Christ Module 14 – the counterforces: Lucifer, Ahriman and Asuras

From Anthroposophy

The spiritual 'counterforces' is another, maybe more 'technical' term for 'evil', referring to the fact that these forces counter or oppose the natural good development. They provide strong resistance with which development is confronted, and needs to struggle and cope with - in order to progress correctly, thereby strengthening the development. A simple analogy is that of the resistance of the road that enables the car to move forward due to the traction it provides and needs to be overcome.

Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Asuric beings are the spiritual scientific terms for three different categories of those counterforces. With Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Sorat the 'leaders' of these streams are referenced.

In initiation one can qualify these as 'elemental unbalances', as certain elements and etheric formative forces become overly dominant versus the normally expected healthy balance.

Throughout the ages the fight between opposing spiritual entities has been referred to as War in heaven, the fallen angels, the image of Michael and the dragon, etc. Also Christ-Jesus confronts Lucifer and Ahriman: Lucifer already on Old Sun, and Ahriman in the Bible references to the temptation in the desert.

Man is battlefield between the natural balanced spiritual hierarchies and the influences of the abnormal or 'opposing' spiritual hierarchies.

Atheists use 'the problem of evil' as a reason why there can not be a good which is infinitely good called God. The answer to this question is that evil exists in our world as well as in the astral and spirit worlds, but not in higher worlds above. It occured and was allowed by Divine Providence to be part of the creative development of Man (or mankind as the tenth hierarchy) within our solar system development. Everything we experience and encounter up to the spirit world is a creation from our solar system development since Old Saturn. Spiritual science positions the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences in this development that unfolds in the higher spirit world and below. On the budhi and nirvana plane no such thing as evil exists.

This module explores how the path of the Christ is to be understood as the balanced 'way through' all these opposing influences, for a rightful and correct natural development in line with the Cosmic Plan.


  • Evil
  • Evolutionary aspects of Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Asuric influence, and the Eight sphere
  • The descent into Hades (or hell) and Rakshasas
  • incarnations of Lucifer and Ahriman
  • Asuras


Schema FMC00.301 depicts the Representative of humanity sculpture


Schema FMC00.297 provides a positioning view on Luciferic and Ahrimanic spiritual beings, pulled together from various sources.

Compare this with FMC00.298 and the creation of the planets of the current solar system, as related to the various CoL of the current Earth stage departure of the Sun and Moon. See also the Discussion are on Ahrimanic beings and their influences.


To be uploaded:

  • Michelangelo's Last Judgement

Lecture coverage and references

1914-11-22-GA158 discusses Ahrimanic and Luciferic influences in the etheric body and the soul activities of Thinking Feeling Willing (TFW)

It is particularly important in the present age for man to recognize this co-operation between Luciferic and Ahrimanic powers; for only by such recognition can he gradually learn to understand the forces that are at work behind the external phantasmagoria of existence. We know very well that we have no occasion either to hate Ahriman or to fear Lucifer, since their powers are inimical only when they are working outside the realm where they belong.

The form of the physical body of man called into being by the interplay of Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces — now creating a balance, now disturbing it again — but in the whole etheric body too, Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces are continually active.

  • When the Ahrimanic forces gain the upper hand, we have an expression of thinking;
  • when the Luciferic forces are in ascendance, we have an expression of willing;
  • and when they are in mutual conflict one with the other, we have an expression of feeling.

Thus do Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces play into one another in the etheric body of man. We human beings are as it were ourselves the resultant of these forces, we are placed into their midst.

The capacity to have thoughts he owes to the fact that Ahriman can acquire influence over his etheric body. And he has impulses of will because Luciferic forces can acquire influence over his etheric body. These forces are therefore necessary for man, they must needs be present.

These changes cannot, however, simply come about of themselves. To begin with, a uniform and single action of the soul does not come to consciousness at all in ordinary life, we are quite incapable of bringing such a thing into consciousness.

If we think of the etheric body in the likeness of a flowing stream — for it is in the etheric body that we have to make our observations — then we are obliged to say that this stream of soul-activity does not come to consciousness at all in our life; but into this stream, into this perpetual movement of the etheric body that flows in the current of time, Luciferic — and again Ahrimanic — activity enters.

  • Luciferic activity has the result of making the will young. When the activity of our soul is streamed through by Luciferic activity the result is will. When the Luciferic influence predominates, when Lucifer makes his forces felt in the soul, then will is active in us. Lucifer has a juvenating influence on the whole stream of our soul-activity.
  • When, on the other hand, Ahriman brings his influence to bear on our soul-activity, he hardens it, it becomes old, and thinking is the result. Thinking, the having and holding of thoughts, is quite impossible in ordinary life unless Ahriman exerts his influence within our etheric body.

We cannot get on in our life of soul, in so far as this comes to expression in the etheric body, without Ahriman and Lucifer.

  • If Lucifer were to withdraw entirely from our etheric body, we would have nothing to fire our will.
  • If Ahriman were to withdraw entirely from our etheric body, we would never be able to attain cool thinking.
  • In between stands a region where Lucifer and Ahriman are in conflict. Here they interpenetrate; their activities play into one another. It is the region of feeling.

The etheric body has actually this appearance; one can perceive in it Luciferic light and Ahrimanic hardness. If you could look at it, you would not of course see it as we might try to show it in a drawing; you would see it all in movement.

  • But there are places where the etheric body seems to be quite untransparent, as if it had ice tracings in it. Forms and figures show themselves which resemble the patterns made by ice on a window pane. These are hardenings in the etheric body, and they are the result in it of the life of thought. This freezing of the etheric body at certain places is due to Ahriman; his forces have found entry there by means of thought
  • There are also places which seem to be full of light. Here the etheric body is transparent and gleams and glows with light. It is Lucifer who sends his rays into the etheric body of man and makes there centers of will.
  • Then there are regions in between, where the etheric body is in perpetual movement and activity. Here you see at one moment hardness — and then suddenly the hardness is caught by a ray of light and melts right away. Hardening and dissolving, in perpetual alternation — such is the expression of the activity of feeling in the etheric body.

Lecture 1909-03-22-GA107 discusses the 'functional purpose' of Lucifer, Ahriman, and Asuras and how the adverse power still helps evolution a step forward along the original evolutionary intentmeaning they serve a purpose in the development of Man as a free and balanced individual spirit

  • Lucifer exists to make humanity free in the astral body;
  • Ahriman exists to make humanity free in the etheric body;
  • Asuras exists to make humanity free in the Ego

Christ dies the ‘Death of a God’ on Golgotha to redeem the Physical.

For the descent into Hades, see Sonja Berger.

Rudolf Steiner spoke of Sorat in 1907-04-27-GA096 and 1907-10-21-GA101/Z306 typescipt, and Ahriman on 1909-01-01

Sorat, the counter-sun force or anti-christ, stands behind his two servants Ahriman and Lucifer as Christ’s shadow, inspiring them.

1923-05-07-GA349 (popular)

Who will be saved from evil and up to when

1904-05-xx-GA090A sketched the various stages:

  • Future Jupiter: strong difference between good and evil races of man, evil will still have chance to reconnect in second half of the Future Jupiter stage
  • Future Venus: the final decision will fall for separation of evil black magicians. A section expands on how an evil planet populated by evil races can be brought forth.


For the descent into Hades (three days in the grave) and the battle with Lucifer and Ahriman and the link to the judgment day on Future Jupiter, see 1915-04-03-GA161 in the section on the full planetary chain

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Sonja Berger: Die Hadesfahrt des Christus. Der Weg zur Durchchristung der Welt (1979 in DE, translated by FMC initiative in 2016)

Internal project notes and references

various aspects, eg blood nerves, love of duty, .. evocative images for the polarity (buddha chicken, clouds, ..)

living in elements