Origin and Goal of the Human Being
9th, February, 1905
Before Christmas, in the
first cycle of these talks, I discussed the basic concepts of theosophy
so far that I can probably venture to begin with the discussion of the
most important question which there can be for the human being that
of his own origin and goal. In the last two talks I tried to show that
the theosophical world view is the basis of Goethe's works, and
I try to deepen this Goethean world view from the theosophical point
of view in the next talks. Today, I have inserted this talk because
it probably joins both talks, which I held during the last fourteen
days, about the theosophical idea of the origin, of the descent of the
human being, spoken in the modern sense of the word.
Somebody who speaks today
about the origin of the human being has to take that into consideration
which the present natural sciences have compiled about this topic in
the second half of the 19th century. You may assume that the results
of the natural sciences are something absolutely certain that they are
something against which one cannot struggle. Just this scientific idea
about the origin of the human being has undergone such a fundamental
change in the course of the last years that hardly one of the younger
serious researchers stands even today on the same point of view on which
the Darwinist research stood. Somebody who concerns himself with this
science knows how strong these changes are. You know that the scientific
materialistic point of view still took for granted more or less before
short time that one has to derive the human being generally, the whole
human being from lower animal ancestors that one has to imagine that
our earth was once inhabited by imperfect beings and that the human
being himself gradually developed through slow perfection of these beings
without any influence of other forces up to his present summit. Today
this purely materialistic point of view is shocked by the natural sciences.
One has believed that this
scientific point of view has one single counter-pole. One has only regarded
these two cases as possible until the foundation of the theosophical
movement: either the natural evolution theory in the sense of the materialistic
world interpretation or a supernatural creation history, as well as
it is shown in the Bible. The Bible and the natural sciences are still
established like two polar opposite matters. One has also imagined that
the biblical idea of six creation days would have completely controlled
the old times and that only the modern times which have progressed so
marvellously far substituted it for a natural creation history. However,
one left aside one matter. One did not know that the ideas, which the
opponents of our so-called supernatural creation have formed to themselves
in the last time and with which they struggled against the Genesis,
the Six-day Work, are also for the so-called orthodox Christian doctrine
and its adherents not older than at most 300, 400 or 500 years. All
those who have generally concerned themselves with the investigation
of these matters scholarly did not really take the Bible as it is available
to us literally before this time. Taking the Bible literally, the view
that its contents are to be taken literally was never shared by the
serious, also Christian, researchers in the former centuries.
We can go back to the times
in which Christianity originated. It arose from older world views. However,
we cannot enter into discussion of that today. I would only like to
point to the fact that we have in the outgoing age of the Greek philosophy
a creation doctrine which goes back to the name Plato, and that this
doctrine is most nicely developed with Aristotle. Plato says: God forms
the bodily world according to his ideas, which are the models. Also
the human body came into being from the archetype, the idea of God.
What lives in this body as human consciousness is an after-image of
the divine consciousness. The goal of human knowledge is recognising
what God recognised. Striving for this goal the human being realises
that his spirit must be eternal, because it is an eternal idea of God.
Aristotle, the neo-Platonism, the Christian Gnosticism, they all live
in such ideas of the origin and the goal of the human being. In the
Christian Gnosticism we have a creation doctrine which I have to characterise
to show you how little applicable the ideas were which the opponents
of the supernatural creation history have recently still formed.
One imagined that in the
course of times, since primal times, the human being was developing,
that he did not have the same figure, not the same being as today, that
he developed up to this being finally. In the end, one imagined that
in different lower animal forms reminders of the former shaping of the
human being exist. It is somewhat difficult to make these ideas clear
to anybody because they are unfamiliar to the modern human beings. What
faces us as a physical human being did not exist always in such a way
as it is today. It was more similar to animals, and those animals who
are most related to the human being also show such a condition approximately
as the human being had at that time. If we go back to still older times,
we come to more and more imperfect creatures. This was the view of the
Gnostics. They did not suppose as the materialistic view does it that
the human being came into being by himself from the lower animal kingdom;
but they were clear to themselves about the fact that from a being that
was still similar to a monkey the human being could never have developed
unless a higher being had grasped and developed this being up to a higher
figure. One could make that quite clear if one wanted to talk about
it out of former ideas. But it suffices to show that the Gnostics had
another creation doctrine than one normally states.
You find it clearly expressed
with St. Augustine. He did not teach the faith in the literal interpretation
of the Bible, but he imagines the development of the beings in such
a way as I have just demonstrated. He imagines the influence of a spiritual
world which achieves a perpetual rise of the being, while the external
process is really that we were physically imperfect beings first, that
then a spiritual influence took place and we became physically advanced
beings, that then a spiritual influence came again and that we became
then again higher beings until the highest spiritual influence took
place and the human being developed as a human being. This approximately
is the view of St. Augustine. He considers the Six-day Work in the Bible
as a beautiful allegory. He is of the opinion that one can no longer
pass such a view, as I have developed it as a gnostic one, in the purely
gnostic form. He imagines that in the concepts of the Bible external
allegories must be given because the large mass cannot understand it
if one speaks in such abstract higher ideas. Hence, the creation history
should be revealed figuratively, as well as it is commensurate with
the popular ideas. You can find the same with Scotus Eriugena, with
all great church teachers of the Middle Ages, also with Thomas Aquinas
and up to the 14th century. You can explain the real course of the Western
scholarship and science to yourselves if you get it clear in your mind.
Then, in the 14th, 15th
centuries, this old evolution doctrine disappears. More and more it
becomes apparent that the faith in the literalness of the Bible becomes
authoritative in the church. We have to retain these facts. In the following
centuries the human being is no longer familiar with them. All memories
of such interpretations of the Bible had got lost, so that in the 19th
century people believed to give something quite new with a natural creation
history. Indeed, according to the materialistic way of thinking of the
newer time, this creation history completely became materialised, while
one faced it with spiritual concepts once. The creation history by Darwin
and Haeckel has nothing to do with the real scientific facts, has nothing
to do with that which one might investigate. There was also a natural
creation history once; it was interpreted in the spiritual sense only,
so that one deals not only with material processes, but also with a
The facts have clearly spoken
during the very last years, and numerous researchers have returned again
to a more non-material view of development. However, there we have another
researcher, Reinke, who has made his discussions about development in
an anti-Darwinist way, significant in particular for us, because he
returned to the old ideas without knowing the old evolution doctrine.
He speaks of perpetual “impacts” of spiritual kind which
evolution has experienced. He called these impacts dominants. This is
a scanty outset of a return to former ideas. Development is said to
progress no longer by itself, by purely material forces from imperfect
to more perfect beings, but a more perfect being can only originate
from an imperfect one because a new dominant strikes, a new force impact
of spiritual kind which causes the progress, in contrast to the materialistic
doctrines of Darwin, Lamarck, Haeckel et etcetera This term exactly
reminds someone who looks deeper at the matter of something that Heine
said: “poverty comes from pauvretè.” It is the paraphrase
of the matter with another word. Only the theosophical world view again
gives a creation history which faces up to the documents of the religious
confessions in such a way, as the researchers till 13th, 14th centuries
faced up to them, and let us now develop this creation history with
If one wants to recognise
the human being concerning his origin, one has to get clear about the
nature of the human being. Someone who takes the view that the human
being is only the connection of these physical organs: hands, feet,
lung, heart et etcetera up to the brain has no other need to explain
the origin of the human being than from material forces. That is why
the question becomes different for him than for someone who considers
the human being as an entirety. He considers the human being as a being
that consists not only of body, but also of soul and mind. We have already
seen to what extent the human being consists of three members: body,
soul and mind. Body, soul and mind are the members of which the human
being consists. What one calls psycho-spiritual has been subsumed by
the modern psychology in one single concept, in the concept of the soul.
The confusion of the modern psychology is that it does not differentiate
between soul and mind or spirit. Theosophy has to point to this over
and over again. What is soul-being from one side, what feels and imagines
and thinks about the everyday things, all that is also soul for us theosophists.
The spirit begins only where
we notice the so-called eternal in the human being, the imperishable.
Plato said of it that it feeds itself with spiritual food. Only the
thought that is free of the sensuous that rises to the character of
eternity that is seen by the spirit if the spirit does no longer see
through the gates of the senses outward but looks into his inside, this
thought only constitutes the contents of the spirit. The Western researcher
knows this thought only in one single field, in the field of mathematics,
of geometry and algebra. There are thoughts which do not flow towards
us from the outside world which the human being creates only from his
inside, intuitively. Nobody could obtain a mathematical theorem only
from observation. We could never recognise from observation that the
three angles of a triangle amount to 180 degrees.
However, there are thoughts
that do not refer only to space, but are pure thoughts that are free
of sensuousness and refer to everything else in the world, to minerals,
plants, animals and in the end also to the human being. Goethe tried
in his morphology to give a botany of sorts which has such thoughts
free of sensuousness. There he wanted to fathom how nature lives in
its works. Someone who sinks and delves with feeling and sensation in
that which Goethe gives in his theory of metamorphosis experiences something
in it like a big raise to the etheric heights. If you are raised higher
and higher to the recognition of such thoughts which are modelled on
the mathematical in space, you get to the great mystics who inform us
about soul and spirit. Hence, the mystic also calls mysticism “mathematics”
– mathesis , not because mysticism is mathematics, but because
it is built up corresponding to the sample of mathematics.
Goethe was such a mystic.
He wanted to establish a world which raises us from the only psychic
to the spiritual. What the human being does with his reason in the everyday
life this sensible understanding of the immediate temporal and transient
reality is raised to a higher level, into the pure thought-world. You
can there experience something in yourselves if you rise to the pure
thought if you can abstract from the sensuousness-imbued thoughts what
belongs to the eternal. Theosophy calls this first element of the spirit
also manas. I have tried to translate this term with “spirit-self”
in my Theosophy. It is the higher self that separates itself from that
which is limited only to the earthly world.
As well as now the thought
can be raised to a higher sphere, the world of feelings can also be
raised to a higher sphere. That world of joys and desires is apparently
a lower world than the world of thoughts, but if it is raised to the
higher regions, it is even higher than the world of thoughts. The eternal
in the feeling is higher than the thought. If you raise the feeling
to the higher spheres like the thought in mathematics, then you experience
the second being of the spirit. The academic psychology only knows the
lower feeling. It acts as if everything amounts to nothing more than
the lower feeling. But in our world of feelings this eternal lives as
a rudiment, and theosophy calls it buddhi. I have given it the name
“life-spirit”, as the second spiritual being of the human
being. Raise your thoughts up to the recognition of an eternal, and
then you live in manas. Raise your feeling and sensation up to the eternal,
and then you live in buddhi.
This life in buddhi exists
only as a rudiment with the present human beings. The human beings can
already think manasically sometimes if the thinking is regulated, is
subjected to the logical world principles. However, there is also a
thinking which wanders around aimlessly, that has got a thought and
immediately another thought, always alternating. This is the everyday
thinking. There is a higher thinking that is logical and coherent that
feeds itself from the eternal according to Plato and is blessed with
the eternal. If now a feeling has risen to this world, to such a world
principle, it lives in buddhi. This means nothing else than a kind of
eternal principles of feeling. Who lives in the everyday life can also
err, can also stray with his feeling. However, someone who experiences
the eternal norms of feeling in himself as the thinker experiences the
eternal norms of the manasic thinking has the same certainty and clearness
of feeling in himself as the thinker has clearness of thinking. Theosophy
describes this as a spiritual human being who experiences the spirit
in himself. This was also the deeper substance of Christ. The human
being experiences Christ, lives with Christ, and participates in Him.
Christ is the same as buddhi.
If the mere external will
which is the mostly unconscious in the human being rises to the highest
world principle it is hard to talk of this highest development of the
human spirit, one can only indicate it then one speaks of the true spirit,
of the spirit-man or, with a Sanskrit term, of atma. For the human will
can be purified from the personal. These are the three members of the
spiritual: manas, buddhi, and atma. As a substance is dissolved in water,
these three members are dissolved in the soul. Where everything intermingles,
the human being cannot normally make a distinction of that which wanders
there aimlessly. Hence, the modern psychologist describes a real chaos
If that which lives out
as the highest spiritual in the soul intermingles with the lower qualities
of the soul, if it appears as a lower feeling, if it enjoys life in
desire instead of love, we call it kama. Kama is the same as buddhi,
only buddhi is the selflessness of kama, and kama is the selfishness,
the egoism of buddhi. Then we have in ourselves our everyday reason
which wants the satisfaction of our personal needs. We call this reason,
in so far as it expresses manas, ahamkara, the ego-consciousness, the
ego-feeling in the soul. So that speaking of the human soul we can also
speak of buddhi which enjoys life in kama, and if we speak of manas
or the real spiritual of thinking, we speak of the reason which enjoys
life in the ego-consciousness, in the ahamkara.
I tried to show the gradual
education of the human being, the purification of the human being from
the psychic to the spiritual, in a book that I wrote some years ago,
in my Philosophy of Freedom. You find there in the concepts
of the Western philosophy what I have shown now. There you find the
development of the soul from kama to manas. I have called ahamkara the
ego, manas the “higher thinking”, the pure thinking, and
buddhi not yet pointing to the origin the “moral imagination.”
These are only other expressions of the one and the same matter. With
it we have recognised the psycho-spiritual nature of the human being.
This psycho-spiritual nature is embodied in that which the external
natural sciences describe to us. This psycho-spiritual nature is, actually,
the human being. It has something like a cover around him: the external
The theosophical view is
that the psycho-spiritual nature of the human being existed sooner than
the present figure, than the physical corporeality of the human being.
The human being did not originate in the physical but in the psycho-spiritual.
This psycho-spiritual, atma, buddhi and manas, forms the basis of all
physical creation. Plato also speaks of it if he says that the spirit
of the human being must be eternal, because it is an idea of God. What
develops as forms on earth approaches the eternal spiritual part of
the human being.
We can imagine now that
we are in a very distant point of the past. There we have the psycho-spiritual
nature of the human being on one side. I believe that the materialistic
thinking of the present is hardly able to imagine this psycho-spiritual
nature. That is why since centuries the modern thinking is not accustomed
to imagine the psycho-spiritual. On the other side, we have the sensuous
life in the very distant past. How have we to imagine the sensuous life?
The natural sciences teach us that we come to a human being of imperfect
figure investigating the beings in the relics of the layers of earth.
Going back farther we find times in which the human being was not in
the present figure on earth. Only monkeys and related animals existed.
Going back still farther we find that also the monkeys were absent and
that only lower mammals existed. Still sooner there were reptiles and
birds, and still sooner we find animal species of immense size and mightiness,
the saurians, the ichthyosaurs. They lived in other way than today.
Then, farther back, we find even more imperfect animals, until we come
to an age where we cannot prove that there was any living animal. Physical
life must have existed there in a still plant-animal form.
Theosophy points to conditions
of the earth development of which is also spoken in science: the earth
was not always the solid mineral ground, on which we walk today. It
was in a liquid-soft condition once. If you look at certain earth formations,
at mountains, you can still detect how they became hardened from a soaking-liquid
condition. The whole earth was once still in an igneous-hot condition
like an immense fire body. Theosophy points to the fact that still sooner
a gaseous, an etheric condition of the earth existed. Everything that
exists now in solid or liquid or airy condition on earth existed also
at that time in a quite subtle etheric condition. You can imagine it
approximately if you take a piece of ice; this is a solid matter. You
melt it, and then it gets to a liquid, watery condition. You evaporate
the water, while you heat it up. Then you have again in an airy-vaporous
condition what was liquid before.
The whole earth was once
in a much finer, thinner etheric condition. Akasha is the finest form
in which before primeval times everything was in the etheric condition
that meets us now as solid, liquid et etcetera on earth. The solid granite
of our primeval mountains, all metals, all salts, all kinds of limestone,
everything that is on our earth now also all plant and animal forms
existed at that time in this subtle akasha. Akasha is the subtlest form
The human body is composed
of all substances of the earth. All the kinds of matter are found in
any chemical composition in the human body. At that time all these substances
were in the akasha state and in this akashic matter now the psycho-spiritual
being of the human being incarnated. This was another figure than that
of today. In this akashic matter everything was still undifferentiated
that differentiated later. Everything was in it that became mineral,
plant, animal forms later. In this akashic matter in which the human
being incarnated all animal forms were still contained, just as everything
that became human form later.
If one wants to form an
idea about the processes within the earth development which happened
in these primeval times, one must strictly distinguish the duality.
The human being is a duality; he is composed of two beings. On top is
the divine-spiritual core of the human being: atma, buddhi, manas. In
this divine-spiritual human being, the desire lives to become a human
being. It drives him down. Descending he forms a cover from this desire,
an astral body. On the earth animal-like beings formed, resulting from
the still uncertain earth masses. These beings came from a still earlier
earth state, the old lunar state, and a previous incarnation of the
When this old moon had finished
its cosmic existence, beings remained like a seed which had lived on
the old moon; these were beings which were neither animals nor human
beings, they were between animal and human being, a kind of animal-humans.
They came out again, when the earth started to form. In these animal-humans
the wildest impulses, instincts and desires lived. They could not yet
take up the higher spirituality in themselves at first; they had to
experience a purification of their astrality to be able to take up the
higher principles in themselves. These are the physical ancestors of
the human being of which Gnosticism, St. Augustine, and the scholastics
speak. These were animal-like figures which lived in a more malleable
body material than the physical matter is today, much softer than the
lowest animals have it, for example, the jellyfishes and molluscs. These
were beings which lived in a translucent corporeality, partly in very
beautiful forms, partly in quite grotesque forms. They had no upright
posture, they lived in swimming-floating posture; they had no marrow,
this formed only later, still no warm blood, they did not yet have two
sexes. They lived with all that later became plant, mineral, and animal
like in a common astral state of the earth. At that time, the astral
body of the earth had all earthly beings in itself. This astral earth
consisted of the astral bodies of the human animals and was surrounded
by a spiritual atmosphere where the monads, the spiritual human beings
lived. These spiritual human beings waited above, until they could unite
with the astral bodies below. But at first these astral bodies were
not yet purified enough; everything impulsive of the animals, the instincts
and passions had to be largely separated. They were eliminated as particular
astral structures. These isolations took place repeatedly. These isolated
structures hardened, and the other realms of our earth came from them.
We have to imagine that
two astralities were there, an upper purer one and a lower denser one.
The upper one, descending deeper and deeper, has an effect on the lower
one. Thereby this separates the coarser parts from itself. The separated
parts are condensed. The other realms of nature, which are now round
us, come into being that way. The human being himself keeps the finest
parts to himself. Thus the whole environment was connected with the
human being; he separated them from his nature.
The astral matter below
was condensed to reptile-like animal forms; they were still cold-blooded.
They were not shaped like for example an ichthyosaurus from which we
find leftovers even today. There are no leftovers of these formations
at all, because these bodies were fine, soft bones only existed much
later. The psycho-spiritual being unites first with these formations
from above; both fertilise each other. More and more a densification
of the matter takes place. It merges into an igneous-liquid state. This
was about the middle of the age which we call the Lemurian one. This
age preceded the Atlantean one. This igneous-liquid mass is criss-crossed
by currents which condense gradually more and more to the later bones;
the respiratory organ and heart organ with the bloodstream, the different
organs of the human body form from these currents. Everything that is
too coarse for the human being is separated repeatedly. For example,
the wildness of the lion is separated. Outside an animal form of coarser
substance comes into being: this later becomes the lion. In the human
being his courageous, his aggressive qualities remain. The cleverness
and cunning is separated; it forms the being fox outside, and the human
being keeps to him what he can use of cleverness.
Then another developmental
state of the earth follows. It became more compact, more solid. The
human being was thereby forced to adapt himself to this more solid structure
of the physical life on earth. He was able to do this only because he
handed over a part of his being to the coarser materiality. From this
part of the human being the first most imperfect animal world originated.
Thus this is as it were a shell which the human being cast off once.
It originated from the human nature. However, the true human nature
thereby ascended to a higher level. The human being was freed from the
impact which he had from the lower animal world. We see these last creatures
which the human being repelled deposited in the first layers of earth.
These are crustaceans, shellfish which the human being separated from
himself. He became a somewhat purer being that way. It is like in a
solution in which coarser parts have settled down. The further development
takes place in such a way that the human being again hands over a part
of his nature to materiality. Worms and fish originated from that. This
is a cover again which the human being cast off.
In the second state, the
human being had taken on a matter which is like our airy matter. The
human being was incarnated there as an aerial being. It may seem peculiar
to the materialistic thinker, but someone who familiarises himself with
theosophy finds that the other creation history is a speculative fiction
and that this theosophical creation history can already be evident to
the everyday reason. Because the human being embodied himself with his
soul in more delicate matter, in aerial matter, it was possible that
he cast another cover off, that he separated animals from himself. At
that time, the earth had already built up a somewhat more solid skeleton,
and the human being formed in that which one calls fire mist. One speaks
there of the sons of the fire mist. This came about because the human
being cast his covers off which developed then to birds and reptiles
on the other side. However, when the human being had advanced so far
when he had advanced to this fire matter, he was able to take up a new
impact from without. As well as we have seen in the outset of our earth
how with the physical matter that united which the psycho-spiritual
human being had cast off as the coarser nature, he united in the period
of which we speak now and which already parallels states of strong densification
of our earth, with higher spirit. At first this happened because buddhi
descended and became kama. The human being thereby became warm-blooded
differing from the lower cold-blooded beings. Also other creatures became
warm-blooded on earth.
Up to a certain point of
development there were only cold-blooded and passionless beings; the
others originated in the middle of the Lemurian age. Also the two sexes
developed from one. The human being repelled the lower beings which
still live on as reptiles and when he was already warm-blooded, he repelled
the birds from himself. Because of these separations he became mature
to take up the spirit in his first figure. This is the race that appears
as mind-endowed for the first time. In the Lemurian age, the human being
came to a densified materiality, he became fleshly. This is the Lemurian
human being. He lived on our earth at a time in which a lot of the old
fire matter still existed. In this Lemurian age, the whole race completely
perishes by volcanic catastrophes caused by the fire. Only some remain
and live on.
The Atlantean period took
place in the regions that are today covered with the floods of the Atlantic.
Here once again something is separated from the human being: the higher
mammals come into being. The human being still had the nature of the
higher mammals in himself at first. He still had in himself what one
calls apes. They all are separations of lower parts of his nature. The
human being developed to a higher level only because he cast off the
lower parts. What I called ahamkara came to the fore. In the first Atlantean
time, ahamkara appears with the corresponding development of memory
and language in the human race. Self-consciousness became consciousness
of egoism. Hence, the first Atlantean time is also a time in which more
and more the harsh egoism developed. We will still hear and read to
which excesses the developed ahamkara led. The higher mammalian nature
was cast off, so that we must not regard the apes as ancestors; rather
we have to regard the human being as the first-born on our earth.
The human being exists incarnated
in akasha, and everything that exists besides him was gradually eliminated
by him. The human being and the animals adapted themselves to the relations
and circumstances and became what we can get to know today. Paracelsus
knew this and said that the human being himself has written down the
letters of his whole being. So we must not regard the ape as an ancestor,
but as a descendant of the original human being. It is strange that
this theosophical approach reminds, quite elementarily, of a remark
of the naturalist and botanist Reinke (Johannes R., proponent of neo-vitalism,
1849-1931). He says in his book The World as Action that the
ape does not appear as an ancestor of the human being but as a degenerated
human being dropped out of humanity.
This view agrees quite exceptionally
with that which the natural sciences teach in these fields. They teach
that the very first rudiment of the human brain, of the childish human
brain in particular, is very similar up to a certain degree to an ape
brain but that the developed human brain differs from the ape brain.
So that the ape brain looks like something that takes a completely different
course of development. However, the Darwinist view wants to base its
theory of the relationship of the ape with the human being on the first
impression. At that time, the human being cast off the ape nature, so
that he could develop freer, upward to nobler qualities. The apes thereby
degenerated and developed in another direction. The ape is not at all
to be regarded as an ancestor of the human being. However, this furthers
the human development.
After the human being had
developed buddhi, kama and ahamkara, he was able to receive the first
principle of the spirit again in himself: manas. Manas, the logical
thinking, the inferring thinking developed since the last time of the
Atlantean age and in our whole fifth age from this refined human nature.
Thus the human being had to experience wisdom in egoism, in ahamkara,
after he developed buddhi first up to kama; thus he had to lead a selfish
life. But then wisdom developed again in purer form, so that the human
being is able today to think logically. He ascends once to a higher
kind of spirituality working out the buddhi nature from the kama nature
and from the everyday feeling in order to ascend to even higher levels
of spirituality. We speak of it later after we have got to know the
levels of development still more exactly.
I could only outline the
theosophical view generally speaking. This is the evolution theory,
the theory of the origin of the human being in the theosophical sense.
This is the descent theory which is destined to substitute that which
has suffered essential losses by the real scientific facts in the last
Nevertheless, I would still
want to read out some words of the botanist Reinke to show that my explanations
do not completely contradict the scientific ideas and that today it
is necessary to think a new kind of “creation history”.
He expresses the following there: “It is clear from the start
which deep contrast exists between this view that I have just explained
and the view and research method of our science. We do not look for
theories generally but rely on facts. Hence, the natural sciences would
have to bring themselves to confine themselves to facts only. Up to
now, the facts do not at all exist. I must protest against it if the
case is shown as if zoology, anatomy etc. have delivered the facts.
If a picture should be derived from it, it is fancy.”
At the same time, this naturalist
does not yet understand that it is impossible to receive a view of the
origin of the human being from the external facts one day. One is never
able to do this, because the origin of the human being was not in the
sensuous but in the psycho-spiritual. Not before one ascends from the
sensuous to the psycho-spiritual if one ascends to a view that is no
longer fantastic but spiritual, we can get again to a descent theory
really satisfying the human being. Leading the human being to a satisfying
descent theory is the task of theosophy. The “natural” creation
history can no longer give satisfaction today. On one side, the need
for spiritual knowledge makes itself noticeable, and, on the other side,
the facts have disproved the evolution theory. The natural sciences
are never able to say anything about the origin of the human being.
If the origin of the human being is to be recognised, it can only happen
in the sense of spiritual knowledge. Leading the present again to such
spiritual knowledge is the task of the theosophical world view.
Answer to question
Question: Were the crustaceans the first living
beings which were separated?
The crustaceans were not the first living beings,
which were separated. Of course, these were mono-cellular living beings.
However, these were not like the present-day mono-cellular living
beings, they were in quite different conditions.
Question: How has one to imagine the fiery-liquid
surface of the earth in the Lemurian age and the existence of beings
Not the total surface of the earth was in the fiery-liquid
condition, only the residential place of the beings was fiery-liquid.
With the separation of the mineral beings something existed like a
kind of leftovers, already almost like an impact of a skeleton which
could accommodate beings that have taken on any solid shape. Palaeontology
can only verify what had taken on solid shape.
Question: Is the future separation furthered
It is hard to speak about that because this question,
even more than other questions, challenges the human feeling. However,
I would like to speak impartially about the question. Indeed, the
further refining of the human being is eminently supported by vegetarianism.
With it should not be said that it is possible and good for any person
to live as a vegetarian. The question is another if one asks whether
one should become a vegetarian, than if one asks: what does vegetarianism
achieve? Vegetarianism fosters the spiritual intuition and is also
advantageous for the actions. At the same time, it is also a question
of heredity. However, I would like to oppose a prejudice.
Indeed, in these fields the materialistic thinker
can have an experience reaching up to a certain degree, but not a
sufficient one. One says that people have become weak due to vegetarianism
that they cannot stand the vegetarian way of life. This is right and
is wrong. It is right that many people who occupy their thinking only
with kama manas who have merely sensuous objects as content of their
thinking and to that the usual scholarship, law, physiology or also
medicine belong where the content of the ideas are merely taken from
the sensory world , do not find everything in vegetarianism that they
need. For all those who think, imagine and feel in the area of reason
which is directed upon the sensory world, come to a point where they
can collapse due to vegetarianism. There are many people of such kind.
However, it must not be. I have got to know people in this field who
themselves were learnt thinkers who were physiological, historical
thinkers with whom it was not possible that the brain was properly
nourished if they lived only vegetarian.
But the case changes immediately if the human being
develops spirituality. As soon as he gets to the spiritual cognition,
as soon as he lives in the spiritual, then it is possible that he
can exist with vegetarianism. Then vegetarianism furthers the spiritual
life, and the human being advances so far that he has an even higher
future in prospect. I speak of this higher future in the next talks,
on the 16th February, 23rd February and 2nd March where I speak about
Goethe's Secret Revelation.
Question: What has one to understand by a psycho-spiritual
We will still see where the spirit has its origin.
We have to imagine this spiritual impact within the human development
as an influence coming from without. With it a view of nature is not
injured or the opinion is justified that this is a dualism. Also hydrogen
and oxygen give water. But someone who knows that does not need to
be a dualist.
Question: What was there really as a human being,
before the spiritual impact took place?
Up to a certain point the human being is the triad:
mind, soul and body. If we advance somewhat upward, we have the bodily-psychic
human being on the earth, connected with the physical of the earth.
This bodily-psychic human being is incarnated there at first in a
much finer and brighter matter than the later human being. A densification
perpetually takes place there. That is why we also speak of the so-called
“sons of the fire mist.” We deal there with a configuration
of the human being. However, I would not like to portray this figure
in a public lecture because if one puts it just like that it looks
bad. The preconditions do not exist to understand this figure.
In the "fire mist" the incarnations happened
in akasha at last. Physics of our time has no knowledge of this akasha.
What we now have as an impact is the rudiment of eternity, the spirit,
if we speak of spirit with the present-day human being, we speak of
eternity. The consciousness which it concerned at that time was not
at all the same as the consciousness in the hypnosis or in the trance
states. It exists, approximately, in an especially lively dream. This
was the condition of consciousness before the impact of the spirit.
Question: Why has any progress to happen by densification
of matter, whereas we consider the delicate matter as progress?
The general form of consciousness was illuminated,
but also limited by densification up to the material development of
Question: Is the akasha substance an etheric
or astral substance?
The astral substance is the higher substance. The
akasha substance stands between the physical and astral matters. It
is the most delicate physical matter, in which the thought can develop
Question: How could one perceive the human being
in these delicate conditions?
In the time when the human being was still aerial
it was possible to perceive him by hearing, as a vibration, but not
with the eye.
Question: Which influence did the impact of the
spirit have on sexuality?
With the impact of the spirit the single beings became
uni-sexual. Before both sexes existed in one being, it was hermaphrodite.
At that time, the reproduction was similar to that of our mono-cellular
Question: What is the origin of the theosophical
One taught in pictures once. This is no longer possible
today. Hence, one has to express the ideas in a language understandable
to the reason, especially for our scientists. One should consider
these matters as the physicist considers his, as a useful working
hypothesis. This gives conviction bit by bit.
When Dr. Steiner was asked to tell some additional
details about the process of the separation of the ape, he answered
approximately in such a way:
Imagine an ancestor who has two descendants. One
of these descendants can take up the divine spark in his form. He
develops upwards and becomes a human being. The other descendant has
a form created from coarser substances; he cannot take up the spark.
He develops downwards and becomes an ape.