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Anthroposophical Guidelines – VI

By Rudolf Steiner

Christmas Contemplation:

The Logos Mystery

Translation: Frank Thomas Smith

The Mystery of Golgotha streams into the contemplation of the Michael-Mystery because of the fact that Michael is the force which leads man to Christ in a wholesome way.

But the Michael mission is one which repeats itself rhythmically in cosmic human evolution. It was repeatedly present in its beneficent effect on humanity before the Mystery of Golgotha. It was related to all the revelations that the still over-earthly Christ forces were doing for man’s evolution. After the Mystery of Golgotha it became subservient to the development of earthly humanity through Christ. It entered into a variegated and progressive form in its repetitions – but just that: repetitions.

In contrast, the Mystery of Golgotha is an all-embracing cosmic event, which occurred only once during the course of cosmic human evolution.

As humanity advanced as far as the development of its Comprehension or Sensitivity- Soul, the ever-present, potentially primeval danger of the separation of humanity from divine spirituality fully exerted itself.

And in the same degree in which the human soul lost its experiencing of the divine-spiritual beings, it became immersed in what is today called “nature”.

Man no longer saw the essence of humanity in the divine-spiritual cosmos; he saw the works of divine spirituality in the earthly domain. At first he did not see it in the abstract form in which it is seen today – as physical-sense being and events, which are condensed into the abstract ideas called “natural law”. He saw it as a divine-spiritual nature. This divine-spiritual nature billowed in everything he saw in the emerging and dying out of animals, in the growth and sprouting of the plant world, in the flow of springs and rivers and in the formation of wind and clouds. He considered all this to be the gestures, deeds and speech of the godly being which is the foundation of “nature”.

Just as the positions and movements of the stars were once seen by man to be the deeds and gestures of the universal divinity whose words could be read in them, now the “facts of nature” were seen to be an expression of the earth goddess – for the active goddess in nature was considered to be feminine.

Vestiges of this way of thinking as imaginative content of the Comprehension or Sensitivity-Soul were active in the human soul well into the middle ages.

Knowledgeable people spoke of the deeds of the “goddess” when they wanted to conceptualize “natural events”. Only with the gradual emergence of the Consciousness Soul did this living, soul-filled consideration of nature become incomprehensible.

And the way in which this was seen in the Comprehension or Sensitivity-Soul epoch is reminiscent of the Persephone myth with the mystery that is at its foundation.

Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, is forced by the god of the underworld to follow him into his kingdom. It turns out that she must spend only half of the time in the underworld, and the other half in the over-world.

This myth expresses with great force how once in the remote past the evolution of the world was revealed through dreamlike clairvoyance.

In primeval times creative activity originated in the earth’s surroundings. The earth itself was still in the process of becoming. It formed its being in cosmic evolution from the activities of its surroundings. The divine-spiritual beings of the cosmos crafted its being. When the earth was sufficiently developed to be an independent cosmic body, divine-spirituality came down to it from the cosmos and became earthly divinity. The dreamlike clairvoyance of humanity of that time knowledgably saw this fact; the Persephone myth is what remains of that knowledge. But what also remained was how humanity sought knowledge of “nature” until well into the middle ages. For one did not yet seek by means of sense impressions, as was later the case – that is, according to what appears on the earth’s surface, but according to the forces that work up from the depths of the earth. And these “forces or the depths”, the “forces of the underworld”, were observed in conjunction with the effects of the stars and elements of the earth’s surroundings.

The plants grew there in a diversity of forms, and revealed themselves in their many-colored variety. The sun, moon and star forces worked in them together with the forces of the earth’s depths. Minerals, which were penetrated by what had become earthly from cosmic being, provided the basis for this. Rocks sprang up from the “underworld” only through the heavenly forces which had become earthly. The animal world had not absorbed the underworld forces. It arose only through the active cosmic forces in the earth’s surroundings. It thanks the sun forces steaming down to the earth for its becoming, capacity for nourishment and movement. It reproduces under the influence of the moon forces streaming to the earth. It appears in many forms and species because the constellations act in the most varied way from the universe in shaping animal life. But the animals are only put down on the earth from the universe. With their dim consciousness they only participate in earthly matters; with their genesis, their growth, in fact with everything they are which allows them to perceive and move – they are not earthly beings.

This sublime concept of the earth’s evolution once lived in humanity. What intruded in the Middle Ages left only a vestige of this concept as recognizable. It order to achieve knowledge of all this, one must be able to view the remote past with visionary knowledge. Because even using the existent physical documentation, only he can perceive what existed in men’s souls who can do so with spiritual vision.

Humanity is not able to hold the earth at arm’s length to the extent the animals do. In saying this, one approaches the mystery of humanity as well as that of the animal world. These mysteries were reflected in the animal cults of ancient peoples, especially those of the Egyptians. They saw in the animals beings which are guests on the earth, in which one could visualize the beings and activities of the spiritual world that surrounds the earth. And in the connection of the human form with the animal form, which was portrayed in pictures, they visualized the form of those elementary intermediate beings who, although in the evolutionary process of becoming human, did not enter the earth’s domain in order not to become human. Such elementary intermediate beings do exist. The Egyptians were only showing what they saw when they created images of them. But such beings do not have the full self-consciousness of humanity. In order to achieve that, the human being had to stride the earth so completely that he absorbed something of the earth-essence into his own essence.

He had to be exposed to the fact that in this earthly world the divine spirituality to which he was bound was present – but only in its effects. And just because only these effects, torn loose from their source, were present, the Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings gained access. Therefore it was necessary for man to make way for Lucifer’s and Ahriman’s forcibly interjected activities in a part of his evolution – the earthly part. This was possible without man being separated from what remained of his connection to divine spirituality as long as he had not yet advanced to the development of his Comprehension or Sensitivity-Soul. What occurred then was a corruption of his physical, etheric and astral bodies. An older science knew this as something vital for the human being. It knew that it was necessary in order that consciousness advance to self-consciousness in man. In the teaching carried out in the places founded by Alexander the Great an Aristotelianism existed which, rightly understood, contained an essential element of this corruption in its psychology. It was only later that such ideas no longer contained this element.

In the time before the development of the Comprehension or Sensitivity-Soul, the force of his divine-spiritual origin was still so interwoven in man that these forces streaming to the earth from their cosmic home could hold the intervening Luciferic and Ahrmanic powers in check – in equilibrium. From the human side, it was sufficient help to maintain this equilibrium when in the cultic and mystery rituals the image was created of the divine-spiritual being descending into Lucifer’s and Ahriman’s realm and then emerging victorious. One sees in the pictorial representations of the various people’s rituals in the times previous to the Mystery of Golgotha what later became reality in the Mystery of Golgotha.

Once the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul had developed, man could only be kept from being cut off from his divine-spiritual essence through reality. The divinity had to enter as an earthly Being into the earthly organization of the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul. This was accomplished when the divine-spiritual Logos, Christ, bound his cosmic destiny with the earth for the benefit of humanity.

Persephone immersed herself into the earth in order to free the plant-world from having to form itself from what is merely earthly. This was the descent of a divine-spiritual being into nature. Persephone also experiences a kind of “resurrection” – but annually in rhythmic sequence.

This cosmos-to-earth event is in contrast to the descent of the Logos for the benefit of humanity. Persephone descended to order nature in its original orientation. Rhythm must underlie this; for the process of nature occurs rhythmically. The Logos descended into humanity. It happened once during human evolution. For this evolution is only one link in a gigantic cosmic rhythm in which humanity before becoming humanity was something quite different and after which will again be something quite different, whereas plant life, as such, repeats itself in short rhythms.

Man needs to view the Mystery of Golgotha in this light during the Consciousness Soul age. For during the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul age the severance of humanity [from divine-spirituality] would have been a danger had the Mystery of Golgotha not occurred. In the Consciousness Soul age a complete darkening of the spiritual world in  man’s consciousness would have had to occur if the Consciousness Soul did not sufficiently strengthen itself for man to be able to look back insightly at his divine-spiritual origin. If he can though, he finds the cosmic Logos as the being which can lead him back. He pervades himself with the powerful image which reveals what happened on Golgotha.

And the beginning of this understanding is the love-filled grasping of the Cosmic-Consecration-Night [Christmas Eve], which is festively commemorated every year. For the strengthening of the Consciousness Soul – which initially receives intellectuality –  takes place when it allows warm love to enter into that coldest soul-element. This warm love is most enhanced when it is applied to the child Jesus, who appears on earth on the Cosmic-Consecration-Night. Therewith man lets the highest earthly spiritual event, which was at the same time a physical one, work on his soul; he has started on the path of taking Christ into himself.

Nature must be recognized as the foundation of man’s being which revealed itself as Persephone – or the being who was perceived when “nature” was spoken of during the Middle Ages – as the divine-spiritual origin and eternal force from which it, nature, was born and is continuously reborn.

The human world must be recognized in a way that it reveals in Christ the eternal Logos, which works with man’s originally bonded divine-spiritual essence for the unfolding of his Spirit-Being.

To guide the human heart in love to this grand cosmic contiguity is the true meaning of this festive commemoration every year at the Cosmic Christmas Eve. If such love lives in human hearts, then it permeates the cold light element of the Consciousness Soul with fiery warmth. If this were to happen without the permeation of fiery warmth, then man would never achieve thorough spiritual fulfillment. He would perish in the cold of intellectual consciousness, or he would have to exist in a spiritual life which doesn’t advance to the Consciousness Soul. He would then stay behind in the unfolding of the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul.

But the essence of the Consciousness Soul is not cold. It only seems to be so at the beginning of its unfolding, for it can only reveal its light-filled content at first, and not yet the cosmic warmth from which it precedes.

To feel and experience Christmas in this way can make the following real in the soul: how the glory of the divine-spiritual beings’ revelations are announced to man in the vastness of the stars through their images, and how the liberation of humanity on earth from the powers that want to distance it from its origins is achieved.       

Goetheanum, on Christmas 1924

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Additional Guidelines relating to the foregoing Christmas Contemplation

 

137. The activity in human and world evolution, which occurs due to Michael forces, repeats itself rhythmically, although in varying and progressing forms, before and after the Mystery of Golgotha.

138. The Mystery of Golgotha is the greatest single event in human evolution. It has nothing to do with rhythmic repetition. For although human evolution is part of a vast cosmic rhythm, it is nevertheless only one element – albeit the most extensive element in this rhythm. Before humanity became an element of this rhythm it was something substantially different; afterwards it will again be something different. Therefore during human evolution there are many Michael-events, but only one Golgotha event.   

139. In the rapid rhythmic repetitions of a year, the divine-spiritual Being who descended to the depths of the earth accomplishes the task of spiritually permeating the processes of nature. She personifies the ensouling of nature with the original and eternal forces which must remain active, just as the descended Christ represents the ensoulng of humanity with the original and eternal Logos who shall never cease his activities for the healing of humanity. 

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Heavenly History

Mythological History

Earthly History

Mystery of Golgotha

 

In the spatial cosmos the universe and the earth’s center stand in opposition. In the universe the stars are, in a sense, “disseminated”. From the earth’s center forces stream out to all directions of the universe.

In the contemporary cosmic epoch, the brilliance of the stars and the earth’s forces can only appear to man as the works of the divine-spiritual Beings with whom he is inwardly bound.

But a cosmic epoch once existed when the brilliance of the stars and the earth’s forces were still the direct spiritual revelation of the divine-spiritual Beings. In his dim consciousness man felt the divine-spiritual Beings as being active in his being.

Then another epoch ensued. The starry heaven, as a physical entity, separated itself from divine-spiritual activity. What one may call world-spirit and world-body arose. The world-spirit is a multiplicity of divine-spiritual Beings. During the older epoch they worked from the stars’ positions down to the earth. What shone down from the universe’s vastness, what streamed as forces from the earth’s center, were in reality the divine-spiritual Beings’ intelligence and will working on the earth and its humanity.

During the later cosmic epochs – after the [ancient] Saturn and Sun evolutions – the divine-spiritual Beings’ intelligence and will remained ever more spiritually contained within them. Where they were originally actively present became “world-body” – the harmonious configuration of the stars in space. Looking back on these things from a spiritually appropriate worldview, one can say: from the original spirit-body of the world’s creative Beings, the world-spirit and the world-body arose. And the world-body shows in the configuration and movement of the stars how the intelligence and will of the gods once worked. But at the present cosmic time what was once freely moving divine intelligence and will in the stars has become fixed and subject to laws.

Therefore what today shines down to humanity on earth from the stars is not a direct expression of divine will and intelligence, but an inert symbol of what it once was in the stars. So in the human soul’s admiration for the formations of heaven’s stars one sees a past, but not a contemporary revelation of the gods.

But what is “in the past” in the stars’ shining is “contemporary” in the Spirit-World. And Man lives in this “contemporary” World-Spirit.

In respect to the formation of the world, one must look back to an old cosmic epoch in which World-Spirit and World-Body acted as a unity. One must then look at the middle epoch, during which they evolved into a duality. And one must think into the future, the third epoch, in which the World-Spirit will again enfold the World-Body in its actions.

For the old epoch, the constellations and the paths of the stars were not to be calculated, for they were the expression of the free intelligence and the free will of divine spiritual beings. In the future they will again be incalculable.

“Calculation” is only meaningful for the middle cosmic epoch.

And as it is for the constellations and the paths of the stars, this also applies to the forces streaming from the earth’s center into space. What comes “from the depths” will be “calculable”.

But everything strove from the older cosmic epochs towards the middle ones, in which space and time became “calculable” and divine-spirituality, as the revelation of intelligence and will, had to be sought “behind” the calculable.

Only during this middle epoch were the conditions present in which humanity could advance from a dim consciousness to a clear, free self-awareness and to a free intelligence and will.

A time had to come in which Copernicus and Kepler “calculated” the World-Body. For it was through the cosmic forces which accompanied this moment that human self-awareness had to develop. In the older age, this self-awareness was predisposed; then came a time of such advancement that the universe was “calculated”.

On the earth “history” was acted out. It would never have happened had the universe’s constellations and paths of stars not become “fixed”. In the history of earth’s evolution there exists a mirror image – but a completely transformed one – of what was once “heavenly history”.

More ancient peoples are still conscious of this “heavenly history”, and they look to it far more than to “earthly history”.

In “earthly history” man’s intelligence and will at first live in association with the gods’ cosmic divine will and intelligence, then independently.                 

In “heavenly history” live the intelligence and will of the divine-spiritual Beings directly related to humanity.

Looking back at the spiritual life of peoples in the far-distant past, a consciousness of togetherness and desire for togetherness with the divine-spiritual Beings existed within humanity, to the extent that their history was heavenly history. When they told of their “origins”, they didn’t mean earthly events, but cosmic ones. Even in relation to their own time, it seemed to them that what was happening in the earthly environment was unimportant compared to the cosmic events; and it was these latter to which their attention was directed. 

An epoch existed in which man’s consciousness viewed heavenly history in powerful impressions in which the divine-spiritual Beings themselves stood before him. They spoke; and the people heard the speech in dream-inspiration; they revealed their forms; and the people viewed them in dream-imagination.

This “heavenly history”, which filled human souls for a long time, was followed by mythical history, which is often taken today to have been poetic versions. They conjoined heavenly history with earthly history. For example “heroes” appeared, superhuman beings. They were beings who stood higher in evolution than man who, at a certain time, had only developed up to his Sentient-Soul. The “hero” however, had already developed what in man will one day be the Spirit-Self. The “hero” could not directly incorporate within earthly conditions; he could, however, do so by immersing himself in a human soul and thus be capable of acting as a human among humans. These were the “initiates” of ancient times.

The people in the continuous epochs did not actually think of them in this way; rather, the things which occurred between the more spiritually incalculable and the physically calculable world underwent changes. What is certain, however, is that long after conditions had changed, the consciousness of one people or another held fast to a “worldview” which corresponded to a much earlier reality. At first this happened in a way that human consciousness that had not kept up with cosmic events really saw the past. Then came a time when the ability to see faded away and the past was only retained through tradition. Thus during the middle ages an interjection of the heavenly world into the earthly one was still traditionally retained, but no longer seen because the force behind the capacity to see in pictures no longer existed.

 And on earth the various peoples evolved in such a way that they held fast to one or another worldview, so that different worldviews existed alongside each other, which in essence were successive ones. But the difference in worldviews was not only due to this, but also because the different peoples, according to their natures, saw different things. The Egyptians saw the world in which there were Beings who prematurely ended their evolution and never became human beings; and they also saw man after his life on earth in all that associated him with those beings. The Chaldean people saw more how outer-earthly spiritual beings – good and evil – entered earthly life in order to be active there.

The very long duration of “heavenly history” was followed by “mythological” history, which was shorter, but compared to later actual “history”, nevertheless lasted for a long time indeed.

As I have already explained, in his consciousness man abandoned with difficulty the old visions in which gods and men were conceived of as acting together. Thus “actual earth science” has existed since the unfolding of the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul. Man “thought” in the sense of what previously existed. Only when the first germs of the Consciousness Soul evolved did man begin to conceive of “history proper”.

And in what has been detached from divine-spirituality and become human-spiritual history, can be experienced by man as free intelligence and free will.

Thus the development of the world in which man is engrossed runs its course between the fully calculable and the activity of free intelligence and free will. The evolution of the world manifests itself in all the intermediate nuances of both.

Man lives his life between birth and death in a way that unfolds in the calculable the physical foundation for the creation of his inner divine-spiritual free incalculability. His life between death and a new birth runs its course in the incalculable – in a way, however, that in the “interior” of his divine-spiritual being the calculable unfolds in thought. By means of this calculability he becomes the architect of his future earthly life.

In “history” the calculable exists on earth, in which, however, the incalculable is contained, if only to limited degree.

The Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings oppose the order between the incalculable and the calculable established from the beginning by the divine-spiritual beings united with humanity; they oppose their harmonization through “measurement, number and weight”. Lucifer, by his very nature, cannot integrate anything which is calculable. His ideal is unconditional intelligence and will.

This Luciferic tendency is appropriate to the cosmic order in areas in which free acts should reign. There Lucifer is the justified spiritual helper in human development. Without his help freedom in human divine-spirituality, which is built on the foundation of physical calculability, could not enter. But Lucifer would like to extend this tendency to the entire cosmos. And here his activity comes into conflict with the divine-spiritual order, to which man originally belongs.

This is where Michael enters. He stands with his own being in the incalculable; but he effectuates a balance between the incalculable and the calculable, which he bears within him as the Cosmic Thought that he received from his gods.

The Ahrimanic powers in the world are different. They are the complete opposite of the divine-spiritual Beings with whom man has been bound from the beginning. These divine-spiritual Beings are presently purely spiritual powers, who possess perfectly free intelligence and perfectly free will, but who within this free intelligence and free will conceive the wise insight of the necessity for the calculable, the unfree, as Cosmic Thought – from whose womb man is to develop into a free being. And they are united to all that is calculable, to Cosmic Thought, with love. This loves streams out from them through the universe.

The greedy lust and cold hate of the Ahrimanic powers for everything that promotes freedom is the antithesis of this. Ahriman strives to make everything that he streams out from the earth into universal space a cosmic machine. His ideal is exclusively “measurement, number and weight”. He was called into the cosmos which serves human evolution because it was necessary for “measurement, number and weight”, his field, to unfold.

Only he who understands the world spiritually and physically in all its aspects, truly understands it. This understanding must reach into nature in respect to such powers as the divine-spiritual ones who work with love, and the Ahrimanic ones who work with hate. One must perceive the divine-spiritual Beings’ love active in nature’s cosmic warmth that begins in springtime and increases towards summer; one must be aware of Ahriman’s activity in winter’s gusting frost.

In midsummer Lucifer’s force interlaces with nature’s love, with the warmth. During Christmas time the forces of the divine-spiritual Beings, who have been united with humanity from the beginning, turn against Ahriman’s cold hate. And towards springtime the divine love in nature works to temper Ahriman’s hate.       

 The appearance every year of this divine love is the time of remembrance, for the free element of God entered into the calculable element of earth with Christ. Christ acts in complete freedom in the calculable; he thereby renders harmless what lusts only for the calculable, the Ahrimanic.

The event of Golgotha is the free cosmic deed of love in earthly history; it is only comprehensible by the love which humanity brings to this comprehension.

Goetheanum, Christmas, 1924       

 

140. Cosmic events, in which human evolution is interlinked, and which in human consciousness reflects “history” in a broad sense, is subdivided in the long-lasting heavenly history, the shorter mythological history and in the relatively short earthly history.

141. Presently these cosmic events are segregated into the “incalculable” activity of divine-spiritual beings, who create with free intelligence and will, and the “calculable” occurrence of the world-body.

142. The Luciferic powers stand opposed to the calculability of the world-body; the Ahrimanic powers stand opposed to the creation of free intelligence and free will.

143. The event of Golgotha is a free cosmic deed which descends from Universal Love and can only be grasped through human love.   

What is Revealed when One Looks Back at Repeated Earth Lives

When spiritual cognition can look back at a person’s previous earth lives, what is revealed is that a number of such earth lives existed in which the human being was already an individual. Outwardly he was similar to today, and he had an inner life which contained individual characteristics. Earth lives appear which indicate when the Comprehension or Sensibility-Soul existed, but not yet the Consciousness Soul, and other lives when only the Sentient Soul had evolved, and so forth.  

In the earth’s historical ages this is the case, and it was the case for a long time previously as well.

But one also perceives ages when this was not yet the case. There one finds man still interlinked in his inner life and outer formation with the world of divine-spiritual Beings. Man existed as earthly humanity, but was not yet separated from divine-spiritual being, thinking and willing.

In still older times man completely disappears as a separate entity; only divine-spiritual Beings exist, who bear humanity in their fold.

Man has passed through these three stages of his evolution during his time on earth. The transition from the first to the second stage took place towards the end of Lemuria, from the second to the third during the age of Atlantis.

Just as man carries his experiences as remembrance within him in his current earthly life, he also carries within him as cosmic memory everything that he experienced as described above. What is earthly soul-life? The world of remembrances, which is prepared at every moment to perceive anew. Man lives out his inner earthly existence in this interaction of remembering and new experiences.

But this inner earthly existence could not unfold if cosmic remembrance did not still now exist in man when he looks back spiritually to the first stage of his becoming an earthly being, in which he had not yet been separated from divine-spiritual being.

From what happened at that time, only what develops within the human nervous-sensory organization still exists. In outer nature all the forces which were then active have died out and are only perceptible as dead forms.

Thus what exists in human thought as contemporary revelation is the necessary basis for earthly existence: what had already developed before he attained to an individual earthly existence.

In life between death and a new birth man experiences this stage ever anew. Only he also brings his individual existence, fully formed during his lives on earth, into the world of divine-spiritual Beings, which again takes him in, the same world which once included him in it. Between death and a new birth he is in the present, but at the same time he is in all the time which he has passed through in repeated earth lives and repeated lives between death and new births.

It is different in respect to his world of feeling. This world is related to the experiences which occurred directly after those which he had before he became completely human. These are the experiences he passed through as a human being, but when he had not yet separated from divine-spiritual being, thinking and willing. At present man could develop no world of feeling if it did not arise on the basis of his rhythmic organization – in which the cosmic memory of the above-mentioned second stage of human evolution exists.

Thus in man’s world of feeling his spiritual present works together with his experiences from an older time.

In the life between death and a new birth man experiences the content of the time here described as the outer boundary of his cosmos. What the stars in heaven are for man in his physical earth life, is spiritually his Being in the life between death and a new birth –  which lies between his complete solidarity with the divine-spiritual world and his separation from it. There at the” boundary of the world” the physical heavenly bodies do not appear to him; rather on every star the sum of the divine-spiritual Beings, who are, in reality, the star.

With the will alone, not associated with feeling and thinking, man lives in what his observed earth lives reveal to be personal and individual. What comes from the outer cosmos as his outer form is preserved as cosmic remembrance; it lives in the human form as forces. They are not directly the will’s forces, but what constitutes the foundation of the will’s forces in the human organization.

In life between death and a new birth this area lies outside the “boundary of the world”. Man thinks of it there as something he will regain in his new earth life.

In his nervous-sensible-organization man is today still united with the cosmos as he was when he was still germinally developing within divine-spirituality.

In his rhythmical organization man still lives today in the cosmos as he did when, although already existing as human, he was not yet separated from divine-spirituality.                  

In his metabolism-limbs organization – the basis for the development of his will –everything he passed through since the beginning of his personal, individual earth lives and the lives between death and new births produce after-effects in this organization.

From the forces of the earth man has only what bestows self-consciousness. The physical-corporal foundation for this self-consciousness also derives from the earth’s activity. Everything else in the human being is of outer-earthly, cosmic origin. The feeling and thinking astral body and its etheric-physical foundation, all the active life elements in the etheric body, even the chemically reacting elements in his physical body have an outer-earthly origin. Strange as it may be sound, the active physical-chemical elements in the human being do not derive from the earth.

That man develops these outer-earthy cosmic elements within him is due to the activity of the planets and the other stars. The sun, through its forces, brings all these developments to the earth. The human-cosmic is transferred by the sun to the earthly domain. Through the sun man lives on the earth as a heavenly being. Only what transcends his own development, namely the capacity to reproduce, is a gift of the moon.

Of course these are not the only effects of the sun and moon. Other highly spiritual activities also originate in them.

When at Christmas time the sun acquires ever more forces for the earth, it constitutes the rhythmically manifesting yearly activity in the physical earth, which is an expression of the spirit in nature. Human evolution is a single element in a virtually gigantic cosmic year. This is evident from the preceding explanations. In this cosmic year, the Cosmic Christmas is where the sun not merely affects the earth through the spirit of nature, but where the sun’s soul, the Christ-Spirit, descends to the earth.

As in the individual, what is personally experienced is associated with cosmic remembrance, Christmas is correctly felt by the human soul every year if the heavenly-cosmic Christ event is thought of as continuous –  and as not merely human, but as cosmic remembrance. Not only man, but also the cosmos celebrates the descent of Christ at Christmas.

Goetheanum, New Year, 1925    

144. When one looks back at the repeated earth lives of a person, they arrange themselves in three different stages: the oldest, in which man was not yet an individual, but existed germinally in divine-spirituality. One does not find a human being when looking back, but divine-spiritual Beings (The Ur-Forces, Archai).

145. Then comes an intermediate stage in which man already exists as an individual being, but is not yet separated from the Thinking, Willing and Being of the divine-spiritual world. He did not yet have his present personality, was not yet completely his own being in his existence on earth, and was not yet separated from the divine-spiritual world.

146. The third stage emerges as the present. Man experiences himself in his human form as detached from the divine-spiritual world; and he experiences the world as the environment which he confronts personally and individually. This stage began during the age of Atlantis.                              

Continued in the next issue of SCR. When the translation is completed, it will be available here as an e-book. [ed.]


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