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FOUNDATIONS AT THE PERIPHERY:
RUDOLF STEINER'S OBSERVATIONS ON STAR KNOWLEDGE
1 Jan. 1912
In the whole world that presents itself to our view we can follow in some way this becoming and dying. And it is important that we should learn to apply the idea to other things in the world. Thus, in the mineral world, for example, we can also find something that is in an ascending evolution, something that is today only at the seed stage. It is quicksilver. Quicksilver is a metal that will undergo transformations in the future, but transformations that will lead to greater perfection; Quicksilver as metal has not yet pulverised all the forces that every substance possesses in the spiritual before it becomes substance at all. Powers that belong essentially to the nature of quicksilver still remain in the spiritual, and these it will in the future be able to bring forth and place in the world. It will assume new forms. Thus quicksilver corresponds in the world of the minerals to the human larynx, and also in a sense to the organ that is attached to the larynx - the lung. Other metals - copper, for example - are in a kind of descending evolution. Copper will, in the future, show itself as a metal that has no more inner spiritual forces to place out into the world, and that is consequently more and more obliged merely to split up and crumble into cosmic dust. (21, pp. 77-78)
All that we find in the root of a plant corresponds in a manner to the human brain and to the nervous system belonging to the brain. It goes so far that in actual fact the eating of what is to be found in plant roots has a certain correspondence with the processes that take place in the brain and nervous system. ...In a sense we may say that he lets think in him what he thus receives in food, he lets it do spiritual work for him, whilst if he is less inclined to eat of the root nature of plants it will be he himself who uses his brain and nervous system. You will see from this that if a person consumes a quantity of root food he is liable to become dependent in respect of his experiences as soul and spirit because something objective and external works through him, his brain and nervous system surrender their own independence. (on the other hand) -it can easily happen that if a man avoids eating roots he will fall into a sleepy condition, because his soul and spirit are not yet strong enough to evolve in themselves out of the spiritual those forces which are otherwise evolved in man quite objectively, and independently of his soul and spirit.
Again, what lives in the leaves of plants has a similar connection with the lungs of man, with all that belongs to the system of the lungs. Here we may find an indication of how a balance can be created, for example, in a person whose breathing system, owing to inherited tendencies or to some other condition, works too powerfully. It would be well in such a case to recommend the person not eat much of what comes from the leaves of plants. There may be another person whose breathing system requires strengthening, and then we shall do well to advise him to eat freely of such food as comes from leaves.
The flowers of plants contain many healing forces for the kidney system, and seeds in a particular way for the heart, but only when the heart sets itself too strongly in opposition to the circulation of the blood. If the heart yields too easily to the circulation, it is rather to the forces that are in the fruits, i.e. in the ripened seeds, that we must turn.
Roots - Brain
Fruits Blood System. (21, pp. 78-79)
20 Feb. 1912
We know how the several members of man's constitution unfold in the course of life: in the seventh year, the ether body; in the fourteenth year, the astral body; in the twenty-first tear the sentient-soul; in the twenty-eighth year the intellectual or mind-soul and in the thirty-fifth year the consciousness soul (spiritual soul). (22, pg. 49)
3-14 Apr. 1912
Thus, we may say that when we observe what surrounds man in the spiritual world, and is, as it were, around man as his own individual leader; when we there observe what lives spiritually and rules invisibly, instigating us to impersonal actions and impersonal thinking and feeling, when we see this, we have here first of all the beings of the Third Hierarchy. Occult vision perceives these beings. To the occultist they are realities; but normal consciousness also lives under their sovereignty, although it does not perceive the Angel, it is under his leadership, even though unconsciously. And so do groups of men stand under their Archangel, as the age and the men of the age stand under the leadership of the Spirit of the Age.
Now these beings of the Third Hierarchy described today are found in our nearest spiritual environment. If, however, we went back in the evolution of our planet to a definite point of time, about which we shall learn more in the following lectures, we should find more and more that these beings, who really only live in the process of man's culture, are continually bringing forth other beings from themselves (23, pg. 55)
Indeed, certain offspring of the Archai are the beings we have learnt to know as the nature-spirits of the earth; those separated from the Archangels and sent down into nature, are the nature-spirits of water; and those detached from the Angels we have recognised as the nature-spirits of the air. (23, pg. 56)
Let us direct our occult vision to a being of the Third Hierarchy. We recognise this being as such because it manifests its selfhood, its inner life externally, and in this manifestation it has its perception; but if it were to change its inner perception, its inner experience, the outer manifestation would also be different. As the inner condition of these beings of the Third Hierarchy changes, and their experiences vary, so do the external manifestations continually change. But if you look at a being of the Second Hierarchy with occult vision, it is quite different. These beings also perceive and experience inwardly; but what they experience is detached from them like a sort of shell or skin; it acquires independent existence. If the being of the Second Hierarchy then passes on into another condition, has a different perception and manifests in a new way, the old manifestation of the being will still exist; it still remains and does not pass away, as in the case of a being of the Third Hierarchy.
And if we ask ourselves what appears in these beings in the place of the 'being filled with spirit' of the beings of the Third Hierarchy, it is shown to occult vision that every time the being detaches such a picture, or image of itself, life is stimulated. The stimulation of life is always the result of such self-creation.
Whilst to occult vision the 'being filled with the spirit' of the beings of the Third Hierarchy appears in picture and imagination, as a sort of spiritual light, so is the fluidic life, the stimulation of life which is connected with an external separation, perceived in such a way that occult perception hears something like spiritual tone, the Music of the Spheres. It is like spiritual sound, not spiritual light as in the case of the Third Hierarchy.
Now in these beings of the Second Hierarchy we can distinguish several categories just as we did among the beings of the Third Hierarchy. To distinguish between these categories will be more difficult, for the higher we ascend the more difficult it becomes. We must in the course of our ascent, first of all gain some idea of all that underlies the world surrounding us, in so far as the world around us has forms. Plants have forms, animals have forms, man has a form. ...if we look away from all other parts of the being and only see the forms, ... this clairvoyant vision then perceives from the totality of the beings of the Second Hierarchy those which we call the Spirits of Form - the Exusiai.
We know indeed that everything which lives changes its form, in a certain respect, as it grows. This change, this alteration of form, this metamorphosis, strikes us most particularly in the plant-world. Now if we direct, not the ordinary vision but the clairvoyant vision of the second stage, to the growing plant world, we see how the plant gradually gains its form, how it passes from the form of the root to the form of the leaf, to the form of the flower, to the form of the fruit. If we look at the growing animal, at the growing man, we do not merely consider a form as it exists at a given moment, we see the growth of the living being. If we allow ourselves to be stimulated by this contemplation of the growth of the living being; reflecting how the forms change, how they are in active metamorphosis - then, the clairvoyant vision of the second stage becomes aware of what we call the category of the Spirits of Motion - Dynamis.
It is still more difficult to consider a third category of such beings of the Second Hierarchy. For we must consider neither the form as such, nor the changes of form, nor the movement: but that which is expressed in the form.
And when this speaks as livingly as the physiognomy, the gestures, of a man speaks, when we feel how the blossom which opens outwards has something of the character of a hand which turns outwards with the inner surface below and the outer surface above, and when we find another blossom which closes its petals above, like the two hands folded; if we feel the gestures, the physiognomy, and the colours of the plant-world to be something like a physiognomy, then the inner vision, the occult perception and understanding are stimulated; - and we recognise a third category of the Second Hierarchy, whom we call the Spirits of wisdom.
When occult consciousness raises itself to these spirits, it is at first the highest stage of those spiritual beings whom we can reach in this manner ; but just as we could say that the beings of the Third Hierarchy ,the Angels, Archangels and Spirits of the Age - have offspring who separate from them, so, too, the beings of the Second Hierarchy have offspring. In the course of time there are detached from the beings of the Second Hierarchy, in the same way as we were able to describe yesterday with regard to the beings of the Third Hierarchy, other beings of a lower order who are sent down into the kingdoms of nature, just as the nature spirits by the Third Hierarchy who then become, as it were, the master-builders and foremen in miniature in the kingdom of nature. - Now the spiritual beings which are detached from the beings of the Second Hierarchy and which sink down into the kingdoms of nature, are those designated in occultism as the group-souls of the plants and animals, the group souls of the individual beings.
If we ascend from the elements of earth, water, and air, to that which lives in the nature kingdoms by the aid of these elements, we find spiritual beings, group-souls, who animate and interpenetrate the beings of these nature-kingdoms, and these group-souls are spiritual beings detached from those we call the beings of the Second Hierarchy. (23, pp. 63-69)
We can perhaps to some slight extent describe the Spirits of Will, the lowest category of the first hierarchy, by saying: `We become familiar with Will, for Will is the lowest substance of which they can consist. But this would be impossible if we were only to regard the will which we encounter in man or animals in ordinary life, or the ordinary feelings and thoughts of man. And it would be impossible to describe by what is usually accepted as human thought, feeling and will the beings of the second category of the First Hierarchy. For this we must turn to the life of special persons who, in the way described, have built up an overwhelming power of wisdom in their souls. When we realise this wisdom of theirs, we feel somewhat as the occultist feels when he stands before the beings we call the Cherubim. Wisdom, not acquired in decades, as is the wisdom of eminent men, but such wisdom as is gathered in thousands, nay millions of years of cosmic growth, this streams towards us in sublime power from the beings we call the Cherubim.
Still more difficult to describe are those beings called the Seraphim who form the first and highest category of the First Hierarchy. It would only be possible to gain some idea of the impression which the Seraphim make upon occult vision, if we take the following comparison from life. We will pursue the comparison just made. The wisdom of those decades, that life-long wisdom, will be apparent in his countenance, so that his look can tell us of the sorrows and experiences of decades; and this look can make such an impression on us that it speaks to us as the world itself, which we experience. If we imagine such a look or imagine that such a wise man does not speak to us in words alone; but that in the tone and particular colouring of his words he can give us such an impression of all this rich life of experience that we hear in what he says something like an undertone, conveying the nature of his experiences, then again we gain something of the feeling which the occultist has when he ascends to the Seraphim.
We might describe the beings of the Third Hierarchy by saying: - What in man is perception, in them is manifestation of self: what in man is inner life, waking consciousness, is in them being filled with spirit. We might describe the beings of the Second Hierarchy by saying: - What in the beings of the Third Hierarchy is manifestation of self, is in them self-realisation, self-creation, a stamping of impressions of their own being; and what ...is being filled with spirit, is in them stimulation of life, which consists in severance, in objectifying themselves. Now what in the beings of the Second Hierarchy is self-creation, we also encounter in the beings of the First Hierarchy when we look at them with occult vision; but there is a difference. This difference consists in this. What the beings of the Second Hierarchy make objective, what they create from themselves, exists only so long as these beings remain attached to their creations. Thus, note well: - the beings of the Second Hierarchy can create some thing like an image of themselves, but it remains connected with them and cannot be separated from them. The beings of the First Hierarchy can also objectify themselves, they can also stamp their own being; it is separated from them as in a sort of skin or shell, but it is an impression of their own being. When this is detached from them, however, it remains existing in the world though they sever themselves from it. (23, pp. 74-76; also 111, pp. 149-151, slightly different translation)
In the course of these lectures we have drawn attention to the fact that these various beings of the hierarchies have offspring; beings split off from themselves, which they send down into the kingdoms of nature,... The beings of the First Hierarchy detach from themselves the beings governing the alternation of summer and winter, so that the plants spring up and fade away again; that rythmical succession through which, for instance, the animals belonging to a certain species have a definite period of life in which they develop from birth to death. Everything too which takes place in the kingdom of nature rythmically and in recapitulation, such as day and night, alternations of the year, the four seasons of the year, everything which thus depends on repeated happenings, is regulated by the Spirits of the Rotation of Time, the offspring of the beings of the First Hierarchy. Thus we can comprehensively represent the beings of these Three Hierarchies as follows:
1st Hierarchy: World-creation. Creation of Beings.
Spirits of Rotation of Time.
2nd Hierarchy: Self-creation. Stimulation of Life.
3rd Hierarchy: Manifestation. Being filled with Spirit
Nature-spirits (23, pp. 77-78; 111, pg. 152, slightly different translation)
Just as we have something of form in the physical body of man as his lowest principle and as in this form, which in truth, as we encounter it, is obviously 'Maya', lives that which is a Spirit of Form - so that which appears to us when we direct our gaze into cosmic space and there perceive a planet - Mercury, Venus, Mars or Jupiter - is the external form of the Spirit of Form.
Thus we rightly imagine such a planet as Mars, or Mercury, only when we first of all picture it in its physical form, and then think of it as surrounded and permeated by a spiritual atmosphere stretching out into infinity and having in the physical planet its physical form, the creation of the Spirits of Form - and as its spiritual environment the beings of the hierarchies. Only when we consider it thus do we conceive of a complete planet, as having the physical as a kernel in the center, and around it the spiritual sheaths which consist of the beings of the hierarchies.
Although the periods during which the inner changes alter the earth's surface are comparatively great yet without going deeply into these matters, we can say that our planet is in perpetual inner motion. Indeed, if we do not merely include the solid earth in the planet, but also the water and the air, then daily life teaches us that the planet is in inner motion. That is the life of the planet.
Just as the etheric ,body works in the life of the individual man, so does that which we designate as the Spirits of Motion work in the life of the planet. Not only is that which has just been described as inner vitality present in the planet but the Planet as a whole has a consciousness, for it is indeed a being. This consciousness which corresponds to the consciousness of man, to the lower form of consciousness - the subconsciousness in the astral body is regulated in the planet by the Spirits of Wisdom. In thus describing the planet, we still refer to the planet itself. We look up to the planet and say: It has a definite form, that corresponds to the Spirits of Form; it has an inner mobility, that corresponds to the Spirits of Motion. All this is permeated by consciousness, which corresponds to the Spirits of Wisdom. That which leads the planet through space, which governs its movement through space and causes it to revolve around the fixed star, corresponds to the Spirits of Will, or Thrones. Now if these Spirits of Will were only to give the impulse of motion to the planet, every planet would go its own way through the universe; but this is not the case, for every planet acts in conformity with the whole system. The regulation of the combined movements of the system is the work of the Cherubim. Each planetary system with its fixed star, which is in a sense the Commander-in-Chief under the guidance of the Cherubim, is again related to the other planetary systems to which other fixed stars belong. That which, so to speak, the planetary systems discuss with one another in cosmic space in order to become a cosmos is regulated by those beings we call the Seraphim. (23, pp. 83-87; 111, pp. 156-159, slightly different translation)
Let us take, for example, the planet which for a long period of time, has been reckoned as the outermost one in our system; Uranus and Neptune were added later, as we shall see; but to begin with we will consider Saturn as the outermost. To the occultist who follows the spiritual events in the cosmos, this globe which is seen out there is not what the occultist calls Saturn; to him Saturn is that which fills the whole space bounded by the apparently elliptical orbit of Saturn.
So that if with occult vision we regard this orbit of Saturn, we have a sort of etheric filling in of the whole space. That which lies within this orbit we must think of as filled with matter, not however in the form of a globe, for we have to do with a very flattened ball, a lens. We shall understand still better what is in question-if we add an idea which we can gain in a similar manner from occult science in regard to Jupiter.
What I am saying here is not mere theoretical idea or fancy, the fact actually is, that matter, not coarse physical matter but fine etheric matter, fills the space within the orbit of Saturn in its lenticular, flattened ball-like form, as drawn here. It is just as much a fact that the second smaller space for Jupiter is filled with a different etheric substance which permeates the first; so that there is simple etheric substance only between the two orbits; within, the two etheric substances permeate one another.
The spiritual beings which we call the Spirits of Form work as forces within the etheric substance I have just mentioned; but they all have a common centre, and this is none other than the Sun. Thus if we seek for the actual place whence the Spirits of Form work, the Spirits of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, etc. as also the Spirit of Form belonging to the Earth - if we seek for the centre, the starting point from which the Spirits of Form work - we find it in the Sun. That means that the Spirits of Form corresponding to our planets, comprise, as it were, a synod or council of Spirits, having its seat in the Sun, and from there sets boundaries to certain etheric substances, certain masses of ether, so that what we call occult Saturn, occult Jupiter, comes into being.
But within the cosmos there are certain spiritual beings corresponding to the Spirits of Form, but who, as it were, are rebels against those of their own class. Just as we find Luciferic Spirits among beings of the Third Hierarchy, which in order to set up their own independent life, cut themselves off from the spiritual substance of the higher hierarchies, so do we also find within the category of the Spirits of Form that some separated and would not go through the usual development of a Spirit of Form, but went through an evolution of their own. These oppose the normal Spirits of Form, are in opposition to them. What then happens is as follows
At an outermost point of this etheric globe, in opposition to the Spirit of Form working from the centre of the Sun works the rebel, the Luciferic Spirit of Form. At the periphery, working inwards from cosmic space, is an abnormal Spirit of Form who has cut himself off from the normal evolution of the others; and at a point through the combined working of the forces working inwards from cosmic space, and those others working outwards from the sun, there occurs an 'inturning', which finally becomes detached, and that is the physical planet Saturn. Thus we have to imagine that where our physical eyes see the planet Saturn, there are two forces working together;... This produces an 'inturned' structure; the ether is notched, and this notch appears to the physical eye as the physical planet Saturn. Just the same occurs with the physical Jupiter, and with the physical Mars.
The Spirits of Form working from the Sun extended the etheric substance to a certain distance; there worked the abnormal Spirits of Form in opposition, and caved the substance in, so that in reality a hollow was made in the etheric substance. As regards the original etheric substance of the planet, where the physical eye believes it sees the planet there is really nothing; the actual planet is where the physical eye sees nothing. That is the peculiarity of 'Maya'. Where the physical planet is seen, there is a hollow. Our Earth itself, in so far as it is an accumulation of matter, is a hollow in cosmic space, something bored into cosmic space. All physical matter comes into being through the meeting together of forces coming from the Spirits of Form. In this case we have the meeting of the forces of the normal Spirits of Form and those of the abnormal Spirits of Form. They collide with one another and in reality an indentation is produced and consequently at this point a simultaneous breaking up of the form, but only of the form. The form breaks up and this hollow space is bored. Now broken spiritual form, crushed form, is in reality matter. In a physical sense matter only exists when spiritual forms are broken up. Thus the planets out there are also broken-up forms.
Just as it arrests the forces of the Spirits of Form, so does it arrest light, and throw it back; hence it appears as a reflector, as a thrower-back of the light which the spirits we call the Cherubim and Seraphim carry to it from the Sun.
Hence the planets have no light of their own, because they claim for themselves the force of the light which would be their due if they were to open themselves to the normal Cherubim and Seraphim - because they veil themselves, cut themselves off from the whole. Thus every planet has a cut-off separated light. It is not correct to say that the planets only have light borrowed from the Sun; every planet has its own light; but it has cut it off, keeps it hidden within itself, and develops it for its own independent inner life of light. (23, pp. 95-104)
The spirit who carried the forces of his being from the centre-point of the Sun to the periphery, was everywhere opposed by the abnormal spirits of the different hierarchies, which in their totality, form the kingdom of Ahriman. We shall, however, see that we must separate the kingdom of Ahriman from that of Lucifer with regard to the planetary system. (23, pg. 107)
In other words, if we try to direct our occult vision to another planet - to Mars, for instance - and ask ourselves: How do the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones and Spirits of Wisdom work upon Mars? The answer is: They work there just as upon our earth. But if we ask the same question with regard to the Spirits of Motion and Form, this is no longer the case. Every planet of our Planetary System has its own Spirit of Form, its own Spirit of Motion.
Now when it is stated that Mars, for instance, has its own Spirit of Form, likewise has Jupiter, and also the earth, we must if we wish to speak in picture (and in relation to these exalted conditions everything is more or less a picture) we must imagine that although actually the seat, the centre, of the activities of the Spirit of Form of Mars and Jupiter and so on, is always the Sun; that they work from there, from the fixed star; yet their sphere of action on Mars is, so to speak, allotted to the Spirits of Form from the Sun. They work upon Mars from the Sun; other Spirits of Form work upon the Earth, others upon Jupiter.
If we direct our occult vision to the fixed star, thus in our system to the Sun, we have to say; these spiritual beings of the higher hierarchies, from the Seraphim down to the Spirits of Wisdom, alone have a certain power over the nature of the Sun; they alone are active for the development of the fixed star itself and its beings; whereas the Spirits of Motion and Form can, so to speak, do nothing for the evolution of the beings of the fixed star itself, to them is apportioned the planets which surround the fixed star in the planetary system.
Now in the planetary system there still remain two cosmic bodies, the moon and the comets; and the question now is: How do these cosmic bodies represent themselves to occult vision?
Occult vision finds upon the moon nothing of that which is developed as human life upon the earth. Nowhere do we find any traces of any human or animal activity, or any such as we should attribute to the Angels. But if we go further and fix our attention on the forces by means of which the Archangels forward human evolution and if we then turn our occult sight to the moon, strange to say we find these forces existing there. Occult vision finds there as active forces in existence on the moon the same forces which it encounters when, in contemplating the earth evolution, it looks upon the development of a people through its Folk-soul, through its Archangel. The Archangel who spiritually guides the lives of nations is present in his special characteristic as forces and speaks to us when we focus our spiritual sight on the moon. When we fix our attention upon the nature of those spiritual beings whom we designate as the Archai or Spirits of the Age, the beings who take charge of and lead earthly evolution from one epoch to another - for instance, from the Egyptian civilisation to the Greek, or from the Greek to our own - if we acquire an occult vision of the forces which rule in the guidance of evolution by the Spirit of the Age, we find again these same distinctive forces when we look upon that which meets our gaze from the moon. So, just as we could, for the planet, designate for its sphere the beings of the higher hierarchies as far as the Spirits of Form, so can we also set limits to the sphere of the moon and say: The sphere of the moon extends as far as the Archangels. (23, pp. 114-118)
Precisely the same impression as is made upon one by visualising all the moons, is also made on one who looks at a human corpse, a physical body, the bearer of which has recently passed through the gate of death. From this arises the occult knowledge that in the moons that are continually coming into existence the planetary system is gradually forming its own corpse within itself. The difference with regard to man is, that at the moment when he, with his being, passes into the condition in which the planetary system is when it forms moons, he then rejects his corpse; while the planetary system keeps the corpse within itself, binds it together, and condenses the dying matter into moons. A planetary system actually drags about its own corpse, and indeed a continually changing corpse, in its moons; a corpse which is in the process of becoming, which is in the course of evolution.
Thus as the animal kingdom lives on earth (and in so far as man has an extract of the animal body in his living body we can also draw this comparison with the living human body) and the impression of all the forms working in the animal kingdom resembles the forces which proceed from the individual planets - we can say the following: The actual living body, the body with which a living, conscious being is endowed as in primitive man, or in the animals, corresponds to the system of planets of a planetary system; so that in a whole planetary system we have all that we call the totality of the planetary mass, the living body, that is, the body permeated by the principle of life and consciousness. The totality of the planets of a system is therefor the living body of the planetary system. If we consider all the spiritual beings we have described as contained in the planetary system as the spirit and soul of the system, we must then consider the totality of the planets as its Living body, and the totality of the moons as the corpse of the planets, which they drag about with them.
We have noted the impression we have gained from the fixed star; we then seek the similar though not yet satisfactory impression which we gain from a number of plants. We go further; we abstract the external form of the plant and allow the etheric body which is within the plant to work upon us. The resemblance then increases and becomes almost as complete as that between the physical corpse of a man and the totality of the moons. Occult perception then realises that when we look up to the fixed star, what we perceive as working in the fixed star is the etheric body of the planetary system; for we actually gain the impression of an etheric body. We understand the impression which the fixed star makes upon us when we observe the etheric body of the plants, where it works as yet unmixed with an astral body, where only the etheric body works, in co-operation with the physical body. We then gain the knowledge that when we look at the fixed star, we actually see the etheric body of the planetary system raying down from it.
We can now say: In the moons we have the corpse of the physical body; and in the fixed star itself, raying out from it, we have the etheric body of the planetary system.
It must not for a moment be supposed that in the whole planetary system there is nothing besides that which we have now called corpse, physical body, and the etheric body; for of course every part is permeated by the beings of the various Hierarchies. Naturally there are spiritual-psychic forces everywhere and we need only grasp the fact that within the system are the Spirits of the Age , the Archangels and the Luciferic Beings; they all belong to it.
From man himself stream forth continually, erroneous, base, evil thoughts; these are, as we know, realities, which pass out into the astral world and continue to exist there; so that the astral sphere of a planet is filled, not only by the normal substances of its psychic being, but also by this out-poured astral substance. If we should investigate all the harmful forces brought forth by the various Luciferic Spirits, we should find an enormous mass of harmful, astral substances in a planetary system. And in a curious way, the occult vision, which for a time has had the opportunity of observing cometary life, shows us that everything of a cometary or meteoric nature is ever striving to collect round itself all the harmful astral products, and to remove them out of the planetary system.
Occult vision shows us, that, however, as a matter of fact, just about when the comet disappears from physical sight, it dissolves, and continues its way through a world not limited to the ordinary three dimensions of space; it no longer exists in the ordinary world. It actually disappears on the one side and appears again on the other. Thus, in short, with the exception of a few comets which really have long-drawn elliptical orbits, the comets for the most part are so formed that, disappear at the other, :they come in at the one side and they reappear they formed themselves anew. Why? Because as a comet approaches, it exercises a power of attraction it is, at first, merely a sort of spiritual force centre; this centre attracts all the harmful astral streams, develops them around itself and thus takes on form. In its journey towards the other side it draws this along with it, until it gets beyond the region of the planetary system, when it casts it out into cosmic space. Then the centre of force builds itself again at the other pole without needing three-dimensional space, once more takes up the harmful matter and throws it out the other side.
The sphere of the comets extends to the sphere of the Cherubim. We must therefor first know what is the nature of the Cherubim and Seraphim, in order to understand the substance and movement of the comets.
The evolution of the comets is therefor dependent upon the beings of the higher hierarchies down to the Cherubim; the evolution of the fixed star is dependent on the beings of the higher hierarchies down to the Spirits of Wisdom; the evolution of the planet itself, apart from the human being who dwells upon it, is dependent upon the forces proceeding from the higher hierarchies down to the Spirits of Form; and that which works on the moon is dependent on the forces which proceed from the higher hierarchies down to the Archangels. (23, pp. 121-130)
The whole physical system of heavenly bodies is a testimony of past times, telling of past occurrences. Whereas we, on our earth, are contemporary with the things which appear before our physical eyes, what we see in the starry heavens is actually Maya, for it does not represent an existing condition, but had its full significance in the past, and has remained behind. The physical world of heavenly bodies represents the remains of the past activities of the corresponding beings of the hierarchies, the after-effects of which still enter into the present.
To our occult consciousness the moon tells of something which should not take place as it shows itself there, if our earth-life is to be at all possible. If that which is there represented to us were not now paralysed, so to speak, by of other things, man could not possibly live his present life, because of what the moon tells us about herself. On the other hand, the present day animal life on the earth, nor the plant life, nor the activity the mineral world would be specially influenced. Certain beings of the animal and plant kingdom would certainly have to be quite different in form - that we know direct from the forces which work upon us from the moon with such vehemence - but substantially, though animal, plant, and mineral life upon the earth would be possible, human life would not. Thus the moon as we see her, tells of a condition which, if it were active, would exclude human life from the earth. (23, pp. 135-136)
Occult vision shows us that the cause of the varieties of the animal species does not simply originate on the earth; rather does the animal species receive its forms from cosmic space, and indeed the forces which produce the one species come from a different part of cosmic space from that whence come the forces which produce another. The forces which construct the various animal-forms stream down upon our earth-planet from the other planets of our planetary system. We may actually divide the whole animal kingdom into six or seven principal groups, and these chief groups have the highest group-egos. These have the impulse for their activity in the six or seven principal planets belonging to our system; so that the forces which form the principal groups of the animals work down spiritually from the planets. In saying this we have at the same time given the concrete explanation of what is actually meant when we speak of group-egos of the animals. ...they had to withdraw into these planets in order to work down with their forces at the right distance from the earth and from the right direction. Now if the planets were only to allow these forces to stream down upon our earth, we should not actually have the multiplicity in the animal kingdom we now have, we should only have seven principal forms. Once upon a time, in far distant ages, there were only the seven principal animal forms; but these seven forms were very mobile, determinable, so soft and plastic in their formation that they could easily be transformed; one special form into another and again other forms into others; this actually occurred at a later period of time. The seven principal forms date far, far back; but then appeared other forms in addition to these, and as it were, worked either to strengthen or hinder the forces of the planets
The whole of cosmic space is filled with spiritual beings of the different hierarchies working in different ways from various directions on to the earth. And men were also aware that from certain points specially precise and definite forces worked down from cosmic space, which were of quite particular importance to the earth. These are all arranged in the stellar circle of cosmic space which has since ancient times been called the Zodiac. Men did not then speak without reason of the Zodiac or Animal Circle; they knew why it was so called. In the heavenly spaces the case is as follows: The forces which worked down from the planet Mars, for instance and brought about in the still plastic animal substance, one of the seven principal forms, worked in a different way according to whether Mars stood before one sign of the Zodiac or before another. The Zodiac was divided into Twelve Signs, which represent the constellations, and according as the Martian forces which affect one animal form, stood before Aries, or Taurus, or any other constellation, their influence varied. In this way the seven different forms were modified. ...you see that there are a very great number of possibilities. (23, pp. 159-161)
Just as seven principal animal groups were formed, which have only been specified according to the relations described, so did the Luciferic Beings of Motion work from the planets on to the earth to differentiate the human race, which was actually, in a certain sense, designed according to a single plan. Whilst in the whole cosmic plan it was intended that a single human form was to arise throughout the earth, these Luciferic Spirits of Motion worked down from the various planets and differentiated the human form all over the earth in such a way that the forms of the chief individual races were able to arise. (23, pg. 164)
Thus these normally developed Spirits of Motion so work down from the planets that they succeed one another in the process of human evolution, and reveal themselves in the great civilization impulses in the evolution of the earth which reach out beyond the sphere of the Spirits of the Age. Thus, for example, from that Spirit of Motion who worked down from the planet which present-day astronomy calls Venus, and which ancient astronomy called Mercury (for these two names have been exchanged), from that Spirit of Motion came originally the impulse of the civilisation which was expressed in Buddhism. (23, pg. 168)
When you see the forces developing in a spiral in a plant from stipule to stipule, you then have the activity of those forces which work down from the planets. And according as the forces of the offspring of the Spirits of Motion work down from this planet or that planet, does this peculiar line which puts forth the leaves vary. This gives a certain means of studying the actual orbits of the individual planets through their reflection; and when external science has once recognised this fact, it will have to correct a great deal of the former astronomical systems. Certain plants are allotted to the forces of the Spirits of Motion who work from Mars, others to those who are on Venus, others to those on Mercury. They work in from their planet and according as they work in from one or the other, they impart to the plant the movement expressed in the coil of their leaves; it is the same movement which the corresponding planet makes; the absolute movement it makes in the heavens.
Thus we have to compose the whole plant out of that which grows toward the sun or toward the centre of the earth and that which winds itself round and copies in the stipules the movements of the planets. This corresponds, however, with the real fact that we have to seek the direct impulse of activity for the group-egos of the plants in the direction from earth to sun. That is, if we do not direct our occult vision to the planet, but to the sun, we shall find the different group-egos of the plants. These group-egos of the plants are the offspring of the Spirits of Wisdom, just as the group-egos of the animals are the offspring of the Spirits of Motion. (23, pp. 170-172)
Were nothing active in the mineral but what is active on the physical plane, then the mineral would only make itself perceptible as form; but this form is filled with inner being; it has the inner being of the various mineral substances, Not only has it form, it has matter, it has substance. ... the active forces by means of which it is put forth are not to be sought upon the earth itself; hence it appears to the earth as dead. These streams of life, this etheric body must be sought as streaming down from the several planets. Just as in considering the group-egos of the animals we could say: In reality only the general forms are created by the group-egos of the animals, and these are then further developed; so we must say: the streams of life sent down by the individual planets which permeate the earth from all sides, do not create the forms for the minerals, for those are created by the Spirits of Form; but through these streams the minerals are permeated with inner being. But this occurs in such a way that this inner being gives certain main types, main substances and each substance is thereby connected with a stream proceeding from one of the planets.
And then through the various positions of the planets, as I have already described with regard to the group-souls of the animals - besides the main types, and substances - other types, subordinate substances are created, which again depend on the constellation of the individual planets. But what the planets create, each through its own original nature, is expressed in the principal substances of the earth's organism.
If we observe the planet Saturn in our system we find that the life stream which permeates the earth directly from him is connected with the substance we call lead: so that we have a basic substance which is inwardly animated by Saturn. From Jupiter we get tin as the main substance; from Mars, iron; and in the occult sense, from Venus, copper. With regard to Mercury we must take into consideration that he was later confused with Venus. The life activity (in the sense of true occult nomenclature) produced creatively by Mercury, on account of its greater proximity when it penetrated the earth-organism, bears a still greater resemblance to the planet itself, for Mercury stands nearer the earth than the other planets. Therefor the substance has been given the same name as the cosmic body itself, namely, Mercury or quick-silver.
In the whole sense of our past considerations it will be clear, that as we had to ascend from the astral body of the plant to the group-ego, from the planets to the sun to the fixed star; so with regard to the mineral kingdom, if we pass from the etheric body to the astral body we must again ascend to the fixed star. Whereas the astral body in man or animal holds together the etheric body from within; the etheric body of the mineral is as it were, pushed towards it from outside, not concentrated and held together from inside, as in man and animal. One might say that the etheric substance is driven into the mineral from the point from which the sun shines upon the earth.
Thus while the etheric substance itself is directed by the planet, it is driven into and held within the mineral or crystal by the sun, by the forces belonging to the sphere of the Spirits of Wisdom.
The Luciferic Spirits, the Spirits of Wisdom of the Second Hierarchy who have not gone through their development with the rest - instead of sending astral streams from the sun to the mineral, send etheric streams to the earth. This resulted in a certain basic substance being formed, which received its inner being, not from the planets but directly from the sun; and this mineral is gold. Gold is that Luciferic mineral which as regards its inner being is not influenced etherically from the planets, but by the sun. Hence the occultist has allotted gold to the sun. In a certain sense this mineral is therefor somewhat different from the other metals.
The stronger Luciferic forces had to be opposed by other forces which in a certain sense paralysed them and arrested their effects. That could only come about through the etheric stream which came from the sun being opposed by another, which counteracted, and in a certain sense, balanced its effects. These opposing currents which readjusted the equilibrium, were created by a part of the disturbed equilibrium substance being detached from the earth and circling round the earth as moon. Thus the etheric streams coming from the sun came into opposition to the etheric stream which flowed from the moon to the earth from quite a different quarter, and in this way the balance was re-established. This came about by the moon being separated from the earth; and from the Spirits of Wisdom who separated from the moon, and who now, in a sense, became the opposers of the Luciferic Spirits of Wisdom from the sun, stream down to the earth those etheric forces which have produced the substance silver. (23, pp. 185-191)
Now through the co-operation of what comes from the planets for the minerals, what comes from the sun, and what streams in from the universe from the various directions arises the possibility that not only have those basic types already mentioned come into existence in the mineral kingdom, but all sorts of other forms, all sorts of differently modified substances of the mineral kingdom been formed. (23, pg. 198)
It is to be noted that the two outermost planets now reckoned as belonging to our system by physical astronomy - Uranus and Neptune - did not originally belong to our solar system; they came in much later into the sphere of attraction of our system: they then joined company and remained with in it. They cannot therefore be reckoned in the same sense as the other planets as belonging to our system from Saturn onwards, for they, so to speak, belonged to it from the beginning. (23, pg. 200)
In fact, the secret of the moon and its spiritual principle was first revealed to humanity in the old Hebrew Records, and what we have found physically in the moon is, in its spiritual aspect, what Hebrew antiquity designated as the Jehovah principle.
According to this the moon, so to speak, is designated as the starting-point of the forces working upon humanity as the opponents of Lucifer.
Hebrew antiquity justly concluded that Jehovah must continue to work from the moon until humanity has become inwardly mature enough to perceive and feel at least a little of that which gradually in the course of evolution will be both seen and understood - that from the same sun proceeds not only the physical part of Lucifer, but also the dissemination of that of which the Spirits of Wisdom are the portal. (23, pp. 203-204)
7 June 1912
And now I ask you to follow this list we have made of the members of man's form.
1. Upright posture
2. Orientation to the utterance of Sound
4. Enclosure within itself
5. The Interior of man that is so enclosed
6. The Interior of man in bodily aspect, having no connection with the outside world
8. Organs of reproduction
As I said before, it might at first sight appear arbitrary to show the human form divided in this way into twelve members. But everything man requires in his form in order for him to be man on earth is really comprised in these twelve members (I will explain tomorrow how it is with the hands), and in such a way that each member has a certain independence, each member is separate from the others. One could even imagine that each one of them, while still in connection with the others, might assume quite another form from the form it actually has. It is perfectly possible in each single case to imagine other shapes or forms for the several members; but that the whole human figure stands before us as the result of the conjunction of twelve such members, is a fact that cannot be disregarded.
When you reflect upon the whole meaning and intention of man's existence upon Earth, you cannot leave out of account that he has a form and figure membered in this particular way, so that when we come to study his form we must inevitably think of it as divisible into twelve parts or members. These twelve members have always been regarded in occultism as of the deepest possible significance. We are bound to take them into consideration if we would understand the meaning of the form and figure of man in its relation to his being. Occultism has always known of them, and for reasons which will become clear to us in the course of these lectures, as we continue our study of man in the light of occultism, philosophy and theosophy, the twelve members have received twelve specific designations.
What we gave as the first member has been called 'Ram' (Aries) and is denoted by that Sign.
The second is named 'Bull' (Taurus) and is denoted by that Sign.
Symmetry is called 'Twins' ( Gemini) and is denoted with that Sign.
What we described as the quality of enclosure within itself is given that Sign called 'Crab' (Cancer).
What we described as the interior, the life that is so enclosed, is called 'Lion' (Leo) and symbolised with that Sign.
The inner parts of man, that in bodily aspect have no connection at all with the outside world and point to the threefold character of man's nature, themselves typifying complete isolation from the outside world, are called 'Virgin' (Virgo) and denoted with that Sign.
Then we come to the condition of balance and there no explanation will be needed for giving the name of 'Scales' (Libra).
The organs of reproduction, which have once more the direction outwards, are denoted by the expression 'Scorpion' (Scorpio) and symbolised with that Sign.
The Thigh is called 'Archer' (Sagittarius) and has that Sign. The knees, the 'Goat' (Capricorn), are symbolised with that Sign.
The leg below the knee is 'Waterman' (Aquarius) and has that Sign.
Finally, the feet are termed 'Fishes' (Pisces) and have that Sign.
For the moment, I ask you to see in these Signs no more than signs and signatures for the various members that go to make the complete human form. Please regard them as nothing else than a means of distinguishing the several members of the human form. You know very well that these Signs belong to habits of mind and thought that are of great antiquity, and in particular that they play a part in astrology. I want you, however, to connect nothing else with them now than the fact that with their help we are able to study the human form and see how it lends itself naturally to division into twelve members. (65, pp. 96-99)
8 June 1912
Let us now take the names we employed yesterday for the legs and feet and apply them in a corresponding manner to the arms and hands which are joined on to the head and which - as quite a superficial observation will enable you to see have spiritual connection with the whole world through the head. You will not find it unreasonable or inappropriate if we now apply to these arms and hands that are connected with the head, the same terms that we used yesterday for legs and feet, and name this symmetrically extended continuation of the head in the following way. First, we have as fourth member, the upper arm, and to this we give the same designation as we gave to the thigh, Archer (Sagittarius). We note a difference between the elbow and the knee, there being no development in the elbow to correspond to the kneecap, but in spite of this the similarity is sufficiently obvious. And so we give to the elbow the Sign and the name we gave to the knee, - 'Goat' (Capricorn). We allot to the lower arm the same Sign as we took for the leg, the Sign of Waterman (Aquarius), and the hands are denoted with the same Sign as we gave to the feet, the Sign of Fishes (Pisces). And now if we take these members of man's nature all together, by themselves, comprising as they do the whole head and arms, we have a seven-membered man. That is an important perception. When you reflect on how this complete sevenfold man receives nourishment - the nourishment is of course brought up to it from the rest of man - then the idea will not be utterly grotesque if we imagine for a moment that this sevenfold man might receive its nourishment from without, like a plant which finds nourishment prepared for it in the world outside, and merely receives it and works upon it. We could well imagine that the same thing happened for this sevenfold man, and that it did not get whatever it needs for the maintenance of the brain and so forth from the other parts of man's nature, but instead directly from the external world. This sevenfold man would then be directly and immediately linked with the external world.
It is essential for the occultist to come to an understanding of this sevenfold man if he is to raise himself in a right way to the level of a higher consciousness. What we have just been describing must at some time find place in his mind, - this possibility of a sevenfold man, from which one thinks away all the remaining parts and members of the present-day human being.
Let us now go on to consider the second man. We shall best understand the second man if we pursue the following train of thought. The essential organ of the head is, as you will easily see, the brain. Now man has something else in his form that is similar to the brain. It differs from the brain of the head in what is apparently a detail, but really a point of great significance. Man has actually something like a second brain; it is the brain of the spinal cord, which is enclosed in the spinal column.
I will ask you to dwell for a little on this thought. Try to imagine that the spinal cord is nothing else than a strange and peculiar brain. It is quite possible to feel it as a brain that has been elongated and has become like a slender staff, - just as we can also see the brain as an inflated spinal cord. It will help us here if we picture man assuming for the moment the same posture in the world as the animals still have today, - that is to say, with his spine not vertically upright but parallel with the surface of the earth.
Let us begin by assigning to this horizontal man the two dissimilar Twins. For we can again call the two side appendages Twins (Gemini). In the horizontal man, head on one side and feet on the other belong together; they are arranged in mutual relationship and we denote them in this connection with the name Twins (Gemini).
And now we must go back to what we have seen to be a brain. Remember what we said before. We only get the picture of man at which we are now looking by turning him. We have before us the middle part of man, the body as such. This we must regard as a world enclosed in itself, and moreover as a world which we are thinking of as containing within it the second man. Thus we have the covering-in or the enclosing of this second man, and within, above, a kind of brain. The enclosure - the shroud or encasement, as it were - we designate as Crab (Cancer). The whole enclosure of the breast takes on quite a new character through the fact that we have turned man in order to obtain a correct picture of it.
Now let us see what members we can find within this enclosure of the breast. We have only to follow the members as we took them in their sequence yesterday, as far as the place where it ceases to be possible still to reckon them as part of the breast or middle man. There is no question about the whole interior to which we gave the name of Lion (Leo) and which is concentrated in the heart. This is the third member. Then you will remember we saw how man is really divided within into two members, an inner content that is enclosed by Crab (Cancer) and an inner content that is enclosed by the wall of the abdomen. Anatomically man's body is quite exactly divided off by the diaphragm into an upper and a lower cavity; what is below the diaphragm has also to be reckoned in with the middle man. We call it the name Virgin (Virgo) with that Sign.
We come then to the place of balance, where man begins to be no longer shut away within his own form but to open himself to the world outside. When he uses his legs he is making contact with what is outside him. The place of balance is the boundary where the entirely 'within' comes to an end. This fifth member is called 'Scales' (Libra) and is given that Sign.
From the whole way in which the organs of reproduction are placed in man, you will see they must obviously be counted in with the middle man; and so we have, as sixth member, the reproductive organs, Scorpion (Scorpio) with that Sign.
And now nothing remains to he done but to define the appendage that forms the second of the Twins. If you consider what the thigh is for man, and observe how its movement is conditioned by the middle man (for the thigh is closely connected to the whole muscular system of the middle man), you will see that we must reckon it also as a member. As far as the knee, man is middle man; the forces of the middle man enter into the thigh and extend to the knee. Moreover, we have already included the thigh as one of the Twins. The head on the one side and the thigh on the other constitute the pair of Twins. The thigh, then, we denote with that Sign we call Archer (Sagittarius). (65, pp. 106-107)
This is a fact that has to be brought home to the aspirant after occultism, - that in arms and hands we have wonderful organs deeply and strongly connected with the spiritual life that is lived by man on earth. When we consider how man has a sense contact with the external world in his head where the sense organs are chiefly localised, and then works with the external world by means of his hands, when we consider how he can prepare in his head what he then shows to the external world with his hands and bequeaths to it as art and culture, - then we begin to see the true character of this first sevenfold man. It is the essentially spiritual man, it is man in his connection with the external world. If we look at these seven members and see how they form a self-contained whole, then we behold how in this sevenfold man the earth process becomes conscious for man. This first seven-membered man is thus to be regarded as the spiritual nature of the human being; it is the spiritual being of man, in so far as he is earth man.
Let us now look at the-second man. The fact that the middle man has Twins which show such totally different developments on the two sides, gives it a double relation with the outside world. It is connected with the outside world on the one hand through the head, - for it has knowledge in the head; and on the other hand, through the fact that man is a creature that moves about on earth and can direct his motion from within. Finally it is also connected with the outside world by means of the reproductive organs which make possible the physical continuity of man. Were it not for these three members, - the Twins on the two sides, with the reproductive organs - there would be no connection with the outside world. These three members in the middle organism enable man to have connection on the one hand with the earth process and on the other hand with the continued evolution of earth man, with the sequence of generations and the reciprocity of sex.
When, however, we turn to those middle members that we denote with the words Cancer,, Leo, Virgo and Libra, we find that they are only there for the inner man himself - I mean of course 'inner' in the bodily sense. This bodily inner nature of man has, it is true, continuations in two outward directions in what are for it the Gemini; but for the rest it is entirely occupied with the inner organism. For man's inner organism it is of the very greatest significance that he has a heart, but it is of very little interest for external nature, and of just as little interest that he has an abdomen.
We have, therefore, three members that are of importance for external nature and four others that serve especially man's own inner organism. Whilst the head man lives essentially in the outside world, by virtue of the senses as well as by virtue of the mechanism of arm and hand, here we have paramountly a life inside the organism. Far-reaching differences thus exist between these two men, the middle man and the head man.
We must now pass on to consider a third man. To enable us more easily to form a mental picture of' this third man, we will take it in the reverse order, beginning from the other end . We shall find that this third man separates itself off from the other two in a perfectly natural and obvious manner.
Let us begin with the seventh member, the feet. We know from yesterday's lecture that we confer upon the feet the name of Fishes (Pisces) and that Sign. The human form is here wholly adapted to the outside world. If you think it over a little you will find there is no question about it. For it is essentially the form of the foot that makes it possible for man to be a creature who moves about on the earth. Everything else required for walking man has to learn. It is in right accordance with nature that man has to place upon the earth the broad sole of his foot, so that the extended surface of the foot is not directed inwards but to the earth. And now since what we call the leg belongs to and corresponds to this foot nature, we must reckon as sixth member the leg, to which we give the name Waterman (Aquarius) and that Sign.
We come then to the fifth member, the knee, which is here to be regarded in no other way than as forming a necessary mechanical resting place for the thigh. Because man has to bring his whole middle man into connection with the lower man - the foot and leg - therefore must there be this partition at the knee. Think how difficult it would be to walk if the lower leg and foot were not separated off in this way. If we did not need to walk, the middle man would not concern us. As it is, however, we need the middle man and consequently also require the knee as connecting member. We call it Goat (Capricorn) with that Sign. This is the fifth member.
The fourth, the thigh, we have already considered and we have seen that it belongs to the middle man. The thigh would have to be there even if man had another kind of movement. If for instance, he were to fly or swim, he would still need the thigh, though it might have to assume another form. If man is to be able to walk on the earth, not only must the foot and leg and knee be adapted to the ground but also the thigh must be in the right relation and proportion to these members. It must be so formed as to correspond in the right way to the three lower members. You will recognise this when you observe that in so far as the thigh is in correspondence with the middle organs it is the same kind in birds, in four-footed animals and in man; in man it is only differently developed. Thus, the thigh belongs to man insofar as he has an animal nature. We give it the name of Archer (Sagittarius) and that Sign.
It can easily be seen that the organs of reproduction are on the one hand formed from within, and on the other hand in their functions are adapted to the world outside. Let me say in passing, we must speak of these things quite objectively, and consider aspects of them that can only be considered when the subject is treated with scientific seriousness. The reproductive organs are adapted to external nature in the sense that they relate one sex to the other. The organ of the male is not only formed from out of the middle man, but it is also given an outward direction and its form adapted to the reproductive organ of the female. We have, therefore, to speak of the reproductive organs as the third member, which we name Scorpion (Scorpio) and denote by that Sign.
We come next to what is called the Scales (Libra), the place of balance in man. The external form of the region of balance is sufficient evidence that we have here a member of the middle nature of man. Bear in mind that it is because man has become upright that he had to have here this organ of balance. It must be developed in such a way as to enable him to become an upright being. Compare the region of balance in a four-footed animal with the same in man, and you will recognise that this member of balance is different according as the upper part of the body has an upward direction or rests horizontally on the legs and feet. Thus, the place where the balance is situated and which we designate as Libra has to be reckoned as the second member of the lower man.
And now we come to something that cannot but meet with misunderstanding on the part of present-day science. We have so far considered a sixfold man; we have studied the third man beginning from below upwards and found in him these six members. When we consider the other two, the first and the second sevenfold man, we took as our starting-point in each case a brain. In considering the head, we began with the brain and that led us to the arms and hands. Then we learned to see a second brain, a brain that is like an elongated staff but yet is truly brain, - the spinal cord. As you will know, the difference between the spinal cord and the brain of the head, though apparently only small, is really very great. The spinal cord is the instrument for all movements that man is obliged to perform; the movements that we call involuntary movements are controlled by the spinal cord. When, on the other hand, we employ the instrument of the brain, thought inserts itself between perception and movement. In the spinal cord all connection with thought is lacking. There movement follows directly on perception. In the case of the animal the spinal cord plays a greater part than it does in the case of man, and the brain a lesser part. Most animals perform their actions quite involuntarily. Man, however, by virtue of his superior brain, wedges in thinking between perception and movement; consequently his deeds show a voluntary character.
Let us now try to picture the third man in such a way that in it too we discover a kind of brain. As you know, there is in man a third system of nerves, distinct from those of the brain and the spinal cord. It is the sympathetic nervous system, the so called solar plexus, situated in the lower part of man and sending its fibres upwards parallel with the spinal cord. It is a nervous system that is separate from the other two and, in relation to the brain proper, may be regarded as a peculiar, undeveloped brain. When we follow the human form upwards beyond Libra we find this remarkable sympathetic nervous system, the solar plexus, extended like a brain of the third man. With the special organs we have already enumerated there is thus connected also what we have to regard as a kind of third brain, - the solar plexus.
Now, a vital connection exists - and this is what external science cannot but find difficult to accept - between the solar plexus and the kidneys. As the substance of the brain in the head and the fibres of the nerve tracks belong together, so do the kidneys belong to the brain of the abdomen, the solar plexus. In fact, the solar plexus and the kidneys form, together, a peculiar kind of subordinate brain. Reckoning this brain as part of the lower man, we can designate it with the term Virgin (Virgo) . We have therefore now our seventh, or rather our first, member, made up of the connection of solar plexus with kidneys; and at this point we reach the termination above of the third sevenfold man.
Man is thus found to be threefold in his composition. These three men work into and with one another, and no understanding of the nature of the human being is possible until one knows that in him three human beings are in reality active. Three sevenfold men work together in man. (65, pp. 109-115)
UPPER MAN (related to thought)
1 Upright Position Aries
2 Direction forwards Taurus
3 Symmetry Gemini
4 Upper Arm Sagittarius
5 Elbow Capricorn
6 Lower Arm Aquarius
7 Hands Pisces
MIDDLE MAN (related to feeling)
1 Head & Feet, Twins Gemini
2 Breast encl. Cancer
3 Interior, Heart Leo
4 The second Interior part of man Virgo
5 Balance Libra
6 Organs of Reproduction Scorpio
7 Thigh Sagittarius
LOWER MAN (related to will)
7 Feet Pisces
6 Leg Aquarius
5 Knee Capricorn
4 Thigh Sagittarius
3 Organs of Reproduction Scorpio
2 Balance Libra
1 Kidneys, Solar Plexus Virgo
(65, pg. 118)
9 June 1912
In those olden times man was so constituted that the Moon had a particularly strong influence on his brain. The consequence was that the ancient clairvoyance was very dependent on the phases of the Moon, and showed itself for the most part in connections that found expression in the phases of the Moon. For a space of fourteen days clairvoyance increased, and then for fourteen days it decreased again. Its influence was thus greatest in the middle of such a Moon period. There were times when men knew: We are Sun beings. They knew it because they could perceive the Sun through the inner idea formed in the brain. But this came about through the influence of the Moon. The old clairvoyance often worked in the way I indicated. Man gave himself up throughout the whole twenty-eight days to the waxing and waning of the Moon. There were days when the influence of the Moon was particularly strong and when in consequence clairvoyance was present in everyone; inner clairvoyant consciousness made itself felt in all men. When initiates in occultism came to people of this kind with the mission of determining for them the character of their religion, then for the same reason that other peoples were made Sun (or Day) worshippers and Star (or Night) worshippers, the initiates made this third kind of people Moon worshippers. Hence the worship of the Moon that is to be found among many ancient peoples. (65, pp. 137-138)
11 June 1912
Let us now return to our study of threefold man and remind ourselves how we had to connect the upper man with the heaven of the stars. We went on to show that the figure known to the Old Testament under the name of Jahve or Jehovah gives something to the upper man as a kind of compensation for what man has lost on the Earth, and this gift of Jahve's can be reckoned as belonging to the Moon. Summing up our study of these connections, we may therefore say: The upper man is in a certain sense co-ordinated to the Moon, while the middle man, the breast man, that carries the heart within him, is in a sense co-ordinated, as we saw, to the Sun. We can accordingly form some idea of what occult Schools and Mysteries have always understood by the co-ordination of the middle man, the man that bears the heart in him, to the Sun, and of the man that carries the head, either to the whole starry heavens or to the Moon.
But now Lucifer has also had his influence on man. Even as we carry in our middle man the influence of the Sun, and in our head man the influence of the Moon - as I described it for ancient clairvoyance - so do we carry in us the influence of another star, and we have to think in a corresponding way of the forces that ray out from this other star.
You will readily imagine that the influence must needs be of a different kind from the influence of Sun or Moon. The Moon influences still worked in olden times with such effect that human clairvoyance took its course in a 28-day period. In the course of 28 days man felt himself now in a more, and now again in a less, clairvoyant condition. This was an influence that could be directly perceived. The Sun influences are of course obvious. We shall not need to waste many words over the fact that the whole of the middle man depends on the Sun; what was said in the last lecture should suffice. The influence of the third - which is to be found in the region that appears to us in initiation as the region of Lucifer - works on the other hand in a spiritual manner. Here we can no longer speak of an influence that is easily evident. Many an influence even of the Moon can be disbelieved on this account; nevertheless there are still people who speak of an influence of the Moon on the nature of man. As for the Sun's influence, no one will deny that. It goes without saying, however, that influences of other stars are not admitted by the materialist. He must of necessity repudiate them, for they are spiritual and he cannot admit the influence of spiritual forces. None the less it is a fact that just as there is in the upper man the connection with the Moon, and in the middle man the connection with the Sun, so are the influences of Venus connected with the form of man that meets us when we cross the threshold of initiation. Note that we are speaking now of the star which the astronomers of today call 'Venus'.
Venus is thus the kingdom of Lucifer. At first we learn through initiation that the lower man, the man we called the third seven-membered man, is that part of the whole nature of man which has been apportioned by the higher Gods to the kingdom of Lucifer. But Lucifer has, by a method of which we shall speak further, acquired mastery over the whole human being, - even as Jahve or Jehovah also took possession of the whole human being.
If you want to have a complete picture of the working of Jahve or Jehovah, then you will have to see it in the following way. Take first the head man, as you have learned to know it from earlier lectures. Into the head man works the power of Jehovah which corresponds to New Moon, the Moon that is bereft of light, the Moon that does not ray back sunlight on to the Earth. The physical sunlight that is reflected from the Moon - that, on the other hand, is to be thought of as the influence of the Jehovah forces which proceeds from the Moon onto lower man, the third man.
The corresponding influences of the intermediate phases of the Moon - the waxing and waning Moon - work upon the breast man. And now you must consider in addition that just as the Moon - that is to say, the Spirit of the Moon, Jahve or Jehovah - works upon the entire man in all his three members, so too does the Sun, but especially on the middle man; thence the Sun's influences ray out into the whole human being. We have accordingly two cosmic forces both working actively in the human being in an orderly and regular manner.
Of Lucifer we learn that his kingdom is Venus. The forces which find their physical symbol in the light of Venus shining down upon us as Morning or Evening Star, the physical rays of Venus that are sent out into cosmic space, - are the symbol of the influence of Lucifer upon man. Lucifer has not confined himself to working on the lower man.
If he had, he would only have influence when Venus is shining with her full orb of light, as in Full Moon. For you know that Venus has phases like the Moon, waxing Venus, full Venus and waning Venus. The 'quarters' work on the breast man like the 'quarters' of the Moon. The Venus that works spiritually, works on the head man. We can, therefore, behold in the working together in the heavens of Sun, Moon and Venus, an expression for what in respect of man are spiritual workings. Please note, an expression for what is in the spirit of man.
As the great Sun Spirit works in relation to the Moon Spirit, in relation, that is, to Jahve or Jehovah, so also Lucifer, who is always active in human nature works in relation to these two. If we wanted to describe by means of a drawing the law of their co-operation we could not do better than look up at the constellations in the heavens of Sun, Moon and Venus. As is the relationship of these three to one another, - whether they are in opposition, or whether they strengthen or weaken one another, as when one stands in front of another and eclipses it - so is the relation between these three spiritual powers in man. The influence of the Sun can be more particularly developed when it is not impaired either by the Moon or by the Venus forces. It may, however, also happen that the Sun forces - the forces that are in the middle man, in the heart - are eclipsed by the Moon, the head forces, and eclipses can occur also by the action of Lucifer, that is of Venus. As you know, there are times when Venus passes in front of the Sun in cosmic space.
Seeing that we were able to divide up the whole human form and connect its parts and members with certain fixed stars, certain Signs of the Zodiac, it will not now be difficult for you to understand that a relationship can exist between these three Stars in man - that is, the three great spiritual Powers in man - and the several members of the human form. We have to recognise, for instance, a particularly significant phase of this relationship when the heart in the middle man, or rather when the powers of the heart, the powers of the Sun Spirit in the middle man, exert their utmost influence. In the middle man, you will remember, we saw inscribed the Sign of Leo. We can, therefore, say that when the Sun exerts his forces especially on that member of the human form to which we give symbolically the Sign of Leo, then a remarkable constellation is present in man. Another remarkable constellation is present when the Jehovah forces are especially strongly developed in their spiritual character, - let us say, in the sign of Aries, which signifies the upright posture, or in the Sign of Taurus which denotes, as you know, the forward direction of the organs for the purpose of producing speech. For these are the parts of the human form which necessarily have an original and peculiarly deep relationship to the Moon forces. When these members of man 's form are very highly developed, then it denotes a particularly favourable constellation for the human being.
You will be able now to discern wherein the fundamental principle, the real essence of astrology consists. I have certainly not the intention of going fully into the subject of astrology in these lectures - there would not be time - but I want at this point to call your attention to its true nature. We can put it in very few words. You see, man, as he stands before us with his threefold seven-membered form, is in connection and harmony with the spiritual Powers corresponding to the cosmic realms. For as the forces of the Sun Spirit that work in man correspond to the Spirit of the Sun, as the forces of the Moon correspond to the head man, and as we have corresponding to the third man the forces that are distributed over the whole human being, similarly is there a correspondence between the several members of the human form and the fixed stars, so that their Signs can be ascribed severally to these various members of man's form. And we have before us - man, complete in his physical form. But now the influence proceeding from the Powers that work from these directions was not active only when the human form first came into being, it has continued so right through time and is active still. And we see the working of this influence in the fact that man's external destiny can be brought into connection with the constellations of the Stars, just as we had to connect with the constellations of the Stars what man has already become. If it was auspicious for man's organisation that his Sun forces co-operated with those members of his form to which we ascribe the Sign of Leo, then it will also be auspicious today for certain qualities and characteristics in him if some important moment of his life, notably the moment of birth, falls when the Sun is in the Sign of Leo, that is to say, when the Sun covers Leo, so that these two forces mutually strengthen one another or in some way influence one another. For as what man is today stands written in the heavenly spaces in the writing of the constellations of the Stars, so stands written there too what is yet to happen with him. This is the ground of true astrology. You will see at once from what we have been considering that you really only need to know occultism and you have at the same time the root principle of astrology. (65, pp. 164-170)
If the seven movements we have described are correctly understood, then with them are exhausted the inner movements of man. The others are outer movements. When man moves his feet or his hands, that is an external movement. The inner movements man brought with him when he came to Earth, though Earth has, it is true, changed them very much. And just as we had to refer the whole complete form of man to the fixed stars of the Zodiac, and connect the Signs of the Zodiac with the several members of the human form, so now we find that the several movements have their source in the entire planetary system. From our planetary system we have to derive these seven members of what we may call the man of inner movement. And since the relationship of these movements to one another corresponds to the relationship of the planets of our planetary system, we can also designate these several movements with the Signs that belong to these planets, thus:
Movement into upright posture Saturn
Movement of thinking Jupiter
Movement of speaking Mars
Movement of the blood Sun
Movement of the breath Mercury
Movement of the glands Venus
Movement of reproduction Moon
A word must be said about the movement of the blood. This movement comes into contact with what we have earlier learned to recognise as the centre of the organs belonging to middle man, the 'plane of operations' as it were for the Sun Spirit. Thus the movement of the blood, which has its centre in the middle man, is to be brought into relation with the most important force in the middle man, and we have to designate this movement of the blood with the Sign of the Sun. In doing so, we are thinking of the power and force of the Sun Spirit in so far as it is a force in movement. It is, we could say, as a fixed star that the Sun works upon the middle man as a whole. On the other hand it exerts its influences on the movements that depend on the middle man, on the movements of the blood, as one of the planets.
If I make use of the Sign which is also used by the astronomers of today - employing therefore in this case not the old terminology which was altered by Kepler, but the names that are customary in the astronomy of today - then the movement of the breathing can be denoted by Mercury, the movement of the glands by Venus and the movement of reproduction by Moon. For this last movement, localised as it is in the lower man is again a movement that comes into contact with the influence of the Spirit of the Moon. This influence here meets and combines with the inner moving of the human being.
And now, when the pupil, as it were, steps forth out of his man of inner movement, he meets with seven forms. He makes the acquaintance of seven spiritual Beings, and he knows that these seven spiritual Beings correspond to his own inner movements in the very same way that Sun, Moon, and Venus correspond to what we spoke of yesterday. He comes to understand that he himself has grown out of our planetary system, and that since the physical stars of the planets are directed by the Spirits of the planets, man is only able, for example, to lift himself upright through the fact that the Spirit of Saturn prevails in him, the Spirit who has his scene of action on Saturn as Lucifer has his on Venus. He knows too that his movement of thought has connection with the Regent or directing Spirit of Jupiter, the movement of speech with the directing Spirit of Mars, the movement of the blood with the directing Spirit of the Sun, the whole movement of the breath with the directing Spirit of Mercury, all the glandular movements with the directing Spirit of Venus, and finally the whole movement of reproduction with the directing Spirit of the Moon. He knows furthermore, that all these Spirits work with and through one another. They have their seat, their base of operations, in man, and one kind of movement works upon another. The Spirit of Saturn, for instance, while it works chiefly through the movement made by man in lifting himself upright, takes part indirectly in all other movements. A significant situation occurs when the guiding Spirit of Saturn manifests his forces with peculiar strength in the Sign of Aries or the Sign of Taurus. This creates a very important situation. (65, pp. 173-176)
12 June 1912
The great wide world was not then as it is now. If we were to transport ourselves in these days to the present Sun, then, looking outwards in all directions as from the centre of a circle, we should perceive in the first place the twelve Signs of the Zodiac. These were not then externally visible; but instead, twelve great Forms, twelve Beings were present who let their words ring forth from the depths of the darkness, - outer space being of course not then filled with light. What kind of words were these? They were words - the word 'word' is again only a makeshift, to indicate what is here meant - they were words that told of primeval times, of times that even then were in a remote and ancient past. The twelve were twelve World-Initiators. Today we behold standing in the directions of these twelve World-Initiators the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, but from them resounds, for the soul that is open to the whole world, the original being of the Unspoken Word of the Worlds, that could take form in the twelve Voices. And whilst Lucifer alone - I must now begin to speak more in pictures; human words do not in the least suffice - whilst Lucifer had the impulse to let stream out upon all things the light that was present in him and therewith come to a knowledge of all things, the Christ on the other hand, gave Himself up to the Impression of this Word of the Worlds, received It in its fulness and entirety into Himself, so that this Christ Soul was now the Being that united in Himself all the great Secrets of the World that sounded into Him through the inexpressible Word. Such is the contrast that presents itself, - the Christ Who receives the Word of the Worlds, and the proud Lucifer, the Spirit of Venus, who rejects the Word of the Worlds and wants to found and establish everything with his own light.
All subsequent evolution is a direct outcome of what Lucifer and Christ were at that time. (65, pp. 190-191)
On Mars it is so, that the men who have remained there stand in great peril, even as the Earth men were in peril, from which Christ set them free. The danger for the Mars men is, that their astral body - they have, as you know, not an I to develop as we - their astral body, and thereby indirectly also their ether body, may suffer a very serious diminution of force and become dried up. The whole nature of the Mars men has proved to be of a kind that leads to terrible wars. The men of Mars tend to settle permanently on a certain spot. And there is, or rather was, on Mars constant war and strife, due to the astral bodies that are very strong and not tempered and made gentle by an I. If you think it over you will understand that among men who develop in this way there must inevitably be a terrible amount of strife and conflict. Mars is nothing else than a kind of re-incarnated Moon. (65, pg. 206)
26 Oct. 1912
In our time we should fear rather than welcome a too forcible appearance of a visionary world on entering the realm of the spirit. When we begin our exercises to rise into the higher worlds it is indeed possible for visionary experiences to penetrate into us. In our time there is only one safeguard against making mistakes in the presence of this visionary world, namely, to say to oneself that to begin with one can only learn certain things about oneself from these visions. The appearance of a whole host of visions around us need be nothing more than the mirror of our own being. Our own disposition and maturity of soul, all we think and feel, transform themselves in the spiritual world into happenings that appear to be objective realities. For instance, when we see events in the astral world that seem objective to us, they may be nothing more than the reflection of our own virtues and defects, or indeed the effect of a headache. He who seeks genuine initiation, especially in our time, must endeavor to understand by thinking all that reaches him by way of the visionary experience. Therefor, the candidate for initiation will not rest until he has understood what he has encountered in the visionary world as thoroughly as he understands the physical world. (25, pg. 5)
18 Nov. 1912
Man's consciousness does not, however, extend directly to his astral and etheric nature, and it extends far less to his physical nature. Although perpetual destruction of these members is taking place through the whole course of life, we do not know how to rectify it. Man has the power to repair the harm done to the ego, to adjust a moral defect or a defect of memory, but he has no power over what is being continually destroyed in his astral, etheric and physical bodies. These three bodies are being impaired all the time, and as we live on constant attacks are being made upon them. We work at the development of the ego, for if we did not do so during the whole of life between birth and death no progress would be made. We cannot work as consciously at the development of our astral, etheric or physical body as we work at the development of our ego. Yet what is all the time being destroyed in those three bodies must be made good. In the time between death and a new birth we must again acquire in the right form - as astral body, etheric body and physical body - what we have destroyed. It must be possible during this time for what was previously destroyed to be repaired. This can only happen if something beyond our own power works upon us. It is quite obvious that if we do not possess magical powers it will not be possible for us to procure an astral body when we are dead. The astral body must be created for us out of the Great World, the Macrocosm.
We can now understand the question, 'Where is the destruction we have caused in our astral body repaired?' We need a proper body when we are born again into a new bodily existence. Where are the forces that repair the astral body to be found in the universe? We might look for these forces on the earth with every kind of clairvoyance, yet we would never find them there. If it depended entirely on the earth, a man's astral body could never be repaired. The materialistic belief that all the conditions needed for human existence are to be found on the earth is utterly mistaken. Man's home is not only on the earth. True observation of the life between death and a new birth reveals that the forces man needs in order to repair the astral body lie in Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, that is, in the stars belonging to the planetary system. The forces emanating from these heavenly bodies must all work at the repair of our astral body, and if we do not get the forces from there we cannot have an astral body. What does that mean? It means that after death, and it is also the case in the process of initiation, we must go out of the physical body together with the forces of our astral body. This astral body expands into the universe. Whereas we are otherwise contracted into a small point in the universe, after death our whole being expands into it. Our life between death and a new birth is nothing but a process of drawing from the stars the forces we need in order that the member we have destroyed during life can be restored. So it is from the stars that we actually receive the forces which repair our astral body. (25, pp. 38-39)
3 Nov. 1912
Here we are bound outwardly to the earth, surrounded by the physical world and separated from the heavenly spheres. As long as we dwell within the moon sphere we are in kamaloca, which means that we are still longing to be connected with the earth. We proceed beyond it when we have learned through life in kamaloca to forego passions and longings. The sojourn in the spiritual world must be imagined quite differently from what is customary on earth. There we are spread out in space, we feel ourselves in the whole of space.
After the life in kamaloca we grow further out into space. This will depend on certain qualities that we have acquired previously on the earth. A long span of our evolution after death, and our ability to expand to the next sphere, is determined by the moral attitude, the ethical concepts and feelings we develop on earth. A person who has developed qualities of compassion and love - qualities that are usually termed moral - lives into the next sphere so that he becomes acquainted with the beings of that sphere. A man who brings a lack of morality into this realm dwells in it like a hermit.
Now man's being expands up to the orbits of the morning and the evening stars, whereas previously it expanded only to the Moon. Something strange happens at this point. Until the Moon sphere we are still involved in earthly affairs, but even beyond, the connection with earthly matters is not entirely severed. On earth if we have done a person some injustice or have not loved him as much as we should, we can make up for these feelings. We can go to him and put things right. This is no longer possible from the Mercury sphere onward. We behold the relationships in recollection. They remain but we cannot alter them. (25, pp. 64-65)
The next sphere is termed the Venus sphere in occultism. We now expand our being up to Mercury, which is known as the occult Venus. In this sphere the human being again is strongly influenced by what he brings. The more religious the disposition of soul we have acquired, the more social we become in this sphere. People who lack religious inclination cut themselves off. They cannot move beyond a sheath or shell that surrounds them. Nevertheless, we get to know friends who are hermits, but we cannot reach them. We continually feel as if we have to break through a shell but are incapable of doing so. In the Venus sphere, if we have no religious inwardness, it is as if we were to freeze up.
This is followed by a sphere in which, however strange it may appear, the human being, and this is so for everyone after death, expands up to the Sun. There is a period between death and rebirth when we become Sun beings. But now something further is necessary. In the first sphere we need moral inclination and in the Venus sphere, a religious life. In the Sun sphere it is essential that we truly know the nature and being of the Sun spirits and above all, the ruling Sun Spirit, the Christ, and that we made a connection with Him on earth. (25, pp. 67-68)
If we are born with a moral inclination, it means that on the return journey during the condition of sleep the Mercury sphere was able to bestow much upon us. It was the Venus sphere, if we are endowed with religious feelings. As every morning on earth we awaken strengthened and refreshed with new forces, so we are born strengthened by the forces given by the cosmos, and we receive them in accordance with our karma. The cosmos can bestow forces that are predispositions from birth, inasmuch as karma will allow. (25, pg. 75)
26 Nov. 1912
We bring with us from the earth an understanding of the Christ, but in order to develop a stage further so that we may proceed out into the universe from the Sun sphere to Mars, we need to recognise the second Throne that stands beside the Throne of Christ in the Sun. This is possible simply by virtue of the fact that we are human souls. From this other Throne we now learn to know the other Being who, together with the Christ, leads us onward. This other Being is Lucifer. We learn to know Lucifer, and through the powers that he is able to impart to us we make the further journey through the spheres of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
We expand ever further into cosmic space, but as we move out beyond the Saturn sphere our state of consciousness is changed. We enter into a kind of cosmic twilight. We cannot call it a cosmic sleep, but a cosmic twilight. Now for the first time the powers of the whole cosmos can work in upon us. They work from all sides, and we receive them into our being. Then we begin to draw together again, pass through the different spheres down to the Venus sphere, contract and become ever smaller until the time comes when we can again unite with an earthly human germ. (25, pp. 95-96)
15 Dec. 1912
"So you see, we go through the Moon , Mercury, Venus and Sun spheres. In each sphere we meet, to begin with, what corresponds to the inner forces that we bring with us. Our emotions, urges, passions, sensual love, unite us to the Moon sphere. In the Mercury sphere we meet everything that is due to our moral imperfections; in the Venus sphere, all our religious shortcomings; in the Sun sphere, everything that severs us from the purely human.
"Now we proceed to other spheres that the occultist terms the sphere of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Here Lucifer is our guide and we enter into a realm that bestows new forces upon us. Just as here we have the earth below us, so there in the cosmos we have the Sun below us. We grow into the divine-spiritual world, and we must hold fast in memory what we have brought with us of the Christ impulse. Now Lucifer draws near to us. (25 ,pg. 140)
18 Dec. 1912
Anyone who asks from the standpoint of occultism what kind of world conception can be derived from the Copernican tenets will have to admit that although these ideas can lead to great achievements in the realm of natural science and in external life, they are incapable of promoting any understanding of the spiritual foundations of the world and the things of the world, for there has never been a worse instrument for understanding the spiritual foundations of the world than the ideas of Copernicus - never in the whole of human evolution. The reason for this is that all these Copernican concepts are inspired by Lucifer. Copernicanism is one of the last attacks, one of the last great attacks made by Lucifer upon the evolution of man. In earlier, pre-Copernican thought, the external world was indeed maya, but much traditional wisdom, much truth concerning the world and the things of the world still survived . Since Copernicus, however, man has maya around him not only in his material perceptions but his concepts and ideas are themselves maya. Men take it for granted nowadays that the sun is firmly fixed in the middle and the planets revolve around it in ellipses. In the near future, however, it will be realised that the view of the world of the stars held by Copernicus is much less correct than the earlier Ptolemaic view. The view of the world held by the school of Copernicus and Kepler is very convenient, but as an explanation of the macrocosm it is not the truth. (66, pp. 174-175)
Between birth and death we live on the earth. Between death and a new birth man has a certain connection with the other planets. In my 'Theosophy' you will find Kamaloka described. This sojourn of man in the soul world is a time during which he becomes an inhabitant of the Moon. The one after another, he becomes an inhabitant of Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and then an inhabitant of the further expanses of heaven or the cosmos. One is not speaking incorrectly when one says that between two incarnations on the earth lie incarnations on other planets, spiritual incarnations. Man at present is not yet sufficiently developed to remember, whilst in incarnation, his experiences between death and a new birth but this will become possible in the future. Even though he cannot remember what he experienced on Mars, for example, he still has Mars forces within him, although he knows nothing about them. One is justified in saying : I am not an earth inhabitant, but the forces within me include something that I acquired on Mars. Let me consider a man who lived on earth after the Copernican world outlook had become common knowledge. Whence did Copernicus, Galileo, Giordano Bruno and others acquire their abilities in this incarnation? Bear in mind that shortly before that, from 1401-1464, the individuality of Copernicus was incarnated as Nicholas of Cusa, a profound mystic. Think of the completely different mood of his Docta Ignorantia. How did the forces that made Copernicus so very different from Nicholas of Cusa enter into this individuality? The forces that made him the astronomer he was, came from Mars! Similarly, Galileo also received forces from Mars that invested him with the special configuration of a modern natural scientist. Giordano Bruno too, brought his power with him from Mars, and so it is with the whole of mankind. That people think like Copernicus and Giordano Bruno is due to the Mars forces they acquire between death and a new birth.
But the acquisition of the kind of powers which lead from one triumph to another is due to the fact that Mars had a different influence in those times from what it exercised previously. Mars used to radiate different forces. The Mars culture that human beings experience between death and a new birth went through a great crisis in the earth's fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It was as decisive and catastrophic a time on Mars in the fifteenth and sixteenth century as it was on earth at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. Just as at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha the actual ego of man was born, there was born on Mars that particular tendency which, in man, comes to expression in Copernicanism. When these conditions came into force on Mars, the natural consequence would have been for Mars to continue sending down to earth human beings who only brought Copernican ideas with them, which are really only maya. What we are seeing, then, is the decline of the Mars culture. Previously, Mars had sent forth good forces. But now Mars sent forth more and more forces that would have led men deeper and deeper into maya. The achievements that were inspired by Mars at that time were ingenious and clever, but they were maya all the same.
So you see that in the fifteenth century you could have said Mars' salvation, and the earth's too, depended on the declining culture of Mars receiving a fresh impulse to raise it up again. That was the significant question facing Christian Rosenkreutz and his pupils; how this upward impulse could be given to the Mars culture, for the salvation of the earth was also at stake. The beings on Mars were not in a position to know what would bring about their salvation, for the earth was the only place where one could know what the situation on Mars was like. On Mars itself they were unaware of the decline. Therefor it was in order to find a practical solution to this problem that the aforesaid conference met at the end of the sixteenth century. This conference was well prepared by Christian Rosenkreutz in that the closest friend and pupil of Christian Rosenkreutz was Gautama Buddha, living in a spirit body. And it was announced at this conference that the being who incarnated as Gautama Buddha, in the Spiritual form he now had since becoming Buddha, would transfer the scene of his activity to Mars. The individuality of Gautama Buddha was as it were sent by Christian Rosenkreutz from the earth to Mars. So Gautama Buddha leaves the scene of his activity and goes to Mars, and in the year 1604 the individuality of Gautama Buddha accomplishes for Mars a deed similar to what the Mystery of Golgotha was for the earth.
Since the mystery of Mars was consummated by Gautama Buddha, human beings have been able, during the period between death and a new birth, to receive from Mars different forces from those emanating during Mars' cultural decline. Not only does a man bring with him into a new birth quite different forces from Mars, but because of the influence exercised by the spiritual deed of Buddha, forces also stream from Mars into men who practice meditation as a means of reaching the spiritual world. When the modern pupil of Spiritual Science meditates in the sense indicated by Christian Rosenkreutz, forces sent to the earth by Buddha as the redeemer of Mars stream into him. (66, pp. 178-182)
3 Dec. 1912
We look at a plant which spreads out its leaves and opens its blossoms during the day and draws them in when the light fades. That which streams to the plant from the sun and the stars has been withdrawn. But it is what comes from the sun that enables the leaves to open again and the blossom to unfold. Out yonder in cosmic space, therefor, are the forces which cause the organs of the plant to fold up limply when they withdraw or unfold when they are active. What is brought about in the plant by cosmic forces is brought about in the human being by his own ego and astral body. When does a human being allow his limbs to relax and his eyelids to close like when the plant draws in its leaves and blossoms? When his ego and astral body leave his bodily organism. What the sun does to the plant, the ego and astral body do to the organs of the human being. Hence we can say: the plant's body must turn to the sun as man's body must turn to the ego and astral body and we must think of these members of his being as having the same effect upon him as the sun has upon the plant.
Even externally considered, will it surprise you to know what occult investigation reveals, namely that the ego and astral body originate from the cosmic sphere to which the sun belongs and do not belong to the earth at all? Nor will you be surprised, after what has been said in previous lectures, to realise that when human beings leave the earth, either in sleep or at death, they pass into the conditions prevailing in the cosmos. The plant is still dependent upon the sun and the forces operating in space. The ego and the astral body of man have made themselves independent of the forces of space and go their own way. A plant is bound to sleep when the sunlight withdraws; in respect of his ego and astral body, however, man is independent of the sun and planets which are his real home, and for this reason he is able to sleep by day, even when the sun is shining. Therefor it is not grotesque to say that what remains of man on the earth and in its elements after death belongs to the earth and its forces; but the ego and astral body belong to the forces of the cosmos. After the death of the human being ego and astral body return to those cosmic forces and pass through the life between death and rebirth within their spheres. During the period on earth between birth and death, while the soul is living in a physical body, the life of soul which strictly belongs to the sun and the stars has no more to do with this physical body than time as such - which is in reality conditioned by the solar and stellar constellations - has to do with the watch and its mechanism of wheels. It is quite conceivable that if, instead of living on the earth we were born on some different planet, our soul would be adapted to a quite different planetary existence. (24, pp. 66-68)
10 Dec. 1912
There comes a period between death and birth when the human being describes a circle which passes through the whole Zodiac. He looks out as it were from every point of the Zodiac, that is to say from different viewpoints, upon his whole being, and he feels as if he were gathering from each particular section of the Zodiac the forces which he pours upon his being for the needs of the next incarnation. He looks from the circumference towards a centre. It is as if you could duplicate yourself, move around while leaving yourself at the centre, and could drink in the forces of the universe, the life-giving ' soma ' which, streaming as it does from different points of the Zodiac, assumes different characteristics as it pours into your being which you have left at the centre. Translated into terms of spiritual reality, this is actually how things are during life between death and a new birth.(24. pg. 75)
22 Dec. 1912
Let us remind ourselves of what has been said about the passage of the human soul through the various regions of the cosmos between death and the new birth. We have heard how during that period of existence the soul of a man has to pass through the planetary spheres, to traverse the expanse of cosmic space. Between death and the new birth we actually become inhabitants, in succession, of Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. We then draw our life together again in order to incarnate through a parental pair and undergo experiences that are possible on earth but not in other planetary spheres. Since the last death, every soul incarnated on earth has undergone the experiences that belong to the heavens. Through birth we bring into our existence on earth the forces we have acquired on the various heavenly spheres.
Like our Earth, these heavenly bodies also pass through ascending and descending phases of evolution. Whenever we pass into a planetary sphere after death - let us say of Mars, or Venus, or Mercury - we enter different conditions and have different experiences, receive different impulses, which we bring back again into physical existence through birth. And because heavenly bodies are also undergoing evolution, our souls bring back different forces into each incarnation.
Until the fifteenth/sixteenth century the evolution of Mars was such that what had always been bestowed upon it from the spiritual worlds was undergoing a phase of descent, just as was the case in the evolution of the Earth until the beginning of the Christian era. By the time of the fifteenth/sixteenth century it was necessary that the evolution of Mars should become a process of ascent, for the consequences of the phase of descent had become all too evident in that sphere.
If these conditions on Mars had continued without change, if the phase of decline had been prolonged, souls would have brought with them from the Mars sphere forces that would have rendered them incapable of anything except a purely materialistic conception of the world. Nevertheless the results of the decline of Mars were responsible for bringing modern natural science into existence; these forces poured with such strength into the souls of men that they led to triumph after triumph in the domain of materialistic knowledge of the world; and in the further course of evolution this influence would have worked exclusively for the promotion of materialistic science, for the interests of trade and industry only, of external forms of culture on the Earth.
If this state of things had remained, humanity would have divided more and more sharply into two classes: the one composed of those who were devoted entirely to the interests of material science on the Earth and the advancement of external culture, and the other class, due to the continuing influence of Buddha, would have consisted of those who fostered and preserved spiritual culture. But the souls belonging to the latter class would, like Francis of Assisi, have been incapable of participating in external, material forms of civilisation. These two categories of human beings would have become more and more sharply separated. That the ascent into spiritual worlds should be compatible with everyday status in life, that humanity should not divide into two categories ...all this was the concern of Christian Rosenkreutz at the time when the approaching modern age was to inaugurate the epoch of materialistic culture during which all souls would bring with them the Mars forces in their state of decline. And because there could not he within the souls of men the power to prevent the separation, it has to be ensured that from the Mars forces themselves there would come to man the impulse to work with his whole being for spiritual aims. For example, it was necessary that human beings should be educated to think in terms of sound natural scientific principles to formulate ideas and concepts in line with those principles, but at the same time the soul must have the capacity to deepen and develop the ideas spiritually, in order that the way can be found from a natural scientific view of the world to lofty heights of spiritual life.(24, pp. 94-99)