MICHAEL'S MISSION IN THE COSMIC AGE
OF HUMAN FREEDOM
When the work of Michael at the present time is approached through
spiritual experience, it becomes possible, from the
spiritual-scientific point of view, to obtain light on the cosmic
nature of Freedom.
This does not refer to my
Philosophy of Freedom (or Philosophy of Spiritual Activity,)
which is based on the purely human faculties of cognition, where these
are operative in the field of the spirit. In order to follow the
thought of this book, it is not yet necessary to join company with the
beings of other worlds. But it may be said that the
Philosophy of Freedom
prepares the way for the understanding of the freedom which, in
spiritual connection with Michael, can then be experienced. And this
is as follows.
If freedom is to be a living reality in human action, then that which
is accomplished in the light of it must be completely independent of
man's physical and etheric organisation. There can be no freedom
except through the I , and the astral body must
be able to vibrate in harmony with the free activity of the
I , so that it may be able to transmit it to
the physical and etheric bodies. But this is only one side of the
matter. The other side becomes clear in connection with the mission of
Michael. For it is also true that what man experiences in freedom must
not in any way affect his physical or etheric body. Were this to
happen, he would have to lose entirely what he had gained during his
evolution under the influence of Divine-Spiritual Being, and
What man experiences through this his environment which is but the
accomplished Work of the Divine and Spiritual, must take effect on his
spiritual nature (i.e. his Ego) only. His physical and etheric
Organisation must only be affected by that which flows on, in the
stream of evolution, not in his outer environment, but within his own
being, and which had its origin in the Being and Manifestation of the
Divine-Spiritual. But this must not work together with that in the
human being which lives in the element of freedom.
All this is only made possible because Michael carries over from the
far past of evolution something that brings man into connection with
that Divine-Spiritual reality which in the present day no longer
penetrates the physical and etheric Organisation. Through this the
foundation is being laid, within the mission of Michael, for a human
intercourse with the spiritual world which does not interfere at all
with the working of Nature.
It is inspiring to see how the human being is raised by Michael into
the spiritual sphere, whereas the unconscious and subconscious
elements which develop beneath the sphere of freedom are uniting ever
more strongly with the world of matter.
Man's position with respect to the world will in the future become
more and more incomprehensible to him if he is not prepared to
recognise, in addition to his relations to the beings and processes of
Nature, such relations as this to the Michael Mission. Our relations
to Nature are recognised by looking at them from without; our
relations to the spiritual world proceed from something like an inner
conversation with Beings to whom we have opened up the way by adopting
a spiritual view of the world.
In order, therefore, for man to realise the impulse of freedom, he
must be able to hold at a distance certain influences of Nature which
affect his being from the Cosmos. This holding at a
distance is taking place in the sub-consciousness, when in the
consciousness there are the forces which represent the life of the Ego
in freedom. For the inward perception of man himself there is the
consciousness of his activity in freedom, but for the spiritual Beings
connected with man from other spheres of the Universe it is different.
The Being from the hierarchy of the Angeloi, who leads human existence
from one earthly life to another, sees at once how the matter stands
regarding human action in freedom; he sees how man thrusts away from
himself cosmic forces which want to form and mould him further
which want to give to his Ego-organisation the necessary physical
supports, as they did before the age of Michael.
Michael, who is a member of the hierarchy of the Archangeloi, receives
his impressions with the aid of the Beings of the Angeloi-hierarchy.
He devotes himself, in the manner here described, to the task of
bringing to man from the spiritual part of the Cosmos forces which can
replace those from the realm of Nature which have been suppressed.
He accomplishes this by bringing his activity into the most perfect
accord with the Mystery of Golgotha.
The forces which man requires for the compensation of suppressed
impulses of Nature when he acts through freedom, are contained in the
activity of Christ within earthly evolution. But man must then really
bring his soul into that inner life in union with Christ, of which we
have already spoken in these articles on the Michael Mission.
When a man faces the physical Sun and receives from it warmth and
light he knows that he is living in a reality. In the same way he must
live in the presence of Christ, the spiritual Sun, who has joined His
life to that of the Earth, and receive actively from Him into his soul
that which in the spiritual world corresponds to warmth and light.
He will feel himself permeated by spiritual warmth when he
experiences the Christ in me. Feeling himself thus
permeated he will say to himself: This warmth liberates my human
being from bonds of the Cosmos in which it may not remain. For me to
gain my freedom the Divine-Spiritual Being of primeval times had to
lead me into regions where it could not remain with me, where,
however, it gave me Christ, that His forces might bestow upon me as a
free human being what the Divine-Spiritual primeval Being once gave me
by way of Nature, which was then also the Spirit-way. This warmth
leads me back again to the divine sources, whence I came.
And in this feeling there will grow together in man, in inner warmth
of soul, the experience in and with Christ and the experience of real
and true humanity. Christ gives me my humanity that
will be the fundamental feeling which will well up in the soul and
pervade it. When this feeling is once there, another comes: man feels
raised by Christ beyond mere earthly existence, he feels one with the
starry firmament around the Earth and with all that can be recognised
in this firmament as Spiritual and Divine.
It is the same with the spiritual Light. Man can feel himself fully in
his true human nature by becoming aware of himself as a free
individual. A certain darkening is however connected with this. The
Divine-Spiritual of primeval times no longer shines. The primeval
Light appears again in the Light brought by Christ to the human ego.
In the life in union with Christ this blissful thought may shine like
a sun through the whole soul: The glorious primal Divine Light
is here again; it shines, although its light comes not from
Nature. And man unites himself, while in the present, with the
spiritual, cosmic forces of Light belonging to that past when he was
not yet a free individual. And in this Light he can find the paths
which lead him aright as a human being, when in his soul he unites
himself, with understanding, with the Michael Mission.
Then in the Spirit-warmth man will feel the impulse which so carries
him over into his cosmic future, that in this future he will be able
to remain true to the original gifts of Divine Spiritual Beings,
albeit he has evolved in their worlds to free individuality. And in
the Spirit-light he will feel the power which leads him with open eyes
and ever higher and wider consciousness to the world in which as a
free human being he will find himself again with the Gods of his
If man wishes to continue in the original existence and keep the
primal naive Divine Goodness which held sway in him, and shrinks from
the full use of freedom it leads him, in this present world in
which everything tends to develop his freedom, to Lucifer, who wishes
the present world to be denied.
If man devotes himself to present existence and wishes the natural
world alone to hold sway (the natural world which is accessible to the
present intellect and which is neutral with respect to Goodness), if
he wishes to experience the use of freedom in the intellect alone,
then in this present world where evolution needs to be continued in
deeper regions of the soul, while freedom rules in the upper regions
he will after all be led to Ahriman, who wishes to see the
present world transformed into a Cosmos of pure intellectuality.
Certainty of soul and spirit flourishes in those regions where man
feels that in the direction of the outer world his gaze rests
spiritually on Michael, and in the direction towards the inner being
of the soul on Christ. It is that certainty through which he will be
able to traverse the cosmic path upon which he will, without losing
his origin, in the future find his true perfection.
Further Leading Thoughts issued from the Goetheanum for the Anthroposophical Society
118. That action alone can be free in which no process of Nature,
either within man or without him, plays an active part.
119. But there is also the other pole, the opposite aspect of this
truth. Whenever the individuality of man works freely, a
Nature-process is suppressed in him. In an unfree action this process
of Nature would indeed be present, giving to the human being his
cosmically predestined character.
120. To the man who with his own life and being really partakes in the
present and future stages of World-evolution, this character is not
vouchsafed by way of Nature. But it comes to him by way of the Spirit
when he unites himself with Michael, whereby he also finds the way to