From Anthroposophy

History as it is taught, is what Rudolf Steiner called a 'fable convenu', made up by Man in his current materialistic worldview. To make the link to understanding one needs to connect to realities, and this contains two perspectives (see Schema FMC00.059 below):

  • the difference between the official version of world events and history, and the truth, see 'the victor writes the history books', and 'the karma of untruthfulness'
  • the difference between what the 'materialistic world conception' (the worldview based on mineral science) believes as the mechanism of causal origin and result, versus the true underlying spiritual rhythms and realities underlying historical development

Various influences come into play, that have to be contemplated together:

  • the effect of the deceased, of souls between death and rebirth, is a major influence impacting happenings on Earth (1917-12-10-GA179)
  • Man influences and creates the future by contributions of the ether body that objectively separates from our Individuality after death and is incorporated into the whole process of history. (1916-10-02-GA171)
  • People working in groups feed up 'nourishment for the spiritual hierarchies' so as to fructify the souls that incarnate in the next cultural age and receive these seeds in their astral body (1915-06-15-GA159). More on this: Active soul participation#Note .5B1.5D - why are we doing this


  • importance of the evolution of consciousness in the various cultural ages and beyond, due to ever changing soul constitution of Man
  • Impulses from waves of reincarnating souls
    • describes the image of 'waves' of reincarnating souls bringing forth impulses (and not just a mechanistic view of reaction to action, consequence to cause in a materialistic worldview without impulses of the spirit), see Schema FMC00.059 below
  • influences of the souls in the spiritual world onto the physical world
    • The influence of deceased souls - the effect of the deceased, of souls between death and rebirth, is a major influence impacting happenings on Earth (1917-12-10-GA179)
  • influences of major impulses created during incarnate life
    • Man influences and creates the future by contributions of the ether body that objectively separates from our Individuality after death and is incorporated into the whole process of history. Example of the Templars Impulse is given. (1916-10-02-GA171). The ether body of the Individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz is also such example.
    • People working in groups feed up 'nourishment for the spiritual hierarchies' so as to fructify the souls that incarnate in the next cultural age, his way humanity advances by receiving the seeds in their astral body (1915-06-15-GA159). More on this is grouped on Active soul participation#Note .5B1.5D - why are we doing this
  • history is a fable convenu: it is written by as the storyline that serves 'the powers that be', and 'history is written by victors'. It is a reflection of the worldview, in the current cultural age the mechanistic worldview sees and tries to explain everything as reactions to previous actions in the physical material world only.
  • frame of understanding
  • History as we know it makes its first appearance in the Roman period, before that people 'lived with time' (and their consciousness allowed them to experience memory of the past) (1923-12-29-GA233)
  • fact-based Clairvoyant research of akashic records

Some specific important historical events in context

  • 4th century: battle between Maxentius and Constantine at the Milvian Bridge on the 28th October 312 A. D. With an army which was far stronger than that of his adversary Constantine Maxentius had to defend Rome. Constantine had a dream that his soldiers should bear banners with the monogram of Christ instead of the old field signs. Thus it happened, and the army of Maxentius, which had been led out of Rome contrary to reason, was defeated by the weaker armed forces of Constantine, and Maxentius himself found his death on the run.
    • What followed? In the 25 years 312-337, Constantine the Great stopped the persecution of Christians and established Christianity as the religion for the Roman empire. He supported the Church financially, built basilicas (oa 30 years building the Old St. Peter's Basilica), granted privileges to clergy, promoted Christians to high office, and returned property confiscated during the long period of persecution.
    • full coverage, see: The Christ Impulse from the 1st to the 20th century#Aspects
  • the migrations in Europe from the 4th century onwards, see Migrations but also Folk souls#Note .5B1.5D - Preparation of the central European culture .28I.29
  • case example for study: Central European cultural basin
  • the Roman emperor Frederick I or Frederick Barbarossa (1122-1190), see 1916-12-25-GA173B

Significant rhythms and influences

Inspirational quotes


Thus delicately interwoven are the facts existing behind the physical world that alone make explicable to us what occurs in it. We come to understand history only when we are able to point to such facts of a spiritual nature lying behind the physical ones. History can never be explained by considering physical facts alone.


... what has so long been practised as a pragmatic view of history is not important, reporting as it does on one event, followed by another, and another, and yet another.

What is important is to recognize the facts characterized by the many interrelationships in the events which follow one another. ... to point out what is characteristic about the facts, namely, what reveals the forces lying behind maya.

Pragmatic history must today give way to a history of symptoms ... to understand history symptomatically and widen our horizons.

Those who see through things in this way will be in a position to form judgements about certain events which differ considerably from those of people who reel off the events of world history — this fable convenue — one after the other, as is done in historical science today. ...


I have often stated that what we call history today is really a fable convenue, a fable agreed upon, for the reason that the abstract recounting of events and the searching for cause and effect in historical processes in an external sense does not take into account the transformations, the metamorphoses of human soul life itself.


causal history .. assumes that what follows always arises as the effect of what went before. But when we look at the surface of a body of water and see the waves one after the other, can we really see every subsequent wave as the result of the one that went before it? Shouldn't we then look into the depths of the water for the cause, the common cause, for the succession of waves? It is no different with history. We overlook what is most significant if we look only at the connection between cause and effect. We overlook what prevails deep in the forces of human evolution and brings individual phenomena to the surface in the course of time ..


if it looks at history, spiritual science would have to pursue a symptomatology constituted from the fact that one is aware that behind what takes it course as the stream of physical-sensible facts lie the driving spiritual forces. But everywhere in historical development there are times when what has real being and essence (das eigentlich Wesenhafte) comes as a symptom to the surface and can be judged discerningly from the phenomena only if one has the possibility to penetrate more deeply from one's awareness of these phenomena into the depths of historical development.

More on: Christ Impulse - meeting of two streams#1920-10-17-GA200


From 1924-09-10-GA238

It is impossible to comprehend the inner motives of history and life unless we turn our gaze to that spiritual background which underlies the outer, physical happenings. Men do indeed describe as history the events that take place in the physical world, and they often say that this world-history represents causes and effects .. how is so great an illusion possible?

It is as though we saw a running stream of water throwing waves up on to the surface and tried to explain each successive wave as the result of the preceding one, whereas the forces bringing forth the waves are really penetrating upwards from below.

So it is indeed. That which takes place at any point of historic evolution or of human life in general is moulded out of the spiritual world, ..


Only a part of historical events happens in consciousness.


Schema FMC00.059 positions history 'as we are told' to what can be read clairvoyantly as objective truth in the akashic records, and how true history is an emanation and expression of spiritual impulses that are carried by waves of reincarnating human souls.


Schema FMC00.398 is an illustration of secondary literature, see SoSoG, and how a topic such as History has been worked and enriched. In this example: Wilkinson's booklets take an entry-level teaching narrative and so are easy to rend entry points, Teichmann takes a perspective of the Mysteries (not in all his books), and so on. This illustrative example is of course not exhaustive and does not imply other historians would be any less important, this just shows how certain people have published multiple volumes (such as Heyer and von Gleich) making it a cornerstone of their lifetime contribution.


Schema FMC00.167 provides a two millenia overview of the cultural age of the intellectual soul, with focus on the preparations and overflow into the consciousness soul.

In Rudolf Steiner lectures, key dates come back of the 4th century, the 9th century, the year 1250, and the first part of the 15th century. All these are related as shown in the green and blue bars on top, showing a gradual process centered around the 'kick-in' point of the 4th century, but starting 5 centuries earlier and having its effect until 5 centuries later (darker blue).

This is the period of handover of SoF to archai, the great curtain was now finally let down over the ancient atavistic clairvoyance and old wisdom (see eg old knowledge phase out, upto the School of Chartres).

At the same time it is also a new beginning of a form of new thinking of which Scotus Eriugena was a very early post, which saw its rising with scholasticism, and that really 'hit' the whole of humanity from the 15th century onwards. This gave rise to the new autonomeous thinking by Man, and the development of mineral science. Around 1250 is when the SoF weave the consciousness soul, and in the first third of the 15th century the first hierarchy, in some sort of 'cosmic thunderstorm', 'hard-codes the wiring' into Man's physical system, the sense-nerve subsystem.


The above chart is focused on the transition of the consciousness soul, it does not show the new Michael era starting 1879 and the new form of clairvoyance that appears from 20-21st century onwards (see Christ in the etheric). It also does not show the counter-events of the two Thirty Years Wars, the first from 1618-1648 countering the Rosecrucian impulse, and the second from 1914-1945 to counter the Michael impulse and distort the German-Slavic cultural and spiritual developments.

Schema FMC00.489 depicts the political-cultural map of Europe in 1890 (upper left) and 1950 (lower right).

For background, see explanation on: Jacob Boehme#Note .5B1.5D - Historical perspective - waves and counterwaves

Lecture coverage and references

Coverage overview

The GA has an arc of seven cycles GA170 tot 174B called 'Cosmic and Human History'.

However the essential cycles to start with are the following 25 lectures:

  • 1916-GA171 - Inner Impulses of Evolution (7 lectures)
  • 1918-GA185 - From Symptom to Reality in Modern History (9 lectures)
  • 1923-GA233 - World history in the light of anthroposophy and as a foundation for knowledge of the human spirit (9 lectures)

Building on this, furthermore see also the GA17x volumes on the 20th century (and World War I):

Source extracts


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'.


Now, as I have pointed out to you, he who goes deeply into the events of the time should continually bear in mind that with so-called civilized humanity's present-day thinking and feeling, the social order can only be maintained for a few more decades. A reshaping of sentiment and thinking is essential to mankind, a transformation of many ideas, perceptions, feelings and will impulses; spiritual science is ready to contribute its share toward the comprehension of such a renewal.

Official history today is really of little help in making a Man understand why the things that go on around him are as they are. For the most part, official history does not desire to look into the inner growth of things, but instead registers what happens externally and, in what might be called the simplest and most convenient manner, always considers what has happened earlier to be the cause of what follows.

But when one traces things back to their causes in the simple, easygoing way that modern history largely employs, one comes to positive absurdities. Ultimately, one would have to come to the opinion that the greatest part — yes, perhaps even the most widespread part of what happens — owes its existence not to sense, but to absurdity. If the full consequences of the views that people are so prone to entertain in our time were examined logically, one would have to admit that there is not sense, but nonsense in history.

Let us take an example that everyone who studies ordinary history can see for himself. ...


.. when an event takes place such as happened with the Templars, something different again comes about from when it is only a case of the individual lives. The life that we lead as an individual remains within our own person; but there is also the life that can be objectively separated from us — as in the case of the Templars.

  • On the one hand, what they were able to do for the continuance and spread of the Mystery of Golgotha and,
  • on the other hand, what happened through the working of Mephistophelian-Ahrimanic forces for the impulse of modern materialism,

.. all this also continues to live on as fragments of the ether body. But it is incorporated into the whole process of history.

So that

  • some of the life Man lives in his ether body lives on further with the human individuality,
  • while some of it is incorporated into the course of history — when it has been torn away from the human being in the manner described.

And the ether body is the means or medium whereby what a person lives in his soul so objectively that it can go out of his soul — whereby this may have, as it were, something to hold on to for its further life — it is the ether body that provides for this.

What flowed into the etheric world from the spiritual impulses of the Templars lived on etherically, and through this continued etheric life many souls were prepared to receive the inspirations that I have described as coming out of the spiritual world from the souls of the Templars themselves. That is what has actually been taking place in modern times.

Into what flowed from the souls of the Templars, however, there began to enter more and more that which flows from the Mephistophelian-Ahrimanic impulses and is steeped in the Mephistophelian element, and which was inaugurated on the racks where the Templars were tortured, inasmuch as they were forced under torture to speak untruths about themselves. This fact — not alone, but as one of the spiritual grounds of modern materialism — has to be understood if one would acquire an inner understanding of modern materialistic evolution.

And so it came about that in modern times, while certain individuals were inspired with high spiritual truths, the general culture became more and more materialistic in character; and the eye of the soul grew dim for what now surrounds us spiritually and also for that whither we go when we pass through the gate of death and whence we come when we pass through the gate of birth. More and more was the gaze of Man turned away from beholding the spiritual, and this was true in all the different spheres of life — the spiritual sphere, the sphere of religion, the sphere of social life. More and more was the gaze directed to the material world as it showed itself to his senses. And the result has been that, since the rise of modern times, mankind has fallen into a great many errors.

Again let me say, I am not criticizing the fact, I am not passing judgment on it. Through the fact that errors found their way into human evolution, human beings have to experience these errors, and they will gradually come to see them; and, in overcoming them, get stronger forces than they could have had if the path to their goal had been implanted in them automatically. And now the time has come when this insight must be developed and human beings must see how, in all that is material, live impulses to error. Today Man is called upon again and again to make up his mind to see through the errors and overcome them.

It is not our intention to lay blame on anything that has happened in history, what we want to do is to look at history objectively. The events of modern times have brought it about that Man's thoughts and feelings run their course only in accordance with external physical reality, only in accordance with what Man experiences between birth and death. Even the religious life has gradually assumed a personal character, inasmuch as it aims merely at putting into Man's hand a means whereby he may find blessing in his own soul. The religious life of more modern times, that turns Man's gaze more and more away from the concrete spiritual world, is really permeated with the materialistic outlook. As has been said, we have no intention of casting aspersion on any event in history; the events of history, must however be described in such a way that they may be rightly understood — that is, if the coming generation is not to fail into decadence but to take a turn, and move upwards.

We see the stream of materialism flow on and, side by side with it, the parallel hidden stream; and then at the end of the 18th century we come to a tremendous event, an event the influence of which was felt throughout the whole of the 19th century and right on into the present time. At the end of the 18th century, we see the French Revolution spreading its currents far and wide over European civilization. Many things took their course in the French Revolution as the historians have described them. But in addition to the understanding one has already of the French Revolution, in addition to the impulse one has recognized as proceeding from it and working on in European history, we must also understand the spiritual effects of materialistic Mephistophelian-Ahrimanic impulses. The French Revolution strove for a very high ideal. (As I said before, we are not concerned with finding fault but with understanding the events of history.) The French Revolution strove for a very high ideal; and it strove for it in a time upon which still felt the shadow of the event I have described today, the event which left Mephistopheles-Ahriman mighty to send forth into European life the impulse of materialism. And we may say of the best of those who were responsible for the French Revolution that they believed in the physical plane alone. It may be that in their consciousness they thought they believed in something else. What people profess with words is however of little account; the important thing is to have a live consciousness in one's soul of what is really working in the world; and those who were responsible for the French Revolution were conscious only of the physical plane.



It is remarkable how short-sighted the modern historical view is and how little inclination there is to go more deeply into matters which are quite characteristic of situations.

I have already pointed out that what has so long been practised as a pragmatic view of history is not important, reporting as it does on one event, followed by another, and another, and yet another. What is important is to recognize the facts characterized by the many interrelationships in the events which follow one another. What matters is to point out what is characteristic about the facts, namely, what reveals the forces lying behind maya. Pragmatic history must today give way to a history of symptoms.

Those who see through things in this way will be in a position to form judgements about certain events which differ considerably from those of people who reel off the events of world history — this fable convenue — one after the other, as is done in historical science today.


What we must do is learn to understand history symptomatically and widen our horizons. We need to develop a sense for what is important and what really gives insight.


comments on the 30 years war and the rosecrucian impulse. What eventually happened in the 20th century after these words, was a second 30 year war from 1914-1945, countering the impulse of anthroposophy and the appearance of Christ in the etheric.

[extract synopsis]

The Thirty Years' War prevented the realization of a spiritual movement visualized by Johann Valentin Andreae. Unless a sufficient number of people wake up to an understanding of the spiritual aspect of our time there is a real danger of what ought to happen being again prevented.

[relevant extract]

In the year 1613 Johann Valentin Andrae wrote The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz; the book appeared in 1616. During the years from 1614 to 1617 Valentin Andrae wrote other works in which he expresses the thoughts and feelings of his time. One of his books has as its subtitle: "To the Princes and Heads of States." Andrae wanted to show that what man believes himself to be and what he believes others to be is maya, is a great illusion. He wanted man to have the opportunity to learn to know his true self and that of others. He had in mind a great spiritual movement and had given much thought and preparation to its realization. Two outstanding events were in preparation at that time: the movement Valentin Andrae wanted, and the Thirty Years' War, lasting from 1618 to 1648.

The events that led to the Thirty Years' War made impossible the movement which Johann Valentin Andrae wanted to bring about. Much would have to be said if one were to describe the various causes for this failure. Attempts are often made which fail but which later succeed. There was at that time a possibility that it may have succeeded but it did not.

Today we again find ourselves within two streams, two possibilities, which must of necessity affect one another.

  • On the one hand there is Anthroposophy with the impulse to further human evolution;
  • on the other hand there is all that which has brought about events, similar in nature to those that caused the Thirty Years' War.

It depends upon mankind whether once again what ought to happen is prevented from happening. Lethargy, love of ease might well paralyze the present attempt. Whether things would then take their course as they did when the attempt made by Valentin Andrae was paralyzed is another matter.

More on this rosecrucian spiritual impulse at the start of the 17th century, see: 'Note [1] - Historical perspective - waves and counterwaves' in the Discussion area on the Jacob Boehme page


For this purpose a very special arrangement was required. You must try to understand what developed at that time.

In the centuries preceding the fourteenth century, the human being had to be guarded from this double. The double had to be gradually withdrawn from Man's circle of vision. Only now is he gradually permitted to come into it again, now when the human being must adapt his relationship to him. A really significant arrangement was required, which could be attained only in the following way. Since the ninth or tenth century, conditions in Europe were gradually adjusted in such a way that the European people lost a certain connection that they had formerly, a connection that was still important for human beings in earlier centuries, the sixth and seventh centuries A.D. Beginning in the ninth century and especially from the twelfth century on, the entire shipping exchange with America with the kind of ships there were at that time, was abolished.

This may sound very strange to you. You will say, “We have never heard anything like this in history.”

In many respects, history is just a fable convenue, a legend; for in earlier centuries of Europe development, ships continually sailed from the Norway of that time to America. Of course it was not called America it had a different name at that time. America was known to be the region where the magnetic forces particularly arose that brought the human being into relation with this double.

For the clearest relations to the double proceed from that region of the Earth that comprises the American continent. And in the earlier centuries people sailed over to America in Norwegian ships and studied illnesses there. The illnesses in America brought about under the influence of earthly magnetism were studied by Europe. And the mysterious origin of the older European medicine is to be sought there. There one could observe the course of illness that could not have been observed in Europe, where people were more sensitive with regard to the influence of the double.


history is a fable convenu, example of discovery of America

In earlier times quite definite impulses had been brought from America, but in the period when the fifth post-Atlantean epoch was beginning it was necessary that the peoples of Europe should be uninfluenced by America — should know nothing of it and should live in the belief that there was no such country. Only when the fifth post-Atlantean age had begun was America again “discovered,” as history says. But, as you know very well, much of the history taught in schools is fable convenue, and one of these fables is that America was discovered for the first time in 1492. In fact, it was only rediscovered. The connection had been blotted out for a period, as destiny required. But we must know the truth of these historical circumstances and how it was that Europe was hedged in and carefully sheltered from certain influences which were not to come in. These things show how necessary it is not to take the so-called unconscious as actually unconscious, but to recognise it as something that pursues its aims very consciously below the threshold of ordinary consciousness. It is important today that more people should come to know of certain secrets. That is why I went as far as one can go publicly in my Zürich lectures, [Four public lectures on 5th, 7th, 12th and 14th November, 1917] when, as you know, I explained to what extent the history of mankind is not known by ordinary consciousness, but is in fact dreamt through; and when I said that only when people become aware of this, will they come to see history in its true colours.


An historian will always try to reduce the whole process to the working of a single principle, but that is not how things happen. Directly we cross the threshold of the spiritual world, whether downwards or upwards — it is one and the same — we find that different individualities, relatively independent of each other, are working into these events. We shall never understand the course of events if we assume a single source for them; we shall see them rightly only if in the turbulence of events we reckon with the activities of individualities who are working either with or against each other.

This is something that belongs to the deepest secrets of human evolution. For centuries, even for millennia, it has been obscured by monotheistic feeling, but you must take it into account. If to-day we are to come closer to ultimate questions, we must above all not confuse logic with abstract freedom from contradictions. In a world where independent individualities are simultaneously at work, contradictions are bound to occur, and to expect them not to occur leads to an impoverishment of ideas; to ideas which cannot embrace the whole of reality. The only adequate ideas will be those that are able to grasp a world replete with contradictions, for that is the real world.


sketches the context of the influence of the deceased on the world happenings

During the course of these public lectures I have purposely drawn your attention to the historical course of life — what Man lives through historically, what he lives through socially, what he lives through in the ethical relationships between people. All this really has the value of a dream, of sleep; the impulses which man develops when he surpasses his personal existence and is active within the community, are impulses of dream and sleep.

People will consider history in quite another way when this has reached their living consciousness; they will no longer consider as history the fable convenue that is usually called history today; but they will realize that historical life can only be understood when that which is dreamed and slept away in usual consciousness, and contains the influences of the deeds, impulses and activities of the so-called dead, is sought in this historical life.

The deeds of the dead are interwoven with the impulses of feeling and will of the so-called living. And this is real history.


A hundred, — nay, a thousand, — examples could be given; this knowledge must inevitably come; and it be well if as many souls as possible could be awakened to the fact. In the subconscious of mankind the longing for such knowledge is extraordinarily widespread. External powers, which I have often described, hold it back. We must very carefully keep in mind what is implied in the close of my article on Christian Rosenkreutz, in “Das Reich.” We must remember that what became evident in the seventeenth century had been noticeable since the fifteenth, Growing steadily stronger. In speaking of it now to people of our own time, the customary scientific formulae must be used. I described in the last number of “Das Reich” how it was manifested in the writing of the “Chemical Marriage” of Christian Rosenkreuz by Johann Valentin Andreae. Philologists have racked their brains about this: Johann Valentin Andreae wrote down the “Chemical Marriage”, in which really deep occult knowledge was hidden, but behaved afterwards in a very remarkable fashion, Not only was he unable to explain certain words he had spoken in connection with writings which he had produced at the same time as the “Chemical Marriage”, but in spite of having transcribed this great work, he appeared to be entirely without understanding of it. This bigoted Pastor, who afterwards wrote all kinds of other things, does not understand anything of the “Chemical Marriage”, nor of the other works composed by him at the same period. He was only seventeen when he wrote it. He never altered; he remained just the same person; but a totally different power had spoken through him. Philologists cudgelled their brains, and corresponded about it. His hand wrote it; his body was present, assisting; but through his human equipment a spiritual power, not then in earthly incarnation, wished to make it known to mankind, in the style of those days.

Then came the Thirty Years War, the tomb of much which should then have come to mankind. What should have been then understood, was not understood, was even consigned to oblivion.

The “Chemical Marriage” was written down about 1603, ostensibly by one who signed himself Johann Valentin Andreae; little notice was taken of it because in 1613 the Thirty Years War began. Such things often happen before a war.

Then one can truly read in the signs of the times: “What is now planted as a seed, must one day bear flowers and fruit”.


is a lecture called 'history and repeated earth lives', and gives some concrete examples of important topics not known by history today

It is really necessary to look behind the scenes of world-history, and not to cling to the legends so often retailed to mankind as the “history of the world.” These legends must ultimately suffer the fate of being dismissed as school-girl tales ... The times we live in are much too serious for us to refrain from emphasizing what must be learnt; and the most important thing gained from these maters will be the acquirement of a judnment which will awaken man's consciousness — so that he will no longer remain asleep to current tendencies. A monstrous thing happens in our present time, but men do not, and will not, see it; they prefer to look at everything in a disguised and confused way. If here or there a note is struck, sounding from the depths of human development, it is repulsed with phrases drawn from superficial journalism or newspaper articles, which are as far as possible from profitable truth.



Only through a knowledge of the most important and essential laws of human evolution can Man attain a real consciousness that supports his soul. Man must learn to know the events of human evolution and make them part of his question of taking fully into account that the evolution of mankind is itself an evolution of a living entity.

Just as there is ordered growth in the single human individual, so is there ordered growth in the evolution of the whole human race.

And since the present is the moment when we have to become conscious of certain things, and since the human being has participated, during his repeated Earth lives, in the various configurations of humanity's evolutionary history, it is also necessary to develop an understanding for the different human soul moods in the various epochs of mankind's evolution.

I have often stated that what we call history today is really a fable convenue, a fable agreed upon, for the reason that the abstract recounting of events and the searching for cause and effect in historical processes in an external sense does not take into account the transformations, the metamorphoses of human soul life itself.

When, from this point of view, we make tests, we can easily show that it is a prejudice to believe that the soul mood of modern man prevailed also in the times to which the first historical documents reach back. This is not the case. Human beings, even the simplest, most primitive, of the ninth and tenth post-Christian centuries had a soul mood completely different from that of human beings after the middle of the fifteenth century. We can trace this right into the lower strata of the human race, but also into the upper levels.



An understanding of the very significant demands of the present and the near future will not find a footing in our times if there is not first a penetrating understanding of the way in which humanity has arrived at this current moment in civilization's evolution.


.. not a causal history and also not a pragmatic history, all the lovely things that are sometimes so admired.

What then is causal history? .. It assumes that what follows always arises as the effect of what went before.

But when we look at the surface of a body of water and see the waves one after the other, can we really see every subsequent wave as the result of the one that went before it? Shouldn't we then look into the depths of the water for the cause, the common cause, for the succession of waves?

It is no different with history. We overlook what is most significant if we look only at the connection between cause and effect. We overlook what prevails deep in the forces of human evolution and brings individual phenomena to the surface in the course of time so that they cannot be described merely from the standpoint of cause and effect. What happens during one century is not just the effect of what happened in the century before; it is brought to the surface independently, only secondarily as an effect, it is brought independently to the surface from deep in humanity's evolutionary stream.


is called 'World history in the light of anthroposophy' and describes how the soul and body constitution of Man is central to worldview and culture, whereby today this aspect of evolution is not taken into account in history. The lecture goes into detail of sketching this for the faculty of memory.

Everything that has happened in the historical evolution of mankind has its origin and cause in the inner being of Man.


We have to let the whole picture of this change in man's soul pass before our eyes in order to realise its significance in the history of Man's evolution. It is by observing such things as these that light begins to be thrown upon history.


Then follows the age that gave birth to the western civilisation of the Middle Ages and of modern times. Here there is no longer a memory of the cosmic past, still less an experience in the present of the past; nothing is left but tradition.

  1. Memory of the cosmic past.
  2. Present experience of the past.
  3. Tradition.

Men can now write down what has happened. History begins. History makes its first appearance in the Roman period.

Think, my dear friends, what a tremendous change we have here! Think how the pupils in the Ephesian Mysteries lived with time. They needed no history books. To write down what happened would have been to them laughable. One only needed to ponder and meditate deeply enough, and what had happened would rise up before one from out of the depths of consciousness. Here was no demonstration of psycho-analysis such as a modern doctor might make: the human soul took the greatest delight in fetching up in this way out of a living memory that which had been in the past.

In the time that followed, however, mankind as such had forgotten, and the necessity arose of writing down what happened. But all the while that Man had to let his ancient power of cosmic memory crumble away, and begin in a clumsy manner to write down the great events of the world, — all this time personal memory, personal recollection was evolving in his inner being. For every age has its own mission, every age its own task.

Manfred Schmidt-Brabant

in his lecture 1 of the year 2000, published in 'Thinkers, Saints, Heretics' (see Further reading section below), distinguishes five historical impulses:

  • 1 - causal stream
  • 2 - reincarnation: people come from a past earth life and bring with them impulses that cannot be explained in terms of what occurred in external history immediately preceding them [see: Impulses from waves of reincarnating souls]
  • 3 - stream of various Mystery traditions that have been handed down and exerted their influence on cultural and historical development
  • 4 - level of activity of spiritual beings, eg the archangel periods of approx 354 years [see: Spiritual hierarchies and their eigenperiods]
  • 5 - the 'great impulses of time'


Note 1 - On process

The process for taking in information should not be a simple accepting and swallowing what gets found or offered, but engage all faculties of the soul, especially discernment.

Given many sources of information, and also unqualified truthfullness, the process typically contains the following key steps

  • [1] never trust or go by only a single source, of a source of one certain 'camp', but look for and/or select three opinions, eg A, B and C
  • [2] map out the background behind these voices or opinions: who are the people, network/financing/shareholders, values and virtues that speak out of actions and choices and reputation.
    • eg does the person 'voice of opinion' radiate honesty and truthfullness? or appear of rather dubious values? does he/she look for controversy?
  • [3] compare the differences between the different opinions, and for each of them also look for the two vantage perspective points of source/origin and goal/destination:
    • [3A] where they are at - where this is driving, where this reasoning wants to lead, what does this voice wants you to think/feel.
    • [3B] where is this coming from - what are drivers, motivations
  • [4] Connecting the two questions in [3] allows integration with [2] .. what groups of people have what incentives and why. What do they gain or get out of it, to propagate such opinion-ware?
  • [5] Furthermore use intuition and gut feel to
    • explore content around A, B and C. Is the author alone (hardly known and one small booklet), or well-organized and funded with website and books in the media with many reviews?

from an internet forum (edited)

Discern what is happening from what view this person, or that person, or I myself, have.

Reality has many different levels.

  • It is just a reality that certain themes and views are promoted in the media. That is the reality I can judge about. I cannot judge about the (absolute) reality of a story from one source.
  • As mainstream media is not a very multifaceted medium but streamlined for certain purposes, I have to look for other sources.
  • Given various sources, the discrepancies between views are the interesting thing. In-between I have a "creative playfellow".
  • If I use it properly and recognise the different agendas, I can come to some guesses or 'working hypotheses'. Those are material for further 'research' and/or attentiveness.

Some of these problems are as well present in 'my' view into the akasha chronicle. No objective truth is delivered freely...

Related pages

References and further reading

  • Stewart C. Easton:
    • 'From symptom to reality in modern history' (in Anthroposophical Quarterly, 21, 3, p 70-74)
    • 'A Brief History of the Western World' (1962)
    • 'The Heritage of the Past From the Earliest Times to 1500' (1965)
  • Christoph Lindenberg: Teaching History (2014)
  • Karl Heise: 'Entente-Freimaurerei und Weltkrieg : ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Weltkrieges und zum Verständnis der wahren Freimaurerei' (1920, 1982)
  • Hans Erhard Lauer:
    • Geschichte als Stufengang der Menschwerdung : ein Beitrag zu einer Geschichtswissenschaft auf geisteswissenschaftlicher Grundlage (3 volumes)
      • 1: Erkenntnis und Erinnerung (1956)
      • 2: Die Wiederverkörperung des Menschen als Lebensgesetz der Geschichte (1958)
      • 3: Wille und Vorsehung : der moralische Aspekt der Geschichte (1961)
    • 'Die Forderungen des 20. Jahrhunderts an die Geschichtforschung : Geschichte als Wissenschaft von der Zukunft' (Studienmaterial zur Geschichte, lectures 15-16 jan. 1966)
  • Irma v. Lorentz: 'Sternenrhythmen in der Geschichte (1986)
  • Walter Johannes Stein: 'Weltgeschichte im Lichte der heiligen Gral : das neunte Jahrhundert' (1966)
  • Manfred Schmidt-Brabant and Virginia Sease: 'Thinkers, Saints, Heretics: Spiritual Paths of the Middle Ages' (2007 in EN, original in DE 2005)