The Gospel of St. John (Basle)
19 November 1907, Basle
At the outset of our studies to-day we must deal with a word that in Spiritual Science is very important. In Christian occult science the Old Moon is called the Cosmos of Wisdom and the Earth the Cosmos of Love. By “Moon” we here mean the Moon Period of the Earth. The reason why the Old Moon is called the Cosmos of Wisdom is because all that was then developed was filled with wisdom. When the Earth Period succeeded the Moon Period the Cosmos of Wisdom was replaced by the Cosmos of Love. When the Earth came forth from the darkness of Pralaya, the rudiments of the human being which had been developed in former periods reappeared — the physical, etheric and astral bodies. On the Old Moon Wisdom had been implanted in these bodies and their mutual relationships; we therefore find wisdom in the constitution of these three bodies. We find the greatest wisdom in the construction of the physical body, less in that of the etheric body, and still less in that of the astral body. If we thoughtfully observe the human body we discover this wisdom in each organ, in each part. For instance, if we study the upper portion of the human thighbone we find in it a network of cells beautifully constructed with a view to their purpose. No engineer of the present day would be able to produce these two columns, which bear the upper part of the human body with the smallest expenditure of matter and force. Wisdom was implanted in the human body as long as the divine Spirits worked upon it. As a rule the physical body is looked upon as the lowest part of man, unjustly so, for the very greatest wisdom can be seen just in the physical body. Only through this wisdom is it possible for the physical body to withstand the attacks continually made upon it by the astral body, and so not break up before the time. The pleasures and desires which hold sway in the physical body when tea and coffee and so on are taken, all these are attacks of the astral body on the physical body, and especially on the heart. It has therefore to be so wisely constructed that these attacks can be withstood for decades. Of course the suitable form of the heart could only be discovered by subjecting it to many transformations.
Wisdom lies at the foundation of the construction of the world, and it is for this reason that our intellect can now seek and find it there. But wisdom did not come suddenly into the world, it was only poured in slowly and gradually; and in the same way love will also permeate the Earth very gradually. The purpose of the evolution of our Earth is to be permeated with love. Love has only begun to permeate the Earth to the smallest extent, but it will spread more and more, and at the end of the Earth Period everything will be saturated with love, just as it was saturated with wisdom at the end of the Moon Period.
When the Moon separated from the Earth the force of love was only contained in it seminally. First of all only those who were related to one another by blood loved one another. This state of things lasted for a long time; then the sphere of the activity of love gradually widened. For the perception and exercise of love a certain independence is necessary.
From the beginning of human evolution two forces have always been active: one that draws together and one that separates (Sun and Moon forces). Under the influence of these two forces man was so far developed that his three bodies, together with the bearer of the ego, inclined towards the Spirit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Man. But a final union could not have come about without the addition of a new cosmic force. This force, which exercised a specially strong influence after the separation of the Moon, came from another planet, which entered into a remarkable relationship with the Earth. This planet, Mars, made a sort of passage through the body of the Earth when the latter began its evolution. Until then iron had been lacking in the Earth, and through its appearance on the Earth the course of evolution was changed at one stroke. It was the planet Mars which brought iron to the Earth, and from that time it was possible for Man to develop warm blood containing iron. Through Mars the astral also received a new principle, the sentient soul, the courageous soul. When Mars entered, the aggressive element developed in the soul. We have now to distinguish in men the physical body, the etheric body, the astral body and the sentient soul. Red, warm blood was the result of the activity of the sentient soul on the physical body; then the fertilising Ego could gradually be membered into the human being.
“Blood is a very special fluid.” The God of Form, Jehovah, now played a specially important role. He took possession of the newly developed organ, the blood, permeated it with His forces, transformed the aggressive qualities of the courageous soul into the forces of love and made the blood into the physical vehicle of the Ego.
In the beginning each human individual did not possess his own Ego. The same Jehovah-force, the Ego-force, the same Ego worked in all who were related by blood, who preserved the same blood through endogamy (near marriage). A small group of this kind had a common Ego. The individual was related to the whole family as a finger is related to the whole body. In the beginning there were group-souls; the individual felt himself to be part of the family or tribe; and the same Ego lived on through several generations, it was not confined to those who were living at the same time; the common Ego was felt as long as the blood remained unmixed, as long as those who belonged to the same tribe intermarried. Therefore the Ego was not felt as something personal, but as something common to all the members of the tribe. Just as a man now remembers what he has experienced from the time of his birth, the men of that time remembered what the ancestors of the same tribe had done as vividly as if they themselves had experienced it: The grandchild and great-grandchild felt within them the some Ego that had lived in the grandfather and great-grandfather. When we know this we shall understand the secret of the great age of the patriarchs. For example, “Adam” was not the name of a single individual but of the common Ego which flowed through many generations. We have just said that Jehovah made the blood, into the physical vehicle of the Ego. He did this by taking in hand the development of the blood. He expressed His force in the kind of breathing; man became the Jehovah-man through Jehovah giving him the breath. The fact that the man who was supplied with the necessary preliminary conditions had the living breath breathed into him must be taken quite literally. “Jehovah breathed breath into man and he became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). But this inbreathing of the soul did not take place suddenly, it was a process which lasted for thousands of years. Man thus became a breather of air.
On the Old Moon there was something else in place of the breathing of air. Whereas the man of the present day breathes air in and out and thereby has a source of warmth within himself, his ancestors on the Old Moon consisting of physical, etheric and astral bodies; breathed the substance of warmth or fire in and out. Man's predecessors on the old Moon were fire-breathers. Occult Science looks upon all matter only as the expression of spirit. We breathe in and out not air alone, we breathe in the Spirit it contains. Air is the body of Jehovah just as flesh is the body of man. The remembrance of this is expressed in the German legend of Wotan who rides in the Wind. What was breathed in and out on the Old Moon was also spirit.
Upon the Old Moon there were the same spiritual Beings as live upon the Earth; there they lived in fire, but upon the Earth they have become spirits of air. In cosmic evolution Beings remain behind in their development, just as some pupils are backward at school. The Beings who made the Sun their dwelling-place had developed more rapidly and made the transition from fire-spirits to air-spirits; but a great host of beings had not made this transition. The former now worked upon man as spiritual forces from outside, from Sun and Moon. Man takes them into himself through his breath. Between Man and these highly developed Sun-Spirits there are the spiritual Beings, who, it is true, developed very much further than man upon the Moon, but not as fast as the Sun-Spirits and Jehovah. They were unable as yet to influence man through his breathing, nevertheless they endeavoured to influence him. They were the Fire-Spirits who had not completed their task. They worked in the element of warmth and this existed in man his blood. They lived in this warmth.
Thus in the course of his evolution man was placed between the Air-spirits, who live in his breathing (the highest Spirits who permeate him with Spirit), and the fire-spirits who live in the warmth of his blood. They act in his blood as the opponents of the God Jehovah. Jehovah sought to hold men together by love in small groups, He desired to fill them with the feeling of belonging together. But if love had only existed in this form men would never have become independent beings; they would have had to develop love involuntarily. The Fire-spirits directed their attacks against this, with the result that man gained his personal freedom. The small groups of people were broken up. Jehovah's only interest was to lead people together in love, He worked in the blood as the God of blood-love. The action of the Fire-spirits was different; it was they who brought art and science to men. These Spirits are also called Luciferic Spirits. The further course of the evolution of humanity proceeded under the influence of Lucifer, who brings freedom and wisdom to man. Under the guidance of the God Jehovah men were to be led together through the principle of blood-brotherhood. The fact that man has become a free citizen of the Earth, — this he owes to Lucifer. Jehovah placed men in the Paradise of Love; then there appeared the Fire-spirit, the Serpent, in the form which man once possessed when he still breathed fire, and opened men's eyes to what still remained from the Old Moon. This Luciferic influence was perceived as a temptation. But those who were instructed in the occult schools did not look upon this enlightenment, as wrong; the great Initiates have not cast the Serpent down but, like Moses in the wilderness, they have raised it. (Numbers 21:8-9).
That which was revealed in humanity was manifested for a long period through Jehovah as blood-love. Beside this worked the Spirit of Wisdom, a principle which has to prepare something different. Love gradually spread from smaller to larger groups of human beings, from families to tribes and peoples. A characteristic example of this is the Hebrew people, which felt itself as a group which belonged together and called all others “Galileans,” i.e. those who did not belong to the blood. But humanity was to receive not only blood-love but spiritual love, which will embrace the whole earth with a bond of brotherhood. The period during which humanity was held together by the love which existed between relations is only to be looked upon as a period of preparation for what was to come later. The action of Lucifer, too, which consisted in splitting apart the bonds which confined human beings, is only the preparation for the activity of a higher Being who was to come. This higher Being was called in the Christian occult schools the true Light-bearer, the true Lucifer, the Christ.
Let us now go back to the period when the Atlantean humanity lived on the Earth. The Earth had quite a different appearance then. Between Europe and America, where now the Atlantic Ocean rolls, there was land, a part of the Earth which now lies at the bottom of the ocean. Modern science is gradually arriving at the knowledge that a continent once existed where the Atlantic Ocean now lies. In Haeckel's magazine, '“Cosmos,” there is an interesting article on “Atlantis.” Atlantis was inhabited by people who were quite different from those of the present day. The relationship between the etheric and physical bodies was then quite different from what it is now. The clairvoyant sees two-points in the human head, one in the etheric brain, the other in the physical brain, between the eyes, about half an inch below the surface. In the man of the present day these two points coincide, but in the Atlantean this was different; the etheric brain projected some distance beyond the physical brain and the two points did not coincide. It may also happen in exceptional cases in people of the present time that these two points do not coincide and the consequence is — idiocy. It was only in the last third of the Atlantean Epoch that these two points came together, and only from that time did man learn to say “I” consciously to himself. Before that time the Atlanteans could not reckon, think logically or form a judgment; but they possessed a wonderful memory, which extended over generations, and they were dimly clairvoyant. They did not see the outlines of physical objects clearly, but they perceived psychic occurrences. When the Atlantean met an animal he perceived clairvoyantly the attitude of the creature towards him whether it was friendly or hostile. For instance, if he saw reddish-brown colour, he turned away for he knew that a hostile influence was approaching; but if he saw a reddish-violet colour he knew that something sympathetic to him was approaching. He also recognised the value of certain foods to him with the aid of this clairvoyance. The animals of the present day, which have preserved this dim clairvoyance, distinguish in a similar way between the plants in the meadows in respect of their value as food or their harmful nature. The kind of vision man now possesses in dreams is a decadent remnant of the clairvoyance of the old Atlanteans. Among the Atlanteans there was not such a clear separation between the consciousness of waking and sleeping as there is in the man of the present day. Their day-consciousness was less clear than ours; but their consciousness during sleep and in dreaming was clearer. During the early part of the Atlantean Epoch there were also times of complete unconsciousness, which were filled with mighty dream-pictures. In those very early times, too, the Atlanteans were unconscious of the act of reproduction. This took place in a state of complete unconsciousness. When the Atlantean awakened, he knew nothing about the act of reproduction; this process was only shown to him in pictorial images. We are reminded of this by the Greek legend which tells of two people who came to Greece and threw stones behind them, and out of these stones men developed. The act of reproduction was veiled in unconsciousness as long as marriages took place between those who were related by blood. It is due to the activity of the Luciferic Spirits, who opened the eyes of men, that men awakened to consciousness and that they recognized the act of reproduction consciously. Men learned to distinguish between good and evil. Because Men now knew about their love and no longer enquired about the blood-relationship they became independent. Then Jehovah was replaced by Christ, Who brought a higher love into the world and made man independent of the members of their tribe and blood-relationships. This universal love is only just beginning; but when the Earth has one day passed on its being to Jupiter, it will be entirely permeated by this spiritual love. It is to this universal love that Christ's statement refers: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). It is the Christ Who pours out this universal love more and more over the Earth. The evolution of the Earth is divided into two parts through the appearance of Christ Jesus, — the blood, which flowed on Golgotha signifies the replacement of the love of relations by spiritual love. This is the connection between Jehovah, Lucifer, and Christ.