Tag Archives: healing

Who is Working Now?

John 5 is about a healing of a man by the Pool of Bethesda. Many of those afflicted awaited there for an angel to stir the waters believing the tradition that at that moment someone could be healed of their affliction. One man had been there 38 years hoping to be healed. Jesus approaches him and asks him if he has the will to be healed. The man replied that he does but he does not have someone who could carry him quickly down to the waters in time to be the first to catch the stirring and thus be healed. Jesus says to him, Arise, take up your mat and walk! Moments later, those adhering to Hebraic laws concerning the Sabbath, told this man that he was breaking the law that bans work by carrying his mat. Later Jesus “finds” this man “in the temple” and says to him, “Behold (Ide), you have become well. Sin no more lest something worse be generated in you.”  This man then tells the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him. So now the Jews confront Jesus about performing work, a healing, on the Sabbath. Jesus answers them by saying My Father once was working, now I am working [John 5:17]. The rest of chapter 5 is remarkably deep and a topic for another time. But what can we make of this passage?

Taking this in reverse order let us first focus on 5:17. Various translations include [NASB] “My Father is working until now, and I myself am working.” [KJV] “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work”, or [ASV] “My Father worketh even until now, and I work”.  The Greek says “working until now” using the word “arti” to mean that the Father’s work is being or has been suspended, and now Christ is becoming or is the one at work. A turning point in time was occurring then.

The healed man is not betraying Christ-Jesus by revealing who it was who healed him. We find this word “ide” translated as “behold”. In a prior blog concerning the mysteries revealed in John 20 (at the tomb) we found three Greek words that are often translated to merely “see”. But “ide” implies a seeing that is higher than that through the senses. “In the temple” can mean literally in the temple rebuilt by Herod or it could mean in a holy place within the body (soma) or both! It is here that Jesus finds him. The healing the man just went through changed him deeply, not just his lameness. Now he could truly inhabit his body and thus Jesus could find him there within.

Lastly we come to the 38 years this man has been waiting. The passage does not say he waited a long time; rather it is explicit how long. What else takes 38 years? The Hebrew calendar was based on the 235 full moons it took for the sun, earth, and moon come back into the same relative position, or every 19 years. Two such cycles this man had waited. Jesus had asked him what might seem to be an obvious question, “Do you have the will to get well?” The lame man, one would think, would be irritated when Jesus then says: “Take up your mat and walk.” That is exactly what he cannot do. But, deeply, he has understood what Christ-Jesus meant: through Him comes the power of inner adaptability, a soul-force that overcomes one’s adversity, a lame body. We can no longer allow ourselves to be carried by our fellow human beings – we must carry our own cross. Moreover, we must become those who are able to carry others. By developing our soul-forces, we become the masters of our environment (in a broad sense of the word environment).

Bees and Stingers – quotes from Rudolf Steiner

“One must not disclaim the world when one wishes to rise higher; an ascetic fleeing from the world does not serve clairvoyance. Clairvoyance is the fruit of what the soul collects in the sense-world. Greek philosophy beautifully compared the human soul with a bee. The world of color and light offers the soul honey which it brings with it into the higher world. The soul must spiritualize sense experience and carry it up into higher worlds.”  The Origin of Suffering, Origin of Evil, Illness, and Death, GA 55 – Berlin, 22nd November 1906

“Now it is actually the case that this ego-organisation is in a mysterious way present in the poison of the bee; it is a similar force to the force that circulates in your blood that is present in the bee-poison. It is of great interest that the bee should have need of this poison within her. The bee does not merely need it in order to be able to sting; that is merely incidental. The bee needs the poison throughout its whole organism, for it must have the same force of circulation that man has in his blood.

The colony of bees, as I told you, is like an entire man. Now consider, you get some of this bee-poison into your body, that is, into your blood, for any poison entering the body goes immediately into the blood. You are, let us say, a normal man, your blood will come more into motion, and inflammation may follow, but your heart can bear it. If however, a man has some disease of the heart, and his ego-organisation is made stronger by the poison, then this affects the weak heart, and the result may be that the man faints, or may even die.

The remarkable thing is this; that substances that can make a man ill or even kill him, can also cure him. This is one of the great responsibilities one has in the preparation of medicines, for there are no real remedies which, if wrongly applied, cannot cause the same illnesses which they can also cure.

What then actually happens when a fainting fit or even death results from the sting of a bee?

You see, when a man faints, then his astral body, and more especially his ego-organisation, has withdrawn from the body as happens in sleep, only in sleep this happens in a normal way, and in a swoon in abnormal way. In a swoon, or fainting fit, the astral body does not withdraw completely as in sleep, it gets stuck fast, and when a man has a weak ego-organisation, he cannot bring it back again. One has to shake him, wake him up, rouse him out of his faintness by making him breathe more strongly by certain movements. You know how in these cases, one has to take the man’s arms, cross them over on his breast, put them back, then again bring them forward and so on, and this artificial breathing really always means that one is trying to bring the ego-organisation back into the body in the right way.

And now let us suppose someone is suffering from rheumatism, or perhaps gout, or other deposits in the body; then one must try to strengthen the ego-organisation. Why do people have gout or rheumatism? Because the ego-organisation is too weak and cannot bring the blood into the right movement. The blood must be made to move more quickly. When the blood is not in the right state, when for instance, it flows too slowly, minute crystals are precipitated everywhere, and pass into the neighbourhood of the blood-vessels. These minute crystals consist of uric acid, and they go all over the body, and cause gout or rheumatism — the ego-organisation is too weak.

If I now give this man the right dose of bee or wasp poison, his ego-organisation is strengthened; only one must not give too much, or the ego-organisation might not be able to hold its own. But if one gives just enough to strengthen the ego one can then find a very good remedy prepared from the bee or wasp poison; only one must combine it with some other substance.” — Nine Lectures on Bees, lecture 7, Dornach, December 12, 1923.

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