The figure of 25920 comes back in a remarkable way in number of rhythms that we can relate to a form of in and out breathing at different levels in the cosmos. It can be a key to develop a feeling connection with the fact thatthe human being, as a microcosmos, is part of and fully connected with the macrocosmos.
- 1. The platonic year, one unit for the sun. It takes 25920 earth-years for the sun to go through all the zodiac signs.
- 2. The human breathing cycle and process: we take 25920 breaths in an day, as we breathe on average 18 times per minute.
- 3. Etheric breathing process and cycle of one human or earth day, where Man is sleeping or awake on earth: there are 25920 days in a human life (of 71 years for the patriarchal age of old)
- 4. One human life is like one day-breath for the sun: 25920 is 365 times 71 years
Man lives through three main rhythms: breathing, being asleep/awake, and being incarnate alive or between death and a new birth. These rhythms connect in interesting ways to the natural cosmic rhythms of Earth and the Sun. He is furthermore embedded in this Earth-Sun system with a yearly rhythm and the four seasons.
Through these life-giving breathing processes, Man is directly related with these entities which are also living spiritual beings.
Exploring the patterns above shows that, just as the Earth nurtures Men through a life giving rhythm, there is a Great Being that nurtures all Suns - including our Sun - through a higher level cosmic in and outbreathing.
Entities at different levels of complexity in the cosmos are interdependent and part of one great whole, through a connecting life-giving, an in- and outbreathing. One is part of the other, a substructure with similar characteristics, at a different level of complexity .. so that the one is embedded and an integral part of the other.
The larger system breathes in and out and everything downstream ‘rides on that breath’ which is really a life-giving breath
- The Earth gives life to Man, humanity, and the other nature's kingdoms
- The Sun gives life to Earth and the other planets in the solar system
- The Great Being gives life to our Sun and the other Suns
The 25920 topic is a wonderful contemplation to feel one-self into being part of the cosmos, fully intertwined and interconnected with greater beings to which Man owes life. It is an antidote to the materialistic worldview where Man and Earth are but a meaningless speck in the great mechanic universe. See also Meaning of Free Man Creator.
Schema FMC00.126 shows the relationship between Man as a breathing living being closely linked the Earth as an etheric breathing living being, both part in the same way of the Sun's life-feeding solar system part of the breathing cosmos as a living Great Being. The earth gives life to Man and the other kingdoms on the planet, the Great Being gives life to the suns.
FMC00.269 summarizes how Man is most aware of the rhythms indicated by the white cells in the table below, and is not consciously aware of life in the darker cells. Man can develop experiential soul awareness of the yearly rhythm of summer and winter, see eg Christ Module 17 - The experience of the year
Schema FMC00.126A and FMC00.126B illustrate with the original blackboard drawings, see lecture coverage for references.
Schema FMC00.126B illustrates with original blackboard drawings that Rudolf Steiner mentioned the 25920 topic in many lectures (over 20 times).
Schema FMC00.288 is a high level representation of
- above: evolution of macrocosmos (solar system) and microcosmos (in this case Man's perspective as one of the spiritual hierarchies in development) - and especially the descent where Man received from the spiritual hierarchies, and the ascent in which Man starts to contribute and create, see Free Man Creator.
- middle: the current situation with the cycle of reincarnation and descent into a physical body (incarnate life, showing the seven year phases) and the life between death and a new birth, spent in the astral world and spirit world
- below: our life of earth is characterized by the daily cycle which is essential for understanding how Man 'functions' in terms of I-consciousness, sensory experience and incorporating life experiences between the different bodily principles (physical and etheric bodies, astral body and I).
Lecture coverage and references
From a close study of all 24 source lectures, here are the most important ones. The following three are key or the central ones:
- 1917-01-28-GA174 gives an extensive full coverage and is the ideal introduction
- 1920-04-16-GA201 is spectacular and adds moon nutation
- 1920-05-14-GA201 is also key, talks about two streams, and the saros cycle elipses of 18 years
The there are complementary statements 'around' the central topic, thereby enriching, in the following:
- 1917-02-13-GA175 also gives an explicit statement on two levels of higher beings
- 1917-12-11-GA179 also talks about etheric breathing, and the human centaur
- 1919-08-22-GA294 adds the 4 minutes
Last, eg 1921-01-06-GA323 gives an example of how the topic is discussed in another context, here in the astronomy course, of the ice age (platonic age) and breath of brahma. The other GA201 lectures of 18 april and 8 and 9 may are also expanding around the two other GA201 mentioned above.
Mystically being moved
Now you see that as Microcosms we are actually part of and subject to the same laws, as regards the Universal Beings, as the breath we draw is subject to our own human being. Number and measure govern it.
It is a great and wonderful thing, and in its significance must cut deeply into our very hearts: that number and measure regulate the great cosmos, the Macrocosm, exactly as they regulate us, the Microcosm. This is not merely a figure of speech, it is not merely mystically felt; but the wisdom-filled contemplation of the world teaches us that we, as Microcosms, stand within the Macrocosm.
When we make such simple calculations as these — which can of course be arrived at by the most ordinary scientific methods of reckoning — then, if our hearts are sensitive to the secrets of cosmic existence and not mere blocks of wood, the saying “we are placed in the Universe” will cease to be abstract words, for we shall be fully alive to the fact. A knowledge and a feeling will spring up within us, the fruits of which will be born in the impulses of our will, and our whole being live in unison with the great life, divine cosmic existence.
If you rise above the illusion that you are a limited being,
if you comprehend what you are,
as a process, as an interplay in the cosmos,
what you are in reality,
you can then say: “I myself am a breath of the cosmos.”
We must say, then:
“We are earthly beings through our breathing-process; through our alternation from waking to sleeping we are moon, earth, and Jupiter beings; and through the interplay of our life's course with the conditions of the cosmic year we are cosmic beings. In the cosmic life, in the whole planetary system, one breath embraces a day of our existence; our seventy-two years of life are one day for that Being whose organs form the planetary system.”
If you rise above the illusion that you are a limited being, if you comprehend what you are, as a process, as an interplay in the cosmos, what you are in reality, you can then say: “I myself am a breath of the cosmos.”
1919-08-22-GA294 also states the analogy of the Sun's path through the zodiac in one platonic year, with the influences of the zodiac in a full solar system cycle
We live 72 years on an average. Multiply this number by 360, and again you get 25,920. So you can visualize that the “Platonic year,” the sun's revolution round the worlds, which takes 25,920 years, has for its (cosmic) day our human life, so that we, in our human life, can look on the process which takes a year in the whole universe, as one breath, and can understand our human span of life as a (cosmic) day in the great year of the universe, so that again we can reverence the minutest process as a reflection of the great cosmic process. If you look at it more closely, the “Platonic year,” that is the course which is completed in the “Platonic year,” is a reflection of the entire process, which, since the old Saturn-evolution, through sun, moon, and earth-evolution, etc., up to Vulcan, has been taking place.
Breath of Brahma
Now imagine a spiritual Being, for whom our 71 years are equivalent to one breath of our air; in that case, we would be the breath of that Being. Through the fact that we are placed into the world, as tiny mites when we are born, we are breathed out by that Being who passes through the platonic year, as if it were one year, a Being who therefore measures its age in platonic years. That Being consequently breathes us out into the universe and when we die, it breathes us in again. We are thus breathed out and we are breathed in again
Imagine a spiritual Being, for whom our 71 years are equivalent to one breath of our air; in that case, we would be the breath of that Being. We are placed into the world, as tiny mites when we are born, breathed out by that Being who passes through the platonic year, as if it were one year. This Being who therefore measures its age in platonic years.
That Being consequently breathes us out into the universe and when we die, it breathes us in again. We are thus breathed out and we are breathed in again. Hence one human life, and one day of such human life, are, for greater and more encompassing Beings, equivalent to one of the breaths which we ourselves draw in our own life.
Imagine a spiritual Being, for whom our 71 years are equivalent to one breath of our air; in that case, we would be the breath of that Being. We are placed into the world, as tiny mites when we are born, breathed out by that Being who passes through the platonic year, as if it were one year. This Being who therefore measures its age in platonic years. That Being consequently breathes us out into the universe and when we die, it breathes us in again. We are thus breathed out and we are breathed in again.
Hence one human life, and one day of such human life, are, for greater and more encompassing Beings, equivalent to one of the breaths which we ourselves draw in our own life.
●I mentioned yesterday not to explain it, but by way of illustration - the ancient Indian Yoga system. Man entered deeply into a living inner experience of the breathing process, trying to make it conscious. In doing so there dawned upon him this relation between the rhythm that goes on in man - breathed, as it were, into man in a concentrated and contracted form - and the phenomena of the great Universe. Therefore he spoke of his own in- and out-breathing and of the mighty in- and out-breathing of Brahma, a single breath spanning an entire year, for which 25, 920 years are a day - a day of the Great Spirit.
Rudolf Steiner first covered this topic in 1917-01-28-GA174, which after his third moon node in Dec 1916 and at the start of a new phase of seven years from early 1917 until end 1923. With closer inspection one can observe a new stream of subject matter being brought from this start in 1917, see eg Rudolf Steiner's Gesamtausgabe (GA) > Rudolf Steiner timeline. Besides the threefold nature of Man, the 25920 is such a topic.
Rudolf Steiner will mention it repeatedly during lectures, about 24 times, and upto a few days before his last address in September 1924. In fact he mentions it in five lectures in the famous GA201 cycle. Note: these are not just mentions of the platonic year of the Sun through the zodiac sign being 25920 years (then there are many more), but all these references are about the fact this number is central to breathing patterns at different levels.
In 25920 three intertwined main rhythms of breathing:
- (1) physical human breath,
- (2) sleeping/waking in rhythm of a day, and
- (3) physical/spiritual life, or ‘reincarnation’, consisting of the processes:
- (3b) ‘between death & rebirth’, and of
- (3a) ‘the unfolding physical life’.
The first two (1) and (2) are embedded into the third (3a) and we know them from our physical life on earth.
- (3a) is described in seven year phases, see the Seven year rhythm
- (3b) is described as the journey through the spheres to the midnight hour and the return descent through the spheres to earth.
In the topic Rhythmic pattern between death and new birth, another fundamental rhythm is described and added to the above: a similar rhythmical in/out cycle that takes place during (3b).
This 'memory/love' theme is described for normal life (3a) in 1918-08-18-GA183, not as much a rhythm as also the connection between Man and the Cosmos, with continuous interactions. Man operates between two boundary zones, which also represent the limits of Man’s knowledge with the current sensory consciousness. (see next day lecture 1918-08-19-GA183)
This describes the ‘operating zone’ of Man’s current mundane consciousness, as per the ‘bandpass filter’ concept described in the chapter on WorldView. The change in consciousness and the ‘letting down of the curtain’ (kali yuga, vs atavistic clairvoyance, ..) is described in 1918-08-19-GA183.
So it appears fundamental, working as invisible spiritual influences during (3a) .. but continuing similarly during (3b).
25920 can be like modern mystical key .. modern because it requires quite a bit of intellectual study to fully grasp its full extend, as exemplified by lectures of spiritual science by Rudolf Steiner or others.
It links to the precession of the equinoxes, and why this appears as an important message for mankind, even in the pyramids.
In our current worldview man is seen as an organism on a physical planet, somewhere in a galaxy in a vast universe.
However, it can also be seen different .. as in: microcosmos and macrocosmos are linked and an integral unity
And that integral one cosmos is like a cosmic fractal made up of spiritual hierarchies that manifest at different levels of complexity, or ‘beings’ .. at the same time.
As part of a living cosmos, we can see the solar system as a Being
We are a reproduction of the macrocosm
This is not merely a figure of speech, it is not merely mystically felt; but the wisdom-filled contemplation of the world teaches us that we, as Microcosms, stand within the Macrocosm. When we make such simple calculations as these — which can of course be arrived at by the most ordinary scientific methods of reckoning — then, if our hearts are sensitive to the secrets of cosmic existence and not mere blocks of wood, the saying “we are placed in the Universe” will cease to be abstract words, for we shall be fully alive to the fact.
References and further reading
- Wilhelm Hoerner: 'Zeit und Rhythmus - due Ordnungsgesetze der Erde und des Menschen'