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Man in the Past, Present, and Future; The Evolution of Consciousness

Schmidt Number: S-5422

On-line since: 19th April, 2004

LECTURE 1

MAN IN THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE

Stuttgart, 14th September 1923 

For the subject of these lectures, I have chosen an account of man's development during a particular period of the past, of his situation today, and of the outlook for his future evolution on this Earth-planet. No world-conception which has had any influence upon Western civilization, or its American off-shoot, has been content to deal only with present-day man and to show how the individual fits into the pattern of world-population. The world-conceptions acceptable to Western civilization have always emphasized the place of man in the whole course of human history on Earth. They have always shown the relationship between man of the present and of the past, no matter whether they go back only to a certain point — as the Old Testament does in describing he history of the Earth — or whether they trace man right through the stages of cosmic evolution.

The philosophies of the East, and even the early philosophies of Europe, if they did not belong to our modern civilization, were less concerned with this outlook. They were content to envisage man in terms of space only. The feeling we all have as a result of living within Western evolution makes it quite impossible for us to be satisfied with this spatial picture. There is a sort of psychological instinct in us to see ourselves in a brotherly association not only with men living today but also with men of the past; and unless we include both past and present we do not feel that we have a real notion of mankind.

But we can never have any satisfying idea of the historical development of man, whether in a wider or in a narrower sense, if we are limited to the results of ordinary anthropology. Man is a being whose evolution we cannot comprehend with the aid of nothing but external documents, however brilliantly they may be interpreted. Man is a being of body, soul and spirit; he is a being who has been penetrated, to a lesser or greater extent, by the spirit, in such a way that consciousness has been alive within him. The whole nature and being of man can be seen in the development of his consciousness, just as the being of a plant is finally revealed to the senses in the flower.

Let us therefore go a little more deeply into this most vital aspect of human evolution — the evolution of consciousness. When we consider man's consciousness as it is today we can make certain distinctions. In our ordinary waking condition, as we know it from waking in the morning to the time of falling asleep, we develop a more or less clear and luminous life of ideas which grow out of our life of feeling as the flower grows out of the plant. Over against this clear and luminous life of ideas there is a further condition which never really becomes quite clear, but is more or less unconscious, dark, inwardly surging and weaving. Even deeper than the feelings, which do, after all, quite directly stimulate our life of thought and ideas — much deeper within our being there is our surging will. And I have often described to anthroposophists how in his willing man is strictly speaking, asleep, even during his waking state. We never experience, in the waking conditions of our present-day consciousness, what lives within our willing. We have an idea that we are going to do this or that, but in this there is as yet no willing — only the intention to will clothed in the idea. Then the intention plunges into the depths of the human being, of which his consciousness has no clearer idea than it has of dreamless sleep. It then emerges as the will seen in the action of our arms and hands, legs and feet; in the activity we exercise on objects in the external world.

Whenever we act thus through the will on our own body, or in order to effect some change in the external world, we become aware of it through our ideas — ideas which also have some quality of feeling. Our ordinary consciousness perceives only the beginning and the end of willing, the intention in the form of an idea, and then again, also in the form of an idea, the consciousness observes our own movements or those in the external world which arise out of these intentions. All that lies between — how our intentions transfer themselves, via the soul, into our organism, how the soul arouses the physical warmth, the movement of the blood and muscles which then produce an act of will — of all this we are as unaware as we are of the events in dreamless sleep.

If we really manage to observe what happens, we must say that we are actually awake only in our ideas (our conceptual life); we dream in our feelings and sleep in our willing. Our knowledge of this willing is just like the experience of waking in the morning and noticing that our organism has somehow recuperated and refreshed itself. We perceive the effects of sleep when we wake. Similarly, we have the intention to perform some act of will; we transmit it unconsciously into our organism where, as though in sleep, it passes over into activity and deed; and we wake up again only with our action and see the result of what has been going on within us, of which we have been quite unconscious.

Such in broad outline is man's experience of his own being in waking, dreaming and sleeping. After all, the dreams we have when we are sleeping have very little relation to our ideas. They obey quite other laws than the logical laws of our conceptual life. But if we observe things closely we shall see that the course of our dreaming, with its marvelous dramatic quality that is so often typical of dreams, bears an extra-ordinarily close resemblance to our life of feeling. If in our waking life, we were capable only of feeling, those feelings would not, it is true, be very like the pictures of our dreams. But the dramatic quality, tensions, impulsive wishes and crises of the inner life, with their turmoil of emotion, are displayed in our feelings just as vaguely — or if you like, just as indefinitely — as they are in our dreams.; with this difference, that the basis of a dream lies in its pictures, whereas our feelings live in those peculiar experiences which we describe in terms of our inner life. Thus in the present state of human consciousness we may include our feelings and actual dreaming as part of the dream-state, and in the same way include our willing and actual dreamless sleep as part of the sleeping state.

We must, however, realize that what we are now describing as the basic quality of our present-day consciousness has passed through a process of evolution in a comparatively recent period, though we do not like taking much notice of this in our materialistic age. But you will not understand the surviving documents of human thought, even of the early Christian centuries, unless you realize that the inner activity of men in those days was quite different from what lives within our souls today as the activity of thought. In particular it would be a complete psychological error to seek to understand Scotus Erigena's work, “On the Parts of Nature” (De Divisione Naturae) written in the ninth century, for example, or the older writings on alchemy, with the conceptual intellect which has become normal today. We simply cannot understand what they were driving at if our modern type of thinking is employed. We can read the words, but we shall not grasp the meaning.

Human thinking since the fifteenth century has acquired a particular character which may have developed only slowly but has more or less already reached is culminating point. Yet this way of thinking, which represents the actual waking condition for modern man, is not really capable of giving him any satisfaction. A man can think, and that is the only luminous experience of his waking life. He can think, and that is the only means by which he can draw on his inner powers and establish the marvelous results of the sciences. Yet basically this modern thinking can give man no satisfaction for his inner yearnings. The fact is that he loses his own self in this modern thought. He does of course experience this thinking as the one clear element in his consciousness — much clearer, for instance, than his breathing or blood circulation, which remain obscure in the deeper regions of his consciousness. He feels that these also may contain some reality, but he sleeps through this reality, and it is only in his ideas and thinking that he is awake. But then, especially if he is disposed to a certain amount of self-observation, he comes to feel that although it is only in his thinking that he fulfils his inner being, yet his true self is lost. And I can give you two examples which will enable you — spiritually of course — to lay hands on this loss of self in thought.

There is a famous philosopher of modern times, Descartes, who is the originator of the famous saying, cogito ergo sum — I think, therefore I am. So this philosopher says. But today men do not and cannot say it. For when we merely think something or experience it in thinking, it does not follow that it “is,” nor that I “am” merely because I myself am thinking. For us these thoughts are at most pictures; they may be the most certain thing in us, but we do not grasp any “being” through our thinking. Again, we often say that if we think something, that is “nothing but thinking.” So also in Descartes' case: he wants to “be” and cannot find any other point at which to grasp this “being” of man, and so he seeks it where the common man certainly does not feel it to be — in thought. We do not think in sleep, but does it follow then that we are not? Do we die in the evening and are we reborn each morning? Or do we exist between falling asleep and waking? The simplest truths are in fact not taken into account by present-day views of the world. Descartes' “I think, therefore I am” is not based on something inwardly experienced, but is only a convulsive effort to attach oneself to reality. That is the first point.

The second point I want to make is this. Besides his thinking, of which modern man is very proud, we have the results of natural science, results of observation or experiment. In point of fact these do not help us to see the real being of things, but only the changes that occur in them — that which is transitory. And nowadays people consider a thought to be justified only if it derives from this external actuality, which after all reveals only a manifestation of itself. So we have ceased completely to grasp our real “being” in ourselves; our thought is too much in the air. We have no way of finding anything else in us except by methods that science applies to Nature; and then we seek our real being in that. In consequence, man today believes only in that part of himself which is part of Nature. Nature and the form of existence associated with it thus becomes a sort of Moloch which robs modern man of any real feeling of his own being.

Many people will perhaps retort that they don't notice anything of the sort, and will contradict what I have said. But that is only their opinion. The feelings which modern men have, at least if they have even the elements of self-awareness, are the outcome of the mood I have just described. They are encased, as it were, within this experience of their own being and their relation to the external world, and they then transfer the consequence of this condition to their consciousness of the world. For instance, they may observe the stars with their telescopes, spectroscopes and other instruments. They record what these instruments show and then build up a purely spatial astronomy and astrophysics. They do not notice that they are merely transferring to the heavens what they have observed and calculated about things on the Earth.

Thus, suppose that I have here some source of light. We all admit that if I move thousands of miles away from it, the light will become weaker and perhaps no longer visible. We all know that the strength of the light decreases with distance. Ordinary physics states the law that gravitation, too, decreases with the square of the distance. But people don't pursue this thought further. They can demonstrate that here on Earth, gravity has a particular magnitude and diminishes with the square of the distance, for they live on the Earth and establish laws of Nature and truths valid for the Earth, and build them into a system. Where gravity has a definite magnitude, these laws are true. The force of gravity decreases, but so does truth. What was true for the Earth ceases to be true if we pursue it further outwards into the Universe. We have no more right to regard the findings of physics and chemistry as applicable to the whole Universe than we have to assume that earthly gravity holds good throughout the Cosmos. The truths that rule in the heavenly spheres cannot dealt with in the same way as those that hold on Earth. Of course to say this sort of thing nowadays is considered highly paradoxical — even crazy. But our general consciousness is so solidly encased nowadays that even the slightest remark which might pierce through the case immediately appears strange. Modern men are so wholly tied to the Earth that their knowledge, even sometimes their reflections, never pass beyond what they experience on Earth. And they deal with cosmic time exactly as they deal with cosmic space.

I was particularly impressed with all this recently. (I have often discussed this sort of truth among anthroposophists and what I am saying now is only a repetition based on a particular example.) This struck me with particular force when I was invited by our English anthroposophical friends to give a course of lectures at Penmaenmawr in the second half of August.* Penmaenmawr is in Wales, where the island of Anglesey lies over against the West coast of Britain. It is really an extraordinary region which shows that there are quite different geographies over the Earth's surface from those you will find discussed in textbooks, even for the most advanced students. Ordinarily we think it more than enough if a geographical description includes the character of the vegetation, flora and fauna, and I in addition we base it on the geological and palaeontological nature of the region. But the Earth displays differentiations of a much more inward nature than any you will ordinarily find in geographical works. Thus in Penmaenmawr, where these lectures were held, you have only to go a short distance, a mile or so into the mountains, and all over the place you can find the remains of the old Druid cults, fallen stone circles of a simple sort. For instance, stones are put together to enclose a small space and covered with another stone so as to form a little chamber, where the light of the sun could be cut off, leaving the chamber in darkness. I do not dispute that such cromlechs had also to serve as burial places, for at all times the most important centers of worship have been set up over the graves of fellow-men. But here, even with these simple cromlechs, we have something further, as indeed indicated by the so-called Druid circles.

* The Evolution of the World and of Humanity. 13 lectures, 19th – 31st August, 1923. (Revised edition in preparation, 1966.) The title of the German text in the Complete Centenary Edition is: Initiations-Erkenntnis. Die geistig und physische Welt- und Menschheitsentwicklung in der Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft vom Gesichtspunkte der Anthroposophie.

It was a wonderful experience when I went with a friend one day to one of these mountains at Penmaenmawr, on which the scanty remains of two such circles are still to be seen lying very close to each other. Even today it can be seen from the position of the stones that there were once twelve of them, and if one wants to discover their purpose they must be observed closely. Now while the sun follows his course through the Cosmos, whether during a day or during a year, a quite specific shadow is cast beneath each stone; and the path of the sun could be traced by following the shadow as it changed in the course of a day or year. We are still sensitive to light today, especially if light is associated with warmth or warmth with light. Present-day consciousness can naturally also notice the difference between the light of the summer and winter sun, since we are warm in summer and cold in winter; and we may note finer differences too. But, you see the same differences we can notice in so obvious a fashion in the light, when we are either warm or freezing, can be perceived in the shadow as well. There is a difference between the October sun and the July or August sun, not only in the direction but in the quality of the shadow. One of the duties of the Druids was to develop a special faculty for perceiving the quality of the shadow — for perceiving, let us say, the peculiar intermingling of a red tone in the August shadow or a blue one in that of November or December. Thus the Druids were able, by the training they received, to read off the daily and yearly course of the sun in the shadows. We can still see from these remains that one of the tasks they undertook was something of this sort. There were many other things that belonged to this cult: a Sun ritual, which, however, was not a mere abstraction, not even the abstraction we see in devotion and reverence. Without undervaluing devotion and reverence, it would be a complete error to believe that. But devotion and reverence were not in this case the essentials, for the cult included something quite different.

Take the grain of wheat or rye. It must be planted within the Earth at a particular moment of the year, and it is a bad thing for it to be planted at an inappropriate moment. Anyone who has exact knowledge of these things is well aware that it makes a difference whether a seed is planted a few days earlier or later. There are other things of this sort in human life. The people who lived about three thousand years ago in the region where the Druid cult flourished led an extremely simple life. Agriculture and cattle-raising were the chief occupations. But we may ask how they were to know when to sow and harvest in the best way, or when they were to attend to the many other jobs which Nature requires in the course of a year. Nowadays of course we have farmers' calendars which tell the farmer that on such and such a day such and such a job needs to be done, and tell him very intelligently. In our day, with our type of consciousness, this information can be catalogued and read off from the printed page. We think nothing of it, but the fact remains that there was none of that, not even the most primitive form of reading and writing, in the days when the Druid religion was in its prime. On the other hand, the Druids could stand in one of these stone circles and by observing the shadow they could proclaim, for instance, that during the next week farmers must undertake this or that work, or the bulls be introduced to the herd since the moment was right for the mating of the cows. The druids were equipped to read in the Cosmos; they used the signs produced by those monuments of which we have today only such scanty remains, and could read from them the information the sun gave them of what was to be done on Earth.

The constitution of the soul was in fact quite different, and it would be a serious conceit on our part if, just because we are capable of this little bit of reading and writing, we were to undervalue the art which made it possible to lay down the work and activities required on Earth through these revelations of the heavens. In places like Penmaenmawr we are impelled to recollect many other things, too, which Spiritual Science is peculiarly qualified to investigate.

I have often pointed out in anthroposophical circles how ordinary thoughts are inadequate to grasp what Spiritual Science can investigate and how we have to conceive it in Imaginations. I assume you all know what I have said about Imaginations in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment. It is these Imaginations and not our ordinary ideas which we must have in our souls when we are describing things on the basis of some immediate spiritual observation and not of external sense-perception. The genuinely spiritual-scientific accounts which are given you in our anthroposophical lectures have their origin in Imaginations of that kind.

Now these Imaginations are much more alive than ordinary abstract thoughts, which can give us no inkling of what reality is, but only pictures of it. Imaginations on the other hand, can be laid hold of by active thinking, in the same way that we can grasp tables and chairs. We are much more vigorously permeated by reality when our knowledge comes from Imaginations and not from abstract concepts. Anyone who speaks on the basis of Imaginations always has them before him as though he were writing something down — writing, however, not with those terribly abstract signs which constitute our writing, but with cosmic pictures.

Now what is the position with regard to these Imaginations in our district here? Anyone who knows them knows also that it is pretty easy to attain them, pretty easy to form them. If he has a sense of responsibility when describing anything through Spiritual Science, he will allow these Imaginations to take effect — that is, to inscribe them in the spirit — only when he has pondered them a good deal and tested them thoroughly. Nobody who speaks out of the spiritual world with a full sense of responsibility has a facile tongue. Nevertheless we can say that in districts like ours here it is relatively easy to inscribe these Imaginations, but they are obliterated equally easy. If in districts like this we create a spiritual content in Imaginations — I cannot put it any other way — we find it is like writing something down and immediately afterwards rubbing it out. But there in Wales, where land and sea meet and the tides ebb and flow each day, where the wind blows through and through you — for instance in the hotel where we were staying you could not only feel the wind blowing in the windows, but when one walked on the carpet it was like walking on a rough sea because of the wind blowing under the carpet — where moreover Nature is so full of life and so joyful in its life that you may get almost hourly alternations of rain and sunshine, then you do really come to see how Nature revealed herself to the Druid priests — or I might say the learned Druids, for it would be the same thing — when they gazed upon her from their mountain height. How then did the Earth appear to the Druid's spiritual eye when the heavens had the character I have just described?

This is very interesting to observe, though you will only realize it fully if you can grasp the particular geographical quality of the place. There you have to exert yourself much more vigorously if you want to construct Imaginations than you do, for instance, here. There, they are much more difficult to inscribe in the astral atmosphere. On the other hand they are more permanent and are not so easily extinguished. You come to realize how these old Druids chose for their most important cult-centers, just such places in which the spiritual as it approaches mankind, expresses itself to some extent in the quality of the place. Those Druid circles we visited — well, if we had gone up on a balloon and looked down from above on the larger and the smaller circles, for though they are some distance apart you would not notice that when you are a certain height above them — the circles would have appeared like the ground-plan of the Goetheanum which has been destroyed by fire. It is a wonderfully situated spot! As you climb the heights, you have wide views over land and sea. Then you reach the top and the Druid circles lie before you — there where the hill is hollowed out, so that you find yourself in a ring of hills, and within this ring of hills are the Druid circles. It was there that the Druid sought his science, his knowledge, his wisdom; there that he sought his Sun-wisdom but also his Nature-wisdom.

As the Druid penetrated into the relationship between what he saw on Earth and what streamed down from the heavens, he saw the whole processes of plant-growth and vegetation quite differently from the way in which they appear to our abstract thought of later days. If we can properly grasp the true quality of the sun, on the one hand the physical rays which enter our eyes, on the other the shadow with its various gradations, we come to realize that the spiritual essence of the sun lives on in the various grades of shadow. The shadow prevents only the physical rays of the sun from reaching other bodies, whereas the spiritual penetrates further. In the cromlechs which I have described to you, a small dark place is separated off. But it is only the physical sunlight which cannot penetrate there; its activity penetrates, and the Druid, as gradually through this activity he came to be permeated by the secret forces of cosmic existence, entered into the secrets of the world. Thus, for instance, the actions of the sun on plants was revealed to him; he could see that a particular kind of plant-life flourishes at a particular time when the sun is active in a particular way. He could trace the spiritual activity of the sun and see how it pours and streams into flower, leaf and root; and it was the same with animals. And while he was thus able inwardly to recognize the activity of the sun he also began to see how other activities from the Cosmos, for example, those of the moon, pour into it. He could see that the effect of the sun was to promote sprouting growth, with an upward tendency, and so he knew that if a plant as it grows out from the soil were exposed only to the sun, it would grow unendingly. The sun brings forth burgeoning, luxuriant life. If this life is checked and reduced to form, if leaves, blossom, seed and fruit assume a specific shape, if what strives towards the infinite is variously limited — all this has its origin in the activities of the moon. And these are to be found not only in the reflected light of the sun, for the moon reflects all influences, and these in their turn can be seen in the growth of the plant out of its root and also in what lives in the propagation of animals, and so on.

Let us take a particular instance. The Druid observed the growing plant; he observed in a more living way what, later on, Goethe observed more abstractly in his idea of metamorphosis. The Druid saw the downward streaming sun-forces, but he saw also the reflected sun-forces in everything that gives the plant its form. In his natural science he saw the combined activity of sun and moon on the root, which is wholly within the Earth and has the function of absorbing the salts of the Earth in a particular way. He could see that the action of sun and moon was quite different on the leaf, which, wrests itself out of the Earth and presses forward into the air. Again, he saw a different action on the flower, which pushes onwards to the light of the sun. He could see as a unity the activity of the Earth; to him, plant-growth and the being of the animal were also a unity.

Of course his life there was just what we experienced, with the winds raging around, which can reveal so much about the structure of the region, with the peculiar weather conditions which manifest themselves so vividly in that district. Thus, for example, at the beginning of one of our Eurythmy performances, which took place in a wooden hall, the audience sat with their umbrellas up, because just before the performance there had been a heavy downpour which was still going on when the performance began. The curtains were quite wet! This intimate association with Nature which can still be experienced today was of course also experienced by the Druids. Nature there is not so hard; she almost embraces one. It really is a delightful experience. I might almost say that one is drawn on and accompanied by the activity of Nature; one seems to be part of it. I even met people who maintained that one need not really eat there, that one can be fed by this very activity of Nature.

The Druid, then, lived with his Sun-Initiation within this activity of Nature, and he saw as the unity I have described the sun and moon mediated through the activity of the Earth, the growth of the plant, the growth of root, leaf and flower; and all this not in the form of abstract laws as today, but of living elemental beings. Different elemental beings of sun and moon were active in the root, in the leaf and in the flower. He could also pursue in the wider realms of Nature what is so beneficially differentiated in root, leaf and flower. Through his imaginative gifts he could see the small elemental beings restricted to narrow limits in the root, and he knew that what lives in beneficial form in the root can free itself and expand to the gigantic. Thus he saw the large-scale activities of Nature as the small activities of the plant raise dot a gigantic power. Just as he had spoken of the elemental beings in the root of the plant, he could also speak of these root-beings as having expanded in a cosmically irregular way and manifesting in the formation of frost, dew and hail. On the one hand he spoke of the root-beings who were beneficially active, and of the giants of frost and ice which are these root-beings grown to gigantic size.

Again, he spoke of the elemental activities in the leaf of the plant, which permeate themselves with the forces of the air; he traced them into the distant spaces of Nature, and he then saw that, if what lives in the leaf frees itself and strives beyond its proper limits into the distances of Nature, it manifests in the surging of winds. The giants of wind and storm are the elemental beings of the plant grown beyond their size. And the element which is distilled in the flower the etheric oils with their phosphoric quality — if that is freed, it manifests itself as the giants of fire, among whom, for instance, Loki belongs. In this science of sun and moon, therefore, the Druid saw as a unity both that which lives in the narrowly restricted space of the plant and that which frees itself and lives in wind and weather.

But he went further. He said to himself: When that which lives in root, leaf and flower is contained within the desirable limits set by the good gods, normal plant-growth results. If it appears in hoar frost, that is the work of opposing beings: for the elemental beings growing into powers of opposition, create the harmful, devastating aspects of Nature. Now as a human being I can make use of the devastating activities of the beings who are the opponents of the gods; I can gather the hoar frost in appropriate ways, and the products of the storm and whatever is caught up in the surging of wind and rain. I can make use of the giant forces for my own purposes by burning the plant, for instance, and reducing it to ashes, to charcoal and so on. I can take these forces, and by using frost, hail and rain and other such things, or what the giants of fire control — things which are the expression of forces that have grown to harmful vastness — I can protect the normal growth of the plant. I can rob these giants of all this and can treat normal plants with it, and by applying these forces of the opposing powers I can make healing medicines out of the good elemental forces which have remained within their proper limits. And this was in fact one of the ways of making medicines out of plants, by employing frost and snow and ice and by the use of burning and calcinations. The Druid felt it to be his work to take whatever was harmful from the opposing giant powers and restore it to the service of the good gods. We can trace these things in many different ways.

Now why am I spending time on this? I want to use it as an example — and I quote this particular one because I do indeed think that the Penmaenmawr lecture-course was a very important event in the history for the Anthroposophical Movement — to show how man's consciousness and his whole constitution of soul were quite different at a time not so very far removed from the present. With his present-day consciousness man cannot realize what lived in the consciousness of this ancient humanity. And what I have said of that ancient humanity could also be said of other peoples. There we catch glimpses of a quite different constitution of soul. Men in those days had no idea of what we experience as abstract thoughts. All their thinking was more dreamlike, and they did not live within such sharply outlined ideas and concepts as we do today. They lived in dreams which were much more vivid and alive, more full of substance; and indeed their waking life was really a sort of continuation of their dreaming. Just as nowadays we live in an alternation of dreaming or dreamless sleep and the abstract ideas of our waking life, so they alternated between this dreamlike everyday life and a dreamless sleep which was not wholly like ours. When they woke they felt that there was still something remaining over from sleep — something which afforded a sort of nourishment for the soul, which they had absorbed during sleep and which could still be felt the after-taste of sleep in their whole organism. There was a third condition which no longer occurs in human consciousness, a feeling of being surrounded by the Earth, and when a man woke up he felt not only that he had been asleep — of which he retained an aftertaste — but that he had been received into a kind of grave by the forces of gravity, that gravity had closed him in, and he was, as it were, within the embrace of the Earth.

Now just as we can describe our present-day states of consciousness as waking, dreaming, and sleeping so we should have to say that at a certain stage of the past there were the three states of dreaming, sleeping and being surrounded by the Earth. Since everything which evolves in the course of history has some sort of relation to the present, we find human souls in whom, during a later earth-life something peculiar appears like a genuine memory of earlier times, something connected with their earlier earth-life. Men like this display what for their own age is abnormal, but which is a living memory of their souls. Examples of this were Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg, and in such spirits something connected with human evolution lights up into contemporary humanity from a very distant past.

Tomorrow I will say more about the special qualities of vision of Boehme and Swedenborg; this will help us to understand the past of humanity and also the three future states of consciousness.




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