outer world seemed to reveal

Naught but a mass of contradicting facts.

Through thee alone have I gained all this power.

The spirit-revelation which thou gav’st

Brought me the sense of knowledge I had won;

And when the revelation came no more

Thou still didst stay my strength and light of soul.

Theodora (in a broken sentence, as if meditating deeply):

Then when the revelation came no more …



’Tis that which often made me sorrowful.

I wondered if ’twere not deep pain to thee

To lose thy seeress’ power of second-sight,

And whether thou didst suffer silently,

Lest I should grieve: and yet thy temperament

Showed thou couldst bear with calmness fate’s decree.

But lately thou hast seemed to me to change,

Joy no more streams from thee as heretofore

And thine eye’s glowing light begins to fade.


Indeed it could not be deep pain to me

When spirit-revelation disappeared.

My fate had only changed my way of life;

Which I must needs accept with patience calm.

But now ’tis born once more, and brings great grief.


This is the first time in these seven years

I cannot fathom Theodora’s mind;

For each experience of spirit-life

Was such a source of inward joy to thee.


Quite different is the revelation now.

At first, as then, I feel myself constrained

To drive away all thought that is mine own;

But where, before, after some little time

When I achieved this inward emptiness

A gentle light did hover round my soul [63]

And spirit-pictures wished to form themselves;

There come now unseen feelings of disgust;

Which come in such a way that I am sure

The power I feel within comes from without—

Then fear I cannot banish pours itself

Into my life and governs all my soul—

And gladly would I flee from that dread Shape

That is invisible, and yet abhorred.

It tries to reach me with its evil will

And I can only hate what is revealed.


With Theodora ’tis not possible.

They say that what one thus lives through, is but

The mirrored working of one’s own soul-powers.

Yet thy soul could not show such things as these.

Theodora (painfully, slowly, as if reflecting):

I know indeed that such ideas are held—

Therefore with all the power that still was mine

I sank into the spirit-world and prayed

That those same beings who so oft before

Were kind to me, would graciously reveal

How I could learn the cause of all my pain.

(Now follow in broken words):

And then … the shining Light … came … as before

And formed … the image … of an earthly man.…

It was … Thomasius …


Strader (painfully, overcome by the quick inrush of feelings):

It was ... Thomasius … Thomasius …

The man in whom I always have believed …

(Pause, then meditating painfully.)

When I again recall before my soul

How he behaved towards the Mystic League …

How of himself and Ahriman he spake——

(Theodora is lost in contemplation, and stares blankly into space, as if her spirit were absent.)


O Theodora … what dost thou … see now.…




Scene 5

A round room in the little house in the wood, described in the “Soul’s Probation,” as Felix Balde’s home. Dame Balde, Felix Balde, Capesius, Strader, are seen seated at a table on the left of the stage. Later appears the Soul of Theodora. The room is the natural colour of the wood and has two pretty arched windows.

Dame Balde:

We shall not know again her beauteous self

Nor feel her radiant nature till we too

Shall reach some day the world to which she hath

So early from our sight been stol’n away.

A few short weeks ago we still could hear

With joy in this our house the graciousness

That streamed so warmly through her every word.

Felix Balde:

We both, my wife Felicia, and myself,

Loved her indeed from out our inmost soul,

So can we share and understand thy grief.


Dear Theodora, she so often spoke

Throughout the last hours of her life on earth [66]

Of Dame Felicia and of Felix too;

She was so closely intimate with all

That life brought to you here from day to day.

Now must I grope my further path alone.

She was the sum and meaning of my life.

And what she gave, can never die for me.

And yet—she is not here——

Felix Balde:

And yet—she is not here—— Yet can we still

With thee send out our loving thoughts to her

Into the spirit-worlds, and thus unite

Her soul with ours through all the days to come.

But, I must own, it was a shock to us

When we were told her life on Earth was o’er.

These many years there hath been granted me

A gift of insight which doth often show

In unexpected moments quite unsought

What inward strength doth lie in all men’s lives;

In her case hath this gift deceived me sore.

For ne’er indeed could I think otherwise,

Except that Theodora would be spared

To spend on Earth for many years as yet

That love through which she hath in joy and grief

Shown herself helpful to so many men.


’Tis very strange how all hath come to pass;

As long as I have known her, had she lived

Ever the same sound healthy mode of life.

But since the time she first became aware [67]

Of Something strange, unknown, that threatened her

And tried to enter and oppress her mind;

Her senses clouded over more and more

And suffering poured itself through all her life.

Her body’s powers were sapped, as one could see

By some great struggle in her inmost soul.

She told me, when in my anxiety,—

I plied her oft with many questionings—

She felt herself exposed to fearful thoughts

Which frightened her and worked like fire within.

And what she said besides—’tis terrible,

For when she rallied all her powers of thought

To find the cause of all this suffering

There always came before her spirit’s gaze

Thomasius … whom we both honoured so,

And yet from this impression aye remained

The strongest feelings which spake clear to her

That she had cause to fear Thomasius.

Capesius (spoken as in a trance):

According to the strict decree of Fate

Thomasius and Theodora ne’er

Could meet in earthly passion in this life.

’Twould be indeed opposed to cosmic laws

If one desired to make the other feel

Aught that was not on spirit only based.

Within his heart Thomasius doth break

The stern decree of mighty powers of Fate:

That he should never harbour in his soul

Thoughts that might bring to Theodora harm.

For he doth feel what he ought not to feel

And, through his disobedience he doth form [68]

E’en now the powers which can deliver o’er

His future life unto the realms of dark.

When Theodora had been forced to come

To Lucifer, she learnt unconsciously

That through the Light-bearer, Thomasius

Was filled with sensual passion for herself.

Maria, who had been by Fate’s decree

Entrusted with Thomasius’ spirit-life,

And Theodora, at the same time met

Within that realm which fights against the gods—

Maria from Thomasius had to part,

And he through strength of this false love was forced

To be in bondage unto Lucifer.

What Theodora thus experienced

Became consuming fire within her soul

And working further caused her all this pain.


Oh tell us, Father Felix, what this means.

Capesius speaks in such a manner strange

Of things which are incomprehensible;

And yet they fill my soul with dread and fear.

Felix Balde:

Capesius, when treading o’er the path,

Which he hath found most needful for his soul

Learns ever more and more to exercise

Those special gifts of spirit which are his;

His spirit lives in touch with higher worlds

And passeth by unnoticed all those things

Through which the senses speak unto the soul.

’Tis but by habit that he doth perform [69]

All that hath been his custom in this life.

He ever tried to visit his old friends

And likes to while away long hours with them,

And yet whenever he is at their side

His being seems in meditation lost.

But what he sees in spirit aye is true

So far as mine own searching of the soul

Can testify to proving of the truth.

And therefore in this case I do believe

That owing to these spirit-gifts, he could

Perceive within the depths of his own soul

The truth of Theodora’s destiny.

Dame Balde:

It is so strange, he never notices

What those around him may be speaking of;

It seems his soul is from his body loosed

And gazeth only on the spirit-world;

And yet some word will often bring him back

Out of this strange abstraction, and he’ll tell

Of things that seem to come from spirit-realms

And somehow be connected with that word.

Apart from that whatever one may say

Makes no impression on his mind at all.


Ah! if he speaks the truth—how horrible—

(Theodora’s Soul appears.)

Theodora’s Soul:

Capesius hath been allowed to know

Of my existence in the spirit-world: [70]

It is the truth which he makes known to you.

We must not let Thomasius transgress:

Maria hath already set alight

The sacrifice of love in her strong heart;

And Theodora from the spirit-heights

Will send out rays of blessing from Love’s power.

Felix Balde:

Dear Strader, thou must now be calm and still;

She wants to speak to thee; I understand

The signs she gives to us: so now attend.

Theodora (after making a movement with her hand towards Strader):

Thomasius possesseth second sight;

And he will find me in the spirit-realms.

This must not be until he is set free

From earthly passion in his search for me.

In future he will also need thy help,

And that is what I now request of thee.


My Theodora, who dost even now

Turn to me as of old in love, say on

What thou desirest, and it shall be done.

(Theodora makes a sign towards Capesius.)

Felix Balde:

That shows she cannot now say any more,

But wisheth us to hear Capesius speak.

(Theodora vanishes.)

Capesius (as in a trance):

Thomasius can Theodora see,

If he doth choose to use his spirit-eyes. [71]

Therefore her death will not destroy in him

This passion which is harmful to himself.

Yet will he have to act quite otherwise

Than he would act if Theodora still

Lived in the body on this earth of ours.

He will with passion strive toward the light

Which is revealed to her from spirit-heights

Although she hath no consciousness of earth.

Thomasius is set to win that light

That through him Lucifer may gain it too.

This light divine would then help Lucifer

To keep for evermore within his realm

The knowledge which Thomasius acquired

And won for his own use through earthly power.

For Lucifer, since first the Earth began

Hath ever sought for men who have acquired

Wisdom divine through instincts that were false.

He wills now to unite pure spirit-sight

With human knowledge, which, if treated thus

Would turn to evil, though ’twere good itself.

Thomasius however even now

May be turned back from this his evil way,

If Strader gives himself to certain aims

Which shall in future spiritually guide

All human knowledge, that it may approach

And join itself to knowledge that’s divine.

If he would have these aims revealed, he must

As pupil unto Benedictus turn.


Strader (to Felix Balde):

O father Felix, give me thine advice. [72]

Hath Theodora really trusted this

Unto Capesius to tell to me?

Felix Balde:

These last few days I have most earnestly

Held converse often with mine inmost self

To try and to clear my thoughts about this man.

Gladly I’ll tell thee all I know myself.

Capesius is living in true wise

The life of spirit-pupilship, although

From his behaviour it seems otherwise.

He is already destined by his fate

Much to accomplish in the spirit-life.

And only can fulfil the duties high

To which his soul hath been already called

If he prepares his spirit for them now.

And yet it lay quite near his nature too,

Instead of seeking light on spirit-paths,

Unto false science to devote himself,

Which can just now make blind so many souls.

The solemn Guardian on the Threshold grim,

Which marks the world of sense from spirit-worlds,

Had duties of a most especial kind

When to the gate Capesius found his way.

To such an earnest seeker must the gate

Needs open, but behind him shut at once.

The means he used in former times to win

Power for himself within the world of sense

Could no more help him in the spirit-realms.

He best prepares himself for service high

Which he one day must render to mankind

When he ignores our presence and our talk.


Dame Balde:

There is but one thing he still notices.

I mean the stories that I used to tell

So often to him and through which he felt

Refreshed and reawakened to new thought

When his soul seemed bereft of all ideas.


Such stories find their way to spirit-lands

If in the spirit also they are told.

Dame Balde:

Then, if I can collect myself enough

To speak my stories out within myself

I’ll think of thee with love: so that they then

May also in the spirit-land be heard.




Scene 6

A space not circumscribed by artificial walls but enclosed by intertwined plants like trees and structures which spread out and send shoots into the interior. Owing to natural occurrences the whole is moving violently and is sometimes filled with storm. The stage is divided into two groves, separated for a short distance by a row of trees. The grove on right of stage is appropriated later by Lucifer and his Spirits, and the left grove by Ahriman and his Spirits. The dance movements are set to music. Maria and Capesius are on the stage as the curtain rises; then Benedictus, Philia, Astrid, Luna, the other Philia, Lucifer, Ahriman, and Creatures which move in a dancing fashion and which represent thoughts, lastly the Soul of Dame Balde.

Benedictus (invisible as yet, only audible):

Within thy thinking, cosmic thoughts do live.

Capesius (in astral garb):

There echoes Benedictus’ noble voice;

His words are ringing in the spirit here,

And are the same as in the book of life

Are written down to aid his pupils’ work,

Which souls on earth find hard to understand

And which are even harder to fulfil. [75]

What part of spirit-land is this, where sound

The words which serve to test the souls on Earth?


Hast thou abode so long in spirit-land

In such a way that thou hast learned so much

And yet this region is unknown to thee?


What lives here in its own reality

Souls, versed in spirit-ways, can grasp with ease;

Each thing explains itself through something else.

The whole may stand revealed in light, when part

Seen by itself, may often still seem dark.

But when a spirit-essence doth unite

With earthly nature to create some work,

The soul begins to lose her grasp of things.

And not alone a part, but e’en the whole

Is oft concealed from her by darkness deep.

Why words which come in Benedictus’ book

And which were written for men’s souls on Earth,

Should echo here, within a place like this,

That is the problem which doth offer here.

Benedictus (still invisible):

Within thy feeling, cosmic forces play.


Again there come the words which on the Earth

Did Benedictus to his pupils trust;

And here in his own voice they echo forth.

They stream through all the limitless expanse

Of this great realm arousing darksome powers.



I feel already what I must pass through

Within the boundless spaces of this realm;

And Benedictus’ nearness draws me on.

In this place he will let me gaze on things

Incomprehensible to souls on Earth

The while they dwell in bodies bound by sense,

And e’en whilst serving spirit-pupilship.

So must the master bring them to this place

Where words do not depend on human speech,

But are imprinted on their souls by signs;

Here he transforms to speech world happenings—

A world-descriptive language for the soul.

I’ll loose my inmost being from the Earth,

Condensing all my powers within my soul,

And so await whate’er may be revealed

To indicate my way through spirit-space.

And then when I return to life on Earth

’Twill be a thought which, when recalled will shine

As knowledge in mine inmost depths of soul.

Benedictus (appears from the background):

Win thou thyself in power of cosmic thought,

Lose thou thyself in life of cosmic force;

Thou shalt find earthly aims reflect themselves

Through thine own being in the cosmic light.


So Benedictus is in spirit here!

Perhaps his words re-echo of themselves.

Doth then the teacher bring the lore of earth

To vivify and work in spirit-realms? [77]

But what can be the meaning here of words

Which he doth use on earth in other ways?


Capesius, thou hast in thine earth-life

Entered within my circle, though in truth

Thou ne’er wast conscious of thy pupilship.


Capesius is not within this place;

And his soul will not hear him spoken of.


Thou wilt not feel thou art Capesius

But him in spirit thou shalt see and know.

For thee the powerful work of thought hath now

In thy soul-body caged the spirit-life.

So that thy soul-life can release itself

From thought’s dream-play within thine earthly frame.

Too weak it felt itself to wander forth

From out world distances to depths of soul;

Too strong to gaze at lofty spirit-light

Through all the darkness that surrounds the Earth.

I must accompany each one who gains

The spirit-light from me in earthly life

Whether he knows, or doth not know, that he

Came as a spirit-pupil to myself.

And I must lead him further on those paths

Which he in spirit learned to tread through me.

Thou hast through thy soul-sight in cosmic space

Learned to draw nigh the spirit consciously

Since loosed from body thou canst follow it.

But, not yet freed from thought, thou canst not see [78]

True being in the spirit-realm as yet.

First thy sense-body thou must lay aside

But not the fine corporeal web of thought.

Thou only canst perceive the world in truth

When nothing of thy personality

Remains to cloud the clearness of thy sight.

He only who hath learned to view his thoughts

As things outside himself, e’en as the seer

Beholds his earthly form released from him,

Can penetrate to spirit verities.

So look upon this picture that it may

Turn into knowledge through clairvoyant powers

Thoughts, whose true being is built up in space

To forms, which mirror forth the thoughts of men.

(A cheerful subdued light diffuses itself. Philia, Astrid, and Luna appear in glowing clouds.)

(Exeunt Capesius and Maria.)

Voices (which sound together, spoken by Philia, Astrid, and Luna):

Let thoughts hover round

Like weaving of dreams

And build themselves in

To souls that are here;

Let will that creates

And feeling that stirs

And thought that doth work

The dreamer arouse—

(While this sounds, Lucifer approaches from one side, and Ahriman from the other. They go to their thrones raised on each side at the [79]back of the stage, facing the audience; Lucifer on the right of the stage, Ahriman on the left.)

Lucifer (in a loud voice, emphasizing every word):

Within thy will do cosmic beings work.

(On Lucifer’s side, beings with golden hair, dressed in crimson and radiantly beautiful representing thoughts, begin to move. These carry out, in a dancing fashion, movements which represent the forms of thought corresponding to Lucifer’s words.)

Ahriman (speaking in a loud, hoarse voice):

These cosmic beings do but puzzle thee.

(After these words Lucifer’s group is still and the thought-beings on Ahriman’s side move and carry out dancing movements which make forms corresponding to his words. They have grey hair and are clad in indigo blue, being square in build, and in appearance distinguished more by force than beauty. After this the movement from both groups is carried on together.)


Within thy feeling cosmic forces play.

(The thought-beings on Lucifer’s side repeat their movements.)



The cosmic forces are but mocking thee.

(The thought-beings on Ahriman’s side repeat their movements, then again both together.)


Within thy thinking cosmic thought doth live.

(Repetition of the movements in Lucifer’s group.)


The cosmic thought doth but bewilder thee.

(Repetition of the movements in Ahriman’s group.)

(The movements of each group are then repeated four times separately and thrice together.)

(The thought-beings vanish left and right; Lucifer and Ahriman remain: Philia, Luna, and Astrid advance from the background, and speak together the words they spoke before with the following alteration.)

Philia, etc.:

Thoughts hovered around

Like weaving of dreams

And built themselves in

To souls that are here—

Then will that creates

And feeling that stirs

And thought that doth work

The dreamer aroused—

(Philia, Astrid, and Luna vanish. Enter Capesius in astral garb, and after he has spoken a few [81]words Maria joins him, though at first he cannot see her.)


The soul lives out her life within herself:

Believes she thinks because she does not see

Thoughts all spread out in space in front of her—

Believes she feels, because the feelings show

No flash like lightning leaping from the clouds;

She sees this realm of space, and gazeth on

The clouds above her …; and were this not so,

Supposing that the lightning were to flash,

And not an eye looked up above to see,

She needs must think the lightning was in her.

She does not see how Lucifer springs forth

From out her thoughts, and pours her feelings in,

And so believes she is alone with them.

Why doth delusion lead her captive thus?

O soul, give answer to thyself … yet … whence?

From out thyself? Ah, nay … perhaps that, too,

Were answered … not by thee … but Lucifer.…


And if it were; why then shouldst thou not seek?

Go forth into the deep to find it there.…


A being here, who hears the speech of souls?


Souls are not here divided each from each

As when within the body they are pent. [82]

Here each soul hears itself in other’s speech.

So dost thou only speak unto thyself

When I say: ‘Seek thine answer in the deep.’

Capesius (hesitatingly):

Ah, in the deep there threatens darksome … fear.


Yea truly, fear is there: but ask thyself,

As thou hast forced thy way within her realm

If she doth not reveal herself to thee.

Ask Lucifer, before whom thou dost stand

If on thy weakness he is pouring fear.


Who flees from me will love me all the same.

Children of Earth have loved me from the first

And only think that hatred is my due.

So do they ever seek me in my deeds.

If I had not as ornament to life

Sent beauty to their souls, they would long since

Have pined away in truth’s cold empty forms

Throughout the long dull progress of the Earth.

’Tis I who fill the artist’s soul with power

And whatsoe’er of beauty men have seen

Hath had its prototype within my realm—

Now ask thyself, if thou shouldst fear me still.


In these domains which Lucifer commands

Fear hath not verily her proper place.

From hence he must send forth into men’s souls [83]

Not fear, but wishes, as his gifts to men.

Fear comes from quite another realm of power.


At birth I was the equal of the gods,

Who have curtailed my many ancient rights.

I wished in such a way to fashion men

For Lucifer, my brother, and his realm,

That each should bear his own world in himself.

For Lucifer as peer amongst his peers

Would only show himself in spirit-realms.

In others he but shows his pictured form

And so could never be a lord of men.

I wished to give unto mankind such strength

That they might grow to equal Lucifer.

And had I stayed within the realm of gods

This too had been in primal days fulfilled.

The gods however willed to rule on Earth,

And from their kingdom they did one day thrust

My power into the depths of the abyss,

So that I might not make mankind too strong.

And thus ’tis only from this place I dare

Send out my powerful strength upon the Earth.

But in this way my power turns into FEAR.

(As Ahriman finishes speaking, Benedictus appears.)


He who hath heard what both these two powers here

Spake from their places out into the worlds

May know from this where he can look and find

Both fear and hatred in their own domains.



In cosmic speech thou shalt perceive thyself;

And feel thyself in cosmic power of thought.

And as thou now didst see outside thyself

What thou didst dream was all thine inmost self,

So find thyself, and shudder now no more

At that one word thou hast a right to use

To prove thine own existence to thyself—


So once more I belong to mine own self

Now will I seek myself, because I dare

To see myself in cosmic thought and live.


And thou must add all this which thou hast won

To victories of old to give the world.

(Dame Balde in her ordinary dress appears in the background beside Benedictus.)

Dame Balde (in a meditative voice suitable for fairy tales):

Once on a time there lived a child of God

Who had affinity with those who weave

The thoughtful wisdom of the spirit-realms.

This child, brought up by truth’s almighty Sire

Grew up within his realm to ancient strength.

And when his body, radiant with light,

Did feel his ripened will creative stir

He often looked with pity on the Earth

Where souls of men were striving after truth. [85]

Then to the Sire of truth the child would say:

‘The souls of men are thirsting for the drink

Which thou canst hand to them from out thy springs.’

With earnest speech the Sire of truth replied:

‘The springs, of which I am appointed guard,

Let light stream forth from out the spirit-suns;

Only such beings dare to drink the light

As need not thirst for air that they may breathe.

Therefore in light have I brought up a child

Who can feel pity for the souls on Earth

And manifest the light ’midst breathing men.

So turn and go unto mankind and bring

The light that’s in their souls to meet my light

Enfilled with confidence and spirit-life.’

So then the shining light-child turned, and went

To souls who keep themselves alive by breath.

And many good men found he on the Earth,

Who offered him with joy their souls’ abode.

These souls he turned to gaze with grateful love

Upon their Sire who dwells in springs of light.

And when the child heard from the lips of men

And joyous mind of men, the magic word

Of fantasy, he knew himself alive

Dwelling with gladness in the hearts of men.

But one sad day there came unto the child

A man who cast upon him chilling looks.

‘I turn the souls of men on earth toward

The Sire of truth who dwells in springs of light—’

Thus to the strange man did the light-child speak—

The man replied: ‘Thou dost but weave wild dreams

Into men’s spirits, and deceiv’st their souls.’

And since the day which witnessed this event [86]

The child who can bring light to breathing souls

Hath often suffered slander from mankind.

(Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia appear in a cloud of light.)


Now let every soul

That drinks of the light

Awake to full power

In cosmic expanse.


So too let the spirit

That knoweth no fear

Arise in full power

In cosmic domains.


Let man who doth strive

To reach to the heights

Hold firm with full strength

To innermost self.

The Other Philia:

Let man struggle on

To him who bears light

And opens out worlds

Which quicken in men

The sense of delight.

This beauty so bright

Awakened in souls,

Inspired to admire,

The spirit leads on [87]

To realms of the gods.

Achievement consoles

The feelings that dare

The threshold to tread,

Which strictly doth guard

’Gainst souls that feel fear.

And energy finds

A will that grows ripe

And fearless doth stand

’Fore powers that create

And fashion the worlds.

Curtain falls whilst Benedictus, Capesius, Maria, Dame Balde, Lucifer, and Ahriman, and the four Soul-forms, are still in their places.



Scene 7

A landscape composed of fantastic forms. This picture of blazing fire on one side of the stage with rushing water on the other whirled into living forms is intended to suggest the sublime. In the centre a chasm belching forth fire which leaps up into a kind of barrier of fire and water. The Guardian of the Threshold stands in the centre with flaming sword erect. His costume is the conventional angelic garb. The Guardian, Thomasius, Maria, later on Lucifer and then the other Philia.

The Guardian:

What unchecked wish doth sound within mine ear?

So storm men’s souls when first approaching me

E’er they have fully gained tranquillity.

It is desire that really leads such men

And not creative power which dares to speak

Since it in silence could itself create.

The souls which thus comport themselves when here

I needs must relegate again to Earth,

For in the Spirit-realm they can but sow

Confusion, and do but disturb the deeds

Which cosmic powers have wisely foreordained.

Such men can also injure their own selves

Who form destructive passions in their hearts [89]

Which are mistaken for creative powers,

Since they must take delusion for the truth

When earthly darkness no more shelters them.

(Thomasius and Maria appear.)


Thou dost not see upon thy threshold now

The soul of him who was the pupil once

Of Benedictus, and came oft to thee,

Thomasius, although upon the Earth

It had to call Thomasius’ form its own.

He came to thee, his thirst for knowledge quenched

And could not bear to have thee near to him.

He hid in his own personality

When he felt near thee, and thus oft did see

Worlds which, he thought, made clear the origin

Of all existence and the goal of life.

He found the happiness of knowledge there

And also powers which to the artist gave

That which directed both his hand and heart

Toward creation’s source, so that he felt

There truly lived within him cosmic powers,

Which held him steady to his artist’s work.

He did not know that nought before him stood

In all that he created through his thought

Except the living content of his soul.

Like spiders, spinning webs around themselves

So did he work, and thought himself the world.

Indeed he once thought that Maria stood

Opposed to him in spirit, till he saw

That picture she had graven on his soul

Which then as spirit did reveal itself. [90]

And when he was allowed a moment’s glimpse

Of his own being, as it really was,

He gladly would have fled away from self;

He thought himself a spirit but he found

He was a creature but of flesh and blood.

He learned to know the power of this same blood;

’Twas there in truth, the rest was but a shade.

Blood was his teacher true; and this alone

Gave him clear vision, and revealed to him

Who was his sire and who his sister dear

In long forgotten ages on the Earth.

To blood-relations his blood guided him.

Then did he see how strongly souls of men

Must be deceived when they in vanity

Would rise to spirit from the life of sense.

Such effort truly binds the soul more firm

To sense-existence than a daily life,

Dull human dream existence following.

And when Thomasius could view all this

Before his soul as being his own state

He gave himself with vigour to that power

Which could not lie to him although as yet

’Twas but revealed in picture, for he knew

That Lucifer himself is really there

E’en if he can but show his pictured form.

The gods desire to draw near to mankind

Through truth alone; but Lucifer—to him

It matters not if men see false or true,

He ever will remain the same himself.

And therefore I acknowledge that I feel

I have attained reality when I

Believe that I must search and find the soul [91]

Which in his own realm he did bind to mine.

(To the Guardian.)

So armed with all the strength which he bestows

I mean to pass thee and to penetrate

To Theodora whom I know to be

Within the realm that o’er this threshold lies.

The Guardian:

Thomasius, think well what thou dost know.

What o’er this threshold lives is all unknown;

Yet dost thou know quite well all I must ask,

Before thou canst set foot within this realm.

Thou must first part with many of those powers

Which thou hast won when in thine earthly frame.

Out of them all thou canst alone retain

That which by efforts, pure and spiritual,

Thou didst achieve, and which thou hast kept pure.

But this thou hast thyself cast off from thee

And given as his own to Ahriman.

What still is thine hath been by Lucifer

Destroyed for use within the spirit-world.

This too upon the threshold I must take

If thou wouldst really pass this portal by.

So nought remains to thee; a lifeless life

Must be thy lot within the spirit-realms.


Yet I shall be and Theodora find.

She’ll be for me the source of fullest light,

Which ever hath so richly been revealed

Unto her soul, apart from lore of Earth. [92]

That is enough. And thou wilt set thyself

In vain against me, even if the power

Which I myself have won upon the Earth

Should not fulfil the estimate which thou

Didst form of my good spirit long ago.

Maria (to the Guardian):

Thou knowest well, who hast been guardian

Of this realm’s threshold since the world began

What beings need to cross the threshold o’er

Who to thy kind and to thy time belong:

So too with men, who meet thee at this gate

If they do come alone, and cannot show

That they have done true spirit-good they must

Go back again from here to life on Earth.

But this man here hath been allowed to bring

That other soul unto thy threshold now

Whom fate hath bound so closely with his own.

Thou hast been ordered by high spirit powers

To keep back many men from here, who would

Try to approach the gateway of this realm

And would but bring destruction on themselves

If they should dare to pass the threshold o’er.

Yet thou may’st throw it open unto those

Who through their inmost personality

Are in the spirit-realms inclined to love,

And to such love can cling as they press through,

As hath been foreordained them by the gods

Before to battle Lucifer came forth.

Standing before his throne my heart hath vowed

With strictest oath, that in Earth’s future times

It would so serve this love that Lucifer, [93]

When he gives knowledge of it to men’s souls

Can do no harm. And those who listen well

For the revealing of this love divine

With earnest minds, as once they strove to grasp

The knowledge given forth by Lucifer,

They must inevitably find themselves.

Johannes in his earthly form doth now

No longer listen to my voice, as once,

When in an earthly life long since passed by

I was enabled to reveal to him

That which had been entrusted to myself

In holy temples in Hibernia

By that same God Who dwells within mankind

And Who once conquered all the powers of death

Because He lived love’s life so perfectly.

My friend will once again in spirit-realms

Discern the words which come forth from my soul

But which were hindered from his earthly ears

By Lucifer and his delusive power.

Thomasius (as one who perceives some spiritual being):

Maria, dost thou see, clad in long cloak

That dignified old man, his solemn face,

His noble brow, the flashing of his glance?

He passeth through the streets, ’mid crowds of men

Yet each doth step aside in reverence

That yon old man may go his way in peace,

And lest his train of thought be rudely stirred.

For one can see that, wrapped within himself

He meditates with powerful inmost thought.

Maria, dost thou see?



Maria, dost thou see? Yea, I can see,

When through the eyes of thine own soul I look.

But ’tis to thee alone that he would now

Reveal himself in scenes significant.


I now can see into his very soul,

Things full of meaning lie within its depths

And memory of something he’s just heard.

Before his eyes there stands a teacher wise.

He lets the words which he hath heard from him

Pass through his soul; it is from him he comes.

His thinking scans the very source of life;

As once mankind in olden times on Earth

Might stand quite near and view the spirit-scenes,

Although their soul-life was but like a dream;

The old man’s soul doth trace that line of thought

Which from his honoured teacher he hath learned.

And now he disappears from my soul’s sight;

Ah, if I could but watch his further steps.

I see men speaking with each other now

Among the crowd; and I can hear their words.

They speak of that old man with reverence deep.

In his young days he was a soldier brave;

Ambition, and desire to be renowned

Were burning in his soul; he wished to count

As foremost warrior within his ranks.

In battle’s service he did perpetrate

Unnumbered gruesome deeds through thirst for fame.

And in his life full many a time it chanced

He caused much blood to flow upon the earth. [95]

At last there came a day when suddenly

The luck of battle turned its back on him.

He left the battlefield in bitter shame

To enter his own home, a man disgraced;

Scorn and derision were his lot in life,

And from that time wild hatred filled his soul

Which had not lost its pride and love of fame.

He looked upon his boon-companions now

Only as enemies to be destroyed

As soon as opportunity occurred.

But since the man’s proud soul was soon compelled

To recognize that vengeance on his foes

Would not be possible for him in life,

He learned the victory o’er his own self

And vanquished all his pride and love of fame.

He even made resolve in his old age

A circle small of pupils to attend

Which had arisen then within his town.

The man who was the teacher of this band

Was in his soul possessed of all the lore

Which by the masters in much older days

Had been delivered to initiates—

All this I hear from men within the crowd.

It fills me with warm love when I behold

With my soul’s sight, this agèd man, who thus

After the victories which love of fame

Had won for him could even then achieve

The greatest human task—to conquer self

Therefore do I perceive within this place

The man to whom I wholly give myself,

Although I see him but in pictured form.

This feeling howsoe’er it comes to me [96]

Is not a moment’s work. Through lives long past

I must have been in closest union joined

Unto a soul I love as I love him.

I have not in this moment roused in me

A love so strong as that which now I feel;

It is a recollection from past times;

Nor can I grasp it with my thought as yet,—

Though memory calls these feelings back to me.

Surely I once was pupil of this man

And full of awe and wonder gazed on him?

Oh, how I long once more in this same hour

To meet the earthly soul which formerly

Could speak about this body as its own,

No matter if on Earth or otherwhere.

Then would I prove the strength with which I love;

What noble human ties did once create

This can good powers alone renew in me.


Art thou quite sure, Johannes, that this soul

If it approached thee now would show itself

Upon the same bright height whereon it stood

In those old days just pictured ’fore thy soul?

Perchance it now is chained a prisoner

By feelings all unworthy of its past.

Many a man now walks upon the Earth

Who would be filled with shame, if he could see

How little in his present mode of life

Doth correspond with that which once he was.

Perchance this man hath wallowed in the mire

Of lust and passion, and thou saw’st him now

Oppressed by consternation and remorse.



Maria, why dost thou suggest such words?

I cannot see what leads thee so to speak.

For thoughts have here quite other influence,

Than in the places where that man hath lived.

The Guardian:

Johannes, that which here within this place

Reveals itself is proving of thy soul.

Gaze on the groundwork of thy self, and see

What thou, unknowing, willst and canst perform.

All that was hidden in thine inmost depths

While thou wert living with thy soul still blind.

(Lucifer appears.)

Will now appear and rob thee of the dark

In whose protection thou wast living then.

So now perceive what human soul it is

To whom thou dost bow down in ardent love,

And who indwelt the body thou didst see.

Perceive to whom thy strongest love is given.


Sink thyself deep in depths of thine own self;

Perceive the strongest powers of thine own soul;

And learn to know how this strong love of thine

Can hold thee upright in the cosmic life.


Yea, now I feel the soul that wished to show

Itself to me—’tis Theodora’s self—

’Twas she who wished to be revealed to me.

She stood before me since ’tis her I’ll see [98]

When I have gained an entrance through this gate.

’Tis right to love her, for her soul did stand

Before me in that other body-form

Which showed me how ’tis her that I must love.

Through thee alone will I now find myself

And win the future, fighting in thy strength.

The Guardian:

I cannot keep thee back from what must be.

In pictured form thou hast already seen

The soul thou lovest best; her shalt thou see

When thou hast crossed the threshold of this realm.

Perceive, and let experience decide

If it shall prove so healing as thou dream’st.

The Other Philia:

Ah, heed thou not the guardian strict

Who leadeth thee to wastes of life

And robs thee of thy warmth of soul;

He can but see the spirit-forms,

And knoweth naught of human woe

Which souls can only then endure

When earthly love doth guard them safe

From chilling cosmic space.

Strictness to him belongs,

From him doth kindness flee,

And power to wish

He hath abhorred

Since first the Earth began.




Scene 8

Ahriman’s Kingdom. No sky is visible. A dark enclosure like a mountain gorge whose black masses of rock tower up in fantastic forms, divided by streams of fire. Skeletons are visible everywhere; they appear to be crystallized out of the mountain, but are white. Their attitude suggests the habitual egoism of their last life. Prominent on one side is a miser and on the other a massive glutton etc., etc. Ahriman is seated on a rock. Hilary, Frederick Trustworthy, then the Twelve who were gathered together in the first scene; then Strader; later on Thomasius and Maria; last of all Thomasius’ Double.


How often have I trod this realm before.—

And yet how horrible it seems to me

That e’en from here we must so often fetch

The wise direction for full many a plan

Which is important for us and our league

And points significantly to our aims.


The grain of corn must fall to earth and die

Before the life within it can return. [100]

All that in earthly life hath run to waste

Shall here unto new being be transformed.

And when our league desires to plant the seeds

Of human acts, to ripen in due course,

’Tis from the dead that we must fetch the grain.


Uncanny is the lord who here bears rule;

And if it were not written in our books,

Which are the greatest treasures of our shrine,

That he whom here we often meet, is good,

One would indeed as evil reckon him.


Not only books, but e’en my spirit-sight

Declares that what is here revealed is good.

Ahriman (in a feigned voice, sardonically):

I know why ye are gathered here again.

Ye would discover from me how ’twere best

To guide the soul of him who oft before

Hath stood upon the threshold of your shrine.

Because ye think Thomasius is lost

Ye now believe that Strader is the man

To do you service in the mystic league.

What he hath won for progress of mankind

By use of powers which follow nature’s laws,

For this he oweth thanks to me, since I

Hold sway where powers mechanical obtain

Strength for themselves from their creative founts.

So all that he may do to help mankind

It needs must turn itself unto my realm.

But this time I myself will see to it [101]

That what I wish shall happen to this man

In future, since ye lost Thomasius

By your own work through leaving me aside.

If ye desire to serve the spirit-powers

Ye first must conquer for yourselves those powers

Which in this case ye tried to cast aside.

(Ahriman becomes invisible.)

Trustworthy (after a pause, during which he has withdrawn into himself):

Exalted Master, care oppresseth me

Though I have striven long to banish it,

For this is laid upon me by strict rules

Which have been ordered for us by our league.

But much that shows the life of this same league

Hath made the struggle in my soul severe;

Yet would I ever thankfully submit

My darkness to the spirit-light, which thou

Art capable of giving through thy powers.

But when I must full often clearly see

Thou wert a victim of delusion’s snare

And how thy words, e’en as events fell out,

Did often prove so grievously at fault,

Then have I felt as though some wicked elf

Were resting painfully upon my soul.

And this time also are thy words at fault.

Thou couldst have reckoned that we certainly

Should hear good tidings from this spirit here.


’Tis hard to understand the cosmic ways.

My brother, we are well-advised to wait [102]

Until the spirit indicates the way

Which is ordained for that which we create.

(Exeunt Hilary and Trustworthy.)

Ahriman (who has re-appeared):

They see, but do not recognize me yet;

For had they known who rules within this place

They certainly would not have ventured here

To seek direction; and they would condemn

To age-long pains of hell that human soul

Of whom, they heard, that it did visit me.

(All the persons who at the beginning of the play were assembled in the ante-room of the mystic league now appear on the scene; they are blindfolded to show their ignorance of the fact that they are in Ahriman’s kingdom. The words they speak live in their souls, but they know nothing of them. They are experiencing during sleep unconscious dreams which are audible in Ahriman’s kingdom. Strader, who also appears, is however semi-conscious with regard to all that he experiences, so that later on he will be able to recollect it.)


The hint that Benedictus gave to me

That I should cultivate my power of thought,

Hath led me to this kingdom of the dead.

Although I hoped that raised to spirit-realms

I should find truth on wisdom’s sun-clad heights.



What thou canst learn of wisdom in this place

Thou wilt find all-sufficient for long time,

If here thou dost comport thyself aright.


Before what spirit doth my soul then stand?


That shalt thou know when memory presently

Can call again to thee what here thou see’st.


And all these folk, why do I find them here

Within thy darksome realm?


Within thy darksome realm? ’Tis but as souls

That they are in this place: they do not know

Aught of themselves when here, since in their homes

Sunk now in deepest sleep they would be found.

But here quite clearly all will be revealed

That lives within their souls, though they would scarce

On waking think such thoughts could be their own.

So too, they cannot hear us when we speak.

Louisa Fear-God:

The soul should not in blind devotion think

That it can raise itself in haughty pride

Up to the light, or that it can unfold

Unto its full extent its own true self.

I will but recognize what I do know.


Ahriman (only audible to Strader):

And dost not know how bluntly thou dost lead

In haughty pride thyself into the dark.

She too will serve thee, Strader, in the work

That thou hast wrung so boldly from my powers.

She doth not need for that the spirit-faith

Which seems so ill-accorded with her pride.

Frederick Clear-Mind:

Entrancing are indeed these mystic paths;

Nor will I henceforth fail in diligence,

But give myself completely to the lore

That I can gather from the Temple’s words.

Michael Nobleman:

The impulse after truth within my soul

Is drawing me toward the spirit-light;

The noble teaching which now shines so clear

In human life, will surely find that I

Am the best pupil that it ever had.

George Candid:

I ever have been deeply moved by all

That hath revealed itself from many a source

Of noble mystic spirit-treasuries.

With all my heart would I yet further strive.

Ahriman (audible only to Strader):

Such men mean well: yet doth their striving stay

But in the upper layers of their souls.

And so can I make use for many years

Of all these mighty treasures which lie hid [105]

Unconsciously within their spirits’ depths.

They too seem useful to my constant aim

That Strader’s work in mankind’s life on earth

Shall with proud brilliance unfold itself.

Mary Steadfast:

A healthy view of life will of itself

Bring to the soul the fruits of spirit-realms

When men join reverence for the universe

To a clear view of sense-reality.

Ahriman (audible only to Strader):

She speaks in dreams of this reality;

She’ll dream so much the better when she wakes.

Yet she will be of little service now.

Perchance in her next life she’ll help me more,

For then she will appear as occultist

And as need may arise will teach mankind

About their life since first the Earth began.

And yet she scarce will treasure truth aright;

In former lives she oft did Strader chide

And now she praiseth him: so doth she change,

And Lucifer will be more glad of her.

Francesca Humble:

The solemn mystic kingdom will one day

Be pictured by mankind as one great whole,

When thought through feeling shall express itself

And feeling let itself be led by thought.

Katharine Counsel:

Mankind, ’tis true, doth strive to see the light;

But strange indeed the methods he pursues. [106]

For first he quencheth it, and is surprised

That he can find it nowhere in the dark.

Ahriman (audible only to Strader):

So too with souls: they find it good to talk

As voicing the well-being of their mind,

But underneath they fail in constancy.

Such are for me quite unapproachable,

And yet they will in future much achieve

From which I’ll reap a harvest of good fruit.

They are by no means what they think themselves.

Bernard Straight:

If knowledge is not gained through cautious search

Then fantasy brings nought but airy forms

To solve the riddle of the universe,

Which only can be mastered by strict thought.

Erminia Stay-at-Home:

The cosmic substance must for ever change

That all existence may unfold itself;

And he who fain would keep all things the same

Will lack the power to understand life’s aims.

Gasper Hotspur:

To live in fantasy, doth only mean

To rob men’s souls of every power in life

Through which they can grow strong to serve themselves

And do true service to their fellow men.

Mary Dauntless:

The soul that would but burden its own self

Should form itself through outside powers alone; [107]

True men will only seek development

From out their hidden personalities.

Ahriman (audible only to Strader):

It is but human what these souls conceal.

One cannot tell what they may yet achieve;

For Lucifer may try his power on them,

And make them think they are but working out

Each his own powers of soul with steadfast aim;

And so perchance he hath not lost them yet.


He who would cosmic riddles rightly read

Must wait till understanding and right thought

Reveal themselves through powers within his life,

And he who fain would find his way aright

Must seize all he can use that gives him joy.

Above all else the search for wisdom’s lore

To give high aims to weak humanity—

This leads to nothing on this Earth of ours.

Ahriman (audible only to Strader):

He hath been chosen as philosopher,

And such he will appear in his next life—

With him I do but balance my account.

Seven of twelve I ever need myself

And five I give to Brother Lucifer.

From time to time I take account of men

And see both what they are and what they do.

And when I once have chosen out my twelve

I do not need to search for any more. [108]

For if I come in number to thirteen

The last is just exactly like the first.

When I have got these twelve within my realm

And can through their soul-nature fashion them,

Then others too must ever follow them.

(To himself; holding his hands over Strader’s ears so that he shall not hear.)

True, none of this have I achieved as yet,

Since Earth refused to give herself to me.

But I shall strive throughout eternity,

1Until—perchance—I gain the victory.

One must make use of what is not yet lost.

(The following so that it is again audible to Strader):

Thou seest I do not flatter with fine words,

Indeed I do not wish to please mankind.

He who would inspiration seek for lofty aims

In speech well-regulated and arranged,

Needs must betake himself to other worlds.

But, who with reason and a sense for truth

Perceives the things which here I bring to pass,

He can acknowledge that it is with me

The powers are found, without which human souls

Must lose themselves whilst living on the Earth.

The very worlds of gods make use of me,

And only seek to draw souls from my grasp

When I grow active in their own domain.

And then if my opponent doth succeed

In leading men astray with this belief

That my existence hath been proved to be

Unnecessary for the universe, [109]

Then souls may dream indeed of higher worlds,

But strength and power decay in earthly life.


Thou seest in me one who would follow thee

And give his powers to thee to use at will.

What I have witnessed here doth seem to show

That all that makes mankind thine enemy

Is lack of reason’s power and strength of mind.

In truth thou didst not flatter with fine words;

For thou didst well-nigh mock these poor weak men

When it did please thee to portray their fate.

I must confess that it seems good to me

What thou wouldst give unto the souls of men,

For they will only be enriched with strength

For what is good through thee, and will but gain

That which is bad, if they were bad before.

If only men did better know themselves

They must for certain feel with all their hearts

The bitter scorn that thou dost cast on them.

But what is here wrung forth from out my soul?

I speak such words as would destroy my life

If on the Earth I found that they were true.

Thou must so think; I cannot otherwise

Than find that what thou hast just said is true;

Yet ’tis but truth when in this realm of thine:

It would be error for the world of Earth

If it prove there to be what it seems here.

I must no further trace my human thoughts

Within this place—they now must have an end. [110]

In thy rough words there soundeth pain for thee,

And they are painful too in mine own soul.

I can—whilst facing thee—but weep—and cry——

(Exit quickly.)

(Enter Maria and Thomasius both fully conscious, so that they can hear and understand all that goes on, and speak about it.)


Maria, terror reigns on every side,

It closeth in and presseth on my soul;

Whence shall come inward strength to conquer it?


My holy, earnest vow doth ray out power:

And thou canst bear this pressure on thy soul

If thou wilt feel the healing power it gives.

Ahriman (to himself):

’Tis Benedictus who hath sent them here;

He guided them that they might recognize

And know me, when they feel me in my realm.

(He speaks the rest so that Thomasius and Maria can hear.)

Thomasius, the Guardian did direct

Thy footsteps first of all toward my realm

Since they will lead thee to the very light

Thou seekest in the depths of thine own self.

Here I can give thee truth although with pain,

As I have suffered many thousand years,

For though the truth can penetrate to me,

It must first separate itself from joy

Before it dares to venture though my porch.



So must I joylessly behold the soul

Whom I so ardently desire to see?


A wish doth only lead to happiness

When warmth of soul can cherish it; but here

All wishes freeze, and needs must live in cold.


E’en in the ever empty fields of ice

I may go with my friend, where he will be

Encircled by the light which spirits bring

When darkness wounds and maims the powers of life.

Thomasius, feel now thy soul’s full strength.

(The Guardian appears upon the Threshold.)


The Guardian himself must bring the light

That thou dost now so ardently desire.


’Tis Theodora whom I wish to see.

The Guardian:

The soul that on my threshold clothed itself

In that same veil which many years ago

It wore on earth, hath kindled in the depths

Of thine own soul in solemn hours of life

The strongest love which was concealed in thee.

While thou wert standing yet outside this realm

And first didst beg from me an entrance here,

It stood before thee in a pictured form, [112]

And, being thus conceived by inward wish,

Can only show delusion’s vain conceits.

But now thou shalt in very truth behold

The soul that in a life of long ago

Was dwelling in that old man whom thou saw’st.


I see him now again in his long cloak,

That worthy ancient with his earnest brow;

O soul, who dwelt within this covering

Why dost thou hide thyself so long from me?

It must—it can—but Theodora be.

Ah, see—now from the covered picture, comes

Reality: ’tis Theo … ’tis myself——

(As Thomasius begins the name ‘Theodora,’ his Double appears.)

His Double (coming close up to Thomasius):

Perceive me—and then know thyself in me.


And I may follow thee to cosmic depths

Where souls can win perception e’en as gods

By conquest that destroyeth, yet acquires

By bold persistence life from seeming death.

(Peals of thunder, and increasing darkness.)




Scene 9

A pleasant, sunny morning landscape, in a terraced garden overlooking a town with many factories.

Benedictus, Capesius, Maria, Thomasius, and Strader are discovered walking up and down and engaged in leisurely conversation. Benedictus wears a white biretta and is in his white robe, but without the golden stole.


Here is the place, where Benedictus oft

In soft warm sunlight of a summer morn

Gave himself to his pupils that they might

In reverent mood receive his wisdom’s words.

Out yonder lies what ever must divide

With pitiless intent the souls of men

From all the wondrous beauty of the earth,

That nature’s God doth shower so bounteous here.

In yon waste sea of houses in the town

Doth Benedictus ever nobly strive

To heal this human woe by deeds of love.

And when with human words so wise and true

He tells his pupils of the spirit-world,

He seeks for hearts, which free creative power

That here reveals itself in wakening souls,

Hath filled with sunshine and with love for men.

I, too, may now behold the happiness [114]

Which through his words doth reach the heart of man.

Since he in love hath underta’en the task

Of guiding me within the spirit-world:

And now when I may feel that he is near

I shall again discover mine own self.


Within the circle of my pupils here

Through free-will acts of others and thyself

A knot shall one day loosen in the threads

Which Karma spins in lives of men on earth.

Thy life itself will help to loose this knot.

In hearts of men who give themselves in truth

To follow wisdom, which I serve myself,

Thou canst by thine own power discover those

Joined unto whom thou wilt complete the work

For which in spirit thou hast been prepared.


Thee have I known, and I will follow thee.

As I held converse with mine inmost soul,

When I had been allowed to hear thy words

Within the spirit-realm in their true form,

And thou hadst brought me to myself again,

Then could I see portrayed in spirit-light

The aims which in the progress of the earth

I was to follow in my future lives.

And now I know that thou didst choose for me

The one right way for this to be revealed.


Thomasius and Strader will henceforth [115]

United with thyself accomplish much

That best may serve to further human health.

They have prepared the soul-powers which are theirs

With such intent since first the Earth began

That they can join to form a trinity

With thine own spirit in the cosmic course.


So I must thank my fate’s unbending powers

Which seemed at first incomprehensible,

That when the rightful moment came at last

My life’s aim suddenly revealed itself.

(He pauses meditatively.)

How wonderfully hast thou led me on:

It seemed at first as if I strove in vain

To enter with my spirit consciously

Into those worlds which by thy words are placed

So thoughtfully before the souls of men.

For many years I could find nought but thoughts

When in thy writings I absorbed myself.

And then, quite suddenly, around me flowed

The spirit-world in its reality;

I scarce knew how to find myself aright

Within my former more accustomed world.


That would have hid the spirit-life from thee

For ever by its strong effective power

Unless the stronger forces of this life

Had first reduced it to a shadow dim.

And so thou too, with thy full spirit-sight [116]

Must on that threshold learn to know thyself,

Where others first can gain their spirit-sight.

(During the last words Strader walks up to Capesius and the three go away together: after a short time Benedictus returns with Strader.)


It gave deep pain, within mine inmost self

And weighed with heavy pressure on my soul

When on awaking to myself I found

I was again within my body pent

From which thy words had given me release.

My deadened soul-life first tormented me

On my return, yet ’twas not only pain;

For it brought forth in me the memory

Of all I lived through ere I saw with dread

What I could learn from Ahriman himself,

That every thought must cease its progress there.

I had to ask myself why I was set

By Benedictus’ word within this realm

Where souls alone are taken into count

And only those are valued which can help

Toward the objects, which that power desires

To make his own through deeds that I have done.

He, in his wisdom, wanted to select

Twelve helpers from the number of mankind.


Yet ’tis well known to thee why all these souls,

Which Ahriman showed forth, drew near to thee,

When he would force himself upon their fates.



That also bitter pain revealed to me:

It showed how in a former life on Earth

I was united to a brotherhood

Which now hath formed again its mystic league,

And how those people stood towards myself,

Who were in their true nature then revealed.

And I could feel quite sure that Ahriman

Will use the bond, which e’en in future lives

Must ever surely bind their souls to mine.


The cosmic powers do so direct their deeds

That these with cosmic progress may unite

By following in wisdom number’s laws.

The sign how this direction is fulfilled

Shows itself clearly to the outer sense;

If it doth watch the Sun upon the course

He takes throughout the constellations twelve.

It is his place amongst those very signs

Which shows how on the Earth things come to pass

In strict succession in long course of time.

So Ahriman desired to mould the souls

Of those who are united thus to thee

To powers from whence thy work might shine afar.

He also wished to follow number’s laws

In binding their soul-nature unto thine.


Since I have learned the sense of number’s law,

So shall I too succeed in rescuing

My work from out the realm of Ahriman

And offering it to the gods of Earth.



It was through Ahriman thou hadst to learn

The sense of number in the universe;

So was it needful for thine own soul’s good.

’Twas spirit-pupilship that guided thee

Into that realm, which thou didst need to know

If thy creative power should bloom aright.

(Exeunt Benedictus and Strader. Maria and Thomasius appear from the other side.)


Johannes, knowledge hath thy soul acquired

From truth’s cold realms. No longer wilt thou now

Weave only in thy pictures that which souls,

Still pent within the body, live in dreams,

For far from cosmic progress are those thoughts

Which but as self-begotten show themselves.


’Tis love of self—although they may pretend

’Tis thirst for knowledge maketh them do this.


Whoe’er desires to dedicate himself

To human progress and perform such work

As shall in course of time prove living force

Must first entrust himself unto those powers

Who work in deep realities and bring,

Where order with confusion aye doth fight,

The rhythmic law of number and its power.

For knowledge only hath true active life, [119]

That can reveal itself within the soul

When it can bring to men, still clothed in flesh,

The memory of life in spirit-realms.


My course of life is thus made clear to me.

I had to feel myself a twofold man.

Through Benedictus’ help and through thine own

I am a being standing by myself;

And all the forces that within me stir

Do not belong at all to mine own self.

Ye now have given me a manhood new

Who must be willing to give other men

What he hath gained by spirit-pupilship.

He must devote himself unto the world

As best he can: naught from that other man

Must mingle and disturb what now at last

He hath as true self-knowledge recognized.

Contained in his own world he will go on,

If his own strength and help from both his friends

Shall in the future serve to form his fate.


Whether thou walk’st in error or in truth

Thou canst keep ever clear the view ahead;

Which lets thy soul press farther on its path,

If thou dost bravely bear necessities

Imposed upon thee by the spirit-realm.




Scene 10

The Temple of the mystic League mentioned in the first and second pictures. Here Benedictus, Torquatus, and Trustworthy have the robes and insignia of their office of Hierophant as described in the ‘Portal of Initiation.’ The Eastern altar supports a golden sphere; a blue sphere rests upon the Southern altar; whilst the sphere upon the altar of the West is red. As the scene opens Benedictus and Hilary are standing at the altar in the East; Bellicosus and Torquatus at the altar in the South; Trustworthy at the altar in the West; then enter Thomasius, Capesius, Strader; then Maria, Felix Balde, and Dame Balde; and later on the Soul of Theodora; and last of all the four Soul-Forces.


The souls of all my pupils have received

The spirit-light, each in that special form

Which was appointed for him by his fate.

What they have now achieved each for himself

Each now must render fruitful for mankind.

But this can only happen, if their powers

According unto number’s rhythmic law

Desire to join within the holy place

To form the higher unity, which first

Can waken to true life what otherwise [121]

Could only stay in solitary state.

They stand upon the threshold of the shrine,

Whose souls must first unite, and then shall sound

In unison according to the rules

Imprinted in the cosmic book of fate.

That what it could not bring to pass itself

The spirit harmony may thus achieve.

’Twill bring fresh inspiration to the old

Which here hath nobly reigned since time was not.

To you, ye brethren, I these pupils bring

Who found their way here through the spirit-worlds

And through the strictest proving of their souls.

The holy customs will they treat with awe.

And treasure ancient sacred mystic ways

Which here are seen as powers of spirit-light.

Ye too, who have fulfilled in truest wise

Your lofty spirit-service for so long,

Henceforth will be entrusted with new tasks.

The cosmic plan doth call the sons of men

But for a time unto the sacred shrine,

And when in service they exhaust their strength

It guideth them to other fields of work.

Even this temple had to stand its trial;

And one man’s error had to guard it once,

The guardian of the light—from darkness deep,

One cosmic hour big with the fate of worlds.

Thomasius perceived through inward light

Which rules unconscious in the souls of men,

That o’er its threshold he must not pursue

His way unto the holy mystic shrine

Ere he had crossed that other threshold o’er,

Of which this only is the outward sign. [122]

So of himself he shut the door again

Which you would fain have opened wide in love.

He will now as another come again

Worthy of your initiation’s gift.


Our souls here humbly offer sacrifice

Unto the spirit by whose power alone

The inner soul of man is fructified.

And we would strive that our own wills may be

A revelation of the spirit-will.

By cosmic wisdom is the temple led

Which unconfused doth guide to future times.

Thou showest us directions which thyself

Hast read within the cosmic book of fate,

What time thy pupils passed their proof severe.

So lead them now within our sacred shrine,

That they may join their work unto our own.

(Hilary knocks within the Temple; then enter Thomasius, Capesius, Maria, Felix Balde, Dame Balde, and Strader. Trustworthy and Torquatus so guide their entrance that when they come to the middle of the Temple, Thomasius is standing in front of Benedictus and Hilary, Capesius in front of Bellicosus and Torquatus, Strader in front of Trustworthy, whilst Maria is with Felix and Dame Balde.)


My son, the words man utters in this place

Spell guilt which cries aloud to spirit-worlds [123]

Unless the speaker follows truth alone.

As great the guilt, so strong too are the powers

Which strike it, and destroy the one who speaks

And proves himself unworthy of his task.

He who is standing here before thee now,

Was conscious of the working of his words

And tried to full extent of all his powers

To render service to the spirit-world

Before this holy symbol of that light

Which shines upon our Earth from out the east.

It is the will of fate that thou henceforth

Shalt stand and serve within this sacred place.

And he who consecrates thee to the task

And of his office hands thee now the key,

Doth give his blessing also that it may

Prove of good service, in so far as he

Hath served the sacred customs worthily.


Exalted Master, he would not presume—

This poor weak mortal, who doth dare to stand

Before thee now in body,—e’en to shape

One wish that thy successor he might be

Within this ancient consecrated place.

He is not worthy e’en to place one step

Across the threshold of this mystic shrine,

But what he dares not wish for, for himself,

He must perceive in deep humility

Since powers of fate have of necessity

Desired to send this call unto his soul.

It was not I, as I am in my life

Nor as I saw myself a short time back [124]

In spirit, as a wholly worthless soul,

That let me now draw near unto this place.

And yet the man who stands here visible

Hath been, by Benedictus and his friend,

Endowed with second manhood, which the first

Shall henceforth only as a bearer serve.

The spirit-pupilship hath given me

A self that can show forth itself with power

And to the full unfold its own pursuits

E’en when the bearer needs must know himself

Full far removed from lofty aims of soul.

If, in such case, his duty it doth seem

To give this second self that’s roused in him

To service in the progress of the Earth

His life must aye observe this strictest rule

To be a light before his spirit-eyes,

That nought from his own self must enter in

Nor cause disturbance in that work, which he

Hath not himself arranged nor brought to pass

But which his second self must execute.

Concealed within himself he thus will work

That one day he may be what he doth know

To be the future goal of his true self.

Throughout his life he’ll carry his own cares

Locked fast in deep recesses of his soul.

I told thee when at first thou called’st me

That I could never tread the temple courts

In mine own human personality.

He who now comes, as though another’s life

Had been entrusted to him, sees that fate

Hath laid on him the task of watching o’er

Results of his own work and guiding them [125]

With dutiful attention from this place

For such time as the spirit doth command.

Torquatus (in the South, to Capesius):

Capesius, henceforth ’twill be thy task

To serve the holy temple in this place

Whence love through wisdom shall stream forth to men

As warmly as the sunshine’s noontide rays.

He who would to the spirit sacrifice

With understanding of the mystic work,

Must needs face dangers here, for Lucifer

Can in this place draw near with secret tread

To whomsoever faithfully doth try

To carry out the spirit-service here,

And on each word he can impress the seal

That marks the adversary of the gods.

Thou stood’st before the adversary’s throne

And saw’st what follows his activities;

So for thine office thou art well prepared.


He who hath viewed the adversary’s realm

As powers of fate permitted me to do,

He knows that ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are but words

Which mankind scarce can understand aright.

Who speaks of Lucifer as wholly bad

Might also say that fire is evil too,

Because it hath a power that can kill life;

He might call water evil, since a man

Might in the water easily be drowned.



Through other things doth Lucifer appear

As evil to thee; not through that which he

Would indicate as evil of himself.


The cosmic spirit who could bring the light

To souls of men when first the Earth was formed

Must render service to the universe,

In ways which in themselves seem neither good

Nor evil unto spirits who have learned

What stern necessity doth oft reveal.

For good can turn to ill, if evil minds

Make use of it for their destructive ends;

And what seems evil may be turned to good

If some good being guideth it aright.


So dost thou know what thou wilt have to do

So long as thou dost stand within this place.

Love doth not value powers that are revealed

Within the world by judgment’s stern decree—

She treasures them for what they may bring forth

And asks how she can mould and use the life

Which is created out of cosmic depths.

Benedictus (in the East):

Yet love speaks often with such gentle words,

And needs support within the depths of soul.

Here in this place she will unite with all

That follows cosmic law with threefold will

And is unto the spirit dedicate.

Maria will unite her work to thine. [127]

The vow she took in Lucifer’s domain

Is now permitted to ray forth its powers.


Capesius spake words of deep import

Which can reveal the truth if they proceed

From that same spirit which can guide mankind

Toward true love, in progress of the Earth,

But which but error upon error heap

When they are fashioned by an evil mind

And in the soul transform themselves to ill.

’Tis true that Lucifer doth show himself

As bearer of the light to man’s soul-sight

When it would seek to gaze on spirit-space.

But then the human soul will always wish

To waken also in its inmost depths

What it can only gaze on and admire.

Although upon his beauty it may look

Ne’er may it fall ’neath Lucifer’s fell sway

Lest he should gain the power to work within.

When he, the bearer of the light, sends forth

His rays of wisdom and the worlds are filled

With haughty sense of self, and with full light

Each creature’s personality shines forth

A pattern of his own imperious self,

Then may the inmost being of the soul

Build up on this appearance, and rejoice

In all its senses, whilst it radiates

The joy of wisdom, all around, that lives

In its own self and loves to feel alive.

But, more than any other spirit, man

Requires a God who doth not only ask [128]

For admiration when his outward form

Reveals itself in glory to the soul,

But One who radiates His highest power

When He Himself doth dwell within man’s soul,

And loving unto death foretelleth life.

A man may turn to Lucifer and feel

Inspired by beauty, or some splendour bright:

And yet so live his life within himself

That Lucifer can ne’er find entrance there;

But to that other Spirit man doth cry,

When he can fathom his own self aright:

‘The goal of love for earthly souls—’tis this

Not I, but Christ, doth live within me now.’

Benedictus (turning to Maria):

And when her soul shall to her spirit bow

As she hath vowed to Lucifer, it shall,

Then through her power on to the temple stream

With all that leads unto the health of Earth.

And Christ will kindle in the hallowed place

Of wisdom warming rays of spirit-love.

What she can thus accomplish in the world

Is done because the course of her own life

Is bound up closely with that knot of fate

Which Karma spins in human lives on Earth.

In some long-past existence, it was she

Who caused the son to leave his father’s home;

And now she leads the son to him again.

The soul, which in Thomasius now dwells

In former life was to that one which now

Fulfils itself within Capesius,

As son to father bound by ties of blood. [129]

The father will not now through Lucifer

Demand the debt Maria owes to him,

For by Christ’s power, the debt hath been annulled.

Magnus Bellicosus (speaking to Hilary and Benedictus, but frequently turning to Felix Balde and Dame Balde):

Within the holy place doth shine the light

Which flows with power from out the spirit-heights,

When souls can worthily receive its strength.

But yet those lofty powers of wisdom’s realm

Which thus reveal themselves in mystic shrines

Have chosen also other paths to souls.

The signs of our own times have made it clear

That all these paths must now be joined in one.

The temple must unite itself with souls

Who have reached spirit-light in other ways

And yet have been enlightened in good truth.

Now Dame Felicia and her husband too,

Are such as may approach this sacred place

And who can bring to it a wealth of light.

Dame Balde:

I can but tell the fairy-tales that rise

Within my heart quite of their own accord—

only know about their spirit-source

What oft Capesius hath told to me.

In all humility I must believe,

What he hath told me of my gift of soul;

So also I believe what ye make clear

Why I am called within these temple walls.


Felix Balde:

I followed not alone the outward call

Sent to me by the guardian of this shrine;

But true unto my spirit-pathway’s goal

I have applied myself unto the power

Which, as mine inmost guide, doth ever point

In what direction I shall turn my steps

That I may best be able to fulfil

In life what spirit-powers have foreordained.

This time I saw quite clearly I was meant

To shun that way which Benedictus now

Hath shown his pupils in the spirit-life.

The signs that now I see within this shrine

Appeared to me in vision previously.

For often when my soul did tread the depths

And all self-will had been destroyed in me,

And power and patience could maintain themselves

In that dread loneliness which aye approached

Before I could experience spirit-light,

Then all the universe seemed one with me,

And soon I found myself within that world,

Where life’s true purpose was revealed to me.

During such spirit-wand’rings I have been

In many a temple which it seems to me

Resembles that which now my sense perceives,

Just as the writing of the spoken word

Must show a written picture of the speech.

Trustworthy (in the West, to Strader):

Dear Strader, it is now thy destiny

To speak that word henceforth within the shrine

Which will agree with all Thomasius [131]

Makes known to us, as sunset must agree

With that hope-giving glow of morning light.

This word, in its full sense doth seize upon

The working of that Power who showed himself

To thee, when thou wert standing on thy trial.

Thou hadst to stand within that spirit-place

Where thought is strictly ordered to stand still.

For if thine hand should wield a hammer now

And only strike the air, it could not know

The power it hath, unless the blow should reach

Some anvil; even so it is with thought.

It ne’er could really fathom its own depth

If Ahriman were not opposed to it.

All thought within thy life hath led thee on

To contradict thyself and this hath caused

Within thy soul both pain and heavy doubt.

Thus didst thou learn to know thyself through thought;

As light can only gaze upon itself,

But through reflection that its rays cast forth;

The words of him who serves the temple here

Thus, in a picture, life’s reflection show.


In truth the light of thought for long time streamed

But through reflection into mine own life;

Yet for full seven years the spirit showed

Itself to me in its bright splendour too,

And did reveal those worlds unto my soul,

In front of which my soul had formerly

Stood ever still in torment and in doubt.

Within my soul this light must grow so deep

That it shall last through all eternity, [132]

If I would find the path to spirit-aims

And make my own creations bring forth health.

Theodora (becoming visible, as a spirit-being, at Strader’s side):

I was allowed to win this light for you,

Because thy power did strive toward my light,

As soon as thy right time had been fulfilled.


So too thy light, thou spirit-messenger,

Will stream o’er all the words that in this place

Shall be wrung forth from out mine inmost soul.

For Theodora’s self is now with mine

To holy mystic service consecrate.

(Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia appear in a glowing cloud of light.)

The Other Philia:

To Earth’s primeval source

Mount thoughts of sacrifice

From many a holy shrine;

Let all that lives in souls,

Let all that spirit lights

Soar to the world of form;

Let cosmic-powers incline

With graciousness to men,

To kindle spirit-light

Within their powers of soul.


From cosmic spirits I

Will beg their being’s light, [133]

The soul-sense to uphold;

The sound too of their words,

To loose the spirit-ear,

That what hath been aroused

Upon the paths of soul

May not become extinct

In lives of men on Earth.


The love-streams will I guide

That fill the world with warmth

Unto the spirits of

Initiated men,

That thus the sacred rite

May be preserved and kept

Within the hearts of men.


From primal powers will I

For might and courage pray,

For these will help to make

Self-sacrifice to grow,

So that it may transform

What now is seen in time

And change to spirit-seeds

For all eternity.

Curtain falls while all the characters, including Theodora, Philia, Astrid, Luna, and the Other Philia are still inside the Temple.


1 Note.—Very solemn and slow. 





Scene 1: Hilary’s business is threatened with disaster because of his attempt to introduce into it his spiritual ideals and occult methods. He has engaged as controller of his machinery, Strader, who is generally known to be a failure because of his unpractical inventions. With him comes a group of similar “cranks.” Hilary’s old manager is in despair.

Scene 2: Johannes is a prey to delusion and loves to wander in his own dreamland. He is warned by Maria and Benedictus. Capesius, in a moment of clairvoyance gets a glimpse of Johannes’ inner mood, and is so alarmed that he decides that there can be no blending of spiritual gifts with earthly things, and he withdraws from Hilary’s group and goes to the old mystic Felix. Maria urges Johannes to discriminate between truth end self-delusion which can be done by the study of elemental sprites.

The dance of gnomes and sylphs.

The youth of Johannes appears. It is in despair because it is separated from Johannes. Lucifer tries to console it with promises of human wisdom and love of beauty. Theodora offers divine wisdom.

Scene 3: Arguments on various phases of occult development. During the discussion, Ahriman glides stealthily across the stage to bring dissension and confusion of thought among the speakers, who are ignorant of his presence.

Strader’s temptations.

Felix speaks on mysticism.

The appearance in spirit form of Maria and Benedictus [137]to help Strader, and of Ahriman to thwart him. There is a repetition of Strader’s part in Scene II.

Scene 4: Similar discussions between Hilary’s manager and Romanus. Ahriman had succeeded in separating the various mystics.

During the discussion, Romanus, by his arguments on occultism, makes a great impression upon the manager.

Johannes and his double.

Ahriman scoffs at the Guardian of the Threshold. Strader with Benedictus. The vision of the latter is troubled; he—the occult leader—is mistaken.

Scene 5: The Spirit World.

This scene needs careful meditation and some knowledge of the author’s system. Attention should be given to the indications of the planetary spheres—Mercury, Venus, Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn—to which in turn we expand after death. Heed should be paid to the warning given by the Guardian of the Threshold.

Lucifer here appears as a beneficent guide, so, too, the other Philia.

Scene 6: The Spirit World. The same remarks apply. Capesius is struck by the figures of his previous incarnations, as shown in the former plays. The Guardian of the Threshold will allow an even earlier incarnation to appear.

(Scenes 7 and 8: The earlier incarnations in Egypt giving the key to the four plays, and showing the origin of development of the different characters.)

Scene 7: Shows in a remarkable way how the future development of the Baldes and Capesius is going to proceed. The concluding speech of the hierophant foreshadows the approach of a new Era when candidates for initiation will get the hidden light independently and not under the hypnotic suggestion of the guiding priest.

Scene 8: Drop scene. Egyptian woman (otherwise Johannes [138]Thomasius) is in love with a man who is a neophyte or candidate for mysticism and about to retire from the world. This mystic is known to us otherwise as Maria.

Scene 8: About 2000 B.C. The hierophant (Capesius) has refused to use his thought power to suggest to the candidate what his vision should be. The candidate has a free vision looking far into the future. A breath of love and freedom is wafted into the closely sealed precincts. ‘The truth shall make thee free.’ But with this rebellion against the old order, there is a consequence. Lucifer and Ahriman hitherto chained within the temple break their chains and begin to work their will. The ancient temple has been invaded, but the Ego begins to wake. The reader will not overlook, in all this cosmic development, the individual development of the different characters which are difficult to understand from the other plays without this glimpse into their previous incarnation. The author has presented it in this order, because it corresponds to the reader’s own experience.

Scene 9: Maria’s awakening. The reminiscence in waking of what has happened in a psychic condition.

Scene 10: Johannes’ awakening. The quotations refer to Scenes 7 and 8.

Scene 11: Strader’s awakening. Benedictus’ vision is again clouded. The reason here is probably Strader’s approaching death. The quotations refer to Scene 3.

Scene 12: Ahriman’s manner, shape, and speech betray the fact that he is being found out by the followers of Benedictus. Ahriman hopes, however, to catch Strader. Note the satire indulged in at the expense of those occultists, theosophists, and others whose air of superiority makes them a laughing stock.

Note also the last line showing the importance of remembering the dead.

Scene 13: Hilary and Romanus. [139]

Scene 14: Strader’s death is announced and Hilary’s manager is converted.

Scene 15: Secretary and Nurse.

The Secretary’s speech.

Ahriman’s shape is here even more that of the conventional devil than in Scene 12. This is to show that his true nature is now fully grasped by Benedictus and his followers. This is seen in Ahriman’s last speech. Note Benedictus’ speech about the dead and their messages.

Benedictus tells Ahriman that one can only serve Good when one does good not for oneself.

The triumph and initiation of Strader and his future power.

The defeat and exit of Ahriman. [141]



The psychic and spiritual events portrayed in this play are to be conceived as following, at about a year’s interval, those delineated in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold.’

I. Representatives of the Element of Spirit:

  • 1. Benedictus, the personality in whom a number of his ‘pupils’ recognize the sage who knows the deep spiritual connection of earthly events. In my earlier soul pictures ‘The Portal of Initiation’ and ‘The Soul’s Probation,’ he is portrayed as the Hierophant of the Sun-Temple; in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ he manifests that particular phase of spiritual activity which aims to substitute the actual spiritual life of modern times for the merely traditional views upheld therein by the Mystic Brotherhood. In ‘The Soul’s Awakening’ Benedictus must no longer be conceived only as a sage who has authority over his pupils but also as having his own psychic destiny interwoven with their psychic experiences.[142]
  • 2. Hilary True-to-God, the adept in traditional spiritual life, which, in his case, is accompanied by individual spirit-experience. He is the same individuality who appears in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as Grand Master of a Mystic Brotherhood.
  • 3. The Manager of Hilary’s business of sawmills.
  • 4. Hilary’s Secretary. He appears in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ as Frederick Clear-Mind.

II. Representatives of the Element of Sacrifice:

  • 1. Magnus Bellicosus named Germanus in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’ In ‘The Soul’s Probation’ and in the ‘Guardian of the Threshold’ he is the Preceptor of a Mystic Brotherhood.
  • 2. Albertus Torquatus named ‘Theodosius’ in ‘The Portal of Initiation.’ He appears in the ‘Soul’s Probation’ as the First Master of Ceremonies of the Mystic Brotherhood.
  • 3. Professor Capesius appearing in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as First Preceptor.
  • 4. Felix Balde, representing in ‘The Portal of Initiation’ a kind of natural mysticism, but here, a subjective mysticism. He appears as Joseph Keane in ‘The Soul’s Probation.’

III. Representatives of the Element of Will:

  • 1. Romanus who is here re-introduced under the same name used for him in ‘The Portal of Initiation’ because it expresses the inner state of being to which he has worked upwards during the years [143]which elapse between ‘The Portal of Initiation’ and the ‘Awakening.’ In ‘The Guardian of the Threshold’ the name given him of Frederick Trustworthy is the one by which he is supposed to be known in the physical world, and the name is used there because his inner life has very little to do with the events represented. In ‘The Soul’s Probation’ he appears as Second Master of Ceremonies in the mediæval Mystic Brotherhood.
  • 2. Doctor Strader the individual appearing in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as the Jew, Simon.
  • 3. The Nurse of Doctor Strader the individual called Mary Steadfast in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold.’ In ‘The Portal of Initiation’ she is known as ‘The Other Maria’ because the imaginative perception of Johannes Thomasius constructs, under her guise, an imaginative picture of certain nature-forces. Her individuality appears in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as Bertha, Keane’s daughter.
  • 4. Dame Balde who appears in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as Dame Keane.

IV. Representatives of the Element of Soul:

  • 1. Maria whose individuality appears in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as the Monk.
  • 2. Johannes Thomasius whose individuality appears in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as Thomas.
  • 3. Hilary’s wife.

V. Beings from the Spirit World:

  • 1. Lucifer.
  • 2. Ahriman.[144]
  • 3. Gnomes.
  • 4. Sylphs.

VI. Beings of the Element of Human Spirit:

  • 1. Philia } The spiritual beings through whose agency the human soul-forces are connected with the cosmos.
    2. Astrid
    3. Luna
  • 4. The ‘Other’ Philia, representing the element of Love in the world to which the spirit-personality belongs.
  • 5. The Soul of Theodora appearing in ‘The Soul’s Probation’ as Cecilia, foster daughter of Keane and sister of Thomas who impersonates Johannes Thomasius.
  • 6. The Guardian of the Threshold.
  • 7. The Double of Johannes Thomasius.
  • 8. The Spirit of Johannes Thomasius’ Youth.
  • 9. The Soul of Ferdinand Fox in the realm of Ahriman (Scene 12). He appears as Ferdinand Fox only in ‘The Guardian of the Threshold.’

VII. The personalities of Benedictus and Maria also appear as mental experiences, to wit: In the second scene as those of Johannes Thomasius, in the third scene as those of Strader. Maria appears thus to Johannes Thomasius in Scene 9.

VIII. The individualities of Benedictus, Hilary True-to-God, Magnus Bellicosus, Albertus Torquatus, Strader, Capesius, Felix Balde, Dame Balde, Romanus, Maria, Johannes Thomasius and Theodora appear in the spirit-realm in the fifth and sixth [145]scenes of this play, as ‘souls’; and in the temple in the seventh and eighth scenes as personalities living in a far distant past.

In connection with ‘The Soul’s Awakening’ it is advisable again to draw attention to a point already made with reference to the preceding soul-pictures. Neither the spiritual nor the psychic events nor the spiritual beings are intended to be mere symbols or allegories. Anyone interpreting them in this manner would quite misconceive the real being of the spiritual world. Even in the mental experiences which are shown (in the second, third, and tenth scenes) nothing merely symbolical is portrayed. They are genuine psychic experiences, as real for a person who has access to the spirit world as are persons and events in the world of the senses. Such a person will find ‘The Awakening’ a thoroughly realistic soul-picture. Were the case one of mere symbolism or allegory, I should certainly have left these scenes unwritten.

In response to various questions, I had once more attempted to add a few ‘supplementary remarks’ in explanation of this ‘soul-picture;’ but as on former occasions, I again suppress the attempt. I feel averse to adding material of this kind to a picture intended to speak for itself. Such abstract considerations have no part to play in the conception and working-out of the picture, and would only be a discordant element. The spiritual realities, here set forth, present themselves to the soul as convincingly as physical things present themselves to our bodily perception. Yet, as is natural, an unclouded spiritual vision views the [146]beings and events shown in pictures painted by spiritual perception otherwise than the physical perceptions would behold the same beings and events. On the other hand, it must be said that the manner in which spiritual events array themselves before the perception of the soul determines alike the tendency and construction of such pictures. [147]




Scene 1

Hilary’s office. Fittings not very modern. He is a manufacturer of sawn woodwork.


And e’en our good friends in St. Georgestown

Declare that they too are dissatisfied.


What? even they; it is deplorable.

The self-same reasons too; ’tis plain to see

With what regret and pain our friends announce

That they can deal no more with Hilary.


Complaints of our unpunctuality

And of the value of our goods compared

With those produced by our competitors

Reach us by post; and on my business trips

Our clients meet me with the same old tale.

The good name of this house is vanishing,

By Hilary’s forefathers handed down

To us intact that we might heighten it.

And men begin to think that Hilary

Is swayed by dreamers and strange fantasies,

And, thus obsessed, no longer can bestow [148]

The earnest care which he was wont to give

To all the operations of the firm,

Whose products were world-famous and unique.

So many as were our admirers then

So great is now the tale of those who blame.


It is notorious that Hilary

Long since hath let himself be led astray

By seekers after some strange spirit gifts.

To such pursuits he ever was inclined;

But formerly he kept them separate

From business and its workaday routine.

(Enter Hilary.)

Manager (to the Secretary):

It seems advisable to me to speak

Alone with our employer for a while.

(Exit Secretary.)


Anxiety it is that bids me seek

An interview and earnest speech with thee.


Why then does my adviser feel concerned?


Things happen constantly which bring to light

A serious diminution in demand

For what we manufacture; nor do we

Produce as large an output as we should.

There is besides an increase of complaints [149]

About the lower standard of our work,

And other houses step in front of us.

So too our well-known promptness hath declined

As many clients truthfully attest.

Ere long the best friends that remain to us

No more will be content with Hilary.


Long have I been full well aware of this

And yet indeed it leaves me unconcerned.

But none the less I feel an urgent need

To talk things over with thee; thou hast helped

Not only as the servant of my house,

But also as my dear and trusted friend.

And so I shall speak plainly to thee now

Of matters which I oft have hinted at.

Whoever wills to bring the new things in

Must be content to let the old things die.

Henceforth the business will be carried on

In different ways from those it knew before.

Production, that but stays in straitest bounds

And without care doth offer up its fruits

Upon the market of our earthly life

Regardless of the uses they may find,

Doth seem so trivial and of little worth,

Since I have come to know the noble form

Work can assume when shaped by spirit-men.

From this time forth Thomasius shall be

Directing artist in the workshops here,

Which I shall build for him close to our works.

So will the product made by our machines

Be moulded by his will in artist-forms [150]

And thus supply for daily human need

The useful with the exquisite combined,

Art and production shall become one whole

And daily life by taste be beautified.

So will I add to these dead forms of sense,

For thus do I regard our output now,

A soul, whereby they may be justified.

Manager (after long reflection):

The plan to fabricate such wonder-wares

Suits not the spirit of our present age.

The aim of all production now must be

Complete perfection in some narrow groove.

The powers which work impersonally, and pour

The part into the whole in active streams,

Confer unthinkingly upon each link

A worth that is by wisdom not bestowed.

And were this obstacle not in thy path

Yet would thy purpose none the less be vain.

That thou shouldst find a man to realize

The plan thou hast so charmingly conceived

Passeth belief, at least it passeth mine.


Thou knowest, friend, I do not dream vain dreams.

How should I aim at such a lofty goal

Had not kind fate already brought to me

The man to realize what I propose?

I am amazed that thine eyes cannot see

That Strader is, in fact, this very man.

And one who, knowing this man’s inner self,

And his own duty to humanity, [151]

Conceives one of his duties to be this;

To find a field of work for such a man,

A dreamer is no proper name for him.

Manager (after manifesting some surprise):

Am I to look on Strader as this man?

In his case hath it not been manifest

How easily deluded mortals are

Who lack the power to know realities?

That his contrivance owes to spirit-light

Its origin doth not admit of doubt.

And if it can sometime be perfected

Those benefits will doubtless pour therefrom

Which Strader thought he had already won.

But a mere model it will long remain

Seeing those forces are still undisclosed

Whose power alone will give reality.

I am distressed to find that thou dost hope

Good will result from giving up thy plant

Unto a man who came to grief himself

With his own carefully contrived machine.

’Tis true it led his spirit up to heights

Which ever will entice the souls of men,

But which will only then be scaled by him

When he hath made the rightful powers his own.


That thou must praise the spirit of this man

And yet seek’st cause to overthrow his work

Doth prove most clearly that his worth is great.

The fault, thou sayest, did not lie in him,

That failure rather than success was his. [152]

Among us therefore he will surely find

His proper place; for here there will not be

External hindrances to thwart his plans.


And if, despite what I have just now said,

I were to strive within myself and try

To tune my reason to thy mode of thought,

Still one more point compels me to object.

Who will in future value this thy work?

Or show such comprehension of thine aims

As to make use of what thou mayst have made?

Thy property will all be swallowed up

Before thy business hath been well begun,

And then it can no more be carried on.


I willingly admit my plans would show

Themselves imperfect, if amongst mankind

True comprehension were not first aroused

For this new kind and style of handicraft.

What Strader and Thomasius create

Must be perfected in the Sanctuary

Which I shall build for spirit knowledge here.

What Benedictus, what Capesius

And what Maria yonder shall impart

Will show to man the path that he should tread

And make him feel the need to penetrate

His human senses with the spirit’s light.


And so thou wouldst endow a little clique

To live self-centred, from the world apart, [153]

And shut thyself from all true human life.

Thou fain wouldst banish selfishness on earth

Yet wilt thou cherish it in thy retreat.


A dreamer, it would seem, thou thinkest me,

Who thoughtlessly denies experience

That life hath brought him. Thus should I appear

Unto myself if, for one moment’s space,

I held this view thou hast about success.

The cause that I hold dear may fail indeed,

Yet even if, despised by all mankind

It crumbles into dust and disappears,

Yet was it once conceived by human souls

And set up as a pattern on this earth.

In spirit it will work its way in life

Although it stay not in the world of sense.

It will contribute part of that great power

Which in the end will make it come to pass

That earthly deeds are wed to spirit aims;

This in the spirit-wisdom is foretold.


I am thy servant and have had my say

As duty and conviction bade me speak;

Yet now the attitude thou hast assumed

Gives me the right to speak as friend to friend.

In work together with thee I have felt

Myself impelled for many a year to seek

A personal knowledge of the things to which

Thou giv’st thyself with such self-sacrifice;

My only guides have been the written words [154]

Wherein the spirit-wisdom is revealed.—

And though the worlds are hidden from my gaze

To which those writings had directed me,

Yet in imagination I can feel

The mental state of men whose simple trust

Leads them to seek such spirit-verities.

I have found confirmation in myself

Of what the experts in this love describe,

As being the possession of such souls

As feel themselves at home in spirit realms.

The all-important thing, it seems to me,

Is that such souls, despite their utmost care,

Cannot divide illusions from the Truth

When they come down from out the spirit heights

As come they must, back into earthly life.

Then from the spirit world, so newly won,

Visions descend upon them which prevent

Their seeing clearly in the world of sense,

And, thus misled, their judgment goes astray

In things pertaining to this life on earth.


What thou wouldst raise as hindrance to my work

Doth but confirm my purpose; thou hast proved

That in thyself I now have one friend more

To stand beside me in my search for truth.

How could I have conjectured up till now

Thy knowledge of the nature of those souls

Who fain would come and join me in my task?

Thou know’st the perils ever threat’ning them.

So will their actions make it clear to thee

That they know paths where they are kept from harm. [155]

Soon thou wilt doubtless know that this is so,

And I shall find henceforth as in the past

In thee a counsellor, who doth not fail.


I cannot lend my strength to fashion deeds

Whose processes I do not understand.

Those men in whom thou trusted seem to me

Misled by the illusion I have named:

And others too, who listen to their words,

Will victims to that same illusion fall

Which doth o’erpower all thought that knows its goal.

My help and counsel evermore shall be

Thine to command as long as thou dost need

Acts based upon experience on earth;

But this new work of thine is not for me.


By thy refusal thou dost jeopardize

A work designed to further spirit-aims.

For I am hampered lacking thine advice.

Consider how imperious is the call

Of duty when fate designs to make a sign,

And such a sign I cannot but behold

In these men being here at our behest.


The longer thou dost speak in such a strain

More clearly dost thou prove thyself to me,

The unconscious victim of illusion’s spell.

Thy purpose is to serve humanity,

But in reality thou wilt but serve [156]

The group which, backed by thee, will have the means

To carry on awhile its spirit-dream.

Soon shall we here behold activities

Ordained no doubt by spirit for these souls,

But which will prove a mirage to ourselves

And must destroy the harvest of our work.


If thou wilt not befriend me with thine aid

Drear doth the future stretch before my soul.

(Enter Strader, left.)


Dear Strader, I have long expected thee.

As things are now it seems advisable

To spend the present time in serious talk

And later on, decide what we shall do.

My dear old friend hath just confessed to me

That he can not approve what we have planned.

So let us now hear counsel from the man

Who promises his spirit to our work.

Much now depends upon how at this time

Men recognize each other in their souls,

Who each to each seem like a separate world

And yet united could accomplish much.


And so the loyal friend of Hilary

Will not join with us in the hopeful work

Which our friend’s wisdom hath made possible?

Yet can our plan alone be carried out

If his proved skill in life be wisely joined

In compact with the aims of future days.



Not only will I hold aloof myself,

But I would also make clear to my friend,

That this design hath neither aim nor sense.


I do not wonder thou should’st hold that view

Of any plan in which I am concerned.

I saw a great inception come to grief

Because today the forces still are hid

Which turn clear thought to sense reality.

’Tis known I drew from spirit-light the thought,

Which, though proved true, yet had no life on earth.

This fact doth witness ’gainst my power to judge

And also kills belief that spirit hides

The source of true creation on the earth.

And ’twill be very difficult to prove

That such experience hath giv’n me power

Not to fall victim for the second time.

For I must needs fall into error once

That I may safely reach the land of truth.

Yet ’tis but natural men should doubt my word.

Thy spirit outlook most especially

Must find our wisdom promise little gain.

I hear thee praised for that keen sympathy

Which goes out from thee to all spirit-life,

And for the time and strength thou givest it.

But it is also said that thou wouldst keep

Thy work on earth severely separate [158]

From spirit-striving, which with its own powers

Would work creatively in thy soul-life.

To this pursuit thou wouldst devote alone

Those hours which earthly labour doth not claim.

The aim, however, of the spirit-tide

Where I see clear life’s evolution writ,

Is to join spirit-work for spirit-ends

To earthly labours in the world of sense.


So long as spirit but to spirit gives

All it can do in free creative might,

It raiseth souls in human dignity

And gives them reason in their life on earth.

But when it seeks to live out its own self

And over others’ selves to domineer

It straightway doth draw nigh the realm in which

Illusion often can endanger truth.

This knowledge unto which I have attained

By personal effort in the spirit-world

Doth make me act as I do act today;

It is not personal preference, as thou,

Misled by what is said of me, wouldst think.


An error ’tis in spirit-knowledge then

That makes thee hostile to the views I hold.

Through this will difficulties multiply.

No doubt ’tis easy for the spirit-seer

To work in partnership with other men

Who have already let themselves be taught

By life and nature what existence means. [159]

But when ideas which claim that they do spring

From spirit sources join reluctantly

With others flowing from the self-same source,

One can but seldom hope for harmony.

(After a period of quiet meditation.)

Yet that which must will surely come to pass.

Renewed examination of my plans …

Perhaps may make thee change the views, to which

On first consideration thou dost cling.

Curtain whilst all three are sunk in reflection.



Scene 2

Mountainous country; in the distance, Hilary’s house, which is in the vicinity of the workshops, which are not seen. Hilary’s house has no upper floor; no corners or angles, and is crescent shaped. A waterfall on the left of the stage, facing audience. A rivulet runs from the waterfall between little rocks across the stage.

Johannes is seen sitting on a rock to right. Capesius left.


The towering masses with their silent life

Brim up the air with riddles manifold;

Yet ask no maddening questions such as slay

A soul that asks not for experience

But only for serenity in which

It may behold life’s revelation clear.

See how these colours play among these cliffs,

How calmly dumb the bare expanses lie,

How twilight clothes the woods in green and blue;

This is the world in which Johannes’ soul

Will rest and weave tomorrow’s fantasies.

Johannes’ soul shall feel within itself

The depths and distances of this its world; [161]

And by creative powers this soul shall be

Delivered of its hidden energy

And make known that the world’s enchantment is

Only appearance glorified by art.

Yet could Johannes ne’er accomplish this

Did not Maria through her love awake

With gentle soul-warmth forces in his soul.

I must acknowledge fate’s wise leadership

In drawing me so closely unto her.

How short a time it is since I have known

That she is by my side; how closely knit

Hath been in these few weeks Johannes’ soul

Into a living unity with hers.

As spirit she lives in me though far off;

She thinks within my thought when I call up

Before my soul the objects of my will.

(Maria appears as a thought of Johannes.)

Johannes (continuing):

Maria here before me! but how strange!

She must not thus reveal herself to me!

This stern cold spirit-face, this dignity

That chills my earthly feelings—’tis not thus

Johannes will or can Maria see

Draw nigh to him. ’Tis not Maria—this—

Whom by kind fate’s decree wise powers have sent.

(Maria disappears from Johannes’ vision.)

Where is Maria whom Johannes loved

Before she had transformed his soul in him

And led it up to ice-cold spirit-heights?

And where Johannes, whom Maria loved,

Where is he now?—He was at hand e’en now. [162]

I see no more Johannes, who didst give

Me back unto myself with joy. The past

Cannot and shall not rob me of him thus.

(Maria again appears before Johannes’ vision.)


Maria as thou fain wouldst her behold

Lives not in worlds where shines the light of truth.

Johannes’ spirit treads illusion’s realm

By fantasy misled; set thyself free

From strong desire and its alluring power.

I feel in me the turmoil of thy soul;

It robs me of the calmness that I need.

’Tis not Johannes who directs the storm

Into my soul; it is some other man,

O’er whom he was victorious in the past.

Now as a wraith it roams the spirit-plains;—

Once known for such it straight will fade away.


That is Maria as she really is,

Who of Johannes speaks as he appears

To his own vision at the present time.

Long since into another form he rose

Than that which errant fancy paints for me

Because I am content to let my soul

Amuse itself with dreams in slothful ease.

But not yet doth this being hold me fast.

Escape from him I still can—and I will—

He often calls me to his side and strives

To win me for myself by his own powers— [163]

Yet will I strive to free myself from him.

Long years ago he flooded my soul’s depths

With spirit being; none the less today

No more do I desire to harbour him.

Thou stranger being in Johannes’ soul

Forsake me—give me back my pristine self

Before thou didst commence thy work in me.

I would behold Johannes free of thee.

(Benedictus appears at Maria’s side, equally as a thought of Johannes.)


Johannes, heed the warning of thy soul;

The man who, flooding thee with spirit, rose

To be thy nature’s primal energy,

Must at thy side still hold his faithful sway

And claim that thou transform his being’s powers

Through thy will into human deeds. He must,

Himself concealed, work out his task in thee;

That thou some day mayst reach what thou dost know

To be thy being’s distant future goal.

Thy personal sorrow thou must bear through life

Fast locked within the chamber of thy soul.

So only shalt thou win thyself, if thou

Dost bravely let him own thee more and more.

Maria (seen as a thought of Johannes):

My holy earnest vow doth beam forth power

Which shall preserve for thee what thou hast won.

Me shalt thou find in those cold fields of ice, [164]

Where spirits must create light for themselves.

When darkness wounds and maims the powers of life

Seek me within those cosmic depths where souls

Wrestle to win God-knowledge for themselves.

By conquest that wins being from the void;

But never seek me in the realm of shades,

Where outlived soul-experience wins by guile

A transient life from out illusion’s web,

And dream’s frail phantoms can the spirit cheat;

So that in pleasure it forgets itself

And looks on serious effort with distaste.

(Benedictus and Maria disappear.)


She saith illusion …

… yet ’tis passing fair.

It lives; Johannes feels it in himself,

He feels Maria’s nearness in him too.

Johannes will not know how spirit works

To solve the riddles of the soul’s dark depths.

He will create and will as artists work.

So may that part of him still lie concealed,

Which consciously would gaze on cosmic heights.

(He sinks into further meditation.)

(Capesius rises from his seat; as it were arousing himself out of deep thought.)


Did I not clearly feel within my soul

That which Johannes, dreaming over there,

Wrought as the pictures of his longing heart?

Within me glowed to life thoughts not mine own— [165]

Such as he only could originate.

The being of his soul lived in mine own,

I saw him younger grown, as he beheld

Himself through vain illusion, and did mock

The ripe fruits that his spirit had achieved.

But hold! Why do I now experience this?

For seldom may the spirit-searcher see

The being in himself of other souls.

I mind, that Benedictus often said

That only he—and only for a while—

Can do this, whose good destiny ordains

That he shall be upraised one further step

Upon the spirit path. May I thus read

The meaning of what happened even now?

Seldom indeed could this thing be allowed;

For ’twould be terrible if aye the seer

Could see the inner being of men’s souls.

Did I see truly?—or could it have been

Illusion let me dream another’s soul?

I must enquire from Johannes himself.

(Capesius approaches Johannes, who now notices him for the first time.)


Capesius—I thought thee far from here.


Yet my soul felt itself quite near to thine.



Near mine—at such a time—it cannot be!


Why dost thou shudder at these words of mine?


I do not shudder …

(At this moment Maria joins them; this enables both Johannes and Capesius to speak their next words to themselves.)

(To himself):

I do not shudder … how his steady glance

Doth pierce me to mine inmost depths of soul.

Capesius (to himself):

His shudder shows me that I saw aright.

(Capesius turns to Maria.)

Maria, thou dost come in fitting time.

Perhaps thy tongue may speak some word of cheer.

To solve the problem which oppresseth me.


I thought to find Johannes here, not thee.

Foreboding bade me seek the problem’s weight

In him—but thou, I fancied, wast content,

Devoted to that glorious enterprise

Which we are offered here by Hilary.


What care I for it? It disturbs me now—



Disturbs thee? Didst thou not express delight

To think thy projects might be realized?


What I have lived through in this fateful hour

Hath changed the former purpose of my soul,

Since all activity in work on earth

Must rob me of my new clairvoyant powers.


Whoe’er is suffered to tread spirit-ways

Finds many a hint to shape his destiny.

On soul paths he will try to follow them,

Yet they have not been rightly understood

If they disturb his duties on the earth.

(Capesius sits, and is plunged in thought while the vision of Lucifer appears to Maria.)


Thine effort will not bring thee much reward.

New force begins to stir within his heart

That opes the portal of his soul to me.

Maria, gaze with thy clairvoyant sight

Upon his inmost soul; and there behold

How he doth free himself on spirit-wings

From thy warm loving bonds of work on earth.

(Lucifer remains on the scene.)

(Maria turns towards Capesius to rouse him from his meditation, but at the same moment he seems to rouse himself of his own accord.)



If on the spirit-path Johannes felt

The nature of his duties hinder him,

’Twould not be right, though so it might appear.

He needs must work upon the outer plane.

Thy task is to expound the spirit-lore

To other men and such a task as this

Cannot impede the progress of thy soul.


Far more than when they work on outer things

Do spirit forces lose themselves in words.

Words make one reason o’er what one has seen,

And reason is a foe to seership’s power.

I had a spirit-vision even now

Which only could disclose itself to me

Because the soul which was revealed to me,

Although our earthly bodies are close friends,

Had never been by me quite understood

If I saw truly, I am no more bound

By any ties unto this work of earth.

For I must feel persuaded that high Powers

Now set another goal before my soul

Than that prescribed for it by Hilary.

(He places himself in front of Johannes.)


Johannes, tell me truly, didst thou not

A while ago feel old, outlived desires

That lived within thee like thy present self,

While thou wast lost in meditation deep?



Can then my spirit’s struggle work to form

Experience within another’s soul?

And can such vision make mine error strong

To find its way to life in cosmic space?

(Johannes again falls into meditation.)

(Maria turns her face towards Lucifer and hears him say:)


Here too I find the soul’s gate open wide.

I’ll not delay but use this chance at once.

If also in this soul a spirit-wish

Is born, that work of love must come to naught

Which doth bode ill to me through Hilary.

I can destroy Maria’s might in him:

And thus can add her power unto mine own.

(Capesius at this moment straightens up self-consciously, and, during the following speech, shows an increasingly definite conviction.)


My doubts dissolve—that which I saw was true;

I was allowed to see Johannes’ life.

So is it also clear that his world could

Only unfold itself because mine own

Would never draw near his and comprehend

The spirit-path doth ask for solitude.

Co-operation is but meant for those

Who comprehend each others’ hopes and aims.

A soul which sets humanity aside

Attains the wide bounds of the worlds of light. [170]

A pattern in old Felix can I find,

He seeks on paths that none but he may know

In proud seclusion for the spirit-light.

He sought and found because he kept himself

From ever grasping things by reason’s strength.

In his track will I follow, and thy work,

Which hampers seership’s power with earthly things,

Shall no more lead Capesius astray.



So ’tis with man, what time his better self

Sinks into spirit-sleep and strong desire

Is all his being’s food; until again

True spirit-nature wakes in glowing light.

Such is the sleep all human beings sleep

Before clairvoyant powers have wakened them.

They know not they are sleeping, though awake;

They seem awake, because they ever sleep.

The seer doth sleep, when to this waking state

He struggles forth from out his real self.

Capesius will now withdraw from us.

It is no transient whim; his mental life

Draws him away from us and from our plans.

It is not he that turns himself from us.

The dread decree of fate is plainly seen.

And so we who are left must consecrate

Our powers with more devotion to our work.


Maria, do not of Johannes ask

That for new aims at such a time as this [171]

He should gird up his soul, which like all souls

Needs spirit-sleep in which it may mature

The forces which are germinating there.

I know that I in time to come shall dare

To work for spirit-worlds—but do not now

Appeal to me for services—not now.

Think how I drove away Capesius …

Were I ripe for this work—he would be, too.


Capesius away? Dost thou not—dream?


I dreamed while conscious … yea, I woke in dreams.

What would seem fantasy to cosmic powers

To me proved symbol that I was mature.

Right well I know my wish was my true self;

My thinking only was another self.

And so Johannes stood before my soul

As once he was, ere spirit seized on him

And filled his being with a second self.

Johannes is not dead;… a living wish

Createth him companion of my soul.

I may have stunned him, but not overthrown.

A living man, he claims his natural rights

Whene’er that other self must sink to sleep.

And to wake—always that—exceeds its powers.

Asleep it was throughout that time in which

Capesius could live within himself.

How my first nature tore me from myself.

My dreams did seem to him the sign of fate;

And so in me and not in him doth work [172]

The power which drove him forth, and which forbids

Our spirit to be turned to work on earth.


The spirit-powers are coming—call on them.

To cosmic spirit-sources turn thy gaze

And wait until the powers within those depths

Discover that within thine own true self

Which stirs with conscious life akin to theirs.

Their magic words will show thine inward sight

That which makes them and thee a unity.

Cast out thine own brain’s interfering speech,

That spirit may speak in thee as it wills;

And to this spirit-speech give thou due heed.

’Twill carry thee beyond the spheres of light

And link thee to true spirit-essence there.

Thy misty visions sprung from times long past

Will then grow sharp and clear in cosmic light,

But will not bind thee since thou hast control.

Compare them with these elemental forms,

With shadows and with phantoms of all kinds,

And place them near to demons manifold

And so discover what they really are.

But in the realm of spirits root thyself

Who primal source to primal source do bind,

Who dwell close linked with dormant cosmic powers

And order the processions of the spheres.

This view of cosmic things will give thee strength,

Amid the surging sea of spirit-life,

To blend thyself and inmost soul in one.

The spirit bids me tell thee this myself; [173]

But now give ear to what thou knowest well

Though ’tis not wedded yet to thy soul-depths.

Johannes (still sitting on a rock to right of stage. He collects himself for a determined effort):

I will give ear—I will defy myself.

(From both sides advance elemental spirits. From the right of stage creatures like gnomes. They have steel-blue-grey bodies, small as compared with men; they are nearly all head, but it is bent forward and downward, and is lilac and purple in color, with tendrils and gills of various shades of the same hue. Their limbs are long and mobile, suitable for gesticulation, but ill-adapted for walking. From the left of stage come sylph-like figures, slender and almost headless; their feet and hands are partly fins and partly wings. Some of them are bluish-green, others yellowish-red. The yellowish-red ones are distinguished by sharper outlines than the bluish green ones. The words spoken by these figures are accompanied by expressive gestures developing into a dance.)

Chorus of the Gnomes (dancing, hopping, and gesticulating in rhythm):

We harden, we strengthen (said sharply and quickly)

The nebulous earth-dust;

We loosen, we powder

Hard-crusted, earth-boulders; [174]

Swift shatter we the hard,

Slow harden we the loose.

Such is our spirit-kind.

Of mental matter formed

Full-skilled were we before

When human souls still slept (said slowly and dreamily)

And dreamed when earth began.

Chorus of the Sylphs (a swaying motion in rhythm):

We weave and we unweave

The web of watery air;

We scatter and divide

Seed forces from the sun;

Light-force condense with care;

Fruit-powers destroy with skill;

For such is our soul-kind

From rays of feeling poured,

Which ever-living glows

That mankind may enjoy

Earth-evolution’s sense.

Chorus of the Gnomes (dancing, hopping, and gesticulating in rhythm):

We titter and we laugh (said sharply and quickly)

We banter and grimace,

When stumbling human sense

And fumbling human mind

Beholds what we have made;

They think they understand

When spirits from our age

Weave charms for their dull eyes (said slowly and emphatically).


Chorus of the Sylphs (a swaying motion in rhythm):

We take care, and we tend,

Bear fruit and in spirit,

When young mankind’s dawn-life

And old mankind’s errors

Consume what we have made

And childlike or greyhaired

Find in time’s stream dull joy

From our eternal plans.

(These spirit-beings collect in two irregular groups in the background, and remain there visible. From the right appear the three soul-forces: Philia, Astrid, and Luna with ‘the other Philia.’)


They ray out the light

As loving light-forms

To ripeness so blest,

So gently they warm

And mightily heat

Where embryo growth

Would reach actual life;

That this actual life,

May make souls rejoice

Who lovingly yield

To radiant light.


’Tis life that they weave,

And help create,

In up-springing men, [176]

They shatter the earth

And densify air;

That change may appear

In strenuous growth.

Such strenuous growth

Fills spirits with joy

Who feel that they weave

A life which creates.


They thoughtfully mould,

Alert to create

In flexible stuff;

They sharpen the edge

And flatten the face,

And cunningly build

The clearly-cut forms;

That clearly-cut forms

The will may inspire

With cunning to build,

Alert to create.

The Other Philia:

They gather the blooms

And use without care

The magical works;

They dream of the true

And guard ’gainst the false;

That germs which lie hid

May wake into life.

And clairvoyant dreams

Make clear unto souls [177]

The magical web

That forms their own life.

(These four soul-forces disappear towards the left; Johannes, who during the preceding events was deep in meditation, rouses himself.)


‘And clairvoyant dreams

Make clear unto souls

The magical web

That forms their own life.’

These are the words that still distinctly ring

Within my soul; that which I saw before

Passed in confusion out of my soul’s ken.

Yet what a power stirs in me, when I think;

‘The magical web

That forms their own life.’

(He relapses once more into meditation; there appears to him as a thought-form of his own a group composed of: The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth, with Lucifer on its right and Theodora’s soul on its left.)

The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth:

The life within thy wishes feeds my life,

My breath drinks thirstily thy youthful dreams;

I am alive when thou dost not desire

To force thy way to worlds I cannot find.

If in thyself thou losest me, I must [178]

Do grievous painful service to grim shades:—

O guardian of my life … forsake me not.


He never will forsake thee,—I behold

Deep in his nature longings after light

Which cannot follow in Maria’s steps.

And when the radiance which is born of them

Doth fully light Johannes’ artist-soul

It must bear fruit; nor will he be content

To cast this fruit away in yonder realm

Where love divorced from beauty reigns alone.

His self will no more seem of worth to him

Which fain would cast his best gifts to the shades

Because it sets by knowledge too much store.

When wisdom shall throw light on his desires

Their glorious worth will be revealed to him;

He only can think them of little worth

So long as they hide darkly in the soul.

Until they can attain to wisdom’s light

I will be thy protector—through the light

I find deep-seated in the human soul.

He has as yet no pity for thy woes,

And ever lets thee sink among the shades

When he is striving up the heights of light.

For then he can forget that thou, his child,

Must lead a miserable phantom life.

But henceforth, thou wilt find me at thy side

When as a shade thou freezest through his fault.

I will exert my rights as Lucifer

(At the word ‘Lucifer’ the spirit of Johannes’ youth starts.)


Reserved to me by ancient cosmic law,

And occupy those depths within his soul

He leaves unguarded in his spirit-flight.

I’ll bring thee treasure that will light for thee

The dark seclusion of the shadow-realms.

But thou wilt not be fully freed till he

Can once again unite himself with thee.

This act he can delay … but not prevent.

For Lucifer will well protect his rights.


Thou spirit-child, thou liv’st Johannes’ youth

In gloomy shadow-realms. To thee in love

Bends down the soul which o’er Johannes broods

From realms ablaze with light, aglow with love.

She will from thine enchantment set thee free

If thou wilt take so much of what she feels

As shall procure thee life in blessedness.

I will ally thee with the elements

Which labour unaware in cosmic space

Withdrawing ever far from waking souls.

With those earth-spirits thou canst fashion forms,

And with the fire-souls thou canst ray out power,

If thou wilt sacrifice thy conscious life

Unto the will that works with light and power

But without human wisdom. So shalt thou

Preserve thy knowledge, only half thine own,

From Lucifer, and to Johannes give

The services which are of worth to him.

From his soul’s being I will bring to thee

What causeth him to crave thy being’s aid,

And find refreshment in the spirit-sleep.



But beauty she can ne’er bestow on thee

Since I myself dare take it far from her.


From noble feeling I will find the germ

Of beauty which grows ripe through sacrifice.


From free-will she will tear thee and instead

Give thee to spirits who dwell in the dark.


I shall awaken sight by spirit filled

That e’en from Lucifer knows itself free.

(Lucifer, Theodora, and the Spirit of Johannes’ youth disappear. Johannes, awaking from his meditation, sees ‘the other Philia’ approaching him.)

The Other Philia:

And clairvoyant dreams

Make clear unto souls

The magical web

That forms their own life.


Thou riddle-speaking spirit—at thy words

This world I entered! Of its mysteries

One only—is important for my soul:

Whether, as living in the spirit worlds,

The shadow dwells who sought with Lucifer

And Theodora to be shown to me.


The Other Philia:

He lives—and by thyself was waked to life.

E’en as a glass in pictures doth reflect

All things by light upon its surface thrown

So must whate’er in spirit-realms thou see’st—

Ere full maturity gives thee the right

To such clairvoyance—mirrored be in life

Within the realm of half-waked spirit-shades.


’Tis but a picture, mirrored thus by me?

The Other Philia:

Yet one that lives and keeps its hold on life

So long as thou dost keep within thyself

An outlived self which thou indeed canst stun

But which as yet thou canst not overthrow.

Johannes, thine awakening is but false

Until thou shalt thyself set free the shade

Whom thine offence doth lend a magic life.


What thanks I owe this spirit, who brings truth

Into my soul—I needs must follow it.

Curtain falls slowly, while ‘the other Philia’ and Johannes remain quietly standing.



Scene 3

The Same.

(Enter left, Magnus Bellicosus, Romanus, Torquatus, and Hilary, in deep conversation, and pausing in their walk.)


And if his headstrong mood will not be changed,

How can prosperity attend the work

Which Hilary is fain to dedicate

In loving service to his fellowmen?


What our friend’s true companion in his work

Did give as reason why he did object,

Hath weight not only amongst men who form

Opinions based on outer facts of life.

Are not these arguments advanced by him

Also in harmony with mystic views?


Yet it lies not within the spirit group

Which holds our projects in its firm embrace.

Those who succeeded to our mystic task

Were Benedictus’ pupils;—’tis for them

That Hilary would make a field of work [183]

In which their spirit-fruitage can mature.

The wise powers ruling over destiny

Have, in the temple, joined them to ourselves;

Our friend, however, represents alone

The wisdom which to us within the shrine

As spirit-law and duty was revealed.


But art thou sure that thou dost understand

This spirit-law? More simply it might mean

That Benedictus and his pupils too,

Whom in his way he to the spirit led,

Should still remain within the temple’s shrine

And not at this time tread the hard rough road

To which friend Hilary would lead them on.

For but too easily can spirit-sight

Be turned, upon that road, to soul’s dream-sleep.


I did not hope to hear such words from thee

To Hilary’s companion in his work.

We must indeed allow that knowledge gained

From books alone is but of little worth.

But thou art bound to recognize the signs

Which are begotten on the mystic way.

How Benedictus’ pupils were impelled

To come to us, speaks clearly to our souls.

They are joined with us that we may obey

What their clairvoyance doth to them reveal.


Another sign doth still make manifest

That full rich blessing from the spirit-powers [184]

Upon that project hath not been outpoured

Which in the temple showed itself to us.

Capesius hath now withdrawn himself

From Benedictus and his pupils’ group.

That he should not yet in its fullness feel

The wakefulness of soul which now in him

Doth Benedictus seek, doth cast sad doubt

E’en on our teacher’s personal competence.


The gift of seership lies still far from me:

Yet intuition often doth reveal

Within my soul the meaning of events.

When for the first time in our sacred fane

I saw Capesius within our group

The thought oppressed me, that fate set him there

To be both near to us and yet far off.


Thine intuition I can fully grasp.

But at that very moment none amongst

Our new-found mystic friends so closely knit

By fate to us as Strader, could I find.

Such intuition is to me a sign

To show my soul the road, where I may then

With reason search; and when I come to act

I must destroy that intuition first

Which gave strength and direction to my thought.

Thus mysticism’s strict decrees ordain.

In spirit-realms I find myself in truth

With Benedictus’ pupils close allied;

Yet, if I leave my inner mystic group [185]

And find my way back into life on earth,

By Strader’s side alone dare I do this.


But Hilary’s companion in his work

Finds not in Strader’s soul true spirit-strength

Such as can prove of use in outer life.

And if myself I heed my inner voice

It is revealed that he entirely lacks

The rightful mood to tread the mystic path.

What outward signs can show him of these things

And what his reason grasps of spirit-life,

Arouse the explorer’s zeal in him;

From inward spirit-life he stands far off.

What can the spirit products of this man

Be but obscurely woven mystic dreams?


Upon the spirit path his friends have trod;

He hath not made sufficient progress yet

To join himself to foes of his own soul,

Who bring to many mystics danger great

When they pursue him into life on earth.


If thou dost think him safe from such attacks

Nought hinders thee from working for him there

So that this great scheme may be brought to pass

Which Hilary would carry out through him.

For when our friend’s companion comes to know

How highly thou dost rate the man whom he

Dares think of little worth, he will in truth [186]

Misdoubt his own opinion. Thou alone

Canst win him over to the cause we serve.

For well he knows that in thine outer life

Thou hast invariably achieved success

In all thou hast essayed with forethought wise.


If thou wilt Strader take, dear Hilary,

As thy companion, and, from this thy work

Keep Benedictus’ other followers

On spirit paths from all illusion free,

Thou shalt not stand alone;—I offer thee

Not only what now Bellicosus asks

As my assistance; but will also help

With all the worldly goods at my command

In making Strader’s plan a real success.


How canst thou think that Strader at this time

From Benedictus’ pupils would depart?

To follow his own spirit-aims alone?

The others are as near him as himself.


In human life they well may stand so close.

But only that part of his soul can hold

That they in spirit too are one with him,

Which still is deeply sunk in spirit-sleep

But soon, methinks, it will be evident

How that part can grow ripe to waking life.

(Exeunt right.)


(Enter left—Capesius, Strader, Felix Balde, and Dame Balde; as if coming to a standstill during their talk because of the importance to them of the following dialogue.)


To seek the spirit in mine inmost soul

Is all that I can do at such a time.

Were I to load myself with outward work,

That spirit might be brought to realms of sense,

With rashness should I strive to grasp the cause

Of being in those worlds whose essence true

I have not fully grasped within myself.

Of cosmic being I can see no more

Than hath already shaped itself in me.

How shall my work do good to other men

If in creating I but please myself?


Thy meaning is, I take it, that thy work

Will only carry thine own being’s stamp;

And in that work, thou dost but manifest

To outward cosmic life thy personal self?


Till I encounter with mine inner world

A being strange to me, ’tis even so.

How far I now can pierce another’s soul

I realized with pain, when for a while

I was awake and could with clearness judge.

Felix Balde:

Thou speak’st as I have never heard thee speak—

But ne’er could I so understand thy mind [188]

As I do now, when naught speaks but thyself.

In all thy words there rings the mystic mood

Which I have sought unwearied many years;

And which alone can recognise the light

In which the human spirit feels itself

A part of cosmic spirit through clear sight.


Because I felt how near I’d drawn to thee

I sought thee, fleeing from the kind of life

That was about to slay mine inner world.


I often understood thy present speech;—

And then I thought it wisdom;—but no word

In all thy speech can I now understand.

Capesius and father Felix both

Conceal dark meanings in transparent words.…

Do I not feel these words of thine are but

The cloak of forces: forces of the soul

That exile me from thee unto those words

Which lie remote from all thy spirit-paths?

Worlds I have no desire for,—since I must

Deep in my soul adore that world of thine.

The opposition I can lightly bear

Which from without now menaceth my work;

Yea, e’en if all my plans were broken up

Upon this opposition;—I could bear.

But I cannot forego these worlds of thine.

Felix Balde:

A man cannot attain the spirit-world

By seeking to unlock the gates himself. [189]

Once didst thou give me pleasure, when of old

Of thine invention thou wast wont to speak—

Then, when enlightenment was granted thee

By what thou didst not strive to understand.

Thou wast far nearer to the mystic mood.

To strive for nought,—but just to live in peace,

Expectancy the soul’s whole inner life:—

That is the mystic mood. When waked in man

It leads his inmost soul to realms of light.

Our outward tasks do not endure such mood.

If them thou wouldst through mysticism seek,

Mystic illusion will destroy thy life.


I need thee sorely;—yet I find thee not—

The being that unites us thou dost scorn.

Yet how can men be found to undertake

True cosmic work if mystics all decline

To leave their individuality?

Felix Balde:

Into thy world of active daily life

The tender being of clairvoyant sight

Cannot be introduced, for it will fade

E’en as its welcome border line appears.

In faith devout, revering spirit-sway

With spirit-sight reposing in the heart:—

Thus mystics should draw nigh the world of deeds.


And if they strive to tread it otherwise

The work of error they will then behold; [190]

But wisdom’s radiance they will never see.

I once saw clearly through another’s soul.

I knew that I saw truly what I saw.

Yet only that soul’s error could I see.

This was my fate for spoiling spirit-sight

By my desire for outer deeds on earth.


Thus speaks Capesius who hath advanced

Beyond me far upon the path of souls.

And yet my spirit-vision only wakes

When thoughts of action wholly fill my soul;

And it is flooded with a living hope

That for the spirit it may build a shrine

And kindle there on earth the light that shines

So warmly through the spirit-worlds on high

And seeks, through human sense-activities,

A new home in the daily life of earth.

Am I a son of error?—not thy son,

Ye wide-flung spirit-realms where wisdom dwells?

(Strader turns away, for a moment, from the companions with whom he has been conversing; and now he has the following spirit-vision—Benedictus, Maria, Ahriman appear—in the guise of his thought-forms but nevertheless in real spirit-intercourse; first Benedictus and Ahriman, then Maria.)


In wide-flung spirit-realms where wisdom dwells

Thou seekest aid to still thy questioning doubt, [191]

Which makes the secret of thine inner life

Lie like a burden on thine earthly thought.

And thou shalt have an answer, such an one

As spirit-spaces out of their soul-depths

Are willing to reveal through this my voice.

But learn to understand what thou hast guessed

And what thou often hast made bold to say,

But in thine inner being only dreamst.

Give to thy dreams the life, which I am bound

To offer thee from out the spirit-world;

But turn to dreams whatever thou canst draw

By thought from all thy sense-experience.

Capesius and Felix cast thee forth

From out the spirit-light which they behold;

Thy place th’ abyss betwixt themselves and thee—

Do not complain that they have done this thing,

But gaze in thine abyss.


But gaze in thine abyss. Aye, gaze therein!

Thou shalt behold there what to thee seems meet

For human spirits on their cosmic path.

’Twere well for thee, if other spirit-powers

Did tell thee when thy soul is sunk in sleep;

But Benedictus tells thee when awake,

So dost thou slay, beholding, thy response.

Aye, gaze therein.


Aye, gaze therein. I will. What do I see?

Two forms confused? They change, yea, and they tear, [192]

One at the other tears—a battle now—

The phantoms fight each other furiously,—

Destruction reigns, and from it gloom is born;—

From out the gloom now issue other shades

With ether’s light around them,—flick’ring red;

One of the forms quite clearly leaves the rest;

And comes to me;—sent from the dark abyss.

(Maria steps forth from the abyss.)


Thou seest demons;—summon up thy strength,

They are not thus,—before thee they appear

What they are not. If thou canst hold them fast

Until their phantom nature shall become

Illumined to the being of thy soul

Thou wilt behold what value they possess

In evolution of the cosmic scheme.

Thy power of sight doth fade ere they unfold

The forces which will make them luminous.

Illuminate them with thine own self’s light.

Where is thy light? Thou rayest darkness out—

Perceive thy darkness all around thyself—

’Midst light thou dost create the baffling gloom;

And feelst it when created by thyself.

Yet then thou ne’er canst feel thyself create.

Thou wouldst forget thy longing to create,

Which reigns unconsciously within thy soul.

Because thou art afraid to ray out light.

Thou wouldst enjoy this light that is thine own.

Thou wouldst enjoy therein thyself alone.

Thou seekst thyself, and seekest to forget.

Thou let’st thyself sink dreaming in thyself.



Aye, list to her; thy riddles she can solve

But her solution solves them not for thee.

She gives thee wisdom—so that with its aid

Thou canst direct thy steps to foolishness.

Wisdom were good for thee—at other times,

When on thee spirit-day doth brightly shine.

But when Maria speaks thus in thy dreams

She slays thy riddle’s answer by her words.

Aye, list to her.


Aye, list to her. What mean such words as these?

Maria, are they born from out the light?

From out my light? Or is my darkness that

From which they sound? O Benedictus, speak;

Who brought me counsel from the dark abyss?


At thine abyss’s edge she sought thee out.

Thus spirits seek out men to shelter them,

From those who fashion phantoms for men’s souls

And so conceal the cosmic-spirit’s sway

With mazy darkness, that they only know

Themselves in truth in their own being’s net.

Look further yet within thy dark abyss.


What now lives in the depths of mine abyss?


Gaze on these shades; upon the right, blue-red

Enticing Felix—and the others see— [194]

There on the left—where red with yellow blends;

Who are intent to reach Capesius.

They both do feel the might of these same shades;—

And each in loneliness creates the light

Which foils the shades who would deceive men’s souls.


He would do better did he show to thee

Thy shades—yet this thing could he scarcely do;—

He hath the best intentions certainly.

He only sees not where to seek those shades.

They stand behind thee, critically near,—

Yet thou thyself dost hide them now from him.


So now I hear in mine abyss these words

Which once I thought the prating of a fool,

When Hilary’s adviser uttered them.…


Sire Felix tempers for himself the blade

That rids him of his danger; one who treads

The path thy soul takes needs another kind.

The sword Capesius doth fashion here,

And bravely wields in battle with his foes,

Would be for Strader but a shadow sword

Should he commence therewith the spirit-fight

Which powers of destiny ordain for souls

Who must change spirit-being, ripe for deeds

With mighty power, to earth activity.

Thou canst not use their weapons in thy fight; [195]

Yet thou must know them, so that thou mayst forge

Thine own from out soul-substance thoughtfully.

(The figures of Benedictus, Ahriman, and Maria disappear; i.e., from outward sight; Strader wakes up from his spirit-vision; he looks round for Capesius, Felix Balde, and Dame Balde, who again approach him; he has seated himself upon a rock.)

Felix Balde:

Dear Strader, even now the spirit drove

Thee far from us—thus it appeared to me.

(He pauses a while in the expectation that Strader will say something, but since the latter remains silent Felix continues.)

I would not seem to cast thee coldly forth

From out our group to other paths of life.

I only wish to check thy further steps

In that illusion which confuseth thee.

What spirit sees in spirit must by souls

In spirit also be received and lived.

How foolish were it if Felicia

Should take the fairies living in her soul,

Who also fain would only live in souls,

And make them dance upon a puppet’s stage.

Their magic charm would be completely lost.

Dame Balde:

I surely have been silent long enough.

But speak I will, if thou art going to cast

Thy mystic mood upon my fairy sprites. [196]

They would indeed enjoy to have their power

Drawn out of them, that they might be brought up

And suckled fresh with mysticism’s milk.

I honour mysticism; but I fain

Would keep it distant from my fairy realms.


Felicia, was it not thy fairy-tales

That set my feet first on the spirit-path?

Those stories of the air and water-sprites,

Called up so oft before my thirsting soul,

Were messengers to me from yonder world

Whereto I now the mystic entrance seek.

Dame Balde:

But since thou cam’st with this new mystic art

Into our house thou hast but seldom asked

What my fair magic beings are about.

More often thou hast only thought of worth

What wears a solemn air of dignity;

While those who caper out of sheer delight

Are uncongenial to thy mystic ways.


I do not doubt, Felicia, that I

Shall one day comprehend the meaning hid

Deep in the being of those wondrous elves

Who show their wisdom through a merry mask.

Yet now my power hath not advanced so far.

Felix Balde:

Felicia, thou knowest how I love

Those fairy beings who do visit thee; [197]

But to conceive them as mechanical

Embodied dolls—this goes against the grain.

Dame Balde:

As yet I have not brought them to thee thus;

Thy fancy flies—too high; but I was glad

When Strader’s plan was told me, and, I heard,

Thomasius also strives to represent

The spirit cased in matter visible.

I saw in spirit dancing merrily

My fairy princes and my souls of fire

In thousand doll-games, beautified by art;

And there I left them, happy in the thought,

To find their own way to the nurseries.




Scene 4

The Same.

(The Manager and Romanus, pausing in their walk, speak as follows.)


Thou know’st the mystic friends of Hilary,

And I perceive in thee a clever man

With power to give at all times judgment sure

Both in life’s work and in the mystic arts:

And so I value thy considered thought.

But how shall I make sense of what thou sayst?

That Strader’s friends should stay in spirit-realms

And not as yet use their clairvoyant powers

Upon the fashioning of things of sense

Seems right to thee. But will the selfsame path

For Strader not be just as dangerous?

His spirit methods seem to prove to me

That nature-spirits always blind his eyes

As soon as strong desire for personal deeds

Drives him to seek some outer work in life.

Within oneself, as all true mystics know,

Those forces must develop in their strength

In order to oppose these enemies;

But Strader’s sight, it seems, is not yet ripe

To see such foes upon his spirit-path. [199]


Yet those good spirits who conduct such men,

As stand outside the spirit-realms entire,

Have not yet left his side, but guide his steps.

These spirits ever pass those mystics by

Who make a pact with beings to secure

Their service for their personal spirit mood.

In Strader’s methods I can plainly feel

How nature-spirits still give to his self

The fruits of their benign activity.


So ’tis by feeling only thou art led

To think good spirits work in Strader’s case;

Thou off’rest little and dost ask full much.

These are the spirits I must henceforth ask

If I continue active in this place

Where for so long I have been privileged

To serve the work-plans and that spirit true

Which Hilary’s own father ever loved;

And which I still hear speaking from his grave,

E’en if his son hath no more ears for it.

What saith this spirit of that brave strong man

When he perceives these crazy spirits now

Which his son tries to bring within his house?

I know that spirit who for ninety years

Lived in his body. He it was who taught

To me the truest secrets of my work

In those old days when he could work himself,

The while his son crept off to mystic fanes.



My friend, canst thou indeed be unaware

How highly this same spirit I revere?

His servant certainly was that old man

Whom for a pattern thou didst rightly choose.

And I myself have striv’n to serve him too

From childhood’s days up to the present time.

But I too crept away to mystic fanes.

I planted truly deep within my soul

What they were willing to bestow on me.

But reason swept aside the temple mood

When at the door it entered into life.

I knew that in this way I best could bring

This mood’s strong forces into earthly life.

From out the temple none the less I brought

My soul into my work. And it is well

That soul by reason should not be disturbed.


And dost thou find that Strader’s spirit-way

Is even distantly akin to thine?

I find myself at thy side ever free

From spirit-beings Strader brings to me.

I clearly feel, e’en in his random speech,

How elemental spirits, quick with life,

By word and nature pour themselves through him

Revealing things the senses cannot grasp.

It is just this that keeps me off from him.


This speech, my friend, doth strike me to the heart.

Since I drew nigh to Strader I have felt [201]

Those very thoughts which come to me through him

To be endowed with quite peculiar power.

They cleft me just as if they were mine own.

And one day I reflected: What if I

Owe to his soul not to myself the power

Which let me ripen to maturity!

Hard on this feeling came a second one;

What if for all that makes me of some use

In life and work and service for mankind

I am indebted to some past earth-life?


I feel precisely thus about him too.

When one draws near to him, the spirit which

Doth work through him moves powerfully one’s soul.

And if thy strong soul must succumb to him,

How shall I manage to protect mine own

If I unite with him in this his work?


It will depend on thee alone to find

The right relation ’twixt thyself and him.

I think that Strader’s power will not harm me

Since in my thought I have conceived a way

In which he may have made that power his own.


Have made—his own—such power—and over thee—

A dreamer—over the—the man of deeds!


If one might dare to make a guess that now

Some spirit lives its life in Strader’s frame [202]

Who in some earlier earth-life had attained

To most unusual altitude of soul;

Who knew much which the men of his own time

Were still too undeveloped to conceive.

Then it were possible that in those days

Thoughts in his spirit did originate

Which by degrees could make their way to earth

And mingle in the common life of men;

And that from this source people like myself

Have drawn their capability for work—

The thoughts which in my youth I seized upon,

And which I found in my environment,

Might well have been this spirit’s progeny!


And dost thou think it justifiable

To trace back thoughts to Strader and none else

That hold a value for mankind’s whole life?


I were a dreamer if I acted thus.

I spin no dreams about mankind’s whole life

With eyes fast closed. I ne’er had use for thoughts

That show themselves and forthwith fade away.

I look at Strader with wide-open eyes;

And see what this man’s nature proves to be,

What qualities he hath and how he acts,

And that wherein he fails;—and then I know

I have no option left me but to judge

Of his endowments as I have just done.

As if this man had stood before mine eyes

Already many hundred years ago, [203]

So do I feel him in my spirit now.

And that I am awake—I know full well.

I shall lend my support to Hilary;

For that which must will surely come to pass.

So think his project over once again.


It will be of more benefit to me

If I think over that which thou hast said.

(Exeunt Manager and Romanus. Johannes comes from another direction, deep in thought, and sits down on a boulder. Johannes is at first alone, afterwards appear his Double, the Spirit of Johannes’ youth, and finally the Guardian of the Threshold, and Ahriman.)


I was astonished when Capesius

Made known to me how my soul’s inner self

Revealed itself unto his spirit’s eye.

I could so utterly forget a fact

Which years ago was clear as day to me:—

That all that lives within the human soul

Works further in the outer spirit-realms;

Long have I known it, yet I could forget.

When Benedictus was directing me

To my first spirit-vision, I beheld

Capesius and Strader by this means,

Clear as a picture, in another age.

I saw the potent pictures of their thoughts

Send circling ripples through the world’s expanse. [204]

Well do I know all this—and knew it not

When I beheld it through Capesius.

The part of me which knows was not awake;

That in an earth-life of the distant past

Capesius and I were closely knit:

That also for a long time have I known,—

Yet at that instant I did know it not.

How can I keep my knowledge all the time?

(A voice from the distance, that of Johannes’ Double.)

‘The magical web

That forms their own life.’


‘And clairvoyant dreams

Make clear unto souls

The magical web

That forms their own life.’

(While Johannes is speaking these lines his Double approaches him. Johannes does not recognize him, but thinks “the other Philia” is coming towards him.)

O spirit-counsellor, thou com’st once more;

True counsel didst thou bring unto my soul.

The Double:

Johannes, thine awakening is but false

Until thou shalt thyself set free the shade

Whom thine offence doth lend a magic life.



This is the second time thou speakest thus.

I will obey thee. Point me out the way.

The Double:

Johannes, give life in the shadow-realm

To what is lost to thee in thine own self.

From out thy spirit’s light pour light on him

So that he will not have to suffer pain.


The shadow-being in me I have stunned

But not o’erthrown: wherefore he must remain

A shade enchanted amongst the other shades

Till I can re-unite myself with him.

The Double:

Then give to me that which thou owest him:

The power of love, that drives thee forth to him,

The heart’s hope, that was first begot by him,

The fresh life, that lies hidden deep in him,

The fruits of earth-lives in the distant past,

Which with his being now are lost to thee;

Oh, give them me; I’ll bring them safe to him.


Thou knowest the way to him?—Oh, show it me.

The Double:

I could get to him in the shadow-realm

When thou didst raise thyself to spirit-spheres;

But since, desire-powers tempting thee, thou didst [206]

Avert thy mind to follow after him,

When now I seek him my strength ever fails.

But if thou wilt abide by my advice

My strength can then create itself anew.


I vowed to thee that I would follow thee—

And now, O spirit-counsellor, again

With all my soul’s strength I renew that vow.

But if thou canst thus find the way to him,

Then show it to me in this hour of fate.

The Double:

I find it now but cannot lead the way.

I can alone show to thine inward eye

The being whom thy longing now doth seek.

(The spirit of Johannes’ Youth appears.)

The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth:

Thanks to that spirit I shall ever owe

Who was allowed thy soul sight to unseal,

So that when I appear by spirit-law

Thou wilt henceforth behold me open-eyed.

But thou must first this spirit truly know,

At whose side thou art now beholding me.

(The spirit of Johannes’ Youth disappears: only now does Johannes recognise the Double.)


That spirit-counsellor—mine other self?


The Double:

Now follow me—thou hast so vowed to me—

For I must now conduct thee to my lord.

(The Guardian of the Threshold appears and stands beside the Double.)

The Guardian:

Johannes, wouldst thou tear this shade away

From those enchanted regions of the soul,

Then slay desire, which leads thee aye astray.

The trace which thou dost follow disappears

So long as thou dost seek it with desire.

It leads thee to my threshold and beyond.

But here, obeying lofty Being’s will,

I do confuse the inward sight of those

Within whose spirit-glance lives vain desire;

All these must meet me ere they are allowed

To penetrate to Truth’s pure radiant light.

I hold thyself fast prisoned in thy sight

So long as thou approachest with desire.

Myself too as illusion dost thou see,

So long as vain desire is joined with sight

And spirit-peacefulness of soul hath not

Become as yet thy being’s vehicle.

Make strong those words of power which thou dost know,

Their spirit-power will conquer fantasy.

Then recognise me, free from all desire,

And thou shalt see me as I really am.

And then I need no longer hinder thee

From gazing freely on the spirit-realm.



But as illusion dost thou too appear?

Thou too … whom I must ever see the first,

Of all the beings in the spirit-land.

How shall I know the truth when I must find

One truth alone confront mine onward steps—

That ever denser grows illusion’s veil.


Let not thyself be quite confused by him.

He guards the threshold faithfully indeed

E’en if today thou see’st him wear the clothes

Which for thyself thou didst patch up before

Within thy spirit from old odds and ends.

And least of all shouldst thou behold in him

An actor in a poor dramatic show.

But thou wilt make it better later on.

Yet e’en this clownish form can serve thy soul.

It doth not have to spend much energy

In showing thee that which it now still is.

Pay close attention to the Guardian’s speech:

Its tone is mournful and its pathos marked,

Allow not this: for then he will disclose

From whom today he borrows to excess.


Then e’en the content of his speech deceives?

The Double:

Ask not of Ahriman, since he doth find

In contradictions aye his chief delight.



Of whom then shall I ask?

The Double:

Of whom then shall I ask? Why, ask thyself.

With my power will I fortify thee well

So that awake thou mayst find the place

Whence thou canst gaze untramelled by desire.

Increase thy power.


‘The magical web

That forms their own life.’

O magical web that forms mine own life

Make known to me where desire doth not burn.

(The Guardian disappears: in his place appear Benedictus and Maria.)


Myself too as illusion dost thou see

Since vain desire is still allied with sight.


And spirit-peacefulness of soul hath not

Become as yet thy being’s vehicle.

(The Double, Benedictus, and Maria disappear.)


Maria, Benedictus,—Guardians!

How can they as the Guardian come to me?

’Tis true I have spent many years with thee

And this forbids me now to seek thine aid— [210]

The magical web that forms mine own self.

(Exit, right.)

(Enter Strader, Benedictus, and Maria, left.)


Thou gav’st, when joined in spirit unto me

Before the dark abyss of mine own self,

Wise counsel to direct mine inward sight,

Which at that time I could not understand,

But which will work such changes in my soul

As certainly will solve life’s problems, when

They seek to hinder what I strive to do.

I feel in me the power which thou dost give

To thy disciples on the spirit-path.

And so I shall be able to perform

The service thou dost ask for in this work

That Hilary to mankind will devote;

We shall, however, lack Capesius.

Whatever strength the rest bring to the work

Will not replace his keen activity;

But that which must will surely come to pass.


Yea, that which must will surely come to pass.

This phrase expresseth thine own stage of growth.

But it awakes no answering response

In souls of all our other spirit-friends.

Thomasius is not as yet prepared

To carry spirit-power to worlds of sense,

So he too will withdraw from this same work.

Through him doth destiny give us a sign

That we must all now seek another plan



Will not Maria and thyself be there?


Maria must Johannes take with her

If she would ever find in truth the road,

Which leads from spirit to the world of sense.

Thus wills the Guardian who with earnest eye

Unceasing guards the borders of both realms.

She cannot lend her aid to thee as yet.

And this may serve thee as a certain sign

That thou canst not at this time truly find

The way into the realm of earthly things.


So I and all my aims are left alone!

O loneliness, didst thou then seek me out

When I did stand at Felix Balde’s side?


The thing which hath just happened in our group

Hath taught me, as I look on thy career,

To read a certain word in spirit-light

Which hitherto hath hid itself from me.

I saw that thou wast bound to certain kinds

Of beings, who, if they should take a part

Creatively in mankind’s life today,

Would surely work for evil; now they live

As germs in certain souls, and will grow ripe

In future days to work upon the earth.

Such germs have I seen living in thy soul.

That thou dost know them not is for thy good. [212]

Through thee they will first learn to know themselves.

But now the road is still close barred for them

Which leads into the realm of earthly things.


Whatever else thy words may say to me,

They show me that my lot is loneliness.

And this it is must truly forge my sword.

Maria told me this at mine abyss.

(Benedictus and Maria retire a little way; Strader remains alone; the soul of Theodora appears.)

Theodora’s Soul:

And Theodora in the worlds of light

Will make warmth for thee that thy spirit-sword

May keenly smite the foes of thine own soul.

(Disappears. Exit Strader. Benedictus and Maria come to the front of stage.)


My learned teacher, ne’er yet did I hear

Thee tell disciples, who had reached the stage

Of Strader, in such tones the words of fate.

Will his soul run its course so speedily

That these words’ power will prove of use to him?


Fate gave the order, and it was fulfilled.


And if the power should prove no use to him,

Will not its evils also fall on thee? [213]


’Twill not be evil; yet I do not know

In what way it will manifest in him.

My gaze at present penetrates to realms

Where such advice illuminates my soul;

But I see not the scene of its result.

And if I try to see, my vision dies.


Thy vision dies,—my guide and leader, thine?—

Who stays for thee thy seership’s certain gaze?


Johannes flees therewith to cosmic space;

We must pursue;—for I can hear him call.


He calls,—from spirit-space his call rings out;

There sounds within his tone a distant fear.


So from the ever empty fields of ice

Our mystic friend’s call sounds in cosmic space.


The ice’s cold is burning in my self,

And kindling tongues of flame in my soul-depths;

The flames are scorching all my power of thought.


In thy soul-depths the fire doth blaze, which now

Johannes kindles in the cosmic frost.



The flames fly off,—they fly off with my thought.

And there on distant cosmic shore of souls

A furious fight—my power of thought doth fight—

In stormy chaos—and cold spirit-light—

My thought-power reels;—the cold light—hammers out

Hot waves of darkness from my failing thought.

What now emergeth from this darkling heat?

Clad in red flames my self storms—to the light;—

To the cold light—of cosmic fields of ice.




Scene 5

The Spirit Realm. The scene is set in floods of significant colour, reddish deepening into fiery red above, blue merging into dark blue and violet below. In the lower part there is an earth-globe which has the effect of being a symbol. The figures that appear seem to blend into a complete whole with the colours. On the left of the stage the group of gnomes as in Scene 2, in front of them Hilary, and in the immediate foreground the soul-forces.

Felix Balde’s Soul: (Seated at the extreme right of stage, having the form of a penitent, but arrayed in a light violet robe girdled with gold.)

I thank thee, Spirit, wise to govern worlds,

My saviour from my gloomy loneliness;

Thy word awakens unto work and life.

I will make use of what thou giv’st to worlds

About which I can meditate, whilst thou

Dost let mine own become insensible.

For then thou bearest to them on thy rays

That which in pictures fashioneth powers for me.

Lucifer: (Bluish-green glittering under-garment, reddish outer-garment, shaped like a mantle and gleaming brightly, which extends into wing-like outlines; his upper part is not an aura but he wears a mitre [216]of deep red bordered with wings; on his right wing a blue shape having the appearance of a sword; a yellow shape, like the ball of a planet, is supported by his left wing. He stands somewhat behind and to the right, towering over Felix Balde’s soul.)

My servant, such activity as thine

The sun-time needs, in which we find ourselves.

The earth-star now receives a faded light;

It is the time when souls like thine can work

Unto the best advantage on themselves.

On thee I ray forth from my fount of light

The germs that tend to raise self-consciousness.

Go, gather them to make thine ego strong.

In later earth-life they will come to flower.

There shall the blossoms by thy soul be sought;

In its own nature it will take delight

When it can joy in planning its desires.

Felix Balde’s Soul: (gazing at the group of gnomes. From this moment, the gnomes becoming conscious, keep swaying up and down, slightly raising and lowering themselves, as if the group was breathing from above.)

There far away, bright being disappears;

It floats in shadow-pictures through the depths;

And, floating, strives to gain some steadying weight.

Hilary’s Soul: (With the figure of a steel-blue-grey elemental spirit changed to resemble a man’s; the head less bowed, and the limbs more human.)

The mist of wishes doth reflect the light

Thrown on the realm of spirit by earth’s star, [217]

The star for which in this world thou dost form

From soul-material a thinking self.

For thee ’tis but a fleeting web of mist,

But to themselves they seem like solid souls.

On earth they work, by cosmic reason led,

In old fire forces, thirsting after form.

Felix Balde’s Soul:

I will that their weight shall not burden me,

Nor shall oppose the tendency to float.

(The gnomes cease their movement.)


Thy speech is good. Swift will I seize thy words

That I may keep them for myself unharmed.

Thou canst not yet develop them thyself.

But on the earth they would fill thee with hate.

Strader’s Soul: (Toward the left of stage; only his head is visible; it is in a yellowish-green aura with red and orange stars. At this moment on Strader’s immediate left appears the Soul of Capesius. Similarly only his head is to be seen. It is in a blue aura with red and yellow stars.)

I hear a word which sounds and sounds again.

It seems significant, and yet the sound

Doth vanish, and the lust for life doth seize

Its echoed answer. Which road would it take?

The Other Philia: (Arrayed like a copy of Lucifer, though the radiance is lacking. Instead of the [218]sword she has a sort of dagger, and in place of the planet a red ball like a fruit.)

It travels onward in its search for weight

Unto the place where radiant being fades

And misty pictures surge into the depths.

If thou dost keep its meaning in thy realm

I’ll bring its power to thee within the mist;

Then thou wilt re-discover it on earth.

Philia: (Figure like an angel, yellow merging into a sort of white, with wings of a bright violet, a lighter shade than Maria has later on.—All three soul-figures are near Strader’s soul and stand in the centre of the stage.)

The mist-creations I will tend for thee

That they may not when conscious guide thy will;

That will I unto cosmic light entrust

Wherein they form the heat thy nature needs.

Astrid: (Figure like an angel, robed in bright violet, with blue wings.)

I beam forth clear and wondrous life of stars

To beings, that they may make forms therefrom.

They to thine earthly body shall give strength,

From knowledge far, but near to heart’s intent.

Luna: (Figure like an angel, robe of blue and red, with orange wings.)

The weighty being, they with toil create,

In thy sense-body will I later hide; [219]

That thou mayst not in thought turn it to ill

And thus stir up a storm in earthly life.

Strader’s Soul:

The three were speaking to me sunshine’s words,

They work for me where I can see them work.

Full many figures are they fashioning;

I feel an impulse by soul-power to change

Them with design, and make them one with me.

Awake in me, O royal solar power

That by resistance I may dim thy might;

Desire brought from moon ages moves me thus.

A golden glow now stirs, I feel its warmth,

And silver sheen, forth-spraying though yet cold;

Awake, Mercurial longing, once again

And wed my severed cosmic self to me.

Well do I feel that once again a part

Is formed from out that picture, which I here

From cosmic spirit forces must create.

Capesius’ Soul:

On that far shore of souls I see emerge

A picture that ne’er touched my being yet

Since I escaped the clutch of earthly life.

It rays out grace and soothes with soft appeal.

The warming glow of wisdom streams therefrom,

And clarifying light gives to my soul.

Could I but make this picture one with me

I should attain what I am thirsting for.

Yet know I not the power which could avail

To make this picture active in my sphere.



That which two earth-lives gave thee thou must feel.

One, many years ago, slid gently by

In earnest effort; later on thou hadst

One by ambition soiled; which must be fed

With strengthening grace descending from the first,

That Jupiter’s fire-souls may be revealed

Within the circle of thy spirit-sight.

Then shalt thou feel that wisdom strengthens thee.

Then will the picture, which thou see’st afar

Upon the borders of thy soul’s expanse,

Be set at liberty to come to thee.

Capesius’ Soul:

I needs must be indebted to the soul

That now prepares for being, since it shows

A warning picture in my soul’s expanse.


Thou art indeed; but not as yet doth it

Demand a payment in thy next earth-life.

This picture serves to give thee powers of thought

That thou as man mayst recognize the man

Who shows his earthly future to thee here.

The Other Philia:

The picture may indeed come closer yet

But cannot penetrate thy very self.

And so restrain its longing for thyself,

That thou mayst find thyself on earth again

Ere it can flow into thine inmost self.


Capesius’ Soul:

I feel before what I shall owe to it

When I shall will to bring it near to me,

Yet can assert that I am free therefrom.

From Philia’s domain I now behold

In picture-sequences the energy

Which I shall gather from its near approach.


When Saturn soon his many-coloured light

Shall ray on thee, use well the favour’d hour.

Then through his power in thy soul’s vehicle

That which in spirit is akin to thee

Will plant the roots of thought, which will disclose

The meaning of the cyclic life of earth

When thou dost tread again this star thyself.


Thy counsel shall become my monitor

As soon as Saturn pours his light on me.


One more thing will I waken in these souls;

The view of worlds whose light will cause them pain,

Ere they can leave this sun-time fortified

With powers for later life upon the earth.

Pain must through doubt mature their fruit in them,

So will I summon up those spheres of soul

Which they have not the strength to look upon.

(The souls of Benedictus and Maria appear in the middle of the region. Benedictus as a figure reproducing in miniature the configuration [222]of the entire scenery. Below, his robe, becoming broader, shades into blue-green; around his head is an aura of red, yellow and blue; the blue blends into the blue-green of the entire robe. Maria on his right as an angelic figure; yellow shading into gold, without feet and with bright violet wings.)

Benedictus’ Soul:

Thou dost weigh heavy on my cosmic task

With these opaque earth-laden spheres of thine.

If thou dost give thine own self further power

Then wilt thou find that in this spirit-life

Mine own sun-nature will not shine on thee.


He was unknown to thee, when thou didst last

A robe, of earthly matter woven, wear;

Yet doth it still bear fruit in thy soul sheath—

The sunshine’s word of power, with which he fed

Thee kindly in far distant times on earth.

Search out thy nature’s deepest impulses

And thou shalt feel him near thee then with power.

Felix Balde’s Soul:

Words issue out of circles strange to me,

And yet their tones illuminate me not:

And so they are not fully real to me.

Strader’s Soul:

On spirit-shores illumination works, [223]

Yet howsoe’er I strive to understand

The sense of these light-forces, they are dumb.

Dame Balde’s Soul: (Figure of a penitent with white coif, like that of a nun; robe yellow-orange, with silver girdle; she appears quite close to Maria; on her right and near Felix Balde.)

Ye souls now summoned up by Lucifer!

The penitent doth hear your voices’ tone,

But only sunshine’s voice doth give him light;

Its super-splendour doth destroy your voice.

The other can behold your starry light,

But starry writing is to him unknown.

Capesius’ Soul:

The starry writing! this word wakens thoughts,

And bears them on the waves of soul to me.

Thoughts which in earth-lives in the distant past

Were to my being wondrously revealed

They lighten still, yet—as they grow, they fade;

Oblivion sheds its gloomy shade around.

The Guardian: (Enter the Guardian of the Threshold, like an angel, symbolically arrayed and steps to the side of the souls of Maria and Benedictus.)

Ye souls who now at Lucifer’s demand

Have drawn near the bounds of other souls,

In this domain ye are within my power.

The souls whom ye are seeking seek you too.

Within this cosmic age ’tis not ordained [224]

Their beings shall touch yours within their spheres

Not e’en in thought;—and so do ye beware

Lest to their orbits ye should force your way.

Should ye do this, ’twould harm both them and you.

I should be bound to take away from you

The starry light, and banish you from them

For cosmic ages into other spheres.

Curtain falls slowly



Scene 6

A similar scene

The same characters are still in their places. The lighting is full of warm shades, but not too bright. Toward the right of stage the sylphs keep swaying to and fro. In front Philia, Astrid, and Luna.

Capesius’ Soul: (Standing on the left of stage near the middle.)

The picture, that in sunshine’s hour I saw,

Beamed grace and worked with gentle kindliness;

E’en now within my being it holds sway,

When other wisdom-light illuminates

This spirit-realm with many-coloured rays,

Yet now the picture’s influence doth grow.

It bids me draw therefrom, for future times

On earth, that which the soul who stands revealed

Within the picture and hath mighty weight

In mine own sphere, once gave to my sense-life,

Yet doth no powerful current of desire.

Direct me to this soul.

Romanus’ Soul: (A figure showing all the upper part of the body down to the hips; it has mighty red wings which extend round its head in such a way as to [226]change into a red aura, running into blue on the outer edge; it stands on the left of Capesius’ soul, whilst close are the souls of Bellicosus and Torquatus further still to left of stage, facing audience.)

Direct me to this soul. Wake in thyself

The picture of the Jew who heard naught else

But hate and ridicule on every side,

Yet truly served the mystic brotherhood

Of which thou wast a member once on earth.

Capesius’ Soul:

Thought-pictures now begin to dawn in me,

And seek to seize me in their powerful grasp.

See Simon’s image rise from my soul-waves—

And see, another joins him—some soul-shape—

A penitent;—would I might keep him far!

(Referring to Balde, or Joseph Keane in the previous play.)

Romanus’ Soul:

That which he here must do can but be done

In cosmic sunshine-time; in solitude

And robed in darkness he must wend his way

Whilst Saturn doth light up this spirit-realm.

Capesius’ Soul:

How doth this penitent bewilder me!

His soul’s irradiations burn and bore

Their way into mine own Soul’s inmost core—

So work these souls who have attained the power

To see the inmost depths of other souls.


Felix Balde’s Soul: (From the extreme right of stage with hollow veiled voice.)

‘Dear Keane, thou hast been ever true to me’—

Capesius’ Soul:

Myself—my very words—from out his mouth

Re-echoed—ringing out—in spirit-realms!

Here is a soul that I must try to meet.

It knows me well,—through it I’ll find myself.

(Capesius’ soul disappears; the ‘other Philia’ comes into view on the right of stage with Theodora’s soul; behind her Dame Balde’s soul.)

Romanus’ Soul:

Two souls do there draw nigh the penitent;

The spirit whom through love souls ever choose

To be their leader goes ahead of them.

The light of meekness pours from one of them

And flows into the other, who appears

To us as penitent. The picture glows

With beauty’s light, which here as wisdom lives.

Torquatus’ Soul: (Figure visible as far as the breast, blue aura, green wings.)

Desire’s reflection dost them but behold

Which I allow to shine from my soul’s sheath

Into thy sphere in loyal spirit-troth.

Fate’s primal forces have appointed me

To be the means to give thee meekness here.

Thus souls in spirit do serve other souls. [228]

Thy cold hard reason never could attain

Life’s gift of sympathy without mine aid.

Bellicosus’ Soul: (Figure visible like that of Torquatus’ soul, but with blue-violet aura and blue-green wings.)

Make strong thy spirit-ear to understand

What says the soul who rays out meekness’ light.

’Neath Saturn’s beam souls can be brought to show

This gleam of noble spirit-blessedness.

Theodora’s Soul: (Angelic figure; white with yellow wings and blue-yellow aura.)

My loyal spirit-comrade, pour on him

In softening glow the love that permeates

Thine own soul-sheath, for it will soothe for him

The all-consuming fire of solitude—

And do thou unto him direct thought-rays

From yonder shadow-souls who at this time

Do gather forces in the spirit-worlds

That their soul-bodies may thus gleam with life,

That so their gleaming, glowing life may serve

To strengthen in forthcoming lives on earth

Clairvoyant consciousness in human souls.

Dame Balde’s Soul: (To Felix.)

Feel me, thou spirit garbed as penitent.

O thou sun-soul, receive the power of stars.

Until thy spirit-sheath doth free itself

From Lucifer’s dominion, I shall be [229]

Beside thee in thy solitude to bring

Thee powers which I shall roam o’er cosmic space

From star to star to gather up for thee.

Theodora’s Soul:

Past thoughts of earth arise in glowing light

On yonder shore of souls. A human form.

I saw it when on earth; it follows here;

What once I heard is now re-echoed here;

(Lucifer appears with the soul of Johannes, who has the appearance of an angel. His robes rose-coloured with lilac rose-coloured wings. No feet.)

‘From out God’s being rose the human soul;

It can in death dive down to nature’s depths;

In time it will set spirit free from death.’

The Other Philia:

This sounding living picture-being brings

The force of noble brother-love to us

Which thou didst faithfully display on earth.

I’ll change it into soul-power for thy use.

The message I direct unto thy soul

Absorbs the glimm’ring light of shadow-souls,

Who, during earth-life will arouse in thee

The thoughts they brood on through eternity.

And thou, the penitent of spirit-realms,

Direct thy soul-steps onward to the stars;

There nature-spirits long to use thy work

Wherefrom they will beam fantasy to souls

And so will fashion wings for life on earth.


Dame Balde’s Soul:

I follow thee, dear sister of my soul,

My Philia, who dost weave love from star

To star and from one spirit to the next.

I follow thee aloft to starry worlds,

I take thy words to many cosmic spheres,

And thus by spirit-work build up myself

For mine own future wanderings on earth.

(Felix Balde’s soul disappears slowly, led by Dame Balde’s soul; Theodora stands motionless looking at Johannes’ soul, then she also disappears, as does Lucifer with the soul of Johannes.)

Romanus’ Soul:

That which we just have witnessed in this place,

How love’s word works with the creative word

In closest union, doth arouse in us

Germs we shall need in future lives on earth.

(The souls of Romanus, Torquatus, and Bellicosus disappear—Benedictus’ soul and Maria’s soul appear by the side of the Guardian of the Threshold, who now enters.)

The Guardian:

Behold the cosmic midnight of yourselves!

I hold you ’neath the spell of ripened light

Which pours on you from Saturn, till your sheaths,

More strongly waking through this same light’s power

Become self-luminous, with living hues.


Maria’s Soul:

Doth cosmic midnight come when souls awake?

It was the moon-time, when the sun declared

The earnest word of Fate, that human souls,

Who see their cosmic midnight hour awake,

See lightnings, which with instantaneous flash

Light up the things that are to be, but pass

Again so quickly that the spirit-sight

Dies at the very moment of its birth—

And death becomes a seal of destiny

For ever stamped upon the souls who saw.

Such souls hear too the words of thunder clear

Which dully roll through cosmic fundaments

And threaten soul-illusion as they roll.

(Lucifer reappears with the Soul of Johannes.)

Benedictus’ Soul:

From ever empty fields of ice fate’s cry

Doth reach to us from our dear mystic friend.

When we the cosmic midnight can perceive,

We reach the spirit-circle of the soul.

Maria’s Soul:

The flames draw nigh, they draw nigh with my thought

There from my distant cosmic shore of souls;

A fierce strife doth draw nigh;—’tis mine own thought

Which battles with the thoughts of Lucifer;—

Mine own thought battles in another’s soul,—

The hot light issues—out of gloomy cold—

Like lightning flashes. Is this hot soul-light—

This soul-light—in the cosmic fields of ice?



The light thou seest—’tis my hot cosmic light—

See too the lightning flashes of thy thought

Strike from the bounds of Lucifer’s domain.

I bring within the focus of thy gaze

The soul so long and closely bound to thee

When thou dost feel thy cosmic midnight hour.

Henceforth thy search must find another way

To come into communion with this soul.

O soul, who to this place hast followed me,

Display and use the forces of the light

Which Saturn on her cosmic midnight pours.

Johannes’ Soul:

I can feel souls, but have not yet the power

To make their light grow visible in me.

However close they are they generate

Thoughts which but serve to light me from afar.

How can I raise them to mine inner sight?


Thou wilt see them if thou dost swiftly grasp

What they illumine in the cosmic light;

Shouldst thou behold, use well that moment’s space;

Light such as this is quickly gone again.

Johannes’ Soul:

What yonder guide’s soul to his pupil speaks,—

That pupil’s soul so near and dear to me,—

Should now illuminate my soul’s domain.


Benedictus’ Soul:

Bring forth within this spirit-midnight hour

The will that thou desir’st to feel again

When earthly forces once more clothe thy form.

Thy words shall prove a light to thy friend’s soul.

Maria’s Soul:

Let then my words grow strong in cosmic light,

Which at this cosmic midnight I confide

Unto the soul brought me by Lucifer.

Whatever in mine inmost soul is dear

I will behold it and, beholding, speak,

That it may form itself into a tone,

To which this soul shall answer when on earth,

And, loving it, shall live as it commands.

What now do I see in mine inmost soul?

A lofty counsel in flame-letters writ.

My love for that dear guiding-soul flames out,

Who in mine earth—as in my spirit-life

Hath led me on through each successive age;

Who ever found me when mine instant prayer

Sought help in danger, even when it dwelt

On spirit-heights itself; in dazzling light

This love appears to me; sound out from me,

Thou word of love, unto this other soul.

What flames are those this word of love doth wake?

They glow so gently, yet their gentle light

Pours forth a sense of lofty dignity;

By wisdom’s lightnings, whence a blessing flows,

The cosmic ether is lit up around—

And bliss comes pouring with attendant joy [234]

O’er all the compass of my soul’s domain.

Of thee, Duration, would I crave a boon;

Pour out thyself into this blessedness,

And let my guide and let that other soul

Now dwell therein with me in peacefulness.

The Guardian:

Now let the lightnings vanish into naught

Whose sharp flash brings to view necessities

When souls awake and feel the Cosmic North.

Let thunder also lose its roar, which rolls

In warning at the cosmic midnight hour.

Astrid, to thee I give a strict command:

Keep close watch o’er this thunder-storm of souls

Till in the course of time the soul awakes

To find its cosmic midnight once again,

Then shall it see itself in other guise,

E’en in a picture of an olden time,

And know how strength for lofty spirit-flight

E’en from disaster may the soul’s wings gain.

A soul may never wish itself to fall;

Yet, when it falls it must a lesson learn.


The lightning’s power and thunder’s will I guard

And keep them safe within the cosmic life,

Till Saturn turns toward the soul once more.


I feel the blessedness of stars endure,

And in the stream of time I enter it.

I’ll live and work within its kindly sway

With this soul-being long since knit to mine.



I will protect thy work in spirit here,

That thou mayst reap the fruits in life on earth.

Johannes’ Soul:

Within my soul’s domain—I see this star!

It pours forth kindness—beams forth blessedness—

In cosmic ether floating—this soul star—

But there—in yon faint light—another star—

Its note is faint,—yet will I list thereto.

(With the last words appears the spirit of Johannes’ youth. Figure like an angel’s; silvery sheen.)

The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth:

I feed with life the being of thy wish,

My breath will pour into thy youthful aims

Enlightening strength, when worlds are tempting thee

Within which I can guide thee joyfully.

If thou shouldst lose me in thyself, I must

Then offer up myself as sacrifice,

A being reft of being, to the shades.

O blossom of my being,—leave me not.


He never will forsake thee—I behold

Deep in his nature longings after light

Which do not follow up the other soul.

And when the radiance, which is born of them, [236]

Takes root and grows deep down within his soul,

It must bear fruit; nor will he be content

To throw this fruit away in yonder realm

Where love, divorced from beauty, reigns alone.

Slow curtain



Scene 7

A temple somewhat Egyptian in appearance. A place of initiation in the far-distant past in this Earth’s third stage of post-Atlantean civilisation. A conversation between the hierophant, otherwise Capesius, the keeper of the temple, otherwise Felix Balde or Joseph Keane and a mystic, otherwise Dame Balde or Dame Keane.


Are all the preparations duly made,

My keeper of the temple, to the end

Our holy rite may serve both gods and men?


So far as human forethought can provide

All hath been well prepared; a holy breath

Hath filled the temple now for many days.


My mystic, as the royal counsellor,

A priest hath been selected unto whom

This very day our secret wisdom’s store

Is with all holiness to be revealed.

Hast thou then so prepared him by thy tests

That he is now entirely given o’er [238]

To wisdom set apart from earthly cares,

And shuts his ear to all but spirit-lore?

A different counsellor would do us harm.


The tests were given as the law ordains,

The masters found them adequate; I think

Our mystic hath but little natural taste

For earthly cares; his soul is set upon

His spirit-progress and development

Of self; in spirit trance he oft is seen.

’Tis not too much to say he revels in

The union of the spirit with his soul.


Has thou then often seen him in this state?


In truth he may thus frequently be seen.

His nature doubtless is inclined toward

The temple’s service rather than the state’s.


It is enough. Now go to thine own place

And see our holy rite is well performed;

(Exit Mystic.)

To thee, my keeper, I have more to say.

Thou knowest how I prize thy mystic gifts:

To me thou bearest wisdom far beyond

That which befits thy status in this shrine.

Oft to thy seership have I had recourse [239]

To prove what mine own spirit-sight hath seen.

And so I ask, what confidence hast thou

That this new mystic is for spirit ripe?


Who asks for my opinion? Is my voice

Of any worth?


Of any worth? It aye hath worth for me.

Today again thou shalt stand by my side;

We must most closely watch this holy rite

With inward sight; and, should the ‘mystic’ prove

E’en in the slightest way unripe as yet

For its high meaning in the spirit life,

I shall refuse him rank as ‘counsellor.’


What is it then that now may be revealed

In this new ‘mystic’ at our holy rite.


I know he is not worthy of the trust

The temple servants seek to give to him.

His human nature is well known to me.

His mystic-sense is not that heartfelt urge

Which stirs in men when light from spirit realms

In kindness draws souls upwards to itself.

Strong passion surges in his being yet;

The craving of his senses is not stilled.

Indeed I would not blame the will divine,

Which e’en in craving and in passion pours [240]

Its wisdom-light o’er evolution’s stream.

But when the craving doth conceal itself,

And revel ’neath devotion’s mystic mask,

It causeth thought to lie, and makes will false.

The light that weaves the web of spirit-worlds

Can never penetrate unto such souls,

Since passion spreads a mystic fog between.


My hierophant, thy judgment is severe

In dealing with a man who still is young

And inexperienced, who can neither know

Himself nor take another course than that

Which priestly guides and mystic leaders say

Doth reach the goal along the soul’s true path.


I do not judge the man, I judge the deed

That will be wrought here in this holy place.

This holy mystic rite, which we perform,

Hath not importance for ourselves alone.

Fate’s stream of cosmic evolution pours

Through word and deed of sacred priestly rites.

What happens here in pictures comes to pass

In everlasting life in spirit-worlds.

But now, good keeper, get thee to thy task;

Thou wilt thyself discover how to lend

Assistance to me in this holy rite.

(Exit Keeper, right.)

Hierophant. (alone)

This youthful mystic will not be to blame,

Who hopes this day to dedicate himself [241]

Unto the wisdom, if in these next hours

A wrong emotion, such as may gush out

Unheeded from his heart, should throw its rays

Upon our sacred rite, and in this act

Should through our symbols draw nigh spirit-spheres

Whence ill results in consequence must flow

Into the current of our human life.

The guides and leaders are themselves to blame.

Have they not learned to know the mystic force

Which penetrates in some mysterious way

With spirit every word and sigh of ours;

And ceases not from action even when

The contents of a soul are poured therein

Which hinders cosmic evolution’s course?

Instead of this young mystic consciously

Here to the spirit off’ring up himself,

His teachers drag him like a sacrifice

Into the holy precincts, where his soul

Unconsciously he to the spirit yields.

For verily he would not take this road

If he were conscious master of his soul.

Within the circle of our mysteries

The highest hierophant alone doth know

What mystic truths lurk in our sacred forms.

But he is dumb as solitude itself.

Such silence his high dignity commands.

The others gaze uncomprehendingly

When of our ritual’s real intent I speak.

So am I left to bear my cares alone;

Well-nigh unbearable their burden seems

When all the meaning of our ritual [242]

And of our temple is borne in on me.

One thing especially I deeply feel—

The solitude of this stern spirit-shrine.

Why do I feel so lonely in this place?

The soul must ask this question. When, ah, when

Will to my soul the spirit make reply?

Curtain falls slowly



Scene 8

Part I

Outside the Egyptian temple. An Egyptian woman is seen crouching by the wall. She is a previous incarnation of Johannes Thomasius.

Egyptian woman:

This is the hour in which he dedicates

Himself to serve the ancient holy laws

Of sacred wisdom,—and in doing this

He must forever tear himself from me.

From out those heights of light to which his soul

Progresses there must flash into mine own

The ray of death. When I am torn from him—

Naught doth remain for me in life on earth

But mourning—resignation—sorrow—death.

(Clinging to the wall.)

Yet though in this hour he abandons me

I, none the less, will stay close to the spot

Where he unto the spirit gives himself.

And if mine eyes are not allowed to see

How he doth tear himself away from earth,

Perchance ’twill be now granted in a dream

To linger disembodied by his side.


Part II

Inside the temple. The hall of initiation. The ceremony is performed on a broad flight of steps descending from the back to the front of the stage. The characters stand in groups below one another and on different steps. The drop-curtain goes up, disclosing everything in readiness for the initiation of the Neophyte, who is to be thought of as an earlier incarnation of Maria; behind the altar and to the left of it stands the Chief Hierophant who is to be thought of as an earlier incarnation of Benedictus; on the other side the Recorder, an earlier incarnation of Hilary True-to-God; a little in front of the altar the Keeper of the Seals, an earlier incarnation of Theodora; in front, on the right side of the altar, the Impersonator of the Earth Element, an earlier incarnation of Romanus, and with him the Impersonator of the Air Element, an earlier incarnation of Magnus Bellicosus; quite close to the Chief Hierophant, stands the Hierophant, an earlier incarnation of Capesius; on the left side of the altar the Impersonator of the Fire Element, an earlier incarnation of Doctor Strader, with the Impersonator of the Water Element, an earlier incarnation of Torquatus. In front of them Philia, Astrid, Luna and the ‘other Philia.’ Four other priests stand in front of them. In front of all Lucifer to the left of altar and Ahriman to the right in the guise of sphinxes, with the cherub emphasized in the case of Lucifer and the bull in the case of Ahriman. Dead silence for a while after the interior of the temple with its [245]grouped mystics has become visible. The Keeper of the Temple an earlier incarnation of Felix Balde, and a Mystic, an earlier incarnation of Dame Balde, lead the Neophyte in through a doorway on the right of stage. They place him in the inner circle near the altar, and remain standing near him.

The Keeper of the Temple:

From out that web of unreality

Which thou, in error’s darkness named’st world,

The mystic hath conducted thee to us.

From being and from naught the world was made

Which to a semblance wove itself for thee.

Semblance is good, by being understood;

Thou didst but dream it in thy sembled life;

And semblance known by semblance disappears.

Learn, semblance of a semblance, what thou art.

The Mystic:

Thus speaks the guardian of this temple’s door.

Feel in thyself the sore weight of his words.

The Impersonator of the Earth Element:

Beneath the weight of earth-life seize upon

The semblance of your being without fear.

That thou mayst sink into the cosmic depths

In darksome cosmic depths thy being seek.

Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;

Its weight will give thy being unto thee.

The Recorder:

Thou wilt not understand, as thou dost sink,

Whereto we lead till thou hast heard his call. [246]

We forge for thee the form of thy real self;

Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself

As semblance in the cosmic nothingness.

The Mystic:

So speaks the guardian of this temple’s words.

Feel in thyself the sore weight of his words.

The Impersonator of the Air Element:

Fly from the weight of earth-life which would kill

The being of thyself, as thou dost sink.

Fly from it on the lightness of the air.

In light of cosmic space thy being seek.

Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;

Its flight will give thy being unto thee.

The Recorder:

Thou wilt not understand, as thou dost fly,

Whereto we lead, till thou hast heard his call.

We light for thee the life of thy real self;

Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself

As semblance in the cosmic weightiness.

The Mystic:

So speaks the guardian of this temple’s words.

Feel in thyself the uplift of his words.

The Chief Hierophant:

My son, thou wilt on wisdom’s noble road

The mystic’s counsel carefully obey.

Thou canst not see the answer in thyself;

For error’s darkness still doth weigh thee down [247]

And folly strives in thee for distant things.

Gaze therefore—on this flame which is more close

(The bright, quivering sacred flame flares up on the altar in the middle of the stage.)

To thee than is the life of thine own self,

And read thine answer hidden in its fire.

The Mystic:

So speaks the leader of this temple’s rites.

Feel in thyself the ritual’s holy power.

The Impersonator of the Fire Element:

Let all the errors of thine own ideas

Be burned in fire that this rite lights for thee.

Let, with thine errors, thyself also burn.

As flame of cosmic fire thy being seek;

Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;

Its fire will give thy being unto thee.

The Keeper of the Seals:

Thou wilt not understand why to a flame

We fashion thee till thou hast heard his call.

We cleanse for thee the form of thine own self;

Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself

As formless being in the cosmic sea.

The Mystic:

So speaks the guardian of this temple’s seals.

Feel in thyself the power of wisdom’s light.

The Impersonator of the Water Element:

Resist the flame-powers of the world of fire

That they may not devour thy being’s might. [248]

From semblance, being will not rise in thee

Unless the wave-beat of the cosmic sea

Can fill thee with the music of the spheres.

As wave in cosmic sea thy being seek;

Bind to thy semblance that which thou dost find;

Its waves will give thy being unto thee.

The Keeper of the Seals:

Thou wilt not understand why to a wave

We fashion thee till thou hast heard his call.

We build for thee the form of thine own self;

Perceive our work; else must thou lose thyself

A formless being in the cosmic fire.

The Chief Hierophant:

My son, by powerful exercise of will

These mystic counsels too thou must obey.

Thou canst not see the answer in thyself;

By cowardly fear thy power is still congealed;

Thou canst not fashion weakness to a wave

That lets thy note ring out amongst the spheres.

So listen to thy soul-powers when they speak;

And thine own voice within their words perceive.


In fire cleanse thou thyself;—and lose thyself

As cosmic wave in music of the spheres.


Build thou thyself in music of the spheres;

In cosmic distances fly light as air.



Sink with thy weight of earth to cosmic depths;

Take courage as a self in thy sore weight.

The Other Philia:

From thine own being draw thyself away;

Unite thyself with elemental might.

The Mystic:

Thine own soul speaks thus in these temple halls;

Feel thou therein the guidance of the powers.

The Chief Hierophant (addressing the Hierophant):

My brother hierophant, explore this soul,

Which we are to direct to wisdom’s path,

Down to its depths; tell us what thou dost find

Its present state of consciousness to be.

The Hierophant:

All hath been done that our rite doth demand.

The soul no more remembers what it was.

The web of semblance, spun on error’s loom,

Opposing elements have swept away;

In elemental strife it doth live on;

Naught save its being hath the soul retained.

Now of this being it shall read the life

In cosmic words, that speak from out the flame.

The Chief Hierophant:

O human soul, read now what through the flame

The cosmic word declares within thyself.

(A pause of considerable length ensues, during which the stage is darkened till only the [250]flame and indistinct outlines of the characters are visible; at the conclusion of the pause the Chief Hierophant continues.)

And now from out the cosmic vision wake!

Declare what can be read from cosmic words!

(The Neophyte is silent. The Chief Hierophant, much alarmed, continues):

He speaks not. Doth the vision leave thee? Speak!

The Neophyte:

Obedient to thy strict and sacred rite

I sank into the being of this flame

To wait the sound of lofty cosmic words.

(The assembled mystics, the Hierophant excepted, show an ever-increasing alarm during the speech of the Neophyte.)

I felt that I could shake off from myself

The weight of earth and be as light as air.

I felt the loving tide of cosmic fire

Did bear me up on streaming spirit-waves.

I saw the body that I wear on earth

As other being stand outside myself.

Though wrapt in bliss, and conscious of the light

Of spirit round me, yet I could regard

Mine earthly sheath with longing and desire.

(Consternation all around.)

Spirits rayed light thereon from lofty worlds;

Like shining butterflies there hovered near

The beings who attend its active life;

The body by these beings bathed in light [251]

Reflected sparkling colours manifold;

They shone close by, grew fainter further off,

And then were scattered and dispersed in space.

Within the being of my spirit soul

There lurked the wish that weight of earth should sink

Me down into my sheath, that I might feel

And learn the sense of joy within life’s warmth.

So, diving gladly down into my sheath,

I heeded thy stern summons to awake.

The Chief Hierophant (himself alarmed, to the alarmed mystics):

This is no spirit-vision; earth’s desires

Escaped the mystic and as offering rose

To radiant spirit-heights;—O sacrilege!

The Recorder (angrily to the Hierophant):

This could not have occurred, hadst thou performed

The office granted thee as hierophant

As ancient holy duty did demand.

The Hierophant:

I did the duty in this solemn hour

Which those from higher realms did lay on me.

I did not think that which it is my place

To think, according to the ritual,

And which, proceeding from me, should appear

In spirit-working in the neophyte.

The young man therefore hath declared to us

None other’s thoughts but his own being’s self. [252]

The truth hath conquered. Ye may punish me;

I had to do what ye perceived with fear.

I feel the times approach which will set free

The ego from the group-soul and let loose

Its own true individual powers of thought.

What if the youth escapes your mystic path

At present?—Later lives on earth will show

With clearest signs the kind of mystic way

Which destiny hath foreordained for him.

The Mystics:

O sacrilege;—thou must atone—and pay—

(The sphinxes begin to speak one after the other as Ahriman and Lucifer; hitherto they have been as motionless as statues; what they say is heard only by the hierophant, the chief hierophant, and the neophyte;—the others are full of excitement over the preceding events.)

Ahriman as Sphinx:

For my realm I must lay my hands upon

What here doth wrongly seek the way to light,

And in the darkness further foster it;

That it may bring forth spirit-qualities

Which later on will let it weave itself

With rightful meaning into human life.

But till it gains these spirit-qualities,

What in this holy service did appear

As earthly burden, this will serve my work.

Lucifer as Sphinx:

For my realm I shall bear away the things

That joy as spirit-wish in semblance here; [253]

They’ll gladly shine as semblance in the light

And thus in spirit dedicate themselves

To beauty from which they are kept apart

At present by the burden of earth’s weight.

In beauty, semblance into being turns,

Which later shall illuminate the earth,

Descending as the light which flies from here.

The Chief Hierophant:

The sphinxes speak—who were but images

E’er since this rite by sages was performed.

Upon dead form the spirit now hath seized.

O Fate, thou dost sound forth as cosmic word!

(The other mystics, with the exception of the Hierophant and the Neophyte, are amazed at the words of the Chief Hierophant.)

The Hierophant (to the Chief Hierophant):

This holy mystic rite which we perform

Hath not importance for ourselves alone.

Fate’s stream of cosmic evolution pours

Through word and deed of sacred priestly rites.

The curtain falls on the mental atmosphere set up by the preceding occurrences



Scene 9

A study in Hilary’s house. A general atmosphere of seriousness pervades the room. Maria alone in meditation.


A starry soul, on yonder spirit-shore,

Draws near,—draws near me clad in spirit-light,

Draws near with mine own self, and as it nears—

Its radiance gains in power,—and gains in calm.

O star within my spirit-circle, what

Doth thine approach shed on my gazing soul?

(Astrid appears to right.)


Perceive that which I now can bring to thee;

From cosmic strife ’twixt darkness and the light

I stole thy power of thought; I bring it now

From out its cosmic midnight’s wakening

With service true back to thine earthly form.


My Astrid, thou hast ever till today

Appeared to me as shining shadow-soul;

What turns thee now to this bright spirit-star?



I kept the lightning’s and the thunder’s power

For thee, that they might stay within thy soul,

And now thou canst behold them consciously—

When of the cosmic midnight thou dost think.


The cosmic midnight!—ere for this earth-life

My self enclosed me in my body’s sheath;

When Saturn’s coloured light kept endless watch!

Mine earthly thoughts concealed from me before

This spirit scene in soul-obscurity;—

Now in soul-clarity it doth emerge.


Thyself in cosmic light didst speak these words:

‘Of thee, Duration, would I crave a boon:

Pour out thyself into this blessedness

And let my guide, and let that other soul

Now dwell with me therein in peacefulness.’


Dwell with me also. O thou moment blest,

In which this spirit happening creates

New powers of self. Equip my soul with strength

That thou mayst not pass from me like a dream.

In light which on the cosmic midnight shines,

Which Astrid brings from soul-obscurity,

Mine ego joins that self which fashioned me

To serve its purpose in the cosmic life.

But how, O moment, can I hold thee fast,

So that I do not lose thee when once more [256]

My senses feel earth clearness once again?

Their power is great; and often, if they slay

The spirit-vision, it stays dead e’en when

The self in spirit finds itself again.

(Immediately after the last words, as if summoned by them, Luna appears.)


Preserve, before the sense-life once again

Makes thee to dream, the power of thine own will

With which this moment hath presented thee.

Think of the words that I myself did speak

When at the cosmic midnight seen by thee.


My Luna, from the cosmic midnight thou

Hast brought me hither mine own power of will

To be my prop throughout my life on earth.


The Guardian’s warning followed thus thy words:

‘Then shalt thou see thyself in other guise,

E’en in a picture of an olden time,

And know how strength for lofty spirit-flight

E’en from disaster may the soul’s wings gain.

A soul may never wish itself to fall;

Yet, when it falls it must a lesson learn.’


Whereto doth thy word’s power now carry me?

A spirit-star on yonder shore of souls!

It gleams, it draweth nigh—in spirit-form; [257]

Draws nigh with mine own self; and, as it nears,

The light grows denser and within the light

Forms darken, taking on their being’s shape!

A youthful mystic, and a sacred flame,

The stern call of the highest hierophant

To tell the vision seen within the flame!

The group of mystics overcome with fear

At that young mystic’s self-acknowledgment.

(The Guardian of the Threshold appears while the latter sentences are being uttered.)

The Guardian:

Hear once again within thy spirit-ear

The stern call of the highest hierophant.


‘O human soul, read now what through the flame

(Benedictus appears.)

The cosmic word declares within thyself.’

Who spoke the words my thought brings back to me,

Recalling them from waters of the soul?


With mine own words thou callest me to thee.

When in times past I uttered this command,

It did not find thee ready to respond.

And so it stayed in evolution’s womb;

The course of time hath lent new force thereto

Which flowed therein from out thine own soul’s life;

And so it wrought in later lives on earth [258]

In thy soul’s depths although thou knewest it not.

It let thee find me as thy guide again;

By conscious thought it now transforms itself

Into a powerful motive in thy life.

‘This holy mystic rite, which we perform,

Hath not importance for ourselves alone;

Fate’s stream of cosmic evolution pours

Through word and deed of sacred priestly rites.’


Thou didst not speak this word within that place.

The hierophant did speak, who used to be

Thy colleague in that ancient mystic band.

He knew e’en then that powers of destiny

Foresaw the ending of this mystic band.

Unconsciously the hierophant beheld

The beauteous rising of the rosy dawn

Which to the spirit-stream of earth foretold

A new sun over Hellas should arise.

So he forbore to send the powerful thought

Which he should have directed to my soul.

The cosmic spirit’s instrument was he

At that initiation, during which

He heard the whispering stream of cosmic life.

He spoke a word from out his inmost soul

‘One thing especially I deeply feel:

The solitude of this stern spirit-shrine.

Why do I feel so lonely in this place?’


In his soul there was planted even then

The germ of solitude, which later on [259]

Matured to soul-fruit in the womb of time.

This fruit Capesius as mystic now

Must taste, and so must follow Felix’ steps.


That woman, too, who near the temple stayed,

I see her as she was in olden time,

But not yet can my vision penetrate

To where she is; how can I find her then

When sense-life causeth me to dream again?

The Guardian:

Thou wilt discover her when thou dost see

That being in the realm of souls whom she

Doth count a shade amongst the other shades.

She seeks to reach it with strong power of soul.

She will not free it from the world of shades

Till in her present body, through thine aid,

She hath beheld her long past life on earth.


Like some soul-star my highest guardian glides,

In glowing light toward my shore of souls;—

His light spreads peace, far round the wide flung space;—

His light hath grandeur;—and his dignity

Makes strong my being in its inmost depths;

In this peace will I now submerge myself;—

I feel before that through it I shall find

My way to fullest spirit-wakefulness.

And ye, too, messengers into my soul—

I’ll keep within myself as beacon-lights. [260]

Upon thee, Astrid, will I call when thought

Would from soul-clearness fain withdraw itself.

And thee, O Luna, may my prayer then find

When will-power slumbers deep in my soul depths.

The curtain falls while Maria, Astrid, and Luna are still in the room



Scene 10

The same. Johannes alone in meditation.


‘This is the hour in which he dedicates

Himself to serve the ancient holy laws

Of sacred wisdom;—in a dream perchance

I may in spirit linger at his side.’

Thus near the temple spake in ancient times

The woman whom my spirit-vision sees;

By thoughts of her I feel my strength increased.

What is this picture’s purpose? Why doth it

Hold my attention spellbound? Certainly

No sympathy from out the picture’s self

Accounts for this, for, should I see the scene

In earthly life, I should consider it

Of no importance. What saith it to me?

(As if from afar the voice of ‘the other Philia.’)

The Other Philia:

The magical web

That forms their own self.


And clairvoyant dreams

Make clear unto souls [262]

The magical web

That forms their own self.

(While Johannes is speaking these lines ‘the other Philia’ approaches him.)


Who art thou, magic spirit-counsellor?

True counsel didst thou bring unto my soul

But didst deceive me over thine own self.

The Other Philia:

Johannes, thine own being’s double form

From thyself didst thou fashion. As a shade

Must I roam round thee for so long a time

As thou thyself shalt not set free the shade

Whom thine offence doth lend a magic life.


This is the third time that thou speakest thus;

I will obey thee. Point me out the way!

The Other Philia:

Johannes, whilst thou liv’st in spirit-light,

Seek what is treasured up within thy Self.

From its own light it will shed light on thee.

Thus canst thou learn by looking in thyself

How to wipe out thy fault in later lives.


How shall I, while I live in spirit-light,

Seek what is treasured up within my Self?


The Other Philia:

Give me that which thou thinkest that thou art;

Lose thou thyself in me a little while,

Yet so that thou dost not another seem.


How can I give myself to thee before

I have beheld thee as thou really art?

The Other Philia:

I am within thee, member of thy soul;

The force of love within thee is myself;

The heart’s hope, as it stirs within thy breast,

The fruits of long-past lives upon this earth

Laid up for thee and hid within thyself,

Behold them now through me;—feel what I am,

And through my power in thee behold thyself.

Search out the pictured being, which thy sight,

Without thy sympathy, did form for thee.



O spirit-counsellor, I can indeed

Feel thee in me, yet I see thee no more.

Where livest thou for me?

(As if from afar the call of ‘the other Philia.’)

The Other Philia:

The magical web

That forms their own self.


‘The magical web

That forms their own self.’ [264]

O magical web, that forms mine own self,

Show me the pictured being which my sight

Without my sympathy did form for me.

Whereto doth this word’s power conduct me now?

A spirit-star on yonder shore of souls—

It shines,—it draweth nigh—as spirit-form,

Grows brighter as it nears;—now forms appear;—

They act as beings act who are alive;—

A youthful mystic—and a sacred flame,

The stern call of the highest hierophant

To tell the vision seen within the flame.

That woman doth the youthful mystic seek,

Whom my sight saw without my sympathy.

(Maria appears as a thought-form of Johannes.)


Who thought of thee before the sacred flame?

Who felt thee near initiation’s shrine?

Johannes, wouldst thou tear thy spirit-shade

From out the magic kingdoms of the soul;

Live then the aims that it will show to thee;

The path on which thou seek’st will guide thy steps,

But thou must first discover it aright.

The woman near the temple shows it thee

If she lives powerfully within thy thought.

Spellbound amongst shade-spirits doth she strive

To draw nigh to that other shade who now

Through thee doth evil service to grim shades.


(The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth appears.)

The Spirit of Johannes’ Youth:

I will be grateful to thee evermore

If thou in love dost cultivate the powers

Laid up for me within the womb of time

By that young mystic in that bygone age

Whom once thy soul sought at the temple gate.

But thou must first this spirit truly see

At whose side I have now appeared to thee.


Maria, as thou wouldst behold her, lives

In other worlds than those where truth abides.

My holy earnest vow doth ray out strength

Which shall keep for thee that which thou hast gained.

In these clear fields of light me shalt thou find

Where radiant beauty life-power doth create;

Seek me in cosmic fundaments, where souls

Fight to recover their divine estate

Through love, which in the whole beholds the self.

(While Maria is speaking the last lines, Lucifer appears.)


So work, compelling powers;

Act therefore, powers of might,

Ye elemental sprites,

Feel now your master’s power,

And smooth for me the way

That leads from realms of Earth [266]

That so there may draw near

To Lucifer’s domain

Whate’er my wish desires,

Whate’er obeys my will.

(Enter Benedictus.)


Maria’s holy earnest vow doth pour

Now through his soul salvation’s healing ray.

He will admire thee, but he will not fall.


I mean to fight.


And, fighting serve the gods.




Scene 11

The same. Enter Benedictus and Strader.


Thou didst speak gravely, and Maria spoke

Right harshly to me also, when ye two

Showed yourselves to me at my life’s abyss.


Thou know’st those pictures have no proper life;

Their content only, strives to make its way

Into the soul, and takes pictorial form.


Yet it was hard to hear these pictures say:

‘Where is thy light? Thou rayest darkness out,

Midst light thou dost create the baffling gloom.’

So spake the spirit through Maria’s form.


Because in thine ascent thou hadst attained

To higher levels on the spirit-path.

The spirit, which had led thee to itself,

Used darkness as a symbol to depict

The state of knowledge which was thine before.

This spirit chose to use Maria’s form [268]

Because thy soul itself so fashioned it.

The spirit, my dear Strader, at this hour

Works mightily within thee and will lead

Thee with swift flight to lofty grades of soul.


And yet these words still terrify my soul:

‘Because thou art afraid to ray out light.’

The spirit spake this also in that scene.


The spirit had to call thy soul afraid

Because in thee those things were fearfulness

Which would, in lesser souls, be bravery.

As we advance, our former bravery

Turns into fear which must be overcome.


Oh! how these words do pierce me to the heart!

Romanus lately told me of his plan:

I was to carry out the work myself

Not as thy partner but without thine aid.

In this event, he was prepared to use

All that he had to succour Hilary.

When I declared that I could ne’er consent

To separate the work from out thy group,

He answered that in that case it would be

In vain to make more effort. He it is

Who backs the opposition to my work,

Which Hilary’s companion offereth.

Without these plans my life must worthless seem.

Since these two men have torn away from me [269]

My field of action, all that I can see

Ahead is life reft of the breath of life.

In order that my spirit may not show

Discouragement I need that bravery

Of which thou spak’st just now. But whether I

Shall find my strength sufficient for the task

Is more than I can say, for I can feel

How that same force which I must needs set free

Will likewise work on me distinctively.


Maria and Johannes have just made

Advances in clairvoyance; and the things

Which hindered them from bridging o’er the gap

Between the mystic life and world of sense

Are no more there, and in the course of time

Aims will appear in which both thou and they

Can take part jointly. ’Tis not guidance, but

Creative strength that flows from mystic words:

‘For that which must will surely come to pass.’

And so in wakefulness we must await

The way in which the spirit sends the signs.


A vision came to me not long ago

Which I must hold to be a sign from fate.

I was aboard a ship, thou at the helm,

The labouring oars were under my command;

And we were bearing to their place of work

Maria and Johannes; there appeared

Another ship quite close to us; on board

Romanus and the friend of Hilary— [270]

They lay across our course as enemies.

I battled with them;—as the fight went on

Lo! Ahriman stood by their side to help.

While I was bitterly engaged with him

Came Theodora to my side, in aid,

And then the vision vanished from my sight.

I dared to say once to Capesius

And Felix that I could with ease endure

The opposition which now menaceth

My work from outward sources e’en if all

My plans were ruined—I should stand upright.

Suppose that picture now should show to me

That outward opposition doth imply

An inward fight—a fight with Ahriman;

Am I well armoured also for this fight?


My friend, I can behold in thine own soul

This picture is not fully ripe as yet.

I feel thou canst make stronger still the power

Which showed this picture to thy spirit’s eye.

I can feel too that for thy friends and thee

This picture can create new powers of soul

If only thou wilt rightly strive for strength.

This can I feel;—how it shall be fulfilled

Remains a secret hidden from my sight.




Scene 12

The interior of the earth. Enormous crystal formations, with streams like lava breaking through them. The whole scene is faintly luminous, transparent in some parts, and with the light shining through from behind in others. Above are red flames which appear to be being pressed downward from the roof. (One hand of Ahriman is a claw and he has a cloven hoof. This is to show the audience that his identity as the Devil is being discovered. Fox has a cloven hoof.)

Ahriman (at first alone):

Now living matter falleth from above

Which I must use. It is the stuff whereof

Are demons made, and it is flowing free

Within the world of form. A man doth strive

To tear from out his being utterly

The spirit-substance he received from me.

My influence hath been till now quite good,

But now he is too near the mystic throng

Whom Benedictus through his wisdom’s light

Hath lent the power enabling them to face

Awakening at the cosmic midnight hour.

O’er him hath Lucifer his influence cast:

So that Maria and Johannes could [272]

Release themselves from out his sphere of light.

Henceforth to Strader I must closely cling.

Once he is mine I’ll catch the others too.

Johannes wore himself quite dull and blunt

Against my shadow;—now he knows me well.

Through Strader only can I get at him.

And in Maria’s case it is the same;

Yet Strader will perhaps not recognize

The spirit-tangle, which to human eyes

Appears as nature, is in fact naught else

Than mine own personal spirit-property.

And so he may conceive that energy

And matter blindly struggle there where I,

Denying spirit, fashion spirit-things.

’Tis true the rest have talked to him a lot

About my being and about my realm;

And yet, methinks, I have not lost him quite.

He will forget that Benedictus sent

Him hither unto me, but half-awake,

That his belief may be dispelled that I

Am but a woven thought in human brains.

Yet I shall need some earthly help if I

Must bring him here before it is too late.

Now therefore I will call upon a soul

Which in its cleverness considers me

To be naught else than some dull foolish clown.

He serves me on and off, when I have need.

(Ahriman goes off and returns with the soul of Fox, whose figure is a sort of copy of his own. On entering he takes a bandage from the eyes of this person representing the soul.)


Ahriman: (Aside)

Earth-knowledge he must leave here at the door.

For he must never understand the things

Which here he learns, since he is honest still;

No effort would he make, if he once knew

The purpose with which I now influence him.

He must be able later to forget.

(To Fox)

Dost thou know doctor Strader, who serves me?

The Soul of Fox:

He drifts about upon the star of Earth;

He would build learned prattle into life;

And yet each wind of life will knock him down.

He listens eagerly to mystic prigs,

And is already stifled by their fog;

He now doth try to blind poor Hilary,

Whose friend, however, keeps him well in hand,

Since all these braggart spirit-whisperings

Would otherwise his business quite destroy.

Ahriman: (Aside)

Such talk as this is not what I require.

I now have need of Strader—whilst this man

Can still have perfect faith in his own self;

Then Benedictus far too easily

Will make his wisdom known amongst mankind.

The friend of Hilary might be of use

To Lucifer; I must act otherwise—

Through Strader I must Benedictus harm.

For he and all his pupils can achieve [274]

Nothing at all, hath he not Strader’s aid.

Mine enemies of course still have their powers,

And after Strader’s death he will be theirs.

But if while still on earth his soul can be

Deceived about itself, my gain will be

That Benedictus can no longer use

Him as the leader of his coach’s team.

Now in fate’s book I have already read

That Strader’s span of life is nearly run.

But Benedictus can not yet see this.

My trusty knave, too crafty is thy wit,

Who takest me for some dull foolish clown.

(To Fox)

So well thou reasonest that men attend.

Go therefore and see Strader very soon

Tell him that his machine is ill-contrived;

That ’tis not only unpropitious times

That check fulfilment of his promises;

But that his reasoning also is at fault.

The Soul of Fox:

For such a mission am I well equipped.

For some time past I have done nothing else

But think how I can unto Strader prove

How full of error his ambitions are.

When once a man hath formed a clever scheme

By dint of many nights of earnest thought

He will with ease believe that ill-success

Is due not to his thought but outward acts.

And Strader’s case is surely pitiable;

Had such a man as he shunned mystic snobs, [275]

And made fit use of his fine intellect,

His great endowments surely would have borne

Much fruit and profit for humanity.


Now see to it that thou art shrewdly armed.

This is thy task: Thou art to undermine

The confidence of Strader in himself.

No longer then will he desire to work

With Benedictus, who must henceforth rest

Upon himself and his own arguments.

But these are not so pleasing to mankind,

Who will be more opposed to them on earth

The more their inmost nature is disclosed.

The Soul of Fox:

I see already how I shall begin

To show to Strader where his thought hath failed.

There is a flaw within his new machine,

Though he cannot perceive it of himself.

A veil of mystic darkness hinders him.

But I, with my clear common sense, shall be

Of much more use to him than mystic dreams.

This for a long while hath been my desire;

Yet knew I not how to accomplish it.

At length a light is thrown athwart my path.

Now must I think of all the arguments

Which will make Strader realize the truth.

(Ahriman leads out Fox’s soul and again blindfolds the individual portraying the soul before he is allowed to depart.)


Ahriman (alone):

He will be of great service unto me.

The mystic light on earth doth burn me sore;

I must work further there, but must not let

The mystics unto men my work reveal.

(Theodora’s soul appears.)

Theodora’s Soul:

Thou mayest Strader reach; but none the less

I shall be by his side; and since we were

United on the radiant path of souls,

We shall remain united wheresoe’er

He dwells on earth or in the spirit-realms.


If she indeed forsakes him not, the while

He still doth dwell on earth, I stand to lose

My battle; yet I shall not cease to hope

That he may yet forget her ’ere the end.




Scene 13

A large reception room in Hilary’s house. As the curtain rises Hilary and Romanus are in conversation.


I must with grief confess to thee, dear friend,

That this fate’s tangle, which is forming here

Within our circle, well-nigh crusheth me.

On what can one rely, when nothing holds?

The friends of Benedictus are by thee

Kept far from our endeavours; Strader, too,

Is torn by bitter agonies of doubt.

A man who, full of shrewdness and of hate,

Hath oft opposed the mystic life and aims,

Hath pointed out grave errors in his plans

And shewn that his invention cannot work,

And is not only stopped by outward checks.

Life hath not brought me any ripened fruit;

I longed for perfect deeds. And yet the thoughts

That bring deeds unto ripeness never came.

My soul was ever plagued by loneliness.

By spirit-sight alone was I upborne.

And yet;—in Strader’s case I was deceived.


I often felt as though some gruesome shape

Was pressing painfully upon my soul [278]

Whene’er thy words were in the course of life

Shown to be naught but errors and mistakes;

That as the spirit-sight seemed to deceive

My mystic master did this shape become

Within me and did set a feeling free

Which now enables me to give thee light.

Too blindly hast thou trusted spirit-sight;

And so as error it appears to thee

When it doth surely lead thee to the truth.

In Strader’s case thy sight was true, despite

The things that super-clever men hath shown.


Thy faith still doth not waver, and thou hast

The same opinion now of Strader’s work?


The reasons whereon I did build it up

Have naught to do with Strader’s friends at all

And still are valid, whether his machine

Prove itself true or faulty in design.

Supposing he hath made an error; well,

A man through error finds the way to truth.


The failure then doth not affect thee—thee

To whom life hath brought nothing but success?


Those who do not fear failure will succeed.

It only needs an understanding eye

To see what bearing mysticism has

Upon our case, and forthwith there appears [279]

The view that we should take of Strader’s work.

He will come off victorious in the fight

Which flings the spirit-portals open wide;

Undaunted by the watchman will he stride

Across the threshold of the spirit-land.

My soul hath deeply realized the words

Which that stern Guardian of the threshold spoke.

I feel him even now at Strader’s side.

Whether he sees him, or toward him goes

Unknowing, this indeed I cannot say;

But I believe that I know Strader well.

He will courageously make up his mind

That self-enlightenment must come through pain;

The will will ever bear him company

Who bravely goes to meet what lies before,

And, fortified by Hope’s strength-giving stream,

Doth boldly face the pain which knowledge brings.


My friend, I thank thee for these mystic words.

Oft have I heard them; now for the first time

I feel the secret meaning they enfold.

The cosmic ways are hard to comprehend—

My portion, my dear friend, it is to wait

Until the spirit points me out the way

Which is appropriate unto my sight.

(Exeunt left.)

(Enter Capesius and Felix Balde, shown in by the Secretary, on right.)


I think that Benedictus will return

Sometime today from off his journey; but [280]

He is not here at present; if thou com’st

Again tomorrow thou shouldst find him here.

Felix Balde:

Can we then have a talk with Hilary?


I’ll go and ask him now to come to you.


Felix Balde:

A vision of deep import hast thou seen.

Couldst thou not tell it to me o’er again?

One cannot apprehend such things aright

Till they are fully grasped by spirit-sight.


It came this morning, when I thought myself

Wrapt in the stillness of the mystic trance.

My senses slept, and with them memory.

To spirit things alone was I alive.

At first I saw naught but familiar sights.

Then Strader’s soul came clearly into view

Before mine inner eye, and for a while

Stood silent, so that I had ample time

To make sure I was consciously awake.

But soon I also heard him clearly say

‘Abandon not the real true mystic mood,’

As if the sound came from his inmost soul.

He then continued, with sharp emphasis:

‘To strive for naught; but just to live in peace:

Expectancy the soul’s whole inner life,

Such is the mystic mood. And of itself [281]

It wakes, unsought amid the stream of life,

Whene’er a human soul is rightly strong

And seeks the spirit with all-powerful thought.

This mood comes often in our stillest hours

Yet also in the heat of action; then

It cometh lest the soul may thoughtless lose

The tender sight of spirit-happenings.’

Felix Balde:

Like to the very echo of my words

This utt’rance sounds,—yet not quite what I meant.


On close consideration one might find

The opposite of thine own words therein,—

And more distinctly doth this fact appear

When we give heed to this his further speech

‘Whoever falsely wakes the mystic mood

It leads his inmost soul but to himself

And weaves betwixt himself and realms of light

The dark veil of his own soul’s enterprise.

If this thou wouldst through mysticism seek

Mystic illusion will destroy thy life.’

Felix Balde:

This can be nothing else than words of mine

By Strader’s spirit-views transformed; in thee

They echo as a grievous mystic fault.


Moreover Strader’s final words were these:

‘A man can not attain the spirit-world [282]

By seeking to unlock the gates himself.

Truth doth not sound within the soul of him

Who only seeks a mood for many years.’

(Philia appears, perceptible only to Capesius; Felix Balde shows that he does not comprehend what follows.)


Capesius, if soon thou markest well

What in thy seeking comes to thee unsought,

’Twill strengthen thee with many-coloured light;

In pictured being it will pierce thee through

Since thy soul-forces show it unto thee.

That which thy self’s sun-nature rays on thee

By Saturn’s ripened wisdom will be dulled;

Then to thy vision will there be disclosed

That which in earth-life thou canst comprehend.

Then I will lead thee to the guardian

Who on the spirit-threshold keeps his watch.

Felix Balde:

From circles which I know not issue words.

Their sound awakes no being full of light

And so they are not fully real to me.


The hint which Philia hath given me

Shall be my guide so that from this time forth

In spirit too may be revealed what I

Already as a man upon the earth,

Can find within the circuit of my life.




Scene 14

The same. Hilary’s wife in conversation with the Manager.

Hilary’s wife:

That fate itself doth not desire the deed

Which yet my husband thinks imperative,

Seems likely when one views the tangled threads

This power doth weave to form the knot in life,

Which holds us here in its compelling bonds.


A knot of fate indeed, which truly seems

Unable to be loosed by human sense—

And so, I take it, it must needs be cut.

I see no other possibility

Than that the strand which links thy husband’s life

To mine must now at last be cut in twain.

Hilary’s wife:

What! Part from thee!—My husband never will.

’Twould go against the spirit of the house

Which by his own dear father was inspired

And which the son will faithfully uphold.


But hath he not already broken faith?

The aims that Hilary hath now in view [284]

Can surely not be found along the road

His father’s spirit ever walked upon.

Hilary’s wife:

My husband’s happiness in life now hangs

On the successful issue of these aims.

I saw the transformation of his soul

As soon as, like a lightning flash, the thought

Illumined him. He had found hitherto

Nothing in life but sad soul-loneliness,

A feeling which he was at pains to hide

E’en from the circle of his closest friends

But which consumed him inwardly the more.

Till then he deemed himself of no account

Because thoughts would not spring up in his soul

Which seemed to him to be of use in life.

But when this plan of mystic enterprise

Then stood before his soul, he grew quite young,

He was another man, a happy man;

This aim first gave to him a worth in life.

That thou couldst ere oppose him in this work

Was inconceivable till it occurred.

He felt the blow more keenly than aught else

That in his life hath yet befallen him.

Couldst thou but know the pain that thou hast caused,

Thou wouldst not surely be so harsh with him.


I feel as if my manhood would be lost

If I should set myself to go against

Mine own convictions.—I shall find it hard [285]

To do my work with Strader at my side.

Yet I decided I would bear this load

To help Romanus, whom I understand

Since he concerning Strader spake with me.

What he explained became the starting-point

For me of mine own spirit-pupilship.

There was a power that flamed forth from his words

And entered actively within my soul;

I never yet had felt it so before.

His counsel is most precious, though as yet

I cannot understand and follow it;

Romanus only cares for Strader now;

He thinks the other mystics by their share

Not only are a hindrance to the work

But also are a danger to themselves.

For his opinion I have such regard

That I must now believe the following:

If Strader cannot find a way to work

Without his friends, ’twill be a sign of fate.

A sign that with these friends he must abide,

And only later fashion faculties,

Through mystic striving for some outward work.

The fact that recently he hath become

More closely knit to them than formerly,

Despite a slight estrangement for a while,

Makes me believe that he will find his way,

Lies in this state of things, though it involves

A failure, for the present, of his aims.

Hilary’s wife:

Thou see’st the man with only that much sight

With which Romanus hath entrusted thee, [286]

Thou shouldst gaze on him with unbiased eye.

He can so steep himself in spirit-life

That he appears quite sundered from the earth.

Then spirit forms his whole environment

And Theodora liveth then for him.

In speaking with him it appears as if

She too were present. Many mystics can

Express the spirit-message in such words

As bring conviction after careful thought;

But Strader’s very speech hath this same power.

One sees that he sets little store upon

Mere inward spirit-life that is content

With feelings only; the explorer’s zeal

Doth ever prove his guide in mystic life.

And so his mystic aims do not destroy

His sense for scientific schemes which seem

Both practical and useful for this life.

Try to perceive this faculty in him,

And through him also learn another thing,

How one’s own personal judgment of one’s friends

Is of more value than another man’s

Such as Romanus hath acquired of him.


In such a case as this, so far removed

From all the vista of my usual thought,

The judgment of Romanus seems to me

Some solid ground to stand on. If, myself,

I enter realms to mysticism near,

I surely need such guidance as indeed

A man can only give me who can win

My confidence by so much of himself [287]

As I myself can fully comprehend.

(Enter the Secretary.)

You seem upset, my friend; what hath occurred?

Secretary (hesitatingly):

Good doctor Strader died a few hours since.



Hilary’s wife:

What. Not Strader dead?—Where now

Is Hilary?


Is Hilary? He is in his own room.

He seemed quite stricken when the messenger

First brought the news to him from Strader’s house.

(Exit Hilary’s wife, followed by the Secretary.)

Manager (alone):

Dead—Strader!—Can this really be the truth?

The spirit-sleep of which I heard so much

Now toucheth me.—The fate which here doth guide

The threads of life wears now a serious face.

O little soul of mine, what mighty hand

Hath now laid hold upon thy thread of fate,

And given it a part within this knot.

‘But that which must will surely come to pass!’

Why is it that these words have never left [288]

My mind since Strader spake them long ago

When talking with myself and Hilary?—

As if they reached him from another world

So did they sound;—he spake as if entranced;—

What is to come to pass?—Right well I know

The spirit-world laid hands upon me then.

Within those words there sounds the spirit-speech—

Sounds earnest—; how can I its weaving learn?




Scene 15

The same. Doctor Strader’s nurse is sitting there waiting. Enter the Secretary.


Soon Benedictus will, I hope, appear

And hear himself the message thou dost bring:

He went a journey and hath just returned.

A great man surely doctor Strader was.

At first I did not have much confidence

In Hilary’s tremendous plan of work;

But, as I frequently was in the room

Whilst Strader was engaged in showing him

What further needs his plan of work involved,

All my objections swiftly lost their force.

Aye full of spirit, with the keenest sense

For all things possible and purposeful,

He yet was ever heedful that the end

Should issue reasonably from the work;

Ne’er would he anything for granted take.

He held himself quite as a mystic should;

As people who are anxious to behold

A lovely view from some tall mountain-crest

Keep plodding on till they have reached the top

Nor try to paint the picture in advance.



A man of lofty spirit and great gifts

Thou knewest hard at work in active life.

I, in the short time it was given me

To render earth’s last services to him

Learned to admire his loftiness of soul.

A sweet soul, that, except for seven years

Of utmost bliss, walked aye through life alone.

Their wisdom mystics offered him,—but love

Was all his need;—his lust for outward deeds

Was naught but—love, which sought for many forms

Of life in which to manifest itself.

That which this soul sought on the mystic path

Was needful to its being’s noble fire,

As sleep is to the body after toil.


In him the mystic wisdom was the source

Of outward deeds as well; for all his work

Was ever fully steeped in its ideals.


Because in him love was a natural law,

And he had to unite himself in soul

With all the aspirations of his life;

E’en his last thoughts were still about the work

To which in love he did devote himself—

As people part from beings whom they love

So Strader’s soul reluctantly did leave

The work on earth through which his love had poured. [291]


He lived in spirit with full consciousness:

And Theodora was with him as aye

She was in life—true mystic souls feel thus.


Because his loneliness knit him to her,

She stood before him still in death. By her

He felt that he was called to spirit-worlds

To finish there his incompleted task.

For Benedictus just before his death

He wrote a message which I now have come

To give into the mystic leader’s hands.

So must the life of this our time on earth

Unfold itself yet further, full of doubt;—

But brightened by sun-beings such as he,

From whom a wider number may receive,

Like planets, light-rays which awaken life.

(Enter Benedictus left. Exit Secretary right.)


Before his strength departed, Strader wrote

These few lines for thee. I have come to bring

His message to his faithful mystic friend.


And as he set this message down for me

What were the themes that his soul dwelt upon?


At first the latest of his plans in life

Lived in his thought; then Theodora came