The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic Scand

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic Scand

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:43 pm

The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic Scandinavian Mythology)
by Rudolf Steiner
Series XIII
A Course of Eleven Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
(Shorthand Report unrevised by the Lecturer)
Authorised Translation: Edited by H. Collison
Copyright, 1929, by Marie Steiner




Printed for Members of the School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Class I. No person is held qualified to form a judgment on the contents of this work, who has not acquired — through the School itself or in an equivalent manner recognized by the School — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded; the authors decline to take them as a basis for discussion.


Lecture 1 June 07, 1910
Lecture 2 June 08, 1910
Lecture 3 June 09, 1910
Lecture 4 June 10, 1910
Lecture 5 June 11, 1910
Lecture 6 June 12, 1910
Lecture 7 June 12, 1910
Lecture 8 June 14, 1910
Lecture 9 June 15, 1910
Lecture 10 June 16, 1910
Lecture 11 June 17, 1910
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:44 pm


This Synopsis of Contents is in no sense authoritative but is merely intended for the possible convenience of students: —


The homeless man. Message to the Folk-Souls: ‘know yourselves’. The work of the Ego in transforming man, in connection also with previous embodiments of earth. Angels, archangels, archai. Transformation of their principles or bodies. Future full consciousness in sleep. Division of man. His power on a future Jupiter. Beings prematurely developed: Birds. Archangels — Folk-spirits. Post-Atlantean epochs. Time Spirit or Zeitgeist. Spirits of Cyclic Periods. The repetition of one epoch in another. Angels the link between Folk-spirits and man.


Etheric aura of countries. Archangels. Choleric, sanguine and phlegmatic temperaments effective by etheric aura of a people. Variations form national character. Spirit of Form: normal, abnormal. The abnormal are going through archangel stage. Creation of Speech. Spirit of the age, archai. Galileo, oscillation. Abnormal Spirits of Form remaining on moon, influence man's brain, from within. Two types of men: those influenced by normal spirits of age and those influenced by abnormal Spirit of Form from moon. Spirits of Languages and Thought Spirits. An abnormal Spirit of Form at Stage of Spirit of Personality may also be called an abnormal Spirit of Personality working on Thought. The abnormal archangel is really an abnormal spirit of Form working on speech. Sanskrit was created by a triple agreement between these two abnormal beings and an abnormal archangel; a constellation arose at the right time for this purpose. North Americans are under an abnormal Spirit of Personality.


Normal Folk-spirit, transforming his etheric body into Budhi or Life-spirit, two degrees above man; but man is spun into the web of this work. The three soul principles, three modifications of the astral body. The Folk-spirit has three modifications of the etheric body. To conceive of an archangel, one proceeds by pure thought, such as mathematics, no way dependent on an outer world. Archangel does not share in our sentient soul, but shares in our moral ideals in the intellectual soul or soul of higher feelings. Art and religion are influences of the archangel, because there are the operations within of moral ideals. Ego of archangel is two stages above man. As we are conscious of warmth and cold the archangel is conscious from within of the temperaments of individuals and realises their separate auras as centres of activity or negation. He realises his youth and age in his decline of a people. He is born into a people when it begins to produce blossom; but withdraws into Devachan when his people decline. Angels transform their Astral body into Spirit-self or Manas, but have not nearly finished doing it. Man is beginning to do this transformation. Angel's Ego reaches much further than man's. A case given where the spirit of the age controls the archangels is where the Dutch separated from the common German stock in order to carry the mission of the spirit of the age overseas. The same occurred when the Portuguese broke from Spain. After the active interference of the spirit of the age, the Dutch and Portuguese each receive their respective archangels normal and abnormal. Spirits of Form, Motion, Wisdom. Distinction between race and people. Normal Spirit of Form would keep one united humanity, but abnormal Spirit of Motion takes the lower grade of Spirit of Form and divides mankind into races. This belated Spirit of Motion may be called an abnormal Spirit of Motion or an abnormal Spirit of Form.


The three ages of man in which Spirit of Form takes no interest. Spirit of Form only interested in Ego, therefore when man is 19 – 20. Owing to Spirit of Motion abnormally remaining behind, man attains consciousness soon after birth, these are active as abnormal Spirits of Form. Up to 20 man under these abnormal spirits. The last third of his life under normal Spirits of Form, to whom he must repay the first third. Reason for man's dependence on earth during middle third. Only in the past were racial characteristics dependent on place of birth; owing to propagation they are inherited. Only in later Atlantis did heredity succeed locality. Idea of ever revolving wheel in evolution is wrong (c.f. Sinnett in Esoteric Buddhism). Due to abnormal spirits that place became important in another sense: Earth radiations of Africa affect childhood; of Asia affect youth; of Europe affect maturity. Hence black, yellow, white. Earth radiations of North America affect man in his decline and death. In our day racial characteristics are being overcome. After evolution of races had died in West, evolution of civilisation began and went to East. Soul characteristics (India) take the place of physical race characteristics and Atlantis is repeated in old Indian civilisation in a higher state. Battle between normal and abnormal Spirits of Form in old Persia in Ormuzd and Ahriman. Freshness of youth always declines as it goes West; productive forces decline. Physical development begins in Africa, shown in shape of African Continent, compare Asia and Europe, the latter compressed with its lands and peninsulas. The further we go West the more need to take something from East. Romans took their spiritual life from the Greek they had conquered. Rosicrucianism is the evolution of all humanity and not one part. Plato's ancestry and race.


Contour of earth's surface formed by a balance between forces of Spirits of Will and Spirits of Motion; this was the original means and is shown in Alps; something has since been added to give solidity: Spirit of Form on earth, Cherubim in air, Seraphim in heat. All radiations from centre of earth. Spirits of Form, Motion, Wisdom, work from outside earth: form in light, motion in chemical forces (Music of Spheres), wisdom in life ether. After effects of Saturn in outer as physical body; in inner man as will; of Sun in outer as etheric body; in inner man as feeling; of Moon in outer as astral body; in inner as thinking. The external physical body emanating from Spirits of Will is will seen externally. For this a whole planet had to come into existence and disappear. Similar for Sun and Moon. Earth missive must bring equilibrium to the three, and man must do this first within himself. Equilateral triangle and its centre. Fourth element thus added, Love. Trinity becomes Quaternary. This is missive of normal Spirits of Form called Spirits of Love. Here a very useful summary of Spirits.


For a proper understanding, one course of lectures should be studied alongside of other courses. On Sun are found seven Elohim or Spirits of Love. To save confusion from abnormal Spirits of Form Jehovah goes to Moon. The abnormal have centre in other planets, and form the five root races [a mistranslation of the German, Hauptrasse, Steiner was referring to main races here – e.Ed] — Negroes, Mercury; Malays, Venus; Mongolians, Mars; Europeans, Jupiter. In America races die, Saturn. These centres form Mystery places in Atlantis. To form the above races, mercurial spirits affect etheric or glandular system; Venus astral or nervous system, indirectly through breathing deep down in the sub-conscious solar plexus. Mars affects Mongolians and enters the blood thus coming in contact with Elohim on Sun and Jehovah on Moon; hence the formation of the Semitic, a modification of collective humanity. Jupiter works through senses and nervous system through respiratory organs into solar plexus of Caucasians. Greeks saw the spiritual in the physical and became basic for sculptures and art. Council of Buddha, Skythianos, Zarathas, and One still greater. Saturn ossifies the glandular system of the North American. The North American looked from old Atlantis to the One Great Spirit, not divided as later into six or seven. The picture of the meeting between a Red Indian and a white man.


Ethiopians and Malays formed in early Atlantis. The first archangel to become Spirit of the Age was he who in the East guided sacred Indian culture in first post-Atlantean epoch. After leading the Rishis he was given the leadership of post-Atlantean humanity. An archangel was promoted for Persian epoch; another for Egypt; another for Chaldea; another employed by Jehovah for the Jews. Two spiritual currents: monotheism and polytheism. Monotheism the peculiar characteristic of Semites. Archangels of Europe took longer and by the time Spirit of the Age for Egypt and Persians had become Spirits of Form, the archangel of Greece had only become a Spirit of the Age in the fourth post-Atlantean epoch. This spirit, at the time of Christ, renounced promotion to a Spirit of Form, and became the guiding spirit of exoteric Christianity, the guiding spirit of the age; as he withdrew from the Greeks, the Greeks withdrew away. The Celtic archangel renounced promotion to archai and remained archangel and the leader of esoteric Christianity, and the Celts vanished as a combined people. Mysteries of Holy Grail and Rosy Cross. The Archai of fifth post-Atlantean epoch was promoted from one of the many archangels of the manifold German peoples. And as in Europe people adhered long to Folk-spirit or archangel, the work of Spirit of the Age came very late. The German Spirit of the Age now ruling is under the influence of the Egyptian Spirit of the Age who had been promoted to Spirit of Form and is still immature. Before the Celtic archangel found his centre for the Grail, the Scandinavian had found his centre above the earth near Paderborn and Detmold, but he moved it to the Grail centre. No mythology gives so clear an Anthroposophical picture of evolution as Scandinavia. The question is how far will their tendencies be developed after the Scandinavian Spirit has been educated by the ‘Christian Spirit’ of the age.


Germanic Scandinavian Mythology. In old India the experiences of the Ego objectively came later than it did in the Scandinavian. During dim clairvoyances the Indian had not been conscious of the work of Spiritual Beings and the Folk-spirit. When they awoke to self-consciousness they could reach spiritual worlds unaided and therefore more independently than those of the West. They had, however, forgotten the lower hierarchies, and attended more to totalities of the Spirits of Motion and Wisdom. The Persian was interested one stage lower (i.e., the Spirits of Form) when his Ego awoke, but he had forgotten the other hierarchies. When the Ego of the Chaldean awoke, he was aware of Archai. The Græco-Latin had a memory of archangels and angels, and this memory was more distinct than actual experience. The Oriental having forgotten so much of the Spirits he had experienced in dim clairvoyance cannot understand the Westerner who is conscious of angels and Folk-spirits. The Oriental had developed too far to understand the Christ. The Oriental Ego had not awakened. The Ego of the Westerner awoke much earlier but in a lower state; when conscious of angels. Wotan or Odin and speech. Mimir, wisdom. Hoeder, imagination. Loder, complexion, blood. These were normal archangels; but Villy and Ve, abnormal, working within. Thor remained behind as angel to guide the German-Scandinavian, upon waking the Ego. Thor, son of Odin. Odin transforms air into words. The air passes through into Ego and produces blood, whose pulsation the hammer of Thor. Nebelheim and Muspelheim. Ginnungagap. Riesenheim.


Elucidation of 8. To the Indian, the objective Ego is unimportant; to the Westerner, all important. Lucifer in inner being or astral. Freedom and the possibility of evil. Lucifer from within leads to Ahriman outside. Old Testament conscious of Lucifer not of Ahriman. St. Mark mentions Satan, Ahriman. Difference between Mark and Matthew. Old Persian realised Ahriman. Old Indian realised Lucifer not Ahriman. The German-Scandinavian realised Lucifer and Ahriman. Loki. Lucifer influences both etheric and physical body from the astral body; and turns the etheric body to lies. The astral body which is the inner part of man, is turned to selfishness. The physical body to sickness and death. Midgard, snake, selfishness. Fenris-wolf, self-deceit. The wolf pursues Sun. The eclipse, Moon in front of Sun. Hela, sickness, death. Loki is the parent of these three influences. These myths originate from clairvoyant consciousness: Loki cause blind Hoeder to kill Balder, the one who sees clairvoyantly and Ahriman arrives. Norse mythology was actively experienced before and after the time of Christ, whereas in the Greeks it was a memory. Difference in the East. John Baptist. To the Norse man, Christ's coming meant return of Balder and the time spent on earth was a time of transition. The Northern initiates taught that men would again see into the spirit world but other powers will be added and conditions changed. Ragnarok, twilight of Gods.


Recapitulation. Tacitus and German Group Soul. Thor, representing Ego has for spouse Sif, the group soul. The Celtic group soul or Folk-spirit had task of educating youthful Ego of European peoples, this was done by Druids. As it became necessary for Folk-spirits to teach men independence, so the mysteries began to withdraw, and they withdrew into more secret depths. The successive stages of post-Atlantean civilisation (see diagram). Scandinavia, Rome, the Peninsulas, France, Britain, in relation to the Ego. The Impulse of the Spirit Soul penetrating human Ego is shown by Britain in its external constitution and world mission. The different work of the South German firstly in the Spirit Soul with Sentient Soul and the work of North German with Spirit Soul and Intellectual Soul. Hegel represents the Spirit Soul. So too Fichte. This Developing Impulse is the mission of the North Germans in Central Europe. The two opposite poles of post-Atlantis — Indian and Chinese will some day clash. The Indian is capable of development, but the Chinese remain rigid as in old Atlantis. The Great Wall of China. The old Gulf Stream encircling the Atlantean continent. Oceanos. The Chinese have enclosed within the Great Wall what they rescued from Atlantis. The sixth age of civilisation when the Spirit-self shines into the Spirit-soul is a receptive civilisation and is being prepared by Slavs of East Europe and West Asia. The West has received a series of successive worlds. In the East we find distinct consciousness of Cosmic Father, and this Father from Devachanic world fertilises Mother Earth world, and the Blessed Child in the third world. The fourth world is from Persia, the Sun. The fifth world is the Elves of Light. The Slav is receptive of West European culture showing the will to receive something better, but takes no interest in details of West Europe, Solovioff. Feeling, Thinking, Willing, human and divine. Solovioff goes further than Hegel and Kant. He is the prophetic dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean civilisation.


Norse Mythology. Descent from planets during end of Lemuria and Atlantis, of souls who previously had gone to the planets. Tacitus. Nerthus. Njodr. Riesenheim. Freyr and Freya. Gerda. Bluthuf, horse of Freyr. Miraculous expanding at sleep and contracting into skull by day. In Germanic North are best conditions for understanding second coming of Christ. Kalijuga ended in 1899. How the vision will come to a few. This new manifestation of Christ more common from middle of twentieth century. Christ appeared on physical plane because at that time the forces of man were adjusted to the physical plane; now we are becoming more highly developed. Anthroposophy is a preparation for the reception of Christ. The appearance of Christ may take a materialistic form, if man gets too materialistic. Always false Messiahs. Old clairvoyance will take a different form, but the world of Odin and Balder will return when other forces have been working in the human soul. The Folk-spirit of Scandinavia has a special clairvoyant faculty. Etheric clairvoyance is the next clairvoyance. Freyr overcome by flaming sword of Surtur. Fenris Wolf (false clairvoyance) remains to fight Odin. Etheric form of Christ will embody in etheric form of Vidar, who has all this time been silent, and he will overcome Fenris Wolf. A picture near Cologne has a likeness of Vidar, but no one knows whom it represents. These matters cannot be dealt with by feelings of sympathy or antipathy, but only by the truth revealed. Christianity belongs to no sect, place or people, for Christ is God of all humanity. We are bound as Anthroposophists to reject Dogma. The best Anthroposophists are those who take what is said as a stimulus, and prove it by life itself. Anthroposophical tolerance.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:45 pm


Written in 1918 as an introduction to these lectures which had been given in 1910.

In these lectures, which were given at Christiania in June 1910, I ventured to give a sketch of the psychology of the development of peoples. The lectures are based upon the principles of anthroposophical spiritual science laid down in my books Theosophy, An Outline Of Occult Science, The Riddle of Man, Riddles of the Soul, etc. I was able to build upon this foundation because my hearers were acquainted with the scientific views set forth in my works. In addition to this outer reason for the choice of the point of view there is, however, an inner one: the ordinary scientific study of anthropology, ethnology or even history cannot provide a sufficient foundation for a true psychology of the various folk-characters. With the knowledge provided by this science we cannot penetrate any further, just as by means of anatomy and physiology we cannot arrive at the knowledge of the inner psychic life of man. If we wish to learn the inward life of an individual being we must pass from the body to the soul, and if we desire to gain real knowledge of the characters of the various peoples we must penetrate to the soul and spirit in them. This soul and spirit is, however, not a mere co-operation of the several human souls in that people, but it is one that is higher than these. Modern science is not accustomed to study this higher soul and spirit; before its forum it is paradoxical to speak of Folk-souls as real beings, in the same way as we speak of the real thought, feeling and will of individual human beings. It is also paradoxical before this forum to connect the development of peoples on the earth with the forces of the heavenly bodies in space. But the matter is no longer paradoxical or strange when we remember that no-one tries to find the forces which make the needle of a magnet lie in the direction North-South in the needle itself. He ascribes it to the action of the magnetism of the earth. He seeks in the cosmos the reason for the direction of the needle. May we not therefore seek in the cosmos the reason for the development of folk-characters, for the migrations of peoples, etc., outside those peoples themselves? Apart from the anthroposophical view, for which higher spiritual beings are a reality, something else comes into consideration in our studies. In these lectures a higher spiritual reality is placed at the foundation of the development of the peoples, and the forces that give this development a certain direction are sought in this reality. Then we descend to the facts manifested in the life of the peoples and it is seen that these facts are thereby explained. The conditions in the life of the various peoples can thus be clearly understood, as well as their mutual relations, whereas without this foundation there is no true knowledge on this subject. One must seek a foundation for the psychology of peoples in a spiritual reality or renounce such a psychology altogether.

I have not shrunk from using for the higher spiritual beings the names customary in the early centuries of Christianity. An Oriental would choose different names. And although the application of these names may now be considered not very ‘scientific’ it seems to me better not to be afraid of using them; first of all we thus accommodate ourselves to the fundamentally Christian character of our western civilization, and again we shall be more readily understood than if entirely new names were chosen or if designations were taken from the Orient whose real meaning could only be fully comprehended by one who is at home in that civilization. It seems to me that one who wishes to penetrate into these spiritual connections, if he does not reject the matter as such, will not take offence at names like Angel, Archangel, Throne, etc., any more than he does in physical science at designations like positive and negative electricity, magnetism, polarized light, etc.

If the contents of these lectures are considered in connection with the painful trials of civilized humanity at the present time it will be found that what was then said throws a great deal of light upon what is now taking place. Were I to give these lectures now it could well be thought that the present state of affairs in the world demanded such studies. Thus for example on page three of the first lecture you will read, ‘It is especially important’ — that just in our times one should speak quite impartially on what we call the Mission of Individual Folk-souls — ‘because the fate of humanity in the near future will bring men together much more than has hitherto been the case, to fulfill a common mission for humanity.’ But the individuals belonging to the several peoples will only be able to bring their free, concrete contributions to this joint mission, if they have, first of all, an understanding of the folk to which they belong, an understanding of what we might call “the Self-knowledge of the Folk.” Presumably the time has now come when the fate of humanity itself teaches the truth of this view.

Perhaps this subject of the ‘Folk-souls’ is exactly one which shows how spiritual observation of the really super-sensible part of existence provides at the same time the really practical view of life which throws light upon the various questions of life. This cannot be done by a view of life which in the study of the nature and development of peoples only uses concepts applicable to the things of natural science. This mechanical physical science has done great service in producing the mechanical physical chemical means of culture; as an agent for the spiritual life of humanity we require a science which deals with the spiritual. Our age demands such a science.

Berlin, 8th February, 1918

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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 pm


Christiania (Oslo), 7th June, 1910.

It affords me great satisfaction to be able to speak somewhat at length for the third time to our friends here in Norway, and I should like briefly to reply, in answer to our dear friend Mr. Eriksen, that the words of hearty greeting which he has just spoken are responded to by me in an equally deep and heartfelt manner.

I hope that this course of lectures, which I am about to begin, may add somewhat to the knowledge of what we may call the entire picture of our view of the world. I should like to call your attention to the fact that this particular course of lectures must necessarily contain something that is as yet rather remote from modern human thinking, but which nevertheless belongs to the most profound truths of spiritual science. I therefore request those of our esteemed friends who have occupied themselves less with the more far-reaching questions of Anthroposophy, to take into consideration that we should not make progress in our work, if we did not from time to time take a mighty leap, make a vigorous move forward into regions of spiritual knowledge that are really somewhat remote from modern human thought, feeling and perception.

From this point of view it will sometimes be necessary to meet our explanations with a certain amount of good-will; for were I to bring forward all that might be adduced in the way of evidence and proof of what will be said here in the next few days, it would require a much longer time. We should not advance in our knowledge of this particular subject, if we were not to make some little appeal to your goodwill and sympathetic spiritual understanding. For indeed the province which we touch upon here, is one which up to our own times has been more or less avoided by occultists, mystics and theosophists, for the reason, that a higher degree of open-mindedness is necessary, in order to accept the things that are to be said, without a certain degree of opposition that might now and then be felt.

Perhaps you will better understand what we mean if you remember, that at a certain stage of mystic or occult development one is called a ‘homeless man.’ This designation is a technical one, and if we wish to characterize without further ado — as we are not now speaking about the path of knowledge — what is to be understood by the term ‘homeless man,’ we may briefly say, that a man is called ‘homeless’ when, in his knowledge and grasp of the great laws of humanity, he cannot be influenced by all that usually arises in a person through living in his native country. A ‘homeless man’, we might also say, is one who is able to identify himself with the great mission of humanity as a whole, without the various shades of the particular feelings belonging to this or the other home-land playing any part. This will show you that a certain degree of maturity in mystical or occult development is necessary, in order to have a liberal point of view regarding something which we otherwise rightly consider great, which, in contradistinction to individual human life, we describe as the Mission of the several Folk-spirits, as that which brings, out of the foundations of a people, out of the spirit of the various peoples, the separate concrete contributions to the collective mission of humanity.

We shall therefore describe what we may call the greatness of that from which the ‘homeless man’ must in a certain respect free himself. Now the ‘homeless’ men of all times, from primeval ages down to our own day, have always known, that if they were to characterize in all its fullness that which is described as the character of homelessness, they would meet with very, very little understanding. In the first place a certain prejudice would be brought against these homeless men, which would be voiced in the reproach: ‘You have lost all connection with the nation from which you have sprung; you have no understanding for that which is usually most dear to a man’. This, however, is not really the case.

Homelessness is in reality — or at least it may be so — a détour or roundabout way, so that, after this sanctuary of homelessness has been attained, the way may be found back to the folk, in order to be in harmony with what is permanent in the evolution of mankind. Although it is necessary to begin by drawing attention to this, on the other hand it is also not without reason, that just as the present time, that which we call the Mission of the several Folk-souls of humanity, should for once be spoken of quite impartially. Just as it was right that, to a certain extent, silence should be maintained regarding their mission until the present time, there are good reasons why one should now begin to speak of this mission. It is especially important, because the fate of humanity in the near future will bring men together much more than has hitherto been the case, to fulfill a common mission for humanity. But the individuals belonging to the several peoples will only be able to bring their free, concrete contributions to this joint mission, if they have, first of all, an understanding of the folk to which they belong, an understanding of what we might call ‘The Self-knowledge of the Folk.’ In ancient Greece, in the Apollonic Mysteries the sentence ‘Know thyself’ played a great rôle; in a not far-distant future this sentence will be addressed to the Folk-souls; ‘Know yourselves as Folk-souls’. This saying will have a certain significance for the future work of mankind.

Now in our age it will be peculiarly difficult to recognize beings, who to external sensible perception and knowledge do not exist, so to speak. It may perhaps not be so difficult for our present time to acknowledge that a man, as he stands before us in the world, possesses certain members, certain portions of his being, which are super-sensible, invisible. The modern materialistic mind of man may perhaps admit more easily the view, that beings, who at all events as regards their external side can be seen physically, such as human beings, may also have a super-sensible invisible part. But it must appear very unreasonable to our age, to be told about beings, who to the ordinary view, are not there at all. For what after all is it that is still referred to here and there as the soul or spirit of a nation? At most it is something that passes as an attribute, a common attribute pertaining to so and so many hundred people, or millions of people, who are crowded together in a certain country. That besides these millions of people who are crowded together in this land, something real lives there as well, which would coincide with the conception of the Folk-spirit, — and which underlies this conception, — is difficult to make clear to the man of our present day. If one were to ask, — let us now say, in order to take something neutral — what does modern man understand by the Swiss nation-spirit? He would describe in abstract expressions a few attributes possessed by the people who inhabit the Swiss portion of the Alps and Jura, and it would be quite clear to him, that this does not correspond to anything that might be recognized with eyes or other organs of perception. The first thing to be done, must be openly and honestly to form the thought, that there are beings who do not directly manifest themselves to the senses, and do not present themselves at all to the ordinary material capacities of perception; that there are, so to speak amongst the beings perceptible to the senses, other beings invisibly at work, who work into the visible beings, just as the human being works into the hands or fingers, and that we may therefore speak of a Swiss Folk-spirit as we do of the spirit of a man, and that we can just as clearly distinguish the spirit of a man from what we see before us in his ten fingers, as we can distinguish the Swiss Folk-spirit from the millions of people living in the mountains of Switzerland. It is something quite different, a being, in fact, just as man himself is a being; only man is distinguished from a Folk-spirit by the fact that he presents to us a sensibly perceptible outer side. A human being presents himself to the external organs of perception; a Folk-spirit does not present himself in an external form that can be perceived or felt by the outer senses, but is nevertheless an absolutely real being.

Today we shall endeavor to form a sort of conception of a real being such as this. How do we proceed in spiritual science if we wish to form an idea of a real being? A characteristic example of how we do this is to be obtained by glancing in the first place at the being of man. If we wish to describe man anthroposophically, we distinguish in him the physical body, the etheric or life-body, the astral or sentient body, and that which we look upon as the highest member of the human being, the ‘ I ’. We know therefore that in what we call physical body, etheric body, astral body and ‘ I ’, we have before us so to speak the man of the present day. But you know also that we look forward to an evolution of mankind in the future, and that the ‘ I ’ works upon the three lower members of the human being, so that it spiritualizes them, transforming them from the present lower into the future higher forms. The ‘ I ’ will remodel and transform the astral, so that it will become something different from what it is to-day. The astral body will then represent what you know by the name of Spirit-self or Manas. In the same way a still higher work of the ‘ I ’ will be accomplished upon the etheric or life-body, by transforming it and remodeling it into what we call Life-spirit or Budhi; and finally, the highest work of man which we can imagine at present, is that man will spiritualize that member of his being which offers the greatest resistance, the physical body; he will transform it and change it into the spiritual. That will be the highest member of the human being, when the ‘ I ’ has re-shaped what at present is the physical body; that which to-day seems grossest and most material, will, when transformed by the ‘ I ’, become the Spirit-man or Atma. Thus we see three members of the human nature which have developed in the past, one in which we now live, and three others, out of which, in the future, the ‘ I ’ will make something new.

We know too, that between the work done in the past and that which will be done in the future to form the three higher members, there lies something else. We know that we must think of the ‘ I ’ itself as inwardly organized. It works upon a sort of intermediate being. Therefore we say, that between the astral body, such as man has it from the past, and the Spirit-self or Manas, which will develop in man out of this astral body in the distant future, there are the three preparatory members: the Sentient-soul, the lowest member in which the ‘ I ’ has worked, the Intellectual-soul or Mind-soul, and the Spiritual-soul; so that we may say to-day: of that which we are developing as Spirit-self or Manas very little can be found in man to-day — at most only a beginning.

On the other hand man has prepared himself for this future work, by having in a certain way, to a certain extent, learnt to master his three lower members. He has prepared himself by having learnt to master the sentient body or astral body, by pressing into it with his ‘ I ’ and forming within it the sentient-soul.

Just as the sentient-soul stands in a certain relationship to the sentient body, so does the intellectual-soul or mind-soul to the etheric or life-body, so that the intellectual-soul or mind-soul is a feeble prototype of what the Life-spirit or Budhi will be — a feeble prototype it is true, but nevertheless a prototype; and that which is to be found in the spiritual-soul is in a certain way worked into the physical body by the ‘ I ’; therefore that is a feeble prototype of what will some day be Spirit-man or Atma. We may also say that we can recognize in man to-day — not taking into consideration the insignificant portion which he has already developed out of his astral body as the beginning of Spirit-self or Manas, — four different members. We can distinguish:

1. the Physical body,
2. the Etheric body,
3. the Astral body,
4. the ‘ I ’, which works within them,

and further, as a fore-shining of the higher members,

the Sentient-soul,
the Intellectual-soul,
the Spiritual-soul.

Here we have man as a being such as he presents himself to us today; here we comprehend man, so to speak, at the present moment of his evolution. We can see the ‘ I ’ working out the higher members, after the sentient-soul, the intellectual and spiritual souls have served as a preparation. We see the ‘ I ’ working with the forces of the sentient, the intellectual and spiritual souls, upon the astral body, upon the beginnings of the Spirit-self. At the present time we see man at this stage of his work.

Those of you — and that will be most of you — who have studied what we call the researches into the Akashic Records, the evolution of man in the primeval past and the outlook into the distant future, will know that man, such as I have just sketchily described him, has evolved; that we can look back into a distant past; that man has required long epochs of evolution in order to form the first foundations of his physical body, then those of his etheric body, and finally, to form those of his astral body and then to develop these three members further. For all this, man has required long periods of time. You may also know that man did not go through the earlier evolution of his being, for instance, the evolution of his astral body, in the same condition of the earth in which the earth is now, but that he developed his astral body in an earlier existence of the earth, in the Moon-existence. Just as we perceive our present life to be the result of earlier earth lives, of earlier incarnations, so do we look too, upon earlier incarnations of our earth. What we call the sentient-soul and the intellectual-soul, or mind-soul, were first formed in our present earth-existence. The astral body was implanted during the Moon-existence, and in a still earlier existence of our earth, in the old Sun-condition, the etheric body was implanted, and finally the physical body during the Saturn condition. So that we look back to three incarnations of our earth, and in each of these we see one of the members which man bears within him to-day, implanted first as a germ and then perfected further.

There is still something else to note, in speaking of the Saturn, Sun and Moon conditions. Just as we human beings on the earth are passing through the condition which we call the self-conscious human condition, so during the earlier conditions of our earth evolution, during the old Moon, Sun and Saturn conditions, other beings went through the stage we are now going through upon the earth. It is not of much importance whether we use the terminology of the East or that which is more customary in the West, to describe these beings. Those beings who, during the Moon-state of our earth, were at the stage which man is now passing through, and who are the next higher beings above ourselves, we call in the terminology of Christian esotericism, Angeloi or Angels. These are one stage higher than man, because they completed their human stage one epoch earlier, so that therefore these beings during the old Moon state were what we now are. But they were not human in the sense that they went about on the Moon as we do now upon earth. They were beings at the human stage, but they did not dwell in flesh as man does now. It was only that their stage of evolution corresponded to the human stage which man is going through to-day. In the same way we find beings of a still higher order, who went through their human evolution on the old Sun. They are the Archangels. These are beings who are two degrees higher than man, who went through their human stage two epochs earlier. If we go still further, back to the first incarnation of our earth-existence, back to the Saturn stage, we find that those beings went through their human stage there whom we designate as Spirits of Personality, Archai, or First Beginnings. So that, if we begin with these beings, who were men in the primeval past, during the old Saturn state, and if we then follow the incarnations of the earth down to our own period, we have the stages of evolution of various beings, down to ourselves. Therefore we can say: The First Beginnings, the Archai, were men on old Saturn; Archangels, or Arch-Angeloi, were men on the old Sun; Angels or Angeloi were men on the old Moon; men are men on our earth.

Now, as we know that we continue our evolution into the future, and that we further develop our lower members, which to-day are our astral body, our etheric or life-body and our physical body, we must surely inquire: Is it not just as natural that the beings who formerly passed through the human stage, should now be already at the stage at which they are transforming their astral body into Spirit-Self or Manas? Just as we during the next incarnation of the earth, during the Jupiter state, shall finish the transforming of our astral body into the Spirit-self or Manas, so have the Angels, those beings who were men in the Moon-period, finished the transforming of their astral bodies into Spirit-self or Manas, or they will finish it during our earth-stage, — a process we shall have to go through only during the next incarnation of the earth. If we look still further back, to the beings who were men during the old Sun-existence, we may say, that they have already, during the Moon-state, gone through what we shall have to do only in the next incarnation of the earth. They are doing the work which man will do with his ‘ I ’, [when] he transforms his etheric or life-body into Life-spirit or Budhi. Therefore in these Archangeloi, in these Archangels we have beings who are two stages above us, they are at the stage which we shall some day reach when we, from within our ‘ I ’, shall transform the life-body into Life-spirit or Budhi. When we look up to these beings we behold them in such a way that we say: we see in them beings who are two stages above us, beings, in whom we see in advance, as it were, what we ourselves will experience in the future, we look up to them as beings who are now working upon their etheric or life-body and are transforming it into Life-spirit or Budhi. In just the same way we look up to yet higher beings, to the Spirits of Personality. They are at a still higher stage than the Archangels, at a stage which man will reach in a still more distant future, when he will be able to transform his physical body into Atma or Spirit-man.

As truly as man is at the present stage of his existence, so truly are these corresponding beings at the stages of their existence which have just been described; so truly are they above us, so truly are they realities. Now this reality of theirs is not far away from our earth-existence, but rather works in it and plays apart in our human existence. We must now inquire how do these beings who are above man work into our human existence? If we wish to comprehend how they act upon us, we must bear in mind, that such beings when at work, present a different spiritual aspect, so to speak, from what those beings do whom to-day we call men. There is indeed a considerable difference between these beings who are above man and those beings who are now only at the human stage. However strange what we are about to say may sound, it will be made quite clear to you in the following lectures. True spiritual research shows that man, such as he is to-day, is to some extent at a middle stage of his existence. His ‘ I ’ will not always work upon his lower members in the way it now does, the whole human being is at the present time inwardly connected together, and forms one uninterrupted whole, as it were. In the future evolution of mankind this may become different, and it will become essentially different. When man shall have advanced so far as to be able with complete consciousness to work on his astral body, and by means of his ‘ I ’ transform that astral body into Spirit-self or Manas, he will be in a similar condition but with full consciousness, to the present unconscious or subconscious condition of man during sleep.

Just picture to yourselves the sleep condition of man. In sleep man emerges, as regards his astral body and ‘ I ’, out of his physical body and etheric body, he leaves the latter lying on the bed and floats as it were outside them. Now imagine a man in this condition in whom the consciousness awakes: ‘I am an “ I ”’ — that it awakes in this spirit-body, just as it is awake in the everyday state of consciousness. What a remarkable picture would man then present to himself. In one place he would feel, ‘Here am I,’ and perhaps there down below, far removed from the first place, ‘There are my physical and etheric bodies, they are in that place and they belong to me, but I with my other members am hovering outside and above them.’ If at the present day a man becomes conscious in his astral body, outside his physical and etheric bodies, it is then certain, however highly evolved he may be on the earth, that he can do nothing beyond moving freely about here and there in his astral body and being active here and there in the world independently of his physical body, but he cannot as yet do this with his physical and etheric bodies. In a distant future, however, one will be able from outside to guide them, for instance, from a place in the north of Europe to another place and order them to go on further, and then be able from outside to direct their movements. That is not yet possible to-day. Man will, however, be able to do this when he has evolved himself beyond the stage of the earth-evolution on to that of Jupiter, the following stage of evolution of our earth planet, and the following stage of evolution of man. We shall then feel that we can, as it were, direct ourselves from without. That is the essential thing, and that leads to a division of what we have to-day called the human being. Material consciousness can certainly not make much of this. It cannot follow what in a certain respect is already actually working in the external world in a similar way to what in the future will be the case with the human being.

Such phenomena are already here. Man could perceive them if he were to pay attention. He would see that there are certain beings, for instance, who have developed themselves in this way too soon. Just as man, if he waits for the proper moment, will reach the Jupiter-state at the right time, so that he will then be able to direct his physical and etheric bodies, so there are beings, who have developed themselves in a certain respect prematurely, without waiting for the proper time. Such prematurely developed beings we possess in the birds, and especially in those which migrate every year. It is the so-called group-soul which is connected with the etheric body of each single bird. Just as the group-soul directs the regular migrations of the birds over the earth, so will man after he has developed Spirit-self or Manas command what we call the physical and etheric bodies; he will direct them and set them in motion. He will do this in a still higher sense from without, when he has evolved so far, that in addition he is also working at the transformation of his etheric or life-body.

There are beings who can already do this to-day. These are the Archangels or Archangeloi. They are beings who can already do what man will be able to do some day, beings who can accomplish what we call ‘directing one's etheric and physical bodies from outside’; but besides this they are also able to work upon their own etheric body.

Try to form an idea of beings, working around our earth, who, as to their ‘ I ’, are contained in the spiritual atmosphere of our earth, who from this ‘ I ’ of theirs have already transformed their astral body, so that they possess a completely developed Spirit-self or Manas, but who now work with this fully developed Spirit-self or Manas upon our earth and work in upon man, by transforming our etheric or life-body; beings at the stage at which they are transforming the etheric or life-body into Budhi or Life-spirit. If you think of such beings, who belong to the spiritual Hierarchy, whom we call Archangels, you then have an idea of what are called Nation-spirits, the directing Folk-spirits of the earth. The Folk-spirits belong to the rank of the Archangels or Archangeloi. We shall see how they on their part direct the etheric or life-body, and how they thereby work in upon man and draw him into their own activity. If we contemplate the various peoples on the earth and draw special attention to some of them, then, in the characteristics and qualities peculiar to these peoples, we see a reflection of what we may consider as the mission of these peoples.

When we recognize the mission of these beings, who are the inspirers of the various peoples, we can then say what a nation really is: it is a group of persons belonging together, guided by one of the Archangels. The individual members of a nation receive what they as members of that nation are to do and what they are to accomplish, by inspiration from such a source. Hence if we can imagine that these Folk-spirits are individually different, as are the human beings on our earth, we shall find it comprehensible that the several different groups of people are the individual missions of these Archangels. If we can make a clear mental picture of how in the history of the world peoples work side by side, and how nation succeeds nation, we can then, at all events in an abstract form (and this form will become more and more concrete in the following lectures) form an idea of how all this is inspired by these spiritual Beings.

It will also be observed that in addition to this activity of people after people something else takes place in human evolution. In the period of time which we reckon as beginning after the great Atlantean Catastrophe — which so completely altered the face of the earth that the continent which lay between present Africa, America and Europe was submerged — you can distinguish the periods influenced by the great peoples from whom the post-Atlantean civilizations came forth: the old Indian, the Persian, the Chaldæan-Egyptian, the Græco-Latin and our present-day civilization, which later on will pass over into the sixth age of civilization. We also notice that various inspirers of the peoples have been at work in those civilizations, working successively. We know that the Chaldæan-Egyptian civilization continued long after the Greek civilization had begun, and this in its turn continued when the Roman had already begun. Thus we can observe the peoples side by side as well as following one after another.

But in everything which evolves in and with the peoples there is something else that evolves also. Human evolution progresses. Whether we consider one civilization higher than another is of no consequence. For instance, a person may say, ‘I like the Indian culture best,’ that may be his personal opinion. But one who is not swayed by personal opinion will say, ‘Our valuation of things is a matter of indifference; the necessary course of events leads humanity forward, although this might later be considered as a decline. Necessity leads humanity forward. When we compare the various periods, five thousand years before Christ, three thousand years before Christ, and one thousand years after Christ, we find something more which extends beyond the Folk-spirits, something in which the several Folkspirits take a part. You may observe this in our present time. How is it that in this room so many persons are able to sit together, who come here from many different countries, and understand each other or try to understand each other as regards the most important thing which has brought them together here? The different persons come from the domains of many different Folk-spirits, and yet there is something in which they understand one another. In a similar way the various peoples have understood one another in various ages, because in every age there is something that extends beyond the Folk-soul, which can bring the various Folk-souls together, something which is understood everywhere to a greater or less extent. It is what is called the ‘Zeitgeist’ or ‘Time Spirit’ or ‘Spirit of the Age’ — although this word is not very suitable. The Time-Spirit in the Greek age was not the same Spirit as in our own age. Those who grasp the Spirit in our time, are driven to Spiritual Science. This is what extends over the various Folk-souls out of the Spirit of the Age. At the time when Christ Jesus appeared upon earth, His forerunner, John the Baptist, indicated the Spirit we may describe as Zeitgeist in the words, ‘Change your attitude towards life, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Thus for every epoch we can find the ‘Spirit of the Age’, and that is something which intertwines itself into the activity of the Folk-spirits, into that which we have described as the activity of the Archangeloi. To the materialistic man of to-day, the Spirit of the Age is something quite abstract, without any reality; it would be still more difficult for him to see a real being in the Spirit of the Age. Nevertheless behind the word Zeitgeist, or ‘Spirit of the Age’, there is concealed a real being, and indeed none other than one three stages above the stage of humanity. The Beings concealed behind this word are those who went through their human stage on the old Saturn, at the earliest epoch of the earth's evolution, and who at the present day are working at the transformation of the earth from its spiritual atmosphere, and in so doing are going through the last stage of the transforming of their physical body into Spirit-man or Atma. We are here dealing with exalted Beings, the contemplation of whose attributes could well make man dizzy. They are the Beings who may be described as the actual inspirers — or we should here say, if we wish to use the technical expressions of occultism — the ‘intuitors’ of the Spirit or Spirits of the Age. They work in such a way that they relieve one another in turn and extend the hand to one another as it were. From epoch to epoch they pass on their task to the next one. The Spirit of the Age who worked during the Greek age, handed on his mission to the one who came after him. There are, as we have seen, a number of such Spirits of the Age, of such Spirits of Personality who work as Spirits of the Age. These Spirits of Personality, the Intuitors of the spirit of the age, are higher in rank than the Folk-spirits. In every epoch, one of these is especially at work and gives the general signature to that epoch, he gives his commissions to the Folk-spirits, so that the collective spirit of the age is specialized, individualized by the Folk-spirits. Then he is relieved in the following epoch by another Spirit of the Age, or Spirit of Personality, or Archai.

When a certain number of ages have passed away, then a Spirit of the Age has gone through a further evolution. We must think of it thus: when we, in our age, die, and have gone through our evolution here, our personality passes the result of this earthly life on to the next one. This is also the case with the Spirits of the Age. In each age we have one such Spirit of the Age; then at the end of the age he passes on his office to his successor, who again passes it on to the following one, and so on. The foregoing ones are in the meanwhile going through their own evolution, and then that one who has been longest absent, takes his turn again; so that, in a later age, while the others are then proceeding with their own evolution, the same one returns again as Spirit of the Age and gives to the progressed humanity, by means of intuition, that which he himself has in the meanwhile acquired for his higher mission. We look up to these Spirits of Personality, to these Beings who may be called by the otherwise meaningless name of Spirit of the Age, and may say: ‘We human beings go from incarnation to incarnation, but we very well know, that while we are ourselves passing on from epoch to epoch, that when we look into the future, we see ever different Spirits of the Age, regulating the occurrences of our earth.’

But our present Spirit of the Age will return too, we shall meet him again. On account of this attribute of these Spirits of Personality, of their describing cycles, as it were, and returning again to their starting-point, and of working in cycles, they are also called Spirits of Cyclic Periods. We shall give further reasons to justify this expression. These higher spiritual Beings who give their orders to the Folk-spirits, are also called Spirits of Cyclic Periods. We refer to those cyclic periods which man himself has to go through, when age after age he returns in a certain way to earlier conditions and repeats them in a higher form. Now you may be struck by this repetition of the characteristics of earlier forms. If you examine carefully into the stages of the evolution of man on the earth according to spiritual science, you will find these repetitions of occurrences in many different forms. Thus there is a repetition in the fact that there are, so to speak, seven consecutive epochs following after the Atlantean Catastrophe; these we call the post-Atlantean stages of civilization. The Græco-Latin stage or age of civilization forms the turning-point in our cycle and therefore it is not repeated. After this comes the repetition of the Egyptian-Chaldæan epoch, which is taking place in our own time. After this will follow another epoch, which will be a repetition of the Persian epoch, although in a somewhat different form; and then the seventh epoch will come, which will be a repetition of the primeval Indian civilization, the epoch of the Holy Rishis; so that in that age certain things of which the foundations were laid in ancient India will re-appear in a different form. The guidance of these occurrences devolves upon the Spirits of the Age.

Now in order that, divided among the different peoples on the earth, that which progresses from age to age should be actualized, in order that many different forms should be developed in this or the other land, growing out of this or that body of people speaking the same language, out of this or that language of form, in order that architecture, art and science may arise and assume their metamorphoses and receive all that the Spirit of the Age could pour into humanity, — for this we require the Folk-spirits, who, in the hierarchy of the higher beings, belong to the Archangels.

Now we require yet another medium between the higher missions of the Folk-spirits and those beings who here on the earth are to be inspired by them. It will not be difficult for you to perceive, at first in an abstract form, that the intermediary between the two different kinds of Spirits is the Hierarchy of the Angels. They are the connecting link between Folk-spirits and individual human beings. In order that man may receive into himself that which the Folk-spirit has to pour into the whole people, so that the individual man may be an instrument in the mission of his people, this inter-mediation between the individual human being and the Archangel of his people is indispensable.

Thus we have looked up to beings who became men three stages before the earth-man attained his human stage, and we have seen how they place themselves consciously in mankind, and influence our earth evolution. In the next lecture we shall have to show how far the work of the Archangels, working down from above, from their ‘ I ’ which has already formed Manas or Spirit-self and is now working on the etheric or life-body of man, is expressed in the productions, the attributes and the character of a people. Man is in the midst of this work of the higher beings, it directly surrounds him, for as a member of a people he is placed in it. It is true that man is in the first place a human individual, the expression of an ego, but he also belongs to a certain people, i.e., something over which as a human individual he has at first no control. How can a man, because he belongs to a certain people, help speaking the language of that people? That is not an individual acquirement, neither does it belong to what we call individual progress, it is the stream into which he is received. Individual human progress is a very different thing. While we see the Folk-souls living and working, we must remember of what human progress consists, and what a man requires in order to make his way through it. We shall see what belongs not only to his evolution, so to speak, but to the evolution of other quite different beings.

Thus we see how man is fitted into the ranks of the Hierarchies, how in his evolution, from age to age, from epoch to epoch, Beings whom we already know from another aspect work with him, and we have seen how care is taken that these Beings may express themselves in the most various individual ways, we have seen that what they have to supply can enter into man.

The Zeitgeister, Time Spirits or Spirits of the Ages lay down the great outlines for the several epochs. The extension of the Spirit of the Age over the whole earth is made possible through the various folk-individualities. Whilst the Spirits of the Age endow the Folk-spirits, care is taken that these may flow into the individual human beings; so that these individuals may fulfill their mission. The fact that individual persons become instruments in this mission of the Folk-spirits, is brought about by Beings who are between men and the Folk-spirits, namely, by the Angels or Angeloi.

These lectures will give us an opportunity to study in this wonderful web, the working of various folk-individualities of the past and of the present. In the next lecture we shall begin to throw light upon the way in which this web, which we have only sketchily indicated to-day, is actually spun, that spiritual web which is our everyday life in the world.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:47 pm


8th June, 1910

It was stated yesterday, that those beings who are to be considered as Folk-spirits, are at the stage at which they in their present existence work from within their ‘ I ’ upon their etheric or life-body, that therefore they are fashioning this body from out of the very inmost part of their soul.

Now of course it might be said: It must certainly be admitted that the work upon this etheric or life-body cannot be directly seen with external organs of perception, with physical eyes, but that this is something belonging to clairvoyant consciousness. But, if the activity of these beings, of these Folk-spirits plays a part in human life, then on the other hand we must be able to point out something which is to a certain extent visible externally, a kind of impression, a kind of reflection of this work of the Folk-spirits or Archangelic beings. Besides that, these beings must in a certain sense also possess a physical body. Their corporeality must be expressed in some form or other. And this physical form in which the work, the activity of these beings is expressed, must also in some way or other be indicated in the world in which man lives, for after all, the human body must also be concerned in the work of these spiritual beings.

Let us begin with the etheric or life-body of these beings, and with the work which they accomplish in it. Here we must in the first place turn to the researches made by clairvoyant consciousness. Now where does clairvoyant research find something which may be designated as the etheric body of these Archangelic beings, of these Archangels? and how are we to understand this work? You all know that the features of the surface of the earth vary in different parts, and that in the different parts of our earth there are very different conditions for the unfolding of the characteristics peculiar to the various peoples. The materialist will say that the climate, the vegetation, or perhaps the water of a country and other things determine the characteristics and peculiarities manifested by the people of that country. It is not to be wondered at that one whose consciousness is limited to the things of the physical world should speak thus, for he only knows what he can see with his eyes; but to clairvoyant consciousness it is quite another matter.

Anyone who with clairvoyant consciousness travels through different countries in various parts of the earth knows that the peculiar form of vegetation, the characteristic configuration of the rocks, does not exhaust what he knows about this particular country. When we speak of a peculiar aroma, or, of an aura of a certain part of our earth, it is comprehensible that for a materialist we are only speaking of an abstraction. To clairvoyant consciousness there arises over every part of our earth a peculiar spiritual cloudlike formation which we must designate as the etheric aura of that special part of the earth. This etheric aura is quite different over the land of Switzerland from what it is over the land of Italy, and again different over the lands of Norway, Denmark or Germany. It is true that every man has his own etheric body, and it is also true that a kind of etheric aura towers up over every part of the surface of our earth. This etheric aura differs very considerably from other etheric auras, for example from that of man. If we observe a living human being, we find that his etheric aura is united to him as long as he lives, that is, from his birth to his death. It is united to his physical body, and only alters in so far as the man during his lifetime goes through a development, when he rises higher as regards intelligence, morals, etc. But then we always see that this etheric aura of man alters from within, it develops certain parts which shine out from within. The case is different with those etheric auras which can be perceived over the various countries. Certainly these preserve throughout long periods a fundamental tone, they have something which continues throughout long ages. But in these etheric auras there are also changes which take place quickly, and these distinguish them from human auras which alter slowly and gradually, and when they do alter, the alteration only takes place from within. The auras over the various countries alter in the course of the evolution of humanity on the earth when one people leaves its dwelling place and takes possession of another part of the earth. The essential is, that the etheric aura over a certain part of the earth does not only depend upon what rises out of the ground, so to speak, but upon the last inhabitants of that territory. So that those who wish to follow the destinies of our human race in their true form on earth, endeavor to follow the interpenetration of this particular part of the etheric auras of the different parts of our earth. The various etheric auras of Europe altered very much at the time which we designate as the period of the migrations of the peoples. You may already see, that in the etheric aura over any particular part of the earth there is something which can be altered, which may indeed change suddenly, and that this change may even be brought about from outside, in a certain sense. Every one of these etheric auras is in a certain respect a fusion of what comes from the ground and of what has been brought there by the migrations of the peoples. When we consider this aura we must clearly understand that, in a certain respect, the saying which is so lightly quoted in Theosophy, but which is never really understood, at least not in all its depths, holds good in the widest sense; everything seen outside in the world with physical consciousness is only maya or illusion. It is often mentioned among theosophists, but is seldom observed in such detail, as to play a part in one's life. It is rather quoted in an abstract form, but if concrete connections are sought for, it is forgotten and only material consciousness comes into play. In truth that which mysteriously confronts us in the part of the earth inhabited by a certain people, is the etheric aura of that particular part of the earth. That which confronts the physical eyes in the green vegetation, in the peculiar configuration of the earth and so on, is fundamentally only maya or external illusion; it is a condensation, as it were, of what is at work in the etheric aura. Albeit, only that part of the external is dependent upon this etheric aura upon which it — that is to say, a living organizing principle can have an influence. The Archangels, who have the spiritual laws within them, cannot intervene in the physical laws. Where, therefore, only the physical laws work and come into consideration, as in the relations of mountain and plain, in the contours of the ground and so on, in all cases where that which determined the great changes of the people depends upon the physical conditions, there the influence of the Archangels does not extend; they have not as yet gone far enough in their evolution to be able to intervene in physical conditions. Because they are unable to do this, but are in this matter dependent, they are compelled at certain times to wander over the earth; and they embody themselves, as in a physical body, in that which is represented by the configuration of the land, in that therefore, which is ruled by physical laws. The etheric body of the people cannot as yet enter in there, it cannot as yet extend into it and organize it. Therefore the ground is sought out, if it proves to be suitable, and from this union between the etheric body which is worked through by spiritual soul-forces, and the physical piece of ground, there arises that which we meet with as the peculiar charm appertaining to the characteristics of a people, that which a man who is not clairvoyant can merely feel in a country, but which a man who observes country and people with clairvoyant consciousness, is able to see.

Now how does what may be called the work of the Archangels, the Folksouls, take place in this etheric body which rises above the ground? What is the work of the Archangel, how does he work into the human beings who move about upon this ground and live within this cloud of the Folk-spirit? He works into it in such a way that his power expresses itself in three ways in man. It is the etheric aura of the people that works into them, weaves through them, is active within them. Indeed this etheric aura works into the human being in such a way that three parts in him are affected by it. Through the mingling of these three parts arises the peculiar character which belongs to a man who lives in this etheric aura of the people. What part of man does this affect? It acts on a threefold nature in the temperaments. It acts on the temperaments which are themselves immersed in the emotional life of man, those that work in the etheric body of man, but not on the so-called melancholic temperament. The etheric aura of the folk acts upon the choleric, the phlegmatic and the sanguine temperaments; on the whole, therefore, the power of the etheric aura of the folk flows into these three temperaments. Now these three may be mingled in many different ways and may co-operate differently in different human individuals. You may think of an endless variety of ways in which the three forces co-operate, when one influences another, or conquers it, etc. Thus arise the many configurations which we meet with, e.g., in Russia, in Norway or Germany. That which works into the temperaments constitutes the national character of man. The difference existing in this respect between the several individuals, is only caused by the degree of the mingling. National temperaments are therefore mingled according to the interpenetration of the folk aura.

Thus we find the Folk-spirits at work all over the earth. But they also have their own paths to follow; for this working into the temperaments is not to them the essential thing for their own affairs, they only do this because the forces in the world mutually affect one another. They do it first of all as their own intentional acts, as that which it is their mission to do. But besides this the affairs of their own ‘ I ’ also come into consideration. These consist in the fact, that they themselves advance in their evolution, that they themselves pass over the earth and embody themselves in one or another region of the earth. This is their own affair. The other, what they do in the temperaments of man, is something they do besides their calling. Naturally man himself also advances through their work; it reacts upon him. Hence human work reacts upon the Folk-spirit. Later on we shall see the significance of the individual human beings to the Folk-spirit. That is important. But the essential thing is that we should be able to follow one of these Folk-spirits; and see how he embodies himself in the world, lives again for a time in the spiritual world, and then embodies himself again somewhere else. When we observe these occurrences we are still only observing the affairs of the egos of these beings. Now in order to form quite a concrete idea, picture to yourselves the human etheric body embedded in the folk's etheric body; picture the interaction of the human etheric body and folk's etheric body and imagine further that the folk's etheric body is reflected in the folk temperament in the mingling of the temperaments of the single individuals. You then possess the secret of how the Folk-spirit shows himself to us in his way within a folk. Now after we have said this, we have in reality exhausted the most important work of the true Archangel or Folk-spirit. We should have not nearly exhausted the characteristics of a people if we were only to take into consideration the character possessed by an individual belonging to the people. The Archangelic Beings, who are the true Spirits of tribal tree, have that task.

But now to a folk, as you may easily suppose, there belongs much besides this. Why? If the Archangel, the guiding Folk-spirit, did not meet with other Beings on the same piece of ground, and did not work in conjunction with them in the etheric body of man, many of the attributes of a people would not originate at all. Man is the scene of action for the meeting between the Archangels and yet other Beings who co-operate with the Archangels, and so to speak, work in conjunction with them. Now from this co-operative work arises something else in addition. Clairvoyant consciousness, when it studies the peoples, finds, strange to say, besides the Archangelic Beings already described, other mysterious Beings who are in certain respects related to the Archangels, but who in other respects are completely different from them, above all, in that they are able to employ much greater forces than can the Archangels themselves.

The Folk-spirit acts in an exceptionally delicate and intimate way upon the several human souls in this interweaving into the temperaments; but there are yet other Beings who act upon them in a much stronger, more powerful manner. We must once for all be quite clear as to these Beings, from our general knowledge of the Hierarchies; we shall then, so to speak, find the names of these other Beings who are observed by clairvoyant consciousness.

You must think of the Hierarchies of Spirits in the following way:

1. Man,
2. Angels,
3. Archangels,
4. First Beginnings, or Spirits of Personality, Archai,
5. Powers, or Spirits of Form.

We should then come to yet others, which we do not, however, wish to take into consideration to-day. If you remember what we spoke of yesterday — and you will also find it described in detail in the Akashic Record and in my book Occult Science, — you will say that of these Beings it was the Archangels who went through their human stage in the old Sun period. At that time those Beings whom we call Spirits of Form or Powers, who are now two stages higher than the Archangels, were at the Archangel stage; they were Beings such as the Folk-spirits we have described to-day. That was then their normal stage of evolution. There is, however, a remarkable mystery in evolution; it is the law of the lagging behind of certain Beings, the law which brings it about that at every stage certain Beings remain behind, so that at the following stage they have not attained their normal height, but actually have the character they should have had at the earlier stages. Now throughout the evolution of our humanity there have always been beings who have remained behind. Among these laggards are also some of these Spirits of Form or Powers, and they have remained behind in a very singular way, namely so, that although in respect of certain attributes they are Spirits of Form or Powers, and by means of certain attributes can do what at the present day can only be done by the Spirits of Form who have bestowed the ‘ I ’ upon man at the earth stage, they cannot, however, as yet do this completely, because they do not possess all the necessary attributes. They have so lagged behind that they did not go through their Archangel stage upon the Sun but are going through it now during the earth period, so that they are Beings who are now at the stage of Folk-spirits, but possess quite different attributes. Whereas the Folk-spirits work into human life in an intimate way because they are only two stages higher up than man and consequently are still related to him, these Powers, these Spirits of Form, tower four stages above the human stage. They possess on that account very many and mighty powers that would not be suitable for working so intimately into man. They would act more robustly, but no other domain have they for their activities than that in which are the normal Folk-spirits, the Archangels. That is the difficulty, one must first learn to discriminate in the higher world. Those who imagine that in the higher worlds they can manage with a few ideas, are very much mistaken. The man who, with a few superficial ideas, ascends into the higher worlds, would certainly find the Archangels. But one must discriminate whether these are Beings who have now normally reached the Archangel stage, or those who ought to have attained that stage during the Sun-state of our earth. There are therefore in the same domain as the Spirits of the Peoples or Archangels, other Beings at work who belong by rank, so to speak, to the Archangels, but are gifted with very different, much robuster attributes, such as are possessed by the other Spirits of Form, and who can on that account penetrate deeply into human nature. For what have the Spirits of Form made of man during the earth existence? just think how man could not have said ‘ I ’ to himself if the Spirits of Form had not formed the brain into that which man possesses at the present day. Therefore Beings such as these are able to work even into the physical form, although they are only at the stage of the Archangels. They enter upon a sort of trial of strength with the Folk-spirits on the very ground upon which the latter are active.

The first and chief thing brought about by this contact between these Spirits coming from these two directions, is speech, that which could not come about without the whole structure and form of the human body. In the structure of man you have the activity of these other Folk-spirits, who are connected with the powers of Nature as well as with man. We must not therefore ascribe our speech merely to those Beings who work so intimately into the folk temperament, and who as Beings two stages above man, imprint their configuration upon a people. The Beings who give language have great strength, they are really ‘Powers’, they are active upon the earth because they have remained on earth, whilst their other companions work in the ‘ I ’, from the sun into universal space. Before the appearance of Christ Jesus, Jahve or the Jehovah-Being was worshipped by man, and afterwards he worshipped the Christ-Being as the One Who works in universal space. As regards the Spirits of Language we must admit that man particularly likes just that part of speech which has remained with the earth.

We must accustom ourselves to quite different ideas. Man is accustomed to apply his own ideas to the whole universe. He is naturally quite wrong to look upon the fact of these high Beings having remained behind in evolution like a school-girl left behind in her class. They do not remain behind because they have not studied, but for reasons pertaining to the great Wisdom which rules the world. If certain Beings had not renounced their normal evolution, and instead of going on further with the Sun, continued their evolution on the earth, then that which we call speech could not have arisen on the earth. In certain respects man ought to love his language, for the very reason that, so to speak, out of love high Beings remained behind with him and renounced certain attributes in order that man should be able to evolve in accordance with what wisdom decrees. Just as we must look upon the ‘hurrying forward’ as a kind of sacrifice, so must we also look upon the ‘remaining behind’ at earlier epochs of evolution as a sort of sacrifice, and we must clearly understand that man could in no wise have attained certain attributes if such sacrifices had not been made.

Thus, we see how in the etheric body of man, and in that of the Folk-spirit under consideration, two different sorts of Beings exchange work with each other: the normally developed Archangels, and those Spirits of Form who have remained behind at the Archangel stage and have renounced their own evolution, in order to embody in man during his life on earth, his national language. They had to have the power so to transform the larynx, so to transform the entire instrument of speech that it should produce a physical manifestation, and that is speech itself. We must therefore look upon what confronts us as national feeling, national temperament, and its language, as being united in a co-operative work. That which man is able to express in words, that by which he shows himself to be a member of his people, that which he sounds forth into the air, that it is which those Spirits of Form who are united with the Folk-spirits can only bring about, because they with their great forces and powers remained behind at the stage of the Archangels. Therefore a co-operation of this sort takes place in the domains, in the realms where the Folk-spirits are active.

A similar co-operation is however to be found in yet another domain. I pointed out yesterday, that there are yet other forces at work; these are the First Beginnings, the Archai, or Spirits of Personality, who during the earth existence represent what is called the Zeitgeist, or Spirit of the Age. These work so, that from their own ‘ I ’, from their soul organization, they work into the physical body, so that they set the forces of the physical body in motion. We must therefore presume, that if at a certain time something appears as a result of the activity of the Zeitgeist, something which manifests itself in the Spirit of an Age by which mankind progresses, that this corresponds to a working with physical forces within our earth existence. You can very easily perceive this, you need only think it over in order to understand that real physical preliminary conditions are necessary in order that this or that should arise in the spirit of the age; Kepler, Copernicus or Pericles could not have lived in any other age, or under other laws. Personalities grow forth from quite definite conditions of the times, from those conditions which at a definite epoch of time are formed and organized by the physical work of higher Beings. These are in reality the physical conditions, naturally they are physical conditions, which we must not conceive of as being material blocks, but as certain configurations in the physical part of our earth in general. Sometimes these configurations stand out in strong relief; at other times when the Spirit of the Age is using his influence in any particular way, a quite definite physical constellation has to come about. Only remember that on one occasion, when some children were playing in a glass-cutter's workshop with some pieces of glass that were cut in a certain way, these pieces were so combined that one could observe the optical effect as a telescope, so that the inventor of the telescope only needed to realize his observation of this law of the telescope.

That is an historical fact. Just think however, what physical occurrences were necessary, in order that all this might take place. The lenses had first to be invented, cut, and put together in the corresponding manner. You may, here, very well use the word ‘chance’, but you may only do so if you also refrain from comprehending the law which operates in such occurrences. These physical conditions are brought together by the Archai, the Primal Forces. The reflection of their work is that which draws together into one spot on the earth that which otherwise, as Spirit of the Age, works in a variety of ways. Just imagine what would have become of many physical things in modern times, if this work of the Archai in their physical bodies had not taken place. It is really the work of the Archai which acts in this way and in this direction. Now if the Archai act thus and direct the Spirit of the Age, we may enquire again, ‘How do these Spirits of the Age really guide human progress by means of intuition?’ They do it in such a way that a human being is stimulated as if by chance, by something that takes place in the physical world. This is not merely legendary, it does sometimes occur. I need only remind you of the swinging lamp in the Cathedral at Pisa, where by observing the regularity of the swing of the lamp Galileo discovered the law of the pendulum, and how later Kepler and Newton were stimulated to make their discoveries. We could relate hundreds and thousands of cases in which physical events and human thought were brought together, by which it could be perceived how the Archai or Primal Forces give through intuition the ideas which go forth into the world as the ideas of the age, which then influence man in his development, regulate his progress and permeate it with law.

But in this domain also, those Beings who have normally become Spirits of Personality during our earth existence, work in conjunction with others, who, because of their having remained behind upon the Moon are now not Spirits of Form or Powers as they ought to be on the earth, but are also only now working as Spirits of Personality. Thus those Beings who made their renunciation not upon the Sun stage but only that of the Moon, are now Spirits of Personality, but they do not possess the attributes they ought normally to have; that is to say, they do not give intuitions in the same way as do the normal Spirits of Personality, but as do the belated Spirits of Form. They do not stimulate from outside, leaving it to man himself to observe what is brought about in the physical, but they stimulate inwardly, they work within the brain and give a certain tendency to thought. Hence the thought of man at the different epochs is stimulated from within, so that each epoch has a distinct kind of thought. This is connected with the delicate formations of thought, with inner constellations. Here the belated Spirits of Form who have the character of Spirits of Personality, work within man and produce a certain kind of thought, a quite definite form of ideas. Hence it comes about that man is not only guided from epoch to epoch according to the will of the intuiting Spirits of Personality by whom he allows himself to be stirred to do this or that, but he is urged along as if by inner forces so that the thought manifests itself physically from within, just as in the spoken language there is manifested that which, on the other hand, remained behind as Spirit of Form. Thus in the method of thought there is a manifestation of those Spirits of Form who appear in our age as Spirits of Personality. These, therefore, are not those delicately working Spirits of Personality who allow a man to do as he will, but those who take possession of him and forcefully push him on. Hence in those men who are stimulated by the Spirit of the Age you can always observe these two types. In those persons who are stimulated by the true Spirits of the Age who are at their normal stage, you may see the true representatives of their time. We may look upon these as men who had to come, and at their activities as something which could take place in no other way. But there are other persons, in whom are active those Spirits of Personality who are in reality Spirits of Form. Those are the other Spirits whom we have just named as the Thought-Spirits, those who during the old Moon-cycle moved forward to their present standpoint.

Now man is the scene of action upon which all this works together. This co-operation is shown through the fact that speech and thought enter into reciprocal relations, that not only the Spirits who are at the same stage enter into reciprocal relations, but the normal Archangels also, who govern the national feeling and temperament enter into reciprocal relations with those just described, not only therefore with the Spirits of Form who are at the Archangel stage, but also with those Spirits of Personality who are in reality belated Spirits of Form.

These two kinds appear in human nature and in human being. This relation is one extremely interesting to study when with occult knowledge and occult power of vision one goes from one people to another. Then one can see how the normal Folk-Spirits act, and how they then receive their orders from the Spirits of the Age. But these Folk-spirits work within man together with the Spirits of Language and also with the Thought-spirits who work into the thoughts of man. Within man there are not only normal and abnormal Archangels, but also Archangels in contradistinction to the abnormal Spirits of Personality who from within govern the work of thought in a particular age.

Now it is extremely interesting, — I have said that conditions will be touched upon which you must meet with your spiritual understanding, which must be clothed in ordinary words because no language has as yet been created which would make all this credible and clear; one has to express everything in words which can depict the facts somewhat figuratively, which however correspond to an important fact in the evolution of humanity, — it is extremely interesting and important to follow the evolution of humanity in more recent times; it is important to know that a reciprocal agreement was once arrived at between one of the guiding Spirits of the Peoples, who is a normal Archangel, and one of those Spirits who work inwardly as Spirits of the Thought-forces, an abnormal Spirit of Personality, and in a certain historical epoch the serious and important result of this agreement is to be seen. In order to make this agreement more especially complete, a harmonious relationship was established with the corresponding abnormal Archangel, who was the guiding Spirit of Language at that time; so that there was a point in the evolution of mankind, when so to speak, the normal and abnormal Archangels worked together and when, besides this, there worked in as an additional impulse the kind of thought which was brought about from within by an abnormal Spirit of Personality. The agreement made between these three parties was reflected in one particular people. That was the Indian people, who introduced the post-Atlantean civilization in the first post-Atlantean age. It was during this Indian civilization that the constellation arose in which these three Beings were able to work most harmoniously together. The consequence of that is all that we may call the historical rôle of this Indian people. Even in those ages of which the historical traditions still remain, the effects of what was formerly concluded in that agreement still continued to work. That is the reason why the ancient sacred language of the Indians acted with such power and produced those mighty historical effects in civilization, and why it could act so powerfully even in succeeding times. This power was brought in by the abnormal Archangels who worked in the language. The power of the Sanskrit language rests upon the agreement of which I have just spoken. And again the unique Indian philosophy, which as creative thought acting from within man has not yet been equaled by any other people in the world, also rests upon it; the inner completeness of thought belonging to the Indian culture rests also upon this agreement. In all other parts of the world we observe different conditions; but in all of them there could at that time be observed what has just been described. Hence it is so infinitely fascinating to follow up these trains of thought, which take the peculiar form they do, because they have not proceeded from the predominance of the normal Archangel over the abnormal one, but from their harmonizing so completely, because each thought was actually absorbed by the temperament of the people and was lovingly spun on into details at that time when the Indian people represented the first blossom of the culture of the post-Atlantean epoch. And the language worked on in this way because the conflict had not arisen there which would have taken place everywhere else, because such a cooperation took place between the Archangel of the normal evolution and the Archangel of the abnormal evolution. Thus one may say that this language, poured forth from the purest temperament, is itself a product of that temperament. That is the secret of the first civilization of the post-Atlantean epoch. That, however, is what must be observed in all other peoples, namely, that in them an unique co-operation takes place between these three forces, between the normal Folk-spirit or Archangel, the abnormal Archangel, and that which acts inwardly in the abnormal Spirit of the Age, who works, not as a Spirit of the Age, but from within, and finally that which the true Spirit of the Age has to convey inwardly to the nation.

The true knowledge of a people comes from listening to these forces within, and weighing the share which each factor has in the constitution of the people. Hence it has become difficult for persons who do not take the occult forces of human evolution into consideration, really to define the word ‘folk’. Examine the several books in which in any, part of the world the conception of a ‘folk’ is defined, and you will see what curious definitions there are, and how greatly they differ from each other. They have indeed to differ, because one writer feels more what comes from one side, from the normal Archangels, another what proceeds from the abnormal Archangels, and again a third that which comes from the several personalities of the people. Each one feels something different and uses that in his definition. That is just what Spiritual Science has made clear to us, that these definitions need not always be wrong; but they are always bathed in maya, in illusion. From what a writer says it can be seen that he only observes maya, and that he leaves unnoticed the various forces at work.

Hence one will naturally always obtain very different conceptions, if from the anthroposophical standpoint one observes a people like the Swiss, who live in one and the same country and speak three languages, and on the other hand peoples who speak one language only.

As to why some folks act more under the influence of the Spirit of Personality, that is to say, why their life is especially made up of the cooperation of the several personalities, we shall have to speak later. Peoples whose existence is more under the influence of the abnormal Spirit of Personality are also to be found on the earth; those Spirits of Personality do not work for the further progress of evolution. You need only study the character of the North American people, there you have a people absolutely founded on this principle.

Thus you will see, that we shall only understand the history of the world, in so far as it consists of the histories of peoples, if we follow up the normal and abnormal Archangels, the normal and abnormal Spirits of Personality in their reciprocal positions, and in their co-operative work, and at the same time follow up their work in peoples that succeed each other in the course of the world's history.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:50 pm


9th June, 1910.

In the course of these lectures we shall study matters which will, so to say, easily enter into the soul of each one, because each one will be able to interest himself in them intensely and directly. But as the whole would not otherwise be comprehensible, we must also make reflections which are necessary for the sake of completeness and of comprehension, and which will be a little more difficult than that which is, so to say, the central theme of our lectures. To-day, for instance, we are confronted with the necessity of glancing into the inner nature of those Beings of whom we have spoken in the two preceding lectures, the normal Folk-spirits.

We have already said what was necessary to characterize them outwardly: that they are Beings who are two stages higher than man, Beings who are working at the transformation of their etheric bodies, who are now at the present time engaged in transforming their etheric bodies into that which is called Life-spirit or Buddhi. Man is spun into the web of this work. In so far as the evolution of these Beings so progresses that man is woven into this evolution, the reflection of this Folk-spirit is expressed in human individuality itself, as the folk-character of the single human individual.

We must now look a little into the inner nature of such a Folk-soul. If we wish to throw light upon the present inner being of man, we find it necessary to picture it as being threefold, as being divided into:

The sentient-soul, which is, as it were, the lowest member of the inner human being,

The Intellectual-soul or Mind-soul, the central member, and

The Spiritual-soul, the highest member of the inner nature of the human being, in which the human ‘ I ’ is first actually brought to a state of consciousness.

In the spiritual-soul is first to be found that which is called human self-consciousness. Nevertheless the ‘ I ’ of man is active in all three parts of his inner life, in the sentient-soul as well as in the intellectual-soul or mind-soul, and in the spiritual-soul.

In the sentient-soul the ‘ I ’ is active in such a way that man is hardly aware of his ego. In the sentient-soul, therefore, he is thus far given up to all his desires and passions. The ‘ I ’ broods dully in what we call the sentient-soul. It first works itself out and begins to appear in the intellectual-soul or mind-soul, and only becomes quite apparent in the spiritual-soul.

If we wish to examine each of these three members of the human inner being separately, we must look upon them as three modifications, as three parts within the astral body. It certainly is the case, that these modifications, these three members of the astral body, prepare the transformation of the astral body itself, of the etheric body and of the physical body. But these transformations are still not what meets us as the actual human inner being or soul. The soul, the inner part of man; consists of three modifications of the astral body. The three modifications must make use of certain instruments, and these express themselves in such a way, that in the astral body the sentient-soul is a sort of instrument, in the etheric body the intellectual-soul or mind-soul, and in the physical body the spiritual-soul. Thus we can distinguish the human inner being from that which is the human envelope or covering; so that therefore the inner nature of man consists of three modifications of the astral body.

Just as in man the inner part, that in which the ‘ I ’ works and imprints itself, is represented by these three modifications of the astral body, so in those spiritual Beings whom we designate as Folk-spirits their actual inner part, or that which we may compare to the human inner part, is represented by three members, three modifications of the etheric body. Just as in man we distinguish sentient-soul, intellectual-soul, spiritual-soul, so in the Archangelic Beings, the normal Folk-spirits we must distinguish three modifications in the etheric body. As, however, these three modifications are not in the astral but in the etheric body they are quite different, essentially different from the three modifications in the soul-life of man. Hence also you must think of the form of consciousness, the whole soul-life of these Folk-spirits as being different from the soul-life of man. From an external description, therefore, we now press on as it were into the inner part of the soul of these Folk-spirits. It will not be quite easy but we must endeavor to cross this rubicon.

It will now be a case of starting out from some conception with which you are acquainted, a conception that bears some likeness to the inner life of the Folk-spirits. A man has not many such in his normal life, on the contrary, he has in his own consciousness extremely little of that which lives in the consciousness of the Folk-spirits. You may nevertheless form an idea of it if you will patiently follow with me the following considerations. You have all learnt at school that the three angles of a triangle are 180 deg., and you know that you could never learn that by any sort of external experience. I want you just to think of an iron or a wooden triangle; if now you measure with an instrument what the three angles together amount to, this external experience can never inform you that these three angles make 180 deg., but you will at once be informed, whether you draw these three angles or only imagine them, if you experience from within, that the three angles are 180 deg. You must realize it through the power of your own mind, from within. You need only carry out the following in thought. What I am now drawing is only drawn to represent the thought. In this figure you have strict proof that the three angles together make 180 deg.

Diagram 1

If you once clearly visualize this figure in your mind, it will in every case bring this certainty; you may carry out the figure in thought, without externally drawing it. You thus perform an operation in pure thought, by the power of your own inner being; you need not go outside yourself. You may imagine for one moment, that there is no such thing as the so-called world of impressions, or what enters into man through the outer senses. Imagine the external world away, and space as being constructed in thought, then in this space the sum-total of the angles of all triangles will give 180 deg. In order to arrive at geometrical, mathematical knowledge it is not necessary for an outer object to approach your senses, it only needs inner experience, that which takes place in the consciousness itself. I have had to make use of this example, for it is the simplest and most practical, because people already know it, having learnt it at school. I might also give you the example of Hegel's logic, you would then also have a number of inner conceptions, but there you would find much with which you are unacquainted, for Hegel's logic is unknown to most people. By this you may therefore see how a man may arrive at knowledge merely from within, without being brought to this by anything external.

If you think of that which externally in the world is only attainable by mathematical construction, then you have some conception of how the consciousness of the Archangels works. A world such as appears to external man, a world of external colors and tones, they do not perceive at all. A Being of this kind never has these perceptions, it is never possible for him to touch a thing and thus receive impressions. But what he does experience may be thus expressed in words, ‘Something is now approaching me from a world which inspires me. This world has passed through my consciousness and has filled it.’

Now the Archangels are not Beings who can form mathematical concepts only; it is man who is so imperfect that he is only able by means of abstractions such as the truths of mathematics, to conceive of the activity of the Archangels. These truths appear normal to man, as well as to the Folkspirits. From this you may gather that the external physical world which man's senses bring before him, does not affect the Archangels at all. In that form in which the physical world appears to man, in which he receives impressions of it by means of his senses, it does not exist at all to the Archangels. If, therefore, you eliminate from your picture of the world all that is merely physical sensation, if you take away everything which you have received by means of external perceptions, you have then eliminated just what does not concern the Archangels. We shall therefore inquire, ‘What then still remains for the Archangels out of all that can also become human consciousness? What part of it exists for the Folk-spirits?’ Everything you experience in the sentient-soul as ordinary joy or ordinary grief brought about by the external world, all colors, sounds, in fact all sensible perceptions of the outer world, — none of this concerns these Beings at all. Therefore eliminate the whole contents of the human sentient-soul, and tell yourself that all that is in the picture of the world through man's possessing the sentient-soul, is of no importance to the Archangels, they do not work into that. Even one portion of the intellectual-soul is not an element of any significance to the Archangels, in so far as it is stimulated by outer impressions. That too, which is aroused externally, which a man works upon with his intellect and lives through in his feelings, that too, does not concern the Archangels. But in the intellectual-soul of man there are, however, certain things which man experiences in common with the Archangels. We can perceive quite clearly that such things come into the human intellectual-soul or mind-soul when we see how, for instance, what we call our moral ideals come to us. There would be no moral ideals if we were only able to have feelings, to feel joy and sorrow and to think about that which comes to us from the outer world by means of our sense-perceptions; true we might then be able to rejoice over the flowers in the field and also over a beautiful landscape, but our hearts would never be able to glow with enthusiasm for an ideal which cannot shine forth to us out of the external world, which we can inscribe in our soul and then follow with enthusiasm. But we must not only be aglow and feel in the sentient-soul, we must also give thought to the matter. The man who only feels and does not think, may indeed be an enthusiast but never a practical man. We must not absorb ideals into our sentient-soul from outside, but we must let them pour in out of the spiritual world, and work upon them in the intellectual-soul or mind-soul. The artistic, the architectural ideals and so on, are present in the intellectual-soul or mind-soul, and in the spiritual-soul. They are connected with that which a man cannot perceive outwardly, but which glows through and permeates his being inwardly, so that it becomes a part of his life. Observe the life of the peoples from epoch to epoch, how it has run its course, how new conceptions and new world-secrets have from time to time appeared in it. From whence could the Greeks have taken their conceptions of Zeus and Athena if they had only relied upon external perception? All that is contained in the wisdom, in the mythologies, religions, and sciences of the peoples came into them from within. So therefore we must see that one half of our inner life, half of our intellectual-soul or mind-soul and of our spiritual-soul is filled from within, and indeed exactly so far as man permeates himself inwardly with what has just been described. Thus far can the Archangels penetrate into the human inner being, and thus far also does the actual life of the Archangels extend. You must therefore eliminate from the inner life that which is received from outside through the sentient-soul and distinguish it from what is worked upon by the intellectual-soul or mind-soul feelings. Then, however, you still have that which we call our ‘ I ’. To us the ‘ I ’ is the highest member of our being; what we carry into our moral consciousness are ideals, moral, aesthetic, ideal thoughts. just as the outlook of man is closed as it were inwards, but can, by means of the senses, open itself outwards to the external world, so he can say that he perceives colors, sounds, cold and warmth, but he also has the consciousness that behind these perceptions of colors, sounds, warmth and cold, there is yet something real, and that is, the beings belonging to the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. They are behind it all. So that a man can in the manner described think of the world as continued beyond. On this world beyond, however, the outlook is closed to ordinary people. Were this not the case, there could be no materialism. If a man could have a free outlook over the domain extending upward from the intellectual-soul and spiritual-soul, it would then be quite as foolish to doubt the existence of the spiritual world as it would be foolish to-day to doubt the existence of the animal, plant and mineral worlds.

Now remember how in man the ‘ I ’, his highest member, encloses within itself the sentient, the intellectual and spiritual-souls. With the Archangels it is the case that their soul-life begins by experiencing in the intellectual soul or mind-soul, and then goes up into the ‘ I ’, which then spreads itself out in a world of higher realms, in a realm of spiritual facts, in which it lives just as man lives in the realm of the animals, plants and minerals; so that we may say, we must indeed perceive that this Archangelic Being may have in his soul-life that which we call the human ‘ I ’, yet nevertheless we cannot say that the ‘ I ’ of the Archangels is of the same nature. The ‘ I ’ of man is not one and the same as the ‘ I ’ of the Archangels. The Archangel-’ I ’ is in fact two stages higher, so that the Archangel is through his ‘ I ’ rooted in a higher world.

Now just as man by means of his sense-perception looks at colors and hears sounds, so does the Archangel look down upon the world which includes the ‘ I ’ as objective truth, only that around that ‘ I ’ there is still gathered some of that part of the astral, which we human beings know in ourselves as intellectual-soul or mind-soul. Think of these Beings as gazing into a world which does not extend to the minerals, plants or animals. Think that instead of this, their vision, which is a spiritual one, is directed to their picture of the world, and that they perceive centers therein. These centers are the human egos, around which again is gathered something that appears as a sort of aura. You have then the picture of how the Archangelic Being looks down upon those personalities of the folk belonging to him and which constitute the people. His world consists of an astral field of perception in which there are certain centers; these centers, these central points, are the several human personalities, the several human egos. just therefore as to us, colors and sounds, warmth and cold are within our field of perception, and are for us the important world, so to the Archangelic Beings, to the Folk-spirits, we ourselves with a portion of our inner life are the field of perception, and just as we go into the outer world and work at it and transform it into our instruments, so are we the objects in so far as we belong to this or the other Folk-spirit-belonging to the scene of action of the Archangels or Folk-spirits.

Thus we have an insight, strange as it may sound, into a higher theory of cognition, a higher epistemology of the Archangels. This is completely different from the epistemology of man; what is data for the Archangels is quite different. What is data for man is all that is spread out in space and meets us through our senses, as color, sound, warmth, cold, hardness and softness; what is data for the Archangels is what appears within, in the field of human consciousness. That to them is a number of centers around which the inner experiences of men are woven, in so far as these experiences take place in the intellectual-soul or mind-soul; but their activity is relatively a higher one.

What then differentiates the world of the Archangels or Folk-souls? The world of man is differentiated by the fact that if he takes hold of a thing with his hand, he feels it to be either warm or cold. The Archangel experiences something similar when he meets with human individualities. He meets with some men whose souls have more inner activity, the contents of whose souls are richer, — these make a greater impression upon him. Others he finds to be lethargic, indolent, the contents of whose souls are poor, — these beings are to him as the world impression of warmth and cold are to the human soul. Thus is the Archangel's picture of the world specialized, and he can make use of the several persons and work for them, by weaving out of his own being that which has to guide the whole people.

But there is also another way in which the life of the Archangel is connected with the life of the particular people he is leading. just as a human being has an ascending and a descending period in his life, an ascending time of youth, and a descending time of old age, so does the Archangel experience in the rise and fall of the culture of a people, his youth and his old age.

We must now again look into the inner life of one of these Archangels. You will already have noticed, from what I have related, that what man receives from without, the Archangel receives from within; hence when the individuals belonging to a people appear as centers within him, the Archangel has the feeling that what comes to him thus, does, it is true, arise in his consciousness from within, but it is nevertheless foreign to him. This to him is just like the sudden ideas that flash into our consciousness. He is also affected in just the opposite way by that which in man is youth and old age. Man experiences his youth in feeling the members of his body to be fresh, he feels that they are improving and developing. In old age these members become relaxed, they refuse to work; that is something which a man feels as happening from within him. Now the Archangel feels, it is true, that everything is happening within him, but the rise and decline of a nation nevertheless seems like something foreign to him, as something about which he has the feeling that it is independent of him, with which therefore he has nothing directly to do, but which gives him the occasion to incarnate in some particular people at a certain time. When the possibility of incorporating himself occurs, when there is a people living in the ascending period of its life, in all its upward-striving power, then the Archangel goes down, just as a man goes down when he has lived out his life between death and a new birth. Thus the Archangel goes down into a people and embodies himself in it. In the same way too, does the Archangel feel his death, the necessity of withdrawing from the people in question, when the several perceptions, the centers which he perceives begin to become less productive, less active, when they begin to have fewer contents. Then comes the time when he forsakes that community of people and enters into his Devachan, into his life between death and a new birth, in order at a later opportunity to seek out in another way a community of people. Thus the youthful upward life of a people signifies the youth of its Folk-spirit, he perceives it as being a fresh, flowing element in which he dwells. The descending period of a people's life he perceives as a withering of the centers in his domain of perception.

That gives a sort of insight into the inner being of one of these Folksouls. If we recall all this to mind, we may say, that in certain respects such a Folk-soul is really rather far removed from an individual human life, for in each one of these, what is in the sentient-soul and in the lower part of the intellectual-soul is a domain into which the Folk-spirit, the Archangel does not reach. For a human being it is, however, something very real. A man feels keenly that it belongs to the most inward, the most intimate part of his own life. In a certain respect the Archangel-nature, the one which guides the people, is something which floats above the separate individual human beings. The personal things which a man experiences because he receives perceptions through his senses, are foreign to the Archangel who is guiding the people. But there are intermediaries, and it is important that we should understand that there are such intermediaries. They are the Beings we call Angels, who are between the Archangels and man. You must take this in the strictest sense of the words: Folk-spirits are Archangels, they are Spirits who have finished the transforming of their astral bodies into Spirit-self or Manas, and are now transforming their etheric body or life-body into Life-spirit. Just halfway between these Beings and man are the Angels. These are Beings who are occupied in remodeling their astral body into Spirit-self or Manas, but have not yet concluded their work. At the present time man is at the beginning of this work, the Angels are nearly at the end of it, but have in no wise finished it. Therefore these Beings come into closer contact with that which makes up the daily life of man. We may say that the Angels incline with their whole soul-nature towards what we call the astral body. For this reason they fully understand all the joy and sorrow the human personality may go through. But because on the other hand they extend much higher than the human ‘ I ’, because they possess a higher ‘ I ’, because they can take in part of the higher world, the world of their consciousness extends to that domain in which is to be found the sphere of consciousness of the Archangels. They are therefore really the intermediaries between the Archangels and the several human individuals. They on their part receive the commands of the Folk-spirits and convey them into the several souls, and by means of this agency is brought about what a single individual may do, not only for his own progress, his own evolution, but for his whole people.

In the life of a human being these two streams flow side by side. The one stream is that which brings him onward from one incarnation to the next, which is connected with his own concerns, with what he has above all to do so as to fulfill the duty which is to him the strictest, because most especially his own duty. He may not stand still, because he would then be allowing the germs for growth within him to lie fallow, if he did not trouble about them. That, however, is his own private affair, by attending to which he progresses from incarnation to incarnation. But that which he contributes to his own people, which belongs to the concerns of the people of his own particular nation is brought about through the inspiration of the Angels, who carry the commands of the Archangels to the several human beings.

We can therefore easily picture a people spread over a certain portion of the earth, and over this people the folk-aura, the etheric aura, and in this how the forces of the Folk-spirit work, and modify the etheric body of man according to the three types of force. That which is at work in this folk aura is the Archangel; we must think of him as being a higher Being, one standing two stages higher in evolution than man, floating over the whole people, and giving directions as to what this people as a whole has to fulfill. The Archangel knows what must be done during the upward period, during the fresh youth of the people; he knows what are the achievements to be brought about by the transition of this people from youth to old age, so that his impulses should have the right effect.

These great outlines are fashioned by the Archangel; but here, upon this physical plane, the individual human beings must work, here they must take care that these great aims are realized. Between the individual human beings and the Archangels there are the Angels as intermediary beings, they impel the man to the place to which he must go, so that in the feelings of the people should arise that which corresponds to the great ordinances of the Archangels. You will form a correct picture of it, if you take what I have been describing not merely as an allegory, but as representing as nearly as possible the reality.

Now the whole tissue spun by the Archangels is influenced by those whom we call the abnormal* Archangels, the Spirits of Language, as I yesterday described. We have also described how the abnormal* Spirits of Personality, the Archai, work. We may now glance at the field in which the Archangel gives his orders, in which he distributes the missions which are to be carried further by the Angels into the separate individuals. The Archangels can, however, also operate into the domain of the abnormal Spirits of Personality, and it may happen that in the mutual co-operation of the Archangels with the abnormal Spirits of Personality, — because the latter are pursuing quite different objects, — that in certain respects the measures taken by the Archangels are crossed. When this occurs, when these abnormal Spirits of Personality come into collision with the measures taken by the Archangels, we can then perceive that within a single nation groups are formed, having special tasks. The action of the Spirits of Personality is externally visible when, within a certain people, groups are formed having special tasks. This may last for several centuries. For instance, in the very country in which we now have specially to work at Anthroposophy, in Germany, you have seen for centuries this play of the Archangel of the Germans in co-operation with the sometimes opposing separate Spirits of Personality. In the division of the collective German people into the smaller peoples, you have an interplay of the abnormal Spirits of Personality with the Archangel.

[* NOTE: As the constant interchange of name is confusing, the reader is referred to the synopsis. The term abnormal is applied sometimes to the hierarchic rank abandoned, sometimes to the new hierarchy taken on.]

Such peoples are not so much centralized, they pay more attention to the cultivation of the individualities. This has in certain respects its good side, because in this way a great variety, many different shades of folk character can find their expression.

You may, however, take the other case, in which not the abnormal Spirit of Personality but the normal Spirit of Personality, who expresses himself in the Spirit of the Age becomes, so to speak, more important for a certain epoch than he otherwise is in the ordinary course of things.

Therefore, when we look at a people, we are looking at the Archangel as its first power. Then the Spirit of the Age comes and gives his orders to the Archangel, the latter passes them on to the Angels, and these convey them to the separate individuals. Now because one only sees, as a rule, what is nearest to one, so in this combined action one sees the actions of the Archangel as being the most important. It may, however, occur that the Spirit of the Age has to give out more weighty, more important orders, that he is, so to speak, compelled to take something away from the Archangel, because he must detach a portion of the people in order that the task of the age, the mission of the Spirit of the Age may be fulfilled. In such a case bodies of people separate themselves from the rest. The Spirit of the Age then visibly gains the upper hand over the influence of the Archangel. A case in point occurred when the Dutch people split away from the foundations which it had in common with the German people. Holland and Germany had originally one Archangel in common, and the separation occurred because the Spirit of the Age severed off a portion at a given time, and then passed on to this portion that which has become the important concern of the modern Spirit of the Age. All you may read in Dutch history — for history is in reality only an external expression, a maya, for what is happening inwardly — is only the reflection of an inner event. Thus in this case we can see the splitting of the Dutch people from the collective German people taking place externally; but the inner kernel is, that the Spirit of the Age required an instrument with which to carry out his overseas mission. The whole mission of the Dutch people was a mission of the Spirit of the Age, and it was split off for the purpose of giving him the possibility of carrying out something important at a certain time in history. What is described by historians is only outer maya, which hides the actual facts more than it reveals them.

There are other cases in which you can meet with what is so striking in this connection, namely, that a portion of a people had to sever itself from the common folk; that is the case with the Portuguese people. You may look in vain for other reasons in their case, you will find that it is here solely a question of a victory of the Spirit of the Age over the Archangel. If you go through the several events you will find that the opportunity was here made use of to form a special people, — there were not many such opportunities. The Spanish people and the Portuguese formed one mother folk. The outer reasons perhaps were, that the rivers were only navigable as far as to the Portuguese frontiers; there were no other external reasons. On the other hand there was the inner reason, that those tasks had to be fulfilled which were the specific tasks of the Portuguese, and which were different from the tasks of the combined Spanish people. There we see the Spirits of the Age for a time developing a more intense activity than they usually display. We see the harmony which had prevailed till then replaced by something else. We see the Spirit of the Age, instead of communicating his orders to the Archangel, taking a direct part in the history of the people, and we see how the other Spirits make use of this opportunity to incorporate themselves. When such a people is split off, then the Spirit of the Age for a time, in the first enthusiasm which has permeated the several persons, discharges the functions of the Archangel so much, that hardly anything else appears of the severance than a hurry and bustle within this people. One sees the hurrying and the urging, the activity which comes from the mission of the Spirit of the Age. Then, however, the possibility arises for a normal and an abnormal Archangel to incorporate themselves in the severed part of the people. Thus we see the growth of the Dutch and the Portuguese peoples who then received their own normal and abnormal Archangels. In that which incorporated itself here, in the difference in the temperament of the people expressed in the several personalities, we see the work of those spiritual Beings whom we have named. We see the work of these spiritual Beings in a very wonderful manner and we then recognize that what takes place outwardly in history is only a result of their activity. Gradually the saying, that the external world is maya or illusion, assumes more definite significance.

What happens in external history is only the outer reflection of the spiritual, of the super-sensible Beings, just as the outer man is only the outer reflection of the inner man. That is why I had to say, and it must be emphasized again and again, that the saying ‘The world is maya’ is of the very greatest importance; but it is not sufficient to emphasize it in an abstract way, rather should one be in a position to carry it out in detail.

Now we have seen that yet other Spirits and Hierarchies are active in what we call the world. We have spoken of the normal and abnormal Archangels. The abnormal Archangels have revealed themselves to us as being actually Spirits of Form or Powers, only they are those who have renounced a certain portion of the attributes of their evolution. We may then ask, How is it with the normal Spirits of Form? We perceive the normal Spirits of Form as being four degrees above man. In our next lecture we shall have a little more to say about them. These normal Spirits of Form are Beings four stages higher than man. The Hierarchies we mentioned yesterday do not end with the Spirits of Form, with whom we concluded the ascending line. Above these there are the Spirits of Motion, the Dynamis, or Mights; higher still there are the Beings we call Kyriotetes, Dominions or Spirits of Wisdom. You will find these different spiritual Beings enumerated in my Occult Science, as well as in my writings about the Akashic Record.

Now you can understand that the law of renunciation, of remaining behind, applies also to the higher Spirits, therefore that the Spirits of Motion may also remain behind with certain attributes, — Spirits of Motion, who are five stages higher than man, — that certain Spirits of Motion have so remained in human evolution, as if they were now only Spirits of Form or Powers. These are, as regards certain attributes, really Spirits of Motion, and in respect of other attributes, regarding which they have made renunciation, they are Spirits of Form; so that we have normal Spirits of Form, four stages higher than man, and other Spirits working on the same ground on which are the Spirits of Form, but who are really Spirits of Motion. That is therefore a domain in which the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form, the backward Spirits of Motion, work together, just as we have found a domain in which the normal and abnormal Archangels work together. Through this co-operation, however, something takes place which closely concerns man; by means of it the shaping of what we call the human races takes place, which we must distinguish from the peoples.

If we consider the matter in this way, we shall not have a confused idea of it, but one that is elastic; we must not confuse all this. A nation is not a race, the concept of a nation has nothing to do with that of a race. A race may divide itself into many different nations, races are different communities from nations. We are certainly right in speaking of a German, a Dutch, a Norwegian nation, but we speak of a Germanic race. Now what acts in the idea of a race? The Beings whom we describe as normal Spirits of Form or Powers act therein in combination with those Beings whom we have learnt to know as the abnormal Spirits of Form, but who in reality are Spirits of Motion having the mission of Spirits of Form. That is why mankind is divided into races. That which makes man the same over the whole globe, which makes each man, irrespective of the race to which he belongs, a member of the whole human kingdom, is brought about by the normal Spirits of Form. But that which plays a part over the whole earth and divides the whole of humanity into races, is brought about by the abnormal Spirits of Form, who have denied themselves so that there should not be one humanity only upon the earth but a variety of people.

Thus we arrive at the subsoil, so to say, at the ground of which the separate individual peoples first arise. In this way we succeed in surveying into the field belonging to the Spirits of Form and as abnormal Spirits of Form to bear one humanity, and that the belated Spirits of Motion enter into the field belonging to the Spirits of Form and as abnormal Spirits of Form divide up all humanity upon the globe into the several races. When we look into what these Spirits actually want, when we study the aims and objects of these normal and abnormal Spirits of Form, we shall understand what they wish to bring about with the human races, and how through these a foundation is created for what arises out of them. If we then study a people itself we shall have understood and comprehended it.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:54 pm


10th June, 1910.

If we wish to arrive at the relation of the human races to one another, and at the foundations from which the several peoples spring, we must take into consideration that man, such as we know him, is in reality a very complicated being and that only by the co-operative activity of many, many of the Beings in the universe could his present form and being come about. We know from the study of Akashic Records and other observations on the evolution of man, that formerly our earth itself, before it attained its present condition, had to go through three other conditions, in the course of which the three so-called parts of man, the physical body, the etheric or life-body and the astral body, were gradually established and brought to their present state. Only during the present incarnation of the earth has man become capable of taking into himself an ‘ I ’. These four parts of his being show us all that has happened during the three or four incarnations of our earth, through its incarnation as Saturn, Sun, Moon, and through our Earth period itself in so far as that has run its course hitherto. If you will bring before your mind all the Beings who have thus worked together, the Spirits of Will or Thrones, the Spirits of Wisdom, of Motion, of Form, of Personality, the Archangels, down to the Angels, — and above the Spirits of Will or Thrones, the Cherubim and Seraphim, — you will admit that only from a very complicated work could that come about which makes man's present organization possible. We have seen that it was not only necessary for so large a number of Beings and forces of Nature to work together in the cosmos, but that it was also necessary, if man were to come into being, that at certain epochs, certain Beings should renounce the normal course of their evolution and remain behind, in order to affect the organization of man in a way that would have been impossible in the normal course of his evolution.

Therefore if we want to understand man, such as he appears before our eyes to-day, we must look at a wonderful tissue, woven out of many and various forms. It must be quite clear to us, that only when we, in a sense, draw this tissue apart and observe the activity of the several Beings, do we learn to understand how through the co-operation of these Beings man has come into being. We are then able to say, that the chief Being who comes into consideration for the present-day man, is the one who has given him the possibility of saying ‘ I ’ to himself, of gradually coming to the consciousness of the ‘ I ’, and we know that this possibility was first given by the Spirits of Form, those Beings whom we call Powers, Exusiai. If we listen to the activity of these particular Beings which they direct to man and ask ourselves what would happen to him if these Beings alone — and of these only those who are in normal evolution, — were chiefly to be active in him, we should find that these are the donors of the ‘ I ’-organization. If we consider them according to their own nature, we find that their chief interest lies in bringing to man his ‘ I ’. But now what these Beings have really to accomplish in man, only actually comes about in the life of present-day man at a certain age; it can only appear at a certain age.

If you remember what has been said about the education of the child from the standpoint of spiritual science, you will admit that man, in the period between his physical birth and the changing of the teeth, that is up to his seventh year, principally develops his physical body. These Spirits of Form have no particular interest in the development of this physical body, for this is, on the whole, a repetition of what happened to man on the old Saturn, and which has already often been repeated, and which after the last physical birth and up to the seventh year, has for the present been repeated up to last time in a particular way. Then comes the time from the seventh to the fourteenth year, i.e., up to puberty. That too is a stage in which the Spirits of Form take no particular interest; for that is a repetition of the old Sun-period, and the Spirits of Form wished to set to work with their chief activity, that of bestowing the ‘ I ’, only during the condition of the Earth-life. We then come to the third age, which runs its course between the fifteenth and twenty-first or twenty-second year. During this time the astral body, which normally belongs to the Moon-evolution, evolves in man as a repetition. There too, those Spirits of Form who are evolving normally still have no interest in man. So that we must say: the three ages of man which precede the actual birth of his ‘ I ’, which only comes in about his twentieth year, have no direct interest for the Spirits of Form. They only intervene, out of their own nature, one might say, somewhere about the twentieth year of life: so that, if you come to think of it, you will no longer find it very strange, that so far as the actual intentions of the Spirits of Form are concerned, man need only come into existence in the condition in which he is to be found somewhere about his twentieth year. All that is developed in man before that time, is in reality to those Spirits of Form a kind of embryonic state, a sort of germinal condition, and if I may be allowed to speak somewhat metaphorically I might say, that these Spirits of Form who have developed themselves normally would far prefer everything to go on with a certain regularity, and that no one should till then have dabbled in their handiwork. If no one interfered with these Spirits of Form until the twentieth year, then, in the first seven years of his life man would have had the consciousness belonging to the physical body; that as a matter of fact is a very dim state of consciousness such as is possessed by the mineral world. In the second stage, in the time between his seventh and his fourteenth year, he would have a sleep consciousness. From his fourteenth to his twentieth year, he would be very active inwardly, but he would live in a sort of dream-consciousness. Only after this consciousness as a Moon-being, at about his one-and-twentieth year, would man really wake up. Then only would he arrive at the ‘ I ’-consciousness. If he followed a normal development he would only then come out of himself and survey the outer world in that representation of it which is the one familiar to us.

So you see that in reality, if we only take into consideration the activity of the Spirits of Form, man attains his present-day consciousness much too soon, for you know that in the man of to-day, this consciousness awakes to a certain degree soon after physical birth. It would not awake in the form in which it sees the physical external world clearly and distinctly, if other Spirits who in reality are Spirits of Motion had not remained behind and renounced the development of certain capacities which they could have acquired up to the time of the Earth-evolution if they had not stood still, so that now, during the Earth-evolution, they might be able to intervene in a particular way in the development of man. Because they went through their evolution in a different way, they are in a position to bring to man earlier that which he would otherwise only have acquired in his twentieth year or thereabouts. These, therefore, are spiritual Beings who renounced the possibility of carrying on their evolution normally up to the Earth-evolution, spiritual Beings who might have been Spirits of Motion during the Earth evolution, but who remained at the stage of the Spirits of Form and are now active as Spirits of Form in the Earth-evolution. Thus they are able, during the Earth-evolution, to bestow upon man that which he is not as yet in the least ripe for, having still too much to retrieve from an earlier epoch. They can bestow that which in the normal form of evolution would have only been bestowed at about his twentieth year.

Thus man comes into existence and receives capacities from the abnormal Spirits of Form, which he would otherwise only receive about his twentieth year. All this has very significant consequences. Just imagine for a moment that this had not occurred. If these Spirits with an abnormal development were not to interfere, then man would only come into consideration, as far as the physical world is concerned, in the condition which is his at about his twentieth year, that is to say, he would have to be born in this condition as a physical being and would have to go through quite different germinal conditions. In fact, through these abnormal Spirits of Form, the evolution of man is transposed into the physical world already from birth on, up to the twentieth year, i.e., by about the first third of our earth life. We must therefore say: The first third of our earth-life is not directed by the spiritual Beings who rule the conditions of the earth, but by other abnormal spiritual Beings; and because these take part in evolution, we therefore do not possess the form we should have if we were born in the condition we are in about our twentieth year. Man must pay for this by passing the first third of his life — the time up to his twentieth year — under the great influence of these abnormal Beings. During the whole period of growth man is in reality under the influence of these abnormal Beings; he has to pay for this when the middle third of his life has passed away, — which on the whole belongs only to the normal Spirits of Form, — in that a descending course, a going-back begins, and his etheric and astral organizations crumble away. So that life is divided into three parts or portions, an ascending third, a middle third and a descending third. Man really only becomes man during his earth life in the middle part, and in the last third he has to give back that which he received during the first, or ascending third; in other words he must repay the corresponding installment. If man had indeed been exclusively given up to the influences of the normal Spirits of Form, all that happens to-day up to his twentieth year would have quite a different appearance, quite a different form. Everything would have happened quite differently, so that all that is connected with the present development of man in the first of his three epochs of life is, on the whole, a premature existence, one that forestalls much that belongs to the later epochs of life. Through this man has become a more material being up to the second epoch of his life than he would otherwise have been. He would otherwise up to that period of his life have gone through purely spiritual conditions, and would have descended to the present material densification only at that period of his development which he goes through in the twentieth, or twenty-first year of his life, when he finds himself bound to the earth. Spiritual Science therefore tells us, that if his development had proceeded in that way, man would really have descended to the earth only in the condition which he now reaches in his twentieth or twenty-first year. He would not have been able to go through the preceding states upon the earth. He would have been obliged to go through them soaring above the earth, around it.

Diagram 2

And now you can understand the whole course of human development through child and youth. You can see, if we take this straight line (B C) as being the earth-path, that the Spirits of Form would have intended man to come down only at this point (twenty, one-and-twenty). Man would have reached the earth only here (B), and he would have ascended again after his fortieth year (C) and would have gone through the last third of his life in a spiritualized state. Through the abnormal Beings man was compelled to descend here (A) and at once take up his life on the earth. That is the secret of our existence.

If all this had become what it did not become, that is to say, if man had gone through the first and last thirds of his life up above in the periphery of the earth, and had only come down to earth during the middle part, and had therefore become quite a different being, he would not have been bound to the earth to the extent he actually is to-day. If that had happened, then all the persons who walked on earth would have been of the same form and nature; all the people who have wandered over the face of the earth would have had the same form. There would have been only one kind of human being. That which makes us into beings capable of manifesting the specific attributes of the various races expressed in all humanity, is not comprised in the middle third of life. By means of all that appertains to the preceding age, of all that happens in the first third of life, we with all our forces are bound to the earth more than the normal Spirits of Form have intended us to be. For this reason, however, man has become more dependent on the earth upon which he lives, than he would otherwise have been. He has become dependent upon that part of the earth on which he lives, and because he descends earlier to the earth, — against the intentions of the Spirits of Form, as one might say, — he becomes dependent upon that place, because he unites himself to the earth in a state which is not designed for him. If he had only set foot on the earth in the middle third of his life, he would have been independent of whether he did so in the north or the south, in the east or the west. But because he has become dependent upon the earth, because his youth is spent in the way we have described, he becomes earthbound, he becomes a being who is connected with and belongs to the country in which he was born. He thus becomes dependent upon all the conditions of the earth belonging to that place, upon the incidence of the sun's rays, upon the circumstance of whether his birthplace is in the neighborhood of the Equator in the torrid zone, or in a more temperate region, upon whether he is born on low-lying land, or on a high tableland. The respiration is quite different in the plain from what it is in the mountains. Man therefore becomes altogether dependent upon the earthly conditions of the place in which he is born. So we see that man has thoroughly grown together with his mother-earth through being so closely connected with the place, with that part of the earth on which he is born; and that he is determined by those attributes which he thus receives, by the earth-forces connected with that particular place acting within him. All these things determine his racial character, and in this indirect way the abnormal Spirits of Form, — those Spirits of Form, or Powers, who give what we call our present earthly consciousness, not between the ages of twenty-one to forty-three but at a different time — are the originators of the racial differences in mankind over the whole earth, which therefore depend upon the part of the world in which a man is born.

Now during this time, which on the whole is under the ruler ship of the abnormal Spirits of Form, man also acquires the possibility and the capacity of propagating his species. This capacity is also acquired during the time in which man is not entirely under the guidance of the normal Spirits of Form. Hence the possibility is given that a man should not only be dependent in this way on the place where he is born, but that the attributes he thus receives may also be inherited by his successors, and that the racial characteristics are not only expressed in the influences of the dwelling-place but also in that which is inherited through the race. You have here the explanation as to why the race is that which can be inherited; and we shall understand what is shown by spiritual science, that only in the past were the racial characteristics produced by the place in which men were born. That was the case in the latter portion of the Lemurian epoch and in the first part of the Atlantean epoch, when man was directly dependent upon his earthly surroundings. At a later epoch race began to assume the character of being bound up with heredity and no longer with place. So that in race we see something which was originally connected with one special part of the earth and which afterwards propagated itself in mankind through heredity, but became more and more independent of place.

From what I have just said, you will see in which period of evolution we can reasonably speak of the idea of race. There could be no sense according to the real meaning of the word in speaking of race before the Lemurian epoch, for then only did man descend to the earth. Before that he was in the periphery of the earth; he then descended to the earth and the racial characteristics were handed down by heredity in the Atlantean epoch and on into our post-Atlantean epoch. We shall see how in our own time it is the national characteristics that again split up the character of the race and begin to extinguish it. We shall see all that later.

We must now take care that we do not consider the world as though evolution were only like a wheel that goes round and round without beginning or end; the idea of the revolving wheel (which is developed at length in many mystical views of the world) brings fearful confusion into the conception of the actual evolution of mankind. If one thinks of it as if everything moves round a fixed centre and that it is divided into so and so many races, then one has really no idea that everything is in a state of evolution, and that the races are evolving too. Races have arisen and they will some day die out and be no longer there. They do not repeat themselves for ever in the same way, as Mr. Sinnett wrongly describes in his Esoteric Buddhism.

We must look for the beginning of racial characteristics, of racial peculiarities, in the old Lemurian epoch, and we must then follow their propagation down into our own times, but in doing so we must be quite clear, that when our present fifth epoch of evolution shall have been succeeded by the sixth and seventh, there will be no question of a condition which we may describe as race. But if we picture this evolution as always rolling evenly on, we have only a sort of mill-wheel in our mind, and are far removed from the understanding of what does really take place in the world.

We see therefore, how the evolution of races begins only in the Lemurian epoch, through the activity of the abnormal Spirits of Form who let the forces of our earth planet set to work at the spot where a man has to pass the first years of his life; and that again is carried over in a certain way into his later life, because man has a memory, through which he remembers even in his later life the time spent in a really abnormal way on the earth before his twenty-first year. Man would be a very different being if only the normal Spirits of Form were active. Through the abnormal Spirits of Form he is dependent upon the spot on which he lives.

In the manner just described a deviation from the laws of the normal Spirits of Form came about, so that the place in which a man lives on earth during a certain incarnation became of significance to him. We shall more clearly understand these connections if we consider the following. We may state, in a certain way, how the subsoil, the ground, radiates its essence upwards and permeates the human organization, so that man becomes dependent upon the soil of that part of the earth. In this connection we may therefore mention certain parts of the earth that are connected with the historical development of the human being. We shall go into these conditions more minutely later on. I shall now characterize them in the abstract.

Diagram 3

You have here, for instance, a point which lies in Africa; at this spot there radiate out from the earth, as it were, all those forces which could affect man particularly during his early childhood. Later on their influence grows less; hence a man is less under the influence of these forces, but they nevertheless impress him very strongly with what comes from them. That spot on the earth on which a man lives affects him most strongly in his earliest childhood. It determines his whole life; a man is so entirely dependent upon these forces, that this spot imprints the characteristic of his early childhood permanently upon him. That is more or less a characteristic of all those who, as regards their racial character, receive the determining forces out of the earth in the neighborhood of that spot. What we call the black race is particularly determined by these attributes.

If you now pass on further into Asia, you find a spot on the earth's surface, where the characteristics of youth are imprinted permanently on man from the forces of the earth, where the special attributes of later youth are conveyed to man out of the being of the earth and give him the racial character. The races which come into consideration here are the yellow and the brownish races of our epoch.

If we then go further from the East to the West, we find towards Europe a point which permanently imprints the latest characteristics upon man, those which belong to the years following early youth. It is the point where man is affected by the earth-forces not already in childhood but later when he passes from youth to later age. Man is in this way seized by the forces which, coming out of the earth, determine him; so that, if we picture these several points, we get a remarkable line. This line still holds good for our epoch. The spot in Africa corresponds to those forces of the earth which imprint upon man the characteristics of early childhood. The spot in Asia corresponds to those which give man the characteristics of youth, and the ripest characteristics are imprinted on man by the corresponding spot in Europe. This is simply a law. As all persons in their different incarnations pass through the various races, therefore, although it may be argued that the European has the advantage over the black and the yellow races, we should not be prejudiced thereby. Here the truth may, indeed be sometimes veiled, but you see that with the help of spiritual science we really do come upon remarkable truths.

If we continue this line, we come far to the West, to America, the region where those forces are active which lie on the other side of the middle third of life. We come, — I beg you not to misunderstand what is now being said, it only refers to man in so far as he is dependent upon the physical organizing forces, not upon those forces which constitute his essence as a human being but the forces in which he lives, — we come then to those forces which have a great deal to do with the decline and death of man, with what in man belongs to the last third of his life. This line, which is laid down by law, really does exist, it is a reality, a real curve, and it expresses the law according to which our earth acts upon man. The forces which determine man with respect to race take this course. The American Indians did not die out because it pleased the Europeans that they should do so, but because they had to acquire those forces which lead them to die out. Upon the peculiarity of this line depends that which takes place with the races on the surface of our earth and that which is brought about by the forces which are not under the influence of the normal Spirits of Form. Where racial character comes into consideration they work in this way; but in our age the racial character is gradually being overcome.

This was preparatory developed even in the very earliest period. If we were to go back into the old Lemurian epoch we could find the very first starting-points of racial development in the regions of present-day Africa and Asia. Then later we see a movement westward, and if we follow the forces which determine race in the West, we can observe the decline among the American Indians. Humanity had to go to the West in order to die as race. To refresh humanity with the new youthful force, the migration to the East takes place, which, coming from Atlantis, moves across Europe to Asia. Then a repetition of the migration to the West takes place. But the repetition is not now the movement of races, it is a higher stage of racial development, as it were, the development of the various civilizations. We can see that, in a certain way, the evolution of civilizations assumes the character shown by a continuation of the race line. For instance, we have that civilization which we have characterized with sufficient admiration already in these lectures, the old Indian civilization which appeared as the first post-Atlantean civilization; this we have to describe as corresponding to early childhood, in which man, as regards his appreciation of physical nature still sleeps, whilst the manifestations of a spiritual world work into his soul. The first Indian civilization is in fact a revelation from above, a manifestation from spiritual heights, and it was only able to work into man because he came under the influence of Indian earth, under which he had already been in times lying very far back. In the primeval past the physical race-character was determined out of the earth; now, when they were again present on the same part of the earth, a quality of the soul, namely, that of the old Indians, is determined. Through the migration from the West to the East that youthful freshness came in, which made possible the unique configuration of mind which characterizes the original Indian civilization. You will see that a very ancient Indian civilization, which has not yet been examined and of which the Indian civilization now known to science is only a successor, can in this way be explained, namely, that in a certain respect the Atlantean civilization is repeated in the primeval Indian civilization. Then when we consider the civilizations which follow consecutively in the post-Atlantean epoch, we can see that they represent successive repetitions of conditions gone through earlier in the physical body, but which through rejuvenation have become quite different. Thus in the Persian civilization we see one which is in a certain way connected with what we might call a wrestling-through of the human being who lives chiefly in the first force of human life, when, with the forces which originate from the normal Spirits of Form, he is still under the influences of the abnormal Spirits of Form. This opposition is contained in the Persian civilization in the consciousness and in the form of Light and Darkness, of Ormuzd and Ahriman. The further we come over towards the West, the more do we see how the attributes of a riper age of civilization are imprinted. Even although we must admit, that up to our present time the creations of man are still to a great extent dependent upon the abnormal forces and Beings of the Universe, we shall nevertheless find it comprehensible when it is said, that men no longer proceed towards the West exclusively with attributes of the race, and we can also understand, that in a certain way the tendency of civilization is such, that the full freshness of its youth, of its productive element, declines more and more the further it goes towards the West.

One who observes objectively may see from many things that the civilization in our own age is also determined in this way by a fixed law. But people are not inclined to look at things objectively. If you consider what presents itself, if you consider that in reality all civilization flows onward, you will then see that the further we go towards the West, so much the less productive does the civilization become, and as civilization it approaches its end. The further West one goes the more do the merely external parts of civilization bloom, those which do not experience a revival by means of the youth-forces, but which in a way live on into what belongs to old age. Hence in the West they will still be able to accomplish much for humanity in respect to physical, chemical and astronomical discoveries, and all that does not depend upon the reviving youth-forces; but that which calls for productive force really requires a different configuration of those forces which act upon man.

Let us suppose a man grows up from his childhood to a certain stage; then only does his spiritual part really blossom forth. At first he is only a being who grows physically. That which in the small boy is compressed into a narrow space, must first expand physically. Afterwards his development is pressed into his inner being. And thus it is too with mankind in general. We are looking at a remarkable law when we follow this curve. We find it expressed even in the continents. We see that in the first place there is a sort of original beginning of the physical development of man in Africa, that then the ground upon which humanity develops, is very widely extended. We find this again in the widely extended continent of Asia; man there inhabits huge surfaces of the earth.

Now let us glance at the repetition of the race development in the post-Atlantean civilizations. Just as a man in his youth looks around him, curious as to his surroundings, so does the man of the old Indian civilization look out into the world. That is really connected with the fresh youthful forces, which expand man and organize his growth in size. Then the spiritual must begin and the physical must be compressed. Thus we see, that as civilization advances into Europe, it is remarkable that the space upon which mankind is spread out, is compressed into smaller dimensions. We observe that Europe is the smallest continent and that the further it goes towards the West, the more does it strive towards compression; it extends into the sea in peninsulas and contracts more and more towards the West.

All this is connected with the spiritual course of evolution. Here you are looking in an unique manner into the mysteries of spiritual evolution. But with the compression towards the West there is a crisis. It is a crisis through which a more unproductive element begins to act. Productivity dies out in a certain way in the peninsulas to the West. This un-productivity is revealed in what has already been described, namely, that civilization itself, the further it goes towards the West, assumes a rigid, senile element. This was always known in the Mystery Schools. You will understand now why I said, that what I had to communicate might be rather dangerous, because people might become indignant. There is a great deal more that may not yet be told, that would help to make man independent with regard to the higher parts of his being, in order that he may perceive what comes up out of the earth and determines the race, and later on determines the character of the civilization, and which at a yet later age when man returns again to the spiritual will again become of no importance.

Hence you will understand, that with this whole process of the evolution of mankind, there is connected the spiritual evolution which has always been known to those who were initiated more deeply into the secrets of existence. The correctness of what has just been said does not depend upon whether one person likes it and another dislikes it, it depends upon the necessity which exists in evolution. If a person were to speak against necessity he would arrive at nothing; for to speak against it means to put hindrances in the way. Therefore it is only natural that, in a certain way, the people who go to the country which lies more to the West, must again obtain refreshment from the East, they must receive an impulse from the East; but the Central European domain must call to mind its own productivity, such as existed before the formation of peninsulas. That is the reason why precisely in Europe, — I mean in the part embracing our two countries, Scandinavia and Germany, — man is compelled to reflect upon his own soul-nature, and why on the other hand we must look precisely in the West for that portion of humanity which is to receive something from the East. That is deeply rooted in the whole character of earthly humanity. You see this repeated even in the development of Theosophy. We also meet with it again in the fourth post-Atlantean civilization, among the Romans and the Greeks. It is a fact that the Romans are in certain respects more advanced than the Greeks, but they take their spiritual life from the people they conquered, who lived more towards the East. The law thus revealed verifies itself more and more, the further the countries lie to the West. These great truths can only be indicated. They give us that which is in conformity with the inner character of our mission in every part of the surface of the earth. You see that we must understand what it is we have to do, in order to raise ourselves above the general character of humanity. There lies the great responsibility which one takes, if one wishes to intervene in the great movement of mankind. Where the great movement of humanity is concerned, no personal sympathy, and no personal enthusiasm must play a part, for that does not come into consideration, but only what is made necessary by the great laws of humanity. We must recognize this from the great laws themselves, and not allow ourselves to be influenced by prejudice in favor of this or the other. That is on the whole the fundamental character of Rosicrucianism. Rosicrucianism means acting in accordance with the whole evolution of humanity. If we know the ground on which we stand, down to the formation of islands and peninsulas, then we shall realize what feelings must fill us, if we mean to act in harmony with the evolution of humanity.

Once upon a time, man was led down to the earth by the abnormal Spirits of Form and united to the various parts of the earth's surface; and thus were the foundations laid for the development of the races. Then, however, we see the races intermingling more and more. We see the development of nations intervening in the evolution of the races, that is to say, the former arise out of the latter. We see the evolution of the nations intervening even in the evolution of the individual human beings. A great mystery is expressed when it is said who Plato was with respect to his outer being, with respect to his birth in human form. He was a man who grew up in the lineage of Solon, who belonged to the Ionian tribe, to the Greek nation, to the whole Caucasian Race. If we understand that Plato was a descendant of Solon, an Ionian, a Greek, a Caucasian, this expresses, if we understand the law underlying it, a profound mystery. It expresses the mystery which shows us how the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form cooperate on the wide basis of the earth planet, those Spirits whose greatest interest is to make man into an earth-man. Herein is expressed how, by this co-operative work, the human kingdom is particularized, how then those other Beings intervene of whom we have already spoken in describing the characteristics of the several peoples. Each individual in his own being participates in the co-operative working of all these higher Beings, of these higher Spirits.

We do not understand the individual man, if we do not see him in his whole evolution; he has become what he is, through the co-operation of these Beings. Through a Caucasian Race once being created on our earth planet, through the mysterious co-operation of those Spirits of Form who have gone through the normal evolution, and those others who have gone through the abnormal evolution, the foundations were laid which made it possible for a Plato to arise. And because we see the intervention of the abnormal and the normal Archangels down to the Angels, we see the means which were necessary to bring forth a Plato, whom we could meet with as a human being, having a human countenance and possessing very definite attributes of reasoning, feeling and willing. The folk or nation lies between the race and the individual.

Thus we had to describe in general to-day the fundamental conditions leading to the development of race. In the next lecture we will consider the growing up of peoples out of the races, the intervention of other Spirits of the Hierarchies, and will consider their intervention in the work of the Spirits of Form.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:56 pm


11th June, 1910.

It will be seen from the last lecture, that in order to penetrate impartially into the facts under consideration, it will certainly be necessary for one to rise above all the feelings that may easily come to a person from what we must now describe quite objectively. As long as one has the smallest tendency to take an objective description of this or that race, or of this or that people, as a personal matter, so long will it be difficult to obtain an unprejudiced understanding of the facts contained in this course of lectures. With this also is connected the fact that these matters cannot be spoken of on any other ground than that of Spiritual Science; for whatever we may hear about the character of this or that people, and however our feelings and so on may be affected because we belong to a certain race or people, yet as Anthroposophists we have a sufficient counterbalance to lay on the opposite scale, viz., the teaching of Karma and Reincarnation, when properly understood. It gives us the outlook that, with the inmost kernel of our being, we shall be reincarnated in successive ages in many different races and peoples. We may therefore be sure, when we contemplate this kernel of our being, that we shall take part with it, not only in the sunny or perhaps also in the shadow-side of all races and peoples, but we may be sure that in our inmost being we shall receive share after share of the blessings of all races and peoples through being incarnated first in one place and then in another.

Our consciousness, our horizon, becomes wider, more comprehensive, through these ideas of karma and reincarnation. Therefore, through them only do we learn to bear that which at the present time must come before our mental eyes as the secrets of Race and Nationality. So that what is being spoken of in this series of lectures, if it be rightly understood, will bring no dissatisfaction at being incarnated in this people or the other race. But such an objective survey of the character of the peoples, nations and races as this, will nevertheless produce discontent and disharmony in people, unless it be received with the above assumptions. The Anthroposophist will learn, through the teaching of karma and reincarnation, how every nation, even the smallest, has to contribute its share towards the whole evolution of humanity. That is just what will be so very important, that in the second part of this course of lectures it will be shown how the several influences of the missions of the peoples flow into the whole of humanity, and how even separate peoples that were split off and are now scattered here and there among the greater peoples, have their significance in the great harmony of human evolution. That, however, can only come gradually before our mental eyes.

Now in order to acquire a complete understanding of the characters of the several Folk-souls, we shall have to make use of examples which are in certain respects clearer to us than the folk-characters of our times, in which we ourselves live with our own civilization; and on the other hand we shall perhaps have to occupy ourselves with the character of nations, which as regards time are far removed from us, in order to acquire an understanding of how we can comprehend the characters and the missions of nations.

What we have learned in the course of the last lectures, namely, that in a race a normal and abnormal Spirit of Form must so to speak work together, and that in a people, an Archangel who is going through his normal evolution and another Archangel-spirit who is going through an abnormal one must act together, — that has made comprehensible to us how the Beings, whom we have learned to know as the spiritual hierarchies, work in evolution.

Now let us ask ourselves: How do the still higher spiritual Beings work into the whole? It would be well, if to-day we lay a foundation by acquiring an understanding of the Hierarchies, to which, as we know, man belongs as the lowest member. If you remember what has already been explained, you will then know that we so understand these Hierarchies, that we say, at the lowest stage stands man. (Below him are the three kingdoms of Nature, the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms.) Above him come the Angels, then the Archangels, then the Primal Forces or Archai. That is what we may describe as the first Hierarchy above man. The second Hierarchy is as follows:

1. Spirits of Form or Powers,
2. Spirits of Motion or Mights,
3. Spirits of Wisdom or Dominions.

Then we have the highest of the three Hierarchies:

1. Spirits of Will or Thrones,
2. Cherubim,
3. Seraphim.

Now let us ask: As all spiritual Beings manifest themselves in some way or other, so that they appear somewhere in the realm of maya or illusion, that is to say, in the realm of the world of the senses, where may we seek for them in the lowest stage of manifestation, at the stage of illusion? Man with his ordinary view of Nature and Spirit knows only the domain of maya or illusion, the most external manifestation of these spiritual Beings. I will show you by means of an example, that man knows only the most external manifestation of these Beings.

A person goes on foot, for instance, over the rocky land of the North. Now the first thing he will say of it is: ‘Here there is substance spread out,’ and he will describe this dense, rocky, stony substance over which he walks just as he first sees it, and call it in his ordinary language ‘hard, stony substance.’ But one who penetrates into the nature of things, sees something quite different in this stony substance. What is that really upon which we stand and which offers us resistance? What man believes to be there, is not there at all, it is a delusion. The most external surface of our earth is simply a delusion. The truth is, that forces from below work upwards, they again are none other than forces streaming out from certain Beings; we may therefore say, in that piece of ground we see before us what in the first place presents itself as forces which come out of the earth and radiate into space in every direction. Certainly a man could not walk about upon the earth if only these forces were there. These forces alone would hurl him with lightning rapidity out into space. The fact that he is able to stand upon solid ground he owes to the circumstance that other forces stream in from all sides from universal space. The sphere of the instreaming forces meets incessantly that of the outstreaming forces; and where they come together they form as one might say a boundary, which is the surface of the earth. So that the surface one sees is only a delusion which is the result of the in and outward streaming forces, acting in such a way that they stop each other just at the surface in question. That which thus streams forth is essentially the same as what we must call the activities of the Thrones, the Spirits of Will. These Spirits radiate their forces from the earth, out in every direction; and that which comes in from universal space is essentially what we may call the radiating influx of the forces of certain Spirits of Motion, working inwards from without. Thus these two kinds of forces meet here, and this co-operation of the Thrones with the Spirits of Motion, through the activity of the Thrones being arrested by the Spirits of Motion, — produces the various contours of the earth's surface. So that what you see outside as the earth's surface is most unreal, it is nothing but illusion. What really is there is a balance of forces, and as it were an agreement between the Spirits of Will and the Spirits of Motion which is so arranged that it models the earth in the most varied manner.

Nevertheless this would certainly not suffice to enable our earth to form itself into just such a planet as it now is. The opposed activity of the Spirits of Will and the Spirits of Motion would not be sufficient for this; they would produce something quite different. If, for instance, only the Spirits of Will were to work outwards from within the earth, and had as their opponents only the Spirits of Motion, then the earth would inwardly be in a continual state of flux. No part of the planet would then be able to be at rest. True, it would not be so fluidic as the present sea; it would not be an element forming and throwing up waves so easily as water, but it would form and throw up waves in a denser substance.

Now if you wish to form an idea of how the Spirits of Will and the Spirits of Motion originally worked together, — I should like to give you an example, and would beg you to accompany me on the map. In the first place I should like to draw your attention to the Alps, which to-day are a chain of solid mountains, so that the solid rocky ground of the Alps divides the Italian Peninsula in the South from the other parts of Europe. Now how did this Alpine chain really come into existence? There was a time, which lies far back in the primeval past, when the Alps were not yet there, but to the North and West there were older elevations, which at that time had already become solid. Viscous waves were then thrown up from the South, so that we may picture something like the following: —

Diagram 4

Here we would have the Bohemian Plateau. Now picture to yourselves a mighty wave being thrown up from the South, which divided and spread right and left towards the Bohemian Plateau. This mighty wave in primeval ages formed the solid Alps. This conclusion may be arrived at even from an ordinary view. Anyone who has once stood on the summit of one of the mountains of the Alps and surveyed the unique configuration of the Alpine chain, has seen — even if he did not know it — what spiritual science has long established and what even the present-day geologists have established, — the remarkable wave-like formation, which was produced at the time when the primeval mass of the earth was still in a thick fluidic state.

Through the co-operation of the Spirits of Will and the Spirits of Motion, the earth would be still in that form, if another activity had not come in, one which is exceptionally enduring and which expresses itself on the surface of our earth by the fact that to the Will-forces, acting in conjunction with the Spirits of Motion, was added that which we call the activity of the Spirits of Form. You may therefore imagine that these Spirits of Form, dancing as it were upon the waves, stilled the moving masses and brought them into forms; so that we have to describe the co-operative workings of three different forces. These three forces proceed from three sorts of Beings. You see the Spirits of Form at work, their influence penetrates upwards as well as downwards, into the sphere of the Spirits of Will as well as into the sphere of the Spirits of Motion. Above them are the Spirits of Motion, below them are the Spirits of Will. That which on our earth appears externally chiefly as a fluidic element, not however our present-day water, but the old fluidic element, which was brought to rest by the Spirits of Form, — that we must look upon as the most external manifestation of the Spirits of Will or Thrones. But another element always mingles itself with this activity. The Spirits of Will or Thrones are assisted, so to speak, by the Cherubim and Seraphim. The Cherubim help in the element of air, in everything which permeates the apparent earthy substance as gaseous substance. Air is as it were an illusion, behind which there are the mighty Beings we call the Cherubim. The Seraphim work in what we know as heat, they are behind every sort of heat.

Thus we gaze upon that which is brought about in our planet by radiations from within, from the centre. We may therefore say: our planet is so constituted, that the Spirits of Will or Thrones, the Cherubim and the Seraphim work from its centre. We must understand our planet in this way: Where its boundaries of air and warmth coincide, — for the atmosphere is just as much part of our planet as the water or dry land, — there a surface is formed; upon this surface the Spirits of Form literally dance upon the waves, and bring them to rest and into form. For this reason their name was given them, because they bring the thick fluid element to rest. Behind them there are the Spirits of Motion. In their element again is intermingled what we call the Spirits of Wisdom. So that when we look towards the centre of our planet, we may say: There are sublime Beings, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. When we look outward, we look first of all through the sphere of the Spirits of Form, who permeate the air and heat with their element, up to the Spirits of Motion and the Spirits of Wisdom. When we gaze out into the periphery of our earth, when we gaze up to the lofty sky, everything there in the way of nature-forces and phenomena is essentially to be ascribed to the second Hierarchy. Everything we see when we look down into the depths of the earth, we ascribe to the Beings of the third or — highest Hierarchy. It is the peculiar combined operation of the second and third Hierarchies which yields the configuration of our surroundings.

In which of the elements of Nature — we have said that the three elements of Nature, water, air and fire are connected with the Spirits of Will, the Cherubim and Seraphim — do the Spirits of Form manifest themselves? They are the nearest Beings and they dance upon the surface upon which we live, move and have our being. They come out of universal space, but only display their force in that which streams up out of the earth. To our observation they are concentrated in what we call the rays of the sun. Light, therefore, is the element in which in the first place the Spirits of Form weave and live. Since, however, the activities of light, with all they include, display themselves on the boundary where the Spirits of Motion and Spirits of Will co-operate, it is there that the solid forms are produced. Man has at first no organs with which he could gaze up at that which lies on the further side of these forces of light, which we also call the Spirits of Form, no organs with which to look into that which is woven into the light. Everything which on our earth regulates construction and decomposition, all that is active in these in the way of chemical forces is here still interwoven with the light, and that is principally the domain in which the Spirits of Motion are at work. When man learns to perceive something of that which he otherwise looks upon merely as maya, in the action of the chemical combinations and dissolutions, then he hears these Spirits of Motion, he perceives the Music of the Spheres, of which the Pythagorean and other occult schools speak. It is that too, which Goethe describes when he speaks of the sun, not as the giver of light, but when he says of it:

‘The sun, with many a sister-sphere,
Still sings the rival psalm of wonder,
And still his fore-ordained career
Accomplishes, with tread of thunder.’

This music of the spheres is still there, only it is inaudible to the ordinary consciousness. The music of the spheres is real, it approaches all men as an astral effect, coming from without. Man, however, does not hear it. If to him the music of the spheres was to alternate as does the light, which at certain times when darkness sets in he no longer sees, then there would be certain times when he could hear it. It sounds forth, however, both day and night, and thus he can only hear it when he goes through a certain occult training and development. Whereas the light streams towards us during the day as light, and during the night weaves on further as light which has been received and absorbed, the music of the spheres sounds forth both day and night. To man this is as with the miller, who only hears his mill when it is not working.

Then there still remain the Spirits of Wisdom, who send in their activities from without and work into the weaving light and into the music of the spheres in its weaving through the universe. That is the life of the universal ether which streams down to the earth. Life pours in upon the earth from universal space and is caught up by its various beings. This proceeds from the Spirits of Wisdom.

Thus we gaze out into the distances of the universe, and first of all we look up at the sun, in which these forces are concentrated for us, and we see how streaming life, weaving sound, formative light, the trinity of the second hierarchy press in from space. The highest of the hierarchies, the Seraphim, Cherubim and the Thrones, stream up to us from below. The first hierarchy is interwoven in all that works upon the earth and is chiefly active within the beings. To this hierarchy belong in the first place, the Archai, who act as Spirits of the Age. These Spirits of the Age weave in what has been prepared for them by the higher hierarchies, and bring about what we call our human history, the evolution of civilization on the earth. Then we also find around us the Archangels, the Spirits of Peoples and Tribes; and finally the Angels, the intermediaries between the individual human beings and the Archangels.

We may therefore say: In the forces of Nature which we have upon our planet, in earth, water, air and fire, the Beings of the third or highest hierarchy pour themselves forth and stream towards the activity of the Spirits of Form, who come from outside. From outside the Beings of the second hierarchy stream in, and around the earth are the Beings of the first hierarchy who for the moment have the weakest forces, so to say. Just imagine for a moment, what strong forces are possessed by the exalted Beings we call the Spirits of Will, who really carve the ground upon which we walk. Then we have those forces which stream in from outside. Let us take those nearest to us, the Spirits of Form, who mould the races into shape; and then we have what we call Angels, Archangels and Archai who act intimately in the human soul. In the third hierarchy, we have those forces of Nature which we call the strongest, the underground forces of Nature, the forces of our solid earth. In the second we have those forces which live and weave around us in the ether, and in the first hierarchy we have that which lives and weaves in an intimate manner within ourselves.

If we take these three hierarchies in their co-operative activity and see how they work in our earth planet, how they form it out of the collective womb of the universe, we get an idea of what was necessary to bring this earth into being. The earth had to go through various incarnations before it could become earth, through the Saturn, the Sun and the Moon states. If you follow what is written in my books, The Akashic Records and Occult Science, you will see that even during the earlier incarnations of our earth these various spiritual Beings worked together, only that this co-operative activity took place in a manner that was different from their present way of working. Each time a new incarnation appeared, such as the Saturn, Sun, Moon and Earth states, there was a different kind of co-operative activity of those hierarchical Beings, because of the fact, that each of the conditions our earth went through, represented a special task which these hierarchical Beings set themselves. We may absolutely say, that each one of the conditions through which our earth has passed, and those which it still has to go through, signify and have signified a particular mission in cosmic evolution.

Now it is exceptionally difficult, as all conceptions alter from one planetary condition to another, to define what was the mission of old Saturn, of the old Sun and of the old Moon periods. It is not easy, because then one must next characterize the mission of our earth in a very abstract way. We can most easily conceive of it if we call to mind the nature of the various forces which manifest themselves in space. If you consider the inner nature of the human being, his soul, you have there, willing, feeling, thinking; and again if you consider the human envelopes, the outer part of human nature, you have the physical body, the etheric body and the astral body. So that if you look at a man of the present day and to begin with leave his ‘ I ’ out of consideration, you can conceive of him as a tissue consisting of the physical, etheric and astral bodies as an outer covering, into which are woven willing, feeling and thinking.

Now these forces in man, both in the outer and the inner man, are always related to some earlier mission or other, which was connected with a former incarnation of the earth.

We have, for example, the Saturn mission. If you wish to form an approximate idea of that, you may think of it as being related to what is on the one side the human physical body and on the other the human will. This is so to be thought of that if there had been no Saturn incarnation of our earth, the will of man on the one side and his physical body on the other could not have attained their present form. What man possesses of will and of physical body he owes to the old Saturn. The knowledge that he owes his physical body to Saturn is drawn from the Akashic Records. But each foregoing condition produces after-effects in the formations in the succeeding conditions. Hence, that which to-day shows itself as will, is to be traced back to the after-effects of the Saturn element. The results of these show themselves in the inner part of man as his will.

You will obtain an idea of the mission of the Sun condition if you observe what is called the human etheric body and if to it you connect feeling. You have already been told that the etheric body may be traced back to the old Sun. The after-effects, however, are such that man could later unfold the inner forces of feeling. Finally if we glance at the Moon condition we see that the astral body of man and human thinking are connected with that. So we say: In order that these forces of the inner and the outer man, — physical body, etheric body and astral body, willing, feeling and thinking — could so develop that man now possesses them as an outer and inner life, three successive cosmic missions were necessary. And those Beings whom we have described as belonging to the hierarchies, were obliged — in order that the task of the three successive incarnations of our earth might be fulfilled and that man might be endowed with what is manifested in his whole constitution at the present time — to work together every time with the requisite reciprocal activity.

Thus therefore the mission of the old Saturn-state had to be fulfilled, or man could not have received the foundations of the physical body and of the will. The mission of the Sun had to be fulfilled, otherwise he could not have received the etheric body and feeling; and finally the mission of the Moon had to be fulfilled, otherwise he could not have had the astral body and that which we call the power of thought. So that the three preceding incarnations of our earth were each especially devoted to what we may call one of the predominating elements of our own personal being, our ‘ I ’. We have before us the fact that the external physical body which emanated from the Beings of the old Saturn, from the Spirits of Will, presents nothing else than Will seen externally. With us it acts as inner life which comes from within. These words are carefully chosen; they are not fantastic, but absolutely correspond to the facts of the matter. You may learn much from them.

The earth went through the Sun period, in order on the one hand to lay the foundation of the etheric body through the influence of the Spirits of Wisdom, and on the other to lay the foundation — through the continued operation of the element of Wisdom — of that which reflects the inner wisdom, viz., Feeling.

That which was the mission of the Moon is connected in a similar way with the astral body and with Thought.

Now arises the question: What particular mission have the Spirits of Form chosen, who work chiefly on the earth and form it? We may say: The Spirits who worked chiefly on Saturn, the Spirits of Will or Thrones, had the mission of interweaving that element which later, during the earth evolution, manifests itself as will. It was the great mission of Saturn to give will, to implant the forces of will. When we contemplate such a thing as this, we are filled with reverence and respect for the ruling cosmic Powers. We acquire a true appreciation for them, when we see that for the production of the wonderful tissue of outer will which we have in the physical body, and of inner will, a special planetary mission was necessary. The whole world of the hierarchies had to cause a planet to come into existence and to disappear again, in order to bring about the condition which is woven into us as the outer and the inner element of Will.

In the same way the old Sun had to come into existence, so that the etheric body and the element of Feeling, the element of inner Wisdom could originate. Then the Moon-mission was necessary for that which is reflected in our element of thought, in our astrality, as the inner element of Thought.

Now what mission have the Spirits of Form? What is the real mission of the Earth? If one connects the Saturn-mission with the imprinting of the element of Will, the Sun-mission principally with the imprinting of the element of Feeling, and the Moon-mission chiefly with the imprinting of the element of Thought, — with that, therefore, which is in the human astral body, — one then has to connect with the Earth-planet the mission of bringing about the perfect equilibrium of these three elements, each of which had the hegemony in an earlier incarnation of our earth: that they should co-operate in perfect equilibrium, — that is the mission of our earth. It is its mission to still the conflict between these elements by bringing them into proper equilibrium.

Man is interwoven with this mission of the earth, in order that he may bring about this balance between thought, feeling, and will, first of all in his own inner being. At the beginning of the earth period man was indeed in this respect an inharmonious fabric of thought, feeling, and will. Everyone who possesses a little self-knowledge can feel that the inner balance of present-day man is not yet complete but is still in a state of disharmony and disorder. Man is called upon first of all to bring about an equilibrium between thought, feeling and will within himself, by means of which he can from within radiate and carry over on to the earth what this equilibrium between thought, feeling and will signifies.

In occult symbolism this mission of the earth has always been expressed in quite a special way by means of a geometrical figure. If you go through all geometrical figures, you will find none which so exactly corresponds to this balance of the three activities as the equilateral triangle. If you merely draw it, you will find the three sides equal, the three angles equal, each angle is equidistant from the others and all are equidistant from the centre. The centre of the equilateral triangle is an absolute symbol of a balance of forces, so that when the occultist looks at an equilateral triangle, he can see in it a symbol of the absolutely balanced co-operation of those elements which, in the three earlier incarnations of our earth, had each for a while, the upper hand. The deeds of the ‘ I ’ in man signify nothing else than the creating of an active centre in his nature, whereby this state of equilibrium can be prepared from within. So that man is indeed called to something great upon the earth, namely, to bring about from within, first of all through his whole being, a balance between what formerly, for a time, was dominant in various ways and at various times.

That is in the first place a very abstract definition of our Earth-mission, but it consists in just what I have said. The secret of this mission is expressed in the fact that through this co-operation, through this equilibrium of the three forces, the inner being actually produces something new. A fourth element is thus really added to the three preceding ones, and this fourth is the element of Love. Love can only develop in the world when an absolute equilibrium comes about between the three forces which in earlier ages were each in turn the ruling power. We shall have more to say about this in the next few days. For the moment just take it as an abstract description.

Thus our planet is the planet of Love, and therefore this equilibrium which, so to speak, is established in the co-operation of these three forces, produces as an effect the “activity of Love,” and this is to be woven into the whole of evolution throughout all the following incarnations of the earth by this very mission of earthly activity. In this way the Trinity becomes a Quaternary, and the latter begins with its fourth element at the lowest stage, it begins so to speak with the lowest form of love which is cleansed and purified up to the state when, at the end of the whole evolution of the earth, love will appear as an element standing on just the same level as the others. To fulfill the mission of equilibrium which belongs to our earth-planet is therefore in reality ‘to make the Trinity into a Quaternary.’ It is for this reason that the Mystery of the Earth is usually expressed occultly in the words: ‘To make the Trinity into a Quaternary.’ The fourth element is naturally to-day still very imperfect; but when the earth shall have fulfilled its mission it will appear just as bright and shining as the Sacred Triangle, which in its state of perfect equilibrium shines before us as the highest symbol we possess for our earth-ideal, in so far as we remember the past of the earth.

This co-operation of the elements of thought, feeling and will within man works first of all in such a way, that the actual inner being becomes the substance of love. That is what we may call the really productive, the inwardly productive element in earthly existence. We must therefore also call the Spirits of Form (because they have this very mission, of bringing the three former conditions into equilibrium), collectively the Spirits of Love.

If we consider the earth-existence in this way, we have then in the first place characterized will, feeling and thought, and the working of Love outside our earth-planet; and we have been able to describe as the special task of the Spirits of Form, the imprinting of Love, which results from equilibrium. Therein consists the whole mission of the earth. In order to produce this force of Love which is to impregnate the earth, the mutual interaction and co-operation was necessary, of all that we have described as the work of the lowest hierarchies.

We have already begun to describe in our preceding studies what we might call the tissue, the network of love; and this web of love must be so woven, that the principal threads are woven into it by the normal Spirits of Form, that being their fundamental mission. Then the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are in reality Spirits of Motion, weave into it that which produces the races. Then the normal and abnormal Spirits of the Age weave into it the historical evolution, and the Archangels, both of normal and abnormal evolution, the several peoples and languages; and lastly those Beings who put man into his right place on the earth, the Angels, also co-operate in the weaving. In this way is spun this mighty fabric of Love.

The fabric of Love which is woven as the real mission of the earth, is only visible on earth as a reflection, a maya. The nearest domain above the physical world in which this fabric can be seen, is the astral world. But we can see the working of the hierarchies more and more clearly in the truths underlying our external maya, when we rise from the astral world into the worlds of lower and higher Devachan. Then we see how this web is spun. If we rise to the astral world, certainly we do not at first perceive that which spins chiefly from within, viz., the Spirits of Will, the Cherubim and Seraphim. If we wish to find these Spirits at work, we must raise our vision to still higher worlds. But we find even in the astral world, what we call the abnormal Spirits of Form, who, if they had attained their normal evolution, would be weaving from without. We have seen that the Spirits of the second hierarchy ought to weave from without, but here we see that they are weaving from within. We may therefore say, that in this tissue, in which the Spirits of Motion, the Spirits of Form and the Spirits of Wisdom are weaving from without, and the Spirits of Will, the Seraphim and Cherubim from within, there are still other Spirits weaving from within, who should really be weaving from without. They weave under the surface, however, in somewhat the same way as the silkworm weaves its cocoon. What is seen first of all in the astral world is something within. These remarkable Spirits of Motion, who are not in their right place, and are fallen Spirits, are the first spiritual Beings to become visible — even before the normal angels among those who surge and weave in the spiritual atmosphere of the earth. These beings who are the first to become visible on the astral plane, are the Spirits who in a sense lead astray the clairvoyant vision, — although they are in the deepest sense of the word necessary for the procreation of the races. These Spirits, each of whom has many under him, because each one produces many spiritually subordinate beings, are enveloped in the spiritual world in a number of spiritual beings who are always inferior to the hierarchies in question.

The higher Spirits also have their inferior beings; the Spirits of Will have the Undines, the Cherubim the Sylphs, the Seraphim the Salamanders.

The abnormal Spirits of Form who are really Spirits of Motion, and who appear on the astral plane as hideous, these too, have their subordinate Spirits. They are the Spirits who live or move in that which is connected with the production of the human races, which is therefore connected in man with, and so to say depends upon, that element which we have described as earth-bound, connected with propagation and such-like. These Beings, this whole domain in fact, is one of the most highly-colored and most dangerous parts of the astral world, and it is unfortunately — as had better be said in this connection — the one most easily discovered by those who attain to vision by the wrong methods. The host of those Spirits who are connected with the propagation of the race, who serve that purpose, are the most easily seen. Many a man who prematurely and in the wrong way entered the occult domain, has had to pay dearly for having met with the host of these spiritual beings without the harmonizing through other spiritual beings.

Thus we have been able to throw light upon that which spins and weaves on the Reality, to produce this web, out of which the actual soul-world of man then unfolds. As to how these foundations, into which we have glanced a little to-day, appear in the development of races and peoples and so on, we shall speak further to-morrow.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:57 pm


12th June, 1910 (morning).

As you may imagine, it is a very complicated matter, when the Spirits of the different hierarchies have so to work together with their forces that the mission of the earth can be fulfilled; when they have so to work that finally a state of equilibrium comes about. Hence you will understand also, that statements such as those made in our last lecture can only be made when one takes a quite definite period in evolution, and that the whole presentation is immediately altered if one considers evolution at another period. Hence also, if you wish to arrive at a complete understanding of these very complicated matters you must always take one course of lectures in connection with the others.

I shall here draw attention to one point, and it should be taken as a sort of annotation. In the equilibrium of our earth the whole co-operation of the hierarchies is such, that we must look at what we described in our last lecture as the third hierarchy, the Spirits of Will, the Cherubim and Seraphim, as being something which, as regards this state of equilibrium, works from within the earth. You must naturally picture to yourselves this hierarchy as originally unfolding its powers from out of the universe towards the centre of the earth, and that the way in which man becomes aware of these forces does not correspond to their first direction, but the reverse direction they take when they are thrown back, reflected.

You will therefore only be able to form a complete idea of the very intimate processes which here take place, if you compare what was said in the last lecture with much that was said in my course of lectures given at Düsseldorf on the Hierarchies [Spiritual Hierarchies, e.Ed.], in which a comprehensive idea was given of the heavenly part of the activity of the three hierarchies. These things are by no means so simple, and, to make the mission of the earth comprehensible, it is necessary to select the point of view in such a way that we may see the reflections of the Spirits of these hierarchies in what we call the elements of earth-existence.

But if you take this into consideration, you will then also acquire a feeling of the infinite wisdom contained in the whole harmony of the forces of the universe, in the forces of the cosmos. You will also to a certain extent have the feeling that knowledge must be continually extended, that there must be no limit to it, as things are so complicated that when we think we have grasped one point of view, we are immediately compelled to pass on to another, which then throws light on the matter from another aspect. We can only advance little by little in our knowledge; nevertheless, from the indications given in the last lecture, especially at the close, you will have become somewhat more closely acquainted with what may be called the cooperation of the abnormal and the normal Spirits of Form, which brings about in our life on earth that there should be not merely one kind of humanity spread over the whole earth, but that a humanity might arise which can be manifested in the different races. For that uniform humanity, which man can only attain to again in the course of the evolution of the earth, the pure activity of the normal Spirits of Form would have been necessary. These are the same spiritual Beings who in Genesis are called the Elohim, and we can really recognize seven of these normal Spirits of Form in the entire universe which surrounds our earth and together with it makes one whole.

There are seven Spirits of Form or seven Elohim. If we wish to form a conception of these seven with their various missions, and their vocation of establishing equilibrium or Love in the whole mission of the earth, we must clearly understand that these seven Spirits of Form so co-operate that what we have described in one of these lectures as ‘man in the second third of his life’ would actually be brought about. Thus if all these seven Spirits of Form could work in the way they have proposed among themselves, the essential ‘ I ’-man would express himself. But as other spiritual Beings co-operate with them, and vary this uniform humanity, a quite special arrangement was necessary in the cosmos. If to-day you wished to seek in the cosmos the locality from whence the normal Spirits of Form are active, those Beings who, as described in our last lecture, in our present cosmos shine towards us in the light, then you must seek for them in the Sun. You must always seek in the direction of the Sun for that Cosmic Lodge, that community in the universe, in which these Spirits of Form take counsel together for the establishing of the earthly equilibrium, for the fulfillment of the mission of the earth. One thing only was necessary so that the abnormal Spirits of Form should not by their activity produce too much disorder as far as man is concerned; it was necessary that one of the Spirits of Form should detach Himself from the community; so that, in reality, you have only to look for six Spirits of Form or Elohim in the direction of the Sun, one of these Spirits had to isolate Himself, in order that through the simultaneous activity of the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are really Spirits of Motion, the equilibrium should not be completely upset. He it was Who in the Bible, in Genesis, is called Jahve or Jehovah. If you wish to look for His activity in the universe, you must not seek for it in the direction of Sun, but in that in which Moon for the time being is to be found. This is also indicated in my Occult Science, although looked at there from another aspect, when it is shown that the Spirits of Form go away with the separation of Sun, but that only in the special arrangement that took place in the separation of Moon, were the preliminary conditions created for the further evolution of man. For if Moon had remained united with Earth, the evolution of man could not have taken place. This further evolution of man was only made possible through one of the Elohim, Jahve, going forth with Moon, while the other six Spirits remained in Sun; it was only made possible through Jahve's co-operative work with His six other companions.

Now it may be asked: Why was Sun split off at all? That was necessary for the following reasons: As soon as certain older Spirits of Motion — who possess greater power than the Spirits of Form, for they stand higher in the rank of the hierarchies — had decided to remain behind, the normal Spirits of Form had to weaken their activity by splitting off one of themselves. They would not otherwise have been able to bring about the equilibrium requisite for further evolution.

If we want to obtain a satisfactory conception of the activities of these normal Spirits of Form, it is best to think of them as streaming down to us in the sunlight. But if we want to obtain an idea of the abnormal Spirits of Form, and of how they act in combination with the normal Spirits of Form, who are centered in Sun as it were (for it was only in order that the equilibrium could be brought about that Jehovah split off towards Moon); then we must imagine that a certain sun-force, which streams towards us in the normal Spirits of Form, is altered by the force that streams to us from the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are really Spirits of Motion. These have their centre in the other five planets, speaking of the planets in the old way. You must therefore seek for the centre of these others, the abnormal Spirits of Form, in Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury.

You have now, when you look into the cosmos, a sort of distribution of the normal and the abnormal Spirits of Form. Six of the normal Spirits of Form are centered in Sun, one of them — Jahve or Jehovah — forms the equilibrium for them from Moon, by ruling and guiding the latter. The activities of this Spirit of Form are influenced by the activities proceeding from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. These forces stream down upon Earth, are stemmed there and ray up again from Earth, as was described at the close of our last lecture.

Thus if you have a part of Earth's surface upon which a certain activity is exercised from the Sun by the Elohim or normal Spirits of Form, then nothing would come into existence on that particular part of the Earth's surface but the entirely normal ‘ I ’, that which gives man his normal being, which produces the average general human nature. Now into these forces of the Spirits of Form, which through the state of equilibrium would otherwise dance here upon the surface, are intermingled the forces of Mercury. Hence in that which here unfolds as the force of the Spirits of Form, there dances and vibrates not only the normal, but also that which intermingles in the normal forces of the Elohim, in the normal forces of the Spirits of Form, that namely, which comes from the abnormal Spirits of Form who are centered in the several planets. From this we see, that through these abnormal Spirits of Form, there are five possible centers of influence, and these, in their reflection upon humanity from the centre of the Earth, really produce what we know as the five main races [from the German, Hauptrassen – e.Ed] who inhabit the Earth.

If we now more closely characterize the spot which in our recent statements we placed in Africa, by saying, that through the co-operation of the normal Spirits of Form with the abnormal ones centered in Mercury, the negro race came into existence, we are then, from an occult standpoint, quite correct in describing what appears in the black race, as the ‘Mercury race’.

Let us now follow on further along the line which we then drew through the central points from which the several races sprang. We then come to Asia and find there the Venus-race or the Malay race. We then pass on across the wide domain of Asia and in the Mongolian race we find the Mars-race. We then pass over into the domain of Europe and we find in the Europeans, in their basic character, in their racial character, the Jupiter men. If we cross over the ocean to America, where the place is at which the races or civilizations die, we then find the race of the dark Saturn, the original American-Indian race, the American race. The American-Indian race is the Saturn race.

In this way, if occultly you picture this matter more and more clearly, you find in these five planets the forces which have experienced their external manifestations in these five parts of the world.

If you form a more and more distinct and concrete conception of this, you will acquire an inner knowledge of these unique racial characters which are spread over the Earth, a knowledge of this peculiar co-operation of the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form. Thus we have, as it were, drawn the picture which holds good for a certain point. But what I have said about the different parts of the Earth, again only holds good for a quite definite epoch of evolution. It holds good for the epoch when, at a definite moment of the old Atlantean evolution, the migration of peoples started from a spot in Atlantis and wandered across to the right place where they could receive the corresponding racial cultivation. Hence in my Occult Science you will find it pointed out that in old Atlantis, in certain Mystery Places, named the Atlantean Oracles, the guidance of this distribution of mankind over the Earth was taken in hand, so that in fact that equilibrium, that state of balance could be brought about which led to the corresponding distribution of the races. In one such Mystery-Oracle the truths of which we are now speaking were always investigated, and originally man was entirely guided by them. In this manner, what happened on the Earth was correspondingly directed from such centers.

In the stream of peoples that traveled across Africa and crystallized into the Ethiopian race, we have to look for an impulse which could be given by the Mercury-oracle, in which one could clearly observe how the normal Spirits of Form, (the six Elohim and Jahve or Jehovah) co-operated, and how the abnormal Spirits of Form whose activities proceeded from the centre of Mercury also worked in. According to the astrological co-operation of these various centers of force, the point of equilibrium was sought for on our Earth, and in accordance with this the centre of balance was taken as the point of radiation for the race in question.

The formation of the other races was also directed in a similar way. In accordance with this, the great map is then drawn, into which are entered the influences with respect to peoples, families, etc. That is the great map, which is an image of the heavenly activity which originates through the forces of the heavenly powers flowing into man, radiating back from him, and forming his destiny. What may we now consider a man of the Mercury race, of the Ethiopian race as being? We may so look upon him that we say: This man is originally destined and organized by the Elohim to express in himself the whole human nature. But now from the Mercury centre the abnormal Spirits of Form worked with great power and caused man to be so varied that the form of the Ethiopian race arose; and it was the same with each of the other races. Thereby the streams of the peoples were guided in quite a definite way from the original centre, and thus the line which I drew for you a few days ago originated.

You must therefore imagine the Spirits of Form radiating from a centre. We have to suppose this centre as being at a definite period of time in old Atlantis. There we have that which sank down into the Atlantean continent and shaped it in such a way that the human spirits were brought under the ruler ship of the corresponding abnormal Spirits of Form.

Thus were the great foundations of the races created, and when man looks up into the infinite expanses of the heavens, he must there seek the forces which constitute him. They constitute him however in their rays which return from the Earth. When he looks up to the normal Spirits of Form, to the Elohim, he is looking up to that which really makes him into man; and when he looks up to what is centered in the several Planetary Spirits (with the exception of the Sun and Moon), he sees that which makes him belong to a particular race.

Now how do these Race-spirits work in and upon man? They work in a very unique way, so that, as one might say, they excite his forces first of all when they reach the physical body. You know that what we call the four fundamental parts of man, are projected and imaged in certain parts of the physical body, so that we may say, the ‘ I ’ images itself in the blood; the astral body in the nervous system; the etheric or life-body in the glandular system, and only the physical body stands for itself, it is an image of its own being, and for the man of the present day it has all its laws within itself. The ‘ I ’ reflects itself in the blood, the astral body in the nervous system, the etheric body in the glandular system.

Those spiritual Beings, who there seethe and boil in man so that his racial character may come about, cannot at first work directly into his higher parts. They seethe first of all in these images of the higher parts in the physical body. They cannot as yet enter right into the physical body, but they seethe in the other three members, in that which is the image of the ‘ I ’, the blood; in the image of the astral body, the nervous system; and in that which is the image of the etheric body, the glandular system. In these three systems, which belong to the physical body but are reflections of the higher members, the Race-spirits, the abnormal Spirits of Form.

Here you see that the physical body of man is determined from within; so that these various spiritual Beings set to work in those parts of the physical body which are the projections, the shadows of the higher members. Now where for instance does Mercury set to work? I say Mercury, so as to include all the abnormal Spirits of Form to be found in Mercury. He intervenes by co-operating with others, especially in the glandular system. He seethes in the glandular system, and there are expressed the forces which originate through that preponderance of the Mercury forces, which work in the Ethiopian race. Everything which gives the Ethiopian race its special characteristics comes from the fact that the Mercury forces seethe and surge in the glandular system of this people. What modifies the universal human form into the special form of the Ethiopian race with black skin and woolly hair and so on, is the result of their activity. This modification of the common human form comes therefore from these forces.

If you now pass further over to Asia, you find there in a similar manner something we might describe as Venus forces, as an abnormal development of the Spirits of Form. These Venus forces operate by attacking principally that which we call the reflection of the astral body, the nervous system. They operate however in a peculiar way, and indeed not directly as Venus-spirits upon the nervous system. For the nervous system can be affected in two indirect ways; one way is through the respiration. When the breathing is specially worked upon, these activities establish themselves in man's respiratory and nervous system, and give it a definite form. This indirect way is selected by the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we may call Venus Beings, in the Malay race, in the yellow tinted races of Southern Asia, and towards the Malay Archipelago. Just as the glandular type of man is spread over the land of Ethiopia, so over these parts of Malaya there is spread the type of man in whom the abnormal Spirits of Form work upon the nervous system indirectly through the respiratory system. There the nervous system is worked upon indirectly through the respiratory system. In the nervous system is brewed that which, with special modifications, produces the more or less yellow-colored part of humanity. The transformation there brought about, certainly expresses itself more in that part of the nervous system which we sum up in the expression ‘Solar Plexus’, therefore not really in the higher nervous system but in that mysterious part of the nervous system which runs in two strands parallel with the spinal marrow and spreads out in various directions. This part of the nervous system, therefore, is worked upon indirectly through the respiratory system, this part which in our sense does not yet belong to the higher mental activity. These Venus-forces which work in this race, seethe deep down in the unconscious organism.

Now let us go up over the wide Mongolian plains. In those plains those Spirits of Form are principally active who work indirectly through the blood. There in the blood is brewed that which brings about a modification of humanity and produces the basic character of the race. There is, however, something very peculiar in this Mongolian race. There the Mars-spirits enter the blood: But they work in it in quite a definite way, viz., they are there able to work towards the six Elohim who are centered in the Sun. In the Mongolian race, therefore, they work towards these six Elohim, and in doing so they make a special attack in the other direction towards Jahve or Jehovah Who has separated His field of action from that of the six Elohim.

But besides this co-operation of the Mars-spirits with the six Elohim and Jahve, which results in the Mongolian race, there is still something quite special. Just as the six Elohim from the Sun and Jahve from the Moon act upon the Mongolians, whilst the Mars-spirits work towards them, so in another case we must imagine that from the direction of the Moon the Jahve forces again meet and co-operate with the Mars-spirits, and that thus a special modification arises. Here you have a special modification of humanity, viz., that which belongs to the Semitic race, explained from its most occult background. In the Semites you have a modification of collective humanity, in which Jahve or Jehovah shuts Himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character, by co-operating with the Spirits of Mars, in order to bring about the special modification of this people.

You will now perceive the special element contained in the Semitic people and its mission. In a certain deep occult sense the writer of the Bible was able to say, that Jahve or Jehovah had made this people His own, and when to this you add the fact that there was here a co-operation with the Mars-spirits who direct their attacks chiefly upon the blood, then you will also comprehend why the continuous action of the blood from generation to generation was of quite special importance to the Semitic Hebrew people, and why the God Jahve describes Himself in the Semitic people as the God Who comes down in the blood from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so on. That is the important thing: how the blood runs through all these generations. By describing Himself as ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’, Jehovah says: ‘I act in your blood’. That which always works in the blood, that which must be fought out in the blood, — the co-operation with the Mars-spirits, — that is one of the mysteries which lead us deeply into the wise guidance of the entire humanity of the Earth.

So you see, that the blood of mankind is acted upon in a twofold manner; that two races originate, by the blood of mankind being acted upon; on the one side we have that which we call the Mongolian race, on the other that which we may describe as belonging to the Semitic race. That is a great polarity in humanity, and we shall have to trace much that is of immense importance back to this polarity, if we wish to understand the depths of the Folk-souls.

We shall now go back still further and trace how the Spirits and Beings who have their centre in Jupiter seethe and boil in man. These select for themselves the second point of attack, so as to act indirectly upon the nervous system. The one point of attack is through the senses of man; the other point of attack which works into the nervous system, goes indirectly through the respiratory system into the solar plexus. The attack proceeding from Jupiter goes indirectly through the sense-impressions and streams out from thence upon those portions of the nervous system which are centered in the brain and spinal cord. Here flow in, in those races belonging to the Jupiter humanity, those forces which give the special stamp to the racial character. This is more or less the case in the Aryans, in the peoples of Asia Minor and Europe, those whom we reckon as belonging to the Caucasian race. In these arises that modification of universal humanity which comes from the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we may describe as Jupiter Spirits, working upon the senses. The Caucasians therefore are determined through the senses.

Now you will also understand that a people like the Greeks, who were quite specially and consciously under the influence of Jupiter or Zeus, who felt themselves to be a centre for the Zeus influence, were pre-eminently determined by what flows into the nervous system through the senses. Of course the Greeks were also influenced by the Elohim who stream in from Sun. But the case was such, that among the Greeks everything that acts upon the senses was devoted to the influence of Jupiter or Zeus, and by that means this people attained its greatness. Everything the Greeks saw in the way of external form, external life, contained important meanings for them. They saw the spiritual in their perceptions of the physical, and hence became the basic people for all sculpture, for all external form-giving. This indicates a very special mission of the Greek people, who are so eminently the people of Jupiter or Zeus, who even at the time when, — especially through the entrance of the star-constellation, — the co-operation of the Zeus or Jupiter-forces with the universal Elohim-forces took place, felt themselves to be the people of Zeus.

All the peoples of Asia Minor and especially the European peoples, are on the whole modifications of this Jupiter influence, and you may now divine that, as man has many senses, many modifications can come about, and that in the formation of the several peoples within this basic race which were formed by the senses working upon the nervous system, one or other of the senses may have the mastery. Through this the various peoples may assume different forms. According as the eye or the ear or one of the other senses has the upper hand, so will the different peoples be determined in this or that direction for the special national tendency within the racial character. Through this they get quite definite tasks. One task, which specially devolves upon the Caucasian race is, that it is to tread the path to the spiritual through the senses, for it is built especially upon the senses.

Herein lies something that leads one into the deeper starting-points of occultism and it will show you that in those peoples whose sign, so to speak, lies in the Venus-character, the principal starting-point, even in occult training, must be made where the breathing is the most important thing. On the other hand in the peoples living more to the West, the starting-point of their deepening and spiritualizing must be taken from what is in the sense world. This is possessed by peoples who occupy countries more towards the West, in their stages of higher cognition, in imagination, inspiration and intuition, in accordance with the way in which the Jupiter-spirit originally modified the character.

Hence there were always these two centers in the evolution of humanity, the one ruled more by the Spirits of Venus, and the other ruled more by the Spirits of Jupiter. The Spirits of Jupiter were specially observed in those Mysteries in which — as those of you will know who took part in my course of lectures at Munich [The East in the Light of the West, e.Ed.] last year — the three Individualities met together, the three spiritual Beings, Buddha, Zarathustra or Zarathas in his later incarnation, and that great leader of humanity whom we describe by the name of Skythianos. That is the Council which, under the guidance of One still greater, set itself the task of investigating into the mysterious forces which must be developed for the evolution of humanity, whose starting-point was taken from that part which is originally connected with the Jupiter forces and which was preordained in the map of the Earth already mentioned.

Finally, what we may describe as the abnormal Spirits of Form who have their centre in Saturn, act upon the glandular system, but in a roundabout way through all the other systems. Therefore in all that we must describe as the Saturn-race, in everything to which we must attribute the Saturn-character, we must look for something which draws together and embraces that which leads again to the evening twilight of humanity, whose development brings humanity in a certain way to a real conclusion, to a dying away. The expression of this action on the glandular system is seen in the American-Indian race. From that action comes its mortality, its disappearance. The Saturn influence acts through all the other systems finally upon the glandular system. It separates out the hardest parts of man, and we may therefore say that this dying-out consists in a sort of ossification, and this may also clearly be seen in the outer form.

If you look at the pictures of the old American Indians, the process above described is palpable in the decline of this race. In a race such as this, everything which existed in the Saturn-evolution is now present in them, and that in a special manner; it has withdrawn into itself and left man alone with his hard bone system, and brought him into decline. One feels something of this truly occult activity, if one observes how, even in the nineteenth century, a representative of these old Indians speaks of how in him there dwells what formerly was great and mighty for man, but which could not possibly go along with further evolution. There is in existence a description of a beautiful scene, in which a leader of these Indians who are dying out, confronts a European invader.

Imagine what is felt in the heart when two such men confront each other, men who came across from Europe, and men who in the earliest ages, when the races were divided, went over to the West. The Indians then took over with them to the West all that was great in the Atlantean culture. What was the greatest thing of all to the Indian? It was that he was still able dimly to sense something of the ancient greatness and majesty of a period which existed in the old Atlantean epoch, in which the division of the races had hardly begun, in which men could look up to the Sun and perceive the Spirits of Form penetrating through a sea of mist. Through an ocean of mist the Atlantean gazed up at that which to him was not divided into six or seven, but which acted together. This co-operative activity of the seven Spirits of Form was called by the Atlanteans the Great Spirit who revealed himself to man in ancient Atlantis. The Atlantean had not taken into himself all that the Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter Spirits brought about in the East, through which were developed all the civilizations which reached their zenith in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. In all this the son of the brown race did not participate. He clung firmly to the Great Spirit of the primeval past. That which the others had done, those who in a primeval past had also received the Great Spirit, passed before his eyes when a paper was laid before him on which were many little signs, letters, of which he understood nothing. All that was foreign to him, but in his soul he still had the Great Spirit. His speech has been preserved to us; it is worthy of note because it points to what we have explained, and it runs somewhat as follows: ‘There, in the ground upon which walk the conquerors of our country, the bones of my brothers are buried. Why are the feet of our conquerors allowed to walk over the graves of my brothers? Because they are in possession of that which makes the white man great. The brown man is made great by something else; he is made great by the Great Spirit, Who speaks to him in the sighing of the wind, in the rustling of the forest, in the surging of the waves, in the gurgling of the spring, in thunder and lightning! That is the Spirit Who to us speaks truth. Oh, the Great Spirit speaks truth! Your Spirits, whom you have here on paper, and who express what to you is great, they do not speak truth.’ Thus spoke the Indian Chief, from his point of view. The brown man belongs to the Great Spirit; the pale man belongs to the spirits who, in black shapes, as little dwarf-like beings — he meant the letters — hop about on the paper and who do not speak the truth. That is a world-historic dialogue, which was carried on between the conquerors and the last of the great Chiefs of the brown men. Here we see what belongs to Saturn and his activity, and what originates on the earth from his co-operation with other Spirits, at such a moment as this, when two different directions meet.

Thus we have seen how humanity in general was brought to the surface of our Earth by the Elohim or the normal Spirits of Form, how then the five principal races of human evolution lift themselves out of the collective mass of mankind, out of the ocean of humanity, and how these five races are connected with the guiding Spirits belonging to the ranks of the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we must call by the names which we take from the live planets, whereas the normal Spirits of Form are to be sought for in the Sun and in the Moon. From this point we shall proceed further, and pass on to something that will be easier to us, because we shall be connecting on to something familiar to us, namely, to tribes and peoples.
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Re: The Mission of Folk-Souls (In Connection With Germanic S

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:58 pm


12th June, 1910 (evening).

If you follow the spirit of the studies we have made here during the last few days, you will find it comprehensible that not only a guiding and directing of the events on our Earth and above all in human evolution takes place through the Beings and forces of the various hierarchies, but that the Beings of these hierarchies themselves go through a sort of evolution, a sort of development. In the last lectures we spoke of how the Beings of this or that hierarchy intervene and guide, how for instance the Spirits of Form in normal and abnormal development organize the races.

Now let us ask ourselves the following: Do these spiritual Beings with whom we are now dealing also progress in their own development? As regards certain spiritual Beings we can during our own period of evolution witness the spectacle that they are, so to speak, progressing a stage further in their own development. Since the Atlantean catastrophe, ever since the post-Atlantean development began, we are living in an age in which certain Archangels, certain Beings of the hierarchy of the Archangeloi are ascending into the Hierarchy of the Archai, or Spirits of the Age. It is extremely interesting to notice this, for when we observe how the Folk-spirits, the Folk-souls whom we designate as Archangels ascend to a higher rank, then only do we obtain a correct conception of what is actually going on in the great world. This ascent is connected with the fact that into that distribution of humanity, which we must look upon as the division into races, there has been sent, since the Atlantean epoch, a second stream of humanity, of peoples. We must, as a matter of fact, look back very far indeed, back to early Atlantean times, if we want to find the period when the division into the five principal races of which we have spoken took place, if we wish to enquire when those men came to that particular spot in Africa where they then formed the black or Ethiopian race; when those other peoples came to Southern Asia, who compose the Malay race. We should have to look back to early Atlantean times. But later on other streams were sent after these early ones.

While therefore the Earth was already colonized with the foundations of these races, others were sent afterwards to those colonized parts of the Earth. Thus we have to do with a later stream, with a stream which came in later Atlantean times. If we wish to comprehend what was thus accomplished in Europe, Africa and America, in the way of the division of races, whilst Atlantis was gradually crumbling away, and what was then sent later on, towards the end of the Atlantean epoch, and part of which was only sent during the post-Atlantean evolution, — then we must clearly understand that we are dealing with that mighty stream of humanity which pushed forward into Asia, into Indian territory, and that, as has often been pointed out, bodies of people remained at the different points, from which then the various peoples of Asia, Africa and Europe arose. We have to deal therefore with an earlier division and a later advance, — with a second stream. The purpose of this second stream was, that companies of peoples who were each under the guidance of an Archangel were sent out from the West to the East. But these Archangels who were the guiding spiritual powers of these tribes that were sent out, were at different stages of development, in other words, they were nearer to or further away from the rank of a Spirit of the Age.

We have to look in the Far East for that stream of peoples whose Archangel was the first one to attain the rank of a Spirit of the Age. It was that stream of peoples who formed the ruling class of that land and laid the foundations of the first post-Atlantean civilization after their Archangel had become the Spirit of the Age, after he had been promoted to the first Spirit of the Age or Archai of the post-Atlantean age of civilization. Now this Spirit of the Age guided the primal sacred culture of India and made it the leading one in the first post-Atlantean age of civilization. The other peoples of Asia who were gradually developing, were for a long time under the guidance merely of Archangels.

Those peoples of Europe who had remained behind when the migration from West to East took place, were also under the guidance of Archangels for a long time after the Archangel of India had risen to the rank of an Archai and then acted through intuition upon those great Teachers of India, the Holy Rishis, who because they were aided by this exalted and important Spirit were able to fulfill their high mission in the manner already described. This Spirit of the Age worked on for a long time, whilst the people lying to the north of ancient India were still under the guidance of the Archangel. When the Spirit of the Age of India had fulfilled his mission, he was promoted to the guidance of the entire evolution of post-Atlantean humanity.

At the time which we designate as the Old Persian age, we have that Spirit of Personality, the Spirit of the Age, who was the guide or intuitor of the great Zarathustra or Zoroaster, the Zarathustra of ancient times. This again is an example of how an Archangel, a Folk-soul, rises to the rank of a Spirit of the Age, that is the very spectacle which, as we stated at the beginning of our lecture to-day, we are experiencing in our own time, that the Archangels work themselves up, through the mission they accomplish, to the rank of guiding and ruling Spirits of the Age.

A later rise in rank resulted from the Egyptian people and its Archangel on the one hand and from the Chaldean people and its Archangel on the other. Then took place the event in which the Archangel of the Egyptian people rose to the rank of a guiding Spirit of the Age, and undertook, so to speak, the guidance of that which formerly devolved upon the Chaldean Archangel; so that the leader in the Chaldæan-Egyptian age became the third mighty guiding Spirit of the Age who had gradually evolved himself up from the rank of the Egyptian Archangel. But that was also the age when another important development took place, which ran parallel with the Egyptian-Chaldæan civilization and with which is connected that to which we had to draw special attention in our last lecture.

We have seen that everything belonging to the Semitic tribes assumed special significance, and that from these Jahve or Jehovah had chosen one in particular and made that His own people. Hence, because He had elected one particular race to be His special people, He employed at first, while this race was gradually growing up, a sort of Archangel to be His representative with the people; so that in ancient times the gradually growing Semitic people had an Archangel who was under the continuous inspiration of Jahve or Jehovah, and who then later on grew up into a Spirit of the Age. Hence, besides the ordinary, evolving Spirits of the Age of the Old Indian, Old Persian and Old Chaldean peoples, there was yet another one who played a special part by working in a single people.

Thus we have a Spirit of the Age who in a certain respect appears in the mission of a Folk-spirit, one whom we must call the Semitic Folk-spirit. His was a very special task. This will be comprehensible to you if you call to mind that in reality this particular people was lifted out of normal evolution and had a special guidance, that so to say, special arrangements were made for the guidance of this people. Through these special arrangements this people had received a mission which was really of quite special importance and significance for the post-Atlantean epoch, and which was distinguished from the missions of all other peoples. One can best understand this mission of the Semitic people by taking it in connection with the missions of the various other peoples of the post-Atlantean epoch.

There are two spiritual currents in mankind. The one must be called, if we wish to designate it rightly, that which proceeds from plurality, which we might also say proceeds from Monadology, which therefore conceives the origin and source of existence as consisting primarily of a number of Beings and forces. You may look round wherever you will in the world, and you will see that, in some way or other, the peoples of the post-Atlantean epoch started from several gods. Begin with the trinity of ancient India, which was later expressed as Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Look at the German mythology; there you find the trinity of Odin, Hœnir, Lœdur, and so on. Everywhere you will find a trinity and this again divided into a larger number. You find this peculiarity not only where myths and teachings about the gods appear, but also in the philosophies, in which we meet with the same thing again as monadology. This is the current which, because it proceeds from a number, may assume the greatest possible variety. We might say, that in the post-Atlantean epoch, from the farthest East in India and in a wide curve through Asia across to Europe, this worship of a number, — which on the whole is expressed in our Anthroposophy by our recognition of a number of different Beings belonging to the various hierarchies, — has acquired its manifold representations and forms.

This worship of many had to be opposed by a synthetic, all-comprising movement which proceeded strictly from the Monon, Monism. The actual inspirers, the impulse-givers of all Monotheism and Monism, of the worship of a single Divinity, are the Semitic peoples. It is in their nature, and if you remember what was said in the last lecture you will know that it is in their blood, to represent the one god, the Monon.

If man were however to look out into the great cosmos, he would not get very far if he were always to emphasize that there is only unity, a Monon at the foundation of the world. Monism or Monotheism, considered alone, can only represent a final ideal, but it would never lead to a real understanding of the world, to a comprehensive and exact view of it. Nevertheless in the post-Atlantean age the current of Monotheism had also to be represented, so that the task was given to one people to introduce the impulse, the ferment for this Monotheism. This task was given to the Semitic people. Hence you see how the Monistic principle is represented by this people with a certain abstract severity, with an abstract relentlessness, and how all the other peoples, in so far as their different Divine Beings are comprised in unity, received the impulse for this from them. The Monistic impulse has always come from that quarter. The other peoples have pluralistic impulses.

It is extremely important that this should be borne in mind, and one who examines the continuation of the old Hebrew impulse can still see at the present day Monotheism ruling in its greatest extreme among the learned Rabbis, in their learned Rabbinism. It is the task of this particular people to give as an impulse that the world-principle can only be unity. Therefore we might say: All the other nations, peoples, and Spirits of the Age had an analytic task, the task of representing the world-principle as being composed of different Beings; for example, the most extreme abstraction of the Monon in India was soon divided into a trinity, as the one god of Christianity is divided into Three Persons. All the other peoples have the task of analyzing the foundations of the world and thus to fill their several parts with rich contents, to fill themselves with rich material for conceptions that may lovingly comprehend the phenomena. The Semitic people has the task of ignoring all plurality and synthetically devoting itself to the unity; hence, for example, through this very impulse, the power of speculation, the power of synthetic thought is the greatest imaginable in the Kabbalistic studies.

All that could possibly ever be spun out of the unity by the synthetic, inclusive activity of the ‘ I ’, has been spun out by the Semitic Spirit in the course of thousands of years. That is the great polarity between Pluralism and Monism, and that is the significance of the Semitic impulse in the world. Monism is not possible without Pluralism, and the latter is not possible without the former. Therefore we must recognize the necessity for both.

The objective language of facts often leads to quite different knowledge from that to which the sympathies or antipathies which reign here or there lead. Therefore we must thoroughly understand the several Folk-spirits. Whereas the leaders of the several peoples over in Asia and Africa had long since risen to the rank of Spirits of the Age or Spirits of Personality and some of them were even already expecting to transform themselves from Spirits of the Age to the next higher stage, to Spirits of Form, — just as for instance that Spirit of the Age who was active in old India had in certain respects already risen to the rank of a Spirit of Form, — the several peoples of Europe were still for a long time guided by their several Archangels. It was only in the fourth post-Atlantean age that the Archangel of Greece raised himself out of the various peoples of Europe (who were being guided by their Archangels), to a leading position, by becoming the chief Spirit of the Age of the fourth, the Greek age of the post-Atlantean epoch; so that we see the Archangel of Greece rise to the rank of an Archai, a Spirit of Personality. That for which this Archangel of Greece had prepared himself became manifest, when he had become the Spirit of the Age, in Asia, Africa and Europe, whose centre the Greek people had become. The Archangel of the Greeks developed into an Archai, the active Zeitgeist of the Egyptians and also that of the Persians had risen to be a sort of Spirit of Form. What we are now coming to is something exceptionally interesting in the course of post-Atlantean evolution. As a result of all the development which the Archangel of the Greeks had formerly gone through, he could pass comparatively quickly through that which enabled him to take a specially prominent position as Spirit of the Age. Hence, however, something of the greatest significance occurred in the fourth age of post-Atlantean civilization.

We know that at that time the event occurred which we describe as the reception by humanity of the Christ-impulse. The Christ-impulse was received, the Mystery of Golgotha took place. The impulse then given was, in the course of the following centuries and thousands of years, gradually to spread over the whole earth. This required not only the fact that this event took place, but it required certain guiding and directing Beings from the ranks of the hierarchies; and then occurred the most remarkable and interesting event, that — at a definite moment of time, which practically coincided with the coming to Earth of the Christ-impulse — the Greek Spirit of the Age renounced for this our present period his ascent into the region of the Spirits of Form, which would at that time have been possible to him, and became the guiding Spirit of the Age, who then acts on through the ages. He became the representative guiding Spirit of exoteric Christianity; so that the Archai, the guiding Spirit of the Greeks, placed himself in front of the Christ-impulse. Hence the Greek nation crumbled away so quickly at the time when Christianity developed, because it resigned its guiding Spirit of the Age that he might become the leader of exoteric Christianity. The Spirit of the Age of Ancient Greece became the missionary, the inspirer, or rather the ‘intuitor’ of the out-spreading exoteric Christianity. Here therefore we have before us the spectacle of a renunciation such as we have spoken of, in a concrete case. The Spirit of the Age of the Greeks, because he had fulfilled his mission in the fourth post-Atlantean age of civilization so exceptionally well, might have risen into a higher sphere, but he renounced that, and by so doing became the guiding Spirit of the out-spreading, exoteric Christianity, and in that capacity he worked further among the various peoples.

Another such renunciation occurred on another occasion, and this second renunciation is particularly interesting, especially to those who call themselves Anthroposophists. Whereas over in Asia and right down to the Egyptians and Greeks the several Archangels develop into the Spirits of the Age, we have on the whole in Europe various peoples and tribes who are guided by their several Archangels. Thus whereas the corresponding Archangels who were once upon a time sent from the West towards the East, had ascended to the rank of Spirits of the Age, we still have an Archangel in Europe who worked in the Germanic and above all in the Celtic peoples; in those peoples who, at the time when Christianity started, were still spread over a great part of Western Europe, as far as the present Hungary, across South Germany and the Alps. These peoples had the Celtic Folk-spirit for their Archangel. The peoples belonging to the Celtic Spirit were also spread far up towards the north-east of Europe. They were guided by an important Archangel who, soon after the Christian impulse had been given to humanity, had renounced becoming an Archai, a Spirit of Personality, and decided to remain at the stage of an Archangel and to be subordinate in future to the various Spirits of the Age who should arise in Europe. Hence also the Celtic peoples as one combined people dwindled away, because their Archangel had practiced a special resignation and had undertaken a special mission. That is a characteristic example of how in such a case the ‘remaining-behind’ helped to inaugurate special missions.

Now what became of the Archangel of the Celtic peoples, when he had renounced becoming a Spirit of Personality? He became the inspiring Spirit of esoteric Christianity; and in particular of those teachings and impulses which underlie esoteric Christianity; the real true esoteric Christianity comes from his inspirations. The secret, hidden place for those who were initiated into these Mysteries was to be found in Western Europe, and there the inspiration was given by this guiding Spirit, who had originally gone through an important training as Archangel of the Celtic people, renounced his further ascent, and had undertaken another mission, that of becoming the inspirer of esoteric Christianity, which was to work on further through the Mysteries of the Holy Grail, through Rosicrucianism. Here you have an example of a renunciation, a remaining behind of one of these Beings of the hierarchies, and at the same time you have a concrete example in which you can at once recognize the significance of thus remaining behind. Although this Archangel could have risen to the rank of an Archai, he remained in that of an Archangel and was able to lead the important current of esoteric Christianity, which is to work on further through the various Spirits of the Age. No matter how these Spirits of the Age may work, this esoteric Christianity will be a source for everything which may again be changed and metamorphosed under the influence of the various Spirits of the Age. Thus we have another example of how such a renunciation taken place, whilst on the other hand we are experiencing in our age the mighty spectacle of Folk-spirits being promoted to the rank of Spirits of the Age.

Now in Europe we have the various Germanic peoples. These peoples who originally were guided by one Archangel, were destined to come gradually under the guidance of many different Archangels, in order to form individual peoples in various ways. It is of course exceedingly difficult to speak impartially of these things, — difficult only for the reason that in certain respects passion and jealousy may easily be aroused. Hence certain mysteries belonging to this evolution can only be lightly touched upon. From among the number of those Archangels proceeded the Archai who is the guiding Spirit of the Age of our fifth age of civilization in the post-Atlantean epoch. He took the precedence long, long after one of the Archangels of the Germanic peoples had gone through a certain training. The Spirit of the Age who was the Folk-spirit in the Græco-Latin age became that Spirit of the Age who, as you know, was at a later time occupied in spreading exoteric Christianity. Later Roman history was also guided by a kind of Spirit of the Age, who had risen from having been the Archangel of the Roman people and had united his activity with that of the Christian Spirit of the Age. Both of these were the teachers of that Archangel who guided the Germanic peoples, who had been one of their guiding Archangels and had then raised himself to be the Zeitgeist, or the Spirit of the Age of the fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization.

There was a great deal to be done, but above all it was necessary that a strong individualizing and intermingling of the various folk-elements should take place in Europe. This was only possible because, whilst over in Asia and Africa the Archangels had long since ascended to Spirits of the Age, in Europe the guidance was still carried on by the Archangels themselves, because the several small peoples were guided by their Folk-souls and, without troubling about the Spirits of the Age, were completely devoted to the impulses of the Folk-spirits themselves. At the time when the Christian impulse passed over humanity, there was in Europe an intermingled activity of several Folk-spirits who were filled with a sense of freedom; every one of them went his own way and therefore made it difficult for a guiding Spirit of the Age to arise for the fifth age of civilization, to lead the several Folk-spirits. In order to make possible that people which occupies the country of France there was an intermingling of the Roman, Celtic and Frank folk-elements, and on account of this the whole guidance naturally assumed a different form. It passed from the several guiding Archangels, — who had received other tasks, — over to others. (In the case of the guiding Archangel of the Celts, we have said what his mission was; and in the same way we could state what were the missions of the Archangels of the other peoples.) Hence among the peoples which arose through such interminglings came other Archangels, who entered upon their office when the various elements intermingled. Thus in fact for a long time even in the Middle Ages, in Central and Northern Europe the leadership was chiefly in the hands of the Archangels who were only gradually influenced by that common Spirit of the Age who went in front of the Christ-impulse. In many cases the several Folk-spirits in Europe became the servants of the Christ Spirit of the Age. The European Archangels placed themselves in the service of this universal Christ Spirit of the Age whilst the several peoples were hardly in a position to allow any of the Archangels to rise to the rank of a Spirit of the Age. Only in the sixteenth to the seventeenth century (beginning from about the twelfth century), was preparation made for the development of the guiding Spirit of the Age of the fifth post-Atlantean age, under whose guidance we still are to-day. He belongs just as much to the great directing Spirits of the Age, as those who were the great directing Spirits of the Age during the Egyptian-Chaldæan-Babylonian, Old Persian, and Indian ages of civilization. But this Spirit of the Age of our fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization worked in a very unique manner. He had to make a kind of compromise with one of the old Spirits of the Age who worked before the Christian-impulse, viz., the Egyptian Spirit of the Age, who, as we have heard, had in a certain respect risen to the rank of a Spirit of Form. Thus it comes about that our fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization, in which we now are, is really ruled by a Spirit of the Age who is in a certain way very much under the influence and impulses of the old Egyptian civilization, and of a Spirit of Form who is only at quite an elementary stage.

That caused the many rifts and divisions in our age. Our Spirit of the Age in the fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization is striving in a certain respect to raise himself up to spiritual heights and to raise the fourth post-Atlantean age of civilization to a higher stage. But that includes the materialistic tendency and inclination, and according as the various Archangels, the various Folk-souls, have greater or less inclination towards this materialistic tendency, does a more or less materialistic people arise under the guidance of this Spirit of the Age of the fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization, and the people itself gives a more or less materialistic shade to the Spirit of the Age. On the other hand an idealistic people is one which gives the Spirit of the Age a shade which is in the direction of Idealism.

Now from the twelfth to the sixteenth century something gradually developed, something which in a certain respect worked beside the Christian Spirit of the Age, — who is the on-working Greek Spirit of the Age, — so that in fact, in a wonderful manner, that which we call the Christian Spirit of the Age, — who was united with a real Archai of the fifth post-Atlantean age of civilization, — streamed into our culture; and besides this, the influence of old Egypt was also active, whose Spirit of the Age had raised himself to a certain rank among the Spirits of Form. Now for the very reason that such a triad is at work in our whole culture, it has become possible for the many different kinds of culture and the various Folk-souls to appear in our fifth age. It became possible for the Spirit of the Age to manifest the most varied colors and shades in his activity. The Archangels, who received their orders from the Spirit of the Age, worked in very many different ways.

Those of you who dwell in the North will be interested in something which in our next studies we shall have to go into more closely. The following question will especially interest you: How did that Archangel work, who was once upon a time sent up to Norway with the northern, the Scandinavian peoples, and from whom the various Archangels of Europe — especially those of Western, Central and Northern Europe — received their inspirations? In the world outside it would be reckoned as folly that the very spot in the continent of Europe should be indicated, from whence at one time the greatest impulses streamed forth in all directions, the spot which was the seat of sublime Spirits before the Celtic Folk-Spirit as Celtic Archangel had founded a new Centre in the noble citadel of the Grail. From that spot which in ancient times was the centre for the outpouring of the spirituality of Europe, there also streamed forth that which was first of all given to the Archangel of the Northern peoples as his mission. To the external world it would, as I say, appear folly, if we were to indicate the spot from which radiates that which works into the various Germanic tribes, as that part which now lies over Central Germany, but is really situated above the earth. If you were to draw something like a circle, so that the towns of Detmold and Paderborn were to lie within it, you would then arrive at that neighborhood from whence poured forth the mission of the most exalted Spirits who extended their mission to Northern and Western Europe. Hence, because the great centre of inspiration was there, later on the Saga said that Asgard had actually been situated on this part of the earth's surface. There, however, in the distant past, was that great centre of inspiration, which later on transferred its chief activity to the centre of the Holy Grail.

The peoples of Scandinavia, with their first Archangels, were at the same time given quite different tendencies, tendencies which at the present time are really only still expressed in the unique form of the Scandinavian mythology. If we compare, in the occult sense, the Scandinavian mythology with other mythologies which have reigned upon the earth, we may know that this Scandinavian mythology represents the primal tendencies of the Archangel who was sent up here to the North, the primal tendencies which have retained their original form, such as we would have to see in a child, when particular talents, latent genius, etc., remain at the stage of childhood. In the Archangel who was sent to Scandinavia we have those tendencies which were expressed later in the unique form of the Scandinavian mythology. Hence the great significance of the Scandinavian mythology for the comprehension of the real, inner being of the Scandinavian Folk-soul. Hence also the great significance which the understanding of this mythology has for the further development of this Archangel, who certainly had within him, in a certain way, the tendency to rise to the rank of an Archai. But to that end several things are necessary. It is necessary that in quite a definite way those tendencies should develop which in certain respects have to-day withdrawn behind the dim and shadowy influence of that Spirit of the Age who had placed himself in front of the impulse of Christianity. Although several things in the Germanic-Scandinavian mythology may appear curiously like the presentations of the Greek mythology, it must nevertheless be said that there is no other mythology on the earth which, in its remarkable construction and unique development, gives a more significant or a clearer picture of the evolution of the world than this Scandinavian mythology, so that this picture may be taken as a preparatory stage for the Anthroposophical picture of the evolution of the world.

In the way in which it has been developed out of the tendencies of the Archangel, Germanic mythology is in its pictures most significantly like that which, as the Anthroposophical picture of the world, is gradually to grow for humanity. The point in question will be, how those tendencies which once upon a time an Archangel brought with him into the world, may be developed after he has had the advantage of being educated by the Christ — Spirit of the Age. These tendencies will be able to become an important part in the guiding Spirit of the Age, if at a later stage in its development, this people understands how to bring to perfection the tendencies it has received at an earlier epoch.

This gives only a slight indication of an important problem, an important evolution of a European Archangel; we have indicated, in how far he has the foundations for a Spirit of the Age. At this point we shall stop for a little while, and then continue our studies in such a manner that, from the configuration of the Folk-soul, we shall endeavor to enter into an esoteric study of Mythology; and, in doing so, the description of the very interesting character of the Germanic and especially also of the Scandinavian mythology, will be brought before us as a special chapter.
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