Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Planetary Evolution VII

1 November 1904, Berlin

We have been considering the influences to which the human being is subject on the physical plane. Evolution in globes tends towards the physical plane. The human being, who is now at the mineral level, had to go through the preceding stages to prepare for his existence on the physical plane. In every area or on every plane we have to look at the part which matters. At present we are looking at the actual human being. In the seven consecutive states of the first planet (Saturn) he was quite imperfect, a kind of mulberry, a progressively developing form. First planet: Conscious awareness going down into the abyss. Spirits were involved in human evolution which had already gone through evolutions of their own and become dhyanic, which the human being will only be by the end of the 343 stages. These spirits had gained all kinds of powers and energies.

Human beings take in the first half of a cycle; in the second half they give back what they have taken. In the first half of the one cycle, the mineral world was thus separated out, since it was a hindrance to human beings. They were then using for themselves all the energy which would otherwise have served to develop the mineral world further; later on they absorbed this world again. In the second half of the cycle, human beings thus redeem the mineral world, metamorphosing it. They then give to the mineral world the achievements of their own evolution, having first separated that world out. Absolutely everything in human evolution is subject to the metamorphosis of taking and giving. This determines our ethical attitudes to the highest degree. Anything we make our own may only be taken so that it may be given back again later on.

The dhyanic spirits had gone through the taking stage at an earlier phase in their evolution. This makes them giving spirits on Earth. From the very beginning they were makers, guides and brought order. When the mulberry (Saturn) divided into many orbs, those dhyanic spirits had to develop many orbs from that one orb. At the second stage (Sun), they put the orbs in order according to measure, number and weight. At the third stage (Moon) they established the law of elective affinity, of sympathy and antipathy among the orbs. The dhyani of the fourth stage (Earth) rule over birth and death and over karma. They are lords of karma, the lipikas who are above all taking or receiving, beyond sympathy and antipathy. They intervene at the fourth level of awareness, which is the level of daytime conscious awareness. Again and again new makers would come in and intervene at the evolutionary stage which the human being had reached.

Let us be clear in our minds about the nature of those makers. Spirits who are at the human stage receive and give in alternation. We can only give something which we have previously received. The human being thus alternates between being subject to 'perception', as it is called, and activity. Perception is subject to the law of taking; activity to the law of giving. The law of the makers, however, is the law of revelation. Their activity is known as 'revelatory activity'. (Arranging the world according to measure, number and weight, sympathy and antipathy, separating good from bad, and so on.)

There is a major difference between these spirits which reveal themselves and us human beings. Seen on its own, human evolution proceeded in such a way that initially the human being was down in the abyss (physically an orb), which was followed by order being established with measure, number and weight, and so on. Human beings also become more spiritual at every higher level of evolution. If we go from the outside to the inside in human evolution, we come to the higher faculties.

We said that human beings are evolving towards the principle of brotherliness. Today, at the fourth level, manas emerges and budhi and atman are potentially there. At a later level budhi will emerge, and at an ever later one, atman. When brotherliness will develop around them from outside as they develop from the inside to the outside, they will apply these principles from the outside to the same degree as they are evolving from the inside. When the human being has developed manas, for instance, budhi will begin to shine out as a potential development. In developing budhi, human beings reorganize the whole astral body; the other pole of kama (budhi) then develops. The kama which previously filled the human being inwardly will go to the outside and surround him as budhi. This is an inversion, the reversal of the astral. All kama is received by benevolent powers which are directed towards the outside. Then atman will appear in budhi. The same outward-directed transformation will then come for the ether body. The ether body is able to act into the outside world, not only morally and beneficially, but also magically. It then gains magical powers, vital energies. The influence of atman and budhi causes the human being to be poured out into the world, he spreads out to benefit the outside world. A lodge based on brotherhood that is more highly developed has the ability to work magic in the world and influence the life ether.

At the next stage, atman, the divine self, will shine out. The human being will then be aware that he belongs not only to the Earth but to the whole world. He will develop Logos awareness. He will be a world creator, with the ability awakening in him to control the physical world just as he was controlling the vital energy before. Initially the human being developed from outside in; then from inside out. When he will have come so far that he will be able to control his outer surroundings, he will be a dhyanic spirit. Initially powerless where his influence was concerned, he will then be all-controlling ... [text missing].

Dhyanic spirits were also active in the middle of the Lemurian age. They had inwardly resolved to connect the spark of actual life in the spirit with the principle which is physical body. They had been able to be creative in the physical from the beginning. But they could not bring the manasic element into the physical unless they first created measure, number and weight, elective affinity and sympathy and antipathy in the physical. Now, with birth and death introduced, they had opportunity to connect the manasic principle with the physical body, and the physical body was then able to think. On the Moon they were able to implant kama in the Moon human being. The dhyanic spirits descended so far into matter in their creative work that they were able to pour the manasic spark drop by drop into the entity they had been preparing. The bodily principle was then able to take in the spark of thinking.

If the body had gone only through the one evolution, it would have been capable of becoming an extraordinarily powerful thinker. But humanity came across to Earth from the Moon with a kama that had been taken to its highest level of perfection.

The very first evolution: the dhyanic spirits formed the human physical body out of matter, and the human beings who had come across as Moon souls with kamic evolution (pitris) had a hand in this. They were also working in the body, but their further evolution was brought about in that the makers worked with them in raising the body one level higher than they had been on the Moon.

If the dhyani which created the body from virginal matter had been working on their own, human beings would have been thinking automatons. Human beings are however warm-hearted, with both sympathies and antipathies, and that has been the work of the Moon pitris. The virginal matter was on the one hand worked on by the dhyan chohans, who reveal themselves, and on the other hand by Moon pitris who joined in the work in the middle of the Lemurian age. This created human beings capable of thinking who were also able to connect sympathies and antipathies with their thoughts.

The human being had thus become a thinking soul dwelling in a body. On the Moon he had been a soul in a body. The principle we call 'ego' had been present as a soul quality from the beginning, going through evolution on the third planet.

On the fourth planet the ego also took in the manasic or spiritual principle. Before, the ego had been the highest principle, now it also took in the manasic. From this point onwards we are dealing with an ego endowed with spirit. Before, the ego was called 'ahankara', the element which now holds the spiritual ego within it. If human beings are able to say 'I' to themselves today, this ability comes from the middle of the Lemurian age. Before, every human being had been a divine thought. The soul had already evolved through three states. But in the middle of the Lemurian age the divine thought united with the soul so that there would be a soul endowed with spirit.

The truly eternal principle which is at work in us was initially the divine thought in us. We were then in the keeping of the godhead. The makers were from the very beginning preparing vessels for this divine thought, and we were permitted to share in the work. The souls dwelt in these vessels, to prepare them so that they might receive the divine thought. This is how soul, body and spirit came to be connected with one another in the human being. The manasic principle was poured into the human kama at that time. Then the human being was given budhi by other dhyanic spirits, and still later, others again gave him atman.

The potential which was there when the human being appeared as lunar soul, only appearing in its fullness by the end of evolution, is atman. The manasic shone out first in the lunar human being. This spark of the manasic was destined to bring budhi and atman to development in itself at a later time. The lunar human beings who came to the Earth in the middle of the Lemurian age, when their bodily house was ready to be inhabited and prepared to receive manas, are called pitris, which means 'fathers'. It therefore depended on how the pitris had developed earlier on, and when had they received the spark of manas. A pitri could also remain so far behind in evolution that in the middle of the Lemurian age he would not have reached the level of being able to connect with the human body and dhyanic spirit.

Evolutions always go in seven cycles. It is possible to lag behind a little in evolution at any stage in the seven cycles. Those who have remained behind will need to use the final phase to catch up on some things. We are thus able to distinguish seven classes of Moon pitris, according to the way in which they had lagged behind. These existed in the middle of the Lemurian race. Only the most highly evolved pitris were then able to incarnate. The others were not yet able to do anything with their bodies. Because of this new pitris were coming up all the time until the end of the Atlantean age and even into post-Atlantean times. To this day, pitris still incarnate in population groups that are at a very low level; one may also find quite childlike, little developed pitris among the lower levels of the population in our large cities. However, it is rare now for pitris to incarnate for the first time today. There are only few very young pitris who are still wholly governed by their kama.

Above these pitris there were others on the Moon who had not only reached the normal level but already gone for the kind of evolution which we are now aiming at; this was so that they might be leaders. Dhyanic spirits had to think for the pitris on the Moon, so that there were none on the Moon with independent thinking, nor any who were able to act independently. But the dhyanic spirits found individual pitris who were more willing instruments than others, as we now also see it in animals, for instance. These are guided by other thinking spirits, always one spirit per genus. Sophisticated dressage is nothing to surprise us, therefore. The thinking originates in another spiritual centre in that case.

During Moon evolution, some also proved more suitable tools for the dhyanic spirits. They were of two kinds, those in whom the astral body and those in whom the life body was the more willing tool. If the physical body had been available as a tool, they could have joined the ranks of dhyanic spirits, though as lesser dhyani with a more limited sphere of power. We can imagine, therefore, that apart from the seven classes of pitris two classes of them had developed to an even higher level. These were the solar pitris, with power over their astral body and their prana body.

On Earth, we thus have:

Firstly, pitris who had gone through the various stages of evolution to the highest which is normally reached; in the middle of the Lemurian age they began to go through a human evolution—Moon pitris.

Secondly, pitris who were half dhyanic, which means that by the middle of the Lemurian age they had come so far that they would very soon incarnate the higher divine principle in themselves—Sun pitris.

Thirdly, spirits who were already dhyanic. In the middle of the Lemurian age we have dhyanic spirits, manasic dhyani whose function it was to throw the spark of manas into the human being. Then we have those which threw the spark of budhi into the human being. These dhyani, which live on higher plane, are the ones which are called the buddhas in a higher sense, or Christos in Christian terms. They are the fourth dhyani, the budhi dhyani. They are real gods. We have now widened our horizon. The spark, which the budhi dhyani are there to give, can first of all be thrown into the solar pitris. Such a solar pitri, into whom the spark of budhi has been thrown, is called a bodhisattva.

At a much later time the spark of budhi was able to descend as far as the lunar pitris. The first lunar pitri who was filled with budhi and in whom human and godhead were united, was Jesus Christ. And there we have to consider that in Jesus Christ the budhi divinity had descended to the lowest level.

The budhi spark can descend as far as the kama manasic principle. The human being would then be a teacher. Buddha, Zarathustra, Krishna, Moses, Hermes and others were such teachers. Such individuals are born destined to be teachers. If the budhi influence went as far as kama itself, then the Christ principle had to descend into a body at a later time in life when it was already occupied by kama. That is how is was with Jesus who was only able to receive the Christ in his 30th year. If we consider the Jesus evolution, he had taken on karma by the very fact that kama was developed in him from the beginning. This had not been the case with the solar pitris; they were one level beyond kama. The lunar pitris had, however, started as purely kamic spirits and then begun to take on human Earthly karma. To be our brother, the Christ had to enter into a body carrying karma. The body, which was to receive the Christ, the budhi principle, had been configured by a higher chela of the third degree of initiation (Zarathustra). This body became the edifice for the godhead, the Christ.

Dhyanic spirits, too, are unable to bring thoughts to realization without prior preparation. And the human body had to be prepared before these spirits gave thinking to humanity.

Lord of form Jahveh elohim
Lord of life Christos
Lord of conscious awareness

Speaking of a trinity of the soul we have to say: Father, Mother and Son—Osiris, Isis, Horus.

Speaking of a trinity of the spirit, we have to say: Father, Word and Holy Spirit.

At a later time, trinity of the soul and trinity of the spirit were confounded.