[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib

Highlight Words

Occult Science - An Outline

Chapter VI

Present and Future Evolution of the World and of Mankind

In spiritual science, it is impossible to know the future evolution of the world and man without first coming to an understanding of the past. For when the scientist of the spirit observes the hidden facts of the past, what he perceives also contains, latent within it, all that is knowable to him of the present and the future. We have described Saturn, Sun, Moon and Earth evolutions. To understand the Earth itself in the light of spiritual science, we had to study the preceding stages. What man encounters in this Earth-world here and now may indeed be said to contain within it the facts of Moon, Sun, and Saturn evolutions. To understand the Earth itself in the light of spiritual science, we had to study the preceding stages. What man encounters in this Earth-world here and now may indeed be said to contain within it the facts of Moon, Sun, and Saturn evolution. The Beings and entities that partook in Moon evolution underwent further development, and from them all that constitutes our present Earth came into being. Physical consciousness cannot however fully perceive all that evolved from Moon to Earth. Part of it remains invisible to the outer senses; it is seen only at a certain stage of supersensible awareness. When this stage has been reached, our earthly world is seen to be united with a world supersensible, containing within it the portion of Old Moon-existence which has not condensed to physical perceptibility. It contains it however as it is at present, not as it was during Old Moon evolution. Yet in the course of supersensible research a picture of that earlier condition can be reached. For upon further contemplation the perception of the present state gradually divides of its own accord into two distinct pictures. The one picture manifests the form the Earth was actually in during Old Moon evolution, while in the other we soon recognize that it contains a form still in its germinal beginnings — one which will only in the cosmic future become real in the way the Earth is real today. And as we persevere in spiritual observation, we see that something is perpetually streaming into this future form, wherein we recognize the outcome of what is happening on Earth. We are therefore beholding what our Earth is destined to become. The effects of Earth-existence will unite with what is taking place in the supersensible world to which we here refer, and from their union there will arise the new cosmic entity into which Earth will be metamorphosed, even as Old Moon was metamorphosed into Earth.

This future evolutionary form may be named the “Jupiter” condition. One who is able supersensibly to observe it will see quite clearly that in the cosmic future certain things are bound to happen. For in the supersensible part of the Earth-world deriving from Old Moon, beings and entities are present which will assume certain predestined forms when the appropriate events have taken place upon the physical, sense-perceptible Earth. Jupiter therefore will contain what is already predetermined by Old Moon evolution, and in addition something new, making its entry into the evolutionary process only in consequence of what has meanwhile been enacted upon Earth. Supersensible consciousness can thus attain some knowledge of the events and processes of Jupiter evolution. Yet the beings and events seen in this field are not of a kind to be perceived by outer senses; they cannot even be described as thin and unsubstantial forms of air, such as might still give rise to anything like sense-perceptible effects. All we receive from them are the impressions of purely spiritual sound, spiritual light and spiritual warmth. They do not find expression in material embodiment. Only the supersensible consciousness can apprehend them. And yet these beings can be said to have a kind of body. Within their soul-nature — the soul which manifests their present being — they bear a store of concentrated memories. This is their “body.” For we are able to distinguish in these things what they are undergoing in the present and what they lived through in the cosmic past and can remember. This cosmic memory they bear within them as a kind of body. They experience it in the same way as man on Earth his body.

To a stage of seership higher than is needed for gaining knowledge of Old Moon and of the future Jupiter, beings and entities become perceptible which are the further-developed forms of what was present during Old Sun evolution. They are now at such a lofty level of existence as to elude a power of perception whose range is limited to the Old Moon and to the forms deriving from it. Also the spiritual picture of this higher world divides on further contemplation into two. The one part leads to a knowledge of the past Sun evolution; the other manifests a future cosmic form of the Earth, namely the form into which it will have changed when the results of all that has taken place on Earth and on Jupiter have flowed into the forms of yonder world — the forms deriving from the past Sun-condition. In the language of spiritual science, the future universe a higher stage is consciousness is thus enabled to perceive may be designated as the Venus state. Lastly a supersensible consciousness even more highly developed perceives an evolutionary state of the more distant future to which the name of Vulcan may be given. Vulcan is in like relation to Saturn evolution as Venus to Sun and Jupiter to Moon. Thus in considering the past, the present and the future of Earth evolution we have to name its successive stages: Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan.

Now even as these vast evolutionary stages of the Earth become accessible to spiritual consciousness, so do the facts of a less distant future. But at this point we have to utter an essential warning — one which cannot be over-emphasized. To grain true knowledge of these things, one must completely rid oneself of the idea that ordinary philosophical reflection, trained as it is to begin with in contemplation of sense-perceptible realities, can be of any help at all. These things cannot be — n or are they meant to be — discovered by dint of reasoning and reflection. If anyone imagines that having learned from spiritual science of Old Moon, he can by dint of thought — setting to work, let us say, to combine the known facts of the present Earth with those of the Old Moon — make out for himself what Jupiter will look like, he will soon become involved in illusion. These things are only meant to be discovered by the developed consciousness reaching up to their direct perception. Only when thus discovered and properly communicated, then alone — and then indeed — can they be understood even without supersensible consciousness of one's own.

The scientist of the spirit is however in a different situation when communicating future things than when telling of the past. For to begin with it is impossible for man to contemplate future events with the same candor and detachment as those that have already taken place. What is about to happen in the future cannot but stir up his feeling and his will; the past is bearable in quite another way. Everyone who has observed the life of man will know how true this is even in day-to-day existence. But to have any notion of the immensely heightened degree to which it applies when dealing with occult facts, or of the many subtle ways in which it shows itself, one needs to have some knowledge of supersensible worlds and of their latent difficulties. The branch of spiritual science is hence confined within determined limits, which have to be respected.

Even as we can trace the great sequences of cosmic evolution from Saturn to Vulcan, so too we can the shorter periods — the periods, for example, of Earth evolution proper. Since the tremendous upheaval that brought the life of old Atlantis to an end, there have been the successive stages in man's development described in this book as the ancient Indian, the ancient Persian, the Egypto-Chaldean and the Graeco-Latin epochs. The fifth is the present — the epoch man is going through today. In preparation ever since the fourth or fifth century A.D., it began gradually about the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, to emerge fully in the fifteenth. The preceding epoch — the Graeco-Latin — began about the eighth century B.C., the Christ-Event taking place when the first third of it was over. With the transition from the Egypto-Chaldean into the Graeco-Latin epoch, the whole mode and disposition of man's soul and all his faculties had undergone an essential change. The kind of logical thinking and intellectual comprehension of the world with which we are now familiar did not exist in Egypto-Chaldean times. Knowledge, which man today acquired by the deliberate exercise of his intelligence, he then received directly; it was given to him as an intuitive and inner — in some respects, supersensible — knowledge. Such was the form of cognition proper to that age. Man saw the objects around him, and in the very act of looking at them, the concept — the picture of them his soul needed — arose of its own accord within him. Now when cognition is of this nature, pictures not only of the sense-perceptible world make their appearance in man's soul, but from the depths of the inner life there dawns a knowledge, howsoever limited, of facts and beings imperceptible to the outer senses. This was a remnant of the dim and pristine supersensible awareness, once the common property of all mankind.

In the Graeco-Latin epoch an ever growing number of people were born in whom such faculties were lacking. Men now began to think about things with purely intellectual reflection. They drifted farther and farther away form the direct though dreamlike perception of the world of soul and spirit. Instead, they had to form an intellectual picture of it for themselves — intellectual, though aided by the life of feeling. Broadly speaking, man may be said to have been in this condition throughout the fourth post-Atlantean epoch. Those alone, who — as an heirloom from the past — retained the earlier faculties of soul, were able still to receive the spiritual world into their consciousness directly. But they were the belated remnants of a bygone age; their manner of cognition was no longer suited to the time. For by the very laws of evolution, an older faculty of soul loses its full significance when new faculties develop. The life of man becomes adapted to the new and has no further use for the old. There were however individuals who began to supplement the newly acquired faculties of intellect and feeling with the fully conscious development of higher powers of cognition, whereby they could penetrate once more into the world of soul and spirit. They had to set about it in a different way from the disciples of the old Initiates, who had not yet had to reckon with the new faculties of mind and soul due to the fourth post-Atlantean epoch. Thus the fourth epoch witnessed the first beginnings of the modern form of spiritual training, described in the present work. But this was in its infancy; it could only come to full development in the fifth epoch (from the twelfth and thirteenth and more especially the fifteenth century onward.) Those who contrived to reach up into the supersensible worlds in this new way were able by their own Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition to gain knowledge of the higher regions of existence. Those on the other hand who did not get beyond the recently developed powers of intelligence and feeling, could only learn of what the old clairvoyance had still known from the traditions which were handed down through the generations, whether by word of mouth or in writing.

This was also true of the Christ-Event. If they themselves could not reach up into the supersensible worlds, men who were born after its time could only learn of the real essence and mystery of this Event from tradition. It should be added however that there were some Initiates of another kind — Initiates who still retained natural faculties of supersensible perception, by the development of which they could ascend into higher worlds, even while disregarding the new powers of intellect and feeling. They helped in the transition from the old way of Initiation to the new. Also throughout the later centuries individuals of this kind were still living. Yet the distinguishing mark of the fourth epoch was the shutting-off of the human soul from direct intercourse with worlds of soul and spirit, for by this very fact the human faculties of understanding and good feeling became deepened and enhanced. Souls who in their incarnations in the fourth epoch evolved these faculties to a high degree would bring the fruits of this development into their incarnations in the fifth. Shut out though they were in those days and left to their own resources, to compensate for this there were the sublime traditions of the ancient wisdom and above all of the Christ-Event, which by the very power of their content gave them the confident assurance of a higher world.

Yet all the time, as we said before, there were also those who in addition to the faculties of intellect and feeling developed higher powers of cognition. It fell to them to experience the facts of the higher worlds and more especially the mystery of the Christ-Event by direct supersensible cognition. From them there always flowed into the souls of other men as much as they could understand and beneficially receive.

The spread of Christianity began therefore at the very time when faculties of supersensible cognition were undeveloped in a large proportion of mankind. This was intended. It was in harmony with the whole trend of mankind's evolution upon Earth, and it accounts for the overwhelming influence of tradition at that time. The strongest influence was needed to give men faith and trust in the supersensible world when they themselves had not the faculty of spiritual sight. With the exception of a brief interval in the thirteenth century, there were however

Nearly always present upon Earth some individuals, able to lift themselves into the higher worlds by Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. These were the true successors in the Christian era of the Initiates who in pre-Christian times had guided and partaken in the old Mystery-wisdom. It was their task to regain by their own human faculties the knowledge reached and entertained in bygone ages by the methods of the ancient Mysteries. To this they had to add the knowledge of the Christ-Event and of its deeper meaning.

Thus there arose among the new Initiates a power of cognition which could reach out to all that had been the theme and content of the old Initiation, while in the focus of it radiated the higher knowledge of the Mysteries of the Christ Event. Only to a very small extent could this Initiate-knowledge find its way into the wider life of mankind during the fourth epoch, the task of which was still to strengthen and make firm in human souls the faculties of reasoned thought and feeling. Throughout this epoch it was accordingly a very “hidden knowledge.” Then came the dawning of the present epoch, known as the fifth, the character of which may be described as follows. In the first place the powers of man's intellect go on developing and will continue doing so to an unprecedented extent both now and in the future. After the gradual preparation for this, beginning slowly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries A.D., from the sixteenth century onward the pace has been and still is rapidly accelerating. Thus the fifth epoch has become a period of human evolution ever more given up to the cultivation of intellectual powers, while the traditional knowledge from the past — the knowledge entertained in simple trust and faith — loses its hold upon the human soul. But there has also been a steadily increasing inflow of the higher knowledge, arrived at by the modern forms of supersensible consciousness and cognition. Imperceptibly at first, the “hidden knowledge” has been seeping into men's thought and ways of thought. That intellect as such should hitherto have tended and still be tending to reject this knowledge, is natural enough and was to be expected. But though it be rejected for a time, what is predestined will be fulfilled.

The hidden knowledge which is gradually taking hold of mankind, and will increasingly be doing so, may in the language of a well-known symbol be called the Knowledge of the Grail. We read of the Holy Grail in old-time narratives and legends, and as we learn to understand its deeper meaning we discover that it most significantly pictures the heart and essence of the new Initiation-knowledge, centering in the Mystery of Christ. The Initiates of the new age may therefore be described as the “Initiates of the Grail.” The pathway into spiritual worlds, the first stages of which were set forth in the preceding chapter, culminates in the “Science of the Grail.” It is a characteristic of this new Initiation-knowledge that while its facts can only be investigated with higher faculties of cognition (the methods of attaining which have been described,) once investigated and discovered they are well able to be comprehended precisely by the faculties of mind and soul which the fifth epoch has developed. These faculties will more and more find satisfaction and fulfillment in the higher knowledge. It will be evident increasingly as time goes on. We are now living at a time when the higher knowledge needs to be far more widely received into the general consciousness of mankind than hitherto; it is with this in view that the present work has been written. And as the cultural evolution of mankind absorbs the knowledge of the Grail, in the same measure will the spiritual impulse of the Christ-Event become effective; its true significance will be revealed and it will grow from strength to strength. The more external development of Christianity as hitherto will increasingly be supplemented by the inner, esoteric aspect. What man can come to know by dint of Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition of the higher worlds in unison with the Mystery of Christ, will permeate men's thinking, their feeling and their willing — ever increasingly as time goes on. The “hidden knowledge of the Grail” will become manifest and grow to be a power in man's life, entering ever more fully into all the ways and walks of man.

Throughout the fifth epoch the knowledge of supersensible worlds will thus continue to flow into the consciousness of men, and by the time the sixth begins it will be possible for mankind to have regained on a higher level the knowledge they possessed in pristine ages by virtue of the dim and dreamlike supersensible vision of those ancient days. But the renewed possession will be of quite another form than the old. What the soul knew of higher worlds in olden time was not yet permeated with her own human powers of intelligence and feeling. It came of its own accord — was “given” as a kind of spiritual inspiration. In future, man will not only be receiving “inspirations” of this kind, but will understand them through and through, feeling them as his very own, the true expression of his inmost being. When spiritual knowledge comes to him concerning beings or events, his own intelligence will find it true and sound and thus confirm the knowledge. Or if in spiritual knowledge some moral precept or principle of human conduct dawns upon him, he will say to himself: My feeling about it is only vindicated if I put into practice the implications of this knowledge. By the sixth epoch this mood and disposition of the soul should be achieved in a sufficiently large number of human beings.

The fifth epoch brings a kind of repetition of what the third — the Egypto-Chaldean — contributed to mankind's evolution. In the third epoch the human soul was still able to perceive some at least of the realities of supersensible worlds, though the perception was dwindling. The intellectual faculties which were to shut man off from higher worlds for a time, although not yet developed, were impending. In the fifth epoch the supersensible facts, seen in the third in a dim state of consciousness, will become manifest once more, but taken hold of now by man's own intelligence, realized with individual feeling, and permeated too with what the soul has gained by knowledge of the Mystery of Christ. Hence in the fifth epoch they take on an altogether different form. When man received impressions from supersensible worlds in olden time, they felt like forces influencing and impelling him from an external spiritual world — a world in which he himself was not. Evolution, leading on into the new era, will have wrought a change. Man will now feel these impressions as emanating from a world into which he himself is growing — a world in which he too will have his place, ever more as time goes on. We have not to picture the repetition as though the human soul were simply to re-absorb what lived in the Egyptian and Chaldean culture and has been handed down traditionally. The Christ Impulse, truly understood and received into the soul of man, enables him to feel himself a member of a spiritual world, outside of which he was till now. Not only does he feel it thus; he knows it in full consciousness and bears himself accordingly.

Even as the third epoch comes to life again in the fifth, permeated in the souls of men with the new gifts and values acquired in the fourth, so will the sixth epoch be related to the second, and the seventh to the first — the ancient Indian. Thus in the seventh epoch the possibility will be given for all the marvelous wisdom proclaimed by the great Teachers of ancient India to be living once again in human souls. And it will now be their very own — the truth they live by.

The things and creatures of the Earth apart from man are also undergoing change — changes related to the evolution of mankind. When the seventh epoch has run its course, another great convulsion will overwhelm the Earth, comparable to the catastrophe between the end of Atlantean and the beginning of post-Atlantean time. Under the altered conditions following upon this event the life of man will once again evolve through a succession of seven epochs. The souls who will then be incarnated will experience in an enhanced degree the community with spiritual worlds enjoyed by the Atlanteans on a lower level. But among human beings not everyone will without more ado prove equal to the new conditions then prevailing. It will only be those in whom souls are incarnated who have duly benefited by the influences of the Graeco-Latin and the succeeding fifth, sixth and seventh post-Atlantean epochs. Their inner lie will be in harmony with what the Earth will have become. They others will perforce remain behind, while formerly they had been free to choose whether they were making themselves fit to go forward with the world's progressive evolution or were neglecting to do so. For the conditions that will prevail after the coming cataclysm, those above all will be well fitted who, in their incarnations between the fifth post-Atlantean epoch and the sixth, succeed in integrating the supersensible wisdom and their own human powers of intelligence and feeling. The fifth and sixth are the decisive epochs. In the seventh, the souls who have reached the evolutionary goal of the sixth will go on evolving. For those who have not, even the surrounding worlds will be too greatly altered; they will find little opportunity to recover their lost ground, and must await a more distant future when the conditions will again be favorable.

Thus evolution moves on from epoch to epoch. The future changes recognized by supersensible cognition involve however not the Earth alone, but the surrounding heavenly bodies in their relation to the Earth. Thus there will come a time when the Beings and forces who during old Lemuria were obliged to leave the Earth will be able to be reunited with her. In the Lemurian epoch they had to be detached to enable the inhabitants of Earth to go on evolving. Now the progressive evolution of the Earth and of mankind will have made it possible for them to join again. The Moon will reunite with the earth, for by that time a sufficient number of human souls will have strength enough to make a fruitful use of the reintegrated Lunar forces for their further evolution. Yet that will also be a cosmic time when, side by side with human souls who have attained this high level of development, others will be living who have turned into a path leading towards evil. These backward souls will have burdened their Karma with so much of error, ugliness and ill-doing as to constitute a special group on their own, subject to aberration and evil and bitterly opposed to the progressive community among mankind.

By virtue of their spiritual development the good humanity will then be able to make use of the Moon forces and with their help transmute the bad, enabling them too to partake in the further evolution of the Earth, albeit as a distinct kingdom. An through this labor of the good humanity, the Earth — united now with the Moon — will in due evolutionary time also become able to reunite with the Sun, and with the other planets.

After a cosmic interval — a sojourn in a higher world — the Earth will then be transmuted into the Jupiter condition. In Jupiter what we now call the mineral kingdom will exist no longer; the forces of this kingdom will have been changed into plant-like forces. Thus upon Jupiter the vegetable kingdom, though in a very different form, will be the lowest. Above it will be the animal kingdom, likewise considerably altered, and then a human kingdom, recognizable as the spiritual descendants of the bad humanity originating upon Earth. Lastly, the descendants of the good humanity will constitute a human kingdom on a higher level. This is the human kingdom proper, and a great part of its work will be to influence and ennoble the souls who have fallen into the other group, so that they may yet gain entrance to it.

In the Venus stage of evolution the plant kingdom too will have disappeared. The lowest will then be the animal kingdom, metamorphosed a second time. Above it will be three human kingdoms, differing in degrees of perfection. During the Venus stage the Earth will remain united with the Sun. In Jupiter evolution, on the other hand, there will come a time when the Sun will separate again and Jupiter will be receiving the Solar influences from without. Then, after Sun and Jupiter have again become united, the transition to the Venus state will gradually be accomplished. From Venus, at a certain stage, a separate celestial body becomes detached. This — as it were, an “irreclaimable Moon” — includes all the beings who have persisted in withstanding the true course of evolution. It enters now upon a line of development such as no words can portray, so utterly unlike is it to anything within the range of man's experience on Earth. The evolved humanity on the other hand, in a form of existence utterly spiritualized, goes forward into Vulcan evolution, any description of which would be beyond the compass of this book.

We see then that the “Knowledge of the Grail” culminates in the highest imaginable ideal of human evolution — the ideal of spiritualization, brought about by man's own efforts. This is the ultimate outcome of the harmony achieved in the fifth and sixth epochs of the present age — the harmony between the powers of intelligence and feeling man has by now acquired, and the true knowledge of the spiritual worlds. What man is thus achieving in his own inner life is destined ultimately to become an outer world. Great and sublime are the impressions he receives from his surrounding world, and in the aspiration of his mind and spirit, as he goes out to meet them, he at first divines and at last clearly recognizes spiritual Beings of whom these impressions are the outer garment. His heart responds to the infinite majesty and sublimity of it all. Moreover he beings to know that the experiences and achievements of his own inner life — in intellect, in feeling, in character, and strength of purpose — are seeds of a future spiritual world, a world in process of becoming.

It may be asked if human freedom is not incompatible with all this foreknowledge, this predetermination of the cosmic future. But a man's freedom of action in the Earth's future will not depend on the predestined cosmic plan any more than will his freedom in a year's time be impaired by his present resolve that he will then be moving into the house, the plan of which he is now deciding. Living incidentally in the house he has had built, he will be as free as his character allows. So too on Jupiter and Venus — once more, within the conditions there prevailing — man will be free according to the scope and measure of his own inner being. Freedom will depend, not on what is pre-determined by the cosmic past, but on what the soul has become by her own efforts.

* * * * * *

Earth evolution bears within it the outcome of Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions. In all the processes of Nature going on around him, man upon Earth finds Wisdom. Wisdom is in them as the fruit of what was done in the preceding epochs. Earth is the cosmic descendant of Old Moon, which — as related in a former chapter — evolved with all its creatures into a “Cosmos of Wisdom.” With Earth herself an evolution is beginning whereby a new virtue, a new force, is being added to — instilled into — this Wisdom. As a result of Earthly evolution man comes to feel himself an independent member of a spiritual world. He owes it to the fact that upon Earth the I or Ego is engendered in him by the Spirits of Form, even as was his physical body by the Spirits of Will on Saturn, his life-body by the Spirits of Wisdom on the Sun, his astral body by the Spirits of Movement on Old Moon. All that now manifests as Wisdom has come into being by the working-together of the Spirits of Will, Wisdom and Movement. That the beings and processes of Earth can harmonize in Wisdom with the other beings of their surrounding world, is due to the work of these three Hierarchies of Spirits. Now, from the Spirits of Form, man receives his independent I, his Ego. And in the future the I of man will harmonize with the beings of Earth, Jupiter, Venus and Vulcan by virtue of the new force which Earthly evolution is implanting in the pristine Wisdom. It is the power of Love. In man on Earth it has to have its beginning.

The Cosmos of Wisdom is thus evolving into a Cosmos of Love. All the I of man brings to development within him will grow into Love. It is the sublime Sun Being, of whom we had to tell when describing the evolution of the Christ-Event, who at His revelation stands forth as the all-embracing prototype of Love. Into the innermost depth of man's being the seed of Love is thereby planted. Thence it shall grow and spread until it fills the whole of cosmic evolution. Even as the pristine Wisdom now reveals its presence in all the forces of Nature, in all the sense-perceptible outer world upon Earth, so in the future will Love be revealed — Love as a new force of Nature, living in all the phenomena which man will have around him. This is the secret of all future evolution. The knowledge man acquires, and also every deed man does with true understanding, is like the sowing of the seed that will eventually ripen into Love. Only inasmuch as Love arises in mankind, is true creative work being done for the cosmic future. For it is Love itself which will grow into the potent forces leading mankind on towards the final goal — the goal of spiritualization.

To the extent that spiritual knowledge flows into the evolution of mankind and of the Earth, there will be viable and fertile seeds for the cosmic future. For it is of the very nature of true spiritual knowledge to be transmuted into Love. The whole course of history we have been tracing from the Graeco-Latin through the present time and on into the future, shows how this transmutation is to come about and reveals the future evolutionary trend of which this is the beginning.

The Wisdom that was prepared all through the Saturn, Sun and Moon evolutions lives in the physical etheric, and astral bodies of man. It manifests as Wisdom of the World. Then, in the I of man, it is turned inward. From Earth evolution onward, the Wisdom of the outer world becomes inner Wisdom — Wisdom in man himself. And when thus resurrected in the inner life, in the I of man, it grows into the seed of Love. Wisdom is the premises, the forerunner of Love; Love is the outcome of Wisdom re-born in the I of man.

Should anyone be prone to think that this account of cosmic evolution implied a fatalistic picture, he will have misunderstood it. To think that by this evolution a fated number of human beings will be condemned to belong to the “bad humanity” argues a mistaken notion of how the two realms — the external and sense-perceptible, and that of soul and spirit — are related. They represent, within certain limits, two distinct evolutionary streams. It is from forces inherent in the former stream — in the external, material and sense-perceptible — that the forms of the “bad humanity” arise. A human soul — a human individual — will only be under necessity of incarnating in such a form if he himself has given rise to the conditions for it. When the time comes it might even happen that among human souls who have been through the earlier evolutionary times there were none left to ensoul these forms. They might, without exception, be too good for the bodies of that kind. In that event, the forms would have to be ensouled out of the Universe in some other way than by human souls who had lived through the preceding epochs. They will only be ensouled by human souls if the latter have themselves incurred this kind of incarnation. Supersensible cognition can only tell what it sees. It sees that in the cosmic future there will be two human kingdoms — “good” and “bad.” It has not to start reasoning and to conclude, from the condition of human souls today, what their condition will have to be in the cosmic future, as though by some necessity or law of Nature. The evolution of human forms and the evolution of the destinies of human souls have to be looked for along two distinct paths of spiritual research. A tendency to confuse the two would be an unavowed survival of materialism, impairing the clear outlook of supersensible science.

Last Modified: 16-Aug-2017
The Rudolf Steiner Archive is maintained by:
The e.Librarian: elibrarian@elib.com