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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Part II: 1. The First, Second and Third Sonship of God

Handwritten, undated, c. 1903/04

  1. First sonship of God, the first reflection of the essence, in thought, name and desire proclaiming nothing but the godhead itself, thus being nothing but solely the proclaimer of the All One. 81The concept may be found in Basilidian Gnosis as early as the 2nd century A.D. See G.R.S. Mead, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten [London: John W. Watkins 1900], also Rudolf Steiner's Christianity as a Mystical Fact, GA 8, tr. A. Welburn; hudson, Anthroposophical Press 1997. There is nothing yet of differentiation and individualization. At any point in this infinity, which is luminous to itself, all we can perceive is the One godhead. Cosmic awareness: The awareness of the All has this All for its knowledge.

  2. Second sonship of God, the second reflection of the essence, penetrating everything with will to exist and letting the original spirit shine forth from the singular entities. This will to exist is uniform. It is the original spirit and not only is but wills itself. Willing itself as thought, for example, it wills itself as individual thought. The thought proclaims itself, but it proclaims itself as thought, as part of God.

    [It is as if the hand were to say of itself: I am the hand, but I am but part of the organism.]

    The All One proclaims itself in many different ways.

    The manifoldness of entities has the Universe as divine oneness for its conscious awareness.

first, second and third sonships of God
Fig. 25
  1. Third sonship of God, the third reflection of the essence which penetrates everything with single will and keeps the original spirit hidden in the state of singularity. The will to exist is manifold. It is the original spirit, which not merely is and does not merely will itself, but wills every entity. The active will of the original spirit becomes perceptible in the individual entity, that is, the individual entity perceives the will intent as its own will intent.

    The groans of the created.

    Evolution as redemption through the uniform spirit floating above the manifoldness of the will.

    The spirit, that is the third son. The manifold entities have the manifold in their awareness.


  1. In descending order there is first of all jiva, mahat and fohat. All Consciousness proclaims itself through all three elements.

    Fundamental judgement [All is All]

    The manifold arises through proclamation.

  2. Descending further, the manifold proclaims the divine oneness in manifold ways.

    [I am All]

  3. Descending further, each manifold thing proclaims itself.

    [I am I]

    Descending further, proclamation becomes objective reality

    [nature is I]

  4. Sensory sensations and rational ideas are I
    Here we come to our human being in the experience.

    psyche manas prana

    In ascending development of the soul, the originally pointwise I becomes manifold

    [intuitions are I.]

    verbal sa - vitarka
    wordless intuition nir - vitarka

    We are going through III

    Ascending further, we close our individual awareness; this individual awareness (as subject), thus does not let singular awareness reign but, through its passivity, All awareness. It receives the intuitions directly as themselves. Now, in ascending evolution, they gradually show their own life, no longer as thought but as essence.

    We are going through II

    Ascending further, there is revealed in the manifoldness of intuitions the oneness of their reality.

    We are approaching I.