First Mystery Drama
The four Mystery Dramas were created, produced and printed one each year, one after the other, from 1910-1913. They took place in different theatres in Munich but always in the month of August. The writing of the dramas, the creating of the scenery, the making of the costumes, the learning of roles, the general directing, the organization of the printing and all the other inummerable things connected with such a major production happened within a matter of weeks before the main performance. There was a literal whirlwind of activity, and it is reported that often the scenes were written during the night before a scheduled rehearsal, and that at five or six in the morning a boy would come from the press to pick up the manuscript for the printing of the scene for that day's rehearsal. All this activity centered around Rudolf Steiner who gave directions or advice on every aspect of the production down to the smallest details. He not only wrote the dramas themselves, but also indicated how such soul and spiritual pictures could be presented and played on stage. A fifth drama was also planned, which was to include scenes from Ancient Greece and its mystery centers, but the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 meant that it had to be postponed. Rudolf Steiner's early death in 1925 resulted in it never coming to production, nor ever being written down. The First Mystery Drama For ten years, Johannes has been working with Maria on art and on spiritual understanding. They both have the intention to make available the spiritual truths, which she is trying to research, in an artistic way, which he is trying to carry out, to the general public. Johannes has already had a relationship with a woman previously when he was younger, but he left her in order to work with Maria. She and Johannes had no intimate love relationship to begin with, but as time passed, Johannes has fallen in love with Maria and wishes to have such a relationship. She, however, wishes it to remain a platonic working partnership, since her main interest is in his art and in spiritual development. As Johannes reaches the crisis point where he has to admit to himself that the relationship he wishes with Maria will not come about, he is also thrown into uncertainity about the whole purpose and significance of his artistic development and the spiritual knowledge that he has also striven to master. Yet these two areas of crisis in his life do not, significantly, cause his complete emotional/ personal break down. At the key moment when these two crisis reach a peak, Johannes hears an address by Benedictus that illuminates very significant aspects of his soul life. This also causes him to be able to see other people in a new light, and on the basis of this, to be able to painfully reassess himself and his path in life. One consequence is that Johannes recognises that he is responisble for the moral failures that he has committed in the past, and the other consequence is that he recognises that how he acts with regard to other human beings now, will have consequences for their and his own soul-spiritual development in the future. This is turn allows him to see further into the realm of soul and spirit where he is able to understand that spiritual beings can and will act through us if we do not fully comprehend and lead ourselves. He sees how Maria is possessed by a certain being which takes advantage of something in her she is not aware of. When Benedictus, through his words, makes her aware of it, that being must leave Maria, and she is able to make a major step in her development. Johannes is also able to see how other characters meet certain spiritual beings, whether fully consciously or only partly consciously, and these perceptions then allow further progress in his development. Thus he enters right into the soul-spiritual realm and eventually can perceive those who have full consciousness in that realm and their activities. He can come fully to the understanding that he himself wishes to take part in that realm in a postitive way. Johannes is not yet able to perceive or recognise his true spiritual essence, but Maria does acheive this and through her Johannes can perceive a true soul copy of it and then know he wishes to come to a perception of it for himself. Thus is presented the beginning of what was traditionally called the path of initiation, but now in a completely modern way which is appropriate for our modern society. Although the central characters of the First Mystery Drama are Johannes Thomasius and Maria, the other main characters who play around them may be seen as individualized or specialized aspects of their characters. Together, the first two form a sort of soul unit, while Strader, Capesius, The Other Philia, and Felix Bald together, form a sort of second level soul-unit around them. That is to say, the latter four present archetypal aspects of the soul and spiritual nature of the first two as a unity, while at the same time presenting their own selves. Other characters can be seen as still a third layer around the second one. Johannes's progress in understanding his inner self and the spiritual world is closely dependent on Maria's own progress, and she on his. For both of them, the progress of the four individuals of the second level will also indicate progress for each of them. The perception by Maria and Johannes of the real soul and spiritual events happening to the four others is at one and the same time an indication of the ability Maria and Johannes have now acheived to see and experience the real world of soul and spirit, but yet also, this seeing and experiencing then gives them concrete material with which they themselves must work and with which the two of them can advance themselves and each other still further. Thus each is dependent on every other, but there is a whole and it's progress is dependent on what each once can acheive. This is the fundamental law of soul-spiritual relationships, and it lies at the basis of an understanding of Karma. Out of an inner picture of what each character is and wants to achieve, or can achieve, the reader/viewer can come to the perception that what the character actually does is also dependent on a set of forces within that character that have come over from the character's past. A still longer perspective on these inner forces indicates that some of them, or some part of them, must even have come into this life at the birth of the character and that they may well have been brought over from an earlier life on earth. Thus, reincarnation is brought into relationship with Karma, extending the complication of the situation and the characters immeasurably. The way of consecration may thus be seen as a striving to acheive something for oneself, and on the other hand, as a striving to bring something to others. In so far as one can understand something about one's own soul-spiritual nature, one can put one's own Karma in order; in so far as one can put one's own Karma in order, one can help others on their path of striving, and this then will form a basis for one's own further progress. Unrecognized by most people, these soul-spiritual relationships continually play into our everyday lives; thus everyday people and their characters can be chosen as representatives for these relationships. When these relationships are presented with all the outer aspects stripped away, a viewer/reader can begin to see clear lines of development of a soul-spiritual nature. One begins to 'see' into the soul and spiritual world.
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