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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Planetary Evolution V

29 October 1904, Berlin

Conscious awareness on the first planet was at deep trance level. It had the widest horizon, yet it was also the dimmest. The human being had an overview of the whole planetary system in this state. On the second planet, conscious awareness was at the dreamless sleep level—somewhat brighter but also narrower. On the third planet, dream-filled sleep level awareness was distinctly brighter and narrower. At the dreamless sleep level, human beings were able to perceive life, at the dream-filled sleep level also the inner feelings. Conscious awareness on the fourth planet is daytime consciousness, narrowed down to the greatest degree but also destined to perceive the conscious self in another individual. This is the clearest state of conscious awareness. The psychic level of awareness on the fifth planet will be far brighter than our present one. It will extend across the whole astral sphere. On the sixth planet, conscious awareness will be at the hyperpsychic stage. The lower thought world will be openly apparent to human beings. On the seventh planet humanity will reach the spiritual stage of conscious awareness. Then the higher mental world will open up before them. Every developmental phase within such a level of conscious awareness is called a ‘planet’ or a ‘planetary evolution’. This covers the evolution of conscious awareness.

A review of the evolution of life follows. Every stage of awareness has to go through seven life stages, these being the first, second and third elemental worlds, the mineral, plant, animal and human worlds. Each phase of passing through a life stage is called a ‘round’. We thus have 7 rounds on each planet, and on the 7 planets together 49 metamorphoses of life.

The stages of form.

Every life stage has to go through seven form stages, the forms of the

  1. arupic
  2. rupic
  3. astral
  4. physical
  5. plastic (physically mobile—life governs form)
  6. intellectual (not only mobile, but can be penetrated by thought)
  7. archetypal (the whole I lies exposed to the outside world)

These form stages are called 'globes'. Every stage has a special function. Let us consider these functions in the case of human beings.

Human beings first of all go through the seven worlds in the seven form stages in deep trance awareness. On every planet, the densest stage is the middle one (No. 25 in the table below). We thus have the first elemental world in the arupic, rupic, astral, physical, plastic, intellectual and archetypal stages; then the second elemental world in the same seven stages, and likewise the third elemental world. We also have the mineral world in the stage states. These realms were only at the seed stage, however; in reality there was only one world. Number 49 is the human world in the archetypal stage, as the last globe in the last round—form, life, spiritual awareness.

The characteristic physical form is gone through in the middle of the 49 stages. The human being entered into evolution as a universal spirit which then became a separate spirit. First of all an individual orb separated off from a general orb. Those individual human orbs went through the different transformation stages. One of the later transformation processes yielded the ‘ether double body’. This stage of first separation from the universal is called ‘conscious awareness going down into the abyss’.60See notebook page ‘777 incarnations’ and Special Note, both in this volume. In a lecture given in Paris on 9 June 1906 (An Esoteric Cosmology, in GA 94; Spring Valley: St George Publications 1978), we read that the number 7-7-7 signifies the esoteric cipher of the three Logoi and the exoteric number is the multiplication of these three sevenhoods in the evolutional plan, i.e. 343. It is reached in the physical stage of the first planet. 24 stages went before, with another 24 to follow. The middle stage, the 25th, is the densest. The physical potential for the human being arose as a dense physical orb. At that time the Earth was like the ether or like the consistency of light on our present Earth. When awareness had fallen into the abyss it had a form rather like a mulberry.

On the second planet, in the deep sleep state of awareness (dreamless sleep), the human being became immersed in number. The orbs developed on the first planet were acting in a certain regular harmony. A relict from that second state is that chemical elements do not combine in any random numbers. Colours and sounds are in an order determined by their wave lengths. On the second planet we thus find order based on measure, number and weight.

Only one world existed at the first stage (Saturn); at the second stage (Sun), when the human being had become immersed in number, it was possible to separate into two worlds. One world arose which remained a continuum all the way to the human being, and another containing everything that was not suitable for developing as far as the human being. This became a separate second world (potential for animal and plant worlds, the lower forms of life). Law: It is not possible to have higher development unless something is separated out and left behind at a lower level. The degree of development was specific and given in that potential of the first planet. From it followed the law of life. It is the law of unequal but full development—no taking without giving. The first obligation of the esoteric student is to give something back.

On the third planet a third element developed—the law of elective affinities. People develop sympathy and antipathy for one another. This law applies in all worlds, in chemistry, for example, and in the mineral world. This also made it possible for a new world to develop. The animal, plant and mineral worlds developed. The human being as we see him today did not yet exist at that time. He was still a kind of animal then, at the kamic level. The spirit had not yet entered into the body.

On the fourth planet, in waking consciousness, a new potential developed for some entities so that they were not subject to the law of elective affinity. A life form that went further had to come. This was birth and death, which did not exist before. This form of life could only come because entities no longer existed in isolation but were held together by a supersensible thread of life. Individual incarnations were as if threaded on some cotton. The entity became manifold in time through birth and death. Before, human beings were manifold only in space. On the third planet (Moon), multiplication happened by tying off and division, and all lived in sympathy and antipathy with one another. Everything which multiplies by division is therefore immortal in material terms. Because of this the lowest animals, monads, are immortal (according to Weismann).62August Weismann (1834–1914), zoologist. Rudolf Steiner wrote about him in his essay ‘Haeckel und seine Gegner’ [in German] in GA 30. Death is only possible when insemination exists as well as division. The price for birth and death was that entities continued to be split off, with the human being developing at the cost of other entities. Because of this, birth and death was also imposed on all other entities, which have no individual karma. The human being had to push each of the worlds which were below him down by one level.

Birth and death are connected with human karma. On the next planet, the human being, having gained a higher level of awareness, will be aware not only of the workings of karma but will have conscious awareness in karma itself. His inner strength will have grown to such an extent that he will have the will to be his karma. He will bear it in his figure and physiognomy. His physiognomy will reveal what lies in his astral and mental body. It will then happen that someone who is good will also be truly seen to be good from the outside, and someone who is evil as evil. Such evil people will then be found only among those who trained in black magic. The great judgement will come, dividing good from evil. This will happen on the fifth planet. From the fifth planet onwards we can only speak of the evolution of goodness.

On the sixth planet everything that is meaningless will be eliminated as evolution continues—anything that shows itself to be senseless and illogical on the lower mental plane. This sixth planet is the planet of the Logos, the word, for it is the word which gives meaning.

On the seventh planet, a wholly purified condition will prevail. The planets that went before will have performed their functions, and the fruits of this will be gathered. This is the state of being in complete harmony with God.

The spirit was present all the time when the human body was evolving and going through all these stages. Initially it floated above the body, and then, in the middle of the Lemurian age, it united with the body. The spirit is meant to gather experience on the lower planes through the body. In Greek esoteric teaching, the human soul was compared to a bee gathering honey from the planetary evolutions, from the fall into the abyss on the first planet to the state of complete harmony with God on the seventh planet. Redemption is thus happening all the time. What is held under a spell in matter is released and redeemed. Human beings only gathered experiences from the time when they inhabited the body. Before that they were the architect who built the whole of it in order to inhabit it.

The human being thus goes through the following process of evolution.

I. First elemental world 1. arupic
2. rupic
3. astral
4. physical
5. plastic
6. intellectual
7. archetypal
II. Second elemental world 8. arupic
9. rupic
10. astral
11. physical
12. plastic
13. intellectual
14. archetypal
III. Third elemental world 15. arupic
16. rupic
17. astral
18. physical
19. plastic
20. intellectual
21. archetypal
IV. Mineral world 22. arupic
23. rupic
24. astral
25. physical
26. plastic
27. intellectual
28. archetypal
V. Plant world 29. arupic
30. rupic
31. astral
32. physical
33. plastic
34. intellectual
35. archetypal
VI. Animal world 36. arupic
37. rupic
38. astral
39. physical
40. plastic
41. intellectual
42. archetypal
VII. Human world 43. arupic
44. rupic
45. astral
46. physical
47. plastic
48. intellectual
49. archetypal

The 25th level, the middle one, is always the deepest and densest. We are now on the fourth planet and at the 25th level, which means in the densest state. On the seventh planet, in the seventh world, the human world, and the seventh form, which is archetypal, human evolution will reach its greatest perfection. The human being will then have his archetypal form, be truly godlike and human, with an all-embracing, spiritual conscious awareness.