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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive



Universe, Earth and Man

The Kingdoms of Nature. Group-egos. The Centre of Man. The Kingdoms of Higher Spiritual Beings.


III.

The Kingdoms of Nature. Group-egos. The Centre of Man. The Kingdoms of Higher Spiritual Beings.

If we are to bring the relationship of Universe, Earth, and Man before our minds in the following lectures, it will first be necessary to gather together many things that will furnish us with some kind of foundation. At the same time we must remember that if we only use our external senses and the intellect that is bound up with these, we shall see very little; this applies to the Earth as well as to man, and in a still higher degree to the Universe. We must realize that the greater part of what is most essential is hidden from the outer senses, and also from external intellectual observation. Therefore to begin with we will point out a few things appertaining to the beings that surround us, but which are hidden from view. Much will have to be said which many of you know already, but in order to grasp our vast subject thoroughly it will be necessary to recapitulate to a certain extent. We must in the first place consider the planet on which we live, and which forms the centre of our studies.

Yesterday we considered one portion of the earth's evolution in connection with the whole.

We saw how beings have been active in various ways, from the time when earth and sun still formed one body up to our own day. We saw also that in the various ages of the Post-Atlantean epoch man has repeated in knowledge and in religious consciousness all that the earth has passed through in the course of its evolution.

We will now go more deeply into the various conditions on this our earth. We are surrounded in the first place by the four kingdoms of nature; the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms. Man is not the mere material physical being of which the outer senses inform us, and which the scientific intellect describes and explains but he is a complicated being made up of physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego. All this we know. When we allow our gaze to sweep over the beings of the other kingdoms of the earth we must be fully aware that the expression