On the Esoteric Significance of Kaspar Hauser

This is the third and final article in the series about Kaspar Hauser, the first of which dealt with the struggle for the factual truth about this innocent but complex figure, a struggle which is still going on today, as seen in the two recent and contradictory DNA tests. The second article looked at Kaspar Hauser in relation to the present and future cultural and political development ofEurope. This final article will consider the esoteric significance of ‘the Child of Europe’ but does not pretend to do more than indicate some of the outlines of what is a very wide-ranging and profound subject.[1]

To do this, it will be necessary first to refer briefly to two esoteric concepts that in this author’s view, help to illumine historical development. The first was touched on briefly in the second article of this series; it is the concept of time regencies. According to this, time like space is differentiated and laden with various qualities; it is not, as was thought in the 17th century, a mere continuum, essentially the same at all periods. In an individual life, the experience of time of a 70 year old person is very different from the experience of the 7 year old. Esoteric knowledge, including Anthroposophy, works with the concept not only of the evolution of bodies but also of consciousness throughout history; this means that the way we think about ourselves and the world today is very different from how the Greeks or the Egyptians did. Esotericism has always seen everything in the universe as being governed by intelligence, or rather, the intelligences of a variety of spiritual beings. Monotheism, by contrast, has lost sight of this differentiated activity of the divine and regards it from afar, so to speak, as a single unitarian phenomenon. The esoteric viewpoint is thus that we human beings live our lives within the longer-lasting periods of historical activity of particular spiritual beings, or Time Regents, and we are affected by them just as we are by the weather, within which we also live and over which, similarly, we normally have no conscious control. The activity of these beings forms a considerable part of our ‘historical weather’. These Time Regents, whose evolutionary consciousness is two stages higher than that of Man, and one stage higher than that of the beings traditionally known as angels, are of the rank of archangels. There are seven of them and their periods of activity rotate in cycles of approximately 350-500 years. The first European esotericist to describe them in detail wasAbbot Trithemius of Sponheim (1462-1516).[2]

The seven archangels are associated with the planetary spheres; their traditional names are: Oriphi-el (Saturn), Ana-el (Venus), Zachari-el (Jupiter), Rapha-el (Mercury), Sama-el (Mars) Gabri-el (Moon) and Micha-el (Sun). The three with which we are most concerned in this article are Samael (1190-1510), Gabriel (1510-1879) and Michael (1879-c.2300?)[3]   Each archangelic period has its own character and brings something different to human development, as does each season of Nature: Samael periods divide, differentiate, and individuate; Gabriel periods focus on the physical world of Nature and the senses; Michael periods focus on the spiritualisation of human thinking and on cosmopolitan impulses. These three impulses have been present in the background of human history from the period c.1200 until the present. Each impulse does not start and stop suddenly but rather fades in, climaxes and fades out; the peak of an impulse is invariably just afterthe end of a regency, thus the early 20th century saw the peak of the Gabriel impulses, which included the urge to nationalism, and the fading in of the Michael impulses, which were still weaker by comparison.

The second esoteric concept we need to keep in mind when considering the period which Napoleon (1769-1821) and Kaspar Hauser (1812-1833) lived through is that  the esoteric name of the Earth is not Gaia but Mars-Mercury. This relates to the eoteric fact  – described by the spiritual scientist Rudolf Steiner in his book Occult Science  An Outline  – that in the process of the seven great periods of Earth evolution known as Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus, Vulcan, the period of the mineral Earth in which we now live has two phases: the period of condensation, ‘inhalation’, or materialisation until the Crucifixion of Christ, and the period of expansion, ‘exhalation’,  or spiritualisation since the Resurrection of Christ. These two phases are known as the Mars phase and the Mercury phase respectively, hence the name Mars-Mercury for the whole Earth development. The seven archangelic Time Regencies go on rotating throughout these two phases, so it will be obvious that also during the Mercury or spiritualisation phase, there will be regencies of Gabriel e.g. 1510-1879. A certain clash of impulses or ‘musical dissonance’, can thus be expected, as the Gabriel impulse has something more in common with the condensing, hardening, incarnatory gesture of Mars than it does with the  more fluid, relational, expansive gesture of Mercury. Napoleon was the Mars gesture incarnate allied to the Gabrielic in the way he sought to base his worldly military empire on his own family’s blood lines. Kaspar Hauser, whose teacher and carer Prof. Georg Friedrich Daumer noted, related more to quicksilver than to any other metal, will be seen to be the ultimate bearer of the Mercury impulse. 

The individuality that hides behind the Kaspar Hauser veil is a being which worked inspiringly into the Rosicrucian connection from the beginning, and then on 29th September 1812, incarnated as the son of Grand Duke Karl of Baden and his wife Stephanie de Beauharnais. Kaspar Hauser had an important mission of esoteric Christianity to fulfil….It is not a question of who …Kaspar Hauser was, but of what was to have been achieved by [him]. One should occupy oneself with the question as to what was to have been brought about through [him], for by such a direction of investigation we shall always gain the key to an understanding of many problems.”[4]

According to these thoughts of Rudolf Steiner, cited by Peter Tradowsky,  to concern oneself with Kaspar Hauser is to concern oneself with the future. Steiner draws attention to when Kaspar incarnated : Michaelmas in the year 1812; where : Baden in southern Germany;  and the importance of his mission. To the above indications he added that Kaspar Hauser had been an angelic being and that he had been unable to discover any previous incarnation of Kaspar Hauser since Atlantis. 1812? So, what could all this  have to do with the future? What could a putative German princeling of the early 19th century have to do with global warming or the development of Africa ? But then, one could also ask: what could an apparently insignificant Jewish preacher in AD 33 or a poor French farmer’s daughter called Joan in 1429 have to do with the futures of the Roman and British Empires respectively?[5]

It may seem surprising that Rudolf Steiner said very little about Kaspar Hauser in public; most of what we know of any comments he made about him comes from conversations with individuals, including the above, quoted by Peter Tradowsky. But when we note the reference to the Rosicrucian connection and become aware that it was held as an esoteric principle that one should not speak openly about great individualities active in the Rosicrucian movement for at least a century after their death, then we may  understand a possible reason for Steiner ‘s reticence. It is, however, worth paying careful attention to what Steiner said and did in and around Karlsruhe – where Kaspar was born as the Crown Prince of Baden – and in and around Nuremberg , where Kaspar was first imprisoned for 12 years and then released.

We see for example that it was Malsch, near Karlsruhe, on the  night of a full moon, 5th-6th April 1909, that Rudolf Steiner chose for the laying of the foundation stone of the first ‘anthroposophical’ building, the ‘Rosicrucian temple’. The Malsch building was known as ‘Francis of Assisi’, an individuality whom Steiner later explained had been a pupil of the super-earthlyBuddha around 700 AD in the Black Sea region. That individuality later incarnated as Francis of Assisi in the 13th century at the time of the original initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz. His own destiny at that time portrayed the change from Mars to healing Mercury, as he was a warrior in his youth and transformed himself into a gentle healer. That night of the 5th-6th April RudolfSteiner spoke these words:

We want to sink the foundation stone of this temple into the womb of our Mother Earth, beneath the rays of the Full Moon shining down upon us here, surrounded by the greenness of nature enveloping the building. And just as the Moon reflects the bright light of the Sun, so do we seek to mirror the light of the divine- spiritual beings. Full of trust we turn towards our great Mother Earth, who bears us and protects us so lovingly . . . In pain and suffering our Mother Earth has become hardened. It is our mission to spiritualize her again, to redeem her, in that through the power of our hands we reshape her to become a spirit-filled work of art. May this stone be a first foundation stone for the redemption and transformation of our Planet Earth, and may the power of this stone multiply itself a thousandfold. When we were still resting in the bosom of the Creator, surrounded by divine powers, the all-penetrating and all-embracing Father Spirit wove within us. But we were still without consciousness, not possessing independence. For that reason we descended into matter in order to learn here to have self-consciousness. Then evil came. Then came Death. But Christ was also active within matter and helped us to overcome death, and as we now die in Christ , so do we live. We shall overcome death and through our strong powers we shall deify and spiritualise matter. So shall the power of the Healing Holy Spirit awaken within us.[6]

These references to the Moon, the spiritual sphere of birth and death, to the Mother and to Nature, to the innocent state of unself-consciousness, the growth of consciousness through the encounter with matter, with evil, to the coming and the overcoming of death, the spiritualisation of matter – is this not a veritable picture of Kaspar Hauser’s life in public during those 5 years 1828-33, spoken here by Steiner in the place near where Kaspar was born?

It was in Karlsruhe on 25th January 1910 that Rudolf Steiner gave the first   public lecture of which we have a record about the Second Coming of Christ, which would take place, not in the physical body but in the etheric world, the spiritual region where, according to Steiner , angelic beings are most active between the Earth and the Moon. He said that this would commence in the 1930s, citing especially the years 1933, 1935 and 1937, which was, incidentally, a century after the death and slandering of Kaspar Hauser (1833-8). In that same lecture, as part of his exemplification of how human consciousness was different in earlier epochs, Steiner specifically refers to a child growing up alone on some desert island, unable to acquire the faculties of thinking and speaking, and indicates “…that time when human beings were in direct intercourse with divine spiritual beings…”; it was a time which “engendered forces and impulses in the soul that were divine-spiritual in a totally different sense from the forces of today….a will spoke out of this soul that also derived from the divine spiritual world.” This is how more sensitive  people in Nuremberg, notably Kaspar’s teacher Professor Daumer, (described by Steiner as “the last Rosicrucian”), perceived Kaspar Hauser during the first six months after Kaspar’s release  as a totally unselfish being from Paradise, from another world, gifted with remarkable extrasensory abilities that contemporaries could not hope to acquire.

It was also in Karlsruhe the following year at Michaelmas[7], almost exactly 99 years after Kaspar’s birth, that Steiner compared for the first time the methods of the Rosicrucians with those of the Jesuits. The struggle between the Rosicrucians and the Jesuits takes us back to the decades before the 30 Years’ war (1618-48) when the Rosicrucian movement first emerged into the light of day, specifically around the momentous year of 1603-1604 when the first version of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz  was written. The Rosicrucian movement had hardly taken the stage in 1614-1618, however, when it was overwhelmed in the chaos of the 30 Years’ War as the Jesuit-influenced Habsburgs of Austria made war on Bohemia and the Palatinate.[8] Outright opposition to Rudolf Steiner’s activities from Catholic quarters is usually dated from those Karlsruhe lectures of 1911.

In those same lectures of 1911 given at Kaspar Hauser’s birthplace, Rudolf Steiner revealed one of the most profound teachings of esoteric Christianity – that of the nature of the human ‘Phantom’, or the Resurrection body. There is not space in this article to enter into that here (the reader is referred to the lecture cycle) but a few days earlier on the 27th September 1911[9], Rudolf Steiner spoke about the original initiation of the founder of Rosicrucianism, Christian Rosenkreutz, in the mid-13th century in such a way as to leave no doubt that this young man was himself endowed with the Resurrection Body, and said that: We must look for the starting point of a new culture in the middle of the 13th century. In his book Kaspar Hauser –  The Struggle for the Spirit, Peter Tradowsky discusses in detail the close relationship between the angelic being of the Kaspar Hauser individuality and Christian Rosenkreutz. It is in this context that we can understand Steiner’s remarks that: he could find no earlier incarnation for Kaspar Hauser (before 1812); that he was a  ’stray Atlantean’;  that he was a higher being who had a special mission on the Earth, and that the individuality that is concealed  behind the Kaspar Hauser veil is a being who worked inspiringly into the Rosicrucian connection from the beginning.[10] In Kaspar Hauser, we thus have to do not with an ordinary human individuality but with a being of an angelic nature, whose lowest member is normally not the physical body but the invisible etheric, or life body.[11]  If this is taken seriously, then no questions will arise as to how the child was able to survive his 12-year isolation on only bread and water; no desperate assertions will be made, as have been by those who think materialistically, for example, to the effect that he must have been treated well in captivity and  hypnotised shortly before his release so that  everything he did and said after his release was under the influence of hypnosis. Kaspar was “…a being who worked inspiringly into the Rosicrucian connection from the beginning…” It was no accident therefore that in his teacher and carer Professor Daumer , he met the man described by Rudolf Steiner as ‘the last Rosicrucian’ of the initial Rosicrucian stream; it was the meeting of the ‘first’ and the ‘last’ Rosicrucians, so to speak.

Mars and Mercury

Earlier mention of the year 1604 and the Rosicrucian movement, of Baden and southern Germany brings us to a second principal esoteric theme in that story: humanity’s intended movement from the Mars impulse to the Mercury impulse in the course of history. The Mars gesture, according to Steiner, is that of contraction, condensation into solidity and incarnation on the physical (mineral) plane, while the Mercury gesture is that of release into flowing and relationship. A renewed mercurial impulse of Rosicrucian origin around 1800 was frustrated by the turmoil of the French Revolution and the revolutionary and napoleonic wars that followed it. The threefold ideals that appeared in the French Revolution in 1789, liberty, equality, and fraternity, which were originally not revolutionaries’  ideals but Rosicrucian ones inspired by the Count St Germain (an incarnation of the individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz), were distorted by the Revolution and could not take proper root. Likewise, the impulse of Idealism that attempted to break through in German culture around 1800 was frustrated by the Europe-wide campaigns of the martial master Napoleon and the British-organised struggle against him. The idealism of   Goethe and Schiller was unable to translate into effective social action. Schiller died 7 years before Kaspar’s  birth, writing his Demetrius, about a young man in Russia (1604-06) who, like Kaspar, died in tragic circumstances.[12]

 On 24th Jan 1919 in Dornach, Switzerland,   Steiner indicated that the middle of the 19th century was a crucial turning point i.e. the 1840s, 1850s, 1860s, because, as he said, After the Europe-wide 1848 Revolutions, social questions were  seen predominantly in abstract terms. The middle class had until the 1870s (approx 33 years, 1845-78) to internalise and act out of the abstract social idealism of the 1840s so that a healthy social order might begin to develop with the beginning of the Age of Michael in 1879 ; remaining asleep, they failed to do this. The consequence was that instead of leading the liberal ideals of the 1840s over to the emerging working class movement, the bourgeoisie recoiled in selfishness and fear and clung on to the upper classes, perpetuating old social forms from the Ages of Samael and Gabriel , and abandoning the new, third force in society, the industrial proletariat. The social movement thus fell into the hands of extremist revolutionaries, themselves mostly middle class intellectuals and society rapidly became polarised: middle classes and aristocracy against the working class. Rudolf Steiner put it like this:  

The characteristic feature of the [modern] epoch is man’s isolation. That he is inwardly isolated  from his neighbour is the consequence of individuality, of the development of personality. But this separative tendency must have a reciprocal pole and this counterpole must consist in the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour.[13]

This personal isolation and separative tendency had developed increasingly since the early 15th century, the high point of the Age of Samael. What was needed in the 19th century was not to look just to the individual and his separate personality, as was the tendency in the West, especially in Britain, nor to look only to the collective and to the demands of society as was the case in the East and in Russia (the “objective scientific” socialism of the Marxists – western abstract philosophy religiously taken up by East Europeans) but rather to see Man in the world. This was the true task of Central Europe – the task of the balancing Middle: to relate the individual to the whole. This ‘general reformation’ of society that would harmonise religion, art and science had been  the aim of the public Rosicrucian movement already in the early 17th century (1604-1613). Natural science and spiritual science needed to be linked if European culture was not to break asunder. These Rosicrucian hopes were associated with the attempted marriage between the impulses of England and Germany, symbolised by the wedding of Princess Elizabeth Stuart and Elector Frederick V of the Palatinate.[14] This would-be mercurial marriage between England and Germany was dashed by the martial madness of the 30 Years’ War (1618-48) –  and Central Europepaid the price. Russia had already  been invaded from the west ( Poland ) and cast into seven years of chaos (1606-13). In the year of Kaspar Hauser’s birth, Russia, where his aunt was the Czarina, was again invaded from the west (France) by Napoleon, his mother’s adoptive father. Into this situation Kaspar Hauser came like a youthful spiritual comet in 1812,[15] as Joan of Arc had come in 1429 and Dmitri (as portrayed Schiller’s Demetrius) had come in 1604.

Schiller wrote of  Joan of Arc : “The world indeed loves to blacken all that is radiant  and drag down into the dust all that is sublime”. Rudolf Steiner spoke[16] of how the pure soul of Joan of Arc defeated the self-seeking and vainglorious element in the culture of her time, both in the English and the French elites, despite the fact that those elites, by sins of commission and omission, succeeded in  killing Joan.  He  indicated that the danger in the modern period comes more from the materialistic acquisitive element. It was this   more “modern” element in the English power elite, through the well-connected Lord Philip Henry Stanhope, Pitt ‘s nephew, that contributed to the killing of the 21-year old Kaspar Hauser. The real power of the aristocratic families  that dominated Britain in Stanhope’s time was no longer based on the vainglorious claims of ‘blue blood’ but on commerce, trade, industry and purely legal entitlement to land.

The English will to power in 1429 and in 1828 (when Kaspar was released from captivity) was ultimately defeated in both cases by an innocent soul. Joan ‘s 3 years of activity (1429-31) began a process of English development that led away from the conquest of France and ultimately out to the conquest of the seas. Kaspar Hauser’s 5 years of activity were followed by a process of British development and eventual Anglo-German antagonism that led ultimately to the beginning of the end  of the British Empire in the bloodbath of the First World War. If Kaspar had lived to become the spiritual if not the political leader of Germany, it is highly unlikely that Germany would have opted to seek to copy Britain’s route to world domination as she did under KaiserWilhelm II. But British manoeuvring (Stanhope) had been involved in the removal of Kaspar, and in the event, without the more enlightened leadership that a Prince Kaspar could have provided, Germany chose to challenge Britain on its own terms; the result was that not long after the dawn of the Age of Michael (1879) Germany industry and commerce were beginning to outpace Britain’s, and by 1915, after a single year of war, Britain  could no longer go on without US financial assistance; it was effectively the end of British pre-eminence.  

Having completed the imperial  phase of their history that goes back to 1604, when James the First’s peace treaty with Spain made possible Britain’s oceanic mercantile advances –  a phase that arguably began with Henry VIII and his separation from Rome –  the people of Britain now  need to develop a greater degree of ethnic self-knowledge and a new understanding of their place in the world. For they have been the world’s leading initiators into the principles of separation, individuation, and personality – what Steiner called ‘the separative tendency’. Paradoxically, this has been effected by means of the British Empire , which would at first appear to be an integrative, uniting enterprise. In fact, it was largely created through motives of greed and acquisitiveness (piracy – the original ‘privatisation’) and secured with the application of the principle of divide et impera. It introduced communities and individuals to the drastic and often harsh experience of an isolating individuation.

These qualites of Mars;  compulsion to divide and individuate,  British ships (the hearts of oak) carried around the world.[17] The tendency of the Mars epoch (1190-1510), was an egocentric drive to assert a separate sense of self that seeks to compete with others, is oriented to the physical mineral world and strives against traditional, blood-based social bonds. England had fully internalised this tendency by the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and the nation proceeded in the Age of Gabriel (1510-1879) to carry this martial impulse successfully into the realm of trade and commerce, which can be described as the lower octave of the mercurial. One must be clear, however, that without this me-centred and alienating development, not only would there have been no natural science but also no emergence of a self-centred personality of the lower ego which could be transformed into a higher, spiritual ego: the age of natural science perforce had to precede that of spiritual science – the age of Gabriel (Moon) had to follow that of Samael (Mars) and precede that of Michael (Sun).  Each phase lasting beyond its time and pushed to the extreme, however, as has happened for the last century –  has the tendency to become evil, and in Rudolf Steiner’s words, threatens “to flood the world with the death of culture and the sickness of culture”.[18]

Britain having done most to spread the impulse to materialism during the 18th century, the 19th century needed an antidote – which was to be given by a Germany intended to be the focus of a new healing Grail culture, and  Kaspar Hauser would have been at the centre of that new mercurial Grail culture that could develop fully after the beginning of the Michael era in 1879. Near the end of his life, Steiner said that:

South Germany should have become the new Grail Castle of the new Knights of the Grail and the cradle of future events. This spiritual ground had been well-prepared by all those personalities whom we know of as Goethe , Schiller , Hölderlin, Herder and others. Kaspar Hauser was to have gathered around him, as it were, all that existed in this spiritual ground thus prepared. But that was not wanted by those circles (the western lodges and the Jesuits). They could not tolerate a centre that was awakening to consciousness if they were not to relinquish their power and designs for power. A spirit such as Goethe ‘s frightened them.” [19]

Kaspar’s  path in the 19th century, like Germany’s path in the 17th and 20th centuries, was a painful one of sacrifice through terrible darkness and misdeeds. In the last century, during the 12 years of 1933-45, Germany   experienced a most radical evil. The defeat of Liberalism on the Continent the 1848 Revolutions led to massive German emigration overseas, mostly to North America . This is the nature of the counterpole to the ‘separative tendency’  – “the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour”, the antidote to isolation and the relation of the individual to the whole. Whereas these German emigrants had to adapt to the lands and communities they settled in, emigration from Britain, by contrast, led to the creation of new countries which were dominated by majority English speakers that saw themselves as part of the British Empire (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa) and which subscribed to white, Anglo-Saxon protestant values. This amounted to the continuation of ‘the separative tendency’ and indeed, in the first decades of the 20th century there was a powerful movement among the British imperial elite (e.g. Joseph Chamberlain, Lord Milner and his Round Table acolytes) to federate the white nations of the Empire to bind them ever more closely together so that, in alliance with the USA, they could be in a better position to dominate the globe.[20]

Since arguably, it would appear that no culture has developed ‘the separative tendency’ as extremely as the Third Reich, it might seem problematic, to say the least, to speak of a Germancounterpole to ‘the separative tendency’. But in fact, so much of the Nazi movement was the exact inversion, like a glove turned inside out, of the Grail culture that Steiner said was supposed to have developed in Germany. This was so even down to Hitler ‘s great love for the music of Wagner and especially Parsifal. The Nazis’ concern for Volksgemeinschaft (folk community) andVolksgenossenschaft (folk cameraderie) was a shadow image of ‘the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour’. In the middle European culture of the I (Ich), the Nazis sought to eradicate the I. In the culture in which, during the age of Kaspar Hauser, the idealistic principles of  liberty, equality and fraternity actually meant something – at least in philosophy and the  arts – the Nazis later preached the ancient doctrine of Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer. The true German soul element as it had developed  over many centuries was in effect imprisoned, no longer visible, and in its place, the world perceived an evil incubus, alien in spirit to the proper nature and developmental stage of humanity in the mid-20th century: Faust possessed by Mephistopheles.

According to Steiner, the whole period of the 15th to the 36th centuries (2160 years) is concerned with the development of Man’s individualism, independence, self-reliance and conscience against the background of a growing  materialism and the encounter with the mineral plane of existence. As the nature of mineral ‘reality’ is itself intrinsically one of fragmentation and separation (i.e. alienation from the cosmic whole), then a major task in this modern epoch is the understanding of the question of evil, which is ‘the separative tendency’ taken to the extreme. We can thus begin to sense  the dimensions of Kaspar Hauser’s mission. Whereas the Age of Samael in particular and the Middle Ages in general were overawed or overwhelmed, so to speak, by the image of the Cross and the Crucifixion, the challenge in the present epoch will be to awaken to the meaning of the Resurrection, symbolised by the roses in the Rose Cross imagery. This will happen in the most difficult possible circumstances, as the events of the 20th century, for example, have already made clear, through its wars and persecutions, the terrible destruction of innocence of Nature, of ethnic minorities, and of childhood itself, for the descent into materialism will be so strong, and human consciousness will become so soporific, that only the encounter with radical evil will suffice to awaken our consciences to the Good. In the midst of a terrible darkness and ignorance, we shall be challenged to awaken to spiritual reality.  In the heart ofEurope, the angelic being who quickly became known as the Child of Europe showed through his life and death what this means. This is the second reason why Kaspar Hauser is no ‘mere historical’ phenomenon and why his life and death will shine like a beacon throughout the modern era. It is thus clear that Kaspar Hauser was and is a great companion of Christian Rosenkreutzand Christ Himself.  Kaspar Hauser did not achieve much outwardly in terms of great or widely recognised historical deeds; he became known through the evil that  was done to him and through the quality of his being in response to it. 

The Second Coming

The third and final aspect of the esoteric significance of Kaspar Hauser that will be mentioned here[21] relates to what is known as the Etheric Reappearance of Christ – what is traditionally called the Second Coming.[22] Rudolf Steiner emphasised that this will not occur in the physical body but in the etheric body of the Earth, the spiritual form of the Earth’s biosphere which is the realm of the angels and which extends to the orbit of the Moon. It will be an ongoing event that will last till the end of Earth evolution.  From the 1930s onwards, a few people, and then gradually more and more as the decades and centuries go by, would be able to perceive the Etheric Christ in the form of a being of light. As previously mentioned, the first recorded public   lecture by Steiner on this subject was in Kaspar’s birthplace of Karlsruhe on 25th Jan 1910.[23] He later emphasised that before humanity would be able to perceive the Christ in His etheric form (in which his vessel would not be a human being, such as Jesus was, but rather, an angel) it would have to encounter what he called the Beast from the abyss. This he dated precisely to the year 1933.[24] As we now know, the Beast did indeed appear in the year 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power, exactly 100 years after Kaspar’s murder. Throughout the 1930s Hitler’s demonic voice thundered out over Europe from the Nazi Party rallies held in the swastika-bedecked city of Nuremberg, the very city where the Child of Europe had been proclaimed in 1828, and among the ruins of which Nazi leaders were judged after the war.

Steiner thus spoke of this reappearance or second resurrection of Christ in 1910 in Kaspar’s birthplace, but it was not until three years later that he described what had preceded this resurrection. The date was 2nd May 1913 and the place was  – London. Here in the capital city of the world’s greatest power of the time, the capital city of the nation that in the 1830s and 40s was initiating the world into industrial society, and the city of the Foreign Office that had given  Lord Stanhope his orders as a secret agent[25], Steiner described how in the 1840s a second Crucifixion of Christ had occurred in the etheric realm, not of course of His physical body, but of the consciousness of the angel that was ‘bearing’ Him. The human being Jesus of Nazareth bore the divine being of the Christ for the three years from the Baptism in the Jordan until the Crucifixion, and enabled the Christ to experience human existence on the physical plane. Since his Ascension, the Christ has dwelt in the etheric realm of the angels, the supersensible sphere nearest the Earth and He has been borne by  an angel; His outer form is thus that of an angel just as it was a human being between 30 and 33 AD. This etheric realm in which the angels are active is also the realm in which human thinking has its being.[26]

For some three centuries, the etheric realm had been  increasingly polluted by the materialism of human souls as they passed  into the first supersensible (Moon) sphere after death. This materialism of thought reached a kind of peak in the 1840s, and its smog-like pollution clouded the consciousness of the Christ-bearing angel. “This onset of unconsciousness in the spiritual worlds will lead to the resurrection of the Christ-consciousness in the souls of human beings living on earth in the 20th century…the consciousness lost by humanity will arise again for clairvoyant vision…This was a renewal of the Mystery of Golgotha, in order to bring about an awakening of the previously hidden Christ-consciousness within human souls on earth.” It is in this context that we can try to make sense of Steiner ‘s most enigmatic statement about Kaspar Hauser . The first Mystery of Golgotha 2000 years ago in Palestine , then the land of the Jews, was made possible through the sacrifice of an innocent young man – Jesus of Nazareth. Karl Heyer reports the well-authenticated remark of Steiner ‘s that: “if Kaspar Hauser had not lived and died as he did, the contact between the earth and the heavenly would have been completely severed.”[27] What was it that created the bridge that linked the second crucifixion and the second resurrection of Christ ? Steiner does not spell it out, but well over 100 years have now passed since the death of Kaspar Hauser, and so  we can now at least put the question: was it not the sacrificial life and death of the angelic being of Kaspar Hauser there in the land of the Germans, the crossroads region of the heart of Europe[28],  that built a spiritual bridge between heaven and earth at the time of Europe’s darkest materialism of mind and secured for mankind in the 20th century and for centuries afterwards the possibility of seeing the resurrected Etheric Christ? And if Kaspar Hauser’s sacrificial life is so intimately related to this Second Crucifixion and Second Resurrection of Christ (Second Coming), does this not suggest that his spiritual significance is of a most profound and awesome nature?


1.  Readers are referred, for example, to Peter Tradowsky, Kaspar Hauser – The Struggle for the Spirit (Temple Lodge, 1997), esp. ch. 5

2.  The seven archangelic Time Regents have a specific function within the community of archangels; needless to say, there many more archangels than just seven. The other archangels have various other functions, such as being the guides or bearers of human groups and communities. Trithemius’ description of the archangelic regencies is included in his book A Treatise on the Seven Secondary Causes i.e. Intelligences, or Spirits, who move the Spheres according to God (written 1508, published 1515 and dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I). He was also the  author of the great book of cryptography, the Steganographia and the teacher of the esotericist and magus Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim . Trithemius saw the archangelic periods as being fixed at 354 years and 4 months each – a periodicity related to astronomical phenomena of the Moon and Saturn – whereas Rudolf Steiner saw these periods as becoming less rigid after the Incarnation of Christ)

3.  The dates given – except for 2300 – are those by Steiner cf. Trithemius’ dates: Samael 1171-1525, Gabriel 1525-1879, Michael 1879-2233

4.  3.3.1925, Tradowsky, p.281

5.  Steiner pointed out in a lecture of 18.10.1918 (From Symptom To Reality in Modern History, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1976) that it was Joan of Arc who played the key role in differentiatingEngland from France . After France’s resurgence led by Joan, and England’s subsequent defeats, England turned away from trying to build a continental empire and looked outwards to the oceans.

6.  Steiner lecture of 18.5.1907 Occult Seals and Columns GA 284/285. GA refers to Steiner ‘s Collected Works in German.

7.  4-14 Oct. 1911 GA 131 The lecture cycle known as  From Jesus to Christ (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005)

8.  The Palatinate (the word comes from the old imperial title Count Palatine  – palatial count – and is related to paladin) is an important region straddling the Rhine and including the cities ofHeidelberg and Mannheim . It also includes Sponheim, where Trithemius was active, and stems originally from the 10th cent. County Palatine of Lotharingia (Lorraine). Its ruler was made one of the seven hereditary imperial Electors by Emperor Charles IV’s Golden Bull of 1356 so that the region assumed a decisive importance in Germany. In the mid-16th century it embraced Calvinist Protestantism and by 1613 its capital Heidelberg was becoming a centre of Rosicrucian activity. In that year, the Elector Frederick V married Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of England & VI of Scotland. This alliance of the two Protestant courts was seen as a great opportunity for those warlike and hotheaded Protestants who were spoiling for war with the Catholic Habsburgs of Austria in the tense ‘Cold War’ situation of 1610-1618. The young and impressionable Frederick allowed himself to be swayed by his adviser Christian of Anhalt to accept the offer of the Crown of Bohemia; this was unacceptable to the Habsburgs and sparked the catastrophic 30 Years’ War.

9.  lecture of 27.9.1911 GA 130, in Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1984)

10. See Tradowsky, esp. ch. 5

11. Whereas human beings have physical (mineral), etheric (life) and astral (feeling) ‘bodies’ and are developing their own ego during Earth evolution, angels have an etheric, astral body and ego and are completing the development of the next highest member, the Spirit-Self, during this same period.

12. The efforts of the young would-be Czar, Dmitri, to gain the throne were frustrated by a combination of Jesuit intrigues and Russian Orthodox and aristocratic conservatism. His overthrow was followed by 7 years of chaos in Russia that ended with the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613.

13. Steiner, From Symptom to Reality in Modern History, lecture IV

14. cf. Ferdinand and Miranda in Shakespeare ‘s The Tempest, which was performed for the wedding of Frederick and Elizabeth on Valentine’s Day 14th February, 1613.

15. It was a year of destiny for both Napoleon and Russia. The Great Flaugergues Comet, which had appeared in 1811,  was still visible in the heavens during Kaspar’s mother’s pregnancy and last observed on 17 Aug 1812; he was born on 29 Sept 1812.

16. 17th and 19th January 1915, GA 157

17. Interestingly, the oak tree has from time immemorial been associated with Mars.

18. Lecture of 15.12.1919 GA 194, Ideas for a New Europe (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1994) p.49

19. Tradowsky, p.278

20. See P. Roberts, World War I and Anglo-American Relations: The Role of Philip Kerr and The Round Table, in ‘The Round Table’, Vol. 95, No. 383, pp.113 – 139, Jan. 2006, and Inderjeet Parmar, Univ of Manchester at: http://ire.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/16/1/53.pdf  

21. There are many other aspects of the esoteric character of the destiny of Kaspar Hauser but they cannot all be included here. See further: Tradowsky, Kaspar Hauser – The Struggle for the Spirit.

22. This is a complex subject; readers are referred to The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric (Anthroposophic Press, 1983)

23. Apparently, he first gave a public lecture on it in Stockholm on the 12th January 1910 but no record of that lecture exists. See T.H. Meyer, The Boddhisattva Question (Temple Lodge, 1993), p.136.

24. In the lecture of 20.9.1924 (GA 346) in The Book of Revelation and the work of the priest (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998)

25. Stanhope was active as an agent in Sicily and Dresden 1812-1816 and thereafter, mainly in  southern Germany 1817-1835. See J.Mayer, Lord Stanhope, Der Gegenspieler Kaspar Hausers (Urachhaus, 1988); untranslated.

26. For Christ and His Reappearance in the etheric realm, see The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric, Anthroposophic Press, 1983) and Steiner ‘s lecture of  2.5.1913 in The Archangel Michael – His Mission and Ours (Anthroposophic Press, 1994). The cyberspace of the Internet is a materialistic and deceptive ‘copy’ of this angelic realm of thoughts. It is noteworthy that both the Internet and a concern with angels emerged in the 1990s.

27. Tradowsky, p.282 and ch. 5

28.  Both Pilsach, where he was imprisoned for 12 years, and Ansbach, where he was killed, are within 25 miles of Nuremberg.



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