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

The Rudolf Steiner Archive

a project of Steiner Online Library, a public charity

The Christian Mystery
GA 97

XVII. The Rational Mind the Gift of Lucifer and its Future Transformation into a New Kind of Clairvoyance

29 April 1906, Stuttgart

Today we'll consider the functions ascribed to some spiritual entities known as luciferic spirits. We'll find that they have some strange connections with humanity. Our starting point shall be the fact that the science of thinking, of reflection, goes back no further than 800 or 900 years before Christ. Anyone who studies the history of philosophy knows that it began with Thales,138Thales ... Aristotle, see Steiner R. The Riddles of Philosophy (GA 18). Tr. F. C. A. Kölln. New York: Anthroposophic Press 1973. who lived in about 600 BC and once predicted a solar eclipse on the basis of his nature studies. This was something highly unusual at the time. The philosophy of western logic only came with Aristotle. Before that no doctrine existed about thinking, for thinking itself, abstract rational thinking, only began to dawn in 600 - 800 BC. Seeds of it were already there in the Atlantean race. We do, of course, know that the Chaldeans, ancient Egyptians and other Orientals knew astronomy, but this came from the deeper roots of clairvoyance.

The rational mind thus only developed half a millennium before Christ, and this had to do with changes in the form of relationships and marriage. These used to be very different from the way they are today. Scientists have established that even among the savage tribes of America the relationship between cousins is much more complex than it is with us. Thus the Iroquois call cousins on their father's side brothers and sisters but not those on their mother's side, the reason being that men who are of the same age in a family could have all women of the same age for their wives. One would thus know exactly who a child's mother was, but not its father. The Iroquois still see family relationships in this way today. It needs occult knowledge to give the right explanation for this. We know that things happened in 800 - 900 BC which indicate that marriage among blood relations changed to become marriage outside the family. Before, the head of a family was the father of the tribe. These ways still survived among the ancient Germans at a much later time, when people in Africa and in Mediterranean countries were already marrying outside the family. In medieval times the transition to marrying outside the family was glorified in legends such as the Gudrunlied139Middle high German epic. In his Germania, Tacitus wrote of ancient German tribes having one ancestor. Later this custom ceased, and in the Gudrunlied kings go to distant countries to look for wives. In the Siegfried legend140Siegfried (Sigurd), folk hero of early and medieval German mythology. His legend provided the source material for several epics, among them the Vblsungasaga and the Nibelungenlied. we have a description of the way the new order rose in opposition to marriage between blood relations. The marriage of Siegmund and Sieglinde was rejected by the goddess Frigg, wife of Odin. Odin established the principle of marriage outside the tribe. This was introduced at different times among different peoples, but there is a strange connection between the transition to this principle and the emergence of rational thinking. An occult thesis is that marriage outside the tribe kills part of the ether body—the forebrain comes to life, whilst the ancient clairvoyance, which was enhanced by intermarriage, dies away. People began to take a rational view of things. Today humanity has adapted to marriage outside family and tribe, just as in earlier times it was adapted to intermarriage. The latter has a harmful effect on the mental faculties of the children, and above all on the sense organ connected with the development of intellectual faculties, the eye. This is why intermarriage often results in blindness. Mental faculties only improve with marriage outside the family.

This physiological fact is closely linked with human evolution. It was necessary to prepare for the coming of the Christ. Could this have come about under different conditions? It brought love of one soul for another, with one soul influencing the other. Love among blood relations had to be overcome first. Nations will altogether only be ripe to receive Christianity once they have overcome love among blood relations. The initiates of ancient Egypt always came from the same family, for many generations. The earlier wisdom was intuitive by nature, which becomes all the more evident the further one goes back in human evolution. Reflection based on the intellect is connected with the basis of Christianity.

Let us now consider how the gods related to human beings. As evolution progresses, human beings will be gods, and the gods have also gone through a form of human evolution, different from our own, on other planets, but certainly something similar. Those who are at a higher level evolve on the basis of those who are at a lower level—man and animal live on the plant, this in turn on the mineral. There could be no gods if it were not for human beings. The relationship between them is of the same kind. What do the gods need of us? They feed on our love. The division into two sexes developed. The true meaning of nectar and ambrosia, food for the gods, is the love between man and woman. This reflects an occult truth.

Between the gods and human beings are spirits who did not complete their evolution at the same time as the gods, remaining behind, as it were, in the school of evolution. These are the luciferic spirits. They have fanned a higher level of spiritual independence into life in human beings. They taught them to rise against the gods, developing the part in them that does not feed the gods. Lucifer therefore appears as the serpent in the story of paradise, and Jehovah's punishment is that human beings shall bear their children in pain.141Genesis 3: 16 The cohorts of Lucifer continued to influence intellectual development. Anything they did not achieve earlier, they made up for when marriage outside the family became the custom. The old law established order among human beings. Lucifer was set free 800 or 900 years before Christ, and the inner powers of the soul then began to unfold. The Christ came as the representative of the new order. The external law was given on Sinai, the inner law, grace, is given to those who have been set free by the Christ. That is how humanity progresses—the luciferic principle had to develop more and more in them.

Outer science is to be made free through theosophy, with knowledge deepened to become wisdom. The name Lucifer suggests the principle of independence. This is why Mrs Blavatsky142Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna, née Hahn (1831–91), Russian theosophist. Founded the Theosophical Society with Henry Steel Olcott in New York in 1875. Her journal Lucifer first appeared in 1887 gave that name to her first journal, and we have done the same, to make the principle known. Differences between nations will wear off more and more, and the first sentence in the principles of the Theosophical Society will come into force: to be the core for human brotherhood.143First objective of the Theosophical Society: 4To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood ofhumanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or colour? Proceedings of 2nd Annual Congress of the Federation of European Sections of the Theosophical Society, p. 5. Love among blood relations will be progressively overcome and people will look more for soul relationships. Souls will find one another across vast distances. The further development and transformation of the rational mind will bring a new form of clairvoyance in future. Overcoming sexual love will at first mean isolation. The chela has to be uprooted—the great overcoming of all feelings of relationship—that is the function of the luciferic principle.

Questions and answers

(Questions not recorded)

The Indian caste system is based on knowledge of karma. The clairvoyant guides of the Indian nation foresaw the destined caste of an individual so that each was born into the appropriate caste. As the intellect develops with people marrying outside the family, conscious clairvoyance will develop and by the end of the sixth sub-race people will be organized in moral castes. With the next sub-race, all love between blood relations will vanish. The gods will be deprived of food and withdraw progressively from humanity, moving on to higher stages of evolution. Human beings will be guided by their masters, who have risen from the ranks of humanity, as it were, but have consciously evolved more quickly. These divine guides do not need human love to feed them, and sexual love will thus come to an end.

If the luciferic principle had not come into effect, the earth would gradually have become a cinder, like the moon, dead and desolate. This should not happen, and man himself will prevent it, reshaping the earth. When human beings first appeared, the earth was not as it is today. In Lemuria there were no dead, rigid metals and rocks; everything was flowing, rivers of metals flowed through the mountains, which we can still see quite clearly today. The miners who are in intimate touch with the inner earth know this, which makes them the best spiritualists. Many plants were still animals then, and milk, the food for man, flowed freely. In our infancy we go through this stage again unconsciously. We must, however, return to this form of taking nourishment in a conscious way. This is why it was said: ‘Unless you become as little children.’144Mark 10: 14; Matthew 18: 17. Milk and a plant-based diet call up occult powers of healing, and future physicians will have to feed themselves in this way, that is, eat all the things that reach out for the sun. Indian physicians immunize themselves against snakebite by letting snakes bite them. They are then able to heal snakebite in others. Our food will be mineral by nature. Physiological initiates already live on a mineral diet. There are different kinds of initiates—those who teach wisdom, and among others those who work on improving the blood of humanity, the physiological initiates. They need not be specially clever in other directions, but their feeling for physiology is highly developed. We should only eat the parts of plants and animals that do not contain their vital energies—not their roots, therefore, nor meat, but fruit and milk and leaves. Anything that grows above ground, thriving in the sun and eaten by cows, is the right food. Minerals that form deposits should not be eaten, that is, no salts, only water. Physiological occultists watch over the blood transition to the next race.

In the last century, since Frederic the Great, we have developed ten times as fast as in the thousand years from Charlemagne to Frederic the Great, and evolution will continue to speed up in this way. The sixth sub-race is developing in Russia. Non-belief is a great obstacle to development.

Mercury is the body of some great spirits, one of which incarnated in Gautama Buddha.145Steiner R. The Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature (GA 136), lecture given in Helsingfors on 13 April 1912. Tr. unknown. Vancouver: Steiner Book Centre 1981.

In the course of evolution, man will govern his body from the outside, carry it with him like a snail its shell, in a way, work on it and transform it. This is something he is already doing in his sleep today.