OLD AND NEW MYSTERIES
of Pralaya, between the Old Moon and the newly developing
Earth, came first the warmth world — the Polar time
— as Steiner called it. This Polar time was a repetition
of Saturn development. The Elohim, Spirits of Form, were
working in this warmth, this fire, giving the ego organization
to the world. The ego organization of man was a part of the
Elohim, which then separated from their own being and gave
themselves to the world so that mankind might develop his
individual ego. The beginning of the ego organization meant
differentiations in the warmth sphere.
After this had been worked out, the Hyperborean times began.
The Hyperborean times were the second period of development of
the Earth which was more or less a repetition of the Old Sun
period. Our sun and earth were not yet divided, but were one.
In the carbonic atmosphere which was radiating life in this
Hyperborean time, the darkness began to radiate light. In the
carbonic atmosphere the first plant forms appeared. Plants
appeared like ice flowers on the glass of our windows —
forming and sprouting in the air. In this same time the etheric
body of man was worked on by the same Elohim.
third period came, the Lemurian time, a repetition of the Old
Moon. By the end of the Hyperborean time, the sun had moved out
of its unity with the earth and gave its light from outside.
The planets differentiated and shone from outside onto the
world. This world was half fluid, as Steiner describes it, a
half fluid albumen atmosphere. Man, in the form he had in the
first half of the Lemurian time, was not divided by sex. Man
had enormous willing powers. At the end of the first half of
Lemurian times, we see the beginning of the Saurian period,
when the dinosaurs and other large animals began to develop.
Man learned to control volcanic forces; in this way he derived
enormous strength. The old folk story giants are remembrances
of men in the Lemurian period.
the second half of Lemurian times, mankind divided into two
sexes. The masculine part of the human race received ever more
willing powers. He became a being of action and reaction. An
action from outside gave rise to a reaction of enormous will
forces. Stimulus/response — psychology's description of
men in the United States as only reacting on an action from
outside is true in so far as man is a repetition of Lemurian
man. Since that time man has developed an ego which also works.
However, it is not completely untrue to say that man is a being
of action and reaction.
female part of the human race had the possibility of turning
inward, of a beginning of consciousness, so that the
consciousness force, and the first images of consciousness,
began to develop inside the feminine half of mankind. Language
first began. Sounds were first carried on the breath, and music
also began. Women lead the first human culture — the
source of ancient matriarchies. At the end of the Lemurian
epoch the misuse of astral and volcanic forces brought the
downfall of Lemurian culture.
Only a few people could survive on the borders of old Lemuria,
a region perhaps localized in South Africa — one of the
few parts of the world where remnants of the Lemurian world
still exist. These few people who could pass from the decaying
Lemurian culture to the next stage of development formed the
culture of Atlantis. They were led by the primeval teachers of
mankind. These primeval teachers withdrew to the Moon and sent
their leadership from outside, from the Moon sphere.
During the Lemurian period, the forces of the planets worked on
the earth, having points at which they worked into the
formation of the etheric forces both of earth and of man. These
planetary forces formed a great spiral.
the beginning of the Lemurian period there were the rudiments
of three continents: one big continent, the Gondwanaland, and
the beginning of continents in the north. Where the North
American continent now stands, the forces of Saturn were
working. This was also the place where the first culture of
Lemurian mankind took place.
second continent was in the region where one might say Europe
now is. Human beings there were inspired by the forces of
Jupiter. The approximate region of the south of Siberia was the
area of Mars forces. Sun forces were working in the area which
is now the Gobi desert.
fifth culture took place in the south, the Venus culture, which
is now Malaya. The sixth culture, the expression of Mercury,
worked where Africa now stands. Forces of the Moon worked in
the Arabic Peninsula and in the region of Palestine.
this big spiral of developing cultures we see a pattern. Men
were not yet divided into two sexes. In the fifth period, as
Venus forces were leading men, and the Lemurian culture went to
the south part of Lemuria, now called Malaya, the primeval
Malayan race was formed by the forces of Venus. Lucifer could
take his chance to get into Lemurian development and bring
about a great change in the world — and here the division
of sexes began.
With sexes, Lucifer could get a better hold of man, and from
that moment the development of Lemuria declines. Simultaneously
mankind differentiated into races. The earth was not then so
hard; human bodies were much more flexible. They could be
formed by forces coming from outside to the earth.
Having such a picture in our minds we can understand better the
beginning of the Atlantean period, when for the first time we
find mysteries as we speak about them now. The old mysteries
began in the Atlantean period. In the transition between
Lemuria and the Atlantean period, only a few people were able
to survive. These few people are described in the Bible as Adam
and Eve. If you ask me where the place called Paradise was, it
was possibly in South Africa, possibly in Abyssinia, perhaps
Mesopotamia; we do not know. The earth at that time was very
different from what it is now. At that time a stream went
around the central area. The Ural Mountains marked the primeval
continent. The Greeks remembered the stream as the Ocean
— not our ocean, but a remembrance of old Lemurian
few people from Lemuria went to Atlantic, and the real earth
development began. Till the end of Lemuria, the earth
development was a repetition of the Old Saturn, Sun, and Moon
developments. This new development, however, was still wholly
guided by the Hierarchies. Man had to be created in the form of
the future, so the great Cherubim formed the prototypes of the
human physical body after the principles of threefold
formation: head, respiratory system, and members. The great
images of the human form stand in the Bible as the image of the
lion, middle man; the image of the bull, the lower man; and the
eagle, image of thinking, the brain, and the sense organs.
During the Atlantean period we find seven sub-cultures. The
first people of Atlantis were called Rmoahals, with the R
calling out the forces of the lion — rrr, rrr. They lived
in their breath and the name, Rmoahals, comes from this rolling
thunder of the breath. The rolling thunder of the roaring lion
is still in it.
second people lived in the south of Atlantis in the region
called Gondwanaland. It included the west of South America and
spread over the ocean to South Africa and to Australia in one
big continent at that time. In the southern and western parts
of Gondwanaland, the Rmoahals and the second peoples, the
Tlavatlis, lived. The latter lived out of the forces of the
third group moved somewhat northwards into the middle of the
Atlantean continent. They were called the Toltecs. The Toltecs
took after the eagle forces. In the Toltec culture the first
beginnings of the intellect developed, as Steiner described,
and the Toltecs are known historically. The last remembrances
of Toltec culture have been found in Yucatan. Remains of a very
old city were found about 1950.
Toltecs were, as Steiner describes them, a people of priests
and high morality and they were trying to develop plants by
cultivating them, bringing new differentiations. Till then,
plants had been given their form by the Hierarchies. Now men
took over and began to make further differentiations in the
plant world. When you try to think of these Toltecs who went to
the west, you must imagine them as the primeval population of
the American continent. They were later exposed to Saturn
forces and took into themselves the Saturn mysteries. They
founded the mysteries of the Great Spirit. The Toltecs were a
population of pure, plant oriented, priestly people working
with etheric forces.
the fourth sub-culture these three groups of peoples should
have been taken together into what we know as the group of the
angel. The peoples of the eagle, of the lion, and of the bull
on one side, and on the other of the angel, or of man in his
glory, were to form a whole. The group of the angel was to take
the other three groups in together. The Turanian people had
this task of developing those angel-man forces — an
equilibrium between the other three forces.
Christ was to come in this time of the Turanian people, but at
that time the Ahrimanic forces first got their grip on mankind.
Just as in the Lemurian times Lucifer had his chance, Ahriman
took this moment in Atlantean times to penetrate the Turanian
Instead of becoming the culture of the Sun powers, and of man
in equilibrium, as seen in the image of the angel, this became
the culture of the scorpion. The ego was degraded to a
scorpion. When you see in Mexican art all those scorpions, you
know they are the remainders not of the Toltecs, but of the
later Turanian people. The Turanians degenerated, taking hold
of sexual forces, which could be handled as magic powers in the
world of the plants — which the Toltecs had so
beautifully developed. Turanians took hold of these plant
forces and used them for their own purposes, which meant a
Turanians had to leave Atlantis. The first of the flooding
rains came. Atlantis was drowned. The south of Atlantis was
flooded, but the middle of Atlantis still stood —
becoming nothing more than a group of islands between Spain and
Central America. A small group of people went to the west, a
greater part went to the east. These latter settled in the area
where they could get hold of the forces of Mars. They regrouped
the Turanian people who were fought, in the Persian period, by
the Iranians. This was the beginning of the catastrophes of
Atlantean period in the fifth, sixth, and seventh cultures had
to take place in a series of catastrophes which are known as
the Ice Ages. The four or five ice eras are the outer cloak of
the Atlantean catastrophes. These ancient, middle, and younger
ice ages represent drownings of parts of Atlantis. Masses of
ice came over the continent. Then the ice melted, but the land
was drowned by floods and rains. This was the result of the
Turanians misusing certain forces.
the fifth culture of Atlantis, the time of the Primary Semitic
or Indo-Germanic culture, the forces of the ego had again to
work not from outside, but from within. With the Toltecs the
ego worked from outside. In the third and fifth periods, this
same force had to be ingested and developed from within. In the
sixth period, the Accadic, people took what the Tlavatlis, the
people of the bull forces, had developed, and internalized it.
The Primeval Mongols took the forces of the lion and
internalized them. This meant the formation not only of the
human stature, but also of human soul forces.
the end of the Atlantean period, different races had been
formed from the planetary forces working on different parts of
the earth. After that, race formation was frozen.
Differentiation became possible only within the races. Later
only mingling and mixing of races was possible. They were
frozen through heredity. Lucifer inaugurated, so to speak,
heredity. In that way he froze the outer formation of
Someone who has lived in one place and moves to another still
retains his own typical race formation, but he is influenced in
his soul by living, for instance, under Venus forces. It means
a great deal if you have been born as a European in the Malaya
sphere, as I was, and brought up there until the eighteenth
year. That gave me many possibilities which I would not have
had if I had lived only in Europe. Moving from one part to
another part means enrichment. You bring with you the inherited
forces but, by going to other parts of the world and living
there, you are enriched. You get the other forces — only
in the soul, not in the body. This in spite of what people say,
namely, that people who come to live in America, for instance,
and are still being formed physically, get a longer jaw and
other features in the second and third generation. I have not
observed this. People only say it is so.
the beginning of the Atlantean times, people brought with them
a connection with one or another of the planetary spheres.
People who had survived between Lemuria and Atlantis in, say,
the sphere of Saturn, or of Mars, incarnated with a greater
inner connection to these particular planetary forces. Thus, in
the Atlantean periods, the planetary mysteries were founded.
People wanted to be in touch with their planet. So the various
planetary mysteries were founded in which, in occult form, they
could meet the spirits of these planets. This is the true
beginning of the real mysteries.
Later on, after the submerging of Atlantis under the Atlantic
Ocean, those mysteries could no longer be visited by the
spirits of the planets. The priests of the planetary mysteries
had to “remove to the Moon sphere” and read, as in
a mirror (for the Moon sphere is a mirror for the total
cosmos), what was happening, and what came out of the forces of
the other planets from the Sun. Perhaps the Sun mysteries were
an exception. The other planetary mysteries could only be read
in the mirror of the Moon. Thus in the late Atlantean period,
and in the whole post-Atlantean periods, all eastern mysteries
(all mysteries which went through the post-Atlantean cultures)
were in reality Moon mysteries. That is to say, when the forces
of Mercury were called on, the priests still had to find the
mysteries of Mercury in the light of the Moon sphere.
the fifth period after the Atlantean catastrophe, the forces of
the ego had to be internalized. The great initiates of the Sun
mysteries (men imbued with high Hierarchical Sun begins, which
you may imagine as being Michael as well as others) brought the
etheric window of the Sun sphere to men. It was the task of
Michael and others to bring this wisdom, cosmic wisdom, to
These initiates of the Sun mysteries were called the godly Manu
— and when I speak about the godly Manu I do not speak
about one person only. There were different kinds of godly
Manus. In the central Sun mysteries, the godly Manu was the
priest. He became the priest at the moment one of the high
Hierarchical begins entered into him and spoke through his
voice and through his movements. They were recognized in the
Greek times as the half-gods. When one thinks of Gilgamesh, who
was called, according to the papers that have been found,
one-third man and two-thirds god, that means that only one
third of him, of what he did, was coming out of his own ego.
Two thirds of what he was able to do came through him from the
these godly Manus one never knew, “Is this a Manu or
not?” This could only be known by clairvoyance, by seeing
the light which was around such a person, and at one moment he
might be a Manu, and at the next a human being. But these Manus
led the best of the people of the Sun mysteries, in the fifth
Atlantean period, over to the east. They led these people to
the east in two streams. One stream went from the north
Atlantic region, where during the fifth period the people
lived, to the north of the Mediterranean region, northwards
through the south of Europe, going to the Gobi desert where
Indians at that time were working with holy Sun powers in the
etheric sphere. There they could bring a small group of people
under the influence of the Sun forces.
have said the Gobi desert. But when you read the old stories of
the Chinese and of the Mongolian people, they tell of the Gobi
desert as a lake, a region with islands and peninsulas, with a
rich vegetation and a most beautiful climate. Three islands
stood out. To these withdrew the old mysteries. These Mongolian
stories are a remembrance of that old time.
these islands were the highest mysteries of mankind. There
these people could be protected and preserved. They lived there
for long periods, to be prepared to go as Sun people to
establish the post-Atlantean cultures. The seven Rishis came
from there. Zarathustra came out of these mysteries. And
Hermes. They were sent from there to found new cultures in the
post-Atlantean periods. This was the northern stream.
northern stream was the main stream and this was under the
direct Sun forces, as the godly Manu went with them. But you
also had the helpers of the Manu, who stayed on the wayside
here and there and worked among the population which afterwards
came to live and develop in these countries. The Accadian
period and the last pre-Mongolian period closed the seventh
period of Atlantis.
There was a second stream, a southern stream. One went north,
the other south. The southern stream was lead by a helper of
the Manu. In the Bible he is called Noah. In anthroposophical
circles there are people who say Noah is the Manu. This is not
untrue, because he was one of those highly developed men who
could take into himself the forces of the Sun.
this southern stream had another task. While the northern
stream had to develop the Sun forces in thinking, the southern
stream was more a stream of Moon forces — a stream in
which the Sun was reflected in the Moon.
People of the southern stream gave much importance to heredity.
They had in their mysteries the mystery of heredity. When you
read in the Bible about all those hereditary tables from Adam
to Jesus of Nazareth, you find something which is out of the
tradition of the southern stream — the southern stream
which tries to keep mankind pure. In the purity of their bodies
they could receive the inspiration of the Sun there. But it was
reflected through the Moon. So the mysteries of the southern
stream were Sun mysteries coming through the Moon. And the
mysteries of the northern stream were direct Sun mysteries.
the Bible are places where people of both streams meet. Abraham
was one of the great initiates of the southern stream. He had
to meet Melchizedek. Melchizedek was one of the great
messengers of the sun Manu, the northern stream. Melchizedek
brought wine and bread to Abraham. This was a sign of uniting
the northern and the southern streams. From that moment on, the
people of Abraham had both the forces of the Moon and the
reflected Sun working through Abraham and the pure hereditary
line, and, on the other side, the direct forces of the Sun
working in the celebration of the wine and the bread. In this
way, we see how the incarnation of Jesus Christ was prepared.
This could only take place where the northern and the southern
streams came together. A small group of people was preserved so
that both human stature and rightful thinking could go
person of the northern stream was incarnated for the first time
coming directly out of the Sun mysteries — a human soul
who had not been incarnated before and who in his later
incarnation is Aristotle. We know this out of the lectures of
Steiner. When we look at such a person as Aristotle, we see
that he is a person with only a few incarnations behind him, a
person standing directly in the Sun mysteries.
northern stream of these central mysteries, these Sun
mysteries, brings to earth and mankind forces of light, of full
thinking, of Sun thinking. We may look at Ephesus and at the
Greek mysteries of Samothrace, and we may look at the other
mysteries on the continent of Greece. They were all more or
less Moon mysteries. At Ephesus we see the Moon mysteries of
wisdom. They were the mysteries of Diana, the goddess of the
Moon sphere — but bearing also the forces of Mercury.
Diana was called the Moon goddess exoterically. Esoterically
she was called the Mercury goddess, the goddess of healing.
Steiner speaks about the past as the world of the godly Manu.
In the future, Steiner says, there will be human Manus. The
godly Manus were entered by Sun beings. Future Manus will
radiate sun forces which people have developed themselves. Out
of their hearts they will radiate sun forces; such human Manus
will lead mankind on the right way.
old mysteries, more or less — except the few which were
direct Sun mysteries — were Moon mysteries. This Moon
quality has something to do with the Old Moon, which was called
the planet of wisdom. Thus all these mysteries have to do with
the search for wisdom. But at the end of Earth evolution the
Earth will be called, if things go right, the planet of Love.
There is a transition from the mysteries of wisdom, which cover
the first part of the earth's development till about one
thousand years before Christ, to the new mysteries, which shall
be mysteries of love. The leaders of these new mysteries of
love will be the human Manus. Out of their own forces, they
will have taken so much light of Christ in their hearts that
they can lead mankind to the mysteries of love.
old mysteries lost their force and purity hundreds and hundreds
of years before Christ. They decayed. They faded away. With the
coming of Christ there was an absolute end of the old mysteries
of wisdom. The new mysteries of love began. These new mysteries
are the mysteries of the will. The new mysteries are the
mysteries of doing deeds of love out of wisdom. But you can
only do deeds of love when you have the wisdom first.
old mysteries did not stop suddenly. They faded away. There was
no new inspiration in them. They could only preserve the old.
By preserving the old they grew Luciferic. Already in the time
of Jesus Christ the old mysteries were no longer visited by the
good gods, but by Luciferic beings.
Meanwhile, the new mysteries had to wait for the end of the
Kali-Yuga. The old Indian tradition tells us of three thousand
years before Christ when the great period of darkness started
which would last five thousand years, till about two thousand
years after Christ. That means 1899, about, was the end of the
Kali-Yuga. During the Kali-Yuga, the mysteries were not really
renewed. They could only look back to old things.
Steiner put this whole Michael wisdom together into the
Foundation Stone. The whole wisdom of anthroposophy, the Sun
wisdom of Michael as a whole, Steiner put together into a small
seed — which may then flower in a plant. Such a seed is a
dodecahedral Stone of Love, as Steiner called it. This means
that when we take these seed words, words which have seed
forces in them, and meditate on them, they can grow out to a
living plant again. Even if all the books of Rudolf Steiner
would have been destroyed through catastrophe, but only this
Foundation Stone Meditation would be left over, out of it could
be renewed the whole content of anthroposophy, because
anthroposophy is in it as in a seed.
situation of modern mankind is as follows. The forces working
in his bodily organs are decaying. In these bodily organs old
karma works. Lucifer and Ahriman can enter into us through the
decay of our organs. Only a small part of our body can be
directed to the forces of the Sun by our concentrated will
forces. By our concentrated will forces we can take a small
part of our body and fill it with these seed forces of Sun
words which are spoken by Steiner, and bring them then to a
future. This condensed will power gives the surplus force to
build the future world.
the old mysteries man had to bring to consciousness the wisdom
which the gods granted to the earth. In the new mysteries man
has to develop spiritual surplus powers in his will to give to
the gods so that they can let them flow into the development of
With the Hierarchies, we are now responsible for the
development of the future worlds. Between Golgotha and 1899 the
mysteries were silent. After 1900 the new Sun wisdom of Michael
could reach the earth. In the Christmas Foundation Stone
Meditation, which Steiner called the pentagon-dodecahedral Love
Stone, forces might radiate into the hearts of the members and
give them spiritual willing powers for new future worlds.
old mysteries were bound to geographical places where
Hierarchical beings could speak to men through the
constellation of nature's forces. For instance, the United
States, since the beginning of the Lemurian period, was a place
where Saturn forces could work into the shaping of nature and
people. Such forces were known as the mysteries of the Great
new mysteries are not bound to geographical constellations, nor
to time of the year or the day. The new mysteries are
celebrated by men where they fill their hearts with the new
revelations out of the world of Sun wisdom given by Michael.
Men render their Sun-filled hearts to the gods as an altar
where those high powers may celebrate the new cosmic cult.
These altars in our hearts may be built anywhere, at any time,
even when we are sitting in the subway going at top speed. It
is no excuse to say, “I cannot do it in this
older times men celebrated their holy cults on the altars of
the gods. Now the gods might celebrate on the altars of the
enlightened human hearts. This is the meaning of the words at
the end of the Foundation Stone Meditation:
O Sun of Christ,
Warm Thou our Hearts,
Enlighten Thou our Heads,
That good may become
What from our Hearts we would found
what from our Heads direct
With single purpose.