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Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive and e.Lib

Man as Symphony of the Creative Word

On-line since: 12th July, 2002


3rd November, 1923

Yesterday I spoke to you about the other side of nature-existence, about those super-sensible and invisible beings which accompany the beings and processes visible to the senses. An earlier, instinctive vision beheld these beings of the super-sensible world as clearly as we behold the world of the senses. Today, these beings have withdrawn from human view. It is only because this company of gnomes, undines, sylphs and fire-beings is not perceptible in the same way as animals, plants and so on, only to this is it due that man, in the present epoch of his earth-evolution, is not in a position to unfold his soul-spiritual being without the help of his physical and etheric bodies. In the present situation of earth evolution man is obliged to depend upon the etheric body when making use of his soul, and upon the physical body when making use of his spirit. The physical body, which provides the instrument for the spirit, the sense-apparatus, is not adapted to entering into connection with the beings which exist behind the physical world. It is the same with the etheric body, which man must use to develop his soul-being. Through this, if I may put it so, half of his earthly environment escapes him. He passes over everything connected with these elemental beings about which I spoke yesterday. To this world the etheric and physical bodies have no access. We gain an idea of what actually escapes the man of today when we realize what such gnomes, undines, and so on, actually are.

We have, you see, a whole host of lower creatures — lower at the present time — those beings which consist only of a soft mass, which live in the fluid element, and have nothing in the way of an articulated skeleton to give them inner support.

They are creatures which belong to the latest phase of earth-development; creatures which only now, when the earth has already evolved, develop what man — the oldest earth-being — already developed in his head-structure during the time of ancient Saturn. These creatures have not progressed so far as to form within themselves that hardening of the substance which can become the support