I-less human beings
Each evolutionary period has its developmental goal for any class of beings, and hence also for humanity. However not all achieve it. This happens in each period whereby a certain cohort of the total population achieves it, with a group that is ahead and a group that is lagging and falls short of achieving the developmental goal.
Reference to this is made in the context of human races and the so-called sixteen paths of perdition (see Human races) or different ways whereby human beings can stay behind. The human races hereby refer to the stage of humanity in a certain cultural age, and sixteen such stages can be drawn from the last period of the Lemurian epoch into the first stage of the Sixth epoch.
Now during those epochs the main development of mankind was the establishing of the 'I' as a fourth bodily principle. This happened in three stages, triggered by the Spirits of Form from the Lemurian epoch onwards and rippling through and taking hold of the lower principles. See also the illustration schemes in Development of the I.
As a result of the above, there are classes of human souls that have not reached the gradual development of each stage in order to establish a solid I. Rudolf Steiner describes these in GA346 in the context of the so-called locust plague in the Book of Revelation or the Apocalyps of Saint John, and also the increase of population on earth.
Certain human beings are part of the stream of heredity from which they receive a physical body, in which they come down with etheric and astral bodies but not as an incarnating Individuality. Although we can not distinguish them physically, these are not complete human beings structurally, they have a soul but are not spiritual beings with an I. With astral clairvoyance they appear as a locusts with a human head, hence the term 'locust-men'.
Note there are various underlying possibilities or reasons for souls to have ended up in this situation, eg these can be
- souls that have descended from other planets at a later stage when the other souls had already passed through a certain period - see Planets hosting beings at various stages of evolution
- souls that are posthumous with respect to the other normal human souls that arose at a particular time in evolution and which incarnate repeatedly as men
Also, as the etheric body is loosening from the physical body, and the human soul is withdrawing from the body, the body is in danger of being filled with ahrimanic demonic powers. In the future one will meet ordinary people that are not what they appear to be, as the body will be having inhabited ahrimanic demon inside. (1917-10-07-GA177)
More of a wake up call, in this case. Not often does Rudolf Steiner use such words, see blow and underlined. From1919-11-29-GA194:
My dear friends, it is a significant, an important result of spiritual-scientific research which is to be taken very, very seriously, that we have already entered the period of Earth evolution when certain beings make themselves felt who upon Future Jupiter will have advanced to the form of man, a different form of Man, to be sure, but which, nevertheless, may be compared with the being of Man. ... These so-to-speak Future Jupiter men exist already now .. of course not externally visible... Supersensibily these beings are very decidedly present.
I emphasize once more: it is an extremely serious truth that certain beings make themselves felt which exist in the environment of mankind.
They make themselves felt more and more since the middle of the fifteenth century. These beings possess chiefly the impulse of a force which is very similar to the human force of will, that ... exists in the deeper strata of the human consciousness. These invisible beings are related to that element of which ordinary consciousness thus remains unconscious today; but they already make themselves very strongly felt in the development of present-day humanity.
For the person who takes spiritual research truly seriously this is a problem of great magnitude. ... During the last few years much has occurred that was caused by a dulled human consciousness. ... This is a problem, terrifying in its nature.
See oa quote of 1917-10-07-GA177 below.
Schema FMC00.233 shows the development of the 'I' on the left, centered in the Atlantean epoch although it really starts in the middle of the Lemurian epoch and lasts upto the current cultural age of the current fifth Postatlantean or Aryan epoch.
In the middle the '16 paths of perdition' mapped to this development (based on Heindel). If one considers a Gaussian distribution curve there is always a part ahead on the right, and a part lagging on the left. Hence, over the cultural ages part of the total population of souls will be lagging and just not reach the stages of the mainstream.
On the right: in the current fifth epoch 'Humanity is getting younger' and the sixth 'russian' cultural age (approx. ) is the one where a (small) subselection of humanity will have sufficiently advanced to make up the cohort that will be the basis for the next great Sixth epoch (dark blue).
Schema FMC00.238 depicts various aspects related to the battle for the soul, the 'I' of Man on Earth.
- It shows how, in the second half of a planetary phase, the beings of the next phase already emerge, whilst the main beings go through what is called the 'human stage' at CoC level 4 (see Twelve Conditions of Consciousness, and schema FMC00.077A on Creation of solar system).
- Hence, already today the Future Jupiter men are emerging, and they can incarnate prematurely into human beings that are not evolved or strong enough.
- The GA346 covers I-less human beings, and the GA102 discusses how human beings who do not arrive at developing their structural principles will lag behind and arise as nature spirits on Future Jupiter.
- Furthermore it also depicts how backwards beings who are lagging the normal evolutionary pathon planetary phase N will continue their development in phase N+1, for example the backward angels live as Luciferic beings in Man on Earth from the Lemurian epoch onwards.
- Hence it illustrates how Man is really pressed between Luciferic and Ahrimanic influences, and how the various lecture references hang together. The main references to start 'reading' this schema are 1915-GA275 and 1919-GA194 followed by the 1920-GA200 (see also Hella Krause-Zimmer's book in the references below for the first two)
Note: see also The two halves of an evolutionary cycle.
Schema FMC00.238A is an illustration of the sketch jotted down on a piece of paper after the picture emerged in the mind and provided the overall integrative cohesion between different lecture fragments. It is added here as an example of spontaneous imagination whereby the picture arose by itself and it sufficed to put it to paper without any thinking at all. Another such example is Schema FMC00.190A.
Various angle of perspectives blend, and contradictions resolve, as the insight naturally emerges in one's mind. This experience is different from the process whereby one uses intellectual thinking to ponder and lay certain connections by logic. Of course the picture is no replacement for the insight itself, but it can serve as a support or pointer towards its (re)construction, hence the addition of the lecture reference as puzzle pieces or stones for the mosaic. See also eg Study process and developing imaginations
Schema FMC00.362 illustrates the process of souls descending from the various planets based on their stage of spiritual development, for the process of developing the human 'I' principle and the pipeline for the Tenth hierarchy.
The schema cross links to various other perspectives:
- the spiritual guidance of mankind (blue line), see also Three classes of Buddhas, White Lodge, Bodhisattva
- the development of the human races as related to the green line (but see also Q00.002 - timing of the Mystery of Golgotha)
- the process perspectives of Development of the I and Overlapping evolutionary periods, and related Spiritual minority in a materialistic world
- the Christ Impulse not included in this view, it is worthwhile to put the following next to eachother and link it to this schema
Lecture coverage and references
- The place to start is with the main extract 1924-09-17-GA346 that describes the plague of locusts in the Book of Revelation, and introduces I-less human beings. However other references can be found to this too, eg and 1920-02-09-GA266/3.
- As the second eye opener, exceptions from the incarnation process are described in a second key extract 1920-10-22-GA200.
- The fact that the new Future Jupiter beings are arising, and the link with the Ahrimanic influences in our subconsious, is introduced in 1919-11-29-GA194 and 1922-11-16-GA218 (though it is in many references, 1910-GA013 and 1917-10-07-GA177 are given as examples)
- A broader evolutionary perspective is given in 1908-05-16-GA102.
Given the importance of this topic and the limited references, longer excerpts are given below.
We now ask ourselves: Where does this come from? What is it that causes us to be, let us say, at a more perfect stage of development — and every single person is at a more perfect stage in this respect? What makes us advance to a higher stage? It is all that we have taken in throughout our incarnations. We do not see through our eyes and hear through our ears to no purpose; after death we assimilate the fruits of a life and bring with us what can be effective, that from which we can build the germinal force of the next incarnation.
Now various things can occur. The little pointer of the balance can swing out towards the one or the other side. The ideal condition would be that a man in each incarnation made a thorough use of his life, that he left unused nothing which he could go through and experience and which could bear fruit for the following incarnation, but that he took everything with him. This as a rule never happens. A man oversteps either to the one side or to the other. He either uses his organization insufficiently, certain forces remain unused and he brings less into the new incarnation than he could have done, or he penetrates too deeply into his organization and becomes too closely involved in his bodily nature. There are two sorts of people. The one kind would like to live entirely in the spirit and not descend to their corporeal nature; they are called dreamers and visionaries by ordinary everyday people. The other kind descend too deeply into the body. They do not draw out from the incarnation what should be drawn out, but grow together with the incarnation. They find it sympathetic and pleasant to be with the incarnation, they do not keep for themselves what progresses from incarnation to incarnation but let it sink down into what ought only to be the instrument for the eternal germ of man's being.
I pointed once before to an important legend that sets before us what a man must experience who descends too deeply into the temporary, transitory nature of the one incarnation. If we think of an extreme case, we can imagine it like this: “What is it to me that I should carry over something to later incarnations? I live in this incarnation, I like it, it suits me very well. I am not concerned further with what I am supposed to make from it.” If this thought is followed out, where does it lead? It leads to a man who sits at the wayside when a great Leader of humanity passes by. He however rejects the ideas of the Leader of mankind. He repulses him and thinks: “I will know nothing of thee, who wouldst guide the kernel of my being into future in-carnations where mankind will be outwardly more perfect. I wish to be united with my present form.” A man who thrusts from him such a Leader of mankind will appear again in the same form. And if this attitude hardens, then he will also thrust from him the Leader in the next incarnation. He will appear again and again as the same figure.
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.
We see then that it is actually possible for a 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 is some-thing that positively takes place. It need not frighten people, however, 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.
[Nature spirits on Future Jupiter]
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. Let us suppose he reaches what is to be reached in sixteen incarnations; he takes the sixteen false paths. The earth does not wait for him, the earth 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 re-main 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 Future 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 available 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 Future 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.
Let us now recollect what I have said as to how Future Jupiter differs from our Earth. We have described the nature of the Earth as that of the planet of Love, in contrast to the nature of Old Moon, the planet of Wisdom. As love has evolved on Earth so did the wisdom that we find all around us evolve on Old Moon. Love in its lowest form originated in the ancient Lemurian age and becomes transformed to ever higher stages up to the highest spiritual form. When in the future the Earth planet appears as Future Jupiter, the Future Jupiter dwellers will direct their gaze upon love as men on Earth do upon wisdom. We observe the thigh bone into which wisdom is woven; the whole Earth is in a certain sense crystallized wisdom, which was formed little by little on Old Moon. But wisdom was formed gradually just as on our Earth love is gradually formed. And just as we wonder at the wisdom in all that surrounds us, so he who will one day inhabit Future Jupiter will feel wafting towards him the love that will lie in all things. This love will stream forth from all beings and speak to us, as the wisdom speaks to us which is secreted into the Earth through the old Moon existence.
Thus the cosmos moves forward from stage to stage. The Earth is the cosmos of Love, and every condition has its special task. As a common wisdom prevails throughout our Earth, so will a common love prevail throughout Future Jupiter.
And as the destructive forces of wisdom originate from those beings who stayed behind on Old Moon, so there will appear upon Future Jupiter the destructive forces of love from beings who have remained behind. Into the midst of the general tapestry of the Future Jupiter existence will be set the hideous forms of the retarded beings with egoistic demands for love and they will be the mighty devastating powers in the Future Jupiter existence. The staying behind of human beings in individual incarnations creates the destructive nature-powers on Future Jupiter. Thus we see how the world is woven, harmful elements as well as beneficent; we have a moral element woven into the world process.
[editor note: see schema FMC00.077A: the beings going through CoC level 4 or the so called 'human stage' are the first evil race. Man is one level above and works from a common love to win back souls by transforming evil into good]
and later (SWCC)
Now you will ask me where the Salamanders really come from. They are actually a fourth kind. If you ask whence come these three kinds, Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines .. they are beings which have remained behind. But the Salamanders in a certain way are human, since they have partially developed the fourth principle. They are not advanced enough, however, to be able to assume human shape.
Where does this fourth species come from?
When you understand this you will be able to understand many of the secrets of surrounding nature. .. when we trace man back in his evolution we come to more and more spiritual forms. Man has progressed little by little to physical existence. We know that the different animal species have been gradually ejected, so to speak, as the retarded brethren of the advancing human evolution. Man attained such advanced development by being the last of all to take a physical form. The other animal creatures are at a backward stage because they were not able to wait, because they pressed into the earthly organs and physical organization earlier. But the animals have group souls which work into the physical world though they exist only on the astral plane. We see the wisdom given by the Moon to our evolution most. comprehensively developed in the animal kingdom by the group souls. Man creates his civilization through wisdom, but he must not ascribe wisdom to himself. Any human wisdom is not merely in man, but is present in a far more comprehensive way in our whole earth planet. One who sets great store by mankind may say: “What strides humanity has made in wisdom! The recent inventions for instance are a witness to it.” And now think of your school days and the principal discoveries that were told us then. Perhaps you will also remember the discovery of paper. Human wisdom got to the stage of inventing paper. It was certainly an achievement of human wisdom.
But the wasp knew it much earlier still! You all know wasps' nests. They are made of the same substance as the paper made by man. We could go through all nature and we should find ruling wisdom everywhere. How much earlier than man the wasp spirit discovered paper! The individual wasp does not do it, it is the group I.
So we see that what constitutes human wisdom is inter-woven and impressed into the whole earth. But the relation of the animal to its group soul is only up to a certain point what it actually ought to be from the cosmic standpoint — if I may say so. What is this relation of the group soul to the single animal? Take perhaps the group soul of an insect species. When the single insect dies it is exactly the same for the group soul as when you lose a hair and an-other grows. The animal forms that come into being are only fresh creations of the group soul. You can follow up the animal ranks for a long way and everywhere you will find that what is on the physical plane has just the same action as a cloud dissolving and reforming. The group spirit is metamorphosed and its physical members merely renew themselves. That happens however only up to a certain stage, after which something else takes place in the animal kingdom. This is very important just when you come to the so called higher animals. Precisely there something occurs which no longer seems quite to fit in with what I have been describing.
Let us take as a marked case the apes. The ape, for instance, brings too much from the group soul down into its own individual existence. Whereas in the relatively lower animal the whole physical form goes back into the group soul, the ape keeps something in the physical organization which cannot go back. What the ape detaches from the group spirit can no longer return. So too in the case of man, you have the ego which goes from incarnation to incarnation and is capable through development of reaching our different stages. Here too there is no possibility of returning into the group spirit. The ape has something which is similar to the human ego.
A whole series of animals draws too much out of the group soul, others again draw something out in another way. And this remains in our evolution and works as the fourth class of elemental spirits. They are detached group souls of animals whose individual souls cannot return into the group soul, because they have carried their development beyond the normal point. From countless animals such ego-like beings remain behind. They are called Salamanders. That is the highest form, for they are ego-like.
With these remarks I have introduced you to the nature of a series of beings which we shall learn to know more exactly, for today we have only learnt their kind of existence and connections. But they work in a certain way in our world. The classification can in fact give but little; in course of time, however, we shall come as well to their description. These salamander-like beings come about even today in a strange manner, when certain human natures of specially low order, who nevertheless will certainly incarnate again, leave behind a part of their lower nature. There are such men. No human being, today, of course, can be so evil that he falls completely out of evolution, but he can leave part of his nature behind. These are then especially harmful elements within our evolution — these partially detached human natures which have remained as a species of spirit and permeate our existence. Much of what interpenetrates our spiritual space and of which we have not the least idea shows itself only too well in external phenomena. Many bad things in civilization which today seem natural will only be explained when men know with what disturbing, retarding forces they have to do. The effects will be evident in many decadent phenomena of our civilization. It is only because this is foreseen by those who know how to read the signs of the time, that the Anthroposophical Movement has been called into existence. One who stands in the world without knowledge has to let things work upon him. One who has insight, however, will be in a position to keep man free from the disturbing influences of these beings.
If you ponder this in the right way the deep spirituality and healing nature of the Anthroposophical Movement will be seen. Its aim is to free man from the forces that want to hold him back. We should fall completely into decadence if we were unwilling to concern ourselves with knowledge of these things. You will experience all sorts of crass cultural phenomena in the near future. You will find that those standing within them will look upon those people as dreamers who call things by their right names. The world has reached the pitch where those who know reality are called dreamers and visionaries, whereas the real visionaries are those who wish to cling only to the external. The progress of civilization rests upon man's penetrating with knowledge into the character of the hostile powers. Knowledge, when understood in the sense often expressed here, is something that will bring from the anthroposophical spiritual stream a certain saying to true realization. It is the saying which we have learnt in Christian esotericism, and which the Leader of Christian life proclaimed to his followers: “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Knowledge of full and complete truth and reality can make man free and wholly and entirely human.
(Outline of Esoteric Science) describes a class class of beings called "Future Jupiter men," which will not reach their 'human' stage of evolution until the Future Jupiter incarnation of our solar system. These beings fell behind in evolution and had to dwell 'on' Jupiter for a while until the Moon was withdrawn from Earth. Now, these beings dwell in Earth's subphysical realm and are controlled by Satan, they intermingle with the will-forces of our etheric body [the lowest level of our nonphysical being], and they watch for weak spots through which to penetrate into and seize control over our minds.
[editor note: see schema FMC00.077A: the beings going through CoC level 4 or the so called 'human stage']
With the human soul withdrawing more and more from the body, the body is increasingly in danger of being filled with something else. And if human beings are not prepared to take up impulses which can only come from spiritual knowledge, the body will be filled with demonic powers. Humanity is facing a destiny where the body may be filled with ahrimanic demonic powers.
So we have to add to what I said yesterday about future development: there will be people in future who are Tom, Dick and Harry in ordinary life, which is something determined by social circumstances, but their bodies will be empty to such an extent that a powerful ahrimanic spirit can live in them. One will be meeting ahrimanic demons. Human beings will not be what they appear to be. The individual person will be deep down inside, and outwardly one will get a totally different picture.
Also, as the etheric body is loosening from the physical body, and the human soul is withdrawing from the body, the body is in danger of being filled with ahrimanic demonic powers. In the future one will meet ordinary people that are not what they appear to be, as the body will be having inhabited ahrimanic demon inside.
Our own evolution, of course, went on alongside all this, by way of preparation. If we go back to Old Moon stage we must say: Here the Angels were human beings, human beings, to be sure, with an appearance quite different from ours, for there were quite different conditions upon Old Moon. But alongside these Old Moon men, the Angels, we developed in a pre-state of the Earth evolution, in a very advanced state, so that we had to be taken into consideration by the Angels. Especially during the descending phase of Old Moon evolution did we, at times, constitute a troublesome concern for the Angels. The same, however, is the case with us in descending Earth evolution: since the Earth evolution has entered its descending phases, other beings make themselves felt.
My dear friends, it is a significant, an important result of spiritual-scientific research which is to be taken very, very seriously, that we have already entered the period of Earth evolution when certain beings make themselves felt who upon Jupiter — the next state of Earth evolution — will have advanced to the form of man, a different form of man, to be sure, but which, nevertheless, may be compared with the being of man. For we will be different beings on Future Jupiter. These so-to-speak Future Jupiter men exist already now just as we existed upon Old Moon. They exist, of course not externally visible; but I explained to you recently what it means to be externally visible, and that man is also a super-sensible being. Supersensibily these beings are very decidedly present.
I emphasize once more: it is an extremely serious truth that certain beings make themselves felt which exist in the environment of mankind.
They make themselves felt more and more since the middle of the fifteenth century. These beings possess chiefly the impulse of a force which is very similar to the human force of will, that force of will of which I told you yesterday that it exists in the deeper strata of the human consciousness. These invisible beings are related to that element of which ordinary consciousness thus remains unconscious today; but they already make themselves very strongly felt in the development of present-day humanity.
For the person who takes spiritual research truly seriously this is a problem of great magnitude. I was confronted with this problem especially strongly — at the time I spoke to a number of our friends about it in one or another form — I was confronted with this problem in a demanding fashion, as it were, when, in the year 1914, this war catastrophe broke in upon us. One had to ask oneself: How did an event overtake European mankind which it is impossible to gauge as to its causes in the way that is customary in regard to previous historical events? The one who knows that not more than thirty or forty people participated in Europe in the decisive events of the year 1914, and who also knows the soul condition in which most of these people were, will be confronted by this significant problem. For most of these people, as strange as it may sound today, my dear friends, most of these people had a dulled, obscured state of consciousness. During the last few years much has occurred that was caused by a dulled human consciousness. In the decisive places of the year 1914 we see everywhere that the most important decisions of the end of July and the beginning of August were reached with an obscured consciousness; and this has continued on right into our present day. This is a problem, terrifying in its nature.
If we investigate it spiritual-scientifically, then we find that these obscured consciousnesses were the gateways through which precisely these will-beings were able to take possession of the consciousness of these men; they took possession of the obscured, veiled consciousness of these human beings and acted with their consciousness. And these beings who thus took possession, who are still sub-human beings, what kind of beings are they? We have to pose this question very seriously: What kind of beings are they?
The sub-human beings whose main character consists of an impulse which strongly coincides with human willing, with the human power of will, now appear from below, as it were, whereas the hosts of forces cast down by Michael came from above; and while these latter took possession of the human power of will; they unite themselves with it and are beings produced by the realm of Ahriman. Ahrimanic influences acted through those obscured consciousnesses. Indeed, my dear friends, as long as one does not take into consideration these forces as forces objectively existing in the world just as one takes into consideration what today is called magnetism, electricity, and so forth, one will not gain an insight into that nature which, according to Goethe's prose Hymn to Nature, comprises man. For nature, as it is conceived of in today's natural science does not contain man, but merely the human physical self.
At the beginning of Earth becoming we have to do with a downfall of Luciferic beings; today we have a rise of Ahrimanic beings. The former beings influence the Luciferic power of thought, the latter the human power of will; we have to recognize the arrival of these latter beings within the evolution of mankind. We have to realize that these beings arrive and that we have to reckon with a conception of nature which, to be sure, for the time being only includes man; for the animal kingdom will only be included later on in the Earth period. Upon the animal these beings have no influences as yet. We shall not comprehend the human race without taking these beings into consideration. And these beings, who are, as it were, pushed from behind, for behind them there stands the Ahrimanic power which endows them with their strong will power, which pours into them their directive forces, — these beings who as such are sub-human beings are controlled in their totality by higher Ahrimanic spirits and thus contain something which far surpasses their own nature and being. Therefore they show something in their appearance which, if it takes the human being captive, acts much more strongly, very much more strongly than that which the weak human being can control today, if he does not strengthen it through the spirit. What is the aim of this host? Well, my dear friends, just as the hosts which Michael has pushed down have aimed at human illumination, at human permeation with reason, so these hosts aim at a certain permeation of human willing. And what do they want? They burrow, as it were, in the deepest stratum of consciousness in which the human being is still asleep today in his waking state. Man does not notice how these beings enter his soul and also his body. Here they suck in, with their power of attraction, everything that has remained Luciferic, that has not become Christ-permeated. This they can reach: this they can take possession of.
from a November, 1919 lecture by Steiner in The Archangel Michael: His Mission and Ours
Something different is happening now. The subhuman beings whose chief characteristic is an impulse similar to our human will [an aspect of our etheric body] are now emerging from below as it were.... These are beings from the realm of Ahriman. (p169)
It is a significant finding of spiritual-scientific research, one that needs to be taken very, very seriously, that we have entered the phase of Earth's evolution when those beings will assert themselves who, in the subsequent Jupiter phase of Earth's evolution, will have advanced to human form. (p 167)
These beings find vulnerable areas to attack in human beings when the latter yield to unbridled instincts and impulses and fail to strive to understand them clearly (p 174)
These actually subhuman beings are powerful far beyond their own nature [due to Ahriman's influence].... Their effect is so compelling that those whom they enslave are unable, in their human weakness, to resist unless they strengthen themselves spiritually. (p 170)
People do not notice these beings entering their souls, and even their bodily natures. Once within us, these beings attract to themselves all that has remained Luciferic [i.e. egotistical in the lower sense, and deceitful] and unpermeated by Christ in us. They can successfully seize hold of those elements. (p 170)
is about humanity using the forces that have become free with the Mystery of Golgotha, and what would happen in not
The MoG will have happened for nothing if human beings do not use these inner forces, but reject them instead. That would bring about the total destruction of the Earth evolution. Souls would indeed still descend into bodies, but they would abandon them again in the thirty-third year of life, if they did not in their earlier years take in through their bodies the stream of the spiritual.
... [extra paragraph] ..
If this were not fulfilled, then soul-less bodies would wander around on Earth. These bodies would only be able to work with an automaton-like intellect. During the war catastrophe, there already appeared such soul-less human beings, and more and more will come if the spirit that is pressing down to us is not taken up.
These soul-less human beings are a welcome prize for demonic beings, who will use this automaton-working intellect for their purposes.
describes exceptions of reincarnation
But what one can view in this way externally is, after all, basically brought to the visible surface only from the underlying depths of the spiritual world. Everything in the spiritual development of modern times is designed towards setting up the individuality — the individuality in the West in a Western way, in an economic way; the individuality of the Centre in the already antiquated political-militaristic way; the individuality of the East in an antiquated way, in accordance with the ancient spirituality that is now completely decadent. This has to be borne by the spiritual world, and it is borne by the fact that both in the West and the East — we shall consider only these two regions for the time being — a peculiar and deeply significant phenomenon is appearing. And it is this: very many people — at least relatively many — are being born who do not follow the regular course of reincarnation.
You see, this is why it is so difficult to speak about such a problem as reincarnation, because one cannot speak about it in the abstract sense that is so popular nowadays. For it is a problem pointing indeed to something that is a significant reality in the evolution of humanity, but it can have exceptions. And we see how both in the East and the West — we shall have to speak of the Centre in later lectures — people are born whom we cannot regard in such a way that we can say: There lives in this person, in the completely usual way, an individuality that was there in an earlier life, and then again in a subsequent earlier life, and which will be there in a later life and again in a still later life. Such reincarnations form the regular course of human evolution, but there are exceptions. What confronts us as a human being in human form does not always have to be as it outwardly appears. The outer appearance can, in fact, be just appearance. It is possible for us to confront human beings in human form who only appear to be human beings of the kind that are subject to repeated lives on earth. In reality these are human bodies with a physical, etheric and astral body — but there are other beings incarnated here, beings who use these people in order to work through them.
There are in fact a large number of people, for example in the West, who are not simply reincarnated human beings but are the bearers of beings who have taken an extremely premature path of development and who should only appear in the form of humanity at a later stage of their evolution. Now these beings do not make use of the whole human organism but use chiefly the metabolic system of these Western human beings. Of the three members of the human nature they use the metabolic system and do so in such a way that, through these human beings, they work into the physical world. For one who can observe life with a certain accuracy, people of this kind even show outwardly that this is how it is with them. Thus, for example, a large number of those individuals who belong to Anglo-Saxon secret societies and who have great influence — we have spoken on a number of occasions in past years of the role of these secret societies — are actually the bearers of premature existences of this kind which, through the metabolic system of certain people, work into the world and seek out a field of action through human bodies and do not live in normal regular incarnations. The leading personalities of certain sects are of this nature, and the overwhelming majority of a very widespread sect that has a great following in the West is made up of individuals of this kind. In this way a completely different spirituality is working into present-day human beings and it will be an essential task to be able to take up a stand towards life from this point of view.
One should not think in an abstract way that everywhere and without exception human beings are subject to repeated lives on earth. This would mean that we do not attribute to external semblance the quality of semblance. To face the truth means even in cases like these, to seek truth; to seek reality where outer appearance is so deceptive that beings other than human beings are incorporated in human form, in a part of the human being, namely in the metabolic system. But they also work in the trunk, in the rhythmic system and in the sensory-nervous system.
[Three types of beings that incarnate into human beings in the West]
There are in fact three kinds of beings of this nature who incarnate in this way through the metabolic system of different people of the West.
1/ The first kind of beings are beings that have a particular attraction to what, in a sense, are the elemental forces of the earth; that have an inclination towards, a feeling for the elemental forces of the earth and are thus able to sense how, in any particular place, colonization could be carried out in accordance with the conditions of the climate and any other conditions of the earth, or how a trading connection can be established there, and so on.
2/ The second kind of spirits of this nature are those that sI themselves the task within their sphere of action of suppressing consciousness of self, of preventing full consciousness of the consciousness-soul from emerging, and thus produce in other people around them, amongst whom something like this spreads like an epidemic, a certain desire not to call themselves to account concerning the real motives behind their actions. One could say that such an utterly untrue report, or such an utterly untrue document, as the one by the Oxford professors that has been published in the last few days"' — such an utterly, even absurdly, untruthful document — must be accounted to the pupilship of this untruthful element which does not wish to look into the real impulses, but glosses over them; uses beautiful words, and all the while there is beneath it nothing, basically, but untruthful impulses. I am not suggesting here that these Oxford professors — who are probably perfectly upright men in themselves (I do not impute strong Ahrimanic impulses to them) — are themselves bearers of such premature beings; but the pupilship to such beings lies within them. These [second kind of] beings, therefore, incarnate through the rhythmic system of certain people in the West.
3/ The third kind of beings that work in the West are those which make it their task to cause the individual abilities in the human being to be forgotten — those abilities which we bring with us from the spiritual worlds when, through conception and birth, we come into physical existence — and to turn human beings more or less into a stereotyped replica of their nation. This is what this third kind of being gives itself as its special task: to prevent the human being from coming to individual spirituality.
So, while the first kind of beings had an affinity with the elemental nature of the ground of the earth, of the climate and so on, the second kind has a particular tendency to breed a certain superficial, untruthful element, and the third type of being the tendency to root out individual abilities and to turn people more or less into a stereotype, a copy of their nation, their race. This last class of beings incarnates in the West through the head system, through the sensory-nervous system. Thus we have here, observed from different angles, the characteristic of the Western world.
We have characterized it, if I may put it so, by getting to know a fairly large number of people who are scattered in secret societies, in sects and the like, but whose humanity is constituted in the fact that it is not simply a matter of repeated incarnations, but the incarnation, in a way, of beings who in their development are prematurely here on the earth and who, therefore, attract particular followers or radiate like an epidemic their own exceptional qualities onto other human beings. These three different types of being do indeed work through human beings and we understand human character only if we know what I have just related — if we know that what lives in public life cannot be simply explained superficially but has to be explained in terms of the intrusion of spiritual forces of this kind.
The appearance in Western human beings of these three kinds of forces, of beings at this particular stage of development, is encouraged by the fact that it is given to the West to develop a specifically economic way of thinking. The economic life is, as it were, the ground and soil from which something like this can spring up.
And what then, in total, is the task these beings have set themselves?
They have set themselves the task of keeping life as a whole restricted to the mere life of economics. They seek gradually to root out everything else — everything of the spiritual life which even where it is most active, has shrunk into the abstractness of Puritanism — to root out spiritual life, to chip away the political life and to absorb everything into the life of economics. In the West the people who come into the world in this way are the real enemies and opponents of the threefold impulse. The beings of the first type prevent the emergence of an economic life that stands as an independent entity alongside the political-legal and spiritual facets of the social organism. The beings of the second type, who make superficiality, phrase-mongering and untruthfulness their task, seek to prevent the establishing, alongside the economic life, of an independent democratic life of the State. And the third kind of being — those that suppress the individual abilities of the human being and do not want the human being to be anything other than a kind of stereotype of his race, his nation — work against the emancipation and independence of the spiritual life.
Thus in the West there are such forces which work in this way against the impulse of the threefold social organism. And anyone who, in a deeper sense, wishes to work for the spread of this threefold impulse must be aware that he has also to take into account spiritual factors like these that are present in human evolution. Indeed the powers on which one must call when one wants to bring something new into the development of humanity are faced not only with the things that any hardheaded philistine notices but also with things that are only laid open to a spiritual knowledge.
What use is it when people of today regard this as superstition and do not want to hear that such spiritual beings intrude through human beings?
They are nevertheless there, these spiritual beings! And anyone who does not merely want to go through life with a sleeping soul, but with a fully awake soul, can observe the influences of these beings everywhere. If only, from the presence of the effects, people would allow themselves to be convinced a little of the existence of the causes!
This is the characteristic we find when looking towards the West. The West takes on this form because it lives completely in the most fundamental expression of the present epoch — in economic concepts, economic thinking.
[Three types of beings in the East]
The East had once a grand and lofty life of spirit. All spirituality — with the exception of what is striven for in Anthroposophy and is trying to give itself new form — all spirituality of the civilized world is, in actual fact, a legacy of the East. But the real glory of this religious-spiritual life was present in the East only in ancient times. And today the Eastern human being, even in Russia, finds himself in a strange disharmony because on the one hand he still lives in the ancient spiritual element of his heritage and, on the other, there is also working in him that which comes out of the present epoch of human development; namely the training towards becoming an individuality. This brings about a situation such that, in the East, there is a strong decadence in humanity; that, in a sense, the human being cannot become a full human being; that hard on the heels of this Eastern human being, as far west as Russia, is the spiritual heritage of ancient times. And this has the effect that when today the consciousness of this Eastern human being is lowered, when he is in a condition of sleep or dreaming, or in some kind of mediumistic trance state which is so very frequent in the East, he is then, indeed, not entirely impregnated by another being as in the West, but this being works into his soul nature; these beings, as it were, appear to him. Whereas in the West it is premature beings of three kinds that are at work (which I have ennumerated), in the East it is retarded beings, beings that have remained behind from an earlier evolutionary stage of perfection and who now appear to human beings of the East in a mediumistic state, in dreams, or simply during sleep, so that the human being in a waking state then bears within him the inspirations of such beings; is inspired during the day by the after-effects of beings of this kind who come over him during the night.
And here again there are three types of beings working in the East who likewise have a great influence. Whereas in the West one has to draw attention to individual human beings through whom these beings incarnate, in the East one must point to a kind of hierarchy that can appear to the most varied people.
1/ Again it is three types of beings; not, however, beings that incarnate through people but beings that appear to people and also inspire them during sleep at night.
1/ The first type of these beings prevents the human being from taking full possession of his physical body, hinders him from finding a connection with the economic element, with the public conditions of the present-day in general. These are the beings who seek in the East to hold back the economic life as it is needed in the threefold social order.
2/ The second type of beings are those that produce over-individualization — a kind of, if I may put it so paradoxically, unegoistic egoism. This is all the more subtle in the way it is so frequently found in people, particularly of the East, who fancifully attribute to themselves all possible selflessness — a selflessness which, however, is in fact a particularly subtle form of self-seeking, a particulary subtle egoism. They want to be absolutely good, they want to be as good as it is ever possible to be. This, too, is an egoistic sentiment. This is something that can be called, paradoxically, an unegoistic egoism, an egoism arising from an imagined selflessness.
3/ The third type of being that appears, in the way described, to human beings of the East are those beings that hold back the spiritual life from the earth; that spread, as it were, a dull mystical atmosphere over human beings, as can be found so frequently today, particularly in the East. And again, these three types of spiritual beings, which work down from the spiritual world and do not incarnate into human beings, are the enemies of the threefold social organism. In this way the threefold impulse is hemmed in from the spiritual side in the East and from the human side, as described, in the West. Thus we see here the spiritual foundations underlying the differentiation.
is the famous lecture with a shockingly blunt and open foresight about the future. A second version (translation) of this lecture can be found here.
Section A mentions how beings from Vulcan are already on Earth today, mingled-in with humanity
This quickening to life of the shadow-pictures of the intellect is not only a human but a cosmic event. You will remember the passage in the book Occult Science dealing with the time when the human souls ascended to the planets and afterwards descended once more to earth-existence. I spoke of how the Mars-men, the Jupiter-men and the others descended again to earth. Now an event of great significance came to pass at the end of the seventies of last century. It is an event that can be described only in the light of facts which are revealed to us in the spiritual world. Whereas in the days of old Atlantis human beings came down to the earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so on — that is to say, beings of soul were drawn into the realm of earth-existence — since the end of the seventies of last century, other Beings — not of the human order — have been descending to the earth for the purposes of their further development. From cosmic realms beyond the earth they come down to the earth and enter into a definite relationship with human beings. Since the eighties of the nineteenth century, super-earthly Beings have been seeking to enter the sphere of earth-existence. Just as the Vulcan-men were the last to come down to the earth so now Vulcan Beings are actually coming into the realm of earthly existence. Super-earthly Beings are already here, and the fact that we are able to have a connected body of Spiritual Science at all today is due to the circumstance that Beings from beyond the earth are bringing the messages from the spiritual world down into earth-existence.
But, speaking generally, what is the attitude adopted by the human race? The human race is behaving, if I may put it so very shabbily to these Beings who are appearing from the cosmos and coming down — slowly and by degrees, it is true — to the earth. The human race does not concern itself with them; it ignores their existence. And it is this which will plunge the earth into tragic conditions, for in the course of the next centuries more and more Spiritual Beings will be among us — Beings whose language we ought to understand. And this is possible only if we try to grasp what comes from them: namely, the substance and content of Spiritual Science. They want to give it to us and they want us to act in the sense of Spiritual Science. Their desire is that Spiritual Science shall be translated into social behaviour and action on the earth.
I repeat, then, that since the last third of the nineteenth century Spiritual Beings from the cosmos have been coming into our own sphere of existence. Their home is the sphere lying between the moon and Mercury, but they are already pressing forward into the realm of earth-existence and seeking to gain a foothold there. And they will be able to find it if human beings are imbued with the thought of their existence. This can also be expressed as I expressed it just now, by saying that our shadowy intellect must be quickened to life by the pictures of Spiritual Science. We are speaking of concrete fact when we say: Spiritual Beings are seeking to come down into earth-existence and ought to be willingly received. Catastrophe after catastrophe must ensue, and earthly life will fall at length into social chaos, if opposition is maintained in human existence to the advent of these Beings. They desire nothing else than to be the advance-guards of what will happen to earth-existence when the moon is once again united with the earth.
Today people may consider it comparatively harmless to elaborate only those automatic, lifeless thoughts which arise in connection with the mineral world and the mineral nature of plant, animal and man. Materialists revel in such thoughts which are — well — thoughts and nothing more. But try to imagine what will happen if men go on unfolding no other kinds of thoughts until the time is reached in the eighth millennium for the moon-existence to unite again with the earth. These Beings of whom I have spoken will gradually come down to the earth. Vulcan Beings, ‘Supermen’ of Vulcan, ‘Supermen’ of Venus, of Mercury, of the Sun, will unite with this earth-existence. But if human beings persist in nothing but opposition to them, earth-existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years.
a later Section B talks about the network of intelligent automata that is forming, created by Man's current Waking consciousness (knowledge of the mineral only, with shadowy intellectual concepts that are but a reflection of reality and not the spiritual reality behind or underneath)
It will be quite possible for the men of earth, if they so wish, to develop a more and more automatic form of intellect — but that can also happen amid conditions of barbarism. Full and complete manhood, however, cannot come to expression in such a form of intellect, and men will have no relationship to the Beings who would fain come towards them in earth-existence. And all those Beings of whom men have such an erroneous conception because the shadowy intellect can only grasp the mineral nature, the crudely material nature in the minerals, plants and animals, nay even in the human kingdom itself — all these thoughts which have no reality will in a trice become substantial realities when the moon unites again with the earth.
And from the earth there will spring forth a terrible brood of beings, a brood of automata of an order of existence lying between the mineral and the plant kingdoms, and possessed of an overwhelming power of intellect.
This swarm will seize upon the earth, will spread over the earth like a network of ghastly, spider-like creatures, of an order lower than that of plant-existence, but possessed of overpowering wisdom. These spidery creatures will be all interlocked with one another, and in their outward movements they will imitate the thoughts that men have spun out of the shadowy intellect that has not allowed itself to be quickened by the new form of Imaginative Knowledge by Spiritual Science. All the thoughts that lack substance and reality will then be endowed with being.
The earth will be surrounded — as it is now with air and as it sometimes is with swarms of locusts — with a brood of terrible spider-like creatures, half-mineral, half-plant, interweaving with masterly intelligence, it is true, but with intensely evil intent.
And in so far as man has not allowed his shadowy intellectual concepts to be quickened to life, his existence will be united not with the Beings who have been trying to descend since the last third of the nineteenth century, but with this ghastly brood of half-mineral, half-plantlike creatures. He will have to live together with these spider-like creatures and to continue his cosmic existence within the order of evolution into which this brood will then enter.
This is a destiny that is very emphatically part of human evolution upon the earth, and it is quite well known today by many of those who try to hold humanity back from the knowledge of Spiritual Science. For there are men who are actually conscious allies of this process of the entanglement of earth-existence. We must no longer allow ourselves to be shocked by descriptions of this kind. Such facts are the background of what is often said today by people who out of old traditions still have some consciousness of these things and who then see fit to surround them with a veil of mystery. But it is not right any longer for the process of the earthly evolution of humanity to be veiled in mystery. However great the resistance, these things must be said, for, as I constantly repeat, the acceptance or rejection of spiritual-scientific knowledge is a grave matter for all mankind.
I have been speaking today of a matter upon which we cannot form a lukewarm judgment, for it is part and parcel of the very texture of cosmic existence. The issue at stake is whether human beings will resolve in the present epoch to make themselves worthy to receive what the good Spirits who want to unite with men are bringing down from the cosmos, or whether men intend to seek their future cosmic existence within the tangled, spider-brood of their own shadowy thoughts. It is not enough today to speak in abstract terms of the need for Spiritual Science. The only thing to do is actually to show how thoughts become realities. Dreadfully abstract theories are hurled at men today, such, for example, as “Thoughts become things,” or similar phrases. Abstract statements of this kind altogether fail to convey the full and concrete reality. And the concrete reality is that the intellectual thoughts evolved inwardly by men today will in time to come creep over the earth like a spider's web wherein human beings will be enmeshed, if they will not reach out to a world lying beyond and above their shadowy thoughts and concepts.
talks about Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings and the battle for the soul in Man
And then we have to recognise that we human beings have something of physical Nature also within us. When we look within, we perceive this physical nature in our instincts and our passions. These are of course astral, but they rise up from the physical Nature. And this physical Nature that we have within us and that we perceive in our instincts and urges and passions, has again — this time we have to say beneath it, a kingdom of beings, who are intimately connected with man, but are really sub-human.
[Ahrimanic beings’ aim with man(kind) – race of sub-human beings]
Now let us see what is the aim of these other beings, who build their strongholds immediately below the surface of the Earth, and whose activities rise up into man’s metabolism, — for the phenomena we observe in the tides and less frequently in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are always present also in the ebb and flow in man's metabolism.
Whilst the Luciferic spirits build, as we said, their strongholds in the air, in order to fight for the moral — as against the earthly — element in man, the Ahrimanic beings struggle to harden man; they want to make him like themselves. Were they to be successful, man would become extremely clever in the material realm — incredibly clever and intelligent. They cannot achieve their end directly, but they aim at doing so indirectly. And their efforts, which have actually been going on for thousands of years, have in fact succeeded in producing a whole race of sub-human beings. Their method is as follows.
Suppose a man has strong and rude instincts. These beings will clutch at his instinctive nature and seize hold of it. The man then falls victim to the Ahrimanic powers. He is completely given up to his passions and leads a wild and dissolute life. When a man has in this way become a prey, during his earthly life, to the Ahrimanic powers, then these powers will be able to hold on to his instinctive nature and tear it out of him after death. There exists already on the Earth a whole population of beings who have arisen in this way. They are there, in the elements of earth and water, a sub-human race.
And then what is it the Ahrimanic powers intend with this sub-human race?
As we have seen, they draw out of a human being his instinctive nature and make of it an earth-and-water being. These earth-water beings inhabit the strata immediately below the surface of the Earth; and those who go down into mines, if they are able to look with spiritual vision, are quite familiar with them. They are beings that have been snatched out of man in the moment of death.
And with what ultimate aim?
Ahriman is waiting. The Ahrimanic powers are waiting for the time when men will descend to incarnation and, on account of a karma that their instincts and passions have prepared for them, feel particularly drawn to certain of these beings and say to themselves:
“I will not go back to the spiritual world; when I have left my physical body” — out of which, as you know, man generally goes forth to a super-sensible life — “I will incorporate myself in a subsensible being of this kind. And that will mean, I shall be able to stay on the Earth. I shall not die any more, but be permanently united with the Earth. Yes, I will choose to be a subsensible being,”
It may sound incredible — and indeed it is astonishing, considering how extraordinary clever they are, — but it is a fact that the Ahrimanic beings persist in believing they will ultimately be able in this way to entice such a vast number of human beings into their own race that the Earth will one day be peopled entirely with such Ahrimanic sub-human beings. By this means they hope to make the Earth itself immortal, so that the hour may never come for it to perish and be dispersed in cosmic space.
[Battle for the soul of Man]
We have thus around us in our earthly environment two hosts of beings;
- one in the air, that wants to make man moral but to lift him away from the Earth,
- and then we have also, immediately below the surface of the Earth, the Ahrimanic beings who want to draw man down and fasten him permanently to the Earth.
When we come to consider the relation in which these two classes of beings stand to one another, we find that in the mineral kingdom, in the plant kingdom, in the animal kingdom, and even in the human kingdom as it is by nature before man’s passions and desires begin to get the better of him, the two classes of beings have perforce to agree, they must bear with one another. In a remote primeval past the Godhead who is called in the Christian religion the Father God, established peace in this respect. Peace was established by the Father God for minerals, plants and animals, and also for man in his animal nature, in so far as he does not allow himself to be perverted and contaminated by passion and desire.
Take up in your hand a crystal, or any other mineral, or again a plant; you will not find that in that crystal or plant any conflict is taking place between these two classes of beings. But the moment you direct your observation to a man whose body is permeated and suffused with soul, you will at once discern signs of their conflict.
The Luciferic beings are saying to Ahriman:
“We promised the Father God that we would not fight nor do battle for the minerals, the plants, the animals, nor for man so long as he remained an unconscious being as in olden times and had not acquired the power of reflection, but lived more like an animal; but as for men who have acquired self-consciousness — for then we will fight to the teeth.”
And it is so: a fearful war is waged all the time between the air-warmth beings and the earth-water beings; they fight to get possession of man. And it is important that man should be aware of this war that is perpetually being waged for him; he must not be blind to it. In our day we have advanced far in our knowledge of external Nature. Here, as we have seen, the conditions are quite different; here the Luciferic beings live at peace with the Ahrimanic. But man's knowledge does not reach to that which lies behind the world of the senses, does not reach to super-sensible Nature, nor has he any knowledge of sub-human Nature. And these two realms harbour beings who carry on, as I have said, a terrible warfare, fighting for the possession of man.
You will be able to connect the stages which are described in the Apocalypse' with outer events. For instance, when Copernicanism takes hold and when materialism sets in one third of the human beings are killed, that is, they stop developing their full spirituality. And the plague of locusts which is described in the Apocalypse is really very shocking.
Here one comes to something which one doesn't like to talk about, although of course it belongs to the things that priests must deal with. This plague of locusts is with us in a very prominent way from a purely consciousness standpoint. Of course such things should not be discussed when we speak in a theoretical way or when we speak to humanity in general, where cures for sick conditions can always occur. But if it's a question of priestly activities, then of course one must know with whom one is dealing, just as one has to know this for normal humanity.
As a rule, the people who call themselves liberals or democrats are very glad if they can point to evidence that the number of people in a particular region on earth is increasing tremendously. An increase in the population is something which is very much desired, especially by politically minded democratic and liberal people, and also by people who think that they are free thinkers and intellectuals.
Now first of all this is not quite correct, because the statistics are based on errors; people usually look at one part of the earth and they don't realize that the other parts of the earth were more densely populated in previous times than they are today. It is not quite correct; however, on the whole it is correct in the sense that there is a kind of a surplus of human beings who are already appearing in our time who have no I's, who are not really human. This is a terrible truth. They walk around and are not incarnations of an I; they enter into the physical line of heredity and receive an etheric body and an astral body. In a certain way they are equipped with an Ahrimanic consciousness, and they look human if one doesn't look too closely, but they are not human beings in the full sense of the word.
This is a terrible truth, which is present, it's a truth, and when the Apocalypticer speaks about the plague of locusts during the trumpets epoch he is referring directly to human beings. Here again one can see how good the Apocalypticer's vision is, for such men in their astral body look exactly the way the Apocalypticer describes them — like etheric locusts with human faces. One definitely has to think about such supersensible things in this way, and priests must know about such things. For a priest is a minister. Hence he must also be able to find words for everything that happens in such a soul. They're not always bad souls; they can just be souls who get to the soul stage but are lacking an ego.
One will certainly realize this when one runs into these human beings. A priest has to know this, for after all there is fellowship among men with regard to such matters. People with normal souls suffer through their association with such persons who really go through the world like human locusts.
The question can and must arise: How should one behave towards such human beings? It is often very difficult to relate to such people because they feel things deeply, they can feel things very deeply, but one notices that there is no real individuality in them. However, one must of course take care to keep the fact that they have no individualities from them, otherwise insanity will necessarily result. But even though one has to conceal this from them, it's a question of arranging things for such souls — after all they are souls, even though they're not spirits — in such a way that these people can develop in the company of others, that they can make connections with others and go along with them, as it were. These human beings display the nature and essence of human beings fairly closely until their 20th year. The intellectual or mind soul only emerges around age 20, and this makes it possible for the ego to live out its life on earth.
Anyone who says that one shouldn't act in a sympathetic way to such ego-less, individuality-less people, since they won't incarnate again and because they have no individuality — is very much mistaken. He would also have to say that one shouldn't behave in a sympathetic way towards children. One must decide what is really inside such men in each individual case.
- Sometimes such men contain posthumous souls, that is, posthumous with respect to the actual or normal human souls that arose at a particular time in evolution and which incarnate repeatedly as men. These are souls which remained behind,
- or they are souls which returned belatedly from other planets, to which almost all human beings went during a certain age.
Such souls may be present in such human bodies. Thus we must consciously educate such men like permanent children.
All of this is really secreted in the Apocalypse. And if one takes these ideas in the Apocalypse that are given as Imaginations, they sometimes cut into one's heart in a terrible way. It's really horrible the way he talks about all kinds of suffering that will befall mankind on earth. with regard to our age we can only say that a great deal of this is already here as far as the spiritual aspects go.
From Beinsa Douno's lectures (Volume 'The teacher, Volume I')
I am often asked why the angels are interested in human beings. People want to know what we could have in common. The answer is that, once upon a time, when the angels were in the equivalent position to us human beings now on earth, we were in the same position in comparison with them as the animals are now in compared with us. We served the angels at that stage of their development. They therefore owe us a great deal, and the Lord requires them to pay us back now. The great angels do not despise us, their smaller siblings, because we worked for them in the past.
The inhomogeneous human population
Not all human beings we see have the same bodily structure and form of consciousness. It is obvious there is a gradient of spiritual maturity in the consciousness and the advancement of the refinement of the astral body (and etheric body) and development of spirit self (and life spirit). The excepts of the four lecture go into this in more detail:
- 1922-11-16-GA218 (about Luciferic and Ahrimanic beings and the battle for the soul of Man)
whereas for context we also add for consideration:
We hear about (see schema FMC00.233 above):
- souls that are lagging the development versus the mean/median representing 'normal' development (as per development target in the cosmic plan, see Occult Atom) .. as related to the evolutionary staircase of the races and the sixteen paths of perdition (1908-GA102)
- souls that have not developed an I-consciousness, human beings that have a physical, etheric and astral body but not a human Individuality incarnating into it .. the I-less human beings as related to the locusts in the Book of Revelation (1924-GA346)
Furthemore, we also learn about:
- the Future Jupiter man that are already appearing in the second half of the Earth evolutionary stage. In fact that CoC level 4 'human stage' of the next planetary stage is already appearing on the previous one, as laggers that cannot follow evolution and cause resistance or represent a counter-force. So it is also for the evil we see on Earth today, it is the first evil human race of Future Jupiter in its pre-development. (building on 1908-GA102, 1910-GA013 and 1919-GA194 and as illustrated by the quote above by Beinsa Douno)
1921-05-13-GA204: A picture of Earth evolution in the future
Section B: some hundred years later, mankind has built and installed a global network of interconnected computers as well as satellites surrounding the earth. The World Wide Web and Global Brain are symbols of the desire to use computers to store information and knowledge to the benefit of mankind.
Man 'gives' all his shadowy intellect thoughts to this network of machines, in fact Man 'offers' it in a kind of ritual, expecting something back in return .. like attention, respect. If Man would not have hopes or expectations of some kind, he would not do this.
The future of rapidly evolving algorithms and artificial intelligence will continue to take over tasks from thinking Man: we don't have to read the map but use the GPS, we don't have to study or search through books but ask our search engines. (re eg Google's DeepMind, OpenAI ..)
The future will embed ever more such automata-intelligence in the Internet of Things (IoT) that will be driven by intelligent algorithms.
Some sources talk about the unstoppable future where Man will implant a chip in some way to connect to this network of automata, this machine intelligence (re brain computer interface).
It is useful to put this in context with elementals created by machines. Machines and technology create elementals, see eg Ernst Hagemann in the reference section in Ahrimanic beings and their influences
.. and think about the statement that Rudolf Steiner calls this "half-mineral, half-plant". Surely he did not mean organic plants, but rather etherically alive.
Locust and dragon
Re the meaning of the locust dragon. It has not to be taken as material but as symbolic, given it is an image of clairvoyant observation. Dragon is the image for demonic or adverse powers, working against the normal good development of humanity in its evolution.
Rudolf Steiner explains how the symbolism of the Book of Revelation can be understood only in terms of clairvoyant observation. Re the locust plague: In astral clairvoyant observation a class of human beings lacking the 'I' principle appear as etheric locusts with a human face. This is a plague for the developing humanity, as these human physical bodies are used by adverse beings (or demons) who appear in mass in the current population, they have a soul but not an 'I'-consciousness. Hence it's like an 'infiltration' into humanity. Such infiltration is also subject even in popular media, see the movie Invasion of the body snatchers.
- Human 'I'
- Development of the I
- Sixteen paths of perdition (on section of Human races)
- Planets hosting beings at various stages of evolution
References and further reading
- Erdmuth Johannes Grosse:
- 'Are There People Without a Self?: On the Mystery of the Ego and the Appearance in the Present Day of Egoless Individuals' (2021 in EN, original in 2018 in DE as: 'Gibt es Menschen ohne ein Ich? Über die Mysterien des Ichs und das Erscheinen ichloser Menschen in der Gegenwart' and 2020 in NL: Mensen zonder Ik - het verschijnen van Ik-loze mensen en de mysteriën van het Ik)
- Michael Heinen-Anders: 'Aus anthroposophischen Zusammenhängen'
- Hella Krause-Zimmer: Der Jupiter-Zustand des Planeten Erde (und seine Vorbereitung in der Gegenwart) (1999)