resurrection as a process

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    What is actually meant by this question ? An answer can be found if we consider certain

    results of anthroposophical research into man. According to this knowledge, man can be

    viewed as a duality consisting of one part that withdraws during sleep, and one part chat

    remains lying in bed. During sleep a division occurs : the ego and astral body separate from

    the life body and physical body. On awakening, both parts join together into a unity oncemore. But the polarity between the two parts is not reconciled through this unification. On the

    contrary, it actually gains a more intense reality, for the processes of consciousness of the

    astral body come right up against the life processes of the life body. Thus within the awake

    man, the contradiction arises which we have described above. And when now the striving ego

    of the man has gained moral insight so that it 'wants the good', then this insight is there,

    shining brightly and lighting up the primordial independent life stream, which, nevertheless,

    goes its own way. What Paul meant by the tragic contradiction between the "law" -- "the

    good, that I would do" -- and the power of evil in human nature -- "the evil, which I would not

    do" -- is an experience of the fact that the human ego can work on the astral body, but that it

    has not the power to substantially transform the life body and physical body. The

    contradiction between the moral law that throws its light on evil, thereby making it visible,but is then powerless to overcome it ; and the elemental power of the dark urges of evil -- this

    is the contradiction carried over into the moral realm of the ego and astral body on the one

    hand and of the life body and physical body on the other hand.

    What is it, then, which gives the good, once seen, the power to be not only aprocess of

    consciousness, but also to become a life process ? What is this power, capable of carrying

    moral qualities over into the biological realm so chat it may work with a vital strength ? Or, in

    other words, what is it that can give the ego the power to work not only on the astral body, but

    also deeper, into the life body ; yes, and even right down into the physical body ?

    The answer given by Paul is : Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is that power who can give strength to

    the good in man, enabling it to work in that region of the human being where life and death

    battle each other. But this working of Christ Jesus should not be thought of as coming from

    without, like the working of natural forces. Although the Christ-power in man works with

    elemental force, it does not work in the same way as nature forces, for it works through the

    human ego -- while nature processes take place outside the human ego. Natural processes

    compel the human being ; the Christ force does not compel man, it works without infringing

    upon human freedom in the slightest degree.

    In order to understand how this is possible, we have to imagine that the human ego has a

    "front" and a "back". Infront ofthe ego of man is spread the whole world of appearanceswhich the ego beholds and also influences.Behindthe ego of man is a 'background' which is

    at first unknown to him. Out of this 'background' the ego receives prompting, just as from the

    foreground percepts impress themselves on the ego. The effects of nature proceed from the

    foreground, while the effects of the Christ power stream from the other side of existence, from

    the background. The Christ power streams from the background fundament of existence into

    the human ego, fills it, and thus bestows on it a strength which it does not have of itself -

    namely, the strength to bring the good, as an elemental force, down into the being of the

    world. This working of the Christ power -- offered to the ego of man as a gift, inwardly

    fulfilling, leaving him free -- was called by Paul "grace" (charis). Thus grace is a process

    through which the ego in its striving toward goodness receives the strength to achieve more

    than it could with its own forces alone.

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