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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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The Influence of Spiritual Beings Upon Man
GA 102

In these eleven lectures, Steiner describes the realms inhabited by almost limitless varieties of elemental beings, and the working of the great planetary beings and the higher spiritual hierarchies in cosmic evolution.

This translation has been authorized for the western hemisphere by agreement with the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. The original edition was issued under the title: Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesertheiten in den Menschen.

Lecture I January 06, 1908
Beings of the astral plane and Devachan. The group souls of animals, plants, minerals. Benevolent and malignant beings of Mars, Moon, Venus. The inventive and the wild Saturn beings. Different influences of these beings upon the earth and upon man. Chyle, lymph, and blood as body of beings of other planets. Working of the Saturn spirits through the sense organs; (Perfumes). Saturn and liver; the Prometheus myth.
Lecture II January 27, 1908
Planets and Zodiac, Time and Duration. Saturn as dawn of our planetary condition. Its origin as sacrifice of the Zodiac. Ascending and descending forces of the Zodiac. All spiritual beings have seven members of their being. Christ, the Mystical Lamb, has life-spirit or Budhi as lowest member.
Lecture III February 15, 1908
Origin of our solar system from the standpoints of natural science and spiritual science. The Kant-Laplace theory. The earlier embodiments of the Earth as deeds of spiritual beings, standing at different levels of evolution. Additional spiritual beings and laggard spiritual beings. Separation of the sun, and the planets Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter as dwelling places of spiritual beings. The Mars transit and iron. Separation of moon, its connection with the Sun-spirit, Yahve. The Venus and Mercury beings as teachers of man. The activity of Mars in the sentient soul, Mercury in the intellectual soul, Jupiter in the consciousness soul.
Lecture IV February 29, 1908
The warmth element on ancient Saturn. The spirits of Form sent their life-giving forces to Saturn; first inception of man's physical body. Myth of Chronos and Gaea. On the Sun the Spirits of Form sacrifice the etheric body, on the Moon, the astral body, and bring about the first inception of the human etheric and astral bodies. On the Earth “trickling in” of the ego in Lemurian Age. In the course of the Atlantean Age, the ego takes hold of man's astral, etheric, physical bodies and there arise sentient soul, intellectual soul, consciousness soul, spirit-self, and life spirit. The Mystery of Golgotha.
Lecture V March 16, 1908
World evolution through Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Earth. Recapitulation of earlier conditions at the beginning of Earth evolution. Man as the first-born, prior to the animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms. Origins of light and air, heart, systems of breathing, nerves, glands, and bones. The “dance of matter” to the measure of the harmony of the spheres. Albumen formation. Origin of sense organs. Origin of ash after the sun separation. Formation of the mineral through thought, which makes tone into the Word.
Lecture VI March 24, 1908
The time reversal in the recapitulation of evolutionary conditions. Transformation of the systems of blood, senses, nerves in the course of evolution. The personality consciousness on the Earth in contrast to the Moon consciousness. The group souls and memory through generations. The group souls of the Moon. The Moon as planet of wisdom, the Earth as planet of love. On Jupiter love will have became nature as wisdom has on the Earth. Ascent of the Spirits of Wisdom to Spirits of the Revolution of Times. Individuality and personality of man in passing through the incarnations. Christ as Sun Being, as Mystical Lamb, as the great Sacrifice of the Earth. The Spirits of Wisdom and Yahve, the Lord of Form. Impulse of the laggard spirits. The future spiritualizing of the material as Resurrection of the Flesh. Old and New Testament. Christianity as religion of humanity is greater than all religions.
Lecture VII April 20, 1908
The spiritual hierarchies above man. The different realms of consciousness of man and the hierarchies. Lowest stage for the Angels: the plant kingdom; for the Archangels: the animal kingdom. Angels are guardian spirits of individual men, Archangels are folk spirits, Archai, time spirits. For these, men form the lowest kingdom of their scale of consciousness. Satan, the unlawful, Yahve, the lawful, Prince of this World. The highest spirit is Christ. He uses no compulsion, the human being must come to him voluntarily.
Lecture VIII May 16, 1908
The understanding through feeling of spiritual-scientific knowledge. The threefold nature of man: body, soul, and spirit. Beings higher than man possess soul and spirit, the animals, body and soul. The elemental beings too have body and soul, though the body is invisible. Goblins, Gnomes. Fourfold nature of man: physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego. As physical substance continues upwards as etheric body, astral body, so it does downwards in the direction of the sub-physical members of the Goblins, Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines. The origin of such beings. Human beings who unite too strongly with the bodily nature can become elemental beings in the Jupiter evolution. The myth of Ahasuerus. The “Sixteen Paths of Perdition.” Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines are laggard beings of earlier stages of evolution; Salamanders are cut off from animal group souls. They are ego-like.
Lecture IX June 01, 1908
Birth and death in animal and man. Group souls know only metamorphoses, not death. Connection between bees and sylphs. The evolution of human souls from group souls to individuality in its various degrees. Old Testament, Germanic mythology. Men grow away from connection with family, tribe, folk, race. In the future, spiritual truth will create the union between individualities. The group souls of the future will not impair the freedom of the individual. The origin of elemental beings at border regions: Nymphs and Undines at the meeting of water and rock, Gnomes at the meeting of metal and earth, Salamanders through relationships of man and animal.
Lecture X June 04, 1908
The four systems of man's physical body: senses system as expression of the physical: Saturn. Glandular system as expression of the etheric: Sun. Nervous system as expression of the astral: Moon. Blood system as expression of the ego: Earth. In sleep, when astral body and ego are outside the physical and etheric bodies, man's nerve and blood systems are cared for by spiritual beings. According to man's behaviour during the waking state, these beings can be supplanted by elemental beings. Thus arise phantoms through lies and slander, spectres through bad social conditions and organizations, demons through intolerance, compulsion of opinions, and so forth. The increasingly firm establishment of the etheric body in the physical body; towards the future a loosening of the etheric body takes place again. Inner spiritual life will again give style to man's environment. The future permeation of the world with spirit is symbolized by the Whitsuntide event.
Lecture XI June 11, 1908
Man's union with spiritual beings through art. Architecture as union with the etheric bodies, (Greek temple), music as union with the astral bodies of spiritual beings. In sleep man enters into relationship with beings who provide him with forces for daily life. In the interaction between the inner soul nature and these spiritual beings man can grasp the space forces which take the form of architecture for the physical body, as well as the form forces which take the form of sculpture for the etheric body, painting for the sentient soul. The harmonies of the spheres take the form of music for the intellectual soul. The words of the spiritual world which the consciousness soul receives in the night take the form of poetry in the day consciousness. Richard Wagner and his relation to art. His attempt to unite Shakespeare and Beethoven. Glance into future times when all external things in man's surroundings (e.g rail-way stations, and so forth), will again be image of the spiritual reality. The mission of Spiritual Science in the evolution of mankind.