Lemniscatory time and space

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Contemporary mineral science, based on its foundational worldview, considers only the 'mineral aspects of physical matter' in a framework of linear euclidean space. Because the world around us in an emanation of the spiritual, embedded in the etheric and astral, it is a foolish extrapolation to consider that the whole universe is bound by the same laws as Man has found and framed - within a limited consciousness window - in lab experiments on Earth. (see oa Relationship between mineral and spiritual science). Since the beginning of the 20th century, mathematics has been applied ever more for the construction of theories of physics using space-time. These consist merely of human thought forms that do not (necessarily) bear any relation to reality (at all).

A spiritual reality underlies our perceived 'maya' human reality experience, see Cosmic fractal, and through the astral we live in a projection in the physical world so we get an experience of time and space in this world. This is how the concept of space arises through as an astral projection. Similarly, time only exists in the lower spirit world and below, it ceases to exist beyond the so-called 'abyss' in the higher spirit world.


  • time and space as we know it are specific to our current experience with Waking consciousness in the physical world, in the astral world and the spirit world these concepts are experientially very different for Man's consciousness. The lemniscatory movement between inner and outer worlds stem from the astral world experience between Man's soul experience and the object-subject interface. (1906-09-30-GA091)
  • evolution of solar system: before Old Saturn there was only 'duration', time arose during the Old Saturn planetary stage of evolution , space during the Old Sun stage (references in subtopics below). See also illustration Schema FMC00.293 on Evolution Module 3 - Integrating traditions, and Schema FMC00.077A
  • there is an inner relationship of space and time related to the numbers twelve (for space) and seven (for temporal conditions of time) (1909-08-31-GA113, see also Twelve as seven and five)
  • Out there in the cosmos the physical is nowhere to be found. The physical exists only on the Earth. In the universe there is the etheric and the astral. Space itself is being radiated out by the Sun. The Sun not only radiates the light; the Sun creates the Space itself. (1924-06-04-GA236)


  • origin of space in the Old Sun stage of solar system evolution (see Old Sun#1911-11-07-GA132)
  • spiritual beings are to be considered without the concept of space, as space is something that has been produced, it has been created by the highest Trinity (1909-04-21-GA110)
  • the mathematical concept of space does not really exist in reality, instead everywhere there are differentiated lines and directions of force (1920-04-17-GA201, see also 1918-10-04-GA184)
  • the lemniscate is a form that follows from the mathematics of the etheric, and applies to the dimensions of space once we remove the limit of only considering the laws of euclidean space.
  • lemniscatory paths of the heavenly bodies in astronomy (1921-01-GA323, or for an overview, see Schrapp below under 'Further reading' section)
  • example of comets with paths entering and leaving the physical into the astral


  • origin of time out of the eternal in the Old Saturn stage of solar system evolution (see Old Saturn#1910-GA013)
  • the activities of the hierarchies are timeless. Time originates in the collaboration of a sum of lesser and higher beings: in timelessness various development grades are possible, and through their interaction, time arises (1909-04-21-GA110, see also see also 1918-10-04-GA184)
  • time as we currently know and use it is related to the balance in the system and orbits of Earth between Sun and Moon. As a result of the huge changes with the separation of Sun in the Hyperborean epoch and the separation of moon in the Lemurian epoch, time as we know only because stable around the middle of the atlantean epoch. See also 'Concept of time as we know it' on Zodiac clock
  • Man's physical experience of time with sensory waking consciousness is to be seen in a spiritual scientific context as astral experiences within the different planes or worlds of consciousness (see Schema FMC00.289 on Human 'I').
    • "Evolution does not proceed in a simple way with time abstractly going ever forward on and on into the infinite. Time moves and turns in such a way that evolution is constantly reversed and runs back. It is not only in space that we find movements in curves as in a lemniscate, but also in time." (1916-10-02-GA171)
  • evolutionary cycles start at a certain speed and slow down in the descent, than reach a slowest pace, and then evolution speeds up again increasingly. (1904-06-16-GA090A, 1905-01-30-GA090B below, see also Schema FMC00.302 on Overlapping evolutionary periods)
  • relation of the evolutionary periods such as epochs and cultural ages to the spiritual hierarchies, see
  • example of the timing of discovery of electricity (1916-10-02-GA171), see Remembrance
  • time separates effect from countereffect, therefore it is the root of the sense-based observation based hypothesis of causality as it is creates the illusion of causal occurences.
  • current notion of 'time as we know it'
    • only has meaning from the time the constellation of Earth+Moon+Sun stabilized in their current orbits, so after the separation of Sun and separation of Moon. This has been pointed out by Vreede, Cloos, Riedel and others (see reference section below). Remarkably all sources are consistently in agreement that this was around 20.000 BC or around the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Hence before this, it does not make sense to use current Earth years, and the zodiac clock is used.

Inspirational quotes


.. we cannot apply to more ancient epochs the familiar time-reckonings of [current] Postatlantean times ..

see quote in context on Zodiac clock#1908-09-10-GA106



Space is nothing else than something that originates together with matter when spirit is shattered and thereby goes over into material existence.

see quote in context on The nature of atoms#1911-12-30-GA134



Out there in the cosmos the physical is nowhere to be found. The physical exists only on the Earth, and it is but empty fancy and imagination to speak of anything physical in the far universe. In the universe there is the etheric and the astral.


Space itself is being radiated out by the Sun. The Sun not only radiates the light; the Sun creates the Space itself.


Schema FMC00.255 shows four types of earthly and cosmic laws. The physics of the current materialistic or mineral science is extremely successful in describing the laws for the element earth, on our planet Earth. However 'life', as we see it in the plant world, is governed by different laws, these are those of the etheric world and formative forces. Still other laws exists apply for the astral and spirit worlds.

Hence, space and time are characteristics that do not apply to the astral and spirit worlds.


Schema FMC00.472B positions the backward luciferic Spirits of Wisdom (SoW) which operate at the level of the Spirits of Form and create the illusion of time in physical timespace. See more on see Lemniscatory time and space#1918-10-04-GA184.

The schema is another variant of the FMC00.472 Schema used to help imagine the various spiritual hierarchies and their relation to Man's bodily principles and experience of physical timespace with mundane waking consciousness as part of the cosmic fractal.

Note: relate this to the beginning of time from duration, and appearance of the archai or time spirits (Schema FMC00.193) in the Old Saturn stage of evolution.


. Schema FMC00.511 combines a number of drawings whereby the workings of the spiritual forces is explained as underlying the rendering of nature's kingdoms in the physical world, see also Cosmic fractal. On the left, the 1905-08-07-GA091 lecture uses the Elementary Kingdoms as a basis, see Schemas FMC00.143 and FMC00.175. On the right, from the Astronomy course GA323, with the etheric and counterspace as a basis, see Mathematics of the etheric.

First (left) is explained how the mineral physical world and gravitational forces are just a weakening of the spiritual whereby the radiation from the ever larger circles below gets ever weaker. See also Schema FMC00.172 on Force substance representation. In 1921-01-09-GA323 this is explained starting from a mathematical perspective with lemniscate cassini curves, showing by logical reasoning that "in the transition from circle to straight line we are thrown out of space". This is followed by a reasoning by analogy of how these forces of the kingdoms of nature are also working within Man: "the human organisation is of such a nature that it cannot be embraced by the anatomical approach alone. Just as we are driven out of space in the Cassini curve, so in the study of Man we are driven out of the body, by the method of study itself. ... In this way ... we describe what is within the human being in comparison with what takes place in nature outside him. ... We say: ... I must place myself within Man and say that the curvature is facing this way. I then consider what is inside, without taking into account that I have reversed the curvature. I will make the interior of the human being into an outer nature.  I simply imagine outer nature to continue through the skin into the interior."


Schema FMC00.384 captures the key principle in the explanation of timespace from a spiritual perspective in 1916-10-01-GA171, complementing contemporary astronomy's purely mineral-physical perspective. It provides a deeper understanding and meaning of the equinoxes and solstices. See lecture extract below and the illustration in the lecture of the next day.


Schema FMC00.544 provides a timeline for easy reference, linking the various ages to the zodiac clock and Yuga ages, since the beginning of 'time as we know it' currently, so since approx. 20.000 BC or around the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Before this one should not use current Earth years but use the zodiac clock instead.

Compare with Schema FMC00.451, Schema FMC00.373B.


Schema FMC00.107 shows the yearly cycle as an in and out breathing with the solstices and equinoxes as turning points. This lemniscatory view is also used in Rudolf Steiner's Calendar of the Soul, see 'Further reading' section on Christ Module 17 - The experience of the year


Lecture coverage and references

Rudolf Steiner introduces the lemniscatory movement in the astronomy course 1921-01-GA323, eg lectures 12, 17, 18 of 12, 17, 18 january.

On the mathematics of dimensions and the nature of space and time, a package of 6+2+4+3=15 lectures is available as follows:

  • The volume GA324A is called 'The fourth dimension' and combines:
    • a six lectures series of March to June 1905
    • two single lectures 1905-11-07 and 1908-10-22
    • Q&As from 1904 to 1922
  • More was published in GA091:
    • four lectures on the fourth dimension of 1906-08-GA091 (21, 23, 25, 27/08) held in a small private study group, with notes by Mathilde Scholl
    • the lectures of 1906-09-21-GA091 and 1906-09-22-GA091 leading up to the important 1906-09-30-GA091

We are finding ourselves in times when things develop themselves extraordinarily quickly.

The 19th century means as much in the astral as the preceeding millenium.

Things are speeding um in ever quicker pace. At the end of an epoch one can also see this. Towards the end of a cycle life is strongly accelerated.


(p301-310, untranslated)

  • in the physical world space is static, hence movement within allows for time. This can be represented by an ellipse.
  • in the astral world space itself is mobile and physical movement is not necessary. So time is not necessary to move from one place to another, Man lives in time there like he lives in space in the physical world. All that is in the astral space moves through himself. This can be represented by the lemniscate.
  • in the spirit world Man is the center of a radiating world streaming into him from all sides. Space nor time are necessary here. Time streams through space in Man, as Man has space in him and time streams in an out. This can be represented by a circle with a dot in the center for Man.
1909-04-21-GA110 Q&A

(not on rsarchive)

.. space itself, spiritual scientifically speaking, also has to be regarded as something created, this creation lies before the work of the highest hierarchies .. there we may presuppose it. However we may not try to present ourselves the highest Trinity, because space is their creation. We have to regard spiritual beings without the concept of space, as space is something that has been produced. However, the workings of the hiearchies in our world are delineated or restricted in space, just like those of human beings.


The concept of time can be used for spiritual events and processes .. however the activities of the hierarchies are timeless. It is difficult to talk about the originating of time, as in the word originate the concept of time is already implicit. Rather one has to say, the Being of Time .. and it's not so easy to discuss this. ... Time originates in the collaboration of a sum of lesser and higher beings: in timelessness various development grades are possible, and through their interaction, time becomes possible.


.. there is an inner relationship of space and time which I can only indicate here in bare outline with which the numbers twelve and seven have something to do.


... space, when if forsakes its sphere of eternity and takes into itself created things which run their course in time, is divided into good and evil; and in bringing out the good, seven is raised out of the twelve; seven then becomes the true number for temporal conditions. For truths, which belong to time, we must take the number seven as our clue; the remainder, the number five would lead us into error. That is the inner meaning of these things.

see: Twelve as seven and five#1909-08-31-GA113


There is still another difficult idea which I must place before you, which is connected with what I said at the beginning of the lecture. I said that within the soul and spirit itself we have to distinguish between an outer and an inner.

Now it is of such contrasts that all space dimensions are really composed; so that everywhere where you have a dimension of space you can think of it as proceeding somewhere or other from a point. That point is the “inner,” and all the rest is the “outer.” For the plane, the straight line is an inner and all the rest an outer.

Space is, therefore, nothing else than something that originates together with matter when spirit is shattered and thereby goes over into material existence.


is a key lecture. Lazarides (see reference below) discusses it in detail in Chapter 8. This note is put in a frame of the worldview of mineral science as a required phase since the 15th century, that will be superseded in the future again by taking into the spiritual again, see quote in this worldview context on Mineral science.

One will say, “Good, now we have a physical cosmic system; when we study it we must, as we know, calculate it and treat it geometrically as is taught today in practically every elementary school.” But spiritually, things are otherwise. You see, to an observer able to behold the spiritual, the following is presented, for example. He comes upon a certain movement of the sun; it takes this course. [figure]

Seen from a certain point of view, it is the sun's course; but when I draw this line here and bring the sun back again, the point does not fall exactly on the earlier point; it lies somewhat above it. This is a real movement of the sun that can be perceived spiritually.

But the earth, too, makes certain movements in the course of a year. Observed spiritually, it describes this orbit. [figure]

You must picture it in three dimensions. If you picture the orbit of the sun lying in a plane, then the orbit of the earth lies in this plane — seen, that is, from the side. If here is the orbit of the sun drawn as a line the earth orbit is so: [figure]

But, as you see from this, there is a point in the cosmos, where the sun and the earth are both together, but at not the same time. When the sun is there on its path, or rather has left this point by a quarter of its path, the earth begins its movement at the point that the sun has left. After a certain time we are, in fact, on the spot in cosmic space where the sun was; we follow the sun's path, cross it and are, at a certain time of the year, at the very place where the sun has been. Then the sun and earth go forward and after a time the earth is again practically at the spot where the sun was. Together with the earth, we actually pass in space through the spot where the sun has been. We sail through it. We not only sail through it, however, because the sun leaves behind results of its activity in the space it has traversed, so that the earth enters into the imprints left behind by the sun and crosses them — really crosses them. Space has living content, spiritual content, and the earth enters and crosses, sails through, what the sun has called forth.

You see, this is how the matter looks spiritually. Spiritually one must draw lines like these when one thinks of the orbits of earth and sun. There is a similar relationship with the other planets, too. At certain times we are approximately at the places where Mercury was, etc. The planets carry out quite complicated movements in universal space, and they enter into the imprints of each other. We have now the external picture, the purely geometrical picture. The other picture will be added, and only from a combination of the two will a later humanity attain the concept it must have.

You see, I am now telling you these things, but imagine for a moment that you relate what I have said to an astronomer. He would say, “Someone has lost his senses, has gone mad, to present such things. They are out of the question.” But it was not so long ago that the members of a famous Academy of Science also said, when meteoric stones that fall to the earth were spoken of, “That is a senseless statement!” This happened not at all long ago; many similar things could be recorded. Today, in orthodox physics, one recognizes the so-called law of the conservation of energy as something fundamental. The first to speak of it, Julius Robert Mayer, was confined in a madhouse. One could, of course, relate hundreds of such stories. But the point is this, that you see from what I have told you — I have given it only as an example — how the nature of thinking in astronomical fields, that wonderfully effective thinking from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, has had rather the faculty of bringing men away from reality. Men do not at all stand, as they believe, with both feet, both hands and the body in the real, but they give themselves up to the most fantastic ideas and imagine these to be reality. Men had to be educated like this in these centuries. They had to give themselves up to fantastic ideas about outer nature so that they might not be merged in the external events in the old way, but that, by virtue of these fantastic ideas, they might all the more obtain a feeling of the inner ego. This feeling has been greatly intensified in men during the last few centuries precisely through these fantastic materialistic ideas. That had to happen; the feeling of the ego had at some time to be engendered in the development of mankind's history. I have chosen an astronomical example, but it could be shown in every sphere how human evolution followed a course in the centuries just past that drew man away from true reality.

Now you will ask if men have known of such things as this, that together with the earth we enter the tracks of the sun, that twice in the year we are where the sun has been operative in space. Have men ever known anything of this? Yes, they have known it before, and it can even be easily proved historically that they knew it. Imagine that a man knows, really knows, that at a certain time in the course of the year the earth on its path so crosses the sun's path that the earth enters into the tracks of the sun and follows it. The reverse comes about when the earth turns back again toward the other side. The first time it is as if the sun descended below the earth's path, and the second, as if the sun ascended and the earth's path were underneath. The first time, the human being moves up with the earth above the sun's path, finding the traces of the sun by ascending; the other time, he moves down and passes under the traces of the sun. What can the man say who knows this and who also possesses the means to confirm it? He is able to know that now, at the point where the earth's path crosses the sun's path, he is passing through the place where the sun has stood. What could such a man say? He could say that this is a specially important time for us because we are at the place where the sun has been. This is expressed in the spiritual atmosphere and one meets the picture that the sun has left behind in the ether. Here, at this point in time, one establishes a festival! The ancient mysteries celebrated two such festivals of which but faint memories still remain in those of today, though the connection is no longer known. Please do not understand this as if I wished to give the actual point in time, but in the ancient mysteries it was known when we cross the sun's path and find in the ether the sun's content that has remained behind. In the time of such knowledge it was right for special festivals to be established at definite times of the year.

With the knowledge of today men are separated from these connections. Nor will they respect these things much since they say, “Well, what good is it to me if I do know that I am on the same spot that the sun was on? Of what use is that to me?” That is how modern man would speak. But the ancient Egyptians, for instance, did not speak in that way in their mysteries. On the fifteenth day of that month when they knew that the earth is passing through the point the sun has left, they interrogated the priestess of Isis, who had been prepared in the sanctity of the Temple. They knew that through the special spiritual preparation that this priestess could undertake, she could bring to light what can be experienced when one passes through the aura of the sun, and the priests might write down what they heard from the priestess, for example, “Rainy year, sow seeds at such and such a time...” In short, they were purely practical; that is, things that were important for guiding life in the succeeding year were noted. They lived according to these directions because they knew how the heavens work down into the earth.

This is what they investigated. It was already a time of decline when this science was betrayed by the opponents of the Osiris-Isis cult. The only way they could protect themselves — this external event has again a connection with the Osiris-Isis saga — was henceforth to impart at fourteen different temples what earlier, in ancient Egypt, had been the secret of only one temple. This was the art of living with the course of the year and investigating spiritually the influences on the earth.

The humanity of our age had to break away completely from such a relationship with the heavens because it had the task of finding the path away from the ambiguity of impulses and instincts, and of forming the pure ego. The ego did not act strongly at a time in which men made themselves mere instruments of heavenly activities, nor did it work strongly in the ages when the priest taught his immediate pupils, “There stands the Pleiades. When they are there, we must begin the days of Isis; then we must see that what we learn prophetically is the best way to proceed in the coming year.” They placed themselves as completely within the course of the universe as a cell is incorporated into our organism. Humanity could only become individual, personal, if in a definite epoch it were torn out of this connection, if all these human faculties of spirit that mediated such connections passed into a state of sleep. Thus a sleep regarding the spiritual was prepared, and mankind has slept most deeply in respect of spiritual matters ever since the fourteenth century. It has been a sleeping culture but now the time has come for an awakening.

Do not say, “I wish to criticize Creation and the Creator; why has he let me sleep?” This means putting oneself with one's intellect above cosmic wisdom. During the course of the earth stage, human evolution must go through its sleep periods just as much as the individual man must sleep in the course of twenty-four hours. Spiritual faculties, which is to say, a concept of the world in the sense of these faculties, slept deeply in the centuries indicated. On the other hand, man dreamt of geometrical lines in space; he dreamed the dream of the Copernican, the Galilean and the Darwinian world conception. Man needed this dream, this training, even the illusion of experiencing a special reality through the dream. Ultimately, it is the same with our sleep. In the evening we are tired and we go to sleep. Then we wake up refreshed with an inner feeling of reality. If humanity had developed the ancient spiritual faculties further, if these had not slept, men would have been tired out and would not have reached reality. They came to reality precisely by the fact that in their thinking and reflecting, and also in their social organizations, they had left reality. Because these capacities slept, past centuries have brought renewal and refreshment to mankind. In a certain respect, humanity has even become freer than it was in earlier centuries, and it will have to regain spiritual knowledge — and later spiritual power — in order to progress even further on the path of freedom.

Such things can be known! But again today's true materialist will say, “Well, and what if they are known!” I have, in fact, found materialists who say, “Good gracious, why must I think about the life of the soul after death. I shall see all that when death has arrived. Why need I bother now in the physical body about this life after death?” This seems to be quite plausible, this idea that it would be really unnecessary, here in the physical body, to bother about the super-sensible life. But this is not the case; it was so only in an earlier age when man was not yet ready for freedom. Today, the position is such that certain thoughts can only be grasped by the super-sensible hierarchies if men grasp them here in earthly existence. The gods only think certain thoughts if they live in human bodies. These thoughts must be carried into the spiritual world through the gate of death; only then can they be active. It is truly so; one who will not think about the super-sensible is like a farmer who says to his neighbor, “You are a silly fellow. Every year you put by a certain part of the grain for seed. I only became a farmer this year, but I am not as foolish as you. I shall grind it all, eat it and calmly wait. The grain will certainly grow again by itself.” Such a farmer resembles a person who is not willing to hear that, as well as consuming what we experience in the world, we must also lay aside certain seeds in the soul to guide it along its path in the spiritual worlds. Inasmuch as we pursue the science of the spirit, we are creating the right seeds for the present time. And the science of the spirit must be pursued.

You see from this that our time can become ever more clear to us through the spiritual understanding of its fundamental character and nature. This deepening of our inner faculties that must be striven for in order to come to a more real astronomy, for example, must also be striven for in social thinking. Regarding our thinking, we — or at any rate, most of us — have become as much asleep and dreaming in outer lives as we are in regards to astronomy, for instance, which I chose for an example. In the centuries gone by, and right up to today, very much has become veiled from humanity. Nor will what was present earlier appear again — investigations, for instance, through a priestess of Isis or through the Celtic druidical mysteries in which a priestess was similarly employed. To seek in that way to know about the action here of the spiritual will not recur; much more inward ways will be found, ways much more suited to future humanity. But they must be found.

Now, connect this with something I have already indicated yesterday. Remember that the servant of Osiris prepared the priestess of Isis before the fifteenth of a certain month of the year in order to obtain certain prophetic utterances from her when she traversed the sun-space with her soul. What happened through this Isis cult? What occurred was that actual time — not the abstract time of which we dream today, but actual time, was investigated. The time of year, the point of time, was, in fact, a specially important point, and the point on the return path was again important. How time works — concrete, real time — was expressed through the content of what the Isis priestess had to say. Then, might not the inscription on the Isis image read, “I am the Past, the Present and the Future?” this is the order of time. But only when such prophetic research was penetrated with a noble mood resembling the mood of virginity, when coming near to Isis was symbolized by the fact that Isis wore a veil, only then could one bring forth what was necessary. The whole must be steeped in holiness, in the atmosphere of a sacrifice.

Do not imagine that wisdom was not connected with the practical in those ancient times. What was called wisdom was fully united with practical things. Everything had a practical direction. One investigated the voice of the gods in the Egyptian temples, but the investigations were made in order to know in the right way which days or hours were most suited for sowing. Everything was connected with practical life. One investigated the action of the gods in practical life, and was conscious of how they penetrate it. Indeed, it was necessary that this temple service should be kept holy. What evils could have been committed if it had not been treated as sacred! It must never be asserted that these things that relate to past ages will arise again in the same way. They will arise quite differently. But a knowledge will again be won for humanity that will be directly fitted for entering practical life. A spiritual knowledge — but just because it is spiritual, a practical knowledge — will again appear in which the things around us will be fully mastered. Neither an Isis nor an Osiris cult will appear. Something else will arise that will bear the traces of our having passed through the centuries since the Isis and Osiris cult existed. It will show that the new science of the spirit must be sought with full consciousness and in freedom. But the things that have taken place must be tested a little in their reality. History must be different from what it so often is today, when people merely make researches in documents and records.

One comes, however, upon all sorts of peculiar explanations, like the one I have already given regarding Isis. When there stood as inscription on her image, “I am the Past, the Present and the Future,” one who was initiated knew that this referred to concrete reality and that the veil only expressed a certain attitude of mind. Today, people say of the veiled Isis image at Sais that the veil means that one cannot penetrate behind wisdom, that one will never know who Isis is. But when the inscription, “I am the Past, the Present, and the Future, no mortal hath yet lifted my veil,” stands there, one must explain it as meaning that the veil is not lifted because one only approaches its holiness when veiled as a nun, not because something lies behind it that one cannot know and that cannot be communicated to anyone. If the explanation that people usually give were correct, then one must really compare it with the trivial statement, “I am called Hans Muller, but you will never know my name.” She says indeed who she is — “I am the Past, the Present and the Future” — and this implies that it is for her to impart the Mysteries of Time, while what flows out of Time into Space is to be mediated by the Osiris priest. He is to carry the temporal into the spatial and is to receive in thought what comes from the soul, that is, the Isis revelation that is embedded in the universe and its course.

Today, the science of the spirit is still largely held to be foolish. But when it has really been understood, it will be seen to contain a science much more real than the scientific dream of the past centuries. Quite different practical operations, practical mastery of the outer world, will come to light when the time arrives. It is not yet time today; mankind must first have knowledge and know in the spirit of spiritual science before it can act in the spirit of the science of the spirit.

I wanted to go into this in order to point out precisely at this time how it is only through a true understanding of what has happened that an understanding can also be reached of what has to happen. In the future, humanity must be guided beyond many things with whose karma mankind is heavily burdened in our present grievous and painful times. Today mankind is burdened with the karma of the dream life of the past centuries.

This mystery must first be grasped on its depths; then it will be easier to understand our sorrowful present and also to understand how humanity must gradually prepare a different karma for the future.


gives a concrete illustration of what was explained the day before

Man had to go through materialism. His forces would have been too weak for the times to follow, if he had not gone through materialism. For strange and amazing is the evolution of mankind.

Let us look back for a moment to an event of the Lemurian epoch. We find there a certain moment in evolution — it lies thousands and thousands of years back — when the mankind of the earth was quite different from what it is now. You will know from the descriptions I have given in 'Outline of Esoteric Science' of human evolution on the Earth that the various impulses entered into Man only gradually. There was a moment in evolution when what we today call magnetic and electric forces established themselves within Man. For magnetic and electric forces live in us in a mysterious manner.

Before this time, Man lived on earth without the magnetic and electric forces that have developed ever since, spiritually, between the workings of the nerves and the blood. They were incorporated into Man at that time. The forces of magnetism we will leave out of consideration, and a portion of the forces of electricity. But the forces which I will distinguish as the electrical forces in galvanism, voltaism, etc. — forces that have taken deep hold in the culture and civilization of our time — these forces found entry in that far-off time into the human organism and united themselves with human life; and this very fact made it possible for them to remain for a long time unknown to human consciousness. Man carried them within him, and for that very reason they remained unknown to him externally.

The forces of magnetism and the other electrical forces we learned to know earlier.

Galvanism, the electricity of contact, which has a much deeper determining influence on the karma of our age than is generally realized, was, as you know, only discovered at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, by Galvani and Volta. People give far too little thought to such facts as these. Just consider for a moment! This Galvani was dealing with the leg of a frog. “By chance,” as we say, he fastened it to the window, and it came in contact with iron, and twitched. That was the beginning of all the discoveries that rule the earth today by means of the electric current. And it happened such a little while ago! People do not generally stop to think how it is that mankind did not come to this knowledge earlier. Suddenly this thought emerges in a human being, in a perfectly miraculous way; he stumbles on it — as it were, perforce. In this materialistic age of ours, we naturally never stop to think about such a thing. And this is the reason why we can understand absolutely nothing at all of the real becoming of the earth. The truth of the matter is as follows:

After mankind had passed the moment in the Lemurian time when it implanted into it, or received implanted into it, the forces that go through the wire today in electricity and work in an invisible manner in Man himself, after this time had passed, electricity lived inside the human being.

[key section]

Now evolution does not proceed in the simple, straightforward way in which people are inclined to picture it. They imagine that time goes ever forward on and on into the infinite. That is an altogether abstract conception. The truth is that time moves and turns in such a way that evolution is constantly reversed and runs back. It is not only in space that we find movements in curves as in a lemniscate, but also in time.

During the Lemurian epoch, Man was at the crossing point of the lemniscate movement, and that was the time when he implanted into himself the principle of electrical force. He traversed the returning path in the Atlantean time and, in respect of certain forces, in the Post-Atlantean time, and arrived about the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century exactly at the point in the evolution of the worlds at which he was in the old Lemurian time when he implanted into himself from the cosmos the principle of electricity. There you have the explanation of how it came about that Galvani discovered electricity at that particular time. Man always goes back again in later times to what he experienced earlier. Life takes its course in cycles, in rhythms. At the middle of the materialistic age which had been developing ever since the 14th–15th century, mankind was standing at that point in the world. All through which he had passed long ago in the Lemurian epoch. And mankind as a whole in that moment remembered the entry of electricity into the human being, and thereupon as a result of this memory impregnated his whole civilization with electricity. The soul and spirit in Man found again what it had once experienced long ago.

Truths like this must be clearly envisaged again, for it is only with truths like this that we shall escape decadence in the future.


see also: Metamorphosis#1918-09-02-GA183


Time and Space. The Perspectivity of Time. The Influence of Ahriman and Lucifer upon Man

The nature of time by analogy with space. Man experiences only the image of real time.

Earlier periods of time relate to the present in a perspective-like way. The similarity of time to space and its constant link with all that is.


is called 'the threefoldness of space and the unity of time'


describes how

  • irregular or backwards luciferic SoW create time 'illusion' (whereas regular SoW are in duration)
  • irregular or backwards ahrimanic SoF create space 'illusion' (whereas regular SoF are spaceless)

For an illustration see Schema FMC00.472B

See also: Cosmic fractal


Now, with regard to these Beings, we are interested above all in the archai. We know that in the ranks of spiritual beings, the Spirits of Form come immediately above the archai. Hence we find that in the course of Man's original evolution the forces of the Archai are to a certain extent in the service of the Spirits of Form. Into the being of Man there work Archai and Spirits of Form. Besides this, however, there are also certain Spirits of Form who are disguised as archai. They can be SoF, but they act only as archai; they take on that role. This is an essential fact we discover — how spiritual beings can take on a certain role which differs from the actual stage of their own evolution.

This has a quite definite consequence. Earthly form can be just as dependent on those archai who are really Spirits of Form, as it is upon the ordinary Spirits of Form. But the important thing is that everything in our earthly existence which is connected with space through taking shape in space is shaped out of the non-spatial. We comprehend the spatial only if we trace it back in its picture-nature to primal pictures that are outside space. Naturally, one of the difficulties for Western thinking is to form a conception of the spaceless. Yet it is true that everything connected with our primeval manhood, everything proceeding from the Spirits of Form, when it takes shape in space, is an effect of the spaceless. To speak concretely, when as individual human beings, who first crawl on all-fours, we learn to stand upright and thus overcome gravity in our upright posture, we place ourselves into space. But the force that is fundamentally responsible for this makes its way into space out of the spaceless.

If therefore as men we were subject only to the Spirits of Form proper to us, we should in every way place ourselves into space, bring the spaceless to realisation in space, for the Spirits of Form do not live in space. Anyone who seeks the divine in space will not find it ... that goes without saying. Anything which arises as form in space is a realisation of the spaceless.

Those beings who are Spirits of Form but act as archai should really, according to their essential nature, belong to the spaceless. But they enter space, they work in space. And this is characteristic of the Ahrimanic - that spiritual beings who in their true nature are intended to be spaceless have preferred to work in space. This enables forms to arise in space that do not ray in directly out of the spaceless. Thus the spatial is portrayed in the spatial, so that one spatial form reflects another.

  • Perhaps I may take a concrete case. We men are all different from one another because we are placed here out of the spaceless. Our archetypes are in the spaceless. Everything is different from everything else. You have heard the famous story of how, at the instigation of Leibniz, certain princesses — for sometimes princesses have nothing better to do — searched the garden for two leaves absolutely alike and did not find them, for there are no two identical leaves. We also are forms created out of the spaceless, in so far as we do not resemble each other. But from another aspect we are alike — especially when we are blood relations. We resemble one another because there are spiritual beings who form the spatial according to the spatial, not merely the spatial according to the spaceless. We resemble each other because we are permeated by Ahrimanic forces. This must be recognised, or we shall merely inveigh against Ahrimanic and Luciferic forces without any wish to understand them. This example illustrates very clearly how Ahriman plays into our life. In so far as you can venture to say to yourself, “According to my form I am individual man, different from any other,” you are in the direct line of evolution. And were this the only fact valid in the world, and if there were no Ahrimanic side-streams to it, a mother would not be able to rejoice that her little daughter resembles her so wonderfully, for it would strike her that each individual human being is a spatial image of something outside space, that nothing spatial is a replica of anything in space. The entry into space of certain Spirits of Form gives the Ahrimanic its opportunity. Naturally this Ahrimanic element is not confined to similarity among human beings — it extends to many other things; we have simply taken one example of it.


Now I will ask you to call to mind what I added — not for your comfort but as arising out of our subject — after having told you that man really becomes apt for self-knowledge only in the second half of life. I said: In so far as our life takes this course in time, and if nothing else worked upon us, we could, in fact, arrive at self-knowledge only in the second half of life. But — so I said at the time — in the first half of life Luciferic forces work on us and produce a self-knowledge that is not the result of our own original human nature. In contrast to human life as it would be if it followed its original pattern, I set what I have called the realm of duration. In regard to everything that belongs to our original human nature we are different persons at fifty from what we were at twenty; we develop. In regard to everything in us that we do not develop, we belong not to our bodily nature but to the realm of soul and spirit and are connected with the realm of duration, with that realm in which time plays no part. Just as the spaceless lies at the basis of everything spatial, so at the basis of everything temporal there is duration.

We should be quite different human beings if we were not connected with the realm of duration. As I said a short while ago, we should wake out of a certain life of dreams only at twenty-eight or twenty-nine years old. We live, however, in the realm of duration, and this gives balance to our dozing through the first half of life and the terrible intellectual brightness of the second half.

Now to this realm of duration belong, as we know, all the spiritual beings of the higher hierarchies, with the single exception of the Spirits of Form (SoF). They play into the kingdom of evolution in time. But because they live both spatially and spacelessly, because they pass their life between space and the spaceless, they call spatial forms into existence out of the spaceless. This admits of a time-process; their life plays into time. The other Beings, however, of a higher rank than the Spirits of Form among the Hierarchies, belong entirely to duration. It is only by way of comparison that they can be spoken of as beings of time; if this is meant to correspond to reality, it is nonsense. It is most difficult to talk about these things for the simple reason that, at the present stage of evolution, so very few men have any lively sense of concepts and ideas developed outside space and outside time. Most people would explain away the spaceless as sheer fantasy; and it is the same with the timeless, the enduring, the imperishable, and even the immutable.

Beings above the rank of the SoF, accordingly, belong only to the realm of duration. But there are those among them who take on the role of beings in time, who enter time. Just as those other beings, the Ahrimanic beings I have described, enter space, so there are beings who enter time. These are Luciferic beings, who really belong to the ranks of Spirits of Wisdom, but because they work in time they do so in the character of Spirits of Form. And that which would otherwise work timelessly in Man's soul during life is brought into time by these spirits. Hence it comes about that certain things which could always be in existence for us were we allowed to take our course according only to the realm of duration, succumb to time. For instance, we may forget them, or remember them either more or less well, and so on, and this remembrance depends only upon our bodily-soul nature, not upon our soul-spiritual nature.

Spirits of Duration, therefore, who act as Spirits of Time — they are Luciferic powers; in the cosmic order they are really of a much higher rank than those powers of whom many clergymen, however highly educated in theology they may think themselves, speak when they talk of the divine. ... In reality they are referring to much less exalted powers, as I have indeed said before.

These Luciferic beings are able to transfer into time what would otherwise appear to our human perception as purely spiritual and timeless — they give it the semblance of running its course in time. And this temporal semblance, imparted to certain phenomena in ourselves, is the sole reason why people maintain that their spiritual activity has a material origin. Were we not permeated in our souls by Luciferic beings, our spiritual activity would appear to us as coming directly from the spiritual. We should never imagine that spiritual activity could depend on the material.

  • We should see that the image I often use is the only right one — that whoever believes his spiritual activity arises from the material is like a Man who goes up to a mirror and thinks that the reflection arises from a being behind it. Certainly the image depends upon how the mirror is constructed, and so is our thinking dependent upon our bodily nature. The body, however, does nothing more than the mirror does; if the Luciferic semblance were absent, the mirror would directly reveal to human perception that spiritual activity is merely given its form by the material. In so far as Lucifer is implicated in our super-consciousness, he calls forth the semblance that leads us by the nose in the same way as if we were to go up to a mirror and break it in order to find out how whoever was behind it had managed to get a hold there.

This illusion that the spiritual can originate in the material is essentially Luciferic. And anyone who maintains that the spiritual is a product of the material is in fact declaring — though he may not say so — that Lucifer is his God. The assertion that the spiritual comes forth from the material, which is exactly the same as saying that a mirror produces a reflection, as if there were beings behind the mirror ... this assertion that the material produces the spiritual, the spiritual in man, is identical with declaring, even if not in words: Lucifer is God.

Now we can also seek knowledge about the opposite pole. A Luciferic misrepresentation is that the mirror, the material, drives out the spiritual from itself. The opposite pole is this — the illusion also exists among men that the content of the physical world of the senses has power to work upon the inner being of Man. If the Ahrimanic illusion, which arises through forces entering space out of the spaceless were not present, Man would perceive how no influence could ever be exercised upon his inner being by forces anchored in the material. The assertion that in the material there are forces, energies, which are able to work on further in Man, is an entirely Ahrimanic assertion; whoever makes it, even without words, is declaring Ahriman to be his God.

Nevertheless Man sways between these two illusions.

  • First, the [Luciferic] illusion that repeatedly deceives him — that the mirror itself produces pictures of real beings, as if the material were able to bring forth spiritual activities.
  • And the other [Ahrimanic] illusion — that in the external existence of the senses energies are contained which are somehow transformed so as to bring about human activities.

The first is the Luciferic illusion; the other, the Ahrimanic.

What is so characteristic of our present time is that it has no inclination to go into the spiritual in the same way that it goes into the natural order. It is certainly easier to speak about the spirit from the standpoint of a nebulous mysticism, or in terms of abstract ideas, than to enter concretely into spiritual processes and spiritual impulses in a truly scientific way, as is done in the case of nature itself.

We live now in an age when man must consciously begin to make clear to himself what is working in his soul. We know why the time is past when man could draw from an unconscious source the impulses he needed to guide him further. Today he must begin consciously to enter the realm in which lives his soul-nature, and this soul-nature is generated by consciousness.

Thus we are able to say that if man were to follow in his evolution only his original nature and the good spiritual forces in the world, he would be a very different being from what he now is, when he pursues this age-old development in conjunction with the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic forces working upon him in time.

The question now is this: How is a balance set up between these three forces? In order to set up this balance, or at least to recognise how it can be done, we must look at the following.


When we study human death — and we have very often talked of it — then we find that it can be looked upon in a certain sense as the counterpoise for the Luciferic forces. Death, as you know, is not just a once-only phenomenon, for a Man actually begins to die the moment he is born. The impulses of death are already laid in him and death itself comes about at a certain point of time. Everything in the way of impulses leading to death is at the same time a force which sets up a counterpoise to the Luciferic forces. For through death man is led out beyond the temporal into the realm of duration.

Now we know that the Luciferic forces really belong by nature to the realm of duration, and that what they are meant to do in the realm of duration they carry into the temporal. This would not be balanced if death, which leads man out of the temporal into the realm of duration, were not introduced into the kingdom of the temporal. Death balances the Luciferic. The Luciferic force carries duration into time; death carries time out into duration. There we have it in abstract words — but in this abstraction there is a very great amount of the concrete.


And we have to do not only with an aggregation (in the Sun) of this absorbent ether in the outer Universe, but also with the fact that this ether is distributed far and wide, Everywhere we find, coexisting with the force of pressure, the absorbent force. We ourselves carry this force of suction in our own etheric bodies.

With this we completely exhaust all that we call Space. Pressure and suction, these two, we find in Space. But not only do we possess our physical body, composed of ponderable matter which it assimilates and again expels, not only have we also an etheric body, composed of absorbent ether, but we have in addition an astral body — if we may use the term ‘body’ in this connection.

What does the possession of this third body imply? It means that we have within us something that is no longer spatial, though it has a certain relation to space. This relationship can be proved when we realise that during waking hours the astral body interpenetrates the etheric and physical bodies. But the etheric body acts very differently when we are awake and when we are asleep. A different relation is established between the etheric and physical bodies when we wake, and this is caused by the astral body. It is active, and works upon the spatial, though it is not itself spatial. It brings order and organisation into the correlations of space. This organising activity of the astral body within us takes place also in the outer Universe, where it manifests in the following way.

Try for the moment to consider Space alone, and out of the whole visible Heavens, let us consider the regions that are indicated by the Zodiac. I do not intend here to deal in detail with the several Zodiacal signs, but let us consider the directions to which we look in the heavens when we turn, for instance, towards Aries (Ram), in the Zodiac; then Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. All we have to note, in the first place, is that the space that lies before us as our visible Universe is divided in this way. The signs merely indicate the division, in so far as each of them denotes the boundary of a certain section of Space.

Now we must not imagine that these directions of space can be treated in such a manner that one might say: ‘There is empty space, and I just draw a line somewhere into it’.

There simply does not exist such a thing as mathematics calls ‘Space’; but everywhere are lines of force, directions of force, and these are not equal, they vary, they are differentiated.

We can distinguish between these twelve regions by realising that if we turn in the direction of the sign Aries, the force we experience is a different one than it would be had we faced the sign Libra or Cancer. In each direction the force differs. Man will not admit this, as long as he lives merely in the world of the senses; but as soon as he ascends to the Imaginative life of the soul, he no longer experiences the directions in space as the same when facing Aries or Cancer, but feels their influence upon him as greatly differentiated.

To give you a parallel, I might put before you the following. Imagine that you arrange round you a circle of twelve persons in such a manner that those most sympathetic to you occupy one part of the circle, then come the less sympathetic, until on the other side you have all those who are antipathetic to you. (We are not, imagining the degree of sympathy or antipathy to result from any personal emotion; it may be merely a matter of outward appearances.) Now if you turn round within the circle, twelve pictures pass before your vision and at the same time you experience a graduated series of differentiated sensations. Man becomes aware of such a series of sensations if, after attaining to Imaginative perception, he moves around within the Zodiac. A similar gradation of sensation, a similar gradation of vision is produced in him, and it takes place within him the moment he escapes from the indifference of ordinary sense-existence. So when we are dealing with these various sections of space there is no sameness, for we must realise that each of these directions exerts a different influence upon us.

You see, here comes to light a fact intimately connected with the whole evolution of Man. Had he remained at the stage of the old consciousness, the atavistic picture-consciousness, he would still experience strongly the actuality of this differentiation in the various sections of the heavens; he would have been conscious of a sensation of sympathy towards one direction of Space and antipathy towards another. Man has however been extricated from this play of forces by which at one time he was consciously surrounded, and he has been extricated from it just through the fact that his present organisation has placed him into the sense-world. But that Man is really organised in accordance with cosmic laws can even now be proved, and by quite external experiments, if attention is paid to certain phenomena.

  • For it is by no means mere nonsense to say that certain sicknesses can be cured more quickly if the bed of the patient is placed in the direction of East to West. It is no superstition but a fact capable of definite proof. But this is not intended as a recommendation to each of you to place your bed in a certain position! I have had so many experiences in this direction, that I feel it necessary to interject here a word of warning! It once happened to me in Berlin, for instance, that at the end of an anthroposophical discourse. I laid a certain emphasis upon the fact of being able to put on my galoshes when it was raining, without sitting down, saying that this could be done by first standing upon one leg and then upon the other, and I added ‘And one ought to be able to stand upon one leg!’ This was taken by some anthroposophists in such a way that I found upon returning from London to Berlin, that members of the Anthroposophical Society there were being recommended, as esoteric training, to stand upon one leg for a short time at midnight! Many assertions made about us have just as good a foundation. Time and again things of this sort get said and then find their way into this or that newspaper article by the pen of some well- or ill-disposed person — generally the latter. So I repeat, I have no wish at all to recommend you each to place his bed in one particular position. Nevertheless, this fact and many others show that even today, in the inner or subconscious part of his being, Man still stands in a certain relation to these exterior spatial differentiations, into which he has been placed.

Now through what means does Man possess these relationships?

He possesses them through his astral body, which establishes these relations. They are only possible to him because through his astral body Man is a denizen of an astral world, a world which though acting upon Space is not itself spatial. We only conceive the Zodiac in its full meaning when we treat it as the representative of the astral world beyond.

And now, without having regard to present-day astronomical theories, let us examine these phenomena which appear to our sense of vision. We know that either actually or apparently the Sun passes through the Zodiac in various ways; in its daily course, in its yearly course, and again in its course through the Platonic year, through the precession of the equinoxes. This points to the fact that the effects upon us of that absorbent ether ball called Sun vary greatly, as they come from the different directions of Space.


title: On the dimensions of space


discusses the concept of causality in timespace experience, in the context van the karma studies and Man's cycle of reincarnation

.. we enter the concept of time. To put it trivially, we must go for a walk in time. In the physical world, when we are looking for the causes of things that happen there, we move about in the physical. We do not need to leave the physical. And if we are seeking the causes of anything that is brought about in the living kingdom of plants, we must go very far away. We must sweep through the ether-world, and only where the ether-world is at an end — where, as in fairy-tale language, we come to the end of the world — there do we find the causes of plant-growth. But we can wander there as we will; we shall not find there the causes of the faculties of sensation or of movement. To do so, we must set out on a pilgrimage in time. We must go backward in time. We must go out of space, and into time.

As to causation, therefore, we can place the human physical body in its lifeless condition side by side with external lifeless Nature. And we can place-the human ether-body — both in its life and in its outward passage after death into the ether-spaces — side by side with the etheric life of the plants; for this too comes in from the ether-spaces, though from the simultaneous constellations, of that which is beyond the physical, above the earth. Moreover, we can relate the human astral body to the outer animal world.

Now, when in further progress from mineral nature to plant and animal, we come at length to the human kingdom proper, perhaps you will say, “We have already considered it.” Yes, but not altogether. We have considered it inasmuch as the human being has a physical body; then inasmuch as he has an ether-body; and thirdly, inasmuch as he has an astral body. But you will recognise: if man merely had his physical body, he would be a crystal — even it perhaps a very complicated one. And if in addition he only had his ether-body, he would be a mere plant — no matter, perhaps, how beautiful. And if he even had the astral body added, then he would go on all fours; he would have horns, or the like; in a word, he would be an animal. All this, he is not. He has the form and figure he possesses as an upright-walking being, because he also possesses the Ego-organisation, over and above the physical, etheric and astral. To this being alone, who also has the organisation of the Ego, we can apply the name: human kingdom.

Let us observe once more what we have already seen. If we are seeking the causes for the physical, we can remain within the physical. If we are seeking the causes for plant-nature, we must go out into the wide ether-realms. We can still remain within space — though, as I said, this “space” becomes a little hypothetical, so that we have recourse to fairy-like conceptions, as when we say “the end of the world — where the world is boarded up.” Yet it is so. Why, even they who only think along the lines of present-day research are now beginning to divine that in some sense there is such a thing as the end of the world — “where the world is boarded up.” It is of course a childlike and crude expression. But we need only remember the childlike way in which people are wont to think: There is the sun, it sends out its rays, on and ever on. The rays grow-weaker and weaker, it is true, yet the light goes on and on, ever away, into the infinite.

.. I have long ago explained what nonsense it is to imagine that the light goes on and on in this way, into the endless void. .. I have said, the expansion of light is subject to a kind of elasticity. If you have an india-rubber ball and you indent it here — you can continue pressing up to a certain point; then it springs back again. There is an end to the elastic pressure; then it recoils. It is the same for the light: it does not go on and out into the endless void. When it has reached a certain limit, it comes back again.


So likewise we may say: Out there, if we think our way far enough outward, sooner or later we must think back again. We must not assume a mere endless space which is a fantasy and moreover, one which we cannot grasp. Some of you may recall what I related in my autobiography of the deep impression it made on me, when I attended classes on modern Synthetic Geometry, and when for the first time it was shown me through Geometry itself that a straight line should not be conceived as though it went out into the endless void and never ceased. The line that goes outward in this direction, actually returns from the opposite side. Geometry expresses it by saying that the infinitely distant point to the right is identical with the infinitely distant point to the left. This can be found by exact calculation — not by the mere analogy of a circle, where, if you set out from here, you will eventually get back again to the same point, and if you then imagine the diameter infinitely long the circle will become a straight line. That would be a mere analogy, of little or no value to one who can think exactly. I was impressed, not by this trivial analogy, but by the possibility of real arithmetical proof, that the infinitely distant point on the one side — to the left — is the same as the infinitely distant point to the right. So that one who begins to run from here and runs on and on along the line will not run out into the endless void; if he only runs on for long enough, he will come back to meet us from the other side. To physical thinking it may seem grotesque. The moment we set aside physical thinking it is a reality. The world is not endless. As physical world, such as it lies before us here, it is limited.

Once more then, we may say: To deal with the plant-nature and with the etheric nature in man, we must go to the very limits of the ether. But if we wish to explain the animal nature, and the astral in man, we must go right outside all that there is in space. We must go for a walk, in time — beyond all that is contemporaneous; we must move forward in time. And now we come to the human kingdom.

When we thus come into time, you see, we are already transcending the physical in a twofold way. In order to describe the animal you must move on in time. But at this stage you must not abstractly pursue the line of thought; you must continue concretely. I beg you now observe, how we continue the line of thought concretely.

People think, when the sun sends out its light, that the light goes endlessly on and on. Oliver Lodge, however, shows that this kind of thought is already beginning to be left behind. They are beginning to realise that you get to a certain limit and thence come back again. The sun receives its light sent back to it again from all directions — though in another form, in a transmuted form, still it receives it back again.

Now let us apply the same kind of thought to the progression we have just followed. We stayed, to begin with, in space. Then, earthly space remained there within, while we must go out into the universe. But even that was not enough, for at the next stage we go out into time. Now, someone might say, we must go on still further — on and on. No, on the contrary; now we come back again. Just as it is when we go on and on into space: we get to a limit and thence return; so do we here come back again. Having looked in the distances of time for the past super-physical causes we must return again into the physical.

What does this mean in reality?

It signifies that out of time we must come down again on to the Earth. If we would seek the causes that apply to Man as such, we must seek them once more on Earth. Only we have gone backward in time, and I need hardly say: when, going backward in time, we come again on to the earth, we come into a former life of man. We come into a former life. For the animal we have to go on and on. It dissolves away in time, just as our ether-body dissolves away to the utmost limits ... Man, at this point does not dissolve away; we must come back again, even into his former life on earth. Therefore, in Man's case, we can say: Past physical causes, for present effects within the physical.


see: Top five problems with current science#1924-06-04-GA236

see also: Pentecost#1924-06-04-GA236

include the quote

Now we may draw near to a still further realisation. We look out into the far Cosmos which goes out beyond earthly reality, even as the Earth with its physical substance and forces goes down beneath cosmic reality. As in the Physical the Earth has a sub-cosmic element, so in Spirit-Selfhood the Cosmos has a super-earthly element. Physical science speaks of a movement of the Sun; and it can do so, for within the spatial picture of the Cosmos which surrounds us, we perceive by certain phenomena that the Sun is in movement. But that is only an image of the true Sun-movement — an image cast into Space. If we are speaking of the real Sun it is nonsense to say that the Sun moves in Space; for Space itself is being radiated out by the Sun. The Sun not only radiates the light; the Sun creates the Space itself. And the movement of the Sun is only a spatial movement within this created Space. Outside of Space it is a movement in Time. What seems apparent to us — namely, that the Sun is speeding on towards the constellation of Hercules — is only a spatial image of the Time-evolution of the Sun-Being.


Out there in the cosmos the physical is nowhere to be found. The physical exists only on the Earth, and it is but empty fancy and imagination to speak of anything physical in the far universe. In the universe there is the etheric and the astral.

1952 - Walther Cloos

Walther Cloos, in Chapter 16 of his book 'The Living Earth' discusses the concept of time as related to the development of Earth:

As we have seen the Earth has passed through stages of development arising from creative deeds of spiritual beings. These stages took their course in a cosmos which did not have the settled state of our present world. To enable the present order of our solar system to arise, one by one the plates and finally the Sun and Moon had to separate from the developing Earth (which included Man and the emerging kingdoms of nature).

Thus, up to the separation of the Moon, 'time' could not be reckoned in our present years since the Moon as a heavenly body was not yet incorporated in the system. Only after this event could our planetary system begin to assume its present order and rhythms including its relation to the zodiac.

Between the separation of the Moon and the attainment of the present calculable periods of revolutions, time periods approximated more and more to our present years, but they are nevertheless not be reckoned in exact years.

In this connection Rudolf Steiner repeatedly observed that vital turning points in evolution, such as when 'time' in the modern sense of calculable rhythms began, are always 'connected with certain positions of the heavenly bodies' (1911-12-31). Naturally such constellations could only occur after the Sun had separated from the Earth and begun its course through the zodiac. A predictable and exact path was however not achieved immediately after the separation of the Sun. One can say it took thousands and thousands of years (though not measured in years, since they did not exist) until day and night periods, and therewith approximate yearly rhythms, harmonised. To complete the organic process towards calculable 'time' the Moon had to separate from the Earth and start on its own orbit, exerting its influence from outside.

He makes reference to Elisabeth Vreede's 'Astronomical letters' to say that, from her calculations taking into account precession of the equinoxes, variations in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, obliquity of the ecliptic, etc .. she times the beginning of time (as we currently know and experience it) to the 20th millenium BC .. a point approximately in the middle of the Atlantean epoch. Some 4000 years later ie in the 16th millenium BC the ice age began.

1970 - Albert Riedel

Albert Riedel is the name for the alchemist and author known as Frater Albertus. In his work at the Paracelsus Research Society, he points at something interesting when he asks the question: "Why the year 19.717 BC and why Sagittarius at the beginning of the grand cycle?" .. and then he does not give the answer but .. gives a (hence probably relevant) full page example of a student's answer, and stresses that this question "is worthy of most thorough consideration and contemplation". One clue in the student's answer is reference to the zodiac at Dendera showing the goose at the beginning of Sagittarius, and "records left by the ancients that this sign is connected with the beginning of manifestation and the birth of time". And another student writes: 'Whereas the vernal equinox point marks the beginning of the influence of Aries in the tropical zodiac, the corresponding point in the sidereal zodiac begins the influence of Sagittarius. This correlates with Hindu astrology where the beginning of Purvashadha at 0 degrees Sagittarius was anciently the beginning of their sidereal zodiac. The vernal equinox point intersected this sidereal point in 19,717 B.C."

Now Riedel (or Frater Albertus) himself states in both his books '(The seven rays of the) QBL' (1985) and 'Men and the Cycles of the universe' (1970):

The beginning of this cycle is given at 19.717 BC. A point of utmost importance must be stressed here: time is only a man-made concept, as such it has no foundation in reality. Time, as a duration of consciousness, represents a mode of relating to passing occurences. Therefore, a date has meaning only when in conformity with accepted precepts.

and, somewhere else:

The date given here has proven itself with a great degree of accuracy in our investigations and tests.


[1] - Regarding 1916-10-02-GA171 and example of electromagnetism and nature's forces

Nature's forces: Proserpina, Demeter, Rhea; Eros; Hectate (1917-11-02-GA273, 1911-08-18/19-GA129)

Steiner describes how the Greeks had a description of three Mothers .. Proserpina, Demeter and Rhea, by which they referred to the fundamental forces that worked during the previous three planetary stages of evolution (Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon)

Maximilian Rebholz continues to describe:

  • how these forces are of course still at work in the spiritual spheres, and how – what we currently know and denote as physical forces – are but reflections of these spiritual forces.
  • how electricity is the first of three sub-material forces, that was discovered in the fifth cultural age; whereas the two others will be discovered in the sixth and seventh cultural ages

See also 1921-06-03-GA204 on Blood is a special fluid, relating how the Luciferic impulse was an electric impulse that entered Man in the blood in the Lemurian epoch.

[2] - Time is relative to our waking consciousness

Time is an astral experience of physical reality with waking consciousness and sensory perception with the physical senses.

For the adept who has become a master of the higher planes, it becomes possible as a spirit to 'freeze' time, or 'step outside' of time, and then re-join the current of time. There are various different techniques and states of what is meant by this.

1/ For a first example, read the quote here: Kundalini#Shelly Trimmer

2/ A second example follows below

Jef C. 2001-2

taken from forum posts 2001-2

As far back as 1975, my sponsor taught me how to 'stop the world' by degrees, or stop just a portion it. ... By that I mean removing myself and my immediate surroundings from everyday existence, step by step. ... In practice, 'stopping the world' is living between moments in time.


An interesting side effect of pore breathing [editor: see Bardon IIH initiation exercises], is that it can be the first step towards removing yourself from existence and re-inserting yourself again. I know that last part won't make sense to you, but that's just the way it is.


The method I was taught requires one to be enclosed in a room with stray energies are banned. The formula [removed] is vibrated to slow time to a stop and open the portal. When time has stopped, one levitates and crosses the threshold into nothingness where there is no time and space as we conceive it. ... On returning through the border and recrossing the threshold no time whatsoever will have elapsed. Then, the formula is reversed and all returns to normal. ...

When I speak of removing myself from and re-inserting myself into existence, my terminology is not exactly correct. What I trying to describing is my complete physical removal from time and space .. it is not simply the consciousness which leaves, but also the physical body that passes through the portal unchanged in that way.

For the profiles of both individuals, see More sources on the topic of initiation

Related pages

References and further reading

  • N.A. Kosyrev: Possibility of experimental study of the properties of time (1967)
  • Christian Lazarides: Vivons-nous les commencements de l'ère des poissons ? (1990)
    • see eg p 178-179
  • Kristina Strom: Further reflections on time, space and reality (Fulcrum magazine, v3n4 of 1995)
    • PDF freely downloadeable via the links in the Further reading section on Walter Russell page
  • Roland Schrapp: The lemniscatory path system (parts 1 to 3): An evolution of the Copernican worldview based on statements and sketches by Rudolf Steiner on the planetary movement (2012)
  • Gunther Hildebrandt: Zeiterleben und Zeitorganismus des Menschen (The experience of time and the time organism in human beings)
    • published in G. Kniebe: Was ist Zeit? Die Welt zwischen Wesen und Erscheinung (What is time? The world between being and embodiment)

See further references in the 'Further reading' section on: Zodiac clock