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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Esoteric Lessons I
GA 266

Number 29

Munich, 3-17-'08

It's the task of the 5th post-Atlantean epoch to develop spirit self. This occurs in the Indian age through the spirit self sinking into the sentient body. In the next Persian sub-race manas permeate the sentient soul and thereby enters a new element, the soul element. The result of this is that certain demons who previously had no power over men were liberated and became hostile. Demonology arises in this race; no demons had been mentioned in previous sagas and myths. In the third sub-race manas sinks into the intellectual soul of Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Semites. Nothing much changes, for manas remains in the same soul element. In the 4th, the Greco-Roman sub-race spirit self develops in the consciousness soul and also remains in the soul element. Christ Jesus comes down to earth. He has the power to overcome hostile demons. The Bible says that he bound Satan for a thousand years. Our fifth sub-race follows, and now manas steps into a new element again. It begins to live in its own element: spirit self in spirit self. Thereby new hostile powers are liberated that mankind didn't know before. And namely these enemies come out of man's own breast. Men hinder each other by influencing each other more than they ever had before. A case that was investigated occultly can serve as an example.

Four people lived together. The first one was a little feeble-minded and crazy. The second one was considered to be a very talented man, he was productive and worked outwardly. The third was a so-called average man and the fourth was a really highly developed man, although he couldn't express himself. What does this look like from an occult perspective? The first one has a very weak will but is otherwise normally disposed. The apparently average number three is inwardly deranged and streams this into the first one. What's with the second talented, productive man? He really only has the talent of being able to express something. The valuable content in everything he produced was a transfer of the knowledge and forces of wisdom of the 4th one, who however didn't have the ability to express himself. But when he stammered a sentence there was much more real force in there than in the brilliant words that streamed out from number two, impressing men so much.

It's a man's task today to free himself ever more from the restrictive influences in his environment, and also not to let any such influences go out from him. A man is supposed to become increasingly free. A man is supposed to recognize and realize the eternal laws of the good out of his own free will. The spiritual world only discloses itself to an inwardly free human being. When some esoteric pupils say that they're hearing voices who are telling them what to do in their daily affairs, they're deceiving themselves. The masters are silent about everyday matters. They only speak if a man rises above his existence to the great world laws concerning human and world evolutions. A man must learn to become quite free and independent in his small circle, so that he can enter the spiritual world as a free, self-conscious being, for only thereby can he become a usable member in human evolution.