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The Spiritual Hierarchies

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

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

The Spiritual Hierarchies

Their Reflection in the Physical World

On-line since: 16th August, 2005

The Spiritual Hierarchies

Rudolf Steiner Archive Document

Lectures Section

Printed for Members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class I. No person is held qualified to form a judgment on the contents of this work, who has not acquired — through the School itself or in an equivalent manner recognised by the School — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded, the authors decline to take them as a basis for discussion.

By Rudolf Steiner

Edited by H. Collison
Bn 110, GA 110

Printed for Members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class I. No person is held qualified to form a judgment on the contents of this work, who has not acquired — through the School itself or in an equivalent manner recognised by the School — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded, the authors decline to take them as a basis for discussion.

Ten Lectures by Rudolf Steiner Ph.D., given in Düsseldorf, April, 1909. The Spiritual Hierarchies and Their Reflection in the Physical World is published in German as: Geistige Hierarchien und Ihre Widerspiegelung in der Physischen Welt. Tierkreis, Planeten, Kosmos. These lectures take us into the exalted regions of the spiritual world, illuminating the actions of the spiritual beings in the kingdoms of nature and in the planetary and zodiacal spheres, and explaining the task allotted to humanity in the continuous evolution of this hierarchical world.

From vol. 110 in the Bibliographic Survey, 1961, this volume is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. From Bn 110, Ga 110.

Copyright © 1928
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 Cover Sheet  
Lecture 1 April 12, 1909

The ‘Plan of the World’ always existed. Primeval world wisdom — The Holy Rishis. Mystery Schools — Stanzas of Dzyan. Rosy cross. The Western Rishis. The Christ Impulse. Buddha and Christ. Explanation of Pain and Death — Healing. The Vision to the Stars and its meaning in olden days compared with now. Dionysius the Areopagite. The Hierarchies — Angels to Thrones and Saturn. The Bhagavad Gita.

Lecture 2 April 12, 1909

The Elements. Warmth is twofold, inward and outward. Fire separates light from smoke. Light is invisible. Our duty and power to release the world bewitched. During man's life he is a place of transition for elemental beings. Bhagavad Gita does not in quoted passage refer to the human self, but to the elementals. Elemental messengers of higher hierarchies. First Class are the fire elementals bound in air, water, earth. Second Class: day and night elementals released by man's activity and chained by his sloth and callousness The Third Class: elementals of the waxing and waning moon are released by optimism and chained down by discontent. Fourth Class: the summer and winter elementals are released by piety and chained by materiality.

Lecture 3 April 13, 1909

Earth, Moon, Sun, Saturn. Angels, Archangels, Archai. Saturn — a realm of invisible warmth. Herakleitos. On Saturn inner warmth becomes outer warmth. Production and dissolution of warmth; inhalation and exhalation of warmth — exhalation as fire; resemblance to expansion and contraction in breathing. The Rishis teaching: fire, sucked in becomes the Ego of the Archai. The Archai beginning to leave the exhaled warmth outside without re-inhaling it leads to manhood consciousness, objective consciousness and consciousness of self. Saturn dissolved by the Thrones. Pralaya or night. The karma of the Archai on Saturn brings ancient Sun into existence. Warmth divides into light and smoke or air. Archangels appear on Sun and secure a habitation. They have an inner body of warmth inherited from Saturn which divided into an inner body of light and an outer body of smoke. Exhalation, the Suns day; inhalation, the Suns night. On Sun, the warmth eggs of Saturn are hatched and pictures with inner life are produced, which were the densest bodies used by the Archangels.

Lecture 4 April 13, 1909

The eggs of warmth on Saturn were created by the thought of the Archai; now-a-days thought goes no further than the astral. Evolution is a system proceeding from taking and to giving. On Saturn the Thrones gave their own warmth to the Archai, similar to the silkworms. The Archai gave personality to the warmth. The expansion of the Archangels. They are met by Cherubim. In the Sun-nights when in the atmosphere light has left the air, in the air the Cherubim reflect the figure which becomes the germ of the animal kingdom. The Zodiac.

Lecture 5 April 14, 1909

Old Saturn was as large as a globe having as its centre the sun of to-day and reaching as far as present Saturn. Evolution from Saturn to Vulcan. The Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones come from an earlier solar system. They have been in the vicinity of the highest godhead of all, namely the Trinity. Seraphim receive the ideas of the Trinity, Cherubim ponder over them, Thrones transform them into action. These are called the first three-fold Hierarchy. The work of the second threefold hierarchy described. The Spirits of Wisdom transformed old Saturn to old Sun and condensed Saturn to such a size that when it became Sun, it was of a size that would have its centre in the present Sun and reach as far as the present Jupiter. The planets are boundaries of the ancient worlds. The Spirits of Motion condensed the old Sun to a watery globe called Moon, whose size from the present Sun as its centre would reach to the present Mars. The creation of Moon was different from the others, it implied later a splitting into two globes so that the Sun contracted and was surrounded by another body, in the orbit of the present Mars, and in the periphery of the original single body. The origin of Evil and the Fight in Heaven. The Planetoids.

Lecture 6 April 15, 1909

Uranus and Neptune are quite different from the others. The Ptolemaic and Copernican systems. The names of the Planets Mercury and Venus have been interchanged. The range and mission of the Angels, Archangels, Archai, Spirits of Form, etc. The Sons of Venus or Mercury incarnated in Lemuria or Atlantis to become the teachers of men. The Sons of Venus were Spirits of Personality, Dyani Buddhas who guided humanity in Lemuria. The Sons of Mercury guided nations and races, they are the beings of Mercury.

Lecture 7 April 16, 1909

Habitations and nature of the Hierarchies (continued). Physical body of an Angel is in water, etheric and astral body of an Angel are in air and fire Spirits of Personality from Astronomical views, descended to Lemuria and ensouled the physical body Archangels from Mercury, descended into Atlantis and inspired the physical and etheric bodies. Oracles. Manu the Sun-Oracle. The Rishis In Post-Atlantis, Angels descended from Moon and ensouled physical, etheric and astral bodies.

Lecture 8 April 17, 1909

Jupiter or Sun Eagle or Scorpion. Saturn's rings. Mars or Ancient Moon. Aquarius the Waterman. Earth, Taurus the Bull, Chaldea, the ‘I am’, the voice and propagation.

Lecture 9 April 18, 1909

Saturn, Sun, Moon are repeated at the beginning of the Earth. The Saturn and Jupiter of to-day. The Milky Way. Our World System is not round but bean shaped. The origin of a planet. The Zodiac and the animal forms of man's body formed on old Saturn. The Giant Ymir. Adam Cadmon of the Kabbala. If you want to understand the centre, investigate the circumference. The formation of worlds is the preparation of karma. As in big things so in small — so in the nations. The time described when one person takes on the karma of a nation. Hermes. This happens on every planet. From taking we advance to giving, e g, the Thrones, etc. It is greater to give than to receive. Man's development in Kamaloka. The astral must be spiritualised before we can see into the spiritual worlds. When the astral body is completely transformed the etheric body becomes a counterpart of it. This is Nirmana Kaya when no remnants are left in the astral world. Zarathustra penetrated the astral body of Hermes Dharmakaya.

Lecture 10 April 18, 1909

Leonardo's ‘Last Supper.’ Goethe. Cologne Cathedral. Matter contracts towards a central point and then disappears but reappears at the circumference. We cannot grasp this so long as our mind remains in the space of three dimensions. Uranus and Neptune have nothing to do with the creation of our world and their Moons are retrograde. Uranus, and later Neptune withdraw during the Mars development. All that lies outside us was generically called Ouranos — the Heavens. Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones are the only beings that have the direct light of God, and have had it from the beginning. The second Hierarchy see God only in His revelations. Masked priests in the Mysteries endeavoured to test, frighten, and lure the Neophyte. Between Jupiter and Mars adverse Spirits of Motion create obstacles in evolution. Some of the Angels refuse to be tempted and they join with Sun. Luciferic beings impress into the astral body of Lemurians the results of the fight in the Heavens. The Angels are the first to have the possibility of error and of evil and free will. Michael and the Dragon. The Bull of Mithra. The Spirits of Motion were ordered to throw themselves athwart evolution. During Lemuria, Atlantis, and later, the Ego was in a cloud but assailed by Luciferic Angels. Other Angels, and Archangels then came to help and guide man. They descended into the physical, etheric and astral and a being was prepared to receive the Ego. The Ego and the blood of Moses and Jesus of Nazareth. Christ never interfered with man's free will. He did nothing to propagate theory. He did not act by teaching but by His deeds and death. St. Paul. Lucifer cannot enter the Ego. The Advent of Christ. The redemption of Luciferic powers makes man stronger. It is the Truth that makes free, from this comes Love. Love can only come through Freedom. Arch-messengers or Archangels perform the tasks allotted them but man will fulfil his own task. Man will be the Hierarchy of Freedom and Love.

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