The purpose of the presentation of the material on this part of the website is on the one hand to stimulate a deepening into the mystery of Christ's second coming and on the other hand to extend the foundation of Cosmic Christianity provided in my book Chronicle of the Living Christ. It was the pioneer of Astrosophy, Willi Sucher (1902-1985) [click here], who encouraged me to research into the foundation of Cosmic Christianity, to develop Astrosophy as a science of Cosmic Christianity, and a small group of astrosophers meets yearly in Boulder, Colorado to explore this and other astrosophical themes.1 Willi Sucher was supported in his astrosophical research by Elisabeth Vreede (1879-1943), who was a co-worker of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). She was the first leader of the Mathematical-Astronomical Section at the Goetheanum University, near Basel, Switzerland. I mentioned this line on purpose in order to indicate the context of the research work presented here. It has to be emphasized - in relation to this line - that it is a matter, first and foremost, of the coming into being and development of a new wisdom of the stars (Astrosophy) on the basis of serious research. There are numerous individuals who are researching and working on the development of Astrosophy, and it is quite natural that there are differences of opinion and a variety of approaches and ways of working. It is in a spirit of research, coupled with tolerance and respect for various perspectives, that the material on this website is presented as a contribution to spiritual-scientific research on the basis of Astrosophy.
As a mathematician and astronomer I have been trained in the methods of the exact sciences and have also studied the history of astronomy.2 In the context of spiritual research, as far as possible I apply the same principles underlying the scientific method of research. One obvious principle is not to simply believe or disbelieve something before having investigated it thoroughly. In this connection the principle of making hypotheses, which is central to the scientific method, can be helpful. For example, the reader of the material offered on this website could take what is presented here as a hypothesis (or series of hypotheses) to be tested.
However, there is a fine distinction between two different attitudes: (i) to consider something as a hypothesis, and (ii) to believe in it. In true scientific research one always observes the boundary between (i) and (ii). The moment one steps across the boundary and starts to believe in something without really knowing if it is true, one enters the realm of superstition. A true scientist guards against this, as far as possible, so as not to fall prey to superstition. For a true scientist there are three possibilities with respect to testing a hypothesis:
The reason for considering this is that as a matter of principle I would not want any reader to simply believe in the content of the research I have presented on the chronicle of the life of Christ - or, for that matter, on any other aspect of my research. The method of formulating hypotheses offers the possibility for the reader to remain objective in relation to the content. Everyone who is able to think logically is able to critically test the content for themselves, to decide whether the ideas and the results of research presented, regarded purely hypothetically, hold water or not.
By way of testing a central finding of my research into Christ's life, let us consider the finding that the life of Christ Jesus lasted exactly thirty-three-and-a-third years from the birth shortly before midnight on December 6, 2 BC [-1] to the resurrection at sunrise on April 5, AD 33. This date of the resurrection is now widely accepted, however, one can rightly ask: How is it possible to know with certainty that this birth date of Jesus is accurate?
As with other dates in Christ's life, I was able to determine Jesus' birth date from Anne Catherine Emmerich's visions, as I have described in my book Chronicle of the Living Christ. She communicated the day of the week and the date in the Hebrew calendar of various events in the life of Christ. Mathematically, through probability theory, I and two other mathematicians investigated the dates she communicated. We discovered - independently of one another - that the probability of these weekdays coinciding by chance with the right dates in the Hebrew calendar is 1:435 billion.3 One does not need to be a mathematician to see that it would have been impossible for Anne Catherine Emmerich to have simply made up the dates. In other words, her dates are authentic.
When she says that Jesus was born on the twelfth day of the Hebrew month of Kislev at around midnight on the evening after the Sabbath, then this date is in all probability accurate - in other words, Jesus was born around midnight from Saturday to Sunday on the twelfth day of Kislev. This date in the Hebrew calendar corresponds to Saturday/Sunday, December 6/7, 2 BC [-1]. From this point in time until the resurrection on April 5, AD 33 is exactly thirty-three-and-a-third years (minus 1½ days).
There is a communication made by Rudolf Steiner which confirms this period of thirty-three-and-a-third years:
In the historical process everything arises after 33 years in a transformed state - arises from the grave through a power which has to do with the most holy redemption that humanity has received...4
And then, when such a seed that has been laid, ripens, it works further. A "thought seed" ripens through one generation of 33 years to become a "deed seed". Once ripened, it works further in the unfolding of history through 66 years. One can recognize the intensity of an impulse which someone implants into the historical process also in its effect through three generations, through a whole century.5
A whole century is one hundred years = 3 x thirty-three-and-a-third years. Here Rudolf Steiner's indication of thirty-three-and-a-third years is confirmed. In the lecture, for the sake of simplicity, he says simply 33 years - that this rhythm works further in the unfolding of history.
The reader can imagine how encouraging it was to discover that the statement by the clairvoyant Anne Catherine Emmerich regarding Jesus' birth date was confirmed in this (indirect) way by Rudolf Steiner. In this way I arrived at certainty with respect to the truth of this thirty-three-and-a-third-year rhythm and also that one can follow the rhythm of thirty-three-and-a-third years through history. This is all the more exciting, since Rudolf Steiner speaks of a "new astrology" in this connection:
This is an introduction, my dear friends, in order to read the new astrology - that astrology which leads our attention to the stars which shine in the history of humankind's evolution.6
It was a special joy to be able to confirm the discovery of the thirty-three-and-a-third-year rhythm as the basis for a new star wisdom - emerging as the "crown" of astrosophical research. The next step was then to follow this rhythm through history.7
In conclusion: Anne Catherine Emmerich's calendar indications provide a scientifically verifiable foundation upon which the chronicle of Christ's life presented in my book Chronicle of the Living Christ rests - and this is confirmed by the spiritual research of Rudolf Steiner.
1 David Tresemer with Robert Schiappacasse, Star Wisdom and Rudolf Steiner (Gt. Barrington/MA: Steiner Books, 2007) is a fruit of the work of the Boulder astrosophical research group, especially of David Tresemer's research into the significance of each degree of the zodiac expressed in images. Another fruit is the book Signs in the Heaven: A Message for Our Times by William Bento, David Tresemer, and Robert Schiappacasse (Boulder/CO: StarHouse, 2000).
2 My PhD thesis was published under the title History of the Zodiac (San Rafael/CA: Sophia Academic Press, 2007).
3 Robert Powell, Chronicle of the Living Christ (Gt. Barrington/MA: Steiner Books, 1996), 455. In the English edition this figure is given incorrectly as 1:53 trillion, which has been corrected to 1:435 billion in the German and Italian editions.
4 Rudolf Steiner, Mysterienwahrheiten und Weihnachtsimpulse ("Mystery Truths and the Impulses of Christmas"), lecture of December 23, 1917 (GA 180). This lecture is entitled "Et incarnatus est". GA refers to the number in the Complete Works (German edition) of Rudolf Steiner's works.
5 Ibid., lecture of December 26, 1917.
6 Ibid., lecture of December 23, 1917, entitled "Et incarnatus est".
7 See the diagram in my book The Christ Mystery (Fair Oaks/CA: Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1999), iv.