Cosmic Memory:Prehistory of Earth and Man, by Rudolf Steiner

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.

Re: Cosmic Memory:Prehistory of Earth and Man, by Rudolf Ste

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:36 pm

The Fourfold Man of Earth

IN THIS DESCRIPTION, we shall take man as our point of departure. As he lives on the earth, man at present consists of the physical body, the ether or life body, the astral body and the “I.” This fourfold human nature has in itself the dispositions for a higher development. The “I” by its own initiative transforms the “lower” bodies, and thereby incorporates into them higher parts of human nature. The ennobling and purifying of the astral body by the “I” causes the development of the “spirit self” (Manas), the transformation of the ether or life body creates the life spirit (Buddhi), and the transformation of the physical body creates the true “spirit man” (Atma). The transformation of the astral body is in full progress in the present period of the development of the earth; the conscious transformation of the ether body and of the physical body belongs to later times; at present it has begun only among the initiates — those trained in the science of the spirit and their pupils.

This threefold transformation of man is a conscious one; it was preceded by one more or less unconscious during the previous development of the earth. It is in this unconscious transformation of astral body, ether body, and physical body that one must seek the origin of the sentient soul, of the intellectual soul, and of the consciousness soul.

One must now make clear to oneself which one of the three bodies of man (the physical, the ether, and the astral body) is in its way most perfect. One can easily be tempted to consider the physical body as the lowest and therefore as the least perfect. However, in this, one would be in error. It is true that the astral body and the ether body will attain a high degree of perfection in the future, but at present the physical body is more perfect in its way than are they in theirs. Only because man has this physical body in common with the lowest natural realm on earth, the mineral realm, is it possible for the error we have mentioned to arise. For man has the ether body in common with the higher plant realm, and the astral body with the animal realm.

Now it is true that the physical body of man is composed of the same substances and forces which exist in the wider mineral realm, but the manner in which these substances and forces interact in the human body is the expression of wisdom and perfection in the structure. One will soon convince himself of the truth of this statement if he undertakes to study this structure not merely with the dry intellect but with his whole feeling soul. One can take any part of the human physical body as the subject for this contemplation, for instance the highest part of the upper thigh bone. This is not an amorphous massing of substance, but rather is joined together in the most artful manner, out of diminutive beams which run in different directions. No modern engineering skill could fit a bridge or something similar together with such wisdom. Today such things are still beyond the reach of the most perfect human wisdom. The bone is constructed in this wise fashion so that, through the arrangement of the small beams, the necessary carrying capacity for the support of the human torso can be attained with the least amount of substance. The least amount of matter is used in order to achieve the greatest possible effect in terms of force. In face of such a “masterwork of natural architecture,” one can only become lost in admiration. No less can one admire the miraculous structure of the human brain or heart, or of the totality of the human physical body. One should compare with it the degree of perfection which for example the astral body has attained at the present stage of development of mankind. The astral body is a carrier of pleasure and distaste, of the passions, impulses and desires and so forth. But what attacks this astral body perpetrates against the wise arrangement of the physical body! A large part of the stimulants which man consumes are poisons for the heart. From this it can be seen that the activity which produces the physical structure of the heart proceeds in a wiser manner than the activity of the astral body, which even runs counter to this wisdom. It is true that in future the astral body will advance to higher wisdom; at present, however, it is not as perfect in its way as is the physical body. Something similar could be shown to be true for the ether body, and also for the “I,” that being which, from moment to moment, must struggle gropingly toward wisdom through error and illusion.

If one compares the levels of perfection of the parts of the human being, one will easily discover that at present the physical body is in its way the most perfect, that the ether body is less perfect, the astral body still less, and that in its way the least perfect part of man at present is the “I.” This is due to the fact that in the course of the planetary development of the human dwelling-place the physical body of man has been worked on the longest. What man today carries as his physical body has lived through all the developmental stages of Saturn, Sun, Moon, and earth, up to the present stage of the latter. All the forces of these planetary bodies have successively worked on this body, so that gradually it has been able to attain its present degree of perfection. It is thus the oldest part of the present-day human entity.

The ether body, as it now appears in man, did not exist at all during the Saturn period. It was only added during the Sun development. Hence the forces of four planetary bodies have not worked on it as on the physical body, but only those of three, namely, of Sun, Moon, and earth. Therefore only in a future period of development can it become as perfect in its way as is the physical body at present. The astral body joined the physical body and the ether body only during the Moon period, and the “I” did so only during the earth period.

One must represent to oneself that the physical human body attained a certain stage of its development on Saturn, and that this development was carried forward on the Sun in such a way that from that time on the physical body could become the carrier of an ether body. On Saturn this physical body had attained a point where it was an extremely complex mechanism, which however had nothing in it of life. The complicatedness of its structure finally caused it to disintegrate. For this complicatedness had reached such a degree that this physical body could no longer maintain itself by means of the merely mineral forces which were acting in it. It was through this collapse of the human bodies that the decline of Saturn was brought about.

Of the present natural realms, namely the mineral realm, the plant realm, the animal realm, and the human realm, Saturn had only the last-named. What one knows today as animals, plants, and minerals did not yet exist on Saturn. Of the present four natural realms, there existed on this heavenly body only man in his physical body, and this physical body was in fact a kind of complicated mineral. The other realms came into existence because not all beings could attain full development on the successive heavenly bodies. Thus only a part of the human bodies developed on Saturn attained the full Saturn goal. Those human bodies which did attain this goal were awakened, so to speak, to a new existence in their old form during the Sun period, and this form was permeated with the ether body. They thereby developed to a higher level of perfection. They became a kind of plant men. That portion of the human bodies however which had not been able to attain the full goal of development on Saturn had to continue during the Sun period what they had previously not completed, but under considerably more unfavorable conditions than those which existed for this development on Saturn. They therefore fell behind the portion which had attained the full goal on Saturn. Thus on the Sun another natural realm came into being in addition to the human realm.

It would be erroneous to believe that all the organs in the present-day human body already began to be developed on Saturn. This is not the case. Rather it is particularly the sensory organs in the human body which have their origin in this ancient time. It is the first rudiments of eyes, ears and so forth which have such an early origin, rudiments which formed on Saturn in somewhat the same way that “lifeless crystals” now form on earth; the corresponding organs then attained their present form by again and again transforming themselves in the direction of greater perfection in each of the succeeding planetary periods. On Saturn they were physical instruments, and nothing else. On the Sun they were transformed, because an ether or life body permeated them. They were thereby brought into the life process. They became animated physical instruments. To them were added those parts of the human physical body which cannot develop at all except under the influence of an ether body: the organs of growth, of nourishment, and of reproduction. Of course the first rudiments of these organs, as they developed on the Sun, again do not resemble in perfection the form which they have at present.

The highest organs which the human body at that time acquired through the interaction of physical body and ether body were those which at present have developed into the glands. The physical human body on the Sun is thus a system of glands, on which sensory organs of a corresponding level of development are impressed.

The development continued on the Moon. To the physical body and the ether body is added the astral body. Thereby the first rudiment of a nervous system is integrated into the glandular sensory body. One can see that the physical human body becomes more and more complicated in the successive planetary development periods. On the Moon it is composed of nerves, glands, and senses. The senses have behind them a two-fold process of transformation and perfection, while the nerves are at their first stage. If one looks at the Moon man as a whole, he consists of three parts: a physical body, an ether body, and an astral body. The physical body is tripartite; its partition is the result of the work of the Saturn, Sun, and Moon forces. The ether body is only bipartite. It has in itself only the effect of the work of Sun and Moon, and the astral body is still unipartite. Only the Moon forces have worked on it.

Through the absorption of the astral body on the Moon, man has become capable of a life of sensation, of a certain inwardness. Within his astral body he can form images of what takes place in his environment. These images in a certain respect are to be compared with the dream images of present-day human consciousness, but they are more vivid and colorful, and, most important, they relate to events in the outside world, while present-day dream images are mere echoes of daily life or are otherwise unclear mirrorings of inner or outer events. The images of the Moon consciousness corresponded completely to whatever they were related to externally. Assume for instance that a Moon man as he has just been characterized, consisting of physical body, ether body, and astral body, had approached another Moon being. It is true that he could not have perceived the latter as a spatial object, for this has become possible only in the earth consciousness of man; but within his astral body would have arisen an image which in its color and shape would have quite exactly expressed whether the other being was well or ill disposed toward this Moon man, whether it would be useful or dangerous to him. As a result, the Moon man could regulate his behavior entirely in accordance with the images which arose in his image consciousness, These images were a complete means of orientation for him. The physical instrument which the astral body needed in order to enter into relation with the lower natural realms was the nervous system, integrated into the physical body.

In order that the transformation of man described here could occur during the Moon period, the assistance of a great universal event was needed. The integration of the astral body and the related development of a nervous system in the physical body was only made possible by the fact that what had previously been one body, the Sun, split into two — into Sun and Moon. The former advanced to the state of a fixed star, the latter remained a planet — which the Sun also had been — and began to circle around the Sun, from which it had split off. Through this a significant transformation took place in everything which lived on Sun and Moon. Here for the moment we shall follow this process of transformation only insofar as it concerns the life of the Moon. Man, consisting of physical body and astral body, had remained united with the Moon when it split off from the Sun. He thereby entered into entirely new conditions of existence. For the Moon took with it only a part of the forces contained in the Sun, and this part now acted on man from his own heavenly body; the Sun had retained the other part of the forces within itself. This latter part is now sent from the outside to the Moon and hence also to its inhabitant, man. If the previous relationship had remained in existence, if all the Sun forces had continued to reach man from his own scene of activity, that inner life which shows itself in the arising of the images of the astral body could not have developed. The Sun force continued its activity on the physical body and ether body from the outside; it had already acted on both of these previously. But it liberated a portion of these two bodies for influences which emanated from the Moon, the heavenly body newly created by a splitting-off. Thus, on the Moon man was under a two-fold influence, that of the Sun and that of the Moon. It is to be ascribed to the influence of the Moon that out of the physical and the ether body there developed those parts which permitted the imprinting of the astral body. An astral body can only create images when the Sun forces reach it from outside rather than from its own planet. The Moon influences transformed the sensory rudiments and the glandular organs in such a way that a nervous system could be integrated into them; and the sun influences brought it about that the images for which this nervous system was the instrument corresponded to the external Moon events in the manner described above.

The development could only progress to a certain point in this manner. Had this point been over-stepped, the Moon man would have become hardened in his inner life of images, and thereby he would have lost all connection with the Sun. When the time had come, the Sun again absorbed the Moon, so that again for some time both were one body. The union lasted until man was far enough advanced so that his hardening, which would have had to take place on the Moon, could be prevented by a new stage of development. When this had occurred a new separation took place, but this time the Moon took Sun forces along with itself which previously it had not received. Through this it came about that another separation took place after some time. What had last split off from the Sun was a heavenly body which contained all the forces and beings at present living on earth and moon. Thus the earth still contained within itself the moon which now circles around it. If the latter had remained within it, it could never have become the scene of any human development, including the present one. The forces of the present moon first had to be cast off, and man had to remain on the thus purified earthly scene and continue his development there. In this way three heavenly bodies developed out of the old Sun. The forces of two of these heavenly bodies, the new sun and the new moon, are sent to the earth and hence to its inhabitant from the outside.

Through this progress in the development of the heavenly bodies it became possible that into the tripartite human nature, as it still had been on the Moon, the fourth part, the “I,” integrated itself. This integration was connected with a perfecting of the physical body, the ether body, and the astral body. The perfecting of the physical body consisted in that the system of the heart was incorporated in it as the preparer of warm blood. Of course, now the sensory system, the glandular system, and the nervous system had to be transformed in such a way that in the human organism they would be compatible with the newly added system of the warm blood. The sensory organs were so transformed that out of the mere image consciousness of the old Moon the object consciousness could develop, which makes possible the perception of external objects, and which man at present possesses from the time he awakes in the morning until he falls asleep in the evening. On the old Moon the senses were not yet open to the outside; the images of consciousness arose from within, and just this opening of the senses to the external is the achievement of the earth development.

It has been stated above that not all of the human bodies formed on Saturn attained the goal which was set for them there, and that on the Sun, alongside the human realm in its form of that time, a second natural realm developed. One must realize that at each of the subsequent stages of development, on Sun, Moon, and earth, there were always beings which fell short of their goals and that through this the lower natural realms came into existence. The animal realm, which is closest to man, had already fallen behind on Saturn, but partially made up the development under unfavorable conditions on Sun and Moon, so that while on the earth it was not as far advanced as man, in part it still had the capacity to receive warm blood as he did. For warm blood existed in none of the natural realms before the period of earth. The present-day cold-blooded (or variably warm) animals and certain plants came into existence because certain beings of the lower Sun realm again fell short of the stage which the other beings of this realm attained. The present-day mineral realm came into existence last, in fact only during the earth period.

The fourfold man of earth receives from sun and moon the influences of those forces which have remained connected with these heavenly bodies. From the sun those forces reach him which further progress, growth, and becoming; from the moon come the hardening, forming forces. If man stood only under the influence of the sun he would dissolve in an immeasurably rapid process of growth It is for this reason that formerly, after an appropriate time, he had to leave the Sun and to receive a retarding of his over-rapid progress on the split-off old Moon. But if then he had remained permanently connected with the latter, this retarding of his growth would have hardened him in a rigid form. Therefore he advanced to the development of earth, within which the two influences counterbalance each other in an appropriate way. At the same time the point is reached where something higher — the soul — is integrated as an inner entity within the quadripartite human being.

In its form, in its activities, movements and so forth, the physical body is the expression and the effect of what takes place in the other parts, in the ether body, the astral body, and the “I.” In the descriptions from the “Akasha Chronicle” which we have given up to this point, it has become apparent how, in the course of development, these other parts of the human entity gradually intervened in the formation of the physical body. During the Saturn development none of these other parts was as yet associated with the physical human body. But the first beginning of its development was made in that time However, one must not think that the forces which later acted on the physical body from the ether body, the astral body, and the “I” did not already act on it during the Saturn period. They were already acting at that time, but in a certain sense from the outside, not from within. The other parts had not yet been formed, had not yet been united with the physical human body as individual entities; but the forces which were later united in them acted as it were from the environment — the atmosphere — of Saturn and formed the first beginning of this body. This beginning was then transformed on the Sun because a part of those forces now formed the separate human ether body, and now acted on the physical body no longer merely from the outside, but from the inside. The same thing occurred on the Moon with respect to the astral body. On the earth the physical body was transformed for the fourth time by becoming the dwelling place of the “I,” which now works within it.

One can see that, to the eye of the scientist of the spirit, the physical body is not something fixed, something permanent in its form and manner of acting. It is undergoing a constant process of transformation. And such a transformation is also taking place in the current earth period of the body's development. One can only understand human life if one is in a position to form a conception of this transformation.

A consideration of the human organs from the point of view of the science of the spirit shows that these are at very different stages of development. There are organs in the human body which, in their present form, are in a descending, others which are in an ascending development. In future, the former will lose their importance for man more and more. The time of the flowering of their functions is behind them; they will become atrophied and finally disappear from the human body.

Other organs are in an ascending development; they contain much which now is only present in a germinal state, as it were: in future they will develop into more perfect forms with a higher function. Among the former organs belong, for instance, those which serve for reproduction, for the bringing into existence of like beings. In future their function will pass to other organs and they themselves will sink into insignificance. There will come a time when they will be present on the human body in an atrophied condition, and one will then have to regard them only as evidences of the preceding development of man.

Other organs, as for instance the heart and neighboring formations, are at the beginning of their development in a certain respect. What now lies in them in a germinal state will reach its full flower only in the future. For in the conception of the science of the spirit, the heart and its relation to the so-called circulation of the blood are seen as something quite different from what contemporary physiology, which in this respect is completely dependent on mechanistic-materialistic concepts, sees in them. In so doing, this science of the spirit succeeds in casting light on facts which are well-known to contemporary science, but for which with the means at its disposal, the latter cannot give anything like a satisfactory explanation. Anatomy shows that in their structure the muscles of the human body are of two kinds. There are those whose smallest parts are smooth bands, and those whose smallest parts show a regular transverse striation. Now the smooth muscles in general are those which in their movements are independent of human volition. For instance, the smooth muscles of the intestine push the food pulp along in regular movements, upon which the human volition has no influence. Those muscles which are found in the iris of the eye are also smooth. These muscles bring about the movements through which the pupil of the eye is enlarged when the latter is exposed to a small amount of light, and contracted when much light flows into the eye. These movements too are independent of human volition. On the other hand, those muscles are striated which mediate movements under the influence of human volition, for example, the muscles by which the arms and legs are moved. The heart, which after all is also a muscle, constitutes an exception to this general condition. In the present period of human development, the heart is not subject to volition in its movements, yet it is a “transversely striated” muscle. The science of the spirit indicates the reason for this. The heart will not always remain as it is now. In the future it will have a quite different form and a changed function. It is on the way to becoming a voluntary muscle. In the future it will execute movements which will be the effects of the inner soul impulses of man. It already shows what significance it will have in the future, when the movements of the heart will be as much an expression of the human will as the lifting of the hand or the advancing of the foot are today.

This conception of the heart is connected with a comprehensive insight of the science of the spirit into the relation of the heart to the so-called circulation of the blood. The mechanical-materialistic doctrine of life sees in the heart a kind of pumping mechanism which drives the blood through the body in a regular manner. Here the heart is the cause of the movement of the blood. The insight of the science of the spirit shows something quite different. For this insight, the pulsing of the blood, its whole inner mobility, are the expression and the effect of the processes of the soul. The soul is the cause of the behavior of the blood. Turning pale through feelings of fear, blushing under the influence of sensations of shame, are coarse effects of processes of the soul in the blood. But everything which takes place in the blood is only the expression of what takes place in the life of the soul. However, the connection between the pulsation of the blood and the impulses of the soul is a deeply mysterious one. The movements of the heart are not the cause, but the consequence of the pulsation of the blood.

In the future, through voluntary movements, the heart will carry what takes place in the human soul into the external world.

Other organs which are in a similarly ascending development are the organs of respiration in their function as instruments of speech. At present by their means man can transform his thoughts into air waves. He thereby impresses upon the external world what he experiences within himself.

He transforms his inner experiences into air waves. This wave motion of the air is a rendering of what takes place within him. In the future he will in this way give external form to more and more of his inner being. The final result in this direction will be that through his speech organs which have arrived at the height of their perfection, he will produce his own kind. Thus the speech organs at present contain within themselves the future organs of reproduction in a germinal state. The fact that mutation (change of voice) occurs in the male individual at the time of puberty is a consequence of the mysterious connection between the instruments of speech and reproduction.

The entire human physical body can be considered in this way from the point of view of the science of the Spirit. It was only intended to give a few examples here. In the science of the spirit, both an anatomy and a physiology exist. The anatomy and physiology of the present will have to let themselves be fertilized by the anatomy and physiology of the science of the spirit in a not very distant future, and will even transform themselves completely into the latter.

In this area it becomes especially apparent that results such as those given above must not be built on mere inferences, on speculations such as conclusions by analogy, but must only proceed from the true research of the science of the spirit. This must necessarily be emphasized, for it happens only too easily that once they have gained some insights, zealous adherents of the science of the spirit continue to spin their ideas in empty air. It is no miracle when only phantasms are produced in this way, and, in fact, they do abound in these areas of research.

One could, for instance, proceed to draw the following conclusion from the description given above: Because the human organs of reproduction in their present form will in the future be the first to lose their importance, they therefore were the first to receive it in the past, hence they are in a sense the oldest organs of the human body. Just the contrast of this is true. They were the last to receive their present form and will be the first to lose it again.

The following presents itself to spiritual scientific research. On the Sun, the physical human body had in a certain respect moved up to the level of plant existence. At that time it was permeated only by an ether body. On the Moon it took on the character of the animal body, because it was permeated by the astral body. But not all organs participated in this transformation into the animal character. A number of parts remained on the plant level. On the earth, after the integration of the “I,” when the human body elevated itself to its present form, a number of parts still bore a decided plant character. But one must not imagine that these organs looked exactly like our present-day plants. The organs of reproduction belong among these organs. They still exhibited a plant character at the beginning of the earth development. This was known to the wisdom of the old Mysteries. The older art which has retained so much of the traditions of the Mysteries, represents hermaphrodites with plant-leaf like organs of reproduction. These are precursors of man which still had the old kind of reproductive organs (which were double-sexed). For example, this can be seen clearly in a hermaphrodite figure in the Capitoline Collection in Rome. When one looks into these matters one will also understand for instance the true reason for the presence of the fig leaf on Eve. One will accept true explanations for many old representations, while contemporary interpretations are, after all, only the result of a thinking which is not carried to its conclusion. We shall only remark in passing that the hermaphrodite figure mentioned above shows still other plant appendages. When it was made, the tradition still existed that in a very remote past certain human organs changed from a plant to an animal character.

All these changes of the human body are only the expression of the forces of transformation which lie in the ether body, the astral body, and the “I.” The transformations of the physical human body accompany the acts of the higher parts of man. One can therefore understand the structure and the activity of this human body only if one absorbs oneself in the “Akasha Chronicle,” which shows how the higher changes of the more spiritual and mental parts of man take place. Everything physical and material finds its explanation through the spiritual. Light is shed even on the future of the physical if one studies the spiritual.
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Re: Cosmic Memory:Prehistory of Earth and Man, by Rudolf Ste

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:37 pm

Answers to Questions

If we are to acquire new capacities through repeated incarnations in the successive races, if in addition nothing of what the soul has acquired through experience is again to be lost from its storehouse, &$151; how is it to be explained that in mankind of today absolutely nothing remains of the capacities of the will, of the imagination, of the mastery of natural forces which were so highly developed in those periods?

It is a fact that of the capacities which the soul has acquired in its transition through a stage of development, nothing is lost. But when a new capacity is acquired, the one previously gained assumes a different form. It then no longer manifests itself in its own character, but as a basis for the new capacity. Among the Atlanteans for instance, it was the faculty of memory which was acquired. Contemporary man indeed can form only a very weak conception of what the memory of an Atlantean could accomplish. But all that appears as innate concepts in our fifth root race, in Atlantis was only acquired through the memory. The concepts of space, time, number, etc. would present difficulties of a quite different order if contemporary man were obliged to be the first to acquire them. For the faculty which this contemporary man is to acquire is the combinatory understanding. Logic did not exist among the Atlanteans. But each previously acquired power of the soul must withdraw, in its own form, become submerged beneath the threshold of consciousness if a new one is to be acquired. For example, if the beaver were suddenly to become a thinking being, it would have to change its capacity for intuitively erecting its artful constructions into something else.

The Atlanteans also had for example, the capacity to control the life force in a certain way. They constructed their wonderful machines through this force. But on the other hand, they had nothing of the gift for story-telling which the peoples of the fifth root race possess. There are as yet no myths and fairy tales among them. The life-mastering power of the Atlanteans first appeared among the members of our race under the mask of mythology. In this form it could become the basis for the intellectual activity of our race. The great inventors among us are incarnations of “seers” of the Atlanteans. In their inspirations of genius is manifested what has as its basis something else, something that was like life-producing power in them during their Atlantean incarnation. Our logic, knowledge of nature, technology and so forth, grow from a foundation which was laid in Atlantis. If, for instance, an engineer could transform his combining faculty backward, something would result which was in the power of the Atlantean. All of Roman jurisprudence was the transformed will power of a former time. In this the will as such remained in the background, and instead of itself assuming forms, it transformed itself into the forms of thought which are manifested in legal concepts. The esthetic sense of the Greeks is built up on the basis of directly acting forces which among the Atlanteans were manifested in a magnificent breeding of plant and animal forms. In the imagination of Phidias lived something which the Atlantean used directly for the transformation of actual living beings.

What is the relation of the science of the spirit, of theosophy, to the so-called secret sciences?

Secret sciences have always existed. They were cultivated in the so-called mystery schools. Only the one who underwent certain tests could learn something of them. He was always told only as much as was appropriate for his intellectual, spiritual, and moral faculties. This had to be so, for when properly used, the higher insights are the key to a power which must lead to misuse in the hands of the unprepared. Some of the elementary teachings of mystery science have been popularized by the science of the spirit. The reason for this lies in the conditions prevailing in our time. With respect to the development of the understanding, mankind today, in its more advanced members, has progressed to the point where sooner or later it would of itself attain certain conceptions which were previously a part of secret knowledge. But it would acquire these conceptions in an atrophied, caricatured, and harmful form. Therefore some of those who are initiated into secret knowledge have decided to communicate a part of it to the public. It will thus become possible to measure human advances which take place in the course of cultural development, with the measuring rod of true wisdom. Our knowledge of nature, for example, does lead to ideas about the causes of things. But without a deepening through mystery science these ideas can only be distortions. Our technology is approaching stages of development which can only redound to the good of mankind if the souls of men have been deepened in the sense of the spiritual scientific conception of life. As long as the peoples had nothing of modern knowledge of nature and modern technology, the form was salutary in which the highest teachings were communicated in religious images, in a manner which appealed merely to the emotional. Today mankind needs the same truths in a rational form. The world outlook of the science of the spirit is not an arbitrary development, but results from an insight into the historical fact just mentioned.

However, even today certain parts of secret knowledge can only be communicated to those who undergo the tests of initiation. Only those will be able to make use of the published part who do not limit themselves to an external noting of it, but who really assimilate these things internally and make them the content and the guiding principle of their lives. It is not a matter of mastering the teachings of the science of the spirit with the understanding, but of permeating feelings, emotions, the whole life with them. Only through such a permeating does one learn something of their truth. Otherwise they remain something which “one can believe or not believe.” When correctly understood, the truths of the science of the spirit will give man a true foundation for his life, will let him recognize his value, his dignity, and his essence, and will give him the highest zest for living. For these truths enlighten him about his connection with the world around him; they show him his highest goals, his true destiny. They do this in a way which corresponds to the demands of the present, so that he need not remain caught in the contradiction between belief and knowledge. One can be a modern scientist and a scientist of the spirit at the same time. But, however, one must be one and the other in a true sense.
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Re: Cosmic Memory:Prehistory of Earth and Man, by Rudolf Ste

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Prejudices Arising from Alleged Science (1904)

IT IS CERTAINLY TRUE that much in the intellectual life of the present makes it difficult for one who is seeking the truth to accept spiritual scientific (theosophical) insights. And what has been said in the essays on the Lebensfragen der theosophischen Bewegung (Vital Questions of the (Theosophical Movement) can be taken as an indication of the reasons which exist especially for the conscientious seeker of truth in this respect. Many statements of the scientist of the spirit must appear entirely fantastic to him who tests them against the certain conclusions which he feels obliged to draw from what he has encountered as the facts of the research of natural science. To this is added the fact that this research can point to the enormous blessings it has bestowed and continues to bestow on human progress. What an overwhelming effect is produced when a personality who wants to see a view of the world built exclusively on the results of this research, can utter the proud words: “For there lies an abyss between these two extreme conceptions of life: one for this world alone, the other for heaven. But up to the present day, traces of a paradise, of a life of the deceased, of a personal God, have nowhere been found by human science, by that inexorable science which probes into and dissects everything, which does not shrink back before any mystery, which explores heaven beyond the stars of the nebula, analyzes the infinitely small atoms of living cells as well as of chemical bodies, decomposes the substance of the sun, liquefies the air, which will soon telegraph by wireless transmission from one end of the earth to the other, and already today sees through opaque bodies, which introduces navigation under the water and in the air, and opens new horizons to us through radium and other discoveries; this science which, after having shown the true relationship of all living beings among themselves and their gradual changes in form, today draws the organ of the human soul, the brain, into the sphere of its penetrating research.” (Prof. August Forel, Leben und Tod (Life and Death) Munich, 1908, page 3). The certainty with which one thinks it possible to build on such a basis betrays itself in the words which Forel joins to the remarks quoted above: “In proceeding from a monistic conception of life, which alone takes all scientific facts into account, we leave the supernatural aside and turn to the book of nature.” Thus, the serious seeker after truth is confronted by two things which put considerable obstacles in the way of any inkling he may have of the truth of the communications of the science of the spirit. If a feeling for such communications lives in him, even if he also senses their inner well-founded-ness by means of a more delicate logic, he can be driven toward the suppression of such impulses when he has to tell himself two things. First of all, the authorities who know the cogency of positive facts consider that everything “supersensible” springs only from day-dreams and unscientific superstition. In the second place, by devoting myself to these transcendental matters, I run the risk of becoming an impractical person of no use in life. For everything which is accomplished in practical life must be firmly rooted in the “ground of reality.”

Not all of those who find themselves in such a dilemma will find it easy to work their way through to a realization of how matters really stand with respect to the two points we have cited. If they could do it, with respect to the first point they would, for instance, see the following: The results of the science of the spirit are nowhere in conflict with the factual research of natural science. Everywhere that one looks at the relation of the two in an unprejudiced manner, there something quite different becomes apparent for our time. It turns out that this factual research is steering toward a goal which in a by no means distant future, will bring it into full harmony with what spiritual research ascertains in certain areas from its supersensible sources. From hundreds of cases which could be adduced as proof for this assertion, we shall cite a characteristic one here.

In my lectures on the development of the earth and of mankind, it has been pointed out that the ancestors of the present-day civilized peoples lived in a land-area which at one time was situated in that part of the surface of the earth which today is occupied by a large portion of the Atlantic Ocean. In the essays, From the Akasha Chronicle, it is rather the soul-spiritual qualities of these Atlantean ancestors which have been indicated. In oral presentations also has often been described how the earth surface looked in the old Atlantean land. It was said that at that time the air was saturated with water mist vapors. Man lived in the water mist, which in certain regions never lifted to the point where the air was completely clear. Sun and moon could not be seen as they are today, but were surrounded by colored coronas. A distribution of rain and sunshine, such as occurs at present, did not exist at that time. One can clairvoyantly explore this old land; the phenomenon of the rainbow did not exist at that time. It only appeared in the post-Atlantean period. Our ancestors lived in a country of mist. These facts have been ascertained by purely supersensible observation, and it must even be said that the spiritual researcher does best to renounce all deductions based on his knowledge of natural science, for through such deductions his unprejudiced inner sense of spiritual research is easily misled. With such observations one should now compare certain ideas toward which some natural scientists feel themselves impelled at present. Today there are scientists who find themselves forced by facts to assume that at a certain period of its development the earth was enveloped in a cloud mass. They point out that at present also, clouded skies exceed the unclouded, so that life is still to a large extent under the influence of sunlight which is weakened by the formation of clouds, hence one cannot say that life could not have developed under the cloud cover of that Atlantean time. They further point out that those organisms which can be considered among the oldest of the plant world are of a kind which also develop without direct sunlight. Thus, among the forms of this older plant world those desert-type plants which need direct sunlight and dry air, are not present. And also with respect to the animal world, a scientist, Hilgard, has pointed out that the giant eyes of extinct animals, for instance, of the Ichthyosaurus, indicate that a dim illumination must have prevailed on the earth in their time. I do not mean to regard such views as not needing correction. They interest the spiritual researcher less through what they state than through the direction into which factual research finds itself forced. Even the periodical Kosmos, which has a more or less Haeckelian point of view, some time ago published an essay worthy of consideration which, because of certain facts of the plant and animal world, indicated the possibility of a former Atlantean Continent.

If one brought together a greater number of such matters one could easily show how true natural science is moving in a direction which in the future will cause it to join the stream which at present already carries the waters of the springs of spiritual research. It cannot be emphasized too strongly that spiritual research is nowhere in contradiction with the facts of natural science. Where its adversaries see such a contradiction, this does not relate to facts, but to the opinions which these adversaries have formed, and which they believe necessarily result from the facts. But in truth there is not the slightest connection between the opinion of Forel quoted above, for instance, and the facts of the stars of the nebulas, the nature of the cells, the liquefaction of the air, and so forth. This opinion represents nothing but a belief which many have formed out of a need for believing, which clings to the sensory-real, and which they place beside the facts. This belief is very dazzling for present-day man. It entices him to an inner intolerance of a quite special kind. Its adherents are blinded to the point where they consider their own opinion to be the only “scientific” one, and ascribe the views of others merely to prejudice and superstition. Thus it is really strange when one can read the following sentences in a newly-published book on the phenomena of the soul life [Hermann Ebbinghaus, Abriss der Psychologie (Outline of Psychology) ]: “As a help against the impenetrable darkness of the future and the insuperable might of inimical powers, the soul creates religion for itself. As in other experiences involving ignorance or incapacity, under the pressure of uncertainty and the terror of great dangers, ideas as to how help can be found here, are quite naturally forced upon man in the same way in which one thinks of water when in danger from fire, of the helpful comrade in the peril of combat.” “In the lower stages of civilization, where man still feels himself to be quite impotent and to be surrounded by sinister dangers at every step, the feeling of fear, and correspondingly, the belief in evil spirits and demons naturally entirely prevail. In higher stages on the other hand, where a more mature insight into the interconnection of things and a greater power over them produce a certain self-confidence and stronger hopes, a feeling of confidence in invisible powers comes to the fore and with it the belief in good and benevolent spirits. But on the whole, both fear and love, side by side, remain permanently characteristic of the feeling of man toward his gods, except that their relation to one another changes according to the circumstances.” — “These are the roots of religion . . . fear and need are its mothers, and although it is principally perpetuated by authority once it has come into existence, still it would have died out long since if it were not constantly being reborn out of these two.”

Everything in these assertions has been shifted and thrown into disorder, and this disorder is illuminated from the wrong points of view. Furthermore, he who maintains this opinion is firm in his conviction that his opinion must be a generally binding truth. First of all, the content of religious conceptions is confused with the nature of religious feelings. The content of religious conceptions is taken from the region of the supersensible worlds. The religious feeling, for example, fear and love of the supersensible entities, is made the creator of this content without further ado, and it is assumed without hesitation that nothing real corresponds to the religious conceptions. It is not even considered remotely possible that there could be a true experience of supersensible worlds, and that the feelings of fear and love then cling to the reality which is given by this experience, just as no one thinks of water when in danger from fire, of the helpful comrade in the peril of combat, if he has not known water and comrade previously. In this view, the science of the spirit is declared to be day-dreaming because one makes religious feeling the creator of entities which one simply regards as non-existent. This way of thinking totally lacks the consciousness that it is possible to experience the content of the supersensible world, just as it is possible for the external senses to experience the ordinary world of the senses.

The odd thing that often happens with such views is that they resort to the kind of deduction to support their belief which they represent as improper in their adversaries. For example, in the above-mentioned work of Forel the sentence appears, “Do we not live in a way a hundred times truer, warmer, and more interestingly when we base ourselves on the ego, and find ourselves again in the souls of our descendants, rather than in the cold and nebulous fata morgana of a hypothetical heaven among the equally hypothetical songs and trumpet soundings of supposed angels and archangels, which we cannot imagine, and which therefore mean nothing to us.” But what has that which “one” finds “warmer,” “more interesting,” to do with the truth? If it is true that one should not deduce a spiritual life from fear and hope, is it then right to deny this spiritual life because one finds it to be “cold” and “uninteresting”? With respect to those personalities who claim to stand on the “firm ground of scientific facts,” the spiritual researcher is in the following position. He says to them, Nothing of what you produce in the way of such facts from geology, paleontology, biology, physiology, and so forth is denied by me. It is true that many of your assertions are in need of correction through other facts. But such a correction will be brought about by natural science itself. Apart from that, I say “yes” to what you advance. It does not enter my mind to fight you when you advance facts. But your facts are only a part of reality. The other part are the spiritual facts, through which the occurrence of the sensory ones first becomes understandable. These facts are not hypotheses, not something which “one” cannot imagine, but something lived and experienced by spiritual research. What you advance beyond the facts you have observed is, without your realizing it, nothing other than the opinion that those spiritual facts cannot exist. As a matter of fact, you advance nothing as the proof of your assertion except that such spiritual facts are unknown to you. From this you deduce that they do not exist and that those who claim to know something of them are dreamers and visionaries. The spiritual researcher does not take even the smallest part of your world from you; he only adds his own to it. But you are not satisfied that he should act in this way; you say — although not always clearly — “‘One’ must not speak of anything except of that of which we speak; we demand not only that that be granted to us of which we know something, but we require that all that of which we know nothing be declared idle phantasms.” The person who wants to have anything to do with such “logic” cannot be helped for the time being. With this logic he may understand the sentence: “Our I has formerly lived directly in our human ancestors, and it will continue to live in our direct or indirect descendants.” (Forel, Leben und Tod (Life and Death), page 21.) Only he should not add, “Science proves it,” as is done in this work. For in this case science “proves” nothing, but a belief which is chained to the world of the senses sets up the dogma: That of which I can imagine nothing must be considered as delusion; and he who sins against my assertion offends against true science.

The one who knows the development of the human soul finds it quite understandable that men's minds are dazzled for the moment by the enormous progress of natural science and that today they cannot find their way among the forms in which great truths are traditionally transmitted. The science of the spirit gives such forms back to mankind. It shows for example how the Days of Creation of the Bible represent things which are unveiled to the clairvoyant eye.* A mind chained to the world of the senses finds only that the Days of Creation contradict the results of geology and so forth. In understanding the deep truths of these Days of Creation, the science of the spirit is equally far removed from making them evaporate as a mere “poetry of myths,” and from employing any kind of allegorical or symbolical methods of explanation. How it proceeds is indeed quite unknown to those who still ramble on about the contradiction between these Days of Creation and science. Further, it must not be thought that spiritual research finds its knowledge in the Bible. It has its own methods, finds truths independently of all documents and then recognizes them in the latter. This way is necessary for many present-day seekers after truth. For they demand a spiritual research which bears within itself the same character as natural science. And only where the nature of this science of the spirit is not recognized does one become perplexed when it is a matter of protecting the facts of the supersensible world from opinions which appear to be founded on natural science. Such a state of mind was even anticipated by a man of warm soul, who however could not find the supersensible content of the science of the spirit. Almost eighty years ago this personality, Schleiermacher, wrote to the much younger Lücke: “When you consider the present state of natural science, how more and more it assumes the form of an encompassing account of the universe, what do you then feel the future will bring, I shall not even say for our theology, but for our evangelical Christianity? . . . I feel that we shall have to learn to do without much of what many are still accustomed to consider as being inseparably connected with the nature of Christianity. I shall not even speak of the Six Days' Work, but the concept of creation, as it is usually interpreted . . . How long will it be able to stand against the power of a world-outlook formed on the basis of scientific reasonings which nobody can ignore? . . . What is to happen, my dear friend? I shall not see this time, and can quietly lie down to sleep; but you, my friend, and your contemporaries, what do you intend to do?” (Theologische Studien und Kritiken von Ullmann und Umbreit (Theological Studies and Criticism by Ullmann and Umbreit), 1829, page 489). At the basis of this statement lies the opinion that the “scientific reasonings” are a necessary result of the facts. If this were so, then “nobody” could ignore them, and he whose feeling draws near the supersensible world can wish that he may be allowed “quietly to lie down to sleep” in the face of the assault of science against the supersensible world. The prediction of Schleiermacher has been realized, insofar as the “scientific reasonings” have established themselves in wide circles. But at the same time, today there exists a possibility of coming to know the supersensible world in just as “scientific” a manner as the interrelationships of sensory facts. The one who familiarizes himself with the science of the spirit in the way this is possible at present, will be preserved from many superstitions by it, and will become able to take the supersensible facts into his conceptual store, thereby divesting himself of the superstition that fear and need have created this supersensible world.

The one who is able to struggle through to this view will no longer be held back by the idea that he might be estranged from reality and practical life by occupying himself with the science of the spirit. He will then realize how the true science of the spirit does not make life poorer, but richer. It will certainly not mislead him into underestimating telephones, railroad technology, and aerial navigation; but in addition he will see many other practical things which remain neglected today, when one believes only in the world of the senses and therefore recognizes only a part of the truth rather than all of it.

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Notes:

* Compare: Rudolf Steiner, Die Geheimnisse der biblischen Schopfungsgeschichte (The Secrets of the Biblical History of Creation), Freiburg i, Br., 1954.
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Re: Cosmic Memory:Prehistory of Earth and Man, by Rudolf Ste

Postby admin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:38 pm

Back Cover

Religion

“Rudolf Steiner shows that the insoluble link between man and cosmos is the fundamental basis of evolution. As man has participated in the development of the world we know today, so his achievements are directly connected with the ultimate destiny of the universe. In his hands rests the freedom to shape the future course of creation. Knowledge of his exalted origins and of the path he followed is indispensable if man is to evolve a future worthy of a responsible human being ... Through a study of Steiner's writings one can come to a clear, reasonable, comprehensive understanding of the human being and his place in the universe.”

—Paul M. Alien, from the Introduction

In the best tradition of ancient wisdom literature, Cosmic Memory reconstructs events between the origin of the earth and the beginning of recorded history, including a core investigation of the origins, achievements, and fate of the Atlanteans and Lemurians. These remarkable “lost” root races developed the first concepts of “good” and “evil,” manipulated the forces of nature, laid the groundwork of all human legal and ethical systems, and defined and nurtured the distinctive yet complementary powers of men and women that brought humankind, many centuries ago, to its highest artistic, intellectual, and spiritual attainments.

From this discussion of our real origins, Cosmic Memory “gives us a true foundation for our lives, lets us recognize our value, our dignity, and our essence; enlightens us about our connection with the world around us; and shows us our highest goals, our true destiny.”

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was a world-renowned lecturer and philosopher whose wide-ranging interests included education, nutrition, the natural sciences, and phenomenology. His more than fifty published books continue to influence new generations of readers.
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