The Time Is at Hand! - The Rosicrucian Nature of Goethe's Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily and the Mystery Dramas of Rudolf Steiner
- In his little hut by the great river, which a heavy rain had swoln to overflowing, lay the ancient Ferryman, asleep, wearied by the toil of the day. In the middle of the night, loud voices awoke him; he heard that it was travellers wishing to be carried over.
Stepping out, he saw two large Will-o'-wisps, hovering forward and backward on his boat, which lay moored: they said, they were in violent haste, and should have been already on the other side. The old Ferryman made no loitering; pushed off, and steered with his usual skill obliquely through the stream; while the two strangers whiffled and hissed together, in an unknown very rapid tongue, and every now and then broke out in loud laughter, hopping about, at one time on the gunwale and the seats, at another on the bottom of the boat.
"The boat is heeling!" cried the old man; "if you don't be quiet, it'll overset; be seated, gentlemen of the wisp!"
At this advice they burst into a fit of laughter, mocked the old man, and were more unquiet than ever. He bore their mischief with silence, and soon reached the farther shore.
Comments © (1993-2004) by interesting-books-selector.com
Steiner is more known as the founder of the co-called Waldorf scools and biodynamic agriculture, but the most important achievement was was the reunion of [and going beyond] Buddhism with Christianism without the need to preach, to believe, to sacrify, without exaggerations which are so common in Buddhist teaching, without dogmas, appealing to understand the universal law of live (Karma). Steiner favoured spiritual science instead of natural science, although he was artists, architect, physicisian, physicist, philosopher, ...
Until today natural scientists for example have no idea what a thought is, where it comes from, how it is combined with other thoughts, and were they are going. Steiner knew all that 100 years ago. He could well have been a reincarnation of Goethe. To my [limited] knowledge, nobody else than Steiner found the secret behind Goethe's fable: "The green snake and the beautiful lily" although the solution is contained in the fable itself! Goethe offered a price for the first one who could reveal the real sense behind the fable but until his death nobody came up with it. Hundreds of academics tried in vain afterwards.
Goethe's fable is wonderful; he was one of the great initiates.
You'll enjoy reading the fable eventhough maybe you won't understand the real sense Goethe was hiding in it. Paul and Joan Allen reveal the secrets in their book The Time Is at Hand!
A short summary fo Steiner's interpretation:
- "Rudolf Steiner has told us that Goethe's fairy-tale of The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily is a picture in miniature of the happenings in the spiritual world at that time. The story describes the descent of souls, the crossing of the river of passion at incarnation. It describes the longing in the heart of man who must realise during incarnation that the spiritual world lies on the yonder shore of this river and that only along the path to the life before birth can the seeking human soul be united with the Spirit who gave it birth. But what Goethe bequeathed to mankind in so splendid a form remained mere literature and now, after the Great War, a task is still awaiting fulfilment: the seeking the treading of the path to the spiritual world and the forming of humanity into a true and worthy social body over the whole earth."
-- quote from "On the work of the ARCHANGEL MICHAEL" by Ita Wegman, M. D. (Zurich), ANTHROPOSOPHY, A Quarterly Review of Spiritual Science, No. 3, Michaelmas 1930.
Here is the original text of "Das Maerchen" (in German) and "Le serpent vert (conte)" (French translation) of Goethe's tale of all tales.
and one of the more detailed explanations by Rudolf Steiner (in English): Goethe's Standard of the Soul, chapters III and IV. Goethe's fairy tale. The green snake and the beautiful lily.
and (in German): "Goethes geheime Offenbarung" (Zu seinem hundertfünfzigsten Geburtstage: 28. August 1899, Magazin für Literatur 1899, 68. Jg., Nr. 34),
and (French translation): "La révélation occulte de Goethe" (chapitre III), p83-111 contained in "L'esprit de Goethe - sa manifestation dans Faust et dans le Conte du Serpent Vert"
List of lectures available online at rsarchive.org, where R. Steiner talked about Goethe's Tale (in English):
- 04-Apr-1904, Berlin
- 27-Nov-1904, Cologne
- Inner Impulses of Evolution - VI - Ancient Cultural Impulses Spiritualized in Goethe. The Cosmic Knowledge of the Knights Templar, Dornach, September 25, 1916
- Goetheanism as an Impulse for Transformation ... Human Science and Social Science A Turning-Point in Modern History - A lecture by Rudolf Steiner - Dornach, January 24, 1919 - GA 188
- The Mysteries of the East and of Christianity - LECTURE 4 - 7th February, 1913, Berlin, GA0144
- The Spiritual-Scientific Basis of Goethes Work - An Address By Rudolf Steiner - GA 35 - July 10, 1906, London, England
- Theosophy of the Rosicrucian - I - THE NEW FORM OF WISDOM, 22nd May, 1907, Berlin, GA0099
- The Poetry and Meaning of Fairy Tales - Berlin, February 6, 1913
- The Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical Constitution of Man - The Path to Freedom and Love and their Significance in World Events - Dornach, December 19, 1920