One could ask why people want to devote themselves willingly to an esoteric life today, and whether it wouldn't be better to tell oneself that if a divine spiritual will wants to let me enter higher worlds it'll do this by itself, and so I'll wait. But if one asked the present, esoteric leaders of the Rosicrucian stream about this, they would have to reply: You're forgetting that you as a man are placed on a battlefield on earth, and namely in the battle of good spiritual powers against Lucifer and Ahriman. Both are trying to recruit the souls of men for their armies.
What does Lucifer want to make out of men? Looked at one-sidedly, he has a sublime goal. We know that the previous embodiment of our earth Old Moon, was the cosmos of wisdom, that it was completely permeated by wisdom. But Lucifer lacked the force of love that's now incorporated in the earth. And so he's permeated with wisdom but he knows nothing about love at all. He has devoted himself entirely to wisdom, he's gotten high on it as it were, and he wants to fill all of earth's children with wisdom.
And this is a big temptation for men again and again. Lucifer's forces live in us, and he in effect tells us: If you take me completely into yourself you'll see all relationships, you'll know everything, and everything will be clear to you.
He wants to give men wisdom without love, which leads to selfish knowledge. Lucifer still thinks that he'll get human soldiers for his army, and he's working very hard to achieve this.
Lucifer is in all knowledge and perception. There's only one place where he can't get at us, and that's when we quite devotedly immerse ourselves in our meditation in wisdom without outer influences — then we escape Lucifer.
And what does Ahriman want? We wants to give men power. Ahriman is a spirit who fell away even earlier. Archangels were men on old Sun, but quite different ones than we are. At that time, thinking was immediately translated into deeds. Men were mighty beings back then. Thought was reality immediately. Wisdom then was not like it was on old Moon yet — it was power; but power without wisdom leads to black magic, to darkening.
We conquer Ahriman through the attitude that we want to devote ourselves to the World Spirit, that we only want to be his instrument, to only let him work in us. If we do our meditation with this attitude we can conquer Ahriman.
We conquer Lucifer by filling our ego completely with the meditation's content. Lucifer can't get into the ego, only into the astral body.
The Christ impulse is love. But love without wisdom would be very bad. For instance we're told that there was a mother who loved her daughter like an idol and wouldn't refuse her anything. Through this wrong training the daughter became a famous poison mixer at the beginning of the 19th century. The daughter's individuality is now incarnated again as a black magician. It reincarnated so quickly because such beings are practically spit out of the spiritual world.
Lucifer is redeemed by Christ. Men who take Lucifer in on Jupiter will be mighty beings; but it'll be like a burning of these egos in wisdom without love.
Then on Venus one will be dealing with black magic; the condition will be like a spiritual drowning. Men must already have the will for spiritual things now so that pure love can shine on Venus.