Overview influences of the spiritual hierarchies

From Anthroposophy

This is a scratchpad page for work in progress, list to organize and plug into right pages later


Schema FMC00.202 from 1910-06-11-GA121 that elaborates on how the H1 works from within the physical and the elements on earth (and from within the earth), whereas H2 works from the cosmic periphery in the higher ethers.


Schema FMC00.202 see GA026-Ch. 24


Lecture coverage


Let us now look around at our world: we see solid rocks, flowing streams of water, we see the water changing into rising mist: we see the air, we see all the solid, liquid, gaseous things and we see fire, so that at the foundation of all things we have nothing but fire. All is fire — solidified fire: gold, silver, copper, are solidified warmth. All things were once upon a time warmth; everything has been born out of warmth. But in all that solidified realm, some bewitched spirits are dwelling.

How are those spiritual, divine beings who surround us able to produce solid matter as it is on our planet — to produce liquids, and air substances?

They send down their elemental spirits, those which live in the fire: they imprison them in air, in water and in earth. These are the emissaries, the elemental emissaries of the spiritual, creative, building beings.


Through our heart we make ourselves men; through the larynx the Macrocosm makes us men. When in a new incarnation we grow into the Microcosm, we grow into an organism of which the heart is the centre; but this organism, this bodily constitution, is unceasingly maintained by the Macrocosm, the forces of the Macrocosm stream into it. Through the larynx there streams into us from the Macrocosm something that is a supreme manifestation of the spirit. There we are linked with the Macrocosm. We not only receive into ourselves influences from the Macrocosm but in a certain sense we also give them back, although we still have no individual control of them.

1924-09-09-GA354 - planetary influence on nature's kingdoms

1916-03-20-GA174A covers the weaving of H3 in Man's etheric body

As so often, there is one lecture where Rudolf Steiner gives the key paragraph, the essential missing piece of information, or the explanation for otherwise mysterious or difficult to understand statements. An example is the

If there is one lecture where 1923-10-13-GA229 ( in FMC-B)

Wie alles sich zum Ganzen webt,

Eins in dem andern wirkt und lebt!

Wie Himmelskräfte auf- und niedersteigen

How each the Whole its substance gives,

each in the other works and lives!

See heavenly forces rising and descending,

— rising and descending! And then the lines that follow:

Und sich die goldnen Eimer reichen,

Mit segenduftenden Schwingen

Vom Himmel durch die Erde dringen,

Harmonisch all das All durchlingen!

their golden urns reciprocally lending:

on wings that winnow sweet blessing

from heaven through the earth they're pressing,

to fill the All with harmonies caressing.

Remember how in yesterday's lecture I spoke of it all passing over from plastic form into musical sound, universally resounding harmony.

Through the earth

I cannot tell you what I felt when this stood before my soul and I read again these lines by Goethe: vom Himmel durch die Erde dringen! This durch — it can shake one profoundly, for that is just how it is — it is true! It is staggering to realise that these words ring through the world like a peal of bells and are regarded as poetic licence or something of the sort — or as words that anyone might write in letters or articles. It is not so. These are words which correspond to a cosmic fact. It is really shattering to read these words in the context of Goethe's Faust and to know how true they are.


Now we will go further. We have seen how the heavenly Powers with golden pinions — the Archangels — permeate the universe in harmony, working and living in one another. But that is not all.

The rippling seeds from above and clothing downwards

Extract from 1903-summer-GA089

Here the descent is described in a single flow:

  • First of all the cosmic foundation was created when the two qualities—selfishness and selflessness of the first Logos—came together. Through the second stream in this, guided by harmony, atomistic essence was created. This enveloped itself in mother substance, which was already extant, and the creation of atoms ensued. These atoms, with their outer shells of varying density, step by step created the matter which could then serve the second Logos, the mirror reflection of the first, as a medium to give its mirror reflection over to it.
  • The second Logos then flowed into this matter, which on its first, nirvana level was so subtle in consistency that it could flow through it without hindrance and without being changed.
  • It then entered into the budhi region; here it was stopped, and even though selflessness is so strong in this region that it does not seek to hold the Logos fast in its realm, it does lay claim to it for its whole cosmos. Here the Logos' sacrifice began; the voice, the sound came forth from it: it wanted to enliven matter with its spirit, that its thoughts should exist as independent forms. This realm, where divine thought became sound and voice, in the budhi sphere, was the divine realm of the Middle Ages.
  • Enveloped in budhi, the Logos then flowed into the mental region, which consisted of the arupa and rupa levels; the world of divine thought poured in, with exemplary ideas surging and mingling. Here the exemplary idea was created of what later would be separate entity, still resting in the Logos in the budhi sphere. This arupa level of the mental sphere was Plato's world of ideas, the world of medieval rationality. At the arupa level these ideas assumed their first configurations. As divine genii they began their separate existence, floating and interpenetrating still, being entities of a like kind. It was the medieval realm of heaven.
  • These spiritual entities then entered into the astral sphere; here, enveloped in denser matter, sensation awoke from touch; only now did they feel themselves to be separate entities, sensing the separation. It was the elemental world.
  • Following descent to the ether sphere this sensation was pushed from the inside to the outside, it swelled up, expanded and grew because of the etheric vegetative power, ...
  • .. and was then enclosed by physical matter and crystallized, for here the selfish principle was still seeking with all its power to be set limits. Sentience is thus shut up in the mineral world, with the divine ideas sleeping in sublime peace in the virginal rock. Stone—a frozen divine thought: 'The stones are dumb. I have put the eternal creator word into them that it may lie hidden; virginal and bashfully they hold it enclosed within them.'86 This is an ancient druid saying, a prayer. In medieval times, ether and physical world or mineral world were called microcosm or small world.

Streaming in, the Logos surrounded itself with progressively denser vestments until it learned to define its Limits firmly in rock. Stones are dumb, however, unable to reveal the eternal creator word. The rigid physical shell had to be cast off again; it remained behind in its world, whilst the crystalline forms in their soft ether vestment were able to expand, growing from the inside, that is, able to live. For life was growth; stone became plant. Ascending further the Logos also shed this ether vestment and came to the sphere of astral sensation. Here, activity developed through interaction between touch and sensory perception; sentient animal existence configured itself in a living way out of sentience and active will. lt then gradually developed its organs of perception, with the impetus from outside acting inwards as sensation. The types evolved. On transition into the mental realm this sentience perceived itself, and the human level was reached with self awareness.

From the cosmic point of view the Logos would descend most deeply into matter on streaming into the mineral world and begin its ascent on casting off the first outer vestment. From the human, anthroposophocentric point of view, which the ancient druids held, among others, the spirit resting in the chaste rock would be a sublime level of existence. Untainted by selfish intent, the stone obeys only the law of causality. For human beings on the lower mental level of development, which is where we are now, the rock would be a symbol for higher development. Going through lower kamic passions and errors we would develop to an etheric plant existence, living and growing from inside in a selflessly self-evident way, later to live in our causal body, untouched by anything external, resting in ourselves, pure spirit, just as the crystallized spirit rests enclosed in the rock.

The GA110 lectures

The key to understanding the principle of the Golden Chain is in 1909-04-13-GA110, 1909-04-14-GA110.

In 1909-04-13-GA110 is explained how, on Old Sun, the 'inhabitants' Archangels that go through the human stage of waking consciousness, are met by the Cherubim who come to meet them and have a spiritually highly vivifying influence.. The Cherubim approaching from four sides, represented in old cultures by the the winged Lion, winged Eagle, winged Bull, winged Man. A side effect of that 'assistance' is also the creation of an 'off-spring' in the form of the animal kingdom (hence the name of the animal circle for the zodiac). Each Cherubim had two companions, hence twelve Cherubim forces around Old Sun. On Old Saturn, the Cherubim had not yet reached that stage (CoC-10), they uplifted themselves as a hierarchy by accepting the light which sprang forth from the fire substance sacrifice from the Thrones on Old Saturn.

1909-04-13-GA110 continues but expands on other perspectives and goes less into the core of the subject matter considered here.

On Old Saturn, the similar situation occured with the Seraphim (then at CoC-10) who came to meet the archai who were then going through the 'human stage of waking consciousness' (in short: CoC-4, for Condition of Consciousness 4 out of 12, see FMC00.064). Above then and 'in' Old Saturn where H2 hovering above them (SoW as directors, SoM executors, SoF upholder/supporters of what is built).


Old Saturn, H1 around .. as a hollow sphere ..

Zodiac signs are just pointers to the different directions from where different spiritual beings are active and send their influence. Symbolized, for good reason, by animal signs.

The formation of the globe of warmth of Old Saturn arose from spiritual beings working from two sides: H2 from inside, and H1 from outside and thus something arises between the two currents or streams of soul-warmth and inner-warmth (perceptable). Through a slow process different germs of Man's organs were laid by the different signs .. heart by the Lion area, breast area Cancer, etc (some names got transformed through the ages).

The inner motion full of molbility is brought to a standstill by the Lion.

Old Sun after the pralaya has shrunk in circumference and containes warmth-substance but also the more condenses gaseous air substance.

Two currents again compress the ball of mist between them. From the periphery the SoW and H1, in the Sun globe the SoM+SoF.

Certain currents are created by the surrounding spirits — the Spirits of Wisdom and the Thrones. These currents are somewhat denser than those which were produced by the Thrones alone. Inside, the mass contracts, and a ball of mist is now compressed between those two streams.

The first stimulation of life into the Sun globe arose from the area of the Eagle and the spiritual beings in that area in cosmic space.

Now, when this living globe had once completed its circle and returned to its starting point, to the region of the Eagle, something else comes into operation. Whilst the globe had first begun to be inwardly alive at this point, when it reaches the same point again it is killed through the same influence which originally called it to life.

This ‘sting of death,’ which the life of the ancient Sun received from universal space, was felt as the sting of the scorpion. Therefore that region where they were killed is called the ‘region of the Scorpion.’

  • At this point the constellation can be seen which rouses dead matter to life: the Eagle
  • and also that wherein work the forces which kill: the constellation of the Scorpion

We can therefore say:

  • in the region of the Lion are those forces of the Zodiac, which brought the original life of the germinal physical human body to rest;
  • in the region of the Scorpion are these forces which had the power to kill life as such. We shall get to know the correspondence to modern conditions, which are differently constituted, but this can only be explained gradually. A thick veil or Maya has been drawn over the original conditions.

Furthermore it says 1909-04-18-GA110

What is called the physical body today had its first foundations during the earliest Old Saturn planetary stage. That physical body was not as yet interpenetrated by an etheric body or an astral body; but it was already so organised that after passing through all the transformations it experienced later, it could become the bearer of the spiritual earth-man of to-day. Very slowly and gradually was this physical body organised during Old Saturn evolution, and, whilst Old Saturn itself was being formed, the different signs of the Zodiac slowly revolved, and the human body member by member, took on its earliest form.

  • 1909-04-18-GA110 (SWCC) is a continuation and summary statement for the detailed explanations on 1909-04-17-GA110

What is called the physical body today had its first foundations during the earliest Old Saturn planetary stage. That physical body was not as yet interpenetrated by an etheric body or an astral body; but it was already so organised that after passing through all the transformations it experienced later, it could become the bearer of the spiritual earth-man of to-day. Very slowly and gradually was this physical body organised during Old Saturn evolution, and, whilst Old Saturn itself was being formed, the different signs of the Zodiac slowly revolved, and the human body member by member, took on its earliest form.

  • 1913-03-23-GA145 = cycle year monthly Amshaspands + ether body in man above below what part predominant (link temperaments)
  • 1924-09-15-GA318 gives overview planets in plant and human being, and correspondence
  • simple reference 1908-05-23-GA103

We have also pointed out that when the astral body and ego were outside the physical and ether bodies in those periods which we call the Jahve or Jehova epochs, that Jehova was active as an inspirer.

But it was the true Light, the Fullness of the Godhead or of the Elohim, the Pleroma, that was also constantly radiating through the physical and ether bodies.

However, the human being, not having yet received the necessary impulse from the Christ-principle before the appearance of this Principle upon the earth, was not able to recognize it. Those principles which are to come to expression in the physical body, dwell in the higher spiritual regions of Devachan.

The spiritual beings and powers which work upon the physical body are at home in the higher heavenly spheres, in higher Devachan, and those powers which work upon the ether body are in their own sphere in the lower heavenly realms. So we may say that in this physical body there are constantly active, beings from the highest regions of Devachan and in the ether body, beings from the lower devachanic regions are active. Men can recognize them only after having received the Impulse of the Christ into themselves. “If you truly understand the Son of Man, you will perceive how the spiritual forces descending from and ascending to the heavenly spheres work upon mankind. This you will know through the impulse which the Christ gives to the earth.”

Zodiacal influences

1910-12-31-GA126  makes the link between zodiacal influences and twelve Amshaspands and twelve main nerves, but also intrigueingly with the Mars canals:

In other regions, too, it has been known that what comes to manifestation in the human being flows in from outside. For example, in certain periods of Germanic mythology mention is made of twelve streams flowing from Niflheim to Muspelheim. The twelve streams are not meant in the physical-material sense, but they are that which, seen by clairvoyance, flows as a kind of reflection from the macrocosm into the human microcosm, the human being who moves over the earth and whose evolution is to be brought about through macrocosmic forces.

It must however be emphasised that these streams are to be regarded today as astral streams, whereas in the Atlantean epoch, which immediately followed that of Lemuria, and in Lemuria itself, they could be seen as etheric streams.

So a planet which is related to the earth, but represents an earlier stage of development, must reveal some similar phenomenon. And as from a distance things can often be observed which in proximity escape our observation, because what we see is then broken up into details, so in the case of a planet resembling the earth, when it is sufficiently distant and passing through earlier stages of development such as those undergone by our earth, it might be possible, even to-day, to observe these twelve streams.

To be sure, they will not look quite the same as once they appeared when seen an the earth. Distance is an essential factor, for if, to take an example, you are standing in the midst of a swarm of gnats, you do not see the swarm with its different shades of density; these are perceived only when you see the swarm from some way off. What I have just said lies at the root of the observations of so-called “canals” an Mars.

It is there a matter of certain streams of force which correspond to an earlier stage of the earth and are described in the old Germanic myths as streams flowing from Niflheim to Muspelheim.

Streaming down

Cosmosophy Vol 2


Looking up to the fixed stars, we see the zodiac as representing the principles that give rise to the human form. Observing the movements of the planets, we find the explanation for the different levels of human life. We look to Saturn for the life of the senses, to Jupiter for the life of the nerves, to Mars for the life of breathing, which is active in images.

Let us take a special look at this life of breathing. I told you that the images are received from the cosmos: form. The movements experienced in the zodiac, stream inwards as images of our internal organs. The images enter into us and become suffused with matter, otherwise we would have no internal organs. So: when we breathe, the images are pushed inwards, for example the image of the kidney. Matter then fills this out (drawing).

However, between birth and death human beings are on earth, and the lower acts into the upper, with the result that everything has its polar opposite: there is also always a counter process. The opposite also happens, this time in an upward direction, with the images thrown back, as it were, like an echo.

But do not think of this as a once-only event. The organs are in existence, having been developed in the early stages of earth existence; but the counter action may go on all the time.

Consider each on its own, therefore. You take in the images of your internal organs with the life process.

Then comes the counter action, in which the echoes of those images rise up again, as does the zodiac, especially with the life of breathing in it. Just think of your ears, and there you have the counter process. These images are created and go out into the air—they are the vowels and consonants! The vowels come more from the planets, the consonants from the zodiac.

The counter process to the images coming in, is reflected in speech.

Consonants and vowels are pushed into us, as it were, to be the foundation for our organs. Anything that is more by way of form inside us comes essentially from the zodiac, anything that is more by way of life comes essentially from the planets.

If the counter action relates more to life, we produce vowels, if it relates more to form, we produce consonants. All this is to some extent connected with the life of breathing, and we can see that quite clearly in speech.

.. human beings take their form from the life of the fixed stars and reproduce this as an echo, which gives rise to the consonants. They take in the movements of planetary life which influence their own life. The life of breathing in particular creates images of all this. The counter action then produces the vowels. Human speech can only be understood if consonants are seen in relation to the constellations of fixed stars and the vowels.

Food upward - or 'nourishment'

rebholz ppt great chain



  • essential - section copied from elementary kingdoms

And in 1923-11-04-GA230 it is described in a wonderfully clear manner, how the undines, sylphs and elemental fire-beings connect themselves with these being-essence, and present it to the higher hierarchies as nourishment. The undines, for example, see these products of decomposition in the sea as glimmering and glittering colours, which they avidly take in.

They draw these colours into their own bodily nature. … Then in a vast, in a magnificent cosmic picture, one sees how, emanating from earthly water, the colours which are carried upwards by the undines and which have spiritual substantiality, provide the higher hierarchies with their sustenance, how the earth becomes the source of nourishment in that the very essence of the undines' longing is to let themselves be consumed by the higher beings.

A similar description is given for the sylphs and fire-beings.

lectures 7,8,9 or 1923-11-02/03/04-GA230  are on the life of the elementals in nature

furthermore in1905-10-17-GA093a

It is not the substance in which man is now incarnated. But certain retrograde beings who had fallen behind on the Old Moon had discovered in this astral substance — food for their gluttony. They want to feed on it; it has for them a great force of attraction. This shows that we are continually surrounded by beings whose higher nature is related to our lower. When someone produces egotistical thoughts, this is very welcome to these beings. In other respects they are actually more advanced than man, but they have the craving to embody themselves in the astral forms which we ourselves create. They are the so-called Asuras. Through our baser thoughts we provide nourishment for these asuric beings. When people whose nature is not yet purified, not yet free from passions, meditate, creating strong thought forms, they conjure up around themselves a powerful aura of desires. In this incarnate asuric beings of this kind which are then able to draw such people downwards. If a person drowsy with sleep meditates and in so doing does not rise clearly enough into thoughts, he creates this substance, and because he has no counterbalance, such beings incarnate in his thought forms.

food for archangels

See: Man and the spiritual hierarchies

1923-04-06-GA224 covers interaction of astral body with archangels, and of I with archai (elaboration of karma)

Archangeloi experience a need that the souls of men who are asleep shall bring to them the echo of what is contained in their speech. Human speech is in this way connected, inherently and fundamentally, via the sleeping state, with the Hierarchy of the Archangeloi. The Archangeloi are the Guiding Spirits of folk-languages because they breathe in what the human being, as he sleeps, brings to them from his speech.

food for archai (key to Free Man Creator)

and here is the KEY section also for FMC .. in 1909-06-17-GA107, he talks about the truth, beauty and the good

note what is said here, the contribution of the I does not perish but adds something, links directly to the other key reference 1908-01-27-GA102, these two belong together

New things are constantly being added to our morality, to the way we do our duty and to our moral judgment. Particularly in our moral judgment there lies the third element by means of which man goes beyond himself and then advances further and further. The I puts this into our world, and what is thus put into the world does not perish. What men have introduced into the world from epoch to epoch, from age to age, as the result of logical thought, aesthetic judgment or the fulfillment of duty, forms a continuous stream, and provides the substance in which, in their phase of evolution, the Archai take up their abode.

That is the way you live and evolve. And whilst you are evolving, the spirits of personality look down upon you, asking continually: Will you give me something, too, that I can use for my development?

• And the more man develops his thought content, his treasures of thought, the more he tries to refine his aesthetic judgment, and carry out his duty beyond the requirements of karma, the more nourishment there is for the spirits of personality; the more we offer up to them, the more substantial these Archai become.

What do these Archai represent?

•Something which from the point of view of our human world conception we call an abstraction: the spirit of the age, the spirit of the various epochs. To anthroposophists this spirit of the age is a real being. The spirits of the age, who are actually the Archai, move through the ages. When we look back into ancient times, the Indian, Persian, Chaldean-Babylonian, Greco-Latin times and right into our own time, we find that apart from the nations and apart from all the other differences among men, what we call the spirit of the age is always changing. People thought and felt quite differently five thousand years ago than they did three thousand years ago and from the way they do today. And it is the spirits of the age or, according to spiritual science, the spirits of personality who change. These spirits of personality are going through their evolution in the super-sensible world just as the human race is going through its evolution in the sense world.

•But all that the human race develops of a super-sensible nature is food and drink for these Archai, and they benefit from it. If there were an age in which men were to spend their lives without developing any treasures of thought, without pleasure or displeasure, nor any feeling for duty beyond the limits of karma — in such an age the spirits of personality would have no nourishment and they would become emaciated. Such is our connection with the beings who are invisibly interwoven with our life.

•As I told you, man adds something new to development, creates as it were something out of nothingness in addition to involution and evolution. He could not create anything out of nothingness, however, had he not previously received the causes into which he has placed himself as in a vehicle. This vehicle was given him during the Old Saturn evolution, and bit by bit he is discarding it and developing on into the future. He had to receive the foundation for this, however, and if the gods had not provided this foundation for him in the first place, he would not have been able to perform any action that can be created out of nothingness. That relationships in the surrounding world affect us in such a way that they really help our further development is due to this laying of a good foundation.

PS: in 1905-08-14-GA091 is explained how human beings represent like the manifold bodies of the Archai (a bit like group souls of animals, or ants or bee communities) and does not die and incarnate but morphs into a new body with consecutive cultural ages.

maybe the most impressive statement from fith gospel lecture 1913-12-18-GA148 about human thoughts and 'soul food for the archai' (SWCC)

Let us take thought and what we as humans think. These thoughts are in our consciousness, but not merely there. At the same time they are in the consciousness of the angels. But whereas we may have one thought, all our thoughts are the angels' thoughts. The angels think our consciousness. ... We know in general that we are thinking, but we see ourselves [doing it] in the consciousness of the beings of the next higher hierarchy. We let the angels think our thoughts. We must realize that we are not conducting our thoughts, but that the beings of the next hierarchy are conducting them. .. We must feel the interweaving, undulating consciousness of the angels. ... Whereas in ordinary life we think that we think our thoughts, through practice we realize that the thoughts think in us, because the angels think in us. ..

.. Those things related to the cultural ages of earth's evolution are thought by the archangels. .. and continuing with practice we arrive at the feeling that we are brought to various regions of the world by the archangels and thus learn about those regions. To correctly describe the [ancient] Indian or Egyptian cultures one must understand the meaning of: “Your soul has been brought to this or that time by an archangel”.

.. individual experiences of the soul can only be investigated if the soul gives meaning to the words: The soul delivers itself as food to the Archai, the spirits of personality. ... one cannot investigate such concrete facts as the life of Jesus of Nazareth before one gives meaning to the words: One is eaten as spiritual food and thus serves the Archai. Obviously this sounds like madness to people who live in the outer world. Of course it does! Nevertheless it is just as true as the piece of bread that enters our stomachs becomes our food, and if it could think it would know that its existence has meaning and purpose in that we make it our food. It is just as true that we humans have the purpose of serving the Archai as food. While we walk around here on earth we are at the same time beings who are continually consumed, eaten by the Archai. You will not deny that people in ordinary life don't know this, and that they would call it madness if someone told them something like this. Man is for the Archai what a grain of wheat is for you as a physical human being.

Therefore know:

  • I am the Archai's food, I am digested by the Archai; that is their life, which I live in them.
  • Just as what it means to enter the consciousness of the Archangels when one knows: Your soul is brought to this or that epoch by the Archangels; and
  • what it means to enter the consciousness of the Angels when one knows: My thoughts are thought by the angels.

also in 1909-03-27-GA111 Man is compared to a seed, and described how he adds something new and unique in the spirit world

Human creation and the link with spiritual science and sense-free thinking

see also ref 1924-09-14-GA318 on page Human breath

East and West orientation hierarchies

  • in 1923-11-25-GA232

We find therefore first of all the spirits of nature, those beings into whom we penetrate with our world of gesture; but we also find the world of the Angels, Archangels and Archai, and grow also into these Beings. We enter into them. We plunge into the deeds of the Angels through our memories. We enter into the living beings of the angelic world through what we have imprinted in ourselves as physiognomy and gesture. This penetration which takes place in sleep is such that we can say: When we pass over livingly into nature the process is that the further we go out in a direct line the more do we come into the regions of the Angels and Archangels and the Archai. We come into the sphere of the third Hierarchy.

And when in sleep we dive down with our memories and our gestures as into a flowing sea of weaving beings of Angels, Archangels and Archai, then from one side there comes another stream of spiritual beings, the second Hierarchy, Exusiai, Kyriotetes, Dynamis. If we wish to express in the outer world that which we have just described, we must say: This stream flows in such a way that the course of the sun by day from east to west marks the way the second Hierarchy crosses the third Hierarchy.

The third Hierarchy, the Angels, Archangels and Archai, are as if floating up and down “offering one another the golden buckets.”

1923-11-25-GA232 (in FMC) also adds to the stream of the second Hierarchy on a daily basis from east to west, a yearly stream of the First Hierarchy from west to east

This means in reality that you are living with this stream which flows from east to west; because gradually you feel more and more strongly: There in the spiritual world which you enter in sleep your life does not merely consist in being merged with the spiritual, but in this spiritual there transpires something which was reflected externally at the time you sat around the pension table with these human beings. You have forgotten it long ago but it is still there. You behold, it as you can behold those things which can often be seen inscribed in the Akashic Record.

The moment you have this before you, you have identified yourself with this stream flowing from east to west, the stream of the second Hierarchy. In this stream of the second Hierarchy something lives which is outwardly reflected by day.

Now days vary in the course of the whole year. In Spring a day is longer, in Autumn shorter; in summer it is longest, in winter shortest. The day is subject to change throughout the year.

That is caused by a stream which flows from west to east, counter to the stream from east to west; and that is the stream of the first Hierarchy, of the Seraphim, the Cherubim and the Thrones.


But one can also experience the year. This is done by paving attention to the way in which the will works in us, and observing that it is relatively easy to bring the will to expression when we are really warm, whereas it is difficult to let the will stream through the body if we are very cold.


That means, the thoughts which are first experienced in the head pass over into the whole body. They first fill the body and then press out of the body again. These words express the nature of the summer-will, the will in us which is related to the summer. We may also say: “I have called up from my inner being the active memory of something experienced long ago; the day with its night confronts me with it in supplementing it with the external perception of space; and that corresponds to the stream from east to west.”

We may also say: “In us winter-will changes into summer-will, and summer-will into winter-will.”

We are no longer related to the day with its interchange of light and darkness. We are related to the year through our will, and thereby are identified with the stream flowing from west to east, the stream of the first Hierarchy, the Seraphim, Cherubim and the Thrones.

As we go on we shall see how man is hindered or helped through heredity or external adaptation to environment with reference to this relationship with the inner being of nature; for what I have explained to you today relates to the way in which man, if he is hindered as little as possible by the Luciferic and Ahrimanic forces, can grow in this way with his thought and will into the inner being of nature, and is received by

  • the time-forces, the day-forces and the year-forces,
  • the third Hierarchy, the second Hierarchy and the first Hierarchy.

But the Ahrimanic forces as they appear in heredity and the Luciferic forces as they appear in adaptation to environment have an essential influence on all this. This great question shall occupy us in the next lecture...