Christ Module 14 – the counterforces: Lucifer, Ahriman and Sorat
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 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.
Evil was allowed into evolutionary current by Divine Providence to strengthen the development of Man, and also came as a consequence or 'price to pay' and the unique development of freedom in Man, a first in the development of spiritual hierarchies.
The task of evil is to promote the ascent of Man. The radical transmutating of the most fierce evil by the pure good will bring a special love and condition of moral holiness on Earth. See also Manicheism in the Sixth epoch.
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.
This module will serve to:
-  - develop an understanding of the different categories of entities, a foundational general concept of the Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings, an idea of what distinguishes both of them from normal spiritual beings.
-  - distinction between Lucifer and Ahriman themselves and the hordes of Luciferic and Ahrimanic entities subordinate to them. This includes ao
- the description in GA137 of the development of Lucifer from a solar Spirit of Wisdom to his present being.
- the intentions that Lucifer and Ahriman believe they must pursue in the development of the world.
-  - characterize their different influences on the human being (spirit, soul and body).
-  - In addition to these 'unjustified' effects of Lucifer and Ahriman, also their legitimate sphere of influence in the human being and in nature have to be considered
-  - consider the reflection of Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces in the natural processes
-  - summarize important points from Rudolf Steiner's material about the Luciferic and Ahrimanic impulses in history.
-  - develop a positioning of the Asuras, a third category of entities who lagged behind besides the Luciferic and Ahrimanic
- the four interventions of Christ, the MoG and the three pre-MoG interventions (see FMC00.246), to bring the 'Development of the I' soul forces of the Spirits of Form (SoF) into harmony
- Evil (aspects below covered on the topic page for evil)
- the philosophical problem with a good God permitting evil
- the purpose of evil in evolution
- the transmutation of evil by Manicheism
- Evolutionary aspects of Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Asuric influences
- Asuras remain behind on Old Saturn, Ahrimanic archangels on Old Sun, Luciferic spirits fell behind on Old Moon. (1906-11-01-GA266)
- Lucifer was at work in the Lemurian epoch and worked as a liberator by giving men independence and enthusiasm for wisdom,Ahrimanic spirits of hindrances began their work in the Atlantean epoch. Asuras are starting to work in the Postatlantean epoch (1909-03-22-GA107)
- The three days descent into Hades (or hell) and Rakshasas or Asuras, and Sorat, and the link to the Eighth sphere and Sixteen paths of perdition
- incarnations of Lucifer and Ahriman in the current Postatlantean epoch
- terminology: 'counterforces' is a general term to describe all (types or categories of) spiritual influences and beings that oppose regular evolution, see also "gods of hindrance, of impediment" (1909-04-18-GA110)
There we have touched a tremendous secret of our earthly development: the secret of the relation of the Christ Impulse to the impulses of Lucifer and Ahriman. This relation of the Christ Impulse to the impulses of Lucifer and Ahriman can be understood by humankind more and more in the next future. Lucifer's and Ahriman's forces prevail in the world, and the human being must become with the help of his Christ consciousness like a being who sits in a boat which is always exposed to the storms Lucifer and Ahriman excite. The boat has to roll from side to side, however, it finds its way through the sea whose living substance consists of Lucifer and Ahriman, through which, however, the human being steers his Christ boat.
Schema FMC00.539 shows two versions of 'The Last Judgment' and the separation of good and evil.
Right by Giotto, Scrovegni chapel in Padua, Italy (1306); left by Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy (1536–1541).
Rudolf Steiner refers to the latter in 1915-04-03-GA161 - see Christ Impulse at planetary chain level#1915-04-03-GA161 (as well as 1914-07-14-GA266, 1914-07-15-GA155 and 1915-06-10-GA157), after a lecture where he expands on Michelangelo in 1914-01-08-GA063.
When does this 'last judgement' is to take place? Three such decisive milestone events are on the planetary stages Earth, Future Jupiter, and finally on Future Venus (see Schema FMC00.425 and Schema FMC00.425A). On Earth this division will take place between the current times (where the current fifth and next sixth cultural ages are key, see Schema FMC00.052) and the end of the next sixth epoch, as by the time of the seventh epoch - after the reunion of Sun and Earth, this great division will have taken place.
Schema FMC00.499A is an illustration with excerpts from the fresco in the Camposanto Monumentale in Pisa, Italy. The fresco is 564 x 1497 cm and attributed to Buonamico Buffalmacco (1262-1340) who painted it around 1336-1341. The work was heavily damaged but has been beautifully restored. Rudolf Steiner describes the composition extensively in 1913-12-23-GA150 and states that though it is currently known as 'The triumph of death' it was known before as Purgatory (which corresponds to kamaloka), explaining why Purgatory is the correct name for the work.
The excerpts below depict the battle for the soul or the Human 'I' between the lower (evil) influences that want to drag the soul down, and the higher (good) influences that want to lift the soul up. The battle between good and evil, described by Steiner as Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Asuric/Soratic influences, plays in the soul of Man, the balanced middle ground being represented by the Christ.
See Kamaloka journey in the astral world after death for more info on the work. Note that 'The Battle for the Soul' is also the title of a book by Bernard Lievegoed.
Schema FMC00.301 shows the Representative of humanity sculpture as an artwork symbolizing the Christ holding off the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences on Man. For more illustrations of the sculpture and the theme, see the Representative of humanity topic page.
Schema FMC00.343 shows the most simple presentation of the influences in the threefold soul of Man. Compare with FMC00.246 .
Schema FMC00.343A links what is happening in Man (FMC00.343) to its evolutionary origin (FMC00.238), as often explained by Rudolf Steiner.
Schema FMC00.297 provides a positioning view on Luciferic and Ahrimanic spiritual beings, pulled together from various sources. Compare with Schema FMC00.005. Also 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.
Schema FMC00.308 collates various perspectives on the Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences and their workings in the elements and ethers, the elementals of nature, nature around us (Earth incl. its atmosphere), and in Man.
For links to the various perspectives, see the Schema numbers listed under the lecture references. The central picture (above 1921-04-12-GA313) is an illustration from Schema FMC00.051 on The two etheric streams; for the working of the elementals of nature see Plant kingdom. Furthermore this also links through to the principle of 'elemental balance' as per the soul mirrors in Bardon's IIH.
FMC00.246 shows how the evolutionary 'Development of the I' soul forces of Spirits of Form (SoF) enabling the faculties of Walking, Speaking, Thinking, were brought into harmony through Christ impulse in the three pre-MoG interventions of the Christ. See also 1914-03-07-GA152.
Schema FMC00.296 illustrates how we can relate Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences to our life of the soul and the 'I' attitude which we stand in life. In today's world and an age of self love and egotism, people focus on their rights .. and are bound to fall victim of many 'must-do' duties. This can be seen as a polarity Luciferic (self-love, individual focus) and Ahrimanic (working without true or deeper soul engagement). When we are able to stand above our egotism, cool this fire and accept what comes, and we instead we work with inner fire and love our duty truly from an inner soul warmth, we redeem Lucifer. We transmute him from the Luciferic tendency to one of selfless love, a loss beyond our own I.
See also Goethe's “Duty — when one loves the commands one gives to oneself.”, see eg Sixth cultural age#1911-12-03-GA130
Schema FMC00.446 relates the counterforces and the tension field dynamic they represent, as was known in earlier previous ages both in ancient Norse Germanic mythology (see also Ragnarok) and the ancient Persian cultural age and the teachings of Zarathustra.
As explained in the quote from 1921-07-15-GA205 below, contemporary Western culture 'has become very greatly confused [regarding evil], and this confusion pervades all thinking' as it fully based on the conception of a duality (good-evil). Instead, one needs to take a view based on a trinity, whereby the essence consists of a balanced middle path represented by Christ.
See also elemental balance in Initiation - Initiation exercises#Elemental balance - transformation of soul mirrors
Lecture coverage and references
- Asuras remain behind on old Saturn.
- Satanic [ahrimanic] fire spirits on old Sun. The regent of fire spirits is Christ.
- Luciferic spirits fell behind on old Moon.
- Lucifer was at work in the Lemurian epoch, could be included in earth evolution, and worked as a liberator by giving men independence and enthusiasm for wisdom.
- Satanic Gods of hindrances began their work in the Atlantean epoch.
- Asuras are starting to work in the post-Atlantean epoch. They're the worst of the three and they mainly work into sexual life in the physical body. The many sexual aberrations today are to be ascribed to this strong influx.
All forces of hindrances try to hold onto currently existing things that are still imperfect, carry them out and intensify them.
Lucifers gave independence, egoity with egoism. Egoism, error and animal love are the first expressions of egoity, wisdom and highest spiritual love. We must bring about the respective transformations.
The separation of the sexes took place in the third root race, it'll be overcome in the sixth root race; this must be prepared for in the sixth sub-race. Man's productive forces are becoming transformed. The productive force as such is the most sacred thing that we have, because it's directly divine. The more divine what we pull into the dirt is, the greater the sin. Later on the heart and larynx will be the productive organs in us.
Just as the Word became flesh in Christ Jesus, so the flesh must become word when Christendom becomes perfected. That's the mystery of the Holy Grail, the holy love lance, the fertilizing sunlight that'll unite with Eva again. Rosicrucians' occult brotherhood is the seminary in which a human material must be educated for the coming age.
A particularly bright light must always arise in especially dark times. Christ was born in the Oriphiel age. When Oriphiel rules again the spiritual light that was brought by Christian Rosenkreutz and is now being spread must have generated a host of clairvoyant men who are pioneers working consciously towards a goal. This will produce a separation into good and evil races.
The fifth root race will perish through evil. Good and evil are still relatively undifferentiated and it's hard to see who's evil or good behind the flesh. When the forces of the masters and of the men who join them with their whole strength and will, and when the forces of the Gods of hindrances, Mammon, Satan, Asuras and their human followers intervene ever more mightily into human life and earth evolution, then good will develop into a divine good, and evil into a terrible Antichrist. Then every one of us needs world helpers and all the strength that he can only gain through the overcoming of suffering and evil. It's the aim of Theosophy and Rosicrucianism to summon men to this battle via such knowledge and to give them peace in the battle.
is called 'The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers. Lucifer, Ahriman, Asuras' and 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 I
Christ dies the ‘Death of a God’ on Golgotha to redeem the Physical.
[Lemuria – Luciferic beings]
In the Lemurian epoch — the first that concerns us to-day — it was the Luciferic Beings who intervened in man's evolution, in opposition to the Powers who at that time were striving to help him forward. In the Atlantean epoch, the Spirits opposing the progressive Powers were the Spirits of “Ahriman” or “Mephistopheles”. The Ahrimanic or Mephistophelean Spirits — to give the precise names — are those known in medieval times as the Spirits of “Satan” — who must not be confused with “Lucifer”.
In our own epoch, as time goes on, other spiritual Beings of whom we shall speak later, will stand as hindrances in the path of the progressive Spirits. We will ask ourselves now: What did the Luciferic Spirits actually achieve in the ancient Lemurian epoch?
These things will be considered to-day from a particular point of view.
Of what domain did the Luciferic Spirits lay hold during the Lemurian epoch?
The best way to understand this is to cast our minds back over the course taken by human evolution.
You know that on Old Saturn the Thrones poured out their own substance to lay the first foundation of the human physical body. On Old Sun the Spirits of Wisdom imbued man with the ether- or life-body. And on the Earth the Spirits of Form endowed him with the ‘I’, the ego, in order that by realizing himself as distinct from his environment he might become an independent being. But even if through the deed of the Spirits of Form he had become independent vis-à-vis the external world surrounding him on earth, he would never have become independent of the Spirits of Form themselves; he would have remained dependent on them, he would have been directed by them as on leading-strings. That this did not happen was due to something which had, in a certain sense, a beneficial effect, namely the fact that in the Lemurian epoch the Luciferic Beings set themselves in opposition to the Spirits of Form. It was these Luciferic Beings who gave man the prospect of freedom — but therewith the possibility of evil-doing, of succumbing to passion and desire in the world of sense.
Where did these Luciferic Beings actually take hold?
They took hold of what had been instilled into man as his innermost member at that time — the astral body. They established their footing in the human astral body and took possession of it. Had it not been for the coming of the Luciferic Beings this astral body would have remained in the sole possession of the Spirits of Form. They would have instilled into this astral body the forces which give man his human countenance, making him into an image of the Gods, namely, of the Spirits of Form. All this man would have come to be; but in his life through all eternity he would have remained dependent upon the Spirits of Form.
The Luciferic Beings had crept, as it were, into man's astral body, so that Beings of two kinds were now working in it: the Beings who bring man forward and the Beings who, while obstructing this constant impulse, had at the same time established the foundations of his independence. Had the luciferic Beings not approached, man would have remained in a state of innocence and purity in his astral body. No passions inciting him to crave for what is to be found only on earth would have arisen in him. The passions, urges and desires of man were densified, debased, as it were, by the Luciferic Beings. Had they not approached, man would have retained a perpetual longing for his heavenly home, for the realms of spirit whence he has descended. He would have taken no delight in what surrounds him on the earth; earthly impressions would have aroused no interest in him. It was through the Luciferic Spirits that he came to have this interest, to crave for the impressions of the earth. These Spirits impelled him into the earthly sphere by pervading his innermost member, his astral body.
Why, then, was it that man did not fall away entirely at that time from the Spirits of Form or from the higher spiritual realms as a whole? Why was it that in his interests and desires he did not succumb wholly to the world of sense?
It was because the Spirits who lead humanity forward took counter measures; they inculcated into the being of man what would otherwise not have been his lot, namely, illness, suffering and pain. That was the necessary counterweight to the deeds of the Luciferic Spirits.
The Luciferic Spirits gave man material desires; as their countermeasures the higher Beings introduced illness and suffering as the consequences of material desires and interests, to the end that he should not utterly succumb to this world of sense. And so there is exactly as much suffering and pain in the world as there is interest only in the physical and the material. The scales are held in perfect balance; the one does not outweigh the other — so many passions and desires on the one side, so much illness and pain on the other. This was the effect of the mutual activities of the Luciferic Spirits and the Spirits of Form in the Lemurian epoch. Had the Luciferic Spirits not approached, man would not have descended into the earthly realm as soon as he actually did. His passion and craving for the world of sense also brought it about that his eyes were opened and he was able to gaze at the surrounding field of material existence earlier than would otherwise have been the case. If evolution had proceeded uninterruptedly along the course intended by the progressive Spirits, man would have had sight of the surrounding world only from the middle of the Atlantean epoch onwards. But then he would have seen it spiritually, not as he sees it to-day; he would have seen it as the direct expression of spiritual beings.
[Atlantis – Ahrimanic spirits]
Because man came prematurely into the earthly sphere, forced downwards by his earthly interests and desires, conditions were different from what they would otherwise have been in the middle of the Atlantean epoch.
The result was that the Ahrimanic Spirits — “Mephistophelean Spirits” as it is equally correct to call them — mingled in what man was able to see and apprehend; thus he fell into error, into what, for the first time, can correctly be called “conscious sin”. The host of Ahrimanic Spirits has worked upon man since the middle of the Atlantean epoch onwards.
To what did these Ahrimanic Spirits entice him?
They enticed him into regarding everything in his environment as material, with the result that he does not see through this material world to its true, spiritual foundations. Were man to have perceived the Spiritual in every stone, in every plant, in every animal, he would never have fallen into error and therewith into evil; if the progressive Spirits alone had worked upon him he would have been protected from those illusions to which he must always fall a prey when he bases himself solely upon the manifestations of the world of sense.
How did those spiritual Beings who desire to further man's progress act in order to combat this corruption, error and illusion arising from the material world?
They saw to it — the process was of course slow and very gradual — that man was actually lifted away from the material world as such; this enabled him to shoulder and work out his karma.
Whereas, therefore, the Beings upon whom it fell to rectify the enticement of the Luciferic Beings brought into the world suffering, pain and what is connected with them, namely death, the Beings whose task it was to rectify the outcome of error concerning the sense-world, made it possible for man, through his karma, eventually to blot out all the error, all the evil he has wrought in the world.
For what would have happened if he had become the prey of evil and error?
Little by little he would have become one with the evil; no progress would have been possible for him. For with every error, every lie, every illusion, we cast an obstacle in the way of progress. We should fall back in our progress to exactly the same extent to which we had cast obstacles in our path through sin and error, if we were not in a position to rectify them; in other words, we could not reach man's true goal. It would be impossible to attain this goal if the counter-forces, the forces of karma, were not in operation.
Suppose that in some life you commit a wrong. If this wrong were to become firmly fixed in your life it would mean nothing less than that you would lose the step forward which you would have taken had you not committed the wrong; with every wrong, a step would be lost — enough steps to correspond exactly with the wrongs committed. If the possibility of surmounting error had not been given, man must ultimately have been submerged by it. But the blessing of karma was bestowed.
What does this blessing mean for man? Is karma something at which to shudder, something to dread?
No, indeed! Karma is a power for which man should be thankful. For karma says to us: If you have committed a wrong, remember that “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap”. An error demands that you shall right it; then, having expunged it from your karma you can again take a step forward!
Without karma, no progress would be possible. Karma is a blessing that has been vouchsafed to us, inasmuch as it obliges us to rectify every error, to re-achieve the steps that thrust us back. Karma was thus the indirect consequence of the deeds of Ahriman.
[Current fifth epoch: Asuras]
And now let us go further. In our days we are moving towards the epoch when other Beings will draw near to man — Beings who in the future before us will intrude more and more deeply into human evolution. Just as the Luciferic Spirits intervened in the Lemurian and the Ahrimanic Spirits in the Atlantean epoch, so our epoch too will see the intrusion of Beings. Let us be clear about the nature of these Beings.
Of the Beings who intervened during the Lemurian epoch we must say: They entrenched themselves in the astral body of man, drew his interests, impulses and desires down into the earthly sphere.
Where — to speak more precisely — did these Luciferic Beings entrench themselves?
You can only understand this by taking as a basis what is set forth in my book Theosophy. There it is shown that the following members of man's being must be distinguished: first, his physical body; then his ether or life-body and his astral body — or as I have called it in that book, the sentient body, or soul-body.
These are the three members with which man was endowed before his earthly existence. The foundation of the physical body was laid on Old Saturn, the ether-body on the Old Sun, the soul or sentient body on the Old Moon.
- On the Earth was added the sentient soul — which is actually a transformation, an elaboration carried out unconsciously, of the sentient body. Lucifer anchored himself in the sentient soul; and there he remains.
- Through the unconscious transformation of the ether-body, the intellectual soul came into being, a more detailed description of which is contained in the book entitled The Education of the Child. It was in this second soul-member, the intellectual soul — the transformed part of the ether-body — that Ahriman established his footing. From there he lures man to false conceptions and judgments of material things, leads him to error, to sin, to lying — to everything that originates in the intellectual or mind soul. In every illusion that matter is the sole reality, we must perceive the whispered promptings of Ahriman, of Mephistopheles.
- Thirdly, there is the consciousness soul (spiritual soul), arising from an unconscious transformation of the physical body. You will remember how this transformation came about. Towards the end of the Atlantean epoch, the etheric body corresponding to the head came right into the physical head and gradually brought about selfconsciousness in the physical body. Fundamentally speaking, man is still working at this unconscious transformation of the physical body, at the development of the consciousness soul. And in the age now, approaching, those spiritual Beings known as the Asuras (see Note 1) will creep into the consciousness soul and therewith into the human ‘I’ or ego — for the ‘I’ lights up in the consciousness soul. The Asuras will generate evil with a far mightier force than was wielded by the Satanic powers in the Atlantean epoch or by the Luciferic Spirits in the Lemurian epoch.
In the course of the Earth-period man will cast away all the evil brought to him by the Luciferic Spirits together with the blessing of freedom. The evil brought by the Ahrimanic Spirits can be shed in the course of karma. But the evil brought by the Asuric powers cannot be expunged in this way. Whereas the good Spirits instituted pain and suffering, illness and death in order that despite the possibility of evil, man's evolution may still advance, whereas the good Spirits made possible the working of karma to the end that the Ahrimanic powers might be resisted and the evil made good, it will not be so easy to counter the Asuric powers as earth-existence takes its course. For these Asuric Spirits will prompt what has been seized hold of by them, namely the very core of man's being, the consciousness soul together with the ‘I’, to unite with earthly materiality. Fragment after fragment will be torn out of the ‘I’, and in the same measure in which the Asuric Spirits establish themselves in the consciousness soul, man must leave parts of his existence behind on the earth. What thus becomes the prey of the Asuric powers will be irretrievably lost. Not that the whole man need become their victim — but parts of his spirit will be torn away by the Asuric powers. These Asuric powers are heralded to-day by the prevailing tendency to live wholly in the material world and to be oblivious of the realty of spiritual beings and spiritual worlds. True, the Asuric powers corrupt man to-day in a way that is more theoretical than actual.
Today they deceive him by various means into thinking that his ‘I’ is a product of the physical world only; they hue him to a kind of theoretic materialism.
But as time goes on — and the premonitory signs of this are the dissolute, sensuous passions that are becoming increasingly prevalent on earth — they will blind man's vision of the spiritual Beings and spiritual Powers. Man will know nothing nor desire to know anything of a spiritual world. More and more he will not only teach that the highest moral ideals of humanity are merely sublimations of animal impulses, that human thinking is but a transformation of a faculty also possessed by the animals, that man is akin to the animal in respect of his form and moreover in his whole being descends from the animal — but he will take this view in all earnestness and order his life in accordance with it.
Man does not as yet entirely base his life on the principle that his true being descends from the animal. But this view of existence will inevitably arise, with the result that men will also live like animals, will sink into animal impulses, animal passions. And in many things that need not be further characterized here, many things that in the great cities come to expression in orgies of dissolute sensuality, we can already perceive the lurid, hellish glare of the Spirits we call the Asuras.
Imagine that you have a car to push. You develop your strength by pushing it. If heavy ballast is put into the car it will be heavier to push, but you would develop greater strength. Suppose the Godhead had let the world’s evolution remain as it was, up to the time just after the Future Jupiter evolution, men could have certainly developed very well; but humanity could have become still stronger if hindrance had been in its way. For the good of humanity, certain Spirits of Motion (SoM) had to receive adverse commands. These were not evil at first, one need not consider them as evil powers, one might even say they sacrificed themselves by putting obstacles into the way of development. Therefore, these SoM may be called the gods of hindrance, of impediment, in the widest sense of the word.
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.
is titled: 'The Luciferic and Ahrimanic Temptation'
selfishness (Luciferic), Lies (Ahrimanic) and cultural illness and death (Soratic - asuras)
If the world continues in the course it has been taking under the influence of the degenerating spiritual life derived from the Orient, then this spiritual life, although at one end it was the most sublime truth, will at the other rush into the most fearful lies. Nietzsche was impelled to describe how even the Greeks had to guard themselves from the lies of life through their art. And in reality art is the divine child which keeps men from being swallowed up in lies. If this first branch of civilization is pursued only one-sidedly, then this stream empties into lies. In the last five or six years more lies have been told among civilized humanity than in any other period of world history; in public life the truth has scarcely been spoken at all; hardly a word that has passed through the world was true.
While this stream empties into lies (see drawing), the middle stream empties into self-seeking; and an economic life like the Anglo-American, which should end in world-dominion — if the effort is not made to bring about its permeation by the independent spiritual life and the independent political life, it will flow into the third of the abysses of human life, into the third of these three.
- The first abyss is lies, the degeneration of humanity through Ahriman;
- the second is self-seeking, the degeneration of humanity through Lucifer;
- the third is, in the physical realm, illness and death; in the cultural realm, the illness and death of culture.
We must go back to these concepts once more in full consciousness, otherwise, if we speak only of the duality between God and the Devil, we shall not be able to draw near again to the Trinity, — to the Gods, to the Ahrimanic Powers, and, mid-way between, to the Kingdom of Christ. Until we reach this stage we cannot arrive at a real understanding of the world.
You must bear in mind how great a secret concerning the historical evolution of European humanity is contained in the fact that the Ormuzd of ancient times has been turned into the good God, whereas in reality he is a Luciferic Power, a God of Light. As though to make amends for this error humanity has gone to the other extreme, and has made Lucifer as bad as possible. Because people were not willing to give the name of Lucifer to Ormuzd they carried Lucifer over to Ahriman, and made a mix-up of the two, the after-effects of which are still to be seen in Goethe's character Mephistopheles. In Mephistopheles we have Lucifer and Ahriman mixed up together, as I have shown quite clearly in my little book: Goethe's Conception of the Soul.
European humanity, the humanity of present-day civilisation, has become very greatly confused, and this confusion pervades all thinking. It can be put right by leading away from the conception of Duality, and entering once more into the conception of the Trinity, for what is dual leads finally to a condition in which man cannot live, for he must needs seek for a polarity in which he can find adjustment and balance. Christ stands there as the Balance between Lucifer and Ahriman, as the Balance between Ormuzd and Ahriman.
see more on: Ragnarok#1921-07-15-GA205
talks about the 'Luciferic and Ahrimanic Powers Wrestling for Man'
Who will be saved from evil and up to when
However see also: Three days descent into Hades#.5B1.5D - On .27the bad guy below.27
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.
Below are some temporary placeholders of subtopics for later coverage
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
Lucifer is a fallen being from the hierarchy of the archangels fallen to the stature of an angel
Ahriman is a fallen being from the hierarchy of the archai, fallen to the stature of an archangel
Sorat is a fallen being from the hierarchy of the SoF, fallen to the stature of the archai (or 'suras').
Note: Rudolf Steiner spoke of Sorat in 1907-04-27-GA096 and 1907-10-21-GA101/Z306 typescipt, and Ahriman on 1909-01-01
- War in heaven
- Fall and redemption - original sin and grace
- Representative of Humanity
- Luciferic influence on Man and more general perspective: Luciferic beings and their influence
- Ahrimanic influence on Man and more general perspective: Ahrimanic beings and their influence
- Asuras or Rakshasas, as well as Sorat
- Occult atom - for references to the Cosmic Plan
- Twelve as seven and five has a discussion topic on the problem of evil
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)