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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Awareness - Life - Form
GA 89

Planetary Evolution VIII

2 November 1904, Berlin

In the middle of the Lemurian race, building the house for the human being had progressed as far as having the potential for thinking. The dhyanic spirits had gained the level of perfection which enabled them to endow the physical body with the power of thought. With the physical body now having this power, single-gender nature changed to two-gender nature. Before, an entity was able to produce offspring without involving another entity. The power of physical productivity was therefore twice as great in those entities than it is in individual human beings today. In the middle of the Lemurian age, therefore, the human power of productivity was divided in two, with the second half used to develop the ability to think. Until then humanity had evolved at the cost of other worlds which were eliminated by it. Now human beings had to divide in two themselves—into a lower and a higher productive power (power of thought). The latter developed at the cost of the former. Our physical power of rational understanding is thus former regenerative power transformed.

Up to that time only cold-blooded life forms existed on Earth. No life form had as yet the kind of blood that develops fire from within through kama. All of them, including the human being, were cold-blooded at the time. All the cold-blooded life forms we have today are atrophied forms descended from the cold-blooded life forms of that time. Every kind of warm-blooded life form we have today was still part of the human being then, only separating off gradually.

Step by step the human being would always leave behind anything that was less good in order to gain higher development. Reptiles, birds and mammals separated off first, the apes fairly late. Warm-blooded life forms are also earlier stages that have been left behind, with the human being casting them off just as he did the mineral, plant and cold-blooded animal worlds before. The fact that no warm-blooded life forms had existed until then, really means that a further world was created. In esoteric thinking, one does indeed speak of mineral world, plant world, cold-blooded animals, warm-blooded animals.

The warm-blooded animals were only separated off within the Lemurian age because kama entered into the bodies, taking hold of the lower part of that halved productivity. The kama acting from within brought about the warmth in warm-blooded life forms.

The dhyanic spirits were then able to create a human form where half the productive power was converted into powers of rational understanding. The Moon pitris then proceeded step by step to take possession of the human bodies thus created.

Dhyanic spirits may also lag behind in evolution. Some from the class of spirits who had created the human being on the Moon had thus remained behind. They had not managed to get so far as to take part in creating two-gender nature. But they had gained the ability to develop the kama body, configuring it with great wisdom. They were able to take the kamic principle in the human being to its highest peak. This was the work these spirits were still doing in the Lemurian age. However, on the Moon the kama body had not yet had gender, which means that these spirits were unable to take part in developing the kama in the sexual sphere.

Whilst the dhyani, which had gone ahead of them, had taken the human body so far that the spirit was able to enter into the bodies of two different genders, the single aim of these retarded spirits was to use their most sublime wisdom to create a human race that would develop what had been aimed for on the Moon, though this excluded sexuality. They furthermore found the wisdom in man to be akin to their own essential nature. They took hold of the human being and wanted to bring him into a form that would exclude all the lower kamic element; they wanted to bring him to perfection directly, without first going through sexuality. They wanted to make a human being full of wisdom, leaving aside what he must go through in his physical nature. These are the spirits which refused to take part in the creative work in physical nature.

If the human being had developed only in accord with the first dhyani's intentions, his lower kamic nature would not have developed, and he would have been under dhyani thought guidance. Who would then have been thinking in the human being? Divine thoughts had entered into him. Human beings would have been under God’s guidance. God would have been thinking in them, and never they themselves. They would then have been true children of God, but they could never have become like God themselves. They would have been thinking automatons, never able to grasp the inner spark of wisdom as their own; it would always have been an alien light.

Then those retarded spirits came and they were at exactly the right stage to come in and help at this point. They had developed the wisdom-filled kama body on the Moon, and they knew how to penetrate kama with wisdom. They were the spirits to whom the human being owed his freedom. He had to be tied in with kama so that the spark of spirit might be his own. They thus learned to love the light of the other dhyanic spirits. In esoteric terms they are called the great ascetics or kumaras. For at first they refused to be creative; they did not understand the two-gender state. They were insubordinate. They became guiding spirits for the human being at the point where kama was taken up towards wisdom.

The elohim, and especially the Jahveh elohim, had created the human being but did not want him to be 'like one of us’. Now, following the intervention of the retarded dhyani, they wanted at least to prevent human beings from becoming spiritual and leave aside everything low. Lucifer's original aim had been to let sexuality die away and let the human being merge wholly into the spiritual. Jehovah on the other hand tends to put the emphasis on physical life.63See lecture given in Berlin on 25 October 1905, in GA 93a, Foundations of Esotericism (see note 13). He does not want the human being to grow spiritual too soon, but wants to make him go through the phases of Earth evolution. Together the two bring about the free human being.

The rebellion of the lower dhyani was the work of Lucifer, the intervention of the spirits who free the human being is known as ‘Lucifer’s secret’. In all esoteric schools, Lucifer was venerated as much as all the other dhyanic spirits. Lucifer was called on whenever people needed guidance to find the way to the spirit in full clarity of perceptive understanding. In the early Christian mystery centres, Lucifer's Mystery was still understood and also put down in writing in those early days. This book is most carefully guarded in the Roman Catholic Church, for good reason, for the Church has declared Lucifer to be the enemy of humanity, though the truth is that he made the automated human being into a free spirit. The book is kept at the Vatican; the Count of St Germain has a copy.64See lecture given in Berlin on 23 May 1905, in GA 93, The Temple Legend (see note 22).

We have now been considering the way heavenly spirits (dhyani), Earthly spirits (the human being in his Earthly body and the lunar soul principle of the pitris) and the luciferic spirits worked together in Lemurian times. Let us now consider a specific line of human evolution.

A cycle will always be descending and then ascending: evolution - involution. This is also how it has been with the evolution of our senses. We did not always have the same senses. The human being of the Polarian age was enveloped in a form of matter that was highly tenuous and indeed shadow-like. He had been developed according to the pitris—etheric. These ether human beings really looked oval, like an egg, and moved in a wholly etheric element. Our present-day senses would have been useless at that time. A sense to give orientation within the etheric matter was sufficient, and that was the sense of hearing. They had only this one sense, to perceive the movement of the ether matter, just as later on, in the 6th root-race, the human being will hear the ‘trumpets’ (Book of Revelation), that is, the sounds of the spheres.

As matter condensed, a principle we must call temperature differences developed within matter. Movements were no longer regular, and this created denser and warmer areas. The Hyperboreans were made of air matter. They were able to detect differences in temperature by means of a sense of feeling. Further condensation of the Earth made bodies more solid at first, and finally incandescent. Outwardly this could look like a flame. The sense of sight developed, and this happened in such a way that the temperature organ of the head, which projected like an lantern from the top of the head, changed into an organ of vision. This was later going to be the pineal body, atrophied today, but incandescent and projecting in earlier times—the single eye of the Cyclops. Further condensation of the Earth caused this eye to go through involution, with two eyes taking the place of the one, though they only developed fully in Atlantean times.

Up to the third sub-race of the Atlantean age there would always still be people who had developed their one eye (the eye of Cyclops) and were using it for clairvoyant vision. Then a new ability developed, and this involved a sense by which the condensed matter could be perceived—the sense of taste (tongue). Matter had to be concentrated to such a degree that it came to be salt-like. The sense of smell developed last of all; it was to gain its real significance only in the rounds that followed.

Evolution continues, and in this round we are called on to develop two new senses. We have already begun to start the cycle actively where before we started it passively. What was passive before, is now becoming active for us. The potential developed in the Atlanteans. Before that, human beings had no speech; this only began to develop with the Atlanteans. In speech, human beings utter what they have heard with their ears. The evolution was an involution before. Talking is the opposite pole to hearing. It must continue to develop. It will gain significance and become a sense when mystic evolution will have refined the human being from inside to such effect that it will be able to take the spiritual element in directly. When the spiritual unites with the larynx, the human being will at last be able to speak in a higher sense (in the presence of the masters).

The first time a human manu, who will be a human ‘master’, will arise will be by the end of the fifth root-race. In the sixth root-race he will be a brother to the human race. Those who will have taken their mystic evolution of the astral so far that they will be able to recognize the master, will have achieved this by developing this sense. ‘Before the voice can speak in the presence of the masters it must have lost the power to wound.’65Mabel Collins, Light on the Way, London 1888. See Rudolf Steiner’s commentaries on this [in German] in GA 264, and in GA 266/1.

A seventh sense also needs to be developed in our cycle. Just as the sense of hearing will emerge actively, in speech that no longer wounds, so the sense of feeling will go through a reversal. The individual will no longer consider only the things which come from the outside to be feeling, but will also know how to direct them to the outside. He will be able to let his heart unfold freely for the outside and let his deepest feelings enwrap other human beings. The spiritual soul principle, which lives in the heart today, will then flow out. The individual will lay his soul openly at the feet of others. We will not be able to develop this sense unless we consciously endeavour to meet others and the whole world openly: ‘Before the soul can stand in the presence of the masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.’

The astral body organizes these senses when the human being lives in the spirit of these two rules.