The four elements of warmth (or 'fire'), air, water and earth denote the spiritual substance created in the planetary system in previous planetary stages of evolution, together with the higher ethers. Each combination of a lower element and a higher ether arose from the sacrifice of spiritual beings who had reached a certain level of consciousness, whereby the sacrificed their lowest principle and emanated substance. See FMC00.265 and GA132.
The elements and higher ethers belong togther, see Spectrum of elements and ethers, and are coupled by the etheric formative forces coming from the the elementary kingdoms (EK). How this hangs together is described in the Golden Chain, see Overview Golden Chain.
- unbalances of warmth and air (warmth and light ethers) called Luciferic influences, and water and earth (chemical and life ethers) called Ahrimanic influences
- elemental balance in Bardon's Initiation into Hermetics (IIH)
- link to the Human temperaments, depending on the dominant element
FMC00.265 provides a summary table of the GA132 lectures that describes the four elements as a spiritual process between spiritual hierarchies. These processes gave emergence to what we currently call the elements and ethers.
FMC00.149 gives a tabular synthesis of solar system evolution, showing the development of the Spectrum of elements and ethers and the development of our current Four kingdoms of nature, as well as Man's developing Condition of Consciousness.
FMC00.324 is an illustration from 'Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians' (1780s), showing the four elements and the converging triangles on the left, and the relation with polarity: creating make and female from the Sun and the Moon. See also The two etheric streams
FMC00.194 shows how during the preceding planetary stages (and recapitulations on Earth), the elements and ethers were created, in a way that the spiritual hierarchies all remain present in the totality of the whole spectrum of elements and ethers. See also Schema FMC00.193 on Sacrifice.
Lecture coverage and references
Empedocles possessed a modern spirit, but at the same time he was initiated in many different mysteries. He was clairvoyant to a high degree. Let us now imagine vividly that his modern way of thinking made him feel inclined to consider the world from a materialistic aspect; he has, in fact, drawn up a materialistic system which describes the world more or less from the stand point of a modern materialistic chemist, namely, as a combination and separation of elements. The one difference is that Empedocles distinguishes only four elements. He thought that various beings arise according to the way in which these four elements combine. As a result of these thoughts he felt the strong desire to discover in a true and real way what lies behind these material elements, what air and water really contain. If we peruse the Akasha Chronicle today and look into water, air, fire and earth we shall discover in them etherically the Christ. Empedocles could not find Him, but he felt the tremendous impulse to discover something in air and water, fire and earth, to find out what they really contain.
References and further reading