THE ACTIVITY OF MICHAEL AND THE
FUTURE OF MANKIND
How does man stand today in his present stage of evolution with
respect to Michael and his hosts?
Man is surrounded today by a world which was once of a wholly
divine-spiritual nature divine-spiritual being of which he also
was a member. Thus at that time the world belonging to man was a world
of divine-spiritual being. But this was no longer so in a later stage
of evolution. The world had then become a cosmic manifestation of the
Divine Spiritual; the Divine Being hovered behind the manifestation.
Nevertheless, the Divine-Spiritual lived and moved in all that was
thus manifested. A world of stars was already there, in the light and
movement of which the Divine-Spiritual lived and moved and manifested
itself. One may say that at that time, in the position or movement of a
star, the activity of the Divine and Spiritual was directly evident.
And in all this in the working of the Divine Spirit in the
Cosmos, and in the life of man resulting from this divine activity
Michael was as yet in his own element unhindered,
unresisted. The adjustment of the relation between the Divine and the
Human was in his hands.
But other ages dawned. The world of the stars ceased to be a direct
and present manifestation of Divine-Spiritual activity. The
constellations lived and moved, maintaining what the Divine activity
had been in them in the past. The Divine-Spiritual dwelt in the Cosmos
in manifestation no longer, but in the manner of its working only.
There was now a certain distinct separation between the Divine
Spiritual and the cosmic World. Michael, by virtue of his own nature,
adhered to the Divine-Spiritual, and endeavoured to keep mankind as
closely as possible in touch with it.
This he continued to do, more and more. His will was to preserve man
from living too intensely in a world which represents only the Working
of the Divine and Spiritual which is not the real Being, nor
It is a deep source of satisfaction to Michael that through man
himself he has succeeded in keeping the world of the stars in direct
union with the Divine and Spiritual. For when man, having fulfilled
his life between death and a new birth, enters on the way to a new
Earth-life, in his descent he seeks to establish a harmony between the
course of the stars and his coming life on Earth. In olden times this
harmony existed as a matter of course, because the Divine-Spiritual
was active in the stars, where human life too had its source. But
today, when the course of the stars is only a continuing of the
manner in which the Divine-Spiritual worked in the past, this harmony
could not exist unless man sought it. Man brings his divine-spiritual
portion which he has preserved from the past into
relation with the stars, which now only bear their divine-spiritual
nature within them as an after-working from an earlier time.
In this way there comes into man's relation to the world something of
the Divine, which corresponds to former ages and yet appears in these
later times. That this is so, is the deed of Michael. And this
deed gives him such deep satisfaction that in it he finds a portion of
his very life, a portion of his sun-like, living energy.
But at the present time, when Michael directs his spiritual eyes to
the Earth, he sees another fact as well very different from the
above. During his physical life between birth and death man has a
world around him in which even the Working of the
Divine-Spiritual no longer appears directly, but only something which
has remained over as its result; we may describe it by saying
it is only the accomplished Work of the Divine-Spiritual. This
accomplished Work, in all its forms, is essentially of a Divine and
Spiritual kind. To human vision the Divine is manifested in the forms
and in the processes of Nature; but it is no longer indwelling
as a living principle. Nature is this divinely accomplished work of
God; Nature everywhere around us is an image of the Divine Working.
In this world of sun-like Divine glory, but no longer livingly Divine,
man dwells. Yet as a result of Michael's working upon him man has
maintained his connection with the essential Being of the Divine and
Spiritual. He lives as a being permeated by God in a world that is no
longer permeated by God.
Into this world that has become empty of God, man will carry what is
in him what his being has become in this present age.
Humanity will evolve into a new world-evolution. The Divine and
Spiritual from which man originates can become the cosmically
expanding Human Being, radiating with a new light through the Cosmos
which now exists only as an image of the Divine and Spiritual.
The Divine Being which will thus shine forth through Humanity will no
longer be the same Divine Being which was once the Cosmos. In its
passage through Humanity the Divine-Spiritual will come to a
realisation of Being which it could not manifest before.
The Ahrimanic Powers try to prevent evolution from taking the course
here described. It is not their will that the original
Divine-Spiritual Powers should illumine the Universe in its further
course. They want the cosmic intellectuality which they themselves
have absorbed to radiate through the whole of the new Cosmos, and in
this intellectualised and Ahrimanised Cosmos they want man to live on.
Were he to live such a life man would lose Christ. For Christ came
into the world with an Intellectuality that is still of the very same
essence as once lived in the Divine Spiritual, when the
Divine-Spiritual in its own Being still informed the Cosmos. But if at
the present time we speak in such a manner that our thoughts can also
be the thoughts of Christ, we set over against the Ahrimanic Powers
something which can save us from succumbing to them.
To understand the meaning of Michael's mission in the Cosmos is to be
able to speak in this way. In the present time we must be able to
speak of Nature in the way demanded by the evolutionary stage of the
Consciousness Soul or Spiritual Soul. We must be able to receive into
ourselves the purely natural-scientific way of thinking. But we ought
also to learn to feel and speak about Nature in a way that is
according to Christ. We ought to learn the Christ-Language not
only about redemption from Nature, about the soul and things Divine
but about the things of the Cosmos.
When with inward, heartfelt feeling we realise the mission and the
deeds of Michael and those belonging to him, when we enter into all
that they are in our midst, then we shall be able to maintain our
human connection with the Divine and Spiritual origin, and understand
how to cultivate the Christ Language about the Cosmos. For to
understand Michael is to find the way in our time to the Logos, as
lived by Christ here on Earth and among men.
Anthroposophy truly values what the natural-scientific way of thinking
has learned to say about the world during the last four or five
centuries. But in addition to this language it speaks another, about
the nature of man, about his evolution and that of the Cosmos; for it
would fain speak the language of Christ and Michael.
If both these languages are spoken it will not be possible for
evolution to be broken off or to pass over to Ahriman before the
original Divine-Spiritual is found. To speak only in the
natural-scientific way corresponds to the separation of
intellectuality from the original Divine and Spiritual. This can
indeed lead over into the Ahrimanic realm if Michael's mission remains
unobserved. But it will not do so if through the power of
Michael's example the intellect which has become free finds itself
again in the original cosmic intellectuality, which has separated from
man and become objective to him. For that cosmic intellectuality lies
in the original source of man, and it appeared in Christ in full
reality of being within the sphere of humanity, after it had left man
for a time so that he might unfold his freedom.
Further Leading Thoughts issued from the Goetheanum for the Anthroposophical Society (with reference to the preceding study)
112. The Divine-Spiritual comes to expression in the Cosmos in
different ways, in succeeding stages: (1) through its own and inmost
Being; (2) through the Manifestation of this Being; (3)
through the active Working, when the Being withdraws from the
Manifestation; (4) through the accomplished Work, when in the
outwardly apparent Universe no longer the Divine itself, but only the
forms of the Divine are there.
113. In the modern conception of Nature man has no relation to the
Divine, but only to the accomplished Work. With all that is imparted
to the human soul by this science of Nature, man can unite himself
either with the powers of Christ or with the dominions of Ahriman.
114. Michael is filled with the striving working through his
example in perfect freedom to embody in human cosmic evolution
the relation to the Cosmos which is still preserved in man himself
from the ages when the Divine Being and the Divine Manifestation held
sway. In this way, all that is said by the modern view of Nature
relating as it does purely to the image, purely to the form of
the Divine will merge into a higher, spiritual view of Nature.
The latter will indeed exist in man; but it will be an echo in human
experience of the Divine relation to the Cosmos which prevailed in the
first two stages of cosmic evolution. This is how Anthroposophy
confirms the view of Nature which the age of the Spiritual Soul has
evolved, while supplementing it with that which is revealed to