Occult Science - An Outline
Chapter I. The Character of Occult Science
Concerning the term Occult Science. The manifest
What is the essence of a science ? Science and
supersensible perception (26-9). Sundry aberrations (29). The
character of proofs in natural and spiritual science
(30-1). Riddles arising from contemplation of the outer world, to
which the outer world gives no answer (31-2). Concerning
frontiers of knowledge (32-3). Contrary viewpoints
mentioned and answered (30-2).
Universal, impersonal validity of spiritual-scientific insight
Spiritual knowledge a source of renewed life and strength (35-36).
Spiritual-scientific study and the development of one's own higher
faculties (36-8). The student becomes an active participator in
supersensible knowledge (38). In supersensible cognition, man himself
is the instrument of knowledge (37-8).
Chapter II. The Nature of
Physical body; relation to mineral kingdom (39-40). Etheric or
Life-body (40-3; see also page 314).
Misunderstandings to be guarded against: the hypothetical ether of
physics; discarded notions of a life-force (41-2). Wider
use of the term body (41). Etheric organs heart,
brain, etc. (41).
Waking and sleeping (43). Relation to animal kingdom. Fallacious
reasoning concerning sensitive plants (44).
The I or Ego, the fourth member of man's being (45-53). Life,
consciousness and memory in relation to etheric body, astral body and
Ego (46). Memory characteristic of man;
mistakes concerning memory in animals (45-8; see also
page 326). Learning, remembering and forgetting (48). Distinction
of body and soul. Astral body as soul-body (48-9).
Sentient Soul, Intellectual or Mind-Soul, Spiritual Soul (49-50;
Essential nature of the I . Relation to the Divine: picture of the
ocean and the drop (49-50). Body, soul and spirit (52). Spiritual work
of the Ego transforming the bodily and soul-members (53-7).
Spirit-Self or Manas, the transformed astral body (53). Life-Spirit or
Budhi, the transformed etheric body (54-5). Spirit-Man or Atma, the
transformed physical body (56-7; see also page 321).
Transformation of astral and etheric bodies picture of minute
and hour hands of the clock (54; see also page 327). Influence
of art and religion (55-6). The sevenfold man (57-8).
Misunderstandings concerning the number seven (58-9).
Chapter III. Sleep and Death
Introductory (60-1). Separation of the astral body from the
physical and etheric bodies during sleep (62).
Etheric body, the architect of the physical, receives the
pattern-forms or archetypes from the astral body. Rhythm of sleeping
and waking. Sleep and fatigue (63-4; see also page 327).
Universe to which the astral body belongs. Refreshment from the cosmic
harmonies (65; see also page 317).
Dreams and dream-consciousness; examples of dreams (66-8;
Death. Severance of etheric body from physical (69).
Memory-tableau in the first few days after death (71-3). Partial
severance of etheric body in exceptional conditions during life.
Experiences, for example, when on the point of drowning (72-3). The
second stage after death. Separation of etheric and astral bodies
The time of purification; the consuming fire (76-8).
Recapitulation of past life in reverse order (78). Physical, etheric
and astral corpses (79).
Entry of the Ego into the spiritual world (80-3).
Revelation (as of the Ego in self-awareness) from within (79).
Destructive and evil powers made manifest in the time of purification;
picture of the prowling wolf (80-1). The spiritual yield of earthly
life which man brings with him into Spirit-land (82). Experiences of
the soul in Spirit-land. Colour, sound and the spiritual Word (82-3).
Archetypal realms of Spirit-land: continental region, region of
oceans and rivers, atmosphere (83-5).
Archetypes of mineral kingdom, world of flowing life, realm of
feelings (83-4). Complementary qualities: e.g. complementary colours,
fulness and emptiness (84). Warmth and light in the spiritual world.
Living archetypes of thought. Spiritual light and Wisdom (85-6).
Outcome of past life, planted as a seed into the spiritual world
Man is amid the creative powers of the physical, ethenc and
astral bodies. Preparation for coming life on Earth (87;
see also page 318).
Change of consciousness on approach to new incarnation. Prevision of
coming earthly life. Law of destiny or Karma (89). Man between death
and rebirth partakes in the gradual changing of the Earth-planet.
Souls who were near one-another in earthly life find each other again
after death (89-90). Reincarnation not an endless repetition (91).
Concerning relative duration of life between death and new birth and
its several stages, see also pages 318-9).
Problems of destiny in relation to physical heredity and the
reincarnating individuality (91-4).
Fallacious thinking concerning the inheritance of genius (91-4;
see also page 328). Approach to the truth of reincarnation
through living thought and experience (96-8). Significance of
schooling and education (98-9; see also pages 323-4). Quotation
from I. H. Fichte (100-1). Reincarnation and the cosmic past and
Chapter IV. Man and the Evolution of the World Introductory
Akashic records (105). Successive planetary embodiments:
Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth (108-10).
Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth and the four members of man's being: physical
body, etheric body, astral body and Ego varying degrees of
Saturn Evolution (115-28)
The Saturn warmth. Beginnings of man's physical body
The Spirits of Wisdom and the Thrones (119). Spirits of Movement,
Spirits of Form (120-1). Individualization of bodily forms: the
mulberry picture (121).
The Archai or Spirits of Personality attain their human stage (121-2).
Germinal beginnings of human sense-organs (122). Entry of the
Fire-Spirits (Archangels) and the Sons of Life or of Twilight
(Angels). Participation of the Seraphim and Cherubim (122-4).
Renewed activity of the Thrones. The germ of Spirit-Man (124).
Transition from soul-warmth to outwardly perceptible warmth;
earlier, purely spiritual stages.
Beginning of Time. Time and Duration (126).
Meaninglessness of questions endlessly pursued; example of
Summary and recapitulation. Progressive advancement of the
Hierarchical Beings (127).
Interval of spiritual rest between Saturn and Sun evolutions
Recapitulation of Old Saturn. Outpouring of the human life-body by the
Spirits of Wisdom (129-30).
Beginnings of Life. Interval of cosmic rest. The human being
becomes twofold (129-30).
Entry of the Spirits of Movement (130-1).
Movement within the human body, comparable to that of sap in plants
(130). Differentiation of warmth into air, warmth and light (130-1).
Interval of rest (131).
Entry of the Spirits of Form (131). Interval of rest (131).
Middle period of Sun Evolution (131-4).
Advancement of the Archai beyond the human stage. Imaginative or
wide-awake picture-consciousness (132). Co-operation of the Seraphim.
Beginnings of reproductive process (132). Some of the Archai stay
behind in evolution. Resulting differentiation of two Nature-kingdoms.
Separation of Sun and Saturn (133-4). The Archangels attain their
human stage (133). Beginnings of human glandular system (135).
Interval of rest (i35).
United activity of the Cherubim and the Angels (135-6). The Angels
attain dreamlike picture-consciousness (135-6). Interval of rest
The human being and the Thrones. Man receives the germ of
Life-Spirit or Budhi (136). Interval of rest (136).
Renewed activity of the Spirits of Wisdom (136).
Man has attained the consciousness of dreamless sleep. Longer interval
of cosmic rest between Sun and Moon evolutions (137-8).
Recapitulation of Old Saturn (137-8).
Recapitulation of Sun. First outpouring of the astral body
by the Spirits of Movement (138).
Continued outpouring of the human astral body by the Spirits
of Movement (138-9).
Sensation begins in Man (139). Entry of the Spirits of Form (139).
Development of Water-element (139).
Differentiation of the human and two lower Nature-kingdoms (139-40).
Separation of Sun and Moon (140).
Relation of Moon to Sun and of Old Saturn to the surrounding
Cosmos compared. Principle of spiritual reflection followed by
independent development (141-2). First mention of the
rebellious Beings their opposition to the
Nature-kingdoms of Old Moon: mineral-plant, plant-animal,
animal-man (142). Ennobling influence of the Sun-Beings (143). Archai
and Archangeloi who remained behind in evolution
Separation of other cosmic bodies in addition to Sun and Moon
(144). Interval of rest (145).
The Archai attain the Inspirational and the Archangeloi the
Imaginative consciousness (145-6).
Their several influences on the human astral and etheric bodies
(146). Elemental processes in the warmth-, air- and
Relation of breathing and nutrition, the forming of mental
pictures and reproduction (146). Dreamlike picture-consciousness of
Twofoldness of the human being. Emergence of head
(148-50). Harmony achieved through the influence of the Sun-Beings
Mutual movement of heavenly bodies and the states of consciousness of
their inhabitants. Periodic migrations of the inhabitants of the Moon
With the help of man's sense-organs the Angels attain the
Man's alternating states of consciousness and the waxing and waning of
his bodily form. Rhythms intermediate between those of life and death
and of waking and sleeping (150-3). Harmonies of the Universe acting
on the astral body and life-body of man (151). Once more the relation
of reproduction and ideation (153). .
Sons of Life (Angels) as Group-egos of Lunar man (154).
Ego-consciousness of the Angels and the human sense-organs. Beginnings
of nervous system (154). Memory in the etheric body (155).
Middle period of Moon evolution: Man in relation to the
several Hierarchies (154).
The germ of Spirit-Self (155).
The Sun Beings overcome the rebellious Moon Beings (156). Reunion of
Sun and Moon. The Spirits of Wisdom permeate the planet with wisdom
(156). Influence of the Spirits of Movement. Evolution of sentient and
intellectual souls (157).
The Moon becomes a Cosmos of Wisdom, from which the
present Earth derives (157-60).
Summary: Rising and declining periods of Moon evolution:
seven cycles in all (158-61). Culmination in the middle period, when
Angels attain the human stage (159).
Earth Evolution (161-221)
Recapitulations of Saturn, Sun and Moon (161-3). The physical and
life-bodies in astral form (162-3). First contact with the Fire-Earth.
The acorn picture (163-4). Progressive evolution through
the elements: Fire. Air, Water, Earth. Archai, Archangels and Angels
and the sentient, intellectual and spiritual souls. Spiritual life,
sound, light and warmth (163-4). Separation of Sun (165).
Alternating phases in man's consciousness and bodily development, and
the relative movements of Earth and Sun (166-9). Separation of Moon
Beginnings of racial differentiation (170). Division of the sexes
Further description of man's evolution hitherto in relation
to the Spirits of Form, Archai, Archangels and Angels
Evolution of heredity, memory, breathing, the nervous system
(172-3). Three distinct human types (176-7). Before the separation of
the Moon, human souls all but the strongest had to leave
the Earth for a time (177-9).
The several groups of human souls and the planets: Mars,
Jupiter and Saturn. Evolution of animal, plant and mineral
kingdoms on Earth (178-81).
Influence of the rebellious (Luciferic) Spirits (182-5).
Sickness and death (185). Protection of human life-body from
Luciferic influence by the
Rhythms of day and night. Movements of Earth, Sun, Moon and the other
heavenly bodies (186).
Return of human souls from Jupiter, Mars and the other
Beginning of Reincarnation and Karma (188). Reproduction and the
spiritual protection of man's life-body (188). Highly developed
memory. Power over the life-forces of Nature (188).
Loss of the faculty to divine the future. Fear, error and the
possibility of freedom. First explicit mention of the Ahrimanic
Exalted spiritual Beings of the planetary and solar realms who
protected the human life-bodies. Higher Egos of the Jupiter,
Mars, Sun, and Saturn humanity (190-1). The Sun-Being and
Names of the evolutionary epochs: Atlantean, Lemurian,
Hyperborean (and Polarian) (191-2).
Biblical tradition of Paradise and the Fall (192). The Lemurian
Saturn, Sun, Jupiter and Mars races (192). Relation of Man to the
Hierarchies in waking and sleeping (192). The Atlantean Oracles or
Initiation-centres, turning the Luciferic influence into an instrument
of progress (193). Christ and the Sun Oracle (194).
Saturn, Jupiter and Mars Oracles (194).
Origin of the Planets Venus and Mercury (195).
Venus and Mercury Oracles (195). The Vulcan Oracle;
development of science and the arts (195). Diverse methods of the
Oracles, in relation to Thought. Special position of the
Christ-Initiates (195). Higher human faculties notably that of
speech gained through the transmutation of the Luciferic
influence (196-7). Memory of ancestors. Erroneous concepts of
Plasticity of man's bodily form in Atlantean time (197). Premature
hardening of the animal kingdom.
Corruption and betrayal of Atlantean Mysteries, notably those
of Vulcan. Destruction of Atlantis by air- and water-catastrophe
Migration of Atlanteans to Europe, Asia, Africa and America (198).
Further characterization of the Ahrimanic Beings (200).
The Christ-Initiate leads a chosen group into inner Asia. His
seven disciples. Ancient Indian civilization (201).
The Indian Christ-Initiate. The great Sun-Spirit as the Hidden
One (203-4). Erroneous ideas of reincarnation after the downfall
of Atlantis (205).
The Persian civilization-epoch (205-10).
Spiritual conquest of the Earth (206). Zarathustra (207). Ahura Mazdao
(208). The Zoroastrian Initiation in relation to the
Luciferic and Ahrimanic powers (207-9).
Egypto-Chaldean or third post-Atlantean epoch (209-11). Osiris (211).
Hermes (210, 214).
Graeco-Latin or fourth post-Atlantean epoch (211-18).
Art and philosophy of ancient Greece (211-2). Orphic and
Eleusinian Mysteries. The Pythagorean School (212).
Darkening influence of Ahriman in the life after death (213).
Spiritual Science (as in Ch. III of this book) portrays man's life
between death and new birth such as it is when Ahriman's influence has
to some extent been overcome (213-4). Feeling in ancient Greece:
Better a beggar on Earth than a king in the realm of
The two kinds of Initiation. Mysteries wrested from Lucifer
and from Ahriman (214-16).
Prophecy of the Christ-event (216). Moses and the I AM (216).
The coming of Christ and the Mystery of Golgotha (216-18). After the
Death on the Cross, Christ appeared in the realm where human souls
sojourn after death and set limits to the power of Ahriman (217).
Gradual ripening of the seed planted in human evolution by
Ideal of a common humanity (218). I and the Father
(218). Beginning of fifth post-Atlantean epoch (218-20).
European Mysteries and Mythologies (219). Twilight of the
Gods (220). Christian Mysticism Eckhardt, Tauler and
others (220), Dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean epoch (221).
Chapter V. Knowledge of Higher Worlds [Initiation)
Waking, dreaming and sleeping. Attainment of consciousness
in sleep (222). Initiation (223).
Spiritual organs of perception (223). Gases of spontaneous
or self-initiation. Initiation normally by spiritual
training (224). Objections and misgivings answered (224-8). The
pupil's spiritual freedom (225). Ethical aspects (227).
Normal waking consciousness the starting-point. Meditation of
symbolic pictures (228-9).
Comparison with pictures of memory (229-30). The Rose-Cross
Meditation (230-33). Feelings evoked by meditation (232).
Exercises in the book Knowledge of Higher Worlds: meditations
on growing and decaying plant, plant-seeds, crystal forms, etc. (233).
Meditative words and verses (233).
Meditation on feelings joy, loving-kindness (234-5).
Progression from individual instance to pure idea (234). Patience and
Objective cognition, the normal consciousness of our time.
Rise to Imaginative cognition. Spiritual Imaginations
(235-6). Waking and sleeping and the higher awakening (236-7).
Detachment of consciousness from physical brain and sense-organs
(237). Birth of a new and independent Self (237). Imagination, to
begin with, the reflection of one's own self (238). Need to be able to
expunge the Imaginative pictures, except for those relating to the
inmost Self the being that goes through repeated Earth-lives
(238). Spiritual experiences during sleep or in looking back on the
periods of sleep. Continuity of consciousness (240).
Awakening of the higher Ego the ordinary Ego persisting
Enhancement and overcoming of self-love (242). Power to
discriminate real experiences from hallucinations (242-50).
Ethical qualities which need to have been developed (244-50). Clear
thinking most essential (243-50).
The six accessory exercises (245-51).
1. Control of thought; 2. Control of will; 3. Equanimity;
4. Positiveness; 5. Open-minded readiness for ever new
experiences ; 6. Harmony and synthesis of the preceding five.
Creating of inner silence (251).
Looking back on the events of the day (252). Reversal of time-order,
also with plays, narratives, melodies, etc. (251-2). Need for the
right inner starting-point (252-3).
Sense-free thinking as an aid to meditation (253).
Meditation on the facts of higher worlds revealed by spiritual
science (107-8, 253-4). Living organism of thought: It thinks in
me (253-5). Rudolf Steiner's philosophical works. Philosophical
thinking as an intermediate stage (256).
Organs of higher perception in the astral body. The
Probation, or purification, followed by
Illumination (258). Delicate nature of spiritual
experiences (259). Patience and resignation (259). The spiritual path
pursued for its own sake, without impatience for results (259).
The 2-, 16-, and 12-petalled lotus-flowers (260).
Imaginative experiences comparable to sense-impressions:
warmth and cold, colour, sound, etc. (261). Metamorphosis takes the
place of birth and death, dying and becoming (261-3).
Inspirational cognition. Orientation in the Imaginative
Perception of the inner nature of Beings and of their mutual relations
(263). Reading of the occult script (263). Knowledge of
cosmic epochs Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth indispensable
(264-6). Example: the plant before and after fertilization (265).
Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition and the three stages of life
between death and new birth (267).
Intuition perception of the Beings of higher worlds
The Hierarchies; Lucifer and Ahriman (267).
Exercises for Inspiration and Intuition, illustrated by reference to
the Rose-Cross and other meditations. Progressive detachment from
relics of sensory experience (268-9).
Impersonal contemplation of one's experiences in life (270). Reverence
and devotion (272). The need for inner poise and balance (271-5).
Attentiveness to deeper guidance; the being that is wiser than one's
ordinary self (273-4). Avoidance of mystical vagueness and
superstition (274). Mood of patient waiting (274). In the exercises
for Intuition the last remnants of outer physical experience are left
behind. How the spiritual world is revealed in Intuition (275).
Organs of cognition in the etheric or life-body, developed through the
exercises for Inspiration and Intuition (276).
Relation to the lotus-flowers of the astral body. Etheric
centres in regions of head, larynx and heart (276-7). In Inspirational
cognition, the concepts and ideas are given in and with the percepts
Exercises for Intuition affect the physical body too (275-8) Influence
on breathing (278).
Separation of Thinking, Feeling and Willing (278-80).
Dangers which this involves (279-80).
Consequent sevenfold development
Imaginative pictures permeated by one's own subjective
being. Deeper self-knowledge needed for discrimination (280-1).
The Ego and its yet unfulfilled Karma. The Double a
necessary first experience on entering the spiritual world (281-82).
Hidden feeling of shame, veiling the spiritual world from ordinary
Study of cosmic and human evolution prepares
man for the meeting with the Double. The Double as Guardian of the
The Guardian at the moment of death (286).
Illusions inevitable if the Guardian is not properly encountered (286-8).
Two main sources of illusion:
(1) Man's own soul-condition colours all that he sees in the spiritual world.
This source is overcome by the self-knowledge which the meeting with the
Guardian involves (286-7).
(2) Mistaken interpretation of what is seen. In the spiritual world the
mistaken judgment becomes part and parcel of the perception (287-8).
Criteria of spiritual reality. Spiritual training and study enhance the
powers of thought and judgment (288).
Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition in this regard; pure spiritual reality
in Intuition (289-90).
The Double as Guardian of the Threshold and the new-born Self (291).
Temptation to abandon the burden of the ordinary self. Premature
illusion of having reached the goal (291-2).
Successive influences of
Lucifer and Ahriman in human evolution. Lucifer and the ordinary self
Ahriman prevents man's recognition of the spiritual Beings
underlying the outer world (292).
The meeting with the Greater
Guardian of the Threshold (292).
Untold fear the alternative, if unprepared for this experience. The
Lesser and the Greater Guardian and the two sources of illusion
Many individual forms of the experience with
the Guardian of the Threshold (293).
Relation between the Microcosm and the Macrocosm (294-5).
of the Way of Initiation described in this book:
1. Study of Spiritual Science;
5. Knowledge of the relation of Microcosm and Macrocosm;
6. Becoming one with the Macrocosm;
7. The synthesis of all these
becomes the prevailing mood of soul (295-6).
Through Intuition man learns to know his higher Ego as a spiritual being
in the spiritual world (296).
The Greater Guardian and the Christ (296).
With the Intuitive
perception of Christ in the spiritual world man learns to understand
the history of the Earth and the entry of Christ as the Sun-Being into
earthly evolution (296).
The Way of Initiation, always adapted to the evolutionary epoch.
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Changes since the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. The Way as here
described is suited to the conditions of modern time. (296-7; see
also page 225).