Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ

Rudolf Steiner, February 20, 1910:

If a theosophist, withdrawing for a moment from the immediate concerns of daily life, thinks about his tasks and duties in the external world and asks himself: Is there something that has to do with human happiness and human aspirations over and above the daily round of life? — then as a theosophist he will have an ample answer. He knows that he does not study Theosophy merely in order to occupy his mind because daily life leaves his soul dissatisfied. He knows that what he gets from Theosophy in his feelings can become a real force in his soul. For he is able at all times to say to himself: ‘In my inmost being as man I am something different from what I am in the external world.' Together with such thoughts we should realize, deep in our inmost being, that as human beings we live all the time within two streams — one of which gives us our place in everyday life, and another which enables the soul to gaze into a world of the future, to assume its rightful place within the whole setting of cosmic life.

This idea should never lead us to regard an external occupation as less important for cosmic life as a whole than some different kind of calling. We must realize that from a certain point of view the smallest and the greatest achievement of which we are capable are of equal importance for the whole. Life is a mosaic, composed of tiny pieces of stone. The man who places one little piece into the mosaic is not less important than the man who thought out the plan of the mosaic. As far as the Divine World Order is concerned, the smallest is just as significant as the greatest. Insight into this truth will avert any feelings of dissatisfaction which might otherwise so easily occur in life. This is the only attitude to our tasks in life that can give us a true understanding of the inner work that must be performed within our soul. It is the only true attitude to adopt to spiritual endeavor.

Such ideas should never remain mere theory. The theosophist does well to bring home to himself over and over again in inner contemplation how little in keeping it would be with the World Order if some position in life left him unsatisfied. World-evolution could not take its course if we did not carry out in the right way what seem to be most insignificant details in life. This attitude will give us the right feeling for the great revelations of existence and we shall understand the significance of the teaching that each one of us, over and above what we represent in the physical world, should make ourselves as worthy as possible, in line with the wisdom of worlds.

We must regard spiritual development in itself as absolutely essential. Many people say: What is the good of spiritual development if it does not make me useful in life? If we learn to recognize the beginnings of karma, our tasks in life will become clear to us. Not only is it our task to do this thing or that; it is our task to make ourselves as worthy, as valuable, as we possibly can. We must master the thought that we have within us countless forces, countless faculties which we dare not let run to seed in our soul. What the divine-spiritual World Order will do with what we have made of our soul must be left to the divine-spiritual World Order. If we work at our soul development and pay heed to the beckoning of karma, we shall realize what our duties are.
We should not theorize. It might be thought that the best kind of theosophist is one who works at his development for a time and then engages in some activity which brings blessing on his fellow-men. But it may be that our position in external life does not enable us to put into application in the world what we elaborate in the soul. There may be no greater fallacy than to imagine that a man can be a good theosophist only if he actually turns to account in the world what he has learnt inwardly. For decades we may not be in a position to put into application any of the impulses that are now within us. Then one day we may happen to be traveling with someone in a railway carriage and are able to say something of significance which otherwise we should have had no opportunity of saying. This single action may be more significant in life than one of much wider scope. We must realize clearly what we are capable of doing and that through the working of karma, the opportunity for turning it to account will be given us at the right moment.
When this is felt and experienced, we no longer ask: Of what use is Theosophy? — for such a question is absolutely pointless. The feeling described is the only one that can give us the right attitude to the great and incisive happenings of life.
It is often assumed that evolution, wherever it takes place, progresses step by step. But the course taken by life in its totality is not such that we can say: Nature makes no jumps — for in fact nature is continually making jumps. A plant, as it grows, is always making jumps — from the root to the leaf, from the leaf to the calyx, from the calyx to the blossom, and from the blossom to the fruit. Sudden transitions occur in the life of every individual and in the life of humanity as a whole. Everywhere we find humanity progressing steadily for a time, developing as the leaves develop on a plant. Then the moment comes when a tremendous step forward is taken, just as happens in the plant from leaf to calyx, from calyx to blossom, from blossom to fruit. In the evolutionary process of humanity such rapid transitions and jumps are constantly occurring. The greatest of all in the history of Earth-humanity is the one brought about through the events in Palestine.
It must be remembered that the human soul has evolved slowly and by degrees. Man's life today is such that stimuli come to him from the external world through the senses. Even a person like Helen Keller needed a stimulus from outside before any development was possible. The whole development of the human soul today is dependent upon stimuli received through the senses. Man is obliged to depend upon the instrument of his brain for the forming of judgments and ideas.

But there was a time when he was not dependent upon these impressions from outside, when he possessed a dim, dreamlike clairvoyance. Clairvoyant pictures welled up from within him, pictures which presented and gave expression to an outer reality, but not the same kind of reality as we have around us today. Everything around us today — plants, animals, air, water, clouds, mountains — none of this was seen with sharp outlines, but as it were through a mist. With his dreamlike consciousness man looked to the realm immediately above him, the realm of the Angeloi. With still higher consciousness he looked up to the realm of the Archangeloi. We today look at the mineral kingdom, but in those days man looked right up to the realm of the Spirits of Personality (Archai) and from there to the still higher Hierarchies. Just as today he knows that he is composed of mineral substances, so, in those olden times, he knew: My soul has come down from the realm of the Spirits of Personality and has been formed out of the substances of the realms of Archangeloi and Angeloi. He looked up to what was above him — and beheld there his spiritual home.

From thence he has descended to existence in the physical world and to perception of the physical outer world. First of all he lost his vision of the Archai, and beheld the animal kingdom. Then he lost vision of the Archangeloi and beheld the plant kingdom. Then he lost vision of the Angeloi and beheld the mineral kingdom. But for a long time still, men were able at certain times to look upwards., knowing of the reality of these higher beings. Only slowly and by degrees did their gaze come to be directed to the purely external world. The door to the spiritual world was closed.

But when people who were still able to some extent to see into the spiritual world experienced what is today called ‘illness’, illness and death had for them quite different meanings than they have for us today. There were intermediate states of consciousness between waking and sleeping, and when some illness befell a man it was possible for him to evoke a state of consciousness in which he had clairvoyant vision of the spiritual world. In such states he was permeated through and through by the spiritual, and this worked as a remedy, as a healing power. Today, when man has come down into the physical world, the physical body has become overpoweringly strong and the soul has become weak. Think of soft wax and wax that has hardened. It is difficult to make any impression upon hard wax, whereas soft wax is pliable. In olden times the physical body of man was pliable material which the soul was able to shape and mould. Then the soul connected itself with the spiritual, it was able to mould the physical. Intense devotion to the spiritual can help the spiritual to be a healing force. In olden times, man was able to permeate himself with the  spiritual, not for the purpose of knowledge alone but for the purpose of healing.

In those olden times men lived in communion with higher spiritual  beings. When they had descended to the physical plane but were still in connection with the spiritual worlds, they could not ward off the harmful spiritual beings. They could be permeated with evil spiritual powers, for example by elementary beings inhabiting the astral plane. A man could lend himself to the good spiritual influences, but he was also exposed to evil spiritual beings. Today he is less subject to these evil demonic beings, which in olden times worked with such strength in the more pliable material that men might be possessed by them.

The reason for all this was because it was man's destiny to descend to the physical plane and gain self-consciousness. His ego had long been working from outside upon his human nature. But it was only through the Christ Impulse that man could become fully conscious of the ego and its purpose. The Christ Impulse was revealed, first of all, in reflection, in the lightning in which Jehovah appeared to Moses, just as the light of the Moon reflects the light of the Sun. Jehovah is in very truth the reflection of Christ. The first revelation of Christ is in reflection. We cannot understand the Gospel of St. John until we realize that the Christ Impulse is the essential, all-important factor in the development of  ego-consciousness.
Man was destined to be drawn away from influences which stream into him without consciousness on his part. This made it possible for him to unfold ego-consciousness and prepare for the re-attainment of clairvoyance. But he must be able to withstand the influences of demonic beings. The more power there is in his ego, the better is he able to keep the influences of demons at bay. The healing from demons, from demonic possession, can only be understood in the light of this knowledge.

A number of sick people were brought to Christ at the time of the day when Christ could work most strongly as a spiritual power. It was the spiritual light which was to work — not the physical sunlight (which is only the garment of the spiritual light). It was when the Sun had set that the sick were brought to Christ. We must picture to ourselves how the healing actually took place. The people who came to Christ had the firm faith and conviction that the impulse which can drive away the demons was working through Him. If the expulsion of the demons had been achieved through some external means, the Christ would not have been working through the ego. A man can only know Christ by developing inner strength. And Christ can work only when this strength comes to expression in the ego of man.
All this shows us that in that significant moment of time, mankind was standing at a great turning-point. It was the last echoing of an ancient epoch and also the moment of the coming of a mighty impulse whereby men were led into a new age. In earlier times man had been in much closer connection with the spiritual world. In states of ecstasy he could find the way to the spiritual world. But entry into the spiritual world now was to be through the ego. This impulse was given in the call of John the Baptist and through Christ Himself: ‘Change the disposition of your souls, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The link that connected you with the kingdom of Heaven must now be sought and found within you!’
To those who understood, it could be said: There was once a time when human souls, rising above the Ego, came into a world of spirit and the spiritual was bestowed upon them for their healing. They became ‘rich in spirit’, possessors of the spirit. Then came a turning-point. Those who are beggars for the spirit are now summoned to enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who are beggars in the spirit can now become ‘blessed’ — God-filled in their inmost being. ( ‘Selig’ (blessed) means ‘verseligt werden’: ascent from the body into the soul). Beggars for the spirit, those who yearn and long for the spirit — they will receive into themselves the kingdom of heaven.
Those who suffer, who mourn, they too will be ‘blessed’ when they receive the Christ Impulse. Through seeking in their own ego for the link with the spiritual world, they will be healed.
Those whose passions made then violent could in earlier times be calmed when in states of ecstasy  they were permeated by the spiritual. The mission of the Earth is to be fulfilled by those who quell their passions through the power of the ego.
Those who suffer will cease to suffer if, in the ego, they receive Christ. Those who receive Christ in the ego can be calmed, can be meek; and they will rule over the Earth.
The first verse of the Sermon on the Mount has to do with the physical body. (Blessed are the poor in spirit ...)
The second verse has to do with the etheric body (Blessed are they that mourn ...)
The third verse has to do with the astral body (Blessed are the meek ...)
The fourth verse has to do with the sentient soul (Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness ...) Man's conscience should not apply only to the physical realm. Those who in the sentient soul hunger and thirst after righteousness can be blessed.
What a man can become in the intellectual soul, or the mind soul, is expressed in the verse: Blessed are the merciful. The ego, the ‘I,’ flashes up when we have passed from the sentient soul to the mind soul. Man must feel himself as an ego and every other human being as well. What lives in the soul passes from ego to ego; subject and predicate are equal: ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy — or love.’
The Sermon on the Mount is a record unequalled in statement concerning the mighty transition inaugurated by Christ.
* * * * * * * *
The following notes are from a lecture given on a different date, and much earlier, namely, Berlin, August 20, 1904.

There are certain expressions which since very ancient times were used in all secret schools in order to conceal certain facts from the uninitiated — for example, the expression “on the mount”. This means the innermost of the temple where the pupils were initiated into certain secrets. When it is said “Jesus went up into the mount”, this means that he led His disciples into the innermost sanctuary of his Mystery School and spoke to the multitude only in images. The Sermon on the Mount, in its mighty significance, could only be given to the disciples, not the people.
There are Nine Beatitudes ... 3x3.
Three virtues which correspond to the lower nature of man are: Longing (Blessed are the poor in Spirit), Suffering (Blessed are they that mourn), and Peace (Blessed are the meek).
To be drawn upwards through Longing, to overcome through Suffering, to come to Peace.
The second group of three virtues stand higher: Righteousness, Mercy, Goodwill in the heart. If we compare this second stage with the first, we find that the first three virtues refer to the individual, the second group of three to our fellowmen.
Thirdly, there are the virtues which lead up to the higher beings. (Blessed are the peacemakers ...)  Whoever speaks to injure another, to say what makes him uncomfortable, cannot find the way to higher beings.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake ... willingness to endure persecution for the sake of righteousness.
Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you, for my sake ... this means to declare oneself as belonging to the Master.
* * * * * * * *

Resumption of the lecture of February 20, 1910:
The Kali Yuga, the Dark Age, had already lasted for 3,000 years. It began in the year 3,101 B.C. That is the year when the spiritual world began to darken, to be shut off from men. Before that time, men had direct consciousness of the spiritual worlds. After Kali Yuga had lasted for 3,101 years there came the impulse whereby man is led once again into the spiritual world. But this impulse was possible only because a God descended into the physical world. This was the initial impulse for the return to the spiritual world. The evolution of humanity took a great forward jump because men were able henceforth, out of the ego itself, to ascend again into the spiritual world. The Descent of Christ was necessary in order that the human ego should not waste away through inertia and fall out of the onward stream of evolution. For a very considerable time there were only a few men who knew that Christ had lived in Palestine. Tacitus, for example, knew very little of it. About a hundred years later people spoke of a sect living in a poor quarter of Rome and teaching of Jesus. This, the mightiest of all impulses, the Christ Impulse, was practically unknown. It might have remained unknown altogether, but in fact it did not. The Christ Impulse was received into humanity. And when a similar impulse is given, mankind must be in a position not to let such a jump happen in evolution without noticing it.
In 1899 the Dark Age, the Kali Yuga, came to an end, having lasted for 5,000 years. We are living today at the beginning of an epoch when quite new forces and faculties will develop. Before the first half of the century has run its course, a number of people, simply through natural development, will possess unusual faculties. From the end of the Kali Yuga, from the year 1899 onwards, a certain faculty of etheric sight unfolds in mankind, and this will have developed in a number of people between 1930 and 1940. There will then be two possibilities. Mankind may sink more deeply still into the morass of materialism; everything may be flooded by materialism. This awakening of etheric sight may be ignored, just as the Christ Event was ignored. But if men do not experience this awakening, they will be submerged in materialism.
In the course of 2,500 years a sufficiently large number of human beings will develop etheric sight. This is the beginning of the clairvoyance that will be an added faculty of the  ego. Those who understand it will be able to convince themselves of the truth of the Christ Event exactly as Paul became convinced of it at Damascus. When men have developed etheric sight they will be able to behold Christ in an etheric body. This is Christ's new descent to the men of Earth. In reality, however, it is an ascent, for Christ will never again incarnate in the flesh. Those men who have developed etheric sight will be able to behold the Christ in the etheric body and will know from direct experience that the Christ lives.
Through soul-development we shall begin to understand this most important event. If Theosophy did not develop understanding in men, this event might pass by unheeded. Theosophy should prepare us in such a way that we can make this greatest event since the close of the Kali Yuga bear fruit in mankind. No matter what their activities may be, those men will be of importance who have prepared themselves to see this etheric happening. But this happening will also be of importance to those who are living between death and rebirth. It has its effects in the spiritual worlds too, but the organ for perceiving it must be developed here, on the Earth.
We ourselves now proclaim the new Christ Event of the twentieth century. Later on it will be proclaimed as an event whose effects work on for the whole of humanity. But it may be that materialism will be introduced even into the theosophical conception of the new Christ Event. Materialistic consciousness may imagine that Christ could come again in the flesh. When the Event takes place it will be obvious whether or not theosophy has understood it. In the first half of the twentieth century, false Messiahs will arise.
Mankind develops in order to be able to recognize the Messiah with higher faculties. The test will be whether Theosophy has enabled men to understand this Event aright, has led them to the spiritual in such a way that they can understand the Return of Christ in its true form. Christ will come again for a number of men — who will be forerunners — just as he once came to Paul at Damascus.
Unbelief becomes more and more widespread as the result of literary criticism of the original records. The more the historical evidences lose importance for men, the more will the faculty ripen through which the Christ can be seen. The real Christ will be revealed to those men who through Spiritual Science can unfold the understanding, the vision, of the true Return of Christ.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

13 ways of looking at my guru. #6: Love's blessing

The words of Benedictus, from scene 7 of Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Drama “The Portal of Initiation”:

You have been joined by destiny
together to unfold the powers
which are to serve the good in active work.
And while you journey on the path of soul,
wisdom itself will teach you
that the highest goal can be achieved
when souls will give each other spirit certainty,
will join themselves in faithfulness
for the healing of the world.
The spirit’s guidance has united you in knowledge;
so now unite yourselves for spirit work.
The rulers of this realm bestow on you,
through me, these words of strength:

Light’s weaving essence radiates
from person to person
to fill the world with truth.
Love’s blessing gives its warmth
to souls through souls
to work and weave the bliss of all the worlds.
And messengers of spirit
join human works of blessing
with purposes of worlds.
And when those who find themselves in others
can join one with the other
the light of spirit radiates through warmth of soul.

The Guardian of the Threshold; consciousness without an object; Lucifer and Christ; the Word of the Worlds; Buddha, Vishnu, and Shiva

Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy, and Philosophy. Lecture 10 of 10
Rudolf Steiner, Christiania [Oslo], Norway, June 12, 1912:
My dear friends,
It was by no mere chance that after I had given you a description of the meeting with death and with Lucifer that takes place for man when he crosses the Threshold to the supersensible worlds, I passed on to deal with another matter that you may perhaps have found hard to understand. I began by endeavoring to explain to you the true significance of the Christ Being; and in the course of the explanation — which had found its way quite naturally into the subject we were considering — I had to speak of how Christ vanquished Lucifer, as you can find it related in the Gospels in the story of the Temptation in the wilderness. And then, after we had carried our study a little further, we passed on to a communication concerning the Buddha.
Let us briefly call to mind once more this meeting with death and Lucifer. Lucifer appears to the pupil of occultism as in very fact the archetype of human greatness — yes, and even of superhuman, divine greatness — when, at this point, separated as it were from his deeds and actions, he draws near to man. He appears as a Being who tempts man. And it is only when the pupil looks back at what he himself has become through the influence of Lucifer, only when he beholds the frightful animal-like picture of what man has become in the course of his incarnations through the enticements and temptations of Lucifer, that he is as it were healed a little from the seductive power of the figure before him. I then told you of the help that can come to the pupil of the present day from Christ. Christ brings a kind of deep consolation and hope, to counteract the terrible impression made upon the pupil by the meeting with death and Lucifer, and moreover the meeting with the picture of himself — which is in a certain sense the Guardian of the Threshold. In place of death, in place of the destroyed human body, something else appears.
That of which I am now speaking can be actually experienced, and when it is experienced, it is exactly as I describe it. In the place of death appears Christ Himself, giving us to understand that this I of ours can after all be retained. In other words, we have in our consciousness an inner picture that is entirely independent of the memory that remains with us from our life in the senses. To suggest that we have here to do with an illusion or hallucination would be nonsense; for one could be blind, deaf, without sense of smell or any other sense, and yet have the experience when one came to this point on the path of initiation — the experience of Christ appearing in the place of death.
What is it man then has before him? Try to picture it! You have before you Christ, Who appears in the place of death, and Lucifer. That is to say, you have the very picture described by the Evangelists in the scene of the Temptation in the wilderness. There would be no need to remember the accounts of the Temptation given in the Gospels; you would have it there before you, through having received into your soul the impulse of the whole Christ Event — that He walked the Earth, was crucified, and overcame death. It would suffice for you that you had the Christianity of St. Paul; you would not need to have come under the influence of the Christianity of the Gospels. It is quite possible to experience, independently of the Gospels, independently of any external impression, something that is described in the Gospels. Such a thing is perfectly possible.
Think of what happens in ordinary life. In ordinary life you have conscious experience when impressions are made on your consciousness from without and concepts and ideas are called forth in your consciousness by these impressions. Now, however, you have before you a picture that no impression from without can possibly evoke. For you cannot find Lucifer anywhere in the world of the senses; it is utterly impossible for Lucifer to be an external impression in the physical world of the senses. Neither is the picture of death to be found in the world of the senses. And when finally death changes into the Christ, you have before you a picture which you could certainly in the last resort discover as a remembered fact in the external world, but which nevertheless shows itself to you now, at your entry into the supersensible world, as a picture that is attainable without any help from the external world. For no external impression is needed to call forth the picture of the Temptation of Christ and the conquest of death, the overcoming of all that Lucifer began to make of man.
To what kind of a consciousness then have we come? To a consciousness without external object. I have endeavored to lead you to the Unmanifest Light and to the Unspoken Word. And now you have acquired a conception of a Consciousness without external object, a consciousness that receives its content from its own being.

Our considerations then led us to an astonishing, yet nonetheless true, communication concerning the Buddha. This again was no mere chance. I had to begin the lecture yesterday by telling you about the man of inner movement, in order to explain to you how man can take a still further step in initiation into the higher worlds; and in that connection I gave expression to a truth which was perhaps at first hearing difficult to grasp (we shall return to it again presently) — the truth, namely, that Lucifer shows himself in a completely changed form when we advance to this second stage of initiation, appearing before us as the ruler in the realm of Venus.
I told you also how the Sun, which hitherto we have thought of as being supreme in power and might, now appears as a planet among the seven planets, and Christ as the Spirit of the planet of the Sun. Christ himself manifests in this connection as a planetary Spirit, brother to the Spirit of Venus. In other words, Christ appears as a brother of Lucifer.
This opened the way for a consideration of the post-Earthly destiny of the Buddha. For the later destiny of the Buddha cannot be livingly experienced in its pure and original truth without attaining to this second stage of initiation; it is impossible to arrive at the truth which we expounded yesterday concerning the Buddha unless one goes beyond the first meeting with death and with Lucifer where one beholds the scene of the Temptation, and passes on to the next stage of initiation where the seven Spirits of the Planets become manifest. This had, therefore, first to be described.
Should you still ask whether the truth concerning the life of the Buddha after he left the Earth is not in some way attainable by external consciousness — the consciousness, that is, which is directed to impressions from without — then the reply must be that it is not possible for the consciousness of Earth to make such research into the conditions of life and culture on Mars as could reveal what the Buddha accomplishes there. The moment, however, initiation penetrates as far as to the stage we described yesterday, it becomes possible for the consciousness without external object to have this experience by virtue of its own nature. Therefore in relation also to this truth about Buddha it is a question of acquiring the consciousness without external object,
The conditions and circumstances of the facts here revealed to us are of course external. For the Buddha lives — quite really — on Mars. Nevertheless the consciousness does not go out of itself; in the recognition of such a truth it is not yielding to the influence of an external impression, it is still a consciousness without external object. I have thus led you to the third of the three things we placed before us at the beginning of these lectures: the consciousness without external object.

Looking back over our study, we see that we have found three stages or conditions of human consciousness. We have first the ordinary physical consciousness. Then we have the consciousness that is attained at the first stage of initiation — and I gave you as an example of what is experienced in this consciousness the picture “Death and Lucifer” or “Christ and Lucifer, in the Story of the Temptation.” Finally, the third stage of consciousness is the one where the seven planetary Spirits manifest themselves to man. And we illustrated this third stage by reference to Buddha. At the third stage you experience the destiny of Buddha after he has become Buddha and returns no more to physical existence on Earth. We have thus considered three conditions of human consciousness: physical consciousness; consciousness of higher worlds at the first stage as we described it yesterday, illustrating it by the story of the Temptation; finally a still higher consciousness, the second consciousness of a supersensible nature. Many of you would perhaps like it very much if we could go further and describe still higher stages of consciousness, but time does not allow. I will, however, just hint at one other stage.

What is it we are able to experience by means of physical consciousness? Everything in our surroundings that is present to our senses, all the objects of Earth existence. What can we experience by means of the second consciousness? Leaving on one side for the moment the example we brought forward, the story of the Temptation, we find that by means of the first stage of a higher kind of consciousness, something further than the objects of the senses can be discovered. You will find it described in outline in my Occult Science in the part where the Moon is spoken of, that condition of Earth which preceded our present Earth. This old Moon condition is no longer in existence, it has to be described by means of a consciousness that can function without an object present to hand. The Moon condition of our Earth is in the higher worlds. It is present in the higher worlds, preserved, as you have often heard me tell, in the Akashic Record. So that for the first consciousness of a higher kind we have, besides the Story of the Temptation, all the processes that can be said to have relation to the old Moon. Everything connected with the old Moon is capable of being described by this consciousness.

And now I want to draw your attention to something else. There is deep significance in the fact that from among the many kinds of experience man acquires through the first higher consciousness, I chose the story of the Temptation. For when we direct the same consciousness to the ancient Moon, we find there a repetition of the story of the Temptation. (I say a repetition, but naturally it took place long before!) It is really so. We learn how Christ already on the old Moon overcame Lucifer, and in the scene that is given us in the Gospels we have to see, as it were, a recurrence of the fact that Christ attained to victory over Lucifer. On Earth Christ repels Lucifer from the outset. This is because on the Moon, when He was Himself less highly evolved — for Christ also undergoes evolution — He had repelled, through the uttermost devotion of His Being to Highest Powers, all the attacks of Lucifer which at that time still meant something to Him. Already on old Moon Lucifer approached Christ. On Earth he was no longer dangerous to Him: on Earth Christ repels Lucifer at once. On the Moon, however, Christ had to exert all the forces at His disposal in order to repel Lucifer. This is then the added experience that comes to us when we cast back the gaze of higher consciousness into the remote time of Moon.

If we go still further and attain to the second consciousness of a higher kind, then as well as learning about facts that have meaning for Earth, such as the history of Buddha, we learn also what has again been described in outline in my Occult Science, we learn of the still earlier incarnation of our Earth — the Sun. In that far-off time the conditions were quite essentially different, and the difficulty you have in understanding this particular section in Occult Science can itself be an indication of how difficult it was to describe the state of old Sun. I took pains to describe more especially scenes that are less remote from man and can even remind us of the scenery of Nature. One would have found little understanding, in the time when Occult Science was written, for the things of a more moral nature which are experienced in a study of the Sun incarnation.

When we go back to the time of the old Sun, we do not find there any story of the Temptation! We find the Sun still as a planet among the seven planets, we find Venus with Lucifer as her ruler; and these two, the Sun Spirit and the Venus Spirit — in other words, Christ and Lucifer — appear at first sight like brothers. Only by straining to the utmost our powers of perception are we able to remark the difference between them. For the difference between Lucifer and Christ in the time of old Sun is not apparent to an observation of their external being, it requires a more inward observation and study. It is indeed extraordinarily difficult to find outward means of demonstrating wherein the difference lies. Please, therefore, take what I am now going to say as no more than an attempt to characterize, as well as may be, the difference that clairvoyant consciousness can perceive between Christ and Lucifer in the time of the ancient Sun.

When we direct our gaze now to Christ, now again to Lucifer, a new perception begins to dawn upon us. Lucifer, the ruler of Venus, appears in a form that is extraordinarily full of light — I mean, of course, spiritual light. We have the feeling that all the glow and brilliance we can ever experience on Earth in looking upon a manifestation of light is weak and dim in comparison with the majesty of Lucifer in the old Sun time. But then we notice, when we begin to perceive his intentions — and we are able to see through these — that Lucifer is a Spirit endowed in his very nature with infinite pride, so great a pride that it can prove a temptation to man. For, as is well-known, there are things which up to a point are not temptations for man but become so when they grow majestic in their proportions, and pride is one of them. When pride is majestically great it tempts man. Lucifer's proud greatness, Lucifer's pride in his majestic figure of light — these contain a seductive element. “Unmanifest light,” light that does not shine outwardly but has immense, strong power in itself — that Lucifer has in full measure.

And how does the Christ figure look beside Lucifer? The Christ figure in the time of old Sun — the Lord and Ruler of the Sun planet — is a picture of utmost devotion, entire devotion to all that is around Him in the world. Whereas Lucifer looks like one who thinks only of himself — we are obliged to clothe it all in human words, notwithstanding the fact that these are quite inadequate — Christ appears as wholly given up, in devotion, to all that is around Him in the great wide world.

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 center 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 Worlds, that could take form in the twelve Voices.

And while Lucifer alone — I must now begin to speak more in pictures; human words do not in the least suffice — while 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. The Christ Being, as we saw, received into Himself the great and all-embracing secrets of the Worlds. The Lucifer Being, having what I can only describe as a “proud figure of Light,” lost thereby his kingdom, lost his Venus kingdom. On other grounds, to enter into which would take us too far afield, the other Spirits of the Planets lost also their kingdoms, or rather changed their natures. But they need not concern us here. What is important for us here is the contrast between Christ and Lucifer. It came about that Lucifer lost more and more of his rulership; the kingdom of Venus gradually fell away from him. Lucifer with his light became a dethroned ruler, and the planet Venus had thenceforward to do without a proper ruler and was consequently obliged to undergo a backward evolution.

The Christ, however, had during the old Sun time received the Word of the Worlds, and this Word of the Worlds has the quality of kindling itself to new light in the soul by which It is received; so that from that time forward the Word of the Worlds became in the Christ Light, and the planet of which the Christ was ruler, the Sun, became the center of the whole planetary system, the other planets being brought into subjection to it. The same is true also of their spiritual rulers.
We must let these scenes live before us, we must learn to see the divergence that came about during the old Sun time between the path of Lucifer and the path of Christ. Lucifer went downward, he had to remain behind in his evolution, and he remained behind also during the Moon time. Christ went forward. The Christ Spirit, the Sun Spirit, became a Spirit evolving ever forward until at length He was able to appear on Earth in the form we have often described. Through His devotion to the World All, through His having received and identified Himself with the Divinely Creative, Inexpressible Word, through His having rejected every sort of pride and put always in its place devotion to the Word of the Worlds — Christ, from being ruler of a single planet, as He was in the the ancient Sun time, became ruler from the Sun over all the planets, the other planets being reckoned as part of the realm of the Sun.

When you know this — I am speaking here more particularly to those who heard my lectures in Helsingfors — knowing this, you will not feel it as a contradiction that Christ is spoken of in those lectures as a Sun Spirit of a higher kind than the Spirits of the planets. For there of course we were speaking of the present day. Christ is far above the other planetary Spirits. He is the Spirit of the Sun. Here, however, where we are not merely describing how the individual planetary bodies are quickened to life by their Spirits, but where our task is above all to describe the several states of consciousness, we have to show how Christ through His own special character and nature has, during the course of the evolution that has taken place between old Sun and the present time, passed through an upward evolution, and from having been a Spirit who was of like nature with the planetary Spirits has become the ruler or regent of the whole solar system.

As I have said, time will not allow us to enter on a description of the third consciousness of a higher kind. I will only mention that the condition of ancient Saturn, the first that can ordinarily be described of the successive incarnations of our Earth, can be experienced with this third higher consciousness. As you see, it is therefore possible to speak of a higher, a third consciousness of a supersensible character. If we really wanted to follow initiation in its completeness, we would have to lead on to giddy heights of consciousness. To do so would from the outset seem a kind of presumption, and as a matter of fact we should be taken into regions where it becomes well-nigh impossible to employ human words. Therefore, in my Occult Science I have forborne to describe anything that belongs to still higher states of consciousness, for it is really out of the question to describe the higher things in human words. In the Mysteries it was done by forming special symbolic signs and then speaking in a language of symbol. By this means it was possible to lead man up to higher states of consciousness. Such higher states do indeed exist; we can speak of a fourth and a fifth consciousness of supersensible nature. It goes on, indeed, without limit. All that we can do is to say that for supersensible consciousness evolution takes its course in a certain direction.

Bearing all this in mind, you will at any rate be able to conceive the possibility that by means of the various supersensible consciousnesses man beholds other worlds than the physical; and when you remember that the first rudiments of physical man began, as is shown in Occult Science, during the condition of ancient Saturn, you will also see that there is in man himself a certain connection with the world of the third supersensible consciousness.

But besides this, man is, as you know, guided and led by beings higher than himself. He can come to a knowledge of these higher beings; they have their influence upon him. It will therefore not be difficult to see that not only has man, as he stands before us, been created out of worlds that go as far as the third supersensible consciousness, but he has connection also with yet higher worlds. The knowledge and experience that we have described as attainable by means of the various states of consciousness can be described to the ordinary human being. He can comprehend that such states of consciousness exist. He does not have direct experience as man on Earth of these further states of consciousness, but he does experience their external manifestations.

The physical consciousness — that, of course, he experiences directly. The first supersensible consciousness — of this he experiences an indication in the heightened dream consciousness that does not merely afford arbitrary dream pictures but leads on to a perception of realities belonging to a higher world. A systematic higher development of the dream consciousness is all that is required for man to come to the first consciousness of a supersensible nature. This first supersensible consciousness can give information concerning the conditions that prevailed on the old Moon, the past incarnation of our Earth. Hence you will find that in occult communications most of the descriptions, apart from those concerned with the Earth itself, refer to the old Moon; very often they stop there and do not go back to the old Sun. This will be the case  whenever such communications are based on the first supersensible consciousness, which is the one that occurs most frequently and is the easiest to attain.

It is in this consciousness that by far the greater part of what H. P. Blavatsky gave in the Secret Doctrine has its source. Occultists who have real knowledge are quite aware of this fact. Consequently if you read through the whole of the Secret Doctrine, then in all the great and comprehensive communications given there in reference to primeval times you will find but scanty reference to a past farther back than old Moon.

The condition of dream consciousness may thus be regarded as a first beginning — so to say, a substitute man has on Earth — for the first supersensible consciousness. When man is in deep sleep, his consciousness is darkened; but we cannot say that no consciousness exists. If the deep sleep consciousness awakens, that is to say, if it is awake outside the body, then it is the second supersensible consciousness. It goes higher than the first, and leads one who can experience it to the old Sun condition.

A little reflection will make plain to you the following. In your day consciousness you go about making external movements. Such movements are connected with your day consciousness, your Earth consciousness. The movements that take place inside you, on the other hand — the movements, I mean, of the middle man that continue even when you are asleep — are regulated by the consciousness we may call the consciousness of deep sleep. The movements of the heart and of the  breathing are movements connected with this second consciousness and can only be understood in their whole connection with the higher worlds when man awakens outside his body, that is, in the deep sleep condition of the body.

You see, therefore, it is quite possible to perceive with ordinary intelligence that there are these three styles of consciousness. It would take us too far now to investigate the indications that undoubtedly exist in man of still higher consciousnesses. We have, however, shown that whenever man sets out to reflect on his life as Earth man, he discovers manifestations of higher consciousnesses. It is, therefore, possible to speak to Earth man of these higher states of consciousness. One can point out first how man experiences the ordinary processes of life on Earth by means of his everyday consciousness. One can then go on to show how, if his dream consciousness were to undergo a tremendous enhancement, he would experience all that belongs to the laws that have been brought over to Earth, so to speak, as a legacy from old Moon; and finally how, were he to become awake in deep sleep, independently of the body, he would experience the old Sun conditions in that form in which they too extend over into the conditions of Earth.

It is therefore possible to communicate these things to man at the present time, and to describe to him how they manifest; we are justified in doing so, since an understanding can be awakened for what the occultist investigates. The occultist speaks of different states of consciousness. In reality they are different worlds: and it has become customary, as you know, to call these different states of consciousness different planes. That which can be surveyed with the physical consciousness is called the physical plane; that which is perceptible to the first consciousness of a supersensible nature, the astral plane; to the second, the lower Devachan or mental plane; and to the third, the higher mental, or higher Devachan plane. Still farther on, we have the Budhi plane and the Nirvana plane.

All we are doing here is simply to give other names to the results reached on the occult path. Both roads lead to a picture of man. For it is always man who in his varying conditions or states is active as member of the different planes or worlds. What we have done is to lead over the knowledge of man from the standpoint of occultism, where we speak of different conditions of consciousness and different conditions of evolution, to the knowledge of man from the standpoint of theosophy. For where the occultist speaks of conditions of consciousness, the theosophist speaks of successive planes. Occultism can in this manner be communicated openly as theosophy.

We must now go back a little. In the course of our considerations some new points of view have emerged, and it behooves us to go into these a little more fully. Take for example the perception we arrived at that man is, in his external form, a three times seven-membered human being. We have not time in these lectures to explain the matter in detail, but I will ask you to call to mind what stands written in Occult Science, namely, that before this Earth condition of existence man passed through three other conditions, Moon, Sun, Saturn, and that the very first foundation for the external physical human form was already present during ancient Saturn and subsequently underwent continual development and change.

So that the marvellous and wonderful body of man we have before us today is the result of a long evolution. Its evolution has continued throughout three great phases of existence — Saturn, Sun, Moon. Each one of these can be divided into seven, and each single sub-division of these great phases of existence has left its mark on the human form. Three times seven formative forces have worked upon the form and figure of man.

What man has added during Earth time — that alone is not to be found! It is, as we have seen, just the part of man that is subject to destruction. It is the completion of the human form, the gathering up of all the parts into a complete whole; and this has been destroyed by Lucifer. So that when we divide the human being into three times seven members, we have the expression of physical man on the Earth as he comes before us with all the changes wrought upon him by each successive previous condition of existence. It is the physical human being with which we are here concerned.

The occultist must consider him in the way we have done in this lecture, in such measure as time has allowed. The theosophist, on the other hand, can only have his attention directed to what is present there before him. We can say to him: In man, there is the physical body. When we set out to study the human being, we come first of all to his physical body, that highly complicated form which has passed through so many conditions of existence and is today perpetually unfolding and manifesting the traces left behind from these earlier conditions.

Then, as you will remember, we went on to consider something else. We made a study of man in his inner movements; and let me remind you of the conclusion to which we were led yesterday. The form of man we can see, but the movements as such we do not see, and I pointed out yesterday how difficult it is to discriminate between the movements and arrive at a conclusion as to which are the essential movements in man. One fact, however, emerged quite naturally from our study, namely, that this faculty of movement takes us back to the old Sun. It will accordingly not surprise you when I go on to say that all the inner movements in man are connected with the experiences he underwent during the time of old Sun. Whereas man as physical man bears in him the impress of Saturn, Sun, and Moon, man as the man of inner movement has carried in him the forces for this inner movement since the time of Sun. The man of inner movement has passed through Sun and Moon, and also Earth as far as it has gone today.

Thus we distinguished in the human being something that is not form but is the inner ground of movement, and this we must designate as the first invisible man. We do not see this man; we can, however, see the external results of his activity — the movements; and we call him the etheric body, the ether body. The ether body can only be perceived by means of a higher consciousness. The workings of the ether body in the physical world are the inner movements that the human being performs.

Insofar, therefore, as man has had to undergo all three conditions of existence that preceded our own, he has become physical man; insofar as he has had to undergo Sun and Moon time only, he has become etheric man. And we can ascend a stage further and say that insofar as man has undergone Moon time alone, he has become astral man — that is to say, there has flowed into his movements all that leads to thinking, feeling, and willing. When we pass beyond the external and bodily, beyond also that which is within man (in inner movement), we come then to astral man, which is also not to be seen as such, but manifests and comes to expression in thinking, feeling, and willing.

Finally, we come to that element in man which Earth has begun to prepare in him and which it will be her task in the future to complete. For Earth is called upon to bring to perfect development and form the I of man, which has already shown itself in the course of the evolution of the Earth and will in the future develop to higher stages, — Spirit Self, Life Spirit, Spirit Man (Manas, Budhi, Atman). And now we have before us — Man in his several members.

It transpires therefore that in seeking to understand man in his relation to the whole world, not only do we come upon different conditions of consciousness that we then identify with different worlds, but we are also led to a division of the human being into his several members — physical body, ether body, and so on. Moreover by means of an intelligent external observation of man we can come to perceive that, while the ether body is not visible to us, we can yet discern manifestations of it here in the physical world. The manifestations of the ether body are the movements within man. The manifestations of the astral body are thinking, feeling, and willing. The “ I” manifests itself — is its own manifestation.

When once man is intelligent enough to comprehend that the movements he makes within him do not proceed from his form, cannot indeed proceed from anything physical, when once he can rise to the only intelligent way of regarding them, namely, as having their source in the supersensible, then the possibility is opened for him — not simply of believing in, but of grasping with his understanding, the existence of an ether body.

To clothe occult knowledge in forms that appeal to ordinary consciousness  — this is to bring occultism into theosophy, to clothe it, as it were, in the garment of theosophy. Just as we found that in theosophy we speak of planes, so again are we clothing the truth in the garb of theosophy when we speak of the various members of man's nature. Everything that can be said concerning man has first to be found on an occult path. We must traverse the whole wide world, we must attain, as students in occultism, to the various conditions of consciousness; and we shall discover that these various conditions of consciousness can afford us an explanation of man, can indeed show us what he really is. Through occultism alone can man be understood in his true nature and being. Theosophy is no more than an attempt to clothe the occult knowledge in intelligently stated truths, so that men may have insight into occult knowledge. The facts of which I have been telling you — if you will test them intelligently, you will find them to harmonize one with another in countless ways, harmonize too with the whole world. Intelligent testing is the one and only way to find confirmation of the results obtained in occultism.

A second point emerged that also requires to be explained a little further — for we must make it clear that although theosophy and occultism seem at first to lead to contradictions (we heard in the first lecture of this course what is to be our attitude to such contradictions), further study will always lead to the solution of these. You will have seen this happen already in many instances in these lectures.

Perhaps, however, new contradictions will now present themselves when what we have just been saying is taken in connection with what was said in earlier lectures of the course. It is out of the question to deal today with all the possible contradictions, but there is one that I would like to endeavor to solve with the aid of the occult knowledge attainable in the second consciousness of a supersensible kind.

Many of you will remember that I — and others too — have repeatedly pointed to the cosmic character of the Christ, and have shown how He surpasses in His very nature all other founders of religions. It is only to be expected that this unique character of the Christ Being should more readily meet with recognition in the West, since it is in the West that the historical sense is specially developed. In order for the evolution of the Earth to take place in such a manner as to allow of men going through many different incarnations, the West will naturally look for a “center of gravity” for this evolution. It can, therefore, only astonish one that Westerners are still to be found who are not prepared to admit this center of gravity of evolution — which is, in effect, the Christ Impulse. To speak of reincarnation of the Christ would be to make the same mistake as to imagine that a pair of scales could be held in balance at more than one point. Seen from this aspect, the matter is really exceedingly simple.

There is, however, another, a moral ground of which we must take account in its effect on the relationship of the human being to the Christ, who is to be regarded as being Himself the Impulse of Earth evolution. It is as follows. Christ entered the evolution of the Earth at a particular moment. The men who are living at the present day were incarnated before the coming of Christ and are now incarnated again. Thus they have lived not only during the time of Earth evolution when Christ was not yet present, but they live also now when Christ has been present; and the objection frequently made from a materialistic standpoint, that if Christ were so important, then a one and only appearance on Earth would signify an injustice to mankind, falls to the ground. Nevertheless one still hears people ask; “How could such an injustice be allowed to happen, that all the men who lived before Christ have not had the benefit of His deed, while those who live after Him have this benefit?” But they are the very same human beings! Such an objection should most assuredly not be raised in theosophical quarters!

And yet, this objection opens up a matter of very great significance. For there are a few instances where the objection is in a certain sense justified; and one of these instances, as you will see if you stop to reflect, is the case of the Buddha.

While human beings all over the Earth are born again and again and can thus always come to an experience of the Christ Impulse in their incarnations after the time of Christ, the Buddha attained in pre-Christian times the stage of evolution which removed from him the necessity of returning any more into an earthly body. This means that the Buddha belongs therefore to the very small number of human beings who lived on the Earth and then left it, before Christ came. And you may want to know, what is the relation of the Christ to Buddha? Apart from what I mentioned yesterday — that Buddha shone down from higher worlds into the astral body of the Luke Jesus Child — how do the Christ and Buddha stand to one another? Is it actually so, that Buddha left the Earth before Christ was on the Earth? that he took his way to Mars, so that the Buddha and Christ so to speak passed one another?

Only with the help of deep occult knowledge can we hope to solve this problem. Recall in thought all that I have been telling you. I explained to you how the Christ was united with the Sun. In point of fact it was only through the baptism by John, or rather through the Mystery of Golgotha itself, that the Christ came into union with the Earth. The Christ is therefore a Sun Spirit and we have to look for Him, before the Mystery of Golgotha took place on Earth, in close connection with His Kingdom, the Sun. Zarathustra sought Him there. And it is during the time when Christ is working as Ruler in the kingdom of the Sun, when He has not yet extended His rulership to the Earth — at all events, not yet by means of His Impulse — that the life of Buddha takes its course on Earth.

And now we must turn back to the earlier incarnations of Buddha, if we would arrive at the truth in this matter. We know that Buddha was before a Bodhisattva; he worked on Earth through long periods of time as Bodhisattva. These Bodhisattvas had in them no ordinary human soul. Their case was quite a special one. You must here call to mind the description in Occult Science of the beginning of Earth evolution — how, after the interval between Moon and Earth, the Sun was reunited with Earth and the other planets, and how they all then separated again, being shed, as it were, like a husk or shell one after the other. (See also my lecture cycle on the Spiritual Hierarchies.) There was, therefore, at one time the condition in which the Earth was united with the Sun. Then Earth and Sun separated, and you know that after that came the separation also of the Moon, and the strengthening of the Earth through souls coming from other planets.

Let us now fix our attention on the point of time when the Sun has just separated from the Earth. When this separation took place, the two planets Venus and Mercury — I am giving them their astronomical names — were still within the Sun. The Earth alone separated off, Venus and Mercury remaining within the Sun. We have therefore now Sun and Earth. On Earth, evolution continues. Only a small number of human beings remain behind; others go up to the planets, to return again later on. With the Sun went also Beings; for the world does not consist just of external matter, but of Beings. Beings went with the Sun when it separated from the Earth. And their Leader is the Christ. For at the time in Earth evolution when the Sun separated from the Earth, what one may call the taking precedence by the Christ over Lucifer and the other planetary Spirits had already come to fulfilment. Then later on, Venus separated, and Mercury.

Let us consider for a moment the exit of Venus from the Sun. Together with Venus are Beings who had also at first gone with the Sun but were not able to remain there. These break away and inhabit Venus. Among them is the Being who stands behind the later Buddha. He went as a messenger from the Christ to the dwellers on Venus. The Christ sent him to Venus, and here on Venus Buddha passed through all manner of stages of evolution. Later on, souls came back from Venus to Earth. The ordinary human souls were of course but little developed. Buddha, however, who also descended to Earth with the Venus souls, was a highly evolved Being — so highly evolved that he could at once become a Bodhisattva and afterwards early a Buddha.

Thus we have in Buddha one who had long ago been sent out by Christ and had the task of preparing the work of Christ on Earth. For his mission to the Venus men had this meaning: that he should go to Earth beforehand, as a forerunner of the Sun. And now you will be able to understand that Buddha, having been with Christ for a longer time than the other Earth men — for the Earth separated off earlier — needed only that portion of the Christ Impulse which he still had in him from the Sun, to enable him to follow the Christ Event from the spiritual world. For Buddha that sufficed. Other human beings had to await the Christ Event on Earth. But because Buddha had this special relationship to the Christ, because he had been sent out by the Christ as a forerunner, he did not need to await on Earth the Christ Event. He took with him from Earth the capacity of remembering — even without the help of the Christ, which other men need — what the I means on Earth. Hence he was able also to look down and behold the Christ Event from higher worlds.

Thus was preparation made long beforehand in the World All for the remarkable mission that Buddha had undertaken at the behest of Christ. For he was first sent to the Venus men — and compare what I am now telling you with the lectures I gave at Helsingfors — and afterwards to the Earth; then he made his way back to the Mars men, and there has to continue working, carrying out on Mars the mission for which he had so long been preparing.

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. Men on the Earth are cosmopolitanly inclined; Mars men are wedded to the soil, there are very few cosmopolitans among them. 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 will 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 reincarnated Moon; what the astral body holds is not tempered with the softening influence of the I, with the result that the men of Mars have quite an exceptional lust for war. The Greeks acted on a true knowledge when they made Mars the God of War. One is indeed filled with wonder and amazement when one finds in the world of legend these echoes of the truth. Unforgettable is the impression one receives when, having discovered that terrible wars took place there, one finds that this occult knowledge is present in the names that were given out of the knowledge contained in the ancient Mysteries.

Think of the continuation of the life of Buddha, this Master of Compassion and Love, this Master in the overcoming of caste distinctions, and you will understand the mission that Buddha had on Mars: to introduce something to which the Mars men could never come unaided, something which would seem to them like an exaggerated piety, a kind of monastic attitude to life. For it was the mission of Buddha by means of a conspicuous example of exceeding humility and poverty to quicken the Mars men to life in this direction. I can only just begin to draw for you the picture of Buddha's influence upon Mars. The meaning of his work there for the Mars men, who live without the I, is in point of fact entirely similar to the influence of a redeemer and a savior, one who liberates men to a higher world-conception. And while upon Earth universal brotherhood and love of one's neighbor are connected in their deepest impulse with the Christ, cosmopolitanism in its essential character is connected with the Deed of Salvation which Buddha has to fulfill on Mars.

There is yet another point in our study that might present a difficulty, and I would like to dispose of it before we separate. It is the fact that the various religions on Earth, which as every theosophist knows have a common single source, are differently related to occult communications. Every religion has to be referred back to a founder who through this religion made known to a group of people, in a manner suited to their capacity, some experience belonging to a particular stage of initiation. You have for instance the religion which is not able to rise to the Christ, the Spirit of the Sun, but is peculiarly adapted to rise to the great and far-reaching soul that lived in the being who was many times incarnated as a Bodhisattva — a religion that looks up in worship to him who is the great Initiator, the great Inspirer, of the Buddha. This religion is not able to ascend to a vision of how the Christ is the Sun Spirit and has descended to Earth. It sees only as far as to the one who is sent as a messenger; it gathers together, as it were, for its content that which goes forth from the Sun and becomes a planetary spirit. And we can well understand that Buddha is regarded as a planetary spirit.

Such a religion, that lifts men's thoughts to the Spirit who guides the evolution of the Buddha, could only grasp a figure like the figure of Vishnu in the Indian Trimurti. Moreover, since a religion of this kind has not yet come through to the knowledge of the universal victory of Christ over Lucifer, neither is it able to place the figure of Lucifer in such relation to the Christ as we can today. To the followers of such a religion Lucifer seems to be standing beside the Christ as an independent figure — His equal, unsubdued. We have seen how Lucifer is given the place of a kind of brother. This is what you have when Shiva confronts Vishnu. Look into the religion of Shiva, study it carefully; and you will follow me when I say that the Shiva religion of India can be understood when one has knowledge of the Lucifer Being. For Shiva is in reality Lucifer in the form in which he is not yet overcome. All its cult and ritual, the whole of the religion of Shiva with its 60 million adherents — viewed from this standpoint, it shows itself to be an eminently Luciferic kind of religion. From these examples, you will readily understand how all forms of occult knowledge have been able to impress their influence on different religions at different stages, according to the character and disposition of the peoples concerned.

And now I want to ask you to follow me in a further consideration. We have spoken of the Unmanifest Light, and of the Inexpressible Word, and we have succeeded also in arriving by many detours at the Consciousness Without Object. Let us now pause a moment at this trinity, and ask: Do these three things come to expression at all in our world, do they reveal themselves there?

The answer is, that by taking together all that has been given in the course of these lectures, we can without difficulty arrive at a knowledge of how these three things express themselves in our world. Take Light! When we gave a description of the proud Lucifer, it was all Light! Light is essentially an attribute of the spiritual; and when he is on the physical plane, man only has light — and then in its very weakest expression — in his thoughts.

And where has man the Inexpressible Word, when he is here on the physical plane? That which in the great world is Inexpressible Word is expressible word here on the physical plane, and you will not take long to discover what must be the origin and source of the word. It is what we call the soul in man. Whilst therefore the Light gradually becomes what is spiritual in man, the Word becomes gradually revealed in man in his soul nature.

And Consciousness — how does it manifest in physical man? Through the fact that external matter impinges upon him. For physical consciousness needs an external object, it must, as it were, have something to bite!

Up above, we found: Consciousness Without Object, Inexpressible Word, Unmanifest Light. Down below, we find as their last manifestation on the physical plane: human consciousness that chews at matter; the soul that reveals, although in obscured form, the word; and finally the light that is present in exceedingly feeble manner in man's thinking. In the human aura alone can the clairvoyant see thinking as light. All that comes from light he can see only as aura. Nevertheless in thinking — in that which on the physical plane is already spiritual — we may recognize the last reflection of the Unmanifest Light.

So, you see, man can after all bring to expression these three highest things that we found. We discover them when we regard man as spirit, soul, and matter. And in spirit and soul together man finds the picture of his I as a unity. Yes, even this triad which we find on the physical plane — matter, soul, spirit — is a revelation of the highest trinity.

Men lost these primal revelations of the occultism of olden times, and occultism gradually took on a new form that met with but little outward understanding. In our time occultism must again find understanding, in our time it must become theosophy.

There has been an intervening time when men did not look up to the occult truths that had been communicated to them earlier, when they did not understand what we today clothe in the words of theosophy. And in this intervening time they held by the last manifestation, the latest product as it were of the working of the higher trinity — they held to matter, soul, and spirit. This stage gave birth to what we may call philosophy, which in reality first made its appearance about six centuries before Christ and has continued on into our own time.

You will always find that philosophy starts from the last external manifestation of the great trinity which remains ever deeply hidden. Philosophy sees spread out before her the material life, and the material life alone — the food as it were for human consciousness. Philosophy does not comprehend the Inexpressible Word, but it can nevertheless still have a feeling for the soul element in the world when it reveals itself in the soul of man as the expressed word. Philosophy does not find the Unmanifest Light, but can sense it from afar, inasmuch as it appears, in its last activity, in human thinking — that is to say, in that portion of the human spirit which is turned, to begin with, to the external world. Body, soul, and spirit — the mind of the Greek sees them as threefold man, and they play their part right through the age of philosophy. Mankind has been passing through an epoch in his evolution when the occultisms were hidden. Hidden too, were the theosophies. All that was left for man to hold on to was the most external of all revelations, was what we call body, soul, and spirit. And this epoch has lasted until now.

But the time of philosophy is fulfilled. The philosophers have had their day. The one thing that remains for philosophy to do is to save for man that which the clairvoyant must remember at the first stage of his evolution: the I, the self-consciousness. And it is important that philosophy should not fail of this task. Try to understand my Philosophy of Spiritual Activity from this point of view. The book is written in such a way as to lead over the philosophical consciousness into the new age that is coming, when that which can give a more exact and accurate picture of the higher trinity must enter once again into the evolution of mankind — when theosophy must find its way into human evolution.

The age of philosophy has come to an end. Older than philosophy is theosophy, and theosophy will take the place of philosophy, notwithstanding all opposition. It has, so to speak, the longer life, it exceeds in duration the age of philosophy. Only for a certain limited time can the human being be studied from the philosophical standpoint. Further into the past, and further too into the future, extends the age when man can be considered from the standpoint of theosophy.

Transcending both, and probing man's being to the uttermost, is occultism. For behind all human knowledge whatsoever stands occultism. Occultism is the oldest of all; it has the longest age of time. Before theosophy was, was occultism; after theosophy, occultism will still be. Before philosophy was, was theosophy; after philosophy, theosophy will still be.

And now, my dear friends, try among other ideals to apprehend this one: that you are called upon to understand how in our time the philosophical ideal (which has necessarily only been held by a few) has to flow into a new ideal, the theosophical ideal, which will be comprehensible to many, because theosophy is able to speak to man from far greater depths than philosophy, which can never be anything but abstract, since it is only a last feeble copy of the original being of man in his threefoldedness.

If we study the matter in the way we have done, then we are seeing it all on the background of world history as historic necessity; we feel what theosophy must be for modern man, and we recognize how the three points of view — philosophy, theosophy, occultism — are in very truth ways of understanding man that must unfold one after the other. Let this thought not remain just a thought in the head, but let it sink deep into your hearts, and you will learn to appreciate how important, as well as how holy, theosophy must be for us.

Friday, July 29, 2011


"If we both conceive out of the idea, and do not obey external impulses, then we will meet one another in like striving, in common intent." --Rudolf Steiner

Thank you, Rudolf Steiner Archive!

"A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.

Venus: The kingdom of Lucifer. The second stage of initiation: inner movement. The planets and astrology. The mission of the Buddha on Mars.

Movement into upright posture Saturn
Movement of thinkingJupiter
Movement of speakingMars
Movement of the bloodSun
Movement of the breathMercury
Movement of the glandsVenus
Movement of reproductionMoon

Man in the Light of Occultism, Theosophy, and Philosophy. Lecture 9 of 10
Rudolf Steiner, Christiania [Oslo], Norway, June 11, 1912:
My dear friends,
We spoke yesterday of how the pupil in occultism meets with Lucifer and with death, and we pointed out that if the situation is to be rightly experienced, the pupil must still have left to him from ordinary life on Earth the memory of the I or of the thought of the I. We saw also that the man of the present day finds help at this point if within the Earth world he has been able to receive the Christ Impulse. And we went on to show how the being we call the Christ Being is to be distinguished from other founders of religion in that we cannot speak of Him as of a person who underwent initiation on Earth, but that the Christ Being brought with Him all the forces with which He worked during the three years of His sojourn on Earth. This means that when the Christ Being became man, He was already in a position to make that great sacrifice — for it was for the Christ Being a great sacrifice — whereby He made use in a human body of specifically human forces alone. He manifested and expressed His connection with the divine entirely through human forces.
It is this feature of the life of Christ that marks it as absolutely without parallel. If you want to understand with the ordinary powers of the human soul — I do not say, to believe in, but to understand — the founder of any other religion, you will find it necessary first of all to learn about the stages of his initiation, for you will want to raise yourself to an understanding of the particular enlightenment that streamed forth from a higher world into this human personality. This is what you will have to do, for example, in the case of Buddha. You must study his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, and learn to have some understanding of how such a thing can come about that in a man's 29th year an inspiration enters into his life — as it did into Buddha under the Bodhi tree. When you have made the effort to achieve this understanding, then, if you think it over, you will be able also to recognize something else that follows from it — strange though it may at first appear. You will come to see that not only the great founders of religion are to be understood by becoming acquainted with the methods and stages of initiation, but also even the Evangelists and St. Paul.

If you want to understand the Evangelists, who wrote their Gospels out of inspiration, then you must first come to see how the great individualities hidden behind the names of Matthew, Mark, or John were able to arrive at the things that stand written in the Gospels. With this end in view we have undertaken, as you know, a thoroughgoing study of the Gospels, and it has enabled us to perceive what had in reality long been lost — namely, that the Evangelists spoke truth.

If, however, we want to understand the Christ, we do not need all this. The Christ can be understood by every single human being, He can be understood with the most ordinary human powers of understanding. It can never be that a man has too little culture or too little education to understand the Christ. And this is because the Christ brought into forces that are purely human and into all their working, what He was; whereas the communications of other founders of religions rest on what they have seen in the higher worlds. It can, therefore, be truly said, provided only the statement be not taken in a trivial spirit, that the Christ founded a religion for the simplest of human beings, a religion that is accessible to every intellect and every understanding.

The relationship of Christ to the higher worlds — that can of course only be learned through initiation. And there is no need to learn it until one enters upon initiation. I endeavored yesterday to make clear to you the immense service done by the Christ to the pupil in occultism. Christ gives him the means whereby he can remember his I when he is in the higher worlds. Without the Christ Impulse this cannot be done. Christ thus becomes a helper in the initiations of modern time and will be increasingly so for pupils in occultism. As man advances in wisdom, he will realize how deep is his need of the Christ. Christ is there for the simplest of men; on the other hand He is also there for those who need wisdom and again more wisdom, and yet again still more wisdom. That is the nature of the Christ, and it is connected with all those things of which we were speaking yesterday.

It follows from this that the further man's evolution goes, the more understanding will there be for the Christ. The understanding will grow and spread. There will be an increasing number of people who recognize that while there is complete justification for saying that Christ is there for everyone, even the simplest and humblest, and that everyone can find Him, He is at the same time also there for those who are under the necessity to seek wisdom, those who feel a deep inward obligation to follow after wisdom.

We will now leave this thought for a little and return to the meeting of which we spoke yesterday. First, man meets Lucifer. Lucifer, as we saw, shows us what we have become as we have gone from incarnation to incarnation, and we found yesterday that the form or figure that Lucifer shows us is positively ugly. We learn from Lucifer what we have become through him during Earth evolution. It is important that the pupil learns this in the right way and does not remain at the point where Lucifer shows him what he has acquired through the Gods, saying to him: “There is your destructible form! What you have acquired through me is immortality!”— and then this immortal form shows itself as unsightly! The pupil must not stop there. As one contemplates the path of initiation we have here in mind, the feeling comes over one that Christ can not only help in the way we described yesterday but can also help man to change the form. This requires, however, that man shall resolve to remain true to the Christ Impulse, never to lose it but strive always to understand it more and more. Hence it is that nothing can dissuade the followers of the modern Mysteries from their adherence to the Christ Impulse.

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 coordinated to the Moon, while the middle man, the breast man, that carries the heart in him, is in a sense coordinated, as we saw, to the Sun. We can accordingly form some idea of what occult Schools and Mysteries have always understood by the coordination 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. Nonetheless 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 the 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 on to the lower man, the third man. So that, leaving out the breast man in the middle, we find, working upon the lower man, the Jehovah forces that correspond to Full Moon. The middle or breast man receives, as we know, the Sun forces; as we shall see, however, Moon forces work there, too. Jehovah forces have in this way obtained a kind of mastery of the entire human being. They work in alternating periods upon the head man and the lower man, the influence on the head man corresponding to New Moon, and the influence on the lower man to Full Moon.

I do not think anyone will doubt what I have just said, if he sets himself to consider the significance attached in the ancient Hebrew faith, in the ancient Hebrew ritual, to the festival of New Moon. Study the festivals of New Moon and investigate the feelings men had about them in Old Testament times, and you will be ready to meet what has been said with intelligence and understanding. The corresponding influences of the intermediate phases of the Moon — the waxing and the 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 upon 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 cooperation 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 in man 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. Thus the connection of the inner trinity in man — the Sun Spirit, the Moon Spirit, and the Venus Spirit or Lucifer — is symbolized in cosmic space and expressed in the constellation of Sun, Moon, and Venus.

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 recognize, 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 favorable 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 a 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 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 organization that his Sun forces cooperated with those members of his form to which we ascribed 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. This will show itself all the more clearly as we now go on to describe the second stage of initiation.

We have seen that in order to attain to the first stage of initiation it is important for the pupil to take his start from the human form, from man as he presents himself to physical sight. For the next stage he has to choose something else as his starting-point: namely, the inner movement of man. Note carefully the distinction:
First stage: Starting from the human form.
Second stage: Starting best from the inner movement of the human being.
Let us now consider for a little, as before we considered the form or figure of man, the movements that take place within him. We have first of all a movement which, although in later life man scarcely performs it anymore, has once been carried out by him with all his might, otherwise he would remain a fourfooted creature, obliged to crawl on the ground for the rest of his life. Man has to perform the movement which changes him from a crawling to an upright child. For man is not merely an upright being in his form, he is a being who during his life lifts himself upright. So that the first inner movement man performs — for it is an inner movement — is the movement of lifting himself into the upright position.

The second movement of an inner kind is again one that man must acquire for himself as a child, although this movement he continues to use throughout life. It is the movement of speaking, the movement of the inner life that has to be performed for the “word” to arise. You must realize that a whole sum of inner movements is necessary in order that the word may be brought to expression.
There is, however, still another movement, a more hidden one, that has also to be learned in early childhood. We may say, man learns both movements together. As a matter of fact, he learns the “speaking” movement earlier than the other. (You will find a more exact and detailed account of all this in my little book The Education of the Child from the standpoint of Spiritual Science.) We have, then, these two inner movements that man learns and has to perform all his life long. Of the speech movement we are quite conscious. Everyone knows that he makes it. But not everyone knows that when he thinks, a delicate movement is taking place all the time in his brain. To discover this requires a rather fine and subtle power of observation. Do not infer that I am talking materialism when I talk about a “movement.” Movement there is, without a doubt; only, it is effect, not cause. We have therefore here two inner movements, the movements of thinking and of speaking.

If now we go further, we discover as the next important movement: the movement of the blood. This is one of the movements which must necessarily take place for man to be man. (The sequence is apparently rather arbitrary, but that need not disturb you.) The fifth movement, which must already be there in order for the blood movement to take place, is the movement of the breath. This is a specific movement with an independent existence of its own — distinct from the blood movement. As I said, the sequence is somewhat arbitrary. We could, for instance, as was hinted, interchange the second and the third — but that is beside the point; here again we could put the breath before the blood movement, and if we were considering more especially the lungs we would certainly have to do so. If, however, we are looking rather to the origin of the movements, then we must take them in the sequence I have given; because, especially in the case of the male human being, the real center and origin of the breath movement is in the diaphragm, and that is underneath the heart. When, therefore, our object is to build up a sequence from the point of view of origin, we have no choice but to take the movements in the sequence I have given.

The sixth movement — we are still speaking of movements inside the body that are necessary to life — is one that certain inner organs have to perform; we may summarize it in a general term and call it glandular movement or movement of ducts or canals. The ducts in man's body must be in perpetual activity, perpetual inner movement, for man to be maintained in life. For certain reasons which it would take too long to explain, I prefer to call it simply movement of the glands.

For the seventh movement to come about, it is no longer a question merely of particular ducts or glands moving in order to secrete something the human being requires within himself. The seventh is a movement performed by the whole body as such, and it is carried out when Nature has set all in train for a new human being to be born. What we have here is really a sum-total of all the movements of the body. While in other duct or gland movements we have the movement of a part only of the body, in the case of the movement of reproduction we have a kind of act of secretion performed by the whole human being. And the same is true whether we are speaking of the male or the female body. It is always a secretion performed by the whole human being. This movement then we call the movement of reproduction.

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 these 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 the 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 recognize as the center of the organs belonging to the middle man, the “plane of operations” as it were for the Sun Spirit. Thus the movement of the blood, which has its center 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, localized 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.

We have, therefore, in the human being, as well as a threefold seven-membered man, another seven-membered man in the connections of the movements that take place within him. The pupil must take pains to distinguish the various movements within him, before he is able to take the next step on the path. He will not find it easy.

The human form we have as it were standing before our eyes — not so the inner movements. A special effort has to be made to feel them. We must learn to discern each one for itself. We must be able to feel inwardly, first the movement of raising oneself upright, then the movement of thought, the movement of speech — this is easiest of all — then again the movement of the blood, and — which is also not difficult — the movement of the breath. We have to come to the point of sensing the various movements which as a rule we only sense in their result, as, for instance, when we experience ourselves first as lying down and then as standing up. We must learn to sense also in this way the movements of secretion.

The faculty of discrimination for the several movements that take place within him is an absolute necessity for the pupil if he would progress further on his path. And if he is to do with these movements what I said he had to do with the human form, then instead of looking at the human form from without, fixing it before him and awaiting the after-image, he must endeavor to feel himself inwardly, feel the movement and activity that goes on within him, and then, after he has, as it were, fixed himself inwardly in the bodily sense, hold fast this impression — even as yesterday we tried to hold fast, purely in memory, the impression of the human form.
The pupil will then actually come to the point of recognizing seven forms, where yesterday we met with two. We encountered, as you will remember, the form of death and the form of Lucifer, and we learned that when we call to remembrance the thought of Christ, we have then something we can carry across into the other — the supersensible — world. 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 in the Sign of Taurus. This creates a very important situation.

Having thus come to the recognition of how the guiding Spirits of the planets are connected with the several members of the man of inner movement, you will be able to follow me when I say that in the allocation of the Signs to the several members we are already touching the fundamental principle of all genuine astrology. Recall the connections we have been considering, and you will recognize that there lies inherent within them the principle of true and genuine astrology, which has its source in nothing else than in the great and significant fact that man is born out of the World-All, that man is in very truth an epitome, an extract, of the whole World-All.

In order to understand the form of man we had, you will remember, to ascend to the fixed stars; and we found also how the form of man is influenced by the forces proceeding from Sun, Moon, and Venus. Now we have seen how the inner mobility in man is due to the working of the seven Spirits of the Planets. Seven spiritual beings are thus brought to our knowledge.
And here we discover something that is of peculiar importance. Among these seven Spirits is the Spirit of Venus, whom we have already come to know as Lucifer. And the pupil is now confronted with a strange and remarkable experience. When he takes the first step into initiation he encounters Lucifer; for it is Lucifer who shows man the “form” of which we spoke yesterday, the form or figure that man himself wears. The pupil encounters Lucifer as the Being who has made him look his ugliest; and now, when he meets the Spirit of Venus, he meets Lucifer again. But this time Lucifer looks entirely different. It is not the same figure as the pupil met before. He knows it is the same being, but Lucifer shows himself in two distinct forms.
Thus the pupil acquires the knowledge that Lucifer can manifest in two forms. The first time he manifests is at the crossing of the Threshold (we spoke of it yesterday), when he calls man's attention to the fact that he owes to Lucifer his immortality, saying to him: “The Gods gave you a destructible body, but I have given you immortality.” And when the pupil turns to look — lo, it is the dragon, of which we spoke yesterday. Therefore is this form also called the first form of the Guardian of the Threshold.
But now at the second stage of initiation a new revelation comes to us. We are shown how Lucifer can unfold quite different forces from those we recognized in him before. If we were not able to develop in us the forces of secretion and excretion, the forces that proceed from the various canals and ducts in the body, we could not be human beings at all; it would be out of the question. The blood and breath movements alone could never maintain us as human beings. The movements of the juices in the body, the movements, that is, of the ducts and glands, must also be present. This can make plain to us the difference between all exoteric traditions — wheresoever they be found — and the understanding that is given here. The exoteric traditions do indeed speak of Lucifer and of the several Spirits of the Planets, but they can give no actual and genuine knowledge of the facts. The real knowledge is in very truth a knowledge that has to be received under a serious sense of responsibility. It reveals Lucifer to us in the first place as the one who distorts and makes unsightly the form of man, and on the other hand is the Spirit who is essential to man's being, who alone makes him man.

As we proceed further on the path of initiation we come to another striking and significant experience. If we succeeded in holding fast to the Christ, in linking ourselves inwardly with Him, so that He enabled us to carry over the thought of the I — the idea of the I, the self-consciousness of Earth — into the supersensible world that we are entering, then a feeling took possession of us that this Christ Power has to do with the power of the Sun. We had as it were a presentiment of the connection. Now at the second stage something more is added. The Christ Power reveals itself to us as a form — I may even say, as a form or figure that we can grasp and perceive, that we can gradually learn to know more intimately, that grows clearer and clearer to us in the supersensible world. At this second stage of initiation we are brought into a nearer knowledge of the supersensible Christ.

And then this Christ shows us that He calls the directing Spirit of Venus — who, as we have learned, is Lucifer — His brother, calls him His brother, accounting him a Planetary Spirit like the other Planetary Spirits. So that when Lucifer shows himself in the second stage of initiation, he at once reveals himself as a planetary Spirit taking his place among the seven Regents of the planets among his brothers. We enter thus into a world where we find what we might call a highly exalted College of seven planetary Spirits, who are in completely brotherly relation one with another.

But here lurks a danger, and the pupil must needs possess himself of a great deal more knowledge if he is not to go under at this point. For he must on no account simply receive easily what here shows itself to him; he must earnestly endeavor to acquire an exact knowledge of what lies behind it.

When we come to enter into occult knowledge in detail, we can look in many directions for help to find our way. Although we have learned to recognize the seven brothers who are the seven Planetary Spirits, we are still a long way from any full knowledge of them. Seven brothers may be quite different one from another, and the difference does not perhaps show itself at first sight. We have to look a little nearer, we have to study them in detail, if we would gain a more intimate knowledge.
At this point I want to bring forward something which, if you examine it carefully and test it by the side of what you know from exoteric myth, you will find to be well founded and reasonable even though it appear strange at first. It will prove to be authentic, for it is a direct outcome of occult research. Compare it with the religious and historical records from olden times, and the demands of your intelligence will be completely satisfied. The farther you look into it with your ordinary understanding, the more will you find yourself able to say “Yes” to what I am now going to tell you; for it is a result of occult investigation that is comparatively easy of approach to the man of the present day.

We must first of all find something to take as our starting-point; we must begin from some known fact. For the moment, let it be the fact that we have come to a knowledge of these seven cosmic Spirits and their kingdoms. We have, however, only learned to know the ruling Spirits with their kingdoms, the corresponding Planets. We must go further. We must investigate these kingdoms more closely, as far as occult research will allow. And the following is one among many ways that offer themselves to the pupil of our times who sets to work conscientiously with the means afforded in modern practical occultism. He can take his start, always under the guidance and counsel of an experienced occultist, from the study of the life of Gautama Buddha.

I have frequently emphasized and must here emphasize again that the life of Buddha is to be understood as the Buddhists understand it and not as it is interpreted by materialistic historians. We must first come ourselves to the recognition that Buddha became Buddha by passing through a great many incarnations; that he became first a Bodhisattva. And then having been born as the son of King Suddhodana, he ascended in the 29th year of his life to the dignity of a Buddha. We must know that the ascension of the Bodhisattva to the stage of Buddha means in actual fact that such an individual has his very last incarnation on Earth in the life he lives as Buddha. When he has become a Buddha, he never returns again into an earthly body, but works in other than earthly worlds. This must be quite clear to us from the beginning. We must know for an absolute fact that the Buddha by his exaltation from Bodhisattva to Buddha rose to a cosmic dignity and does not require in the course of his further evolution ever to descend again into a physical earthly human being.
Those of you who have followed my lectures will remember that I have alluded to one single occasion when the Buddha, so to speak, allows us to have a glimpse of his further evolution. When I was explaining how two Jesus children were born, the Matthew Jesus Child and the Luke Jesus Child, I said that at the birth of the Luke Jesus Child the Buddha sent down from the spiritual world astral forces that were incorporated into the astral body of Jesus. Mention was thus made of the Buddha sending down forces to Earth. In Norrköping I told further how the initiates were able to meet with the Buddha in still another way. Nevertheless it is still true to say that since his life as Buddha he has lived no more on Earth.
An occultist, however, who goes far on the occult path can follow also further the path of Buddha. It is, of course, now no Earth life that he follows. In the field of practical occultism the question arises: What has become of the Buddha, since he incarnates no longer in a physical human body? We can, as it were, go in search of the Buddha, we can look for him in the wide world. It may seem strange to you, but the initiated find the Buddha engaged on a great and mighty task, a task of deep significance. When the eye of the occultist has been opened and he looks out into the vast spaces of the world, he beholds a remarkable sight. He discovers that the Buddha has now for his scene of action that planet which in physical astronomy we call Mars; and he can do no other than relate in all seriousness how, since the time when the Buddha acquired the faculty which made it no longer necessary for him to appear again in Earth life, he has been given a new mission. This new mission of the Buddha we can discover by making occult observation of Mars.

As we enter upon this study, the true and original mission of the Buddha becomes clear to us. We find by occult investigation that the beings on Mars who correspond to men on Earth — they are of course of quite a different nature, but for the moment let us call them “Mars men” — at a certain time in their evolution were in a similar condition of need as were the Earth men in the Fourth Post-Atlantean period when the Christ had to come to them. And as Christ became a Savior and an Awakener to Life, as that was a mission for the Christ in regard to Earth humanity, so is it a further mission for that Bodhisattva after he became the Buddha to be a Savior and Redeemer of Mars men. He has to accomplish on Mars an event similar to the event that the Christ had to bring to fulfillment on Earth.

When therefore we study the life of the Buddha, we find it falls into two parts. There is first the time when Buddha worked for the Earth men and brought them all that they were due to receive from him, including what he had already brought them during the time when he was a Bodhisattva. Then there is the later part of Buddha's life when he worked outside and beyond the Earth, when he rose to a higher power and strength for which his course on Earth was but a necessary preparation. For Buddha grew upwards into the power of one who is a Savior and Redeemer. If it were possible for us to compare the influence of Buddha on Mars with the — not same, but similar influence of Christ Jesus on Earth and with the Mystery of Golgotha, then we would be bound to find a difference, because of the difference between Earth men and Mars men. If possible, I will tell you more another time about the feelings and response called forth in the Mars men by the working of Buddha.

As you see, tasks are set for the Beings who evolve in the Cosmos. The moment a being rises from one state or rank to another, a new task is placed before him. And man, who has to fulfil his life's course on Earth, comes into touch during his time on Earth with beings who, like the Christ, have from the beginning a cosmic task, and also with beings who in their evolution upward leave the Earth and rise then to a cosmic task, as was the case with Buddha.