The various continents or geographical areas on earth are populated predominantly by human beings with various different characteristics, not only skin colour but also the bodily constitution (see Schema FMC00.220 below). This diversity has to do with evolutionary origin and the spiritual forces working in them, as well as earth geography.
From a spiritual scientific evolutionary perspective:
The concept of race is linked to
- the incarnation of human spirits (from the different planets) incarnating into physical bodies (and then crafting the bodily form)
- the earth geography (and the impact of the formative forces, from the Lemurian epoch onwards)
- and not in the least the effect of the luciferic infection (or the 'fall') and the resulting impact (the pollution of the human phantom body, the advent of physical death and the start of the process of reincarnation in the Lemurian epoch): it are the luciferic Spirits of Motion (or abnormal SoF) who are underlying the propagation of the different races.
Man is a spiritual being in evolution, and develops through learning. The bodily sheaths and world environment provide the learning and developmental environment. Man as a spirit incarnates into a body as part of this learning experience and development.
The human races represent a ladder or staircase supporting this evolution, along the developmental targets and the changes to the environment (Earth, the spiritual influences, ..). The shell hosting the human spirit was developed over preceding planetary stages, and as Man's make-up morphs through the various developmental stages on Earth, so does the physical and etheric shell hosting the developing I-consciousness of Man. From this perspective, taking a step back, we see Man's bodily sheats, physiology, bodily form and faculties .. transform greatly between the Lemurian epoch and the current timeframe, and this will continue in the future.
Along the way, the whole population does not evolve at the same speed. And just as spiritual cohorts or subsegments of a population are on different planets, depending on their spiritual maturity, something similar takes place with the variety of subsegments of souls evolving at different speeds. Providing the right environment for all of them to move forward, as needs vary with the developmental stage.
The nature of such developments is cyclic, see Cosmic breathing but also Overlapping evolutionary periods. See the schemas FMC00.169/A/B on that page, alongside quote 1908-05-16-GA102 below. See also the topic of the Eight sphere and Schema FMC00.149 (on Overview of solar system evolution) or FMC00.077A (on Creation of solar system) showing the future evil races.
- After the Lemurian epoch (after the separation of the Moon and the start of incarnation) and throughout the Atlantean epoch, souls from the different planetary spheres descended and incarnated in physical bodies. This gave rise to different races. (1909-06-09-GA109 on Planets hosting ..) Furthermore afterwards there were various migrations from the Atlantean culture (1908-08-10-GA105 and FMC00.186 below),as well.
- The main reason for the different 'races' is a result of the counterforces, the luciferic and ahrimanic influences in the lemurian and atlantean epochs. The 'original plan' - without luciferic infection - would have been that humanity would be unified through the etheric and physical bodies. In other words: the whole of humanity would have had the same type of etheric and physical body in each cultural age. (See 1916-01-09-GA165 on Q00.002)
- the spirits associated with the propagation of the races (ai the racial differences); the abnormal SoF or luciferic SoM, are most easily perceived on the astral plane where they appear as hideous creatures and are also very dangerous (see 1910-06-11-GA121 and 1912-04-13-GA136 below)
- As a result of the above, five races have differentiated, linked to the planets (from which the spirits descended into bodies) and the abnormal SoF (or luciferic SoM) mingling their influence with the normal SoF (1910-06-12-GA121 and 1923-03-03-GA349 below).
- The five races can be linked to five points on Earth from which the planetary spirits underlying the different races work. See 1910-06-12-GA121 and schema FMC00.206.
- See also Schema FMC00.204 and the analysis by Sigismund von Gleich for an analysis of the evolutionary influences and the link with geography. The geographical influence is ao at the end of the 1923-03-03-GA349 quote below, but also in 1910-06-12-GA121, and 1909-10-27-GA115 discussing the geographical direction between Lemuria and Atlantis that enabled Man to learn how to speak.
- Five races can be distinguished on Earth in the current epoch, they are related by origin to five different streams in the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs. The current racial 'remnants' are not at all equal or representative of the races of origin in the Atlantean epoch. The races have different skin colour but much more importantly a different physiology, with another part of the brain and another subsystem dominating in the whole.
- There are seven different types of etheric bodies as a result of the cosmic forces working on the etheric bodies that shape the physical bodies (1916-01-09-GA165 below)
- The three kings or magicians appearing at the birth of the Jesus child, also characterized by three colours and races, are symbolic representatives of the three root races and epochs: the Lemurian, Atlantean and current Aryan or Postatlantean epochs (1904-12-30-GA090A see below in Discussion section).
- The evolutionary ladder and the sixteen paths of perdition (1908-05-16-GA102, see below Discussion section, )
- the distinction between race and 'folk' or 'people'
- human races repeat earlier conditions, eg the religious consciousness of the ancient Indian cultural age with a single God is a repetition of the Polarian epoch, the ancient Persian with two Gods is a repetition of the Hyperborean, and the Chaldean-Egyptian threefoldedness of God a repetition of the Lemurian epoch §1905-03-18-GA090B)
Note on terminology
The term 'race' was used in theosophical literature at the end of the 19th century without the connotations that were added during the 20th century. Whereas currently the word 'race' today is coupled immediately to judgements and implications of inequality and discrimination, in the spiritual scientific context it had a purely technical' explanatory meaning in an evolutionary framework. See references below.
Quotes from early theosophical sources such as Helena Blavatsky contain the terms 'root race' and 'sub-race' to denote the epoch and cultural ages, however in earlier epochs the different periods also had a very different constitution and were truly different races. Rudolf Steiner mentioned that for the Atlantean epoch, one could not talk about different races for each of the seven periods in that epoch, but that the term 'race' looses its meaning in the current Postatlantean epoch for a number of reasons. Hence for the current epoch the sub-periods are denoted by the term 'cultural age'. The racial remnants that were the foundation for the population of the earth in the current epoch are described in Schemas FMC00.186 and FMC00.204 below.
Sensitivity of the topic
The use of the term race shifted dramatically over time due to a multitude of developments whereby people discriminated because of colour and race came up for equality of human rights. This was especially the case in the 20th century (see examples below), but finds its longer origin in the historical concept of slavery. Slavery was common and widespread in ancient cultures upto Greece and Rome, and upto the middle ages. It was a result of the conquest by people and nations of other geographies and people, where they found or perceived people to be weaker or inferior and/or treated them as such. As milestone illustrations in recent history:
- the abolishment of slavery, eg in the United States (1789-1861) where the human chattel enslavement of africans and african americans was legally instituted
- the independance of people discriminated and supressed in the colonies by Western states, an example being India (1893-1947), see eg Gandhi and nonviolent resistance against the discrimination of the native Indian people by the British rule
- the use of the term in Nazi Germany (1933-1945), and the racial policy as a result of views of superiority of the notherwestern-european 'aryan' race as described by Hitler. Linked to this are often out-of-context erroneous interpretations of Nietzsche's writings or statements by Wagner.
- the civil rights movement against racial discrimination in the United States (1954-1968), see Martin Luther King
- the quest for equality by people discriminated and supressed because of colour and race within a state, an example being South Africa (1948-1990s), see eg Nelson Mandela and the institutionalized racial segregation called 'Apartheid'.
All human spirits are 'on the way' in their development, and human race should not be used in any discriminating way. To give a value judgement depending on how fast certain parts of a population evolve, would be as ridiculous as saying that only the fastest growing grapes are good, or only the best sportsmen are worthy of the sport. Nevertheless, the parable of the Sower remains as well, and can be meditated upon along with 1908-05-16-GA102.
Rudolf Steiner talks about the sensitivity of the human race topic in 1910-06-11-GA121, and how a broader spiritual scientific perspective (including a view on reincarnation and evolution) is required versus the contemporary materialistic view. We need to contemplate our spiritual 'I' and look at all aspects of races and peoples in an objective way, knowing:
.. we may be sure that in our inmost being we shall receive the countless blessings of all races and all peoples since we ourselves are incarnated in different races at different times.
Schema FMC00.204 gives a schematic overview of Sigismund von Gleich's analysis of the human races in the Atlantean epoch, the geography of the cultural ages in the Postatlantean epoch, and the developments in the Lemurian epoch with the five geographical focal points for planetary influences on Earth (from RSL). The schema's illustrate a spiral movement, geographically speaking, in how the races or cultural ages 'roll off'.
Schema FMC00.204 sketches the five main human races based on their origin from the Atlantean subraces and migrations, and with descriptive characteristics from the most dominant subsystem and most developed part of the nervous system and brain. The three original races originating from Atlantis moved across the Earth, and also started mixing and mingling ever more in the current Postatlantean epoch.
Schema FMC00.204A contains sketches from the BBD of the three main and two migrated races, see FMC00.204 and RSL references.
Schema FMC00.220 is an illustration from an encyclopedia (Meyers Konversationslexikon 1890) showing the geographical distribution of main different human races as variants of Man with different characteristics, as defined a.o. by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) with his definition based on cranio research in 1779 and 1795 distinguishing five races: the Caucasion, Mongolian, Aethiopian, American and Malayan races. See also wikipedia page on history of race considerations and wikipedia page on racial anthropology eg of the caucasion race
Schema FMC00.186 shows how the timing of the migrations from the Atlantean culture resulted in remnants that can still be seen in characteristics of human beings in the various parts of the world today.
Schema FMC00.205 sketches the great migrations from Lemurian and Atlantean epoch (from Gunther Wachsmuth). Hence Lemuria and Atlantis are indicated as centers from which these people streamed out in the directions indicated by the arrows. The arrows themselves don't give final destinations but rather indicate directions. Note this has to be projected into the time dimension over very long time periods.
Another presentation with Schema FMC00.205A from Gunther Wachsmuth's 'The Evolution of Mankind'
Lecture coverage and references
The original plan (without Luciferic influence)
1904-XX-XX-GAXXX is a lecture called 'the migration of the races'
1905-11-09-GA054 puts the concept and meaning of race in a spiritual scientific framework and context (SWCC)
The manifold forms of the human being, the races, are certainly a multiplication of the human riddle. ..
to lighten up this riddle, the spiritual-scientific worldview seems to be more suitable than any other .. for it does not speak in the same sense of the uniform human being as other worldviews .. it speaks of a recurrence of the human soul: that the soul, which lives in the modern human individual, was already often on this earth and will still often return. If we look at the matter even closer, we see that the souls of the human beings go through the different races. Thus, the variety of the races gets sense and reason. Each one of us goes through the most different levels of the races, and this passage signifies a further development of the single soul. Someone who appears as a member of the European race today went through other races in former times and will go through others than ours later. The races appear to us as levels of a coherent variety ..
.. modern human beings developed from these former stages of existence. The primitive stage does not disappear at once when the higher one appears. Humanity leaves lower races behind .. it survives for the time being and changes in manifold ways. Part of the former Atlantean population migrated from Atlantis to Europe and farther to Asia and established colonies, a part stayed behind, so that we have the most manifold stages side by side.
... [looking from a spiritual scientific perspective] .. we understand that
- the Indian population of America, which appears to us so mysterious with its social structures and peculiar instincts must be completely different.
- The African race, the Ethiopian one, the black race is different in another way. There are the instincts that tie in with the lower human.
- We find a certain dreamlike element with the Malayans.
- Within the Mongolian population those qualities exist which are based on a special energy of the blood. There are also certain mental qualities, which developed quite typically. Hence, the Mongolian race always refuses to accept a pantheistic view. Its religion is a belief in demons, a cult of the dead.
- The population, which one calls the Caucasian race, constitutes the race which is appointed to develop the logical thinking, to create tools for the work on nature using the mere reason of the human being who can no longer use the magic forces but has to rely on the mechanical. Everything that the human being had in the times of the old Atlantis in this way got lost, and, therefore, he manufactured tools because he could no longer work as he worked once; hence, he required tools for the mechanical effect.
.. if you consider the past spiritual-scientifically .. you find that our white civilised humanity originated from the fact that certain parts separated themselves from the Atlanteans and developed higher under other climatic conditions. Certain parts of the Atlantean population stayed behind just on the former stages, so that we have to observe remains of the different Atlantean races in the population of Asia and America. However they have changed and differ from the original Atlantean population.
We distinguish seven human sub-races within the Atlantean population, five of these in an ascending development.
- The Chinese are descendants of the fourth sub-race of the Atlantean population, and that
- the Mongolians are descendants of the seventh sub-race of this Atlantean population.
Memory and language gradually developed.
- Only with the third sub-race, with the Primal Toltecs, language appeared clearly. There also appears a culture supported on memory.
- The fifth sub-race which we call the primal Semites and which had established its main residence in Ireland was the first germ of our present Caucasian or - as spiritual science also calls it - Aryan human race.
A part of this sub-race - it was very unlike the modern Jewish population but was still called Semitic rightly because of certain processes - moved to Asia and developed the intellectual culture which spread then over Europe, southern Asia and over the population of northern Africa. On the other side, around this centre is a belt of human population that had manifold remains in its character from inhabitants of former times, remains of the Atlanteans. All these inhabitants left behind descendants, and thus we can imagine that the train, of which I have just spoken surged to Asia, collided there with a population that was left from Atlantis and maybe from Lemuria, and formed the Malayan races then. With them, one can perceive a drowsy being and a prematurity concerning passions and sexuality. In such a way, the Indian-Aryan race developed from a choice branch of the Atlantean population, with mixing in of remains of the old population. It connected a certain dreamlike, clairvoyant being with a peculiar intellectual worldview. Perhaps, in no other worldview the clairvoyant view of deeper forces of nature and a system of thinking with such an architectural unity and pervasive astuteness were connected with each other. We find other new populations of quite different forms in the direction to the Middle East.
Moreover, another train of Atlanteans went to America. There were rests of Lemurians and of Atlanteans who intermingled in many respects. This Indian population faces the European immigrants later. There two very different human developments collided. What lived in the ancient times, a completely different soul element, something clairvoyant, something of the spirit flowing through the whole world still lived in this Indian population. A speech is preserved to us that an Indian chief held at a clash of Indians and Europeans. He condemned the breach of promise by the Europeans. ... [ on this speech] .. This was a great speech. The Great Spirit was a rest of a human view that originated from a dreamlike consciousness, from inspirations of higher forces. Hence, at the same time it was closer to the divine, the springs of the divine.
The languages teach us something similar. If we compare the different human races, we find a quite different structure in the languages of this external belt of peoples. We find the old Atlantean structure in the Mongolian languages, and we find something of Atlantean origin expressed in the structure of certain African languages. They emphasise the nouns, and they express by prefixes what we express by inflexions. We learn from that that they originated from an excellently working memory. The Mongolian languages show that they originated at a time in which memory did no longer function in such a way, as it was the case once. There the verbs are more developed which already tend to the reason. The Atlantean did not at all talk, actually, from memory. Everything was present to him. Not before one starts forgetting, the verb forms in the language. A magnificent monument of the middle of the Atlantean culture has remained, and this is the Chinese language. This language has something purely composing and at the same time something original where in the sounds even something inside, mental and a certain relation to the outside world is expressed.
We can understand our race if we pursue it in two currents ..
- we have that current at first, which moves from the west, maybe from England to Asia. It probably gave cause for the Indian, the Near Eastern-Semitic, for the Indo-African-Semitic races as well as for the Arabian-Chaldean race.
- .. another current that did not progress so far which came maybe only to Ireland or Holland, or also to the area that the ancestors of the ancient Persians inhabited. There we have a belt of related population through the area of the Persians via the Black Sea to Europe.
Thus, we can verify two zones of human population. One extends from India over here and encloses the southern peninsulas of Europe; the other encloses the zones located to the north with different gradations. There we have the Aryan one and the different Semitic gradations in Asia and Africa; then in Greece and Italy the Greek-Latin population. However, we have to imagine them also in such a way that it originated from the mixture with the northern belt which also encloses the Persian population and everything that developed, like from undergrounds, the Slavic and the Germanic populations in the west, and that which provides the basis more or less of all, the ancient Celtic population. We can imagine that we had an ancient Celtic population in the west of Europe. This part of the current of peoples lies farthest to the west, while the Persian population is that part which went the farthest to the east. The Slavic and the Germanic peoples stand between; intermingled with the southern belt, these established the Greek-Latin race. You can prove it in the languages that a relationship of the population exists, which expresses itself the strongest in the deep relationship of the languages in the northern belt.
There we have languages that are completely different from that which constitutes the character of the Semitic-Egyptian culture. The structure of the Semitic-Egyptian languages express what developed in the fifth sub-race of Atlantis as a Primal Semitic culture. It is characterised by the first lighting up of the intellect in the human development. Here logic and intellect developed first. The former dreamlike clairvoyant element intermingled in the most different way, and the different religions formed. However, the Semitic language does not have an atomistic character like the Chinese one, but an analytic character. On the other hand, the Caucasian languages have a synthetic character.
[the follows description of sub-races or cultural ages in current epoch]
Still in another sense, sense and reason are in this racial development. The human being consists of three members according to his lower nature: of physical body, etheric body, and astral body. The physical body is that which we see with eyes, can touch with hands. The astral body is the bearer of our desires, passions, and instincts, of our emotions, affects, of rage and hatred. The etheric body is the bearer of the vital forces. The human I lives in them. This expresses itself differently.
Let's begin with the way in which it expresses itself in our present cultural epoch. It has developed the physical body most remarkably, elaborated it most marvellously. The body, the brain became the tool of the intellectual life and thinking. Gradually the body had to be conquered.
.. during the Lemurian age the body looks like an awkward huge thing. The astral body is not yet able to move the limbs. The ancestors of the Lemurian epoch were clumsy. ... If we go up to the other races, we see the human being conquering the etheric body. The functions of life and nutrition developed, so that the human being becomes a conscious and autonomous being from an unaware one. The human being gradually starts the campaign of conquest through his own being. The Lemurians conquered the astral body, the Atlanteans the life body, and our present humanity conquers the physical body. The conquest of the spiritual-mental forces follows, which is the task of our time. Thus, the racial development gets an even higher sense and we understand that it is a training of the developing human mind. We look back to areas where the human being is structured quite differently. Our souls embodied themselves at that time and got to know the phenomena of the external world. Later they returned to the earth in another race and learnt to look into the world in another way. Moreover, it goes on that way. The human being goes through race by race. Those who are young souls reincarnate in those races that remained on their former level.
.. that which lives as race and souls round us fits into each other organically and mentally. Everything gets a sense, becomes transparent, and becomes explicable. We approach the solution of these riddles more and more and we can understand that we have to go through other epochs in the future that we have to go other ways than the race made them. We must be clear in our mind that mental and racial developments are different. Within the Atlantean race our own souls lived which developed then upwards to a superior human race. This gives us a picture of the human development up to our time. .. Hence, we also understand the principle to found the core of a general brotherhood without taking into consideration race, colour, social rank et cetera.
1907-06-05-GA099 is about the term ‘races’ and its appropriate use
And then, inasmuch as we evolve from the fifth into the sixth and then into the seventh epoch, the ancient connection of race and blood will be increasingly lost. Mankind becomes freer of physical ties in order to form groups from the aspect of the spirit. It was a bad habit in Theosophy to speak of races as if they would always remain. The concept of race loses its meaning in the immediate future. To state incessantly that seven and again seven races have always evolved in the world is the speculative extension of an idea that only holds good for our age — looking backwards and forwards; it has never been said from clairvoyant vision.
Races have arisen, as everything else arises; and as everything again dies out so will races die out too. Those who have always only spoken of races will have to accustom themselves to making their ideas fluid. It is only a convenient way of talking. If one looks but a little into the future those ideas which applied to past and present are already no longer valid. It is most important that people should not consider that something they have once brought into a beautiful concept is a truth for all time. Men must get into the habit of making ideas fluid, of recognising that ideas change-that will be an advance. The ability of passing over from rigidly dogmatic ideas to mobile ones must be cultivated in those who would be the bearers of the future. For just as times change so must our ideas change too, if we would understand the times.
and later in the lecture
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.
1908-05-16-GA102 is about the evolutionary ladder and the sixtheen paths of perdition
We shall now picture those who listen to the great Leader of humanity. They will preserve the soul with its eternal life-kernel. Mankind will have gone forward but they too will appear in an ever progressed form. He however who thrusts the Leader of humanity from him must reappear again and again in the same way. That is the legend of Ahasuerus, who has thrust from him the Christ, the Leader of humanity. Man has either hardened or possesses the possibility of developing to higher stages.
Races would not stay behind and become decadent if there were not men who wish to stay behind and are obliged to stay behind, since they have not developed their eternal life-kernel. Older races only persist because there are men who cannot or will not move forward to a higher racial form. I cannot today speak about the whole series of possibilities, in the course of earthly evolution, for Man to become one with the race, to grow together with what is the character of one race or another. Think of the Atlantean race; souls have gone through it, but not all have passed out of it. There are sixteen possibilities of becoming merged with the race. They are called the “sixteen paths of perdition.” On these paths man would merge with the material. By striving forward, however, he is drawn up from race to race to ever higher stages.
.. it is actually possible for Man to combine with the one incarnation in such a way that he remains behind in evolution. His other soul-brothers are therefore at a higher stage when he reappears in a new incarnation. He must then content himself with an inferior incarnation which has been left to him in a decadent race. This takes place but need not frighten people for the present phase of evolution. No one is obliged to take all the sixteen paths and thereby fall out of evolution, we must only be aware of the possibility.
Now let us take an extreme case and imagine that a man unites too fully with what is to constitute the character of an incarnation. Suppose .. he takes the sixteen false paths. The Earth does not wait for him but goes forward and he finally arrives at a point where he can no longer incorporate in a human body, for none are in existence. There will be no more bodies in which souls that have grown too much involved in their bodily nature can incarnate. Such souls lose the possibility of incarnation and find no other opportunity. Just think what they will have lost. It is possible, but only in exceptional cases, that even during Earth evolution souls will be unable to incarnate because there are no more bodies bad enough. These men have gone so far that they have no other opportunity of incarnating in the normal course of evolution. Let us suppose such beings should remain on the earth — it will only be single cases. And now, since the later is the fruit of the earlier, these would then find no bodies suitable for them. They are, as it were, too good for the bodies of a subordinate order and for the other bodies they are too bad. They must therefore live a bodiless existence. They must cut themselves off entirely from the progress of evolution. Why have they deserved this? By reason of the fact that they have not made use of life! The world is around them; they have possessed senses in order to perceive the world, to enrich the life-kernel and mold it to a higher stage. They do not advance with world evolution, they remain behind at a certain stage. Beings that stay behind at such stages appear in a later epoch with approximately the character of the earlier age. They have grown together with it, but not in the forms of the later epoch. They appear in a later epoch as subordinate nature-spirits. In fact the human race will furnish a whole number of such new nature-spirits in the second half of the Jupiter evolution, for man will have fully completed the fifth principle at the Jupiter stage. For those who have not used the opportunity on Earth to develop the fifth principle there will be no avail-able form. They will appear as nature-spirits and they will appear then with four principles, the fourth being the highest. Whereas the normally advanced man will have the principles 5, 4, 3, 2 at the Jupiter stage, these men will have 4, 3, 2, 1. That would be the destiny of those who have not gradually developed their higher principles by making use of earthly life. They become nature-spirits, so to speak, of future evolutionary periods, working invisibly. Just the same occurred in the case of our present nature-spirits in the earlier periods of evolution, except in so far as there are, of course, continual changes according to the character of the different periods. Everything has now been graded, so to speak, according to moral responsibility, and because this is so, the nature-spirits that arise from the human race will have a certain morality. Upon Jupiter there will be nature-spirits which have moral responsibility.
1909-05-03-GA107 looks at the impact of the development of the I in the Atlantean epoch, the migrations and the people we see in the Postatlantean epoch today
If you consider what you know of earth conditions, then even if you look at these relatively superficially you would realise immediately that man takes on a different form in different regions of the earth. External bodily characteristics vary according to the different zones of the earth. You will remember that there are ‘races’, the black, red, yellow and white race, and that these races were originally connected with certain regions of the earth...
.. we see that in Atlantean times the human body could still form itself according to spiritual characteristics. Therefore it could also take on the form which enabled it to mould all the organs, heart, brain, and so on, in such a way that they could become the expression of an actual I being, a being with self-consciousness. These capacities and characteristics developed on innumerable different levels.
- There were people whose inner nature was correctly balanced and who were normal, for they had not developed egoism to too great an extent, nor had they developed their I-feeling solely on a lower level. With them, devotion to the outer world and ego-feeling maintained a balance. Such people were scattered about everywhere. And these were the men that the Atlantean initiates could do most with.
- On the other hand there were other men who had developed a tremendously strong I-feeling, much too soon, of course; for human beings had not yet reached the point when they could make of their bodies an instrument for a strongly developed I-feeling. This made the body hardened in egoism as it were, and it became impossible for it to develop beyond a certain point.
- There were other people again who had not reached anything like a normal I-feeling because they were more susceptible to influences from the outer world than they should have been; peoples who had completely surrendered themselves to the outer world.
Thus it was the normal human beings that were the best material for the initiates to use for the evolution of the future, and they were also the ones that the great sun initiate, Manu, gathered around him as being most capable of evolving.
- Those peoples whose I impulse was developed too strongly, so that it permeated their whole being and made it a manifestation of I-hood, these people gradually wandered to the West and became the nation the last survivors of which appeared as the Red Indians of America.
- Those people whose I-feeling was too little developed migrated to the East, and the survivors of these people became the subsequent black negro population of Africa.
If you look at those things in a really spiritual scientific way you will see evidence of them right into the physical characteristics. If a man brings his whole inner being to expression in his physiognomy and on the surface of his body, then it permeates his external being with the colour of his inner nature as it were. Now the colour of I-hood is red or copper or a yellowish brown.
And an overpowering feeling of Iarising from offended self-respect can even nowadays turn a man as it were yellow with rage. They are absolutely connected, these two phenomena: the red colour of those peoples that migrated to the West and the yellow colour of the man whose ‘blood boils’ as we say, and whose inner nature is showing itself right into his skin.
Those people, however, who had developed their I being too little, and who were too exposed to the influences of the sun, were like plants: they deposited too many carbonic constituents beneath their skin and became black. This is why the Negroes are black. Thus both east of Atlantis in the black population and west of Atlantis in the red population we find survivors of the kind of people who had not developed their I-feeling in a normal way. The human beings who had developed normally lent themselves best to progress. Therefore they were the ones chosen to infiltrate the various other regions from the place we know of in Asia. Now between the little group of people Manu gathered round him and the extreme cases there were obviously innumerable intermediary stages of development. ..
.. Those people who migrated to the East and became the black race were very susceptible to external influences, especially that of the sun, just because they had so little I-feeling. But other peoples migrated into these parts, or at least in this direction, who had a strong I-feeling. These were peoples who had preferred as it were going East to going West, and they are a milder red than they would have been had they gone West. They gave rise to the race of people who had a strong I-feeling which nevertheless kept a balance between this and their devotion to the outer world. Those are the peoples of Europe of whom we were able to say in the last public lecture that their strong feeling of personality was from the beginning their essential feature.
Thus we see how man's outer surroundings work on his inner situation, and how the earth, through the different positions in which the areas of its surface are exposed to the sunlight, gave rise to innumerable levels of soul development. All according to the direction in which the souls looked, they found a different possibility for developing themselves in a physical body. It is very important that we realise the connection between the sun's influence on the earth and man's evolution. If some day you follow up these matters with me as far as the details of later times you will see how much becomes comprehensible through the fact that all these possible shades of colouring arose. Thus for example there was that particular part of the population that stayed in Europe whose characteristics were as I have described, and they led an independent existence up till much later times. They did not concern themselves about other people; but those that migrated into the regions already colonised by peoples with various shades of dark skin, and mixed with them, acquired every possible shade of skin colour. Look at the colours to be found in Asia, from the black to the yellow races. Hence you have bodies that are sheaths for every possible level of soul, from the completely passive black soul entirely given up to the outer world of physical existence, to the other levels of passive souls in every possible part of Asia.
Various characteristics of the evolution of the Asiatic and African peoples .. present various combinations of surrender to the environment and the external manifestation of I-feeling. So fundamentally we have two groups of people representing combinations:
- those on European soil, forming the root stock of the white population, who had predominantly developed the feeling of personality, but who did not migrate to where the feeling of personality permeated the whole body, but to where the I-feeling became more inward. Therefore in western Asia and partly in North Africa and the countries of Europe, too, in earlier times, you find a people with a strong inner I-feeling, but who on the whole were not given to losing themselves in the outer world; their inner character was strong and firm, but it did not set its imprint on the bodily nature.
- On the other hand there are those peoples in Asia with passive, self-effacing natures in whom just this passivity expresses itself in the highest degree. This makes the people dreamy, and the etheric body penetrates very deeply into the physical body. That is the fundamental difference between the European and the Asiatic peoples.
The number of human beings gradually increased and the souls who had gone to Jupiter, Mars, and so on, during the period of desolation, came down to this continent. The process lasted for a long time. It was thus that the concept of race developed in ancient Atlantis. In occultism it is said that there were human beings in Atlantis whose bodies were inhabited by souls who had previously been on Mars, Jupiter, Venus, and so on. They were called Mars men, Jupiter men, for example. The external forms of the bodies differed for this reason. During the whole first half of Atlantis the texture of the human body was much softer, much more flexible, and yielded to the forces of the soul. These soul forces were essentially more powerful than they are today, and they both shaped and overpowered the physical body. ...
... Because in Atlantis man's physical body was still pliable, he could more easily adjust himself to processes in the life of soul; the physical stature could be made to decrease or increase in size. If, for example, a man in Atlantis was, let: us say, stupid or sensual, he fell into matter, as it were, and became a giant in stature. The more intelligent human beings developed a delicate constitution and were smaller in stature; those who were dull-witted were giants. Man's external form was far, far more strongly influenced by the forces of soul than is the case today when substance has become rigid. The bodies of men developed in accordance with the qualities of soul, and this accounted for the great differences in the races.
When myths and legends have described the dwarfs as being clever and the giants as dull-witted, we recognize once again the reflection of a profound, occult trend. When a soul came down again to the earth from Mars, the qualities with which it had been connected there continued for a long time to influence it and the body it inhabited. This fact explains the differences in races and racial characteristics.
1910-06-10-GA121 talks about the fallen or abnormal SoF, really SoM, and the influence in the first 20 years before the impact of the normal SoF, but then goes on to discuss racial characteristics
For this reason, however, man has become more dependent on the earth upon which he lives, than he would otherwise have been. He has become dependent upon that part of the earth on which he lives, and because he descends earlier to the earth, — against the intentions of the Spirits of Form, as one might say, — he becomes dependent upon that place, because he unites himself to the earth in a state which is not designed for him. If he had only set foot on the earth in the middle third of his life, he would have been independent of whether he did so in the north or the south, in the east or the west. But because he has become dependent upon the earth, because his youth is spent in the way we have described, he becomes earthbound, he becomes a being who is connected with and belongs to the country in which he was born. He thus becomes dependent upon all the conditions of the earth belonging to that place, upon the incidence of the sun's rays, upon the circumstance of whether his birthplace is in the neighborhood of the Equator in the torrid zone, or in a more temperate region, upon whether he is born on low-lying land, or on a high tableland. The respiration is quite different in the plain from what it is in the mountains. Man therefore becomes altogether dependent upon the earthly conditions of the place in which he is born. So we see that man has thoroughly grown together with his mother-earth through being so closely connected with the place, with that part of the earth on which he is born; and that he is determined by those attributes which he thus receives, by the earth-forces connected with that particular place acting within him. All these things determine his racial character, and in this indirect way the abnormal Spirits of Form, — those Spirits of Form, or Powers, who give what we call our present earthly consciousness, not between the ages of twenty-one to forty-three but at a different time — are the originators of the racial differences in mankind over the whole earth, which therefore depend upon the part of the world in which a man is born.
Now during this time, which on the whole is under the ruler ship of the abnormal Spirits of Form, man also acquires the possibility and the capacity of propagating his species. This capacity is also acquired during the time in which man is not entirely under the guidance of the normal Spirits of Form. Hence the possibility is given that a man should not only be dependent in this way on the place where he is born, but that the attributes he thus receives may also be inherited by his successors, and that the racial characteristics are not only expressed in the influences of the dwelling-place but also in that which is inherited through the race.
You have here the explanation as to why the race is that which can be inherited; and we shall understand what is shown by spiritual science, that only in the past were the racial characteristics produced by the place in which men were born. That was the case in the latter portion of the Lemurian epoch and in the first part of the Atlantean epoch, when man was directly dependent upon his earthly surroundings. At a later epoch race began to assume the character of being bound up with heredity and no longer with place.
So that in race we see something which was originally connected with one special part of the earth and which afterwards propagated itself in mankind through heredity, but became more and more independent of place.
From what I have just said, you will see in which period of evolution we can reasonably speak of the idea of race. There could be no sense according to the real meaning of the word in speaking of race before the Lemurian epoch, for then only did man descend to the earth. Before that he was in the periphery of the earth; he then descended to the earth and the racial characteristics were handed down by heredity in the Atlantean epoch and on into our post-Atlantean epoch. We shall see how in our own time it is the national characteristics that again split up the character of the race and begin to extinguish it.
... everything is in a state of evolution, and races are evolving too: races have arisen and they will some day die out and be no longer there.
We must look for the beginning of racial characteristics, of racial peculiarities, in the old Lemurian epoch, and we must then follow their propagation down into our own times, but in doing so we must be quite clear, that when our present fifth epoch of evolution shall have been succeeded by the sixth and seventh, there will be no question of a condition which we may describe as race. But if we picture this evolution as always rolling evenly on, we have only a sort of mill-wheel in our mind, and are far removed from the understanding of what does really take place in the world.
We see therefore, how the evolution of races begins only in the Lemurian epoch, through the activity of the abnormal Spirits of Form who let the forces of our earth planet set to work at the spot where a man has to pass the first years of his life; and that again is carried over in a certain way into his later life, because man has a memory, through which he remembers even in his later life the time spent in a really abnormal way on the earth before his twenty-first year. Man would be a very different being if only the normal Spirits of Form were active. Through the abnormal Spirits of Form he is dependent upon the spot on which he lives.
In the manner just described a deviation from the laws of the normal Spirits of Form came about, so that the place in which a man lives on earth during a certain incarnation became of significance to him. We shall more clearly understand these connections if we consider the following. We may state, in a certain way, how the subsoil, the ground, radiates its essence upwards and permeates the human organization, so that man becomes dependent upon the soil of that part of the earth. In this connection we may therefore mention certain parts of the earth that are connected with the historical development of the human being. We shall go into these conditions more minutely later on. I shall now characterize them in the abstract.
You have here, for instance, a point which lies in Africa; at this spot there radiate out from the earth, as it were, all those forces which could affect man particularly during his early childhood. Later on their influence grows less; hence a man is less under the influence of these forces, but they nevertheless impress him very strongly with what comes from them. That spot on the earth on which a man lives affects him most strongly in his earliest childhood. It determines his whole life; a man is so entirely dependent upon these forces, that this spot imprints the characteristic of his early childhood permanently upon him. That is more or less a characteristic of all those who, as regards their racial character, receive the determining forces out of the earth in the neighborhood of that spot. What we call the black race is particularly determined by these attributes.
If you now pass on further into Asia, you find a spot on the earth's surface, where the characteristics of youth are imprinted permanently on man from the forces of the earth, where the special attributes of later youth are conveyed to man out of the being of the earth and give him the racial character. The races which come into consideration here are the yellow and the brownish races of our epoch.
If we then go further from the East to the West, we find towards Europe a point which permanently imprints the latest characteristics upon man, those which belong to the years following early youth. It is the point where man is affected by the earth-forces not already in childhood but later when he passes from youth to later age. Man is in this way seized by the forces which, coming out of the earth, determine him; so that, if we picture these several points, we get a remarkable line. This line still holds good for our epoch. The spot in Africa corresponds to those forces of the earth which imprint upon man the characteristics of early childhood. The spot in Asia corresponds to those which give man the characteristics of youth, and the ripest characteristics are imprinted on man by the corresponding spot in Europe. This is simply a law. As all persons in their different incarnations pass through the various races, therefore, although it may be argued that the European has the advantage over the black and the yellow races, we should not be prejudiced thereby. Here the truth may, indeed be sometimes veiled, but you see that with the help of spiritual science we really do come upon remarkable truths.
If we continue this line, we come far to the West, to America, the region where those forces are active which lie on the other side of the middle third of life. We come, — I beg you not to misunderstand what is now being said, it only refers to man in so far as he is dependent upon the physical organizing forces, not upon those forces which constitute his essence as a human being but the forces in which he lives, — we come then to those forces which have a great deal to do with the decline and death of man, with what in man belongs to the last third of his life. This line, which is laid down by law, really does exist, it is a reality, a real curve, and it expresses the law according to which our earth acts upon man. The forces which determine man with respect to race take this course. The American Indians did not die out because it pleased the Europeans that they should do so, but because they had to acquire those forces which lead them to die out. Upon the peculiarity of this line depends that which takes place with the races on the surface of our earth and that which is brought about by the forces which are not under the influence of the normal Spirits of Form. Where racial character comes into consideration they work in this way; but in our age the racial character is gradually being overcome.
This was preparatory developed even in the very earliest period. If we were to go back into the old Lemurian epoch we could find the very first starting-points of racial development in the regions of present-day Africa and Asia. Then later we see a movement westward, and if we follow the forces which determine race in the West, we can observe the decline among the American Indians. Humanity had to go to the West in order to die as race. To refresh humanity with the new youthful force, the migration to the East takes place, which, coming from Atlantis, moves across Europe to Asia. Then a repetition of the migration to the West takes place. But the repetition is not now the movement of races, it is a higher stage of racial development, as it were, the development of the various civilizations. We can see that, in a certain way, the evolution of civilizations assumes the character shown by a continuation of the race line. For instance, we have that civilization which we have characterized with sufficient admiration already in these lectures, the old Indian civilization which appeared as the first post-Atlantean civilization; this we have to describe as corresponding to early childhood, in which man, as regards his appreciation of physical nature still sleeps, whilst the manifestations of a spiritual world work into his soul. The first Indian civilization is in fact a revelation from above, a manifestation from spiritual heights, and it was only able to work into man because he came under the influence of Indian earth, under which he had already been in times lying very far back. In the primeval past the physical race-character was determined out of the earth; now, when they were again present on the same part of the earth, a quality of the soul, namely, that of the old Indians, is determined. Through the migration from the West to the East that youthful freshness came in, which made possible the unique configuration of mind which characterizes the original Indian civilization. You will see that a very ancient Indian civilization, which has not yet been examined and of which the Indian civilization now known to science is only a successor, can in this way be explained, namely, that in a certain respect the Atlantean civilization is repeated in the primeval Indian civilization. Then when we consider the civilizations which follow consecutively in the post-Atlantean epoch, we can see that they represent successive repetitions of conditions gone through earlier in the physical body, but which through rejuvenation have become quite different. Thus in the Persian civilization we see one which is in a certain way connected with what we might call a wrestling-through of the human being who lives chiefly in the first force of human life, when, with the forces which originate from the normal Spirits of Form, he is still under the influences of the abnormal Spirits of Form. This opposition is contained in the Persian civilization in the consciousness and in the form of Light and Darkness, of Ormuzd and Ahriman. The further we come over towards the West, the more do we see how the attributes of a riper age of civilization are imprinted. Even although we must admit, that up to our present time the creations of man are still to a great extent dependent upon the abnormal forces and Beings of the Universe, we shall nevertheless find it comprehensible when it is said, that men no longer proceed towards the West exclusively with attributes of the race, and we can also understand, that in a certain way the tendency of civilization is such, that the full freshness of its youth, of its productive element, declines more and more the further it goes towards the West.
One who observes objectively may see from many things that the civilization in our own age is also determined in this way by a fixed law. But people are not inclined to look at things objectively. If you consider what presents itself, if you consider that in reality all civilization flows onward, you will then see that the further we go towards the West, so much the less productive does the civilization become, and as civilization it approaches its end. The further West one goes the more do the merely external parts of civilization bloom, those which do not experience a revival by means of the youth-forces, but which in a way live on into what belongs to old age. Hence in the West they will still be able to accomplish much for humanity in respect to physical, chemical and astronomical discoveries, and all that does not depend upon the reviving youth-forces; but that which calls for productive force really requires a different configuration of those forces which act upon man.
Let us suppose a man grows up from his childhood to a certain stage; then only does his spiritual part really blossom forth. At first he is only a being who grows physically. That which in the small boy is compressed into a narrow space, must first expand physically. Afterwards his development is pressed into his inner being. And thus it is too with mankind in general. We are looking at a remarkable law when we follow this curve. We find it expressed even in the continents. We see that in the first place there is a sort of original beginning of the physical development of man in Africa, that then the ground upon which humanity develops, is very widely extended. We find this again in the widely extended continent of Asia; man there inhabits huge surfaces of the earth.
Now let us glance at the repetition of the race development in the post-Atlantean civilizations. Just as a man in his youth looks around him, curious as to his surroundings, so does the man of the old Indian civilization look out into the world. That is really connected with the fresh youthful forces, which expand man and organize his growth in size. Then the spiritual must begin and the physical must be compressed. Thus we see, that as civilization advances into Europe, it is remarkable that the space upon which mankind is spread out, is compressed into smaller dimensions. We observe that Europe is the smallest continent and that the further it goes towards the West, the more does it strive towards compression; it extends into the sea in peninsulas and contracts more and more towards the West.
All this is connected with the spiritual course of evolution. Here you are looking in an unique manner into the mysteries of spiritual evolution. But with the compression towards the West there is a crisis. It is a crisis through which a more unproductive element begins to act. Productivity dies out in a certain way in the peninsulas to the West. This un-productivity is revealed in what has already been described, namely, that civilization itself, the further it goes towards the West, assumes a rigid, senile element. This was always known in the Mystery Schools. You will understand now why I said, that what I had to communicate might be rather dangerous, because people might become indignant. There is a great deal more that may not yet be told, that would help to make man independent with regard to the higher parts of his being, in order that he may perceive what comes up out of the earth and determines the race, and later on determines the character of the civilization, and which at a yet later age when man returns again to the spiritual will again become of no importance.
Hence you will understand, that with this whole process of the evolution of mankind, there is connected the spiritual evolution which has always been known to those who were initiated more deeply into the secrets of existence. The correctness of what has just been said does not depend upon whether one person likes it and another dislikes it, it depends upon the necessity which exists in evolution. If a person were to speak against necessity he would arrive at nothing; for to speak against it means to put hindrances in the way. Therefore it is only natural that, in a certain way, the people who go to the country which lies more to the West, must again obtain refreshment from the East, they must receive an impulse from the East; but the Central European domain must call to mind its own productivity, such as existed before the formation of peninsulas. That is the reason why precisely in Europe, — I mean in the part embracing our two countries, Scandinavia and Germany, — man is compelled to reflect upon his own soul-nature, and why on the other hand we must look precisely in the West for that portion of humanity which is to receive something from the East. That is deeply rooted in the whole character of earthly humanity. You see this repeated even in the development of Theosophy. We also meet with it again in the fourth post-Atlantean civilization, among the Romans and the Greeks. It is a fact that the Romans are in certain respects more advanced than the Greeks, but they take their spiritual life from the people they conquered, who lived more towards the East. The law thus revealed verifies itself more and more, the further the countries lie to the West. These great truths can only be indicated. They give us that which is in conformity with the inner character of our mission in every part of the surface of the earth. You see that we must understand what it is we have to do, in order to raise ourselves above the general character of humanity. There lies the great responsibility which one takes, if one wishes to intervene in the great movement of mankind. Where the great movement of humanity is concerned, no personal sympathy, and no personal enthusiasm must play a part, for that does not come into consideration, but only what is made necessary by the great laws of humanity. We must recognize this from the great laws themselves, and not allow ourselves to be influenced by prejudice in favor of this or the other. That is on the whole the fundamental character of Rosicrucianism. Rosicrucianism means acting in accordance with the whole evolution of humanity. If we know the ground on which we stand, down to the formation of islands and peninsulas, then we shall realize what feelings must fill us, if we mean to act in harmony with the evolution of humanity.
Once upon a time, man was led down to the earth by the abnormal Spirits of Form and united to the various parts of the earth's surface; and thus were the foundations laid for the development of the races. Then, however, we see the races intermingling more and more. We see the development of nations intervening in the evolution of the races, that is to say, the former arise out of the latter. We see the evolution of the nations intervening even in the evolution of the individual human beings. A great mystery is expressed when it is said who Plato was with respect to his outer being, with respect to his birth in human form. He was a man who grew up in the lineage of Solon, who belonged to the Ionian tribe, to the Greek nation, to the whole Caucasian Race. If we understand that Plato was a descendant of Solon, an Ionian, a Greek, a Caucasian, this expresses, if we understand the law underlying it, a profound mystery. It expresses the mystery which shows us how the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form cooperate on the wide basis of the earth planet, those Spirits whose greatest interest is to make man into an earth-man. Herein is expressed how, by this co-operative work, the human kingdom is particularized, how then those other Beings intervene of whom we have already spoken in describing the characteristics of the several peoples. Each individual in his own being participates in the co-operative working of all these higher Beings, of these higher Spirits.
We do not understand the individual man, if we do not see him in his whole evolution; he has become what he is, through the co-operation of these Beings. Through a Caucasian Race once being created on our earth planet, through the mysterious co-operation of those Spirits of Form who have gone through the normal evolution, and those others who have gone through the abnormal evolution, the foundations were laid which made it possible for a Plato to arise. And because we see the intervention of the abnormal and the normal Archangels down to the Angels, we see the means which were necessary to bring forth a Plato, whom we could meet with as a human being, having a human countenance and possessing very definite attributes of reasoning, feeling and willing. The folk or nation lies between the race and the individual.
Thus we had to describe in general to-day the fundamental conditions leading to the development of race. In the next lecture we will consider the growing up of peoples out of the races, the intervention of other Spirits of the Hierarchies, and will consider their intervention in the work of the Spirits of Form
1910-06-11-GA121 talks about the fallen or abnormal SoF, really SoM, underlying the propagation of the races
Then the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are in reality Spirits of Movement, weave into the tapestry that which creates the different races. ...
.. in the astral world we find the abnormal SoF who, if they had fulfilled their normal evolution, would be working from without. The Spirits of the second Hierarchy ought to work from without, from the celestial spheres, but here they are working from within, from the centre of the Earth. ...
.. they work secretly, after the manner in which the silkworm spins its cocoon. What is seen first of all in the astral world are Beings working from the depths. These singular Spirits of Movement who have transposed their sphere and are fallen Spirits, are the first Beings to become visible amongst those spiritual Beings weaving and surging in the spiritual atmosphere of the Earth. These Beings who are the first to become visible on the astral plane, even before the normal Angels, are the Spirits who in a sense falsify clairvoyant perception — despite the fact that they are vitally necessary for the propagation of the races. These Spirits, each of whom has many attendant spirits, because each one begets many spiritually subordinate beings, are surrounded in the spiritual world by a number of spiritual beings who are always subordinate to their respective Hierarchies. ..
.. The abnormal SoF who are really SoM and who appear as hideous spiritual Beings on the astral plane also have their subordinate spirits. They are the spirits who are actively engaged in whatsoever is associated with the genesis of the human races, in that which in man is associated with the earth-bound, with the propagation of race and the like.
These beings, indeed this whole domain is one of the most variegated and dangerous of the astral world and — this is the appropriate moment to call attention to it — it is the one most easily contacted by those who attain to clairvoyant vision by erroneous methods. The hosts of these spirits who are associated with the propagation of the race, who serve that purpose, are those most easily perceived. Many a one who has entered into the occult realm prematurely or in the wrong way has had to pay dearly for it because he encountered this host of spiritual beings without the harmonizing influence of the other spiritual Beings.
1909-10-27-GA115 was further developed in Sigismund von Gleich (see References below)
It was under the influence of a group soul that man had to develop speech. In what manner do group souls operate on earth? In animals the current of the group soul passes through the spinal cord horizontally, and these force currents are in continual motion. The force currents running downward from above move constantly around the earth, as they did around the old Moon. They don't remain in one spot but move around the earth retaining their vertical direction of influence. If men were to learn to speak under the influence of a group soul, they could not remain in one place, they had to migrate. They had to move toward the group soul. Never could they have learned to speak if they had remained in one spot.
What direction, then, would men have to take if they were to learn to speak? We know that the etheric currents flow from right to left and the physical ones from left to right, and this is the case not only in man but on the earth as well. Now, where are the group souls that endow man with speech? Let us look at the earth in its peculiar development. Man learned to speak at a time when his outer structure was already complete. Strong currents were therefore needed because the larynx had first to be transformed from a soft substance that in no way resembled a larynx. This called for special conditions on earth. Suppose we stand facing east. There flow in us from left to right the currents connected with the formation of the physical body. This current exists outside us as well; it was present during the formation of the earth. Running from north to south are those strong currents that produce solid physical matter. From the other direction, from the south, flow the etheric currents that lack the tendency to solidify the earth. This explains the lopsidedness, the lack of symmetry on the earth. In the northern hemisphere we find the great continents, in the southern, the vast oceans; the tendency of the earth was asymmetrical.
From the south the current acts that is of the same nature as the one that runs from right to left in man, but while the current from back to front streams outward, the one from front to back originates in the sentient body and enters the sentient soul. With all this in mind we understand why the attainment of speech called for a current passing outward from within; this current had to encounter a group soul current in order that the two could be dammed up in man's own organism. Man had to move toward a current that could act upon his astral element. He could therefore go neither toward the north nor toward the south, but had to take a direction at right angles to these. It was latitudinally that man had to proceed when he was acquiring speech, that is, from east to west. At that time he inhabited ancient Lemuria, where today we have the ocean lying between Asia and Africa. Thence, in order to learn to speak, he migrated westward into old Atlantis, to meet the group soul that was to engender speech in him. There he had to develop the organism suitable for speech, and thus it was in old Atlantis that he learned to speak.
The next step was to develop the sense of visualization by means of the speech man had acquired, but in order to do this he could not continue in the same direction. He had to proceed in a way that would cause the same current to act from the opposite direction. Recall here what was said in the last lecture concerning the origin of sound and of visualization. Sound comes into being when we subconsciously convert a melody into a harmony, ignore the fundamentals themselves, and mentally hear only the harmony produced by the harmonics (overtones); visualization arises when we push back and disregard this harmony of the harmonics as well. So, if we are to develop the sense of visualization, we must destroy on the one hand what we had built up on the other. We must face about and proceed in the opposite direction. One element of speech has to be suppressed, the harmonics must be pushed back, if we are to develop visualization. The old Atlanteans had to face about and migrate eastward; by doing this they were able effectively to develop the sense of visualization. This could not have been accomplished if they had continued westward. It was the tragic fate of the American aborigines to migrate in the wrong direction. They could not hold their ground, but had to yield to those who had migrated properly and returned to them only later.
In this way a great deal becomes clear. When we know the secret of those currents that fashion man and the earth we can understand the organization of the earth, the distribution of oceans and continents, the migrations of men. Anthroposophy leads us into that life through which the outer world becomes transparent and comprehensible.
Evolution proceeds. Humanity was not destined to stop at visualizations but to achieve concepts as well, and in order to accomplish this it had to ascend from mere visualizations to the soul life proper. After the sense of visualization, the sense of concepts had to be developed, and again a new direction had to be taken. In order to gain the life of visualizations, humanity — or as much of it as comes into consideration — moved eastward, but pure concepts could be acquired only by returning in a westward direction.
We could similarly present the migrations of peoples in the four post-Atlantean periods from an anthroposophical viewpoint, and you would see a wondrous interplay of spiritual forces at work upon the whole shaping of man, and of what comes to expression in forming the earth.
These offspring of the Spirits of Motion work down from the planets upon the animals; do similar spiritual beings work upon man, upon the human race spread over the earth?
We cannot answer this as regards those spiritual beings we have cited as the normal members of the several hierarchies; but we have mentioned a special category of spirits which we have called the Luciferic Spirits, and we have described the relation of these to the normal spirits. In our present cycle of time there are Luciferic Spirits in every category of the hierarchies.
Whereas the animal group-souls are the normal and proper offspring of the Spirits of Motion, the Luciferic Spirits corresponding to the Spirits of Motion are those who resisted the normal path, and have remained in opposition to the normal Spirits of Motion. These Luciferic Spirits of Motion are grouped on the various planets in relation with the earth, just as are the normal offspring of the Spirits of Motion. They too, have their parts assigned to them, so to speak, and have their abode apportioned to them on the various planets. Just as the group-souls of the animals dwell on the various planets, so also do certain Luciferic Spirits of Motion. They have set themselves the task which really belongs to the Spirits of Motion; that of working formatively from the planets, so that groups of corresponding beings arise upon the earth.
Just as seven principal animal groups were formed, which have only been specified according to the relations described, so did the Luciferic Beings of Motion work from the planets on to the earth to differentiate the human race, which was actually, in a certain sense, designed according to a single plan. Whilst in the whole cosmic plan it was intended that a single human form was to arise throughout the earth, these Luciferic Spirits of Motion worked down from the various planets and differentiated the human form all over the earth in such a way that the forms of the chief individual human races were able to arise.
More details are to be found in my Christiania lectures as to the special way in which the Luciferic Spirits of Motion work to form the different races.
Note: the last statement is a reference to 1910-06-xx-GA121 - The Mission of the Individual Folk-Souls
1915-02-13-GA174B talks about the different missions of the different races, and also the future large battles between the white and coloured races.
Atlantis, however, had seven consecutive stages just as our own civilization has seven stages which we know as the ancient Indian, ancient Persian, Assyrian-Babylonian-Chaldean-Egyptian-Jewish, the Graeco-Latin, our own and two further ones.
It was in the fifth stage when this emigration began; so that the specially chosen population of Atlantis which lies at the foundation of our culture is taken from the fifth Atlantean race, for in Atlantis we may speak of races.
A sixth and a seventh followed. These were, so to speak the lukewarm races. They also survived the great flood but there was no living sprouting force in them. They were related to the fifth Atlanteans civilization somewhat as the bark which is lignified and hardened is related to the sappy stem. These two races which followed the actual root-race were incapable of developing, they were overripe, so to speak.
You may still see stragglers of these old overripe races to-day, especially among the Chinese. This Chinese people is characterized by the fact that it has not identified itself with what was manifested in the fifth race, the root-race. It was when the etheric body entered into the physical body that man received the first germs which enabled him to say “I.” They had passed over that period; they had, however, thereby developed the high civilization which is known to-day but which was not capable of development. The fifth Atlantean race sent its people every-where, and they founded new civilizations, civilizations capable of growing and becoming more perfect. Indeed, this all developed from the ancient Indian civilization to our own.
1910-06-16-GA121 gives hints even about the Chinese wall and the continent of Atlantis
When we look back into the ancient times we can see something remarkable. As we have said, in old India the first culture took place in the etheric body, after the necessary perfecting of the spiritual forces had been accomplished. But there are other civilizations besides, which have preserved the old Atlantean culture and carried it over into the people of the post-Atlantean epoch.
Whereas on the one hand we have the Indian, coming thus to his etheric body, and from this and its forces creating his mighty civilization and his magnificent spiritual life, we have coming from the other side a culture which originated in Atlantis and continued to work on in the post-Atlantean epoch; a culture which for its foundation and development works out the other side, as it were, of the consciousness of the etheric body. That is the Chinese culture. If you bear this connection in mind, and remember that the Atlantean culture was directly related to what in our earlier lectures we called ‘The Great Spirit,’ you will understand the details of the Chinese culture. This culture was directly connected with the highest stages of the evolution of the world. But it still works into modern human bodies, and from a completely different side.
It will therefore seem quite comprehensible that the two great opposites of the post-Atlantean epoch will one day clash in these two civilizations: the Indian, which, within certain limits, is capable of development; and the Chinese, that shuts itself off and remains rigid, repeating what existed in the old Atlantean epoch.
Human races differentiated by Luciferic SoM on the planets
1910-06-12-GA121 (SWCC) (to be shortened) SEE BELOW
If we want to obtain a satisfactory conception of the activities of these normal Spirits of Form, it is best to think of them as streaming down to us in the sunlight. But if we want to obtain an idea of the abnormal Spirits of Form, and of how they act in combination with the normal Spirits of Form, who are centered in Sun as it were (for it was only in order that the equilibrium could be brought about that Jehovah split off towards Moon); then we must imagine that a certain sun-force, which streams towards us in the normal Spirits of Form, is altered by the force that streams to us from the abnormal Spirits of Form, who are really Spirits of Motion. These have their centre in the other five planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury.
.. when you look into the cosmos, there is a sort of distribution of the normal and the abnormal Spirits of Form. Six of the normal Spirits of Form are centered in Sun, one of them - Jehovah - forms the equilibrium for them from Moon, by ruling and guiding the latter. The activities of this Spirit of Form are influenced by the activities proceeding from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. These forces stream down upon Earth, are stemmed there and ray up again from Earth, as was described at the close of our last lecture.
Thus if you have a part of Earth's surface upon which a certain activity is exercised from the Sun by the Elohim or normal Spirits of Form, then nothing would come into existence on that particular part of the Earth's surface but the entirely normal ‘ I ’, that which gives man his normal being, which produces the average general human nature. Now into these forces of the Spirits of Form, which through the state of equilibrium would otherwise dance here upon the surface, are intermingled the forces of Mercury. Hence in that which here unfolds as the force of the Spirits of Form, there dances and vibrates not only the normal, but also that which intermingles in the normal forces of the Elohim, in the normal forces of the Spirits of Form, that namely, which comes from the abnormal Spirits of Form who are centered in the several planets. From this we see, that through these abnormal Spirits of Form, there are five possible centers of influence, and these, in their reflection upon humanity from the centre of the Earth, really produce what we know as the five main races [from the German, Hauptrassen – e.Ed] who inhabit the Earth.
If we now more closely characterize the spot which in our recent statements we placed in Africa, by saying, that through the co-operation of the normal Spirits of Form with the abnormal ones centered in Mercury, the negro race came into existence, we are then, from an occult standpoint, quite correct in describing what appears in the black race, as the ‘Mercury race’.
Let us now follow on further along the line which we then drew through the central points from which the several races sprang. We then come to Asia and find there the Venus-race or the Malay race. We then pass on across the wide domain of Asia and in the Mongolian race we find the Mars-race. We then pass over into the domain of Europe and we find in the Europeans, in their basic character, in their racial character, the Jupiter men. If we cross over the ocean to America, where the place is at which the races or civilizations die, we then find the race of the dark Saturn, the original American-Indian race, the American race. The American-Indian race is the Saturn race.
In this way, if occultly you picture this matter more and more clearly, you find in these five planets the forces which have experienced their external manifestations in these five parts of the world.
If you form a more and more distinct and concrete conception of this, you will acquire an inner knowledge of these unique racial characters which are spread over the Earth, a knowledge of this peculiar co-operation of the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form. Thus we have, as it were, drawn the picture which holds good for a certain point. But what I have said about the different parts of the Earth, again only holds good for a quite definite epoch of evolution. It holds good for the epoch when, at a definite moment of the old Atlantean evolution, the migration of peoples started from a spot in Atlantis and wandered across to the right place where they could receive the corresponding racial cultivation. Hence in my Occult Science you will find it pointed out that in old Atlantis, in certain Mystery Places, named the Atlantean Oracles, the guidance of this distribution of mankind over the Earth was taken in hand, so that in fact that equilibrium, that state of balance could be brought about which led to the corresponding distribution of the races. In one such Mystery-Oracle the truths of which we are now speaking were always investigated, and originally man was entirely guided by them. In this manner, what happened on the Earth was correspondingly directed from such centers.
In the stream of peoples that traveled across Africa and crystallized into the Ethiopian race, we have to look for an impulse which could be given by the Mercury-oracle, in which one could clearly observe how the normal Spirits of Form, (the six Elohim and Jahve or Jehovah) co-operated, and how the abnormal Spirits of Form whose activities proceeded from the centre of Mercury also worked in. According to the astrological co-operation of these various centers of force, the point of equilibrium was sought for on our Earth, and in accordance with this the centre of balance was taken as the point of radiation for the race in question.
The formation of the other races was also directed in a similar way. In accordance with this, the great map is then drawn, into which are entered the influences with respect to peoples, families, etc. That is the great map, which is an image of the heavenly activity which originates through the forces of the heavenly powers flowing into man, radiating back from him, and forming his destiny. What may we now consider a man of the Mercury race, of the Ethiopian race as being? We may so look upon him that we say: This man is originally destined and organized by the Elohim to express in himself the whole human nature. But now from the Mercury centre the abnormal Spirits of Form worked with great power and caused man to be so varied that the form of the Ethiopian race arose; and it was the same with each of the other races. Thereby the streams of the peoples were guided in quite a definite way from the original centre, and thus the line which I drew for you a few days ago originated.
You must therefore imagine the Spirits of Form radiating from a centre. We have to suppose this centre as being at a definite period of time in old Atlantis. There we have that which sank down into the Atlantean continent and shaped it in such a way that the human spirits were brought under the ruler ship of the corresponding abnormal Spirits of Form.
Thus were the great foundations of the races created, and when man looks up into the infinite expanses of the heavens, he must there seek the forces which constitute him. They constitute him however in their rays which return from the Earth. When he looks up to the normal Spirits of Form, to the Elohim, he is looking up to that which really makes him into man; and when he looks up to what is centered in the several Planetary Spirits (with the exception of the Sun and Moon), he sees that which makes him belong to a particular race.
Now how do these Race-spirits work in and upon man? They work in a very unique way, so that, as one might say, they excite his forces first of all when they reach the physical body. You know that what we call the four fundamental parts of man, are projected and imaged in certain parts of the physical body, so that we may say, the ‘ I ’ images itself in the blood; the astral body in the nervous system; the etheric or life-body in the glandular system, and only the physical body stands for itself, it is an image of its own being, and for the man of the present day it has all its laws within itself. The ‘ I ’ reflects itself in the blood, the astral body in the nervous system, the etheric body in the glandular system.
Those spiritual Beings, who there seethe and boil in man so that his racial character may come about, cannot at first work directly into his higher parts. They seethe first of all in these images of the higher parts in the physical body. They cannot as yet enter right into the physical body, but they seethe in the other three members, in that which is the image of the ‘ I ’, the blood; in the image of the astral body, the nervous system; and in that which is the image of the etheric body, the glandular system. In these three systems, which belong to the physical body but are reflections of the higher members, the Race-spirits, the abnormal Spirits of Form.
Here you see that the physical body of man is determined from within; so that these various spiritual Beings set to work in those parts of the physical body which are the projections, the shadows of the higher members. Now where for instance does Mercury set to work? I say Mercury, so as to include all the abnormal Spirits of Form to be found in Mercury. He intervenes by co-operating with others, especially in the glandular system. He seethes in the glandular system, and there are expressed the forces which originate through that preponderance of the Mercury forces, which work in the Ethiopian race. Everything which gives the Ethiopian race its special characteristics comes from the fact that the Mercury forces seethe and surge in the glandular system of this people. What modifies the universal human form into the special form of the Ethiopian race with black skin and woolly hair and so on, is the result of their activity. This modification of the common human form comes therefore from these forces.
If you now pass further over to Asia, you find there in a similar manner something we might describe as Venus forces, as an abnormal development of the Spirits of Form. These Venus forces operate by attacking principally that which we call the reflection of the astral body, the nervous system. They operate however in a peculiar way, and indeed not directly as Venus-spirits upon the nervous system. For the nervous system can be affected in two indirect ways; one way is through the respiration. When the breathing is specially worked upon, these activities establish themselves in man's respiratory and nervous system, and give it a definite form. This indirect way is selected by the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we may call Venus Beings, in the Malay race, in the yellow tinted races of Southern Asia, and towards the Malay Archipelago. Just as the glandular type of man is spread over the land of Ethiopia, so over these parts of Malaya there is spread the type of man in whom the abnormal Spirits of Form work upon the nervous system indirectly through the respiratory system. There the nervous system is worked upon indirectly through the respiratory system. In the nervous system is brewed that which, with special modifications, produces the more or less yellow-colored part of humanity. The transformation there brought about, certainly expresses itself more in that part of the nervous system which we sum up in the expression ‘Solar Plexus’, therefore not really in the higher nervous system but in that mysterious part of the nervous system which runs in two strands parallel with the spinal marrow and spreads out in various directions. This part of the nervous system, therefore, is worked upon indirectly through the respiratory system, this part which in our sense does not yet belong to the higher mental activity. These Venus-forces which work in this race, seethe deep down in the unconscious organism.
Now let us go up over the wide Mongolian plains. In those plains those Spirits of Form are principally active who work indirectly through the blood. There in the blood is brewed that which brings about a modification of humanity and produces the basic character of the race. There is, however, something very peculiar in this Mongolian race. There the Mars-spirits enter the blood: But they work in it in quite a definite way, viz., they are there able to work towards the six Elohim who are centered in the Sun. In the Mongolian race, therefore, they work towards these six Elohim, and in doing so they make a special attack in the other direction towards Jahve or Jehovah Who has separated His field of action from that of the six Elohim.
But besides this co-operation of the Mars-spirits with the six Elohim and Jahve, which results in the Mongolian race, there is still something quite special. Just as the six Elohim from the Sun and Jahve from the Moon act upon the Mongolians, whilst the Mars-spirits work towards them, so in another case we must imagine that from the direction of the Moon the Jahve forces again meet and co-operate with the Mars-spirits, and that thus a special modification arises. Here you have a special modification of humanity, viz., that which belongs to the Semitic race, explained from its most occult background. In the Semites you have a modification of collective humanity, in which Jahve or Jehovah shuts Himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character, by co-operating with the Spirits of Mars, in order to bring about the special modification of this people.
You will now perceive the special element contained in the Semitic people and its mission. In a certain deep occult sense the writer of the Bible was able to say, that Jahve or Jehovah had made this people His own, and when to this you add the fact that there was here a co-operation with the Mars-spirits who direct their attacks chiefly upon the blood, then you will also comprehend why the continuous action of the blood from generation to generation was of quite special importance to the Semitic Hebrew people, and why the God Jahve describes Himself in the Semitic people as the God Who comes down in the blood from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so on. That is the important thing: how the blood runs through all these generations. By describing Himself as ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’, Jehovah says: ‘I act in your blood’. That which always works in the blood, that which must be fought out in the blood, — the co-operation with the Mars-spirits, — that is one of the mysteries which lead us deeply into the wise guidance of the entire humanity of the Earth.
So you see, that the blood of mankind is acted upon in a twofold manner; that two races originate, by the blood of mankind being acted upon; on the one side we have that which we call the Mongolian race, on the other that which we may describe as belonging to the Semitic race. That is a great polarity in humanity, and we shall have to trace much that is of immense importance back to this polarity, if we wish to understand the depths of the Folk-souls.
We shall now go back still further and trace how the Spirits and Beings who have their centre in Jupiter seethe and boil in man. These select for themselves the second point of attack, so as to act indirectly upon the nervous system. The one point of attack is through the senses of man; the other point of attack which works into the nervous system, goes indirectly through the respiratory system into the solar plexus. The attack proceeding from Jupiter goes indirectly through the sense-impressions and streams out from thence upon those portions of the nervous system which are centered in the brain and spinal cord. Here flow in, in those races belonging to the Jupiter humanity, those forces which give the special stamp to the racial character. This is more or less the case in the Aryans, in the peoples of Asia Minor and Europe, those whom we reckon as belonging to the Caucasian race. In these arises that modification of universal humanity which comes from the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we may describe as Jupiter Spirits, working upon the senses. The Caucasians therefore are determined through the senses.
Now you will also understand that a people like the Greeks, who were quite specially and consciously under the influence of Jupiter or Zeus, who felt themselves to be a centre for the Zeus influence, were pre-eminently determined by what flows into the nervous system through the senses. Of course the Greeks were also influenced by the Elohim who stream in from Sun. But the case was such, that among the Greeks everything that acts upon the senses was devoted to the influence of Jupiter or Zeus, and by that means this people attained its greatness. Everything the Greeks saw in the way of external form, external life, contained important meanings for them. They saw the spiritual in their perceptions of the physical, and hence became the basic people for all sculpture, for all external form-giving. This indicates a very special mission of the Greek people, who are so eminently the people of Jupiter or Zeus, who even at the time when, — especially through the entrance of the star-constellation, — the co-operation of the Zeus or Jupiter-forces with the universal Elohim-forces took place, felt themselves to be the people of Zeus.
All the peoples of Asia Minor and especially the European peoples, are on the whole modifications of this Jupiter influence, and you may now divine that, as man has many senses, many modifications can come about, and that in the formation of the several peoples within this basic race which were formed by the senses working upon the nervous system, one or other of the senses may have the mastery. Through this the various peoples may assume different forms. According as the eye or the ear or one of the other senses has the upper hand, so will the different peoples be determined in this or that direction for the special national tendency within the racial character. Through this they get quite definite tasks. One task, which specially devolves upon the Caucasian race is, that it is to tread the path to the spiritual through the senses, for it is built especially upon the senses.
Herein lies something that leads one into the deeper starting-points of occultism and it will show you that in those peoples whose sign, so to speak, lies in the Venus-character, the principal starting-point, even in occult training, must be made where the breathing is the most important thing. On the other hand in the peoples living more to the West, the starting-point of their deepening and spiritualizing must be taken from what is in the sense world. This is possessed by peoples who occupy countries more towards the West, in their stages of higher cognition, in imagination, inspiration and intuition, in accordance with the way in which the Jupiter-spirit originally modified the character.
Hence there were always these two centers in the evolution of humanity, the one ruled more by the Spirits of Venus, and the other ruled more by the Spirits of Jupiter. The Spirits of Jupiter were specially observed in those Mysteries in which — as those of you will know who took part in my course of lectures at Munich [The East in the Light of the West, e.Ed.] last year — the three Individualities met together, the three spiritual Beings, Buddha, Zarathustra or Zarathas in his later incarnation, and that great leader of humanity whom we describe by the name of Skythianos. That is the Council which, under the guidance of One still greater, set itself the task of investigating into the mysterious forces which must be developed for the evolution of humanity, whose starting-point was taken from that part which is originally connected with the Jupiter forces and which was preordained in the map of the Earth already mentioned.
Finally, what we may describe as the abnormal Spirits of Form who have their centre in Saturn, act upon the glandular system, but in a roundabout way through all the other systems. Therefore in all that we must describe as the Saturn-race, in everything to which we must attribute the Saturn-character, we must look for something which draws together and embraces that which leads again to the evening twilight of humanity, whose development brings humanity in a certain way to a real conclusion, to a dying away. The expression of this action on the glandular system is seen in the American-Indian race. From that action comes its mortality, its disappearance. The Saturn influence acts through all the other systems finally upon the glandular system. It separates out the hardest parts of man, and we may therefore say that this dying-out consists in a sort of ossification, and this may also clearly be seen in the outer form.
If you look at the pictures of the old American Indians, the process above described is palpable in the decline of this race. In a race such as this, everything which existed in the Saturn-evolution is now present in them, and that in a special manner; it has withdrawn into itself and left man alone with his hard bone system, and brought him into decline. One feels something of this truly occult activity, if one observes how, even in the nineteenth century, a representative of these old Indians speaks of how in him there dwells what formerly was great and mighty for man, but which could not possibly go along with further evolution. There is in existence a description of a beautiful scene, in which a leader of these Indians who are dying out, confronts a European invader.
Imagine what is felt in the heart when two such men confront each other, men who came across from Europe, and men who in the earliest ages, when the races were divided, went over to the West. The Indians then took over with them to the West all that was great in the Atlantean culture. What was the greatest thing of all to the Indian? It was that he was still able dimly to sense something of the ancient greatness and majesty of a period which existed in the old Atlantean epoch, in which the division of the races had hardly begun, in which men could look up to the Sun and perceive the Spirits of Form penetrating through a sea of mist. Through an ocean of mist the Atlantean gazed up at that which to him was not divided into six or seven, but which acted together. This co-operative activity of the seven Spirits of Form was called by the Atlanteans the Great Spirit who revealed himself to man in ancient Atlantis. The Atlantean had not taken into himself all that the Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter Spirits brought about in the East, through which were developed all the civilizations which reached their zenith in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. In all this the son of the brown race did not participate. He clung firmly to the Great Spirit of the primeval past. That which the others had done, those who in a primeval past had also received the Great Spirit, passed before his eyes when a paper was laid before him on which were many little signs, letters, of which he understood nothing. All that was foreign to him, but in his soul he still had the Great Spirit. His speech has been preserved to us; it is worthy of note because it points to what we have explained, and it runs somewhat as follows: ‘There, in the ground upon which walk the conquerors of our country, the bones of my brothers are buried. Why are the feet of our conquerors allowed to walk over the graves of my brothers? Because they are in possession of that which makes the white man great. The brown man is made great by something else; he is made great by the Great Spirit, Who speaks to him in the sighing of the wind, in the rustling of the forest, in the surging of the waves, in the gurgling of the spring, in thunder and lightning! That is the Spirit Who to us speaks truth. Oh, the Great Spirit speaks truth! Your Spirits, whom you have here on paper, and who express what to you is great, they do not speak truth.’ Thus spoke the Indian Chief, from his point of view. The brown man belongs to the Great Spirit; the pale man belongs to the spirits who, in black shapes, as little dwarf-like beings — he meant the letters — hop about on the paper and who do not speak the truth. That is a world-historic dialogue, which was carried on between the conquerors and the last of the great Chiefs of the brown men. Here we see what belongs to Saturn and his activity, and what originates on the earth from his co-operation with other Spirits, at such a moment as this, when two different directions meet.
Thus we have seen how humanity in general was brought to the surface of our Earth by the Elohim or the normal Spirits of Form, how then the five principal races of human evolution lift themselves out of the collective mass of mankind, out of the ocean of humanity, and how these five races are connected with the guiding Spirits belonging to the ranks of the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we must call by the names which we take from the live planets, whereas the normal Spirits of Form are to be sought for in the Sun and in the Moon. From this point we shall proceed further, and pass on to something that will be easier to us, because we shall be connecting on to something familiar to us, namely, to tribes and peoples.
1916-01-09-GA165 talks about seven types of etheric body mapping to seven races
.. we must now ask why human beings are so different after all, and consider not only the physical body, but also the etheric body that stands behind it. Spiritual science shows us that while we should all be alike in our physical body, in regard to our etheric body we must be different because earthly forces are not the only ones that work on our etheric body. Forces coming out of the cosmos work on our etheric body, forming and shaping it.
We must therefore distinguish between the uniform earthly forces working all over the earth that would make all human forms the same and the forces working out of the universe on the earth, making each etheric body different. We can see the differences between etheric bodies through spiritual scientific research.
- (1) At the one extreme are those etheric bodies that have strong forces and are tough, retaining their form almost as much as we do our physical form. This is one kind of etheric body.
- (2) There is a second kind that is mobile, like something that is fluttering and always in movement, flowing and moving.
But these two kinds of etheric bodies still reveal themselves in such a way that we can describe their inner tone and shading as being more or less alike.
- (3) There is another kind of etheric body that is inwardly tinted, inwardly shimmering, not uniform in color but having various tones and colors.
- (4) There is a fourth kind of etheric body that has one primary color throughout its whole substance, but this color changes over time though we cannot pinpoint other than purely inward causes for this. These etheric bodies are not shimmering in different colors or shaded in many tones; they have only one color, but they change it in the course of time. We may call them chameleon-like etheric bodies.
- (5) Then there are those etheric bodies that have a strong tendency to light up inwardly, growing at times brighter and brighter.
- (6) Other etheric bodies have a powerful faculty to reproduce the harmonies of the spheres.
- (7) Finally, there are those etheric bodies that appear especially in inventive people and persons of genius — etheric bodies that, if I may say so, reveal forces within them that are rare and strange in this earthly world. Whereas the above-mentioned six kinds of etheric bodies are found among ordinary, even average, human beings, the last kind of etheric body produces the type of human being with powerfully developed faculties, those we often say are “not of this earth” — poets, artists, and the like.
It is not by arbitrarily picking the number seven that we distinguish these seven forms of etheric bodies. We simply have to count, and we find no others besides those I have just described as typical. For this simple reason, there are seven different kinds of human etheric bodies, and in these we have forces that are not earthly, but come in from the cosmos.
Our etheric body forms and molds the physical body. If only earthly forces worked on us, we would all be alike in our physical body. However, the influence of the etheric body makes us different. The astral body brings about further differences, such as those between male and female bodies, through forces it develops between death and a new birth, during the time when we prepare ourselves for the gender that karma requires us to have in the next incarnation.
But for the moment, let us just look at the etheric body. If we take only earthly forces into account, we can say that our physical bodies would have to be alike. However, because our etheric bodies differ in their constitution, composition, and structure in the cosmos, there would have to be seven groups of human beings. This is the fact we gradually arrive at when we investigate the relationship between our etheric body and our physical body with the methods of spiritual science. Now this difference is connected with the racial diversities on the earth: because of this difference in etheric bodies, the several races can always be reduced to the number seven. Even though certain typical forms atrophy, and though natural science may distinguish fewer than seven basic races, there are really seven basic racial distinctions in the human species. These diversities are brought about by the etheric body; they do not result from the earthly forces that work during our evolution, but originate in cosmic forces.
and 1910-06-12-GA121 (to be shortened)
.. if the Elohim or normal SoF, operating from the Sun, are active in a particular region of the Earth's surface, then only the normal ‘I’, that which determines man's normal being, his general make-up, would come into existence in that particular region. Now the forces of Mercury, for example, mingle with these forces of the normal SoF which, but for the state of equilibrium, would “dance” upon the surface of the Earth.
.. in what manifests in the potent forces of the SoF, there dance and vibrate not only the normal forces but also that which intermingles with the normal forces of the Spirits of Form, namely that which emanates from the abnormal SoF centred in the several planets.
Thus we see that through these abnormal SoF there are five potential centres of influence where these reflected planetary forces are concentrated and produce in effect what we know as the five Root Races of the Earth.
- Let us now look more closely into the centre which, in Lecture Four, we situated in the interior of Africa. If we state that the Negro race was born of the cooperation between the normal Spirits of Form and the abnormal SoF centred in Mercury) then from an occult standpoint we are perfectly correct in describing the Negro race as the “Mercury race”.
- Let us now continue along the line joining the centres or focal points from which the individual races spread outward. We then come to Asia, which is the seat of the “Venus race” or the Malayan race.
- We then move northward across the wide expanse of Asia and we find the Mongolian race, which is formed by the Mars forces.
- Then we cross over into Europe and find the Europeans who in their original racial character are “Jupiter men”.
- If we cross the ocean to America which is the centre where civilizations or races die, we find there the original Red Indian American or “Saturn race”. Thus .. from an occult standpoint .. five centres where the planetary forces are concentrated and are manifested in the external world.
With a progressively more definite and concrete conception of this racial distribution you will develop an inner understanding of the racial characteristics peculiar to the peoples spread over the Earth, an understanding of this unique cooperation of the normal and abnormal Spirits of Form. We have thus sketched the picture, as we are able to capture it at a definite moment in time. But what I have said about the different centres on the Earth is again only valid for a specific epoch of evolution. It is valid for the epoch when, at a definite moment of time in the old Atlantean evolution, the peoples began to migrate from a centre in Atlantis and sought the particular centre where they could receive the: training appropriate to their race. Hence in my book Occult Science, I pointed out that in old Atlantis specific Mystery Centres called the Atlantean Oracles were responsible for directing this distribution of peoples over the Earth, so that in effect that state of balance or equilibrium could be achieved which led to the proper distribution of the races. In one such Mystery Oracle the truths of which we are now speaking were always investigated and originally man took his direction entirely from them. In this manner the events on Earth were determined in accordance with these spiritual centres.
The wave of peoples who swept across Africa and crystallized into the Ethiopian race is an expression of an impulse from the Mercury Oracle in which one could clearly observe the cooperation of the normal Spirits of Form (the six Elohim and Jahve or Jehovah) and also the participation of the abnormal Spirits of Form working from the Mercury Centre. The Centre of equilibrium on Earth was selected in accordance with the right astrological conjunction of planetary forces at the various centres and the point of radiation for the race in question was determined thereby.
The formation of the other races was determined in a similar way. In accordance with these determining factors the grand design is drawn up, charting the cosmic influences in relation to peoples, families, etc. It is an image of cosmic activity and reflects the planetary forces which stream down into the Earth, ray outwards from the Earth and determine man's destiny.
Now how do we look upon a member of the Ethiopian race, of the Mercury race? We see him as one who was originally chosen, who was predestined by the Elohim to express the quintessence of the all-human. But from the Mercury Centre the potent influences of the abnormal Spirits of Form intervened and modified the form of man to such an extent that the Ethiopian race arose. And such was the case with each individual race. The migrations of the peoples were specifically directed from the original centre; this is indicated by the line linking the focal points or centres in my diagram a few days ago. You must therefore imagine the Spirits of Form radiating from a centre, which, we must assume, existed at a definite moment of time in old Atlantis. These Spirits of Form rayed down into the Atlantean continent and fashioned it in such a way that the human souls were brought under the dominion of the corresponding abnormal Spirits of Form.
In this way the broad foundations of the races were laid, and when man looks up into the infinite expanse of the Macrocosm he must seek there the forces out of which he was built up. He is fashioned by their spiritual rays reflected from the Earth-centre. And when he looks up to the normal Spirits of Form, the Elohim, he is looking up to that which actually makes him into man. When he looks up to the forces concentrated in the individual planetary Spirits (with the exception of the Sun and Moon) he perceives the forces which determine his membership of a particular race.
Now how do these Race Spirits work in and upon man? They work in a very unique way; they permeate his vital energies, they penetrate even down into his physical body. Now you know that the four fundamental members of man find their impress and are reflected in corresponding parts of the physical body: the ‘I’ finds its impress in the blood, the astral body in the nervous system, the etheric or life-body in the glandular system. Only the physical body is self-sufficient; it is a reflection of its own inner being which for the man of the present is subject to its own fixed laws.
Now those spiritual Beings who are stirring in man and determine his racial character cannot at first work directly into his higher vehicles. They are active first of all in these reflections of the higher vehicles in the physical body. They cannot as yet enter directly into the physical body, but they are active in the three other members, in the blood which is the reflection of the ‘I’; in the nervous system, the reflection of the astral body; and in the glandular system which is the reflection of the etheric body. The Race Spirits, the abnormal Spirits of Form, are active in these three systems, which are part of man's organic system, but are reflections of the higher vehicles.
Thus the physical body of man is determined from within. These various spiritual Beings invade those members of the physical body, which are the preliminary drafts, the suggestions of the higher vehicles. Now where, for instance, does Mercury make his influence felt? Under Mercury, I include all the abnormal Spirits of Form to be found in Mercury. He makes his influence felt by cooperating with others, especially in the glandular system. He is active in the glandular (or lymphatic) system where are manifested the forces born of that preponderance of the Mercury forces which are present in the Ethiopian race. Everything which gives the Ethiopian race its distinctive character stems from the ferment of the Mercury forces in the glandular system of this people. What transforms the undifferentiated universal human from into the distinctive Ethiopian type with his black pigmentation and woolly or frizzy hair is the consequence of their activity.
If you now move over to Asia you will find there likewise the planetary forces of Venus, an abnormal development of the Spirits of Form. By transferring their point of attack principally to what we call the impress of the astral body, these Venus forces work in the nervous system. They work upon the nervous system however in a peculiar way, not directly as Venus spirits. For the nervous system can be worked upon indirectly in two ways. One way is through the respiration. By working especially upon the respiration, these activities of the Venus Spirits are localized in the respiratory and nervous system and give it a definite form. In this indirect way the abnormal Spirits of Form whom we may call Venus Beings work through the respiratory and nervous system in the Malayan race, in the yellowish-brown races found in Southern Asia and in the direction of the Malay Archipelago. Just as the glandular type is found distributed over Ethiopia, so in these regions is found the type of man in whom the abnormal Spirits of Form work upon the nervous system indirectly through the respiratory system. In the nervous system is prepared that which, with special modifications, produces the more or less yellow skinned racial types. The transformation wrought in these races manifests itself more in that part of the nervous system covered by the term ‘solar plexus’ — not in the higher or central nervous system therefore, but in that mysterious part of the nervous system which runs in two cords parallel with the spinal medulla and branches out in various directions to form a network. This part of the nervous system therefore which from our point of view is not yet associated with higher mental activity, is worked upon indirectly through the respiratory system. The unconscious organism is deeply stirred by these Venus forces which work in these racial types.
Let us now move northward to the wide Mongolian plains where are largely concentrated those Spirits of Form who work indirectly through the forces of the blood. In this geographical area is prepared in the forces of the blood that which brings about a modification of the human species and determines the basic character of the race. There is however a very peculiar feature attaching to the Mongolian race; the Mars Spirits enter into the blood. But they work in the blood in a specific manner. They are able to counteract the influence of the six Elohim who are centred in the Sun. In the Mongolian race, therefore, they work in opposition to these six Elohim. At the same time they actively oppose the influence of Jahve or Jehovah who has withdrawn His field of action from that of the six Elohim. But apart from this interaction of the Mars Spirits with the six Elohim and Jahve which produces the Mongolian race there is another factor of paramount importance which must be taken into consideration. Just as in the one case, the Mars Spirits in opposition to the six Elohim from the Sun and Jahve from the Moon create the Mongolian race, so in another case, we must assume that the Jahve forces from the Moon sphere meet and cooperate with the Mars Spirits and thus a special kind of modification arises, namely, the Semitic race. Here is the occult explanation for the origin of the Semites. The Semitic people are an example of a modification of collective humanity. Jahve or Jehovah shuts Himself off from the other Elohim and invests this people with a special character by cooperating with the Mars Spirits, in order to bring about a special modification of his people. You will now understand the peculiar character of the Semitic people and its mission. In a profound occult sense the Biblical writer was able to claim that Jahve or Jehovah had made this people his own. If you add to this the fact that Jahve cooperated with the Mars Spirits who worked principally in the blood, you will understand why racial continuity through the blood-stream was of particular importance to the Semitic-Hebrew people and why Jahve describes Himself as the God who is present in the blood of the generations, in the blood of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When he declared himself to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He proclaimed that He was present in the blood stream of the Patriarchs. Whatsoever works in the blood, whatsoever must be determined through the blood — the cooperation with the Mars Spirits — that is one of the mysteries, which give us a deep insight into the wise guidance of all mankind.
The blood of mankind is thus subject to a twofold influence; two races emerge, the Mongolian race and the Semitic race. This points to the existence of an important polarity in mankind and we must emphasize the immense importance of this polarity if we wish to plumb the depths of the Folk Souls.
We must now turn our attention to the Western centre and trace the way in which dynamic forces of the Spirits and Beings who are centred in Jupiter operate in man. These elect to work directly upon the nervous system via the outer life of the senses. This is the one way. In the other, the planetary forces work into the sympathetic nervous system, entering indirectly into the solar plexus through the respiratory system. Now the Jupiter forces work indirectly through the sense-impressions and from there radiate to those parts of the central nervous system which are situated in the brain and spinal cord. Here is the seat of those forces which determine the particular racial character of those races belonging to the Jupiter humanity. This applies more or less to the Aryans, to the peoples of Asia Minor and Europe whom we regard as members of the Caucasian race. In these peoples the modification of the generic character which stems from the abnormal Spirits of Form is accounted for by the influence upon the senses of the abnormal Spirits whom we may describe as Jupiter Spirits. The Caucasians therefore are determined through the senses.
Now you will also understand why a people like the Greeks who were consciously under the special influence of Jupiter or Zeus and who felt themselves to be a focal point for the Zeus influence, were predominantly determined by what flows into the nervous system via the senses. The Greeks, of course, were also influenced by the forces of the Elohim, which stream in from the Sun. But the Greeks dedicated everything that acts upon the senses to the service of Jupiter or Zeus and so achieved greatness. To them all external forms, all forms of external life were imbued with deeper meaning. They perceived the spiritual in the physical and hence became the chief exponents of sculpture and architectonic forms. We have here indicated the very special mission of the Greek people who are so preeminently the people of Jupiter or Zeus. Even at the time when) especially under the influence of the new planetary constellation, the cooperation of the Jupiter or Zeus forces with the universal Elohim forces took place, they felt themselves to be the people of Zeus.
All the peoples of South-West Asia, and especially the European peoples are, on the whole, modifications of this Jupiter influence and you can well imagine that as man has many senses, many modifications are possible and that in the formation of the individual peoples within this root race, peoples who were formed by the influence of the senses upon the nervous system, one or other of the senses may predominate. Consequently the various peoples may assume the most diverse forms. According as the eye or the ear or one of the other senses predominates, so will the different peoples respond in this or that way to the particular national tendency within the racial character. In consequence of this they are faced with quite specific tasks. The particular task of the Caucasian race is to find the way to the spirit through the senses, for this race is orientated chiefly towards the sense-world.
Here is disclosed something that introduces us to the deeper secrets of occultism; it shows how, in those peoples who are subject to the Venus forces, the initial steps in development, even in occult development, must be concentrated on the respiratory system. Amongst the peoples living more in the Western Hemisphere, on the other hand, the initial steps must start from an enrichment and a spiritualisation of the life of the senses. This is experienced by those peoples inhabiting countries more towards the West in their stages of higher cognition, in Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition, in so far as the Jupiter Spirit originally modified the character.
Hence these two geographical centres were always present in human evolution; the one presided over by the Spirits of Venus, the other by those of Jupiter. The Jupiter Spirits in particular were perceived in those Mysteries in which — as those of you will know who attended my lecture-course in Munich last year [ The East in the Light of the West. The Children of Lucifer and the Brothers of Christ. Nine lectures given in Munich, 23rd – 29th August, 1909.] — the three Individualities ultimately came together, the three spiritual Beings, Buddha, Zarathustra or Zarathas in his later incarnation, and that great leader of humanity, Skythianos. This is the “Council” or spiritual conference which, under the guidance of One still greater, set itself the task of investigating the mysterious forces which must be developed for the evolution of humanity, forces which originated from that centre initially connected with the Jupiter forces and which was pre-ordained in the chart of the cultural centres already mentioned.
Finally, the abnormal Spirits of Form who have their centre in Saturn work indirectly via all the other systems into the glandular system. In the Saturn race, therefore, in everything to which we must ascribe the Saturn character, we must expect to find the combination of the forces leading to the twilight of mankind, forces which set the seal upon its development and sow the seeds of its ultimate decline. This action and its effect upon the glandular system can be seen in the American Indian race and was the cause of its ultimate extinction. The Saturn influence finally works via all the other systems into the glandular system which secretes the hardest parts of man. This slow decline is characterized by a kind of ossification which is clearly reflected in the external form. If you look at the pictures of the old American Indians the process of ossification described above is evident in the decline of this race. In a race such as this everything pertaining to the forces of the Saturn evolution has become realized in a special manner; then Saturn withdrew into itself, abandoned man to his bony system and thus hastened his decline. One feels something of this truly occult activity if one observes how, in the nineteenth century, a representative of these old American Indians still preserves a memory of that great Atlantean civilization which could not adapt itself to later evolution. There exists a description of a beautiful scene in which a chieftain of this moribund Red Indian race confronts a European colonist. Imagine the conflicting emotions when two such men confront each other, the one representing those who came from Europe, and the other those who, in the earliest ages, at the time of the separation of the races, moved Westward. The Red Indian brought over to the West all that was great in the Atlantean culture. What the Red Indian valued most highly was that he was still able dimly to sense something of the former greatness and majesty of a period which existed in the old Atlantean epoch when the separation of the races had hardly begun, when man could look up to the Sun and perceive the Spirits of Form through a sea of mist. Through an ocean of mist the Atlantean was clairvoyantly aware of the seven Spirits of Form acting in concert. And this cooperative activity was called by the Atlanteans the Great Spirit who revealed himself to man in ancient Atlantis. The Atlantean had not assimilated all that the Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter Spirits brought about in the East, to whom we owe all the civilizations which reached their zenith in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century. The descendant of the brown race did not participate in this development. He held firm to the Great Spirit of the primeval past. He became aware of achievements of the Europeans (who, in a remote past, had also known the Great Spirit) when a piece of paper was laid before him on which were many little symbols, letters, of which he understood nothing. All that was alien to him, for in his soul still dwelt the Great Spirit. The speech he made has been preserved to us and it is noteworthy because it provides evidence of what we have already indicated. It runs somewhat as follows: “Here in the soil, trampled beneath the feet of the conquerors the bones of my brothers lie buried. Why are the feet of our conquerors allowed to desecrate the graves of my brothers? Because they are in possession of that which makes the White Man great. But there is something else which makes the Brown Man great; it is the Great Spirit who speaks to him in the soughing of the wind, in the murmuring of the forest, in the surging of the waves, in the purling of the brook, in thunder and in lightning! That is the Spirit who to us speaks truth. Yes, from the lips of the Great Spirit comes truth. But your spirits here on paper and who express what to you is great, they do not speak the truth.” Thus spoke the Indian chieftain from his point of view. “Redskin is servant of the Great Spirit; Paleface is servant of the spirits who, in black shapes resembling pygmy beings” — he was referring to the letters — “dance on the paper; they do not speak the truth”. This dialogue of historic importance was exchanged between the conqueror and the last of the great chieftains of the Red Indians. Here we have an example of the Saturn forces and their activity and of what follows from the cooperation between Saturn and other Spirits at such a moment as this when two contrasting civilizations meet.
Thus we have seen how here on Earth the birth of universal humanity was prepared by the Elohim or the normal Spirits of Form, how then the five principal races of human evolution detach themselves from the collective body of mankind, from the teaming mass of humanity, and how these five races are related to the guiding Spirits in the Hierarchy of the abnormal Spirits of Form, races whom we must name after the five planets, whereas the normal Spirits of Form are centred in the Sun and in the Moon. From here we shall pass on to something which will be easier to understand, because we shall be able to relate it to something familiar to us, namely, to tribes and peoples.
1917-10-07-GA177 link is made of the current races to the Mysteries in the Atlantean epoch
Those are the rumblings, natural rumblings, in brains which are emptied of soul; ideas rumbling about which had reality in the Atlantean age. Then there really were laws which enabled people to determine size, growth, and all kinds of things by cross-breeding and the like. It was a science that was widespread in Atlantean times and — as I mentioned yesterday — sorely misused. Atlantean science worked on the basis of physical relationships and it was known that if such a man was brought together with such a woman — differences between men and women were much greater at the time — the result would be such and such a creature, and then a different variety could be produced — just as plant breeders do today.
The Mysteries brought order into this cross-breeding, where related and different elements were brought together. They established groups and withdrew anything which had to be withdrawn from humanity. The blackest of black magic was practised in Atlantean times, and order was created by establishing classes and taking these matters out of human control. This was one of the factors which led to the nations and races of today.
The issue of the nation as an entity is coming up again in our present time; it is an echo of the soulless brain from Atlantean times. There is so much talk about national issues today. But it is only the body speaking. The spirit has withdrawn and already belongs to a totally different world today. There you have the discrepancy between the reality and the speechifying about the ‘principle of nationality’ which goes on today. This will never lead to anything good; if politics are based on issues relating to nations, which are no longer issues of the day because the soul belongs to entirely different orders and realms than those which come to expression in our physical nature, this will inevitably take us into chaos over and over again. All this must be known, and it can only be known through anthroposophy. Those rumblings in brains emptied of soul are the reason why ideas that human beings should be produced on the basis of certain laws are now coming up again.
.. consider the human color: over the face of the earth are people showing skins differing in color .. [Europe: white, Asia: yellow, Africa: black] .. Those are the original races, all others living in these regions are the consequence of migration. ... to Asia belongs the yellow race, the Mongolian; to Europe belongs the white race or the Caucasian race, and to Africa belongs the black or Negro race. .. These races are, as it were, at home in these three parts of the earth.
- [the African type] .. the black men in Africa have the characteristic of absorbing from the universe all light and all warmth. This light and this warmth in the universe cannot go through the whole body .. but stops short on the surface of the skin, and therefore the skin becomes black. Thus a black man in Africa takes up light and warmth everywhere and uses it in himself: something helps him in this assimilation. What helps him in particular is his posterior brain which is specially developed. That goes through the spinal cord and can work over all the light and warmth that is in him. Hence all that is connected with the body and metabolism is strongly developed and he has a strong desire-life. His metabolism proceeds as if there were a cooking by the sun itself in his interior, and what stokes the fire is the posterior brain. The black man also has a crafty and observant eye: he peers craftily and very observantly. If there in front is the nerve of the eye [see drawing], the nerves go just into the posterior brain; they cross there [see drawing]. The nerve goes into the posterior brain, and since that is specially developed .. he peeps out with craft as a sly observer of the world. [main link with metabolic limb subsystem and digestion is made]
- [the Asian type] .. the yellow man gives some light back, but he absorbs a great deal. He takes up much light but gives some back, so he contents himself with less. This less amount of light cannot work in the whole metabolism, and so the metabolism must be referred to its own force. Thus in the yellow race (Japanese, Chinese) the light and warmth work principally in breathing and blood-circulation. If you have ever met a Japanese, you will have noticed how he pays attention to his breathing. When he talks to you he keeps himself under restraint so that his breathing may be in good order: he has a certain feeling of well-being in breathing. This means that less is worked over in his interior, it is principally worked upon in the breast [see drawing]. This causes the yellow man to develop strongly, not the posterior brain, but the middle brain. It is there that his breath and blood-circulation are maintained. The yellow Asian type lives rather less in the metabolism, as is noticeable in his walking with a less energetic walk. He does not work so strongly with the limbs and the metabolism. The black man is more to the fore in racing and outer movement that is governed by desires. The Asiatic, yellow man, develops more an inner dream life and therefore the whole Asiatic civilization has this dreamer-element. Thus he is not only living more in himself; he absorbs something from the universe. And so it comes about that the Asians have such wonderful poems about the whole universe. The Asiatic breathes it into himself, has it in his blood-circulation .. and can also give it out from himself when awake, for speech is a metamorphosed breathing. The Asians are altogether an inward people and scorn the European today because they say: They are external people. [main link with rhythmic subsystem and breathing]
- [the European Caucasian type] .. a white race in regard to the universe, we must give back all external light.. and all warmth too. The warmth has to be very powerful if we want to take it into us. There is the human being [see drawing] of such a nature that he throws back all light and warmth. He absorbs them only when they become powerful. He throws them back and develops only the light and warmth that arise in his inner being through his own inner activity. Neither breathing nor blood-circulation comes to help him, nor the creation of warmth; but he must himself work out light and warmth through his brain, that is, through his head. We throw back all external light and warmth, and we ourselves must give the color to our blood. That then presses through the white and so we obtain the white human color of the Europeans, from within. Europeans use the frontal, anterior brain. The man with the posterior brain has mainly the desire-life, life of instinct: the one here with the middle brain has the feeling life, situated in the breast; and we Europeans, have the thought-life that sits in the head. Thereby, as it were, we do not feel our inner man at all .. we feel the head only when it is ill. This makes us aware of the whole outer world and we easily become materialists. The Negro becomes no materialist, he remains man inwardly, only he develops the inner desire-life. Nor does the Asiatic become materialist, he remains at the feeling-life, he does not bother about external life as the European does. Of the latter he says: He is only an engineer, concerning himself only with outer life. He is, in fact, since he must develop his frontal brain, assigned to the outer world, and everything is connected with that.
Now consider also:
- The black africans live on a part of the earth where the sun oppresses them very much indeed, penetrates into them. So they give themselves up to it, absorb it fully into their bodies, become friendly with it, reject nothing.
- With the Asians, more comes to them from the heat of the earth and they do not give so much back. They are no longer so friendly with the sun.
- And with the Europeans, here the fact is that they would actually obtain nothing from the sun if they did not evolve their own human element. Europe has therefore always been the starting point for all that develops the human element in connection with the outside world. In contrast for example Asians can assimilate inventions well, but original inventions are seldom made in Asia.
As regards the human race, men all over the earth are actually dependent on one another. They must help each other. That is a consequence of their natural ability. That is connected, you see, with the whole of man's development.
A black man's desire-life is especially evolved, all that boils in the interior. This gives much ash, and the ash is deposited in the bones. He is therefore more developed in his bones than a man of the white race. The latter rather directs to the blood what he has inwardly and his bones are more finely developed. Thus the black has coarsely developed bones, the white has more finely developed bones. And the yellow race stand in between.
You can observe by the manner in which a Japanese stands and walks that in his bone-structure he stands between the European and the African. The Africans have these strong bones continuously in movement. The European has more the blood system. The Japanese has all that acts on the breathing and from the breath on the blood-circulation.
.. men on earth do not simply remain where they are. If one were to go back into ancient times, one would already find that the yellow race belonged to Asia, the white race to Europe and the black race to Africa. But it has also always happened that people have wandered out. And it can happen that either the yellow wander to the East or the blacks wander to the West.
- .. the yellow have always wandered eastwards and have come to those islands between Asia and Australia [see scheme]. When the yellow wander over to the East they become brown [Malayans] .. What does it mean to become brown? Well, when they are yellow they throw back a definite degree of light; the rest they absorb. When they become brown through the different way in which they now live in the sun — for they come from another part of the earth — then they throw back, reflect, less light. They take more light into themselves. So these brown Malayans are migrated Mongolians, but who now, since the sun works on them differently, accustom themselves to absorb more light and more warmth. But consider how they have not the nature tor this. They have already accustomed themselves to have a bony structure which limits them to a definite degree of warmth. They have not the right nature for taking up so much warmth as they now take up as Malayans. The result of this is that they begin to become unusable people, people who break to pieces in the body, whose body dies away. This is in fact the case with the Malayan population. They die of the sun. They die of the Fast. One can say that whereas the yellow, the Mongolians, are still men in full strength, the Malayans are a dying race.
- In ancient times the black negroes wandered over to the West; there had always been a ship passage, and there were still islands over the whole Atlantic Ocean, for earlier this was in fact a continent. Now when the blacks wandered west they could no longer absorb so much light and warmth as in their native Africa. Less light and warmth reaches them. What is the result? Their nature is organized to take up as much as possible of light and warmth and actually in that way to become black. Now they do not get as much light and warmth as they need in order to become black. So they become copper-red, become Indians. That comes from the fact that they are obliged to reflect something of light and warmth. That gleams a copper-red. Copper is itself a body which must reflect a little light and warmth. They cannot hold out against this and so die in the West as Indians. They are again a race that is dying from their own nature which gets too little light and warmth. They die from the earthly, and the earthly element of their nature is their desire-life. They can no longer develop that properly, whereas they still get strong bones. Since much ash goes into their bones these Indians can no longer hold out against it. Their bones become frightfully strong, but so strong that the whole man goes to pieces by reason of his bones.
.. this is how things developed so these five races have come about: black, yellow, white in the center: as a side-branch of the black the copper-red, and as a side-branch of the yellow the brown: those are always the dying-out parts.
The whites are actually those who evolve the human element and so they are assigned to themselves. When they migrate they somewhat take on the characteristics of the other regions, yet they do not go to pieces as a race, but rather as individuals. But instead they do something else altogether.
.. soul and spirit can be most active in the European, since they make most claim on him. He can more easily bear going into different parts of the earth.
[continues: Second level of mixing and migrations - cultural ages of current epoch]
Hence it also once came about that starting from up above there [see scheme] a great migration of people went over as far as India. A stream of white people struck into a region where the population was yellow. Thus arose the Hindus, a mixture of Mongolian and Caucasian. Hence came the very beautiful Indian poetry, the most beautiful in existence. But again at the same time something of which one notes that it has already become inert, because the white element is not in its own territory.
And so one can say that the white man can go everywhere, today even to America — and all the white inhabitants of America have come from Europe. The white element therefore comes into American regions, but something happens to man when he comes to America from the Europe for which he is naturally constituted. It means that some demand must be made on the posterior brain. As European in Europe he has made demands chiefly on his frontal brain. ... [ ..] .. things move over through the middle brain to the posterior brain when as European one comes to America. [section on European vs American nature] ...
[Sun's path through the Zodiac]
The sun always sends more or less of warmth and light down to the earth. Now we have the Vernal Point in the Fishes, as I have told you. Previously it was in the Ram, Aries. After some time it will be in Aquarius: only then will the true American civilization come. ...
... Now all civilization moves over to America; it will take a long time, but when the sun's vernal point has entered the Sign of Aquarius then it will send down its rays to earth just in such a favorable way that the American culture and civilization will be especially powerful.
.. [..] .. The time will one day come when this American “wooden man” — which actually everyone is still — when he will begin to speak. Then he will have something to say very similar to European Anthroposophy.
And so it is really quite interesting: On the one hand we have the black race, which is most of all earthly. When they go westwards, they die out. We have the yellow race, which is between earth and cosmos. When they go to the East they become brown, connect too much with the cosmos, die out. The while race is the future one, is the race creating in the Spirit. When they moved over to India they developed the inward, poetical and spiritual Indian culture. When they now go to the West they will develop a spirituality which does not so much grasp man's inner being, but turns to the spirituality of the outer world.
Three kings at birth of Jesus
The three kings or magicians coming to see the child Jesus at birth are symbolic of the three root races of the Lemurian, Atlantean and current Aryan or Postatlantean epoch (1904-12-30-GA090A):
Who are these magicians? They are initiates of the three previous root races, of humanity before the appearance of the Christ being and selfless love, the resurrected Osisirs. The initiates had the gift of manas and are magicians that bring gifts as sacrifice: gold, incense and myrrh. And why do they appear in the three colours black, white and yellow? Black as in African, white as in European, and yellow as Indian. This correlates to the root races. Black are the remnants of the Lemurian race, yellow are the remnants of the Atlantean race, and white are the representatives of the fifth epoch and root race. So we have in the three kings or magicians the representative of Lemuria, Atlantis and the current Aryan race that come to greet and bring gifts of sacrifice. The European brings Gold as the symbol of wisdom and Intelligence that comes out in the fifth epoch. The representative of the Atlantean brings what for them was most important. They had a suggestive influence rather than a direct influence of the divinity, like a universal hypnosis, and this connection with the divine is maintained through sacrifices. The feeling has to rise itself, so the divine can fructify the feeling .. and that finds its expression in the incense. This is a universal symbol for sacrifices that have something to do with Intuition.
Myrrh is an esoteric symbol for killing .. and what does dying and resurrection mean, as we know it in the resurrected Osiris? [ refers to Goethe and Böhme with quotes] .. Myrrh is the symbol for the dfying off of the lower life, and the resurrection of the higher life. That is also why it is brought by the initiate of the third root race. This contains a deep meaning ..
[see further p 495 in German edition of 2018]
Cosmic influences in the development of the human races
The above sketches how the current races are the result of spiritual influence by the Spirits of Form, normal and abnormal. Rudolf Steiner points out that the ripening of the races links to the influences of the Sun going through the signs of the Zodiac (see eg 1923-03-03-GA349 above), and the abnormal luciferic and ahrimanic influences coming from the planets.
Sigismund von Gleich explores this further, see reference below, and find an interesting spiral development mapping to the geographical center of the sub-races and/or cultural epochs.
Reflections on the sensitivity of the racial topic
As described above, the topic of racial differences is of all times and related to the conquest of one people by another, and illustrated by slavery which was historically considered natural in the past. The conquered people had to submit and were dominated and 'used' by the conqueror.
Just like the development of conscience and empathy, an evolution took place in that all human beings are considered equal - irrespective of race, origin, nationality - and not one can claim to be superior as another. This fundamental principle is an important development on the long road to a single brotherhood of people.
For perspective one could link in the fact another fact in this context, the so-called 'marriage within the blood line'. This is further way from us today on the timeline, but it represented a probably even larger shift from old traditions to a new reality. In the gospels this is symbolically represented by the marriage in Cana (see below). More on the implicitions of the mingling of blood through marriage, see Christ Module 4 - The Mystery of the Blood.
... Why are we told with such emphasis, in the first of the signs that the marriage took place at ‘Cana in Galilee’? Search as we will, there is no other Cana in Palestine, in the regions that could be known at that time. Is an additional appellation necessary for a place which is the only one of that name? Why does the Evangelist, in speaking of this miracle, insist that it took place at ‘Cana in Galilee’? Because it was essential to emphasize that the event in question must necessarily have occurred in Galilee and nowhere else. That is to say, Christ could not have found the persons necessary for this event in other regions, but alone in Galilee. I have already explained that in order to produce an effect, the active agent alone does not suffice; there must also be others who are capable of responding to the influence. Christ could not have performed His first miracle within the Jewish community itself; but it was quite possible for Him to do so in Galilee, a district in which the most diverse peoples and tribes were mingled together. Precisely on account of this mixture of races from far and wide, there was far less blood relationship in Galilee than in Judea, in the more strictly Hebrew circles. The people of Galilee were a medley of races. ...
The topic is another illustration of how the worldview totally changes the way how Man stands versus a certain matter, in this case human races. See more on worldview wars and the difference and relationship between mineral and spiritual science. It is also didactic to appreciate that a different context and meaning was underlying the thinking and statements of people such as Nietzsche and Wagner. When a certain sentence is taken out of that context and read with the contemporary materialistic worldview and meaning of the term race, it is quite normal for it to be interpreted as racial in the current meaning of the term. On the other hand, as Rudolf Steiner explains, quite a different meaning is underlying such statements.
- Nietzsche's concept of 'Ubermensch' takes a wholly different meaning when considered in a broader evolutionary contetxt as sketched here and depicted eg in Schema FMC00.149 (on Overview of solar system evolution) or FMC00.077A (on Creation of solar system) showing the future 'lower' evil human races.
- Similarly when Wagner speaks, in the context of the suffering of Christ-Jesus, of the ability of the white race to suffer, maybe this statement has to be considered as well in the framework sketched above, in other words the physiological and I-consciousness constitution of the 'white race'.
These two examples are not given the coverage they deserve to avoid misunderstandings, but are just offered here as illustrations or pointers for further exploration. The fact they link to the essential nature of 'evil' and 'suffering', both very deep subjects that cannot be understand with a superficial surface understanding, shows enough how one should 'eat the humble pie' and withhold from bold opinions or statements. Or again, with Stephen Covey, 'first seek to understand'.
In the current Postatlantean epoch, Man has passed the stage of marriage within the blood line and moved into the mingling of blood lines millenia ago. Migrations at macro and microscale cause mixture or all characteristics, also of racial origin. Therefore the situation is one of complete mixture into a single hugely diversified human race, far from the oversimplified situation of judging by colour of skin.
The true meaning of human races can only be comprehended in a spiritual scientific evolutionary framework spanning three or four epochs. The origin of race started in the Lemurian epoch, evolved in the Atlantean epoch, and is now again on its way out in the current epoch to find a different meaning in the sixth epoch. In that next epoch the differentiation will be more between good and evil, as a prelook for what is to come in the next planetary incarnation Future Jupiter.
The sixteen paths of perdition
Two extracts for study:
1908-05-16-GA102 (see above)
Older races only persist because there are men who cannot or will not move forward to a higher racial form. .. there is a series of possibilities in the course of evolution for Man to become one with the race, to grow together with what is the character of one race or another. Think of the Atlantean race; souls have gone through it, but not all have passed out of it. There are sixteen possibilities of becoming merged with the race, called the “sixteen paths of perdition.” On these paths man would merge with the material. By striving forward, however, he is drawn up from race to race to ever higher stages. .. .. it is possible for Man to combine with one incarnation in such a way that he remains behind in evolution. His other soul-brothers are then at a higher stage when he reappears in a new incarnation, while he must then content himself with an inferior incarnation which has been left to him in a 'decadent' (editor: fallen-behind) race. This takes place but need not frighten people for the present phase of evolution. No one is obliged to take all the sixteen paths and thereby fall out of evolution, we must only be aware of the possibility.
And the following (taken from the page on the Eight sphere) from Man: fragments of forgotten history (1885)
.. Black magic also gives to its votaries the power of obsessing living men and women. This vile art was at its height during the close of the Atlantean race period, when the everlasting struggle between the black magicians and the Adepts of the Good Law raged most fiercely. Sorcerers and black magicians, the most powerful of those vile fraternities, attain at the conclusion of a great cycle of activity, what is called Avitchi-Nirvana. At the beginning of the next period of activity they commence a nameless life of spiritual wickedness, to be ended only at the next period of rest. The name of these beings of misery and horror, the cursed alike of man and god, is never pronounced or written, but they have nothing to do with the mortals who pass through the seven spheres.
These are the habitants of the eighth sphere, which has sixteen grades. In the first fourteen of these the entity loses, after prolonged periods of suffering, its seven astral and seven spiritual senses. The mysteries of the last two grades are never communicated outside the sanctuary of initiation.
It may be stated, however, that from the last, the entity, having lost the accumulated vile energy of its past, emerges as a new individuality, to begin a new course from the lowest rung of the ladder of life.
Explaining this subject of the so-called personal annihilation our Teacher says :
" At this point the great law begins its work of selection. Matter, found divorced from spirit as far as that possible, is thrown over into the still lower worlds, into the sixth 'gate' or way of re-birth in the vegetable and mineral worlds, and also in the primitive animal forms. From thence matter, ground over in the workshop of Nature, proceeds soulless back to its mother fount, while the egos, purified of their dross, are enabled to resume their progress once more on earth. It is here that the laggard egos perish by the million. It is the solemn moment of the survival of the fittest, the annihilation of the unfit. It is but matter (or material man) which is compelled by its own weight to descend to the very bottom of the 'circle of necessity', to then assume an animal form. Of course the monad never perishes, whatever happens."
To prevent a misunderstanding it is necessary to point out that what the Master says above does not warrant the belief in a retrogression of souls. A human spirit will never inhabit the form of an animal. In its descent through the 'circle of necessity' it loses all trace of humanity, and then the colourless monad begins to reascend through the different grades. ...
The magazine Rays from the Rose Cross (Jan 1916) also touches on the sixteen paths
at the end of the Lemurian epoch, some were different from the majority, and might be called a Race. There were seven races in the Atlantean epoch, five have been born and two more are due to make their appearance in the Aryan Epoch, and one will be born in the beginning of the New Galilee [the sixth epoch]. With the last of Sixteen Races, mankind will be again united in Love and Brotherhood .. .. there is a great danger that some may become so enmeshed in the race ideal that they fail to proceed to the next higher stage; therefore the Sixteen Races are called the “Sixteen Paths to Destruction" ..
and goes on to explain how the race spirits' took hold of Man's lungs and larynx in the Atlantean epoch.
See also I-less human beings.
Considerations on laggers and the sixteen paths of perdition
- When one considers a Gaussian distribution curve for a normal distribution of development in a cohort or population segment, and we assume that the clock or bell of this curve supposedly reaches the developmental goal of a cultural age, then this corresponds to some 68% of the population that goes through this period (more, or less, around the median of the curve). If we use this pattern for say 13 consecutive cultural ages from the last stage of Lemuria to the current fifth cultural age in the Postatlantean epoch, then each consecutive age takes 68% of the previous population that reaches the developmental goal. This small calculation exercise shows that, on a population of eg 2-10 billion people, the cohort that has àlways reached the developmental goal has become as small as 133.000-665.000 people. Of course this little thought exercise may not have any correspondence to reality, it is just meant to sketch an idea for contemplation. Perspective is given in: Spiritual minority in a materialistic world and Overlapping evolutionary periods
- 1917-001-GA174 describes in the synopsis
People who lag behind evolution fill their being with a posionous phantom of formative forces, the source of emptiness of soul, hypochondria, aggressive instincts. If spiritual life is possible, it must also be possible to go astray. .. [as well as] .. examples of failure to find the spirit
- Planets hosting (beings at various stages of evolution)
- Man past and future
- Q&A: Q00.002
- Atlantean epoch
- I-less human beings
References and further reading
- Sigismund von Gleich:
- Der Mensch der Eiszeit und Atlantis (mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Urgeschichte der Mongolen, Abessinier und Basken) (1936, 1990)