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The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers

Schmidt Number: S-1899

On-line since: 3rd January 2001

The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers.
Lucifer, Ahriman, Asuras.

TO-DAY WE SHALL concern ourselves with the question: What does modern man really possess in spiritual science? The answer to this question will be based on many things that have come to our knowledge in the course of lectures, especially those given last winter. Spiritual science may appear, at first, to be one conception of the world among the many others now existing. It may be argued: The riddles of existence are there; people endeavor with every possible means at their disposal, religious or scientific, to answer these riddles of existence in an effort to satisfy, as it is said, their eagerness and desire for knowledge. Spiritual science may well be considered just another philosophy of life — whether calling itself materialism, monism, animism, idealism, realism, or what you will. It may be represented as something that endeavors to satisfy the desire for knowledge on a par with other modern world-conceptions. But this is not correct. In what man acquires through spiritual science he has something of positive, continuous value in life, something that not only satisfies his thinking, his thirst for knowledge, but is a real and potent factor in life itself. To understand this we must look far afield and consider the evolutionary course of mankind from a particular point of view.

We have often looked back to the times preceding the great Atlantean flood, to the times when our forefathers, that is to say our own souls in the bodies of those forefathers, lived on the ancient continent of Atlantis between Europe, Africa and America. We have also looked still further back, to the Lemurian epoch, when the souls of men incarnated at the present time were at a much lower stage of existence. We shall now speak again of this epoch, reminding ourselves, to begin with, of the following: Man has attained the present stage of his life of feeling, his life of will, his intelligence, nay even his form, because higher spiritual Beings in the cosmos have also been at work in earth-existence. We have spoken of these Beings as the “Thrones”, the “Spirits of Wisdom”, the “Spirits of Movement”, the “Spirits of Form”, the “Spirits of Personality”, and so forth.

They are the great builders and architects of existence who have led the human race onward step by step to its present stage. But we must bring clearly before our minds to-day that Spirits and Beings other than those who help human evolution forward have also intervened; there are spiritual Beings who oppose the progressive Powers. And for every epoch — Lemurian, Atlantean, Post-Atlantean — it is possible to indicate which particular spiritual Beings bring the “hindrances”, which spiritual Beings are the opponents of those whose only aim is the progress of humanity.

In the Lemurian epoch — the first that concerns us to-day — it was the Luciferic Beings who intervened in man's evolution, in opposition to the Powers who at that time were striving to help him forward. In the Atlantean epoch, the Spirits opposing the progressive Powers were the Spirits of “Ahriman” or “Mephistopheles”. The Ahrimanic or Mephistophelean Spirits — to give the precise names — are those known in medieval times as the Spirits of “Satan” — who must not be confused with “Lucifer”.

In our own epoch, as time goes on, other spiritual Beings of whom we shall speak later, will stand as hindrances in the path of the progressive Spirits. We will ask ourselves now: What did the Luciferic Spirits actually achieve in the ancient Lemurian epoch?

These things will be considered to-day from a particular point of view. Of what domain did the Luciferic Spirits lay hold during the Lemurian epoch? The best way to understand this is to cast our minds back over the course taken by human evolution.

You know that on Old Saturn the Thrones poured out their own substance to lay the first foundation of the human physical body. On Old Sun the Spirits of Wisdom imbued man with the ether- or life-body. And on the Earth the Spirits of Form endowed him with the ‘I’, the ego, in order that by realizing himself as distinct from his environment he might become an independent being. But even if through the deed of the Spirits of Form he had become independent vis-à-vis the external world surrounding him on earth, he would never have become independent of the Spirits of Form themselves; he