Berlin, 31st October 1905
We will give you yet another special example of how one can immerse
oneself in the profundity of religious documents and gain an ever
greater understanding of what they contain.
If we study our sense organs as they are usually studied, we see that
we have the possibility through the sense of smell of perceiving
matter itself. Unless this fine substance were given off, man would be
unable to smell. What takes place here is a connection with matter
itself. The organ of taste is not connected with matter itself, but
acts through a process of dissolving and perceiving its effect. Thus
we can call taste a chemical sense, because it penetrates into the
constitution of matter. The third sense that of sight, has nothing
more to do with matter, for it only perceives pictures that are
produced by matter. The fourth, the sense of touch, has still less to
do with matter as such, for it only perceives attributes of the
surroundings in connection with objects, such as warmth and cold; this
is a state of matter which is no longer dependent on matter itself,
but on what conditions surround it. Hearing is in no way dependent on
the air, for we perceive only the oscillations, the vibrations of the
air, something which stands in a quite external relationship to what
is material. Matter, the air, is only the vehicle for the sound waves.
The lowest perception of matter is smell, then comes taste, then
sight, then touch and hearing. We can now ask: What is warmth and
cold? It is what is contained in the warmth ether. So the sense of
touch perceives the warmth ether, sight perceives the light ether,
taste perceives the chemical ether, smell perceives the atomistic or
life ether, hearing perceives the air. A sixth and a seventh sense
which will only develop in the future, would perceive water and earth.
We have therefore in our senses a sequence of stages in connection
with what we call matter. We will first follow the development of our
three lower senses.
The sense of sight perceives by means of the light ether the objects
around us. There was however a time when everything was dark. Let us
go back to the moment of time when sight came into existence and the
outer world as such became perceptible to us. Previously the eye was
not yet opened to the outer world. We must imagine the same force
which the eye receives from outside in the light ether, pouring
outwards from within, streaming out through the eye in the opposite
direction. If this were the case the being would illuminate the others
around him. This was so at a certain time when human beings possessed
eyes like the Cyclops. Illumination was brought about through the out
streaming light; this light streamed from within outwards. Then man
illuminated, as many sea creatures still do today, the objects around
him and his own body. At that time he had no consciousness of his own,
but he was solely an instrument for the corresponding divine being, in
order to illuminate the world for him. The divine being had no means
of seeing the surrounding objects other than human eyes.
When as yet man had no intellect it was possible for the active light
of the Godhead to pass through him and illuminate objects. The human
being was the mediator for the Godhead. The latter wished by means of
light to make the solid objects visible. Because the light passed
through him, man himself was formed. Before the light had passed
through the human being the Godhead had no need of light, because the
objects were not yet solid, but fluid, so that no use could be made of
light. That is the condition described in the Bible: And darkness was
upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God brooded on the face
of the waters. At that time the world was simply water, even gold and
silver and the other metals ran, were fluid. When within the water,
like blocks of ice, solid objects arose, man separated his membered
form and light became necessary. God said: Let there be light and
there was light. Then it was that man too first received his form.
That is the moment when the Light Ether was introduced and the solid
element separated off. God said: Let the dry land appear. Before
that everything was of a watery nature. In the same way as the Light
Ether was incorporated into the solid element, so was the Chemical
Ether incorporated into the water. Chemical relationships were worked
into man when he was still fluid. The chemical relationships according
to which today the different substances are combined, were imprinted
into the individual. Then we come back into a condition when man and
also the whole Earth was still aeriform; the life, or the atomistic
ether flowed into him. The life ether was at that time introduced into
the world through man.
Now let us once more turn our attention to the condition which existed
when God said: Let there be Light. The Earth began to densify. Light
shone upon it. This was also the time when man began to densify. The
earlier forces however had to be retained. Now we have reached the
condition when man let the light pass through himself. Then a complete
reversal took place. Man began to perceive the light as something
Originally through him there had been introduced into this world:
The atomistic or life ether.
The chemical ether.
The light ether.
Perception of the life ether.
Perception of the chemical ether.
Perception of the light ether.
Now man receives back the light from the world. (Reversal of the
spiral.) Formerly he was a source of light, now the light streamed
into him. He had become self-enclosed; thereby he acquired
consciousness. The light shone into him; man began to let the
surrounding world reflect itself in him. The next stage is that he
learns to recognise objects with regard to their chemical
constitution. He developed sympathy or antipathy for substances, a
relationship to the world outside him. Then finally he also gained an
inner perception of the atomistic or life-ether.
Through the introduction of light into the world man acquired his
solid form. Through the introduction of the chemical ether he acquired
a relationship to the world. Through the introduction of the atomistic
ether he acquired life. Thus through the eyes he acquired form;
through the sense of taste, relationship to the world; through the
sense of smell, the nose, life. Jehovah breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life.
When we approach religious writings with such ideas we find that the
most profound truths have been placed into them. We shall see whether
originally these truths were placed into the religious writings as we
now have them.
Let us take for example the builder of the Gotthard Tunnel and then a
man who describes it. The builder, who actually constructed the
Gotthard Tunnel did not need perhaps to possess such a high degree of
engineering science in his conscious self, but he actually brought a
thought into reality. Such is the relationship between the wise men of
ancient times and those of today. At that time they possessed a
creative wisdom. Now we have a wisdom based on observation. The
creative wisdom is that wisdom which once made man, building up one
after another those parts which today the anatomist takes out and
describes. The creative wisdom is exactly the same as the wisdom which
can be discovered today; it has been placed into the world. In the
primeval wisdom man was concerned with the plan of the world. Now you
can understand why the mystic has to withdraw into himself. The true
mystic must be an investigator of the inner. He attempts to seek out
those stages of evolution through which he has been created.
If we were able completely to shut off all light from the eyes and
then to create light within us, until the world appeared illumined
from within outwards, then we should be able to immerse ourselves
inwardly in the creative wisdom and penetrate into everything with
inner vision. This has a practical value, for one can remember how in
actual fact man has been built up by having passed through the
mineral, plant and animal kingdoms: all this is also within him. What
is outside in the world is the remains of what man himself once was.
The human heart as it came into being was akin to what had taken place
outside. The moment one sinks oneself into the heart, one creates for
oneself the surroundings as they were when in the Lemurian Age the
heart came into existence. If one concentrates on the activity of the
heart, one can conjure up the entire environment of the Lemurian Age
when the heart was formed. The Lemurian landscape rises up within us.
Whoever concentrates on the heart sees the genesis of the human
Through concentration on the interior of the brain, which developed
gradually during the Atlantean Age, one sees the Atlantean landscape
appear. If one concentrates on the solar plexus one is led to the
Hyperboreans. So one travels back into the worlds as they once were.
This is no brooding in oneself, but an actual perception of the
various organs in their relationships with the world. This is the way
in which Paracelsus found his remedies and achieved his cures. He knew
that digitalis purpurea came into being at the same time as the human
heart. Through concentration on a particular organ, corresponding
remedies reveal themselves. Thus do the members of the macrocosm and
the microcosmic nature of man stand in relationship to each other.
Now the following is easy to understand. The human being receives warm
red blood as do also the higher animals. That is to say, from then on
man can separate himself from his surroundings, becoming independent,
a whole enclosed within itself. This the fish is not. The fish has the
same temperature as what surrounds it. With the warm red blood it
became possible for man to develop warmth within himself. Then he was
able to separate himself from his environment. Previously he was of
the same temperature as his surroundings. What is it that actually
Let us consider the undifferentiated human organism before the
Lemurian Age. There was a uniform temperature over the whole Earth.
The state of warmth within man was the same as the state of warmth
Then the inner warmth condition was heightened. This warmth condition
signified individual warmth, warmth which was made use of in
individualisation; and in the world outside the opposite came about:
warmth, fire was distributed. Previously there was as yet no outer
fire. To kindle fire in Nature first became possible when fire
appeared within man. Since that time there was the beneficent fire
distributed outside, and within man the egoistic fire.
And now we have the point of time when fire was withdrawn from
spiritual beings for the benefit of man. Human beings drew their
warmth from a particular kind of spiritual being the Agni.
Because of this, what was previously there as Fire-Spirit in the world
had to withdraw and from then on could only appear from time to time
in the form of fire. The Promethean-Saga
is based on this fact.
The god had lost his previous body and created for himself a new one
in the external fire. Here we have an outstanding example of how in a
certain way man works destructively on the elemental forces of Nature.
Man himself had called forth the element of fire in that he had become
an individualised being. This underlies the occult saying that,
fundamentally speaking, man works destructively where elemental beings
are concerned. This is very far-reaching and makes clear to us how man
still today continually creates new conditions, new forces of Nature
in his world around him, while he himself progresses in his
development. He shapes the structure of the Earth. Fire arose in the
Lemurian Age; because of this Lemuria could meet its destruction
through fire which man himself had created.
The Atlantean Continent perished through water. The downfall of the
Fifth Continent will be brought about through evil. We can observe a
kind of retrogression in the following way:
The next stage during the Atlantean Age was the creative
work of the human being on his own etheric body. There he had drawn
air from his environment into himself. In this way he had so changed
his ether body that the conditions of Atlantis had become quite
different. During Atlantis the surface of the Earth was at one time
only mist, an atmosphere of such a kind that a rainbow would have been
impossible. At that time man worked upon the water. In the Lemurian
Age he worked upon solid earth, this brought forth fire; in the
Atlantean Age he worked upon the water; this brought about light. (it
corresponded to the light of our intellect.) Then he worked upon the
The Fifth Root-Race will bring man to his downfall through what must
be called evil. Then comes the Sixth Root-Race. The Fifth Root-Race is
that in which Manas develops on the physical plane.
In the Old Indian civilisation man lived in a condition corresponding
to Manas in a kind of deep trance-like state. There the primeval
wisdom was revealed to the ancient Indians by the Rishis. The second
revelation took place with the Persians in a condition similar to our
deep sleep. In this condition man heard the Word. It was the condition
of the Ancient Persian Sleep-trance. Honover was the word used by
Third revelation: The peoples of the near East, Babylonians and
Egyptians, perceived through Manas in picture-consciousness; they had
visions or dream-sight.
Fourth revelation: Clear waking-day consciousness was developed by the
Semites, the Greeks and Romans. At that time Manas was perceived in
clear day-consciousness, as incarnated man, Christ Jesus.
So with the ancient Indians we find the trance of the physical body.
With the ancient Persians we find the deep sleep of the etheric body.
With the peoples of the Near East we find the picture consciousness of
the astral body, with the Semites, Greek and Roman peoples the waking
consciousness of the ego.
Now in the Fifth Sub-Race man does not perceive the changing stages of
Manas, but this Race sees as the highest stage the psychic experience
of concepts as such. Our Sub-Race has developed the psychic Manas, the
usual scientific knowledge.
The Sixth Sub-Race will develop a Super-psychic Manas. What with human
beings today is merely a kind of knowledge will become actual reality,
a social force. The Sixth Sub-Race has the task of permeating society
in a social way with everything which has been produced by the
preceding stages of evolution. Then for the first time Christianity
will come forth as shaper of the social order. The Sixth Sub-Race will
be the one which is the germinal foundation for the Sixth Root-Race.
The Fifth Root-Race is descended from the original Semites, from the
Fifth Sub-Race of the Fourth Root-Race. This people developed the
individual ego which produces egoism. Man owes his independence to the
original Semites. Man must first find himself, but then again must
also surrender himself He must surrender himself to what makes thought
a reality. The Sixth Sub-Race is destined to replace blood
relationship with Manas relationship, relationship in the spirit.
Thinking which is altruistic will develop the predisposition to the
overcoming of egoism.
The Seventh Sub-Race will be a premature birth. It will make outwardly
real too soon and too strongly what has come forth from Manas.
In the Sixth Sub-Race the predisposition will be given for the
overcoming of egoism, but in such a way that the balance is held
between selfhood and selflessness. The man of the Sixth Sub-Race, will
neither lose himself in what is outside, nor shut himself up in what
is within. With the Seventh Sub-Race a kind of hypertrophy will come
about. Man will then pour out what he now has within him: his egoism.
On the other hand the members of the Sixth Sub-Race will hold the
balance. The Seventh Sub-Race will harden egoism. Later the
English-American people will be projected as something rigidified into
the Sixth Root-Race, just as today the Chinese are a rigidified
residue of the Atlantean Age, the Fourth Root-Race.
World-egoism proceeds from the Anglo-American Race. From that
direction the whole Earth will be overlaid with egoism. It is from
England and America that all the discoveries come that will cover the
Earth like a network of egoism. So it is from there that the whole
Earth will be covered by a network of egotistic evil. But from a small
colony in the East [The Slavonic peoples.] there will be developed, as
though from a seed, new life for the future.
The English-American civilisation consumes European culture. The sects
in England and America represent nothing other than the most
incredible conservation of what is old. But such Societies as the
Salvation Army, the Theosophical Society and so on, come into
existence just there, in order to rescue souls from decadence, for
race evolution does not run parallel with soul evolution. But the race
itself is going towards its destruction. Within it is the seed of the
In the Fourth Sub-Race work was performed as tribute (Slave Labour).
In the Fifth Sub-Race work is performed as a commodity (sold).
In the Sixth Sub-Race work will be performed as an offering (free work).
The economic needs of existence will then be separated from work:
there will be no more personal possession, everything will be owned in
common. One will no longer work for one's personal existence, but will
do everything as absolute offering for humanity.