3rd Advent Sunday: December 13, 2020
“To carry spirit light into world-winter-night
My heart is ardently impelled,
That shining seeds of soul
Take root in grounds of worlds
And Word Divine through senses’ darkness
Resounds, transfiguring all life.”
~ Rudolf Steiner’s Verse 37 for 3rd Advent Sunday from the Calendar of the Soul (trans. Ruth and Hans Pusch)
Once upon a time, the world was covered in darkness. The human beings were searching for light, but only tiny sparkles could be found on the Earth here and there. And then a child was born, and another one soon followed. Together they found a way to merge the human spirit with the Light of the Sun. Yes, there were two Jesus children and two holy families. Rudolf Steiner shared his insights, reached by contemplating the birth of Christ, in several lecture series: The Gospel of Luke, The Gospel of Mathew, From Buddha to Christ, From Jesus to Christ, The Fifth Gospel. Glen Williamson brilliantly merged the content of these Steiner lecture series, Emil Block’s The Childhood of Jesus, Edward Smith’s The Incredible Births of Jesus, and his own research into the solo play “The Incarnation of the Logos: An Epic Tale of Christ’s Coming to Earth.”
Glen begins by saying: “I was riding in a big old Oldsmobile taxicab in Turkey, near Ephesus, with some people I had met while I was working as a stagehand in Switzerland, when I first heard this story. We were driving down a mountain from a little stone house where Mary, the mother of Jesus, was said to have lived the last years of her life; and one of the women in the car said to another woman in the car: ‘Now which Mary would this have been?’” This was in 1981.
He has been performing this magical solo play since 1998 throughout North America and Europe.
The wondrous story opens with the messianic prophecies in the Temple in Jerusalem, weaves through many parts of the world and throughout history, and ends with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. Adam and Eve, Moses, Adonis, Osiris, Isis, Apollo, Krishna, Buddha and Zarathustra all appear in this epic, and the magnificent pictures of the dynamic interpenetration of divine and human worlds are sometimes astonishing and sometimes familiar in this dramatic chapter of the greatest story ever told.
I first saw it at New York Open Center, then still at its SoHo location, during the Christmas season in 2004.
I knew nothing of anthroposophy; I have only heard about Rudolf Steiner at one or two lectures by Ralph White at NYOC when he spoke about Western esoteric traditions, but I wasn’t drawn in enough to study Steiner. Then I went to see “The Incarnation of the Logos” by Glen Williamson, and was deeply inspired. I was in awe. Glen’s telling this story was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences for me. It took me to realms where I could understand its content, intuitively. It shed light into my own spiritual experiences. I wasn’t aware where it came from though; I didn’t connect it to Rudolf Steiner or anthroposophy. After the performance I went to the storyteller whom I never heard of before, and thanked him.
Ten years later I experienced “The Incarnation of the Logos” again. This time at the Threefold Auditorium in Chestnut Ridge, during the Holy Nights. I was in the fourth year of my eurythmy training, and knew Glen personally from our work together on the mystery dramas. There was only a vague sense in me that he was the storyteller I heard in 2004. Likewise, when the posters for “The Incarnation of the Logos” appeared across the Threefold Community in 2014, I didn’t connect it to the play I saw a decade earlier. I sat down in the Auditorium, looking forward to enjoying Glen’s performance.
In the middle of the storytelling, the veil lifted and the memory impressions flooded back. Similar images, but now clearer, more conscious insights surrounded me and entered my soul. I was in awe again. When I talked with Glen after this performance, I shared my memory of his play at New York Open Center in 2004. And he remembered me as the person who came to him after the show and thanked him.
I experienced “The Incarnation of the Logos” again at Anthroposophy NYC during the Holy Nights in 2018. Each time I hear it, deeper and more conscious insights arise. It’s like a meditation. Taking in the words and mood created by storytelling is a gateway into the higher realms of consciousness. Seeing and hearing it every year during the Advent and Holy Nights could be a wondrous ritual. If not attending it in-person, then at least reading the booklet on my own and contemplating the words and my memories of the live performance would be a good practice. Or reading it aloud with another person, or in a group of people who are together in the same physical space.
This year, due to the pandemic, we cannot offer its public performance at Anthroposophy NYC. I will miss it. But we’re sharing a short video introduction to this play from 2010. Click here or on the image below to watch. Note: Due to the deep esoteric nature of “The Incarnation of the Logos,” the full video or audio recording of Glen’s storytelling is not available.
And I do encourage you to read the booklet itself. It’s available at our Rudolf Steiner Bookstore.
When you get your 2021 calendar of choice, add a note that Anthroposophy NYC will offer Glen’s performance of this marvelous story again during December of 2021, if the air clears and public events are allowed in New York City.
The Incarnation of the Logos:
An Epic Tale of Christ’s Coming to Earth
Performed by actor and storyteller Glen Williamson
“In this fresco, the Luke Jesus sits on the throne having just assumed the wisdom of the Matthew Jesus, who then leaves the temple. Notice that all eyes are on him as recognition of his mighty sacrifice. Now the innocent Jesus takes on earthly wisdom. This is part of what it takes to prepare for the entrance of the Christ into this earth. This twelve-year-old boy will grow into a thirty-year-old man and meet his childhood friend John the Baptist by the river Jordan where the Holy Spirit, which always precedes the Christ, can enter into him.” ~ Kristina Kaine (esotericconnection.com)