Man and the spiritual hierarchies

From Anthroposophy

Cosmic creation is a constant dynamic of evolution, whereby everthing is entertwined and connected and nothing can be seen in isolation.

Spiritual beings evolve from CoC 1 to 12 (see Twelve conditions of consciousness), and along the way reach certain stages whereby they are able to play a particular role in the whole:

  • one level is that of self- or I-consciousness, the ability to have thoughts and thereby start creating something new that adds to what was there before
  • another level is that of selfless love and sacrifice, through which spiritual beings give life to others, enable a new creation/

In previous planetary stages,

  • the 'lower' bodily principles of Man have hence been 'thought up' by the third hierarchy H3,
  • the scaffold structure for Man's higher triad was created by the First Hierarchy
  • and the second hierarchy, through their sacrifice, have created the life environment for Man, and still continue to do so in the form of the higher ethers and formative forces that 'ride' on the carrier of warmth substance from the Thrones.

See also FMC00.077A on Creation of solar system and especially FMC00.147 (and FMC00.149) on Man and nature's kingdoms in evolution. These schemas show how it is not only Man evolving, but all spiritual hierarchies intertwine and they are all in continuous development together.

Man has been, and is able to develop thanks to what are currently the three lower kingdoms. In the future, he will redeem these in his ascent.


Schema FMC00.207 summarizes how Man owes everything to the spiritual hierarchies, how he has been created by them, and how they remained connected in his being. Relate this to the roles of the hierarchies at a certain CoC in Schema FMC00.077A on Creation of solar system.


Schema FMC00.131 shows how the Third Hierarchy (H3) of angels, archangels and archai 'lives' in the soul activity of our I, and how these soul capacities evolved after originating in earlier planetary evolutionary stages.


Schema FMC00.005 shows how the various planetary forces or spiritual influences work in Man, and the correspondence with the Spectrum of elements and ethers as well as metals. Compare with Schema FMC00.297 to overlay Ahrimanic and Luciferic influences.


Schema FMC00.155 sketches how Man is traversed by spiritual beings from Moon, Mars, Venus in circulating lymph and chyle fluids, and how Saturn beings take their abode in Man's sensory perceptions. Chyle, lymph blood are also called the three bodily humors as it existed in ancient Greece and the cultures before, and that based itself on liquids for health treatment.


Lecture coverage and references


We have said that characteristic of the beings of the third hierarchy is the fact that

  • what is perception in Man is in them manifestation, and
  • that what is inner life in Man is in them being filled with spirit.

Even in those beings who start immediately above man in the cosmic order, the angels, we already find this peculiarity, that they are actually conscious of that which they manifest from out of themselves.

When they return to their inner being, they have nothing independent, nothing self-enclosed, like the inner life of man; but they then feel shining and springing forth in their inner being, the forces and beings of the higher hierarchies above them. In short they feel themselves filled and inspired by the spirit and its beings, immediately above them.


discusses the life of angels in human memory, archangels in human intelligence, and archai in human sense activity. (as well as the relationship of the soul to spiritual substances (H3) and the relationship of the body to food). (SWCC)

And when you so much as listen to or look at what is around you, then you must say to yourself: "In my ears and in my eyes are the thrones of the archai." Whenever you find yourself asking: "Where are the archai, who rule over each age of the world as it follows on the next?"—then you should not go looking for them in above in the heavens or in distant unfamiliar regions; you need only to look in the sense organs of human beings. There is where they sit. ...

.. the human being is a temple for the gods that stand above him, meaning for the beings of the upper hier­archies. This is meant in the most literal sense.

For when you ask: "Where does one find the angels, archangels, and archai?"—then the answer is: "In the organs of human memory, human intelligence, and human sense perceptions." The human being is truly filled with spirit, meaning that it is filled with spiritual beings.

The Catholic Church did not want human beings to be aware of this, which is why in 869 C.E. at the Eighth Ecumenical Council, they forbade people to have any knowledge of or belief in spiritual things, establishing the dogma that human beings are comprised only of body and soul. ..

... the soul element of human beings has a relationship to the spiritual world, to spiritual substance. And the spiritual substance of archangels, archai, angels is in human beings just as the steer is in a human being after a person eats a piece of meat; they are in human bodies.

for the 'feeling' section (same lecture)

We must become able as human beings not only to chat with one another about the fact that a spiritual world exists; we must become able to feel the concrete relationships between human beings and the spiritual world. We must become able to feel that what echoes in us as the sense of hearing is actually a product of a long developing fact that is now intermingled with our world, something in which the archai are active. We must become able to understand that when we are thinking, we are existing in a world that is filled with archangels; whenever we recollect things, we exist in a world that is filled with angels; and when we become conscious of our "I," for which we always require our physical bodies most of all, then it is a revelation of our "I."

At that moment, we are for the first time in the world in which the human being moves and weaves. Even in the Greek Mysteries, it was said: "When you meet the Guardian of the Threshold, then you learn to recognize in a higher way the things that exist in human beings." On this side of the Threshold, we only come to know thoughts that hearken back to a prior experience. On the other side of the Threshold, the angels flit and scurry about us. On this side of the Threshold, we come to know the intelligent Being. On the other side of the Threshold, we experience the way in which the archangels flit and scurry about us. On this side of the Threshold, we perceive the sensory world. On the other side of the Threshold, we come to know the way in the archai, the spirits of time, move in and out through our eyes, through our ears.

We must therefore see to it that conscious awareness is awakened in each individual human being—the awareness that we each stand in a relationship to the spiritual world by the very fact of our physical constitution. This must, however, be awakened concretely in each of the individual organs.

We must learn to feel ourselves a part of a spiritual world, whereas the worldview which has presently reached its zenith only allows us to feel as though we live in the physical world. This feeling—that we are living only in a physical world—will forever be the dominant feeling, unless the occurrence at Golgotha is allowed to enter in. The fact that we have the ability to develop again a conscious awareness of our relationship to the spiritual is owed to the Mystery of Golgotha. But what we owe to the Mystery of Golgotha must be sought freely out of our own inner impulses. Christianity requires freedom.


Related pages

References and further reading

Internal project notes and references

RSL 008 FMC section 4.7