Evil

From Anthroposophy

Evil was allowed into evolutionary current by Divine Providence to strengthen the development of Man, and hence came as a consequence or 'price to pay' for the unique development of freedom and love in Man, a first in the development of spiritual hierarchies. (see quote by Jacob Boehme below).

The task of evil is to promote the ascent of Man. The radical transmutating of the most fierce evil by the pure good will bring a special love and condition of moral holiness on Earth (1906-08-29-GA095). See also Manicheism in the Sixth epoch

Evil is the opposite of the good, and these are opposite polarities relative to a reference and 'judgement'. That objective reference is the normal evolutionary development with its intended goals, as per intentions of Creation by the three Logoi and the Cosmic Plan described under Occult Atom. The counterforces that oppose or side-track from the main evolutionary targets are denoted as evil, even if they appear in that cosmic plan and are part of it.

Evil is good out-of-place, it are rightful influences in their own right (as all spiritual hierarchies are on their own evolutionary pathway), but in the 'wrong' place for others.

Certain spiritual influences are indeed part of the anticipated and allowed evolution because they offer humanity challenges that re strengthening its development as the tenth spiritual hierarchy 'under development'. That this is relative and not absolute is illustrated by the luciferic influences that represent such a challenge, but also brought Mankind freedom, as an absolute first in evolution. The luciferic influence arose because of certain spiritual beings were (in their own development scheme) 'out of place' versus the overall evolutionary scheme. More specifically for Man: these luciferic beings are pursuing their further development on Earth 'within Man', because they could not achieve this on Old Moon. Therefore on Earth they are somehow 'out of place' and bringing Mankind certain benefits (freedom) but also challenges.

During the future development of Man, humanity has three stages to succumb to the enticement of evil (1908-06-29-GA104):

  • 1/ First of all in the next sixth cultural age, 'before the great War' (the War of all against all will conclude the current fifth epoch). Indeed facing evil is the main challenge for humanity in the current fifth epoch.
  • 2/ In the period when the Earth has passed over into a spiritual condition, we have to deal first of all with two possibilities. When the Reunion of Sun with Earth happens, those who have received the Christ-principle will then be ripe to rise into the forces of the Earth which unite with the sun; those who have received the possibility of evil will be excluded and a certain amount of the human race is thrust out of the evolution which leads to the sun.
  • 3/ These sun-opposing forces will be entirely thrown out of our evolution and be finally cast into the abyss during the Future Venus stage (when the 666 stages have passed away), see the concept of the 'unredeemable moon' on Future Venus.

Aspects

Understanding evil

  • Gods created their own opposition, for the stages see:
  • positioning: no evil exists in buddhi-nirvana planes, only in the worlds below from the spirit world onwards. This means that the monad is unaffected. Evil hence 'hits a ceiling' at a certain stage whereby it cannot be part of the great evolutionary dynamic (see Cosmic fractal). This is explained oa in the wheel of planes lecture of 1904-GA089, see Schema FMC00.078 on Planes or Worlds of Consciousness. For Man's soul, this is also explained with the concept of avichi, see Eight sphere#The state of avichi.

For humanity: evil in Man

Historical perspective on evil

  • Atlantean epoch - betrayal of the mysteries, see Atlantean epoch#1910-GA013 as well as Rakshasas
  • Current Postatlantean epoch - previous cultural ages: Mexican mysteries (Vizliputzli's fight), see 1916-09-GA171 on black magic
  • Manicheism - studies the function of Evil and of suffering in the world, and aims at the redemption of evil through pure good
    • to the Manicheans Evil is an integral part of the cosmos that is part of its evolution, and will finally be absorbed and transfigured by the Good
    • see also Maneichism on Sixth epoch

Inspirational quotes

Jakob Boehme:

Evil is allowed by God out of Love

or in other words: out of Love, God has liberated Man to total freedom.

.

1904-11-11-GA093, see Manicheism#1904-11-11-GA093

Evil is nothing but an ill-timed good.

...

.. the kingdom of darkness has to be overcome by the kingdom of light, not by means of punishment or resisting evil ..

but through mildness and uniting with evil in order to redeem it. Because a part of the light enters into evil, the evil itself is overcome.

1909-06-28-GA112

Whenever you see evil you should look into your own soul and ask yourself: Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?

Franz Bardon

Fundamentally there is neither good nor evil; this is all based on human concepts. In the universe there exists neither good nor evil, because everything has been created in accordance with immutable laws. the divine principles are reflected in these laws, and only through knowing these laws will we be able to get close to the divine.

alternate version

In reality, good and evil do not exist, because Divine Providence created nothing that is bad and disharmonious; this is only a human concept. From the hermetic point of view, one type of being has to bring forth positive influences, whereas another type has to bring forth negative influences. In an astral respect these beings are the tools of the effects on our physical world. They are also the cause of all effects in the astral body of every human being, whether they are initiated or not.

Illustrations

Schema FMC00.427 is a high level mindmap positioning evil in the solar system evolution.

The trigger on Old Sun, then - following decision by divine providence - the War in Heaven as a consequence of allowing counterforces into development of Mankind. On Earth and the current fourth and physical Condition of Life, these counterforces sneak into the development of the I or Man's threefold soul. Then follows the inverse stages whereby Mankind succombs to evil and redeems evil in the future planetary stages of evolution.

This is represented in the Book of Revelation by the three beasts (Schema FMC00.426) and the figure 6 and the various stages of 666 (see Schema FMC00.425 and FMC00.425A). Rudolf Steiner explained how these consecutive stages relate to the different planetary stages of evolution whereby there is a separation and reunion of the Sun, upto - on Future Venus - the final separation of evil from the development of this solar system evolution into the Eight sphere.

More about this schema, see also: Study process and developing imaginations#.5B2.5D - Some examples on this site

Schema FMC00.427A enriches the base schema with context to provide a reference map for study of evil in the development of our solar system.

It includes some essential excerpts of the key elements in this aspect of evolution. For the lectures references given, it is advised to study each lecture in full and in depth. Green text boxes represent related topic pages on this wiki site for further study.

The schema conveys how evil is dephased development (of certain hierarchies) leading to counterforces, and how it was allowed 'by design', by divine providence, to arise as a factor in the evolution of Man. This happened in the Earth stage of planetary development, with the development of the human I. However this was prepared already between Old Sun and Old Moon, and the redemption of evil will take until Future Jupiter and Future Venus.

The current Earth stage however is 'center stage' to this development. The Luciferic, Ahrimanic and Soratic influences sneak into the human soul and truly a battle for the soul is raging. In the current fifth epoch, humanity has to face evil. In the future, humanity will be confronted in an ever-increasing way with evil. Just as the current kingdoms of nature, there will be a developed 'good' humanity and a lagging 'evil' humanity, and it will be the mission of the good humanity to redeem the evil sub-races that will develop in the future planetary stages (see eg FMC00.077A).

The infographic in the upper left corner depicts a separation and reunion of the planet (currently Earth, but later Future Jupiter) with the Sun, as such stages represent stages with lower developmental speeds allowing lagging souls to catch up on their development. In other words, they accomodate further redemption of evil, whereby each reunion with the Sun includes both the ascent of the souls that are at the stage and speed of development required, and the abyss for those who are not.

FMC00.427A.jpg

Schema FMC00.426 provides an overview of the three beasts that appears in the Book of Revelation, corresponding to the three faces of Evil.

FMC00.426.jpg

Schema FMC00.425 positions the evolution number 666 for the study of the redemption of evil in the future stages of development of mankind, and provides an overview for the various ways of reading the figure 6 at different levels of the dimensions of evolution.

Observe on the lower right, that the sixth CoL on Future Venus is the final stage into the higher spirit world, before reading to the budhi plane. This correlates with Rudolf Steiner's statement that there is no evil in the budhi and nirvana planes, that this development is restricted and taking place in the spirit world and below.

FMC00.425.jpg

Schema FMC00.425A provides a tabular overview supplementing Schema FMC00.425, as a reference for study. It depicts in a visual way the three levels of 666 in the corresponding three shades of read, and maps to the statements from Rudolf Steiner's lectures about the Book of Revelation.

See also Sixteen paths of perdition.

FMC00.425A.jpg

Lecture coverage and references

1903-10-13-GA090C

is titled 'about the origin of evil'

1903-10-20-GA090C

continues 'about good and evil'

1904-08-11-GA090A

discusses the second half of earth development as a cleansing stage, with the fifth CoL no longer about life and death but about good and evil, whereas the sixth CoL is about the separation between truth and lies.

1904-08-12-GA090A

(p. 102) explains how the secret of evil can only be understood, or lies, at the border of the highest regions of the Spirit World (sixth and seventh regions) and the higher budhi and nirvana planes. (DL translation)

As long as we are in these three lower worlds (physical, astral and spirit worlds), and not in the world of the Budhi plane above, we are not able or entitled to speak about the origins of evil. Within these three lower worlds we have also the evil besides the good, the inperfect besides the perfect. All this is well established and justified there that they belong together. The answer to this question [the origin of evil] belongs to the higher meaning of being, of all life and becoming. This however is not withing reach of understanding when one stays within the three lower worlds. The question remains: Why then is there, in these three lower worlds, the evil and inperfect mixed together with the good and perfect? These three worlds have been created from Nirvana and Budhi planes, and only from that perspective can one see and understand how evil lies as a decision within the larger order of the world that has been created, and sprouts forth from the good. The good is the actual origin of creation, and from this the worlds originate. However how they originate and how this happens, that we cannot know or understand within the three lower worlds.

and continues (p 103) to the link with karma and how all evil ultimately resolves into the good, through the good.

1906-08-29-GA095

(SWCC)

But what is inward has to become outward, and man will rise still higher when his karma has worked itself out. With all this something of extraordinary interest is connected. Centuries ago, with the future development of humanity in view, secret orders which set themselves the highest conceivable tasks were established. One such order was the Manichean, of which ordinary scholarship gives a quite false picture. The Manicheans are supposed to have taught that a good and an evil are part of the natural order and have always been in conflict with one another, this having been determined for them by the creation. Here there is a glimmer of the order's real task, but distorted to the point of nonsense.

The individual members of the order were specially trained for their great work. The order knew that some day there will be men in whose karma there is no longer any evil, but that there will also be a race evil by nature, among whom all kinds of evil will be developed to a higher degree than in the most savage animals, for they will practise evil consciously, exquisitely, with the aid of highly developed intellects. The extreme difficulty of the task is that these evil races will not be like bad children in whom there is goodness which can be brought out by precept and example.

Even now the Manichean Order is training its members so that they may be able to transform evil in later generations. The members of the Manichean Order are already learning how to transform quite radically those who by nature are wholly evil. And then the transformed evil will become a quite special good. The power to effect this change will bring about a condition of moral holiness on Earth. But this can be achieved only if the evil has first come into existence; then the power needed to overcome the evil will yield a power that can reach the heights of holiness.

[Mission or task of evil]

A field has to be treated with manure and the manure has to ferment in the soil; similarly, humanity needs the manure of evil in order to attain to the highest holiness. And herein lies the mission of evil. A man's muscles get strong by use; and equally, if good is to rise to the heights of holiness, it must first overcome the evil which opposes it. The task of evil is to promote the ascent of man. Later on, when Man has overcome evil, he can go on to redeem the creatures he has thrust down, and at whose cost he has ascended. That is the purpose of evolution.

1906-08-29-GA095

(SWCC)

The [Manichean] order knew that some day there will be men in whose karma there is no longer any evil, but that there will also be a race evil by nature, among whom all kinds of evil will be developed to a higher degree than in the most savage animals, for they will practise evil consciously, exquisitely, with the aid of highly developed intellects. The extreme difficulty of the task is that these evil races will not be like bad children in whom there is goodness which can be brought out by precept and example.

Even now the Manichean Order is training its members so that they may be able to transform evil in later generations. The members of the Manichean Order are already learning how to transform quite radically those who by nature are wholly evil. And then the transformed evil will become a quite special good. The power to effect this change will bring about a condition of moral holiness on Earth. But this can be achieved only if the evil has first come into existence; then the power needed to overcome the evil will yield a power that can reach the heights of holiness.

[Mission or task of evil]

A field has to be treated with manure and the manure has to ferment in the soil; similarly, humanity needs the manure of evil in order to attain to the highest holiness. And herein lies the mission of evil. A man's muscles get strong by use; and equally, if good is to rise to the heights of holiness, it must first overcome the evil which opposes it. The task of evil is to promote the ascent of man. Later on, when Man has overcome evil, he can go on to redeem the creatures he has thrust down, and at whose cost he has ascended. That is the purpose of evolution.

1906-11/12-GA055

is the lecture series 'Origin of Suffering, Origin of Evil, Illness and Death'

out of which:

1906-11-22-GA055

The origin of evil

1907-01-18-GA068A

is called 'the origin of evil'

1907-06-05-GA099

is extremely explicit in the generation of the future evil races

Only by observing this aspect — that the body will be moulded from the soul — will man really transform the human race. Only through a thinking trained in the occult and spiritual sense, will there appear what has been described as the transformation of the heart and the larynx.

What humanity thinks today, that will it be in the future. A humanity that thinks materialistically will produce frightful beings in the future, and a humanity that thinks spiritual thoughts, so works upon and transforms the future organism that beautiful human bodies will proceed from it.

What the materialistic mode of thought brings about has not yet been completed. We have two streams today,

  • a great materialistic one which fills the earth,
  • and the small spiritual stream which is restricted to but few human beings.

Distinguish between soul-evolution and race-evolution. Do not think that if races pass over to a grotesque form that the soul too does the same.

  • All materialistically thinking souls work on the production of evil race-formations,
  • and what is done of a spiritual nature causes the bringing forth of a good race.

Just as mankind has brought forth that which has retrogressed in the animals, plants and minerals, so will a portion split off and represent the evil part of humanity.

And in the body which meanwhile will have grown soft the inner badness of the soul will express itself externally. Just as older conditions which have degenerated to the ape species seem grotesque to us today, so do materialistic races remain at the standpoint of evil, and will people the Earth as evil races. It will lie entirely with humanity as to whether a soul will remain in the bad race or will ascend by spiritual culture to a good race.

1908-02-20-GA068A

is called 'the origin of evil'

1908-06-29-GA104

quote A is an explanation of the 'number of evolution' in the Book of Revelation

This extract reads such - maybe through uncareful editing and/or translation - that the first digit 3 can be interpreted as CoL or as CoF, as we are currently both in the 4th CoL ànd 4th CoF.

Now let us .. look a little more deeply into the following conditions of our earth evolution .. and turn our gaze to a quite definite point in our future evolution just as we have been considering the present stage. Let us start with our present, namely the 172nd condition. Prior to this 172nd condition the Earth had already completed three sub-conditions; the 172nd condition is the Earth itself.

  • Three have already been completed and it is now in the fourth of these conditions. First, however, we are considering only the conditions of form. We reckon that we are in the fourth condition of life (CoL) or fourth round. Granted this is so and we say: In this fourth condition of life or round we have already passed through three conditions of form and are now in the fourth.
  • Now we ask further how many of the sub-conditions have we passed through? The first, second, third and fourth. The last was the Atlantean epoch. This is now completed.
  • We have passed through four conditions and are now in the fifth, the post-Atlantean. Of this fifth epoch we have again passed through four sub-conditions, namely, the ancient Indian, the ancient Persian, the Egyptian and the Graeco-Latin, and are now in the fifth age.]

So that we can say: before our immediate present stage of evolution we have completed 344 conditions. These 344 conditions which we have completed are described is Apocalyptic language as the number of evolution.

When, therefore, it is asked: What is the number of .. our evolution, the answer is 344.

This is not read according to the system of ten, but according to the system of seven. Three conditions (out of the seven) have been gone through, and four conditions (out of the next smaller seven) have been gone through, four conditions (out of again the next smaller seven). That is what is really meant by the 3-4-4. One must not simply read it like other numbers, but it contains, written side by side, the number of stages passed through.

quote B

When the Earth is spiritualized and has developed to its next conditions, then more and more stages will have been gone through. And the time will come, when six conditions of the first kind, six of the second and six of the third will have been passed through. Just as we now have the 344 as the number of evolution, in the future when six conditions of form, six root-races (epochs) and six sub-races (cultural ages) have been gone through, the number 666 (six six six) will apply, read in the manner above described, which is the method used by the writer of the Apocalypse. Thus a time will come when the number 666 is the number of evolution.

This will only be in a very distant future, but this future is already being prepared at the present time. Three great main conditions have been completed and we are now living in the fourth. But when we have reached the great War of All against All, and the epoch indicated by the seven seals has passed away, we shall have gone through six of the middle kind (epochs).

[end of sixth epoch]

When the first trumpet sounds we shall have passed through six such main races, and when the first six trumpets are over, we shall have experienced 66. By then humanity will have had opportunity to prepare for the terrible time which will follow much later, when not only 66 but 666 will be reached. All that lies in the future is already being prepared now.

The time following the War of All against All, the time after the seventh trumpet is sounded, will see men who, through excluding themselves from the Christ-principle, will have attained a high degree of evil, of the tendency to sink into the abyss. By then these men will have sunk so low that when the point of time 666 comes they will be able to descend very low into evil, into the abyss of evil.

Men will have taken into themselves, already in the period after the great War of All against All, when the seventh trumpet sounds, the germs of this descent into the abyss in the far-distant future. It will, indeed, for a long time be possible for those who have taken these germs into themselves to turn round and be converted, to tarn back in their development in order even then to receive the Christ-principle. But the first predisposition will have been formed, and those who retain this tendency will no longer be able — when that distant future has come which is indicated not by 466, but by 666 — to change this tendency into good. They will succumb to the frightful fate of which we have still to speak.

Thus we see that with this number six, whether it is simply six, or six six, or six six six, there is connected something bad for human evolution.

[current epoch - next sixth cultural ages]

We are now living in the fifth main period and the fifth sub-period. After the great War we shall pass into the sixth epoch; but before the great War there comes, immediately after our fifth age, the sixth age, described as the community of Philadelphia. We know that we are now living in the age in which materialism has spread abroad in humanity. We have seen that throughout the past centuries Man has become more and more materialistic; but this materialism is such that a person can turn back from it at any time. The materialist still has opportunity to turn back. It is, however, necessary that at the present time a spiritual conception of the world should gain ground, a conception which leads a small group of people to this spiritual view of the world. This group will comprise those who will lay the first foundation of the great bond of brotherhood in the sixth age, which will follow ours, and is, therefore, not very far distant, whose beginning lies in a period which can be counted in millennia and these will bring about the very first division in humanity.

Those who persist obstinately in materialism, and also the others who will be inclined to accept a spiritual conception, who in the small group develop a bond of brotherhood, both these will appear in the sixth age. This simple 6 can already be fateful to many, but not finally binding, for a turning back will still be possible.

[(after) sixth epoch]

But mankind will continue beyond the great War of All against All. Five epochs will have passed away; the number 6 will appear again. Afterwards the allurements and temptations will come again in order further to develop the materialistic tendencies and to carry them over into the epoch of the sounding of the trumpets, and when six great periods and six smaller periods have passed away, after 66, there will already be very considerable tendencies in humanity which will not be so easy to put increasingly right as they are at the present time. Thus we see that actually the world of bad tendencies works within humanity and that the good men separate from the evil more and more clearly and definitely, in accordance with the description of the writer of the Apocalypse.

[end of Earth, last CoL and CoF]

The last great separation will be when the number six will be fulfilled not only for the shorter periods but for the longer ones. This will be the case when our Earth has completed its six CoL, and within the seventh CoL, again six conditions of form (CoF). When the Earth has finished this, the tendencies of humanity to evil will have developed to a frightful form. Nothing but evil will then appear, with frightful devastating power, in those who have remained evil.

How often, therefore, during our Earth period, does humanity have the opportunity to succumb to the enticement of evil?

1/ First of all in the cultural age after the present one, before the great War.

Then Man has a second and a third opportunity as well. This descent into evil is gradual.

2/ In the period when the Earth has passed over into a spiritual condition, we have to deal first of all with two possibilities. When the Earth reunites with the sun, those who have received the Christ-principle will then be ripe to rise into the forces of the Earth which unite with the sun; those who have received the possibility of evil will be excluded.

These are, as it were, in such a position that they thrust the sun away from themselves, they thrust away that which would enable them to unite with the forces of the sun. They are opponents of this union. For this reason the Apocalypse rightly designated the power, the Being, who leads men so to spiritualize themselves that they can unite with the sun as the Christ, and — as we shall hear — as the Lamb. One describes the Christ-Being as the genius of the sun who unites himself with the Earth and becomes also the genius of the Earth. He has already begun to be this since the event of Golgotha.

But there is also an opposing principle to the Lamb, there is also a Sun-Demon or so-called Demon of the Sun, that which works in the evil forces of Man, thrusting back the force of the Lamb, and it works in such a way that a certain amount of the human race is thrust out of the evolution which leads to the sun.

3/ These are the opposing forces of the sun, they are in opposition to the sun; at the same time they are the forces which have the tendency to be entirely thrown out of our evolution when the 666 stages have passed away; they will then be finally cast into the abyss.

So that we may say: At the time when the Earth is united with the sun there will be excluded, not only that which is symbolized by the beast with seven heads and ten horns, but also that which is furnished with forces which are in opposition to the sun. All this is destined to disappear into the abyss when the 666 is fulfilled.

1908-06-30-GA104

(SWCC)

[Positioning evil and doom .. love requires true freedom, meaning true choice between good & bad]

A certain dread concerning the destiny of humanity in the future may come over one who enters with feelings into the thoughts which occupied us at the close of our last lecture.

  • A picture of this future of humanity was brought before us which on the one hand was great and powerful, filling one with bliss, showing the future condition of the Man who has understood the mission of our present age upon the Earth, who has received the Christ-spirit and is thereby able to keep pace with the necessary spiritualization of our Earth, a glorious blessed picture of those men who are called in exoteric Christianity the 'redeemede, and, not quite appropriately, the 'electe.
  • But the opposite picture had also to be put before you, the picture of the abyss in which is found a humanity which was not in a position to receive the Christ-spirit, which remained in matter, which excluded itself, so to speak, from the spiritualizing process leading into the future; and this portion of humanity which has fallen away from the spiritualized Earth, and, in a certain sense apart from it, advances towards a frightful fate.

When the beast with the seven heads and ten horns glowers at us from the abyss, the beast led astray by the other frightful being, the two-horned beast, this picture gives rise to fear and horror, and many aright ask:

“Is it not hard and unwise on the part of Providence to lead a number of men to such a frightful fate, and in a way, to condemn them to the abyss of evil?”

And the question might arise,

“Would it not have been more fitting for a wise Providence to have averted this frightful fate from the very beginning?”

In answer to these questions, we might, to begin with, say something abstract, theoretical — and it already signifies a great deal for one who can grasp this theoretical statement is his feeling: It is extremely wise that Providence has taken care that this terrible fate is possible for a number of men.

For if it were impossible for Man to sink into the abyss of evil, he would not have been able to attain what on the one hand we call love and on the other freedom; since .. freedom is inseparably connected with the idea of love. It would be impossible for Man to develop either love or freedom without the possibility of sailing down into the abyss. A Man unable, of his own free decision, to choose good or evil, would be a being who would only be led on a leading-string to a good which must be attained of necessity and who had no power to choose the good of his own fully purified will, by the love which springs from freedom.

If it were impossible for Man to follow in the trail of the monster with the two horns, it would also be impossible for him to follow God out of his own individual love. It was in accordance with a wise Providence to give the possibility of freedom to the humanity which has been developing through our planetary system, and this possibility of freedom could be given on no other condition than that man himself has to make the free choice between good and evil.

But this is only an empty theory, you might say, and Man rises but slowly to the point where he not only says this in words and accepts it in moments of speculation as a kind of explanation, but also experiences it in his feeling. Seldom does Man now rise to the thought,

“I thank thee, O wise Providence, that thou hast made it possible for me to bring thee a love which is not forced but springs up free in my own breast: that thou dost not force use to love thee, but that thou hast given me tine choice of following thee.”

[Further qualification - different segments/cohorts]

Nevertheless, Man has to rise to this feeling if he wishes really to feel this theoretical explanation. We can offer additional comfort, or rather another quieting assurance, from a clairvoyant observation of the world.

  • For it was stated in our last lecture that at the present day, he alone has an almost unalterable tendency to the abyss who is already entangled in some way in the prongs of the two-horned beast, which leads men to the practice of black magic. Even for such as now fall into the arts of black tragic it will still be possible to withdraw in the future.
  • But those who do not come at all into any contact with black magic arts (and this is for the time being the case with most people), these may have nevertheless a certain tendency in the period following the War of All against All, towards final evil, but the possibility in the future of turning back again and following the good will be far greater than the compulsion unconditionally to follow evil.
  • From these lectures it may be seen that for those who now turn to a spiritual conception of the world, in order to live beyond the great War into the sixth epoch (which is represented by the opening of the seals), there is the possibility to receive the Christ-principle. They will be able to receive the spiritual elements which are laid down in the age signified by the community at Philadelphia, and in the near future they will manifest a strong tendency towards becoming spiritual. Those who tarn today to a spiritual view receive a powerful disposition to enter upon the upward path. One must not fail to recognize how important it is even at the present time that a number of persons should not turn a deaf ear to the anthroposophical world conception, which is bringing to humanity in a fully conscious manner the first germs of spiritual life, whereas formerly this took place unconsciously. That is the important thing, that this portion of humanity should take with it the first conscious tendencies towards the upward movement. Through a group of people dedicating themselves to-day to the foundation of a great brotherhood which will live over into the epoch of the seven seals, help will be provided for those others, who to-day still turn a deaf ear to the teachings of Spiritual Science.

[again rephrased later in lecture:]

  • Today it is what we call black magic into which men can, in a certain way, fall consciously or unconsciously.
  • Those who are now living thoughtlessly, who are quite untouched by the spiritual conception of the world, who live un their comfortable everyday torpor and say, “What does it matter to me what these dreaming Anthroposophists say?” these have the least opportunity of coming into the circle of black magic. In their case they are now only neglecting the opportunity to help their fellow-men in the future in their efforts to attain the spiritual life. For themselves they have not yet lost touch.
  • But those who today are beginning in an unjustifiable way to oppose the spiritual life, are really taking up into themselves in the very first beginnings the germs of some-thing one might call black magic.


[Future outlook]

For the present, we have still to go through many incarnations of the present souls before the great War of All against All, and again up to the decisive point after the great War. And afterwards in the [sixth] epoch (of the seals) we also have to go through many changes, and men will often have the opportunity to open their hearts to the spiritual world-conception, which is today flowing through the anthroposophical Movement.

There will be many opportunities, and you must not imagine that future opportunities will only be such as they are today.

The way in which we are able to make the spiritual view of the world known to others is still very feeble. Even if a Man were now to speak in such a way that his voice were to sound forth directly like the fire of the spirit, that would be feeble as compared with the possibilities which will exist in later and more developed bodies in order to direct our fellow-men to this spiritual movement. When humanity as a whole will have developed higher and higher in future ages, there will be very different means through which the spiritual conception of the world will be able to penetrate into men's hearts, and the most fiery word today is small and weak compared with what will work in the future to give all souls the possibility of the spiritual conception of the world — all the souls now living in bodies in which no heart beats for this spiritual conception of the world. We are at the beginning of the spiritual movement, and it will grow. It will require much obduracy and much hardness to close the heart and mind to the powerful impressions of the future.

The souls now living in bodies which have the heart to hear and feel Anthroposophy, are now preparing themselves to live in bodies in the future in which power will be given them to serve their fellow-creatures, who up to that time had been unable to feel this heart beat within them. We are only preparing for the preparers, as yet nothing more.

The spiritual movement is today but a very small flame; in the future it will develop into a mighty spiritual fire. When we bring this other picture before our minds, when we let it enter right into our feelings, then there will live in us a very different feeling and a very different possibility of knowledge concerning this fact.

In this context also see: Future Oriphiel age and Spiritual minority in a materialistic world.

A related excerpt is: Spiritual minority in a materialistic world#1907-06-05-GA099

1910-GA013

quote A

[Around the War of all against all - cohort or segment view]

The transformations in the things of the Earth existing outside the human being occur with a certain relationship to humanity's own evolution. After the seventh cultural age [in the current epoch] has run its course, the earth will be visited by a catastrophe that may be likened to what occurred between the Atlantean and Postatlantean epoch, and the transformed earth conditions after this catastrophe will again evolve in seven time periods.

Human souls who will then be incarnated will experience, at a higher stage, the union with the higher world experienced by the Atlanteans at a lower stage.

Only those human beings, however, in whom are incarnated souls that have developed in a manner possible through the influences of the Greco-Latin age and the subsequent fifth, sixth, and seventh cultural ages of the Postatlantean epoch will be able to cope with the newly formed Earth conditions. The inner being of such souls will correspond to what the Earth has then become.

Other souls will then have to remain behind, whereas previously they would have had the choice of creating the conditions for advancement.

Souls who will have created the possibility for themselves, in the transition from the fifth to the sixth Postatlantean cultural age, of penetrating supersensible knowledge with the forces of intellect and feeling, will have the maturity for the corresponding conditions following the next great catastrophe. The fifth and sixth periods are, so to speak, decisive.

In the seventh, the souls who will have reached the goal of the sixth will develop correspondingly further; the other souls, however, will, under the changed conditions of the environment, find but little opportunity of retrieving what they have neglected. Only at some future time will conditions appear again that will permit this.

[Reunion Moon]

Evolution thus advances from age to age. Supersensible cognition not only observes such future changes in which the Earth alone takes part, but it is also aware of changes that occur in cooperation with the heavenly bodies in its environment. A time will come when the evolution of the Earth and mankind will have advanced so far that the spiritual powers and beings that had to sever themselves from the Earth during the Lemurian age, in order to make possible the continued progress of the Earth's beings, will be able to unite themselves again with the Earth. The moon will then reunite with the Earth.

  • This will occur because at that time a sufficiently large number of human souls will possess so much inner strength that they will use these moon forces for the benefit of further evolution.
  • This will occur at a time when, alongside the high level of development that will have been reached by a certain number of human souls, another development will occur that has taken the direction toward evil. The laggard souls will have accumulated in their karma so much error, ugliness, and evil that they will form, for the time being, a special union of evil and aberrant human beings who violently oppose the community of good men.

The good humanity will through its development acquire the use of the moon forces and thereby so transform the evil part also that, as a special realm of the Earth, it may participate in further evolution.

[Reunion Sun]

Through this work of the good humanity, the Earth, united with the moon, will be able, after a certain period of evolution, to reunite also with the sun and with the other planets.

[Future Jupiter]

Then, after an intermediate stage, which presents itself as a sojourn in a higher world, the Earth will transform itself into Future Jupiter.

  • Within this state, what is now called the mineral kingdom will no longer exist; the forces of this mineral kingdom will be transformed into plant forces.
  • The plant kingdom, which in contrast to the present plant kingdom will have an entirely new form, appears during the Jupiter state as the lowest kingdom.
  • To this a higher kingdom is added, the transformed animal kingdom;
  • above it there is a human kingdom, which proves to be the progeny of the evil community that arose on the earth;
  • above all these are to be found the descendants of the good community of Earth men, a human kingdom of a higher order.

A great part of the activity of this latter human kingdom consists in the work of ennobling the fallen souls of the evil community, so that they may still be able to find their way back into the actual human kingdom.

[Future Venus]

The Future Venus evolution will be one in which the plant kingdom also will have disappeared; the lowest kingdom at that time will be the retransformed animal kingdom; this will be joined on an ascending scale by three human kingdoms of different degrees of perfection.

During the Future Venus stage the Earth remains united with the Sun;

during the Future Jupiter state, however, evolution proceeds in such a way that at a certain point of time the sun departs once more from Future Jupiter and the latter receives its effects from the outside.

After a time, the union of Sun and Future Jupiter [Future Jupiter minus the sun in contradistinction to Future Jupiter with the sun] again occurs and the transformation gradually proceeds over into the Future Venus stage.

During that stage a special cosmic body splits off that contains all the beings who have resisted evolution, a so to speak 'irredeemable moon', which now moves toward an evolution, for the character of which no expression can be found because it is too dissimilar to anything that man can experience on earth.

The evolved mankind, however, advances in a completely spiritualized existence to the Future Vulcan evolution ...

quote B

Whoever could be misled by the preceding expositions into believing that the described evolution bears a fatalistic stamp, would have misunderstood them. Whoever were to believe that in such an evolution a certain number of men would be condemned to belong to the kingdom of 'evil humanity', fails to perceive how the mutual relationship between outer world and the world of soul and spirit takes shape in this evolution. Both outer world and the world of soul and spirit form, within certain limits, separate evolutionary streams. Through the forces inherent in the sensory stream there arise the forms of the 'evil human kingdom'. The necessity for a human soul to incarnate in such a form will only occur if this soul itself has created the conditions for it. The case might also arise that the forms originating from the forces of the sensory could not find human souls originating in the previous age, for these souls might be too good for that type of body. These forms would then have to be ensouled from the cosmos by something quite different from former human souls. Human souls will incarnate in the forms characterized only when they have made themselves ready for such an incarnation. Supersensible cognition is bound to state what it perceives concerning this sphere, namely, that in the future indicated there will exist two human kingdoms, one good and one evil, but it does not abstractly deduce from the present state of human souls a future state appearing as though with the force of self-evident necessity. Evolution of human forms and evolution of soul-destinies must be sought by supersensible cognition on two quite separate paths; any attempt to mix the two in the conception of the world would be a remnant of a materialistic attitude that, if present, would project itself dangerously into the science of the supersensible.

1909-06-28-GA112

In this way we come ever closer to a truth which should be engraved in the human soul as a lofty moral maxim:

When you see something evil in the world, do not say:

Here is evil — that is, imperfection;

ask, rather:

How can I attain to the enlightenment which will show me that on a higher plane this evil is transformed into good by the wisdom of the cosmos? How can I learn to tell myself: Here you see naught but imperfection because you are as yet unable to grasp the perfection of this imperfect thing?

Whenever man sees evil he should look into his own soul and ask himself:

Why am I not yet able to recognize the good in this evil that confronts me?

1915-02 - fragment from conversation of Rudolf Steiner with Adelheide Peterson (1878-1966)

held in February 1915, as reported in 'Erinnerungen an Rudolf Steiner' (p. 191)

Humanity has entered the stage of its development when evil and lies must become visible.

All this already exists - evil, cruelty, isolation, collapse - all this is, but so far hidden. And it should become clear.

This will be found both in the daily life of the individual - in marriage, family, friendship, and above all in hostility - and in the public life of peoples and nations.

There will be no more obstacles for certain things.

All that comes will survive - without soul, without damage to the soul - only those who can in the external world, and above all in their own soul, distinguish between the essential and the non-essential.

It's very difficult, very difficult... and requires continuous, multi-difficult exercise.

For this is a terrible temptation.

Humanity will have to fight lies - with the original evil!

1917-11-04-GA273

The Overcoming of Evil

1918-10-26-GA185

Evil and the Future of Man

1921-09-23-GA207

Evil and the Power of Thought At the Center of Man's Being

Discussion

The problem of Evil

Philosophically, the 'problem' of evil is the question that if God is pure love and good and created everything, then how to explain evil and all the misery in the world. This is presented as a contradiction in deductive logic.

1909-08-31-GA113 (in full in spirhier)

We know that evil does not exist on nirvana budhi plane (ref), but only occurs below. The divine is higher than 'Man's cosmos of Spirit land and below', and is only 'good'. This is important because atheists often pose evil as a key argument against the existence of the divine, because of the contradition with the divine being the absolute good. "How could a God that is pure good create all this evil we see around us, and why?" The answer lies in the luciferic infection and all that followed from it for humanity. The Luciferic beings can be seen as a 'design choice' in our solar system, a well-considered risk and conscious choice related to freedom; it might also just have happened by itself, originating during the Old Sun planetary stage. See Luciferic beings and their influences

The above question of evil is addressed in 1904-08-12-GA090A (see very partial quote above).

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Hans-Werner Schroeder:
    • three articles in 1978-79 in German and in 1979-1980 in English - in PDF: Ahriman and Sorat articles
    • 'Necessary evil: origins and purpose' (1984 in DE as 'Der Mensch und das Bose', 2005 in EN)
  • Herbert Wimbauer: 'Die Stunde der Verführer. Vom Wesen und Wirken des dreivereinten Bösen in der Apokalypse des 20. Jahrhunderts' (1980)
  • Bernard Nesfield-Cookson: Michael and the two-horned beast (1998)