Rudolf Steiner Archive

Calendar of the Soul

Northern Hemisphere
Week 42

In this the shrouding gloom of winter
The soul feels ardently impelled
To manifest its innate strength,
To guide itself to realms of darkness,
Anticipating thus
Through warmth of heart the sense-world's

Southern Hemisphere
Week 16

To bear in inward keeping spirit bounty
Is stern command of my prophetic feeling,
That ripened gifts divine
Maturing in the depths of soul
To selfhood bring their fruits.

—Translation by Ruth and Hans Pusch

See GA 40 for full calendar and German text.

Atlantis and Lemuria
GA 11

V. Woman in the Third Root-Race

The development undergone by woman during the Lemurian era qualified her for an important rôle on the earth in connection with the beginning of the next Atlantean Root-Race. This was ushered in under the influence of highly developed entities who were acquainted with the laws of the moulding of races, and who were capable of turning the existing forces of human nature into such courses as led to the formation of a new race. Later on, a special reference will be made to these entities. For the present suffice it to say that superhuman wisdom and power were immanent in them. They separated a small number of the Lemurian men and appointed them to become the progenitors of the subsequent Atlantean Race. The place chosen lay in the torrid zone. The men of this little clan attained, under their guidance, the mastery of Nature's forces. They were full of energy, and knew how to wrest from Nature treasures of many kinds. They knew how to cultivate fields and how to utilize their fruits. Through the training to which they had been subjected (compare previous chapter), they had become men of strong will. It was in woman, however, that the mind and the soul were developed, for it was in her that memory and imagination, and all connected therewith, were found to have been already fostered.

The leaders to whom reference has been made brought about an arrangement of the little flock into small groups, and to woman they entrusted the ordering and arranging of these groups. Women had acquired, by means of their memory, the faculty of utilizing for the future all the experiences that they had once known. That which had proved valuable yesterday was turned by them to present advantage; and they were clearly aware that it would likewise be useful to-morrow. The arrangements of the communal life came thus from women. Under their influence the notions of “good and evil” were developed. Through their reflective life they had acquired an understanding of Nature. Out of their observations of Nature grew the ideas according to which they guided the actions of men. The leaders arranged things in such wise that the will-power and superabundant energy of men were ennobled and purified by the “soul” in woman. Of course, all this is to be considered as at an elementary stage. The words of our languages are too apt to suggest ideas derived from contemporary life.

Indirectly, through the awakened psychical life of women, did the leaders develop that of the men. In the above-mentioned colony, the influence of women was therefore very great. They were consulted whenever it was desired to interpret the signs of Nature. The whole mode of their psychic life was, however, still such that it was ruled by the “secret” psychic powers of men. To give an approximate, if not quite adequate, conception of this state, one might speak of a somnambulistic perception on the part of these women. The secrets of Nature were revealed to them, and the impulses of their actions were imparted in a kind of higher dream-state. Everything to them was the expression of spiritual powers, and appeared in the form of psychic faculties and visions. They abandoned themselves to the mystic working of their psychic powers. They were prompted to their actions by “inner voices” or by that which was told them by plants, animals, and stones, the wind and the clouds, or the rustling of the trees.

From soul-conditions of such a kind arose that which may be called human religion. The psychic element in Nature and in human life came gradually to be reverenced and worshipped. Some women attained to special predominance, because they were able to interpret from certain mysterious depths the phenomena of the world. So it came to pass that with these women that which was within them transposed itself into a kind of Nature-speech. For the beginning of speech lies in something akin to song. The power of thought converted itself into that of audible sound. The inner rhythm of Nature resounded through the life of “wise” women. People gathered round such women, and their song-like utterances were felt as the expression of higher powers. Thus did divine worship take its inception among men. It would be an error to consider that there was any “sense” in the spoken word at that time. Only the sound, tone, and rhythm were felt. No one had any aim other than that of drawing strength into the soul from what was heard. The whole procedure was under the guidance of the higher leaders. They had inspired the “wise” priestesses with tones and rhythms in a manner which cannot be described here, and it was thus that women were able to affect the souls of men in such a way as to ennoble them. It may be said that it was altogether in this manner that the true soul-life was awakened.

The Âkâshic Records reveal what are in this respect scenes of much beauty. One of these shall be described. We are in a wood close to a gigantic tree. The sun has just risen in the east. Mighty are the shadows thrown by the palm-like tree across the cleared space round it. With her face to the east, and in a state of exaltation, we discern a priestess on a seat prepared of curious natural objects and plants. Slowly and in a rhythmic cadence flow from her lips certain wondrous sounds which are repeated again and again. Ranged in large circles, a number of men and women sit round her with dreamy faces, absorbing inner life from the sounds. Still other scenes may be witnessed. At another place, arranged in like manner, a priestess chants in a similar way, but her tones have in them something more mighty, more powerful, and the men around her move in rhythmic dances. For this was the other method by means of which the “soul” entered mankind. The mysterious rhythms which man had caught from Nature were imitated in the movements of his own limbs. Thus was it that man felt himself at one with Nature and with the Powers that ruled her.

The part of the earth on which was reared the germ of the coming human race was particularly adapted for this purpose. It was situated where the still agitated and stormy earth had more or less settled down. For Lemuria was greatly troubled by storms. The earth had not then reached its later density. The thin soil was everywhere undermined by volcanic forces bursting forth in smaller or greater streams. Mighty volcanoes were found nearly everywhere, and continually exercised a devastating activity. In all their arrangements men were accustomed to take this fiery agency into consideration. They even turned the fire to advantage in respect of their works and enterprises. The state of things was such that this natural fire could be turned to account in human labour just as is the case to-day with artificial fire. It was the activity of volcanic fire that also brought about the ruin of the Lemurian continent. The portion of Lemuria in which the Root-Race of the Atlanteans was to appear had, it is true, a hot climate, but nevertheless it was exempt, on the whole, from subjection to volcanic agency. Human nature could develop itself here more calmly and peacefully. The more nomadic life of former times was abandoned, and fixed settlements increased in number.

One has to remember that the human body was at this time still very plastic and flexible. It was still in a state of formation, in keeping with man's inner changes. At a recent era, for instance, men were still quite different as to their external appearance. The external influence of the country and of the climate continued to affect their form. But in the specified colony the body became increasingly an expression of the inner psychic life. This colony contained at the same time a species of men who were advanced, and of a finer external form. It should be said that the true human form was created by what had been clone by the leaders. The work was certainly very slow and gradual, but the progress began with the unfolding of the psychic life in man; and the still soft and plastic body adapted itself accordingly. It is a law of human development that the transforming influence of man on his physical body decreases with progress. Indeed, that physical body only acquired a fairly firm form through the development of intellectual power, and contemporaneously with the solidification of the stony, mineral and metallic formations of the earth, which were connected with this development. For in the Lemurian, and even in the Atlantean era also, stones and metals were far softer than they afterwards became. This is not in contradiction with the fact that there still exist descendants of the last Lemurians and Atlanteans who even now display forms no less solid than those of the later human races. These remainders had to adapt themselves to the altered conditions surrounding them, and consequently became more rigid. This is precisely the cause of their gradual extinction. They did not mould themselves from within, but their less developed inner nature was forced from without into rigidity and thereby brought to a standstill. And this standstill is truly a retrogression, for even the inner life deteriorated because it could not live itself out in the solidified external body.

Animal life displayed a still greater capacity for change. (Reference will be made later on to the kinds of animals present at the time of the earliest races, both as to their origin and also as to the appearance of new forms of animals during the subsequent history of men. Suffice it here to say that the existing animal species were in a state of constant transformation, and that new species continued to arise.) This transformation was naturally gradual. The reasons of the transformation lay, partly, in the change of domicile and mode of life. Animals had an extraordinarily quick capacity for adaptation to new conditions. The plastic body altered its organs with comparative quickness, so that, after a longer or shorter time, the descendants of a particular species well-nigh ceased to resemble their progenitors. It was also thus with plants, but in a more pronounced degree. The greatest influence on the transformation of man and animals was due to man himself, by his either instinctively bringing living beings into such surroundings that they assumed definite forms, or by attempting to produce changes by breeding. The transforming influence of man on nature was, at that time, incalculably greater than is the case at present, and this was especially the case in the colony described. For here this transformation was guided by the leaders in a manner which was not realized by men. So it came about that, when men went forth to found the various Atlantean races, they took with them highly advanced knowledge as to the breeding of animals and plants. The growth of civilization was, then, essentially a consequence of the knowledge which they had brought with them. Nevertheless it must be emphasized that these instructions were only instinctive in character, and in essence they still remained so among the first Atlantean races.

The predominance of the woman-soul, already indicated, is particularly strong in the last Lemurian epoch, and continues into the Atlantean era, when the fourth sub-race was in preparation. It must not, however, be thought that this was the case with the whole of mankind; but it holds true as regards that portion of the earthly population from which came forth, at a later period, the truly advanced races. This influence was most potent on all that is “unconscious” in, or about man. The acquisition of certain habitual gestures, the subtleties of sense perception, the feeling for beauty, a good deal of the sensitive and emotional life common to men in general, emanated originally from the soul of woman. It is not saying too much if we interpret the communications of the Âkâshic Records to this effect: “Civilized nations have a bodily structure and a bodily expression, as well as certain bases of the physically psychic life, which have been stamped on them by woman.”

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