Christ Module 10 - Tenth Hierarchy
This module is about the future of Man and how Christ is the representative and enabler of that development.
The future of humanity is to become the tenth spiritual hierarchy (after the nine spiritual hierarchies that developed before Mankind): Mankind is to become the hierarchy of the Spirits of Freedom and Love.
No true Love is possible without Freedom. And Man is the first class of spiritual beings who is not acting upon higher divine impulses and guidance, but who - thanks to the Luciferic influence - has freedom of choice. This means that with Man, something new enters into the cosmos.
The 'design choice' for this development in our solar system evolution implied the Fall of Man and the required intervention of a divine being - Christ - to 'correct' or overcome this, to balance out the gift of Freedom with the overriding gift of Love, the choice for the Good.
- the great mission of Man is to bring Freedom into the world, and with Freedom firstly that which one calls Love in the true sense of the word. For Love without Freedom is impossible. The earth is the Cosmos of Freedom and Love and humanity is in process of development to become the tenth of the hierarchies, the Spirits of Freedom of Spirits of Love (1909-04-18-GA110)
- the Mystery of the Earth is expressed in the words: ‘To make the Trinity into a Quaternary': when an absolute equilibrium comes about between the three forces of Thinking, Feeling and Willing, a fourth element is added and that element is Love. (1910-06-11-GA121)
- until the 12-13th centuries, people could talk about Man being the Fourth Hierarchy and bringing life, after the first three hierarchies H1, H2, H3 brought the elements and ethers in the previous planetary stages of Old Saturn, Old Sun and Old Moon (1924-01-04-GA233A (and 1924-01-11-GA233A))
- see also The great journey of humanity (PDF file) which provides an introductory overview with a selection of Schemas from the site, and zooms into the pivotal phases of the four epochs between the third and sixth epoch on Earth, and the crucial period of the next 3000 years which is pivotal in the transition of humanity between the current and the next sixth epochs.
Jesus answered them: "Is it not written in your Law, "I said, "You are gods"'
"You will become like the Gods"
I have said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Christ answers: In the inmost recesses of the human soul there is the germ of the divine. It is something godlike.
How often have we stated that the fourth principle (the I) in the being of Man is the germ of the God in him.
‘Ye are Gods!’ That means: A divine principle dwells in you!
The PDF file The great journey of humanity provides an introductory overview with a selection of Schemas from the site, and zooms into the pivotal phases of the four epochs between the third and sixth epoch on Earth, and the crucial period of the next 3000 years which is pivotal in the transition of humanity between the current fifth and sixth epochs.
Schema FMC00.055 gives a more schematic representation centered on the Development of Man. In the first three planetary stages, the development of the lower bodily principles and a scaffold for Man's higher triad. The last three stages are the spiritualization of the lower to the higher spiritual Man. The I stands central to this evolution on the current planetary stage Earth.
More on: Overview of solar system evolution
Schema FMC00.428A adds the explanation from Rudolf Steiner's narrative in the sources listed, against the background of Schema FMC00.428.
It shows how "the Christ Impulse triggered a reversal of the influences of the two crossing streams", and gave Man independence in love and allowed for a spiritualization of love, as love without true freedom is not love.
Note: all texts originate from the GA244 sources listed, but were aggregated into a single schema explanation.
See more on: Human character - the I and threefold soul
Lecture coverage and references
the human being will be what we call a `god'. This is not the supreme god but 'the third Logos', which is in truth the Logos of form when it will have gone through the 343 metamorphoses. It is form at its most advanced stage. These different configurations of conscious awareness are form again on the higher plane. Conceived as a whole, these 343 forms are thus the third Logos.
The second Logos will represent life at its highest stage, and the first logos, conscious awareness at its highest stage. The stages of form are represented in colours and signs for esoteric students, the stages of life in sounds, life sounding forth. No characterizing signs exist in the physical world for the stages of conscious awareness.
gives a grand finale of that lecture (SWCC)
We therefore see how in fact the World development does not simply repeat itself, but that new things enter. For a human stage such as is lived by men at present was never met with before, not with the Angels, nor the Archangels, nor the Archai. Man had a completely new mission to fulfil in the world, and for the sake of this mission he has descended into the world of the earth. And the Christ came into the world as a free Helper for him, not as a God acting from above, but as a first-born among many.
Thus at last, we understand all the dignity and all the importance of Man as a member of our Hierarchies, and when we glance upwards to all the nobility and the glory of the higher Hierarchies we say to ourselves: Be they ever so great, so wise, so good that they never err from the right path, yet the great mission of man is to bring Freedom into the world, and with Freedom firstly that which one calls Love in the true sense of the word. For Love without Freedom is impossible. A Being who blindly follows an impulse, just follows it; but for a Being who can also act otherwise, there exists but one force which he could follow, and that is Love. Freedom and Love are two poles which belong to each other. If Love is to enter into our Cosmos, it can happen only through Freedom, that means, only through Lucifer and those who conquer him; and at the same time through the Saviour of men, through the Christ. Therefore, the earth is the Cosmos of Freedom and Love, and therefore, the essential thing is, that we, without tempting man away from humility, must learn to reckon the Hierarchies as they ever have been reckoned in Western esotericism: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones; these follow the direct impulse of the Godhead, having the sight of God. The Spirits of Wisdom, of Motion, and of Form, these are as yet so bound to the higher powers that they have to be given ‘adverse-commands’ in order that evolution should have the possibility of proceeding further. The Archangels and the Archai also cannot fail, cannot, through their own free will, sink into evil. Therefore, the spirits of the Hierarchies next above man were called Messengers and Arch-Messengers to show that they did not fulfil their own tasks but the tasks of those who stand immediately above them. But in men a Hierarchy is maturing which will fulfil its own tasks.
Through the Future Jupiter, Future Venus and Future Vulcan developments, Man will be always maturing towards accomplishment from out his own Impulses. Even if today he is not yet so far advanced he will ultimately attain it.
Which are the Hierarchies? We begin: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones; the Spirits of Wisdom, who exercise their dominion only so far as they act in the direction of the impulses they receive from the gods; then the Spirits of Motion, who have their power only because they receive it from above; it is the same with Spirits of Form. Were they to become evil, they could become so only according to the decision of Divinity. We come then to the Archai, to the Arch-messengers and messengers and have now descended almost as far as to men. And what can be said of Man if we place him in the ranks of the Hierarchies? After the Archangels and Angels, the Arch-messengers and messengers, we will have to rank the Spirits of Freedom of Spirits of Love; for this, beginning from above, is the tenth of the Hierarchies, which although in process of development, yet belongs to the Hierarchies.
In the universe we have not to do with repetitions, each time that a cycle is passed, something new is added to the world's evolution. And to introduce the new element, is always the mission of that Hierarchy, which is at its human stage of development.
This future of Mankind is also sketched in OeS:
In the future, the independent human I, which was received through the Spirits of Form, will exist in harmony with the beings of Earth, Jupiter, Venus, and Vulcan, because of the power that the Earth stage injects into Wisdom.
This is the power of love, which must begin in human beings on Earth. The “cosmos of wisdom” is
developing into a “cosmos of love.” Everything that the I can develop within itself must turn into love
Just as wisdom, which formed earlier, discloses itself in the forces of the senseperceptible earthly world, in present-day forces of nature, love itself will appear as a new natural force in all phenomena in the future.
This is the mystery of all future evolution: that our knowledge and everything we do out of a true understanding of evolution sow seeds that must ripen into love.
The greater the power of the love that comes into being, the more we will be able to accomplish creatively on behalf of the future. The strongest forces working toward the end result of spiritualization lie in what will come from love. The more spiritual knowledge flows into the evolution of humanity and the Earth, the greater the number of viable seeds will there be for the future. Through its very nature, spiritual knowledge transforms itself into love.
The wisdom for which the groundwork was laid on Saturn, Sun, and Moon works in the human physical, etheric, and astral bodies, presenting itself as cosmic wisdom.
In the I, however, it becomes inner wisdom. Beginning with the Earth phase of evolution, the wisdom of the outer cosmos becomes inner wisdom in the human being. Internalized in this way, it becomes the seed of love.
Wisdom is the prerequisite for love; love is the result of wisdom that has been reborn in the I.
Man is interwoven with this mission of the earth, in order that he may bring about this balance between thought, feeling, and will, first of all in his own inner being. At the beginning of the earth period man was indeed in this respect an inharmonious fabric of thought, feeling, and will. Everyone who possesses a little self-knowledge can feel that the inner balance of present-day man is not yet complete but is still in a state of disharmony and disorder. Man is called upon first of all to bring about an equilibrium between thought, feeling and will within himself, by means of which he can from within radiate and carry over on to the earth what this equilibrium between thought, feeling and will signifies.
In occult symbolism this mission of the earth has always been expressed in quite a special way by means of a geometrical figure. If you go through all geometrical figures, you will find none which so exactly corresponds to this balance of the three activities as the equilateral triangle. If you merely draw it, you will find the three sides equal, the three angles equal, each angle is equidistant from the others and all are equidistant from the centre. The centre of the equilateral triangle is an absolute symbol of a balance of forces, so that when the occultist looks at an equilateral triangle, he can see in it a symbol of the absolutely balanced co-operation of those elements which, in the three earlier incarnations of our earth, had each for a while, the upper hand. The deeds of the ‘I’ in man signify nothing else than the creating of an active centre in his nature, whereby this state of equilibrium can be prepared from within. So that man is indeed called to something great upon the earth, namely, to bring about from within, first of all through his whole being, a balance between what formerly, for a time, was dominant in various ways and at various times.
That is in the first place a very abstract definition of our Earth-mission, but it consists in just what I have said. The secret of this mission is expressed in the fact that through this co-operation, through this equilibrium of the three forces, the inner being actually produces something new. A fourth element is thus really added to the three preceding ones, and this fourth is the element of Love. Love can only develop in the world when an absolute equilibrium comes about between the three forces which in earlier ages were each in turn the ruling power. We shall have more to say about this in the next few days. For the moment just take it as an abstract description.
Thus our planet is the planet of Love, and therefore this equilibrium which, so to speak, is established in the co-operation of these three forces, produces as an effect the “activity of Love,” and this is to be woven into the whole of evolution throughout all the following incarnations of the earth by this very mission of earthly activity. In this way the Trinity becomes a Quaternary, and the latter begins with its fourth element at the lowest stage, it begins so to speak with the lowest form of love which is cleansed and purified up to the state when, at the end of the whole evolution of the earth, love will appear as an element standing on just the same level as the others. To fulfill the mission of equilibrium which belongs to our earth-planet is therefore in reality ‘to make the Trinity into a Quaternary.’ It is for this reason that the Mystery of the Earth is usually expressed occultly in the words: ‘To make the Trinity into a Quaternary.’ The fourth element is naturally today still very imperfect; but when the earth shall have fulfilled its mission it will appear just as bright and shining as the Sacred Triangle, which in its state of perfect equilibrium shines before us as the highest symbol we possess for our earth-ideal, in so far as we remember the past of the earth.
This cooperation of the elements of thought, feeling and will within man works first of all in such a way, that the actual inner being becomes the substance of love. That is what we may call the really productive, the inwardly productive element in earthly existence. We must therefore also call the Spirits of Form (because they have this very mission, of bringing the three former conditions into equilibrium), collectively the Spirits of Love.
If we consider the earth-existence in this way, we have then in the first place characterized will, feeling and thought, and the working of Love outside our earth-planet; and we have been able to describe as the special task of the Spirits of Form, the imprinting of Love, which results from equilibrium. Therein consists the whole mission of the earth. In order to produce this force of Love which is to impregnate the earth, the mutual interaction and co-operation was necessary, of all that we have described as the work of the lowest hierarchies.
We have already begun to describe in our preceding studies what we might call the tissue, the network of love; and this web of love must be so woven, that the principal threads are woven into it by the normal Spirits of Form, that being their fundamental mission. Then the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are in reality Spirits of Motion, weave into it that which produces the races. Then the normal and abnormal Spirits of the Age weave into it the historical evolution, and the Archangels, both of normal and abnormal evolution, the several peoples and languages; and lastly those Beings who put man into his right place on the earth, the Angels, also co-operate in the weaving. In this way is spun this mighty fabric of Love.
The fabric of Love which is woven as the real mission of the Earth, is only visible on earth as a reflection, a maya.
The end of lecture 1920-12-19-GA202 talks about the path to freedom and love and their importance in the universe (after buildup see eg 1920-12-18-GA202 and morality as a source of world creativity)
.. precisely where substance passes away in us and becomes appearance, and where new substance arises, the possibility of freedom exists, and the possibility of love. Freedom and love belong together as mentioned in 'The Philosophy of Freedom'
A worldview in which substance is seen as a constant, leaves no room for either freedom nor love. The feeling of love, devotion to something uncompelled by the past, and freedom, which is to act out of something that is not predetermined, are only possible because the past dies is us entirely, becoming appearance, and the future arises anew, in entirely germinal form. Freedom and love can actually only be understood by a science of the spirit. Their real nature is beyond the grasp of other outlooks.
And now we come to the Fourth Hierarchy. (I am telling it, you remember, as it was thought of in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.)
We today do not speak of the Fourth Hierarchy; but men still spoke in that way in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. What is this Fourth Hierarchy? It is Man. Man himself is the fourth Hierarchy. But by the Fourth Hierarchy was not meant the two-legged being that goes about the world today, ageing year by year! To the true man of knowledge of those times, present-day man would have appeared as something very strange. No, in those times they spoke of original Man, of Man before the Fall, who still bore a form that gave him power over the Earth, even as the angels and archangels and archai had power over the Old Moon existence, the second hierarchy over the Old Sun existence and the first hierarchy over the Old Saturn existence. They spoke of Man in his original Earthly existence and then they were right to speak of him as the Fourth Hierarchy. And with this Fourth Hierarchy came — as a gift it is true, of the higher hierarchies, but the higher hierarchies have held it only as a possession they did not themselves use but guarded and kept — with the Fourth Hierarchy came Life. Into the world of colour, into the iridescent world of changing colour, of which I have only been able to give you the merest hints and suggestions, came Life.
You will say: Then did nothing live before this time? My dear friends, you can understand how it is from the human being himself. Your I and your astral body have not life, and yet they exist, they have being. That which is of the soul and the spirit does not need life. Life begins only with your etheric body. And the etheric body is something external, it is of the nature of a sheath. Thus only after the Old Moon existence and with the Earth existence does Life enter into the domain of that evolution to which our Earth belongs. The world of moving, glancing colour is quickened to life. And now not only do angels and archangels and archai experience a longing desire to carry darkness into light, and light into darkness, thereby calling forth the play of colour in the planet; now a desire becomes manifest to experience this play of colour as something inward, to feel it all inwardly; when darkness dominates light, to feel weakness, laziness; when light dominates darkness, to feel activity. For what is happening really, when you run? When you run, Light predominates over darkness in you; when you sit and are lazy and indolent, then darkness predominates over light. It is a play of colour, an activity of colour, not physical, but of the soul.
Colour permeated with Life, in its iridescence streamed-through with Life — that is what appeared with the coming of the Fourth Hierarchy, Man. And in this moment of cosmic becoming, the forces that became active in the play of colour began to build contours, began to fashion forms. Life, as it rounded off and moulded the colours, called into being the hard, fast form of the crystal. And we have come into Earth existence.
Such things as I have been describing to you were fundamental truths for the mediaeval alchemists and occultists, Rosicrucians and others, who flourished — though history tells us little of them — from the ninth and tenth on into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and of whom stragglers are to be found as late as the eighteenth and even the beginning of the nineteenth century — always however in these later times regarded as strange and eccentric people.
Only with the entry of the nineteenth century did this knowledge become entirely hidden. Only then did men come to acquire a conception of the world that led them to a point of view which I will indicate in the following way. Imagine, my dear friends, that here we have a Man. Suppose I cease to have any interest in this Man, but I take his clothes and hang them on a coat-hanger that has a knob here above like a head. From now on I take no further interest in the man and I tell myself: There is the Man! What does it matter to me what can be put into these clothes? That, the coat-hanger with the clothes, is the Man! This is really what happened with the Elements. It does not interest us any longer that
- behind Warmth or Fire is the first hierarchy,
- behind Light and Air the second hierarchy,
- behind what we call Chemical Ether or Colour Ether and Water the third hierarchy,
- and behind the Life Element and Earth the Fourth Hierarchy, Man.
The peg, the hanger and on it the clothes. That is all!
discusses the original plan in case the luciferic infection would not have happened (SWCC)
.. Man ought not to be born in the earthly way he now is, but Man ought really to come to being in his etheric body through the interworking of Sun and Earth, and only afterwards, going about the Earth as an etheric being, give himself earthly form. The seeds of Man should grow up out of the Earth with the purity of plant-life, appearing here and there as ethereal fruits of the Earth, darkly shining; these should then in a certain season of the year be overshone, as it were, by the light of the Sun, and thereby assume human form, but etheric still; then Man should draw to himself physical substance — not from the body of the mother, but from the Earth and all that is thereon, incorporating it into himself from the kingdoms of the Earth. Thus — they thought — should have been the manner of Man's appearance on the Earth, in accordance with the purposes of the Spirit of the Worlds.
And the development that came later was due to the fact that Man had allowed to awaken within him too deep an urge, too intense a desire for the earthly and material. Thereby he forfeited his connection with the Sun and the Cosmos, and could only find his existence on Earth in the form of the stream of inheritance. Thereby, however, the Demon of the Earth began his work; for the Demon of the Earth would not have been able to do anything with men who were Sun-born. When Sun-born man came to dwell on the Earth, he would have been in very truth the Fourth Hierarchy.
And one would have had to speak of Man in the following manner:
- First Hierarchy (H1): seraphim, cherubim, thrones
- Second Hierarchy (H2): SoW, SoM, SoF
- Third Hierarchy (H3): angels, archangels, archai
- Fourth Hierarchy: Man — three different shades or gradations of the human, but none the less making the Fourth Hierarchy.
But because Man gave rein to his strong impulses in the direction of the physical, he became, not the being on the lowest branch of the Hierarchies, but instead the being at the summit of the highest branch of the earthly kingdoms: mineral kingdom, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, human kingdom. This was the picture of how Man stood in the world.
Moreover, because Man does not find his proper task on the Earth, the Earth herself has not her right and worthy position in the Cosmos. For since Man has fallen, the true Lord of the Earth is not there. What has happened? The true Lord of the Earth is not there, and it became necessary for the Earth, not being governed from herself in her place in the Cosmos, to be ruled from the Sun; so that the tasks that should really be carried out on Earth fell to the Sun. The man of mediaeval times looked up to the Sun and said: In the Sun are certain Intelligences. They determine the movement of the Earth in the Cosmos; they govern what happens on the Earth. Man ought, in reality, to do this; the Sun-forces ought to work on Earth through Man for the existence of the Earth. Hence that significant mediaeval conception that was expressed in the words: The Sun, the unlawful Prince of this world.
And now reflect how infinitely the Christ Impulse was deepened through such conceptions. The Christ became the Spirit Who was not willing to find His further task on the Sun, Who would not remain among those who directed the Earth in unlawful manner from without. He wanted to take His path from the Sun to the Earth, to enter into the destiny of Man and the destiny of Earth, to experience Earth events and pass along the ways of Earth evolution, sharing the lot of Man and of Earth.
Topic to be expanded
Consider the evolution of the hierarchies across planetary stages, as per schema FMC00.077A. On Old Saturn already a range of spiritual hierarchies was in existence and evolution. One can 'extrapolate backwards' the pattern in the latter to a previous solar system. Taking care about assumptions of patterns related to this solar system evolution that may be specific to this cycle (and hence not the same before this).
Now consider the Monad, in context of the properties of the three logoi. Relate this to the previous train of thoughts. The monad is the first emanation of the logoi, and a threshold lies between the dual monad and the initial creation of the spirit world. In which the third element of the triad, manas, first provided individual self consciousness (at a much higher level than is currently the case with Man, so many planetary stages of evolution further).
Contemplate the characteristics of each triad of spiritual hierarchies, H1 to H3. Notice on Old Saturn the Thrones brought an individual contribution, the two others infused their influences. In H3 on Earth, the lowest angelic hierarchy is individual, the higher archai is at a much higher level.
From the above, contemplate whether Man may also rise to become the first and highest of the next H4 triad hierarchy, and what this may mean or encompass.
References and further reading
- Athys Floride : 'Der Weg zu den Hierarchien. Das Ziel der Entwicklung als vierte Hierachie' (1996)