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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Planetary Evolution II

19 October 1904, Berlin

We left human evolution at the point where the human being entered into what we would call the mineral realm. He had now become mineral. A brain had been developing from the middle of the Lemurian age. The mineral world achieved its highest quality when the brain developed, with intellectuality establishing itself within it. This descent of humanity to the mineral world was only possible because earlier stages of evolution had taken the human being through the first, second and third elemental worlds.51Luke 18:19, Matthew 19:17. Before going through the three elemental worlds the human being was pure monad, pure spirit (atman, budhi, manas). He then descended through the three elemental worlds into the fourth. The mineral world is the fourth world. Who was actively involved in this development?

Spirits called 'dhyani of wisdom' were active, putting the body together in its mineral form from the outside. And it was only when the brain was finished that the stream of evolution could continue from inside. If the dhyanic spirits of wisdom had continued to work from outside for themselves at this time, the human being would have grown harder even than the mineral world; he would have had no inwardness, no spirituality to counter the hardening tendencies of matter, and he would have been lost to cosmic life. He would have dropped away like a cinder in the course of evolution, cast out from the successive natural worlds. If a life in mind and spirit had not intervened from inside, a world of completely petrified human concretions would have arisen that would have been incapable of evolving further. Such a petrified world must drop out from the succession of worlds. Occultists call this hypothetical world the 'eighth sphere'.

As they were lagging behind at the time, the dhyani of wisdom would have taken humanity to a dead end. At this point the dhyani that had lagged behind before and were now ascending took hold of humanity. This spiritual principle took humanity, then moving towards hardening, to bring spirituality into human evolution. The dhyani working from inside sought to spiritualize the human being more and more, and in that case there would have been wisdom only. The human being then had two avenues open to him—to fall to the eighth sphere,52See Note 6. or to be wholly spiritualized. Either would inevitably have led to something other than humanity is today—humanity would either have vanished into the eighth sphere, or it would have been steadily getting more spiritual. These two streams worked against each other from the middle of the Lemurian age. The situation would have remained like this if the dhyani that had built up the human being from outside and would have taken him onward into the eighth sphere had not taken in budhi or love. (In Marie Steiner-von Sivers’ notes, this sentence reads: ‘It would have remained like this if the dhyanic spirits of love had not incarnated in order to bring love also into matter.’) They thus saved the material aspect of the human being from perdition. They joined the others as a third stream; these were working from the outside.

With the three streams acting together, part of the material, mineral world became this tripartite human being made up of matter, or body, of soul and spirit. Anything that could not be taken along because the streams were not equal did indeed turn into cinders. That is [today’s] moon. It is a piece of the eighth sphere; cinder. In the moon we have a symbol, for the time being, of what the first dhyani might have achieved. The activity of the dhyanic spirits, which had given the human being his form until then is thus symbolized in the moon. In Jewish esoteric language they are collectively called Yahveh or Jehovah, the god of macrocosmic wisdom, of form. H. P. Blavatsky therefore calls him a moon god, the god of form. In [A. P. Sinnet’s] Esoteric Buddhism, the moon is seen as part of the eighth sphere. It is only a part of it, however, a symbol of what the human being would have been in the eighth sphere. Yahveh is the elohim of the fourth round, the lord of wisdom-filled form (the fourth elohim).

From the middle of the fourth round, the lord of love was active—the Christ, the world's love, the second Logos. The lord of form, the fourth elohim, was wisdom, the third Logos. Jehovah is the spirit of the third Logos. In the spirit, the Christ principle, the principle of love, began in the middle of the Lemurian age. Lucifer intervened at the same time. We must get to know the difference between things perishable and imperishable. Greek sculptors, for example, created magnificent, glorious works, but a time will come when they will all have perished. If those works were all, we would have to say that they are perishable. Everything on the physical plane is mortal in this way. But the fact that artists work on the physical plane means something that will remain for the artist's spirit, something that would not exist if he had not been working on the physical plane. Taking in something done on a lower plane is the faculty of the spirit on a higher plane—that is evolution. It is only by incarnating that human beings gain riches in their spirit which they would not otherwise have. That is what the perishable means for the imperishable.

The skeletal system is the most mineral aspect of the human being. It also gives physical human beings at the present time their most perfect form. In future Earth evolution, the digestion, the heart, and so on will be more and more perfect, but not the skeletal system. This will gradually vanish. Standing firm in the physical world with one’s skeletal system is important. Human beings will be able to take with them what they have become through their skeletal system.

The fact that the bones of the Christ must not be broken means that the part of him which belonged to the mineral world must not be destroyed, had to be left intact. The symbols from the mysteries were then for the first time lived out in the world. The Christ becoming a human being was one of the most important cosmic events in the fourth sub-race of the fifth root race. The founders of earlier religions had taught wisdom; the Christ teaches love.

The sub-races of the fifth root-race

1st sub-race Indians, The race of spirituality
2nd sub-race Persians (Zoroastrian religion), The race of flames
3rd sub-race Chaldaeans, Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, the earliest Greeks, Romans, Celts. Zeus had remained behind from the 2nd sub-race. The heroes Heracles, Theseus and Jason were sun heroes of the third sub-race. The race of stars.
4th sub-race The later Greek and Latin peoples, The race of personality
5th sub-race The Germanic, Anglo-Saxon nations, making the personality a free personality that conquers the world; called The race of the world.
6th sub-race The Slav race
7th sub-race The American peoples.53See the 6th and 12th lectures in this series. Also lectures given in Berlin on 9 and 16 October 1915, in Foundations of Esotericism, note 13, and the lecture given on 18 October in The Occult Movement, note 23. The race of egotism.