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Three Streams in the Evolution of Mankind

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Three Streams in the Evolution of Mankind

On-line since: 31st July, 2011

In these lectures human evolution is viewed as having a primal intention given to it by the Elohim, the Spirits of Form, and as being continually subject also to influences from Luciferic and Ahrimanic spirits who seek to divert it for their own ends. The need has always been to maintain a balance between these two disturbing influences, or “side-streams,” so that human evolution could keep to its intended course; but a perfect balance is never achieved. The Luciferic stream is manifest more in historical trends — for example in Utopian dreams — while the Ahrimanic stream works in the subconscious realms of the soul and has led on to the “ghostly” character of modern scientific thinking.

In the fifth lecture Dr. Steiner speaks of the powerful Ahrimanic influence which proceeded from the Academy of Jundi Sabur in Persia, during the sixth century of our era, and we are told how this would have affected human evolution if the Mystery of Golgotha had not occurred.

Among the many other subjects discussed in this wide-ranging course are wrong and right views of birth, heredity and death; the grave harm done by attributing “original sin” to moral failure; and the fact that an understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha cannot be attained until some time after death.

Throughout these lectures Dr. Steiner is looking at the conflicting spiritual influences which have played into human history for good and harm, and have contributed essentially both to the achievements and to the dangers of our scientific age.

C. D.

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