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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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“Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.”
GA 162

3 June 1915, Dornach

Translator Unknown

All problems of a conception of the Cosmos — whether that of Spiritual Science or any other — contain this basic query: What is the evolutionary path of Man within the Cosmos?

One, who has not yet had his thoughts educated through Spiritual Science, may also ask: What is the ultimate aim of human evolution! He would like to know what will happen to man when arrived at the end of all evolution! We have often indicated how a question such as this can only come from uneducated thought, and that, for the mind cultured through Spiritual Science, the aim is to find the way, to perceive rightly any particular point in evolution; for when we know the path evolution has taken, we certainly take a good step forward.

So, let us once again consider — from a certain view-point, — the above query — the query of the direction of the evolutionary way.

You all know that human evolution has arrived at the earth-stage only after passing through various previous stages, and that this earth-state was preceded by the Moon-stage. And we must remind ourselves of the fact that, in a certain sense, the former Moon-stage is preserved in a later stage, is active therein; we can put it this way: that we are earth men, but that we in a certain sense, carry the Moon man in us. We have developed from the Moon-state, yet the Moon-man lives in us, — he is, so to speak, part of us. We could show this in diagrammatic form thus:

Figure 1

or, in other words, we can say: we carry with us the Earth man, but the Earth man surrounds the Moon man.

We can now easily proceed further, namely that the Moon man also encloses the Sun man, and the Sin man in turn encloses the Saturn man; so we carry within us, in addition to the Moon man, the Sun man and Saturn man also.

We must, of course, not imagine that this diagram in any sense reproduces the truth. In reality, of course, the Moon man does not sit inside as if he were surrounded by a shell; but if we wish to imagine the reality related to this ‘dual’ man, the matter stands thus, for example: That, which in a specific sense, belongs to the earth, we would have to imagine as residing chiefly in the trunk, the lower and upper limbs and as far as the throat region. And if trying to imagine the Moon man we must visualize him as the surmounting head; the Sun man has certain — already disintegrating organs in the head, and the Saturn man has head organs now scarcely discernable.

Figure 2

And now, if we consider the evolution of the earth, we say: The first, second, third and fourth earth period (Atlantean) have passed. Now we live in the fifth — the post-Atlantean period. The three first earth periods were, in a sense, repetitions of the Saturn — Sun — and Moon period. Then comes a mean (or middle) period, a time of equalization, of which the first half again represents a repetition, and the second a preparation for the future. And only now, in the post-Atlantean epoch, do we live in a time which, compared with the Saturn, Sun and Moon periods, is something quite new. Therefore, only since about the middle of the Atlantean period — though already prepared in the Lemurian become evolved in the human being that which we now call the earth man; previously we have to do with evolutions or developments that were repetitions of the Saturn, Sun and Moon man.

Only in the post-Atlantean age man begins his development as earth man, his true, active development. Hence, we find that the first three cultural periods of the post-Atlantean period — the Indian, Persian and Egypto-Chaldean — though revealing extensive new changes of organization — yet contain something of repetition. The real deciding point came with the fourth post-Atlantean cultural period in the progress of man, and in our fifth post-Atlantean cultural point we stand in a most important and significant time.

You will all be aware that in this our fifth post-Atlantean age mankind has gradually replaced the old clairvoyance inherited from the Moon with the real, outer, objective perception of things, which later became the scientific attitude that has led to a materialistic conception of the Universe, — and that, this materialism we endeavour to impregnate with the concepts of Spiritual Science. If we consider all we are able to think and know of the world, — all, that constitutes man's perceptions, conceptions and ideas today — we have all this as faculties, because our psychic-Spiritual is reflected on our physical body, so that in our waking life on earth we are able to perceive because the psycho-Spiritual in us evokes certain processes in the physical part, and that these processes become a kind of reflective medium, which, in turn, constitutes the content of our consciousness. As we thus possess a certain content of our earth-consciousness between awaking and falling asleep, — by these ‘contents’ we mean all perceptions, emotions, will impulses, etc. — so is the physical earth-man rightly the apparatus for everything that he has accumulated during his life on earth as content of his consciousness.

And so, during waking life on earth, we experience by means of our physical earth-man, but we also have in us the Moon man. This Moon man is incapable of serving us as a direct instrument of perception. Upon the Moon he could build up the old dreamlike perceptions; but today he is unsuitable to form the clear perceptions of waking life. And yet this Moon man resides in us, and he is not idle! How is he occupied? Well, he continues what he did on the Moon: he dreams. And because, during waking life, we do not usually perceive these dreams within our subconsciousness, we fail to take notice of them. As we go through the world with our waking consciousness, the burden of this dreamer also accompanies us. Even though you are perfectly unaware of this dreamer, other Beings know him, and they are the Beings of the Hierarchy of Angeloi — and the dreams of this dreamer are transposed by them into their own conceptions.

Figure 3

Thus, during the Moon age this dreamer developed the only possible consciousness that could evolve on the Moon. As earth man came, the dreamer entered into him; but his experiences in the earth man are developed into clear, conscious ideas, which, for them, are imaginations. Our dreams are transformed into imaginations. In other words — the dreamer in us becomes ideas for the Angeloi Beings, and they change these to imaginations: what man dreams, the Angelos imagines. (Diagram I.)

We may now go a step further to something that can be depicted by diagram, which this time is true to fact. The man in us has a still duller consciousness — one similar to that of the plants (Diagram II). Thus, we carry not only the dreamer in us, but also a kind of plant man, who always sleeps like the plants. His dull imaginations are transmitted by the Beings of the Hierarchy of the Archangeloi to inspirations. So: what the Sun man experiences in sleep, the Archangelos inspires.

Figure 4

In a still deeper sleep is our Saturn man; so deep is it that it can be likened to the sleep of the minerals. This Saturn man, in his turn, with his deep-sleep consciousness, gives the Beings of the Hierarchy of Archai the material — the means to create intuitions. Hence: The Saturn man in his deep sleep becomes intuition of the Spirit of Personality. (original Force) (Diagram III)

And now it is necessary to be quite clear of the fact that imaginations, inspirations and intuitions are no mere abstract things like our own thoughts, concepts or feelings. Imaginations are something very real, inspirations something still more real. For, inspirations do not remain pent up within a Being, but resound out into the universe as the music of the Spheres and are productive forces. Intuitions are actualities entering the universe and filling it. The state or condition of the Saturn man in his deep sleep is sent out into the worlds by the Spirits of Personality as intuitions.

And so it is to-day. But the earth will pass through another evolutionary period in the future. Then will the intuitions of the Spirits of Personality become more and more densified. In our own age they still are extremely attenuated forms, but as we progress from the 5th to the 6th and 7th earth-periods these intuitions become denser. The earth will pass away, but these intuitions are preserved within the Spirits of Personality. But when Jupiter begins to exist, these Spirits of Personality advance to the rank of Spirits of Form, and. the impulses they have learned to form during the earth-age now become actual forms; and because they are Saturn forms, they will be mineral. Thus: at the end of the earth period these intuitions become densified cosmic impulses and later, forms. (Jupiter) (Diagram III.) And when they become forms upon Jupiter, they constitute the mineral foundation of Jupiter. During the second evolutionary half period of the earth the Spirits of Personality continuously work there — penetrate — into our Saturn man; they win for themselves the impulses which they then ray forth into the world; and these again send out forms, but these forms are the Jupiter; Jupiter will be constituted of nothing but these forms. We have in us the Saturn man, but as this Saturn man is in close connection with the activity of the Spirits of Personality, he is the germ for Jupiter. Jupiter will obtain all his mineral foundation from the Saturn man we carry in us.

Figure 5

So now you have obtained a glimpse of the Spirits of Personality and their task during earth evolution. And you will realize that, if this is the fact, we, by means of everything we may develop in this direction, will be able to evolve a mineral Jupiter. But this mineral Jupiter will take shape under any circumstances. That is definitely provided for, and is a certainty, in the further evolution of the Cosmos. But consider, that this Jupiter possesses as yet nothing equivalent to our plants, animals and human beings; we ourselves — as mankind — would find it impossible to exist upon such a Jupiter, for the hidden Saturn man within us is transformed to this Jupiter, because this Saturn man in his deep sleep, dreams what the earth man consciously imagines.

You see, under these conditions the Sun man could bring it to nothing actual in us. The Archangelos would realize only inspirations; and were things to proceed as they have so far been described, a mineral Jupiter would arise and over and around it would flow inspirations — densified, certainly, but they would merely pass over Jupiter. In order that some equivalent to our vegetable kingdom shall come into existence, something additional is necessary, — we must evolve something else beyond the earth man. And this is nothing else then something that earthly man can never again experience with his physical body: it is what we can imbibe from spiritual Science. Hence, I propose to call this man the Spiritual-Scientific Man, despite its queer sound, who aspires to and reaches out for things that extend far beyond the earth

Figure 6

With all that we absorb from Spiritual Science, the Sun man in us can really do something. He can transmute his dim, sleeping, vegetable-like sensations and conceptions into inspirations, which will become more and more densified during the remainder of the earth period; and these will ensure, that not only indefinite sphere harmony shall enclose Jupiter, but that this harmony of the spheres definitely becomes growth of vegetation, as this took place also in the case of earthly plants: they are created by the sphere harmony and drawn out by light.

Figure 7

We therefore come to this conclusion: If the development which the earth itself has so far achieved, and which does not lead to the Spiritual-Scientific man, were alone to permeate the world in the future, there could arise only a mineral Jupiter in the cosmos. Toward this end all materialistic world conceptions are aiming. Materialists hate the very idea that Jupiter should produce a vegetable kingdom; in the depths of their souls they ask nothing better than that Jupiter be constructed of minerals only. If today we search through the entire materialistic science, laboratories, etc., we shall find that everything is working in the direction of a mineral Jupiter. And without Spiritual Science this would merely prove to be a dead slagheap, quite incapable of sustaining growth of plants.

The task of the (present) Beings of the hierarchy of Archangeloi on Jupiter — the production of the equivalent of our vegetable kingdom — is prepared by us when we raise ourselves to the stage of Spiritual Science. We may therefore say: The experiences of the sleeping Sun man, mature at the end of the earth period, so as to furnish cosmic impulses for the Jupiterian plant world through the Archangeloi.

And so we will not try and become conscious of the aim of Spiritual Science; we will learn to know that our Spiritual Science really does give the Hierarchy of the Archangeloi the possibility of endowing Jupiter with a cover of vegetation. What the sun man experiences through the concepts of Spiritual Science can be used by the Archangeloi in the development of vegetation upon Jupiter.

Then a time will approach in the evolution of the earth when those who have embraced Spiritual Science will say: Spiritual Science is all; it is the ultimate Good, and all those who, in their Soul, accept or practice anything else, are visionaries and dreamers! — The followers of Spiritual Science will speak of those others as the materialists do of us. And just as Spiritual Science of today stands to the materialist; so will, in future, be found a little community of people who will transcend Spiritual Science and reach out to something that will constitute something new, as spiritual Science of to-day is something new in relation to materialistic science. That will make a great many more demands upon the activities of man than our Spiritual Science, which already is found to be very uncomfortable. It will be something which the dreamer in man, the Moon man, will dream in a tremendously more intensive manner than the Sun man to-day can experience the conceptions of Spiritual Science in his sleep. But the experiences of the dreamer in a future age will be grasped and reformed by the Beings of the Angeloi and carried by them to Jupiter, to further enrich Jupiter by adding, upon the mineral and vegetable foundation, another kingdom, the equivalent of the animals. And we say: The dream conceptions of the Moon man (or the dreamer in man) becomes for Jupiter condensed imaginations, foundation of an animal kingdom through the Angeloi.

And finally, something further will appear during the evolution of the earth. We look forward into a future where we can sense something very wonderful. That which will then come to pass will produce the germ which will enable the human being of the earth himself to erect his kingdom upon Jupiter, and it will be something entirely new.

Thus, all that to-day can be developed with the help of the earthly man will progress further, and then, after the ages during which something new will have continually been developed, will arise something which this earth man can now conceive as the highest flower, the apex of the Spiritual evolution of the earth. And out of this conception will be born the power by which earth man upon Jupiter can continue his progress through himself. Thus, we can say: The conceptions of earth man become impulses — through the Soul-contents of the most evolved of humanity — for the evolution of humanity upon Jupiter.

Our Spirits of Personality will then have advanced to Spirits of Form; our Archangeloi to Spirits of Personality; our Angeloi to Archangeloi; man will have risen to the ranks of the Angeloi. Then it will be possible for man, by means of the highest and purest conceptions of earth man, in the Hierarchy of the Jupiter-angeloi which he himself will then constitute to continue his Jupiterean Spiritual development. His possession in the form of evolutionary progress will then be similar to those possessed by man at the end of the Atlantean period to enable them to inaugurate the true evolution of the earth!

Now you will see that we can look deeply into the direction taken by us in the Cosmos. And when we can consider how man will have evolved — as he has progressed up to our times — all that the earthly man can yield, and begins at a higher stage where he will no longer be able to contribute anything more as earth man — when he must aspire to things beyond the powers of earthly humanity —when we thus ponder over the subject, we know why we cultivate Spiritual Science. We then know that the pursuit of Spiritual science has a profound import, and feel how brutally abstract are the questions propounded by philosophical temperaments: What is the ultimate aim of mankind? We have quite enough to do if we aim at the next goal!

And we might ask: Can not this Science of the Spirit — conscious of its task in the Cosmos — truly move our hearts, penetrate our minds and consciousness? But we feel that in us abides something that is the seed of the future in the Cosmos! And we can truly transform what we thus carry in us as knowledge into a pure mental and soul content.

And let us be quite sure of this: All that is physical world on this earth will be destroyed, will not merely pass into a state of sleep, but of destruction — and something new must evolve. But whence will this “something new” come?

Well, from the stones of earth, from the plants and animals of earth — in short — from the physical bodies of the earth — nothing new can evolve, — they are there in order to be discarded — but from the Saturn man in you the mineral Jupiter comes into existence. So true is this, as it is true that in the fowl that runs out of your way nothing exists of this parent fowl but a tiny germ within the egg — so nothing exists upon the earth as a basis for the future Jupiter than the Saturn germs that live in the human body. That is all that will pass intact through the pralaya to Jupiter; all the rest is discarded — falls away from the physical earth. (I am now referring to the physical earth, not to souls). And should anyone harbour the notion that the physical earth will become transformed, he holds a nebulous idea, for the concrete fact is that everything is dispersed into the cosmos, with the exception of all the Saturn seeds, which are absorbed by the Archai, to be transmuted into the atoms intended to form the mineral atoms on Jupiter. Many years ago, to a small circle in Berlin, I spoke upon this subject. I endeavoured to explain how childish an idea it is, to imagine the atoms of the earth as the physicist sees them. Instead, we must think of these atoms as the most inner essence of the Moon man — i.e., the man on the old moon — but used by those Beings who were in advance of man in evolution, who transmuted this very central part of the Moon man to an earth atom. To-day this resides no longer in the Saturn man, but in the earth.

This is the atom in its reality, compared with which the physicist's atom is a very childish concept. For this atom in actual fact has come into being in a most complicated manner. Think for a moment that this atom must evolve from that which man has developed upon Saturn, and which he has preserved during the Sun, Moon and earth periods, and that later is to be changed to an atom for Jupiter by the Spirits of Personality, who, upon Jupiter, will hold the rank of Spirits of Form. Thus, is the world complicated.

I have often referred to the way we have to look at these things: I have illustrated it as follows: Suppose the time is 3 p.m. At that time, we find two persons A and B, standing together at a street corner. We go away and relate this to a third person. But let us also suppose that A has been standing there since 9 a.m. while B arrived there at 12 noon, went away again, and returned at 3 p.m.! — We discovered the same fact — two persons standing together at 3 p.m. But the one who has been standing there for six hours and the other who walked away and back again are not alike. These human beings differ fundamentally, and that is the important thing — they are not equal but different.

This will show you that it is not the observation of a fact, but rather the circumstances through which the fact is brought about that matters. For example, a man who microcosmically examines living beings cannot penetrate to their inner nature, but must be content with the outer fact. Very naturally, people will say: “I do not merely substantiate the fact, but I also trace its evolution.” But they only trace the evolution of the physical, — they always cling to the fact.

Through this has arisen the error which mixes up phenomena that have a very different value and significance for the various kingdoms of nature, — for instance, the death of an animal or man, to say nothing of plants. Death is, by no means, the same process in the human kingdom as in the animal world. When death comes to a man, it comes to a being who has behind him the earth — Moon — Sun and Saturn evolutions, while the animal has evolved through the earth evolution in part, and the Moon and Sun evolutions; therefore is the death of an animal a very different phenomenon than that of men. When one considers death in the animal and human kingdoms this abstract manner as identical, one could with equal justification, call the evaporation of a drop of Mercury “death”.

And I have already said that man in our time thinks and judges along that line: Certain biologists, thinking themselves particularly advanced, say: As many plants have the characteristic quality of consuming insects, such plants possess something akin to the animal or human soul! An outer analogy causes them to make this assert. But it is no more logical than to say that a mouse-trap possesses a soul!

It is that monstrous superficiality, this clinging to externals, that manage to give an impression of a terribly attractive logic, but which has originated only in an unreal, dead Ahrimanic thinking. And more and more will mankind submit to this kind of thinking unless impregnated by Spiritual Science.

All these considerations ultimately aim at the realisation of the importance of the incidence of Spiritual Science into the human evolution on earth. We must not ignore this simulated logic, though lifeless as it is, to which our Ahrimanic culture has brought us. This Ahrimanic culture can do nothing but pass the key, like Mephistopheles. But we must develop the Faustian attitude towards that which the Ahrimanic spirits call “the nothing” (of chaos) — the attitude that says: “within thy Nothing I hope to find the All.”

But we must permeate ourselves entirely with this idea. We must not expect that we can carry over into the future new evolution, anything of this old culture! Though we don't do so consciously, yet unconsciously can Ahriman again and again become the tempter. Of highest importance is it that we absorb the fundamentals of Spiritual Science, however uncomfortable they may appear to be. The culture of Spiritual Science demands deep earnestness in our devotion to it. Therefore must all flowers gained from the evolutionary progress of the soul be placed at the disposal of the impulses emerging from the heart of Spiritual Science.

And now I shall make — I might say — a very objective, but essential remark.

In one of my last lectures I mentioned something relative to the idea — which must be realised if we are to complete our Bau —of the Group to be erected in the east — with the representative of humanity in the centre — (you may call him the Christ, if you wish), with Lucifer above, falling with broken wings, Ahriman below in a cave, crouching down under his feeling of defeat. That is the idea. What its completion will be like, will be seen only when we have the group erected. For, to the inner significance or meaning of it, belongs not only all that has been said (in the preceding pages) but also to every characteristic in the features of the Christ, Lucifer, and Ahriman. Should anyone attempt to incorporate this concept into a composition (group), he would no doubt make use of the old materials, and that would be wrong, for the result would be a symbolical representation of an idea — part of materialistic art! Or it would have to be taken from clairvoyant perception; each separate form must be artistically created — I might say — out of the primeval elements. That, indeed, is possible only if one can really become absorbed in the impulses of Spiritual Science. But one must take time, and not work further with the old mediums of artistic production.

It is difficult to implant the germ of Spiritual Science into all our cultural impulses, but from what has here been said will emerge the necessity for that effort. Naturally this cannot be accomplished today or tomorrow, but only very gradually. A beginning must be made; if we are not conscious of the fact that our Bau represents a beginning only, we shall view it from the wrong angle. A very long time must elapse before the attainment, (the consummation of all that is intended.)

The great task is to transform the entire frame of mind and mood of the Soul from what they have up to the present become, through the contributions earthly man has been able to make towards that end. Of course, it would be entirely wrong for someone to say: Well then, all that earthly man has been able to give, is useless; away with it!... wrong because earthly men carries in him the Moon, Sun, and Saturn man, and the new man of Spiritual Science will, in his turn, carry also the earthly man in him. We must carry this in us, — this earth culture. It is therefore not unnecessary for us to learn all there is to know in this earth culture.

But little by little we must, even now, absorb a sort of Spiritual Science consciousness, not with pride or a feeling of superiority, but with humility. It will never do for people who belong to the Spiritual Science movement to keep on saying: “What we learn (or practice) is esoteric! What you learn is only exoteric! We have something, something quite new! ”

That is most undesirable, and only instigated by pride and arrogance, as so much else within our movement! The fewer of those sort of remarks the better, on the other hand, the more we try to impregnate our entire Soul moods with Spiritual Science, so much the better.

One would hardly believe how one-sided words, and everything else, are used today. We talk, without any sort of attempt to understand the other — to “think ourselves into his mind”, as it were. All this must vanish if the Spiritual impulses are really to take a place of honor in our Souls. And so much has arrived at the culminating point today which must be removed through Spiritual Science. — In our sorrowful times we see men engaged in a war of words; we see one group passing judgment upon the other. The Spiritual Scientist must realize that such arguments and judgment are of no more value than a person who says: “that is a house”, while the other disagrees and claims that “it is a villa!”

That may be expressed rather coarsely, but it indicates the worth of those discussions which are today entered into with so much vehemence. It seems singular, of course, when one tried to describe some complicated idea in so crass and simple a form as above, but it is most desirable to ponder over the relationship between great world-discussions and the simple idea! One will then discover the reality behind the comparison.

And when we look back upon much that has, during the last few years, revealed itself before our souls as Spiritual truth, we will find that we can again and again confirm ourselves in those feelings and perceptions that we can make our own, concerning the impulses of Spiritual Science. When we think that all the Spiritual culture that men can attain here will form the inner foundation of Jupiter; that the endeavours of our Spiritual Science will form the future vegetable kingdom upon Jupiter; and that future (and further) progress will be the seed of the animal kingdom on Jupiter, and, finally, seriously ponder over the truth that within the Saturn man in us lies the germ for the physical shell of Jupiter, that in our Sun man resides that which we must convert into the Jupiterean vegetation, again the Moon man holds potencies that will be transformed into the animal kingdom of Jupiter — and that everything belonging to the earth — including the stars, will cease to be — will enter into pralaya — when we ponder over these marvels, we become a pupil of Him who said:

“Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.”