Planets hosting beings at various stages of evolution

From Anthroposophy

Our solar system is like a cradle for the development of spiritual beings, the various planets provide different conditions for beings at various stages of evolution.

So also our Earth provides an environment to host souls and provide an environment for their development. That environment is intrinsincally related to the evolutionary stage of our planet Earth and humanity.

During certain disruptive evolutionary stages, as in the 'catastrophes' of the separation of the Sun, the separation of the Moon from the Earth, or the ice ages, the Earth does not provide the conditions for souls to incarnate. At other stages, when conditions are right, souls can descend from other planetary realms and incarnate in a human physical body on Earth and go through experiences furthering their development, or contribute to the development of the community of human beings on earth (see for example also 1904-10-28-GA092 below).

More specifically:

  • period of third and fourth epochs: Between the separation of the sun and the separation of moon, because of the continued hardening of the earth, the great majority of human souls had to relinquish their union with the Earth. During this interval human soul-spirits, except for a very small number, abandoned earthly conditions and pressed upward into higher regions to continue their evolution on the several planets belonging to our solar system, each according to the stage of his development. Only a very small number of the strongest soul-spirits remained in union with the earth. During this time the rest dwelt upon the earth's planetary neighbours. After the separation of the moon, when the earthly conditions were stabilized in a balance between moon and sun influences (see Schema FMC00.190A below), the human soul-spirits who had escaped to the planets gradually begin to return again. This started in the later stages of the Lemurian epoch and went on far into the Atlantean epoch. This variety of earthly incarnation have rise to the human races.
  • period fifth and sixth epochs. In a similar kind of transition, now the mirror-reverse of the above (right half on Schema FMC00.190A), beings are joining Earth again for whom this is the right developmental stage, in order to blossom in the sixth epoch. Rudolf Steiner states that this started in the 1870s and will continue in times to come. Indeed in the current epoch this will surely continue upto the next sixth 'russian' cultural age (3500-5000 AD) [which is the important one in light of the sixth epoch - see also Schema FMC00.169A and 1908-06-25-GA104 on Overlapping evolutionary periods] and into and along the sixth epoch itself.

The very first descents in the third root-race of the Lemurian epoch were called 'arhats', these were very advanced beings that were the only ones to be able to take hold of the relatively few best bodies. They could not err and were like angels in then-human bodies, leading the rest of humanity who had dull consciousness.

Certain monads did not incarnate because of the lack of suitable bodies; see Development of the I.

However souls with little or no spiritual basis brought forth Lemurian races with wild animal-like instincts in human bodies, causing a deterioration of humanity as a whole, and the original collective karma of humanity (see 'sin of the mindless' on Lemurian epoch for references, also 1904-09-06-GA091 and 1905-10-25-GA093A, both on Three classes of Buddhas; furthermore also Fall and redemption - original sin and grace)


  • ancient spiritual science of myths and sagas, see representation of this descent in the Nerthus myth and Njordr, see Nerthus#1910-06-17-GA121
  • Adam and Eve
    • correspond to the single pair of human beings that were strong enough the survive the 'Earth winter', the difficult period of the separation of the Moon, and thus provided the foundation for human bodies for souls that were descending again after this separation (and were thus all descendents from this pair physically) (1909-09-18-GA114)
  • the so-called 'Sun-men'
    • origin in Lemurian epoch: the descendants of the few who were present at the time of the moon's exit (and had retained sufficient vigor to present to the sun forces a point of contact, even during the moon crisis) felt themselves to be sun men. The direct progeny of these old sun men had a quite special form of consciousness (1909-06-28-GA112, also contains an additional sentence on the why/how)
    • as part of the Sun Oracle in the Atlantean epoch: "only a few chosen pupils could be instructed in the Sun Oracle: the most direct descendants of the main pair who had lived through the Earth's critical period, the strong, ancestral couple called in the Bible Adam and Eve" (1909-09-18-GA114)
    • see also Schema FMC00.481 on Love, and Sun Heroes in Hyperborean epoch
  • some souls returned to Earth very soon, others stayed away much longer (see also young and old souls, Schema FMC00.478 on The Michaelic stream) .. when the souls returned, they could experience their centers of teaching around the Mysteries (Mars, Saturn mysteries etc) to accomodate furthering their development on Earth (see eg Schema FMC00.460 on Atlantean epoch for the Atlantean oracles, later towards the Postatlantean epoch, see Schema FMC00.205B on Migrations)
  • regarding advanced beings and the leadership of Mankind
    • in the Lemurian epoch, the White Lodge was founded especially for supporting advanced beings descending to Earth (see White Lodge#1904 - W. Scott-Elliot: .27The Lost Lemuria.27)
    • the leadership of mankind were/are ensouled beings, see Three classes of Buddhas
    • an example of the advanced development of beings on Venus is the Buddha, see Three classes of Buddhas#1912-06-12-GA137
    • solar pitris - more advanced than most of humanity, were not able to incarnate in the Lemurian epoch but only had their first incarnation in the Atlantean epoch. They incarnated as adepts and stood high above the rest of humanity. Examples are Prometheus, the seven rishis in the first Indian cultural ages, and the manus which gave later humanity their laws (1904-06-09-GA089)
  • see Schema FMC00.362 for links to other aspects


Schema FMC00.362 illustrates the process of souls descending from the various planets based on their stage of spiritual development, for the process of developing the human 'I' principle and the pipeline for the Tenth hierarchy. The schema cross links to various other perspectives:


Schema FMC00.478 presents five polarities in two streams of souls, as described by Rudolf Steiner in various lectures and contexts. Focus in the below is not on a full or exhaustive description but rather on the polarity and contrast between main characteristics of both groups.

The table does not represent two groups in the two columns, and so is to be read as five separate sections juxtaposed for comparison: even though the patterns of correspondence or striking, Rudolf Steiner never connected these five polarities (as the table may seem to induce).

The incarnating population always contains two streams (Seth-Abel/Cain) as these originate from two subgroups on Old Moon, see Streams of Abel and Cain. The lowest section shows the contrast between old and young souls.


Schema FMC00.186 shows how the timing of the migrations from the Atlantean culture resulted in remnants that can still be seen in characteristics of human beings in the various parts of the world today. More on Human races

Schema FMC00.130 provides a simple tabular overview of evolution and Man's bodily principles the developmental goal per planetary stage (and Condition of Consciousness) - and epoch (taking into account conditions of life and form). See also Man's transformation and spiritualization.

Cohorts that are developing ahead of this 'mainstream' evolutionary pathway require different conditions and hence develop on other planets. Once, and only when, humanity and conditions on earth provide certain conditions mapped to their developmental stage, they can descend and incarnate again.

Schema FMC00.190A is a variant of 'napking drawing' FMC00.190 that shows how first separation of Sun and Moon, then reunion of Moon and Sun, causes a period in the Earth development with a balance between Sun and Moon influences (see also Emerald Table) to provide an environment for Man to receive the I principle (and the Jehovah impulse), freedom (due to the Luciferic infection), and the fructification with the budhi principe of higher love (due to the Christ Impulse given the Mystery of Golgotha).

In other words 'it all happens between the third and sixth epochs'. One can imagine that beings leave and return to join at various stages along this developmental pathway, corresponding to the conditions that match their spiritual maturity .


Schema FMC00.313 provides an overview of the beings that provide spiritual guidance of mankind in the current Postatlantean epoch, comparing it with the categories of beings and the state of 'ensoulment' by a being from the third spiritual hierarchy H3 in the Lemurian epoch (upper right, different cohorts).


Lecture coverage and references

Introduction statements to the essence of this topic: first read 1910-08-25-GA122 then 1909-06-09-GA109 below.


In the middle of the Lemurian age came the great event which made the human being human. Not all the humans which had come across from earlier planetary states were at the same level of evolution.

Those who had achieved normal evolution during the earlier cycle on the misty Earth, were able to embody themselves during the third race. A number of them had, however, already reached a higher level, and they were completely unable to embody themselves in the third round.

In every round, some human beings evolved to a normal level and others to a stage that went beyond this.

[solar pitris]

Those who went beyond the normal level were masters, more highly developed individuals. In theosophical terminology they are called 'solar pitris'. They had gained a higher level of spirituality but could not embody themselves in the body which the human being had at that time, just as today's human being cannot incarnate in a plant body. They waited for evolution to continue until the right moment had come and their first true incarnation became possible in the fourth epoch [race]. Then those more highly developed individuals, the solar pitris, were able to take possession of the existing forms. A humanity arose that had reached a high level of spiritual development. Legend and myths teil that there were people in those times who stood high above other human beings - individuals like Prometheus, the rishis of the Indians, fire rishis who then became the actual leaders of the human race, and also the manus which gave later humanity their laws. Only those solar pitris were able to incarnate as adepts.


see: Three classes of Buddhas#1904-09-06-GA091


(SWCC) puts into perspective that the whole spiritual guidance of mankind upto this point, was done by higher beings that do not stem from mankind developing on Earth. See also White Lodge and Bodhisattva.

In the course of our fifth epoch and the time between the end of the Atlantean and the beginning of the next Sixth epoch, an advance in human evolution of the highest importance will be made. The Leaders of mankind, their Manus, will arise in mankind itself.

None of the great leaders who brought men forward, who gave them their important impulses during the earlier epochs (or 'root races'), went through their own evolution entirely on the earth. They underwent it in part on other planets, and thus they brought from other worlds the great impulses they had to give to the earth. The Manus of the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs, as well as the Manu of our current fifth epoch, are supersensible individualities, who underwent the sublime schooling which enabled them to become the leaders of mankind, on other planets. But during the current fifth epoch (and root race), highly developed human individualities have trained themselves so that from the sixth epoch onward, they will be capable of becoming the Leaders of mankind. The Leader of the sixth root race, in particular, will be a man as we are, only one of the most advanced, indeed the most advanced among men.

He will be a being who began his development when incarnation started, approximately in the middle of Lemuria, one who has always been a man among men, only he was able to advance more rapidly, and one who has gone through every stage of human evolution. This will be the fundamental characteristic of the Manus of the sixth epochs. Such beings have to undergo all kinds of Initiation, to be initiated again and again. Hence the fifth epoch from its outset has always had Initiates, men who were so initiated as to enable them to walk their own freely willed path. This was not the case during the Lemurian nor even in Atlantean epoch. In both the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs, those who helped mankind forward, those who ruled and guided mankind, those who were political leaders and leaders of great religious communities, were under the influence of and directly dependent upon higher beings, beings who had gone through their own development on other planets.

It is not until the fifth root race that mankind is left free. Then we have Initiates who have a connection with higher beings, but to whom such comprehensive guidance is not given. More and more freedom is allowed to the Initiates of the fifth epoch in matters of detail. Guidance is given along general lines, not only to the Initiates but to those who are stimulated by them. Impulses are given to them but yet in such a way that it is out of their own spirituality that they have to carry things out.


a more extensive extract is on Man in the Lemurian epoch

The lunar human beings who came to the Earth in the middle of the Lemurian age, when their bodily house was ready to be inhabited and prepared to receive manas, are called pitris, which means Fathers. It therefore depended on how the pitris had developed earlier on, and when had they received the spark of manas.

A pitri could also remain so far behind in evolution that in the middle of the Lemurian age he would not have reached the level of being able to connect with the human body and dhyanic spirit.

Evolutions always go in seven cycles. It is possible to lag behind a little in evolution at any stage in the seven cycles. Those who have remained behind will need to use the final phase to catch up on some things.

We are thus able to distinguish seven classes of Moon pitris, according to the way in which they had lagged behind. These existed in the middle of the Lemurian race. Only the most highly evolved pitris were then able to incarnate. The others were not yet able to do anything with their bodies.

Because of this, new pitris were coming up all the time until the end of the Atlantean age and even into Postatlantean times. To this day, pitris still incarnate in population groups that are at a very low level; one may also find quite childlike, little developed pitris among the lower levels of the population in our large cities. However, it is rare now for pitris to incarnate for the first time today. There are only few very young pitris who are still wholly governed by their kama.



The Sons of Venus or Mercury incarnated in Lemuria or Atlantis to become the teachers of men. The Sons of Venus were Spirits of Personality, Dyani Buddhas who guided humanity in Lemuria. The Sons of Mercury guided nations and races, they are the beings of Mercury.


Man has been engaged on his evolution upon earth since primeval times, and his relationship towards his whole evolution upon Earth, is exactly similar to the relationship between the small child and the grown-up person. The latter teaches the small child. It is the same as regards the hierarchies in the cosmos. Man, who is chained to the Earth, only gradually struggles through to the knowledge he needs, to the cleverness which is necessary to him upon Earth. Higher beings must teach him.

What must happen so that this object can be gained?

In the beginnings of the Earth's existence, beings who were otherwise not bound to the Earth, had to come down from higher spheres. Beings who otherwise needed only to live in the surroundings of the Earth had to come down so as to communicate to men what they already knew as the older, more perfect members of the hierarchies. They had to incarnate into human bodies, not for their own development, for they did not need it, just as a grown-up man does not study the A.B.C. for his own progress, but so as to teach it to these small children.

Hence, we look back into Atlantean and Lemurian times, when beings descended from the surrounding realms of the Earth to which they belonged and incarnated in human bodies and became the teachers of mankind. These are beings who belonged to higher hierarchies, to Mercury and Venus. The sons of Venus and of Mercury descended from above and became the teachers of young humanity, so that these men, wandering in the midst of that young humanity, really represented Maya or illusion. There have been such men.

Let us suppose, in order to explain it more precisely: some normally developed man of the Lemurian times met such a Man. Externally he did not appear very different from others, but a spirit had entered into him whose realm extended as far as Mercury or Venus. Thus, the exterior of such a man represented in reality Maya, an illusion. He looked like other men, but he was something quite different: he was a son of Mercury, or of Venus. In the early dawn of humanity there were such apparitions. The sons of Mercury or of Venus came down and wandered among men, so that they now received within them the character of the beings of Mercury and Venus. We have said that the beings of Venus are the Archai [Spirits of Personality]. Such beings walked the Earth as men, being outwardly limited to narrow human personalities, but who with their mighty power guided humanity. These were the great conditions of lordship in Lemurian times, when sons of Venus guided the whole of humanity. The sons of Mercury guided parts of humanity. They were as powerful as those are now whom we call spirits of nations or of race.

Maya or illusion does not only exist in the world but also as regards men. A Man as he stands before us can have an external appearance which is a truth, which corresponds precisely to his soul; or else it may be a Maya; he has in reality a task, which corresponds to the task of the sons of Mercury or of the sons of Venus. This is what is meant, when it is said, that fundamentally the great guiding individualities of ancient times as they walked the Earth with their ordinary names, represented a Maya, and that was what H. P. Blavatsky meant when she pointed out that the Buddhas represented Maya. You can find this very word in the Secret Doctrine. These things are derived in every respect from the teachings of the holy Mysteries: we have only to understand them.

How does it happen then that such a son of Venus descends to us? How does it happen that a Bodhisattva can live upon earth?

The Being of a Bodhisattva, the Being of a son of Mercury, forms an important chapter in the evolution of our Earth which has to do with its connexion to the Cosmos itself. Therefore, tomorrow we shall have to consider the nature of the sons of Mercury and of Venus, of the Bodhisattva or Dhyani-buddhas.


And now something very remarkable happened upon Earth.

  • Those men of Lemuria who had only physical, etheric and astral bodies were helpless, they could not help themselves, they did not know what they had to do on earth. From heavenly regions the inhabitants of astronomical Venus first came down to the Earth, to these helpless beings; because they had a certain relationship, to the physical body, they were enabled to send their light through, and ensoul the physical body of the first inhabitants of the earth.
    • Thus, we find some among the Lemurians, who passed among the mass of humanity in quite a remarkable way; they had a different physical body to the others. A man, so particularly graced, had not an ordinary physical body, but a body ensouled by a spirit of Venus, an Archai. Because that man of ancient Lemuria moved about with a spirit of Venus within his physical body, he had a powerful influence on all his surroundings. Such Lemurians did not appear different from their companions externally; but because a Archai was translated into their bodies, these selected individuals acted suggestively, in the highest sense of the word, upon their surroundings. Today, there is nothing to compare to the obedience, the reverence and awe that was felt for them.
    • All the attempts at colonisation which were undertaken, to people the different regions of the earth, were led by such beings, into whom a Archai had descended. No speech was needed (for there was no speech then) no signs were needed, the fact alone that such a Archai was there, sufficed. And when it was held necessary that large masses of people should be led from one place to another, those masses simply followed without thinking about it. Thought did not exist, it only developed later.
    • Thus the Archai came down to earth, as Spirits of Venus, in ancient Lemurian times. And we can say, that the distinctive features of these messengers from Venus — such as the human countenances of that time could wear — signified something quite new with regard to the whole Universe. If we take their cosmic significance, it reaches as far as Venus, and their actions had a meaning, an influence on the whole concatinations of the solar system. They could lead the people from one place to another, for they knew the connections that can only be known by those, who are acquainted with the surroundings of the earth, and not only with the Earth itself.
  • The development of humanity progressed further. The necessity arose that Archangels, spirits of astronomical Mercury, should act upon the human development. These were now obliged to ensoul and give life to that which dwelt below upon earth. This was principally in Atlantean times.
    • At that time the Archangels, or spirits of Mercury descended upon earth, and inspired the physical and etheric bodies of the men of that period. So in Atlantis there were also men who were not outwardly very different from the others, but whose physical and etheric bodies were ensouled by an archangel. And if you remember what was said yesterday, that the archangels have the task of directing whole nations, you will understand that a Man who had an archangel within him could actually give to the whole Atlantean race those laws which he received directly from heaven. The great leaders of old Lemurian times, when it was still necessary to act much more generally, were ensouled by spirits from Venus. Those who, in Atlantean times had to direct smaller masses of people, were ensouled by archangels. Those who are called the priest-kings of Atlantis, were in truth — Maya. They were not at all what they outwardly appeared to be. An archangel lived in their physical and etheric bodies, he was the real active agent..
    • If we go back to Atlantean times, we can seek out the secret stations of these leaders of mankind. From these hidden centres they worked, there they investigated the mysteries of space. One might ascribe the name of ‘Oracle’ to what was investigated, and commanded from those ancient Atlantean places of the Mysteries, even though this word originated in later times. The name ‘Place of the Oracles’ is quite suitable to these centres of instruction, and government. From them the great teachers worked, so that others might there be trained to become priests and servants of men.
    • It is important that one should know that there were men in ancient Atlantis who in reality were archangels, bearing an archangel incarnated within their physical and etheric bodies.
      • If such a Man had been seen by someone endowed with clairvoyance, the latter would in fact have seen a physical man and behind him an enormous figure, rising high above him, and losing itself in indefinite regions - the figure of the inspiring Archangel. Such a personality was of a two-fold nature, as if behind the physical man, growing out of indefinite space, was the inspiring Archangel.
      • When such men died, the physical body was destroyed according to the laws of Atlantis. That physical body, which had been naturally ensouled by the Archangel, dissolved, but the etheric body did not dissolve. There is a spiritual economy which demands exceptions to the general truths expounded by Anthroposophy. We say (and in general it is correct) that when a Man dies, he lays aside his physical body and after a certain time also his etheric body, which dissolves with the exception of an extract. But this is only generally the case. There is an enormous difference between an etheric body like that of the Initiates of the Atlantean Oracles, which was permeated by an archangel, and an ordinary etheric body. Such a precious etheric body is not lost, but is preserved in the spiritual world.
    • In the first place, the great leader of the Atlantean Oracles preserved the seven most important etheric bodies of the seven great initiators of these Oracles. These ether bodies were originally built up through being inhabited by Archangels, who, at their death, naturally returned to the higher worlds. Such things are certainly not preserved in boxes, but according to spiritual laws. The Atlantean Initiate of the Sun-Oracle is no other than Manu, who has been often mentioned, and who guided the remnant of the Atlantean nation over to Asia to establish the new Post-Atlantean civilisation. He took his little handful of people with him and led them over to Asia. He trained the people through generations, and when the seven most adaptable ones had been bred and educated sufficiently, he wove into their individual etheric bodies the substance of the seven preserved etheric bodies, which had been woven by archangels in ancient Atlantis. Those seven, who were sent down by the great Leader, to lay the foundation of the first Post-Atlantean civilisation, were the seven holy Rishis of ancient India; they bore within their etheric garment, the etheric bodies of the great Atlantean Leaders, who had themselves acquired these bodies through the archangels. Thus the past, the present, and the future acted in harmony. Those seven men who are called the holy Rishis would have appeared to you as simple people, for with their astral body and their I, they had not reached the height of their etheric bodies. All that they were capable of was interwoven with their etheric bodies. There were certain hours during which inspiration acted within their etheric bodies, and then they spoke of things which they themselves could never have known. Then from their lips flowed that which had been inspired into their etheric bodies. Thus they were simple, plain people when they were left to their own understanding; but in their hours of inspiration, when the etheric body was active, they spoke of the greatest mysteries of our solar system and of the whole universe.
  • In the Postatlantean times men had not yet advanced so far that they could do without help from above, inspiration was still necessary; and a sort of ensouling still took place from above. We have seen how such ensouling occurred in Lemurian times, because a spirit of Personality ensouled the physical. body; in the Atlantean times the physical and the etheric bodies were ensouled by archangels, and now the great leaders of the Postatlantean times were ensouled through an angel descending into their physical, etheric and astral bodies. The great leaders of humanity in the post-Atlantean times did not possess merely a physical, etheric and astral body, but an angel also lived within them. Therefore, these great leaders could look back into their former incarnations. The ordinary man cannot do so as yet, because he has not yet developed. his manas; he must himself first become an angel. These leaders, who were born out of the ordinary inhabitants, carried an angelic being within their physical, etheric and astral bodies, who ensouled and, interpenetrated them. This is again Maya, again we have Beings who are something different from what they appear to be on earth. The great leaders of humanity of grey antiquity were quite different from what they outwardly seemed to be. They were personalities in whom an angel dwelt and gave what they needed, so that they might become teachers and leaders of men. The great founders of religions were men possessed by angels, angels spoke through them. The affairs of the world have to be described indeed as entirely regular, but the processes of development always slide one within the other, they overlap. That which we describe as exhibiting complete regularity does not work itself out with such regularity.

It is certainly true that, as a general principle:

  • archai did speak through human entities in the Lemurian times,
  • archangels in the Atlantean, and
  • angels in the post-Atlantean times.

But such beings arose, also even in the post Atlantean times, who were penetrated by a archai down to their physical body, who, therefore, were in the same position, although they lived in the post Atlantean times, as were those beings through whom in Lemuria the archai spoke. Thus it was possible to have men also in the post-Atlantean times,

  • who bore externally all the characteristics of their nation, but who, because humanity still needed such great leaders, carried within them an archai — and who were the external incarnation of such a Spirit.
  • Then there were also men in the post Atlantean times who had an archangel, a spirit of Mercury, within them, who ensouled their physical and etheric bodies.
  • And lastly, a third category of men was ensouled, inspired in their physical, etheric and astral bodies by an angel being, one through whom an angel spoke.

In the spirit of the Eastern Teaching such personalities received particular names.

  • Thus a personality who outwardly resembles a man of our post-Atlantean times, but who really is the bearer of a archai, who is ensouled by that spirit down to his physical body, is called Dhyani-Buddha in the Eastern Teaching. Dhyani-Buddha is a generic name for human individualities in whom the Archai are active, even as far as their physical body.
  • Those personalities who are ensouled down to their etheric body, who were bearers of archangels in the post-Atlantean times, are called Bodhisattva
  • And those who are the bearers of an Angel, who are, therefore, ensouled in their physical, etheric and astral bodies, are called human Buddhas

On the latter, see: Three classes of Buddhas



In the Atlantean Oracles and their centers of wisdom, spiritual life was differentiated in the same way that external knowledge and the areas of trade and professions are subdivided in external life today. There were various branches of spiritual investigation and occult wisdom in ancient Atlantis, but everything in those times depended on different conditions. Wisdom varied from one oracle to another according to the capacities of the human beings and their external environment. A connection existed between certain human capacities and certain planets, that is, certain mystical occult capacities were connected with special planets. Therefore, on the Atlantean continent we should distinguish between oracles of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Just as did our earth, our present capacities also developed out of the cosmos, and they are in each case tied to different planets and their influences. On Atlantis, people who were suited to develop this or that cognitive capacity were chosen from the population and assigned to one of the seven oracles. Of the seven oracles, which were named after the seven planets in ancient Atlantis, the Sun Oracle stood out from all the others, but next to it the Vulcan Oracle prepared itself in secrecy for its future task.

Each of these oracles had emanated from the cosmos according to its capacity, but there was one center in which the capacities of all seven oracles flowed together, and it was here that the wisdom of the seven oracles in Atlantis coalesced. The adepts of this center, of the Holy Sun Oracle, had been initiated into the mystery and service of what we today know as the Sun. We should not forget that the physical sun is only the external expression or physiognomy — the body and garment — of the spiritual life of the exalted Sun-Being.

When the sun separated from the Earth, and along with the physical sun those beings abandoned the earthly arena who had advanced through the human state and, therefore, could no longer use the earth for their development. After the moon too had left, the earth was able to realize its destination of becoming the abode of humanity. If the sun alone had influenced the earth, the latter would have gone through such a rapid development that human beings would have become old soon after birth. By contrast, if our earth had been only under the influence of the moon, human beings would have been stiffened and become mummies Development would have been too slow, and their bodies would have reached a state of rigidity and lignification. However, through a wise guiding force, sun and moon maintained a balance in the external influence they exert on the earth; and this enabled earth and human beings to develop at a speed suitable to them. The beings of Mars, Mercury, Venus, and so on, who did not need the forces that had left with the moon and earth for their development, departed with the sun to take up their own abode. Yet they continued to be connected with the earth and sent their beneficial forces down to it in the sunlight.


Thus after pralaya the earth first of all recapitulated the Old Saturn condition; it was a condition of warmth. Then this gigantic globe of warmth condensed to the gaseous state and only when a definite point had been reached was it possible for the globe to form the fluid element and recapitulate the Old Moon condition. At this point on the earth there was a repetition of what had previously happened on Old Moon: the sun separated from the earth and earth-plus-moon became one independent body, containing the substances and beings of earth and moon, as they are still present today. Thus for a time earth and moon, and sun were one united whole. The earth-plus-moon was ejected because man could no longer keep pace with the tempo of the sun. Had the sun remained in the earth man would have been old practically at birth. The beings of the cosmos are at entirely different stages of evolution. It will only be possible to indicate the most important features of this evolution during the fourth period, that of the earth. Even the more mature beings belonged to grades at every possible level. There were some who could neither profit by the rapid tempo of the sun nor by the slow tempo of the earth. These beings departed already before the separation, when sun, earth and moon were still united. They created special arenas for their activity and these were the domains suitable for their rulership. It was thus that the outer planets, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, were formed.

During the recapitulation of the Old Saturn embodiment, Uranus, Vulcan and Saturn separated from the earth. During the recapitulation of the sun embodiment, Jupiter and Mars separated. After the sun had left the earth, Mercury and Venus separated from it. After the separation of the sun, the earth cast out the moon. The dispersal of Old Moon was brought about by the forces of the progressed beings who drew out the solar body, while the normal and retarded beings produced the moon circling around it. In all the mysteries these happenings were called the strife in heaven. The detached planetoids are the ruins of that battlefield. It is here that the primal secret of the origin of evil must be sought.

The planetary spirits involved could not have waited until the sun separated from the Earth because they would not have found the right soil for their activity; evolution at this time was turning into different channels. The planetary conditions of space and movement are all the expression and effect of the activity of their beings; these conditions indicate the evolutionary rank of the spiritual beings inhabiting the planets. Beings who had believed that they, too, could accompany the sun because this had formerly been possible but who could not now do so, separated from the sun, but only after it had itself separated from the earth. These beings separated from the sun after this event and are at a far higher stage of evolution than men. Venus and Mercury are the two bodies that, having separated from the sun after the latter's separation from the earth, formed the inner planets of our solar system.

After the severance from the sun a difficult, sombre period now began for the earth, in a certain respect its darkest, hardest era. While still united with the moon, the earth drew into itself all the forces that were retarding evolution. To obstruct life is characteristic of the forces principally active in the moon. During this period, these obstructive forces were working far too strongly in the earth. If the earth had remained connected with them, life would not have taken its course in the right tempo. Man would have hardened to the stage of mummification. The earth would have become a veritable cemetery, one vast graveyard containing statues of mummified human bodies. No procreation would have been possible. When the sun had left the earth, fearful desolation and hardening of all life took place. So already at that time there were periods when the human physical body was abandoned by its spiritual members, just as today the physical body is abandoned by its spiritual members at death.

In that past era, withdrawal and emergence of the being of spirit and soul from the physical already took place and a new search for the physical body began, as happens today when incarnations are to take place. But more and more frequently it happened that when the being of soul and spirit desired, while the moon was still united with the earth, to find a human body again, none was to be found, because bodies were no longer fit to receive the being of spirit and soul. Just imagine that great masses of human beings were to have died today and because of the character of the physical substance these bodies had become so decadent that the souls would have said: We cannot make use of these bodies, they are too decadent for us, they offer no possibility of further evolution. Suppose that because of an extensive spread of alcoholism, for example, successive generations had gradually become so degenerate that the bodies were simply useless for the descending souls. This is more or less a picture of the state of the earth at that time, before the exit of the moon. Everything that should have been habitable down below was often hardened, crusted, withered, mummified. There was actually a period when souls were seeking in vain for bodies for their own evolution on earth. The consequence was that certain beings simply could not at that time have returned to the physical plane as men. They could not have incarnated again on the earth. These beings then went to other cosmic bodies that had separated from the sun, namely, to Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. There was a time when the majority of these beings who should normally have incarnated on the earth according to their nature and their stage of evolution, placed themselves under the protection of the beings of Mars, Jupiter, Venus or Saturn, having ascended to and populated these cosmic bodies. Only the strongest souls found it possible to cope with the stubborn bodies and keep them flexible. Please understand me well. It was only the best soul material that then came again to the earth, because its power to master the stubborn bodies was the greatest. But under such conditions evolution could not have progressed.

The beings of the highest rank belonging to our solar system now adopted a new procedure. The most impermeable substances were extracted and separated from the earth; the severance of the moon was brought about. The result of this was that the forces that had remained behind were no longer frustrated in their evolution. But it was not until later that this moon became what it is today. The time had now come when the physical and etheric evolution of man could find the tempo befitting its stage. The forces both of the sun and the moon now worked upon the earth from outside, maintaining the balance. Gradually, while the moon was emerging, a kind of softening, an amelioration of the bodies of men, again took place. The period just described is called in occultism the Lemurian epoch, the epoch of the separation of the moon during the physical embodiment of the earth. The epoch when the sun left the earth is called the Hyperborean age, and the epoch when the sun, moon and earth were still united is called the Polarian age.


What, then, is the anthroposophical movement?

It came into the world because the lofty beings we call the Masters, who live in human physical bodies but have reached the far higher stage of evolution than the average man of today, poured out a certain amount of wisdom from the last third of the nineteenth century onwards. The living influx of this wisdom from higher realms into our culture is the actual basis of our anthroposophical movement. Do not imagine that there was no possibility of the attempted influx of wisdom falling upon deaf ears in humanity. Even if there had been deaf ears, the Masters would have said that an attempt must be made later on, when human beings would be ready to receive the wisdom. In occultism this is known as the test of maturity in men. The fact that wisdom pours into humanity from higher beings such as these is not in itself sufficient; what matters is how it is received; the success of the test depends upon that. Such tests have already been made several times but have not always succeeded. It was often within narrow limits that humanity proved to be ripe for the tests; receptive souls and hearts were not always to be found. When the I of humanity was to be instilled, the test consisted in gradual attempts to permate what had formerly been astral body only, with the I. Then it turned out that the astral body, permeated by the I, was incapable of penetrating the physical body. Adjustment was therefore necessary and this was made possible by the separation of the moon. It was in the middle of the Lemurian epoch that the entry of the ego, the Christ principle, was first achieved.

But the following was connected with this. During and after the separation of the moon, the earth was depopulated. We have heard that the bodies had become so contaminated that they could no longer provide habitations for the souls. Cosmic happenings such as these have been preserved in legend and saga, but occult investigation reveals their true origin and teaches us that while the separation of the moon was taking place, when the earth was depopulated, many souls were searching for suitable embodiment in cosmic space; they departed from the earth and assumed bodies on other planets. But when the moon had finally left, it became apparent that the earth was capable again of providing suitable bodies.

Now, the souls, who during the latest Lemurian epoch and thereafter in the Atlantean period [had gone to the planets, presented them-selves again on the earth and incarnated in the bodies there. [editor: erroneous editing/translation: these souls had left before and returned during lemurian and Atlantean epochs, after the Earth had stabilized after the departure of the Moon, in a balance of forces between Moon and Sun]

Groups of human beings now formed on the earth. Some provided bodies for souls coming from Jupiter incarnations, or from Mars, Venus or Saturn. These souls now found bodies that were appropriate for them. This grouping of souls gave rise to the birth of races. Hence there is a certain connection between the races and cosmic bodies and thus it was possible to speak of Saturn men, Jupiter men and so on. What can be called the concept of race had now, for the first time, its justification.

On Old Moon, and also on the earth while it was still united with the moon, there were human beings at different stages of evolution. This can be perceived right on into the Lemurian epoch, when owing to the exodus of the moon, differentiation took place in humanity. Thereafter the concept of race arose and from then on began to have a certain meaning, a certain significance. Race is something that comes into being and subsequently passes away again. The epoch of the formation of the races is that embraced by Lemuria and Atlantis. Today only stragglers of the races are present.


We see the separation of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars before the exit of the Sun from the Earth; afterwards Venus and Mercury detach themselves from the Sun, and finally the Moon leaves the Earth. Thus we have gathered this evolution from spiritual worlds and placed it before us. We have understood the development of our solar system in the sense that we find various grades of spiritual beings upon the different heavenly bodies. Having placed these facts before our soul, we can find the answer to the question:

What became of those spiritual astral beings who wished to incarnate as men and found only hardened bodies which they could not enter?

Being insufficiently mature they could not all unite with the Sun spirits, and it thus happened that, being compelled to abandon the bodies on the Earth, they withdrew for a time to Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. While the Earth below was growing desolate and produced bodies incapable of harbouring human souls we have the fact that the souls betook themselves to planetary heights there to await the time when human bodies would again be available for them.

Only very few, only the most robust human beings were able to receive into themselves souls and preserve their existence during the Moon crisis; the other souls ascended to the other heavenly bodies.

[Separation of Moon]

Then the Moon was ejected from the Earth. This enabled the Sun forces again to work upon the human forms; the latter received a new impulse and once more became soft, pliable, and plastic; and into these now plastic human forms, the souls which had been waiting on Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars could again enter. Whereas these souls had been compelled to abandon the Earth, they now returned by degrees, after the expulsion of the Moon, and peopled the rejuvenated human bodies.

Thus, following upon the exit of the Moon, we come to a period during which new bodies appear in increasing numbers. During the Moon crisis the number of human beings was very small. These were never without descendants, but when the souls returned to Earth they found the bodies unfit for use and left them to perish. By degrees the human race died out.

But when the rejuvenating process set in, the progeny of the human beings who had outlived the Moon crisis were once more able to receive the souls from Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. The Earth gradually became peopled with souls. And now you can understand the profound importance of this decisive event — the exit of the Moon. Strictly speaking, everything was changed by it.


Observing the physical life of man in this period we see an image of these two mutually antagonistic powers: the divine-spiritual powers at work upon the I and the Luciferic beings. Let us now trace the spiritual factor of this process.

During the time of desolation on Earth the human souls ascended to the various cosmic bodies belonging to our solar system. Now they returned in as far as they were able to find bodies in the line of physical heredity.

Remembering that the Earth was most sparsely populated precisely at the time of the moon's withdrawal, you can imagine that the expansion of the human race started from a mere handful of people. Gradually the number increased, more and more souls descended and occupied the bodies coming into being on Earth.

Throughout a long period there were descendants only of the few who were present at the time of the moon's exit, and upon these the lofty sun forces themselves acted: these human beings had retained sufficient vigor to present to the sun forces a point of contact, even during the moon crisis. They and their descendants felt themselves to be sun men, so to say.

Let us understand this clearly. For simplicity's sake, imagine that during the moon crisis there existed all told but one human couple. (I do not wish to decide whether this was actually the case.) This couple has descendants, these in turn have descendants, and so on; and thus the human race branched out.

Now, as long as there existed only the progeny, in the narrower sense, of the old sun men, all these enjoyed a quite special form of consciousness by reason of their ancient clairvoyance. At that time human memory included not only experiences that had occurred since birth, or as is the case today, since a certain point of time after birth, but everything that the father, grandfather, and even early progenitors, had experienced. Memory reached back to the ancestors, to all with whom a Man was related by blood. That was because in a certain sense the sun forces held a protecting hand over those of blood relationship, those who traced their descent to the human beings who had survived the moon crisis. The sun forces had engendered the I consciousness and maintained it throughout the line of blood generation.


[introduction of topic Adam and Eve]

When we look back in the Akashic Chronicle to very ancient times the most wonderful corroboration is forthcoming of what is to be read in the Bible and other religious texts; indeed, it is only then that we learn to understand their contents in the right way. The reference in the Bible to a single pair of human beings, Adam and Eve, from whom all humanity has descended, was a problem with which men in the mid-nineteenth century were deeply preoccupied from the scientific standpoint.


At the beginning of its present embodiment the Earth was united with Sun and Moon; then the Sun separated off, leaving behind a planetary body comprising the present Earth and Moon. If the Earth had remained united with the Moon, Man's whole make-up would have become hard and ligneous, would have shrivelled. In order to avert this it was necessary for all the Moon-substances and beings to be cast out. Thereby the human form was rescued from the danger of hardening and it became possible for Man to assume his present structure. It was only after the separation of the Moon that the possibility arose for him to become the bearer of an I. This did not, of course, take place all at once. After the Sun had slowly separated and while the Moon was still contained within the Earth, certain conditions arose which prevented the further evolution of mankind; physical matter became increasingly dense and a process of hardening had, in fact, already begun. Human souls — they were then at a lower stage of development — were passing through incarnations, through successive embodiments; in other words, Man's in-most being left his outer form and passed through a spiritual world in order then to reappear in a new incarnation.

[Lemurian epoch - before separation of Moon ]

But before the separation of the Moon a difficult period occurred in the evolution of the Earth. Certain human souls who, having left their bodies, were living in the spiritual world, wanted to descend again to the Earth; but the human substance now to be found there was too hard and ligneous to enable them to incarnate. A time came when souls wishing to descend found it impossible to incarnate again because the earthly bodies were unsuitable for them.

  • Only the very strongest souls were able to master the hardened matter sufficiently to incarnate on the Earth;
  • the others were obliged to withdraw again into the spiritual world.

There were periods before the separation of the Moon when these conditions prevailed. The number of strong souls able to conquer matter and populate the Earth became steadily less, with the result that prior to the Lemurian epoch there was a period when wide areas of the Earth were barren and the population less and less numerous, because souls desiring to descend could find no suitable bodies.

What happened to these souls? They were transported to the other planets which had formed meanwhile out of the universal substance. Certain souls were transported to Saturn, others to Jupiter, Mars, Venus or Mercury.

[Adam and Eve]

There was a period when only the very strongest souls were able to come to the Earth during its great winter. The weaker souls had to be taken into the guardianship of the other planets of our solar system.

During the Lemurian epoch there was actually a time when it may be said (with approximate accuracy at any rate) that there was a single couple in existence, one main pair (Haupt-paar) which had retained sufficient strength to master the stubborn substance and to incarnate on the Earth, to ‘hold out’ as it were through the period when the Moon was separating from the Earth.

[After separation of Moon]

This separation made it possible again for human substance to be refined and rendered suitable to receive the weaker souls; the descendants of this one main pair were therefore able to live in more pliable substance than had been available before the separation of the Moon.

Then, by degrees, all the souls returned to the Earth from Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Saturn; and through propagation the souls gradually returning to the Earth from the planets constituted the descendants of the first main pair.

Thus the Earth was re-peopled. And during the latter part of the Lemurian until far into the Atlantean epoch, an ever-increasing number of souls descended, having waited on the other planets until a time came when they were able to incarnate in earthly bodies. In this way the Earth was re-populated and the Atlantean peoples came into existence, guided by [.. Oracle: a place where the intentions of spiritual beings are perceived]

[Atlantean Oracles]

In Atlantis there were great sanctuaries where Initiates worked. These sanctuaries were organized in such a way that one might be called the ‘Mars Oracle’, another the ‘Jupiter Oracle’, another the ‘Saturn Oracle’ and so on. The variety of these Oracle-sanctuaries was due to the differences among human beings. For those souls who had waited on Mars, instruction and guidance were provided in the Mars Oracles; for those who had waited on Jupiter, in the Jupiter Oracles, and so on.

Only a few chosen pupils could be instructed in the great Sun Oracle. These were the most direct descendants of the main pair who had lived through the Earth's critical period — the strong, ancestral couple called in the Bible ‘Adam and Eve’. There we find something that tallies exactly with the facts revealed by the Akashic Chronicle, so that the Bible is substantiated even where its content seems improbable.

At the head of the Sun Oracle to which the other Oracles were subordinate was the greatest of the Atlantean Initiates, the Sun-Initiate, who was also the ‘Manu’, the leader of the Atlantean peoples. When the time of the great catastrophe was approaching, the Manu assumed the task of leading to the East those whom he found suitable for his mission — which was to establish a starting-point for the civilizations of the post-Atlantean epoch. This Initiate gathered around him men who always included the most direct descendants of ‘Adam and Eve’, the first ancestral pair who had survived the Earth's winter. These men were brought up and trained in the immediate environment of the great Initiate. The whole of the teaching imparted to them was organized in such a way that at the appropriate point of time in evolution it was always possible for the right influences to be sent forth from the sanctuary led by the Manu, the Initiate of the Sun Oracle. Let us suppose that at a certain point in evolution a rejuvenation of civilization was necessary; traditions preserved in humanity had become antiquated and required a new impetus; a new culture needed to be inaugurated. Provision for this had to be made — and was actually made, in many different ways — in the sanctuary under the great Initiate of the Sun Oracle.


also describes souls leaving Earth and returning after the separation of the moon in the Lemurian epoch

quote A - from Chapter 4:

There was moreover a further class of human beings who had absorbed most of all the Luciferian influence. They could only reach up to a Spirit Being [Vulcan] who with his associates had been thrust forth again soonest of all from the evolution of the Sun. This Being has no special planet in the cosmic spaces but lives to this day in the surrounding sphere of the Earth itself, with which he re-united after his return thither from the Sun. The human beings to whom he revealed himself as their higher I may be called adherents of the Vulcan Oracle. Their vision was more directed than that of all the other Initiates to the phenomena of Earth. They laid the first foundation for what afterwards arose among men as arts and sciences.

quote B

As the human beings now multiplied again on Earth, there was no longer any reason why human souls should not have incarnated in their descendants. The influence of the earth-moon forces of that time permitted human bodies to develop, that were thoroughly fit to embody human souls. The souls who previously were removed to Mars, to Jupiter, and to other planets, were led to the Earth. There was in consequence a soul present for every human descendant born within the cycle of generations.

This continued through long periods, so that the soul migrations to the Earth corresponded to the increase in the number of human beings.

[two kinds of human beings - young and reincarnated]

The souls who left the body at death retained in the body-free state the echo of the earthly individuality like a memory. This memory acted in such a way that when bodies corresponding to the souls were born on Earth, they reincarnated in them.

As time went on, there were among the human offspring

  • human beings who had souls coming from the outside, who had for the first time since the earliest ages of the Earth appeared again upon it,
  • and there were others having earthly-reincarnated souls.

In the subsequent period of the Earth evolution, there were fewer and fewer of the young souls appearing for the first time and more and more of the reincarnated souls.

Nevertheless, for long ages the human race consisted of the two kinds of human beings resulting from these facts.


Spirits descending onto Earth, see: Nerthus#1910-06-17-GA121


We know from yesterday's lecture that men were still psycho-spiritual beings at this time, but that they were unable to unite with the earth on account of the density of the matter which streamed from the earth into its periphery so long as the moon remained with it. So it came about that the great majority of human souls had to relinquish their union with the earth. Here we come to something of great importance in the relationship between man and earth, something which happened during the time between the separation of the sun and that of the moon. During this interval human soul-spirits, except for a very small number, abandoned earthly conditions, and pressing upward into higher regions, continued their evolution upon the several planets belonging to our solar system, each according to the stage of his development. Some souls were fitted to pursue their evolution on Saturn, others on Mars, others again on Mercury, and so on. Only a very small number of the strongest soul-spirits remained in union with the earth. During this time the rest dwelt upon the Earth's planetary neighbours. This came about at a time preceding (to use our own terminology) the Lemurian age.

Then came that other important event, which took place as we know during the Lemurian time, whereby the moon with all its matter and all its forces was itself withdrawn from the earth. This brought about great changes in the earth, which now for the first time came into a condition in which the human being could thrive. Whereas the earth's forces would have been too spiritual had it remained united with the sun, they would have become too coarse had it remained with the moon. Hence the moon too withdrew, and both sun and moon Beings then worked upon the earth from without, thereby bringing it into a state of balance. And in this way the earth prepared itself to become the bearer of human existence. This all happened during the Lemurian age.

Evolution now makes a further advance, and little by little the human soul-spirits who had escaped to the planets begin to return again. That went on far into the Atlantean epoch. What had crystallised out as man during the latter part of Lemuria and during Atlantis was gradually endowed with soul-spirits of differing characteristics, according to whether they came from Mars, or Mercury, or Jupiter and so on. This brought about great variety in earthly incarnations. Those of you who are familiar with the lectures I gave recently in Christiania know that this division of men into Mars-men, Saturn-men and so on was the origin of what later became racial differentiation.

It is still possible today for the seer to recognise whether a Man's soul has descended from this or that planet.

But it has also been emphasised and fully discussed in 'Outline of Esoteric Science' - that by no means all human souls abandoned the Earth. What we might describe as the toughest souls were able to go on using earthly matter, and to remain with the earth. I have even mentioned the startling circumstance that there was an outstanding pair of humans who survived the densification of the earth. Spiritual investigation impels us to accept what to begin with seems incredible — that there was such a couple as Adam and Eve, and that the races which arose out of the return of souls from the cosmos came about through their union with the descendants of that pair.

1912-04-07-GA244 – Q&A 231.1

(internet translation, edited)

see a more contextual discussion on: Streams of Abel and Cain#Note .5B1.5D - the Sons of God and the daughters of men

Question on ‘the daughters of the sons of men’ mentioned by Moses

[Note: 'The daughters of the sons of men mentioned by Moses: Gen 6:2]

We must, when we look back into the evolution of mankind, look at human conditions with the occult gaze, in times when people were much more spiritual beings than they have become later; for we have to do in a certain way with a descent from the spiritual world into the material world.

This descent does not happen for all people in the same time, but slowly and gradually; so that people of one kind descend earlier - let us better say: human souls of one kind earlier, others later into the physical earth matter.

Now there is a quite certain point of time of our earth evolution, in which the conditions were in such a way that,

  • if before this point of time a human soul had descended to the densest physical embodiment, it would have had to represent in the further evolution a lower type of human beings
  • compared to the souls which descended later - and thus have left themselves time, until the appropriate conditions had occurred.

So that

  • by the souls having embodied too early, races have been founded which represent a lower type of mankind
  • compared to those souls which have stayed long enough in the spiritual sphere and have come to the physical embodiment only when the conditions were there. They have founded those types of people who have actually become the bearers of human culture.

But now it happened that human souls descended too early, that is, in a very distant primeval time there really was a lower type of human being than the correct one.

And there arose a mixture between those souls who had waited correctly and those who had not waited.

To this point in time, when this mixing arose, the Bible and the Book of Enoch allude, they allude to the fact that mankind would have been better off in its entire evolution, if simply the people, who descended from such a type of Man (for which the souls had waited sufficiently long), if these had let the other souls, which were lower, die out .. and development had proceeded after the extinction of these types.

The souls of these types would not have been lost then, they would have passed over into the others.

So a condition was retained that should not have been; it happened by the fact that human beings of higher types mixed with people of lower types.


How can the seeming increase in world population be understood in relation to reincarnation?

Now you must consider a number of other things together with what I have just said. You know that one of the objections to the concept of repeated earthly lives is: The human population is increasing all the time, so where do all the souls come from?

I have often replied that this is a superficial objection, for the simple reason that people forget to take into account that this so-called increase in the population of the world has only been observed in very recent centuries. For instance, those scientists who are so very proud of the exactitude of their calculations would be highly embarrassed if one were to question them about the population statistics of the year 1348 when America had not yet been discovered.

The objections often mentioned are indeed staggeringly superficial. It is a fact that in some parts of the world the birth rate diminishes while it rises elsewhere, so that the population density varies in different places. This brings about a certain amount of disharmony.

It can happen that, in accordance with the conditions prevailing in relation to the incarnation of souls who are living between death and a newbirth, there are certain souls who, as a result of previous incarnations, are inclined to descend to a certain part of the world but that there are too few bodies available there. This can indeed happen.

Furthermore, there is something else that can happen as well, which I would like you to consider in connection with what we have been saying.

Some time ago — and you will see from this that the lectures I have given here in recent weeks have not been without a wider context — I mentioned that John Stuart Mill, and the Russian philosopher and politician Herzen, have both pointed out that in many ways a kind of ‘Chineseness’ is beginning to manifest in Europe, as though Europe were becoming ‘chinesified’. This was no idle remark on my part. If John Stuart Mill, who was a keen observer, considered that many people in his vicinity were beginning to show noticeable Chinese traits, then in certain respects he was quite right.

Consider the following: Souls exist who, as a result of their former lives, are inclined to incarnate in Chinese bodies during the nineteenth century or at the beginning of the twentieth. Now since the Chinese population is nowhere near as great as it was in former times, it is, in any case, not possible for all these Chinese souls to incarnate there. In Europe, on the other hand, the physical population has increased considerably in recent times, and so many souls can be accommodated here who were really destined for incarnation in Chinese bodies. This is one reason why keen observers are beginning to notice that Europe is becoming ‘chinesified’.

But this alone would not have sufficed to prepare Europe for that European karma which was to come about. A helping hand was needed to assist a certain aspect of the great laws of existence. Now if over a long period something is brought about of the kind I mentioned yesterday, namely, that very many bodies in a whole population are caused to become emaciated, then a situation will arise in which souls who were inclined towards that area will not, after all, incarnate in those bodies.

By bringing about the ‘opiumising’ of Chinese bodies and causing generations to come into being under the influence of opium's forces, it was possible to condemn the Chinese to take in, to a certain extent, some very immature, sub-standard souls, whose qualities I shall not discuss. But those souls who had themselves decided to incarnate in Chinese bodies were thereby prevented from approaching these ‘opiumised’ bodies. They were diverted to Europe where they brought about among the European population those traits which have, meanwhile, been noted by those keen observers I mentioned.

further on: Sixteen paths of perdition#Note .5B3.5D - The opium war



.. if we look back into human evolution, then we find that in olden times, those ancient times in which an instinctive clairvoyance was prevalent, the whole disposition of Man's soul was different; Man assumed a quite different place in the world. What was striven for in those places which we often designate as the Mysteries, in those ancient epochs of human evolution? ..

Those who wore considered ripe and were found suitable for being received into the Mysteries during their earth-life — that means in the time between birth and death — participated in a certain instruction given them by the Guides in those Mysteries, and that instruction came from what the Leaders of the Mysteries had to impart concerning the super-sensible worlds. No Mystery-Leader made any secret of the fact that, in his opinion, the teachings in the Mysteries did not proceed only from human beings, but that, through the special rites carried on in those Mysteries, super-sensible beings, Divine Spiritual Beings were present during the celebration of the Mysteries, and with the assistance of those Gods present therein everything connected with it was given out. The essential point was this: all the arrangements made in the Mysteries were of such a nature that they attracted, so to speak Divine Spiritual Beings, who, through the mouths of those who were the Leaders of the Mysteries, gave instruction to those who were the pupils therein.

In those olden times, everything was so organised socially, that not only were the arrangements made accepted by the Guides and Pupils of the Mysteries, but even by those who stood outside the Mysteries and who were not able to share in the life of the Mysteries. The whole arrangements made as social arrangements for humanity, were thus accepted.

One need merely think of old Egypt, and of how those who were the Leaders in the State received their directions from the Mysteries. The Mysteries were regarded as the self-understood place of direction for everything which had to occur within the social life.

Today, my dear friends, one can also impart instruction, esoteric instruction, which can run in forms similar to those old Mystery-arrangements; but all that has quite another meaning to-day. That is because between our age and that ancient age, in reference to such things, a significant turning-point has occurred in the development of mankind.

In those ancient times man was, as it were, destined to receive the instruction given through the Mysteries and through which he approached those Divine Spiritual Beings, during his life here, between birth and death.

Now things are different. We are living after that turning-point in human evolution, between birth and death. When these things altered, that which Man then had to learn through the Mysteries between birth and death; that, my dear friends, he now learns today, before he descends through conception or through birth into a physical body. He learns it according to his Karma, and according to the preparations he had gone through in a former life on earth. What Man undergoes now in the spiritual world, between the great Midnight Hour of existence and his next birth, is something which also includes that spiritual instruction.


Man today experiences something akin to the old Mystery instruction, before he descends from the pre-existence condition into his physical body. That is a factor with which anyone must reckon, who through spiritual knowledge, stands in reality today. We must not think of a Man born today as he was thought of in olden times. In olden times he was so considered that one could say: “He descends on to the Earth and is destined to be initiated through the Mysteries into the knowledge of what he really is as a human being.”

The case is not like that today. That arrangement was made for human beings who had gone through a smaller number of earthly lives than has the Man of today, who has, of course, taken far more into his soul in his many incarnations which made it possible for him to receive certain instruction on the part of the divine spiritual beings in his pre-existent condition.

My dear friends, we have to pre-suppose something of this nature today, when we see a child. When we meet a child today, we must realise that we no longer have the task of pouring into that child that which had to be poured in, in olden times. Today it is our task to say: “This child has been taught, he has only laid a physical body around his already-instructed-soul; that which was his pre-birthly instruction from the Gods must make its way through the veils around that soul, it must be brought out.” That is how we should think today in the sense of pedagogy, if we are to think in the sense of true Anthroposophical Spiritual Science. It will then be clear to us that, fundamentally, all our instruction shall tend to remove those hindrances which lie around that which the child brings with him into this world from his pre-birthly existence.


This quickening to life of the shadow-pictures of the intellect is not only a human but a cosmic event. You will remember the passage in the book Outline in Esoteric Science dealing with the time when the human souls ascended to the planets and afterwards descended once more to earth-existence. I spoke of how the Mars-men, the Jupiter-men and the others descended again to earth.

Now an event of great significance came to pass at the end of the seventies of last century. It is an event that can be described only in the light of facts which are revealed to us in the spiritual world. Whereas in the days of old Atlantis human beings came down to the earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so on — that is to say, beings of soul were drawn into the realm of earth-existence — since the end of the seventies of last century, other Beings - not of the human order - have been descending to the earth for the purposes of their further development. From cosmic realms beyond the earth they come down to the earth and enter into a definite relationship with human beings. Since the eighties of the nineteenth century, super-earthly Beings have been seeking to enter the sphere of earth-existence. Just as the Vulcan-men were the last to come down to the Earth so now Vulcan Beings are actually coming into the realm of earthly existence. Super-earthly Beings are already here, and the fact that we are able to have a connected body of Spiritual Science at all today is due to the circumstance that Beings from beyond the earth are bringing the messages from the spiritual world down into earth-existence.

But, speaking generally, what is the attitude adopted by the human race? The human race is behaving, if I may put it so very shabbily to these Beings who are appearing from the cosmos and coming down — slowly and by degrees, it is true — to the earth. The human race does not concern itself with them; it ignores their existence. And it is this which will plunge the earth into tragic conditions, for in the course of the next centuries more and more Spiritual Beings will be among us - Beings whose language we ought to understand. And this is possible only if we try to grasp what comes from them: namely, the substance and content of Spiritual Science. They want to give it to us and they want us to act in the sense of Spiritual Science. Their desire is that Spiritual Science shall be translated into social behaviour and action on the earth.

I repeat, then, that since the last third of the nineteenth century Spiritual Beings from the cosmos have been coming into our own sphere of existence. Their home is the sphere lying between the moon and Mercury, but they are already pressing forward into the realm of earth-existence and seeking to gain a foothold there. And they will be able to find it if human beings are imbued with the thought of their existence. This can also be expressed as I expressed it just now, by saying that our shadowy intellect must be quickened to life by the pictures of Spiritual Science.

We are speaking of concrete fact when we say: Spiritual Beings are seeking to come down into earth-existence and ought to be willingly received. Catastrophe after catastrophe must ensue, and earthly life will fall at length into social chaos, if opposition is maintained in human existence to the advent of these Beings. They desire nothing else than to be the advance-guards of what will happen to earth-existence when the moon is once again united with the earth.

Today people may consider it comparatively harmless to elaborate only those automatic, lifeless thoughts which arise in connection with the mineral world and the mineral nature of plant, animal and man. Materialists revel in such thoughts which are — well — thoughts and nothing more. But try to imagine what will happen if men go on unfolding no other kinds of thoughts until the time is reached in the eighth millennium for the moon-existence to unite again with the earth. These Beings of whom I have spoken will gradually come down to the earth. Vulcan Beings, ‘Supermen’ of Vulcan, ‘Supermen’ of Venus, of Mercury, of the Sun, will unite with this earth-existence. But if human beings persist in nothing but opposition to them, earth-existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years.

Another excerpt from a undated lecture is available here. The given date and contents for the lecture are incorrect (checked on, but the same points are made as in the 1921-05-13-GA204 lecture above.

The intellect will become more and more shadowy. If man does not resolve to absorb what is to descend from the spiritual world, he will pass completely over to the shadowy side of his intellect. The intellect is now only able to understand the mineral kingdom, it cannot penetrate to the human being. Plant life is a deep riddle to it, animal life is more so, human life is completely opaque. The formation of images devoid of reality will continue unless man resolves to develop imagination. If he does this the shadowy pictures will be re-animated by Spiritual Science, and become not merely human events but cosmic as well. We read in “Occult Science” that human souls at one time left the earth for other planets and later returned to earth existence. In turn those from Mars, Jupiter and the other planets returned to the earth. All these events are substantiated by investigations of the spiritual world and in this connection we find an extremely significant event in the 7th decade of the 19th century. Man returned to earth from the other planets up to 1879. Since then other beings from foreign cosmic regions enter into relation with man on the earth. In Atlantis man was the last being to enter the earth; since 1879 Vulcan beings descend into earthly evolution. They are the first, Super-earthly Beings to bring messages; to them we owe our Spiritual Science. The human race does not welcome these Beings, as a whole it ignores them. This will bring the Earth into a tragic condition ultimately. They will continue to descend, but man will not understand their speech except by understanding Spiritual Science which should transform the social environment. These Vulcan Beings, from between the Moon and Mercury, are trying to obtain a foothold in earthly existence. They seek to be the fore-runners of the end of the earth and the return of the moon. Our shadowy intellectual understanding must be re-animated by the pictures of Spiritual Science. Shock after shock will arise and the earth will dissolve into chaos if these Beings meet with opposition from humanity.


.. China in the most ancient times was already a large country and is still today larger than Europe; it is a gigantic country, has always been gigantic, and has had a tremendously large, vigorous population. Now, the idea that the population of the Earth increases is just superstition on the part of modern science, which always makes its calculations from data to suit itself. The truth is that even in the most ancient times there was a vast population in China, also in South America and North America. There too in those ancient times the land reached out to the Pacific Ocean. If that is taken into account the population of the Earth cannot be said to have grown.


Note 1 - The excerpt of 1921-05-13-GA204

The transcript of the spoken lecture was edited and rephrased below in more condensed written text without changes to contents.

Since the 1870s, super-earthly Beings - not of the human order - have been descending (from the sphere lying between the Moon and Mercury) to the Earth for the purposes of their further development, and they enter into relationships with human beings. Just as the Vulcan-men were the last to come down to the Earth so now Vulcan beings are coming into the realm of earthly existence. They are coming down to the earthly slowly and by degrees, and ought to be willingly received.

In the course of the next centuries more and more spiritual beings will be among us — beings whose language we ought to understand. Vulcan beings, ‘Supermen’ of Vulcan, ‘Supermen’ of Venus, of Mercury, of the Sun, will will gradually come down to the Earth and unite with this earth-existence.

They desire nothing else than to be the advance-guards of what will happen to earth-existence when the moon is once again united with the earth. The fact there is already a body of spiritual science today is due to the fact that Beings from beyond the earth are bringing the messages from the spiritual world down into earth-existence.

The substance and content of spiritual science comes from them: they want to give it to us and they want us to act in the sense of spiritual science. Their desire is that spiritual science shall be translated into social behaviour and action on the earth.

The human race does not concern itself with them; it ignores their existence. If human beings persist to ignore and oppose to them, earth-existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years. Catastrophe after catastrophe must ensue, and earthly life will fall at length into social chaos, if opposition is maintained in human existence to the advent of these Beings.


In the first paragraph, the distinction is made between Vulcan-men and Vulcan beings, as 'not of the human order'. In the next paragraph this is confirmed: Supermen of Vulcan, Venus, Mercury, Sun with the prefix 'super'.

  • We can interpret this as that 'Men of the human order' are the cohort of the human population with Man's bodily principles mapped to the normal evolutionary course, as depicted by FMC00.130. Imagine beings who already fully have the spirit self (manas) principle and are at the stage of developing the (life-spirit) budhi principle. Or even already having developed the life-spirit principle, and at the stage of developing the spirit-man (atma) principle. They are 'ahead' of this curve and can now join the earth because they now find conditions where humanity is at the stage that they also have to develop these principles. In other words, Man now has started the ascent, see Man's transformation and spiritualization.

Rudolf Steiner clearly points out a link between spiritual science as 'needed for humanity to pick up, required for further developmental stages', and the beings that are joining the earth existence.

  • Since the 1870s, we have seen a tremendous influx of spiritual scientific and initiation knowledge, see ao Sources of spiritual science. Focusing on Europe, this includes important figures as Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), Beinsa Douno (1864-1944), Franz Bardon (1909-1958), Daskalos (1912-1995). But those are only the most prominant names who worked in a very visible public fashion.
  • To put this in perspective of the White Lodge and Occult atom: spiritual leadership upto today has remained with 'higher beings', not part of the mainstream group of human beings undergoing development on earth. Only from the sixth epoch will this leadership pass, for the first time, to a human being with sufficient spiritual maturity. See 1904-10-28-GA092 quote on Sixth epoch.
  • What we find in modern initiation, as for example the three Initiation manuals by Franz Bardon is a pathway to do just the above: to develop the higher principles on a 'fast track' versus the slower development of part of Mankind (which in any case has to be split into various cohorts). Using this initiation path as an example (the same is valid for others), we know that certain human beings find these books at a certain stage in their life, and then go through the books at a rate much higher than most people (see the questionaire by Rawn Clarke in 2003: each step of the three books in three months would mean seven years for all three books, as an indication of the fastest possible pace), or advance even beyond the third book (maybe in a few decades, as in the report given in The Adept Magician by Marten Crawford). Hereby we have to account for the fact that people at this stage of development will remain silent so we do not know of them.

The above example illustrates a small cohort of human souls with the highest spiritual maturity that go through initiation as a process that fits them naturally as a glove. The pie-chart idea of various cohorts making up the larger population of beings on earth is also found:

  • in the parable of the sower in the bible,
  • the sixteen paths of perdition - see the subtopic covered on Human races,
  • the description of various cohorts lagging the normal developmental pace, or beings that already part of the next wave (emerging Future Jupiter men) - see I-less human beings

Zooming out, this has to be placed in context of the transition from the fifth to the sixth epoch. Just as Man had a different structure in terms of body/soul/spirit in the Atlantean epoch versus the current, the same will also be the same in the Sixth epoch when Man - more spiritual and clairvoyant - will again be more etheric and hovering above the body, as compared to the current soul experience.

  • Indeed at the end of the current epoch:
    • humanity will reach a stage where the current fertility dries up, and physical incarnation will cease to provide bodies for souls to incarnate.
    • This is timed around the stage the moon will reunite with the earth.
    • The end of the current epoch is also described as the time of the 'war of all against all' that will put an end to this epoch by a castastrophe encompassing the whole earth, similar as at the end of the Lemurian and Atlantean epochs.
  • Beinsa Douno lectured extensively on the sixth epoch. The quote below can be connected to the above quote by Rudolf Steiner.

The sixth race will be that of Love. .. the wave of the sixth race is coming .. its members will be a transition between angels and humans. .. It is the race of Love, that will impose the Kingdom of God on Earth. ..


The main core of the sixth race will consist of the White Brothers who will come from above, but of course there will also be members also from today’s people, but only the prepared ones. The elected people of all nations will go through to the sixth race and than we’ll be able to speak of brotherhood and Love. ..

The above lines of perspectives are connected through the transition between epochs as developmental stages, as explained on Overlapping evolutionary periods (see eg Schema FMC00.169).

To bring that whole context to a very personal and feeling connection in our soul, a special page Spiritual minority in a materialistic world was developed, the idea being to read the long extracts in full, let them sink in and take them into our soul.

The 'call' (in 1909-04-06-GA109 on that page) is the same call of destiny that is referenced in many lectures on the Individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz but see also the 1924-08-08-GA237 (and other excerpts) in the section 'Personal connection' on The Michaelic stream

Note 2 - The topic of the so-called Star children

In recent decades, much has been written about gifted children with special abilities, sometimes called 'star children', 'indigo children' . It is said that these children are coming to Earth to help humanity in its development.

The background to this goes back to Nancy Ann Tappe (1931-2012), who stated that during the late 1960s and early 1970s she began noticing that many children were being born with indigo auras (or, in her terminology, with indigo as their "life color"). The idea was later popularized and let to the book 'The Indigo Children: The New Kids Have Arrived' (1999), written by (Tappe and) Lee Carroll and Jan Tober.

In parallel Henning Köhler had similar findings and intuitions.

Could there be, or is there any reality to this?

In 2001, Georg Kuehlewind wrote the book 'Sternkinder', it got to its 8th edition in 2009 and was translated in EN in 2004 as 'Star Children: Understanding Children Who Set Us Special Tasks and Challenges'. He writes:

While working on this book the following happened to me: As I checked in at the airport in Hamburg a young couple was in front of me, and the mother had a three-to-four-month old baby in her arms. All of a sudden the baby turned round, looked me straight in the eye, and I was deeply shaken; for that was not the look of a baby but of a very self-aware adult, a wise one, and he appeared to see right through me ..

Based on extensive research, Georg Kühlewind confirms that this new generation has been incarnating among us for the past couple of decades. This event, he states, is one of the most important of our age. The following is an excerpt of an interview with therapist Henning Köhler (1951-2021) (who worked with Kühlewind) in 2011, published in Das Goetheanum No11 of March 2001

Does this mean that you represent the same concerns as those depicted in the book 'The Indigo Children'? It says there that instead of giving hyperactive children Ritalin to calm them down we should be trying to understand their specific messages and treat them accordingly.

Yes, I do agree with the basic ideas expressed in that book, it seems to me, non-phenomenologically. I have been writing and speaking for years and trying to differentiate as much as possible between the different phenomena. Strange to say, in anthroposophical circles I have failed to generate the high degree of interest which this book has now suddenly aroused. Children with new and special capabilities are literally pouring into the world. For many of them it will be disastrous if they are regarded as disturbed and therefore side-lined or subjected to all kinds of therapeutic procedures.

I have been traveling all over the place trying to draw people’s attention to this fact which, for me changed from a supposition to a certainty in 1995/96 on account of a number of experiences I had. The term I usually use to describe this is premature aptitude profiles, “premature” in the sense that the present time is not yet mature enough to recognize what is going on. The children in question definitely come to the earth in a way that makes it possible to speak of abnormal configurations of their various bodily and soul members. These abnormalities are, though, not pathological in any way; they are precursors of a change in consciousness. The future is rushing in only to be brought up short by rigid social and institutional structures that manifest a turn of mind which will be incapable of developing an understanding of what these new children are bringing into the world. The conflicts resulting from this have been hastening towards the crisis point over about the last fifteen years.


Could we return to the new aptitude profiles for a moment, and especially the aspect of those children’s spiritual faculties of which you spoke and which are also mentioned in the book The Indigo Children. How can we approach this against the background of anthroposophy?

The special children are precursors of a change in consciousness. Through them a future culture of spirit-self as the 'illumined consciousness soul' is entering into what I would call the intellectual age, where it is bringing about a good deal of bewilderment. All our educational efforts will come to naught if we as adults do not endeavor to grasp this dimension and school ourselves accordingly.


The “Star Children,” as Kühlewind calls them (his description especially fits the scouts, the souls who seek) “know” of Christ at work in the etheric realm. They live with the impression of an encounter with Christ in the realm they passed through immediately before birth – in the “sphere of aims” (Steiner) where the life panorama lights up and the primal purpose is chosen. We can imagine that timeless moment of Christ-proximity as a profound and lastingly moving warmth event. Still imbued and immersed in this, souls enter the world where spiritual and social life lies frozen beneath an Ahrimanic crust of ice. This is where a huge and potentially traumatizing field of tension arises, and it is essential that we should understand this. Our understanding alone brings comfort and healing. To allow these new children to be regarded as brain-function-damaged and let them be normalized by the million with medications such as Ritalin spells a creeping catastrophe for our world. On the other hand, if we are prepared to welcome them in the right way, to accompany them and for their sake to change our awareness, then a grass-roots movement can begin of which the movement of 1968 will have been nothing but a stumbling vanguard.


In 1921-05-13-GA204 Rudolf Steiner writes that advanced spirits/souls have been incarnating since the end of the 19th century, and comments on the importance of this new development. See Discussion topic [1] above.

Kuehlewind, to our knowledge, appears to be the only one to make the link. Many people can relate though, to 'wise' children being born that amaze with what can be called 'spiritual maturity' at very young age. Furthermore, irrespective of the very materialistic culture and society, there indeed seem to be youngsters who come with amazing experiences and/or a very clear conscious drive towards spirituality.

It is left open here whether the 'star children' theme has a factual basis in reality (as this is hard to assess or judge), or whether there is any correlation, it just might.


  • check 1924-06-16-GA317
  • example of a potential case, who as a child was talking from a certain spiritual mature perspective; or at least has been put forth in the media as such (some sources say under influence of her mother), is the Swiss Christina von Dreien (°2001) see eg youtube movie A

Note 3 - Earth's population and the process of incarnation

This note is about the idea of 'the growing population on Earth' and how this idea relates to the idea of 'the process of reincarnation'.

A base assumption is that the population of human beings incarnated at a certain time is and has constantly been growing, to currently approx. 8 billion people. If the population grows as fast as the current mineral-scientific worldview states, then how to understand the implications of this fact for the number of previous incarnations of the ever-increasing incarnate souls?

3.1 - Introduction

First upfront, what are we talking about here?

Spirits are not material, so the number of souls and spirits in the spirit world does not necessarily correlate with any physical constraints in terms of Earth population, the latter only represents 'physical bodies that are shells for an earthly life experience at a certain level of consciousness' (the so-called human stage Condition of Consciousness CoC=4).

Individualities 'spawn off' of the Group souls of humanity (which in the current epoch renew with a lifecycle of some 500 years, re 'phoenix') and each ('droplet of consciousness' - see Monad) goes through a process of individuation or Development of the I (the process of individuation is explained on that topic pages, with links to relevant Schemas).

However, this process of individuation has not always been the same: initially people were much more group soul connected, and the full individuation of the I really set in in the fifth and Current Postatlantean epoch (for more info, see Group souls of humanity#Evolutionary perspective)

3.2 - Take care with your thinking and reasoning

Reincarnation is not a process to be conceived within a mechanistic worldview and exact rules and mathematics: not all souls reincarnate, as always some make it and some don't. As Rudolf Steiner stated on many occasions: in any process, some reach the developmental goal or purpose, some don't and fall away (re: parable of the sower).

To express it with a quote (see Introduction to reincarnation#1908-09-12-GA106): "people .. conceive ... reincarnation in much too simple a way. One should not imagine that a soul that is embodied today in its three sheaths was embodied in the same way in a foregoing incarnation, and again in one before that, always according to the same scheme. The secrets are much more complicated. .. the matter is still not rightly understood today. People think simply that a soul goes into a body ever and again. But it is not so simple."

Indeed, the 'contemporary worldview reasoning' often suffers from thinking mistakes such as 'the foolish extrapolation'. What is meant is that one cannot apply mathematical calculations to the process of reincarnation, because that process evolved greatly over time. For example 'time as we know it today' did not stabilize (due to positions of Earth, Sun and Moon after the separations of the latter two) until about the middle of the Atlantean epoch.

To illustrate it with a quote: "In primeval antiquity man had long periods of sleep, approximately as long as the time now consumed by an incarnation and the life after death" (1908-09-12-GA106) and "Men had no inkling of what we today call death. For if, at that time, man withdrew from his physical body, whether through sleep or through death, his consciousness did not diminish." (1908-09-11-GA106).

The only antidote to questions arising from a limited understanding is to deepen one's insight through study, in this case about the complex process of evolution from group souls to individuation, as pointed out above under 3.1.

3.3 - Perspectives for consideration

Several perspectives (can be or are) to be considered. Some (like the first two below) are more mineral-science or contemporary worldview reasoning, others are more spiritual scientific and to various degrees of insight (like those from [4] onwards).

Note that 'the answers are on the topic pages'. One can read the below quickly, but the real insights come from personal soul work, developing an understanding from studying the topic pages that are referenced here in full. Certain lecture quotes may provide a crucial explanation for the whole below, but these are not repeated here from those topic pages. Just one example is added here under [5] to illustrate exactly this point (with a few phrases from the 1920-GA200 quote).

  • [1] - the fact that there are so many people on Earth currently, supposedly so many more now than before, is a statement which is not necessarily fully proven as it depends on various assumptions and extrapolations (as no data is available), and things are more complex (eg 1916-12-31-GA173)
    • Rudolf Steiner has addressed this multiple times, see ao quotes 1916-12-31-GA173 and 1924-07-12-GA354 on this page.
    • For a view on the projected evolution of world population, see eg wikipedia or graph on statistica or article on world economic forum. It is interesting to remark the fact that this is based on mathematical models, and the hockeystick happens in the last century. That is just 100 years of a period which easily spans say 20-40.000 years, if one considers the platonic year (see 25920 and Zodiac clock) and (part of) the Atlantean epoch.
  • [2] - similarly, it may be stated that in general the average length of a human life has increased, in the past there was less health care, more child death, etc .. so the average age was shorter. Again this is something like a logical assumption we intuitively accept (for a shorter timeframe, based on improved conditions of healthcare), but for which one (has to be conscious) there is actually no historical statistical data available over longer time frames, so it is actually an extrapolation (of this trend and these conditions of life as a generalization) and thus again an assumption.
  • [3] - the period between two incarnations was previously longer (say two incarnations per cultural age, which is currently some 2000 years, but our current measure of time has only been stable since the Atlantean epoch when the Sun-Moon-Earth orbits stabilized). Currently ao due to the increased rate of change, and materialism, the period between two incarnations has become (much) shorter.
  • [4] - new spirits come from other planets when the conditions are such that it fits their development needs, in other words to will join Earth evolution and incarnate when the time is right for their future development. As such, many spirits are or may be awaiting to incarnate. Or, put differently: the total number of I's may far exceed the number of incarnated souls. For example, there could be say 10 or 100 billion spirit drops and only a few billion currently living on Earth. 
    • see this topic page, as illustrated by Schema FMC00.362 above
  • [5] - not all human physical bodies we see currently on Earth are true or full incarnations of human spirits
    • see: I-less human beings, eg the quote from I-less human beings#1920-10-22-GA200

      very many people (at least relatively many) are being born who do not follow the regular course of reincarnation .. this is why it is so difficult to speak about such a problem as reincarnation, because one cannot speak about it in the abstract sense that is so popular nowadays .. there are other beings incarnated here, beings who use these people in order to work through them. .. There are in fact a large number of people .. who are not simply reincarnated human beings but are the bearers of beings who have taken an extremely premature path of development and who should only appear in the form of humanity at a later stage of their evolution. .. One should not think in an abstract way that everywhere and without exception human beings are subject to repeated lives on Earth.

      (see also Schema FMC00.238). Or again, from 1924-09-17-GA346

      .. people who call themselves liberals or democrats are very glad if they can point to evidence that the number of people in a particular region on Earth is increasing tremendously. An increase in the population is something which is very much desired, especially by politically minded democratic and liberal people, and also by people who think that they are free thinkers and intellectuals. Now first of all this is not quite correct, because the statistics are based on errors; people usually look at one part of the Earth and they don't realize that the other parts of the Earth were more densely populated in previous times than they are today. It is not quite correct; however, on the whole it is correct in the sense that there is a kind of a surplus of human beings who are already appearing in our time who have no I's, who are not really human. This is a terrible truth. They walk around and are not incarnations of an I; they enter into the physical line of heredity and receive an etheric body and an astral body. In a certain way they are equipped with an Ahrimanic consciousness, and they look human if one doesn't look too closely, but they are not human beings in the full sense of the word.

    • David Pratt writes (see point 3.5 below): "In theosophical literature it is stated that, in general, unincarnated souls far outnumber incarnated souls. G. de Purucker said that the number of incarnated souls was only about a hundredth of the number of unincarnated souls." References given for these statements are:
      • W.Q. Judge: The Ocean of Theosophy (1893) - TUP, 1973, pp. 86-8
      • G. de Purucker: Studies in Occult Philosophy (1945) - TUP, 1973, pp. 579-80
      • G. de Purucker: The Esoteric Tradition (1940) - 2nd ed., TUP, 1940, p. 877
      • Dialogues of G. de Purucker (1948) - 3:219-20
  • [6] - Not all human 'instances' are of the nature that the souls develops, as part of the Development of the I (re the lowest 3-4 layers of the spirit world, see also causal body and the book of incarnations or Personalities) in the first place, in such a way that it can connect with Man's higher triad. Imagine physical processes of writing on a surface, or the traction of a toothwheel trying to connect and get traction, for the (earthly) soul experience writing to the (eternal) I. There is a crucial connection between the lower and the higher (see Schemas FMC00.289A and FMC00.289B on Human 'I'). So not all souls reincarnate again (and again). A more extreme illustration of this (as the explanations given there may be helpful in developing an understanding), is the state of avichi or avitchi, see Eighth sphere#The state of avichi. As can be deducted from this, the sixteen paths of perdition actually constitute a workshop of nature or mill where new spirits enter but also fall down and off, not all succeed (re: "It is here that the laggard I's perish by the millions")
  • [7] - Other arguments used in a spiritual scientific context are deemed theoretical hypotheses and not of relevance (for commentary see David Pratt under 3.5 below, who confirms this based on various theosophical sources):
    • monads from other planetary chains, not necessarily in our own solar system, joining the human evolutionary stream on Earth, or monads leaving Earth to continue their evolution elsewhere
    • animal souls reincarnating as humans, or human souls reincarnating as animals (sometimes mentioned in some Buddhism context).
3.4 - Conclusion

In the above, [6] and [5] are related, and hence [4] and [5]+[6] can be taken together. Imagine the image of a screw conveyer - as the 'come' and 'go' or additions and removals as part of an organic natural process, and whereby incarnated spirits rise or fall on the ladder of evolution. The image of the screw conveyer under a certain angle is not far from the ladder imagery on Sixteen paths of perdition, re Schema FMC00.420 and variants.

To contemplate this, one can meditate on all the above and the following elements:

  • the quote from the unnamed master ('Teacher') in Eighth sphere#Man: fragments of forgotten history .281885.29
  • furthermore, zooming out, the above can be put in context of the two lectures on the Meaning of life (see ao Meaning of life#1912-05-24-GA155), just reasoning by analogy. In these two lectures, the imagery used illustrates how the process of nature is characterized by much seeding and waste (allmost a shotgun approach) compared to those seeds that actually make their developmental goal. In the context here: the I-development through the soul experiences. Those that 'do not make it' follow another pathway than the further regular human spiritual development. Very generally, see also the 1917-01-01-GA174B quote on Sixteen paths of perdition#Inspirational quotes


The question can be asked:

What happens when souls do not reincarnate again? And how come? And what are these other human bodies then? ([5] and [6]).

To answer this question requires an in-depth understanding of the process of reincarnation, the distinction between the human soul (sufficient for earthly life and experience) and the true spiritual I of Man (re Human character - the I and threefold soul, Man's higher triad and monad).

How comes that this connection (between the soul and the higher triad/monad) is not made? what other entities can incarnate? and what impulse makes that a spirit chooses to incarnate or not at the so-called 'midnight hour' of existence in the spirit world?

This cannot be covered here briefly as it requires more extensive explanations, and will be added later in a separate section under reincarnation.

3.5 - Further reading:
  • Annie Besant: 'The Law of Population' (1877)
  • David Pratt from a theosophical perspective (2001-2019), see:
  • David Bishai: Can population growth rule out reincarnation? A model of circular migration. (2000, research paper)
  • some articles in popular media, eg one and two and three (commentary on Bishai and Pratt)
3.6 - Additional notes

Scott-Elliot writes in 'The Story of Atlantis' (1896), chapter of Emigrations. For what it's worth, given the source is Leadbeater and Steiner commented on his limited faculties of clairvoyance as quite some nonsense was written by him also.

Then, as time went on and population tended more and more to outrun the limits of subsistence, necessity operated with the least well-to-do in every race alike, and drove them to seek for a livelihood in less thickly populated countries. For it should be realized that when the Atlanteans reached their zenith in the Toltec era, the proportion of population to the square mile on the continent of Atlantis probably equalled, even if it did not exceed, our modern experience in England and Belgium. It is at all events certain that the vacant spaces available for colonizing were very much larger in that age than in ours, while the total population of the world, which at the present moment is probably not more than twelve hundred to fifteen hundred millions, amounted in those days to the big figure of about two thousand millions.

However Rudolf Steiner did make statements to the same effect, that the population of China was larger in ancient times, compared to today, for example "since the Chinese population is nowhere near as great as it was in former times", see Sixteen paths of perdition#1916-12-31-GA173.

Related pages

References and further reading

Star or Indigo children

More unqualified: After the first book in 1998, a whole raft of books appeared, here are just some of the very many. And then there's chrystal children, star children. Most to all without much research or tangible scientific approach or research foundation.

  • Meg Blackburn Losey: Conversations with the children of now (2008)
  • Doreen Virtue
    • Indigo, crystal and rainbow children (2001)
    • The care and feeding of indigo children (2001)
  • P.M.H. Atwater:
    • Children of the fifth world: A guide to the coming changes in human consciousness (2012)
    • Beyond the indigo children: the new children and the coming of the fifth world (2005)

For an overview of literature, see e.g. (freely downloadable via wikipedia page)

  • Gerhard Mayer, AnitaBrutler, Anita. 'Indigo-Kinder: Wunscherfüllung oder Wahn? Unerwartete Folgen eines Pathologisierungsprozesses' (2016)