Joachim of Fiore

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A guru has to be a mother otherwise how will they come and the whole absurdity has come to us also in the West from many religions especially we should say Christianity and Judaism, where they did not talk of the Mother at all, that was the time to talk, because at the time of Abraham, they had to talk of the Father, then at the time of Christ they had to talk of the Son, that was the time because if he had talked about his own mother’s stay they would have killed her and then he would have come out with his eleven destroying powers, he would have finished the whole show once for all. So he never talked about the Mother power. Now the time has come for the Mother power and I was told that in the 13th century somebody, “What was his name?” [yogi: Joachim de Fiore] he talked about this, that, because I don’t read books you see, he talked that it was the time of the Father, then the manifestation of the Son, and the manifestation of the Mother is awaiting. And when this manifestation takes place, as a result of that only, you get your Self-realization. (HH Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, Talk in Santa Cruz Seminar, 1983)

From The Wisdom Tradition

The fascination with categorising human endeavour - past, present and future - into ages can be seen in many civilizations. There were a variety of typologies available. The earliest of the Greek writers, Hesiod (c.750BCE), describes five 'races'; Pythagoras (c.570-497BCE), Ovid (43BCE-17CE) and the Roman writer, Florus (c70-c140CE) use a four-age typology; Aristotle (384-322BCE) uses three; Solon (630-560BCE) ten; Plato (427-347BCE) twelve; and Ptolemy (c85-165CE) four and seven ages.

In the Christian era, trinitarian theories involving three ages begin with Gregory Nazianen (c330-390), and continue to the present day, with the three status of Joachim of Fiore (1130-1202) being particularly influential. The other major typologies of the Judaeo-Christian tradition are the seven-age theory, based on seven days of the week, best known as the 'Six Ages of the World' (ie. six historical ages, plus a seventh eternal age); and the four-age theory derived from medical texts.

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The twelth century Italian Christian abbot, Joachim of Fiore (1135-1202), proposed a three-age (status) theory of the world which has resonated down the centuries in much of the apocalyptic and prophetic activity in Christian Europe. In his Liber Concordie, part of his Expositio in Apocalypsim (begun in 1183), Chapter 5, f. 5r-v, he states:

The first of the three status of which we speak was in the time of the Law when the people of the Lord served like a little child for a time under the elements of the world. They were not yet able to attain the freedom of the Spirit until he came who said: “If the Son liberates you, you will be free indeed” [John 8:36].

The second status was under the Gospel and remains until the present with freedom in comparison to the past but not with freedom in comparison to the future. … The third status will come toward the End of the world, no longer under the veil of the letter, but in the full freedom of the Spirit when … those who will teach many about justice will be like the splendour of the firmament and like the stars forever.

In that [third] status the Holy Spirit will seem to call out in the Scripture “The Father and the Son have worked until now; and I am at work.” [Joachim’s version of John 5:17]

The letter of the Prior Testament [Old Testament] seems by a certain property of likeness to pertain to the Father. The letter of the New Testament pertains to the Son. So the spiritual understanding that proceeds from both pertains to the Holy Spirit. Similarly, the order of the married which flourished in the first time seems to pertain to the Father by a property of likeness, the order of preachers in the second time to the Son, and so the order of monks to whom the last great times are given pertains to the Holy Spirit. According to this, the first status is ascribed to the Father, the second to the Son, the third to the Holy Spirit, although in another way of speaking the status of the world should be said to be one, the people of the elect one, and all things at the same time belonging to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Bibliography: Warwick Gould and Marjorie Reeves, Joachim of Fiore and the myth of the Eternal Evangel in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, rev ed. 2001); Bernard McGinn, The Calabrian abbot: Joachim of Fiore in the history of Western thought (London: Macmillan, 1985); Bernard McGinn, Who was Joachim of Fiore ; Marjorie Reeves, Joachim of Fiore and the prophetic future (London: SPCK, 1976); Marjorie Reeves, ‘The originality and influence of Joachim of Fiore’ Traditio v36, 1980:269-316; Stephen E.Wessley, Joachim of Fiore and monastic reform (New York: Peter Lang, 1990); Delno C.West, ed., Joachim of Fiore in Christian thought (New York: Burt Franklin and Co., 1975); Delno C.West and Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, Joachim of Fiore: a study in spiritual perception and history (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983)