Events in the Ukraine and a Possible Future Scenario
Book 3, Chapter 7
VII. “The Beast from the Abyss”
Our task remains now, to view the constellation of our time within the world of supersensible forces and to understand why all that is happening at the present time is so tragic. In this connection we will quote a particularly striking statement of Rudolf Steiner. He says in one of his lectures: “The universe, with regard to its inner substance and essential being, to the extent that it is the universe of man, consists of nothing else than love, it is nothing other than love... But this love is something inward, it can be experienced by souls inwardly. It would never come to outer manifestation if it did not first build up its body out of the element – the etheric element – of light....
The universe, insofar as the human being is rooted in it is love in its inwardly essential being, that has come to manifestation outwardly through the light. Essential being, because we have here to do with the beings of the higher hierarchies, who are borne upon this love and experience this love inwardly... The outer appearance of the beings is love, and the outer appearance of love is light.”
Let us imagine crystal-clear water that is absorbed by a dirty sponge. If you then squeeze it, dirty, clouded water comes out. “Divine love, manifesting in the light, absorbed in the age of development of the consciousness-soul by all the ingredients of evil that rage latently or openly in humanity in the age of consciousness-soul development, becomes Divine wrath.
It is the mystery of the next epoch that, through all that happens in humanity, Divine love will manifest in the form of Divine wrath – Divine anger, which will give protection from all the material configurations that arise as a result of the materialistic epoch of the consciousness-soul; it will give protection from further harmful working by causing these configurations/structures to pass away” (GA 346, 19.9.1924).
Of the seven Archangels who guide the development of the cultural periods, it is Oriphiel who is regarded as the Archangel of “Divine wrath”. And he is now preparing – temporarily, and not within his own epoch – for the Archangel Michael the conditions that will enable Michael, despite all the hindrances of materialism, to fulfil his mission in his present epoch. The guilt of mankind in relation to development began to accumulate long ago, and in the following way:
“After his Resurrection, Christ received his disciples into a path of esoteric schooling; he gave them many important teachings. All of this perpetuated itself in the first centuries after fulfilment of the Mystery of Golgotha. This was meant at some stage to come to an end... there were – in the writings condemned as “gnostic” and in other, earlier texts of the old Church teachers, who were pupils of the Apostles or pupils of the Apostles’ pupils – mighty esoteric teachings about Christianity, which were then abolished by the Church because the Church wanted to be rid of that which was always bound up with these teachings: the cosmic element” (GA 346, 13.9.1924). This cosmic, solar element in the Christ was already sought by Julian the Apostate, and because of this he was killed.
It is hard to say now, says Rudolf Steiner, “what would have come of European civilization if the so powerful – also externally powerful – Order of Knights Templar, which was robbed of its treasures, had been able to fulfil its intentions. But in the hearts and souls of those who could not rest until this Order had been eliminated in 1312 and Jacob de Molay had died in 1314, in the hearts of those who were the opponents of the cosmic Christ who gazes out into cosmos, Sorat came to life again and not least in such a way that he made use of the way of thinking of the Roman Church at that time, specifically in order to kill the Templars”. Sorat appeared as a vision in the inner beholding of the Templars under torture with the consequence that they slandered terribly both themselves and their Order. A horrific, demonic drama unfolded before their souls (GA 346, 12.9.1924). And a similar drama is being performed in a grandiose fashion on the “stage” of the present time.
What sort of spirit is he, this Sorat? When we mentioned in Part I that Ahriman incarnates in a rhythm of 666 years, it should be borne in mind that this is the rhythm of another, still mightier cosmic being who needs no earthly incarnation – and this being is Sorat.
In the Bible Sorat is called Satan. “Satan has the rank of primal powers, of Archai, and it is he who in the course of world evolution has seized hold of this intellectuality, long before it approached the human being in the way described. He is at the present time, as it were, the most all- embracing possessor of intellectuality, and he strives to bind human intellectuality so strongly to his own, that the human being can, as a result, fall away from his own evolution. Thus, it is the striving of this Ahrimanic power to make the Mystery of Golgotha ineffective.” Up till now it can only exert an influence on the human being, but the time will come when even the Archangels will be subject to its temptation.
It is only via intellect that Satan gains access to the human being, “since the position of the intellect in man is such that within the human being it conceives the most independent content; everything else [feelings, sensations, desires] depends on certain Divine powers”. It is therefore the task of the human being to identify freely with the aims of the Apocalypse, for it is there that the power will appear, “who is the Alpha and Omega of the ongoing creative forces, the creative Being of evolution”.
Satan was at work with special intensity in the East of Europe where, in the Bolshevist experiment, every means was applied, to join human beings together in such a way that a group-soul condition would of necessity arise. “If, then, the most intelligent are conveyed in this way into the lower realm of the Ahrimanic, then the groups formed there can, as groups, only be handed over to Ahrimanic powers; and then this would enable the Satanic powers to tear humanity out of earth evolution and insert it into a different planetary evolution. The group- soul condition can only thrive if the intellectual element is, in a certain way, fully emancipated. The most sophisticated first attempts in this direction are being made in the East today... but such things can definitely be found also in Middle and Western Europe”; for example, in the experimental psychology of William James and others, who introduce a statistical approach into psychology, etc. (GA 346, 22.09.1924), and now also that which awaits us from day to day and was actively prepared in the course of the last few decades; for, “wherever there is perversion, there the material is given in which mighty Asuric forces radiate out refined intellectuality into the world... The black magician draws from the swamp of sensuality the strongest forces to work in his service. Sexual rites are there to entice and bind people into those circles” (GA 93a, 17.10.1905).
With this, we are given an extremely penetrating explanation of what is happening today and why it is happening.
In the last Oriphiel epoch Christ descended on Good Friday “into hell” and fettered Satan’s power; he consigned it for a certain period of time to a kind of latent state, so as to give human beings time to unite with the Christ impulse. But it says in the Apocalypse that the ‘Beast’ will at some point be released from his prison. “One would have to say in the spirit of the writer of the Apocalypse: Before the etheric Christ can be rightly taken hold of by the human being, humanity must first come to terms with the encounter with the Beast which rises up in 1933” (GA 346, 20.9.1924).
Interestingly enough, a number of not especially bright Anthroposophists, after they had read this, said with self-satisfaction: Ah, now everything is clear: Hitler is an Asura! They obviously failed to understand that the fallen spirit of Personality, the Archai, only works in a generally human sense and everywhere in the same manner: his methods include football, discotheque, rock concerts and the sexual revolution; he is present in all Bolshevistic and large-scale socio- psychological experiments. The year 1933 was noteworthy in the fact that the configuring of the inverted pentagram as an expression of the socialization of the activity of the Asura, Satan, was then complete.
This took place in our own time on a social-political level, but it contains an echo of the beginning of the Christian era. The writer of the Apocalypse saw “behind the scenes of what was happening when Christianity fled from Rome to the East [Byzantium], and he saw Christianity accepting other forms of knowledge [materialistic]. He saw breaking into this Christianity that was threatened by mere appearance from two sides [East-West] the powerful counter-principle of Arabism. And as he saw behind the scenes of outer Arabian and Mohammedan actions, it grew clear to him: working there against the Sun genius, the Sun intelligence, is the Sun demon [Sorat]... If he had been asked, the writer of the Apocalypse would have called the representatives of Arabism in Europe “people devoted to the Sun demon” according to their soul-disposition. And it was clear to him that from this Arabism everything rises up, that brings the human being closer to animality – in their world-views, but gradually also in their will-impulses...
What would happen if Arabism, the teaching of the Sun demon, would be completely victorious? – Then humanity would be banished from an experience of those states which need to be experienced by human beings if the working of karma from earlier incarnations or transubstantiation is to be understood. Ultimately, that which flowed from Arabism was directed against the understanding of transubstantiation. True, outer facts give no indication of this”, but the Sun demon, who “only accepts the validity of the ancient Father-principle, the connections given by nature”, had precisely this intention (GA 346, 12.9.1924).
“At the end of this [20th] century,” Rudolf Steiner continues in the same lecture, “we arrive at the point in time when most powerfully Sorat will raise his head again from the waves of evolution, and he will be the opponent of that beholding of the Christ which the people prepared for it will have already in the first half of the 20th century, through the becoming visible of the etheric Christ. It will only be a further two thirds of the century, before Sorat raises his head in a powerful way.” In the year 666 “Sorat was still mysteriously inwoven into the evolutionary course of events; one did not see him in an outward form; he lived within the deeds of Arabism... When the second 666 years had elapsed, he showed himself in the thinking and feeling of the tortured Knights Templar. And before the close of this century he will show himself by appearing in many people as that being by whom they are possessed. One will see people emerge, of whom it will be impossible to believe that they are real human beings” (ibid.).
Sorat also works as a terrible sub-natural force. He tries to bring from their right path, not only human beings, but also the whole earth. He is not merely an evil, but also a lofty being, albeit one that has gone astray: For Michael, “Satan is not actually a being to despise; he is one to be immensely feared, because this power, which belongs to the hierarchy of the Archai, appears to Michael to stand higher than he does, himself. It is simply that Michael chooses to go in the direction that is in keeping with earthly evolution.
Michael decided long ago to walk within those planetary cycles that are determined by the Sun existence. Satan is a power that lurks continually within our cosmos. There is something uncanny about this lurking of Satan. This can be observed, my dear friends, at those moments when a comet, which has a different path than the planets, is seen shooting through our cosmos”.
“The idea that these comets describe long ellipses is nonsense... And there Satan is lurking, in order to intercept any comet that comes along and use it in its course direction so that he can bring the planets out of their orbit, and also the earth... But this system of the planets, in whose orbits human beings are supposed to move, would in this way be taken away from those Divine-spiritual powers and be brought into quite other directions of world evolution. This intention is seen by Michael as a most terrible aberration of which, however, Michael must say to himself: I could not even have such an intention because, for a being standing in the hierarchy of the Archangeloi, it would be from the very start a hopeless undertaking. Only beings who stand in the hierarchy of the Archai have the forces needed to carry out something of this kind. Michael, who works within the planetary orbits from the Sun and who has become what is called in occultism the Archangel of the orbital periods or a planetary spirit, decided long ago to remain in his activity within these orbital periods. It is an Angelic decision to remain faithful to these orbital periods” (ibid. 15.9.1924).
It is therefore the sacred duty of each human being to live and act within the spirit of the intentions of the Archangel Michael. And as to the removal of the planets from their orbits, even materialistic experts have already pointed out that, in the cosmos that surrounds the earth, something is not as it should be.
And, finally, we must not fail to bear in mind that, whatever form things may assume in the supersensible world, a great deal – maybe even the most essential – depends upon what human beings do. And – regardless of what Sorat’s people may be shouting out – they need to know the following: “This is the characteristic element, that was sparked off by the Mystery of Golgotha above all: namely, that the spiritual impulses were led down right into what is directly physical- human; that the flesh must, as it were, be taken hold of by the spirit. It has not yet happened... But it was for the sake of this carrying down of spiritual impulses that Christ became flesh in a human body. And this carrying down, this permeation of the flesh by the spirit, that is what characterizes the mission – it is in fact the mission – of white humanity. Human beings have their white skin colour because the spirit works in the skin when it wishes to descend to the physical plane. That the outer physical body should become a dwelling for the spirit, that is the task of our 5th culture-epoch, which was prepared by the other four culture- epochs [i.e. this was prepared over the course of nearly 10,000 years! – G.A.B.]. And it must be our task to acquaint ourselves with those cultural impulses which show the tendency to bring the spirit into the flesh, to lead the spirit into everyday existence.
If we recognize this fully, we will also be clearly aware of the fact that, where the spirit is still to be active as spirit, where it is in a certain way to remain behind in its development – because in our time its task is to descend into the flesh – that, where it remains behind, where it takes on a demonic [i.e. elemental – G.A.B.] character and does not fully permeate the flesh, the white skin colour does not arise, because atavistic forces are there, which do not allow the spirit to come into complete harmony with the flesh...
White humanity is still on the path of receiving the spirit ever deeper and deeper into its own being. Yellow humanity is on the path of conserving those historical periods where the spirit is kept distant from the body, where the spirit is sought outside the human-physical organization, and only there. The consequence of this must be, that the transition from the 5th to the 6th culture-epoch cannot but entail a mighty struggle of white humanity with coloured humanity in the most varied spheres of activity.” And all that precedes this struggle will occupy world-history until the outbreak of the great battles between these sections of humanity. We stand here before something of colossal dimensions that will of necessity occur in the future.
What comes in the 6th and 7th epoch will absorb into itself the accomplishments of the 5th epoch and will have to live off these accomplishments. “The 5th culture-epoch has the task of deepening outer, idealistic life into spiritual life.” But “in the East they will not have the forces needed to bring about productively a spiritual life of their own; they will only be able to absorb into themselves what has been produced...
Try quite objectively to make clear to yourselves, without prejudice, the difference between these two streams of humanity. Try to realize in full clarity how, since the emergence of that part of humanity which we call the Germanic peoples a struggle has taken place over the permeation of the outer physical with the spiritual, and how the deeper strata of Christianity have been accepted.”
“What, then, is the history of Middle Europe, if not a continuous struggle for the lighting-up of the Divine spark in the personal soul, the manifestation of the spiritual in the physical? All the rest can be ignored, but the truth must be recognized, the characteristic element of this Middle European nature must be understood” (GA 174 b, 13.12.1915).
And something else: It will later be discovered “that this war [the 1st World War] is a conspiracy against German spiritual life” (GA 174 b, 30.9.1914).
And what is happening in Middle
Europe at the present time is nothing other than an
attempt to tread German spiritual life into the dust
The “New Atlantis” of which the English Lord Chancellor Bacon – a scholar and a pillar of materialism – wrote, has therefore come to an end.
On the waters of the new world-wide Flood floats the newly- constructed Noah’s Ark. It will have to float on a living sea of suffering and tears, of blood and fire. Its course is set for a vague and completely indeterminate future. What is going on in the inner soul-realm of its passengers? (Let us recall the agonized question of Winston Smith: “I can understand the ‘how’, but not the ‘why’.”)
When Christian Rakovsky, a comrade-in-arms of Lenin and Trotsky and a 33 degree Freemason, was under interrogation by a “red Inquisitor”, realizing the illusory nature of the personal safety promised to a Brother of his rank, confessed the following to his investigator: “I will tell you what sort of deep secret it is that they promise to unveil to a Freemason on one of the highest degrees, but which is revealed to him neither on the 25th nor the 33rd nor on any other level, however high, of any rite whatever... Every Masonic organization aims to achieve the triumph of the Communist revolution... And since the goal of the Communist revolution is the liquidation of the entire bourgeoisie as a class – the physical destruction of all bourgeois political governments –, the actual secret of Freemasonry is the suicide of Freemasonry as an organization and the physical suicide of any more or less important Freemason [precisely this happened in the years 1935- 39, and Freemasonry had already been forbidden by Lenin]... Should you ever happen to be witness of a revolution of any kind, do not miss the opportunity to observe the gestures of astonishment and the expression of stupidity on the face of any Freemason at the moment he becomes aware of the fact that he must die at the hands of the revolutionaries...”
This is the nature of the ‘why?’ of some of the passengers on the “neo- Noah’s Ark”. But what gives the “Fathers of Darkness” their inspiration? – Purgatory, the funeral pyre of the all-purifying flame. This time it is to be bigger than ever. Those who were once wiped out by the “red Inquisition” have now brought the whole world under their control. Moral decline has assumed Apocalyptic proportions. Human beings interchanged good and evil, they have made sin into the yardstick for the new morality etc. There is no lower limit to moral degradation. Consequently, there will be no “upper limit” to the number of “avengers”. Humanity needs to be taught a lesson that it will not have forgotten in one hundred or two hundred years. This is, roughly speaking, the way the “Fathers of Darkness” think.
This would perhaps not be to the liking of many – or even very many – people. Then they can be offered the alternative described in Albert Pike’s prophecies.
The Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev is, of course, right when he says:
“Blessed is the man who visited this world in its minutes of destiny”.
But he is only right in the higher, spiritual sense. Vladimir Soloviev conveyed a quite different message in words that apply to us all – “those small folk” who live in the “earthly vale of tears”:
“Humbly will bow in fear and
So, what should we do?
Thus inquires insistently the stubborn spirit of man, who never believes in inevitability of any kind. However, the human being will not receive an answer to this question so long as he seeks it exclusively via those paths that have led him to the necessity to ask it under the conditions of the present crisis. The answer does exist and has existed for a long time. Today a paradoxal state has come about in the world. People are running about in panic, asking: Where is the exit? Where is the exit? And near them other people are standing, who say to them: It’s there! There is your exit! But they don’t want to listen. Instead, they gladly listen to others who show them a blank wall as an exit. Or, worse still, who say to them: The way out is to destroy your accursed white race! It is because of them that your spirit has become over-complicated and you are going out of your mind.
But what do people say, who know where the real way out is to be found? In 1918, when a hopeless situation began to arise in the world, Rudolf Steiner warned: “Let teaching be done for another three decades as it is done in our colleges; let thinking about social questions continue for another 30 years, as it is practised today, then after these 30 years you will have a Europe in ruins” (GA 194, 14.12.1919).
As we know today, teaching
and thinking continued in the same way as before,
and as a result another World War broke out. But
even from this people did not draw the right
conclusions. Humanity still sinks ever deeper in
the mire of materialism. The individual spirit
begins to be extinguished, to break up into small
fragments of the lower ‘I’, which regards as
manifestation of freedom the arbitrary wilfulness
of the instincts, which it is quite unable to
tame. But the ‘I’, the genuine ‘I’ is the force
that can transform the foundations of the human
soul. And you can put forward any ideals you may
wish, you can “speak in the belief that with
demands – however urgent they may be – something
is being done for the future of humanity – all
this will be in vain if the transformation does not take
place from out of the foundation of the human
soul: out of the thought of the relation of the
world to the spiritual world. If radically new
lessons are not learnt, if a transformation of
thinking does not take place, then a moral Flood
will inundate Europe!” (ibid.)
This deluge has already inundated us and the water is up to our necks. And how does humanity respond?
Amazingly enough, it responds in exactly the way described in the vision of the Apocalypse: “And they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds” (Revelation 16, 10-11). And in this situation what can await us in the future? Rudolf Steiner gives the answer to this question: “If nothing but outer materialistic impulses work in the world and in human heads and human hearts... then, in truth, not only Germany and the Middle European countries and Russia, but the entire civilized earth will gradually be enveloped in chains of slavery and will never know happiness again. For, through all that only comes from the past the world has reached an end... Something new must come from the spiritual world” (GA 187, 31.12.1918).
And now literally in our own day, we see how these chains are being forged, and by people who will also never know happiness again. But who is in a position to explain this to them? Half measures are not good enough. It is, indeed necessary to change the type of the human personality. And humanity therefore needs a revolution. But of course this must not be political, still less racial, it must be spiritual in character. To wish to alter the type of the human personality by racial mixing is the greatest folly ever conceived by man. Rudolf Steiner points a way out of the situation that has arisen through this folly. He says: “The mission of Christ consists in the overcoming of all that is naturally given, the cultivation of love for humanity as a whole over against life within the race... Through the Christ, through universal humanity, that which belongs to the individual folk, the egoism of the nation or people, is to be overcome. The solution is not that one should work against what is naturally given, on the same level of reality as what is naturally given, but that one takes up what is given by nature and brings about a balance between the purely spiritual and what is given by nature... universal humanity, universal love of man, is something different from what arises from families, peoples, race, nation etc. But the one should not be eliminated by the other; race and individual must be brought into harmony” (GA 342, 15.6.1921) – the individual who incarnates from race to race and from nation to nation is to be brought into harmony with the laws and tasks of the general evolution of mankind, but also of his personal evolution and his destiny, his karma.
The physical mixing of the races and the turning away from Christianity in the name of some kind of religious tolerance, will only strengthen materialism still further and human beings will endlessly “gnaw their tongues for pain”. Not racial mixing, but the reform of education in the spirit of Waldorf pedagogy will save Europe from downfall, lead to a renewed flowering of the white race and endow it with the spiritual forces it needs, to help the rest of the world to flower once more. In the situation of today, however, the human being is weak precisely because the Ahrimanic character of education in recent centuries has utterly destroyed the spiritual courage that people would need today, more than ever before. An education system based on Anthroposophical spiritual science alters the type of personality fundamentally in the direction of Christianity in the epoch of its practical realization.
Waldorf pedagogy knows no national borders and no racial or other differences between human beings. Such differences are only important from the standpoint of the personal human peculiarities of the harmonious development of the individual.
One would wish firmly to believe that this pedagogy will, sooner or later, be adopted throughout the world – in West and East, in South and North.
And at some point the races themselves will also be overcome. They emerged once and will certainly pass away. But this will not happen “until the idea of brotherliness has been realized in practice on the earth”. Then the races will be overcome, and “also karma” (GA 109/111, 12.6.1909). Humanity will then rise to a more spiritual form of being. And the foundation for this is laid by the message of the Holy Spirit, borne by Anthroposophy, a message that draws all human beings into a great brotherly unity.
Is the European of today capable of understanding all this? At least of the Middle European it can be said that he will comprehend spiritual science, Anthroposophy, “if he brings understanding to the best that his guiding spirits have willed and have embodied in their works” (Beiträge zur GA, Nr. 10).
Anthroposophy has the deepest affinity to the guiding spirit, the Archangel, of the German people. Also the other Archangels expect of their peoples, that they will accept Anthroposophy.