Clairvoyant research of akashic records

From Anthroposophy

This topic page is about the process of clairvoyant research through investigation of the so-called 'akasha chronicle' or akashic records', and addresses the following questions:

  • Akashic records: What are these, where are they?
  • How can they contain all that ever happened, what is the spiritual scientific explanation for this?
  • How does the clairvoyant investigator access these, what is required, and what is the experience and process for 'reading' them?

Akashic records

Notes: This topic requires an understanding of the various planes or worlds of consciousness, and the different stages of clairvoyance. See also further notes in the 'Discussion area' below.

Man's, in terms of constitution as a spiritual entity, is made up of the spiritual hierarchies. They also live in his soul activity. The human experience on the physical plane consists of passive astral experiences of observing through the senses, thinking, feeling. In order for these to be experienced, passively, they have to be generated somewhere, actively. This happens through spiritual beings that have this active life (thinking, life and existence) on the higher planes (higher spirit world, budhi and nirvana planes).

Hence, Man's conscious soul activities are connected with the spiritual beings of which he is made up, and whereby inscriptions are made in these higher planes as 'counter images' of the activities of Man's I-consciousness.

"The sum of all those counter thoughts, counter experiences and counter actions is called the akashic record. It is therefore possible to read every human thought on the higher mental plane, all feelings and experiences on the budhi plane, and all actions in the nirvana plane."

Now there is a law that these spiritual beings fertilize a 'faculty of seership' only once in a human soul. Once this single virginal 'fertilization' has been achieved, other human beings must pay attention to what this first soul has discovered in order to have the right to see it themselves.

However also, after death, Man encounters his own inscriptions in the higher worlds again as he rises to the spirit world between death and a new birth, and goes through a process of metamorphosis, building the spirit seed for a next life (with the help of spiritual beings called lipikas or lords of karma).


foundational explanations

  • the principle of the akashic records (as described above) is sketched in 1904-11-03-GA089 and 1905-10-12-GA093a
  • the akasha chronicle can be accessed in the spirit world with clairvoyant intuition, but is created through forces from even higher planes (1907-05-28-GA099)
  • astral reflection or projection of akashic records exists but is unreliable (1907-05-28-GA099), examples are eg Scott-Elliot's book about Atlantis, or Leadbeater's writing in the theosophical society)
  • once the initiate has reached the stage of seeing into the higher spirit world and has risen above one's 'I' with renunciation or 'sacrifice of the intellect, the guidance of the White Lodge who "give instructions to enable us to read in the Akasha Records ... the Master comes and teaches" (1904-06-01-GA265).
    • this links to the spiritual maturity and moral requirements for the initiate (1913-03-06-GA062 and 1913-04-03-GA062)
  • in the spiritual world there is a law concerning esoteric investigation of the akashic records, that establishes the foundation for a inner universal brotherliness, a true brotherhood of men. It is like a rule by the White Lodge, that one has to connect to what another person researched before.
    • "a fact that has been discovered by a clairvoyant or an occult school, cannot be investigated a second time if the would-be clairvoyant investigator has not first been informed or does not know that it has already been discovered." The spiritual scientific movement is needed in the world, because for future clairvoyants a link has to exist with what has been discovered. They must have knowledge of these truths, before these facts can actually be perceived by them clairvoyantly. (1909-06-04-GA109, note this is put differently but touched on also in 1910-10-17-GA124)
  • people on the path of initiation
    • may have short spontaneous retrospects into the far past, a reading of the Akashic Record. Such occurences point to the fact the soul was an initiate or connected with initiates in past incarnations in earlier ages. (1913-02-05-GA144)
    • after death: the earlier thoughts inscribed in the akashic records, strengthened through meditation and concentration exercises as part of initiation, can be used as as a mirror (1915-05-02-GA161)
  • karma
    • just as our incarnate life leaves traces in the etheric and astral world, our deeds inscribe into the akashic records and play a role in our destiny and maintaining karmic connections with the ones we are connected, influencing the localization of the physical body in the next incarnation (1907-05-30-GA099, see also 1913-03-12-GA140 which expands on inscriptions in the planetary spheres)


  • requirements for the spiritual investigator
    • to have passed through the stages of initiation, refining and spiritualizing the astral, etheric ànd physical bodies. For intuition or 'understanding' from the higher spirit world, the astral senses are used with the physical body as a reflector of the spiritual body (see Stages of clairvoyance). Hence, the lower Self has to be surpassed by cleansing and refining the lower bodies so they can be neutral or transparant to the influences of the 'I'. The use of the physical body with 'intuition' is a stage beyond 'inspiration', see the illumination received by the life spirit on Kundalini#.5B3.5D - The process of illumination. See also experience of crossing the abyss on Q00.009 - the idea of no self, or blotting out one's self.
    • the importance of devotion, humility, selflessness as 'conditeo sine qua non' (see GA264 and 265 extracts below)
  • a great moral law of the spiritual world - regarding spiritual investigation and communication
    • Man gains nothing for himself through spiritual illumination. What he gains is only as one who serves the world in general, not himself, and only in so far as he gains it also for others: spiritual things are of value only in the spirit of humanity as a whole, not in any egoistic spirit. Clairvoyancy without communication is egoistic, and of no gain for karma, as anything that serves egoism is held to be immoral and excluded from spiritual fields. Hence what a clairvoyant sees is of no value to him and to others so long as he is unable to bring it down into the ordinary sphere of men, and to express it in thought that can be grasped by sound logic and a natural feeling for truth. What remains after death is just as much as he has been able to understand and translate into the ordinary language of human consciousness for others. (1910-10-17-GA124)
  • historical personalities that were able to read the akashic records (and had developed the intuition level of clairvoyance)
    • Moses (re Genesis) Homer, John the Evangelist (re Book of Revelation), Paul of Tarsus, Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus)

Rudolf Steiner's research

Rudolf Steiner has been called 'the scientist of the invisible', he (a) performed decades of clairvoyant research into the akasha chronicle or akashic records, (b) as a trained and respected scientific scholar, shared the results of this research by lecturing on his findings and explaining them in a consistent framework and intellectually understandeable language, but also (c) he lectured on the scientific method of research, explaining the various modes of clairvoyance and 'how they work'. Below follow some aspects about (c):

  • Rudolf Steiner's clairvoyant research of the akashic records covers:
    • akashic records research as a method through the ages
      • examples: eg by initiates in the previous Indian and Greek cultural ages (1910-06-14-GA121) or the Rakshasas "I can assure you that every occultist has often convinced himself of its truth through what is called the Akashic Record" (1904-06-10-GA093), or John the Evangelist (Book of Revelation, or images of Ephesus)
      • general consensus between researchers from the akashic records through the ages (1904-GA011 quote A)
    • descriptions and examples of 'how it is', are given
      • "not an ordinary but a living chronicle .. the seer can behold it-not as if it were recorded in a history book, but as it actually happened. How a Man moved, what he did, a journey he took — it can all be seen in these spiritual pictures; the impulses of will, the feelings, the thoughts, can also be seen." (1907-05-28-GA099)
      • the events which usually appear to memory one after another in time, now present themselves beside one another (in the spatial sense) (1910-03-30-GA119)
      • descriptive examples:
        • how personalities come to live: Caesar (e.g. at the Rubicon) and Goethe are the Individualities most often used in all examples (see 1906-08-23-GA095 and 1909-06-25-GA112)
        • sketches describing concrete scenes with human beings in the Lemurian (1904-GA011 quote D) or Atlantean epochs (1911-06-GA015)
        • so alive as if one is there, the Jacob Boehme quote on the question asked to him 'where you there' when talking about early history of the Earth and solar system, where he answered without any hesitation: "most certainly I was there"
    • the scientific method
      • spiritual science investigates the facts and occurrences of human evolution completely independently of all documents or traditions. After clairvoyant investigation, one turns to traditional documents to compare results. Therefore such investigation based on facts and truth is in every respect competent to judge these existing documents. (1909-06-25-GA112)
      • taking a specific historical event or date helps greatly in research (1907-05-28-GA099), however external documents and influences are a hindrance (1908-06-01-GA102)
      • sometimes the spiritual investigator is confronted with specific forces
        • eg when approaching the Hibernian mysteries one experiences a repelling pushback or soul-bewilderment (explanation given) (1923-12-09-GA232)
      • the clairvoyant perception varies
        • the further we go back the purer the records get, and it is easier to research periods where one knows nothing about, so it is hardest of all to do for the Postatlantean ages, compared to much earlier stages in evolution. the investigator must carefully erase anything he knows of those times from his soul, so that it will not adulterate the record. (1905-03-27-GA089)
        • with how far in evolution one goes back, Earth and Old Moon stages can be more minutely observed than Old Sun or Old Saturn stages which can take on more or less indistinct outlines (1911-10-31-GA132)
    • avoiding errors, and non-scientific ways that supersensible information is taken, which is unreliable
      • mediums who pick up astral reflections of the akashic records exists, and/or cannot manage incoming imaginations consciously and objectively (1907-05-28-GA099, 1912-11-27-GAXXX),
      • two extremes of erroneous experiences: "One must know the possibilities for error, because they can appear with every step in spiritual life and one must not only know them but overcome them." (1913-03-06-GA062)
        • phenomenalism, eg seeing ghosts, specters (confusion because of messages from deceased souls)
        • ecstasy, appearing as a result of intensification of self-seeking and all that comes out of one-self, influences of disguised self-love in false mysticism.
    • cases where he points out the limits of his research, where he was not able to find something, or is not sure
      • examples in the fifth gospel are the identification of the location pagan place Jesus went to between age 18-24 (1913-11-18-GA148, 1913-12-08-GA148), the sequence of the three steps in the temptation (1913-10-06-GA148, 1913-12-10-GA148), or the origin of the solar eclipse at the MoG (1913-12-10-GA148)
      • tracing the the Individuality of Napoleon (1918-10-19-GA185)
    • the challenges
      • the difficulties in finding appropriate means of presenting the results from clairvoyant research through the limitations of language, terminology, descriptive imagery (prefaces to OES 1910-GA013, 1904-GA011 quote A))
      • not to be influenced by what one knows, or what scientific knowledge assumes or stipulates (prefaces to OES)
      • the difficulties (and potential influence of the (karma of the) person doing the investigation) "it is very difficult and takes much effort to extract images from the Akasha Record which have to with Christianity" (1913-10-02-GA148)
      • the conscientiousness and feeling of responsability (re 1910-08-26-GA122 extract on Genesis research), and the dangers of false authority and unsceptical believers (1912-11-21-GA062, 1912-11-27-GAXXX)
      • sense of truth: important texts such as the Gospels should be corrected because they have not been understood correctly and/or falsified with the centuries and translations (1911-10-08-GA131, 1911-11-20-GA130); same with the deep wisdom contained in many ancient legends (1909-09-21-GA114); or the esoteric teachings from the period after the MoG (by Christ after the resurrection, from pupils of the apostles, notorious writings of the gnostics - more on this on Worldview wars) .."They were destroyed by the church, but by reading in the Akashic Record they will be restored down to the last dot on the i when the time is ripe." (1924-09-13-GA346)

Inspirational quote

1905-10-21-GA093 (SWCC)

Higher than all knowledge and perception is .. Unknowing as a higher knowing, and Unperception as a higher perceiving.

The quote makes the distinction between the lower self and it's faculty of waking consciousness (perception and knowledge), and the higher self and rising above the abyss to the higher spirit world where one 'becomes part of'. Hence for the clairvoyant faculty 'intuition' Rudolf Steiner does not speak of seeing (faculty of imagination) or hearing (inspiration), but of the direct and objective knowing or 'understanding'.


Schema FMC00.389A is a simplified version of reference table Schema FMC00.389. It shows the akashic record used by clairvoyant investigation in the middle, in amber.

Notice the 'mirroring' across the fourth layer of the spirit world (explained in 1904-11-03-GA089). More in Note [2] in the 'Discussion area' below.


Schema FMC00.391 depicts in a much oversimplified way the principle of clairvoyance, and the use of the lower bodily principles and soul-states as reflectors, mirrors to read in the various worlds. The mineral physical body originates in and is fully part of the higher spirit world, is how Man reaches into that world, and is thereby the innate entry point into that world. If Man, through Initiation, has developed his I-consciousness and refined lower bodies, he is able (after a long path of training) to plunge into that world and 'understand' through the faculty of intuition the counter-images on Schema FMC00.389A. More on this schema on Stages of clairvoyance.

Lecture coverage and references

Coverage overview

1/ Rudolf Steiner has three stages where he made more explicit reference to and/or explained his clairvoyant research in more depth (than usual coverage in lectures over twenty years 1904-1924):

  • the 1904 phase with publication of first results of research into Atlantean and Lemurian epochs. At that time this was a 'living' theme with also publications by others (eg Donnely 1882, Scott-Elliot 1896)
  • the 1913 research on the Fifth Gospel, straight from the akashic records
  • the 1924 research on karmic relationships and investigations about the past lives of about 50 Individualities

2/ However as usual there are always many separate lectures and cycles that contain related material of interest, an example is the cycle 1924-08-GA243 'True and false paths in spiritual investigation' (re synopsis).

Especially interesting in that context is the cycle 'GA062 - The results of spiritual research', which has a few lectures on the theme, ao:

  • 1912-10-31-GA062 - How does one refute spiritual scientific research
  • 1912-11-07-GA062 - How does lay the foundations for spiritual research
  • 1912-11-21-GA062 - Ways to supersensible knowledge
  • 1913-03-06-GA062 - Errors in spiritual investigation

Covered here are ao:

  • the importance of publication of the methods for spiritual scientific research (21 nov)
  • comparison of spiritual scientific research with mathematical truths. Facts one cannot prove but has to experience. (7 Nov)
  • How to counter the fact that illusions, hallucinations and supersensible experiences, and to clearly separate spiritual research from 'charlatanerie' (31 Oct, 7 Nov)
  • what clairvoyant research maps to what stage, eg intuition required for previous incarnations (21 nov)
  • related:
    • moral requirements (in context for guardian of the threshold) (6-Mar and 1913-04-03-GA062)
    • dangers of authority (the spiritual researcher is not an authority, in fact blind following is the worst for spiritual science) and vanity (31 Oct, 21 Nov)
  • errors due to confusion because of messages from deceased souls, extasis as extreme example of erroneous experiences (6 Mar)

Source extracts


quote A

But everything which arises in time has its origin in the Eternal; and although the Eternal is not accessible to sense-perception, the paths that lead to a perception of the Eternal are available to man. He can so develop the forces that slumber within him as to be able to know this Eternal. In the articles on “How to Attain Knowledge of the Higher Worlds,” which have appeared under the title The Way of Initiation, the method of this training is indicated. In these two books it has been shown that at a certain high stage of knowledge man can even penetrate to the everlasting sources that underlie the passing things of time. (Let the reader here have patience; these matters can only be dealt with by degrees.) If a Man in the way described has developed his power to know, then, as regards knowledge of the past, he is no longer restricted entirely to outer evidence.

Then he can behold that which in the happening is imperceptible to the senses, that which no time can destroy. He presses on from evanescent history to that which does not pass away. It is true that this history is written in other than the ordinary characters, and in the Gnosis, in Theosophy, is called “The Âkâshic Records.” Only a feeble picture of these records can be given in our language, for it is adapted to the uses of the world of sense, and what we name with it receives at once the character of that world. Thus the narrator might give to the uninitiated, to one who cannot yet from his own experience convince himself of the actuality of a distinct spiritual world, the impression of being a mere visionary, if indeed not something worse.

He who has won for himself the power to observe in the spiritual world, there recognises bygone events in their eternal character. They stand before him, not as dead witnesses of history, but in the fullness of life. In a certain sense, the past events are played out before him.

Those who have learnt to read such a living script can look back into a far more distant past than that which external history depicts; and they can also, by direct spiritual perception, describe those matters which history relates in a far more trustworthy manner than is possible by the latter.

In order to avoid a possible error, let it here be at once understood that even mental vision is not infallible. Such perception may also be deceived; it may be inaccurate, crooked, topsy-turvy. Even in this domain nobody, however exalted, is necessarily free from error; therefore no one need take exception if communications that spring from such spiritual sources are not always in full accord. But the trustworthiness of such observations is certainly far greater here than in the outer world of sense; and those communications which, bearing on history and prehistoric times, can be given out by the various Initiates, agree in their essence.

In all mystic schools there actually exists such history and pre-history, and such absolute agreement has reigned here for thousands of years that it is impossible to compare it with the agreement existing among ordinary historians even for a century. Initiates describe at all times and in all places essentially the same thing.


For this research is not based on speculation, on a day dreaming in terms of mere concepts, but on actual spiritual experience. As our physical eye can see outdoors only as far as a certain boundary line and cannot look beyond the horizon, so the “spiritual eye” can look only as far as a certain point in time. Mystery science is based on experience and is content to remain within this experience.

Only in a conceptual splitting of hairs will one want to find out what was “at the very beginning” of the world, or “why God really created the world.” For the scientist of the spirit it is rather a matter of realizing that at a certain stage of cognition one no longer poses such questions. Everything Man needs for the fulfillment of his destiny on our planet is revealed to him within spiritual experience. The one who patiently works his way into the experiences of scientists of the spirit will see that within spiritual experience man can obtain full satisfaction concerning all those questions which are vital to him.

quote B

The deciphering of the Akasha Chronicle is not exactly easy in this area. The author of this present book in no way claims that he should be believed blindly. He merely wishes to report what his best efforts have enabled him to discover. He will welcome any correction based on competent knowledge. He feels obliged to communicate these events concerning the development of mankind because the signs of the times urge it. Moreover, a long period of time had to be described in outline here in order to afford a general view. Further details on much that is only indicated now will follow later. Only with difficulty can the writings in the Akasha Chronicle be translated into our colloquial language. They are more easily communicated in the symbolical sign language used in mystery schools, but as yet the communication of this language is not permitted. Therefore the reader is requested to bear with much that is dark and difficult to comprehend, and to struggle toward an understanding, just as the writer has struggled toward a generally understandable manner of presentation. Many a difficulty in reading will be rewarded when one looks upon the deep mysteries, the important human enigmas which are indicated. A true self-knowledge of Man is, after all, the result of these “Akasha Records,” which for the scientist of the spirit are realities as certain as are mountain ranges and rivers for the eye of sense. An error of perception is of course possible, here and there.

quote C

While all possible care has been taken in the deciphering of the Akasha Chronicle it must be emphasized that nowhere is a dogmatic character to be claimed for these communications. If, to begin with, the reading of things and events so remote from the present is not easy, the translation of what has been seen and deciphered into the language of today presents almost insuperable obstacles.


The things which are communicated here are surprising even for the occultist who reads them for the first time — although the word “surprising” is not quite exact. Therefore he should only communicate them after the most careful examination.

quote D is a concrete scene from the Lemurian epoch

[Lemurian epoch]

In this realm, beautiful scenes are shown by the Akasha Chronicle. One of these will be described.

We are in a forest, near a mighty tree. The sun has just risen in the east. The palmlike tree, from around which the other trees have been removed, casts mighty shadows. The priestess, her face turned to the east, ecstatic, sits on a seat made of rare natural objects and plants. Slowly in rhythmical sequence, a few strange, constantly repeated sounds stream from her lips. A number of men and women are sitting in circles around her, their faces lost in dreams, absorbing inner life from what they hear.

Other scenes too can be seen. At a similarly arranged place a priestess “sings” in a similar manner, but her tones have in them something mightier, more powerful. Those around her move in rhythmic dances. For this was the other way in which “soul” entered into mankind. The mysterious rhythms which one had heard from Nature were imitated by the movements of the limbs. One thereby felt at one with nature and with the powers acting in her.


see also GA092 page 22 in 1999 DE edition

(p 23 and following) it is stated that, in order to decipher the akasha record to investigae cosmic evolution, certain preliminary conditions have to be met, one of which is the following:

.. to put one’s own thoughts at the disposal of this principle, this power, and these beings whom, in theosophical parlance, we call the Masters. For ultimately it is the Masters who have to give us instructions to enable us to read in the Akasha Records. It is written in symbols and signs, not in words of an existing language or one that has existed. As long as one only uses the power that one usually applies to thinking, and everyone who has not been specially trained for this purpose uses this power, one cannot read the akasha record.


Saying 'I think' .. you connect together object and predicate in forming a sentence So long as you yourself connect the single concepts you are not able to read in the akasha record .. because you connect your thoughts with your own 'I'. You need to obliterate your I and renounce all your own opinions.


Thus it is renunciation – not of thinking itself, but of connecting the single thoughts yourself – which is necessary for you to be able to read in the Akasha Records. Then the Master can come and teach you, with the help of the outer spirit, to surrender your thoughts to the universal World-Spirit, so that he can show you what happened in history. Then it is not you who judges the facts, but the universal World-Spirit who speaks to you. And you place your thought substance at his disposal.

Now I have to say what is necessary today before one can eliminate the I in order to be able to read the akasha records.

.. [continues to explain the 'sacrifice of the intellect', like the monks in the middle ages]

Note the 'sacrifice of the intellect' also appears in 1904-07-25-GA265 that follows, as well as in 1923-08-31 and 1924-04-05.


And now I have to tell you something which will in any case appear extraordinary to you, which is particularly important. It has been an occult mystery for the outside world for many centuries and will seem incredible to most people, but is nevertheless true. I can assure you that every occultist has often convinced himself of its truth through what is called the Akashic Record. But so it is.

These Rakshasas were real beings, they really existed — actively and effectively — as seducers of mankind. They continued to influence human desires until the time when Christ incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth and the Buddhi principle itself became present on the earth in a human body.

Now you may believe it or not: this is something of cosmic significance, of significance which reaches beyond the earthly plane.


If there were only a single astral body, we would never be able to ascribe sensations to the activities of other entities. Yet the ability to sense things could not have developed in us if we had not differentiated it out from a whole astral world in this way. Astral existence presupposes astral activity.

In the same way mental existence presupposes thought activity, and physical existence physical activity. Having understood this, we also understand something else.

  • The human being thinks. .. Our passive thinking about things presupposes active thinking, presupposes that the things have first been created through the thought. Our human passive thinking presupposes one that is active. For every passive thought there must have been an active and creative thought before.
  • Every feeling, every sensation, all passive experience in the astral body presupposes that this astral experience has been actively brought about.
  • Anything which appears in the world all around us presupposes that the phenomena were first called into existence. Light would not exist if light had not been brought about; existence would not exist if it had not been brought about; sensory perception presupposes that the phenomenon is first revealed.

Everywhere in the world we find these three:

  • Active and passive thinking
  • Active and passive life
  • Active and passive existence.


  • Everything which is passive existence for the human being, is called the physical plane; it is the essence of all passive existence.
  • The essence of all passive life is called the astral plane.
  • The essence of all passive thinking is called the lower spirit plane.


  • The essence of all active thinking is called the higher spirit plane.
  • The essence of all active life is called the budhi plane.
  • The essence of all active existence is called the nirvana plane.

These are the planes known to us. Activity is most intensive in the nirvana plane, for existence itself is created there.

If we consider the human being in terms of these planes, we see that every thought which a human being thinks is followed by another active thought on the corresponding plane, which is the reaction.

  • If you have a thought on the lower spirit plane, this causes a counter image on the higher spirit plane.
  • If you have a feeling, this produces a counter image on the budhi plane.
  • If you are active in the physical plane, this produces a counter image on the nirvana plane.

Just as earlier an active thought created our passive thinking, so does an active thought create its passive counter image on the higher spirit plane, and so on. We thus cannot take a single thought but that this has its counter image, and the same holds true for a feeling or action.

The sum of all those counter thoughts, counter experiences and counter actions is called the akashic record. It is therefore possible to read every human thought on the higher mental plane, all feelings and experiences on the budhi plane, and all actions in the nirvana plane.

The spirits which regulate the relationship between those counter images and human beings play an important role. Human beings live out their thoughts on the spirit plane. What they deal with in their thoughts, all happens on the spirit plane. When they are there, in the spirit world, between death and rebirth, they build the character of their thought body for the next life. That is where the counter images of their former thoughts are. The individual draws them to his spiritual body, which has been freed from anything physical or astral, and thus creates his future spirtual body according to the thought images he has created.

However, he would not be able to connect the counter images of his experiences and actions with himself on his own. This needs spirits who regulate things from the outside, the lords of karma, the lipikas. They connect the counter images of the human being's feelings and actions with him when he is an the budhi and nirvana planes, with kamic and other elements already enveloping him, to provide for the incarnations that will follow.


builds on the lecture of 1904-11-03-GA089, explaining what happens in the metamorphosis between death and a new birth, as Man works the impressions of his life and refines them as part of developing his higher self.

To contemplate this, hold the above Schema FMC00.389A against Schemas FMC00.289B on Human 'I' (which has Schema FMC00.128 as a background), and focus on the higher spirit world (arupa devachan), budhi and nirvana planes where the structure of Man's higher triad comes from.

This lecture sheds light on the metamorphosis that happens around the budhi plane, see 1904-11-09-GA089 on Christ Module 7 - Cosmic dimension.


What is our present history? We know only a few millennia on Earth. Nothing has been recorded in writing of the earliest times in Earth evolution because nothing had hardened to stone as yet, and so no impressions could be made in stone. The material which now makes up the things in the outside world and our own human body has changed utterly from those most ancient times. We cannot investigate those conditions physically. Only occult investigation makes it possible to learn something about them, and for this we have the akashic record. This contains everything which happens in the world of the spirit, and since the physical is an outflowing of the spiritual, it contains everything which ever happened and is happening.

Human beings gather impressions throughout the day and digest them inwardly. The astral body contains all the echoes from the day, everything one has inwardly felt, willed and thought. This astra] body lives in the astral space, and anything which happens in it is impressed in the astral world as a reflection, like waves, and stays alive. In this state, which is freed from the physical life of the day, the human being inscribes in the higher worlds what he has gone through, and this remains. In his sleep, the human being is thus working for eternity. When he is sleeping, his soul and spiritual bodies are outside the physical and ether bodies, but he is not aware of this. Only a clairvoyant can see how what has been inscribed in the akashic record has gone through a human soul.

The further we go back into the past, the more do we have to depend on the akashic record, and the further we go back, the purer does the record get. It is easiest to read it in Earth states that lie far, far back, before the Earth became physical. It is much harder to read it in the Atlantean age, and hardest of all in post-Atlantean times. For the reader must carefully erase anything he knows of those times from his soul, so that it will not adulterate the record. It is therefore easier to investigate something that goes very far back, when no sense-perceptible images existed as yet.


Here we have an example of how one can look into the Akashic Record. If one can rise to the perception of the inner arithmetic which is preserved from sound in space, then at any time one can hear again a sound which someone has spoken. For instance one can hear what was spoken by Caesar at the crossing of the Rubicon. The inner arithmetic of sound is still present in the Akashic Record. Sound corresponds to something we call Manas. What the ear experiences as sound is the wisdom of the world. In the perception of sound one hears the wisdom of the world. In the act of speaking one brings forth the wisdom of the world. What is arithmetical in our speech remains in the Akashic Record


Until the Earth stage, the fourth condition of form, the Earth became ever denser. At the price of this increasing densification, the Astral Light became individualised after the solid had thrust itself out. The Auric Eggs of human beings are the individualised Astral Light. One can therefore read in the Astral Light, not the deeds, but the emotions bound up with them; these one can read in the Astral Light.

For example, Caesar conceived the idea of crossing the Rubicon and this roused in him certain feelings and desires. What took place at that time corresponds to a combination of astral impulses. The physical deeds on the physical plane have vanished for all eternity. Caesar's advance can no longer be seen in the Astral Light, but the impulse which drove him to it has remained there. The karmic (astral) correlations with what takes place on the physical plane remain in the Astral Light. One must accustom oneself to look away from all physical perceptions and only to see the karmic impulses. One must hold fast to these and consciously transpose them back into the physical. There is no purpose in looking for something which might be seen, as though one were looking at a photograph.

The greatest impulses of world history can however no longer be read in the Astral Light, for the impulses of the great initiates were passionless. Whoever therefore reads only in the Astral Light, for him the whole work of the initiates is absent: for example the content of the book ‘The Great Initiates’ by Edouard Schuré could not have been found in the Astral Light. Such impressions are only inscribed in the Ether. What one can read in the Astral Light in connection with what the initiates have done is based on an illusion, because one can only read the results of the lives of the great initiates in the impulses of their pupils. Pupils and even entire peoples have experienced strong and passionate emotions in regard to the actions of the great initiates and these have remained in the Astral Light. But it is so difficult to study the deepest motives of the great initiates because they are only present in the ether.

Cosmic events — metamorphoses such as those of Atlantis — remain at a still higher level, no longer in the Ether, but in the actual Akasha. That is the Akashic Chronicle. This latter is nevertheless connected in a certain way with the most earthly concerns of mankind. For the human being is connected with the great happenings of the Cosmos. Every single person is to be found sketched, as it were, in the Akashic Chronicle. What is present there continues further and works its way into the Ether and the Astral Light. The individual human being becomes ever more clearly discernible the more one seeks for him in the lower spheres. And one must study all these spheres in order to understand the real mechanism of Karma.


is a key lecture to contemplate when studying the GA089 pictures in Schema FMC00.389A. Here the link is made with Seeds for future worlds

[Akasha chronicle]

What we think works on even into a new formation of our earth. We therefore distinguish three stages.

  • Firstly: Human action is individual, with the exception of those actions in man that arise from nothingness.
  • Secondly: Man cannot speak for himself alone; words concern a group of human beings.
  • Thirdly: Thoughts are the concern of the whole of humanity.

With this, something else is connected. When we act we stand quite alone behind our actions. When we speak we are not quite alone in our words. Behind our words a spiritual being is working with us, standing behind us. Just as truly as the words we utter are imprinted quite exactly in the Akasha, so is it true that with every word we utter we impinge upon the body of a spiritual being who is incarnated in this Akashic substance into which our words penetrate. We must take this up into our feeling life; this is why we must pay such heed to our words. When we think, we are seemingly quite alone within ourselves; nevertheless beings of a spiritual nature are active with us in our thoughts, beings still higher and more significant than those active in our speech. More lies in these things than in a whole world-history. Through them much can be explained.

Let us consider a thought within us. Behind this thought a spiritual being is present. If we imagine ourselves enveloped on all sides by the body of a spiritual being, we can realise that a thought is only the expression of the body of the spiritual being working into us. Every time a thought flashes through our soul it is an impression, a kind of foot-print of a higher spiritual being, just as if we were walking over damp ground, leaving footprints, and were to say: ‘Here a person walked’. This spiritual being is formed of the same substance as that of which thought consists. The thought in us can only become the imprint of a higher spiritual being because this higher being has a body formed of the same substance as our thoughts. When our foot imprints itself in the damp earth, this imprint is a negative, a counter-image of our foot. So is it too with our thoughts.


In the higher spiritual world there is a counter-image for every thought. Image and counter-image are as interconnected as seal and sealing wax. The substance is the higher spiritual being which corresponds in our analogy to the sealing wax.

Now we call thought, in so far as it corresponds to the sealing wax, intuition, and the impression we call abstract thought. We can say when we think: ‘I feel the traces of what is happening in higher worlds.’ It is with regard to this fact that in religious writings, for instance in the Revelation of St. John, the expression ‘seal’ is used. This corresponds with reality.It is also because a higher being is working with us in our words that every word is the impression of a seal.

Thus we have three levels of the thought element: the intuitive, the imaginative and the ordinary abstract thinking.


With the mystics the counter-image is called Imagination.

When Man develops further, when abstract thought itself develops to the stage on which the beings are incarnated who work with us when we speak, then he is a Chela, an occult pupil. To be a Master means: To work in the substance in which the beings are incarnated who work with us in our thoughts.

Imagination gives the picture. This is why the great religious teachers of earlier times spoke pictorially, for imagination gives the picture, not abstract thoughts. In all religions, teachings were expressed in pictures. At first the picture is for man something of lesser importance, but when he understands how to form again for himself a picture out of every thought, then he has reached a higher stage. This is the pre-requisite for a quite new kind of perception. Everything depends on a Man developing to the point at which he no longer thinks merely abstractly, but at all times has his thoughts in pictures. As a rule man forms merely thoughts. The more highly developed man must think in pictures, in images; that means ‘to imagine’. In this expression there already lies what is meant: ‘By means of a certain power to make an imprint in something, (to imagine).’ In creative fantasy, in the case of poet and artist, we find only a weak reflection of imagination. When a man who is seeking higher development speaks, he will try in certain cases, while speaking, to have before him the counter-image, the Imago. This is the source of the mighty pictures in religious writings.

Whoever develops himself so far that he can create such pictures has attained the stage of the spiritual beings who are involved in the creation of races.


One who develops in himself not only pictures, but intuitions, is not only involved in the creation of races, but in the creation of the next planetary existence. From the pictures there will resound what later will be manifested on the Earth, but whoever works out of intuition creates something which is not yet existent, which is nowhere manifested, that is to say he creates out of Nirvana.

This concept is inherent in every apocalypse: What will be manifested in the future can only be created but of intuition.


  • Through abstract thinking one makes a copy of something that exists.
  • Through Imagination a man allows himself to be fructified by the formative spirit within him. Imagination corresponds to hidden realities which have arisen through the fructifying impulse of higher beings; thus one can see these higher spiritual beings on the Astral Plane. The prerequisite for this is to develop a speech that is not the expression of abstract thoughts, but of pictures. This is why mediums also speak in imaginations, in pictures and symbols, but unconsciously. Behind them the spirit is forming the symbols. The occult pupil does this in full consciousness, nevertheless in a way that is not arbitrary. In so doing he allows himself to be fructified by the spirit.
  • Behind all language Beings of Imagination are working and with them the Spirit of the Race. In all living things, Beings at the same spiritual level are at work. Behind all plants Imaginations are active. The completed form of the plant comes forth from Imagination and behind it stands a spiritual being: and everything imbued with consciousness and perception has arisen out of Thought itself

[cont'd Intuition]

  • Just as Man develops himself to the stage when he can create pictures and receive intuitions, so before he came into existence the external world was active; and indeed in such a way that in everything which is around us as mineral existence, as purely physical nature, Intuitions are working as creative forces. The crystal is external in so far as it reveals itself to the senses; it is however created by means of Intuitions. Behind the entire physical world lies a cosmos of Intuitions and finally a being, the Planetary Spirit, who produces the Intuitions.

At the fourth stage of the spirit world, the archetypes of things arise - not the ‘negatives’ but the original types. This is the laboratory of the Cosmos wherein all forms are contained, whence creation has proceeded; it is the home of the Ideas of Plato, the ‘Realm of the Mothers’ of which Goethe speaks in Faust in connection with Helena. In this realm of Devachan, the Akashic Record of Indian philosophy is revealed.

In our modern terminology we speak of this Record as the astral impression of all the events of the world. Everything that passes through the astral bodies of men is ‘fixed’ in the infinitely subtle substance of this Record as in a sensitive plate.

To understand the images which hover in the astral nimbus of the Earth, we must have recourse to analogies. The human voice pronounces words which set up waves of sound, penetrating by the ears into the brains of others, where images and thoughts are evoked. Each of these words is a wave of sound with an absolutely definite form which — if we could see it — is distinct from all others. Let us imagine these words congealing somewhat as water congeals to ice by sudden, intense cold. In such a case the words would descend to Earth as congealed air and we could recognise each word by its form. And now, instead of a process of densification, let us imagine the reverse. We know that matter can pass through the most solid to the most rarified states: solid, liquid, gaseous. Matter can be subtilised to a point at which we are led over to ‘negative’ matter: Akasha.

Events on Earth impress themselves into this akashic substance and can be rediscovered there even those which occurred in far remote ages of the past. Akashic pictures are not static and immobile. They unroll before the eye of the seer as living tableaux where objects and persons move and even speak. The astral form of Dante would speak as he spoke in his own milieu. It is almost invariably this kind of image that is seen in spiritualistic séances, where it is thought to be the spirit of the dead.

Our task is to learn how to decipher the pages of this book of living images and to unroll the innumerable scrolls of the ‘Chronicle’ of the universe.

This can only be done if we are able to distinguish between appearance and reality, between the human sheath and the living soul. Daily discipline and long training are necessary if false interpretations are to be prevented. Definite answers to questions, for example, might be received from the form of Dante thus perceived. But they do not emanate from the individuality of Dante, for the individuality continues to evolve; they emanate from the ancient figure of Dante, ‘fixed’ in the etheric milieu of his time.


[Akasha chronicle – example Caesar - Goethe]

After these four regions we come to the boundary of the spiritual world. Just as the sky at night looks like a hollow globe encircled by stars, so it is with this boundary of the spirit world [devachan]. But it is a highly significant boundary; it forms what we call the Akasha Chronicle. Whatever a person has done and accomplished is recorded in that imperishable book of history even if there is no mention of it in our history books. We can experience there everything that has ever been done on Earth by conscious beings.

Suppose the seer wants to know something about Caesar: he will take some little incident from history as a starting-point on which to concentrate. This he does “in the spirit”; and then around him appear pictures of all that Caesar did and of all that happened round him — how he led his legions, fought his battles, won his victories.

All this happens in a remarkable way: the seer does not see an abstract script; everything passes before him in silhouettes and pictures, and what he sees is not what actually happened in space; it is something quite different. When Caesar gained one of his victories, he was of course thinking; and all that happened around entered into his thoughts; every movement of an army exists in thought. The Akasha Chronicle therefore shows his intentions, all that he thought and imagined as he was leading his legions; and their thoughts, too, are shown. It is a true picture of what happened, and whatever conscious beings have experienced is depicted there. (Plants, of course, cannot be seen.) Hence the Initiate can read off the whole past history of humanity — but he must first learn how to do it.

These Akasha pictures speak a confusing language, because the Akasha is alive. The Akasha image of Caesar must not be compared with Caesar's individuality, which may already have been reincarnated again. This sort of confusion may very easily arise if we have gained access to the Akasha pictures by external means. Hence they often play a part in spiritualistic séances. The spiritualist imagines he is seeing a man who has died, when it is really only his Akasha picture.

Thus a picture of Goethe may appear as he was in 1796, and if we are not properly informed we may confuse this picture with Goethe's individuality. It is all the more bewildering because the image is alive and answers questions, and the answers are not only those given in the past, but quite new ones. They are not repetitions of anything that Goethe actually said, but answers he might well have given. It is even possible that this Akasha image of Goethe might write a poem in Goethe's own style. The Akasha pictures are real, living pictures. Strange as these facts may seem, they are none the less facts.



Important above all in the spirit world [in devachan, this 'world of reason'], is the Akasha Chronicle as we are accustomed to call it. The Akasha Chronicle is not actually brought into being in the spirit world but in an even higher region; when, however, the seer has risen to the world of spirit world, he can begin to perceive what is known as the Akasha Chronicle.

What is the Akasha Chronicle?

We can form the truest conception of it by realising that what comes to pass on our Earth makes a lasting impression upon certain delicate essences, an impression which can be discovered by a seer who has attained Initiation. It is not an ordinary but a living chronicle.

  • Suppose a human being lived in the first century after Christ; what he thought, felt and willed in those days, what passed into deeds — this is not obliterated but preserved in this delicate essence. The seer can behold it-not as if it were recorded in a history book, but as it actually happened. How a Man moved, what he did, a journey he took — it can all be seen in these spiritual pictures; the impulses of will, the feelings, the thoughts, can also be seen.
  • But we must not imagine that these pictures are images of the physical personalities. That is not the case.
    • For example: When a Man moves his hand, his will pervades the moving hand and it is this force of will that can be seen in the Akasha Chronicle. What is spiritually active in us and has flowed into the physical, is there seen in the spiritual.
    • Suppose, for example, we look for Caesar. We can follow all his undertakings, but let us be quite clear that it is rather his thoughts that we see in the Akasha Chronicle; when he set out to do something we see the whole sequence of decisions of the will to the point where the deed was actually performed.
  • To observe a specific event in the Akasha Chronicle is not easy. We must help ourselves by linking on to external knowledge. Historical dates are, it is true, often unreliable, but they are sometimes of assistance.
    • If the seer is trying to observe some action of Caesar and takes an historical date as a point of focus, the result will come more easily. When the seer directs his gaze to Caesar, he actually sees the person of Caesar in action, phantom-like, as though he were standing before him, speaking with him. But when a Man is looking into the past, various things may happen to him if, in spite of possessing some degree of seership, he has not entirely found his bearings in the higher worlds.

[Astral reflection of the Akasha Records]

The Akasha Chronicle is to be found in the spirit world, but it extends downwards into the astral world, with the result that in this lower world the pictures of the Akasha Chronicle may often be a mirage; they are often disconnected and unreliable and it is important to remember this when we set about investigating the past.

  • Let me indicate the danger of these possible mistakes by an example. If through the indications of the Akasha Chronicle we are led back to the epoch in the Earth's evolution when Atlantis was still in existence, before the great Flood, we can follow the happenings and conditions of life in old Atlantis.
  • These were repeated later on, but in a different form. In north Germany, in central Europe, eastwards of Atlantis, long before the Christian era and long before Christianity made its way thither from the south, happenings took place which were a repetition of conditions in Atlantis. Only afterwards, through the influences coming from the south, did the peoples begin to lead a life that was really their own. Here is an example of how easy it is to be exposed to error.

If someone is observing the astral pictures of the Akasha Chronicle, not the devachanic pictures, he may be confused in regard to these repetitions of Atlantean conditions.

  • This was actually the case in the indications about Atlantis given by Scott-Elliot; they tally with the astral pictures but not with the devachanic pictures of the true Akasha Chronicle. The truth of this matter had sometime to be made known. The moment we know where the source of the errors lies, it is easy to assess the indications correctly.

[Errors from access through mediums]

  • Now there is something singular about the Akasha Chronicle. If we discover some person there, he behaves like a living being. If we find Goethe, for example, he may not only answer in the words which he actually spoke in his life but he gives answer in the Goethean sense; it may even happen that he utters in his own style and trend, verses he never actually wrote. The Akasha picture is so alive that it is like a force working on in the mind of the human being. Hence the picture may be confused with the individuality himself.

Another source of error may arise when reliance is placed upon indications given by mediums. When mediums are possessed of the necessary faculties, they can see the Akasha Chronicle, although in most cases only its astral reflections. Mediums believe that they are in contact with the dead man whose life is continuing in the spirit, whereas in reality it is only his astral akasha-picture. This is the basis of errors in very many spiritualist seances. We must distinguish between what remains of the human being in his Akasha-picture and what continues to evolve as the true individuality. These are matters of extreme importance.

  • The spirit of Caesar may already have reincarnated on Earth and it is his Akasha picture that gives the answers in seances. It is not the individuality of Caesar but only the enduring impression which the picture of Caesar has left behind in the Akasha Chronicle.

[continues: Man between death and a new birth, entering the spirit world]

When the human being has passed out of Kamaloca, he has weaned himself from all the habits for which a physical instrument is necessary. He enters into the region described above. The period that now begins for him is exceedingly important and we must understand what it is that happens.

All the Man's earlier experiences in his life of thought and feeling, all his passions, confront him in the spirit world as his environment. Firstly, he sees his own physical body in its archetypal form. Just as on the Earth we move among rocks, mountains and stones, in yonder world we move among the archetypes of all the structures that exist in the physical world. A Man, therefore, moves over his own physical body. The fact that his own physical body is an object outside him is a pointer to him after death, for he recognises by this that he has left Kamaloca and has entered into Devachan. On the Earth he says to his body: “I am that!” In the spirit world he sees his body and says: “Thou art that!”


The higher regions of Devachan, in which the Akasha Chronicle appears, are influenced by deeds. What happens in the external world plays into the very highest region ofthe spirit world. We shall understand in this way how on his descent to a new incarnation the human being reconstitutes his astral body and attaches it to himself. All his thoughts and feelings and experiences had become integral parts of the astral world, leaving many traces there. If his thoughts had contained much truth, these traces gather together to form a good astral body for him. What he had incorporated into the lower spirit world as his temperament and so on, gathers together the new etheric body, and from the highest regions of the spirit world where the Akasha Chronicle is to be found, his past deeds play their part in establishing the station, the localisation of the physical body.


[Example karma]

Here again is an example drawn from life. At a Vehmic Court in the Middle Ages a number of judges condemned a man to death and executed the sentence themselves. Earlier incarnations of the judges and of the dead man were investigated and it was found that they had all been contemporaries; the prisoner who had been put to death had been the Chief of a tribe who had ordered the death of those who were now the Vehmic judges. The deed of the former physical life had created the connection between the persons, and the forces had inscribed themselves in the Akasha Chronicle. When a man again comes down to incarnation, these forces cause him to be born at the same time and place as those to whom he is tied in this way, and they work out his destiny. The Akasha Chronicle is a veritable source of power in which everything that is due to be expiated between one human being and another, is inscribed. Some people can sense these processes, but very, very few are really conscious of them.

Suppose a man has a profession in which he is apparently happy and contented; for some reason or other he is forced to leave it and finding no other occupation in the same place is driven far away — into another country, where he has to strike out on an entirely new line of work. Here he finds a person with whom he has in some way to be associated. What has happened in such a case? He had once lived with the person whom he has now met and remained in his debt for some reason or other. This is inscribed in the Akasha Chronicle and the forces have led him to this place in order that he may meet the man and discharge his debt.

Between birth and death the human being is perpetually within a network of these forces of soul which weave around him on all sides; they are the directing powers of his life. You bear within you all the time the workings of earlier lives; and all the time you are experiencing the outcome of former incarnations.

You will realise, therefore, that your lives are guided by Powers of which you yourselves are not aware. The etheric body is worked upon by forms which you yourselves previously called into existence on the astral plane; beings and forces in the higher regions of spirit world, inscribed by you yourselves in the Akasha Chronicle, work upon your destiny. These forces or beings are not unknown to the occultist; they have their own place in the ranks of similar beings. You must realise that in the astral body and in the etheric body, as well as in the physical body, you feel the workings of other beings; all that you do involuntarily, everything to which you are impelled, is due to the working of other beings; it is not born from nothingness. The various members of man's nature are all the time actually permeated and filled by other beings, and many of the exercises given by an initiated teacher are for the purpose of driving out these beings in order that a man may become more and more free.


History has become an entirely external matter, very much a “fable convenue,” for it is written from documents. Suppose that something had to be written today from documents and the most important documents are lost! Then whatever documents are accidentally available are thrown together and reports are made. For matters of spiritual reality one needs no documents; they are inscribed in the Akashic Record which is a faithful record and effaces nothing. It is difficult, however, to read in the Akashic Record because the external documents are even a hindrance to the reader of spiritual 'scripts'. But we can see how the advance from group soul to individual soul has taken place in times lying very near to our own.


states that after death, and after the death of the ether body and the life memory tableau, the faculty of memory is transformed into reading in the akasha records



Note (2021-09): Finally, after days of systematic searching (after reading about this many, many years ago), I found back this quote after going through all possible pointers on Anthrolexus (eventually this was found not under Akasha but under the clairvoyance header, see topic )

quote A

Before beginning the actual theme, I want to speak of a matter of exceptional importance.

Why is it that we must concern ourselves with ideas and theories of spiritual science, before we can ourselves actually experience anything in the spiritual world? Many people will say, “The results of clairvoyant investigation are made known to us, but I myself cannot yet see into the spiritual world. Would it not be wiser if, instead of the results of investigation being communicated to us, I were told how I can myself develop clairvoyance? Each individual would then be able to undertake the further development himself.”

Those who are unacquainted with the principles of occult investigation may believe that it would be better if such facts had not previously been made known. But in the spiritual world there is a definite law, the significance of which we will make clear by an example.

Suppose that in a certain year some properly trained clairvoyant had perceived this or that in the spiritual world. Now imagine that ten or twenty years later, another equally trained clairvoyant could see the same thing even if he had known nothing whatever about the result obtained by the first clairvoyant.

If you were to believe that this could happen, you would be making a great mistake, for the truth is that a fact of the spiritual world that has once been discovered by a clairvoyant or by an occult school, cannot be investigated a second time if the would-be investigator has not first been informed that it has already been discovered.

If, therefore, in the year 1900 a certain fact had been investigated and in the year 1950 another clairvoyant reaches the stage of being able to perceive the same thing, he can succeed only if he has realized that someone has already investigated and fathomed it.

Therefore, already known facts in the spiritual world can be perceived only when their import has been consciously grasped as communications already made. This is the law that establishes for all [ages and] epochs the foundation of universal brotherliness.

It is impossible to penetrate into any domain of the spiritual world without a link having first been made with what has already been fathomed by the Elder Brothers of humanity. The spiritual world sees to it that nobody can become a law unto himself, saying, “I am not concerned with what is already there. I shall investigate only for myself.” None of the facts communicated in spiritual science today could be perceived by individuals, however highly developed and advanced, if they had not been previously known. Because a link must be there with what has already been discovered, the spiritual scientific movement had also to be founded on this basis.

In a comparatively short time from now, many individuals will become clairvoyant, but they would be able to see only unreality, not truth, in the spiritual world if they had not heard of what had already been investigated.

First one must have knowledge of these truths, such as is given by spiritual science .. and only then can they be actually perceived.

Even a clairvoyant must get to know what has already been discovered, and then, after conscientious training, he can perceive the facts himself.

It may be said that the divine beings fertilize a faculty of seership only once in a human soul and if this single, virginal fertilization has been achieved, then other human beings must pay attention to what this first soul has discovered in order to have the right to see it themselves.

This law lays the foundations of an inner, universal brotherliness, a true brotherhood of men. From epoch to epoch wisdom has passed through the occult schools and been faithfully harbored by the Masters, and we, too, must help to preserve this treasure and maintain brotherliness with those who have already achieved something if we wish to make our way into the higher regions of the spiritual world. What is striven for on the physical plane as moral law is natural law in the spiritual world

quote B

Spiritual science teaches us that everything physical or material is born out of the spiritual. But in our epoch it behooves us not to be satisfied with this bare realization of a spiritual world. That behind everything material, everything physical, there is the spiritual, is an essential, but abstract, consciousness of spirit. What is necessary is to develop definite concepts and ideas of how the spiritual becomes manifest in each domain. ..

The first kingdom to be observed among the physical kingdoms around us, is that of the minerals, the world of stones, rocks of the Earth ... They can only be conceived as having grown out of the whole organism of the Earth. But where is the being of which these rocks are parts, to which all these rocks belong? There are spiritual beings to whom the whole world of stones belongs. These beings feel happiness and pain, pleasure and suffering just as does the human soul, so that we can properly speak of a mineral soul. ...

When a planet is born, collects into a coherent mass and condenses, this process causes pain and suffering to the spiritual beings involved in it. When a planet such as our Earth comes into existence, the process is accompanied by pain and suffering. You may now ask me where then these beings are that the eye does not see, that feel pain and suffering, well-being and happiness, when, for example, stones are broken up by workmen in a quarry. Where are these beings? In a comparatively lofty spiritual world! The mineral substance seen by the eye is only a shadowy image of these beings. They live in a world we call the world of 'formlessness'. Spiritual beings live in our whole mineral world-in the 'world of formlessness' [formless or higher spirit world, or arupa devachan] according to occult investigation. Why do we use this expression, “world of formlessness?” This will be understood at once when we turn to the world of plants.

The plant, too, is the expression of certain beings of soul. Here again we will study the results of spiritual investigation.



When a subject, such as the present, is considered from the standpoint of spiritual science, there is no question of adopting as a basis of discussion, some record or other handed down in the course of human evolution, with a view to throwing light on the accumulated facts, on the authority of this documentary evidence. This is not the method pursued by spiritual science.

On the contrary, spiritual science investigates the facts and occurrences of human evolution independently of all documents.

The spiritual investigator does not refer to documentary evidence until he is in a position to investigate and truly describe the things in question by means which are independent of documents and traditions. If he then turns to documentary evidence, it is to examine if the latter corroborates the results of his own independent research. Thus, no statement is made in these lectures, regarding any particular event, merely on the strength of biblical evidence; only the results of occult investigation are given — investigation independent of the Gospels. But, at every opportunity, attention will be called to the fact that whatever can be ascertained and observed by the spiritual investigator is reproduced in the Gospels and particularly in the Gospel of St. John.

There is a remarkable saying of the great mystic Jacob Boehme, a saying, however, which can surprise but those who are not in touch with spiritual science. Jacob Boehme once calls attention to the fact that he speaks of past ages in human evolution (for example, of Adam's personality) as of experiences in which he had played an immediate part. Someone might ask, he says: ‘Were you present, then, when Adam lived on earth?’ ‘Most certainly I was there!’ is Jacob Boehme's unhesitating reply. A remarkable saying, for it is indeed true that spiritual science is in a position to observe past occurrence, be it however so remote, with eyes that are of the spirit. I should like to indicate, by way of introduction and in a general way, how this comes to pass.

Everything that happens in the physical sense-world has its counterpart in the spiritual world. When a hand is moved, there is more before you than the moving hand seen by your eye, there is my thought and my volition: ‘My hand must move.’ A spiritual background is there. Whereas the ocular, sensible impression of the hand passes away, its spiritual counterpart remains engraved in the spiritual world and unfailingly leaves a trace there. So that, when our spiritual eyes are opened, we can follow the traces and find the spiritual counterpart of everything that has happened in the world. Nothing can happen in the world without leaving such traces.

Let us suppose the spiritual investigator lets his gaze wander back to the days of Charlemagne, or to Roman times, or to ancient Greece. Everything that happened in those times is preserved in the trace left by its spiritual prototype, and can be observed in the spiritual world. This kind of vision is called ‘reading the Akashic records’. A living script of this kind does indeed exist and can be seen by the spiritual eye. Thus when the spiritual investigator described to you the events in Palestine or the observations of Zarathustra, his descriptions are not taken from the Bible or in the Gathas, but what he himself is able to read in the Akashic records. Then, having completed his occult investigation, he turns to the traditional documents — in the present case, to the Gospels — and investigates whether they confirm his results.

Thus, the standpoint of occult investigation, as regards traditional documents, is one of complete independence, for which reason such investigation is in every respect competent to judge these documents. But when we meet with the same facts in the traditional documents as we have been able to decipher in the Akashic records, this coincidence proves to us that these documents are true, furthermore that their author could also read in the Akashic records. Many of the religious and other traditions of humanity are regained in this way by spiritual science. Let us now illustrate this on the strength of one chapter of human evolution in particular, namely, the Gospel of St. John and its relation to the other Gospels. You must not imagine, however, that the Akashic records — that spiritual history that lies open before the seer's eye — is like ordinary handwriting. It is a kind of living script, as we will try to illustrate by the following example.

[Example Caesar]

Suppose the seer glances back, let us say, to the times of Julius Caesar. Caesar's actions, inasmuch as they were performed on the physical plane, were witnessed by his contemporaries; but every action has left its trace in the Akashic records, and when the seer looks back, it is as though a spiritual shadow or archetype of these actions were before him. Recall the movements of the hand. The picture presented to the physical eye cannot be seen by the seer, but the intention to move the hand, the invisible forces which actuated the movement, can always be seen by him. Similarly everything that lived in Caesar's thoughts is visible, whether it be his intention to take some particular step or to wage some particular war. For everything that his contemporaries witnessed originated in the impulse of Caesar's will, and became actuality through the action of the invisible forces which are behind the picture presented to the eye. But these invisible forces behind the external picture are indeed to be seen as the real Caesar, living and moving — as the spiritual image of Caesar visible to the seer in the Akashic records.

But someone inexperienced in such matters might object: ‘To our mind, your narrative of past times is pure fancy. You are acquainted from history with the deeds of Caesar, and your powerful imagination makes you believe you see some kind of invisible Akashic pictures.’ But whoever is familiar with such things knows that the less the seer knows from external history on the subject of his investigations, the easier it is for him to read in the Akashic records. External history is a positive hindrance to occult research. When we have reached a certain age, we are influenced in many ways by the culture of our day. The seer, too, brings with him the education of his day, up to the point when he can give birth to his clairvoyant I. He has studied history and the knowledge handed down to him in geology, biology, archaeology, and so on. Strictly speaking, all his disturbs his vision and may bias him when he comes to decipher the Akashic records. For the same objectivity and certainty may by no means be expected in external history, as are possible in deciphering the Akashic records. Consider upon what conditions some fact or other becomes ‘historical’. Certain documents relating to some event or other have been preserved, while others — perhaps the most important — are missing. An example will show how unreliable all history may be.

[Goethe and Grimm]

Among Goethe's many unfinished poetical sketches, which are a beautiful addition to the great works he has given us in finished form, there is a fragmentary poem on Nausicaa. We have only a few notes on this poem, showing how Goethe intended to complete it He often worked in this way — jotting down a few sentences — and often only a fragment has remained. So it is with the Nausicaa. Now two scholars have attempted to complete this fragment: Scherer, the author of a history of literature, and Herman Grimm.

But Grimm was more than a scholar; he was an imaginative thinker. He is the same Grimm who has given us a Life of Michelangelo and a study on Goethe. Grimm set to work by endeavouring to identify himself with the spirit of Goethe. He put himself the question: Goethe being what he was, how would he have conceived the Nausicaa of the Odyssey? Then, with a certain disregard of the historical records, he reconstructed the poem in the sense of Goethe's ideas.

Scherer, however, with a mania for documentary evidence in black and white, asserted that Goethe's Nausicaa could not be reconstructed except on the basis of existing material. He, too, attempted to reconstruct a Nausicaa, but keeping strictly to Goethe's notes. To this Herman Grimm remarked: ‘Suppose Goethe's valet took some of the notes (perhaps the most important) to light the fire! Is there any guarantee that the available notes are of any value whatever, when compared with the others which perhaps served to light the fire?’

As in this case, so it may be with all history that is based on documental evidence. When we pin our faith to documents we must never forget that precisely the most important of these may have perished. In fact we have in ‘history’ neither more nor less than a fable convenue. When the facts shown by the Akashic records differ widely from conventional history, the seer finds it difficult to believe in the Akashic picture. And he would be immediately attacked by the public if his relation of any fact from the Akashic records differed from accepted history. Hence the experienced in such matters are happiest to speak of ancient times — of long past phases of our earth's evolution, of which there are no tradition or documents extant. Here experience of the Akashic records, being least hampered by exoteric history, is most true. It follows therefore that no one familiar with such things could ever conceive that the Akashic records were merely an echo of the facts related by conventional history.


also in the preface of Outline for Esoteric Science, explanations are added about the challenge to formulate and present results from clairvoyant research

quote A

In the preface to the first edition, reprinted in this book, it will be noted how strongly responsible I felt toward natural science in all that I wrote at that time about the science of the spirit.

What reveals itself to spiritual perception as the world of spirit cannot, however, be presented in such thoughts alone. For this revelation does not fit into a mere thought content. He who has experienced the nature of such revelation knows that the thoughts of ordinary consciousness are only suited to express what is perceived by the senses, not what is seen by the spirit.

The content of what is spiritually perceived can only be reproduced in pictures (imaginations) through which inspirations speak, which have their origin in spiritual entity intuitively perceived.

But he who describes imaginations from the world of spirit cannot at present merely present these imaginations. For in doing so he would be presenting something that would stand as quite a different content of consciousness alongside the content of knowledge of our age, without any relationship whatsoever to it. He has to fill modern consciousness with what can be recognized by another consciousness that perceives the world of spirit. His presentation will then have this world of spirit as content, but this content will appear in the form of thoughts into which it flows. Through this it will be completely comprehensible to ordinary consciousness, which thinks in terms of the present day but does not yet behold the world of spirit.

quote B: is about the 'translating' or better 'formulating' the experience into words, language, finding terminology. Steiner writes in the last update of the preface on 1925-01-10

Objections have repeatedly been made to my perceptions of the spiritual world by maintaining that they are transformed reproductions of what, in the course of the ages, has appeared in human thought about the spirit world. It is said that I had read this or that, absorbed what I read into the unconscious, and then presented it in the belief that it originated in my own perception. I am said to have gained my expositions from the teachings of the Gnostics, from the poetic records of ancient oriental wisdom, and so on.

These objections are superficial.

My knowledge of things of the spirit is a direct result of my own perception, and I am fully conscious of this fact. In all details and in the larger surveys I had always examined myself carefully as to whether every step I took in the progress of my perception was accompanied by a fully awake consciousness. Just as the mathematician advances from thought to thought without the unconscious or autosuggestion playing a role, so — I told myself — spiritual perception must advance from objective imagination to objective imagination without anything living in the soul but the spiritual content of clear, discerning consciousness.

The knowledge that an imagination is not a mere subjective picture, but a representation in picture form of an objective spiritual content is attained by means of healthy inner experience. This is achieved in a psycho-spiritual way, just as in the realm of sense-perception one is able with a healthy organism to distinguish properly between mere imaginings and objective perceptions. Thus the results of my perception stood before me. They were, at the outset, 'perceptions' without names. Were I to communicate them, I needed verbal designations. I then sought later for such designations in older descriptions of the spiritual in order to be able to express in words what was still wordless. I employed these verbal designations freely, so that in my use of them scarcely one coincides with its ancient meaning.

I sought, however, for such a possibility of expression in every case only after the content had arisen in my own perception.

I knew how to exclude what had been previously read from my own perceptive research by means of the state of consciousness that I have just described.

quote C: the above concern was already in 1913-06 in the preface to the fourth edition (SWCC)

The author does not accentuate this from lack of modesty, because he feels only too clearly how little even the new edition corresponds to what it really ought to be as an 'outline of a supersensible world conception'. In preparing this new edition, the whole subject matter has been re-studied and re-worked with considerable amplification at important points. Clarification was also striven for. Nevertheless, in numerous places the author became conscious of how inadequate the means of presentation available to him prove to be in comparison with what supersensible research shows. Hence, scarcely more than a way could be indicated for acquiring the concepts that in this book are given for the Old Saturn, Old Sun, and Old Moon stages. An important point of view, also in this domain, has been briefly treated anew in this edition. But the experiences in regard to such things diverge so greatly from all the experiences in the domain of the senses that the exposition must of necessity struggle continually for expressions that appear sufficiently adequate for the purpose. Anyone who is willing to go into the exposition attempted here will perhaps notice that much that is impossible to say in dry words is striven for by the manner of the description.

quote D is from Part 1

Here we only wish to indicate that for spiritual research the facts even of the remote past have not disappeared. When a being reaches corporeal existence, the substance of his body disappears with his physical death. The spiritual forces that have expelled these corporeal elements from themselves do not “disappear” in the same way. They leave their impressions, their exact counterparts, behind in the spiritual foundations of the world, and he who, penetrating the visible world, is able to lift his perception into the invisible, is finally able to have before him something that might be compared with a mighty spiritual panorama, in which all past world-processes are recorded.

These imperishable impressions of all that is spiritual may be called the “Akashic Record,” thus designating as the Akashic essence the spiritually permanent element in universal occurrences, in contradistinction to the transient forms of these occurrences. It must be repeated, once more, that research in the supersensible realms of existence can only be carried on with the help of spiritual perception, that is, in the realm with which we are now dealing, only by reading the above-mentioned “Akashic Record.” Yet what has already been said in earlier parts of this work in a similar connection applies here also.

Supersensible facts can be investigated only by means of supersensible perception; if, however, they have been investigated and are communicated through the science of the supersensible, they may then be comprehended by ordinary thinking, provided this thinking is really unprejudiced....

In the following pages, information concerning the evolution of the earth will be imparted from the standpoint of supersensible cognition. The transformations of our planet will be traced down to the condition of life in which we find it today. If a person observes what he has actually before him in pure sense-perception, and then grasps what supersensible cognition has to say in regard to the way in which what exists at the present time has been evolving since time immemorial, he is then able to say, if he really thinks impartially: in the first place, the information imparted by this form of cognition is thoroughly logical; in the second place, I can understand that things have become what they now are, if I admit the truth of what has been communicated through supersensible research. Naturally, when we speak of logic in this connection, we do not infer thereby that it is impossible for errors in logic to be contained in some presentation of supersensible research. We shall here speak of logic only as that word is used in the ordinary life of the physical world. Just as logical presentation is demanded in the physical world, even though the individual person presenting a range of facts may fall into logical error, so it is also the case in supersensible research.

It may even happen that a researcher who has the power of perception in supersensible realms may fall into error in his logical presentation, and that someone who has no supersensible perception, but who has the capacity for sound thinking, may correct him. Essentially, however, there can be no objection to the logic employed in supersensible research. Moreover, it should be quite unnecessary to emphasize the fact that nothing can be charged against the facts themselves on purely logical grounds. Just as in the realm of the physical world it is never possible to prove logically the existence of a whale except by seeing one, so also the supersensible facts can be known only by means of spiritual perception.

It cannot, however, be sufficiently emphasized that it is necessary for the observer of supersensible realms first to acquire a view by means of the above-mentioned logic, before he tries to approach the spiritual world through his own perception. He must also recognize how comprehensible the manifest world of the senses appears when it is assumed that the communications of spiritual science are correct. All experience in the supersensible world remains an insecure, even dangerous, groping, if the above-mentioned preparatory path is ignored. Therefore in this work the supersensible facts of earth evolution are first communicated, before the path to supersensible knowledge itself is dealt with.


contains 'reading in the akasha chronicle' in the lecture title

Memory, like thinking, is a faculty of the soul. The character of thinking changes when from being thinking of the head it becomes, at a higher spiritual level, thinking of the heart. What is there to be said of memory? In the normal consciousness of everyday life we find that memory works in the following way. Man has consciousness of what is around him in the immediate present. He sees the things around him, makes his observations, forms his ideas, and can incorporate all this in his consciousness. Then he proceeds from what his soul can experience in the present to something it experienced in the past. Through memory, Man passes out of the present into the past. When he recalls something he experienced yesterday, he is looking backwards in time. Therewith he surveys something that was once in his environment but is so no longer. Anyone who studies memory from this point of view realises that just as our consciousness of the present is connected with the space immediately around us, this memory, this extension of consciousness over the past, is connected with time. For a genuine seeker, however, the nature of this particular activity of consciousness changes completely.

Obviously there is no need for the spiritual investigator to apply his higher faculties at every moment of ordinary life; he possesses these faculties but puts them into operation only when he wishes to carry out research in the higher worlds. When he does this, head-thinking becomes heart-thinking and his ordinary memory changes into a different form of soul-activity. But for the experiences of everyday life there is no need for him to be constantly passing into his higher states of consciousness, no need to be continually using and giving evidence of the faculties of soul that have been described. When he returns to the everyday world he has a memory and a faculty of thinking just like those of anyone else. It is therefore the capacity to transpose himself from the normal into a supernormal state of consciousness that the pupil must possess. This should always be kept in mind.

Now whenever the pupil is in the state of consciousness in which he is investigating the spiritual world through a faculty analogous to that of ordinary memory, what he observes in that world presents itself not in time, but spatially. Memory is completely transformed. Whereas ordinary memory looks back in time in order to recall events of yesterday, when progress in spiritual knowledge has been made the investigator experiences the past as if, standing here, he were looking through the door into the adjacent area. He looks at something that is separated as if by space, as if yesterday's events are separated spatially from those of today. We can therefore say that for the spiritual investigator the events which usually appear to memory one after another in time, now present themselves beside one another (in the spatial sense), and he must as it were move from one event to another, pass from one entity to another.

On thinking over this carefully, you will see that this statement is entirely in accordance with what has previously been said, namely that in the spiritual world we must become one with the beings there. We must not go back along the line of time, for time is transformed into a kind of space; we must pass along this line as if it were a line in space in order to be able to unite with the beings. For the soul-faculty of memory, Time changes into Space as soon as we enter the spiritual world.

Memory has become an essentially new faculty. We see something belonging to the past as though it were still there in the immediate present; the length of time that has elapsed is estimated according to the distance. The past presents itself to the pupil as something placed side by side in space. When this form of memory has been attained, it is actually a reading of events that have remained. This is reading in the Akasha Chronicle; it is a world in which Time has become Space. Just as our own world is known as the physical, so the world in which Time has become Space can be termed the Akasha World. This alters the whole attitude of the true mystic, for what in everyday life is called Time, no longer exists in this form in the higher world.


[Indian cultural age]

They awoke to I-consciousness when their souls had already reached a very high stage of development. The most advanced among them were able, after a brief development, to read again in the Akashic Record all that had formerly taken place in the evolution of humanity, so that they gazed out into their spiritual environment, into the cosmos, and could read in the Akashic Record what was taking place in the spiritual world and what they had undergone in a dim twilight state of consciousness.

[Greek cultural age]

When we have grasped this, we realize that Greek mythology was built up from conscious memories. The Egyptians and Chaldeans had only a dim recollection of the activity of the Angels and Archangels, but they were able to perceive the world of Primal Forces. It seemed as if they were beginning to lose the memory of Angelic beings. Persian mythology, on the other hand, had completely forgotten the world of the Angels or Archangels, but at the same time men were able to look into the world of the Powers or Spirits of Form. That which is to be found in Greek mythology had been forgotten by the Persians and totally forgotten by the Indians. When they looked into the Akashic Record they perceived again the entire sequence of events of the earlier epochs and created pictures of the earlier events out of their knowledge which however was divine knowledge which they owed to more highly developed spiritual powers. This also helps to explain the great difficulty which the peoples of the East experienced in understanding the spiritual life of the West and that superior attitude which they adopted towards the spiritual life of the West. They arc prepared to accept the materialistic civilization of the West, but the spiritual culture of the West — unless they come to it indirectly through Spiritual Science — remains more or less closed to them.


is taken from the Genesis cycle and positions research of ancient biblical records, showing they too are in pictorial language because they were based on clairvoyant experience

Thus, when we go deeply into these things, we see that there is full agreement between the biblical account of the creation and what we can establish through Spiritual or Occult Science. This leads us to ask why the Bible account is in a more or less pictorial form.

What do these pictures represent?

And then we realise that they too are the result of clairvoyant experience. Just as today the eye of the seer gazes in the super-sensible upon the origin of our earth existence, so too did those who originally composed the Bible story gaze upon the super-sensible. It was by clairvoyant experience that the facts originally given to us were acquired. When we set to work to construct prehistory from the point of view of purely physical observation, we start from the traces of it which are extant and discoverable by external means, and the farther back we go in physical life and physical origins the more hazy the physical forms become. But in this misty element spiritual beings hold sway. And Man himself in his spiritual part was originally within them. And if we pursue our study of its origin as far back as the times described in Genesis, we come to the original spiritual condition of our earth itself. The “days” of creation refer to spiritual stages of development, only to be grasped by spiritual investigation. What the Bible is telling us is that the physical is little by little formed out of the spiritual.

When the seer gazes upon the facts which are described for us in Genesis, he fords to begin with only spiritual processes. The physical eye would see absolutely nothing; it would gaze into a void. But, as we have seen, time goes on.

Little by little for the seer the solid crystallises out of the spiritual, just as ice is formed out of water and solidifies. Out of the flowing sea of the astral, of the spirit world, emerges what can now be seen by the physical eye. Thus, as clairvoyant observation proceeds, within the picture which to begin with has to be understood as purely spiritual, the physical emerges like a crystallisation.

It follows that at an earlier time physical eyes would not have been able to discover the human being. Right up to the sixth and seventh “days” of creation, that is, right up to our Lemurian age, Man could not have been seen by the physical eye; at that time he only existed spiritually. That is the great difference between a true theory of evolution and a fancy one. The fancy one assumes only a physical process of development. But Man did not originate by lower beings evolving to human stature. It is utterly absurd to imagine that an animal form can be transformed into the higher, human form. During the time when the animal forms came into being, forming their physical bodies below, man had already long been in existence, but it is only later that he descends and takes his place beside the animal natures which had descended much earlier. Anyone who cannot look upon evolution in this way is beyond help; he is hypnotised as it were by modern concepts, he is influenced, not by natural scientific facts, but by contemporary opinion.


I should like to emphasise once more that it has not been so very easy for me to give this particular course; nor will any of my hearers readily realise how difficult it is to reach the depths upon which the Bible story is based, how hard it is to find the true parallel between already ascertained spiritual scientific facts and the corresponding passages in the Bible. If one works conscientiously, the task is an extraordinarily exacting one. It is so often assumed that the eye of the seer reaches with ease everywhere — that one has only to look, and everything follows of itself. An inexperienced person often thinks, when confronted with a problem, that he will easily be able to solve it, whereas the further he probes the more numerous are the difficulties which present themselves. This is so even in ordinary, external research, and when one leaves the physical and plunges into clairvoyant investigation, then the real difficulties begin to show themselves, and with them the feeling of the great responsibility incurred in speaking of these things at all. Nevertheless I think I may say that I have not made use of a single word in the whole of this Cycle which cannot stand, which is not as far as it goes an adequate expression in our own language of the right way to conceive these things. But it was certainly not easy.

1910-10-17-GA124 quote A - about research into what is also in the gospels

These studies of the Christ-problem did not consist merely in giving explanations of the Gospels. We spoke most fully, most radically, of what spiritual science had to say concerning the events that took place in Palestine. It has to be explained that there are no external, historical records dealing with these events. What is of the deepest importance in the accounts of the event of Christ is not found in any book or record, but it stands in the eternal spiritual records, and can be deciphered by clairvoyant consciousness in the Akashic Chronicle. We have often made known to you what has been revealed to us there. Our position towards the Gospels is this: we make known what spiritual investigation tells us, and then we compare this with the events related in the Gospels or in other parts of the New Testament. In every case we found that we first learnt to read these documents aright, because before reading them we had penetrated to the secrets connected with the events of Palestine; that it is precisely because we had investigated these events without having been prejudiced through having previously read any records concerning them, that our appreciation, I may say our reverence, for them was so greatly enhanced.

quote B - the importance of communication and taking in spiritual science before own clairvoyance

Among the many necessities of this path, one is always specially mentioned here: that he who decides to follow this path must, in the first place, accept seriously what spiritual investigation has so far been able to offer concerning the secrets and facts of the spiritual world.

We touch here on a very necessary chapter of our spiritual-scientific life. How many say light-heartedly: “People speak here of a science that is unascertainable, of spiritual facts that one or another investigator, one or another initiate, has been able to elucidate or investigate. Would it not be much better if they simply showed us the way so that we might ourselves quickly enter that region from which one can see into the spiritual world? Why do they always say — ‘This is how it looks, this is what one or another has seen!’ Why do they not tell us how we can attain this quickly for ourselves?”

It is for very good reasons that the facts investigated concerning the spiritual world are first communicated in a general way before entering into what one might call 'the methods of soul-training' which can lead the soul into spiritual regions. For something quite definite is gained by our applying ourselves reverently to the study of what the spiritual investigator has revealed from spiritual worlds. We have often said that the facts of the spiritual world must be sought and found by means of clairvoyant consciousness; but once these facts are discovered, once trained clairvoyance has observed them and communicated them to others, then these communications must be such that everyone, without having passed through any clairvoyant development, can test them, and can recognise the truth of them by his own unprejudiced logic and the feeling for truth that is in every soul. No true investigator of spiritual things, no Man endowed with true clairvoyant consciousness, would communicate the facts of the spiritual world except in such a way that those who desired could test them without clairvoyance.

But he would have to communicate these facts so that he conveyed the full value and importance of them to the human soul.

What value have the communications and presentations of spiritual facts to a human soul?

The value is this; that the man who knows 'how things are seen in the spiritual world' can order his life, his thoughts, feelings, and perceptions according to his relationship towards the spiritual world. In this sense every communication of spiritual facts is important, even if he to whom they are communicated, and who receives them, cannot himself investigate them clairvoyantly. Indeed, even for the investigator these facts first acquire 'human worth' when he has brought them down into a sphere where he can express them in a form accessible to all. However much a clairvoyant may be able to investigate and see in the spiritual world, what he sees is of no value to him and to others so long as he is unable to bring it down into the ordinary sphere of men, and to express it in thought that can be grasped by sound logic and a natural feeling for truth. The clairvoyant must in fact first understand the matter himself if it is to be of any use to him. Its value begins where the possibility of logical proof begins.

[After death]

We can prove what has just been said in a double way. Among the many valuable things connected with the spiritual truths and spiritual communications which a Man can receive on the physical plane between birth and death, those without doubt are the most important which he can take with him through the gates of death. Or let us put it as a question in this way: “How much remains to a Man of all he has received here, and been able to make his own? What remains of all he has learnt concerning the spiritual world while leading an anthroposophical life?”

Just as much remains to him as he has been able to understand, as he has been able to translate into the ordinary language of human consciousness.

Picture to yourselves a Man who has perhaps made quite exceptional discoveries in the spiritual world through purely clairvoyant observation, but who has neglected to clothe these observations in language suited to the ordinary sense of truth of any age. Do you know what would happen to him? All his discoveries would be wiped out after death! Just as much of value would remain as it was possible for him to translate or formulate into any language that corresponded to a sound sense for truth.

It is certainly of the greatest importance that there should be clairvoyants capable of bringing over communications from the spiritual world and handing them on to others. This brings blessing to our day, for our age has need of wisdom and cannot advance unless it gets it. Such communications are necessary to the culture of the present time. If not recognised today, in fifty or a hundred years it will be the universal conviction of all mankind that culture cannot advance but must perish unless convinced of spiritual wisdom.

One thing is necessary for Man if evolution is to advance, this is the acceptance by him of spiritual truth. Even if all spheres were conquered and intercourse with them established, humanity would still be faced with the death of civilisation if no spiritual wisdom had been acquired. This is undoubtedly true. The possibility of looking into the spiritual world must exist.

The facts of spiritual wisdom mean more to the individual after death than human progress upon earth. We must therefore ask in order to form a right conception of this:

What has the clairvoyant to tell of the things he has investigated and brought into line with truth and sound logic?

What more in the way of fruits does a Man possess after death through having been able to look into the spiritual world, than those have whose karma in this incarnation makes it impossible for them to do so, and who therefore have to hear the results of spiritual research from others? How do spiritual truths perceived by an initiate differ from those heard by a Man who has only heard them, and not himself looked into the spiritual world? Does the Initiate understand them better than those to whom they have only been imparted?

As regards mankind in general, perception of the spiritual world is of higher worth than non-perception. For one who is able to look into the spiritual world has intercourse with that world, he can teach not only men, but others, spiritual beings, and so further their development. Clairvoyant consciousness has therefore a quite special value, but for individuals knowledge only has value; and in respect of individual worth the clairvoyant does not differ from anyone else who only receives communications, and is himself unable to look into the spiritual world in any particular incarnation. Whatever we have received of spiritual truth is fruitful after death, no matter if we have beheld these truths ourselves or not.

In stating this, one of the greatest moral laws of the spiritual world and one most worthy of reverence is placed before our souls. Our present day morality is perhaps not fine enough fully to understand the ethics of this. Individuals gain no advantage through their karma having made it possible for them to look into spiritual worlds, thereby gratifying their egoism, Everything we strive to gain for ourselves in our individual life must he gained on the physical plane, and in forms that accord with the physical plane. If a Buddha or a Bodhisattva stands higher among the hierarchies of the spiritual world than other human individuals this is because of his having passed through so many and varied incarnations an Earth.

What I mean by the higher ethics, the higher moral teaching given out to us from the spiritual world is this: No one should think for a moment that he gains an advantage over his fellow men through the development of clairvoyance. This is not at all the case. He gains no advantage in any egoistic sense. All that he gains is that he can be better than others. Anything that serves egoism is absolutely excluded from spiritual fields, it is held to be immoral. A Man gains nothing for himself through spiritual illumination. What he gains is only as one who serves the world in general, not himself, and only in so far as he gains it also for others.

The position of the spiritual investigator with regard to his fellowmen is this: If they wish to hear of of the discoveries he has made and to accept them, they can make the same progress through these discoveries as he has made himself, they can advance individually as far as he has advanced, which means: spiritual things are of value only in the spirit of humanity as a whole, not in any egoistic spirit.


describes a concrete scene from the Atlantean epoch

The following instance is taken from the Akashic Records: A man drew near a hut, which was arched in the ancient fashion and gave shelter and protection to a family. He noticed this, and expressed the protective arch by a consonant; and by a vowel he expressed the fact, which he was able to feel, that within the hut the embodied souls were comfortable. Thence arose the thought “shelter”; “there is a shelter for me — shelter for human bodies.” The thought was then poured forth in consonants and vowels, which could not be otherwise than they were, because they were a direct impression of experience and had but one meaning. This was the same all over the earth. It is no dream that there was once an original human root-language. And, in a certain sense, the initiates of all nations are still able to feel that language. Indeed there are in all languages certain similar sounds which are the remains of that universal language.


talks about the importance of a new revision of the Gospels, corrected through reading the Akashic Record.

This fact is the cause of something else connected with the necessity of interpreting the Gospels as we do today in our Movement. If you have followed the explanations of the Gospels given here, you will have noticed that the traditional books of the Gospels are not, in the first place, taken as the basis, for what they say is regarded as something altogether unreliable. Instead, through the reading of the Akashic record, we are taken back to the spiritual writing as it is given out by those who can themselves read spiritually. Only when explanatory reference is made to some passage do we take into account the sentence as it stands in the printed books. We then examine whether, or how far, it agrees with the form that can be recovered from the Akashic record. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke must be reconstructed in this way from the Akashic record. Only a comparison of the tradition with the original form can show how this or that passage must be read. Every tradition which rests only upon the printed text is bound to go astray and to fall into error. In the future the Gospels must be not only explained, but first reconstructed in their true original form. Then, when anyone examines what is there set forth, he will no longer be able to say that this may or may not be true, for where agreement is shown it will be clear why for us it is only the reading in the Akashic record which can guarantee the right text of the Gospels. And then the Gospels will again be evidence for the correctness of what stands written there.

This can be shown in numberless passages. As an example let us take the following:

When at the condemnation of Christ Jesus He was asked whether He was a king sent from God, He replied: ‘Thou sayest it!’ Now anyone who thinks straightforwardly, and does not wish to explain the Gospels according to the professorial methods of the present day, must admit that with this answer of Christ Jesus no clear sense can be connected in terms either of feeling or of reason. From the side of feeling, we must ask why Christ Jesus speaks so indefinitely that no one can recognise what He means by saying ‘Thou sayest it’. If He means ‘Thou art right’, there is no meaning in it, for the words of the interrogator are not a declaration but a question.

How then can this be an answer full of meaning? Or, from the side of reason, how can we think that He whom we imagine to be possessed of all-comprehending wisdom should choose such a form for His answer?

When, however, these words are given as they stand in the Akashic record, they have quite another sense. For in the Akashic record it is not ‘Thou sayest it’, but, ‘This, thou alone mayest give as answer’, which means, when we understand it rightly,

‘To thy question I should have to give an answer that no one may ever give with reference to himself: it can be given only by someone who stands opposite him. Whether the answer is true or not true, of that I cannot speak; the acknowledgement of this truth lies not with me but with thee. Thou must say it; then and then only would it have a meaning.’

Now you may say: ‘That may be true or may not be true.’ As an abstract judgment that would certainly be correct. But if we look at the whole scene and ask ourselves, ‘Can we understand it better when we take the version from the Akashic record?’, it will be apparent to everyone that this scene can be understood only in this way. We can say, too, that the last transcriber or translator of this passage did not understand it, because of its difficulty, and so wrote down something inaccurate. Anyone who knows how many things in the world are inexactly written down will not be surprised that here we have to do with an inaccurate version.

Have we then no right, when a new epoch of humanity is beginning, to lead the Gospels back to their original form, which can be authenticated from the Akashic record? The whole thing comes out clearly — and this can be shown even from external history — if we consider in this connection the Matthew Gospel. The best that has been said about the origin of the Matthew Gospel may be read in the third volume of Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine, a work which must be understood if we are to judge and value it correctly.


The old form of the Gospels will first receive its true value through our learning to read the Gospels with the aid of the Akashic record; through this alone will their full value be restored. In particular, the true significance of the Event of Golgotha can be fully demonstrated only by occult research.


If it be asked, whence arise all the accounts given here, we know that they arise from the so-called entries in the Akashic Record. We know that what has once taken place in the course of the world's evolution is in a sense to be read as though registered in a delicate spiritual substance, the Akashic substance. There is a register there of everything that has taken place, by which we can discover how things once were. Now it is natural that just as the ordinary vision, contemplating anything of our physical world, sees the details of objects in its vicinity more or less clearly, and that the further away they are the less clear do they appear, so we may also admit that those things that are near us in time, belonging to the Earth or the Moon evolutions can be more minutely observed; while on the other hand those further removed from us in time take on more or less indistinct outlines — as for instance when we look back clairvoyantly into the Old Saturn or Old Sun stage.


In reality, therefore, the world does not yet possess the Gospels in their true form. There is every reason and justification then for spiritual research today, in shedding new light upon the Gospels, to go back to the Akashic Record, because there and there only are they to be found in their original form.


this lecture relates contents wise to 1912-11-21-GA062

It is certainly necessary in every sphere of thought and life to learn to know, in addition to the characteristics of truth, also those of the sources of error; for, without doubt, through a knowledge of error, it is possible for us to guard ourselves from the hindrances which meet the seeker for truth in these sources.

In contrast to other spheres of scientific investigation, it is especially in the sphere of spiritual investigation that error lurks in every nook and corner, where it is not even easy to recognise. ... External science employs external instruments, the spiritual investigator, however, employs as means of investigation, what he can develop out of the cognitive forces slumbering in the human soul, in order to penetrate therewith into the super-sensible worlds. In this way the soul first comes to Imaginative cognition, and here already an error lurks, as soon as the soul, feeling herself capable of letting Imaginations arise out of her depths, believes she may grasp this world of Images objectively — as if they were existing outside of herself. Self education must proceed to overcome this error with strong, inner power of WILL and regard these Imaginations merely as mirror-images, shadow-pictures of ones own soul forces, which the soul produces solely out of herself, when she works on herself in the way indicated. The spiritual investigator concerned must exclude this error, and lead back this imaginative world arising, into his own soul again, in order thereby, later on, to find objective super-sensible Beings, standing before him.


[section on mediums]


[truth and perspectives]

I should like to draw attention to one thing, well known to those who occupy themselves with these things with earnest intent. If the medium is placed in this damped down condition, then in the first place one gets in his revelations super-sensible cosmic laws. If now, beings of the super-sensible world are to manifest, then they must take possession of the somnambulistic-mediumistic person, and one must as it were look through him into the spiritual being, in order to recognise the latter. Imaginative cognition is the complete opposite of what has been described. The comparison has been attempted in this outline to-day in order to point to what spiritual science has to say on the somnambulistic-mediumistic nature. It is not its task to cultivate this side of investigation, but the pronouncements of spiritual science should proceed from what the soul as an instrument can cognize in the surrounding spiritual world in clear distinction to visions, hallucinations, and illusory ideas, of all kinds.

Let us now ask: Do not errors lurk for the spiritual investigator?

Even before entry into the spiritual world one can have an idea as to how errors can arise. We find in life monism, materialism, positivism, idealism, spiritism, etc, and whoever is not a fanatic in one such philosophical standpoint, can heed each advocate of such streams of thought, whether materialism or spiritualism, objectively, with its logically produced foundations. One may be convinced to a certain degree by what is brought forward in reasonable fashion without making himself a partisan of the philosophy in question. Thus one can produce much that is reasonable and convincing for all standpoints and one will agree with what is thus brought forward really positively.

... One might conceive then that the truth lies between two opposite opinions, yet this is like sitting between two chairs, instead of on one! Goethe says: “Truth does not lie between two opposite opinions, but this problem — the task which can lead to her.” This is often the case even in the physical-sensible world, and this fact can work shatteringly on entry to the super-sensible world on one who is able to take such knowledge earnestly.

One describes something, e.g. from one standpoint, but this could occur just as well from another standpoint. This can lead to a kind of uncertainty regarding truth, but also to an investigation as to the origin of this difference in human standpoints. If one e.g. has not utterly fallen to materialism, but has preserved for himself the freedom of looking away from his own standpoint, and asking: — how has my soul then, formed itself in life? and no more regards the material than the spiritual side — then in this attitude, one recognises something dependent on the individuality, and comes to see how the whole course of life has led one to judge in the accepted way. Thereby one is just towards another standpoint, recognises its worth, and attempts to see how another soul has come to regard things from another side.


Each one however can be a critic of its investigations, if sufficiently prepared, can follow with understanding, and comprehend its results, without applying its methods to himself, the method which led to these results. Also each person can fully understand the pronouncements of the spiritual investigator, and impart them further. The spheres of spiritual science are of such a nature that the seer cannot coldly face materialistic things; in addition, the followers of the investigator always meet him with definite sympathies and antipathies. This comes strongly into consideration, in the handling on of its communications. Souls often yearn for its information, but are as often as lazy in applying expressly a right meaning and understanding to them, thereby meeting the investigator in the necessary critical mood. Then belief appears in place of objective examination, and takes what is said on authority, until finally a kind of deceptive Authority develops. If the spiritual investigator must always be watchful of himself in his activity, then the listeners also should hold themselves awake, constantly exercising a self-examination, lest they receive the assertions of the spiritual investigator with belief, prejudice, and deluded authority. A suspicious source of error arises if the follower does not school his power of judgment, and instead of these troublesome intellectual efforts, comfortably accepts everything on belief in authority. If the investigator communicates important things, he will easily be able to exercise a harmful influence on his followers, unless above all things he attempts to appeal to their insight. Otherwise, their ordinary healthy human understanding is overpowered and ruined. Whereas the insight of the hearers should be strengthened, the investigator is then easily tempted not to awaken this, but merely to evoke belief. The ideal condition on the contrary would be when the followers make it as difficult as possible for the investigator, laying on him the highest demands, when he imprints the knowledge of spiritual science in the concepts and ideas of the healthy human understanding, thereby making it impossible for any charlatans to appear by his side, as a conscientious and sincere spiritual investigator. For this it is necessary that the listeners carefully hold watch over themselves sharpening more and more their insight and their healthy human understanding, so that they can distinguish the real investigator from the charlatan. The soul-mood of credible followers is not favourable in this and there hardly exists any other remedy here than the existence of conscientious investigators who disdain to procure for themselves a facile audience, and merely pursue the investigation of truth. Otherwise, listeners, lazy or lacking in judgment, throw everything together or else, if they cannot enter sufficiently unprejudiced into the knowledge, cannot distinguish between error and conscientiousness.

The faithful often hold the purest charlatanerai for pure truth, and the ignorant, spiritual insufficiencies for results of spiritual investigation. Thus it is necessary above all things for the followers to develop critical judgment instead of belief. This last will already fall away partially when the knowledge spreads that a seer who, as a practical spiritual investigator, can look into the spiritual world need not be any special human being for that reason, just as little as a chemist, botanist, or an artisan; for the worth of a man does not depend on the possession of the results of spiritual knowledge or powers of knowledge, but on his healthy human understanding and his moral qualities. The worth of a man can be decided intellectually and morally before he enters spiritual investigation and according to this is his spiritual knowledge. In this sphere, and in the conquest of false authority, each one must attempt the utmost possible.

Thus the attempt is made to show the possibility of error in the discovery and spreading of spiritual truths within a general spiritual civilisation, and to evoke a feeling, by which one can recognise the conscientious investigator. Many opponents are right in their objections but the true investigator can himself make these, in order to exclude some error. In all his efforts however he will have abundant confidence in which those things we have discussed to-day will also resound, that it is a question of the mood existing in the soul for the truth of the ideas transmitted, and above all, the trust that these truths, like those also in other spheres, have a strong force, so that the error which might creep in through false authority can be removed through the self correction of the truth. Belief in authority revenges itself, and a faithful believer, who has not thought out the details, sharply, has often reached the position of being forced to believe on coming to far more important points, and is, as it were, ruined, when a few difficulties present themselves. True and sincere spiritual science may be brought together with charlantaneric, and deception, either by mistake or malice, yet, as has been said, there still remains a confidence for the human soul which longs for truth, even if the truth of the spiritual investigation on its appearance is still more exposed to unkind fate than other scientific discoveries in human evolution.


[Possibility of a retrospect into the far past, a reading of the Akashic Record]

Now at this point something can happen — and usually does happen if the ascent has been undertaken according to the true rules of Initiation — which may be a protection from this despair, at first, though not permanently. Something like a remembrance may arise in the soul, or one might say a retrospect into far-off times of the past, a kind of reading in the Akashic Record about long-past happenings. And what is then experienced (one cannot characterise these things except by trying to clothe them in approximate words) might be put in the following way: “When as a modern Man you ascend into these higher worlds, you are met by forlorn-ness, despair. But pictures call up for you long-past happenings, showing you that in distant times men ascended into the worlds into which you now wish to rise. Yes, from these memory pictures you may well come to recognise that in earlier incarnations your own soul took part in what these men experienced when formerly they rose into the higher worlds.

It might even appear that the soul of a present-day Man, in contemplating these pictures, looks at experiences of his own, gone through in times long since past. Then in those remote ages this soul would have been an Initiate.

In other cases, the Man would know only that his soul had been connected with those who as Initiates had then risen into the higher worlds; but his soul now feels lonely and forsaken, whereas those once initiated souls did not feel lonely and forsaken in the same worlds, but experienced innermost bliss. He will recognise further that this was so because in those ancient times souls were differently constituted, and for this reason they experienced differently what they beheld in the higher worlds. What is it, then, that is really experienced ...


Just as it is of great significance in every realm of human endeavor and investigation to know not only the path of truth but also the sources of error, so it is especially the case in the realm dealt with by our lectures here, the realm of spiritual science, of spiritual investigation. In this realm one has to do not only with sources of error that can be eliminated to a certain extent through judgment and reasoning but with sources of error that accompany every step of the spiritual investigation of truth. One has to do with errors that must be not only refuted but overcome, conquered. Only by knowing them in such a way that one keeps, as it were, a spiritual eye on these experiences in their character as error will it be possible to guard oneself against them. It is not possible in relation to this realm to speak of individual truths or errors, but it is necessary to be clear through which activity of the soul, through which confusion of the soul, man can fall into untruth on the path of spiritual investigation.


The problem now is that at the starting point, that is, before the beginning of a spiritual training, the future spiritual investigator must be in possession of a sound power of judgment, a capacity for judgment proceeding from true conditions. ...

The other starting point that is of essential significance is the moral mood of soul. The moral ability, the moral force, is as important as sound logic and intelligence, for if unsound logic, if unsound intelligence, lead to faulty spiritual organs, so will a cowardly (schwachmuetig) or immoral mood at the beginning of the spiritual training lead one ascending into the spiritual world to a certain fogginess, a “stupor”, we could call it. ... By taking such elements along into the spiritual world, the spiritual investigator dims his higher consciousness.


These forces that he has developed in his soul life appear to him first in a mirror image. This is the reason that the materialistic thinker easily mistakes what appears in the soul life of the spiritual investigator for what can appear in the unhealthy soul life as illusions, visions, hallucinations, and the like. ... The unhealthy soul life, which beholds its own essence as in a mirror image, takes its own reflections for a real world and is not in a position to eliminate these reflections through inner choice. By comparison, in a true spiritual training it must be maintained that the spiritual investigator recognizes the first phenomena that appear as reflections of his own being; not only does he recognize them as such, but he is able to eliminate them, to extinguish them from his field of consciousness.

Just as the spiritual investigator is able through his exercises to intensify his soul forces so that a new world is conjured before him, so he must be able to extinguish this whole world in its first form; he must not only recognize it as a reflection of his own being but be able to extinguish it again. ... He must pass the test expressed in the words, “You are able to extinguish your image,” overcoming himself in this extinguishing; if the image returns, so that he can know his reality in a corresponding way, then only does he face reality and not his own imaginings (Einbildung). ...

What does this mean, however? It means nothing less than the need for an immensely strong force to overcome the sense of self, self-love.


Everything that the human being experiences on entering the spiritual world is designated ordinarily as the experience with the Guardian of the Threshold. .. This experience of our own self, of the intensified self of that inner being that otherwise never would come before our soul, is the soul-shaking event called the Meeting with the Guardian of the Threshold. Only by having this meeting will one acquire the faculty to differentiate truth from error in the spiritual world.



If one does not grasp this connection, one can carry up into the spiritual world something that is terribly widespread in ordinary life: the love of ease of thinking, the love of ease of feeling. Fear is closely akin to love of ease, to clinging to habit. Why is Man afraid of changing his situation? Because he loves his ease and comfort. This love of ease is closely related to fear. .. If Man carries fear into the spiritual world, already having developed to the point of acknowledging the spiritual world, then an error arises in a spiritual region, an error that is extraordinarily important to consider the leaning toward phenomenalism.

People who become subject to this leaning become, rather than spiritual investigators, “specterseers” (to express it crassly), those who see ghosts (Gespensterschauer); they become possessed by a leaning toward phenomenalism. This means that they want to see the spiritual world in the same way as the sense world is to be seen; they do not want to perceive spiritual facts, spiritual beings, but something similar to the beings that the sensory eye can behold. In short, instead of spirits they want to behold specters, ghosts. The error of spiritualism (this is not to say that all spiritualism is unjustified) consists of this leaning toward phenomenalism. Just as the ordinary, everyday materialist wants to see only matter everywhere and not the spirit behind matter, so does he who brings to the spiritual world the same soul condition that actually exists in materialism want to see everywhere only ghostlike, condensed spirits.

This is one dangerous extreme of error that can emerge. One must say that this tendency to carry the ordinary field of consciousness up into the super-sensible field of consciousness exists in the widest circles, even among those who fully recognize a “spiritual world” and want “proof” of a spiritual world. The error here, however, lies in considering a proof valid only if it takes place in the realm of phenomenalism; it lies in considering that everything should be like condensed ghosts.

... When, for example, with the help of a medium, something is brought to life as the thoughts of a deceased person, we are confronted only with what remains behind, as it were, of the deceased. We are not dealing with that which goes through the portal of death, which passes through the spiritual world and appears again in a new earthly life. ... The spiritual investigator knows, to be sure, that he is not confronting an unreality. ...


In the leaning toward phenomenalism we thus have the one extreme among the possibilities for error in spiritual investigation. The other extreme among the possibilities for error is ecstasy, and between phenomenalism and ecstasy, in knowing both, lies the truth, or at least truth can be reached if one knows both. ..

The other force of the soul, intensified through the exercises often described here is self-love, sense of self; self-love has as its polarity — one would like to say — the “getting out of oneself.” This “enjoying oneself in oneself” (pardon the expression; it is a radical choice but points exactly to what we are concerned with here) is only one side; the other side consists of “losing oneself in the world,” the surrender and dissolving and self-enjoyment in the other and the corresponding intensification of this self-seeking coming-out-of-one's self is ecstasy in its extreme. It is the cause of a condition in which man in a certain respect can say to himself that he has gotten free of himself. He has become free of himself, however, only by feeling the comfort of his own self in the being outside himself. If the one who knows the soul looks at the evolution of mysticism in the world, he finds that a large part of mysticism consists of the phenomena just characterized. As great, as powerful in soul experiences, as deep and significant as mysticism can be, the possibilities of error in ecstasy are actually rooted in a false cultivation of the mystical faculty of the human being. When man strives always to enter more and more into himself, when he strives through this for what is called the deepening of his soul life, strives, as he says, to find “God in himself” this God that man finds in his inner being is usually nothing other than his own I or ego made into God. With many mystics we find, when they speak of the “God within,” nothing other than the God imprinted with their own egos. Mystical immersion in God is at times nothing but immersing oneself into one's own dear ego, especially into the parts of the ego into which one does not penetrate with full consciousness, so that one surrenders one's self, loses one's self, comes out of one's self, and yet remains only within one's self. Much that confronts us as mysticism shows that with false mystics love of God is often only disguised self-love.

The real spiritual investigator must guard himself on the one hand against carrying th


We thus see how the spiritual investigator always must avoid the two extremes that bring him to every possible source of error: phenomenalism on the one hand and ecstasy on the other. In order to avoid the sources of error, nothing will be more helpful than for the spiritual investigator to cultivate one particular mood of soul, through which he is in a position, when he places himself in the spiritual world, to exist in the spiritual world, to be able to observe calmly in that world. One cannot always remain in the spiritual world, however, so long as one is in the physical body; one must also live with the physical world; therefore this mood of soul that the spiritual investigator must cultivate allows him in the physical world to strive as much as possible to grasp the facts of life with common sense, without sentimentality and untruthfulness. It is necessary for the spiritual investigator, to a much higher degree than is ordinarily the case, to have a healthy sense for facts, a genuine feeling for truthfulness. All fanaticism, all inaccuracy, which make it so easy to skirt what is really there, are harmful for the spiritual investigator. One can see already in ordinary life, and it becomes clear immediately in the realm of spiritual training, that lie who lets himself indulge only the least bit in inaccuracy will notice that it is only a tiny step from inaccuracy to lies and untruthfulness. The spiritual investigator, therefore, must strive to feel himself obliged to hold firmly to the truth, to mix nothing with the unconditional truth that exists in ordinary life, for in the spiritual world such a mixing leads from error to error. In those circles wishing to have anything to do with spiritual investigation, the justified opinion should be spread that an outer, distinguishing characteristic of the true spiritual investigator must be his truthfulness; the moment the spiritual investigator demonstrates that he feels little obligation to test what he says, speaking rather of things he cannot know about the physical world, he becomes flawed as a spiritual investigator and no longer can merit a full trust. This is connected with the conditions for spiritual investigation itself.


The path goes between the two extremes. One must know the possibilities for error. Because they can appear with every step in spiritual life one must not only know them but overcome them. The revelations of spiritual investigation are not only results of investigation but also victories over error, victory by means of a way of looking that has been gained previously, victory over the sense of self and more. He who penetrates more deeply into what we have tried to describe only sketchily today will become aware that — even if everywhere where we embark on the investigation of spiritual life the possibilities for error can lurk frighteningly — we nevertheless must conquer error again and again. He will become aware that spiritual investigation not only satisfies an indomitable yearning for that which man needs for certainty in his life but that its goal must appear, to one who regards this movement with comprehension, as attainable to a sound human sense. To conclude what today's lecture was to offer on the level of feeling, I would like to say that in spite of all obstacles, in spite of all things that can stand in a hostile way on the path of spiritual investigation, those who penetrate with a sound sense into the results of spiritual scientific. investigation feel and sense that these results penetrate — through difficult hindrances of soul, through bewildering darknesses of spirit — to a solemn clarity, to a luminous truth.


more also on on Christ Module 15 - Study of Spiritual Science and the Mystery of Golgotha#1913-05-01-GA152 and Relationship between mineral and spiritual science

One of the finest, most highly attenuated substances within the reach of human faculties is called Akasha. The manifestations of beings and of phenomena in the Akasha are the most delicate and ethereal of any that are accessible to Man. What a Man acquires in the way of occult knowledge lives not only in his soul but is inscribed into the Akasha-substance of the world.

When we make a thought of spiritual science come alive in our souls, it is at once inscribed into the Akasha-substance and this is of significance for the general evolution of the world. For no being in the whole world other than Man is able to make in the Akasha-substance the inscriptions that can be called by the name of spiritual science.

It is important to bear in mind one characteristic feature of the Akasha-substance, namely that in the spiritual world between death and a new birth, Man lives in this substance, just as here on the Earth he lives in the atmosphere.

If a seer, using the means at his disposal, were to come into contact with human souls living between death and rebirth he would be able to observe the following.

In the present cycle of evolution (formerly it was different) a Man who here on the Earth is never able to kindle to life within him thoughts and ideas belonging to spiritual science, cannot be seen, even when he is actually present, by a soul living between death and a new birth. But when a Man living on the Earth causes a thought or an idea from the domain of spiritual science to quicken within him so that it can be inscribed into the Akasha-substance, he becomes visible to the souls who are living between death and rebirth. Profoundly shattering impressions may come to a seer who has prepared himself patiently for clairvoyant vision when he enters into relation with souls who have passed through the gate of death.


This is an indication of how anthroposophical teaching will bridge the gulf between the so-called living and the so-called dead; and already now we can see how human beings who have some understanding of the spiritual may be a blessing to the so-called dead by reading to them in thought the truths of Spiritual Science. If, either reading aloud or to ourselves, we follow in thought the ideas and concepts of Spiritual Science, at the same time feeling that one or more who have passed through death are there in front of us while we read, then this reading becomes very real to them, because such thoughts are inscribed into the Akasha-substance. Such reading may be of the greatest service, not only to those on the other side of death who while they were on earth concerned themselves with Spiritual Science, but also to those who during their earthly life would have nothing to do with it.

The question may be asked: As the dead are living in the spiritual world, do they need such reading of Spiritual Science by those on the earth? There are many who believe that it is only necessary to have passed through the gate of death in order to experience everything that can be attained only by dint of great effort on the earth, through Spiritual Science. Such people also believe that after death a man will be able to acquire all occult knowledge, because he will then be in the spiritual world. This, however, is not the case.

Just as here on the earth there live beings other than man, who perceive everything that man is able to perceive by means of his senses, whereas — as in the case of the animals — they are unable to form ideas or concepts of it, so it is with souls living in the super-sensible worlds. Although these souls see the beings and facts of the higher spiritual worlds, they can form no concepts or ideas of them if men here on the earth do not inscribe such concepts and ideas into the Akasha Chronicle.

This mission of human life upon earth is by no means without purpose; on the contrary it has very deep meaning and purpose. If human souls had never lived on the earth, the spiritual worlds would still be in existence but there would be no occult knowledge of these spiritual worlds. In the course of world-evolution the earth has reached a point at which spiritual knowledge can be developed by spiritual beings organised and constituted as men are on the earth. What has been inscribed into the Akasha-substance through Spiritual Science would never have been there if this science had not existed on the earth.

If a man tries to put the life of his soul on the earth to the test, he will discover in the first place that during our present age he has applied his faculties for the acquisition of knowledge to aims other than the attainment of spiritual knowledge. These faculties have been used for the acquisition of data of knowledge produced by means of the senses and through the intellect that is bound to the brain. Thus human knowledge is of two kinds: the one pertains only to experience acquired by means of the senses, which needs the organ of the intellect in order to transform it into knowledge; the other kind is Spiritual Science. The knowledge that belongs only to the sense-world forms the one stream; the other consists of what men inscribe through Spiritual Science into the Akasha Chronicle. For Spiritual Science develops ideas and concepts which are then inscribed forever in the Akasha Chronicle.

All science, all knowledge pertaining to experiences acquired through the senses, to technical things, to the commercial and industrial life of mankind, when inscribed in the Akasha-substance has this effect: the Akasha-substance discards it, thrusts it away, and the medley of ideas and concepts is obliterated. If these facts are perceived with the eyes of a seer, a conflict may be observed in the Akasha-substance between the impressions made by the occult knowledge acquired by man — impressions which are eternal — and those made by thoughts based upon the senses, which are only transitory. This conflict arises from the fact that when man first began to inhabit the earth as man (that is to say, in the ancient epoch of Lemuria), he was already then destined by sublime spiritual Beings to acquire Spiritual Science.

But through what we call the Luciferic influence, through the encroachment of Luciferic beings, man diverted his power of thought and other powers of soul which he would otherwise have used for the acquisition of occult knowledge only, to the study of things belonging exclusively to the physical world.


from the fifth gospel, contains this remarkable passage, after sharing the 'astonishing' research on the apostles consciousness around the MoG

I had to overcome a certain resistance to speak on this theme, the obligation for preparation in these our times outweighed the resistance. That led to my speaking to you for the first time about these things. When I say 'overcoming', please understand the word as it is meant. I explicitly request that what I have to say on this occasion be understood as a stimulation, as something which in the future will be explained much better and more precisely. And you will understand the word 'overcoming' better if you allow me to make a personal remark.

It is completely clear to me that for the spiritual investigation to which I have devoted myself, it is at first extremely difficult to extract many things from the Script of the World – especially things of this nature! And I would not be surprised if the word 'indication', which I used, may have a more difficult and broader meaning than it normally has. I can not at all say that I am able today to say precisely what is in the Spiritual Script.

For it is very difficult and takes much effort to extract images from the Akasha Record which have to with Christianity. It takes much effort to give these images the necessary condensation, to hold them fast, and I consider it my karma that my duty is to say what I am saying. Without doubt it would cost me less effort if in my early youth I had received a real Christian upbringing. I did not have that; I was brought up in a completely free cultural environment. My education was purely scientific. And for that reason it costs me effort to find these things about which I am obligated to speak.


I believe that the scene I am about to describe is essentially correct. But it is very difficult to observe such things in the Akasha Record. Therefore I would like to explicitly state that one or another detail may eventually be modified, but that the essential is there. The temptation scene appears in several Gospels, which describe it from different sides. I have often emphasized this. I have taken pains to investigate this temptation scene and would like to relate how it really was.


is an example where Rudolf Steiner is very open about the limit of his research, and this point is repeated 1913-12-08-GA148. Another example of such is tracing back the Individuality of Napoleon, where he explained the same.

Nun kam er bei dieser Wanderung auch in heidnische Gegenden, sagte ich, und in einer heidnischen Gegend machte er nun eine ganz besondere Erfahrung. Diese Erfahrung macht beim Akasha-Chronik-mäßigen Hinblick auf diese Stelle der Menschheitsentwickelung einen ganz besonders tiefen Eindruck. Er kam in eine heidnische Gegend. Ich bemerke an dieser Stelle ausdrücklich: Wenn Sie mich fragen, wo das war, wo er da hinkam, so muß ich Ihnen heute noch sagen: Das weiß ich nicht. Vielleicht werden spätere Erforschungen ergeben, wo das war, aber den geographischen Ort aufzufinden ist mir noch nicht gelungen.


Und da kam er eines Tages in einen Ort, der besonders unter dem Verfall der alten heidnischen Kultstätten, der alten heidnischen Priesterschaft gelitten hatte. Die heidnischen Kultstätten waren ja ein äußerer Abdruck dessen, was da oder dort in den Mysterien gepflegt worden war. Die Zeremonien in den Kultstätten waren Abbilder der Mysteriengeheimnisse. Aber das alles war im Niedergang begriffen, war in vielen Gegenden verfallen. Da kam denn Jesus von Nazareth an eine Kultstätte, wo auch die äußeren Bauanlagen aus ihm unbekannten Gründen in Verfall geraten waren. Ich weiß heute noch nicht, an welchem Orte diese Kultstätte war. Leider ist es nicht möglich gewesen, den Ort nach genauer Lage und Namen in der Akasha-Chronik zu ermitteln; aus irgendeinem Grunde ist der Eindruck des Ortes sozusagen auf der Landkarte der Erde verwischt. Was ich Ihnen erzähle, ist absolut richtig beobachtet, wie ich meine, nur ist es nicht möglich, den Ort anzugeben; aus irgendwelchem Grunde ist er nicht aufzufinden.


Das nächste, was mir obliegt zu erzählen, das ist die Versuchungsgeschichte. Da stellt die Akasha-Chronik die Sache genauer dar als die anderen Evangelien. Ich muß nur im voraus bemerken, daß ich sie so, wie sie sich mir ergeben hat, darstellen werde, daß es aber sehr leicht sein kann — weil es schwierig ist, solche Dinge zu erforschen und man vorsichtig sein muß — , daß später einmal die Korrektur nötig sein könnte, die drei Stufen der Versuchung, die ich erzählen werde, umzuändern. Denn die Aufeinanderfolge kann in der Beobachtung der Akasha-Chronik manchmal leicht durcheinandergeworfen werden, und da bin ich in der Reihenfolge nicht ganz sicher. Ich will nur erzählen in dem Ausmaße, wie ich es genau kenne.


[and about the solar eclipse at the MoG]

Aus der Akasha-Chronik war bisher noch nicht zu konstatieren, woher sie gekommen ist, ob sie irdischen oder kosmischen Ursprungs war.



Before continuing with the study of the life of Christ Jesus, I would like to mention some indications about the way such things are found. With few words such a comprehensive subject can of course only be characterized. But I want you to have an idea of what we can call occult research, at the stage where one can penetrate to such concrete facts as those which, for example, we considered here yesterday.

To begin with, we can say that this research rests on a study of the Akasha Chronicle. In general terms, I described how such reading in the Akasha Chronical is to be understood in articles in the magazine “Lucifer-Gnosis” which appeared under the title “From the Akasha Chronicle”. It should be clear that different facts about cosmic events and cosmic being must be researched in different ways, so now I would like to be more specific about what has already been said.

Basically in the universe there is nothing but consciousness. Except for consciousness, everything else belongs in the domain of maya, or the great illusion. You can find these facts in two places — in others as well — but especially in the description of the evolution of the Earth from Old Saturn to Vulcan in An Outline Of Occult Science, where the evolution from Old Saturn to .. Earth, .. are described as stages of consciousness. This means that if one wants to reach these important facts, he must ascend to a stage of cosmic events where they consist of stages of consciousness. Therefore, if we are describing realities we can only describe various stages of consciousness. It is also included in another book published this summer: The Threshold of the Spiritual World.

Shown there is how through a gradual ascension of the seer's vision it rises from the objects and processes around us, which disappear into nothingness, melt away so to speak, and finally reaches the region where there are only beings in various stages of consciousness. So the true realities of the world are beings in the various stages of consciousness. Due to the fact that we live in the human stage of consciousness, and in this stage of consciousness have no complete overview of the realities involved, the effect is that what is unreal appears to us as real.


(important, and in full in CH10)

states that after death, the thought forces lack the physical mirror (brain in physical body), and here the earlier thoughts inscribed in the akashic records serve as a mirror, especially if they are strengthened through meditation and concentration exercises as part of initiation.


In Napoleon there appears subsequently a figure who is fashioned entirely in conformity with the rhythm of the personality, but with a tendency to the opposite pole.

  • Seven years of sovereignty,
  • fourteen years of imperial splendour and harassment of Europe, the years of his ascent to power,
  • then seven years of decline, the first years of which he spent once again in disrupting the peace of Europe

all in accordance with a strict rhythm: seven years, then twice seven years and then again seven years, a rhythm of septennia.

I have been at great pains (and I have alluded to this on various occasions) to trace the soul of Napoleon. It is possible, as you know, to undertake these studies of the human soul in divers ways by means of spiritual scientific investigation. And you will recall no doubt how investigations were undertaken to discover the previous incarnations of Novalis.

I have been at great pains to follow the destiny of Napoleon's soul in its journey after his death. I have been unable to find it and do not think I shall ever be able to find it, for it is probably not to be found.

And this no doubt accounts for the enigma of Napoleon's life that unfolds with clockwork precision in seven-year rhythms. We can best understand this soul if we regard it as the complete antithesis of a soul such as that of James I, or again as the antithesis of the abstraction of the French Revolution: the Revolution all soul without body, Napoleon all body without soul, but a body compounded of all the contradictions of the age.

In this strange juxtaposition of the Revolution and Napoleon lies one of the greatest enigmas of contemporary evolution. One has the impression that a soul wanted to incarnate in the world, appeared without a body, clamoured for incarnation amongst the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century, but was unable to find a body ... and that only externally a body offered itself, a body which for its part could not find a soul, i.e. Napoleon. In these things there are more than merely ingenious allusions or characterizations, they harbour important impulses of historical development. They must of course be regarded as symptoms. Here, amongst ourselves, I use the terminology of spiritual science. But what I have just said could equally well be said anywhere if clothed in slightly different terminology.


But we cannot really fathom them if we have not first searched into these matters in an independent way. And even when we have investigated them in an independent way, something peculiar arises.

If in the Akashic Record one approaches the images of these Hibernian Mysteries, then one experiences something which works in a repelling way. It is as if one were held back by some force, as if one could not approach with the soul. And the nearer one approaches, the more does that obscure itself towards which one would hasten in soul, and one passes into a state of soul-bewilderment.

One has to work through this soul-bewilderment. One can do nothing else than vivify in oneself that which one already knows of as resembling it, that which has been achieved and discovered by oneself. And one realizes why that is so.

We see that indeed these Hibernian Mysteries were indeed the last echo of an old wisdom given to mankind by the divine spiritual powers, which, however, in the age when the Hibernian Mysteries sank down into the shadow-life were at the same time spiritually surrounded with a thick rampart, so that the human being cannot passively penetrate them, cannot passively gaze into them, so that he cannot approach them unless he has awakened in himself spiritual activity, and has thus become in the right way a Man of modern times. I would say, the approach to the Hibernian Mysteries was closed at that time so that men are not able to approach the Mysteries in the old way, so that they are compelled to experience in the activity of their own consciousness that which in the epoch of freedom must be found inwardly by Man. No longer through a historical nor even through a clairvoyant historical vision of ancient, marvelously great secrets, may he reach these secrets, but he may enter this path only through his own inner activity.


We have to imagine that immediately after the completion of the Mystery of Golgotha on the Earth, there were individuals who had experienced it and who were able to pass on to others the immediate experiences they had had of it. Christ himself also gave his disciples an esoteric schooling after his resurrection; he gave them many profound teachings. All this continued to spread during the first few decades after the Mystery of Golgotha. It would have had to come to an end at some point, and indeed we see how it gradually did draw to a close in certain circles.

In the notorious writings of the Gnostics and in other older explanations by the first church fathers who were still the pupils of the apostles, or pupils of the apostles’ pupils, there were immense esoteric teachings about Christianity. These were rooted out because the church wanted to be rid of something that was always a part of these teachings, namely: anything cosmic. Immensely significant things were destroyed by the church.

They were destroyed, but by reading in the Akashic Record they will be restored down to the last dot on the i when the time is ripe.

Otti Votavova's 'Frabato'

(see Franz Bardon and initiation#References and further reading), also contains a reference by another initiate, Franz Bardon

During the days of Atlantis you experienced for yourself what materialistic thinking and irresponsible actions can lead to." Frabato nodded, for he remembered the fall of Atlantis very well. In the course of a technical experiment which was carried out by irresponsible scientists possessed by the notion of 'progress', the axis of the earth had lost its equilibrium, which consequently brought about the destruction of Atlantis within a short time - the details of the drama are indelibly recorded in the Akasha, where every good initiate may obtain a clear picture of the entire history of the cosmos.

More references (unquoted)

  • GA054: makes the comparison with the airwaves of the spoken word, imagine that they could be seen and frozen, they would give a record of what was spoken (PS in fact digital audio recordings can show this amplitude wave and what was meant on a computer screen today). Just as the spoken word leaves impresses itself on the medium of air, so also do all Man's actions impress on the akasha.
  • GA093A: the great impulses within humanity and the impact of great initiates can not be seen in the astral light (as they acted selfless without emotions) , but can be studied only indirectly through the effect on the scholar or students
  • GA124: all Man does in life, leaves an image in our astral body that is transferred to the etheric body and stays in the akashic records, where it can be observed clairvoyantly
  • GA140: example of akashic records research on Last Supper in Michelangelo's time
  • 1913-GA150: accounts Steiner's investigation of Rafael, stating he could observe that what worked in Rafael was the influence of his father who died when Rafael was just ten years old. Though his father was not a great painter, he had the inner faculties. Though he could not realize anything while incarnate, these forces were inferred to his son from the spiritual world (transforming the forces that had been in John the Baptist)
  • GA225: In the oldest schools of humanity and the very first Mysteries, the teachers were the ones who read in the 'cosmic ether' or 'chaos' or what we call the akasha chronicle
  • GA264 (freely translated from quote in DE edition 1984, p 73):

In such things I am only the tool of higher beings, that I workship in humility. Nothing is my merit, nothing here is about or related to me. The only thing I have to say for myself, is that I have had a very severe/strict training, that protects me from any type of phantasy. That was for me a rule. What I experience in the spirit world, is thereby free from any kind of imagination, deception, or superstitution. Of these things I talk to few people. People can hold me for a dreamer/visionary, I am clear to separate truth from illusion. And I know I have to go the way I am going.

  • GA265 (DE edition 1987, p 29) - see also above

Je weiter man auch auf dem Erkenntnisweg vorwärtsdringt, um so mehr wird man sich auch Devotion aneignen müssen; man wird immer devotioneller und devotioneller werden. Aus dieser Devotion fließt dann die Kraft zu den höchsten Erkenntnissen.

Wer es dazu bringt, darauf zu verzichten, seine Gedanken zu verbinden, der gelangt zu dem Lesen der Schrift in der Akasha-Chronik.

Eines ist aber dabei notwendig: das persönliche Ich so weit ausgeschaltet zu haben, daß es keinen Anspruch darauf macht, die Gedanken selbst zu verbinden. Es ist gar nicht so leicht, das zu verstehen, denn der Mensch macht darauf Anspruch, das Prädikat mit dem Subjekt zu verbinden. So lange er das aber tut, ist es ihm unmöglich, wirklich okkulte Geschichte zu studieren.

Wenn er in Selbstlosigkeit, aber auch in Bewußtheit und Klarheit die Gedanken aufsteigen läßt, dann tritt ein Ereignis ein, welches, von einem gewissen Gesichtspunkte aus, jeder Okkultist kennt, nämlich das Ereignis, daß sich die Vorstellungen, die Gedanken, die er früher nach seinem persönlichen Standpunkte zu Sätzen, zu Einsichten geformt hat, jetzt durch die geistige Welt selbst formen, so daß nicht er urteilt, sondern in ihm geurteilt wird. Es ist dann so, daß er sich hingeopfert hat, auf daß ein höheres Selbst geistig durch seine Vorstellungen spricht. Das ist – okkult aufgefaßt – das, was man im Mittelalter das «Opfer des Intellektes» genannt hat. Es bedeutet das Aufgeben meiner eigenen Meinung, meiner eigenen Überzeugung. So lange ich selbst meine Gedanken verbinde, und meine Gedanken nicht höheren Gewalten zur Verfügung stelle, die auf der Tafel des Intellektes dann gleichsam schreiben, so lange kann ich nicht okkulte Geschichte studieren.


Note [1] - Positioning the importance of the scientific method for spiritual research


(received 2021-09-21)

Why do you think one needs to read about the 'process of clairvoyant research in the Akashic records'? Do you believe that if one reads what Steiner describes, one would be able by "following" this description to become somehow a "learned clairvoyant"? Or, do you think it is possible to understand better the subject concerning the Book of Life, if you merely read and even contemplate on a specific text? Is such a description by your opinion somehow like a "manual" for the occult student in order to understand the process and more over to achieve particular skills in this area of clairvoyant knowledge?

Short answer

My view is: we should be (a) conscious and informed about the method of spiritual scientific research, and be able to explain it; (b) aware of the possibilities for error and other side channels that claim to come from such research; (c) put this knowledge and information out in the world, as the method represents the epistemological foundation for the worldview of spiritual science. I believe this is important for souls that are awakening to the spiritual now and in the future.

So no manual, but the fact Steiner lectured so extensively on this, is not without purpose. Not only for us to understand the sources of spiritual science through the millenia, but also for future souls on the path of initiation.

Long answer

Wikipedia states: "epistemology is the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion."

Spiritual science is in a conflict, or worldview war, with materialistic mineral science ( or see also relationship between mineral and spiritual science and contemporary worldview war).

Therefore it is appropriate that

  • we should be conscious and informed about the method of spiritual scientific research, and be able to explain it. Of course this follows from initiation and the stages of clairvoyance upto intuition, or the knowledge of the higher spirit world. Let us not forget the whole of the spiritual scientific worldview and paradigm rests on it, not just Rudolf Steiner's contribution but also all previous sources of spiritual science.
    • We are all spokesmen or -women, apostles or advocates, and fishers for men (see also the two last beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount)
  • we are aware of the possibilities for error and other side channels that claim to come from such research, and are
    • examples are mediums or insufficiently trained or would-be initiates picking up astral reflections of the akashic records, signals of deceased souls, and mixing with their own subconscious impulses because they don't have the required spiritual maturity (re morality, guardian of the threshold)
    • the anthroposophical society definitely has a challenge here in the form of debates around contributions from the likes of Prokofieff, Ben-Aharon, von Halle and their claims of clairvoyant research (see Polarization and polemics within the anthroposophical movement). But also before eg the acceptance of the work of anthroposophists that received inspiration and didn't make any public claims (such as Iwer Thor Lorenzen, Karl König). And there are of course many more such cases, eg in Germany Keimeyer, Wimbauer. Here - without targetting a specific name listed here - reading what Steiner explains about conscientiousness of the spiritual investigator, his moral profile and standards, etc would be beneficial for those who believe all to easily.
  • last but not least, as more people will or may experience signals of natural clairvoyance or some kind of spiritual awakening, and onboard the process of initiation, it's important to not stop by laying out the stages of consciousness and current human clairvoyance (waking consciousness, astral imaginative consciousness, inspiration from the lower spirit world, and understanding intuition from the higher spirit world). It is key to understand the process of training and what to do with latent and undevelopment faculties that need to be trained and developed.
    • on this point, relating to the question, no it is not a 'manual', but it is or can be the start of one. Indeed Steiner gave tips, discussed problems he had encountered, etc. But before one gets there, to access the Akashic Records, one has to go through the process of initiation, such as Bardon's IIH, as intuitive clairvoyance only follows at a relatively late stage after one has passed many intermediate steps. At that stage one doesn't need all these intellectual explanations any more (see 1904-06-01-GA265 and 'requirements for the spiritual investigator' above) but it is always helpful they exists on the way and even when one is there, that this type of knowledge exists in the open and humanity can know about it .
    • another way to view or position this is with an image: Schema FMC00.013. The dark age or kali yuga finished around 1900, and the 20th century also knew the the start of the re-emergence of natural clairvoyance (re also Christ in the etheric). So in future times, and future generations, the relevance of all this will only become more important.

Note [2] - Notes about working principle and Schema FMC00.389A

1/ The spiritual scientific explanation for the principle of the Akashic records above is written as if from Man's soul and history, as if it requires self- conscious Man in order to have akashic records. Which would imply the principle of explanation would not be valid any more if one goes back more than a few epochs. That is not the case, also earlier stages of evolution of the solar system can be investigated this way.

To understand why, contemplate Schema FMC00.389A in the evolutionary context of Schemas FMC00.077A and FMC00.048 (on Twelve conditions of consciousness). As Schema FMC00.077A shows: at different stages of evolutions, different beings play certain roles in the overall developmental schema of creation, and certain beings go through a CoC whereby their conscious actions inscribe in the akasha same way as explained in principle above, and these can be viewed in the planes as per Schema FMC00.389A.

However, Man before and after the conscious Human 'I' does make a difference, see point 2/ below. With the development of the I, the zodiacal streams going up and down changed. This is because Man now became active and started contributing to creation through his soul activity, inscribing into the spirit world. This concept underlies the name of this site, and the Meaning of Free Man Creator (see also Schema FMC00.055 on that page, as well as Seeds for future worlds).

Actually, quote B of the lecture 1909-06-04-GA109 continues in this vain to explain this, that what works for Man works similarly but differently for the other kingdoms and hierarchies of creation.

2/ Regarding the 'mirroring' around axis between lower and higher spirit world on Schema FMC00.389A:

See also:

Note [3] - Spiritual law regarding investigation of akashic records

  • in the spiritual world there is a law concerning esoteric investigation of the akashic records, that establishes the foundation for a inner universal brotherliness, a true brotherhood of men:
    • "a fact that has been discovered by a clairvoyant or an occult school, cannot be investigated a second time if the would-be clairvoyant investigator has not first been informed or does not know that it has already been discovered." The spiritual scientific movement is needed in the world, because for future clairvoyants a link has to exist with what has been discovered. They must have knowledge of these truths, before these facts can actually be perceived by them clairvoyantly. (1909-06-04-GA109)


From an interactive discussion (dated 2021-09, freely translated), the following quote from a friend, from memory (he didn't know the lecture reference above either, but added the below):

.. When a spiritual scientist wants to research the akasha records, he first has to check exoterically what has already been researched and published. I seem to remember reading Otto Palmer (senior? the physician), in a small booklet, that exactly because of this, Rudolf Steiner carried pages from CG Harrison's 'Transcendental universe' with him in his pocket. He had cut the book and carried a single chapter in the pocket of his jacket, and this was exactly because of this reason: to verify what has already been made public knowledge.


I'd like to add to this topic, that great responsability is therefore connected with making public all things of the occult. What if it is not fully correct? One is responsible for the consequences of such errors. Would it be better than to not publish anything? also this has its rationale. For example, what does a Chinese spiritual scientist do that can not read Steiner? Another aspect is whether the information that is spread needs to contain the source, eg that anthroposophy is not separated from Rudolf Steiner because the teachings are intrinsically connected with his research. Meaning that one should not claim anything researched by someone else, for one's own research. As a lie may be equivalent to a murder in the spiritual world, so also the truth about the origin of a spiritually researched fact has to be specified correctly. These things (for me) hang together with this law of esoteric brotherhood.

On the last point, indeed we can read in GA264 (p74 in EN edition 2010, p95 in DE edition 1984), in a letter to Günther Wagner dated 1905-07-23

I regret that I cannot go into more detail, but the last jobs connected with Lucifer 24 and 25, not to mention others, are still waiting to be finished. You can imagine what demands that makes upon me. It is necessary for me to publish these esoteric scientific writings that Lucifer has produced lately. The responsibility of that alone weighs me down. And I have to test [editor: consider, ponder] each line and every turn of phrase ten times over in order to reproduce the spiritual content [editor: as correctly as possible], as it is my duty to do, which is imparted to me in quite a different form and language.

or the German text before translation:

Allein die Verantwortung lastet schwer auf mir. Und ich muß jede Zeile, jede Wendung zehnmal erwägen, um möglichst genau den geistigen Inhalt wiederzugeben, der mir zu geben obliegt, und der mir doch selbst in ganz andrer Form und Sprache überliefert wird.

Please contact us if you would have the Palmer booklet referenced above - or any other such references - so they can be added here.

Related pages

References and further reading