The first three dramas

Rudolf Steiner's four mystery dramas show a group of people on their individual path of conscious spiritual-emotional development. By situations and problems that play in the present, it becomes clear that this group has already met in previous lives. Their spiritual teacher is Benedictus. He advises and acts out of responsibility for his students and guides them in a free way that corresponds to their individual development. Seven other main characters appear: Johannes Thomasius, at the beginning a young painter - his companion Maria, the most developed personality of the group - Professor Capesius, a recognized historian - his friend, the natural scientist Doctor Strader - Theodora, a young woman with natural "gift of sight" - Felix Balde, a representative - of subjective mysticism and his wife Felicia, a storyteller.

In the course of their development, the characters encounter forces that operate both in the world and directly in the human soul. They are portrayed in the dramas as supernatural entities. Lucifer (the "Lord of Desires") appears as that force which, through beauty and art, represents the soul's experience beyond sensual, earthly limits, but at the same time can irritate the self through pride and self-overestimation and thwart the bearing of responsibility. Ahriman represents the force that makes scientific thinking possible; at the same time, he prevents man from perceiving in what way he is connected with the spiritual world, that he himself participates in it. The guardian of the threshold is that being who guards the transition to the spiritual world and prevents people unprepared for this from entering with their consciousness and thereby causing harm. Unconscious parts of the personality of Johannes Thomasius appear as a double and spirit of his youth. Spiritual entities that help the human soul to connect with the spiritual cosmos appear as Philia, Astrid, Luna. The element of love is carried into the world through the other Philia.
A large part of the plot around John revolves around his relationship with Mary. After their first meeting, she soon becomes his spiritual mentor and the promoter of his artistic abilities. In the first drama - The Gate of Initiation - John is confronted with the experience of his own worthlessness. Through the help and love of Benedictus, he is able to come to terms with this experience and take important steps in his spiritual development. In the second drama - The Trial of the Soul - John is dependent on Mary. This results from their mutual relationship during an incarnation in the Middle Ages. During that time, John was mining in the service of the Knights Templar. Mary was a monk who greatly influenced him and turned him against the Knights Templar. One of the Knights Templar was his long-lost father - an earlier incarnation of Capesius. As Mary becomes aware of these connections, she knows that she must separate from John so that he can learn to develop on his own. John is shaken by this separation, she confronts him with his weaknesses. He gives up on Mary, changes the direction of his life, and writes a book on spiritual insight and development. Meanwhile, desires and cravings may unwillingly grow in his subconscious.

Large parts of the plot of the third drama - The Guardian of the Threshold - , show the consequences to which this leads. Lucifer is given the opportunity to awaken in John an unwarranted desire for Theodora. She is married to Dr. Strader at the time. This desire so weakens Theodora's life that she dies. Mary, still spiritually connected to John, resists Lucifer's power for John by vowing to renounce all feelings of pleasure and satisfaction that normally accompany the development of one's inner powers. Through the healing power that comes from this vow, John is enabled to recognize himself and overcome his desires. However, he now lives in a "split" state. Through Benedictus' and Mary's help, he has been able to develop clairvoyant abilities, but these are only applied in the right way when he does not abuse them for his everyday interests. John promises to do this, but only adheres to it temporarily. In the fourth drama, the dilemma of this split personality becomes apparent. A major motif of - Der Seelen Erwachen - is John's attempt to bring his higher and lower selves into harmony.

The ideas that Benedictus represents in the first drama are completely new to Capesius, and he initially finds himself outside the already existing group of people. In the second drama, he experiences the breakthrough to his own spiritual perceptions and experiences himself as an embodiment in the Middle Ages. He realizes that at this time he left his wife and two children to join the Knights Templar. His wife died, and the children Thomas and Cecilia grew up separately. These children are the earlier incarnations of John and Theodora. Cäcilia grew up with foster parents - the earlier incarnations of Felix and Felicia Balde. Thomas and Cäcilia later meet and fall in love, not knowing that they are siblings. When they discover this, the marriage that had already been planned cannot take place. It is this unrequited love that Lucifer, in the third drama, is able to manipulate into leading to Theodora's death. Capesius is so overwhelmed by his personal failures as a husband and father that he cannot live with these feelings of guilt. He tries to escape from himself and ends up in Lucifer's realm. In the third drama, Maria, Benedictus, and Felicia Balde help him to strengthen his psychological forces so that he can take full responsibility for his fate. He retains, however, a tendency to turn away from pain and difficulty in life. Capesius must learn to overcome this tendency to flee the world - Lucifer is effective here - in the course of the fourth drama. In the struggle for the new way of thinking, which he learned at the beginning of the first drama through Benedictus, he now comes into close contact with Benedictus' students, and in the fairy-tale world of Felicia he finds help for approaching the spiritual world.

As a modern natural scientist, Strader is most skeptical of Benedictus' ideas. But his scientific education and the capacity for objectivity and honesty make him immune to temptations to which John and Capesius succumb. Gradually he develops a perceptive capacity for the spiritual world, which he can also apply in his scientific work. In the Middle Ages - depicted in the second drama - Strader was a Jewish healer, an outsider, hated by the peasants and by the local representatives of the church. He fled from them to the castle of the Knights Templar, to which Capesius belonged at that time. On his spiritual path, as described in the third drama, his wife Theodora is an essential help. With her support, Strader devotes himself to the task of developing a machine that will harness a fundamentally new kind of power and have a great effect on different areas of human life.

During this research he penetrates into the world of Ahriman, and in the direct encounter with this being we learn something about its true nature. However, Strader's invention fails. Another blow of fate befalls him with the death of his wife, to whom he was happily married for seven years. At the beginning of the fourth drama, Strader takes on a new task as a development engineer and consultant in a project initiated by the factory owner Hilarius Gottgetreu. Hilarus Gottgetreu is related to three other characters in the first three dramas - Romanus, Torquatus, and Bellicosus. They appear in the third drama as members of a Rosicrucian covenant operating at the beginning of the 20th century on the basis of transmitted spirituality. At the end of the third drama they are replaced in their task by Johannes, Capesius and Strader. This important event forms the background for the fourth drama. As disciples of Benedictus, they shape their spiritual responsibility in a way that is intimately connected with their daily lives and with practical work. This is new and brings them into conflict with people who want to continue working in the usual way, where spiritual activity and practical life are incompatible. The awakening of souls begins there, where for the first time in the history of mankind, the disciples of Benedictus want to realize the new ideal - the fusion of spirituality and practical life. The place of the event is the Farbik of Hilarius Gottgetreu.

(Taken from the German-language program booklet of "The Soul's Awakening", performed by "Portal Productions" 1994/95)

The Souls Awakening

Scene 1
Secretary and office manager discuss the decline of their factory enterprise. The reason for this lies in the connection of the heir and current owner Hilarius Gottgetreu with a group of "dreamers and fantasists". Hilarius Gottgetreu then gives an account of his goals to the head of the office. Everything that has so far been produced solely for a purpose is to be artistically shaped by Thomasius. Strader is to take over the execution of the work in the factory. Benedictus, Capesius and Maria are to create the understanding for the new goal by their representations.

It is to show the human spirit the ways,
So that it becomes necessary for him
To penetrate with spiritual revelation.

The office manager sees in this objective the downfall of the work and refuses to cooperate. Not only his previous experience prompts him to do so, but also study and reflection have taught him that spiritual researchers who find their way back to earth from the spiritual world are in danger of no longer being able to distinguish delusion from reality. For from the spiritual world then rose formations, which confused the view for the reality in the physical world. - Even to Strader, who enters the conversation, the office manager sticks to his negative answer. Strader replies:

But what must happen will happen.
There will be renewed examination of my plans - -
Perhaps you will change the opinion you had to form
You had to form at the first reconsideration.

Rudolf Steiner explained the three dashes and the emphasized "perhaps" to the actor of Strader, Max Gümbel-Seiling, at the premiere as follows: At this moment Strader looks at Theodora and suspects his death. Therefore, he interrupts himself and softens the sentence by the "perhaps".

Scene 2
 Johannes Thomasius is in a mood which would like him to forget his own spiritual being, the spiritual researcher, in order to live in the beauty of the landscape surrounding him only as an artist, to feel the "magic of the world". He wishes to be as he was in his youth, before his spiritual development. But this wish does not correspond to reality. The wish creates delusions of the soul. (John thus lives exactly what the office manager sees as a danger for the spiritual researcher). John recognizes this well, in that in his thoughts essentially Mary and Benedictus speak to him. And yet he gives himself over to the outworn desires of the soul.
Capesius - unnoticed by John - has witnessed the soul processes in John in an inner spiritual vision. After John confirmed to him the truth of what he had seen, Capesius recognized in this experience the sign that he had reached a new stage of spiritual development, which forbade him for the moment to associate spiritual revelation with being sensual. Therefore, he separates himself from the common purpose given by God to Benedictus and his disciples. Mary, who has joined, sees Lucifer becoming effective in the soul of Capesius. - John, too, believes that he must recognize in what he has just experienced that he still lacks the power to unite spirit and earthly effectiveness. He separates himself from the work of God. Mary also sees Lucifer's work in him. From spiritual inspiration, Mary calls John to direct his visionary gaze to the world of elemental beings, of shadows, of schemes and demons, and to compare them with his own shadowy, discarded soul being of the past; but to fathom himself, his spiritual true being, in the realm of the hierarchical god beings. Against his wish, John surrenders himself to the seeing demanded of him. Gnomes, the builders of the earthly substance, and sylphs, the nurturers of life in man, in association with the four soul forces, speak out how the spirit is continually sensualized. (Nature itself speaks out, how it realizes the ideal of Hilarius God-faithfully constantly). But everything disappears from John's consciousness again, except for the last words of the other Philia:

And waking dreaming
Reveals to the souls
Enchanted weaving
Of their own being.

These words cause the delusion of the soul to take shape for John in the spirit of his youth. This shadowy spirit has a destiny which John determines by his behavior. If John surrenders himself in dreaming memory to his own youthful feelings, then the shadow lives up in him. If he gives himself to his spiritual man alone, then the shadow must do terrible service to other shadow beings, "the gray shadows." The comparative thoughts of John become further essential, in that Lucifer wants to unite the spirit of his youth with his soul, but Theodora wants to unite this spirit with the elementary beings. - Then the other Philia steps again before the soul of John and lets him recognize why "delusion" pushes itself in between spirit world and earth world. If the soul has not attained the full maturity that gives it the right to look into the spiritual world, then the sight of the spiritual world reflects back to a realm of half-awake shadow spirits; this intermediate realm between spirit land and earth world reflects back the image of the spirit world. The reality of the spirit world remains hidden. As much in maturity the soul has attained, as much truth the spiritual world hands over to it. That is why the other Philia ends with the words:

John, your awakening remains a delusion,
Until thou shalt redeem the shadow itself,
To whom your guilt enchanted life creates.

Scene 3
In an argument, the four departed Rosicrucians represent their opinion about God's plan. Bellicosus advocates the complete implementation of the plan; Romanus wants to implement the same only with Strader on condition that the latter separates himself from the other disciples of Benedictus; Torquatus, on the other hand, considers Strader incapable of having inner spiritual experiences and in this sense also questions the judgment of Benedictus; during the words of Torquatus, Ahriman silently creeps across the stage; Gottgetreu, urged by Romanus to carry out his plan alone with Strader, clearly realizes that the latter will not separate from Benedictus and his friends. The conversation ends without result. - Strader wrestles with Capesius for his cooperation in the realization of Gottgetreu's plan. Capesius, however, knows that now he can only go the purely mystical way, purely directed to the inner spiritual development. Felix Balde supports Capesius and sees the necessity out of his mystical experience to sharply separate mysticism and outer work. Strader not only has to give up the common effectiveness, he also experiences himself inwardly excluded from Capesius and Felix Balde, because for him the spiritual seeing arises precisely from thoughts of action. He calls upon the spiritual world for help: are his thoughts truth or error? Benedictus, Maria and Ahriman enter his spiritual vision. Benedictus asks Strader to look into the abyss that Capesius and Felix Balde have opened between him and himself. In a confusing manner, Ahriman encourages him in this action. Strader looks into the abyss. In wild struggle, shadows and shadow creatures rush through each other. From these Mary steps forth to him and demands that he illuminate the demons with the light of his knowledge, so that they appear to him in their true form. But he remains unable to shine light on the demonic beings. With harsh words, Mary gives the reason of his inability: cowardice. Benedictus points out to Strader the shadows that lure Felix and those that push towards Capesius. Ahriman indicates to Strader that he himself is surrounded by shadows that Benedictus cannot see. And Strader, in looking, suddenly remembers the word of the head of the office: the word of delusion. Maria makes him realize how Capesius and Felix form the sword in their own way, to fight their shadows. Strader must know these so that he can forge his own sword. The spirit show goes out. Felix Balde feels how painfully Strader has come to feel the gap that has developed between them. In order to make his point of view clear once again, he gives him to consider that Felicia Balde's supernatural fairy tale figures would have to lose all magic if they were put on a stage as puppets. Felicia Balde, however, does not want to hear anything about this; on the contrary, she is delighted with Strader's plan and hopes to see many of her fairy tale characters enter children's homes as puppets.

Fourth image
Romanus tries to persuade the bureau chief to cooperate with Strader in Gottgetreu's work. The bureau chief still vigorously rejects this request. In a way that is frightening for him, he experiences in Strader's being and words the effectiveness of nature demons and element spirits, which remain unconscious to Strader himself. He does not understand Romanus' arguments, but his character and attitude towards life instill him with confidence. - John inwardly processes the experiences of the second image. With the words of the other Philia his double approaches him. In the inner conversation of thoughts with this one, the spirit of his youth, the guardian, Ahriman, Benedictus and Maria, John recognizes how his desires make everything he sees mentally more and more delusional. Thus he becomes more and more aware of the enchantment of his own being. - Strader asks Benedictus and Maria for their cooperation in the work of Gottgetreu, after Capesius and Thomaisus have separated from it. Benedictus answers that Mary must accompany John on his way; he gives no answer to the question to himself. What Ahriman hinted at in the third image, what the office manager experiences emotionally, Benedictus sees for the first time in this moment. Strader's soul is connected with beings which live a germinal being in him, but which would work evil if they would find the way into the material realm already now through Strader's effectiveness. Strader does not take up these words at all. But he recognizes that loneliness must forge for him the sword he needs. Theodora helpfully approaches his soul. - Benedictus has pronounced Strader's fate. Mary has never before seen this happen to a disciple who was on Strader's level. Asked about the effect of these words, Benedictus answers that the looking gaze dies to him in searching. Who kills the sure looking eye of Benedictus? John flees with the teacher's seeing eye into the spiritual worlds. Mary experiences how her own thinking, indeed her own self, is absorbed into John's soul and thus rises into the spiritual world as if in an inner storm of flames.

Fifth image
The spirit realm at the time of the sun depicts the existence of the souls in the spirit realm between the death of the medieval life and before the birth into the present life. Felix Balde's soul forms the forces of his ego as a servant of Lucifer and experiences in the gnomes, which surround the soul of Hilarius true to God, the contact with the weight, which pulls down to the earth. Hilarius' soul is a connoisseur and relative of the gnome world. The contact with the weight summons Ahriman's interest and activity. The word of the weight of the earth forces, which create resistance to the spiritual floating, is taken up by the soul of Strader. The other Philia and the three soul forces interweave Strader's being with the being of the gnomes; but in such a way that he will well feel their effectiveness on earth, but will never be able to bring them to consciousness by thinking. Thus, he will also never be able to transfer the spiritual impulses, which these beings give him, into being sensual. - Capesius' soul forms its being and destiny in the sight of Strader's soul. What he experiences in this way plants germs of thinking in him, which will let him recognize the sense of the course of the earth once on earth. - Before the solar time comes to an end, Lucifer creates for the souls of Felix Balde, Strader, Capesius and Hilarius Gottgetreu a sight for which they are not yet ripe in this time and which must therefore hurt them. "Suffering with doubt must impregnate them." Thus the soul of Benedictus and the soul of Mary appear with the soul of Mrs. Baldes. The Guardian approaches the souls of Benedictus and Mary and separates the spheres of their souls from the souls of the others.

Fourth image
Romanus tries to persuade the bureau chief to cooperate with Strader in Gottgetreu's work. The bureau chief still vigorously rejects this request. In a way that is frightening for him, he experiences in Strader's being and words the effectiveness of nature demons and element spirits, which remain unconscious to Strader himself. He does not understand Romanus' arguments, but his character and attitude towards life instill him with confidence. - John inwardly processes the experiences of the second image. With the words of the other Philia his double approaches him. In the inner conversation of thoughts with this one, the spirit of his youth, the guardian, Ahriman, Benedictus and Maria, John recognizes how his desires make everything he sees mentally more and more delusional. Thus he becomes more and more aware of the enchantment of his own being. - Strader asks Benedictus and Maria for their cooperation in the work of Gottgetreu, after Capesius and Thomaisus have separated from it. Benedictus answers that Mary must accompany John on his way; he gives no answer to the question to himself. What Ahriman hinted at in the third image, what the office manager experiences emotionally, Benedictus sees for the first time in this moment. Strader's soul is connected with beings which live a germinal being in him, but which would work evil if they would find the way into the material realm already now through Strader's effectiveness. Strader does not take up these words at all. But he recognizes that loneliness must forge for him the sword he needs. Theodora helpfully approaches his soul. - Benedictus has pronounced Strader's fate. Mary has never before seen this happen to a disciple who was on Strader's level. Asked about the effect of these words, Benedictus answers that the looking gaze dies to him in searching. Who kills the sure looking eye of Benedictus? John flees with the teacher's seeing eye into the spiritual worlds. Mary experiences how her own thinking, indeed her own self, is absorbed into John's soul and thus rises into the spiritual world as if in an inner storm of flames.

Fifth image
The spirit realm at the time of the sun depicts the existence of the souls in the spirit realm between the death of the medieval life and before the birth into the present life. Felix Balde's soul forms the forces of his ego as a servant of Lucifer and experiences in the gnomes, which surround the soul of Hilarius true to God, the contact with the weight, which pulls down to the earth. Hilarius' soul is a connoisseur and relative of the gnome world. The contact with the weight summons Ahriman's interest and activity. The word of the weight of the earth forces, which create resistance to the spiritual floating, is taken up by the soul of Strader. The other Philia and the three soul forces interweave Strader's being with the being of the gnomes; but in such a way that he will well feel their effectiveness on earth, but will never be able to bring them to consciousness by thinking. Thus, he will also never be able to transfer the spiritual impulses, which these beings give him, into being sensual. - Capesius' soul forms its being and destiny in the sight of Strader's soul. What he experiences in this way plants germs of thinking in him, which will let him recognize the sense of the course of the earth once on earth. - Before the solar time comes to an end, Lucifer creates for the souls of Felix Balde, Strader, Capesius and Hilarius Gottgetreu a sight for which they are not yet ripe in this time and which must therefore hurt them. "Suffering with doubt must impregnate them." Thus the soul of Benedictus and the soul of Mary appear with the soul of Mrs. Baldes. The Guardian approaches the souls of Benedictus and Mary and separates the spheres of their souls from the souls of the others.

Scene 4
Romanus tries to persuade the bureau chief to cooperate with Strader in Gottgetreu's work. The bureau chief still vigorously rejects this request. In a way that is frightening for him, he experiences in Strader's being and words the effectiveness of nature demons and element spirits, which remain unconscious to Strader himself. He does not understand Romanus' arguments, but his character and attitude towards life instill him with confidence. - John inwardly processes the experiences of the second image. With the words of the other Philia his double approaches him. In the inner conversation of thoughts with this one, the spirit of his youth, the guardian, Ahriman, Benedictus and Maria, John recognizes how his desires make everything he sees mentally more and more delusional. Thus he becomes more and more aware of the enchantment of his own being. - Strader asks Benedictus and Maria for their cooperation in the work of Gottgetreu, after Capesius and Thomaisus have separated from it. Benedictus answers that Mary must accompany John on his way; he gives no answer to the question to himself. What Ahriman hinted at in the third image, what the office manager experiences emotionally, Benedictus sees for the first time in this moment. Strader's soul is connected with beings which live a germinal being in him, but which would work evil if they would find the way into the material realm already now through Strader's effectiveness. Strader does not take up these words at all. But he recognizes that loneliness must forge for him the sword he needs. Theodora helpfully approaches his soul. - Benedictus has pronounced Strader's fate. Mary has never before seen this happen to a disciple who was on Strader's level. Asked about the effect of these words, Benedictus answers that the looking gaze dies to him in searching. Who kills the sure looking eye of Benedictus? John flees with the teacher's seeing eye into the spiritual worlds. Mary experiences how her own thinking, indeed her own self, is absorbed into John's soul and thus rises into the spiritual world as if in an inner storm of flames.

Scene 5
The spirit realm at the time of the sun depicts the existence of the souls in the spirit realm between the death of the medieval life and before the birth into the present life. Felix Balde's soul forms the forces of his ego as a servant of Lucifer and experiences in the gnomes, which surround the soul of Hilarius true to God, the contact with the weight, which pulls down to the earth. Hilarius' soul is a connoisseur and relative of the gnome world. The contact with the weight summons Ahriman's interest and activity. The word of the weight of the earth forces, which create resistance to the spiritual floating, is taken up by the soul of Strader. The other Philia and the three soul forces interweave Strader's being with the being of the gnomes; but in such a way that he will well feel their effectiveness on earth, but will never be able to bring them to consciousness by thinking. Thus, he will also never be able to transfer the spiritual impulses, which these beings give him, into being sensual. - Capesius' soul forms its being and destiny in the sight of Strader's soul. What he experiences in this way plants germs of thinking in him, which will let him recognize the sense of the course of the earth once on earth. - Before the solar time comes to an end, Lucifer creates for the souls of Felix Balde, Strader, Capesius and Hilarius Gottgetreu a sight for which they are not yet ripe in this time and which must therefore hurt them. "Suffering with doubt must impregnate them." Thus the soul of Benedictus and the soul of Mary appear with the soul of Mrs. Baldes. The Guardian approaches the souls of Benedictus and Mary and separates the spheres of their souls from the souls of the others.

Scene 6
Again in the spirit area, now at Saturn time, the soul of Capesius experiences its guilt in the Middle Ages and its thereby necessary fate relationship with the soul of Josef Kühne - Felix Balde. Romanus' soul accompanies this experience commenting. - Romanus follows the further events. The soul of Theodora, united with the soul of Mrs. Balde, approaches the soul of Felix Balde. The other Philia leads them. The image of these figures radiates love, gentleness and beauty. The image becomes for the soul of Torquatus at the same time the reflection of his own longing, which he radiates to Romanus and which generates in him mildness and the ability of compassion. The soul of Bellicosus calls the former and future brothers to listen to the words of the souls of Theodora and Mrs. Balde. These, in union with the sylphs, radiate powers to the soul of Felix Balde. The other Philia, in turn, weaves on the one hand, together with the sylphs, the destiny of Theodora, as it is formed from the union with her brother Thomas in medieval life; on the other hand, she calls upon Mrs. Balde's soul to wander from star to star in order to gather there the powers that demons long for in order to inspire human souls on earth through imagination. Thus Mrs. Baldes soul forms its own being. By taking up the word of creation and the word of love, the "spiritual brothers" create germs for their later work on earth. - The guardian of the threshold leads the souls of Benedictus and Maria to the realization of their world midnight between death and birth. Lucifer with the soul of John joins them. The destiny of the three souls is formed. What Mary's love embraces from the essence of the Benedictus becomes the keynote of the soul of John Thomas. Maria, with the help of Astrid and Luna, takes up the powers to remember this world midnight in the earth existence later. - The spirit of John's youth appears in still unlived, germinal, angelic entity. Lucifer uses his existence to cast dissonance into the fate of the three souls.

Scene 7
Immediately before the initiation of a young neophyte as priest and counselor of the king, the sacrificer and king (Capesius) consults with two priests under him, the threshold guardian (Felix Balde) and the mystic (Felicia Balde), about his suitability and ability. The sacrificer reproaches the priesthood for not being able to judge the soul of the young man, whom he knows to be filled with sensual passion, nor the weight of the cultic process. Last alone in the temple, he experiences the loneliness in his responsibility.

Scene 8
A young Egyptian woman (Johannes Thomasius) approaches the temple from the outside, in which her lover, the young neophyte (Maria) is taken from her forever by the initiation. She is left only with suffering and death. Dreaming, the longing carries her inside the temple to her beloved. - The initiation of the neophyte first takes its lawful course: He passes through the four elements, experiences his own soul sounding fourfold from the cosmos and is raptured from the body by the reception of the world word in the sacrificial flame. Awakened again in the body by the highest sacrificial way, he did not see spiritual things, but his own body, from the spiritual point of view, built and cared for by spiritual beings. In the spirit land, however, the desire awoke in him to submerge again completely into the body existence. This could happen, because the sacrificer and king in the moment of the rapture had abstained from sending the magic word thinking over to the neophyte and to lead him up with it into the spiritual world. The mystery tradition of the past is broken off. The young man did not have the thinking of the sacrificial sage, he experienced his own being and proclaimed. "Truth has triumphed." The priesthood is terrified. The sphinxes, as which Ahriman and Lucifer appear, begin to speak, audible only to the neophyte, the sacrificial sage and the supreme sacrificial sage (Benedictus). The spirit has seized the dead form.

Scene 9
Maria awakens in her meditation in the inner conversation with Astrid, Luna, the guardian of the threshold and Benedictus to the remembering experience of the world midnight. At the same time she recognizes herself in her incarnation as a neophyte. The act of the sacrificer made her the first soul to experience the dawn of Greek culture. Also the woman outside the temple becomes aware of her remembering looking. Mary suspects the connection of this figure with the shadow being of the spirit of John's youth.

Scene 10
John beholds the woman at the temple without first recognizing himself in her. Guided by the other Philia and by Mary, he finds the spirit of his youth and now experiences - without a wishful share - how the left-behind and unfulfilled life of the woman in the temple and the left-behind shadow of his spirit of youth, which has not reached its blossoming, strive towards each other and condition each other. The delusion dissolves. John begins to behold Mary in truth with a love "that beholds the Self in the All." - Lucifer intervenes once again with the magical words of the third image from the "Guardian of the Threshold," but Mary's sacredly earnest vow has effected the healing radiation in John's soul.

Scene 11
Strader learns from Benedictus that Mary's harsh words on the precipice (in the third image) were created by his own spirit. And Strader realizes that the resistance which Romanus and the office manager now oppose to his work, and in which he suspects the work of Ahriman, demands a courage from him against which his previous courage was mere cowardice. An imaginative picture, in which Strader saw this, does not yet appear fully developed to the visionary eye of Benedictus.

I feel that you are able to strengthen the power,
Which placed this image before your spiritual eyes.

But how it will be accomplished
is hidden from my gaze.

Scene 12
Inside the earth Ahriman thinks about how he can get power over Strader in order to harm Benedictus. Ahriman has read in the book of destiny that Strader's death is imminent. Therefore, haste is required. Therefore, he gets the soul of Ferdinand Reinecke and inspires it, so that it acquires the ability to prove Strader a mistake in thinking in his mechanism. But the soul of Theodora confronts Ahriman. Ahriman knows that his quest must be unsuccessful if Strader remains connected to Theodora as long as he lives.

Scene 13
Hilarius portrays the tragedy of his own life course through the destruction of Strader's effectiveness in his work. Romanus is filled with unshakable faith in the nature of Strader. He senses at this moment the guardian of the threshold at Strader's side. - The secretary leads Felix Balde and Capesius into the room, but Benedictus is out of town. Waiting for God, Capesius describes to Felix Balde how that morning Strader's soul entered his spiritual vision and repeated to him Felix Balde's words from the third picture in such a way that inner mysticism and outer deed flow harmoniously into one another. Felix Balde can only see an error in this. Philia appears to Capesius. Through the messages of Strader and Philia Capesius recognizes the possibility to lead his earth thinking up to spiritual seeing in the future. Thus he will be able to face the guardian of the threshold consciously, in full prudence.

Scene 14
In the conversation between Mrs. Hilarius and the head of the office, in which she asks him to give up his intransigence towards her husband, the image of Strader as an outstanding mystic, a seeker of knowledge completely devoted to the spirit, emerges. The secretary enters and announces the death of Strader. Left alone, the office manager remembers the words of Strader at the beginning of the drama:

It will happen what must happen!

From these words the spiritual world has spoken to him for the first time.

Scene 15
The secretary and the nurse of Strader, who has to deliver a letter to Benedictus, describe Strader's nature in his high spirituality and his sunny ability to love. Benedictus arrives and receives the letter. Alone on the stage, he reads its contents. Strader describes how in the first imaginative image of the eleventh picture Ahriman arose to him as a fighter. After Ferdinand Reinecke had shown him the mistake in the basic idea of his mechanism, he had looked at the picture for the second time. There not Ahriman had shown up any more, but a spirit messenger who had had the shape of his own erroneous thinking. Then he remembered the words of the Benedictus about the possibility of "strengthening the power of my soul". And immediately the spiritual messenger disappeared. - Here Benedictus is not able to read any further. Chaos covers the letter to him. Out of the chaos Ahriman approaches him unrecognized. But Benedictus keeps him from entering his soul also unrecognized. Then Ahriman flees from the thinking recognition of his being by Benedictus. And while he flees, he is recognized by Benedictus. Ahriman does not know that he is redeemed by cognition. The beginning to this redeeming knowledge is made. Strader's sun-mature soul has united with Benedictus in this recognition. And so he will remain united to Mary and John. To lead spirit into matter was the plan at the beginning of the drama. To recognize the spirit of matter thinking in full awake spirit vision creates the basis on which the plan from the beginning can be tackled. Thus the fourth drama ends with a mighty victory of the spirit of Benedictus over Ahriman and his spirit hound, - the nature of matter, - as none of the three preceding dramas depicts it.

(Taken from the program booklet for the performances of the four Mystery Dramas by the Novalis Stage 1979-1986).