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Evolution of Human Freedom
and Personal Consciousness

Concerning the Concepts of God

Evolution of Human Freedom/The Idea of God

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

The following lecture(s) was given by Rudolf Steiner at Dusseldorf, on the 19th of January, 1905. This document consists of notes on two lectures, the first set of notes could be from a lecture on a different date: The Reunion of the Moon with the Earth.

A Lecture given
by Rudolf Steiner
Dusseldorf, January 19th, 1905
Bn/GA Unknown

The following lecture(s) was given by Rudolf Steiner at Dusseldorf, on the 19th of January, 1905. This document consists of notes on two lectures, the first set of notes could be from a lecture on a different date: The Reunion of the Moon with the Earth. These notes of lectures were translated from shorthand reports, unrevised by the lecturer, by an unknown translator. It is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. The Bn/GA number is unknown.

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Notes on the Evolution of Human Freedom
and Personal Consciousness

Also

Concerning the Concepts of God

 


 

EVOLUTION OF HUMAN FREEDOM
AND PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS

 

January 19, 1905

Lemuria.    D.
Atlantis.
Post-Atlantis.
I. 56 49
II. 49 42
III. 42 35
IV. 35 28 33
1879 V. 28 21 Today 27.
VI. 21 14 4,000
VII. 14 7 7,000
D. 8,000

 


 

The lectures on colour and the Ego show the real nature of man in relation to the Cosmos, turning from the Earth to what is super-earthly. Our time demands this. We have seen that human power of thought has become shadowy and no longer rests in reality. This points to the fact that man must necessarily receive new impulses in his soul. In the book “Occult Science” we read that certain great events have played into human evolution. For instance, the Moon which to-day shines from cosmic space was formerly united with the Earth. We know what significant transformations took place in man when the Moon left the Earth at the time of the Atlantean Flood.(sic) We have seen that the minerals owe their existence to the fact that the Moon left the Earth. We have to bring these cosmic events to an artistic understanding. Man has brought over his being from Saturn, Sun and Moon. During the transformations no mineral kingdom existed in man's environment. What we call mineral matter was inserted into the human being during the earth epoch. Man as regards his whole being is inserted into the entire Cosmos before the moon left the earth. The mineral evolved in the earth in the colours we see to-day. Originally man was not destined for the Earth. For a time his destiny hung in the balance; it was a question with the spiritual guides of earthly evolution as to whether man should pass his existence on the Earth itself or external to it. That it is possible for man to become an earthly being from the exit of the Moon is due to an impulse from the guides of human evolution. Thereby his relation to the Cosmos was changed. Man was not originally a personal being and he became so because the forces building his body were pressed together and in this way he obtained freedom. His development on earth took place in various stages after the exit of the moon. Had nothing intervened man would have continued to possess the power of forming the old clairvoyant pictures. The latter was not taken away by the exit of the moon but evolution has progressed and man has not remained fettered to the earth; he has undergone a backward evolution which reached its culminating point in the 19th century. In ancient times man to a certain extent was endowed with the functions of assimilation and became subject to earthly gravity; on the other hand as a head-man he is capable of leading a cosmic existence. That is to say, man developed his intellect in which the old clairvoyant pictures hardened up to the 4th century after Christ, and from the 15th century they became more and more shadowy. Although the human intellect is spiritual it has no real existence, it has a shadow existence. This culminated in the 19th century. Man's thoughts are not rooted in reality; spirituality is now lacking; man lives in a spiritual element of thought yet has become a materialist, thinking only of matter. He is no longer ensouled by pictures, he only conceives of the material world.

We know that some day the Moon will re-unite with the Earth. This is known by abstract astronomy and other sciences, but they push the time far into the future — it is however really not very far off.

In the course of evolution humanity is becoming younger and younger and retains the power of evolving in body and soul to a definite age. In ancient India man retained plasticity up to the age of 56. At the time of Golgotha to the age of 33; now, to the age of 27. In the 6th post-Atlantean epoch it will be to the age of 21-14 in the 7th epoch, 14-7.

Woman will cease to be fertile, another mode of entering earthly life will take place when the Moon re-unites with the Earth, in 8,000 A.D. The re-uniting of the Moon with the Earth will be of great significance; we shall be connected with the Earth differently.

The intellect will become more and more shadowy. If man does not resolve to absorb what is to descend from the spiritual world, he will pass completely over to the shadowy side of his intellect. The intellect is now only able to understand the mineral kingdom, it cannot penetrate to the human being. Plant life is a deep riddle to it, animal life is more so, human life is completely opaque. The formation of images devoid of reality will continue unless man resolves to develop imagination. If he does this the shadowy pictures will be re-animated by Spiritual Science, and become not merely human events but cosmic as well. We read in “Occult Science” that human souls at one time left the earth for other planets and later returned to earth existence. In turn those from Mars, Jupiter and the other planets returned to the earth. All these events are substantiated by investigations of the spiritual world and in this connection we find an extremely significant event in the 7th decade of the 19th century. Man returned to earth from the other planets up to 1879. Since then other beings from foreign cosmic regions enter into relation with man on the earth. In Atlantis man was the last being to enter the earth; since 1879 Vulcan beings descend into earthly evolution. They are the first, Super-earthly Beings to bring messages; to them we owe our Spiritual Science. The human race does not welcome these Beings, as a whole it ignores them. This will bring the Earth into a tragic condition ultimately. They will continue to descend, but man will not understand their speech except by understanding Spiritual Science which should transform the social environment. These Vulcan Beings, from between the Moon and Mercury, are trying to obtain a foothold in earthly existence. They seek to be the fore-runners of the end of the earth and the return of the moon. Our shadowy intellectual understanding must be re-animated by the pictures of Spiritual Science. Shock after shock will arise and the earth will dissolve into chaos if these Beings meet with opposition from humanity.

It may seem harmless to think only automatic thoughts of mineral, plant and animal and man; to-day they are merely thought but should this continue until the re-union of the Moon the result will be chaos. Full humanity must be drawn into the intellect. Incorrect and unreal thoughts will receive at a blow the real truth at the re-union of the Moon. These materialistic thoughts will then bring forth a terrible race of automatic beings who stand in their nature between the plant and mineral kingdoms. They will be endowed with great power of intellect and understanding and will enclose the earth in a kind of net or spiders web. They will enclose what man imagines without Spiritual Science. (Machinery is really thought poured into mineral) All modern unreal thoughts will become endowed with being. As the earth to-day is enclosed in an atmosphere, these mineral plant — like spiders, terribly evil, weaving into each other, will cover the Earth like gnats in the air. If man will not unite with the Vulcan Spiritual Beings he will have to unite his own being as far as it is not spiritual with this spider race; he will have to live with it and continue his evolution in the midst of it. Advanced man will direct his body from outside like the group-souls. There are people who are aware of this and yet desire to hold evolution back; they are conscious allies of these spider beings whom they know from ancient traditions. Man must not shrink from descriptions of this nature for much of this lies behind what many people say to-day. Our evolution cannot progress unless the veil of secrecy be withdrawn and these things known so that Spiritual Science may be accepted or rejected. Humanity will seek this union with the spider race; this means the further development of shadowy thought in cosmic existence. It is not enough merely to accept the formulae of Spiritual Science we must see how thoughts become reality: The scope and full importance of this is not realised, therefore humanity is in danger of being entangled in this web.

The way of release is by earnest acceptation of thoughts raised to feeling and being, and scientific vision, raising theory into the artistic.

What of education, medicine and science? In modern physics the human being is explained in abstract thoughts. They learn by means of the corpse. This is the mineral part of man which began with the exit of the Moon and ends with its re-union with the Earth. Knowledge and science must be raised to reality. Only mineral is understood to-day. To understand the plant, thought must be raised to artistic comprehension, artistic concepts. A real impulse of will is needed to fructify thought.

In 8,000 A.D. man will no longer be born of woman. Physical birth began with the exit of the Moon and to this man owes his Intellect, his personality and his individuality. This change however is only temporary. Spiritual Science can teach us these things. The mutual interweaving of this spidery web will resemble the staff of Mercury. Man can only meet these beings with understanding by raising himself to an artistic perception and insight, We saw how throughout nature something of an artistic nature prevails. True Spiritual Science points to an artistic understanding. The longing exists to absorb Spiritual Beings from the Cosmos. The terrible torture chamber of the prevailing inartistic ideas gives no true knowledge of the real nature of the plant, animal or human being. Modern science is a product of Ahriman which may lead humanity into earthly destruction. The study of Spiritual Science is not something abstract; it opens the door to cosmic influences which have sought to pour themselves into the Earth since the last third of the 19th century.

The Moon which reflects the Sunlight was separated from the Earth in order that man might become a free human being.

 


 

CONCERNING THE CONCEPT OF GOD

Notes of a Lecture.

January 19th 1905.

The Indian was in a different position from the European towards God. His highest conception was Brahman. The European pays but little attention to the Divinity but devotes himself to abstract thought. He seldom thinks of the Divine. The mystics however recognise the Hierarchies which are between God and man — from Seraphim to Archangels. They used to try to understand them. Although the Hierarchies live in the astral and mental or devachanic planes their work penetrates to the physical and we enter into communication with them on the physical plane. We live in all three planes. The mystic tries to understand them without trying for the concept of the unitary Divinity behind them.

What is the relation between God and man? Why did God create man? Why did God create the world? In order that man and the world might gradually develop. It is extremely difficult to answer these questions. To do so training is necessary. In the East this was done by Yoga. In the West by catharsis in the Mysteries. The pupil was taught: you can only teach your soul of immortality when you no longer desire immortality. Immortality must be faced as a mathematical problem — that is — without feeling or desire. The higher the question the more passionless must the soul be. All self-seeking must be set aside. The pupils of Pythagoras were so trained. The Gnostic teaching was called “Mathesis;” because it was tranquil and passionless.

How does the Godhead stand towards the world?

We see in nature the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms; man has the qualities of all these kingdoms within him. The form and cohesion of the minerals; the life of the plant; and the feeling and power of inner life of the animal kingdom, man is the sum total of them. He has attained his evolution and powers at their cost. Originally animals were more perfect. Man's ascent was brought about by their descent. In this way the human kingdom has risen. If a holy person (Saint) is to develop, it means the pushing down of many beings to decadence. For each saint there are many transgressors. Were it not for these two extremes there would be no evolution. Evolution is the removal of either side.

Man's intellect is needed to work-over the animal kingdom — constructing machinery or digging a hole or grave. This will continue with new forces. The artist adds his share, working his thoughts and ideas into the mineral. The task of today is to work-over the mineral kingdom. Man's works only transmute the world in this way. At present man can only work upon minerals. He cannot incorporate life through his spirit into any being.

Man has pushed down the mineral from his own being in order to have material to work upon, to permeate it with his own spirit. He will thereby redeem it and make good his former transgression towards it. The external mineral will be dissolved and redeemed by man's own work.

In the first cycle (Saturn) the mineral kingdom was pushed out and will be redeemed in the fourth (Earth). In the second cycle the plant was pushed out and will be redeemed in the fifth. In the third cycle the animal was pushed out and will be redeemed in the sixth. In the seventh cycle man will redeem the human kingdom itself.

If a saint develops it means the pushing down of other beings; he will make good and redeem those others. This idea gives sympathy with the entire Cosmos.

Man in raising himself must desire to raise and redeem others, for he has evolved at the cost of the whole surrounding world.

Going back before all these kingdoms we come to Spiritual Beings. The spiritual world attained to higher stages by pushing out the mineral and other kingdoms. They became the creative Spirits of our Cosmos, and our Leaders. This is the opposition of spirit and matter. We then come to a perfect God. How did He create from Himself? If we could resolve to make each thought perfect we should create a free resolve to carry over our own perfection. Something similar occurred with God; He resolved to make each being as perfect as Himself. This was only possible by giving them the power to evolution. This can only be done at the cost of others. If one member mere perfect he alone would fill up the Divine idea; therefore this can only be done gradually by all. By seizing one thought and sending all other thoughts back into unconsciousness.

Good cannot arise without evil. If one member develops, another has to remain back, and the progressed one has to redeem the other.

Even above humanity, beings develop at the cost of those below them and must redeem them. This brought about evil and made evolution possible, otherwise all could not be made perfect as God.

We cannot grasp the Divine Being with any one force of the soul, such as intellect. Intellect is not the highest power. It is something pushed out in order to produce higher powers. It must be redeemed.

Finally, we live in the Divine and evolve to it. The whole process is one of redemption.

Any opinion of the Divine must be developed further. Truth cannot be grasped as an intellectual concept.

God wanted to make each member as perfect as Himself. This was a sacrifice, not a necessity. This makes perfection possible.

 





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