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Good and Evil
The „Inexpressible" Mystery of Evil

Chapter XIX of The Crisis of Civilization

By Gennady Bondarev

Translation from the German
by Graham Rickett

[NOTE: This is Chapter Nineteen of the book Anthroposophie auf der Kreuzung der okkult-politischen Bewegungen der Gegenwart (The Crisis of Civilization in the English edition) written by the Russian mining-engineer, sociologist, philosopher, and Anthroposophist Gennadij Bondarew (Gennady Bondarev in an English transliteration). Bondarew was born in 1936 and was the leader of the Russian Anthroposophical Society in Moscow in late Soviet times, when he was repeatedly interrogated by the KGB. He escaped these interrogations essentially unharmed, and he is inclined to attribute his escape to Divine protection. However, he was expelled from the Dornach Anthroposophical Society in 1998, allegedly due to the publication of this book. -- In this book he analyzes the cultural, political and economic planetary situation from an Anthroposophical point of view. The whole English translation (by Graham Rickett) is available (in a proofreader's spiral-bound edition, without illustrations) from Nelson Willby at the Wellspring Bookshop in London. The German edition is available from the Lochmann Verlag in Basel; see this page for Bondarew's works available there. -- Excerpts from this book first appeared on the WWW in Rudolf Saacke's former website. His present websites are Anthroposophie Online and anthroposophie.pl. -- Robert Mason)


 

Manichaeism, Catholicism, Freemasonry

Within the complex of questions dealt with in this book, this is the last one we will consider. It completes the 'structure' of our research through the laying of a final stone. It is one of the greatest mysteries of human existence, for the solution of which the philosophical and religious consciousness of mankind has wrestled for centuries: the mystery of evil. In its archetypal and essential nature it is a Mystery in the true sense, and for this reason artistic intuition (Bulgakov's Voland*) on the one hand, and confessional fanaticism estranged from the world ('much is wrong in the world') on the other, will in the future only weaken the creative forces of the human 'I'. {*Character from the novel The Master and Margarita by M. Bulgakov.} Moreover, if someone does not wish to attain knowledge of the mystery of evil in its concrete sense-supersensible form, even when he has the best incentives to do so (quite apart from the people who seek comfort in the illusion that they wish to have nothing to do with evil - even through cognition), he will nevertheless prove to be an instrument of evil to some degree. For evil has become so flexible in our century that it can adjust to any circumstance, provided a man reacts only dogmatically or remains passive out of laziness and does not examine and review these circumstances in a regular and thorough manner. Whoever wishes to hold fast to the truth has to make great efforts in order to maintain his balance in his struggle with the world-opposites of good and evil.

In European occult tradition knowledge is still preserved, of what are called the seven mysteries of life. But only in our century has it become possible to speak of them openly, exoterically. These mysteries are so profound, their content is so difficult to grasp by means of the intellect, that they are called the seven 'inexpressible', the 'nameless' mysteries. These are: the mystery of the abyss, of number, of alchemy, of death, the mystery of evil, of the word (Logoi) and of bliss in God (June 13, 1906, GA 94).

Of course by abstract thinking alone none of these mysteries can be solved, but we can come much closer to an understanding by approaching them with spiritual knowledge. We may even say that this knowledge is one of the most important tasks of developing 'I'-consciousness in the epoch of the consciousness-soul; that is, in the present European cultural epoch.

Regarding the mystery of evil we can definitely assert that the human being of today is unable to create what is truly good if he does not penetrate this mystery. All good intentions, often good deeds carried out without knowledge of the nature of evil, its technique and mode of action, remain uncertain, unstable and are easily transformed into evil. Good and evil are the two components of one world. As the phenomenon of magnetism does not occur without the positive and negative pole, so, in a certain phase of evolution (to which our time belongs), the phenomenon of man cannot exist without the polarity of good and evil.

In our previous considerations we have created the necessary basis to enable us to look behind the outer veil of evil and to try to recognize the archetypal phenomenon determining the many-facetted social-political phenomenology of today which, as we have already shown, is entirely pervaded by dark occultism. Here we have to reach back still further - and begin with the creation of man. For in the moment man was driven from Paradise, evil became an integral part of his development. But in this question the paths of religion and science diverge fundamentally and, in order to unite them again, i.e. to interpret the content of religious tradition scientifically, we must again turn to spiritual science, which looks upon this separation as deeply tragic. The sadly inadequate results to which science and religion have come in the question of good and evil are a consequence of it.

Anthroposophy is a direct successor of the doctrine of good and evil which was given to the world by one of the greatest leaders of humanity - Manes. In the third century he founded a small community in the Near East, and this grew gradually into a mighty spiritual stream known as Manichaeism. It seems that everything possible was undertaken by the religious faiths to slander Manichaeism - and with great success. Contributing to this was the fact that the ordinary disciples of Manes often understood his teaching only superficially, because its deep esotericism is expressed in the form of pictures.

Manichæism is based on a deeply significant legend. We will tell it in the version given by Rudolf Steiner. The legend says that once the spirits of darkness wanted to storm the realm of light. They succeeded in reaching the boundary of the realm of light and wanted to conquer it. But they could accomplish nothing. Now they were to be punished ... by the realm of light. But nothing evil existed in the realm of light, only good. The demons of darkness could only have been punished with good. So what happened? ... The spirits of the realm of light took a portion of their realm and mixed it into the material kingdom of darkness ... Thus there arose within this realm of darkness a sourdough as it were, a ferment, which set the kingdom of darkness into a chaotic whirling dance, whereby it received a new element, namely death. So that it continuously devours itself and thus bears the seed of its own destruction within itself (Nov. 11, 1904, GA 93). The legend tells further that thanks to this event man appeared. As the first man (Adam) it was ... he who had been sent from the realm of light to mix with the realm of darkness and to overcome through death all that should not be in the realm of darkness; to overcome it within himself (ibid.).

Thus through the very fact of his existence man is placed before the task, not to deny evil but to transform it into good.

According to the Manichæan view, evil is good that was put at the wrong time into the wrong place. Dialectically speaking we have here to do with the question of the relationship between content and form, which comes into movement by virtue of the polarity. Spiritual light or self-consciousness, the 'I'-consciousness as being, gives rise, in its encounter with the realm of darkness, to a series of different forms, comes to expression in a variety of manifestations, without 'committing' itself to them finally, and overcomes them again and again, until it has become identical with the form, has attained 'agreement' with itself, has arrived at its own identity and transformed the form (matter, darkness) into pure spirit (light), so that the form of spiritual selfhood, the higher 'I', is born.

This is the direction followed by the inner life of Christendom. It comes into movement through the overcoming of its outer forms (the religious faiths). The point is not - says Rudolf Steiner - to seek equality everywhere in the outer forms of expression, but to sense the inner (Christian) stream of life that is there everywhere beneath the surface (Ibid.) And what can be found beneath the surface of the ecclesiastical forms is the pure content of Christianity. Occult Christianity, the Christianity of New Testament times as a Mystery - that is esoteric Christianity. For its future a worthy vessel is being prepared today, which the members of the Christian congregation can form if they succeed in purifying their own soul through work on themselves, raise it to the condition of Manas or Spirit-Self and, as a result of an inner catharsis, create fundamentally new forms of social life. This is the Manichæan view of Christian life.

The Cathars of the 12th century, whose name derives from the word 'catharsis', worked in the Manichæan spirit. As did also, from the 15th century onwards, the esoteric stream of Christianity founded by Christian Rosenkreutz.

From the point of view of the official Church everything we are describing here is an 'arch-heresy'. This is clearly the reason why it is so easy for neo-Bolshevism in today's Russia to raise all that comes from the Church on to the banner of its ideology. Catholicism, for its part, has for centuries responded to that heresy with murders and tortures. Yet it is interesting that Augustine almost became a Manichæan. He was prevented only through his total commitment to the form of faith prevailing at that time, which also made him into an opponent of a future form. Augustine became the opponent of 'Faust', a figure in whom, in his opinion, the Manichæan world-view was expressed.

However, this was merely an episode, because as a general tendency the polarity of Catholicism and esoteric Christianity was developing from almost as early as the 3rd or 4th century. Later it came to expression in the struggle of the Roman Church against the Templars, the Albigensians, the Rosicrucians etc.* {*The inhumanity of Rome in this struggle knew no bounds. Rudolf Steiner relates that the Inquisitors succeeded through prolonged, refined tortures (O'Brian also used them in Orwell's novel) to darken the consciousness of the Templars, so that from their subconscious there arose visionary experiences of luciferic forces which they consciously resisted inwardly. It was in this condition that they confessed to the desecration of sacred objects which, in clear consciousness, they held in the highest veneration. [¶] There were Templars who experienced during their initiation what the human soul is capable of even when it remains unconscious. The initiate becomes aware of this and tries to overcome what otherwise remains in the subconscious... he saw those human forces which strive to lead back to the old heathendom, to worship what the pagans worshipped and to scorn Christian progress. These people knew how the human soul can succumb to such temptations, because they had to overcome them consciously. Philip IV. had knowledge of these experiences thanks to his ahrimanic initiation through gold (September 25, 1916, GA 171). [¶] To this day the rumour is circulated that the Templars worshipped Baphomet. But Rudolf Steiner explains that Baphomet [is] a being of the ahrimanic world who appeared to people when they were being tortured. (Through the torturing of the Templars) this was cunningly made to happen. They brought back with them many visionary experiences when they returned to consciousness (GA 300a, p. 130).} They are all obliterated from the physical plane - says Rudolf Steiner - but their inner life works on. Later the antithesis is expressed in a weakened, yet still powerful form in two streams, both born of an occidental culture as Jesuitism ... and Freemasonry ... These are the offspring of the old spiritual streams. That is why you have in Jesuitism and Freemasonry a continuation of the same initiation ceremonies as in the old streams ... They run parallel to one another but follow quite different directions (Ibid.).

In previous chapters we spoke a great deal about the present relationships between the streams mentioned here, so that now the question that remains to be considered is that concerning the purely esoteric foundations of the battle between the world powers and between those who accompany them. A Manichæan legend provides the key, but it needs a spiritual-scientific interpretation.

 

The Worlds of Good and Evil

One of the most important requirements of the spiritual-scientific method of cognition is that all phenomena should be observed in their development. The teaching of the evolution of the world and of man forms the basis of the anthroposophical method of cognition. As this is our starting-point, we ought to act accordingly. But as we are restricted to one chapter we will express a number of postulates only additively, as information (i.e. not organically), and occasionally make use of diagrams. The latter are in any case commonly used and they can be very different. Some even serve as meditative formulae.

Anthroposophy speaks of the evolution of world and man as a process of global transformations, in the course of which the manifested conditions (Manvantaras) are followed by a general spiritualization of all existence (in Pralaya). Here one is drawing on traditional esoteric doctrine, which has been known in East and West for more than a millenium. Within the framework of our cycle of evolution (we can view it as a unity if we take account of the ancient Pythagorean school) in which the human being appears and rises to high levels of perfection, world evolution passes through seven Manvantaras or planetary aeons, as they are also called. In chapter 14 they were referred to without further explanation under their traditional names of Old Saturn, Earth, Future Jupiter etc.* {*Rudolf Steiner describes world evolution in detail in his book Occult Science, an Outline} In the course of each aeon man attains a certain level of consciousness. Thus on Old Saturn, for instance, he had an 'unconscious all-consciousness'; on Earth we acquire the objective, waking, thinking consciousness; in the future aeons man will ascend to three levels of individual super-consciousness.

There unfold in the world a multiplicity of different levels of being and of consciousness. Between man and God are found - purely spiritual beings - the Hierarchies. They stand high above man in evolution, and therefore take part in it as creators. Their self-consciousness is cosmic, substantial and disposes of immediate creative power. There are nine hierarchies, beginning with the angels and ascending to the Seraphim. Their names were already known to Christian Gnosis.

The divine act of creation through which the evolution of our cycle began must be imagined as proceeding from absolute unity, which has found expression in all monotheistic and monistic views right up to the present day. In Christian Gnosis (we should not at all consider it to be a heretical teaching if we wish to be factual) God is simultaneously one and three in one, which we should understand to mean that He is one in His hidden nature; and in revelation, when He turns to the act of creation of the new cycle (of the world), he is triune.

Our cycle differs principally from all others in that here absolute being confronts itself (in unity) for the first time. And man appears as a new creation originally at the boundary of the mutual confrontation of being and non-being, of World-'I' and World-non-'I'. This is the actual nature of the principal law of the emergence of our 'I'-consciousness. In order that it should acquire its main characteristics - self-determination, freedom of choice, freedom of will -, God had to confront Himself. J. G. Fichte expressed this philosophically as the identity of 'I' = not-'I'.

On an esoteric, occult level we should understand this to mean that the divine hierarchies, when they enter the evolutionary cycle, form relationships which, to the degree that they immerse themselves in the created world, assume the character of polarities. So that finally the world of 'secondary' gods, the gods of the non-'I'-world, comes into being, in which everything is only a mirror image of the true Divine World.

In the general world-picture, where everything has an anthropocentric character (corresponding to the plan of our evolutionary cycle), there stands over against the Divine Trinity - the realm of light - the tri-unity of the world of being 'other'. This is spoken of as the 'fallen', the evil world and it is - as material cosmos - also a unity.

Anthroposophy provides a deep and many-sided description of the personified structure of the world of not-'I'. In its own way it too consists of 'three hypostases'. In the divine all-unity the three true hypostases are opposed, not by a onefold, but by a threefold evil: three kinds, as it were, of 'anti-divine' beings: the luciferic, ahrimanic, and asuric.

Figure 10: The reader may fill in the missing elements

Two figures (fig. 10 and 11) can clarify this further. The first shows the general evolutionary principle, the second the temporal course of evolution, where this forms a kind of 'vessel' of the sevenfold chain of metamorphoses.* {*There arises from this a further development of what was shown in fig. 9 in Chapter 17 (p. 205).} The diagrams show that the world, despite its infinitude, is precisely structured within itself. This comes to expression in the lawful character of all that is contained within it. Its anthropocentrism is shown in the fact that it is only man who is simultaneously present in all three worlds of revelation, and who represents the bone of contention between the realm of light and that of darkness. In the world of primary revelation man is present as a divine intention, in the second as object of creation, and in the third he stands within the process of self-creation.

The activity of self-formation, and the descent of God and the hierarchies in the creative process, interpenetrate each other (fig. 10) and bring about in the Earth aeon a global turn in evolution. In the likeness of a Grail-vessel the evolutionary cycle (seven aeons) stands at first within eternity, formed by the timeless being of the hierarchies and permeated by the three hypostases of divine revelation. All this can be understood as the totality of laws determining everything that comes into being through evolution in time and space as a mirror-image of the 'vessel'.

Thus the material universe, the four kingdoms of nature, are a 'reflection'. They have been in a descending movement since Old Saturn; they have been falling away from God. During the Earth aeon this descent reaches its lowest point, its limit, and the process of ascent begins.

We may conclude from this that the evolution of man and the world takes place in two aspects simultaneously. In the extra-temporal realm it has already come to completion, whereas in time it has only reached the mid-point. This raises many questions concerning the nature of time, of predestination, freedom etc. The author addresses these in his work Triune Man of Body, Soul and Spirit in the Light of Anthroposophy, according to the method developed by him. In the present chapter we can only refer to this.

What is described in the Bible as the expulsion from Paradise is the transition of man from the world of the 2nd revelation to that of the 3rd, where he can develop freedom of the spirit. Whoever is unwilling to venture into the realm of trials and of error cannot attain spiritual freedom. And in order that human deeds might not work too destructively for the higher world of being, for the higher harmony, our dense, lifeless shadow-world was created, in which everything higher exists only in its reflection, as a likeness.

But we should not imagine that the polarity of two worlds - that of being and that of non-being - has only conditional significance. The world of being-other has the potential within it to cancel out the world of being, and become itself the sole reality. Something of this kind could take place if the purposes of the realm of darkness are realized in the time necessary to this realm, and not in the time necessary to the universe. If this were to come about, then good would transform into evil. And in order that this should not happen, the Son of God descended into the world of self-confrontation that had been willed by Him, and changed within it the law of descent, of materialization, of the Fall and of enmity, through transforming it into a law of ascent, of spiritualization, of all-unity and love.

After the Mystery of Golgatha the lawful and (for the sake of evolution) necessary descent of man into matter, the Fall into sin, must be arrested at the wish of the human being who has attained 'I'-consciousness. The Fall must be replaced by repentance. Every person can draw the necessary strength for this from the deed of the incarnating God, who went through death and gave the power of resurrection even to the physical body of man.

Figure 11

The cosmic constellation of the human being, particularly in modern times, is extremely complex. On the one hand he remains within eternity, in the lap of the Divine Trinity, only unconscious. On the other hand, if he is to become conscious of his situation - which is the main task of the spiritual ontogenesis of man, if one may so express it (because we can develop ourselves only in the totality of body, soul and spirit) -, he must for a period of time work upon himself within a further trinity: that of Christ, Lucifer and Ahriman. And if he errs (development always entails risks), he may quickly find himself within yet another trinity: that of Lucifer, Ahriman and Asura (a retarded spirit of personality, archai). He will then fall out of the evolution intended for him by the divine worlds, and take a different path of which the Gospel says that there reigns outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22; 13). At some point this world too will be transformed into good, but today no-one can say whether the human being who takes this path will then still exist.

To the spoiled but also intimidated human being of today, it is highly uncomfortable to learn of truths like these. And yet he must either develop within himself the strength and the wish to face up to the truth, in order to recognize the true laws of development and work upon himself (then God Himself will be his helper), or sooner or later he will find himself on the path of 'continuous Fall'. In some black-magical occult circles this path is even considered the best, but such opinions belong to 'black' romanticism, which is a special kind of egoism.

Thus everything in man is predestined to good; but without risk, without an act of daring, without the possibility of choosing between good and evil, he cannot become a free spirit. The risk is permitted by God, and it does not lie within man's power to eliminate it. And the guarantee of security suggested by the Church is given at the price of the renunciation of 'I'-consciousness (the sin that cannot be forgiven), at the price of falling back into group-consciousness, for the overcoming of which so much effort has been expended. The falling back into group-consciousness leads man back into the grey distant past when he was still at the stage of animal-man. On this path nothing but the gravest perils await him.

 

The Fall

Since the human being is forced to live in a so catastrophic time as the present, he tends to ask himself why God allows this all. Does He not have the power to exclude Ahriman or Lucifer? And straight away the doubt arises: Maybe God is not perfect and all-powerful after all?

But God is perfect and everything lies within His power. He does not exclude Lucifer and Ahriman, because together with them He would also have to exclude a number of philosophers who deal with such questions, as Rudolf Steiner once remarked.

We could also ask the more comprehensive question: Why did God allow the Fall of man? Seen from the theological point of view we will not find an answer to this. And then all we can do is wrangle with God or deny His existence. Even in occult societies, where 'action' is preferred above spiritual cognition, where people know what they want but not what for, one does not get any further.

In Anthroposophy the process of the 'Fall' is said to be a part of evolution. And this is fundamentally true. Actually it already began when man's physical body was created in the aeon of Old Saturn. Since then the connection of man to material existence has grown ever closer (cf. fig. 11). Next to the, let us say, ideal course of evolution (the upper 'vessel'), there arises the realm of development in which the spiritual and the material interweave in a complicated way, in which the four natural kingdoms are formed. But all this remains within the sphere of divine creative deed, which, as three cosmic creative rays of force, provides the main law of our evolutionary cycle (they become energies only in the material world) (fig. 10, p. *). For this reason the Holy Trinity is the personified expression of the basic law of all being, and also of non-being.

In the Earth aeon the realm within which human evolution unfolds grows especially large. It reaches its boundary in the meeting with a purely spiritual existence, its divine original source. This comes to expression in the emergence of inorganic nature, which, in its four (alchemical) elements earth, water, air and warmth, reflects in an ideal manner (within the realm of 'being-other') the divine world order. Here 'being-other' attains perfection and at the same time its summit, its crown: the higher nerve-activity of man; we owe our reflective thinking to the mineralizing processes in our nerves.

In each aeon development begins with a repetition of the earlier conditions, after which the new arises. Man's sinking down into the solid realm of the earth was determined by his previous development. The Bible describes only in pictorial form how this took place, but does not explain why. It would be naïve to suppose that the first man, Adam, could have erred as an individuality. For this reason the 'original sin', which lives in us all, should be looked upon as an evolutionary rather than as a moral question. We atone for it through overcoming blood-ties and extending the evolution of species, which gave us the body so that it might become a vessel for the spirit, by means of our spirit and soul-evolution, whereby individual man becomes a species.

It is a real sin, if the human being does not wish to participate in the great transformation which took place in the middle of the Earth aeon, and after which any further descent into matter had no meaning. Man becomes guilty of something truly evil, a 'mortal sin', if he tries, with his 'I'-consciousness whose development entailed so many sacrifices from the spiritual world, to penetrate into the realm of sub-nature, thereby forfeiting the possibility of continuing on the human path of evolution. Especially effective in drawing man into this sphere is the now apparent 'reconciliation' between materialistic science and religion which has lost every trace of spirituality. In a tone of the highest positivity and tolerance, of the greatest benevolence, the leaders of the new universal ecumenism teach man to live with concepts like 'spiritual or rarefied material world', 'divine or energetic-informative world', etc.

Thus human development can take three directions within the context of the seven aeons. In figure 11 these are represented by spheres I, II and III. After man has attained individual consciousness he may choose any one of these, but he should first know what they mean and where each of them leads.

The upper path (sphere I) is for man the ideal and highest goal. Here he already stood as God's creation and was endowed by the spirits of form or Elohim with a spark of their fire. The 'I' lit up in him and man experienced his independence outside the material body. But this consciousness of the higher 'I' was an ideal mirroring of the world-all, and could not serve for cognition of the world. If man had remained in this condition, the Elohim would have endowed him with a purely supersensible form of consciousness-being corresponding to his nature. Instead of the skeletal system, says Rudolf Steiner, man would have had Imagination. The spirits of movement (Dynamis - the hierarchy above the Elohim) would have given him Inspiration instead of muscles, and the spirits of wisdom (Kyriotetes) Intuition instead of the nervous system (Dec. 30, 1912, GA 134). Man would have remained a threefold cosmic being existing in the three conditions of cosmic super-consciousness (which he is only now beginning to develop and must bring to completion in the coming aeons). But in this condition he would never had attained individual freedom, and his high level of consciousness would have had super-individual but group-like traits. In other words, that lofty unity would never have differentiated into the multiplicity of individual 'I's' which determines the original being of earth's humanity. The original being and the self-consciousness which man possesses today have arisen out of the fact that God Himself 'expelled' him from that high sphere of being, from Paradise, and gave him the task of returning to it as a free spirit.

For this 'expulsion' to succeed even the beings of the divine hierarchies had to oppose each other. But those among them who opposed the purely spiritual course of human evolution, says Rudolf Steiner, need not be considered evil forces. We can even say that they sacrificed themselves through obstructing the path of development. These powers can thus be called the gods of hindrance in the broadest sense of the word ... [they] were not yet evil as such, on the contrary, they were great furtherers of development in that they were up in arms against normal development. But they were the originators of evil (April 18, 1909, GA 110).

The diving down of man into material being was connected with the birth of time. When this process began, some of the beings of the highest hierarchies, the Seraphim, refused to accompany him on this path. They remained faithful to eternity, so that the downward development could in time return to them again. But such beings of the first hierarchy can also be called luciferic in a quite definite and very special sense.

A division also took place in the lowest hierarchy, that of the angels. Some of them helped man, when the spirits of form endowed him with the 'I'-spark to experience himself within it spiritually (in eternity). But the angels we call luciferic led into the human astral body, the bearer of feeling and consciousness, the principle of division that had occurred in the world of the hierarchies: the possibility of choosing between good and evil. Thereby man became a being of space and time. The division of the hierarchies reveals itself in so manifold a way.

Despite their grandeur and sublimity the beings of the higher hierarchies do not know freedom of choice. All that is untrue or evil is for them non-being. The evolution of their 'I'-consciousness took place in accordance with different laws than those prevailing in our cycle. Only in the third hierarchy, amongst the angels, archangels and archai does the possibility exist of freedom, and, connected with this, of error, i.e. of remaining behind in one's development. In this something always remains behind. In some cases the remaining behind occurs as a sacrifice for the benefit of a lower stage of development, in others not.

The beings of the third hierarchy developed their 'I'-consciousness within our evolutionary cycle, but already in past aeons. Some of them stayed behind, but this time not in the conventional way. To these belong the luciferic and ahrimanic beings - the retarded angels and archangels. The one who tempted man in Paradise is known to us as Serpent or Lucifer.

The possibility of freedom acquired by the beings of the third hierarchy cannot be lawful, since they cannot incarnate in physical bodies in order to tread the path of earthly man. In the spiritual world freedom and imperfection are irreconcilable. Their path would actually need to remain in the upper sphere (fig. 11, sphere I, p. *). But they have come into contradiction with the laws of higher being and at some time in the past missed the opportunity to develop their 'I'-consciousness, so that they now use man to make up for what they missed. Through their battle against the true gods a consolidation of spirit to the state of materiality is brought about; and an actual sub-physical realm is created in which the ether- and astral forces of the universe disintegrate. These beings know no bounds in their intentions. They hope to 'draw' the entire universe across into their sphere and, as it were, turn it inside-out.

Initially it was only given to man to develop the principle of freedom in the right way, and it is the foremost task of our entire evolutionary macro-cycle to create a hierarchy of freedom and love. It was for this reason that the Gods decided to drive man out into the material cosmos, whereby they also brought suffering upon themselves. In this way a tragedy entered world-development. You were bought at a price says the Apostle Paul (1. Cor. 7; 23). And Rudolf Steiner says Free will on the one hand, the possibility to choose between good and evil, between the beautiful and the ugly, between true and false, this free will on the one hand, and an apprehension of the divine so that it penetrates into our soul and we know ourselves to be inwardly filled, freely filled with the divine on the other hand, these are the two goals of human soul-development on earth (July 12, 1914, GA 155). In order to attain these, man received two religious gifts. One of them is intended to place into the human soul the forces that lead to freedom, to the distinguishing between true and false, beautiful and ugly, good and evil (Ibid.). This gift was the Fall. Through a further gift a seed was laid in our soul, out of which will rise the capacity to feel the divine within. The second religious gift is that which we meet in all that is expressed in the word: Mystery of Golgatha ... in these two religious gifts is contained all that is essential in world evolution (Ibid.).

The reader could raise at least two objections to what has been said above, if his quest for knowledge stops at the trivialities offered by modern science and theology with regard to the profound mysteries of existence. Above all he will object that freedom and predetermination are irreconcilable. But in this case he should consider that, as Rudolf Steiner says, man's free action will in future depend as little on what predetermined factors will be, as this freedom is dependent on his intention to live next year in a house whose plan he is now deciding upon. He will be free to the degree that he can be according to his inner nature, in the house he has built for himself. And on Jupiter and Venus he will be as free as his inner being allows, i.e. within the conditions that will arise there. Freedom will not depend upon what past conditions have predetermined, but upon what the soul has made of itself (GA 13, p. 413-414; emphasis by the present author).

To be free means to find oneself as spirit within oneself says Rudolf Steiner (May 15, 1910, GA 118).

A further objection will relate to the view of the Fall as a gift of God, and it will probably be raised with particularly strong emotion. Man can overcome this objection only within himself, through turning to spirit knowledge. Otherwise he would have to admit that God made a mistake etc.

The development of the human being is far more complicated than science claims, and the Biblical myth of creation needs to be deciphered, interpreted.

Man Between Lucifer and Ahriman

Nine kinds of spiritual beings, who rank above man in evolution, have achieved the development of 'I'-consciousness. For six of them this took place in cosmic conditions that have hardly anything in common with the present. The three lower hierarchies - angels, archangels and archai - went through their 'human stage' in past aeons, i.e. they then possessed object-consciousness. But not all of them succeeded in fulfilling the tasks in their sphere, for it is one of the evolutionary laws of our cycle that some remain behind and are overtaken by others in development: Thus, for instance, the angels who did not fulfil their task in the Old Moon aeon, cannot in the Earth aeon ascend to the level of consciousness that the archangels possessed on the Old Moon etc. They now have to catch up in their development, and this can only take place with the help of man, i.e. the human astral body, when this separates from the general astral body of humanity - or, figuratively expressed, from Adam.

This process was extremely complex. As a result of it, human consciousness could no longer be a mirror of the cosmos as the spirits of form had made it when they endowed it with the 'I'. In man the ability arose to control the pictures in his consciousness. However, this control did not proceed from the higher 'I', but from the astral body in which retarded angels - luciferic beings - were active. In this way the 'I', which ranked higher than the astral body, became dependent upon it. Man was from then on, says Rudolf Steiner, exposed to the continuous influences of the lower element in his nature (GA 13, p. 248); the possibility of error and of evil arose. The substances began to densify. The warmth ether caused physical warmth and the (lower) 'I' awakened by the luciferic desires of the astral body to arise in its first rudiments. If felt itself attracted gradually by the fiery materiality of earth, and man was drawn into this to an excessive degree. Untrue imaginations (at first supersensible but already becoming individualized - the serpent seduced man through knowledge) which could not be harmonized with higher spiritual influences, caused sickness and death. These come from our astral body.

The ether-body (which directs the life processes) was protected from the luciferic influence at the stage of the temptation. In part it was guided, as hitherto, by hierarchical beings (man was forbidden to eat of the fruits of the 'tree of life'), not by the 'I', which, after having become substantial, would have fallen as substance from the spirit, i.e. irrevocably. The physical expression of all the processes described became the gradual regulation of the mutual relations of (the planets) sun, moon and earth (GA 13, p. 250-252) and also of other heavenly bodies.

Death began to regulate the extent to which man came into contact with evil. Simultaneously with freedom and the possibility of error, fear arose. Behind the phenomena of death and fear there stand ahrimanic beings. They remained behind at a still earlier stage that did the luciferic beings. They ought to have attained the level of archangels already in the aeon of the Old Sun, but failed to do so.

Thus we see that complex transformations in evolution, which were related to the emergence of a new kind of self-consciousness that was also being elaborated by man, determined the polarity of good and evil in the cosmos. Here one should bear in mind that the (actively) willing 'I'-Logos represents the most essential element in cosmic evolution. There exist in the cosmos only beings endowed with the 'I'. This 'I' can be an individual or - for a time - a group-'I'. In the latter case being has a semi-illusory character. This is the most important truth of being, independent of any confessional prejudice. We should admit that the conditions in the world originate with the creator and not with man, and that it is therefore better to recognize than to deny and falsify them.

Everything in the world is determined by the laws of development. The laws themselves are beings, hierarchies in their rank and in their relation to each other (here lies the origin of the doctrine of the categories), whereby their deeds and their mutual interaction are determined. They are solely creative force of 'I'-consciousness. Human freedom also develops in harmony with the higher laws, since it is not arbitrary but the self-determined condition of the individual spirit. In order to attain this, the relation between subject and object has to arise within the original unified whole; the subject must, in order to become a subject, mirror itself in the object. At a given point in development this mirroring relationship assumes the character of polarity and negation. A world arises in which the higher condition of consciousness and being prevails through the negation of a lower. But the antithesis remains basically ethical, because everything is oriented towards the future synthesis, to all-unity - the unity of the entire multiplicity of 'I'-consciousnesses. In addition to this the negation is enclosed within the innermost being of man; where it has a perfectly legitimate function, for through it thinking arises.

The earthly human 'I' arises through the combining of these ingredients: thinking, feeling and willing. They all owe their genesis to the earthly existence of man: the higher nerve activity, the sensations and perceptions and a certain unconscious, instinctive force - the will. All three ingredients have a positive and a negative pole: affirmation is opposed by negation, a positive feeling by a negative one, constructive will is opposed by destructive will or absence of will. All this has long been known to the traditional sciences. Spiritual science completes the picture by adding the knowledge of the personified nature of all psychic and spiritual manifestations of man - his qualities.

When physiology speaks of the decay of nerve substance during the thought process, Anthroposophy provides in addition the teaching of ahrimanic beings, of their goals and world-mission. When psychoanalysis describes the 'sludge' in the soul and the various confusions arising in the human 'libido', Anthroposophy places over against this the teachings of the 'Doppelgänger'-being dwelling in the sub-nature of man, and of reincarnation and karma.

The conditions prevailing in the cosmos require of man that he should attain knowledge of the world-battle waged by the Gods against the luciferic and ahrimanic hordes. In this battle the highest God, who passed through death on earth and pointed the way to the final overcoming of the world-dualism of spirit and matter, is on the side of man. But man can follow Christ only in the 'I', for He is the God of the human 'I'. This means that, in his 'I', which he lives out in the combined faculties thinking, feeling and willing, the human being should strive for the ideal of the higher life, which brings not impoverishment and loss but enhancement of self-consciousness and the wealth of individual being.

On the path to higher stages of life hindrances are created by the luciferic and ahrimanic beings. As we have already mentioned, they need the human being, in order to catch up in their development. Thus they initially furthered man's individualization, his separation from the universal-human. But now man's task is not to follow them any longer, but to lead a strong, independent life in his 'I' through overcoming them.

When Lucifer and Ahriman influence human thinking, their aim is to arouse the false conviction that man in his inner being is only contradictory, and that the contradictions cannot be resolved. Thus they invent, says Rudolf Steiner, thought-combinations in the human soul such as: in tune, in harmony with the infinite, etc. Such conceptions arise because in their souls human beings are too cowardly to face up to contradiction, and want to let Lucifer-Ahriman invent for them a harmony with the infinite ... To seek satisfaction in such a world-view is equivalent to tying a blindfold over one's eyes. Today the human being shies away from looking at the multiplicity of battles that are fought in spiritual realms (Aug. 14, 1917, GA 176).

When attacking man, Lucifer approaches him from the side of the will (from below) and Ahriman from thinking (from above). Ahriman continuously strives to make man only into a head. Lucifer seeks continuously to cut off man's head so that he cannot think at all, so that everything is diverted through the heart and streams out as warmth, that he overflows with world-love and pours out into the world as world-love, pours forth as a cosmic fantasist (July 3, 1921, GA 205). Lucifer is fond of pious souls who strive for the spirit, for the good, but only out of egoism. Nowhere does Lucifer intrude more in our feelings - Rudolf Steiner says - than where people are striving for the divine out of their passions and desires (often cunningly refined) without illuminating the divine with the light of knowledge (May 18, 1910, GA 120).

Thinking has actually, if the human being truly masters it and does not merely use stereotyped phrases, the quality of will. Here instinctive will becomes conscious for the first time through the motive of an action, and then a deed becomes our own. The Luciferic beings, however, fetter the will that begins to free itself in man. They try to cast unclarity over the human being regarding the exercise of free will through making him into a good being. Lucifer wants actually to bring about - says Rudolf Steiner -, from the point of view I am alluding to here, the good in man, the spiritual. But he wants to make it automatic, without free will. The human being is, so to speak, to be automatically raised to clairvoyance according to good principles, but the luciferic beings want to rob man of his free will (and thereby) of the possibility for evil ... [They] have a strong interest in taking hold of man so that he cannot come to free (i.e. reasoned) will, because they did not achieve it themselves. Free will can only be attained on earth. But they want to have nothing to do with the earth ... They act in a highly spiritual manner, but they act automatically - this is of immense significance -, and they want to raise the human being up to their own ... spiritual height (Oct. 9, 1918, GA 182).

If we take note of these words and think of all the moral sermons with which all the confessions throughout the world wish to edify us, we realize at once that the utopia of K. S. Mereshkovsky will surely become social reality if people are unwilling to recognize in what times they are living. Where the luciferic beings once gave man the impulse to freedom, they now do the exact opposite. The reason for this is profound, for they remained behind in the aeon of the Old Moon, when man did not yet have an 'I'. The highest member of his revealed existence was the astral body. At that time they were not yet permitted to work upon it; but in the earth aeon they may. Here, however, man is developing the individual 'I', which is worked upon above all by the higher spirits; and through the 'I' they then work further on to the astral body and effect within it a catharsis. For this reason the 'I' is the enemy of the luciferic spirits, who try to extinguish it by working upon it from the astral body. They were allowed to inhabit this in order to fragment the unity of the astrality of mankind into a multiplicity of monads. Thanks to the luciferic spirits man can experience enthusiasm and elation - the source of his artistic activity. Thus human freedom was made possible, but at the same time the fall from God, and evil.

In a certain sense the human being strives for the ideal of ascending higher than his thoughts, feelings and expressions of will, to look upon them as something external in relation to himself as 'I'. But it is not easy to go through life in such a frame of mind. And at the same time, so long as it is not objectified in us, we can have no conception of the way 'I' and thinking, feeling and willing can stand over against one another, as this was originally intended by the divine beings.

The human being was intended to be an observer of himself, not to experience within himself - says Rudolf Steiner. But, he continues, Lucifer turned to man and spoke the following words: 'Just look, O man, how boring it is always to walk around in the world with this one central point 'I am', and merely look at everything else. It is far more interesting to dive down into your astral body. I give you the power to dive down into your astral body, and then you will not remain one-sidedly in your 'I' always staring only at your 'double', but you will dive down into it. Whatever may come over you as you dive into your astral body, which would feel like a drowning, I will compensate for by giving you something of my strength ...' And what man received by way of luciferic strength is the surplus of the 'I' over the astral body, it is the greater 'I-hood', which is actually luciferic (Dec. 29, 1911, GA 134). This is how we united through the higher 'I' with our thinking, feeling and willing and started to build our everyday 'I', so to speak, from below upwards.

The excess of the 'I'-force over the astral body gave rise to the excess of the astral body over the ether-body and this, in Lemurian times, led to the birth of individual life-processes.

The deeds of Lucifer had karmic consequences: Ahriman, whose main task in evolution is the consolidation of matter, intervened in the individual development of the human being. In proportion as the physical body densified, it acquired domination over the ether-body, thus giving rise to the phenomenon of death. But this intervention of Ahriman also made possible the development of the sense organs. As a further step the ether-body, under the influence of Ahriman in his active response to the deeds of Lucifer, begins to prevail over the astral body, and man senses himself throughout his whole body - glandular processes begin (Ibid.).

Thus to the degree that the harmony and balance of the threefold human body and 'I' created by the hierarchies is destroyed, the process of expulsion of man from Paradise takes place. Man was predestined to mirror world-consciousness perfectly through the members of his being, to be a kind of angel, but a withered angel, an object of world life - as Rudolf Steiner remarks. He was banished to the earth kingdom, which lies between the angel and animal-kingdoms. For this reason in the first period of life on earth the outer human form resembled that of animals. But this was only the form of archetypal man, within which he was ensouled by super-human divine wisdom. Gradually, however, this wisdom was extinguished in him, and in its place what we today call rationality slowly developed. In this Ahrimanic beings made their dwelling. In order to catch up on what they have missed they endeavour to tread the path of men to create his form in which he overcame the half-animal stage (e.g. achieved the upright posture). But it is not possible for them, and they experience terrible suffering. Rudolf Steiner describes this condition: It is as if an animal were to feel dimly within: You ought to be erect, you ought to be human - as though it wanted to tear apart everything inside itself. This is the terrible pain that is actually felt by the ahrimanic beings. It can only be assuaged if they approach man and take hold of his understanding. Then the understanding cools down the pain. This is why they cling as it were with their entire being to the human understanding, they dig their nails into it, harden their bones inside it (Oct. 23, 1921, GA 208). It is a terrible picture. But there is no sense in shying away from it; without reason there would be no consciousness. And reason needs a certain 'solidity' for support. And, since this already exists, man should spiritualize thinking, advance to an individualized perception of the intelligible world and enter the world of the hierarchies as a subject.

Man has the task of penetrating thinking with the will, of developing reason, of enlivening his thoughts, giving them substance and then carrying individually-willed thinking as the substance of his 'I' across the threshold of the supersensible world (on the path of initiation or after death). But Ahriman wishes to prevent this. He would like the will to remain separate, and thoughts to be especially formed only in us (in the way he wishes; July 3, 1921, GA 205). In this case we would lose our individuality. We would arrive at the moment of death with an altogether exaggerated, instinctively-formed thought. But we humans would not be able to retain this thought, and Ahriman would be able to take hold of it and integrate it into the rest of the world ... (Ibid.). Humanity faces this danger if it continues in present-day materialism (however broadly its concepts may be interpreted) with the result that the ahrimanic powers so gain in strength that Ahriman can steal thoughts from the human being and incorporate them in their effective working into the earth (i.e. the abstractions become reality) so that the earth, which is actually (in time) supposed to pass away (spiritualize) will be consolidated ... Ahriman works counter to the word: 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will not pass away'. He wants the words to be thrown away and that heaven and earth should remain (materially). This can only be accomplished when human beings are robbed of their thoughts, when human beings are de-individualized (Ibid.).

In the lecture quoted above Rudolf Steiner goes on to speak about the human brain, and says that it will grow ever harder if the ahrimanic influence persists, and that human beings would have to live with materialistic, obsessive ideas. The whole approach to pedagogy and education would be structured in such a way that the human being would no longer be able to have flexible thoughts, that even children from a certain age on would only have very rigid thoughts. And all this has virtually been accomplished today. In time means will be found to teach the human being instantaneously, outside school and at a certain age, everything he needs to know, so that he becomes an extremely clever automaton. Through injection with certain substances it will be accomplished (in such a case) that the ether-body is loosened in the physical body ... (and in that case) the interplay between cosmos and ether-body will be extremely lively, [but] man will become an automaton if his physical body is not educated through spiritual will here on earth (Ibid.). The reader who follows the latest achievements of science will say that this has already been done in individual cases. People will therefore have all the more reason to be concerned about their future, and not only the earthly one.

Manifold are the influences upon man, of Lucifer and Ahriman, who are antipodes in the cosmos. They reveal themselves as such also within us. Where, for instance, Lucifer hates any kind of law, Ahriman would like everything to comply with law: statutes, regulations, programmes and so on. Their polar opposite characteristics and influences can be shown in a table.

Lucifer
Ahriman
* Is more a being of soul and holds sway in man's inner being * Is more a spiritual being, the Lord of outer (material) nature
* Is a haughty spirit * Is a solitary spirit
* Suppresses free will * Strengthens the will, but only in order to achieve what is desired
* Robs man of the freedom to do evil * Inspires moral relativism
* Incites to transgressions of the will * Inspires error in thinking
* Fears conscious morality, but loves piety dictated by egoism * Fears the power of judgment, consequential thinking
* Fluctuation; chaos * Emphasizes form and law
* He draws upwards, into the nebulous, mystical * Promotess pedantry and philistinism
* Has ascetic contempt for the earthly * Furthers cold, inhuman science
* Promotes group-like emotions * Loves routine and likes to work into the subconscious activity
* Is revolutionary * Is conservative and wants to remain in the present moment
* Robs man of a genuine consciousness and harmony with the outer world * Promotes lies, clichés and ideologies
* Promotes hunger for knowledge * Uses knowledge to achieve what is desired

Because Lucifer and Ahriman complement one another in complex interaction, they influence man and bring about in him a whole system of one-sided patterns of behaviour, a precise system, for otherwise sciences such as psychology and psychiatry would not be possible, and moral education could not be combined in one system. Anthroposophy differs from current sciences of the soul only in that it takes account of real spiritual beings who work upon the soul.

We will borrow just one example from Rudolf Steiner, showing the laws that apply in the sphere of temptation. He speaks in one lecture of the dangers to which modern man is exposed if he confesses one-sidedly to either the materialistic or the idealistic world-view. When this is the case the following complex of reciprocal relationships arises:

Idealists:      Thinking and imagining can easily become luciferic; dreamers, fantasists, enthusiasts.
Will can easily become ahrimanic; despotic, tyrannical.

Materialists: Thinking, imagining can easily become ahrimanic; sober, philistine, dry, bourgeois.
Will can easily become luciferic; animalistic, greedy, nervous, sensitive, hysterical (March 28, 1919, GA 190).

When we thus perceive the nature of the spiritual forces that work counter to the development of the personality, we penetrate to the archetypal phenomenon of all that finds its manifold expression today in power-structures in the confessions, in sub-culture, in social organizations and finally in occultism. Then we begin to understand the primary source of today's crisis of civilization in its full depth: why politics has become occult and inhumane, why religions estrange man from the world, where the geniuses of pop-culture originate, and why so terrible a battle has erupted for the enslavement of human self-consciousness.

On the one hand all this has to be, for through opposing God man becomes a free spirit. On the other hand, because 'I'-consciousness is already developed, man must use this capacity in the task of reconciliation with God, and lead his forces along the path of higher development. The 'prodigal son' should have returned to his spiritual home long ago and should know exactly how this is achieved. He should know that for a long time to come he will be standing between the luciferic and ahrimanic forces which he is not permitted to ignore, eliminate or conquer, but which he must learn to lead to mutual cancellation. That is the method to use in the battle with evil. It is based on the continuous enhancement of the principle of individuality, of self-consciousness.

It is of crucial importance for us to know that Ahriman's influence on man in our epoch is dangerous only when the consciousness is disturbed in any way. So long as the consciousness is clear and alert, is not darkened by lies, drugged by sub-culture or undermined by occult practices, asceticism and fear - then neither Ahriman nor Lucifer can harm man. On the contrary, the autonomous human spirit is strengthened through confronting them.

It is dangerous, indeed fatal, for the human being if he does not know what dark spiritual forces approach him, when Lucifer is confused with God and Ahriman with Lucifer. The adversaries know the forces which enable man to build a trinity on the earthly plane, and they veil this secret from him completely, for its revelation enables humanity to achieve the state of balance between ahrimanic and luciferic powers (Nov. 21, 1919, GA 194) and neutralize them.

Rudolf Steiner embodied the secret of the mystery-battle of good and evil in the group 'The Representative of Man' (see fig.). The central figure is Christ as he appears today to the human soul who rises to perception of the etheric forces. The soul then perceives how Christ holds Ahriman back in the sphere of the mineral forces (the gesture of the right hand), and directs him to his realm of measure, number and weight. With the gesture of the left hand Christ keeps Lucifer back from the fall into darkness, and thereby opens up for him the possibility of salvation (the figure of Lucifer externally reminds one of the ear - he has a special relation to the sense of hearing). In the central area of the group Lucifer and Ahriman appear in their cosmic antithesis. From a rock in the upper left-hand corner World-humour smiles down upon us. If the secrets of the world that are revealed to man are too mighty, he is in danger of losing his sense of humour.

[Abbildung Holzgruppe]

In the position of the Christ represented in the group the human being should learn to experience himself, not, however, in a sentimental, pseudo-romantic or reckless way, but according to the principle of Not I, but Christ in me. Then he will find the strength to stand firmly on the earth and live out the karma of materialism rightly, to atone for original sin, without being thrown into disarray by the encounter with the emissaries of Satan and the Devil, be it in factories, banks, shops, in the press, in culture, in occultism or even in the Church. All the factors of civilization have a meaning. This helps the strong - and ruins the weak. The weak therefore must become strong - through knowledge. But knowledge without will or will without knowledge is the true enemy of man. Through it the feeling-sphere also becomes deformed.

All that surrounds us, without and within, has not come about through a 'mistake' of the Divinity but for the sake of the unique world creation, for man as the future hierarchy of freedom and love.

 

The Individual Spirit and the Evolution of Species

In evolution all retarding is accompanied by densification. Just as in a liquid everything that cannot remain in a state of solution becomes a deposit so, also in the spiritual, everything that loses its connection to the whole, the ability to be permeated by the universal, separates off, and thus 'coagulates', as it were. The condition of life in the universe is based on four kinds of ether: warmth-ether, light-ether etc. The etheric is pervaded by the astral, in which a disjunction, a remaining behind takes place. This then causes a retardation in the etheric, and the result of all this is the emergence of the world of 'otherness', the elementary world: earth, water, air, warmth.

Rudolf Steiner explains: ... through the compression of the human body brought about by the luciferic beings, man became heavier and sank down from the periphery (of the earth) to the ground. This was the departure from Paradise, as it is figuratively described (Aug. 24, 1910, GA 122). The luciferic spirits asserted their own will, and this created in the human astral body desires which drew him downwards into a more rigid form, so that the etheric and physical consolidation took place. Then the progressive Gods were obliged to place man into a sphere where, from the light-ether downwards, death lives in his physical body. But at that time these progressive Gods said ...: 'Man has acquired the power to distinguish good and evil, but he shall not have life. He shall not eat of the 'tree of life' (July 16, 1914, GA 155).

Man was expelled from the world of the life-forces, in which he had dwelt in a super-conscious condition, and where consciousness and existence formed a unity. From then on he had to experience them as separate, whereby the force of his individual 'I' increased in strength, but not in substance. The secret of life remained beyond the threshold of consciousness and revealed itself only in instinctive will. And thus it will remain, so long as man has not learned to direct his life-processes with his consciousness. To the present day we breathe instinctively; we are not conscious of blood-circulation or the processes of metabolism.

The process of individualization of the human being has stopped at the point of the exchange with the environment. Therefore two worlds had to arise: the inner and the outer. The interaction between them was gradually differentiated into a number of processes such as digestion, breathing and perception. In the aeon of the Old Sun digestion and breathing were a single process. Later they were again separated from one another, parallel to the development of the inner organs, circulation and the nervous system, and still later, during the Lemurian period of the Earth aeon, the sense organs began to open outwards. Their activity has become a refined (astral) breathing process.

In the Bible it says that God breathed the living breath into man (Genesis 2;7), i.e. man took his first breath, received from without a certain inner content and thus unavoidably separated from God. In this way the separation of man from God began, and at the same time the system of his inner organs began to develop. They are all the result of separation, of egoistic enclosure within oneself, and consequently their 'pocket' shape is not accidental. Man is evil because of his organs; the possibility of evil is contained in them (Aug. 22, 1924, GA 243). A sick organ concentrates evil within itself to a special degree, and can thus even die off.

The organs of the body are connected with the planetary system. At the beginning of the Earth aeon there was indeed a 'primal nebula'. Materially it consisted only of warmth, which was permeated by a unified etheric-astral formation, and this constituted the Macro-Anthropos which had passed over from the condition of the Great Pralaya to the Manvantara. What separated out as planets from this formation, let us say the 'first Adam', were, in a manner of speaking, macrocosmic inner organs. Against this background astrology, following the ancient forms of the art of healing, brings the inner organs of modern man in relation to the planets. Our organs are indeed the microcosmic expression of the planets: the heart that of the sun, the liver that of Jupiter etc. But this relation goes further, on to the fixed stars whence the 'primal nebula', as it is called, originates. It was on this macro-level that good and evil came into mutual opposition as a result of the separation of the hierarchies.

Such is, in very broad terms, the phenomenology of the Fall. As we have seen, its origin lies in the Fall of the archetypal phenomenon. This is spoken of in what is known as the Rosicrucian legend of the creation of man, which is more esoteric than the world of the Bible. It tells how Adam saw under the olive tree in Paradise an angel that resembled a pentagram resting on two pillars. In esoteric tradition these pillars were called 'Yakin' and 'Boas'. Adam swore never to be led astray with respect to the force represented in these pillars. But when Lucifer tempted him, Adam erred. When he again visited the place where the angel had appeared to him, so Rudolf Steiner relates, he experienced fear of his own being. The fallen pentagram, open on one side (and thus) upside-down; in this sign the angel now appeared to Adam, threatening with the sword of fire, and Adam fled (GA 265, p. 349).

Figure 12

In this form, what revealed itself to Adam was, quite simply, his own archetypal image,* his cosmic, planetary being from which he had separated off into the phenomenology of earth-development. {*We use the term 'archetypal image' (Urbild) in the Goethean sense.} This, however, was in its beginnings such that all the planets existing today were contained in it as in a single heavenly body. It extended, according to the indications of Rudolf Steiner, beyond the present orbit of Saturn. But this heavenly body was more etheric than material. It consisted of etheric atoms, comparable to the dust particles in a dust-cloud. In supersensible vision one could recognize in these atoms the human being of today enclosed within them. We have something similar to this in a seed in which imaginatively is contained the future plant that can arise out of it (Jan. 27, 1908, GA 102).

The originally etheric-astral formation was surrounded by the working of higher astral word-forces. In this sense it was reminiscent of the 'yolk' in the 'egg' of world being. From this it was separated through the working of physical (not material) forces. With the help of the ether-forces the entire cosmos was able to work upon this formation. Through its own astral forces the differentiated solar system evolved within it, and the earth became a kind of independent individuality within the solar system.

When all the planets still formed a unified world body, this structure was built up according to the laws of a living organism and this organism was the archetypal image of the microcosm. The sun was the organ of nourishment within it. The nebula which must be regarded as the primal condition of the earth aeon was nourished from out of the cosmos. The future planet earth was within the sun, and the future moon inside the earth (cf. fig. 13). In the centre of the entire formation was something that could be compared to a stomach. The sun drew in from all sides the spiritual substances that reached it as comets, and passed them to this centre. Out of this condition the earth came into being. The embryonic development and birth of the human being are a repetition of that primeval development of the solar system (Sep. 30, 1922, GA 347). The unified phylo- and ontogenetic fundamental law is far more comprehensive in its working than biology can conceive.

The three bodies of man - physical, etheric and astral - had at the beginning of the earth-aeon to be brought into a particular mutual relationship in order to be able to receive the 'I' into themselves. For this reason a unified planetary cosmos was necessary at the beginning. After this a complicated regulation of the developmental rhythm was required. Thus the ether-body soon needed a slower development. The sun therefore separated off from the earth, and with it the spiritual beings (hierarchies) who stood higher in rank and were much quicker in development than man. Then the moon separated from the earth and took with it the astral inheritance of the Old Moon aeon, which hindered man in his development (May 17, 1910, GA 120).

Figure 13

The separation of sun- and moon-forces from the earth provided the balance between life and form ... The forces that (later) came from the sun create and fructify life. That which pours this life into fixed forms, comes from the moon. We owe to the moon the coming into being of the physical (and material) body ... (Nov. 18, 1907, GA 100).

Rudolf Steiner describes the development of man at this stage as follows: First, man became a warmth being in whom a kind of warmth-organ developed in that part which later belonged to the region of the head. This organ was comparable to an etheric 'lamp' and recalls the eye of the legendary Cyclops. It served to seek out suitable conditions. Radiating from it, linear streams of force, rays, led to the heart. Later these became blood-vessels. First warmth spread inside in them, and this then became blood. After the warmth, the light - the foundation of the nervous system - entered man. The lines of force, the structural lines of the nervous system are light that have become form (March 17, 1908, GA 98). The human beings were at that time bundles of light concentrating around fiery matter, around the 'lamp'.

When the sun separated from the earth, the 'dance of the substances' began (we use esoteric concepts here, without unveiling their content) under the influence of the 'cosmic music'. Protein and protoplasm came into being; the cell developed later. Nor did the atom exist originally (this can only be understood through the overcoming of the narrow materialistic view of matter). Before the moon separated from the earth, there falls out of the organic substances (which were not yet so dense and formed as natural science now knows them) the mineral, the ashy substance (and works within earth and man) like a dimming, a darkening. Only protein-like substances existed prior to this. Now there appear ash-clouds embedded in the protein. These ash-clouds are incorporated into the organic substances of all the natural kingdoms, those of plants, animals and man (Ibid.). Now man enters the stage referred to in biology as the evolution of species.

Parallel to the separating off of the planets, substances and matter, a separation also took place within the spiritual world. When the sun was separated, some of the spiritual beings, the luciferic, attempted to follow it, but were not successful in this, because they had remained behind on the Old Moon. When they returned to the earth, they made efforts to develop further with the help of man. When the spirits of form, who had left the earth with the sun, endowed man with the 'I', the luciferic spirits approached man's astral body. At that time he was not yet ready to develop 'I'-consciousness. Thus the harmony of man's three bodies was destroyed, as was already mentioned above. The Fall began, the macrocosmic archetypal image of man was 'overturned'.

The pentagram as a microcosmic archetypal image is more than a symbol. It brings to expression the original planetary constellation of man. In his true form, to which he always returns whenever he passes through the portal of death, man, even at the present time, expands to the outer limits of the solar system. This was always known within the closer circle of initiates. The figures of Agrippa von Nettesheim for instance, one of which is shown in figure 12/C, bear witness to this fact. The pentagram expresses the law according to which man is membered into the cosmos. This law is not unequivocal. The position of the planets on the pentagram can change according to what condition of man the law expresses.* {*The planetary signs in brackets in fig. 12/C correspond to the indications of Rudolf Steiner (GA 264, p. 190).}

The 'overturning' of the pentagram signifies a fundamental change in the human evolutionary laws. Man began as it were to turn himself inside-out, as he - I speak with caution - progressed along the Moebius-loop. And indeed, he tumbled headlong down on to the earth. In the first stage of his earth existence he was a plant-animal formation, resembling the jellyfish. The organ that later became the head fastened itself to the bottom of the world ocean, which at that time covered the entire earth, while his extremities reached out towards the sun.

As man passed through the evolution of species, he gradually arrived at the stage of animal-man. The cartilaginous spinal column developed and he could propel himself forward in the water like a fish. Only in the transition from Lemurian to Atlantean times when the continents formed did man acquire the upright posture. Thus his archetypal image returned to its correct position, but only organically. Its supports, its 'pillars', changed qualitatively. 'Boas' became the 'tree of death' instead of the 'tree of life'; it represented the principle of the blue blood in man. 'Yakin' corresponded to the red blood. Together they formed the basis of human life on earth.

The Rosicrucian legend tells that Seth was allowed to enter Paradise. There he beheld the two trees and from them took three seeds with him to earth. He laid them in the mouth of the dead Adam and a mighty tree grew from his grave. It radiated a fiery glow which took on the form of two letters: Y and B - the initial letters of 'Yakin' and 'Boas'. Out of this tree two pillars and a cross-beam (M) were made, which later formed the entrance to Solomon's temple. The Levites threw the pillars into the pool of Bethesda, which thereby received healing powers. At the time of Christ the pillars were taken out of the pool and placed over the brook of Kedron. Christ walked across them when He went to the Mount of Olives. Later it was made into the cross of Golgatha.

In the Bible the two pillars 'Yakin' and 'Boas' come to expression through Cain and Abel. Abel denotes that stage of human development when man was still close to God, Cain the stage when man began to act out of free will and was thus also capable of evil. Abel also signifies wisdom, but it is the tribal archetypal wisdom which is passed on through the blood. Cain, on the other hand, means strength; that strength which is won on the individual spiritual path of development. Abel is a priest, Cain a master builder. Between them stands Seth; this figure expresses the piety that is to unite wisdom and strength, the heavenly and the individual, cultus and cognition. Seth corresponds to the connecting beam that rests on the pillars: the principle of piety, love and beauty. Christ raises the beam out of the 'water' - of the astral plane - and crosses the brook (the path to the higher worlds) toward sacrificial death on Golgatha. Christ's sacrifice unites the three columns of strength, beauty and wisdom into one - the threefold human spirit consisting of Spirit Man (Atma, 'Boas'), the Life Spirit (Buddhi, 'Yakin') and the Spirit Self (Manas, M) (GA 265, p. 342-351).

In other words, after the Mystery of Golgatha the human archetypal image finds its support in the triune nature of the human spirit, which was created by the hierarchies in the course of the last three aeons, and which, now that it is endowed with the 'I', gradually becomes the individual human spirit. The 'I' lights up in the threefold soul, so that man is enabled, through the force of the Christ-impulse, to develop the threefold soul on the planetary, macrocosmic level with their help, and transform the threefold body into the threefold spirit.

Thus we see that man passed through the Fall in stages. As these proceeded he attained, by way of the evolution of species and with the help of the acquired hereditary and generic qualities, the condition of group-soul 'I'-consciousness. Up to a certain point in time this form of consciousness fettered the evil which had arisen through the fall from God. It was actually through this evil that the entire organic human being had arisen. Then the priestly Abel worked within man and transformed the substances. But gradually the unconscious egoism of the body united with the conscious soul-egoism and differentiated itself in a complicated way in the soul and in the organs. There arose an equally problematic interplay between two kinds of egocentricity: isolation and hostility. In everything that is conditioned as a means of cognition by brain and spinal marrow, says Rudolf Steiner, human beings fought by reason of their world-view, their religious outlook. And all this has a more or less super-personal character. And with respect to the faculty whose organ is the ganglion system, they fought a battle in which hatred spoke against hatred (Jan. 14, 1917, GA 174). This comes about because the 'I', as it enters into the whole body, has its main support in the solar plexus, in the ganglion system, where it manifests especially strongly in the human receptivity to sense perceptions.

When the human being lives in a normal, healthy condition, this 'I' is bound as it were to the solar plexus and everything connected with it ... What does this mean? This human 'I', which has been given to man in the course of earth evolution as a gift by the spirits of form, was exposed, as we know, to the luciferic temptation (through the astral body). This 'I', as it live in the human being, would actually, because it is infected by the luciferic forces, be the bearer of evil forces ... It is infected by all possible forms of egoism. This is simply how the 'I' is, since it is luciferically infected. What lives in man as ganglion system, as solar plexus, came (to the earth) from the (Old) Moon development and represents, so to speak, the dwelling for the 'I'; the 'I' fits into it in a certain way. This is why it can be bound or fettered to it ... Through the luciferic infection the 'I' always has the tendency to behave in an insidious, untruthful way, to place itself into the light and all else in the shadow. But it is bound by the nervous system of the abdomen. There it has to obey. Through the nervous system of the abdomen the rightfully progressing forces who have ascended through Saturn-, Sun- and Moon-development, compel the 'I' not to be a demon in the negative sense of the word. So that we bear our 'I' within us in such a way, that it is bound to the organs of the abdomen (Ibid.). But if these prove to be unhealthy, which means that they do not fully accommodate what fits into them spiritually, what spiritually belongs to them, the 'I' is so to speak let loose into the outer world, and characteristics which are due to the luciferic temptation increase (Ibid.). Physical illness can be manifested in this way.* {*R. L. Stevenson described this phenomenon artistically in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It concerns the phenomenon of the double. Ivan Karamazov was plagued by it; the Russian author Gogol also suffered from it towards the end of his life.} But if the ganglion system cannot master the 'I' any longer (e.g. under magnetic influence, or naturally), the freeing of the 'I' shows itself in the phenomenon of somnambulism.

In our human nature - concludes Rudolf Steiner - many things have to be fettered. In a certain way we are of the devil, and only the supervision of the divine-spiritual powers who have undergone a regular development through Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions, who have fettered the devil in us - only thanks to this are we to any extent decent human beings - something to which we are not specially inclined, as a result of the various temptations (Ibid).

This conclusion is hardly comforting. But if this were not the case, could man indeed do so much evil?! However, let us not forget that he has a higher nature too. He should arrange his earthly existence - from health and hygiene to the entire educational system - in accordance with this. And ultimately such an organization prepares the ground for the social structure which, were it to be realized, would contribute significantly to a restraining of the lower human nature. We refer to social threefolding, the complete separation and independent co-existence of the economic, judicial and spiritual spheres of life. In such an ordering of society the human lust for power which gives rise to unspeakable misery could be held in check, and other abuses too.

But, on the whole, life is so arranged that neither Cain may kill Abel, nor Abel Cain. Man owes the fact of his existence to the presence of evil. Cain is that part of human nature which resists the forces of inheritance that formed Abel. And the human 'I' will, for a long time to come, rebel against everything of a group-soul, half-conscious, authoritarian nature, and against the blood-ties. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household (Matthew 10;36) until it finds the strength to remain upright within the 'golden triangle' of Manas, Buddhi and Atma, i.e. to acquire mastery of the three bodies through the higher 'I'.

Indeed, man has been driven out of the spiritual sphere, being has been removed from his consciousness, but Christ proffers him the fruits of the 'tree of life', and reconciles Cain and Abel. The ideas that come directly out of the spiritual world into the human soul must be experienced - says Rudolf Steiner. But they can only be experienced when the human soul takes the Christ into itself. And then we have something entirely different from the concept of knowledge; then we have the concept of life. Whilst we must watch Lucifer and Ahriman very closely, as it were, so that - when in the distant future they let knowledge penetrate us from the outer world (thereby causing the death process in the nerves) - we see that they come from Ahriman and Lucifer. We must also be clear that the Mystery of Golgatha has brought it about in the existence of man that ideas arise in human beings for the sake of life. Not for the sake of mere knowing, but of life (Nov. 11, 1915, GA 254).

But the root of all evil lies in the fact that the representatives of religion have declared war on science, above all spiritual science, Anthroposophy. They do not want to free themselves of original sin; they still want not only to appeal to God who said to man: He will give them life, they should not eat of the 'Tree of Life' themselves ... but they also want to appeal to the luciferic and the ahrimanic spirit, and let their eyes be opened through religion for the distinguishing between good and evil. Religion (as such, i.e. not as a creed) wants to be 'knowledge'. But that cannot be, because it is life-substance (Ibid.). The adversary powers insinuate into the minds of the representatives of religion the thought of taking up arms against scientific and spiritual-scientific knowledge, i.e. to endlessly perpetuate the fratricidal war between Cain and Abel. But only Anthroposophy can put an end to the evil that has lasted over millennia. Its impulse would consist in experiencing the unity of science, religion and art at Easter; and in experiencing at Michaelmas (from September 29) how the Three - that have one mother, the Easter mother -, how the Three become sisters, and stand next to each other, but complement one another (Apr. 2, 1923, GA 223). They are the heralds of the Triune Spirit of God, who would become the individual spirit in man.

 

The Division of the Sexes

Of untold significance for the spiritual individual development of the human being is the division, brought about through evolution, of the originally bi-sexual (androgynous) human being into two beings of different sexes. The esoteric depth of this phenomenon can hardly be fathomed properly anywhere outside of Anthroposophy. Such knowledge is of especial importance in our epoch in which, particularly in the realm of sexuality, much that is repellent and evil takes place, thus providing a fertile soil for the mysteries of darkness.

The pre-conditions for the separation of the sexes were already laid down in evolution within the foregoing aeon of the Old Moon. At that time all human monads possessed group-consciousness. This experienced itself as female ... The Sun, which already illumined the moon from the outside, was experienced as male. This is preserved in the old Egyptian myths with, for example, the moon as Isis, female, and the sun as Osiris, male (June 4, 1907, GA 99).

In the earth aeon man was endowed with the spark of the 'I', and it became necessary to develop individual 'I'-consciousness. But the forces required for this were not available in the bi-sexual human being, they were all used for propagation, for self-fertilization. Through the separation of the present moon from the earth the inheritance from the Old Moon aeon came to an end. The unified spiritual centre in man which catered, so to speak, for reproduction and the cosmic mirror-consciousness was divided into two. Gradually the central nervous system developed, together with separate reproductive organs - male and female. The shift of the unified centre resulted in the development of the spine (with the chakras). In the course of time the speech organs also developed out of the same centre.

The separation of the sexes, however, did not yet give rise to mutual attraction of the two sides. Thus the spiritual forces of Venus were called upon to help. Through them ... love in its lowest form, as the attraction of the sexes, is implanted in the earth. This love is intended to be continuously ennobled, and later to attain the highest forms (GA 262, p. 83ff).

The spirit beings of Venus fulfilled yet another mission on earth. They made human reason productive through endowing it with that half of the reproductive force that remained over after the division of the sexes. Since then intellectual activity and the sexual realm stand in a spiritual connection which requires ennoblement and harmonization if the human being is to ascend to higher conditions of consciousness, rather than becoming the source of evil.

Now the facts grow more complicated through the fact that in the distant past of which we speak not only Venus beings, but spiritual beings from Mars also worked on man. They enriched the blood with iron (Mars permeated the not yet consolidated earth in a rarefied, semi-spiritual condition) and imbued the power of understanding with a certain higher passion (Ibid., p. 84). This occurred with the collaboration of luciferic beings. They filled the astral bodies of human beings with the astral forces of Mars, thus activating the passions and the intellect. Their symbol was the serpent of Paradise. It approached the female nature because this possessed the forces of regeneration. And since then man stands between two kinds of passion: that of spiritual and that of organic reproduction. The future belongs to the first; and this is the reason why man blocks his path to it when he sinks into eroticism.

The Biblical myth and the Mysteries of antiquity clothed the idea of the separation of the sexes in the figures of Cain and Abel. In Greek 'Abel' means 'Pneuma' (spirit) and is female. The word 'Cain' literally means 'male'. Two opposite principles are shown in Abel and Cain: the female and the male, though not yet physical, but purely spiritual, at the stage where the division of the unified human being takes place for the first time. The Bible expresses it thus: Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground (Genesis; 4;2). The 'smoke', the spirit planted by God on the earth, rises from Abel to God but Cain's 'smoke' remains on the earth. What is independent remains on the earth as Cain's 'smoke' (June 10, 1904, GA 93).

The organic process of the division of the sexes took place through the fact that the capacity of the single being to reproduce gradually ceased. The female egg lost the ability to fertilize itself; fructification passed over to the other sex. At the same time everything else divided also: the astral body, the ether-body, the dispositions to individual development. Only the highest macrocosmic archetypal phenomenon in man remained unchanged and unified. This is incorporated into the zodiac in such a way that to imaginative perception the macro-anthropos appears as a male being in the seven upper signs (from Aries to Libra), and as a female being in the lower five (from the Fishes to Scorpio).

To imaginative perception the macro-anthropos indeed extends over the zodiac as male and female in a self-enclosed serpent form (Jan. 8, 1924, GA 316). And when clerical ideology lashes out at the 'Gnostic serpent' of the occultists, it declares war against heaven and destroys the innermost being of man, whom God ought clearly to have made according to their fancy.

The archetypal phenomenon of man in the zodiac mirrors the divine plan of creation and encompasses the whole of earth being, which in the course of time separated out into the four kingdoms. Man was able to separate out from himself the three lower kingdoms of nature, and will in the future absorb them again. Originally the human archetypal image of man revealed itself in the zodiac as the four forces of Water-Bearer-Lion and Bull-Eagle (Scorpion), which together form a cross. For imaginative perception, man to this day is the totality of these three beasts and the Water-Bearer or angel. For that which became in him the head-system or nerve-sense-system caused, after it had succeeded in casting off the part that hindered earth development, the world of the birds to arise (eagle = king of the birds). The lion is in this sense related to the breathing or rhythmic system, the bull to the metabolism. The Apocalypse speaks of all this: The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle (Revelations 4; 7 - Cf. figure).  

During the division of the sexes the physical body of the woman arose out of the lion-nature, while the physical body of the bull is the ancestor of the male body (Oct. 29, 1908, GA 107). The female physical body has remained to this day on a more spiritual level; it has not descended completely into the material. It has retained something of the condition in which it would have stayed if it had not absorbed matter into itself. Rudolf Steiner says that in its present form it is an illusion with the exception of head and limbs. The forms of the Venus of Milo reveal to us the female figure as it might have become if it had incarnated fully into the earthly.

The male body on the other hand 'overshot' the normal point of descent into matter. The figure of Apollo of Belvedere reveals the ideal incarnation of the male form.

The differences between male and female on the physical level are closely related to those in the etheric and astral body. Thus the astral body plays a large part in the life of a woman; hence her entire organization is more cosmic than that of the man. The secrets of the cosmos are more easily revealed through her; her astral body is more finely differentiated than that of the man. Female life is the fantasy-life of the universe. Male life is what gives contours to life (Jan. 7, 1921, GA 323). All this shows already in childhood and teenage years. Thus the 13-14-year-old girl experiences up to her 20th-21st year the strong influence of those processes which take place in her astral body in the formation of the 'I'. The spirit of contradiction therefore becomes active during this time and ways should be found of letting the child give free rein to her impulses. Boys tend to remain weaker in character at this age, they are withdrawn, but have special thoughts and feelings. Coarse behaviour is often the result (June 16, 1921, GA 302).

In the process of conception the female element brings about the similarity to the parents and to the ancestors in general. The male element specializes. Through the female the species is preserved; the male gives rise to individuality.* {*For this reason states that are built up on racist principles determine the nationality in the case of mixed marriages according to the mother.} This can be explained through the fact that the moon especially influences the male ether-body, and the sun the male physical body. It is the reverse in women.

In each sex there are not only differences but also a number of factors where male and female principles are intertwined. The ether-body - says Rudolf Steiner - is twofold in each person. And the ether-body of a man as he lives among us exhibits female, the ether-body of a woman male characteristics ... The human soul builds itself a body as a magnet is formed out of two poles. It builds itself a male and a female part, this time one part as physical body, and the next time as etheric body. Thus with regard to the passions related to the ether-body: devotion, courage and love, a woman can clearly exhibit male traits of character, while a man can sometimes appear quite feminine.

Therefore it will obviously be the case that, if we want to observe the human being as a whole, we have before us a manifestation in two parts, a revealed (outer) material part, and a hidden, spiritual part. And only he is a complete human being, who is able to combine with outward masculinity, feminine beauty of character within (Nov. 17, 1906, GA 54).

In the various stages of evolution sometimes the male, sometimes the female principle is dominant. In the last few centuries the male principle has predominated in social and spiritual life. Therefore culture became materialistic. It will only be spiritualized if the male human being acquires what Goethe called the eternal feminine. In the distant future, when the human being will rank higher than sexuality, when he ascends to the Spirit Self, we will be able to say: Neither the male nor the female, but the eternally human leads us on (Ibid.).

For the attainment of this goal, the institution of marriage was given to man. In all its elements marriage is dualistic, but it is also unity in multiplicity, the unity of the opposites. This is why marriages 'are made in heaven', before birth, i.e. are karmically determined.

The gospels say: But from the beginning of the creation the human being was made male-female (the canonical translation is incorrect here). For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh (Mark 10; 7,8). Despite its apparent everyday character, marriage is a mystery in which both sides are preparing for the future union of the sexes. The man has before him in the woman and the woman before her in the man the most immediate completion of his/her own unified (triune) nature. But the unity is attained through the metamorphic process of the opposites.

The human being is involved in a gigantic process of metamorphoses, if he wishes to reconstitute within himself the archetypal image created by God. When he is born on earth as a man, his thinking is less flexible than that of a woman, and thus connected more with the intellect than with the psyche. His life-experience does not press very deeply into the up-building forces, and therefore the tendency arises to build a female body in the next life. Such a tendency strengthens the woman in man.

Women have a deeper and more receptive disposition than men; they are more connected to the psyche and are emotional, therefore their life-experience penetrates farther into the organism, so that their next incarnation will be male. And the experiences they have gathered in marriage play an especially important part in this process. The man is the karma of the woman ... The woman is the karma of the man (May 26, 1906, GA 120). This is why celibacy, rightful celibacy is the expression of a high developmental stage of the individual spirit. - But humanity will have to wait for the corresponding conditions in order to incarnate on earth in a finer materiality. Then the mature souls will begin to pass through a profound mutation. The reunification of the sexes will take place and, Rudolf Steiner says, the reproductive organ will then be the speech organ. After man will have received the cosmic Logos he will master the magic of the word and will be able, through utterance of the magic word in warmth-air substance, to form a body into which a human soul will then incarnate. Yes, indeed, this will come, for it says in the Gospel of St. John: In the beginning was the Word and all things were made by It.

In order to attain this condition in the future man must pass through a deep moral transformation whose basis is love. He is permitted to experience love in its lower and higher aspect. At first he meets it by virtue of his own nature, so that it arises in the woman out of fantasy - the woman loves not so much the real person as the image she has created of him- and man loves with his wish. And this distinction must be made, whether it then comes to expression in a real sense, or more in the sense of ideas or ideals. The highest ideal can still contain ideal wishes; the instinctively most sensual can be a product of fantasy ... A woman's love is steeped in fantasy; a man's love is steeped in wishes. They thereby form something that comes into harmony in life (Jan. 4, 1922, GA 303).

When the harmony is conscious, it creates the conditions for higher development. This is why man and woman should... be able to freely join hands because now spirit speaks to spirit, not sensuality to sensuality. This is the great idea of the future (Jan. 2, 1906, GA 93). But it is utterly destroyed by the sexuality which in our time is artificially implanted, and promoted by every conceivable means. It arises through the earth, i.e. works more strongly on the man and is also the source of egoism. For this reason it will always produce violence. Sexuality can spiritually kill the human being (of either sex); it shares the nature of Judas Iscariot (Apr. 1, 1907, GA 96) and it is not by chance that the same myth is told of him as of Oedipus. Such is lower love. It has two sides. If it is not stifled in sexuality but is ennobled, it shows itself as passion that very effectively frees from egoism.

The experience of what is beautiful and aesthetic from early childhood weakens the erotic principle correspondingly. Now it is easy to understand why the disco has become so wildly successful around the world. It is the spiritual guillotine that prepares the 'Napoleonic Wars' of each against all. It can be countered only through the education of the sense of beauty which also frees the human being physically. Then the body will no longer oppress him, and love will be able to transfer its source, its motive, from the one who loves to the being who is loved. A love of this kind overcomes the luciferic temptation.

In spiritual love this personal, individual element, we could say this egoistic element of love, is fully justified, because it takes man out of the world of the senses, it leads him up into the spiritual world, it encourages him to fulfil his obligation to make himself ever more perfect ... Lucifer wants to make sensual love similar to spiritual love. Then he can tear it from the sense world and lead it into his special kingdom (Aug. 25, 1913, GA 147). Here a great service is done to Lucifer by medical science, which holds the opinion that sexual relations are indispensable for good health, or that - according to latest 'discoveries' - homosexual tendencies are inherited and everything inherited is natural etc. Even if these explanations appear in the guise of science - concludes Rudolf Steiner - they are nothing other than inspirations of the luciferic element in the world ... and people do not notice that Lucifer is behind it all (Ibid.). Most people today are not in the least deterred by this wisdom. They simply ask: 'And why not Lucifer?' The answer to this is: return to the animal kingdom awaits the human being in such a case.

Rudolf Steiner gives the following explanation: When present-day civilization thinks about love, then it only speaks the word love, it is actually talking about eroticism ... It is denial of the spirit which turns the force of love into erotic force. In many areas the genius of love has not only been replaced by his lower servant eroticism, but in many places its counter image, the demon of love, has entered ...

So that the descending path is as follows: we recognize the genius of love, we have spiritualized love. We recognize the lower servant, eroticism. But we fall into the demon of love. And the genius of love has its demon in the interpretation, not in its true form, but in the interpretation of sexuality by present-day civilization. We do not only speak of eroticism today when we want to approach love, but merely of sexuality! ... The demon enters where the genius is denied ...

... It lies within the power of the human being, as it were, to deny his own nature (July 22, 1923, GA 225). Thus in all that is known today by the shameless term 'sexual revolution' evil flaunts itself quite openly and assumes hugely destructive proportions. The triumph of this 'revolution' is the Requiem for mankind. It is, as Rudolf Steiner characterizes sexuality, the worst expression of materialism, the most devilish in the world today ... Sexuality and love have nothing at all to do with one another. Sexuality is something that has nothing whatever to do with pure, original love. Science has brought it to this disgrace by creating an entire literature about it ... (May 8, 1912, GA 143).

This was the situation already in the first quarter of the century. Today, at its close, we are witnesses of an unimaginable, open and total pogrom against all the spiritual values of humanity. We are even witnesses to the destruction of the genetic foundation of the human species. Having considered what spiritual science has had to say concerning the deepest cosmic evolutionary traits and interrelationships of the male and female sex, we will now review the complete legalizing, the general justification and promotion of sexual perversions, whereby the comparison of man with the animal sounds like an insult to the animal kingdom.

The whole thing smacks of compulsion, as we already mentioned in chapter 18. Prof. Igor Kohn, until recently considered a luminary of Russian sociology, is now campaigning for the condemnation of protests against sexual perversion as being equivalent to racism, and says that war should be declared on Russian 'homophobia'. But the 'homophobia' among Russians is not a result of their chauvinism. It arises because so far they have succeeded, as if by a miracle, to preserve some natural moral ideas.

From a purely medical point of view it has long been proven that a complicated complex of psychic disturbances leads to sexual aberrations, which would indicate that such people should be treated as ill. But since illnesses of this kind also represent a social risk (the seduction of minors in particular), certain legal boundaries are set, quite understandably. Illnesses of this kind arise from hormonal disturbances, psychic shocks etc. As with any other illness, these too can appear in mild or severe forms. In some, it shows only as an aversion to the opposite sex, in others as an inclination to bestiality etc. The most severe form of the sickness is necrophilia. When a club for 'sexual minorities' opened its doors in Moscow, different groups (or possibly sections) formed immediately according to the category of illness. Were any European who regards as sick all sexual perversions except homosexuality to voice his opinion there, he would have been thrown out of this club straight away.

The mass-media have so far paid little attention to this complex of issues and usually only report on a single form of the illness, which at the same time they present as emancipation of the personality. This propaganda, which is carried equally by the intellectual world elite, politicians and religious dignitaries, influences more and more people who, under different conditions, could lead a quite normal life.

 Here, any demonstration or explanation becomes very difficult. But we should lead the thought carried by the media - press, literature, cinema and television - to its logical conclusion. If there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, then, please, do not consider bestiality abnormal either. And what is to be said about child molesting in this case? In line with the 'democratizing press' in the Soviet Union we have reached the point where corresponding ads appear in newspapers. Mafia-like groups abduct or abuse children, enslave them for large sums to the sexually obsessed. In Belgium and other European countries crimes of this kind have lately been uncovered and brought to the attention of the public in a most spectacular way.

But, we repeat, if you try to raise such questions in the circles of liberal intellectuals, be it in Moscow, Paris or New York, you will find no understanding; you will be scorned, declared a reactionary, regarded as orthodox and chauvinistic, you will be shown the door.* {*In July 1993 we could often hear in Russian broadcasts of The Voice of America the reporter, in a well-sounding baritone - the timbre and confidence of his voice calculated to express the irrefutability and force of America's leading role - in forming listeners of an event of 'historic' importance. The report contained phrases such as: President Clinton has decided... the White House ... a well-balanced policy... the Senator's declaration ... the General Staff expressed its support... etc. It concerned a regulation allowing homosexuality officially in the American army. American doctors brought forward 'scientific' evidence to the effect that homosexual tendencies are inherited and the legal experts straightway concluded that what is inherited cannot be forbidden. [¶] Immediately following and in step with Clinton's decision, Yeltsin issued a decree revoking the prohibition of sexual perversion in Russia. Television quickly took up the theme of 'renewal' from Moscow, and broadcast, mainly for advertising purposes, an interview with the 'happiest' - three-'parent' in this case - lesbian family. Before Moscow could react, the initiative of the Americans was take up by the (US-sponsored) Radio Liberty, which, echoing the old slogans of Soviet ideology, said: Homosexuals stood at the forefront of the struggle for freedom and democracy in America! They deserve eternal praise! etc. - Anyone who considers this obvious and not belonging to the sphere of high, dirty politics, manifests a dangerous naivety. [¶] As early as the 16th century the Russian ascetic Nil Medotochivy (of Afon) made an interesting prophecy for 1992: The robberies that will be committed! What homosexuality, adultery, incest and excesses will take place! Rudolf Steiner: Nectar and ambrosia, the food of the Gods - that is the human love between man and woman (GA 266-I, p. 146).}

Right up into our own time, sexual aberrations have been included by the religious consciousness among the mortal sins. They were also condemned by the pagans. We can even read in Heraclitus: Nature is attracted not to what is similar but to what is opposite and creates out of this a certain balance and harmony. - Out of opposite qualities a wonderful harmony is created. - Nature has brought male and female together and established an original harmony out of the opposites. All the opposites are with God.

 

The Apostle Paul says: Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie ... For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful ... who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practise them (Romans 1; 25-32).

In the eyes of a Prof. Kohn Heraclitus and the Apostle Paul are both 'racists'. But in our century 'racists' are at the same time 'fascists', i.e. they are outlawed and condemned without trial. Would it not be fitting at last to examine what is our relation to these men of 'ancient' times, some of whom even call themselves Apostles?* {*Whenever something reasonable is brought forward about sexual aberrations, countless dishonest journalists launch a huge outcry about discrimination and a return to dictatorship. - We are thus faced with the choice of either agreeing with them or being branded as reactionaries. But this sector of propaganda also has its unpredictable aspects. Thus the anti-fascists defend homosexuality because it was forbidden in the Third Reich. But the Communists on the other hand wrote at the time they were attacking the National Socialists, that homosexuality was promoted by the SS-Orders. This would imply that the SS men were extreme anti-fascists. - In this way ideological madhouses are constructed today.} Although Anthroposophy would then have to be condemned too. For let us look at what Rudolf Steiner says: Thus the decisive point will come where one can go to the right: but then one will need to be awake; or one can go to the left: then one can sleep; but instincts will then arise, instincts that are abhorrent. What will the natural scientists say when such instincts arise? The scientists will say: This is a natural necessity. It had to happen, this is mankind's development.

[Man] ... would experience such a feeling of gratification in the pursuit of certain aberrations of the sexual instinct; he would praise it as a particularly lofty expression of super-humanness, of lack of prejudice, of enlightened judgment. Ugly would become beautiful and beautiful ugly ... and it would not be noticed because it would all be looked upon as a natural necessity (Oct. 9, 1918, GA 182).* {*The lecture is entitled The Working of the Angel in our Astral Body. We advise all those who are still incapable of distinguishing freedom from immorality or illness to read the lecture right through.}

The development of humanity under the condition of the duality of the sexes lasts many millennia. But the time will come (5th-6th millenium) when the sexes will unite again. Then those who have perverted these relationships will be unable to undergo the metamorphosis this entails. They will be cast out of the normal evolution of humanity into the subhuman, half-animal realm.

These people therefore sin against evolution for the duration of two root-races, and for this reason their sin is called a mortal sin. The Apostle Paul speaks of 'the judgement of God' in this regard. The mortal sin leads to the second death, the death of the soul.

In view of the fact that Ahriman's incarnation is shortly to take place, he is particularly interested in the propagation of this sin. The spirits of darkness therefore try to strengthen their power over the human being with respect to his evolution.

The extinction of morality, which is currently taking place, gives birth to a cosmic counter-image. The earth radiates disgrace out into the cosmos, as a confirmation to the Divine Hierarchies, that mankind has lost touch with the meaning of its existence!

A situation of this kind cannot be altered by means of a sentimental, moralizing sermon. The mysteries of darkness can only be countered by the mystery of light, and that is Anthroposophy. This is why it is so necessary that many awaken to its wisdom, because it shows the way out of the crisis. It is both old and new and contains the enormous positive experience of humanity, which has been gathered on the path to the spirit. Through Anthroposophy man can find a way to approach the practical questions of the present time.

Civilization is suffering under an outdated, chronic crisis; consequently, a momentary, speculative search for a solution is doomed to failure. Often people have no idea at all what the meaning of the crisis is. What can anthropology or even University psychology say about the destructive effect of an unbridled sexual instinct on the human 'I', on the psychic disposition, the sense of self-worth, the self-identity of the personality? What can psychology create culturally if it is based on the Freud-Jung doctrine of the all-determining role of the 'phallic' principle in the spiritual and even the religious life of humanity?* {*The Jungian interpretation of culture is no more than a crude invention. In early antiquity there was no sexual drive as an end in itself. Everything was a sublime sacrificial act for the purpose of perpetuating the human race. Reproduction was a holy service to humanity. The lower nature in us, as we know it at present, is the result of the luciferic temptation. But it is destined to become our higher nature, and this was known in the ancient world. The leaders of the old Mysteries were not so frivolous, cynical and philistine as people are today. Certain symbols of the ancient peoples - says Rudolf Steiner- which today are only interpreted in a sexual sense, symbols that are drawn from the lower nature, can be explained through the fact that the old Mystery-priests who used them, actually wanted to express in these symbols the higher that lives in the lower nature of man (October 8, 1917, GA 177). But how are we to discuss this with today's scientists, when the main element of their scientific apparatus is the dirty joke?}

All teachings of this kind will sooner or later be attractive only to the psychically ill, and to people who have kept their psychic health, the old wisdom will begin to speak in a modern language. The millenia-old mystery wisdom is not naïve; we are naïve; we are the victims of wildly fantastic conceptions in the epoch of materialism.

The Rosicrucian legend tells that it was prophesied to Hiram Abiff, the representative of the earthly, male Cain-wisdom, that he would beget a son who would be the progenitor of a new human race but who would be unknown to him. Among his descendants the union of the two sexes would take place. Rudolf Steiner revealed the essential meaning of this legend when he said: The old female (Abel- or priest-) culture gave way to the male culture. The female as a physical form will die out. Then the male must have in it a force to bring forth a (new) individual out of itself ... When man has acquired the strength, so that his larynx develops to the stage where his word is creative, and he is able to bring forth his own kind through the word, then the entire productive force will pass over to the male sex. What was once created by the Gods will pass to man. When was the word lost? When the individuality of the sexes began. It is buried, hidden. The sons of Cain only had it in their forefather. Hiram Abiff was at least to have the prophecy of it. Immediately after this he was killed.

The word is buried, but it is there. If it were not buried, man would be self-creative like the Elohim ... (Oct. 23, 1905, GA 93). But the lost word will be rediscovered when passive male wisdom (Hiram; it was already explained why it is passive) awakens activity - female intuition - within itself. For this reason Goethe says:


The eternal feminine
Still leads us on.

In the hope of finding the lost word people of the past joined together in associations and brotherhoods to form spiritual communities. This is what Lodges of the Freemasons were originally. They would no doubt have rediscovered the word if they had not fallen a prey to political occultism, which turned them into custodians of the 'sexual minorities'. After that, were there Freemasons in the world, who were still able to continue the good, even sublime, traditions of the fathers? We cannot answer this question. But at the beginning of the century a true Freemason could have said to himself or in the circle of his fellows: Everything that does not derive from our own science which has spread throughout the world, originates from the ancient times of rulership by priestesses. We do not only want to overcome this, we wish also to inaugurate a new cycle of existence. We are to give intuition to male Cain-cognition ourselves. This would be impossible if one were to deprive men of the power by sharing the secret with women. The moment we speak it out before women the whole thing would cease to have any effect (Ibid.).

For this reason women were for a long time not admitted into the Lodges. The speech organ is related to one's sex. This is why men, when they reach puberty, undergo the breaking of their voice. Rudolf Steiner continues in the above-mentioned lecture: Now you will also understand what the Freemason says: Only the man is destined to speak the lost word and transform it; only the male larynx is capable of speaking ... what can be regained through the lost word ... The female larynx has remained at a rudimentary stage. It is the male larynx which is formed into the future organ (Ibid.).

Thus spoke the Freemasons in the 18th, and partially also in the 19th century. But it was in the 19th century that they lost their connection to the outer world, and at the same time female wisdom was also lost; therefore there were no longer any higher degrees that preserved this wisdom. This process is to a certain extent legitimate. Man had to pass through materialism, which excludes the priestly wisdom, in order to build up his object-consciousness. As a result the old wisdom disappeared and man had to live in the outer world. But soon the time came when the wisdom was taken in, which is beyond the sexes, which in its essential nature is neither male nor female. This truth is Anthroposophy. It teaches that in the woman the male part is active, and in the man - his female part. On a higher level, in cognition, male and female unite. Anthroposophy therefore re-establishes the harmony of the unified human being.

The advent of Anthroposophy in the world was prepared by a considerable number of spiritual streams, among them Freemasonry. When in the 18th century so-called 'adoptive Freemasonry' was founded, which also admitted women (e.g. Baroness Dudevant, alias George Sand), the unification of the sexes was prepared. H. P. Blavatsky was a member of such a Lodge. But what had developed out of this in the middle of the 20th century, could produce nothing but a moral catastrophe.

The theosophical movement, too, had the task overcoming the one-sidedness of male strivings, but this fact was soon forgotten.

There is throughout the Middle Ages - says Rudolf Steiner - a grandiose preparation for the engendering within the man, of the other sex in a spiritual way. Through concentration within himself, the man first creates as a thought what later is to arise in him as being. This is why throughout the Middle Ages the Mary-cult arose in preparation. It is nothing other than concentration for the purpose of engendering the female in the male (Ibid.). Women have the same role in the Jesus-cult. Now you will realize - concludes Rudolf Steiner - what confusion was bound to arise when an Order appeared which broke with everything and wants to win back female wisdom. The aim is rulership of the world, which is to be conquered. If someone wants to leave ancient wisdom as it is, then he has to conquer the world for the sake of old forces. Such an Order exists: it is the Jesuit Order. It has consciously set itself this task. This is why the Jesuits and Freemasons stand in such stark contrast to one another (Ibid.).

In a complicated inter-connection one of the most important principles of evolution is falsified. On the one hand the difference between the sexes is cancelled in an unnatural way, and on the other it is heightened to the utmost degree. In the Mary-movement the claim is made to rulership of the world by the feminine principle, while religious fundamentalism places women in a condition of slavery. In this way humanity is attacked from two sides: by the luciferic and ahrimanic hosts. One side would stifle self-consciousness through unbridled sexuality, the other would proclaim celibacy as the ideal. Man can only overcome the working of the adversary powers through ennobling sexual love, and learning to love beauty through the cultivation of spiritual interests.

 

The Archetypal Phenomenon of the Mystery of Evil

Now that we have analyzed the inner structure, the spiritual personification, of the forces that are expressed in the antithesis of good and evil, we can ask the question regarding its archetypal foundation; or, rather, we have already broached this question because it was posed very generally with the help of figures 10 (p. *) and 11 (p. *). Figure 10 shows the Divine Trinity, the highest perfection in the universe (we called it triangle ABC). The threefold human spirit moves towards this highest goal as Spirit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Man. World evolution unfolds, in correspondence with this striving, through a cycle of seven aeons. On the macrocosmic level two global tendencies arise within it. One is mediated by the activity of the nine hierarchical beings which proceeds from the Divine Trinity (@ BCD). This is the world of good, and its working is directed toward the creation, the world of the non-'I', which has arisen through the fall from God. The created world is shown as the triangle of forces with its point upwards (@ DEF). The force at work within it is the creatures' longing for reunion with the Creator. The Gnostics called this longing 'Achamoth'.

In the individual development of the human being both triangles interpenetrate; they form the sevenfold structure of man, since all that is in process of development bears within it the structure of the sevenfold metamorphosis. This is the nature of the hexagram - an ancient occult symbol. In one of its meanings it stands for development, namely the interaction between the threefold body and the threefold spirit (fig. 14). From their fusion there arises as the uniting element the higher 'I', which was instilled into man during the earth aeon.

Figure 14

This is, in very broad outline, the evolutionary principle of man. The working of forces in his hexagram can also be presented differently: with the point of the triangle symbolizing the spirit turned downwards, and the point of the triangle signifying the body turned upwards. Then we have before us the human being as God's creature. The first variant showed the constellation of the independently-striving individual spirit.

This is how evolutionary tendencies change. In one instance what is higher, the hierarchical, strives away from the Divine Trinity, and this leads to division of the hierarchies, the creation of man and the emergence of evil. In the other, they return by way of the creature, through its free will, to the Divine Trinity, thereby transforming evil into good. And man indeed becomes the 'measure of all things'.

The two curving lines in figure 10, which show the developmental path of the hierarchies working from above and the development of the many-membered human being from below, are transformed in the experience of individual becoming, when the human being takes his destiny into his own hands, into two 'staffs of Mercury' which we find very graphically represented in the first alchemical Rosicrucian seal (see fig.).

[Abbildung Umschlag DRM I]

Man owes his newest constellation, in which he is holding the 'staffs of Mercury' in his own hands, to the fact that he has been able to bring his lower 'I' into connection with the higher 'I' and develop the threefold soul - the sentient, rational and consciousness-soul. But, as we have already mentioned, these bear within them the luciferic and ahrimanic powers (also shown in the alchemical seal) which attack 'I'-consciousness by way of thinking, feeling and willing. Here too, man, as the subject of evolution, is a microcosm, the expression on a small scale of the cosmic battle between good and evil.

In the concluding phase of evolution evil also strives for threefolding, in a reversed way, but nevertheless 'in the image of God', which is further confirmation of the unity and divinity of the cosmos. But here there is no room for sentimentality. From the 20th century onwards we will be witnesses to an extremely dangerous development of the forces of evil, who are assuming the character of threefold unity (@ EFG).

Since Christ foresaw this, he descended not only to the physical plane but also into the sphere of the sub-physical mutual confrontation of Lucifer and Ahriman. On Easter Saturday He undertook the descent into Hell. He entered the sphere where human beings have, after death, to endure the consequences of the life they have led on earth under the influence of Lucifer and Ahriman. To the degree that man masters his 'I', the errors he commits begin to assume increasingly the character of objective evil, because the true source of evil is exclusively his 'I'. Only what has a personified character, if only to a small degree, can have reality in the world.

In his commentary to the 'Lord's Prayer', Rudolf Steiner says that man experiences temptation in his astral body. The human being can ... when he commits errors through his ether or life-body, become more of a sinner among his fellow human beings, he can neglect more the social obligations that weave from man to man and make human social life possible (Jan. 28, 1907, GA 96). Therefore the prayer says in this connection: And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us (Luke 11; 4). The physical body is related to the petition for daily bread. And when we pray Deliver us from evil we should think of the errors, the transgressions we have committed out of the lower 'I' in full consciousness.* {*The higher 'I' is expressed in the prayer in the trinity of the spirit: of Spirit Man (will), Life Spirit (kingdom) and Spirit Self (name).} As a special power which tempts the lower 'I' and, through it, stands in opposition to the higher 'I' there emerge as an ever-growing force the retarded spirits of personality (archai), known in esoteric tradition as the Asuras. It is they who form the trinity of cosmic evil (@ EFG) as an antitheses to the Divine trinity.

Rudolf Steiner characterizes the 'triangle' of evil in the following way. He says that in the sentient soul Lucifer is anchored and in the rational soul - Ahriman. In the new epoch man possesses the consciousness-soul, which, through its spiritual working, transforms the physical body into Spirit Man, i.e. creates within us the body of resurrection. And in the time which is now approaching (at the end of the 20th century this time has now come) the spiritual beings called the Asuras will steal furtively into this consciousness-soul, into what is called the human 'I' - because the 'I' is awakened in the consciousness-soul. The Asuras will develop evil with far more intensive force than even the satanic powers of the Atlantean or the luciferic spirits of the Lemurian time (March 22, 1909, GA 107).

In a more universal sense the Asuras stand in opposition to the world-ground of the Father, for their battle (through man) is waged against world unity, against the oneness of God. But their intentions are opposed by the Mystery of Golgatha; they should be regarded as belonging to the main opponents of Christ. Ultimately Christ's prayer at the Last Supper, which he addresses to the Father and which John the Evangelist gives to us in the 17th chapter, is concerned with this confronting of the Asuras. - In the present time two incompatible paths of development have come into an immediate contact with one another: one, the path through the Christ to the Father, the other, the path through the lower 'I' that is falling into chaos, to the Asuras, into the anti-world, and to the 'eighth sphere'.* {*The future Jupiter aeon, the future human condition, matures in the 'eighth sphere'. At the appropriate time unity in the divine sense will be restored.}

In contrast to the Asuras, the luciferic spirits have brought, in addition to the possibility to do evil, something that is good: freedom. For this reason the evil created by them in evolution will be completely overcome and transformed into good in the course of the earth aeon. The evil caused by the ahrimanic spirits will be overcome by the human being through the working of the karmic laws. But the evil sent by the Asuras is of quite a different nature, because they strive to unite the innermost being of man, where for the first time he becomes human in the truest sense of the word - the consciousness-soul and the first expressions of the higher 'I' - only with the sense-nature of the earth. Piece by piece will be torn out of the 'I'. And to the degree that the Asuric spirits lodge in the consciousness-soul, the human being has to leave pieces of his existence behind on earth. These will be lost irretrievably ... Not that the entire man has to fall prey to them, but pieces will be carved out of the human spirit by the Asuric powers. These Asuric powers are heralded in our time by the spirit that holds sway, which we could call the spirit of mere existence in sensuality and in obliviousness to all real spiritual beings and spiritual worlds ... a further step will be - and this is heralded ever more plainly - the base (group) passions of sensuality that descend to the earth more and more and obscure man's gaze with regard to ... spiritual powers. The human being will not know, and will not want to know, anything about a spiritual world. Increasingly he will not only teach that the highest moral ideas of man are only higher manifestations of animal drives, he will not only teach that human thinking is merely a modified form of what the animal also possesses ... that in his entire being he descends from the animal, but man will take this view seriously and live accordingly (Ibid.).

We have sufficiently shown in the pages of this book the extent to which these words of Rudolf Steiner have become reality in our time. We have every reason to conclude that the development of civilization in our century has taken a most difficult and tragic turn. Rudolf Steiner actually spoke in his day, of how the Asuras work in senseless outbursts of passion in sports stadiums. What more needs to be said about passionate outbursts at rock-concerts where everything is brought to a pitch by the musical element, which has a particularly strong effect on the lower 'I'? Much has become habitual and a part of everyday existence, so that in self-justification people whisper powerlessly: 'What can we possibly do about it?' 'Where else are the youngsters to go?' 'You have to move on with the times!' etc. But let us concentrate on one question at least - the task of cognition. One will only find strength to overcome the evil that is triumphant on earth, when one has recognized its nature. This nature is cosmic and not only a product of the irresponsibility of single individuals.

In a very early lecture Rudolf Steiner commented on the following explanation by C. G. Harrison as to the nature of the Asuric forces: The Asuras are in their nature fiery or dynamic, and their power to do evil was terrible. This was destroyed for ever through the appearance of Jesus Christ ... they are 'held in check', unable to move backwards or forwards, between the earth and the eighth sphere,* at the latent point where the attraction of both is everywhere the same, until the 'great day' of the 'meeting of the axes', when they will be irresistibly pulled into the vortex of the latter (appendix to June 10, 1904, GA 93). Human beings could also be pulled into this vortex; whereby they would be torn out of human evolution temporarily or for ever. {*The 'eighth sphere' is the spirit region in which, on the one hand, the substance for the future Jupiter aeon is prepared and where, on the other, the forces of evil bring into being their counter-image to this aeon.}

Figure 15

Viewed cosmically, the Asuras have already been overcome, because Christ entered the 'triangle' of evil and took the small human 'I' under His wing (fig. 15). But since man only possesses his higher 'I' when he develops free-will, he can only serve the Christ-force when he may freely choose. In order to prevent this choice, the Asuras lead the polar opposite of luciferic and ahrimanic forces to a synthesis and thereby create a completely new situation on earth, where man is exposed to temptation in all the elements of his nature: through daily bread (the socialistic and other social experiments), through the trespasses of the life of society within the state (but also between the different states) which is descending into planetary chaos, through the temptation of loosened morality, the exchange of freedom for arbitrariness, and finally through the evil of false doctrines, the hypertrophy of the lie, the world-wide advocacy of unbridled sensuality and the dragging of the consciousness-soul down into the sphere of the instincts.

At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century the situation of the world and of the individual human being becomes fraught with still greater difficulty through the working, on the side of the Asuric forces, of Sorat - the Sun-demon, the opponent of Christ, as he is characterized by Rudolf Steiner. He describes this event on the 12th Sept. 1924 as follows: All that we do now, my dear friends, in this age as we take hold of the spirituality of our teaching is of great significance, because we do it for the human beings of the present time sub specie aeternitatis. It is a preparation for those great, encompassing, intensive spiritual deeds that are to take place at the end of the century, after a great deal will have occurred which works counter to a spiritualizing of modern civilization. Those great upheavals in Europe which were ushered in by the Crusades, coincided with the recurrence of the figure 666, and this fact found its outer expression in the downfall of the Knights Templars. Ever and again Sorat strives to oppose that which, from the Sun-genius, endeavours to work for a true Christianity.

The time is now imminent of the third return of the figure 666: 1998. At the end of this century we come to that point in time when, rising up again from the waves of evolution, Sorat will raise his head most powerfully, when he will be the adversary of that vision of the Christ which those human beings who are prepared for it will already have in the first half of the 20th century, through the becoming visible of the etheric Christ (GA 346).* {*We would like to quote here a further central thought of Rudolf Steiner concerning the Asuras: The Asuras remain behind on Old Saturn. As did fire-spirits on the Sun. Christ is the regent of the fire-spirits. The satanic hosts are the fallen fire-spirits. On Old Moon it is the luciferic spirits. In the Lemurian race Lucifer intervened in human development. He was drawn into earth development and served as a liberator through giving man independence and enthusiasm for wisdom. The satanic beings begin their 'work' in the Atlantean race (black magic). They are the gods of hindrance. The Asuras intervene only now in the fifth race. They are by far the most harmful and work mainly into the sexual life, i.e. the physical body. The many sexual aberrations of the present can be traced back to their strong influence. All forces of hindrance work in such a way that they seek to hold on to what exists at present, what is imperfect, to carry it through and reinforce it in its imperfection. The luciferic beings still worked as liberators, because they gave independence, the egoity together with egoism. We had to pass through egoism, which was, as it were, the first expression of the ego - just as error is the first expression of wisdom in a world of becoming, and animalistic love is the first expression of the highest spiritual love. Our task is the transformation in each case. The third root-race saw the separation of the sexes, in the sixth root-race it will be overcome; this has to be prepared in the sixth sub-race. The reproductive forces of man are undergoing transformation. Reproductive force in itself is the most holy in our possession because it is directly divine. The more divine what is dragged through the mud by us, the greater the sin. The reproductive organs in us will be heart and larynx. As the word became flesh in Christ, so in the time of the fulfilment of Christianity the flesh has to become word. [¶] ... Good and evil are as yet differentiated relatively little. And our eyes do not much penetrate the behind the uniform appearance of the flesh. Now it is still a relatively small step from evil to good, from good to evil. When the powers of the Masters and of those who support them with all their strength and will, and the powers of the gods of hindrance, also called Mammon (the Satans and Asuras), with their human following, intervene ever more strongly in the life of humanity, in earthly development - then good will develop into a divine good, and evil into something terrible, the Anti-Christ. Then every single one of us world-helpers (may this word be spoken in deepest humility) will need all the strength that can be gained from suffering and the overcoming of suffering, from evil and the overcoming of evil. It is the task of Theosophy (Anthroposophy), of Rosicrucianism, to summon human beings to this battle through knowledge of such things, and in the battle to bring them peace (GA 266/I, p. 169/170).}

In this 'complex' way the archetypal phenomenon of man, the pentagram of the microcosm within the 'triangle' of evil, is overturned/overthrown if it rejects the helping hand of Christ (fig. 16). It is 'overturned/overthrown' in an all-embracing manner in the wider sphere of social life, which takes on particularly great and even decisive importance in the epoch of the consciousness-soul. The organizations of world-evil shown in the figure incorporate into themselves virtually the entire spiritual elite of today's humanity. Anyone who in one way or another is gifted and creative serves one or even several forms of evil. Hardly has a human being discovered his creative capacities, than he is seduced, enticed or wooed by the corresponding associations, Parties and Orders. Other paths to self-realization will prove to be closed to him. The gifts of a human being and his ability to develop thereby become an enormous risk to him and the average person is simply manipulated within the mass.

Figure 16

However, it would not be right for anyone to accept the situation that has arisen in the world, as this would mean the abandonment of further evolution, whose quintessence is the human being; it would mean the forgoing of eternity, 'death of the soul', followed by the extinction of the human monad.

But the human being who does not conform will, if he endeavours to understand the primary phenomenon of universal evil and follow its further manifestations, be fulfilling the central task of man today. This is of course not easy to realize, as we have to do with something that is fundamentally new - with the principle of inverted dialectics. It is just as new for our times as classical dialectics was new (and also difficult) for the world of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

All the elements of 'inverted dialectics' (there are three and five of them; cf. fig. 16, p. *) negate each other, but not in a constructive, creative manner - the 'war of each against all' is already being waged in their midst - and yet they exist after the fashion of an organic whole. They do not exist at the expense of their own members, but at the expense of culture and civilization, which they take over, 'vampirize' and thus destroy. It is important to make a broad and at the same time precise investigation, according to their symptoms, of the manifestations of the primary phenomenon of evil at the end of the 20th century and corresponding prospects at the beginning of the 21st. In this book we have at least come close to the fulfilling of such a task, we have tried to meet some of the pre-conditions for its fulfilment. And now, with a concluding example, we would challenge the reader to carry out his own independent research.

In contemporary Russia* Bolshevism is again growing in strength and influence, after having undergone a complicated metamorphosis. {*The end of 1998 is meant (Publisher's Note).} It displays a nationalistic colouring and thus combines with patriotic, national and nationalistic streams, behind which one can recognize the basic inspiration of the Jesuit 'Fathers' and their latest offspring. The nationalistic movements, for their part, occur in three variations: materialistic, clerical-fundamentalist, and neo-pagan. In the latter the tendency can occasionally be noted, to occupy the platform of national-socialist ideology. In this sphere, as though from a twilight realm, the entire 'front' arises, under the official name of the 'Left', and gives itself over to confrontation with Zionism; while at the same time there is enthusiasm for the racist policy of Israel, which is revered as an example worthy of imitation.* {*Such Bolsheviks often remind the Zionists, while they are heaping reproaches on them, that they owe the recognition of the State of Israel to them, the Bolsheviks; and this is absolutely true, as the documents reveal beyond a shadow of doubt. The Zionists respond in the press with the reproach that the Bolsheviks are starting to become anti-Semitic and to forget to whom they owe their existence. Here we are simply stating the facts of everyday political life in Moscow and many other cities.}

Much that is comparable can also be found in the West. For example, in June 1998 a discussion took place in Berlin on the 'Black Book of Communism' which had appeared in France. A 'Left' group involved in the discussion (these are the 'Right' in Russia) tried to break up the meeting. With whistles and shouting these people tried to prevent a discussion taking place by means of arguments, because they said that class-genocide was not a crime in Russia, as it is based on the scientifically-founded theory of Communism. The political agitators were carrying a banner with the slogan: Long Live Communism! They then shouted out in chorus: Germany never again! (Junge Freiheit, Nr. 27/98 of 26.6.98) - In just the same way, in Russia our 'Right'-wing chants: Russia never again! Thereby giving grist to the mill of the neo-Communists. And as to their nationalism, these people of the 'Left' were also called 'red Fascists' in the course of the discussion.

These are the symptoms which testify to encirclement by consciously directed chaos.

But of course antagonism predominates, because the Zionist lobby in Russia is a servant of Pan-Americanism (we already spoke of this) and therefore represents a strong political and financial power. The neo-Bolsheviks exhibit their 'sincere' concern for the good of Russia and, not without reason, blame the Perestroika democrats (who call themselves officially people of the 'Right'; in their terminology Stalin and Hitler belong to the 'Left') for the destruction of the land, of the economy, and accuse them of carrying out a real genocide on the peoples of Russia and its former republics.

This is the present situation. What, in view of all this, do the neo-Bolshevik nationalists (also known as 'Russian chauvinists', or the 'Red-browns') dream of especially? They dream of erecting again in Lublyanskaya Square, before the headquarters of KGB, the Felix-Dzerzhinsky Memorial, which was removed at the beginning of the Perestroika. The memorial to the Polish Jew who inspired the 'Red Inquisition' and turned the land into a single blood-bath; a genocide virtually without parallel in human history!

And who prevents the national-Bolsheviks from realizing their dream? The 'democratically' and Zionistically-oriented core (thus also nationalistic) prevailing in Russia at present, which works in the interest of Pan-Americanism, is now the only force that can hinder the re-birth of Bolshevism in Russia. If its power collapses, the people will again be swallowed up in an infernal dictatorship.

It is truly so - it is none other than these 'Right democrats' who are shielding the Russia of today from this cruel fate. But they perform this good work while destroying the land utterly by means of laws which stifle all production and at the same time plunder the land without mercy. Quite distinct sources agree in estimating that during the Perestroika years Russia was robbed of a trillion (one thousand billion) dollars.

In this way the land is being turned into a desert and the populace is dying under horrifying conditions. Historical experience shows that such conditions lead to the setting up of a dictatorship - for example, Germany in the '20's. When it has come to power the five centres of force of the inverted pentagram will regroup and continue, under the new conditions, to strive for the destruction of civilisation, in order finally to 'renew' it according to the method described by K. S. Mereshkovsky in 1903 in his utopian novel 'The Earthly Paradise'. If the reader is able to encompass in his consciousness this many-layered character of the occult-political panorama without falling into one-sided points of view, then he is quite certainly on the only right and necessary path.

We have thus arrived at the conclusion of our investigation. The five-headed evil that works in the five power-centres of the world is not the result of the 'free' play of bad tendencies in single individuals, but a strictly integrated, spiritually (or, rather, anti-spiritually) formed unity, one could even say - an organism, which is supersensibly personified, negates civilization and humanity, and by virtue of its inherent conformity to law, negates also itself (thus explaining the bitter mutual struggle of its single parts) but exists as a whole nevertheless. Looked at from the purely cognitive point of view, we have here to do with an extremely interesting phenomenon of overturned/overthrown dialectics. There is within it a striving for synthesis, in which only negation rules; its rudimentary elements do not attain a higher existence by virtue of their cancellation. (This opens up for us a deep understanding of the essential difference between Marxist and Hegelian dialectics.) In such a case egocentricity naturally assumes the character of the infinite - the attribute of the higher world; although man should not enter this 'infinity', because nobody knows what might happen to him if he were to be converted back into the primal condition of a 'lump of clay' of creation.

But today the question is not whether the human being would or would not like to follow this path, but what he needs to do if he does not want to follow it. In this case it is very important to recognize the archetypal phenomenon of evil that is dominant in the present European cultural epoch. As soon as he has understood this he can begin to orient himself in the insidious web of the occult-political world-struggle that is taking place before our eyes. At the end of the 20th century we were afforded a brief glimpse of its secrets (above all in Russia) and it is enough to read the newspapers to obtain confirmations in their hundreds, if not thousands, of the concreteness of what Rudolf Steiner gave to us 80 years ago in his historical symptomatology. We must avail ourselves of existing opportunities now, because soon they will be gone.

Nowadays many are seduced by the sweet lunacy of political pluralism and of freedom in the domain of occult acts. At the same time we can also recognize how the world-view of Pan-materialism is promoted by every means - political, scientific, occult, religious - 'pluralistically'. Ideology is helped by science: technical progress makes possible gene-manipulation, the monitoring and control of consciousness, but also of the material crossing of its traditional boundaries (on the level of electro-magnetic energies). Finally, even the highest that man on earth possesses - the science of initiation - is taking on Asuric features. In this connection we should pay special attention to the phenomenon of occult Bolshevism. It is practised in closed circles as an extremely dark system of initiation. It is now revealed openly through the books of Gregory Klimov and the ideology of the Soviet 'Polarians'. Victor Suvorov also has indirectly described it in two of his works.

In order to understand the descriptions of the said authors, we need the help of statements made by Rudolf Steiner regarding black-magical mysteries of a special kind, which were practised in ancient times on the North American continent - in old Mexico - and remnants of which were found by the Spanish conquistadors.* {*To the present day Mexico remains a particularly dark centre for practical and ritual magic. It was no accident that Trotsky lived there after he was chased out of the USSR. Carlos Castaneda was initiated in sub-natural magic there as well.} In those mysteries one venerated a ghost-like spirit of ahrimanic character, who was the successor of the Great Spirit of Atlantis. The latter worked legitimately in his time, but gradually, towards the end of the Atlantean period, assumed ahrimanic traits.

The name of this ahrimanic spirit was Taotl. His priests learned the cosmic secrets through offering up human sacrifices. The wisdom out of the cosmos - says Rudolf Steiner - which in itself was not bad, which even contained holy secrets, this wisdom was kept carefully hidden by the initiates of Taotl ...

This wisdom was imparted to no-one who had not committed murder in a certain way. And with the first murder he learned only some of the secrets. Only with the subsequent murders was he told further and higher secrets (Sep. 18, 1916, GA 171).

The murders or sacrificial acts were carried out in such a way, that the chosen victim was prepared for death in a very special manner. And when he freely consented to it, he was placed on a special catafalque so that his stomach was protruding very far, after which the priest undergoing initiation cut out the stomach according to a precise ritual and dedicated it, in a certain ceremony, to Taotl. The result of such a procedure was that a quite special connection was established between the initiand and the victim. The one who was murdered in this way was to be prepared thereby in his soul to strive upwards into the luciferic realm, and the initiand was to receive the wisdom so to shape this earthly world that souls would be driven out of it. Through creating a relationship between the victim and the initiated one - not murderer, one can say, but initiated one -, the possibility was given that the initiated one was borne off by the other soul, i.e. could leave the earth at the appropriate moment (Ibid.). Rudolf Steiner concludes of course that these had been mysteries of the most outrageous kind. Fortunately they ceased after some time, because otherwise earth civilization would have been threatened with extinction.

It happened that an unusual being was born in old Mexico, who according to tradition was named Vitzliputzli. He was a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth and was venerated as a sun being. His mother was a virgin. Vitzliputzli set off to fight against the mightiest black magician to be incarnated on earth at that time. The latter had already in several incarnations committed ritual murders in the mysteries of Taotl and now, at the age of thirty, stood immediately before an historic decision ... through continued initiation really to become so powerful as a single human individuality, that he would have known the fundamental secret through which he could have given so powerful an impulse to the subsequent human earth evolution, that humanity in the fourth and fifth post-Atlantean period would have been darkened to such an extent that the intentions of the ahrimanic powers for these periods would have been realized (Sep. 18, 1916, GA 171).

Vitzliputzli's battle with the great black-magician lasted for three years. Finally the magician was conquered, physically crucified, and his soul robbed of the forces of knowledge with which it had committed murders; the magician's soul was laid under a curse. Now there lives on, not what would have lived on from those regions if the mysteries of Taotl had borne fruit, but there lives on as it were only in the etheric world, what has remained of forces, of night-forces from what went on in those mysteries. All these forces exist; they exist sub-sensibly ... beneath the volcanic lid of everyday life, so to speak (Ibid.).

A considerable number of modern people will no doubt dismiss all this with a smile and regard it as a fairy-tale. In this case they will continue to believe that the world wars, revolutions, mass executions of millions of people occur by pure chance, just because 'in the little town of Simbirsk an ordinary boy called Lenin was born', that in the Austrian forest thicket an 'ordinary boy' called Schickelgruber came into the world, that somewhere in the backwoods of Georgia the 'ordinary boy' Djugashvili was born etc. One cannot hold a conversation with such readers; it would probably make more sense to declaim some revolutionary poetry to them, such as:


'Sleep, comrades, sleep.
Who, then, disturbs your repose?'

With regard to the political, or rather, occult-political reality what is now occurring as, perhaps, the greatest mystery of our times, is an awakening, an arising from the sub-sensible on to the outer, social plane, of those forces which held sway in the mysteries of Taotl. Even in the books of Carlos Castaneda one can read about their attitude of 'expectation' in the ancient tombs. But we have far more important reason to examine their interference in the life of Europe and the whole world today.

In development everything occurs rhythmically. And if at the time of the first coming of Christ the gigantic black-magical counter image of the Mystery of Golgatha appeared in the Western hemisphere, and the intervention of the infernal forces, which could bring about the irrevocable downfall of earthly civilization, was brought into opposition to the divine saving intervention in the destiny of mankind, how could the forces of Taotl not attempt to deliver a counter-attack in the 20th century, when the return of Christ is already taking place in the ether world? In addition to this, Ahriman is preparing his incarnation on earth. All these indications of Rudolf Steiner have profound methodological significance. They help us to understand the most important mystery of our time, the mystery of our epoch, which consists in the fact that all international or national socialistic experiments are deeply occult in their nature. This is why an attempt is being made to restore the old Taotl-mysteries, no longer according to the ahrimanic, but to the Asuric principle, so that they may be placed in opposition to the reappearance of the Christ.

If we now reflect, in the light of the communication given by Rudolf Steiner which we have quoted above, upon the phenomenon of the Lenin Mausoleum, surrounded by the 'eternal' Politburo, we understand where the Taotl-mysteries are nowadays celebrated in a metamorphosed form, and what they look like.* {*It is imperative that we quote here a further confession made by the occultists of Bolshevism today regarding the intensifying of the battle over their greatest relic - the mummy of Lenin. The newspaper 'Soviet Russia' published the following article on June 11, 1997: Marxism-Leninism assumed the status of the State religion whose structure was almost wholly derived from the Christian religion. Not without reason Engels already pointed to the astounding similarity between the emergence of early Christianity and that of the International Workers' movement. This fact can be explained. No social movement can jump over its own shadow, and thus it is forced, in order to forge a path for itself in the world, to use those means provided by the epoch in which it lives. Thus, despite its declared atheism, Marxism-Leninism has assumed clearly-defined traits of a religious cult. It has its Holy Scriptures, its theology, in which quotes from the Scriptures carry more authority than all references to experience or other sources, it has its apostles, saints and martyrs, its heretics and its most holy Inquisition. Whether it could have been different in the early socialistic revolutions is a complicated question. At any rate, the history of all great revolutions - including the Christian - showed that this was more often the rule than the exception...[¶] The body of Lenin has acquired a deeply sacred significance for millions of people. Therefore it is a gross insult to the feelings of the truly faithful if the mausoleum is visited purely out of curiosity... Alas, if this were otherwise, how many cynics and malcontents there would be. [¶] If the mausoleum were turned into a kind of theatrical enterprise, it would be as blasphemous as turning a church into an attraction with TV-coverage etc... In Soviet times taking snapshots was prohibited in the mausoleum. And there were purely religious reasons for this. Maybe we ought to take a further step in this direction. [¶] The best solution, in keeping with both the spirit of scientific communism and the demands of moral piety towards the dead, would be... if the Lenin mausoleum and all scientific and technical services belonging to it were left intact, but public access were prohibited or definitely restricted, if it were closed forever. Only special initiates should be concerned with the conservation of Lenin's body. They would be allowed access to the altar, as is customary in the Christian churches. Lay people are quite out of place there. (!) [¶] However, this is not a political but a spiritual question, the solution to which does not lie with the government or society as a whole. It is the task of Lenin's spiritual descendants and disciples, i.e. the Russian communists. Only their shared opinion can determine how the great tomb should be cared for.} We are probably not mistaken to assert that the reincarnated 'priests', the most important politicians of the 20th century, are initiates of those old American mysteries which took the heavens by storm with the help of ritual murders (by far not all of them are known in the outer world). Then we will also understand why people of this kind can be so immoral: so atavistic are they, that in the course of their reincarnations they have absolutely not yet encountered concepts like morality or compassion.

For this reason it is at present wholly inadmissible, indeed tragic and hopeless, for the Russians to believe in a difference between Stalin, Lenin or Trotsky, between Bukharin and Sverdlov etc., or to believe that anyone from this circle would have been able to think of the interests of Russia, to be simply human. By no means. All of them, together with the other bearers of five-headed evil, have pursued one single aim: to help the mysteries of Taotl to triumph throughout the whole world. As to the Western efforts to conquer them during the time of the Perestroika, it could well be that the intention was to extinguish them in one place, only to have them appear somewhere else. Black-magical mysteries exist also in the West. Their leaders believe that they are already in complete control of the situation on our planet, and they do not wish the earth to be destroyed prematurely, which would be the aim of the Soviet 'red priests'. But to find an accommodation with 'red civilization' (this concept was recently introduced into everyday political language by the Bolshevist occultists), is clearly impossible, as it has taken on an Asuric character. Its priests work with super-human but ahrimanized intellect, and a stupendous, luciferized will. They acquire this surplus of forces at the expense of the nullified, paralyzed sphere of feeling.

In his autobiographical novel The Aquarium Victor Suvorov writes that within a system (we would say, of Soviet Initiation) one immediately dissociates oneself from anyone who gives free rein to their feelings. Suvorov is himself admitted into the 'inner circle' because, as he is told: You have a brain like an electronic machine ... that is not tuned-in. But you can be tuned-in. 'Tuning-in', as he describes it, is achieved with the help of exercises that can be found in occult textbooks, but they are carried out for the sake of an illusory development of 'I'-consciousness. It appears to make the 'I' unusually alert, self-assured, autonomous and strong, but at the same time programmed into the tone given from without, as though it could produce through its activity nothing but lies, destruction and death.

It is of crucial importance to note that in Suvorov's book the intellectual training of the 'students' takes place in a Scientific Research Institute for Electromagnetic Radiations. This brings us face to face with the complex theme of the psychotronic manipulation of consciousness. The pedagogical principle applied, says Suvorov, is that success is achieved only when every aspect of the training (of the memory, the muscles, the psyche, will-power, stamina) leads the human being to the limit of his possibilities.

Beyond this limit lie, in the one case, the mysteries of the light, the higher 'I' of man, and, in the other, the present-day mysteries of Taotl, the realm of instinct: you need the automatic reflex ..., in five years, you will have the appropriate reflexes, the students are told by the teachers. The initiand must, as a future agent of the Secret Police (GRU) be transformed into an animal-man through a heightening of the instincts.

Suvorov describes his first 'hierophant', Major Kraftsov, as follows: He is an animal. Small, bloodthirsty, extremely dangerous. He knows his goal, goes straight for it without turning back once. I know his guiding star. It is called power. When Kraftsov sits by the campfire, red shadows surge over the wilful face with its projecting cheekbones. A black, regular profile. Red shadows. No more. No blending of outlines. No compromises. In short - none other than the priest of the mysteries of Old Mexico. His will to power is metaphysical. He enslaves by occult means everyone who comes into his sphere of influence: he enslaves on earth so that the effect will continue into the world beyond. But 65% of the GPU and KGB agents who remain in the West, because they do not want to return, return nevertheless after a very short time with a self-denunciation. We shoot them - says another 'Aztec'. They know it - and come back all the same.

Of course, this inhuman education of spies and 'diversants'* described by Suvorov can be justified as a means of defending the country. {*Communist word for saboteur, troublemaker} But if this were the only consideration, the Soviet Union ought to have lasted longer than the Inca Empire. It should have existed to all eternity. But the Perestroika has shown that all social-political and ideological bogies were no more than a veil concealing the black-magical mystery. To ensnare as many people as possible and guide them on to its course was, for this mystery, an end in itself. Remember how cynically the 'black professors' in Klimov's Protocols speak about their ruling ideology. And even Suvorov's 'teacher' tells him quite frankly: You can betray whoever you wish, even the Soviet Fatherland, but not me, i.e. not the laws of the black mystery, not the astral connection of the teacher (who performs the same human sacrifices, through in a renewed form) with the pupil; that connection which forms, in the esoteric centre, the 'eternal Politburo', the basis for ahrimanic immortality. Here, politics and ideology are only secondary; here other tasks await you. Don't you find pleasure in torturing other people, Kraftsov asks Suvorov, or do you only hide it?

Over the course of years the methods of initiation in the 'Red Order' changed. Formerly the human sacrifices, fully in keeping with the old Taotl traditions, were chosen from their own ranks. How well they were prepared was shown by their behaviour before execution. Marshal Tukhachevsky, for instance, called out: 'Long live Stalin!'

In the course of time wider sections of the population were drawn upon for the purpose of ritual murders. In his novel Control Suvorov shatteringly describes how normal and everyday this all appeared to be at first sight. However, the initiation-ritual became very complicated. In a certain 'sanctuary' belonging to a special, inner power-centre and located in a former monastery a specially chosen brotherhood of Chekists* worked without interruption. {*Chekist - a member of the Soviet political police 1917-1922. The word is still in use today.} Their life was strict and ascetic. Strenuous intellectual work alternated with physical exercises and military training of the members - the 'monks' and 'nuns' - and also the torture of a group of prisoners held in the monastery expressly for this purpose, and periodically special commandos were required to carry out the executions. 'Neophyte' Nastya Streletskaya, a Judo-master and highly-skilled parachutist who, thanks to her truly devilish intuition, had succeeded in performing an invaluable service to the leader himself, the 'high priest' - she had uncovered a conspiracy against him - was taking part in one of these executions. Suddenly she was grabbed hold of by those she regarded as her comrades, she was brutally beaten and dragged to a mass grave. She heard a bullet shoot past her ear, and then lost consciousness. Later it turned out that this had merely been the procedure of a higher initiation. Her 'friend' and fellow-member Kholovanov, called the 'Dragon', consoled her: 'We were testing you in the real thing', he said. 'The result is promising ... You are fulfilling our expectations.'

This is the way the old procedure of 'cutting out the stomach' is carried out in modern conditions. It is preceded by a long preparation with the aim of loosening the connection between astral and physical body. For this reason today's mystery pupils of Taotl continuously practise the free fall - sometimes from the stratosphere, sometimes from close to the ground - in which the opening of the parachute is delayed.

In one of his novels* Castaneda says of himself that, when he was once exposed to immediate outer danger, he experienced how a monster-like, unusually strong astral double suddenly released itself from him and delivered such a terrible astral blow to the witch, that she was even weakened physically. {*Castaneda's novels have been analyzed in another work by the present author: Triune Man of Body, Soul and Spirit in the Light of Anthroposophy (Volume I; Moskau-Basel-Verlag, 1993; Publisher's note).} Here he is describing a true occurrence. Under the effect of occult exercises whose main element is fear, the connection between Castaneda's astral and physical body is loosened. This normally results in a fettering of the lower nature, the luciferic-ahrimanic double of man.

The 'adepts' of the GRU experienced something of this kind; which is why they continuously exposed themselves to mortal dangers, so that finally certain changes took place in the solar plexus, the ganglion-system. Then the human being acquires the ability to awaken the forces of evil within him and put his 'I' in the occult service of evil.

It is a remarkable fact that the pupils of the 'Red Order' were mainly selected from among the Slavs. Owing to special factors in the ethnic development of the Slavs, the physical body of the Russians, Ukrainians and White Russians is more flexible than that of the other, older nations. Their connection of the 'I' with the body is more mobile; it fluctuates easily between the higher and the lower (double) nature. Hence they can so easily move from a boundless readiness to sacrifice to an equally boundless capacity for evil. In the mystery of the Asuras their development aims exclusively at the strengthening of the double.

The double represents the sum total of all the negative deeds of a human being in previous incarnations. The mysteries of the light help pupils to ennoble the double and live out negative karma, so that the path is opened up to true freedom. The mysteries of darkness lead their pupils in the very opposite direction - into total enslavement.

Occult Bolshevism remains true to its principles in every respect. Having pinned its hopes on the 'proletariat', the 'workers', it affords them free access to its mysteries. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and officers serving in the armed forces constitute in the 'Red Order' a kind of counterpart to the 'Rotary' and 'Lions' clubs in the West. Not much is divulged to them, but certain things are retained nevertheless. As they belong to the army elite, they arrive - even in a universal-human sense - at the deep conviction that human nature is, as Suvorov puts it, vicious and incorrigible, that we are all wild animals ... we fight always and everywhere. There is no truce, and there never will be ... life is a battle of evil with still greater evil. They are all subject to the strict rule and the vow: As soon as you have joined the organization, you belong to it completely. Of course not all - far from it - are aware how deeply this 'admission' leads into the infernal realms, or that a firm astral bond arises between 'priests' and 'lay people' (the sacrificial victims), which continues even beyond the threshold of death.

In the 'Red Order' one is not afraid of death; and this is the goal to which everything leads - death and the orgies of death. War is therefore an especially festive occasion for the Order. Peace - is war is proclaimed in the utopian world of 'English socialism', and, in his description of this, realized Bolshevistic socialism served as the model for George Orwell. This was a direct continuation of the Old Mexican Taotl-mysteries, in which the aim was to erect a mechanical, rigidified realm of death on the earth (Sep. 18, 1916, GA 171) through the 'killing' of all independence and of all movement of soul.

 

Grounds for Optimism

In face of the unparalleled hypertrophy of evil one can easily sink into a mood of pessimism. As the human being experiences himself as a 'small fortress', he observes how hordes of unnamed, incomprehensible invaders close in on him from all sides. He starts to look for allies: in the family, among friends, like-minded people, in parties, ideologies, confessions - but experiences everywhere the same spirit of invasion. Disoriented by all this, he forgets the essential thing: to seek for the ally within himself, in his own 'I'. Here, a shining thought, a pure feeling and a free - and therefore strong - will could help him. Where these work harmoniously together, the meaning and significance of all existence, and of man himself, are revealed. Then, instead of looking for frail outer supports, the human being begins to experience himself as a pillar of the world.

But it would be wrong to begin with the question: 'Why is there so much evil in the world?' First we should make an effort to get to know what the essential nature of this world is, what can 'bring it into movement', and whether it can be brought into movement at all. If the seeker is able to recognize the true source of existence, he will also come to a knowledge of what can help him forward.

As we have already mentioned, Rudolf Steiner indicated that man received, beside the Mystery of Golgatha through which God endowed earth existence with immeasurable capacity for spiritualization and deification, yet another gift, namely, the Fall. We should view it as the gift that enables the human being to acquire free will.

If man understands and accepts both gifts as components of his earthly destiny, instead of losing himself and separating himself off in egoism, then he can try to understand the reasons why it would be meaningful to love the world. Instead of staring into the world that bears the 'I' on its waves in fortune and misfortune, we find the 'I' that through will activity shapes its own destiny. Instead of colliding with the world, which shatters the 'I' to fragments, one enters into the Self that feels itself united with the world-process (GA 26, p. 44).

By virtue of the law of cause and effect the human being participates in the perfecting of the world. It joins the series of human earthly incarnations into a single whole, in which life and death, good and evil play the role of hammer and anvil, whereby individual consciousness is forged, the individual being of man in the autonomous 'I' - the 'Sampo' of Finnish mythology.

Intellectualism is not possible without egocentricity; therefore it separates people. But something arises from it, that belongs to the very core of man's being. The more intellectualism there is in the world, the fewer the people who seek for what is spiritual, and the more estrangement and antisocial instincts there will be. We ask ourselves therefore how one can remain intellectual and yet grow into a social being. We will - says Rudolf Steiner - come ever closer to the truth which the human being should write into his soul as a high moral ideal: When you see something evil in the world, do not say: here is something evil and therefore imperfect. But ask instead: How can I raise myself to the knowledge that this evil will, within a higher world-connection, be transformed into good by the wisdom that is in the cosmos? How can I come to tell myself: That you see here something imperfect is due to the fact that you are not yet sufficiently advanced to see the perfection within this imperfect thing (June 28, 1909, GA 112).

In other words, the deadening effect of the intellect, and at the same time the evil that has arisen from it, will gradually be overcome by the fire of the heart. When intellect and heart begin to work together, then the will becomes active in a positive sense. The higher good in the world is Christ, and it is given to man to know the being of Christ and partake in wisdom. Once he takes this path he saves not only himself, but even the luciferic beings - through Christ-knowledge. And what once fell into sin through the luciferic temptation is transformed into good, into a blessing. We should not assume however that the attainment of this knowledge is easy or elementary. God Himself said: It is impossible that no offences should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! (Luke 17; 1).

Such is, if you like, the antinomy of earthly existence. For centuries human thought and the Christian view of life have laboured to find a solution to it. Sometimes life helps understanding; sometimes understanding helps life. The human form, the living example, not infrequently contributes to a solution of the unspoken mystery of the polarity of the antithesis between good and evil.

Dostoyevsky describes in his novel The Brothers Karamazov the living process of the transformation of evil into good through the Starets Zossima. We quote a fragment for the sake of clarification. It is the scene in which Zossima is speaking to the people who have come to him for help.

But the Stares had already noticed two burning eyes through which a haggard, seemingly consumptive but still young countrywoman looked at him. She looked at him silently, her eyes begged for something, but she seemed afraid to come closer.

'What brought you here, my child?'

'Save my soul, Father' - she said quietly and slowly, knelt down and bowed to the ground before him.

'I sinned, my Father, I fear my sin.'

The Stares sat on the bottom step, the countrywoman approached him closer on her knees.

'I am a widow, already for the third year' - she began, half whispering while shuddering. 'My marriage was hard, he was old and beat me. Then he fell ill and stayed in bed. And I think, as I see him now, but if he gets well again and gets up, what then? And then I had a thought! ...'

'Speak more quietly' - said the Stares and brought his ear closer to her lips. She continued her confession quietly whispering, no one could hear it. Soon she finished.

'The third year?' - asked the Stares.

'The third year. First I did not think about it, but now illness comes and with it the fear of soul.'

'Did you come from far away?'

'More than five hundred Werst from here.'

'Have you confessed it already?'

'Yes I confessed, I confessed twice.'

'Were you admitted to communion?'

'Yes, I was admitted. I am afraid; I fear death.'

'Do not fear anything and, do not fear ever and do not frighten your soul. As long as repentance does not cease in you, God will forgive everything. No sin exists, there is no sin in the world so great that God the Lord does not forgive the truly repentant sinner. Man can never commit a sin so great that it would exhaust the boundless love of God. Or do you think that a sin exists that is greater than God? Be concerned about repentance, always repent, but you should cast fear from you. Believe that God loves you as you cannot imagine it; that he loves you with your sin and in your sin. Do you not know that it is written: The heavens will rejoice more about a repentant sinner than about ten just men. Go now and do not fear. Do not allow people to embitter you and do not be angry about their insults. Give everything to him that is dead, reconcile with him in truth. You love when you repent, but if you love, you are already God's child ... Love purchases everything. If you move even me, a sinner like you and I feel compassion for you, how much more will God feel for you? Love is an immeasurable treasure; you can buy the whole world with it and not only free your own but also the sins of others. Go in peace and fear not.'

Three times he made the cross over her, took a small picture of a saint from his neck and placed it around her neck. In silence she bowed before him to the ground. He got up and looked with joy on a healthy countrywoman that carried an infant in her arm.

This was a religious life-experience. Anthroposophy completes it through raying into the secrets of existence the light of cognition without which the members of the very complicated Karamazov family in Dostoyevsky's novel hardly know what to do with themselves. It is intellectual helplessness in particular that leads some of them into moral cynicism, others into materialism; throws them into chaos and sin. For despite the differences in their characters they all have a new quality: they want to know something about the foundations of morality. In this knowledge humanity receives the third divine gift, the knowledge of reincarnation and karma. Therein lies the solution to the questions that destroy the souls of Ivan Karamazov.

Without this concrete spiritual-scientific knowledge (which should not be confused with the popular, extremely modern mystical babble), modern man today seems to have arrived at a certain dead, 'latent' point in evolution, from where we can move backwards, to the animal-state, and also forwards, to wisdom and love. To enable man to find the strength to overcome such 'dead' points of existence, Anthroposophy sheds light on its great universal connections. Then knowledge becomes force in us. We learn to know what really stirs human optimism, what works within us, long before we begin to grasp the secrets of existence, as instinctive wisdom, as an inborn inclination to the good.

Rudolf Steiner says in a lecture: In the fourth post-Atlantean period Christ Jesus developed His impulse for earth's humanity out of death. We may say: What streamed into humanity arose out of the death that had taken place. - Thus it is out of evil that humanity of the fifth (present) post-Atlantean period is led, in a strange, paradoxical way, to the renewal of the Mystery of Golgatha. Through the experiencing of evil (i.e. through the continued working of the Fall) it is made possible for the Christ to appear again, as He appeared through death in the fourth post-Atlantean epoch (Oct. 25, 1918, GA 185).

For this reason it is said in the spirit of esoteric Christianity, where love and wisdom always work together: The heaviest guilt that has ever been incurred lay in the fact that Christ was killed. Here the highest salvation coincides with the heaviest guilt ... it is a most profound riddle (Apr. 3, 1917, GA 175). Through the investigations made in the course of this work we have endeavoured to come a step closer to the solution of this riddle.

And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23; 33-34).

Conclusion

It is now time to draw up a balance. This would be substantially easier if the reader were already familiar with at least chapters 1 and 4 of my book Triune Man of Body, Soul and Spirit in the Light of Anthroposophy,* in which we attempted to think through the event of the Second Coming of Christ from the standpoint of the doctrine of the evolution through metamorphoses, which provides the foundation of the Goethean method of cognitive research. {*We hope that the reader will rightly understand the references to our own works. It has nothing to do with self-promotion, but with the fact that the themes we have worked on over the course of many years are closely interwoven, and what follows always builds upon what went before. This is the character of all scientific work, if it is carried through systematically and not done in a random manner (The work is available in 4 volumes: chapter I in vol. I, chapter 4 in vol. III; Publisher's Note.)}

The Mystery of Golgatha is the central event not only of the earthly but also of the entire cosmic evolution. However, the Mystery itself is a link in the chain of macrocosmic metamorphoses which God Himself undergoes as He permeates the realm of existence He has created.

On the basis of higher methods of cognition, Rudolf Steiner has revealed to us that Christ came to the aid of humanity three times before the Mystery of Golgatha. First, Christ reduced the terribly luciferized, unbridled character of man's opening sense organs. He accomplished this from the supersensible worlds, through the innocent part of the human soul that had remained behind in super-earthly existence, untouched by the fall into sin; the soul that incarnated in the Nathan Jesus-child whose lineage is given in the Gospel of St. Luke. Later He brought order into the development of the life-processes - breathing, digestion etc. And then He harmonized the individualized experience of thoughts, feelings and expressions of will, that was developing in man.

The fourth sacrificial deed of Christ was His becoming man and his passage through death on the cross. In all, we must distinguish seven Christ-events which describe the full circle of His deeds for the salvation of fallen humanity.

There are seven of them, because the whole world, the universe as such, passes through a series of seven-membered metamorphoses within the cycle in which man is created. This, we may well say, is the highest law of development in this cycle, and it has proceeded from the absolute divine creative act (Setzen). In Goetheanism, in Anthroposophy, it has been elaborated in detail and in many varied aspects. In the above-mentioned book we endeavoured to follow its working on the various levels of being - from the level of abstract thinking (the theory of knowledge, logic) to the manifestation of the divine in the world of created being. If we understand this law in the variety of its manifestations then we are better able to understand the meaning of the divine working which prevents the world and man from sinking irrevocably into matter and into non-being.

The Mystery of Golgatha was the stage of the Holy Divine metamorphosis through which God, as He passed through them, united with all the kingdoms of nature. The act of this union is given to religious consciousness in the festival of 'Ascension'. Christ raised Himself to the aura of the earth, to its astral and etheric body, weaving Himself at the same time through the whole of material existence. Therefore He says: For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed (John 6; 55).

One can also view the Ascension of the Lord as an act of divine beholding. All divine working is active, creative. This is what Goethe meant when he spoke of perceptive judgment (anschauende Urteilskraft) thanks to which our spirit (our understanding) can perceive the ideas behind things. (Understood rightly, Goetheanism is the pure Christianity of the Ascension.) God as the condition of the world in the form of idea unites, in the act of beholding, with densifying spirit - with the world given to us in our perceptions. Through the act of the Ascension of Christ the world that through materialization has separated from God is filled again with its true content.

The process of the Ascension lasted exactly 19 centuries - from 33 to 1933 AD. This is the length of time it took for God to unite fully (though not in the body of Jesus) with the world of the physical, i.e. of spatio-temporal being. (The number of time is 12; the number of life, of metamorphosis in three-dimensional space is 7. Christ needed 3 years in order to unite with the body of Jesus; there rules in man the principle of the trinity.)

The world has now entered a stage of development that corresponds to Whitsun, the festival when the Holy Spirit descends to those human beings who possess an individual 'I', and who are led from this to a yet higher stage, to the principle of the not I, but Christ (the highest 'I') in me. This epoch will last 2500 years, taking us approximately to the end of the first third of the sixth, Slavic-Germanic cultural epoch.

In the lecture in which Rudolf Steiner speaks of the Second Coming of Christ he also indicates a special periodicity of development which is used in the Eastern esoteric tradition, and he shows its relation to the Western tradition which has assumed over the course of time a purely literary, romantic character. According to this periodicity humanity in its development passes through the following stages (Yuga):

The Golden Age / or Krita Yuga,

The Silver Age / or Treta Yuga,

The Copper Age / or Dvapara Yuga

The Dark Age / or Kali Yuga, (from 3001 BC to 1899 AD)

The new epoch began in 1900 and will last 2,500 years (cf. Jan. 25, 1910, GA 118).

For the people of ancient times the Yugas encompassed the development of man from his existence in Paradise to the beginning of the 20th century. During this time human beings lived through expulsion from Paradise, they learned to master the individual body, soul and spirit in the materialized body, they lost contact with the spiritual world entirely, they underwent the loss of all supersensible experience. But now the gates of the supersensible are opening for them again. If we consider all these things, we will be able to appreciate the full significance of this century. A quite new development is beginning here. Behind us lies the Golden Age, at the end of which we were thrust into solid matter. This was the ancient Lemurian epoch where, on the level of an animal-human, we elaborated our own sense-organs and life-processes. The luciferic spirits, who had cast humanity from Paradise on to the earth, lived out their own nature in these processes, and these thereby took on the character of passions that were unendurable to the human being. Thereupon Christ, working down from spiritual heights (at that time He had already descended from the world of the fixed stars to the planetary system), banished Lucifer from our senses and life-processes, pressing him down into the subconscious where his working was moderated. During the epoch of Old Atlantis Christ gave structure to our thinking, feeling and willing. Golgatha took place around the middle of Kali Yuga.

Through indicating such a periodicity, Rudolf Steiner gave us the possibility (as he frequently did) to understand, on the basis of the Goethean teaching of evolution, an entire series of deeds of Christ, which He accomplished in strict adherence with the laws of development, as He Himself tells us.

Thus the 20th century is preceded by five deeds of Christ (including Ascension), as a result of which man became a triune being of body, soul and spirit, and acquired the capacity to ascend into the spiritual spheres as an individual and no longer as a group being. All this we owe to the Christ. But in order to grasp this, we must understand all seven deeds of Christ, those of the past and those of the future. Not all human beings, by any means, succeed in forming an appropriate connection to them at the right time. Many have still retained something of the old Atlantean luciferic passions in their process of digestion. But each epoch poses its own quite concrete tasks, and a certain number of people need to master them at least on the level of understanding. This gives grounds for hope that the others too will in time make up for what they have missed.

The situation is different with the spirits of opposition. They seek in every conceivable way to falsify, to violate the laws of development and to turn them upside-down, as to their significance and their operation. It is thanks to their effort that humanity at the beginning of the 20th century was able, only in a few of its representatives, to become fully conscious of the Christianity of the epoch of the Lord's Ascension. Unfortunately we are still in the mood and condition of Easter Saturday, where the development of the human soul and spirit is concerned. The world, our civilization in all its manifestations - including the ecclesiastical forms of the religious confessions, hold the Christ bound in His earthly grave and will not allow His light-filled resurrection to begin. This, we may say, is the archetypal phenomenon of those two shadows which have survived from the Greco-Latin and old Egyptian epochs: Latinism and the Western occult-political societies, of which we have spoken in this book.

These forces battle not only against the second but also the first coming of Christ. They oppose His seven deeds, because they are aware that they will lose the game entirely if they cannot divert the attention of mankind from all these deeds.

In a kind of anticipation Christ already appeared a second time to the Apostles. Today He can appear to any human soul, as the all-encompassing, living idea of the world, the true essence of all things, as their ideal archetypal image, through which all things came into being and to which all things return. In living through the second coming, the human being experiences the realization of his inmost yearning - the union of being and consciousness. When the human being will have mastered the individual Spirit Self the Whitsun festival will undergo a deepening. This will take place in the Slavic-Germanic cultural epoch when Christ descends to the human communities of the Spirit Self as Life Spirit. This will be His seventh deed, and we must already prepare for His coming. - Herein lies the meaning of the spiritual task that is to be fulfilled by Middle Europe in the present cultural epoch. But the Slavs must prepare to carry this task further.

This seventh deed of Christ will allow man to partake in the body of resurrection. But in our own time man must learn, through knowledge of the deeds of Christ, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit, through confessing to the Christ in spirit and truth, to celebrate truly the Ascension of Christ with head and with heart, in order to prepare himself for the experience of His coming.

The world has great difficulties ready to place in our way. Still today, those who are led to initiation, though by the old atavistic path - the monsignori and politicians - imitate the methods of rulership that were used by the Roman Caesars who compelled the hierophants of the Mysteries to initiate them without due preparation. The usual outcome of such an initiation was possession. This in turn became a social factor, a factor of State political policy, which laid claim to unrestricted domination in the world. It was above all for the achievement of political aims that Christianity was made the state religion in Constantinople and Rome. The challenge to Rome that was presented by Middle Europe and the Anglo-Saxon world was finally extinguished through the influence of materialistic culture and the ahrimanization of British-American occultism.

The new epoch brings yet another problem. If we disregard mass culture, which is already in a terminal state of decline, and we turn to those who, in the face of all hindrances, have found through their connection with esoteric Christianity the strength and ability to balance the working of Lucifer and Ahriman through the impulse of the Christ - the God of the human 'I' who reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit when the human being overcomes everything that is national, tribal, racial - we find these people confronted now by the retarded spirits of time, the Asuras. They lie in wait for those who are striving towards the consciousness-soul and cause them to lower this into the sphere of the instincts. For this reason the Anglo-Saxon and German-speaking peoples, whose task it is to bring to birth the 'I' in the threefold soul, and who therefore have to master the consciousness-soul, and also those who turn to Anthroposophy, incur the greatest risk in the new epoch. Dangers have always lurked on the path of development, and this will always be the case. But if we expose ourselves to dangers, we should do so with understanding. It is a purely Asuric idea to want to build an earthly paradise where man is not exposed to any risks.

The majority of people will be led in the new epoch to a certain degree of individualization. Intellectualism will increasingly become a possession of the broader masses, but for the sole purpose of harnessing these masses completely to mechanized culture, to the extent that the human being will be incorporated as an element into the various mechanical-cybernetic systems of the future, and also, in part, of the present. The 'Highest' to which man can look up will be, instead of the Spirit Self, ahrimanic immortality, while the most varied cybernetic-parapsychological refinements will spread over the earth, which not only prolong human life, but also rob souls of the possibility of passing through a spiritual evolution after death. In the last resort it will be possible to convey a not inconsiderable portion of humanity into the sphere of the electro-magnetic energies, the fallen ethers, in order on this foundation to build up an anti-world, an anti-cosmos, which will be placed over against the divine world creation.

The initiates of the Latin and the Anglo-Saxon race know of this and look upon such a perspective of development as being quite acceptable. But it is not given to them to understand and become conscious of the fact that there is no place in it for the human soul and spirit, as they are subject to the influence of ritual (ceremonial) magic. Already these people are the virtual rulers of the world. Must we keep silent about all this, and wait patiently for the events to unfold? - May every thinking person answer this question for himself. We owe a certain forbearance to the person who simply does not want to believe all this, who thinks that the world is moved by the chance fortuity of events and the play of arbitrary choice or of the noble intentions of human beings standing in isolation to one another. But it is quite different for those who have grown out of the swaddling bands of their social, political and occult infancy. They should on no account underestimate the significance of present events. Rather, they are such that their significance cannot be estimated highly enough. We are the witnesses and participants in a cosmic mystery drama, the course of which has an immediate bearing on our own destiny.

What the single individual can do under these circumstances - of this we have already spoken. It is important to realize that all that once took place in Palestine is undergoing a repetition in the new epoch, and will be repeated on an ever-increasing scale and down to the smallest details. Christ died for the individual human being, and thus this Mystery cannot be experienced collectively. We should recognize the development of individual souls, and build the structure of society according to this principle. As a collective, humanity walks on towards the grave of Christ, as with His disciples on Easter Sunday. We, humanity, are still in a state of confusion over the fact that the tomb is empty. Everything that arises in our souls over and above this is no more than the hope for some distant future, when Christ will appear to us and will allow us to place our hands in His wounds.

Anthroposophy as the message of the Holy Spirit, the 'Comforter', the 'Spirit of truth' whom Christ Himself promised to send to us, and kept His promise, allows the human being to approach the experience of Christianity in the spirit of the Whitsun Festival. Anthroposophy is in its essential nature (as the highest synthesis of the conceptual, spiritual, religious and artistic quest of the individual human spirit through all the ages of the past) that form in which Christianity has progressed from the stage of preparation to the stage of realization. But the opposing forces - and this is important to grasp - are also moving towards a certain 'realization'. What this means is shown by the entire 20th century. In its totality it has come to be the resistance to Christ's second coming realized in practice, and the practically realized collaboration in preparing the ground for the incarnation of Ahriman. In contrast to the Christianity of the Holy Trinity our century creates its new kind of religion. This 'religion' (counter-religion) absorbs all the fruits of atavistic occultism and makes them, in one or another form, accessible to the masses. In the mass-media one is already stating openly that parapsychology ought to take on the role of a new, universal, international religion. Any form whatever of practical magic, witchcraft, shamanism, every old superstition, all the teachings of East and West, North and South, the latest scientific theories and discoveries - all this will be thrown into the melting-'pot' of a so-called universal, earthly-cosmic world-view whose function will be to determine in practice the development of culture and civilization in the new epoch.

The entire social structure of the world assumes ever more distinctly the traits of a social anti-threefolding. In place of the equality of all human beings in the sphere of rights, we see emerging the world-wide rulership of a new, occult aristocracy. The spiritual life is shaped by means of magical hocus-pocus, of anti-aestheticism, and through the synthesis of pop-art and parapsychology.

Economically one divides the world into the caste of rulers and the helots who work for them. It will not be long before, instead of the associations of free producers (communes, communities), we will see the proletarians of the future: pious beings living on the level of group-consciousness, and bound to machines through the use of occult forces.

All this is unfortunately no empty fantasy. Such a development can only be arrested through a conscious appeal to Christ in his Second Coming, the event heralded by Anthroposophy. In the end the forces of good will triumph, for Christ has said: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16; 33).


Appendix

Translated from the German
by Helga Schulte-Schroeer; North Vancouver, Canada


Esoteric Lesson from November 1906 in Munich (notes):

Asuras stayed behind on Old Saturn. As did fire-spirits on the Sun. Christ is the regent of the fir-spirits. The satanic hosts are backward fire-spirits. On Old Moon they are the luciferic spirits. In the Lemurian race Lucifer intervened in human development. He was included in earth development and served as liberator by bringing independence and enthusiasm for wisdom to man. Satanic beings begin their "work" in the Atlantean race (black magic). They are the gods of hindrances. The Asuras begin their activity only now in the fifth race. They are the most detrimental and mainly effect sexual life, the physical body. The many sexual aberrations of the present can be traced back to their strong influence. All forces of hindrance effect that they seek to hold on to what is incomplete, what exists at present, and execute and strengthen it in its incompleteness. Luciferic beings still were liberators because they gave independence, ego through egoism. We had to pass through egoism, which, as it were, was the first expression of the ego –as error is the first expression of wisdom in a world of becoming, so animalistic love is the first expression of higher spiritual love. The corresponding transformation is our task. The third root race saw the separation of the sexes, it will be overcome in the sixth root race; this has to be prepared in the sixth sub-race. The productive forces of man transform. Creative force in itself is the most holy in our possession because it is directly divine. The more divine what is dragged through the mud by us, the greater the sin. Our reproductive organs will be heart and throat. As the word became flesh in Christ, the flesh has to become the word at the end of the time of fulfilling Christianity.

…Good and evil is yet differentiated relatively little. Our eyes do not much penetrate the unified of the flesh. Now it is still a relatively small step from evil to good, from good to evil. When the forces of the masters and of people that support them with all their strength and will as well as the forces of the gods of hindrances, called Mammon as well (Satan and Asuras), increasingly intervene in the life of humanity, in earthly development, with their hosts –then good will develop into divine good and evil into something terrible, into the Anti-Christ. Then each one of us world-helpers (this is spoken in deepest humility) needs all the strength that can be gained from suffering and overcoming suffering, from evil and overcoming evil. It is the task of Theosophy (Anthroposophy), of Rosicrucianism to call people to this battle through these perceptions and bring them peace in the battle (GA 266/1, p. 169/170).




Go to Chapter Two

Go to Chapter Twelve

Go to Chapter Sixteen

Go to "Excerpts from The Crisis of Civilization"

Go to "The Advent of Ahriman"