The incarnation of Ahriman .

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by WWarrior, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. WWarrior


    To make any sense of these crazy times Rudolph Steiner maybe able to give us clues as to what actually is going on with what it seems on the face it an unbelievable and bizarre scenario . The aim of this thread isn’t to discuss Steiner’s validity but to discuss whether the conditions are moving towards or have been met for an Ahrimanic incarnation as per Steiner’s writings.

    Steiner claims there are 3 main spiritual beings operating in the soul of mankind , Lucifer , Ahriman (Satan) and Christ . Throughout history the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces have been in a fight to control man’s inner nature and their influences can be seen in events throughout human history . Two of these beings have already had an incarnation in a human body according to Steiner , Lucifer in China around 3000bc , The Christ being in Jesus of Nazareth for 3 years (age 30-33) and Ahriman who is set to arrive early in the 3rd millennium .
  2. WWarrior


    Lecture: The Ahrimanic Deception (
    "The impulses entering humanity from a Luciferic source sank down gradually into the soul. On the other hand, however, another impulse, which we call the Ahrimanic, is growing stronger and stronger in modern times. It will become increasingly strong in the near future and on into future ages. The Ahrimanic impulse proceeds from a super-sensible Being different from the Being of Christ or of Lucifer. Equally with ‘super-sensible’ one can say ‘subsensible’ — but that is not the point here. The influence of this Being becomes especially powerful in the Fifth Post-Atlantean Epoch. If we look at the confused conditions of recent years we shall find that men have been brought to such chaotic conditions mainly through the Ahrimanic powers.

    Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer at the beginning of the third pre-Christian millennium, as there was the Christ Incarnation at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, so there will be a Western incarnation of the Ahriman being some little time after our present earthly existence, in fact, in the third post-Christian millennium. To form a right conception of the historical evolution of mankind during approximately 6000 years, one must grasp that at the one pole stands a Luciferic incarnation, in the center, the incarnation of Christ, and at the other pole the Ahrimanic incarnation. Lucifer is the power that stirs up in man all fanatical, all falsely mystical forces, all that physiologically tends to bring the blood into disorder and so lift man above and outside himself. Ahriman is the power that makes man dry, prosaic, philistine — that ossifies him and brings him to the superstition of materialism. And the true nature and being of man is essentially the effort to hold the balance between the powers of Lucifer and Ahriman; the Christ Impulse helps present humanity to establish this equilibrium.

    Thus these two poles — the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic — are continuously present in man. Viewed historically, we find that the Luciferic preponderated in certain currents of cultural development of the pre-Christian age and continued into the first centuries of our era. On the other hand the Ahrimanic influence has been at work since the middle of the fifteenth century and will increase in strength until an actual incarnation of Ahriman takes place among Western humanity."
  3. WWarrior


    Influences of Lucifer/Ahriman: Lecture One: The Incarnation of Lucifer in Asia in the Third Millenium B.C. (
    "Whenever preparation is being made for incarnations of this character, we must be alert to certain indicative trends in evolution. A being like Ahriman, who will incarnate in the West in time to come, prepares for this incarnation in advance. With a view to his incarnation on the earth, Ahriman guides certain forces in evolution in such a way that they may be of the greatest possible advantage to him."

    "Whatever can separate people into groups, whatever can alienate them from mutual understanding the whole world over and drive wedges between them, strengthens Ahriman’s impulse ."
  4. WWarrior


  5. cesfx


    So.... what you refer to "Christ stream" time, was the most bloody and violent in history pro capita.
    A bit satanic, but priceless man!
  6. cesfx


    As data shows, humans through history are getting less violent and more "just".

    Over the years, proportioned to the population growth, data shows we fight less wars, kill each other less, treat women and kids better, treat nature and animals better... We are even starting to wake up to racism, and some other twisted ideals like kingdoms and other crap idolatries.
    We question dogmas that made us kill civilization just for not believing in the same shit... We are doing pretty well overall.

    Who should we thank metaphysically speaking?
    tomorton likes this.
  7. WWarrior


    You seem to be unable to grasp the philosophical nature of this thread ..

    As in the difference between Paganism , Christianity and modern materialism
  8. WWarrior


    Lucifer and Ahriman
    Man's Responsibility for the Earth
    On-line since: 31st January, 2010

    By Rudolf Steiner

    Translated by D. S. Osmond
    GA#'s 191 and 193

    We live in critical, apocalyptic times. In these lectures, given just after the end of the First World War and in the midst of trying to effect the social-political life of his times with the movement for a threefold social order, Rudolf Steiner focuses on the vital task of developing a right orientation toward the spirit: a free spiritual life. With great compassion and understanding he shows, in telling examples, how humanity must walk a conscious middle path between the two “tempting” powers of Lucifer and Ahriman. He tells of the incarnation of Lucifer, in the third millennium BCE, from which flowed not only the wisdom of paganism but also the intellectual consciousness we enjoy today. Ahriman is shown to be approaching humanity through phenomena such as materialism, nationalism, and literalism in preparation for his incarnation in the millennium now opening. It must not be thought, however, that these two powers work apart: on the contrary, they work more and more together. Our task is to hold them in balance, continually permeating the one with the other. Doing this requires a new form of conscious spirituality.

    Five lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in November, 1919 Authorised translation from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer. The original German texts of these lectures can be found in the Collected Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works under the titles: “Soziales Verstandniss aus geisteswissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis” and “Der innere Aspekt des sozialen Ratsels. Luziferische Vergangenheit and ahrimanische Zukunft” Nos. 191 and 193 in the Bibliographical Survey, 1961. They are presented here with the permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.
  9. WWarrior


    Lucifer and Ahriman: Lecture I: The Incarnation of Lucifer in Asia in the Third Millenium B.C. (
    Lecture one

    Dornach, 1st November, 1919

    When social questions are discussed from a spiritual scientific point of view, this is not done out of any subjective motive or impulse. Everything is based upon observation of the evolution of humanity and of what the forces underlying that evolution demand of us now and in the immediate future.

    To reveal the deeper impulses working at the present time is not a congenial task, for there is little inclination to enter into such matters with any real earnestness. But our age calls for this earnestness wherever the affairs of humanity are concerned, above all for the discarding of prejudices and preconceptions. To-day, therefore, I shall put before you certain deeper aspects of matters to which reference has often been made.

    Once again it is necessary to survey a rather lengthy period in the life of humanity. As you know, we distinguish the present epoch from other epochs, reckoning that it began in the middle of the fifteenth century A.D. We speak of it as the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, distinguishing it from the previous epoch which began in the eighth century B.C. and is called the Greco-Latin epoch after the peoples responsible for its culture. It was preceded by the epoch of Egypto-Chaldean civilisation.

    When we come to consider the Egypto-Chaldean epoch we find that the records of ordinary history break down. Even with the help of accessible Egyptian and Chaldean lore, external evidence does not carry us very far back in the history of humanity. But it is not possible to grasp what is of importance for the present time unless we understand the intrinsic characteristics of that Third Post-Atlantean epoch of culture.

    You are certainly aware that in the ordinary history of that ancient time, all civilisation, all culture in the then known world, goes by the name of Paganism. Like an oasis, Hebraic culture arises in its midst as a preparation for Christianity. But disregarding for the moment this Jewish culture which differed so fundamentally from the other forms of pre-Christian civilised life, let us turn our attention to Paganism. Its special characteristic may be said to lie in its wisdom, in its deep insight into the things and processes of the world. The knowledge contained in Paganism had its source in the ancient Mysteries and although according to modern scholarship it bears a mythical, pictorial character, it must be emphasised that all the imagery, all the pictures which have come down to posterity from this ancient Paganism are the fruits of profound insight.

    Recalling the many treasures of this super-sensible lore which we have been endeavouring to bring to light, it will be obvious that here we have to do with a primeval wisdom, a wisdom underlying all the thinking, all the perceptions and feelings of those ancient peoples. A kind of echo of this primeval wisdom, a tradition in which it was enshrined, survived here and there in secret societies, actually in a healthy form, until the end of the eighteenth century and at the beginning of the nineteenth. In the nineteenth century the source ran dry and such vestiges as remain have passed into the hands of isolated groups belonging to certain nationalities. And what is in the possession of ordinary secret societies to-day can no longer be regarded as wholesome or as a genuine tradition of the old Pagan wisdom.

    Now this ancient wisdom has one particular characteristic of which sight must never be lost. It has one characteristic on account of which Judaism, the smaller stream then making preparation for Christianity, had to be introduced as a kind of oasis.

    If this ancient Paganism is rightly understood, it will be found to contain sublime, deeply penetrating wisdom, but no moral impulses for human action. These impulses were not really essential to man, for unlike what now passes as human knowledge, human insight, this old Pagan wisdom gave him the feeling of being membered into the whole cosmos. A man moving about the earth not only felt himself composed of the substances and forces present around him in earthly life, in the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms, but he felt that the forces operating, for example, in the movements of the stars and the sun were playing into him. This feeling of being a member of the whole cosmos was not a mere abstraction, for from the Mysteries he received directives based on the laws of the stars for his actions and whole conduct of life. This ancient star-wisdom was in no way akin to the arithmetical astrology sometimes considered valuable to-day, but it was a wisdom voiced by the Initiates in such a way that impulses for individual action and conduct went forth from the Mysteries. Not only did man feel safe and secure within the all-prevailing wisdom of the cosmos, but those whom he recognised as the Initiates of the Mysteries imparted this wisdom in directives for his actions from morning till evening on given days of the year. Yet neither Chaldean nor Egyptian wisdom contained a single moral impulse from what had been imparted by the Initiates in this way. The moral impulse in its real sense was prepared by Judaism and then further developed in Christianity.

    Inevitably the question arises: Why is it that this sublime Pagan wisdom, although it contained no moral impulse, was able, for example in ancient Greece, to come to flower in such beauty of art and grandeur of philosophy?

    If we were to go much farther back, to a time more than three thousand years before the Christian era, we should find that together with the promptings of wisdom there did come a moral impulse, that the moral principles, the ethics needed by these men of old were contained in this wisdom. But a specific ethos, a specific moral impulse such as came with Christianity was not an integral part of Paganism. Why was this? — It was because through the millennia directly preceding Christianity, this Pagan wisdom was inspired from a place far away in Asia, inspired by a remarkable Being who had been incarnated in the distant East in the third millennium before Christ — namely, Lucifer.

    To the many things we have learned about the evolution of humanity, this knowledge too must be added: that just as there was the incarnation which culminated in Golgotha, the incarnation of Christ in the man Jesus of Nazareth, there was an actual incarnation of Lucifer in far off Asia, in the third millennium B.C. And the source of inspiration for much ancient culture was what can only be described as an earthly incarnation of Lucifer in a man of flesh and blood. Even Christianity, even the Mystery of Golgotha as enacted among men, was understood at first by the only means then available, namely the old Luciferic wisdom. The one-sidedness of the Gnosis, for all its amazing profundity, stems from the influence that had spread from this Lucifer-incarnation over the whole of the ancient world. The significance of the Mystery of Golgotha cannot be fully grasped without the knowledge that rather less than three thousand years previously, there had been the incarnation of Lucifer.

    In order that the Luciferic inspiration might be lifted away from its one-sidedness, there came the incarnation of Christ and with it the impulse for the education and development of European civilisation and its American off-shoot. But since the middle of the fifteenth century, since the impulse for the development of individuality, of personality, has been at work, this phase of evolution has also contained within it certain forces whereby preparation is being made for the incarnation of another super-sensible Being. Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh and an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so, before only a part of the third millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed, there will be, in the West, an actual incarnation of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh. Humanity on earth cannot escape this incarnation of Ahriman. It will come inevitably. But what matters is that men shall find the right vantage-point from which to confront it.

    Whenever preparation is being made for incarnations of this character, we must be alert to certain indicative trends in evolution. A Being like Ahriman, who will incarnate in the West in time to come, prepares for this incarnation in advance. With a view to his incarnation on the earth, Ahriman guides certain forces in evolution in such a way that they may be of the greatest possible advantage to him. And evil would result were men to live on in a state of drowsy unawareness, unable to recognise certain phenomena in life as preparations for Ahriman's incarnation in the flesh. The right stand can be taken only by recognising in one or another series of events the preparation that is being made by Ahriman for his earthly existence. And the time has now come for individual men to know which tendencies and events around them are machinations of Ahriman, helping him to prepare for his approaching incarnation.

    It would undoubtedly be of the greatest benefit to Ahriman if he could succeed in preventing the vast majority of men from perceiving what would make for their true well-being, if the vast majority of men were to regard these preparations for the Ahriman-incarnation as progressive and good for evolution. If Ahriman were able to slink into a humanity unaware of his coming, that would gladden him most of all. It is for this reason that the occurrences and trends in which Ahriman is working for his future incarnation must be brought to light.

    One of the developments in which Ahriman's impulse is clearly evident is the spread of the belief that the mechanistic, mathematical conceptions inaugurated by Galileo, Copernicus and others, explain what is happening in the cosmos. That is why anthroposophical spiritual science lays such stress upon the fact that spirit and soul must be discerned in the cosmos, not merely the mathematical, mechanistic laws put forward by Galileo and Copernicus as if the cosmos were some huge machine. It would augur success for Ahriman's temptings if men were to persist in merely calculating the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, in studying astrophysics for the sole purpose of ascertaining the material composition of the planets — an achievement of which the modern world is so proud. But woe betide if this Copernicanism is not confronted by the knowledge that the cosmos is permeated by soul and spirit. It is this knowledge that Ahriman, in preparing his earthly incarnation, wants to withhold from men. He would like to keep them so obtuse that they can grasp only the mathematical aspect of astronomy. Therefore he tempts many men to carry into effect their repugnance to knowledge concerning soul and spirit in the cosmos. That is only one of the forces of corruption poured by Ahriman into the souls of men. Another means of temptation connected with his incarnation — he also works in co-operation with the Luciferic forces — another of his endeavours is to preserve the already widespread attitude that for the public welfare it is sufficient if the economic and material needs of men are provided for. Here we come to a point that is not willingly faced in modern life. Official science nowadays contributes nothing to real knowledge of the soul and spirit, for the methods adopted in the orthodox sciences are of value only for apprehending external nature, including the external constitution of man. Just think with what contempt the average citizen to-day regards anything that seems to him idealistic, anything that seems to be a path leading in any way to the spiritual. At heart he is always asking: What is the good of it? How will it help me to acquire this world's goods? He sends his sons to a public school, having perhaps been to one himself; he sends them on to a university or institute of advanced studies. But all this is done merely in order to provide the foundations for a career, in other words, to provide the material means of livelihood.

    And now think of the consequences of this. — What numbers of people there are to-day who no longer value the spirit for the sake of the spirit or the soul for the sake of the soul! They are out to absorb from cultural life only what is regarded as “useful”. This is a significant and mysterious factor in the life of modern humanity and one that must be lifted into the full light of consciousness. The average citizen who works assiduously in his office from morning till evening and then goes through the habitual evening routine, will not allow himself to get mixed up with what he calls the “twaddle” to be found in Anthroposophy. It seems to him entirely redundant, for he thinks: that is something one cannot eat! It finally comes to this — although people will not admit it — that in ordinary life nothing in the way of knowledge is considered really useful unless it helps to put food in the mouth!

    In this connection men to-day have succumbed to a strange fallacy. They do not believe that the spirit can be eaten, and yet the very ones who say this, do eat the spirit! Although they may refuse to accept anything spiritual, nevertheless with every morsel that passes through the mouth into the stomach they are devouring the spiritual, but dispatching it along a path other than the path which leads to the real well-being of mankind.

    I believe that many Europeans think it is to the credit of their civilisation to be able to say: We are not cannibals! But these Europeans and their American affinities are, none the less, devourers of soul and spirit! The soulless devouring of material food leads to the side-tracking of the spirit. It is difficult to say these things to-day, for in the light of such knowledge just think what would have to be said of a large section of modern culture! To keep men in the state of being devourers of the soul and spirit is one of Ahriman's impulses in preparation for his incarnation. To the extent to which men can be roused into conducting their affairs not for material ends alone and into regarding a free and independent spiritual life, equally with economic life, as an integral part of the social organism — to that same extent Ahriman's incarnation will be awaited with an attitude worthy of humanity.

    Another tendency in modern life of benefit to Ahriman in preparing his incarnation is all that is so clearly in evidence in nationalism. Whatever can separate men into groups, whatever can alienate them from mutual understanding the whole world over and drive wedges between them, strengthens Ahriman's impulse. In reality we should recognise the voice of Ahriman in what is so often proclaimed nowadays as a new ideal: “Freedom of the peoples, even the smallest”, and so forth. — But blood-relationship has ceased to be the decisive factor and if this outworn notion persists, we shall be playing straight into the hands of Ahriman. His interests are promoted, too, by the fact that men are taken up with the most divergent shades of party opinions, of which the one can be justified as easily as the other. A socialist party programme and an anti-socialist programme can be supported by arguments of equal validity. And if men fail to realise that this kind of “proof” lies so utterly on the surface that the No and the Yes can both be justified with our modern intelligence — useful as it is for natural science but not for a different kind of knowledge — if men do not realise that this intelligence lies entirely on the surface in spite of serving economic life so effectively, they will continue to apply it to social life and spiritual life irrespectively. One group will prove one thing, another its exact opposite, and as both proofs can be shown to be equally logical, hatred and bitterness — of which there is more than enough in the world — will be intensified. These trends too are exploited by Ahriman in preparation for his earthly incarnation.

    Again, what will be of particular advantage to him is the short-sighted, narrow conception of the Gospel that is so prevalent to-day. You know how necessary it has become in our time to deepen understanding of the Gospels through spiritual science. But you also know how widespread is the notion that this is not fitting, that it is reprehensible to bring any real knowledge of the spirit or of the cosmos to bear upon the Gospels; it is said that the Gospels must be taken “in all their simplicity”, just as they stand. I am not going to raise the issue that we no longer possess the true Gospels. The translations are not faithful reproductions of the authentic Gospels, but I do not propose to go into this question now. I shall merely put before you the deeper fact, namely that no true understanding of Christ can be reached by the simple, easy-going perusal of the Gospels beloved by most religious denominations and sects to-day. At the time of the Mystery of Golgotha and for a few centuries afterwards, a conception of the real Christ was still possible, because accounts handed down by tradition could be understood with the help of the Pagan, Luciferic wisdom. This wisdom has now disappeared, and what sects and denominations find in the Gospels does not lead men to the real Christ for Whom we seek through spiritual science, but to an illusory picture, at most to a sublimated hallucination of Christ.

    The Gospels cannot lead to the real Christ unless they are illumined by spiritual science. Failing this illumination, the Gospels as they stand give rise to what is no more than an hallucination of Christ's appearance in world-history. This becomes very evident in the theology of our time. Why does modern theology so love to speak of the “simple man of Nazareth” and to identify the Christ with Jesus of Nazareth — whom it regards as a man only a little more exalted than other great figures of history? It is because the possibility of finding the real Christ has been lost, and because what men glean from the Gospels leads to an hallucination, to a kind of illusion. An illusory conception of Christ is all that can be gleaned through the way in which the Gospels are read to-day — not the reality of Christ. In a certain sense this has actually dawned on the theologians and many of them are now describing Paul's experience on the way to Damascus as a “vision”. They have come to the point of realising that their way of studying the Gospels can lead only to a vision, to an hallucination. I am not saying that this vision is false or untrue, but that it is merely an inner experience, unconnected with the reality of the Christ Being. I do not use the word “illusion” with the side-implication of falsity, but I wish only to stress that the Christ Being is here a subjective, inner experience, of the same character as an hallucination. If men could be brought to a standstill at this point, not pressing on to the real Christ but contenting themselves with an hallucination of Christ, Ahriman's aims would be immeasurably furthered.

    The influence of the Gospels also leads to hallucinations when one Gospel alone is taken as the basis of belief. Truth to tell, this principle has been forestalled by the fact that we have been given four Gospels, representing four different aspects, and it does not do to take each single Gospel word-for-word on its own, when outwardly there are obvious contradictions. To take one single Gospel word-for-word and disregard the other three, is actually dangerous. What you find in sects whose adherents swear by the literal content of the Gospel of St. Luke alone or that of St. John alone, is an illusory conception arising from a certain dimming of consciousness. With the dimming of consciousness that inevitably occurs when the deeper content of the Gospels is not revealed, men would fall wholly into Ahriman's service, helping in a most effective way to prepare for his incarnation, and adopting towards him the very attitude he desires.

    And now another uncomfortable truth for mankind to-day! Living in the arms of their denominations, people say: “We do not need Anthroposophy or anything of the kind; we are content with the Gospels in all their simplicity.” They insist that this is said out of “humility”. In reality, however, it is the greatest arrogance! For it means that such persons, making use of ideas which have been presented to them through their birth and surge out of their blood, are deigning to rule out the deeper treasures of wisdom to be discovered in the Gospels. These “humblest” of men are generally the most arrogant of all, especially in the sects and denominations. The point to remember is, however, that the people who do most to prepare for the incarnation of Ahriman are those who constantly preach: “All that is required is to read the Gospels word-for-word — nothing more than that!”

    Strange to say, in spite of their radical differences, the two parties play into each other's hands: those whom I called “devourers of soul and spirit"” and those who demand the literal, word-for-word reading of the Gospels. Each party plays into the hands of the other, furthering the preparation of Ahriman's incarnation. For if the outlook of the “devourers of soul and spirit” on the one side and that of professed Christians who refuse to enter into the deeper truths of the Gospels on the other, were to hold the day, then Ahriman would be able to make all human beings on the earth his own. A good deal of what is spreading in external Christianity to-day is a preparation for Ahriman's incarnation. And in many things which arrogantly claim to represent true belief, we should recognise the preparation for Ahriman's work.

    Words nowadays do not really convey the innermost reality of things. As I have often told you, far too much store is set upon words — for words do not necessarily lead to that reality; nowadays indeed it is rather a case of words separating men from the real nature of things in the world. And this they do most of all when men accept ancient records such as the Gospels with “simple understanding” — as the saying goes. But there is a far truer simplicity in trying to penetrate to the indwelling spirit of things and to understand the Gospels themselves from the vantage-ground of the spirit.

    As I told you, Ahriman and Lucifer will always work hand in hand. The only question is which of the two predominates in man's consciousness at a particular epoch of time. It was a preeminently Luciferic culture that persisted until after the Mystery of Golgotha — a culture inspired by the incarnation of Lucifer in China in the third millennium B.C. Many influences of this incarnation continued to radiate and were still powerful in the early Christian centuries; indeed they are working to this day.

    But now that we are facing an incarnation of Ahriman in the third millennium after Christ, Lucifer's tracks are becoming less visible, and Ahriman's activities in such trends as I have indicated, are coming into prominence. Ahriman has made a kind of pact with Lucifer, the import of which may be expressed in the following way. — Ahriman, speaking to Lucifer, says: “I, Ahriman, find it advantageous to make use of ‘preserving jars’. To you I will leave man's stomachs, if you will leave it to me to lull men to sleep — that is to say to lull their consciousness to sleep where their stomachs are concerned.”

    You must understand what I mean by this. — The consciousness of those human beings whom I have called devourers of soul and spirit is in a condition of dimness so far as their stomachs are concerned; for by not accepting the spiritual into their human nature, they drive straight into the Luciferic stream everything they introduce into their stomachs. What men eat and drink without spirituality goes straight to Lucifer!

    And what do I mean by “preserving jars”? I mean libraries and institutions of a similar kind, where the various sciences pursued by man without really stirring his interest, are preserved; these sciences are not really alive in him but are simply preserved in the books on the shelves of libraries. All this knowledge has been separated from man himself. Everywhere there are books, books, books! Every student, when he takes his doctor's degree, has to write a learned thesis which is then put into as many libraries as possible. When the student wants to take up some particular post, again he must write a thesis! In addition to this, people are forever writing, although only a very small proportion of what they write is ever read. Only when some special preparation has to be made do people resort to what is mouldering away in libraries. These “preserving jars” of wisdom are a particularly favourable means of furthering Ahriman's aims.

    This kind of thing goes on everywhere. It could only be to some purpose if men took a really live interest in it, but they do not; its existence is entirely separate and apart. Just think — if one were so disposed one might well despair — just think for example, of a lawsuit where a barrister has to be engaged to plead the case. The time comes when one has to go into matters with him. Documents pile up! He has them all there in a dossier, but when one starts talking to him he has no inkling of the circumstances. He turns the papers over and over without getting anywhere; he has no connection at all with his documents. Here is one portfolio full of them, there another. The number of documents grows and grows but as for interest in them — that is simply non-existent! These professional people make one despair when one has dealings with them; they really know nothing about the matter at issue, have no connection with it, for everything remains in the documents. These are the little preserving jars and the libraries the big preserving jars of soul and spirit. Everything is preserved in them but human beings do not want to connect themselves with it, to permeate it with their interest. And finally there arises the mood which does not want the head to play any part in a professed view of the world. But after all, the head, or some element of the head, is necessary for any understanding! What people like is to base their religious faith, their view of the world, on the heart alone. The heart must play a part, of course; but the way in which men to-day often speak of their religion reminds me of a saying much quoted in the district where my youth was spent. It was to this effect: “There is something very special about love. If you buy it, you buy the heart only and the head is thrown in gratis.” This is more or less the attitude which people to-day like to adopt in their view of life; they would like to take in everything through the heart, as they say, without exerting the head at all. The heart cannot beat without the head, but the heart is well able to take things in if by “heart” here one really means the stomach! And then, what ought to be achieved through the head is supposed to be thrown in gratis, especially where the most important things in life are concerned. It is very important indeed to pay heed to these matters, because in observing them it becomes evident what earnestness must be applied to life at this juncture, how necessary it is to learn from the illusions to which even the Gospels may give them and how dearly mankind to-day loves those illusions.

    Truth is beyond the reach of the kind of knowledge for which people aspire to-day. They feel on secure ground when they can reckon by means of figures, when they can prove things by statistics. With statistics and figures Ahriman has an easy game; it suits him admirably when some erudite scholar points out, for example, that conditions in the Balkans are due to the fact that the population of Macedonia consists of so many Greeks, so many Serbs, so many Bulgarians. Nothing can stand up against figures because of the faith that is reposed in them; and Ahriman is only too ready to exploit figures for his purposes. But later on one begins to see just how “reliable” such figures are! Admittedly, figures are sometimes a means of proof, but if one goes beyond them and investigates more closely, one often notices things like the following. — In the statistics of Macedonia, for example, a father may be put down as a Greek, one son as a Serb, another son as a Bulgarian; so the father is counted in with the Greeks, one son with the Serbs and the other with the Bulgarians. What would really help one to get at the truth, however, would be to discover how it has happened that in the same family one is said to be Greek, one Serbian and one Bulgarian, and how this affects the figures — rather than simply accepting the figures that people find so satisfactory to-day. If the father is Greek then naturally the sons are Greek too. Figures are means whereby men are led astray in a direction favourable to Ahriman for his future incarnation in the third millennium A.D.

    We shall speak of these things again in the lecture to-morrow.
  10. WWarrior


    Lecture 2

    The lecture yesterday will have shown you that if we are to acquire insight into the nature and evolution of man, we must be constantly mindful of the power and influence of Lucifer, of Christ, and of Ahriman.

    These influences were, of course, already at work in earlier stages of cosmic evolution, but in spheres where it was unnecessary for man to have clear consciousness of their effects. On the other hand, the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence. The unveiling of many more of the secrets of human life would be desirable at the present time if only there were greater willingness to face things frankly and objectively. For without the knowledge of certain facts of the kind indicated yesterday, it will not be possible for humanity to make progress either in the inner life or in the sphere of social life. Think only of something that is connected with the social problems we have recently been studying. It has been our aim to demonstrate the necessity for separating the spiritual life, and also the political life or life of rights, from the economic life. Our greatest concern is to create conditions throughout the world, or at least — for we cannot do more at present — to convince men of the necessity for conditions which would provide the foundation for a free spiritual life no longer dependent upon the other spheres of social life or as deeply entangled as it is to-day in the economic life on the one side and in the political life of the State on the other. Civilised mankind must either establish the independence of the spiritual life or face collapse — with the inevitable result of an Asiatic influence taking effect in the future.

    Those who still do not recognise the gravity of the present situation in the world are also, in a certain respect, helping to prepare for Ahriman's incarnation. Many things in external life to-day bear witness to this. The Ahrimanic incarnation will be greatly furthered if men fail to establish a free and independent spiritual life and allow it to remain entangled in the economic or political life. For the Ahrimanic power has everything to gain by the spiritual life being even more closely intermingled with these other spheres. To the Ahrimanic power a free spiritual life would denote a kind of darkness, and men's interest in it, a burning, raging fire. The establishment of this free spiritual life is essential in order that the right attitude, the right relationship, may be adopted to Ahriman's incarnation in the future.

    But there is still a strong tendency to-day to conceal the facts of which we spoke yesterday. The vast majority of people cast a veil over these things; they refuse to see them as they really are and allow themselves to be deceived by words which have no connection with reality. And very often, endeavours to shirk reality are described as “honest” and “well-meaning”.

    Take, for example, the recently published letter of Romain Rolland, in which he says that men should not allow themselves to be deluded by erstwhile proclamations of the victorious powers concerning justice and the upholding of political rights. The treatment which Russia is receiving from the Entente has led him to speak in these terms. He says: No matter whether it be on the part of monarchies or republics — what has been said about rights and justice is so much phrase-mongering; the issue at bottom is one of power, and of power alone.

    Now even this apparent approach to reality still betrays willingness to be deluded, for Romain Rolland is just as deluded as ever; the delusion is not one whit less. It could only be so if such men were to discard phrases and recognise that all these things for which they aspire are meaningless as long as they fail to realise that if the old unified State as such — whether a democracy, a republic or a monarchy — does not become threefold, this is simply a way of helping Ahriman's incarnation. Hence all these things, including this recent letter addressed to the world by Romain Rolland, amount to nothing more than rhetorical harangues. People do not grasp the reality, for reality can be grasped only when the necessity for spiritual knowledge and deep penetration into the nature of things is thoroughly understood.

    You are all familiar with the much quoted verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” Do men really take these lines in earnest? They utter them, but so often as mere phrases! No particular emphasis is laid on the tense: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” “ Word” here must obviously have the meaning it bore in ancient Greece. It is not “word” as understood to-day — word as mere sound — but it is the inner, spiritual reality. In either case, however, it is the imperfect tense that is employed. The implication therefore is: “In the beginning the Word was; but it is no longer.” Otherwise the sentence would run: “Now is the Word; and the Word is not with God; it was with God, and a God was the Word but is so no longer.” This, moreover, is what stands in the Gospel of St. John; otherwise what would be the meaning of the words immediately following: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” This indicates a further evolution of the Word. “Word” also means anything that man can acquire in the way of intellectual wisdom through his efforts and through his intelligence. But it must be quite clear to us that what “word” denotes here is not really the goal for which man must strive at the present time or in the immediate future. To express what is now the goal, we should have to say: “Let man seek for the Spirit that reveals itself in the Word; for the Spirit is with God, and the Spirit is a God.” Mankind must press on from the word to the spirit, to perception and knowledge of the spirit.

    When I remind you of these first verses of the Gospel of St. John, you will realise what little inclination there is to-day to take such things in earnest and to surmount the arbitrary interpretations so often accepted in matters of the greatest moment. Human intelligence itself must be quickened and illumined by what is revealed in spiritual vision. — Not that actual seership is essential; what matters is that the fruits of spiritual vision shall be understood. I have repeatedly emphasised that to-day it is not the seer alone who can apprehend the truth of clairvoyant experience; this apprehension is within the power of everyone at the present time, because the spiritual capacities of men are sufficiently mature if they will but resolve to exercise them and are not too indolent to do so. But if the level befitting humanity is to be achieved, such things as were mentioned in the lecture yesterday must be taken in deep earnestness ! I used a trivial example to show you how easy it is to be deluded by figures and numbers. Is there not a great deal of superstition where numbers are concerned? What can in some way be counted is accepted in science. Natural science loves to weigh, to compute, and social science loves statistics — again a matter of computation and reckoning. It will be difficult indeed for men to bring themselves to admit that all knowledge of the external world acquired through measure and number is so much delusion.

    To measure — what does it mean, in reality? It means to compare something with a given dimension, be it length or volume. I can measure a line if I compare it with a line twice, three times, four times, etc. smaller:



    In such measurements, no matter whether of lengths or surfaces or weights, the qualitative element is entirely lacking. The number 3 always remains the same, whether one is counting sheep, human beings or politicians ! It is not a matter of the qualitative, but only of the quantum, the quantitative. The essential principle of volume and number is that the qualitative is left out of account. But for that very reason, all knowledge derived from the principles of volume and measure is illusion; and the fact which must be taken in all seriousness is that the moment we enter the world that can be weighed and measured, the world of space and time, we enter a world of illusion, a world that is nothing but a Fata Morgana as long as we take it to be reality. It is the ideal of present-day thinking to experience in connection with all the things of the external world of space and time, their spatial and temporal significance; whereas, in truth, what things signify in space and time is their external aspect only, and we must transcend space and time, penetrating to much deeper levels, if we are to reach the innermost truth, the innermost being of things. And so a future must come when men will be able to say: “Yes, with my intelligence I can apprehend the external world in the way that is the ideal of natural science. But the vista thus presented to me is wholly Ahrimanic.” — This does not mean that natural science is to be ignored or put aside; it is a matter of realising that this natural science leads only to the Ahrimanic illusion. Why, then, must man have natural science, in spite of the fact that it leads only to illusion? It is because in his earth-existence he is already on the descending curve of evolution. Of the Fourth Post-Atlantean epoch, the Greco-Latin epoch, it may be said that in respect of knowledge, man was relatively speaking at the zenith. But now, in the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, he is on the path of decline, he is a being growing physically weaker, and to perceive the world in the way the Greek perceived it would be too much for his strength.

    That is something we are not told in history! Just imagine what modern historians would have to say about it — those worthy historians who describe Greece as if they were describing some region of their own time because they do not know that the Greeks looked out into nature with different eyes, listened with different ears from those of modern men. These historians do not tell us that modern human beings would suffer from constant headache or migraine if they were to see and hear in the outer world all that the Greeks saw and heard. The Greeks lived with infinitely greater intensity in the world of the senses. Our own apprehension of this world has already weakened. To be able to bear it, a Fata Morgana has to be and is presented to us. And not only what we perceive with the senses but on account of our scientific conceptions we “dream” about the external world — that, most emphatically of all, is a Fata Morgana. The greatest dreamers where the external world is concerned are precisely those who pride themselves on being realistic in their thinking. Darwin and John Stuart Mill are fundamentally dreamers. The dreamers are the very men who claim to be thorough-going realists.

    But neither must we give ourselves up entirely to our own inner life and impulses. From the way things have developed in the movement represented by the “Theosophical Society”, many of you will have realised that cultivation of the inner life alone, as attempted by numbers of people to-day, does not lead to the goal befitting man in the present age. For the all too prevalent tendency is to make no free resolve of his own to transcend ordinary life and attain higher vision but rather to bring into prominence that in him which is not free. All kinds of hallucinatory tendencies, all kinds of faculties fraught with illusion come into play.

    It should be realised that just as external science becomes Ahrimanic, the higher development of a man's inner nature becomes Luciferic if he gives himself up to mystical experiences. The Luciferic tendency wakens and becomes especially powerful in everyone who, without the self-training described in the book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, sets about any mystical deepening of the impulses already inherent in his nature. The Luciferic tendency shows itself in everyone who begins to brood over experiences of his inner life, and it is extremely powerful in present-day humanity. It takes effect in egoism of which most people are entirely unaware. One comes across so many to-day who are quite satisfied when they can say of something they have done, that they have no cause for self-reproach, that they did it to the best of their knowledge and according to their conscience. That is an entirely Luciferic attitude. For in what we do in life the point is not whether or not we have cause to reproach ourselves; what really matters is that we shall take things objectively, with complete detachment, and in accordance with the course of objective facts. And the majority of people to-day make no effort to achieve this objective understanding or to acquire knowledge of what is necessary for world-evolution.

    Therefore spiritual science must emphasise the following: — That Ahriman is actually preparing for his incarnation; where we can recognise how he is preparing for it; and with what attitude it must be confronted. — In such questions the point is not to say: We do this or that in order that we may have no cause for self-reproach — but to learn to recognise the objective facts. We must come to know what is at work in the world, and act accordingly — for the world's sake.

    It all amounts to this, that modern man only speaks truly of himself when he says that he hovers perpetually between two extremes: between the Ahrimanic on the one side, where he is presented with an outer delusion, a Fata Morgana, and, on the other, the Luciferic element within him which induces the tendency to illusions, hallucinations and the like. The Ahrimanic tendencies in man to-day live themselves out in science, the Luciferic tendencies, in religion, while in art he swings between the one extreme and the other. In recent times the tendencies of some artists have been more Luciferic — they are the expressionists; the tendencies of the others have been more Ahrimanic — they are the impressionists. And then, vacillating between all this, there are the people who want to be neither the one nor the other, who do not rightly assess either the Luciferic or the Ahrimanic but want to avoid both. — “Ahriman — no! — that I must not, will not do, for it would take me into the realm of the Ahrimanic; that I must not, will not do, for it would take me into the realm of the Luciferic!” They want to be virtuous, avoiding both the Ahrimanic and the Luciferic.

    But the truth of the matter is that Lucifer and Ahriman must be regarded as two scales of a balance and it is we who must hold the beam in equipoise.

    And how can we train ourselves to do this? — By permeating what takes Ahrimanic form within us with a strongly Luciferic element. What is it that arises in modern man in an Ahrimanic form? It is his knowledge of the outer world. There is nothing more Ahrimanic than this knowledge of the material world, for it is sheer illusion. Nevertheless if the Fata Morgana that arises out of chemistry, out of physics, out of astronomy and the like can fill us with fiery enthusiasm and interest, then through our interest — which is itself Luciferic — we can wrest from Ahriman what is his own.

    That, however, is just what human beings have no desire to do; they find it irksome. And many people who flee from external, materialistic knowledge are misconceiving their task and preparing the best possible incarnation for Ahriman in earth-existence. Again, what wells up in man's inmost being to-day is very strongly Luciferic. How can we train ourselves rightly in this direction? — By diving into it with our Ahrimanic nature, that is to say, by trying to avoid all illusions about our own inner life and impulses and observing ourselves just as we observe the outer world. Modern man must realise how urgent it is to educate himself in this way. Anyone who has an observant eye in these matters will often come across circumstances of which the following is an example.

    A man tells him how indignant he is with countless human beings. He describes minutely how this or that in a, in b, in c, and so on, angers him. He has not an inkling that he is simply talking about his own characteristics. This peculiarity in human beings was never so widespread as it is to-day. And those who believe they are free of it, are the greatest culprits. The essential is that man should approach his own inner nature with Ahrimanic cold-bloodedness and dispassion. His inner nature is still fiery enough even when cooled down in this way! There is no need to fear that it will be over-cooled.

    If the right stand is to be taken to Ahriman's future incarnation, men must become more objective where their own impulses are concerned, and far, far more subjective where the external world is concerned — not by introducing pictures of phantasy but by bringing interest, alert attention and devotion to the things of immediate life.

    When men find one thing or another in outer life tedious, possibly because of the education they have received or because of other circumstances, the path which Ahriman wants to take for the benefit of his incarnation is greatly smoothed. Tedium is so widespread nowadays! I have known numbers of people who find it irksome to acquaint themselves for example with banking procedure, or the Stock Exchange, or single or double entry in book-keeping. But that is never the right attitude. It simply means that the point has not been discovered where a thing burns with interest. Once this point is reached, even a dry cash-book can become just as interesting as Schiller's Maid of Orleans, or Shakespeare's Hamlet, or anything else — even Raphael's Sistine Madonna. It is only a question of finding the point at which every single thing in life becomes interesting.

    What I have just said may make you think that all these matters are very paradoxical. But in reality they are not. It is man who is paradoxical in his relationship to truth. What he must realise — and this is a dire necessity to-day — is that he, not the world, is at fault. Nothing does more to prepare the path for Ahriman's incarnation than to find this or that tedious, to consider oneself superior to one thing or another and refuse to enter into it. Again it is the same question of finding the point where everything is of interest. It is never a matter of a subjective rejection or acceptance of things, but of an objective recognition of the extent to which things are either Luciferic or Ahrimanic, with the result that the scales are over-weighted on the one side or the other.

    To be interested in something does not mean that one considers it justifiable. It means simply that one develops an inner energy to get to grips with it and steer it into the right channel.

    As some of you may know — it is a long time ago now — a number of friends bought themselves books on mathematics. A kind of “sporting spirit” had crept into them! They bought the works of Lübsen [Note 1] but it was not long before most of the volumes found their way to library shelves and the mathematical knowledge was not much in evidence! This, of course, is not meant as a hint to tackle the matter again — I am making no such suggestion. But to come to grips with something in which, to begin with, one is not interested at all, in order that a new understanding of world-existence may arise — that is of untold significance. For such things as I want to bring home to you in these lectures — how Lucifer and Ahriman intervene in the evolution of mankind side by side with the Christ Impulse — these things must be taken in all earnestness and their consequences rightly assessed.

    Had there been no Luciferic wisdom, no understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha could have been acquired through the Gnosis in the early centuries of Christendom. Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha diminished with the fading of the Luciferic wisdom. And where is there any evidence to-day of such understanding ? The fact that understanding cannot be found through external, Ahrimanic science is perceived by those who to some extent recognise its characteristics. Take, for example, a man like Cardinal Newman — a very significant figure in the sphere of religion during the second half of the nineteenth century. At his investiture as Cardinal in Rome, he declared that he could see no salvation for the religious development of mankind other than a new revelation! [Note 2] But there it remained. He himself showed no special inclination to receive anything of the new spiritual life that can now stream into humanity out of the spiritual worlds. What he said remained in the sphere of abstraction.

    In very truth humanity needs a new revelation. Of this there is evidence on all sides. There have been discussions recently about the deterioration in morals and in the general attitude to morality during the last four or five years. The conclusion reached is that denominational religious instruction must be introduced more intensively into the schools. But it cannot be emphasised often enough that this instruction was already being given and the times are supposed to have come under its influence. If the old denominational instruction is again to be introduced we shall simply be beginning the whole process over again. In a short time we shall be back where we were in 1914. It is in the highest degree important to realise that in the subconsciousness of human beings there are longings quite different in character from what comes to expression on the surface.

    When we founded the Waldorf School in Stuttgart earlier this year, we were obliged to arrange for the religious instruction to be divided among the various clergy. A particular hour is devoted to religious instruction, which is given by a Catholic priest for the Catholic children and by an Evangelical pastor for the Evangelicals. I shall not speak of the difficulties that came from the side of the priests — that is a chapter by itself. What I do want to say, however, is that an immediate desire was expressed for religious teaching apart from any denomination. At first I thought that the attendance would be insignificant in comparison with the numbers attending the denominational instruction. But in spite of the fact that soon there will not be a single pulpit in Stuttgart from which invectives are not poured on Anthroposophy, a large number of children — five times as many as we expected — have asked for a kind of anthroposophical instruction in religion, and the class has had to be divided into two. Subjectively this may not be altogether welcome, for it may prove to be a rod for our own backs. But of that I do not want to speak. I want only to show that there is a longing for progress in human beings but that they are asleep and do not perceive that forces are keeping these longings in subjection. And moreover the courage to bring these longings to the surface is very largely lacking.

    Just think what the effect could be of knowledge such as that of the future incarnation of Ahriman, who is preparing for it by means I have been describing both yesterday and to-day. It is essential to inform ourselves objectively about these things in order that we may take the right stand towards what is going on around us in the way of preparation for the Ahriman-incarnation. Only if you apply deep and mature reflection to what has been said in these lectures about the Ahrimanic currents, will you be able to apprehend the gravity of the present situation.
    #10     Aug 30, 2021