Evolution of Earth

From Anthroposophy

Earth is planetary evolutionary stage or Condition of Consciousness (CoC) going through various CoL and CoF, but with Earth we also refer to our current physical Earth in the current fourth Condition of Life.

See also as well as the Book of Genesis


FMC00.057C provides an overview scheme for the study of the evolution of our current Earth planetary stage and CoC, the formation of the current physical solar system with the planets, the emergence of the spectrum of elements and ethers, and nature's kingdoms on Earth.

Note the threefold recapitulation at CoL level, at CoF level, and then at epoch level; as well as major events such as the Mars transit, and the separation of Sun and Moon. Compare also with FMC00.302 on Earth's seven epochs.

See the excellent coverage by Iwer Thor Lorenzen.


shows the continents and their evolution on world maps for the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs.


Lecture coverage and references

William Scott-Elliot (1849-1919) wrote The Story of Atlantis (1896) and The Lost Lemuria (1904), basing himself oa on input from C.W. Leadbeater. Both were later combined in 1925 into a single volume called The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria. Rudolf Steiner mentioned Scott-Elliot


At the outset those facts will be described which occurred during the existence of the so-called continent of Atlantis, which lay between America and Europe. This part of the surface of our earth was at one time land. Today it is this land which forms the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Plato still told of the last remnant of this land — the Island of Poseidonis — lying to the west of Europe and Africa. In the little book, The Story of Atlantis, by W. Scott-Elliot, the reader will learn that the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean was once a continent; that for about 1,000,000 years it was the scene of a civilisation certainly very different from ours of today; and that the last remnant of this continent was submerged nearly 10,000 years B.C. Details completing those given in that book, and bearing on this hoary civilisation, will be given here. While the outward events of the life of these our Atlantean forefathers are more conspicuously the subject of description in the above work, something will here be said of the soul-life, and of the inner nature of the conditions under which they lived. The reader must therefore go back in thought to a period lying more than 10,000 years behind us, and to a civilisation which had existed for many thousands of years. What is here related, however, took place not only on the continent submerged by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but also in the neighbouring regions that now form Asia, Africa, Europe, and America; and what subsequently happened in these regions was evolved out of that earlier civilisation.

PS: Steiner also makes reference to Scott-Elliot's book in 1915-10-11-GA254 to describe the difference between the 'mediumistic' way that knowledge was received in the Theosophical Society, and his methods of direct clairvoyant spiritual investigation

In accordance with the position I have to take in the spiritual Movement, no other course is possible for me than to carry into strict effect those methods of investigation which are suitable for the modern world and for modern humanity. There is a very significant difference, you see, between the methods of investigation practised in Spiritual Science and those that were practised in the Theosophical Society. All communications received by that Society from the spiritual world — including for example, those given in Scott-Elliot's book on Atlantis — came entirely in the way described, because that alone was considered authoritative and objective. In this connection, the introduction of our spiritual-scientific direction of work was, from the very beginning something entirely new in the Theosophical Society. It took thorough account of modern scientific methods which needed to be elaborated and developed to make ascent to the spiritual realms possible. This discussion was significant. It took place in the year 1904, and showed how great the difference was between what is pursued in Spiritual Science and what was being pursued by the rest of the Theosophical Society; it showed that what we have in Spiritual Science was unknown in the Theosophical Society at that time and that the Theosophical Society was continuing the methods which had been adopted as a compromise between the exotericists and the esotericists.

1923-02-17-GA349 talks about the living earth, past and future

everything goes in cycles, we look back to an earlier time where the earth was fluid in what are now its hardest forms .. then everything cooled down and solid forms arose .. but this will change back again. ..

.. we may say the earth merely sleeps in relation to the cosmos, only it is a long sleep, 15.000 years at least. Once it lived: then it was awake, and connected with the whole of cosmic space.

.. Now you are able to walk on solid ground, but this solid ground will wake up again and be living life, it is really only sleeping

longer extract: (SWCC)

.. by such a course of the stars one can see how everything on earth changes. With the conditions brought by our present vernal point, we have our high mountains with the dead granite masses, containing feldspar, quartz and mica. It is all dried up, devastated. So it was, too, 25,920 years ago: similar conditions then prevailed on earth.

But in between it was all different. For instance, the sun rose at one time in spring in Libra, between Virgo and Scorpio. Then the whole earth was alive, soft, was in fact a kind of plant. We need not go back more than 15,000 years at most, then through the quite different position of the sun the earth had a plant nature, and later an animal nature. We should be able to follow from the sun's course how the influences coming in from cosmic space have altered conditions on the earth.

You must think to yourselves, as you go back in time: the rock in the primeval Alps which is quite hard and solid to-day begins to flow, somewhat as iron flows in an iron foundry. It is naturally not quite the same, for when we go back the flow is reversed, as it were, it is in process of becoming solid. And if we go forward into the future, we shall again have the sun in Libra — for now it rises in Pisces, after 2,160 years in Aquarius, then in Capricorn, Sagittarius and once more in Libra, the Scales. At this future time when the sun rises once more in the Scales, the whole primeval Alpine range will have dissolved. The dense quartzes will have become fluid again, the earth will once more be plant-like and men and animals return to the condition in which they formerly were. In the meanwhile, however, they have absorbed all that they could take in on the earth.

So everything really goes in a circle. We look back to an earlier time when the earth and its hardest formations were fluid. Then the cosmos above brought forth such creatures as I once described to you; they arose through the in-working of heavenly forces and died out. Then all cooled down, solid formations arose and gradually there came the life of to-day. But it all goes back again. The granular quartz and granite, etc., are dissolved and former conditions return, but at a higher stage of evolution.

If you take in your hand a piece of granite containing quartz, you can say: This piece of granite with its quartz will at a future time be alive again. It has lived in former ages and to-day it is dead. It has formed solid ground upon which we can walk about. When we did not need to walk, the solid ground was not there. But one day it will come to life again.

The earth sleeps as regards cosmic space — only the sleep is long, 15,000 years at least. When the earth was alive it was awake, it was in connection with the whole universe and the life forces of the universe brought forth upon it the great beasts. Later, as solidity was reached, these forces brought forth the human beings. Human beings nowadays have a pleasant time of it on earth — of course in regard to the universe too — they can go about on solid ground. But this solid ground will wake up again — it is really only asleep — it will wake up again and become active life.

If we take a piece of chalk, limestone, it is the remains of a portion of life. It is deposited from life, but someday it will be alive again, it is between life and life and is really only asleep.



Related pages

References and further reading

  • Dankmar Bosse: 'The Mutual Evolution of Earth and Humanity - Sketch of a Geology and Paleontology of the Living Earth' (2019)
  • Iwer Thor Lorenzen (evolution covered in his three main books)
  • Walther Cloos: 'The living earth'