Blog Explanation text fragment 21 (Revelation 8: 1-6)
In his part of text, the seventh seal has been opened. We read not of shocking events, on the contrary, heaven is full of silence during half an hour, the period in which creation is inhaled by God. Obviously, we have read about the impact of the opening of the seventh seal in the previous fragments 19 and 20. In this 21st fragment we are positioned between the end of the cycle of the Seal epoch and the start of the new cycle of the Trumpet epoch.
The seven angels preparing themselves to blow the trumpet
The trumpets become visible, but they sound not. Only in silence can the inner word sound and can the power of the new start be awakened. The seven angels that step forward with the trumpets are the seven solar Elohim. In the old tradition, the solar light was experienced as blast of trumpets (Schult, p.143). These seven solar angels, however, are according to Schult (p.144) not synonym to the seven spirits before God’s throne (Revelation 1:4 and 4: 5-6), which represent the plentitude of the Spirit of God and reveal the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The solar angels blowing the trumpets are the executers of the seven spirits before Gods throne.
The fire cast on the earth
At the start of the Seal epoch the book with seven seals was shown. Here, at the start of the Trumpet epoch, the symbol of the altar with the golden censer is shown as center of action before God’s throne. An angel comes forward to perform the service of the priest in heaven. This angel must be archangel Michael, according to Schult, the same archangel which introduced the opening of the seals and which sealed the 144,000 chosen.
Bock (p.130-131) is frightened by the act of the angel when he casts the fire from the censer on earth. He sees it as a herald of all the horror that will follow after the seven trumpets have sounded and the seven vials of wrath are emptied. But at the same time we are invited to see besides the down-fall of the worlds, in which the light power of the higher Self has been extinguished, also the ascending salvation of those that have developed the universal love.
The opening of the seven seals aimed at making us understand the consequences of a darkening of our consciousness and intelligence in opposite to the enlightenment of our thinking. The sounding of the seven trumpets is going to show us what will be the consequences in case our self, our I, is lost. The sounding of the trumpets aims at strengthening the power of the light of the sun in how we deal with our passions. The holy fire exists to purify the blood and heart of men (Schult, p.145). For the sealed, the fire cast on the earth is not terrifying, as this heavenly fire burns already in their hearts.
The secrecy around the seventh seal
Van Egmond links the opening of the seventh seal, for the case of the deceased, as reaching the shore of tranquility, the third heaven, the sephirah Tiphereth. In Tiphereth the Sun breaks through, the glory of the Holy One becomes visible as the result of the vision of the throne. Also the spiritual being of man becomes visible, but here it is free of any personality.
The seventh seal remains mysterious because little is said about it, contrary to the other six seals. A parallel of the mysteriousness of the seventh seal is found in the book Dogme et Rituel de la haute Magie of Eliphas Levi (1862).
An illustration in this book depicts the book with the seven seals of the Apocalypse. In this illustration the first six seals are explicitly drawn, but the seventh seal (left below) is still closed.
Steiner has in 1907, at a theosophical congress in Munich, disclosed that the seventh seal is a picture of the New Jerusalem and is based on the shape of a cube, surrounded by etheric forces, ascending like the motive of the Mercury staff and encountering the descending Holy Spirit, depicted as a dove. The figure he designed of the seventh seal is given below.
Perception of the seals and trumpets
Steiner gives a summarizing interpretation of the events in his lecture of 25 June 1908. The new challenge for man after the end of the Post-Atlantic epoch is to learn to act with fraternal love and to help save where possible those which cling to mental egoism and the risk of falling in the abyss. By overcoming the dark forces, light forces enter mankind. Overcoming evil makes the force of good grow, a view that is particularly shared by the Manicheans.
Symbols which are disclosed by the seals can only be perceived in the astral world by initiates. After further initiation also sound, the inspiring music of the spheres, can be perceived. It belongs to the further refined mental world or Devachan. The Trumpet epoch can only be perceived by man while in the mental world, the actual spiritual world, where the music of the spheres sounds.
On the other hand, we should not forget that we live simultaneously in the physical and in these astral and mental spheres, as they manifest themselves in our thinking, feeling and willing. The moral choices we make, the room we give to our passions, these things play at the mental and astral world in ourselves. After we die we withdraw more and more in the higher spheres represented by the seals and trumpets, and prepare for a next life. Descending to a new incarnation we envelope ourselves again with a mental and later an astral and etheric body, from which we produce our physical body with help of our parents and many spiritual beings.
The sphere of the creative world
After the long silence, the new epoch of the Trumpets announces itself overwhelmingly with lightning, thunderclap, roar of voices and earthquake. The measure of things is no longer pictures and seals, but sounds, words and music, the creative word, represented by the trumpets. We enter a higher sphere, to which we were guided by the ascending smoke of incense and the prayers of saints. Here, the three phases of initiation are visualizing themselves: after the pictures come sounds and after sounds remain only the scents in which the nearness of God is perceptible.
But to near this highest sphere, the ascending human soul has to purify himself or herself further, so nothing remains that could be affected by the wrath of God. We can feel already the heat of the vials of wrath of the heavenly temple, that we will encounter later. The fire will digest the earth, that will merge in a more and more spiritualized condition.