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

The Being of Man and His Future Evolution

Schmidt Number: S-1994

On-line since: 30th January, 2005


3rd May 1909

In last week's lecture we became familiar with every day expressions of man's inner life, namely laughing and weeping, and today we will explore the conditions in both our immediate and more distant surroundings upon which this inner being of man, including man's whole evolution, in a certain way depend. As wide as possible a study of man is what we have been working at in these group lectures this winter, and we will go on studying man from as many aspects as possible.

If you consider what you know of earth conditions, then even if you look at these relatively superficially you would realise immediately that man takes on a different form in different regions of the earth. External bodily characteristics vary according to the different zones of the earth. You will remember that there are ‘races’, the black, red, yellow and white race, and that these races were originally connected with certain regions of the earth. You will also find this corroborated by history, either in what you learnt at school from the observation of purely physical, material conditions, or what we have learnt through anthroposophical science itself. Looking back into the ancient past, we see how the human soul and actually the human body too, developed in the different epochs of earth evolution. In the sphere of spiritual science we have looked back into ancient India, Persia, Egypt, and so on. And we saw how the various capacities that mankind has today, developed gradually in the course of ages. All this gives you an idea of how external conditions are connected with the unfolding of man's inner being. Now if even present-day earth conditions bring about such differences among men, what tremendous human differences must have come about since the very beginnings of our earth evolution, after it has passed through the Saturn, Sun and Moon evolution. We have described various details of this. What we are going to describe today, however, shall be considered from another point of view. For we shall really get to know human conditions if we continually consider them from different points of view.

At the beginning of earth evolution, earth, sun and moon were, as you know, still one body. The conditions within our whole evolution must have been entirely different then. Man, evolving in earthly evolution, would have been very different whilst the earth was still one with the sun; and how greatly he had to change as first of all the sun and then the moon separated from the earth! Now we know that the epoch after the sun and the moon had separated from the earth is also the so-called Lemurian evolution, in which man had only just begun to acquire a form that is anything like our present-day one. We have often described it by saying that this was actually the time when man descended from higher regions on to the earth. Although man was already in a physical body at the time when the sun was still joined with the earth, it was not like today's body. At that time he had the kind of physical body like you can imagine if you picture man today not standing with his feet on the earth, but raising himself into the air, as though he had no bony elements within him, but still belonged to the regions of air and water, whereby we must imagine the water dissolved in the air. He would have been like a transparent being on the periphery of the earth. A present-day eye would not be able to distinguish this human being from his environment, just as a present-day eye cannot distinguish certain sea creatures from their surroundings, because they look so similar. You can imagine such a being wafting through the air. Not until after the separation of the sun and the moon did man become like we know him today. What were the conditions necessary for man to develop into what he is today? It was essential that the sun's force should not work from inside but from outside on to the earth. That was the purpose of the separation of both sun and moon, that these two