May 21, 1909
WE CANNOT DISCUSS EVERYTHING
that could be said in connection with the Apocalypse, for then we would
have to speak for years. In these lectures we can only give a kind of
sketch, and some explanations that can help us understand this mighty work.
Today we would still like to point out some particularly important things.
We begin by returning to a specific question of human evolution.
Every age between the
Atlantean catastrophe and the great war of all against all has its own
unique task for our development. In a new incarnation a human being
never has the same task as in the last one. From incarnation to incarnation
new tasks approach us, and so this post-Atlantean evolutionary age has
worked on human beings in a special way. The whole epoch of earth evolution
exists to make human beings fit particularly to develop the human I.
In the last third of the Atlantean age, human beings were first equipped
to draw the I toward the physical head. That is, the I, the spiritual
basis for the experience of self that was only like a seed at the time,
was pulled “down” toward the physical body, specifically,
toward the human head. But the most significant impulse to have an effect
on the I came through the event of Golgotha. All the preceding epochs
had already worked in that direction. When we look back at the last
third of Atlantean evolution we see that a certain point in the etheric
head and the physical head did not then coincide, whereas today the
etheric body of the head is approximately the same as the physical head.
Because of this, human beings gradually came to develop their I, their
sense of self. The rest of Atlantean evolution was used to make the human
being fit to be a proper bearer of the I. Even at the end of Atlantean
culture the brain was entirely soft, more or less like that of a
hydrocephalic today, as part of an atavistic inheritance. The physical
brain could only become firm enough through the arrival of the etheric
brain. Still, even when the etheric head had fully entered the physical
head in the ancient Indian age, it was not yet possible for this head to
be a perfect bearer of the I. For this reason the ancient Indians longed
for the spiritual world and had to be educated so that the I could
gradually develop in them.
To begin with, the human
being consists of the four members: physical body, etheric body, astral
body, and the I. However, if we wish to investigate post-Atlantean
evolution more precisely, we must also consider the ninefold aspect of the
human being. This is the difference between the oriental and the northern
mystery teachings. The I works to transform the astral body into manas or
spirit-self, the etheric body into budhi or life-spirit, and the physical
body, through breathing, into atma. In other words, the I transforms
the astral body, the etheric body, and the physical body. But before
this can happen consciously, it must have taken place through higher
Today the conscious
transformation of these members occurs only in schools of initiation. For
example, in the last third of the Atlantean age the physical body was
transformed to the point that it could be a bearer of an I, but this
occurred unconsciously. What was transformed in the astral body is called
sentient soul, the etheric body transformed in this way is called the
intellectual soul, and the physical body thus unconsciously transformed
is the consciousness soul. And only when human beings have developed the
consciousness soul can the spirit-self gradually — and at first,
unconsciously — be woven into them.
In the cultural epochs
of our earth evolution, manas is gradually being formed and slipped
into the astral body. After it has been prepared in the last third of
the Atlantean age, the consciousness soul must again be transformed
by the Yahweh-Christ principle in the next cultural epoch.
In the ancient Indian
age the etheric body was permeated by the I, which by then had moved
into the human being. In the ancient Persian age the astral body was
permeated by the I, in the Egyptian age the I permeated the sentient
soul; in the Greco-Latin age the intellectual soul was permeated by
the I, in our culture, the I permeates the consciousness soul. In the
age of “Philadelphia” the I will permeate the spirit-self,
or manas. Then the human beings who, through theosophical-spiritual
teachings, have made themselves capable of recognizing Christ will be
in a position to see him in a new form of existence — in his delicate
etheric body — for he will come again.
The I will be educated
through wisdom, through Theosophy, so that it receives manas or spirit-self
and will be able to recognize Christ again. Theosophical teachings have
been given to humankind not in order to agitate for Theosophy but rather
because they were necessary.
In the age represented
by the seven seals something like a shower of meteorites will occur,
caused by increasing materialism, and some human beings will ascend
to a spiritual state. What the spiritualized human beings have acquired
through their efforts in our post-Atlantean age will completely permeate
them within. When, in the age of the sixth seal, everything that the human
being has in terms of sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness
soul has been worked into the other members, human beings will have
achieved the ability to create an external imprint of their inner life
in their gesture, features, in their whole life. Because they have worked
on their development they will be able, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth
ages in the epoch of the seals, to use these three soul forces —
the sentient, intellectual, and consciousness souls — to permeate
and work on themselves in order to take in manas.
When the human being has
gone through a cycle fully, so that nothing more remains to be done, this
is characterized in occultism with a “0” or zero. Therefore,
human beings will have permeated the three with four. For the next age,
this permeation of the three with the four is expressed by multiplying
three by four; they have gone through three cycles, that is through
three zeros. This is expressed thus: twelve with three zeros: 12,000.
“Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with
the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four
angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, ‘Do
not harn the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the
servants of our God upon their foreheads.’ And I heard the number
of the sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every
tribe of the sons of Israel, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe
of Judah, twelve thousand of the tribe of Reuben ...”
Then the various groups of people who have matured will be united in
the community of Philadelphia for mature brotherhood when every soul
will feel for others. All those who have been separated out of the various
groups can now be multiplied together because they will live within
one another. Their life together will be such that they will not disturb
one another, such that one soul will work into another soul in complete
harmony. Twelve times 12,000 gives the number 144,000.
These are the people who
will constitute human society in the age of the sixth seal. The writer
of the Apocalypse knows the secrets of all evolution, and he tells them
in a language generally little understood. He does this because human
beings will be able to develop their consciousness soul precisely through
the exertion of energy required to penetrate such riddles. What today
is presented as Theosophy is appropriate for the present age. In later
ages an entirely different form of wisdom will be given. The souls who
are preparing themselves by taking in Theosophy will take in new forms
of wisdom in the next age. What is exoteric culture today was mystery
wisdom in ancient times.
In all the ancient mysteries
there was a last stage wherein the student experienced the mystery of
Golgotha. Therefore, the coffin in which the student experienced the
crucifixion, the laying in the grave — and out of which, experienced
the resurrection — this coffin was given the shape of the cross.
Since the mystery of Golgotha, this fact has become exoteric.
The conservative attitude
has always been opposed to making the esoteric exoteric. Hence, Christ
was seen as someone who makes the esoteric manifest. But when the time
for it has come, the esoteric must always be made manifest. Had we been
able to follow the writer of the Apocalypse to the place where he spoke
to his disciples, we would be able to hear what is spoken to us today.
In the age when the sixth
seal is broken the “people of twelve” will appear.
The salvation of the “great whore of Babylon” will also occur
in the sixth age. In this sixth age the earth will have repeated the
Saturn, Sun, and Moon stages, as well as the earth condition itself and
Jupiter-Earth. On Venus-Earth the earth will finally have the five rounds
behind it. Then the sixth state will have come. Nevertheless, the Vulcan
state for the chosen will not be present yet. For this reason we read
[“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the
other is not yet come ...”] “... five are fallen ...”
and the remnant that has maintained itself: “... one is ...”
and the seventh: “the other has not yet come.”
We see how we again find the messages of the writer of the Apocalypse
But those who have proven
themselves to be immature in the age of Venus-Earth, who have placed
themselves under the rulership of Sorat, must now isolate themselves
on a special sphere of earth while the other seven proceed downward
and again upward. Thus the colony of Sorat falls away. The black magicians
inhabit this eighth sphere, which goes to the left and away, and the
beast gives a home to all that thus falls away: that is the eighth state.
In this way we can find all the teachings of Theosophy in the
The more humanity advances,
the more energy is necessary in order to spiritualize those who have
been left behind. For this reason those who are the most deeply initiated,
Moses and Elijah, are called. Powerful forces are needed. Because they
were already deeply initiated, they will be able in that distant future
to stand so high that they will be able to work in a very special way.
However, karma is a law to which all are subject; therefore, those who
were initiated before the event of Golgotha must make up for the
The three and a half days
required for initiation in ancient times were lost days in the initiates'
development. Initiates had to leave their bodies during these three
and a half days. Therefore, the I could not work on the transformation
of its physical body, its etheric body, and its astral body. For this
reason, in the future they must leave their physical body to the external
world for three and a half days. Hence, we read, “For three days
and a half ... gaze at their dead bodies.”
Even the deeds that are sacrifices for humanity must find their cosmic
In this way spiritual
seers have spoken to other spiritual seers through the millennia and
we find all of this again even unto the names in the Apocalypse. As
Paul said, “... it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives
This, too, we find again in the Apocalypse.
The I is permeated by Christ. The one who can fructify the I with his
name is the Christ: “... and he has a name inscribed which no one
knows but he himself.”
We are also told that
the earth will be spiritualized in the New Jerusalem. There will be
no external sun present then; the corresponding spiritual beings will
provide the light. We read, “And the city has no need of sun or
moon to shine upon it ...”
The writer of the Apocalypse
always shows the evolution of humankind in pictures. He sees the leader
who was first proclaimed as Vishva Karman, and then as Ahura Mazdao,
and he points to him, to Christ.
In order to illuminate
what is found in the Apocalypse, we must refer to the transformation
of organs that are developed in human beings into other forms. They
now have the ability to change their forms.
The heart muscle is
from other muscles under our voluntary control by the fact that the
heart is an involuntary muscle, and yet is striated in the same way
as voluntary muscle. The heart is on the way to becoming an organ with
entirely different functions. We see this indicated in the structure
of the muscle.
What comes forth from
the voice box will become increasingly powerful. What we speak forth
in order to express our thoughts shapes the air — already now it
forms it according to how we think. But the word will become increasingly
powerful. One day the human being will create the human being's
equal through the word that comes forth from the larynx. The one who
has the sword coming forth from his mouth is an indication of the being
who is the alpha and the omega.
The lamb, who will be
the lord over the lower nature, forms one of the seals. Sorat is as
if expelled in the eighth sphere by the woman who shows us another seal
of the Rosicrucian. The seer can also see this in the spiritual world.
In this way, these Rosicrucian seals have an awakening effect when we
meditate upon them with understanding.
We have seen how we must
understand ancient religious texts literally, taking them at their word.
Theosophy is the only possible commentary for the Apocalypse and it
should prepare the community of Philadelphia. It is therefore within
the plan for the evolution of the earth that Theosophy exists. Therefore,
at various locations on the earth, great individualities are at work
to give Theosophy to those able to receive it.