Our bookstore now ships internationally. Free domestic shipping $50+ →

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Planetary Evolution I

17 October 1904, Berlin

We have to realize that the microcosm does to some degree relate to the macrocosm. Human beings have dual nature the way they present themselves today—body and soul from the outside, and the spirit which they have been developing from the inside, beginning in the middle of the Lemurian age. Soul and body are vestments for the evolving spirit. Human beings will gradually be more and more spiritual. The soul is the mediator between the physical aspect and the spirit. Today’s spirit human being had no part in the process in which hosts of sublime spirits worked to develop this organism with its body and soul. This has been created out of great wisdom. The most perfect photographic apparatus would be child’s play compared to the structure of the eye, which shows such wisdom, and this also holds true if we compare a piano with the structure of the ear, which also shows wisdom. The human skeleton is configured in a way showing the greatest wisdom. Every bone is made up of countless numbers of small struts that support one another. This is a much more profound wisdom than any wisdom human beings have ever gained through their activities in the outside world. How does the human being show his dual nature? Where the vestments are concerned, in a perfect structure; where the spirit is concerned, as the beginning of a gradual evolution.

The development of the human being is the work of two hosts of sublime cosmic builders.48See also Cosmic Memory (note 12, chapter on gender division), and lecture given in Berlin on 25 October 1905, in The Temple Legend (note 22). They are gradually handing their work over to others. Wisdom is the essential quality of these cosmic builders. At the time when human beings began to develop the spirit, in the middle of the Lemurian age, one of these hosts really handed over to others who are now helping human beings to take mind and spirit onward through their incarnations. The wise cosmic builders who created the human being as a microcosm have also evolved further themselves, for everything is in evolution. They learned their task on the [old] Moon where they went through the highest level of evolution that was possible on the Moon. This enabled them to undertake the construction of the human body on Earth. In the middle of the Lemurian age the next higher quality developed in them. This was love. Their manas had been perfected on the Moon; now they rose to the level of budhi. Love is the outer macrocosmic form taken by budhi. On the Moon, they had learned everything that could be learned there, and they were therefore able to construct the wonderful edifices of the microcosm.

They developed their budhi in the middle of the Lemurian age, as they had developed their manas earlier, on the Moon. From then onwards the human race was no longer constructed out of wisdom coming from outside but guided out of love. The new task the macrocosmic spirits had taken on was to achieve ennoblement through love.

Higher development of any kind can, however, only be achieved by letting others lag behind. On the Moon, a group of spirits had lagged behind in their development. They entered into the phase of Earth evolution in a latent state and were only then able to develop further in their individual manas. They were only able to emerge very gradually. These are the spirits full of wisdom which in esoteric terms are called the luciferic principle. Lucifer, leader of the human intellect, was now intervening, whilst the other spirits were the leaders of love.

Let us consider the next level of planetary evolution, which is Jupiter. Everything mineral will then have vanished, been absorbed. Wisdom will have been transformed wholly into love. The result will be that because the macrocosm is love, the astral body will then be able to reach its highest level of development. The plant world will be the lowest then, and the human being will have such a soft astral body that the astral will be formcreator, law of nature. Karma will be a thing of the past and love will have become a reality. The consequence will be that everything people feel will also come to immediate expression in the world of form. The human being will reflect his karmic balance sheet. One will then be able to see what kind of karma he has brought with him. Love will be an immediate reality, as the law of nature is now. Budhi will thus come to expression at this fifth level.

At the sixth level, the macrocosmic atman will come to expression. The divine self will be present at first hand, coming to expression in manasic matter... [text missing]. Today the word can only exist physically in the spoken word. At the sixth level the word will flow through the world as an immediate presence, resounding. The human being will then have become sound. This is what the author of John's gospel referred to as the Logos. Just as with everything that is to come, one individual always develops in advance in order to assume leadership, and so the word has become flesh now in the Christ. At the sixth level, however, humanity will be word become sound.

To understand the position of the principle of spiritual evolution we have to consider a significant development in the Atlantean race. Spirits that had initially been [full of wisdom] now became rebels, agitators wanting to gain their independence. Suras became asuras. Until then they had been latent on Earth. They are the powers which now, at the present time, represent the intellectual and mental side of humanity. This aspect of Lucifer is also the one which represented Christianity in the early centuries.

Two documents relating to this exist—one in the Vatican, and a copy of it in the possession of the most initiated Christian in the West, the Count of St Germain.

This Lucifer-nature had also represented Christianity in the early centuries. Then Lucifer had gradually changed into a kind of adversary in the Christian tradition. Originally his position had been that of the human being’s friend.

Evolution thus means that the different streams in the universe do not develop at the same rate. Part has to go ahead, something else needs to catch up later. This lagging behind of evolutionary streams leads to opposing interests in the world. This is an important occult law. Certain evolutions have been shown as ascending and descending in theosophical books. We have 7 planets with 7 rounds each and always 7 form states, a total of 343 states. These were at about their halfway point by the middle of the Atlantean age. The ascent thus began with an intervention from the luciferic principle. In the descent, evolution became delayed, and in its ascent it came to be faster and faster. This accelerated development did not, however, address itself to the whole of the physical plane but only to individual spirits. The lords of wisdom had initially been in ascending evolution. They had reached a peak by the middle of Atlantean evolution. Where love is concerned they are at a beginning; they carved love into the macrocosm, but they are in the descending line and in delay. The lords of the luciferic principle, on the other hand, are in the ascending line of development. Because of this, intellectuality is increasing rapidly, whilst ennoblement through love is very slow. Example: piano maker working with loving care would be out of place in a concert hall; there you have to have the perfect virtuoso pianist. Disharmony would result if the former wanted to go on to do his hammering with the same loving devotion in the concert hall.49See also lecture of 2 November 1904 in this volume, and the lecture of 23 May 1904 in GA 93 [in German].

Two streams must therefore always come together. Relative evil arises when two streams, perfect in themselves, interact. Jesus said to his disciples: 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God only.'50See lecture of 18 November 1903 [in German] in GA 88. Nothing in the world is good, only the principle of the beginning, which is the Father. So this is how the godlike atman and budhi qualities develop macrocosmically in the hosts of the world's disposers.