Events in the Ukraine and a Possible Future Scenario
Book 2, Chapter 1
I. The Measure of All Things
As was the case in the first part of our study, we will also in the second part often be working with hypotheses, assumptions, and conjectures. The conclusions that will arise here are, therefore, our own, and should be subjected, independently and actively, to thoughtful testing by the reader.
Our articles have the aim of drawing people’s attention to a certain number of phenomena of modern political life, and encouraging them to observe precisely and to understand their deeper meaning, which often (and this is no longer a hypothesis) bodes ill for the welfare of mankind. Weight and objective significance is lent to our hypotheses and assumptions through the fact that they have been developed in the striving to fruitfully apply Anthroposophical methodology which extends also to political science. This, of course, renders the content more complex and asks of the reader a degree of intellectual effort which he cannot say in advance is worth his while. But in no other way can real insight be gained into the matters that concern us. The widespread endeavour to find in the reading of newspapers and magazines indications as to the background of world events is fruitless, as the content of the mass-media is created largely for the manipulation and darkening of people’s consciousness.
Humanity has reached a point in its development where it stands at a crossroads – before the fundamental decision, so to speak, as to what the future direction of this development is to be, not just for years ahead, but also beyond the present century. A relentless battle is raging in the world, over nothing less than the overall direction of human evolution. We are therefore living in an unusually difficult and serious time. And it is to be regretted that the majority of the world’s population not only knows nothing of this evolution, but also wishes to know nothing of it. This is the reason why the possibility of engaging in this so important decision is being taken from people, although there is no task for them that is more urgent for their lives, or more fundamental.
Decisions are made in any case but, generally speaking, not by those who intend the best for mankind. Yet the responsibility for it lies with all of us. And if we are suddenly woken from our sleep by the sudden outbreak of social revolutions and military conflicts, we cannot avoid them just because we knew nothing about their preparation. The consequences of irresponsible inactivity are borne by everyone. If they become unbearable, then the complaints begin to be heard: Why doesn’t God help us? Does he exist at all?
If we look alternatively at the state of human affairs and begin to grasp hold of a glimmer of understanding, the natural and already very old question arises: But what can we do?
Well, the first answer is very simple: One should try to contribute to these fateful decisions and attempt to give them a constructive character. But how we can succeed in this is a different and rather complicated question, which requires us to take to heart Goethe’s principle of knowledge: “Think of the ‘what’, but think still more of the ‘how’.”
In the present study we will offer the reader to begin with a series of ‘whats’ which in our view are symptomatic, in order to stimulate reflection as to the ‘how’. Concerning the ‘how’ itself we assert the following: The overwhelming majority of people – it must be frankly admitted – are, in the present social-political environment, naturally in no position to intervene directly in the course of world events. As a consolation, the opportunity is offered to participate in the various elections, though this is not even worth mentioning.
But one can intervene all the same. Even a personality far removed from the levers of power can have an influence on events of decisive importance for the destiny of mankind. All that is needed is a grasp of the real value of individual thinking human consciousness which, on the basis of genuine understanding of the meaning of events, can come to valid and productive decisions for the ongoing evolution of humanity. Spontaneously and almost without thought, at every opportunity anything imaginable is put forward as the right thing to do; but opinions of this kind are nothing but dim vapours in the earth’s aura.
Genuine knowledge – is a real force. For this reason, everywhere in the world today, not only in the Orwellian “Ingsoc” Society [In Orwell’s novel ‘1984’, ‘Ingsoc’ is an acronym for ‘English Socialism’, the ideological system that has established itself in one part of the world], there is a stubborn insistence on “Ignorance – is Power”. In our thinking we are connected with the spiritual world, and with its real beings who play an important role in the making of the historical decisions that are of crucial significance for mankind’s destiny. But in the spiritual world there is not only light. There is also darkness. With insight into its intentions and deeds, the human being can weaken or even entirely neutralize it. In order to forestall this, the dark side takes drastic measures. It tries first to hide the human being from knowledge of itself. Then it deceives him and offers him lies instead of the truth: complete – or half lies, which are considerably worse. The human being is of course challenged to fight for the truth. Knowledge of the truth is a remarkably effective means of providing all human beings with access to the work carried out together by heaven and earth in order to lay the ground for a further positive development of man and earth. Of course, people who are weakened and enslaved by the dogmas of the materialistic world-view find it hard to understand and accept this. They are used to drifting passively with the current, and even those who think they are rowing vigorously, are mostly moving in the same direction as the idlers. And in the one group and in the other the dogma is already genetically rooted, that thinking is no more than a shadow and that we only need to acquire knowledge to learn a profession and earn a living. But the interesting thing about all this was said by Rudolf Steiner: “If only enough people today had the impulse to say to themselves: We must above all have insight into such things, then the rest will come! – And if we wish to gain insight into social matters, then the important thing is that we have, above all, the will to acquire knowledge for the sake of wakefulness in life. The motivation of the will – that will take care of itself – that will come, it is something that develops ... We can achieve a great deal if we only have the earnest will, first to gain insight. Other things would then come. What is bad is not so much that today many people can still do nothing; but it is hopelessly bad when people cannot make up their minds at least to get to know the social laws, to study them, from a spiritual-scientific point of view. The rest will come if they are studied” (GA 186, 12.12.18).
The whole complex of materialistic ideas is conveyed to people throughout their school education and professional training. The ideas are present everywhere in their surroundings. This is an enormous obstacle. But it needs to be overcome at all costs. Because Hamlet’s question now looms large before the human being: “To be, or not to be?” In order to be, we need to drastically revise the entire edifice of traditional conceptions by which we let ourselves be guided without thinking. But meanwhile we have all fallen victim to Marx’ definition: Being determines consciousness. We are all slaves of being that has become. But being is shaped and formed mainly by those people who wish simply to manipulate and control others. The being that they control is for them the key to the control of human beings. In this they are also helped by the natural-scientific ideas of the Kant-Laplace nebula, supposedly the explanation of the origin of the universe, and Darwin’s doctrine of evolution of species, supposedly the explanation of the origin of man.
The readers who reflect independently over what we are discussing here will, without doubt, linger with the question that George Orwell places in the soul of his protagonist Winston Smith in his prophetic – though not utopian – novel ‘1984: “I understand the how, but not the why.” This is a thought of sheer genius on Orwell’s part. He shifts the Goethean principle “Consider the ‘what’, but still more the ‘how’” into the sphere of social-political life.
knowledge of all that we have around us, we
lose the ground from under our feet, and even
our self-consciousness darkens if, in the face
of all the essential phenomena of social and
political life, we do not insistently ask the
question: Why do these things happen? What are
they doing all this for? And at the same time
we should not imagine that the answer to our
question is simple.
The answer given by the half-crazed O’Brien (an excellent personification of the barbarized intellectual) to Winston in the dungeon sounds unconvincing. So ... power, lust for power, and only this – to all eternity? For a human being this is unbearable. There is, after all, nothing that would give pleasure to a personality forever. Nearly everything that it acquires gives satisfaction only as a means of getting something else – a transitional stage.
And O’Brien, alternating between torture and teaching, says still more: “We have finished with all forms of enjoyment.” What is left now is the ruling ascetic. Not even the bloody “Dictators of the Proletariat” were capable of this.
But when O’Brien says the purpose of torture is torture, and that “if you want a vision of the torture, then imagine a boot that is stamping onto the face of a human being – forever”, then this is a different matter altogether. Now he is starting to move into the metaphysics of power. (Let us recall, in passing, what – this time in real life – Viktor Suvorov is asked by his superior, a GRU colonel: “Do you really not feel the satisfaction in torturing?”)
If everything is taken only on an external, exoteric level, the answer to the question “why” cannot be found. To evade the facts with the argument that all these people are simply madmen is also not enough. But anyone who stands in relation to occult, esoteric knowledge knows that the torture of living creatures and, above all, of human beings is a favoured activity of black magicians. It brings the tormentor into concrete connection with the supersensible (or rather, sub-sensible) beings of the infernal world. Through torturing, the black magician reaches across to another reality. He sees that in this place there is no birth and no death. And he begins to hope to be able to gain immortality for himself there. But this is an extremely gripping perspective, indeed.
The image of
a boot stamping into a face – from the
esoteric standpoint this is one component of
the whole teaching concerning the evolution
and the significance of the ‘I’, and the
battle fought against it by mighty beings of
the supersensible world who, however, have
remained behind in their development.
We understand why all the good and evil are done in the world when we recognize that the human being is, as the ancients said, “the measure of all things”, visible and invisible. He is the central element of world evolution, its meaning and purpose. For the retarded spirits of obstruction the human being has the greatest value because they can, at his expense, catch up on their own development by casting him into the abyss of nothingness.
Overall, the beings intend to replace the existing universe with a universe of their own. A universe that falls away from the natural current of evolution and takes an entirely different course. The human being who surrenders to evil is for these spirits no more than an instrument for the attainment of their particular goals. This instrument is all the more effective, the more radically such a human being denies the most important fruit brought forth by evolution: ‘I’-consciousness, self-consciousness. And because this is so, no human being should try to give himself over to evil completely. One can, indeed, make a choice in favour of these other paths of evolution, and say to oneself: How could there be worse than the one we are following? And there are people who do this. But here the main argument should be: A path on which I will cease to exist is unacceptable to me! So long as the human being cannot recognize this, so long as the deception succeeds (and therefore, how could the hellish beings manage without conspiracy?), the presence of these beings in him will fill him with enthusiasm for the tireless creative work of evil – and one can actually understand his viewpoint: he hopes to be able to enter their world and exist there forever, while those who “have not understood” will die and in their place, as a Tolstoy character says, “grass will grow”. This is the reason for the emergence of ever new “Ingsoc” systems of a monstrous kind. And it is extraordinarily fitting, that the modified “Ingsoc” in Orwell’s Eastasia is called “Obliteration of the Self”.
We will now try to give all these descriptions a deeper basis in spiritual science. To this end we must offer the reader a concisely worded account of Anthroposophical knowledge of the origin and evolution of the world and man. This will lay the ground for further deliberations on political science.
In a brief discussion we will of course not be able to give a complete picture. This must be sought in Rudolf Steiner’s writings. Our aim is only to give a short summary of what in Rudolf Steiner’s works is a complex, grandiose body of teaching that forms an organic whole.
We would point out in passing that also the doctrines of Darwin, Newton, Kepler, Haeckel – of all the pillars of materialism – have been instilled into us in the form of brief summaries. Even when we grill a steak, we do this in the consciousness, so to speak, that matter is primary (and spirit is secondary). We trust in this simply with reference to the authority of science. A short résumé in spiritual science is only a provisional step to be followed by further elaboration and testing. But in a study of single questions a résumé of this kind can make entirely possible the drawing of provisional conclusions, which one can test – as Rudolf Steiner himself says – even without supersensible experience of one’s own, but supported, of course, on the broad interconnectedness of spiritual-scientific indications. Confidence in the rightness of the conclusion rests upon the mutually cohesive relation of its parts.
So let us start with, as they say, the beginning of the world. This will help us to understand the phenomenology of everyday life in which, although often not plainly visible, the profound sway of the higher spiritual powers is always present. If we wish to know nothing of them, we are condemned to remain in our view of events staring at the outer surface, although in them our destiny, as we generally discover later, is proclaiming itself in significant and ponderous tones, and because we prefer to ignore this it unleashes on us its thunder and lightning. To understand the spiritual science of Rudolf Steiner, it is helpful to know from the outset its most important axiom: that reality is one whole and is sensible-supersensible – that is to say, it has two diametrically opposed sides. If we live our way into this methodological principle we can sense that it is like a seed which, as it germinates and develops, brings our thinking into movement. In fact, we start to think: If this is the case, then the supersensible shows itself in the sense-world in some way or another, and vice-versa. The supersensible is therefore not separated from us by an impenetrable wall. It becomes knowledge when we learn to recognize its symptoms on the sensory side of the single reality. This is actually the task of spiritual science, also in the field of political science. But in order to get to know political phenomenology with the help of this method, one must be acquainted with the general nature of true sensible-supersensible evolutionism as it was given in spiritual science by the human being (Rudolf Steiner) whose consciousness and individual cognitive capacity encompassed both sides of reality.
Let us take as our starting-point the fact that our universe in its totality is not a new beginning. Before it there were other universes. They had attained certain goals of development and transformed themselves into something higher.
Our universe is a revelation of a world that stands so high spiritually, that a human being with ordinary consciousness simply does not have the means to describe it. In religion it is called the world of the “indescribable”, the ineffable God. For our universe it is in an absolute sense the Father-ground of the world.
We know only that at a given moment he opened up to “our” side with the intention of bringing new creatures into being and giving them the opportunity to experience the joy of existence. It was his own “free decision”, which he did not need for his own sake. In addition, it was for him a sacrifice, because it was bound up with a limitation of his own limitless being – in his continuous ascent he had to accept a certain descent. His primal revelation was an act of his boundless love.
revelation appears the cycle of evolution
which has a beginning and an end. Its main
theme and object was, from the beginning, man.
He was actually a completely new creation
which had not existed anywhere before. All
that arose later in the course of evolution,
all the kingdoms of nature were separated out
from the human being. As soon as he has
progressed far enough in his development he
will absorb them again and they will attain,
thanks to him, individual being.
At the beginning of the cycle the human being was revealed as All-Man – in the Bible he is called Adam Kadmon – who has the Divine all-consciousness, but not as his own possession. At the end of the cycle each human being will have the consciousness of All-Man as an individual possession in the form of his own creative ‘I’. The human being will be in a position, himself, to create worlds.
The Father-ground of the world reveals himself in three hypostases. All of them are the one ineffable God, who shows himself through three supra-individual Divine beings. In Christianity they are called God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In the esoteric tradition of ancient India they bear the names Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva – the ancient Egyptians called them Osiris, Horus and Isis. The first revelation of the Father-ground of the world also became the fundamental law of the new evolution: the principle of tri-unity pervades it. In it, God the Father gives the substance, the Holy Spirit manifests the Divine idea, this idea forms the substance, creates the forms and the Son fills them with life. The principle of tri-unity is intrinsic to every development, all the way down to the shadowy, abstract dialectical movement of thinking. In the course of evolution there arose from the law of tri-unity the law of seven-membered metamorphosis. This seven-membered process emerges from the Trinity and returns to it again.
cognition of the world on its highest level,
where it borders on the unknowable, we can be
helped by the symbolism behind which the
supersensible is hidden. True symbolism is its
revelation and not just a playing with
thoughts. Its creative character can be
distorted. Then it becomes an instrument for
mass suggestion (as in Bolshevism and the
Third Reich) or it simply becomes black magic.
The advertising agencies make use of this.
We will, of
course, be using symbols in their positive,
creative sense in order to fructify our
insight. We represent the beginning of the
world in the form of an equilateral triangle
surrounded by a circle (Fig. 1). In the middle
of the triangle we set a point.
The circle signifies the universal sphere of the Father-ground of the world. In its revelation he inwardizes himself. This is shown in the point. This interpretation is corroborated by an entry from a notebook of Rudolf Steiner. There it says:
“Space is therefore self-contained. A space enclosed and resting within itself is a sphere.
Space is a sphere.
The limit of space is an expanded point – i.e. a point that has become the surface of a globe.
Mid-point and periphery
Ponder on the fact that point and global surface are one and the same, the one entirely within itself •, the other entirely outside itself ○, the one entirely subjective, the other objective, the one only creating, the other only created, the one spirit, the other only sheath.
Everything else is a mixture of both. Axiom of gnosis:
Understand matter and you understand God.” (Beiträge zur R. Steiner Gesamtausgabe, Nr. 114/115, pp. 43-44)
The symbol in Fig. 1 is found both in Christian churches and in Masonic lodges, only in the latter instead of the point an eye is drawn in the middle – “The all-seeing eye”. This is a symbolic image of the Father- ground of the world, which has become immanent to its revelation. An equilateral triangle unites all three personifications of God into a whole, it is the archetype, the primal image of the primal (‘ur’) phenomenon (in the Goethean sense) of all development, including the development of the thinking human being. On the higher levels of being there predominates in it the principle of relation. As it descends into the deeper, densifying spheres relation becomes antithesis,
which leads to a synthesis as a birth of
the new. From this it follows that, in
the heights of Divine revelation the new
cannot evolve. This requires a turning
away from the highest, and its denial.
For the progress of evolution,
therefore, spirits became necessary, who
create through negation; and that is, in
the final analysis, how evil arose.
But in the beginning the human being was perfect. When the Father-God laid substance on the altar of the creation of the new universe, the Holy Spirit formed it according to his idea and Christ, who came into relation with the Father-God and the Holy Spirit, gave life to primordial form. This primordial form was the first man, Adam Kadmon. He is triune. In his triune nature comes together that which is spoken of in the Lord’s Prayer: “Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done ...” Thus, in the meditative prayer given to human beings by Christ himself the names of the three highest constituent bodies of man are given in the terminology of esoteric Christianity: the name, the kingdom and the will. In the language of ancient Indian esotericism they are designated Manas, Buddhi and Atma. Rudolf Steiner gave them names for the new European esotericism: Spirit-self, Life-spirit, Spirit-man.
Thus the primordial human being, created in the primal beginning of the world in the triangle of his triple hypostatic revelation, consists of the name, the kingdom and the will of the Father-ground of the world. The unity of this threefoldness is the Father-ground of the world himself, who is present within it as a fully universal ‘I’.
Our pictorial representation of that highest stage of human existence is entirely justified. Rudolf Steiner expresses it thus: “Everything streams forth from a point. The point signifies the primal beginning. All that constitutes the human being as a whole was once compressed to a point.” From this proceeded the totality of evolution (GA 266-1).
In the beginning the human being was entirely predetermined in his form and his ‘I’. To be able to become an individual in himself, he had to distance himself from God and unite with the world of forces that oppose him. These forces also proceeded originally from the Divine revelation but, for the present, they have taken it upon themselves, solely out of readiness to make a sacrifice, to deny the higher predestination.
So that the human being would not get lost on this path, the second hypostasis, the Son, Christ, became his leader. For this reason, as he himself says, “all was given” to him by the Father-ground of the world – that is to say: the entire cycle of evolution. In this, Christ became the God of the human ‘I’, who leads all contradictions born out of the ‘I’ to a synthesis which furthers the growth and the ascent of the ‘I’. This is the central faith of Christianity, of which only very few human beings know, or wish to know, anything. The one Father-ground of the world revealed himself in three hypostases. Each of them is of the same essential nature as him, and each of them can say with Christ: “He who has seen me has seen the Father-ground of the world.” Only, here the question arises: How can the human being see the other two hypostases? He has, in fact, no sense-organ for them. Substance shows itself to him as matter, but matter is an illusion: it appears and disappears. The Holy Spirit shows itself to him only in thought, but thoughts are abstract and only a shadow cast by the spirit.
And what does “seeing” actually mean? Real “seeing” is only possible to beings gifted with an ‘I’, who can make conscious to themselves what they see. And as the human being has an ‘I’, he can make conscious to himself the existence of the God of the ‘I’, the Christ, the manifestation of the Father-ground of the world in the ‘I’. But man becomes conscious of this through being incarnated in a body of flesh and blood; he is only individual at all in such a body. This is why God became man, incarnated on the earth. Thus God came towards man, and man should understand this. Whoever saw Jesus had not yet seen the Christ. We know from the Gospels how difficult it was even for the apostles to recognize Christ. (And today we are even faced with the task of seeing Christ without the physical body.)
Father-ground of the world showed
himself in Christ to the human being,
thereby placing himself in relation to
man in his deepest and lowest position.
This relation grows real for the human
being, if it happens in his ‘I’, because
he then becomes conscious of it. The
time will come when man also perceives
the Father-God and the Holy Spirit. This
can only take place outside the body,
with a heightened power of the ‘I’.
Christ leads the human being to this.
Through identifying with his power, he
becomes able to overcome the antithesis
between spirit and matter – in order in
this way to overcome the contrast
between the two sides of the one single
reality and lead this back into the lap
of the all-unity, the lap of the
Father-ground of the world. So mighty is
the task the human being has to
In order to make evolution possible, the principle of predestination and relation was replaced by the principle of freedom, thereby making it possible for man to choose between ascent and descent. For the birth of the new ‘I’ a sphere of “nothingness”, of non-being, is necessary, which can only arise at the periphery of revelation. The triangle of primal revelation, and with it the triangle of the All-Man, had to turn with its apex downwards and begin the descent. (We will remark in passing, that at this stage the path of Christ to Golgotha began.)
course of evolution this descent led
through the spheres of the creative
consciousness of the nine hierarchies,
Divine beings who arose before the
beginning of our universe. They, too,
revealed themselves from the
Father-ground of the world, emerged from
him in order to carry out his will.
Their names are well-known: Seraphim,
Cherubim etc. They became Gods, creators
of evolution. Out of them proceeded
hosts of helping beings, elementary
spirits of the most varied kinds with
different tasks. It needs to be
understood that the universe consists
only of beings and their interrelations.
It contains no emptiness and no neutral,
passive, filling-out of space. Every
point – is a personified centre of
Through the working out of the hierarchies right down into the depths, at the boundary, in fact, between being and non-being, (this should not be imagined spatially), a kind of projection arose in response to the descent of the higher, tri-une man. Thus began the process of his becoming an independent, autonomous individuality. This projection was imbued with the striving to ascend to meet its descending archetype. As the image and likeness of God, this projection is also threefold and the ‘I’s of the hierarchical beings, one after the other, worked within it.
process can be represented with the help
of two triangles (Fig 4), which form, as
they touch, the seven-membered and
consequently developing being of man.
The will of the Father manifests in the
otherness-of-being of emerging man as
the human physical body. The name of the
Holy Spirit manifests as the astral,
soul-body, the basis of the nerve-senses
activity. The kingdom of the Son
manifests as the ether-body, the bearer
of all life-processes. In place of the
higher ‘I’ the human being has in the
course of a long evolution, and already
in its final phase, formed its
mirror-image, its shadow, the lower,
earthly ‘I’, which lives by the grace of
reflection and sense-perception.
describe the evolution of man in a
highly condensed form, one can divide it
into three stages, which we will once
more explain with the help of an
illustration, so that the pictorial
consciousness of the reader is
addressed. This is the figure that
follows (Fig 5).
Through the evolution of the triangle of the three-membered human bodily nature, the return takes place of the Father-ground of the world, to himself, who had allowed his revelation to create otherness-of-being, a new world which was to separate from him and give birth to the free will of man. In doing so, the One God placed himself in a state of dependency upon his creation. This is something that a few people understand. Angelus Silesius, for example, expresses it thus: “I know God cannot live │one moment without me: │If I’m destroyed, in want │he must give up the ghost.” This evolutionary connection between God and man is cruciform. This is why Plato says that the world-soul is fixed to the world-cross. The drama of the descent, the growing distance of the creation from its Creator, takes place in the vertical. And the ascent, the return, also takes place along it. Moving on the horizontal axis is the process of becoming in time, the interaction of the past with the future through the present. Along both axes one should trace lemniscates, whose nodal points coincide at the centre of the cross. And with this a mighty law stands before us, which explains an unusual number of things. To throw light on this, is not possible in our short study. Here, we will only mention briefly how it is applied – in a falsified form – by the “Ingsoc” in Orwell’s novel. The saying proclaimed there: “To him who possesses the past belongs the present; he who possesses the present owns the future.” And we would add: he owns the ascent and the downfall of evolution. This example should at least show the reader that we are not dealing with abstractions.
On the first stage of evolution in our triangle the higher ‘I’ is also working, but quite instinctively. And the creative working of the ‘I’ of the Father-ground of the world comes to meet it, and in such a way that this working is mediated, at each stage of the descent, by the ‘I’ of the corresponding hierarchy. On the final stage it is the ‘I’ of the Angel, also known as the “Guardian Angel”.
It is quite obvious that the interaction of the two ‘I’s is a kind of metamorphosis, a turning into its opposite, whereby the higher spiritual element inwardizes itself in the lower: the will of the Father – in the physical body; the kingdom of the Son – in the ether-body; the name, the Holy Spirit – in the astral body. Thanks to this, the three bodies move towards a situation where the human being, after attainment of his higher ‘I’, will imbue them fully with his individual consciousness. Man will then become conscious of his entire being – a capacity that the hierarchical beings possess. He will himself ascend into their ranks. The point of departure for the journey to this goal is placed in the lower ‘I’ which is able, with the aid of spiritual science, to collaborate consciously in this work of “changing into the opposite” (polar inversion).
happens on the third stage of evolution
(cf. Fig. 5). But first, evolution goes
through the second stage where, out of
the three-membered bodily nature grows
the three-membered soul: sentient soul,
rational soul, and conscious-soul. To
begin with, it has an archetypal
character and is not individualized, but
gradually, in the course of the
cultural-historical process, there arise
within it personal feeling, thinking and
willing. They come to individually
controlled interaction in the lower ‘I’.
Then to the one lemniscate of human
evolution another is added. In it, the
higher, but instinctive ‘I’ works from
below in interplay with the lower ‘I’,
which is active from above in the
triangle of the three-membered soul. In
this way is effected the raising upright
of earthly man in soul and spirit.
the lemniscate of the third stage of
development emerges. Within it the lower
‘I’ from the triangle of the soul comes
into an interaction with the higher ‘I’,
which is personified by the ‘I’ of the
Angel. Here begins the human being’s
individual evolution, which he must
direct himself. And here tragedy begins
for the souls who, under the influence
of the religious confessions, wish to
remain forever “children of God”.
of the higher ‘I’ by the human being
begins in his thinking. For, here he has
reached the culmination of his
self-consciousness. Mastery of logic, of
the dialectical thinking that is able to
exercise and embody the autonomous
movement of thought plays a special role
here. Such a form of thinking is an
expression of the universal opposition
of higher and lower, of Gods of normal
and Gods of retarded development, of the
denial of spirit by matter and of matter
by the spirit. For this reason, in this
kind of thinking every thought negates
itself and out of the negation of the
two opposites the new, the new thought,
Thus in Hegel, for example, being and non-being cancel each other out and from this emerges becoming. Is this not a marvelous result of human thinking?
In the upper triangle of the higher ‘I’ which is, as it were, given provisionally to the human being by the Angel, the dialectical movement of the lower ‘I’ can give rise, so to speak, to the movement of the higher dialectic in which, instead of negation and antithesis, relation comes into effect once more. A certain general element (5) that is experienced by the human being in intellectual beholding, after he has superseded the lower ‘I’ in the nodal point of the lemniscate (4), comes in relation to the spiritual-individual nature of the human being (6), does not strive for its cancellation, and both strive for union in the All-Oneness (7) (see Fig. 6). This is the beginning of the individual being of man in the higher ‘I’. This requires a metamorphosis of the form of consciousness itself; in it must take place direct perception of the world of ideas.
process of the birth, the development of
the human ‘I’ and its conscious entry
into the spiritual world, the second
half of the single reality we have
described, has long been known in the
world, and it was enshrined in the
symbol of the Holy Grail (Fig. 7). In
pre-Christian times this was known as
the star of Solomon.
This symbol shows that in the course of evolution a partial interpenetration of upper and lower occurs. This creates a kind of space for the emergence of the human ‘I’. The ‘I’-point at the centre of the cross is normally not shown. But in his inner representation one who knows always has it inwardly present before him. However, generally speaking, what we recognize here is the symbol of the primal revelation of the Father-ground of the world, from Figs. 1 and 4.
But here God is not about to create man – the human being is striving for union with God. The point of the ‘I’ strives to expand into the universal circle of being in general, All-being, to live as an ‘I’ in every single point of the sphere.
We must now examine in more detail how in the lower sphere of being the principle of antithesis, of negation, takes the place of the principle of relation which is intrinsic to higher being. If we venture further into this question, we will certainly risk being accused, in the end, of abstract theologizing. Our reply to this, is that only through a deepened investigation of these things does insight become possible into the universal, cosmic battle that has finally assumed the form of the political struggles which are in a position today to hurl civilization into the abyss.
How, therefore, did the replacement of one principle by the other come about? When the form of the Divine primal revelation began to move away from the source from which it had originated, this entailed of course a lessening of the degree of its spirituality. Spirit gradually became non-spirit – matter. To enable such a process to take place, spirit had to set itself in absolute antithesis, opposition, to God. This is how one should see the cause of evil.
next thing to consider is that there
must be spiritual beings who took upon
themselves the task of separating the
creation from its Creator and thereby
bringing it into opposition to him.
These beings spring from one part of the
Divine hierarchies. God had to permit a
division within their ranks so that one,
or rather two sections of them took it
upon themselves to create the antithesis
by placing themselves in opposition to
the third, which remained faithful to
the Father-ground of the world. Had this
not happened, the new creation, man,
could never become the tenth hierarchy
which it is destined to become: the
hierarchy of freedom and love, which
previously existed nowhere in the
universe. One day he will become free,
no longer following the old laws, but
creating for himself a new law, and he
will place his boundless love of God and
of all his creatures at the foot of the
throne of the One God.
The two kinds of hierarchical beings who lent their support to the descent are what we call the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic. Thanks to them action was followed by counteraction. This led to a new kind of development but, at the same time, they had to remain behind in evolution. This is a gigantic sacrifice!
With the leading away of the creation from its Creator they contributed unavoidably to its individualization, they split up its universal consciousness. But when in the human being the individual ‘I’ is born, they become its opponents.
Here one should bear in mind that the universalism of the One God is inherent in all the planes, spheres and beings of his revelation. Therefore, the beings who take upon themselves the task of working counter to predestined development do this not on a formal level, but strive with all their power to fill the entire universe with their activity and replace it with themselves. To recognize this, it is enough to consider how a plant, a tree, could cover the entire face of the earth with its seeds if it were not held within bounds. The confrontation of spiritual beings is absolutely irreconcilable. For this reason the Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings are – poles apart from one another. In their dealing with them the Divine hierarchies who are on the path of normal development neutralize the intentions of the one side with those of the other side and thus create the balance. This enables evolution also to advance on a basis of universalism.
The Luciferic beings, in order to wrest evolution away from God, strive to draw it back into the spiritual, without waiting for development in its rightful progress to bring about of itself the ascent into the spiritual; they try to turn evolution back into the past. They hope to return it to its initial state, but then to be able to assert their authority in place of the Father-ground of the world, and then begin with the creation of their own universe whose universal ‘I’ would be Lucifer.
The Ahrimanic beings drag evolution downwards into the sub-physical in the attempt to transform matter into sub-physical forces and energy and thus wrest it away from God forever. And their aim is to accelerate development to an unlimited degree. They wish to anticipate the future as rapidly as possible. The laws of normal development are thereby broken. Evolution which, in such a case, materializes too quickly sinks into the sub-physical and, according to the intention of Ahriman, should come to an end there and become a universe in which only his ‘I’ holds sway (see Fig. 9 below). Luciferic spirits – are the Gods of enthusiasm and inspiration, but they lead away from the earth into the past. Ahrimanic spirits – are the Gods of matter, of scleroticization, of death. The former and the latter are opponents of the human ‘I’, but differing opponents.
Up to a certain stage, their actions in the world, also vis-à-vis the human being, are justified. In order to become an individual, the human being must pass through the phases of differentiation of the group-’I’ of mankind. Thus the racial form, then the national form of human development are of necessity overcome, family ties grow weaker. All this summons up Lucifer. And in this sense he is the spirit of freedom.
Ahriman created the necessary material basis for human individualization. But his aim is to differentiate the individual human ‘I’ to an infinite degree, to atomize it. Lucifer is the friend of man up to the emergence of the individual ‘I’, then his attempt begins, to merge single ‘I’s into all possible forms of group-consciousness and gain control of it in this way. Ahriman, on the other hand, strives to carry the process of fragmentation of the ‘I’ to an ultimate extreme. It is he who inspires, so to speak, the “nano-psychology” of our time, which is able to pulverize the ‘I’ into a condition where – similarly to the procedures in chemistry whereby, from nano-particles of one element any other element can be created – out of these ‘I’ “dust-particles” a kind of primal clay is formed for the creation, the shaping, of a human being to Ahriman’s liking, or rather a sort of humanoid creature. This is the purpose and essential nature of the “freedom of the personality” promoted and propagated today by “democratic” methods. One day people will understand this, but it would be a good thing for this not to happen too late, when the departure from evolution has already become irreversible. Rudolf Steiner says in this connection that, from the beginning of the 19th century, there has been a tendency in the world towards total differentiation and specification. Arising out of the catastrophe of the 2nd World War the tendency has arisen in our own time for the division of nations into ever smaller and smaller groups of people. “National chauvinism is gaining ground continually, and this will lead to people splitting into ever tinier and tinier groups, so that in the end the group could consist of just one person. Then what might happen is that single human beings could split into a left and a right half and come into conflict with themselves, where the left human being is at loggerheads with the right” (GA 191, 15.11.19).
In the Apocalypse of St. John it is predicted that this process will finally lead to the “war of each against all”.
Thus, we are witnesses, on the one hand, of the de-individualizing of the human being in the various institutions of group-consciousness and, on the other, we see the gradual destruction of the small ‘I’ through the means of pop, rock, punk etc. “culture”.
Standing behind nationalism as such within the present phase of development is Lucifer. Behind the shattering of nationalism into small ethnic groups stands Ahriman. All the forms of modern pseudo-culture are also hostile to the personality, and lead to its alienation and fragmentation. But anyone who says this today is shouted down as an obscure reactionary – even as a Fascist. This makes impossible an understanding of the fact that criticism of modernity by the right-wing opposition has the aim of returning the human being to group-consciousness – that is to say, it is Luciferic. And it must therefore be stressed that we are speaking here of the principles of the spiritual individualization and liberation of the human being.
The highest hierarchies who assumed the role of Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings did so in full consciousness of the fact that, with the sacrifice of themselves, with their remaining behind, they are serving evolution. But when beings from the hierarchies below them – Angels, Archangels, Archai – remained behind in evolution, understanding of the reasons for this was darkened in their consciousness. They carried to a radical extreme the evil in their actions. In their struggle for a universe of their own they recognize that, to achieve this, they must gain control of the substance of an existing universe: the substance of the Father-ground of the world, which is enclosed within man. The human being must therefore understand that the battle raging in the world is ultimately not about natural resources (“oil”) or power in a political sense, or simply about earthly domination of humanity, or about ‘wallowing’ in power – all this is secondary. The main struggle is over the spiritual substance of the human being. For the retarded spirits this will be lost forever if the human being attains his higher ‘I’. For this reason they overrun him with their attacks as long as he is using only its mirror-reflection.
Orwell represents this correctly in his
novel, with the image of the foot
stamping into a human face. Not only the
face – the face is an expression of the
human personality. In intellectuals the
personality is especially strongly
developed. This is why in Orwell’s
Oceania all intellectuals are Party
members. The “proles” (the proletarian
masses) are despised and there is little
interest in them. Every dictatorship in
the world hates intellectuals if they do
not slavishly serve it. And that is the
mood not of the dictators, but of the
spirits who stand behind them. O’Brien
is merely possessed by them. This is
true of all tyrants in humanity.
In evolution all this came to expression in the fact that, with the advancing densification of matter, the form of the sensory human being manifested ever more clearly. Lucifer and Ahriman approached it from both sides, moving ever closer and pressing it together so that, in the end, that which is accomplished by normal development became a mere boundary, a surface with no width, between the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic (Fig. 8). Thus, thanks to Lucifer and Ahriman thesis and antithesis collide together at this boundary inside our head. What we gain from this helps to strengthen our lower ‘I’ but, if we develop further, we must continually widen this “fissure” of evolution – that is, we must overcome the lower ‘I’ according to the Goethean principle of “dying and becoming”. Christ himself, when he became man, also descended into this “fissure”, and since then has remained there in the human being, balancing out the attacks of Ahriman with the attacks of Lucifer, and vice-versa. In this way he brings into equilibrium the working of the spirits upon man. And he wishes the human being also to act in this way when he comes to Christ – for resurrection in the higher ‘I’.
But as for the retarded spirits, their striving is to capture and distort human thinking as they fill it with themselves, and thus to insinuate themselves with him along the path of the lemniscate (see Fig. 6) from the lower triangle of logical thinking into the upper triangle of the higher ‘I’, in order in this way to seize possession of God’s creation, the substance of the primal revelation.
is therefore not by chance that all
Utopias deal with the battle for human
consciousness. And how this battle can –
in all probability – run its course in
the future has been sketched out in an
impressive but also depressing way by
George Orwell. A mighty battle is being
fought in the world to obstruct normal
evolution, preventing the metamorphosis
of the existing ‘I’-consciousness,
object-oriented reflective thinking,
into the power of judgement in beholding
with which the human being attains the
first part of his true, higher ‘I’ – in
order then, ascending to still higher
levels of consciousness, to live with it
consciously in the world of
supersensible reality. This battle is
being fought by Luciferic Angels,
Ahrimanic retarded Archangels, and
particularly dangerous Ahrimanic beings
of another kind: retarded Spirits of
personality – Asuras – i.e. not Gods
(a-Suras) according to the ancient
oriental terminology. These manifest,
says Rudolf Steiner, in the explosion of
senseless emotions and passions in mass
gatherings of people, in stadiums for
example, and of course in rock concerts
etc. They also work in proclamations to
the masses, where the attempt is made to
influence people’s instincts. Asuras are
the chief enemies of the human ‘I’ and
for this reason the main opponents of
the Christ. They were certainly behind
the socialist experiments carried out in
Russia, China, and Cambodia. Political
life can assume such a character today!
has really reached an important
crossroads in its development. The
essentials of this condition can be
expressed with the help of a diagram.
Let us imagine the development of the entire evolutionary cycle in the form of a kind of chalice or a semicircle. On the left-hand side development leads downwards, spirit becomes matter and a multiplicity of forms arises, the evolution of species. Today this development has reached its mid-point in the human ‘I’ (the other members of the human being and the natural kingdoms had the mid-point of their development in the past). Development as a whole must now ascend. And this ascent will depend more and more upon the ascending human being. He should have the capacity, in the end, to spiritualize all matter.
The retarded beings of all three kinds named above do not wish to follow this path of ascent. In the middle of the evolutionary cycle where the greatest metamorphosis takes place (the image of the chalice can be replaced with a gigantic lemniscate, encompassing seven great conditions, the aeons of the evolutionary cycle), where the entire past in a process of metamorphosis must be imbued with the intentions of the future, their striving is to lead this future away on other paths, paths of their own.
Ahriman is prepared to continue moving forwards in the flow of time, but along an evolutionary by-road into the sub-physical where all matter finally becomes energy and force (magnetism, electricity, etc.) Thus he is now propagating and promoting a symbiosis between man and machine, the computer. And there are people (writing in the Press) who believe that, when all items of information that a person possesses are ‘transferred into quartz” (a quote), into a computer, the human being will live forever.
Ahriman wishes to abolish the world’s entire past, also on the super-sensible level, in order to begin a new evolutionary cycle of his own, and he hopes to draw all Divine beings into it. This is reality, and not the science fiction of a ‘transferral into quartz’.
Lucifer’s intentions are of a different kind. He hopes “to make out of the earth a great organic being with a communal soul, in which the single souls lose their individuality” (GA 20, 29.1.1921). To this end, he wishes to lead its future stages back into the past and make them into a kind of repetition of the earlier stages, but on his own line of evolution which severs all connection with matter and follows his spiritual path. And when it has returned to its origin, he, Lucifer, will have become the one absolute God. In his evolutionary cycle, which he, too, hopes to found in the earth aeon, he wishes to call forth projections of a certain kind, evoking real evolutionary conditions of the past, mirror-reflections in Lucifer’s world, of the true conditions of evolution in the past. In this, the human being is predestined to go through the past states of group-consciousness, back to the condition of Universal Man, only the absolute ‘I’ in him has to be Lucifer. On the Ahrimanic path the human ‘I’ is simply fragmented.
In the middle of the evolutionary cycle the Mystery of Golgotha took place. Its power is universally active in the nodal point of the entire cycle, directing the course of evolution forwards and upwards. And the human being should at such a mid-point at the crossing of three paths, decide which he is going to follow. It is over this choice that the battle is being fought – on a purely spiritual and religious level, and also socially and politically. If the human being does not wish to make this choice, he is led onto one of the descending paths. That is the reality in which we are living. The human being runs the risk of falling away from the Divinely-willed evolution, and thus, as it says in the Gospel, dying the second, soul-spiritual death, instead of attaining the Luciferic or Ahrimanic immortality promised to him. This fate also awaits all those who actively and consciously contribute to realization of the plans of the counter-forces, including the earthly priests, the initiates, of the mysteries of retarded spirits.
that, with this summary, we have
consolidated our methodological basis,
we are freer to proceed with our study
of the world-wide battle of the spirits
in its political form.
1 Those familiar with this term should note that, before every aeon, the human being stands on his original highest level – that is, he is in the original condition from which the aeon of old Saturn had arisen.