Donate books to help fund our work. Learn more→

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Gospel of St. John
GA 112

III. The Metamorphoses of the Earth.

26 June 1909, Cassel

Those of you who have repeatedly attended my lectures on subjects derived from spiritual science will have heard facts relating to the higher worlds presented from the most diverse points of view. We have approached some being or some fact, in one domain or another, and thrown light upon it from one standpoint or another. Now, to prevent misunderstandings, I should like today to remind you that, superficially considered, apparent contradictions may be discovered when some being or some fact illustrated now from one, now from another, standpoint. A closer observation, however, will convince you that the complicated facts of the spiritual world are rendered comprehensible to us precisely through a many-sided treatment of this nature. I must mention this because certain facts with which the great majority of you are already acquainted, will be shown today in a new light. When we take the most profound document of the New Testament known as the Gospel of St. John, and read the significant words with which we closed our considerations yesterday, we soon realize that infinite mysteries of cosmic and human evolution lie hidden in the opening words of that Gospel. We shall perhaps have occasion to show why the great narrators of spiritual events often express sublime, all-embracing truths in brief, exemplary fashion, as for instance in the opening verses of St. John. Today we shall revert to certain well-known truths of spiritual science, treating of them in a way different from yesterday's, and then see how the same truths confront us in the Gospel of St. John. Comparatively elementary facts of spiritual science will form our starting point.

We know that man, as he confronts us in daily life, consists of physical body, etheric or life body, astral body, and Ego or ‘I’. We know that the daily life of the human being alternates between waking and sleeping, and that, from morning when he wakes, until evening when he falls asleep, these four members of his being are united as one self-contained organism. We know that at night when he sleeps, man's physical and etheric bodies remain in the bed, while the astral body and the Ego are raised out of the physical and etheric bodies. Now we must be clear on one point. In the present stage of human evolution, the four component members of man's being present a unity welded by necessity. At night, when we see him asleep and consisting of physical and etheric bodies, we may to a certain extent say that man then has the value of a plant. For the plant, as we see it in the world around us, consists of physical and etheric or life body; it has neither astral body nor Ego. This distinguishes the plant from the animal and from man. The animal has an astral body and man has an Ego within him. In the interval between night and morning, man is, as it were, a plant-like being — yet he is not a plant. This must be well understood. A free and independent being existing at the present day and consisting solely of etheric and physical body, must have the appearance of a plant, in fact must necessarily be a plant. Man, however, as he lies asleep, has outgrown the plant in value inasmuch as he has joined to his physical and etheric body, in the course of evolution, the astral body, the vehicle of pleasure and pain, of joy and grief, of impulse, desire and passion, and finally the vehicle of his Ego. But the addition of a higher principle to a being entails a corresponding change in all its lower principles. Were we to endow a plant with an astral body which, instead of bordering upon it, permeated the plant, the substance which we now see filling out the plant would necessarily turn into animal flesh; and a corresponding metamorphosis would ensue if the plant had its Ego in the physical world. We may therefore say that in a being possessed not only of a physical body but also of higher, invisible, super-sensible members, an expression of these higher members will be found in the lowest. Even as the inner qualities of soul are superficially evidenced in features and physiognomy, so too the physical body is an expression of the activity of the astral body and the Ego. The physical body does not express itself alone; it is also the physical expression of the (physically) invisible members of man. Thus the human glandular system, and all that thereto pertains, is an expression of the etheric body; the nervous system is an expression of the astral body and the circulation of the blood is an expression of the Ego. So that in the physical body itself we have to distinguish a fourfold system, and only a gross materialist could hold the various substances in the physical human body to be of equal importance. The blood that pulsates through our veins has become the substance it is, because an Ego dwells in the human being. The nervous system has its present form and substance because man has an astral body; and the glandular system is as we see it, because man has an etheric body. Thus it is evident that man, as he appears to us in the interval between evening, when he falls asleep, and morning, when he awakens, is a self-contradictory being. We might say: he should be a plant, yet he is not plant! For a plant contains no nervous system, expressive of the astral body, and no circulatory blood system, the expression of its Ego. A physical being such as man, with glands, nerves and blood, can only exist if he contains an etheric body, an astral body and an Ego. Now, as a human being, in so far as your astral body and Ego are concerned, you leave your physical and etheric bodies at night. You forsake them, as it were, without a scruple and turn them into a self-contradictory being. If no intervention of a spiritual nature occurred here, in the interval between falling asleep and awakening; if you merely withdrew from your physical and etheric bodies, remaining in your astral body and Ego, you would find in the morning your nervous and blood systems destroyed; for these cannot subsist without an astral body and Ego. Hence the following procedure, perceptible to clairvoyant consciousness, intervenes.

In proportion as the Ego and the astral body withdraw, a divine Ego and a divine astral body are clairvoyantly seen to enter into man. For it is indeed true that, in the interval between falling asleep and awakening, an astral body and an Ego, or at any rate a substitute for these, replace the others in the physical and etheric bodies. When the astral body leaves the sleeper, a higher astrality enters into him, to preserve him until he awakens, and likewise a substitute for his own Ego. From this it is clear that other beings are at work in the sphere of our lives, besides such as come to expression in the physical world. In this world we find minerals, plants, animals and men. Men are the highest of the beings in our physical sphere. They alone possess a physical body, an etheric body, an astral body and an Ego. From the fact that during the night the astral body and Ego withdraw from the physical and etheric bodies, we may infer that the astral body and Ego still have, even at the present time, a certain independence; that they can detach themselves, as it were, and live for a certain part of everyday life, apart from their physical and etheric vehicles.

In the night, therefore, the following process takes place. Man's physical and etheric bodies which, during the day, are the vehicles of his Ego and astral body (that is, of his inmost being), become at night the bearer or temple of higher astral and Ego beings, which replace his own Ego and astral body, these having risen into higher worlds. We now look with different eyes upon the sleeper as he lies in bed; for there is in him an astral body — but of divine spiritual astrality, and likewise a divine spiritual Ego. We may say in a certain sense that while man is asleep as regards his physical and etheric bodies, he is guarded by these beings — beings belonging to the sphere of our life, which enter man's forsaken physical and etheric bodies and preserve the structure of his organism.

There is much to be learnt from a fact like this which, when taken in connection with certain observations of the seer, may elucidate many a point regarding the evolution of man. We will now seek to connect precisely the fact of this difference between waking and sleeping with the great spiritual facts of evolution.

It is true that the astral body and the Ego of man appear to us as the highest and most interior principles of human nature, but they are far from being the most perfect. Even to superficial observation, the physical is more perfect than the astral body. Two years ago (Lecture-Cycle ‘Theosophy’, 16th-29th June 1907, Wilhelmshohe bei Kassel, 14 lectures.) I pointed out to you here that the more closely we examine man's physical body, the more wonderful it appears to us. In the marvels of the human heart and the human brain we have more than a subject for anatomical examination calculated to satisfy the needs of the sharpest intellect; whoever brings his soul to bear upon these marvels will feel himself aesthetically and morally elevated before the sublime wisdom displayed by the structure of the physical body. The astral body is not yet so far advanced. It is the vehicle of joy and sorrow, of impulses, desires, pleasures, and so on, and we must admit that, with regard to his desires, man takes up all kinds of things in the world, which are altogether unsuited to promote the wise and perfect adjustments of his heart and brain. His fondness for pleasure leads him to seek satisfaction in such things which (as coffee for instance) are poison and the like for the heart, thereby proving that the astral body craves for enjoyments which are harmful to the wise contrivances of the human heart. Yet the heart holds out for decades against such poisons, absorbed to satisfy the cravings of the astral body. Hence the physical body is seen to be more perfect than the astral body, though it is true that at a future time the astral body will, in its turn, be incomparably more perfect. At present the physical body is more perfectly evolved, the reason being that the physical body is the oldest constituent principle of the human being. It provides the proof that the physical body was being worked upon long before the genesis of our earth. The theories evolved by materialistic thoughts on the subject of cosmogony are nothing but materialistic illusions; whether it be the Kant-Laplace theory, or any other modern theory, the name is immaterial. To be sure these materialistic fancies are useful for the understanding of the external structure of our planetary system, but they are of no value when we endeavour to comprehend all that transcends the external picture presented to the eye.

Spiritual investigation shows us that even as man passes from incarnation to incarnation, a heavenly body such as our earth has also, in remote times, passed through other forms and other planetary conditions. Before it became our earth, this body existed in other planetary conditions. It was a body called in spiritual investigation the ‘Old Moon’. This was not our present Moon but a forerunner of our Earth as a planetary being. Precisely as man evolves from a former to his present incarnation, so too our Earth developed from the old Moon into the Earth. The old Moon is, as it were, a former incarnation of the Earth. Again, an earlier embodiment of the old Moon is the ‘Sun’ — not the present Sun, but again a forerunner of our Earth. Finally the forerunner of the old Sun is the old ‘Saturn’. Our Earth traversed these earlier conditions — Saturn, Sun, Moon — and has now reached its Earth-condition. The first germ of our physical body was sown on the old Saturn, though nothing of all that now surrounds us in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms existed on that primeval sphere. Yet the first beginning of the present human physical body was there, though its form of existence was entirely different from present day conditions; it was in its earliest embryonic stage and continued to develop during the Saturn evolution. When that evolution was at an end, the old Saturn passed through a kind of cosmic night, as man in a similar way passes through a devachanic period in order to attain his next incarnation. Saturn then became the (old) Sun. Here the human physical reappeared, as the plant grows out of the seed, and became by degrees penetrated by an etheric or life body. On the old Sun, therefore, the etheric or life body was joined to the embryonic beginning of the physical body. The human being was not a plant, but he had the value of a plant. He consisted of a physical and an etheric body and his consciousness was similar to that of sleep or to the consciousness of the vegetable kingdom, now spread like a carpet over the physical Earth around us. The Sun period came to an end. Once more there was a cosmic night, or if we prefer the word, a cosmic Devachan. When the Sun had passed through this state, it became transformed into the old Moon. Here those parts of the human body which existed on Saturn and Sun (man's physical and etheric bodies) again spring forth and are increased by the astral body which was added during this lunar period. Man was now possessed of physical, etheric, and astral bodies. Hence we see that the physical body, having come into existence on Saturn, passed through its third stage on the Moon; the etheric body, associated to the physical on the Sun, had now advanced to its second stage of perfection; the astral body, having just been added to the others, was in its first stage on the Moon.

Something now happened on the Moon which would have been impossible on Saturn or Sun. Whereas man was preserved in a certain degree of uniformity during the Saturn and Sun development, the following event took place at a certain point during the old lunar evolution. The whole Moon-sphere became divided into two parts — into a Sun and a Moon satellite. So that whereas in the case of Saturn and Sun we have to consider the evolution of a single planet, only the first part of the lunar evolution can be described as that of a single planet. In the first part of the lunar evolution everything that now composes our Earth, Sun, and Moon was comprised in that one ancient Moon-sphere. Later there was a division into two bodies. What appeared then as ‘Sun’ was not our Sun, nor yet the old Sun of which we have already spoken; it was a new sphere which became separated from the old Moon as a ‘Sun’, around which another planet circled, which, again, we call the ‘Old Moon’. Now what is the meaning of this cleavage of the forerunner of our Earth during the old Moon evolution?

The meaning of this division is that higher beings and finer substances quitted the whole mass in company with this ‘Sun’ at its separation; they left as ‘Sun’, whereas the grosser substances and lower beings remained behind on the old Moon. Thus we have two instead of one planetary body during the old Moon evolution: a Sun-body harbouring the higher beings and a Moon-body harbouring the lower beings. Had no division of the single planet occurred, certain beings who evolved on the Moon after the separation, would have failed to keep pace with the more rapid evolution of the solar beings. They were not mature enough for the solar evolution and were therefore constrained to separate the coarser substances and build for themselves a sphere of action apart. The higher beings, on their part, would have found it impossible to remain united to the coarser substances, for their more rapid progress would have been hindered. They too required a special sphere for their evolution, and the Sun was this sphere. Let us now turn our attention to the beings who took their abode upon the Sun and the Moon respectively, after the division of the old Moon.

We have seen that the physical human being received its first beginning during the Saturn evolution; on the Sun the etheric body was added and on the Moon the astral body. Now these human beings, or, if we may so call them, these primitive men on the Moon, had in fact adhered to the Moon at the cleavage. These were precisely the beings who could not keep pace with the rapid evolution of the Sun-beings, who had gone forth with the Sun and now abode surrounded by finer substances on that sphere. Hence these human beings coarsened during the lunar evolution. As we have seen, man was constituted at that time of a physical, an astral, and an etheric body. His stage of evolution was therefore the same as that of the animal of the present day, which also has a physical, an astral, and an etheric body. But you must not imagine that the human being was actually an animal on the old Moon. The human form had an altogether different appearance from that of the animal on the Earth at the present day. Were I to describe the human form of that time, it would appear most fantastic to you. Thus we find on the old Moon forerunners of our present humanity, possessing physical, astral, and etheric bodies which, after the separation into Sun and Moon, became denser and coarser than would have been the case had these beings remained united with the Sun. Now the beings who had gone forth with the Sun had also passed through the three stages of Saturn, Sun, Moon. Their direction however was that of the Sun, whereas the ancestors of man followed the Moon. Among the Sun-beings we distinguish a threefold nature which runs parallel with that of the human being. There were beings on the Sun who had also advanced to the stage of threefold nature (astral, etheric, and physical body), only in their case, after the separation, instead of becoming coarser, these principles grew finer. Picture the process as follows: After the division of the old Moon, our human forefathers became beings of greater density and coarseness than they were before that event; their tendency was to harden. On the other hand, the corresponding beings on the Sun grew finer. The addition of the astral body during the lunar evolution had in a certain way the effect of lowering man to the level of the animal. But the beings who had kept aloof and had withdrawn to the Sun grew finer and more perfect. While man was hardening on the Moon, beings of high spirituality were evolving on the Sun. In spiritual science this spirituality is named the counterpart of that which developed on the Moon. On the Moon the human beings developed to the level of the animal, though they were not animals. Now in dealing with the animal kingdom, we are justified in distinguishing different grades of animals. The animal-man on the Moon also appeared in three grades differing from one another, and known in spiritual science as the grades of the ‘Bull’, the ‘Lion’, and the ‘Eagle’. These are, as it were, typical forms assumed by animal nature. There were therefore on the Moon three distinct groups: Bull-men, Lion-men, Eagle-men. Though we may in no sense apply these designations to the present animals, it is nevertheless true that the degenerated nature of the so-called lion-men on the Moon is in a certain way expressed in the present cat species, and in the character of the hoofed animals is expressed the degenerated nature of the so-called bull-men, and so on. Such was the nature of the human being, in a densified state, after three stages of evolution. On the Sun, however, were the spiritual counterparts of these beings, also in three groups. While the astral development on the Moon lent form to these three types of animal-men, the corresponding spiritual human beings evolved on the Sun as angelic spiritual beings, which are also designated, but this time in their character of spiritual counterparts) as ‘Lion’, ‘Eagle’, and ‘Bull’. When we therefore behold the Sun, we find spiritual beings of whom we may say that they represent to us the splendid prototypes fashioned in wisdom. And on the Moon we have something like hardened reproductions of the beings above on the Sun. There is, however, another mystery underlying this.

The reproductions down below on the Moon are not without connection with their prototypes on the Sun. We have on the Moon a group of primitive bull-men and above, on the Sun, a group of spiritual beings described as ‘Bull-spirits’; and there is a spiritual connection between type and prototype. For the group-soul is the prototype and functions, as prototype, upon the type or reproduction. The forces proceed from the group-soul and govern its image below, the lion-spirit directing the lion-men, the eagle-spirit the eagle-men, and so on. Had the spirits in those high regions remained united with the earth, had they remained bound to their counterparts and been compelled to dwell in them, they would have been hemmed in and unable to exercise the forces, upon which the preservation and development of their counterparts depended. They came to the following conclusion: ‘We must now care in a higher sense for that which develops on the Moon.’ The Bull-spirit said to himself: ‘I must care for the bull-men; I cannot find on the Moon the conditions necessary for my own progress; therefore I must dwell on the Sun and from there direct my forces to the bull-men below.’ The same applies to the Lion-spirit and the Eagle-spirit. That is the meaning of evolution. Certain beings required a higher sphere of action than those who were, so to speak, their physical counterparts. The latter needed a lower, inferior sphere. To ensure their freedom of action, the higher beings were compelled to withdraw with the Sun and send down their forces from outside. Thus we see how there is one evolution with a downward, and another with an upward trend.

The development on the old Moon proceeded apace. Through the action of the higher beings upon their counterparts, the moon became spiritualized, so that it could reunite at a later period with the Sun. The prototypes now again united with their types, absorbing them into themselves as it were. There again followed a universal Devachan or cosmic night. (This is also called a Pralaya, while the conditions known as Saturn, Sun, and Moon are called Manvantaras.) After the cosmic night there issued from the dark womb of the universe our Earth whose mission it is to advance human evolution so far that man can add to his physical, astral, and etheric bodies the Ego or the bearer of the ‘I’. This, however, must be preceded by a repetition of the earlier stages. That is a cosmic law: whenever a higher stage is to be reached, all that is previously achieved must first be repeated.

First, then, the Earth had to recapitulate the conditions of old Saturn. Once more the first beginning of the physical body developed as if from the cosmic germ. Then came a repetition of the old Sun and finally of the old Moon. Sun, Moon, and Earth still formed one body; then followed a repetition of the cleavage already described. The Sun detached itself and again the more advanced beings who required a higher evolutionary sphere, left with it. They took with them the finer substances and established therewith the scene of their activity in the Universe. Thus, as we have said, the Sun quitted the Earth (which still bore the Moon within it), and took in its train the beings whose maturity allowed of their continued progress on the Sun. Foremost among these, of course, were the beings who formerly had functioned as prototypes. All the beings who had attained the requisite maturity upon the old Moon, progressed apace and in time could no longer dwell among the coarser substances and beings of the Earth-plus-Moon; they were compelled to withdraw from this sphere and to establish a new existence upon the Sun — our present Sun.

Who were these beings? They were the descendants of those other beings who, during the old Moon period, had evolved on the Sun as Bull-, Lion-, and Eagle-spirits. The highest and most advanced of these had brought the bull, lion, and eagle nature to a harmonious unity in themselves, and may be described in the true sense of the word as ‘human prototypes’, ‘spirit-men’. Let us bear in mind, therefore, that certain of the Bull-, Lion-, and Eagle-spirits upon the Sun, during the old Moon period, had advanced beyond the rest; these now again prefer to take up their abode upon the Sun. They are the true spirit-men. They constituted the spiritual counterpart of evolving humanity down below on the Earth-plus-Moon. Now, as you may imagine, since the tendency to densify and harden had already set in with the beings on the old Moon, their descendants on Earth-plus-Moon showed the same tendency particularly strongly. In fact there now began for the severed portion consisting of Earth-plus-Moon a sad and dreary time. Above on the Sun ever more vigorous and active development, and ever fuller life. Below on the Earth sadness, desolation, and ever-increasing solidification.

Something now happened failing which evolution would have come to a standstill: our present Moon detached itself from the common cosmic body (Earth-plus-Moon) and our planet, the Earth, remained behind. With the Moon were withdrawn the coarser substances which would have led to a complete hardening of the Earth, had they remained in it. Thus at the beginning of our Earth evolution, the Earth was united with the present Sun and Moon. Had the Earth remained with the Sun, man would never have reached his present stage of evolution. He could not have kept pace with the rate of development required by the beings on the Sun. Indeed, the being evolving on the Sun was not man, as he lives on Earth; it was man's spiritual prototype, of whom man, as he confronts us today, is but the image. On the other hand, had the Moon remained in the Earth, man would have withered up and become mummified. The Earth would have become waste and shriveled, and man would have found no possibility of development upon it. Instead of human bodies as they now appear, lifeless statues and withered human forms, growing out of the soil, would have appeared on Earth. That was prevented when the Moon detached itself and went out into cosmic space, taking with it the coarser substances. With this event it became possible for the Ego to be suitably added to the physical, etheric, and astral bodies, which the descendants of the old Moon beings already possessed. The forces of Sun and Moon now worked from outside, holding the balance and enabling man to be fructified by the Ego or ‘I’.

Man now developed apace on Earth. Though a deterioration and a downward tendency had been inherited from the old Moon, a new impulse now gave development an upward trend. During this time the spiritual beings who had departed with the Sun evolved there to ever higher states.

Let us imagine that we have a block of iron beside us, and say that we are men of average strength. We shower blows on the iron and try to beat it flat. But we can give it no form. We cannot form it until we have softened the substance by smelting. Something of this kind happened to the Earth when it was freed of its densest substances at the departure of the moon. The Earth-beings could now be formed, and the Sun-beings intervened once more. (It will be remembered that during the old Moon period, they had already acted, as Group-souls from the Sun upon the Moon below.) Before the separation of the Moon, the substances were too dense. These beings now made their influence felt as forces which by degrees fashioned and completed the human body in its present form. Let us consider this a little more closely. Suppose that you had been able to take up a position on that old sphere composed of Earth-plus-Moon. You would have seen the spiritual beings whom we have described above. You would have observed on the Earth a hardening process, a growing desolation, and you might have said to yourself: ‘All around me is a waste; everything on Earth seems lifeless; the forces of the Sun have no power to influence what promises to become a huge graveyard filled with corpses.’ Then you would have watched how the body of the Moon detached itself from the Earth. The Earth's substance would have become soft, impressionable, plastic, and you then might have said to yourself: ‘Everything has grown soft and plastic; the forces proceeding from the Sun can now again work upon the Earth.’ Then you might have seen how the Bull-spirits regained their influence upon the human beings who were their counterpart; likewise the Lion- and Eagle-spirits. And you might have said: ‘The Moon is outside; its harmful influence is modified by its removal and now works only from a distance. The Earth is thus enabled once more to experience the activity of the spiritual beings.’ Tomorrow we shall consider the picture that presents itself to the eye of the seer, when he traces remote scenes of past evolution in the Akashic records.

We look back to the old Saturn period and say: There the earliest beginning of the human physical body was formed. The physical human form, as we see it today, first took shape on Saturn, as though emerging from cosmic Chaos. Then came the Sun period. There the etheric body was added to the first form of the physical body. On the Moon the astral element was added, both to the beings on the Moon and to those evolving on the separate Sun. We find the spiritual prototypes on the Sun, and on the Moon their counterparts on the level of the animal. Finally on the Earth a new condition was brought about, enabling man to absorb into himself the astral element which had developed on the Sun during the lunar period, and which henceforth worked in him as a force. We will now trace these four conditions.

The sublime power which, during the evolution on Saturn, furnishes the germ of the human body form out of cosmic Chaos, is called by the writer of the Gospel of St. John the Logos. The element which appeared on the Sun and united itself to the first bodily form, he calls Life; it is what we call accordingly etheric or life body. The element added on the Moon, he calls Light; for this is the spiritual light, the astral light. This astral light causes a densification on the Moon, but a spiritualization on the separate Sun. This spiritualized element could evolve further, and did so evolve. And when the Sun again separated, the force evolved during the third evolution (Moon) now shone into men; but man was not yet able to behold that which shone into him from the Sun. It worked upon man as a force and formed him, but man could not behold it. The essential nature of the Saturn evolution, as we have clearly understood it, we now express in the words of St. John:

‘In the beginning was the Logos.’

We now pass to the Sun. When we express the fact that whatever originated on Saturn was further developed on the Sun, we say: The etheric body was added:

‘And the Logos was the Life.’

On the Moon the astral being was added, both of a corporal and of a spiritual nature:

‘In the enlivened Logos was Light.’

The light developed further; on the one hand, to the light of clairvoyance and, on the other, with man to darkness. For when he should have received the Light, man, being darkness, comprehended it not. Thus when we throw light from the Akashic records upon the Gospel of St. John, we read of the evolution of the world as follows:

In the beginning, during the Saturn evolution, everything arose out of the Logos. During the Sun evolution, there was Life in the Logos; and from out of the living Logos, during the Moon evolution, there arose Light. And from out of the Logos filled with Light and Life, there arose, on the Sun, during Earth evolution, Light in a more glorious form, but man fell into a state of darkness. From the Sun, the beings who were the advanced Bull-, Lion-, Eagle-, and human-spirits shone down as Light upon the Earth into the developing human forms. But these were darkness; they could not comprehend the Light that shone down upon them. (We must not confound this Light with physical light; this Light consisted of the combined radiations of the spiritual beings, the Bull-, Lion-, Eagle-, and human-spirits who represented the spiritual evolution on the Moon in continued form.) This Light that streamed down was spiritual Light. Men could not receive it; they could not comprehend it; their whole evolution was furthered by it, but they were unconscious of its presence.

‘The Light shone in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not.’

Such are the exemplary words of the writer of the Gospel of St. John, when he places before us those great truths. And they who knew these things were ever called ‘ministers and priests of the Logos, as He was from the beginning.’ A priest or minister of the Logos, as he was from the beginning, is one who speaks thus. In the Gospel of St. Luke we have, strictly speaking, exactly the same order. Just try to read with proper understanding what the writer of St. Luke's Gospel says. He wishes to tell of the things which happened from the beginning, ‘even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word.’ And we believe that the writers of these Gospels were ministers of the Word or Logos. We learn to believe in them when we see, from our own spiritual research, how things were, and how our earthly planet developed through Saturn, Sun, and Moon. Then when we see, from the comprehensive words of St. John and St. Luke, that we can find these truths independently of all traditions, we learn to believe in them when we see, from our own spiritual research, how things were, and how our earthly planet developed through Saturn, Sun, and Moon. Then when we see, from the comprehensive words of St. John and St. Luke, that we can find these truths anew and to see in them a testimony that they who wrote them down could read the characters of the spiritual world. An understanding between ourselves and the men of former times is thereby afforded; we behold these men, as it were, eye to eye, and say to them: ‘We recognize and know you;’ for the things which they knew we find again in spiritual science.