Cosmic breath of Brahma
In Hinduism, Brahma(n) is the highest universal principle of divinity. The breath of Brahma creates and destroys worlds in a cyclical rhythm.
In spiritual science, it maps - for the scope of our solar system - to the dynamic of planetary stages with Conditions of Life & Form (see Three dimensions of evolution, and the process of out-breathing and in-breathing maps to the concepts of manvantara and pralaya.
A simple twodimensional visualization of the process of mantavaras and pralayas of the seven planetary stages in this cycle of our solar system, can be felt as a cilinder going up and down, an exhalation from the higher nirvana plane down via buddhi plan and spirit land .. and then an inhalation again whereby all that got created in the exhalation makes it way up again and is sucked up and into its highest spiritual essence (see also the concept of the Occult atom
See also: Creation by the three logoi
Schema FMC00.170 sketches the polarity between 'center and periphery' and 'pralaya and mantavara', see Cosmic breathing and especially the Cosmic breath of Brahma which denotes the same, the highest level of in- and out-breathing that gives rise to all of creation.
See also: Force substance representation
Schema FMC00.329 is a meta study schema from the IAO topic page.
It takes Schema FMC00.077A on the lower right as the basis, to show how the various hierarchies are in process of a continuous dynamic whereby they arise from creation by the three logoi and the sacrifice and work of the downstream hierarchies, and develop and re-ascent within the logos. They are absorbed again in the highest planes of mahaparanirvana and paranirvana (see FMC00.062).
This is represented by the blue circle depicting the snake that bites its own tail (FMC00.328), and this way the highest divinity is continuously getting to know itself as the 'I am' or the eternal 'I' from Alpha to Omega.
The blue circle can also be seen as a cosmic breathing cycle, as the great cosmic breath of Brahma. Contemplate the cycle of Twelve conditions of consciousness: One can imagine that with each breath, the schema advances by one planetary stage and a whole new creation gets created on the lowest level of that CoC-ladder (left on the FMC00.077A schema), and a certain hierarchy is absorbed again into the bosom of the divine godhead at the highest levels of that CoC-ladder (beyond right on the FMC00.077A schema). This thought is referred to on this site as the Cosmic Fractal, because of its intertwined and encapsulated levels of complexity at different scales (as exemplified by eg 25920, or recapitulation)
This can be approached intellectually by contemplating the outpourings of the three Logoi. See middle of the blue circle FMC00.171 as well as FMC00.170 for the intertwined threefolded streams that then map to the three outpourings (FMC00.067) along the Three dimensions of evolution: conditions of consciousness, life and form. (FMC00.010A and eg FMC00.196 on Overview of solar system evolution). FMC00.062 connects the seven creative spirits before the throne, and the 21 prajapatis to these three dimensions of evolution at the CoC, CoF, CoL level on nirvana and budhi planes. The solar system evolution with manvantaras and pralayas is usually shown upto the higher spirit world, but FMC00.196 and better even FMC00.057 show the transformative effect during pralaya at the budhi and nirvana planes. This reversal of budhi is explained in Christ Module 7 - Cosmic dimension (on the basis of the GA089 lectures).
Man is shown on FMC00.077A but also on Steiner's drawing FMC00.327 in its path of consciousness along the Twelve conditions of consciousness (CoC). Of course this Development of the 'I' consciousness has multiple stages along that CoC-ladder, from the bosom of the Archai (1925-01-11-GA026) on Old Saturn via the Group souls of humanity on Old Moon to the individuation on Earth. Ultimately however the goal is that humanity as the Tenth spiritual hierarchy become gods as they go through the higher CoC=5 to 7 in the next three planetary stages, and higher CoC=8 and 9 to the sacrifice and bosom of the highest divinity again.
Lecture coverage and references
There you have an analogue for a very ancient statement. Consider the following fact: In ancient times, people imagined something which was designated as the days and nights of Brahma.
.. take the path of the sun through the constellations of the Zodiac, the platonic year, namely, the time necessary for the point of sunrise to return to Aries at the Vernal Equinox; this amounts to 25,920 of our terrestrial years. Here you have a remarkable example in numbers of the human relation to the whole universe. The course of the sun through the heavens in the platonic year is expressed by the same number as the days of a human life. This is easily reckoned, but it points the way into profound depths of the foundations of the world. Bear in mind — as we have had occasion to stress in Anthroposophy — that in sleep the ego and the astral body of man leave the physical and etheric bodies, and that on awakening, they return to them again. Visualise these exits and re-entries as exhalations and inhalations of the soul and spiritual element by the physical body; you will find that there are 25,915 or 25,920 of such “breaths” in the course of a normal life (the difference of five is due to leap-year days), which obviously must represent a “day” in relation to some other rhythm. And again there must be something in the cosmos which is inserted according to the same numerical terms into the solar revolution. Here is a rhythm in world occurrences that manifests on a large scale; it manifests also in an individual human life, and in the function of respiration during the day. You will no longer find it unaccountably strange that the ancient world, out of their old clairvoyance, spoke of the days and nights of Brahma, the in-breathing and out-breathing of the world; for these ancients had found the breathing of heaven reflected in the mirror of the everyday life-process of man. Because of these concrete facts, and not because of any sympathies or antipathies, we arrive at a true reverence for primeval wisdom. I can assure you that I should not reverence the ancient wisdom, had I not had the proof in countless cases, that we can re-discover today things already contained in it, things that had been lost and forgotten between the knowledge accumulated of old and that which we are now able to attain. The reverence for ancient wisdom that grows on the seeker after real knowledge is not the result of any vague general inclination, but springs from the comprehension of certain quite concrete conditions and facts.
References and further reading