How does Man stand to-day, at his present stage of evolution, with regard to Michael and Michael's Company?
Man stands over against a world which once was wholly divine, spiritual Being — divine spiritual Being, of which he himself was a living part. The world therefore, in those times when World and Man belonged together, was a world of divine spiritual Being. In a following stage of evolutionary progress, this had ceased. The world was then, the cosmic Revelation of Divine spirit; the Divine Spirit in its essential Being hovered behind the Revelation. Yet still it weaved and lived in this, its revealed glory. A world of stars was there; in their shining and their motion Divine Spirit weaved and lived as revelation. One may say, that in the place of a star's standing, in those days, or in the manner of its moving, might directly be seen the action of Divine Spirit.
In all that here went on — the manner in which the Divine Spirit wrought within the Cosmos — the life of Man, as he grew up in every way a product of divine-spiritual action in the Cosmos — in all of this, Michael was still in his own element unopposed. He was mediator in the relations of the Divinity to Man.
Other times came. The star-world ceased to be the immediate and present bearer of the divine-spiritual action. Its life and motion was but the persistent continuation of the same form of action which had once worked within it. Divine Spirit lived no longer in the Cosmos as Revelation, but only as Workings. A marked distinction had now taken place between the Divine-Spiritual and the Cosmic: they had become two against the Ahrimanic Powers, which will save us from falling into their snare.
To understand the meaning of the Michael-Mission in the Cosmos, means the ability to speak like this. One must be able in these days to speak about the world of Nature in the way demanded by the present stage of the Spiritual Soul's development. One must be able to make one's mind familiar with the purely scientific, naturalistic mode of thought.
But one must also learn to speak — which means, to feel — about the world of Nature too in a manner befitting the Christ. Not only about redemption from Nature, not only about the soul and things divine, but about the Cosmos, we must learn the Christ-language.
That our human link with our first divine-spiritual origin may be so preserved, that we may know how rightly to speak the Christ-language about the Cosmos — this is something to which we shall in the end attain, if with inward sincerity of heart we learn to feel and ever more fully enter into all that Michael and Michael's Company are amongst us — in their mission, in all that they perform. For to understand Michael, means, to-day, to find the way to the Logos, as lived by Christ amongst men on earth.
Anthroposophy sets due value upon all that the naturalistic form of scientific thought has learnt to say about the world during the last four to five hundred years. But Anthroposophy has another language to speak besides this one, about the Being of Man, the Evolution of Man, the Growth of the Cosmos. Anthroposohy would speak the Christ-Michael language.
For if both languages are spoken, then the continuity will remain unbroken, and evolution will not pass over to Ahriman, before finding again its first, divine, spiritual origin. The language of the natural sciences, by itself alone, in a manner of speech that befits the detachment of the intellectual force from the Divine Spirit of its origin. It may become the language of Ahriman, if Michael's mission be neglected. It will not do so, if, through the might of Michael's great example, the freed and detached intellect comes to itself once more in that Cosmic Intellectual power of the beginning, which, severed from Man, has become objective to him, but which lies at Man's source, and appeared in its living essence in Christ within the realm of human kind, after having left Man for a while, in order that he might unfold his freedom.
1. Divine Spirit manifests itself in various ways in the Cosmos, in the following stages: 1. In its own primal and essential Being. 2. In the Revelation of this Being. 3. In its Workings — when the Being withdraws from the Revelation. 4. In its Wrought Work, when in the Universe, as this appears, no longer the Divine itself but only the Forms of the Divine are there.
2. Man's present view of the natural world gives him no relation to the Divine but only to this finished Work, wrought by the Divine. The effects communicated to the human soul by this view of the natural world are such that Man may use them, either to ally himself with the Christ-Powers, or with the forces of Ahriman.
3. Michael's whole aim and effort is, that the pristine relation to the Cosmos, which has been conserved in Man from the ages of the divine manifestation in Being and Revelation, should by the free effect of Michael's own example, become incorporated in the further human and cosmic evolution. For then the present naturalistic view, which tells only of the Image or empty Form of the Divine, will be able to pass over into a higher view of Nature, more befitting the Spirit. This higher view of Nature will have present existence in Man; but it will be a human after-realization of the God's relation to the Cosmos during the first two stages of cosmic evolution. While giving assent, in this manner, to the view of the natural world which belongs to the Age of Consciousness (Age of the Spiritual Soul), Anthroposophy supplements and completes this view by another — the result of observation with the awakened eye of the Spirit.