15 June 1910, Oslo
Those members of the audience who wish to analyse from a philosophical point of view my lecture of yesterday might meet perhaps with difficulties, apparent difficulties, because they will have heard in the course of earlier talks on similar themes that the purpose of our entire post-Atlantean epoch and even of the later stages of Atlantean evolution was to develop gradually the human ego and bring it to fuller consciousness. In this context I have indicated that the members of the ancient Indian civilization who had been able in Atlantis to perceive the spiritual world by means of the old clairvoyance still prevalent at that time were in some respects the very first who experienced an immediate transition from this clairvoyant state to a consciousness of the physical world. Their reaction to this physical world was such that the whole of this post-Atlantean age was pervaded by the feeling that true reality was to be found in the spiritual world, whilst the phenomenal world was merely Maya or illusion. Now I pointed out in our last lecture — and the facts confirm this — that the members of this ancient Indian civilization had to some extent undergone a rich soul-development and that they had achieved this high level whilst their ego was more or less asleep, that is to say, that they only awoke to ego consciousness after they had already reached maturity of soul development.
What, then, was the destiny of these Indian peoples meanwhile? For the Indian peoples must have experienced their entire soul-development in a wholly different manner from the European and especially the Germanic peoples who were ego-conscious whilst their capacities were gradually evolving and who were conscious of the divine-spiritual power working into their souls. You may possibly find it difficult to reconcile my statements in yesterday's lecture if you were to reflect upon that lecture philosophically. For those who wish to analyse that lecture, not from a disinterested point of view, but from a philosophical angle, I must add something in parenthesis by way of explanation.
The apparent contradiction will resolve itself at once if you recall that cognition of the ego is totally different from other forms of cognition. If the ego “knows” any other object or other human being distinct from itself, then in the act of cognition one is really dealing with two factors, with the knower, the cognizing agent, and the known. In the formal act of cognition it is irrelevant whether that which is known is human being, animal, tree or stone. But it is a different matter when the ego knows itself, for then the knower and the known are one, subject and object of cognition are the same. It is important to realize that in human evolution, in the development of the individual, these two modes of cognition are distinct. Those who had developed the mature Indian culture in the post-Atlantean epoch, developed the ‘I’ subjectively as the knower, a cognizing agent, and this subjective enhancement of the ‘I’ within the human soul may exist for a long time before man acquires the power to see the ‘I’ objectively as an entity. On the other hand, the European peoples developed comparatively early, whilst they still preserved the old clairvoyance, the power to see the ‘I’ objectively, that is to say, in their clairvoyant field of vision they perceived the ‘I’ as an entity amongst other entities. If you distinguish carefully between these modes of perception your philosophical problems will be solved and those of Spiritual Science too, if you approach them in the right way. If you wish me to express it in philosophical terms: the Indian culture exhibits a soul which reached the full flowering of the subjective ‘I’ long before the objective ‘I’ was developed. The Teutonic peoples developed the perception of the ‘I’ long before they became conscious of the real inner striving towards the ‘I’. Clairvoyantly they saw the dawning of their ego in an imaginative picture. In the astral world around them they had long seen the ‘I’ objectively amongst the other beings whom they perceived clairvoyantly. Thus we must conceive of this antithesis in a purely formal manner; then we shall also comprehend why Europe in particular was destined to associate this ‘I’ of man with the other higher Beings, the Angels and Archangels, in the way I pointed out yesterday in relation to mythology.
If you bear this in mind you will realize that Europe was destined to relate the ego in a multiplicity of ways to the world perceptible to the senses and that the ego, the fundamental essence of the human being, can enter into the most varied relationship with the external world. Formerly, before man was aware of his ego, before he perceived it, these relationships were determined for him by the higher Beings and he himself remained a passive instrument. His relationship to the external world was a purely instinctive one. The decisive factor in the development of the ego is that it should progressively determine its relationship to the external world. Substantially it was the task of the European nations to determine in some way or other this relation of the ‘I’ to the whole world, and the guiding Folk Soul had, and still has the task of directing European man how to bring his ‘I’ into relation with the external world, with other egos and with the world of spiritual Beings, so that on the whole it was within European civilization that one first began to speak of the relationship of the human ego to the surrounding universe. Hence the completely different atmosphere in the old Indian cosmology from that prevailing in the mythological culture of Europe. In the East everything is impersonal, and, above all one is required to adopt a passive attitude towards knowledge, to suppress the ego in order to become merged in Brahma and to find Atman within oneself. In the East, therefore, the primary objective is to lose one's identity and seek union with the Absolute. In Europe this human ‘I’ occupies a central place in human life in accordance with its original innate tendencies and with its progressive development in the course of evolution. In Europe, therefore, particular attention is given to seeing everything in relation to the ‘I’, to showing clairvoyantly the relationship of the ‘I’ to everything that had participated in the development of the ‘I’ in the course of earthly existence.
Now you all know that two opposing forces have participated in the development of terrestrial man who was destined gradually to acquire his ‘I’. Ever since the Lemurian epoch Luciferic forces have imprinted themselves upon the inner being of man, upon his astral body. You know that these forces made man's inner life the focal point of attack by infiltrating into his desires, impulses and passions. In consequence, man benefited in two ways: he was able to become a free and independent being, to be fired with enthusiasm for what he thinks, feels and wills, whereas in relation to his own affairs he was guided by divine spiritual Beings. But on the other hand, through the Luciferic powers, man had to accept the possibility of falling into evil through his passions, emotions and desires. Lucifer, therefore, is omnipresent in our Earth-existence and finds his point of attack in the inner being of man, in the play of the human astral. Where the astral has been integrated with the ego, the ego too has been permeated by the Luciferic power. When therefore we speak of Lucifer, we are speaking of that which has thrust man down deeper into material, sensory existence than would have been the case without that influence. Thus to the Luciferic powers we owe the most precious boon to man, namely, freedom, and, at the same time a dangerous legacy, the possibility of evil.
But we also know that because these Luciferic powers had intervened in the entire constitution of human nature, other powers were able to enter later on, which could not have done so had not Lucifer first invaded the human organism. Man would see the world differently if he had not fallen under the influence of Lucifer and his followers, if he had not been obliged to submit to the influence of another power after he had opened himself to the invasion of a Luciferic power. Ahriman approached from outside and penetrated into the vast arena of the phenomenal world surrounding man, so that the Ahrimanic influence is therefore a consequence of the Luciferic influence. Lucifer, as it were, takes possession of man from within and in consequence he is the victim of Ahriman who works from without.
The spiritual science of all ages that is familiar with the real facts, speaks of both Luciferic and Ahrimanic powers. It will seem very remarkable to you that the various peoples who express these views in the form of mythology are not always aware of Lucifer and Ahriman to the same extent. For instance, there is no clear awareness of this in a religious conception built up out of the whole Semitic tradition as embodied in the Old Testament. Only a certain consciousness of the Luciferic influence can be found there. You will find evidence for this in the Old Testament account of the Serpent which is simply a picture of Lucifer. And this shows that there was a clear realization that Lucifer played a part in evolution, a realization that is undeniably present in all traditions associated with the Bible. But they do not betray an awareness of the Ahrimanic influence to the same extent; that is only to be found where spiritual science is taught. Therefore the Gospel writers have taken this into account. You will find — for at the time when the Gospels were written the word ‘devil’ or ‘daemon’ was borrowed from the Greek — that St. Mark's Gospel does not speak of the temptation of Jesus, but of a devil tempting Him; but in all references to Ahriman the word Satan is used. But who notices the important difference between these descriptions in the Gospel of St. Mark and that of St. Matthew? Exoterically these fine distinctions are not heeded at all, nor is this difference noted in external traditions.
This difference is very apparent in the contrast between India and Persia and is strikingly illustrated at a certain moment in history. The Persians were less subject to the Luciferic influence than the Ahrimanic. It was in Persia in particular that men wrestled with the powers which give us an external, false Picture of the world and which surround us with the forces of darkness, i.e. that which is concerned with man's relation to the external world. Ahriman is known chiefly as an opponent of the Good and as an enemy of the Light. What is the explanation of this? The explanation is that in the second post-Atlantean epoch man developed his perception of the external world. Remember that the task of Zoroaster was to reveal the Sun Spirit, the Spirit of Light. He has first to show that this world is compounded of Light and the Spirit of Darkness who dims our consciousness of the external world. The Persian aims primarily at the conquest of Ahriman and strives to unite himself with the Children of Light, the Spirits who are here the dominant Powers. He is organized for activity in the external world; hence he has his Ahuras or Asuras. It is, on the other hand, dangerous for the followers of the Persian religion to look inwards, to follow the inward path. Where the Luciferic powers are lurking he will not allow himself to become aware of the good powers which are present there: he senses danger. He directs his gaze outwards and believes the Asuras of Light to be in opposition to the Asuras of Darkness.
At this time the Indians pursued exactly the opposite course. They lived in a period when they endeavoured to raise themselves into the higher spheres by inner contemplation. They sought salvation by uniting themselves with the forces of inner vision. It was dangerous; they felt, to look out into the external world where they might have to wrestle with Ahriman. They feared the external world and regarded it as dangerous. Whereas the Persians eschewed the Devas, the Indians looked up to them and wanted to work in their domain. But the Persians turned away and avoided the region where the battle against Lucifer had to be fought.
Search as you will through the many different mythologies and conceptions of the world, in none of them will you find such a clear and profound awareness of the fact that there are two influences at work on man as in Teutonic mythology. As Nordic man was still clairvoyant, he really saw these two powers and took up a position midway between them. He said to himself in the course of his evolution man has seen the advent of certain powers which penetrated into his inner being and worked upon his astral body; they operated from without. And because he was destined to develop the ‘I’, to achieve independence, he sensed not merely the possibility of evil, but, in these powers which permeated his astral body in order to bring freedom and independence, he felt above all the aspiration to freedom. He felt, one might say, the rebellious element manifesting itself in these forces. He felt the presence of the Luciferic element in the power which in these Scandinavian and Germanic regions even then still participated in the creation of races, in that it gave man his external form and pigmentation and made him an independent, active being in the world. With his clairvoyance Nordic man felt Lucifer to be primarily that which makes man a free being, one who is not prepared to submit passively to random external powers, but is solid and reliant and is determined to act independently. Nordic man felt this Luciferic influence to be beneficial.
But he now realized that something else stemmed from this influence. Lucifer conceals himself behind the figure of Loki who has a remarkably iridescent form. Because Nordic man could perceive the reality, he saw that the thoughts of the freedom and independence of man could be traced to Loki. Through the old clairvoyance, however, he was also aware that that which repeatedly drags man down through his desires and actions and causes him to suffer a greater deterioration of his whole being than would have befallen him had he devoted himself to Odin and the Aesir, is to be attributed to the influence of Loki. And now he felt the awful grandeur of this Teutonic mythology; he felt with passionate conviction that which will only return gradually to the consciousness of man through Spiritual Science.
How, then, does the Luciferic influence act? It penetrates into the astral body and thus is able to work upon all the three members of man, upon his astral, etheric and physical bodies. At the present day one can only give indications of this Luciferic influence outside the Anthroposophical Society. What you will come to understand more and more clearly is that the Luciferic influence makes itself felt in three different ways: in the astral body, in the etheric body, and in the physical body of man.
It begets in the etheric body the urge to falsehood and lying. Lies and falsehood are not limited to the inner life of man. In the astral body, the vehicle of man's inner life, the self is permeated with a Luciferic influence which takes the form of selfishness. The etheric body is inwardly motivated by the impulse to be untruthful and is thus disposed to lying. In the physical body the Luciferic influence begets sickness and death. Those who were present at my last series of lectures will easily understand that. 1Manifestations of Karma. Eleven lectures given in Hamburg, May 1910 (Rudolf Steiner Press). I should like to emphasize once again that the signs and symptoms of physical death are karmically connected with the Luciferic influence. To recapitulate again briefly: Lucifer begets in the astral body selfishness, in the etheric body lying and falsehood, and in the physical body sickness and death.
Of course the materialists of the present day will be greatly surprised to learn that Spiritual Science attributes sickness and death to a Luciferic influence. But this too is connected with Karma. But for the Luciferic influence man would never have known sickness and death. The karmic effect of this influence is that man is more deeply immersed in corporeality and, on the other hand, the penalty for this is sickness and death.
We may say that when the Luciferic influence entered into man, the physical, etheric and astral bodies became a prey to sickness and death, lying, falsehood and selfishness. I should like to draw your attention to the fact that the materialistic scientists of today assign death in the human being or in the animal or plant to the same cause. They fail to realize that one external appearance may resemble another and yet may originate from totally different causes.
An external situation may arise from a variety of causes. The death of an animal does not supervene from the same cause as the death of a man, although externally it gives the same impression.
It would take too long to provide an epistemological proof of these things. I only wish to state here that the scientific view of causality is sadly mistaken. We meet with mistakes such as these, which arise from muddled thinking, at almost every turn. Imagine the case of a man, who climbs onto a roof, falls down, is mortally injured and is picked up dead. What would be more natural than to say: “The man fell down, was mortally injured and died of his injuries.” But there might have been a totally different explanation. The man might have had a stroke whilst on the roof and have fallen down while already dead. The injuries might have been caused by the fall, so that externally this case might appear the same as the one described before, but death would have supervened from an entirely different cause.
This is a very crude example, but scientists are very frequently guilty of this kind of mistake. Externally the real facts may often be exactly the same: the inner causes may be completely different.
We claim, then, from the results of spiritual-scientific investigation that the Luciferic influence begets in the astral body selfishness, in the etheric body lying and falsehood and in the physical body sickness and death. Now what would the Teutonic mythology have had to say if it had been obliged to ascribe this threefold influence to Loki, to Lucifer? It would have had to say that Loki has three offspring. The first, the one who begets selfishness, is the Midgard Snake through whom is expressed the influence of the Luciferic spirit on the astral body. The second is that which falsifies human knowledge. In man, on the physical plane, this consists in those things of the mind which do not accord with the external world. It is that which has no validity there. To Nordic man who lived more on the astral plane, that which to us is an illusion manifested itself at once as an astral being and lived as such upon the astral plane. The expression for everything that implied darkening of the light of truth, false perspective, was some kind of animal; and here in the North it was chiefly the Fenris Wolf. This second animal is Loki's influence on the etheric body to which man owes his inner inclination to deceive himself, to think incorrectly about things; that is to say, the objects in the external world do not appear to him in true perspective. This was generally expressed in the old Teutonic mythology in the form of a wolf. That is the astral form for lying and falsehood which proceeds from inner impulse.
Where man is related to the external world Lucifer confronts Ahriman, so that the infiltration of error into his knowledge — even into his clairvoyant knowledge — all illusion and maya, is the consequence of the tendency to falsehood which is active there. The Fenris Wolf represents the configuration surrounding man because he does not see things in their true form. Whenever the ancient Teutons experienced the darkening of the light of truth, they spoke of a wolf. This permeates the whole of Nordic consciousness and you will find that this image is used in this sense even in relation to external facts.
When the ancient Teutons wanted to explain what they saw during an eclipse of the Sun — in the epoch of the old clairvoyance of course, man saw very differently from the man of today who uses a telescope — they chose the image of a wolf pursuing the Sun and who, the moment he overtakes it, causes an eclipse. This agrees perfectly with the facts. This terminology is an integral part of the grandeur, that awful grandeur peculiar to Teutonic mythology. I can only give indications here, but if it were possible to speak for weeks on end upon this Teutonic mythology, you would then see how this is universally applied in the representations of Teutonic mythology. This is because Teutonic mythology is a consequence of the old clairvoyance into which the ‘I’ plays everywhere.
Materialists of today will reply that this is pure superstition, that there is no wolf in pursuit of the Sun. The old imaginative Nordic man sees these facts in the form of pictures and I could perhaps enumerate many so-called scientific truths which contain more Ahrimanic influence, a greater degree of error, than the corresponding astral perception which describes the wolf in pursuit of the Sun. That an eclipse occurs because the Moon interposes itself between the Earth and the Sun seems to the occultist to betray a mind that is even more superstitious. From the external point of view the explanation of the eclipse is perfectly correct, just as the case of the wolf is perfectly correct from the astral point of view. In fact the astral view is more correct than the one you will find in modern textbooks, which is even more subject to error. If at some future time man is prepared to accept the real facts instead of this external explanation, he will find that the Teutonic myth is correct. I am aware that I am saying something which is ridiculously absurd in the eyes of contemporary man, but I know too that in anthroposophical circles one is already sufficiently advanced to be in a position to show in which respects the physical view of the world is most influenced by maya, deception or illusion.
Let us now turn to the influence of Loki on the physical body. His third offspring is Hel, who begets sickness and death. Thus the figures Hel, the Fenris Wolf and the Midgard Snake are wonderful representations of the influence of Loki or Lucifer in the form in which his influence was perceived by the old dreamlike clairvoyance. If we were to follow out the whole history of Loki we should everywhere find that these things throw light upon the matter, down to the smallest details. But we must clearly understand that what the clairvoyant sees are not allegories, but real Beings.
Now Nordic man was not only aware of Loki, of the Luciferic influence, but also of the influence of Ahriman which was the polar opposite, and he knew too that involvement in the Ahrimanic influence was a consequence of the Luciferic influence. If you now look back to the time when man did not apprehend the world through sensory perception but contemplated it with the old clairvoyance, you will find that this myth has been developed in response to this clairvoyance. What does the myth say? Man has succumbed to the influence of Loki, and this is expressed in the activity of the Midgard Snake, the Fenris Wolf and Hel. The effect was such that man's perception, his clear, luminous vision into the spiritual world, became dimmed, because the Luciferic influence increasingly asserted itself. At that time, when this view developed, man alternated between a consciousness that was able to see into the spiritual world and a consciousness that was directed to the physical plane, just as we normally alternate between waking and sleeping. When he gazed into the spiritual world he looked into the world out of which he was born. The essential point is that the myth had its source in the clairvoyant consciousness. But human consciousness consisted in this alteration between insight into, and loss of insight into the spiritual world. When man lived in a condition of dreamlike consciousness he saw into the spiritual world. When in a condition of waking consciousness, he was blind to it. Thus he alternated between the conditions of blindness to, and insight into, the spiritual world. His consciousness alternated just as a certain Cosmic Being alternated between the blind Hödur and the clairvoyant Baldur, who could see into the spiritual world. Thus man was predisposed to receive Baldur's influence and he would have developed in accordance with this influence if he had not been subject to Loki's influence. It was Loki's responsibility, however, that the Hodur nature overcame the Baldur nature. This is expressed by Loki bringing the mistletoe, with which the blind Hodur kills Baldur, the one who sees.
Loki therefore is the destructive power, like Lucifer who drove man into the arms of Ahriman. In so far as man submits to the blind Hodur, the old clairvoyant vision is extinguished. That is the slaying of Baldur. This is felt by Nordic man as the gradual extinction of the Baldur power, the loss of the vision into the spiritual world. Thus, in the loss of clairvoyance, Nordic man felt that by the death of Baldur Loki had extinguished clairvoyance and that henceforth he was powerless to revive this erstwhile clairvoyance. Thus one of the greatest historical events, the gradual loss of the old, unclouded knowledge is expressed in the myth of Baldur, Hödur and Loki. On the one hand, therefore, we have Loki with his kinsmen, the three Beings, and on the other, the tragic slaying of Baldur.
Thus, in Teutonic mythology, is reflected that which we can derive from Spiritual Science: the twofold influence — the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic. It is this which Spiritual Science always seeks to present to you as an illustration of the clairvoyant knowledge of ancient times and as a development of the myth out of the old clairvoyance which then gradually began to disappear.
It would take us too far if we were to pursue this subject further. But even in the broad outline I have presented to you, you can feel the awful grandeur of this myth, which is unsurpassed, because no other mythology adheres so closely to the old clairvoyant condition. Greek mythology is only a memory of something experienced in former times, expressed in sculptural form. Greek mythology has no longer that direct association with the facts which one finds in Teutonic mythology. It is more sophisticated, more mature, the figures show more clearly defined, more finished contours, and therefore appear markedly sculptural. They have lost the primitive simplicity of the earliest impressions. The old clairvoyance which had long vanished in the rest of Europe still survived in the North. Only slowly, step by step, has the perspective of man become limited to the picture of the physical world alone. Thus, at the time when Christianity began to spread abroad, that which is expressed in the Baldur myth, in the death of Baldur, had become true for the majority of men. There were, however, still a few who were able to perceive directly what Nordic man experienced clairvoyantly.
Thus for a long time there still existed the direct perception of the spiritual world, and because it was still so elemental and sprang so directly from clairvoyant experience, there still survived, when Christianity began to spread abroad, this conscious awareness of the spiritual world which was more developed in the Teutonic peoples than in any other. Then they felt that their erstwhile experiences of their original spiritual home were vanishing. And these spiritual experiences were lost when Nordic man received the consolations of Christianity. But Christianity did not offer him any direct vision. He had felt the fate of Baldur much too deeply to be able to console himself for this loss by exchanging Baldur for a God who had descended to the physical plane in order that the children of men who could only perceive on the physical plane, may also be allowed to rise to a consciousness of God. Unlike the peoples of the Near East the Northern peoples were unable to respond to the words: “Change your mental attitude, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” In Palestine where Christ was born, there existed only long-lost memories of the fact that once upon a time there had been an old clairvoyance. In the East, the Kali Yuga, the Dark Age, had already lasted for three thousand years, when men could no longer see into the spiritual world. But they always yearned for that world and have ever told of a world which man was once able to perceive spiritually. But it was a world which had now vanished from their sight. Hence they had experienced the spiritual world in a much more distant past than the men of the North, and they only knew from memory that the spiritual world had once been within reach. Hence the peoples of Asia Minor could well understand the words: “Change your mental attitude for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” They could understand the words: “The Kingdom of Heaven is nigh unto you even here upon the physical plane. Seek ye therefore the unique figure who will appear in the land of Palestine, seek ye the Messiah, the Incarnation of the Godhead, through whom you too will be able to find your relation to the Divine, even though you cannot raise yourself above the physical plane. Recognize that Figure in Palestine, know the Figure of Christ!” Those were the profound words of John the Baptist.
The Nordic man, of necessity, felt this differently; for a longer period of time he had experienced much more than the mere memory of a vision into the spiritual world. Hence there arose in him a thought of far-reaching importance, namely: this limitation to the outer physical plane, this darkening of spiritual sight, can only be an intermediate time. There must be a period of probation and man will have to discover what the physical world can teach him. This transition is necessary and he must therefore withdraw from the spiritual world. He must undergo the experience of the phenomenal world as a necessary training. But through this period of probation he will find his way back to that world whence he came. The vision of Baldur will be able to ensoul him again. In other words, the great truth which dawned in the course of the evolution of the Teutonic peoples that the world which was lost to clairvoyant vision would again become visible, he owed to the fact that man felt his sojourn on the physical plane to be a time of transition.
The Initiates had taught Nordic man that a change was taking place in the spiritual world during the intermediate time when he had lost the vision of the spiritual world and in consequence it would one day appear transformed. They explained this to him somewhat as follows: “Formerly you looked into the spiritual world and there you saw the Archangel of Speech, the Archangel of the Runes, Odin, 2See Appendix. the Archangel of Respiration, and Thor, the Angel of Ego-hood. You were associated with them, and he who is sufficiently prepared will be able to enter the spiritual world again. But it will then appear different; other powers will have been added to it, and the spheres of power and the relationships of power of those old spiritual leaders of the human race will have changed. You will, it is true, see into this world, but you will find it transformed.”
What man will then see, the Initiates described to him as a vision of the future — the Vision that will one day appear to man when he is able to see into the spiritual world again, when he will see what has been the destiny of the old Gods and what was their relation to other powers. They described to him this vision of the future as seen by the Initiates when the Luciferic influence will to some extent override that which comes from the Gods and will, in its turn, be overcome. This was their vision of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods. And again we shall see that all the events which were portrayed as future events could not, even down to the smallest details, be portrayed better or more aptly, nor in more fitting terminology than in the wonderful picture of the Twilight of the Gods. That is the occult background to the Saga of the Twilight of the Gods.
In what light, then, should man see himself? He should see himself as one who has received all that stems from earlier epochs as the origin and cause of his evolution. He should thoughtfully assimilate what he received as a gift from Odin, whilst feeling that he himself has undergone the ensuing evolution. He should receive into himself the teaching implanted in him by Odin. He should fight the good fight without delay. The Initiate, the Leader of the Esoteric School, makes that clear, particularly to Nordic man, by calling our attention to the divine-spiritual Being who appears to us so mysteriously, who in fact first plays a definite part in the Twilight of the Gods because he overcomes even that power by which Odin is at first overcome. In the Twilight of the Gods the role of Odin's avenger is a special role. When we understand this role we shall then perceive the wonderful connection between the native talents of the Teutonic peoples and our conception of our vision of the future. All this is expressed in a wonderful way, down to the smallest details in the mighty vision of the Twilight of the Gods.