In several places Rudolf Steiner spoke of the importance of having 12 views. The following quote is very appropriate because it shows how the 12 Disciples were integral to the process of Jesus becoming Christen-ed.
“When through the training described we enter the Imaginative world and see a picture of our Ego [I Am], it is essential to know that twelve different pictures of the Ego can be seen. There are twelve different pictures of every single Ego, and only after contemplating it from twelve different standpoints have we a complete picture. This view of the Ego from outside corresponds exactly to what is reflected in the relationship of the twelve constellations of the Zodiac to the Sun. Just as the Sun passes through the twelve constellations and has in each a different power, just as it illumines our Earth through the course of the year and even of the day, from twelve different stations, so the human Ego is illumined from twelve different stations in the higher world.” Macrocosm and Microcosm, Lecture 9
Thaddaeus: Thaddaeus represents elimination, letting go of things so that we can keep moving forward. The name Thaddaeus means ‘of the heart’, big-hearted, warm-hearted. The disciple Thaddaeus is also known as St Jude and was a brother of St James the Less, and also a relative of Jesus. It is the heart which can eliminate things that mesmerize the mind. Thaddaeus within us works continuously to restore harmony by eliminating that which disrupts. This is tied to forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not so much about covering up what we feel, but stepping over it and moving on. To assist this, we could work with John and adopt love and grace.
Matthew: Matthew represents our will – our intentions and actions. Matthew collected taxes. He works in the depths of the community to sustain the body – the infrastructure – of society. He was called away from that to serve in the innermost circle so that human will could become freewill. The other thing about will is that it reveals ourselves to us. Our acts of will, when, for example, we dig the garden or rearrange the furniture, give us a glimpse of ourselves, of our ability and place in the world.
Nathanael Bartholomew: Nathanael means gift of God. He is known by his family name, Bartholomew, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. St. John calls him Nathanael. In my book on the Disciples “I AM the Soul’s Heartbeat – The Twelve-Disciples” I show how Nathanael is the faculty of imagination within us. Not fantasy but real imagination – a spiritual imagination able to create concepts as living images. By creating moving pictures in our mind when we try to understand a concept brings it to life. Also, these concepts will be much easier to remember. This is a method used by people who have excellent memories and inventors also think this way as they work out the detail of their invention.
What this means is that we ‘see’ things differently. Here is an excerpt from my reflections about Nathanael seeing: “Jesus points out to Nathanael that this is only the beginning: “You shall see greater things than these.” This must always be our expectation, to see greater things. We should always strive to have firsthand experiences, by hearing Philip within us saying, “Come and see.”
Judas: Judas represents the generative, reproductive energy within us which can work in a positive or negative way. Judas is said to be the Greek version of the Hebrew name Judah which means ‘praise Jehovah’.
“And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, ‘This time I will praise the Lord’; therefore she called his name Judah; then she ceased bearing.” Gen 29:35
The reproductive force within us is motivated by conservation, survival of the species. Judas is also associated with betrayal, however, the word ‘betray’ also means to ‘reveal’. Judas gives us the opportunity to act in a higher way.
In my book I speak about him in this way. “There are two sides to the Judas energy within us. He can assist us or assail us. Mostly he works within us without our knowing. It is up to us to become conscious of what he is doing. Jesus was.”
The Exhortation to the Apostles – James Tissot