The Three Crosses of Golgotha
By Kim Graae Munch, 2008
The three crosses on Golgotha is a significant scene in the New Testament. It signifies the main powers in the development of the Earth, as described in the The Tree of Life from the Kabbalah.
When only the cross with Christ is shown, we see only a small part of the mystery, as the crucifixion contains a trinity.
As Rudolf Steiner is one of the primary Christian esoteric teachers I have taken the following texts from Christ and the Human Soul:
Christ on the Cross between the two malefactors. The malefactor on the left hand mocks at Christ: “If thou wilt be God, help thyself and us!” The malefactor on the right says that the other ought not to speak thus, for both had merited their fate of crucifixion, the just award of their deeds; whereas He was innocent and yet had to experience the same fate. And the malefactor on the right went on to say: “Think of me when thou art in thy kingdom.” And Christ answered him: “Verily I say unto thee, today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
The Cross to the left, representing Ahriman, is the Pillar of Severity or Form, the right Cross, representing Lucifer, is the Pillar of Mercy or Force, and the Middle Cross, Christ, is The Pillar of Mildness or Consciousness.
If one begins to consider the matter in a human-anthropomorphic sense and simply makes of Lucifer a kind of inner and Ahriman a kind of outer criminal, there will be difficulty in getting on; for we must not forget that Lucifer, besides being the bringer of evil into the world, the inner evil that arises through the passions, is also the bringer of freedom. Lucifer plays an important role in the universe, and so does Ahriman.
They are not Evil as such, but they are part of the development of Man, and of other spirits just above and below us.
…, I laid particular emphasis on the fact that the progressive gods have assigned to Lucifer and Ahriman roles in the spiritual world; and that discrepancy and disharmony appear only when they bring down their activities into the physical plane and arrogate to themselves rights which are not allotted to them.
Through our fight against these two powers we grow, and we reach Equilibrium, Tao.
Now the root of the whole matter, which must again and again be emphasized, is that the Christ, as Christ, does not belong with the other beings of the physical plane. From the moment of the Baptism in the Jordan, a Being who had not previously existed on Earth, a Being who does not belong to the order of Earth-beings, entered into the corporeality of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus in Christ we are concerned with a Being who could truly say to the disciples: “I am from above, but ye are from below”, which means: “I am a Being of the kingdom of Heaven, ye are of the kingdom of Earth.”
Christ is the emanation of the Son, the Middle Pillar, the Equilibrium of the Left and Right Pillar.
He lived through the whole development cycle of man in one life, purifying all the seven bodies as seen in the Tree of Life. That is also the reason why Christ can not be born again like a Bodhisattva, his body is merged with the Earth. When Christ comes again, its a personal experience for each individual when (s)he is ready and not a collective encountering on a global scale.
Christ introduced Love as the Law above all. A comment by Henry T. Edge in Theosophical Light on the Christian Bible:
This means that there are two laws in our nature — that of instinctual self-gratification, which we share with the beasts, though in man, being allied with intellect, this instinct acquires an evil character; and that of the divine nature. When Jesus or any other Teacher, enjoins the law of Love, the Golden Rule, he simply points out the only rule of conduct which is proper for man, if man is to live in accordance with man’s nature. The fact that these wise teachings seem so ineffectual, so much disregarded, should not cause undue despondency or cynicism. They have remained as a lamp for our feet throughout ages of darkness, and are still recognised as our sheet anchor. Whatever failure there may have been in practice, the principle has been maintained. The doctrine of each for himself was not so long ago proclaimed as an economic panacea; but its disastrous results have become apparent. If there are cynical individuals who try to make a gospel out of self-seeking, they are not happy. The man who worships self exclusively cuts himself off from life and enters a path which, if persisted in, would lead to his being isolated with the object of his worship — a fate awful to contemplate.
The message of Christ was revolutionary at that time, changing the tribe mentality of an eye for an eye with the responsibility of the person, love your next as yourself. It started a new evolution in the mind of man introducing the humanitarian thought in mankind. We are now in the critical phase where we will see if we can keep our human integrity in the egocentric climate of today’s materialism.
Gestas, also spelled Gesmas, is the apocryphal name given to one of the two thieves who was crucified alongside Jesus. According to legend, Gestas taunted Jesus about not saving himself, while Dismas asked for mercy. Dismas was saved, and Gestas was not. Gestas was on the cross to the the left of Jesus and Dismas was on the cross to the right of Jesus.
The apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel refers to Gestas and Dismas as Dumachus and Titus, respectively.